Citizens of the Imperium

Citizens of the Imperium (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/index.php)
-   The Lone Star (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Law Level verses Government Type (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=39828)

timerover51 February 5th, 2019 07:58 PM

Law Level verses Government Type
 
I have been doing some thinking about the relationship of Law Level to Government Type. In Traveller 5.0.9, Law Level is determined by adding the result of a Flux roll, effectively 2D6-7, with a result of between a -5 and a +5, to the government type. The presence of minus numbers does give the possibility of Law Levels below zero, which presumably go to "0" for the Law Level. It is when you apply this to the government type that things get interesting. All government types and Law Levels are taken from page 409.

Government Type 1 is defined as "Company/ Corporation. Rule by a managerial elite". Now, then you apply the Law Level roll, you have a 45% chance of a Law Level of "0" or lower, no prohibition of any weapons, including Weapons of Mass Destruction. The highest possible Law Level would be 6, no machine guns. Presumably, that does not include the so-called "assault rifle", submachine gun, or any other form of semi-automatic weapon. I am not sure if that category does or does not include grenades. Now, my question to any reader is, is a company going to allow its employees to have possession of virtually any type of weapon that they want, with no restrictions? The union steward calls for a walk-out over some issue, and establishes a picket line backed by heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles, and tear gas launchers, to ensure that no one crosses it. Now, it appears that Law Level 3 might exclude the tear gas launchers and flame throwers, but Law Level 3 or higher would require a Flux roll of 2, 3, 4, or 5. That would occur only 36% of the time. Not good odds for the "managerial elite".

Government Type 3, the "Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy: Rule by a isolated minority", is in somewhat of a similar situation. The Law Level range is from a minus 2 to a plus 8. This would give a 27% chance of no weapon restrictions whatsoever, while they would have the same chance for Law Level 6 and higher. Looking at it the other way, this would mean a 73% chance that the citizens could possess machine guns, and whatever additional hardware may be inferred. I trust that the Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy has very good body guards, and is also well furnished with descendants, to compensate for adult mortality.

Even a Government Type of 6, the "Captive Government/Colony: Rule by an externally imposed leadership", has only a 55% chance of keeping machine guns out of the hands of the occupied. The lowest Law Level of "1" would at least keep Weapons of Mass Destruction out of the hands of normal citizens. Maybe.

As for Government type 7, a Balkanized world, you would have to roll for the government type controlling the area around the star port, along with a Flux roll for Law Level to determine law level. On a planet like that, once away from the star port, literally anything may go. Now that would make for an interesting game session. Trying to stay alive on a planet where the Law Level of the Star Port is "A", and the Law Level of the area the players have to go to is "0.

Realistically, the relationship of Government Type and Law Level should be given a bit of an overhaul.

Epee February 6th, 2019 08:44 AM

You have a point. It would seem that government types that impose the will of the few over the many would, most likely, favor more restrictive laws regarding individual ownership of weapons. However, some types of government, say a theocracy, could be almost anywhere on the scale depending on their beliefs and general support from the population; same with a popular dictator.

I've often speculated that the Imperium, and every other interstellar governing organization, would surely restrict starship weapons; based on the damage they could do planetside.

Just as a point of order; a true assault rifle and submachinegun are automatic weapons by definition; although they might be select or burst fire. The modern journalistic term, "Assault rifle", is a common misnomer for a semi-automatic with a large detachable magazine that looks like a military rifle.

timerover51 February 6th, 2019 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Epee (Post 598809)
You have a point. It would seem that government types that impose the will of the few over the many would, most likely, favor more restrictive laws regarding individual ownership of weapons. However, some types of government, say a theocracy, could be almost anywhere on the scale depending on their beliefs and general support from the population; same with a popular dictator.

I've often speculated that the Imperium, and every other interstellar governing organization, would surely restrict starship weapons; based on the damage they could do planetside.

Just as a point of order; a true assault rifle and submachinegun are automatic weapons by definition; although they might be select or burst fire. The modern journalistic term, "Assault rifle", is a common misnomer for a semi-automatic with a large detachable magazine that looks like a military rifle.

That is why I put "assault rifle" in quotes. I am not sure how widely the term "machine gun" is being used. When I see "machine gun", I immediately think of a belt-fed weapon with a bipod as a minimum, and more likely mounted on a tripod. I view a BREN gun and the Browning Automatic Rifle as magazine-fed automatic rifles or as full rifle-power cartridge assault rifles. "Automatic weapons" would cover them, as well as the military assault rifle and submachine guns.

I am also not sure of what is meant by "portable weapons" under Law Level 2. Technically, that could cover any weapon which could be easily carried, so effectively ban just about every form of hand weapon.

Xerxeskingofking February 6th, 2019 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 598811)
That is why I put "assault rifle" in quotes. I am not sure how widely the term "machine gun" is being used. When I see "machine gun", I immediately think of a belt-fed weapon with a bipod as a minimum, and more likely mounted on a tripod. I view a BREN gun and the Browning Automatic Rifle as magazine-fed automatic rifles or as full rifle-power cartridge assault rifles. "Automatic weapons" would cover them, as well as the military assault rifle and submachine guns.

I am also not sure of what is meant by "portable weapons" under Law Level 2. Technically, that could cover any weapon which could be easily carried, so effectively ban just about every form of hand weapon.

my read of "portable weapons" would be the PGMP/FGMP guns, which are very destructive, and I've seen them called "Man Portable" as a type in some works (notably MgT1e, which calls the Gun Combat specialisation for them "Man Portable Artillery")



Quote:

The highest possible Law Level would be 6, no machine guns. Presumably, that does not include the so-called "assault rifle", submachine gun, or any other form of semi-automatic weapon. I am not sure if that category does or does not include grenades
.


Hmm,


MgT law levels must be different, as in both editions, LL6 is "all firearms except Shotguns and Stunners, carrying weapons discouraged". "light assault weapons and SMGs" is banned at LL4, which (to me, at least) would cover any weapon capable of automatic fire, like a modern assault rifle or a mag fed LMG* so, semi auto weapons only. or very roughly what the laws are In the US**.

LL3 is "military weapons" or "heavy weapons" (depending on edition), under which I would put what I know as "crew served" weapons like belt-fed MGs of rifle or higher calibre, ect.

"Explosives" are banned at LL2, which I would say covers grenades, grenade launchers, RPGs etc.


* I'd argue their is a difference between the two IRL, but not one that would matter in game terms, as its a matter of era, doctrine and usage.

**I know its technically possible for a private citizen to own a machine gun in the US under some form of grandfather clause, but in general, my understanding is that citizens are limited to semi auto rifles, shotguns and pistols as leagally owned weaponry. for the record, I would put the UKs stricter gun laws at LL5, banning concealable pistols but not long barrelled rifles or shotguns.

timerover51 February 6th, 2019 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xerxeskingofking (Post 598815)
my read of "portable weapons" would be the PGMP/FGMP guns, which are very destructive, and I've seen them called "Man Portable" as a type in some works (notably MgT1e, which calls the Gun Combat specialisation for them "Man Portable Artillery")

Thanks for the comment on "portable weapons" as I was thinking of them as being similar to laser and beam weapons under Law Level 4.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xerxeskingofking (Post 598815)
Hmm,
MgT law levels must be different, as in both editions, LL6 is "all firearms except Shotguns and Stunners, carrying weapons discouraged". "light assault weapons and SMGs" is banned at LL4, which (to me, at least) would cover any weapon capable of automatic fire, like a modern assault rifle or a mag fed LMG* so, semi auto weapons only. or very roughly what the laws are In the US**.

LL3 is "military weapons" or "heavy weapons" (depending on edition), under which I would put what I know as "crew served" weapons like belt-fed MGs of rifle or higher calibre, ect.

"Explosives" are banned at LL2, which I would say covers grenades, grenade launchers, RPGs etc.


* I'd argue their is a difference between the two IRL, but not one that would matter in game terms, as its a matter of era, doctrine and usage.

I was working from the Law Levels for Traveller 5.0.9. The Cepheus Engine Law Levels are different as well from Traveller 5.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xerxeskingofking (Post 598815)
**I know its technically possible for a private citizen to own a machine gun in the US under some form of grandfather clause, but in general, my understanding is that citizens are limited to semi auto rifles, shotguns and pistols as leagally owned weaponry. for the record, I would put the UKs stricter gun laws at LL5, banning concealable pistols but not long barrelled rifles or shotguns.

Actually, it is possible for a private citizen to own a fully-automatic weapon as long as it was made prior to 1986, and you register it and pay the needed transfer tax. Some of the reenactment groups own them. One group even has a fully functioning M3 Light tank, to include the 37mm Gun. The ammo for that is a bit expensive. They also have periodic shoot offs where the general public can fire the fully automatic weapons.

McPerth February 6th, 2019 01:06 PM

Never forget that the weapons availability iso nly one part of the Law Level. IT is also used to see if you're harrassed by the authorities (LL or less in 2d6), and it may also be used for other usages.

Even so, though, I guess the OP is quite right...

whulorigan February 6th, 2019 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xerxeskingofking (Post 598815)
MgT law levels must be different, as in both editions, LL6 is "all firearms except Shotguns and Stunners, carrying weapons discouraged". "light assault weapons and SMGs" is banned at LL4, which (to me, at least) would cover any weapon capable of automatic fire, like a modern assault rifle or a mag fed LMG* so, semi auto weapons only. or very roughly what the laws are In the US**.

LL3 is "military weapons" or "heavy weapons" (depending on edition), under which I would put what I know as "crew served" weapons like belt-fed MGs of rifle or higher calibre, ect.

"Explosives" are banned at LL2, which I would say covers grenades, grenade launchers, RPGs etc.

T5 has a different Law Level scheme than all other prior editions of Traveller. MgT is similar to prior Traveller LL charts.

Xerxeskingofking February 6th, 2019 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 598816)

Actually, it is possible for a private citizen to own a fully-automatic weapon as long as it was made prior to 1986, and you register it and pay the needed transfer tax. Some of the reenactment groups own them. One group even has a fully functioning M3 Light tank, to include the 37mm Gun. The ammo for that is a bit expensive. They also have periodic shoot offs where the general public can fire the fully automatic weapons.


Like I said, I know its possible via a grandfather clause, but I was under the impression that it wasn't that common in terms of absolute numbers (maybe a few thousand weapons out of 300 million plus in the US?) Hence my comment that the law generally is that people cant own automatic weapons.


anyway, on topic, does 5th ed have a pop modifier to Law Level like in older editions, or Is it just government type? a corporate government world with only a few hundred inhabitants might not need as complex a law system as a planet with hundreds of thousands of people (compare the classic "country sheriff" with a half-dozen deputies to the thousands strong Police Departments of NYC or LA, or the hundreds of specialised federal agents).

Enoki February 6th, 2019 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 598817)
Never forget that the weapons availability iso nly one part of the Law Level. IT is also used to see if you're harrassed by the authorities (LL or less in 2d6), and it may also be used for other usages.

Even so, though, I guess the OP is quite right...

This is sort of where I'm at on this. I think using weapons alone as a measure of law level is simply too crude a measure. I prefer to use it as a measure of how officious and pedantic the legal system and government in general are.

For example at LL 5, dealing with officials, police, the government, they are pretty flexible and will work with you to get things done legally, whether it's carrying an allowed weapon or getting the necessary permit to operate your air raft.
At LL 9+ they are officious and pedantic. That is there are forms to be filled out. Lots of forms. They must be filled out correctly, and submitted in the proper order and fashion. There are fees that go with that. You fill these out wrong, don't submit them correctly, don't pay the fee, you can pretty much expect that you'll get turned down. Fixing this will take lots of time and effort on your part.
The police will hassle you from time to time. It might be something as simple as a security checkpoint like at the starport (think TSA and then some). Or, there might be security to enter a building, possibly even a store.
At higher levels showing "papers" is going to be a regular thing.
At LL say 2 to 4, the police aren't particularly going to hassle you about having whatever weapon they think is reasonable but, you are far more likely to get hassled if you are openly carrying it around with you. The result from that might be getting politely told to go store it in your vehicle, or check it with the authorities until you leave. If you balk and give them crap the chances skyrocket that you are going to have a serious issue suddenly.
At those high law levels, you are carrying concealed and somebody notices and reports you. Doesn't matter what you are carrying, the police descend on you like vultures on roadkill and you get arrested, hassled, and run through the ringer just because they can.

But, more often than not, it's dealing with the bureaucracy and government officials that law level sets the tone. I've done low law levels where you can't even find the correct official half the time for something simply because they don't really care that much about what you need. You can do it anyway, just don't make anyone mad in the process.

At the upper end, everything is a hassle. It's like the DMV on steroids. You might be told you really need to hire professional help to navigate the system. If you don't, that's on you... Do stuff outside the official system and get noticed... you better be prepared to get off the planet ASAP.

Thus, the law level is sort of a roll for "NO!" on anything you might do that the government might be involved in. For example, the planet is LL 9. You have a ground vehicle on your ship of some sort. You are told it needs to be registered and the driver(s) licensed to operate it. There are rolls for success associated with that. Having some liaison skill would help along with more than ATV 0 or whatever vehicle driving skill was involved.

whulorigan February 6th, 2019 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enoki (Post 598822)
I think using weapons alone as a measure of law level is simply too crude a measure. I prefer to use it as a measure of how officious and pedantic the legal system and government in general are.

This generally is my view as well. Law Level (in the UWP) is the relative strictness and severity of law in general. For things like weapons (et al), for a given world I can note separately in the world description what the "specific Law Level" is for any given class or category.

So if a world (in the UWP) has a Law Level of 9, they are fairly strict and rather oppressive and/or intrusive. For a Law Level of 1, they are very hands off and not overly concerned with enforcement. If I add in sub-categories on a world description, then you can get interesting combinations.

For example:
General Law Level 1 world that is Weapons Law Level 9:
There are restriction on all weapons outside the home, but they do not intrusively search and enforce, and if you do get caught they may give you a friendly "talking to" and/or a "Now I didn't see that, now did I . . . " response if you get the hint and get the weapon back to your residence ASAP.

General Law Level 9 world that is Weapons Law Level 1:
The Law is very liberal about the kinds of weapon a person may carry, but DON'T YOU DARE get caught with one of the few proscribed weapons.
This system can be used for multiple categories of potential contraband, as defined by the GM.

timerover51 February 7th, 2019 01:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xerxeskingofking (Post 598821)
anyway, on topic, does 5th ed have a pop modifier to Law Level like in older editions, or Is it just government type? a corporate government world with only a few hundred inhabitants might not need as complex a law system as a planet with hundreds of thousands of people (compare the classic "country sheriff" with a half-dozen deputies to the thousands strong Police Departments of NYC or LA, or the hundreds of specialised federal agents).

In Traveller 5, the Law Level is Flux + Government Type, with no population modifier. Government Type is Flux + Population. Flux is basically 2D6 - 7. Basically, thiere is a bias towards more restrictive governments with larger populations, with a corresponding bias towards high Law Levels. T5 does have a wider range of Law Levels that some of the earlier versions, but not by a large amount.

Those are some interesting ideas on using Law Level as a means of determining how big a headache the local bureaucracy can be, but I was aware of that.

One thing that does show up in the way Law Level is focused on weaponry is that there is nothing said about armor. Getting off a ship wearing Combat Armor, even if not carrying any weaponry would pose a serious threat to a small community. Nor is there anything about armored tracked vehicles. If not carrying weapons, it looks like you could operate a Tiger 2 without a whole lot of questions being asked. I have one planet where getting off of a ship wearing any kind of armor will get you shot out of hand, no questions asked. The planet has been readied by Space Vikings a few times and is a touch sensitive on the subject.

Epee February 7th, 2019 08:15 AM

Certainly effective armor, though defensive in nature, makes an attack with any form of weapon more difficult to stop. Someone in powered armor could beat an unarmored person to death with rolled up newspaper. Therefore, certain levels of body armor are restricted in various locals today.

Automatic weapons, cartridge weapons larger than .50", and explosive devices are by no means "common" in the United States; being either a rich man's toy/collectible or a very illegal weapon of a very dangerous person or a wanna-be fool.

Generally, governing organizations never restrict themselves from any means of violence (though possessing them often depends on the need vs. the budget), and allow their "made" supporters "permits" or "licenses" for weapons more deadly than those they allow the general population. It is worth noting that even the occupying Nazis allowed farmers, in western Europe in any case, shotguns in order to protect their crops from theft and vermin (I feel quite certain that they limited them to small game loads).

In the US and a few other democracies, this permit system is extended to those of know good character who can pay the licensing fee and jump through the bureaucratic hoops; reasoning being that persons of this nature and means have no reason to "rock the boat" and much to loose if they misbehave.

Enoki February 7th, 2019 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 598841)
In Traveller 5, the Law Level is Flux + Government Type, with no population modifier. Government Type is Flux + Population. Flux is basically 2D6 - 7. Basically, thiere is a bias towards more restrictive governments with larger populations, with a corresponding bias towards high Law Levels. T5 does have a wider range of Law Levels that some of the earlier versions, but not by a large amount.

Those are some interesting ideas on using Law Level as a means of determining how big a headache the local bureaucracy can be, but I was aware of that.

One thing that does show up in the way Law Level is focused on weaponry is that there is nothing said about armor. Getting off a ship wearing Combat Armor, even if not carrying any weaponry would pose a serious threat to a small community. Nor is there anything about armored tracked vehicles. If not carrying weapons, it looks like you could operate a Tiger 2 without a whole lot of questions being asked. I have one planet where getting off of a ship wearing any kind of armor will get you shot out of hand, no questions asked. The planet has been readied by Space Vikings a few times and is a touch sensitive on the subject.

This is a lot like how I run things. You get off the ship wearing body armor that's obvious, and if the LL is moderately high to high, you get more than a raised eyebrow. It is taken the same way weapons are.
I handle it as the local authorities wondering why you need to be wearing personal armor in public. On a vacuum or trace world wearing combat armor without weapons and telling the authorities it's the only vac suit you've got, will probably fly. Wearing it as a fashion statement won't.

Vehicles are the same way. I've had the locals tell players they can't use their air raft unless they operate it as a ground vehicle and follow roads and such because they it isn't licensed as a "aircraft." Getting the vehicle more than a foot or so off the ground will get the authorities' attention and the players in serious trouble.
Just because you have an eight wheeled armored off-road vehicle doesn't mean you can put it on the road wherever and whenever you want. Many places will say not only "NO!" but "Hell NO!"
Or, I've had cities were the "streets" are just wide enough for little electric box-like cars to get around. This is about the biggest personal vehicle allowed on the street. So, your ATV sits in the ship because it's illegal for road use.




This is all a way of saying "no" politely to the players to prevent them from getting weapons, vehicles, or whatever that would make the scenario too easy for them. Instead, they have to work through or around problems thrown in their path. That keeps things interesting.

timerover51 February 7th, 2019 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enoki (Post 598847)
This is a lot like how I run things. You get off the ship wearing body armor that's obvious, and if the LL is moderately high to high, you get more than a raised eyebrow. It is taken the same way weapons are.

I handle it as the local authorities wondering why you need to be wearing personal armor in public. On a vacuum or trace world wearing combat armor without weapons and telling the authorities it's the only vac suit you've got, will probably fly. Wearing it as a fashion statement won't.

Vehicles are the same way. I've had the locals tell players they can't use their air raft unless they operate it as a ground vehicle and follow roads and such because they it isn't licensed as a "aircraft." Getting the vehicle more than a foot or so off the ground will get the authorities' attention and the players in serious trouble.

Just because you have an eight wheeled armored off-road vehicle doesn't mean you can put it on the road wherever and whenever you want. Many places will say not only "NO!" but "Hell NO!"
Or, I've had cities were the "streets" are just wide enough for little electric box-like cars to get around. This is about the biggest personal vehicle allowed on the street. So, your ATV sits in the ship because it's illegal for road use.




This is all a way of saying "no" politely to the players to prevent them from getting weapons, vehicles, or whatever that would make the scenario too easy for them. Instead, they have to work through or around problems thrown in their path. That keeps things interesting.

I like your ideas. When we were driving around in England in a fairly large car, there were several times when I was not sure I was going to make it down one of the streets without wiping the side mirrors off. Then there were the single-track dual carriageways with the stone walls on both sides where I had the same feeling. A couple of other possible issues for ground vehicles would be bridge weight limits and bridge heights. There are a lot of videos on YouTube of what happens when a semi-trailer or other type of truck tries to go under too low a bridge.

kilemall February 9th, 2019 11:46 AM

When discussing LL, I think it's important to keep in mind the bribery rule- the throw to avoid hassle is the LL or higher (which also puts into play any forged documents the players are using), but the bribery roll is ALSO LL or below.
So, the higher the LL, the more corrupt the LE is, at least with relatively petty matters.

This is CT, not sure what is done for other versions.

Anyway, a very elegant mechanic indicating there is a basic street level workaround for stifling overbearing government.


But note something, the lower LL worlds are also going to be more dangerous, in that they may allow more, but are also not open to bribery and you are more likely to experience the full brunt of laws broken rather then just the inconvenience/cost factor of Ye Olde LL-9 planet.


And in a way the alpha threat is LL-7- likely to be hassled, but only a roughly half chance to bribe your way out.

kilemall February 9th, 2019 11:57 AM

Anyway, a couple of variants I came up with for the reader to play with while considering the overall topic.


1) There is Personal Law Level, what law and police hassle applies to your character.

The formula is LL+7-SOC.

So this means that even in a LL2 world SOC-2 is highly restricted and bribery is a daily occurrence for them, and on LL9 a SOC-B noble can carry anything and waltz through with little hassle.
I would tend to go with rolling against the lowest SOC in a group, and applying the highest SOC to bribery. But that's just me, I'm mean, probably better to have different mixes for different planets.



2) Roll per type of offense, LL or less to be illegal.

I'd probably have a list of DMs for common crimes like theft, murder, assault, etc.

The idea would be that it might be legal for murder or at least dueling, but illegal to litter in public. That way you really have to watch yourself or look anything up before stepping across the extrality line, and each world gets another layer of uniqueness patina.

kilemall February 9th, 2019 12:12 PM

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.

Kilgs February 11th, 2019 02:11 PM

The LL thing came up for me too. At this point, I either assign it based on how my vision of the world is coming out. Or use it as a starting point and adjust accordingly.

In addition, I've been incorporating the DGP specific LL's and, as mentioned above, personal law levels as well.

It's hard to remember but I often tell myself... "random generation mechanic is an AID to the GM." It is not concrete.

timerover51 February 11th, 2019 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kilgs (Post 598978)
The LL thing came up for me too. At this point, I either assign it based on how my vision of the world is coming out. Or use it as a starting point and adjust accordingly.

In addition, I've been incorporating the DGP specific LL's and, as mentioned above, personal law levels as well.

It's hard to remember but I often tell myself... "random generation mechanic is an AID to the GM." It is not concrete.

Bravo!!!

whulorigan February 11th, 2019 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kilgs (Post 598978)
In addition, I've been incorporating the DGP specific LL's . . .

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.

Kilgs February 12th, 2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

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

Quote:

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

Quote:

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.

Quote:

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.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.