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Reducing existential risk just means saving the whales with extremely broad safety margins around the definition of “whale”.

—Steven Kaas

Blueshift is a futuristic sci-fi combat game. You will fight a diverse set of enemies, typically set on killing off as much of humanity as possible. In many cases, you will be the front and only line of defense against these foes. Your character was chosen by a specific Faction whose resources are vast and goal are simple- the preservation of the human race and/or the furthering of that faction’s goals.. When making your character, keep that in mind.

Stats will be Point Buy, 25 points, as done in the Pathfinder book. This should provide a reasonable average score for all stats. You will be starting at level 10, giving you 6 initial feats and 2 more ability points to distribute.

I have provided a number of new classes for you to choose from. If one does not suit you, then we can work to create something new. Multi-classing is okay, but somewhat discouraged- most of the good stuff will be a little further into the class, and attempts are made to keep the classes reasonably balanced. If you feel that one is not, say so, and we can look into adjusting it. In some ways, these classes are intentionally weaker than the base classes from the Player’s Handbook. This is intentional- the few class features you do get should feel unique to your class, but most of the emphasis is put on the weapons you wield and the decisions you make.

Next, choose a Character Advancement. These range from high-tech bodysuits to supersoldier programs, and are what make you stand out among your peers.

The rest of character creation is pretty standard. Feats are available on this wiki, and the range of d20 and Pathfinder feats are also available within reason. The list here is by no means definitive, but in general magic and fantasy-like feats aren’t allowed.

Races Feats
Classes Arms and Equipment
Character Advancements The Gadget System
Factions Weapon and Armor Flaws
Skills Armatures
Cybernetics Setting
Travel

Where’d all the ammo go?
Blueshift is set hundreds of years into the future. While weapons still shoot projectiles, nearly all that do actually shoot very small chips of what’s known as an ammo block. Thus, you’ll still see weapons with ammo cartridges or clips, but the fashion in which the weapon works precludes any need to worry about reloading.

Weapons still maintain a rate-of-fire, however. Single shot weaponry require a short period of time before they are able to fire their next shot. Grenades are of finite supply, as are the missiles and rocks fired by their respective weapons. It is possible that other weapons you encounter will use ammo, but most of those available at character creation do not.

Why Blueshift?
Blueshifting is the popular name for ring travel and certain types of short-range teleportation. At the moment of transfer, the traveler perceives the world around them streaking past themselves and turning to a soft, electric blue, and then fading to normal a moment later. While the actual transportation appears instantaneous, travelers occasionally perceive a longer period of travel time. The exact reason is unknown.

Blueshifting occurs due to the relativistic Doppler effect, and is related to the perceived shortening wavelength and/or increased frequency of a signal. In this case, the signal is light, and the compacted wavelength shifts everything towards the ‘blue’ end of the spectrum.

It is this transportation mode that has shortened the distance between the planets and stars alike. As travel is integral to the game, Ring transportation will be common, and the effect of the Kepler Rings on the setting is undeniable. Thus, Blueshift.

Where are the alien races?
Aliens exist in this setting. They aren’t merely science fiction. The unfortunate thing is, so far most of them want to kill us. Humanity’s expansion towards the stars hasn’t gone unchecked, and a host of strange things, some intelligent and some not, resist human progress. As none of the races are cooperative, they simply aren’t available as player characters.

For players looking to play something a little ‘less human’, I’d like to point you towards the ‘Planetary Adaptation’ feat, which provides benefits based on your location of origin. The can drastically change the look and personality of your character. Someone who has lived on a space colony their entire life is likely to have had different experiences growing up than someone who was born planet side.

What should I expect to do in this game?
Blueshift will be something of a mashup of many different sci-fi games in the long run. You will take the role of an operative in a paramilitary group who has been changed in some drastic way, reflected by your Character Advancement. This puts your tolerance for a beating and your abilities far ahead of the regular man. Your actual tasks will vary, but you can expect the usual range of sci-fi villains and enemies. Rogue AIs, alien invasions, mutant creatures, and so on, will provide the threat in this game, with the occasional scheme by your fellow man.

To take them on, you’ve got a very wide selection of gear and equipment to take them on with. If that weren’t enough, your equipment can be highly customized- everyone in the party could wield the same weapon in radically different ways. Most of the combat in this game will revolve around ranged combat, and the damage you take will be considerable. To help you handle this, your suits and classes grant you a large amount of temporary HP that restores itself pretty quickly between battles. Actual damage to your character’s health, on the other hand, will be much more severe as there is a lack of restorative items in general.

Because of the setting, your characters background should reflect something they’ve been doing- the Engineer might be a whiz with robotics, or the Soldier a veteran of one of the smaller recent wars. You might have family or friends. All characters should be driven by a desire to see the human race succeed, and probably have some sort of a ‘good’ moral standing. Your outlaws and rogues make for fine characters, but keep them more in the ‘Hans Solo’ range. You want your character to be interested in what is going on. Money is a fine goal, but the true goal is to save lives and defeat opponents too tough for regular man. Your character was chosen by whatever Faction the party decides to join because they represented that goal.

Technology
There is a marked lack of certain types of technology in Blueshift. You’ll notice little to no mention of an internet-type information network, few mentions of hacking, and indeed, much of the weapons and armor technology may seem slightly out of date. This is a stark contrast to things such as the Kepler Rings, providing instantaneous travel to anywhere in the system, or some of the more advanced robotic technologies.
The truth behind this is complicated but fairly well known. Early in the AI wars, mankind had developed these technologies far beyond what is used today. Nearly every man, woman, and child had a simple implant that allowed them to access the net- anywhere, anytime, and without the need for external equipment. This was one of the first systems to be captured by AIs.
In a massive ‘attack’ against humanity, nearly 50% of Earth’s population was downloaded into the AI networks as a hostage gambit. Some of their bodies, bereft of intelligence, collapsed on the spot- many others continued about their day, as though nothing had happened. These so-called survivors fed off of the memories of their downloaded host, integrating themselves into society. It was almost too late when the cause was discovered, and the planet-wide unplugging of humanity left a gaping hole in their lives they found difficult to fill.
Computer systems were unhooked next. Only secure networks were left connected, and even these fell occasionally. Each network unplugged reduced the AI’s capabilities, but they had already advanced too far.
And so, robbed of the Information Age, man has fallen in many ways. Individual sciences still see breakthroughs occasionally, but the pace with which they do so has slowed. Many of the more complicated technologies had come to rely on AIs or the systems in which they dwelled for manufacture.

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