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Old 01-14-2019, 02:48 PM   #41
kdtipa
 
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
At that point, where do you start your campaign? Are your players part of the Resistence? Are your players opportunists who seek adventure among the stars? Are you players collaborators who welcome their new alien overlords?
I think in having read the other responses and based on my own first reactions, the thing I'm most curious about is the motivation of the alien species. Why invade at all? They can see our technological levels pretty easily, and understand that we're far off. Why not just put a station in a good distance away, but not outside of striking distance with a device in place to hit Earth with an asteroid nearby? Then there's no need at all for an occupying force or to have to manage anything. If humans ever get to be a problem, hit the planet with an asteroid. It feels like humans wouldn't have the choice to rebel or not if the aliens are doing a smart thing.

I'm trying to think of reasons the aliens might want to occupy the planet without killing humans off entirely...
  • Someone important is hiding here that they don't want to kill, but can't find easily... so they land lots of troops and begin the search for those people. Humans can either try to help the invaders to get aliens off the planet faster, or resist because the invaders aren't being nice about their search.
  • Artifacts are surfacing from long ago that are high technology even beyond what the invaders have. They want the tech for themselves, so they aren't willing to mass destroy anything, but obviously can't let humans have it. You have a built in way to give the PCs little bits of help to fight back.
  • Humans have some value intrinsically that we weren't aware of. Maybe hyperspace travel requires incredible computation... or incredible intuition that our brains work really well for. We become slave fodder for them, or some people might choose to work with them intentionally and end up treated better. We end up used in their wars to help them be more mobile than their enemies.

I feel like no matter what, if the campaign is the long game to becoming allies with the aliens is a difficult to make interesting for players. And resistance is a much easier formula for adventure. Finding important artifacts before the aliens do; helping the people trying to hide on Earth; and finding ways to genuinely fight back if we're hyperspace navigation systems... it all makes a little more sense to me as a campaign hook.

One final thought... aliens crashing here in enough number to be a problem but without the ability to get infinite help from space could be fun too. They use their tech to try to rule the planet and bring technology up enough so they can get back into space... but they treat us horribly in the process. So, players either try to work with them to change things from the inside and save people, or try to fight back and just take the tech for humanity.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:49 PM   #42
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

Can we have a little more fleshing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
humans have a small chance of becoming a future threat to their polity.
What do they think we can or would do to them?


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Until they gained full citizenship, humans would be a protect species with limited rights.
Protected by who or what?


Quote:
they are interested in creating a survey station with a 'small' squadron of 12 million metric tons in the Sol System to defend their new territory,
Against what?

Quote:
they would be willing to let humans govern themselves as long as humans follow the laws of the Empire concerning the privileges of Imperial citizens and the protections according protected species.
How will these requirements make life any different on Earth than is presently is?


Quote:
The aliens are really worried about human overpopulation on the Earth and would be willing to invest massive (compared to the Earth) resources to remove the majority of the human population from the Earth.
Why are they worried?


Quote:
After submission, they would help humanity build tens thousands of space habitats (under Imperial ownership, of course) in order to remove 4/5 of the population from the Earth.
What are humans supposed to do on these habitats? Would leaving be voluntary? What would it mean for them that the habitats are under imperial ownership?


Quote:
They are also worried about climate change, so they would want to uplift the Earth to TL9 as quickly as possible in order to replace the existing energy infrastructure (under Imperial ownership, of course).
Why do the aliens care about that an what is the consequence for remaining humans that energy infrastructure would be under imperial ownership?


Quote:
they value gold and platinum at 1/30 the value that humans place on them, and will ruthlessly use that advantage to purchase as much of the Earth as possible until the Earth prices equal Imperial prices.
Can you explain that more -- what is the reason they value gold or platinum? Why would they want to purchase much of the earth since they aren't interested in our resources? Prices for what?


Quote:
... replace human corporations with alien corporations. They are willing to do so at cost in order to make humans dependent on the aliens.
For what reason?

Last edited by Donny Brook; 01-14-2019 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:00 PM   #43
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It sounds like Earth is a potential advantage for a larger galactic community. I'd suggest introducing various alien factions (ala uplift) or just aliens that want to oppose what's going on (5th column).
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:30 PM   #44
David Johnston2
 
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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Let us outline a few points then to flesh out the exercise-

1. The aliens do not want the Earth or the resources of the Solar System, they just want humanity to submit to their authority because humans have a small chance of becoming a future threat to their polity. Until they gained full citizenship, humans would be a protect species with limited rights.

2. The aliens are uninterested in occupying the Earth. While they are interested in creating a survey station with a 'small' squadron of 12 million metric tons in the Sol System to defend their new territory, they would be willing to let humans govern themselves as long as humans follow the laws of the Empire concerning the privileges of Imperial citizens and the protections according protected species.

3. The aliens are really worried about human overpopulation on the Earth and would be willing to invest massive (compared to the Earth) resources to remove the majority of the human population from the Earth. After submission, they would help humanity build tens thousands of space habitats (under Imperial ownership, of course) in order to remove 4/5 of the population from the Earth. They are also worried about climate change, so they would want to uplift the Earth to TL9 as quickly as possible in order to replace the existing energy infrastructure (under Imperial ownership, of course).

4. The aliens are wealthy. With the resources of millions of star systems, they value gold and platinum at 1/30 the value that humans place on them, and will ruthlessly use that advantage to purchase as much of the Earth as possible until the Earth prices equal Imperial prices. They are also capable of producing perfect gemstones at $1/carat, meaning that they are also willing to flood the market in that way.

5. The aliens are advanced and are willing to flood the Earth with cheap TL9 technology. With the technology difference involved, the aliens will be capable of flooding human markets with their primitive TL9 products after submission in order to replace human corporations with alien corporations. They are willing to do so at cost in order to make humans dependent on the aliens.
4 contradicts 1. And 1 is pretty implausible anyway.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:35 PM   #45
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

I haven't read everything in this thread, so forgive me if it's already been suggested.
But what made the miniseries V really interesting to me was the fact that there was a fifth column among the aliens.
Even with all the rubber science in the show, humanity had no chance without such allies.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:25 PM   #46
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I haven't read everything in this thread, so forgive me if it's already been suggested.
But what made the miniseries V really interesting to me was the fact that there was a fifth column among the aliens.
Even with all the rubber science in the show, humanity had no chance without such allies.
I'm kind of fond of the "We're Vietnam" .premise. The Empire is occupying our system primarily because of our strategic position flanking their enemy and taxing us to defray the expense of building their military outpost in space. The Enemy is smuggling weapons and supplemental gear to us to hamper the Empire's building project.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:53 PM   #47
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Which is a viable story line. If you assume that Empires expand until they encounter another Empire, then they could have encountered equally powerful neighbor(s) and are securing their flank against another polity. The Sol System would just be another system that they are trying to secure against their enemies and, because there are technologically advanced natives, it would have some marginal utility (it would not be terribly difficult to uplift human civilization to the point where humans could help defend the frontier).

Concerning points 1 and 4 being contradictory, they are not necessarily contradictory because the Empire does not care about owning anything in the Sol System but individual Imperials may. With relatively little Imperial money, an Imperial could retire on the Earth and live quite well, much like Americans retiring to Thailand. For example, an Imperial with Average wealth and Independent Income 5 would have personal property equal to $50,000 and annual income equal to $30,000 due to being TL10. If they purchased gold at Imperial prices (and had their annual income sent to them in gold), they could increase their purchasing power by 30x, effectively allowing them to purchase $1.5 million worth of personal property and to earn $900,000 per year (effectively increasing them to Very Wealthy).

Concerning trade, the Empire would probably leverage their economic superiority to keep humans dependent, at least until they become citizens. They would likely pay in gold m and require payment in gold, in order to keep the exchange rate favorable. Since humans would likely not be producing anything that the Empire would find worthwhile to import, humans would be dependent on working for the Empire in order to receive payment in gold. TL9 goods, which would be worthless to the Empire, would be worth vast amounts of money to human civilization, especially if the Empire made sure to enforce IP on them.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:13 PM   #48
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Among other impediments, how will they travel through interstellar space to get to their targets?
If they are coming to Earth in the first place, one would think they want to land on it to get whatever unobtanium they want.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:22 PM   #49
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Default Re: Alien Invasions

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Concerning trade, the Empire would probably leverage their economic superiority to keep humans dependent, at least until they become citizens. They would likely pay in gold m and require payment in gold, in order to keep the exchange rate favorable. Since humans would likely not be producing anything that the Empire would find worthwhile to import, humans would be dependent on working for the Empire in order to receive payment in gold. TL9 goods, which would be worthless to the Empire, would be worth vast amounts of money to human civilization, especially if the Empire made sure to enforce IP on them.
Your argument assumes gold has some kind of inherent value that is extremely resilient to changes in supply. Given the large reserves held by central banks and speculators, it falls flat on its face in minutes. Speculators would react severely to the first news of massive gold shipments and price would fall through the floor. Besides that, the last part of the argument spells out why exchange rate would be very high regardless of the higher gold supply; the high demand for high tech goods and the lack of viable exports will cause that to continue for a very long time. Emigrants seeking a lower cost of living, tourism, and if the aliens are biologically compatible, exotic foods (maybe drugs too), are the only likely source hard currency.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:39 PM   #50
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An alien invasion that makes (some) sense and that has a (moderate) chance of going well for Earth could be something like this:

First off, there's a large and anarchic galactic society. New space civilizations arise fairly frequently, and there are enough of them that no one can establish itself as a galactic hegemony. The galaxy is still a very big place, though, so it's no surprise Earth was never visited.

Until now. A fleet of alien mutineers (proportionately equal to a small but highly industrialized terrestrial nation) enters the solar system. They are water-based oxygen breathers originally from a world with 1.9Gs; the harsh chemical environment of their homeworld means that their skin has an impermiable layer not unlike plastic. All in all, Earth with its current biosphere is a suitable home for them.

It's no coincidence they ended up here, of course. The signs of industrial activity are also convenient for them, as they have a desire for sapient slaves. As a design switch, this can be for one of two big reasons: first, that their group has a cultural quirk of valuing slaves inherently (which goes some way to explaining why they ended up mutinying); second, that sapients have access to psionics, and that potential can be used in some way. I favor brain extraction to produce FTL jump modules, in order to give the players a nice horror to fight against.

Either way, the invaders want to keep this a decidedly local affair, since they don't want to attract the attention of their parent civilization -- and yet, the parent civ is hedged in and might not have the spare resources to devote to finding the mutineers on its own. It's up to Humanity alone to defeat the invaders, but it might be possible to do so.
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