United States At War

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Matthew Surridge
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Re: United States At War

Postby Matthew Surridge » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:51 pm

Fuzzy wrote:
I do have a hard time seeing how casualties don't hit the tens of milions at the 1 year mark. The sheer scale of the invasion is almost incomprehensible. Rec Pakken might want to keep human ords alive, but that's a tough feat to accomplish in the Living Land with its social of 7 - imagine trying to tell the scattered tribes of eidonos: "No, we really want to keep those humans alive! Friends, not food!". Social 7 has some huge disadvantages, and the Living Land is very much about survival of the fittest. The Law of Life cuts both ways.


I mean, don't get me wrong; if that's what works for you narratively, it makes sense. The thing is, the Living Land book does mention that Edeinos use ord humans as thralls; I didn't see a reference to cannibalism. There'd be more to worry about from dinosaurs and suchlike, but even there, to me it's not unreasonable to say that humans in the Living Land are able to survive through the use of Living Land … well, 'tools' isn't the right word, but through the use of Living Land stuff. Miracles, mainly.

Fuzzy wrote:And the typical American, well... in prehistoric times, let's just say the average life expectancy was 25-37 years (best estimates). About 60% of the population is over 30 in the US right now... About 40% is clinically obese. Some 20% are dependent on life-preserving medications. Transformed humans may have a better chance to survive, but it takes months for most of the population to transform.


Not sure the prehistoric life expectancy stat is quite right. Life expectancy from birth in premodern societies usually gets dragged down by high infant mortality rates. The articles I'm finding suggest that anyone who made it to 15 or 20 in the late paleolithic had a good shot of getting into their 50s at least, even beyond. And the Living Land's something else again; it's technically in the early Bronze Age, not the Stone, but more to the point, Lanala's omnipresent. One can easily say that the high Spirit axiom serves to replace the high Tech axiom of Core Earth, in terms of making it possible to survive. Healing miracles replace medication. The 'weak' endure a ritual and are made strong, that sort of thing.


Fuzzy wrote:To kind of get an idea of how optimistic a sub-10 million casualty toll (or a sub-5% casualty rate) is, consider what it would be like for storm knights to travel through eastern NY or NJ or Maryland or Delaware. NJ has a population density of 1,200 people per square mile across the state. In the east side, it's 3X that. The typical adventure has storm knights traveling dozens of miles through the "wilderness" without seeing anyone. There's a published adventure in the D.C. area where the storm knights travel 10 miles to rescue a band of 30 refugees... 10 miles through D.C., which has 9,800 people per square mile. Now sure, many fled as refugees. But that still leaves us with two options:

Either, many east-coast areas are severely underpopulated in adventures (storm knights should be tripping over refugees every kilometer or so), or there were a lot of casualties...


This, though, strikes me as a really good point. Not a conclusive one. But something worth thinking about. What did happen to all the people? Given that the Living Land's been said to alter geography more than most realms — creating mountains, lakes, and so on — I wonder if it's created whole swathes of terrain, vast jungles in which millions of people can lose themselves. Which in turn makes maps less reliable. That's just one idea, though. Again, it depends on how you want to play things. If you want Kaah as genocidal maniac, there's a good story there, for sure. But if you don't, I don't think it's necessary. I don't at all mean to suggest that the invasion wasn't brutal and costly. But I'm not sure it's WWII compressed into one year in one continent.

Consider that one of the first things noted in the description of Arkansas in the Living Land sourcebook is "a high percentage of the state's population survives" despite Kaah's hold on the big cities. You could say that represents an outlier, and is noted because most places don't have a high survival rate. Or you could say that it shows that it's quite possible for large numbers to survive in the LL. I will note Georgia was said to have been hit hard, and there's ten and half million people who lived there, so there alone there's the potential for a megadeath. The earthquake invoked against the refugee centre of Seattle would have killed large numbers. And then there's Thrakmoss, who "laid to waste" much of the Midwest, including killing large numbers of Edeinos and humans.

The question, I suppose, is how much you want these things to set the tone of your campaign, and how you imagine the surviving parts of the US would react to this kind of slaughter. I think the US would have trouble enough grappling with the idea of being invaded; being invaded and slaughtered would, I think, set a tone for the story of the game I'm inclined to avoid. Again, it depends on how dark you want to get.
Humankind cannot bear very much reality
— T.S. Eliot, who didn't know the half of it

My Torg Eternity review, part one and part two

Staffan
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Re: United States At War

Postby Staffan » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:22 pm

Matthew Surridge wrote:And the Living Land's something else again; it's technically in the early Bronze Age, not the Stone, but more to the point, Lanala's omnipresent. One can easily say that the high Spirit axiom serves to replace the high Tech axiom of Core Earth, in terms of making it possible to survive. Healing miracles replace medication. The 'weak' endure a ritual and are made strong, that sort of thing.


Yeah. I'm fortunate enough not to have been afflicted with any life-threatening diseases, but I'd take a cure disease miracle over chemotherapy any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. And while the DN seems high (effectively 18 to cure seriously nasty ailments like AIDS or cancer), I don't really see any reason why the whole tribe can't chip in with combined effort - and that bonus can add up fast. I don't see any reason why you can't have the miracle assisted by a congregation of maybe 50-100 supporters, for a +8 to +10 bonus.

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MadSci
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Re: United States At War

Postby MadSci » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:39 pm

Matthew Surridge wrote:
MadSci wrote:
Matthew Surridge wrote:The economy's particularly interesting in this context (and how often does that sentence ever get written, I wonder). One of the invading realms is built in large part around economic manipulation, with an understanding of the economy (Social 24) far beyond anything possible in Core Earth.

An axiom advantage is best used strictly in one's own realm. Trying to execute Social 24 economic maneuvers in Core Earth would be contradictory. For certain Kanawa's field negotiators (read: Stormers) would know how to walk that line.

And now that I think about it, how would a Social 24 policy conference call between Tokyo and Houston work?


I would think that in the same way you can make lower-Tech items by high-Tech means without the items being contradictory, high-Social economic moves can have manifestation in low-Social realms without those results being contradictory. You just have to be really sure of what's going to work and what won't; and presumably Kanawa's had a lot of experience at this.

I can imagine a conference call like you suggest, though, where the Tokyo side keeps slipping and introducing concepts that just sound like gibberish to the Texans.

Not that failing to understand what the other guy is selling you would necessarily derail the sale. Probably every economic crash in history involved people who should have known better buying financial products they didn't understand. Don't doubt the power of the Emperor's-New-Clothes Effect on people used to be the smartest in the room.

Scaramouche
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Re: United States At War

Postby Scaramouche » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:13 am

MadSci wrote:
Matthew Surridge wrote:
MadSci wrote:
An axiom advantage is best used strictly in one's own realm. Trying to execute Social 24 economic maneuvers in Core Earth would be contradictory. For certain Kanawa's field negotiators (read: Stormers) would know how to walk that line.

And now that I think about it, how would a Social 24 policy conference call between Tokyo and Houston work?


I would think that in the same way you can make lower-Tech items by high-Tech means without the items being contradictory, high-Social economic moves can have manifestation in low-Social realms without those results being contradictory. You just have to be really sure of what's going to work and what won't; and presumably Kanawa's had a lot of experience at this.

I can imagine a conference call like you suggest, though, where the Tokyo side keeps slipping and introducing concepts that just sound like gibberish to the Texans.

Not that failing to understand what the other guy is selling you would necessarily derail the sale. Probably every economic crash in history involved people who should have known better buying financial products they didn't understand. Don't doubt the power of the Emperor's-New-Clothes Effect on people used to be the smartest in the room.


That concall would be hilarious. Especially with competing jargon.

Let's park the hoverbike over that. I don't want to focus the laser too much before we've ground the lens.

Wait, do you mean you want to circle back? And you don't want to put the cart before the horse?

Yes, yes, exactly that. Now, back to our conversation about Infinite Sum Game Theory.


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