Tri Tac Gamer's Forums

TRI TAC GAMES & SETTINGS => Fringeworthy => Topic started by: wasahbe on June 07, 2018, 04:07:11 PM

Title: FW direction
Post by: wasahbe on June 07, 2018, 04:07:11 PM
If we got a chance to 'reboot' FW and pull it into the 21st century, what would you want changed and what would you want carried over untouched?

Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 07, 2018, 06:18:36 PM
If I were to drop anything, it would be the Chileans and the ASA. Neither are possible or probable in the current political climate.

The Chile in the game was General Augusto Pinochet's Chile. That's not been a thing since 1990. Chile is now, according to the CIA World Factbook: "Chile has increasingly assumed regional and international leadership roles befitting its status as a stable, democratic nation." They are more likely to lease Rapa Nui, AKA Easter Island, to the UN for hundreds of billions of dollars. (And a whole passel of strings attached, like nothing on the island itself and no contact with the islanders.)

The ASA is even more unlikely since the death of Qadhafi, and the fact that theres more conflict over old tribal areas and the countries imposed over those old boundaries. Very unlikely they would band together in a big socialist organization.

If you do decide to keep the Chileans and the ASA, you'll have to address how they maintain access to the Fringe Paths. Because all UNIDA has to do is lock their portal from the platform side and they don't have access anymore. And to get a key would be an act of war. How long do you think Chile would survive against the combined forces of the US, Russia, China, and Europe?

The main reason for the Chileans and the ASA was to provide some form of conflict on Earth Prime. But you don't need that, you have the UN. The United Nations is its own worst enemy. We also have the Fringe Pirates for threats on the Fringe paths.

Anyway, that's my soapbox.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Enkeli on June 07, 2018, 06:41:56 PM
I tend to agree with you about ASA, they were pretty much eliminated in the game i was part of, my GM had better enemies for us to deal with.

And bringing it to the 21st century world politics would be adding enough drama that ASA would not need to exist.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ORtrail on June 08, 2018, 02:38:19 AM
I agree that a conflicted UN is plenty of drama for a FW campaign. 
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ArmySGT on June 08, 2018, 11:32:01 PM
I keep the Chileans and the ASA..... My world view of Earth Prime is that the timeline is not even close to our real world timeline at all.

I don't hamper myself with trying to rewrite the timeline every time there is breaking news on cable tv.

The Communist movements of Central and Southern Africa like Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, etc are still there. These network among themselves and trade surreptitiously the resources of the nations for technology, assistance, and weapons. Exporting diamonds, rare animals, ores, petroleum, even political dissidents to North Korea, China, Iran, Cuba, and through embargoes to Europe and the United States.

The platform is like the DMZ or Checkpoint Charlie. A tense stare down with everyone holding a detente peace. The Europeans don't want Ebola released in Paris or Rome. Amerixa doesn't want a nuclear weapon in Times Square.

The ASA is where nations go for things the U.N. may not want to share or is holding out on for concessions. The ASA and Chile is where North Korea gets a Doc Box for Dear Leader. The ASA and Chile is the brokerage that circumvents the UNs iron grip on distributing pieces of technology brought from other Earths. The irony is that it is the voting body of the UN that is the foremost protector of the ASA and Xhile doing this. The monarchs, dictators, despots, oligarchs, and ruling class of 100+ nations votes for themselves, first, last, and always.

*********************************************************************

That post had to have tripped about 20+ intelligenxe agenxies around the world internet searxh bots for key words.

Allahu Akbar!

LOL. Ok that covers it!
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ArmySGT on June 10, 2018, 11:29:04 PM
There is another reason I like the Chileans and the ASA. They have a Portal and they don't answer to the U.N.

Embargo? Ok, Pax Romana how about 10 T-55 main battle tanks for 500 tons of wheat?

See. Secondly, if another place wants to do business on Earth Prime that the UN is blocking or not cooperating. They just pay the Chileans. Maybe someone wants to cut out all the middlemen and power brokers from the UN a little something for that deal to go through. Maybe, the UN won't work with someone due to Human Rights policies. The UN might not want to sell 5 million AK-47s to the Golden Horde, but the Chileans will. For a price.

Maybe it is the Chileans that pass on fusion or cold fusion technology to the Proletariat of the World as UN Powers try to block this for the oil producing members.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 11, 2018, 12:04:32 AM
You still have to deal with the fact that they don't have a crystal key. Without one, they will not be able to control their portal. In the early years there's like, three keys. All of which are either at Hatsumi or Alice Springs, well, except for the one they use to find more Fringeworthy.

So, it's either an attack on Hatsumi base and it's defenders. An attack or infiltration into the Alice Springs compound and it's defenders, or you try to snatch the key from Wei Lei, a telepath and empath, and her security detail.

Good luck.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ArmySGT on June 11, 2018, 12:50:17 AM
Or buy one.

Want access to Earth Prime. ONE crystal key.

Besides, they have people on the Paths too. Why are they unable to find a key or take one?

The Chileans could get one from Fringe Pirates just for 100 Ak-47s or a old all manual WW2 Soviet armored vehicle like a T-34, SU-100, SU-152.

They are just as capable of trade, as discovery, without being fettered by UN rules and bylaws.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 11, 2018, 03:31:38 PM
How are they buying a key? If the Rapa Nui ring station is locked by UNIDA, they are not getting out. Borodin would bar them from using the Hatsumi ring station, so the only choice is to steal one. No one is selling them, they are far too rare, and Chile and the ASA would find themselves on the wrong side.

Besides, Chile could make more money leasing their portal to the UN for hundreds of billions of dollars. Or more correctly, as the UN ain't got that much cash, from a coalition of Russia, China, USA, and the EU. That makes more sense than alienating the rest of the world.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ArmySGT on June 11, 2018, 05:43:00 PM
Then force a resolution on the UN to unlock the portal. That is an illegal blockade and a Act of War.

The Chileans and the ASA meet with representatives from off world and have them unlock the Portal with a higher clearance key. 

Have China and Russia call Borodin onto the carpet for creating an international incident and diplomatic crisis. UNIDA is not a government. Hatsumi base is not on sovereign soil. Borodin is not a Head of State. Borodin would be unlocking that Portal or recalled to Russia. Borodin would find himself in hot water with the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Chile and the ASA would make far, far more money running that Portal for themselves than leasing it to anyone, especially corrupt and inefficient United Nations bureaucrats.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 11, 2018, 06:42:44 PM
In year 0, Borodin is the head of UNIDA and answerable to only one group: The UN Security Council. Two, the order to lock the Rapa Nuil portal would come from Russia, China, USA, England, France, and the rest. So there's no calling on the carpet. It's doubtful that Borodin would do it on his own. Gordon Conrad... Yeah, he'd do it in a heartbeat. And then go on the Internet as to why he did it.

First off, Chile and the ASA countries leave the UN as per the game's story. So they are no longer part of the UN. A lot of ill will there. Second, once they realize that Chile and the ASA are trying to get a key, Borodin will order them on to the platform. Good luck getting them there with no Fringeworthy of your own. And that would result in a permanent presence on the platform.

So, when they finally find a Fringeworthy by the laborious method of marching them through the portal. (Years before you find enough to form a team) they will be met with hot coffee, friendship, and offers of asylum from the other Fringeworthy on the platform.

Finally, no. Chile is a modern democracy. They are more likely to lease out the portal for Billions of dollars than to take it for themselves. The ASA, without Libya, has as much chance of forming as I do of flying unaided by flapping my arms really hard. Neither have a place in the 21st century. We don't need them. We have the UN! It can shoot itself in the foot as well as anyone else can.

The book calls them communists... they stopped being communists in 1990. They are cartoon villains in what is an otherwise serious game. Every attempt harkens back to the Cold War and the 1980's under Pinochet. None of that exists today. The Socialist creed has really be discredited in Africa, so no ASA. I rather have real world consequences instead of fantasy.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ArmySGT on June 11, 2018, 10:44:08 PM
So the UN runs the portal through the USA and shuts down another run by someone communist?

Alright, John.

We are 180 on this one. I disagree with you on all points.

The Earth Prime timeline in NOT our timeline. What happens in ours is about as relevant as Victorian weird science.

Real world, if a General does something like that, his career is over in hours. That is an Act of War.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Enkeli on June 12, 2018, 02:00:00 AM
the UN is in charge of the portals regardless of our timeline or any imaginary timeline because Richard said so. any changes or updates we do will never alter his basic canon.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 12, 2018, 10:56:07 AM
It's equally important to realize that the United Nations is not a government, it's the largest NGO ever created. It's main purpose is to allow the various nations of the world to work together and work out their differences. The UN Security Council has all the teeth of the UN and they would be the ones that would deal with any security issues faced by UNIDA.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ArmySGT on June 12, 2018, 12:09:03 PM
Yes, the Great Debate Society.

They have no teeth. Their "Resolutions" are suggestions. If some Nations choose to enforce them, great. If not, nothing that the UN would be able to do about it.

Let alone all the competing direction within.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ArmySGT on June 12, 2018, 12:13:22 PM
Enkeli -- the UN is in charge of the portals regardless of our timeline or any imaginary timeline because Richard said so. any changes or updates we do will never alter his basic canon.

Rihard's Canon... There is a communist Chile in a coalition with affiliated communist or socialist African nations. They OWN and Control the portals at Easter Island and Libya.

I am the one saying that needs to stay in the game and needs to stay part of the canon.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Enkeli on June 12, 2018, 02:16:55 PM
In our real world I tend to agree with you about how little the UN can effect things.

But Fringeworthy is not the real world and in Richard's mind he gave them actual power and made them a force that matters. So that particular part of Fringeworthy will never change regardless of whatever else we may come up with to add to the game.  Mel has been really clear that base canon will never change because she promised Richard she would protect it.

Fringeworthy's future should include moving on from the introduction of Fringe Truckers that was part of Portals IV and exploring the newly opened expanded Fringe network. 

Other than converting it to other game systems the basic FW will not change.  I know she started this thread to get ideas flowing for new supplements but she should have mentioned that Tri Tac will not alter base canon in ways that go contrary to Richard's beliefs.

I am bringing this up because this thread has started to shift to a political debate over the UN and that truly has nothing to do with the fantasy that is Fringeworthy.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 12, 2018, 02:35:35 PM
Hmm, well, I'll never use the ASA and Chile in any Fringeworthy game, and never have. They never made any sense to me and there's too many ways to nerf them in game.

People can accept certain things in the game that diverge from normal: Psionics as a thing: no problem. The UN as a effective body: for the most part, yeah. (Again as a GM, I'd run it differently.) Chile is still communist... OK, you now need to rewrite the history of Chile starting in the 1980s and not have it turn into a democratic nation it is today. You'll have to justify it staying communist. Next, Rappa Nui is a "warm water port" and have year round access. Why wouldn't the UN throw lots of money at Chile to lease the land it's on? It would be cheaper than trying to operate Hatsumi in the long run.

Several African nations abandoning Islam and forming a socialist state... Ah... That would take some doing. I would love to see the alternate history that would result in that. It might require the continued existence of the Soviet Union for that one to come about.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 12, 2018, 03:38:33 PM
Going to the store to pick up somethings, I had a brainwave.

Instead of trying to shoehorn Communist Chile and ASA into the present, why not leave them in the past. Oh, and the other thing to leave in the past, is the discovery of the Fringepaths.

Going the 1st edition of Fringeworthy, the portals were discovered in 1990. Pinochet is still in power, the USSR is still in power, their shenanigans in Africa is still going on. It's believable that Qhadafi hooks up with Pinochet over the discovery of the portal on Isla de Pascua. Libya whips up the troops in various African nations and creates the ASA as a force. It allies with Chile over the ring station. That's pretty much canon.

So, now we evolve the situation. The USSR collapses in 1992 or 93, instead of 1991. It goes broke, much like it did in OTL. Chile and the ASA are global pariahs and can only find trading partners on the pathways, only... the UN has more wealth to exploit the Fringes and is out spending them on all fronts. Then in 2002 or 2004, Chile and the ASA go into revolt, and their governments overthrown. Chile, by a military junta, the various African nations by Islamic rebels or other non-ASA nations. War in Africa.

The Chilean junta wants to rejoin the UN and offers up some generous terms to lease the territory for the Ring Station.

Time marches on, the UN becomes a defacto government, mainly by exploiting the new technology coming out of the Fringes. More portals are opened. Japan's portal, the North Sea, both become major points of embarkation for Asian and European based teams. Rapa Nui base is South America's portal.

The two portals above the Arctic Circle are opened. Due to winter conditions worse than that experienced at Hatsumi, they only operate in the summer months.

This way, we keep canon, address all the complaints about the setting, and accommodate the Fringe Trucker setting, as that takes place in the future... but the future is now.

What do you thinks sirs and ma'ams?
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Enkeli on June 12, 2018, 04:00:27 PM
I think your walks are good for your thought processes.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 12, 2018, 04:33:50 PM
The beauty of doing it this way, you give the GM and players more options than "It's year 0. Your only option is to be an explorer."

Year 34, the New Commonwealth is on it's way to become a thing. Hundreds of Fringeworthy are now working on the pathways. Not all of them work for the UN. Someone realizes that it only takes a few minutes to travel from one portal to another. A Fringe shipping company is formed by Japanese, Chinese, and European Fringeworthy who aren't interested in exploration, but instead of making money. They can use the Japan and North Sea portals for quick deliveries of packages and time sensitive freight.

Right now, it takes up to 4 days to deliver packages to Europe from Japan or China. FDS (Fringe Delivery Service) can do it in hours. The folks behind this service don't even have to drive, they just have to touch the mechanical Automaton (courtesy of their British Empire Earth partners), making it Fringeworthy, and it drives through the portals for them.

Babbage controlled vehicles ply the pathways, no need for a human driver. They don't even need to leave the platforms, babbage operated unloaders move the cargo container off the vehicles and send them through the correct portal, and load up the vehicles, refueling them as well, with new containers, set the destination, and off they go.

Sorry drivers, the bots handle all the traffic within +/- 20 portals. Need to go to Pax Romana? Catch the scheduled run from the Prime platform on Tuesday, at noon GMT.

Of course, if events go off in the preferred way in Portals IV, then forget mechanical robots, you get Teslas with level 5 autonomous driving software running up and down the pathways.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 26, 2018, 03:21:33 PM
And let's talk about unintended consequences that need to be addressed. For instance:

In the early years in Australia, at Alice Springs, they would source local diesel powered vehicles, and one would be the Austin FG K100, a British made diesel truck, manufactured in the 1940's and 50's. All mechanical, it would work just fine on the Fringepaths.

The only problem is that they don't make parts for it anymore. All the K100's on the road are cannibals, they've been kept running by taking parts off of other Austin diesels.

So the Boffins at Alice Springs get a fully functional K100, disassemble it, and scan all the parts and use the original design plans from the Austin archives to let them either use a CnC machine to machine new parts, or create 3D printed parts that can either be used as is, or used as casts for casting new parts.

The unintended consequence of this? Once the boffins get all the bugs out, they've created a system for custom making parts for any vehicle or device. The consequence? Many auto parts stores become manufacturing points for spare parts of all kinds. Instead of asking if it its in stock, you go online, look up the part, place an order, then go to the shop and pick up the finished part.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: Kedamono on June 26, 2018, 03:58:59 PM
So, more brainwaves about unintended consequences:

Anything passing through a portal will stay Fringeworthy. A non-FW touching it would not turn off it's Fringeworthiness. Okay, so what's the unintended consequence of that? Well, if it's Fringeworthy, it can make other things Fringeworthy. (as long as a non-FW is not touching it. Have to have that exception in there.)

That means you can use this property on those automaton vehicles I mentioned. They roll up, attach to a cable or belt running into the portal and go on through. That completely automates the process, and may in fact, not need FW to run it. (They would need them to maintain it though, so it's a partnership of sorts.)

So why is that cable or belt running into the portal? Power generation, water or fuel delivery, moving items on the platform for use on the platform. Lots of reasons.

That's talk about this cable and belt.

The cable is more than likely just a metal cable of some sort, whose only purpose in life is to impart Fringeworthiness on unpiloted vehicles. So steel, probably coated in durable plastic, running between 4 pulleys, two on the platform and two on the world, looping around the ring.

The belt probably comes in various varieties:

For power generation on and off the platform, it's made from Kevlar imbedded with graphene and carbon nanotubes. 5 times stronger than steel. It runs through a set of gears on both sides of the portal. On the world side, it runs a generator generating power for the base, or at least the building housing the portal. When you're out exploring, it's your base camp power generation system.

On the platform, it's used to power all sorts of mechanical devices either through belt drives or shafts. We'll get into what it's powering later.

The other belt type is the "pipe" variant. In this case, it's flexible pipe that's slit on the top so that it can be filled with water, fuel. or other liquids. A spreader opens the pipe allowing it to be filled, then it closes up, with the slit on the top. Channels on the sides of the pipe run though guides keeping it upright. As it passes through the portal to the platform side, it rotates and another spreader opens it up, emptying its contents into a catcher system. Pumps powered by the other belt move the fluids around to where they are needed.

The other cable variant is just a modification of the simple cable. It has hooks on it, and it runs through the portal so that you can attach items to it and deliver them to the other side. It's not fast, but it's consistent.

So, all that mechanical power... What's it for? A whole lot of babbage controlled machines that either sort and move items around or to power automatons on the platform so they can move things about and load transport vehicles. The vehicles are steam powered, (simpler systems to maintain, even though they are the height of Steampunk Technology) so they have their water and fuel topped off. The platform automatons read the carriers attached to the engine, pulling off those for this platform, hooking up carriers for the direction the engine is going. This system is duplicated on all the platforms where necessary. (The Mars portal for UN Earth is also a destination for many goods and items. Got to keep Elon Musk's colonies supplied...)

The main unintended consequence is that the platforms are not empty, waiting for someone to show up, with a lone Fringe Security post, they are instead hives of activity, as carriers come and go, get routed to different portals, never a moment's rest.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: TheScy on October 12, 2018, 07:43:01 PM
Looking over this thread, did not see anyone point this out. If they did, I apologize for missing it.
You can explain the history divergence by just pointing out, our real history is not prime earth history. We're just living on an alternative earth and not prime.
Title: Re: FW direction
Post by: ORtrail on October 20, 2018, 07:26:38 PM
I think retroactively fitting your Fringeworthy campaign details to match our history is a solid approach.  GMs and players know this history and seeing changes to it are what make the alternate earths so interesting.  For example, you can tell the players that in the Prime Earth history Bernie Sanders won the 2016 election, but it won't FEEL real to them.  You need that baseline to deviate from, the one we already know pretty well.