A Very Brief History of Cybertron and the Transformers
The Transformer race was born an untold amount of time ago. No current Transformer alive remembers or knows the origins of the species. Whether this is because it happened so long ago or due to some sort of race wide memory wipe is unknown. To them, they and Cybertron have simply always existed. There are a variety of beliefs about their origins, but with the war consuming everything few have little time to dwell on religion and philosophy.
What is known is that the Transformers lived on Cybertron for ages in peace at a high tech and highly industrialized level. Cybertron was ruled as a republic, with the city-states having their own senates and courts and representatives on a larger, planetwide federal system. As time went on, problems arose in the structure of society. As time passed the natural occurring energon deposits found on the planet began to dwindle. More and more Transformers were brought in to continue mining for the life fuel of the race. These miners were gradually worked harder and harder and were modified for the difficult and unpleasant work in the mines. The only thing keeping them in check was their unsuitability for most other work and the dire nature of their jobs. Still, the situation was a powder keg waiting to ignite.
Few would realize that the spark was lit when automation began to be introduced in the mines. The miners, seeing their livelihood being taken from them, began a small revolt. Initially this revolt was put down, but a young Transformer by the name of Megatron was able to escape into the slums of Kaon. There he joined in the organized underground fighting matches, gaining skill, experience and power in battle. He began to develop a cult like following, drawn to his raw power and charisma. It wasn’t long before he successfully seized control of the fights and began leading the entire Kaon underground.
The Autobots, originally the military and security forces on the planet, began to counter Megatron’s growing power in the Kaon region. Scouting operations and spy rings were formed, with only moderate success. Megatron brutally crushed any who betrayed or opposed him. Megatron and his ‘Decepticons’ were receiving heavy weaponry from an outside source and were proving to be quite a match for the Autobots. It wasn’t until Sentinel Prime, the military commander of the planet, got personally involved, that Megatron and his followers were brought down.
Unfortunately, that is what Megatron wanted. With the assistance of his follower, Megatron orchestrated the mass execution of the Kaon ruling senate and instigated a mass breakout of the city’s main prison. These prisoners were quickly armed with high tech weaponry and unleashed on the city-state. The Autobots rapidly deployed to fight back, with Sentinel Prime himself leading the charge in his apex armor. He met Megatron on the field and a titanic battle occurred. In the end a nearly deactivated Sentinel was dropped on Autobot forces. The Autobots withdrew and Kaon fell to the fully forged Decepticon forces. And thus began the great war….
The war would rage across Cybertron for several millennia, with both sides gaining and losing territory. Various technologies were invented to increase lethality and to stretch the rapidly dwindling energon supplies with varying degrees of success. In the end the war proved too much for their homeworld. Stripped of resources and battered by constant warfare, Cybertron suffered a full environmental collapse. Its atmosphere was stripped away, leaving the surface unprotected from cosmic radiation and wracked by plasma storms, rendering it uninhabitable by Transformers without extra protective shielding. All energon deposits have been depleted and no new ones appear to be forming. Cybertron is currently a dead world.
The war did not end with the death of Cybertron. Megatron and his Decepticons were still bent on conquest, and turned to other planets to help provide materials and fuel to continue against the Autobots. The Autobots, now led by Optimus Prime, were bent on stopping the Decepticons once and for all. The war now continues across the stars….Infiltration
With the war spreading to other worlds, worlds often inhabited by intelligent species, both sides were forced to adapt. The Decepticons in particular developed a specific system of waging war on these other worlds, but still following The Code of Interplanetary Conflict. This is the Infiltration Protocol and is made up of six discrete phases.Phase One:
This comprises the initial infiltration of a planet's society and gathering of intelligence. Decepticons will adopt alternate modes indigenous to the planet and remained disguised while in public. This phase can last from months to years.Phase Two:
This involves the agitation of pre-existing conflicts and igniting "international hotspots". Frequently this is accomplished with facsimile avatars -- artificial duplicates of key members of the planet's native population, equipped to duplicate the original's actions, memories and personalities, but programmed to serve the Decepticons' interests. The goal is to get the natives to obliterate themselves, without the Decepticons' direct involvement.Phase Three:
This involves the Decepticons themselves getting involved in the native population’s affairs. Instigating wars disguised as foreign nation’s vehicles is common at this level. Decepticons may reveal themselves to small groups of natives to intimidate or enlist their support.Phase Four:
This involved the Decepticons possibly fully revealing themselves to the natives to continue their goals. Possibly extermination and/or enslavement of pockets of native population can begin.Phase Five:
This involves open warfare against the natives. Planetary scale enslavement or extermination begins.Phase Six:
The planetary population is nearly exterminated. Full scale strip mining and harvest of the world’s resources begins. Often, open warfare with Autobots is waged across the planet. At the completion of this phase the planet is abandoned as a used up husk.Special Infiltration Conditions:Mirror response mode:
Occasionally the Decepticons will encounter a native species with unique defenses that could potentially stop and harm them. In these cases the Mirror Response Mode is activated. It consists, quite simply, of analyzing the defense, copying it, and firing it right back at the natives.Siege Mode:
Typically activated during Phase Five, Military protection of assets is the primary goal of Siege Mode, implying that the Autobots and/or the natives are now making efforts to stop the Decepticons through straightforward military force; a massive above-ground fortress (variously known as the siege armature or siege mode armature) is typically installed on the planet and used as a base of operations. Secrecy is no longer a concern.The Tyrest Accord:
A subsection in The Code of Interplanetary Conflict, both sides have agreed to abide by this accord. No Cybertronian technology is to be shared with or allowed to follow into alien hands. This particularly is enforced on weaponry. Generally both sides follow this rule, neither side particularly interested in bringing alien races directly into the war, but there are exceptions, particularly on the Decepticon side.Human Facsimile:
This is a bio-technological organism grown in fusion tube. They are synthetic human mimics, created from cell samples culled from real humans that the Decepticons kidnapped to act as templates. Once activated, facsimiles can look, think and act entirely like the original humans they were created from. In fact, the Decepticons often plant long-term facsimiles back into civilization, and they live normal lives until their dormant programming is activated or they are recalled. While totally obedient to their Decepticon masters, the facsimiles still possess some form of innate creativity and even curiosity.
Additionally, all facsimiles grown in the same fusion tube "batch" apparently share the same cellular template. As a result, the Autobots could capture a Decepticon facsimile "alive", and use it as a key to access all other Earthbound facsimiles, and then either locate them all or shut them all down.Holomatter:
The Autobots operating covertly on Earth have holomatter avatars to act as their vehicle-mode drivers. The avatar isn't just a friendly image to fool human beings; it's also the Autobot equivalent of a remotely operated vehicle, allowing Autobots to go places and perform actions that would otherwise be prevented by their size and the need to camouflage their true identities. Having an avatar in a location is like the Autobot being there himself. An avatar can function a considerable distance away from the controlling Autobot, even when separated by solid walls. The avatar can operate both outside the Autobot and within, acting as a vehicle mode "driver" for disguise purposes.
Holomatter avatars can be intangible, or as solid as a real object. Although the upper limit of the strength of a holomatter avatar has not been established, it can be assumed to be higher than standard human strength, but well below that of a standard Transformer.
These avatars are created with holomatter generators, which all Autobots are presumably outfitted with. These devices are small enough to fit unobtrusively within a standard Transformer and, aside from the fake driver they project, give off no visual or auditory emissions. They can cause the avatar to blink into sudden existence with no warning.
Holomatter disguises are limited by their operator's understanding of the lifeform they mimic. They only act as human as the Transformer controlling them knows how a human normally acts. Holomatter avatars carry a strong connection to the consciousness of its generating Autobot. Damage to the avatar can cause severe impairment to the controlling Autobot if their consciousness is not withdrawn in time. Holomatter can be detected by devices called holomatter readers. Both sides regularly equip their bases with these devices. The avatars do have a limited range, and the further it gets from its controller the more energy it takes to keep it functioning.Orbital Jump/Bounce:
This is a method of teleportation used by both sides to travel on and above planetary bodies. This requires a vessel to be in orbit around the planet in question. When used, a shaft of red light descends from the ship in orbit, in which the teleporting object materializes, starting at the top and working down towards the ground. After materialization, the shaft of light seems to "retract" back into the ship in orbit instead of shutting off. A “jump” is done from orbit to surface or vice versa while a “bounce” is done from a surface location to another surface location. The process can be detected by both sides if they have sensors in the vicinity by the buildup of charged anti-protons that accompanies it.
The process does have some drawbacks. Aside from needing a ship in orbit it is an additional not insignificant drain on power. It also requires the Transformers in transit to be in robot mode, increasing the risk of accidental breakage of cover. The process is fairly traumatic to organic lifeforms, including facsimile constructs and humansGeneral Notes:
• No new Transformers have been made since anyone can remember. The ability to create new sparks has been lost to them. There is no Matrix, Primus or Vector Sigma except possibly for legends and myths that may or may not be true. This does not prevent custom characters from existing, it merely states that they'd have to be about as old as your average canon Transformer.
• Cybertron is uninhabitable and landing on it is forbidden by both factions.
• Transformers are powered by energon but with no natural source of it they have been forced to subsist on artificial derivatives. Creating this fuel is energy inefficient and is not terribly appealing in taste, but it is enough to function even if not at optimal levels.
• Gestalts, Pretenders, Micromasters and the various Master technologies do not exist. If you want to play a character who had these abilities (excluding Micromasters) then they will be played as if they never had them, assuming they can be worked into the Earth setting.
• The history is kept vague for a reason. We may or may not introduce further elements to it at a later date. For now focus on current events and let the staff worry about this.
• Fanmade characters are now permitted in the game with restrictions. The rules for them can be found here
• We are setting a character cap of 3 characters maximum. If a player proves himself capable of handling 3 characters additional ones may be allowed.
• The old rules apply except where they are superseded here.
• While we are using several ideas and background from the IDW comics, this is NOT the IDW comic’s universe. Don’t necessarily expect to see the Dead Universe or Bludgeon making himself into a Pretender or a mega-powerful Thunderwing to show up. We may use these ideas at some point, or we may not. If it isn’t listed specifically in the game summary or history, it isn’t set one way or the other. We are making our own universe here, and we are writing it together.