Genre/ Setting Requirements to use this submission:
* There needs to be several races that are important.
* There needs to be FTL technology and some form of conventional drive.
* There needs to be some kind of Confederation or Grand State that they races interact in and governs the campaigns section of space (or is close enough that they have a vested interest in it.
The Piten Peoples are an offshoot of a Major Race besides Humanity in the setting. (This could be The Pointed Ear beings, The Blue Antenna People, The Bumpy Forehead People, Grey People or what ever.) They are physically very, very similar to the Major Race. Humans might not be able to tell the physical difference, but members of that Major Race can. The Piten’s origin should be based on the setting. I suggest are transplanted there by a superior species. However, a lost colony or crash landing long ago is possible if FTL has been around for at least 1000 standard years. These people believed themselves to be natives of the world, despite a myth saying that they came down from the Stars.
Mentally, they are different from The Major Race. Perhaps they are more Human like, or more religious, or more peaceful/ violent, who knows. This makes them a nice contrast to the Major Race.
After 300 years in Lower Gee, they are a bit little taller and thinner than most Major Race members. They have a distinctive cosmetic feature; they keep their hair pulled back into a braid. The braid pattern shows their bloodline, (which is important when you looking for a "bunkmate" and want to avoid cousin syndrome).
The Piten Peoples had a moderately successful technological society. They had system exploration, but were pre-star drive. However, their fractured society still knew war between the various nation states. The Last War was fought with conventional forces for nearly a decade before The End.
Details are sketchy, but something (or several somethings) killed off everyone on the Homeworld (see Koniaran III). This left only a small population of people on the asteroid belt, a few science colonies, and a few dozen space ships. After several crews tried to avenge their dead, a peace was determined.
All crews that spent time on or near the planet seemed to go mad. Some say it was just the visible grief of their lost homeworld, others think that a psychotropic weapon was used at The End. Realizing the effect seemed to be expanding outward from the planet (or the sense of loss was becoming a burden), the remaining Piten gathered their resources and left the system.
It has been 300 roughly hundred standards years since they took to the Deep Black. The bulk of the population came from the High Navy members followed by the Ore Tanker Crew. It is only natural that their society followed a ship’s structure.
There is a captain and appointed officers for each duty type, on each ship. Each member has a rank, down to the children. Everyone knows their place and what they need to do. While they are quite different off duty, when they are on duty or call, they do their duty.
The Commander is the leader of The Convoy, master of the twenty two main ships, the lesser crafts, and nine thousand souls in them. He has the master staff the commanders of each duty type. Their world is very top down.
There are twenty two good sized ships (medium size for the universe) and a number of lesser craft that are linked to them. Their main ships are either adapted haulers (super tankers) or System Defense Ships (spaceborn aircraft carriers). There are a number of fighters, space vans, and other vehicles that serve as auxiliary transport, scouting, or service vehicles that fly with them.
They have gravetic drives. All the Great ships were retrofitted at The Leaving with (then) experimental gravetic drives. They were not FTL drives, but allowed for exceptional and continuous acceleration that allows the ships to achieve three years per light year (or some suitable number for your campaign). It takes The Convoy of ships 8 to 10 years to cover a parsec (your numbers may vary).
If your setting does not have artificial gravity, then these people can provide it. If you are using reaction motors (expelling mass to propel yourself) for space flight, they might have a technology you will be interested in. These could make the Piten a valuable commodity.
The ships were not designed to be generational ships. However the science colonies and the shipyards did some additional world to allow them to become functional generational ships. (There may or may not be any cloning involved in keeping the population up.)
Give the systems of the science colonies, their recycling abilities are nearly 100%. They only need to "tank up" every 50 to 75 years.
The designs for these ships are something people have not seen before. However, to complicate things, they should be similar to an antagonistic species (at least at a distance).
The Convoy is exploring and looking for habitable planets they can reestablish themselves on. They claim they do not wish to displace another species. They do stop at occupied ones (or not quite perfect ones) to refuel and refresh their organic supplies. There are source for the "Myth of the Star Travelers" that several species in this sector have.
There are hundreds of them, so feel free to add more with each of your comments. They can start from various branching points and work from there
These Plot Hooks all start from First Contact (or Near First Contact).
Keep in mind that your crew should have one or several members of The Major Race. That way you can have people who have special ties to the Piten. Thus can The Captain and Crew trust these crew members? Where will their loyalties lie?
The Convoy Divided
: Due to some disaster, one or two ships have been lost. They have been encountered by the crew. What do they do? Help them get back? Help these settle somewhere? If they were somewhat antagonistic, should they blow them away? (Thus setting up complications later when they encounter The Convoy).
The Convoy is in danger
: The ships have been damaged due to cosmic event. How can you rescue the crews and population of two dozen ships, half the size of yours? Perhaps they will not abandon their ships? Do you risk yourself to get the parts they need to save themselves?
The Convoy rescues PCs
: In a reversal of above, perhaps they rescue The PC ship OR their shuttle. The PCs are indebted to them, but these people want to just take some technology or information that they should not have. They are not bad people, they are just desperate.
The Convoy arrives on Main Street
: They show up at a major system. Are they a media sensation? Are they a political hot potato? Are they just another group of people passing through. These poor people don’t have enough money to buy StarDrive technology which they needs. (Maybe they will steal one.)
Convoy hits the back streets
: They have shown up and left by the time the ship has arrived. They did some trading with a minor colony species in the outskirts of the sector. Do you track them down? What do you do?
Desperate for Resources
: The Convoy needs resources desperately. They are willing to do almost anything to get them.
Protect the Defenseless
: The Convoy decides that they can eliminate a primitive people on a suitable planet. While they have always decided against this course, various key systems breaking down has forced their hand.
The Major Race Defends
: The Major Race begins to throw its influence around trying to get help for these peoples. They will help The Convoy do things, including break Confederation Laws.
The Major Race turns away
: The Major Race uses its influence to thwart the Convoy’s actions. (Perhaps they are am embarassment or complication they do not wish to endulge). Where does that leave them now? How do the PCs feel.
Complication Nobody said the Major Race had to be on the Good Guys side. Now you have a diplomatic nightmare AND a pretext for war.
Set up a Preserve
: People want to give them a planet, other forces do not. The Convoy become lost in political limbo. Perhaps they will settle for an archology?
Part of the Convoy defects
: Some decide that they have found a stellar society that will accept them, that they will just leave the ships and join this new Confederation society. This will tear the Convoy apart, as some feel that they will be unable to go on without these crew members.
Return them Home?
: You could take them home to check out their Homeworld. That has the complications as defined by the Homeworld listing. Koniaran III
It might be fun if the PCs encounter The Ghost Planet first. Then encounter The Convoy.
There are hundreds more plotlines you can build from these people for a campaign. They make a wonderful B plotline happening in the background. Feel free to add plotlines in your comments.