Welcome to Dark Matters
Dark Matters (DM) is a Savage Worlds campaign with a High Science Fiction genre. It has three setting intermixed to give a different feel than any other campaign the players may have seen.
1. Sol System – Earth v Mars v The Outer Planets
Three governments, Earth, Mars and The Outer Planets Alliance, via for control of the very heart of humanity. Each protogov muscles for position building an army to both defend what is theirs and take what can be made theirs.
Sol System is a dark view of what our solar system might look like in 400 years if we colonize space but never achieve Faster Than Light speeds. This is a gritty, work-a-day look at space occupied by people very similar to us. It has politics, human conflict, and struggle with the basic needs of life. It is also a region on the very edge of a three pronged, system wide war one.
Sol System resonates with the historical tension of Europe as her countries flex their muscle within the confines of their borders, on the brink of World War.
2. Sol Proxima – Human colonization and expanse
When humanity first found the Dark Matter Conduits to nearby star systems, there was a land rush not seen since the days of the Old West. The systems were empty save their potential and mankind found the price of staking a claim (free) very enticing.
This part of the setting has a Wild West feel of natural human expanse into nearly territories for resources and land. Much like in Firefly, Sol Proxima has a ’Cowboy’s in Space’ tonality to it. Settlers, Rustlers, Prosectors, Smugglers, Miners, Ranchers, and Fringe Law Enforcement permeate the region of human space.
3. The Galaxy – Space Opera
Two hundred years after the discovery of Dark Matter Conduits to nearby systems, and fifty years after the full mapping and colonization of these systems, Humanity has discovered its first Long Haul Conduit that connects the Sol System to a distant nebula.
With this highway to the far stars, Humanity has begun traveling beyond its home territory. It has had first contact with space-fareing alien races, discovered ancient technology and impossible quarks of the universe.
This setting gives a very different feel for the campaign, focusing on Space Operatic themes, FTL jumps, Distant worlds, Alien races, strange artifacts and high adventure. This is a wild, futuristic place with wondrous examples of the power and mystery of the universe.
Combining the Three
To marry a Non FTL war setting with a short flight FTL western setting with a Galaxy tromping Space opera, DM takes a very different approach to travel.
Within a system there is only Sub-Light speed propulsion. However, 200 years ago we discovered Dark Matter flowing between systems. These Conduits connect nearby systems allowing specially augmented ships to travel at Faster Than Light speeds. Fifty years ago we discovered our first Dark Matter conduit that connected Sol to a distant nebula at even greater speeds.
FTL only exists in these pre-defined routes.
This approach gives the feel of distant travel heavy but manageable weight. It also lets three settings breathe within their own space and makes their existence at least plausible
For travel within a system, Humanity has invented the Epstein Mass Drive for Near Light Speed travel.
Technology and Humanity
Technology is advanced, but not too advanced. Most ships run on Hydrofuel and most weapons still expel metal slugs and high velocity. Laser rifles and Force Fields do exist, but only through their discovery as ancient technology too far advanced for man to even reproduce. This makes truly high tech items rare, and therefore highly valuable.
Humanity is still most advanced race in the Pan Dominion (PD); the united council of human and alien governments. So far. The human race discovered the Conduits and introduced space travel to the dozen races in the PD. Some day we may encounter an living alien species much advanced from ourselves. Until that day happens, humans play the predominate role of the galaxy.
The DM setting ditches the idea of Post Scarcity presenting in High Space and shown in Star Trek. In DM, people still have to work to make money to eat. It just so happens that the work can be on a moon orbiting Jupiter or on a planet in a nebula thousands of Light Years away.
The tone of this campaign is, as the name implies, dark with highlights of absurd humor. Space is a cold, cruel, heartless place. When you leave the safety of your homeworld, you are accepting the reality that the odds are stacking against you out there. Surviving and thriving take a certain amount of determination. But if it were easy, everyone would do it. Those that can are very special indeed.
For more info, check out the Wiki