Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Traveller

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-21-2015, 09:43 AM   #551
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
Close emotional relationships would be the antithesis of such a breeding program, and the dispersal of an Imperial wide culture, as such ties would tend to keep families together. Such familial bonding would lead to the rise of regional family powers, concentrating power at the expense of wider, Imperial goals.

I won't say that such regional power groups are unknown, or not part of a possible Traveller universe. I don't see a breeding program with the (side effect?) of emotionally stable, family oriented people leading to those people giving their overall efforts to the government/society rather than their own family.

I see a breeding program more along the lines of the one in Dune. Whatever the goal might be in a TU, such a program would likely be accomplished as in that book, with concubines, illicit trysts, and emotional manipulation in order to get the right parents to produce the right children.

A program to breed stable people (and presumably stable families) would be self defeating. Once you achieved a family that cared about the well being of its children, probably the first thing they would do is protect them from the manipulation of a breeding program. Even one that doesn't resort to Dunesque shenanigans.

And just a minor quibble but I don't see a Ministry of Culture in anything close to the OTU. Of course anything is possible in your own setting, but the 3I that I know promotes local power, especially culturally, rather than a centralized model. Remember that Dulinor was upset that Strephron's support of local culture was not going fast or far enough, implying that it was a somewhat recent phenomenon that an Imperium-standard culture was arising/promoted. The Solomani certainly promoted their own culture, and we know how the 3I reacted to that. I'm sure the Vilani would love a 3I-wide ministry of culture, promoting their culture and supressing that of Sylea and the Solomani, not to mention local or alien culture.
Wouldn't the classic considerations of kinship strategy, and inheiritance manipulation tend to outweigh genetics in matchmaking the way they have always done? There are few examples in history of a serious attempt at human selective breeding, though nominal adherence to such would be as good a way as any to justify ancestor totemism in TTU. And while genetics as such is new it is absurd to say that pastoral and agricultural peoples of the past would be to ignorant to come up with the idea of human selective breeding; they just very seldom took it seriously. However there are plenty of examples of using kinship as a means of building power. The Habsburgs knew perfectly well they had ugly chins but they also got an empire out of it.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison

Last edited by jason taylor; 10-21-2015 at 10:58 AM.
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2015, 02:26 PM   #552
Drifter
 
Drifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Wouldn't the classic considerations of kinship strategy, and inheiritance manipulation tend to outweigh genetics in matchmaking the way they have always done? There are few examples in history of a serious attempt at human selective breeding, though nominal adherence to such would be as good a way as any to justify ancestor totemism in TTU. And while genetics as such is new it is absurd to say that pastoral and agricultural peoples of the past would be to ignorant to come up with the idea of human selective breeding; they just very seldom took it seriously. However there are plenty of examples of using kinship as a means of building power. The Habsburgs knew perfectly well they had ugly chins but they also got an empire out of it.
I'm seeing it more from the standpoint of "close kinship" combined with empire building. I can't see emotionally stable families wishing to see their members move literally years away for the sake of an abstract government. Especially when they can achieve such power locally.

Selective breeding programs, such as close family member marriage among leaders (like Pharaohs and various Emperors) isn't uncommon. But the extent of such a culture/empire is limited by travel. The Hapsburg pushed their limits even confined to Europe.

The closest model in Traveller would be some megacorps, Tukera for example. The Spinward Marches branch is separated from the Solomani Rim branch by years of travel. And while travelling you can't rule your "lands" effectively so you (as a Tukera noble) wouldn't be doing much of that, at least outside of your own sector or even subsector. I would bet that a Marches Tukera would come from a far different culture than a Rim Tukera, despite being related. You might send a younger son/daughter off to the far side of the Imperium to maintain the bloodline, but that person is never going back home and will likely take up the local culture more than disseminate their own home culture.

Thats the trouble I have with a "standard Imperial culture" in general, and one I think the original game stepped over in establishing the 3I as neutral to local, planetary, government and culture. There is no point in maintaining a culture years apart from each other, aside from some very focused areas. Everyone agrees the Imperial Navy protects/enforces every Imperial world, not everyone agrees men should wear pants, eat (or not) red meat, and can go topless occasionally, that is, cultural details better left to local decisions.
Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2015, 07:01 PM   #553
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Emotional stability never was notable in those kinds of families was it anyway? Not in the sense of what middle class suburbanite would consider sense of family anyway. They were certainly often dysfunctional and could be counted as doing well if they had no worse problems then chronic adultery. But those sorts seemed to use their family more as an abstract loyalty rather like a nationalism. The Habsburgs were perfectly willing to see their daughter in the bed of a Corsican mobster with messianic delusions that happened to be their blood enemy if it bought them time to shaft said Corsican mobster later.

As for the rather notorious endogamy it does not look to me like a selective breeding program so much as snobbery. For selective breeding you want the ones who would give the type of traits desired in the children not just the geneological records desired. Harem beauty contests seem more like that, but that again seems more as a luxury to benefit a ruler's sexual taste then a means for breeding unusually good princes.

As for a general Imperial culture, I would agree there would be nothing like that. There might be something more like an Old Boys Network at the top closely maintained. And the Imperium might well go out of it's way to highlight the cultural achievements of various cultures in museums, athletic conventions, and all the other sorts of stuff. It would certainly not try to maintain anything like an interstellar culture and that seems to go against the intent of canon anyway.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison

Last edited by jason taylor; 10-21-2015 at 07:17 PM.
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2015, 11:09 AM   #554
Drifter
 
Drifter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Emotional stability never was notable in those kinds of families was it anyway? Not in the sense of what middle class suburbanite would consider sense of family anyway. They were certainly often dysfunctional and could be counted as doing well if they had no worse problems then chronic adultery. But those sorts seemed to use their family more as an abstract loyalty rather like a nationalism. The Habsburgs were perfectly willing to see their daughter in the bed of a Corsican mobster with messianic delusions that happened to be their blood enemy if it bought them time to shaft said Corsican mobster later.
I was following Astromancer's logic, where he noted "mentally stable, healthy" nobles. Not a prominent feature of most aristocracies, as you note, or even the leadership of today's governments. It might be a goal, but leadership and power would seem to me be the primary goals, with everything else secondary.

Quote:
As for the rather notorious endogamy it does not look to me like a selective breeding program so much as snobbery. For selective breeding you want the ones who would give the type of traits desired in the children not just the geneological records desired. Harem beauty contests seem more like that, but that again seems more as a luxury to benefit a ruler's sexual taste then a means for breeding unusually good princes.
I suppose any limiting of mate selection can be described as a "program", if you have some sort of goal at the end, even if its just snobbery.

Quote:
As for a general Imperial culture, I would agree there would be nothing like that. There might be something more like an Old Boys Network at the top closely maintained. And the Imperium might well go out of it's way to highlight the cultural achievements of various cultures in museums, athletic conventions, and all the other sorts of stuff. It would certainly not try to maintain anything like an interstellar culture and that seems to go against the intent of canon anyway.
But as SteveS said, it would make a great Hiver manipulation. Its been a while since I read Hiver stuff, but don't THEY have a more or less unified culture? I could see a Manipulator trying to promote such a culture, at least in areas adjacent to Federation.
Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2015, 07:56 PM   #555
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

I could see an interstellar matchmaker network geared toward
"emotional stability" rather then strategy as a sideline program for pairing spares. As we have both agreed classic kinship manipulation strategies would probably take priority but there is still room for doing a little something for the extra children of nobles and high bourgeious; perhaps even as a perk for servants and their families. It wouldn't be Imperium wide, but there might be subsector wide corporations or groups of corporations that specialize in this.

While mentioning this, kinship strategies use other means then political marriage although that is famous simply because it is used in cliche plots. Japanese used to have arranged adoptions. Fosterage is common and it doubles as an ad-hoc academy when the patron fosters enough of his client's children as was often done in feudal times: this is a custom which the Traveller universe is well suited for. Sicilians used to have arranged Church sponsorship which is why the title "Godfather" was chosen. A lot of these are more revocable and cause less hardship on participants then political marriage.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison

Last edited by jason taylor; 10-24-2015 at 01:24 AM.
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 03:27 PM   #556
Astromancer
 
Astromancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: West Virginia
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Still, we all agree that aristocrats don't marry for love. Marriages are economic and political tools. With a powerful third party with ties to a highly prestigious and useful marriage mart, other goals could be gently added into the mix. Especially if it was understood that those that cooperated got breaks in promotion and in the political game.

I don't say the Ministry of culture has an easy time of it. But they do have pull and they are in the game for the long haul.
__________________
Per Ardua Per Astra!


Ancora Imparo
Astromancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 09:28 PM   #557
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Imperial Currency Exchange:

A department of the Imperial Mint responsible for exchanging Imperial credits for member world or non-imperial currency. It's primary purpose is to maintain the Credit at a dependable and reliable rate from planet to planet and it is not a for-profit money-changing enterprise as such (such establishments are to be found elsewhere) but as a buttress to Imperial commerce and the rates of exchange of each currency on each world projected to the end of the next fiscal year are available as a regular port service to captains in a given sector and is kept to reliably regardless of local changes. The other nine years of a given monetary forecast are kept unpublished in the event that an adjustment should be required. The only exchanges done are Imperial to member world or non-imperial currency and back again. Direct exchanges between such are handled by private establishments.

An open secret is that a secondary purpose of the ICE is as an auxiliary to Imperial Law Enforcement and Intelligence organizations. Not only do inspections of records take place but many ICE employees have a second job as informants. Furthermore the ICE maintains a security suboffice to prevent undesired outsiders from gaining confidential information from the ICE.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison

Last edited by jason taylor; 08-07-2020 at 12:02 AM.
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2015, 11:20 AM   #558
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Margessi Orbital Trade Fair

Held four times a year, it is a gathering of starships at the planet of Margessi. The tradition was instituted as a cheap way of making up for the worlds inferior starport.

Goods are brought from far in known space and the trade fair acts as an interface between politically hostile powers. As well as the more serious products some ships arrive renting out on board concesssions to serve as iterrant malls and there is plenty of celebration both in orbit and dirtside. There is a darker element as well; the Trade Fair is considered an opportunity for nefarious doings including the trafficking in stolen goods, sophant smuggling(voluntary and involuntary) and espionage. It is said that some of the local constabularies make a temporary alliance with the criminal classes to keep the Imperium from interfering to much with the darker forms of trade and the revenue that comes from it. This rumor has not been substantiated though the Inspectors General would certainly be interested in learning more about such matters.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2015, 12:19 PM   #559
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

The Lone Star Angel

Shana Ashton. Born on Nusku of mixed ancestry, Khimashargu on her mother's side and of immigrants from the Terran region of "Texas" on her father's side. She was an avid developer of the ancient Terran "Country" tradition. Known by her stereotyped "cowgirl" costume she played entertainment in the war zones in the early part of the Interstellar Wars. She endured many dangers including the normal dangers of war as well as two attempts to assassinate her by Vilani covert operators. Holographic recordings of her visits were made and they are still played in many traditional naval and military clubs as well as some civilian establishments.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 02:33 PM   #560
Astromancer
 
Astromancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: West Virginia
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

The Arthurian Myths

Because Duke Albert (see the Jewel Books) brought the legends of Terra to the notice of the 3I the rich complexity of the Arthurian Myths caught the imagination.

As in Earth's past, the Arthurian Myths are a free floating sequence of multilayered metaphors. Old bottles that routinely get new wine. Highly popular, just look at the planets named for places and figures in the cycle.

People all along the political spectrum use the Myths. Arthur is popular with mainline Imperials. Lancelot is a huge deal with the more reactionary nobles. Merlin, Parzival, Gawain, and Morgan Le Fay, are all beloved of radicals.

Arthurian references are often coded political references throughout the 3I. The codes can be subtle or overt. Hiding a subtle code within a work that has a diametrically opposed overt message is a commonplace trick in popular fiction and media. But it has been known to happen in real life too.
__________________
Per Ardua Per Astra!


Ancora Imparo

Last edited by Astromancer; 12-15-2015 at 02:04 PM.
Astromancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.