Exploring the Han Cluster: Adventurous Connection

The “Reunification” Jumpstart for Han Cluster is completely written and laid out, waiting for a couple more art pieces. It’ll be at least a couple more weeks before release, but this week, I wanted to talk about one of the primary design philosophies behind the Han Cluster setting: Adventurous Connection

Humble Beginnings

When I wrote the first few hundred words of the future human what-if scenario that would eventually become the Han Cluster, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was creating something that spoke to my cock-eyed sense of optimism for the far future of our species. I imagined a world where we had consumed our planet to the brink of collapse, where our own mistakes forced us to look in the mirror and examine ourselves.

At the very brink of our own self-destruction, we finally began to realize that how we treated each other mattered. That’s when Karl Han invented the crystum drive–a hyperdrive that could take us light years away from Earth. We embarked on the aptly named Hope Expedition to a cluster of star systems where we might be able to start over. We didn’t abandon Earth. In fact, we took drastic measures to save it, but the whole story of what happened after we arrived in the Han Cluster is fascinating (if I say so myself), and more aptly told in the History of the Han Cluster. That doesn’t mean everything turned out perfectly. Far from it. We’ve traded a bunch of old conflicts and troubles for new ones. That’s the beautiful and sometimes infuriating nature of our species.

New Solutions & New Conflicts

In the Han Cluster, humanity has largely moved past many of the socio-political troubles of our current world, like systemic racism, bigoted gender politics, and extreme economic injustice. We began the earnest (and sometimes disruptive) process of trying to take care of each other because, quite simply, we’re all in this together. Of course, that doesn’t mean humans aren’t still human. Conflict of all kinds still exists, whether its the broader problem of bad blood between Earth and the Han Cluster since Hope’s Break, scientific and philosophical conflict about the Nex, interplanetary squabbles, or interpersonal ones. This is where the term Adventurous Connection comes in.

A World We Want to Live In

I wanted to create a future world we could live in–a world of new and different mysteries to explore. I wanted a world in which (still true to our own) the bad guys seek to separate and divide, and the good guys seek connection and harmony. To me, that is our species in a nutshell. We are in many ways, our own worst enemy. There’s plenty of adventure in just that. Add the uncertainty and strangeness of the Nex, along with the hint of an alien threat out there… somewhere, and there are thousands of interesting stories a group of heroes can engage with.

Adventurous Connection

This is what the Han Cluster is ultimately about: Adventurous Connection. It’s about trying to preserve what’s most dear to us, what’s most fundamental to what makes us human, and fighting those (humans or not) who try to take it away. We’ve put a lot of thought into this world, and how heroes (and their players) interact with and fit into it. It has a ton of secrets to discover, bad actors to defeat, and mysteries to solve. The great adventure of discovering ourselves is writ large on a canvas that encompasses thousands of light years of space, multiple planets, and most importantly, millions of people (and their sapient AI “children”) who are just trying to figure it all out.

Let Us Show You

But that’s enough philosophizing. As with any good piece of art, it’s better to show you than to tell you. That’s exactly what the “Reunification” Jumpstart, coming in a few weeks, attempts to do. We’ll keep you posted right here (and in email if you’ve signed up for updates on the main page) when it launches.

Meanwhile, until next time, remember: We’re all in this together….

Tracy Sizemore
–Creator of Han Cluster