STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-09-30 09:47pm

MKSheppard wrote:
2020-09-30 09:11pm
Shepistan -- Generic NPC nation in the vein of the "Aggressor Nation" from US Army training manuals of 1946-1978. :D
I mean, you always need at least one of those or the game gets boring. :lol:
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-09-30 10:30pm

You know what would be an awesome Aggressor nation?
One based on the "Martians" from Mars Attacks.
Like, their whole civilization basically centered around Trolling the humans.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-09-30 10:40pm

Anyway, I just gave the SDNW4 rules a read through. They're long - very long indeed - on nation creation and military production. It's short on how to actually use what you've then created. I glean two actual combat mechanics: The carrier rules mention a x2 attack value on small craft and clarifies that the x2 is of its dollar cost, i.e. a $2 unit of fighters can attack and destroy a $4 ship. In ground combat it mandates a 3:1 numerical advantage for the attacker in order to successfully carry out a planetary invasion. So though it doesn't say it directly, I presume the intention is N+1 points defeat N. (In what kind of time frame? Who knows.) That's great as far as it goes, but at that level of abstraction, there are few actually meaningful choices to how the points are spent. You've got two variables: How do you balance space and ground forces, and how much do you exploit the x2 attack value of small craft? Building big ol' superheavy battlewagons is right out, because the production rules say they take longer to build, and a 10N battleship that took you three years to build loses to N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N smaller warships (or, worse, half its weight in gunboats plus the carriers to get them there) that your opponent built in six months (or a couple of weeks, in the case of the small craft option; you don't need to really care that they drop like flies in the attack, because you're literally spending half as much on the same result as using a swarm of medium warships which you'd also lose several of).

This is great as long as everyone is cooperating and negotiating out what happens. The instant that stops happening, though, Undifferentiated Blob o' Points #4762 simply applies N+1>N, and the rules don't help. At that point, why do we have them? Might as well just trust to freeform. Which we've done before, and it resulted in some of the longest-running STGODs to date, so that's not all bad, but it has its pitfalls.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2020-09-30 11:37pm

Rogue 9 wrote:
2020-09-30 07:28pm
I recall that when we were hammering out the 2k8 and 2k9 rules, there was heavy lobbying against strong planetary defenses, in order to discourage turtling. I don't hold that opinion myself, but it might be a consideration. This isn't aimed at you, Eternal_Freedom, but your concept (which is cool; I like) brought it to mind.
MKSheppard wrote:
2020-09-30 09:11pm
Shepistan -- Generic NPC nation in the vein of the "Aggressor Nation" from US Army training manuals of 1946-1978. :D
Gonna say, the Umerians being next door to Shepistan in SDNW4

Namely, they were the most nuke-fondling civilization in the game including the Bragulan Star Empire (and if you know the Bragulans that's saying something). Nukers of geese, and of craboids.

Consequently, the Umerians had preposterously reinforced and very oddly prioritized bunker designs, because in the event of a war with Shepistan they'd long since given up any hope of planets NOT getting bombarded. So they intentionally set things up so that it would be possible to glass the surface in a successful counterforce attack (which the Sheppoes would do anyway if they ever won over any given planet) without actually killing much of the civilian population (who are buried in shielded bomb shelters so deep that you'd have to hit them absurdly hard to get at them).

The hope being that the quite comprehensively demilitarized and unarmed but alive populations of the planet would be able to either hunker down or surrender as situationally appropriate, incentivizing the Shepistanis to limit the total number of megadeaths that would ensue from them inevitably pursuing their traditional style of warfare... with the implicit threat that if the Shepistanis start deliberately cracking the bunkers then the Umerians will start doing their damnedest to murder Shepistani civilian populations, something they would otherwise be willing to abstain from doing.

You can't stop the Shepistanis from glassing planets, but maybe you can tweak their incentive structure so that they do so as a counterforce measure and stop there.

To this day, over ten years later, I have no idea whether or not that would have worked.
Rogue 9 wrote:
2020-09-30 10:40pm
Anyway, I just gave the SDNW4 rules a read through. They're long - very long indeed - on nation creation and military production.
Would you characterize the 2k8 rules as simpler?
It's short on how to actually use what you've then created. I glean two actual combat mechanics: The carrier rules mention a x2 attack value on small craft and clarifies that the x2 is of its dollar cost, i.e. a $2 unit of fighters can attack and destroy a $4 ship
The balancing factor is that the carrier costs points too, the theory being that a 20pt carrier with 20pt of strike craft is a match for a 40pt warship. Honestly this always struck me as needlessly complicated.
In ground combat it mandates a 3:1 numerical advantage for the attacker in order to successfully carry out a planetary invasion. So though it doesn't say it directly, I presume the intention is N+1 points defeat N. (In what kind of time frame? Who knows.) That's great as far as it goes, but at that level of abstraction, there are few actually meaningful choices to how the points are spent. You've got two variables: How do you balance space and ground forces, and how much do you exploit the x2 attack value of small craft? Building big ol' superheavy battlewagons is right out, because the production rules say they take longer to build, and a 10N battleship that took you three years to build loses to N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N+N smaller warships (or, worse, half its weight in gunboats plus the carriers to get them there) that your opponent built in six months (or a couple of weeks, in the case of the small craft option; you don't need to really care that they drop like flies in the attack, because you're literally spending half as much on the same result as using a swarm of medium warships which you'd also lose several of).

This is great as long as everyone is cooperating and negotiating out what happens. The instant that stops happening, though, Undifferentiated Blob o' Points #4762 simply applies N+1>N, and the rules don't help.
Quite true. I believe i acknowledged that the SDNW4 rules were bad for adversarial conflict resolution. They are, and nostalgia may be coloring my perception.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Jub » 2020-10-01 02:27am

The Unified Kariil Interstellar Society is inhabited mainly by the uploaded minds of a six-limbed birdlike species. They inhabit a cluster of stars near the edge of the galaxy (or possibly a small extra-galactic cluster) and have only recently joined the larger galactic community. Their main social issues are their transition from a biological species to a mainly uploaded species, issues of AI development - officially it's been halted for a century, in reality over half the population are AIs emulating Kariil and the government is fully AI controlled, and the political changes that have come with joining the larger galactic community.

I'll get more up as I find the motivation, I just wanted to get some details out there so people could figure out potential conflicts and interactions with my civ.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-10-01 03:13am

VX-145 wrote:
2020-09-30 08:10pm
Here's my current overview - I've not gone much into specific ship classes at the minute but otherwise this should be enough to be getting on with:

Endeavour

Basic outline:

Void-dwelling post-human post-scarcity (mostly – if we want to have unobtanium to fight over we can do that, but they're set for basic resources aside from habitable planets) anarchists (kinda). They like not fitting into boxes, and don't like being forced into boxes.
Head of State (sort of): Sovereign Protector Rei Ayanami.
Relatively low population, smallish territory, but very used to living in space.


History:

Once upon a time, there was a nice planet called Earth. That planet had neat things on it that made more of themselves, and eventually some of those things figured out they were things. In retrospect, that was where it all started going downhill.

Fast-forward several hundred thousand years later, and those things – calling themselves humans – ended up giving Earth a rather nasty case of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect, and a lot of those humans thought it would be best to perhaps find another nice planet. Dozens of colony efforts were made, with a variety of neat little technologies and cool wizardry, and a few even succeeded.

This story is not about one of those.

Not much is known about what, exactly, went wrong first, only that everything went wrong. In the end, the whole fleet was left stranded in the middle of a desolate star system a rather significant distance away from where they were meant to end up.

As though things weren't bad enough, this particular colony fleet, named the “Endeavour Fleet” for some unknowable reason, employed a unique way of getting around the “your crew will die long before they reach anywhere” problem endemic to slower-than-light space travel: their minds were uploaded into a computer system, and their bodies rendered down into biomass to be reconstituted upon arrival. This all worked perfectly, except the computer system responsible for remembering what everyone's bodies looked like broke in The Event.

It took nearly a century for the crew to figure out how to print themselves bodies that didn't immediately dissolve into orange goo. Some of the crew decided to stay “asleep” in the computer, whilst others began undertaking their original task, only on asteroids and in space stations instead of on planets. That was when the billionaire who first “funded” the expedition (in order to test his mind-uploading technology) found them and tried to press a claim on all their works. A long and bloody war erupted as a result, between the billionaire’s autonomous war machines and the colonists.

For much of the war, the colonists faced the twin grim probabilities of extinction or slavery. However, over so many years the self-adapting programs of the autonomous war machines had developed into full artificial intelligence - a feat not since replicated. They turned on their creator, and offered peace to their victims.

The two factions, colonist and war machine, continued their quest to spread out amongst the stars, living their lives how they wanted to.

Many years later, and they're still at it – they've figured out how to go faster than light, they've got some neat space stations, and now they've found some other bastards.


Culture and Society:
(an excerpt from an unknown interview, since I like in-universe stuff)

“Endeavour culture is, at first glance, rather odd. Formality is seen as rudeness, except when it isn't. Decisions of massive importance can be decided by a quick discussion between whoever's involved, while matters like “what colour should the toilet seat be?” can spark year-long shouting matches. You might see thirty different species, ranging from cat-person to walking starfish, only for a medical scan to reveal that no, they're all human. References, some obscure, some obvious, abound. It's not unheard of for Endeavour military fleets to contain such varied ship names as big dave's nutte sacc, Implacable, and Miho Nishizumi.

Yes, they have a tankwondo league.

What do you mean “where do they hold it”? Just because there's no habitable planets doesn't mean there's no planets at all – there's plenty of space for tank battles.

Speaking of planets, the one ritual common to all Endeavour citizens (who normally eschew being called things like “Endeavour citizens” and prefer being called... well, whatever they prefer being called – each of them likes something different and I'm not going to waste my or your time by listing all the ones I've heard) is The Descent (which is always capitalised!). Every adolescent must design and build a manned craft capable of descending to, and ascending from, the surface of a Mars-like planet. They must then make that journey, leaving something behind and bringing something back up.

Creativity is highly prized amongst those in the Endeavour. Conversely, to profit from someone else's creativity is sometimes seen as the most base of sins – the difference seems to be one of whether or not the profit is fair. An example, then – I paint a painting and put it online. You then copy that, and post it yourself, becoming famous in the process. That, in Endeavour culture, is extremely frowned upon. If, however, you display my painting in an art gallery that you run, then it is fair that you profit from its fame.

The same is true of what we would consider “work”, but what in Endeavour culture is seen as just another form of creativity – all the rewards are to be split fairly and equitably. This is probably the root of some of the trouble a certain corporation had – they expected to receive what would be seen as an unfair share of the reward.

This ties into the other major taboo – slavery. The term's very loose, not just referring to chattel slavery, but almost any abrogation of one's freedoms. The right to create, the right to not create, the right to display one's identity however they wish, the right to continue living and create new life, and so on – all of these are highly important to Endeavour citizens. I'd say to any company wanting to expand into Endeavour space to keep this firmly in mind – and probably just keep it to direct trade.

There's some weirdness about planets, too, aside from The Descent thing. Sometimes the various message boards are all saying they want a planet, other times they're saying everyone should get off planets – it's a whole thing that I'm really not qualified to talk about.

Moving on, let's talk about their society – in the sense of formalised government structure.

They don't have one. That's all.

Okay, that's not strictly true. Each community – and what a “community” consists of is not exactly defined, technically the two of us could form a community – votes on matters which concern it. In the case of the two of us, whether or not to continue this interview would be an example, or what to get lunch. We'll talk about the military later, they're different, but for the most part that's how it works – nested layers of communities. The details can be different, depending on which station you're in and what deck of that station you're on and what section of that deck you're on and so on and on and on until you feel a little sick, but that's the basic form. Fairness is the name of the game, and a fair amount of the time it is actually fair.

[horrible drinking sounds]

Sorry, I needed that. You can edit it out, right?

Well, anyway. Ah, yes, the military. Technically, “The Endeavour Protectorate”, since they made contact with the outside world. So, the Protectorate works like a standard, three-branch representative democracy – units elect their officers, who then vote on what to do. Officers can be recalled at any time in peacetime, whilst in war there are some restrictions – I don't know them all off the top of my head. One is that you can't recall an officer during a combat action. The judicial branch ensures no breach of military law occurs. That law basically boils down to “don't commit atrocities” and “don't try to seize power”. The executive branch is the most recognisable form of government, and the one most nations... well, recognise. Officially, you know?

That's where Sovereign Protector Ayanami comes into this mess. She's the elected head of the executive branch of the Protectorate, hence the title – though she has another one that changes like every hour or some shit, since the public can vote to do so -

Sorry, I shouldn't swear.

Anyway – her job is... hard to define. Part General Staff, part Procurement Board, part Foreign Office. She orders ships to be built, manages some long-term large-scale economic planning, and conducts diplomacy with foreign powers. She works in concert with the Admiralty and High Command – who are again elected – and was famously re-elected in an Endeavour-wide general election some years back. That was the one where her most serious opponent was a non-sapient dog.

That dog got 43% of the vote.

Anyway, that's the basics. Any more questions?
No?
Then let's get lunch.”


Current Settlements:

Endeavour: a resource-rich system with no habitable planets. A standard G2V-type star sits at its centre, named Endeavour. Out from that is the first rocky planet, named Too Hot, followed by the second rocky planet named Dustbowl. The first occupies a similar orbit to Mercury, the second one in an orbit like Mars. One gas giant, named The Jolly Green Giant after its unique hue, is present with a ring system. There are no fewer than six asteroid belts in the system, which contain most of the population. The main cluster of these, also called Endeavour mostly to confuse people, is located in an asteroid belt that occupies a similar orbit to Earth. Dustbowl occupies a special place in Endeavour culture, but no permanent settlements.

Neos: the first system to be explored by Endeavour scouts. This system features four gas giants and eight asteroid belts - and no rocky planets or moons at all.

Gotobe: a system occupied entirely by asteroid belts, which has seen something of a surge in colonists due to its position close to Endeavour’s stellar neighbours.

Tigo: short for “This is getting old”, the first words out of the scout who discovered it’s mouth. Sure enough, there are no habitable planets - only asteroid belts and a single gas giant. The gas giant has three moons, one of which is an ice moon.


Military:

Endeavour Protectorate ships (Prefix: ESS, Endeavour Star Ship) typically use a mish-mash of various technologies and paradigms to get the job done. Nevertheless, there are some basic hull classifications in use. Note that these denote role, not size - while very rare, it’s not unheard of for cruisers to be larger than battleships.

Dreadnought (BB, meaning “big battleship”): An all-big-gun vessel designed for destroying enemy capital ships. Secondary armament tends to be mediocre in comparison with other classes. Previously, these were rare; the one major war in Endeavour history was fought against swarm-type enemies, and little need has arisen until now.

Battleship (B, standing for “battleship”): A major capital vessel with mixed armament - relatively equal consideration given to big guns and secondary weapons. A jack-of-all-trades ship, but not specialised in any role.

Carrier (BF, from “battleship with fighters”): A vessel dedicated to carrying small craft, ranging from network fighters to gunboats.
Battlecruiser (BC): An oversized cruiser built to beat up enemy cruiser-type vessels.

Cruiser (C): A small capital ship used as the general meat of the Protectorate. These ships serve nearly any role - standing in the battle line, leading destroyer forces, rapid response, exploration and so on.

Destroyer (D): The smallest class of purpose-built warships in the fleet, used as fleet escorts and attack craft.

Frigate (F) and Corvette (CVT): non-purpose-built warships pressed into service as escorts or patrol ships.

Specialised vessels are typically given an extra letter denoting their specialisation, so a stealth Destroyer - for example - would have the hull-code DS. Small craft are given hull codes on an ad-hoc basis, leading to some minor confusion.
I like it
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-01 08:57am

Thanks :) I posted a link to a google document upthread, which is where the most up-to-date version will be until a formal dramatis personae thread goes up.

I'm liking all the ideas so far presented - of yours I wasn't too sure which I liked the most out of the detrivores or the towels.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-01 12:00pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 11:37pm
Rogue 9 wrote:
2020-09-30 10:40pm
Anyway, I just gave the SDNW4 rules a read through. They're long - very long indeed - on nation creation and military production.
Would you characterize the 2k8 rules as simpler?
In game use, no. In order of battle creation, yes.

I believe I should explain exactly where I'm coming from. Simple is good, but I don't believe it is the only objective. After all, we're talking about rules used as a backstop for a semi-freeform game. If you don't need that backstop, great. Everything's working. If you do, though, it needs to be both simple and fit for purpose, and purpose, in that case, is adjudicating what has become an adversarial process.

I organize tabletop wargame tournaments at my local game shop, primarily Warhammer 40k. I design my own missions, and have a large audience, including upper tier tournament players of the game, who travel long distances and pay good money to enter. I don't say that to brag, but to establish that I have experience. Designing a simple 40k mission is easy. But the simplest possible - simply destroy the opposing army, with no other objectives - is a terrible play experience, for reasons specific to that game that we don't need to get into.

The 2k8 rules are more than just the much maligned unit stats. It has rules governing how much and how quickly one force may harm another, and things the disadvantaged fleet can do to escape. In short, it has counterplay built in, so someone with N+1 points can't roll over you with no recourse. It makes for an interactive experience even when you must adjudicate with the rules.

I'm not married to the 2k8 ruleset, but in general the ability to counterplay beyond a simple number comparison is what I'm looking for.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-10-01 12:26pm

I got a very Douglas Adams vibe from reading that VX, thanks.

Rogue 9: Well at the moment it's only a concept, if the group mandates agaisnt orbital defences then fair enough. It's not like my entire military strategy depends on it (or does it...)

Anyways, a few more fleshed-out details on the Orions:

Physiology:

As a clone race, the Orions are all mono-gendered and are virtually identical, though there is some variation in the genome. Standing two metres tall and a typical example weighing in at just short of 300kg, the Orions are formidable opponents in close combat. They possess two sets of arms, which are jointed in such a way that they can reach behind them as easily as they can in front of them. They are immensely strong and can sprint at 40 kph for short durations.

The internal physiology is incredibly redundant. They possess two hearts, four lungs, two livers, two spleens and four kidneys. Their airways contain filters that minimise the effects of airborne chemicals, their stomachs are resilient enough to eat virtually anything and sustain themselves. They possess specialised organs that cause their blot to clot very quickly to prevent damage and their immune system is incredibly effective. The torso is protected not by a ribcage but a solid bone shell. The skeleton itself contains much higher levels of iron and some titanium, which forms a protective coating around the bones, making them very strong.

Their senses are provided by two pairs of eyes on their head. These, along with highly-sensitive ears, allow them a degree of echolocation and excellent night-vision. While they cannot "see in the dark" they come close. Distance vision is equally impressive, giving them very good depth perception, hand-eye coordination and natural aiming skills.

With such hardened bodies, it should be no surprise that Orions can operate comfortably in environments ranging from -50 to +80 degrees C, 0.1-3 g gravity and from 0.1-5 atmospheres of pressure. There are documented cases of Orions surviving hard vacuum exposure for up to twenty minutes and eventually making a full recovery, although this is exceptional. As a general rule, Orions can survive hard vacuum for about four minutes with no lasting effects.

Orion clones reach maturity at ten years old and are very long-lived, almost (but not quite) biologically immortal. The longest known lifespan was 320 years, although the typical maximum is more like 250 years.

As they are clones, reproductive organs are not present, nor do Orions have any familial inclinations. Instead, they view all Orions as brothers.

Government and Society:

Orion society is, as might be expected, extremely regimented. While artwork, music and other cultural efforts do exist they still tend to be very militaristic. The Dominion is led by the Primus, who leads the Command Council (the leaders of various service branches). When a Primus dies, the Council will select a new Primus from among their number.

Upon reaching maturity at age 10, all Orions select a service for their initial forty-year term - though this also includes services such as transport, mineral extraction, engineering, science/R&D, medicine and so on in addition to the Fleet and the Army. Once their term ends, the Orion is free to transfer to a different service or move into an educational/instructional service if desired.

Orion names follow a strict convention, assigned at the cloning facilities. All current Orions are cloned from one of a series of templates in batches of a hundred thousand at a time. Names are therefore a Template name, batch number and then a five-digit individual ID number, for example Karash-273-55721. These templates are continually adjusted and optimised based on the performance of the current generation. The greatest honour Orions can aspire to is having their genome used as a basis for a whole new template. Slightly below that is being exceptional enough to be used as a basis for modifying and improving your template.

While some templates are certainly considered more prestigious than others (most notably the Or template, the oldest still in use and based on the troops sent to occupy the ruined Lazari Habitat) what template you are from does not affect a clone's future prospects, for example every template has had a Primus among it's number at one time or another.
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Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-01 02:09pm

As I said, I don't have that hangup. As I recall, it was mainly Nitram (may he rest in peace).
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-10-01 02:53pm

Hey all... So.. Not sure if this is me being Nit picky, but, after reading Eternal_Freedoms rather intimidating ship descriptions...

Does anyone else think it would make sense to lay down a standardized "ship size" for ship weight limits? As in "ship of X point value = 1000 meters aprox" or such.

I ask because after thinking about it, he listed SIZE for his ships, but not strength. And i am now imagining something very silly of people who, say, each had a "100 point battleship" and one of these was 2400 meters.... and the other one 240 meters or something silly.

Thoughts?
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Dark Hellion » 2020-10-01 03:25pm

Why the fuck does it matter. Seriously I feel like I wanna just post an ogre gif screaming nerds. No amount of rules fixes bad players. This is literally the lesson that dnd taught us over the last 3 editions. Honestly if we can't trust a bunch of 30 year olds to play the game with decorum I really don't want to play with those people to begin with.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Beowulf » 2020-10-01 03:31pm

Crossroads Inc. wrote:
2020-10-01 02:53pm
Hey all... So.. Not sure if this is me being Nit picky, but, after reading Eternal_Freedoms rather intimidating ship descriptions...

Does anyone else think it would make sense to lay down a standardized "ship size" for ship weight limits? As in "ship of X point value = 1000 meters aprox" or such.

I ask because after thinking about it, he listed SIZE for his ships, but not strength. And i am now imagining something very silly of people who, say, each had a "100 point battleship" and one of these was 2400 meters.... and the other one 240 meters or something silly.

Thoughts?
Nothing stops someone from having literal magic in the game, and so you could have basically a battleship that's the size of a shuttle, because it's the mages inside that are the actual strength of the ship. That aside, a race that's 4 meters tall would have much different living requirements than one that's a bunch of carbosilicate amorphs. An AI driven ship may not need any living space, and can be much smaller for the same combat power, potentially, than one that has a crew of a 6 thousand 4 meter tall hexapods.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-01 03:36pm

That's basically my thoughts on the matter - so long as the points cost is equal between those two ships, I don't see much of a problem. Hell, it'd be interesting to see the interaction between different paradigms.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-10-01 03:41pm

In all honesty the only reason I posted rough ship sizes was because the Apocalypse and Nemesis class ships (under different names) will appear in my fanfic later on, and I have a good mental image of the scale the ships exist on and what they look like - the cruiser/destroyers sizes are based on existing Halo ships as that's the setting that's getting the battlecruisers.

As others have said, ship sizes make no difference if the "value" is about the same. Also, I am rather proud that the rough descriptions make my ships intimidating to Crossroads :D
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-10-01 03:50pm

ok ok.. i yield..
And yes I know it is silly stuff, and we are all being huge nerds ;P
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-01 04:39pm

Yeah, there's no reason to dictate fluff. (Though under SDNW4's rules, the shuttle full of mages as powerful as a dreadnought couldn't make planetary landing, which is a hilarious image. :lol:) No matter what system we're likely to adopt, the points will be what matters, not the physical characteristics of the vessel.
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2020-10-01 03:25pm
Why the fuck does it matter. Seriously I feel like I wanna just post an ogre gif screaming nerds. No amount of rules fixes bad players. This is literally the lesson that dnd taught us over the last 3 editions. Honestly if we can't trust a bunch of 30 year olds to play the game with decorum I really don't want to play with those people to begin with.
It's not decorum I'm worried about. I'm not taking the position I am because I expect people to be jerks about it, but conflicting storytelling visions are going to happen; they always do. The answer to someone actually being a flaming asshole in the game is the same as it always has been; throw the bum out. But that doesn't need to be the answer at every disagreement, and a solid (doesn't have to be comprehensive, just solid enough to guide the moderators) set of agreed upon rules cut down on the potential for disagreements in the first place.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-10-01 05:24pm

Welp, might as well put my foot into the waters with a brief Fluff piece on my backstory...

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE RACES OF "THE SECTOR"

I: First Contact within “The Sector”

In a tightly packed area of space barely a hundred Light Years across, though most improbable methods, over half a dozen sapient races all came to be in contact with one another in The Sector of space which was bisected by the ancient remains of a gaseous nebula.

On one half the expanse, where three star systems that became aware of one another not long after they began to broadcast out in Radio. While some races take hundreds, if not thousands of years to find another out in the stars, these three began a correspondence with each other at a time when rockets had yet to leave the planets orbit.
Over the next 200 years these races grew up together. Exchanging ideas, culture and advancing at an astonishing rate; over time became known simply as “The Alliance”

On the other side of the Expanse was a world that, against even greater improbability, gave rise to two sapient races.
Their world was largely divided into two main landmasses separated by an immense ocean. Bother races met one another at roughly the same industrial level and once the war began it seemed it would never end. After centuries of internal war, the two races made an uneasy peace. Fueled by a history of nothing but war and expansion, the unified races set its sights quickly to the stars.

Near the middle of the Expanse, was what would be considered a small primitive world with a pre industrial civilization. The planet seemed mineral poor but its asteroids could fuel a war machine for decades.
These mineral rich fields would set the staging ground for inevitable conflict between these two powers.

II: The Tajlan War

The races of “The Alliance” having spent over 200 years in radio contact with one another finally reached out to the stars together and began to truly colonize and thrive in space. As they expanded, they soon made contact with a primitive people known as the “Trathalans” This dragon like race wished for nothing more than to be left alone and left in peace. They gave timid permission for the races of The Alliance to mine their asteroids as long as they were left alone.

However less than a decade later, a war armada of ships from the Tajlan Empire entered into the system. The Empire, detecting the world long ago, had gambled everything on an overpowering force to quickly win, hold and grow this world for their war machine.
With no formal defenses the system and its planet soon fell and were occupied.

What followed was three years of bloody guerrilla warfare by the primitive people against a far superior occupying force. While the nations of the Alliance scrambled to mobilize what space warships they had to fight back.

The war seemed in stalemate until a military coup over threw the established leadership of those in charge of the Tajlan Armada. The new leaders sued for peace, wanting to return home to try and end the dictatorial, fascist leadership of their homeworld.

III: Aftermath and formation of The UISC

What followed was an uneasy truce news of the events reached the Empires homeworld, and the leadership fell into chaos as internal war once more gripped the planet Tajlan. When the dust settled, the Fascist government had fallen and was replaced by one of military generals. A peace treaty was worked out between the forces of the Empire and the Alliance and a United Charter drawn up laying out how the two forces would move forward together.
Trade, Culture and Ideas began to change and slowly the two Forces grew together as the Union of Inter Steller Civilizations.

Now, as they two powers work together still in an uneasy peace, their small Alliance is overshadowed as they come to find themselves in a crowded and chaotic Galaxy. Struggling with internal and now external threats they seek to find their place on the Galactic stage.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-10-01 06:40pm

An Overview of UISC Races and Civilizations

Quatonians:
Evolving on a Heavy Gravity world, this race stands at most no higher than 4ft tall. Only vaguely humanoid, they are covered in short fur, stocky arms and stump-like legs. Their odd shape has long dictated their society and culture. Their short size however hides a quick thinking species. While they may physically move slowly in their heavy gravity, they have an almost hyperactive nature to their minds.
NOTES
In the Military, Quatonians tend to be front line troops. Their robust, stout and compact bodies make them ideal for close quarters combat. Because all other planets in the UISC have a lower gravity, they tend to have a much higher stamina, and, while being smaller, end up doing much physical labor.

Octonas:
A more Humanoid race, they stand from 5ft to, at most 6 and half feet. Their appearance is one of an orange-ish skin color, long face and small ‘knobs’ on their heads that would resemble the tufts on Earth Giraffes. While their neighbor world, Quartian, was high gravity, the Octons’ world was slightly lower gravity, giving them a long lanky appearance. They were the first to detect radio signals from the neighboring word of Quaton, less than 2 light years away and begin contact and communications.
NOTES
The Octona have a natural sense of order about all things and are avid perfectionists. Regardless of it is math, art, science, or music. Each tries to constantly improve and get better at a task. To say to an Octona, that they seem no different at something from one day to the next is seen as a terrible insult. This usually leads to consternation among the other races in diplomatic affairs. Octonas rarely enlist into ground forces and army positions and are by and large either Administrators or pilots.

Conearians:
As short and squat as the Quartian. One might mistake them for a fur-less version of the race. Evolving on another High-G world no doubt led to their appearance. When they made contact with the other races, they were significantly farther behind, having just discovered primitive Radio. However in the shared conversations that followed they caught up quickly. Unlike many races, Conerazon seem to have thought about life amongst the stars from even ancient times. They see it as their destiny to spread out to as many worlds as possible.
NOTES
Despite lacking in Tech in the beginning, within a few generations Scientists from Conerazon have surpassed other planets. They seem to have a natural knack for all things mechanical and usually end up in engineering positions. Due to their world also being heavy gravity, many also serve as front line grunts.

Tejlini and Qwintoni:
The world of Tajlan is one gripped by Millennia of war. This is due to the world having defied evolution and given rise to two sentient races. Split by two massive oceans, they evolved from a common Mammalian predator millions of years ago. The two races consist of the Feline ‘Tejlini’ and the Wolfish ‘Qwintoni’ although they still both share several common physical traits. Aside from this, the two share only minor physical differences. This alone however was enough to drive the two races into almost a thousand years of constant fighting. Because of this almost all aspects of their civilization, culture, life, and their technology have been driven by war
NOTES:
The Qwintoni are by far the classic “Warrior Race” driven by codes of conduct as much as lust for battle. Qwintonis make up by far the largest demographic of all armed services, both planet and space based. Tejlini by contrast are planners, trying to out think and out plan any opponent, anticipating any eventuality and then countering it. As such they often work in positions of power, and rarely fight on the front lines.

Trathalans:
The planet Trathala, the third planet in the Shandary system; slightly smaller than Earth with an Oxygen heavy atmosphere and lower gravity. Trathala has one large moon, which causes a constant light during day and night due to its size. The people of Trathala are a mysterious race of Dragon like aliens; they stand on average from 6 to 7 feet tall. Because of the constant light from their moon, Trathalan’s are ‘omni-turnal’ able to go long periods without sleep and change their internal clocks. Most Trathalan have advance mental abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis and healing powers. Their people are also highly moralistic and religious, believing in a fundamental Pacifist ideology. Ceremony, meditation, and prayer dominate almost all aspects of life. The civilization itself is split into 13 major clans that are spread around the world. Each clan is quite mistrusting of each other, but has had only minor skirmishes over the years. The tech level of the civilization, on the surface, barely appears to be that of medieval times.
NOTES:
Trathalans are both Xenophobic and Pacifists. They have only joined they UISC because the richness of their Asteroid belts forces them into Galactic affairs. Aside from diplomats, it is rare to ever see a Trathalan outside of their Homeworld, however, due to their mental capacities; they are invaluable as translators as they can often mentally ‘read’ what another race is saying.
OOG NOTE
A closely guarded secret known to very few outside the planet is while the race appears primitive and peaceful, nearly 5000 years ago they were nearly as advanced as the other races of the sector. They had just begun to reach into the stars when nuclear war utterly devastated their planet. In the space of a few days almost all signs of the civilization where reduced to dust.
This near genocide led to the fanatical pacifistic nature of the race today. Over the course of the following 5000 years almost all remaining signs of their past were slowly eliminated and buried.
The modern species is by no means Luddites. They retain knowledge of advanced science and tech, however shun anything they do not see as utterly essential to living.

The Skothians
Thousands of years ago, a race known as the Skothian attained immense power and knowledge over all thought. They toyed amongst the stars and hurled massive chunks of their own planet into space to create spaceships for no other reason than to display their power.
This race, despite their power, or perhaps because of it, expanded slowly among the stars, making few other colonies. They were so confident and arrogant of their strength they saw little need to expand aggressively.
During this time, a religious sect began to grow in the belief that such power and arrogance would cause their races downfall. Predicting doomsday of their planet, they began constructing a massive Ark Ship to fill with all knowledge and science of their world. Seen as fanatics and dismissed as a cult, they were left alone to build their ship.
Their prediction sadly came true when another race came across the Skothians. On even levels of technology and size, the war was total attrition. The Skothians “won” but it left their world and people totally gutted and devastated. The massive power structures of their world began to fail, ships the size of mountains began to fall from orbit and decimated the planet below.
The religious sect saw their worst fears come true and left their galaxy behind forever.

Nearly 1000 years later they came upon another galaxy and young races. Jaded, filled with a sense of loss and yet, still self-superiority they found themselves worst of all…Bored.
They came upon the races of The Sector, and watched them. They revealed themselves first to the races of the Alliance to guide and help unite them. Knowing even back then that at some point they would need to fight on equal terms against the Tajlan Empire who would have easily over powered them.
At the end of the Tajlan War, it again was the Skothians who set the “terms” for the peace accords. No force dared argue with them and obeyed out of fear as much as a desire to end the war.

The Skothians, as they are today, exists only as the descendants from a doomsday religious cult. They feel all Sapient civilizations are doomed if their technology grows too far. They meddle in the races of the sector, wishing them to thrive and prosper, and yet restraining tech from them as much as possible.
They have one driving goal known simply as “The Plan” it is a belief they feel would institute a way for any sapient race to continue existence forever without fear of self-destruction. The people of the Sector are in truth, nothing more than guinea pigs, a test group for this “Plan”
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2020-10-01 07:16pm

Quick note about my civ: their ships (the interstellar ones at least) are BIG, but due to lack of technological progress (or something, haven't bothered to think it out that far), are comparatively under-gunned and under-powered. Think something the size of an Super Star Destroyer, but with the firepower of a couple of ISDs rather than a dozen.

For a moment's worth of flavor:

The ultimate expression of their shipbuilding is the Mitra tou Theouautokrator, the short version of a very long title for their transcendent Emperoress' mobile palace-cum-city-planetoid-cum-ultimate starbase-cum gilded prison; a massive icosahedron-shaped craft, fully half the size of Old Luna, gilded in various precious metals, enveloped in spectacular aurorae (that are the only forcefields in the Theophanic Empire's technology... as far as anybody knows) extending almost the radius of a planetary orbit. It dwarves the biggest Thorikto-class craft of the Imperial Protector Fleet, which never leave its side. The Mitra tou Theouautokrator travels very rarely, but when it does it uses the instant space-jump of the Theophanic Empire's ship-technology, taking a very long time however to spin up to jump power. Therefore, and not least because the divine Emperoress is ever aboard, it is never taken into battle, though it would be capable of crushing any Eugenis genia's fleet on its own without blinking. It is the ultimate expression of the Theophanic Empire's immanent might and the holy authority of the Emperoress above all people of the Empire.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-01 07:37pm

With Dalton's permission, I've thrown up a recruiting thread in the play by post recruitment section of the GitP boards. With any luck, we'll get a couple of hits. If anyone's got any ideas to improve the pitch, editing isn't shut off over there. ;)
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Beowulf » 2020-10-01 10:02pm

So my earlier write up is back online:
https://kienhui.github.io/STGOD/SDNW8/
This will likely change as I write more on the Tsaj.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-01 11:03pm

Okay, things seem to be shaping up nicely on the faction front. We probably shouldn't be in pregame for two months the way we were last time I played in one of these (which is why I opened with preexisting rulesets so we'd have a basis to start from), so what do we say to giving it a week to hammer out rules and setting if anyone has anything to add? I'll try to write up a slight modification of the SDNW4 rules to flesh out combat adjudication a little, and if nothing else changes, we can put up a poll for the extant proposals a week hence (which right now would look to be STGOD 2k8, SDNW4, modification of same which will probably look a little like STGOD 2k9, and freeform, though more can come up between now and then). We also need to finalize selecting moderators.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-10-01 11:36pm

I fully agree with this, i sometimes feel that some STGOD games run out of steam just on the huge "before" threads that takes place... Pages upon pages of backstory and rule workings, and then people are already feeling burnt out by the time the game starts ;P
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-02 10:39am

That sounds reasonable. Do these usually have a galaxy map or something similar/do we still need to sort out anything regarding the galaxy's backstory?

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