STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Dark Hellion » 2020-09-30 08:49am

I am interested. Gotta work up a post with some of my thoughts about previous stgods. I got "stuff" to say.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-09-30 12:31pm

Esquire wrote:
2020-09-29 11:46pm
Rogue 9 wrote:
2020-09-29 11:37pm
Also, Simon, you bring up the SDNW4 rules. What are those rules? There doesn't seem to be a rules thread that's titled as such and I don't feel like wading through however many commentary threads it generated to find them.
https://worldsofsdn.fandom.com/wiki/Ruleset

This, no? Found via Google.

EDIT: I apparently don't know how HTML tags work on my phone.
I just gave it a quick skim over lunch, and will read thoroughly when I'm home. It seems a perfectly workable set of rules, but I'm having a hard time reading it as shorter or simpler. It makes you account for everything down to suborbital shuttles, and then you're dealing with ship class interactions, multipliers, troop training, infantry equipment, etc. I would be happy to play under this or something like it, but simpler it is not.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-09-30 12:40pm

Points are points are points worked really well for last game. People went hog wild on variety, used net point size to guage battles and sorted out interactions of abilities based on negotiations, knowing the overall result was set already
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-09-30 02:05pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-09-30 12:40pm
Points are points are points worked really well for last game. People went hog wild on variety, used net point size to guage battles and sorted out interactions of abilities based on negotiations, knowing the overall result was set already
Yeah. For instance, I had my wooden-ship navy have some considerable advantages (not least being every gun on a 74 was a long 36 pounder, heh) but they consequently cost more. I think we're all mature and sensible enough to accept it if a bunch of other's say "that's not enough points for what your ship can do" without having to go into Warhammer-esque profiles for units.

I would also suggest, purely to keep things simpler, that any points cost for, say, a carrier includes it's air wing, rather than a per-hull cost plus fighters. If a carrier survives a battle but most planes don't then we can work that into subsequent posts.

I will try and write up a basic concept for my faction, tentatively called the Dominion of Orion this evening. Think two-metre tall humanoids built for combat with four arms :)
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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 » 2020-09-30 02:09pm

Whatever we decide, I'll play. I have preferences, but I really just want to get a game going, and STGODs are primarily freeform anyway.

I'm going to check with Dalton first, but if we think we need more players, I can probably recruit outside SDN.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-09-30 02:25pm

If you want you could try recruiting from the Phoenix Gaymer Discord I help run.
IK have been trying to start up a game like this for a while, but wasn't able to get that much interest, but others may join if they know there will already be a large number of other players joining
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-09-30 02:47pm

I want to ask Dalton first. I know we used to be fairly paranoid about linking back here, and I think registration is still turned off judging by the current announcements.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-09-30 03:34pm

Other races I'd like to play.

Terraforming curlews, genial banna slugs.

And

The trash eaters- detrivore swarm /bio reclamation tool run amok/pirates invading planets to carry off their landfill. They evolved from a dead civilization crushed under an ice age. Will flee from battle but fight over salvage. Comical inversed consumerism.

Humans, the hyper durable endurance hunters as the space orks, earth as space Australia.

Sentinent towels, escaped from a luxury resort at the end of the universe. All tech and literature based on strings, knots, vibrations, sails and string theory. They prefer water worlds and gas giants, and really really hate tourists. Will sometimes skin them and wear the leather, see how they like it.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Dark Hellion » 2020-09-30 03:46pm

I am going to go for a walk and will be thinking about STGOD stuff while I walk (it generally helps me sort my thoughts). However, I am going to leave the general idea I will be trying to wokr out better: primarily, that the problems STGODS have had in the past are not with the crunch of the rules systems but with the necessity to have rules that allows for proper narrative flows which do not become overly taxing as the story becomes more complex and involved.
Basically, whatever the rules for combat or nation creation are won't really matter until we decide how we will be structuring the basic outlines of storytelling and resolving story telling disputes which are about clashes of vision not clashes of units/points.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-09-30 04:07pm

Well, that's the job of the moderators. The only time I've personally been involved in a flameout was STGOD4 because that's the only time anyone's seriously tried to conquer me, and it wasn't the being under attack part that was getting me, it was the arbitrarily high fleet count - way above starting level - that I was dealing with. That one had no rules, most relevantly no rules around production, so there was nothing saying Stormbringer couldn't just quintuple his fleet with a crash building program, so he did... and exploited the fact that the rest of us didn't. It was kosher, because there were no rules saying he couldn't do it. But it wasn't fun. And that crash and burn directly resulted from the lack of rules constraining behavior.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-09-30 04:45pm

Cursed lack of edit function!
Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 12:06am
OK, but... what does any of this even mean and how do I nation-create with it?
I'm going to treat this as a genuine request for information (though I realize it might not be).

The first number in each entry is the base weight of the ship - its basic cost in points. It is the ship's hit points, and it deals 1/5 of the base weight in damage to an enemy fleet every combat turn. This damage is pooled from all the ships you have shooting at an enemy fleet, and the defender allocates the damage. You can't just snipe out a particular ship with it unless your opponent lets you, though you can of course say you're trying to and he just might let you.

Everything else is specializations. Each specialization point costs a point - 5C3 costs 5 points. They do only what they say, and do not contribute to the hull weight, throw weight, or hit points of the ship unless specified.

C3 is exactly what that commonly means - command, control, communications. It is sensors and comms. Having high C3 detects ships from further away, counters Stealth, and permits communication despite jamming.

D is Active Defenses. This covers both point defense and electronics warfare. All the active defenses in a fleet are pooled, and when defending 25% of the total is deducted from incoming basic damage and ignored. It also includes jamming; without a C3 advantage over enemy D, you know there are ships there, but can't get an accurate count until within combat range, and once in combat range can't communicate out. D can be expended in place of hit points, but then you lose its advantages until repaired.

O is improved offense. Just like base weight, it deals 20% of its total in damage to the enemy per turn. Unlike base weight, it can be targeted at specific enemy ships and cannot be soaked by D if you have a C3 advantage over enemy D. If you absolutely have to kill a specific target rather than just winging ordnance in the general direction of the enemy formation, this is how you do it.

I is interdiction. It prevents enemy ships from fleeing and can be countered with improved hyperdrives, which none of my ships have.

S is Stealth. This one actually is sort of complicated, but once you do the math you have the ship's stealth rating and never have to worry about it again. The Stealth score is divided by a tenth of the rest of the ship's cost, and 1 added to the result. (All ships have a basic ability to "run silent" and thus a native +1S for free.) The result is the ship's Stealth Rating, which is compared to enemy C3 to see if the ship is detected - in the case of the Shadow class, it's Stealth rating is 11 and most vessels can't see it if it's holding still. Perfect cloak does not exist; maneuvering, active scanning, and firing weapons all reveal your position.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 12:06am
And yeah, that link Esquire gave is to the SDNW4/5 rules, or some iteration of them. The carrier rules were needlessly complicated for some screwy reason, but aside from that things were conceptually simple, which is a huge plus.
I don't know if I would qualify needing to account for every little thing down to shuttlecraft with a GDP calculation partially determined by a die roll simpler than just divvying out 2000 points on a small, defined list of things, but as I said, it’s fine with me. My conception of "complicated" in games is evidently different than yours, which is understandable considering I play D&D, Warhammer, and a big pile of Euro board games. When you tell me a rules system is complicated I think, like, F.A.T.A.L. or something. :wink:
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-09-30 05:09pm

Random question time, as I'm still working on my concept and the answers will affect it. How "high" a level of technology are we permitted? Are we handling FTL stuff as warp/hyperdrive like SW/ST/SG or are we allowed BSG-style point-to-point jump drives? Or are we using BattleTech-type jump-only-at-edge-of-system-or-Lagrange-point drives? What sort of max/average out FTL speed is permitted? What about FTL comms/sensors? What kind of weaponry is permitted and so on.

I ask because while I'm coming up with the Orions as a distinct race, I'd quite like to have them use my Battlestar classes from my ongoing fanfic. And maybe the Warstars if we are allowed ships that potent.
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 » 2020-09-30 05:25pm

I'm not really a fan of instant transportation of warships, personally; it permits striking without warning. We tried a Freespace style node network once in 2005, but it was perhaps too restrictive.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-09-30 05:35pm

So SW style hyperdrives then. I can still make my Battlestar designs work with that. What about general tech level?
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 » 2020-09-30 05:41pm

I'm not dictating this thing; I just bit the bullet and started the thread. My ships use spinal railguns; I just up the percentage of c to match the nominal damage output of the tech level. ;)
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2020-09-30 05:52pm

Rogue 9 wrote:
2020-09-30 05:41pm
I'm not dictating this thing; I just bit the bullet and started the thread. My ships use spinal railguns; I just up the percentage of c to match the nominal damage output of the tech level. ;)
Heh. Same, but with giant-ass proton beams.
Rogue 9 wrote:
2020-09-30 04:45pm
I'm going to treat this as a genuine request for information (though I realize it might not be).
It is.
The first number in each entry is the base weight of the ship - its basic cost in points. It is the ship's hit points, and it deals 1/5 of the base weight in damage to an enemy fleet every combat turn. This damage is pooled from all the ships you have shooting at an enemy fleet, and the defender allocates the damage. You can't just snipe out a particular ship with it unless your opponent lets you, though you can of course say you're trying to and he just might let you.
[grunts]

Honestly I'd rather run combat on a purely narrative basis; anyone who gets into a fight with me, we'd have to dicker a bit about it I guess?
Everything else is specializations. Each specialization point costs a point - 5C3 costs 5 points. They do only what they say, and do not contribute to the hull weight, throw weight, or hit points of the ship unless specified.

C3 is exactly what that commonly means - command, control, communications. It is sensors and comms. Having high C3 detects ships from further away, counters Stealth, and permits communication despite jamming.

D is Active Defenses. This covers both point defense and electronics warfare. All the active defenses in a fleet are pooled, and when defending 25% of the total is deducted from incoming basic damage and ignored. It also includes jamming; without a C3 advantage over enemy D, you know there are ships there, but can't get an accurate count until within combat range, and once in combat range can't communicate out. D can be expended in place of hit points, but then you lose its advantages until repaired.

O is improved offense. Just like base weight, it deals 20% of its total in damage to the enemy per turn. Unlike base weight, it can be targeted at specific enemy ships and cannot be soaked by D if you have a C3 advantage over enemy D. If you absolutely have to kill a specific target rather than just winging ordnance in the general direction of the enemy formation, this is how you do it.

I is interdiction. It prevents enemy ships from fleeing and can be countered with improved hyperdrives, which none of my ships have.

S is Stealth. This one actually is sort of complicated, but once you do the math you have the ship's stealth rating and never have to worry about it again. The Stealth score is divided by a tenth of the rest of the ship's cost, and 1 added to the result. (All ships have a basic ability to "run silent" and thus a native +1S for free.) The result is the ship's Stealth Rating, which is compared to enemy C3 to see if the ship is detected - in the case of the Shadow class, it's Stealth rating is 11 and most vessels can't see it if it's holding still. Perfect cloak does not exist; maneuvering, active scanning, and firing weapons all reveal your position.
[grunts]

OK, I can actually work with that... are there any more abbreviations listed? H for Hyperdrive?

Because let's see, I'd have... well, there ARE some stealth ships but the capability is minimal and mostly focused around surveillance craft. Capital ships of two types, both high O, one tanky, one less so... fleet escort carriers with high C3 and/or D... escort ships with moderate C3 and/or D... hm. Does this setting include FTL-capable small craft?

Interdiction is imagined as something ships project with some kind of zone of effect, right?

Aaaand, I take it specialization points are taken out of the general budget for ships? So I pay the same for 1O or 1C3 as I do for one 'normal point?'
Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 12:06am
And yeah, that link Esquire gave is to the SDNW4/5 rules, or some iteration of them. The carrier rules were needlessly complicated for some screwy reason, but aside from that things were conceptually simple, which is a huge plus.
I don't know if I would qualify needing to account for every little thing down to shuttlecraft with a GDP calculation partially determined by a die roll simpler than just divvying out 2000 points on a small, defined list of things, but as I said, it’s fine with me...
Well see, the thing is, the ruleset worked out something like this.

"OK, Word of GM is that I have 50,000 points. I want, uh, 10,000 of that to be army... do I want multiple troop types, sure, so let's make that 1000 points of hyped up space marines and 9000 points of regular army, which represents however the fuck many I want actual soldiers. That leaves 40,000. I want, uh... OK, make up some ship class point values. Let's have eight 1000-point big-ass superdreadnoughts, 24 500-point battleships, 60 100-point cruisers, 140 50-point escort frigates, and... the rest can be a shitload of short-range gunboats for local defense or whatever."

Aaaaaand I'm done. Just made up the point values of everything off the top of my head. And there's not much risk of the build being suboptimal when Points Are Points (TM). There's no way that it turns out that the dice mechanics make it mechanically optimal to swarm one 1000-pt dreadnought with twenty 50pt torpedo cruisers, or vice versa.

Everything else gets handled narratively.

Now, the real drawback of this system is that there's not much of a mechanism for oppositional play; if both sides aren't willing to come to a reasonable consensus on how much damage is suffered fighting a war, the system contains no means of resolving the issue other than "mods go with their guts and impose arbitrary ruling."
My conception of "complicated" in games is evidently different than yours, which is understandable considering I play D&D, Warhammer, and a big pile of Euro board games. When you tell me a rules system is complicated I think, like, F.A.T.A.L. or something. :wink:
I think the main problem is the amount of text I have to read in order to understand the system well enough to stat things out. I hit my limit when there's, like, 2-3 pages of prelude; it's why my brain just NOPED right out of Crossroads' thing, because it spent several pages lecturing me on the principles of good gameplay or whatever.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 2020-09-30 05:56pm

Hmmm... To spitball, feel free to debate this up or down: at least some rapid-fabrication technology, but perhaps not overly much, VR more advanced than ours (with the computing and networking implications that... implies), general firepower/defences around ST or Eternal_Freedom's fanfic level (minus certain reality-ending bombs, of course) since that gives big booms without ending planets, speed probably depends on what map we end up using, probably FTL comms?

Otherwise, so long as things are pegged to a similar level, the tech used could be anything.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-09-30 06:11pm

VX-145 wrote:
2020-09-30 05:56pm
Hmmm... To spitball, feel free to debate this up or down: at least some rapid-fabrication technology, but perhaps not overly much, VR more advanced than ours (with the computing and networking implications that... implies), general firepower/defences around ST or Eternal_Freedom's fanfic level (minus certain reality-ending bombs, of course) since that gives big booms without ending planets, speed probably depends on what map we end up using, probably FTL comms?

Otherwise, so long as things are pegged to a similar level, the tech used could be anything.
No reality-ending bombs? But...but...

Sigh....fine. I will have my faction put aside their false-vacuum WMD's and stick to teraton-range superlasers or multi-gigaton Super-MAC guns a la Halo ODP's. :D

Hmm...actually, this could be a good way to preview my planned UNSC Ragnarok class battleships and Thermopylae class battlecruisers before I reach book III. I'm sold. I shall move away from Battlestars in favour of hurling massive slugs at fractional-c velocities. I'll leave the enhanced NOVA bombs at home though.
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 VX-145 » 2020-09-30 06:32pm

That's too bad, I was looking forward to blowing up a Warstar :P

Any thoughts on that general tech level?

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-09-30 06:42pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 05:52pm
The first number in each entry is the base weight of the ship - its basic cost in points. It is the ship's hit points, and it deals 1/5 of the base weight in damage to an enemy fleet every combat turn. This damage is pooled from all the ships you have shooting at an enemy fleet, and the defender allocates the damage. You can't just snipe out a particular ship with it unless your opponent lets you, though you can of course say you're trying to and he just might let you.
[grunts]

Honestly I'd rather run combat on a purely narrative basis; anyone who gets into a fight with me, we'd have to dicker a bit about it I guess?
And normally, that's exactly what happened! The rules exist in case of disputes; most combats that happened were solved narratively with a quick look at the points levels rather than busting out calculators. But disputes happen in these. In STGOD2k8 when these were in use, one happened from the word go, in fact; Academia Nut tried to narratively disable, board, and capture a flotilla of Thirdfain's patrol pickets in a single post. (This was responded to in game with self-destruct charges, and out of game with breaking out the rules in the OOC chat.)
Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 05:52pm
Everything else is specializations. Each specialization point costs a point - 5C3 costs 5 points...
[grunts]

OK, I can actually work with that... are there any more abbreviations listed? H for Hyperdrive?

Because let's see, I'd have... well, there ARE some stealth ships but the capability is minimal and mostly focused around surveillance craft. Capital ships of two types, both high O, one tanky, one less so... fleet escort carriers with high C3 and/or D... escort ships with moderate C3 and/or D... hm. Does this setting include FTL-capable small craft?

Interdiction is imagined as something ships project with some kind of zone of effect, right?

Aaaand, I take it specialization points are taken out of the general budget for ships? So I pay the same for 1O or 1C3 as I do for one 'normal point?'
The others are:

H - Improved hyperdrives; allows faster escape from interdiction or, if the difference is great enough, simply ignoring it altogether, using the same calculation as Stealth to get a rating dependent on ship size.
B - Bombardment weapons, each point counts as 5 points for the purpose of attacking a planet; of no use in space combat.
R - Realspace engines; permits avoiding engagement with slower vessels. (I don't think anyone seriously used this one; it was kind of tacked on because some people felt if we could improve FTL we should be able to improve STL, but apart from suggesting the moderators allow narrative bonuses for outmaneuvering and surrounding the enemy no one could figure out other things to do with it that active defenses didn't already do.)

Interdiction is indeed a zone, though a small one. The way it works in effect is interdiction increases the amount of time it takes to charge up FTL drives to escape; normally you must flee for three turns to do it, but each +N of interdiction increases that by a turn. If you are yanked out of hyperspace by an interdictor you arrive with weapons offline and the enemy gets a free shot at you, but the field isn't very big so setting that up requires some serious work (and serious sensor arrays) in an undefined sort of way - again, this is supposed to be narrative first.

And yes, they are taken out of the same budget. The part I left in my quote there is where I attempted to spell that out. :)
Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 05:52pm
I don't know if I would qualify needing to account for every little thing down to shuttlecraft with a GDP calculation partially determined by a die roll simpler than just divvying out 2000 points on a small, defined list of things, but as I said, it’s fine with me...
Well see, the thing is, the ruleset worked out something like this.

"OK, Word of GM is that I have 50,000 points. I want, uh, 10,000 of that to be army... do I want multiple troop types, sure, so let's make that 1000 points of hyped up space marines and 9000 points of regular army, which represents however the fuck many I want actual soldiers. That leaves 40,000. I want, uh... OK, make up some ship class point values. Let's have eight 1000-point big-ass superdreadnoughts, 24 500-point battleships, 60 100-point cruisers, 140 50-point escort frigates, and... the rest can be a shitload of short-range gunboats for local defense or whatever."

Aaaaaand I'm done. Just made up the point values of everything off the top of my head. And there's not much risk of the build being suboptimal when Points Are Points (TM). There's no way that it turns out that the dice mechanics make it mechanically optimal to swarm one 1000-pt dreadnought with twenty 50pt torpedo cruisers, or vice versa.

Everything else gets handled narratively.

Now, the real drawback of this system is that there's not much of a mechanism for oppositional play; if both sides aren't willing to come to a reasonable consensus on how much damage is suffered fighting a war, the system contains no means of resolving the issue other than "mods go with their guts and impose arbitrary ruling."
Yes, I am picking up on that reading through it. That's why the 2k8 system (which I'll note is NOT the same as Crossroads' document since you keep bringing them up together) had defined "damage = 1/5 of points." You didn't have to take that literally if you didn't want to. But if someone's trying to say he insta-gibs your ships, and under the rules he doesn't, you have the rules to fall back on. I dunno, having been on the receiving end of the traditional STGOD bangbus, I like the safety net.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2020-09-30 05:52pm
My conception of "complicated" in games is evidently different than yours, which is understandable considering I play D&D, Warhammer, and a big pile of Euro board games. When you tell me a rules system is complicated I think, like, F.A.T.A.L. or something. :wink:
I think the main problem is the amount of text I have to read in order to understand the system well enough to stat things out. I hit my limit when there's, like, 2-3 pages of prelude; it's why my brain just NOPED right out of Crossroads' thing, because it spent several pages lecturing me on the principles of good gameplay or whatever.
I'll be honest, I wanted to nope out of it as well; I did finish reading it over about a day because I promised I would, and included it in the OP because it was an active proposal, but I do not favor it, at least not without a serious editing pass.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2020-09-30 07:13pm

Rogue 9 wrote:
2020-09-30 06:42pm
And normally, that's exactly what happened! The rules exist in case of disputes; most combats that happened were solved narratively with a quick look at the points levels rather than busting out calculators. But disputes happen in these. In STGOD2k8 when these were in use, one happened from the word go, in fact; Academia Nut tried to narratively disable, board, and capture a flotilla of Thirdfain's patrol pickets in a single post. (This was responded to in game with self-destruct charges, and out of game with breaking out the rules in the OOC chat.)
I guess. Personally I think the "most of us participating then are a dozen years older and more mature" factor would hopefully take care of it, but... I acknowledge the point.
The others are:

H - Improved hyperdrives; allows faster escape from interdiction or, if the difference is great enough, simply ignoring it altogether, using the same calculation as Stealth to get a rating dependent on ship size.
B - Bombardment weapons, each point counts as 5 points for the purpose of attacking a planet; of no use in space combat.
R - Realspace engines; permits avoiding engagement with slower vessels. (I don't think anyone seriously used this one; it was kind of tacked on because some people felt if we could improve FTL we should be able to improve STL, but apart from suggesting the moderators allow narrative bonuses for outmaneuvering and surrounding the enemy no one could figure out other things to do with it that active defenses didn't already do.)
Hm. None of those are really Umerian if I dust off the old Space Security Force... except maybe 'B' on designated strike cruisers. I forgot about those earlier. Cutters and strike carriers... well, ehhh.
Yes, I am picking up on that reading through it. That's why the 2k8 system (which I'll note is NOT the same as Crossroads' document since you keep bringing them up together) had defined "damage = 1/5 of points." You didn't have to take that literally if you didn't want to. But if someone's trying to say he insta-gibs your ships, and under the rules he doesn't, you have the rules to fall back on. I dunno, having been on the receiving end of the traditional STGOD bangbus, I like the safety net.
Yeah, I get it. I'm a product of a somewhat later and gentler time in the STGOD community, so I have different expectations there.

And yes, I've been showing interest in the 2k8 system; I'm merely grumbling about Crossroads'.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-09-30 07:17pm

My concept: The Orion Dominion

Overview:

The Dominion is a relatively young yet powerful faction on the galactic stage, controlling two dozen highly-industrialised systems centered on the twin planets Or and On in the Lazar System in the heart of the Orion Cluster. They are extremely distrustful of alien species and have fought a number of vicious wars against them in the last five centuries, though a cursory examination of their history gives some justification. Despite this, they have a strong philosophy of defensive warfare, aiming to never be the aggressor or instigator or a conflict - they won't start it, but they always aim to finish it, usually in the most direct manner possible, no matter the collateral cost.

The Orion species is quite literally bred for warfare. They are mono-gendered and reproduce via advanced cloning technology that they did not develop themselves but were given by an earlier race. Bipedal, they stand two metres tall, are very strong and possess four arms giving them an advantage in close combat and in terms of weaponry used. Their bodies are extremely resistant to damage, extremes of temperature and pressure and disease.

Their fleet is currently centered on twelve Apocalypse-class dreadnoughts and twenty-four Nemesis class battlecruisers, with a large number of cruisers and destroyers to serve as system patrols and fleet escorts. Unlike many other races they do not use starfighters. Their ships are built using a mixture of their own weapons and assorted other technologies they inherited or have acquired in earlier wars.

History (Briefly):

The Orion species has existed for more than twenty millennia, but only emerged as a united species six hundred years ago. They did not evolve naturally on Or, but were created as a long-term military project by an older race whose great empire had collapsed long ago and now found themselves confined to a vast habitat at the barycentre of the Or and On binary planet system. The Orions were engineered to be easily-cloned and powerful soldiers, reproduced via cloning vats in the tens of thousands and then allowed to grow and develop and (most importantly) hone their combat, tactical and strategic skills in endless wars against other Orion factions spread across Or.

The various factions grew, developed and fought for millennia, always and unknowingly watched by the Lazari from their habitat. Any time too many factions decided to band together, the Lazari would subtly interfere to break up the alliances, to perpetuate the war and continue the experiments. They also made a point of destroying any probes launched towards On, not wanting the Orions to learn of their other experiments.

The second planet, On, held a similar battlefield experiment, and evidence of the ongoing warfare could be seen by telescope from Or. This did not hold much interest however until the Great Betrayal came six hundred years ago. The experiments on On decided they had enough of war and made peace with each other. They began broadcasting messages of peace to Or, hoping to find long-lost cousins. This forced the Lazari to act more directly. They instigated a devastating global nuclear holocaust, destroying every living thing. This would be their undoing however, as such devastation was clearly visible to the Inhabitants of Or, the event causing a lull in the fighting as they pondered the meaning. Meanwhile, the Lazari habitat was crippled by a hit from what was later determined to be a relativistic kill vehicle, most likely an off-target weapon from some ancient war.

The few Lazari survivors had no choice but to land on Or as the only habitable world within reach. They contacted the largest Orion faction and told them some of the truth, not realising that the Orions already suspected the massive space habitat to be responsible for the annihilation of all life on On.

The Orion faction discretely contacted the other factiosn, presented their evidence and asked for unity. In a matter of days, the species united, enraged at the constant warfare being just an experiment for uncaring aliens, and aghast at the devastation they had wrought on the other world. The Lazari who had come to Or were slaughtered completely, and their ship soon returned to the habitat, loaded with Orion troops to eradicate any other Lazari survivors.

The habitat was cleansed, and the full truth of the experiments was learned. The factions, united by their common enemy declared a new government; the Orion Dominion. The chosen name honoured both their homeworld and that of their murdered cousins on the twin planet. The cloning systems were retained as a means of eventually repopulating On and settling other worlds. The technology left behind by the Lazari was adopted and adapted to work with existing Orion designs and a great wave of exploration and expansion began.

Three times they encountered other sentient races native to the Orion Cluster during their expansion. In each case, the Orions made peaceful contact but remained suspicious, suspicions that were warranted. The Gli-Mullen attempted to infect the envoys with a deadly but slow-acting pathogen. The Skarosians agreed to send their own envoys to Or, only to actually send unmanned ships packed with antimatter weapons. The Phos-Pharids reacted by firing off their own relativistic kill vehicles, which fortunately missed.

In all three cases, the Dominion determined peaceful coexistence was impossible and the homeworlds were cleansed by kinetic bombardment and then re-settled by Orions.

The twenty colonised systems are all fairly close within the Orion Cluster, and so contact with other species has been sporadic to date. Any other species are advised to be extremely careful, the Orions have a very dim view of betrayal and a low tolerance for deception, despite their determination to not be the aggressor.

Ships:

12x Apocalypse dreadnoughts - 3.6 km beasts, covered in heavy armour, incredibly strong shields and the best available hyperdrives and sensor systems. Built around four spinal coilguns,, each firing 3,000 tonne slugs at extreme velocities. Smaller versions ("hypervelocity guns") in turrets line the flanks, along with beam weapons reverse-engineered from Lazari designs, missile batteries and heavy anti-fighter/missile defences.

24x Nemesis battlecruisers - scaled-down and cheaper versions of the Apocalypse class. 2.4 km long, armed with just one spinal coilgun and fewer secondary batteries, but more powerful engines. Designed as fast-attack ships for fleet engagements and to act as long-endurance commerce raiders if needed.

Cruisers - 1 km hulls, mount one spinal coilgun of equivalent power to dreadnought-class hypervelocity guns, turreted beam weapons, missiles and point/area defence systems. Intended as heavy escorts for capital ships and flagships of patrol groups.

Destroyers - 500m hulls, strong shields but thin armour. Powerful engines, heavy missile battery, beam weapons and anti-fighter guns. Intended for "wolfpack" attacks on larger vessels, system patrols and close escort of capital ships.

Explorers - destroyer hulls but with most weapons swapped for sensor arrays, science labs and cargo holds for long-duration science/exploration/diplomatic missions. Possess advanced stealth systems that aren't (yet) feasible on larger combat ships. Can also serve an AWACS-type role for destroyer/cruiser patrol groups as needed.

Patrol ships - small 200m gunboat-type vessels, not equipped with hyperdrives but can be ferried by larger vessels if needed. In-system patrols, orbital defences and anti-fighter gunships

ODP's - space-based defences for Orion worlds. Each ODP mounts one capital-grade coilgun (essentially these are S-MAC platforms from Halo) along with close-in armament.

Interdiction Platforms - A second type of orbital platform. Orion technology is not yet able to fit interdiction field generators into warships that retain a useful combat capacity, so instead they are used in static defences. They prevent enemy ships from dropping out of hyperspace near planets, forcing enemies to run the gauntlet of ODP fire to approach. Also prevents enemy ships from retreating quickly.

=====

Phew. I think that'll do as a basic outline and a rough idea of ships/tech used. I'm borrowing ideas from Halo, my own fanfic (yay!) and some from Doctor Who - I envisage the Orions as a clone warrior race as something like the Sontarans combined with the humans/Hath from Messaline (the place with instant-cloning tech that produced the Doctor's daughter Jenny).
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by Rogue 9 » 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.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by VX-145 » 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.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Concept/Planning Thread

Post by MKSheppard » 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
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