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It is a time of wonder.
Humanity has reached the stars and created a society of glittering sophistication and diversity on hundreds of planets. Poets declaim, lovers rendezvous, and rakes duel with wits and monoblades. Colonists settle virgin worlds, merchant princes vie for emerging markets, and free traders hawk their exotic wares. The Navy rules the jumplines, putting down pirates and charting new star systems. Scientists uncover startling new truths on long-dead worlds and posit revolutionary theories dizzying in their implications. Technology advances at a rapid pace, each year improving the lot of all who accept its boons. None dare deny the bright destiny Man has seized for himself.
It is a time of upheaval.
The inhabited galaxy – the Thousand Suns – teeters on the brink of chaos. Half a millennium since the Concord, and a generation since the bloody Civil War, the dynamism that ended the Age of Warring States is sorely tested. Diplomats try new gambits, shifting their ground for an unknown future. On dozens of worlds across known space, the lights are going out again and the process of decivilization begins anew. Despots and tyrants who would rather lord it over benighted backwaters than bend their knee to even a distant authority, arise once more. At the edges of explored space, rivals – both human and alien – watch and wait.
It is a time of glory.
Victorious fleets smash enemy armadas in distant star systems. Soldiers parade through liberated planets to alien cheers. Sector governors draw up breathtaking visions of terraforming and orbital cities. New jumplines open to the heart of unexplored space, daring the bold to venture into the unknown for profit and peril. Surveyors stumble upon lost colonies and puzzle out the mysteries of inscrutable clades. Captains with blazing eyes save worlds from barbarism-and rule them as gods. Daring thieves turn new technologies to unexpected ends or sell them to shadowy cartels on the fringes of known space.
Meanwhile, bold operatives seek out these criminal plans for reprisal. Everything is possible with enough beauty, brains, or blasters, and it's all within reach of a single jump.
It is a time of adventure.
Thousand Suns is a roleplaying game that takes its inspiration from the classic literary "imperial" science fiction of the '50s, '60s, and '70s written by authors like Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, Gordon Dickson, Larry Niven, H. Beam Piper, Jerry Pournelle, and A.E. van Vogt, among others.
This is a complete game, providing all the rules you need to play under one cover, from character generation to starship combat to the creation of alien lifeforms. Also included is the Thousand Suns "meta-setting," a flexible outline of a setting, in which certain details have been provided, along with lots of lots of "blank spaces," and whose final shape and content is entirely up to each Game Master to build upon as he wishes for his campaign.