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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old June 28th, 2018, 02:43 PM
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Default Galactic economics

How does this really work?

I'm envisioning an ATU with NAFAL expansion to Earth-like planets around Sol. Once the planet is reached via NAFAL means, a sungate is installed and instantaneous sun-to-sun travel is possible.

Let's say those sungates cost $1 billion to make and $100 billion to send to a nearby star.

Why do people do it? I mean, after the first few stars, does the sheen of "because it's there" wear off?

What is the economic drive?

Population pressure

My first thought is population pressure. Given declining world population growth (it's a little over 1% now but is getting smaller), we're looking at population doubling every 70-100 years. If that stays constant, that doesn't really beg for rapid colonization of other planets.

If cloning and life extension and other factors increase the effective population growth to 5% (a really high number), that's a double in population every 14 years. Maybe that's enough pressure to expand. I'm not sure mankind can keep that up for a century, though.

Raw materials

Increased population means increased demand for stuff. The asteroid belts and outer planets contain a billion times the material that's on Earth. I figure that would keep Earth busy for a long time.

Why go to Proxima Centauri for platinum if your back yard is full of it?

Organic materials

But what if all these nearby exoplanets turn out to not only be Earthlike, but also fully populated with non-sentient life (flora and fauna)? This is a giant unexplored ecosystem full of new opportunities for scientific discovery in the way the Amazon jungle is. New organic compounds and such, creating a New Organic Renaissance for the pharma and chemicals industries. Maybe there are trillions of dollars of opportunities here.

But what about demand?

This is all supply. It sounds like a future with cheap material, cheap production, high supply, and low prices. Who is going to buy all of this stuff?

I see initial deflation, initial jaunts into "post-scarcity" economic territory. What does that do to society? When does exponential population growth surpass material and energy supply?

Will companies stockpile stuff and create artificial scarcity, the way it's done in, say, the diamond industry (or even in the gas and oil industry)?
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Old June 29th, 2018, 12:43 AM
wellis wellis is offline
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Could there also be a possible pride thing going on between the nations or grouls? Like they and those before them tried to settle a bunch of star systems as a means of saying "I own more stuff than you?"
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Old June 29th, 2018, 04:00 AM
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Missing a whole lot of other reasons.


Cultural/religious escape into a New World to get away from oppression and do their thing.


Missionary impulse to 'save' the aliens or wayward humans and incidentally profit by them (conquistador).




Genetic research wonderland is definitely in the cards (and biotech should be rampant and ubiquitous in that sort of setting), but also think of unique and cheaper processes that can be done in different atmos (completely different economics in chemical engineering not to mention different rocks and therefore ores).


Moving out to outbreed the mother culture and come back and retake the home planet.


Provide gating to other races and civilizations so you get trade and interaction advantages.


Keep spreading humanity out so no one disaster kills us all.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 11:27 AM
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Great suggestions!

Most of them assume that normal folks can make sungates and build a fleet of spaceships. The sungates are pretty difficult to make. Most of the bits of spaceships are easy to make, but it's hard to build ships that can survive a 0.2c trip across 7 LY (sungates have to travel NAFAL to their destination).

I guess a megacorporation might "go rogue" and try to scoop up a planet before a government got it, but then they're basically a government, too, and they're probably at war now.

So fleeing for religious reasons, a la Pilgrims, doesn't work as well in my setting. Likewise, there aren't aliens.

Is "different atmosphere" really that big of a deal? Is spending billions of dollars to open up a new planet, get colonists there, build infrastructure there, etc. cheaper than, you know, just putting up some kind of big bubble on Earth and changing the atmosphere inside it?

Once you're on a few different planets, is a disaster likely to kill everyone? I guess a nearby star could go supernova, but we'd know well in advance.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 01:53 PM
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When are sungates developed tech wise?

Do the solies in your game achieve cheap fusion power plants and maneuver drives for their spaceships a few decades prior to sungate technology? A century or two before?


TL9 in classic Traveller is a game changer for space industry - getting into space with the maneuver drive and fusion power plants makes even our real world near future solutions for cheaper space access and insystem ships redundant.


A couple of hundred years with said technologies and space industry would be thriving, space colony stations, asteroid settlements and bases on the Moon, Mars, even Mercury.

Several generations would have been born and raised off Earth. Such people would be the pool of explorers for extrasolar colonies, since NAFL on a sungate constructor ship wouldn't be all that different to day to day life on an O'Neil cylinder.

As to why they would go in the first place - all it takes is a billionaire with the ambition to be the first to settle a distant system. Hands up everyone who would volunteer to go.

<raises hand>
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Old June 29th, 2018, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
When are sungates developed tech wise?

Do the solies in your game achieve cheap fusion power plants and maneuver drives for their spaceships a few decades prior to sungate technology? A century or two before?
They have cheap fusion and Em-drives, no jump drive. Sungates effectively are wormhole travel, but require NAFAL installation of paired gates.

I'm flexible about when they get TL9 if it makes the economics work.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
A couple of hundred years with said technologies and space industry would be thriving, space colony stations, asteroid settlements and bases on the Moon, Mars, even Mercury.

Several generations would have been born and raised off Earth. Such people would be the pool of explorers for extrasolar colonies, since NAFL on a sungate constructor ship wouldn't be all that different to day to day life on an O'Neil cylinder.

As to why they would go in the first place - all it takes is a billionaire with the ambition to be the first to settle a distant system. Hands up everyone who would volunteer to go.

<raises hand>
Sure. That gets us to the first colonized system and maybe the third.

Why do people keep doing this? Exponential population growth (70-100 year doubling) only pushes people out at a slow, century rate.

Are you saying that the rest of the impetus to explore new planets comes from billionaires who want their own planets?
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Old March 31st, 2019, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
Great suggestions!

Most of them assume that normal folks can make sungates and build a fleet of spaceships. The sungates are pretty difficult to make. Most of the bits of spaceships are easy to make, but it's hard to build ships that can survive a 0.2c trip across 7 LY (sungates have to travel NAFAL to their destination).

I guess a megacorporation might "go rogue" and try to scoop up a planet before a government got it, but then they're basically a government, too, and they're probably at war now.

So fleeing for religious reasons, a la Pilgrims, doesn't work as well in my setting. Likewise, there aren't aliens.

Is "different atmosphere" really that big of a deal? Is spending billions of dollars to open up a new planet, get colonists there, build infrastructure there, etc. cheaper than, you know, just putting up some kind of big bubble on Earth and changing the atmosphere inside it?

Once you're on a few different planets, is a disaster likely to kill everyone? I guess a nearby star could go supernova, but we'd know well in advance.
Rereading this, what is the main indicator of wealth & status in yiur setting? Like what seperates a more powerful/wealthier noble from another? The ability to build and send out sungates?

What is the main "fuel" of ships in your setting you would say? The kind of thing that draws merchants, adventurers, etc to space stations or planets out on the frontier?

In fact, what is the frontier or core in your setting?

In addition, how do traders and such work in your setting? They work for a company or are they independents or what?
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Old April 11th, 2019, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellis View Post
Rereading this, what is the main indicator of wealth & status in yiur setting? Like what seperates a more powerful/wealthier noble from another? The ability to build and send out sungates?

What is the main "fuel" of ships in your setting you would say? The kind of thing that draws merchants, adventurers, etc to space stations or planets out on the frontier?

In fact, what is the frontier or core in your setting?

In addition, how do traders and such work in your setting? They work for a company or are they independents or what?
The main indicator of wealth is actual net worth in the interstellar economy. That is, not potential wealth (not "I own this planet, so I am worth all of its resources") but actual wealth ("I sold all the extractable precious metal on this planet to BobCorp, worth $2T, so I am worth $2T").

The main indicator of status is noble title. Better title = better status. Among the same rank, political and military power would break ties.

The ability to build and send out sungates is difficult, but not that hard. What differentiates people in this process is the ability to send out fast sungate ships (NAFAL, remember) to reach new stars before anyone else does and plant a flag on them. But then we get to why people would care about that if they had all the stars they need. And then we beg the question, full circle.

The main fuel of ships is probably deuterium and lithium (cheap aneutronic fusion) to power an Em-drive, so there's no fuel scarcity anywhere. Manned ships never pull much more than 1G.

The frontier of the setting is on the edges of the slowly expanding sphere of exploration (5-10 years per LY radius). Only Main Sequence stars are suitable for sungates but that includes a bazillion small M-class stars.

The core of the setting is Earth and a handful of nearby "early colony" star systems, plus maybe one or two more distant "hubs" that are controlled by the most powerful nobility.

Traders and such always work for someone: probably a corporation who is chartered by a noble. It's difficult to be unaffiliated in the Main Sequence setting, if you want to have any kind of power at all. Or if you want to have a starship (which is a special kind of power). Note that control of starships is managed not by buy-sell regulation, but by the regulated use of sungates. Sure, any wealthy schmuck can get their hands on an (illegal) space yacht to zip around a star system, but they need permission to traverse the sungates out of the system. If their yacht isn't chartered by a noble, they will quickly get into trouble and have nowhere to run.
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