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Future Tech Advice and Assistance Thread [O.O.C.]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]

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Prusslandia
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Postby Prusslandia » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:18 pm

What would be a good population for a multi system nation ?
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The Armed Republic of Dutch Coolness
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Postby The Armed Republic of Dutch Coolness » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:28 pm

I've recently started working on a Factbook for my FT nation (here http://www.nationstates.net/nation=eria ... l=factbook ) but I'm wondering, what should you include in a FT Factbook? I've got a basic overview planned, a bit on the rulers, and I've got stuff on the Military - I'll include the Navy as well, naturally, but what else are some "musts"?
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Liivland Abufan Se Steorre
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Postby Liivland Abufan Se Steorre » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:34 pm

Diopolis wrote:I'm not an expert, but an interesting FT-explosive would be hafnium,which has the potential to bypass the critical mass requirement of nuclear detonations. Unfortunately, there's no way to make it trigger at the moment, but a soft FT nation can bypass that really easily.

Oh, very nice! Grazie mille, this is very useful indeed!
Ictia wrote:Well, everything depens of how realistic do you want to be.

Probably not as realistic as sections of this post assume.
For the melee weapons I would use the steel sword option (maybe looking for a stronger material, as wolfram). New tecnologies (laser, nanotech, more advanced metallurgy) would make the rest of the work, giving a better quality to your weapons (more resistance, better blade). Using a lightsaber doesn't make sense: too much heat for the soldiers (and for the own saber), too much power needed (imagine holding a nuclear reactor in your hands). But of course, it's your world, you can change physics if you want.

For example, with this there are steel weapons - every soldier and policeman and sailor and dog is going to be packing some kind of lulzy steel utility blade. However, I wanted a medieval sword and board aesthetic and the best way I felt to achieve that in an FT setting without compromising the ability to fight normally (e.g. through having a big shield on ones arm) was through things like energy shields. From there it's only a quick step to energy blades.
For the range weapons, just as an idea: you are using Direct Energy Weapons (DEW), no matter if they are lasers or particle beam weapons. They need a lot of power, and probably, they produce a lot of heat. Imagine that after shooting, the weapon needs time for getting cool before shooting again (and even putting another power cell). It woul be like a laser arquebus. It shoots slowly, but it's very effective againts armours. It would make your range weapons looking more medieval (more or less), and also it gives more importance to melee weapons, beacause range weapons wouldn't be so effective as they are now.

An interesting idea, and one I like. Perhaps less laser muskets, but I'm certainly liking the idea of say laser Martini Henry-style weapons or lever action, breech-loading weapons. Possibly in conjunction with more generic sci-fi rooty-tooty-point-and-shooty weapons, but with those being far far less effective at penetrating shields and armour.
It's not exactly an explosive (and in fact they are MT, but they are not as well known as TNT or C4) but you could use thermobaric weapons.

A thought, but from what I know otoh about thermobarics they're not too good at actually blowing things up - more at hitting dismounted bods or screwing over people and systems which the pressure can affect. I imagine they'd be less efficient against power armoured foes, mechs, armour and space ships.
I don't really understand what do you mean with hard light.

Basically for hardlight read 'ultra generic sci-fi energy weapon/armour'. Think Halo.
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Liivland Abufan Se Steorre
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Postby Liivland Abufan Se Steorre » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:37 pm

The Armed Republic of Dutch coolness wrote:I've recently started working on a Factbook for my FT nation (here http://www.nationstates.net/nation=eria ... l=factbook ) but I'm wondering, what should you include in a FT Factbook? I've got a basic overview planned, a bit on the rulers, and I've got stuff on the Military - I'll include the Navy as well, naturally, but what else are some "musts"?

History, Geography (political/administrative and a bit about the climate, landscape, human geography etc.), Politics and Governance, Culture, Military, Justice/Laws/Policing, Economy, Foreign Relations, Demographics?
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The Armed Republic of Dutch Coolness
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Postby The Armed Republic of Dutch Coolness » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:39 pm

Liivland Abufan Se Steorre wrote:
The Armed Republic of Dutch coolness wrote:I've recently started working on a Factbook for my FT nation (here http://www.nationstates.net/nation=eria ... l=factbook ) but I'm wondering, what should you include in a FT Factbook? I've got a basic overview planned, a bit on the rulers, and I've got stuff on the Military - I'll include the Navy as well, naturally, but what else are some "musts"?

History, Geography (political/administrative and a bit about the climate, landscape, human geography etc.), Politics and Governance, Culture, Military, Justice/Laws/Policing, Economy, Foreign Relations, Demographics?

Oh, Culture and Justice could work.
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Nyte
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Postby Nyte » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:39 pm

Prusslandia wrote:What would be a good population for a multi system nation ?


That depends on a number of variables such as how many systems you have, what race(s) your nation consists of, and how fast they breed, etc...

Here's an example though off the top of my head:
If you're playing as a fairly new FT nation and you only have say 3 systems, then your home system will have the bulk of your population still, the second system may be fairly developed, and the third would be a frontier system. So, lets say you have 10 billion people total which is a reasonable population for a fairly new FT nation consisting of humans (this number can fluctuate a few billion up or down depending on preference). With this set up, your home system would have 8-8.5 billion, your developed system would have 1-1.9 billion, and the frontier system would have maybe 100 million tops and growing rapidly.

The Armed Republic of Dutch coolness wrote:I've recently started working on a Factbook for my FT nation (here http://www.nationstates.net/nation=eria ... l=factbook ) but I'm wondering, what should you include in a FT Factbook? I've got a basic overview planned, a bit on the rulers, and I've got stuff on the Military - I'll include the Navy as well, naturally, but what else are some "musts"?


You could always check out other FT nations factbooks for inspiration for what to include in your own. That's something I did back when I first started RPing on NS.
Last edited by Nyte on Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Vocenae
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Postby Vocenae » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:44 pm

Prusslandia wrote:What would be a good population for a multi system nation ?


Well, first things first, population numbers are not really a top concern for most FT players. Or numbers in general. Basically whatever you want but within reason. Personally I would advise not to go beyond fifty billion, especially when starting out, because we encourage players to start small so everyone can pretty much get used to one another. If you haven't seen it yet, we suggest that players new to the community start with three star systems.

See also: Size in Relation to Future Tech.

And if you haven't yet, please also read The Future Tech Beginner's Tutorial.

Myself, while I don't say "this is how many people I have in my nation", I am personally a fan of smaller populations in science fiction so I use my gameplay population of Twenty Billion as a personal guideline for when I'm working on my nation. Now this is not me saying that gameplay population matters (because it absolutely doesn't and we are long and far from the dark days when it did), and I'm not saying that's how many people I have, it's just a personal goalpost for me for worldbuilding.

Basically, comes back to doing stuff within reason, and as it says in the Opening Post of this thread:

What Are the Rules of Future Tech?[ LINK HERE ]
In the Future Tech community, there are no real "hard" rules. There is not a thread somewhere that will define what "is" and what "is not" acceptable; however, with over a decade worth of community standardization and conventions, the Future Tech community does have a standard insofar as how players conduct themselves, interact with one another, and otherwise execute their creations within the world.

Though called by many names ("Rule of Cool", "Code of Bro/Sis", etc.), the standards and conventions of the FT community, in effect, boil down to this: be willing to collaborate with other players; be willing to compromise with other players for the sake of both the story and the mutual experience of existing within the world; be creative and do not directly rip from existing canon (such as those found in novels, video games, or films); and be consistent with the applications of the internal rules of your creations (such as how your technology interacts with other technologies, cultural rules within your societies, etc.).

These standards, in effect, mean "Don't be a dick". It is, really, quite that simple. If you, as a player, are willing to collaborate with others, compromise, attempt to be creative, and are consistent, you will find roleplaying partners and ventures very readily and very easily. Players that are not willing to abide by these very, very basic standards of behavior, however, might not. It is often said in Future Tech that you may "do as you will, because no one can stop you". This is patently true; however, players that act in a manner that is not congruent or complimentary to the community's, implement absurd creations that violate these standards or otherwise diminish the ability for other players to enjoy the roleplaying venture, or - in general - are simply "silly" with no caveat insofar as how that "silliness" might be applied - such is to say, "Silly for the sake of silliness" without any added enjoyment - are likely to find themselves with few avenues to interact with the community.

It's true, you can do as you please; no one can stop you. Just as well, you can't force people to recognize your creations simply by existing. Behavior and conduct is paramount to earning respect and merit as a writer and roleplayer in the Future Technology community; poor behavior tends to reflect poorly on the player and, ultimately, may lead to many individuals ignoring that player and his entities simply because it's not enjoyable to interact with the player.


ALSO WHAT NYTE SAID
Last edited by Vocenae on Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Ben Boys
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Postby The Ben Boys » Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:42 pm

The Armed Republic of Dutch coolness wrote:I've recently started working on a Factbook for my FT nation (here http://www.nationstates.net/nation=eria ... l=factbook ) but I'm wondering, what should you include in a FT Factbook? I've got a basic overview planned, a bit on the rulers, and I've got stuff on the Military - I'll include the Navy as well, naturally, but what else are some "musts"?


It's going to sound stupid and boring at first, but an extensive "culture" section helps "flesh out" your nation. I read your factbook and getting a good feel of it, but nothing tells me how your people think other than intense xenophobia. In my own factbook, a sort of renaissance took place once I installed a "Pillars of Society" section under culture (others have the same thing but with different names). They are a set of societal rules, expectations, and guidelines that shapes Bakran Empire; most of them aren't even official laws or have an IC name, just something to expand on my nation's flavor. I don't like how some FT nations (including my own for a time) set there culture section like something out of an MT factbook or a list of a few scant sections: usually there's a "sports", "cuisines", "slang", and "laws" section, maybe a few more but that's it.

I understand that just telling you this is one thing, so I'll give you some tips that helped me formulate my "Pillars" section, which dictated the rest of my culture, then my factbook/nation as a whole.

1. First of all, you're dealing with a nation's very identity. The Roman culture valued civil service to the extent that the office of "dictator" was a political office that had to be given up after six months (and was until the end of the Republic). All that power that you enjoyed, something that only monarchs had the privilege of, was gone after six scant months. Yet the institution and republic stayed alive until then. Looks at Germany, the USSR, Rome, Japan, and the US for some strong culture identities, especially since elements of them could match up with your nation.

2. Look at other assorted sci-fi goodies. The Civilization Beyond Earth Civilopedia for some great inspiration, it was (and is) invaluable to me. The sections on "wonders" and "buildings" were especially good, as they included a variety of ideologies. The themes mostly revolve around "exist with nature vs. dominate nature" since that's what C:BE is (kind of) about, but it gets your wheels turning, which relates to my next suggestion...

3. You are a futuristic nation with futuristic problems. You aren't going to be concerned with "net neutrality" or FIFA's corruption scandal (maybe the future's equivalent though), so act like it. What is your society's view on mechanical augments? Using artificial intelligence? The use of prosthesis versus cloned limbs? Cloning in general? Biological augmentation and steroid use? How grumpy are your people in general? Which ties in to the next...

4. How did your nation react to contemporary problems? Imagine how the United States will get past (or not) it's debt crisis as a test bed, how it will affect the citizens generations from now. Look at your own nation's history with racial tensions, income inequality, corporate vs. labor, national hunger, civil wars, etc. For example, my nation went unconventional with income inequality and just accepted it as a fact of life, to the point that currency has much less value culturally than it is in the United States right now. Why is your nation's people so xenophobic? Why do they hate religion? Expand on that, it sounds incredibly interesting especially with the dichotomy of much more personal rights in other areas. Which leads me to my last point...

5. Lastly, how did history shape your nation's people? You probably had a few wars or another assorted "crucible" to "rise from the ashes" (sort of a favorite in science fiction), so how did it shape your people? Are they more cynical, or optimistic that nothing like that will ever happen again? Or, to really throw a wrench into the human condition, did they turn to love war and militancy?

Again, this is what worked for me and may for you, if you even have an interest in it. I could just be a sad human being who likes this stuff way too much.

Wow, didn't expect to get past "one" put I guess I had a lot to say. Hope it helped, would love feedback to see how crazy I really am.

Your factbook looks great, by the way. I'm sort of an info dump junkie, and yours is both well laid out and good content.


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Kyrusia
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Postby Kyrusia » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:16 pm

Liivland Abufan Se Steorre wrote:[snip]

Just to cover the basics as I see toward the end of your post: Weapon A is only ever as powerful as plot dictates and, through collaboration and compromise, yourself and your roleplay partner determine is necessary. This applies, more or less, to every aspect of Future Tech: at the end of the day, the player does not determine his own power, size, influence, etc., the community does by either accepting what the player has said his power/size/influence/etc. is, or by rejecting those claims. As I have explained elsewhere:

"To elaborate, Future Tech is a community based upon merit. In simple this means that, in the eyes of the community, if you can handle something small, they are more willing to trust you with bigger things. This is why we often advise people to start small, the "Three System Guideline". If the community sees that a player can handle a volume of space like that (which is, literally, astronomical), the community is more likely to grant players more "wiggle room" as they roleplay and execute their concepts in the community. There is another player - a well known one - whom utilizes O'Neil Cylinders extensively on a puppet/alternate account of his; this player has been an active participant and a collaborative, creative, consistent, and compromising roleplayer in the community to such a degree that in the eyes of much of the community, he has a lot of wiggle room. So much wiggle room, in fact, his main account was able to obliterate several star systems (not planets, not stars - the whole system) and have it recognized as valid.

This was because the community had come to trust that player; the community saw what that player did and understood it was not to "win" or "be powerful", but was necessary for the plot. This is, unfortunately, very different from a player saying, "I can be trusted with [thing]/I can be trusted to do [action]." The Future Tech community requires demonstration by a player that they can, and very rarely ever takes a player - especially a new player - on simply their word. This, to be honest, is a consequence of many players trying to abuse things of exceptional "power" or exceptional scale to try and "win" or "be the best" or "be the most powerful" over the decade or so FT has been around; over time much of the community - as individuals - have decided to simply not try and run the risk again. Actions, after all, do speak louder than words in this instance; hence, we advise people to start small. Start small and show the community you can handle the wiggle room, and you will be given wiggle room; more merit, more wiggle room."

This can be applied to virtually any concept in Future Tech: from star-state scale, to ship volumes and dimensions, to weapon power, to political influence, to martial power, to economic clout, etc. It all ultimately boils down to the fact that in Future Tech, a player's star-state is only ever as x-quality as the community is willing to accept it to be. Such is to say that, the "Dread Empire" is only ever as "dreadful" as the community accepts it is; the "Superpowerful Military Awesomesauce Dictatorship" only ever has as much military might and force projection capabilities as the community accepts it to have.

Moving on to your specific questions involving technology...

Anything you want to be explosive is explosive insofar as yourself and your roleplayer partner(s) dictate it to needing it to be for the plot. Anti-matter? Broadly accepted as "explosive" and potentially extremely volatile. "Quasi-matter Q-66"? It's explosive if you want it to be, and people accept that it is; generally, as long as it is not ridiculous, they will. This is because, ultimately, technology is window-dressing; it is a literary tool to assist in the fabrication of stories. Very rarely, if ever, is technology strictly the centerpiece of any given plot or story; certainly there are exceptions, but they are exceptions for a reason. As for the second part to this question, nuclear munitions are pretty common in Future Tech, unlike in Modern Tech; it is not abnormal, for example, for each weapon to discharge an energy equivalent to several megatons of TNT per firing - this is regardless of whether they are kinetic weapons, ballistic weapons, or energy weapons.

As for "FTL weapons"? Given you have a noted familiarity with Modern Tech: "FTL weapons" are to Future Tech what "Weapons of Mass Destruction" are to Modern Tech. Namely: if you intend to employ them, ask permission first. Some players have no problem with little micro-jump drives being a standard part of a munition's counter-defense capabilities; others view them as a way of power-gaming. The same goes for "tactical FTL," otherwise known as, "Using tiny FTL jumps in combat to evade offensive onslaught." Ultimately, if you are ever unsure: ask your roleplaying partner and do not automatically assume something is acceptable simply because you believe it to be. Future Tech's fundamentals are, more or less, about collaborating with others, compromising for the sake of mutual enjoyment, being creative, and being consistent in how you apply your concepts (from tech to culture to politics and economics).

In closing, and to answer your last question: while it may be true in reality that some forms of LASERs may have higher energy output as demonstrated by the difference in wavelength of the light they emit (and hence, different colors), in Future Tech, you can more or less have whatever color you desire because, again, Future Tech does not necessarily default to "what is true for reality." It defaults, more often than not, to, "What is necessary to occur or otherwise 'best' for any given plot." If you want your energy-based weapons to have their beams/bolts/etc. appear white? Go for it, but that doesn't mean they are inherently "more powerful" than another player's energy-based weapons that actually have no visible beam/bolt/etc., or one that has them the color green or purple or tangerine orange. A good rule I tend to advise people to follow is this: "Feasibility trumps the emulation of reality, and plot trumps feasibility." This is a good way to remember that while it may be cool to have a city-ship the size of an entire star system, that doesn't necessarily mean the community is going to accept it (namely because the concept is one broadly considered "absurd"); always good to remember to keep a balance between the novelty of a thing and the feasibility of a thing simply to avoid trespassing into the territory of absurdity.

It's all about working with your roleplay partners to determine what is best for the plot and embracing what we call the "Rule of Cool" (also known as "creativity and consistency") and the "Code of Bro" (also known as "collaboration and compromise").

I hope this helps. :D
Last edited by Kyrusia on Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:31 pm

Prusslandia wrote:What would be a good population for a multi system nation ?



Popultion isin't inherently that important in most rps in FT... as they aren't mentioned but for fluffs sake I'll use my factbook as an example.

I've got 16 star systems, and a total of 347,214,000,000 people.. I don't need to constantly expand; it includes orbitals moons, terraformed worlds . My nation focuses on rather developing the systems it has than constantly expanding. Now mind you, planets are big, and they can hold a-lot of people so you don't need to have "Hive cities" it depends on how dense you want your population to be and how many people you want per world/system. A multi system nation comes with its own logistical and communications issues; I opted for a streamlined Federal system because I tend not to need to have constant meetings on my home world with the full senate/house. At times they may be projections thanks to a really efficient long ranged communication network.

The key to a federation and advantage over an autocratic government; is that it can be bigger, and using the right tech can be maintained. You may loose some efficiency compared to autocratic government but size for the latter can have diminishing returns. But it also depends on how you devolve government powers. Or weather you choose to be a Unitary state or a federated state.

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Benxboro
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Postby Benxboro » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:38 pm

In my nation, a number of civil wars have taken place, but mostly within the bounds of the oldest and most developed star systems.
However, I am coming to a point where a civil war will take place, but most of the opposing forces will be located in the outer colonies. Generally, these planets are economically "specialized" in the manner of the British colonies thanks to the Navigation Acts, and thus have little native manufacturing capability unless they are among the one or two worlds which host major military facilities.
I'd like to hear some suggestions as to how this will go, and I'm not sure what-all will affect it. I can provide some information on that end.
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Kyrusia
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Postby Kyrusia » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:57 pm

Benxboro wrote:In my nation, a number of civil wars have taken place, but mostly within the bounds of the oldest and most developed star systems.
However, I am coming to a point where a civil war will take place, but most of the opposing forces will be located in the outer colonies. Generally, these planets are economically "specialized" in the manner of the British colonies thanks to the Navigation Acts, and thus have little native manufacturing capability unless they are among the one or two worlds which host major military facilities.
I'd like to hear some suggestions as to how this will go, and I'm not sure what-all will affect it. I can provide some information on that end.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but what you describing sounds like a "rebellion against the center." In other words, the "peripheries" of your star-state have become, for one reason or another, contemptuous of the center's dominance over their own affairs. This tends to lead to a coupling of two things: first, there is an entrenched cultural difference (or a perceived one) between the "center" and the "edges"; second, there is a real economic disparity between the "center" and the "edges" which is likely to feed into the first.

For example, as you have described, one could easily assume that while each individual periphery system might have its own specialty, it subsists off constant intervention from the center; in effect, the state operates under psuedo-mercantilist principles: Outer System A harvests cotton, which is then shipped to Inner System B where it is taxed and inventoried; a portion of this cotton inventory is then shipped to Outer System C where it is made into a consumer good such as clothing, and is then shipped to Inner System D where it is taxed, inventoried, and set-out for sale to the center and the edges, with the edges invariably paying a higher price (despite being the source of most commodities and labor going into the consumer good) simply due to the costs of shipping combined with the necessarily higher value of a completed good over a raw commodity.

In short: money flows out from the edge to the center, and since each individual outer system is cut in such a way as to not be functional without the intermediary partnership with the center, each individual outer system is far less capable of independent survival than they are working in cooperation with the center. This would, primarily, be the source of political, economic, and possibly cultural tension: the outer systems become conscious and aware of the nature of this relationship and seek to change it. One means to attempt such is to have each outer system unite against the center, rather than cooperate with them. Sure, they will be lacking some things (depends on the precise situation) and certainly would be set back years in development, but so would the center.

Your outer systems could use this as a means of leverage to obtain concessions from the center, or they could - quite simply - unite and then attempt to secede. Ultimately it is up to you, and this is most certainly just one example of a relationship that could have developed or otherwise begin to develop, spurring a revolutionary sentiment that, inevitability, leads to domestic strife and conflict.

Hope that helps.

Edit: Just to add a bit.

This will depend on how, exactly, dependent each side of your conflict initially is on the other side; if the center is dependent upon the edges for more than just raw materials and manufacturing capacity, industry, etc., but also for martial manpower, you could easily have a messy situation on your hands. The center, in the event your periphery systems secede, may not have the necessary capability to actually draw them back in without overt concessions; they may be able to seize a system or two, but that depends entirely, again, on how dependent/independent the center can be, insofar as force projection is concerned, without the peripheries to supply them. If the center, for example, is entirely evolved into a service-based society, with little native industrial or agricultural capacity, not only do you now have a civil war, but you may have a circumstance where the center is, in fact, fighting for its very survival.

In a war of survival in the face of extinction, all bets are off. Even if under-manned and starving - or, perhaps, because of it - the periphery may suddenly find their former masters willing to do anything, even some selective bouts of planetary genocide, in order to regain control over the most industrially capable outer systems. It's a "Corner the Tiger"-type situation if you go this route: sure, the periphery may now be independent and, sure, they may not have all the luxuries they once had, but they control their own fates, see directly the outcome of their own labor, etc., but also now find themselves being chased by a technologically superior (even if less-so-in numbers) center willing to literally eradicate them, from the root up, if it means they can regain their luxuries.
Last edited by Kyrusia on Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Sunset » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:58 pm

Because this seems like a good opportunity for a cut-n-paste...


The Train Set


The Future Tech Community is similar to that of many other hobbyist communities; I like to compare it to that of the one surrounding model trains.

Both as a community and on an individual level we all have our model train setup. Mine is expansive; I've worked on it for over a decade and it is very detailed and I've put a lot of love, money, and attention into it. There's a dozen different trains running on their different tracks and each has the right engine and the cars that match the real-world equivalent detail-for-detail. There's a little city. Correction, a big city. I've got a couple trains that run through on elevated tracks, I've got a Martian War Machine attacking the city and vaporizing a little screaming Tom Cruise, I've got flying saucers chasing screaming cheerleaders around... Pick a detail, it is there.

You have nothing.

But the various setups look fantastic and you want to become involved in the community. Fantastic! We love to welcome new hobbyists into our community. That leaves you with two choices; Build your own set or buy one. Now the second might seem easier; Everything is there, it's all ready for you to plug it in and start playing. It even has a little Tom Cruise. But it doesn't have love.

That is why the first is better and it is better for a couple reasons. By building your own train set slowly over time, you are demonstrating to the community that you love what you are doing. What we are doing. Buying a train set will get you a fancy train set but it will not get you respect. It will not get you the approval of the community. Building your own, even if it is the smallest set with only a single train, will show us that you love what you're doing. That you want to be involved and that you are ready to commit. Those are what we want to see; We don't care how many billions of trains you have, or how many floating wisps of vapor that used to be Tom Cruise you have, we care that you put the time and love and attention into your train set that we put into it.

We want you to become part of our community.




What does this mean as far as FT nation building?

Don't start big. Start small. Look at how you can add to the community. It doesn't take fifty billion trains to add that gorgeous replica 1960's-Era bullet train. And does it matter whether that train is made of plastic or metal? No; What matters is how it looks and how it feels. The technology that runs underneath is invisible after all. Sure, there are times when you might geek out and talk about gearing and materials and... But ultimately that isn't as important as how that train looks zipping through the town and over the little Tom Cruise tied to the tracks.


Addendum One: Train Set Scales


Train sets come in various scales; That is, how large are the trains and how wide are the tracks that those trains run on. The most popular scale in the world is HO and thus the question becomes: What scale is your train set?

Hold on a second before you answer that question and consider this...

Some day, you and I might like to have our two train sets interact. You'll connect your trains to mine, I'll run my trains over your rails. They'll zip through the other's towns and cities and past the little charred corpse next to the alien tripod delicately sipping a cup of tea. But wait! Your train set uses G! You like your trains big and detailed and brightly colored so you went with the biggest set you could! Unfortunately, mine set is HO. Most popular scale in the world, you see - reasonably inexpensive, easy to get new models and pieces for the layout. A solid, average, choice. Now of course we could set up a loop where those two sets run over and around and near each other but we won't get that level of interaction that we really want and that is your trains stopping at my stations. And if the goal of setting up our two sets together is to smash two of them together head-on? Well, that will be even more difficult.

What am I talking about here in terms of NationStates and forum role-playing?

Numbers.

But here, unlike model trains, we have a choice. We can simply chose to not use numbers. Start with your head canon - that is, what you see in your head when you think about your spaceships, or your armies, or even your nation itself. Don't think about numbers but instead think about descriptives. Ships beyond number or a scattered handful. A teeming population ever pressing outward against its borders or a near-empty abyss. If you avoid numbers and stick to adjectives - even in head canon - you'll be one step closer to having your train stop at my station and that lovely lady in the pink dress step off and meet the someone of her dreams.


Addendum Two: How Big Should I Build?


When you are building your train set focus on the details. To paraphrase another; Lay out as much track as you have trains - stories - for. It is far easier to start with a single city or town - with important locations for that train to pass - and give each their own character than to start with a huge expanse of rough green cloth and a tiny network of near-invisible rails. It can be very tempting to lay out the boundaries of where you want to be when the set is nearing completion; Two sheets of plywood covered with green felt down in the basement. But what happens when life intervenes? I've seen a lot of green felt covered with dust because real life has a way of rearing its ugly head. Finals, relatives, friends, enemies, school, the boss, the ex... All of these come first. Sure, make a little sketch of where you want to be, but when its time to start laying things out start small. Fill in that four by two oval with one stop, one station, and one train. Will it matter to me if you don't have a thousand square feet of green ready to receive? No - I want to experience your world and the love you've put into it and that is in the details and the characters.

And you'll find that once you've filled out that four by two oval it is a lot easier to add another and another...
Last edited by Sunset on Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:00 am, edited 6 times in total.
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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:07 pm

Benxboro wrote:In my nation, a number of civil wars have taken place, but mostly within the bounds of the oldest and most developed star systems.
However, I am coming to a point where a civil war will take place, but most of the opposing forces will be located in the outer colonies. Generally, these planets are economically "specialized" in the manner of the British colonies thanks to the Navigation Acts, and thus have little native manufacturing capability unless they are among the one or two worlds which host major military facilities.
I'd like to hear some suggestions as to how this will go, and I'm not sure what-all will affect it. I can provide some information on that end.


It sounds like Caves of steel from Issac Asimov; where the outer worlds pretty much conquered earth; that used to be the cradle and center of civilization. And it was ultimately nuked.

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Tierra Prime
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Tierra Prime » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:28 pm

I've been thinking about introducing a unit of elite soldiers based loosely on Space Marines into my military forces. They'd have genetic enhancements and wear powered armour, but spend the vast majority of their time hooked up to combat simulators in cryogenic stasis. This is because one of the drawbacks of their massive genetic enhancements is an unstable body that ages very quickly. Their enhancements will kill them over time, essentially, so they are preserved until they are needed. The majority of the soldiers would have been created around forty years before my nation's current IC date, so they have not actually been tested in combat. The soldiers themselves would have been veterans before they volunteered to be turned into genetic monstrosities, and forty years of constant combat VR should account for something, so they should be combat ready if needed. They'd be assigned to legions of ten thousand that are based on fortress worlds or nomadic legionary fleets.

Assuming this is an okay concept, what should I actually call them? I thought about the "Imperial Knights" but it sounds kind of... boring.
Last edited by Tierra Prime on Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The United Dominion
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The United Dominion » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:36 pm

Tierra Prime wrote:I've been thinking about introducing a unit of elite soldiers based loosely on Space Marines into my military forces. They'd have genetic enhancements and wear powered armour, but spend the vast majority of their time hooked up to combat simulators in their cryogenic pods. This is because one of the drawbacks of their massive genetic enhancements is an unstable body that ages very quickly. Their enhancements will kill them over time, essentially, so they are preserved until they are needed. The majority of the soldiers would have been created around forty years before my nation's current IC date, so they have not actually been tested in combat. The soldiers themselves would have been veterans before they volunteered to be turned into genetic monstrosities, and forty years of constant combat VR should account for something, so they should be combat ready if needed. They'd be assigned to legions of ten thousand that are based on fortress worlds or nomadic legionary fleets.

Assuming this is an okay concept, what should I actually call them? I thought about the "Imperial Knights" but it sounds kind of... boring.


This sounds like the sort of thing that would be produced only by runaway defense spending on ridiculous projects that typically result in little or no gains. Not to say that's not perfectly legitimate (God knows the US has that problem), but it definitely sounds like the cost is far larger than the good they would ever do. Especially because they were already veterans with all the accumulated knowledge and skills (some of which is now obsolete due to being a monstrosity, some more due to the sheer passage of time). You're losing talented people who could be better placed in command positions. You're also, unless military technology and tactics stagnate (like in WH40K) going to constantly have to retrain them. Simulations will help but they're going to need real, actual physical training as well.

What you call them really does depend on your nation's culture. If you have a more medieval or feudal feel, then Imperial Knights would make perfect sense, but if you're more spread out and relying on small units to patrol, you might call them Rangers. Either way, the name matters really only to you and your nation.
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Tierra Prime
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Postby Tierra Prime » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:56 pm

The United Dominion wrote:
Tierra Prime wrote:I've been thinking about introducing a unit of elite soldiers based loosely on Space Marines into my military forces. They'd have genetic enhancements and wear powered armour, but spend the vast majority of their time hooked up to combat simulators in their cryogenic pods. This is because one of the drawbacks of their massive genetic enhancements is an unstable body that ages very quickly. Their enhancements will kill them over time, essentially, so they are preserved until they are needed. The majority of the soldiers would have been created around forty years before my nation's current IC date, so they have not actually been tested in combat. The soldiers themselves would have been veterans before they volunteered to be turned into genetic monstrosities, and forty years of constant combat VR should account for something, so they should be combat ready if needed. They'd be assigned to legions of ten thousand that are based on fortress worlds or nomadic legionary fleets.

Assuming this is an okay concept, what should I actually call them? I thought about the "Imperial Knights" but it sounds kind of... boring.


This sounds like the sort of thing that would be produced only by runaway defense spending on ridiculous projects that typically result in little or no gains. Not to say that's not perfectly legitimate (God knows the US has that problem), but it definitely sounds like the cost is far larger than the good they would ever do. Especially because they were already veterans with all the accumulated knowledge and skills (some of which is now obsolete due to being a monstrosity, some more due to the sheer passage of time). You're losing talented people who could be better placed in command positions. You're also, unless military technology and tactics stagnate (like in WH40K) going to constantly have to retrain them. Simulations will help but they're going to need real, actual physical training as well.

What you call them really does depend on your nation's culture. If you have a more medieval or feudal feel, then Imperial Knights would make perfect sense, but if you're more spread out and relying on small units to patrol, you might call them Rangers. Either way, the name matters really only to you and your nation.

I'm actually using a bloated defence budget as a plot point at the moment. I'm fighting myself in a civil war (As you do) with another RPer, and one of the main plot points is that my nation is massively overspending on its military while its economy is beginning to stagnate due to the constant conflict. The soldiers being rusty is something I've been thinking about myself. I initially thought that after they are taken out of stasis, they'll need a few months to stretch their legs, have new powered armour made, and gain as much information on their enemies as they can. In regards to their drawbacks, I was considering portraying their genetic degradation by having the older soldiers suffer rampages that drive them to kill everything around them with no regard for who they are killing, what side they are on, ect. If it sounds stupid, be blunt, but I think they'd be a good bit of flavour considering that when I fight, I usually fight my puppet.

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Liivland Abufan Se Steorre
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Ex-Nation

Postby Liivland Abufan Se Steorre » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:00 am

Kyrusia wrote:
Liivland Abufan Se Steorre wrote:[snip]

Just to cover the basics as I see toward the end of your post: Weapon A is only ever as powerful as plot dictates and, through collaboration and compromise, yourself and your roleplay partner determine is necessary. This applies, more or less, to every aspect of Future Tech: at the end of the day, the player does not determine his own power, size, influence, etc., the community does by either accepting what the player has said his power/size/influence/etc. is, or by rejecting those claims. As I have explained elsewhere:

Oh, I understand this fully. This is me trying to work out an aesthetic and what technobabble to put in things for my nation - not trying to overpower people by wanking techknowledge, which I may or may not do in MT...
<.<
>.>

Anything you want to be explosive is explosive insofar as yourself and your roleplayer partner(s) dictate it to needing it to be for the plot. Anti-matter? Broadly accepted as "explosive" and potentially extremely volatile. "Quasi-matter Q-66"? It's explosive if you want it to be, and people accept that it is; generally, as long as it is not ridiculous, they will. This is because, ultimately, technology is window-dressing; it is a literary tool to assist in the fabrication of stories. Very rarely, if ever, is technology strictly the centerpiece of any given plot or story; certainly there are exceptions, but they are exceptions for a reason. As for the second part to this question, nuclear munitions are pretty common in Future Tech, unlike in Modern Tech; it is not abnormal, for example, for each weapon to discharge an energy equivalent to several megatons of TNT per firing - this is regardless of whether they are kinetic weapons, ballistic weapons, or energy weapons.

Okie. It was mostly just interest in finding something like that Hafnium to use an 'X-nium Explosives' rather than completely making something up.

As for "FTL weapons"? Given you have a noted familiarity with Modern Tech: "FTL weapons" are to Future Tech what "Weapons of Mass Destruction" are to Modern Tech. Namely: if you intend to employ them, ask permission first. Some players have no problem with little micro-jump drives being a standard part of a munition's counter-defense capabilities; others view them as a way of power-gaming. The same goes for "tactical FTL," otherwise known as, "Using tiny FTL jumps in combat to evade offensive onslaught." Ultimately, if you are ever unsure: ask your roleplaying partner and do not automatically assume something is acceptable simply because you believe it to be. Future Tech's fundamentals are, more or less, about collaborating with others, compromising for the sake of mutual enjoyment, being creative, and being consistent in how you apply your concepts (from tech to culture to politics and economics).

Yeah, they'd not be standard deployment weapons. Probably incredibly expensive with smaller payloads to accommodate the FTL drive in the missile, and unlikely to be used except in massive set-piece spehs battles where comparable MT ground battles would be seeing tactical nuclear weapons coming out of the wazoo.

In closing, and to answer your last question: while it may be true in reality that some forms of LASERs may have higher energy output as demonstrated by the difference in wavelength of the light they emit (and hence, different colors), in Future Tech, you can more or less have whatever color you desire because, again, Future Tech does not necessarily default to "what is true for reality." It defaults, more often than not, to, "What is necessary to occur or otherwise 'best' for any given plot." If you want your energy-based weapons to have their beams/bolts/etc. appear white? Go for it, but that doesn't mean they are inherently "more powerful" than another player's energy-based weapons that actually have no visible beam/bolt/etc., or one that has them the color green or purple or tangerine orange. A good rule I tend to advise people to follow is this: "Feasibility trumps the emulation of reality, and plot trumps feasibility." This is a good way to remember that while it may be cool to have a city-ship the size of an entire star system, that doesn't necessarily mean the community is going to accept it (namely because the concept is one broadly considered "absurd"); always good to remember to keep a balance between the novelty of a thing and the feasibility of a thing simply to avoid trespassing into the territory of absurdity.

I understand that they're not going to be inherently more powerful - this is like when people come into NSIDT or MilRealism and ask 'which am bettar 5.56mm NATO or 5.45mm ComBloc?' and ultimately get 'it really doesn't bloody matter, go with what fits your aesthetic: Western or Eastern' (or someone laughing at their inferiority for not using GLORIOUS 7.7mm British).

I was just asking because the military would likely choose the most high-output colour from an IC perspective, so it would make sense to know that OOC so I can write it.

I hope this helps. :D

Much helpful indeed!


Now, another query... It may be apparent what my nation is based a teeny bit on - it will over time show that theme more and more (e.g. through its language as I learn the requisite language IRL, through its culture etc.). Livland = variant name for what would be called Liivimaa or Livonia.

Thing is, if your nation is called 'Livonia Above The Stars' then you kinda need to work out how Livonia got into the stars and why its in an Earth-That-Was situation (since I can hardly lay claim to 'Earth', considering NSEarth and the sheer density of population of the Sol System means I'd never be able to pretend to isolationist policies prior to the nation being founded. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can have a nation which somehow came to dominate Earth (b/c let's be honest - is there any other way an area ~Estonia+Latvia would form the basis of a FT state?), and then departed Earth to colonise the stars, then stopped being involved with Earth, then somehow exists in the same universe as Earth-That-Is? Aside from 'don't think too hard about it'. :p
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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:06 am

FTL weapons aren't that bad.. Unless your lensmen scale.. I've seen several older nations use them and mentors use them. In the form of missiles. If your using a planet as a Q ball to knock the number 3 world to bits or using two planets to crush another ... That's beyond reasonable. At that point give up war all together.

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The Armed Republic of Dutch Coolness
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Postby The Armed Republic of Dutch Coolness » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:08 am

The Ben Boys wrote:
The Armed Republic of Dutch coolness wrote:I've recently started working on a Factbook for my FT nation (here http://www.nationstates.net/nation=eria ... l=factbook ) but I'm wondering, what should you include in a FT Factbook? I've got a basic overview planned, a bit on the rulers, and I've got stuff on the Military - I'll include the Navy as well, naturally, but what else are some "musts"?


It's going to sound stupid and boring at first, but an extensive "culture" section helps "flesh out" your nation. I read your factbook and getting a good feel of it, but nothing tells me how your people think other than intense xenophobia. In my own factbook, a sort of renaissance took place once I installed a "Pillars of Society" section under culture (others have the same thing but with different names). They are a set of societal rules, expectations, and guidelines that shapes Bakran Empire; most of them aren't even official laws or have an IC name, just something to expand on my nation's flavor. I don't like how some FT nations (including my own for a time) set there culture section like something out of an MT factbook or a list of a few scant sections: usually there's a "sports", "cuisines", "slang", and "laws" section, maybe a few more but that's it.

I understand that just telling you this is one thing, so I'll give you some tips that helped me formulate my "Pillars" section, which dictated the rest of my culture, then my factbook/nation as a whole.

1. First of all, you're dealing with a nation's very identity. The Roman culture valued civil service to the extent that the office of "dictator" was a political office that had to be given up after six months (and was until the end of the Republic). All that power that you enjoyed, something that only monarchs had the privilege of, was gone after six scant months. Yet the institution and republic stayed alive until then. Looks at Germany, the USSR, Rome, Japan, and the US for some strong culture identities, especially since elements of them could match up with your nation.

2. Look at other assorted sci-fi goodies. The Civilization Beyond Earth Civilopedia for some great inspiration, it was (and is) invaluable to me. The sections on "wonders" and "buildings" were especially good, as they included a variety of ideologies. The themes mostly revolve around "exist with nature vs. dominate nature" since that's what C:BE is (kind of) about, but it gets your wheels turning, which relates to my next suggestion...

3. You are a futuristic nation with futuristic problems. You aren't going to be concerned with "net neutrality" or FIFA's corruption scandal (maybe the future's equivalent though), so act like it. What is your society's view on mechanical augments? Using artificial intelligence? The use of prosthesis versus cloned limbs? Cloning in general? Biological augmentation and steroid use? How grumpy are your people in general? Which ties in to the next...

4. How did your nation react to contemporary problems? Imagine how the United States will get past (or not) it's debt crisis as a test bed, how it will affect the citizens generations from now. Look at your own nation's history with racial tensions, income inequality, corporate vs. labor, national hunger, civil wars, etc. For example, my nation went unconventional with income inequality and just accepted it as a fact of life, to the point that currency has much less value culturally than it is in the United States right now. Why is your nation's people so xenophobic? Why do they hate religion? Expand on that, it sounds incredibly interesting especially with the dichotomy of much more personal rights in other areas. Which leads me to my last point...

5. Lastly, how did history shape your nation's people? You probably had a few wars or another assorted "crucible" to "rise from the ashes" (sort of a favorite in science fiction), so how did it shape your people? Are they more cynical, or optimistic that nothing like that will ever happen again? Or, to really throw a wrench into the human condition, did they turn to love war and militancy?

Again, this is what worked for me and may for you, if you even have an interest in it. I could just be a sad human being who likes this stuff way too much.

Wow, didn't expect to get past "one" put I guess I had a lot to say. Hope it helped, would love feedback to see how crazy I really am.

Your factbook looks great, by the way. I'm sort of an info dump junkie, and yours is both well laid out and good content.

Thanks! That's really useful, actually! I'll get to work with that soon!

I'm kind of a sucker for neat layouts, so eh :P
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Kyrusia
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Founded: Nov 12, 2007
Capitalizt

Postby Kyrusia » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:17 am

Liivland Abufan Se Steorre wrote:[snip]

Aye, didn't mean to imply you were attempting to "overpower," so I apologize if it came off that way. More just the general introduction that gets given. :P

As for Earth/Sol System, both (in addition to any Messier object or "real world stellar or planetary object," really) are subject to special considerations in Future Tech. From here:

"Fractal Sol, Fractal Earth: Term describing the nature of Sol System (the Solar System) and/or earth in the Future Technology community; generally understood to mean that, within the canon and continuity of Future Tech, for each instance in which a player determines their respective entities to possess or originate from Sol System, a new, identical copy of Sol System comes into existence; term describing the necessity for multiple Sol Systems and multiple earths in Future Tech in order to reconcile possibly conflicting individual instances of canon or continuity; the nature of a "Prime Sol" or "Prime Earth" is debated, considered by many to "effectively non-existence" or "otherwise not applicable" in order to maintain reconciliation of different individual canons and continuities."

In general, we often advise people to simply make their own star system and originate from there given there are many human star-states that are in no way connected to Earth/Sol (Often explained via "Concurrent Evolution" or "Like Worlds Theory"; in short, assuming an Earth-like environment, a species equitable to humans would likely become the apex predator on a planetary scale.). That being said, if you have your heart set on Earth/Sol, it's quite simple to reconcile, depending on how you go about it. Typically I note two distinct methods of reconciling this: the "Mechanical Method" and the "Physical Method."

The "Mechanical Method" is, simply, that Fractal Sol/Earth is strictly an Out-of-Character mechanic that is necessary to ensure that no one player's canon or continuity overrides another, meaning for every mention of Sol/Earth, a new Sol System and/or Earth originates which makes any one player's individual canon and continuity true, whilst making no presupposition that it is the "Prime Earth or Sol System." Issues of dissonance between Sol/Earth canons and continuities are "handwaved" or otherwise ignored. Such in no way prohibits interacting with other Earths/Sols.

The "Physical Method" presupposes the above, but incorporates the fractal nature of Sol/Earth In-Character, either through parallel universes, windows into other spacial volumes, etc. In short, the fractal nature is apparent In-Character and not simply a mechanic. Such in no way prohibits interacting with other Earths/Sols.

As for the specifics of how this might happen, those are entirely up to you. If I might make a suggestion? Your star-state is established not through dominance of the Terran Sphere of Influence, but instead an instance of accident during the early stages of inter-stellar travel in your version of Earth. Either through generation ships or other slow-boats, a predominantly Latvian, Estonian, etc. crew is sent-off by, say, the European Space Agency, to explore a planet for future colonization. When they arrive, "something has happened" and they are disconnected from earth, spending the next x-amount of years developing into an independent society and polity, eventually achieving the capability to perform superluminal transit and, thus, beginning their first true forays into the Galaxy.

It's a bit trope-y, but sometimes tropes are tropes for a reason. It's also a tried-and-true method of starting-out small with the benefit of being human and with a bit of a pre-made culture for the player; it also has the added benefit, in this instance, of allowing you to grant yourself the culture you desire without necessarily spending time devoted to developing Terra (something you might not want to do). That being said you are obviously in no way forced to follow the suggestion I gave, or one like it; whatever works for you and is generally seen to conform to the standards of the community will, typically, be fine.

Hope that helps. :D
Last edited by Kyrusia on Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:31 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Kassaran
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Kassaran » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:51 am

Alright guys, so I'm making a futuristic RP where a terrestrial race that died out on Earth a long time ago came back under mysterious circumstances and put Humanity on the defensive. Now the only known Human habitation for the players is the group of fortress cities (called Citadels) located on the Iberian Peninsula of Earth circa 2103AD. I've had the world's governments that were present to defend the peninsula form into a long defensive line along the Pyrenees Range called the Annex.

So, for the tech level, I was thinking that I'd be going with a sort of Oblivion-esque feel, advanced VTOL with drone capabilities, central monitoring systems... autonomous living conditions for humans inside the fortress cities. Perhaps a more accurate feel would be if Oblivion and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 were rolled into one, minus some of the more dystopian features of said settings of course. Players would be one of two variations of character, either a seasoned veteran member of the Citadel's independent security forces (known as the Citadel Vanguard Security Force or 'The Vanguard') whom would be overseeing operations (only a few people would be capable of earning this roll), or a young cadet whom has just undergone physical augmentations to use an experimental powersuit. The former of these players would be referred to collectively as 'Handlers' and the latter as 'Warlords' due to that just being a kickass name.

Moving along, the powersuit armor would use optical camouflage, so I'm wondering if it being powered or natural would be better or more efficient? I'm thinking it's going to be powered, with the major issues for its usage being you can't move too fast in bright light without cover. The system isn't powerful enough to keep up. It also would use tons of heat so the heat-sinks would be exposed points in the armor. Either that or the camo can only work at maximum effectiveness for a short time before the heat-sinks would pop and give you away. I'm thinking since the players are going to have to quickly respond to various threats around the Citadel they're assigned to, I'm going to have them arriving on scene via air-transports for hostile situations and more domestic situations allowing them to use the hyper-loop transport system that runs through each Citadel.

I know I'm kind of droning on here, but I want to discuss and flesh out some things here before I actually write it into the RP... just to try and get a better feel for how it might go. Like I said, the camo isn't the only part I'm dealing with either, there's also the UAV monitoring system which might resemble a moreover 'Big Brother' spy-camera system aided by autonomous drones for civil disputes and whatnot. The Vanguard can't afford to dispatch officers to every dispute out there so the remote patrol drones are perfectly capable of handling the remedial jobs.

Then there's a few other matters dealing with the hostile beings in general I want to talk over here to try and flesh them out more fully.
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Kyrusia
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Capitalizt

Postby Kyrusia » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:47 am

It's been a while since I did one of these. Regardless, I have updated the "Common Terminology Found in the Future Tech Community" section; such now includes: Antimatter, Black Hole, the Four C's, Event Horizon, Handwave/Handwavium, Kugelblitz, "Magic," "Quantum Mechanics," Singularity, and Window Dressing.
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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:52 am

Kyrusia wrote:
It's been a while since I did one of these. Regardless, I have updated the "Common Terminology Found in the Future Tech Community" section; such now includes: Antimatter, Black Hole, the Four C's, Event Horizon, Handwave/Handwavium, Kugelblitz, "Magic," "Quantum Mechanics," Singularity, and Window Dressing.



You forgot white holes in there too >.> (semi joke semi serious) . But the window dressing part really important. And if you do want to play a game where tech effects things go the old X 4 rpg or DND rules, with advantages and disadvantages. So you don't inadvertently godmode.

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The Uthani Imperium
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Postby The Uthani Imperium » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:04 am

The Fedral Union wrote:-Snip-


Tactical FTL weapons, in my personal experience anyway, generally fall into the "previously-discussed plot device" category as far as weapons go. Ergo, they're generally something you talk with your RP partner(s) about before deploying or using, especially given their ill-use by former members of the community previously.

Kassaran wrote:-Snip-


First and foremost hello and welcome to the advice thread! Secondly I'd strongly suggest you take a look at the thread OP and take the time to read it fully and thoroughly, specifically the second paragraph of the Rules of the Advice Thread, which describes the Advice Thread's relationship with closed roleplaying groups or settings. Given the general nature of the Advice Thread and it's specific target audience (FT-Prime,) most of the advice you'll probably receive here won't necessarily be adapted for your setting and will conform to the expectations of the greater community.

In regards to your question about power armor vs 'normal' armor:

Power armor is, as you already said, incredibly expensive and also generally has various draw backs such as maneuverability, weight, generally requires specialized training to use properly and can even require things such as physical augmentation (which you mentioned is also necessary in your setting I believe, further increasing the cost.) Natural or 'normal' armor has the advantage of being cheap(er), doesn't require any real specialized training to use, is smaller and therefore easier to manufacture and transport, and finally allows greater maneuverability and flexibility. While there are no defined rules as to what kind of armor you can give your average solider or otherwise, my personal method is to equip my run-of-the-mill grunt with 'normal' armor, and save the special stuff for elite units. This also has the advantage of giving these elite units another interesting perspective when you write for their characters, for instance their hulking appearance compared to normal foot soldiers, the fear they inspire in friend and foe alike, and things of that nature.

In regards to the power armor having optical camouflage:

While I generally avoid using what is, if I'm understanding you correctly, essentially "invisibility" technology. You have avoided the first pitfall of using any advanced technology in RP, making it always perfect. If you are dead set on your power armor having optical illusion or invisibility technology, I personally would support both options wherein it often overheats after short usage, and the heat sinks are weak points in the armor. This gives you the ability to present really cool visuals where large amounts of heat or steam are expelled from a previously invisible operative, adding to that fear factor I mentioned above and also serving as a great plot point RP wise. In regards to heat-sink vulnerability, this not only makes your armor less-than-perfect (a good thing), it also makes logical sense. Any kind of ventilation or cooling system is by its very nature going to have to be less armored to allow the free flow of air or other cooling agents, and the expulsion of heat.

In regards to UAVs or Unmanned Surveillance/Combat Drones:

Drones have a long history in Future Tech and are by and large pretty commonly accepted. Remember though that using unmanned surveillance vehicles and combat drones, especially to resolve civilian disputes or as a police force, has ramifications ICly. Principally, it serves to de-humanize your police force to your average citizen, which in turn gives you another great plot point. Using UAVs and drones to spy and police your citizens would feasibly create an atmosphere of fear and paranoia, with your citizens constantly looking over their shoulder, on the look out for the prying eyes of "Big-brother." You also run into the ability of machines applying cold logic and reasoning to situations, potentially resulting in the misuse of force. Controlling your drones remotely doesn't necessarily avoid this problem as the controller still isn't on site, and therefore able to provide a real-time analysis of the situation and respond appropriately. Ultimately I think it's a really neat idea, and you have the potential to roleplay a lot of unpleasant or unintended consequences of such a system, if that's what you're looking for anyway.

Finally, if you're looking to drum up participants or discuss the finer points of your story, I'd direct you to the RP Think Tank.

Hope that was helpful. :)
Last edited by The Uthani Imperium on Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:08 am, edited 4 times in total.
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