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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:10 am
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
Well, we know that the CS went up against Tolkeen with a lot of people, most of whom they lost... and replaced completely in less than a year. Same goes for all of the equipment, vehicles, and so on.


you forgot the part where first they replaced all the equipment, vehicles, and so on just because they could.

*then* they lost a bunch of them, and replaced them all.

and then presumably forgot about the mountain of supplies they had left from before because they suddenly struggled to outfit a million people for the minion war (not that they should have needed to recruit anyone based on the numbers we've been told for the legions of hell iirc... but then, RPG writers having a really terrible grasp of what numbers mean is hardly anything new or unique to palladium).

and in palladium's case, that flimsy grasp on the meaning of the numbers they throw out so freely is not limited to the coalition states either.

personally, my thinking when it comes to *any* supposedly impressive number you see in palladium is to ignore what's in the book and use whatever makes sense to you... or not, if you prefer that your nigh-invulnerable demons of the apocalypse can actually be shot to death by a few hundred people with laser rifles in under a minute, I suppose, or to have city fortifications that are supposed to provide protection against invading armies but actually have MDC low enough that a single fairly well-equipped PC could punch a hole through them in a single round (or sometimes a single action).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:07 am
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
RMB 49
[Emperor Prosek] and his advisors are cruel manipulators and exploiters of the people. They are as evil and demonic as anything that crawled out of a rift.
Howeer, this does not mean that every person who is a member or citizen of the Coalition is just as evil. Most have no idea about the government's indiscretions and lies. The majority believe their propaganda and think of their lives as fruitful, good, and happy. Sure, everybody has their complaints and concerns (especially the poor), but few think of the CS as evil or maniacal.
The Coalition soldier is no different. He or she is just one of the concerned citizens who believes in, and loves, their emperor, life, and country. Being in the army will frequently mean the character is a little more militant, gung-ho, and pro-government than the average citizen, but that doesn't make them evil either. In fact, most of them see themselves as heroes.


And this was expanded on in SB1 17-19:
Generally, the average citizen is of a good or selfish alignment.
And
The majority are well-meaning people who try to eke out fruitful, happy lives without ever hurting anybody.
And
The average soldier is not much different than the average citizen. These men and women are not inherently evil, but often the unwitting tools of the emperor and the government. Their alignments range the full gamut of good, selfish, and evil.

And so on, and so forth.


This is what I mean about the narrative for the Coalition being a bunch of milquetoast backpedaling. This isn't "shades of grey" this is talking out of both sides of the mouth. We see them committing wholesale atrocities, including actual death camps, most named and stat'ed out Coalition characters are at least evil, if not actual megalomaniacal psychopaths, and we still get this weaksauce flung at us about #NotAllDeadBoys.

Demons and alien intelligences and all that stuff is fine, but it doesn't have the same visceral punch as human evil done by human hands. You can make that hit way harder at the tabletop than trying to be scary while describing another portal full of tentacles, screaming faces, a bunch of demons, or whatever.

And no, most of them wouldn't be serial killers or relishing the misery they inflict, or any of that over the top stuff. They'd just be... doing their jobs. Following orders. Because the real horror of mass human evil like this isn't the shrieking gearboys of Immortan Joe throwing themselves into hideous violence with mad abandon. It's workmanlike men and women doing monstrous things with with little real interest because it's not personal, it's just their job, it's what they're told to do. They go about it with the same bland efficiency as an accountant doing taxes. Evil on this scale is very banal on the individual level.

When among themselves they wouldn't come off as particularly evil either. They'd have families, go to bars, all that normal stuff. Atrocities aren't their mission in life, it's just their job. Their entire society is set up to portray anyone outside it as not even a person. You don't need to be a serial killer to wipe out dangerous animals, after all.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:55 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
RMB 49
[Emperor Prosek] and his advisors are cruel manipulators and exploiters of the people. They are as evil and demonic as anything that crawled out of a rift.
Howeer, this does not mean that every person who is a member or citizen of the Coalition is just as evil. Most have no idea about the government's indiscretions and lies. The majority believe their propaganda and think of their lives as fruitful, good, and happy. Sure, everybody has their complaints and concerns (especially the poor), but few think of the CS as evil or maniacal.
The Coalition soldier is no different. He or she is just one of the concerned citizens who believes in, and loves, their emperor, life, and country. Being in the army will frequently mean the character is a little more militant, gung-ho, and pro-government than the average citizen, but that doesn't make them evil either. In fact, most of them see themselves as heroes.


And this was expanded on in SB1 17-19:
Generally, the average citizen is of a good or selfish alignment.
And
The majority are well-meaning people who try to eke out fruitful, happy lives without ever hurting anybody.
And
The average soldier is not much different than the average citizen. These men and women are not inherently evil, but often the unwitting tools of the emperor and the government. Their alignments range the full gamut of good, selfish, and evil.

And so on, and so forth.


This is what I mean about the narrative for the Coalition being a bunch of milquetoast backpedaling. This isn't "shades of grey" this is talking out of both sides of the mouth. We see them committing wholesale atrocities, including actual death camps, most named and stat'ed out Coalition characters are at least evil, if not actual megalomaniacal psychopaths, and we still get this weaksauce flung at us about #NotAllDeadBoys.


Most named Coalition characters are top-level, at least in the early books.
And the thing you should probably understand about death camps is that not everybody involved need be evil; that's one thing that makes them terrifying.

If you would kill anybody for any reason, or participate in killing anybody for any reason, then in the right circumstances you could participate no matter how
good you are, IF the information you received was manipulated enough.
I know I'd certainly commit genocide in certain cases. I fully supported Ripley nuking the only known colony of xenomorphs in Aliens, and if I had the power I'd engage in genocide against the Daleks in Dr. Who.
Just for two exceptions off the top of my head.
I don't think that would make me Evil.
Do you?

The trick comes in when somebody fully believes they're simply exterminating xenomorphs or Daleks, but they've been carefully manipulated into actually exterminating another species that doesn't post as much threat.
That's where one's philosophical approach to "evil" comes in. In many/most philosophies, one need KNOW what one is doing in order to be Evil.
A delusional man who kills his fellow citizens because he honestly believes they're demons, or because he honestly doesn't understand that he's killing people, is typically considered to be insane, not Evil.
And that's the kind of way Palladium's alignment system seems to function; it's about how one sees oneself and one's actions, as it is about the effects, quite probably more.

Most CS citizens don't know what their government is up to. Most CS soldiers don't really know what their government is up to.
All they know is that there are very real threats out there that can mind-control you, possess you, and otherwise take over your mind, body, and soul, if they get the opportunity, and the Coalition military protects them from such threats.
Everything most of them ever see supports the idea that the Coalition is Good, and their enemies are relentless, remorseless EVIL, and they act reasonably based on those premises.
Is that Evil?
Not by most standards. It's akin to somebody shooting an intruder in self-defense, unaware that the intruder only SEEMED to pose a deadly threat to them, and the actual situation was something else.
Tragic, yes.
But Evil?
No. Not by any standards that would not damn most of the human population of the planet both in modern times and in all history.

Quote:
Demons and alien intelligences and all that stuff is fine, but it doesn't have the same visceral punch as human evil done by human hands. You can make that hit way harder at the tabletop than trying to be scary while describing another portal full of tentacles, screaming faces, a bunch of demons, or whatever.


To me, it's a lot more visceral and hard-hitting to show that evil deeds need not be committed by evil people, that the misguided goodhearted people can be just as bad in effect, if they're guided by evil men.

Quote:
And no, most of them wouldn't be serial killers or relishing the misery they inflict, or any of that over the top stuff. They'd just be... doing their jobs. Following orders. Because the real horror of mass human evil like this isn't the shrieking gearboys of Immortan Joe throwing themselves into hideous violence with mad abandon. It's workmanlike men and women doing monstrous things with with little real interest because it's not personal, it's just their job, it's what they're told to do. They go about it with the same bland efficiency as an accountant doing taxes. Evil on this scale is very banal on the individual level.

When among themselves they wouldn't come off as particularly evil either. They'd have families, go to bars, all that normal stuff. Atrocities aren't their mission in life, it's just their job. Their entire society is set up to portray anyone outside it as not even a person. You don't need to be a serial killer to wipe out dangerous animals, after all.


Now look at the Palladium alignment system.
IF a man:
-always keeps his word
-avoids lies
-never kills or attacks what they perceive as an unarmed foe
-never harms anybody that they believe is innocent
-never tortures for any reason
-Never kills for pleasure
-Always helps other people (as they understand the term "people" to apply)
-Works well in a group
-Respects authority, law, self-discipline, and honor
-Never betrays a friend
-Never breaks the law unless conditions are desperate

What Evil alignment does that fit?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:45 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:

Now look at the Palladium alignment system.
IF a man:
-always keeps his word
-avoids lies
-never kills or attacks what they perceive as an unarmed foe
-never harms anybody that they believe is innocent
-never tortures for any reason
-Never kills for pleasure
-Always helps other people (as they understand the term "people" to apply)
-Works well in a group
-Respects authority, law, self-discipline, and honor
-Never betrays a friend
-Never breaks the law unless conditions are desperate

What Evil alignment does that fit?


See, I think you get what I mean. The narrative, in rushing to say that individual people aren't evil or whatever, is completely brushing over and downplaying that it's not individual people that are the problem. It's a system of evil. A society set up to produce evil on an industrial scale. The evil is institutional, not individual.

The trick to that is that in a system set up that way, evil people will tend to be more successful than non evil people because it's easier for people like that to properly execute the overall purpose of the system. Which is why a guy like Colonel Lyboc seems to be able to work the system well enough to hang on like a tick even though he's apparently not super successful when he tries to make big plays like the incident that led to the Juicer Uprising.

The other problem with systems like this and the thing that really prevents Chi Town from being anything like the "hope of humanity" is that systems like this are very unstable. The highest levels of it are set up so that pathological personalities are the kind that prosper the most and eventually, keystone people that keep it all propped up will either lose power or die, at which point the whole thing will implode. In this case it's pretty likely that the educated and privileged upper caste will devour itself in a power struggle and the rest of the people will be left hanging in the wind. I mean, the keys to their entire technological society are in the hands of a guy so freakin' crazy that he makes The Joker look like the cover model for Sanity Fair Magazine. Desmond is only held back from going full supervillain by Karl's existence. The minute the Emperor is gone...


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:46 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Now look at the Palladium alignment system.
IF a man:
-always keeps his word
-avoids lies
-never kills or attacks what they perceive as an unarmed foe
-never harms anybody that they believe is innocent
-never tortures for any reason
-Never kills for pleasure
-Always helps other people (as they understand the term "people" to apply)
-Works well in a group
-Respects authority, law, self-discipline, and honor
-Never betrays a friend
-Never breaks the law unless conditions are desperate

What Evil alignment does that fit?


See, I think you get what I mean. The narrative, in rushing to say that individual people aren't evil or whatever, is completely brushing over and downplaying that it's not individual people that are the problem. It's a system of evil. A society set up to produce evil on an industrial scale. The evil is institutional, not individual.


I feel like that's how the book describes it almost exactly.
The people aren't evil. The Government is. The Coalition States as a whole are, even though the people as individuals aren't.
:?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:06 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:

I feel like that's how the book describes it almost exactly.
The people aren't evil. The Government is. The Coalition States as a whole are, even though the people as individuals aren't.
:?

The books try and make it seem like that somehow makes it wrong to fight them, or excuses the people who aren't technically evil who are still working as part of that system. It doesn't. Not one bit. It doesn't matter if the individual isn't particularly evil if their actions contribute to a system of evil and atrocity. Evil isn't just something a person is, it's something a person does. Even if any particular person isn't so bad, they contribute nonetheless. No hands are clean there. You can't just put it off on "the government" though. The entire society is diseased.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:03 pm
  

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iirc, when they actually give numbers at one point something like 1 in 4 coalition soldiers are miscreant or diabolic.

assuming I'm remembering that correctly, that means about 1 in 4 of them view murder and torture as valid forms of recreation. also, have basically no loyalty to anyone or anything, and place no value on any life other than their own.

frankly it is baffling how these people could even function in the army.

(of course, the same alignment breakdown suggests something like 15-20% of them are good aligned... once again, I chalk this up to RPG writers not being good with numbers. particularly since their whole explanation was how most of the CS military are reasonable people in the same breath that they tell you 1/4 of them would sell out their friends in a heartbeat, hate working in groups, and despise authority... in the military. so yeah, that's a thing. personally, I think the numbers would be a lot more plausible if you had about 90% of everyone being selfish rather than either good *or* evil, particularly since one of the good alignments is basically "you are superman" and one of the evil alignments is basically "you are the joker", both of which should be incredibly rare).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:15 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
iirc, when they actually give numbers at one point something like 1 in 4 coalition soldiers are miscreant or diabolic.

assuming I'm remembering that correctly, that means about 1 in 4 of them view murder and torture as valid forms of recreation. also, have basically no loyalty to anyone or anything, and place no value on any life other than their own.

lol. Seriously? I gotta find that because the very idea of it is hilarious.
Shark_Force wrote:
frankly it is baffling how these people could even function in the army.

They probably volunteer for the helpless D-Bee extermination squads. <shrug>
Shark_Force wrote:
(of course, the same alignment breakdown suggests something like 15-20% of them are good aligned... once again, I chalk this up to RPG writers not being good with numbers. particularly since their whole explanation was how most of the CS military are reasonable people in the same breath that they tell you 1/4 of them would sell out their friends in a heartbeat, hate working in groups, and despise authority... in the military. so yeah, that's a thing. personally, I think the numbers would be a lot more plausible if you had about 90% of everyone being selfish rather than either good *or* evil, particularly since one of the good alignments is basically "you are superman" and one of the evil alignments is basically "you are the joker", both of which should be incredibly rare).

It honestly give the lie to the idea that "good alignments" even mean anything other than a general idea of the person's behavior.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:08 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

I feel like that's how the book describes it almost exactly.
The people aren't evil. The Government is. The Coalition States as a whole are, even though the people as individuals aren't.
:?

The books try and make it seem like that somehow makes it wrong to fight them,


Hm.
I've never gotten that impression; the game is geared up where the CS is one of the regular enemies, after all.

All I've gotten is that they're intended to be more than faceless, soulless cannon fodder, that they're people working on the side of evil, but that it's important to remember that they're still people.

I do remember from some letters and responses a while back (maybe in the MOPs), Kevin expressing puzzlement at players telling him "Why are you still putting Doc Feral in adventures? We killed him WAY back!"
Because while Doc Feral was a bad guy, he wasn't the kind of person to force the PCs' hand in combat, and he wasn't a bad enough guy he should just be executed in cold blood; he was a decent enough guy, except for the fact that he didn't see animals--mutant animals included--as people.
Which is actually a lot like the CS's view.

It's possible he kept running into players who just wanted to turn into anti-CS terrorists who felt morally justified at killing anybody and everybody in the CS because they're "the bad guys."
I know I've seen plenty of people like that, here on the boards and at the gaming table back in the day.
Heck, I played that type of character before, but I understood the moral implications of my characters' actions; I didn't try to justify it except in the character's own mind.
And I don't think it should be the standard, or even really common.

There seems to be a lot of Star Wars influence in Rifts, and in Star Wars (the original trilogy at least) the Rebels aren't terrorists, and they don't just run around killing any and all Empire military people they see.
They kill tons of people on the Death Star, but only after Alderaan was destroyed, and it was clear the Empire would keep using the weapon until they were stopped, the military equivalent of taking the gun out of the attacker's hands.
They sure didn't just decide to, for example, find an Imperial base that wasn't doing anybody direct harm, and try to kill everybody there or blow it up.
They didn't try to build their own Death Star and start blowing up Imperial planets.
The fact that soldiers in the Empire were on the side of Evil didn't prompt the MCs to wage a war of genocide against him, the way a lot of people seem to want to do to the CS.
(I'm not assuming you're among that number, or that you're not, btw)

Quote:
or excuses the people who aren't technically evil who are still working as part of that system. It doesn't. Not one bit. It doesn't matter if the individual isn't particularly evil if their actions contribute to a system of evil and atrocity. Evil isn't just something a person is, it's something a person does. Even if any particular person isn't so bad, they contribute nonetheless. No hands are clean there. You can't just put it off on "the government" though. The entire society is diseased.


I don't disagree, but I think what Palladium's doing is pointing out that the disease has a number of cures.
If the CS leadership could be stopped, the CS people could be normal people again at some point, or even a force for good.
If individual soldiers/citizens are turned instead of killed, shown how the world really is outside of CS propaganda, same deal.
The only real point of all that text about the citizens not being evil seems to be just to chill players out a bit, get them to understand the Coalition people aren't all mustache-twirling villains (which it seems you know), and that terrorism or genocide against them isn't necessarily justified.
Oh, and to make it cool if the players want to play CS characters at some point.
I wouldn't say "the entire society is diseased," because not all the members ARE. Most are pretty normal folk who have bad information that leads them to do bad thing (or, more often, things that aren't bad in their own right, and would be outright noble IF they were on the right team; feeding people, clothing people, healing people who are sick and injured, etc. etc.).

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:10 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
iirc, when they actually give numbers at one point something like 1 in 4 coalition soldiers are miscreant or diabolic.


I think that's in the SoT books, discussing specifically the army sent after Tolkeen, not the entire CS military.
But it's been a while, and I could well be wrong about that.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:32 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Quote:
frankly it is baffling how these people could even function in the army.

They probably volunteer for the helpless D-Bee extermination squads. <shrug>


fairly certain the CS military still expects people to be loyal to them, work in groups, and obey orders, even if we assume that for some reason the military don't particularly care for some reason that they're recruiting people who would happily commit atrocities against their own civilians as long as the person thinks they can get away with it.

but again, I suspect this is mostly caused by the author not looking too closely at what diabolic and miscreant mean. I suspect that if they had noticed that it means they hate authority, don't work well in groups, despise the idea of honour, are likely to enjoy torture and murder as a form of recreation, will almost certainly betray a friend and are completely lacking in any degree of loyalty etc, they probably would have chosen different alignments (again, probably mostly in the selfish range of things)

particularly since the author was very clearly trying to say that the CS soldiers are for the most part fairly ordinary people being fed misinformation and propaganda, and it would be very odd to then transition into "I mean, only around one in every four of them would probably strangle their friends to death in their sleep for fun if they thought they could get away with it".


Last edited by Shark_Force on Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:18 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Shark_Force wrote:
iirc, when they actually give numbers at one point something like 1 in 4 coalition soldiers are miscreant or diabolic.


I think that's in the SoT books, discussing specifically the army sent after Tolkeen, not the entire CS military.
But it's been a while, and I could well be wrong about that.

I would love to know what the planning meeting for that would have been like.

"We should send these army groups, one in four of the troops in these groups are basically serial killers looking for an excuse, let's give 'em one!"

"Genius!"


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:36 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
I would love to know what the planning meeting for that would have been like.

"We should send these army groups, one in four of the troops in these groups are basically serial killers looking for an excuse, let's give 'em one!"

"Genius!"


again, I don't think this was planned. I think the person who wrote that probably just decided on a spread of alignments that put some percentage of them into evil (and some into good), and didn't think about the implications of having a large portion of the military that will just murder people for fun, largely because they probably didn't realize it.

and in fairness... it's a bit of a weird alignment system where a standard alignment is basically not just willing to kill to achieve goals when necessary with little regard for life, but actively enjoys the act of killing as a source of pleasure, let alone to have a second one that is likely to enjoy killing for pleasure.

this also has a lot to do with palladium's alignment system being kinda janky, with a lot of "will", "will not", "never", "always" and similar when really there should be a lot of "tends to fall within the range of" if you're going to try to encompass the entire spectrum of human morality within such a small number of categories (which I'm not particularly convinced is a great idea in the first place). of course, most alignment systems at the time this one was made were all pretty janky, so that shouldn't be too surprising.

(personally, my preferred "alignment" system, if you wish to call it that, simply involves coming up with a variety of things that are important to the character, and rating them from 0 to 5 or some other arbitrary number. and these could be almost anything... it isn't so much a system of morality as it is a system for you to define what motivates your character... it could be preserving (or ending) the coalition states, sharing knowledge, making money, learning new spells, spreading the dominance of magic, creating a society where everyone is welcome (or where only some are welcome), laziness, self-improvement, or whatever else you can think of).


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:50 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
I would love to know what the planning meeting for that would have been like.

"We should send these army groups, one in four of the troops in these groups are basically serial killers looking for an excuse, let's give 'em one!"

"Genius!"


again, I don't think this was planned. I think the person who wrote that probably just decided on a spread of alignments that put some percentage of them into evil (and some into good), and didn't think about the implications of having a large portion of the military that will just murder people for fun, largely because they probably didn't realize it.

and in fairness... it's a bit of a weird alignment system where a standard alignment is basically not just willing to kill to achieve goals when necessary with little regard for life, but actively enjoys the act of killing as a source of pleasure, let alone to have a second one that is likely to enjoy killing for pleasure.

this also has a lot to do with palladium's alignment system being kinda janky, with a lot of "will", "will not", "never", "always" and similar when really there should be a lot of "tends to fall within the range of" if you're going to try to encompass the entire spectrum of human morality within such a small number of categories (which I'm not particularly convinced is a great idea in the first place). of course, most alignment systems at the time this one was made were all pretty janky, so that shouldn't be too surprising.

(personally, my preferred "alignment" system, if you wish to call it that, simply involves coming up with a variety of things that are important to the character, and rating them from 0 to 5 or some other arbitrary number. and these could be almost anything... it isn't so much a system of morality as it is a system for you to define what motivates your character... it could be preserving (or ending) the coalition states, sharing knowledge, making money, learning new spells, spreading the dominance of magic, creating a society where everyone is welcome (or where only some are welcome), laziness, self-improvement, or whatever else you can think of).

To tell the truth, I don't really sweat alignment in Palladium games since it isn't really a proper cosmic principle like it is in say... Pathfinder. There are some entities that seem to be made out of evil and far fewer that seem to be innately good, but for the most part it's not as intrinsic to the cosmology so I don't worry about it too much from a player character perspective.

What it does do in Rifts is give a decent summary of what sort of person an NPC is. Especially if they don't otherwise have much about their personality and disposition in their writeup.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:05 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
this also has a lot to do with palladium's alignment system being kinda janky, with a lot of "will", "will not", "never", "always" and similar when really there should be a lot of "tends to fall within the range of" if you're going to try to encompass the entire spectrum of human morality within such a small number of categories (which I'm not particularly convinced is a great idea in the first place). of course, most alignment systems at the time this one was made were all pretty janky, so that shouldn't be too surprising.


I think it is common for people to take the descriptions of the alignments, read them as if they are concrete, and ignore that the guy who wrote them doesn't necessarily intend for anything to be that set in stone. Since first running across a Palladium product in '91, I've never taken them to be anything other than malleable. As far as I can see, if you were to break them down to be as simply as possible, there would really only be 3 or 4 things being addressed in the alignment system:

1) Everyone has something they desire in life, and probably multiple things at once or over time.
2) While pursuing those goals/desires, how well does the character take orders/restrictions from whatever passes for authority?
3) While pursuing those goals/desires, how much does the character think about how their actions impact the lives of those around them?
4) Does the character care whether those impacts are good or bad?

To my mind, that is really all the alignment system is trying to get us thinking about. Everything else is pretty situational. Even 3 and 4 are of what I listed are likely to be situational depending on setting. How many societies, religions, families, or organizations in the real world have a certain code of conduct between members? And how many of those throw those codes of conduct out the window if the person on the receiving end isn't a member of that society, religion, family, or organization? I don't see why that can't apply to characters made under this system.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:16 am
  

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Numbers we know.
914,000 accounted for troops minimum at the final siege.(6 11K corpse per state + 50K from the FQ front +600,000 at the final siege. Do not know if that includes, navy.)
+100,000 dog boy
RUE pg25
CS Missouri 225,000 citizens +50,000 squatters
CS El Dorado 139,000 + 80,000 citizens
CS Lone Star 33,000 +18,000 +12,000 +1000 citizens +9,000 dog boys
CS Iron heart 700,000 humans 100,000 non humans 100,000 squatters
CS Chi town(this one is a bit tricky) 1,300,000 Iowa section (dozen large cities and 100s of towns here is the bulk of the CS population max size for the cities is 240,000 max size for the towns is 10,000X 300 towns around 5,880,000 people) 2.2 million chi town itself.
Assuming max pop for cities times 12 + max pop for 300 cities that would give us 1,300,000+5,880,000+2,200,000 for 9,380,000 in chi town state
So all together looking at around 10.588 Million citizens 150,000 known squatters 209,000 non humans in the CS.
Assume some error and say 15 million CS citizens seams possible.

Unlike the US during wwii and north korea cs does not pay low wages. assume the 1,200,000 workers make an average of 1,000 credits. That would be 1.2 billion per month in pay.
Now lets look at the military pay, lets say the average pay is PFC 1,750 (CS war campaign page 51) that would be a cost of 1,599,500,000 per month.
So we are looking at around 2.8 billion(I rounded to the nearest 1/10 billion) a month in pay to support the military if the companies are state run(will cost more for private companies).So even at that low pay we are looking at about 187 credits of tax needed per CS citizen every month for just paying sallies to keep the military going. (significant portion of the population will be non-workers/children.)
We know that the CS buys parts from wilks that are used to make CS gear thanks to blurb about it in rue and they trade for some gear with NG to fill shortages. So equipment is not free. Some guess work but I would say gear and food is costing at least 2 times the cost of pay.
But with pay alone we are looking at 33.6 billion a year. (the US military spending is 732 billion in 2019). So Just in pay they are at around 4.5% of Us military spending, and the CS has about 4.5% of the US population.
So spending per citizen as much as we spent fighting on two fronts just for base pay for military and people in the factories. (with me me low balling military pay low end the pay scale no combat pay and them tracking dog boys separate from normal troops as stated in the final siege so dog boys would be extra.)
I would say including what they pay for gear and food, they are likely spending well over 100 billion on their military.
The world economy is not as deep as ours is so not sure who is buying the CS dept.

But a post apocalyptic nation spending that much on military with limited trading just does not seam plausible to sustain.

Thanks to the minion war they could not draw down. So you have a advanced fighting force that makes up about 10% of the population using basic equipment that is worth thousands of credits as well as advanced robotics. While having limited trade partners, and needing to provide for its citizens. Most major valuables in Tolkeen where traded to other parties like Nurni for equipment to fight the CS, so I doubt they got much in the way of loot from its ruins.

I do not see how the CS can keep coming up with the money for its budget. It just does not seam economically possible without some major national income source we are not given. (I know they trade food/raw goods, they might trade some consumer goods but given they trade directly with less than 5 million people in NA , I do not see how they could be making that much money.)

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Last edited by Blue_Lion on Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:01 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Shark_Force wrote:
iirc, when they actually give numbers at one point something like 1 in 4 coalition soldiers are miscreant or diabolic.


I think that's in the SoT books, discussing specifically the army sent after Tolkeen, not the entire CS military.
But it's been a while, and I could well be wrong about that.

I would love to know what the planning meeting for that would have been like.

"We should send these army groups, one in four of the troops in these groups are basically serial killers looking for an excuse, let's give 'em one!"

"Genius!"


:lol:

Actually, I could see some version of that. I don't recall the books saying the CS was going to just empty out their prisons, run the convicts through boot camp, and send them to the Tolkeen front, BUT it would fit pretty well with their massive recruitment from the Burbs, and the number of new recruits they sent into that mess.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:40 am
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:

:lol:

Actually, I could see some version of that. I don't recall the books saying the CS was going to just empty out their prisons, run the convicts through boot camp, and send them to the Tolkeen front, BUT it would fit pretty well with their massive recruitment from the Burbs, and the number of new recruits they sent into that mess.

Yeah, it's too bad they waited on initiating The Purge in the Burbs til after the Tolkeen conflict, they could have made whomever was the most enthusiastic about all that wanton murder their first round draft picks for the army in the Tolkeen theater. :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:39 pm
  

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Kraynic wrote:
I think it is common for people to take the descriptions of the alignments, read them as if they are concrete, and ignore that the guy who wrote them doesn't necessarily intend for anything to be that set in stone.


why would people not read them as concrete when they are written as being concrete in most cases?

I mean, you do sometimes have "may" or "might", but as I already pointed out there are plenty of absolutes as well.

the rational way to read "Always keep his word" is to read that and say "okay, this means that the character will always keep their word", not "well, this might mean that the person will always keep their word but it also might mean that they will only keep their word in certain conditions".

likewise, the rational way to read "Use torture for pleasure and information, regularly" is to to read that and say "ok, this means the character will use torture for pleasure and information on a regular basis".

people aren't creating absolutes on their own, they're reading something that is written in absolute terms and assuming that it was written in absolute terms because the author meant for it to be read in absolute terms.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:30 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

:lol:

Actually, I could see some version of that. I don't recall the books saying the CS was going to just empty out their prisons, run the convicts through boot camp, and send them to the Tolkeen front, BUT it would fit pretty well with their massive recruitment from the Burbs, and the number of new recruits they sent into that mess.

Yeah, it's too bad they waited on initiating The Purge in the Burbs til after the Tolkeen conflict, they could have made whomever was the most enthusiastic about all that wanton murder their first round draft picks for the army in the Tolkeen theater. :lol:


Yeah, that would have made Tolkeen more interesting, and underscored the CS/Tolkeen comparison they were going for: Tolkeen using demons as weapons of war, vs the CS deliberately using people who are essentially the same thing.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:48 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
I would love to know what the planning meeting for that would have been like.

"We should send these army groups, one in four of the troops in these groups are basically serial killers looking for an excuse, let's give 'em one!"

"Genius!"


again, I don't think this was planned. I think the person who wrote that probably just decided on a spread of alignments that put some percentage of them into evil (and some into good), and didn't think about the implications of having a large portion of the military that will just murder people for fun, largely because they probably didn't realize it.

and in fairness... it's a bit of a weird alignment system where a standard alignment is basically not just willing to kill to achieve goals when necessary with little regard for life, but actively enjoys the act of killing as a source of pleasure, let alone to have a second one that is likely to enjoy killing for pleasure.

this also has a lot to do with palladium's alignment system being kinda janky, with a lot of "will", "will not", "never", "always" and similar when really there should be a lot of "tends to fall within the range of" if you're going to try to encompass the entire spectrum of human morality within such a small number of categories (which I'm not particularly convinced is a great idea in the first place). of course, most alignment systems at the time this one was made were all pretty janky, so that shouldn't be too surprising.

(personally, my preferred "alignment" system, if you wish to call it that, simply involves coming up with a variety of things that are important to the character, and rating them from 0 to 5 or some other arbitrary number. and these could be almost anything... it isn't so much a system of morality as it is a system for you to define what motivates your character... it could be preserving (or ending) the coalition states, sharing knowledge, making money, learning new spells, spreading the dominance of magic, creating a society where everyone is welcome (or where only some are welcome), laziness, self-improvement, or whatever else you can think of).


I think they're drawing on some real-world comparisons: WWII German, Japanese and Russian armies in particular, which all used a lot of atrocities on civilians, when they made up their CS military for the game. The RMB lists CS soldiers as being Anarchist or Miscreant in alignment. I'm assuming that the "doesn't take orders" bit gets beaten out of them in basic training.
I don't know how the CS economy works, it doesn't seem sustainable.
As for all of the bars, tattoo parlors, and so on outside of many current bases (depending on location), I doubt the CS would allow them. Peace-time bases and war-time bases are entirely different things, and with the CS on a continual war footing, "strips" would be too much of a security risk.

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Last edited by Fenris2020 on Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:48 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:

Yeah, that would have made Tolkeen more interesting, and underscored the CS/Tolkeen comparison they were going for: Tolkeen using demons as weapons of war, vs the CS deliberately using people who are essentially the same thing.

They also shouldn't have made Tolkeen's demons a formerly oppressed and enslaved underclass who were working for Tolkeen out of gratitude for being freed from slavery. It really diluted the bothsides message a bit.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:54 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Yeah, that would have made Tolkeen more interesting, and underscored the CS/Tolkeen comparison they were going for: Tolkeen using demons as weapons of war, vs the CS deliberately using people who are essentially the same thing.

They also shouldn't have made Tolkeen's demons a formerly oppressed and enslaved underclass who were working for Tolkeen out of gratitude for being freed from slavery. It really diluted the bothsides message a bit.


Agreed.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:20 pm
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
I don't know how the CS economy works, it doesn't seem sustainable.

Right? Hell, I'm still trying to see the economic, political, or military advantage that Chi Town gets from building, funding, and manning a naval force that is nowhere near any of their theaters of operation...
Killer Cyborg wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Yeah, that would have made Tolkeen more interesting, and underscored the CS/Tolkeen comparison they were going for: Tolkeen using demons as weapons of war, vs the CS deliberately using people who are essentially the same thing.

They also shouldn't have made Tolkeen's demons a formerly oppressed and enslaved underclass who were working for Tolkeen out of gratitude for being freed from slavery. It really diluted the bothsides message a bit.


Agreed.

Right? There were already plenty of regular old demons scattered about the books. There was zero need to invent new ones, especially new ones that somewhat undermined the messaging of the narrative.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:58 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Yeah, that would have made Tolkeen more interesting, and underscored the CS/Tolkeen comparison they were going for: Tolkeen using demons as weapons of war, vs the CS deliberately using people who are essentially the same thing.

They also shouldn't have made Tolkeen's demons a formerly oppressed and enslaved underclass who were working for Tolkeen out of gratitude for being freed from slavery. It really diluted the bothsides message a bit.

Are you saying that that Palladium is more or less incapable of articulating a coherent political message and dilutes their original premise to the point of irrelevance? Next your going to say that they have no idea how societies function and what's needed to sustain them. Perish the thought.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:35 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
Kraynic wrote:
I think it is common for people to take the descriptions of the alignments, read them as if they are concrete, and ignore that the guy who wrote them doesn't necessarily intend for anything to be that set in stone.


why would people not read them as concrete when they are written as being concrete in most cases?

I mean, you do sometimes have "may" or "might", but as I already pointed out there are plenty of absolutes as well.

the rational way to read "Always keep his word" is to read that and say "okay, this means that the character will always keep their word", not "well, this might mean that the person will always keep their word but it also might mean that they will only keep their word in certain conditions".

likewise, the rational way to read "Use torture for pleasure and information, regularly" is to to read that and say "ok, this means the character will use torture for pleasure and information on a regular basis".

people aren't creating absolutes on their own, they're reading something that is written in absolute terms and assuming that it was written in absolute terms because the author meant for it to be read in absolute terms.


My mother is one of the most truthful people I have ever known. When I was a kid I was involved in a car accident while on horseback. I was knocked unconscious, had a concussion and all that fun stuff, and only was aware of the ambulance ride due to being brought out of the stupor I was in by the pain of staples being applied to hold my scalp together. Once I was at the hospital and somewhat lucid again, I saw my mother. Of course my first question was: "Is the horse alright?".

My mother told me not to worry about the horse, he was fine.

Of course he was fine. He died on impact. She decided that maybe I should be in a better state of health before dealing with the truth.
Would a character of a principled alignment not tell a lie now (with the intention of telling the truth later) if they thought it was for the hearer's benefit?



The first character I ever played in a Palladium system game was a palladin. He was principled and (of course) followed the Code of Chivalry to the best of his ability. During a solo adventure, he ended up in a situation where he was outnumbered quite badly. He had the choice between the following (at least as far as I knew at the time):

1) Follow the tenets of Fair Play (never attack from behind), Valor (fight with honor), and Honor (avoid deception) which would lead to certain defeat. Defeat would mean failing at the tenets of Nobility (protect the innocent, administer justice) and Valor (defend the weak and innocent), leaving a group of bandits in control of a small settlement. At least until someone else found out about what was going on.

2) Ignore the tenets of Fair Play, Valor, and Honor that were mentioned above. Take on secluded enemies by surprise, at least until numbers were out of the "certain defeat" category. That would allow the chance of fulfilling the tenets of Nobility and Valor that were listed at the end of option 1. Taking on the last few openly and together would at least give lip service to the Fair Play, Valor, and Honor tenets that were ignored while improving the odds of overall success.

3) Leave the area and hope that there is something to rescue after finding reinforcements elsewhere.

Are any of those something that a Principled, Code following character wouldn't do? How can there be more than one option if everything is so cut and dried?


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:39 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Actually, I could see some version of that. I don't recall the books saying the CS was going to just empty out their prisons, run the convicts through boot camp, and send them to the Tolkeen front, BUT it would fit pretty well with their massive recruitment from the Burbs, and the number of new recruits they sent into that mess.

Honestly in a military focused society like the CS I would assume most court cases for major crimes end in a sentence of "prison or service." If so, there may not be that big of a prison system to draw on.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:18 pm
  

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Kraynic wrote:

My mother is one of the most truthful people I have ever known. When I was a kid I was involved in a car accident while on horseback. I was knocked unconscious, had a concussion and all that fun stuff, and only was aware of the ambulance ride due to being brought out of the stupor I was in by the pain of staples being applied to hold my scalp together. Once I was at the hospital and somewhat lucid again, I saw my mother. Of course my first question was: "Is the horse alright?".

My mother told me not to worry about the horse, he was fine.

Of course he was fine. He died on impact. She decided that maybe I should be in a better state of health before dealing with the truth.
Would a character of a principled alignment not tell a lie now (with the intention of telling the truth later) if they thought it was for the hearer's benefit?



The first character I ever played in a Palladium system game was a palladin. He was principled and (of course) followed the Code of Chivalry to the best of his ability. During a solo adventure, he ended up in a situation where he was outnumbered quite badly. He had the choice between the following (at least as far as I knew at the time):

1) Follow the tenets of Fair Play (never attack from behind), Valor (fight with honor), and Honor (avoid deception) which would lead to certain defeat. Defeat would mean failing at the tenets of Nobility (protect the innocent, administer justice) and Valor (defend the weak and innocent), leaving a group of bandits in control of a small settlement. At least until someone else found out about what was going on.

2) Ignore the tenets of Fair Play, Valor, and Honor that were mentioned above. Take on secluded enemies by surprise, at least until numbers were out of the "certain defeat" category. That would allow the chance of fulfilling the tenets of Nobility and Valor that were listed at the end of option 1. Taking on the last few openly and together would at least give lip service to the Fair Play, Valor, and Honor tenets that were ignored while improving the odds of overall success.

3) Leave the area and hope that there is something to rescue after finding reinforcements elsewhere.

Are any of those something that a Principled, Code following character wouldn't do? How can there be more than one option if everything is so cut and dried?


as I said, the alignments as they are defined in the books are terrible at representing the full spread of human morality. this should not be surprising; pretty much every alignment system ever devised is going to fail at that to some extent. people who study morality for their entire adult lives fail at it too. it's an extremely complicated subject, with a lot of subjectivity to it, and can easily changed on a number of factors ranging from pre-existing interpersonal relationships, current mood, tiredness, hunger, discomfort/pain, any chemicals that may be passing through their system at the time, and so on.

but that's not the point. the alignment system uses a lot of "never", "always", and so on. if the alignment system is presented in absolutes, it is not the fault of the reader if they understand the alignment system to be written as absolute.

the alignment system could have been written to be much more flexible. as I've already said, it's hard to blame palladium too much for this, since I don't think *anyone* was really doing a great job of it at the time, and frankly any attempt to categorize humans into a mere 7 alignments is more or less doomed from the start, anyways.

but if the alignments were intended to be highly flexible, they should have been written with flexible language. to blame the reader for that is like blaming a student for inaccurate information if their teacher told them there *are* 120 elements on the periodic table instead of saying that there are *about* 120 elements on the periodic table.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:37 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Fenris2020 wrote:
I don't know how the CS economy works, it doesn't seem sustainable.

Right? Hell, I'm still trying to see the economic, political, or military advantage that Chi Town gets from building, funding, and manning a naval force that is nowhere near any of their theaters of operation...
Killer Cyborg wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Yeah, that would have made Tolkeen more interesting, and underscored the CS/Tolkeen comparison they were going for: Tolkeen using demons as weapons of war, vs the CS deliberately using people who are essentially the same thing.

They also shouldn't have made Tolkeen's demons a formerly oppressed and enslaved underclass who were working for Tolkeen out of gratitude for being freed from slavery. It really diluted the bothsides message a bit.


Agreed.

Right? There were already plenty of regular old demons scattered about the books. There was zero need to invent new ones, especially new ones that somewhat undermined the messaging of the narrative.

The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

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Soon my army oc clones and winged-monkies will rule the world but first, must .......

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:33 pm
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:42 pm
  

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to be honest in a lot of ways the D&D alignment axis system good/neutral/evil on 1 axis and lawful/ neutral/chaotic on the other axis allows you to create alignments that make more sense in how people behave. while still giving a decent range of flexibility in morality.

I think part of the issue is palladium basically has 6 alignments not 9 also factors into it. IE no real good/chaotic and evil lawful to really be choices


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:50 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.


If you read various world books, a LOT of places around the globe have had interactions with the CS and sometimes trade.
That's because of the Navy.
He who holds the sea in his fist, controls most global travel and trade, and has the easiest time finding new areas to exploit.

A good-sized naval presence is likely necessary just to continue trade with the NGR, and that alone has probably given them a massive return on their investment.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:50 am
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.


If you read various world books, a LOT of places around the globe have had interactions with the CS and sometimes trade.
That's because of the Navy.
He who holds the sea in his fist, controls most global travel and trade, and has the easiest time finding new areas to exploit.

A good-sized naval presence is likely necessary just to continue trade with the NGR, and that alone has probably given them a massive return on their investment.

So you figure they do their trade with Germany by sending and receiving goods through Baton Rouge? Wow. The Splugorth and the rest of the sea demons sitting between the Gulf and the Atlantic really are a toothless threat, aren't they?


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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:06 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.


If you read various world books, a LOT of places around the globe have had interactions with the CS and sometimes trade.
That's because of the Navy.
He who holds the sea in his fist, controls most global travel and trade, and has the easiest time finding new areas to exploit.

A good-sized naval presence is likely necessary just to continue trade with the NGR, and that alone has probably given them a massive return on their investment.

So you figure they do their trade with Germany by sending and receiving goods through Baton Rouge? Wow. The Splugorth and the rest of the sea demons sitting between the Gulf and the Atlantic really are a toothless threat, aren't they?


No, I'm talking about their navy in general, using the NGR as one illustration.
Their presence in the Gulf of Mexico is more likely due to their trade with Columbia, and possibly some other places in South America by now, as well as for potential use against the Vampire Kingdoms if necessary.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:08 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
as I said, the alignments as they are defined in the books are terrible at representing the full spread of human morality. this should not be surprising; pretty much every alignment system ever devised is going to fail at that to some extent. people who study morality for their entire adult lives fail at it too. it's an extremely complicated subject, with a lot of subjectivity to it, and can easily changed on a number of factors ranging from pre-existing interpersonal relationships, current mood, tiredness, hunger, discomfort/pain, any chemicals that may be passing through their system at the time, and so on.

but that's not the point. the alignment system uses a lot of "never", "always", and so on. if the alignment system is presented in absolutes, it is not the fault of the reader if they understand the alignment system to be written as absolute.

the alignment system could have been written to be much more flexible. as I've already said, it's hard to blame palladium too much for this, since I don't think *anyone* was really doing a great job of it at the time, and frankly any attempt to categorize humans into a mere 7 alignments is more or less doomed from the start, anyways.

but if the alignments were intended to be highly flexible, they should have been written with flexible language. to blame the reader for that is like blaming a student for inaccurate information if their teacher told them there *are* 120 elements on the periodic table instead of saying that there are *about* 120 elements on the periodic table.


And that is pretty much my point. We are building a world that at least can fool us during game time that it is real enough to imagine. I would totally blame someone that took the letter of what is written if applying it that way will fail to make a somewhat believable world. How many absolutes are there in real life? Death and taxes, except some people manage to avoid paying taxes?

To me, that is the entire point of having real people playing the game. We aren't running some preprogrammed simulation. We can take the framework we have been given and make it whatever we need it to be. Maybe this is just a RAW and RAI type of disparity. You seem to see the always and nevers as being absolute. I see them as being strong tendencies. The character will need a good (to that character) reason to break one of those strong tendencies. They have some sort of convictions that they simply won't break just on a whim.

Anyway, I'll quick breaking up this thread. :P


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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:29 am
  

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I do assume always and never mean always and never. mostly because that's what they mean. it would be odd to assume that "always" means "not always" or that "never" means "not never".

it isn't like there aren't words for "often", "usually", "most of the time", "frequently", "rarely", "infrequently", "occasionally", etc if those are indeed far more suited for use. and it isn't like these are words that nobody uses or would recognize if someone were to use them.

if someone uses a word, my default assumption is that they intend to say the standard meaning of that word, particularly when the word is a common, well-known word with a clearly-defined meaning that is well-understood. if I have to redefine "always" and "never" and there is no 'verbal' cue for it then how do I know I don't need to redefine "lie" or "torture" or "kill" or "innocent"? if I assume that the words are intended to mean something other than their actual meaning, how do I know which ones are like that, or should I be assuming that I'm supposed to change all of them as well? do *any* of the words mean what they say?

even more absurd would be attempting to bring that to an online discussion filled with people who have absolutely *zero* of the context for what I may have decided those words mean if that's the case. we may as well just run something through google translate half a dozen times before posting it if we're going to do that.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:09 am
  

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this was about figuring out some good base defenses for OP's group to "sneak" into for a macguffin, right?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:58 am
  

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Orin J. wrote:
this was about figuring out some good base defenses for OP's group to "sneak" into for a macguffin, right?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:48 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.

Navies are about stopping threats before they are in your territory. We have lots of navy basses that are not near the US.
They moved the navy base from FQ because well, CS knew what was comming. But that places their navy in a good place to intercept slaver barges as well as trade routes. A base in new your might be better but the CS does not control that area.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:22 pm
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.

Navies are about stopping threats before they are in your territory. We have lots of navy basses that are not near the US.
They moved the navy base from FQ because well, CS knew what was comming. But that places their navy in a good place to intercept slaver barges as well as trade routes. A base in new your might be better but the CS does not control that area.

The CS doesn't control Louisiana either, allegedly. But they sure can finance a carrier battle group there! Too bad it's far too anemic to really enforce any power in the Gulf and that the supply chain to their base in Baton Rouge has got to be major drain on military resources to secure.
Building what must be both a naval base and a shipyard in hostile territory is just nuts. The book should have just caved in and said that Chi Town also controls all of Louisiana if they wanted to go that far because at least that would have made the CVBG more believable. It must be a shipyard too because there's nowhere else to build blue water naval ships.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:53 am
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.

Navies are about stopping threats before they are in your territory. We have lots of navy basses that are not near the US.
They moved the navy base from FQ because well, CS knew what was comming. But that places their navy in a good place to intercept slaver barges as well as trade routes. A base in new your might be better but the CS does not control that area.

The CS doesn't control Louisiana either, allegedly. But they sure can finance a carrier battle group there! Too bad it's far too anemic to really enforce any power in the Gulf and that the supply chain to their base in Baton Rouge has got to be major drain on military resources to secure.
Building what must be both a naval base and a shipyard in hostile territory is just nuts. The book should have just caved in and said that Chi Town also controls all of Louisiana if they wanted to go that far because at least that would have made the CVBG more believable. It must be a shipyard too because there's nowhere else to build blue water naval ships.


i think the CS got their shipyard from GAW buy just buying it afer they'd finished refurbishing those salvaged US naval vessals, actually. not like GAW needed it after, buncha obcessed hobbyists.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 2:35 pm
  

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Orin J. wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
The CS has 2 categories of navy. Brown water covers rivers and is used to protect CS water trade routes.
The blue water navy covers open seas, and kind of came off as a FQ started it kind of thing.
Chi town had a clear reason for the Brown water navy, the blue water saw some use in their war with FQ and limited use against Tolkeen. The blue water would also intercept things from Atlantis. Why wait until a slaver barge is near your people blow it up as far away as you can. So the military reason is a very large dangerous Island nation full of inhuman monsters that want to enslave people.

Maintaining a naval force in the Gulf of Mexico is a ridiculous expenditure. Especially since the naval base and the naval assets are nowhere near their territory.

Navies are about stopping threats before they are in your territory. We have lots of navy basses that are not near the US.
They moved the navy base from FQ because well, CS knew what was comming. But that places their navy in a good place to intercept slaver barges as well as trade routes. A base in new your might be better but the CS does not control that area.

The CS doesn't control Louisiana either, allegedly. But they sure can finance a carrier battle group there! Too bad it's far too anemic to really enforce any power in the Gulf and that the supply chain to their base in Baton Rouge has got to be major drain on military resources to secure.
Building what must be both a naval base and a shipyard in hostile territory is just nuts. The book should have just caved in and said that Chi Town also controls all of Louisiana if they wanted to go that far because at least that would have made the CVBG more believable. It must be a shipyard too because there's nowhere else to build blue water naval ships.



i think the CS got their shipyard from GAW buy just buying it afer they'd finished refurbishing those salvaged US naval vessals, actually. not like GAW needed it after, buncha obcessed hobbyists.

Which just brings up the question of how the hell GAW got the damn ships all the way from Norfolk to the Gulf of Mexico...

Also a bunch of notations in there making it seem like it's super easy and barely an inconvenience to get ships with 12m draft from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. How deep and wide is the Mississippi supposed to be now?


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 9:12 pm
  

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Admittedly I've never read the CS Navy book, but my head-cannon doesn't include a CS Navy base in Baton Rouge. Just doesn't seem to fit.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 11:04 pm
  

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Mack wrote:
Admittedly I've never read the CS Navy book, but my head-cannon doesn't include a CS Navy base in Baton Rouge. Just doesn't seem to fit.


You have a cannon in your head?

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:24 am
  

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Mack wrote:
Admittedly I've never read the CS Navy book, but my head-cannon doesn't include a CS Navy base in Baton Rouge. Just doesn't seem to fit.

Truth be told, for my own games, I just don't bother having the CS have any presence in the Gulf of Mexico and thus no need for a CVBG. The Gulf, the southern Atlantic, and the Caribbean, are just not places that humans get to even pretend to be relevant due to all the demons and Splugorth minions using it.

Of course, I also find the very concept of GAW to be very silly at best. The military isn't gonna be preserving outdated and useless tech en masse to such a degree that hundreds of years later it can be dusted off and sent out again. The very idea of it brings to mind the ridiculous sequence in Battlefield Earth where the cavemen find tons of perfectly preserved military hardware and a seemingly magical flight simulator that turns them all into fighter pilots practically overnight.
Having three aircraft carriers hidden in apocalypse proof drydock bunkers and immune to the passage of time for three hundred years is definitely too silly to countenance.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:26 pm
  

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To the original comment, don't count out the burbs that set up around cs cities and bases, for two reasons. 1) Most people there WILL fight to protect the coalition, even dbees. They are counting on those places for their day to day safety and will fight for it, as was seen when the federation attacked. In the same vein, if the commanders are of evil alignment, they will likewise have no hesitation carpet bombing an entire section of the burbs to wipe out a credible threat. The burbies are just unwanted squatters that should be there, after all.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:28 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Mack wrote:
Admittedly I've never read the CS Navy book, but my head-cannon doesn't include a CS Navy base in Baton Rouge. Just doesn't seem to fit.

Truth be told, for my own games, I just don't bother having the CS have any presence in the Gulf of Mexico and thus no need for a CVBG. The Gulf, the southern Atlantic, and the Caribbean, are just not places that humans get to even pretend to be relevant due to all the demons and Splugorth minions using it.

Of course, I also find the very concept of GAW to be very silly at best. The military isn't gonna be preserving outdated and useless tech en masse to such a degree that hundreds of years later it can be dusted off and sent out again. The very idea of it brings to mind the ridiculous sequence in Battlefield Earth where the cavemen find tons of perfectly preserved military hardware and a seemingly magical flight simulator that turns them all into fighter pilots practically overnight.
Having three aircraft carriers hidden in apocalypse proof drydock bunkers and immune to the passage of time for three hundred years is definitely too silly to countenance.

Umm the military does preserve outdated tech in mass. heck the military still uses outdated tech.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:53 pm
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Mack wrote:
Admittedly I've never read the CS Navy book, but my head-cannon doesn't include a CS Navy base in Baton Rouge. Just doesn't seem to fit.

Truth be told, for my own games, I just don't bother having the CS have any presence in the Gulf of Mexico and thus no need for a CVBG. The Gulf, the southern Atlantic, and the Caribbean, are just not places that humans get to even pretend to be relevant due to all the demons and Splugorth minions using it.

Of course, I also find the very concept of GAW to be very silly at best. The military isn't gonna be preserving outdated and useless tech en masse to such a degree that hundreds of years later it can be dusted off and sent out again. The very idea of it brings to mind the ridiculous sequence in Battlefield Earth where the cavemen find tons of perfectly preserved military hardware and a seemingly magical flight simulator that turns them all into fighter pilots practically overnight.
Having three aircraft carriers hidden in apocalypse proof drydock bunkers and immune to the passage of time for three hundred years is definitely too silly to countenance.

Umm the military does preserve outdated tech in mass. heck the military still uses outdated tech.

Not nearly as much as some movies would have you think, especially for ships. Certainly not a massive strategic reserve that will magically be perfectly okay and ready to be renovated after three hundred years of neglect during an apocalypse and post-apocalypse. Most stuff gets scrapped and recycled. Especially stuff that's made out of lots of metal.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:17 pm
  

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MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Mack wrote:
Admittedly I've never read the CS Navy book, but my head-cannon doesn't include a CS Navy base in Baton Rouge. Just doesn't seem to fit.

Truth be told, for my own games, I just don't bother having the CS have any presence in the Gulf of Mexico and thus no need for a CVBG. The Gulf, the southern Atlantic, and the Caribbean, are just not places that humans get to even pretend to be relevant due to all the demons and Splugorth minions using it.

Of course, I also find the very concept of GAW to be very silly at best. The military isn't gonna be preserving outdated and useless tech en masse to such a degree that hundreds of years later it can be dusted off and sent out again. The very idea of it brings to mind the ridiculous sequence in Battlefield Earth where the cavemen find tons of perfectly preserved military hardware and a seemingly magical flight simulator that turns them all into fighter pilots practically overnight.
Having three aircraft carriers hidden in apocalypse proof drydock bunkers and immune to the passage of time for three hundred years is definitely too silly to countenance.

Umm the military does preserve outdated tech in mass. heck the military still uses outdated tech.


Not nearly as much as some movies would have you think, especially for ships. Certainly not a massive strategic reserve that will magically be perfectly okay and ready to be renovated after three hundred years of neglect during an apocalypse and post-apocalypse. Most stuff gets scrapped and recycled. Especially stuff that's made out of lots of metal.


There's a certain amount of leeway required for most pre-Rifts things to still exist in Rifts times, in any kind of decent or recoverable shape anyway.
With Rifts, I go with "a lot of people stored stuff in vaults before and after the **** went down."

There are plenty of people in America today who keep large amounts of firearms stashed in plastic or metal oil drums, buried somewhere for future use.
So I can see a lot of those kinds of arms maybe still being there after hundreds of years, and in decent enough shape to be salvaged (they cover them in grease/oil to keep rust away, etc.).
Moreover, at some point in Rift Earth's history, Mega-Damage was discovered, and that most likely resulted in a LOT of SDC tanks, transports, planes, small arms, artillery, and so forth, getting mothballed somewhere, or sold on the open market to tons of people, many of whom might stash the stuff for long-term storage the same way they do assault rifles and such.
With 50 miles of where I live right now, there are huge concrete quasi-underground storage bunkers left over from WWII. I don't know what's in them, because they're Off Limits to civilians, but I wouldn't be astounded if there was still some WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, or Cold War stuff in those bunkers or ones like them, packed for long-term storage "just in case."

I agree that the "apocalypse-proof drydock" stuff takes a bit more stretching of the imagination, but there were probably various ships that were sunk somewhere, or maybe turned into museums, or who knows what, and somehow managed to survive the apocalypse.
The Golden Age had a LOT of super-advanced technology, and it wouldn't be all that tough to come up with ways for stuff to have survived.
For example:
-Maintenance nanites designed to keep museum pieces and such (including ships, perhaps) in decent shape by stopping rust and corrosion as soon as it starts. Maybe these things eventually died, but effectively cut the Effects Of Time down by 1/2 to 1/4 or less.
-I just flat-out go with Stasis Vaults as one way stuff was preserved for future use, special high-tech bunkers/vaults that could effectively slow time down to a crawl for stuff inside.
-Survivor communities would likely have sought out anything useful they could get their hands on, and even SDC stuff (especially HIGH SDC stuff like massive ships) could become part of the community, or the community might form up around it, maintaining the equipment as best they could for x amount of years, decades, or centuries, before the community dies out or moves on. So again, the net affect might be closer to stuff being left alone for decades rather than centuries.
-There could be all kinds of highly-preserving paints, shellacs, laminates, oils, plastics, spray-foam, etc. that were easily affordable/available in the Golden Age, and especially with sea craft I could see the military switching to that kind of stuff instead of normal paint at some point, simply to drastically reduce maintenance.

So I ultimately don't see GAW as necessarily being silly; I can come up with all kinds of head-cannon to prop up their basic premise, without much difficulty.
And in doing so, I think it enhances the world.
BUT at the same time, I don't think that Palladium has put nearly as much thought into it as I did, much less sit around watching Life After People enough to get a decent idea of how relatively quickly stuff all falls apart without regular maintenance.
I don't begrudge anybody who wants to skip the GAW stuff in their games, but I don't think it's necessarily as absurd as it initially sounds.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:21 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Blue_Lion wrote:
MadGreenSon wrote:
Mack wrote:
Admittedly I've never read the CS Navy book, but my head-cannon doesn't include a CS Navy base in Baton Rouge. Just doesn't seem to fit.

Truth be told, for my own games, I just don't bother having the CS have any presence in the Gulf of Mexico and thus no need for a CVBG. The Gulf, the southern Atlantic, and the Caribbean, are just not places that humans get to even pretend to be relevant due to all the demons and Splugorth minions using it.

Of course, I also find the very concept of GAW to be very silly at best. The military isn't gonna be preserving outdated and useless tech en masse to such a degree that hundreds of years later it can be dusted off and sent out again. The very idea of it brings to mind the ridiculous sequence in Battlefield Earth where the cavemen find tons of perfectly preserved military hardware and a seemingly magical flight simulator that turns them all into fighter pilots practically overnight.
Having three aircraft carriers hidden in apocalypse proof drydock bunkers and immune to the passage of time for three hundred years is definitely too silly to countenance.

Umm the military does preserve outdated tech in mass. heck the military still uses outdated tech.


Not nearly as much as some movies would have you think, especially for ships. Certainly not a massive strategic reserve that will magically be perfectly okay and ready to be renovated after three hundred years of neglect during an apocalypse and post-apocalypse. Most stuff gets scrapped and recycled. Especially stuff that's made out of lots of metal.


There's a certain amount of leeway required for most pre-Rifts things to still exist in Rifts times, in any kind of decent or recoverable shape anyway.
With Rifts, I go with "a lot of people stored stuff in vaults before and after the **** went down."

There are plenty of people in America today who keep large amounts of firearms stashed in plastic or metal oil drums, buried somewhere for future use.
So I can see a lot of those kinds of arms maybe still being there after hundreds of years, and in decent enough shape to be salvaged (they cover them in grease/oil to keep rust away, etc.).
Moreover, at some point in Rift Earth's history, Mega-Damage was discovered, and that most likely resulted in a LOT of SDC tanks, transports, planes, small arms, artillery, and so forth, getting mothballed somewhere, or sold on the open market to tons of people, many of whom might stash the stuff for long-term storage the same way they do assault rifles and such.
With 50 miles of where I live right now, there are huge concrete quasi-underground storage bunkers left over from WWII. I don't know what's in them, because they're Off Limits to civilians, but I wouldn't be astounded if there was still some WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, or Cold War stuff in those bunkers or ones like them, packed for long-term storage "just in case."

I agree that the "apocalypse-proof drydock" stuff takes a bit more stretching of the imagination, but there were probably various ships that were sunk somewhere, or maybe turned into museums, or who knows what, and somehow managed to survive the apocalypse.
The Golden Age had a LOT of super-advanced technology, and it wouldn't be all that tough to come up with ways for stuff to have survived.
For example:
-Maintenance nanites designed to keep museum pieces and such (including ships, perhaps) in decent shape by stopping rust and corrosion as soon as it starts. Maybe these things eventually died, but effectively cut the Effects Of Time down by 1/2 to 1/4 or less.
-I just flat-out go with Stasis Vaults as one way stuff was preserved for future use, special high-tech bunkers/vaults that could effectively slow time down to a crawl for stuff inside.
-Survivor communities would likely have sought out anything useful they could get their hands on, and even SDC stuff (especially HIGH SDC stuff like massive ships) could become part of the community, or the community might form up around it, maintaining the equipment as best they could for x amount of years, decades, or centuries, before the community dies out or moves on. So again, the net affect might be closer to stuff being left alone for decades rather than centuries.
-There could be all kinds of highly-preserving paints, shellacs, laminates, oils, plastics, spray-foam, etc. that were easily affordable/available in the Golden Age, and especially with sea craft I could see the military switching to that kind of stuff instead of normal paint at some point, simply to drastically reduce maintenance.

So I ultimately don't see GAW as necessarily being silly; I can come up with all kinds of head-cannon to prop up their basic premise, without much difficulty.
And in doing so, I think it enhances the world.
BUT at the same time, I don't think that Palladium has put nearly as much thought into it as I did, much less sit around watching Life After People enough to get a decent idea of how relatively quickly stuff all falls apart without regular maintenance.
I don't begrudge anybody who wants to skip the GAW stuff in their games, but I don't think it's necessarily as absurd as it initially sounds.


Thing is, if the pre-Rifts world had been like the pre-War world of Fallout, I could see it. But it really wasn't. Despite escalating tensions worldwide, they weren't expecting a worldwide war or actual end of the world scenario. There wasn't any Vault-Tec or whatever looking to preserve stuff in special vaults. They were, in fact, in the midst of a technological revolution and lots of their old stuff was getting trashed because it wasn't just obsolete, it was utterly, hilariously, useless in the face of the new technology. Not worth keeping around except maybe a few bits for museums.

As far as ships go? Especially museum ships? They'd be rotted away by the sea within fifty years. The various battleship museums often have parts of their hulls so decayed that a regular dude could literally punch a hole in it with a bare fist. The Iowas might still be in decent shape, but all the older ones are in need of varying levels of serious maintenance.

An out of service nuclear ship is always scrapped. There's no other way to decommission the reactor. Except in some of the oldest nuclear subs. That's why CVN-65 couldn't be a museum ship.

Most of the other stuff GAW allegedly finds caches of? Would have been used as target practice for the new tech pistols at best, because none of that stuff would be of any use at all in the new military paradigm and there'd be no reason to stockpile it.


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