Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More on Services in Festrian Space... and BeYOND OND Ond ond...

Apropos the Proto-Traveller discussion in CotI: This is SO much a work in progress; feedback?

I've come to the conclusion that a single, great Interstellar Government isn't a necessary part of the game as written, and that has some effect on the way the Services are interpreted vis-a-vis polity. I'm not shelving the Festrian Empire, no - I've put too much work into it so far, and like it, but the Festrian Empire is just a part of human space, barely a sector of the expanses of the Old Empire, and pulling some of this together now will help create a better structure down the road if ever adventurers leave Festrian Space.

The Festrian Empire is, at core, the Festrian Main: about a subsector's worth of fairly dense settlement. Its neighboring subsectors become more and more frontierish, especially with the havoc wrought by the Witch Wars and the Reunification. Beyond (ond ond ond) that is the Old Empire, human space but broken up into independent isolated worlds and a few pocket empires - some of which identify with the Old Empire, some of which have practically forgotten it.

Fester has a Navy, and Marines. Most of the fleet is posted to protect the homeworld: a number of task forces are posted in naval bases as quick-response groups to respond to local threats. It's not yet clear to me how much will be left for raiding the frontier: this may be left to vassal fleets: there are several high tech, high pop worlds which might pose a threat to Fester who are instead directed to raid the Old Imperium rather than cause trouble at home. These, and neighboring kingdoms' navy/marines, will have their own structures.

Army: The Army IMTU is not Imperial; these are local forces, and in some cases mercenaries. Fester has an Imperial Army, which occasionally sees service on other worlds.

Scouts:The Scouts are found, and serve, in the Empire and the Beyond, throughout human space. But they aren't Imperial. They are a separate polity: they make treaty with individual worlds and empires, and to a greater or lesser extent are accepted as providing a vital service throughout human space. They provide communication via a network of couriers (long jump and short) and are renowned for their reliability and bravery. They explore frontiers of human space; they constantly re-survey known areas (that cr.10,000 jumpchart? A Scout probably made it.) Scout neutrality is a watchword; though in practice, it's a little difficult to maintain on the ground. Detached service scouts are a useful tool when actions that might be beneficial to interstellar humanity run afoul of the local polity. Or not? The trouble I'm having now - it's Summer 2010 - is that there's an advantage in having the players all be basically on the same side, and having the scouts be separate from the Imperium is awkward that way. Gah.

Merchants: I've got rid of the megacorps! Or made them smaller, anyhow - without a vast imperium providing their backing, their massive scale disappears. That leaves the official Festrian treasure ships - the black ships!- traveling far and wide destabilizing trade, but front and center for players, though, are the Free Traders and Subsidized Merchants - the class of trader gives the class of ship their name. Free Traders, aptly named, carry cargos on an independent basis, typically along the Jump-1 routes where such trade is profitable at a small scale. The expense of long-jump ships and drives makes governmental subsidy necessary for Jump-2 routes and larger, in effect making long-distance and bulk trade a tool in the hands of the government to influence planetary governments to stay in line, without necessarily exercizing military force. Hence to a large extent the Subsidized Merchant is a governmental employee: either of a planetary polity, or of the Festrian Empire itself.

The TAS: The ubiquitous TAS extends throughout human space and maintains offices in all A or B starports. (There's a degree to which their presence insures that the port maintains those standards.) Whether the standard originated with the TAS or no, the Society seems to play some role with setting and monitoring the expense of interstellar travel and shipping. Their High passage is close to a gold standard. The TAS is the Traveller's Aid society, not the Merchant's Aid Society... The TAS works to maintain good relations with the many governments it contacts - hence the occasional benefits given to Marine and Navy personnel military, as rewards to individuals for "Meritorious Action to the Benefit of Interstellar Humanity."

Starports and Extraterritoriality: "In nearly all cases" starports are considered extraterritorial; in fairly equal measure, they are often administered by the local government; Generally speaking, class A and B starports within the Empire are administered by the Empire itself.


Blogger KenHR said...

I like muchly. Very similar to the setup I'm using for Arkad/Abzu, though we differ in the details.

My Old Imperium controls the Scout service, but it long ago adopted a neutral stance wrt political matters. In theory it's supposed to be a sort of interstellar UN, however the Imperial throne has tried to make use of the Scout service for its own purposes at various times. Thus, the Scouts in Galaxy Abzu are viewed by the commonfolk with varying measures of acceptance and suspicion (the exact ratio depending upon the particulars of time and place).

I've adopted a per-parsec method of determining starship revenue, so J-2 and even some J-3 ships in Abzu can operate without subsidies (I seriously doubt the issue will come up in play, but it was bugging me), though you'll need a big and expensive ship to pull it off. I like your setup, however, and it neatly rationalizes the basic trade system.

I don't see anything here that's likely to cause a big issue. The framework is entirely LBB123, and you've thought through many implications of the basic rules as presented. Nothing sets off the warning signals on my (albeit rusty) Anthropologinometer, so I'd say go with it, man!

And I still wanna see your UWPs!! :)

7:42 AM  
Blogger Festeria said...

Hey there! Good to hear from you. I'm working on another post about trade... I've got the draft up here. (points down)

2:40 PM  

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