Random ideas (again)

For 'verse proposals, random ideas, musings, and brainwaves.

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Random ideas (again)

Post by Destructionator » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:31 pm

This is random ideas for things that might fit in other 'verses, but aren't super well developed. They are just starting points to think about.

Majority Rules (hard sci fi)

In the far future, the solar system is heavily colonized by a Dyson swarm. The federal government is a unique kind of majority rule democracy, enforced by sunlight: dissenters are crushed by pointing your portion of the dyson swarm at them. Some group deciding to burn other states is literally an everyday occurrence - it is a very real threat that can happen to anyone.

Anyone can be burnt to death if the majority decides to point sunshine at their direction at once, so their goal is to not piss off too many other states at once. There is no guaranteed defense - you may shield yourself somewhat (and anyone can take the sunlight from a smaller group of states, so no one bad apple can crush anyone else), but the swarm is so massively huge that any defense will be overrun if you piss off enough other people.

Magical Revolution (fantasy)

In the past, certain people were born with the ability to manipulate amazing powers. These abilities were rare, which only makes them all the more valuable. These powers can grant great strength to an individual, but it didn't take long for laypeople to realize that magic has much greater potential when harnessed for the good of all of us.

Kings ordered their armies to round up anyone who might have these powers and start to put them to use. Over a hundred years, a series of experiments took place, followed by a forced selective breeding and indoctrination process with the aim to provide more powerful mages who use their power to enact the King's agenda, whether imperialist or socialist.

There was a kind of magical industrial revolution, with mills and factories popping up around the world... with human mage-slaves at the heart of every one. Most people don't think much of this anymore - it is just the way the world works. But not everyone agrees...
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:32 pm

Those are interesting ideas. Majority Rules in particular sounds good, though I don't think it could really be described as a form of total democracy, it's a democracy of people who control the mirrors, which is not necessarily everyone on a given habitat, plus there must be factors other than whether you can kill people with giant lasers which effect levels of power.

An idea of mine which kind of has a home but at the same time doesn't.
The Family Greenblood: Their own family records go back reliably to the reign of Henry VIII, when, as they are always quick to point out, they kept to their Catholic faith and helped others who did so to hold Mass secretly. Before this they say their family has Irish descent and there are family legends of their involvement with the Sidhe, the Irish fairies, in fact this is thought to be where the name 'Greenblood' comes from. There are, however, no written records of their history in Ireland.
They are mentioned in passing in other records as early as the time of James I/VI (of England and Scotland, respectively), but they really come to the attention of historians with the records of the Lord Amelius Greenblood in the English Civil War. Lord Amelius was recorded as fighting in several famous battles on the Royalist side along with his five sons, what is interesting is that he was said to be 75 at the time but 'with a youthful vigour and fury that seemed supernatural for a man of his long years'. The eldest of his sons who fought at his side was 26.
Unusual, but not uncanny, however this is a pattern which has continued throughout the families history. Lord Brutus Greenblood in the early 1700s had three sons when he was between the ages of 54 and 61, Lord Castor had children at a similar age and led a cavalry regiment up to the age of 79, if records are to be believed. Lord Janus had five children between the ages of 55 and 68 and dissappeared captaining his ship, the Indefatigable, at the age of 86.
The current patriarch of the House of Greenblood, Lord James, is 95 this year, he plans on celebrating by taking part in a boat race around the ornamental lake at Greenblood Manor.

I originally had them be descended from fairies, and that be the Big Secret, but once I added everything about that meaning they live a long time and have children late I decided to steal from Steven Baxter (as per usual) and have it be some kind of directed eugenics program aimed at making people live longer (it's a minor sideplot in Ring). This is more interesting, I think, because it begs the question of who's been directing it.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Heretic » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:38 am

An idea I have is what if there was a universe without sentient life forms? And humanity, sick and F-ing tired of being alone, decided to secretly create some of their own aliens and toss them out there? Of course, that could lead to an Adam and Eve/rebellion/biblical thing with the aliens, or not, if I choose not to.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Soban » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:34 pm

Heretic wrote:An idea I have is what if there was a universe without sentient life forms? And humanity, sick and F-ing tired of being alone, decided to secretly create some of their own aliens and toss them out there? Of course, that could lead to an Adam and Eve/rebellion/biblical thing with the aliens, or not, if I choose not to.
Sounds like an interesting inversion of the semi-common sci fi trope of having some humanoid precursor race. We're the precursor race and we make the humanoid aliens. :P
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:43 pm

Beat this!

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
(brought to you by Invictus and Shroom chatting about stuff)


I should model space stuff out of the African savanna. Like, using the animal populaces and interactions and ecosystem stuff to model FRINGE WORLD YOKEL populaces and activities.

Migrating wildabeest for space transport ships, crocodiles for local system pirates that prey on the occasional mass migration of those transport ships through their systems... lions and hyenas for the territorial warlords.

Yes. Like, long-endurance salvage ships whose minimal crew go on extended cryo sleep while the ships scour for wreckage on auto-search mode. Photosynthesizers, producers, are the mine worlds. Fuck it, screw the allegory and go down to the basic, AGRIWORLDS with grass and craps - and basically the stuff that the transport ships get their produces from. It feeds them and, in turn, it feeds the predators.

IT MAKES SENSE!

Man, it would be great to make a space opera with all these characters as actual-factual ANIMALS!

Wildabeest spacejokeys, lion warlords, crocodilian spacers!

Invictus: The Circle of Life?

Me: YES

Son of the warlord is lost and falls in with shitpieces, while warlord is supplanted by facially disfigured facially-scarred brother who takes the systems by force and allies with underhanded goosestepping rivals! Cue Cocoonamatata

Fuck yeah. A Space Opera based on Disney's Lion King and goddamn animal documentaries!

There could be scarab-class transport ships that haul vast quantities of fertilizer through space. No one pirates them.

Genius. Why do I get such awesome ideas?

Chekhov's Balloon says:
I dunno.

Shroomy the Oriental Super Hitler says:
Because I do touch myself at night!

Shroomy the Oriental Super Hitler says:
A whole sci-fi verse based on Lion King and Animal Planet documentaries!

Shroomy the Oriental Super Hitler says:
With ultraterrestrials coming in with devastating elephant guns

Shroomy the Oriental Super Hitler says:
And denizens that get abducted by beings that go "Crickey!" and "Isn't she a beaut?"

Chekhov's Balloon says:
What I truly like the sound of are the last two ideas.

:mrgreen:
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Booted Vulture » Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:53 pm

Not exactly an idea that could be made into a verse. But random nethertheless: The write up of a unit i've had in my head for a while:

Revenger- Class Close Support Unit (CSU)

The modern equivalent of an attack helicopter the Revenger class close support unit is more akin to cross between old attack helicopters and an actual flying tank. The advent of powerful antigrav units have enable air borne units to be much more heavily armed and armoured than previously feasible.

The most distinctive feature of the Revenger class is the off set cockpit module stretching forwards from the port side of the craft; the starboard hull of the same section mounts a short barrelled 80milimetre cannon misleadingly marketed under the designation ‘Automatic mortar’ the weapon can elevated up and down to use direct or indirect fire upon targets.

This cannon is loaded from three 12 round magazines; which can be loaded with different rounds to give the Revenger a broad range of capabilities. Common rounds are the Standard AP for attack armour; high explosives for demolition work and even cluster rounds to attack troop formations or to create impromptu mine fields.

The secondary weapons systems include a twenty-five millimetre autocannon mounted underneath the cockpit module as well as hard points emplaced on a pair of wings added solely for this purposes rather than the negligible amount of lift they supply. Each of these wings mount a ventral hardpoint for anti-tank missiles or rocket pods and one for an air to air missile for fighter defence.

The Revenger mounts heavier armour plates; thicker towards the front and weaker behind and above; making it well protected from the ground targets its designed to fight but relatively weaker against attack from air superiority craft. The armour was devised to endure the kind of MANPADS missile attacks that plagued attack helicopters and can survive multiple hits from such weapons that pre-date it. Obviously MANPADS technology has since developed to once again be a threat

As with most of its predecessors the Revenger has an optimal crew of two; with a pilot and a Co-Pilot/Gunner (CPG) The CPG is mount at the very front of the vehicle with a wide field of view to the front and sides of the vehicle; able to laid to waste anything he can see. The primary pilot is placed behind and above the CPG and has a good field of view in all directions

The Revenge has three drive systems: primarily a trio of antigravs to provide lift for the craft; a pair of jet engines to provide thrusts and a single Y shaped after burner supplying both jet engines for a rapid burst of extreme speed when needed.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:58 pm

I leik it, Boots. Future A-10!
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Siege » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:10 pm

Interesting. From its weapons and armour it would appear the craft is designed to primarily engage its targets within line of sight (cannons have no or negligible NLOS capability after all). Why is this? I would suspect that a future gunship would behave more like an Apache, preferring to stick behind ridgelines or hills, tracking targets at range with a mast-mounted radar (or being fed data from high-flying surveillance assets), and only popping up for the time it takes to fire off a Hellfire.

One reason I could think of why this isn't the case is that perhaps EW has progressed to the point where guided weapons have lost their effectiveness, hence why combat again revolves around line of sight attacks with weapons that can't be jammed. The fact that apparently the CPG requires 'a wide field of view to the front and sides of the vehicle' (rather than relying on sensor feeds) seems to support this theory...
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:39 pm

I dunno... just because aircraft like the A-10 and the AC-130 still exist doesn't mean that real-life ECM has made longer-ranged weapons obsolete. Would such CAS aircraft still have a place in future war?
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Booted Vulture » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:57 pm

Wow! I'm impressed, Siege has managed to apply logic and serious business reason to an idea I would some as; 'wouldn't be cool with an Apache also had a honking great tank gun as well?'

But to answer your concern; I'd imagine the Revenger could do all the indirect support as well; it does have half the missile capability of the Apache after all. I also mentioned the cannon can traverse up: allowing it to act as an impromptu small artillery place; which part of the reason its designated as an Automatic Mortar.

As to sensors vs field of view: well one or the other is good but having both was better.

Still part of the design of this vessel is influence by the fact its a first generation anti-grav vehicle which gives alot of new options. Here they've taken a basic gunship design and used the extra carrying weight of the anti-grav by slathering armour and a big gun all over the designs and see what happens. Other design things may have used the same basic gunship an instead used the antigravs to increase agility alot. So they carry more missiles and so the pop up F&F thing more.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Siege » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:31 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I dunno... just because aircraft like the A-10 and the AC-130 still exist doesn't mean that real-life ECM has made longer-ranged weapons obsolete. Would such CAS aircraft still have a place in future war?
The A-10 and the AC-130 both require an operating environment that's not covered by a proper IADS, and preferably one where friendly forces have achieved complete air superiority. If either aircraft ever encountered a proper fighter, they'd be screwed. If they ever encountered a semi-modern air defence battery, they'd be screwed. They were developed to fight Russian armoured brigades pouring through the Fulda Gap in the 1970s, and the only reason they are still effective today is because the USA is fighting little countries with militaries it can easily overwhelm. I wouldn't put much stock in them in a fight with an enemy who knows how to run a proper close air defence, nor do I think CAS aircraft of this type will be around much in the future.
Booted Vulture wrote:Still part of the design of this vessel is influence by the fact its a first generation anti-grav vehicle which gives alot of new options. Here they've taken a basic gunship design and used the extra carrying weight of the anti-grav by slathering armour and a big gun all over the designs and see what happens. Other design things may have used the same basic gunship an instead used the antigravs to increase agility alot. So they carry more missiles and so the pop up F&F thing more.
It's interesting that in the first generation anti-gravity vehicles already sport anti-grav modules miniaturized to the point where three of them fit on a vehicle that can't be significantly larger than an Apache. You'd think the first vehicles to make use of a revolutionary technology like that would have relatively bulky modules, and might perhaps be the size of a 747...
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:04 pm

It really depends on what kind of future we're talking about, re: A-10s and AC-130s. If the future has potential future adversaries with all sorts of phased plasma phalanxes that can fry half a city with this baby, then those birds are woefully inadequate. But time and time again, we've seen guys like the USA use platforms like A-10s and AC-130s against little countries with militaries it can easily overwhelm, and recently it's happened more often than the USA's taken on bigger countries that it can't easily overwhelm.

Hell, if we're talking about soft-space-opera-type sci-fi, this Revenger can probably be used effectively to ruin the shit out of fringe world yokels who don't know where their loyalties lie. :D
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Destructionator » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:47 pm

Siege wrote:One reason I could think of why this isn't the case is that perhaps EW has progressed to the point where guided weapons have lost their effectiveness, hence why combat again revolves around line of sight attacks with weapons that can't be jammed.
The Minovsky particle density is too high! :D
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Magister Militum » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:59 pm

Siege wrote:One reason I could think of why this isn't the case is that perhaps EW has progressed to the point where guided weapons have lost their effectiveness, hence why combat again revolves around line of sight attacks with weapons that can't be jammed.
I personally like this explanation the most. Of course, that probably has to do with the fact that warfare in TEG has essentially evolved to mirror something like this.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Siege » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:32 am

Destructionator wrote:The Minovsky particle density is too high! :D
But that means you'd have to arm the damn thing with space swords, would it not? :D

I like the EW explanation myself, although you'd have to wonder how come it also precludes the use of things like LADAR, or things like a futuristic equivalent of the E-3 Sentry or active electronically scanned arrays which could burn through a huge amount of jamming, certainly far more than any individual vehicle could pump out. You'd also have to account for things like anti-radiation missiles, smart discrimination techniques like you see on modern SAMs (bye-bye chaff and flares!), and probably a myriad other things...
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:37 am

Or just stick a robot brain into the missile, or a camera, or use a mark-1 eyeball to optically track the thing. With a wire!
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Destructionator » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:12 am

Siege wrote:But that means you'd have to arm the damn thing with space swords, would it not? :D
If swords aren't the answer, then you're asking the wrong question!

As to the topic at hand, perhaps electronic warfare is heavily biased toward defenders - stationary defenses pump out so much jamming that on the attack, none of your portable stuff can eat through it, so you have to just deal with it (at least until you can bust through and knock out those gap generators).
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Blackwing » Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:07 am

One good reason why an army might decide to go for line of sight weapons is simple cost, á la the russian space pencil.

You know the good old anecdote that when they needed to find a way to write in space, with the traditional fountain pen not working, the americans loads of money on inventing, developing, testing and redesigning the ballpoint pen, but when faced with the same problem, the soviets simply decided to use pencils.

While the anecdote is basically not true, the lesson behind it is valid:

When you and your opponent are involved in some kind of technological race where you're both trying to develop systems that can counter the other's latest innovation, for instance a homing system that can see through all the false information the your ECMs are sending out, you basically have two options.

Either a. you invest heavily into the race, hoping that your investment is bigger or more effective than your opponent's and that you will eventually win the race before you're bankrupt or b. fall back on cheap, effective methods that your opponent simply cannot counter and spend your resources on deploying a shitload of those instead.

Once you've stopped putting half your 'race' budget in overcoming the enemy's ECM, you can add (part of) that amount to what you're already spending on your own ECM. That way, if you rely on simple targeting methods while your opponent still relies on expensive, tech heavy targeting, you have dual advantage: their ability to hit your will be reduced proportionally and at the same time all their own spending towards ECMs is wasted on countering devices you are simply not using.

For a good general example of how this works, see the end of World War 2. Cheap, effective, 'we know this works, so we'll use it' Allied tanks > Highly sophisticated, 'is the best at what it was designed to do' Third Reich super tanks.
The problem the Nazis ran into was that every time they found a way to up the amount of armour on their tanks, they also immediately started working on a gun capable of punching through that amount of armour. In the end, german tank could blow the shit out of any allied tank in a fair 1 on 1 engagement.... But were severely hindered by the fact that they were not so good when at a 10 to 1 numerical disadvantage.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:33 pm

Who says that the Revenger doesn't have high-tech fancy shmancy stuff? It already flies on anti-gravity. Perhaps its seemingly simple cannon actually fires stuff like homing rounds.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Heretic » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:20 pm

Just a question:

How medieval economics work (and please be unbiased, you Marxists. :lol: )? I know feudalism, manorial system, the lack of mass production (the guilds being the best thing), and shitty shortages, but am I missing something? Do the lords lease more expensive goods to the peasants in exchange for a debt, or can the peasant simply go out and buy it if they got the coin, the lordly fees included?
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:16 pm

The peasants would sell their crops and crap to gain money, and I guess they could afford some items and not-afford some, since they ARE dirt-poor peasants. You're asking if they can borrow money or loan items? They probably could and did (though I have no knowledge to base this on).

Hrm, didn't Robin Hood have Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham raise taxes and stuff? Weren't people bitching about taxes and loaning money even during in Biblical times?
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Blackwing » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:02 am

Feudal economy worked approximately as follows:

Early on in the Feudal Economy, the basic peasant had pretty much nothing. Maybe some clothes, some furniture, a few tools. Otherwise nothing.

The land he lived on was not owned by him, but administered by a lord, whom he 'leased' it from. Anything they produced on the land went to the lord, but in exchange for working it, they got to keep part of it, which they used to either feed themselves or (if what they grew wasn't food) exchange for food (usually buying it from their lord). Anything that was left after that was left with villagers in exchange for stuff they needed (like more tools and furniture) and sometimes luxuries (like cloth).

Lords meanwhile did not own the land either, but leased if from another lord. In exchange for administering the land they got to keep part of what their peasants produced (which was, combined, more than each individual peasant got), which they then used to feed themselves, their army and anyone else they felt needed feeding and the rest (including that part of the production which wasn't food) was sold off to other lords or people living in cities (who produced stuff which lords could then buy, the rest of which was sold to peasants who paid for it with what they produced).

This 'lord over lord' stuff went on up until your reached the ultimate ruler (the Holy Roman Emperor for most of early Medieval Europe) who received vast amounts of 'what was left' and sold most of this off to everyone below him or the church (or neighbouring states, if he wasn't busy trying to conquer them or vice versa).

A few peasants were lucky enough to live in a village where the produce from the surrounding region was gathered and processed further. villages were where the weavers, the blacksmiths and the few farmers who had lands other direct border of the villages all lived and worked. Food was gathered to the villages, from where it was shipped to the lord's residence, together with processed goods like cloth and unprocessed raw materials.

Later during the feudal economy, Lords also left part of their share in the villages for the purpose of having it sold on to the Burghers. Such villages would host markets and were called towns. As commerce increased, so did the size of the towns. The money from these sold goods was given to the lord, after a small deduction for the service which was subsequently taxed. It was at this point that peasants started leasing the land rather than just happening to be allowed to live and work their and the goods they produced became theirs rather than their lords' (though of course they still owed him the equivalent of most of what they produced as payment for the land itself and they were allowed to still pay in goods if money wasn't an option).

As such peasants started to earn money and could eventually afford to have some of their sons take up apprenticeships with craftsmen, elevating them from 'villagers' to townsmen or eventually even Burghers.

Burghers, by the way, were people living in cities, which was the settlement that inevitably sprang up around the lord's residence from the people who further processed the goods the lord didn't have to pass on to his superiors. Burghers produced shit. By which I mean they fabricated crafts, although they undoubtedly produced that as well. They bought goods on the markets and then made them into more luxurious items (like clothes), which they then sold on.

Any more advanced than that, like Merchants who travelled from town market to town market to buy goods from peasants to sell the burghers and vice verse and you're no longer in a feudal economy.

So in the early Feudal economy, they could not buy anything, but in later feudal economy and past it, sure they could.

Keep in mind though that no mere peasant could ever afford anything made by a master artisan.... Ever.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Heretic » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:19 am

Thanks! That really helped alot, as I might have a D&D session of merchants and all. Maybe write my own fantasy story with a merchant character.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Blackwing » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:14 am

Hot tip for writing (maritime) Merchant organisations:

The Hanseatic League for early post-feudal sea trade.
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Re: Random ideas (again)

Post by Heretic » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:35 am

Image

Mobster Jesus anyone? :D Though I don't know if this is really a painting of Jesus.

Masterpeices modified with photoshop. Some are "meh", while others are ridiculously hilarious.
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

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