Friday, 30 October 2009

SOTU: Scum Of The Universe

I wrote a book a long time ago called ALL FALL DOWN, in which I wrote a story called ‘I Do Not Remember The Stars Of Old’. It was the story of two people in a galaxy full of aliens that hated the human race. This was because the human race had mental powers, called Willing or Wielding, in which they could perform telekinesis, empathy and telepathy. Because the other races have no such talent they hate the humans, as they feel they cannot be trusted. The human race, therefore, has been reduced to the lowliest race in the galaxy and is treated as such.

I designed this setting as a D6 game, using the original rules from the 1st edition Star wars RPG rulebook. The intended name for the game was SOTU – Scum Of The Universe.

Below is the introduction I worked on for the game. It may explain things a little better.

You’re kidding me, right? You’re honestly telling me you’ve never, in your entire life, been out into the greater galaxy? Where are you from, one of those isolationist colonies? That’s too bad, kid. It must have been quite a shock have your home taken away from you like that. Who moved you on? The Windor? The F’ruk? No matter. They’re all the damn same, as far as I’m concerned. What do I mean? How to explain. Imagine… imagine the city you came from. Now imagine every single person in that city hating your guts through no fault of your own. You can’t work anywhere, you can’t live anywhere, people shout and scream and spit at you. There are only a few people who tolerate you, some even like you, but you can’t trust them as far as you can spit them. You, and maybe a few others like you, are outcast, despised and hated. Imagine how that must feel, all alone in a city that hates you, where all the opportunities are not for you. Now take that feeling. Multiply it by infinity. The city is the galaxy, and you are the human race. That’s what it’s like out here, kid. The galaxy hates us. Every other race in existence, even those lower than the lowest, hate us. We travel the cosmos in our own ships, sure, we even get jobs and there are some places, just some, where races allow us to live. But they’ll always hate and distrust us. And you can blame Willing for that. Are you a Blank? About one in six of us are a Blank. So you know how to Will, yes? Well, that’s why the other races hate us. Because we can Will. Because we can move things with the power of our minds, read and project thoughts and feelings. We’re the only race that can do. No other species can. And that’s why they hate us. Let’s face it, what’s to trust? Would you trust someone who could use their mind to move your possessions, read your mind and take your secrets, your spirit? Of course not. That’s why they hate us. They don’t trust us. They don’t understand our power, what we can do. They think we’re in their heads, taking their minds, poisoning their souls.
The Windor are the worst. Tail-faced bastards. They have more than a thousand star systems in their empire, with twice that number under their ‘protection’. They hate us the most. Arrogant, selfish creatures that think they’ve inherited the right to tell the other races how to live. The Genoin are the second biggest power, but they’re just as bad as the Windor. The F’ruk stink, the Stubians are all religious and weird, the Skavot are savages and the Juthrians spit. The Ka’Nalt aren’t half bad, but that’s only because their minds are immune to probing and they feel safe from us, but they still keep human slaves and think nothing of it. Either way, no matter who they are they hate us. If they find us settled anywhere, they move us on, some races exterminate us like vermin. It’s like we’re an infestation, an itch they have to scratch. You’ll be lucky to find more than a few hundred humans in one place at one time. There are all kinds of aliens. I know of a couple of hundred species alone. All over. There are billions of suns out there, and if just a small percentage have life… I don’t even want to think about it. There are thousands upon of thousands of alien races just waiting to be discovered, or ready to discover the rest of the galaxy. Will they hate us, too? So we traverse this galaxy as the lowest species alive.
Have you had training? Starships, weapons and stuff? That’s good. We should know about these things, especially out here, on our own. We need to teach the next generation what they need to know to survive, make sure they have the skills to exist out here in the deep dark black. I’m glad the elders of your isolationist colony remembered that.
A homeworld? Now I know you’re kidding. The human race doesn’t have a homeworld, kid. We never have. Nothing and nobody knows where we came from as a race. Most believe we were genetically bred for servitude, but that’s just so they can justify keeping our kind as slaves. If we did have a homeworld it’s either long forgotten or long dead. That doesn’t stop people from searching, though. Have you ever heard of the Long Walkers? The Walkers travel across the galaxy looking for clues about the history of the human race. They’re the most talented of us all; some say they know Will powers beyond what normal humans know. Mind you, as far as I know, they’ve found nothing. But that doesn’t stop them searching.
Oomans? Don’t ever use that word again. It’s the closest an alien tongue has ever got to saying ‘human’ without a translator brooch. It’s derogatory, as far as they’re concerned, and nearly all of us accept it, some even refer to themselves as Ooman without knowing it, it’s all they’ve heard. We are human beings. H-U-M-A-N. Oh, there are plenty of other words for us.
Tell me – have you been called a Sotu, yet? You have? Do you even know what it means? It’s the new name for the human race, kid.

We’re Sotu.
S-O-T-U.
Scum Of The Universe.

I wrote up a large design document as a game bible with all the pertinent information included so that I could run a campaign. Once the Lichfield's ORC, our new local gaming club, is fully up and running I think I'll set up a SOTU game and run that, give it another airing. If it works out I might even write it up as a full game and release it under the OGL now that the D6 rulesets have been released.

Let's face it - there's not much going on with Open D6 right now and what the system needs is product and support before it dies completely.