Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
mac40k
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby mac40k » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:04 pm

RogerMc wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:26 am
Exactly!

What I'd love to see is a big campaign pack set on a Pop 10, TL 15 world with literally gravity-defying spires, teeming crime-ridden undercities and which focuses on the everyday impact of high technology and clones and chimerae and uplifts and augmentation and the role played by androids and robots and AIs and virtual realities in its life.

Basically everything we've never seen properly depicted in Traveller over all its many incarnations.
Maybe you want Mindjammer Traveller Edition?
NOLATrav
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby NOLATrav » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:26 am

mac40k wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:04 pm
RogerMc wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:26 am
Exactly!

What I'd love to see is a big campaign pack set on a Pop 10, TL 15 world with literally gravity-defying spires, teeming crime-ridden undercities and which focuses on the everyday impact of high technology and clones and chimerae and uplifts and augmentation and the role played by androids and robots and AIs and virtual realities in its life.

Basically everything we've never seen properly depicted in Traveller over all its many incarnations.
Maybe you want Mindjammer Traveller Edition?
Excellent suggestion. Sentient starship as PC anyone?
Reynard
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Reynard » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:07 am

Instead of bemoaning that someone else hasn't created a campaign boxed set featuring all these elements, use what Traveller has and expand and build it! As far as I know there is no constraint on what's possible. A high pop, high tech world looking like a cross between Coruscant and Fifth Element with a touch of Blade Runner loaded with automation and cybered citizens that produces ships on the cusp of A.I. and running on virtual crews are more than possible. Tell me you haven't randomly rolled a Hi pop, high tech world and wondered what it looks like and why it hasn't taken over at least a sector (or maybe it did).

If you add the resources of T5, your Transhuman world can have Synths, clones, chimeras and tailored uplifted lifeforms. Skies are not the limit in Traveller. Let's hear descriptions what a cyber culture looks like.
Nobby-W
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Nobby-W » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:20 am

RogerMc wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:45 pm
[ . . . ]
But what I can't understand is why everyone in TL10+ societies is not wandering around with neural comms and wafer jacks in their heads.
[ . . . ]
The reasons I use for this are essentially that brain surgery is still intrusive, and the immune system will grow a sheath around any electrodes over the course of a decade or so, rendering implants unreliable after some time. This means that your cybernetic implants will have to be periodically replaced, a somewhat risky procedure even at high tech levels. At higher tech levels (say: 12+ or so) the tech gets better, but the neurosurgery and periodic maintenance requirements still make cyberware a niche market item.

This makes cybernetics interesting for medical applications. You can still get a bionic replacement arm or eye, but the pool of customers willing to undergo periodic brain surgery in order to get cool cyber tech is quite limited. Ergo, they are not the fashion accessory that you would see in a cyberpunk verse, but you will still see them in specialised applications. And, yes, you could still have black projects producing cybernetically enhanced NPCs.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:50 am

RogerMc wrote: But what I can't understand is why everyone in TL10+ societies is not wandering around with neural comms and wafer jacks in their heads.
They are also not free. A wafer jack might cost a year's salary for normal people. That is of course quite possible to afford, but not something you pick up on a whim.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:19 am

TL12+ for wafer jacks. at TL10 just about all you can get from the core book is a subdermal comm implant and armour. CSC gives a lot more options, but you may be entering the realm of Cyberpunk rather than Traveller with some of them.
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:27 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:50 am
RogerMc wrote: But what I can't understand is why everyone in TL10+ societies is not wandering around with neural comms and wafer jacks in their heads.
They are also not free. A wafer jack might cost a year's salary for normal people. That is of course quite possible to afford, but not something you pick up on a whim.
An average middle class salary on a hi tech world is presumably somewhere above 2,000 a month to allow someone to not just pay their SOC-7 or whatnot living expenses but also to save and possibly support one or more dependants.

So we are looking at something closer to 4 or 5 months than a year's salary - or an investment roughly equivalent in scale to someone buying a decent secondhand or cheap new car now.

And so useful would a wafer jack be to your typical worker that I am pretty sure most would pay for one just as most workers in the US and UK find money to pay for a car if they really need one - and it might seriously impact your earnings if you are competing with people who do have one while you don't?
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:29 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:19 am
TL12+ for wafer jacks. at TL10 just about all you can get from the core book is a subdermal comm implant and armour. CSC gives a lot more options, but you may be entering the realm of Cyberpunk rather than Traveller with some of them.
Unless the core book has changed since I downloaded it the Tech Level limit for a combat implant benefit is not 10 but 12 (which can be exceeded if you roll combat implant more than once and buy upgrades to your first augment).
steve98052
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby steve98052 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:17 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:28 pm
. . . There is some mention in Marc Miller's novel, "Agent of the Imperium," that you start losing your mind if you have them on all the time, but that's outside the rules of course.
. . .
Some people start losing their minds just from having their smartphones on all the time. I could see that being a significantly larger problem for something directly attached to a person's brain.

I can see the munchkin appeal of being able to buy skills that others work for, but adding too much transhuman technology to Traveller starts to make it less Traveller to me and more Transhuman Space.

But the original question is whether there are places where cyborgs are people. And the obvious follow-up question is if not, why not? There is the general Imperial prejudice against sentient robots, because of a pre-Imperial disaster where a war robot decided that weapons of mass destruction were the only way to be sure. (There's also the ancient Vilani fear of autonomous war machines left behind by the Ancients.) A treaty resulted, and although it is not binding on the Imperium, it is widely regarded as a good model for planetary laws.

But what about cyborgs? For one thing, there's the fuzzy continuum of purely biological, biological with artificial prostheses, biological with bionic augmentation, half-and-half cyborg, largely artificial cyborg, robot with biological parts, and pure robot. Where does the law draw the line on such things? Differently on various Imperial worlds, and probably different on various independent worlds and pocket empires.

So why might there be widespread antipathy toward cyborgs or other transhuman technology? In the case of cyborgs, maybe there was a disaster that is behind it. Suppose a society widely adopted cyborg technology, and a leader developed a charismatic persona as part of his array of features, and gave everyone radio networking technology so his charismatic persona made him the absolute ruler of a planetary group mind. And then he decided that one world was not enough, and sent high technology group mind armies out to conquer nearby worlds. By the time the Imperium resolved to do something about the problem, it took an entire sector's military might to stop the group mind cyborgs, and many worlds ended up as wastelands. Blame the technology? Of course! That's a lot easier politically than acknowledging that complacency about the problem allowed the cyborgs to expand too far before forces were mustered to halt the threat.

What about biological transhuman technology? That's easier to manage. An uplift is a massive undertaking to do right. Many existing variant human races are social problems already, so making more of them is considered a dubious idea. And individual biological modifications might be mistaken for a new variant race, and regarded as trouble until proven otherwise.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:49 pm

While not official, I have always liked the idea of the Sword Worlders being culturally Cybernetic.

Yes, Cybernetic Vikings! :)

Seriously, a friend ran his 3I game this way and I was really intrigued by the idea. How else would a small polity at the edge of the vast Third Imperium be able to hold them off through 4 (soon 5) Wars? Especially with an Imperial Ally boxing them in to Spinward. They should have been eaten up after the First Frontier War. They weren't because of their cybernetics.

Probably started with the first group of colonists needing some "help" to get their worlds going and grew into a socially acceptable thing to keep doing. Now it is in defiance of the 3I that they keep doing it. If you hate the Imperium (and what healthy Sword Worlder doesn't?), then you get a cybernetic implant to show them that you are NOT like them...
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You can call me Sir.
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:23 pm

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