Still staying away from The Great Hugo Dust-Up, but I'll get back to it in a few days. Right now, it's just time to climb down off my own high horse and have a little fun.
Naturally, in a 4x pbem game where there are several players playing essentially double-blind (ie they don't know what their opponent(s) are doing and often have limited information on the status of their own units until the turn is over), there's a lot of pressure on the GM to provide some kind of news & rumor service for the game. I've found this really helps keep the game "fun" and let's the players all get in on the action with their own interjections, news articles (factual or fictitious), and rumors via the wonder of FTL communications. In fact, FOTS last game spawned at least 1 website specifically designed to portray the "evil" Pyronians (Py'ron species) in their own light. Titled "Pyronia Today" the site is put together like a sort of daily or weekly news magazine and gazette designed to demonstrate that the Py'ron are not the slavering animals their cousins the Kontairu (Kon'tai species) portray them as.
Anyway, it's really fun for me when this type of stuff happens so I'm going to have a little fun with the same sort of thing here on the blog specifically concerning my upcoming RPG run at the Roll20 site for Fire On The Suns: A Blaze Of Glory. FOTS ABOG is the rpg based on FOTS, as if no one could have figured that one out. I like to say that FOTS ABOG is the "up close and personal" view of the FOTS Universe. I'll be using the Mongoose Traveller rules for the game for the most part, but the setting will be entirely in the Fire On The Suns Universe which is decidedly different from the standard Traveller universe and the Empire.
The game itself will begin approximately 10 years after the sudden withdrawal from the field of battle by The Unspeakable Ones, an advanced alien species that came to the FOTS region of space seeking the prison of their god "He Whose Name Is Unspeakable". Incredibly powerful compared to the star nations of known space, the UO were barely held at bay for 10 years by a powerful, but fragile alliance of the Terran Federal Republic, the Hee'Dra Republics, the Sa'Reen Confederation, the Kon'tai Unity and finally the Empire of Kahs (late, very late, to the party) after the UO had exterminated the Swarm, driven the Machines from their last holdouts, smashed the Q'Tez Hegemony, and coopted the Py'ron Ian (Pyronian Empire). Nobody knows for sure why the Unspeakable Ones suddenly picked up their toys and left, but everyone has been breathing a cautious sigh of relief that they did because things were close at the end, very, very close (as will become clearer in Fire On The Suns Book 2 and probably Book 3).
Anyway, the Galactic News Network (GNN) was the nom de pleume for the FTL news network for the FOTS Universe and that designation has stuck around through a dozen or more years.. I was working on my Roll20 game this afternoon at break time and, while looking at and designing the map(s) of known space, an idea and an article hit me all at once, so here's the first installment of the FOTS ABOG GNN News & Rumor Mill,
TERRAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC ADMIRAL EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER HEE'DRA EXPANSION
GNN, Terra) - Rear Admiral James Tanaka (Terran Federal Republic Navy, Ret.) expressed concerns over Hee'Dra expansion this afternoon following a tour of the Terran Federal Republic's trans-Plutonian military shipyards today, alleging the Hee'Dra were "getting ready for a rematch with the Repubkic".
Tanaka, 75, is best known for ordering the fusion bombardment of the Py'ron colony known as Hell's Cauldron following weeks of intensive back-and-forth fighting between the TFRN, the TFR Space Marines, and the Py'ron Imperial Defense Forces in 2278 during the early days of the Unspeakable War. Three hundred and seventy five million Py'ron soldiers and civilians are believed to have been killed in the bombardment, virtually the entire population of the planet. He is also responsible for ordering the TFR's 5th Fleet, under Rear Admiral Richard Bainbridge at the time, into Hee'Dra Republics space and the resultant deaths of an estimated five hundred million Hee'Dra citizens. Both the Hee'Dra Republics and the TFR-outlawed Revolutionary Py'ron People's Ian have branded Tanaka a war criminal for his actions at Hell's Cauldron and later against the Hee'Dra. It should be noted that the RPPI is an outlawed organization that continues to persist throughout the worlds of the former Py'ron Ian which collapsed following the withdrawal of the Unspeakable Ones in 2284. The worlds formerly claimed by the Py'ron Ian remain part of the Terran Federal Occupation Zone today.
Interviewed following a tour of the TFR's trans-Plutonian military shipyards during which Tanaka was shown the TFR's latest Nighthawk class battlecruiser, the former Admiral expressed his concerns that the Hee'Dra were rapidly expanding on sll of their borders and potentially threateing their neighbors.
"The Hee'Dra are expanding toward the Sa'Reen, toward the Federa..., I mean the Republic, and have almost entirely cut off the Kon'tai from expansion to Coreward. They're crowding their neighbors, competing against our allies for space to expand into and colonize. If I were still in service I'd almost think they were spoiling for a rematch against the Republic."
It is well-known that Tanaka has held a grudge against the Hee'Dra since they allied with the Py'ron in the early days of the UO War and launch several attacks against outlying Terran colonies along their mutual borders. Almost seventeen million Terran soldiers and citizens were killed in the early attacks, Tanaka's only son being among the casualties.
This has been a report from Talak Singh, on assignment for GNN in the trans-Plutonians.
Hope you enjoyed the read. Comments are, of course, invited, but please be polite.