13 December 2013

Metagame: Medals of the Imperium, Revisited.

Greetings All.

I am soon to bed but I had to post this week's obsessive nerd bit, and I do mean obsessive. Those of you who are old schoolers you might remember when I did up my first thoughts on what a couple of the standard medals in Traveller we have all seen, heard of and some lucky players won. Well, I returned to that question being unsatisified with what I had done. Basically I knew that for the most part the sucked.

Well, these ones aren't all CGIed up with real metallic renders, but I think they far outstrip the old ones. Last time (the new schoolers) I did up a MCUF, MCG, and SEH. No XS, no *SEH*, no Wound Bages. Just some really hasty hand scribbled drawings that I put together to settle the mind and move on. Well, now I have to sound like a dick Ref because one of my players is trying to bling past The Plan for the Festivities while they are onboard HMS Blackthorne [BA-27] with his former rank of Force Commander (RM), his shiny new Title, but mostly his SEH. That got me again wondering what is he wearing? 

Question answered and then some. Below you will find my first drafts of some of the Decorations of the Permatic Imperium. Meet me below the pretty pictures for some more boring word things. :D


So, as you can see I first went all nerdy Metagame by making it a Joint Forces Command (see High Command) Public Information Office handout. You know the kinda thing the military hangs in recruiting stations on Bummstickia, Planet Crap, TL-Got Metal Weapons. 

Oh, you were actually looking at the Decorations. My, bad. :p 

So, up top we have the "Big Five" or the five highest awards of military decoration given by the Imperium to those who serve and show great leadership and bravery in order of precedence.

They are the Starburst of Extreme Heroism with Diamonds, the Starburst of Extreme Heroism, the Medal of Conspicous Gallantry, the Meritorious Conduct Under Fire, and the Exemplary Service. The top shows the Ribbon for most uniform/dress wear and below that is the full medal as worn for say Court functions. After that are examples of Wound Badges for both services and indicating whether the receiptant died in the action it was awarded for.

Last we have three Campaign Ribbions from my settings most recent Campaigns. These Campaigns have all occurred within the last fifty years or so. The Third Pixiant Insurgency has its origins in Lieutenant Coronel Nick Sutton's CharGen for my meatspace crew. The Harkness Ribbon (so called in honor of Baroness Harkness who was killed by the insurgents in their initial strikes) and the Balican CRs come from notes, though LTC Sutton has has Balican due to its previous mention. The Second Kylin Campaign covers both Pixiant and Balican and any other Campaign that took place in that Subsector from roughly 170-80 PI. For example I found a TL-5 world with PGL of 000 and it is a Red Zone. Pretty sure that means either plague or got too stupid uppity and well, nuked from orbit, it's the only way to be sure. The last is the Imperial version of the Reservist Ribbon, that those Sophonts who are on the Reserve Rolls may wear to indicate their current service, if only waiting and training. The Royal Armed Forces version is the same, but the RAF ribbon is Royal Blue.

I would go on about how Baroness Harkness was exceeding brave for even taking the Post there having been two previous insurgencies directed at the Imperium. Or how in case you some how missed the gory symbolism that the pattern represents her and the other Imperials blood that was spilt in the insurgency most of hers while leading the last of defending Marines. Or how the subtle play of dark blue and black of the Balican ribbon represents the fact that most of the action took place on the Imperial Starport and ended in a surgical drop on the rebel headquarters, very little ground combat was seen. I could, but I really must hit the rack and catch some Zzzs. I have to catch up to the Ship's Cat and you never get a handicap.

Laterness,
Craig.

06 December 2013

[T5 BCS] The HMS Blackthorne. Now in color!

Greetings and salutations my dear readers.

*in the voice of my proud 12 year inner child* "Today, I drew a spaceship!" 

Okay, back to I am old and grown up land. I did however spend the day drawing a spaceship, well a starship to be exact. I have been meaning to this up for some time now, but Life keeps happening. This is both a draft design for a later book (like when BCS gets done, but that may be a while yet, Marc has a huge "ToDo" list) and an illustration for my ever faithful players, who bumped the thread a bit ago. He was right to do so and he did it with style too. Nice work, Force Commander Baronet Martel! This drawing is for you. And Djer. And the others if the join up. 

So here without further ado is the flagship of the 2nd Fleet of the Permatic Royal Navy, HMS Blackthorne.

She may not look like much, but she'll get you there in one piece. 

Just to give you a glimpse of how work went into this crap ass drawing, I now present a screen shot of the gallery of my SketchBook.

As you can see there were a lot of steps and I got to play with layers. Well, now I need to finish the rest of the post in which our heroes, a newly elevated Baronet and former Force Commander with the Royal Marines and an empire-wide famous cosmologist tour the ship, go to Court, have dinner, and then meet with His Imperial and Royal Majesty Vlad II to discuss matters of grave import.

Enjoy and I will catch you on the flipside.

Laterness,
Craig.


04 December 2013

Metagame: It's Notebook Time Again!

Greetings My Dear Readers.

Today while in the process of returning to something being seriously productive (I am aiming toward at least 52 posts by the end of the year, but that is looking doubtful), I shall delve into the Notebook and publish some of its contents. 

So, let us see what I wrote up and probably forgot about. :)

Clones: All clones are individuals by nature of their individual experiences they gain uniqueness. This can be kept to a minimum if they all participate in memory synching, ala the Tachikomas (from Ghost in the Shell).

A note about some belts in the Far Stars being blasted planets from the Great War and a bit about how they were blasted, it involves Jump and Worldships. See How Jump Works in the T5 Core Rules for clues.

A note about Landless Grants, but I detailed that over at CotI. It notes that it is possible for a noble not to be Knighted or hold any subordinate titles. Turns out there is about a page on Landless Grants.

Ranks and Titles in the Imperial & Royal Armed Forces: When a member of the Peerage serves in the IAF/RAF, they are only addressed by and use their military rank, but not their noble titles. Thus, Captain Everett Wellington of the Imperial Navy is also a Knight Commander in the Order of the Empire and is entitled to be addressed as "Sir Everett" and in fact in Court he is announced as "Captain Sir Everett Wellington, of the Imperial Navy, Knight Commander of the Order of the Empire." and addressed as "Sir Everett". In the Imperial Navy he is addressed as merely "Captain Wellington". The reasoning behind military ranks preceding noble titles are that the rank is earned and the title is given.

I have bit about how at Very High TLs they do a braintape and let it play or train in a virtual world while your body is Low Berth and then at the end of the voyage they load your braintape into your body and "thaw" you out.

Picket Duty (Scouts): A reason for X-Boats not to have maneuver drives is they also pull picket duty in the so called "empty hexes". They sit in the deep dark and wait for the picket line (a network of sensor buoys dispersed throughout the hex) to alert. If something jumps in they get the alert and then if the target is hostile prep to jump if engaged or do intel gathering until detected. This is hidden under the heading if "Courier Duty" and explains the high San loss and Risk/Reward failures (see getting Wounded/Injured), what with the Picket Ship armed with only CommCaster and the line's buoys. Plus here is a picture and a brief explaination of how the buoys operate.

The sensor buoys are also anti-ship mines and some come equipped with anti-missile and anti-boarding defenses, but not all. When the buoy detects a Jump Flash or other passive indicator of a vessel it cycles through a series of modes:

Mode 1: Passive data collection, target identification. (What is out there and has it changed?)
Mode 2: Passive data collection, target classification. (Something changed, is it hostile or not?)
Mode 3A: Hostile target. Passive data collection, alert to picket ship, arm weapons.
Mode 3B: Friendly target. Secure handshake, synch data sets, update picket ship.
Mode 3C: Allied target. Active data collection, request instructions from picket ship.
Mode 4A: Hostile target. Prosecute target, update picket ship, begin fire direction control for the systems other buoys to begin battery fire.
Mode 4B: Friendly target. Once synched, request needs, update picket ship. If the system has a stores buoy (fuel, parts, arms), send guidance and codes.
Mode 4C: Allied target. Active data collection, if ordered by picket ship enter Modes 3/4B.
Mode 5: Power down for maintenance.
Mode 6: Self-Destruct.
 
Since it is past my bed time and I still have to do home stuff (read chores), visit a friend (keeping one's social obligations) and some more CharGen for Greg P. Lee's T5 Cirque Campaign Book (I get to do the CharGen for an OTU Duke!), I will close here.

Laterness,
Craig.

29 November 2013

Metagame: A Very Rough Map of Permatic.

Not much today, just a little something I have been working on. Though, I swear I have spent just as long trying to get the damned thing online. I hate mobile computing. Almost like the real thing, sort of like a simulator is like flying in combat.

Anyway, let us see if this works...



Now, the next part is importing to CotI so my players can at least sort know what the world looks like.

Enjoy, be well, and eat at Taco Bell. :p (Yeah, it's a bad movie, but it makes up for it in being fun.)

Well, way past my bedtime, so I will now close.

Laterness,
Craig.

25 November 2013

Update: Still Alive and Working.

Greetings My Dear Readers.

Not much today. Things have been as you can guess pretty busy and the drama machine seems to have gone into overdrive. Still I carry on. 

HMS Herald is nearing something approaching true completion and the M/V Lion Rampant 2 is officially in production, the ISS Sable is waiting on deckplans and first outline. 

The Permatic Imperium is getting more fleshed out and the database for the Far Stars is slowly getting mined for the interesting bits. 

Here are some examples:

Worlds of the Far Stars sector (639). 

Non-Aligned States (265).

Imperial Worlds Total (148).
Imperial Member States (58).
Imperial Clients (65).
Imperial County Seats (6).
Daarnulud Personal World (1).
Kirosowa Personal World (1).
Interhaus Personal World (1).
Imperial Domains (6).
Disputed Worlds (5).

Parthian Worlds Total (97).
Parthian Remnants Members (68).
Parthian Clients (29).

Free Worlds Total (68).
Free Spinward States (24).
Andencri Federation (23).
Disputed Worlds (2).
Abonai Safety League (6).
Psizessy Meritocracy (7).
Thozam-Crortiall Alliance (6).
Free Spinward Clients (2).

Confederation Worlds Total (27).
Thersis Confederation Members (13).
Confederation Protectorates (14).

Buffer States Worlds (16).
Disputed Worlds (2).

Former Old Empires Worlds (16).

Boothe Cluster Worlds (7).

Regina-Colt Alliance (2).


Imperial Nobility of the Far Stars sector (384/1011).

Emperor (1).
Archduchies (1).
Duchies, Major (3). 
Duchies, Minor (17).
Counties (74). 
Viscounties (49).
Marquisettes (58).
Baronies (101).
Baronetcies (80).
Knighthoods (627).


Another thing I have been working on is filling in the Native Intelligent Life for the Imperium and the Far Stars in general. And pretty much last for now, I have my first Land Grab, which I just got an email about, so here I close.

Laterness,
Craig.

19 July 2013

Update: Pretty Pictures and Stuff.

So as they say, shit happens and well, I am catching my share. Things in the real world are all sorts a screwed up and may be getting worse. Or better, but probably a combination of both.

Anyway, still working on Greg P. Lee's T5 Cirque character gen and vetting. And now with transcription added to the task. But it does pay and I do get to claim some Professional Gamer income on my next tax returns which will rock.

Real life jobby-job (Tee started that one) is possibly going sideways on me, but we'll see. And the heat for us here in the supposed temperate, not tropical Northlands is freaking ciller (having an Eddie Murphy flashback, deal or laugh, either way, I am leaving it. :p).

Again though, I have been scribbling in the notebooks and have some pictures with data. This one is on the Imperial Currency, Credit Coins to be specific. While these coins (as well as bills which I will have to do up later unless some one volunteers for the job, or I can get them to volunteer. Tee-hee.) are seen throughout the Imperiums, they are mostly confined to TL-8 or less worlds, or low population worlds. Most TL-9 societies will have a mix of analog currency and digital currency. By TL-C+ one rarely sees hard currency. Well, unless one is hanging out in the really poor or worse complete low life areas. For some reason the black and grey markets are not too keen on the digital stuff. Then again, some folks down there won't take currency. Information, favors, markers, trades of goods or service, yes, but not currency, but then you don't hang out in such places do you now Citizen?

Enjoy, and know that I may be slacking on the posts, but I am still working back here and I do remember that some of you actually read this stuff. By the way, thanks again for that, keeps me doing it.

Anyway, without further boring reading stuff, I give the Imperial Credit Coins (first draft). This is a guide to the Imperial Credit Coins. It is issued by the Imperial Treasury and in their universe has waaaay better images for the coins. Maybe even "amaze the Natives" good. Of course I have a Referee Only section for the important bits, but I don't think I will post that just yet.
CrImp Coins are created by a sophisticated TL-G (16) process using a unique alloy consisting primarily of the proper "base metal" (Copper for fractional CrImps, silver for Cr 1-10, gold for Cr 25, 50, 100, and platinum for Cr 250, 500, 1000.) Imperial Cr coins do not tarnish. Or at least none that have been minted and circulated since the year 0 PI have shown any sings of aging.
Imperial Cr coins are favored currency on the lower TL, pre-Jump worlds for their workmanship, detailed embossing (the front) and engraving (the back) and non-variable standard weight/mass as much as they are for their monetary value.
Some low tech worlds have begin using the coins as a standard of measure in local dealing civil and criminal. For example, merchants on Dicudl [FS 1831] E 243 677-3 Ni Ic use CrImp coins as the base international exchange currency.
[T5 ATU] Permatic Imperial Treasury - Mints - Currency (Coins) Guide
[T5 ATU] Permatic Imperial Treasury - Mints - Currency (Coins) Guide

One of the first things, Rick (a friend who was there since the beginning) said that I shouldn't necessarily make them round. I can't remember which of us came up with it, but I am thinking of something like the scoring sticks in Mahjong, which are super cool. 

Last, a mis-struck Cr 52 coin.
Find below an example of a rare mis-struck Credit (Imperial) coin, in this case the rare Cr 52 or the Dyslexic 25. These coins were minted and circulated due to sophont error in data entry. Many lots got out into general circulation and remained in private hands, mostly wealthy collectors or speculators. They usually fetch around KCr 300 when they can be found and purchased or loaned.

Task:
To find a Dyslexic 25.
Duration: 2D days.
7D (5D Uncertain) < Edu + Skill (+1 if TL-C+, +2 if High Pop)

Value: Cr 52 * 1D * KCr 2.
Example: 52 * (1D = 3) * 2000 = Cr 312,000

To conclude the transfer, loan or sale, use the Personals (T5 Core Rules, page 184).
Permatic Imperium Mis-Cast Cr 25 Coin
Permatic Imperium Mis-Struck Cr 25 Coin


Well, it is late for me and I have to go to real life job tonight. *sigh* Forgive the lack of proofing this time, as you know normally I put several rounds in of it, but again, tired and work. And fanarking hot!

Laterness,
Craig.

30 May 2013

Update: Still kicking it old school!

Sorry about the lack of posts, Gentle Readers and Followers.

I have been sick and busy and am seriously behind on Life. However, I do have another picture for you of my actual work. Sloppy looking but it is the first draft, also the notebook isn't exactly big. It has to fit in the Nine-Deamon Bag after all along with BadPad and other Wonders of the Ages. :D

One of the things I have been trying to figure out as the regular readers and at least one commenter will know is a more detailed Peerage in the Permatic Imperium than the OTU has. (Though I suspect Marc might very well have his How the Peerage of the Third Imperium Works all put together, but is leaving out a lot for other Refs to do their own thing) Well, when one plays the Game of the Great Houses it helps to know who they are and how they all connect. And of course who is trying to discredit or kill who. >:D

So, for you patient few, I present the Houses of the Imperiums (draft 001):

[T5 ATU] Houses of the Imperiums.
 Houses of the Imperiums.
As you can see, there is a lot of work to be done. First off is to create a better key for important information. The corner thing was cool for a first draft, but needs to have more data for a final version. Also, this is when I really hate being late to the computer owning era as I missed out on how to do the things I need to do, one of which is turn this into a grand interlinked database featuring notes, house traditions, key events in the house's history, and of course who is related to or feuding with who on what worlds when. 

Lots of work, but it keeps me alive and ticking.

Laterness,
Craig. 

15 May 2013

Metagame: Armorials and Neato Programs.

Greetings All,

Just a quick bump for a really cool program, Coat of Arms Design Studio.

The Online Free Version did the old plain shields of yore. I did up this one for Count Jowern's description, but it isn't correct. It should be most specifically a Bantam Rooster (sable). So, not his fault it is sort of plain. Actually I think it is actually pretty cool, simple, clean, new. Very cool. So, points to the Count and against CoADS. Plus CoADS while Java doesn't run flawlessly on Macs. I can't speak for all the other OSes.

Arms of Rudolf Interhaus, 5th Count Jowern of House Interhaus.


Now look at what the Pro version can do! In the example below the newly minted Baronet submitted the shield with the pattern requested. Not much, he would have preferred a hammer for strength and martial prowess, but that isn't in the art yet. So, he decided on a unicorn which for those that keep the old tales fits quiet nicely in the symbology.

As submitted by Lord Valdemar Martel of House Martel.
The Armorial below is what he got back with the following letter on old fashioned paper and ink which Vladimir has been promoting by personal example.

Greetings Lord Valdemar Martel,

Please chose one of the attached draft armorials as submitted to the Imperial Moot, Office of Patents and Marks on 200-0199 PI.

A brief note: His Permatic Majesty would like you to know about the symbolism of your full armorial and it would please His Majesty if you would chose to accept the alteration to your basic arms as submitted.

The black fur shows your standing as rank as a low noble (Baronet). The Baronet Helm represents both your noble title as well as its award from military service.  He chose you two supporters if you would accept them, the Lion symbolizes service to the Crown, the Pegasus the continuing rise of the House of Martel. The white ribbon with purple edging shows direct Patronage of your and your House by His Majesty.  The Comet, this represents your Service in the Royal Marines, the gold color indicates you were an officer. Ratings and NCOs get a silver Comet when granted an Armorial.

He will, of course allow you the Right of Refusal in such a personal matter.

In such a case the first version, sans RM Comet shall be Registered as the Armorial of Valdemar Martel, The 1st Baronet Pecias.

Please chose one and return your response as soon as possible.

Yours most cordially,
Lord  Wilson Lloyds,
Assistant Herald of the Imperium,
Armorials and Letters Division.

Armorial of Valdemar Martel, 1st Baronet Pecias of the House of Martel.

And then there is one of the most important Armorials, that of His Imperial and Royal Majesty, The Emperor. Behold them now.

Armorial of His Permatic Majesty Vladimir II (Motto)




 Busy I know, but just think I started the heraldry relatively fresh. In truth the shield is only the upper quarter of his Full Armorial. But that would take some time. Not that I might not do that one day, but is sometime in the far future. It has been a very, very long day filled with Invitations and Imperial Bureaucracy. In other words, it has been a productive 24-30+ hours, but I must sleep now.

I hope you enjoyed the pretty pictures and words.

Laterness.
Craig.

12 May 2013

Update: Fanarking Real Life!

So, my Gentle Readers and Followers, and Players.

Yes, the first thing is I am again running a Play by Post for reals over on CotI and holy crapsticks if the players didn't come here, boost my puny traffic and actually read the damned posts.

On the down side, I have been hella sick and have been a right proper dick to folks this week which because I like to pretend I am a human of Honor, Ethics and Decency had to write a couple of apology PMs for being an ass (and of course one of them for being a dick while pointing out that he was being a dick). Yeah, I am all sorts of complex. And sick. Really sick, I mean worse than the 'Half-Dead' I usually am. So, I have spent the last couple of weeks coughing my guts out and this last week it went into overtime trying to beat me, but my immune system is a veteran of the physical wars. (Yeah, I sooo dig that song.)

Well, I guess that is it. Oh, wait, the gripping hand time.

I got some folks who are most excellently lending a hand and taking up some of the Setting Creation slack for me and I now have:


  1. A certain major dude working on what I hope will end up as a series of Traveller5 Approved Imperial Forces books.  (I was thinking of having sections on proto-Traveller, OTU, and of course the Permatic Imperium showing how each can use the info in the book.)
  2. The amazing Mark Lucas doing up the last set of of the first three Daarnulud Design Bureaux starships. (ISS Sable was 30% drafted last report, but of course he too has a real life. *shrugs* What can you do?)
  3. Two players who are helping with background and want to see their characters in print. (Me too!)
  4. One players who is helping finally detailing the Far Stars Sector. (And decided to go "To the Pain!" and volunteered to do some work on generating the true Permatic Imperium setting, the Riftborne Domains so Timmii players can finally play with extremely high technology and Hop Drives.)


So all in all other than losing my shit in public and in a very permeant internet way and having to man up and eat my screw ups, things are moving along well.

And I finally got my Kickstarter email telling me around 01 June 2013 I should be getting the Big Box of Traveller5 (BBT). Tons of dice, two t-shirts, book and of course TAS and Patents! Yeah, I know I am bloody shameless about having credits in the book and that is in its way quite enough, but damn the fanboy wants his stuff. :D

Well, I got to go and deal with players and apologize for the lack of manners and their adventuring.

Laterness,
Craig the again humbled.

30 April 2013

Update: Back in Action.

So Gentlebeings,

Once again I am busy as all get out. So what is going on here behind the screens you may ask?

Well, let's see, first off still working on getting all you Travellers in the 5th Edition a Character Record Sheet out soonish (looking like about mid-May) hopefully just in time for most folks to use in their games. Of course we are still working on the HMS Herald of the Marches as well, which is coming along. M/V Lion Rampant 2 is also being worked on. Plus there are still some NPCs to be Generated for Greg P. Lee's T5 Cirque Campaign.

In addition to that it turns out my original Traveller5 Play by Post game on the Citizens of the Imperium website's now closed Private T5 Beta Forum was more interesting than I had realized as I got roped into running another one. Which is cool as I always meant to do more for the first game, but then I got pulled in the Star Chamber and in the end got my first professional gaming credit in the Massive Black Book (MBB). Two actually since I am also credited as an Imperial Shipwright. :D

Since it turns out that quite a few folks were still interested in me running a PbP game, I let myself be talked (is that the right word when we are typing on a forum?) into running another PbP on CotI. This is why you haven't heard from me in a while. It turns out running a PbP game takes a lot of time to get up and running. Right now I have two Scholars (one a Linguist, one a Cyberpsychologist), one ex-Royal Marine (who is responsible for making all characters in the Royal Armed Forces take a Mod -1 to all their Target Numbers in CharGen) and my first non-Organic character, a Robot (who is making me actually read the Robots chapter of T5). There may be an AI character who will be the Brain of the new DDB Lab Ship that the players are looking to get for their Travels.



So, the start of the Campaign is the characters have been Personally Invited to the Winter Ball on Permatic [FS 1725] at the Palace where one of their number is about to be Elevated to the Rank and Title of Baronet as well as be Knighted in the Order of Maltese. This will begin with a flashback of the Imperial Courier Lord Stephen Vilecashar in his Livery hand delivering the Invitations to the various characters. After that, there will be the traveling to Permatic (for those not already there), the Elevations and taking and giving of the Oaths of Fealty to His Imperial and Royal Majesty, the Emperor of the Permatic Imperium Vladimir II. From there a State Dinner and then the Winter Ball itself. Then we shall get to their meeting with His Maj and their new Mission. Which right now is looking to be Exploration along with some Trade and Commerce, perhaps with some bits of Military Action here and there as needed, as this was how the Voting broke down in the Poll I posted.

So, if my posting rate seems a bit laggard to you, my dear Readers and Followers, please excuse me as I am really working rather hard back here Behind the Screens. I have not forgotten you as I think this Update shows, just damned busy, as its late posting also shows.

Well, I got to go and get all that work I just mentioned done, so I will close here.

Oh and welcome to my new Followers. Thanks for the support and encouragement.

Laterness,
Craig.

14 April 2013

Metagame: On the Zombie Apocalypse.

Greetings, my Readers and Followers.

A quick update. I am working on getting a T5 Character Sheet out, the Herald may have to get a bit more work, the Lion Rampant 2 needs even more, I started a project dedicated to the Imperial Armed Forces in collaboration with a well respected source. And yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated by taking it off. So today, instead of working (which of course being serious, I did a bit of anyway) I am playing the coolest game in the world, Zombie Gunship.

For those who either can't figure it out from the title, you are the Gunner of an AC-130 in the Zombie Apocalypse. It is of course pretty basic. You, some guns, orbiting some god-forsaken base with little live humans running desperately to get to those bunkers before either the doors close in their face or worse they get eaten to death. You are their only hope. You get points for the humans the bunkers take in, you get a couple of civilian kill passes, two or three before they order your ass back to base.

You can buy upgrades and objective skips, but where's the role-playing in that. And there it rears its ever present head. The original twelve year old boy who grew up on pen and paper, books and video games at the same time. With the Moon rockets of my childhood gone at least I got some neat stuff, I thought. So, when I play this game, I am in the damned Gunship, I pull the trigger, those are my rounds  landing out there, I...*crestfallen sigh*...*a couple deep breaths, shoulders up*, yes, Sir, I did kill those live human beings with my fire, Sir! And, it sucked for me too, Sir.

And child of the Cold War that I am, I know what the fuck the AC-130 gunship is all about. I mean, Vietnam was just chock full on neat wonder death toys for our side (that being the losers, the United "Sure, you can elect who you want, we don't mind at all, we encourage voting in fact and we 'encourage' you to vote for our guy" States), which as you might recall, in the end did the US fat lot a good. Gave the new owners some sweet US hardware though as a parting gift. :D To me the AC-130 gunship is crewed weapon system. Loaders, flight crew, fire control, that is actually quiet a crew there. So, the idea that it just me there in the sky is sort of ludicrous. In the end of course, I just build one in my head while I play. In fact, the more I play the more wrapped up in this horrible world. And it is a world.

It goes something like this. Standard Zombie Apocalypse breaks out. For whatever reason, peace is declared on Earth probably the fact that zombies don't see those pesky national borders, or color, or religion, you are just live, tasty flesh to a pack of hungry zombies. Also, zombies have yet to work weapons, much less sophisticated anti-air defenses. So humans are broken into various strategically located, logistically sorted bunkers and bases. Bunkers are the base, that is where live humans are saved and initially processed. Medical checks, quarantines, debriefings, skill and aptitude exams given and graded, all this is done at the Bunkers in a Zone. Then, they are shipped off screen in the misty background mythology. The basic Bunkers contribute in other ways, that is where the gardens and the arms are still being manufactured. Research Bunkers are kept out in the Badlands somewhere, but I'm not cleared for that, just a Gunner after all, nothing but Warrant on the LT's ride. That fact led that to somewhere I realized, somewhere, there must be Air Bases for these damned things to be flying out, rearming, I mean they keep ordering me back to it alot. So, I wondered, what would it be like? Think about it. To the civilians who are fighting to get into the Bunker, to the ones who are still there making their 10,000th 25mm High Explosive shell, you lead a cushy life if you are that AC-130 orbiting up there in the air, no zombie threat, no threats at all, fly around, kill zombies, go back to a nice cushy base for tea and crumpets.

It isn't. It is being in the world's largest, ever running, never ending, non-stop war. There is no the doors closed now it is safe here. No, you Nugget are now based in the largest outdoor collection of zombie bait in the North American Human Defense Forces (Combat Air Department) system. I mean, the Navy's got some damned water keeping them safe for while, nowhere near the security requirements. So, get used to the sounds of the guns, you never stop hearing them, big guns, arty, tanks, mortars, mini-guns, the works. Mix that with the sounds of gunships and other attack aircraft taking off and landing all day, every day. Sure, you have nice quarters and food is good, but that is upside of the zombies that never, ever stop, always trying to get in and eat you.

Since the Declaration of Peace Among the Living Humans on Planet Earth under Article 4. Citizen Participation in the Armed Forces limited mercenary contracts have been opened up allowing a Citizen to have a limited control of various military weapon and systems with government support to run missions for the defense of humanity.  In this case you have been given a Gunship. Nice thing is this being the near future, the logistics of keeping the gunship crewed and armed have been greatly reduced. This allows the new AC-135 Wight Gunship to be crewed with less crew due to among other things, an upgraded, robotic, autoloading system. There are still two human Loaders who help keep the ammunition flowing and the Plane Chief who is responsible for keeping the Gunship in the air and the guns running smoothly. Due to the lack of qualified Fire Control Officers (FCOs) in the NAHDF, fire control computers now slave the gun systems to the control of one FCO letting the service spread the remaining FCOs out broadening the areas patrolled. The new touch screen interface aids in both training new FCOs and lets experience Fire Control Officers work miracles they would be unable to duplicate with old TL-7 analog interfaces. The lack of AA due to the Peace (if anyone dares break it all will fall on them and wipe them out) allows the flight crew to be reduced to a single Pilot/Navigator who is the final call regarding the safe operation of the vehicle to and from the Zone of Operation.

So, we now have a total crew of six. Pilot/Navigator, Lieutenant Unnamed (Smith) whose job is so much easier than in those human v. human wars, he flies a rock steady orbit though. Airman Loader Jones mans the two 25mm cannons (there is always a Jones on my crews :D), Airman Loader Druthers handles the 40mm and the 105mm. They get their jobs done quickly and well. Oh, and me,  Fire Control Officer Thornwood (Brevet, Owner/Operator: Thornwood Security, LIC). Last of course is the Plane Chief, "Chief". That's it, no one knows if he has a name or not, he's just Chief, as in "Okay Chief, get some paint and get her name on."

Which is an actual line in my head. Look, if you are shaking your head now and going "What a loony.", you either are new here or missed the part where I plainly told you my head is an interesting place sometimes. Welcome to it. Hey, this is the fun stuff, not like where I seriously look at what is going on the real world and try and figure out what can be done. That place is far darker and less fun. So back to fun.

Man do you empathize when you play this game! And so there we are, me and my crew going out and trying to save as many of those little people shaped blobs from the ones trying to kill all human life on Earth. Each one valuable not only in Credits earned, but in Honor and they are in your care, each one you lose a personal failing, each one saved, a joy. Thing is the little black and white figures on the screen, they start to matter a lot. (You can chose whether you have them show as black or white as living because you can choose the display mode. I keep them as glowing white hot bodies of live humans I am trying to save from the cold, deeper than background black of the ravening zombies. Also I like the dark landscape too, otherwise the landscape is too damned bright on the eyes.) So there I am trying to save each and every soul from the never ending streams of zombies bent on eating them or getting run over by the train.

Yeah, there is a board, um, a Zone where a Train runs through the Zone now and again mowing down everything in its path. Sure cool when it gets nothing but zombies, not so cool when it gets one of the souls. God comes up of course in those moments, or when you see a live person fighting the losing fight against a zombie and you can't switch to the 25mm and save them, because the Bunker perimeter is danger of being breached, so you swing the sensors and guns back to the gate and get to work. You don't see them die, but you know they did, alone, scared, knowing that if there is a God, it surely hates them. Still, the mercy for you is you didn't get to watch them go from bright white and full of life to quickly cold gray as they drop and fade away as your rounds dance about as you try not to kill them with a stray round as you save them. Yeah, if there is a God out there, he hates us. But then, maybe not, because I will have those moments where I am thinking about whether I should take the shot with the current weapon or switch to a smaller one when I find the trigger squeezed and the rounds fall oh so sweet. *shrugs* Don't matter much either way. Sometimes you sooo save the shit out a live one and then while trying to blast Zombie Jink-a-Lot a stray round wastes that exact same soul. Man, that one really sucks. Hurts the bank balance too.

Which gets to back the upgrades, which are sweet. You can buy them if you wish, but my crew, we earned our credits the old fashioned way, worked a mission for 'em. We're not some "weed" Count from Canada here in this unit to go and buy a Commission. *rolls eyes* I mean, you know except for Lieutenant Unnamed, he actually claims he is one, never proved it yet. We all think he's faking and is just another Reserve (Activated) Flight Lieutenant. Never can tell, again, doesn't matter, flies right. You can upgrade the weapons and get some nice benefits like increased civilian kill count, and my fave the extra Bunker Defense that lets one zombie actually breach the perimeter. They  get more expensive as you go which is to be expected. Since I am was already this deep, I decided our Gunship needed a name, I was going with Star of Life have her painted up in gunship meets ambulance paint scheme, but the crew wanted Apocalypse Rider, I don't think we are the first crew to use it, so it was settled on Apocalypse Rider 6 and her scheme shall be a garish fluorescent blue, brilliant white and international distress orange in razzle-dazzle stripes. A suitable crest to be applied to the nose, under or behind the pilot station window with the Gunship's Name emblazoned underneath. And that led to the bit about Chief painting the name on the ship. Actually, I figure a lot of the planes have WWI style paint jobs with no need to avoid enemy air assets or ground fire there is more leeway in paint schemes in aircraft. Hell, probably ground units too, the point is you want to be seen and identified from a distance. Seems sensible thing to do, I mean if a Zombie Apocalypse does breaks out. So back to earning those upgrades and stuff, there are also, these neat objectives like say Use 1000 Rounds of 25mm in a Round without Overheating. Sounds pretty fucking easy, short controlled bursts, spend a long time just mowing them down and bingo. Not so at all. It is amazing the times where I just don't get to use the damned 25mm, I am all on the 105 and the 40. Or I will just let run a smidge too long without realizing it till the little red letters tell me I screwed the pooch again.

There are other neat bits, but I will let you discover them for yourself, if you haven't already. Or not, suit yourself, me, I love gunships, I love blasting zombies and saving humans. From the safety of the sky.

Anyway, I got to get back to killing the already dead.

Laterness,
Craig.

01 April 2013

Metagame: Still More Notebook Transcriptions.

Greetings and Salutations My Dear Readers and Followers,

Today, as you can see from the title, we shall again dive into the Notebooks of the Institute and hopefully leave you more informed about the Permatic Imperium than you were when you arrived. Let us begin.

The first little bit concerns World Class Starships (WCS), also known as World Class Vessels (WCV) since they are significantly larger than even Battle Class Starships. While we are all familiar with the Adventure or Battle Class starships of most Traveller Universes (TUs) that is generally the size limit for starships among the Major Races, yet in that one movie that helped inspire and launch Traveller into gaming history there is those classic lines,

"It's headed for that small moon. I think we can get it before it gets there."

"That's no moon! That's a space station!"

Think about that. The first thing the characters think when they see the Death Star is that it is a small moon. But it's not, it is just a bloody super huge starship. (One with really bad port design, but hey have you ever tried to design a bloody moon-sized starship, some shit is going to get overlooked. It happens. And then your firm has to explain the big dude in black who likes to choke people to death with his magic powers why the Emperor's pride and joy is so much space dust around Yavin IV.) And then in the last movie we see an even bigger one that takes a Super Star Destroyer to the side and is still significantly bigger than one of the most massive Battle Class Starships there is this side of Galactica and even she is only about the size of the regular Star Destroyer. (Do you ever wonder what a Star Cruiser or Star Battleship might look like? I mean destroyers are usually kinda little ships.) The point of this rambling is that I do wonder what a World Class Starship might be like, so I wrote some notes in the Notebook and now I share it with you.

The first thing is that like the Death Star to be a World Class Starship it has to be the size of a world now this could be say as small as a Size 1 (1000 mi/1600 Km), but for true World Class you are looking at like Size 5 (5000 mi/8000 Km). So, big mucking place, lots of space and movable.

Next is style, or how do you use that space. I figured that there are two basic styles, the Interior or Exterior. The Interior style has the habitation and general use space in on the inside of the Hull of the WCS, basically a Dyson Sphere with Jump Drives. The other is the Exterior where the Sophonts on board live on the exterior of the Hull and treat it like any other world. In the end I decided that Size dictates Style. Size 0-5 are alway Interior Style taking maximum advantage of the structure's volume, often these WCVs will have artifical grav and a proto-star powering the Jump+ Drives (more on that in a bit). Size 6-A will generally be of the Exterior style and Size B-F may be of either Style.

Now about the Jump+ Drives, yes, there are more high TL goodies in Traveller5 than we have seen before. I know I helped write some stuff in the Equipment List that the TL was way above the standard TL-F Max of the 3rd Imperium. Of course mostly those were Ancient artifacts, but there were some things that one could have if you want to play High-TL Traveller, which I do. :D Well, one of the cool things about T5 and starships are the new Drives and Power Plants. J-6 is no longer the limit kids! For ATUs that is. Though it might explain some thing I saw in the book, that I am not going into that now, but suggests Strephon's Scouts might have their hands on some better Drives than folks know. Grand things seem to be afoot in the OTU, but back to mine.  Thing is Traveller5 has gone back to the roots of Traveller and the most beloved Classic Traveller (CT), it allows the Referee to have an ATU with no problems. It is much more the Little Black Books we all grew up on. No real Imperium weighing it down with Setting (though it is used in the examples of the mechanics and I honestly dig the OTU, I was a Canonista in fact, no really), but a set of Core Rules for a Traveller group to make their own TU.

Sorry, sort of scattered today, but also excited as the Book and Swag are indeed shipping. I am getting a pretty stuffed box soonish.

So, back to my blathering about ships that are worlds. Since T5 has new Drives and PPs, I figure that if you are building these giant World Ships then hey, you might as well install Uber-Drive and Uber-PP. Now I have to admit that while the Jump+ Drives are there and awesome (along with a whole Chapter devoted to How Jump Works that should have killed the Holy Jump Wars, but in fact started some brand new ones. Such is life.) the proto-star as Power Plant is not in the T5 Core Rules (actually a bunch of stuff had to be cut or the book would have been a good 1000 pages, no really, a lot had to be cut due to page count restrictions, But hey, that means plenty of Supplements. :) I am pushing for Traveller 5: Atomic Rockets, but that might just be me. I don't think so, but it could be). The proto-star is straight ass pull as they say. But then Marc was designing PPs for Starships that players would ride in, not on. Which does get to the question of how do they Jump about the galaxy? Well, Traveller has two ways to go since back in the day, Grid or Bubble. Here I figure Grid for the Interior, but Bubble for Exterior (though you could use Grid, but that is a bit dicier for flora and fauna). I assume both can and may make use of Bubble Jumps as that allows for a certain amount of stuff you could bring along. Like satellites maybe even, especially if they are grav motivated and then they just land before jump like ships do. The Bubble though is really best used for the really good sized World Ships since they will generate a Jump Bubble big enough to contain the Atmo without to much loss or chance of Misjump. And yes, there is a now a formula for computing how large a Jump Bubble is. I haven't used it yet, I probably should now that I think of it. *shrugs* I did say they were notes, not fully thought out, worked through the Rules and checked for bugs, but basic "what if"s. Plus, you get what you paid for. :p

Last thing, World Ships do not have Deckplans, they instead are mapped to the appropriate World Map. The new T5 Mapping Symbols can be used as they are to map out the World Ship, they are spiffy and cover a lot of stuff. And now I find myself wondering, do you get Homeworld Skills from a World Ship, do they generate RUs like a World does? *hold up finger, briefly* Hold on a sec. Sorry, had to write that in the Notebook. Thanks for waiting.

Next on the hit parade is dying in the Frozen Watch. (See what I did there? I know "Bad, Craig.")

So, I turned the page and I got to the Frozen Watch issue. What issue, you ask? What happens when you get wasted on the HMS Lucky Strike while you are in Frozen Watch? Yeah, my head is an interesting place at times. Okay, so what does happen, I mean aside from you being not just technically dead, but now really dead? Well, from the notes I have it seems you get a "gong and possible Limited Pension", so let us consult the list of Traveller Medals. Well, first off there is the old Wound Badge. Though I am not sure you get one if you die, we can stipulate that you get one. (Anyone know if you get like say in the US a Purple Heart if you get zapped?) Thing is I can't really see you getting the MCUF (Meritorious Conduct Under Fire) since you were not doing anything, just waiting to get thawed out and then do something. Basically "...there is no 'conduct' involved in being in a Frozen Watch Berth in a state of technical death while the ship containing said berth is engaged in combat with the enemy. A sophont is only capable of such 'conduct' required for the award of a Meritorious Conduct Under Fire after they have been revived from their assigned Frozen Watch Berth with their shipmates and are capable of getting to and performing the duty of their station. However, the Court does find that said sophont may still be eligible for and be awarded a Campaign Ribbon for service in the Campaign in this question" Hasson v. Imperial Navy Personnel Command, (0027 PI) Imperial Admiralty Court Registry, 2d. I can also see the Limited Pension for any dependents you might have left behind. On the other hand I have another note here that wonders if they just don't warm up your clone and have you finish your Term. Nice part is it's not like you'll have nightmare about your death, nor will you have to wonder what you did, you just were there as body in stasis.

The next page is pretty short. We have Shoreside Intel. Many so called Patrons will be the fronts for several possible intelligence services. These could be Imperial, Royal or even Corporate Intelligence services, military, diplomatic or commercial the current trend seems aimed at the Parthians and the Free Spinward States. Information on the rimward and trailing areas of space are still sought after, but not as much these days. This doesn't mean that every Patron a Traveller meets and takes employment from is a front for some spook group or another, it just puts in on the table. Another thing I see mentioned is the need to work out some sort of pay scale for peacetime, wartime and deployment time, housing, things like that for members of the Imperial or Royal Services. Yeah, I am all sorts of stupid like that.

And on the next page, it seems I have a list of the twenty-four disputed systems. No, UWPs, just a list of Hexes and Bases. There are seven Scout Bases, one Waystation, three Navy Bases and three Depots and one lonely Research Station Delta.

On the next page is a bit about Low Berths and using VR, but I will save that for next time as the Ship's Cat is getting persistent in his desire that I give all my attention to him for a while. Rightly so I guess.

Okay, one last thing, I am looking at some past posts regarding the Imperial Army (which from what I gather is rather a hotly contested point in the OTU) and I see that there are some noted Corporate Armed Forces, two Navies, one Army and one Scout Regiment (I am figuring they use cavalry style unit designations in wartime). So, I have decided I should probably address them. I am not going to lie, I am not going to look up who owns those forces, but go into their obligations by having those forces counted on the Imperial Starcharts, Surveys, and Censuses. You see the Imperium recognizes the need for a company engaged in interstellar commerce to have security forces and maybe even small military forces, but past a certain level and those forces start to look dangerous to the stability of the empire. So the deal is that you can either hire mercenaries or have a true army or navy. If you take the later way you are treated at times of war like an Imperial Armed Forces asset. This means that your primary task switches from things like protecting company assets to engaging the enemy in front line combat. It also means your forces are now under the Imperial Code of Military Justice (ICMJ) and can be seriously hosed if your forces commit war crimes or flee from battle or other military offense that might be overlooked or prosecuted as lesser offenses if committed by Merchant Spacer forces. This is a standard part of an Imperial Charter (IC) as opposed to the more common Limited Imperial Charter (LIC) which only Imperializes the company's forces in very limited circumstances. That part also grants Corporate Armed Forces reciprocal rights to Imperial Base access and use of facilities, this includes fuel, armaments, and life support supplies.

One quick thing, regarding the Imperial Navy, I had in the past been undecided as to what size the Imperial Naval forces attached to a Navy Base was. I have decided that they have not Armadas, but Fleets attached. I looked it up and Task Forces and Group just don't fit. So back to Fleets it is which means the Imperial Navy has sixteen Fleets floating about space. Plus there are the Royal Navy units. I have not yet figured out how many and what kind of assets His Royal (as opposed to Imperial) Majesty commands, but Permatic has some 5280 RU on its own. As High Lord of Permatic, Vladimir II has quite a bit of resources and infrastructure to throw around and might just have a Fleet or two of his own. Right now I am leaning toward three RN Fleets with about three to four Royal Marine (RM) units apiece. I know that at least one of them is the 1st Royal Fleet, His Majesty's Own Permatics and at least one of the Royal Marine units is the 9th Royal Marines, which for some reason has an 84th Assault Squadron. But then the Imperiums stretch far back in time and some units have linages, crests, mottos and yes designations that may go back thousands of years and several star empire ago such as the Bibickian First Forces which hail as far back as the Second and the unit history has the First Imperium, sadly they were lost with Rufus the Immortal when the Great War was lost.

Well, it has a been a long day with yet another long day ahead so this is where I shall truly close. I bid you a good day or night as it be when you get here and then leave. Be well. (Yeah, I "Be Well."ed you. :p Can't lie, Rustin is right, that movie is just sick fun.)

Laterness,
Craig.

25 March 2013

Update: Probable logo/type for Thornwood-Daarnulud LLC.

Hey folks,

Not much going on right now. Still working on Greg P. Lee's T5 Cirque des Sirkas campaign book NPCs, doing a bit of errata hunting (yeah, we tried and catch it all, but you know errata, slippery stuff) and other stuff. Other stuff includes some real world business stuff to be taken care of and gaming business stuff like finishing the UWPs for the Far Stars Sector database (and the starcharts and routes).

So, while I was busy back here behind the screens I thought I would give you a look at is right now the proposed logo/type for Thornwood-Daarnulud LLC.

Proposed Logo/type (084-2013)
Getting to this was a longer process that it would seem. It did take some time, as you may well know from past posts the word Institute has some legal requirements for use and thus I had to pick a new name for the company. I of course went with something nice and metagame, but even there I had a few T-D company names to go through until I decided to just go simple. Besides I am rather fond of the LLC bit as it seems reminiscent of the OTU's LIC (Limited Imperial Charter). Then it was pretty simple to deal with the colors as those too were already chosen, in fact there are written down in both the original HMS Herald folder and now in the almost filled notebook I carry everywhere (along with a pen). After that, logo (in this case the emblem of the 5th Imperium again for metagame reasons, because that's how we roll here :D) and the font to use. The results so far are in my opinion rather nice, almost elegant. However, I am terribly biased having done the work.

Well, I really should be back to work on those aforementioned NPCs. They don't generate themselves, though they do sort of develop personalities while you create them. Like deciding not be Knighted even when they could have been, or choosing to stay in the enlisted ranks of the service as opposed being like most of us followers of Saint Timmii (of the Mini-Maxers) who jump at that Commission Roll, if only for the extra Skill you can squeeze out it. >:D Some of this me getting into character as I generate the NPC. Some come about because of a mistake I made and had to figure out what the results meant. One dude like that was a NPC who has a UPP: XXXA4X, they joined the service and for some reason I read the Int as the Edu when I assigned the Branch and Operations for the Term. Then I was doing the second Term when I read the UPP again, realized that I had messed up and dude shouldn't have ended up in Technical Branch. Ouch. Then I figured they maybe, you know "lied" on their application and really just aced all the Service Exams. Well, guess who gets Mustered Out when the Bureaucracy Main Computers (Sector) at Service HQ run the numbers and do the background checks. Still, it is things like that do make Traveller5 CharGen so cool, the little stories you can build. 

Anyway, this turning into me blabbing about how cool T5 is and not working with it. 

Laterness,
Craig, the Ref, ever working.

19 March 2013

Metagame: More on Orders of Knighthood.


Gentle Followers All (now Seventeen in Number) and Readers (Unknown Numbers), Greetings and Salutations.

So, for those wondering what I might be doing behind the screens, I have answers. For one thing, I finally got Magnus posted to DOSSIERS. Now I can find my character when I need too. Also, as noted in his brief description and in true metagame fashion noted he is a working Noble and most often seen as a Patron. I need to get Ivor hault-Daarnulud off of the CotI T5 Private Forum since that is going to be closed (or made read only maybe, but I need a copy anyway) and add him too. 

Another thing is as mentioned previously I am working (for Sharurshid metagame and pic wise {me in the hoodie, front left}on NPCs for Greg P. Lee's T5 Cirque des Sirkas Campaign Supplement (now successfully Funded and working toward some stretch goals). This led me to Knighthoods as one of the NPCs happened to get Knighted as part of his Muster Out of the Imperial Navy. First thing I did of course was make up a new Order of Knighthood in the OTU. >:D I mean really can you blame me? The thing is that made me come up not only with an Order, but also some of the Ranks of Chivalry within the Order. Why? Well not just to put my little stamp (again) on T5 Canon, but also because frankly there ought to be bunches of Orders of Knighthood in the Third Imperium, much less my even older and larger ones (the Fifth Imperium having had a galactic scope). So, I created one, an Order open only to certain sophonts with specific service requirements. If you want to know which one, get Greg's Cirque des Sirkas and find out. :p (Yeah, for the new folks, I am a dick, violate the Wheaton Rule all over the place. And I am far worse with my meatspace crew, the [VR] who get mad props for putting up with it and giving fair exchange while doing so.)

Well, now I had an Order (which I am pretty sure is not OTU Canon breaking) and some ranks within it. This led me to again wonder how will I deal with Orders of Knighthood and their ranks. So for the Thornwood-Daarnulud LLC Alternate Traveller5 Universe (Working Title The Permatic Imperium: Adventuring in the Riftborne Domains) I have jotted some ideas on a mechanic that allows Players and Referees to have a bit more of a Rich Decision Making Environment (RDME) which is so part of Traveller5. I will now share them with you, they are of course subject to change in the final product (which is slated hypothetically for the end of the year, maybe beginning of 2014).

T5 Extended Knighthood Rank Mechanic (with Table).

Mechanic A) If a character is already Social Standing B (by birth or Personal Development, but has not been Elevated to Knight) then they are bumped up from KX to KYX, where KY equals the next higher rank in the Order's rank structure (they can differ) and X equals the Order's traditional suffix, such as a Knight of the Empire can use the suffix "KE" after their name (Example: Sir Scott Smythe, KE). 

If character is Social Standing is A or less then they receive the normal KX. 

If the character already has a Knighthood (KX), then a second receipt of a Knighthood may be taken as the next higher rank in the current Order or may be taken as a second Order (provided none of the rules of the first Knighthood are violated). A third or even more receipts of a Knighthood can be taken as greater rank in the Order(s) in which the character holds membership {See Note 4 below}.

Mechanic B) The player may invoke a one time use of Flux. If they do, they are bound by the results for good or ill. (Unless there is the possibility of a Waiver? Say, TN = Soc N -7 Mod, so a character with Soc B, would be trying to hit 11 -7 = 4, and a Soc A≤ is having to hit 3 or less, not easy to do.) Use Table 1 below for the character's new rank in their Order of Knighthood.

Table 1.
-5 to -3 = Demoted to Page of X {See Note1}. 
Example: Walston Richards, Page of Sir Scott of the Order of the Empire, Suffix: None, Unit: none.

-2 to -1 = Demoted to Squire of X {See Note 2}. 
Example: Sarii Vasharkiin, Squire of Sir Scott of the Order of the Empire, Suffix: None, Unit: Page.

     0  = Elevated to Knight of X (Suffix: KX). 
Example: Sir Scott Smythe, A Knight of the Order of the Empire, Suffix: KE, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Squad  (Alpha Squad, 3rd Co, 2nd Batt, 1st Chevalier Imperium).

+1 to +2 = Elevated to KYX. 
Example: Sir Walther Ivanov Kenisnko, A Knight Commander of the Order of the Empire, Suffix: KCE, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Company of Order Troops (3rd Company, 2nd Batt, 1st Chevalier Imperium).

+3 to +5 = Elevated to KZX. 
Example: Dame Sheila Smitters, A Grand Commander of the Order of the Empire, Suffix: GCE, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Battalion of Order Troops (2nd Battalion, 1st Chevalier Imperium).

Note 1: Character must serve either a PC or NPC Knight (and/or their Squire) of their Order for one Term of Penance (4 years). This Term of Service may be simulated during CharGen or may take place after CharGen during post-Career adventuring. 

If in CharGen use the Risk/Reward mechanic, the Controlling Characteristic is determined by Order (for example the Order of the Empire allows Applicants to use any one of C1-C4 they chose). 

If done during adventuring the Referee may decide if the Page is ready to be promoted, either to back up to Knight, or if not quite ready yet Squire. It should be noted that if the player role plays true penance and desire to uphold the Orders of their Knighthood, the Term can be shortened to a time agreed upon by the players (this includes the crew that the Page has been adventuring with) and the Referee. The Knight may be reinstated at that time even if not finished serving the standard Term of Penance.

Note 2: The character must serve a Term of Penance in service of a Knight (but not their Squire) under conditions as shown in Note 1

Most of these Terms of Penance are similar to this example cited in the records of the Order of the Empire, wherein an Applicant Knight was "required to be reminded that the Applicant as a Knight, they are to be both Honorable and Humble and having attempted to achieve a Rank in the Order above their time in Service to the Order and the Imperium shown themselves to be neither and thus are assigned to Sir Mixalot, a Knight of the Order for remedial study and contemplation..." and should be reflected in the character's service to their Patron Knight.

This was the first draft of the T5 Extended Knighthood Rank Mechanic (with Table) though it has been a bit expanded on this page (TL-8) compared to the physically small page of the notebook (TL-2). It then evolved into a bit of time on the DataNets to find some ranks to flesh out the table. So pencil in hand on the opposite page (usually I use pen, but I figured I might want to erase it and use the space for other things) I jotted down some various rank structures. Then I went through them and grabbed some of those and made a few adjustments for my own needs and thus was born version two of the table using the B Mechanic.

Table 2.
-5 = Initiate of X (Suffix: none, Unit: none).

-4 = Novice of X (Suffix: none, Unit: none).

-3 = Page of {Knight/Squire} (Suffix: none, Unit: subordinate ranks).

-2 = Squire of {Knight} (Suffix: none, Unit: Page + subordinate ranks).

-1 = Aspirant Knight of X (Suffix: none or AKX, Unit: Squire, Page + subordinate ranks).

  0 = Knight of X (Suffix: KE, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Squad).

+1 = Errant Knight of X (Suffix: EKX, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Platoon).

+2 = Knight Commander of X (Suffix: KCX, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Company).

+3 = Knight Banneret of X (Suffix: KBX, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Regiment).

+4 = Lord Knight of X {See Note 3} (Suffix: LKX, Unit: Squire, Page + 1 Battalion).

+5 = Grand Cordon of X {See Note 4} (Suffix: GCX, Unit: Division).

Note 3: The Rank of Lord Knight of X does not convey a Patent of Nobility holder's use of the honorific "Lord". The Knight should not be addressed as merely "Lord Example", but must either be addressed as "Lord Knight Example" or "Sir/Dame Example" as per preference.

Note 4: The Rank of Grand Master of X (Suffix: GMX, Unit: The Order) is reserved for the use of the Referee, or "GM".

I think this latest table is about as good as it can get. Actually I may just have it be Table 2 (Optional, by Order) and it is only used for those Orders with more ranks than Table 1 (Standard Order, example: KE). This Table also got some additions, it was the first to prompt me to note what size unit a Knight might lead depending on Rank.

So, anyone up for Thornwood-Daarnulud LLC to produce some hard copy Orders of Knighthood? Seriously, if you would buy some, even if it was at some future point after you had the Setting Book in your hands and had run some games in it, let me know. Helps when making up the Product List (which is now in Official Draft 01 status, got sent to Marc for a first look, comments, and approval).

Well, it is unbelievably late for me right now and I think I should hit the head and rank in that order. Though I would like to note before I do that I have now backed the Cirque des Sirkas with a lousy CrImps 15, but I am not all that sure my experiment as a small gaming company will bear fruit and more importantly, CrImps for me to reinvest in stuff.

Laterness,
Craig.