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The Iz Files, Volume 1: Let's Play Stellaris

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The Iz Files, Volume 1: Let's Play Stellaris, Prologue


Salutations, readers! Welcome to The Iz Files!


The Iz Files will be a series of interactive Let's Plays conducted in a sort of Choose Your Own Adventure-style fashion. This first volume will be a test run to see if there is any interest for this kind of activity at all, so please be sure to leave feedback if you want more! The first game we'll be playing through together is Stellaris, with the Leviathans and Plantoids DLC packs included. This blockbuster game from Paradox Studios has taken the grand strategy genre to the galactic scale and is a personal favorite of mine. This prologue episode will allow you, dear readers, to choose from among various settings to shape the galaxy we will be journeying through together.


I have prepared three custom species/civilizations to choose from, all of which vary in multiple ways. Each species/civilization will likely allow for a very different story, so choose carefully! I will list them here, explain their differences and try to explain their cultures in the way that I've perceived them as a creator.




Atani and the Interstellar Republic of Isaris


Atani (singular, Atan) are an Avian species from the tropical world of Arnon, in the Isaris system. I say world as the game could hypothetically start us on a moon as opposed to a planet (this is random). The Atani are an intelligent species known for their peacefulness and xenophilia. However, they are also physically weak and breed slowly as their eggs take quite some time to hatch. These traits have also instilled in them an inherent willingness to conform to society's ethics. Birds of a feather and all that, I guess. Their government is a moral democracy founded on principles of nonviolence, with an election to decide a Prime Minister every 10 years. Their vessels are initially equipped with red lasers and traverse space via warp travel.




Government, Ethics and Traits Overview


Moral Democracy

  • Leader Pool Size +1

  • Empire Leader Capacity +1

  • Core Sector Systems +2


Fanatic Xenophile

  • Empire Modifier: Trust Growth +75%

  • Pop Modifier: Xenophobia -15%



  • Empire Modifier: Rivalry Influence Gain -25%, Diplomatic Influence Cost -25%

  • Pop Modifier: Peace Happiness +5%, War Happiness -5%



  • Engineering Output +10%

  • Physics Output +10%

  • Society Output +10%



  • Ethics Divergence -20%



  • Army Damage -20%

  • Minerals -5%


Slow Breeders

  • Growth Time +15%




Ellecor and the Ellecor Imperium


Ellecor (singular, Ellecor) are an Arthropoid species from the ocean world of Nau-Ma-Chia, in the Ednalal system. They are a nomadic and spiritual race of crab-like people whose culture is difficult to understand as an outsider. Due to the cyclical nature of their species' breeding methods, population growth is slow and this is used as an excuse to justify slavery as a means to increase production of both food and minerals. They firmly believe that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and the state religion supports this message by propagating that to live as a slave is to live in service to the gods. The ruler of the Imperium, the Archprophet(ess), is seen as a divine symbol and the heir to the throne is chosen from among the religious caste. Their vessels are initially equipped with nuclear missiles and traverse space via hyperspace travel.




Government, Ethics and Traits Overview


Divine Mandate

  • Each Ruler can build a Tomb Monument Building

  • Edict Cost -15%

  • Edict Duration +15%

  • Ethics Divergence -10%


Fanatic Collectivist

  • Empire Modifier: Faction Suppression Cost -30%

  • Pop Modifier: Slavery Tolerance +100%, Food Consumption -15%



  • Empire Modifier: Ethics Divergence -10%

  • Pop Modifier: Growth Time -5%



  • Migration Speed +50%

  • Resettlement Cost -30%


Conformists (see above)



  • Garrison Health +100%

  • Fortification Defensive Bonus +50%



  • Resource Output without Slaves -10%


Slow Breeders (see above)




Zavijavans and the Lepreonian Mining Consortium


Zavijavans (singular, Zavijavan) are a Plantoid species from the tropical world of Lepreon, in the Oenone system. By nature of evolving from plants, Zavijavans are a sedentary species, preferring not to move very much. They are physically weak but make up for this with their intelligence and seemingly instinctive talent for economics. Through the use of technology, they have mastered their world and individuals are motivated by profits as the wealthiest in society hold the power. Every 40 to 50 years, the Mining Consortium decides upon a new Executive from those within their ranks. Though they'd prefer to seek new trading partners over enemies, the Lepreonian Mining Consortium is not afraid to protect their interests. Their vessels are initially equipped with mass drivers and traverse space via wormhole travel.




Government, Ethics and Traits Overview


Plutocratic Oligarchy

  • Energy Credits +5%

  • Minerals +5%

  • Mining Station Build Cost -25%



  • Empire Modifier: Policy Happiness Impact -20%, Migration Attraction +10%

  • Pop Modifier: Energy Credits +5%, Slavery Tolerance -33%



  • Empire Modifier: Trust Growth +25%

  • Pop Modifier: Xenophobia -5%



  • Empire Modifier: Building Cost -5%

  • Pop Modifier: Physics Output +5%, Society Output +5%, Engineering Output +5%


Intelligent (see above)



  • Energy Credits +15%



  • Migration Speed -50%

  • Resettlement Cost +33%


Weak (see above)




After we've decided what species/civilization we'll playing, we'll also have a few other settings to choose from. Let's start with galaxy size and shape. There are five sizes and four shapes, which I will list now:


  1. Tiny (150 Stars)

  2. Small (400 Stars)

  3. Medium (600 Stars)

  4. Large (800 Stars)

  5. Huge (1000 Stars)


  1. Elliptical

  2. Ring

  3. 2 Arm Spiral

  4. 4 Arm Spiral


4 Arm Spiral galaxies are only compatible with Medium and above sized maps. 2 Arm Spiral galaxies are only compatible with Small and above sized maps. Elliptical and Ring galaxies are compatible with all sizes. Other settings that the size of the map will affect are the max number of initial AI empires and the max number of fallen empires. For example, a tiny map can only start with 8 AI empires and have 1 fallen empire, in addition to the player. Small increases the AI cap to 15 and the fallen empire cap to 2, so attempt your own math at your own risk of headache. I'm not going to list all of that here now.


I'll be keeping AI Aggressiveness and Difficulty on normal, as well as Habitable Worlds at 100% and no advanced AI starts. Empire placement will be random, endgame crises will be allowed and ironman mode will be off. However, I will let readers choose whether we'll allow for AIs to use any FTL travel method or if we'll force everyone, including us, to use only one of the three (Warp, Hyperspace, Wormhole) forever, based on which species/civilization is chosen for us to play as. I hope you're ready, readers. This is just the beginning of The Iz Files! Please feel free to ask questions and please honor me with your feedback! :)

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