Considering theme music to help set the tone of the campaign in my head.
- Space, by Bond.
- Tunguska, the exploration craft
A Gurps Space Campaign
The great age of colonization has passed. The colonies have settled and become distinct, independent worlds with their own unique cultures. The Old Frontiers sector was originally the vanguard of an expanding interstellar empire. The emperor and his navy are far away though, and ceased being relevant over a century ago. In its place, the worlds of the Old Frontiers sector have formed The Alliance. The Alliance is less of a government and more of an interstallar debating society. They provide fairly small value, but in exchange they offer very little interference into the affairs of individual planets.
The Merchant's Guild also provides some degree of economic stability. They do not represent a government, but for their members their word is law. Guild letters of credit and banking services are the backbone that supports the economy of the Old Frontiers sector.
In this lasaiz-faire environment the The Escott Institute has arisen. They are dedicated to preserving the knowledge of the sector, which would otherwise be lost in the constant flux of the sector's worlds. Of particular interest to the Institute are Precursor artifacts. These are relics of the civilization which came before colonization. Very little is known about the Precursors, other than that their technology was very advanced, and they seem to have died out millenia before colonization began. Many of these artifacts are ruins, but there are other, smaller artifacts as well, and some rumored to be still functional.
Characters are 150 points. There is no magic and no psionics. In addition to various new cults that have arisen since colonization, contemporary religions are still present and thriving. Islam and Christianity are leading the pack. There are several character templates which are worth considering.
From Basic Set, the Man at Arms and Investigator templates are good for this campaign.
The Space genre book also has several good templates. There are two variations on those templates which are detailed in a separate document: the Explorer template is replaced by Librarian, explorers with special training provided by the Escott Institute, and Star Knight, which is replaced by Knight of the Cross, a Christian martial order (an Islamic variant is available for those who feel so inspired).
Point totals for most templates in Space are fairly low, reflecting the fact that science fiction is a pretty widely varied genre and a good deal of flexibility is needed.
Characters will be visiting a variety of worlds, with varying technology available, differing social customs, and different attitudes to law enforcement. Characters can definitely expect to be involved in violence, so should have some skill at fisticuffs at bare minimum, and may wish to study stabbiness and killing from a distance.
The party will also be in charge of a small vessel capable of hyperspace travel. Somebody should probably make use of the Astronaut template.
When creating a character, the player should choose a homeworld from the Atlas.
Tech level is 11!, meaning that some superscience is present to allow Hyperspace drives. What you won't find is any kind of light saber, “The Force” or a teleporter. People get from place to place using newtonian physics or quantum mechanics, and they fight with fists, cold steel, hot lead, or laser beams. Anti-gravity vehicles do exist on worlds with sufficient technology and industrialization. For purchasing equipment, Ultra-Tech is both available and recommended.