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Old 08-26-2018, 07:02 AM   #601
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Spiritualism

Mediums trying to contact the dead for the sake of the living are a commonplace of humaniti cultures. Often these figures are persecuted either because their very existence challenges the power structure, as in Medieval Europe or Traditional China or because society denies they can be anything but a fraud, 20th century USA. In the 3I mediums are assumed to be in cahoots with the Zhodani.

Mediums themselves range from the sincere to ice hearted frauds. Some traditional cultures provide cover and a respectable social position for mediums, but most do what they do under the hostile eye of the authorities. Some worlds have the equivalent of the New Age movement where the medium can be a spiritual advisor. But the anti-psi police are always out in force.

Still, none of this ends belief in an afterlife, nor the will of people to contact the dearly departed. Or for that matter either the will of believers to aid them or the will of grifters to rip them off. And the Zhodani really do use mediums and their hangers-on as cover.

However you slice it, it leads to playable complications.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:52 PM   #602
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

The Compass Rose:

This is the logo of Chandlers, the famous seller of high-end traveller's items. It is a stylized compass rose, a symbology from pre-starflight Terraan navigation. The compass is eight pointed, Red on white, with a gold rim. Other symbology is often written in as identifying markers to comply with any accidental trademark complications. On the rim is written in Black, Chandlers of (whatever world). Given Chandler's penchant for using local art work there will be variations of the generic format to allow for difficulty in reproducing it in local media. Insofar as possible this basic format remains.

The Compass Rose is found on any number of Chandler's products including many a typical spacer's personal chest. It is also found on pendants, model vehicles, cooking equipment for wardrooms and galleys, and musical instruments among other things sold at Chandlers.

Note: The description of the company "Chandlers" is to be found in Freelance Traveller. It is not the same as the generic occupation although of course Chandlering is one aspect of it's business. That is Chandlers is not the only chandler anymore then Made in Oregon sells everything that is made in Oregon.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:49 AM   #603
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"Throwaway":

This is a cheap disposable multipurpose tool. It contains a transceiver, receiver, small database-processor for storing apps, and often a pair of secondary tools like a penknive or windowbreaker or similar device. The most important part is the modular attachment to which can be hooked several types of sensors to sow on the ground, or an explosive packet to make a grenade or small mine. Any number of ingenious variations exist. It can be used as a com but most use some more sophisticated device for that, which can convey a greater amount of information.

It's chief quality is in being disposable. Though it has aspects that can make it worthwhile to keep one, they generally of quickly finished rather then fine craftsmanship. It is in many ways the descendant of the disposable phones seen used by spies and criminals in old Terran urban intrigue dramas but it has more uses. Variants are found in many places and they are so cheap that many cultures have their own style for producing them and their own traditions for their use. The cheapness allows it to be made into an ad-hoc weapon or sensor and the mass production means it can be found in any hand. It is not an elegant tool but part of an everyday collection for soldiers. It can be found in civilian usage too, for various uses.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:18 PM   #604
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Micro-heraldry:

A generic term for the popular practice of the rendering of information at a microscopic level. This was done in pre-starflight Terra, and for thousands of years in the Zira Sirka. However modern technology allows it to be done both conveniently and with increasing elaboration. Depending on the culture, it is possible to use skin, clothing, portable items, etc as a medium. The purpose for this varies. One common use is artistic; it is possible to render elaborately baroque displays, including several marks in organized patterns to make a mosaic like structure. Sometimes literature is rendered in microscopic format. This is often done by nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples as an alternative or suppliment to electronic devices especially in areas with insufficient communications infrastructure. Another use is in onomastics; a whole geneology or family history can be placed in the proper area. Trademarks are a common use, for the vast number of worlds makes for embarrassing coincidences especially if a corporation has an official title that also has a generic meaning (I.E. Chandlers of...). Microheraldry allows for elaborate encryption to distinguish. One common usage is in passwords to accounts and websites. This has everyday usage but it is common for travellers to use this means to hide emergency access codes to seek out contacts, money, passports, etc in the case of natural or political disaster.

Use: as chrome. For instance an Aslan warrior has the name of his weapon, his clan, and the glorious deeds of himself or his clan imprinted on the weapon.

As a plot point: The PCs are stranded during a political disaster. One character has access to a hidden stash of supplies that can only be opened with a code imprinted on his skin. However that character has just died, and the encryption mark is fading as rigor sets in.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:24 AM   #605
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Alexandria Deluxe:

This is an updated version of Chandler's hit Alexandria Handcomp. It carries all the characteristics of the classic Alexandria more drive space naturally enough. It also has a number of characteristic Chandler's gimmicks. It comes in a clamshell design with the interface and hardware on the bottom half and the screen on the top. As modern screens need little thickness to function, the space left over is given to a series of covered pockets and sheaths in which can be stored accessories some of which come with the product in any event. The shell is sometimes ornately decorated and a number of patterns are available or custom designs and even custom material for the richer customers (some of these require special orders). However it always has the respected Chandler's Compass Rose logo. The very highest quality ones from this perspective are true works of art and cannot really be used exccept as such but lower end ones are cheap enough to be practically useful and a rugged version is available for those who have dangerous duties. It's software contains some of the basics including the Classics of Terra, Classics of Vland, and Classics of Sylea literary packages found in the previous Alexandria as well as wallpaper displays appropriate to the world it is sold at. It can link to a number of devices whether computers proper or secondary electronic components of tools with a different stress in function (such as a scanner, a weapon, or even a pocketknife).

The Alexandria Deluxe project was undertaken when it was realized that the old Alexandria would soon be challenged in demand by devices from competing firms. The advancements they have undertaken look to leave the Alexandria series in it's high class among handcomps for a long time.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:59 PM   #606
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Incognito Establishments:

It is not unknown for High Nobles or even Emperors to wish for a little downscale entertainment. Several of them are regulars at clubs, restaurants, or other such establishments.

Naturally such a place causes security concerns. Ideally there will be time to vet. The more troublesome nobles go on a whim, sometimes to quite dangerous places (there is an urban legend floating about that one Emperor was drugged and shipped to a Vargr slave labor camp with his captors none the wiser). Some security professionals are of the opposite opinion, that it is actually easier to guard someone who no one knows is important enough to assassinate.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:44 PM   #607
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Recreation Parks

The idea of RPGs and similar gaming environments has been around since before the Solimani reached the Stars. A recent trend in Adventure Gaming is the Recreation Park. An artificial cultural environment generally reconstructing either an historical period (generally romanticized) or a genre of popular fiction. These parks can range from a few city blocks to the size of ancient Solimani nations. There are varying degrees of how seriously people "stay in character" and commit to their "game world." Most Recreation Parks use robots to "perform" the "roles" of menials and many types of animals. Although a "clever servant" or "rebellious slave" or any other menial with a real personality would be played by a person. If the Dragon is witty or you have a sassy talking cat or horse then a person is using telepresence to play the "role."

Many people join adventure clubs and create elaborate personas to play in these parks. There are guided tours and individual adventure packages.

Basically, a larger and more complex take on the Holodeck. Instead of malfunctions assassins, con men, grifters, spies, and others slip into these games to get at targets or marks.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:36 PM   #608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Recreation Parks

The idea of RPGs and similar gaming environments has been around since before the Solimani reached the Stars. A recent trend in Adventure Gaming is the Recreation Park. An artificial cultural environment generally reconstructing either an historical period (generally romanticized) or a genre of popular fiction. These parks can range from a few city blocks to the size of ancient Solimani nations. There are varying degrees of how seriously people "stay in character" and commit to their "game world." Most Recreation Parks use robots to "perform" the "roles" of menials and many types of animals. Although a "clever servant" or "rebellious slave" or any other menial with a real personality would be played by a person. If the Dragon is witty or you have a sassy talking cat or horse then a person is using telepresence to play the "role."

Many people join adventure clubs and create elaborate personas to play in these parks. There are guided tours and individual adventure packages.

Basically, a larger and more complex take on the Holodeck. Instead of malfunctions assassins, con men, grifters, spies, and others slip into these games to get at targets or marks.
That has lots of possibilities. You can have "Wayside Inn" storytelling sessions, Casablanca like spy stories. Not just spy sims but real spy stories with all those VIPs crowding together. Free Traders and Merchant Princes can provide supplies. Political factions can have secret summits. Etc.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:23 PM   #609
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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
That has lots of possibilities. You can have "Wayside Inn" storytelling sessions, Casablanca like spy stories. Not just spy sims but real spy stories with all those VIPs crowding together. Free Traders and Merchant Princes can provide supplies. Political factions can have secret summits. Etc.
Exactly. And with everyone in disguise being who they aren't, unmasking the REAL PHONEY is triply hard.
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Old Yesterday, 11:14 AM   #610
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Covert anthropological research would be a major feature of the Third Imperium. Many of the things the Imperium forbids from slavery to psionics are fairly easily hidden. And since many worlds of the Imperium practice things disdained like religious passion and democracy it can become even harder to find certain things. After all, if you know you are seen as inferior trash, you tend to clam up and become uncooperative.

Beyond the actually illegal the Imperium has a real interest in knowing what's going on in its worlds. On one world, conquered by Vargr during the Long Night, humans were serfs on their own world for millennia. The Vargr were famous for the refinement of their culture and their impassioned embrace of the arts. They were also famous for the coldness and cruelty of their caste system and their tendency to go right to the edge of Imperial prohibitions. Their follow nobles, having more sympathy for nobles than serfs, colluded with the oppression. One serf, a eunuch working in the planetary medical system (all humans with higher than normal intelligence were surgically desexed) managed to get his hands on the distemper virus and shattered the culture. Once the humans eliminated the local Vargr and erased the entire cultural heritage of the local Vargr, they accepted imperial rule but demanded to be left alone. The fallout of this revolution still poisons Imperial Vargr relations and feeds the paranoia of the local nobility.

No one in the imperial bureaucracy wants a repeat of that disaster. Thus covert anthropologists go forth to get the data on a thousand worlds to give the Imperium warning.
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