Two years ago, the ragtag crew of the Katherine Johnson I saved the Maelstrom Galaxy (and broke it a little at the same time). Now pirates roam the jump lanes, a teenage techno-whiz is the new king of the underworld, and interstellar culture has been overtaken by a pint-sized pop princess with a penchant for big coats and big drama.
Also, it’s the end of the universe or something?
Welcome to the Maelstrom Galaxy, a colourful and chaotic setting with two arms, five main sentient species, and a heck of a turbulent history. The stars of the Maelstrom are travelled by five main sentient species: Humans, Namazir, Araswati, Plueen, and the Ipelta. Each species has unique abilities depending on the ecology of the planet they evolved on. Movement between stars is accomplished via Jump Gates, which “pinch” together distant locations in spacetime to reduce travel time to days and weeks rather than years.
(Open image in new tab for better quality/more readable labels)
ABOUT THE ALIENS
Our playable peoples come from very different evolutionary trees, and this has resulted in a number of features that are unique to each. None of our aliens has a linked Ability Score bonus, as we believe having inherent bonuses implies that certain people can be “inherently xyz” and that this swerves very easily into some pretty dang dicey territory.
Instead, our aliens have differences based more on the evolutionary niche they occupied on their homeworlds: the Namazir have gills, the Plueen can wall-walk, the Ipelta are heat-resistant and the Araswati bioluminesce. With humans we have introduced custom features emphasising endurance and sociability, though by no means do these negate the existence of chronic illnesses and disabilities.
We have adopted a “boom and bust” approach to the playable peoples of the Maelstrom, pairing these evolutionary abilities with vulnerabilities to specific damage types to invite higher stakes during play. This means that on certain damage types Maelstrom characters take double damage (or quadruple on a crit).
The Maelstrom campaign features spaceships, laser weapons, gravity shenanigans and nanite gels in the place of healing potions. We’re pretty sure you’ll pick up the unique elements of our game as you listen to the show, but our inbox is always open if you have any questions – or you can just drop us a line over on Twitter @TheJunketPod!
MEET THE SPACE SQUAD
Dr. Faraday Zenith-Lewis
she/her | human cleric | pansexual
Faraday is from the Sunfish, a Namazir city-ship that patrols the Mist nebula. She was raised by her two mothers, Rosemary and Freya Lewis, and ended up training to be a medineer out of pure indecision. Faraday began studying magic, medicine and engineering under the mentorship of Dr. Liam Malcolm, and found herself leaning towards necromancy – though her relationship with it has been (and continues to be) rocky.
they/them | ipeltan worker & rogue | asexual
Karel is an Ipeltan Worker from the New Colony, a group of Ipelta who live in the Trade Galaxy and oppose the Empire’s Queen-dominated hierarchy. Karel can come across as nervous and uptight, but is able to keep their cool when it really counts. They are fiercely loyal to the Colony and to the small circle of friends they have found within the Space Squad, especially Faraday.
Lore’la Wide Wanderer
she/her | araswati druid | queer
Lore’la (lo-re-lay) is originally from a circle of druids based deep in the forests of Korus. She left everything she had ever known behind to go in search of the center piece of her people’s star map, a small puzzle sphere that constantly updates to be accurate to the geography of the Maelstrom Galaxy. She travelled as a chef and medic on merchant ships for three years before getting involved with the Lady Zenith and trading up-to-date maps of the Ipeltan Empire for the right to join the Space Squad on the mission that would ultimately end with their final confrontation against the organisation known as Whispers.
he/him | human paladin | asexual
Born on Earth in Cornwall, England, Mitchell Crick joined the United Earth Fleet and became a cadet at the age of eighteen. Over time he became Captain of the UEF Endeavour. He travelled aboard the Endeavour for years, until its ship and crew were lost to a terrible accident in the skies of the planet Korus. Crick quit the UEF following the accident and became a bodyguard-for-hire, wandering the Maelstrom in search of a new family to replace what he had lost…
Schlurp Ruth / LM3
they/them | amitacyte bard & sorceror | asexual
Schlurp, originally designated LM3, was created seven years ago by the Araswati scientist Suresh. They learnt music under Suresh’s assistant, Prisha, and through this they manifested magic. Although previously possessing the mind of a child, Schlurp is now mentally in their 20s. They are generally anxious and prone to rambling, and often struggle with issues of self-identity. They are certain of two things: they are loved, and they love music. You will never find Schlurp far from an instrument or their oddly intelligent lion rabbit, Bugsy.