Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
phavoc
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby phavoc » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:39 pm

Old School wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:07 am
You guys are certainly correct that you can easily come up with scenarios to explain the starports in these low tech systems. But the idea that a class B starport is limited to repairing and building ships at its host worlds tech level when that tech level is 6 or 7 simply doesn’t make sense. That would be a port with no repair or build a capabilities.

What is a heck of a lot easier to explain is that the starports tech level is higher than that of the mainworld. If the empire, or GeDeCo, or whoever is sponsoring the starport, they are going to bring in the tech they need.

Of course, this all goes back to the stagnant tech levels inherent in the OTU, which is in defiance of trade, i.e. capitalism, being the driving force of the empire. The profit motive drives most space travel. Seems odd that this profit motive would greatly limit itself once you leave the starport. Some worlds are restricted in technological development by their government, but many are not. Yet they stsgnate. I know the game tries to explain this, but that is an explanation shoehorned into a fictional reality, not one that actually holds up to any critical examination.

It’s all good. It is a cool game universe. It doesn't hold up when we start peeling back layers as we like to do. It wasn’t really meant to, nor does it need to for us to enjoy the game.
So long as someone is willing to ship in the parts and materials, that's not a problem. In fact we see that today on Earth. There are countries with very little local manufacturing capability assembling aircraft and helicopters using parts manufactured elsewhere and shipped in.

Boeing assembles aircraft in Seattle using parts shipped in from around the world. Entire wings are flown in from Japan, 737 hulls are shipped intact from Wichita, Kansas via rail. Airbus flys in major fuselage parts from the UK for assembly in France. Entire sections of ships are built in modules, sometimes locally, sometimes shipped in from elsewhere (sometimes a long way away elsewhere!).

It's already happening today. The bigger question becomes is it economically feasible under the rules of the Traveller universe. And we get a big, squat 'maybe' out of it because the economic model is a horrible one. It works for gaming purposes, but don't try extrapolating much from it because all you get is a headache and frustration that it doesn't make sense.
paltrysum
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby paltrysum » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:41 pm

phavoc wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:39 pm
The bigger question becomes is it economically feasible under the rules of the Traveller universe. And we get a big, squat 'maybe' out of it because the economic model is a horrible one. It works for gaming purposes, but don't try extrapolating much from it because all you get is a headache and frustration that it doesn't make sense.
My take on it is that things exist that don't make sense, and people make decisions that are illogical right here on Earth (E867975-8), so why bother saying something isn't possible in your fictitious Traveller universe? Find a reason that things are the way they are, make it fit your campaign, and run with it. If it defies suspension of disbelief too much, it distracts from the story. But if it's just fantastic enough to be believable, it can make things more interesting and fun.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Linwood
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Linwood » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:58 am

I think there’s an argument for allowing the TL of a starport to be higher than the world TL. An A or B level starport could be established on a low-tech world for purely commercial or strategic reasons. Such ports might have ship-building capabilities, but they would likely be limited by the need to import key parts and perhaps skilled workers.

Then again, if the system has a planetoid belt that can be mined and an orbital manufacturing facility, maybe it can make its own parts....
baithammer
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby baithammer » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:44 am

Higher TL starport can also make / repair lower tech ships, so if the facilities are occasionally used for servicing higher TL ships or special builds then the remaining time / facilities can be used to produce local sourced designs.
phavoc
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby phavoc » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:46 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:41 pm
My take on it is that things exist that don't make sense, and people make decisions that are illogical right here on Earth (E867975-8), so why bother saying something isn't possible in your fictitious Traveller universe? Find a reason that things are the way they are, make it fit your campaign, and run with it. If it defies suspension of disbelief too much, it distracts from the story. But if it's just fantastic enough to be believable, it can make things more interesting and fun.
On Earth today it may seem not to make sense, but there is a method to the madness. Well, methods to the madness. The first is cost of labor, which trumps most everything. Business doesn't want to spend money if they can avoid it, so they seek out lowest cost as a primary motivator. Taxation also plays a role here, as businesses seek tax breaks when they can get them.

The second is national needs and decisions. Ship building moved from Europe & US to Asia due to cost, but also because Asian nations made a conscious effort to invest in the industry and were/are willing to accept losses in order to control the industry AND provide jobs and industrial growth for their nation. This also includes military shipbuilding. Most nations that have significant navies realize that shipbuilding is a defense need and thus they continue to build their military ships locally in order to ensure both the skill sets are retained and they have access to both building and repair facilities.

One thing to note is that the ships that players use and that are detailed in the books are really more semi-trucks in space, and not the massive mega-freighters that move the worlds cargo. I guess one may also equate them to jumbo jets. Semi trucks are built and repaired in multiple areas around the world, and even within different countries. Naval-wise, small craft and yachts also enjoy the same. You can get them repaired nearly anywhere, but there are far fewer places to get them built.

On an Imperial scale it would probably be better to determine if ship building facilities are present, and if so what scale is the local planet able to build. However that makes it harder to run with the basic definitions of a system/starport cluster. I would suspect that what we would find in a future reality would be more systems with C class starports instead of A class if their primary function was moving cargo/people and providing fuel and basic repair services. Then again the way the game is structured starports are looked as THE primary one for a system and then nothing else. System definition has always been a weak spot of the game and few adventures actually provided details for the system environment.
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Re: Tech levels and their effects on stellar war

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:45 pm

The Shanghai International Settlement (Chinese: 上海公共租界; pinyin: Shànghǎi Gōnggòng Zūjiè; Shanghainese: Zånhae Konkun Tsyga) originated from the 1863 merger of the British and American enclaves in Shanghai, parts of the Qing Empire held extraterritorially under the terms of a series of Unequal Treaties.

The settlements were established following the defeat of the Qing army by the British in the First Opium War (1839–1842). Under the terms of the Treaty of Nanking, the five treaty ports including Shanghai were opened to foreign merchants, overturning the monopoly then held by the southern port of Canton (Guangzhou) under the Canton System. The British also established a base on Hong Kong under an extensive lease. American and French involvement followed closely on the heels of the British and their enclaves were established north and south, respectively, of the British area.

Unlike the colonies of Hong Kong and Macau, where Great Britain and Portugal enjoyed full sovereignty in perpetuity, the foreign concessions in China remained under Chinese sovereignty. In 1854, the three countries created the Shanghai Municipal Council to serve all their interests, but, in 1862, the French concession dropped out of the arrangement. The following year the British and American settlements formally united to create the Shanghai International Settlement. As more foreign powers entered into treaty relations with China, their nationals also became part of the administration of the settlement, but it always remained a predominantly British affair until the growth of Japan's involvement in the late 1930s.

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