The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

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paltrysum
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The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby paltrysum » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:40 pm

Provocative subject title, no? :)

If you plan to adhere to canon, a renascent Kingdom of Drinax will ultimately fall under the bootheels of the Aslan Ihatei when they come pouring over the borders during the Rebellion. Has anyone had this discussion with their players? How do you address it? Most of my players played MegaTraveller with me back in the 80s/90s, so they know the official history. It doesn't deter them from enjoying Pirates, but a few of them expect me to adhere to canon and point out the ultimate futility of their enterprise.

Obviously history is yours to forge as you wish, and in each of our campaigns if we ultimately decide that the Ihatei invasion "goes around" the kingdom or even that the Rebellion doesn't happen, that is our prerogative. But if you really want to adhere to canon, it will happen. Just curious to read others' ideas about this.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:27 pm

You are not seriously buying into the Aslan horde invading story?

Pure propaganda from Norris to disguise the fact that he invited the Aslan - having witnessed how integrated the Darrian Aslan had become.

Land on sparsely settled worlds, empty worlds earmarked for Imperial colonisation efforts pre-rebellion, worlds beyond the Imperial borders all ceded to the Aslan so that they would provide a back up force if needed in the eventuality of a Sixth Frontier War (there would be no cavalry from Corridor this time), potential large scale Vargr raiding or worse the 3I sorted its issues out and then came calling to ask Norris about his self promotion to Archduke.

Norris was building his own empire, the Aslan would provide a very nice 'mercenary' force...

The Aslan would thus bypass Drinax since they had a better deal waiting for them in Norris' new empire.

If you want futility consider the arrival of the Empress Wave, which due to MgT retcons will arrive a lot sooner than the 1200s

There is of course no requirement for the Rebellion to occur at all within the MgT 3I ATU.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Reynard » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:30 pm

Since the collapse of the Imperium is well into the future, the players and the rest of the universe have no clue and can assume everything is fine. No one ever said it was the brightest idea to reestablish one's pocket empire with secret piracy but, as many PoD campaigns prove, it somehow works and the Hierate and Imperium will keep the sabers rattling forever with no real border changes. All psionics who wildly claim different will be shunned or given therapy.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Old School » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:26 pm

Guess the big bad (spoiler) megacorporation and their future predicting formulas didn't see cannon coming either, did they?

When the campaign chooses to go backwards in time, I don't think there is any reason you think in terms of canon when determining the future. You can certainly use pieces, such as the start of the 5th frontier war having some impact on what goings on in the Borderlands and Tlaiowaha subsectors, but there's no reason to consider the far future as inevitable. The great thing about this campaign is that players can transcend their role as travellers and actual direct the actions of a small empire, perhaps even as its rulers. That kind of change in the timeline puts aside the inevitability of anything else in that region.

Nothing in Drinax is going to prevent the rebellion from starting if you want to stick to cann. But the fact that there is a new power in the Reach can very well change what that means locally. Especially when that power is armed with planet busting nuclear and biological weapons. "We have stealthy ships with better tech than you and torpedoes that will wipe out your population. Or you can go the long way around. up to you, cats."

Hell, you could even see the Tobia subsector or even Pax Rulin resisting having its fleets reassigned elsewhere and seceding from the empire to join Drinax. They know the real threat to them is the Hierate, not whatever is going on in Core. Drinax might declare the Tobia subsector Duke their King to help that happen. Now Norris isn't so hot, is he? And the Aslan are still facing fleets of Tigress class dreadnaughts if they want to cross the line.

Its possible that the rebirth of Drinax/Sindal is futile. Likely futile. Almost certainly futile, even. But I wouldn’t say their doom is inevitable.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:19 pm

It depends on how nasty Drinax wants to be with their planet killing weapons (assuming they found them in Treasure of Sindal).

The Aslan planet Tyokh has 20 Billion Aslan on it, out of 29 Billion Aslan in the subsector. Wiping out one planet would level the population difference between human and Aslan.

My players discussed the genocide option to prune back the Aslan and set them to fighting amongst themselves. Of course if the humans are discovered to be the source of the attack the Aslan would attack the human worlds with a united fist of vengeance. Of course losing 55% of the Aslan population or more would take the wind out of their sales.

Taking a plague bomb to Tech World and having the morals free scientists reverse engineer the viral loads could allow more bombs to be made. Tinker with the viral compositions and you might be able to make them more Aslan specific and reduce the -DM.

That could change Canon history quite a bit. It is up to the GM if Jaskarl sees it coming. :)
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby paltrysum » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:31 pm

That could provoke a massive response from the other high-pop Aslan worlds in the region of which there are many. Or it might not. The Aslan aren't known for their unification. However, you don't have to go many parsecs away to hit another Aslan planet with billions in population.

Also, I'm not so sure you could successfully drop a payload of plague bombs on a TL-14 world like Tyokh, otherwise they'd be under threat of that happening all the time. Surveillance and security should be of such a high level that it is virtually impossible to get something like that through unless you come in with an armada of some sort. Of course you can do it as you wish in YTU but I think high-tech, high-pop worlds are able to exist for a reason.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Reynard » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:44 pm

And no one thinks massive genocide events wouldn't create an equally massive response from the two great powers and maybe make the Zhos take notice? If it's done to a planet in one empire, the other empire(s) could assume it could happen to them next. The Mouse that Roared would need to be crushed.

I'm not saying King Oleb's dream of a return of the Kingdom of Drinax is undoable but I seem to be hearing it's not going to be a shadow war and fleets of pirate vessels will openly confront more than just local forces while threatening wholesale destruction to get their way. Makes me wish the campaign I was in was still going and see how we would do it.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:02 pm

Lots of sagas are based on lost causes.

Also, it would be a plot twist if a player character then helped the Aslan conquer the place.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby paltrysum » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:26 pm

This is true. Furthermore, just because something seems like a lost cause doesn't mean it's not worth attempting. It could be the catalyst for something else of equal or greater importance. A renascent Drinaxi kingdom could be 'Camelot.' An ambitious undertaking with an innovative form of interstellar government that differs from anything that has occurred before. Even if it lasts for only a decade or so, that doesn't mean it couldn't inspire a similar experiment after the dust clears from the Rebellion, the Collapse, or any other event that occurs in your Traveller universe.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Old School » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:54 pm

Im not at all saying that bombing Aslan worlds is a viable long term plan, but rather one of mutually assured destruction. No doubt the response would be many times more devastating. Having a credible threat to cause that kind of destruction is a deterent, not a winning war strategy. And it doesnt have to be a high tech planet with billions in population to be an effective deterent.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby WingedCat » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:57 am

One possibility: YTU becomes an ATU from the first scene of the campaign. Canon reflects what happened if King Oleb never went forward with the plan - if the party was never there.

Another possibility: Drinax essentially became another clan - a way for humans to exist within the Hierate. The kingdom sucked up the ihatei immigrants like a sponge, with open arms (and land on sparsely populated worlds) for any who would swear fealty to Drinax, which was much easier than fighting. Imperial mapmakers just rolled their eyes and counted Drinax as part of the Hierate.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:46 pm

The mutually assured destruction idea raises some interesting options. Letting other powers in the area know that you have Harrier ships with stealth capability and the ability to deliver world killing munitions makes for some interesting diplomacy.

Even if on the losing side (Treasure of SIndal is based on this very point), there is the option of destroying the victorious worlds.

Joining the Drinax empire with the promise of änyone that attacks a member world loses a world" is a nice card to have in your hand. Even the Imperium has to pause at that knowledge. They may be able to wipe out all the planets, but they could lose several planets doing it.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:01 pm

It's essentially today's nuclear diplomacy translated to Traveller. You don't have to threaten anyone, they just need to know you have them. As a purely defensive weapon, to protect our borders and sovereign rights, of course. Today at least. When the rebellion begins affecting the Trojan Reach, you'll probably have to threaten someone.

Thinking along those lines, would the mere public possession of such weapons make Drinax a Rogue nation, to be shunned by all respectable powers (i.e. the Imperium)? Maybe. The Imperium certainly has and uses nuclear weapons, they just don't let others do it. The Aslan certainly won't like it. Diplomatically you can point out who bombed who last time around. The trade route is so important to the local powers I think Drinax could possess the weapons and still have diplomatic relations, although it would be a sore spot.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby PsiTraveller » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:16 pm

Well Oleb's claim is that he is heir to the Sindalian Empire, which had the weapons. Any whiff of rogue nation talk would get him annoyed in the extreme. He might challenge you to a hurricane boxing fight. :)

The nuclear detente as a defense against Aslan expansion would make for an interesting negotiation for the finale. Stealth and planet killing technology is a dangerous combination for any nation to deal with.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby paltrysum » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:17 pm

If you act like a pariah, you will be treated like one. The great powers would not tolerate a tiny rogue state. They would nuke it into glass. If you really want to create an environment in which you are feared for weapons that might have, use information as a weapon and get someone else to commit the atrocity. A renascent Drinax could plant spies in neighboring polities who could plant seeds that indicate the weaponry they have.

Meanwhile, get Petyr Vallis to drop a few of them on Khusai, wiping out the population there. Then the Hierate goes after him, making an example of him, but the fear that it could happen again would remain and rumors that Drinax possesses similar or greater weapons might make them think twice about overrunning the fledgling kingdom when the Lakht Aorlakht rises and urges his ihatei forward.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:20 pm

Possessing the weapons doesn't make you a pariah. Both major powers have the same capabilities.

Using these weapons certainly makes you a pariah, but they're only used if Drinax is being overrun already. So you're a pariah, but you're already dead, so the pariah thing isn't that big of a deal. The Hierate can nuke the worlds they just overran if they want to - kinda defeats the point though.

It's a credible threat that keeps the peace. Using them is suicide (and bad for one's reputation), so they're only used if Drinax is being destroyed. Knowing, or even suspecting, the weapons exist will give anyone pause. And that's the point.

No point in arguing anymore, though. Paltrysum, lets just say that if I were the ruler of a resurgent Drinax in a campaign you were refereeing as the rebellion takes hold, things would be. . . interesting. :D
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby paltrysum » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:13 pm

No argument here. Just an exchange of ideas. :)
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Reynard » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:49 pm

Didn't something happen in history which wrecked the Sindalian Empire even with those weapons and got Drinax slagged but for a single floating city? Oleb forgetting history as in don't mess with the kitties.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Pyromancer » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:27 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:40 pm
Provocative subject title, no? :)

If you plan to adhere to canon, a renascent Kingdom of Drinax will ultimately fall under the bootheels of the Aslan Ihatei when they come pouring over the borders during the Rebellion. Has anyone had this discussion with their players? How do you address it? Most of my players played MegaTraveller with me back in the 80s/90s, so they know the official history. It doesn't deter them from enjoying Pirates, but a few of them expect me to adhere to canon and point out the ultimate futility of their enterprise.

Obviously history is yours to forge as you wish, and in each of our campaigns if we ultimately decide that the Ihatei invasion "goes around" the kingdom or even that the Rebellion doesn't happen, that is our prerogative. But if you really want to adhere to canon, it will happen. Just curious to read others' ideas about this.
I rewrite canon as I go. But even if you adhere to canon, remember: In the long run, we'll all be dead. And sometimes after that, the stars will die and the universe will reach maximum entropy. It's inevitable. So, is everything we do futile? I don't think so.
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Re: The futility of Pirates of Drinax?

Postby Old School » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:14 pm

An ambitious undertaking with an innovative form of interstellar government that differs from anything that has occurred before.
You think your players would choose to build a multiworld democracy rather than giving themselves power via a dictatorship or feudal system?

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