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Firestorm fluff

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On 1/25/2018 at 12:26 AM, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

To an extent, sure. In the meantime though (and I hope @Skyhawk doesn't mind me sharing) I'd use this wonderful thread as an example if a new player wanted a ready vignette to get some ideas on forming their own fleet lore. It sticks within established lore guidelines and gives interesting insight to what a frontier terran fleet looks like in operation, as far as I'm concerned it could be established canon. There's more than enough room to work on a canon with what we know already. I guess I just really don't want to see this thread dissolve into negativity when there's still a lot about this universe to discuss and debate while we wait for more source material. 

I don't know if I would say that. Thanks @Wolfgang Jannesen for the compliments. And I encourage others to write their own backstories for their fleets. I enjoy ready them.

Well I liked Star Wars better before Disney got a hold of it. 

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Well, Disney has no idea what the original theme of Star Wars is, so they’re just mucking around in the setting.  It’s why original Star Wars fans are generally disappointed with Episodes 7,8,9 but find Rogue One ok.  They’re expecting the Star Wars theme in the main storyline, but not for other stories.

Fortunately, the only theme to Firestorm is general conflict, where every faction has a general motivation driving their actions.  Generally that motivation is colonial expansion, so I guess the natural progression is to advance it towards conquest as well as competing ideologies.

If I were behind re-writing Firestorm along this path, I’d build an ideology matrix so I could see where each faction agrees and disagrees, as that makes it easy to see how various alliances and conflicts can play out and why.  I’d also throw in some blue-orange morality to make the aliens, well, alien.

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Well, Disney has no idea what the original theme of Star Wars is

As opposed to Lucas, whose gentle guidance gave us such gems as all of the prequels:ph34r: Anyway, the basic fluff of FA is decent starting point. You have two vaguely defined blocks, and hook for conflict.  All it'd need is more depth, and pushing the plot forward. Or,we could have Red vs Blue humans, with some aliens pecking at the borders or fighting against "accidental" invasion (like RSN trying to get rid of Aquans, or relhoza invading Sorylians when no one is watching). Those aliens might have closer ties with each human faction, but they dont form a solid block, to allow for easier infighting. After all, no one really wants to conquer aquan planets.

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Kind of like the Directorate focusing on the Aquans, not so much for the territory, but because of the technology they have.  It's not a conquest of planets, per se, but a conquest of knowledge, which they can either sell off practical results of or use in other acquisitions.

Heck, just looking at my avatar here, it would even amuse me to find out the Relthoza are moving to wipe out the Sorylians simply because their worlds are blocking their view of various nebulae.

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The Relthoza are much too careful and practical to start a war over a vista, but every 300 years they do have a mass breeding frenzy that creates several new hives. I imagine at that point the main Relthoza diplomatic arm shrugs and hopes all the new spiderlings don't tread on too many toes as they desperately search for a suitable new system to colonize

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You raise a good point, in the timeline we're lucky enough to be in the middle of one with the new Empress Ak'Vass. They last for around 150 years or so just looking at the timeline pdf. Has anyone seen any mention of what a Relthozan lifespan is like for their Brood-Queens and Vass'ur?

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On 1/27/2018 at 6:53 AM, fracas said:

I hope to see a more compelling reason as to why each faction fight beyond simple conquest 

The current background has three reasons for the conflict by the three instigating parties of the Zenian League:

  • Dindrenzi: A conflict of revenge. The Dindrenzi are out to settle a score and rewrite the armistice lines after the Wars for Independence. It is as civil conflict within the human race
  • Directorate: A conflict to seize technology and knowledge. The Directorate covets the Aquan's mastery of genetics and wants to claim it as their own
  • Relthoza: A conflict of expansion. There is no malice in their war against the Sorylians. They need space and the easiest way to get it is to ally with the the rest of the League and take that space from the Sorylians rather than fighting a lone conflict against the Dindrenzi, their closest neighbor.

So while defiantly straight forward, it is not a one dimensional war of conquest.

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36 minutes ago, alextroy said:

The current background has three reasons for the conflict by the three instigating parties of the Zenian League:

  • Dindrenzi: A conflict of revenge. The Dindrenzi are out to settle a score and rewrite the armistice lines after the Wars for Independence. It is as civil conflict within the human race
  • Directorate: A conflict to seize technology and knowledge. The Directorate covets the Aquan's mastery of genetics and wants to claim it as their own
  • Relthoza: A conflict of expansion. There is no malice in their war against the Sorylians. They need space and the easiest way to get it is to ally with the the rest of the League and take that space from the Sorylians rather than fighting a lone conflict against the Dindrenzi, their closest neighbor.

So while defiantly straight forward, it is not a one dimensional war of conquest.

Don't forget we've then got the Terrans fighting to cling onto their old empire, the Aquans fighting for survival against the Directorate (as, frankly, who'd want to end up as a conquered species under that corporate hegemony?) and the Sorylians, who are slow to anger and prepare (as per the fluff) - but, being logical and forward-thinking, are likely to be fighting for the possible gains for the far future rather than any immediate short-term goal. There are plenty enough reasons for the meta-conflict...the fluff just needs padding out a bit!

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19 minutes ago, fracas said:

A war to acquire technology that can be gained through theft makes little sense

A war of revenge make even less sense; especially once feudal warlords no longer reign

Sure, but FTL travel makes no sense, and sentient fish-people make no sense, and spaceships the size of small islands make no sense either.

 

Technology through theft only works if you can convincingly infiltrate the other culture to thieve their tech. Assuming the Aquans are a race of very advanced but very alien beings, that might be tricky for the (largely human) Directorate to achieve. Sometimes the application of brute force might be the easiest way to get what you want - especially in space, where the consequences for such actions are likely to be less severe than a war on our own small planet. There doesn't appear to be a "Galactic United Nations" to resolve disputes...

 

Revenge might not make sense - but it's been a pretty powerful motivator historically, and it's been the basis of nuclear deterrent since just after the Second World War, after all . Once something escalates into a shooting war, it's often quite hard de-escalate that situation again - and that's on our own planet with instantaneous communications. It could take weeks to communicate between planets in the depths of space, and by that time local planetary governors or admirals might have been forced to take action on their own.

 

That's one thing I'd like to see a bit more of in the fluff - how centralised and controlled are all of the civilisations? Can they effectively coordinate their entire empires, or do they rely on heavy delegation and intermittent communications between semi-autonomous worlds? If it's the first, then I agree - all out conflict seems less likely. If the second - well, then why not think of it a little like the Age of Sail? Large empires effectively "at war" with one another for territory, resources, sheer bloodymindedness or ideological differences. A central governmental structure deciding on policy, overall military expenditure, where to send resources etc, and individual admirals or colonial governors in infrequent communication with their own central government back home? That seems a bit more "realistic" than instantaneous communication anyway, and allows plenty of reasons for conflict between individual fleets, worlds, and even between entire civilisations - as well as allowing for alliances of convenience, uneasy truces and smaller-scale political machinations...

Edited by Baphod_Zeeblebrox
Grammar - added a couple of spaces

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Sentient aquatic creatures make sense: humans are only the third most intelligent species on earth!

 

why would you go to war with an entity that has superior technology to gain their tech when you can raid their worlds and board their ships without an outright war?

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32 minutes ago, fracas said:

A war to acquire technology that can be gained through theft makes little sense

A war of revenge make even less sense; especially once feudal warlords no longer reign

Right, we haven't had any wars of revenge in the last century on our own planet, after all...

9 minutes ago, fracas said:

Sentient aquatic creatures make sense: humans are only the third most intelligent species on earth!

 

why would you go to war with an entity that has superior technology to gain their tech when you can raid their worlds and board their ships without an outright war?

The person who determined dolphin intelligence was reportedly on LSD at the time, just saying.

And raiding worlds and boarding their ships is usually a reason to declare war.  It happened in 1812 between the US and Britain, after all, and was a case for the US to declare war against Germany in WWI (even if it was a setup).

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That does raise valid questions out of what the Directorate gets out of an attack. Maybe just access to further resources, areas of influence, and the salvaged tech from enemy wrecks? We can also assume that Directorate ships make very very lucrative targets for piracy, and their existence in the outer reaches is based on a long legacy of conquer or be conquered

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1 hour ago, Charistoph said:

Right, we haven't had any wars of revenge in the last century on our own planet, after all...

The person who determined dolphin intelligence was reportedly on LSD at the time, just saying.

And raiding worlds and boarding their ships is usually a reason to declare war.  It happened in 1812 between the US and Britain, after all, and was a case for the US to declare war against Germany in WWI (even if it was a setup).

1. Refresh my memory a war started  for revenge in the 20th century by a major power

2. Douglas adams reference: tongue in cheek

3.  Raiding and boarding out the Directorate at risk for war, but not a cause for Directorate to go to war. Would be one for aquans though.

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54 minutes ago, fracas said:

1. Refresh my memory a war started  for revenge in the 20th century by a major power.

The rise of the Third Reich springs to my mind; a lot of Hitler’s rhetoric was about sticking it to those evil colonial powers that were actively crippling Germany with their actions since the end of WWI, like France.  Also stick it to those Jews that had figured out how to profit from the situation; clearly they were stealing from the common German citizens.  Also those Poles to the east are really bothersome, claiming land that is so obviously Germany’s.

The conflict between the Tutsis and Hutus was largely revenge-based as well.

Im sure the OP likely had something else in mind... maybe WWI?  You could say the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand drove the Austrians to avenge his death, even if it lead to total war with Serbia and their ally Russia.

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3 hours ago, Baphod_Zeeblebrox said:

Don't forget we've then got the Terrans fighting to cling onto their old empire, the Aquans fighting for survival against the Directorate (as, frankly, who'd want to end up as a conquered species under that corporate hegemony?) and the Sorylians, who are slow to anger and prepare (as per the fluff) - but, being logical and forward-thinking, are likely to be fighting for the possible gains for the far future rather than any immediate short-term goal. There are plenty enough reasons for the meta-conflict...the fluff just needs padding out a bit!

I forget... why were the Sorylians and Aquans fighting in the first place?  I have the impression they bumped into each other as they were each colonizing the galaxy, but I never got why total war broke out... a war the space monkeys blindly blundered into and got caught in the crossfire.

This first conflict is even more problematic, since these two species would not even be interested in the same planets...  They have completely different environmental requirements.   Heck, they could even potentially co-exist on the same planet.   Maybe they tried that, and it failed spectacularly leading to war? 

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  I have the impression they bumped into each other as they were each colonizing the galaxy, but I never got why total war broke out

IIRC they bumped into each other because Aquans were sending sub-light colonization fleets to worlds that were empty at the time...and were sorylian systems (not necessarily planets) later on.  Beyond those intial clashes, everyone decided to not colonize in the other direction further.

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1 hour ago, Ryjak said:

The rise of the Third Reich springs to my mind; a lot of Hitler’s rhetoric was about sticking it to those evil colonial powers that were actively crippling Germany with their actions since the end of WWI, like France.  Also stick it to those Jews that had figured out how to profit from the situation; clearly they were stealing from the common German citizens.  Also those Poles to the east are really bothersome, claiming land that is so obviously Germany’s.

The conflict between the Tutsis and Hutus was largely revenge-based as well.

Im sure the OP likely had something else in mind... maybe WWI?  You could say the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand drove the Austrians to avenge his death, even if it lead to total war with Serbia and their ally Russia.

Hitlers motive was to build a third Reich more than just revenge ; it was a gripe against what was seen as overly onerous restrictions from the treaty of Versailles that cause the Weimar Republic depression. Most importantly, unlike Germany, the Dindrenzi won the last war and got pretty much what they wanted.

the assassination of Ferdinand was a spark, not the cause

Hutu vs Tutsi was a civil war.

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6 hours ago, fracas said:

1. Refresh my memory a war started  for revenge in the 20th century by a major power

2. Douglas adams reference: tongue in cheek

3.  Raiding and boarding out the Directorate at risk for war, but not a cause for Directorate to go to war. Would be one for aquans though.

1) WWII was the biggest of them, but by no means the only one.

2) Easily recognized, but until we get an incomprehensible message from the see thanking us for the fish...

3) "War" is a relative term.  Almost all of the conflicts in the latter half of the last century the US were involved in weren't even declared wars, but they had the impact in them.  If you are doing war-level amounts of raids and privateering, who cares what someone else calls it.  Korea was called a "police-action", but sure felt like war to the guys fighting on both sides that parallel.

5 hours ago, Ryjak said:

The rise of the Third Reich springs to my mind; a lot of Hitler’s rhetoric was about sticking it to those evil colonial powers that were actively crippling Germany with their actions since the end of WWI, like France.  Also stick it to those Jews that had figured out how to profit from the situation; clearly they were stealing from the common German citizens.  Also those Poles to the east are really bothersome, claiming land that is so obviously Germany’s.

The conflict between the Tutsis and Hutus was largely revenge-based as well.

Im sure the OP likely had something else in mind... maybe WWI?  You could say the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand drove the Austrians to avenge his death, even if it lead to total war with Serbia and their ally Russia.

WWII was the biggest one that came to mind, but there have been many lesser wars since then as well which were sparked by some feelings are revenge, and that is just the last century.

WWI was a bonfire sparked when someone shot a key piece of a jenga pile that was set up to prevent another Napoleon.  It sure set up almost all the conflicts that happened during the rest of the century.  As it is, a lot of the interactions between the Dindrenzi and the Alliance were put in to action by the Directorate.

If we really want to get crazy as to motives, the communist uprisings were considered wars against the aristocracies, colonizers, rich folk, etc, by the people who started them as revenge against what had happened to them.

2 hours ago, fracas said:

Hitlers motive was to build a third Reich more than just revenge ; it was a gripe against what was seen as overly onerous restrictions from the treaty of Versailles that cause the Weimar Republic depression. Most importantly, unlike Germany, the Dindrenzi won the last war and got pretty much what they wanted.

the assassination of Ferdinand was a spark, not the cause

Hutu vs Tutsi was a civil war.

Hitler's motive was to get power.  How he did that was to convince the Germans to build up for war to get revenge for the travesty that was the Versailles Treaty.  So, the actual war was started for revenge.

A civil war is not war?  How curious.  I guess we get to tell all those American Civil War renactors that they are just playing conflict, not war.

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I don't know if there's a lot comparable at all to the third reich and any of Firestorms factions. As bitter as even the Dindrenzi get they still have to live pragmatically and within the means of the outer reaches. Even the Church of Dramos Angels is a fringe minority with no real political presence.

 

There is a strong point to different species seeking out different types of worlds, maybe it complicates things to have another faction settled in the same system. I suppose each space program would have worked on their own habitations for different environments. I haven't payed attention in the lore for terraforming but it isn't out of the scope of Relthozan nanotechnology.

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France started the Franco Prussian war in 1870 against Germany. After Germany defeated them in 71 and took the German speaking provinces Alsace-Lorraine from them, France endeavored to start a new war to reclaim that lost territory. One might say that they were obsessed with it. If that is not revenge I don't know what is.

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3 hours ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

I don't know if there's a lot comparable at all to the third reich and any of Firestorms factions. As bitter as even the Dindrenzi get they still have to live pragmatically and within the means of the outer reaches. Even the Church of Dramos Angels is a fringe minority with no real political presence.

 

There is a strong point to different species seeking out different types of worlds, maybe it complicates things to have another faction settled in the same system. I suppose each space program would have worked on their own habitations for different environments. I haven't payed attention in the lore for terraforming but it isn't out of the scope of Relthozan nanotechnology.

I wouldn't either.  The closest I can think of is the Directorate, but that is more just because they are using war to gain profit and internal power.  The only real comparison I was making was that the reasons for the Germans, not the Third Reich, to go to war was revenge.  It can be a subtle difference, but a rather significant one.

As another side point, the propaganda used by the US starting in 1941 was to "Remember Pearl Harbor", a rather poignant call for revenge there as well, and that does connect pretty well for the Dindrenzi's call.

That is a good point about desired planets not always matching up for different species, especially when considering the Aquans.  However, star systems carry more than just the planets with comfortable environments, they often carry asteroid fields, gas giants, and some resource-rich moons.  It is those resources that need to be secured from enemy hands which can often lead to conflict in systems which are not completely compatible with your own systems.

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