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Old 02-12-2019, 07:50 PM   #1
YankeeGamer
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Coventry--a campaign twist

Some praise it. Some fear it. Some compare it to a British or American Concentration Camp. (Few compare it to the Nazi camps. The British camps contained Boers, the American ones contained Japanese Americans—neither were intended to kill the people there.)

My interpretation of Coventry has a well defended fortress; the Infinite Headquarters. It’s one of the most secure places in the universe--a place where Infinity’s law prevails. All well and good, but for one minor problem.

No satellites, no DEW line, no space facilities. The only radar is designed to control the area right around headquarters.

To keep the squeamish happy, they have an assortment of Potemkin Villages, where life is “good,” and things like medical care are available for “free.” Life isn’t great, but it's stable. People are free to leave, but those who do are on their own. Most of the ones who leave don’t go too far, and live somewhat under the aegis of Infinity.

Others have gone further afield, including some that Infinity would rather…didn't. Some have died, some are monitored by drones, but others have faked their deaths in the wild. Now living in places that Infinity has not found, they are trying to bootstrap their technology, aided by stolen goods and some truly brilliant people. They wouldn’t be very far along, but they can listen electronically. Some have more psionic powers than Infinity realizes, and others are just inspired. Their base is in caves, helping hide their minimal emissions.

In a few generations, they might be an escape risk—perhaps sooner, if one scientist’s ideas are valid.

One fine evening, life changed for everyone. None noticed the occultation of the stars, or the silently descending survey ship. The spacefarers could clearly see that the planet was an outpost of a mid-tech range civilization. With stealth fields raided

The survey ship very quickly realized that this isn't a civilization's homeworld, but some form of colony. After a few weeks in orbit, they could tell that people were arriving and departing without space ships, and the demographics and settlement patterns were all too familiar: Coventry is a prison planet, of an unknown civilization that travels without space ships.

On realizing that, they leave post haste.

A few days/weeks/months later, a heavy cruiser arrives to begin first contact...

The idea here is that The Secret is effectively blown regarding the spacegoing civilization, but it won't do them any good--Coventry is only reachable with conveyors boosted by projectors on homeline. (At least for now.)

Interstellar technology does Homeline no good, either; it doesn't work on homeline.

Can of worms cracked, but not necessarily opened...
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:07 AM   #2
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

Interesting. I generally like twists which make a new rising star shake up the oligopoly that the interworld superpowers (Homeline, Centrum etc.) currently maintain in the setting, so as a consequence I like this one.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Interesting. I generally like twists which make a new rising star shake up the oligopoly that the interworld superpowers currently maintain in the setting, so as a consequence I like this one.
I thought that Coventry would be an interesting and viable place to hit the "no starships" suggestion. Interworld can't simply get a ship, and cross-time jump from elsewhere. The space travelers can't go crossworld, so the only viable point of contact is Coventry itself.

But--Interworld can't make the secret go away among the space travelers. And who would care to bet that there isn't a way, as yet undiscovered, to leave Coventry without a Projector's assistance...
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

I've often thought of a Jumper with cosmic allowing him to punch through such locked-in world lines.
Perhaps there could be unexpected synergy in one or more of the human prisoners and alien science/knowledge.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

I like this. The first contact would be an excellent GURPS adventure, actually - you could write it from the POV of the spacefarers, the Infinity staff in charge, and from prisoners looking to take advantage of the situation.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I've often thought of a Jumper with cosmic allowing him to punch through such locked-in world lines.
Perhaps there could be unexpected synergy in one or more of the human prisoners and alien science/knowledge.
Stardrive plus captured conveyor plus gadgeteer --> FUN!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
I like this. The first contact would be an excellent GURPS adventure, actually - you could write it from the POV of the spacefarers, the Infinity staff in charge, and from prisoners looking to take advantage of the situation.
The "aliens" might be genuine aliens, human in rubber suit aliens, or even genuine humans thrown across time and space long ago, settling a distant world involuntarily. That negative space wedgie, caused by someone, somewhen experimenting with unobatanium/a god in a mood/whatever could even be why Coventry is so hard to reach. Will the space-twisting of hyperspace drives open Coventry to other means of access? Close it off completely?
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeGamer View Post

(SNIP)

The survey ship very quickly realized that this isn't a civilization's homeworld, but some form of colony. After a few weeks in orbit, they could tell that people were arriving and departing without space ships, and the demographics and settlement patterns were all too familiar: Coventry is a prison planet, of an unknown civilization that travels without space ships.

On realizing that, they leave post haste.

A few days/weeks/months later, a heavy cruiser arrives to begin first contact...

The idea here is that The Secret is effectively blown regarding the spacegoing civilization, but it won't do them any good--Coventry is only reachable with conveyors boosted by projectors on homeline. (At least for now.)

Interstellar technology does Homeline no good, either; it doesn't work on homeline.

Can of worms cracked, but not necessarily opened...
I don't know that the secret is necessarily blown, although it's certainly threatened.

If the aliens have no familiarity with parachronics, they may simply (!) assume the colony on Coventry was founded by an interstellar civilization that travels by means of wormhole stargates.

That's scary enough, especially if relativity is a thing in that universe. The notion that humans might open gateways to the past of the alien homeworld would have them dumping the contents of their cloacas, all by itself -- especially if the energy signature isn't all that high.

The aliens would, at the very least, feel they're tiptoeing through egg-shells scattered thickly across a field of Bouncing Betties.
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Last edited by tshiggins; 02-19-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
I don't know that the secret is necessarily blown, although it's certainly threatened.

If the aliens have no familiarity with parachronics, they may simply (!) assume the colony on Coventry was founded by an interstellar civilization that travels by means of wormhole stargates.

That's scary enough, especially if relativity is a thing in that universe. The notion that humans might open gateways to the past of the alien homeworld would have them dumping the contents of their cloacas, all by itself -- especially if the energy signature isn't all that high.

The aliens would, at the very least, feel they're tiptoeing through egg-shells scattered thickly across a field of Bouncing Betties.
IF the folks on Coventry travel by wormhole gates, that's interesting right there. The locals are decidedly primitive, which means they either FOUND wormhole gates, STOLE them, or they don't need high tech. This planet is a subject of grave concern. Ground based gates are a gamechanger however you look at it. The energy signature is trivially low--not even enough to get a small ship up to orbit, when you think about it.

Essentially any science fiction setting could be the one that arrives at Coventry. If you want to use a familiar one, it's even possible that Coventry is not Earth, but a planet around a nearby star--take a good dose of handwavium, but then you could insert your favorite Sci-Fi setting in there. (The fact that it's NOT EARTH could be a well guarded secret, or just one of the anomalys that make it the world that it is.

How would Captain Kirk react? Or Traveler's Third Imperium?
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeGamer View Post
Some praise it. Some fear it. Some compare it to a British or American Concentration Camp. (Few compare it to the Nazi camps. The British camps contained Boers, the American ones contained Japanese Americans—neither were intended to kill the people there.)

My interpretation of Coventry has a well defended fortress; the Infinite Headquarters. It’s one of the most secure places in the universe--a place where Infinity’s law prevails. All well and good, but for one minor problem.

No satellites, no DEW line, no space facilities. The only radar is designed to control the area right around headquarters.

To keep the squeamish happy, they have an assortment of Potemkin Villages, where life is “good,” and things like medical care are available for “free.” Life isn’t great, but it's stable. People are free to leave, but those who do are on their own. Most of the ones who leave don’t go too far, and live somewhat under the aegis of Infinity.

Others have gone further afield, including some that Infinity would rather…didn't. Some have died, some are monitored by drones, but others have faked their deaths in the wild. Now living in places that Infinity has not found, they are trying to bootstrap their technology, aided by stolen goods and some truly brilliant people. They wouldn’t be very far along, but they can listen electronically. Some have more psionic powers than Infinity realizes, and others are just inspired. Their base is in caves, helping hide their minimal emissions.

In a few generations, they might be an escape risk—perhaps sooner, if one scientist’s ideas are valid.

One fine evening, life changed for everyone. None noticed the occultation of the stars, or the silently descending survey ship. The spacefarers could clearly see that the planet was an outpost of a mid-tech range civilization. With stealth fields raided

The survey ship very quickly realized that this isn't a civilization's homeworld, but some form of colony. After a few weeks in orbit, they could tell that people were arriving and departing without space ships, and the demographics and settlement patterns were all too familiar: Coventry is a prison planet, of an unknown civilization that travels without space ships.

On realizing that, they leave post haste.

A few days/weeks/months later, a heavy cruiser arrives to begin first contact...

The idea here is that The Secret is effectively blown regarding the spacegoing civilization, but it won't do them any good--Coventry is only reachable with conveyors boosted by projectors on homeline. (At least for now.)

Interstellar technology does Homeline no good, either; it doesn't work on homeline.

Can of worms cracked, but not necessarily opened...
The thing is, Coventry is a whole universe. Marooning people, can't be exactly a concentration camp of any kind-it's just to big. Furthermore anyone who gets a passage there is probably intelligent enough to survive, especially if supplies are regularly brought in.

Maintaining a fortress there is dubious. Maintaining a prison-within-a-prison has the same objection though if someone there is really important to "deal with" Infinity might want to do that. You do not want the locals to get a chance to hijack it. The best thing to do is temporary visits to make sure everything is up to snuff. Even then you want to guard your LZ carefully and then leave when the job is done.

I don't see it as being like a detention camp of the kind you describe. There is really no reason to go to a great effort to lock people up. It is to much work and expense and counterproductive and Infinity sounds like they are at least practical about such things. It sounds more like Australia. Or that thing Havenites used to do in Honor Harington where they would dump prisoners on an island and ignore them unless they were StateSec and liked bullying people for the heck of it.
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Last edited by jason taylor; 02-19-2019 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Coventry--a campaign twist

Coventry has a hospital staffed mostly by people who aren't exiles and it has has a place for conveyors to arrive with freight and new exiles. Therefore a secure facility is appropriate.
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