What is Coincident Split, a science fiction tactical RPG?

Coincident Split is a science fiction computer roleplaying game set against the backdrop of a Generation class star ship. This type of vessel carries fifty thousand people (or more) on a journey across the vast gulf of space to find a new habitable planet for its crew to live upon. Generation class star ships are huge, like flying cities. Their drives enable travel at sub-light speeds, so many generations of people live and die on the ship before it ever reaches it's remote destination. 





Generation class star ships are owned by a noble sworn to the Galactic Monarchy. These nobles captain their ships and are fully responsible for the lives of their crew members. Their aim is set up a colony on a suitable world, but such is the nature of the mission that this will be something that the noble's ancestors will inherit the right to. The game begins where a suitable planet has been found and the player must create the crew of the star ship, i.e. the noble and the away team that will beam to the planet's surface to discover what is there and if the planet is suitable for long term human existence. Scanning a planet can only tell you so much. 

Character creation in Coincident Split has a twist - the player gets to create a family tree for each member of the crew, going back from the current generation. This family tree then helps to influence the traits of the character (e.g. picking engineering officers from the crew as both parents will likely lead to a child that has a technical mind too, and it may even surpasses the parents' capabilities in this regard). Choosing parents of differing roles and races may lead to the inheriting of traits from both parents. The player will no doubt be looking to make the best possible crew for the mission ahead, and so the character creation process allows players to experiment indefinitely with pairing crew members and selecting offspring to carry forward, or to eventually finalise on, making this a mini-game in its own right.




Direct genetic engineering and manipulation is technically possible, but banned on the Generation ship as it is felt by the Galactic Monarchs that it serves to cheapen life in all of its multitude of forms. Evolution is widely considered to be effective only when selection is occurring naturally. Humanity had to learn this particular lesson the hard way back on earth with the outbreak of the Mutant Plague - which originated in a lab - and which devastated the global population at the time. The only survivors of this plague were those who had been naturally conceived and born. While this is an event from the remote past the Generation starship's computer banks help ensure that each generation learns of it, intending that this particular mistake from the past is not repeated. This philosophy of natural Darwinism is held in very high esteem on the ship and so has held through the thousand year journey.





A further complication for the player is to make sure that the away team they construct has a balanced mix of various roles and races so that the team can cover many potential scenarios. Who knows really what might be encountered on the planet's surface (or below it). While the best character currently being viewed could be a medical officer, if it were to lead to an away team composed entirely of medical officers then it probably wouldn't be the best choice. On the other hand an away team without a medical officer could run into trouble fast should it encounter hostiles on the unknown planet.


It is also possible to generate characters that are already deceased but who have good traits which the player wants. These characters can be 'revived' (copied) into an Android and included as part of the away team. Androids are high powered close up against hostile aliens but, perhaps surprisingly, vulnerable to damage due to having a very low security clearance for armour. Androids are not common on board the ship, with a population of less than 1% of the total, and access to the consciousness duplication technology is strictly prohibited. Only the nobles and technomonks legally have access to it, ensuring that the population largely lives out its lifespans and then clears the way for the next generation on board the ship. The inspiration for the Androids are the Nexus 6 from Blade Runner, though limitations on the Android lifespan is around 70 years.

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