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Setting and occupation conundrums


Lloyd Dupont

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I am trying to work on my scifi settings...

Inspired by Master of Orion, the gist of it happen in an interstellar fragmented former galactic empire now in disarray. Multiple alien races. A Kleptocracy of Bulrathi nobility, lots of lower class Bulrathis clone and a melting pot of Human, Elerian, Psilon, Ssakra, and Alkari (also some Illithid - aka D&D mindflayers, Geth - aka mass effect murderous space robots, Klackon, Darlock and Antarian - aka big bag voodoo in MOO, a little bit unclear about the realism of their motivation; as occasional protagonists).
(Master of Orion races: https://masteroforion.gamepedia.com/Races )
(Note psionic power are suppressed and possibly unlawful, hence PC Elerian will have none.. or maybe telepathy, at best)

The keyword here is kleptocracy and "law and order" is barely good enough for a declining former space empire.

Now I am thinking to have the player characters be some sort of unofficial investigator. Be it militia, insurance, private detective. Now I have a hard time finding either realistic and looking for feedback.. Like I have trouble judging what the minimal (and corrupted) law order would do or not do, how would they see the players occupation (unacceptable competition? indifference? helpful supplement?). Is there enough funding really for player job's really? Or maybe it's part time (in case of militia, which would enable even more background).
And while I plan to circle on big conspiracy in the end... not sure how mundane should it starts... gang war and theft perhaps?
Any idea!? :D 

Also, say they are some planet with lots of R&D going on... what sort of "better gear" could one find there?
After it's an heavily industrialised society.. and that would spread quickly.. plus I don't want to keep introducing "more powerful device" that  make whatever current gear player have obsolete...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Jack Vance's Gaian Reach was a very disparate swirl of planets with no central government. It nevertheless had an organisation called the IPCC (Interplanetary Police Consortium something). They were a mostly incorruptible organisation which enforced law on a whole lot of disparate planets...to varying degrees. Some planets had an IPCC office, others had nothing. There were some parts of the galaxy that were too dangerous for them to have a presence. They were basically a private corporation which had taken on fighting crime as its remit. They were usually welcomed by local planets because they represented the only interplanetary law enforcement organisation.

The online game Pardus, which uses elements of Masters of Orion and Elite has an analogue of the IPCC called the Esteemed Pilots' Syndicate (EPS) which cuts across the three political factions of the game (the Federation, Empire and Union). You need to have high reputation to join it and you need to stay pretty clean in reputation in order to remain in it. (In the game that means not being a pirate, buying from black markets or using drugs.) The organisation is devoted to freeing slaves and shutting down drug stations and black markets, tracking down pirates and body-part traders.

The IPCC and EPS are like the earliest police and fire departments: they were spontaneously formed due to need, but were nevertheless private organisations. It wasn't until later that their functions were taken over by states. But in a galaxy where central control has broken down, perhaps a return to such 'private good' corporations is warranted?

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I was thinking o have exactly such faction... and I guess you incidentally nailed it... it is present in some places and absent in some others... and, why not, it could be present on the player's planet! ^_^

although I plan to offer a difficult political choice (honest, no particular preference, basically be caught or not in a grab for powers between kleptocrats) so I am not sure being member of such an ethical organisation would be... interesting for the story... although.. might be a way to add a third faction.. power to the people? mmm....

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To paraphrase Jeff Boldblum, "The market finds a way."

Basically, if the need arises for such an organization, someone will see a business opportunity and step in, regardless of legality.

It could be black market types, pirates offering "protection," concerned citizens forming a militia, or ,dare I say it, rebel scum wishing to speed up the end of the kleptocracy.

As for how the Empire should react, that would depend on how much control the have over a planet. If The PCs start out on some backwater or lawless planet, the Empire would likely not care, (either due to corruption or seeing the PCs and their organization as irrelevant) or they would be unable to do anything about them since their influence over this world is so weak.

The closer you get to the capital world, however, the more the Empire will begin to take notice of the PCs and their organization. At this point, they would either have no tolerance for the PCs attempt to userp their power and try to exterminate them, or demand they pay a high B&O tax, have a government official work closely with them, and make constant reports on their activities to ensure they are following government mandates.

For good real life examples of a corrupt kleptocracy that likes to get into everyone's business and is now starting to decline from internal corruption, go check out the Chinese Communist Party or the Soviet Union during the latter years.

Hope this helps. :)

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Rather famously, one of the early proto-Yakuza groups was doing law-enforcement...  Itinerant peddlers, when they set up markets, often found the local law-enforcement didn't adequately protect them and their goods.  So these peddlers paid a few of their own to serve as de facto law-enforcement (instead of pursue sales on their own behalf).

 

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So, the PCs are essentially members of a private security service.  Or bounty hunters.  As long as they stay out of interstellar politics (perhaps difficult to do) and help the weak local governments maintain order (for a modest fee) the local warlords might welcome their efforts.  The problems (and adventure seeds) begin where there are conflicting agendas and priorities among the adventurers' potential clients.  What if the gangsters/drug dealers/kidnappers/smugglers the heroes are trying to stop turn out to be hirelings doing dirty work for a government faction, just like the PCs?  What if various subscribers have jobs that present a conflict of interest?  Can the PCs manage to satisfy multiple sides without betraying one or the other?  Do they follow the money or some higher moral code?

Would they avoid this by eschewing government contracts and working for wealthy private patrons instead?  But then we're into justice only for those who can afford to pay for it.  Lots of Westerns with that theme.  "Who was that masked man?"  "I dunno but he gave me a bill for 50,000 credits."

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18 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I am trying to work on my scifi settings...

Inspired by Master of Orion, the gist of it happen in an interstellar fragmented former galactic empire now in disarray. Multiple alien races. A Kleptocracy of Bulrathi nobility, lots of lower class Bulrathis clone and a melting pot of Human, Elerian, Psilon, Ssakra, and Alkari (also some Illithid - aka D&D mindflayers, Geth - aka mass effect murderous space robots, Klackon, Darlock and Antarian - aka big bag voodoo in MOO, a little bit unclear about the realism of their motivation; as occasional protagonists).
(Master of Orion races: https://masteroforion.gamepedia.com/Races )
(Note psionic power are suppressed and possibly unlawful, hence PC Elerian will have none.. or maybe telepathy, at best)

The keyword here is kleptocracy and "law and order" is barely good enough for a declining former space empire.

Now I am thinking to have the player characters be some sort of unofficial investigator. Be it militia, insurance, private detective. Now I have a hard time finding either realistic and looking for feedback.. Like I have trouble judging what the minimal (and corrupted) law order would do or not do, how would they see the players occupation (unacceptable competition? indifference? helpful supplement?). Is there enough funding really for player job's really? Or maybe it's part time (in case of militia, which would enable even more background).
And while I plan to circle on big conspiracy in the end... not sure how mundane should it starts... gang war and theft perhaps?
Any idea!? :D 

Also, say they are some planet with lots of R&D going on... what sort of "better gear" could one find there?
After it's an heavily industrialised society.. and that would spread quickly.. plus I don't want to keep introducing "more powerful device" that  make whatever current gear player have obsolete...

Hmm.  How closely are you adhering to the "feel" (and particularly the comms & drive tech) of MOO?

As I understand it, MOO players are essentially "realtime-omniscient" about their own empires:  C3 (Communication/Command/Control) isn't an issue, galaxy-wide communication is ubiquitous.  This is sometimes called "ansible" communication (after an old LeGuin story, adopted by other users).  This has some notable implications!  MOO FTL travel is via "warp drives" (like realspace travel, it's a continuous journey from any one place to any other, with ability to "drop out of warp" en-route, to swerve off-course, and otherwise to change your mind as you go), as opposed to gate/wormhole or "jump" tech, which is point-to-point (and sometimes instantaneous).

===

Take Traveller, as a counter-example to MOO -- the OTU (Orig. Trav. Universe; I'm less familiar with later settings) had no FTL communication, and FTL travel only via "Jump" drive, following specific mapped jump-points; each Jump lasted about 1 week, with different drive powers from 1-6 travelling (up to) that number of parsecs in a week; so 1pc/week for J-1, 6pc/wk for J-6 (and ships needed another engine to move in realspace, instead of Jump'ing).  The very fastest a message could travel through the OTU Imperium was by way of a courier-network of Jump-6 ships, which would jump into a system and transmit their data (via normal-space / lightspeed radio/etc) to a new ship, which departed again on Jump-6 to the next step, where the process repeated until it got to the destination.  Because couriers were re-fuelled at every stop, and pre-fuelled at each stop to jump out as-needed, the URGENT communications could outstrip any physical fleet (which needs to refuel)... but not so much in advance that a military (or criminal) operation couldn't get substantial advantage by hurrying!  By the same token, if someone departs from the network of courier'ed stations, they can sometimes go weeks or months before getting any new information from the more-connected parts of the galaxy...

Because of the lack of FTL, and the relatively long duration of journeys, Traveller adventures have often been likened to "age of sail" adventures.  I believe this was an intentional design goal of author Marc Miller:  with ships (and players) regularly operating beyond the easy reach of any possible "High Command," the players had much more freedom to come up with their OWN solutions to problems, face challenges with their OWN reactions, etc.

===

But with open & instantaneous communication, someone can control forces ahead of an oncoming fleet as soon as the fleet moves in that direction, someone can call an "All Points Bulletin" about fleeing criminals, etc... the "feel" of the setting becomes very very different.

NOTE that this implies your own players MAY sometimes face oversight from their organization (if any), and generally thus have less "freedom" ... but more safety (in the form of backup), presuming they and/or their mission are important enough.

There's also the cyberpunk notion of freelancers doing "plausible deniability" missions for anonymous (usually megacorp) "patrons" via Mr.Johnson-cut-outs; obviously, no backup (and sometimes even the patron will try to end the freelancers, afterward).

And as @seneschal says, there's also the "Western" -- Magnificent Seven, etc. -- and the "divided loyalty" of working for a consortium; etc etc etc...

There's an interesting M-Space setting, Elevation (https://www.enworld.org/threads/stay-on-budget-search-for-new-life-in-elevation.666520/,  http://www.frostbytebooks.com/elevation ) that seems like it could be highly relevant and/or useful to you.

===

MOO is a 4X game (in fact AFAIK "4X" was coined for MOO) -- eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate...  

Would your RPG be pursuing all of these?  Exploration of unknown worlds/systems, expansion into newly-explored ones, exploitation thereof, and extermination of rival races/empires/etc?  From a "realism" and/or "suspension of disbelief" POV, I would mostly expect those activities to be carried out by different organizations, or at least very-different divisions/departments of a larger org.  Where (which of the 4 X's) would you see being the focus of your campaign?  Or would you try to generalize & do multiple, or all?

 

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Hi G33k!

PREAMBLE: I am still at the planning stage.. finishing a campaign in the world of dark elves, and then another player will GM a D&D5e campaign for a little while... ;)

 

MoO is my background inspiration. I wanted something fantastic other than Star Wars (I don't like the emo Jedis, the "good vs evil" conflict of the force, the unbelievably unproductive wilderness where apparently people chose to live in) and I was inspired by MoO.
And I though screw human, let's make it a Bulrathi empire, and then I thought even being Bulrathis players should not have it too good (socially), what good is brute strength against tech? and most Bulrathis would be lower class clone.

I plan to have no ansible in the main Bulrathi empire... But that's not too  important, since (way more importantly) than ansible, there is no FTL detection method to detect spaceships travelling at warp speed in the deepness of space for any nation (it hurts me to imagine such method.. spaceship are smaller than microbe in the wild untamed depth of space and at FTL speed you have no time to see them and even if you do they are already too far before anything can be done...).. but, of course, spaceship have FTL (I plan on 100 lightspeed for most ship, maybe 300 for fast military one and maybe up to 900 lightspeed for some of the most advanced foreign races, some of which - Psilon - have worhmole - planetary gates - and ansibles).
So the control of the Bulrathi empire is much more lose than in MoO and, anyway, the Bulrathi empire is now disintegrating, Ursa has suffered both a coup and a devastating Antarian attack... And there are very few truly interstellar organisation (100 lightspeed is way too slow).
I chose this speed so that space travel and space empire is possible, but it is still expensive (slow) endeavor. And also travel time is easy to calculate. I think it also enable to have "secret solar system" which are out of the main space routes and under military secrecy... (like the old Elerian native world, and the Illithid world and maybe some Orion ruins)

Most adventure I plan for now, are more or less planet bounds investigation. I am trying to make it less about fighting and 4X empire management, and more about investigation various power struggles in the fallen empire, and maybe space pirate once or twice. But fighting in the future is best left avoided for it is very lethal and thrown upon by the authority (when there are some, one could probably fight with impunity in space and on frontier planets). And when I think about it, space travel would probably mostly be between neighbouring systems... 

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4 hours ago, seneschal said:

So, the PCs are essentially members of a private security service.  Or bounty hunters.  As long as they stay out of interstellar politics (perhaps difficult to do) and help the weak local governments maintain order (for a modest fee) the local warlords might welcome their efforts.  The problems (and adventure seeds) begin where there are conflicting agendas and priorities among the adventurers' potential clients.  What if the gangsters/drug dealers/kidnappers/smugglers the heroes are trying to stop turn out to be hirelings doing dirty work for a government faction, just like the PCs?  What if various subscribers have jobs that present a conflict of interest?  Can the PCs manage to satisfy multiple sides without betraying one or the other?  Do they follow the money or some higher moral code?

Would they avoid this by eschewing government contracts and working for wealthy private patrons instead?  But then we're into justice only for those who can afford to pay for it.  Lots of Westerns with that theme.  "Who was that masked man?"  "I dunno but he gave me a bill for 50,000 credits."

 

The Mandalorian has these themes. It's basically Sergio Leone with Star Wars dressing. No spoilers but the Mandalorian works for an organisation of bounty hunters (called The Guild) on an otherwise lawless planet. He's also not-so secretly a member of a coven of fanatic warriors, but the existence of the coven itself on the planet is secret. On Guild business he encounters agents of the Kleptocracy (the former Empire). And then those three organisations come into conflict.

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30 minutes ago, Questbird said:

The Mandalorian has these themes. It's basically Sergio Leone with Star Wars dressing. No spoilers but the Mandalorian works for an organisation of bounty hunters (called The Guild) on an otherwise lawless planet. He's also not-so secretly a member of a coven of fanatic warriors, but the existence of the coven itself on the planet is secret. On Guild business he encounters agents of the Kleptocracy (the former Empire). And then those three organisations come into conflict.

The Mandalorian is excellent and I see 3 difference with my inspirations..

- there will be frontier planet with similar lack of order, but my initial interest will be more urban
- Unlike Star War, I plan to make space travel much harder, so no planet hopping on a whim please (maybe it's a literary choice, but 1. it hurts my mind, 2. it goes against secret planets / solar system, which I plan to have)
- Unlike Star War, I wouldn't settle people on desert planet with no resource of interest, no nice biome, no water, no ancient alien relics, nothing worthy...

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2 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... there is no FTL detection method to detect spaceships travelling at warp speed in the deepness of space for any nation (it hurts me to imagine such method.. spaceship are smaller than microbe in the wild untamed depth of space and at FTL speed you have no time to see them and even if you do they are already too far before anything can be done...)... 

I'd think it's more the intense energy signature that you'd detect, rather than the "metal microbe"  

🙂

If your sensor-tech is lightspeed, I think it may be possible to lay "FTL Traps" where the ship cannot see the trap in time to avoid it -- the light from a bomb-explosion, for example, being slower than the ship approaching it.  Obviously, you need to be able to know when&where the ship will be, to lay your trap...

What's to prevent c-charged masses from becoming WMD's?  Put an FTL drive onto a big rock, accelerate to outrageous velocity, FTL it (so it's faster than lightspeed sensor-tech), and when it drops back to sublight (without warning the target, because no STL warning is faster than FTL) it becomes an autokill on any planet.

 

2 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... Unlike Star War, I wouldn't settle people on desert planet with no resource of interest, no nice biome, no water, no ancient alien relics, nothing worthy...

What about a wrecked/lost colony-ship, crash-landed where it's b-a-r-e-l-y survivable?  Then imagine a few dozen generations before rediscovery...

What about an intentionally-hostile prison-planet, like Salusa Secundus or Rura Penthe?

What about a planet settled to extract some valuable resource despite hostile conditions... then abandoned (alongside the colonists, too expensive to evac!) when a better/cheaper source was found?

Etc...

 

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35 minutes ago, g33k said:

I'd think it's more the intense energy signature that you'd detect, rather than the "metal microbe"  

🙂

If your sensor-tech is lightspeed, I think it may be possible to lay "FTL Traps" where the ship cannot see the trap in time to avoid it -- the light from a bomb-explosion, for example, being slower than the ship approaching it.  Obviously, you need to be able to know when&where the ship will be, to lay your trap...

What's to prevent c-charged masses from becoming WMD's?  Put an FTL drive onto a big rock, accelerate to outrageous velocity, FTL it (so it's faster than lightspeed sensor-tech), and when it drops back to sublight (without warning the target, because no STL warning is faster than FTL) it becomes an autokill on any planet.

Even if warp speed ship have some sort of extremely energetic FTL warp signature picked up by a detector. I would assume that, at best, detector are behind the ship.. which make an CPU firing a rocket already at least few light-days (in term of distance) too late before it can fire anything.... And space is so big, one can't reasonably make a good cover... all of Jupiter's matter turned into detector around the solar system will barely cover a few 0.0000001% of a dyson sphere around the solar system 

As for FTL, it would use "alcubierre drives" to normal speed.. doesn't change momentum at all.

But yeah planetary bombardment is a very cheap (for an interstellar civilisation) and dangerously efficient strategy. My current view on that is that, planetary bombardment is like nuclear war today, once you start it, unstoppable retaliation and abysmal devastation will follow and it is generally avoided.

Also the most developed planets have planetary shields which offer some level of protection.

 

35 minutes ago, g33k said:

What about a wrecked/lost colony-ship, crash-landed where it's b-a-r-e-l-y survivable?  Then imagine a few dozen generations before rediscovery...

What about an intentionally-hostile prison-planet, like Salusa Secundus or Rura Penthe?

This is all true... But it is not was alluding too. When I watched Star Wars movie, there are lots of scene happening on desert plant with nothing of interest. Yet people are not stuck, spaceship seems to come and go, yet local populace live in absolute misery barely scrapping for survival.
If space travel is hard, why go to all the trouble for nothing. Like for example today, nobody bother to start a human colony on Antarctica, even though travelling there is not that hard, but it's not worth the bother.
Yes there is a small scientific outpost. But it's not a colony...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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4 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

...

This is all true... But it is not was alluding too. When I watched Star Wars movie, there are lots of scene happening on desert plant with nothing of interest. Yet people are not stuck, spaceship seems to come and go, yet local populace live in absolute misery barely scrapping for survival.
If space travel is hard, why go to all the trouble for nothing...

Do we know the foundations of Tatooine?  Maybe 500 years ago, it was somebody's prison-planet... for generations...  Then that kingdom died.

But who would pick up the tab for evacuating the thousands of people on that miserable sandball?

And why would the people there opt to LEAVE (when they ARE scraping by) only to become ignorant and unemployable peasants in the high-tech galaxy?  At least at home they can afford to eat...

Or maybe it was a crashed colony-ship.

Or both... crashed prison-ship?

 

Did you ever watch Pitch Black?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6hCTcwNKsk

(ok, that one didn't end with a viable colony... but on a different planet, it could have!)

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You make good point that such a planet could exist as it is...

My point is that such a planet would at best be an outlier...

My second point is that (too) many Star Wars places are medieval with an occasional space ship. And I'm like "what"?! Not interested.... Even though it's occasionally conceivable, it's not a fantasy that attracts me and that I buy into.

Although.. That might be my limited thinking... one can think of North Korea or Mao's China to make it happen in a scifi world....
But then, I find it disheartening to play a scifi RPG and endup living like it is 1499!

Also now, I am at work! :P might check out your youtube later...
Is Pitch Black in the Chronicle of Riddick, I like and remember the last 2 (it;s a 3 movie series, right?)

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2 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

My second point is that (too) many Star Wars places are medieval with an occasional space ship. And I'm like "what"?!

honestly the most refreshing part of the star wars universe is the starships carrying freight that is basically hyper-opium gum ("spice") that has been stored in fired pottery, carried overland on bantha-back, then packed in ancient, battered shipping cases with advanced antigrav to protect them from breaking

nearly all of the universe is like carrying almost-unbreakable ancient laser pistols, as ubiquitous as ak-47s in our universe, but live in mud huts and raise kelp. or drugs, see above. that assumes they aren't imperial or private slaves.

because the universe is wildly unequal. we're not seeing the rich 1%, we're seeing the people who are rebelling. the empire is really terrible and there's been literal decades of interstellar war before it, plus half the universe we actually see is actually in the rim - the frontier, colonies, and hutt space.

i think it's refreshing. people are poor. interstellar travel is cheap, but metal to build a house is not when they're using all the ore to make space tanks

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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3 hours ago, g33k said:

Do we know the foundations of Tatooine?

it was settled as a jungle planet by the first wave of human settlers; like, thousands and thousands of years later, an empire brought new settlers, who messed up the biome so bad the planet turned to desert and the seas dried up

the first settlers became the tusken raiders

the planet was successful but the empire really messed up their vibe. i believe it lies along an important trade route and hence it had a reason to exist even beyond "well we've been here like four thousand years". the empire exporting all the value made things really grim but despite being harsh apparently tattoine was just a fine place to live, if a bit boring.

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You like the Mandalorain and Star Wars?

Hey, good for you!
Even I like it, I will confess.

However...

I still believe a scifi space empire that is 90% medieval 10% spaceship is quite implausible and, most importantly, completely incompatible with Master of Orion.
I am still nowhere near believing that a medieval setting with spaceship is the only scifi setting that is interesting to develop.
And I am still not interested in GMing it...
 

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There is slavery on Tatooine, and probably reduced mobility for everyone else. Anakin and his mother were property. His brother Owen appears to have been moderately wealthy, but that might be because of starting funds supplied by Ben Kenobi.

Leaving the planet might sic bounty hunters on you if you have long term commitments. Think how Inara brought Mal out of the sheriff's care.

Edited by Joerg
Some autotranslate made this arrive in German...

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

There is slavery on Tatooine, and probably reduced mobility for everyone else. Anakin and his mother were property. His brother Owen appears to have been moderately wealthy, but that might be because of starting funds supplied by Ben Kenobi.

Leaving the planet might sic bounty hunters on you if you have long term commitments. Think how Inara brought Mal out of the sheriff's care.

it is currently run by the hutts, so yes, slavery is rampant.

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Important thing to keep in mind when dealing with Star Wars: no, nothing makes any goddamn sense scientifically. That's because it's not science fiction, it's science fantasy. That comes with its own set of tropes, and largely precludes delving into hard numbers and maintain a consistent scale (although that doesn't stop fans from trying.)

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Important thing to keep in mind when dealing with Star Wars: no, nothing makes any goddamn sense scientifically. That's because it's not science fiction, it's science fantasy. That comes with its own set of tropes, and largely precludes delving into hard numbers and maintain a consistent scale (although that doesn't stop fans from trying.)

Another thing to consider.. sci-fiction literature and RPG need not limit itself to Star Wars (or Star Trek for that matter) for inspiration (or creative ideas). It's a rather sad day for creativity today, as it happen..

As it happens I chose Master of Orion deliberately, to avoid all that I dislike and disbelieve in Star Wars, while still having some sort of "magic power" (Elerian have Psionic powers, and Psionic power can be gained through biotechnology).

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On 2/5/2020 at 6:08 AM, g33k said:

As I understand it, MOO players are essentially "realtime-omniscient" about their own empires:  C3 (Communication/Command/Control) isn't an issue, galaxy-wide communication is ubiquitous.  This is sometimes called "ansible" communication (after an old LeGuin story, adopted by other users).  This has some notable implications!

I thought about it this sleepness night... Ansible tech might be required for realistic for multistellar empire success (particularly when warp speed is limited, so far, to only about 100 lightspeed)

And it might not be that much of a deal breaker against hidden solar system (a feature that I fancy, but maybe I am fighting some sort of realism too here)... The travel time and cost being the biggest limiting factor. After that all those "forbidden solar system" can be reported has having little of value, save for a few asteroid in all public databases...

Ansible give rise to the possibility of useful warp detectors.
I still have NO deep space detector of warp ship, that seem too improbable. But one can imagine solar system detector that easily give a few hours warning of impeding fleets, if any. It will still be too late in most cases though.
The counter to that, as I see it, is space stations.

While planetary defence is indeed a thorny question... I might throw some Psilon, Geth, Klackon & Antarian attack and I wonder how it will come to be...
But I was mostly wondering what society would look like, what job people have, what place crime, and disorder will have.. I am starting to have some ideas...

Oh, and also, I came up with the idea that warp drive are automatically shut by large gravity field... Hence one can't warp from anywhere to anywhere.. and one can't accidentally warp into a planet/star/blackhole.. For warpdrive, not that it matter much, I plan to use Van Der Broeck bubble. Basically an Alcubierre drive (i.e. a custom moving space time bubble) that is connected by a microscopic point to the normal space time.

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... As it happens I chose Master of Orion deliberately, to avoid all that I dislike and disbelieve in Star Wars, while still having some sort of "magic power" (Elerian have Psionic powers, and Psionic power can be gained through biotechnology).

FTL drive is its own form of unbelievable; ansible is another.  There is very little truely hard sci-fi (not NONE... but very little!)

😉

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

FTL drive is its own form of unbelievable; ansible is another.  There is very little truely hard sci-fi (not NONE... but very little!)

What does that even means?
Psionic is more realistic than FTL you think?! 😮 
One can say Disc World is more realistic that Star Wars, and this has nothing to do with the technological or magical premises, and all to do with the kind of society that achieve it or what people make of it...
I think it's a fairly accepted use of the word "realistic" when on criticise fiction work like fantasy or scifi.
And, anecdotally, not that it matter, Alcubierre drive are almost theoretically possible.

 

Also I don't like the Star Wars premise, so stop beating a dead horse please. It's... Monthy Pyhthonesque?

 

However, this totally blind and forceful evangelism of Star Wars despite my clearly and adamantly stated dislike and disinterest of the setting might stem from a question I entertain myself me hope...... (because if not... there is more troll here than I thought 😕 ) 

In most urban fantasy they fight monsters that nobody else sees and believe. In StarWars or just medieval fantasy there is no law and order, no camera and news paper, no coordinated police force and one can go gung ho....

So what if there is no monster and fast planet wide communication, and strong military force that can crush any annoying citizen.. what is an adventurer to do?
I am still struggling with coming up with a dystopian technology developed future that take advantage of such setting and empower, say the private investigator type... 

But I am really not interested in many of the answer so far...
I guess we might be just fighting human desire to get the last word at this stage and I should just accept defeat...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

What does that even means?
One can say Disc World is more realistic that Star Wars, and this has nothing to do with the technological or magical premises, and all to do with the kind of society that achieve it or what people make of it...
I think it's a fairly accepted use of the word "realistic" when on criticise fiction work like fantasy or scifi.

"Hard" sci-fi has the specific meaning of "reasonably extrapolated from current tech & current science" and "violating few (preferably none!) of the currently-known laws of physics."

Discworld isn't "hard" in this sense.

Neither is Star Wars!  🤣

 

My main point, actually, was that there are a bunch of other sci-fi-isms that are ALSO essentially "magic" rather than "hard" sci-fi.  Even when I was 10 years old, I was like "WTF is a photon torpedo???  Photons are light, that means light-speed, but they are being fired between starships moving at warpspeed???"

It's something you should be aware of, and be ready to work with your players -- we never know what particular tech might be going to "NOPE" somebody's suspension-of-disbelief right out the window !

 

1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... And, anecdotally, not that it matter, Alcubierre drive are almost theoretically possible ...

Yes; it's... hmmm... so far as I know, at least, it's one of the two (alongside some ideas of wormholes) "least-soft"(?) of the FTL drives currently proposed.  😉

Speaking of wormholes:  it's another solution to consider for an Imperium, with different constraints on "realistic" growth, and possible steady-state.  But not (I think) very MOO-flavored.  Your game, your call!  Maybe even both?

 

1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... Also I don't like the Star Wars premise, so stop beating a dead horse please. It's... Monthy Pyhthonesque? ...

I'm not beating on the Star Wars premise; but please realize that it's NOT limited to "Star Wars" -- the basic idea of such grossly uneven technologies (even to the point of swords & other medievalisms existing alongside starships and blasters) neither originated with Star Wars, nor ended there.  ERB's Barsoom was one of the older ones.

It's a HUGE trope & sub-genre within sci-fi, that Lucas decided to adopt for his story.

Nothing says you have to adopt these tropes for your own setting, of course !!!

If your vision is all gleaming & high-tech throughout, that's just as valid!

 

Edited by g33k
my main point, actually...
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