Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   COLOR TEXT: Sophont Resources Handbook (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=38398)

robject October 24th, 2017 11:35 PM

COLOR TEXT: Sophont Resources Handbook
 
This is a work in progress.
The focus of this thread is on the "flavor text" heading the sections.
I'd like your criticisms.

=====
The Republic of Regina interstellar merchant cruiser Jakrand died on the fortieth day of the seven-hundredth anniversary of the Era, far from anyone who cared.
Tand Ikri-Asani was near the hangar. He had been sent to the engine room to help with repairs. He almost got there, but events changed his mind: an incoming nuclear missile blew the drive section to shreds. Atmosphere screamed as the fire doors struggled to close. The ship’s brain had been hit almost half an hour ago: the ship was dead. It just didn’t know it yet.
Already adrift, the derelict sank into the upper atmosphere of the gas giant. Five lifepods ejected. Tand, Rej, the Lady, and Kuran took one of them, heading to the blue-green moon.
- from season one, Galaxiad.


I. WELCOME
Welcome to the Sophont Resources division of Oberlindes Security and Transport! While real life is not as exciting as a wafernovella such as the Galaxiad, personnel selection is yet a critical component of staffing. Every factor must know how to hire people. This handbook was compiled as a reference for checking backgrounds, reading resumes, and recommending contract workers for our interstellar assignments.
Oberlindes is fortunate and proud to be a member corporation in the great Republic of Regina. Our ships travel freely and safely. The stability provided by her Navy, strong worlds, and associate worlds gives us security as well as vigorous interstellar commerce.


(In-character introductions to Traveller, role-playing as problem solving, the referee’s job, working out what players want out of the game session, that sort of thing).

== Page Break ==

I shot Georg, then became Rej’s pilot.
Kuran saw the man die. Georg was about to hit Rej in the face, again. He stopped. Fell. And didn't get up. Kuran looked for pinprick signs of gauss gun flechettes.
Rej awoke a few minutes later, and saw me for the first time. I sat nearby, barely holding the gauss pistol. I felt hollow. My first kill, I thought morosely.
Third of five daughters, that’s me. There was no real work to do at the estate. Pretty much expected to get married and settle down. So, I got a doctorate in psychology, learned to fly starships, and vowed to wander the space lanes. Attaching myself to Rejnaldi as his pilot would be a job -- maybe two jobs, seeing as he was sort of helpless. Plus it kept Mother at bay.
I didn’t know that I would have to kill.
I also didn’t know the sort of equipment Rej had to work with. When he showed me the ship, I was not impressed.
"What is that? An old insystem trash barge?
"Computer, record: Tet, Day 300, year 1895. I, Lady Lisandra Elene Marava hault-Tellona, bequeath my possessions to my parents, who survive me because I ignored their advice and went offworld."
"Oh, come off it, Lis," he said. "It's a good ship. See, the Collectors are practically new."
Kuran seemed interested, but I was not. I huffed a bit, then had my bearers stow my luggage in a spare room on the ship, while I prepared myself some food from her own stores. I made enough for one.
Nor did I care about ruins. Xenoanthropology – thousands of different cultures on thousands of worlds – is interesting, but old crumbling buildings are not. So we visited Yori, a planet which is entirely only old crumbling buildings. I sat in the shade under a thousand-foot, 40,000 year old gravestone. At my feet, the buried walls of the canal Gurk-something. Or Zurk-something. Rej knew all the names. I didn’t care. The canal is all dust now, bisecting the Rekkzrik Basin for no good reason.
The next year, we were on Regina. On private land. Walking around an ancient Amindii funeral pyramid. A looter’s tunnel cut nearly straight down into the ground. Rej was in a pyramid craze, and we were trespassing.

- Excerpt from the diary of Lady Lisandra Elene Marava hault-Tellona.



II. THE BACKGROUND CHECK
They’ll say that worlds with weak governments are breeding grounds for pirates. So your homeworld may be as important as your home city. In other words, people from the Wilds need not apply. People like me.
- Citizen Sir Rejnaldi da Santos, xenoarchaeologist.


(Homeworld, characteristic determination, and education goes here)

THE RESUME
It doesn’t matter where you’re from: the Republic is an egalitarian society. We’re founded on the essential, inherent worth of all sophonts. If you’ve got the skills, they’ll hire you.
- Lady Lisandra, noblewoman.


(Intro to career resolution)

Careers, In Order, Go Here.
Getting In
A typical term
Don’t be a hero
Know when you quit
Retirement Benefits



TRANSPORTATION

(Ships)

== Page Break ==

III. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT
Oberlindes does not adhere to a strict quota system. However, it is important to the health of the company that people from all corners of the Republic work here. Sophont diversity is a strength of the company, and allows us to tailor our services based on specific needs of the various communities in the Republic.
This section will help you understand some of your fellow co-workers, as well as those whom you may be helping on the job.

(Nonhuman characters pages go here)




== Page Break ==


IV. THE JOB


THE INTERVIEW
If they look you in the eyes, stare right back. But don’t fume. Just watch. But if they go for their gun, I’d shoot first.
- Sergeant Kuran Zelaar, soldier of fortune.


(Interpersonals goes here – make this short)


EVERYDAY WORK

(The task system goes here)

WORLD SITUATIONS

(Adventuring on worlds goes here, and checklists etc)

SECURITY SITUATIONS

(Personal Combat goes here)

== Page Break ==

Pirates spaced us on Fourday. Barking with glee, they shoved us into the airlock and flushed us. My vacc suit had four hours of air, and no propulsion, so I drifted.
They ambushed us halfway through a milk run. My brother said we'd make a lot of money. How was I to know that he was smuggling political refugees? Traitors and terrorists, they call them on Calit. They looked like slaves to me. The broker looked like a slaver, talked like a slaver. Shifty eyes, too.
Anyway, halfway done, three corsairs pop out from behind a moon, shoot out our turrets, board, and take our slave cargo. The big one was this she-Vargr, tall and lean, short hair, dangly earrings in the shape of Kian forkbones. I know enough Aekhu to understand "space [them]" when I hear it. Her orders.
Now Brother says a rescue ship will find us. So all we do now, is wait.
- Form the personal log of Pirlin Adali.

Our patrol ship found the damaged packet; both turrets were shot out. There were signs of boarding, but the cargo manifest was blank. The ship must have been transporting people, not goods. Several bodies were recovered, floating slowly away from the ship, and they had clearly been spaced, left to asphyxiate when their oxygen supply gave out.
Pirates! Vargr symbology was scrawled on the packet's hull. One of them read, simply, "Valtra, " the name of a local gang known for its ruthlessness.
- From the personal log of the Defiant’s captain.


V. THE HAZARDS OF SPACE

(Starship operations and hazards go here)

== Page Break ==

VI. APPENDIX: COMPANY-CERTIFIED EQUIPMENT

NOTE: Security equipment requires a special authorization for use, whether loaned or purchased.

(Equipment list goes here)

OjnoTheRed October 25th, 2017 02:06 AM

I really like the flavour text so far.

One, probably obvious, suggestion.

I'd say under "The Job" including tasks, you could build the story heading towards the fateful encounter with Vargr pirates. Personals rolls with the shifty broker and later the "refugees"; finding a patron with a proposal; a couple of example routine tasks; one not-so routine, e.g. an uncertain task.

You could vary it by showing the story from the Defiant's point of view leading up to the find; or even from the Vargr point of view, e.g. assuming they are PCs embarked on a rescue.

robject October 25th, 2017 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OjnoTheRed (Post 575926)
I really like the flavour text so far.

One, probably obvious, suggestion.

I'd say under "The Job" including tasks, you could build the story heading towards the fateful encounter with Vargr pirates. Personals rolls with the shifty broker and later the "refugees"; finding a patron with a proposal; a couple of example routine tasks; one not-so routine, e.g. an uncertain task.

You could vary it by showing the story from the Defiant's point of view leading up to the find; or even from the Vargr point of view, e.g. assuming they are PCs embarked on a rescue.

Thank you, and THANK YOU - great suggestion. And I have a snippet that will help.

robject October 25th, 2017 12:37 PM

(Under the introduction/welcome) Also something like this.

YOUR TEAM
In the course of time, you will typically be assigned a factor, and perhaps placed in a team of fellow problem-solvers. The factor's job is to guide you well. Note that every team is unique in its specializations. Your team will be better at some things than other teams, and vice versa.

So take time up front to talk with your factor and team members about what your specializations are and where you see yourselves over time. These provide the best clues as to what types of assignments your factor should look for. It may even help for you to together produce a list of goals and preferred assignments.

robject October 25th, 2017 01:52 PM

(Too snarky?)

TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Every Traveller should have access to two simple tools. The first is your tablet for filling out documentation and taking notes. Luddites and pre-industrial societies (tech level 3) might have to get by with paper and writing instruments.

The second are Oberlindes psi generators. These tiny devices were invented centuries ago by a long-dead empire, but are commonplace for a tech level 16 society. They fit easily in the palm of a hand, grasper, or tentacle, and generate the proper emanations for estimating your psionic potential. If your psionic strength is significant, you will be able to interact simply with them using only your mind. Please note that these generators are only remotely related to the coyns used during the Droyne iskyar ceremony, held when determining caste.

(Note: If your world lacks space travel – for example, if it is at tech level 7 or does not otherwise have access to the interstellar market – then simply find two or more small six-sided cubes and pretend to follow along. The Terrans of Sol have played with things called ‘dice’ for millennia now; those will do fine.)

robject October 25th, 2017 02:48 PM

HOMEWORLDS
 
(WIP).


WORLDS

Oberlindes uses world data on several levels. At the top level, the barest of facts are encoded in a tight fashion called the Universal World Profile, or UWP for short. This profile makes useful information accessible, and some additional detail available. The most important information in the UWP line is the world name, bases located there, and the default skills taught to its inhabitants. For example:

[Two row table with abbreviated single entry: Regina]

World name
Bases
Default skills
/
Regina
DS
[default skills for remarks Hi Pr An Cx Sa]

This entry tells you the world Regina has two bases ("D" - Naval Depot, and "S" - Scout Base) and trains its people in[list of default skills]. Each world may have up to two base codes. The most common types are:

D: Naval Depot. Vast, sprawling installation designed to build, maintain, and store fleets.
N: Naval Base: Services fleets, trains Navy and Marine personnel.
S: Scout Base: Repository of world and system data, maintains Scout vessels, trains Scout personnel.
W: Scout Way Station: Vast, sprawling installation designed to build, maintain, and store Scout vessels.

(Details about the UWP can be found in the latest version of Oberlindes Technical Reference, also known as the Traveller5 Core Rules).

As you can see, the world you grew up on has a subtle effect on your direction in life.


YOUR HOMEWORLD

Nobody chooses where they grew up. However, Oberlindes employs millions of people, and statistically here is where employees come from. Focusing on the table below with psi generators will reveal a Traveller’s origin. Roll two dice ("psi generators"), then match the two values rolled with the appropriate entry below.

[21 item table containing useful mainworlds in and around the Regina subsector]
[The table at this time contains world name, bases, and default skills.]

robject October 25th, 2017 02:55 PM

12 pages of text, 6x9 format.

OjnoTheRed October 25th, 2017 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 575964)
(Too snarky?)

TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Every Traveller should have access to two simple tools. The first is your tablet for filling out documentation and taking notes. Luddites and pre-industrial societies (tech level 3) might have to get by with paper and writing instruments.

The second are Oberlindes psi generators. These tiny devices were invented centuries ago by a long-dead empire, but are commonplace for a tech level 16 society. They fit easily in the palm of a hand, grasper, or tentacle, and generate the proper emanations for estimating your psionic potential. If your psionic strength is significant, you will be able to interact simply with them using only your mind. Please note that these generators are only remotely related to the coyns used during the Droyne iskyar ceremony, held when determining caste.

(Note: If your world lacks space travel – for example, if it is at tech level 7 or does not otherwise have access to the interstellar market – then simply find two or more small six-sided cubes and pretend to follow along. The Terrans of Sol have played with things called ‘dice’ for millennia now; those will do fine.)

ROFL "psi generators" vs "dice".

LOL, yeah, the pen and paper reference is funny but too snarky. RPGs are played socially around a table and pen and paper are the simplest and most functional implements. It is traditional for there to be holes in character sheets where you have rubbed out and re-written numbers such as hits and equipment.

"Luddites and pre-industrial societies (tech level 3) might have to get by with paper and writing instruments." could read something like "Many sophonts find paper and writing instruments more convenient than equivalent electronic tools despite the convenience they offer and the frequent changes needed to records."


--- Less-relevant tangent starts here ---
On a relevant tangent, and interestingly, modern neurology favours note-taking with pen-and-paper over computers - in schools we are seeing a rising trend of devices remaining closed until you need to look something up or post something specific. Note-taking with a pen and paper retains information in your brain better because you have to process what you are hearing and seeing and making choices because you can't write down every word. When you take notes with a laptop, you tend to transcribe everything. In neurology terms what you are doing is 'saving a copy for later' - and if you don't review that copy you never absorb the information. Hence, it is much more efficient to take selective notes because you are using class time to absorb information rather than just record it for later review. But modern note-takers then scan their notebook pages to organise their notes for easy access later. Modern OCR is very good, and can often translate my ridiculous handwriting!

I bring this up because it may turn out that pen-and-paper is favoured in higher technology societies as we learn more about how memory and learning really take place. Just this year the book has been re-written a couple of times on how memory works.

robject October 25th, 2017 06:33 PM

I've noticed that the act of writing something down is much more involved than tapping on a keyboard. Or (worse) dictating to my phone. For that matter, dictating to a stenographer was probably not the best way to remember something (except you had good notes taken for you and typed up later).

Anyway. Your suggestions are noted; I'll dial back the snark a notch.

And I'll practice my shorthand. "Handywrite" is a nice extension of Gregg.

Supplement Four October 25th, 2017 08:03 PM

Are you writing a sourcebook before the main book is fixed?


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