Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Flavour for the Sci-fi universe

This post is basically some really nice pod casts. I love pod casts because its easy to code while listening them them you can't really read a book while coding.

This is a story about the formation of the universe.

This is a really nice Sci-fi story, about an alien race which was passed by others.

This one describes the relationship that a boy has with alien assassin.

Classic Sci-Fi brutal in its accuracy in many ways.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mercenary Stories

I have started creating the first scenario pack, Mercenary Stories. This is a sneak peak at what I'm doing for the starting campaign. The basic story revolves around a group of mercenary characters who join a mercenary company called Expedient Solutions lead by its mercenary commander Marcelo Vicenza. Over the coarse of the campaign the characters become involved in the main story arch of the setting, the war that the Lucerferians are fighting against mankind. Every other scenario is a story arc scenario where the characters get further and furthur embeded in a web of intriege, ancient evil, and moral choices.

The first two scenarios are finished.

Ganymede Stomp
A mission of the week, the characters must rescue some scientists from certain death on the ocean floor of Ganymede.

Titan Calling
A Story arc scenario which occures on an abandandoed colony of Titan, where they must guard some Prime industries geoligists as they unearth somthing from the ice.

Each of the scenarios has a title which is linked to their content, and this is the theme throughout the book. In the setting of Blood of Sol, there is no good or evil merely the tide of humanity marching into the future and struggling to survived surrounded by aliens of vast and terrible power, who would much rather ignore than assist humanity.

The Economics of Failure

Given a free market, the market will be self correcting. This is the argument for globalization, money is valuable based on the goods that you can get with it. What happens to solar system of planets, that become one market working hard to produce goods to sell, to buy other goods that they want to own when the seller of those goods, has a resource rich system, has labor which is virtually free and can make decisions and enact them faster than a large group of separate states and companies. When the flow of goods stops and the need to work hard diminishes, your states and companies are left languishing in a depression that they have no hope of getting out of.

Welcome to the situation in the colonies of Mars, Europa, Ganymede and Titan. The Collective could out-manufacture anyone else, primarily because they embraced cybernetics to a level unbelievable to other humans. The melding of a human social society, with socially minded AI's has lead to an evolution of the production line to the auto factory. The auto factory is in all sense and purpose a robot, capable of manufacturing any goods from its designs and raw materials. Materials are usually pre-processed items. To achieve maximum efficiency several auto factories are used, some to make the parts, some to assemble them, some to finish and package the goods. In essence The Collectives manufacturing might comes not from a small oligarchy of companies and CEO's which ruthlessly dominate one economic sector but from the masses of Collective citizens that make goods based on demand out of their homes and ship them off to earth on spur of the moment transports. Once this system started, no one could out manufacture the Collective, star ships we being built by the dozen by some citizens, churned out of orbital factories. At its height the Collective's trade surplus was the same size of Mars with a tenth of the population, it never borrowed money or swapped currency because it always traded directly with Universe Bank. The vast wealth of the Collective though is in its internal barter credit system; It is possible for a citizen of the Collective to never use the Universal dollar instead bartering, this is facilitated by the rapid communication of the Collective's citizens as they have instant access to any other citizen.

And when, the Collective out manufactures the entire solar system for fifty years, the ripple effect of that is that many are out of work, have no way of leaving their colony and generally are far worse-off than they had have been if the Collective wasn't there. The manufacturing giants toppled under an avalanche of high quality Collective goods. The only industries kept alive were the Star-ship, Health-care and food production and this is because of UNAF and Universe bank. The many small companies and the big giants that bought their goods have gone, leaving behind a tray of toxic cookies that no one will eat because they are worth nothing.

When the Collective was cut off from human space, the citizens accustomed to cheap goods continued to buy them till the supply ran out. The value of the dollar went down, sure the Collective lost trillions of dollars but the citizens of the earth Colonies can now only buy a few goods and mostly save what little money they had for food the Collectives safety-net means that their citizens although under siege can continue their existence, they continue to work for the Collectives survival and fight a war which will be brutal and bloody against a superior enemy.

So in essence the situation, now in the late 2000's is not dissimilar to the situation in 2500, except the effects are magnified by vast populations, the disparate dystopia of the Earth Colonies and the ravages of a series of wars which begins between the martian city states.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some Flavr


This is a really short post, mostly because I'm extremely busy right now. So I have some flavour links to some pod casts I thought were pretty nice. I especially like Chrysalis and how lonesome a life without nerve gas.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Morality in a dark future universe

Questions of morality arise from time to time in Space Game, good evil indifferent. Morality is a yardstick that a society measures itself by as a whole (good, bad, naughty and nice), over time morals shift and change.

In the Sci-fi universe of Blood of Sol, morality is in short supply to some but for others its in abundance. One world could have a moral code not unlike our own for example old earth is morally very similar to our own world they gloss over the bad things that their company's do, but rail against animal cruelty, infidelity and murder, and patent infringement.

The collective is in some cases more moral, taking very forward thinking view on personal freedom above all else, provide that you never hurt or impinge anyone else. This causes a dilemma in their legal system, were it not for the collectives vast network and constant discussions it would not work, however as they can change the laws very quickly people find that they become more moral on some aspects like murder, theft etc. At the same time, they don't believe that taking an idea is wrong, they copy peoples intellectual property and use it. The two societies although both moral polarise on some issues making a dynamic that means they can go to war over mining rights or theft of designs and plans.

Both sides agree that its morally wrong to kill humans (and AI's for the collective), but they do it anyway if it impinges there other ideals for their own greater goods.

So in a Sci-fi setting morality varies depending on the society just as it does here and now, but what about the alien societies?

In space game, the aliens are pretty alien seraphims are really just ideas manifested in physical form ideas like justice, peace, unity, rebellion, chaos and order. Their physical forms exist in the universe and develop their own personality separately from the entity itself a sort of shadow not unlike the relationship between the super ego and the id with the id being the true form existing at the beginning of the universe. These aliens here, have guided mankind their super ego or the shadow appears to the humans and manipulates them through out time. The id or true form, is interested only in its idea law, chaos, death, life etc.

In essence morality for these aliens is so one sided only the slightest change is considered abhorrent. A Seraphim of law will consider any infringement chaotic and therefore will act accordingly. However the shadows will have a balance as they are a whole being, able to discern shades of grey in the universe. A life shadow is capable of killing if it will save more lives.

The other alien cultures have their own morals, Kruth consider it very strange to lie until they encountered humans they never even knew the concept of deceit. They follow a code of honor that involves bravery, splendor, rapture and community. Kruth believe in themselves and using thinking machines or computers is also abhorrent, why let a machine think for you when you can do the math yourself.

Drooge morality is very simple, they believe that killing other drooge is abhorrent, as they spawn or bud for reproduction they are extremely sexually promiscuous and have no morals about that. Taking a spawn away from the group is also abhorrent, unless that spawn is immature and has not awakened yet. Cannibalism of their own species is perfectly fine.

Space Game hits 1.5.4

Well with printing of the rules nicely on a nice printer im going to work more on space game. Basically I have started a set of scenarios for some mercenaries. They take place just after the big ship has left for Ishta, the mercs are involved in a multi layered plot.

I have tried to keep the scenarios to one session the first one Ganymede Stomp is a rescue mission where the underwater exploratory lab owned by Berkley Genomics is walking along the bottom of the under ice ocean on Ganymede. It has four massive legs so its nicknamed the Stomper. The characters break in to find themselves confronted not by a crazy captain but a virus that phases in and out of reality. How cool is that a quantum virus that exists in both light matter and dark energy.

The next scenario in the series is called Titan Calling, I'm running that on Sunday it should be very sweet. In this one they are sent to investigate derilict space ship and find more than they bargined for. (no its not an alien rip off you noobs)