The information here is provided free of charge for your own personal enjoyment. You are welcome to use the settings and background to design and produce your own NTS adventures. Anything created from these materials should however be strictly for personal use, no commercial license is granted. When releasing any derivative work please credit the author and provide a link back to this website.
Neo Tokyo Skies by Richard A Vere is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The following information provides a basic and abridged overview of the Neo Tokyo Skies universe. It is condensed to serve as a primer for new players and GM’s who want to get to know the settings quickly so they can better appreciate the adventures and other materials presented on this site.
The following are 5 key facts that help build and understanding of any NTS adventure.
Key Location: Neo Tokyo Skies.
The first international Void Space experiment on Earth unfortunately ended in a catastrophic failure resulting in an uncontrollable Void Space rupture. The rupture expanded consuming a sizable section of the Japanese main island of Honshu, including all of Tokyo and and a chunk of the Pacific ocean, before it finally closed itself. The consumed landmass and all its inhabitants were thrown in to Void Space, later emerging tens of thousands of KM’s away in deep space. Millions of lives were lost to the rupture and many millions more lost their lives back on Earth as the major disasters that followed plunged the entire East Asia region in to chaos.
In the years that followed the unstable orbit of this huge floating landmass once again threatened the inhabitants of Earth and an united international effort was made to move it to a safer, stable location in Earth’s L2 Lagrange point. In its new resting place it would be preserved as a monument to all those that lost their lives in the incident.
Just a few short years after its relocation the monument was once again causing a stir in the international community back on Earth, but this time for very different reasons. The most accessible Void space breach point in all of Sol was discovered just a few hundred KMs away. Mounting pressure to exploit this highly valuable discovery was the catalyst for the formation of some of the first united international governments of Earth and soon after the first colonies were built on the old Japanese landmass.
After multiple extensions, upgrades and enhancements the original landmass has become the core of a massive space station complex and is a central hub of politics and trade in the solar system. It now known as New Tokyo Station or Neo Tokyo Skies and is considered an independent nation in its own right. Nearly 800 years old the station is a mixture of new and old construction giving rise to a wide variety of living conditions including some of the most valuable property in the Core and some of the poorest slums. It is still a hugely important and influential location and currently sits next to the largest, most connected Void Gate in the entire human expanse.
Neo Tokyo is a world of wonders just filled to the brim with ways to end your life. Down here they are more "Direct"... but at least you have a better chance of seeing them coming!Commissioner Garrett - 4th Ward Metropolitan Security Force Old Tokyo
Why live in the Reach? Where else in the Expanse can you truly say you are free!Councilor Mathis - The Free Peoples Colony of Aura
The Reapers are a secretive organisation, with a single minded devotion to what they call The Cause. It’s still not common knowledge what the Cause actually is. Reapers rose to power during the Void Transit Colonial Era, leading many to suspect they are somehow connected to early Void exploration. While not inherently evil they can be extremely ruthless when obstructed from achieving a goal they deem crucial to The Cause. It is common knowledge that Reapers have their own worlds, but no one has ever seen them. Exact populations are unknown, and their true military strength is also a mystery, though a massive technological superiority means it still greatly feared.
Reapers have access to a technology that is able to provide virtual immortality to those the they deem worthy. How these individuals are selected is known only to the Reapers, but it is widely assumed to be linked to the pursuit of The Cause. Being made immortal by the Reapers is known as Indoctrination. The weak die and only the strong survive. Blood is replaced with Reaper Quicksilver serum, a nanite paste that sustains, rebuilds and regenerates the human body. Those that survive indoctrination are know as The Marked, as the silver, metalic Quicksilver can be seen flowing through their veins beneath their skin. Reapers maintain the Quicksilver through an as yet unidentified means, supposedly a sophisticated network of Void Space energy fields. The exact amount of control over this field the Reapers have and the effects this has on the Marked hosts is also still unknown. Even if the body of a Marked human is totally destroyed, it can be reformed and regrown by the Quicksilver and consciousness re-integrated from the mysterious field that maintains it. The process is known as Reintegration. Some rumors say that each reintegration a marked endures can alter their personality. When they return they are never quite the same again.
Humans that live as Marked for over 100 years start to develop patches of bio-technology over their body and become known as Grimms. They usually hide their appearance as some bio-tech growth can appear grotesque. Once Grimm traits start to emerge, most marked leave their normal lives and join the Reaper ranks directly. Old and exceptional Grims have been observed as having their entire body covered in bio-tech, at this stage it is assumed they move on and evolve into Ankou something expected to be a higher ruling class of Reaper. It is not fully known what the Ankou actually look like or even if they maintain a humanoid form. What little is known are just unproven theories gathered through the observations of grims and marked that they appear to have some form of telepathic link with.
Wealthy people, leaders and politicians are attracted by the Reaper gift of immortality and offer many concessions to the Reapers in return. Reaper agents exist in nearly every powerful corporation, government and ruling body in the expanse. Reapers often use their agents to influence political decisions but do not normally bother themselves with conflicts, skirmishes and war unless it directly affects The Cause. Reaper agents can often be seen as comparable to Soothsayers from ancient history as they can be observed whispering in the ear of very influential figures even though many such people will not admit to it.
Reaper technology is highly advanced and incredibly powerful, significantly more so than anything possessed by the Syndicate or USNA. It is rarely necessary for them to use it forcefully as their political influence can end conflicts before they begin. Reaper modified technology, “Hybrid Technology or Rep Tech” is made available to all Marked, to aid their survival, help them proposer and further The Cause. Existing military hardware is adapted with Reaper based nano-technology that greatly strengthens it beyond that of conventional means (though not to the extent of actual pure Reaper technology). All Marked are eventually given a piece of technology know as a Reaper Core. This core is used to alter an existing ship to form and grow a personalised Hybrid unique to the needs and personality of the Marked. By sharing a small quantity of their quicksilver with each other hybrid ships become directly connected to their Marked owners giving them far superior reaction speeds. Hybrid based starship hulls are also unique in that they allow new and existing hardware to easily be integrated, the nanotech simply grows on to and absorbs the module into the hull expelling it when it is no longer needed.
It was just a small ship, we thought we could take it! The way it moved, the power with which it struck... in just a few minutes we’d lost a dozen ships, it’s then we realised we were dealing with a Hybrid. I didn’t wait around to see what happened next.Random Rex - Red Star Corsair Pilot
The Void is an alternate dimension that closely overlaps our reality but with significantly different physical laws. Matter from our universe can only exist in the Void for a few minutes, longer exposure results in a process known as Void Conversion. Void conversion is the process of matter from our universe being converted into unstable Void Energy. Any exposure to the Void can cause partial Void Conversion resulting in general stress on a ship and all its inhabitants. Crew are regularly checked by doctors for side effects and maintenance on a ship is essential as Void damage can be unpredictable. Biological life that is overexposed to the Void can experience unpleasant side effects as organic tissues are damaged by Void conversion. These effects are known as Conversion Sickness, and can sometimes be sudden and unpredictable. It can drive people insane (first stage), cause physical mutation (second stage), and finally death (third stage). Many ships, people and even whole facilities have be lost to the Void.
Void space does not connect and overlap uniformly with our universe. Entering Void space moving 10m forward and then exiting does not bring you back into our universe 10m from your original position. You could possibly be 10cm, 10km or even 10 light years away. This phenomenon is known as Void Relativity. Due to the uneven overlap it is also not possible to enter into the Void from all from all positions within our universe. The “distance” between our universe and the Void is not a constant and is known as Breach Depth. A point in our space at which the breach depth is shallow enough to allow entry into Void space is known as a Breach Point. The position of breach points in our universe remains fairly constant. They do however change slightly over time, some breach points more than others. This process is known as Void Drift.
Void relativity is exploited as a means of traversing large distances. The process of breaching Void space and successfully exiting is known as a Void Jump. Knowing where to breach, where to exit, and how long to stay in Void space is known as Void Navigation. Typically a Void jump is computed by complex AI navigation systems, the quality of which greatly determines the Jump Efficiency. Jump efficiency is a measure of how long it takes to get from one location to another whilst minimising exposure to Void space. Experienced explorers and navigators get to learn of complex routes some that AI navigation systems are unable to safely compute or are simply not aware of. Gifted Void navigators are known as Void Dancers. Most Void Dancers are thought to be slightly insane as they have over exposed themselves to the Void, many suffer from chronic Stage 1 Conversion Sickness. Efficient, fast and safe travel is the holy grail of all Void navigators. Exceptional navigators are highly sought after and are extremely competitive.
Ships that enter the Void are shielded by a Real Space Navigation shields (RS Shields). These hold back Void conversion during jumps but create an effect called Real Space Drag that slows movement through Void space. Smaller ships only require small shields and are therefore able to travel through Void space much more rapidly. A ratio of shielding to exposure time is an important part of calculating a Void jump.
Sometimes it is not possible to Void Jump precisely to a desired location due to variation in Breach Depths and limited Void exposure time. Often more than one jump is required. Depending on the duration of Void space exposure with a given jump, a pause may be required between one jump and the next to allow matter to re-stabilize to our universe. Jumping again too early can result in heavy Void conversion damage, or even total Void conversion. This rest period is referred to as a Stabilization Stop or a Stab Stop.
Breaching into Void space requires a large quantity of energy and specialist hardware (Void Breach Engine or VB Drive). Small ships are unable to meet the energy and equipment requirements for Void Jumping and so rely on larger ships for transport or Void Gates. Larger more powerful engines can can breach greater depths than smaller ones offering additional travel possibilities as the number of viable Breach Points increases. Void Gates are massive space structures capable of creating stable breaches that smaller ships without a VB drive can jump through.
Catastrophic Void breach failures are known as Void Rifts and can have devastating effects on anything nearby. The rift grows rapidly as a three dimensional sphere engulfing anything in its path, throwing it uncontrollably it into the Void. Immensely powerful Void Energy streams streak out of the Rift as parts of our own universe undergo rapid Void Conversion. Eventually the Rift will reach a critical mass and implode, this critical mass varies and no known equation exists to calculate when a rift will stop expanding. When sucked into or engulfed by a Void rift, matter is either almost instantly converted to Void energy or rapidly flung through Void Space. Such matter can re-appear almost anywhere in the known universe.
A blink jump is a complex military jump used for rapid covert insertion of specialist personnel. The process involves sending a small Insertion Frigate into Void space that can move more rapidly without the drag of heavy navigational shielding. Inside the frigate is usually an armed, manned assault shuttle loaded on a magnetic rail catapult. Upon approaching its target exit point the Insertion Frigate will open a small breach and catapult the shuttle through it. This is dangerous for a number of reasons, the first being that the shuttle has no shielding meaning it will almost certainly be lost if it misses its exit point. The second danger is also related to accuracy, hitting the exit point even slightly off target could result in emerging, thousands of KM off target. Usually only high level navigators are used to pilot Insertion Frigates as the margin of error is very slim. The risk however is consider worth it for the rapid deployment opportunities it offers and the reduced chance of the jump being detected.