Generalities of Galactic Civilization and Culture
A TYPICAL LIFE IN THE ALLIANCE
The “Average Joe” on a First World Alliance planet likely has a fairly easy job, a comfortable lifestyle, and ample free time. With technology and automation doing most of the hard labor, most average jobs are supervisory in nature, or customer service, or numerous special skill jobs. Menial jobs are still common, but even those are quite easy and often exist via government subsidies simply to give people something to do.
Life is pretty easy in First World societies. Most utilities; including datasphere access; education, and civil services; including health care; are run by the government and available to all.
Poverty, hunger, and homelessness are all but nonexistant on these worlds as the technology and infrastructure is able to generate enough wealth and resources to maintain a decent standard of living across the board.
There is however a subtle downside to all this prosperity.
Reproduction is routinely regulated on most worlds. With an average person living well past two hundred even before advanced rejuvination treatments, and many jobs being little more than bussy work, there is little need for more people.
Also there is the sense of being uneeded for some people. Most avoid this by finding persuits of their own to follow, but for some the knowledge that their work could easily be done by machines were it not designed to give them something to do can be disheartening.
Life on a First World planet is safe, comfortable, and easy. If that’s not for you however, there is a lot more galaxy out there full of adventure, danger, and potential.
By comparison, the information network of twenty first century Terra is a miniscule trickle to that of even a minor world in the Age of Alliance. Computers and communication devices are everywhere around you in a galactic civilization. They’re included as standard in almost every powered object and many that aren’t, fused into most building materials, and swarming through the environment thanks to the nanosphere (see below). From the micro scale to the macro with numerous data relays, communication hubs, civic databases and computer processing resources, orbiting satelites, space bourn com relays, and on up to the large and powerful FTL coms facilities. All linked into a network spanning more than a quarter of the galaxy, sharing and transmiting vast amounts of data at fantastic speeds. Although, of course, coverage may vary. Especially if you’re away from a civilization center or a ship with an interstellar FTL com suite. And even FTL isn’t instant in many cases. Just very fast. Usually.
Most beings use the datasphere via their internal computer and communication nano matrix. They are able to percieve and interact with it in augmented reality. Translation, instruction manuels, active tutorials, advertisements, anouncements, communications, and data files on a bewildering amount of subjects are fed right into your senses. This is second nature to people of the galactic community as they have all had this ability from the beginning of consiousness. In fact, probably the greatest service your internal AI does is to filter all that data as per your prefrences to keep you from being over burdened with to much information.
If this seems a bit daunting to you, don’t worry about it. Most of this datasphere business has very little to do with game mechanics. It’s mainly just there for “color”, as a GM plot tool, and to explain how people can function in a ultra-tech, galactic civilization of thousands of sapient species.
For example: If your character was trained as a pilot on kiearrok made shuttles, how do they know how to fly ones made by driedna, or ongdurans, or pherrax? Simple. Your AI can acess the specs and provide a translation on the controls and capabilities in your augmented reality. So realy your Piloting: Shuttlecraft skill is more about your level of talent and ability with those types of vehicles.
For that matter, how would you know how to operate a kitchen appliance made by the hattakans, or even a door made by the drax? Again, your personal AI shows you in AR, usually without being asked or even mentioned in game.
Neither is all this datasphere info a magic “know everything” device either though. The current incarnation of the datasphere has been around and evolving for thousands of years. As good as it is for retrieving information, it’s also good at protecting one’s privacy as well as automaticaly filtering out usless junk info or info you just don’t care about or that doesn’t concern you. ie: No pop-ups in your AR about refinancing your mortage unless you want to see them. That crap just doesn’t happen thanks to your AI servant “guarding the gate”, so to speek.
Also, you probably won’t see anything on the datasphere that people don’t want you to see directly about themselves. Unless you’re a very good hacker that is. So you can’t track or spot enemies with their GPS, or know their name to look up their personal information, because they will have all that turned off, or at least made inaccesable to you as a matter of course. And the same goes for you in reverse.
The ecconomics of a galactic society with thousands of different governments and species is of course mind twistingly complex. The most widely known and used currencies consist of Standard Value Credits as determined by the Alliance, Confederation Market Dollars in the CFW, Taltakien Marks of the Realm, or Imperial Currency Units as determined by the Pherrax Empire. For simplisity any can be considered to be represented by the $ in GURPS source books.
MANNERS and ETHICS
CRIME and PUNISHMENT
There are a great many religions in the galaxy. Most species have a hand full of major religions and any number smaller ones, and there are in fact a selection of multi species core faiths with numerous sub denominations. The two most wide spread are the Temple of the Creator and the Church of the Universe.
Bye and large however the majority of the modern galactic community is athiest or agnostic. Religion for most is now mythology. Not real, but a part of their culture and a source of valuable stories and parables as well as swear words.
The SI community particularly disdains the notion of the existance of powerful, invisible entities who run the universe that aren’t themselves.
Predictably there do in fact spring up the occasional fringe beliefs that view the seemingly omnipresent SIs and AIs as the “gods” and “spirits” of the modern age. Fortunately the vast majority of SIs discourage these beliefs and simple non-violitional AIs just disregard or deny such ideas.