Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Play By Post

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-29-2016, 08:41 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default [OOC] The Trojan War

Premise: TL9^ limited superscience SF, with an emphasis on politics and space combat.

Background: 25 years ago, Regina Isabella, S.A. began colonizing the Helios system under a Micronesian charter. Yesterday, less than two years after the completion of the twin space stations Ithaca and Troy, the system's jump gate, the Pillars of Herakles, suddenly stopped transmitting. It quickly became clear that the Pillars of Herakles had been destroyed in an explosion, the causes of which remain undetermined 24 hours later.

This is a 250-point campaign. PCs will start the campaign on or in the immediate vicinity of Ithaca Station. The most likely PC background is an employee of Regina Isabella, as the Helios system's population consists overwhelmingly of RI employees and their families. RI employees have Corporate Rank, which costs 5 points/level. "Station Manager" is Corporate Rank 7—if more than one PC is interested in being Ithaca Station's manager, I might have PCs bid Unusual Background points for it. System Manager Adaeke Obidimkpa would have had Merchant Rank 8, but is presumed dead after the destruction of the Pillars of Herakles.

Other possible PC backgrounds include Unified Treaty Organization officer (which implies Military Rank) and "rich tourist" (requires minimum Very Wealthy, more likely Filthy Rich). An independently-operating captain, under contract with RI, is also possible, but requires Multimillionaire 1 (or possibly Filthy Rich, if you have an older ship and a heavy loan to pay off). I might be talked into allowing a non-working family member of an RI employee, but you'd have to take your family member as an Ally, and would need a good explanation of why RI failed to talk an individual with PC-level skills into working for them.

PCs are limited to -30 points in physical and mental disadvantages, not counting disadvantages from a genetic upgrade or the precog lens (below). Dependents are likely, but unless your Dependent will be accompanying you on off-station missions, Frequency of Appearance is capped at 9 or less. Both Corporate Rank and Military Rank require taking Duty (15 or less) [-15].

All TL9 genetic upgrades and cybernetics from Bio-Tech and Ultra-Tech are available. A majority of the system's residents have some sort of genetic upgrade that includes Radiation Tolerance (2) [5], with Spacer being common. "Heavy Worlder" is unlikely (but not forbidden), while "Light Worlder" might suggest an older resident who originally came to the system as part of an abortive attempt to establish a research base on one of Cronus' ammonia-covered moons.

Perk-level psychic abilities are known to exist, and widely hypothesized to be a side-effect of jump gate travel. They're not exactly common, though, and require an Unusual Background tax of 1 point per perk (effectively making them cost 2 points/level). More potent psychic abilities are largely unheard of, though some children of jump gate travelers will have the following lens:

Precog (1 Point): HT -1 [-10]; Precognition (Backlash, Stunning, -10%; Passive Only, -20%; Costs 1 FP, -5%; Nuisance Effect, Odd involuntary behavior during vision, -5%) [15]; Unusual Background (Precog) [5]; Distinctive Features (Bulging Forehead) [-1]; Ugly [-8].

AI exists, but AI PCs are forbidden because human-level volitional AI requires a massive computer to run, so the PC wouldn’t be able to leave the station! By default, Ithaca Station’s AIs will be assumed to be non-volitional, but a volitional AI running somewhere on the station’s network could be an interesting Contact.

Cinematic advantages are, in general, allowed, and Gadgeteer may be especially useful (hint hint). Speaking of which, having at least one PC with significant social chops will be a good idea, as will having a PC with some minimal kind of military knowledge.

Most technology TL9 technology from various GURPS sourcebooks is at least theoretically possible, though reactionless drives and combat hardsuits are strictly forbidden, and jump gates are the only known means of FTL travel. The nature of jump gate technology means the Pillars of Herakles are unlikely to be replaced for decades, stranding the Helios system's residence.

The fact that was once, effectively, a corporate state has been cut off from its headquarters indefinitely raises tricky legal issues, but the previous legal status quo is worth noting. RI-owned ships and stations effectively have Control Rating 4 on board, but an independently-operating captain functions as Control Rating 3. Prior to the Pillars of Herakles's destruction, the most frequently used law specialty in the system was Law (Regina Isabella Arbitration Committee), but the system is at least theoretically under Micronesian law, making various Micronesian law specialties potentially applicable, along with Law (International Laws of Space) and, for military officers, Law (Unified System of Military Justice).

Character Sheets
Matthew Molan (ericthered)
Anthony Browne (johndallman)
Adrian Morrow (RogerBW)
Michael Freeman (Friendpmcii)
Ginger Thecos (Fnord72)
Sergeant Marcus Kane (Skullcrusher)

IC Thread
Player's Guide (will be used to aggregate information currently spread across many posts)

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 03-09-2017 at 10:41 AM.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 06:38 AM   #2
GnomesofZurich
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Canada
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

Registering interest.

Given that the campaign will have an emphasis on space combat, would an interface pilot (Pyramid #3/30 Spaceships, p. 11-17) be acceptable and, if so, what type of interface should be used?

Also, would it be more appropriate for such a character to be an RI employee or a member of the Unified Treaty Organization?
__________________
Secret: Not a Gnome. (Actually a Dwarf with Dwarfism).
GnomesofZurich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 07:17 AM   #3
ammulder
 
ammulder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Philadelphia Area
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

I'm interested, but trying to come to terms with the setup.

Let's assume the explosion wasn't an accident. Who might be behind it? Aliens? The military of some empire other than Micronesia? Fanatics? Some kind of opponent in an industrial or trade dispute?

If some ships had invaded and destroyed the gate, would the station have been expected to notice them by now, or are sensors not that good at whatever range the gate was at (or stealth shielding common or whatever)? Is it a typical ploy to invade a system with a bunch of ships and a spare gate, then destroy the existing gate the moment you arrive to cut off your target, and install your new gate if and when your conquest is complete? "Let us win or spend 57 years waiting for a new gate to be delivered via sublight drive"?

If the system is cut off, will the wealth of a Filthy Rich/etc. character be honored or is everything going to fall back to local scrip and interstellar currency becomes worthless?

Finally, is Helios self-sufficient or is there some sort of deadline by which the whole system will crumble if trade is not restored? (I don't know, no local source of steel, no high-tech factories, no antibiotics against the native organisms, no starship maintenance facilities, whatever.)
ammulder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 09:12 AM   #4
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

I'm interested. Looking at making a Gadgeteer, or perhaps a high level administrator otherwise.

You said Cinematic Advantages were on the table. What about cinematic skills? I'm particularly interested in Computer Hacking and perhaps Inventor! or some other wildcard. Also, are destiny points ok for this campaign?

You said any of the TL9 modifications are on the table. Are custom engineered species? I'm leaning towards spacer a little, but I may want to do something on the weird side.

A few setting questions:
How big is the outside world? 1000 times bigger than Helios, + Earth? 1000 times bigger than modern earth?
What does the population of the Helios system look like? roughly how many on planets? How many on each space station? What's the economic reason for its existence?
What role will languages play?
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 12:00 PM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

Interested. A UTO military officer is a possibility. You said it would be useful to have a PC with "significant social chops", so would a UTO diplomat be a plausible character?
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 01:00 PM   #6
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

I'm interested in this one. My initial idea is a scientist working on jumpgate physics and psi; he might have a set of small psi powers, and/or go more along the tinkerer/gadgeteer route, depending on other PCs.

You probably don't want him talking to the suits, though. Overconfidence at the very least.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #7
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

I am interested also and given the other posers will opt for a Social type, probably a high level administrator who is good at brokering deals for departmental funding and resources.
__________________
Looking for group in my area
REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
Refplace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 02:54 AM   #8
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

Quote:
Originally Posted by GnomesofZurich View Post
Registering interest.

Given that the campaign will have an emphasis on space combat, would an interface pilot (Pyramid #3/30 Spaceships, p. 11-17) be acceptable and, if so, what type of interface should be used?

Also, would it be more appropriate for such a character to be an RI employee or a member of the Unified Treaty Organization?
Cybernetic interface. More likely an RI employee—military officers tend to be in the system in observer-type roles (though there might be an officer-pilot to shuttle VIPs around).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ammulder View Post
I'm interested, but trying to come to terms with the setup.

Let's assume the explosion wasn't an accident. Who might be behind it? Aliens? The military of some empire other than Micronesia? Fanatics? Some kind of opponent in an industrial or trade dispute?

If some ships had invaded and destroyed the gate, would the station have been expected to notice them by now, or are sensors not that good at whatever range the gate was at (or stealth shielding common or whatever)? Is it a typical ploy to invade a system with a bunch of ships and a spare gate, then destroy the existing gate the moment you arrive to cut off your target, and install your new gate if and when your conquest is complete? "Let us win or spend 57 years waiting for a new gate to be delivered via sublight drive"?
Not a "typical ploy", definitely. It's an interesting theory, but this is meant to be hard-ish sci-fi, so being stealthy in space is difficult in the extreme. Maybe someone found a way?

Quote:
If the system is cut off, will the wealth of a Filthy Rich/etc. character be honored or is everything going to fall back to local scrip and interstellar currency becomes worthless?
This is one of the places social engineering comes in. Can you persuade people to honor your previous social status in spite of everything going topsy-turvey? Probably easier with Rank, or if you have most of your wealth tied up in assets conveniently located in the system. The "space tourist" option is on the list of "things that are possible but not necessarily recommended".

Quote:
Finally, is Helios self-sufficient or is there some sort of deadline by which the whole system will crumble if trade is not restored? (I don't know, no local source of steel, no high-tech factories, no antibiotics against the native organisms, no starship maintenance facilities, whatever.)
Helios is very much self-sufficient. Ithaca and Troy both have high-tech factories inside them, which get raw materials from asteroid mining. Helios has no Earth-like planets; it's possible there are weird extremophile microorganisms somewhere but they'd almost certainly die instantly inside a life-support system designed for humans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I'm interested. Looking at making a Gadgeteer, or perhaps a high level administrator otherwise.

You said Cinematic Advantages were on the table. What about cinematic skills? I'm particularly interested in Computer Hacking and perhaps Inventor! or some other wildcard. Also, are destiny points ok for this campaign?
Destiny points are fine. Computer Hacking is fine. Focusing on one or two inventing skills probably makes more sense given that it's a 250-point game, but I can think about Inventor!

Quote:
You said any of the TL9 modifications are on the table. Are custom engineered species? I'm leaning towards spacer a little, but I may want to do something on the weird side.
Yes, though details will need GM approval.

Quote:
A few setting questions:
How big is the outside world? 1000 times bigger than Helios, + Earth? 1000 times bigger than modern earth?
What does the population of the Helios system look like? roughly how many on planets? How many on each space station? What's the economic reason for its existence?
Helios' population numbers in the tends of thousands, most of them roughly equally divided between Ithaca and Troy. As noted above, it lacks Earth-like planets. The main draws were gas giant mining and asteroid mining. Dozens of similar colony systems exist, with the number rapidly growing.[/quote]

[quote]What role will languages play?

Major languages are Standard English and Indian English. If you know one at Native, learning the other at Native costs 2 points. Other languages exist but aren't important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Interested. A UTO military officer is a possibility. You said it would be useful to have a PC with "significant social chops", so would a UTO diplomat be a plausible character?
Yes.

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 12-31-2016 at 08:55 AM.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 09:43 AM   #9
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

Another character-design note: "technician" is one of the most common and important jobs aboard a spacecraft, and make up a large fraction of RI employees. Important skills:

Armoury (Heavy Weapons)
Armoury (Vehicle Armor)
Bioengineering (Tissue Engineering)
Computer Programming
Electrician
Electronics Repair (Computers)
Electronics Repair (Medical)
Farming
Gardening
Housekeeping
Masonry
Mechanic (Fission Engine)
Mechanic (Fission Reactor)
Mechanic (Fusion Engine)
Mechanic (High-Performance Spacecraft)
Mechanic (Life Support)
Mechanic (Low-Performance Spacecraft)
Mechanic (Machine Tools)
Mechanic (MHD Turbine)
Mechanic (Mining)
Mechanic (Nuclear Pulse Engine)
Mechanic (Refineries)

For pilots, both High-Performance Spacecraft and Low-Performance Spacecraft are important. Inventors should mostly be able to infer relevant specialties from the above.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 01:17 PM   #10
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: [OOC] The Trojan War

Re: Wildcard skills: open to them, but not allowing wildcard points. Also, specialization might be a good idea if we have multiple PCs who want to be e.g. gadgeteers. If more than one wants to be a gadgeteer, having say one specialize in Engineer (Jump Gates) while another specializes in Bioengineering might be better than both having Inventor!

If I were designing templates for this campaign, they might look something like:

R&D Specialist
Attributes: IQ 15 [100]
Advantages: Gadgeteer [25] Lots of points that can either be spent on occupation-specific stuff or biomods, cybernetics, etc.
Primary Skills: One of Bioengineering (Genetic Engineering or Tissue Engineering), Engineer (Any), or Computer Programming, all (H) IQ+4 [20]-19 Spend 8 points on two more skills from the previous list at (H) IQ [4], or spend 4 points to raise a primary skill by a level, or spend 8 points to raise your primary skill by 2 levels.
Background Skills: Computer Operation and Spacer, both (E) IQ [1].

Master Technician
Attributes: IQ 14 [80]
Advantages: Artificer 2 [20] Lots of points that can either be spent on occupation-specific stuff or biomods, cybernetics, etc.
Primary Skills: Computer Programming (H) IQ [4]-14; Electronics Repair (Any) (A) IQ+4 [12*]-18 and Machinist (A) IQ+5 [16*]-19 Nine of Armoury (Vehicular Armor) (A) IQ+1 [1*]; Electronics Repair (Any other) (A) IQ [1*]; Farming (A) IQ-1 [1]; Gardening or Housekeeping, both (E) IQ [1]; Masonry (E) IQ+2 [1*]; Mechanic (Any) (A) IQ+1 [1*].
Secondary Skills: Gunner (Beams) (E) DX+2 [4]; Piloting (High-Performance Spacecraft) (A) DX+2 [8].
Background Skills: Computer Operation and Spacer, both (E) IQ [1].

* Includes +2 from Artificer
Bought up from default from first specialty.
Bought up from Machinist default.

Both templates should also probably have Free Fall and Vacc Suit at decent levels, but I'm just trying to give the gist.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.