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 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


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. 


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. 


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.