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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:26 am 
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Anyone have thoughts / caveats about fusing concepts in 2300AD with elements of Transhuman Space? :?:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:04 am 
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It'd probably work quite well - it'd just be an interstellar version of TS. You can also throw in Blue Planet for good measure, and maybe some of the worlds from Eclipse Phase's "Gatecrashing" supplement ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:33 pm 
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EDG wrote:
It'd probably work quite well - it'd just be an interstellar version of TS


Yes. My thought was I'd dial down the bio- and nanotech, but the THS solar system seems well fleshed, the events timeline seems compatible (if less apocalyptic than Twilight) and there are a number of readymade vehicles and tech I like. Also the flavor is less merc combat, more mysterious intrigue.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:18 pm 
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One thing that comes pretty clear working through the THS sourcebook, even a mild application of the tech there would just cream a blunt force like the Kafers (who AFAICT don't truck with biotech).


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Lemnoc wrote:
One thing that comes pretty clear working through the THS sourcebook, even a mild application of the tech there would just cream a blunt force like the Kafers (who AFAICT don't truck with biotech).


The Kafers are designed as an adversary for humanity in 2300.

If you mix transhuman ideas into your 2300, I'd suggest you apply it to everyone. It'd probably make the Kafers more interesting.

For instance, what if the Kafers are actually the "dominant" form of a once much more advanced alien race that ran into a lifeform so advanced it faced extinction (like they did something that actually ticked the AGRA intelligence off). However, the species realized that it could survive by flying under the AGRA intelligence's radar by being ... unintelligent. The "part-time intelligence" of Kafers is actually a stealth technology to evade the AGRA's senses, which don't work in the same ways our do at all. It identifies individuals and species by their "intelligence." So enemy's intelligence had a certain "scent" and the AGRA would hunt it down. The engineered Kafers were usually too dumb to qualify as "intelligent" so the AGRA contented itself destroying the remnants of civilization on the Kafer homeworld, then departed.

Tens or even hundreds of thousands of years later, the Kafers have created a kind of civilization despite all their handicaps, yet the original life-form's DNA is still encoded into the Kafers, perhaps with a highly sophisticated symbiotic lifeform like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinococcus_radiodurans that works to preserve the original Kafer genetic code through all the biological stresses of the world and makes Kafers resist Transhumanity's attempt at wholesale modification.

However, this original lifeform is still encoded in "dormant" gene pairs hidden deep within the Kafer genome. It's called forth by certain stresses on an unconscious level which release certain pheromones which activate the "recessive" form of Kafers, which proceed to produce children who are of the old species template who then breed true. Transhumanity mucking around in the Kafer genetic code sets off one of these "genetic booby traps" ... probably thousands of times, but usually in labs so nobody notices except as scientific curiousity. Eventually someone does it with a Kafer which has exposure to a larger population. This makes the Kafers revert back to their atavistic form, a much more capable, dangerous lifeform, yet perhaps one that is easier to write adventures around.

Of course, the AGRA intelligence may have never forgotten its foe (since time doesn't pass for the AGRA in the way it does for us) and their utterly alien perception might lump humanity in with the Kafers as "enemy." After all, to the AGRA we're nothing but bugs. If you see ants coming to your shed and fighting the termites who are eating your shed, you're probably just going to exterminate both of them.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:48 pm 
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epicenter wrote:
Transhumanity mucking around in the Kafer genetic code sets off one of these "genetic booby traps" ... probably thousands of times, but usually in labs so nobody notices except as scientific curiousity. Eventually someone does it with a Kafer which has exposure to a larger population. This makes the Kafers revert back to their atavistic form, a much more capable, dangerous lifeform, yet perhaps one that is easier to write adventures around.


Good advice and interesting ideas. Yes, I would imagine the K would be hellishly hard to "rewrite" and resistant to most anything humanity could throw at them. A few buzzkill von Neumannish Kaferkillers or highly tuned flesh-eating mycora might do the trick, tho ;)

I find it kind of interesting, though, that the most effective responses to adversaries in THS (and 2300AD) seem to be less on the scale of Bismarks and Death Stars, and more on nano- and femto- scales. Mankind's biggest enemy in a Kafer conflict would be the monkey's inability to apprehend and command the situation early and completely and entirely. I can see the picnic being overwhelmed and devoured before everyone decides to put down the sandwich and swat the bugs. Once humans grokked it into their thick, thick (but at the center clever) skulls it was Us Or Them, I doubt the Kafers would long endure.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:01 am 
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Lemnoc wrote:
Us Or Them, I doubt the Kafers would long endure.


I think it's because pitiless genocidal wars against species in competition for your biological niche aren't very interesting in a roleplaying game. Kafers aren't a big threat because they're written in such a way it doesn't occur to them for various reasons, though I think it should.

After the Kafer defeat on Eta Bootis, Triumphant Destiny, who is supposed to be true genius (even amongst humans) had to have figured out how large the human sphere of colonized worlds are from materials captured on Aurore and Arcturus. It isn't like the Halo games where humanity keeps the location of Earth a secret. They probably captured all sorts of grade-school level educational materials discussing the size and worlds of the human sphere. Despite all their other shortcomings, Kafers definitely have their equivalent of monkey inquisitiveness. Kafers have to be just as interested in the Aach*ah as we are about them.

Eventually even the dimmest Kafer had to realize that according to the ideas of Vahshrrrgh ("Love-of-the-Race") that the humans may have to be exterminated by methods that don't involve sending their marines to the ground and killing each human, one-at-a-time and that unlike the Ylii, it is possible to lose to humans. Kafers as smart as those in the Associative (and certain Triumphant Destiny himself) had to figure it out more sooner than later that Kafers and the Humans are in Ch*ah (a "fight to the death"). Since Kafer thinking is binary (yes or no, live or die, thriving or extinct, etc.), there'd be no intermediate stage for relations with humans. They wipe us out, or we wipe them out. Given Kafers are supposed to lack empathy, they would have done it to us while we were still arguing to the ethics of doing it to them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:52 pm 
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In a Transhuman 2300 the Kafer become a minor impediment. The real enema is the Pentapods. They fit the theme a whole lot better.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:24 pm 
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There was a VERY lengthy discussion on the 2300AD Facebook group about what would happen if the Kafers 'won', and whether they had any deeper motivations than just "kill the humans". But I think as presented, while they're interesting, there's only two ways it could end - either with the humans winning, or the kafers winning. The Pentapod Solution in 2320AD was more "the humans winning" but at least it left some interesting options for the Kafers.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:49 am 
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I've been thinking about using Jovian Chronicles for the background along with the tech from Transhuman Space.

With all the intrigue going on, some faction is bound to try to ally with the Kafers.

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