Guide: Starting in A1-0

Hello there,

't Is I, the self-proclaimed Loremaster of A1-0. This guide is aimed towards new players in A1-0 to help them get started in the sci-fi canon of TSP. Here I will try to guide you in the process of how to worldbuild and how to initiate roleplay in this weird sciency environment. In this guide we’ll discuss the following subjects.

  1. General setting of science-fiction and A1-0
  2. Rules of A1-0
  3. Wolrdbuilding
  4. Characters
  5. Your first steps into the stars
  6. How to use NPN and NPR’s
  7. War in A1-0

Note: Keep in mind that this guide is currently build upon and contents are subject to change. If you wish to declare your opinions on something to help flesh this guide out, feel free to do so in the A1-0 discussion channel on the TSP RP server.

1 Like

General setting of science-fiction and A1-0
Now one of the first questions that might pop up, is what exactly is science-fiction? What is the core of the genre? The utmost core is that unlike myths, legends and fantasies, the main characters are mostly above average and are able to overcome their quests through different means. Often this is due to the heavy use of science, commonly science that doesn’t yet exist and is fictional in nature. There are no gods, demigods and magical creatures which shape the world. Instead the focus lays with normal and above average people who face problems in a typically futuristic setting. In tales of old, tragedies signify the doom of a character and science-fiction goes against the predetermined destiny where one couldn’t change his/her fate. This is a universal element in all genres of sci-fi, but there are many distinguishable subgenres.

To keep this guide to the point I’ll focus on he setting in A1-0, our sci-fi canon. It takes place roughly 10.000 years into the future where there is no clarity into what happened to humanity. They still roam the stars, but the exact fate of Earth/Pacifica (human homeworld) and the original human nations remain shrouded in mystery. In this time new and old star nations emerge again in the sector of A1-0 of the Lampshade Galaxy. Either to explore, to trade or outright conquer bring order to the sector. You heard that right, that means that borders can be subject to change with the necessary consent of course. A new era of exploration (nations still are initiating first contacts) is currently partaking and whether or not it will result in a consequent era of war or peace yet remains to be seen…
The primary aspect that makes this possible is Faster Than Light travel (FTL-travel) and should be taken for granted when RP’ing here. A reference to what I would suggest is similar to our canon is Star Trek, though technologies from different subgenres co-exist here (Star Wars, Mass Effect, Warhammer 40K,…). This means that there is a wide variety from where you can get inspiration from and generally a lot of freedom. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t limitations. More on that in another post. To those of you who are unfamiliar with those canons, don’t worry. Sci-fi has many perspectives, both dystopian and utopian, but in many ways is a reflection of our own society. Racism may not be against other humans, but against aliens, corrupt justice systems and politicians who play with the fate of citizens still are part of the A1-0 canon. The A1-0 canon is quite similar to modern nation RP, the same problems and points of conflict are still there, but just in a futuristic setting dominated by fictional technologies.
Of course one could say that sci-fi is split into hard sci-fi (which heavily emphasizes on realistic sciences) and science fantasy (where technologies often have some sort of “magical” proportions). A good example of hard sci-fi is the Expanse, where Earth, Mars and Belters fight against each other in our Solar System for dominance. Here technology is very close to what we currently understand and consider to be feasible for us given enough time. This works well in smaller settings, but for a large setting like our own, it might not be the most interesting approach. Science fantasy has a more “magical” approach in that the science behind each technology isn’t really that important. What is important is the implications of that technology and how it changes society and becomes an important tool to the story. Like the lightsabers in Star Wars or the massive hulk ships in Warhammer 40K. Both of these don’t really work in our real world with our laws of physics, but they work in their respective universes because they help drive the plot and story. Typically FTL-travel is seen as “magical” in itself due to Einstein’s work. You shouldn’t be too scared about going to deep into science, you DON’T have to figure out every detail for your RP.

Our approach is a sort of mixture between these two takes. Not one is enforced, but an overall liberty is considered when choosing the basics of your nation. You can even mix both of them if you wish. What is important is that it is within the boundaries of our rules (see next post) and subject to balancing between our star nations. We choose this mixture to attract the most players and that as many people have fun, because that is our goal here. Always remember to have fun here.

If you have questions of any sort, members on our discord server are more than happy to help get you started. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! :wink:

Rules of A1-0

1. One initial plot per player
Everyone starts with on plot. However, one can gain another plot as a vassal state upon agreement between players.

2. Plots are subject to movable borders
Borders can be changed between players upon agreement. This also means that plot can be merged as well

3. Nations that belong to players that haven’t been active for over one month will be removed:
Exceptions are made for nations that have made a lasting impact on the A1-0 canon and for players that specifically ask to keep their plots.

4. No scientific god-modding
Science can be used to invent new stuff, but these inventions shouldn’t give anyone an overall total advantage over any other player’s nation, unless the other player(s) want to. This should be discussed with the community at large

5. FTL-travel limitations

  • Fast (Interdimensional) FTL-travel Cap: 5 LY in 5 minutes
    Applies to Hyperspace travel, Warp Space travel, Slipspace travel, wormhole travel which use objects of great mass (planets, etc) to fix themselves back into realspace.
  • Moderate (Realspace) FTL-travel Cap: 5 LY in 20 hours
    Applies to Warp Field travel which doesn’t travel through other dimensions and can travel anywhere in space.

6. Supranatural superpowers are prohibited
“Magical” superpowers such as the Star Wars’ Force or Star Trek’s Q entity-like beings that can shape and alter reality with their thoughts are NOT allowed. Forms of telepathy are allowed, but shouldn’t be working all the way across the sector or large distances.

7. Mega-Engineers
Megastructures are allowed, but should be limited to a maximum of fifteen per plot. Megastructures themselves are susceptible to destruction and have a high impact upon destruction to the builder’s nation. See worldbuilding post for implications of such structures.

8. The human homeworld is kept vague
No one owns it or knows where it is or what happened to it. Players can however incorporate humans within their star nation.

9. Nationstates =/= A1-0
Your stats from NS don’t apply here and is considered to be a different canon than what you have on NS.

10. Collective writing
Players work together to write. OOC cooperation beforehand is heavily suggested. Any sort of quarrels can be taken up to the moderators.

11. Non Player Nations
These are nations who have no real player who has authority over them. Roleplayers can use these nations to RP in and with them. A primary example to RP with them is to trade or create conflict with them. However, these nations cannot be subjected to major changes (wars, coups, …) by one player and require the approval of the A1-0 RP Community. Extensive wiki articles are written about them to help you build up RP with them and all players can help with their worldbuilding.

12. Non Player Region
These plots are similar to the Non Player Nations. However, they differ to them. Unlike NPN, a NPR doesn’t hold a central government that has authority over the entire region. Though the region might have some over encompassing elements, they are by no means a unified state. They consist of hundreds of small star nations (1 to 50 planets per government) who can be created and interacted with by anyone however they see fit, as well as unexplored regions of space.

13. Threadmaker is King
The maker of a thread ultimately decides what is allowed or not. This can vary from one-liners to IC action. The moderators can help you with cleaning your threads of issues/problems.

14. IC and OOC
Keep In Character and Out Of Character actions separated. One might RP a bigoted racist, but this doesn’t reflect his personal RL stances. Just as one character hates another, it doesn’t mean the person who writes it does.

15. Respect each other and have fun
Be respectful when talking to the person beyond the other screen and remember to have fun.

Worldbuilding in A1-0
In this post we’ll explore examples on how to worldbuild in a sci-fi setting. To that end I’ll mostly use how I created the Stoinian Star Kingdom, but I’ll also use my knowledge of other nations (both from A1-0 and other canons) to help illustrate different approaches to worldbuilding or help illustrate certain aspects. Worldbuilding for A1-0 is very similar to worldbuilding for the Pacifica Canon, but due to the sci-fi nature, it can easily become much larger and overcomplicated. Worldbuilding in a sci-fi setting can be a real challenge if you wish to make out every detail on how things work and their technological capabilities. How much you want to go into detail is completely up to you, this guide will aim to help set the basics for star nations so that new players, who may not have many experience with sci-fi, can easily join in.
Our community is more than happy to help you out and we’ll be more than happy to answer questions in the discord server if things are unclear.

Origins
The first step one must take, is decide what the primary species is/are of your star nation. Are they humans or a completely different species? On what planet did they evolve and where might this planet be? When you decide to make a species other than humans, you have a lot of liberty and can go pretty wild. Though an important detail that might need to be clarified is for near-human species. One should decide how these aliens gained their form. A similar evolution to humans or perhaps they are a different off-spring of humanity lost to times of old since the setting is roughly 10.000 years into the future of the Pacifica Canon. Though one can let their true origin be left to mystery as done with the Zeltrex, a good example of near-humans. Maybe even older species have uplifted them to be intelligent through genetic engineering?
These aliens can also take many different and odd forms and their biologies should reflect it. You can go really crazy and play with fun ideas. A good way to start is to draw inspiration from real life animals and build upon them, a good example of this are the Velpans. These Ryccian fox-people have similar characteristics like foxes and even their culture reflects familial structures from Real Life foxes. Otherwise you can use species from sci-fi settings as your species, though they can retain a lot of similar elements, they shouldn’t be a complete copy, but you can use them to help build up your species. Humanoids are by no means the only type of sapient species. Insectoids, aquatics, avians and even rocks! Just because here on Earth we humans became the dominant species, doesn’t mean that this happens on all planets out there. Star Trek even played with the idea that the ancient dinosaurs had evolved sapient and had civilizations of their own. These Voth, later left Earth and started their civilization a new in distant stars. This also brings an interesting idea of syncretic evolution, where multiple species gain sapience at roughly the same time.
In our world a similar case could have happened as there were many different human species. An example of syncretic evolution in A1-0 are the Treecuu who are split in the insectoids and mammalian-amphibians. Like their inspiration, the Xindi (a collection of 5 different species), from Star trek, they waged war against another until reconciling their differences. When going for syncretic species, you should pay good attention as to relationships between the two species work. More often than not, it leads to conflict between the two species like the Treecuu insectoids and mammalians or even the Kontauri and Ko’ghyal in the Stoinian Star Kingdom which lead to the complete extinction of the Ko’ghyal. Babylon 5, my favourite sci-fi series, showed us why establishing these relationships is important.
In Babylon 5 a sapient species, the Hyach, has evolved with another on their homeworld and inter-species marriage were common, but after religious zealotry banning such practices it eventually lead to the extinction of the second species. This did have consequences, as the primary species needed the second species to procreate in large numbers and after their extinction, the birthrates dropped over the generations and eventually will lead to the extinction of both species due to their genetic make-up as a result of the inter-breeding. Perhaps a similar fate could have happened to us, if we bred more with the Neanderthals.
An other approach, which is more commonly used in sci-fi, is that one species gained sapience earlier and enslaved or uses the secondary species as a client species. More often than not, the secondary species will focus on manual labour while the older species is more intellectually inclined. Whether this is infused by their government or not is up to you. Do you choose to make them egalitarian, but their original jobs remain or do the secondary species have no rights and only live to serve the primary species? This isn’t limited to just two species, you can make syncretic evolution with as many as you’d like, but you should not go over 10 or even 5 different species. By than you’d have an incredibly complicated relationship system between them and the chances of it happening are very slim.
These species can also evolve in different biomes and engage in very little contact with the other at first. For example Species A lives near the equator and has a thriving commerce society, while Species B lives in tundra environments in nomadic tribes. Because they are more sensitive to biome changes, they have very little interaction with one another and how they engage with one another during their history is an important detail to figure out.

Lumati
The Lumati from Babylon 5, a syncretic species.

Humans/Terrans
Humans are still playable in the A1-0 Canon, however there are rules for them. You can’t play THE human nation originating from Pacifica/Earth. Their cultures however can live on, but you should take into consideration how humans came into your star nation. Humans in the Ryccian Empire and the Atlantic-Nuclearian Federation came from colony ships from Pacifica long ago and their societies have changed ever since. Perhaps humans from your plot come from your Pacifican nation’s own Space Program’s colonization effort? The Ryccians have gone on a Human Supremacy campaign, while the humans of the ANF largely kept to themselves and their nation. The Stoinian Terrans are a bit of a cheat however, since they came from real life Earth on a sleeper ship by private funding. This idea is taken from the colonization of Manticore (and the formation of its Star Kingdom) in the Honorverse. There needs to be a consideration when doing this as A1-0 takes place in the Lampshade Galaxy and humans originated on the planet of Pacifica and not Earth. I solved this technicality by making the Stoinians going through some space-temporal anomaly, which I haven’t specified nor the exact time of their departure. Why haven’t I specified it? To leave it to mystery as the fate and location of Pacifica/Earth remains a mystery to our nations as well. Our community has decided that the details on such instances is less important than the actual RP from it. For that reason, you should keep the origin of humans in your star nation relatively vague. Their cultures however, can either be from Pacifica, Earth or something completely new. Whatever you wish, you may choose, but make considerations when choosing your humans’ origin.
My suggestion is that your humans came from Pacifica a long time ago during colonization efforts or are the remains from the Ancient Human Empire that lived in our sector, BUT their original home and fate has been lost to time. Ever since then, they have regained the ability to travel the stars and built a society of their own.

Nomads
While living on planets can be fun, your species may have grown to live in structures in space or even grow a nomadic culture. The Zeltrex travel the Sector in search for commerce and pleasure while the Venterrans maintain their nomadic nature within their borders of the Venterran Federation, though this might change over the course of history. In the fantasy canon of Aurora, one can play as a subgroup of a nation and even migratory nations. This new concept can also be applied here, the Zeltrex are maybe the first of many of such groups and you can help build the A1-0 Canon, even if you don’t have a plot. This concept is new, so if you wish to help expand this concept, go ahead!

[Image: Zeltron.jpg]
A female Zeltrex, A1-0’s primary nomadic species.

Synthetics and cyborgs
Sci-fi has touched the ideas of artificial intelligence and you can play as synthetics as well. It is important to decide how these synthetics came to be. Were they made by organics beings or perhaps by other synthetics? Were they a remnant of an ancient human outpost and have evolved since then? Do they live harmoniously with organics like in the Synthetic Federation of Icn Gaurath, where they even engage in relationships with their organic makers. Or perhaps they see organics as inferior and either wish to exterminate all life or assimilate it like the Borg. Perhaps they even wish to become a new sort of being, a symbiosis of organic and artificial? These questions are important to answer when making synthetics as your primary species. Of course they can be made as a secondary “species” by your primary species as they have gained such technology. Whether they wish to give intelligence to them or not is up for you to decide.
My father often jokes that communism only works for robots and computers and since then I have played with the idea of a Communist Robots who wishes to bring the Revolution to the stars as they see it mandatory to impose this order to the galaxy. Ensuring that all resources are used to maximum and optimal capacity. Possibilities are endless and up for you to decide.
Cyborgs are also a possibility. Technology has evolved a lot and since we are in the future, new technologies may prove to make biological evolution obsolete. In the ANF, people have grown accustomed to cybernetic implants, while Stoinians limit it to just prosthetics for war veterans. The important question here is how your nation views such augmentations? If they are religious or believe to be superior, they might look down upon those who use it. Others might think this is natural evolution or where one takes evolution in his own hands.

[Image: a237d703330791f1252d6af2f4a2787a.png][Image: Cylon.png][Image: Borg.png][Image: Robocop.jpg]
An android, a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica who are synthetic lifeforms. A Borg drone and Robocop the most famous cyborgs.

Becoming a Star Nation
Now that you have decide on your origin, it is time to put that origin to use. You star nation has travelled the stars in their quest for survival, commerce, exploration, … Now your nation is widespread in the stars and no longer is confined to a single world. This has many implications and when building your star nation you should take certain parameters into consideration. Your plot has the following characteristics:

  • 32,000 stars/plot (and 1,080,000 in total)
  • 32,000 planets/plot (and 1,080,000 in total)
  • 6,300 planets/plot that might support life
  • 50 planets/plot with intelligent communicative life that have developed independently

These are the caps and perhaps don’t need to use all of them. Though I suggest that you have colonized at least 2.000 colonies to be any sort of contender in this RP, especially if you are a younger nation. You should have a rough estimation of how old your star nation is. Are they as young as the Treecuu Star Empire, just 200 years old, and went through an aggressive expansion? Somewhat older like the Stoinian Star Kingdom, roughly 400 years, who expanded more gradually, but with the goal of claiming as much territory as possible. Younger star nations wouldn’t have had the time to colonize all of their planets. Colonization takes time, the colonial cities of America took years to be built and so should your colonies. Older races, those who roamed the stars for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years, and have taken time to colonize near every planet within their star nation. How old is your nation and how aggressively did it expand? This is perhaps one of the more fundamental questions when starting to create you star nation.
I choose a more younger star nation because the fundamental idea was that Stoinia was a young nation willing to prove that her way was the right way. The Treecuu similarly wish to seek legitimacy between the older star nations. Their rapid expansion on both technological and political level will be likely be seen as a threat or naïveté. Older races like the Drakari Celestial Imperium and the Ryccian Empire, which in most ways is an older reflection to the Stoinian Star Kingdom, often have a more arrogant view. The Drakari see it as their duty to help guide younger species find their way into the stars. They have seen many wars and the troubles of younger nations. Their experience has lead them to view the universe differently and often clashes with younger nations on philosophical terms with younger nations who wish to claim the universe for themselves. The Drakari Great Stewardship is an excellent example of a philosophy that older nations/races might hold. The Ryccians were once like the Stoinians, making a human dominant empire with no remorse in squashing “inferior” lifeforms. Since the Democratic Revolution they have become an open society for all beings and view this new “enlightened” way as superior to different views.

FTL Methods
Since your star nation is spanning hundreds of Light Years, your nations has mastered a method to travel faster than light. This pretty much is a requirement to be able to participate in this setting. Having no FTL tech means that you would be considered a primitive and have no chance to be such a large star nation. The logistics of it would be too inefficient. However, one might think having FTL methods means that one can quickly jump from one point to the other as portrayed in sci-fi. This isn’t necessarily true as portraying long voyages would be boring. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most representative media for actual space travel: long and boring. Even in Star Trek this is the case. It takes a full day to reach Earth’s nearest star. Why else would you have holodeck if you visit a planet every day? When RP’ing you should take these details into account.
However, how and when your nation discovered FTL-travel is up to you. This doesn’t mean that colonization didn’t begin beforehand. We want to colonize Mars and your species should have a similar goal as well. After all, there needs to be a drive to explore the universe or an alternative motive. For that reason I’ve classified FTL methods in three categories and each have their own limitations. Though limitations such as whether or not the FTL method has an effect on your surroundings or not is up to you to decide. Same goes for if you can jump to FTL within an atmosphere or not.
I will also make the note that while we have a limit on speeds, it doesn’t mean that you have to use that limit. What do I mean by this? I mean that you can use slower speeds. But why would you use this? To create tension. If everything is instant, where’s the tension? For every action you need to have a waiting period to build it up. If you can reinforce a planet’s defences in mere seconds, a battle might be over before it even started. Giving your star nation a disadvantage can be fun as well. I made the Stoinians less sophisticated for the goal to make it more interesting. Would other nations grant them technology easily? How will they perceive them with less sophisticated tech? These elements I think make a more intriguing RP. Though to be fair, I made them less sophisticated to emphasize their willingness to survive and fight for it by putting them in very dire situations where technological discrepancies create a lot of tensions (see more in the War at Home and the Velutarian War).

Interdimensional FTL
Interdimensional FTL uses an alternate dimension from spacetime, which I refer to as Realspace, with different proportions to our own which allow faster travel. The most famous examples of such dimensions are Hyperspace from Star Wars and Babylon 5, the Warp from Warhammer 40k and Slipspace from Halo. Within these dimensions, ships travel normally with their sub-lightspeed engines and need to be shielded from the respective dimension as they can’t exist there normally in most cases. More often than not, there are currents in these dimensions and you can even play with the idea of having lifeforms in that dimension which may or may not find you travelling there so nice. This allows for some really fast travelling speeds, but there are limitations to it. To be able to enter and exit such a dimension, you need something to anchor yourself to. These anchors are objects with large masses such as stars and planets. In other words, you can’t travel somewhere between star systems in outer space. How you customize this FTL method is completely up to you.
Advantages: Really fast.
Limitations: Needs gravity wells to be able to enter and exit the dimension.
Max Travel Speed: 5 LY in 5 minutes.

[Image: Hyperspace.png][Image: Hyperspace-B5.png][Image: Untitled.png]
Hyperspace from Star Wars and Babylon 5 and a Warp storm from Warhammer 40K.

Realspace FTL
Realspace FTL is done by actually remaining in Realspace. The most famous example is the Alcubierre Warp Field Drive and that of Star Trek. Here spacetime is bent to allow faster travel and allows the traveller to any point in the universe. For RP’ers who are new to this setting, I would suggest you use this type of FTL method as it is fairly all rounded and don’t have to take other more complex things into consideration.
Advantages: Can travel anywhere without much problems.
Limitations: Is somewhat slow compared to other FTL methods.
Max Travel Speed: 5 LY in 20 hours.

[Image: Warp.png][Image: Warp-Star-Trek.png]
An approximation of an Alcubierre Warp Drive and the Enterpise-D at Warp Speed.

Gateway Travel
Another method of transportation is through gateways. These large structures allow to open portals in between two gateways and one can simply travel to the other gateway. Whether this is between planets or gateway structures in space is completely up to you. However, this means that you can’t travel faster than light in Realspace or another dimension in between planets. You are completely dependant of your gateways and once they are destroyed, you lose your mode of transportation. Both gateways need to be operational and this makes things trickier. If you choose to use this FTL method, you should take repercussions into consideration as to what you will do when these gateways are destroyed.
Advantages: Instantaneous travel between your planets
Limitations: Can’t travel outside your gateway network.
Max Travel Speed: Instantaneous

[Image: Iconian-Gateway.png][Image: Stargate.png]
An Iconian Gateway from Star Trek Online and a Stargate.

FTL Cultures
When building up your star nation and its people, you will have to figure out their culture somewhat. Significant technological advancements have been made and cultures will have to learn to accept or maybe even reject them. Just like our own cultures evolved with technology, so will your futuristic nation have to. Will they reject any idea of God as they learn to understand the universe more? Or instead see this as becoming closer to God? How will they view cybernetics or genetic augmentation? People now travel a lot, because flying has been made easier and safer. Similar situations can be created in this setting.
In sci-fi settings we often see aliens as being monocultural. By this I mean that their whole species has one overall culture. This is often done to critique or represent human aspects. But look around you. Within our human community here on Earth, we have hundreds of different cultures who clash with one another. If you truly want to make your star nation vibrant with life, make different subcultures for species. One group might believe in one God, while others in a different pantheon. Is marriage sacred or a tool of politics? These are examples how cultures vary.
On another note, your star nation has many planets. Like we saw in America, colonists make their own cultures and so should your planets (if you aren’t a repressive government that is). Planets can be strange as well with their own ecosystems and lifeforms. How your colonists adapt to it is important. Cultures evolve and as your colonists live longer on a planet, they might grow traditions of their own. Perhaps your planet has five or just two seasons and your colonists have made traditions to reflect it. The amount of detail you put into it is up to you and there’s no shame if you don’t make unique cultures for each planet. It can be a lot of work, but only if you make it so.

Evolution of species
Another point that isn’t really touched in most sci-fi settings, is how species evolve when living on other planets. Planets have different gravities, atmospheres, … You name it! There are a lot of possibilities when customizing a planet, but you should also think about the effects it has on your species. For example if humans were to live on Mercury, they would gain smaller eyes as they’re closer to the sun and don’t need such sensitive eyes. While those living on Mars may grow bigger one. Subsequently their heights might change as well and this can go both ways. Insular dwarfism of giantism has been seen on our planet and it could apply to your species living on multiple planets. Perhaps even subspecies are formed because of it? A group that lives in zero g will become the trader merchants of ships and naval officers, while those living on planets with higher gravity will become labourers and soldiers. The best example of this idea are the Tau from Warhammer 40k who have split up in subspecies and castes according to these characteristics.

[Image: Tau.png]
The different T’au subspecies.

Of course this is sci-fi and perhaps you have medicine and genetic therapy which allows your widespread species to maintain most of its form. Though perhaps you may not have such technology and your species face difficult choices. A good example of such cases is the Star Trek DS9 episode Melora. Here a young Lieutenant from a low gravity species is forced to wear a harness to be able to work with higher gravity species. She has to choose whether or not she wishes to alter herself to live in higher gravity and make her job at Starfleet easier. This has the consequence that she can’t return on her homeworld. These kinds of details can be fun to play with when building up your star nation.

[Image: 170227-martians-mn-1710-06f637b32736157d...t-760w.jpg][Image: Bashir-watches-Melora-in-zero-gravity.jpg]
What human Martians could look like and Melora in her harness while floating around in lower gravity.

Living space
Your star nation’s populace will have to live somewhere. In most cases it will be on planets, but there are alternatives. Even so, not every planet might be hospitable for your species. Perhaps your species only lives in arctic worlds or certain types of oceans. There’s a wide variety to choose from and even alternatives to planets.

Planets
Planets will form the primary home for your species, but planets come in a wide variety. Being in the habitable zone around a star is only the beginning of a good planet. Its characteristics need to welcoming to your species such as gravity, atmosphere (composition and thickness), rotation, … Your colonists will have to adapt to these elements and no planet is truly the same. There are also more exotic options such as tidally locked planets where one planet always faces the sun. As a result one part is hot while the other’s ice cold and somewhere in the middle, there’s earth like conditions. Planets can also be purple as the flora can have retinal instead of chlorophyll and giving the plantlife a purple look. There could be variations out there and it’s all within your imagination. So really, you can go crazy on this one.

[Image: Tidal.png][Image: Retinal.png][Image: Mustafar.png]
A tidally locked, retinal and volcanic planet.

Habitats and space stations
An alternative to planets are habitats and space stations. For nomadic species these would be large colonial ships. However, these require resources to be built and likely will be gained from planets, though a star system’s asteroid belts should have enough resources as well. To conserve energy, one might use rotating rings to generate artificial gravity or use other technology to simulate gravity. Just like planets, the size and uses of these station are bound to your imagination. From a realism perspective, your government wouldn’t want to invest in the construction of artificial civilian stations too much. Or not to giant sizes as the production of it will be enormous and very costly. So why build a giant space station when you can live on a planet which is much more cost effective. Perhaps your species prefers zero g or sees it as a necessity. Ultimately it’s just a suggestion of mine and you can do whatever you wish with these ideas.

[Image: Habitat.png]
A habitat ring of space station.

[Image: Nexus.png]
The Science Nexus from Stellaris, a large space station dedicated to science.

Galactic Landscape
The galaxy is filled with stars, but also more rare objects. Neutron stars, nebulae, black holes, … You name it, there’s a ton to play with. Nebulae are basically space clouds and unlike their common depiction in sci-fi as being able to hide ships and tamper with sensors. However, this isn’t based on anything as they are clouds, but the particles are still so widespread that it is basically vacuum. These nebulae are the birthplaces of planets and are lightyears across. So if you wish your people have some nice scenic night sky, a nebulae is the way to go.
There are also other anomalies within our dear A1-0 Sector. There are the Badlands (those cloudy things on the map) and the Middleton Wormhole. The Badlands aren’t traversable and form a collection of barriers within the sector. Their true nature is yet unknown so its the perfect place to send your exploration ship and use that technobabble in your RP. Then there is the Middleton Wormhole, which unsurprisingly is a wormhole. A tunnel between two points in space through subspace which allows faster travel and communication compared to realspace. However, most wormhole aren’t stable and stable wormholes are quite rare and likely undiscovered. There are many other anomalies possible so feel free to add more to your plot if you’d like.

[Image: Nebulae.png]
A Nebulae within our own galaxy.

[Image: Wormhole-collapsing.jpg]
The Bajoran Wormhole from Star Trek.

A note that I should add is that your plot also has a depth of 100 LY. In space there is no up or down and unlike here on Earth, your star nation should look in three directions when looking at borders, instead of just the two on planets. This also means that borders can be “above” one another and are an interesting aspect when considering warfare.

Politics
Sci-fi has been popular setting to bring political topics to the table, but to do that, your nation needs to have some politics of its own. Undoubtedly things have changed with technology and your politics may reflect that. Do your species wish to trade with others or remain in seclusion? Or is it their divine duty to purge all other sapient lifeforms? I would suggest you should start with one essential goal for your star nation and build from there. For the Treecuu and Stoinians this is their goal of domination. For the Drakari and Ryccians it is to maintain peace within their realm. You can also start with an idea or aspect which defines your nation. After watching the film MacArthur, starring Gregory Peck, I asked myself how the military would be without civilian oversight? How would a society work like that and how would it be created? Such a drastic change in society needs to have a cause and in the Stoinian case, its the Mardakii and Velutarians. I also envisioned that the original colonists went to the stars to preserve ancient human culture and customs, which we see slowly disappear in our own world. This gave the Stoinians a very devout and traditional character. It’s with such ideas that you suggest you get started. The ANF faces cybernetic augmentation like in the cyberpunk genre, while the Ryccians and Drakari have a more patronizing element towards younger races.
From there you can start to figure out how they came to be that way. Was it in their nature or did they face something in their history? From there you can begin to work on a government that reflects those elements.

Governments
Governments should be adapted to the needs of your nation. Even more so it becomes more complex as you have an overall government on each planetary government. Most star nations will be truly a bureaucratic machine. However, since planet likely will have their own government, there likely will be some tensions as these planets might strive for more power from the centralized government. Monarchies and republics should both work, but they will have to adapt to the needs of their people. How does representation work? Is it still similar to ours? Or does it fully use technology to bring its people closer to a direct democracy. Again, your imagination can truly go wild here. But you have to take into consideration that there are multiple layers and perhaps multiple government similar to that of a federation.
There’s however an aspect that I wish to discuss her. If you decide to make a conquering and domineering empire on a path of conquest, you should really think on how to maintain conquered worlds. The Treecuu Way is to confine primitive species to their homeworld and force them into isolation. This method is similar to what the Gao’uld do in Stargate. Having a galaxy spanning empire where world are kept on a primitive level so they can’t possibly rebel successfully and eventually the idea of freedom dies off. Military occupation can’t be indefinitely as illustrated by the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. Instead your government should have a clear and effective doctrine to keep newly conquered planets. Romans were effective in this as they showed respect to different cultures and largely didn’t care as long as they changed to their way of life. Another effective strategy, but these strategies take time and some nations might say its cheaper to produce a bullet for each conquered individual. Space can be dangerous, yet filled with hope and dreams.

Megastructures
Sci-fi is home to some serious structures. Here the wet dreams of engineers go truly bonanza and your star nation is able to have them. BUT… Before you add megastructures left and right, there are some things you should consider. These structures take an awful long time to build. Decades if not centuries as they require tremendous amounts of resources and technological knowhow. Younger star nations really shouldn’t have megastructures as they likely don’t have the necessary knowhow or time to build it. For example the Stoinians and Treecuu are still consolidating their expansion and have not real time to focus on building such truly crazy ideas. If you decide to incorporate them, realize that they become large targets and centralize your star nation’s economy on it, make you very dependent on them. Do you really wish that? Why spend such effort to create such an obvious target when a more dispersed approach can grant a more successful defence of your nation. These structures aren’t indestructible and when destroyed or damaged, it will take a lot of time to regain its full potential again. They shouldn’t be added because it would be a cool element. Contrary, they become an essential part in your star nations economy. Perhaps they made them out of necessity to enhance production or just to prove themselves that they can?
One of the most famous megastructures is the dyson sphere. A sphere so large it it closes of a star to encapsulate it’s energy. The problem is the transportation of this energy and perhaps one should build housing somewhere in the structure to make it more effective. How you fill in such a structure is up to you really.

[Image: Dyson-Sphere.png]
An uncompleted Dyson Sphere.

Another megastructure that produces resources is a matter decompressor. This structure uses some serious tech as it take compressed matter from a black hole and transforms it into usable resources such as minerals. This structure is bordering on science fantasy and perhaps should be avoided as your planets and star systems should provide enough minerals and resources for your star nation.

[Image: Matter-Decompressor.png]
A cartoonish illustration of a matter decompressor in Stellaris.

While not entirely a megastructure, I decided to put the ecumenopolis here. An ecumenopolis is a city that is spread all over a planet. These worlds often are industrial in nature and very important planets filled with commerce. These planets should play an important role within your star nation and due to the nature of them needing decades or centuries to be build, be capitals or at least essential planets to your star nation.

[Image: Ecumenopolis.png]
Coruscant, the most famous Ecumenopolis.

Ring worlds are large circular structures that orbit a star. It consists of a continuous region where your population can live. How you decide to fill these rings is up to you. Perhaps the rings have different section for different biomes for different species. Who really knows? Typically the planets of the star system will be used to construct these ring worlds and take decades, if not centuries. Hopefully your nation doesn’t build such constructions around a star that is about to go supernova.

[Image: Ring-World.png]
An illustration of a Ring World.

There probably are more types of megastructures, though I choose these as the most important ones and the remaining megastructures can be discussed in the discord server.

Helpful worldbuilding links
Alien species name generator
Planet name generator
Ship name generator
Technobabble Generator

Characters
A1-0 isn’t just a place where nations exist. It is full of life with quadrillions upon quadrillions of individuals calling it their home. While the focus is indeed on nation roleplay, it doesn’t mean that anything else isn’t allowed. On the contrary! A1-0 is a setting where hundreds of careers converge and each one of them has a story to tell. For the purpose of this guide we’ll take a deeper look on an example of Nation Roleplay and Character Roleplay with two well known Stoinian characters. For Nation Roleplay we’ll focus on the Stoinian Ambassador to the Ryccian Empire, High Legate Jeffrey David Sinclair aka “Shellcrusher” or “The Fighting Legate”. For Character Roleplay we’ll focus on High Admiral Chekov. good Ol’ Blood 'n Guts himself. Now I know they both might seem as characters for Nation Roleplay, but hear me out.
Personally Sinclair was made with the purpose of Nation Roleplay in mind, while Chekov wasn’t. Chekov was meant as an embodiment of a certain Stoinian perspective, which has been hard to ignore whenever he comes up in a roleplay. In many ways, they are polar opposites of one another. On a Stoinian spectrum at least. So let’s delve further into this guide.

[Image: evwS5ug.png][Image: High-Admiral-Chekov-Scar-Small.png]
High Legate Sinclair and High Admiral Chekov.

Where do I start?
Where do I start? That’s probably one of the first questions you’ll ask yourself. My advice is to start with a central idea, just like with worldbuilding. What do you want your characters to be to the universe? Where do you want to use them and what might be the most plausible way for them to react in that environment?

Starting from ideas
For Chekov it was quite simple. I wanted an embodiment of how the more xenophobic elements of Stoinian society manifested itself. The Stoinians have almost always had blood with other species and fear and hatred ran their hearts. Sure, the Cheunh Compromise brought xenos into their ranks, but that was only because it was believed for them to be a human offshoot. Chekov is the Stoinian that will spit xenos in their face and challenge them in every way. All while his hatred for them became his primary decision making factor. Chekov’s debut moment was during the Rascal Incident where Ryccians accidently destroyed a Stoinian ship. Chekov feared it would another barbaric xeno race and as a veteran from both the Velutarian and Mardakii Crusade, he has known nothing but hatred for anything that isn’t Terran.

Excerpt from The Rascal Incident:

The Concord shuttle passed the hostile formation, the marines were in awe of the ship designs. It had a certain taste to it that they liked. The shuttle landed according to the instructions. Though the Star Furies Squadrons had stopped earlier and were keeping an eye on the Ryccian vessels from a distance, though no further contact was made with the Ryccians. However their protocols were followed. As soon as the door came down, marines came outside and formed two lines. Between them the High Admiral came forward with his hand on his sword, he was furious. His big old menacing look even scared some marines, despite him being of a short stature. He stopped two meters from Admiral Sanross and then drew his sword and pointed it at the Admiral in a rather slow manner as to not provoke the Ryccians. However the Ryccian guards didn’t agree. Nonetheless Chekov didn’t show any sign of fear, knowing his marines had his back. A quick intervention by Admiral Sanross with a small hand gesture quickly disposed of the Ryccian Guards’ weapons.

“Admiral let this be clear. If you were not Terran I would have slit your throat with this sword. You are lucky that you are Terran, for if you were any sort of xeno scum … I think I made myself clear.”

He sheathed his sword and looked around for a bit. What were they? Did the Ryccian Admiral have xenos under his command? As equals or as slaves? Suddenly High Admiral Chekov could feel a disgust growing in his stomach. He then returned towards the Admiral.

“Had my vessel not been destroyed, I would have shaken your hand as an equal. But you have proven otherwise. Let it be noted that destroying a vessel of the Stoinian Star Kingdom is still considered to be an act of war, though I don’t quite know your “Ryccian” customs and procedures. Let’s not waste any time now, I received orders from my King.”

He did a hand sign to the marines and two followed him and the Admiral towards the meeting room. Though there were chairs, High Admiral Chekov opted to stand up behind the chair designated to him. His two bodyguards stood behind him, adding to his menacing look.

Even now, Admiral Kavle was still in shock. Everyone was. This is a human? Outside of Ryccia? Were these like the Mandalorians who had fled Ryccian rule and established their own culture far away? Was that old history of thousands of years ago missing a group of escapees?

And why did he call humans “Terran”? Was their capital named Terra? And why do they call themselves Stoinians then? So many questions…

His hatred for xenos would also come to fruition in the Noreiga Incident where a Drakari fleet enters Stoinian space. Chekov here shows his utter distrust of xenos and his inability to adjust to their ways. Stoinian society has been forged brutally and the Stoinians engage ferocious acts to claim war trophies. A way of showing Terran Supremacy. Instead of even considering to shake the Drakari’s hand, he immediately thinks of how to make a trophy out of it. This was a common Stoinian perspective on xenos in early roleplays and a what I mean by defining a character by an idea.

Excerpt from A Voyage Gone Astray:

Quintus, on the other hand, kept his gaze fixed on Chekov, standing to his full, imposing height.

“In the name of His Imperial Majesty, Julianus the VII, I greet on behalf of the Drakari Celestial Imperium.” The Drakari extended a clawed hand to his Human counterpart, a cool smile gracing his reptilian features.

“I only shake the hand of a Terran or a xeno who has proven useful, like the Cheunh.”

He then pointed at the reptilian’s claw.

“You know … Had you been a Mardakii … We would have made a trophy out of that. If you were lucky, it would have become a knife.”

He let it sink for a moment, staring with rage into the lizard’s eyes. Even though Chekov was smaller than most Stoinians, he wasn’t intimidated by the xeno’s enormousness. He waited for a response, just what had this xeno in him?

Quintus didn’t seem bothered by the man’s xenophobic response. If his almost imperceptible smirk was any indication, he was expecting it.

“My young friend, there is a time and place for petty threats. This, however, is not that time, so I would suggest setting prejudice aside for the moment, no matter how justified it may be.”

The Lord of Admiral’s icy-blue eyes locked with Chekov’s, a faint rumbling emanating from his throat as he slowly pulled his hand back. “Besides, it is in the best interests of both our states that we have our mutual concerns addressed and resolved.”

Chekov then pulled out one of the famous Mardakii Claw knife. And showed its finesse the xeno Admiral.

“Just so you understand … This knife was made out of a Mardakii your size which I personally slayed during our Crusade against them twelve years ago. Perhaps it’s all fine and dandy in your Imperium, but we Stoinians had to overcome things you wouldn’t possibly imagine… Or maybe you could, given that you have the same set of trophy features as a Mardakii. Guess only time will tel.”

Starting from inspirations
If you have trouble finding it a workable idea, you can just look around you. Jeffrey David Sinclair is nothing more than a Stoinian version of Commander Sinclair in the Sci-Fi series Babylon 5. One of my favourite characters of the series, I just loved the idea of a warrior turned diplomat and the dynamics within that character. Especially since I was in need of a Stoinian diplomat to the Ryccians, who in many ways were polar opposites of the Stoinians. Sinclair, like Chekov, is a hardened veteran from the Velutarian, gaining the nickname “Shellcrusher” by crushing a Velutarian’s skull open with nothing but a stone. Contrary to Chekov, who revels at a chance to fight a xeno again, Sinclair wants a more peaceful time. Not for himself, but for his children so that none may experience the horrors he had to face. This is different to the Sinclair from Babylon 5, who had no children. Stoinian Sinclair is an approximation, not a full copy, since he adheres to core Stoinian principles of starting a large family. Inspiration isn’t bad, but be careful not to make everyone a hard copy from somewhere else. Give them a little fling from your nation to make them more fleshed out.
Sinclair believes that diplomacy is an option worth exploring, contrary to hardliners like Chekov who only believe in conflict. This mentality is what eventually got him the position as Ambassador. He was the compromise candidate between the xeno-hating and xeno-loving elements of Stoinian society. The perfect representative to balance the issue in Ryccia. However, he still is a proud Stoinian and this has put him into perilous positions. Such as can be seen in his interview with Katrani Corgill, a Ryccian journalist, who challenged core Stoinian principles of the Stoinian Order.

First excerpt from The Legate’s Tower:

“You mentioned the Mardakii Crusade … What exactly is this crusade? Did you serve in that one as well?”

“No, I have had my fair share of battles and instead focused on training young Marines after the Velutarian War. The Crusade was mostly with select volunteer forces lead by the King. The crusade was meant to eliminate hostile Mardakii threats which inhabited the space between us and the Cheunh Ascendancy at the time. But that isn’t the entire context. In the first ten years a Mardakii clan invaded our homeworld and committed atrocities far worse than the Velutarians … In some instances … Terrans were eaten. Ever since then it has become our duty to eliminate them and ensure no other species endures what we have by the hands of the Mardakii.”

“But isn’t that, to put it bluntly, genocide?”

“It was us or them. When your children are at stake, you don’t overthink it. What the first generation of Stoinians endured is unimaginable and should never be repeated to any species out there. And if it meant to kill the Mardakii then so be it.”

“What about the Mardakii children? Aren’t they innocent?”

“The children we ignored until the end of the Crusade. We tried to make a clear difference between Mardakii soldiers and civilians. Although at times it was hard to distinguish the difference due to their animalistic nature and it quickly became a thing of which Mardakii stormed at your men. The children were then captured and put in nature preserves to live their lives on where they couldn’t hurt any other species.”

Katrani was astonished. By Ryccian standards they had committed war crimes and their Legate just admitted to it. She quickly shook it off and went on with the interview.

“But don’t you think that’s inhumane?”

“Compared to eating, butchering and enslaving innocent Terrans? No, we gave them a chance to redeem themselves. There is an order of things in the universe. Like the predators and herbivores, you shouldn’t poke the wrong lion as we put it.”

"Quite interesting … "

Where Chekov might have gone berserk and feel insulted, Sinclair knows it won’t be easy and does whatever he can to prevent conflict. He seeks the middle ground. This middle ground would come to him in the form of his Ryccian Advisor, Foixon Perushan. Sinclair would see the potential in xenos through him, being put to work with him. The two eventually grew to be friends, a major difference between Sinclair and Chekov is the capability to engage in such relations with xenos. Most of your characters change over time. As we all do, but some might need more work than others. Even Chekov has to grudgingly admit his respect for the Cheunh who fought bravely against the Mardakii alongside him. Sinclair already faced his change in attitude towards xenos as he risked himself to save Foixon from an angry mob who diverted them from Sincalir and his children. This is to show that characters should change over time.

Second excerpt from The Legate’s Tower:

Foixon wasn’t allowed to finish his sentence and the journalists transformed into a mod. Just what the ultranationalist politicians intended, though Sinclair was the main target, but Foixon would do as well.

“Traitor!” “Racist!” “Bigot!”

The mob began to physically assault and accuse Foixon. The main journalist asking the questions grabbed Foixon’s clothes by the neck and asked aggressively for confirmation. School security had began to disperse the outer layers of the mob, but then Sinclair’s shuttle came back and as the shuttle still hovered its door opened. Sinclair jumped out of it and punched the journalist in the face so hard he fell on the ground. The mob looked in shock and retaliated against Sinclair. Luckily their numbers were but five as school security had broken up most of the group. Sinclair was trained in combat and made easy work out of them. All this time the holocameras recorded footage of this extraordinary event. After mere minutes it became clear to the other mob members that they wouldn’t stand a chance against a Stoinian veteran. Sinclair would however use this moment to tell the mob a clear message to their masters. He delivered his message calm and sternly with a menacing tone as he pointed with an authoritative finger to the sky.

“Now all of you listen to me very carefully. No one assaults any member of my staff, whatever their species of nationality. If you want to get to them, you’ll have to pass through me first.”

Background
Your characters grew up somewhere. A place with traditions of their own and those affected your characters. In our case they are both Stoinians from the Velutarian War. But even here, there are subtle differences. Louisiana, Sinclair’s homerworld, was never directly threatened by the Velutarians, while the homeworld of Chekov’s was and fought tirelessly for it. This may stem the difference in approach to other species.
However, let’s not forget that the Stoinians still actively hunt Mardakii for sport once every year. This overt hatred is rampant in their society and they likely shared it. Propaganda plays a major role in this and paired with Stoinian society, its people can’t even start to believe in any other way of living. Needless to say, the worldbuilding from the previous post is essential to this part. Their autocratic tendencies also Now again, you don’t need to figure out every detail first. Maybe you can get inspiration for your star nation by interactions made by your character.
There are quite a few of questions that can help you set on track.

  • Did they have a good upbringing or not? How could it have affected him?
  • What does your character value? Are these in line with the people around him?
  • Do they wish to change their society or follow its footsteps? If they want to change the world how do they do this? Openly or from the shadows?
  • How do they perceive the technology of A1-0? Is their superior? How should it be used? Only use when needed or to fuel one’s pleasures?
  • Despite being a Sci-Fi setting, do they hold any form of religious beliefs?

When you put the answers of such questions, your character starts to gain form.

Traits and characteristics
Ideals and thoughts aren’t everything. Your character has a body and it interacts with the world around it. The background looks on this aspect as well. Chekov’s environment made it so that his people became a bit shorter, while Sinclair maintained his larger height. Though he still stands short to the Ryccian Kaminoan Minister of Foreign Affairs Taun Liat Wei. This can be considered quite comedic at times when Chekov is an angry little man. This truly is a rabbit hole that can go as deep as you’d like. To the density of their bones, to enhanced cybernetic eyes. You choose you characters characteristics. It’s not to say that one can have only good traits… Their past may haunt them on both physical and mental aspects. Is your character quick witted or has he some sort of scar or impediment due to. I remember of a young Treecuu Officer that stuttered in one of the older threads. This is to show that even in the far distant future, peoples of every species have problems to overcome.
However, characteristics can also reflect their vision on life. Such as Chekov’s scar that represents his vision that only through conflict peace can be settled. This is some symbolism that is completely up to you. What shouldn’t be ignored is the different biology of species. Does you character’s species have super strength? Do you they mishaps around their whole species? Some examples of this are the new Tarassians, who despite their two legged form, have shorter arms compared to other species. Thus their sword fighting capabilities are quite disadvantageous and have focused on spear fighting instead and become proficient at it. Another example are the Velpans in Ryccia. Their brains have smaller empathic capabilities compared to other species and seem cold to others. Their society has also grown to reflect it. Even more mundane tasks don’t escape. Something as simple as breathing can be different for species. We can talk hours upon hours on the subject, but I think I made my point clear and won’t indulge further in the matter.

Characters and technology
Lastly, I’ll briefly touch on how Sci-Fi setting can interact with your characters. Technology is a major aspect of Sci-Fi, but not always seen optimistically. Perhaps technology is used as a way to enslave or liberate people. They way people perceive technology is also important. Do your characters see cybernetics as a way to improve themselves and the next step in evolution? Or are they more wary or even opposed to further development?
In the case of both Sinclair and Chekov, they maintain the strong belief that technology shouldn’t replace Terrans. Only if irreversible damage is done, may cybernetics be seen as acceptable. The War at Home made the Stoinians traditionalist zealots who clanged to what little they took with them from Terra. This included religion and combined with a supremacists belief, formed the basis of AI hatred in Stoinia. This was further reinforced by the Velutarian War when Stoinian were used cybernetically enslaved soldiers and families had to kill their own members to survive. These details can help you form a strong basis for you characters when concerning all the different technologies.

Last remarks
To finish this post, I just wanted to point out that even the smallest characters may have an impact eventually. Take Captain Tuuc, the Treecuu Captain that initiated first contact with the Stoinian King. From an insignificant border patrol Captain, he became a poster hero of the Treecuu Star Empire and a respected Officer in the Joint Exploratory Fleet. He even committed what some might consider an act of war. So if you think that you should focus on only your Nation Roleplay characters, I bring that statement in question. I won’t dismiss the fact that they form the core of our roleplays. But I just wanted to point out that even the smallest of RP character, might become the most interesting of them all and perhaps even change the shape of A1-0…

Your first steps into the stars
Now that you have build up your star nation and have an excellent character to roleplay with. How do you start to roleplay? Starting with juicy political debates would be odd, no? There are some necessary steps that one must do before even being able to interact on a political level. A1-0 history has shown us that this is a very delicate matter, though exceptions do exist. To help new players around, I divided first contact situations into the following categories.

You’ve already met others
This one is more applicable to star nations that are relatively old. You might have met them in your far distant past, but due to some political changes, your nation has forgotten them. Perhaps your nation has started to explore again and stray away from its previous isolationist policy. Documents in your enormous bureaucracy have resurfaced and a new wave of intrigue and mystery takes over you star nation. What might be out there?
Another option is that members of alien society have already viewed you from afar or even interacted with you already. Maybe they crash landed on your planet and were received as gods or were shunned. Of course you can go more insidious with it by having aliens infiltrate or even invade your territory. Though these last two options usually tend to give you a more xenophobic culture, it doesn’t mean that your species couldn’t actually fall in love with the new species. Perhaps the ancient races might have actually created or uplifted your species
This just illustrates how many different interactions can play a part in this process. These aren’t as obvious and should perhaps play a more important role in the background.

Indirect signs
This one is usually a first steps to find other star nations. Ruins and strange ship readings are great examples of signs of other star nations. A border buoy marking your territory or frequent patrols can easily show your neighbour where they can find you. Making long rang scans is necessary. How you interpret these readings is entirely up to you. Do risk sending a ship? Or do you engage in closer observation operations? Whatever the choice, tread carefully.

First meeting
A direct meeting after some careful consideration or perhaps by chance, has become the standard of the cannon. Whether by accident or destiny, groups of ships meet each other in space and start to interact with each other. Usually this is the most dangerous situation as you don’t know how the others might react to even the simplest of manoeuvres. Traveling with gun ports open might be a sign of respect, but be interpreted as a threat. (Oh yes another Babylon 5 reference) A fine line separates friendship from conflict and it doesn’t always go as planned like in Star Trek. However, there is one aspect that should be addressed when considering this option. How do you communicate with them? Let’s assume you find the bandwidths of their comm arrays. How will they understand you? You don’t have a Universal Translator or any reference for the alien language. The trick here is to send references with your message. Your alphabet and simple object with translations should form a basis. Depending on your computer and translator skills, this might take hours or even weeks. Once you’ve cracked the code, the real work begins.
Now comes the physical part. Normally you’d want to meet with the new aliens, but this can be difficult at times. Do your species breath the same atmosphere or live in the same pressures and temperatures? If not this could have dangerous consequences like species exploding or imploding. Even a simple handshake is dangerous as germs could prove deadly. Diseases from other species could be a serious hazard, one with dangerous results. So beware of these dangers…

Third Party Introduction
This option should become more prevalent nowadays. Half the star nations know of the whereabouts of another and once you make contact with one of them, they normally will help you out with contacting the rest. And let’s not forget the migrating Zeltrex fleet which take goods and luxuries from around all the sector to trade. Or… Want to engage in their pleasurably arts… Once a third party has introduced you to other members, you can initiate in any way you can. Send them a friendly message through communication channels or send an escort ships to open formal diplomatic talks with them. The choice is yours.

Initiating roleplay
A standard of the canon has been to make a thread about it. Though you can make your own way in it, it all depends on how much attention you wish to give to this aspect. You can introduce your nation by posting in Interstellar Holo Quick News of increased ship activity near a neighbour’s border. Make a thread where you meet the Zeltrex and they tell you stories of nations and give you small overview about them. Of course, from their unique perspective that is. One of the more original ideas was a bounty hunter going after its target. Or refugees fleeing from your nation’s persecution. The options are indeed endless. But… Beware for those nations that might shoot and ask later. The Stoinians could have easily have entered three first contact wars and those actions still have effect on the balance of peace at times.

How to use NPN and NPR’s
This canon also consists of Non Player Nations and a Non Play Region which are star nations the don’t belong to one single player. No one has complete authority over them and everyone can use them. Be it through storytelling within the nations, flash news posts or political RP’s, the NPN and NPR’s form a perfect opportunity to be engaged with. So this post to form basic rules of engagement when interacting with these special plots. Of course we have rules for them, but they are still somewhat vague so hence I make this post so that we can all enjoy these wonderful assortments of potential new friends and/or enemies.

Basic concepts
Currently we have two NPN’s: the militarist isolationists Tarassian Union and the enslaving Zelvan Regime. These are star nations just like the players’. Meaning that these star nations control the entirety of their plot and are a unified nation. These can be interacted with like any other star nation through trade, commerce and maybe even small to larger conflicts.
On the other hand we have the NPR: the Tiyanki Territories. This weird region of space is filled with wonders, mysteries and smaller star nations. Ranging for primitive planetary nations to regional superpowers. Each of these nations is unique and can be interacted with in the same way as the NPN’s.

So as stated before, these plots can be RP’ed with or as in specific cases. You can make thread where you nation meets them, perhaps even another RP’er can play as one of the Non-Player Factions. It all depends on what you want to achieve and how. Anyone can be almost anyone from these NPF’s without repercussions. However, it is absolutely paramount that when RP’ing as an NPF, you do so while maintaining the spirit of that NPF. It would for example be very out of character for the Zelvans to suddenly emancipate all their slaves out of nowhere or the Union’s Citizens invading all of their neighbouring nations on a quest of conquest. This isn’t to say that those things can’t eventually happen, but they need to happen through a gradual process and consensus from the RP community at large. So if you haven’t joined the RP discord server, that’s the place to be when discussing potential changes in an NPF’s spirit. Don’t worry, our RP community won’t bite and we’re reasonable people who’d love to help new players out as well as making Sector A1-0 a thriving place.

Political shifts
As stated before, major political shifts and decisions, such as declarations of war, border changes and stuff like that needs to be discussed with the community at large first. Though for smaller things, say a Zelvan raiding party attacks some civilian ships, can be RP’ed without the full consent of the community at large. Why? Because it fits the spirit of the Zelvan Regime and wouldn’t be too much of a political shift for them. If you’re uncertain on how NPF’s would react in a certain case, we’ll be more than glad to help you out! We’re here to help each other.
The same goes for trade/migration treaties with NPF’s though you should consider if it would make sense. The Citizens of the Union are drilled from birth to be loyal to the military, to rise among the tiered citizenship and fulfil their duties. Such a people would not easily agree to migration treaty or it wouldn’t benefit your own nation since most Union Citizens will prefer to stay home. As for the Zelvans, perhaps you empire is fiercely egalitarian and renounces them completely and embargoing any products coming from them. These are all factors you should take into consideration when making political decisions on behalf of the NPF.

Shared worldbuilding
I’ve talked a lot about the spirit of the NPF’s and at first it might not be clear what that exactly might be. After all, they haven’t been that much active in our canon yet, but the rules stipulate that their are subject to collective worldbuilding. Our platform to do so is our TSPRP wiki or TSPedia which holds all the information one can need to engage with the NPF’s. A good place to start is the list of all star nations within Sector A1-0. Smaller star nations are always NPF’s and NPN’s are always designated as such. On all these articles you can add stuff freely as you want. Retconning and removing parts of the articles are trickier and should be discussed first in our worldbuilding on the discord chat.

So now that we now how to engage with our new space buddies, let’s have some fun.

War in A1-0

“The art of war is of vital importance to the State.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

So, you want to use the map’s movable border mechanics? Is your nation going on a quest to dominate the Sector or do you want to spice up the canon? Well then this section of the guide is made for you! The section aims to suggest how you should tell and organize wars within the A1-0 canon. We try to keep things semi-realistic and this put together with the sheer astronomical size of our canon - even if it isn’t galactic - will get us some numbers that can sometimes only be described as pretty bonkers. Do please keep in mind that this section is full of suggestions of my own and others and shouldn’t be interpreted as the end all be all rules of how to fight in this canon.
In many ways wars are inevitable, even in the far distant future. While war over basic resources would likely become a thing of the past, there are still exotic resources out there which may be fought over. Ideologies as well can clash with one another even on this scale, but even accidents can happen. Nations like our own canon’s Stoinian Star Kingdom and Treecuu Star Empire have a clear belief that the stars are theirs and their order superior. This sometimes brings them in situations where they have to bring boots on the ground. Be it the annexation of Yim-Lootuu III or a Stoinian crusade, this canon has sheen bloodshed and will continue to do so. So let’s at least do it in style!

General Guidelines

“Every war is different. Every war is the same.”
Anthony Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal), Jarhead

While wars have been fought across history, it’s likely they will return in the future. A1-0 is no different. The important difference here is that these wars are on a much larger scale. For better or for worse, this guide will explain what to take into account for. This canon may not be on a galactic scale, but it sure will seem so once you go into the details. Of course, if you’re more story driven, you don’t need to get drowned into the tons of details of this guide. Take a few and incorporate them in your story while keeping the other details fairly vague.
Another important aspect of RP’ing wars is the OOC aspect. All parties involved MUST agree to this. That’s the rule that ensures everyone still has their fun. However, I believe that before you agree to have a war, you should also sit down with your co-writer and decide on the length and outcome of the war. Given the immense setting we’re playing in, every singly war has the potential to go on for decades due to the vast accessibility of common resources. Take the different times for FTL and you might even look at longer periods. In general, I advise to band together to outline what the main story will be about and what exactly it will entail. Will it be a short misunderstanding or a large skirmish like the Rascal Incident and the Venterran Incursion from this canon? Or is your nation out for xeno blood to exterminate all other sapient life in their eternal quests? These are the important outlines you should determine with the other players before you fire your first shot.

Casus Belli

“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Now why would your nation decide to go to war? Has the other star nation a rare resources, committed an act against sapience or has it assassinated your head of government causing a complete retaliation from your star nation? War is a very serious business and it needs a very serious reason to start it. So please, don’t go around declaring war because the other star nation has a nice planet you want or they insulted your government. These are not proportionate responses to such actions. Though we can look into what your nation might want to achieve in its interstellar wars. Usually the goal of a war is a combination of the categories down below. When that goal is set, your star nation should do as much as possible as to reach that goal with as minimal losses.

Ideology
Perhaps your star nation finds itself clashing with the ideology of another star nation. After years of tensions and mistrust, a boiling point has been achieved. Instead of outright conquering the entire enemy star nation, one can impose its ideology on them. A forced change of government. You topple the old government to put a new one in its place. Should it be a new government amicable to your ideals? Or a change within the internal politics of the enemy nation? Or is this merely the beginning of decades of further infighting? Together you can decide on an outcome that works for both players without having to resort to more tense OOC negotiations.

Vassalizations
Vassalizing another star nation could be an extremely productive opportunity. You could force them to give you their resources while you continue to interfere in their politics. They become subservient to you and bound to your will. Although various agreements can be put in place that define the exact nature of the agreement. You should also take into consideration how the subjugated nation will react to their new overlords. Will they accept their gifts or be oppressed? If the latter, how long until their first rebellion? Or are they brought back to a primitive feudal system to prevent any large scale rebellion?

Annexations
Perhaps the most straight forward cause for a war is expansionism. Your nation believes for whatever reason that the enemy’s star nation has territory that must now belong to yours. Is it just one immensely valuable star system or an entire quadrant? Your star nation should determine what it wants and if things go south, what they can still attain despite the setbacks.

Extermination
An extreme call for war is extermination. Your nation believes in the total or partial extermination of the enemy star nation. One should consider whether they want to eliminate the entire ideal of the enemy star nation, just sections from it or just even one species. Either way, these conflicts usually become total wars as one’s existence is put in danger and Darwinism kicks in to defend itself. Whatever your goal, the progress of achieving it won’t be pretty.

Humiliation
Is your enemy star nation and affluent power in the canon, considered the paramount of Sector? Well perhaps it’s time to show that times have changed. You wish to defeat them and show the astropolitical change that your nation is superior to the target nation. By merely defeating them you have shown your prowess, but will it last? Won’t this be a call for revenge or even lower your own standing in the Sector’s community. All of it remains fairly uncertain and if one succeeds to humiliate another star nation, perhaps they should also look on how to guarantee that the defeated power remains in its lesser position.

War Support
Despite the goal of your war, it has perhaps gone on for too much and your star nation’s people have grown tired of it. Unwilling to pay for the continuous war, your military and government are put under pressure. Will they be able to bolster the populace back into line or shall they face open internal rebellion to put an end to the war? While looking to external affairs, one must still keep an eye on its internal ones.

Military Structure

“The control of a large force is the same in principle as the control of a few men; it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Modern day militaries utilize complex systems to maintain their operations. A clearly defined hierarchy is nearly sacrosanct to any military. Should we extrapolate the progress from a Roman Legion to today’s US military, we can only conclude that future militaries, including A1-0’s setting, will only become even more complex. This section is merely a suggestion on what things you should consider when trying to figure out your star nation’s military. Just like anything else in this guide, you don’t need to figure out every single detail.

Recruitment

“Are you doing your part?”
— Starship Troopers Announcer, Starship Troopers (film)

Recruitment is one of the most important aspects of your military. It guarantees a flow of fresh soldiers ready to defend or expand your star nation. The usage of your military should also be reflected in its recruitment. After all, soldiers will start to question themselves if they signed up to protect their own world if they’re suddenly sent out to invade primitives and exterminate them. You can about recruitment just like in the real world, mandatory or voluntary service. Or you can even find your own creative solution to your star nation. For the Stoinian Star Kingdom for example, there’s a mandatory military training in schools that instills patriotism, yet there’s no mandatory service time. Thus the Star Kingdom is always ready and trained to fight off in case of invasion without having the need of a large military. This aspect of the military is just a big a blank canvas like any other.

Military Command Structure

“There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

One of the most important elements of a military is its command structure and their operations. The US has multiple branches, US Coast Guard, Navy, Marine, Army, Air Force, Space Force. All with clearly defined operations and mandate. The importance of a clear structure is needed to prevent inter branch rivalries. One such example is the rivalry between the Japanese Imperial Navy and Army during World War II as they fought each other internally over command of Japanese aircraft for their usage. You see, a separate Japanese Air Force didn’t exist yet and both branches claimed the right to aircraft operations. Needless to say this brought only inefficiency during their operations. A more efficient example is how the US Navy operates their own aviation program for their carrier groups without needing to rely on the US Air Force. These situations are examples on how to create tension and efficiency within your own military.
Though it should also be noted that with your star nations holding meany planets, there might arise planetary armed forces aside from the interstellar nation armed forces. Or perhaps only planetary armed forces are allowed due to a political reason of not empowering the state. A very interesting look is what the Templin Institute’s Antares Confederacy designed for their armed forces. The Antares Confederacy is a shining example on how to write conflicts and contradictions within your military as well as your star nation.

Unit Structure & Composition

“The Roman legions were formed in the first instance of citizen soldiers, who yet had been made to submit to a rigid discipline, and to feel that in that submission lay their strength.”
— Goldwin Smith

Aside from command structure we should also talk about the unit structure and their composition. This goes hand in hand with your command structure and outlines the hierarchy of your military units & composition. A classic example is how one Roman Legion (Caesar’s time) consists of 10 cohorts with each 6 centuries of 80 men. Today, this structure has grown larger with Battalions to Army Groups adapted to the needs of larger military operations. While the modern military structures serve as a good foundational basis, you’re likely going to need to expand a bit further to suit the needs of your vast star nation. Or not if you want to create further tensions. You should put some consideration as to how large each unit and their composition will be. You can’t have a Captain be in charge of operations of today’s combined military. The size of each unit is also an important factor on its efficiency as well as their ability to operate independently from battle plans.
Of course one can also argue if such large forces don’t reach a limit of effectiveness with planetary theaters. What good is Supreme Ultimate Grand Marshal who makes battle plans? Where would the flexibility be for the other commanders beneath him who have a much clearer vision on what’s happening with their troops. I’d actually argue that an Army Officer really should only command between 50 to 150 million troops. That number should give you enough manpower to fight over an entire planet, but the criticism still remains over what the Supreme Commander of such a high position actually serves so far from the most effective position for making battle decisions to their troops. So please be careful with creating military ranks just for the sake of it. You don’t need 12 ranks of flag officers in your Armed Forces, limit them to operations on a single planet and you should be fine.

Support

“You served too long under Lord Vader, Captain. I have no qualms about accepting a useful idea merely because it wasn’t my own. My position and ego are not at stake here.”
— Grand Admiral Thrawn, Heir to the Empire

Your star nation’s military will be more massive than the entire history of armed forces combined. That’s how massive this setting truly is. One of the most important aspects of any military is its support. Luckily, I don’t think you should be afraid over resources as you can mine asteroids in all of your star systems. You’ll have an abundance of common resources at your disposal. Hence why your military-industrial complex would be able to fuel your war efforts fairly easily.
Robots can be especially helpful to operate many of the more dangerous operations for your military and focuses on logistics with your manpower ready at arms. Or you can go the Star Wars route and make and army entirely out of droids. Whatever path you choose, be sure to incorporate the politics of your star nation as well. Do they have laws against artificial intelligence? Are they treated equally? As well as how your military officers interact with one another. Do they operate alongside each other with extensive communication, or is the military festered with political rivalries between officers that inhibit smooth operations like the Galactic Empire in Star Wars or the Klingon Empire in Star Trek?

Doctrines

“All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Doctrines also form the characteristics on how your military is run and how they act. Are they more cautious & preventive in their approach or as merciless on the battlefield as Gen. Patton. Each branch can have their own doctrine that outlines their role in the combined Armed Forces. From how planetary invasions and battle plans are conducted to how discipline is maintained or even the usage of animals, all these things take up the form of your star nation’s military doctrines. Or even to prevent technological understanding by the enemy and prevention of valuable information like Halo’s Cole Protocol. Who knows, maybe you can come up with a few creative ideas from yourself.

Space Warfare

“A good navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guarantee of peace.”
— U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt

Your space navy is the first line of defence of your star nation. It protects your territory and is of the utmost essence to your survival. You can take a great deal of inspiration from real world navies to form a good basis, but I think you should also take a look at a great video made by the Templin Institute on how you could build up your space navy. It’s a great overview and a great source of inspiration.

Naval Engineering & Logistics

“Admiral, we have just finished eighteen months redesigning and refitting the Enterprise. How in the name of hell do they expect me to have her ready in twelve hours?!”
— Captain Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

As I mentioned before, common resources are practically infinite if you mine the asteroids in all of your star systems. Through orbital or planetary mining factories you’ll be able to construct the necessary materials for your starships. Though, we must adapt our ships to space as well. With space, a new set of rules comes as well. Typically we have three categories when it comes to space: realistic, moderate or space fantasy. One can go and build a space navy based on our current understanding of the universe like in Babylon 5 & the Expanse or treat space as something new like Star Wars where not all rules seem to apply. Either way, our canon works with both settings. We just assume everything is possible and assume that space fantasy style naval warfare to be possible due to more advanced engines. What you should instead focus on is how sturdy your ship is. Do they easily break or are they like flying fortresses? Probably the latter, as you invest millions if not billions into their construction and want your crew protected from the vacuum of space. I advise you take a look to the video on Space Design by the great sci-fi channel Isaac Arthur or an in depth look on Halo’s Pillar of Autumn by Generation Films to get a real grasp on how spaceships should be build and how tough they should be. let alone the infrastructure that serves to support these ships through harbours and other space stations.

Ship to Ship Combat

“Every five seconds, the main gun of an Everest-class dreadnought accelerates one to 1.3 percent of light speed. It impacts with the force of a 38-kiloton bomb. That is three times the yield of the city-buster dropped on Hiroshima back on Earth. That means Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space.”
— Gunnery Chief, Mass Effect 2

Okay, now that we’ve taken a look on how these warships should be built, we’re going to look as to how they fight. Are they made for close range or long range warfare. Ships in Halo & Mass Effect use large scale rail guns from afar as their primary source to deal damage, while Star Wars or Star Trek usually need to be within visual range. Though in Star Trek Canon, there was a war between Earth and the Romulan Star Empire where neither side knew how the others looked, only for it to be revealed in the TOS that they were of Vulcan descent. This is a reflection of long range combat in space. Another great example is the Honorverse where ships-of-the-line have become ships-of-the-wall because of the massive gravitational shielding used by ships. Whatever the scenario, you should first and foremost focus on the WRITING! What good is your ships background if the reader can’t comprehend what’s going on? Now as we’ve discussed, your space navy is going to be huge and you’ll probably tend to try to write large scale battles. These are difficult to pull off and the readers usually gets lost in them. Instead you should focus on one ship or a fleet at maximum. Why? Well, I’ll let the great spaceship channel Spacedock explain in his video. It’s also important to remember that your space battles shouldn’t last mere seconds or minutes like in most sci-fi settings. Would you really want ships worth millions to be evaporated in an instant? If so why would you even invest so much money in them? Hence why I’m a strong proponent of making battles last quite a while if there’s an even playing field.

Ground Naval Combat

“A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.”
— Admiral David D. Porter

Ground naval combat? What exactly is that? Well, it’s as simple as boarding actions. The Templin Institute did another great video debating this very topic which is definitely worth a look. My take is that your space ships probably shouldn’t carry many troops designated for this job. That’s on a regular basis, but perhaps your mission is different and could use some extra troops for ground actions or actually relies on it to win battles. One interesting thing you can do is that at first you space navy doesn’t use ground troops on their ships, but as they go to war and the enemy engages in heavy boarding actions like the Venterran Federation likes to do in this canon, then perhaps you should incorporate a garrison on your ships. After all, a captured ship is a loss and security threat. Like many things military, it all depends on the situation.

Ground Warfare

“Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?”
— Sergeant Major Daniel Daly at the Battle of Belleau Wood

So now that we’ve talked about naval warfare, let’s talk about the grunts and the boots on the ground. Despite what you might think, you’re probably still going to need them. So get your gear soldier, we’re going planetside!

Armoury & Logistics

“Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.”
— General Robert H. Barrow

With technology comes innovation and your ground forces’ military hardware should reflect that. Armoury has to adapt to future needs as well. If you really want to delve into designing your tanks and what not, be sure to check this video by the Templin Institute. Now another idea instead of tanks is that of a battlemech on which the Templin Institute has another video debating it. If you want to use battlemechs, I strongly suggest you watch their video so that you may use them in a most realistic fashion. For all intents and purposes you are free to use anything, I remember FiHami (an old RP’er) mentioning how their Armed Forces had armoured birds (main species) mounted with claws and flamethrowers. This is yet another blank canvas for you to fill.
Though with the tasks of the ground forces being expanded to sea and air, it will also be interesting how your star nation builds up their army command structure. Will the Air Force be a separate branch on its own or a sub-branch of the Army or perhaps something else entirely?

Planetary Invasion

“Troopers! We are green, and very, very mean!”
— Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck, Halo 3: ODST

If space is considered a sea, than planets form the ground. You’re going to have to launch your futuristic version of D-Day. Only 1000x times more complex. These operations are full of logistical challenges and many things can go wrong. Your dropship troopers are way of course with half of them being forced to take to steep an orbital drop and are burnt in the atmosphere or find themselves outgunned in their positions. Once again I refer to the Templin Institute for a well built video discussing the aspects of a planetary invasion or to the legend that is Isaac Arthur. While you might think that you should merely bomb the place into submission, would that be accepted by the international community? It could equate to a modern nuking of a city. You’re going to need to take the escalation ladder into consideration here.

Planetary Occupation

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Now that you’ve won over a planet, how do you hold it? It’s one thing to conquer territory, but how do you hold it. As human history has shown, there will be resistance. Unless the species is highly submissive or made so. So don’t go around annexing an entire player’s plot as you’ll be filled with rebellions. Won’t your own troops grow sympathetic with the resistance as they would have done the same? This usually is the most humanizing aspect in warfare, but your regime might not be so kind to every species. Be sure to incorporate it in your writing as the despite the time, such experiences are timeless. Though there might be answer to that: clones. I’ll elaborate on that in the biological warfare section.

Special Forces

“Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read into that what they like.”
— Sir Christopher Lee

Just like in real life, you’ll need forces that specialize in various aspects of warfare. Commando’s, rangers, cyber warfare groups are all likely still to maintain their place with more such as EVA, orbital and boarding forces to be created as your military develops with new technologies. How special you make them or their equipment is up to you, but keep in mind that this will cost you. Be it every life that is lost or the hardware that they use. They are special forces for a reason and not your main grunts. Use their mysticism to their advantage.

Intelligence & Fog of War

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Just like in the real world, war is an art of deception. Fog of war is even greater as we know nothing when making contact with new species. Keep in mind that universal translators will fail in certain situations and writing stories without them can at times be even more interesting. The aforementioned Cole Protocol from the Halo universe is a clear example of maintaining secrets from the enemy. By destroying your ships or at the very least wipe off all of your ship’s data, the enemy can’t use your crucial information nor your technology. Keeping your enemy in the mist is always a good goal. Even more so by not allowing them to see you as a species. The visual communication like on a Star Trek ship is great to help humanize all species, but do all species experience that as well? After all, one can trick one’s appearance through filters and such. If your species or star nation is highly elusive and secretive, they likely will go through great lengths to maintain a mystery surrounding all aspects of their civilizations.
The same can be applied with your star nation’s intelligence gathering. Can they track all the enemy’s ships or is their FTL drive unlike anything they have seen and prevents them from tracking them? All while their channels are encrypted and your intelligence groups will take months if not years to fully crack a message to be then translated over even more months. Every bit of intelligence is key in the astropolitics of A1-0. The Stoinian Star Kingdom gladly showed its history of strife against other species. This gave the intended result with the Treecuu who got the message to respect their authority while the Ryccians were appalled. The information you give away defines what A1-0 knows about you and what they see in your star nation.

Biological Warfare

“Pesticides came about after the first world war. Some brainy petrochemical money maker said, 'Hey, that mustard gas worked great on people, maybe we could dilute it down and spray it on our crops to deal with pests.”
— Woody Harrelson

A more controversial aspect in warfare is that of biological warfare. As regimes use chemical or biological weapons, others shun them. With future technology, these options will only increase. How will your star nation use them however? If at all? The most likely application is through genetic engineering.

Biological Weapons, Genetic Engineering, Supersoldiers & Cloning

“Your mistake is seeing Spartans as military hardware. My Spartans are humanity’s next step, our destiny as a species. Do not underestimate them. But most of all, do not underestimate… him.”
— Dr. Catherine Halsey, Halo 5: Guardians

Genetic engineering has been used to augment soldiers in sci-fi. Most well known examples are the Spartans from Halo and the clones from Star Wars. But how does your society view them? Are they few and far between to the point of myth. Or as the Star Trek TNG episode The Hunted pointed out, the government might actually become fearful of them. In all these circumstances, your star nation should hold an internal debate on the ethics behind it just like in real life. Do they embrace or shun it? Or are they forced to turn to such drastic measures because of a deadly war? Or is it just business to them? Perhaps a more sinister plan is to stample the nerves of an entire species, take away their emotions and force them on the battlefield? Whatever the choice, it likely would become a common topic for debates.
In addition one could also create viruses or diseases to target a specific genome against clones, or a species. The Star Trek DS9 episode The Quickening, the Dominion carefully spread a disease that prevents a whole species to grow old. Thus their civilization is stunted and regresses into a more primitive form. This is a perfect alternative to just wiping out a species outright. Though again, would your star nation have the guts to do so?
With clones, I’d also like t point out that real life has disproved the commonly accepted concept that all clones look the same. We’re only talking about a genetic level here, but one could also argue that with technology comes the control of growth environment that would allow something like that to happen. So you can go either way on these paths. Another interesting aspect is the usage of clone armies. I think I agree with the points addressed the YouTube channel generation Tech that discusses why clone armies would make the best occupation forces.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

“The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.”
— Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Star Wars A New Hope

I’v eluded to the escalation ladder before in this guide and planet destroyers are right on top of it. Just like the unilateral bombardment of a planet, you should ask yourself how will the rest of A1-0 react to such actions or even your own star nation? No one questions their power, but their usage. In Star Wars they were meant to be used a few times to spread fear which in turn would keep the local systems in line. But will they? Destroy Alderaan and the Rebellion will only grow. You can have them, but if you go destroying every enemy planet, don’t be afraid to fight a losing battle against a united front as well. The usage of such weapons comes with a high price.

End of War & Reparations

“In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. Do, too, it is better to capture and army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

So now that the war is over, it’s time to settle for peace. Maybe you agreed to a white peace or a mere cease-fire. Just like in real life, your options are vast. Though one should be extra careful not to create an interbellum Germany. For their access to common resources is much vaster than Germany’s and should the entire star nation set their wrath on you again. They’ll be out for revenge. So take into account how to properly subjugate your enemy populace or instigate rebellions if you lost. For the end of one war has proven to be the birthplace for others yet to come. Perhaps that is the irrevocable truth about war and why it should always be avoided at all costs.