Welcome to the Firmament

The Firmament is a sci-fi setting for the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition roleplaying game. A millennia after the Old Earth collapsed into climate catastrophe and thermonuclear war, the descendants of our world’s desperate survivors have spread throughout a distant and alien corner of the galaxy. They have made great leaps in technology and colonised the stars, and now dwell in dozens of systems - some friendly to human habitation, others much less so. Humanity has come far, but they are still a nascent and fragile speck in the vast and uncaring void - and all is not well in the Firmament.

The Foundation is a set of 4 star systems, all of which are located very close to each other. It’s also the name of the Firmament’s interstellar government. The Foundation systems are the oldest human systems, and were the first to be colonised. Some would call it the capitol of human civilisation and pinnacle of human achievement; others would call it a repressive oligarchy ruled by a hereditary elite.

The Incorporated Territories are made up of about a dozen systems that stretch out like arms from the Foundation. These are the systems that were settled during the initial boom of interstellar colonisation that came with the invention of the spike drive. When the Tau Ultimatum was broadcast throughout the Firmament, they were brought under the Foundation’s wing. However, they still retain a significant degree of autonomy. In practice, though, less central power just means that it’s easier for the megacorporations to do whatever they want.

The Rim makes up the far reaches of inhabited space: a handful of lonely colonies far from “civilised” worlds. As more of the attractive systems were colonised, settlers had to go further and further out to find suitable colonies. They are far enough away from the Foundation that they were able to remain independent, but this independence comes at a cost. The Rim is the poorest and least technologically advanced part of the Firmament.

About the Setting

Disconnected diaspora. Faster-than-light travel exists, but it can’t cross the galaxy in an instant. A voyage between two colonies separated by many parsecs can still take weeks or even months to complete. This means that interstellar travel is still a significant endeavour. Individual systems need to be relatively self-contained and self-sufficient, as interstellar transportation of bulk goods like food or raw materials is not feasible.

We’re alone. There are no alien species; at least, none you’d care to speak to. Many of the worlds settled by mankind have native biospheres - whether miscible with humanity or not. These might be anything from microbes to vibrant flora and fauna. However, no sapient alien life has ever been discovered.

No AI. There are advanced autonomous systems that are generally proficient at a range of tasks, but self-aware general AI either doesn’t exist or is being kept very quiet. The only robots you’ll encounter are operated by a human, or by a clever AS.

Near-future science fiction. The Firmament has fusion, antigravity and faster-than-light travel. However, the truly revolutionary technologies are the domain of the rich and powerful - particularly megacorps and the oligarchs of the Foundation. Most spacers are still using guns and techology that would be recognisable in the present day.