About Solar Storms

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Solar Storms was originally designed as a mech-sparring persistent game (beating each other up via giant robots), to be run on OpenRPG. As elements got added, it quickly grew into its own full-fledged universe, taking on a more serious, transhuman tone. As the science got harder, the giant humanoid robots were dropped completely, and now I have this. I eventually decided to place the setting and rules information here on the Web instead of on a couple hundred 'nodes', to help run more traditional style games. I moved it from the normal website to the wiki because, well, it got bigger, and this is much easier for me to manage.

I may try to run the persistent game, eventually. I'm designing a custom system for it, based off of others that I've tinkered with over the years.

The author of Solar Storms is me, Brandan Yares (Xeriar), a computer technician and consultant. My e-mail address is xeriar@anenris.com.


Blending a healthy dose of science-fiction and fantasy elements, Solar Storms has a lot of inspirational sources. A few follow, but they are by no means a complete list.

Fading Suns by Holistic Design was the initial setting that got me thinking about my own science-fiction setting. In the end Solar Storms didn't end up much like it, but there are still some key influences, namely in stargates for the setting, and the idea of 'self limiting attributes' for the system.

Gnosticism, an early branch of Christianity, plays a strong role, namely in the idea that the observable Universe is not all there is, and that, through knowledge, one can see beyond the veil that has been pulled over our eyes and see the true scope of reality.

Xenosaga is an epic science-fiction game where technology has become 'sufficiently advanced'. Through nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and cybernetic enhancements, characters wield abilities above and beyond the scope of normal humans. Also heavily influenced by Gnosticism.

Exalted is a role-playing game by White Wolf, where the standard characters are penultimate heroes chosen by the greatest of gods to right the wrongs of Creation. It is high on action and on power - a starting character can potentially be a match for a small nation.

Star Wars. If you don't know of Star Wars, how you found this place is beyond me. While, like Star Wars, taoist thought does creep into Solar Storms, the blending of mystical and science-fiction aspects are more influential, here.

Firefly aka Serenity is another, more low-tech science-fiction setting. A space western, it has some of the feel of the original Star Trek, though the tone is a lot grittier. The theme of "rebels trying to escape the control of a government's staunch iron grip" is central to Firefly and has a lot to do with the history of Solar Storms.

Dune by Frank Herbert. In particular, the first three novels. Another gritty science-fiction setting, which Solar Storms doesn't particularly mimic, the writing style and sense of continually unfolding mystery are key, here. Being a role-playing game, I plan on revealing more up front than say, novels would, but the idea is still present.

Legend of the Five Rings by John Wick, owned by AEG. An oriental fantasy setting, the Bearers of Jade supplement is probably the finest piece of RPG writing in my entire library - which is something not too short of a thousand volumes now. It taught me the value of factions in a setting.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin is probably the least of the influences, thematically, but his writing style mimics Dune and I learned a lot from it. It also taught me the value of research.

Musical inspiration was found in Nightwish and the Dr. Who theme remixes at http://whomix.trilete.net, which have a high awesomeness factor.

Science and Fundamentals

Regarding the dose of science in the science fiction, I'm not claiming to be terribly realistic. At best, there are a number of educated guesses, and on the other hand, there are the mobius patterns. In the end, I had to slow my research and speed my writing, though as of writing this I'm still making extensive corrections. Yes, I'm trying to make a 'hard science fantasy' setting. I have a dichotomy fetish.

Above everything else, there is one cardinal rule in Solar Storms - causality is inviolate. To put simply, there is no true time travel in Solar Storms, and there never will be, no matter how far the setting evolves. The best you can hope to do is reset a local area of some sort to a previous state, split a skearn or some similar feat. Outside observers, however, may witness this resetting and its methods.

Yes, I talk about superluminal travel and tachyons and such, but these all, through one means or another, function within the scope of the above. Faster-than-light travel and communication, while possible, is extremely energy intensive. The exact means will be somewhat glossed over (being, y'know, a vision of the future), but, in order to retain causality, Relativity must be encapsulated in some manner. That is to say, Einstein's relativity works up to the speed of light, but not past it, so using the Lorentz or Poincare equations will only get you into silly places.

Personally, I expect the real future to be far more interesting than this little dream.

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