Transhuman traveller?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Iron Warrior.
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Transhuman traveller?

Postby Iron Warrior. » Sat May 07, 2011 6:18 am

Now that they're bringing in cthulhoid horrors into the traveller setting, why not do a transhuman traveller setting with genetic engineering, cyvernetics, AIs, transhumans, etc.

I mean, we could have the classic races and such too, I imagine the vilani would not go cuyber because of tradition, the zhodani might no5 because you can't control an AI with psionics but a lot of humanity might go transhuman, and it could create a lot of new factions and such.

Really, cthulhu horroros are OK but transhumanism is still taboo? Come on!
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Postby alex_greene » Sat May 07, 2011 6:47 am

I think that maybe MWM felt that, if T-humans existed, every player would want to play them and ordinary Joes would be left for the Referee to play as NPCs. Except, of course, the Referee would have to come up with NPCs to match the intelligence and abilities of the PCs, so ...

Besides, they'd only end up with some sort of game balance nerfing, like unbearable arrogance and hubris, the whole lot of them acting like jackasses even if they weren't completely racist about "kluges" (think of the Nietzscheans from the Gene Roddenberry / MBR series Andromeda).

Now that sort of thing could never happen to cyborg characters, now, could it? :D
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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Sat May 07, 2011 11:39 am

Iron Warrior. wrote:Now that they're bringing in cthulhoid horrors into the traveller setting, why not do a transhuman traveller setting with genetic engineering, cyvernetics, AIs, transhumans, etc.

I mean, we could have the classic races and such too, I imagine the vilani would not go cuyber because of tradition, the zhodani might no5 because you can't control an AI with psionics but a lot of humanity might go transhuman, and it could create a lot of new factions and such.

Really, cthulhu horroros are OK but transhumanism is still taboo? Come on!
Cybernetics are not really a 3I thing, but if you get hold of a copy of "Cybernetics", and perhaps "Robot" as well you will have not trouble doing a DIY setting.

Or you could take a strongly YTU approach to the 3I and include a lot of enhancements etc as standard. No reason why Duke Norris in YTU should not be half cybernetic and wholly genetically engineered.

Just remember to make the opposition at least as enhanced as the PCs!

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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby alex_greene » Sat May 07, 2011 2:36 pm

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:Just remember to make the opposition at least as enhanced as the PCs!
Beats me why you should. It never bothered The Borg or Col. Steve Austin.
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Postby AKAmra » Sat May 07, 2011 2:58 pm

If your talking about Cthonian Stars; they haven't introduced mythos horror into the OTU but rather created a mythos sci-fi setting using the Traveller rules.

As for transhuman; Traveller already has a cybernetics book.

Transhuman settings are a valid sci-fi sub-genre. It wouldn't surprise me if Mongoose or a 3rd party publisher came out with a transhuman rules/setting using Traveller rules.
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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby DFW » Sat May 07, 2011 3:18 pm

Iron Warrior. wrote:Now that they're bringing in cthulhoid horrors into the traveller setting, why not do a transhuman traveller setting with genetic engineering, cyvernetics, AIs, transhumans, etc.
In trav it would just lead to the inevitable RPG death spiral of ever increasing PC power and measure/counter measure problems.
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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby alex_greene » Sat May 07, 2011 4:59 pm

DFW wrote:
Iron Warrior. wrote:Now that they're bringing in cthulhoid horrors into the traveller setting, why not do a transhuman traveller setting with genetic engineering, cyvernetics, AIs, transhumans, etc.
In trav it would just lead to the inevitable RPG death spiral of ever increasing PC power and measure/counter measure problems.
You'd have to give the normal humans an edge which transhumans do not.
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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby DFW » Sat May 07, 2011 5:28 pm

alex_greene wrote:[You'd have to give the normal humans an edge which transhumans do not.
Right. And then when additional options for "trans" types comes out, more "edge" needed, and the spiral tightens until you go splat into the ground.
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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby rust » Sat May 07, 2011 5:40 pm

alex_greene wrote: You'd have to give the normal humans an edge which transhumans do not.
It depends on whether the players are interested in a different kind of character
as a roleplaying opportunity or just want a more powerful character as a supe-
rior combat machine. In the first case a transhumanist setting can be most in-
teresting, in the second case it all too often turns into boring munchkinism.
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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby alex_greene » Sat May 07, 2011 6:38 pm

rust wrote:
alex_greene wrote: You'd have to give the normal humans an edge which transhumans do not.
It depends on whether the players are interested in a different kind of character
as a roleplaying opportunity or just want a more powerful character as a supe-
rior combat machine. In the first case a transhumanist setting can be most in-
teresting, in the second case it all too often turns into boring munchkinism.
Unless, as said, you give the humans an edge which the transhumans have somehow lost. :) Believe me, I worked out a good one already.
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Postby barnest2 » Sat May 07, 2011 7:23 pm

Believe me, I worked out a good one already.
Please tell...
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Postby alex_greene » Sat May 07, 2011 7:50 pm

barnest2 wrote:
Believe me, I worked out a good one already.
Please tell...
Can't. Not just yet. :)
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Re: Transhuman traveller?

Postby Nuclear Fridge Magnet » Sat May 07, 2011 9:09 pm

alex_greene wrote:Beats me why you should. It never bothered The Borg or Col. Steve Austin.
Ah, the Bionic Man... that takes me back.

What I remember fondly from that show was that Steve Austin held onto what was left of his humanity. He didn't go all "we seek to improve ourselves" and chop other people into bits.

I view "cyber-uber-mega-upgrades" syndrome the same way I would see first level D&D characters getting hold of the Hand of Vecna. Bad Idea!

If you want to go there, okay. Just don't be surprised when your game escalates past brain-seeking missiles and neutronium planet-buster handguns. By the way, I took part in such a (totally) messed-up game back in the late 80s. It was grim... :roll:
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Postby IanBruntlett » Sat May 07, 2011 9:23 pm

How about the replicants from Blade Runner?
Or the telepaths in Babylon 5?
Or the average human (with neural lace) in (an Iain M Banks) Culture novel?
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Postby Iron Warrior. » Sat May 07, 2011 10:42 pm

IanBruntlett wrote:How about the replicants from Blade Runner?
Or the telepaths in Babylon 5?
Or the average human (with neural lace) in (an Iain M Banks) Culture novel?
Some games manage to do transhumans and baselines in the same setting quite well. I can't see why traveller can't.

Also, as to balancing things out, a human in batteldress is in many ways equal to a genetically modified cyborg in combat.

Another edge might be that baseline humans are still a majority and the trasnhumans are in many ways a distrusted minority.
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Postby crossmlk » Sat May 07, 2011 11:39 pm

The thing I see is that Transhumans really can't do anything that can't be replicated by technology. So you have that as a balancing factor and then baselines can pick and choose the advantage through technology they apply on an as needed basis. A high grav transhuman is always going to be a high grav transhuman and that will be a limiting factor for them everywhere but a high grav world.
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Postby rust » Sun May 08, 2011 12:35 am

Iron Warrior. wrote: Also, as to balancing things out, a human in batteldress is in many ways equal to a genetically modified cyborg in combat.
Since in my settings battle dress is purely military gear and highly illegal for ci-
vilians, this would probably mean that genetically modified cyborgs (*) would
not be allowed to enter any of the planets of my setting. :lol:

(*) "genetically modified" plus "cyborg" seems a bit of enhancement overkill ...
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Postby apoc527 » Sun May 08, 2011 12:53 am

No way, genetically modified cyborg in battledress is overkill!
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Postby mattman » Sun May 08, 2011 1:28 am

I think that Traveller as-is doesn't quite fit the transhuman style without some nerfing and heavy thinking on the system and what-not. I haven't personally tried to do this with it. It would be neat to see Mongoose or someone put out something on the scale of Twilight Sector that attempts to do a system bolt-on with this concept. With that said...

It's gratifying to see that the roleplaying game is starting to address transhuman sci fi. Eclipse Phase, Starblazer Adventures, and FreeMarket really scratch that need.

Personally, I'm contemplating a FATE-based campaign in Iain M. Banks' Culture universe using Starblazer as a guideline. Special Circumstances anyone? Anyone? :)

http://www.eclipsephase.com/
http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14289.phtml
http://projectdonut.com/freemarket/
http://terrasolgames.com/

(added links)
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Postby justacaveman » Sun May 08, 2011 2:16 am

The limiting factor for cybernetics, is the Cost!

Cybernetic enhancements from Supplement 8 are expensive.

TL13 Battle Dress boosts both STR and DEX by +4, has a built-in computer, communications suite, and is a sealed enviroment with 6 hours of air.

A +3 charactistic augment costs 5 Mcr and isn't available until TL15. A Full Body Simulacrum costs 10 Mcr and only has physical characteristics of 7 in each stat. And you can only boost them by +3 (at TL15 for 5 Mcr each) to 10. You can have stronger unaugmented humans. You can take a human with Physical stats of 7 and boost them to 8 with an Upper and Lower Torso Replacement for only 3.75 Mcr (From the same book!).

Overall it's just much cheaper to to give regular humans Battle Dresss and big guns than to augment them.

And making powerful robots is cheaper than both of these options. For the cost of 1 Augmented Human in Battle Dress, you could outfit a squad of Battle Dress equipped Marines, or a Platoon of the nastiest Combat Robots you ever saw.
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