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 Post subject: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:19 pm
  

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I was rereading the book over the weekend when I came across something on page 30. The book says that Outcast station has ships people can borrow as long as they're returned and that the last person who tried taking advantage of this to steal the ship got as far as the Red Zone before he was caught and subsequently executed. But what is the Red Zone? I don't recall seeing something referred to by this name. Is it another name for the containment field (which might mean this section should have been in the Rifts part of the book)? Is the Red Zone everything past the asteroid belt?


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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:42 pm
  

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Could it refer to something from After the Bomb? MiO is a dual-game sourcebook, and I'm totally unfamiliar with that game.

I rather wish that MiO would get a total revamp, myself, with more physics-based realism and a grim, dark setting, and less of a cartoony, zany theme with the mutants. Maybe I just love The Expanse too much.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:53 pm
  

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Yeah, I had that thought at first so I originally asked in that section. No one bothered replying there though so I figured I'd ask here as well.


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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:44 am
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Could it refer to something from After the Bomb? MiO is a dual-game sourcebook, and I'm totally unfamiliar with that game.

I rather wish that MiO would get a total revamp, myself, with more physics-based realism and a grim, dark setting, and less of a cartoony, zany theme with the mutants. Maybe I just love The Expanse too much.

You can not love the Expanse too much, it deserves all the love.

Seriously though a dirtier, more expansive (no pun intended) Rifts space would be great. Reduce the number of pre-rifts stations and create some outer colonies around Jupiter and Saturn that is barely holding on and then the Arkohn returning.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:37 am
  

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don't reduce the number of stations. infrastructure wise the orbitals are already too small to be believable they survived for 300 years. plus we have them all mentioned in Aftermath. even if you junk MiO, the stations are still canon.

instead, make the stations themselves individually smaller, and taking a page from the Expanse, add a ton of various sized outposts, mining sites, colonies, and so on created by said station over the last three centuries. which not only turns the stations into proper "nations" instead of just city-states, but also gives Gm's more places to set stories, and a better excuse for players to actually get on a ship and go places.

plenty of sites for it.. near earth asteroids probably would be the first place they'd start exploiting the resources of. but i see no reason why the main belt shouldn't be heavily colonized. by both the stations, and breakaway groups that want their own independence. the belt should also be where the biggest colonies are, since there are plenty of big asteroids for them.

in my opinion the "unknown frontier" ought to be pushed out to saturn and beyond, with jupiter having been the former frontier and now starting to be developed beyond those early outposts and mining sites.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:58 am
  

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First, I think you and I may have had this conversation before so sorry if I'm covering the same points again but this just feels very familiar.
glitterboy2098 wrote:
don't reduce the number of stations. infrastructure wise the orbitals are already too small to be believable they survived for 300 years. plus we have them all mentioned in Aftermath. even if you junk MiO, the stations are still canon.

First, you have to junk MiO, it's a hopelessly out of date train wreck. Rifts space needs to be its own thing and not tacked on to something from another game.

Rifts Space is just too crowded around Earth orbit and even though it is mentioned in one additional book I think you can get away with eliminating a station and moving a few others. Get some of the stations out of the Earth-Luna zone and move them out into the system. For instance Freedom Station can be moved out of the Earth-Luna L5 point and move it to the Sun-Earth L4 or L5. Turn Earth near orbit into a massive version of the Graveyard. This eliminates the problem of people on earth being able to just look up and see space stations.

And if a future writer is taking votes dump Euro Station. In my game I had it destroyed by the Arkohn as soon as SA2 came out.

Outcast station can be moved out to the belt, think an even worse Ceres with mutants.

As for the problem of infrastructure being necessary to survive 300 years you can get that from your idea below of outposts.

glitterboy2098 wrote:
instead, make the stations themselves individually smaller, and taking a page from the Expanse, add a ton of various sized outposts, mining sites, colonies, and so on created by said station over the last three centuries. which not only turns the stations into proper "nations" instead of just city-states, but also gives Gm's more places to set stories, and a better excuse for players to actually get on a ship and go places.

This is perfect. Some of these places can be patriotic parts of their nations and others can be troublesome add ons that are little more than occupied colonies.

glitterboy2098 wrote:
plenty of sites for it.. near earth asteroids probably would be the first place they'd start exploiting the resources of. but i see no reason why the main belt shouldn't be heavily colonized. by both the stations, and breakaway groups that want their own independence. the belt should also be where the biggest colonies are, since there are plenty of big asteroids for them.

I disagree with only part of this. Asteroid colonies will probably be smaller with the colonies on the Jovian moons being the larger ones but that is more about preference.

glitterboy2098 wrote:
in my opinion the "unknown frontier" ought to be pushed out to saturn and beyond, with jupiter having been the former frontier and now starting to be developed beyond those early outposts and mining sites.

Again I think this works but more important is where is the magic. Are there space versions of the triangles? Is there an orbital magic zone? Are there any ruins of Atlantean origin? Any alien ruins?

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:21 pm
  

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I have several issues with the MiO setting for Rifts:

First, I can't buy into the notion that the entire orbital community would turn their backs on the rest of humanity and actively work against their own species by closing space to them, and that there would be zero communication/cooperation between humans on Earth and humans in orbit in 300 years. There needs to be something more to the isolation between the orbital community and Earth to justify everyone in orbit cooperating in this perpetual "Screw Earth" policy. A richer political backstory (like Earth vs Mars/Belters in The Expanse), supernatural interference preventing communication or accurate observation of what's actually going on on the surface, or some other ingredient is necessary for me to willingly suspend my disbelief. This is one of the most important aspects of this sourcebook's concept, and at least for me, it falls flat on its face.

Second, as I mentioned earlier, the zany cartoony mutant theme doesn't seem right. I get that a lot of this stems from the After the Bomb dual purpose of this sourcebook, but I find it jarring with the grim and dark themes of Rifts. Space is nasty, and I don't get this kind of vibe when I read MiO. Admittedly, I rarely flip through MiO; it's my least-favorite Rifts sourcebook.

Third, the factions just aren't interesting. They're just kind of there. If you put a gun to my head, I couldn't name a single N.P.C. in MiO. The book mentions conflicts among the orbitals, but those conflicts are vague ideas at best. I get a vague sense of dominant values and tribalism among the big stations, but that's it, and that's not much on which to build an adventure, much less a campaign.

Fourth, I don't get a good sense of what life is actually like in orbit or on the moon. What do they spend their time doing? What do they care about the most? How does inter-orbit and inter-planetary travel work in practice? How does space combat work? Here especially, The Expanse presents a great example of how to do some world-building. I'd love to see concepts like delta-V, Earthbound concepts of maximum speed and maximum range going away, the economics and practical considerations of moving up and down gravity wells, orienting one's self inside a spinning body, and how a civilization of people born and raised in space deals with muscle and skeletal atrophy when they go down gravity wells.

Finally, the setting seems to slap an extra dose of "screw you" to anyone who wants to include space as a part of their game setting. Aside from the fact that the entire orbital community buys into the "hurr durr, Earth sucks, let's zap anything leaving it and ignore the rest of our species' suffering" nonsense, the game mechanics render it impossible to take an MiO character to Earth, or for Earth characters to live for more than a few months in space and then return. MiO's take on living in space for prolonged periods of time seems to be "you die when you go back to gravity, period." Seriously, read the effects of zero G section and try a few experiments on bringing someone down from space who's accustomed to zero G; statistically, your odds of surviving in Earth's gravity are astronomical. Aside from the fact that this is demonstrably untrue (real-life astronauts and cosmonauts have lived in space for a year+ and gone on to live happy, productive lives on Earth), this mechanic makes this book incompatible with the rest of Rifts. It's literally safer to take a vacation in Hades for a few months than it is to take a vacation in orbit. I'm occasionally annoyed at sourcebooks of super-isolated places on Rifts Earth like Japan, China, and Australia. MiO dials that isolation up to ludicrous levels.

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Last edited by Hotrod on Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:36 pm
  

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To add to HotRod: Orbital isolation simply does not work. Not only do you need a lot of buy-in from the orbital community, you have to somehow deal with folks from the ground getting into space... and a single summoner can completely undo that... and Splynn, who has TONS of summoners and ready access to spaceships, can take out the orbitals without much effort.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:43 pm
  

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To add to mark, who added to Hotrod, I don't see how the orbitals would keep putting material into maintaining it when they're supposed to be using every tiny scrap of any resources the come across, to the point three skills were introduced to stress how the orbitals don't waste anything. A member here once suggested replacing that idea with having all of Rifts Earth in a dimensional envelope similar to the Yucatan Peninsula. If an unknown ship gets past that, then the defense satellites and roving patrols deal with it.

I also never liked the idea of the orbitals completely ignoring survivors down on Earth. Not being able to send help is plausible, but not even remaining in contact stretches it beyond the breaking point. However, changing this part of the setting would really alter a lot of stuff in the books. I'm not sure it can now be changed without breaking somethings.

Hotrod wrote:
I have several issues with the MiO setting for Rifts:Second, as I mentioned earlier, the zany cartoony mutant theme doesn't seem right. I get that a lot of this stems from the After the Bomb dual purpose of this sourcebook, but I find it jarring with the grim and dark themes of Rifts. Space is nasty, and I don't get this kind of vibe when I read MiO. Admittedly, I rarely flip through MiO; it's my least-favorite Rifts sourcebook.


The Rifts section states that the population is mostly human, with mutant animals being under 20% of the population.

Quote:
Finally, the setting seems to slap an extra dose of "screw you" to anyone who wants to include space as a part of their game setting. Aside from the fact that the entire orbital community buys into the "hurr durr, Earth sucks, let's zap anything leaving it and ignore the rest of our species' suffering" nonsense, the game mechanics render it impossible to take an MiO character to Earth, or for Earth characters to live for more than a few months in space and then return. MiO's take on living in space for prolonged periods of time seems to be "you die when you go back to gravity, period." Seriously, read the effects of zero G section and try a few experiments on bringing someone down from space who's accustomed to zero G; statistically, your odds of surviving in Earth's gravity are astronomical. Aside from the fact that this is demonstrably untrue (real-life astronauts and cosmonauts have lived in space for a year+ and gone on to live happy, productive lives on Earth), this mechanic makes this book incompatible with the rest of Rifts. It's literally safer to take a vacation in Hades for a few months than it is to take a vacation in orbit. I'm occasionally annoyed at sourcebooks of super-isolated places on Rifts Earth like Japan, China, and Australia. MiO dials that isolation up to ludicrous levels.


Yeah, I'm not sure if this can be chalked up to either the writer not doing any research before coming up with that idea (though that info may have been harder to find pre-internet) or if it was due to not having people spend as much time in space back then as we do now. To be honest, I'm having trouble finding a simple graph showing how much time in space each mission took. Best I can do seems to be to look up each mission on Wikipedia and see how long each flight lasted....

The Skylab entry shows that at least one mission lasted 84 days. This was Skylab 4 in '73. NASA didn't have anyone in space this long again until the '90s. The Soviets had a 96-day long one in '78. My guess is that KS just went with this info in the same manner he did with modern tech.


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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:56 pm
  

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Mir had plenty of missions, many of which lasted over six months, when MiO was published.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:21 am
  

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Hotrod wrote:
I have several issues with the MiO setting for Rifts:

Yeah, everyone pretty much does. Tis isn't my least favorite Palladium book, I've used it way too much for that, but I do think it might be the worst done book in my collection.

Hotrod wrote:
First, I can't buy into the notion that the entire orbital community would turn their backs on the rest of humanity and actively work against their own species by closing space to them, and that there would be zero communication/cooperation between humans on Earth and humans in orbit in 300 years. There needs to be something more to the isolation between the orbital community and Earth to justify everyone in orbit cooperating in this perpetual "Screw Earth" policy. A richer political backstory (like Earth vs Mars/Belters in The Expanse), supernatural interference preventing communication or accurate observation of what's actually going on on the surface, or some other ingredient is necessary for me to willingly suspend my disbelief. This is one of the most important aspects of this sourcebook's concept, and at least for me, it falls flat on its face.

OK I know three of you have piled on this but to me this is the easiest part to believe. It must be my 21 years of teaching human history at all levels that makes me think that yes, if there is a world devastating apocalypse happening and there were space stations that were relatively safe they would absolutely leave people on the surface to die. Human beings are absolute crap to those in need and if you add to that limited life support of tin cans in space and it gets a lot easier to rationalize it. Take a look at how the world treats refugees right now and tell me that this is somehow out of character or if that is too political maybe you should remember the S.S. St. Louis

As for why they would all contribute to earth containment you actually covered that. If you could watch the Splugorth and other monsters wash over the earth don't you think they would pay to keep them there? In many ways if magic was keeping them from observing earth then this would make less sense. If they couldn't see what was going on they would have no reason to keep it up and the earth containment would have slacked off by now. Also, this is not a "screw earth" policy this is a "contain the threat" policy.

The other thing you have to factor in is that for the first 1 to maybe 5 years there was nothing the stations could do. If there was too much ash in the air for a helicopter to fly how is a space shuttle suppose to land and take off. Once they had to wait that long it would be easy to say that the situation had deteriorated to much for them to help.

Hotrod wrote:
Second, as I mentioned earlier, the zany cartoony mutant theme doesn't seem right. I get that a lot of this stems from the After the Bomb dual purpose of this sourcebook, but I find it jarring with the grim and dark themes of Rifts. Space is nasty, and I don't get this kind of vibe when I read MiO. Admittedly, I rarely flip through MiO; it's my least-favorite Rifts sourcebook.

Most of this is AtB and most of the artwork that is for Rifts is petty standard giant robot stuff. But, your point is valid.

Hotrod wrote:
Third, the factions just aren't interesting. They're just kind of there. If you put a gun to my head, I couldn't name a single N.P.C. in MiO. The book mentions conflicts among the orbitals, but those conflicts are vague ideas at best. I get a vague sense of dominant values and tribalism among the big stations, but that's it, and that's not much on which to build an adventure, much less a campaign.

I don't think there are that many NPCs in the book, outside of the adventure section. I don't think any of the station leaders are even mentioned. I know one of the families from Freedom Station that run KLS is the Longven family but that's it.

The rest of this though goes to my point, they are BORING :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: which to me justifies thinning the heard a bit. I mean come on, can we at lest get rid of Euro station?

Hotrod wrote:
Fourth, I don't get a good sense of what life is actually like in orbit or on the moon. What do they spend their time doing? What do they care about the most? How does inter-orbit and inter-planetary travel work in practice? How does space combat work? Here especially, The Expanse presents a great example of how to do some world-building. I'd love to see concepts like delta-V, Earthbound concepts of maximum speed and maximum range going away, the economics and practical considerations of moving up and down gravity wells, orienting one's self inside a spinning body, and how a civilization of people born and raised in space deals with muscle and skeletal atrophy when they go down gravity wells.

They tried to cover this a little with the rules on the effects of zero gravity on the body but I gather you don't like those. But yes, we do need all of this and yes the Expanse would be a great place to draw from.

Hotrod wrote:
Finally, the setting seems to slap an extra dose of "screw you" to anyone who wants to include space as a part of their game setting. Aside from the fact that the entire orbital community buys into the "hurr durr, Earth sucks, let's zap anything leaving it and ignore the rest of our species' suffering" nonsense, the game mechanics render it impossible to take an MiO character to Earth, or for Earth characters to live for more than a few months in space and then return. MiO's take on living in space for prolonged periods of time seems to be "you die when you go back to gravity, period." Seriously, read the effects of zero G section and try a few experiments on bringing someone down from space who's accustomed to zero G; statistically, your odds of surviving in Earth's gravity are astronomical. Aside from the fact that this is demonstrably untrue (real-life astronauts and cosmonauts have lived in space for a year+ and gone on to live happy, productive lives on Earth), this mechanic makes this book incompatible with the rest of Rifts. It's literally safer to take a vacation in Hades for a few months than it is to take a vacation in orbit. I'm occasionally annoyed at sourcebooks of super-isolated places on Rifts Earth like Japan, China, and Australia. MiO dials that isolation up to ludicrous levels.

You can get around this a little but this was I think an attempt to add a lot of realism to the setting that I personally have never liked.

Everything I have read though says zero or low gravity environments will be, long term, pretty lethal to humans. The medical data on John Glenn's return to space and Scott Kelly's more than year in orbit says that a lot of the muscle and especially bone mass that we loose in 0G is not recoverable. I also read an article (it came out in response to movie from a couple years ago about the kid born on Mars trying to come to earth and it basically starts to kill him, but sorry can't find it) that it may even be impossible for women to give birth in anything below earth normal gravity. The lack of gravity means a boabies bones won't develop properly so when the baby gets pushed out the birth canal it would pulp the brain and internal organs. So, if you have a Luna colony all the births are C-sections.

The expanse tries to get around this with fictional drugs to boost bone growth but even in that show belters have a very low G tolerance. Just taking them down to a 1G earth is torture and a simple lift off from earth is lethal without "juice". You can also see in the books that anytime the Roci goes into a high G burn or SCM that Naomi, the belter, suffers the most. So a replacement for MiO needs drugs.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:07 pm
  

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I wouldnt say it needs drugs.. it just need genetic engineering, which we already know the major powers of Earth were well acquainted with.

That could also be the "reason" for it being "mutants in Orbit"; the genetic alterations also make the space community more prone to mutation and/or the best way to get the mutations to stick was to combine with animal DNA.

My major beef was that the setting was obviously written for MiO, with resource scarcity and semi-real problems being rampant...

Because the tech level of AtB and MiO is FAR lower than Golden-Age Earth.

The stations should have been relatively self sufficient, if they were built on and using Golden Age tech. Not perfectly self sufficient, obviously, but recycling and reclamation (particularly of O2) should be well over 90%, growing food via airponics or hydroponics should be zero issue, vat-grown proteins should be zero issue, etc.

The overall tech level of the Orbitals needs to upped massively in any revisit. They (like Triax) have Golden-Age tech + 300 years. And even MORE than Triax, they are/were in a much more desperate situation, which leads to more innovation more quickly.

I also agree with a much larger diaspora after 300 years, and likely, the Belt being most likely to have the largest colonies, perhaps even larger than their "home" Stations. (its a lot easier to hollow out an asteroid and make it airtight and livable than build a new station.)

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:35 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
I have several issues with the MiO setting for Rifts:

Yeah, everyone pretty much does. Tis isn't my least favorite Palladium book, I've used it way too much for that, but I do think it might be the worst done book in my collection.

Hotrod wrote:
First, I can't buy into the notion that the entire orbital community would turn their backs on the rest of humanity and actively work against their own species by closing space to them, and that there would be zero communication/cooperation between humans on Earth and humans in orbit in 300 years. There needs to be something more to the isolation between the orbital community and Earth to justify everyone in orbit cooperating in this perpetual "Screw Earth" policy. A richer political backstory (like Earth vs Mars/Belters in The Expanse), supernatural interference preventing communication or accurate observation of what's actually going on on the surface, or some other ingredient is necessary for me to willingly suspend my disbelief. This is one of the most important aspects of this sourcebook's concept, and at least for me, it falls flat on its face.

OK I know three of you have piled on this but to me this is the easiest part to believe. It must be my 21 years of teaching human history at all levels that makes me think that yes, if there is a world devastating apocalypse happening and there were space stations that were relatively safe they would absolutely leave people on the surface to die. Human beings are absolute crap to those in need and if you add to that limited life support of tin cans in space and it gets a lot easier to rationalize it. Take a look at how the world treats refugees right now and tell me that this is somehow out of character or if that is too political maybe you should remember the S.S. St. Louis


I'll see your S.S. St. Louis and raise you a John Rabe, the Nazi diplomat who single-handedly saved 200,000 Chinese civilians from his country's ally (Japan) during the Rape of Nanking.

Do you study/teach nothing but humans being jerks to other humans in your classes? I mean, yes, of course that's a common theme throughout history, but to infer from the S.S. St. Louis and other nasty episodes that every human group in orbit would not just turn their backs on all of humanity on Earth/abandon it, but would in fact actively commit precious resources to a perpetual and global 300-year blockade seems like an extrapolation that's contradicted by mission trips, international aid agencies, Peace Corps volunteers, and all manner of charitable organizations that try to help people they've never met before every day. Yes, people are often jerks to each other, but humanity is more than that. If your academic experience has beaten that idea out of you, then might you consider taking a sabbatical? Living with that kind of cynicism is an awful burden.

Incidentally, let's look at the numbers involved in maintaining a global blockade with killer satellites. Look at the range of the killer satellites. Most of them have a range of 6,000 ft, and 3x that in space. That's about 3.4 miles. Cool.
Pi times that range squared is the area a single satellite can cover: about 36.5 square miles. Cool.
The surface area of the Earth is 197 million square miles according to the Earth Wiki article.
Now divide the surface area of the Earth by that single killer satellite coverage area to get what you'd need to effectively cover the surface area of the world.

You need 5.4 million killer satellites. That's 18 satellites for each of the 300,000 Orbitals out there, and many of those satellites have limited ammunition. This is also setting aside the logistical challenge of moving ammunition/maintenance parts/crews out to those 5.4 million satellites, as well as the fact that these satellites would be covering a wider area than the surface, because they'd be in orbit. I'm hand-waving a LOT of additional complicating factors, but this is in the ballpark of what it would take with the numbers provided in the book. The orbital civilization described keeping this up for 300 years just isn't plausible both from the perspective of practical logistics and the perspective of human beings not being universal jerks to each other.

Warshield73 wrote:
As for why they would all contribute to earth containment you actually covered that. If you could watch the Splugorth and other monsters wash over the earth don't you think they would pay to keep them there? In many ways if magic was keeping them from observing earth then this would make less sense. If they couldn't see what was going on they would have no reason to keep it up and the earth containment would have slacked off by now. Also, this is not a "screw earth" policy this is a "contain the threat" policy.
This justifies targeted containment of specific threats, not a planetary blockade.

Warshield73 wrote:
The other thing you have to factor in is that for the first 1 to maybe 5 years there was nothing the stations could do. If there was too much ash in the air for a helicopter to fly how is a space shuttle suppose to land and take off. Once they had to wait that long it would be easy to say that the situation had deteriorated to much for them to help.
I have a hard time buying that a group that has the resources to maintain a 300 year planetary blockade couldn't provide any assistance. Heck, even providing overhead imagery, navigation, and some orbital communications relays to select human groups would be a huge boon, and that would require an infinitesimally small amount of resources compared to maintaining the killer satellite network.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Second, as I mentioned earlier, the zany cartoony mutant theme doesn't seem right. I get that a lot of this stems from the After the Bomb dual purpose of this sourcebook, but I find it jarring with the grim and dark themes of Rifts. Space is nasty, and I don't get this kind of vibe when I read MiO. Admittedly, I rarely flip through MiO; it's my least-favorite Rifts sourcebook.

Most of this is AtB and most of the artwork that is for Rifts is petty standard giant robot stuff. But, your point is valid.
To be fair, the cover looks pretty good. The inside content just didn't match up.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Third, the factions just aren't interesting. They're just kind of there. If you put a gun to my head, I couldn't name a single N.P.C. in MiO. The book mentions conflicts among the orbitals, but those conflicts are vague ideas at best. I get a vague sense of dominant values and tribalism among the big stations, but that's it, and that's not much on which to build an adventure, much less a campaign.

I don't think there are that many NPCs in the book, outside of the adventure section. I don't think any of the station leaders are even mentioned. I know one of the families from Freedom Station that run KLS is the Longven family but that's it.

The rest of this though goes to my point, they are BORING :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: which to me justifies thinning the heard a bit. I mean come on, can we at lest get rid of Euro station?
I'd be fine scrapping everything except the "space is closed to Rifts" concept and starting over.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Finally, the setting seems to slap an extra dose of "screw you" to anyone who wants to include space as a part of their game setting. Aside from the fact that the entire orbital community buys into the "hurr durr, Earth sucks, let's zap anything leaving it and ignore the rest of our species' suffering" nonsense, the game mechanics render it impossible to take an MiO character to Earth, or for Earth characters to live for more than a few months in space and then return. MiO's take on living in space for prolonged periods of time seems to be "you die when you go back to gravity, period." Seriously, read the effects of zero G section and try a few experiments on bringing someone down from space who's accustomed to zero G; statistically, your odds of surviving in Earth's gravity are astronomical. Aside from the fact that this is demonstrably untrue (real-life astronauts and cosmonauts have lived in space for a year+ and gone on to live happy, productive lives on Earth), this mechanic makes this book incompatible with the rest of Rifts. It's literally safer to take a vacation in Hades for a few months than it is to take a vacation in orbit. I'm occasionally annoyed at sourcebooks of super-isolated places on Rifts Earth like Japan, China, and Australia. MiO dials that isolation up to ludicrous levels.

You can get around this a little but this was I think an attempt to add a lot of realism to the setting that I personally have never liked.

Everything I have read though says zero or low gravity environments will be, long term, pretty lethal to humans. The medical data on John Glenn's return to space and Scott Kelly's more than year in orbit says that a lot of the muscle and especially bone mass that we loose in 0G is not recoverable. I also read an article (it came out in response to movie from a couple years ago about the kid born on Mars trying to come to earth and it basically starts to kill him, but sorry can't find it) that it may even be impossible for women to give birth in anything below earth normal gravity. The lack of gravity means a boabies bones won't develop properly so when the baby gets pushed out the birth canal it would pulp the brain and internal organs. So, if you have a Luna colony all the births are C-sections.

The expanse tries to get around this with fictional drugs to boost bone growth but even in that show belters have a very low G tolerance. Just taking them down to a 1G earth is torture and a simple lift off from earth is lethal without "juice". You can also see in the books that anytime the Roci goes into a high G burn or SCM that Naomi, the belter, suffers the most. So a replacement for MiO needs drugs.


More fun with math:

According to MiO rules, everyone who spends a few months in orbit and returning to 1G has a 9% chance of dying per day of their first week back, or about 0.91^7 = 51.7% total chance of survival for anyone who spends a few months in space.

Remember when almost half of the Skylab, Mir, Chinese space station missions, and ISS mission crews died within a week of returning to Earth? Me neither, because zero G is not fatal. There's mild degredation of their immune and skeletal systems, but it's not lethal.

According to MiO, fully adapted people in zero G have a 50% chance of dying on Earth per hour. Therefore, Their odds of surviving a day are 0.5^24. In other words, roughly 1 in 16.7 million orbitals can survive a single day above 0.6 G. After that, the odds shallow out, but are no less grim, as the 50% chance of death gets re-evaluated every day.

Are cybernetics not a thing for the Orbitals? In real life, we just launched some mice into orbit that were genetically modified to keep their muscles from atrophying. Could that not be a thing? And yes, could not drugs be a thing? Also, how hard is it to spin a big station to 1G, when you're playing with MDC materials? What about thrust gravity?

In The Expanse, 1G is torture for these folks. In MiO, it's lottery-level survival odds on a daily basis.

I can accept inaccuracies and a lack of realism in the interest of setting-building and gameplay, but I don't see any value in guaranteeing that characters made in this setting will never survive in any other Palladium RPG setting. MiO is a dead end of the Rifts setting.

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Last edited by Hotrod on Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:29 am
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
I wouldnt say it needs drugs.. it just need genetic engineering, which we already know the major powers of Earth were well acquainted with.

That could also be the "reason" for it being "mutants in Orbit"; the genetic alterations also make the space community more prone to mutation and/or the best way to get the mutations to stick was to combine with animal DNA.

The reason I say they need drugs over genetic engineering is that I don't think this is something you can tweak in our genes. 0G effects the way our bones develop and how our strong our hearts our. Also, to my knowledge there are no animals that are immune to this issue so not sure the animal splicing will work. I believe this would require drugs like we see on the expanse.

Now to be clear, I would be happy with either as this would be a better game if the characters can go to other places

Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
My major beef was that the setting was obviously written for MiO, with resource scarcity and semi-real problems being rampant...

Because the tech level of AtB and MiO is FAR lower than Golden-Age Earth.

The stations should have been relatively self sufficient, if they were built on and using Golden Age tech. Not perfectly self sufficient, obviously, but recycling and reclamation (particularly of O2) should be well over 90%, growing food via airponics or hydroponics should be zero issue, vat-grown proteins should be zero issue, etc.

The overall tech level of the Orbitals needs to upped massively in any revisit. They (like Triax) have Golden-Age tech + 300 years. And even MORE than Triax, they are/were in a much more desperate situation, which leads to more innovation more quickly.

I also agree with a much larger diaspora after 300 years, and likely, the Belt being most likely to have the largest colonies, perhaps even larger than their "home" Stations. (its a lot easier to hollow out an asteroid and make it airtight and livable than build a new station.)

I agree with all of this and in fact this is how I have run Rifts space since almost the beginning. I mean my players did one scenario in space before I got rid of the whole IOU system of money. But, to be fair we brought a lot of Star Frontiers, especially thrust gravity ships, in almost immediately.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:10 pm
  

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Where i'd go with MiO/Rifts Space

- Part of this plays into my "you also shouldn't be able to travel long distance on Rifts Earth" mantra. Why? Magic-McGuffin-We Don't Have to Expain It.

* In "My" ideal Rifts, all the ambient magic in the air/atmosphere makes long-distance travel nearly impossible without large work (powerful beacons of limited range) to make the setting kind of work in the "you have to take a long time to travel places" way that Kevin wanted, when you have vehicles capable of spanning the continent in 1 hour.

* This gets WORSE the higher you go into the atmosphere... until, as you get to the edge of the atmosphere, there is some kind of dimensional shearing/magical whosawhatsit that massively distorts any signals, images, and THINGS trying to pass through. This is worse in proportion to mass. Larger things trying to go through are even MORE likely to be destroyed or simply poofed into other dimensions. Communications are completely distorted and most of the time dont even break through at all, and visual sensors are useless. They might even show you other dimensions. This is the primary reason that the original orbital stations didn't/couldn't help Earth.

> If you're wondering how Archie Three and a few others get communications through - its because any sufficiently advanced technological culture who deals with magic will eventually figure out how to compensate for such things. All of the societies of the Three Galaxies, for instance, and definitely the Splugorth and Naruni Enterprizes, can and do simply build their technology to compensate by default. Archie got -lucky- and inherited some research from The Mechanoids on how to compensate for this problem, and managed to figure out enough to get access to that one Satellite.

> While the Splugorth/Kittani can see and communicate into space, there is NO compensating for the dimensional shearing when it comes to trying to enter and leave the atmosphere. And since there really isn't any reason for them to bother the Orbitals (there simply aren't enough of them to plunder for slave stock, and they have other means to get supplies/resources from the Belt..) they dont even bother.

> How did the Arkhons get through in such numbers? Thats actually an ironic fault on the part of the Inca. The line drawings actually disrupted the dimensional shearing and allowed more of the Akrhon ships to get through than otherwise would have made it had they done nothing. They, of course, had no way of knowing this.

> The dimensional shearing will eventually go away; it might take as few as another 200 years or as many as another 1,000. Its just a result of the Cataclysm and how dramatically Rifts Earth was sparked back to magical life. More to the point, it is irrelevant for the purpose of the Rifts game. It’s here to stay.

* The general technology level of Rifts Space needs to be Golden Age+. Not necessarily Three Galaxies level, but better than the Golden Age by at least al little. They were, after all, thrust into a desperate situation that would have required them to innovate quickly to become fully self-sufficient.

* The population of Rifts Space should be quite a bit higher than Mutants in Orbit. Not necessarily in the orbital habitats themselves, but as a whole. The moon colony, for example, should easily be able to hold millions of people. Digging into and pressurizing the moon isn’t nearly as hard as building a new station.

* Water and supplies should still be important, but not nearly as important as MiO made them out to be. Recycling efficiency is probably north of 95%. Due to genetic engineering being a thing that Golden Age powers were very well acquainted with, food production is not a huge bottleneck; vat-grown proteins can be made into any type of meat, and plants engineered to be more hardy in zero-G and to use airponics or hydroponics should be quite easy to make.

* People who live in Rifts Space aren’t going to die if they go down a gravity well. Genetic Engineering was already underway at the time of Cataclysm to deal with the issues of living permanently in zero or low-G environments. It is long since completed. There may, however, be complications if they live in a normal-G environment too long. (Say, for instance, the mutation introduced to fight bone growth/density issues makes your bones ossify in a regular environment). Not a huge issue if not; it could also just not be a problem of any kind and no one cares.

* Mutant Animals are a large minority population; some stations/nations they are equals, others they are outcasts/not welcome, and there are stations/nations that are entirely mutants. The primary reason for this is that animal experimentation was something of a taboo subject at the time of Cataclysm and many of the Great Powers had moved their research into space to keep it away from prying eyes.

* There are a lot more than the 3-4 stations and Moon Colony. In fact, Euro Station is now in the Belt (they broke the station down into ships and moved it wholesale), and the Russians/Soviets have moved to Phobos, and maintain their old station purely as a pared-down trading post/military base. Freedom Station is the only large nation still “based” in Orbit, even though more of their population lives in the Belt than on Freedom Station. The Moon Colony (still the Cyberworks Republic) is the only other “Major Player” based near Earth at all.

* Mars still has the remnants of the Arkhons that didn’t make it to Earth.

* Magic is a much larger part of life in Orbit than it was in MiO. Technowizardry and Magic are just as known and common (or uncommon, as the case may be) as they are on Rifts Earth.

* Psionics is also much more common, just as common as it is on Rifts Earth.

* The Cyberworks Republic and Freedom Station are fine with Psychics, though the CR is paranoid rather like the CS - implants and registration (though they aren’t 2nd class citizens, they have full rights). Freedom Station (id probably choose a better, NEMA-themed name for this country) has no issues with psychics and the only ones required to register are Master Psychics, and even then their records are only available to the authorities.

* Both the CR and FS are no bueno with magic. CR is CS-level paranoid (no magic, ever, not ever) about magic and the supernatural, and Freedom Station doesn’t allow magic users to be citizens but does allow them to visit. Actually USING magic on Freedom Station territory is outlawed unless at the express orders or invitation of the government. (They do employ Magic-using operatives) Magic users who choose to visit or live in FS territory are welcome to do so; they just cant use magic without getting exiled. Magic items are outlawed in both societies, though penalties in FS territory are usually just confiscation and fines. Repeat offenders may be banished.

* In contrast, the Martian Soviet developed a lot like their pragmatic Earthbound bretheren of the Sovietski. They make EXTENSIVE use of Psychics (loyalty tests, mind screenings, you name it. Paranoid Soviets). Magic is tolerated but strictly governed by the State, and the Martian Soviet makes moderate use of Techno-Wizardry (strictly state owned).

* The European Conglomerate is tolerant of both magic and psionics; there are extensive laws governing both, including protection in both directions from fraud, etc. As long as they don’t break the laws, magicians and psionics are welcome to practice their trade in the Conglomerate.

* There are several magic-oriented communities in The Belt and perhaps out in the Jovian Moons. These aren’t large, but have an outsized presence because they manufacture Technowizardry items, including space ships (nothing on the order of what the Three Galaxies produces, but on-par with what the other Orbitals produce, when you account for things like Impervious to Energy and ships actually having shields (since energy shield technology is NOT something the space-borne branch of Triax has developed).

* Mars (other than the Arkhons) is still largely unpopulated, and by and large the other “Orbital” factions avoid it. The reason is, it is just as magically active as Rifts Earth, but far more unstable. Large swathes of Mars are bathed in mystic energy, but the Ley Line storms are near-constant, and the dimensional anomalies are also near-constant and uncontrollable. It is a haven for supernatural menaces that have been dumped there, and the few parts that aren’t magically unstable are either occupied by the Arkhons, or a powerful kingdom of magicians that is fairly isolationist. They do not welcome visitors, and are quite powerful, though they DONT appear to have any spacecraft to their name and their cities and population centers seem to be largely subterranean. They appear to be a mix of many races (as bodies left behind in fights with the Arkhons and others have been Human, Elven, Mutant, etc) and unless you enroach on their borders, fairly peaceful.. they just don’t want to have much to do with the Orbital community. They do maintain a single asteroid outpost in The Belt, but they don’t use space ships to get there - its linked to their Mars home via a Rift/Dimensional portal, and they sell/trade advanced Techno-wizardry and other items from this outpost, though not in giant quantities. Even visitors to this outpost are kept at arms reach, with no access to the non-commercial parts of the asteroid, and any attempt to glean more information about them is ignored.

* The Splugorth DO have a base in The Belt; its a large asteroid base outfitted with the best Splugorthian technology (artificial gravity, A small fleet of Kittani ships to defend it, shields, etc) but it is NOT, ironically, a slaving station. It is here merely to exploit the vast mineral resources of The Belt and return them to Earth. The area around this base is known as a Death Zone to locals (ships that enter do not return) and Orbitals know to keep away from Kittani ships (even if they don’t know what they are called). The Splugorth don’t bother running active slaving operations from this station both because it would draw more attention to them and because the population density in Rifts Space is just not large enough to make it economical. This is not to say that the occasional small asteroid outpost, ship, or cargo fleet doesn’t go missing (and is taken by the Splugorth) but its not a main purpose of the base, and they’re always careful not to leave evidence. It would be more trouble than it is worth to have to dump “real” Kittani warships (they don’t use anything heavier than a Three-galaxies equivalent Destroyer Escort in Rifts Space) in to defend against a concentrated attack, and would make the entire endeavor unprofitable, whereas right now, with minimal defenses and slave labor, they make a tidy profit getting rare minerals back to Earth.

* There are probably several star nations inhabiting the less deadly of the moons of the outer planets. (Basically, any one of them that can be used to create subterranean dwellings/cities). I hadn’t really though this through too much.

* There ARE some people in Orbit/Rifts Space that are aware of the general situation on Earth. Enough magical travel happens between the two that SOME information has gotten out that the authorities of the various nations in Orbit have put together at least a small picture of what is going on. Since almost none of them have the means to make any use of that information, though, it’s mostly academic. The few magical star nations can get people back and forth from Earth, but not in large numbers, and very few people from Orbit WANT to visit the monster infested wastelands of Earth. The few that do are magical practitioners, and those that do go to Earth generally don’t tell Earthers where they are from, so Earth has little to no idea what is going on in Orbit (with Archie Three being a notable exception since he is now gleaning basic information from his contacts with old CAN/CR satellites); the few that do say they are from Space are either not believed or the people of Earth simply believe they are from another dimension (perhaps an Alternate Earth’s space) since everyone on Earth “knows” that nothing survives into Orbit. Basically, the right people in the know in both settings know that you can get back and forth, but for 99.99% of people in both settings, the other might as well not exist.

* Mutant Animals are welcome in Freedom Station (seprate-but-equal, with full rights but the communities don’t mix) and the Euro Conglomerate (full rights), are second-class/third-class/nearly slaves on the Moon, are treated as second-class citizens by the Soviets (though in a benign/caretaker way; the Soviets see them as helpful “pets” for whom they are responsible; ironically, in Space, its the Russians that have Psi-Hounds), and have mixed reactions in all the other nations. There are some smaller nations that are Mutant Only, and Outcast Station (now positioned out near Pluto in our new setting) is run by Mutants and it is non-mutants that are 2nd class citizens. The magical nation on Mars appears to have mutant citizens (mutant bodies have been discovered in the aftermath of battles) but what their position in society is, no one knows).

* Ship technology is something along the lines of what Triax or the New Navy have.. only in Space. (When you think about it, subs are pretty much space-ships anyway). Large ships might be the size and power of the USS Ticonderoga, with “average” ships being quite a bit smaller. Most fighting is done by fighter craft and space-mobile Power Amor (and Borgs). There is no artificial gravity, though larger ships may have rotating parts of their structure, and smaller ships might even be oriented so that when under power, the decks are “down” against the direction of thrust, simulating gravity. Travel between planets can take days, weeks, or more, as there is no artificial gravity and no way to get rid of the effects of high acceleration and inertia. Most ships don’t accelerate at more than 2-3G, and even then, that is “maximum military power” and they don’t maintain that for long as it puts the crew under huge stress (though it is sustainable due to advances in EBA and sealed crew suits).

* Power Armor, Bionics, and other Weapons Technology are on-par with anything Triax (of Earth) has, barring force field technology. The Cyberworks Republic has some of the most powerful borgs, with the Martian Soviet coming in only a bit behind. Freedom Station and The Euro Conglomerate do not make extensive use of Bionics for war (though they do have fully capable Bionics facilities) - its usually used as prosthetics/replacements in those two places. Giant Robots don’t really have a lot of place in the armies of Rifts Space, their place being taken up by Fighter/Bombers. Juicer technology is available, likely with new variants dedicated to Space. Some Juicers use cryogenic suspension (a well-established technology in Orbit) to extend their effective lives.

* There is SOME kind of hijinks going on on Mercury. Never decided what.

* Venus is undergoing rapid de-heating. It may be suitable for colonization “soon” (sometime in the next 5-50 years). No one is sure what exactly is causing this, and its still a little inhospitable for any of the powers to send down probes and figure it out.


That is roughly where i’d start with a Rifts Space overhaul.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:35 pm
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Where i'd go with MiO/Rifts Space

- Part of this plays into my "you also shouldn't be able to travel long distance on Rifts Earth" mantra. Why? Magic-McGuffin-We Don't Have to Expain It.

* In "My" ideal Rifts, all the ambient magic in the air/atmosphere makes long-distance travel nearly impossible without large work (powerful beacons of limited range) to make the setting kind of work in the "you have to take a long time to travel places" way that Kevin wanted, when you have vehicles capable of spanning the continent in 1 hour.

* This gets WORSE the higher you go into the atmosphere... until, as you get to the edge of the atmosphere, there is some kind of dimensional shearing/magical whosawhatsit that massively distorts any signals, images, and THINGS trying to pass through. This is worse in proportion to mass. Larger things trying to go through are even MORE likely to be destroyed or simply poofed into other dimensions. Communications are completely distorted and most of the time dont even break through at all, and visual sensors are useless. They might even show you other dimensions. This is the primary reason that the original orbital stations didn't/couldn't help Earth.

> If you're wondering how Archie Three and a few others get communications through - its because any sufficiently advanced technological culture who deals with magic will eventually figure out how to compensate for such things. All of the societies of the Three Galaxies, for instance, and definitely the Splugorth and Naruni Enterprizes, can and do simply build their technology to compensate by default. Archie got -lucky- and inherited some research from The Mechanoids on how to compensate for this problem, and managed to figure out enough to get access to that one Satellite.

> While the Splugorth/Kittani can see and communicate into space, there is NO compensating for the dimensional shearing when it comes to trying to enter and leave the atmosphere. And since there really isn't any reason for them to bother the Orbitals (there simply aren't enough of them to plunder for slave stock, and they have other means to get supplies/resources from the Belt..) they dont even bother.

> How did the Arkhons get through in such numbers? Thats actually an ironic fault on the part of the Inca. The line drawings actually disrupted the dimensional shearing and allowed more of the Akrhon ships to get through than otherwise would have made it had they done nothing. They, of course, had no way of knowing this.

> The dimensional shearing will eventually go away; it might take as few as another 200 years or as many as another 1,000. Its just a result of the Cataclysm and how dramatically Rifts Earth was sparked back to magical life. More to the point, it is irrelevant for the purpose of the Rifts game. It’s here to stay.

* The general technology level of Rifts Space needs to be Golden Age+. Not necessarily Three Galaxies level, but better than the Golden Age by at least al little. They were, after all, thrust into a desperate situation that would have required them to innovate quickly to become fully self-sufficient.

* The population of Rifts Space should be quite a bit higher than Mutants in Orbit. Not necessarily in the orbital habitats themselves, but as a whole. The moon colony, for example, should easily be able to hold millions of people. Digging into and pressurizing the moon isn’t nearly as hard as building a new station.

* Water and supplies should still be important, but not nearly as important as MiO made them out to be. Recycling efficiency is probably north of 95%. Due to genetic engineering being a thing that Golden Age powers were very well acquainted with, food production is not a huge bottleneck; vat-grown proteins can be made into any type of meat, and plants engineered to be more hardy in zero-G and to use airponics or hydroponics should be quite easy to make.

* People who live in Rifts Space aren’t going to die if they go down a gravity well. Genetic Engineering was already underway at the time of Cataclysm to deal with the issues of living permanently in zero or low-G environments. It is long since completed. There may, however, be complications if they live in a normal-G environment too long. (Say, for instance, the mutation introduced to fight bone growth/density issues makes your bones ossify in a regular environment). Not a huge issue if not; it could also just not be a problem of any kind and no one cares.

* Mutant Animals are a large minority population; some stations/nations they are equals, others they are outcasts/not welcome, and there are stations/nations that are entirely mutants. The primary reason for this is that animal experimentation was something of a taboo subject at the time of Cataclysm and many of the Great Powers had moved their research into space to keep it away from prying eyes.

* There are a lot more than the 3-4 stations and Moon Colony. In fact, Euro Station is now in the Belt (they broke the station down into ships and moved it wholesale), and the Russians/Soviets have moved to Phobos, and maintain their old station purely as a pared-down trading post/military base. Freedom Station is the only large nation still “based” in Orbit, even though more of their population lives in the Belt than on Freedom Station. The Moon Colony (still the Cyberworks Republic) is the only other “Major Player” based near Earth at all.

* Mars still has the remnants of the Arkhons that didn’t make it to Earth.

* Magic is a much larger part of life in Orbit than it was in MiO. Technowizardry and Magic are just as known and common (or uncommon, as the case may be) as they are on Rifts Earth.

* Psionics is also much more common, just as common as it is on Rifts Earth.

* The Cyberworks Republic and Freedom Station are fine with Psychics, though the CR is paranoid rather like the CS - implants and registration (though they aren’t 2nd class citizens, they have full rights). Freedom Station (id probably choose a better, NEMA-themed name for this country) has no issues with psychics and the only ones required to register are Master Psychics, and even then their records are only available to the authorities.

* Both the CR and FS are no bueno with magic. CR is CS-level paranoid (no magic, ever, not ever) about magic and the supernatural, and Freedom Station doesn’t allow magic users to be citizens but does allow them to visit. Actually USING magic on Freedom Station territory is outlawed unless at the express orders or invitation of the government. (They do employ Magic-using operatives) Magic users who choose to visit or live in FS territory are welcome to do so; they just cant use magic without getting exiled. Magic items are outlawed in both societies, though penalties in FS territory are usually just confiscation and fines. Repeat offenders may be banished.

* In contrast, the Martian Soviet developed a lot like their pragmatic Earthbound bretheren of the Sovietski. They make EXTENSIVE use of Psychics (loyalty tests, mind screenings, you name it. Paranoid Soviets). Magic is tolerated but strictly governed by the State, and the Martian Soviet makes moderate use of Techno-Wizardry (strictly state owned).

* The European Conglomerate is tolerant of both magic and psionics; there are extensive laws governing both, including protection in both directions from fraud, etc. As long as they don’t break the laws, magicians and psionics are welcome to practice their trade in the Conglomerate.

* There are several magic-oriented communities in The Belt and perhaps out in the Jovian Moons. These aren’t large, but have an outsized presence because they manufacture Technowizardry items, including space ships (nothing on the order of what the Three Galaxies produces, but on-par with what the other Orbitals produce, when you account for things like Impervious to Energy and ships actually having shields (since energy shield technology is NOT something the space-borne branch of Triax has developed).

* Mars (other than the Arkhons) is still largely unpopulated, and by and large the other “Orbital” factions avoid it. The reason is, it is just as magically active as Rifts Earth, but far more unstable. Large swathes of Mars are bathed in mystic energy, but the Ley Line storms are near-constant, and the dimensional anomalies are also near-constant and uncontrollable. It is a haven for supernatural menaces that have been dumped there, and the few parts that aren’t magically unstable are either occupied by the Arkhons, or a powerful kingdom of magicians that is fairly isolationist. They do not welcome visitors, and are quite powerful, though they DONT appear to have any spacecraft to their name and their cities and population centers seem to be largely subterranean. They appear to be a mix of many races (as bodies left behind in fights with the Arkhons and others have been Human, Elven, Mutant, etc) and unless you enroach on their borders, fairly peaceful.. they just don’t want to have much to do with the Orbital community. They do maintain a single asteroid outpost in The Belt, but they don’t use space ships to get there - its linked to their Mars home via a Rift/Dimensional portal, and they sell/trade advanced Techno-wizardry and other items from this outpost, though not in giant quantities. Even visitors to this outpost are kept at arms reach, with no access to the non-commercial parts of the asteroid, and any attempt to glean more information about them is ignored.

* The Splugorth DO have a base in The Belt; its a large asteroid base outfitted with the best Splugorthian technology (artificial gravity, A small fleet of Kittani ships to defend it, shields, etc) but it is NOT, ironically, a slaving station. It is here merely to exploit the vast mineral resources of The Belt and return them to Earth. The area around this base is known as a Death Zone to locals (ships that enter do not return) and Orbitals know to keep away from Kittani ships (even if they don’t know what they are called). The Splugorth don’t bother running active slaving operations from this station both because it would draw more attention to them and because the population density in Rifts Space is just not large enough to make it economical. This is not to say that the occasional small asteroid outpost, ship, or cargo fleet doesn’t go missing (and is taken by the Splugorth) but its not a main purpose of the base, and they’re always careful not to leave evidence. It would be more trouble than it is worth to have to dump “real” Kittani warships (they don’t use anything heavier than a Three-galaxies equivalent Destroyer Escort in Rifts Space) in to defend against a concentrated attack, and would make the entire endeavor unprofitable, whereas right now, with minimal defenses and slave labor, they make a tidy profit getting rare minerals back to Earth.

* There are probably several star nations inhabiting the less deadly of the moons of the outer planets. (Basically, any one of them that can be used to create subterranean dwellings/cities). I hadn’t really though this through too much.

* There ARE some people in Orbit/Rifts Space that are aware of the general situation on Earth. Enough magical travel happens between the two that SOME information has gotten out that the authorities of the various nations in Orbit have put together at least a small picture of what is going on. Since almost none of them have the means to make any use of that information, though, it’s mostly academic. The few magical star nations can get people back and forth from Earth, but not in large numbers, and very few people from Orbit WANT to visit the monster infested wastelands of Earth. The few that do are magical practitioners, and those that do go to Earth generally don’t tell Earthers where they are from, so Earth has little to no idea what is going on in Orbit (with Archie Three being a notable exception since he is now gleaning basic information from his contacts with old CAN/CR satellites); the few that do say they are from Space are either not believed or the people of Earth simply believe they are from another dimension (perhaps an Alternate Earth’s space) since everyone on Earth “knows” that nothing survives into Orbit. Basically, the right people in the know in both settings know that you can get back and forth, but for 99.99% of people in both settings, the other might as well not exist.

* Mutant Animals are welcome in Freedom Station (seprate-but-equal, with full rights but the communities don’t mix) and the Euro Conglomerate (full rights), are second-class/third-class/nearly slaves on the Moon, are treated as second-class citizens by the Soviets (though in a benign/caretaker way; the Soviets see them as helpful “pets” for whom they are responsible; ironically, in Space, its the Russians that have Psi-Hounds), and have mixed reactions in all the other nations. There are some smaller nations that are Mutant Only, and Outcast Station (now positioned out near Pluto in our new setting) is run by Mutants and it is non-mutants that are 2nd class citizens. The magical nation on Mars appears to have mutant citizens (mutant bodies have been discovered in the aftermath of battles) but what their position in society is, no one knows).

* Ship technology is something along the lines of what Triax or the New Navy have.. only in Space. (When you think about it, subs are pretty much space-ships anyway). Large ships might be the size and power of the USS Ticonderoga, with “average” ships being quite a bit smaller. Most fighting is done by fighter craft and space-mobile Power Amor (and Borgs). There is no artificial gravity, though larger ships may have rotating parts of their structure, and smaller ships might even be oriented so that when under power, the decks are “down” against the direction of thrust, simulating gravity. Travel between planets can take days, weeks, or more, as there is no artificial gravity and no way to get rid of the effects of high acceleration and inertia. Most ships don’t accelerate at more than 2-3G, and even then, that is “maximum military power” and they don’t maintain that for long as it puts the crew under huge stress (though it is sustainable due to advances in EBA and sealed crew suits).

* Power Armor, Bionics, and other Weapons Technology are on-par with anything Triax (of Earth) has, barring force field technology. The Cyberworks Republic has some of the most powerful borgs, with the Martian Soviet coming in only a bit behind. Freedom Station and The Euro Conglomerate do not make extensive use of Bionics for war (though they do have fully capable Bionics facilities) - its usually used as prosthetics/replacements in those two places. Giant Robots don’t really have a lot of place in the armies of Rifts Space, their place being taken up by Fighter/Bombers. Juicer technology is available, likely with new variants dedicated to Space. Some Juicers use cryogenic suspension (a well-established technology in Orbit) to extend their effective lives.

* There is SOME kind of hijinks going on on Mercury. Never decided what.

* Venus is undergoing rapid de-heating. It may be suitable for colonization “soon” (sometime in the next 5-50 years). No one is sure what exactly is causing this, and its still a little inhospitable for any of the powers to send down probes and figure it out.


That is roughly where i’d start with a Rifts Space overhaul.

I like a lot of this stuff and some of it is similar to my own. I am especially OK with no Euro station, god I hate that place. Also the magical shear that stops air travel and space flight is kind of interesting.

Ships and stations using rotating sections for gravity is perfect for a setting like this and you can even apply it to the Moon Colony and I want to stay away from any magic gravity like we have in Phase World. Thrust gravity is cool but it requires a lot of math and makes the system a lot more complicated.

I would just say it would be cool to avoid some of the big bads we have on Earth that would be too disruptive. I think especially Narumi and Splugorth. I would also like to see some ancient ruins in the system. Maybe some Atlantean or alien leftovers.

Just my thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:48 pm
  

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OK, I missed this post the last few times I looked at this thread, I guess I thought I already read it

Hotrod wrote:
If your academic experience has beaten that idea out of you, then might you consider taking a sabbatical? Living with that kind of cynicism is an awful burden.

This is out of line, deeply personal and despicable. I was just going to report it to the mods to see if it was a violation but I would just suggest that if you can't respond to an argument without going this low you should take a break from posting.

Also, if I need vocational advice I'll get it from a more reliable source, Magic 8-Ball maybe.

Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
I have several issues with the MiO setting for Rifts:

Yeah, everyone pretty much does. It isn't my least favorite Palladium book, I've used it way too much for that, but I do think it might be the worst done book in my collection.

Hotrod wrote:
First, I can't buy into the notion that the entire orbital community would turn their backs on the rest of humanity and actively work against their own species by closing space to them, and that there would be zero communication/cooperation between humans on Earth and humans in orbit in 300 years. There needs to be something more to the isolation between the orbital community and Earth to justify everyone in orbit cooperating in this perpetual "Screw Earth" policy. A richer political backstory (like Earth vs Mars/Belters in The Expanse), supernatural interference preventing communication or accurate observation of what's actually going on on the surface, or some other ingredient is necessary for me to willingly suspend my disbelief. This is one of the most important aspects of this sourcebook's concept, and at least for me, it falls flat on its face.

OK I know three of you have piled on this but to me this is the easiest part to believe. It must be my 21 years of teaching human history at all levels that makes me think that yes, if there is a world devastating apocalypse happening and there were space stations that were relatively safe they would absolutely leave people on the surface to die. Human beings are absolute crap to those in need and if you add to that limited life support of tin cans in space and it gets a lot easier to rationalize it. Take a look at how the world treats refugees right now and tell me that this is somehow out of character or if that is too political maybe you should remember the S.S. St. Louis


I'll see your S.S. St. Louis and raise you a John Rabe, the Nazi diplomat who single-handedly saved 200,000 Chinese civilians from his country's ally (Japan) during the Rape of Nanking.

Do you study/teach nothing but humans being jerks to other humans in your classes? I mean, yes, of course that's a common theme throughout history, but to infer from the S.S. St. Louis and other nasty episodes that every human group in orbit would not just turn their backs on all of humanity on Earth/abandon it, but would in fact actively commit precious resources to a perpetual and global 300-year blockade seems like an extrapolation that's contradicted by mission trips, international aid agencies, Peace Corps volunteers, and all manner of charitable organizations that try to help people they've never met before every day. Yes, people are often jerks to each other, but humanity is more than that. If your academic experience has beaten that idea out of you, then might you consider taking a sabbatical? Living with that kind of cynicism is an awful burden.

First, I have been teaching about Rabe since my second year, 1998. If I sound cranky in this part it's not just your need to go personal but because I started teaching about him before it was popular. I had parent complaints that I was talking about heroic Nazis and it was only because the education director at the Holocaust Museum Houston that I got to keep my job. So I yeah, I heard of him and not only did you insult me but you managed to bring up a really sore spot to do it.

Few quick points, Now to say he did this single handed is a bit much, especially since other zones had been established in places like Shanghai. Your real mistake is in saying he saved 200,000 lives. He gave shelter to as many as 200,000 people that is true but your making an assumption that 100% of them would have been killed, an assumption not born by the actual death toll in the city with the worst estimates being in the 60% range. But given the general nature of this discussion that bit of hyperbole is understandable.

Also I did not infer my position from one event it was one of two examples I provided in a single paragraph, the first of which you ignored choosing instead to insult me and then to prove my point. Everything we have come up with thus far is an example of a small group choosing to help when the majority refuses to. Plenty of Americans were willing to take in Jewish children from Europe but the majority of Americans were opposed. FDR wanted to allow refuges in but he knew that he would loose the in 1936 and 1940 elections. Muslims in Balkan countries tried to hide Jews from the Nazis only to be turned in or attacked by there Christian neighbors. On and on we can go just with WWII but I think the pattern is clear.

When people are afraid (being dragged into a war, Ebola, monsters from a rift) they want to be protected and most will watch others suffer to be, or even just to feel, safe. There are those who won't but they have always been and likely will continue to be in the minority. Now, what you point out is a great reason for opposition to Earth Containment. People who oppose it on a political level and others who out right defy it. In my first game I actually had a group like this that was in contact with the NGR, my PCs and was instrumental in the gathering of Heroes. It was so much easier for my PC's to track down and eliminate war when they had an actual spy satellite tracking hm.

I need to point out here that you also completely ignored the point about this being passive. The orbital community is not harming anyone, they just aren't helping. As for containment, that's just enforcing a border if you will.

As an aside I just want to say I believe in Heroes, I've met them and I teach about them. I don't know if I would consider a man like Rabe one but I definitely understand why the Chinese do. It's important to understand why we celebrate heroes so much though, its because they are rare and someone who works with the majority to help others is rarely considered one.

Hotrod wrote:
Incidentally, let's look at the numbers involved in maintaining a global blockade with killer satellites. Look at the range of the killer satellites. Most of them have a range of 6,000 ft, and 3x that in space. That's about 3.4 miles. Cool.
Pi times that range squared is the area a single satellite can cover: about 36.5 square miles. Cool.
The surface area of the Earth is 197 million square miles according to the Earth Wiki article.
Now divide the surface area of the Earth by that single killer satellite coverage area to get what you'd need to effectively cover the surface area of the world.

You need 5.4 million killer satellites. That's 18 satellites for each of the 300,000 Orbitals out there, and many of those satellites have limited ammunition. This is also setting aside the logistical challenge of moving ammunition/maintenance parts/crews out to those 5.4 million satellites, as well as the fact that these satellites would be covering a wider area than the surface, because they'd be in orbit. I'm hand-waving a LOT of additional complicating factors, but this is in the ballpark of what it would take with the numbers provided in the book. The orbital civilization described keeping this up for 300 years just isn't plausible both from the perspective of practical logistics and the perspective of human beings not being universal jerks to each other.

The logistics of this would be a completely rational argument except for a few major points:
1: I acknowledge your math here but you are placing these things in orbit as if they are all routed to one place. Most of these satellites would not be geosynchronous. Given the fact that they would need to be above the debris field (see #2) you figure high fast orbits with at lest as much ability to alter there orbit as a modern spy satellite.

2: If you read the description in the book most of the work is actually done by a counter orbit field of debris from the remains of the Sino-Japanese station and other facilities. They don't need a lot of weapons up there just enough to stop whatever might make it through.

3: It is well established that GA tech lasts centuries, look at all the GBs that are still in service from before the Rifts, so even a minimal production rate would add up over 300 years to be a massive field. You also need to keep in mind that they don't need to maintain anything. They don't themselves want to go anywhere near earth and every satellite that dies just adds to the debris field thus serving the same purpose as a functional satellite.

4: As was pointed out to me on another forum missile ranges can cover large areas of orbital space and any ship coming up the well is going to be at major maneuvering disadvantage so satellites would have plenty of time to alter there orbit and attack. Also if the orbital community has even the observational capacity that we have today they could see a ship preparing for launch and pre-position assets over it.

Another aside here but the weapons ranges for Rifts stuff in space a ridiculously low. Not just in Rifts Space but also in games like Phase World so your issue with numbers of satelites to me says more about that then the feasibility of Earth containment.

5: Finally, you describe this as a 300 year active event where the only thing coming up the well was humans desperate to escape and the stations slapping them down. To our knowledge this never actually happened. If anything at all came up the well in the first 200 or so years it was a monster and they killed it, thus adding to there fears. As far as stopping humans we know the only things of the CS and Triax they have destroyed are all unmanned and we don't know that any of those made it through the debris field.

Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
As for why they would all contribute to earth containment you actually covered that. If you could watch the Splugorth and other monsters wash over the earth don't you think they would pay to keep them there? In many ways if magic was keeping them from observing earth then this would make less sense. If they couldn't see what was going on they would have no reason to keep it up and the earth containment would have slacked off by now. Also, this is not a "screw earth" policy this is a "contain the threat" policy.

This justifies targeted containment of specific threats, not a planetary blockade.

I completely agree with you, so what. Plenty of activists I know think our problems in Yemen justify law enforcement action not killer robots firing Hellfire missiles in to bus loads of kids or starving an entire nation but its still happening and the majority of world's population doesn't care, or to be more precise and to keep this to facts as opposed to feelings, doesn't care enough to do anything about it.

Justify is a value statement and you're making the same mistake my students make when they argue against the fire bombing of Dresden or the use of nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not everyone has your values.

Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
The other thing you have to factor in is that for the first 1 to maybe 5 years there was nothing the stations could do. If there was too much ash in the air for a helicopter to fly how is a space shuttle suppose to land and take off. Once they had to wait that long it would be easy to say that the situation had deteriorated to much for them to help.

I have a hard time buying that a group that has the resources to maintain a 300 year planetary blockade couldn't provide any assistance. Heck, even providing overhead imagery, navigation, and some orbital communications relays to select human groups would be a huge boon, and that would require an infinitesimally small amount of resources compared to maintaining the killer satellite network.

Again "planetary blockade" where did you get that. Very few things have tried to come up so this isn't some space version of the Cuban missile crisis. This is like an old border of rusted razor wire and pit traps (the debris field) that you occasionally sprinkle with landmines (satellites and missiles).

You also really need to read the description of what the stations went through. Massive damage that for the first time they had to repair completely on there own. Mass suicides. People going crazy and murdering others or doing further damage to the station. Add to this the previously, and multiply, mentioned fact that they can not reach the planet for years after the event and you see how this would just become the default policy.

Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Second, as I mentioned earlier, the zany cartoony mutant theme doesn't seem right. I get that a lot of this stems from the After the Bomb dual purpose of this sourcebook, but I find it jarring with the grim and dark themes of Rifts. Space is nasty, and I don't get this kind of vibe when I read MiO. Admittedly, I rarely flip through MiO; it's my least-favorite Rifts sourcebook.

Most of this is AtB and most of the artwork that is for Rifts is petty standard giant robot stuff. But, your point is valid.

To be fair, the cover looks pretty good. The inside content just didn't match up.

It's an OK cover I never liked the way the GB looks.

Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Third, the factions just aren't interesting. They're just kind of there. If you put a gun to my head, I couldn't name a single N.P.C. in MiO. The book mentions conflicts among the orbitals, but those conflicts are vague ideas at best. I get a vague sense of dominant values and tribalism among the big stations, but that's it, and that's not much on which to build an adventure, much less a campaign.

I don't think there are that many NPCs in the book, outside of the adventure section. I don't think any of the station leaders are even mentioned. I know one of the families from Freedom Station that run KLS is the Longven family but that's it.

The rest of this though goes to my point, they are BORING :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: which to me justifies thinning the heard a bit. I mean come on, can we at lest get rid of Euro station?
I'd be fine scrapping everything except the "space is closed to Rifts" concept and starting over.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Finally, the setting seems to slap an extra dose of "screw you" to anyone who wants to include space as a part of their game setting. Aside from the fact that the entire orbital community buys into the "hurr durr, Earth sucks, let's zap anything leaving it and ignore the rest of our species' suffering" nonsense, the game mechanics render it impossible to take an MiO character to Earth, or for Earth characters to live for more than a few months in space and then return. MiO's take on living in space for prolonged periods of time seems to be "you die when you go back to gravity, period." Seriously, read the effects of zero G section and try a few experiments on bringing someone down from space who's accustomed to zero G; statistically, your odds of surviving in Earth's gravity are astronomical. Aside from the fact that this is demonstrably untrue (real-life astronauts and cosmonauts have lived in space for a year+ and gone on to live happy, productive lives on Earth), this mechanic makes this book incompatible with the rest of Rifts. It's literally safer to take a vacation in Hades for a few months than it is to take a vacation in orbit. I'm occasionally annoyed at sourcebooks of super-isolated places on Rifts Earth like Japan, China, and Australia. MiO dials that isolation up to ludicrous levels.

You can get around this a little but this was I think an attempt to add a lot of realism to the setting that I personally have never liked.

Everything I have read though says zero or low gravity environments will be, long term, pretty lethal to humans. The medical data on John Glenn's return to space and Scott Kelly's more than year in orbit says that a lot of the muscle and especially bone mass that we loose in 0G is not recoverable. I also read an article (it came out in response to movie from a couple years ago about the kid born on Mars trying to come to earth and it basically starts to kill him, but sorry can't find it) that it may even be impossible for women to give birth in anything below earth normal gravity. The lack of gravity means a boabies bones won't develop properly so when the baby gets pushed out the birth canal it would pulp the brain and internal organs. So, if you have a Luna colony all the births are C-sections.

The expanse tries to get around this with fictional drugs to boost bone growth but even in that show belters have a very low G tolerance. Just taking them down to a 1G earth is torture and a simple lift off from earth is lethal without "juice". You can also see in the books that anytime the Roci goes into a high G burn or SCM that Naomi, the belter, suffers the most. So a replacement for MiO needs drugs.


More fun with math:

According to MiO rules, everyone who spends a few months in orbit and returning to 1G has a 9% chance of dying per day of their first week back, or about 0.91^7 = 51.7% total chance of survival for anyone who spends a few months in space.

Remember when almost half of the Skylab, Mir, Chinese space station missions, and ISS mission crews died within a week of returning to Earth? Me neither, because zero G is not fatal. There's mild degredation of their immune and skeletal systems, but it's not lethal.

According to MiO, fully adapted people in zero G have a 50% chance of dying on Earth per hour. Therefore, Their odds of surviving a day are 0.5^24. In other words, roughly 1 in 16.7 million orbitals can survive a single day above 0.6 G. After that, the odds shallow out, but are no less grim, as the 50% chance of death gets re-evaluated every day.

In The Expanse, 1G is torture for these folks. In MiO, it's lottery-level survival odds on a daily basis.

I can accept inaccuracies and a lack of realism in the interest of setting-building and gameplay, but I don't see any value in guaranteeing that characters made in this setting will never survive in any other Palladium RPG setting. MiO is a dead end of the Rifts setting.

I said they were attempting to add a level of realism, I didn't say they succeeded. Second, there are other settings that are this kind of dead end, Wormwood comes to mind. But again I largely agree that the rule was stupid.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:13 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
...2: If you read the description in the book most of the work is actually done by a counter orbit field of debris from the remains of the Sino-Japanese station and other facilities. They don't need a lot of weapons up there just enough to stop whatever might make it through...


The Graveyard and the CODR are two different areas. The Graveyard sits in the L4 point on the far side of the moon, in a nexus point. So the powers that be launch kilsats and proxy mines. As a result only criminals, and the desperate end up going there. Most people avoid the place. It doesn't sound like people would be routinely going there to collect material for the CODR.


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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:45 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
I like a lot of this stuff and some of it is similar to my own. I am especially OK with no Euro station, god I hate that place. Also the magical shear that stops air travel and space flight is kind of interesting.

Ships and stations using rotating sections for gravity is perfect for a setting like this and you can even apply it to the Moon Colony and I want to stay away from any magic gravity like we have in Phase World. Thrust gravity is cool but it requires a lot of math and makes the system a lot more complicated.

I would just say it would be cool to avoid some of the big bads we have on Earth that would be too disruptive. I think especially Narumi and Splugorth. I would also like to see some ancient ruins in the system. Maybe some Atlantean or alien leftovers.

Just my thoughts.


I wasn't sure about putting Atlantean ruins in Space; from what we know about the Atlanteans, they never went into Space. I, too, thought about Alien ruins of some kind but couldn't find a great way to work them in. Perhaps the Magic Kingdom of Mars is based on alien ruins/technology/techno-magic.

Or we could take a page from David Weber's [i]Empire from the Ashes[i] series, and have one of the moons of a planet be a ship/installation/remnant of some stellar/alien empire.

As for the Splugorth, i included them as known foil but kept their role small so that if you wanted to, you could simply ignore them. The other reason to have them is it is one way to introduce Earthborn PCs to Rifts Space - they could be captured as slaves by the Splugorth and brought to Orbit and then rescued by Orbitals (or escape). As written/intended, the Splugorth have no intention of becoming a major player in Orbital life, as it simply is not nearly profitable enough. They are making money for little expense now and plan to keep it that way. If it becomes more costly, theyll simply pack up and go home.

I had no intention of putting Naruni anywhere in Rifts Space; there simply isnt enough money to be made there for them, they aren't even interested. The Splugorth are only there because they can get the materials the Kittani need to produce their technology cheaply without having to buy it on the interdimensional markets - it makes money, in that it saves money, but they are in no hurry to expand their operation and wouldn't really lose any sleep if they had to close it down.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:04 pm
  

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In response to the original post, I didn't see any other references to a Red Zone in the rest of MiO or Rifter 58. While it's possible it refers to Laika Station's orbit around the moon, it seems more reasonable to assume the Red Zone begins at the Martian perihelion, .38 AU from Earth.

While I'm not sure if mine was the post of which The Beast was thinking, I have suggested Rifts Earth be astride dimensions in a manner similar to the Yucatan. In games I've played the maximum safe altitude is often under 5000 feet, so as to foster both separation between regions and the use of hover vehicles and power armor over jet engines. Above that altitude these games took a hint from WWII RAF pilots and introduced various intangible "gremlins". The swirling morass of entities that malinger from the upper edges of the peplosphere to the Kármán line, while invisible from below are clearly visible from space, somehow refracting the light of ley lines. The reason the Orbital Community dare not return to Earth's surface is all they could see is a nearly 100km thick flickering blue maelstrom filled with distorted corpse-like apparitions. Similarly, all human operators could detect when directing satellite receivers towards the surface is a susurrus of murmuring punctuated with screams. This being a psuedo-psychic effect, it didn't affect fully computerized systems such as ARCHIE's satellite usage. Additionally, this effect would not effect transmissions from orbit to the surface, should anyone have bothered to send any out.


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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:40 am
  

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The Beast wrote:
But what is the Red Zone? I don't recall seeing something referred to by this name.
I recall the term being used by the CS in relation to any territory outside of their boarders, though I will add that spent a few days trying to track down the source and couldn't find it (so my assumption is that they tried leaving the solar system).


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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:15 am
  

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The CS has nothing to do with MiO, nor are they in space.


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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:47 pm
  

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The Beast wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
...2: If you read the description in the book most of the work is actually done by a counter orbit field of debris from the remains of the Sino-Japanese station and other facilities. They don't need a lot of weapons up there just enough to stop whatever might make it through...


The Graveyard and the CODR are two different areas. The Graveyard sits in the L4 point on the far side of the moon, in a nexus point. So the powers that be launch kilsats and proxy mines. As a result only criminals, and the desperate end up going there. Most people avoid the place. It doesn't sound like people would be routinely going there to collect material for the CODR.

You're right I conflated those so thanks for pointing it out. But the point remains that 90% of all monsters & ships coming up the well are destroyed by this according to the book.

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 Post subject: Re: MiO Question.
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:31 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
OK, I missed this post the last few times I looked at this thread, I guess I thought I already read it

Hotrod wrote:
If your academic experience has beaten that idea out of you, then might you consider taking a sabbatical? Living with that kind of cynicism is an awful burden.

This is out of line, deeply personal and despicable. I was just going to report it to the mods to see if it was a violation but I would just suggest that if you can't respond to an argument without going this low you should take a break from posting.

Also, if I need vocational advice I'll get it from a more reliable source, Magic 8-Ball maybe.

For what it's worth, I feel bad that my post upset you. You're seeing insult where I don't intend any. If you suspect otherwise, then by all means, report away.

Let's look at the dialogue. You said:

Warshield73 wrote:
It must be my 21 years of teaching human history at all levels that makes me think that yes, if there is a world devastating apocalypse happening and there were space stations that were relatively safe they would absolutely leave people on the surface to die.


When I read this, I saw two possibilities for your intent here: either you were telling us your life story as a way of explaining how you personally came to your point of view, or you were appealing to your own personal authority of teaching/studying history as an argument.

If you were telling us your life story of how you came to see humans as utterly bereft of any willingness to support other humans outside their normal social circles, I felt compelled to point out that people are not that bad, and that there are lots of people and organizations who put time and effort to helping folks they've never met, even at risk to themselves. I also feel compelled to point out that this should be pretty obvious, and that if your professional life has brought you to such a low view of humanity, then I sincerely think that you should consider some kind of a change. I didn't mean this as some kind of an insult; the people I've known in life who have publicly express this kind of view of humanity have usually been depressed and in need of some kind of change.

If you were appealing to your own authority, that's a logical fallacy.

Either way, when you brought your personal experience into the conversation as an explanation or justification for your position, I felt that questioning its value in the context of your position was within the bounds of propriety. In hindsight, I can see how you might take it as some kind of personal affront; I'm sure you're proud of your professional life. While there's a part of me that thinks "maybe don't bring it up if you don't want it questioned," I didn't mean to be 'despicable,' violate rules, or hurt your feelings.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
I have several issues with the MiO setting for Rifts:

Yeah, everyone pretty much does. It isn't my least favorite Palladium book, I've used it way too much for that, but I do think it might be the worst done book in my collection.

Hotrod wrote:
First, I can't buy into the notion that the entire orbital community would turn their backs on the rest of humanity and actively work against their own species by closing space to them, and that there would be zero communication/cooperation between humans on Earth and humans in orbit in 300 years. There needs to be something more to the isolation between the orbital community and Earth to justify everyone in orbit cooperating in this perpetual "Screw Earth" policy. A richer political backstory (like Earth vs Mars/Belters in The Expanse), supernatural interference preventing communication or accurate observation of what's actually going on on the surface, or some other ingredient is necessary for me to willingly suspend my disbelief. This is one of the most important aspects of this sourcebook's concept, and at least for me, it falls flat on its face.

OK I know three of you have piled on this but to me this is the easiest part to believe. It must be my 21 years of teaching human history at all levels that makes me think that yes, if there is a world devastating apocalypse happening and there were space stations that were relatively safe they would absolutely leave people on the surface to die. Human beings are absolute crap to those in need and if you add to that limited life support of tin cans in space and it gets a lot easier to rationalize it. Take a look at how the world treats refugees right now and tell me that this is somehow out of character or if that is too political maybe you should remember the S.S. St. Louis


I'll see your S.S. St. Louis and raise you a John Rabe, the Nazi diplomat who single-handedly saved 200,000 Chinese civilians from his country's ally (Japan) during the Rape of Nanking.

Do you study/teach nothing but humans being jerks to other humans in your classes? I mean, yes, of course that's a common theme throughout history, but to infer from the S.S. St. Louis and other nasty episodes that every human group in orbit would not just turn their backs on all of humanity on Earth/abandon it, but would in fact actively commit precious resources to a perpetual and global 300-year blockade seems like an extrapolation that's contradicted by mission trips, international aid agencies, Peace Corps volunteers, and all manner of charitable organizations that try to help people they've never met before every day. Yes, people are often jerks to each other, but humanity is more than that. If your academic experience has beaten that idea out of you, then might you consider taking a sabbatical? Living with that kind of cynicism is an awful burden.

First, I have been teaching about Rabe since my second year, 1998. If I sound cranky in this part it's not just your need to go personal but because I started teaching about him before it was popular. I had parent complaints that I was talking about heroic Nazis and it was only because the education director at the Holocaust Museum Houston that I got to keep my job. So I yeah, I heard of him and not only did you insult me but you managed to bring up a really sore spot to do it.


I intended no insult. I saw you make a blanket statement and support it with an anecdote and either a personal anecdote or an appeal to your own authority of experience teaching history. There is an abundant body of evidence that people are neither uniformly nor universally terrible to those in need, and both would be perpetually required of the orbitals, continuously, for three centuries.

Incidentally, kudos for trying to teach your students about how history is complicated and that people in horrible organizations can do objectively good things. I mentioned Rabe a while back as one of several examples of Nazis who did objectively good things on a different thread, and it went only slightly better than your personal experience.

Warshield73 wrote:
Few quick points, Now to say he did this single handed is a bit much, especially since other zones had been established in places like Shanghai. Your real mistake is in saying he saved 200,000 lives. He gave shelter to as many as 200,000 people that is true but your making an assumption that 100% of them would have been killed, an assumption not born by the actual death toll in the city with the worst estimates being in the 60% range. But given the general nature of this discussion that bit of hyperbole is understandable.

These are red herrings. Regardless of whether 200,000 or 20,000 people lived because of Rabe, he stands as one example among many that directly counter your expressed view.

Warshield73 wrote:
Also I did not infer my position from one event it was one of two examples I provided in a single paragraph, the first of which you ignored choosing instead to insult me and then to prove my point. Everything we have come up with thus far is an example of a small group choosing to help when the majority refuses to. Plenty of Americans were willing to take in Jewish children from Europe but the majority of Americans were opposed. FDR wanted to allow refuges in but he knew that he would loose the in 1936 and 1940 elections. Muslims in Balkan countries tried to hide Jews from the Nazis only to be turned in or attacked by there Christian neighbors. On and on we can go just with WWII but I think the pattern is clear.

"Look at how the world treats refugees" isn't an example. It's a generalization, and there are many examples of people, organizations, and even countries going out of their way to help refugees. Sure, a lot of those are individual stories, a lot of them are mostly symbolic drops in a bucket, and the sum of their efforts is not equal to the task of solving the problem of how to handle refugees and the issues driving them away from their homes, but there are a lot of people doing something about it. Contrast with the Orbitals as written. None of them lift a weightless finger to help the folks below, and all of them work together to keep Earth (including the humans down there) isolated.

Warshield73 wrote:
When people are afraid (being dragged into a war, Ebola, monsters from a rift) they want to be protected and most will watch others suffer to be, or even just to feel, safe. There are those who won't but they have always been and likely will continue to be in the minority. Now, what you point out is a great reason for opposition to Earth Containment. People who oppose it on a political level and others who out right defy it. In my first game I actually had a group like this that was in contact with the NGR, my PCs and was instrumental in the gathering of Heroes. It was so much easier for my PC's to track down and eliminate war when they had an actual spy satellite tracking hm.


A minority is all it takes, and that's all I'm really looking for in any MiO redux. From what you've written here, that orbital character effectively changed the setting to assuage the same concern in an elegant and compelling way. Kudos. I want to apply that same logic to the timeline since the Coming of the Rifts.

Warshield73 wrote:
I need to point out here that you also completely ignored the point about this being passive. The orbital community is not harming anyone, they just aren't helping. As for containment, that's just enforcing a border if you will.
The Orbitals actively maintain the killer satellites and will actively fight/destroy anyone and anything that comes up. It's border enforcement in the way North Korea practices it. I could accept that if the Orbitals were a unified authoritarian government in a small country. That's not what's described.


Warshield73 wrote:
As an aside I just want to say I believe in Heroes, I've met them and I teach about them. I don't know if I would consider a man like Rabe one but I definitely understand why the Chinese do. It's important to understand why we celebrate heroes so much though, its because they are rare and someone who works with the majority to help others is rarely considered one.

I concur. Incidentally, what makes a hero worth celebrating to you, and how do you like to explore that in your games?

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Incidentally, let's look at the numbers involved in maintaining a global blockade with killer satellites. Look at the range of the killer satellites. Most of them have a range of 6,000 ft, and 3x that in space. That's about 3.4 miles. Cool.
Pi times that range squared is the area a single satellite can cover: about 36.5 square miles. Cool.
The surface area of the Earth is 197 million square miles according to the Earth Wiki article.
Now divide the surface area of the Earth by that single killer satellite coverage area to get what you'd need to effectively cover the surface area of the world.

You need 5.4 million killer satellites. That's 18 satellites for each of the 300,000 Orbitals out there, and many of those satellites have limited ammunition. This is also setting aside the logistical challenge of moving ammunition/maintenance parts/crews out to those 5.4 million satellites, as well as the fact that these satellites would be covering a wider area than the surface, because they'd be in orbit. I'm hand-waving a LOT of additional complicating factors, but this is in the ballpark of what it would take with the numbers provided in the book. The orbital civilization described keeping this up for 300 years just isn't plausible both from the perspective of practical logistics and the perspective of human beings not being universal jerks to each other.

The logistics of this would be a completely rational argument except for a few major points:
1: I acknowledge your math here but you are placing these things in orbit as if they are all routed to one place. Most of these satellites would not be geosynchronous. Given the fact that they would need to be above the debris field (see #2) you figure high fast orbits with at lest as much ability to alter there orbit as a modern spy satellite.

As I mentioned, I did a LOT of hand-waving here. If you put the satellites in low earth orbit (which my first calculation approximated 100% coverage of), satellites are screaming by at Mach 25, and if shooting at a relatively stationary target, they'll go in and out of maximum range in 1.25 seconds. You could effectively have lines of satellites shooting targets coming up in sequence. At geosynchronous orbit (radius: 26,200 miles), you'll have a far wider area to cover, the satellites move slower, and you'll need 240 million satellites to effectively cover that sphere.

Satellite mobility with modern satellites is a question of applying thrust to adjust where you'll fly over halfway around the world, about 22 minutes in advance of what you're wanting to fly over.

Satellite mobility can certainly reduce requirements, but the need to focus fire/overlap satellites on tough targets, coordinate for mutual fire support, engage at multiple orbital altitudes, chase down stragglers that get through, and provide backups for satellites that break down, run out of fuel, or run out of ammunition will all tend to drive requirements up. You also have to consider logicstical support, command and control coordination between the satellites, and dealing with orbital junk hazards. I was going for a ballpark solution.

Warshield73 wrote:
2: If you read the description in the book most of the work is actually done by a counter orbit field of debris from the remains of the Sino-Japanese station and other facilities. They don't need a lot of weapons up there just enough to stop whatever might make it through.

This might reduce the need for redundancy, but it wouldn't reduce the coverage requirements.

Warshield73 wrote:
3: It is well established that GA tech lasts centuries, look at all the GBs that are still in service from before the Rifts, so even a minimal production rate would add up over 300 years to be a massive field. You also need to keep in mind that they don't need to maintain anything. They don't themselves want to go anywhere near earth and every satellite that dies just adds to the debris field thus serving the same purpose as a functional satellite.

If their satellites are mobile, then they need fuel per Newton's Third Law. If they shoot ammunition-requiring weapons (of which there many such satellites), they will need reloads. If they shoot at things that shoot back, they'll need repairs. Regardless, they will constitute an enormous investment for groups that fight among each other and are very stingy with their resources.

Warshield73 wrote:
4: As was pointed out to me on another forum missile ranges can cover large areas of orbital space and any ship coming up the well is going to be at major maneuvering disadvantage so satellites would have plenty of time to alter there orbit and attack. Also if the orbital community has even the observational capacity that we have today they could see a ship preparing for launch and pre-position assets over it.

With real-world physics, and a more sensible set of killer satellites, absolutely. With killer satellites equipped with lots of canon Long-Range Missiles under rules as written, that could work, too. With the killer satellites described, all they have is a mini-missile launcher, which has a range of 2 miles in space (which hurts my brain to read, let alone type).

Warshield73 wrote:
Another aside here but the weapons ranges for Rifts stuff in space a ridiculously low. Not just in Rifts Space but also in games like Phase World so your issue with numbers of satelites to me says more about that then the feasibility of Earth containment.

100% concur.

Warshield73 wrote:
5: Finally, you describe this as a 300 year active event where the only thing coming up the well was humans desperate to escape and the stations slapping them down. To our knowledge this never actually happened. If anything at all came up the well in the first 200 or so years it was a monster and they killed it, thus adding to there fears. As far as stopping humans we know the only things of the CS and Triax they have destroyed are all unmanned and we don't know that any of those made it through the debris field.

That's not quite my issue, though their determination to shoot down everything coming up seems weird. My issue is that, as written in MiO p57, they sent a few probes down shortly after the Coming of the Rifts, decided no-one could possibly survive, and therefore gave up on doing anything to help anyone on the surface without re-evaluating this position in 300 years.

Of course, MiO is so disjointed in its presentation that, depending on the paragraph you're reading on p57, you might think that the Orbitals don't think any humans remain alive, or you might think that Earthlings make it up into space on a semi-regular basis.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
As for why they would all contribute to earth containment you actually covered that. If you could watch the Splugorth and other monsters wash over the earth don't you think they would pay to keep them there? In many ways if magic was keeping them from observing earth then this would make less sense. If they couldn't see what was going on they would have no reason to keep it up and the earth containment would have slacked off by now. Also, this is not a "screw earth" policy this is a "contain the threat" policy.

This justifies targeted containment of specific threats, not a planetary blockade.

I completely agree with you, so what. Plenty of activists I know think our problems in Yemen justify law enforcement action not killer robots firing Hellfire missiles in to bus loads of kids or starving an entire nation but its still happening and the majority of world's population doesn't care, or to be more precise and to keep this to facts as opposed to feelings, doesn't care enough to do anything about it.

Justify is a value statement and you're making the same mistake my students make when they argue against the fire bombing of Dresden or the use of nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not everyone has your values.


I reject moral relativism (Not all value systems are of equal worth), but that's only partially relevant here. You're misinterpreting my statement as an exclusively moral one. Setting up and maintaining a network to contain specific targeted threats makes some economic sense. Setting up a global one doesn't.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
The other thing you have to factor in is that for the first 1 to maybe 5 years there was nothing the stations could do. If there was too much ash in the air for a helicopter to fly how is a space shuttle suppose to land and take off. Once they had to wait that long it would be easy to say that the situation had deteriorated to much for them to help.

I have a hard time buying that a group that has the resources to maintain a 300 year planetary blockade couldn't provide any assistance. Heck, even providing overhead imagery, navigation, and some orbital communications relays to select human groups would be a huge boon, and that would require an infinitesimally small amount of resources compared to maintaining the killer satellite network.

Again "planetary blockade" where did you get that. Very few things have tried to come up so this isn't some space version of the Cuban missile crisis. This is like an old border of rusted razor wire and pit traps (the debris field) that you occasionally sprinkle with landmines (satellites and missiles).

You also really need to read the description of what the stations went through. Massive damage that for the first time they had to repair completely on there own. Mass suicides. People going crazy and murdering others or doing further damage to the station. Add to this the previously, and multiply, mentioned fact that they can not reach the planet for years after the event and you see how this would just become the default policy.

Your focus on the definition of a blockade seems like some kind of appeal to purity/No True Scotsman fallacy over the definition of blockade. Whether you call it containment, blockade, quarantine, or any number of measures, and whether you're using orbital junk, killer satellites, mines, or ships, it's a question of intent and effect. If you're deliberately stopping all traffic leaving Earth, what difference do the semantics make?

MiO p61 states that the Orbitals (except the Nihilist Metas, who don't give a crap) actively maintain the debris field, launch satellites, and are quite active in maintaining containment.

Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Second, as I mentioned earlier, the zany cartoony mutant theme doesn't seem right. I get that a lot of this stems from the After the Bomb dual purpose of this sourcebook, but I find it jarring with the grim and dark themes of Rifts. Space is nasty, and I don't get this kind of vibe when I read MiO. Admittedly, I rarely flip through MiO; it's my least-favorite Rifts sourcebook.

Most of this is AtB and most of the artwork that is for Rifts is petty standard giant robot stuff. But, your point is valid.

To be fair, the cover looks pretty good. The inside content just didn't match up.

It's an OK cover I never liked the way the GB looks.

Is it the horns? I never understood the purpose of those things.

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