20 December 2012

Metagame: Yet More From the Voluminous Notebooks.

 Greetings all,

As we await the probably not end of the world this Friday, I figured I better post something since come Saturday, it's going to be just another December day (though probably unseasonably warm here for the Northlands). And since life will go on and I will be jus that much closer to having my Traveller5 book and associated goodies (TAS, Knighthoods, Title, T-shirt, Jump Drive, loads of dice. The works, baby!), I should get back to work.

So, while I figure out what I need Bill to draw, I will once more post some of the stuff I have written down in the notebooks. As usual, the entries are brief and varied in nature. I hope they meet with your satisfaction. Enjoy.


Jump Stuff.

Flight Plans are registered with the ISPA Traffic Control, who then check your plan to see if the Jump Line is clear of expected traffic for the week. A Jump Plot may be rejected by Traffic Control if the plot intersects a previous or an expected plot which crosses the filed plot  All plans are given a clearance to help prevent collisions upon arrival in the next system. They still happen though, no system is perfect. 

Jump time is unknown It can be predicted, but never nailed down till after the big red button has been pushed. And even then it can sometimes be wrong. Sort of like the estimate you get when the computer is doing a long and complex action. 

Right now, I am leaning toward Up and Out for leaving the system and Down and In for arriving. 

Planetary Assault forces tend to make running Jumps, while Battle Squadrons tend to make zero vector Jumps.

The Diver's Chair.

While thinking about what kind of Relics of the Old Empires, I decided I need some non-uber ray guns or teleporters. (Besides, they already have these, they are called Psionics.) I though of a Diver who lead a team through a Dump for a failed quest, but they did bring back a chair. When asked why, they claimed "Because it is the most comfortable chair I ever sat in and I wanted to keep that feeling." What other properties might it have? Perhaps a Rumor Chart would be in order.

The Old Federation. 

The actual name for the old Terran Federation was the The Federal Union of Terra, the Belts and Colonies.

Friendly Fire Bullets.

High TLs munitions that can tell friendly or neutral units from hostile ones. They divert from their flight path, abort or do not deliver their payload or effect to friendly units.

Some Customs of House Interhaus.

A custom of the House of Interhaus are the Canes of Authority. There are only three and they are crafted from ancient materials from Terra (or so it's said). The Ivory cane is the symbol of the Leader of the House of Interhaus. The Jade cane is received for the House's hair (the first child) and he Ebony cane is carried by the Spare or second child. A saying of the House "When the Spare becomes Leader, there is despair in the world."

Well, hopefully that will keep you entertained and further educated about the Permatic Imperium. I should probably get some sleep in here as i have to up and about tomorrow. 

Laterness,
Craig.

10 December 2012

Update: I don't want to go on the cart!

I'm not dead yet.

I haven't posted because, I hate the keyboard on my "not a tablet computer". Also, the dread HD crash took my dear Victoria and then the net went down and so on. Basically, that damned Real Life crapped on me there for a while.

Still, things are looking up and I will be back up and running soon.

And last, a very big "Aw, shucks. I was just doing my job, but thank you." to Kobold for putting me on his "these blogs are cool, but small" award (I forget how to spell the proper title and just woke up) list.

Seriously, I am rather chuffed to have once again inspired someone. I am glad to see your going to be keeping up with your Travller universe. I should be popping by to cath up very soon. After I post another batch of notebook ideas I jotted down, well wrote down, I don't have a Parker Pens Jotterat the moment. I do love that pen. All future looking when I was a kid. Love that brushed aluminum.

So that is the haps, right now here at the Intstutue. I'll be back.

Laterness,
Craig.

23 November 2012

Metagame: Some Concept Art.

Once more Behind the Screen, dear Followers!

Not a lot but it is pretty cool. A little sketch done by an old friend who has been doing concept art for me since way back in the day. This one is SLED Agent in a BattleDress skin. It wasn't what I was expecting, but that is the reason you get other people's ideas of what things look like. I will try and get him over to scan his sketches of Permatic's archipelagos. They are are pretty cool. 

Anyway, off to do real life stuff. Enjoy.

SLED Agent in BattleDress. (circa 180 PIY)
SLED Agent in BattleDress. (circa 180 PIY)

Laterness,
Craig.

13 November 2012

Metagame: Library Data N - Neo-Oregon, a Lost World.


Another bit from the notebooks to tide you over while I am busy putting things together still. Enjoy.

Rumor: The Miner's Union and the Coral Artist Guild are fighting for control of the best metal veins.

Rumor: Neo-Oregon is not so much a colony as an outlet for those who have difficulty with New Californian society. It is a home to rebels, "wild mountain men" and free-thinkers. Also it is where a Confederation Judge oversees the outcast societies with an iron law.

Adventure Seed: One of the sides of the interstellar trade relations blocks of New Cali, either the Guild or the Union (possibly a third party) has discovered the Imperial Scout Vasily Gregoravich, kidnapped him and are planning on ransoming him back to the Empire for advanced technology (the Empire is TL-B). Problem is that the local confederation of pocket empires left over from the last war of the "Old Empire" not only did not share their higher tech with the new Terran colonists, they forbade them from having those techs with out permission of the "Old Ones". The "Old Ones" have only allowed the Terrans two planets, the one which they originally landed at and another one, Neo-Oregon, they have been allowed to colonize (one parsec rimward of New California).

Remarks: Another Imperial Company from the Federation days is Kickstarter Worlds Corporation (KWC). They specialized in setting up colonial infrastructure for future colonists to use while exploiting planetary resources.

One note not in the notebook is the fact that I had to change KWC's name now that I am aware of the Kickstarter site and its real world use. It used to be Kickstarter, but the rest of the info was the same. Just though it should be shared. 

Laterness,
Craig the Busy.


06 November 2012

Metagame: A Tiny Infonugget Regarding the Imperial Armed Forces.

Greetings All,

So, this weeks exciting bit is that I have found the dry erase markers and used them to highlight all the bases on the large printed map on my wall. This allows me to rough out the numbers of Armies and Navies the Permatic Imperium can field. Right now these numbers represent the numbers as of 150 PIY. There may well be some increase in the numbers of both in the intervening 50 years till the Imperial Bicentennial  The Scout Bases don't get counted as of yet. I am not sure how the structure their assets right now.

Another bit i the very crappy draft of an Imperial Army uniform, in this case Class As. Check it out.
The Class A Uniform of the Permatic Imperial Army. (circa  150 PIY)
The Class A Uniform of the Permatic Imperial Army. (circa  150 PIY)

When the Army isn't wearing their Class As (which have some armor and protective capabilities inherent), they are at minimum waring Combat Armor-G or BattleDress-H. They tend to have more slug throwers than the Imperial Marines, but they also have to integrate System level units.

As for the numbers they can field, well there are nine active duty Imperial Armies with three Reserve Armies.  The only Corporate Army is halfway from Capital to the border with the Parthian Remnants. 

The Imperial Navies number sixteen, though I am not sure those are Armadas, Fleets, Task Forces or Groups or even Squadrons. I suspect that they are not Armadas, and I am leaning away from Fleets as well, There also two Corporate Navies. 

Imperial Scout Bases and Waystations number around twenty-three with one Corporate Scout Base.

Well, got stuff to do that is all important and real life unfun stuff, like shopping and bills. Also voting. 

Laterness,
Craig.

25 October 2012

Metagame: The Counties.

So, I as you may well know by now am working hard on the Far Stars Sector and the Permatic Imperium setting. One of the things I have been working as again as you may know are the Astrogation Charts of the Imperium.

And I have that list of the Peerage of the Imperium with some details, but a lot of holes. For instance, at the time there were nine Count level worlds in the Imperium, so there are nine Counts in the Imperium. Only three are named, Daarnulud, Interhaus and Calais. Count of Calais is one of the Emperor's many Titles, Ranks and Offices. (He may use this Title in situations where he does not wish to be recognized as the Emperor officially so as to avoid a fuss or problems due to His Imperial and Royal status.)

Well, the other six Counties are yet to be named, but the planets are now marked on the Charts. I should say highlighted, check the bright spots. :D

County Seats of the Permatic Imperium. (circa 0150-0200 PIY)

I have [FS 0827] Ireaded marked as the Imperial Seat of County Interhaus. The Imperial Seat of an Imperial County (as opposed to a National County) is where the Imperial business is headquartered. So say you are an Imperial Deputy Marshal and you are hunting down a fugitive in the County Interhaus. When you bag your badguy and they get processed and see a Judge and possibly are sentenced to an Imperial Correctional Facility, all that Imperial Bureaucracy is done on Ireaded, Imperial County Seat (Interhaus). 

I have also marked out the Seat of County Calais, which of course is Permatic, no surprise there. It is also marked in the Royal Blue of the House of Kirosowa  The point is to later have all the Counties in the House color of whatever House has the County currently. Which leads into another point. 

Based on the Holdings of Count Rudolf Interhaus, I have decided that the standard Imperial County is expected to be at least eight worlds and include at least one Ag world, if not a couple or even a Ri Ag world. Basically, this world is set up so as to take the function as the County's breadbasket. 

So, as you might recall, Rudolf's father, mother and eldest sister were killed in the Winter Ball assassination attempt against the Emperor twelve years ago. It was this tragedy that cut short Rudolf's budding Career in the Imperial Navy and forced him into the Nobility and up to the lofty rank of an Imperial Count. His brother Walter is now the Duke, taking over their father's position which it was expected that their sister would inherit. Turns out if you look at the placement of the County Seats, perhaps another Count who had their County adjusted held a serious grudge. Ah, the heady scent of Court Intrigues. 

A couple of things to note are that oddly enough the Boothe Cluster happens to be eight worlds. The County Seats that are shown are those of the first one hundred and fifty years of the Permatic Imperium. There are quite a few worlds still waiting for the Imperial Bureaucracy to datamine stats for them to advise the Moot and His Imperial and Royal Majesty Vladimir the Second where the best locations are for new Imperial Holdings to be officially established, including new County Seats that might be created. The cool thing about this is it leave a bit of space for Referees to both have some nice stable, under table, free styling and profiling politics and some NPCs who can most def be used as Patrons for some scheme or another. Dangit, here I was trying to create a neato,, light, enlightened Imperium and here I have the makings of what at first looks like an attempt against the Emperor, but may in fact killed exactly who it was supposed to. Only the fact that Rudolf was standing behind Vladimir and was thus enclosed His Majesty's personal White Globe saved him from being killed as well. I wonder if Walter understands exactly where he might be sitting at the Moot. 

Wow, and this was just going to be a quick "Hey, while you are waiting for some in depth stuff, check out this groovy new map!" post and has now evolved into a true post about the Counts and Imperial Counties. Neato! (Yeah, I say "Neato" in print, kids. Because it is a cool word. Deal. :p)

So, I have yet to figure out who all the Canon Counts are and I have yet to figure out where to put the "open" County Seats. So, I have quite a bit of work to go, but this is the start of something I have been thinking about for some time. I think I will do a series of Imperial Seat Charts. Might be interesting for plots and stuff like this idea that some one at Court is still possible at large having committed High Treason for which there is still an open Warrant. (And now a brief note brought to you by the Imperial Ministry of Justice. :D Along with Sophonticide, Sophont Trafficking and Slavery, High Treason is one of those crimes that stays open and has no statute of limitations.) That person might also still have a secret beef against Rudolf whole damned House. And Captain Sir Darin Hawk, Baron Redsm's Player did say he'd like to play War of the Roses IN SPACE. I of course have my own cunning Referee Story Arcs I am starting to mess around with. Metagamewise, I have already had moments were the Psionics on the ship when it Jumped felt as Reality itself was modified while they were in Jumpspace. But, then again, Jumpspace and Psionics are not always such a good mix. Though evidence does seems to indicate that brief exposure to J-space may activate a latent psionic potential. It does not oddly enough say exactly what the percentage is compared to say the numbers that go insane, die, have body parts consumed by it. So, I don't know if I would try it, but it seemed to work for one Boothe, G/IISS, listed in what is said to be an unredacted snippet of the report. 

Sorry, if this post rambles around more than usual, been a very long day. I got some more hours in meatspace job, so have been falling a bit behind and I am tired and writing this extemporaneously.

So, back to the Counties. I am now off to fill out the County borders and mark the County Seats with an Allegiance Code for the TravellerMap Post function. Plus there is naming the Houses and Counties and so on and so forth.

I hope you enjoyed this and found it informative. And if some of you are using any of it in a game, let me know how it is working out. 

Well, here I close and proof, and edit, and proof again, and then an hour later it will look better. What, you say, by the time you get here the proofing and editing looks pretty damned sparse? Scroll up quick!  Pictures! Internets likes pictures. Makes Internet not so cranky. :p

Laterness,
Craig.

PS: While I was proofing and editing and thinking I remembered I had a brief list of the original Great Houses of the First Imperium, or Volcker's Imperium. It turns out it was near at hand. So, for the curious, here is that list circa the First Imperial Year Zero (001-0000 VIY) or as I recall, about 2719 Common Era.  The Houses are color coded by the political (and often astrographic ties). The list is by no means complete as to all the players in the formation of the First Imperium, nor does it have a full list of all the Noble Houses. Again, while a House maybe listed in a particular faction it does not mean they are actually from that region. For example the House of Thornwood is a Terran House, but sided with the Alliance agreeing with their basic grievances with the Terran centric Federation.

The Outer Colonial Alliance: Volcker, Singh, Weiss, Thornwood, West, Rezuuna, Kirosowa.

The Middle Colonies: Daarnulud, Arkiasan, Jones, Shawnyc, Inter, al-Vlada.

The Terran Federation: Windsor-de Bois, Han, Black, Haus, Felglen.

22 October 2012

Update: FAR STARS Sector. Now with More Worlds to Explore!

Greetings Sophont,

As you might recall my dear reader I recently had the map for the Far Stars Sector printed. After hanging it on my wall, it did its job and inspired me to fill in more of the blank spots. If you might recall the last time we saw the map it looked a bit like this:


Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 0150 PIY).
Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 150 PIY).

Mostly it is a lot of systems that have nothing more than a notation that there is a system with a MainWorld in it. In fact, it looks as if the Far Stars were populated with mostly asteroid belts. This is an artifact of my using the UWP X 000 000-0 as a placeholder for a system to be generated in the future. Routes still need work and many of the systems need details. The Permatic Imperium still has many worlds outside the Purple Line, but inside the Red Line. 

All in all, compared to what I have done since, I think I will use this as the Chart for Imperial Year 150.

Now it looks like this:

Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 200 PIY).
Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 200 PIY).

Changes include the movement of the Purple Line to the Red Line, with the exception of the disputed worlds. Eliminated the border for the Dark Stars, since they aren't really a state. The Buffer States have taken a few more worlds and is disputing several with the Free Spinward States. The Thersis Confederation's border changed, but they end up a good chunk of the rim-trailing of the sector. Of course there is the addition of the Boothe Cluster. And last all the systems with a world have at minimum of World Size, so that Travellers know if there is world or belt in the system. Some of these worlds already have their Size, Atmo and Hydro generated, but only about half right now.

The great design school, Astro U, as well as [FS 1334] Sugihara & [FS 1434] Unnessot along the rimward Red Line have been taken under the Imperial Banner. The worlds of Jowern and Nerver (IC) are claimed both by the Buffer States and the Permatic Imperium.

Eventually, I plan to have separate charts for each route type, Trade & Communications, Navies, Armies, and Marines. Another thing I need to add is some of the more important counties and of course the various smaller states that compose the Free Spinward States. 

It still needs more work, but I got quite a bit done. Also, I am digging the new TravellerMap Post look. Very cool and much more colorful. 

Behind the screen I am starting to figure out what the larger astrogation and political/military picture is. I do know that there is a large rift curving from the core-spinward to the rim-trailing. Rumor has it the across the rift are the domains of the kay. Looking at my tags, I see I now have fifty [T5 ATU] tagged posts. Time to go through them all and getting them organized. I also have been keeping track of the various search terms used to find this blog and it seems I should do some serious detail on the Imperial Army since that seems to come up a lot.

Just to let you know, for all this burst of productivity, I may be absent for a while. Fear not I will be back and I will try to keep posting stuff, the notebooks are getting filled for just such a need. 

Well, got to go and do meat space things.

Laterness,
Craig.

18 October 2012

Update: More from Adventure A: The Abonai Venture!


Below is another example of the work going on these days. It is one of the Scenes from Act 1 where characters hustle for Patronage and get that last minute gear if they can just squeeze out another fanarking Cr 100. It features a Navy officer handing out jobs on an otherwise unassuming agricultural world. Sure the Imperial Navy did just stop off there after topping off on fuel and vouchering a sizable chunk of the products in the port for shipment to waiting customers, but as far as anyone knows Bohen isn't on the usual IN logistical routes.Not that it matters, Citizen, you said something about being interested in slavers did you? 

Act 1. Mustered Out, Appointments with Patrons.

Scene: Captain Everett Wellington, IN (KCE). Our heroes have heard tales of slavery and are running them down. Following up on these tales in certain circumstances results in a quiet encounter with the Imperial Joint Intelligence Service. They get more detailed SITREP and a Limited Imperial Warrant.

Slavery is still against the Imperial Charter and HIs Majesty wishes to put a stop to Abonai's use of it on a world of the Imperial Domains. The Navy wants the Depot. If the crew takes the Warrant the Navy will see to refueling the ship, rearming it within their limits, and other logistical assistance. IJIS itself will also give the characters some basic support such contact with Free Traders who have done business there and contacts with the Abonai rebels in the belt.

REFEREE ONLY


Captain Everett Wellington, IN (KCE). Captain Wellington is a protege of Admiral Neville Worthington. The Admiral holds a high-level office in the Imperial Navy's Logistics Command and is rumored to involved in the Navy's intelligence arm. The good Captain was groomed by the Admiral for his current billet with Imperial Naval Intelligence (Spinward). In this position he is tasked to gather, digest, analyze and report the latest intelligence with an eye for operations in the Free Spinward States. He is not only looking out for threat coming from one of the Free States, but he is also keeping an eye out for movements in to the area by Parthian forces and intelligence agents attempting to penetrate or test the Realm's defenses. He is serious about his work and doesn't have much of social life as far as anyone knows. He is also very closed mouthed and is skilled in dodging questions he can not answer due to the security constraints of his position. 

The actual Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 0200 PIY) proudly displayed on my wall.
And this is my new wall art. Cost an arm and a leg, lots of ramen, tuna and cheese in my future, but totally worth it right now. Not at all finished, but it does have the Permatic Imperium, the Parthian Remnants, and the Buffer States completed. The Thersis Confederation, the Free Spinward States, the Boothe Cluster and the Dark Stars still need to be finished, from generating UWPs and Extensions to getting Boothe's player to roll up Starports, Bases and TLs for his Discovery Worlds. The map also helped me as I thought it would visualizing what is happening on the large scale. I had an epiphany regarding X-Boats and why they have no Maneuver Drives (and am using a really good one off of the CotI T5 Private Forum), how armed forces can be moved about, and how His Imperial and Royal Majesty plans on taking back those worlds inside the Red Line. So yeah, it cost me, but much like many things in life, it is worth so much more because of that cost.

Also, it just looks cool. And it represents more Traveller Star System Generation than I have done up till now. Before when I had the new rules I did up some starships and generated a Subsector to the spinward of the Marches. Here I am working with a whole Sector, multiple states and powers and I am still not finished. Yikes, this playing for a living is hard work. 

In other Adventure news, I have the UWPs and Extensions done for most the worlds in the Adventure (and two that are reachable, but are not part of the Adventure, I only did them since a bit of them shows on the local map as it stands). A few already have write ups and need a bit more fleshing out. The others need a lot of work and almost all of them need their Stellar Data generated. And this just a mere dozen worlds of an entire Sector's worth. 

So next on the list is generating all the System Data, do a small write for each world, flesh out any significant Worlds such as ABonai Belt, do at least one Scene for each one and do write ups of major NPCs. Just the quick list. There are other things. Like I need some art and stuff.

Another bit added is the mysterious COSDET, mentioned in a later Act. It has a brief outline of the unit and a TOE for those into such things. 

Well, catch ya on the flipside.
Laterness,
Craig.

16 October 2012

Update: Some Draft Bits for Adventure A as of 290-2012.


For those Sophonts following the progress of Adventure A: The Abonai Venture I have some actual work to show you. This is the cover my T5 ATU Adventure.

Draft Cover for Adventure A.


Below is the draft Table of Contents.


  1.  Credits. (Who did what.)   Page 1.
  2. Table of Contents. (Where to find stuff.) Page 2.
  3. The Cast. (Pre-Gen PCs, Patrons, Personalities)     Page 3.
  4. Synopsis. (What is going on.)   Page 3.
  5. Acts and Scenes. (What the PCs do.) Page 4.
  6. Rumors. (Some are true, some are not.) Page 9.
  7. Encounters. (How the PCs interact with Life.) Page 11.
  8. Worlds. (Where stuff happens.) Page 13.
  9. Sophonts (2≥ Sophont Races to meet.) Page 20.
  10. Library Data. (Info about the universe.) Page 23.
  11. Referee Only. (Things players weren't meant to know.) Page 25.
  12. Screaming Penny. (A starship for PCs without one.) Page 27.


Most (if not all) Chapters are minimally fleshed out. Most of the Systems have basic data, about half have more detailed info, the Voodgi are done and I have to create the Exotic Race that lives on [FS 0925] Redsm (a Bibiccian World), the Screaming Penny has no deckplans but is specced out, Starship Encounters for [FS 0724] Colony A are done,  All in all, it is looking like an Adventure.

Now to get me some time and players to test it out.

If you would like to check it out, playtest, make suggestions, proof or edit, do some artwork or render other pro-bono awesomeness, drop me a comment below or email me if you have my email addy. If you do work on the Adventure, you get at minimum credit and contact info (if desired).

Laterness,
Craig.

15 October 2012

Metagame: A Small Bit Regarding Synthetics or Sophontoids


Since the Great Rebellion of the Dispossessed that preceded the Fifth Empire those Sophonts who are made, not born, have been considered Persons under Imperial Law. This has allowed synthetic persons or sophontoids to pursue careers throughout the various Imperiums that have come since the Great Rebellion.

Several of the those most popular careers for sophontoids have been in the realms of the courts and academia. It is here that a sophontoid's amazing abilities to data mine in real time come into their own. An decision handed down by a sophontoid judge would do Zhi Peng the Careful proud with the depth of citations. Such decision are generally handed down in two formats, the abstract and the annotated. The abstract decision contains the basic opinion and citations necessary to understand the court's ruling, while the annotated decision has precedence chains and links, the record of hearings and motions, evidence and briefs that allow a reader to throughly examine the ruling and the reasoning behind it. This depth is also found in the papers and books of those sophontoids that inhabit the lofty intellectual fields of the sciences. 

10 October 2012

Update: More teasery.

Greetings Dear Follower,

Today is another peek behind the screen. This time the local area for Adventure A: The Abonai Venture.

Some guesses at player's routes to Abonai Belt
As you can see, I scribbled on it a bit. The dark red is the first route, the light red is a branch off of the first route, the orange is the second route and of course yellow the third route. Why these routes? 

Because HI&RM Vlad 2 wants his Q-Ship back. And I now have numbers to convert Baron Hawk's actual Ship Shares value. Comes to quite a bit less than my work up got him. I wonder if I changed the rules again? :D

So what is Captain Baron Hawk getting? He is getting a ship that he used to own in a short lived Firefly game, the M/V Screaming Penny. I am working toward adding the Screaming Penny to the Adventure for the Ref to hand the players if they need a ship and don't pull one. Stop me if you heard this before, "Just so happens a patron has a ship and needs a crew.". 

SCREAMING PENNY

CBDH-01MV

Using a 600-ton hull, the SCREAMING PENNY class Far Trader is an high interstellar technology merchant ship running the starlanes in search of cargo, passengers and adventure. It is equipped with the Shaasagra-Inkesi siB258A2-j jump drive, the Speed-G of Rhylanor C35-G maneuver drive, and the Rivington, Ltd. H.5 power plant, and is capable of Jump-2 and 3G acceleration. Fuel tankage of 91 tons supports the jump drive and one jump-2 or two consecutive jumps at jump-1. Additional tankage of 13.5 tons supports one month of power plant operations. 

Adjacent to the bridge is a positronic computer Model/6 neu. There are four staterooms and ten low berths. There are six hardpoints; the SCREAMING PENNY has a commcaster, a missile launcher, two beam lasers and two sandcasters installed. (This class ship may have defensive screens, such as nuclear dampers or meson screens installed. When they do have such military grade defenses, it is only with some sort of prior approval from the powers that be.) There are three ship's vehicles, an enclosed air/raft, a mining buggy and a 20 ton gig. It has six pairs of grapples allowing it to use drop tanks to improve range or carry additional cargo of up to 210 tons (with possible reduction of jump range). Cargo capacity is 160 tons. The hull is a streamlined submergence hull built for the frontiers.
.
The SCREAMING PENNY class typically requires a crew of five: a pilot, an astrogator, two engineers and a freightmaster. Up to two gunners, two drivers, a medic and a steward may be added or the crew may function in that role when not needed. The ship can carry four high or eight middle passengers and ten low passengers. There are 22 tons free for the owner to customize. 

So that is some of the stuff I am working on right now. Also, there are a few topics jotted down in the notebooks that might get fleshed out and turned into blog fodder.

Hope you enjoyed this.

Laterness,
Craig.

09 October 2012

Upate: Teaser Stuff.

Not much, but I do have this neato pic of the newly mapped Boothe Cluster.

The Boothe Cluster
The Boothe Cluster c. PIY 0200.

 Named after its now famous discoverer Gorman (Ajax) Boothe of the Imperial Scout Service. The two worlds that are named and fully detailed were actually contacted by a Joint IN/IS unit. The other worlds have yet to have their Starport and TLs generated. That will have to be done in the future. Two Agricultural worlds and one Desert world, but otherwise pretty general.

In other news, all the Imperial Domains now have at least a UWP, if not TCs and other stuff. Same goes for the Parthian Remnents. Still have to finish Thersis Confederation and The Free Spinward States.

And that is the state of things currently. Speaking of currently, I have company on the way over, so this will have to do ya for a bit. Still it does have pictures, okay, mapping.

Laterness,
Craig.

03 October 2012

Update: Yep, you guessed it, some excuses.

Sorry my dear readers for my lack of posting, but I have been catching some extra hours at work and that is putting a damper on my writing these days.

I am working on a couple of things behind the screen, one of which is putting the final touches on HMS Herald and of course madly scribbling ideas for this and that in the notebooks.

I am hoping to have something for you either by the end of this week or next. Please be patient.

Thank you again for your patronage.

Laterness,
Craig.

21 September 2012

Uplink 2 ideas by Craig A. Glesner (266-2012).


This these notes are dedicated to [VR] NOBODY who I woke up (because I can't sleep while getting this out) to say don't worry about coming over today, I couldn't sleep but I will be soon. He was very cool about it.

This post has nothing to do with the usual Traveller5 ATU that I am building and posting about here normally. Though in a way it does, because even if they don't use this I will be using for my T5 ATU's cyberspace descriptions and functioning. Go back to the post before this one and later for details on the Permatic Imperium (the T5 ATU). But this post too concerns a game I love and would not mind getting a credit in, the original computer hacking role playing game, Uplink by Introversion. Well, not the original Uplink, it is way done and out for everyone. If you have not played it, go pay for a legal copy (remember: the more copies they sell the better chance of them really doing an Uplink 2) and enjoy it. Then since you too have a registered copy, enjoy the mods for it that I for some reason can't. Grrr. I will figure it out or have my IT guy look at it if he will. I maybe I didn't get rid of something the demo installed. Anyway…

Needless to say one can infer from all this rambling that I dig the hell out of the original Uplink game. That would be correct It was cool and futuristic for its day. Has neat graphics and while the soundtrack seems to be only four tracks repeated, they are damn cool tracks. What follows is a love note for the original Uplink to Introversion and plea that they do a sequel to it. by way of the vast seas of data and information that is the internet humans have really built. From a genuine paying customer. Twice since I lost my already modified legal copy of the game I had on my…oh, yeah, my old school iBook that is now cashed and kitbash waiting to be shipped out to Rustin if ever I get some real money together. Blah, blah, woof, woof. 

So on to my ideas for an Uplink 2 game (even though current research suggests there won't be a game of that name). Note there would be illustrations but I do need to hit the rack. I will try and get some done later and upload them. If some one out there wants to do some I could post those with proper credit of course instead of my rough sketches. The Ides below are presented in no particular order, it is very late for me. 

The Agent should be allowed to work for other intermediary companies. Now Agent starts with Uplink as in the original game, but if they gain enough cred they can work for other organizations. The Agent could be head hunted from Uplink to one of the Corporations to work in their cyber security department. Perhaps the International Turing Examining and Enforcement Board (ITEEB) needs some one to check out an AI protected by some deep security.

Local and Gateway System boots and logon. When the Agent first boots their local cyberspace deck after jacking in they see a single plane of boot codes that then expands to many planes. Or maybe one of those cool circles in circles loading screen like in most of the anime of Shirow's future. Instead of mostly flat system loading it is in 3-d more like spheres in spheres, like a digital Orbitron ride. One leads to the next I think, as you go from the basic 2-d interface to the 3-d. After this they get their local system in glorious 3-d of the mid-future of the original Uplink. From from this local system they link up to their Gateway and then on the Planetary Cyberspace Matrix (PCM). In amazing 3-d! The old school hackers still left from the old days when the internet became a different place will tell you what it meant to have to do command line from a console with text only. And then go on about how beautiful cyberspace is now, how truly wonderful, because in their heyday the 3-d was crudely simulated with shading applied to the programs in the interface. Then they hit you up for drink, but if they are actually that old and not some hustler, they should be loaded. Life support for some that old gets expensive.

3-d programs and system layouts. Programs are polyhedrons with glowing wireguide edges and pale, translucent faces that may be blank or display a function icon. If a System Program has multiple functions a set of controls to spin the faces will be displayed in a muted color matching the faces to below it, but it would be cool if you could move it around.. (Or should they be the glowing color of he edges?) Program type; Monitor, Proxy, or Firewall should be color coded. As should the defenses. There maybe multiple layers of security including Special Monitors that quietly trace you and then send the Feds to bust you possibly in the act. HUD and LAN viewers need to be turned into 3-d representation. It might be good to allow Agent to move from default position. 

System positions on the lattice can be default assigned by type and owner. Allow the Agent to filter the layout and save filter.

Black ICE makes the defending system's protected zones a muted dark gray. Unless cyberspace is gray, but I seem to recall it is only when booting up and then it is a 3d glowing lattice work collection of systems floating on endless deepest black. Like space itself, but with the systems and the lattice as the stars. A system that shows up on this colorful display as gray on its outside face should be avoided. Black ICE can of course not just trace the Agent but if it completes its trace and gain control of the Agents Gateway will try and kill them remotely through the cybernetic connection. 

Multiple sources for Software and Gateways other than Uplink. Sure you could buy Uplink's Black ICE Breaker 6.0, but everyone knows the real pros only use Kazauchi BICE Buster 7.6.5. The Kazauchi BICE Buster 7 series can go up against the sick Mexican stuff you see on some of the high end Government and Corporate Systems. Of course this also adds different pricing for Programs, Hardware and Gateways.

3-d movable globe for network connections. The globe is still used for mapping routes and keeping track of traces. Should includes the new satellite based systems, like say, I don't know, one of those orbital beam cannon maybe, a space station computer, the hotel internal engineering LAN, things like that. Allow the Agent to move their view point in the Planetary Cyberspace Matrix (PCM).

Of course, new Missions (such as the one mentioned above). The Uplink Agent has been hired to steal the OS and Passwords from the Orbital Beam Cannon (OBC) of the Southern American Defense Alliance (SADA). Which brings us to better Contractor AI (and AI as Contractors) and conversations. The Contact conversations really need more variety. 

New actors in the world of console cowboys. New NPC to sponsor the new Missions. A Journalist want the Uplink Agent to secure some vital data and internal media that suggests a hacker stole dangerous information from the SADA. 

Ability to save multiple connections routes and to be able to assign route IDs. See the section above about the 3-d globe.

Create your own back up ID. If your primary ID gets busted and fired by Uplink activate the backup ID and start with a noob set up. Back to square one and the one CPU and lowest Modem bandwidth. Also be able to pull Bank Heists and other Missions (possibly with friends) that if it doesn't feature Black ICE in the first couple layers it will at the SuperUser level. Also AI cores are always covered in layers of Black and and some say there is an Invisible ICE, but are vague on what it looks like or does. 

A neat option would be Clone Backups. If you get zapped, you can be uploaded into a clone body. Not cheap. Doing the back ups for the clone require frequent visits to the facility that is handling that clone.

Stock Market Plus. You can create a Corporation. Manipulate the International Stock Exchange in whole new ways from the inside. Or maybe just quietly buy your own Servers. As the SuperUser and Owner you can clear and maybe even modify the Logs. 

What's that? You say the SADA has to sell their OBC due to security breaches and the collapse of their stock. They say it has new failsafe system that was being readied for installation before the hacker stole the OS and Passwords, but is it true? And how much do they want for it?

Cybernetics for the Agent. Allows the Agent to have upgrades for them. Now not only can you upgrade the same stuff as the first Uplink, but now you can get stuff for yourself. Imagine if you are your own deck. Maybe you have an internal satellite connection. Could be you are very old and maybe once bold Agent and you have those and more.

More Time manipulation. It would be cool if you could buy a set of special cyberware systems (possibly an experimental or prototype stuff with all that might entail.) that jacks up your reactions and allow you slow time. In the original that plot gets rolling fast. And sadly about when I am getting ready to enter the fray, I get caught for having slipped up somewhere. Or maybe got a bit to bold..and oh yeah, slopped a Mission of course. Not necessary, but it would be neat. 

Should be cross platform. And by cross platform I mean all the OSs out there, Mac, Linux, Microsoft, probably a few I am missing and released to all platforms at once. Not sure if the original Uplink was or not, but it should be possible these days you would think.

Larger Soundtrack. As I said above the tracks in the original are cool and atmospheric but more variety would be a good feature. Needless to say, it needs to be as neat as the first one.

Artificial Intelligence(s) or AI (used for plural and singular).  AI are not only physical infrastructure and a computer system, but they are also NPCs and can give the Agent Missions perhaps with the ITEEB and its Corporation or maybe on the sly trying to stay ahead of the Feds and Turing Boys, using the Agent as a disposable proxy. Maybe it has other employs. They have distinct personalities and methods of communicating with the Agent. If an AI is caught exceeding its proper authority and charter it can be tried and have various sentences carried out on it. Rumor says there is a secret cabal of rouge AI and ITEEB is carefully probing the truth of these rumors. But then that last bit is pretty much its own rumor. Dealing with AI is complicated, but can be extremely rewarding. A friendly AI or one that owes you a favor might help the Agent with a Mission if only to do some digging if it can't actively participate in the Mission. 

Okay, done with proofing, tome for sleep and Archive Tags might have to wait till later. Like I said Introversion may not ever make an Uplink 2, but that does not stop us from hoping some one does something right proper like what an Uplink 2 could have been. If no one has put this forth just yet and the world being what it is probably not, but just in case, I get credit for the original outline of features for the game. And maybe even a cut or some greater input would be appreciated, acknowledged and generally cool.

Well off to bed, smiling at my in jokes. Yeah, they are in there kids. Points for spotting and reporting. (Note: the management of the Thornwood.Daarnulud Institute make no claims as to what points might mean or do.) Enjoy.

Laterness,
Craig.

20 September 2012

Metagame: A Few Bits From the Notebooks.


        The Common Era Date for the Founding of the Grand Empire of Man and the Stars was 2719. It was in this year that Rufus Volcker, was proclaimed Emperor Rufus Cornealius Augustus over the domains of the Terran Federation and beyond. It was this year that Terra surrendered to the siege that had lasted forty or so years. 

The first Imperial Year, Year Zero of the new Imperial Calendar was the year 2720 CE. It is the end date for the Transitional War that brought the first interstellar government of Terra its end. In truth the end was not so cleanly divided and in some places it took decades for the Imperial rule to extended to the former members of the Terran Federation. 

***

Colors. Imperial colors, Institute colors, National colors, Company colors, unit colors. So many colors. So for those who are asking "Colors? WTF?", the answer it those flags you see in parades across TL-8 Earth, yeah, the military or band or whatever group of humans, are carrying flags well, the military calls them "colors". So does that mean that in the Permatic Imperium and those that preceded it still running in to battle waving flags like a bunch of morons? Yes, and the Imperial Armed Forces would like you to know that hardly being morons, those who bear the colors are some of the bravest and most honorable being to serve the Imperiums, thank you. Beings will fight and die carrying flags and such into battle because those colors are a symbol of some ideal that they feel is worth fighting and dying for. Which is after all, not as the entertainment media would tell you, all cool and glorious and fun. It is in fact extremely dangerous, brutal, uncaring chaos with death or worse lurking in every shadow. When people find that out, they have to have some reason to go back and keep doing it. The colors stand for that reason and they are still cherished items of battle gear among the fighting units of the Imperium. 

***

All Spacer Careers of one Term or more receive Seafarer-1. This Skill comes from the portion of the first Term in the Imperial or Royal Navy spend on a water world learning to sail. That means those low TL worlds like say TL-2 to TL-5. And I bet you were wondering why there are still low tech worlds. Well, in the Permatic Imperium they serve as training worlds for the Imperial and Royal Navy where according to Navy lore:

"They earn the anchors before they earn the stars. Thus is was in the old days and thus it is today. For the Navy has been the service of the stars since the days of ancient and lost Terra were the issue was decided by a foot print. It was a Navy foot that first touched Luna and thus the Navy claimed space for its service. And so, those who wear the Navies' anchor insignia have been on the surface of a world facing real seas."

Another tidbit of Imperial Navy lore is that to this day those wearing Smallcraft Wings are Aviators, not Pilots for thus it was in the days of old. 

***

AI Owner. There are times when a Personality is assigned to a vessel of the Imperial or Royal Navy or perhaps a vehicle of the Imperial Army and Royal Marines. Most of the time, they will be loaded into a sophontoid form. However, in some rare cases they stay with their instal issue warfighting forms throughout their Career in the service. In even more rare cases they have been separated from the service in that same form. Usually this only done for flag officers and those Personalities that have earned high level decorations, in all cases the Personality is a Citizen and some case a member of the Peerage. 

***

Imprints. These are the copies of living person for contract work, such as being laid on to a cloned brain for starship computers. They are an odd legal case as they do under Imperial High Law quality as Citizens, but by contract they are not. They are Subjects of the Imperium and may go on to becoming Citizens, but when they are granted Citizenship they must choose a new name, the original maintaining their name. Imprints may have autonomous budget authority in some positions, such as a starship or vehicle brains. They are generally granted a personal budget out main funds that are used for upkeep and repair. Most often Imprints are legally entitled to pay and their budget is funded out of that with the remaining funds being placed in a trust. 

***

The Xmail System: Some versions of the Xmail System use Neutral Output Applets. A message to a specific person is inserted into the Applet and thousands of copies are sent into the xmail system, carried by ships to hundreds of worlds. When the recipient arrives on one of those worlds and checks an xmail terminal, his specific message pops up on the display console. 

After the message has been received it will generate a output to Censor and Cleaner Applets to kill any copies found. This process can take some time to clean out all the redundant copies and sometimes individuals or groups may be looking for a copy of the Xmail message. It then becomes a race to see who finds a remaining copies, the output kill order or the seeker of a copy. 

***

The Imperium encourages some imperfection in all levels of manufacturing. They do this for a reason. They have to, for at TL-C or so start getting materials that can be perfected to damned near the molecular level. The rule for this is based not out of the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, but that of Justice they just let MoTC enforce it for the most part. These tool marks are for use by law enforcement agencies to attach specific items to their point of origin and follow them through the chain to their possession by a criminal and use in a crime.

10 September 2012

Metagame: Continued Ramblings on the Permatic Imperium.

So, again, I am late with my blog postings. Sorry, but again, real life just has a way with interrupting the best laid plans. Still it did bring good news, I now possess my first published credit. Not much per se, but it does include an official, canonized LIC. So, what the hell I am talking about? This: Mongoose Publishing's Traveller Third Imperium setting book, Deneb Sector. For the interested, I am in the Special Thanks and on page 33 right at the top is my newest and official company, Thornwood Security, LIC. So, that is the coolness for me for the week. Now on to the post you have all been waiting for...

In our previous portion of the Lecture we discussed the role of the Sovereign and the Imperial Moot. In this portion we will discuss the Imperial Senate, the Knightly Orders and of course as mentioned in the previous portion, holograms. We might also given enough time delve deeper into the roles of the Imperial Nobility. 

First let us take a look at the over all structure of the government of the Permatic Imperium. 


Structure of the Imperial Government.

As you can from the image, I have skipped a few parts of the government, such as the Imperial Household, the Star Chamber and the Offices of the Crown and Throne. I will attempt to detail them at a later date, but for now let us pick up where we left off in Government House. 

Government House is composed of the Moot and the Senate assembled in the whole. It is composed of the Moot and the Senate and is considered the Moot and Senate assembled in the whole. The Title is only used for those actions which are taken jointly by both the Moot and the Senate together, otherwise the house that originated the particular document is cited as the authority. So say a Proclamation issued to commemorate a visit by a foreign power will be labeled as coming from Government House, where as an Appointment of the Director of the Imperial Scout Service will be labeled as being issued by the Senate.  

So what are the responsibilities of the Senate? Well, first off the Senate functions as the House of Commons or say the old Terran Federation Assembly. The Members are appointed by Member Worlds of the Imperium according to the Rules of the Senate. Senators are the representatives of their worlds, they are not as the nobility is, appointed by the Emperor or Moot, but by a Member World's local government. As such they are beholden to their world and then to the Imperium and the Emperor. They represent the "commons" spoken of in Imperial High Law and other Imperial documents. 

The Senate is responsible for the oversight of the Imperial Treasury and several Imperial Ministries that are also considered the turf of the Senate including the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Information, Communication and Education. They also oversee the Imperial Scout Service, in fact they are the sole authority when it comes to matters concerning the Scouts. Not even the Sovereign can undo those acts undertaken by the Senate regarding the Scout Service. They also may propose legislation and have final approval over appointment of Imperial Judges to the Crown Courts. The Senate also has the right to originate or sponsor Petitions for the Removal of the Sovereign, in addition to jointly approving such Petitions with the Moot. The Senate is also responsible for approving the appointments of members to the Imperial Bureaucracy below the rank of Minister and approval of Ministers.

There is one last power that the Senate holds and that is the trial of nobles. All Imperial Nobles charged with high crimes and misdemeanors are tried by the Senate. If such a trial results in a guilty verdict the Senate is empowered to remove the noble's titles, offices and holdings. While they can remove said noble's titles, offices and holdings, they can not reassign them (unless one of the offices held was in the Imperial Scouts), that power goes to the Sovereign with the approval of the Moot. 

Having detailed the Imperial Senate we now move on the Orders of Knighthood of the Imperium. 

There are many Orders within the Imperium and most of them owe their allegiance to either the Sovereign or to the Imperium itself. They mostly supplement the Imperial Armed Forces in times of war. Each Order has its own rituals and traditions. Some Orders are open only to certain types of applicants, such as the Imperial Order of the Senate which is only open to those Citizens or Subjects who have a Social Standing ≤A. Those of greater Social Standing B≥ are refused entry to the Order and this is codified in the Imperial High Law. The IOS gets its Charter and Orders directly from the Senate and its members are knighted by the Speaker of the Senate. Its motto is "All Are Equal on the Floor." Other Orders, older ones that have extremely long histories owe their allegiance to the Thrones of the Old Empires, but still serve the current Imperium. There is some question which side they may give their service to if one of those Old Empire's Sovereigns should ever make an appearance. 

And now on to holograms. Most media makes a point that the people in that universe know that they are dealing with a projection and not a real person. This is often done by having "scan lines" flit up and down through the projection. This is done on purpose, at TL-E≥ holography is not merely a projection but a dynamic interface. It not only looks real, it feels real, it gives feedback if interacted with. This means that a properly tuned hologram can be very difficult to distinguish from real things. So, to make sure that a being knows that it is dealing with a projection the Imperium encourages a certain amount of imperfection in projections. Now, while most media merely use the old school scan lines, this does not account for the fact that a hologram is in fact a three dimensional projection and not a flat image. So a real true 3d dynamic system will actually have its added "scan lines" show as a three dimensional distortion, not a two dimensional distortion. this results in weird blobs and funny blurs that will manifest inside and move out to the edges. The best way to think of them would be when you see lightning inside of clouds during thunder storms. Slight color changes or shifts might be another method used as well.

Our last bit shall be a brief bit about the military and the nobility. There are a class of the nobility known as the Elevators. The Elevator is a member of the Peerage, usually Barons or Marquises elevated for their actions in the Imperial Armed Forces. They are generally known as either no bullshit, brutally honest and mildly tactless persons or they are very skilled and dangerous hustlers. The military nobles tend to have a bit more leeway to be blunt than is normally accepted due to the nature of "the Services". Generally the blunt will be Barons and Marquises and the political will be Viscounts or better. 

And this concludes our ramble throughout the Permatic Imperium for today. We hope you have found this Lecture both entertaining and informative. For the interested we will be sponsoring a Lecture later in the Series further defining the duties, privileges and responsibilities of the Imperial Nobility later in the year and we hope to see you there. Till we meet again, be well and travel safely. 

Laterness,
Craig.