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Tabletop Game: Myriad Song

Myriad Song is a sci-fi tabletop RPG made by Sanguine Productions (the same company responsible for Ironclaw). The game draws heavy inspiration from the New Wave of science fiction of the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as sci-fi comic books and progressive rock.

For an untold number of generations, the universe was ruled by the Syndics - aliens "strange and unknowable", who conquered and enslaved countless worlds. They used the power of Xenharmonics to travel the cosmos, to power their technology, and generally to warp reality to their will. They would genetically engineer the species they conquered, oppress them, assimilate them, or whatever would work best with their intentions.

And then, a hundred years ago, the Syndics suddenly vanished. What happened to them? Who knows?

What is known is that the Syndics' disappearance left a power vacuum; one which their former servants are trying to fill. Many interplanetary factions struggle for power and dominion, from the Solar Creed (which offers free energy at the price of freedom) to the Malmingetti (who just want to conquer everything) to the Concords (in a nutshell, For Science!), and everyone and everything in-between. And then there's the question of what might be lurking in the undiscovered parts of space...

Mechanically, Myriad Song uses the Cardinal System, the same system used in Ironclaw. Naturally, though, there are heavy modifications to allow for the difference in settings, including more in-depth combat rules. There are also far fewer playable species (referred to here as Legacies), but with the exception of humans, each one has their own "gift tree" to improve their innate abilities. Each character can also take gifts to become cyborgs, mutants, or even Conductors - rare people with the ability to harness Xenharmonics.

Tropes found in Myriad Song

  • Abusive Precursors: The Syndics.
  • Artificial Gravity: Seems to be averted, most ships have no gravity and arcologies tend to be Stanford or O'neil.
  • Bizarre Alien Sexes: Elvers have four genders, male, female, midwife (carries fertilized eggs), and neuter. They're born neuter and change sexes at maturity based on the gender ratios of the local Elver community, isolated individuals may spend their whole lives neuter.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Rhax males are non-sentient giant spiders while females look rather humanoid.
  • Blue Blood: The Syndics genetically modified certain human bloodlines with Xenharmonic abilities so they could act as overseers. The four remaining dynasties rule the Remanence.
  • Brain Food: Morphir begin life as ordinary carnivorous plants. But if someone feeds them the brains of sapient beings they become sapient and mobile, as well as produce buds that contain memories from those they ate, often smoked as a drug.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Averted, the very cheapest passage costs 10 Note (equivalent to a minimum of $200), and getting into orbit also requires either an equally expensive rocket or a very physically stressful mass driver.
  • Fantastic Drug: Several, many are lethal to species other than the one they're designed for such as the Towser drug Snowblind. And then there's Charas, produced by Morphir that have eaten brains and containing absorbed memories, occasionally smokers come off a trip with new skills.
  • Feathered Fiend: The Adhilians.
  • Global Currency: The Remanence's Imperial Reserve Note is accepted almost everywhere.
    • Global Currency Exception: The Concord and Solar Creed are both attempting an Energy Economy, and many Independent worlds issue their own scrip, but their currencies tend to have a 100:1 exchange rate with the Note.
  • Humans Are Diplomats: Humans get a bonus to several social interaction skills, as well as an innate bonus to rallying. Because the Syndics used them as overseers for their other slaves.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: Towsers look like dogs with crystals in their fur, Troodons resemble the dinosaurs they're named after, Rhax males are basically giant spiders (and not actually intelligent), Ishato look a lot like octopi, while Elvers seem to be some cross between assorted eels and seals.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: The majority of ranged weapons are plain old guns, Energy Weapons have overheating issues.
  • Laser Blade: Laser torches, ghibli blades (technically superheated air), and the Lost Technology Xenharmonic blade.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Morphir.
  • Mile-Long Ship: Cavalcades are starships the size of small cities that serve as the primary means of transportation between planets, both carrying passengers on board and attaching non-Rondo ships to the hull. Many of the crew belong to families that have been on board those ships for generations.
  • Organic Technology: The Metanoic Corps favors tech that is grown rather than made.
  • Plant Aliens: Morphir. Ldum are sapient fungus that exist in symbiosis with non-sapient humanoid hosts called Rabo.
  • The Power of Rock: Xenharmonics.
  • The Remnant: The Remanence attempt to continue the Syndicate.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Notably averted; only a few of the Myriad's species could even be counted as humanoid, and even those have very obvious physiological differences to humans. Though some mutants, such as the blue-skinned Conductor in the intro comic, can look like TV aliens.
  • Scavenger World: Derelict planets devastated by the Syndicate or the Averlini Mega Corps. There's an entire category in the equipment chapter for "scrounged" weapons cobbled together by the poor souls stuck on such worlds.
  • Shock and Awe: Elvers may take a Gift that allows them to perceive and produce electricity.
  • Silicon-Based Life: The Towsers. They prefer to eat silicates and can breathe carbon monoxide.
  • Space People: The Space-Faring upbringing and Tziganes faction, which covers both nomads and inhabitants of space "arcologies".
  • Technology Uplift: The Syndics uplifted all of the Myriad races, but treated most of them as slaves. Still, many revere them as "the Patrons".
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Rondo Gifts used by starship navigators (aka Conductors) do this in a variety of ways.
  • Terraform: The Metanoics use terraforming to restore planets pillaged by many of the other factions.
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