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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Sir Chaos wrote:
*IF* they successfully destroyed Pakistan´s capabilities. And *IF* the Caliphate did not decide to use its own nukes against India to avenge their fellow Muslims killed in Pakistan. Even then they´d probably get a load of fallout from Pakistan.

Basically, India would be in better shape than the main combatants, but not nearly as good as those nations who "sat out" the war.

Probably in the IC (Swiss-British-East-Asian) bloc. Partial recovery.

Sir Chaos wrote:
One "food-based" bloc, around Brazil and Argentina.
One "pharaceutics-based" bloc, around Switzerland.
One "resources-based" bloc, around some coalition of African nations.

"Based" as in, this is what fueled their original rise to prominence.

Corporations then diversified to further fields, but the original economic niche still dictates much. Indeed, UAM (United African Minerals) is still the primary mining company, though the other two engage in mining as well.

Sir Chaos wrote:
I think one of the resources for the African bloc could be a key resource for whatever succeeds oil as the fuel for a global industrial economy, so the African bloc could be sort of a new OPEC.

Of course, all cards are shuffled once you start mining asteroids and off-world colonies. UAM will still be in a position to get a headstart in this race to belting, but that edge is slowly being blunted by fierce competition over offworld minerals.

Sir Chaos wrote:
I think the "food bloc" and "pharma bloc" would be more interested in habitable planets. For the food bloc, they offer new plants and animals for food production, and the prerequisites to produce Terran food without massive technological assistance (such as hydroponics). For the pharma bloc, every extraterrestrial species is a potential source of substances or processes that could be the basis of some new medicine.

The "resources bloc" might not even be interested in habitable planets at all, preferring asteroid mining, or strip mining lifeless rock balls without having to bother with environmental protection (or with the interests of people who might live where they want to mine). They know they don´t need habitable planets, but the habitable planets need them for the resources they produce. Even if they do take their own habitable planets, they´ll still be predominantly space-based and hostile-planet-based.

Your map has two "arms" anyway along which humanity expands; the "food bloc" and "pharma bloc" each get one arm, the "resources bloc" kind of shares both with their respective main owners because their primary interests are different enough that they can co-exist fairly peacefully...

So, you got an Anglo-Swiss arm (UN) and the American Arm (AF) (or the Latin Arm?). the IC (dominated by Africa and to a lesser degree India) would have colonies on non-habitable mining worlds on both arms.

I'll have to do some research into Swiss culture; I hope this culture is suitable enough for colonial expansion; otherwise, the British part of the UN will do the colonizing while the Swiss part will form teh biotech-finance core...

I'll also need convincing corporation names for the main Brazilian (agritech), Swiss (biotech), and (South?) African (mining) companies. I have several second-tier companies planned. such as the Royal British Interstellar Company (RBIC), Zhang-Markov (remnants of Russia's Far East and Northern China industry somewhat less affected by war), and Federated Robotics (North American high-tech company).

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:51 pm 
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Cyborg IM1 wrote:
Golan2072 wrote:
On another subject - with no unified government and with weak Trading Blocks, I wonder how the Scouts would look like. Would each corporation run its own scout service? Will corporate Scouts still receive detached-duty ships? Or is this task outsourced to individual, independent Scouts who work as freelancers for the corps? I like the latter option, and instead of a "detached" Scout you might receive a Scout with a mortgage...


The Independent Interstellar Scout Service - Actually a corporation of its own, but since they are independent from the Trading Blocks and the Corporations, it works for them.

The discoverer or first surveyor of an area on a planet/system gets rights to that region. The IISS makes its money by exploring/claiming valuable sights/worlds and then selling the rights on to a Trading Bloc or Corporation.

Once the BIG NASTIES were found in space, everyone sort of backed off on doing independent exploration - too costly in materials (and secondarily in people). The IISS was a logical solution as it put all those idiots willing to go out into the scary dark into one place, so even with the 50% attrition rate, there are enough people to keep the frontier moving out.

How about that? :)

I like that.

My take on this:

Infinite Stars Cooperative (ISC): starting as a loose professional association of deep-space explorers during the Second Generation of interstellar colonization, the Infinite Stars Cooperative grew to a tightly-knit quasi-corporation offering survey and courier services. In return for hiring its services rather than those of freelancers, the ISC guarantees professional exploration and secure courier services. Those who join the ISC begin as ISC employees. Those who survive several terms of dangerous exploration - the number changes from case to case - become ISC members and shareholders. Such members may receive their own "detached" scout craft and may operate as autonomous (virtually "independent") ISC agents. However, no one ever truly leaves ISC, and the Cooperative may reactivate a "detached" member at any time, or - more often - give such members special missions on behalf of the Cooperative.

The ISC "encourages" freelance explorers to join it, or at least pay a fee as "honorary members". This allows better job opportunities with the corporations, as well as preferred rescue operations in case of being stranded on the frontier. Rumors of "accidents" happening to non-compliant explorers have never been proven. The same goes to rumors about smuggling operations, and more than anything else - conspiracy theories, common on the internets, claiming that ISC has its own covert operations branch tackling supernatural and technological threats.

ISC also has the primary spacer journal, Infinite Stars*. It manages the Explorers' Society - which is open to non-members as well. This allows investment in the ISC by third parties. You can get into the Society if you pay the initial investment, or when a corporation of government pays for you. You then get the return on your investment in form of starship passage tickets.

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Golan2072 wrote:
Sir Chaos wrote:
*IF* they successfully destroyed Pakistan´s capabilities. And *IF* the Caliphate did not decide to use its own nukes against India to avenge their fellow Muslims killed in Pakistan. Even then they´d probably get a load of fallout from Pakistan.

Basically, India would be in better shape than the main combatants, but not nearly as good as those nations who "sat out" the war.

Probably in the IC (Swiss-British-East-Asian) bloc. Partial recovery.

Sir Chaos wrote:
One "food-based" bloc, around Brazil and Argentina.
One "pharaceutics-based" bloc, around Switzerland.
One "resources-based" bloc, around some coalition of African nations.

"Based" as in, this is what fueled their original rise to prominence.

Corporations then diversified to further fields, but the original economic niche still dictates much. Indeed, UAM (United African Minerals) is still the primary mining company, though the other two engage in mining as well.


Definitely. But the other two will probably mostly mine the more easily available resource - on their planets, mostly, and on the moons of those planets. Besides possibly being cheaper than dealing with the big mining corps, it maintains their ability to do their own mining, should they need it in case they cannot or do not want to do any more business with the mining corp.

Quote:
Sir Chaos wrote:
I think one of the resources for the African bloc could be a key resource for whatever succeeds oil as the fuel for a global industrial economy, so the African bloc could be sort of a new OPEC.

Of course, all cards are shuffled once you start mining asteroids and off-world colonies. UAM will still be in a position to get a headstart in this race to belting, but that edge is slowly being blunted by fierce competition over offworld minerals.

Sir Chaos wrote:
I think the "food bloc" and "pharma bloc" would be more interested in habitable planets. For the food bloc, they offer new plants and animals for food production, and the prerequisites to produce Terran food without massive technological assistance (such as hydroponics). For the pharma bloc, every extraterrestrial species is a potential source of substances or processes that could be the basis of some new medicine.

The "resources bloc" might not even be interested in habitable planets at all, preferring asteroid mining, or strip mining lifeless rock balls without having to bother with environmental protection (or with the interests of people who might live where they want to mine). They know they don´t need habitable planets, but the habitable planets need them for the resources they produce. Even if they do take their own habitable planets, they´ll still be predominantly space-based and hostile-planet-based.

Your map has two "arms" anyway along which humanity expands; the "food bloc" and "pharma bloc" each get one arm, the "resources bloc" kind of shares both with their respective main owners because their primary interests are different enough that they can co-exist fairly peacefully...

So, you got an Anglo-Swiss arm (UN) and the American Arm (AF) (or the Latin Arm?). the IC (dominated by Africa and to a lesser degree India) would have colonies on non-habitable mining worlds on both arms.


I imagine the UN and AF will focus on systems with habitable worlds, and those system without habitable worlds that are needed as waystations to reach systems with habitable worlds - especially in the main arms where Jump-1 routes all the way to Earth are possible. Other systems will be nominally part of the arms but mostly left to the IC.

Quote:
I'll have to do some research into Swiss culture; I hope this culture is suitable enough for colonial expansion; otherwise, the British part of the UN will do the colonizing while the Swiss part will form teh biotech-finance core...


Biotech, finance and security. The Swiss were once a leading exporter of very competent mercenaries. And in times of world-wide crisis, they may well decide to go "back to their roots". Although maybe they mostly train and equip and lead mercenary units, while the manpower comes from the wilder regions of Earth, where people are tougher than the (relatively) pampered, civilized arcology inhabitants.

Quote:
I'll also need convincing corporation names for the main Brazilian (agritech), Swiss (biotech), and (South?) African (mining) companies. I have several second-tier companies planned. such as the Royal British Interstellar Company (RBIC), Zhang-Markov (remnants of Russia's Far East and Northern China industry somewhat less affected by war), and Federated Robotics (North American high-tech company).


"Sanapharm" for the Swiss biotech corp? "Sana" is Latin for "healthy", and "Pharm" is fairly self-explanatory (see "Ratiopharm").

If you want to go the "Swiss mercenaries" route I suggested, too, a Swiss private military contractor could be "Eidgenössische Sicherheits-Dienste" (ESD for short). "Eidgenössische" refers to the old Swiss Confederacy, and the rest means "security services".

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:11 pm 
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Sir Chaos wrote:
Definitely. But the other two will probably mostly mine the more easily available resource - on their planets, mostly, and on the moons of those planets. Besides possibly being cheaper than dealing with the big mining corps, it maintains their ability to do their own mining, should they need it in case they cannot or do not want to do any more business with the mining corp.

So UAM will do the belting and rockball mining, while the other two corps will engage in habitable world colonial development. Makes sense,

Sir Chaos wrote:
I think the "food bloc" and "pharma bloc" would be more interested in habitable planets. For the food bloc, they offer new plants and animals for food production, and the prerequisites to produce Terran food without massive technological assistance (such as hydroponics). For the pharma bloc, every extraterrestrial species is a potential source of substances or processes that could be the basis of some new medicine.

The "resources bloc" might not even be interested in habitable planets at all, preferring asteroid mining, or strip mining lifeless rock balls without having to bother with environmental protection (or with the interests of people who might live where they want to mine). They know they don´t need habitable planets, but the habitable planets need them for the resources they produce. Even if they do take their own habitable planets, they´ll still be predominantly space-based and hostile-planet-based.

I like that!

Sir Chaos wrote:
Your map has two "arms" anyway along which humanity expands; the "food bloc" and "pharma bloc" each get one arm, the "resources bloc" kind of shares both with their respective main owners because their primary interests are different enough that they can co-exist fairly peacefully...

So, you got an Anglo-Swiss arm (UN) and the American Arm (AF) (or the Latin Arm?). the IC (dominated by Africa and to a lesser degree India) would have colonies on non-habitable mining worlds on both arms.

I imagine the UN and AF will focus on systems with habitable worlds, and those system without habitable worlds that are needed as waystations to reach systems with habitable worlds - especially in the main arms where Jump-1 routes all the way to Earth are possible. Other systems will be nominally part of the arms but mostly left to the IC.[/quote]

Sir Chaos wrote:
Biotech, finance and security. The Swiss were once a leading exporter of very competent mercenaries. And in times of world-wide crisis, they may well decide to go "back to their roots". Although maybe they mostly train and equip and lead mercenary units, while the manpower comes from the wilder regions of Earth, where people are tougher than the (relatively) pampered, civilized arcology inhabitants.

Quote:
I'll also need convincing corporation names for the main Brazilian (agritech), Swiss (biotech), and (South?) African (mining) companies. I have several second-tier companies planned. such as the Royal British Interstellar Company (RBIC), Zhang-Markov (remnants of Russia's Far East and Northern China industry somewhat less affected by war), and Federated Robotics (North American high-tech company).


"Sanapharm" for the Swiss biotech corp? "Sana" is Latin for "healthy", and "Pharm" is fairly self-explanatory (see "Ratiopharm").

If you want to go the "Swiss mercenaries" route I suggested, too, a Swiss private military contractor could be "Eidgenössische Sicherheits-Dienste" (ESD for short). "Eidgenössische" refers to the old Swiss Confederacy, and the rest means "security services".

I like both! Thanks for the names and ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:02 pm 
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So, you also have the "haves" and the "have nots" of planets. The UN and AF look down on the Belters of the IC, while the IC looks down the soft, Gubbers of the UN and AF. Very Expansion like... :)

You also end up with some ethnic/racial overtones - the IC is going to be mostly dark-skinned people, the UN mostly light-skinned people, and the AF mostly medium-skinned people. OF COURSE those old prejudices would not still exist...

Reminds me a bit of Asimov's later Empire books with is EAST, WEST, and SOUTH ethnic groups - no one remembered why or what happened to the NORTH group, but he acknowledged it. In this case WEST is Latin, SOUTH is African/India and NORTH is Swiss/Britain - EAST is not very interstellar due to WW3.

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:31 am 
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Cyborg IM1 wrote:
So, you also have the "haves" and the "have nots" of planets. The UN and AF look down on the Belters of the IC, while the IC looks down the soft, Gubbers of the UN and AF. Very Expansion like... :)

Exactly. By the way, another thing I'll have to change in the map is reverse the American and UN arms, to account for the world names (the Rimward arm has all the Nordic/European names while the Coreward arm is more diverse and often South-American in world names. Also, I'll increase the population and starports of a few rockballs to account for larger IC mining colonies.

Cyborg IM1 wrote:
You also end up with some ethnic/racial overtones - the IC is going to be mostly dark-skinned people, the UN mostly light-skinned people, and the AF mostly medium-skinned people. OF COURSE those old prejudices would not still exist...

I'll have to tread lightly here to avoid real-world politics, but what I think I'll use to highlight the cultural differences are the naming conventions - the UN gets European and English NPC (and ship and world) names, the AF gets Spanish and some English ones, the IC gets African naming conventions, with some Afrikaans and potentially Middle-eastern names as well.

Cyborg IM1 wrote:
Reminds me a bit of Asimov's later Empire books with is EAST, WEST, and SOUTH ethnic groups - no one remembered why or what happened to the NORTH group, but he acknowledged it. In this case WEST is Latin, SOUTH is African/India and NORTH is Swiss/Britain - EAST is not very interstellar due to WW3.

The "West" in pre-war cultural terms is the UN; the South gets the two other trading blocks.

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:44 am 
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Interesting commentary on Hard Space from the COTI thread:

Quote:
Hey Golan2072, I've enjoyed reading through your ideas here but two questions / ideas:

1) Reading through the history, one thing leapt out at me: Why does there need to be a WW3 in your setting? It seems ... unnecessary and kinda "20th century meme" to me. Like in 2300AD (which sounds like a baseline inspiration for your setting), a nuclear war as necessary since it was an extension of the Twilight: 2000 universe and it caused significant damage to the game setting - the nuclear war didn't really have a huge influence on 2300 itself and in fact the technologies were more 2150-2200 except that humanity basically lost an entire century because of the nuclear war. But beyond basing things on the T2k, there was little about 2300 that required a nuclear war in the past. Given your setting occurs so long after WW3, it doesn't really feel like it has an influence on your universe that you can't get another source, especially because it appears the nuclear war doesn't set humanity back all that many steps - it just stirs things up a bit. Rampant uncontrolled climate change and increasingly insolvent governments dominated by corporate power are two more relevant themes I think that would create the present of that world you're talking about as well.

2) I feel that having the Cthulhu mythos creatures on Earth all along saps a lot of the fun from the idea of your setting. The issue with mythos cultists and so on is that they're a conspiracy. And the problem with conspiracies is that it's hard to believe they haven't been outed after all this time or why aren't they in charge by this point? I think it'd be more believable if the mythos things were stuff people out there in the Big Dark. Perhaps they've brought some stuff back to earth so now there's cultists or something. But again, why haven't they been outed / rule everything?

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:14 pm 
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Interesting comment. I think they might be right on about WW3 though. Given a general collapse of governments after Peak Oil and the emergence of the multi-nationals, it is only a matter of time before there are several monolithic corporations that are as powerful, or more powerful than governments. With companies now having net values in the Trillions of US dollars, the trend is there...

Politicians are bought and paid for by corporate interests - you just need some consolidation among the multinationals to have things fall into place.

You can even keep the blocs that way you have them, after all a horrible trade war between China and the US could set up an international collapse that would basically destroy both economies, allowing the southern hemisphere countries, which are struggling now, to emerge as the new leaders. Maybe Brexit actually saved Britain when the EU collapses (again, not getting into politics, but it a solution to get your British-Swiss alliance that you want...).

Basically you need to break the political alliances of today and shift power to Africa and SA and consolidate the multi-nationals into the Big 4. No real need for a war, but getting there could be tricky without setting off political debates based on real-world politics (Brexit being good for britain could be a touchy position to take in today's environment).

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Cyborg IM1 wrote:
Basically you need to break the political alliances of today and shift power to Africa and SA and consolidate the multi-nationals into the Big 4. No real need for a war, but getting there could be tricky without setting off political debates based on real-world politics (Brexit being good for britain could be a touchy position to take in today's environment).


I used WWIII for three main reasons:

1. Add a breaking point between the current (2018) political situation and Earth's geopolitical situation in 2120/2170. The war shuffled things, especially if you see the later ideas inspired by the discussions here and on the SFRPG boards.

2. Bankrupt governments. A prolonged, devastating war, with no clear victory, would do the job. Especially in the case of superpowers.

3. Make much of Earth a hostile environment. This serves two purposes. The first is creating desperation to go to the colonies, going as far as colonists risking their lives in nasty Traveller Low Berths.; the second is adding a post-apocalyptic dimension to the setting, as well as sharpening the divide between the arcology-dweller corporate drone salarymen and the masses outside the arcology walls.

Can ecological/economical collapse serve the same purposes?

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Space Redux
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:40 pm 
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So, how will you handle the Asians? They aren't represented in any of the Blocs, are you going to say that they are basically a non-factor in interstellar societies or are they minor players in one of the blocks?

I don't really have an opinion, but I think you need to address the current situation in China and Japan in 2170. If they are vast, radioactive wastelands, fine, but I think you need to be a bit explicit about that and explain why the billion plus people that were there are now not a major player.

One thought would be that there are still quite a few people there, but they after WW3, there was a strong push back towards insularity. That isn't going well, the government of China (or what is left of it) has to become more and more draconian to keep the population under control. IF they could get their act together politically, they could become a fourth Bloc, but they just haven't been able to do it yet. Maybe there is still an on-going civil war there keeping the area depressed.

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