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Old 04-16-2019, 01:50 PM   #1001
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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The central problem with this as a plot is the Gray Goo isn't relevant at all.
The Russians (or Americans or Chinese or Europeans) could have done this at any time in the prior 7 decades or so, with nuclear weapons, and didn't. Any reasons (and countermeasures) are essentially unchanged by the invention of a new kind of doomsday bomb.
The Grey Goo is smaller scale that the bomb, vastly easier to hide, and well suited to asymmetrical attacks. This is basically a spy verus spy world.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:55 PM   #1002
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This seems suspect, a LOT of manufacturing and science happens in China these days, I would expect them to do well with it.
Most nations gain benefits. China certainly gains from the environmental cleanup nanotech. But the biggest benefits to the economy go to open societies because of their openness and the options they can explore. China is politically reactionary and would focus too much on control making sure people aren't empowered.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:24 AM   #1003
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The central problem with this as a plot is the Gray Goo isn't relevant at all.
The Russians (or Americans or Chinese or Europeans) could have done this at any time in the prior 7 decades or so, with nuclear weapons, and didn't. Any reasons (and countermeasures) are essentially unchanged by the invention of a new kind of doomsday bomb.
Perhaps the supertech revolution added highly effective anti-missile defenses.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:40 AM   #1004
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Perhaps the supertech revolution added highly effective anti-missile defenses.
Then how do you deliver the grey goo?

To be a strategic revolution a weapon either needs to be much more lethal than the stuff you currently have (and nanotech is not going to beat out nuclear weapons there), able to slip past defenses that block what you currently have (changing a payload doesn't really do that) or enough cheaper opponents who couldn't afford enough to kill you before now can (not particularly an issue for nations who have already paid for enough nukes to destroy the world, which are therefore a sunk cost).

I suppose if somebody has invented nuclear dampers obsoleting nuclear weapons before the invention of grey goo, putting destroying the world back on the table could provide some new leverage, but otherwise it's a tactical change, but not really a strategic one.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:40 AM   #1005
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Then how do you deliver the grey goo?
In many different ways. As I should have made clearer this is a spy versus spy setting. The Russians have a long history of effective and deadly secret agents. Turn the congress and Supreme Court of the United States of America into grey goo, while a president of questionable integrity is in the White House, especially if it can't be traced back to you, and you've done more damage to America than George III, Hitler, and Jefferson Davis combined.

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To be a strategic revolution a weapon either needs to be much more lethal than the stuff you currently have (and nanotech is not going to beat out nuclear weapons there), able to slip past defenses that block what you currently have (changing a payload doesn't really do that) or enough cheaper opponents who couldn't afford enough to kill you before now can (not particularly an issue for nations who have already paid for enough nukes to destroy the world, which are therefore a sunk cost).
In the real world probably. In a Spy Vs. Spy Spyfy setting, it might not be the same.

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I suppose if somebody has invented nuclear dampers obsoleting nuclear weapons before the invention of grey goo, putting destroying the world back on the table could provide some new leverage, but otherwise it's a tactical change, but not really a strategic one.
Again, I should have made the issue of genre clearer. My bad.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:01 PM   #1006
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The People and the Otherkin

The people tell the story that they came from the stars. That each star is a sun, and many of those suns have worlds around them. The people also say they came on a great ship that flew from the sky of a world called "Dirt" or "past," it depends on who tells the story, to the sky of our world. They say our world was named for a place in old poems, "Arcadia" Which is funny, Arcadia was a paradise.

This is basically a reworking of a Golden Age trope. The colony ship crashed long ago. Earth was caught up in a series of wars and the colonists were forgotten presumed lost. Various parahumans were sent along on the colony ship, the various parahuman groups together are only 30% of the total population. However, as planetary society transitions from TL3 to TL4 the parahumans often find that they have advantages that offset their disadvantages. Sure, parahumans may breed more slowly and individually require more food, but they have their own advantages.

Humans call themselves the People, parahumans are called the Otherkin.

More later.
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:16 PM   #1007
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The People and the Otherkin

.
Arcadia is a fairly lush world, by many measures better than Earth. It has no continents but large numbers of archipelagos mainly in the temperate and tropical zones. There is a slightly higher portion of land to water than Earth but nearly twice as much arable land. Many areas allow multiple harvests annually, like Southern India on Earth. There are subarctic areas as well and ice bound polar isles.

Between the crash of the colony ship and conflicts among the survivors, the population stayed low for a long time. The present population is about 11 to 12 million. It's only because of past records that such a small scattered population can hold on to TL3. The few cities that exist are beginning to move to TL4 as they become more organized.

Psionic powers were known before the crash. Some individuals retain these skills. Psions are rare, charge a 10 point Unusual Background for psi. Increase that to 20 points if they have any psi powers other than Telepathy, ESP, Probability Alteration, Astral Projection, or Ergokinesis.

More Later...
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:01 PM   #1008
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The People and the Otherkin

There are several surviving groups of parahumans.

Amphibians: These folks generally live in isolated coastal communities, preferably on small islands, and predominantly work as fisher folk or sailors. The are obviously not human when people look at them but generally seen as attractive. They can't breath underwater but they can dive far deeper than even humans using TL8 diving gear. Because of their isolated communities and useful ecconomic roles they are left alone and doing well.

Flyers: These are the least human looking Otherkin. They tend to live in places near human communities but inaccessible. Mountain top eryies near human cities are favored. Their ecconomic role isn't as defined as some other groups. The stereotype is that the Flyers are couriers, messengers, and scouts. They excel at these jobs but more Flyers are shepherds and herdsmen. Their need for pasture lands for their heards can create conflict.

The Superiors: These parahumans look totally human just better. They are stronger, faster, more agile, healthier, tougher, and smarter, than normal people. They have many advantages including enhanced lifespans. They mature as quickly as normal humans but they don't start ageing until they are at 150 standard years old. Because of their many advantages these parahumans often out compete normal humans for resources and are better at passing resources on to their heirs.

Many normal humans resent this. To add to their PR problems, most Superiors act like the majority of wealthy people do in those hierarchical societies were wealth adds to status.

The Witches: These parahumans were an attempt to create psion parahumans. They were a mixed success. The witches do almost always have some psi powers, if these powers are more than minimally useful they must still pay the 10 point Unusual Background advantage cost. (Let Witches that don't want to pay the UB cost buy three to five psionic perks) But they don't have to pay the twenty point UB for exotic powers.

The Witches tend to be seen as weirdos but part of the community. Creepy annoying weirdos but OUR creepy annoying weirdos. All Witches have a form of psi-based charisma that makes them strangely loveable. The side-effect is that they love their neighbors and communities and often have profound loyalties to those they interact with.

The Witches also have extended lifespans and don't start to age until they are about 150 standard years old.

More parahumans later...
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:01 PM   #1009
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The People and the Otherkin
The Gnomes: These parahumans were designed to be starship technical help. Their small size ( 30 inches ) and bazaar pigmentation( bright blue) were designed to aid in their work. Their exotic pigmentation gives the Gnomes impressive radiation resistance. However, neither their size nor their radiation resistance has been of much use on the planet Arcadia.

Still the Gnomes have found niches. Their advantages in math skills and memory are useful. They are engineers, architects, and technicians. Their genetically programmed advantages allow them to create TL6 products. This represents extremely fine workmanship, and where the bonus might be added is a GM judgement call. Clocks, chronometers, watches, high-quality tools for any precision work, they produce. They also dominate the musical instrument market. They also maintain the remnants of the TL12 technology that came from the crashed starship.

The improving economy and the recovery of practical technical knowledge will strongly favor the Gnomes.

The Wolves: These cold adapted parahumans stay in the subartic areas of the planet. They herd musk oxen and raise cold adapted crops. They also hunt the arctic marine mammals of Arcadia and trade those for temperate and tropical products.

As normal temperatures for most folks are misery for these folks they rarely visit the temperate and tropical regions.

The Green: If the Flyers are the most non human looking parahumans the Green are the most alien parahumans. These parahumans are photosynthetic like plants. They still need food but far less than normal humans. The Green are all born female but when normal humans start ageing(50 in standard GURPS terms) the Green enter a second puberty and become males.

Culturally the Green are cliquish, clannish, and xenophobic. They are genetically designed to be more tribal and less individualistic than normal humans. The Green prefer to live in the tropics as this lets them go nude or nearly so most of the time. Between their isolationist tendencies and the tropical environments they live it, the Green normally live at a lower tech level than other groups. Again, this isn't an inherent trait, it is a side-effect of lifestyle choices.

The Green prefer to sleep in the sunlight during at least part of the day. They make up for this by being more active in the twilight hours and the night.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:39 AM   #1010
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The People and the Otherkin
There are remnants of the TL12^ technology the colonists came with on the island were the ship crashed. And in a few universities they have equipment and labs that can produced up to TL7 devices, in a few areas TL8. They have records of the later tech that was available on Earth or other advanced worlds when they crashed. They lack the means to build the tech.

As the population gets bigger and the economy developed further the functional Tech Level will rise.

There are large hospitals associated with the universities. These are supported by taxes on the population. Doctors and Nurses are civil servants and paid for through taxes. A Doctor or Nurse has at least a status of three.

All towns that can support schools are required to do so. All children must attend at least six years of school. Literacy is thus the norm in this society.

The Universities are autonomous institutions that are also paid for through taxes.

Governments vary from democracies to oligarchies. Some of each are bad. Some democracies are good. Some oligarchies are generally tolerable.

This is an extremely maritime world. Even most mountain folk have sailed the sea. PCs should be encouraged to take seamanship and similar maritime skills. Thanks to the Gnomes chronometers, navigation functions at TL6. Still the ships are mainly TL3 and a very few TL4 ships. Long oceanic voyages are still dangerous.
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