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Author Topic: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)  (Read 2166 times)

Vehrec

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I've been struck by the idea of an interesting little project here-obviously, not a traditional fanfic, but it will involve more than a touch of writing instead of roleplay.  The project, as it were, is to create an AU where Holy shroud didn't bite quite so hard, or where ComStar decided that their mandate to preserve technology should extend beyond just communications.  A universe, in fact, where LosTech is a shifty, uneven concept-what's rare on one world or cluster of worlds is commonplace elsewhere.

The six 'players' will each draft one lost Civilian technology, in a randomly determined order, except for ComStar who can either go first and pick one, or go last and pick TWO.  After that, we hold a second draft, reverse order of the first one, but this time for military technologies.  Going last in the first round is actually an advantage in the second one, because you get a mostly unpicked list to choose from.  Once that's done, we get a bit more freeform and explore the consequences of our choices-do they actually make a big difference militarily, or have we just made the Inner Sphere are slightly nicer place to live?  Maybe a few fan-designs using the limited tech available to each faction?  Or maybe someone can take off with this, and do something really big.

Whatever the case, we need participants-people willing to 'play' ComStar, the Federated Suns, Capellen Confederation, Free World's League, Lyran Commonwealth, and Draconis Combine.  Once we have that, I'll randomize a our order, produce a list of LosTech for you all to stare at, and ask our ComStar Priumus if they want to go first...or last.
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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #1 on: 01 January 2021, 13:21:37 »
No Periphery players?  ???

AlphaMirage

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #2 on: 01 January 2021, 14:21:22 »
I'm interested in taking the FWL or CapCon for this experiment

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #3 on: 01 January 2021, 15:59:01 »
No Periphery players?  ???

If you want to play a periphery power, you pick *dead last* in both rounds, I'm afraid.  Also, I don't have a long enough list of LosTech for everyone in the periphery to have an interesting choice because I'm condensing and trimming the list somewhat- 'Large Scale Fusion-Power' represents, for instance, all sizes of metroplitan scale reactors, and long-distance power transference like superconducting power limes and microwave beamed power.  And the list of firm 'LosTech' in the civilian field is a bit tricky once you prune out all the things of direct military value.

I'm interested in taking the FWL or CapCon for this experiment
  Got it, you've got first dibs on whichever one you prefer.
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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #4 on: 01 January 2021, 17:05:24 »
If you'll allow Periphery folks (even dead last), I'd be interested in playing the Lothian League...  :)

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #5 on: 01 January 2021, 21:07:32 »
If you'll allow Periphery folks (even dead last), I'd be interested in playing the Lothian League...  :)

The uh...Lothian League didn't exactly have a lot of Lostech to retain, did it?  I mean, it's one of those periphery micro-states whose primary role is exporting raw materials via the highly developed Periphery Circuit Routes that let it be a major supplier of metals to the freaking Taurians, right? And it wasn't ever part of the Star League, being founded over 100 years after the Taurians were forced into the League by people fleeing to 'deep space'.  Why should the sixish worlds the the Lothian league get to play at anywhere near the levels of the big successor states?  I don't want to just say no, but I'm having trouble seeing why you want to use them.
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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #6 on: 01 January 2021, 21:10:12 »
I've always liked them.  No real good reason.  But since they're all about harvesting raw materials, it sounds like they might have some mining tech or other that makes it much easier.

Cannonshop

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #7 on: 01 January 2021, 21:17:19 »
The uh...Lothian League didn't exactly have a lot of Lostech to retain, did it?  I mean, it's one of those periphery micro-states whose primary role is exporting raw materials via the highly developed Periphery Circuit Routes that let it be a major supplier of metals to the freaking Taurians, right? And it wasn't ever part of the Star League, being founded over 100 years after the Taurians were forced into the League by people fleeing to 'deep space'.  Why should the sixish worlds the the Lothian league get to play at anywhere near the levels of the big successor states?  I don't want to just say no, but I'm having trouble seeing why you want to use them.

I could see a 'tech' they might not have lost.  Space Based Industrial base.  This is one of those things where the 'single' thing that wasn't lost sits on top of a technical tree that doesn't necessarily mean producing lots of 'mech scale weapons, but it's definitely going to be something more likely when you don't have lots of nice agrarian worlds...though I see it more likely with someone like the Mica Majority or NIOPS, who really don't have nice agrarian worlds you can walk around on without a pressure suit.
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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #8 on: 01 January 2021, 21:55:37 »
The Lothian worlds aren't exactly garden spots either.  Though they don't need oxygen masks to breathe, either.

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #9 on: 02 January 2021, 00:52:42 »
I could see a 'tech' they might not have lost.  Space Based Industrial base.  This is one of those things where the 'single' thing that wasn't lost sits on top of a technical tree that doesn't necessarily mean producing lots of 'mech scale weapons, but it's definitely going to be something more likely when you don't have lots of nice agrarian worlds...though I see it more likely with someone like the Mica Majority or NIOPS, who really don't have nice agrarian worlds you can walk around on without a pressure suit.

Uhhhh, I don't know if they ever had that-though if there's ever been much written about periphery micro-states exact industrial base, I've never seen it.  Based on what's written up on the Sarna page, I'm guessing that they have three main areas of LosTech they might retain?  Their minimal Jumpship fleet, their minimal homemade industrial base, and the bare scraps of still-functioning 27th century stuff from the original colonization effort were still hanging around.  Whatever that stuff might be, again, going off a Sarna page which is still waiting for updates from books published...yeah, ten years ago.
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Cannonshop

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #10 on: 02 January 2021, 04:48:59 »
Uhhhh, I don't know if they ever had that-though if there's ever been much written about periphery micro-states exact industrial base, I've never seen it.  Based on what's written up on the Sarna page, I'm guessing that they have three main areas of LosTech they might retain?  Their minimal Jumpship fleet, their minimal homemade industrial base, and the bare scraps of still-functioning 27th century stuff from the original colonization effort were still hanging around.  Whatever that stuff might be, again, going off a Sarna page which is still waiting for updates from books published...yeah, ten years ago.

The thing is, your initial challenge;  to make it work in a story, any piece of 'lostech' that was retained is sitting on top of a technical tree-it's like how you can't have computer chips if your industrial base is 17th century, or how self-loading machine guns really don't work without smokeless gunpowder and steel.  (they really don't.  People tried.)

"Subsistence" takes on a whole different meaning when you need to live in an environment like space, than if you can survive on a planet with minimal water (*barring magic, the life support system requirements alone would require things like CAD/CAM and precision manufacturing capabilities, as well as advanced materials processing, as well as a relatively high standard of education simply to not die.)

See, the more hostile and remote your location, the more likely you are to retain technical and technological knowledge simply in order to not die, which is not the case where you have 'human friendly' environments where losing technical capability does NOT automatically equate with dying a gasping, thirsty, or 'blood boils out because the pressure is too low' death.  It's actually more logical for knowledge to be lost closer to the 'golden core' worlds where your population can actually afford to be tech illiterate because being tech illiterate doesn't automatically kill you...whereas out further, in the dark and distant places, being tech-illiterate will very much result in your no longer being among the living, along with everyone around you.

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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #11 on: 02 January 2021, 07:55:50 »
I'd be happy with any of those three, Vehrec.  And Cannonshop is absolutely right: to make any of those three work on the shoestring budget the Lothian League has, they have to have SOME kind of technical advantage.  Otherwise, they would have collapsed long ago.

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #12 on: 02 January 2021, 19:55:47 »
I'd be happy with any of those three, Vehrec.  And Cannonshop is absolutely right: to make any of those three work on the shoestring budget the Lothian League has, they have to have SOME kind of technical advantage.  Otherwise, they would have collapsed long ago.

How about a fourth option as well-rugged, Star-League era geneo-crops, with their info-sec genes stripped out to make them plantable in the long-term without special terran-made fertilizers?  A little gift from the trade partners in the Magistry, perhaps?

Since you're effectively playing solitare, you can pick your favored option whenever.
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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #13 on: 02 January 2021, 20:14:51 »
I LOVE that idea, though I'll say I don't think the Lothians were ever actually known for that.  Maybe shift their primary exports from minerals to textiles or food?  :)

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #14 on: 02 January 2021, 21:28:36 »
It's not a thing they're known for, but they are known for a lack of such things, so you can consider it more a 'patching a hole' than 'improving a proficiency'.
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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #15 on: 02 January 2021, 21:43:00 »
Or maybe "how we all eat" with just the trade we're known for...  ^-^

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #16 on: 03 January 2021, 14:50:42 »
The Periphery Minor List of LosTech

This list is intended to ah, serve the various 'lesser' periphery states-everything from the Aurigan Coalition, to NIOPS, to the Hansa, everyone explicitly not one of the big three Territorial states that survived the breakup intact.  This list isn't a proper draft, so multiple minors can 'get' the same bonuses from it.

  • JumpShip Fleet:  How did we hang onto them?  By paranoia, by determined improvisation, and by developing a secretive hidden repair facility, that's how.
  • Industrial Base:  It's nothing that will build a Battlemech, nothing so grand as that.  Kroll Titanium smelters, 'macrochip' fabs, old, robust technology.  Stuff that will last, and which you can replace.
  • Geno-Crop Seeds:  It's no Quillar, but our crops have their own advantages.  Perennial, minimal fertilizer requirements, build up the organic matter in the soil.  Even sequesters heavy metals in nodules you can plow up and use as ore.
  • Star League Hardware: No, we can't replace the 'Cameron Specials' but we have them.  IndustrialMechs, Exoskeletons, Ferrocrete Skyscrapers, you'd almost believe that the capital is from one of the big powers.
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Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #17 on: 03 January 2021, 14:55:31 »
Excellent list!  And now that you've thrown in the secret repair facility, I daresay the Lothian League has to go for the JumpShip Fleet.  That explains a lot of their backstory, and why they can still trade with the Taurians...  8)

VensersRevenge

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #18 on: 03 January 2021, 21:07:28 »
I'd be interested in playing the Federated Suns
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Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #19 on: 04 January 2021, 00:19:30 »
I'd be interested in playing the Federated Suns

Well you can consider yourself signed up.  That leaves the Lyrans, Combine, Comstar and half of the CapCom and FWL left.  That quantum indeterminacy needs to be popped.

Let me give you all a preview of what you'll be picking from.

HPG sub-components: Is ComStar angry about this one?  Does a bear poo in the woods, heck yes ComStar would skin you alive for this if you tried to set it up today, but it is written into their founding treaty.  They get the exclusive rights to buy these widgets, nobody even knows what they do but them, and in exchange, you get a nice big fat discount on transmissions.  Now if only you could discount those nutjobs telling you to nationalize it and build your own HPG network...
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Atarlost

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #20 on: 04 January 2021, 09:02:44 »
It seems to me that without Holy Shroud most of the civilian tech should survive almost everywhere and that the major periphery nations might be almost untouched. 

The real tech loss came from Comstar assassinating teachers and burning libraries.  Factories and shipyards are hit as military targets, but the know-how to rebuild them is only killed by Holy Shroud.  The tooling factories and purely civilian factories are probably also left alone unless they're on worlds that get killed for other reasons or colocated with military factories.  That's the stuff you want to conquer and destroying the universities and the tooling factories has a generation lead time on feeling the effects. You want to conquer your neighbor in your lifetime and you want to get something for the expense of holding that territory so you don't make yourself weak to your other neighbors. 

The Taurians are basically outside the succession wars.  They didn't have any of the new military lostech, but they had the civilian stuff and, compact cores, and the older capital scale weapons.  They might try to retake the Pleides Cluster after they'd rebuilt their navy from the Star League's restrictions if the Suns had lost most of theirs, but AFAIK they didn't try OTL when the Dracs were on New Avalon. 

The Canopans and Outworlders are also probably basically outside the succession wars, but have no military lostech to retain. 

Another point of balance is that either everyone has warships (except neutrals) or nobody does, otherwise whichever nation has warships will Ngo stomp the non-neutral factions that lost them.  That doesn't sound like the story you want to tell.  I'd suggest they not be lostech.  They're actually lower tech than battlemechs or modern aerospace fighters or even modern dropships so it takes Holy Shroud killing everyone who knows how to design KF cores for new ship designs to extirpate them. 

idea weenie

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #21 on: 04 January 2021, 10:19:57 »
I'd be interested in Comstar

My preferred techs would be:
  • HPG Services (with discounts to nations that provide HPG components)
  • Civilian Dropship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no Overlords, Fortresses, etc, but yes to Mules, Mammoths, and Behemoths)
  • Civilian Jumpship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no compact core warships capable of multi-G acceleration, but Monolith and Star Lord Jumpships are slowly built)
  • Terran better parts, where in game terms if you are within 1 pt of succeeding on a roll, you can succeed once

My goals might be
  • Increase shipping among the Inner Sphere, to aid in recovery, and to move refugees
  • Restore original HPG network, and expand it (this will need large transports, and trusted mercenaries to protect them)
  • Stop the backsliding on Periphery worlds (similar to the FedSuns Vagabond Schools, but for Periphery only)
  • Explore lost worlds to verify if they have been lost, and what caused it
  • Seek out and explore new civilizations

Without Holy Shroud, Comstar should not have the same reputation among the other nations (and players)

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #22 on: 04 January 2021, 14:04:15 »
It seems to me that without Holy Shroud most of the civilian tech should survive almost everywhere and that the major periphery nations might be almost untouched. 

The real tech loss came from Comstar assassinating teachers and burning libraries.  Factories and shipyards are hit as military targets, but the know-how to rebuild them is only killed by Holy Shroud.  The tooling factories and purely civilian factories are probably also left alone unless they're on worlds that get killed for other reasons or colocated with military factories.  That's the stuff you want to conquer and destroying the universities and the tooling factories has a generation lead time on feeling the effects. You want to conquer your neighbor in your lifetime and you want to get something for the expense of holding that territory so you don't make yourself weak to your other neighbors. 

The Taurians are basically outside the succession wars.  They didn't have any of the new military lostech, but they had the civilian stuff and, compact cores, and the older capital scale weapons.  They might try to retake the Pleides Cluster after they'd rebuilt their navy from the Star League's restrictions if the Suns had lost most of theirs, but AFAIK they didn't try OTL when the Dracs were on New Avalon. 

The Canopans and Outworlders are also probably basically outside the succession wars, but have no military lostech to retain. 

Another point of balance is that either everyone has warships (except neutrals) or nobody does, otherwise whichever nation has warships will Ngo stomp the non-neutral factions that lost them.  That doesn't sound like the story you want to tell.  I'd suggest they not be lostech.  They're actually lower tech than battlemechs or modern aerospace fighters or even modern dropships so it takes Holy Shroud killing everyone who knows how to design KF cores for new ship designs to extirpate them.

To clarify-Holy Shroud is just one aspect of the LosTech phenomenon, and while impactful, it's not the sole cause.  It's also still going to happen, these are just the things that squeaked through.  We're not doing a tech-up, we're doing a tech-rescue.

I'd be interested in Comstar

My preferred techs would be:
  • HPG Services (with discounts to nations that provide HPG components)
  • Civilian Dropship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no Overlords, Fortresses, etc, but yes to Mules, Mammoths, and Behemoths)
  • Civilian Jumpship construction/maintenance (but needing to purchase refined material from other nations) (so no compact core warships capable of multi-G acceleration, but Monolith and Star Lord Jumpships are slowly built)
  • Terran better parts, where in game terms if you are within 1 pt of succeeding on a roll, you can succeed once

My goals might be
  • Increase shipping among the Inner Sphere, to aid in recovery, and to move refugees
  • Restore original HPG network, and expand it (this will need large transports, and trusted mercenaries to protect them)
  • Stop the backsliding on Periphery worlds (similar to the FedSuns Vagabond Schools, but for Periphery only)
  • Explore lost worlds to verify if they have been lost, and what caused it
  • Seek out and explore new civilizations

Without Holy Shroud, Comstar should not have the same reputation among the other nations (and players)

You will probably not be able to do all those things, but welcome about Comstar!  Would you like to pick first, or let the other players pick over the list and take two options at the end?
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idea weenie

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #23 on: 05 January 2021, 04:25:24 »
You will probably not be able to do all those things, but welcome about Comstar!  Would you like to pick first, or let the other players pick over the list and take two options at the end?

I will pick last


The fun part will be all the politicking going on behind the scenes.  For example:
  • Someone else takes 'Better Germanium Mining/Refining', allowing them to produce more Jump cores, and they send me a private message saying I should take the better Jumpship construction, as our two technologies will mesh nicely (I don't need to produce Jump cores, just the complex electronics and station-keeping drives, and we both get more Jumpships available)
  • Someone takes 'more efficient cargo storage' to make the most out of every ton of cargo capacity, and send me a message to make more cargo Dropships, where I sell more of them to that nation so they can get better profits
  • Someone might want 'military support specialists', and having access to larger cargo ships would also help.  They offer me a small bribe every turn to do so
  • The afore-mentioned HPG component assembly, allowing that nation to lower their per-year HPG communications costs
  • Someone wants their forces to travel efficient, as such they want more access to Terran-made parts since they are better on a per-ton basis, and is willing to trade with me to do so
« Last Edit: 05 January 2021, 05:08:27 by idea weenie »

AlphaMirage

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #24 on: 05 January 2021, 12:54:00 »
The thread has me thinking something Vehrec, while it was not your initial intent it has become apparent that perhaps developing a small star cluster ala the Pentagon Worlds without a warrior cult of personality would be an easier starting point than something vast like the Inner Sphere. Refugees streamed out looking for a lost RWR colony retaining some portion of technology based principally on what their leaders knew about ensuring an uneasy balance of tech over the region.

Over time (thematically appropriate) 'Presidents' (Warlords) form alliances but the 'baby piranha' principle is in effect ensuring that the powers are never able to dominate one another without leaving themselves vulnerable. This will keep a lid on the power balance as well which could rapidly escalate out of control. After the players have matured and formed coalitions perhaps a COMSTAR Explorer Corps ship shows up early in the 3rd Succession War. The captured acolytes talk about how beat up the Inner Sphere is and how nice it would be if someone came and fixed it up. Then we form Pseudo-REVIVAL or face down a COMSTAR Holy Shroud attack.
« Last Edit: 05 January 2021, 13:34:14 by AlphaMirage »

Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #25 on: 06 January 2021, 00:30:51 »
The thread has me thinking something Vehrec, while it was not your initial intent it has become apparent that perhaps developing a small star cluster ala the Pentagon Worlds without a warrior cult of personality would be an easier starting point than something vast like the Inner Sphere. Refugees streamed out looking for a lost RWR colony retaining some portion of technology based principally on what their leaders knew about ensuring an uneasy balance of tech over the region.

Over time (thematically appropriate) 'Presidents' (Warlords) form alliances but the 'baby piranha' principle is in effect ensuring that the powers are never able to dominate one another without leaving themselves vulnerable. This will keep a lid on the power balance as well which could rapidly escalate out of control. After the players have matured and formed coalitions perhaps a COMSTAR Explorer Corps ship shows up early in the 3rd Succession War. The captured acolytes talk about how beat up the Inner Sphere is and how nice it would be if someone came and fixed it up. Then we form Pseudo-REVIVAL or face down a COMSTAR Holy Shroud attack.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that I'm going to model the inner sphere's economy or 'game out' in detail the various ramifications of choices.  While your suggestion is interesting, I'm sure as heck not going to go that hard on this.  This is supposed to be something very high-level and generalized.
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Vehrec

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #26 on: 09 January 2021, 11:46:12 »
While I await new replies and new participants, let's have a couple of things: First, the Draft List.

  • Water Filtration:  Star League water filters were an invisible part of life-now they're life or death.  This factory produces control chips, filter media, monomolecular titanium sluice gates, bacteria-resistant seals, all the stuff you need to turn periphery toxic sludge into high grade drinking or industrial water.  It's in very high demand-too bad you can't sell any of it, as your own worlds are screaming for this stuff, and you need to be very careful that you don't lose a planet because the water chips go to the wrong place.
    • Climate Stabilization: Everyone loves a nice sunny day, but there are people who are fans of nice cool rains, or big booming thundersnows.  But nobody wants to deal with hurricanes, tornados, and drought.  Star League Climate Stabilization Satellites make your planets better-if you have enough of them.  Too bad there's not enough to cover every world-but your best jewels shine a little brighter if polished with this system.
    • Full Pharmacopia: The oldest person in history was some tiny Japanese lady who lived to be almost 200 on a diet of pills and low-stress living in a healthy climate.  Most people in the Star League could aspire to 150 years.  That dream yet lives on due to this extensive drug production facility.  Anti-parasitics, anti-biotics, anti-senescent, a pill for everything, and for everything a pill.  But is it enough to treat everyone, for everything?
    • Auto-factory tooling: The Heterodyne 9000 was an instantly infamous piece of hardware when it was first introduced-it destroyed 90% of the jobs on the periphery world of Detroit.  You use it somewhat more cautiously, but the same hardware and software drive your industry to production numbers that look insane.  All non-creative jobs, from janitor to vice-president of marketing, can be handled automatically by the facility itself.
    • Extra Shipyard: As the shipping industry collapsed, you threw everything you had into salvaging what could be saved.  Vital tooling here, an assembly frame there, and the all-important monocrystaline germanium-titanium growth chambers to make jump cores doped to one part per trillion exactness, with the proper 'defect circuitry'.  The result is a bit of a workflow disaster area, but in an era where the construction of such shipyards is a lost art, having put together one more than anyone else is an advantage you can't deny.
    • HPG sub-component: Is ComStar angry about this one?  Does a bear poo in the woods, heck yes ComStar would skin you alive for this if you tried to set it up today, but it is written into their founding treaty.  They get the exclusive rights to buy these widgets, nobody even knows what they do but them, and in exchange, you get a nice big fat discount on transmissions.  Now if only you could discount those nutjobs telling you to nationalize it and build your own HPG network...
    • Economic Supercomputer: Once, this great machine the size of a city kept the economy of the Star League and the value of the Dollar as solid as a rock.  Today, it's planning and modeling software is at your disposal-either for purely national concerns, or for sale to national companies.  Garbage In, Garbage Out though, so beware the inputs your underlings send you.
    • Large-scale Fusion Power: Not every fusion reactor need be an ultra-compact model.  These are the great metropolitan generators, using less common fuels for more efficient output, higher energy capture, and the like.  Combined with superconductive long-distance power cables, and there are few power needs that cannot be met by Fusion.  The trained technicians are a nice byproduct, you must agree, even if they aren't quite used to military grade reactors.
    • Primary Production Robotics: Agrobots and Mining Robots, once a key of Star League productivity and Leisure, now are only common within your realm.  Ranging from tiny berry-pickers to enormous scrape-processors weighing hundreds of thousands of tons, these robots handle nearly all the primary resourcing needs your society feels.  Their AI were programmed by the best Nirasaki Computers Collective engineers, and over 200 years later, still are the best available.
    • Low-cost Civilian Electronics: Personal computing died with the Star league-everywhere but here.  Originally a boondoggle of excess capacity, we now operate the only major chippery in the Inner Sphere-optronic crystals are automatically doped, cut, mirrored and attached to boards in the millions every day in one huge factory.  It turns out everything from personal mobile phones to gigantic stadium holographic systems.  The number one target of enemy raids are looting cell and satellite phones that are in high demand outside our territory.


    Next, I have a question for Daryk:  Having successfully scattered their fleet, and concealed the location of the red dwarf star that hosts their Jumpship Maintenance Yard in it's Oort Cloud, the Lothian League is still reeling from attacks on it's infrastructure and industry by piratical groups from the Inner Sphere.  In desperate need of funds, the idea is floated to open up the maintenance slot under strict security in order to generate funds.  With each refit and repair cycle at the yard taking ten years this is neither a fast nor vastly profitable option, and it will mean deferred maintenance on your own ships-but it might provide a badly needed cash injection, and with appropriate hand-off protocols there should be little chance of the yard being found.  Still, there isn't *no* risk, the opponents say...
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Daryk

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #27 on: 09 January 2021, 11:54:04 »
Interesting idea!  How about this: instead of taking someone else's ship out of circulation for 10 years and then giving it back, we do a brisk trade-in business?  I think the margins might be a bit better, and the customers would almost certainly prefer to have a fully functional ship right away.  Of course, the electronics on both ships would need to be stripped to bare metal before hand over (by both sides)...

Cannonshop

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #28 on: 09 January 2021, 12:09:07 »
I see a major flaw in the model here: once someone knows you've got it, and roughly where? they'er going to come for it.  this is an environment where major nations stage raids for water and fight wars over warehouses of factory spares.

If you have more than one yard, your better investment is to dismantle and monkey-model/copy every piece you have the physical ability to do, then reassemble it, because the moment someone knows you've got a yard, you're going to have every pirate., bandit, and most nations within a five jump radius coming for you. (not to mention Comstar coming, because they're all about destroying knowledge and sending mankind back to the paleolithic.)  The major problem here, is that even with that, the Lothians are restricted to no-space-industries by the rules of the setup-they're not really able to maintain the yard they have, and machines that don't get maintenance die.

How? with production equipment, you get tolerance drift, the more you use it, the faster it drifts. eventually everything comes out 'out of tolerance' and/or the machine breaks.  This isn't a big deal for ground-bound machinery, because that stuff isn't that precise to start with, and a 'mech has huge tolerances just on the basis of how much flex it's expected to endure, plus fusion engines aren't moving parts, so they wear out slower.

but production machinery? uh-uh.  if it has moving parts, those parts aren't self-maintaining like a biological organism (and biologicals also wear out! it's called aging.)

Without the ability to maintain the yard, the yard breaks down and is of no use to anyone in a couple generations.  If you CAN maintain it, you can replicate it, which violates the rules as presented.  There's a reason Hesperus II was only turning out a dozen or so 'mechs a year until the Helm Core-they had to go VERY easy on the equipment to keep it from failing at a bad time until they could build/get parts to repair or replace the machines.

Maintenance of the yard alone requires nullgee industries that aren't allowed-the specifics state infrastructure is gone, and no factory can exist without it, or maintenance point, for any length of time.

The basic flaw in the rules, is that they are required to ignore the rule of natural consequences and of entropy.  A magic sword can stay magic for the duration of plot, but a drill press requires bearings and lubrication.  a milling machine requires precision instruments to calibrate it, a CNC requires all of those plus additional maintenance tools and methods.  The more precise you get, the more active infrastructure you need just to be able to USE it.
« Last Edit: 09 January 2021, 12:12:08 by Cannonshop »
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Cannonshop

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Re: The LosTech Draft (collaborative Storytelling, apply within!)
« Reply #29 on: 09 January 2021, 12:20:53 »
oh, Hey Vehrec? just in case I'm sounding unreasonable here? I like the core of your idea.

I really do.

but I do the hands-on work at a major aerospace firm in the real world, and for something as generally rough and crude as basic airframe structures? we use a mind boggling number and variety of tools just to keep to tolerances in the .003 Plus or minus inches-which is actually necessary once you get bigger than a Cessna.

For something like a shipyard, you're looking at tolerances of extreme tightness even on basic airframes just to keep the air inside the hull, never mind storing thousands of gallons of liquid helium for a jump core, or regulating the flow of hydrogen into a tokamak reactor (You know, the fusion powerplants BT uses all over the place).  one part per trillion exactness requires instrumentation that's going to frequently need to be calibrated, that's not something you can do in a blacksmith's shop or your local automotive retailer's detailing booth.

The calibration tools themselves? also need to be calibrated to exactness or they're as useless as an untuned torque wrench.  (which is only really good for changing the tyres on your car or as an improvised club)
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.