by Max Barry

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by The Green Pheonix of New Vedan. . 5 reads.

Colonial Survival Guide

Colonial Survival Guide. (RULES)
Colonial Survival Guide [RULES]
Hello, Colonist, and thank you for purchasing the Emergency Office of Interstellar Evacuation's Colonial Survival Guide. Within this guide, you will learn all of the basic information necessary to establish a new life for yourself and others amongst the stars.
  • If you are reading this guide before retiring to cryogenic stasis, then it is recommended that you first appeal to your respective deity(s) and/or some form of higher power as the travel ahead of you is a perilous one and the likelihood that your craft out of the thousands venturing out into space will survive is 0.041%. Please, relax, do not become alarmed and have a pleasant journey!

  • If you are reading this after having awakened from cryogenic stasis, congratulations! Against unlikely odds, you have survived your journey, your vessel has detected a habitable biosphere and an automated system has activated a successful thawing sequence. You should feel a sense of accomplishment at your achievement!

The first step in beginning the colonization effort for your crew is to survey your new world and make all necessary preparations to land. The governments and corporations sponsoring your expedition will likely have provided you with extensive equipment that should be of aid in establishing your new colony. It is recommended that you exploit this equipment to the highest degree possible to the benefit of you and your crew-mates. Once planetside, your primary focus should be survival: acquiring reliable sources of water and nutrient in that order (assuming that your new planet's atmosphere is a comfortable mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, terraforming may be an additional concern).
[Upon starting, you must select a sector. The ship carrying the hopes and dreams of your civilization was drifting a long time, so it could've drifted anywhere in the quadrant. You may select any sector, Within this sector, you will have the opportunity to name your star and may also name and customize the environment of one world, which will be your Homeworld. Your Homeworld will include one resource of your choosing. Afterword, information concerning the other celestial bodies in your star system will be provided to you. You will also receive an exploration ship, whether the ship that carried your people or a vessel they constructed after establishing themselves. You are required to a assign a name to this ship for logistical purposes. To select your Homeworld, you must declare the sector you are colonizing, name your sector and name your Homeworld in the regional message board.]

Your next concern should be rebuilding society. Although anarchy has had a debatable measure of success throughout recorded history, established governments have statistically had more success in maintaining social coexistence and longevity. Many and varied regimes have been found to fulfill humanity's needs, so which one you select to establish is solely up to you and your crew-mates. The government that sponsored your expedition and engineered a craft that carried you to a new world without resulting in your death was likely a successful one, so it might seem reasonable to follow their example. "The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation." -Unknown Ancient Philosopher
[Writing a descriptive Factbook about your nation will be beneficial in interacting with others. Your public outlook will define how others color their negotiations with you and their actions toward you. It's recommended that you take the time to define your people, your society and your technological philosophy.]

Turns and Actions
A turn is the time between news reports by Mikasa News Network. At the end of each turn, the results of actions taken during that turn are reported to the galaxy. Each turn takes place over the course of two real life days unless everyone has already taken there turn earlyer. During this period, players may perform any Movement Actions, a Combat Actions or Management Actions for which they are capable. All actions are declared in the Regional Message Board.
Movement Actions - During a Movement Action, players may move each of the ships they possess up to one sector horizontally or diagonally in distance. Ships may spend their movement action making a smaller movement between bodies within a sector, but may not make multiple, smaller movements.
Combat Actions - During a Combat Action, players may do combat with each of the combat units they possess. The results of a Combat Action are decided by means of opposing dice rolls. A ship may do combat with another ship. War Ships may bombard planets. Orbital Defenses may do combat with ships. Ground Forces may do combat with other Ground Forces. Units that lose engagements are usually destroyed.
Management Actions - During a Management Action, players may manage the internal affairs of their interstellar civilization. The number of Management Actions you may take during your turn is limited only by what your Nation is capable of.
  • Exploration - If a player possesses a ship in an unexplored sector, they may explore that sector and receive information concerning that sector. Only an Exploration Ship may explore a sector in the same turn that it entered the sector.

  • Colonization - If a player possesses a Colonization Ship or a Transport Ship carrying Colonists, they may colonize that sector. Multiple colonies may be built on the same world. Only explored sectors may be colonized.

  • Transport - If a player possesses a Transport Ship or Carrier in the same sector as willing passengers, such as Ground Forces, Colonists or Persons of Note, they may load those passengers onboard the Transport Ship then carry out their Movement Action. Multiple units of passengers may be loaded onto one ship. Evacuating worlds of colonists leaves a colony empty and useless, essentially destroying it. All passengers are lost when the ship carrying them is destroyed. Persons of Note may board any kind of ship.

  • Trade - Having a Spaceport allows the trade of resources between any colonies within adjacent sectors of the Spaceport. Players may trade between their own colonies freely. If a player possesses a Spaceport adjacent to a colony of another Nation, they may propose a Trade Agreement with said Nation which they may accept or decline. The agreement exchanges a service or resource for another service or resource. For example: a nation may exchange the benefits of a resource in exchange for another resource, ships, military support, an alliance, declaring war on another nation or any possibility of things. Trading resources functions by giving the benefit of that resource to another player in trading range, essentially transferring ownership of that resource to the other player for as long as the trade agreement lasts. Players may terminate trade agreements between themselves at any time, but those who make themselves known for breaking agreements may not be the best of trading partners.

  • Construction - Colonies may construct ships and units over the course of a turn. A colony may only construct one ship or unit at a time.

  • Negotiations - They are just that, negotiating with the player of another nation over communication channels for whatever purpose, haggling agreements, signing treaties, declaring wars, peace, idle chatter, etc. OOC (Out-of-Character) chat should be enclosed in "OOC brackets" such as these: ((insert text here))

  • Rebellion - It is possible that your Homeworld may be conquered. In that event, you may either choose another colony to act as your capital or stage a rebellion. During a rebellion, the rebels may, during their management action, recruit one rebel Ground Force from loyal members of the population. These rebel Ground Forces are difficult to detect and may not be attacked directly by occupying Ground Forces. Rebels may also negotiate through communication channels with other nations for aid, the reputation your nation has built will likely affect how sypathetic others are to your cause. It is even possible through diplomatic channels to stage a peaceful resistance. Upon eliminating all occupying forces or if all occupying forces pull out, rebels may retake their Capital. Keep in mind however that when your Homeworld is under enemy occupation that your govermwnts ability to manige itself will suffer, meaning that you will only be able to use half of your colonys and ships until ether a new capital is declared or the old one is liberated.

  • Oppression - Because so much focus goes into holding a rebelling world, the occupying force may not construct anything on the world. Although not necessarily the most morally upstanding of policies, an occupying force may, during Management Actions, choose to oppress the native populace, hampering a rebellion's ability to resist through strict measures, giving a -10 penalty to the efforts of rebel Ground Forces. Oppressing an actively resisting force is a logistical nightmare. Whilst oppressing a world, a nation may not explore or colonize. Creating a reputation as repressive conquerors may damage your relations with other nations.

There are methods of instigating "rebellions" in other worlds that would use some of these rules that aren't necessarily acts of war, such as espionage, religious missions and bribery.

Ships and Units
Since before recorded history, mankind has reached with grasping hands up into the stars. We've finally worked out all the kinks! Well...most of them. Human beings are definitely ill suited for surviving in the harsh vacuum of space, so it's advised that you travel in one anyways.

Upon construction, players must assign a name to each unit for logistical purposes. A derelict ship may be salvaged by means of siphoning a minimum crew from another ship and piloting it back to a colony to be fully crewed.

Exploration Ships - A ship fitted with scientific instruments, scanners and probes that make it supremely proficient at exploring the deepest reaches of space. Exploration Ships may Explore a sector on the same turn that they move into it. Because they carry little armament, they take a -10 penalty to combat.
Colonization Ships - A ship carrying colonists that may either carry and deploy colony buildings from orbit or be disassembled into colony structures. A Colony Ship may colonize a sector and is consumed in that action. Because they carry little armament, they take a -10 penalty to combat.
Transport Ships - A ship that may take on willing passengers. A Transport Ship may take on passengers and leave a sector in the same turn. A Transport Ship may also evacuate a colony, taking on the colonists which may be re-colonized elsewhere. Because they carry little armament, they take a -10 penalty to combat.
War Ships - A military ship that is equipped with heavy armament. A War Ship is built to do combat. During a Combat Action, a War Ship may bombard colonies or Ground Forces from orbit. If a colony does not have orbital defenses, the attacking War Ship is not destroyed upon losing combat with the colony. Upon winning a bombardment roll against a target, the target is destroyed. A War Ship may not destroy a capital.
Carriers - A large military ship that carries a compliment of fighters, drop ships and is capable of carrying armies of soldiers. This ship is built to carry forces into combat. A Carrier may take on passengers and leave a sector in the same turn. While in the same sector as a target colony, a carrier may deploy one unit of soldiers each turn onto the colony. A Carrier may also evacuate a colony, taking on the colonists which may be dropped off safely at another colony. Carriers do not have extensive cargo capacities and may not colonize.
Ground Forces - Proud (or expendable) fighters, the foot-soldiers of your nation. Ground Forces may be loaded onto Carriers and deployed on friendly or hostile worlds to defend your colonies or attack others. Upon eliminating hostile Ground Forces, your Ground Forces may either destroy or conquer a colony.
Colonists - The brave men and women that will build the worlds of tomorrow and expand your nation. Colonists may be loaded (forcibly if need be) onto transport ships and Colonize new worlds or may build additional colonies on existing worlds. Colonists may not do combat.
Doomsday Weapons - Terrifying devices created from alien technology, Doomsday Weapons are capable of unthinkable destruction. Doomsday weapons may only be constructed on worlds that hold Alien Artifacts. An Alien Artifact is consumed in the process of Constructing a Doomsday Weapon. Constructing a Doomsday Weapon is long and costly, completing after five turns. A Manufactory may devote all of its construction efforts to complete a Doomsday Weapon in three turns. Once completed, a Doomsday weapon is transported by a specially built ship that is built around it and may travel through space. A Doomsday Weapon may fire on a world to annihilate all life on it. Every colony on the world is destroyed and the world becomes uninhabitable. A Doomsday Weapon may not fire on a Homeworld. Doomsday Weapons are fragile and ill-suited for combat, they take a -10 penalty to combat and must be well-protected. You may not invent custom Doomsday Weapons as the technology involved in their creation is beyond current understanding.

Persons of Note - Any irregular persons or passengers on ships or colonies that you wish to make note of. Persons of note are not units, require no construction and mainly fulfill role play purposes.
Custom Units - Humans are unique in that they are always striving to find new and creative solutions to their problems. Your creativity may be rewarded by inventions that will benefit your nation. Basic custom units receive a +1 to rolls made to fulfill the purpose for which they were created. Advanced custom units receive a +2 to rolls made to fulfill the purpose for which they were created but receive a -2 penalty to all other rolls. A custom unit's function must be specific and reasonable. A unit must be a variation of one of the unit types previously detailed. To invent a custom unit, you must fill out this template, post it on the Regional Message Board and archive it in your Factbook under your nation's technology:
Unit Name:
Variation of Unit:

Unit Name: Guerrillas
Variation of Unit: Ground Forces
Description: Soldiers equipped and specially trained to survive and to fight on wild worlds in independent units.
Complexity: Basic
Function: Combating Ground Forces in the wilderness of forested or jungle planets.
Unit Name: NNEMP Device
Variation of Unit: War Ship
Description: An electronic warfare platform that discharges a non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse by means of a specialized antenna as a weapon that is harmful to computers and electronic equipment.
Complexity: Advanced
Function: Bombarding robotic and cybernetic Ground Units.

There are a number of beneficial resources that can be found throughout the galaxy and exploited. The quantity and type of resources in a sector are determined randomly through dice rolls.
Minerals - Valuable ore and stones necessary for heavy industry. Minerals may be mined and processed by Mining Station colonies.
Gas - Frozen crystals, cosmic clouds or gas planets, whatever the source, Gasses are a necessity for human life in space. Gasses may be harvested and processed by Mining Station colonies.
Vegetation - Alien flora that can be cultivated and harvested to feed colonists. Each unit of Vegetation on a world enables the colonization of a Mega-City.
Microbes - Alien bacteria that consume toxic materials and excrete breathable air as a waste product. Microbes are vital to the efforts of Terraformers.
Ruins - Ruined structures may be found left on some worlds, remnants of humanity's past. These ruins can be honored for their historical value and left alone as archeological sites. Or, to those who don't concern themselves with historical value and more on profitability, ruins can be rebuilt and refitted for one's own purposes. Rebuilding a ruin provides a free colony of any kind. The normal qualifications for constructing different kinds of colonies still apply. To rebuild a ruin, a player must colonize the planet that the ruins are on, then the colonists go about reconstructing them. Colonies rebuilt from ruins must still develop their normal number of turns before constructing anything.
Alien Artifacts - There have been hushed rumors of exceptionally rare and dangerous artifacts of unknown origin scattered around the galaxy. Perhaps some advanced human society rose and fell whilst your people slept in cryogenic stasis and left these remnants behind. Or perhaps something else entirely is responsible for their creation. Alien Artifacts will have strange and unpredictable effects on the colonists that settle near them. These effects are sometimes hazardous and may even have hidden benefits. Alien Artifacts may also be appropriated for the creation of powerful Doomsday Weapons. Alien Artifacts are too dangerous to be shipped through Starports and may only be moved using Transport Ships.

Projections indicate that, eventually, one new world won't be enough. So, when the time comes, your people may make preparations to explore and settle all kinds of distant planets. Colonies need to develop for three turns before constructing anything. The type of colony constructed must be declared at colonization. Normal colonies may only be constructed on or in orbit of habitable worlds. Colonies that require supply from a resource occupy the resource that supplies them, requiring multiple resources to supply multiple colonies.
Capitals - The first world you settle. Because of the extensive preparations taken by your first colonists and the sheer numbers of them, your Capital only needs to develop for one turn before constructing anything. The world on which your capital is placed becomes your Homeworld. You may only have one Homeworld.
Starports - Starports are iconic examples of colonization: people live there, people trade there and ships park there. Enormous docking hubs, Starports take on interstellar traffic between sectors and become flourishing centers of trade. Starports connect with every colony adjacent to the sector the Starport is in and enable trading. Any colony connected with the Starport may trade with another that is also connected.
Mining Stations - Industrial machines exhuming minerals and gasses from the bowels of planets, moons and asteroids. Mining stations may only be constructed on or in orbit of bodies that have Minerals or Gas. Mining Stations may only mine for one resource at a time which is designated at the time of colonization. Mining Stations may switch which resource they are mining or multiple Mining Stations may be colonized on the same world. Mining stations supply the resources that they produce to Colonies that may trade with them or are in adjacent sectors. Mining Stations that are producing Minerals may supply Manufactories and Mining Stations that are producing Gas may supply Habitat Modules. Mining stations in orbit or in uninhabitable areas require a supply of gas to construct Colonists, Colonization Ships or Ground Forces.
Manufactories - Sprawling production plants and foundries make up a Manufactory. Manufactories are constructed with maximum production in mind. With its facilities, a Manufactory can construct two units at once. In order to function, a Manufactory must have a constant supply of minerals through trading or connection with a Mining Station that is producing Minerals.
Habitat Modules- Habitable worlds are sometimes few and far between. Habitat Modules are self-contained colonies that are able to sustain life just about anywhere. Habitat Modules may be constructed on otherwise uninhabitable worlds or in orbit around celestial bodies. In order to sustain life, Habitat Modules must have a constant supply of Gas through trading or connection with a Mining Station that is producing Minerals.
Shipyards - With bays and modules constructed specifically to house space ships, a Shipyard is the birthplace of your fleets. Shipyards may only construct ships and may begin doing so one turn after colonization. Low gravity is a great boon in the construction of and fitting of heavy ship components. Shipyards may only be constructed in orbit and may be attacked by ships.
Mega-Cities - Urban sprawls that sometimes cover entire continents, Mega-Cities have the capacity for extremely dense populations. An uncommonly large supply of food is required to sustain a Mega-City. Therefore, Mega-Cities may only be constructed on worlds that possess heavy Vegetation or receive a supply of Vegetation through trading. Only one Mega-City may be colonized on a world per Vegetation resource on that world. Because of their large populations, Mega-Cities always have plenty of "willing" volunteers to join the armed forces. If the player has any Transport Ships or Carriers in orbit of a Mega-City, each ship may automatically take on one unit of Ground Forces per turn directly from the population without need for construction.
Fortresses - Military bastions and key defensive points for your nation, Fortress worlds are not easily conquered. Fortresses include a full compliment of orbital defenses and may fire upon and defend against enemy ships in orbit. A Fortress is not destroyed if it loses combat when attacking a ship. Fortresses are always manned. When doing combat with Ground Forces, the Fortress itself must be defeated as well as all ground resistance before being conquered or destroyed. Fortresses have a +10 bonus to combat when defending against Ground Forces. A fortress may be defeated by orbital bombardment from a War Ship without being destroyed.
Terraformers - While merely surviving on uninhabitable worlds may be good enough for some, there are others that see room for improvement. Terraformers are colonies that work to shape dead worlds into lush biospheres. In order to terraform worlds, Terraformers require an occasional fresh supply of Microbes that consume toxic materials and fill atmospheres with breathable air. Terraformers must be constructed in sectors that include Microbes or receive them from trading. The facilities of terraforming colonies are limited, so they may not construct anything whilst terraforming. It is a lengthy process, but after ten turns, the planet being terraformed becomes perfectly habitable for human life, with a slim chance of even naturally developing heavy Vegetation, capable of sustaining Mega-Cities. Terraformers may not terraform gas giants or non-planetoids.

Orbital Colonies - Some colonies may be constructed in orbit around celestial bodies. Only Mining Stations, Shipyards and Habitat Modules are compact enough that they may be constructed in orbit. Orbital colonies may be constructed in orbit of uninhabitable bodies, such as gas giants, nebulae and asteroids. Mining stations in orbit around gas giants may produce gas from them and Mining stations on asteroids may produce minerals from them. Ships may attack orbital colonies as if attacking another ship. Ground forces may be deployed from carriers to invade orbital colonies as boarding parties and do combat normally just as if invading a planet.

Natural Disasters and Strange Happenings
As humanity expands further and further into space, it continues to encounter wondrous, strange and terrifying things that strike at random. Horrible diseases, cosmic storms, unexplainable phenomenon, man-made conflicts, ancient ruins, rumors of intelligent alien life, there seems to be no limit to what we will be confronted with as we explore Dark Stars.