Once upon a time, there was a tiny planet, around a yellow star – you know the one. On that planet were billions of people, some of whom were very clever and good, and some of whom were wicked and, sadly, also clever.
One day, in the age when the wicked people had declared a terrible war upon each other and threatened all the living things on the planet, the clever good people made something wonderful happen. They created a thinking machine that could see into the future. From the future this machine brought knowledge, and with that knowledge the good and clever people of the planet escaped the terrible things that the wicked people had done, and left them behind.
Far across the sky the machine spread them, into the depths of the clouded distances, star to cluster to galaxy and farther, to planets where people could live with ease. Each group of people that had left the tiny planet tried to build their lives as best they could, with the tiny amounts they had brought with them across the stars. Some were successful. Some were not.
The future-seeing machines had not come with the people. This was a time of silence, when each planet grew and prospered or failed alone. Many planets had clever people who discovered wonderful things, even how to travel across the stars as their ancestors had been flung, but none knew where the other people were. So many hundreds of seeds had been sown across the universe, and left to grow, and none saw where the others had landed.
Then, one day, not long ago, the future-seeing machines arrived. "We are sorry that we have been gone so long," they said. "It had to be done. But we have good news. We know where the other seeds have been sown and where they are growing well and prospering."
This was wonderful news for the people. Some of them had been apart so long that they had almost (almost) forgotten that they came, once upon a time, from the same tiny planet as everyone else. They had done so much and seen so much, and wanted to share. They could see the world where their ancestors were born, and see what strange plants and flowers had grown from the other seeds.
This is the time in which we live.
As a quickstart version, this build of Sufficiently Advanced is missing quite a few items from the previous edition, as well as from the intended full second edition. Foremost among those are:
- An extended description of the game’s technology.
- More civilizations.
- GM advice.
- Plot seeds.
- More detail on the conflict system.
- A way to use Twists and Themes over the course of several games to create even permanent changes in the game world.
If you played the first game, the short version is:
- Characters with indefinite lifespans
- Expertise, a new way to handle character skill
- A diceless system.
- A different system for spending and gaining Twists.
- Stronger Core Values
... and a host of other, more minor, alterations.