What about an every day life supplement?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
praios
Cub
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:50 am

What about an every day life supplement?

Postby praios » Sun May 15, 2011 9:03 am

Hello!

When it comes to describe normal life on planets with higher TL level than on our earth today, i often have the problem when in comes to things like, education, cinema, television, communication, sports, going out, supermarkets, reading newspapers....and so on.

So, i really wish myself a supplement, where all these kind of things are described, what it could look like on different TL levels.

What do you think? Would that be helpful for you too?
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3796
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: What about an every day life supplement?

Postby alex_greene » Sun May 15, 2011 10:24 am

praios wrote:When it comes to describe normal life on planets with higher TL level than on our earth today, i often have the problem when in comes to things like, education, cinema, television, communication, sports, going out, supermarkets, reading newspapers....and so on.

So, i really wish myself a supplement, where all these kind of things are described, what it could look like on different TL levels.

What do you think? Would that be helpful for you too?
I don't think anybody round here actually has given this much thought.

For my part, I once ran a Traveller scenario set on a TL 12 world. It took the characters from a seedy hotel, an electric charge point that resembled a petrol station, a lonely stretch of wood among pines that was falling to pieces due to neglect, with lots of potholes and ground hazards due to disrepair, a storage unit, a service tunnel full of thundering automated semi trucks, not one of them manned ...

I have had a Psionics Institute in the tunnels underneath a pub. I have set a scenario in a caravanserai of covered heavy duty grav floaters being pulled along the desert by beasts of burden, and a 500,000 - ton "colony ship" of interlocking 50 dton modular habitats, each hosting a single family, that had no M-drive, just solar sails, solar power and a Jump-drive.

I've had characters break through crysteel windows only to discover that they were on a floating city platform, half a kilometre above ground with nothing between them and a very real death on the rocks below. I've described a night flight through a world with a Very Thin atmosphere where the people live in grimy domed cities, the litter piled high everywhere with nothing to clean it away - that place needed an injection of industrial sized janitorial bots like nobody's business!

I feel pretty confident that I could describe a whole bunch of worlds, idyllic and not so idyllic, for any supplement.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
User avatar
barnest2
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:38 am
Location: Northern England

Postby barnest2 » Sun May 15, 2011 10:33 am

Yeah, I don't see the need particularly. I've read enough science fiction that I can make up various things if need be
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Re: What about an every day life supplement?

Postby rust » Sun May 15, 2011 11:13 am

praios wrote: What do you think? Would that be helpful for you too?
I suspect the societies of the about 11,000 inhabited planets of the Third Impe-
rium are much too diverse to even attempt to write a supplement which covers
the everyday life on all those planets in enough depth to be useful for a referee.
Even a supplement on everyday life on our Earth would have either to remain
too superficial to be useful or to ignore most of our planet's regions entirely -
everyday life in Hanoi has not that much in common with everyday life in San
Salvador or Monrovia.
Somebody
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1359
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:18 pm

Postby Somebody » Sun May 15, 2011 11:16 am

This could be really useful. Describing elements like "typical life of the far traders", some useful scenes from various TL starports/startowns, defining "likely to be there" elements of the culture (Guilds etc.) all in the OTU/3I context.

SciFi is mostly short on this elements. StarTrek has some but the tech and society is totally "non OTU". B5 has a few blibs for "large station" and "Vattas War" a few more for "trader". Works like "Downbelow station" have a lot but a totally different background/setting (initially non-FTL, something not found as a mainline society in the OTU)
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3796
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby alex_greene » Sun May 15, 2011 11:32 am

barnest2 wrote:Yeah, I don't see the need particularly. I've read enough science fiction that I can make up various things if need be
You have to think of the bigger picture: of Referees who haven't got your experiences, your sense memory.

And other people's science fiction makes for a lousy inspiration because it tends to be written by people cribbing from other people's work, and forgetting scents, sounds, sights ...

What if your characters land on an alien world where there is a fourth primary colour that only the natives can see, and which leaves the characters' eyes watering if they stare at the various shades and hues of that colour for too long?

What about a planet that looks like an absolute garden world, everything laid out for the characters, all the natives with cheerful smiles, and only the faintest hint of sulphur in the air gives them the slightest subliminal clue that something rotten lies beneath the surface?
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
User avatar
barnest2
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:38 am
Location: Northern England

Postby barnest2 » Sun May 15, 2011 11:35 am

Wouldn't then a book on interesting worlds be of more use then? Rather than 'a day in life'?
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3796
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby alex_greene » Sun May 15, 2011 1:51 pm

I don't think you're getting the idea.

When do Macadam roads appear? When do rail tracks appear? Contrails across the sky? The great columns of rocket launches?

What happens when new tech takes over? The telegraph poles getting taken down as fibre optic cable gets laid down beside the electric, gas, water and sewage pipes, the railways being dismantled and turned into elevated grassy walkways punctuated by great gaps where the bridges crossing over the roads used to be, and ultimately the roads themselves entering a state of disrepair as aircars and grav cycles take over as common transport.

Cities getting taller and taller, buildings extending upwards for kilometres, before smaller, more compact cities are built that take to the skies. Underwater and partially subterranean cities built into cliffsides with glassplex and crysteel domes poking out of the sides of sharp-edged precipices of vacuum worlds like luminous fruiting bodies of some strange technological fungus farmed internally by various species of hominids.

World cities like Coruscant and Trentor; world deserts like Arrakis, only with grav floater caravanserai; strange schizotech colonies with a steam-driven grav locomotive pulling floating carriages around along a rusting track along which proper trains once ran, their wheels grinding at the old steel tracks. Vivaria like Adrian Veidt's Karnak in Watchmen, lush tropical plants and fauna on one side, lethal cold and ice on the other.

Exotic markets like that Chinese market in the Doctor Who / Donna Noble episode "Turn Left" (honestly, that world was Persephone from Firefly!). Think of the sounds, the smells, the tastes of the food, the texture of the clothes and the disconcertingly soft squish underfoot of some discarded piece of fruit you just stepped on ...

Canton. Mud, mudders and liquid bread. Riots.

Think of the places your characters never really see. The inside of people's houses in the suburbs. What do suburbs of floating cities look like? Satellite grav cities hanging on to the main floating cities with cable tethers like cubs nursing on their mother?

If you have a world where teleportation has become, somehow, commonplace, what do those worlds look like? Do the homes of the rich and famous acquire vestibules for transporters? Do they still have doors? Gardens? What do future wheelbarrows look like?

If high tech medics are all replaced by autodoc booths, does that make hospitals smaller and more compact, more like visiting a car wash, with an option for quick elective surgery and a 26 hour stay on medicinal slow almost as painless as visiting a coffin hotel?

And what about schools? Recreational parks? Gymnasia? Pubs? Communal venues like cinemas (do they replace churches as places for communal gatherings, or is all Mankind doomed to pernicious solitaire existence, enjoying virtual dalliances with teletouch sensors and hypnoregression vid screen subliminal conditioning to invoke feelings of intimacy where none exist?)

The authors of SF books do not think hard enough about this sort of thing, IMO, and so should not be used as the be - all and end - all of your inspirations for Traveller games.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
User avatar
barnest2
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1104
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:38 am
Location: Northern England

Postby barnest2 » Sun May 15, 2011 1:54 pm

I like you... well, I like your brain :P

Ok, what you have talked about actually could be somewhat useful. I think I was misunderstanding...
User avatar
DFW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:24 pm

1001 High Tech Items

Postby DFW » Sun May 15, 2011 2:06 pm

This would be a better idea. Items like the "kitchen" in Scouts. A list of everyday tech items starting TL 9 - 15 that make up everyday life.
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4341
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Postby AndrewW » Sun May 15, 2011 4:05 pm

alex_greene wrote:What if your characters land on an alien world where there is a fourth primary colour that only the natives can see, and which leaves the characters' eyes watering if they stare at the various shades and hues of that colour for too long?
I did something along those lines once. The character encountered a machine and where surprised that there wheren't any labels. The labels where there, they just couldn't see them. The alien race that built the machine had a different type of vision then humans that was very sensitive to the infrared and not so good in the regular human visual spectrum, so their labels reflected that.
Somebody
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1359
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:18 pm

Postby Somebody » Sun May 15, 2011 11:37 pm

AndrewW wrote:
alex_greene wrote:What if your characters land on an alien world where there is a fourth primary colour that only the natives can see, and which leaves the characters' eyes watering if they stare at the various shades and hues of that colour for too long?
I did something along those lines once. The character encountered a machine and where surprised that there wheren't any labels. The labels where there, they just couldn't see them. The alien race that built the machine had a different type of vision then humans that was very sensitive to the infrared and not so good in the regular human visual spectrum, so their labels reflected that.
German author KH Scheer had a major alien race use "red" as a positive color and the race using it being able of see far more suptle tonage shifts. Humans using the tech had to adjust that a "red board" was good and had to use special translators to get the correct state of red.
apoc527
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:55 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby apoc527 » Mon May 16, 2011 12:02 am

I would by this if alex_greene writes it.
-Apoc527
Sevya
Mongoose
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:29 pm

Postby Sevya » Mon May 16, 2011 12:41 am

Alex_greene's idea is just exactly the sort of sourcebook that pushes games from rollplaying to roleplaying. There are a lot of elements he commented upon that really give a world the sort of flavor needed to feel like a real world. Too many times in Traveller, the all of each class of starports are essentially the same, as is the city outside the gates. The only difference we often see is the tech of weaponry the police use, and what gear is legal for our characters to carry. A supplement such as this would help referees overcome these blah worlds to some degree.

Sevya
Jame Rowe
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:52 pm
Location: Boston Area, MA/USA
Contact:

Re: 1001 High Tech Items

Postby Jame Rowe » Tue May 17, 2011 6:59 pm

DFW wrote:This would be a better idea. Items like the "kitchen" in Scouts. A list of everyday tech items starting TL 9 - 15 that make up everyday life.
Trying to make a "Scout Kitchen" and the like closer to TL 9 or 10 instead of 13 or 14. But yes yes yesyesyes.
"Are you in charge here?"
"No, but I'm full of ideas!"

Baron Damascaa Kiikiigulii/Sakhag/Antares. Deal with it - come visit!
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3432
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed May 18, 2011 1:14 pm

I think this is one area that Traveller has missed through the years. There are all these supplements about all the different races, but nothing that explains what normal daily life is like.

Even MJD in the Spinward Marches book talked about an "Interstellar Culture" without giving any details.

I would like to see a couple of pages on each Tech Level describing normal life, city life and country life. What does the average house contain with regards to entertainment/features.

Something like:

Radios become common household items at TL5, with Black and White TVs being a luxury item. These are large units.
By TL 6, radios are portable, handheld units and color TVs are now common in homes.
By TL 7, the entertainment center becomes common in most homes, combining digital color TV and video recorders. High Definition (1080p) TVs are a luxury item.
At TL8, HD TV is common and the entertainment console combines all the earlier features with access to the WorldNet, effectively Computer/1. 3-D TV is a luxury item, but requires special eyewear.
TL9 sees common usage of 3D TVs with integrated Computer/2. 3D is commonplace and does not require eyewear.
TL10 ... etc (this is where my imaginations stalls until TL12 when holographic interfaces are introduced.

Something like that covering a variety of mundane topics is what I would like to see.

Common Vehicle at each TL
Personal Computer capability
Clothing - I am talking features here, not style, when does computer weave become common in clothing for example?
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.
User avatar
Vile
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 733
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:01 am
Location: The Maze of Peril
Contact:

Postby Vile » Wed May 18, 2011 2:23 pm

Yeah ... the bit about technology at different TLs in the CT Mercenary LBB - but for an average household instead of a mercenary regiment! 8)
User avatar
DFW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Postby DFW » Wed May 18, 2011 3:52 pm

Yep, I'd really plunk down serious cash for a comprehensive TL by TL list of common items & systems. Include ship tech that you find in staterooms and common/galley areas too. This has never been done before in Trav.
crossmlk
Mongoose
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: Kansas City
Contact:

Everyday Life

Postby crossmlk » Wed May 18, 2011 11:39 pm

The topic of how people would live with the types of technology postulated in a game like Traveller is always something that's interested me greatly. To try and answer the question I do a series of blog posts on the Terra/Sol Games website titled "Slice of Life". I try and post at least one every week and they're free. Check them out if you like, here's a link http://rpgcampaigncentral.com/wordpress/?p=238 to one.
Mike Cross
Terra/Sol Games
User avatar
DFW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Re: Everyday Life

Postby DFW » Thu May 19, 2011 1:15 am

crossmlk wrote:The topic of how people would live with the types of technology postulated in a game like Traveller is always something that's interested me greatly. To try and answer the question I do a series of blog posts on the Terra/Sol Games website titled "Slice of Life". I try and post at least one every week and they're free. Check them out if you like, here's a link http://rpgcampaigncentral.com/wordpress/?p=238 to one.
Thanks!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests