Galactic Regions

The Galactic Structure

The Galactic Core

The Galaxy of Psi-Wars is a four-armed spiral galaxy. The galactic center, the Galactic Core, contains more stars than any other part of the galaxy and its bulge rises above and below the galactic plane. Its central position and interconnectedness with the rest of the galaxy makes it the galactic region of choice to rule the Galaxy from, and today, it serves as the seat of the tyrannical Valorian Empire.

The Galactic core is an oblong sphere roughly 15,000 parsecs (50,000 light years) across (it takes about a month for a fully cross the galactic core). The constellations of the Galactic Core are exceedingly easy to navigate via hyperspace, meaning it has more than its fair share of colonized worlds. It also has more hyper routes than any other part of the galaxy, making whomever controls it a master of trade across the galaxy and between the arms, and thus it serves as the prime seat of galactic power. It has a default navigational modifier of +1.

The Galactic Rim

Spiraling out from the galactic center are four galactic Arms, sometimes called the Rim of the Galaxy. While the stars of the arms tend to be younger and fewer than in the core, they tend to house regional powers that, if left unchecked, could rise to threaten the Empire of the galactic core. The regions in the rim closest to the core are the most civilized; as one gets farther and farther from the bright center of the galaxy, the more alien, barbaric and dangerous the galaxy gets. It has a default navigational modifier of +0.

Each arm is about 30,0000 parsecs (100,000 lightyears); curved. It takes about 5 months to go from the point where the galactic arm meets the galactic core, to the very end of it with a rating 1 drive. Crossing the galaxy from the tip of one arm to the tip of another arm typically takes 1 year with a rating 1 drive.

The four galactic arms are:

  • The Glorian Rim: the ancestral home of humanity and the seat of the remnants of the aristocratic Galactic Federation, now called the Alliance.
  • The Arkhaian Spiral: the seat of the genocidal Cybernetic Union, and the site of the Scourge invasion.
  • The Umbral Rim: Sometimes called the Dark Arm. Ancient alien races, weird cults and criminal slaver cartels dominate this part of the galaxy, and its numerous nebulae make it difficult to navigate.
  • The Sylvan Spiral: A strange “thickness” of hyperspace called “the Morass” makes this part of the galaxy difficult to navigate; those who penetrate its depths report space monsters, primitive alien races and planets overrun with abundant life and giant beasts.

The Galactic Fringe

Between the arms of the galaxy, or behind its edge, lies the Galactic Fringe. Between the arms of the Galaxy, stars become sparser and more spread apart, meaning hyperspatial trips between them take longer and the hyperspatial medium becomes harder to navigate; the galaxy generally ignores this galactic backwater. Beyond the edge of the galaxy, dwarf galaxies and globular clusters orbit the rest of the galaxy, acting as islands of stars and civilizations in the enormous void beyond. These tend to be very difficult, but still possible, to reach via hyperspace; once a ship has arrived, traveling within the dwarf galaxy tends to be a simple affair. These pockets tend to have very strange aliens and exotic civilizations that have only passing contact with the rest of the Galaxy. It has a default navigational modifier of -2.

The nearest dwarf galaxies and globular clusters are as close as 10,000 parsecs (30,000 light years) from their nearest galactic stars (about a month in hyperspace), with most lying between 30,000 parsecs and 60,000 parsecs, with the farthest at 120,000 parsecs (a year away with a rating 1 hyperdrive).

Some examples of regions in the Galactic Fringe are:

  • The Draco Super-Cluster: this dwarf-galaxy is home to the fervent and honorable Mug. The edges of their theocratic dominion have pushed into the very edges of the Sylvan Spiral and the Umbral Rim.
  • The Pheonix Super-Cluster: located near the Rogue Stars of the Glorian Rim, this remote part of space has been mostly colonized by humans with a fiercely independent streak and a survivalist culture. The Pheonix Cluster is also home to a now broken chapter of Templars, the Lawbearers, and their ancient temple, the Great Tho-Tan.

Navigating the Galaxy

The rules for navigation can be found here.

The Galaxy contains literally billions of stars, but hyperspatial astrography makes it difficult to reach the vast majority of stars, and on top of that, given the abundance of stars available to travelers, most colonists don’t bother with planets that don’t naturally have “shirt-sleeve” weather and familiar gravity. Thus, out of the billions of stars and planets of the galaxy, the denizens of the Psi-Wars galaxy concern themselves typically with only thousands of them. This means that the civilizations of the galaxy are but lonely oases of life in vast, desolate wastelands of uninhabited star systems, connected by the tenuous lines of hyperspace travel. These unconnected worlds are sometimes call Lost Worlds. The Galaxy is three dimensional, but at the speeds and distances traveled via hyperspace, most star maps depict the galaxy as flat. This is not true of the galactic core, which has a bulge of stars above and below the “plane” of the Galaxy. When discussing the core stars that are “above” or “below” the galactic plane, this refers to stellar maps that depict the galaxy’s arms turning in a clockwise motion. A hyperspace drive moves at a speed of 10 parsecs per hour (30 light years per hour) per rating (faster hyperdrives can move 2× to 3× as fast!). The Psi-Wars galaxy is 50,000 parsecs (150,000 light years) across from end to end, though hyperspace travel is rarely “as the crow flies,” but going from end to end takes about 6 months with a rating 1 hyperdrive.

Hyperspatial navigation in Psi-Wars is always from system to system, and each system has its own “default” hyperspatial navigational modifier. Certain systems are easier or harder to reach from other systems, and the GM may apply modifiers based on route or circumstances (such as hyperspatial storms) as he sees fit; descriptions of worlds may also include alternate routes with their own navigational modifiers; while secret smuggler routes or ancient routes noted on lost starmaps also have their own navigational modifiers, typically positive. For example, if the world of Exile has a navigational modifier of -4, reaching Exile from any given world has a modifier of -4. Reaching it from Sirocco might be much easier, at -2. A secret route, found on an ancient map, might raise that to +1! Constellations also have a navigational modifier. This is a default modifier for unspecified worlds in the constellation; this value is always superseded by a listed system modifier. Just as with systems, attempting to reach a constellation from another constellation might have a unique modifier. Attempting to reach a world in a constellation from another world within that same constellation generally applies a +1 to navigation rolls.

Galactic regions, such as the core or arms, also have navigational modifiers. This is a default modifier, just as with constellations, for any unspecified worlds or constellations within it; these are always superseded by constellation or system modifiers. A Nexus World typically applies a +2 to any attempt to reach it from any star system. A Hyper Route applies a +4 to all navigation rolls. These may supersede the values of a star system. For example, if a given world applies a default -2 to reach it, then attempting to reach it from any world applies a -2, but if a hyper route exists between it and another specific star, then travel between those two stars only applies a +4, rather than a -2, to navigation rolls.

Simplified Travel Times

Rather than get out a map and work out travel times, consider the following travel times as loose guidelines. The times below might be longer or shorter, depending on proximity (GM’s discretion). The following times are for hyperspace rating 2: double them for slower ships, and halve them for faster.

  • Traveling between two systems in the same constellation: between an hour to a day.
  • Traveling between two constellations: between three days and two weeks.
  • Traveling between from region to region, or from the far side of one region to the far side of the same region: between 1 and 3 months.
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