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Orion's Arm setting in a nutshell.
Orion's Arm is a complete genre in
the making, an interactive hard science space opera, a joint effort
in science fiction worldbuilding, a forum for cutting edge science fiction
ideas, a way of exploring a possible future that is at once alien and
yet familiar, and terrifyingly possible. Here you have the opportunity
to explore a vast universe - to contribute your own ideas and input,
to create an entire new way of seeing things.
Because this project is still under
construction, and has already gone through several revisions, and because
of the vastness, fluidity, and ability of the Orion's Arm scenario to
incorporate and assimilate new ideas, there is plenty of opportunity
to insert even the most radical and diverse themes and ideas, as long
as they fit in with the basic premise of this setting.
The Future is not here yet.
But don't worry....
It will be....
Because the Orion's Arm universe
is so big and it is a nuisance to have to wade through pages and pages
of introduction This page was inspired by (and shameless plagiarized
some elements of ) A few facts (from the Banks Culture RPG) by Mark
Orion's Arm uses a lot of
strange words. Remember, when in doubt,ask ;-)
In no particular order then....
- There is no FTL other than traversable
- Going through a traversable
wormhole is not like going through a long tunnel.
- There is no warp drive, hyperdrive,
traversable hyperspace, or subspace.
- There are no force fields.
- There is no beam me up scotty.
- You cannae break the laws of
- There are no humanoid aliens.
- There are no large alien empires,
apart from a few extinct ones millions and millions of years dead and
- Space is very big.
- Space is very empty.
- Space is a hostile environment.
- Almost all planets that have
not been terraformed are a hostile environment.
- Most people live in orbitals
and deep space habitats.
- Most orbitals and deep space
habitats are spacious and comfortable.
- There are only a few bad guys.
- The bad guys can shoot straight.
- A single bionanoborg combat-enhanced
warrior with powered exoskeleton and hyperturing targeting system can
take on a dozen Jedi Knights and 10,000 Imperial Stormtroopers with
one hand tied behind their back, and still win.
- You don't get an advanced spacefaring
civilization without having a few trillion separate transhuman singularity
ascension events in the process.
- Singularity ascension events
can seem very scary to those who are not ascending.
- Ascensions sometimes go bad.
- Human beings like you and me
and the ones on TV SF shows with bumps on their head are called "baselines"
(you and me) and "near-baselines" (pointy ears, blue skin,
or bumps and dots on the head).
- "Baselines" and "near-baselines"
are not very smart or capable compared to superbrights or AIs.
- There are trillions and trillions
of different races, species, clades, phyles, tribes, clans, cultures,
religions and ideologies out there.
- The entire Encyclopedia Galactica
is the size of a sugar cube and even if you live to a thousand you will
still not have enough time to read half of it.
- There are an awful lot of unclaimed
stars, brown dwarfs, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and ice dwarfs
out there, and if you can stake your claim you will be very rich.
- Someone else will have gotten
- There are countless trillions
of undiscovered and priceless relics and artifacts left by transcended
AIs, powers, and extinct aliens, and if you can find one (or more) you
will be very rich.
- To say finding a valuable relic
or artifact in the vastness of known and unknown space is like looking
for a needle in a haystack is the biggest understatement in the history
- Earth is off-limits to anyone
except those lucky few who qualify for a visa.
- There is no "Psi Corps"
- There is meditation, shamanism,
yoga, occultism, psychic intuition, ch'i energy, mystical experience,
enlightenment, and nirvana. (you are free to interpret these phenomena
either physicalistically or non-physicalistically).
- Sufficiently advanced technology
is indistinguishable from magic.
- A lot of weird stuff has been
found that no-one has had the time or inclination to look at yet.
- There is more unknown than there
- There is no such thing as an
- You don't get "life forms
made entirely of energy".
- Anything that looks sort of
human probably was once human.
- No you cannot scout around for
a convenient nearby planet to land on to make repairs if your ship's
drive starts malfunctioning in deep space!
- Garden Worlds (Earth type planets)
are only slightly more common than hen's teeth
- Apart from luxury liners and
worldships, most ships are cramped and smelly (although less often uncomfortable
- Enemy ships targeting each other
in deep space battles are millions of kilometers apart
- asteroid belts are not densely
crowded with giant rocks through which you have to dodge and steer with
only millimeters to spare
- No you don't get meteor showers,
comets, or "ion storms" in interstellar space
- There are strange things out
on the periphery.
- Rumors are more common then
- The AI is your friend.
- Be polite to anything that thinks.
- If in doubt ask an AI.