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Old 12-04-2020, 12:06 AM   #1
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default The Return of Defaultspace

The last time I was unclear so first let me precisely define what I'm calling "Defaultspace". Defaultspace is the setting in which most non-licensed sourcebooks for Space 3rd edition are set by default. To be specific, that would be the four Space Atlases, Star Demon, Flight 13, Unnight, GURPS Space Adventures, Space bestiary and Aliens. It might also include some pyramid articles. It specifically does not include Atomic Horror, Solar Patrol or any licensed property.

What we know about Defaultspace are these things:

It is very far in the future. Human colonized planets nowhere near Earth have reached their carrying capacity and there was a "Long Night" that broke up human civilization. Before humanity first developed interstellar travel there was a previous period of interstellar civilization but the only identified technological races from that time that haven't been rendered extinct or possibly ascended to become Auroras are the Engai and the Markann. And the Markann are nothing more than a rumour to humanity.

The reference tech level is probably TL 11 in the more advanced areas with backwaters like the Great Spiral Confederacy being TL 10.

Identified interstellar polities include:

The Corporate Worlds, a loose and fractious association of corporate states in Space Atlas 2. All of the worlds shown to us are human worlds.

The Federation: A tightly knit human(and parahuman) dominated representative democracy in Space Atlas 4. It is located on the outer edge of the Orion arm bordering the expanse between the Orion and Perseus arms, at least 3,000 light years away from Sol's position not so far from the inner edge. It is human dominated to the point hat "human" is actually in the name of two of the major parties. Aliens are a tiny minority on Federation worlds.

The Phoenix Domain. Neighbour to the Federation is the Phoenix Domain. Treat as an Empire.

The Great Spiral Confederacy. Occupying a remote extra galactic cluster with a great night sky view, the Confederacy is treated as an Alliance.

The...?Alliance A more heterogenous and probably larger mutual defense and trade association that includes many different species from the Aliens book. Treat as an Alliance. Possibly includes the Old Frontiers sector from Space Atlas 1.

The Kaa Empire. Probably the largest non-human ruled interstellar society in known space and the biggest threat to the ?Alliance. Treat as an Empire.

The Ilshani Domination. An aggressive alien society that threatens both the Federation and the Phoenix Domain

Questions:

Are there products I've overlooked that fit into the setting?

What the heck is the proper name of the ?Alliance? Or rarther what should it be?

Last edited by David Johnston2; 12-07-2020 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:35 AM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The last time I was unclear so first let me precisely define what I'm calling "D
The tech level is late 10^ for humans and their rivals and associates. Starships use fusion powerplants (or fission if they're looking for something cheaper and dirtier). While TL 8 has been changed since 3rd edition, TL 10 is mostly the same between editions. They are still using fusion power, blasters and X-Ray Lasers. They aren't yet using forcefields, nanotechnology, or antimatter reactors. e?
Are you using 4e? Blasters and X-ray lasers are solidly TL11 in (default) 4e.

In the change to 4e TL8 was mostly turned into TL9 and much of what was TL9 was squished into TL10.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:48 AM   #3
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Are you using 4e? Blasters and X-ray lasers are solidly TL11 in (default) 4e.

In the change to 4e TL8 was mostly turned into TL9 and much of what was TL9 was squished into TL10.
You are right. OK, so make it TL 11...but early TL 11 that isn't making much use of anti-matter.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:14 PM   #4
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

You might want to use the tech framework for the Martians (and other aliens) from GURPS Mars Attacks, which is basically "TL10^, plus higher TL stuff if the GM thinks it would be cool."

In 4e, TL10 is basically the highest TL where it doesn't require a great deal of thought on the GM's part to stop the PCs from breaking the setting.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:12 PM   #5
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
You might want to use the tech framework for the Martians (and other aliens) from GURPS Mars Attacks, which is basically "TL10^, plus higher TL stuff if the GM thinks it would be cool."

In 4e, TL10 is basically the highest TL where it doesn't require a great deal of thought on the GM's part to stop the PCs from breaking the setting.
Negatory. The Martians anomalous technology is mostly inserted as plot devices. Their new bizarre tool poses a problem for the protagonists. Once they figure out how to neutralize the problem, the tool is simply forgotten, never seen again. That's fine for NPC foes. It's not suitable for player characters.
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:12 PM   #6
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

Now, here's a challenging question for someone who forgot his high school geometry. What's the curvature of the Orion arm? It has a diameter of 1100 parsecs, give or take. GURPS Space sectors are 40 by 32 by 32 parsecs. At the center of the Orion Arm that works out to 34 sectors tall. But the Phoenix and Saga sectors are at the rimward edge of the Arm. Beyond them is a 2,000 parsec expanse filled with nothing but tiny red suns Above the Phoenix Sector is an unexplored area of space occupied by the Malakithi, including the Ilshani Domination although they don't seem to be the only Malakith nation. Below is terra incognita but it's likely that the Federation and the Domain extend downwards to some extent as well as coreward, but probably control.

The question is, how do they stack? 17 sectors up, from Phoenix's position you are going to be outside the Orion Arm because it curved away from you. So does that mean 8 sectors up only roughly half of the sector is inside the Arm?
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:19 AM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

Recent measurements have revealed that the Orion Arm is 1000 ly tall, 3000 ly wide, and 20,000 ly long, so it is roughly 300 pc by 900 pc by 6,000 pc (the galactic arms are quite flat). That would give it ~42,000 sectors of volume. At 40 pc by 32 pc by 32 pc, each sector possess a volume of ~1.42 million cubic ly and contains roughly 5400 stars grouped into roughly 3800 systems.

In essence, major interstellar civilizations can be contained in a single sector. If Sol is an average system, and there is no reason really to think otherwise right now, a sector will average ~30,400 planets and ~7600 debris belts, giving unbelievable material wealth to an interstellar civilization that controlled a single sector. If the Sol System ends up being the benchmark, it will also likely end up with more major moons and dwarf planets than planets (at least according to the definitions of Space).
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Old 12-08-2020, 09:28 AM   #8
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post

Sol is an average system, and there is no reason really to think otherwise right now, .
In a literal sense of "average" where it meant that the majority of star systems is like Sol the answer is "heck no!".

From earlier attempts at assessing such things you'd be lucky to get the 2 dozen worlds of the Gurps Space sector format even if you included terraformable worlds. You might only have circa 100-200 candidate stars for age and melalicity. There's not much resaon to go to another system to get gas gisnts and iceballs.
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Old 12-08-2020, 10:43 AM   #9
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Recent measurements have revealed that the Orion Arm is 1000 ly tall, 3000 ly wide, and 20,000 ly long, so it is roughly 300 pc by 900 pc by 6,000 pc (the galactic arms are quite flat). That would give it ~42,000 sectors of volume. At 40 pc by 32 pc by 32 pc, each sector possess a volume of ~1.42 million cubic ly and contains roughly 5400 stars grouped into roughly 3800 systems.

In essence, major interstellar civilizations can be contained in a single sector. If Sol is an average system, and there is no reason really to think otherwise right now, a sector will average ~30,400 planets and ~7600 debris belts, giving unbelievable material wealth to an interstellar civilization that controlled a single sector. If the Sol System ends up being the benchmark, it will also likely end up with more major moons and dwarf planets than planets (at least according to the definitions of Space).
Sol is definitely not a average system.. 70% of stars are garbage red dwarfs (There are a few red dwarfs that are large enough to have some potential). Over 99% of planets are garbage rocks. Have you ever rolled up a set of totally random systems? it's a tedious and unrewarding exercise. With cheap and easy FTL there would be no reason not to dismiss them at first glance unless they happened to be in the same system as, or conveniently situated between actually appealing locations. The Space Atlases with their couple of dozen interesting locations, plus maybe another dozen GM added locations are reasonable enough to work with. The Sol sector would probably have been much intensively developed due to primitive interstellar travel if they weren't all bombed to oblivion during the Fall of the Long Night, but the Sol sector is on the opposite side of the Arm from the 3 Atlases that are set in the Arm.

Still thanks for giving me the accurate dimensions. I suppose it would be simpler just to assume that the edge of the arm is more or less flat.
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:02 PM   #10
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: The Return of Defaultspace

In the case of Sol, the number of planets and debris fields in the system may be average, and we have to presume that they are until we have the capability to detect our system from a distance. In the case of other systems, TRAPPIST-1 shows that you can have 7 planets within 0.4 AU of a M-class star, so there is no particular reason to think that the systems of M-class stars are worthless (it even has a potentially habitable planet in its third orbit). We have been unable to use Space to represent real life systems for a while, as planets with orbital seperations of less than 0.01 AU seem quite common.
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