Monday, August 07, 2017

Ad Astra setting

I spent the weekend at a waterpark with the family, but a few things crystallized while I was sitting there in a lawn chair in the sun in front of the outdoor waterslides.

  • I quit what I was doing with cataloging the systems that have no star system data sheets yet, and instead did it in Excel (and uploaded it to Google Sheets.  You can actually look at it here.)
  • This allows me to sort and stuff; it gives me much more flexibility than the cumbersome way that I was doing it.  But, in coming up with the spreadsheet, I had a few thoughts occur to me:
    • I need more smaller polities.  Sometimes when I have a few independent systems close by, or even just a single Bernese or Republic system way outside of the Bernese or Republic orbit, it will eventually need to be renamed as a smaller polity or colony or something.  (Independent systems 1313, 1314, and 1315 are ripe for consolidation, for instance.)
    • It wasn't my intention that every light green (i.e., allied with the Cilindareans without actually being Cilindarean) system would be Janissary, but that's mostly what I've done.  The only exception is the Takach Kingdom, but as I further develop this, some of those Janissary worlds will probably turn into some other kind of Cilindarean ally instead.
    • On the flip-side, although I've identified no worlds as specifically belonging to an "Old Ones" polity, I do kind of see the majority of "independent" Seraean allies as being Idacharian.
    • I have made a few small things clear, though—such as the establishment of the Danian Kingdom, which you can read about very briefly in the entry for Khirunizan.  I also turned a couple of Republic worlds into the Belebach Colony (named after Belebach, one of the two systems involved.)  There will no doubt be more of this yet to come.
  • I will eventually do some more data sheets, and going over the map again actually made me a little bit more interested in doing so.  I wonder if I should start filling in some Outremer worlds?  I'm considering breaking Outremer up into a couple of constituent satrapies or something, just to give me a little bit more diversity.  We'll see.  The Principality of Tan Kajak would be an excellent example of what isn't considered part of Outremer today, but really should probably be considered one of four or possibly five major groups that make up Outremer.  The already detailed Vorgan Than Viceroyalty should also be considered the earliest component of Outremer in this paradigm.
  • I'd like to create a separate map file.  It'll be harder to read the names of the systems, but this one will focus mostly on space lanes.  I have none detailed today.
  • That's probably the biggest single difference between AD ASTRA and Star Wars; the fact that you can't just zip around the galaxy.  There's more of a convoy or caravan feel to it, of a crossing the plains, or maybe the Silk Road, or wandering about on foot across Africa—except in space.  The fact that space travel takes time in AD ASTRA, and that communication is limited to the speed of light, meaning that travel brings news, not little communicators that buzz all across the galaxy, makes it very different than Star Wars.
  • Of course, the other big difference is that this isn't the story of a single family, or of the Jedi, or anything like that.  AD ASTRA's warlocks and psionic knights are pretty modest as far as superheroes go.  Although they do certainly have superpowers, they aren't in general any better than other non-superpowered characters.  If the warlocks and psionic knights are the equivalents of Captain America or Black Panther, there are still plenty of other Black Widows and Hawkeyes out there in the galaxy.
  • Speaking of which, on average, no more than one in a few million is a warlock or psionic knight.  In a galaxy of untold teeming billions, that means that of course there's still plenty of them, if you gather them all in one place, for instance, but by and large, I kind of like the idea of them being extremely rare.

No comments: