So I've been wanting to run a sci-fi hexcrawl for a long time and having finally sat down to write some a little setting for my players I've reached a bit a rough patch that I need some help with - the communities of this world and how they'd function. I thought I'd pitch some questions at the braintrust and see what solutions y'all come up with. Cool? Cool.
The setting overview is this:
Long, long ago, your great grandparents arrived on this world in a vast starship. The ship carried people who had slept for a thousand lifetimes on the long, silent voyage through the gulf of space away from their dying star to this, their new home. Slowing to approach this world something went terribly wrong - some malfunction or accident - and the starship fell from the sky, dashing itself to mountainous pieces on the surface of the planet.
Escape pods were lunched as the mothership tumbled, burning, and shot out for thousands of miles over the curving panorama. Many were lost but a few landed favourably and those that survived soon fought their way clear of the wreckage. Salvaging what they could, your great grandparents looked about this alien world and grieved for their species; it was an alien wilderness of strange, primeval jungle of fungus, coral and massive, chitinous creatures.
Little of their fabulous technology worked. Their artificial intelligences were either silent or mad and their batteries and generators flickered and died in the following months and years. They built shelter abutting their crash sights, defended themselves against predators and tried to teach their children what they'd need to know to survive.
Player characters are the third generation after the (2d6) initial survivors. The omens are right (or perhaps now venerable great grandparents have decreed it) and settlements are sending forth their young men and woman to explore the world, uncover its secrets and contact other settlements. Who knows what caches of forgotten technology lay hidden under pulsing creepers, what strange civilisations have grown up in a hundred years and whether or not humanity can master their unforgiving new home.
What's appealing to me about this set up is that all the PCs are going to be related in some way and all apart of a small, intimate community that they'll journey from and return to with riches or tales of horror. Nothing like the death of a sibling to really make you feel the OSR.
What I wanted to pick your brain over is what you might expect the third generation of maroonees to know about their ancestors, about fantastic technologies they've never seen and repeated, poorly comprehended eduction their forebears laid down. I imagine star-faring
humanity having a great reliance on advanced, automated systems and artificial technology. Star Trek stuff. How do you teach the next generation when your education was all VR psych-impressioning?
Also, talking numbers. If there are (2d6) survivors on mixed gender, how many persons would a settlement have by the third generation? I'm thinking perhaps 50, but I'm not sure that number holds up to scrutiny. Any genealogy buffs in the house?
Lastly, I'm a big fan of D&D that doing its thing outside of the fantasy genre. Can anyone help me come up with a few good examples. I remember there was a western D&D around a while ago, I want to say... Owlbears & Outlaws? And I'm a big fan of Into the Odd, too.