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-   -   Pros and cons of growing your own island nation? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=103394)

Jasonft 01-25-2013 10:07 AM

Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
My Supers GM never should have challenged us to break his game...

I got to thinking about a few alternates to my current character in a 500 pt GURPS Supers game and I realized some of the truly horrible things I could do with a wizard build on that many points. Specifically where he would call home.

Assuming you had the means and the ability to hold the necessary spells active for long enough (at 500 points? Hah!) how long would it take you to grow an island up from the bottom of the ocean somewhere out in the middle of the Pacific? Once you had it above water, what sort of difficulties would you have declaring that island a sovereign nation assuming you were smart enough to place it outside of anyone's territorial waters?

(Island grown through extended duration Volcano spell most likely - unless someone has a better idea.)

Anaraxes 01-25-2013 10:43 AM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
The problem isn't declaring yourself to be a sovereign nation. You can make all the declarations you like. The problem is getting states and organizations (like the UN) to recognize you as such.

In theory, all you need is

Quote:

Originally Posted by Montevideo Convention
ARTICLE 1

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

But whether or not you can be an effective state, in practice and not just in the letter of international law, has a lot more to do with the behavior of all the other states.

On the bright side, you've got a whole super-team to enforce or defend your sovereignty. But then, maybe supers aren't uncommon in your setting, and all the other states have them, too -- which puts us right back where we started.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronation

starslayer 01-25-2013 10:48 AM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
I forget the name of the spell but I think it is 'move terrain' or similar- lets you shrink down a huge chunk of earth, move it somewhere else, and then expand it back out. With that spell you could have a complete island, with vegitation, wildlife, and even people, inside of a few hours.

Sovereignty on the other hand is a very touchy subject. It really only applies when someone tries to infringe on it. Sealand calls itself a sovereign nation. So did Georgia. Once Russia invaded Georgia that 'sovereign nation' bit did not mean anything because no one else was willing to come to there defence, and they could not repel the Russian army.

Similarly your island nation will have no problem declaring itself Sovereign, but they need to convince some international body to recognize them as needing protection. A few billion dollars and military forces shared with the UN, or NATO should accomplish that, or not if super-powers are known to exist and there are speicifc prohibitions against 'instant god-kings'

Purple Haze 01-25-2013 11:25 AM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
The country I live declares that its national borders extend for 200 miles or to the edge of the continental shelf, whichever is greater. Not an uncommon position.

So you really are looking at deep water. At least 2,000m, probably 4,000-6,000m. Volume is = 1/3 * pi * r^2 * h. At least 100 cubic km of rock for something tiny.

Befuddled 01-25-2013 11:28 AM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
Better be careful while building your island. Unleashing tidal waves on your new neighbors, causing chaotic weather from all the heat released, and polluting the ocean with tons of volcanic ash is not gonna make you many friends.

Miles 01-25-2013 11:35 AM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
Sure, building a little island in the middle of an ocean is easy enough. Everyone above me is right, the trick here is that you need other nations to recognize your claim to Independence. To do that, you'll need to convince a sizable number of people to go live on your little island, preferably mentally stable ones.

So the thing you need to be thinking about here is how you're going to attract people. This will depend a lot on what your wizard is like. Really, I can think of a lot of ways to get rich, but not a lot of reasons for people to come live on your island, unless you're just dispensing free food and healthcare. After all, people go where the jobs are, and a wizard pretty much only needs servants, entertainers, and the people to provide FP.

A big exception might be if you raise the mana level on your island to High, so that everyone can learn spells. Then you could take in people with IQ levels sufficient to cast spells at a decent level, and start training them. That would interest a fair number of people, and it would require them to stick to your high mana island. You can make a knowledge economy based on the things you can do with simple spells like Measurement and the Radiation College, or making purify air covers for exhaust pipes. In the long-term, you might want to look into using Biotech spells to engineer magery into fetuses.

You could also look into fusion power experimentation, although that might discourage non-researchers from living there. You've got force dome and resist radiation, extinguish radiation for emergencies, fireproof, etc. The scientists could be mundane, you'd provide the magic.

Flyndaran 01-25-2013 12:47 PM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
Refugees. The world is full of people trying to escape. Give amnesty and smuggle them to your island and you'll have more than enough happy citizens.

Jasonft 01-25-2013 12:59 PM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Purple Haze (Post 1512497)
So you really are looking at deep water. At least 2,000m, probably 4,000-6,000m. Volume is = 1/3 * pi * r^2 * h. At least 100 cubic km of rock for something tiny.

Which was kind of why I favored the Volcano spell. Leave it on long enough and you have something like a small Hawaiian island - covered with ash and lava of course, but if the wizard has enough juice to hold Volcano for that long then they certainly can reshape the above water portions into an island paradise in short order.

I was kind of wondering how long it would take though. Pesky supers might investigate and try to stop me before I was finished.

David Johnston2 01-25-2013 01:02 PM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Befuddled (Post 1512499)
Better be careful while building your island. Unleashing tidal waves on your new neighbors, causing chaotic weather from all the heat released, and polluting the ocean with tons of volcanic ash is not gonna make you many friends.

Not much of an issue. Natural volcanoes happen all the time and you wouldn't be doing it close to a real nation. And there are no earthquakes associated with the volcano spell although I suppose it would happen if you built on a major faultline.

Proteus 01-25-2013 03:21 PM

Re: Pros and cons of growing your own island nation?
 
According to Wikipedia, "The height of a shield volcano is typically 1/20th of its width."

So, to get a volcano to grow from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to just touch the surface, you've got to grow the cone up from the average depth of 14,000 feet, meaning it will be about (14,000 * 20) or 280,000 feet wide (or 93,333 yards, or 53 miles).

From a strict reading of the Volcano spell (that it will "increase its diameter by a couple of yards per day.") that means you need (93,333 / 2) or 46,667 days to accomplish the job, or about 128 years.


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