01.00 Setting Rules

01.00 Setting Rules

Shatterzone is dark and gritty. It also has a realistic and big view of sci-fi while at the same time keeping within the space opera feel. Shows like Dark Matter, Kill Joys and The Expanse all kid of fit in the setting.

Core Concepts to the setting



The means at which interstellar travel is possible, this technology was acquired by mysterious means. It wasn’t developed by humans but somehow the Terrans have been able to produce it as well as pass it on to it’s allies the Glahn and the Ishantran. It is presumed that it is based on some ancient alien tech and some believe it’s true potential has really yet to be explored. A Q-Drive, regardless of size or design, can only travel 1 light year per day. Larger ships need larger drives, and more energy to power them.


Because of the nature of Q-Drives, for long distances (depending on the ship and it’s stores), Coldsleep is commonplace. Placing crews on coldsleep pods allows ships to take longer trips – 100 lights, for example- with minimals stores and air. Crews don’t have to eat or drink if they are asleep and fed intravenously. While in coldsleep, the crew member edges much slower and so it is not uncommon to have a spacer be 100 years old and not look a day past 50. Most ships use Coldsleep for trips longer than a few days. Hwoever, space is big.


The Core Worlds

Making up a large part of the Orion Spiral Arm, this region encompasses the home worlds of the Humans – now Alpha Centauri – and those of the Glahn and the Ishantra. A number of other alien cultures can be found in the Core, but many have yet to develop space travel – or been deemed worthy of being sold to them.

The Core is the political and economic center of the Consortium. Governments and mega corporations make their headquarters here, population is dense, and crime, pollution and vice are ever on the rise. In the Core, it’s not always easy to tell who your friends are. Fleet influence is everywhere. \

In the Core, the true Consortium can be seen and felt. THe corrupt relationship between government and mega-corporations work in perfect bureaucratic harmony to make sure the rich get richer and the majority stay subservient. In addition to these Fleet and mega-corporations, crime families, gangers, terrorists and a wide variety of other underground factions are present. Ships, weapons and other goods can be found here, with prices usually lower than on the frontier. The black market is also a major force in the Core, often trafficking in equipment bought or stolen from bolter aliens.

Near Colonies

Just beyond the core are the regions of space the major races expanded into. Here also minor “associate” species have established there small regions of space, signing non-aggression treaties and trade agreements with the Consortium. Like the suburbs to the city, there is enough modern life here to feel like the Core but enough difference that there is a certain flavor of life all it’s own here.

Fleet has a major presence here as do the mega-corporations. Individual settlements vary from planet to planet – some rules by mega-corporations, others by Fleet while others by individually established governments. Secessionist and Fringers occasionally pop-up in the Near Colonies but it is rare as Fleet tends to come down on them hard.

Inner Frontier

The wild stars of the Frontier, this is largely unfettered space that sites between the Shatterzone and the Near Colonies. Fringer colonies are common here as well as Bolter worlds. Fleet and mega-corps explore pockets of this space regularly, sometimes setting down settlements or outposts. It is the Wild West in space. You never know what you are going to find in the Inner Frontier.


Roughly 1100 light years from the Human Core, this is the barrier of alien energies and dark matter that keeps humanity from going any further along the Spiral Arm. It is a mystery and a source of myths and legends throughout the known worlds.

Outer Frontier

Beyond the shatterzone is the unknown regions known as the Outer Frontier. There are habitable worlds beyond it, proven by reports from Bolters, however, getting to them has proven to be a challenge. Programs to explore and perhaps colonize have begun with the Consortium. Early attempts, however, have met with disaster. There are many threats beyond the ‘Zone. It is a very dangerous place. The most dangerous are called the Armagons.


Consortium Of Worlds

Rules by the Consortium Council, it is a loosely fit union of worlds. Core to the Consortium are three major races – Humans, Glahn and the Ishantran. While not officially, the mega-corporations have a lot of pull in the Council through lobbying and other less legal means.

The military arm of the Consortium is Fleet – a massive conglomeration of government bureaucracy and massive interstellar war machines. All but the most powerful mega-corporations fear the power of Fleet.


There are a wide variety of mega-corporations that wield military, political and economic power. In some sectors of space, they are more powerful than Fleet (although they would deny it). There are several major corporations listed here.


Many see the Fringers as violent psychopathic outcasts of society. Some are also the wandering insane attached to strange cult like group. While others are the dangerously savage anarchists that want nothing to do with society as a whole. Fleet see them all as a threat to society simply by virtue of their refusal to conform to the mainstream. They have been harassed, oppressed, hunted and even exterminated throughout the known worlds. However, they seem to find a way to survive in the dark corners and shadowed VR bars.

The title Fringer is a term applied by Fleet, the megacorps, the governing bodies of the Consortium, as well as they simply the general public to refer to the members of the fringe fractions. Counted among these groups are the crazy shatrat gangs along the ‘Zone, as well as those who are prejudiced to the point of psychosis against certain species or types of people. These types have long ago stepped outside the social norms and the law and organized into groups well enough to force Fleet to consider them
as more than scattered malcontents.


Many terms describe a bolter – refugees, exiles of an alien war that could be coming to known space, alien migrants driven from their home worlds by a terrible scourge. Some seek only a place of refuge, a chance to start a new life for themselves or their people. Others unfortunately see the other side of the ‘Zone as a newly-discovered profitable killing ground. Warlike races not powerful enough to hold on to their territory against the Armagons have been known to come from the other side and wage their own wars. Peaceful or less so, any alien coming across the ‘Zone is considered a Bolter.

Savage Worlds Game Play

For setting rules, these are the suggested existing setting rules for this game.

Hard Choices

See SWADE page 139

Gritty Damage

See SWADE p139

Expanded Gritty Damage

First introduced in Battle for Oz, when the player gets multiple raises in an attack, each raise increases the die type of extra damage dice.

No Wound Cap

This setting removes the Wound Cap rule set in SWADE. There is no limit to the number of wounds one can cause in one attack.

The Savage Masterdeck

They were a big part of it. I have play-tested a version of the cards in Savage Worlds. Those will definitely be a part of it.

Cyberpunk Space Opera

Shatterzone has a strong cyberpunk influence. In this world, beings are more geared towards cybernetics. Thus everyone is inherently Cybernetically Tolerant (+4 to Maximum Strain). This Edge is not available in this setting since everyone basically has it.