Fighting over stuff

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NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Fighting over stuff

Ok, I'm trying to figure out what the various societies of EP would be willing to kill for.

Based on what we know from the setting, why would, outside of exceptional circumstances, any given recognizable group in EP attack another group?

Motivations

Jovians: While expansionism is a stated interest of some members of the Jovian Republic, many of their behaviors seem more defensive than anything else. Given this, I'd say their motivation list boils down to border protection and retributive strikes.

Titanians: Similarly, the Commonwealth doesn't seem super interested in raiding. However, they're more tied to external groups than the Republic. Their list is the super vague term 'Protecting Titanian interests.'

Anarchists: Anarchists seem likely to fight for purely ideological reasons. They're getting FREEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOM as their primary motivation for attacking other groups, particularly groups with hierarchies of any kind.

Ultimates: Ultimates lik 2 fite. I say they'll attack someone for the sheer difficulty provided by the combat.

Hypercorps: Money.

Libertarians: Money. Self-defense? Maybe for ideological reasons similar to anarchists

Scum: Fun. EDIT: And drugs! EDIT2: Piracy!

Martian Planetary Government: This is trickier. It's difficult to separate the governments interests from the hypercorps. I'd going to say protecting Martian citizens, but I'm not even sure on that.

Criminals: Fun and Profit!

Venusians: Ummmmmmmm... I'd have to check the book to see if they have armed forces to attack with.

Lunans: For outdated nation-states, for pride, for LUNA!

Argonauts: To preserve or spread knowledge, and to prevent major disasters.

Brinkers: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ EDIT: MOONSHINE! Actually, just very anti-intrusion

Did I miss anything or anyone? Can I get a disagreement?

EDIT (Forgotten branches on the transhuman tree):

Exhumans: Varies. Resources, in whatever form that might take, are probably a big one. Territorial boundaries, like Brinkers or polities. Fun? Moonshine?

Firewall: X-risks. Secrecy.

Ozma: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:Scum: Fun.

Quote:
Scum: Fun.

You forgot drugs!
NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Oh no!

Gotta have drugs. Important part of a daily breakfast.

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
For Brinkers, its to protect

For Brinkers, its to protect their moonshine stills, and have fueds with each other.

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:For Brinkers, its to

Quote:
For Brinkers, its to protect their moonshine stills, and have fueds with each other.

Now I really want to bang out a Hatfields vs. McCoys Brinker scenario.
Baribal Baribal's picture
As killing others usually

As killing others usually means going into combat with them, maybe the better question is what they are willing to die for, in case that they don't manage to make the other guy die for it.

Hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium are willing to battle for their way of life, with protected IP rights, indenture slavery and all the other things that it entails; this is demonstrated by the two battles of Locus. Also, when the decision to go to war is made by people who are several links of the chain of command removed from the action, it becomes likely that the decision is made because it is good business. Extropians may even do so without being removed from the action; just ask the Medusa Shield mercs in their shiny reapers, who turn risk into wealth and wealth into gear, so they can take on greater risk for greater reward, and all the while augment their life of action and excitement with luxury.
The Titanians so far have shown that they're willing to do the same (with their lifestyle instead, of course), as they participated in the second battle on the side of the Anarchists, expecting that if those would fall, the PC would come for Titan next.
While some rather crazed Scum may be willing to kill or die for fun, more common motives would likely be greed (they may be gift economy among Autonomists, but with outsiders they can be anything from traders over muggers to outright pirates, as evidenced by Fresh Kills being still in business) or need (as they are, after all, eking out an existence in the harsh, cold void of space, so sometimes it may be necessary to just take that which can not reasonably be acquired otherwise).
And then there's the Jovians, humanity's last, best hope of survival, besieged on all sides not just by the TITAN war machinery that skulks the unknown voids, and could return any day, any minute, but also by transhumanity, who may invite its early demise on the day that the TITANs return by having thrown precautions to the wind in their choice of developmental path, but at the same time due to that lack of caution outpaces the Jovian Republic in just about every regard. This merry band has to put their precious actual lives on the line for as little as a foothold of relevance in the system, for things like the monopoly of control over the Jovian gravity well and its slingshot orbit, all the while even that becomes less and less relevant thanks to advances in propulsion. They even have to go to war with those who should be their own people, so as to protect the stability and purity of the Republic, lest it breaks apart and becomes absorbed into transhumanity, forfeiting its chance to hold the line against the singularitan machinery of death.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Hmmm

I think you're agreeing with my listed motivation for factions so far, Baribal. Do you see anything I'm missing or getting wrong?

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
*rolls eyes*

I was with you until the last bit. I'm so sick and tired of this pro-Jovian bias...

Baribal wrote:
And then there's the Jovians, humanity's last, best hope of survival, besieged on all sides not just by the TITAN war machinery that skulks the unknown voids, and could return any day, any minute, but also by transhumanity, who may invite its early demise on the day that the TITANs return by having thrown precautions to the wind in their choice of developmental path, but at the same time due to that lack of caution outpaces the Jovian Republic in just about every regard. This merry band has to put their precious actual lives on the line for as little as a foothold of relevance in the system, for things like the monopoly of control over the Jovian gravity well and its slingshot orbit, all the while even that becomes less and less relevant thanks to advances in propulsion. They even have to go to war with those who should be their own people, so as to protect the stability and purity of the Republic, lest it breaks apart and becomes absorbed into transhumanity, forfeiting its chance to hold the line against the singularitan machinery of death.

j/k ;) Great summary of the "other side of the coin". A way to expand the synopsis could be to bring up "fighting fire with fire", in reference to those Jovian agents who sacrifice their very humanity by accepting transhuman modifications to be able to compete. This also opens up a narrative "double-twist", where moderate transhumans can point out that Jovian subset's hypocrisy, thus deepening the whole tale. And I like your breakdown of the PC, Titanian and Scum motivations, too.

Baribal Baribal's picture
NotActuallyTim wrote:I think

NotActuallyTim wrote:
I think you're agreeing with my listed motivation for factions so far, Baribal. Do you see anything I'm missing or getting wrong?

Mostly, I was expanding on it, and in parts providing the Why behind the What.

Another aspect that hasn't made it into this thread so far is that in the transhuman age, what it means to kill and die has changed. On one hand, as far as individuals are concerned, it's really hard to kill someone unless you're a major political (or otherwise massively influential) institution who can arrange for backup insurance providers to void their contracts. To kill someone's morph is only to take that ego off the playing field for a while, and *maybe* to destroy a certain time frame of their memory. On the other hand, large-scale warfare also means the destruction of infrastructure, and that in turn may entail permanent deaths. Had Locus fallen, how many of its inhabitants would have had offsite backups of themselves, let alone the clout or resources to get morphs? Taking that into consideration I tend towards reversing my opinion on whether the question is about willingness to kill or willingness to risk being killed. Usually, the one initiating the physical conflict, especially on larger scales, will have had the opportunity to prepare, in particular to create a new backup. Even the Jovian Republic provides soldiers going on deployment the chance to have a backup created.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Fair enough

I'll note I did mean 'kill' in the sense of permanently destroying Egos in the original post. Blowing up backup servers was never out of the question in my mind. Including a Factions own backups, should they believe that necessary.

BalazarLightson BalazarLightson's picture
The Titans...

What about Titan motivations?

The Titans went somewhere. Why? Were they running from something?

I think there is a core of Ultimates who really want to prepare for whatever the Titans are running from.

What about the Gate civilization? Where did they go? Why? What were they running from?

...ditto.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
A large part of what makes

A large part of what makes the TITANs work is that we don't -know- their motives. That said, a piece on various theories, and the known evidence that puts holes in all of those theories so that we get the impression of trying to guess, but not really knowing could be a cool one. Perhaps structured as a debate or a lunch discussion.

A slight smell of ions....

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
It is there already in the GM

It is there already in the GM section of the book. So I recommend you leave that there ;-)

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NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
So, putting it together

Why did I make this list? So I could whip up quick and dirty plot based conflicts from the source material when I need my game to have a background or just to become instantly more interesting. That said, here's the lazy GMs guide to faction fighting.

Easy Conflicts:

Jovians Vs. Anybody: Being prickly makes you more likely to get into a fight, and Jovians are nothing if not volatile. You can easily justify a conflict between any faction and the Jovians.

Special mention, Jovians Vs. Everybody: Ever wanted to fight the entire universe? At the same time? Join the Jovian Republic! FIGHT FOR NOTHING!

Anarchists vs. Hypercorps: Anarchists may literally be willing to attack Hypercorps on principle alone. They may also go for saving indentured Egos if they want feel good about their ideology.

Anarchists Vs. Jovians: Despite the horror Anarchists might feel about the Jovian polity, the truth is that since most of the population doesn't have stacks, and anyone they try to 'rescue' will likely resist, attacking the Republic's territory is basically the same as wiping out massive numbers of innocent lives. Some Anarchists may not be bothered by that, but most would stick to supplying internal resistance or fighting Jovians forces that move away from civilian populations.

Hypercorps Vs. Anybody: Mo money, mo wars, mo money, mo wars. Everything not corp controlled is an exploitable resource for hypercapitalism. Trade if you can, take if you can't, and drop it your balance sheet if more red than black.

Criminals Vs. Anybody: Like Hypercorps, but somehow worse.

Ultimates Vs. Anybody: Nominally mercenary, the Ultimates love to try new things as part of their quest to be the best. As such, a surprise strike out of the blue against a faction, ordered by a high ranking Ultimate is hardly beyond the realm of possibility. It's like a test, where the loser suffers potential permadeath.

Baribal Baribal's picture
NotActuallyTim wrote

NotActuallyTim wrote:
Anarchists vs. Hypercorps: Anarchists may literally be willing to attack Hypercorps on principle alone. They may also go for saving indentured Egos if they want feel good about their ideology.

Extra points if the hypercorp is Extropian. Don't forget, it was the Extropians who blocked the Autonomist Alliance from condemning the practice of indenture. Also make sure to check what law providers the hypercorp and its vict... its indenture clients contract with. You might have to completely trash involved backup providers, too, or they will just reinstantiate those egos you freed, claiming that since they entered those contracts of their free will, the fork who is still bound by the contract takes precedence over the kidnapped one.
Now I want to either create an Extropian lawyer character, or see a few pages of dense legalese in My Whispering Muse. Probably the latter.

NotActuallyTim wrote:
Anarchists Vs. Jovians: Despite the horror Anarchists might feel about the Jovian polity, the truth is that since most of the population doesn't have stacks, and anyone they try to 'rescue' will likely resist, attacking the Republic's territory is basically the same as wiping out massive numbers of innocent lives. Some Anarchists may not be bothered by that, but most would stick to supplying internal resistance or fighting Jovians forces that move away from civilian populations.

Here's an idea for a clandestine Anarchist terrorist / freedom fighter group that operates in Jovian space: They abduct people, destructively upload their egos, and egocast them out of the system, leaving behind a mush-brained husk of a morph. If Firewall hears of those morphs being found, they might be worried about an exsurgent strain doing that. (Why would Anarchists do that, though, considering that in general, they're very concerned about non-coercive action? Because that's how you free people from the oppressive yoke of Jovian bioconservativism. After all, your mortality can and will be used against you as a system of control, so until you are transhuman, you are intrinsically not able to freely make deliberate choices for yourself.)

NotActuallyTim wrote:
Ultimates Vs. Anybody: Nominally mercenary, the Ultimates love to try new things as part of their quest to be the best. As such, a surprise strike out of the blue against a faction, ordered by a high ranking Ultimate is hardly beyond the realm of possibility. It's like a test, where the loser suffers potential permadeath.

Since they're not only a merc corp, but also a polity, they will definitely be interested in acquiring resources of any kind.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:Now I want to either

Quote:
Now I want to either create an Extropian lawyer character, or see a few pages of dense legalese in My Whispering Muse. Probably the latter.

This sounds like a scifi version of the Sovereign Citizen movement and SIGN ME UP.
NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
More Difficult Conflicts

Maybe the easy stuff was too easy 4 u? Let's make some cases for more difficult conflicts.

Anarchists Vs. Titanians: Although nominally allied-ish, more by common interests than by ideology, the Commonwealth practices several behaviors Anarchists cannot stand. Like arresting and detaining people, keeping important secrets or placing people in positions of authority, like cargo inspectors at Titanian controlled space and land docks.

Any individual Anarchist might be able to persuade others to join a conflict against the Commonwealth for any such reason. However, other Anarchists might pitch in with the Commonwealth, whether for practical reasons like checking Jovian power, or even ideological ones, like respecting Titanian values and norms.

Scum Vs. Autonomists -Titanian Commonwealth: When everything is person to person, with no faceless social machine to hide the inner workings, everything is personal. The merest slight can erupt into violence, particularly between backed up immortals, resulting in authentically eternal grudges.

Scum, being the most freewheeling Autonomists, are more likely to have someone get on their bad side, or vice verse, and the total lack of restraint Autonomists can show may result in a barfight that blows up an entire space station.

Jovians Vs. Jovians: Hold your horses. While oligarchies are unstable at best, everyone in the Jovian Republic knows that the slightest crack in the defenses, once revealed, may result in immediate external assault. So why fight a civil war?

Well, the simple answer may be that circumstances force one to occur. Given the precarious balance of power, if any one of the top dogs in the Jovian polity falls-say, to Anarchist assassination-the others may not want to replace them, and may be unable to fairly divide the powers inherent to the social position. As such, the Republic would split into two or more warring polities.

Libertarians Vs. Anyone: Libertarians are capitalists. They need to balance books, unless they want to suffer a serious downgrade from their current level of comfort. Given a failing business, some may be unethical enough to take what they want. Salvage rights! Free market!

Luna Vs. Mars: Lunans remember Earth pretty damn well. Most of them are older than the majority of transhumans alive. Including the ones who weren't necessarily able to defend themselves from Martian hypercapitalists and their government on a leash. While Luna's resources aren't great, the polity has plenty of money, and a political movement (or conspiracy) could direct that money towards war with Mars. Mercenaries seem to abound within the EP setting, which could make up for a lack of Lunan troops.

Argonauts Vs. Ultimates: Normally, the Argonauts are fairly chill people. They do science, educate people and try not to get caught up in the drama of transhuman politics. However, Argonaut psychologists, economists and sociologists might urge for action against the Ultimate Polity, citing evidence that their social structure, resource use and the simulations of their leaders' Ego indicate that the Ultimates are an ongoing X-risk requiring immediate attention.

Given how Ultimates behave, this inevitably requires combat, as peaceful overtures towards altering Ultimate society and philosophy are sure to be rejected.

Baribal Baribal's picture
eaton wrote:Quote:Now I want

eaton wrote:
Quote:
Now I want to either create an Extropian lawyer character, or see a few pages of dense legalese in My Whispering Muse. Probably the latter.

This sounds like a scifi version of the Sovereign Citizen movement and SIGN ME UP.

Wellll, the Sovereign Citizens are insisting that the Articles of Federation are still in effect, which they aren't ever since they have been replaced by the US Constitution was signed in 1787. Extropians, on the other hand, *do* operate in an environment where very little law actually is law of the land, and where the bulk of law applies only because parties entered into contract, so that attitude of "I'll chose for myself which laws apply to me, thank you very much" isn't the delusion that Sovereign Citizens suffer from, but actually a built-in characteristic of Extropian society. As a result, you can't really have the "Screw your laws!" situation that you have with Sovereign Citizens; either someone has entered into a contract, or they haven't.
The only exception is cases where you might argue about what kind of contracts one enters implicitly through action, or whether there are implicit rights and actions by which you forfeit them. By what right, for instance, does a security provider fire upon someone who is attacking their client? Is there even a right to self-defense, and if there is, can a client's right be extended to his bodyguards, so that they may act in the client's self-defense? What about revenge, where someone has managed to kill a bodyguard's client? Based on what is or isn't the bodyguard legally empowered to hunt down his client's killer (or morph-destroyer, for that matter)? Is protecting one's business sufficient reason to do so? Does the client's transferred right to self-defense extent to after his death?

So, as far as my ideas went, what I'd like to see (or write, who knows?) is an amicus curiae brief written by one court to another concerning a case between two parties, where a slightly-affected third party is the client of the court writing the brief. Maybe the court contracted to a bar owner would like to reap the extra bounty the bar owner has offered on the contingency that the guy who started a fight in the bar, and is now suing the other guy who destroyed the first guy's morph, will not be compensated.
As far as my idea for an Extropian lawyer is concerned, however, I remembered seeing an Extropian Law Enforcer or Bounty Hunter as a sample character in some EP book, and since you can't really skate by as a sentinel by spouting legal opinion that's only relevant a handful of AUs from where you are, the character's ability to enforce the law would probably be what would make him a sentinel. So, that idea wasn't new, either, just a matter of dropping points into "Profession: Lawyer, Specialization: Extropian Law".

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
More Difficult Conflicts

A fascinating look at unlikely or surprising possible rivalries. Well done, sir.

NotActuallyTim wrote:
Maybe the easy stuff was too easy 4 u? Let's make some cases for more difficult conflicts.

Anarchists Vs. Titanians

[...]

Scum Vs. Autonomists -Titanian Commonwealth

[...]

Jovians Vs. Jovians

[...]

Libertarians Vs. Anyone

[...]

Luna Vs. Mars

[...]

Argonauts Vs. Ultimates

[...]