Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

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kaladorn
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Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby kaladorn » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:53 am

Aslan book says:

Tech-World A455154-F


...

The human population of Tech-world is around four thousand. The robot population is around a million and rising, ...
Okay, I might be crazy, but a UWP population digit of 1 means how many zeroes after the population value of index of 4? Exactly ONE! That does not line up with a population four thousand!

So either we need a UWP population digit of 3 for Tech-World, or all of a sudden the magical robot run spaceport is being managed entirely by a maximum of 40 people, not 4000. Hmmm.... maybe not impossible, but not what the text in Aslan indicates.

So, which is it? I personally imagine the UWP digit should be 3 for Tech-World. 4000 staff does not seem ridiculous for a type A port, whereas 40 might well be a bit ridiculous.

Note: This issue with UWP pop digit exists in Aslan and is repeated in Trojan Reach. It wasn't caught, so it was never fixed. I just caught it because I was fascinated when I saw a port A, high tech, pop 1 planet.... and the description jumped out as not matching a pop 1 planet!

Not sure where or who is keeping/collecting/deciding this sort of errata, but someone ought to be. Somewhere accessible too.

Sincerely,
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Re: Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:15 am

Hey there,

It is not always that easy with UWPs, especially on population, and you will see this pop up every now and again.

The UWP is assumed to be the 'official' record within Charted Space, derived from the IISS and distributed by organisations like TAS. So, it may not always match what is happening on the ground, so to speak.

For example, imagine a bunch (thousands or tens of thousands) of Aslan Ihatei landing on a planet and having stayed there for the past three years. They start building makeshift starports, habitation areas, and so forth - however, no one has checked this planet out for a while (it is a big universe) or they are just assumed to be temporary. So, the UWP of that world does not change.

As a specific example, check out the Steel system in the Spinward Marches. That has an official population of 0 - however, anyone who has played/read Project Steel knows there are quite a few people living there and civilisation is being constructed in a fairly robust way. Officially, however, the Sword Worlds should not be settling there, hence the official Population 0.

Hope that insight helps!
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Re: Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby Tay » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:42 am

It's also slightly different on Traveller Map and the Wiki.

UWP: A 5 5 5 1 5 4 – E
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Re: Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby Ursus Maior » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:42 am

That's how we handled it for ages. Take Drinax as an opposite example: The official 'world' is the palace above Drinax proper. They don't have a working starship yard that can build j-drives, yet the starport is rated A. The TL of E is equally bogus, since the palace probably has no means of producing large amounts of diverse TL E gear. And no-one ever counted the Vespexer population on the planet itself, so the population code of 4 is true only for the palace itself again. Yet, as long as the Imperial consul or the IISS itself take no interest in changing the information, Drinax will remain the same old A43645A-E it has been for decades or centuries.
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Re: Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby phavoc » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:55 pm

The argument makes sense, on both sides - which is the problem. A planet with a write-up needs to explain the discrepancy. When taking in reams of UWP data it's best to discard anything that doesn't fit the narrative.

And this is the problem with the massive number of systems randomly generated without any sort of logic applied to it. Using Drinax as an example, it violates the classification rule of an 'A' starport. While that could be remedied by stating "it imports it's J-drives", that, too, then sets up a massive problem because that rule ISN'T part of the stated rule for how a starport gets it's classification.

There are many examples of the rules conflicting with each other. We really don't have "rules", what we have is a GAAP-style set of things - accept or reject whatever you like.

And thus the fires of the canon wars are forever continually flamed.
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Re: Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby Geir » Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:56 pm

It's just a "guideline" there are other examples in the Drinax Companion, like Acris and Cordan where the official population numbers don't match the narrative.

Look at it this way: you (IISS Survey Office) have this little UWP form and you have put in numbers at the top of the form. There's probably hundreds of pages (millions of bytes?) of text behind it, but the number at the top has to be both descriptive and politically correct, avoiding protests from locals who insist you're misrepresenting their form of government, technological sophistication or whatever. The detail is there - that's either in the adventure or for the referee to create.

Or the data is bad for reasons mentioned. It's a snapshot from 40 years ago that week when the Aslan came through. The Third Survey will fix it in a few hundred years.

Or think of a real world example: What's the population of Antarctica? Officially it's 0, but there are thousands during the summer and hundreds during the winter.

Or do you count workers at a port or in a mine? Do you count military personnel on a base? If you look at shipyard staffing alone, you can't have a Class A starport without at least a thousand workers, but that doesn't mean they're considered citizens. As for Drinax, do you really want to be the guy in the room telling Oleb he doesn't have a Class A port?

Or the OTU is 40+ years old, created by dozens of authors and we should be glad there are people out there doing their best to try to keep it at least partially consistent. Once upon a time I was a history major. I don't expect the sources to be consistent, looking into the contradictions can be either fun or frustrating, but that's a choice you get to make.
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Re: Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby Reynard » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:27 am

"And this is the problem with the massive number of systems randomly generated without any sort of logic applied to it. Using Drinax as an example, it violates the classification rule of an 'A' starport. While that could be remedied by stating "it imports it's J-drives", that, too, then sets up a massive problem because that rule ISN'T part of the stated rule for how a starport gets it's classification."

I was assuming Drinax a long time ago created an A class starport which follows all the parameters in High Guard starport section. Problem is the world of Drinax got blasted and all that was left was a floating palace and a starport rendered near useless without the population or, especially, resources to run it fully. I also assume neither the Imperium or Hierate claimed it so no support. It meets all the criteria but not the ability to function as an A class. Lots of areas with the lights off.
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Re: Errata: Tech-World UWP and write up don't match - Aslan and Trojan Reaches both broke

Postby Garran » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:43 am

Yeah, that's my take on it too. They *have* a class A-worthy starport, if only there was the means to run it like one.

Likewise with the tech. They have the tech-theory and can make things on an artisanal scale if they have the resources... but they usually don't. Not without selling off yet another priceless treasure via Rachando, anyway. Making use of that tech to produce things on a large scale would require an industrial base, which they clearly don't have and can't buy their way into, although PCs might be able to do something about it in the long term since planetary restoration/terraforming operations do exist.

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