Flight Of the Troubadour
Millenia into the future, man has reached the stars and is not alone. In fact it’s quite crowded up here…
The Eighty Squabbling Empires refers to the Milky Way Galaxy as it has come to be known in AD 4300. It is a hard science fiction campaign (with a few caveats as per rule of cool) that focuses on the heroes as crew mates aboard a small frigate (at first at least).
The premise is that the Milky Way Galaxy consists of dozens (or about eighty) separate empires of varying rulership, most of which are at around PL 7 to 8 in the D20 future setting. Earth is among one, and is most certainly not a special case. Each Empire controls 6 to 2 dozen M class planets, sometimes sharing (or squabbling) over their concordant systems. While galactic civilization has progressed to a point where everyone understands a couple key features to keeping the trains running on time, they are by no means peaceful about it. Open war is rare, but the threat of force is constant. Enter the players.
The players normally enter fresh out of “Independent Troubleshooter” Academy at about level 5 (4 standard hero levels, 1 special class) and are issued a ship. Although the heroes are beholden to the issuing government at first, they are allowed to work off their appointment typically within 5 successful missions. The keyword here is: Successful.
Performing as something like a futuristic cross between Spanish Corsairs and the French Foreign Legion, the players raid, pillage, and steal as much tech as they possibly can while fulfilling their mission parameters, often gaining a bevy of angry victims and rival Troubleshooters along the way. Their independent nature allows them free reign to carry out missions as they see fit, while still protecting the Empires interests both at home and abroad with plausable deniability when things inevitably go pear-shaped. When a simple “smash and grab” becomes a “nuke it from space” the Troubleshooters (unless they’re particularly sloppy) are the ones who catch hellfire rockets, as opposed to a neighboring planet.
Players, once they recieve their missions must connive, trick, and more often than not, shoot their way past military, gangsters, and science gone wrong while upgrading the ship and themselves in a future where every star in the sky is another adventure…