Sympathy – The Rule and Guide to Society


The society of the span is, at its core, build with the idea of community over self. This idealogy, called Populus Est, is enforced by a powerful mandate called Sympathy.

Sympathy, to a citizen of the Span, can be described simply as one’s connection with society. THe more a person devotes themselves to society, the more society rewards them with recognition, rights, privileges, and trust. In its simplest terms, sympathy is a ranking of people from the best to the worst.

Sympathy 7 – Exemplar

Exemplars are the pinnacle of society. Becoming one takes dedication and often, sacrifice of self in service to others. All Judex are Exemplars. An examplar is nothing short of one in whose fidelity one can always place their trust.

Sympathy 6 – Paragon

flames-897428_1920A paragon of society is trustworthy and a shining example of one who serves his guild and his fellow people with fervency and zeal. This is often the highest level of sympathy one attains in their life, and often only for a short time. maintaining this standing can prove to be difficult.

Sympathy 5 – Dignitary

Those who serve well are rewarded. Among the majority of society, being a dignitary puts one a step above the masses; it is a reward for a job well done. This is the highest honor a member of the Blue Hand can hope to achieve.

Sympathy 4 – Companion

Many in society rests safely around this level of Sympathy, balancing the needs of society and their own self-interest. They can sometimes be looked down upon by those who have achieved loftier goals, but there is rarely any shame in being a companion of society.

Sympathy 3 – Libertine

Those who put their own interests first are marked with the ire of those around them. This shows an incompetence or selfishness that is noticeable, and one risks devolving further without atonement. Libertines may find their resources strangled and opportunities shuttered.

Sympathy 2 – Malefactor

Such a person is untrustworthy, certainly, and may be refused at many, more civilized, places. Eyes watch them wherever they go, observing them for violations of the Laws of Order. Some higher-class colonies may bar Malefactors entirely.

Sympathy 1 – Wretch

A wretch is a danger to those around them, and it is agreed among most that society as a whole benefits from a Wretch’s death. Few colonies will condemn the disposal of a Wretch within their midst. It is rare, but not impossible, to return from this state. Doing so requires significant atonement and dedication to rehabilitation.

Sympathy 0 – Outcast

Once a person has shunned their sympathy, there is no going back. only a Judex can declare someone outcast, but doing so causes sympathy and the Span itself to reject the creature that becomes such a degenerate. The Outcast can find no refuge among the Guilds, can learn no more Abilities, and will often disappear into the black of space to die alone. It is said, however, that the Nihilistium snaps them up and recruits them into its ranks.


Cold Start Public Alpha to be released 12/1/16


As I announced on facebook this morning, the public alpha is almost complete! This alpha, which will be released for FREE (or pay-what-you-want) on DriveThruRPG, will be 50-60% setting-complete and about 80-90% mechanics-complete. It will also lack much of the art of the game, which is still in development (and waiting for the kickstarter, so I can hire artists!) The feedback from this public alpha is important to the development of the game, and you’re invited.

Play the game with your friends. Tell me what you did. Tell me about your characters. What did you like? What didn’t you like? You, as players, have the chance to seriously contribute to the final product of the game.

Get ready and tell your friends. And keep an eye on the Elsewhere Media DriveThruRPG page.

For questions please send me an email to!

Red Shift Transport Club


“Unidentified craft. Unidentified craft, please respond.”

The sound of the dashboard speaker pulled me from my slumber like the most annoying alarm clock ever. Trying to shake the wisps of whatever dream had filled my head only moments prior, I rubbed my eyes and reached in the dark for the switch, finally finding it on the console. I punched it in, my eyes still reluctant to open.

“This is Red Craft craft 775-C res–” My lungs filled with air by a sudden yawn. “–responding. What can I do for you?” I let go of the button to await a response from the long-range transmission. I’d gotten a few over the past couple of days, and none had been too helpful. Half of them were advertisements.

“Red craft, this is a Vigilant Battle Cruiser you are talking to. Surrender or prepare to engage.”

Any semblance of sleep that might clinging to my waking mind vanished instantly. This was no long-range transmission. Engage? The first vessel I have seen in weeks and it has to be a Knights’ ship. Cursing as loudly as I could, knowing no one was there to hear me, I straightened myself in my seat and took a deep breath just as another message from the enemy ship blared out over the speaker.

“Surrender now or be fired upon.”

Clearing my throat, I pressed the button on the dashboard. “Negative, Vigilant. I am simply passing through. No need to be hasty.”

“Red Vessel, we have a warrant for a craft matching your description carrying unlicensed cargo. Surrender now or we will disable and board you.”

I scanned over my screen, analyzing the craft as it came into my sensors. Fully-armored battleship indeed. What a beautiful piece of machinery. Certainly a danger to any poor hapless soul that might fly into its sights. And yet–there it was–I was no hapless soul.

I slammed some commands into the computer and smiled before punching the communications button in again. “Vigilant vessel, I really appreciate the offer, but I can safely say that you’re no threat to me at this, or any future, period. I’ll be on my way.”

The response was very irate. “Red Vessel, I’ll have you know that I have no qualms about utterly obliterating every inch of the metal you’re sitting in. Stand down.”

I punched the button in again. “And I’ll have you know that my trigger finger is accurate enough to fire a shot through your underbelly and into your main generator, flooding your cabin with nuclear material and sentencing your entire crew to a long and slow death by radiation poisoning. Meanwhile, even if you do get a shot off, My ship maneuvers with thirty percent better turning accuracy than your ammunition, meaning,” I sneered triumphantly, “You can’t even hit me. But I can hit you.”

There was a long pause. Excruciatingly long. I was ready to fire up engines at any moment if the weapons systems even dared to become active…but they didn’t. After what seemed like an eternity, the speaker came to life once more.

“Have a good night, Red. Carry on.”

The Need for Speedspace-ship-373387_r

The Span is immense, stretching from the blazing star in the center to the coldest reaches of the outer bodies. With countless moons, floating stations, and vast empty regions of space where things and people can hide, it is no wonder that a guild would be dedicated to the power of movement.

Enter the Red Shift Club, a group dedicated to the transportation of people and materials to wheresoever they need to be dispersed.

The Red Shift club owns, maintains, and provides transportation vessels, both for public and private use. Their inventory spans all classes of technology, from sturdy carriages to powerful and fast nuclear-powered interstellar ships. They make deliveries of materials both perfectly legal and somewhat questionable in nature, and live on a reputation of dependability.

Members of Red Shift are themselves very daring and sometimes considered fearless. They traverse dangerous areas of space without blinking an eye. Rumors that potential Red Shift members have their brain chemistry altered to reduce their fear response ar, of course, just conjecture.

Red Contracts

The Club operates under a loose set of guidelines, which allow it to operate with some manner of agency of its own. One of these tools is a Red Contract, a document detailing a job before being hired. These contracts include the amount to be paid and the kind of cargo or people being transported, along with what is called The Crimson Clause: If an employer breaks his end of the contract, he can never hire the Red Shift again. With transportation so monopolized by this guild, such a  prospect is devastating, and often leads an individual to be stuck permanently in whatever place he decided to make such a bad life decision.

The Structure of the Club

The red planet of Aecedia is a haven of raw metals and materials, and there the massive industrial complex of of Post No.1 is located. At the edge of the ice-covered polar mountains of the planet, the sprawling city there serves both as a garage to the many fleet ships, a training ground for new pilots, and a distribution center for items being shipped. The leader of the Red Shift, Nox, does not reside there herself, but prefers to travel as much as she can throughout the Span on a ship seeking adventure. She is a leader of high respect for her leadership skills and exceptional track record under fire. Her main advisors, “The Crew”, direct the Club’s factions remotely.

Main Factions

rocket-launch-437218_sName: The Scouts
Leader: Wrench

This faction, specifically, deals in reconnaissance, and brings back information. They are stealthy and often act secretly, preferring to explore new places over spending too long dealing with a Ward’s petty politics.

Name: Daredevils

Leader: Crackshot

The thrill of speed and danger drives this faction to seek out dangerous and so-called “impossible” jobs. Somehow, this group manages to do what others fail to even contemplate attempting. They tend to be motivated less by money and more by the prospect of brushing with death on a regular basis.

Name: Runners

Leader: Pinyaga

The delivery men of the Red Shift Club, this group has the reputation for an unprecedented number of successful deliveries of all kinds of goods. It is rumored they know secret routes and employ advanced technologies to avoid detection and make their deadlines.

Name: Pilots
Leader: Razz

People are a precious cargo no matter how you slice it, and as such one of the most popular factions of the Guild are the Poliots, who pride themselves as the unquestioned masters of the open void of space. Consistent and often bound by long-term contracts, Pilots can make a very enviable living in this work, whether hired by a company, a private citizen, or even a guild for dependable work.


Order of Valiance Eternal, “Knights”



“The sky is so lovely tonight,” she said, pulling closer to me with a smile. I looked up, to see the massive, swirling shape of Ira hanging menacingly in the sky, like a giant face scowling down at them as they strolled along the sidewalk.

I smiled down at her. “Yes, it is, but not nearly as lovely as you, my dear.”

She blushed and looked away. “Oh, stop it, you’re embarrassing–“

The shound of shattering glass disrupted our flirtatious moment, and I released her waist, instictively reaching for a tool on my belt. SHe knew what this meant and out of the corner of my eye I saw her vanish into the darkness.

I rounded the corner, pulling my weapon from its holster and scanning the street. My eyes flickered as a targeting system crossed my field of view, and the darkness lightened as my eyes automatically adjusted to the darkness. There it was–a man slinking through a broken window.

“Hey!” I gave chase as he vanished into the building, and with a great leap I bounded to the sill, slipping inside and landing on the soft carpeted floor. The perp, however, was a few steps ahead of me, and he toppled a bookcase as he dashed through the opposite doorway. I scaled it and dove for his figure as it retreated, but my hands grabbed only air–a projection! In my distraction the perp had gone up the stairs. Clever.

Finding my footing, I took the staircase three at a time and ended up on a quiet landing. Slowly, I moved down the carpeted hallway toward the door at the end. I tried to make no noise at all.

From the doorway, two shots rang out, hitting me and knocking me backward down the stairs. Tumbling end over end, I landed in a heap at the bottom.

The perp crept down the stairs after me, carrying something in his arms. I could feel the warm blood pulsing over my face as I laid there, gasping for breath. He reached the door, not saying a word as he opened it–

And fell backward as he was immobilized by an unseen force. Thrown from ceiling to wall, he dropped whatever he had been stealing as he was violently forced across the room to land in a beaten pile in the corner.

I stood up, pulling the bullets from my neck and chest with a grimace as my wife walked through the doorway She slapped a restraint on the limp thief’s form. “You okay, honey?”

I smiled. “Always.”


To Serve and Protect

Each Guild has their own group of enforcers that provide muscle whenever needed. The Span as a whole, however, relies on the might and force of a dedicated group of militarized lawkeepers: The Noble Order of Valiance Eternal.

Members of this guild are feared and respected by those whom they encounter, for several reasons. First, the Knights’ training at the frozen Mizu Stronghold is unbearably harsh, which hardens the Guild members against many kinds of physical force. Second, that the Guild has never lost a war in its history. And third, that the powers of a Knight are devastatingly effective and breaching the other Guilds’ defenses.

The Mizu Stronghold Training Center

strongholdBeyond the ice walls of the Mizu Stronghold on a frozen moon of Ira, a massive fortification exists with environmental test chambers for training. Recruits who enter and put through strenuous and often painful training exercises in all sorts of environments to hon their skills and push them to their absolute limits. These training exercises can be deadly–is it well known that at each Graduation, the names of those who died that year are read out. It is estimated that nearly half of the Stronghold’s candidates do not graduate; they either drop out or perish.

With such a foreboding record, it is therefore surprising that the Stronghold entertains so many applications. Some enter for the thrill, or as the ultimate challenge, while others have an overwhelming sense of duty. A large portion, however, join with a single goal: to have a better life.

Mizu candidates, upon entry, meet with a coordinator who provides them with an entirely new identity for their time within. They are divested of all of their belongings and money. They then sign a binding agreement not to discuss their outside lives while within. As such, all people entering the fortress do so as equals in all things. Those who graduate from the academy are considered to be nobility and are afforded honors and respect, regardless of their lives beforehand. This is a very attractive proposition for children born on very poor colonies in the Span.

The Structure of the Knights

The Knights are a militaristic order, structured with a reliance on direct chains of command. Individual knights have commanding officers they report to, all the way up to the Knight Captain. It is inevitable, of course, that the Knights and the Judex be entwined in each others’ affairs–the Knights being the enforcers of the Judex’ will after all.

This chain of command does not mean that all of the Knights’ work is always above-table. It is very common for Knights to take odd jobs in their off-hours, working for corporations or even wealthy private citizens who need a problem done right.

Knight Captain Cierra Edgemoor maintains a circle of Commanders, who each maintain different guild duties. A few of these are:

Name: Peace Officers
Leader: Commander Eppinberg

The social arm of the Knights, Peace Officers are tasked with resolving inter-guild disputes and carrying out rulings involving personal disagreements. They are also the “face” of the guild, interacting with communities in a positive way.

Name: Ironguard
Leader: Commander Tomasson

The most powerful and physically threatening of the Knights join this unit, whose sole purpose is to enforce the laws of the Span with a disgusting amount of force. They rarely deal with local squabbles, instead being sent where needed to manage threats which require a distinct lack of mercy.

Name: Detectives
Leader: Commander Winters

This faction, as their name suggests, investigates crimes locally. They are among the most common members of this Guild encountered by the general populous.

Name: Tracers
Leader: Commander Hare

The Span has its fair share of fugitives. Tracers are the retrieval arm of the Guild, entering dangerous territories and situations to extract people with minimal civilian impact.