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Alternity: The Elements of Eternity - Comm Chatter


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I'll be posting The Mack soon, it's a big pic and I wanna shrink it down a bit. I actually ripped it from a Starwars ship, but it'll serve it's purpose.

It's berthed for about 12 or so, but can easily be handled by four or so people if things get hairy.

We'll be in the Verge looking for work. Food is yummy and it costs money to eat.

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I'm working on a few things and should have them up for this soon. Like a few more details about the ship you'll be traveling in.

While we wait, why don't we discuss the character's and their relationships with the other crew members. The only crew aboard the ship is the PCs, so it'd be impossible for you to not have to have dealt with each other before.

Keep in mind that "I get along with everyone" is a valid thing to say, but highly unlikely, so hash it out with each other and decide if any of you have done something that another might find irritating... like maybe you still owe someone else $250 from a poker game or something.

Erebus is the type to not really care whether or not anyone like each other, as long as everyone is doing their job come crunch time.

It's impossible with Erebus's temper for anyone to have not been on his bad side at least once, and chances are it was something stupid that he's already forgotten about. Bitching at people is a routine for him, like coffee in the morning to wake up.

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I'll start then, I don't mind. Erebus, although an NPC for he most part will see a lot play so it's best to know who you're working for.

Erebus is a pretty straight forward guy. He joke with everyone during the meals and is basically just the 'commonsense' mannerisms sort of guy: as long as people act right around him, he acts right around them.

His major problem is his temper which usually comes to the surface when stressful situations are made worse by incompetence. If it's broke, fix it. Don't come and tell him it's broke, don't explain how simple the repair is, just do it. The same applies for pretty much everything, communication is good but don't waste words with him because he really doesn't give a rats ass.

One bonus to working with him is that he doesn't play 'leader guy' or treat anyone any higher than anyone else; everyone is equal, that's how teams function. In the 6 months to a years or so that the crew has been with him it's assumed at least a few jobs were completed, contract work that helped you guys graduate to 1st level and buy your equipment. During that time everyone has found the wrong side of Erebus at least once (his temper mostly constitutes insults and bitching) however he's also proved to be a very competent 'leader', not asking anyone to do anything that he wouldn't be willing to do himself.

His attitude towards the Mindwalkers, in general, is very Han Soloish, Psionics are good and all, but they can't beat a good gun at your side.

The others, I can't say since no one has backgrounds posted.

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All right then, let's see.

Corso...

The general impression most people would get of her: she's got a stick up her ass, and it's probably ice-cold and sheathed in polished titanium. She's meticulous, analytical, and would be absolutely thrilled if everything on the ship were just a little neater. To call her a frigid bitch would be largely appropriate, if slightly inaccurate. She isn't completely without feeling, but since the abrupt termination of her contract with VoidCorp she's become simultaneously feverishly driven and distracted, leading to some... eccentricities of behavior. A modicum of paranoia keeps her in armor (or at least an armored lab-coat) nearly perpetually, she mutters to herself while pacing the corridors, and interrupting her while she's working on something will generally result in two different conversations: the one she's having with her project, and the one the other person is trying to maintain. Her sense of humor is dry, but not at all absent, and occasionally an obscenity or crude retort will slip past her lips; the result, she claims, of working with mercenaries. On the job, she is cool and methodical, and utterly without compunctions. After all, business is business. In person (and if she can be dragged away from her projects), she's intelligent, highly curious, and fond of puzzles and riddles, which she'll work at persistently until she finds the answer. In terms of morality, she would call herself "flexible," and believes everything can be more efficient. It's just a matter of finding the appropriate method and the right tool.

That "tool," ladies and gentlemen, is Erebus. laugh

Not an utterly exhaustive description, but it might help a little bit.

Attitudes Towards Others: (Will edit as more are posted)

Erebus: Corso loves riddles, and Erebus fairly screams, "Solve me!" She's also somewhat bewildered by his insistence on equality, having come from a very hierarchical corporate lifestyle. When his temper flares in her direction, she typically weathers the outburst, and then goes off to be alone and fume/rant at some half-finished project. For the most part, she's labeled him as a goon who seems to spend most of his time thinking up pet names for various parts of her body, but she intends to keep digging for whatever secret he's hiding. Why? For no other reason than that she wants to know. She doesn't care if it's a lost child, a checkered past in organized crime, a fear of space herpes, or an ancient royal heritage.

Isis: If it can be said that someone might feel a "kinship" with machinery, Corso acknowledges the android as something akin to a kindred soul (metaphorically speaking, of course, as Corso would scoff at the idea of a "soul" in any metaphysical sense). It might almost be considered a maternal instinct- the android has been set adrift, the ties with her former life abruptly severed much as Corso's were, and in addition to the wealth of intriguing questions her creation and purpose pose, she represents many of the ideals the scientist holds dear.

Shiro: Though not an academic, he's proven his intellect to be on par with her own, and she respects both his ability as a pilot and his capacity for rational thought. She always looks forward to the next move in their extended chess matches, and appreciates his lack of nosiness and the desire for his own privacy.

Gabe: She finds his inquisitiveness mildly entertaining, if (at times) frustratingly distracting. There is something of a younger Annwn in him, she thinks, brimming over with curiosity and an insatiable desire to learn of the universe around him. There is, however, an undercurrent of suspicion and she gauges his questions as carefully as she considers the answers she gives- he is, after all, a Mindwalker, and she is quite covetous of her secrets.

Jordan: As with Gabe, Corso regards the Mind Knight with a greater degree of reservation, and for the same reasons. She is continually baffled by his lack of comprehension and familiarity with technological advances that, to her, are commonplace, and is perhaps a trifle condescending in her dealings with him. He seems likable enough, of course, but Corso firmly believes that ignorance should be adamantly stamped out (willingly or no) and takes great pains to "educate" him on the finer points of science and technology, particularly those relating to her chosen field.

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Gabriel at first impression fits the stereotype for an Orlamu, pleasant/friendly, but preocupied with science. Having spent 10 years being schooled by a religious order he is generally calm, and polite, even if angry inside, and would try to approach things logically.

He is genuinely interested in anything new, and in meeting new people, which can sometimes go over the top in questioning people about themselves.

Having found out about the unusual drive on the Mack Gabe could happily spend his life studying it and trying to work out how it works, but he is also aware that they need work/money to keep food on the table and to keep the Mack running.

Erebus: while initially very gratefully to Erebus for getting him off the planet he had found himself briefly stuck on that has faded. He still likes Erebus, despite getting the thick end of his tongue on an apparently regular basis, and respects his ability to both get them into, and out, of trouble. Although Gabe obviously disagrees with Erebus' opinion of Psionics, he has come to agree that for a stand up fight you need to have a gun and extra clips to make it through to either the end, or the point where you can use the Psionics effectively. One of the things that undoubtably irritates Erebus is his habit of using the passive sensors to examine local stellar/spatial objects during his watch, as well as his other duties, but forgetting to reset them afterwards.

Corso: Given his interest in science he obviously makes a nuisance of himself to Corso. He seems to have an uncanny ability to ask questions that are just relevant enough to her current project that she has to consider or answer them. Otherwise he is at least is generally neat enough for her likes, mainly due to not having much in the way of possessions and being used to a minimalist lifestyle he keeps things tidy by habit.

Jordan:Considers the sect that taught Jordan to be rather unusual, to say the least, but given the circumstances all he can do is to encourage him to learn about modern life and to try to help him expand his mental powers.

Isis:Not sure what to make of the android, but has, over time, gotten used to her sudden changes in what passes for her personality.

Shiro:Probably irritates Shiro by always having a Drivespace course ready, although he never pressures Shiro to use them. This is due to his personal version of the Orlamu religion, by which he spends at least 30 minutes a day using his Navcognition plotting courses through Drivespace to other local and significant systems. This both gives him a feeling of being connected to Drivespace and increases his familiarity with the local area of Drivespace.

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Isis is an artificial intelligence, and has that unique combination of high skill levels and naivete that characterizes a mind that learned via programming rather than through direct experience. She tends to be cautious by nature, preferring preparation and planning to gut reacting. She is interested in people and how they behave, but does not seek to emulate them except as necessary for safety and efficiency. In particular she experiences no particular desire to 'become human.' Her thought processes are simple and direct. Her plans embrace a philosophy of maximal efficiency for maximal probability of desired results. She has no respect for "style" or "artistry" as concepts, unless those concepts are necessary for achieving objectives.

She is especially interested in human motivations, and in how mysterious they seem to be. The notion that human beings have a 'subconscious' which influences their behavior in ways they cannot easily understand or control is grotesquely fascinating to Isis. She is very inquisitive about the various manifestations of this 'subconscious' and in how humans deal with that much uncertainty in their daily lives.

On a personal level, Isis has chosen to be motivated by a desire to improve. This means improving herself, and it means improving her environment. In a typical fashion, she is taking a very careful approach to this philosophy; spending a great deal of time and effort to determine precisely how she will define 'improve' for the purpose of motivating herself.

Her personality can be a little confusing at first. She can be calm, polite and infinitely patient. Other times she can seem cold and hard, even insulting. Isis regards her personality as simply a tool for use in interacting with people. She decides on what traits she wishes to communicate to achieve desired results. Thus, it can change as her immediate goals change, and as the conditions in the environment change. Things that are not relevant to her current goals, she typically ignores (or makes adjustments to her current goal roster if it seems interesting).

Reactions to others:

Erebus: There are many things about Erebus that Isis finds interesting. The duality of his nature is easy to observe, making him a good source for information. He is open with his emotions and reactions which suggests a desire to connect with others...but then he is closed off about his past and the many questions about his abilities and ship, which suggests a desire for privacy. He is intelligent but irrational, motivated too often by the passion of the moment despite his ability to understand the longer term consequences of his actions. As the owner and captain of the ship she serves on, and as her employer, Isis follows his orders, though often seeks to try to enhance his effectiveness as a commander by helpfully pointing out when his emotions are clouding his judgment. Oddly, this doesn't seem to have the calming effect she thinks it should.

Corso: Though Isis doesn't experience emotions in the same way as a human, it would be fair to say that her opinion of Corso is the most "emotional" of any among the crew. This is because of the link, however tenuous, that Corso has with her creator, who instructed Isis to seek her out. In saying that Corso was someone he could trust, Isis took that to mean she should trust Corso as well, and so she does. Implicitly. Although Corso has no actual authority over Isis, she follows Corso's instructions with as much, or more, alacrity as she would a similar order from Erebus. That Corso is the only one in the crew able to maintain and repair her systems is just another reason that Isis places such high value on her.

Gabriel: Gabriel seems to Isis to have the most in common with her, and thus she likes to seek his input on thorny questions she sometimes has. She finds his thought process easy to relate to, and sees him sometimes as a sort of 'bridge' between the often hard to comprehend messiness of human thought and the elegant precision of android thought. Even his obsessional focus on drivespace is familiar to her...she sees it as a sort of prime directive for him, similar to her own primary goal of self-improvement. As such Isis feels the most comfortable with Gabriel and seeks to earn and keep his good will where possible.

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Nice ship Dave, congratulations.

Are you changing the standard Starfall, as I thought it was 121 hours =~5 days rather than 7? Hyperdrive - guess what Gabe will be spending a chunk of SP on to try to learn about, and to fix!

I would assume that his Postcognition has way to short a period to have picked up any interesting information about the ship or it's choice systems (Hyperdrive, weapons, MINA)?

Just curious, how does the Mack show up on the Starfall detectors that can tell when you make Starfall in your range and what your course is/was? Presumably that is one of the Mack's big advantages in that it can go into Starfall with one course detected, drop out outside of detection range and head off in a different direction very quickly?


I screwed up moving the post to here, sorry Rorx, I was half asleep. smile

No, I'm not changing the starfall rules, it should read 5 in the write up, the 7's were typos.

Considering Postcognition works in increments of hours/days and Gabe can only see 1 hour/day into the past at his current skill rank... yeah, it's safe to assume the Mack has its issues a smidgen longer than the day before Gabe was hired on.

Normally a Hyperdrive and Stardrive are separate in terms where you go when you jump to light speed (Hyperspace vs Drivespace). That's not the case for the Mack. When it jumps to light speed it starfalls like any other ship. It can, and will, show up on starfall detectors if it starrises within range of them. If the Mack has a course plotted for 75LY and a starfall detector scans the course it'll show up as the Mack having a course 75LY away (which is a red flag to anyone who knows anything about Stardrive distances and ship capabilities).

Erebus generally does long runs in increments of 5-10LY at a time, where the ship drops from drivespace, they plot a new course, and 5 minutes later they're on their way again. The Hyperdrive may also be 'downgraded' to function like a standard Drivewave Generator, by limiting the power supply running to it. Erebus (or the acting engineer) does this when the crew is hired to escort or transport people aboard the ship.
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So most of the time we just use it in the standard 5-10LY sections. Although if we do the next one 5 min later that would show up on the detectors as well, and would be a red card as the normal recharge time is more like 4 hours or so. However, it does give us an ace up the sleeve if we do ever REALLY need to get out of Dodge and not be followed easily.

Looking at Datalink, the psi ability, again, am I right in thinking that to some degree it acts a bit like a Gridpilot's nanocomp, cytonic circuits, and wireless NIJack, with the added benefit of being able to make contact with other close by computers/cybergear for the purposes of Hacking them? So someone with Datalink could go Gridriding with just Gridcaster and the software, or try to open an electronic lock with just his Hack skill?

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You have access to the following programs: copy, delete, error recognition, file management, protection, protocol and save. Mindwalking, p. 29, bottom of the second column. The programs themselves are described in Chapter 10 of the PHB.

It's also allowing you to use the Knowledge-computer operations skill without actually using the computer, instead of Computer Science skills (hacking, hardware and programming).

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Thanks for the PM pointer, looks good so far. Addresses the disappointment I had over the riduculously short durations for Psi stuff by making it dependent on your Skill Rank in the Ability. Also nice that you have the chance to purchase a limited amount of extra Psi points as the game goes on.

New Psi abilities look good as well!

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my bad.. been busy myself.

Erebrus- Shiro respects his combat skills, and has lost a hand or two to him at poker. He's angered him a few times, mainly for asking too many questions about the Mack, or simply talking too much. He doesn't like him too much, but he does respect him, and firmly believes that serving onboard another ship under a different captain wouldn't be half as interesting or fun.

Corso- Every ship needs a fixer and Corso seems to manage that aspect fairly well. He doesn't intrude on her area of expertise as long as she stays away from his. They routinely match wits in chess which both walk away from winning about half the time. She's likeable enough and someone Shiro considers a peer.

Gabriel- If Gabe didn't try to hand him new nav-plans every handfull of minutes Shiro would be much less annoyed with him. He hates being second-guessed. His eagerness does manage to impress Shiro, and when he has the time he does check his math and plotting, finding them correct, if somewhat unorthodox.

Isis- Shiro is highly intrigued by the living android Isis. He's never seen one before and marvels at how she seems to be trying to always improve herself. He readily answers questions she asks with the same patience she seems to show. He doesn't see her as an oddity, but as a unique being created by humanity, fully sentient and would like to see her realize her potential.

Jordan- ????

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Couple of queries Dave, are you using the Mindwalking book powers and description rather than the Player's book where they diviate, and do you need to find a teacher/text/manual/VR instructor for a new speciality or just for one that you can't use untrained, or for no new skills?

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Originally Posted By: Rorx
Couple of queries Dave, are you using the Mindwalking book powers and description rather than the Player's book where they diviate.


Dunno, I haven't read the mindwalking book thoroughly enough yet. I knew it had the Datalink power better described, but aside from that I haven't given it a good look yet.

Quote:
and do you need to find a teacher/text/manual/VR instructor for a new speciality or just for one that you can't use untrained, or for no new skills?


Depends on the power. I'll make that call on a case by case.

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Dave, does it really on have the Multi-band Radar, or does it have some passive systems as well?


Yes, it does. No, it doesn't.

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Similarly does it have a radio system at all for short range, or is it Mass Transceiver or bust?


The Mass-Tranciever allows for instantaneous communication within a star system, that includes orbit to a planets surface, or from Earth to Jupiter. What it lacks is a drivespace communications array.

The Mack was designed to be upgraded. Yes, it has some really great things and potent ones too, but it's not perfect so you guys can add to it.

And do me favor... post questions in here. The star ships thread is for starships and I'd like it if we had to look for a starship we didn't have to sift through 50 questions and answers in between ship posts. Ya feel me? smile
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I know it's why too early to be doing anything about it, or probably thinking about it, but I was looking at the Mack's stats again and noticed, again, that it doesn't have a radio system at all, just the Mass Transciever. That means that those of us with Comm Gear, can call each other while away from the ship, but we couldn't call back to the ship for info, or backup etc. Perhaps that should be one of the first ship upgrades we go for? And being slightly paranoid, a passive sensor system or two might have been nice in such a corsair ridden system.

On another note, shouldn't it be Jordan doing the laundry? After all, he has little other things he can do on the ship...

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"Might have been nice"? Think about it. You've got a ship. For free. That's no small thing. He's already said he deliberately left out things so that we could upgrade them ourselves. Last thing I want is for him to get ticked off that we're ungrateful and boot us all out the airlock :P We haven't even really gotten started yet- might be a bit early to be discussing shopping lists.

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The Mass Transceiver IS instantaneous two-way communication within a star system.

So if Corso and Gabe were on the surface of Mars (within the Sol system) and the rest of the party were in low orbit around Venus (also within the Sol system) then two-way communication would be possible.

Now in the example I just gave, it may be outside the limits of each party members' commgear to reach distances that far, but it's certainly not the mass trancievers fault, it's the commgear.

The commgear has a range of 1,000km on land and a range of high orbit to contact base ships.

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I think Rorx was concerned that our commgear is all radio based, and he was worried that the ship's mass transceiver wasn't able to receive or transmit radio communications...thus meaning our personal radios wouldn't be able to reach the ship.

I have no idea if that situation is true or not...your post leads me to believe it is not. Which is a relief. smile

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Yes, Corso, it is probably too early to think about, as I said in the first line of my post, and no I'm not ungrateful for the ship, I think it is fantastic. I'm simply acknowledging that Dave said he left space for us to upgrade the ship as we went along and suggested a couple of things I personally thought might be some of the first things we should get. No rush, no pressure, just an opinion for discussion...

Dave, Mass Transceiver is great system, but comm gear, being radio, can't talk to it at all, only another Mass Transceiver can, hence my suggestion to get a radio system for the ship at some point.

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Originally Posted By: Rorx
Ho hum, next time I'll ignore my 20 years as a physicist and not question things I don't understand. TIC smile


I'm not sure if that was intended to be snarky or not.

In any case, the radio transceiver is PL6, which would make it ostensibly less sophisticated than the (minimally) PL7 comm gear we're using. I talked to Dave about his thoughts on it when the issue came up, and his idea was essentially that it would be silly to expect that the technological advances between PL5-6 and PL7-8 still forced people to rely on radio waves, of all things- particularly when they had much better options.

He was ignoring the vagueness of the book for an alternative that made a little more sense in the setting. If ships have mass transceivers, there ought to be comms that can link up to them, instead of requiring two separate systems to communicate with people. His ruling was that the comm gear and the transceiver were compatible- it had nothing to do with physics, and the only thing that changed was the mechanism for relaying info.

Under the circumstances, it really wasn't an issue of correctness. wink
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TIC - Tongue In Cheek , sorry didn't know the code for the correct smiley and am on the mobile so couldn't pick one from a menu smile

That's fine Vivi/Corso, and I agree it is a reasonable response, it's simply that I hadn't picked up on the fact that he was doing it, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to raise the issue of the radio at all. Yeah just declare the comm gear we have, or more likely was on the ship, is high tech enough to have limited Mass Transmission built in.

I won't bother mentioning what systems are in the book that I was going from, as they are obviously no longer relevant. smile

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