Saturday Seed ~ 193 (A Time of War)

This is a seed for the Battletech roleplaying game, A Time of War. While for convenience of writing it will make the assumption the characters are mechwarriors, no such requirement is needed.

The seed
This seed is all about storms, calms, and storms to come.

Planting the seed
This seed can be planted during a period of intersystem travel. The easiest method of doing so is to have it be an option for discovery during exploration of any sort (searching for invaders, evading pursuit and predictable destinations, the mission of the Explorer Corps, etc.). Alternately, a malfunction, damage which affects the range of a jump, or some form of rare accident or miscalculation during a jump might lead to these circumstances.

Characters may be military, merchants, explorers, or a more cosmopolitan mix of travelers. It does not matter. The composition of the group simply affects the approaches they might take once the seed has borne fruit.

The details
For whatever reason, as outlined above or determined differently, the jumpship has entered a system marked as uninhabited and undeveloped. Charts which seem reasonably complete for such a system are available, but the presence of basic radio signals belies the indication of “uninhabited.”

If a survey of the system is undertaken, evidence of the very early stages of preparation for colonization can be located in deducible locations, but the source of the radio signals is a low-tech civilization on a roughly terraformed world on the outer edge of the habitable zone. The varied sources, strength, and purposes of the signals support the conclusion that they are primarily for civilian use and represent one of the higher levels of technological achievement on the planet. What stands out to those assigned to listen and assess the signals is that the languages are barely recognizable versions of English, German, and Chinese, among a few others which may also be common tongues too different from their origin to be recognized by non-natives. The other main item they observe is that there are no entertainment programs, only educational and informational broadcasts are made. Although there are uses of music, it serves a functional purpose as a memory aid.

The content of the signals concerns itself with delivering content from the ‘texts’ and with explaining new discoveries and inventions. These inventions and the bulk of programming is focused on the use of technology for survival and the subjugation of this world.

Conditions on the world will allow for human survival, but they are harsh and without advanced technology would condemn the populace to a lifetime of harsh toil for mere subsistence.

What’s going on
The characters have stumbled across the descendants of a shipwreck from centuries past. Basic exploration will discover the survivors were deposited on the planet at several different areas which may have seemed the most likely to allow for survival for the passengers. No signs of the dropships themselves are in evidence, but concerted study could make some educated guesses based on the shape of the communities found, and the appearance and logos of material the inhabitants create as slavish copies of the original pieces. No doubt they scavenged everything they needed.

Within a few days of observation, perhaps while in transit from the jump point to the planet, the crew will deduce one final item: this is a planet with many cultural elements, many settled regions, and many strains on resources. Despite all of this, it is a world without war.

Further exploration may reveal that those on the planet were not the only ones involved in whatever brought them to this place. A more technologically advanced lunar base can be uncovered, sterile and lifeless, with the remains of those who were orchestrating the transfer of survivors to the surface. Their plans seem to have gotten interrupted, and when the transfers stopped, mostly younger colonists, and materiel had been sent. The crew died horribly when the atmosphere failed.

What will the characters do here? Depending on the reason for being in the system at all, interaction for the sake of repair or resupply may be needed.

What effect will contact have, and will this be of concern to the characters?


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