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Old 01-27-2018, 04:55 PM   #111
Astromancer
 
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

{The Farfarers}

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The real question is what prevents people from going beyond the frontier? With 125c as their velocity, they could travel for eight years and be 1,000 ly from the Earth, well beyond the reach of a central government, and they could target some of the worlds discover by the Kepler probe. In fact, you could have a large number of failed colonies resulting from such an expansion, where groups of pioneers decided to travel for a decade from the Earth so that their light would not reach the edge of human space for a thousand years and ran into something that killed them.
This sounds like a great logical reason for lost colonies all over the place. Other than the threat of meeting hostile forces or unknown dangers, nothing prevents people from just up and "lighting out for the territories." in Huck Finn's words.

I'm setting up generic stuff spun out of Star Trek and LeGuin's Hainish novels. So limiters aren't in the mix yet. Heck I haven't even tossed out my Time Lords crossed with M:tA and The Roads of Heaven kitbash yet.

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Old 01-27-2018, 05:09 PM   #112
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Question! Should I dump the notion of incompatible star drives? It has some interesting tactical and strategic features, but it seems to be a limitation that adds little fun or drama. And RPGs ought to be about fun and drama.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:31 PM   #113
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This sounds like a great logical reason for lost colonies all over the place. Other than the threat of meeting hostile forces or unknown dangers, nothing prevents people from just up and "lighting out for the territories." in Huck Finn's words.
Well other than the fact it takes a long time to get there.

The way I thought about it is like this. Decide on the distance/flight time to the third closest attractive looking colonizable world/system - to rule out odd density effects, or the close by star or two you picked because they're traditional. That gives you a "typical" distance. It would be an odd "interstellar" setting where that was more than months

At ten times that flight time it still makes some sense to worry about Earth - there will "only" be a thousand or so nice worlds in that volume, some Solarian government might be able to afford a few thousand warships to try to police them all. Ten times months is a year or two maximum.

At a hundred times that distance (that decade or so) you are far enough to be "lost" forever - nobody can keep up to date on *millions* good worlds - no decision-maker on Earth, even a collective one, will ever be aware of more than fraction of them, let alone in enough detail to make decisions concerning them. You can go further than that, but there's not much point unless you have a specific target, and absent such a specific attraction to draw another exploration nobody on Earth is ever going to know what happened to you until you send somebody back (Earth, the human homeworld, being the specific attraction generating the contact in that case)

Note that for sufficiently relatively dense goodworlds, that doesn't necessarily mean long trips. It's the information load of keeping track/number of hulls needed to check everywhere that cause you to drop out of sight, not the fact you've gone a long way. You can get lost in a crowd before you get over the horizon.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:58 PM   #114
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In my own setting, there are hundreds if not thousands of slow sleeper colony ships still plodding along at lightspeed or just barely over it (these were developed about 150-200 years before the setting's ~2500CE date, so are at least one TL behind the rest of the setting). So yeah, there's a possibility of plenty of "lost colonies" in and beyond the frontier, some of them intentionally "lost", ala Pern. Many of them may still be en route to their intended destinations.

In many cases, in my setting, "the frontier" is "we've explored this area and opened it to colonization, but the exploration isn't complete". With any luck, you may be able to get help from the Colonial Defense Force on a 'timely' basis (that'd be like Fort Laramie sending out the cavalry; sometimes help arrives too late). "Going beyond the frontier" is possible, and perhaps even desirable for some folks, but help from any kind of authority is pretty much non-existent.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:37 PM   #115
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I have a collection of planets each of which is inspired by the work of a particular author.

Summanus: A T-Type moon orbiting a gas giant (known as the Eye) which orbits a very old red star. It's low gravity which helps explain why all the truly native life is invertebrate or arthropod. Most of the human population lives on the farside of Summanus because living under the Eye has odd psychological effects that include nightmares, and the occasional psychotic break. The planet's atmosphere is organically polluted with fungal spores so that in the tropics one must wear filter masks or suffer lung infections. The planet is volcanically dead but kept alive by gigantic burrowing worms that, at the end of their lives dig upwards to die on the surface, transporting essential minerals back to the surface in the process. Parahuman races with mysterious origins now live on the world, including ones adapted for oceanic life, a nocturnal version who eat carrion, one, one that lives in symbiosis with fungus, one that has shrunk down and become less intelligent, and one that has gone all the way into becoming a quadrupedal predator. The planet is balkanized with only one actual city, near the planet's spaceport. The city is ruled by an aristocratic oligarchy who never let anyone outside their family see their faces, which are always concealed behind their opaque filter masks.

Morana: An ocean world with large oceans and high vulcanism. Between the tidal waves, volcanoes and earthquakes and the fact that the air is suffocating, almost everyone lives in a single overcrowed arcology located in the most geologically stable spot on the planet. However it's extremely rich in minerals with the mining and farming being mostly handled by robotic labour. Morana exports refined minerals, and their locally manufactured robots, the most advanced in the sector. However they have strict laws against making military robots and their robots are famous for their safety with hardwired restrictions against endangering any human and enough intelligence to avoid accidents.

NeoVirginia: An airless small world inhabited by the descendants of a cult founded by a leader who preached abandonment of sexual taboos. They have a terrible reputation among the other worlds of the sector because it's well known that they have no incest taboo, and it is imagined that sibling and parental incest is more common than it actually is. They are, however quite inbred mostly through cousin marriages, with the resulting genetic problems having been handled by the most advanced gene therapy research institution in the sector. It doesn't help their reputation with their neighbours that NeoVirginia has only three punishments for crime, the first being corporal punishment, the second being exile, and the third being execution. Thus the neighbouring worlds tend to only see criminals from NeoVirginia. NeoVirginians are fairly easy to identify offworld since they are all Off The Shelf attractive pale-skinned red-heads. It is not generally known that they have all been genetically modified to have the longest lives possible.

Harmonia: Once by far the most habitable and generally advanced world in the sector, Harmonia experienced a catastrophe that wiped out virtually all of it's population, the precise nature of which is unclear to the other worlds in the sector. However any computer system that comes into contact with the still operating computer network of Harmonia will be reconfigured to do anything it can to kill any humans it is aware of. The fact that virtually the entire population of Harmonia had brain implant computers in constant communication with the network indicates what happened to them.

Enlightenment: Another volcanic world but one with a more or less breathable atmosphere, Enlightenment was colonized by the followers of a self-improvement program that became more or less cult-like. They use a memory editing technology to remove or alter memories deemed to be deleterious to their happiness and productivity. This includes of course anything about being unhappy as members of the Way of Enlightenment.

Serendipity: An exotic planet that appears to have once had very advanced natives who disappeared, leaving only archaeological traces like the barely perceptible foundations of long gone buildings and curious-seeming circles and mazes formed by crystalline monoliths that grow out of masses of interconnected crystal that lace the planet's crust. The monoliths appear to have the ability to defend themselves with people who attempt to take samples suffering mishaps like equipment failure, electrocution, coma and psychotic breaks. But the bits of crystal that sometime calve off by themselves are a highly valuable export. Also rumour has it that some people have gained psionic powers from contact with the monoliths.

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Old 01-27-2018, 07:44 PM   #116
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

What is meant by "T-type moon"? I'm unfamiliar with that kind of classification, save the "M-type planet" phrase used to describe Earth in Star Trek.
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Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:03 PM   #117
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What is meant by "T-type moon"? I'm unfamiliar with that kind of classification, save the "M-type planet" phrase used to describe Earth in Star Trek.
Terrestrial. I meant it was nearly Earth sized. I should have just said garden world.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:22 PM   #118
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Morana sounds like the ideal place to run a variation on Doctor Who's Robots of Death storyline.
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:56 PM   #119
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Morana sounds almost like a hive world from Warhammer 40,000 with the massive arcology that is incredibly densely packed and all. Along with it being a manufacturing center.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:05 PM   #120
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I generally think that 40k levels of interstellar trade makes no economic sense (the cost of shipping any agricultural or manufactured good across interstellar distances probably exceeds any possible profit). It does make sense politically though, as making manufacturing worlds dependent on agrarian worlds (and visa versa) allows central governments potential leverage from the threat of blockades. An agrarian world without manufactured goods is nearly as screwed as a manufacturing world without food products.
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