Now that we are done with fantasy for a bit, I am giving some though to what I will run next time I am in the GM chair.
I've always had a soft spot for science fiction, particularly space opera, or so-called 'Imperial' science fiction.
Borrowing heavily from 'Stars Without Number', I imagine this section of the galaxy will be emerging from an ill-defined and most likely unknown collapse of the previous political regime.
Spero, a world originally setup as a 'Botany Bay' colony for those possessing psionic talents is first up.
Spero was originally founded as a refuge world during the height of the First Republic as a ‘solution’ to the rising number of citizens diagnosed with psionic abilities.
Citizens would ‘volunteer’ to migrate to a refuge world to start anew amongst others with their abilities, worlds that would of course be subject to a strict quarantine.
Of course even given a fully psionic first generation of inhabitants, psionics remained a rare enough occurrence, enough so that by the third and fourth generation, only one out of every hundred citizens would test positive for these abilities (versus the one per 100000 in the Republic at large.)
Over the course of several generations, a ‘heriditary meritocratic peerage’ began to develop encompassing all of those with active psionic abilities on Spero. If one was born into the peerage without powers, one was expected to serve in the Guard, and any progeny after this without powers would be relegated to the common classes.
Just as a family could be ejected over time for lack of psionic ability, so could one enter the peerage if a commoner is found to have such powers. The title ‘baron’ is applied to any who have been ‘promoted’ in this manner, as well as those of noble birth and power who have yet to make a name for themselves.
The isolation imposed upon Spero by the Republic coupled with a well defined leadership structure were two items that helped the planet survive the sudden and still unexplained collapse of the First Republic three hundred years ago.
Spero has robust trade with several other worlds that managed to weather the collapse, but is plagued with internal dissent from the commoners in the past couple of decades.
Some fear a revolution is in the making, but few in the government appear to take these warnings seriously.