07 March 2016

Everything is a bloody learning experience.

For once I am going to be lazy, even though I know I will regret this action later when I want to reference something I foolishly mention only here in this post some months down the road. Seriously I use my own tags when I am hunting down things. Like maps, world entries, stuff like that.

Some day I must get and learn to use decent database software. Someday.

Anyway, things happening, HERALD Class Starships had yet another cover snag, but then that makes the twelve copies with the racing stripe extremely rare for future collectors and since about eight of them have some form of personal inscription the value goes up further. :) I wish. No, strike that. Already uttered those fatal words, okay not fatal but man be careful of wishes kids, GMs love messing with them, got to watch the words, especially the missing ones. 

So, I got some cool new art and some very bright illustrations for the ISV SOMETHING COOL, because while some might think Rob Caswell invented the variant paint scheme plate, he just revived it. Airplane books used to do that crap all the time, hell I have this comic, which someday I will complete my collection of called Tigers of Terra and that had cool variant and paint scheme plates too. Dig that stuff, so I got some for the Cool.

Basically working on stuff, doing overtime at bill paying job and trying to handle a task that I let myself get talked into because..well, lots of reasons. So all in all, still alive and kicking and working.

Hope this finds you well, thank you for reading, and travel safe.


30 January 2016

Metagame: The Actual Imperium.

First off, welcome back and thanks for reading (even if you are new here).

Second I am reading this: http://twilightgm.blogspot.com/2015/11/remote-control.html and it does raise an interesting point, back in the LBB days, the Imperium went from distant and thus unable to do much about pesky "Travellers" doing all sorts of hinky stuff, along with MegaCorps, minor Nobles and of course the odd Mercenary unit or Merchant Prince to much more powerful and involved government that was closer than it was when it made its appearance in Imperium and LBB Traveller.

Which is cool. And seems a smidge of a problem with The Imperium standing not one Hop away with ridiculously high tech goodies to pull out their ass. I have established not only does The Emperor of the Permatic Imperium have Hop ships, He has antimatter power plants and creators, transmat on the local scale on board His Personal Flagship, HMS Blackthorne, all His Marines have BattleDress and could all be armed with Fusion Guns and other high tech crap. His Commandos carry Disintegrator Rifles and have biomechanical skin suit BD.

Which is cool stuff, but may make things hard to get away with.

Truth is that the full Imperium is out there. Remember, Vlad II claims the Title, Prince-Regent of the Fifth Imperium. There is a reason for that.

And leaving that alone for now since it seems some of my player may be paying attention here. Hence the Metagame tags. Thus we all understand that using the info may have bad consequences. Things are sometimes secret for reasons, not always bad either.

So, another thing is that I am thinking again of moving the Riftborne Domains while I still can. Once the location goes to print I am stuck with whatever goes out the door. And I found my TL chart and it shows the Fifth Imperium at its height with a Standard TL of 23, which means a high end of 25 and low end of 21. This means that Leap-1 (1000 parsec/leap) starships which means the Galaxy is some 30 weeks across which makes the Capitol of the Fifth Imperium much closer than I thought to being able to span the Galaxy.

The solution of course it to remove the Riftborne Domains from the Galaxy entirely and the Cross Rift Missions becomes not the rift between spiral arms, but the rift between the Galaxy and the various local satellite galaxies and clusters. So now it hovers in a limbo state somewhere off the Arms on the way to some other perhaps as of yet unnamed location. Keeps some of the mystery.

Anyway, got other stuff to do, such as working to get Herald Class Starships into a real printed book format one of these days. And trying to get some sort of rough complete draft of the setting book.

So, here my fellow Travellers and readers, I close.


21 January 2016

Metagame: Non-Material Currency.

First off, my apologies dear Readers for not posting in like forever. Many things have happened since we met last.

First off the company is doing well, the HERALD CLASS STARSHIPS Traveller5 ACS Supplement is doing well, and many thanks to Stephanie McAlea for her most excellent new cover for the book (pictures here when the print book goes live). And even as I type this a proof is being prepared and sent for (hopefully) Approval, since the last onces had problems other than my mediocre cover. Closed out our first business year and feeling pretty good.

So, enough nattering business small talk, let us get a round and get to the meat of the Meet.

Trade, kids, life blood of the Empire. Or so they tell us. And yes, it is true but mostly because it drives men out into the voids between the stars to find that new thing that will bring in the CrImps.

But for all the questing for cold hard currency there are two other currencies within the Traveller community that while having very little legal standing have that standing based on long traditions of spacers throughout the Imperiums of the Mankinds. Those currencies are the Marker/Token and the Favor. 

The Marker/Token, currency to a million spacers.

No one knows when or for what the first Marker was requested and when and for what it was called in for, but it is a tradition said to go back to mythical Terra and even precedes the Astroporters' Guild, the Jump Wars, and the Second Exodus of Terra. However, no matter its true history The Marker or Token is considered to be an article of value and its use is governed by few but iron clad rules. 

They are generally only requested or granted among known associates or at least persons/entities that have been vouchsafed to each other. This is not merely a good word and casual meeting at a seedy Startown dive, but a process involving serveral meetings, background checks, and is usually not done off the cuff. Or not when both parties have a mostly even footing. When the Patron deals with a Traveller and it doesn't involve The Dance as the semi-formal process is known, the Traveller might want to get that Insurance Backup before lifting off to adventure. 

If given or accepted the conditions agreed to are binding and may not be refused once accepted. This can make a Marker a somewhat dangerous proposition as usually the Patron granting the Marker is likely to leave out what they will request later while demanding to know what the Marker is for now. 

They are rarely requested or granted for small values. In the non-material currency market they are the megacredit bank draft to the Favor's Cr 10 coin. You can get a deadhead passage on a Favor, for a Marker you get the ship. The problem being is one can then have their Marker called in and suddenly find rather nasty people on board and doing things best not talked about.

Markers among very trusted colleagues can be verbal and need nothing more than those involved remembering who owes what to who. A Merchant Prince dealing with an Imperial Earl will rarely commit such a Marker to hard copy, however when either of them deals with a Traveller as a Patron they will often give the Traveller a Token. The Token is a physical or digital representation of the Marker. It may have some significance on its face or by design but again very rarely will you find a Token that tells the bearer what it can be called in for and who from. Point of fact, sometimes having the wrong Token at the wrong time can be a very bad thing. One is advised to leave an unknown Token alone, trying to redeem them has been a lethal experience for some. Yet for every bad Rumor one hears there is the competing tale of a found Token being returned and the finder greatly rewarded. *shrugs* You roll the dice and you take your chances.

So, can you sue over a Marker? Well, yes and no. While there have been cases in the Imperial High Law most of those involve nobles, military units and the occassional merchant house. The truth is the Imperial Courts will generally refuse to hear such cases and tell the litigants to figure it out themselves. About the only time they will hear such a case is when there is a direct consequences for the Imperium. 

Most often such disputed Markers will be arbitrated by a third party sometimes assigned by the Courts if the parties attempt to bring suit or special Moot or Senatorial Committees called for by someone in either of those houses, for merchants it is usually decided by a Guild committee. The military uses an unofficial Abritration Board composed of equal numbers of enlisted/ratings and officers called on an ad hoc basis. So, yes theoretically you could try and sue over a Marker. 

Is suing over it a good idea? Many times, no, not at all. We are after all discussing a currency that buys regiments, agents in the enemy camp, and sometimes the loyalty of a vacillating subordinate, they have also been said, but almost never proven to buy assassins, plagues, safe passages in Red Zones. Bringing The Heat into such things tends to be bad for everyone but the Lawmen. Buyer beware.

The Favor, or buy me dinner shipmate.

The Favor. Ah, Favor, a word with such a sweet sound to the ear of a Traveller. A word which may be used as currency among friends, shipmates, and fellow respectable Travellers. A small currency though. While a serious Marker may buy a battleship or a lord, the Favor buys you lunch or a day of Liberty with some chores being the most common return value of such exchanges. 

Being a small currency it can unlike a held Marker can be refused if the exchange is thought to be an unequal one. While this has probably resulted in more Startown, Port and shipboard scuffles and icy silences between the parties than one would like, it rarely escalates to killings or wars. It has spilt up a crew or three now and again however.

Favors are often granted between fellow Travellers on the mere association of having the same memetic makeup and that a Favor granted to a stranger can come back to you later in the oddest ways. In fact while religion has faded in its influence in human events it still has adherents to this day and among the Travellers the Favor has an almost mythical status. Many "pious" Travellers make it a point to grant a Favor at some point on Liberty before boarding for Liftoff, and those of a more compassionate mind tend to try and spread good will among the Dirtsiders by granting Favors only to natives of the world they're on. Both do it believing it will bring them, their shipmates and The Favored good fortune and well being. The standard Traveller will only grant Favors to those known to them or vouched for by a trusted colleague. 

These are the other currencies that Travellers may find of use in their adventures among the stars and worlds of the Imperiums of the Mankinds. And class is now open to questions. And can someone grab me a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster? I can spot you a Watch. ;)