Thursday, December 22, 2011

Parallels of Scifi Future to the past: The Great Houses

Its Byzantium in the 3rd Millenium. Looking at the world, I tried best to draw parallels with the 31st Century with that of the 11th.

5 Great Houses
Bloodlines - Princes are the most powerful bloodline Psions. they tend to have mastered the most complex and potent abilities. Inter marriage has allowed all houses the most basic forms of each houses special ability. The most common use of psionics is attribute augmentation.
QDP are initial estimates, i will have to callibrate it once I have time to do the numbers. It just looks incomplete without their context.
Capped Pop

House Baldwin - Baldwin the 1st would have been the synergy that could have revived the Byzantine Empire. The Second Sons of the Franks, earning their reward of Conquest. This is the Western Dream of Empire realized by being able to wrestle House Komenoi from their seat of power, the organizational center of the known worlds.
House Baldwin can maintain the greatest standing fleets and fiefs. Currently the have the greatest wealth to capital ratio, a kind of boom.
Bloodlines. It appears vanilla human ability augmentation (players should not know what house baldwin special abilities, it ruins the setting surprise).

Pop 46B
Wealth (Pop to Income ratio) $1,000 (2011 USD buying power value)

House Komenoi - This is if Anna Kommena merged her House to that of Bohemmond of Tarranto, the Normans. The Alexiad, hinted how she was drawn to him. How she called him both barbarian and very attractive and charming. She was the daughter who tried to remove her brother and become her fathers heir and Bohemmond was the Viking Prince who wanted it all and any cost. Combine Byzantine Courtiers with the Vikings, and you would have what should be the deadliest house.
Basically what happened is their analogs is what created house Komenoi.
Bloodlines. Sensor and Inference augmentation are the special abilities of the Komenoi. That is why they have a ton of Assassins and Spies. The privacy invading technology we have now, the acceleratometer that allows a cellphone that can serve as a key logger for devices nearby is the level of information gathering and utilization of Komenoi.
Pop 40B
Wealth (Pop to Income ratio) $900 (2011 USD buying power value)
GDP $1.7Q

House Adir - As the middle-east was the second heirs of Rome, House Adir is as Technologically advanced as Komenoi. They have an expansive territory but their worlds are more hostile than all the other houses, they suffer chronic population decline which have to supplemented by the slave markets. All the houses sell their worse-off to House Adir as slaves. In return they provide sellers tech, radio-actives, and vast amounts of rare materials.
Bloodlines. Radioactives and rare-material manipulation. House Adir bloodline can draw vast amounts of special materials that make them invulnerable to their environment and to many forms of energy attacks. Their special attacks and abilities allow them to manipulate radioactive elements and radiation. They are the only House who can freely walk their Fief worlds without special life-support and protection. Their Princes are the weapon keys of their capital ships.
Pop 24B
Wealth (Pop to Income ratio) $800* (2011 USD buying power value)
*massive use of slaves.

GDP $1.8Q

House Tang - The Tang Dynasty, the largest house relative to manpower, but wealth relative to manpower they are 3rd tied with House Komenoi. Like the Tang of the 11th century, they have the most effective trade network within their territory. House Tang benefits from a lot of internal trade, but still have rather
Bloodlines. Personnal FTL communication, not at the level of instantaneous. Just faster than the fastest modes by about 50%. Add to that, the ability to coordinate and communicate undetectibly over massive numbers and organize all that. They almost act like a Hive mind, but its really superior communication ability. Tang is best in maneuvering and positioning, no other House can match them in this level of expertise. House Guards coordinate with their Lords, like a wushu film, in the degree of perfected communication.
Pop 32B
Wealth (Pop to Income ratio) $900* (2011 USD buying power value)
GDP $1.8Q

House Tek-met - The House with the most number of exoplanets that have living ecologies. All other houses have their strongholds underground and in barren worlds of desert, ice, and toxics. House Tek-met has jungle worlds envied by all the other houses. What stops others from simply charging to get these is their control of their Jump-gates and control of the Biosphere through their blood line abilities.
House Tekmet is the largest food exporter, providing fresh genetic material (over time, radiation leakages destroys the stock material of fiefs, leaving them to depend on algae - the most basic food stuff).
Bloodlines. What makes them different is Biological Weapon Control. These thriving worlds support the largest and most powerful dragons* in the setting. All the other houses are aware of the awesome power of their biological forces, only house Komenoi know about their WMD biological weapons: swarms and pestilence that Tek-met Prince can control.
They can biologically alter their Beasts, allowing them to need minimal tech to survive the worlds of other fiefs.
These allow them to give their knights symbiotic armor.
Pop 28B
Wealth (Pop to Income ratio) $700* (2011 USD buying power value)
GDP $1.6Q

They are biological weapons, but unfortunately, they require a biological pyramid infrastructure to support. They resemble fantasy dragons, but their appearance hides their practical design (a very high surface area to mass ratio). They are genetically engineered for a variety of tasks: Heavy to Light Aerial Support, Tunnelers, and Undersea dreadnaughts, cavalry, armor, reconnaissance and even artillery.
When Tek-met calls their "banners" they call their dragons and all sorts of fantastic beasts.

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