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Old 08-16-2021, 11:48 AM   #41
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Relatedly, where do you think I should put it (other than 'on Mars')? Assume a relatively small population at first (about 300 by 2026), with the intention of expanding significantly later on.
Depends on what you want to do with the colony. If a space elevator is envisioned, building in the Tharsis region (perhaps close to Arsia Mons) may be better. Water is easier to find in the Hellas Basin or near the poles. Launching from the equator is preferable to farther north or south. If terraforming is in the future, then avoiding the northern lowlands or Hellas basin is probably for the best.
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Old 08-18-2021, 07:49 AM   #42
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

Something else that I've been working on:

William Yeats Butler, 2023

Age: 31

Attributes

ST 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 11 [10]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 10; Will 13; Per 13; FP 12 [3]

Social Background

Languages: English (Native) [0]; Sindarin (Broken) [2]; Quenya (Broken) [2]; Irari (None/Broken) [1].

TL: 8^

Cultural Familiarity: 21st century Western [0].

Subtotal: 98


Advantages

Contact (Business; Skill 15; Usually Reliable; available on 12 or less) [8]
Psionic Aptitude [5]
Magic wand (Gadget: Psi Talent 1 [10]; Psi Adept 3 (Space, Time, Material) [30]; Breakable (DR5, -15%, SM-4, -15%); Can be stolen by ST (Will not immediately work for thief) -15%) [22]

Cyberneticist Talent 2 [10]

Perks

Dabbler (Current Affairs: Business 10, Headline News 10, Paranormal 11, Politics 10, Pop Culture 10, Science & Technology 11). [1]
Dabbler (Social skills: Body Language 9, Carousing 9, Diplomacy 9, Savoir-Faire (High Society) 10, Sex Appeal 9). [1]
Equipment Bond (Magic wand). [1]
Signature Gear (Magic wand). [1]
Technobabble (Computer Programming). [1]

Subtotal: 50


Disadvantages

Bad Sight (Nearsighted; Mitigator: Glasses, -60%) [-10]
Code of Honor (Professional) [-5]
Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]
Post-Combat Shakes (12) [-5]
Sense of Duty (Friends) [-5]

Quirks

Always has to have pepperoni on his pizza. [-1]
Cosplayer. [-1]
Fantasy nerd. [-1]
Likes cats. [-1]
Slightly out of shape. [-1]

Subtotal: -40


Features

Fortune-Telling (Western Astrology) and Occultism are complementary skills of Ritual Magic (Butlerian Books). [0]


Skills

Artist (Costumes & Props)/TL8 [IQ/H] [2] 12
Carpentry [IQ/E] [1] 13
Computer Operation/TL8 [IQ/E] [2] 16**
Computer Programming/TL8 [IQ/H] [4] 15**
Computer Programming (AI)/TL8 [IQ/H] [2] 14**
Detect Lies [Per/H] [1] 11
Electronics Operation (Psychotronics)/TL8^ [IQ/A] [1] 12
Electronics Repair (Computers)/TL8^ [IQ/A] [1] 14**
Electronics Repair (Psychotronics)/TL8^ [IQ/A] [1] 12
Engineer (Psychotronics)/TL8^ [IQ/H] [1] 11
Expert Skill (Computer Security)/TL8^ [IQ/H] [1] 13**
First Aid/TL8 [IQ/E] [1] 13
Force Sabre [DX/A] [1] 10
Fortune-Telling (Western Astrology) [IQ/A] [1] 12
Housekeeping [IQ/E] [1] 13
Lifting [HT/A] [1] 10
Literature (Fantasy) [IQ/A] [2] 13
Mathematics (Applied)/TL8^ [IQ/H] [4] 13
Occultism [IQ/A] [2] 13
Professional Skill (Video Game Designer) [IQ/A] [4] 14
Running [HT/A] [1] 10
Sewing/TL8 [DX/E] [1] 11
Swimming [HT/E] [1] 11
Writing [IQ/A] [3] 13

Ritual Magic (Butlerian Books) [IQ/VH] [2] 12*
Book of Daybreak [IQ/VH] [1] 11*
Book of Nightfall [IQ/VH] [1] 11*

*Includes +1 from Psi Talent.
**Includes +2 from Cyberneticist Talent.

Subtotal: 44

Techniques

Accelerated Healing II (H) Book of Daybreak-3 [0] 8
Aura Reading IV (H) Book of Daybreak-1 [0] 10
EK/PK Shield VII (H) Book of Daybreak-5 [6] 11
Flash I (H) Book of Daybreak-2 [0] 9
Prognostication IV (H) Book of Daybreak-3 [0] 8
True Sight II (H) Book of Daybreak-2 [0] 9
Coincidence (H) Book of Daybreak-3 [0] 8

Astral Sword III (H) Book of Nightfall-2 [0] 9
Photorefraction VI (H) Book of Nightfall-3 [4] 11
Mind Shield V (H) Book of Nightfall-2 [3] 11
Retrocognition IV (H) Book of Nightfall-4 [0] 7
Steal Life I (H) Book of Nightfall-2 [0] 9
Hologram X (H) Book of Nightfall-3 [0] 8
Curse IV (H) Book of Nightfall-2 [0] 9

Subtotal: 13

Total: 165


Equipment

Nice clothes
Velcro shoes
Magic wand (psychotronic generator, Psi Adept)
Fencing stun baton
Wallet, keys, etc.

Notes

'Computer Hacking' functionally does not exist as a single skill in this setting, and thus is replaced in the Cyberneticist Talent with 'Expert Skill (Computer Security).'

'Technobabble' is similar to Thaumatological Doublespeak (Magical Styles p33), but for regular technical skills (and without magical effects). In any social situation where knowing about computers is helpful, he can use his Computer Programming skill as Fast-Talk, or as any other Influence skill that the GM agrees would apply (generally this would not cover Intimidation, but there are circumstances where even that would apply).

Bill Butler (who admits to no middle name if he can avoid it) is a nerd living the dream, and he knows it. The only part of the dream that he's not living is having a (preferably sexy) girlfriend who genuinely likes him, and he's working on that. Prognostication should be quite useful for it (he hopes) - he just needs to determine the right questions to ask. So far, it's lead him to some self-help books on developing social skills, as well as pushing him to improve his strength and physical fitness (though he was already healthy, he used to be ST 9 and Unfit, and had no points in Lifting, Running, or Swimming). He is not really an adventurer at this point in his life, though he could be one later (or could fall into the 'in over his head, but still useful' category).

His employer serves as a Business Contact, largely because the boss knows that Bill is a moneymaker.

Bill is pretty sure that his style of ritual psi has more Books to it, though he isn't clear on how many. The ones he knows of are the Book of Noon (which includes Pyrokinesis and an uncertain number of others), and the Book of Midnight (which includes Cryokinesis, Steal Power, and an uncertain number of others). His skills in Fortune-Telling (Western Astrology) and Occultism predate his gaining powers, as he learned them for gaming and designing games.

The Roman numerals under the various ritual psi techniques are equal to the level of the corresponding ability, to ease accounting. Coincidence isn't given a numeral due to what the levels of that advantage mean. 'EK/PK Shield' means a shield that protects against both at the same level.

His 'magic wand' is a foot-long metal rod covered in a layer of mokume-gane, to look like it's made of wood (if he were willing to hit people with it, it would do damage as a baton). He and his co-workers studied the Irari public archive very carefully before building a catalyst machine, and later other tools (generally taking extra time and checking with each other to try to catch any errors, rather than trying to rush in as many others did).

Bill isn't far enough along in his fencing practice to have the Style Familiarity perk, but he's working on it. If forced into combat at this point in his life, he will tend to hold the wand in one hand and the stun baton in the other, and hope very hard that he doesn't screw up too badly (and that someone will help him). The class he's taking is taught by an Irari biophysicist at the nearby University of Toronto, who is studying how to adapt Irari martial arts to human body mechanics (there are other Irari biophysicists who are studying how to adapt human martial arts to Irari body mechanics, but they aren't relevant to Bill's life at the moment). This particular style is adapted from one designed for use by Irari who cannot fly, but can still use at least one wing as an arm. Because of this, the style is less developed than one might think.

Irari Force-fencing (Human-adapted), 3 points

Skills: Brawling; Force Sabre.
Techniques: Counterattack (Force Sabre); Disarming; Force Sabre Art; Force Sabre Sport; Retain Weapon; Targeted Attack (Force Sabre Swing/Arm); Targeted Attack (Force Sabre Swing/Leg); Targeted Attack (Force Sabre Swing/Neck); Targeted Attack (Force Sabre Thrust/Chest).
Perks: Grip Mastery (Force Sabre); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Force Sabre); Weapon Bond.

Optional Traits
Advantages: Fit; Psi Talents.
Skills: Armoury (Force Weapons); Climbing; Fast-Draw (Force Sabre); Force Knife; Force Main-Gauche; Jumping; Main-Gauche; Shield (Force).


Thoughts?
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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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Old 03-06-2022, 04:27 PM   #43
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

Common flying saucer designs

Irari government saucers in the modern era commonly resemble variants of United Planets Cruiser C-57D from Forbidden Planet; most vary in the appearance of the upper dome and external modules, if any, the landing systems, and the arrangement of the interior; none look exactly like the C-57D, of course. Civilian models come in a wider variety, though many do bare at least a 'child's drawing' level of resemblance to it. Size varies significantly, the smallest crewed saucer being about four metres (13 feet/SM+2) in diameter, and the largest being 117 m (385 ft/SM+11). The British are currently using Irari designs with modifications to make them more human-friendly. Irari cloaking devices are too advanced for other Earth polities - the version in the public archive is relatively easy for modern Irari sensors to penetrate, and does not scale down well for the level of effectiveness required. A common British transport, cargo, and civilian design greatly resembles the British Rail flying saucer (yes, really) from the 1970s.

Memer-and-Saret saucers, not being designed for atmosphere, have an outer surface like Borg cubes/spheres, and are shaped roughly like tuna cans, some of which bulge slightly in places. The largest the Irari have seen was 123 m (404 ft/SM+11) wide, and the smallest (of the non-atmospheric designs) was 47 m (154 ft/SM+8). The one small Memer-and-Saret saucer that the Irari have encountered that was designed for atmospheric entry and egress vaguely resembled the Jupiter II from the original Lost in Space in both size and shape, though without the scanner dome on top. Memer-and-Saret pirate vehicles seem to have cloaking devices, which are believed to consume a great deal of power.

The unknown-race pirates' saucer looked like it was built out of about a dozen elongated, wedge-shaped modules that were painted or otherwise decorated and accessorized by different people at different times. It was 96 m (315 ft/SM+10) in diameter. The vessel's cloaking device seemed to require significant distance to function, as it blurred and faded, rather than removed, the vehicle's signal return (including optical).

Earth has a fairly wide variety of saucer designs, as the various nations try to determine what works best for their needs. An early stopgap was the SpaceX Dragon 3: An improved Dragon 2 command module embedded in a 9 m (30 ft/SM+4) diameter saucer-shaped service module (using a modular TL(6+1)^ saucer design that the Irari developed in the 1890s CE, and still sometimes use now); the Boeing Starliner, LockMart Orion, HAL Gaganyaan, and RSC Energia Orel use a similar arrangement, though with varying types of saucer-module. The PRC chose a different path, carefully studying the public archive (and making use of both spies and political pressure to attempt to obtain access to the British-only database), until they could develop 'fully understood' vehicles for the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force, which had effectively absorbed the CMSA (after a few rounds of bureaucratic dueling in Beijing). By that time, the EU nations began to make significant use of vaguely Raumpatrouille Orion-style saucers, which are also used by the ISP. The USSF use vessels resembling the USS Enterprise saucers from ST TOS/TMP. A common American-made civilian saucer introduced in 2026 is the Cessna YT-1300 (basically the Millenium Falcon, because Textron, who own Cessna, bought the license).

All of these spacecraft make use of psychotronic thermal energy converters, and thus do not need huge radiators.


In terms of the Spacecraft Statistics system from the GURPS Spaceships series, 'Front Hull' will tend to be the uppermost section on a flying saucer, 'Central Hull' the middle (often the widest part), and 'Rear Hull' the lower section (whether that covers several decks, or the uninhabitable section below the only deck). In the case of saucers that were never intended to land, such as many of the larger Memer-and-Saret vehicles, 'upper' and 'lower' are somewhat abstract.



Thoughts?
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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.

Last edited by Prince Charon; 03-08-2022 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 05-28-2022, 03:53 PM   #44
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

This isn't a comicbook setting, but given how a few people act in a world without apparent powers, would-be 'superheroes' (and some 'supervillains') are quite likely in a world that suddenly does have them. It's just that most will either have to be very careful to avoid charges of vigilantism and related crimes, be arrested quickly for doing said crimes, be shot and probably killed by criminals and/or the police, or have some pretty significant (and rare) advantages, like this guy (who also has a really high point-cost for this setting):

'Superboy' (Conner Elias), 2023

Age: 38 (effectively 16)

Attributes

ST 10 (19/80) [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 10 [0]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 10; Will 14 [10]; Per 13 [5]; FP 20 [30]
Basic Lift: 20 lbs (72/1,280 lbs)

Thrust: 1d-2 (3d+1/9d); Swing: 1d (2d-1/11d)

Judo Parry: 8

Basic Speed: 5.25; Move: 5; Dodge: 8
Air Move: 4/65
Astral Move: 6

Social Background

Languages: English (Native) [0]; Spanish (Accented) [4]; Latin (Broken/Accented) [3]; 'Kryptonian' (Broken) [2].

TL: 8, (6+3)^

Cultural Familiarity: 21st century Western [0]; 'Kryptonian' [1].

Subtotal: 115


Advantages

Handsome [12]
Reputation (Hero and probable victim of police brutality; Chicago residents, all the time) +2 [5]
Voice [10]

Astral Form (Cross-World Communication, +10%; Barrier Breaking, +60%) [120]
Reawakened [10]
Tactile Telekinesis! (Telekinetic Control; Super-Effort, +300%; Melee Atack, C, -30%) 9/70 [266]
Unaging [5]
Regeneration (Very Fast; FP Only, +0%; Special Recharge: Solar-powered, -70%; Psionic, -10%) [20]

Perks

Body Discipline (Judo Art). [1]
Dabbler ('Kryptonian': Electronics Repair (Psychotronics)/TL(6+3)^ 8, Engineer (Psychotronics)/TL(6+3)^ 8, History (Kryptonian) 8, Religious Ritual (Raoism) 7, Theology (Raoism) 7). [1]
Special Exercises (FP can exceed HP by 100%). [1]
Skill Adaptation (Telekinetic Control based on Will). [1]
Style Familiarity (Torquasm Rao). [1]
Style Familiarity (Torquasm Vo). [1]

Subtotal: 454


Disadvantages

Code of Honor (Heroic) [-10]
Compulsive Crimefighting (9) [-15]
Delusion ('I am Superboy!') [-10]
Enemies (Unknown: Villain of the week; Hunter; Less powerful; 9 or less) [-10]
Enemy (Chicago PD; Hunter; Large organization; 6 or less) [-15]
Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]
Partial Amnesia [-10]
Reputation (Crazy, dangerous vigilante; Chicago police and criminals, all the time) -3 [-5]

Quirks

Distinctive blue eyes. [-1]
Lapsed Catholic. [-1]
Mentally sixteen, though somewhat mature for that age. [-1]
Out-of-date slanguage (1990s teen). [-1]
Reflexively becomes visible when using Tactile Telekinesis. [-1]

Subtotal: -90


Features


Skills

Area Knowledge (Chicago) [IQ/E] [2] 13
Autohypnosis [Will/H] [1] 12
Bicycling [DX/E] [1] 11
Computer Operation/TL8 [IQ/E] [1] 12
Electronics Operation (Media)/TL8 [IQ/A] [1] 11
Electronics Operation (Psychotronics)/TL(6+3)^ [IQ/A] [1] 11
Games (Baseball) [IQ/E] [1] 12
Hobby Skill (DC comics) [IQ/E] [2] 13
Judo Art [DX/H] [4] 11
Mathematics (Applied)/TL(6+3)^ [IQ/H] [1] 10
Meditation [Will/H] [1] 12
Mental Strength [Will/E] [4] 16
Mind Block [Will/A] [2] 14
Mind Sense [Per/A] [1] 12
Photography/TL8 [IQ/A] [1] 11
Religious Ritual (Catholic) [IQ/H] [1] 10
Sports (Baseball) [DX/A] [1] 10
Swimming [HT/E] [1] 10
Theology (Catholic) [IQ/H] [1] 10

Astral Movement [DX/H] [4] 11
Astral Travel [IQ/H] [4] 12
Telekinetic Control [Will/VH] [12] 12*

*Includes -3 from crossing the astral barrier.

Techniques

Judo (A) Judo Art-3 [2] 10

Astral Crossing (H) Astral Travel-8 [6] 9

'Telescopic X-Ray Vision' (H) Telekinetic Control-3 [4] 12
'Heat Vision' (H) Telekinetic Control-5 [5] 11
'Freezing Breath' (H) Telekinetic Control-5 [6] 12

Subtotal: 71

Total: 550


Notes

(Since it probably needs to be said, Conner's backstory is not a reference to anyone specific, and as I've been working on the character for over a year, not anything recent; it's a mix of a variety of incidents that happened at different times in the 1990s and 2000s, in various US cities including Chicago and NYC.)

Astral Form is 'Astral Travel 6' for those who have lost their physical body (or never had one); 'Projection, -50%' is replaced by 'Always On, -50%.' 'Barrier Breaking' as an enhancement changes 'Substantial Communication, +40%' to 'Affects Substantial, +100%.' 'Cross-World Communication' as an enhancement allows one to become visible and audible at will with no roll, but does not require one to be.

'Villain of the week' is a special case of 'Unknown Enemy' that has been discussed in various places on the forums. The Chicago PD's low frequency of appearance is largely because he's rarely still there by the time they arrive, or they're there but don't have the opportunity to do anything to him. He has more disadvantages than I'd expected, but they make sense with his backstory and situation.

The son of a mostly-Hispanic father and a mostly-Irish mother, Conner was a true child of the American Melting Pot. When he was sixteen, a bigotted cop saw a group of teenage boys (including Conner) who were a little too tan and speaking Spanish in the mostly-white, upscale neighborhood where the Elias family lived. The cop chose to confront them in a hostile manner, which understandably made them nervous; the cop took that as a sign that they were up to no good and lying about one of them living nearby. Thus the confrontation escalated, the kids got scared and tried to run, and the cop started shooting. Conner had been in a coma since then, and was exposed to a flawed catalyst machine in late 2021, in a desperate attempt by his parents to wake him up; instead, he manifested Astral and Psychokinetic abilities. His body died later due to the police using an experimental astral barrier-field generator (Psi-Tech p18) in his hospital room in an attempt to determine whether he was indeed the Superboy, and if so, to trap him - this item was based on Experimental Gormellian devices, included in public database as the Irari did not consider them a threat. The political backlash from this (including national attention and Presidential commentary) has made the city government extremely reluctant to try anything like this again, and has severely impeded the CPD's ability to do anything serious about him, much to their resentment.

If Chicago's police department had been less blatantly corrupt and racist, 'Superboy' would likely have been rather less successful with the public, if he got into this state at all. Even then, if the police had a reliable way to contain him, he wouldn't still be at large (trapping an unwilling spirit with strong PK in an 'astral cage' is very tricky, even if you have one that works). His success is unfortunately a factor in encouraging others, most of whom are less capable of helping people, more vulnerable to bullets, and lack his ability to escape.

His astral body's default form was originally quite close to his idealized self-image, which is how he was identified. Since his body's death, the look has gradually become a mix of his own at sixteen and that of Dean Cain at around sixteen (apart from the blue eyes, which remind people of Christopher Reeve). In both cases, he appears to wear red boots, blue jeans, a blue Superman t-shirt, and a red leather jacket with the S-shield on the back. Vocally, he sounds more like a young Tom Welling or Dean Cain than like his pre-coma self. His Unaging is a side effect of being an astral entity. In terms of abilities, he's mostly like the Superboy in the comics of the 1990s and early 2000s, with some elements of 'Superman, when he was a boy.'

A lot of criminals (including some of the cops) tend to assume that because this Superboy is less active at night, and has admitted in interviews that he is solar-powered, that he isn't dangerous at night, or in locations cut off from the sun. This is not true. He's less powerful that way, but he can still act. He's just limited to his FP recovering at ten minutes per point, instead of one second per point.

His martial arts skills make use of discussions in the Kryptonian Martial Arts thread. Judo being a Technique of Judo Art is a houserule from PK's site (scroll down a bit, there).

His 'Vision' and 'Breath' techniques were mainly eyeballed out rather than precicely calculated. 'Telescopic X-Ray Vision' is Extra-Sensory Awareness using PK feedback (which is to say, a very low psychokinetic pressure is cast over a wide area, and his mind builds a three-dimensional map of areas of resistance), with 'Increased Range,' 'Penetrating,' and 'Nuisance Effect, sensed by touch at Per-7.' 'Heat Vision' is Pyrokinesis 9 with 'Nuisance Effect (red glow at eyes and target).' 'Freezing Breath' is Cryokinesis 9 with 'Nuisance Effect (Must blow at target).'

Due to his high point-cost, I suggest that in this setting, Conner should not be used as a PC if he appears at all. He could be a powerful ally, a weird patron, or a dangerous complication in an adventure, or depending on how the party operates, even an Enemy.

The Template 'Unexpected Psi' from GURPS Psis (p19, boxed text) was used in making him, though of course he doesn't totally fit within it.


Thoughts?
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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:09 AM   #45
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

Probably complete, unless someone has suggestions that need to go in:

Arsia Mons colony, Mars, 2026

Population: ~300 (Search -2)

Physical and Magical Environment
Terrain: Rock Planet, Mountains, Sealed; partly Underground.
Appearance: Attractive
Hygiene: +1
Mana: None

Culture and Economy
Language: English, various others
Literacy: Native
Tech Level: 8^, (6+3)^
Wealth: Comfortable
Status: 0-6

Political Environment
Government: Colony
Control Rating: 4 (See Notes)
Corruption: 0 (See Notes)
Military Resources: $1,000,000
Defense Bonus: +6

Notes

The international colony at Arsia Mons is a combination scientific outpost, exploratory basecamp, and experimental community intended to determine what a larger and more permanent colony like this will need; what Walt Disney might have called an Experimental Prototype Community On Mars (though the general CR is lower than what he had planned for EPCOT). The listed CR is high because Mars is not very inhabitable, and a lot of tasks must be done right (and systems not interfered with) to keep everyone alive. The effective CR for anything that does not affect the survival of the colony is closer to 3. The Corruption level is also distorted by this, being 0 on matters pertaining to survival, and -1 otherwise.

The colony is governed by an international council consisting of representatives of most of the Great Powers (China has their own, separate colony) and a few lesser-but-wealthy powers that have space programs. The current Chairwoman is from Pakistan, the position being held on a yearly rotation between the members. The current size is temporary, as the intention is to expand in order to test larger colony structures. Thus many buildings are mostly empty, but include all of what a community would need - not only residences, supply storage, and administration, but businesses, banks, farms, factories, entertainment, and so on. While most of the physical labour is done by robots, there are still more human construction-workers per capita than one might expect of a space colony. (Rumours that the colony already has prostitutes are officially denied.)

There are a number of smaller outposts nearby, generally no more than a few hours drive away, with populations of between 6 and 60, and various purposes, such as prospecting, surveying, more farms and factories, et cetra. Most are temporary structures.


Thoughts?
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Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.

Last edited by Prince Charon; 01-14-2023 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 07-31-2022, 10:33 AM   #46
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
The colony is governed by an international council consisting of representatives of most of the Great Powers (China has their own, separate colony) and a few lesser-but-wealthy powers that have space programs.
Unless global politics have been driven topsy-turvy, Russia's probably not there for the same reasons they announced withdrawal from the ISS this week.
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Old 08-01-2022, 05:32 PM   #47
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Unless global politics have been driven topsy-turvy, Russia's probably not there for the same reasons they announced withdrawal from the ISS this week.
The point of divergence from our history is in 2021 (probably early in the year), well before the situation leading to that kicked off. They have other priorities, and need more time to sound out the new arrangements within the Great Powers, and the changes to their internal situation.
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Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

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Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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Old 11-05-2022, 05:09 PM   #48
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

Psionics and the Law: Uncontrollable Abilities

This will probably be a series of posts, but psi abilities that go off against the users' wishes seem like a good place to start. On Irar, the standard is that anyone who possesses an Uncontrollable psi ability that a reasonable person would expect to be harmful to self or others must carry a psychotronic device (supplied at government expense, as long as you aren't found to have destroyed or 'lost' a previous one intentionally) which provides control or suppresses that ability; they are also offered training or psychological help (again, at government expense if not abused) to train in control (buy off the limitation). Due to cost, the device is rarely designed to suppress all use of the ability, and often needs work to adapt to the wearer (the more narrowly-specialized a device is, the cheaper it tends to be, and 'Mitigator for one limitation on one ability, and must be attuned to the user in order to work right' is really quite narrow). Laws basically like this have been adopted by the UK, the USA, Japan, and many other nations, though the details often differ.

Damage caused by an Uncontrollable ability that the user appears to have been unaware of will generally be ruled accidental, as will damage occurring despite the user having taken reasonable precautions (though what defines 'reasonable' varies by nation, and sometimes by locality within a nation). Damage cause by someone sabotaging another person's control methods will often be considered the responsibility of the saboteur, unless politicians get too involved, in which case the results vary wildly from case to case.

Some countries on Earth have begun using the psi drug Reminder (link to Psi Drugs article) to suppress psi abilities (some limiting it to those with Uncontrollable abilities, or criminals, some just trying to suppress psi in general), despite the long-term side effects being unknown. Others are not using it for this, or perhaps at all, because of the unknown long-term effects, and the availability of safe and reliable mitigating devices.

All this took time to implement, of course, and even as late as 2023, some legislatures were still arguing about what to do and how to do it. Often, laws were passed only after some incident or incidents got too much attention.


Thoughts?

(Not completely satisfied with this, but I'm not sure what else to add that belongs in this article.)
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 11-09-2022 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 11-05-2022, 05:24 PM   #49
johndallman
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
. . . anyone who possesses an Uncontrollable psi ability that a reasonable person would expect to be harmful to self or others must carry a psychotronic device (supplied at government expense, as long as you aren't found to have destroyed or 'lost' a previous one intentionally) which provides control or suppresses that ability . . .
If these can be incorporated into smartphones, lots of people who don't need them will nonetheless carry them. The street-credibility appeal of "I have dangerously uncontrollable psi powers" among young men will be huge.
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Old 11-06-2022, 03:01 AM   #50
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Default Re: [Psi/Space] Irar, the Jewel in the British Crown

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Psionics and the Law: Uncontrollable Abilities

This will probably be a series of posts, but psi abilities that go off against the users' wishes seem like a good place to start. On Irar, the standard is that anyone who possesses an Uncontrollable psi ability that a reasonable person would expect to be harmful to self or others must carry a psychotronic device (supplied at government expense, as long as you aren't found to have destroyed or 'lost' a previous one intentionally) which provides control or suppresses that ability; they are also offered training or psychological help (again, at government expense if not abused) to train in control (buy off the limitation). Laws basically like this have been adopted by the UK, the USA, Japan, and many other nations, though the details often differ.
Hmm. I'm not sure how utopian/light-hearted this setting was expected to be. The laws adopted by the Earth nations might well say that, but it sounds a little utopian for that to be necessarily how it works in practice.

At the risk of getting close to real-life politics, if it went anything like normal mental health services, in practice it might be psychotronic suppressors straight away, thus getting the immediate risk out of the way, and training some time, maybe, in theory, with a waiting list several years long. (Especially if the Conservative Party were still in government at the time). Though maybe if the UK was striking it really rich due to the alien technology, they might be this lavish!

This might be useful for plots - it would provide an excuse for a character to have Uncontrollable psi abilities and have been unable to get training yet and thus be able to use them only by disabling her suppressor at the risk of Uncontrollable happening. (Not sure off-hand how you'd stat an ability that can be either off or Uncontrollable).
It also seems likely that both governments (e.g. military) and private companies would run schemes where they'd provide private training for free to psis who signed up to work for them - again providing plot.

The USA providing free anything seems even less likely on the face of it :-D But they might splash out for this if they really wanted more psis - especially since the UK has access to better psychotronics than them so the USA might be in danger of getting left behind on psis.


In a more utopian scenario where the training genuinely is readily available to anyone who needs it, if a PC wanted their character to have Uncontrollable abilities (e.g. for reasons of cheap) they might just be a novice psi who'd only just started lessons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Some countries on Earth have begun using the psi drug Reminder (link to Psi Drugs article) to suppress psi abilities (some limiting it to those with Uncontrollable abilities, or criminals, some just trying to suppress psi in general), despite the long-term side effects being unknown. Others are not using it for this, or perhaps at all, because of the unknown long-term effects, and the availability of safe and reliable mitigating devices.
Copied here for convenience:
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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
* Reminder (not from the book) is a Gormel-native drug often used on prisoners, which in hominins grants Eidetic Memory for the duration of effect, and a +1 bonus to IQ skills that do not involve abstract thinking, but also gives a -2 penalty to skills that do involve abstract thinking, and a -4 penalty to all psi skills
Well - ouch. Yes, it sounds like there'd certainly be trouble if any government tried to use that in general, especially if there was any attempt to give it to under-18s. What did you mean by "abstract thinking", specifically? Imagination? Generalising from specific things? Or something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
If these can be incorporated into smartphones, lots of people who don't need them will nonetheless carry them. The street-credibility appeal of "I have dangerously uncontrollable psi powers" among young men will be huge.
I hadn't thought of this, this is hilarious :-D and sounds like something that might happen. Possibly even more so if it is a collar or wristband or something more obvious and distinctive than a smartphone. And heavy metal bands might wear fake psi-suppressors on stage for shock value.
Quote:
We have to wear these because the government fears our powers of ROCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!
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