(Back to Aether Sea)
I wanted to play around with Diaspora for creating what it calls “clusters” to see how it might work for Aether Sea. I figured a “cluster” might be more or less equivalent to a Quadrant.
So, for Quadrant Alpha, I decided that there were 4 Royal Hegemony sectors, 3 Dwarven sectors, and 2 sectors in the Neutral Zone.
The Diaspora process for linking sectors into a cluster (or Quadrant, in our case) is that you give all the sectors a letter and line up the 9 sectors in a row. You start at ‘A’ and roll the Fate dice. On a negative number, you just connect that sector to its neighbour. On a zero result, you connect it to its neighbour but also, if a system further down the list has no connections, connect to that neighbour. On a positive number, you do the same for negative and, if there is another system further down the list with no connections, connect to that one as well.
I modified these rules slightly. I assumed that the sectors were in a circle such that the last sector in line would also connect to the first in line. The Diaspora system also tends to leave the last couple sectors in line as a bit of orphans because if they are already connected to something you don’t roll for new connections. In this case, because the sectors are connected in a circle, if there were any sectors further down the line (i.e. looping back to the beginning) with only immediate neighbour connections then zero or positive results could connect to them.
I think the order in which you list the sectors might make a difference. In this case I put the Royal Hegemony sectors first, followed by the Dwarven sectors, and the Neutral Zone last. I figured the Dwarves would have more access to the Neutral Zone since it was specifically set up to be between them and the Elves in Quadrant Delta. Since the end of the list is linked to the beginning of the list, it probably doesn’t work like this in practice. The links between sectors represent established routes, perhaps the most efficient paths, the safest paths, the paths with possible resources along the way, those patrolled by the authorities, etc. Anyone is free to travel to any sector that is not linked by these ‘official’ routes, but it would cost them extra Resources, time, or be measured in danger. Obviously, there should also be links to neighbouring Quadrants but that can be addressed later. Here are the results of my test:
A-D are Royal Hegemony E-G are Dwarven H-I are Neutral Zone
For Sector A, I rolled 0 so it connects to B and C.
For Sector B, I rolled -1 so it connects only to C.
For Sector C, I rolled +1 so it connects to D, E and F.
For Sector D, I rolled 0 so it connects to E and G.
For Sector E, I rolled 0 so it connects to F and H.
For Sector F, I rolled -1 so it connects only to G.
For Sector G, I rolled -4 so it connects only to H.
For Sector H, I rolled +1 so it connects to I and B because B is without a leap-frogging connection. There are no other connections available so we stop there.
For Sector I, I rolled 0 so it connects to A but there are no other connections available so we stop there.
Now it is time to give the Sectors some aspects. Diaspora uses three basic statistics: Technology, Environment, and Resources. Switching Magic for Technology is pretty simple because Technology is defined mostly in terms of how space-capable the sector is, and so the Magic is how Aether-capable the sector is. These statistics typically define the original state of the sector before anyone came in from outside the sector, so habiforming magics or mining could be used to change these statistics over time. Environment would apply to the primary races (humans, elves, orcs, etc.) It would be possible to have an environment that is Hostile for the primary races that would be perfectly suited to an extraplanar race (such as Efreeti on fire worlds).
Then, each sector is given two Aspects to further define it which could be related to politics, philosophy, geography, local astrography, or whatever. A third Aspect is added to describe their relationship to other sectors and their position in the official links. Each sector can then be further detailed with a writeup.
The sector statistics have the following meanings:
|+4||On the verge of collapse||Many garden worlds||All you could want|
|+3||Aether mastery||Some garden worlds||Multiple exports|
|+2||Aether capable but expensive||One garden and several survivable worlds||One significant export|
|+1||Exploiting sector||One garden and several hostile environments||Rich|
|0||Exploring sector||One garden world (and perhaps additional barren worlds)||Sustainable|
|-1||Can barely reach Aether||Survivable world||Almost viable|
|-2||Primary world explored extensively||Hostile environment (gravity but dangerous atmosphere)||Needs imports|
|-3||Medieval||Barren world (gravity, no atmosphere)||Multiple dependencies|
|-4||Stone age||No habitable worlds at all||No resources|
I rolled the following:
|C||Royal Hegemony||+1||-1||+1||Major trading hub|
|D||Royal Hegemony||-2||0||-2||Resources plundered by other systems|
|E||Dwarven||+1||-1||-2||Exhausted mining colony|
||With M2 this must be the sector with Homeworld|
|H||Neutral Zone||+2||-2||-4||Clearly merely a peacekeeping Aetherstation|
|I||Neutral Zone||-1||0||+1||With R1 people will be wanting to violate neutrality for profit|
I think the map works surprisingly well! The only thing I need to do is switch F for G because of where I put Homeworld on the map.