A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Hyperspace Opera: Retro-Futuristic Swashbuckling and Gunslinging

    Do you have rules for starship design in mind yet?

    The Mk1 Frontier Freighter, TL3

    The Mk1 is a flexible workhorse, relatively inexpensive, and, depending on the manufacturer, can be extremely reliable, or a deathtrap. Most are tough enough for sustained use in border regions without advanced shipyards.

    A typical Mk1 has a substandard computer which can process navigation programs for hyperspace and solve real space navigation, with a limited capacity for expansion.

    The required crew is typically a pilot, navigator, engineer, and a purser. Optional crew may include stewards, gunners, medics, and cargo handlers.

    Crew quarters include 8 berths in 4 staterooms.

    Another 4 berths in 2 staterooms allows additional crew, or can allow additional customers. There are also 8 single private use staterooms for use of passengers.

    There are two gun positions which may hourse a variety of primarily defensive weapons if the vessel is to be armed.

    About 100 tons of additional mass may be caried. Some of this mass is fuel tankage, the rest cargo. The proportions determine how far from a viable fuel source the vessel may travel.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-09-27 at 11:11 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Hyperspace Opera: Retro-Futuristic Swashbuckling and Gunslinging

    So one thing I think that would happen in a lot of sci-fi scenarios (including yours) is that the home-world would become dominated by historic districts.

    Consider Picard's brother in Star Trek, the vintner. I'd imagine he's not at liberty to use his land for much else than growing grapes. If he doesn't like it, he can move to one of the dozens of very different historic districts in France alone, or to one of thousands of off world communities.

    If we're not being utopian, historic districts can have a way of pricing marginalized people out. If there are good alternatives, this may not be seen as a problem that needs fixing.

    Most every modern people in rural areas don't get to own a farm but future people will be able to make it a reality.
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hyperspace Opera: Retro-Futuristic Swashbuckling and Gunslinging

    i am afraid I don't follow.

    Most people in rural areas don't have a farm because they don't want to.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying
    Hyperspace Opera Swashbuckling and Gunslinging Space Adventures

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Hyperspace Opera: Retro-Futuristic Swashbuckling and Gunslinging

    Re: Reasons to Colonize

    Given that Habitable planets are abundant, I feel like a quick shorthand system for different types of worlds, which establish why this world in particular was colonized.


    Gentle Worlds: Are planets that are generally just nice to live on. These colonies primarily function as a place to put people. Might be set up as a way to relieve population pressure, or by a group seeking to run their own society as a utopian experiment (or a religious cult, whatever), or just a government looking for the Prestige of having thriving colonies.

    A Gentle World colony is likely to resemble the Homeworld culture as much as possible, except in the instances where it's established by a breakaway group ("Utopian" colonies).

    Treasure Worlds: A Treasure World is one that contains some valuable resource, and a colony is set up for the purpose of extracting it. The classic example is valuable minerals, but as has been mentioned, resource extraction by traditional mining is super inefficient compared to asteroid stripping. Treasure Worlds are far most likely to be valuable due to something in their biosphere. For example, some native fauna that has a valuable pelt, but doesn't grow well in captivity might have a colony based around hunting and trapping these creatures. Usually the "Treasure" isn't something intrinsically valuable, but some luxury good that people have decided to pay a lot of money for.

    This can mean that the economies of Treasure Worlds can fall apart if the market they were supplying collapses due to shifting fashion trends.


    Spectacle Worlds: A spectacle World is a planet that has something stirring and unique about it, like a world with mountains made of pure diamond, or a constant Aurora Borealis effect, or a brilliant, ever-shifting technicolor sea. These planets are technically colonizable, but unless they also fall under the "Gentle" or "Treasure" Category, they're usually not home to any "True" Colonies, instead you've got a small settlement (maybe a few hundred people at most), built around a Research Station or a Trade Baron's Palace. Some Spectacle Worlds are home to Resorts, where wealthy tourists can visit.

    A Spectacle World is often home to multiple such settlements. Usually, a Trade Baron will construct a palace there (Often just as an austentatious show of wealth). Then, once regular supply ships start arriving, other groups will set up their own settlements elsewhere. Spectacle World settlements are rarely self-sufficient, so it usually takes somebody wealthy to "break the ice" as it were and get the Planet on the map.

    Once it is, a handful of settlements can be scattered across the globe to the point that they each may as well consider themselves the sole residents of the world.


    Edit: Similar shorthand for different colony types

    Settler Colonies: Are "Places to Put People", usually set up by the Governments of a homeworld, they tend to resemble the homeworld culturally.

    Utopian Colonies: Are set up by groups seeking to establish a "Better Society", usually some sort of religious or social movement, either with separatist leanings, or seeking to inspire change back home by demonstrating their ideal society.

    Industrial Colonies: Most often seen on Treasure Worlds, built around some specific industry, unless a corporation just decided to build a bunch of factories somewhere for Tax Purposes.

    Military Colonies: Are usually what happens when a millitary builds a planetside base because they want a place to keep ships and troops in a specific system, and the resulting support system just kind of grows into a colony.


    Re: Merchant Aristocracy

    So, the classic take on Aristocracy is that it's hereditary, but what if instead these aristocracies, based as they are on roles in the corporation, are algorithm driven.

    Third Sun Industries was built by Reginald Moneyface I, he was as charming as he was ruthless and Greedy.

    In order to identify good executive candidates, Third Sun Industries built a machine learning algorithm, using Reginald Moneyface I as it's model, since he built the Company, finding people similar to him would ensure it's future.

    People selected by the Algorithm as having traits similar to Reginald Moneyface I are chosen for special training and promotion, creating a self-sustaining corporate culture and giving each corporation a strong Identity, since in order to get into a position where you might be able to be Impressive, you must first be chosen by the Algorithm.

    In this way you can have "Dynasties", not of blood, but of character, as Corporate Executives choose and groom successors due to superficial similarities.


    Although it depends, how much do you want the Corporations to be faceless corporate monoliths vs extensions of given characters.
    Last edited by BRC; 2021-09-28 at 01:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiasaur11 View Post
    So, Astronaut, War Hero, or hideous Mantis Man, hop to it! The future of humanity is in your capable hands and or terrifying organic scythes.
    My Homebrew:Synchronized Swordsmen,Dual Daggers,The Doctor,The Preacher,The Brawler
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  5. - Top - End - #65
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Hyperspace Opera: Retro-Futuristic Swashbuckling and Gunslinging

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Most people in rural areas don't have a farm because they don't want to.
    A modern farm represents a lot of capital (much closer in terms of land to a medieval lord than a peasant, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars in machinery), so no, for most people wanting a farm is doesn't mean they can get one.

    I can't really get into real life issues, but the economic situation in many rural small towns is pretty terrible.
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Hyperspace Opera: Retro-Futuristic Swashbuckling and Gunslinging

    I keep coming back to the question of "What are the Corporations doing, if resources are so plentiful".

    Like, yes, economy of scale is a thing, before a certain point it isn't worth it to set up the infrastructure to turn lithium into cell phones or whatever, but planets are big. Why would somebody who wants cell phones move to a colony world not big enough to have it's own cell phone factory when there is, theoretically, plenty of room available on existing colony worlds?


    And the answer I arrive at is "Controlling technology" and "Trying to keep Colonies small and dependent".


    I imagine that, out of the home sectors, most heavy industry is in corporate controlled void stations. Built around an asteroid, on a small moon, or just floating in space, these massive factory complexes exist to take in raw materials and churn out finished goods.

    Which, yes, is less efficient than a more distributed supply chain. A given colony world has all the resources it might need to make a Space Cell Phone, and you could just build some land-based factories there and export Cell Phones, but by keeping most of the supply chain out in space, the Corporations keep the colony worlds dependent, and keep all the technical know-how about how to build things like jetpacks and water purifiers in-house, with minimal risk of anybody running off with the schematics and building their own water purifiers.


    Which brings me to Swords.

    The thing the Corporations most want to keep colonists dependent on them for is Security and Protection. It's not just that they won't tell the colonists how to turn raw materials into Railguns, they won't even give the Colonists railguns if they can help it. They want the Colonists to hire expensive corporate mercenaries to wield the Railguns for them. Corporate Railguns have all sorts of in-built systems to make sure they can only be used by Approved Corporate Security Contractors on Official Assignments.

    It's possible to take a Corp gun and strip all that out, so it just shoots whenever the trigger is pulled, but doing so makes it wonky and unreliable, and often takes a lot out of it, since you have to circumvent all the anti-tampering stuff.


    This means that your average Colonist, Adventurer, or Space-Pirate's choice of weapons is either

    1) Jailbroken corporate weapons, with the associated decrease in power or reliability that comes with ripping out all the bits designed to make it only work for the corporations.
    (Jailbreaking a Corporate Assault Rifle ends up with something that can only shoot once every few seconds and has half the stopping power).
    2) Weapons that any colony can produce on their own without access to the advanced manufacturing tech that the Corporations hoard.
    3) Weapons weak enough that Corporations feel comfortable selling them to colonists (Shotguns, hunting rifles, ect).

    Which means Swords, Hatchets, Crossbows, throwing weapons and the like are common.

    It means that full automatic weapons are very rare outside Corporate Kill Teams or the occasional official military units. The setting's equivalent of a rare, powerful magic weapon is an Assault Rifle that could have it's Oversight Controls circumvented without destroying half the gun in the process. It's rare because as soon as they heard about the exploit the corporation stopped producing these things.

    Edit: This also means, that since most Corporate holdings are on space stations or ships, where you don't want people blasting away with high powered weapons anyway, you get a situation where the Corporations HAVE Fully automatic weapons that can gun anybody else down, but the only time they would use them is when they're on a planet (Or on somebody else's ship).

    On a Corporate Ship or space station, Corporate Grunts might be fighting with shock batons or railguns with their power turned down low enough to not breach the hulls, so swashbuckling still works.

    Edit: This also a fun justification for Corporate Bigwigs to be dangerous opponents, even if they're not necessarily that experienced in combat. They (And their bodyguards) have enough pull to use high-powered weapons without needing to jump through the usual hoops of clearance and authorization to make sure they're not running the risk of damaging company property.


    If a Heroic Adventurer is storming a Corporate Ship, most of the security guards are limited to shock batons and low-powered weapons until some bureaucrat decides that the situation is dangerous enough to warrant letting them risk damage to company property by using The Good Stuff. The Junior Vice President of Colonial Investment and Development gets to carry a giant gold-plated revolver (Keyed to his fingerprints of course) that can blast through most armor, and shoot it without worrying about getting any paperwork signed.


    It's possible for a crew of swashbucklers to capture a corporate ship so long as they do so fast enough that the ship is taken before the guards get permission to use the big guns.
    Last edited by BRC; 2021-09-28 at 03:49 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dsurion View Post
    I don't know if you've noticed, but pretty much everything BRC posts is full of awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by chiasaur11 View Post
    So, Astronaut, War Hero, or hideous Mantis Man, hop to it! The future of humanity is in your capable hands and or terrifying organic scythes.
    My Homebrew:Synchronized Swordsmen,Dual Daggers,The Doctor,The Preacher,The Brawler
    [/Center]

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