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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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  #31  
Old July 9th, 2018, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by epicenter00 View Post
I would say that if humanity found an Earth-like world sufficiently similar to call it Earthlike people would want to go there. It's an instant sale, maybe with that guilty feeling of seeing something for sale online, realizing the price is a mistake, but you know they'll have to honor the price.
I do not disagree. And yes, I'm saying Main Sequence has tons of these Earthlike worlds (at least 30 within 50 LY) just sitting there, ready for the taking.

However, I'm not asking about the 1st explored planet, or the 2nd. I'm asking about the 30th. And I'm talking about colonization, not "send a few scouts to check it out" or even "put a small permanent base there." Full-out colonization with millions of people.

What forces humanity to keep spending enormous amounts of time, energy, and money to expand outward? What causes millions of people to uproot their lives and move to a new place with new challenges, new diseases, weird food, and so on?

Assume that sungates aren't something that everyone has access to, so the average rich white dude can't just do it for the giggles. What makes governments keep building colonies on other planets?

One thing I haven't explored much is pressure for nobility landgrab. That is, with this new neo-corporate-feudalism happening, people want their own fief, so they push to get their own planet and get a seat at the table.
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  #32  
Old July 10th, 2018, 10:57 AM
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You could come up with a few reasons.

a. Group A has had it with group B. And C, D, E, and pretty much the whole planet. Look for a couple of Jonestown-style events in this category.

b. Tax Reasons. All those little nations get pressured into waiving their tax haven status? Fine. "Happy Corporation is pleased to announce that our Headquarters has moved to Zeta Omicron Plural Alpha."

c. Gold Rush. Might not be gold, but some deposit of some mineral or desired plant or animal species sends a lot of people to a planet, and many people go to mine. Others go to mine, er, support the miners, which from history can be a lot more secure income stream.

d. Just can't afford Terra. There was an article on the BBC where 'low income' in San Francisco was just announced to be $117 000 per year, US$, and Hong Kong real estate prices have been legendary for years. Some people when given a choice between Boise or the stars will pick the stars, maybe get in on the ground floor.

Any campaign is up to the ref & players, but it's not difficult to come up with a rationale for continued expansion for any number of reasons.
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  #33  
Old March 31st, 2019, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Straybow View Post
...
It cost the USA $13B (maybe $50B in today's money) to go to the moon for a short visit. Why did they bother?
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Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Cold war activity, PR, which system is the future communism or capitalism, etc.




This summarized stylized rant by Neil Tyson covers the reasoning and benefits pretty well.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbIZU8cQWXc


So, to cover the OP's question, the functional equivalent might be a space race between the Paneuropean Federation and North American Combine nations (to use one game's future polities) for interstellar real estate and prestige.
Demonstration of capability.

If you can build a rocket that gets a man (and necessary life support) into orbit and back down safely, you can do the same with a small nuclear weapon.

If you can do that with enough payload to reach the moon, land safely, take off again, and land back on Earth safely, you can put as many MIRVs on any arbitrary points on Earth as you want (demonstrates payload and accuracy).

And you get to plant flags, and claim it's entirely peaceful use of Space. The people who need to know better, already understand the implications.
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  #34  
Old March 31st, 2019, 04:07 AM
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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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  #35  
Old April 11th, 2019, 06:21 PM
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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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Marquis Tuwayk/Deneb 0339
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  #36  
Old April 12th, 2019, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
Demonstration of capability.

If you can build a rocket that gets a man (and necessary life support) into orbit and back down safely, you can do the same with a small nuclear weapon.

If you can do that with enough payload to reach the moon, land safely, take off again, and land back on Earth safely, you can put as many MIRVs on any arbitrary points on Earth as you want (demonstrates payload and accuracy).

And you get to plant flags, and claim it's entirely peaceful use of Space. The people who need to know better, already understand the implications.

If it was just the nuke lobbing the orbital missions would have sufficed. This was bigtime hearts and minds on the main stage, much bigger then just nukes.
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  #37  
Old April 12th, 2019, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
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").
It's a balkanized setting right? With the various nobles & territories being sort of like empires and such?
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
The main indicator of status is noble title. Better title = better status. Among the same rank, political and military power would break ties.
Do you have your own titles that correspond with the ranking system used in most Traveller rulebooks? Or would you just use the normal Traveller noble titles?
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
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.
So pretty much only the wealthy can send out sungate ships? Wouldn't perhaps a good reason to send them out be not just for colonizing but also exploration?
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
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.
So is it like the fuel is used for a small reactor for the EM drive while the main reactor powers everything else? Or is it more like it's used to help open a sungate when needing to go somewhere?
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
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.
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
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.
How many star systems have been colonized colonies are the main "worlds" when there are no Earth-like planets around?
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Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
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.
Would most yachts or passenger ships or cargo ships be sort of like grapeships from Orion's Arm? I imagine they'll never be allowed to "own" a ship themselves?

Last edited by wellis; April 13th, 2019 at 02:27 AM..
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  #38  
Old April 17th, 2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wellis View Post
It's a balkanized setting right? With the various nobles & territories being sort of like empires and such? Do you have your own titles that correspond with the ranking system used in most Traveller rulebooks? Or would you just use the normal Traveller noble titles? So pretty much only the wealthy can send out sungate ships? Wouldn't perhaps a good reason to send them out be not just for colonizing but also exploration? So is it like the fuel is used for a small reactor for the EM drive while the main reactor powers everything else? Or is it more like it's used to help open a sungate when needing to go somewhere? How many star systems have been colonized colonies are the main "worlds" when there are no Earth-like planets around? Would most yachts or passenger ships or cargo ships be sort of like grapeships from Orion's Arm? I imagine they'll never be allowed to "own" a ship themselves?
It's balkanized. There are a handful of competing empires of a dozen or two star systems each. Mostly, they fight Cold War style with occasional real battles for occupation of key systems.

I've added Rapport as the "charisma" skill and use Social Status as a true indication of rank. Everyone is ranked, from peasant to tradesman to emperor. Generally, PCs aren't starting as nobility.

Definitely only the wealthy can send out sungate ships. It's like who can send up orbital rockets in 2019, except it's way more regulated by the nobility.

For sure, people want to send out sungate ships and explore other planets. There's no question about that. But what makes people want to shuttle millions of people to those planets and turn them into true colonies?

(I think, ultimately, I landed on the reason of logarithmic population growth and exponential power consumption.)

All ships are NAFAL. Ships generally use Em-Drive technology, which has a ceiling and diminishing returns on acceleration. (It's all theoretical almost-science right now in 2019, but I'm extrapolating based on what we think might be true.) Em-Drives are great for getting for ground-to-orbit transfer (but are slow) and are great for really long trips because they don't need reaction mass. I suspect fighters and warships also have supplemental reaction drives for maneuverability and speed.

A ship really only needs one reactor to supply electrical power for the Em-Drive, computers, life support, etc. You could also use it to crack water to use as reaction mass.

All the time (weeks) in interstellar travel is spent transiting from planet to the star. Sungate-to-sungate is instantaneous. Then they spend more time (weeks) transiting from the new star to the new planet.

All of the Main Sequence, non-M-class stars they've visited have Earthlike planets. All of them. The M's have some ice balls and such and there might be bases there for repair, refueling, etc. but no significant populations.

All starships are chartered/licensed by nobility. There is no instance of a bunch of plucky adventurers tooting around the empire in their own tramp freighter, trying to make the mortgage.
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Count Junidy, SPIN 3202 Junidy/Aramis B434ABD-B
Marquis Tuwayk/Deneb 0339
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