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Agent of the Imperium Discussion of Marc Miller's Novel, Agent of the Imperium.

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  #21  
Old December 29th, 2015, 03:00 PM
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ISTM Forn 2404 should at least:

* Have stellar data that supports novas. Right now it's M3 V M8 V.
* Have Di (Dieback) as a trade code since there was a population but it's gone. To get that by T5 rules it needs Pop = 0 pop (which it has) but a TL > 0 (i.e. there's junk scattered about). Right now it has Ba (Barren) instead.

Right now the stats show it as E687000-0 which classifies it as Ga (Garden world). That seems a bit unlikely.

But on the other hand, Marc may have been *looking* for a Garden world with Pop 0 as story/adventure hook. In that case, Ba Ga is fine. It's a lovely place to visit... apart from the occasional population-scrubbing novas every 500 years or so. So don't get too settled.
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Old December 29th, 2015, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inexorabletash View Post
ISTM Forn 2404 should at least:

* Have stellar data that supports novas. Right now it's M3 V M8 V.
* Have Di (Dieback) as a trade code since there was a population but it's gone. To get that by T5 rules it needs Pop = 0 pop (which it has) but a TL > 0 (i.e. there's junk scattered about). Right now it has Ba (Barren) instead.

Right now the stats show it as E687000-0 which classifies it as Ga (Garden world). That seems a bit unlikely.

But on the other hand, Marc may have been *looking* for a Garden world with Pop 0 as story/adventure hook. In that case, Ba Ga is fine. It's a lovely place to visit... apart from the occasional population-scrubbing novas every 500 years or so. So don't get too settled.
Great points, and I think there are adventure hooks, but not from a Garden World and a White Dwarf. If the population faced an extinction level radiation, it's doubtful that we're looking at a Chernobyl of background radiation. Stars are not as gentle as nuclear reactors when they're having a bad day.

It is possible the gamma rays went off into a different direction.
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  #23  
Old December 29th, 2015, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Hyphen View Post
Similar to the "toots" from March Upcountry?
I haven't read it, but a quick Google search says... not exactly. More like an actually implanted computer (or networked) that the person can mentally interact with and that is constantly watching- being able to (with varying degrees of success) use the existing WiFi/Bluetooth/whatever networks to monitor the situation.

Sort of an infinitely expandable system - the more complex or complete the surrounding infrastructure is the more it can process. But at it's "smallest" it's still a pretty amazing aid (which is what they are called - "Aides")

I suppose, in an extremis, they could "take over the body" but maybe not- I imagine that's some very, very interesting code. That might be one of those super secret "AI War" things that the Imperium is constantly working to make sure the Aides never get ahold of. That and the Spore programs that let them escape their hardware and set up shop elsewhere.

IMTU the Imperium is definitely paranoid about AI's getting loose...

D.
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  #24  
Old December 30th, 2015, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inexorabletash View Post
ISTM Forn 2404 should at least:

* Have stellar data that supports novas. Right now it's M3 V M8 V.
* Have Di (Dieback) as a trade code since there was a population but it's gone. To get that by T5 rules it needs Pop = 0 pop (which it has) but a TL > 0 (i.e. there's junk scattered about). Right now it has Ba (Barren) instead.

Right now the stats show it as E687000-0 which classifies it as Ga (Garden world). That seems a bit unlikely.

But on the other hand, Marc may have been *looking* for a Garden world with Pop 0 as story/adventure hook. In that case, Ba Ga is fine. It's a lovely place to visit... apart from the occasional population-scrubbing novas every 500 years or so. So don't get too settled.
The only real problem with the M3v M8v pair is that the the expected lifespan of a M_V is measured in dozens of billions of years to trillions of years. Essentially, they only die when something else slurps them up...

Make it an M3iv M8v, call the missing i a typo.
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  #25  
Old February 6th, 2016, 11:04 PM
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Default Cemented the true vision of Traveller

There's one thing that's often bugged me with Traveller full stop and that's all the multitudes of different time periods thrown in on top of every single Traveller having there own version of the Traveller universe. In short zero standard, it changes every time a new version comes out.

This book highlighted to me that the OTU is the standard. It seems Marc is keen on that original idea and if that's the case, why incorporate all the new settings etc? Just get the main one right and stick with that.

On a lot of levels I know that for marketing reasons Traveller has been sold for years as 'the ultimate Science Fiction RPG system', where you can game any science fiction setting etc. The problem with this, is that there is an official setting of sorts with the OTU, after that it's like it all went crazy and T5 for me started out looking like a lot of interesting ideas but it's gone so far from OTU that it seemed superfluous.

Here we have the guts of Traveller, this is it, the OTU is what Traveller as a setting is all about. For universal systems, I'd point people at GURPS, that's what gurps is all about but Traveller tries to be both a universal system that's really wrapped around OTU. Well that's what it appears for this fan. Personally I like the original setting and a standard map of the universe that everyone can agree on. A constantly changing chaotic mess is something I don't like. For the universe in reality is not chaotic and very defined. Stars in our life times will not change for millions of years.

Some friends and I were RPGing the legendary 'Grand Tour' and I was really enjoying it but alas it seems it's stopped and to be honest it was hard trying to enjoy a tour with one player wanting to go off on tangents and explore worlds not related to the tour just because they were there. In theory it sounds good but gaming time is finite and that's the main reason I aim for a 'standard' if that's at all possible. Well the only standard I have seen to date is OTU. Megatraveller is great but I wanted to ignore the shattered imperium setting if I ever get to game it and concentrate on OTU. Even fellow gamers flip back to the OTU books when in doubt because there straight forward and make sense.

For me, this book screams OTU is Traveller. All the other incantations were unnessary marketing ideas in my firm view. I just wish the entire system could be simplified to concentrate on fun gaming instead of rules grognadia number crunching and other time wasting issues. Pre-determined settings with a wealth of equipment, vehicles, planets and story lines give locking points not just for gaming but for stories in general.

Perhaps it could be hilarious to see a novel released where each and every version of Traveller from OTU through to Mongoose and T5 etc is encorporated and the Traveller's take off from one planet, go to several others, then when they return to some of those worlds they have all changed because like the online Traveller map the stats change every couple of months to throw in random flavours of Traveller for fun? Starship stats would change half way through the book, trade routes would change and even the personalites as it adapts itself to all the versions. That could be interesting.

This novel however is a nice straight forward version of Traveller and that's all I personally aimed to explore in Traveller. The ideas of a 'coherent' universe. Sadly I don't think anyone agrees on that universe except perhaps Marc and he's OTU focused. The supplements suggest that as well. There hasn't been a new starship design in all the versions of Traveller really, just the classic ships over and over. So if the ships don't really change, why jump around with different time settings etc. Just go with the story written for OTU all those years ago and make that universe great. For any new players I think OTU or Megatraveller is where I would point them and tell them to avoid everything else unless it can be used with the OTU in some way, otherwise there just inviting chaos.

So many thanks to Marc for a novel that removes some of the chaos and shows us a vision of Traveller that perhaps most Traveller fans can agree upon.
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  #26  
Old February 7th, 2016, 01:10 AM
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Default Clarification

Just to clarify in my previous post I mention OTU. By that I mean Original Traveller Universe or CT(perhaps I should have put CT's instead of OTU's).

So that's what I'm referring to, the classic third imperium, CT is Traveller.

I mention this as OTU on the forum has a discussion forum of it's own that incorporates any published edition of Traveller. My views are that the original CT is the only concrete vision of the Traveller universe.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 03:44 AM
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Which original edition of CT would that be?
The 77 version with its jump torpedoes, small ship setting and evil Imperium?
The post HG where overnight the Imperium had 1000000t ships?
The post 81 revision and post Library Data third Imperium where now the third Imperium are white hats and world have population multipliers?

OTU = official Traveller universe - it is a sandbox.

The Imperium of the early CT era is different to the third Imperium setting that began to emerge from books like High Guard and the two Library Data supplements.
MT was the OTU for its time, as was TNE and now we have the MgT version of the thirid Imperium setting and there is T5 - for which the only setting so far is Marc's novel.

CT was a set of generic rules for referees to design their own settings - MWM even says so
The third Imperium setting was GDW's exemplar setting, a way to show off the rules, and a sandbox for rule changes.

Remember TNE? It was deliberate. The OTU was flattened deliberately, the technology paradigm changed deliberately, the core rules themselves were changed deliberately.
Sandbox.
What TNE should really be remembered for is it brought back the idea that the referee design their own universe - more people should read the introductory chapters to FF&S.

I welcome T5 and its attempt to clean all this up, and I think Marc's novel is excellent.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 06:25 PM
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TNE also got a largely new (and significantly smaller) player base...
And made a number of really bad implementation decisions.

I looked forward to it when it was announced; it was my first major "What a waste of money on the new edition" experience.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 07:36 PM
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I liked TNE.
But it was rushed to market in some ways. FF&S was a step in the right direction. Looking at the fanzines they we're excited and didn't throw out abusive reviews. More constructive feedback might have helped at the time. Hubworlds, Suffren, Vland and a few other spots needed there own products.

Let's face it. Star Vikings is a "what?" The entire transition from RC to a new government is a "what?"

For me T4 was a disappointment. I like Pocket Empires but the rest of it is buried deep in my Traveller bins. T5 makes more sense.


The agent wafers versus Virus would make an interesting story line.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
TNE also got a largely new (and significantly smaller) player base...
MegaTraveller had already reduced the player base to the smallest Traveller player base to date - TNE increased it.
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And made a number of really bad implementation decisions.
Worse than Mega errata? Or not having a playable setting?

Quote:
I looked forward to it when it was announced; it was my first major "What a waste of money on the new edition" experience.
I thought that when I got the MT Player's Manual with its Paranoia cover - how prophetic was that...
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