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Suggestions on building a city in Kel Morian Territory

   
Suggestions on building a city in Kel Morian Territory

There's a city on the planet of boone.

Yeah, in fact, you may have noticed that boone itself is completely undetailed.

However, most of the setting instead has to do with the city of Treyson, which, while settled on boone, is meant to be the source of the most detail, since this is where the players are going to spend most (if not all) of their time, until they decide to roam the wilderness (and get killed by biker bandits/poachers), or (if they're smart enough with their money or they're in the right place at the right time), hitch a boat into space.

And yes, this is set in the StarCraft universe - about 2 years after the brood war. If you aren't familiar with StarCraft, it may be better to stay away, get familiar, and then post something.

So any writing assistance will be absolutely appreciated.








Sounds fun! I had my initial doubts, as existing in the Starcraft universe without being involved in the direct path of the plot seemed uninteresting at first, but you have convinced me otherwise!









Were there any specific gaps you wanted me to help fill? Also have you decided on a system for this, or are you going full free form?

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it is all just shadowy boards and committees.
Well there's a general in charge of the combine, but that's about it. I like the shady beauracracy idea too. There's lots of people in charge - in KMC, the government model is mostly plutocratic, so it's mostly just a lot of rich people. Probably major shareholders in guilds that also happen to be into 'community service' or establishing a 'watch commitee' upon whatever guilds-within-guilds they have control over. There'd be a lot of these people, and their are hundreds of millions of employees/citizens within the guild territories. I'm thinking the KMC (which consists of two of the largest guilds), is the military wing, but is so monopolistic that they've let other guilds slip beneath their fingers - those of which are also still relatively large and oppressive, but also wear the banner of KMC, because KMC is technically so huge that it is the state (it also waged war on the confederacy in the 'guild wars' 10 years prior to SC 1 - no relation to that specific mmorpg), etc.

Superpowers is kind of silly, and I don't like how blizzard took that direction - they could exist, but the players wouldn't get them. The direction of the game is mostly just a shooter, tactical war, thing. Psychic abilities come in small sizes. If they have to fight superpowered characters (or lots of zerg for that matter), then they just need to bring heavier gear.
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There's no alignment system, and taking the moral high ground is next to impossible, considering the presence of extreme 'ordered disorder' that generally occurs practically everywhere in the sector (and therefor, the planet, and the city Treyson). If players want to be good guys, then it has to become a personal discovery. Characters will have to invent their own codes, choose who to protect, try to figure out who is lying, etc. Becoming a champion of the people is impossible. I wouldn't imagine any less in a semi-cyber punk/military sci-fi environment.

I suppose a game that allows powers would be appropriate for a younger or more casual session though (players can just use telepathy to figure out who is lying; but this would be a minigame too).

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Luckily you have another potential GM waiting in the wings (me).
Well, all I really need is players right now. If we get more players, I might consider letting you run something. But you'd have to familiarize yourself with my rules, or we'd be doing nothing but world building.

Okay, maybe world building is the goal right now - but I'm also interested in working the rules. So yeah, I could use some adventure hooks, and characters so-to-speak.

Ways of travelling from location to location might help too. What's life really like in Treyson? How do you survive? How will the players not just foolishly get pulled into a suicidal odd job?

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In relation to that, in one of the starcraft universe books I read, the confederacy was brainwashing people into being their soldiers by replacing confederate oppression in their memories with zerg oppression. Meaning that all of their soldiers essentially thought that he/she had a unique vendetta against the zerg. If you want to go into more detail I can, but I was thinking that an essentially company owned cop might have a similarly manufactured sense of order and justice.
Neural resocialization could be unique to the confederacy, but I'm sure KMC has made purchases here and there. There will be the odd guard that is a little enthusiastic, a bit too fearless/naive about his duties.

But other than that, I'm thinking most police are just regular people. They can be negotiated with. The atmosphere I'm going for is, of course, going to be very dark but interactively realistic.

Yeah, doesn't make sense. Oh well. We'll get somewhere if we keep talking.

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As far as actually applying that, it would require a lot of work with the player, and faith that they would not hate us for essentially telling them that part of their character's back story is a lie. But it could be worth it, I dunno.
Mostly that's left to dramatic reveals. Right now, players can actually choose resocialization as a background option - but, it doesn't really jive well with anything, since their former memories will be whiped away. Players that enjoy the GMs 'jerking them around' would love this.

Sorta like playing the ugly, charisma 3 barbarian in DnD. All he's good for is hitting things. No NPCs want to talk with him. :P

Actually, that could be a casual direction for the game. Resocialization gives some interesting advantages (almost never scared, ie.).

If you like roleplaying a cheerfully sadistic person that has an implant in his brain that makes him antisocial and probably insane to listen to, then go for it. :P

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Or a corrupt cop working the evidence to fix a conviction for the Jetz guy.
Is this your own plot? I don't think I mentioned anything about a Jetz leader (though I suppose there could be a 'ride master' or a don or something).

Also, there is law and order in this game, but you'll be lucky if you go to court. Basically, many employees of the guilds will choose any chance to mess with you. Think of it this way - they don't consider you to be the same species - or at least, human beings have a low opinion of their own race. Therefore, many guild employees are especially egotistical and are able to express their apathy for lowly criminal PCs in a multitude of ways.

Lots of opportunity for combat this way. A bit like silent hill (for lack of a better roleplaying comparison), in that much of the time it's good to avoid combat. Players can work towards a variety of goals.
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So the reason I'm expanding detail on the city is because it's a sand box. I'm sure this is what most people intend, when they visit this forum. :P

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At the very least we might consider a later stage NPC being an investigator or cop, as the lowest level of the established order's goons. Or a corrupt cop working the evidence to fix a conviction for the Jetz guy.
Or a bounty hunter, or private eye.

Basically, any reason they want to stick the gangs. One fact is that the 'clean rich' already hate the gangs (and always have), and it's a constant war. But people can only fight so much before they have to rest. So, it's a slow war for lack of better words. Rich people are above the law (this isn't written down; just that nobody wants to go to the trouble of prosecuting or punishing the rich), unless another rich person wants to stick them, or they violate a particular state law (give enough reason for the state itself to interfere; so it wouldn't be like the merchant escorts making an arrest, but the state military might make an excursion - but usually it's just the security of a larger guild making an arrest for major 'political' crimes).

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I was also thinking that a machine shop locale might be useful for the gangs, as their power comes somewhat from mechanical help, which can be cut off completely from the Guild controlled grid.
I like it. Black market machinists, buying their tools from black market smiths. Some technology does slip through the cracks, but it certainly isn't digital.

Also, hacking would be a massive risk. Basically asking for a brain panning if they can locate your IP (or your 'avatar' on your 'deck', or however the internet might work in starcraft).

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Also have you decided on a system for this
I have a system, but it could use some work. I don't really know where to start in testing it. I'm thinking of building this city and then running an adventure in it. See how character creation goes, and then try to run a combat encounter.

This isn't going to be quick or easy. It's going to be slow - but if you want to be in for the ride, then that makes me all the more happy.

As for NPCs, I'm afraid about how many of them I'd have to stat out and keep balanced against PC progress. Not to mention writing a personality bio to act as a guide for keeping a conversation with the PCs (not too worried about background).

Personality should include quirks (social or otherwise), opinions (just a few strong and weak ones; most of them shouldn't be political unless the character is either narrowminded or trying to get involved with a situation that could turn political), and current motivations. Meaning they'd have to be updated as play continues (usually when the PCs get involved, or some background event occurs in order to change the plot in the foreground). So yeah, there's quite a few details already. :P

Since it's a sandbox, PCs should be able to talk in depth with just about any NPC that has a name attached to it. The exception is if I can find an excuse that doesn't lead into a hook that the PC might potentially want to follow but won't lead anywhere. :P

No one likes starcraft anymore???

Sorry man, I will be back here this week sometime, I have just been on other stuff. I am so scatter brained, I am not ready for a game lol.

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Well there's a general in charge of the combine, but that's about it.
Hm, so would he be more the company’s man? Or more like a union leader, trying to keep the company happy and do some good/represent the interests of the workers? Both of these goals could array him against our PCs, unless of course they could be a way for him to influence events without it being traced back to him. (hook dangled?)

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Superpowers is kind of silly, and I don't like how blizzard took that direction - they could exist, but the players wouldn't get them. The direction of the game is mostly just a shooter, tactical war, thing. Psychic abilities come in small sizes. If they have to fight superpowered characters (or lots of zerg for that matter), then they just need to bring heavier gear.
Sounds good, I wasn’t counting on too many psychic powers popping up, too valuable to be as low as the PCs on the social scale, I would guess.

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Okay, maybe world building is the goal right now - but I'm also interested in working the rules. So yeah, I could use some adventure hooks, and characters so-to-speak.
I’ll work on a few characters and or hooks.

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Ways of travelling from location to location might help too. What's life really like in Treyson? How do you survive? How will the players not just foolishly get pulled into a suicidal odd job?
Vulture bikes (more in next bit)? As far as food and survival, I am sure there are plenty of soylent green/industrial survival proteins floating around. And I would assume in the KMC life is trade? Mining and the like, maybe some smithing and machining like you said? People have to make a living somehow, it just doesn’t have to be a good living. The PCs would have to be valuable to someone, super clever or really lucky not to die in their first few missions I guess. The first seems most likely, though you could always just tell them to be prepared to lose a few PCs per mission? I dunno.

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Is this your own plot? I don't think I mentioned anything about a Jetz leader (though I suppose there could be a 'ride master' or a don or something).
I misread I think, but I thought the guy accused of assault or whatever was a Jetz member at least. This stirs up a few more ideas about details for the Jetz group, since they are the largest threat to the existing structures; they could sort of be live free or die types. (Sons of Anarchy in Space?!?!) So they could be trying do good, or it could all be a façade for the fact that they mostly want to rob people. Just bouncing things around. It seemed like in the universe books Vulture bikes weren’t all that rare, but the militarizing attachments for them were, just throwing that out there lol.

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Or a bounty hunter, or private eye.
This brings up a question, were you planning on play being more investigative or action oriented? Or both?

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Think of it this way - they don't consider you to be the same species - or at least, human beings have a low opinion of their own race. Therefore, many guild employees are especially egotistical and are able to express their apathy for lowly criminal PCs in a multitude of ways.
This is a great point, and one that I think I had forgotten. One of the reasons that the Confederacy and the KMC can get away with so much is because I remember them being somewhat classist, (a little like the real confederacy maybe???) though I suppose it is in a more economic sense than anything else, when there is no economic mobility from the bottom, I guess that kind of is classism? I dunno I’m off topic. I just wanted to say the PCs being sub human fits in the universe really well.

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Also, hacking would be a massive risk. Basically asking for a brain panning if they can locate your IP (or your 'avatar' on your 'deck', or however the internet might work in starcraft).
Exactly what I was thinking.

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As for NPCs, I'm afraid about how many of them I'd have to stat out and keep balanced against PC progress. Not to mention writing a personality bio to act as a guide for keeping a conversation with the PCs (not too worried about background).
Lol you clearly plan out your campaigns much more exhaustively than I do. I figure most vanilla NPCs are in the same basic situation as the PCs (born in Treyson, found a trade(or not), will die in Treyson). But I suppose the interesting ones will have a bit more to them than that.

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Hm, so would he be more the company’s man? Or more like a union leader, trying to keep the company happy and do some good/represent the interests of the workers? Both of these goals could array him against our PCs, unless of course they could be a way for him to influence events without it being traced back to him. (hook dangled?)
No, he's the general of the Kel Morian Combine - which is a joint military effort that initially formed to keep out the confederacy of man in something called the 'guild wars'. It's a lofty position, so I guess it's kind of like being just another fancy executive with extra good toys. I don't think he fits well into anything but the 'high level' or 'epic plots' that probably end up tying into the 'main plot' you referred to, with the inevitable shoehorned cameos (does every star wars game feature luke skywalker, ie.? It doesn't matter if this general is never even spoken of in the 'main plot' - he's still a 'canonical' character, in what is probably too high a position to even worry about any PC affairs).

Presumably, the combine still exists in a purely military fashion. Presumably, all the biggest guilds have invested some amount of money in it at different points in time (whether or not they agree later on with what direction things are being taken, etc.), and it is hands down the most impressive military/biggest budget in that corner of space (although the dominion is, of course, quite a lot bigger, since they reign over more worlds). In fact, that military thing is pretty much what defines KMC as a pseudo state.

If you want to be completely technical, you could call everyone Morians though - since they all originally came from the planet Moria (confederates came from Tarsonis, umojans came from Umoja and earthians came from Earth). But that's a geneology that's over 250 years old, according to the terran timeline (exodus touched down in 23rd century, and it is now 26th century). And since then, there's probably been immigration - even if only illegal.

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Vulture bikes (more in next bit)? As far as food and survival, I am sure there are plenty of soylent green/industrial survival proteins floating around. And I would assume in the KMC life is trade? Mining and the like, maybe some smithing and machining like you said? People have to make a living somehow, it just doesn’t have to be a good living. The PCs would have to be valuable to someone, super clever or really lucky not to die in their first few missions I guess. The first seems most likely, though you could always just tell them to be prepared to lose a few PCs per mission? I dunno.
The mining stuff is the base industry and the rest of the economy is limited by it. However, there's hundreds of millions that live in KMC territory. The price for ore would be insanely low if everyone was mining. Life has a lot of parrallels to the real world - there's small business, entertainment sector, etc.

The difference is that people are living in a mid-sized city on another planet. Locals live in fear of space overlords (not the zerg, but the human ones). There's plenty of ways to make things whacky and intesting. Or gritty and deep for anyone that enjoys sci fi. How different does play become when you don a suit of power armor for example? Compared to just fighting in casual clothes? Granted, I'm coming up with rules for this - but flavor always helps.

One side of Treyson has a traveling circus, and another is seedy disco bars. If you get caught up in traffic with road workers, one of them could pull a gun on you and the cops would look the other way, because they're with the guild (yeah, union... same thing... sorta).

I'm not trying to draw any parallels with real life politics, but I want it to be fun. If your a player, I want it to feel like you've accomplished something, even if your only obvious goals are surviving the mean streets, or your character began as someone that's really pathetic. You can go from a simple '1st level' quest like rescuing your girlfriend, to protecting your kid from the local school bully (character quests accorded by background, probably for both), to hitching a ride with space pirates (or biker bandits) and shooting down zerg with the marines (or shooting down marines with the biker bandits, or planning an ambush with the gang, etc.). And of course, not every game needs to begin in this way - players that want to start epic/exciting can start epic/exciting.

For a sandbox game, playing good or bad should be a difficult challenge. If you are intentionally bad, many people will hate you and you'll probably die quickly. If you are good, your goals will probably get warped when your perspective gets challenged by other NPCs - and you might die quickly, if you don't stop to worry about yourself.

Winning the campaign in this game probably won't mean defeating the big bad. It could instead mean making lots of money, starting a new colony, raising a private army, etc. Or simply finishing a mission (if it's a 'one adventure' show).

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This brings up a question, were you planning on play being more investigative or action oriented? Or both?
No real adventure ideas right now. I'll have to think of something. The current idea is just a sandbox, but that'll be hard to work in, without inspiring the boards with some fiction first.

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Lol you clearly plan out your campaigns much more exhaustively than I do. I figure most vanilla NPCs are in the same basic situation as the PCs (born in Treyson, found a trade(or not), will die in Treyson). But I suppose the interesting ones will have a bit more to them than that.
True. Maybe I should only stat out combat encounters that would feasibly occur. If PCs manage to comfront someone one-to-one that I haven't statted out, I suppose that pausing the game would be called for. :P

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Vulture bikes (more in next bit)?

Best source of canon.

Vultures use mag-lev. So they can move really fast and then break off really quickly. Although, I think acceleration to top-speed is achieved much more quickly with 'ion thrusters'. Vultures don't turn very well, even though their mag-lev technology lets them rotate on just about any bottom axis (imagine a vehicle pin-wheeling in a controlled fashion and then flying straight). The limit to the vehicular acrobatics is driver nausea. In order to turn, they have to accelerate into the turn and angle the vehicle appropriately - which can be difficult and requires great finesse at high speeds (almost zero friction on the bottom means it's really easy to whipe out and then continue whiping out until you fire the thrusters off in what has to be random angle just to right yourself again). With ion thrusters, it's faster to slow to an almost complete stop, power-rotate (takes much less than a second) and then speed up in the new direction. Methinks vultures are used primarily in the outback for this reason (not too many obstacles to have to turn through, and they can be adjusted to hover above most terrain difficulty).

Therefor, vultures work really well when they can just hover in a straight line towards a target (in which case; they can do it really really fast - great for finding and blowing up an enemy sniper on the field, or harrassing ill-equipped vehicles). Ion thrusters let them accelerate faster, so transitioning into a higher speed and then slowing down to aim a grenade is faster. The top speed is still the same, with or without ion thrusters - any faster than 230 miles and the hull would probably overheat and the armor would eventually strip off (I imagine the armor gets effected before the cockpit - it's a military vehicle designed for some degree of protection, after all). Apparently, the engines also leak radioactive material before they fail, so I'm guessing there's channels that funnel heat to the rest of the hull (which is important I imagine; if you use thrusters for both speeding up and slowing down, a stalled engine means that you can't slow down and high speed crash would inevitable - of course, it's probably just as bad when a repulsor fails and one side of the bike starts to drag, but...).

Vultures attack by launching fragmentation grenades and then accelerating away from the blast. This makes them the bane of all infantry.

They can also be equipped with las-cannons (instead of frag grenade launchers) - however, terran laser technology being used as a weapon is utter crap in terms of damage potential (besides letting you hit someone at light speed), so lasers seem pointless beyond 'mixing things up is cool'. This is evidenced by the fact that not even the turret of a battlecruiser can defeat a marine in one shot. However, I can see the attraction of lasers - they're precision accuracy and can have decent range, and it's hard to see where they're coming from. I suppose a stealthy vulture could use a las-cannon, but any target that has any amount of armor will make things more difficult than they have to be.





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