Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In My Traveller Universe: Opening a Can of Worms

I'm just trying to brainstorm for an upcoming game. One of the challenges I face is costing and callibrating skill and IQ levels in a world where cybernetic augmentation of one's mental abilities is the norm, and that computers are 100x more powerful than now. (see GURPS 4E ultra-tech) So other than spending a lot of money in certification, skill upgrades in the latest tech, people regularly upgrade their mental abilities.

Obviously starting off wealthy means access to the best equipment and cybernetics, and Gov't restricted upgrades. This would create great source of inequality, especially when powers that be create control barriers to who has access to the mental upgrades.

I don't need to detail the fully entrenched Upper-class. Those who have individuals who have the best of everything: education, cybernetics, and genetics. I need to know how much do they leave the “free market” alone. Then I need to know what is my Middle Class made up of? How much cybernetics do they have, how much are they spending to perpetually be up-to-date, and what professions they are in?

I begin to realize, with people who have near god-like intelligence. Those who are still human because of their motives, but have at their disposal the best Intelligence in the galaxy have everything as their pawns. Even “free” worlds and “free traders” are mere toys and pawns in their own scheme of things. The kind of intelligence that may have something like Psychohistory at their Disposal.

Other Considerations in IMTU.
Another strange thing is that there are Ratios for Robotic Assistance. For everyone profession, there is at least some robotic assistance. Looking at the ISW ratios, I will have to make up some ratios for Robot assistants and what these robots are made up of (their cost, complexity, skill level, space and maintenance). 


Jeffro said...

A universe where everyone is smart and good looking-- it can get crazy fast. John Varley's Steel Beach is pretty good. The biggest problem is that 99% of humanity can be supported by 1% or less-- it leaves them with no meaningful work. The things done for entertainment get frightening and religious groups of all stripes can come up with some crazy stuff.

In a Foundation/Robots type Asimovian universe... it will be well known where such technologies lead to a death spiral that can destroy worlds. (David Brin's Foundation novel is the last word on that; recommended.) If a galactic/imperial society exists and if it is recognizably human... it is only because of (a) weird worlds destroying themselves a la Vernor Vinge's Deepness in the Sky, (b) a secret cabal polices all worlds to prevent rediscovery of dangerous tech, or (c) previous inter-stellar civilizations collapsed so horribly that current culture is left only with vaguely religious prohibitions a la Frank Herbert's Dune.

justin aquino said...

I've been doing the math and there are significant in game limitations:
The maximum amount of investment in brain augmentation: 15cp worth @ $75,000 per instance; also there is only Virtual/Emulated NPC; and a few skill chips. So at TL10, its a bit balancing out, but at TL11 thats when it can get crazy... and near god-like.
So its balances out so far at TL9 to TL10, one can take forgranted that a lot of computing power is needed to create a intuitive interface (like one that interprets thoughts, visual cortex and kinisthetics). Also the game has changed, augmentation is the norm and even if we improve our manner of producing things Individuality wants to make room for itself, and will take great resources to make that happen (even changing itself to live on distant worlds).

Still, making planets and Space-stations habitable is a full-time job with a TONS of complexity. then there is that Biological Interactions, that adds another layer of Complexity.


justin aquino said...

sorry I'd like to add, that there is a limitation to the available surgeon and cybercist Skill level, risk, and technology in the amount of augmentation. So I'm free to use my GM handwave to go with conservative values.