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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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  #1  
Old October 7th, 2003, 03:11 AM
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TheDS TheDS is offline
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Not sure where exactly to put this, so I settled for here. Here's the situation:

A planet sent out a colony ship on a sublight journey to a far away star. This ship's passengers were:

</font>
  • 1000 live crew, rotated through low berths, so that no one had to spend more than about a year awake for the journey.</font>
  • a million embryoes of their people, donated willingly, created naturally.</font>
  • millions of animal embryoes, plant seeds, and a myriad of terraforming gear.</font>
It was done this way to save space and time and money; it was simply impractical for these people to berth millions of fully grown citizens and animals. They also did not know the conditions of the world they were going to, and so brought along a lot of terraforming bacteria and other tools, trying to prepare for any contingency.

The colony ship arrives. Assuming the world they found is mostly habitable (and therefore there is little difficulty setting up there), and they have a TL of about 10 (no jump drive was available at launch, and contact with the colony ship was lost soon afterward), what kind of population would they have in 80 years? And how long might it take to run the supply of embryoes dry?

Getting the embryoes out and raised and made part of the community is considered a high duty by the people of this colony, but there is a limit to what a person can do, and I don't know how much help can be garnered from robotic assistance in child-rearing.

In my estimation, a law requires that each person must raise one of the pre-made children if they want to have children of their own. This means each family will consist of at least two of these children, as well as how ever many of their own children they have. One other idea is that for each child a set of parents wants to have, they must also raise one of these children.

My best guess is that in 80 years, the population doubles on an average of every 10 years (a 7% growth rate), and therefore would be 25,600. I am needing this world to have a population around a million, so I am thinking that there needs to be 10,000 live crew and the birth rate should be correspondingly higher. I can live with a quarter-half million... I can get by with 100,000 if I have to.

The problem is, I have no idea how to determine how many people there are, other than the very vague population growth numbers in the TNE mainbook. Does anyone have an easy way to figure out population growth rates, and therefore how many people are in this colony?
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Old October 7th, 2003, 11:32 PM
Tanuki Tanuki is offline
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How are the embryos "hatched?" Are they grown in a jar or do they need to be implanted?

For maximum population growth they might want to consider an unbalenced sex ratio, especially if embryos must be implanted. Several females to each male will significantly increase the initial population growth.

A kibbutz-style communal setup will lessen the individual burden of child rearing and free up hands for non-babysitting labor. Teams can switch in and out of care-giving duties to avoid care-taker burnout.

Later, couples or groups can head out on their own and move the society into more traditional (for us, anyway) kinds of family groups. These will probably be second or third generation groups -- the initial focus will be on raising as many of the kibbutz children (decanted embryos) as possible as quickly as is reasonably possible.

Once the first batch of kids reaches their teens they can assist in raising yournger siblings. Adults can be spread a little thinner, supervising responsible teens and their younger sibs. Other teens can be put to part-time work as needed farming, manufacturing, etc. in addition to their education.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tanuki:
How are the embryos "hatched?" Are they grown in a jar or do they need to be implanted?
I suppose that's part of the question as well, as it has bearng on the final answer(s).

You raise a number of points, several of which I didn't really think about well enough. I'll consider much of this as part of the history of the place, but at the current time - 80 years down the road - the family roles will be a little more traditional.

I would imagine having multiple-mixed couples would certainly be the thing to encourage at the start, but I don't want it to be something too overpowering; it should be something "in the past". With contact with the homeworld being lost, as far as these people knew, they were the last of their kind. (Yes, this is a situation vaguely similar to Sid's Alpha Centauri game, and I've drawn a few ideas from it, but there were no factions to split the crew and make a 14-player game out of it. The captain held things together quite well, and no one wanted to bring the mistakes of the homeworld with them.)

Thanks for your insight, and hopefully you and others will have more some for me in this as well.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 02:14 AM
Richard Saunders Richard Saunders is offline
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Hello.
You will probably only get a max of 10 years out of the bottle babies and probably only a max of 20 years out of any high tech equipment they take with them, dont forget inbreading (you dont want any to early in the colonies existence).
The colony will drop to about tech 3 or 4 after one generation (nothing lasts forever and if they didnt have jump drive when they left they would have to assume they will be cut of for a long time).
Minimum 10000 people with another 10000 in bottles (the live colonists will be busy breading like flies the bottle kids will basicaly be for backup if something goes wrong (accidental steralization of people (cemical spill, biological contamination, massive male losses to any cause))(if women lost the colony is toast anyway, so back to the women and children first rule (men may die but it only takes one, if the women die so does the colony).
Animals (horses and cattle must go for food and labour, sheep and goats for wool and milk)the more types of animals you take the more chance of finding one or more that will live and prosper.
Basicaly look at the equipment people took west with them in the 1800's.
Anything higher tech than village manufacture is out, Steel is gone, electricity is gone, antibiotics are gone, any manufactured goods are gone, if you cant do it yourself from raw materials it cant be done.
This isn't a pessimistice view just realistic, if you want a pessimistice view, dangerous wildlife, hostile environment (habitable but just) intelligent natives.
Bye.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 04:41 AM
Tanuki Tanuki is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheDS:
I would imagine having multiple-mixed couples would certainly be the thing to encourage at the start, but I don't want it to be something too overpowering; it should be something "in the past".
Well, the balance between the sexes will be restored as soon as they start having kids. The imbalance should only be in the first generation that arrives and gets things going.

Inbreeding was mentioned -- that's one reason why the embyos need to be decanted and fed into the population ASAP. With only a thousand people, genetic divirsity is quite limited. The faster they can get those other kids into the gene pool the better off the colony will be. If anything, natural children of the colonists are less important than getting the gene pool up to speed. Not that there shouldn't be any, but there should be a real heavy emphasis on decanting ship/crech/kibbutz kids.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 06:14 AM
jwdh71 jwdh71 is offline
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A couple of thoughts, in no particular order.

Unless the colony project was set up by a religious group, or is from a low-tech part of your society, the colonists probably are socially conditioned towards small families, so the number of bottle babies probably needs to be higher per person, say 2 or 3 bottle babies per person. This means in a traditional couple situation, they will raise 4 to 6 bottle babies, plus however many children they have traditionally. Historically, frontier families tend to be VERY large, with 8 or even 10 children not being unusual, and that's only the children living past infancy.

The unbalanced sex ratio is a good idea, possibly as high as 3 or 4 to 1, female to male. If your version of cold sleep allows it, it might also be a good idea for at least some of the women going on the trip to be pregnant, with fathers not along on the trip. This adds slightly more genetic diversity to the mix. Also the unbalanced ratio should also apply to the first generation of bottle babies as well, so multiple marriage might still be a custom 80 years out.

It might also be a good idea for the original colonists to raise 2 sets of bottle babies, one during their first years on the colony, and one when they "retire", or after their original children have reached their teen years, and can help with child rearing. This should also apply to the 2nd and 3rd generations of colonists as well.

Creche raising the bottle babies, unless all the children, natural and otherwise, will be raised that way, is a bad idea. There will be enough social stresses in the young colony without adding an additional social grouping to the mix. The socialization of the children will be much too different as well, and you'll have a stratified society within a couple of generations, with the more numerous creche raised being the dominant social group.

With the 2nd and 3rd generations being raised among large families, they should gravitate to that themselves. There should be a definate continuation of the bottle baby program for as long as the numbers are there. Later there might be less of a need for them, but still some should be introduced in each generation, to keep some "new blood" coming in.

As always, YMMV
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Old October 9th, 2003, 12:01 AM
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I forgot about the frontiersman aspect, that of having gigantic families. I am of course not used to huge families; having just the three of us was plenty for my mom, and I've taken care of 3 or fewer kids at a time myself, and know that they can be a real handful. I can barely imagine how my grandparents had it. I know one of them had like 10 brothers and sisters, but the rest were 4-6, as were my parents. I was worried that having more than 4 kids per household would be asking way too much. The kids can, of course, help out with a lot of chores, as they used to do.

The Creching idea I pushed was not one in which ONLY "bottle babies" (cool term, I'll use it) were brought up. I envisioned everyone being raised somewhat together.

Having large families is probably the way to go, and I think with that we can easily get to the goal of 1 million citizens. Having so many new members of the gene pool will certainly alleviate inbreeding concerns for me. It still doesn't tell me "how many" people will be around, or rather, how to figure it out, but we're getting closer with all you guys's help.

I'm a little unsure about a massive drop in tech, from 10 to 3 or 4. On the one hand, I don't expect busses and cars and a home computer gaming industry to spring up overnight, but I see no reason why electricity can't be strung up, why the machinery they brought along can't be used to dig up ores (wherever they may be), other machinery can't use it to build still more machinery, and basically build the important tools of civilization building. This agrees with the presumptions in World Tamer's Handbook, although I suppose WTH does suppose continual support fromt the founding world, and these people have only themselves and what they brought.

They may start out needing wagons and horses, grow their buildings out of geneered coral (a favorite tool of mine), and not have indoor plumbing, but as the machinery gets built, I can't see that kind of thing lasting more than a couple years. If I'm wildly wrong on this count, it is rather important that we determine what CAN be made in the requisite 80 years.

It's looking like there's going to be two of these colony ships, one that has no real problems, as outlined above, and another that DOES have some tension. The PCs are members of the former group, and will be opposed to the latter group. I think a little bit of political tension will serve to bump their military tech a little (probably at the expense of other tech), giving the PCs something to worry about besides just the planets they're going to be exploring. [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]

I've pretty much got that idea mapped out, but if I've gone and assumed something really crazily wrong, it would be good to know before I present that part, as I have already started this puppy before I was finished with all the background. (Very sloppy, in my opinion. I hate risking inconsistencies like that, but it was either profane myself like this, or sit through another friggin D&D game, and I think you know which one would cause me to shoot myself and which wouldn't.)
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Old October 12th, 2003, 10:54 AM
Mythmere Mythmere is offline
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One aspect of things that might allow you to add more character - everyone has mentioned an imbalanced gender ratio in the first generation. Nobody mentioned what this MEANS in the first generation. Polygamy. Your society will have gone through serious stresses moving from men as stud horses to men as equal citizens. Everybody's grandpa will have been a pampered sex brat, and have attitudes about women that aren't kosher in the new, equalized, society. Jokes about dirty old men will be all over the place.
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Old October 12th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mythmere:
Everybody's grandpa will have been a pampered sex brat, and have attitudes about women that aren't kosher in the new, equalized, society.
Some sort of selective contraceptives might be used to keep the births predominantly female in later generations. AFAIK this sort of technology is beginning to pop up in our world at the moment.
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Old October 12th, 2003, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Morte:
Some sort of selective contraceptives might be used to keep the births predominantly female in later generations. AFAIK this sort of technology is beginning to pop up in our world at the moment.
Somehow I suspect this may _not_ be very good for sex equality. I'd call it darn fun, but (1.) that would be unequal, now, wouldn't it? and (2.) even if we did it over here, I know I'd never get any of it. So we shouldn't do it.
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