diplomatic summit

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steve98052
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diplomatic summit

Postby steve98052 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:06 am

I'm thinking about a short-run game that is mainly a diplomatic summit.

Back story:
A TL6 balkanized world has a war between its two great powers, and each decides that it needs nuclear weapons to defeat the other. Thinking it can dodge the Imperial Rules of War with a demonstration bombing of an uninhabited island, one of the nations does it and demands the other's surrender. The local baron with a strong warning, but the Imperium doesn't respond, but the other demonstrates its (previously secret) bomb. The war continues with conventional forces.

Before much longer, an Imperial task force arrives. The baron says, "I told you so." Imperial Marines arrive with such great drama that they don't even have to fire their weapons. Both nations promptly buy grudgingly sign an armistice, under the supervision of the baron, the task force admiral, and the Marine colonel. They turn over their remaining bombs. Some people suspect that one of both held a few back, but there's no proof.

A few years of cold war pass. Then both detect a nuclear attack by the other, and launch the handful of nuclear weapons they held back. A hundred million or so die, including the baron.

The task force is back, but the war is over with tragic finality. There's nothing for me Marines to do except confirm that there are definitely no more nuclear weapons. The Navy interdicts the world, and the Imperial Army comes in to oversee the relief agencies that are exempted from the interdiction.

A few more years pass and the back story is over. The subsector duke hosts a long-scheduled summit, but can't personally attend because he's been summoned to Capital by the Emperor.

Who does the duke invite? Who attends under the "other interested parties" portion of the summit invitation?
locarno24
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Re: diplomatic summit

Postby locarno24 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:39 am

Who does the duke invite? Who attends under the "other interested parties" portion of the summit invitation?
A lot of the former question will depend on "who's left"! The planet has just experienced a nuclear war, after all....

Interested parties would be:
~ Whoever's succeeded the previous Baron
~ Whoever's in charge of the dominant nations of the world (not necessarily the great powers who were involved in the war; second-tier powers might have leapfrogged them)
~ The relief agencies
~ Navy and Army occupation officers - firstly they'd be responsible for guaranteeing the interdict but given the resources they'd have put into doing so, as and when the Interdict is lifted they'd probably want to turn whatever infrastructure was there into a permanent operational base)
~ Any influential faction who think they can profit from lifting the interdict (or getting themselves an exemption) - I'm sure some equivalent of GeeDeeCo would be more than happy to help get the planetary economy back on track for a reasonable fee
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
steve98052
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Re: diplomatic summit

Postby steve98052 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:08 pm

Thanks for the ideas, locarno24, particularly the Army and Navy point.
locarno24 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:39 am
A lot of the former question will depend on "who's left"! The planet has just experienced a nuclear war, after all...
That's definitely an important point about participants from the world.
. . .
~ Whoever's in charge of the dominant nations of the world (not necessarily the great powers who were involved in the war; second-tier powers might have leapfrogged them)
Exactly. I already had a former #3 power in mind as the new great power.
. . .
~ Navy and Army occupation officers - firstly they'd be responsible for guaranteeing the interdict but given the resources they'd have put into doing so, as and when the Interdict is lifted they'd probably want to turn whatever infrastructure was there into a permanent operational base)
This is a really good point. I knew they had to be there, but I hadn't figured out what kind of agenda they might have.
~ Any influential faction who think they can profit from lifting the interdict (or getting themselves an exemption) - I'm sure some equivalent of GeeDeeCo would be more than happy to help get the planetary economy back on track for a reasonable fee
I had that in mind too. I'm still brainstorming about what kind of profiteers might want to exploit the reopening of the world -- and those who might profit from continued interdiction.

Another category I had in mind was representatives of neighboring worlds that might want to be trade partners, or might want to avoid competition.

And right this moment, I had a new idea: representatives of offworlders who suffered losses in the war, such as starship lines that had ships in the starport when the bombs fell.

There might also be a commission to investigate how both nuclear nations got early warning alarms, and how they managed to hide bombs from the task force bomb confiscation.
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Re: diplomatic summit

Postby phavoc » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:35 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:06 am
I'm thinking about a short-run game that is mainly a diplomatic summit.

Back story:
A TL6 balkanized world has a war between its two great powers, and each decides that it needs nuclear weapons to defeat the other. Thinking it can dodge the Imperial Rules of War with a demonstration bombing of an uninhabited island, one of the nations does it and demands the other's surrender. The local baron with a strong warning, but the Imperium doesn't respond, but the other demonstrates its (previously secret) bomb. The war continues with conventional forces.

Before much longer, an Imperial task force arrives. The baron says, "I told you so." Imperial Marines arrive with such great drama that they don't even have to fire their weapons. Both nations promptly buy grudgingly sign an armistice, under the supervision of the baron, the task force admiral, and the Marine colonel. They turn over their remaining bombs. Some people suspect that one of both held a few back, but there's no proof.

A few years of cold war pass. Then both detect a nuclear attack by the other, and launch the handful of nuclear weapons they held back. A hundred million or so die, including the baron.

The task force is back, but the war is over with tragic finality. There's nothing for me Marines to do except confirm that there are definitely no more nuclear weapons. The Navy interdicts the world, and the Imperial Army comes in to oversee the relief agencies that are exempted from the interdiction.

A few more years pass and the back story is over. The subsector duke hosts a long-scheduled summit, but can't personally attend because he's been summoned to Capital by the Emperor.

Who does the duke invite? Who attends under the "other interested parties" portion of the summit invitation?
If this were an Imperial world to begin with the existing royalty could lose their positions and new ones appointed in their place - especially if the military goes so far as to interdict the world. If the old Duke was killed, his position would devolve along familial lines, so whomever inherited their position would be the one invited - from both sides. Then again, one or both sides could have been declared the aggressors in the war and both royal lines were eliminated (by war, by noose, by decree, etc).

Societies don't like power vacuums. Someone would have been put forth, or seized, the reins of government. So really it could be anyone.

As far as interested parties go, a balkanized world of only two nations? Other people with interests would be the subsector duke by default. But beyond that it could be any agency providing relief efforts, maybe an NGO or two who stepped up. Or even busybodies on other planets who screamed loudly enough that it was easier to invite them. And, of course, the press.

There is an old Traveller adventure that you may want to read and see if anything in it is helpful. You can find it in the Dragon magazine archives here - https://annarchive.com/files/Drmg059.pdf. It's called Exonidas Starport.
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Re: diplomatic summit

Postby Bardicheart » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:22 pm

Possibly representatives from some of the megacorps with interest on the planet or else an interest developing a presence of the planet. This could range from megacorps offering support in rebuilding infrastructure, providing supplies for ongoing relief operations, to those with an interest in developing existing planetary resources to "help rebuild the economy" (what they really mean is "hey since you already nuked your planet you probably won't mind if we strip mine the crap out of it"). These representatives wouldn't necessarily be involved in the main political / diplomatic talks but they'd be present as "consultants" and representing "economic interests". Much what that would really amount to is the mega's locking down various monopolies in exchange for pumping some cash into the economy and some much needed infrastructure, short term expense for a long term profit margin.

Just my first thoughts though.
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steve98052
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Re: diplomatic summit

Postby steve98052 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:08 pm

phavoc wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:35 pm
If this were an Imperial world to begin with the existing royalty could lose their positions and new ones appointed in their place - especially if the military goes so far as to interdict the world.
I had imagined the national leadership as flawed democracies, along the lines of present day Turkey or Venezuela (the main powers on the northern and equatorial continents), but expansionist like pre-war Germany and Japan, or the Soviet Union. So there wouldn't be royalty in place to remove.

I also imagined a second tier power, a strongman dictatorship with no pretensions of democracy, as the leading but not dominant power on the third continent. His country couldn't afford war with the great powers, so he remained neutral, instead meddling with lesser nations on the southern continent.
If the old Duke was killed, his position would devolve along familial lines, so whomever inherited their position would be the one invited - from both sides. Then again, one or both sides could have been declared the aggressors in the war and both royal lines were eliminated (by war, by noose, by decree, etc).
The old Imperial noble was just a baron, not a duke. She had seen high technology war, tried to mediate the world out of its mid-technology war, with success in the case of the southern dictatorship, but not so much overall. Her final words, as the air raid sirens rang through the equatorial starport, were, "I told you guys they had more bombs."
Societies don't like power vacuums. Someone would have been put forth, or seized, the reins of government. So really it could be anyone.
I figure that the bombed out countries would be democracies, under the thumb of the Imperial Army, probably with very peace-minded leaders, but annoyance about Imperial meddling.
As far as interested parties go, a balkanized world of only two nations?
No, the two former great powers, the dictatorship, numerous minor nations on each continent, and some island and multi-island nations.
Other people with interests would be the subsector duke by default. But beyond that it could be any agency providing relief efforts, maybe an NGO or two who stepped up. Or even busybodies on other planets who screamed loudly enough that it was easier to invite them. And, of course, the press.
The subsector duke is the host of the summit, and would be the presiding leader. But after scheduling the summit, he or she was summoned to Capital for Imperial business more important than a single world. The duke's representative presides in the duke's absence, but doesn't want to take a heavy hand.

The relief agencies make sense; I can imagine squabbling between nonprofits and profiteering contractors.

Busybodies, of course, particularly business interests.

The press makes a lot of sense, but in game terms I'm not sure what they might do other than report on things.
There is an old Traveller adventure that you may want to read and see if anything in it is helpful. You can find it in the Dragon magazine archives here - https://annarchive.com/files/Drmg059.pdf. It's called Exonidas Starport.
This looks cool. I vaguely remember reading it back in the day, but it looks like a good thing to re-read. Thanks for the link.
Bardicheart wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:22 pm
Possibly representatives from some of the megacorps with interest on the planet or else an interest developing a presence of the planet. This could range from megacorps offering support in rebuilding infrastructure, providing supplies for ongoing relief operations, to those with an interest in developing existing planetary resources to "help rebuild the economy" (what they really mean is "hey since you already nuked your planet you probably won't mind if we strip mine the crap out of it"). These representatives wouldn't necessarily be involved in the main political / diplomatic talks but they'd be present as "consultants" and representing "economic interests". Much what that would really amount to is the mega's locking down various monopolies in exchange for pumping some cash into the economy and some much needed infrastructure, short term expense for a long term profit margin.
. . .
I really like the idea of business interests who want to strip mine the wrecked continents, or otherwise exploit the ruined nations. "Hey since you nuked your planet . . ." is a great summary for the attitude of a lot of likely business interests.
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Re: diplomatic summit

Postby Bardicheart » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:30 pm

You can also mix it up with some business that actually have a real humanitarian goal. Imagine SpaceX trying to help out and still bungling it a bit because for all their high tech they don't necessarily understand the situation on the ground and what's really needed (ie, lots of high tech complex solutions with something simple, low tech and locally sustainable is what's really needed). Or it could be a company that pretends to be the "good guys" and actually believes they are, but they also think their way is the only "right" way and have zero tolerance for difference of opinion, so they end up using strong arm and overbearing tactics to try and "guide" these nations onto the "right" path. You can have a lot of fun coming up with different complex mixes of goals, it doesn't always have to be the cliche' "evil megacorp", and the variety often makes for some better stories and plot hooks.
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Re: diplomatic summit

Postby steve98052 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:55 pm

Oh, I love the idea of the nuclear war relief agency along the lines of Elon Musk's cave rescue submarine! You're right, there's so much more room for fun with that than with purely exploitative corporations.

I wonder if I could get away with calling it "ReliefX" if I were to publish it on DruveThruRPG. (Obviously I could use that in a private setting.)

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