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No Quarter is a game setting of high fantasy within a galactic society. Virtually any character concept can be represented by the thousands of sentient races and sub-species known to exist, complete with a combination of sorcery, psionics, unlimited technology, alien powers and mad gods. Frontier worlds exist where crime lords rule with an iron fist along with bustling centers of culture and civilization or the sheer insanity of Hellspace itself.
It is strongly recommended that the shattered remnants Humanity be reserved as an NPC race only since a character created from them would face constant prejudice, hatred and numerous death sentences on most civilized worlds. Further, they would have little to offer a campaign other than a startling ability to serve as Songdriver as a starship owing to their shortcomings as a species, and Songdrivers themselves would be dedicated to their craft to the point of being one-dimensional. The invasive alterations a character would go through to exploit this trait leaves little room for other, more interesting aspects of the game.
The GM is encouraged to work with the players in creating unique racial concepts and almost nothing should be dismissed out of hand. Magic is alive in the No Quarter universe, prayers are frequently answered, technology can perform miracles and the sheer variety of alien beings produce an unending parade of startling combinations. Campaigns can be set in violent realms or courtly dictatorships, havens of capitalism or primitive worlds populated by the unknowns of deep space. The only encouraged constant in this setting should always be "No Humans Allowed".
Life in General
Society continues in the No Quarter galaxy. People go to work, fall in love, fight and make their peace as they always have. Some rejoice at the destruction of what they see as an overbearing regime while others turn to fear at the departure of the protective order that the J'Rai provided.
Where the galaxy had never been short on adventure even while the Spacelords maintained their watchful presence, new opportunities have found their way into the daily lives of average citizens. Worlds once closed to exploration and exploitation have become open with the fall of the sometimes centuries old J'Rai blockades. Ancient temples of lost technology once hidden from common knowledge wait silently for brave archeologists to plumb their secrets, monstrous planets of hungry monsters no longer find themselves checked from their own means of brutal expansion into a galaxy ill prepared to deal with their presence.
Crime lords send out their tendrils in a race to establish dominance and, through it all, player characters are encouraged to carve out their own unique niches in this universe of endless possibilities. Almost any type of adventure can be layered out in No Quarter, either fighting through the ranks of illegal syndicates, laying down a whip of new order upon the chaos or simply a casual stride within the whirling whims of fate. Wherever the players wish to go is limited only by their imaginations and the developments of their hopefully generous GM.
The stars sing to each other in the depths of space. Along with solar winds, strange particles stream from one stellar mass to another, creating an ethereal current that moves at speeds far faster than light. These currents are known as Songwaves.
In many places throughout the galaxy, very strong currents can be found in very stable routes. These have become the interstellar equivalent of trade winds and are known as Songlines. Travel along Songlines is heavy and frequent as large developments grow around the frequent trade that Songlines bring. Much in the same way that major planet-side cities tend to get their start from waterways, so too have Songlines been influential in forming galactic civilization.
Spacefaring ships can make use of these Songwaves by tuning themselves to their frequencies. Although normally entirely invisible and immaterial, these strange solar winds can be caught by a ship vibrating in harmony with their currents. This is a difficult process and requires that every atom in a vessel must be carefully managed in order to achieve peak harmony, which is why skilled Songdrivers are so prized.
A Songdriver is someone with the innate ability to detect Songwaves and tune ships to their frequencies. It's a difficult craft that very few can perform, requiring most spacefarers to use artificial Songdrives that, while effective, are generally less capable than a talented living driver.
It's also a tasking profession. Even though the talent to perform as a Songdriver is someone one is born with, the ability to attune ships is not. Complex and highly invasive implants are required to enable any species to act as a Songdriver. Becoming one is expensive, painful, cumbersome, and ultimately time consuming as Songdrivers find themselves spending most of their days serving as an engine to captains who are always in a hurry and never in the mood for downtime. Oddly enough, that isn't as much of a deterrent as one might think, since the more talented Songdrivers tend to never want to stop playing. Many of them want nothing more in life than to sing along with the stars forever.
At least the job pays well.