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Old 06-07-2017, 11:13 AM   #21
SteveS
 
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

It might be interesting to invite Michael Andre-Driussi into this discussion, since he did such a good job on other aspects of the literary origins of Traveller. He has written for SJ Games, by the way (specifically GURPS New Sun), so he may even have a SJ Games forum account already.

Additionally, there are some Traveller pioneers who could offer their own histories if they were asked at the right time -- for example, if Marc Miller turned up at a game convention Q&A. Sadly, the most accessible Traveller pioneer is gone. Loren probably could have told us a lot if we had asked him while he was alive; he probably could have written a great JTAS article about it too.

One possible literary explanation for Traveller psionics, particularly suppression, is inversion of literary examples, rather than copying. There are a fair number of examples of psionic aristocracy -- notably the Darkover series, which dates back to the 1950s -- and it's not ridiculous to imagine designers looking at a source and saying, "Let's do the opposite of this."
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:24 PM   #22
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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Originally Posted by SteveS View Post
It might be interesting to invite Michael Andre-Driussi into this discussion, since he did such a good job on other aspects of the literary origins of Traveller. He has written for SJ Games, by the way (specifically GURPS New Sun), so he may even have a SJ Games forum account already.

Additionally, there are some Traveller pioneers who could offer their own histories if they were asked at the right time -- for example, if Marc Miller turned up at a game convention Q&A. Sadly, the most accessible Traveller pioneer is gone. Loren probably could have told us a lot if we had asked him while he was alive; he probably could have written a great JTAS article about it too.

One possible literary explanation for Traveller psionics, particularly suppression, is inversion of literary examples, rather than copying. There are a fair number of examples of psionic aristocracy -- notably the Darkover series, which dates back to the 1950s -- and it's not ridiculous to imagine designers looking at a source and saying, "Let's do the opposite of this."
It becomes obvious whenever one imagines psis existing in sufficient strength for someone to ask how they avoid a psiocracy.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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Old 06-07-2017, 12:59 PM   #24
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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It might be interesting to invite Michael Andre-Driussi into this discussion, since he did such a good job on other aspects of the literary origins of Traveller. He has written for SJ Games, by the way (specifically GURPS New Sun), so he may even have a SJ Games forum account already.
New Sun is from an era pre-dating this forum by a good bit. I don't recall him being active on the Pyramid fora back then either.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:25 PM   #25
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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We're looking for a setting where (1) virtually everyone has psionic potential, (2) an "extremely low profile" organization exists to test and train that potential, and (3) "[t]he climate of public opinion about psionics is extremely negative."
This is the same as the premise of STAR WARS (1977), where everyone contributes to the Force, Jedi are underground, and Vader is busy Force-choking rivals.

Perhaps it is influenced by Wyndham's THE CHRYSALIDS (1955), where mutants are literally, religiously persecuted in Newf, regularly produce a telepathic minority, and are supported by an advanced, hidden enclave of fellow talents.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:58 PM   #26
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

Didn't Marc Miller say somewhere that the limitations on psi were entirely for game balance purposes?
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:42 AM   #27
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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Didn't Marc Miller say somewhere that the limitations on psi were entirely for game balance purposes?
I think a simple mechanic allowing someone to attempt to resist psionic influence -- which CT lacks -- would have been a much cleaner solution to game balance.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:40 AM   #28
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Default Re: Literary source for anti-psionics prejudice?

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This is the same as the premise of STAR WARS (1977), where everyone contributes to the Force, Jedi are underground, and Vader is busy Force-choking rivals.
On the other hand, ObiWan Kenobi is a hero. Regardless, Marc Miller has said that Star Wars came out too late to really influence the original design of Traveller. At best, Star Wars and Traveller drew from the same source material in similar ways.

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Didn't Marc Miller say somewhere that the limitations on psi were entirely for game balance purposes?
I would love to see a cite to this.

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The cited sources are strongly literary. The only exceptions are Star Wars and Star Trek, which I think we can agree are only peripheral influences at best.
I have to modify this: in his White Dwarf #23 interview, Marc Miller said, "Movies and television particularly affected me."
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:38 PM   #29
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I would love to see a cite to this.
Believe me, I wish I had one. I vaguely remember seeing something to that effect in the run-up to T5, but I don't even remember if it was in a new article or something archival.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:42 PM   #30
Fred Brackin
 
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I have to modify this: in his White Dwarf #23 interview, Marc Miller said, "Movies and television particularly affected me."
Hrmpf. movies and TV pre-77 that even vaguely resemble Traveller are not thick on the ground.

You've go to pick and choose your star Trek even. Cyrano Jpnes and Harry Mudd, the odd mining colony and space station might be it.
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