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The Game: Gritty with a little bit of gonzo sci-fi high adventure, via random tables and old-school read-’em-and-weep die rolling.

The Pitch: You are veterans in the service of a star-spanning far-future civilization, cast on your own resources and seeking to make your way in a galaxy that’s got nothing for you except what you make or take for yourself. You know the feeling? The one where the stars beckon, but you’ve got bills to pay and an ache in your joints from years of too much high gee and hard radiation, and a scar where the laser carbine burned through your ablative? That feeling? That’s them old Mustering Out Blues, my friend, and the only cure is a job that promises too much too quick under a strange sky, and a high passage out for the ones who survive.

What Everyone Knows About Galactic History:

The Terran Imperium. From its original home on Old Earth long ago, humanity spread out into the galaxy, which was crossed and re-crossed over the course of ten thousand years by countless waves of exploration, expansion, colonization, and conquest. Humanity itself diverged in myriad ways, creating a panoply of cultures and societies. Towards the end of this period, the emergence of a class of psionically empowered Archons on Old Earth permitted the rise of the Terran Empire.

The Fall of Earth. About five thousand years ago, a hard-fought Galactic Rebellion resulted in the fall of the Archons, the destruction of Old Earth, and the looting of its marvels and treasures. A Dark Age fell upon the galaxy, and civilization shattered into fragments.

The End of the Interregnum. About a thousand years ago, an order of galactic knights was formed in the Palatine Cluster dedicated to the ideals of interstellar civilization. One of these knights rose to prominence, defeated his rivals, and declared a renewed Imperium of Galactic Civilization.

The Annexation of the Mandala Cluster. Beginning one hundred years ago, the expansion of the renewed Galactic Imperium reached the Mandala Cluster, then governed by a loose coalition of Spacer cultures and their allies. Fighting was fierce and deadly, but ultimately most worlds in the cluster bowed to the Imperium, with die-hards retreating beyond Imperial frontiers as the Empress’s fleets pushed on in pursuit.

Here and Now. Today, the Mandala cluster is largely at peace, though an alien insurgency on Oran (Mandala 0702) as well as piracy on the margins of the cluster require continued Imperial presence. The Galactic Navy patrols the space lanes of the Imperium, and honest citizens can go about their business in safety and freedom.