Star Town

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
mancerbear
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Star Town

Postby mancerbear » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:58 am

So, a question that has been bugging me for a while. Star Town. Is it part of the extrality zone and therefore not subject to a planet's law level, or is it not part of the extrality zone and therefore covered by the planet's law level?
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Star Town

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:04 am

Depends on what else is going on.
mancerbear
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Re: Star Town

Postby mancerbear » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:44 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:04 am
Depends on what else is going on.
Such as?
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Star Town

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:12 am

Who runs Star Town?
Who built Star Town?
Was Star Town first?
Who runs the starport there?
Is it much of a starport?
Is the starport outside of startown?
Is the starport a highport only?
Is Star Town building a starport of their own?
Is the planet part of an interstellar government?
What's the government and law level of Star Town?
What's the government and law level of the starport?
What are the tech levels of each?
Who works/lives near that area?
What are their jobs and lifestyles?
mancerbear
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Re: Star Town

Postby mancerbear » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:10 am

Sigh...

Ok, let's assume it's the Third Imperium, the Star Town grew up around the starport, the starport is Imperial territory, yada yada yada.

Basically your standard star town at your standard star port In the Third Imperium? Is there an OTU comment on this?
tolcreator
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Re: Star Town

Postby tolcreator » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:42 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:12 am
Who runs Star Town?
Master Blaster runs Star Town.
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Star Town

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:55 am

mancerbear wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:10 am
Sigh...

Ok, let's assume it's the Third Imperium, the Star Town grew up around the starport, the starport is Imperial territory, yada yada yada.

Basically your standard star town at your standard star port In the Third Imperium? Is there an OTU comment on this?
So boring.

So the boring answer then is Star Town is separate from the starport. Therefor, Star Town is governed by the planet and not by the Imperium. Rinse/repeat for the 10,999 other Imperial systems.
mancerbear
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Re: Star Town

Postby mancerbear » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:59 am

Thank you Shawn. See? That wasn't so hard after all.
phavoc
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Re: Star Town

Postby phavoc » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:48 pm

mancerbear wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:58 am
So, a question that has been bugging me for a while. Star Town. Is it part of the extrality zone and therefore not subject to a planet's law level, or is it not part of the extrality zone and therefore covered by the planet's law level?
Unless you want to change it as the ref, the "Startown" outside every starport is going to be governed by the local planetary laws because it lies outside the extraterritorial line that marks Imperial control and local planetary control.

It's quite possible that in some instances you may have an area of different laws, much like Hong Kong is part of China, but has different laws than the rest of China. Or you could have relaxed, or more stringent Startown laws due to the local starport administrator leaning on local authorities to change how Startown is working (maybe it was TOO tight, or TOO loose, either of which could cause complaints and problems with visiting merchants and crews).

Your referee should determine whatever twist is needed for the adventure. But beyond that first sentence is the default status everywhere.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Star Town

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:18 pm

I think there is a good chance the startown will actually grow within the starport so that rogues and ethically challenged merchants can get away with ignoring local laws, until they cross the line. Some of it may spill over into the jurisdiction of the local government, and depending upon local law level and government type the officials may well turn a blind eyes - or be amenable to bribes to look the other way.
A much more interesting dynamic.

Type A/B starports may well have star towns at the high port rather than on planet, or possibly both.
GarethL
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Re: Star Town

Postby GarethL » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:11 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:18 pm
I think there is a good chance the startown will actually grow within the starport so that rogues and ethically challenged merchants can get away with ignoring local laws, until they cross the line. Some of it may spill over into the jurisdiction of the local government, and depending upon local law level and government type the officials may well turn a blind eyes - or be amenable to bribes to look the other way.
A much more interesting dynamic.

Type A/B starports may well have star towns at the high port rather than on planet, or possibly both.
Could work the other way,

What's the effective law - level of Imperial territory? It seems permissive when it needs to owning and carrying stuff like weapons, but I could beleive that they took a harsh line when it comes to crimes likely to damage the starport.

On some worlds that might result in startown being more repressive than the local government!
Epicenter
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Re: Star Town

Postby Epicenter » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:53 pm

mancerbear wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:58 am
So, a question that has been bugging me for a while. Star Town. Is it part of the extrality zone and therefore not subject to a planet's law level, or is it not part of the extrality zone and therefore covered by the planet's law level?
I would say it'd be both or just Imperial depending on the local situation.

"Strictly" speaking, the Startown would be the groundside facilities and the various service industries that service the employees and visitors of the groundside starport. It would be the extrality zone. On worlds where there isn't much trade or interaction between the starport and the locals, or there aren't many locals to interact with, this is likely the extent of the startown.

However, on any prosperous world which runs a lot of trade through the starport, it is inevitable that another town or city would develop, one out right outside the borders of the startown proper. This would serve the population of the world (or the nation if the world is balkanized) who wish to trade with the wider Imperium. Stuff which wants to be in the sovereign part of the world for legal reasons would crop up around the groundside town itself. Day workers who work in the startown but aren't allowed to live there for legal reasons. Warehouses for goods awaiting customs processing before crossing the border, or having left the starport through customs are now awaiting distribution across the world. Then there'd be all the service industries that serve the workers in this area (and the service workers that serve them and so on). All of this is likely to be known as the "startown" as well. On worlds with customs or laws very different from Imperial "standard" culture, this "greater startown" would likely be in a special economic zone itself - with different laws more similar to Imperial standard law so that off-world merchants would feel more comfortable trading there without fearing that the locals would pull out guns because you did something trifling in the rest of the Imperium but is some deadly insult locally or being executed because on that world pure table sugar is a controlled substance so that packet of sugar you had leftover from your morning coffee is a scheduled substance you're smuggling across borders and thus will be stoned to death on live tv.

The size of this "greater" startown and the size of the extrality zone is probably the subject of a lot of negotiation - if the extrality zone is too large, it's likely the startown will simply be seen as a menace to the economy of the world - the startown sucks resources from the world, pays out in high-tech items only the elite can afford, and there's no opportunities for the locals because all of the starport's needs are fulfilled by off-world workers. On the other hand, on worlds with very different customs or law levels, if the extrality is too small, merchants might be dissuaded from coming because there's not enough for the crew to do on the off-week without leaving extrality, and running the risk of being knifed to death because men are walking around without leashes by a respectable woman because that's how the local world is.
steve98052
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Re: Star Town

Postby steve98052 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:42 pm

According to canon:

The starport of a Third Imperium is an area under the control of the Starport Authority. Imperial law applies; local law does not. A starport can be a highport, a downport, or both. A highport can be a single modular cutter module or a giant space station. A downport can be a flat patch of rock or concrete or a giant city within the extraterratoriality line. But the defining characteristic of a starport is that it is the space or spaces that are under Imperial Starport Authority control.

A startown is a place adjacent to a starport that us under local law. It can be a separately managed wing of a space station that also includes a starport, or a village or giant metropolis adjacent to or surrounding a downport. By definition, they are not part of the starport.

A spaceport is a highport or downport other than the primary starport. It can be an annex to the starport, under Starport Authority control, a facility run by the planetary government or a national government of a balkanized world, a facility run by a local government, a private facility, or some kind of jointly operated facility. Although canon doesn't directly say so, it's reasonable to interpret it as saying that a starport is a specific type of spaceport.

That covers canon.

Extrapolating from canon examples and practical reasoning, both startowns and spaceports will have a lot of variation. Spaceports, due to their variety of management possibilities, will obviously vary widely, depending on their ownership and local peculiarities. Startowns may be nothing more than the portion of the local world nearest the starport, but many worlds may have special local laws for the startown, such as free trade zones, enterprise zones, relaxed (or constricted) laws, differing rules for locals and foreigners, etc. On balkanized worlds, a startown might be a district under cooperative administration, with laws that are different from those of any of the world's nations.

Canon doesn't have a term for the regions around a spaceport that is not a starport. But it's reasonable to assume that a spaceport that is not a starport has an associated spacetown.
mancerbear
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Re: Star Town

Postby mancerbear » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:29 pm

Thanks very much Steve98052. That's exactly what I was looking for :)
steve98052
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Re: Star Town

Postby steve98052 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:01 pm

Glad to help.

I'm not a walking encyclopedia of canon like Hans was, but I know the canon of classic and GURPS Traveller well. (And yes, some of GURPS Traveller is regular canon, not just canon to the no-rebellion alternate timeline.) I know some Milieu Zero too, but I mostly have to look up Rebellion and later. And my knowledge of Mongoose additions to canon is minimal, and not even well documented on the Traveller Wiki, so I can't even look it up.

I think the definition of startown and such goes back all the way to classic; it's certainly been pretty well defined for a long time.
Condottiere
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Re: Star Town

Postby Condottiere » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:42 pm

One size doesn't fit all, it's probably very much dependent on the planetary or regional economy, how dependent that economy is on trade and services.

Star Town could be place that is very dependent on the spacemen getting their rocks off, like Bangkok, or it could be London, the centre of the subsectorial mercantile network.
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Re: Star Town

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:49 pm

I tend to treat Starports like large international airport (London Heathrow or JFK etc.) or a large Sea Port.

IMTU, the Startown has two components. There is a small area within the Extrality of the starport. A nice hotel or two, a couple of upper-class bars, possibly the TAS hostel. This is like the hotels that pay extra to be on the airport and connected into that infrastructure. Diplomats and Businesspeople might use these facilities, but not most tramp traders.

The 'real' startown is just outside the Extrality line. This is the rowdy part of of Startown and what most players are thinking of when they say Startown. The local planetary law level applies, but it really varies with how strictly it is enforced. A lot depends on the relationship between the local government/culture and the Imperium/offworlders.

Class E starport - MAYBE a small bar/hotel in Startown, but really not much'

Class D starport - about a square block of bars/hotels/restauraunts/redlight along with the usual warehouses etc.

Class C starport - A small hotel/restauraunt within the starport and a small town (maybe a thousand people?) in the town catering to a wide variety of tastes. Likely has its own police force.

Class B starport - orbital facilities and ground facilities exist. Decent hotel/stuff on the starport with a large (5000+) district. Think New Orleans French Quarter. The ground area will have sub-districts that cater to specific tastes. More like a small city than a town.

Class A starport - Like Class B above but MUCH more. 10000+ people supporting the starport entertainment district, extending over several square kilometers.

YMMV
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Condottiere
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Re: Star Town

Postby Condottiere » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:49 pm

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