Saturday, October 17, 2020

My GM didn't intend me to like Bookkeeping.

Bob, my GM in Traveller, didn't intend me to like Book Keeping when he ran Traveller. He probably wanted to run traveller based on his current scifi inspiration at the time. What I took away from his game was really up to me and how I deal with the experience. 

So I got to catch up with my brother and I realized this in the discussion regarding one of our childhood friends and his dissatisfaction when his character was made to operate a Japanese manor instead of being a murder hobo. His GM and other players were there in the same zoom call and said he did a very good job, but he hated it. 

The business I ran in Traveller FAILED. It was all the classic mistakes that you see even now, even in the age of the internet and online classes and access to all this knowledge. I did not know my costs, and thus could not choose profitable ventures for the ship and thus we lost money and kept on taking debt. 

I loved it. It influenced the game I played under Mark Knights, where I played an Admin/Steward 贾. It influenced the character I play now in Bob's game which I play a character distantly related to the Character in Mark's game. The difference is in Bob's first game I had capital, I played a Noble and kept financing the ship till its Liabilities was several times over the Value of the entire business. 

But my ability to Take Failure and Accept it was because I had the good fortune to have enough love and support to be OK with failing. I am the "son of the owner", I am born in one shrunken middle class after the Marco Era, I had enough friends that correction is less painful for me than other people.  

On very sad take away is that: How I ended up liking the Bookkeeping and the Work Decision Making (which fueled my work.gameinthebrain.org blog) is how I processed the experience and given how we are all pretty "unique" I will probably never experience that kind of game outside the group I have. As well as very few people will every LIKE games that way. 

Bob did not intend me to like Book Keeping in games. I did not intend to LIKE bookkeeping going into his game. But that's what happened because the PAINFUL part of the game was something I had the good fortune to be able to process. 

If I tried to replicate it we have the HUMAN Variable of take away. Human is not a reliable or consisent value plus I also a Variable. I can fuck up storytelling. 

TRPGs grant XP to Players, especially when there is an unintended conflict between the Player and the GAME that tests, defines, and clarifies more about the Player than Previous Thought. Being a SAFE space, the player CAN convert the experience into something TANGIBLE. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

Daydreaming of TL9 - a game that Spans 2050 to 2200.

  Traveller Games in TL9



2050-2099 

ike Delta-V where freelance Astronauts of various specializations are getting hired and trained for pioneer missions to catch asteroids, comets, and material to bring some of it or all of it back to CisLunar Space. The race to reduce the cost per kg to Cislunar space is the Race to have as much Sensors and navigation equipment to better find Opportunities and Catch material.

  1. Harder Science drawing from Artemis, The Martian, Delta V, Seveneves, and the growing Space Science Literacy like sources from Atomic Rockets. 
  2. An understanding of how we transition from our Current Situation to TL9 - development of Space Infra and all the science and economic changes when we don't fight over Earth resources in Climate Change but try to catch Asteroids and Comets. 
  3. Ice Ships and Sky hooks. Tons of Delta-V conserved with very clever tricks that have become standard operations. 
  4. Your not held hostage by accuracy and precision - get the Science you can handle and run with it. Be kind to GMs and Players who are trying to develop their hard science TRPG legs so that there are MORE of them and they can learn from each other. 

2100-2149 

the Normalization of Material Capture and the Growth of the CisLunar. CisLunar Space and Earths population pushing outward. The Push for Jupiter and Psyche 16. Jupiter with its moons, rings, and low Delta-V cost resources would become its own HUB and development. Experimental Micro Jump Drives discover the Vilani Outposts. Imagine the logistical fleets that were set up to allow megatons of material to Micro Jump all the way to Vilani Outposts

  1. The "mining" that is seen as low-brow in Traveller Golden era is now the Pursuits of Nations and megacorporation as it tries to push the boundaries of Human reach. 
  2. The months-long Travel from Earth to Venus or Earth to the Belt and Jupiter. The jobs are mostly logistics: moving material in these Low-Delta-V places to Processing and Trade. Space is BIG and players soon discover the scale - if they didn't already discover it in CisLunar Space. 

2150-2200 

Commercial Micro Jump Drives. From Jumping from CisLunar Space to Jupiter and then Jupiter to Saturn. Torch Drive Efficiency still has not reached levels dreamed of in the Expanse, but have become much safer. Ion Drive Efficiencies have become very viable to start having hardened Habitat enclosures. 

The later century is marked with the events in Interstellar Wars and the Vilani. Sol micro jump capable fleets against Vilani Jump Fleet with vastly greater Torch and Ion Drive efficiencies. The Crushing Defeat has so many facets and angles.

Demographics have changed drastically as humans live to 200 with major strides in Cybernetics and prosthetics. What makes human survive in space is the same science that makes him live 200 years. The economics of population that can work or a hundred years and the number of families they can sire is quite remarkable.


  1. Electronic warfare - with a level of power only needed to harm sensors and comms. 
  2. Torpedos with Bomb pumped lasers (nuclear warheads that blow up directionally in very narrow cone to make it devastate a hundred of kilometers before it diffuses. 
  3. Repeaters that direct and Obfuscate Drones and weapon Platforms. Diffuse hulled ships carrying megatons of drone weapon platforms carrying torpedos to wage war in ranges of Light mili-seconds. 
  4. The Alien worlds they visit after all that work to get Just one System Away. 
  5. Using the Nearby Space and rolling Procedurally what the Player Encounter!!! Even the GM is surprised lolz.  


Monday, October 5, 2020

Death is Painful in many ways I didnt and can't imagine

the more I understand about the body, the more uncomfortable I am in killing scenes. One cannot help it as a GM, World Builder, and Storyteller - getting some powerfully sticky details that just burn itself into your mind. 

Particularly that:  

1) people just don't die "instantaneously" when hit in a vital part. As long as there is oxygen in their blood and atp in their muscles involuntary movement happens. Some part of them is still "alive". from the bowel movement of dying, to the enemy that holds the trigger down even after dying unleashing a spray of death to its own allies or at the PC involuntarily.  

2) a lethal injury means the person is either in Numb or Painful agony until they die. 

3) that burning is its own kind of torture 

4) that oxygen starvation from drowning or waterboarding is also another kind of torturous pain. 

4.1) the destruction of brain areas in oxygen starvation is a special kind of torture as parts of oneself cease to exist and can never be the same. 

5) that consciousness has a relativistic time element - it can stretch out time or it can just shut off abruptly. 

6) Characters with enough battle first aid will have extensive knowledge of injuries. Combat physicians will have knowledge of injuries and LONG term effects. Both calls for a sanity check. 

7) My idea of mercy kill is an opiate overdose. 

I stumbled on the reddit discussion about Chris Watts. I follow the morbid reality thread in reddit as part of my mindfulness reflections as well as my study of Horror after finishing GURPS Horror by kenneth hite (4e). The analysis of what constitutes a "Sanity Check" overlaps heavily with my Psychology, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, Cognitive-behavioral Therapy Studies. Note that Psychology and Behavioral studies overlap with Game Theory and Economic Studies if as a GM we want to simulate authentic behavior for players and analyze behavior we observe.   

The reddit thread talks about some bits on the autopsy reports of the murders which if ever done to the NPCs the players kill, it would be interesting to get their reaction. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

System Generation replaced with Organization Generation

I've tackled Organization mechanics before in My notes on Organization in TRPGs in 2016 Jun 07. Whats changed is that 4 years since I've finished more books and applied more of my understandings as well observed more of both my family business (used to 900, 500 regular and 200-400 contractural). 

I plan to make it like rolling a character. Roll 7d6. As well the Player Assigning the Die to each stat. He can "Game it" by reading the rules or he can just go with the flow with Traveller Character creation. Organizations are going to be a critical part the game system and I hope people will have as much fun rolling Organizations as they roll Characters. 

I'll be using a d66 for Industry, but that should be determined by the PC's (Players) characters. If the Players are making a particular group of characters and it would be convenient to make them all in the same company. 

There will be Compound-Stats 

  • Str and Con = Capitalization or how much reserves, assets, capital, credit, etc.. the company has.. 
  • Dex and Str = Organizational "Prowess" or the Modifier when the Character needs to draw from the Organization's resources. 
  • Social Status = Capitalization + Charisma + Die modifier. 


    1. Organizational Stats

      1. Strength (OStr) 

  1. Strength of an organization is manpower. This determines how many people are “regular” full time employees of the organization. They dont have to be employees, but they spend as much time or more as an employee on the goals and operations of the organization. 

  2. OStr. The rough number of organizational members is equal to 3^(OStr). These are full time and regular employees. An Organization with a OStr of 6 = ~729 people. 

      1. Dexterity.

  1. Dexterity is the ability of the Organization to Coordinate. This measures its communications, organization, roles, and maturity of the organization’s defined responsibility. The better the score the more resources and manpower the Organization can apply to a task, the more problems and challenges it can juggle or tackle. 

  2. ODex. This modifies the Organizations to react to changes in the market, or to perform Projects, Programs, or Organize into Portfolios. The ability of the Organization to be able to react and adapt to changes. This can be measured in scale of time, some company can react within a week, others weeks or in 4-6 weeks. Others in 1-2 months or in Quarters. 


      1. Constitution.

  1. Non-Manpower Resources of the Organization. An organization’s Constitution can take the form of Leverage, Capital, Reserves, Market Value or Brand, Client-Portfolio, or Any force that wills the Organization to Exist.
    Leadership and Shareholders or board members draw from the Constitution to apply all the other attributes.
    An organization can have So much Resource it doesn't need Charisma/Marketing to sell. Examples are State Sanctioned Monopolies, which control such a lucrative and essential industry and the market they don't need any marketing or charisma to influence people or clients.

  2. OCon is a Multiplier to Strength to get the “Capitalization” or the general gross Size of the organization.  

      1. Intelligence.

  1. Intelligence is Organizational Knowledge Assets (PMBOK), Competency, and the Enterprise Environmental Factors that allow the organization to do its job. This includes Electronic Tools or Documentary Tools and processes. 

      1. Wisdom.

  1. Wisdom is both the Capability Maturity Model, Company Culture, the Collective Emotional Intelligence of the Company (360 Evaluation and Cohesion), Quality Systems and Process Literacy of the Organization. An organization with a very good Wisdom (Culture, EQ, etc…) has the ability to improve without having to resort to “Throwing Money” at the problem. 

      1. Charisma

Charisma is the Organization’s Leadership as it deals with other organizations, clients, partners,  and Stakeholders. It is also its Brand and Self Image.
Some powerful Brands have cult-like status and are able to demand so much purely on Influence and Brand. Multi-level Marketing is an example of an organization that exists purely as a Branding and have little to no constitution. Many organizations “Fake-it till they Make it” have exceptional Charisma.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Tracing Albin Merle's Works

 my drawings have been tracings of Albin Merle's works. he does a wonderful Series of Space Suits from different eras. Particulary the Artemis XEMU and the Advanced Crew Escape Suit. I'll try to update it with attribution. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

TL9 Exo Skeletons and Spare Part Grades

 So from my background in Construction and manufacturing, as a Safety Officer, and Quality Management officer, as well as inspiration from Seveneves and Delta V I've come to the conclusion that the best incentive for Exo-skeletons to Augment Physical labor is from the demands of making every human as productive as possible in the Early Years of Space Infra development. 

The Skyhooks, the Space Stations, the Shipyards, the Artificial Habitats will all depend more on the Humans who are more resilient to radiation and able to take initiative when disconnected from a master control system. Like the author of Delta-V Daniel Suarez I agree that living in Cis-Lunar Space is its own Industrial Revolution with very Strange and counter Intuitive elements. There are odds that we may not develop good robots in time and that the faction who will Pioneer Space is those who can keep a healthy, thriving, and competent work force there. 

Exo Skeletons begin with basic Assist uses, but then begin to Extend to more enhancements until EMU's begin to look like Yellow Gorillas dancing in the shipyard magically putting together vessels and habitats.  





GSHEET Link 

TECH LEVELTL 9TL 9TL 9TL 9
YEAR (AD)2200220022002200
ITEM NAMECrew Vacc SuitExtraVehicular Mobility UnitAssist ExoskeletonHeavy Exoskeleton
DESCRIPTIONThis is the standard Basic Vacc Suit Worn inside a Ship, Vessel, or Station in case of a breach and emergency.This is the standard Work Suit for heavy labor conducted in space. Ships, Stations, and any Space Infrastructure is expected to have many of these for any maintenance, emergency or construction task. The exo skeleton built into this suit allows it to generate 1200 Watts of work for it battery life for 100Watts of effort.The resistance of the Crew Vacc Suit reduces the work output of a 300 watt human to 200 watts. This subsidizes or assists the humans so they can perform the full 300 watt output for the battery life of the exo-skeleton.This allows the users to generate full 1000 Watts of work with 100 Watts of effort.
DERIVED FROMAdvanced Crew Escape SuitExtravehicular Mobility Unit
MANUFACTUREOpen Source any Fabrication System TL9 2100 models or older can manufacture the Grade+3 Spare Parts.Open Source any Fabrication System TL9 2100 models or older can manufacture the Grade+4 Spare Parts. Spare parts are 60metric tons per 1dton (4metric tons per 1 cubic meter).
Open Source any Fabrication System TL9 2100 models or older can manufacture the Grade+3 Spare Parts.Open Source any Fabrication System TL9 2100 models or older can manufacture the Grade+3 Spare Parts.
FUNCTIONIntra-vehicular activity (IVA) as secondary protection incase of Life support failure, limited EVA 1 day. This is used to Work Inside the Non-Rotating/Non-Gravity section of the ship (Which is 80-90% of the ship). Crew is expected to wear this the whole time they are outside Grav Habitat. (While in the Artificial Gravity, they wear a TL9 Body-Fit Vacc Suit 2200 model (5-10kg including its helmet; only meant to minimize Pressure Sickness, and survive an hour at most in Pure vacuum - as its pressure management systems fail) in case of Habitat Hull breach or destruction.Work in Vaccum for Long Periods, even in extreme periods of work where the worker is in the suit for 40-80 hours. The life support section allows the wearer to curl up in Zero Grav and self-comfort. It's been designed to allow for herculean tasks and these tasks tend to be called for. Provides 1200 Watts of Work (for the duration of the Battery) at a level of effort fo 100 Watts (+1100 Watts Asssitance).Assist in Movement in Pressurized Crew VaccSuit. Adds 200 Watts of assistive Work Strength.Assist in Movement in Pressurized Crew VaccSuit. Adds 800 Watts of assistive Work Strength.
Life SupportExpected to be from the Vehicle. Backup Life Support: 10 hours (trained Spacers can reduce their life support demands to a day; this 10 hours is meant for heavy exertion). But Safety standards and protocol considers ExtraVehicular Work in this suit as Emergency Work and sets a safety limit of 4 hours.40 man-hours of heavy exertion 80 man-hours for light. Can be serviced and supplied in a Vacuum.NANA
Powered Life20 hours.40 hours with powered movement. Unlimited with a power tether20 hours10 hours
Work Output (WATTS)-100 Watts of Work. (loss from the resistance of the pressurized suit)+1100 Watts of Work (so 100 Watts of Effort equals 1200 Watts), -400 Watts unpowered.+200 Watts of Work. -50 Watts unpowered.+800 Watts of Work.-200 Watts Unpowered.
PRESURENear FullFullNANA
Operating Pressure:0.8 Atmosphere, 81.06kPA, 11.7 psi (see Altitude sickness and decompression sickness)101 kPa (14.69 psi) or 1 Atmosphere of pressure.NANA
Work in 1Gconsidered under a load of 40kg (10kg of work to move, and 30kg for the weight of it) working in a pressurized suit in 1G.considered under a load of 12kg Powered and 90kg Unpowered working in a pressurized suit in 1G. (combination of resistance of the limbs, its mass, even if it can struturally stand on its own).
Maintenance7 hours of use requires 10 mins of servicing40 hours of use requires 10 mins of servicing.40 hours of use requires 10 mins of servicing.40 hours of use requires 10 mins of servicing.
Work-Life5 years or 60 months of use and replacement parts is as though you bought a whole new Suit. 3.5KCr / 60 months = 60Cr per month of maintenance. Not counting the Life support Consumables at 2Cr per Man Day.10 years or 120 months of use and replacement parts is as though you bought a whole new Suit. 16KCr / 120 months = 135Cr per month of maintenance. Not counting the Life support Consumables at 2Cr per Man Day.
TOTAL WEIGHT30.0 kg60.0 kg10.0 kg30.0 kg
TOTAL COST$3,500$16,000$1,500$4,500
Life Support Weight20.0 kg20.0 kg
Life Support Cost$3,000.00$10,000.00
Life Support PartsGrade+3 (150Cr per Kg)Grade+4 (500Cr per Kg)
Wearer Weight60-100 kg60-120 kg60-100 kg60-100 kg
Suit without Lifesupport10.0 kg40.0 kg10.0 kg30.0 kg
Suit without Life Suppor Cost$500.00$6,000.00$1,500.00$4,500.00
Suit PartsGrade+2 (50Cr per KG)Grade+3 (150Cr per Kg)Grade+3 (150Cr per Kg)Grade+3 (150Cr per Kg)
NotesExtra Suits are expected for Redundancy and Spare. Vacc Tape is used to patch it up.Special Use: Exercise Rig - for long extended periods of time, the suit can be programmed to allow for exercise by giving resistance to various motions.Special Use: Exercise Rig - for long extended periods of time, the suit can be programmed to allow for exercise by giving resistance to various motions.Reduced Life Support Space. The life support has to be stripped down to allow for the Drives and power Pack. Life Support is reduced to 3 hours.
Special Use: Exercise Rig - for long extended periods of time, the suit can be programmed to allow for exercise by giving resistance to various motions.
BLOGTL9 Basic Crew Vacc Suit 2200TL9 EMU Suit and its PSD File and Stats
PSD200904_TL9_crew_vacc_suit_2200_.psd200903_ExtraVehicular_Mobility_Unit_TL9_2200.psd200912_TL9_crew_vacc_suit_with_assist_exo_2200.psd200912_TL9_crew_vacc_suit_with_heavy_exo_2200.psd

How Parts Work

I stopped using the word "Quality" because in Quality Management and Engineering it means something else. As wel get more Technical, its better to use the Term GRADE (from PMBOK)
Simplifying everything to Type or Category, Their Mass and Volume (in Bulk) and Their Cost. I used a simple exponent of 3. 3x more and 1/3 less per level. 

Types could be: Life Support, Machinery, Drives, Computing, Etc... 
Grades Increase the Cost per Kg of a Certain Type of parts. 

Assuming 
100KCr per 14 cubic meters. 14 cubic meters at 2.7tons = 37.8 tons of aluminum in 14 cubic meters. Lets Half that 
Aluminum is 2.7metric tons per 1 cubic meter. Lets put Spare Parts mixed it with packaging, ceramics (which have a lower density), and polymers. 
Lets put Spare Parts at roughly 20 metric tons in 14 cubic meters. 
So lets set a price per KG. Grade+0 is at 5Cr. 20,000KG = 100,000Cr. 
So Spare parts or Commodity parts at Grade+0 = 5Cr per 1KG. 100KCr for 20 metric tons (14 cubic meters). 
  1. Grade+0 Spare parts are 5Cr per Kg of spare parts for Grade+0. 100KCr per 1dTon 20 metric tons of mass.  
  2. Grade+1 Spare parts 15Cr per Kg. or 300KCr per dton/14cu.m.
  3. Grade+2 Spare parts  50Cr per Kg. or 1MCr per dton/14cu.m.
  4. Grade+3 Spare parts for the Life Support and Tech at 150Cr per Kg. or 3MCr per dton/14cu.m.
  5. Grade+4 Spare Parts for Life support and Tech at 500Cr per Kg. or 10MCr per dton/14cu.m.
  6. Grade+5 Spare Parts at 1.5KCr per Kg. (x20,000 to get the per dton/14cu.m)
  7. Grade+6 Spare Parts at 5KCr per Kg. (x20,000 to get the per dton/14cu.m)
The GM can make inferences and expert judgment of what a Grade of parts can do. Take any of the "Trade" details you see in Traveller (GURPS, Mongoose, Classic, Mega) and apply the rational of Grades and you can have some more variance. 
Grade of parts 
Grade of Workshops/Workstations.  


Context to my Game Writing: Writing about Space Work with my Perspective

When writing up the Operational Safety Limits of a Scifi Space Suit as a Construction and Work Place Safety Officer is VERY DIFFERENT. 

A lot of writers kinda shit on Safety protocols and Union Breaks. I don't recall exactly how many movies and books portray Union breaks and Safety limits as Strawmans - making it out to look stupid and gratuitous. I received the safety reports and learn about the family who gets a 2-4M windfall when their breadwinner dies at work because of our aging Tradesmen (unlike the majority in the industry they are all insured; we pay at painfully the market rate but unlike most of the industry we give medical and insurance; We are an ISO 45k, 9k, 14k company; which means we get double to triple the checks of a regular company in compliance).  

I'm a safety officer with an unusually weak immune system while also scion of a family business in manufacturing and construction. 

I shake the hands of workers who lost fingers in operating machines now and then, and when I congratulate them for their 20+ years of service in the company xmas party.  I've been told by Sales People to remove the laser safety sensor to reduce the Price so they can win the bid for our business. 

I write in the Fluff that the suit can operate for 10 hours under heavy exertion (the users VO2 consumption is high) and under low activity, the person can survive in the suit for 20 hours and a bit more depending on their body mass (correlating with their consumption) and I can't help but mention that regulation would Put a limit of operating at that Suit at 4 hours, that Extra Vehicular Work in that suit is considered Emergencies (which Trigger Hazard pay clauses), and that any extreme duress has to be voluntary... while knowing that some people in this Line of work have long accepted the Risks and know that more often than not they dont have a choice and the "Life Insurance" payout to their families is what makes them accept the risks.  

And I draw these suits and imagine the workers who will live and die in such suits in the future.