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Fixing the Government UWP?



I'm a bit perplexed by the logic of defining the government UWP (2d-7+population)...

There seems to be a general bias toward "hi pop = more likely to have totalitarian government". I'm not sure that this is remotely the case.

Why should hi-pop worlds be the only ones that have Religious Dictatorships (D), or Religious Autocracies (E) or Totalitarian Oligarchies (F)? There's no particular reason why these should only be found on worlds that more than hundreds of millions of people on them.

I wonder if it might be more sensible to separate government from population completely (eg just roll 3d-3 to get a number from 0-15(F)). You'd probably have to jiggle around the government types though, since thus would mean most results would be around the 3d6 average of 11, modified to 8.

Or roll 2d but with DMs for population that range between -3 and +3, rather than adding the entire POP digit.


(I may have asked this before here, I can't recall)

There are very, very, very few E type governments.

In my whole 18,052 world database (of varying UWP stat qualities and sources), I find exactly 30 with E Type government.

In an "ideal" UWP structure, the current government list would be drop kicked into the nearest black hole. Fuedal Technocracy would be the first to hit the event horizon, never to return. Unfortunately, due to many factors, we are likely stuck with what we have.

Personally, I think your idea(s) is sound. Do *not* add the whole pop digit. I like the graduated modifiers idea, basing it a *little* on population, but not entirely.
I never understood Feudal Technocracies (I know, there's been a zillion flamewars about them in the past. I don't want to start one here).

I'm not even sure we need 15 government types. Maybe we could whittle it down to 11 to fit a 2d6 range. Ditch the Feudal Technocracy (sounds like it might be more a subset of Company/Corporation anyway) and the Religious governments (those are subsets of Self-Perpetuating or Charismatic Oligarchies). That brings us down to 12...
From the corner seat in left field I offer....

Keep the remaining twelve governments. Apply a dice roll modifier of +1 if the population is 5 or greater.
That'd work
Me like the occasional Feudal Technocracy.

Just... lots less of them.

There are five good FTs in BITS 101 Governments. Why not take FTs out of random UWPgen, then manually place about five of them at the end? Write the governments first, then find a political situation where each one fits.

Top down, m'boy, top down.
I always thought most Imperial worlds would be feudal technocracies, what with the Nobles being in charge of the Starports etc.
Which is why the average population roll in CT is 5 (2d6-2) and the average government type is therefore 5 (2d6-7 + pop.).

I must admit I hated trying to explain what it means ;)
Originally posted by Sigg Oddra:
I always thought most Imperial worlds would be feudal technocracies, what with the Nobles being in charge of the Starports etc.
Now those are a subset of the bureaucracies and charismatic dictatorships/oligarchies.

I think.

*gnaws leg off*
Yeh, its another of those things which seemed to have changed between the early days of CT and the more fully fleshed out Imperium that started to emerge with the publication of the Library Data Supplements and the paradigm switch that was MT.

MTU is still based very much on the early days...
Perhaps some of those government codes are superfluous. Anyhow, I sort of like the idea of having 12 codes with the +1 for High Pop worlds.

Would it make sense to add another government code, and another +1 DM for High TL worlds, and put "Feudal Technocracy" on the upper end?
Only if Feudal Technocracy is necessary... (what does it even mean anyway? Is it the sort of thing where the people that run life-support run the society?!)

FT means whatever you want it to mean.

To me:

Feudal: A system where individuals swear loyalty to a superior or chain of superiors, possessing for themselves a portion of the authority of their superior(s).

Technocracy: A system where government is conducted by those who know technolgy best (Geek-Government).

Feudal Technocracy: An Oath-Bound collection of Geeks!

Dilbert is the puppet King, and Dogbert the power behind the throne!
Well: (from dictionary.com)

Feudalism: 1. A political and economic system of Europe from the 9th to about the 15th century, based on the holding of all land in fief or fee and the resulting relation of lord to vassal and characterized by homage, legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.
2. A political, economic, or social order resembling this medieval system.

Technocracy: A government or social system controlled by technicians, especially scientists and technical experts.

I don't think there's much wrong with the concept of a Technocracy (I'm all for it. though if scientists ran the world I bet we'd declare wars over the arguments we have at conferences
:D ) - it's the "Feudal" part that doesn't make any sense in that context.

Maybe we could just replace "Feudal Technocracy" with a plain old "Technocracy" and leave it at that.
A goverment by scientists? Pfft even Plato's philosopher goverment makes more sense.

I think if we put him in a giant robot fighting suit Stephen Hawking could be a useful weapon of terror for my conquering armies though.
Presumably the concept is generally based on Plato's philosopher government.

Actually... I'd picture an ideal Technocracy as being more a meritocracy than anything else - a place where everyone has a chance to reach their full potential in education, ignorance is frowned upon, and people (a) make informed decisions about things and (b) accept that better educated people might actually know better than them . In other words, the complete opposite of our current societies
Why can't the technicians establish a feudal political-economic system, dividing up the parts (sub-sectors, clusters, worlds) of the Imperium amongst themselves?

The technocrats, those with interstellar travel capability, faced with the time delays inherent in the jump drive and it's limits on communication, use a feudal system of dukes, counts, etc. to maintain control of space.

Since '77 I have always felt that when a feudal technocracy government was rolled for a world that meant that said world was a 'full' member of the Imperial government and it was the location of the numerous noble's fiefs. Other governments for other worlds were viewed more as 'associate' members of the Imperium.
Well, the problem with that is that the Imperium isn't a Feudal Technocracy. It's feudal, yes. But it's not a society ruled by scientists or some "educated elite", it's more like an Oligarchy.
Part of the confusion comes from the ruling nobility having access to the high tech equipment, beyond the means of their local holdings. That makes them a technological elite.

For example, in the Swinward Marches we have Regina. TL10 or TL12 depending ;) , ruled by a Duke who can field TL15 household troops.

This conjures the image of the Imperial Nobles holding power because, amongst other things, they can buy the cutting edge Imperial hardware and can call on Imperial Forces to back them up.

This image is a strong feature of the "darker" Imperium suggested by early CT adventures and supplements, but was replaced by a gradual shift towards a "lighter" " we are the good guys" Imperium.
I'm not entirely sure that's quite what was intended when they came up with Feudal Technocracy though... it's a possible interpretation I guess.

That said, there doesn't really appear to be a "standard Imperium Member World government type"...
Remember Traveller government types are world, not Imperial government types.

Here are few dictionary definitions:

1. Of or pertaining to feuds, fiefs, or fees; as, feudal rights or services; feudal tenures.

2. Consisting of, or founded upon, feuds or fiefs; embracing tenures by military services; as, the feudal system.


Feudalism = 'The feudal system; a system by which the holding of estates in land is made dependent upon an obligation to render military service to the kind or feudal superior; feudal principles and usages.' (Websters Dictionary)

Technocracy = 'A government or social system controlled by technicians, especially scientists and technical experts' (American Heritage Dictionary)

At the heart of feudalism is a contract - The Overlord says to the vassal 'Hold this land of mine for your life and the life of your heirs (an estate in fee in law is one that can be passed on to heirs) and in consideration of which give me loyalty and military or other service'. Feudalism is not about pretty titles (although if you look at the etymology of titles like baron (from baro 'a man', as in 'my man, one's man') you see the reference to servitude), its about holding land in return for service.

Is the definition of Traveller 'feudal technocracy' a system where experts are given feudal holdings and the reigns of local government in return for providing military, political and technical assistance.

One can imagine such a deal, but not on as common a basis as appears in Traveller. Surely it is more logical for the Philosopher King (or scientist king) to hand out the goodies to military vassals who can protect him rather than giving all to be-spectacled scientists.

(I know that this is a total reductio ad absurdum, but I always thought FT's were a bit dumb in concept)