The Third Imperium - eBook & Pre-Order

wmarshal

Mongoose
I’m finding some of the references to artificial intelligence contradictory. On page 6 I find:
“Imperial culture embraces the judicious use of artificial intelligence to produce wondrous technologies and manage massive populations in the tens of billions.”

Then on page 7-8 I find:
“Despite all of this, there remain several forbidden realms of technology where the old Vilani caution creeps in. Foremost among these is artificial intelligence. The war machines that were left on Vland by the Ancients, destructive automatons that posed an existential threat to humans, left their indelible mark on the culture. The Vilani were driven to reach beyond their world but also chastened by a history in which technology was a thing to be feared.”

In the space of a couple of pages we’re told that artificial intelligence is embraced, and then that it is a forbidden technology. If these are two different types/aspects of artificial intelligence that are treated differently I think some more explicit clarification would help.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
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So exactly what happens when you max out both intelligence and education factor fifteen?
 

Sigtrygg

Cosmic Mongoose
The meaning of AI has changed over the years, here in the real world AI is common, what isn't common is machine consciousness.

There are two very simple solutions to the "AI" issue:

1 - change references to conscious sentient machine intelligence to either Artificial Sentience at TL16+

or

2 - change references to conscious sentient machine intelligence to Artificial General Intelligence.

Go look back at Traveller canon - MT timeline, ISW era, LBB8 Robots - TL12 robots would be similar to the droids you see in Star Wars, they can simulate a personality and they can learn. Self awareness comes at much higher TLs, but the illusion of sentience is already here in the real world.

But I do agree the text needs to be edited to clarify the difference - unless of course wheels within wheels... :)

it's not as if previous canon hasn't had contradictory text in the same book :) It's almost as if the book is written by an unreliable narrator (which includes all of the CT Alien Modules){by the way this is not a criticism of this book, it's the greatest complement I could give it}
 

paltrysum

Cosmic Mongoose
If only I could claim such foresight and literary prowess. The distinction I was going for was that artificial intelligence exists in the Third Imperium; however, it is controlled, kept 'in a box,' restrained in most instances. The Vilani way is to allow for artificial intelligence to exist, but only within strict confines. Hopefully I can remedy the confusion that wmarshal pointed out by adding the adjective 'uncontrolled' before 'artificial intelligence' on p. 7-8.

If you've read through the book, you will find other contradictions: the worlds of Ye-lu and Celetron are engaging in research that breaks the boundaries of the Vilani method, but such are societies. We have rules and rule breakers. My hope is that somewhere in there are opportunities for great role playing, with Travellers taking one side or the other, possibly even acquiring forbidden technology.

The Robot Handbook and upcoming Singularity Overdrive campaign will provide more clarity about AI and its usage in the Third Imperium.
 

Sigtrygg

Cosmic Mongoose
The Vilani deliberately stagnated their TL at 11 so they wouldn't have to deal with intelligent machines...

(the Ziru Sirka knew of technologies vastly more advanced than theirs, and hid such knowledge away in secret repositories, but they had a trump card. They could jump a fleet into the outsystem of a world and star throwing rocks etc. Even during the early years of the Third Imperium worlds were scrubbed in order to prevent machine intelligence getting out of hand)

TL12 is where it all kicks off. The Terrans built AI TL12 robots to aid their Navy (canon fact) - they either developed this tech themselves or stole it from a Vilani Repository. During the Rule of Man the genie was out of the bottle, and the Ziru Sirka cultural stagnation collapsed on many worlds during the Long Night. Remember that for thousands of years the Vilani were explorers, merchants, adventures and hegemony builders - the cultural stagnation was enforced during the consolidation wars which lasted a thousand years and changed Vilani culture.

Remember that Cleon went out of his way to claim descent from the last vestiges of the rule of man in order to proclaim his authority for the reconstitution of the Imperium. I often ask myself if anyone in the setting actually calls the Third Imperium by that name or if they consider it to be a continuation of The Imperium that stretches all the way back to the founding of the Ziru Sirka.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Okay, one more nit: The deck plans for the Azhanti High Lightning-class Argushiigi Admegulasha Bilanidin (say that three times fast).

The thing I always thought was cool about that class (and yes, the box set is sitting in a closet... somewhere) is that the decks were perpendicular to the direction of thrust. In other words, a ton of levels stacked up like a skyscraper. Others might have found it annoying, but not only did it allow for usable-sized tactical maps, it also appeals to my general dislike of artificial gravity (or at least forcing compensators to have to work harder by twisting everything 90 degrees - especially in ships not designed to land). The only other ship that does it 'right' in my opinion is the mercenary cruiser. But for the... we'll go with 'Libby'... it doesn't need all 84 decks, the supplement only had about 15 unique deck plans. Anyway. A nit.
 

AndrewW

Cosmic Mongoose
Geir said:
Okay, one more nit: The deck plans for the Azhanti High Lightning-class Argushiigi Admegulasha Bilanidin (say that three times fast).

The thing I always thought was cool about that class (and yes, the box set is sitting in a closet... somewhere) is that the decks were perpendicular to the direction of thrust. In other words, a ton of levels stacked up like a skyscraper. Others might have found it annoying, but not only did it allow for usable-sized tactical maps, it also appeals to my general dislike of artificial gravity (or at least forcing compensators to have to work harder by twisting everything 90 degrees - especially in ships not designed to land). The only other ship that does it 'right' in my opinion is the mercenary cruiser. But for the... we'll go with 'Libby'... it doesn't need all 84 decks, the supplement only had about 15 unique deck plans. Anyway. A nit.

This was discussed back when the 2nd edition High Guard came out. It was said the ship was never meant to be a tail sitter. Suggested that this might have been done to accommodate miniatures. (I've got the stand alone game sitting in the closet.)
 

Sigtrygg

Cosmic Mongoose
Unfortunately this explanation is utter tosh.

You can actually get the original concept plans for the AHL from drivethru and guess what - they are a tower block tail sitter.

AHL, MT AV, MGT 1e all had the correct AHL plans - please stop with this excuse. The annoying thing is you have the correct plans and refuse to use them for 2ed.

Oh, and the reason I still use my AHL maps for running DNR - I can use them at the gaming table, the maps of the Element class cruiser while very well done are useless at the table.

Take note - tail sitter plans for big ships allow for game aids that are useful.
 

ShawnDriscoll

Cosmic Mongoose
I have an old drawing of the AHL on graph paper, before there was an AHL board game. It has 81 decks. Technically, it never sat on its tail. It was built in space.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
1. I can accept both positions.

2. The Azhantis are supposed to be laid out horizontally, but that the pragmatic approach was to split it up into smaller cloned vertical levels to simplify publication.

3. Also, however, that having gone this route, that makes the tailsitter solution canon, unless there's one or more subclasses where the authorities decided to also build them to this design.

4. I don't know when this term was coined, though for science fiction, it could have been during the pulp era in the Twenties or Thirties, with rockets being considered the principal means of space travel, and the logical way to achieve orbit would be going straight up.

5. In that sense, the decks could easily be laid out horizontally in relation to now and stern; if there was no internal artificial gravity, acceleration chairs would keep the crew in place until after launch.
 

Sigtrygg

Cosmic Mongoose
Take a look for yourself - the original draft drawings for the AHL.

The right side drawing shows the decks numbered vertically from 81 at the bottom all the way to 1 at the top.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/76408/CTG03a-Azhanti-High-Lightning-Original-Draft-Drawing?src=also_purchased
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
Both can be true, that the original intent was to have horizontal decks, but the realization came it wouldn't be practical.

Of course, it would have to be a very early realization, before the original deckplan was drafted.

I would speculate that the evidence of the fuel shuttle would indicate that the specifications had already been worked out.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Man, that nit seems to have unleashed a lot of comment. I'm sure the main meta-reason for doing it as a tail sitter was to make it manageable for 'board game', but I still like it as a concept for any ship too big to land or for any ship that actually lands on its tail. A Tigress should be that way too, but of course a spherical ship has the same number of decks either way. Admittedly the 'thinner' the ship, the less practicable it becomes, but if we're stuck with the 'canon' Paul Jaquays images from Fighting Ships (sorry, Paul if you're out there somewhere, but not that much of a fan of some of those...) then we should stick with the AHL deck plans. In my opinion. For what that's worth.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
I rather doubt that the Azhantis were ever expected to make planetfall, though an airless moon stop seems survivable.

As regards the vertical versus horizontal deck layout, once you get used to it, it seems a highly pragmatic design decision from the view of spacecraft architecture, and rather unique within Traveller, so retconning it is really not appreciated, and rather suspect in light of the current revising of deckplans.
 
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