Thursday, November 01, 2018

Pax Stellar and Nanotechnology Thoughts

I am expanding out the Pax Stellar world book (see previous blog for the WIP). And while walking around the lake at lunch today, thought of some things I want to consider. And figured I had better write them down somewhere before I forget!

So, a few points about the PS system:

  • post-apocalyptic world - almost utopia 3000+ years ago
  • very high tech in terms of medical, robotic and computer systems
  • so-so in terms of other technologies (no jump technology)
  • currently considered TL-0 despite having mechanical life
  • the mechanical life is really alive in some sense: they can think, procreate
  • the worlds are saturated with nanotech - everything has them: air, water, foods
  • the nanotech cannot survive off-world EXCEPT for those humans born and raised there (barbarians in Traveller)
  • there are several AIs still present that have as-yet-to-be-defined powers
  • natives may be able to communicate with the mechanical life via the nanotech - think built-in bluetooth basically
  • the Imperium is unable to replicate this technology or even reverse engineer it despite almost 200 years of trying
  • the nanotech breaks down all non-native technology - several Scout ships are now just bulkheads
  • time to break down is 2-12 hours (coincidence :) ) So a ship can come, drop off stuff, and leave. Once outside of the atmosphere, the nano-machines appear to basically shut down
Some game things I think we could do:
  • if the players can convince an AI, they may be able to get their own custom nano-machines.
  • these custom machines could allow for communication between those characters that have this
  • expand out the ship's computer - AI? 
  • allow characters to talk with the ship
  • these nano-machines would be custom to each character - maybe a table of possible side-effects? I.e., a strong desire to return every few months for a "data dump". The AIs may be considering expanding beyond these 3 systems (Virus precursor? would this protect against that? Not that I ever played that particular version)
  • this is borderline psionic, just more mechanical in nature. will there be a stigma to this? Will the characters, if strongly Imperial-indoctrinated, not want to do this?
  • could the characters get their own "pets" to go out amongst the stars?
  • a lot of this tech is definitely not how the Imperium likes things to be...
Some possible negative affects if they do this:
  • mental or physical changes: the shakes due to a mismatch? IQ degradation?
  • imprisoned by the Imperial forces or at least chased by them to get at the technology if they find out?
  • an irrestable urge to return to the planet every so often so that the nano-machines can share data about the Imperium?
  • a negative effect on the ship? would jump space affect the nano-machines? kill them?
  • evil ship AI takes over?
  • the nano-machines "evolve" away from the system? Cyborg?
Some possible positive benefits:
  • instant communication 
  • improved physical or mental attributes
  • improved healing (these did start as medical nano-machines)
  • a happy ship helping the characters - more automated systems

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