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[CrystalMud] Unfinished Specification

From: Alex Williams <thantos@d...>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 1996 11:55:50 -0400
Subject: [CrystalMud] Unfinished Specification

OK, folks, this is the (unfinished) specification for CrystalMud I
promised to have posted by today; suggestions are /more/ than welcome,
they're desired and actively solicited.


	      (Blood and Intrigue in a Far-Future World)

The year: 3481.

The place: Planet X-56-Ymp6, known as "Kateline" to the local systems.

The substance: The rare ore, Bizarium, used by the Empire of Aleera in
certain rare and obscure industrial processes.	Despite the relative
rarity of the processes, however, in a Galaxy-spanning Empire, there
exists an enormous rapacity for such a thing.

The players: The Imperium is not only controlled by Noble Houses, but
also by the Emperor and a widely diverse group of megacorporations,
each with the resources and power of what used to be planetary
assemblies.  And luckily so, because the Imperium controlls the
greatest power in the Galaxy; not that of transportation, but
/communication/.  Only the Empire's tele-psis can effectively disperse
information from one side of the Empire to the other.  The Noble
Houses control the hearts and minds of the people.  The megacorps
control the industrial and material supplies of the entire economy.
On such tripods are balances constructed.

The reason: On Kateline, as in most other matters, the Empire has used
devious foresight to achieve the most gain for the least investment.
Invitations went out to the megacorps, inviting them to stake a claim
on the planet and hold it, trading the Bizarium they mine for funds to
continue the process, expand their holdings and supplies, hopefully
with a large enough profit margin to make the investors happy.	Of
course, the Imperium has made very clear that as long as the profit
comes pouring out of the planet, what happens on the surface is none
of their concern.


On CrystalMud (hereafter abbreviated to CM), the players will each
play a dual role.  Their primary role is as an emmisary from a mining
corporation who has staked a claim on the planet Kateline, residing on
the orbiting space station FreeZone, where the deals are made and
unmade and intrigue can crop up at any moment.	Secondarily, they each
represent tactical expertise that each corporation can make use of
when fighting erupts on the planet below; each player then becomes a
participant in a tactical game of tanks, hover sleds and mecha
fighting it out on the surface, amongst the terrain and the mines.

On FreeZone, each player will generate a character using the OVER THE
EDGE RPG mechanics; these characters will be representing various
factions and forces from throughout the Aleeran Imperium.  They might
be rogue psis representing Imperial interests or trying to avoid the
Imperial eye.  They could be rough and tumble military experts from
Hazelar, with a gleam in their eye at the thought of destroying rivals
once more in combat.  They might be lean and whimsical members of the
Noble Houses, overseeing (or serving) the interests of their House in
the affairs of a corporation that is based in their domain.  They
could be part of a megacorp's Diplomatic Corps, on FreeZone to
negotiate the contracts that make or break profit and loss.

[The one faction that Players cannot be a member of is the Empire of
Aleera; those posts are reserved for the Administration and specially
picked proxies.  (Besides, the Empire is merely buying and selling on
Kateline ... aren't they?)]

This might be a sample character:

Alix Rhodes, Megacorp (The Quantum Event Company) Mining Expert

Bizarium Mining, 4 dice, (Sign: wears mining guild pin on left lapel):
Alix was educated in the finest Terran academic facilities by TQEC in
order to oversee mining operations in remote places.  Kateline is
perfect.  Alix is familliar with most fields of mining operations and
specializes in the extraction and refinement of Bizarium crystals.

Imperial History, 3 dice, (Sign: occasionally makes references to `old
Imperial stardates'): Before his collegiate career, Alix was intrigued
by the Imperial development.  He is very familliar with the old
records that speak of pre-Imperial society.

House Acklan's Geneology, 1 die, (Sign: bears the sigil of House
Acklan tattoo'd in his left wrist): Since birth Alix was told he was
376,635th in line to the ascendency of House Acklan (the Noble House
which rules Alix's home system).  Eventually, he dug through all the
old records to find out for himself.

Flaw: Bookworm, (Sign: almost unhealthy pallor): Since he has been
immersed in books and education most of his life, Alix takes a penalty
die to most strenuous activity (ie. a quick fistfight wouldn't count,
but running from one side of the station to the other world as would a
knock-down drag-out of more than three or four Turns).

Each of the megacorps vying for mining sites on the surface below is
assumed to have brought and continuously be brought standard, basic
supplies; food, water, basic mechanical repairs are all assumed to be
either provided for by the home corp or through mining other ores and
refining them on Kateline for base survival.  Only extensive repairs,
adding new facilities and buying military hardware are required
expenditures, and the only coin of that realm are the loads of
Bizarium crystals that the megacorps can trade to the Empire.

When players first start on CrystalMud, they are assumed to group
together in threes and fours and then apply for a Company to be
created in their names.  Each Company will be checked to make sure
each of them have a Char Sheet (for FreeZone), and then they are
allocated a mine and a value in Bizarium to buy their basic equipment
with; its suggested that they purchase a number of cargo vehicles (of
whatever type they like) in order to transport the crystal from the
mine to the Launcher, the immense orbital-velocity railgun built to
send loads of specially marked Bizarium-containers into orbit for
pickup.  Launchers are shared by multiple mines (and thus, companies,
usually), though the Empire enforces a strict no-fire/no-agression
zone around the site.  Sometimes, however, a corp will take the risk
of being caught to disable or destroy another corp's cargo of
crystal.  Repercussions vary, from a simple fine to the intervention
of Imperial Legionnaires.  [This is an excellent opportunity to
`arrange' for the Empire to be looking the other way, or to bring
charges of sabotage against another corp in FreeZone.]

[There will be a fair number of additions to the DIRTSIDE II rules
which haven't all been felt out yet.  One of the major ones will be to
linearly scale the movement-type multipliers so that one can buy
vehicles that are less than maximally efficent.  Why invest in a fast
tank when you are fighting a defensive entrenchment?  On the other
hand, it won't do much good to protect your convoy of slow-wheeled
cargo trucks.]

One typical cargo truck follows:

Standard low-speed cargo transport:

Equipment Item	   VSP : BVP	Spc  Cost
V-3		    15 : 0	 15    15
  [MEDIUM sized truck]
A-0		    15 : 15	 15    15
  [Soft-skinned vehicle, no armour]
P-CFE		    15 : 15	 15    18
  [Chemically fueled, good ol' internal combustion]
APSW-1		    15 : 15	 15    18
  [.50cal electric cannon mounted on the top of the cab]
M-LMW		    15 : 15	 15    20
  [Slow, in order to keep costs down; does best on roads]

TOTAL:		    15 : 15	 15    20
  [Can carry up to 3 "loads" of Bizarium, at 4 Spc/Load]

Or, for more expense one can have a vehicle that is a little better
protected and better maneuvering:

Half-track cargo transport:

Equipment Item	   VSP : BVP	Spc  Cost
V-3		    15 : 0	 15    15
  [Again, MEDIUM sized]
A-1		    15 : 18	 15    18
  [Light ceramoplate armour] 
P-CFE		    15 : 18	 15    22
M-ST		    15 : 18	 15    26
  [Slow-tracked, gives superior off-road capability]

TOTAL:		    15 : 18	 15    26
  [3x loads Bizarium]

Now, if you really want to pour the money into a transport with high
mobility over clear terrain:

High-speed hover transport:

Equipment Item	   VSP : BVP	Spc  Cost
V-3		    15 : 0	 15    15
A-0		    15 : 15	 15    15
  [Unarmoured, we don't need that kind of cost increase]
P-HMT		    15 : 15	 15    21
  [We want to go /zip/ by anyone that gets in our way, so the fast GEV
   requires that we go to HMT]
M-FGEV		    15 : 15	 15    30
  [Fast GEV]

TOTAL:		    15 : 15	 15    30
  [3x loads Bizarium]

And for the /ultimate/ in cargo transport over rough terrain:

Hex-legged cargo transport:

Equipment Item	   VSP : BVP	Spc  Cost
V-2		    10 : 0	 10    10
  [SMALL frame, representing the rather spindly nature of the beast]
A-0		    10 : 10	 10    10
  [No armour, like most of the other transport elements]
P-FGP		    10 : 10	 10    16
  [Necessary for walker-movement]
ST-1		    10 : 10	 10    56
  [Cutting down the signature through changing the slope of the
   transport and adding some occlusion electronics is /expensive/]
M-TW		    10 : 10	 10    64
  [Transport Walker; you can carry cargo through anything]

TOTAL:		    10 : 10	 10    64
  [2x loads of Bizarium]

The typical sort of thing one could be assured of seeing closely
escorting cargo convoys might be:

Low-speed Escort Tank:

Equipment Item	   VSP : BVP	Spc  Cost
V-2		    10 : 0	 10    10
  [SMALL frame, to keep signature down]
A-1		    10 : 12	 10    12
  [1pt Armour to keep small-arms fire off]
MW-1xSLAM/3-PT	    10 : 12	  1    48
  [SLAM rocket pod in 180o firing turret for effective fire at range
   and close]
P-CFE		    10 : 12	  1    50
  [Internal Combustion to keep costs down]
APSW-1		    10 : 12	  1    50
  [Anti-personel electric cannon]
FCON-B		    10 : 12	  1    56
  [BASIC FireCon]
M-ST		    10 : 12	  1    58
  [Slow-tracked movement, to go off-road if necessary]

TOTAL:		    10 : 12	  1    58

A standard convoy Unit might have the following Elements:

   3x Standard low-speed cargo transports
   2x Low-speed Escort Tanks

A typical Combat Group involving a convoy in transit might include:

   2x Standard Convoy Units
   2x High-Speed Flanker Units
   1x CCC Unit

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