The campaign setting will be Spelljammer, so best be familiar with Wildspace as a backdrop for the game. I intend to have the game center around the Rock of Bral in Realmspace. The Rock is an unaligned port; good, neutral and evil spacefaring races have embassies here in order to avoid further intersphere wars. By being able to settle disputes in a diplomatic setting, the hope is that the varying agendas of the races can be negotiated peacefully. It is a new project, with some ambassadors only just arriving, and most are inexperienced or dishonored statesmen. Few envision this project as a worthwhile endeavor, and most navies are only devoting the bare minimum of resources.
The story will be character driven, and while a wealth of NPCs will be introduced and have competing agendas, ultimately the PCs will decide what to do, who to side with, and which plot lines are pursued, or to just ditch the whole ball of wax and explore and adventure. Decisions will have consequences, altering the game world and options available. The story i intend involves much more than just negotiations and promoting detente, challenges will test the resolve of alliances and most will require the kind of hands-on solutions that D&D players expect. While combats will be life threatening, there will usually be more at stake than just survival of the fittest, and even in failure the bonds between races can be strengthened, so how one goes about dealing with a situation can be even more important than whether the problem was overcome or not. Enemies can become friends and friends can become enemies, the malleability of those roles will develop through the course of play.
The player characters will act as ambassadors from a fleet of their choice, the list can be found here, either from the Organized or the Disparate Navies. The Organized Navies have a rigid hierarchy and chain of command, one need only convince his or her superiors to gain the support of the fleet (generally speaking, of course). The Disparate Navies are a bit more complicated since they lack a central authority. As such, one must convince groups of independent captains or lords of nations to support diplomatic efforts. It involves a lot more “what’s in it for me?” attitudes. The Unrepresented Navies are not playable choices, nor are the Illithids or Beholders. The former have no formal representation on The Rock for a variety of reasons and so would be left out of a lot of in-game situations while the latter are inhuman and otherwise unsuitable for PCs in this campaign.
While it is not necessary for the characters to come from separate races, having competing yet concordant interests, as well as greater individual responsibilities, will make the game much more enjoyable. If you really had your heart set on an unrepresented race, or a more generic backstory, The Triad is a great catch-all, you just have to match the proper nouns to Oerth, Krynn or Toril.
This wiki contains a lot of information, 97.8% of it is from printed source material, adjusted for what has transpired in previous campaigns and the needs of this campaign. There is no need to read this material, and don’t worry about not knowing enough or learning too much. All the information provided is readily available by “asking around”, any secret information is carefully tucked away in the GM Only section. At the table, all necessary information can be provided through general information tests (skill checks), as well as asking an npc, it’ll just make my life easier and give your character more of an opportunity to explore his or her own desires if you flip through these wiki pages.