So, here's the OOC so we can keep the background and discussion in one thread, and the actual playing in another.
The general background idea I had so far was:
Our characters are Space Marines in a multi-racial alliance, in a futuristic setting. We are stationed aboard a ship in the Alliance Space Navy/Space Forces, as part of a protection force for an expeditionary force, patrolling the outer fringes of Alliance space.
The Alliance is a large and (mostly) benevolent organization of multiple races, who have banded together in the common cause of exploration, shared knowledge and shared safety and security. The races mostly live in harmony, but there is of course friction between them, and there are various groups of malcontents throughout the various races and planets, such as separatist groups, militant cults, and all manner of other groups who want something of their own and aren't afraid to hurt other people to get it.
Technology is quite futuristic, but still recognisable; people still have jobs, have money, fall in love, sleep and eat, of course. But there are things like robots and androids, artificial intelligences, energy weapons, cheap, clean energy and pubic accessibly space travel (much like airlines are today), and a new age of exploration, colonialism and travel, much like Earth was at the beginning of the 20th century, but with the technology of much later periods and with many other races besides humans.
Faster Than Light travel is achieved by the use of the Jump Drive, that allows a large spacecraft - capital ship sized and large - to open a window in space and time, and to travel through it to cross vast distances in fractions of the time it would take to do so without the Jump Drive.
Jump drives cannot be used in a gravity well, which means they are limited to inter-system space, clear of the gravitational influence of stars and sub-light fusion engines must be used to travel the distance between planets, which takes mere hours, rather than months or years.
While most ships are capable of landing, usually on bodies of water, smaller shuttles and dropships are used to transport cargo or personnel to the surface of planets, or between installations. They are too small and lack the power to use Jump Drives, but are still agile and fast.
Fighters are also used as attack craft and in battle, and are usually capable of surface-to-space travel on their own.
Most troops and other fighting personnel of various races are equipped with personal powered armour that amplifies strength, and also provides a good level of protection against the environment, as well as against hostile firepower, shrapnel and other dangerous substances and situations. It also features built-in sensors and computer systems, and can have modular systems added for various environments, such as flight and sub-aqua packs, and atmospheric drop-shielding.
Weapons and equipment are often strapped to the outside, or are hand-carried, though the amplified strength of the armour allows weapons much more powerful and bulky than normal infantry ones to be carried.
Armour is customizable for various species and for various roles, and can be integrated with the control systems of various vehicles that armoured troops work alongside, giving them better ability to control their systems and the vehicle itself.
A wide variety of armoured suits are manufactured and used, and have a variety of appearances, often within even the same unit, due to personal customization, and the various manufacturers providing the Marine Corps, Navy, Army and other forces with their suits, as well as the numerous different species in the Alliance.
Weaponry is a mix of technology - projectile firing firearms are still widely used for the sake of reliability and versatility, though modern technology allows them to use programmable projectiles that have explosive tips, and travel at high velocities. 'Smart' grenades and missiles are often used as heavy weapons, with beam weapons used in space, due to their much greater travel time, and there being no 'horizon' to worry about.
Missiles are often also used in space and vehicular combat, often with expansive capabilities for guidance, jamming and flight, more like drones in some ways.
Close-combat weapons, such as knives, axes and similar weapons use a powered cutting 'field' at an edge, a kind of molecular 'bonding' system that is also used to reinforce powered armour, and creates a blue glow along a cutting edge, though this is due to it's reaction with the air itself. Armour does not provoke the same reaction, due to it not being sharpened, but instead being a strengthening force.
Batteries for cutting implements last up to twenty minutes at a full charge, though can be turned on and off at will. Armour has up to eight hours at a full charge, but this is drained by the use of more systems, such as full life support, sensor systems, and more powerful impacts and so on. Shutting off or deactivating systems when they're not needed will make the batteries last longer.
The enemies outside of the Alliance are terrifying to consider for the people inside its' borders. Primarily, the threat comes from the hostile and implacable race of artificial life known colloquially as 'the machine' or 'the engine', a self-replicating technological race, controlled by an interlocked network of complex alien artificial intelligences that exists to absorb other life and technology in an effort to convert it's organic 'chaos' into mechanical 'perfection', through whatever means it deems necessary - it doesn't really take no as an answer.
The bright side is that The Engine is lacking in imagination so far, and is highly logical, meaning that it will only attack when it deems it a worthwhile expenditure of it's limited resources, or there is something new and worthwhile to gain from doing so.
The N'estrabi are the other primary threat. An insectoid race, they are physically not very powerful, but have tremendous abilities in the area of psionics, and are also especially long-lived. As such, they thrive by manipulating and coercing others to do their bidding, often playing long-term plots and games that pay off in the N'estrabi gaining great technological benefits and advantages in information and power over their enemies, often by deceiving them into being dependent on them, or by manipulating their political structure and society for their own benefit.
It is often hard to know the N'estrabi are involved in a situation until it is too late, by which time they have virtually almost taken control. If they are encountered, they will often use their technology -stolen and adapted from now long-gone races - to fight back, and then escape with whatever they have gained.
Their ships and weapons are very powerful, but used sparingly, as they are cowards in open fights, and will only attack when they have numbers on their side, or the element of surprise, or have gained some great advantage of information.
The ship the characters are assigned to is the Alliance Navy Vessel (ANV) Heart Of Fire. It is a frigate, mainly equipped for landing small assault forces, but primarily for engaging other ships, and engaging in limited solo combat operations.
It's primary weapon is a 'spinal cannon', a massively powerful particle beam cannon, that requires a long charging period to fire, but can cripple or even destroy much larger vessels. The bow of the ship splits lengthways, hinging up and down to expose the barrel of the cannon.
Other weapons consist of vertical-launch missile batteries for everything from space-to-surface 'Kinetic Harpoons', ship-to-ship torpedoes, tactical nukes, anti-radar missiles and anti-fighter missiles. Close-in weapons consist of anti-missile/fighter rapid-fire kinetic guns, usually gatlings of some type.
Onboard crew is around 75-100 people, plus around five squadrons of marine infantry (eight persons to a squadron, two fireteams of four) and their associated support (usually a further two squadrons of maintenance and logistics personnel, who can also fight if needed) and pilots for the onboard craft. The Naval personnel aboard ship usually includes a Security Force, who can also deploy as combat infantry and counter-boarding specialists.
Normal small craft complement is one mixed squadron of assault dropships, and heavy lift dropships for the marines, and one of fighters, as well as around ten 'boats' for ship-to-ship transfers and repair or general utility work. An Alliance aerospace squadron consists of around twelve craft, which means the frigate usually has twelve craft total, six of each.
Half of the marine assault dropships will be configured as assault landing gunships, while the other half are usually configured for general utility.
Ground vehicles consist of numerous jeep-like GPV's (General Purpose Vehicles), which can be equipped with a variety of weapons or equipment, and one Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) per Marine squadron, as well as one MBT (Main Battle Tank) for every two APCs, for a total ten armoured vehicles, and twice as many GPV's
Character Sheet (WIP)
Appearance: (Pic or desc.)
Team Role: (medic, marksman, demolitions, etc.)
Powered Armour Spec: (appearance, systems, etc.)