STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-06 10:52pm

Yeah, that's for the best. Much like the ship size thing, I think people should have maximum freedom to define their factions as long as the gameplay remains fair.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-07 06:46pm

Rules poll goes up tomorrow. I'm spending this evening refining the three options I've cooked up, with VX-145's editing help. Right now options are going to be the three STGOD2020 subpages on my Imperial Wiki userpage, the SDNW4 rules, and freeform. If the percentage-based system Dark Hellion proposed gets a concrete form by then it will also be an option. I will put whichever option we go with on the main namespace of the Imperial Wiki for easy reference.

Once the rules are decided, we can write ORBATs and elect moderators, and then we should be able to get going.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-07 09:58pm

Rules for army management. This has historically been the thing that draws the most controversy. I loosely modeled this on the SDNW4 method. Thoughts?
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-08 06:34am

I think that's good - simple and (to my warped understanding thereof) common sense. I've added them to the Google Document version for completeness' sake.

Also, have an NPC nation idea. They're sort-of tied to Endeavour's backstory, but I think could function equally well on their own:

Amazo-X

Basic overview
Corporate hell run by Immortans Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk - or cheap knockoffs thereof. Think your basic Evil Megacorporation, but without any style.


History
The Unholy Alliance between Earth’s two richest people resulted in this abomination.

While most of Earth sent colony fleet after colony fleet into the void in search of a new home, the Amazo-X corporation stayed on the planet until it was no longer profitable to do so. Oh, they had certainly been involved in several of the fleets fleeing Ruined Earth - but they were considered little more than a complex form of market research, their ongoing mission to seek out new markets and go boldly where no US Dollar had gone before.

When the quarterly profit reports dipped just slightly into the red, the Board of Directors and Twin CEOs knew it was time to leave. They took with them an advanced, highly automated fleet of their own - but not a colony fleet. Gigantic Mobile Fulfilment Centres, factory complexes and warehouses the size of small towns, flanked by Resource Acquisition and Retention ships - warships in all but name - took to the stars, carrying with them a couple million or so souls; a literally captive market.

This fleet pounced on and scoured a few of the old slower-than-light colony fleets, enough to secure worker/consumer growth for the next three quarters, but not enough to raise any suspicions. Then, they settled down in an unremarkable system, to wait for markets across the galaxy to grow.

With an extended lifespan, the CEOs of Amazo-X had plenty of time to plan out their next move. They were not, however, immortal - and that posed a problem. With the backing of the Board, one left with several RA/R Ships to find one of his pet projects, a fleet with advanced mind-upload technology that had been lost to Amazo-X in its exodus from Earth.

He returned without the technology, nor did he have his fleet.

Now, Amazo-X bides its time, considering its next move. Its options are running out - its year-on-year growth is beginning to slow, and the Twin CEOs are showing signs of ageing. Will it try again? Or will it attack somewhere else?

Culture and Society
Amazo-X is a business, first, foremost, and only.

To be born to an Amazo-X employee means being in debt from the moment of conception; few parents have the savings to pay off the medical debt incurred from the mandatory scans, check-ups, gene-therapies and so on, not to mention the cost of the birthing procedure itself. Then, the child racks up yet more debt - nursing costs (since the mother must return to work as soon as possible or face termination), yet more checkups, schooling costs; everything that can have a price - does.

Since Amazo-X operates under the illusion that it is still operating on United States of America’s territory, it uses the US Dollar as its main currency. While there is a minimum wage given to every employee below Upper Management ($0.12/hr), this wage disappears before paying even half an employee’s rent. Rent which pays for an apartment shared between five or six families - if you’re lucky. Even your death incurs debt, as your corpse must be disposed of - although at least here you can spare your family some debt by selling it to Amazo-X.

This immense amount of debt combined with pitiful wages would normally lead to a depressed economy, as the debts go unpaid and those who lent the money can no longer pay their own bills - except that the ultimate creditor is Amazo-X, and they do not care about being in debt to themselves. The economy functions because it has to function, and Amazo-X’s line continues to rise.

Oddly enough, though, the birthrate is extremely low.

For those in Upper Management - the Captains and Senior Officers of the various ships - life is somewhat better. They receive holidays, and medical insurance, and a whole $7.25 per hour. They are capable of having children without plunging themselves into massive debt - merely moderate debt. Reaching Upper Management, however, is very nearly impossible - the only applications considered are those from people who have followed a specific path - going to specific schools (who, of course, charge more in tuition), serving a lengthy unpaid internship, being able to pay a security bond for their office, and so on.

Life for the Executives of Amazo-X - all ten thousand of the Vice-Presidents of such-and such or the various Vice-Chiefs of Operations, Accounting, Retention, all of that - is pretty good. You might live in something resembling a house (that your family occupies alone!), you get to choose what to eat - hell, you get choice in general.

And what to say of the Board and CEOs, and their families? They live like gods compared with the rest of the company.

There is no culture besides work and consumption. If you are not on your shift, then you might be playing a video game where every jump, every bullet, every click of the mouse costs real money, or you might be watching videos on Amazo-X’s products, or you might be shopping. Expression of the self is permitted, unless that expression does not provide a new market.

Military
Amazo-X operates a fleet of Resource Acquisition and Retention Ships - automated warships, capable of churning out fleets of drone fighters or legions of ground troops. Not both at the same time, though, as the automated foundries take time to adjust from one blueprint to another. After their experience against Endeavour, Amazo-X has taken great pains to limit the intelligence of these ships, and provide them with some human crew. This makes them far less effective - but also far less likely to turn on their creators.

Internal security is provided by fleets of Customer Satisfaction drones, small quadcopters equipped with various weapons - and a printer for dispensing invoices for their service, should they intervene in any crime or civil unrest.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-08 06:24pm

I made a slight edit to the planetary assault rules in the full 2k8 version: Points in Bombardment help you reduce a planet's defenses without wrecking the infrastructure, compared to main warship guns, which will degrade the value of the planet. This will give the stat some additional use. Naturally, this has not been added to the simplified and intermediate versions, since B exists in neither.

And with that, the poll is up. Please look over the options first. :) These are all still open to changes at the suggestion of the players, but as a broad framework I believe they're ready enough to vote on.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-10-09 03:44am

While not fussed on rule details, I would really like a couple of ds9/space Venice/space Geneva.

Somewhere one of my towels can have a bad trip in a hotel room.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-09 07:22am

Endeavour's resorts are always open - if the towels are okay with watersports or recreational tank/jet/boat combat...

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2020-10-09 03:18pm

Uhhm.

Multiple fundamentally different FTL travel paradigms could get rough.

Like, if some ships basically teleport point-to-point (BSG) while others have to physically traverse the intervening space (or a parallel B5-like hyperspace dimension), it has some pretty marked effects on how the ships interact with one another.

I'm not sure opening things up THAT far is a good idea.

...

Backstory doesn't need to be tight for the setting, I just want a rough idea what I'm dealing with in order to make sure my own backstory isn't making assumptions that contradict what other people are building around.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-09 04:35pm

I agree, on reflection. Regardless of charge times, point to point jump makes interception impossible - and if you give it a ridiculously long charge time to make up for the instantaneous jump, it makes FTL retreat super incongruous.

As for backstory, the only thing that's really going to screw up mine is if we for some reason decide that Earth never sent out colony fleets - which seems an improbable thing to decide.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-09 04:55pm

Galactic back-story stuff that I'm aware of right now, mostly collated from people's nation overviews so nothing 110% official:
1) Earth existed, had a climate change problem which resulted in some colony fleets leaving, current status: unknown. When that happened: possibly milennia ago - inconsistencies can be rationalised through time dilation weirdness.
2) There were at least two, potentially four or more precursor nations - two had a war which resulted in Eternal_Freedom's Orion state and two more had a total war - the survivors of whom are floating around Crossroads Inc.'s UISC space. There's also a suspicious amount of debris in my Endeavour nation's space, which may or may not be precursor war-related.
3) Various non-human species have sprung up.

Aaand - that's about it. Thinking about it, "What the hell happened to Earth" could be a decent plot thread to work with, among others.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-10-09 05:11pm

With my backstory, you'd have at least three, possibly four - the Lazari (may they burn in the Nine Hells), their enemies, and then whichever other races were fighting and firing off relativistic kill vehicles long ago such that one missed and hit the Lazari habitat - and even though they did us a favour, we still want to kill them too.

As a fun bit of detail for my race - we very much hold the present generations responsible for the sins of their fathers, so if you're unconnected with those races, we won't fire the first shot - but if you are and we learn this, then things are gonna get dicey.

Feel free to call us out for destroying the Gli-Mullen, Skarosians and Phos-Phorids of course, though we'll argue self-defence in all three genocides/cleansings.

EDIT: The idea of a galaxy-wide "Precursor War" and/or "War in Heaven" (if you want to use that term, because I think it's rather poetic) that destroyed/reduced to scattered remnants the old races and allowed our various states to rise up is I think a pretty compelling one - it gives some shape to the history of the galaxy but isn't too restrictive to storytellling - if your own faction history includes something like that then great, if not then you were lucky enough to not ahve your ancestors caught up in in.

Earth can be either one of those precursors that fought, sending out colony fleets as a way to stave off extinction, or it could have been a casualty of the war which forced those colony fleets to leave.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-10 03:37pm

What if it turns out the relativistic kill vehicle was a deliberate shot at the Lazari? The Orion wouldn't be able to tell the difference. :P
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-10-10 04:02pm

Either way, it means there was at least one other race firing off WMD's in the distant past :D
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-10 04:03pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2020-10-10 04:02pm
Either way, it means there was at least one other race firing off WMD's in the distant past :D


:mrgreen:
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-10-10 04:50pm

Indeed. Newton may well be the deadliest bastard in the cosmos. With the possible exception of Einstein, since we're on the subject of relativistic weapons.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2020-10-10 05:36pm

Re lightspeed methods: I'm not opposed to eliminating point-to-point BSG-style jump drives, but I may depict jumps as *looking* like point-to-point. EG, ship blinks out in location A, time elapses, ship blinks back into space in location B, having travelled through 'hyperspace' or 'warp' in the meantime.

I don't see the different methods being a hindrance in storytelling or gaming though. It just means that if two factions facing each other use different methods, they will have to get creative. Long spin times for jump drives means that once a battle is engaged that faction is mostly committed one way or another (unless they've been spinning up their drives already), but it also has the implication that if they do retreat from a battle they're surrendering that objective-- they cannot jump back immediately with reinforcements. Intercepting them does mean basically either guesstimating where they're going to be or relying upon intelligence to set traps, but conversely, the jump-drive faction can't pursue the hyperdrive/warp drive faction either.

Basically I see it as an opportunity for creative storytelling rather than a gaming issue? /shrug/
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-10 09:10pm

Much as I hesitate to say it because of the sheer video-gameness of it, if you've ever played the bridge simulator Empty Epsilon, perhaps the jump drive could be handled that way. The further you're going, the longer the charge is, and going a very long distance might require multiple jumps. Obviously not with ranges as short as EE, but it's a way to make the paradigm work.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Esquire » 2020-10-11 01:09am

I kinda like it, as long as we don't try to pin the increase to a specific power law or anything. :)
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-10-11 06:49am

I quite liked one for a sci-fi show, where a jump always took three days in hyperspace, it meant downtime scenes were baked into each episode.

Not relevant for our storytelling needs.

Point to point like the schlock mercenary teraport leads to assainations, cruise missile diplomacy and large areas tying large points in teraport area denial.

That in itself could work. It let's players set core world's they don't need to worry about normally and frontiers for funtime posts.

Distance = time limits meant I didn't get to interact with most players due to starting position. That might provide scaffolding to help game get started with simpler kickoffs, but would need to transition into larger slow power blocks once those threads play out
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-11 11:30am

In 2k8, the general rule was 12 combat rounds = enough time to cross a hex and 1 production turn = enough time to go from one end of the fallen Empire to the other on a normal-rated hyperdrive, so anyone could theoretically interact with anyone and there was a scale for reinforcement timing. The game ended right as I was about to get the party started with responding the Chamarans' and Melconians' joint attack and orbital bombardment of the Chicago system Dyson plates, even though it was halfway across the map, but alas, players got busy with real life and the game just kind of ground to a halt. I think that makes a healthy paradigm; everyone can reach everyone in a reasonable time frame, but on the small scale there's time to deal with reasonable reinforcement.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-11 02:31pm

A perhaps timely YouTube recommendation. I haven't watched through yet, but the Templin Institute channel has done good work on other topics that I've seen their videos on, so this might help some people. :)

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2020-10-11 06:09pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-10-09 03:44am
While not fussed on rule details, I would really like a couple of ds9/space Venice/space Geneva.

Somewhere one of my towels can have a bad trip in a hotel room.
Towels?

Remind me again what's up with that? Sounds amusing.
Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2020-10-10 04:50pm
Indeed. Newton may well be the deadliest bastard in the cosmos. With the possible exception of Einstein, since we're on the subject of relativistic weapons.
Relativistic impactors are what happens when Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, the deadliest sons of bitches in space, do a fusion dance and turn into Albac Newstein.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2020-10-10 05:36pm
Re lightspeed methods: I'm not opposed to eliminating point-to-point BSG-style jump drives, but I may depict jumps as *looking* like point-to-point. EG, ship blinks out in location A, time elapses, ship blinks back into space in location B, having travelled through 'hyperspace' or 'warp' in the meantime.
Yeah, no problem with that. If hyperspace is an alternate dimension (e.g. Babylon 5) then that's exactly what you'd expect- either ships appear out of a swirling Energy Thing, or they just blink into existence spontaneously a la Star Wars.
I don't see the different methods being a hindrance in storytelling or gaming though. It just means that if two factions facing each other use different methods, they will have to get creative...

Basically I see it as an opportunity for creative storytelling rather than a gaming issue? /shrug/
You're right, but it lends itself to problems in adversarial play ("clearly my method is superior and enables me to trololol destroy all of your everything.")

Since the entire point of this detailed ruleset is to have a response to adversarial play, we need to bear that in mind.

If it was up to me I'd just say "you're right, let's roll with it," but if it was up to me we'd also be very badly equipped to deal with adversarial gameplay scenarios.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-11 06:44pm

I mean, if we're ill-equipped to deal with adversarial play we might as well just do freeform, which seems to be where the poll is going. Stormbringer and Pablo aren't around, so maybe it'll work better this time if we end up doing that, but it does lead to a certain lack of direction or sense of what your capabilities actually are.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-11 07:30pm

To elaborate: The 2k8 rules' most valuable aspect to me, besides the existence of a defined way to measure stealth systems, was a definition of how one might expect combat in the setting to go. See, I intentionally build expensive, tough ships, heavy for their class, with a doctrine of warship preservation and survival. Contrast to what Stormbringer and to a lesser extent Thirdfain were glad to tell you straight up: Combat should be over in minutes, if they say they're targeting a thing it should die in the next post, don't care how heavy it is, how protected you made it, how redundant its systems. This mightily pissed him off because I refused to simply throw away a major capital ship on his say-so, particularly not when he was randomly declaring my fighter-based system defense doctrine completely invalid. What followed was all the impeller wedge-based godmoding in subsequent engagements.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-11 07:48pm

Goddamn the lack of edit function. Anyway, in fact here's Thirdfain saying that. I disagree; doing it that way allows for no useful storytelling time once a war starts. HOWEVER, without rules that stylistic disagreement creates irreconcilable conflict, because party A wants to have everything he's shooting at die on the quick so he can just have the planet already and party B has stories to tell with that ship AND thought he was building it specifically to be survivable which is why there are fewer ships in his ORBAT to begin with because having huge numbers of deadly and survivable ships just plain old wouldn't be fair. (From this, we can tell that B is a rather naive player when it comes to freeform.) The rule being players decide what happens to their own units, this pisses off party A because B believes his ships are heavily armored and treats them as such, which leads to A commencing the godmoding bullshit.
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