Aright, let's hop right into it. What have we got for today...?
Spend 15 minutes outlining the major historical events of the last 100 years before [the campaign] begins.
Include in your timeline:
- Dates when power shifted in your civilization(s) (through coup, death of a monarch, revolution, election, etc.), and whether the power shift was smooth (as it might be when a monarch dies and their offspring takes their place)
- Dates when a natural event reduced or increased the amount of natural resources (food, usually, but also water, timber, and other resources).
Each of these factors (power shifts and resource shifts) puts pressure on the civilizations. At the high-pressure points, write "battle/conflict"-- those are points at which violence may have erupted between cultures (or, if you have non-violent people, perhaps conflict that's expressed in other dramatic ways). Events may also be interrelated-- a technological event might give the edge to one power group, which forces other groups to respond, often with confrontation.
- Dates when an unnatural event (such as a magical or technological event) changed the resources as well.
The last dates to write on your timeline: Date [the campaign] begins, and the date your character was born (so you know what part of history he or she directly remembers).
Tuck this timeline into your notebook; you'll need it later! In fact, if you have a politically-oriented storyline, you'll probably need more than 100 years of history and more than one timeline to represent everything that's happening, so spend as much time on this part as you like.
There's no need to limit yourself to 15 minutes.Huh...okay, I got this. Let's us "CS" as the Campaign Start date...
CS -100: Drachon warships begin to raid Garden worlds.
CS -82: Mineral deposits discovered in the Giant Nebula, prospectors and corporations rush to stake claims.
CS -75: Giant Nebula prospectors fight corporations over mining claims, escalates into open conflict. Because of cutthroat practices and lawlessness of the region, becomes known as The Blood Nebula.
CS -71: Corporations begin physically removing asteroids and stellar debris from the Blood Nebula for mining at facilities withing nearby systems. Prospectors begin arming mining ships to prevent or raid these mineral convoys. First Blood Nebula Pirate Gangs appear.
CS -62: Infernus Clan raiders destroys the city of Zabross on Kel, killing 2 million humans.
CS -61: Arctus Clan raiders seize the nesting broods in the N'guli city of Kakarakas and use them as bait to fight the best warriors of the N'guli. They hold out for 16 days. Almost an entire generation of N'guli are lost (320,000 N'guli eggs)
CS -59: In response to the growing threat of the Drachon, The Union forms between the humans and the N'guli. Union courts the Allef, but Allef refuse to join.
CS -52: Allef homeworld suffers an unexpected catastrophic extinction-level-event, entire planetary population and society annihilated. Estimated 3% of total Allef population survived (off-world at time of event)
CS -47: Urnar join the Union
CS -43: After several months without finding new mineral sources, the last of the Blood Nebula mining corporations folds. Mining operations within the Blood Nebula ceases. Blood Nebula pirate gangs begin to raid convoys in nearby systems.
CS -33: Danal citizens vote to leave the Union, motion denied by Union Ruling Council. Leads to weeks of riots and evenual armed uprising against Union interests on Danal. Revolutionary War of Danal begins
CS -29: Revolutionary War of Danal ends with the capture and public execution of the Rebel Leaders.
CS -12: Union begins courting the Granos to formally join the Union.
CS -1: First non-human Prime elected in The Union
CS 0: Campaign starts
There's certainly a lot more to put in here, but this gets down several dates that I want to highlight. It also shows me that there are some severe holes in my timeline and my background that need to be filled. I feel I need a few more races and cultures to join the Union (or not, as the case may be). I'm starting to gravitate towards a Star Trek-like menagerie of alien races. Humanoids from across several worlds and systems, all coming together to form a less-than-perfect Union. This may be especially true after tomorrow's exercise on Economy and Politics.
I might have to play around with the Character Creator on Star Trek Online and make some of these races come to life...