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 [Custom Setting] Retrograde

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Solodice

Solodice

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PostSubject: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyThu Sep 06, 2018 11:42 pm

This a setting I'm running in RL and I thought I would share the pieces I have for it here. It' still a work in progress and nothing is super concrete. You're getting a first look at how I world build basically.

Suggestions, comments, or additional ideas are welcomed!

Setting Premise

The year is 2060 and the space race never ended between the Soviet Union and the United States. Presently the human race has made its way into the solar system and has established itself on planets, moons, and space stations. It is a time of great discovery, technological advancements, and exploration. It is also a time of uncertainty as old grudges still fester between the old superpowers and new ones fester between rising powers.

Major Themes

- Retro-futurism
- Exploration of ground based societies and their adaptation to space
- Space is a scary place
- Cold War in space

Look and Feel

Anything by Syd Mead (one could call Retrograde the Syd Mead RPG)


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Setting Notes

Major Stellar Powers (Superpowers)
- United States
- Soviet Union
- United Kingdom
- People's Republic of China

Minor Stellar Powers
- Federal Republic of Germany
- France
- Canada
- Italy
- Netherlands
- Iran
- Socialist Countries of Africa (SCA)
- Separatist Moons of Jupiter

Random Notes

Rocketboys - Hotrodders and greasers in space

CCC - Civilian Conservation Corp

Soviet Genetic Manipulation (Extreme variants)
- Cosmonaut Gene: Telepathy and extreme adaption to zero-g
- Soldat Gene: Genetically enhanced soldiers
- Cossack Gene: Skills related to piloting
- Politico Gene: Skills related to social manipulation and people reading

Panzer Korps - Armored combat suits in place of tanks

USMC
- Paramarines - ODST like units
- Infantry - Old school roughnecks getting shit done
- Heavy Infantry - Roughnecks in heavier armor
- Aviation - Marines that can fly

USN
- Void Jumpers
- SEALs
- Force Security
- SeaBees
- Pilots

Mercenary Companies
- Gold Company
- W39
- Star Banshees
- Willy’s Rangers

Dutch Trading Company (DTC)

Pinkerton Detective Agency

Separatist Moons of Jupiter
- Himalia
- Lysithea
- Elara
- Pasiphae
- Sinope

Well Known/Notorious Pirate Groups
- Thunder Children
- Bloody Barons
- Krakens
- Blitz (Single Ship)
- Einstein’s Brain (Single Ship)
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bobarctor1977

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyFri Sep 07, 2018 9:57 am

Looks and sounds awesome man. Great idea.

I feel like Philip K Dick could be a huge source of inspiration if it's not already. I'm mainly thinking of the novel The Man in the High Castle....the TV series isnt as good but the book has a lot about moon colonies and stuff, and is all about espionage and tensions between Nazi Germany and Japan.

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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyMon Sep 17, 2018 2:08 pm

Thanking for giving it a look, Bob. Dick isn't a huge inspiration but the inspiration comes from many things for this game.

Recently went on a little spree for manufactures of space suits. The space suit is very important for characters in Retrograde. The suits have advanced to levels where you can wear them at all times if you wanted to.

I have broken the suits down into four classes. The reason for the classes is for automatic gear each comes with and also variety.

Class 1 (Skin Suit)
- Computer
- Oxygen Reserve

Class 2 (Vacsuit)
- Computer
- Scrubbers and Oxygen Reserve
- Radiation Protection
- Mag Boots

Class 3 (EVA Suit)
- Computer
- Drug Injectors
- Life Support System
- Radiation Protection
- Maneuvering Thrusters
- Mag Boots

Class 4 (Hardsuit)
- Biological/Electrical Hardening (4)
- Computer
- Exoskeleton
- Drug Injectors
- Life Support System
- Radiation Protection
- Maneuvering Thrusters
- Mag Boots

From there I then moved on to making a bunch of suit manufactures. I thought this would be boring but I actually had some fun coming up with companies, their identities, and their products.

General Systems (USA): A future version which has seen the merging of the other general companies (GM, GE, ect.). The US military has an extensive contract with GS to make almost all of the suits used by the US armed forces. These suits are all about being high tech with all the bells and whistles. They are also the most heavily armored suits in their class (being +1 above the max armor for each class). Down side to all this is everything's expensive and the suits aren't super durable.

Traveler (USA): Higher end frontier/working man suits. Compared to other frontier like suits these are a little flashier and appeal to the wannabees, rich people, and those looking for a less utilitarian design. There look and feel is more in line with the Hollywood version of the wild west. That's what their marketing is based off of and people buy into it hard. Mechanically the suits are rugged but have some higher tech options on them compared to other frontier/worker suits.

BCF (Business, Combat, Fashion) (France): Take a high end suit tailor and give him a John Wick twist. These guys are well known for their business suits (space and land) and for their extensive line of combat suits for mercenaries, security units, or those who just have the money to afford them. They are the main competitor of GS when it comes to combat suits in the civilian and military market.

F-Solutions (Soviet Union): The Kalashnikov of space suit manufactures. Billed as frontier/survivalist suits and they fit that bill to a t. Suits are incredibly rugged, resilient, and utilitarian. These suits are very popular with many folks in the solar system from mercenaries to scientists on extremely remote outposts. F-Solutions have a branch called PRMR which develops and manufactures suits for the Soviet Unions armed forces. Like their civilian suits the military ones are rugged, resilient, and utilitarian. They not about being high tech like the GS suits. They're about staying in the battle for as long as possible.

Union Fitted (Soviet Union): The working mans brand. These guys are all about making suits for EVA techs, dock workers, and other kinds of blue collar jobs. Their suits are well made and affordable and that makes them popular all over the solar system. They also understand their costumers and make their suits based on feedback and requests.

Hipp (Independent): Take a street wear manufacturer (BOPE, Supreme, etc.) and mix them with the pirate bay. These guys make limited edition suits (never to be made again) which appeal to criminals, rebels, and anarchists. Their suits are extremely well made, contain a bunch of illegal and hard to acquire tech, and are low profile. Some of the tech that Hipp has implemented into their suits is classified tech from the major powers. Hipp is an active target for law enforcement and intelligence groups.

DUSTY (UK): The Caterpillar/Volvo of space suits. They are known for their excellent and varied lines of hard suits. They are all very modular, well built, and are considered the standard for hard suits the solar system over. Their Goliath suit is the most common hard suit worn in the solar system.

Argus (Italy): They build suits that cater to security, law enforcement, bounty hunters, and intelligence operatives. If you run across any form of law enforcement in the solar system they are probably wearing an Argus suit. The other area Argus is known for is their suits built for intelligence gathering. One defining feature or Argus suits is their hidden armor. Argus suits aesthetically are sleek and non-bulky. Mechanically they use sophisticated polymers and synthetic threading to create their patented hidden armor. Argus is also known for their subsidiary which is an independent security/intelligence group known as Argus Consultants and is a main competitor of the Pinkerton Detective Agency.


Last edited by Solodice on Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:41 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Iron and Metal
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyMon Sep 17, 2018 2:37 pm

Holy fucking shit, how did I miss this?! I’m giving this a thorough look over when I’m not st work, but it looks dope AF.

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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyMon Sep 17, 2018 2:48 pm

Iron and Metal wrote:
Holy fucking shit, how did I miss this?! I’m giving this a thorough look over when I’m not st work, but it looks dope AF.

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Missing out on the good stuff! Wink

It's nothing to in depth at the moment. The bones are there and a few strands of muscle but we don't have a fully body for this setting... yet.
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Sep 19, 2018 12:14 pm

Just reading through this now. Can we make Japan a minor space power just to placate me? I feel like a Japanese private corp specializing in mech/robotics (obviously) would be badass too. A little cliche, but this setting seems like it thrives off pulpy cliches, and I love that.
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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Sep 19, 2018 1:26 pm

Iron and Metal wrote:
Just reading through this now. Can we make Japan a minor space power just to placate me? I feel like a Japanese private corp specializing in mech/robotics (obviously) would be badass too. A little cliche, but this setting seems like it thrives off pulpy cliches, and I love that.

Japan itself isn't a minor power because all the Zaibatsu are minor powers themselves. They have economies the size of most of the minor powers and boast insane manufacturing capabilities that rival even those of the major powers.

Japan in Retrograde is heavily corporatist and the Zaibatsu are the corporate lords. That's the pulpy cliche I'm working with when it comes to Japan for this setting.

Also, yes the Zaibatsu are known for their robots but to throw a twist into the setting it's the Germans who are known for the mechs.
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Sep 19, 2018 3:30 pm

That's perfect. I must have missed that, but legit perfect.
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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Sep 19, 2018 3:48 pm

Iron and Metal wrote:
That's perfect. I must have missed that, but legit perfect.

I haven't covered any of the Mega Corporations in to much detail yet but the Zaibatsu are a major part of it.
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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptySat Sep 22, 2018 10:51 pm

Alright, I'm beginning to explore who has claimed what in our solar system.

I'm currently thinking about dividing the larger planets and moons between the powers. This makes sense from the fact that one power controlling one of these doesn't make a lot of sense in this setting. It also drives the cold war theme with these powers new territories bumping up against one another and the fight for new ones.

My loose ideas right now (and a trip through our solar system for my less astronomically inclined friends):

Mercury: No permanent territories from any of the major or minor powers. However, their are large mining operations from many mining groups (corp and independent), research bases from the powers, and cities that range from fully independent to corporate enclaves. The Zaibatsu mega corps have major holdings and influence on and around Mercury.

Venus: The place where you don't want to build anything on it. However, you can build in the atmosphere. The Soviets have taken advantage of the other powers no being interested and have started building aerostats. They have a lead that other powers will have a hard time catching up to on Venus.

Earth: Pretty much the same save for a few changes.
- Moon: Heavily dominated by the Americans. The Soviets have some territories on the far side. The Netherlands, Canada, and Italy have bought territory from the Americans.

Mars: Heavily divided between the major and minor powers. The largest territories don't belong to the Americans or Soviets but to the Chinese and British.
- Deimos: Controlled by the Americans and turned into a comms/military installation.
- Phobos: Moved to become the anchor of the Olympus Mons space elevator.

Ceres (a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt): Fully independent with no power having sole control over it. It's a major stop between the inner system and outer system. Power and influence of the democratically elected Ceres Council is one of major contention between the powers. The Dutch have some serious pull on Ceres along with the Unionite groups (Soviet backed or Soviet sympathizers).

Jupiter's Moons
- Europa, Ganymede, Io, Callisto: All heavily divided up between the powers. The minor powers have more pull out here especially Italy, Federal Republic of Germany, SCA, France, and Iran.
- Himalia, Lysithea, Elara, Pasiphae, Sinope: Smaller moons under the umbrella of a brand new political power known at the Separatist Moons of Jupiter. The United States had territory on Elara and Pasiphae since their colonization. However (and a long history lesson for why later), the Separatists viewed the Americans as squatting on their moons. Plans were enacted to remove the Americans by force and now a new hot spot has arisen in the solar system.
Every other moon: To small to divide up so most of the major powers have gobbled them up for themselves.

Saturn's Moons
- Titan, Rhea, Iapatus, Dione, Enceladus, Tethys: Heavily divided between the major and minor powers. Smaller powers like the Netherlands, Canada, and France have more pull out here then usual.
- Every other moon: To small to divide up so most of the major powers have gobbled them up for themselves.

Neptune's Moons, Uranus' Moons, Pluto/Charon: This the frontier, the edge, and its a place where the powers don't have a bunch of influence and don't see the need for it. Out here is the land of the scientists, the independents, and those who want to be left alone.


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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyThu Sep 27, 2018 8:42 pm

Now time for some more art to give you a better feel of the world! (This time it's not Syd Mead art)

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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptySat Sep 29, 2018 5:05 pm

Time for some history!

Separatist Moons of Jupiter (called SMJ from now on) were once the Confederacy of Jupiter Moons (CJM from now on). The scramble for territory in the solar system wasn't just between political powers but other groups. While the major powers were busy land grabbing and planting flags on Galilean moons of Jupiter other small groups (ethnic minorities and ostracized political parties) made runs on the smaller moons. To protect themselves from the major/minor powers they banded together forming the CJM and becoming a minor power themselves. It's important to note that before the forming of the CJM USA had territories on two of the moons (Elara and Pasiphae). The CJM said they can keep these territories but no other territories from other powers would be allowed.

- Next stop in the timeline is the CJM civil war. It all started when Himalia's government called for a central governing body for the CJM. The other moons did not agree with this and worried Himalia would try to achieve this militarily. They had every right to be scared as Himalia was the wealthiest and had the largest military compared to the other moons. Their worst fears would come to be and Himalia launched a campaign of conquest. Further complicating everything the USSR and US moved in to support the two sides making the civil war a proxy war as well. The USSR backing Himalia and the US everyone else. The CJM civil war is also known as the Merc War for the extensive use of mercenary companies on both sides. The end of the civil war saw victory for Himalia and the SMJ was born.
- Remember those two US territories? Yeah, those stuck around in SMJ cause the US told the SMJ they weren't going anywhere, they didn't officially recognize the SMJ as a political entity, and if they tried to take their territories hell would be unleashed. After fighting a costly civil war the SMJ weren't going to poke a super power. However, the SMJ saw the US as squatters on their moons.

- Current time: The SMJ has recovered from their civil war and now it's time to remove the last vestiges of the other political powers from their moons. The SMJ tried at first to do this politically but the US not recognizing the SMJ as a political entity made this impossible. There was nothing to negotiate with the SMJ as far as the US was concerned. Finally, the military option was taken. The assault on the Pasiphae territory was lightening quick and almost bloodless catching the US forces there off guard. Elara was entirely different with the US mounting a hasty defense and were able to call for help. The Italian showed up first in assistance, then an emergency US response group, then the Germans to Elara.  
- The idea was for the SMJ to quickly assume these territories and then enter negotiations with the US using the captured military and civilian forces as bargaining chips. This would of worked if the US didn't hold out in Elara and a quick response by an Italian naval group. Instead, the US and the SMJ are now at war.
- Elara: A combined military effort by the USA, Italy, and the Federal Republic of Germany. The fight is one of defense and trying to regain lost territory. The goal on Elara is to secure the previous US territory and hold out.
- Pashipae: Entirely a USA endeavor. Saw the largest Special Force operation conducted on a SMJ space station and the largest orbital combat drop ever conducted. The goal of the US to achieve a full military victory over the forces on Pashipae.
- Naval engagements: US has full orbital control of Pashipae. Partial control of Elara's orbit along with the Italian Navy and Kreigsmarine. Naval engagements between the SMJ and USN are ongoing around Jupiter.
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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyFri Oct 05, 2018 7:31 pm

Better living through chemistry time!

So Retrograde has a bit of a cyberpunk streak through it and it wouldn't be cyberpunk if there wasn't some drugs.

I've already hashed out the mechanics behind all of them (we'll see how they hold when tested). Got to have some fun flavor text for them in the mean time.

CalmMe: An anti-anxiety drug. CalmMe has a good track record and is popular outside of its market base. CalmMe is popular with many kinds of people thanks to its quick acting and potentate ability to numb anxiety and fear. The draw back of this is that the user suffers a social coldness about them. "Chills the nerves and makes you cold hearted." Is a common street phrase for CalmMe.

Party Animal: Synthetic party drug co-opted as a social booster. What once was an extremely popular party drug morphed its way into the world of social interactions. Party Animal boosts confidence and makes you extremely likeable. However, Party Animal makes the user super sensitive to physical contact. What was once a boon for the party drug was also a bane when pain becomes involved.

HyperX: Adderall x10. A concentration drug developed for ADD but its application was applied to many other things. HyperX is when you want to get shit done or solely focus on one task. This hyper focus comes at a cost to your situational awareness and your ability to function socially.

Showtime: An offshoot of the combat drug Red. A pain suppressant and temporary strength booster. If you're getting into a fight or need to toughen up then Showtime is for you. This awesome physical boost comes at quite a mental cost. Intelligence, charisma, and metal fortitude suffer when Showtime is in effect.    

Red: The premier combat drug. Once only available to military units this drug has found its way into the civilian market. It's incredibly hard to synthesize which makes its street cost extremely high. Red is a reflex booster with no comparison. Red does't carry the usual downsides found in other drugs. However, it is fast acting and its effects where off quickly.

AntiB: The "make me happy" drug. Developed as a drug for operators out in space or on remote outposts for extended periods. Boredom is a real issue and that's where AntiB comes in. Beyond its immediate "happy" effect AntiB is known as a mental fortifier. AntiB's downsides are reduced strength, resistance to pain, and slowing of motor functions. One unrecognized upside to AntiB is the user's happiness is contagious helping them in social situations.

G Cocktail: A drug developed to help with high G burns. It thickens the blood to help keep users conscious when high G burns are conducted. G Cocktail has no downsides but its uses outside of helping against extreme G changes are minimal to none.
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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyTue Oct 16, 2018 2:29 pm

Almost done working on 35 unique space suits and 40+ mods for them. Started working on it for the play test here and for the fact I'm letting players go through character creation. For other test sessions I've just used pre-built characters.
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyTue Oct 16, 2018 10:52 pm

While not really a sci-fi guy I can tell you've put a lot of work in this. Good work and good luck!
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Oct 17, 2018 8:08 am

^^Ditto... except for the not being a sci-fi guy part. Wink
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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Oct 17, 2018 1:39 pm

Gurkhal wrote:
While not really a sci-fi guy I can tell you've put a lot of work in this. Good work and good luck!

Iron and Metal wrote:
^^Ditto... except for the not being a sci-fi guy part. Wink

Thanks guys.

Should hopefully have the space suits done this week so you all can get your gear porn on Smile
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptySun Oct 28, 2018 8:02 pm

Alright, all of Retrogrades space suits and their lore is done. This is a first hand look at the space suit catalog for the game. The mechanics are still being worked on...

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MuousiYmsnsRorXn2sJJiVoR1ewDhE2RTbOGBlQcMmo/edit?usp=sharing

Still need to finish up mod mechanics and then get to pricing everything out.
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyTue Dec 18, 2018 9:42 pm

Gearing up to do a one shot that has characters being the captains of ships in a Royal Navy squadron. Which meant getting some UK and RN lore down.

The Empire Rises Again

To no one’s surprise the United States, USSR, and PRC rose to the top during humanities great race into the void. These powers were set and ready after being some of the biggest and most fortunate powers after World War Two. However, when we talk about the biggest players in the solar system we talk about the big four. That fourth player being the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom was a shadow of its former self after World War Two. The home island was still recovering from the war and it’s once vast imperial holdings were gone. It was a second rate power and played second fiddle to the United States in NATO.

Even with the beginning of the space race the UK never inserted itself or tried its own luck outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. That would change after the United States established the first base on Luna. If the UK was once again going to be a major player they needed to put there mark on the space race.

It would finally leave its mark in 1990 being the first power to land a manned mission on Mars. It wasn’t the United States, the USSR, or the PRC that got humans to Mars first. It was the United Kingdom. The seeds of the future empire were planted and nothing was going to slow its growth.

In the next 70 years the United Kingdom established a solar empire that raised it into a first rate power once again. The British Empire was reborn.

The Royal Navy

Like its previous empire the British understood that naval power was the key in protecting and growing it. Royal Navy outposts dot the solar system alongside their massive naval yards where they patrol shipping lanes and protect their interests.

Once the Royal Navy was the undisputed naval power in the system. They were the first to build a dreadnought. They were the first to have a ship transit from Earth to Pluto and then back. The advancements of the fusion drive was spurred on by them.

Nothing lasts forever though. The other powers of the big 4 quickly caught up and established parity with the Royal Navy. Where they now lacked in technological superiority the Royal Navy made up for it with experience. They are still the oldest stellar navy out of the big 4.

Today, the Royal Navy’s doctrine revolves around synergy. Their ships are designed to work with one another in the deadly dance of space combat. This does not mean the ships can operate on their own but the true potential of the Royal Navy comes in their squadrons instead of lone ships. The whole is greater than its parts essentially.

The Islands

One ability that the Royal Navy has over the over big 4 navies is its vast system of outposts around the solar system. These are known as the Islands and were established during the UK’s push through out the system from Mars.

These Islands serve as refitting, rearming, listening, and traffic monitoring stations. They are all designed to fit a full patrol squadron or a single Knight-class in their internal landing bay. Islands already host a smattering of medium and light vessels in the presence or absence of a patrol squadron.

The Islands give the Royal Navy a vast control and monitoring network alongside the ability to deploy squadrons almost anywhere in the system at a moments notice.

The Islands are grouped in chains. The Alpha Chain spans Mercury and Venus, Bravo Chain; Earth, Charlie Chain: Mars, Delta Chain: Belt, Echo Chain: Jupiter, Foxtrot Chain: Saturn, Hotel Chain: Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

The thickest chains are Charlie and Delta. Compared to the Charlie and Delta chains they start decreasing beginning with Echo, Foxtrot, Bravo, Alpha, and finally the most sparse and spread out chain being Hotel.

Famous Squadrons and Ships

Special Service Squadron aka SSS
- The infamous squadron with a classified record so long some think it never ends. When it comes to spying, special forces, or any dirty work the UK wants done there is little doubt the Special Service Squadron is involved one way or another.
- Volunteer only squadron where one must qualify for and then pass an evaluation course.
- The flagship of the squadron is the heavily modified Knight-class HMS Duchess of Edinburgh. It’s been kitted out with a vast amount of surveillance and monitoring equipment as well as an enlarged landing bay where it’s rumored to hold some seriously modified Saab Mulas for resupply and deployment of UK special forces. When returning to port from a successful mission the Duchess will show off a Jolly Roger from her main mast.
- Other notable ships of the squadron are the Bulldog-class HMS Hood and HMS Repulse. These two cruisers have been known to be test beds for the Royal Navy’s R&D Division’s new toys.

61st Battle Squadron
- Deployed during the outbreak of the Belt Secessionist Incident in 2039. Was the first Royal Navy squadron to engage in sustained space combat.
Contains two highly decorated warships. The Knight-class HMS Jersey and the Archer-class HMS Fly. These two ships are the last ships of the squadron that participated in the Belt Secessionist Incident (others being transferred, destroyed, or retired).

HMS Invincible
- The first stellar dreadnought ever built. Flagship of the Home Fleet.

HMS Constantine
- Longest running Mastiff-class with multiple operations awards and honors. She is known as the ‘Pirate Killer’ do to her long tours of duties out beyond Jupiter. She is currently with the 17th Fleet.


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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyTue Dec 18, 2018 10:06 pm

Working on the above lore has also helped me get a better idea of this settings history. At least when it comes to Ceres and some of the first military conflicts.

Ceres was once a UK territory. It's stellar neighbor Vesta was as well but Mitsubishi bought it from the Brits (yes, a Zaibatsu bought a whole damn terrestrial object like any reasonable mega-corp would). Ceres became the new jewel of this reborn British Empire. Along with its island chain in the asteroid belt the UK was essentially the most dominant power there. Meaning they started taxing non-UK ships to port at Ceres, paying tolls through lanes in the belt, and becoming the dominant military power in the region. This brought the ire of the other powers. The Americans and the Chinese groveled while the Soviets had already begun a deep and powerful campaign to sever British power in the region.

What you get is the Belt Secessionist Incident. The Soviets didn't have to do a lot as the seeds for secession were already laid. They just needed to help them grow. The Soviets started to assist the more militant side of the secessionists and in 2039 everything went to hell for the Brits. Secessionists lead raids on some of their island outposts in the belt, captured military vessels, and some of the first stellar battles were fought. Ceres was under marshal law and any talks between the secessionists and the Brits was next to nil.

More raids, more captures, and more space battles in the belt started to effect stellar trade and now the Americans and Soviets (as planned) began to arm and mobilize. The Brits were to get their house in order or someone would come and do it for them. There was real fear at this point that a stellar war was going to break out.

The Soviets weren't going to let the incident escalate any further and were planning on stepping in and be the heroes who would broker a truce. Unfortunately for the Soviets the Chinese had already swept in.

The PRC moved a fleet into the belt and blockaded Ceres. They would force the British and the secessionists to hash it out. In the end the British would give up Ceres but they were able to maintain their vast island chain in the belt. For the British it lost its new jewel and its monopoly of power in the belt. Ceres would become a major hot spot in political intrigue and influence among the big 4.
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyTue Dec 25, 2018 3:55 pm

Mercenaries are fun (from a setting and player option perspective) and Retrograde is a setting where mercenaries are in high demand. Below are some of the more well known merc companies.

W39: The joke with W39 is that soviet officers don't retire and soviet soldiers don't end their contracts. They just go to W39.

W39 is the largest mercenary company in the solar system possessing the largest mercenary stellar fleet, most infantry, most mechanized elements, you name it. Thanks to its size and breath of options W39 is the most well rounded mercenary company. Their specialization is in having everything.

W39 is heavily Soviet but other nationalities can be found in its ranks. Rumors are abound that W39 is a proxy force for the Soviet Union. Among the intelligence circles its more believed that W39 command has close ties to the Soviet Union (explaining their vast amount of Soviet tech and equipment) but are not beholden to them.

Gold Company: When someone is thinking of a mercenary they are probably imagining one from Gold Company.

They are the second biggest company in the solar system with the best PR, equipment, and pay. Gold Company prides itself on being slick, good looking, and being expensive. This has given them the image of being a mercenary company full of attention whores and rich brats with unmatched arrogance.

Gold Company might party hard but they also play hard. Their arrogance and price tag is well founded. They are extremely competent soldiers backed up by some of the best equipment money can buy.

So don't let the good looks or equipment confuse you. Gold Company is ready to receive and deliver hell when paid to do so.

Star Phantoms: When you need a force specializing in stellar warfare you only need to call one group. The Star Phantoms.

The Star Phantoms specialize in stellar warfare meaning they don't posses any ground forces. What they do have are some of the best mercenary pilots and captains in the business.

The Star Phantoms were born out of the CJM Civil War aka Merc War. The CJM loyalists were in bad shape when it came to their stellar forces and the US couldn't have its proxies be without one. So the CIA was tasked with creating a third party navy. They brought in some of the solar systems best to pilot and command this newly founded force. They earned the name Star Phantoms from W39 and have carried the name with them ever since.

The Star Phantoms still have connections with the CIA.

Willy's Rangers: Honor and being just can be hard to find in mercenaries. You get honor and being just in spades with Willy's Rangers.

Willy's Rangers are an elite light-infantry company with a hard earned reputation of being professional, honorable, and deadly. Setting themselves apart from the other companies is they won't take everyone's money no matter how much is being offered. Jobs are only taken if the cause is right. This has lead to Willy's Rangers being labeled as "boy scouts".

Those on the receiving end of Willy's Rangers quickly learn that these "boy scouts" mean business.

Free Brigades: The Free Brigades fall in a weird zone of mercenary force and actual military force. For one they are the official ground forces of the Ceres Militia but the brigades also serve time as mercenary forces. This was designed to give Ceres a seasoned fighting force and additional income for the Ceres Militia.

The Free Brigades are well trained and seasoned light-infantry groups. They are not elite as say Willy's Rangers but they have earned a reputation for being unrelenting, stubborn, and somewhat crazy.

Hatchet Men: They'll do any job as long as the money is right and paid on time.

Considered the lowest of the low. The Hatchet Men are a group known for being unscrupulous and not asking any questions. The ranks of the Hatchet Men are filled with those that exemplify this reputation. This doesn't mean the Hatchet Men are open to any low life joining their ranks. Routine and constant psych evaluations are carried out to make sure members are still on the edge and haven't completely fallen off. Hatchet Men have no use for loose cannons.

The Hatchet Men are a light-infantry force but they also cover bodyguard, wet work, and intimidation.

"When bad people need bad things done they call us." - Vincent Prince, Founder of Hatchet Men

"They're just a bunch of thugs who call themselves mercenaries." - Anonymous
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Mar 06, 2019 2:29 pm

Some stuff I've been working on for Ceres and the Soviet Union

Ceres Organizations: The 3 Cs

Ceres Council: A democratically elected council composed of 1 representative from each of Ceres' sectors. Outside influence on the council is directed through these representatives. The outer sector reps are influenced by the Unionites and DTC. The inner sectors are influenced by mega-corps and the Big 4.

Ceres Militia: The primary defensive force of the dwarf planet. It is comprised of the Naval Wing and the Free Brigades. Info on the Free Brigades can be found in the post above. The Naval Wing is a small fleet in charge of protection and enforcement of Ceres' immediate "airspace". The militia overall is a defensive force but thanks to the duel nature of the Free Brigades offensive actions can be taken with high levels of deniability.

Constables: A reappropriated name from the original police of Ceres when it was a UK territory. The Constables function similarly to the USA's FBI acting as the highest level of law enforcement on Ceres, having jurisdiction all across the dwarf planet, and aren't beholden to the sectors but to the Ceres Council. The Constables don't engage in regular police duties. Those duties fall to the sector police. Even though the group is young they are considered one of the best counter-intelligence organizations in the Solar System. This is do to the high level of spy activity on Ceres.

Soviet Union

Just some preliminary thoughts and ideas I have.

The Soviet Union is heavily invested in genetic engineering. It's gotten to the point that every current USSR citizen has some basic form of gene therapy. This would make the Soviet Union the most transhumanist of all the factions in the setting. It has also had big cultural impacts leading to a rise in biological mysticism and the view of the human body can be upgraded and changed biologically. The Soviets also shun and belittle those that use bionics.

I'm still deciding on how far I want to go with and prevalence of more radical manipulation and therapies. One thing is for sure is that the Soviets are definitely researching and experimenting with genetics. Thanks to the sometimes volatile nature of the work a new Spetsnaz group known as HAZMAT and is under the command of the MVD. It was created to handle emergencies and perform "clean ups".

Oh and I did some space ship stuff as well. It has been more mechanical related rather then lore though.


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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyFri Mar 08, 2019 11:29 pm

Been thinking about some mega-corporation stuff and how they are represented in Retrograde. The setting itself has some cyberpunk leanings so corporations are some pretty big players.

This is what I've been working with lately.

Zaibatsu: The Japanese mega-corporations and are pretty much the lords of Japan.

- Mitsubishi: The biggest and meanest of the Zaibatsu. They own all of Vesta (second largest object in the asteroid belt after Ceres) which is their headquarters and the whole asteroid has been turned into a factory. The corp is heavily diversified but they are mainly known for their civilian and military drones like the Spider Tank line and the 'Zero' Attack Drone.

- Mitsui, Sumitomo, Yasuda, Toyota Group: The other Zaibatsu that I haven't really fleshed out all that much. If anyone has any ideas for them go right ahead.

General Systems: When one thinks mega-corp they think GS. They are the most diversified mega-corporation out there making everything from ion engines, space ships, space suits, pre-fab facilities, guns, you name it. Basic premise is what would happen if General Electric, General Atomics, General Motors, and General Dynamics formed into some ungodly monster.

Dutch Trading Company: Remember the East India Company or the Dutch East India Company? Well the DTC are them in Retrograde. They are conglomerate that are mostly known for being the dominant logistics and transport company in the solar system. They have deep ties to the Netherlands government and some say the only reason the Dutch are even apart of the Small 8 is because of the DTC.

Moving away from the mega-corps we have smaller corporations. What I did was look at corporations from the Cold War era and pretty much kept them around. Made my life easier then just making new ones up.

So the likes of Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Bell, Sikorsky, BAE, Vickers, English Electric, Saab, Rheinmentall, Hughes Aircraft (now Spacecraft) Company, MiG, Sukhoi, Antonov, and more are still around. They all make spaceships and/or drop ships!

Oh, and for those that know their Cold War history Air America is still around but are now known as Stellar America.
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PostSubject: Re: [Custom Setting] Retrograde   [Custom Setting] Retrograde EmptyWed Apr 03, 2019 5:40 pm

Always adding and refining this setting.

Sat down and looked into how this settings version of the internet (called the net in Retrograde) works. Along with that also how telecom's work as a whole.

So space is a big place... okay very fucking big. Some of the distances are unimaginable and that's just within our own solar system. However, we humans have figured out that we can talk and transmit data across these vast distances. In Retrograde the tech isn't all that different from what we're using today. They use radio and lasers. Also thanks in part that the space race never ended an infrastructure of relays was built to help speed up transmission times.

However, you can't beat psychics and there is still delays. The further you are from you intended message destination the worse it's going to be. What effects this has is more important to geopolitics and the military. Keeping things up to date is hard in a fast moving incident with a delay. It's even worse if you're trying to coordinate. For the military forces of Retrograde the centralized command structure isn't as prevalent. Ship captains, force commanders, and government leaders are more independent because of these communication limitations.

Now from a player's perspective this means hitting up your contacts on Luna when you are all the way out by Saturn means they aren't going to be getting back to you quickly. Getting or sending updates to your employer are going to take time (either a few minutes or longer).

Continuing on... the net was built along with the communication infrastructure already put in place. For the net it still has limitations and isn't an instantaneous form of communication. This has lead to the net being fractured into zones. When your within a zone communication across the net has low delay times. You're limited to the sites and services of that zone though. Connecting to another zone though you're at the mercy of lag and also paying for it (think of it like a long distance call).

For example if you're within the Earth-Mars Relay zone you have access to the Deimos Switchboard, Lunar Overwatch, and Earthling. You get instantaneous updates from these places and interacting within them is instantaneous. Now say your by Mars but want to connect to the Ritz Network out past Saturn. You can do that... but you're paying for the long distance connection and everything is on a delay.

Now there is a nifty thing called the Front Page that transcends these zones. You can access the services and sites from anywhere that are on the Front Page without incurring a long distance connection fee or heavy delay times. Delays are still present on the Front Page but they are much smaller thanks to them having their own independent relay system.

Sites that have gotten to the Front Page is a mixture of money, influence, and analytics. The Front Page only hosts 20 sites every Earth year. Turn over is small but there can be some a unexpected changes in the lineup from time to time.

So what can you find on the net? It's very similar to our world wide web. You have blogs, websites, forums, and job boards. What's a little different is what I'm calling a channel. These are like a podcast/radio station. These have per-recorded content and also live content.

Most of the places on the net are a mixture and not really tailored to one or the other.

Here's a break down of the zones and what services and sites you'll find within them. The listed sites are just the most popular and the zones have many more.

Inner Sol (Mercury and Venus)
- Inner Soul (Local news channel)
- The Canary (Local job board and blog)

Earth-Mars Relay (Earth, Luna, and Mars)
- Deimos Switchboard (Local job board and blog.)
- Lunar Overwatch (Local job board and blog.)
- Earthling (Local job board and blog.)

The Belt (Asteroid Belt)
- Rockhopper (Local news channel and site)
- Belt Buckle (Local job board and blog)
- 1NGR8 (Unknown job board. Members only… at least that’s what everyone thinks.)

Jupiter Zone
- Redeye (Local news channel and site)
- Flashpoint (Local job board)
- Station Matrix (Local guide channel and blog to habitats around Jupiter)
- Zeus’ Court (Local guide channel and blog to planetoids around Jupiter)

Saturn Zone
- Moon Dust (Local news channel and site)
- Shepherd Hound (Local job board and blog)

Outer Sol
Ritz Network (Chariklo and Neptune)
- Doormat (Local channel, job board, and blog)
Wasteland 1 (Uranus)
Wasteland 2 (Pluto)

Outer Sol is kind of special as its net infrastructure is limited as anything beyond Saturn is the frontier. There is much going on out there.

I actually have the whole Front Page done.

Front Page:

ABC Stellar News (ABC News channel)

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation channel)

Big Shot (Bounty hunter channel, blog, and bounty board. Certain functions and features for members only.)

Clausekhan The Great (Military channel and blog)

Club 69 (Freelancer board and blog. Members only.)

Comet to Comet (Spaceship channel and blog)

Early Today (NBC News channel)

Frontierland (Survivalist channel and blog)

Glitterati Plus (Fashion, culture, channel, and blog)

Hobos Guide To The Solar System (Travel channel and blog)

HubHubHub ‘Triple H’ (Freelancer board)

Pony Express (Freight and transport board)

SEARS Catalogue (Gear, weapon, and spaceship catalogue)

See It Now (CBS News channel)

Social Circles (Social networking site)

SNA - Stellar News Agency (Independent news agency channel)

Merc’d (Mercenary channel, blog, and board. Members only.)

Spacers Best Friend (Space suit channel and catalogue)

Truckin’ The Goods (Freight, transport, channel, and blog)

Union Up (Unionite channel, blog, and board. Certain functions and features for members only.)

++++

What does this mechanically mean for players? Well this is where you can find info, jobs, or interesting news (like your town tavern in a sense). Also, it's worth noting the local sites are going to have more detailed things about their areas (like your local news channels). At the same time the bigger Front Page sites have more resources, keep up to date on solar system spanning stuff, and might have that niche stuff the local stuff doesn't.
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