The Corinthian Scout Service

Posted: 28 June 2011 in Arioniad

I have lots of ideas for factions, and also a view to using them in other games; but I’ll start small, to make sure I understand things. The Antares Sector will start with three factions; the Celestial Empire, which is a stock Regional Hegemon; the Halfway Combine, a stock Mercantile Combine; and the Corinthian Scout Service, which I shall now create. All of them start with 0 experience points.

Every faction has a homeworld, six statistics, one or more tags, and a goal. The homeworld is easy; that’s Corinth. Likewise the faction objectives, those have been developed in play so far.

I see the CSS as a minor faction with aspirations of growth; the advice on p. 126 of Stars Without Number tells me that the faction should have 4 in its primary attribute (probably Cunning – it’s a survey and espionage outfit), 3 in its secondary (Wealth, because it can afford to hand out constructive possession of scoutships) and 1 in its tertiary (only Force is left), which gives it 15 hit points. The CSS also has one asset in its primary attribute, and another in some other attribute; browsing through the lists on pp. 118-123, I select Covert Shipping/Cunning 3 (which includes Arion and the Dolphin), and Surveyors/Wealth 2 (which seems to reflect their official purpose as a Traveller-style scout service).

Browsing through the tags section, I see a few that look appropriate, and although most factions should have only one tag, I note that especially versatile organisations can have two. Scouts are nothing if not versatile, so I pick Secretive and Technical Expertise as the best fit to my intentions for the faction.

That whole process took about 15 minutes, and gives me a faction looking like this:


Officially an organ of the Corinthian government dedicated to interstellar exploration and communications, forming a “cultural bridge” between the worlds of the Attica Cluster, the CSS also operates various intelligence assets. These are normally small groups of deniable operators based on a CSS scoutship; in order to make it harder for opponents to work out what it is actually doing, in a kind of interstellar “shell game”, the CSS offers exemplary former members constructive possession of a scoutship, to do with as they wish so long as they keep it in good order and periodically report their findings. Yes, some former CSS crews are spies; but which ones? Usually, not even they know for certain.

Attributes: Force 1, Cunning 4, Wealth 3.

Hit Points: 15.

Assets: Covert Shipping/Cunning 3, Surveyors/Wealth 2.

Tags: Secretive, Technical Expertise.

Goals: Long-term – preserve the safety and independence of the Attica Cluster in general, and Corinth in particular (Peaceable Kingdom). Short-term – establish a Base of Operations on Halfway Station (Expand Influence).


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