Life in the Confederation of Worlds is, in general, fairly easy. You live, you get old, you die. If you disobey a law of the Confrederation, you die even faster. Of course, thats the same as life anywhere. Given the kind of lives most races had before entering the Confederation, it is infintely preferable to the cycles of war, famine and ecological disasters that occur without it.
The confederation provides a basic language (called Basic) that vocal, can be used by 70% of species and understood by almost all the rest. It also provides AIs, translators and access to FTL travel via the Portals. Lastly, it provides technology and laws. Tbe basic laws of the confederation are:
To enter the Confederation, a race must be willing to obey those laws and, ideally, trying them out themselves. If a race refuses and, more importantly, tries to make war on races in the Confederation, they are confined to their own planet. Any who try to leave die. It's that simple. The Confederation protects its own.
Structure of the Confederation:
As a very, very old galaxy-wide organisation, the Confederation of Worlds exists -- or at any rate, has existed -- by a balance of power.
To compare it to a governmment, the big races are the federal level, medium are the provincal/state and the lower ones the the county/municipality level. Game wise, the old races are galaxy wide in power and of unknown ablity. Legends claim they can do anything, they they arr the God(s) and can change space and time at will. The provincial ones are limited to this Galaxy and generally a set range of planetary systems while the lower ones are limited to 500 odd planets (or less). The chief characteristic of these races is they have evolved beyond physical forms (though the medium and lower ones take them on occassion). The Elder Races never had physical forms according to some.
The Elder Races (the "federal" ones) generally took care of large issues, updating AIs, imposing the no-genocide or intelligent weapon rules and such and maintaining the Portal system . . . since the system is no breaking down the older races (the "state" ones) have been keeping things running themselves for a long time it seems. How long is anyone's guess. They aren't talking, but the Confederation is just too large . . mistakes are becoming more and more occcurent and the infamous Grek incident proved that to all races.
To become one of these races, all that is known is that a race must go beyond the need for bodies and "understand the truth of their powers." Being in tune with oneself or the environment is important, but the requirements vary from race to race. Some even think that many of the races with bodies are actually older races who've taken new forms and "hide out" among the lesser races.
It says a lot that that act -- what amounts to spying -- can be brought against the higher races, but the Confederation of Worlds seems, to the lesser races, to be entirely built in secrecy. Some claim it is really universe-wide, that the Elder races are really the gods others worship (expect for their race, naturally) and otehr fanciful claims. Some even say that the Confederation doesn't give AIs, but that the so-called AIs are really members of the confederations higher races. It is this secrecy that makes people wary of the Confederation. In these times, it is also what is slowly destroying it.
Psychic Powers - A quick guide to psychic and PSI abilities.
Species of the Confederation - A very, very quick glimpse of some species to be found in the Confederation of Worlds.