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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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  #51  
Old March 1st, 2013, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
That's been a failure far more than a success. With the exception of voluntary penal units.
Depends on your definition of success. The Soviets had good success, but then their penals often only had the job of simply charging ahead of the main body, setting off mines with their feet. In that role, you either die by the hand of the commissar or by blowing up, or you're incredibly lucky - which didn't help because you'd repeat the task in the next battle and the battle after that until your luck ran out. They had other penals that they promised paroles to if the prisoner survived X number of battles, but then they'd transfer the prisoner to a mine-clearing unit when he got close, so they weren't really looking for anyone to graduate.

Worked reasonably well for the Soviets - less so for the prisoner, of course.

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Originally Posted by epicenter00 View Post
This is probably going to prove more controversial, but the "Imperium" might not necessarily care where they come from.
I don't see much controversy here. If you actually find a use for a penal batallion, the Imperium (or the lower level noble in question) could buy condemned prisoners from planetary governments and apply them to its own purposes. Great way to support the planetary governments and keep the prison population down, not to mention a dandy incentive to avoid getting the kind of sentence that gets you sold to the Imperium.

I'm just having trouble seeing combat as a use. Medical research, sure. Live-fire targets for your troops, if your Imperium is particularly ruthless, sure. Armed combat, that's a bit harder for me to see given the effort and expense of transporting people from A to B - it can be cheaper to ship a very small and expensive team from system to system than it would be to ship a very large cheaply equipped team, partly because you just don't need as much ship to do the job.

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Originally Posted by epicenter00 View Post
...I won't argue any of that because that's true.

However, I personally don't believe that such high-tech is actually as easy to get a hold of or as common as is often presented. YMMV. I'm aware that such hardware, looking at game supplements is pretty cheap but I've always believed that's the price "players" pay for such gear, not everyone else. Players can actually visit some ideal "TL15 world with a low Law Level" or "getting cozy with the Scout supply sergeant" to get the gear they want.
...
I don't think a megacorp's going to have much trouble on that front, and frankly I don't see an enfeoffed Imperial noble having much difficulty either. And, the cost of a penal battalion, its provisions and equipment, and the shipping cost for shipping the lot system to system - even at low berth rates - could just about equip a small commando team.

I'm not saying there aren't circumstances favoring establishment of a penal combat unit using local prisoners drafted from that world itself - whether by the planetary government or some level of Imperial authority. However, at that point we aren't sending penal troops down to a world from elsewhere; we're drafting local auxiliaries to supplement whatever regulars we're sending down.
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Comments made are for the purpose of offering alternative campaign settings for consideration. The writer acknowledges that Traveller is intended to emulate certain common science fiction tropes and that, in the course of emulating those tropes and providing a better playing experience, some liberties must be taken with science. No statement by the writer should be interpreted as constituting a criticism of the game on that basis ... except for that bit about Virus. Dude, really?!
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  #52  
Old March 1st, 2013, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
I don't see much controversy here. If you actually find a use for a penal batallion, the Imperium (or the lower level noble in question) could buy condemned prisoners from planetary governments and apply them to its own purposes. Great way to support the planetary governments and keep the prison population down, not to mention a dandy incentive to avoid getting the kind of sentence that gets you sold to the Imperium.
I would have to say no on this one (in the OTU, anyway). The 3I seems to have a big problem with slavery, and that would definitely qualify. In YTU, of course, the nasty ol' Imperium can do exactly that sort of thing - but not in canon.
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  #53  
Old March 1st, 2013, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
I would have to say no on this one (in the OTU, anyway). The 3I seems to have a big problem with slavery, and that would definitely qualify. In YTU, of course, the nasty ol' Imperium can do exactly that sort of thing - but not in canon.
Penal servitude is not chattel slavery.


Hans
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  #54  
Old March 1st, 2013, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
I don't see much controversy here. If you actually find a use for a penal batallion, the Imperium (or the lower level noble in question) could buy condemned prisoners from planetary governments and apply them to its own purposes. Great way to support the planetary governments and keep the prison population down, not to mention a dandy incentive to avoid getting the kind of sentence that gets you sold to the Imperium.
That one would probably trigger the Imperium's anti-slavery stance. Possibly not, as one could provide a legal fig leaf in the form of transferrable indentures. OTOH, I think trading in indentures might in itself be a trigger, since there would inevitably have been historical examples of societies that tried to circumvent the slavery ban by the use of various legal shenanigans, the trade of indentures being an obvious one.

I believe that any time money is involved in the transfer of a human being from one authority to another, red flags will be raised and Imperial do-gooders will investigate.


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  #55  
Old March 1st, 2013, 08:20 AM
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Penal servitude is not chattel slavery.
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That one would probably trigger the Imperium's anti-slavery stance.
*chuckle* So, Hans, which one is it? It was the selling of the prisoners that triggered my comment (and why I quoted the portion I did - the exact same portion you did).
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  #56  
Old March 1st, 2013, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
*chuckle* So, Hans, which one is it? It was the selling of the prisoners that triggered my comment (and why I quoted the portion I did - the exact same portion you did).
It's one or the other. Or both. Or neither.

The way I see it, the Imperial ban is on chattel slavery. However, Imperial judges interpret that to include any practice that is "tantamount to slavery". And that opens the door for different interpretations of similar practices. And sometimes the only formal difference can be that one practice is acceptable and the other isn't. Would the Imperium intervene in the trading of players between sports clubs? Probably not.

One concept that I like to promote is the amount of differences that can be between one duchy and another. Sure, the Imperium provides a framework that all the duchies have to work within. But within that framework, I see the duchies as having a lot of leeway. And the duchy administrations are also 'Imperial'. To the member worlds, there's probably little perceived difference between the Regular Imperial Service Of Your Choice and the corresponding Ducal service. But one duke may be in cahoots with Big Business against the Imperial Ministry of Conservation while another duke is concerned enough about conservation that he funds a Duchy of Wherever Conservation Bureau that is a lot more active than the Ministry.

So will it be (in my conception) with anti-slavery. Some duchies will accept practices that will be ruthlessly suppressed in other duchies. Though none of them will accept outright chattel slavery.

(The purpose of such ambiguity? To allow referees to select a nondescript duchy of their own and customize it.)


Hans
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  #57  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rancke View Post
It's one or the other. Or both. Or neither.
One concept that I like to promote is the amount of differences that can be between one duchy and another. Sure, the Imperium provides a framework that all the duchies have to work within. But within that framework, I see the duchies as having a lot of leeway. And the duchy administrations are also 'Imperial'. To the member worlds, there's probably little perceived difference between the Regular Imperial Service Of Your Choice and the corresponding Ducal service. But one duke may be in cahoots with Big Business against the Imperial Ministry of Conservation while another duke is concerned enough about conservation that he funds a Duchy of Wherever Conservation Bureau that is a lot more active than the Ministry.

So will it be (in my conception) with anti-slavery. Some duchies will accept practices that will be ruthlessly suppressed in other duchies. Though none of them will accept outright chattel slavery.

Hans
Hi Hans,

I agree with you, if you consider Traveller as similar to the 17/19th Century communication wise you can have a situation similar to where the Governor of India invades Afghanistan in direct opposition to Central Government policy and central Government are forced to despatch more troops to save face.

Also given the high number of low tech worlds you would have tons of yokels joining up to escape their barren existence at home. Whilst not 'penal', I could see them been formed into expendable military units to use against low teach world at the edge of the Imperium.

I think this would be especially common in the Spinwards Marches with lots of independant worlds and no Sector Duke to control the Sub-Sector Dukes.
Agree the Mega Corps could play the Dukes off against each other as well.

Not so likely closer to the Imperial hub.

Regards

David
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  #58  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by d'Agrillac View Post
I think this would be especially common in the Spinwards Marches with lots of independant worlds and no Sector Duke to control the Sub-Sector Dukes.
Agree the Mega Corps could play the Dukes off against each other as well.
There's a sector Duke - Duchess Delphine of Mora. She's way out of the way, tho....
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  #59  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
There's a sector Duke - Duchess Delphine of Mora. She's way out of the way, tho....
She's only four jumps -- call it five weeks with jump-6 couriers -- from the furthest subsector duke in the Marches. But sector dukes are not superior to their fellow dukes in their sector; they are merely first among equals. The way I interpret canon (including assuming one reference has a 'sector' misprint for 'subsector') is that the sector duke is the administrative head of all sector-wide Imperial activities but are not in authority over the other dukes in the sector.


Hans
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Old March 4th, 2013, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CosmicGamer View Post
I'm wondering if any ships heading to Australia with criminals ever got taken over by the criminals, lost and ended up elsewhere and such. My Google foo did not come up with anything.
While looking through Project Gutenberg, I came across an account of the first fleet to Australia in 1788. The opening to Chapter Two gives the number of convicts and the military escort as well. Might give some ideas for forced settlement in Traveller. The book is A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay by Watkin Tench, Capt. of the Marines, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, New South Wales, 10 July, 1788.

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Governor Phillip having at length reached Portsmouth, and all things deemed necessary for the expedition being put on board, at daylight on the morning of the 13th, the signal to weigh anchor was made in the Commanding Officer's ship the Sirius. Before six o'clock the whole fleet were under sail; and, the weather being fine and wind easterly, proceeded through the Needles with a fresh leading breeze. In addition to our little armament, the Hyena frigate was ordered to accompany us a certain distance to the westward, by which means our number was increased to twelve sail: His Majesty's ships 'Sirius', 'Hyena', and 'Supply', three Victuallers with two years stores and provisions on board for the Settlement, and six Transports, with troops and convicts. In the transports were embarked four captains, twelve subalterns, twenty-four serjeants and corporals, eight drummers, and one hundred and sixty private marines, making the whole of the military force, including the Major Commandant and Staff on board the Sirius, to consist of two hundred and twelve persons, of whom two hundred and ten were volunteers. The number of convicts was five hundred and sixty-five men, one hundred and ninety-two women, and eighteen children; the major part of the prisoners were mechanics and husbandmen, selected on purpose by order of Government.
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