The flavour text is done now, but an unexpected visit from the International Trade advisor meant I didn't get as much other stuff done as I meant to.
Over the next week or two, I'm going to give previews of the four characters in Carpe Astra, as well as some of my thinking behind why they are as they are. The four characters are played by the players and represent the power-hungry elite of the galaxy. I've got the flavour text (character and card) and some brief blurb which will appear in the rules, on my website and on the box to set the scene for the game. While most gamers are au fait with sci-fi in general, I'm trying to bring my vision of a dystopian future to life, to help the players get in the spirit of the game.
The galactic empire of the game is definitely a human one, but there are passing mentions of other aliens species, so we're not alone. The characters are all ruthless, driven and successful, not very nice people - that should make the slandering aspect of the game more fun - with plenty of latitude for some terrible slanders to besmirch their reputations.
I've made them equally split along gender lines, and want them all to appear of non-specific race, as if the races of planet Earth today have melded over the intervening time, without the continents of our history to constrain peoples movement. Each character represents one of the six powerful guilds of the game: The Military, Traders, Priests, Engineers, Expansionists and Politicians. They also have a colour which will be the colour of the pieces that player gets to use.
First up, in the red corner, we have Admiral Ch'un, representing the military. She's a career officer, appearing to our eyes to be in her late sixties (though actually over 300!), she looks scarred and stern.
Flavour text: During a military career spanning over 300 years Admiral Ch'un has built a reputation for bravery, ruthlessness and winning at all costs. Thinking nothing of wasting the lives of her underlings, she often does the unexpected and has an unequalled record of military victories.
The character flavour text will appear on the player guides (one for each character) with a picture of the character and an overview of play.
In other news, I spent an hour and a half with a Trader Advisor this afternoon during an impromptu visit. I had some questions about Passport to Export a UK government programme to support new exporters. I found out that I am eligible for grants up to £1,500, which is great. I also found out there's a £250 joining fee :-( and they'll only match your spending. But both trips to US/German distributors and trips to overseas conventions (e.g. Essen) count, so I could get half my expenses paid for the Essen trip, which I was planning to make anyway. I'm now considering visiting US distributors, and maybe a US convention such as GenCon or Origins too.