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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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Old August 5th, 2020, 02:09 PM
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Default World Builder's Handbook: complaint

Many, many, years ago I purchased the World Builder's Handbook by DGP. I do not regret buying it, it is an excellent source of information for all things Scouty and for building worlds to an amazing degree of detail. I consider it to have been money well spent.
Except for one thing.
The main reason I wanted to buy it was to get a set of consistent rules for determining the demographics of a planet. Does the planet have a native sophont population? What percentage of the population (if any) is native, what percent is alien? How many different alien species are present? What percentage of the population do they make up?
To me, as a referee, these questions are FAR more important than details of the local government and culture (though it is certainly a good thing to have tables for those as well).
I understand that these things might be hard to set down as hard and fast rules, or come up with tables for, but I was at least expecting some general guidance on the topic.
WBH gives nothing, not a single word. In fact it does not even explicitly state that the tables given are for human only worlds, though that does seem to be implied.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knows of any canon, or even well done non-canon, rules that cover a planet's demographics?
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Old August 5th, 2020, 02:33 PM
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GURPS Space 4e and T5 would be my recommendations.
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Old August 5th, 2020, 03:50 PM
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And honestly for me, if you were creating your own TU, those questions could not be answered in a book as it would be different for every TU and heavily dependent on how you are setting up your universe.

* Do you have a lot of aliens (homebrew of the Classic)? Or are you more of an Asimov style universe?
* How are your political borders - porous and narrow or wide & difficult to cross?
* how cosmopolitan is the world?
* are there crossroads in space where multiple species intermingle?
* can the alien species cohabit the same environment as standard human? Would they want to?
* what sort of conflict (past & present) are happening?

Having said that - you could have sliding scale percentages, based on distance from home worlds and all that. But it becomes increasingly more complicated the more systems you have.

There is an exposition in the Journal that shows a way of including native sophonts but it is a world by world expansion based on the UWP then expanding on that (and one of my favorite articles).

In the end, I think each IMTU would have a different set of values to apply if you wanted to go that route. Some people prefer the more austere Classic Traveller where the few aliens tend to be mostly near their home worlds, some prefer the wild west imagery of Star Wars with dozens of aliens on every planet and in every bar.
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Old August 6th, 2020, 02:16 PM
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I concur, the Human/Alien interactions aren't clear at all - it's all "Make it up as you see fit"

Just bear in mind that not only aliens migrate but their flora and fauna do too (also not really mentioned). Humans have a few hundred native foodstuffs. Vilani many less. Any planet might have something. All these will migrate with people. As will farm animals, pets and pests/diseases. Terraforming may be deliberate, but may be accidental...rabbits on a planet with only a flora will terraform it. Mice can devastate ground living creatures if they don't recognise mice as a threat (they have done huge damage). Cats can drive (and have driven) whole species extinct.
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Old August 6th, 2020, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coliver988 View Post
And honestly for me, if you were creating your own TU, those questions could not be answered in a book as it would be different for every TU and heavily dependent on how you are setting up your universe.

* Do you have a lot of aliens (homebrew of the Classic)? Or are you more of an Asimov style universe?
* How are your political borders - porous and narrow or wide & difficult to cross?
* how cosmopolitan is the world?
* are there crossroads in space where multiple species intermingle?
* can the alien species cohabit the same environment as standard human? Would they want to?
* what sort of conflict (past & present) are happening?

Having said that - you could have sliding scale percentages, based on distance from home worlds and all that. But it becomes increasingly more complicated the more systems you have.

There is an exposition in the Journal that shows a way of including native sophonts but it is a world by world expansion based on the UWP then expanding on that (and one of my favorite articles).

In the end, I think each IMTU would have a different set of values to apply if you wanted to go that route. Some people prefer the more austere Classic Traveller where the few aliens tend to be mostly near their home worlds, some prefer the wild west imagery of Star Wars with dozens of aliens on every planet and in every bar.
What you say certainly makes sense, but I run a Spinward Marches campaign, and I wanted to be have some consistent canon means of figuring out how many Vargrs, Aslan, or whatever, there are on a given planet, since the existing Spinward Marches materials provide little, if any, information on what species occupy a planet.
At a bare minimum I would have expected there to be a method for determining, based on the UWP, if there is a native sophont species on the planet. You say a Journal article does this. Which issue of the Journal (JTAS?) are you referring to? I would like to take a look at it.
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Old August 6th, 2020, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
I wanted to be have some consistent canon means of figuring out how many Vargrs, Aslan, or whatever, there are on a given planet, since the existing Spinward Marches materials provide little, if any, information on what species occupy a planet.
At a bare minimum I would have expected there to be a method for determining, based on the UWP, if there is a native sophont species on the planet. You say a Journal article does this. Which issue of the Journal (JTAS?) are you referring to? I would like to take a look at it.
The canon portion of your answer in part can be found at TravellerMap. Download a copy of The Spinward Marches data https://travellermap.com/api/sec?sec...y&milieu=M1105
Major % of non-human populations on worlds are listed in the comments section with a designation of Xxxxn where Xxxx is a 4 character contraction of the non-human species, n(or the letter W) is a value representing 10s of percent of the population is that non-human similar to the Hydrographics %. Soo...

1910 Regina A788899-C Ri Pa Ph An Cp (Amindii)2 Varg0 Asla0 Sa { 4 } (D7E+5) [9C6D] BcCeF NS - 703 8 ImDd F7 V BD M3 V

means of the 700,000,000 inhabitants
(Amindii)2 means there is an species known as Amindi (parenthesis means homeworld) are about 20% (15%-24%) approx. 140,000,000
Varg0 means about 2.5% (1%-4%) are Vargr approx 17,500,000
Asla0 means about 2.5% (1%-4%) are Aslan approx 17,500,000

If any other species besides tthe default is there as a permanent population they represent less than 1% of the planet's population in this case less than 7,000,000. In Imperial Space, the default is "standard human". In Vargr space, the default Vargr and so on...
The UWP are presented in Traveller 5 format. You will have to go to the help page for the list of sophonts, the key to read the UWP and such.
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Old August 6th, 2020, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Brazil View Post
The canon portion of your answer in part can be found at TravellerMap. Download a copy of The Spinward Marches data https://travellermap.com/api/sec?sec...y&milieu=M1105
...
Thanks very much Nathan, that is exactly the sort of thing I have been wanting.
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Old August 7th, 2020, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Brazil View Post
The canon portion of your answer in part can be found at TravellerMap. Download a copy of The Spinward Marches data https://travellermap.com/api/sec?sec...y&milieu=M1105
Major % of non-human populations on worlds are listed in the comments section with a designation of Xxxxn where Xxxx is a 4 character contraction of the non-human species, n(or the letter W) is a value representing 10s of percent of the population is that non-human similar to the Hydrographics %. Soo...

1910 Regina A788899-C Ri Pa Ph An Cp (Amindii)2 Varg0 Asla0 Sa { 4 } (D7E+5) [9C6D] BcCeF NS - 703 8 ImDd F7 V BD M3 V

means of the 700,000,000 inhabitants
(Amindii)2 means there is an species known as Amindi (parenthesis means homeworld) are about 20% (15%-24%) approx. 140,000,000
Varg0 means about 2.5% (1%-4%) are Vargr approx 17,500,000
Asla0 means about 2.5% (1%-4%) are Aslan approx 17,500,000

If any other species besides tthe default is there as a permanent population they represent less than 1% of the planet's population in this case less than 7,000,000. In Imperial Space, the default is "standard human". In Vargr space, the default Vargr and so on...
The UWP are presented in Traveller 5 format. You will have to go to the help page for the list of sophonts, the key to read the UWP and such.
I'd advise taking the numbers as a guideline more than an actual rule. If you look at the Canon histories, either there have been multiple genocides that make Germany's efforts look positively ineffective, or the numbers understate the non-Imperials significantly. It also gives no breakdown of humans by racial background.
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Old August 7th, 2020, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackworldTraveller View Post
I'd advise taking the numbers as a guideline more than an actual rule. If you look at the Canon histories, either there have been multiple genocides that make Germany's efforts look positively ineffective, or the numbers understate the non-Imperials significantly. It also gives no breakdown of humans by racial background.
Yes that is precisely the case. Traveller 5's philosophy is that the "Major Races" i.e. those that invent Jump Drive (or think they did like the Geonee or the Aslan who hid the truth) cause the "Minor Race" as a whole to give up and stay home. Old story, but now it is codified:

Quote:
The Favored Society Effect of Paradigm Shifts
A very few (one in a thousand) societies independently make a paradigm shift at the proper time and discover one of the crucial technological advances. These favored, fortunate societies gain in two ways: they have an important technological principle that gives them power over their less fortunate neighbors, and the discovery imparts to their collective self-image a level of confidence or self-esteem that places them in a dominant position in interstellar society.
For example, the discovery of Jump Drive by the Vilani (at a time when all of its neighbors were using NAFAL Not-As-Fast-As-Light drives) gave them a technological advantage and reinforced their own self-image as the natural rulers of interstellar space. They used their discovery to found an empire that lasted thousands of years.
The Favored Society Effect Inverse.
Many societies send out expeditions to the stars and find the universe is already settled. Some societies are visited by starfarers bringing new technology and the implied message that the stars are home to better, stronger, superior cultures. Most such societies retreat to their own territories, content to rule their homeworld and focus inward.
The Kisthdra first ventured beyond their home system in NAFAL-driven ships on expeditions expected to take hundreds of years. Instead, their crews returned home aboard Vilani starliners less than a decade after they left. The realization that the stars had already been conquered, and that they belonged to someone else, crushed the collective spirit of Kisthdra society: they rarely venture beyond their world even now.
The overall result is interstellar domination by a favored few sophonts, and many worlds: each home to a unique race with its own introspective interests. - Traveller 5 v5.1, Book 2 Starships, pg. 228)
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Old August 9th, 2020, 06:52 AM
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The Major Race/Minor Race argument probably deserves its own thread. In any case it can fairly easily be refuted on a small scale. Japan didn't invent the aircraft, steamship or sailing boat. Yet somehow they effectively used all those to enable their citizens to be represented worldwide.

Only Americans Fly

and you never find anyone travelling anywhere by air other than Americans.

Right? No.

Chinatown in San Francisco existed despite there not being a single major trans-pacific line owned by Chinese when it started.

England had major Indian, Pakistani and African settlements despite none of these groups running international steamship lines or (at the time) being even considered civilised by some! (and I'm sure the feeling was mutual in some cases).

Not all migration was voluntary. Much of it was. And movement of populations doesn't conform to government reach.

My daughters school had 30 people in a class with 24 different first languages. Most of which were from areas that wouldn't be considered first-world. In traveller terms, that doesn't match the OTU much.
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