Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   Law Level verses Government Type (

Kilgs February 12th, 2019 02:53 PM


Originally Posted by whulorigan (Post 598980)
I have found the MgT (1st ed.) specific Law Levels table in the Core Rules to be a little more useful at the PC-level than the DGP ones, but they are both useful.

Thanks to Dick's spreadsheet, I have those... I adjusted them a bit based on Tech/Information/Travellers subsections. They're a bit stringent. Between DGP and those examples, I have a pretty good idea. The nice thing about DGP is it does a quick dive into whether the law is fair, trial rights etc.

whulorigan February 12th, 2019 03:03 PM


Originally Posted by Kilgs (Post 599021)
... I adjusted [MgT Law Levels] a bit based on Tech/Information/Travellers subsections. They're a bit stringent . . .

That's why you want to make sure that if you use MgT Category Law Levels that you keep them completely divorced from the UWP Law Level (which then becomes simply general legal strictness/intrusiveness). Otherwise, you end up with odd constraints.

kilemall February 13th, 2019 09:55 AM

Ya, the more I look at the list the more I think it was compiled more towards the view of what population range would generate X government and the law level was a tack-on.

Just change LL per world if you want a different story.

HanleyTucks March 27th, 2019 09:23 PM

I view things a little differently. I take the LL's list about firearms to be illustrative rather than exhaustive. For example, in modern Australia the firearms laws correspond to CT's LL9 - you can't even carry a pocketknife outside your home, and firearms at home must be locked up with ammunition stored separately. However, I do not find myself harassed by the police 1 in 6 times I leave the house, though I suppose if I engaged in Traveller-like activities of organise cargoes for ships and taking my crew through customs and so on then I might be.

I also view high LL as not necessarily indicating paperwork. High LL in a Civil Service Bureaucracy definitely means paperwork, but high LL in an Oligarchy might mean "gifts" or elaborate ceremonies and etiquette to get anything done. "On arrival to the capital, you must appear before the Duke and prostrate yourself offering a gift of 16 rhodendrons - but not 17! 17 is the number of death and will be taken as a threat or curse."

In my most recent game, the players were on a world with a Civil Service Bureaucracy but LL3. I said that all the paperwork had to be filled out, and you had to have a ticket (license) to do anything, but nobody really checked the details. For example, before he could be employed as an engineer at a shipyard, one character had to do an engineering exam - for 50Cr at the town hall, and he aced the exam and was rated Eng2 when he's actually Eng1, and they certainly didn't send off for his Naval exam transcripts. Paperwork required, but nobody really cares.

When creating worlds, sometimes the dice throw up odd results. Rather than changing the rules to give us less odd results, I prefer to think about how to make things interesting. As a real world example, Iran will stone homosexuals to death, but will give state-supported gender reassignment treatment.

Things don't always make intuitive sense in the real world, but that's what makes it interesting! Let the dice fall where they may, figure it out later.

Grav_Moped March 31st, 2019 02:42 AM


Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 598888)
Anyway, the OP has an excellent point.
But, I so love the mechanic.

The corporate planet, hrrm, I could see the frontier mining town type of setup like the movie Outland where LE is minimal and focused on shall we say, productivity, or an Orwellian control freak situation.

Anyway, just as a departure point of discussion, this is the classic listing-

0 No Government Structure In many cases, tribal, clan or family bonds predominate
1 Company/Corporation Government by a company managerial elite, citizens are company employees.
2 Participating Democracy Government by advice and consent of the citizen.
3 Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy Government by a restricted minority, with little or no input from the masses.
4 Representative Democracy Government by elected representatives.
5 Feudal Technocracy Government by specific individuals for those who agree to be ruled. Relationships are based on the performance of technical activities which are mutually-beneficial.
6 Captive Government/Colony Government by a leadership answerable to an outside group, a colony or conquered area.
7 Balkanization No central ruling authority exists. Rival governments compete for control.
8 Civil Service Bureaucracy Government by agencies employing individuals selected for their expertise.
9 Impersonal Bureaucracy Government by agencies which are insulated from the governed.
A (10) Charismatic Dictator Government by a single leader enjoying the confidence of the citizens.
B (11) Non-Charismatic Leader A previous charismatic dictator has been replaced by a leader through normal channels.
C (12) Charismatic Oligarchy Government by a select group, organization, or class enjoying overwhelming confidence of the citizenry.
D (13) Religious Dictatorship Government by a religious minority which has little regard for the needs of the citizenry.
E (14) Religious Autocracy Government by a single religious leader having absolute power over the citizenry.
F (15) Totalitarian Oligarchy Government by an all-powerful minority which maintains absolute control through widespread coercion and oppression

I'm thinking we leave most alone as is, but swap around a few.

So maybe more like

1 Participating Democracy
2 Feudal Technocracy
3 Representative Democracy
4 Self Perpetuating Oligarchy
5 Corporate
6 Balkanization
7 Captive Government/Colony

While doing this, it occurs to me that messing with this part of the UWP gen also affects the percentage of government type you are going to get, and to what extent each population level engenders X type of government. Not a casual thing especially if one leans to simulationist.

This is particularly important if one is trying to "roll back" present UWP values to what they would have been in previous eras. One could simply calculate what the the 2D roll made for GOV type (hereinafter, "Gov Roll") was, as GOV+7-POP, change the population to reflect the era, then add the (Gov Roll -7) back in again. I don't think this would accurately reflect the history that yielded the Milieu 1100 UWP values, but it could be a useful shortcut. I'd probably want a center-weighted random variation on the Gov Roll for each increment of POP code rollback. This would include a chance that the Gov Roll would need to be re-rolled due to a societal shift (population-driven or otherwise).

This doesn't model governmental transitions according to political science theories -- but then, it wasn't intended to. GOV=2D-7+POP was "What's there now", and the question of "how'd it get that way?" was left to the referee if it ever came up (under the Design Only As Really Necessary paradigm).

timerover51 August 14th, 2019 10:51 PM

The following is an example of what sort of monitoring could be placed on outworlder visitors to a planet. It is based on Czarist Russia circa the mid-1880s, following the assassination of Alexander the Second. While technically a work of fiction, the author spells out in the Preface that he is drawing on his experiences of three trips to Russia under the Czars, as well as the experiences of other people. The city that the characters are in is St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland. I would say that the government of Russia at the time would be described as Type "B", a non-charismatic leader.


At the hotel they surrendered their passports to the clerk as soon as they had selected their rooms; the Doctor told the youths they would not again see those important documents until they had settled their bill and prepared to leave. Frank and Fred were surprised at this announcement, and the Doctor explained:

"The passports must go at once to the Central Bureau of the Police, and we shall be registered as stopping in this hotel. When the register has been made the passports will be returned to the hotel and locked up in the manager's safe, according to the custom of the country."

"Why doesn't he give them back to us instead of locking them in the safe?" one of the youths inquired.

"It has long been the custom for the house-owner to keep the passport of any one lodging with him, as he is in a certain sense responsible for his conduct. Besides, it enables him to be sure that nobody leaves without paying his bill, for the simple reason that he can't get away. When we are ready to go we must give a few hours' notice; the passports will be sent to the police-office again, with a statement as to our destination; after we have paid our bills and are ready to go, the passports will be handed to us along with the receipt for our money."
The book may be found on Project Gutenberg as The Boy Travellers in The Russian Empire, by Thomas W. Knox, copyright 1887. Knox has a number of travel books like that on Project Gutenberg based on his extensive world travels. These books would be handy for coming up with possible adventures for Traveller, and really good for background for Space: 1889.

aramis August 15th, 2019 02:54 PM

It's important to understand that Russia used internal passports; they were a party to the treaty that makes it unlawful internationally to seize an international passport of a person not under investigation for a crime; a nation can always seize its own people's passports.

Seizure of the internal passport would render one subject to immediate arrest in Imperial Russia... unless one was issued papers by the local police. It was the default identity document.

Also, I've actually handled a real 1890's Russian Empire internal passport. It specifies that only the issuee and police may be in possession... anyone else is subject to immediate arrest.

ffilz August 15th, 2019 07:35 PM

In the 70s, hotels and other accommodations in communist countries (at least Yugoslavia) would hold your passport. I don't think they turned them over to the police at all. We had to negotiate with one place because we wanted to take a day trip to the coast, leaving the country.

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