I have moved . .

to http://adamoffline.squarespace.com/

I just couldn’t handle how difficult it is JUST TO CHANGE THE WIDTH of my blog entry column.  So, even though I have to pay for squarespace, I get a lot more control.  I tried the CSS Edit upgrade here but had no clue what to do, and judging by the forum here it is pretty much a “you’re on your own” mentality.

The stats here were good, but I am now switched over to squarespace at the above URL.  Feel free to stop by, voice any comments you want to.

History Nugget – Vacurnae, Earth

Vacurnae – creators of technology which allowed China to conquer the Earth in 1979 AD.  This turned out to be a double edged trojan horse, as the Vacurnae themselves appeared afterwards and in turn enslaved the Chinese in the opening days of 2275 AD.

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Using a much more advanced combination of nano-technology and AI, the Vacurnae made short work of the combined military (what remained of it after the 2nd Han Dynasty took over) of the Earth.  The Vacurnae most closely resembled a cross between a Rhino (lower body) and a reptilian scaled Grizzly Bear.  Standing some 18 feet tall and nearly 10 feet wide, these massive creatures were also literally armed for bear.  Among their arsenal of ultra-advanced weapons their most feared weapons were the Life Systems Disruptor (LSD) and their Nanosmart Hunter Killers (NHKs).

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The LSD system essentially created a field of non-life around their target which almost instantly shut down the nervous systems, brain, and heart of their target.  Death in turn, was almost instantaneous.
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The NHK‘s were sleek metallic robots which came in a variety of sizes and shapes and were used to hunt down their targets using DNA scanning, infra-senses, or passive scanning systems.  What made them so formidable was that they could withstand massive damage and were nearly indestructible.  Their smart-metal nano-bodies could regenerate from damage which destroyed up to 70% of their bodies.
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Leaving a contingent of their race behind to develop the new planet they had conquered, their main force left the planet for points unknown.  This left behind about 2 million Vacurnae who spread out over the face of the Earth and began seeding massive Plextors (Multiplex Towers) which took about 70 years to mature.  The Chinese race was used to monitor and administer the remaining native population, which was secondary to the Vacurnae’s actual goal in conquering the Earth; genetic material.
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1950.3.xxxx: Chinese scientists discover an alien base in the Himalayan Mountain Range, even more importantly they discover the wreckage of an alien spacecraft inside the base.  A severe military crackdown keeps knowledge of the discovery limited to upper government and military officials.
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1959.3.xxxx: A seperate shadow government, the 2nd Han Dynasty, is re-established by Mao Zedong.  The secret government begins a new Hi-tech Industrial Age based on technologies developed from the alien base, now known to have been an installation of a race known as the Vacurnae.  By keeping the new government secret, Mao plans on getting a sufficient edge between his nation and the other nations of the world that they will be unable to stop his long-term plan to control the rest of the world.  This plan is known as the Hundred-Flowers Plan.
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1979.246.0800: Even though Mao does not survive to see the Hundred-Flowers Plan unfold, three years after his death China unleashes its secretly developed might, striking at the major powers of the world.  The USSR, the USA, England, Australia, Japan, India, and Berlin all receive audio statements from China demanding unconditional surrender to the Han Government and the stand-down of their military forces within 24 hours.
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1979.246.0815: Ignoring the demands, angry government responses begin to arrive in Beijing and military forces across the globe begin moving to highest readiness states.  China merely repeats its demands adding that within 2 hours a demonstration of China’s ability to enforce its demands will be made.
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1979.246.1015: All active SSBN’s go off air within 30 minutes of each other.  At the same time, huge stealthed Chinese airships begin attacking various capital cities in the USA, USSR, England, Australia, Japan, India and Berlin. In the USSR nuclear armed missiles are launched toward Beijing.  The USA follows within minutes, launching ICBMs towards China.  None of the missiles reach their targets, instead, they are destroyed as they cross the Chinese borders.
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1979.247.0915: China begins its attack in earnest, seemingly invulnerable to the best weapons fielded by the resisting nations of the world.  After the decimation of the capitals by airships using energy weapons which vaporize their targets, similar to the science fiction weapons used by the martians in the radio program War of the Worlds, the Chinese military begins the systematic destruction of the worlds military forces and the subjugation of the nations themselves.  The airships themselves appear in vast numbers, fleets of them roaming at will.  Each wing of 30 airships seems to comprise 6 squadrons of 1 manned ship and 5 robotically controlled ships.  Later estimates place the total number of airships at around 2,500 to 3,500.
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1979.311.1300: Between the sheer destructive power of the force-beam, the invulnerable protection of the force-wall, and the ability to field massive numbers of AI-controlled drone airships, the USA is the last nation to formally surrender to the Han Armed Forces.
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2275.45.0900: A Vacurnae subjugation fleet arrives in the Sol System.
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2276.8.1800: Last military forces of 2nd Han Empire are routed.
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2277.98.0934: First of the Plextors are seeded across the globe and Vacurnae science directorate begins cataloging genetic strains of all organisms.
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2249.302.xxxx: Plextors reach maturity and subjugation fleet departs system, leaving 2 to 3 million Vacurnae behind to begin genetics and breeding programs.  2nd Han Empire given task of assisting Vacurnae in administering native population.
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2251.48.xxxx: Small scattered groups of humans begin to secretly resist the Vacurnae, with assistance of elements in Han Empire who realized how deeply their race was used in the destruction of their worlds nations.  Groups of humans gather in secret locations, avoiding NHKs and loyalist Han sweeps while trying to infilitrate and subvert the AI networks of the alien invaders.
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2423.39.xxxx: Human resistance groups achieve breakthroughs in programming and AI-technology and turn the Vacurnae’s systems against them.  80% of the aliens die immediately as their Plextors and NHKs turn against them, and the remaining Vacurnae are mercilessly hunted down over the next 100 days.
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Plextor (Multiplex Tower): Generic term for Vacurnae enclosed City complex.  Normal specs call for an enclosed structure around 25 miles across at the base, rising some 20 miles vertically and suspended several thousand feet above ground using anti-grav suspensor fields.  They are grown over a period of 70 to 90 years, using resources acquired from mass conversion engines in orbit.  Materials are sometimes mined from uninhabited rocky planets or asteroid belts and is then guided to the Plextor using AI-tugs controlled by the maturing city AI.  The main use of a Plextor, aside from providing living, research, and recreational spaces for the Vacurnae masters is as breeding quarters for the local species.  Population capacity is rated at 2 to 3 billion.

Earth, Thumbnail 2538.1(365).0000(2400).aaa

The Earth in 2538 is a bit different from 2010.  There are 7 major “nations” which are bound together as gigantic trade families.  The remaining nations on the planet form smaller unaligned clans which offer the larger families buffer zones between competing families.  At times, smaller clans within the larger families will splinter off and form similar neutral buffers.  Many times, clans within the larger families maintain lineages going back to the older nations which make up the families.

Power bloc: (AFFT) American Federation of Free Traders (USA/Canada/UK)

Made up primarily of the former USA, Canada, and United Kingdom, the AFFT is headed by Victor St-Pierce, nominally a citizen of the Canadian St-Pierce clan.  He has held his executive position for some 18 years, having succeeded Dominique Escadian.  Dominique was killed under suspicious and classified circumstances in 2219.189.xxxx. The AFFT is arguably the most advanced of the various families, at least in space-based areas such as ship construction, solar energy collection, and exo-planetary mining.

Power bloc: (GKH) Golden Kingdom of Heaven (China/India/Indonesia)

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Power bloc: (TGDA) Tangdao Accord (taiwan/hong kong/australia/new zealand)

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Power bloc: (UPIC) Unified Persian Islamic Conglomerate (iran/iraq/saudi arabia/africa)

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Power bloc: (SMST) Sovmerc States (Russia/old ussr states)

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Power bloc: (EUCA) Euroforge Cartel (Europe/italy/spain)

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Power bloc: (TYCS) Tiyaloxac City States (Mexico/south america)

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Information Gathering

We are not dead, all our space cadets are unable to defeat Gorf!

Kidding, been a little slow here, hell a standstill, but just gathering information to form the background of the game.  Am busily plotting stars, and points of interest out to the farline.  Which is about 9 parsecs in any direction, near as anyone can tell who has returned alive.  Be it in survival pod, stasage buoy, or functioning Explorer vessel.

The home world (Earth), as well as the 29 Prime Colonies, are slowly being developed as well as a timeline for events which branched off of actual history around 1976 AD or so.  If anyone has any great images of planets that they think would make an excellent backdrop for any of the Prime Colonies, feel free to link to it here.  If it’s public domain and/or not copy protected I’ll add it to the list and consider a suggestion by the finder for the name of a Prime Colony.

Now it’s back to the research, some of the inspiration and sources I am using are Mongoose Publishing Traveller RPG, Rogue Trader RPG (Warhammer 40k), Stewart Cowley’s excellent Terran Trade Authority, the Liaden Universe, Perry Rhodan, EE Doc Smith, and Piers Anthony’s Kirlian Series.  Those are a few of the sources, barely scratching the surface.   The mood in Terran Trade Authority is one I really enjoyed, back when we loved the atmosphere more than the mechanics of the story’s setting.

While it will be a while before we go off on the scales of EE Doc Smith, it’s possible if you play long enough and survive the challenges of the game that you might be knocking on the bad guys door with a fleet of Skylark planet-sized dreadnoughts.

Tiiiiiiii-iiiiiii-iiiii-iii-mmmmm-e is on myyyyyyy side! Yes it issss.

I’ve decided that like EVE Online, ADAM Offline will run real-time.  For every day that passes in the real world, an equal day will pass in ADAM.  However, the difference between the two is that a player in ADAM can plan their character’s off-stage actions as long-term as they wish.  They submit their Game Log with anything they want to happen off-stage, and those plans will be executed for as long as they remain valid.  Long term mining, travel, company actions, triggers for some future event, etc, all fall within the off-stage part of the game.  The beauty of this method is that players are never required to sit in front of their computers for hours on end mining asteroids or producing components in factories, or even travelling ad-nauseum all day long to gather parts, passengers,  cargoes, auction items, or any of the things they regularly have to fly all over the place to make sure it gets done right.

Since their PCs are actual people in the ADAM universe, they can interact and hire NPCs as long as they have the money to do so.  They can cultivate the contacts they gain during their pre-game career development, they can gain new contacts, meet patrons, sign up for missions from government agents, even sightsee various systems.  Like RPG’s from the old days, anything the characters want to do, they can ATTEMPT to do, and they can hook up with other players, be they friends in the same neighborhood, or people scattered all over the place that they meet in the game.  How do they know they are other players and not NPC’s?

Traveller’s Lodges.  These are facilities maintained in each system by a shadowy cartel of organizations, and in some cases there are multiple Lodges in a single system.  Here players can leave open notes to other players describing something they need filled and put up items or information they want to sell, or private notes as well, and there are spots throughout the Lodge, either public or private, where groups of PCs can meet.

For any direct adventuring or role-playing the character which the player wants to also plan, he can do so normally above and beyond off-stage gaming.

The quest for the holy theme

Don’t mind me changing the blog theme all the time, I noticed that different themes sometimes remove certain functions that I like, in this case the link I added to a very good site by Winchell Chung.  I really liked the dark black background with the orangie titles, but no blogroll for extra links.

Need to find out if CSS upgrade would let me use the other theme and add the blogroll back.

I do like this theme as well, it gives me nice wide text columns so everything doesn’t get squeezed in a narrow column.

Mapping the Light Fantastic

Spent the last several days tracking down star data so I can get the near area of space as technically accurate as possible.  As we move away from Earth, new stars will be generated as needed within the general outline of our galaxy.

Winchell Chung gets mojo-rific props from me as he already did a huge amount of work gathering up star data and making it available to anyone who wants to use it, I’ll be crediting him where appropriate, he has one of the best web sites, bar none, when it comes to presenting an enormous amount of science fiction literature to anyone interested in space, spaceships, and maps.

So I have everything I need to lay out my star map out to 15 parsecs from Sol, although the farline only goes out to about 9 parsecs.  What lies beyond that border could be summed up best by “Here be Dragons.”

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