Roleplay: Star Army

"The Star Army Space Roleplay" is a Science Fiction Play-by-Post Game originally started in 2000.

Taking inspiration from classic Space Opera series and Mecha Anime, Star Army is set in the Kikyo Sector, a small cluster of stars in an unknown galaxy inhabited by various human, transhuman and alien species. Originally a background site for the multiverse-roaming Yamatai Star Empire, the setting went on to become its own setting with dozens of players and over 6,000 of pages of user-created content.

The setting features four main superpowers that arose due to the fragmentation of the Yamatai Star Empire at several points in recent history. The four powers, of which three can be accurately called nations, are as seen below:

Several minor powers have appeared over the course of the past few years, often written by a single hardworking writer with a lot of free time. These lesser factions are:


Provides Examples Of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Ketsurui Katana possessed exclusively by the elite Nekovalkryja Ketsurui Samurai is a hollow monomolecular-edged sword made of unbreakable and virtually indestructible Zesuaium.
    • Guides for producing melee weapons include a monomolecular edge, and the technology itself is common enough for any decently wealthy character to purchase one. For one reason or another, they've not quite caught on.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The Lorath specialize in this, followed by the Nepleslians and Iromakuanhe.
    • For reference, the Lorath actually make a business of producing and selling specialized ammunition to buyers from allied nations. Rounds can be as simple as cluster warheads loaded with irradiated shrapnel or as exotic as Kaserine gel capsules and antimatter grenades.
    • Nepleslians tend to have design units with a decent portfolio of specializations to play around with, and make them configurable with different types of ammunition. Includes huge giant blocks of metal accelerated to a fraction of light speed, explosive shells and white phosphorous grenades.
      • Special mention goes to the HHG, a handgun that fires railgun, .45 caliber and hybrid rounds in a variety of flavors, and is one of the optional standard-issue sidearms for the Nepleslian Star Military.
      • And then, there's the DeadEye, nothing less than a powered armor-carried missile launcher that fires a guided missile that contains a one-shot railgun to make pinpoint remote strikes on nearly any target within several thousand kilometers.
    • Iromakuanhe artillery shells are something like this, with a 240mm cannon devoted entirely to firing these. Fungal spore and charged particle rounds allow a single target to ruin stationary equipment with minimal effort, and repulsor warheads can flatten large areas of city.
  • Abusive Precursors: Fluff mentions a Black Claw Empire in the distant past that provided much of the technology the setting has today. They enslaved humanity and brought them to the Kikyo Sector, but were eventually defeated. Many of the minor factions are behind on the Lensman Arms Race because they did not have exposure to this society.
  • Action Girl: Present in the setting in a variety of ways, with some notably examples.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Averted for the Nepleslians, who field designs that are boxier than their Yamataian counterparts, and still perform on comparable levels.
    • Played straight and subverted the Elysians and Iromakuanhe, due to Organic Technology. Their designs are sleek and quite powerful, although sub-par compared to Yamatai or Nepleslia in terms of overall performance.
    • Even more so for the Abwehrans and Freespacers. The former has boxy vessels that seriously under perform in nearly all areas except for armor, while the latter has ships that look like they were cobbled together from scraps and would not hold together under the stress of combat.
      • True to form, Freespacer vessels do tend to fall apart in combat. But all the pieces are still working when it happens and might even fight back.
  • A Father to His Men: Nepleslian commanders tend to be this, and their military generally enjoys a strong esprit de corps.
  • Affably Evil: SMX/NMX commanders are either, or Stupid Evil.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Played straight by the Avatars, now-defunct God-like AI that ran the ships of the Yamatai Star Empire during the early years of the RP. Otherwise averted by current-era AI, which are considerably more docile.
  • Alien Blood: Averted, as most of the species have normal blood, or were engineered to have blood with special properties via genetic engineering or Nano Machines. NH-27 Nekovalkryja can manipulate the nanomachines in their blood and impale targets with it, for example.
  • The Alliance: Nepleslia and the UOC.
  • All There in the Manual: There is a wiki. It is used, a lot.
  • Amazon Brigade: Most YSE and Lorath starship crews are this.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Frames and VANDR, which are referred to as organoid frames. Tend to be in a smaller size category than most settings, comparable in size to Mobile Suits from Victory Gundam and Gundam F91.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Nekovalkryja who used to die by the trillions don't get much sympathy. Two thousand UOC colonists died in an attack by an unknown alien race and their Senator turned the angst Up to Eleven.
  • Animesque: The site is generally this, by choice of Shout Outs and the style of most commissioned artists.
  • Anti-Magic: Not specifically magic, but there are systems which jam FTL, extradimensional energy sources and telepathy.
  • Artificial Limbs: Nepleslia loves this trope, and have a large number of Hollywood Cyborgs. To a lesser extent, the Lorath and UOC. The practice is unpopular among nations with regenerative medicine technology.
    • The Iromakuanhe have 'Homunculus' symbiotes that are lab-grown replacement organs or limbs. They essentially function as Organic Technology artificial limbs, although they tend to be less popular than normal regenerative therapy.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Often a good way to get introduced into the setting is to make a character who grew up in a sheltered environment and had a passion for their military's trademark unit.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Characters are promoted more easily for good performance. Combat character have the easiest time with this.
  • Attack Drone: Every faction, to a degree. The Iromakuanhe love this trope in spades. Origin Industries is getting in on this as well.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Nekovalkrya officers occasionally receive the rare and coveted NH-27 body type, which features weaponized blood, super strength, incredible regenerative abilities and improved flight. NMX Warlords have powerful telepathic abilities and custom bodies.
  • Badass Army: The Star Army of Yamatai's ground forces are mostly composed of super-soldier clones.
  • Badass Grandpa: Robert Davis, Sky Marshall of the SMoDIoN. Thick, luxurious beard. Well spoken, with a slight drawl. Look at that goddamn pimp cane.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Nepleslian State Sec standard issue? A pinstripe suit, fedora and trench coat.
  • Badass Longcoat: Standard fare for Nepleslian SMNIPG agents.
  • Badass Normal: Nepleslians embody this trope, due to being baseline humans. Geshrin, Yamataians and some transhuman races such as Freespacers and Iromakuanhe, to a lesser degree.
  • Little Miss Badass: Origin Industries
  • Cultured Badass: Upper class Nepleslians rarely join the military, but when they do, this is the product.
    • Special mention goes to the Ketsurui Samurai, who mix this with Cultured Warrior depending on how extreme their discipline is.
    • Ryan Veles is the commander of the SMNIPG, and a wretched cyborg that barely manages to resemble a human corpse. He's also eloquent, commanding and completely evil.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Being a race of Badass Normals, Nepleslians who receive cybernetics often turn into this.
  • Handicapped Badass: Iroma VANDR pilots only need high mental acuity and response times to operate their machines, leading to some pilots continuing to operate their machines even if their bodies have been crippled.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The Warbear.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played straight by Yamatai, the UOC and the Iromakuanhe, who have regenerative therapy technology.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: If you're a Yamataian citizen. Nekovalkryja are genetically engineered to be slender and beautiful, and possess the good qualities of a soldier, so they seem this way to the civilians of the society they serve. Otherwise subverted, since there are a lot of Ax-Crazy Neko.
  • Bee Bee Gun: Iromakuanhe's PASD missile arrays fire a swarm of locust-like missiles loaded with charged particles. The effect is similar to launching a swarm of sparkling, glowing giant bees at the target, which impact against the target and explode into a bright blue burst of electrically charged particles.
  • Big Bad: Varies from faction to faction, and changes every few years. Generally an NPC.
  • BFG: Numerous examples
  • BFS: Rarer than BFG's due to the harder nature of the setting. Include aether beam sabers, plasma beam sabers, plasma swords) and Vibrochainsaws.
    • In regards to sheer size, they are topped by the 'Vector Transition Blade' utilized by VANDR units. A three-meter blade (that could be more sensibly named a sharp paddle made of aggregated diamond nanorods) that compresses space along its edge, allowing it to cut through the hardest substances.
    • In regards to size, the Iromakuanhe have recently been one-upped by Origin, who have made a 7-meter long Vibrochainsaw.
  • Blood Knight: Many Nekovalkryja and Lorath depicted this way. To a lesser extent, Nepleslians.
  • Breast Plate: Featured extensively in Yamataian PA. That said, they're more modest than the traditional application of this trope, considering that the wearer is entirely covered to begin with.
  • Breath Weapon: "Mounted in the Warbear's mouth is a massive napalm dispersal and ignition unit. It fires a massive spray of a jellied, highly flammable substance similar to gasoline. It can easily obliterate lightly armored personnel, foliage, and buildings, and even harm some lower-end PA."
  • Bullet Proof Vest: Exist in-setting, but have fallen out of use.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Played with and subverted. Calling out your attacks over open comms is usually a death sentence.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Averted with the actual Elves of the setting. They're stuck on the Yamataian homeworld, dying out and slowly being retconned from existence.
  • Cargo Cult: Freespacers practice Mecha-Druidism, an anarchistic combination of ancestor worship and reverence for nature, IN SPACE! The Cargo Cult nature of this can be largely attributed to the fact that 'nature' is the starship a Freespacer lives on, and cybernetics from ancestors are often passed down to 'successors'.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Played straight during peacetime, since the distances between the primary planets in-setting are quite small and the speeds fast enough to make hyperspace travel a question of a few hours at most. Subverted during wartime, when anti-FTL fields by roaming pirates and enemy fleets make travel between systems dangerous.
  • Celibate Hero: Subverted
  • Chainsaw Good: Nepleslian melee are either this, or covered in white-hot plasma.
    • Special mention goes to the Origin Industries Chain Straight, which combines Chainsaw Good with BFS with Katanas.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Scalar weapons are this, involving a massive discharge of electrogravitic radiation, causing volatiles such as explosives to be catalyzed and sensitive information transmission systems such as electronics and nervous systems to be violently destroyed. They also ignore armor, but not shields.
  • Character Exaggeration: Nekovalkryja are generally thought of as promiscuous Big Eaters with a superiority complex, while Nepleslians are thought of as perverted smelly gun-coveting cases of Testosterone Poisoning.
  • Child Soldiers: Via Cloning Blues. Nekovalkryja are required to spend their first eight years of life as soldiers before being given the option of civilian life.
  • City in a Bottle: Occurs quite frequently with Freespacer vessels, especially when they spend long periods of time in isolation. Remedied by their usage of Cyberspace.
  • Clones Are People Too: Nekovalkyrja are mass produced but come with unique looks and personalities. Many player characters are Nekovalkyrja.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Freespacers are this trope in spades.
  • Cold Sniper: (A common Player Character trope, right up there with Guns Akimbo and Dual Wielding.)
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Star Army of Yamatai uniforms have large colored panels denoting the wearer's occupation.
  • Combat Medic: SMoDIoN Medic Corps are the archetypal example, and wear standard-issue Powered Armor. Astral Vanguard Field Physicians are this, but can also be attached to VANDR units. Most factions prefer to have medical personnel remain on their ships instead.
  • Combat Tentacles: NMX combines this with Naughty Tentacles. Often with the same appendage.
  • Comes Great Insanity: Averted for the most part, but played straight with Eve, one of the first Neko produced. She possessed powerful psychic powers in a setting that had since retconned them, and was considered nigh invulnerable. She was also an insane powermongering sociopath who killed and ate children and repeatedly tried to destroy the The Empire from within.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A small group of Player Characters in standard equipment for one faction can take on entire regiments of Mooks, while in-universe fluff has NPCs being overwhelmed by the superior technology of those very same Mooks.
  • Cool Starship: A few, but the king of this on SARP is the Himiko-class Light Escort. Without artwork, it tends to fall under Informed Ability for a lot of ship classes.
    • The ISC Big Bird has to fall under this category - it's a mercenary vessel holding a diverse crew of thieves, mercenaries and civilians ranging from benevolent and motherly to pissed off and bloodthirsty, and everything inbetween.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Subverted and played straight. Although their aesthetic and wording may indicate otherwise, Freespacer designs are grounded in hard science... with the possible exception of their Difference Engine, which manipulates probability.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Elysians appear to be Christians with Greco-Roman aesthetic and wings. They also have a fragment of God on their current homeworld.
    • Chiharu is considered to be a Messianic Archetype by many Yamatian citizens. The religion built around her more distinctly resembles Shinto, however.
    • The Iromakuanhe on the other hand, worship a race of Crystal Alien Buddhas.
    • The Lorath religion seems have some trappings of this, with a female Goddess who embodies goodness and femininity, and a male God who embodies evil and masculinity.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Played straight by the Elysians, subverted by everyone else, despite having the same or higher levels of technology.
  • Custom Uniform: Nepleslian characters see these a lot. Lampshadedin this comic.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted in almost every case and otherwise played with. The horrific trauma that leads up to cybernetic replacement is often what causes the change in personality, not the procedure or result or having Artificial Limbs.
  • Cyber Punk: Nepleslian society tends to have some elements of this.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: UOC ships have darker paint schemes and a spikier appearance. They're also peacekeepers and frequently take on humanitarian missions.
  • Death from Above: Nepleslian Powered Armor can be hotdropped from orbit, and make pinpoint landings on near or on top of targets.
    • Abwehran tactics against ground forces involve pinpoint bombardment from space with 240mm Tungsten-Carbide Spikes fired at low fractions of lightspeed. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Deflector Shields: Omnipresent in the setting, in many varieties. Despite this man-portable shields are rare or unheard of.
  • Derelict Graveyard: This is a Standard Sci Fi Setting.
  • Dual Wielding: Cold Sniper and this are two of the most common Player Character tropes in the setting.
  • Dying as Yourself: Subverted. The Mishhu use specialized toxins to warp the minds of their victims pretty much at the first chance they get, which is any point where a character isn't armored up.
  • Dystopia: A softer version for the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia. It's not the government's fault, but the fact they inherited a society that has had centuries of CivilWars and AlienInvasions shaping it into what it is now.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Yamataian and NMX vessels are equipped for this, wholesale. Avoided because planets are generally more valuable in one piece, and capable of sustaining life.
  • Earth That Was: The original Earth has faded into myth, and the origin of humans and derived species is left ambiguous.
    • The most common theory blames the Black Claw Empire, who took humans from their homeworlds as slaves.
      • Both the Freespacers and Iromakuanhe are supposed to be descended from Ancient Astronauts with different origins from the other human types. Their origins are deliberately left ambiguous beyond this.
    • Interestingly, the cradle of current human civilization, Damaisica, was glassed by the Elysians during one of several wars in the recent past. It was eventually terraformed as a preserve for the reconstructed remains of the Kohanian race.
      • To clarify, that race was previously destroyed and brought back wholesale through genetic samples, and given Fake Memories to prevent a Heroic BSOD.
  • Elves VS Dwarves: The stout, strong and masculine ID-SOL versus the swift, agile and feminine Nekovalkryja. Both super soldier projects, on opposite ends of the spectrum, with opposing The Aesthetics of Technology.
  • Empathic Weapon: Played with by Iromakuanhe VANDR. They're LivingWeapons with limited intelligence but respond to their users physical and psychological states and change feedback to better suit them.
  • Emperor Scientist: Emperor Ketsurui Uesu was one of the original developers of the Nekovalkryja race, and held the throne for most of recent Yamataian history.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: Yamatai in spades, and the Astral Commonwealth to a lesser degree. Other governments haven't been around long enough to have any secret skeletons in the closet.
    • Mishhu have plenty of atrocities under their belt, but they're hardly secret.
    • The Lorath had a few dark secrets in their past,but just added a massive one with the wholesale genocide of a rebellious faction that had fled their homeworld.
  • Enemy Civil War: NMX commanders are currently competing for holdings and prestige.
  • Enemy Mine: Everybody is trying to fight the Always Chaotic Evil Mishhu. Unsurprisingly, this had led to a number of military alliances.
  • Energy Weapon: From energy pistols to large WaveMotionGuns. Includes lasers, phased array lasers, particle cannons, transphased particle cannons, aether cannons and aether shock cannons.
  • The Evil Army: The NMX and their predecessors the SMX are the only real example of this.
  • Evil Counterpart: Eve to Yui, the original Nekovalkyrja. The Mishhu to regular Neko, since they are build on the same architecture.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy
  • Expansion Pack World: Every time a new race is added.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Iromakuanhe VANDR units feature a biomass reclamation unit that process nearly any kind of organic matter. Just don't think about it too much.
    • The Mishhu themselves, who are as likely to rape and torture victims as eat them.
  • Eye Beam: Elysian Beam Eyes are this... except dispersed across the hull of an Living Ship.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Cybernetic eyes can either be reasonable artificial implements, or bulky pieces that resemble eyepatches.
    • Or a double eyepatch in the form of an LED screen that replaces both eyes.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: The Mishhu love to implant their eggs into females. If they're in short supply, they make more.
  • Face-Heel Turn
  • Faceless Goons: Most battles are fought in Powered Armor, or against Starfish Aliens in battlepods and Humongous Mecha.
  • Fantastic Racism: Between almost every race, especially the Nekovalkyrja and Lorath.
    • The Iromakuanhe are subversions, as their diverse cultures are closer to Vitriolic Best Buds than outright hateful of eachother.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Yamatai is most definitely a mishmash of Norse and Japanese influences. Their name is even that of a country in ancient Japan.
    • Nepleslia couples the ideals of AMERICAN FREEDOM and DUTY TO THE MOTHERLAND.
    • The Elysians have clear Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian influences. Their aesthetic is essentially Crystal Spires and Togas and Romanesque columns, and they feature a Gattaca-esque genetic underclass of non-purebred Elysian Plebians, lorded over by Archangel Elysians.
    • The Lorath are essentially Catholic Space Nazis with strong Victorian overtones. Their caste system is reminiscent of Greek City-States, as their societies are more separate than stratified.
    • The Abwehrans have a distinct combination of Enlightenment Prussian and British Imperial, having a constitutional monarchy, and houses for the citizens and nobility. Their ships are blocky, functional and efficient, enough to satisfy any German engineer.
    • The Iromakuanhe are largely pan-Arab, but also feature Hindu, African, Southeast Asian and Aboriginal influences. Certain parts of their culture also have a Slavic twist, with a few Phenotype Stereotype characters popping up. Their aesthetic is more Post-Cyberpunk with an arabesque flair.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Subverted. The NMX generally keep their sexual and labor slaves placid through drugs and conditioning. If you're lucky.
  • The Federation: The UOC and Nepleslia are the main examples. The Iromakuanhe to a lesser extent, due to not have any alliances with other races to date. The Abwehrm despite being an empire might well be on their way to becoming this.
  • Feel No Pain: Higher-class Neko types can turn their ability to feel pain off in combat. NMX zombies play this straighter since the bodies are usually too atrophied to feel pain by the time they enter combat.
    • Iromakuanhe VANDR are LivingWeapons that lack pain receptors, although they can still perceive pressure and have a limited tactile sense.
  • For Science!: Most major arms producers are half this and half just trying to break the laws of science for increasingly effective military applications.
  • For the Evulz: Appears to be the primary motivation of the NMX.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Standard issue for Iromakuanhe infantry. Vehicle-mounted point defense weapons for most factions.
  • Galactic Conqueror: The Mishhu seem to be trying to do this. Yamatai occasionally puts this hat on, but seems to have hung it up for good of late.
  • Gatling Good: Gatling railguns, Gatling lasers and even Gatling plasma cannons.
    • The Lorath up the ante with a fully automatic man-portable gatling shotgun.
  • Genius Bruiser: Nekovalkyrja have digital brains that afford them on average more computing power than the average humanoid, and have mild Super Strength and the Required Secondary Powers standard.
  • Giant Flyer: The Iromakuanhe have domesticated 'Jarin Wyrms' which essentially desert wyverns.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Nepleslian nurses are issued Hypolathes as standard kit, a syringe that can nanoconstruct a bone saw and can peel flesh from bones with ease. Cue pants-shitting terror.
  • Glacier Waif: Neko tend to be lithe and small, but can take as much or more punishment than many of the more conventional super soldier races, coupled with a minor Healing Factor.
    • Cranked Up to Eleven by higher level Neko bodies such as the NH-27, which can reattach a nearly severed head and seal wounds that have allowed their organs to spill out.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Played straight by everyone except for the Nepleslians, who wear a green pullover and khaki pants.
  • House Rules: Different games masters will have different interpretation of the guideline damage system in place.
  • Hover Tank: The Yamataian TASHA combines this with Spider Tank.
  • Humans Are Bastards: As often as they can be good. Applies to every other race as well (except for the Mishhu), although some take the bastards/good ratios to their logical extremes.
  • Humans Are Special: Averted. Baseline humans have more or less been obsoleted by transhuman variations.
    • In the Star Army Roleplay, one could say that humans 'become special'.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Averted. Unless you travel through the corresponding hyperspace for a sun.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Mishhuu are as likely to eat their captives and rape and impregnate them.
    • To a lesser degree, Nekovalkyrja CAN do this. But it's a rare event and frowned upon by polite Yamataian culture.
    • Iroma VANDR can reclaim any form of biomass to repair themselves or refill certain weapons. ANY form of biomass.
  • Immune to Bullets: Implicit in the damage rating system. You need big bullets to drop a Powered Armor or Humongous Mecha.
  • Intangible Man: The old Mishhu Ghost type was able to phase through shields and hulls to attack the crew inside.
  • It's Raining Men: Nepleslians love this tactic.
  • Jerk With Aheart Of Gold: In the Nepleslian military, your superior will often be this until you graduate to Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: An amusing background for many Nepleslians who tried to escape the crime and grime of the Nepleslian capital, only to be sent to ANOTHER crapsack that doesn't have the modern niceties of urban life.
  • The Juggernaut
  • Kill It with Fire: The aptly named Nepleslian Fire 1 powered armor was made of this trope, having a large plasma cannon that could incinerate tanks with a single shot. Plasma weapons in general tend to be this.
  • Killed Off for Real
    • Subverted by Nepleslia, which uses cerebral chips and brain spiders to preserve a person's mind and upload it to a new body if the head can be recovered.
    • Subverted by Yamataians, who practice Brain Uploading.
  • Last Stand: Nepleslia has essentially been this for centuries, from both internal and external sources.
  • Lightning Bruiser: You know that cumbersome and blocky Nepleslian powered armor on sensors? Yeah, it's already on top of you and tearing your stomach out with a chainsword.
  • Living Ship: Elysian and Iromakuanhe vessels are generally this.
  • Lost Colony
  • Lost Technology: Black Claw Era wrecks are valuable, but the technology is not easy to salvage and generally worth more to a scientist than a pirate looking to outfit their ship with better kit.
  • Macross Missile Massacre
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Many many examples. Justified by Artificial Human races such as Yamataians, and the Cyber Punk aesthetic of Nepleslia. Played straight by many others.
    • Ketsurui Hanako has sky blue hair that is greenish at the roots and violet at the tips.