Thursday, September 8, 2016

Day 8: Economics and Politics

 Today's exercise looks to get really fluffy with the details behind "what is valuable" in the Stellar Garden. We're dealing with Economics and Politics. Bryant explains the two in basic terms as such;
 Economics are a rule of who has what, who needs what, and how do they get it there. If someone doesn'’t have something they need, they will go get it, however they can. Politics are a kind of advanced form of economics in which major players and groups work to get what they want or need.
I'm going to guess that this is going to greatly involve my plans for The Union, as well as the Drachon clans.  Let's see what today's task is.
Just as you examined your timeline for events and pressures, now examine your map for resources and deficits. For five minutes, make a few notes on the map to mark places that have more of a type of resource, and jot down anywhere that has a definite deficit of something needed. Also check your timeline; some of your pressure-point conflicts in the last 100 years may have resulted from an unexpected increase or decrease in the resources of one area or another.
Okay; looking at the map ans a few things I've done, I've made minerals a big deal. My whole "Blood Nebula" conflict is sort of an amalgamation between what went on during the California Gold Rush and the Labor Movements of the Industrial Revolution. That's one place of note.

Another is going to be the five worlds (desperately trying not to call them the "Pentagon Worlds" so as not to be too blatant about the inspiration for the Drachon society). These systems include barely habitable worlds, and with a society based on raiding the Drachon are going to take what they need, when they need it. I envision the worlds as resource-poor, but sacred to each clan (which is why the majority of the clans live there, instead of migrating to a more resource-rich world).

I've got this uprising and war happening on Danal; that tells me the planet has something the Union desperately needs. Whatever it is, it's important enough that the Union will not allow Danal to simply leave the Union, that they are willing to fight for it. Could be some rare mineral or other element only found on Danal. Gonna have to note that down.

There's another part to today's exercise,
When you're done with the resources, take another ten minutes and identify which major groups in your civilizations care about which resources. These factions may appear in your story-- they may be opposing the hero(es), or even helping the villain, or they might help the hero or at least get out of the way, depending on how each faction perceives and responds to the various characters in your story. If you are aiming for a political story, you'll want to flesh this out with descriptions of how the factions perceive each other as well as the hero and villain, key people in the factions, and their tactics in dealing with others. Again, feel free to label these with generic names for now; language is coming soon!
Okay, I got this....

The Union - They want peace and order and the means to secure both. They fall somewhere between the United Federation of Planets (Star Trek) and the Earth Alliance (Babylon 5). Predominantly, they are the good guys, but they do things that are underhanded "for the greater good" or "for national security".  They want to feed and clothe their members (food, water, shelter), conduct interstellar commerce (jump-drives), and secure their borders (defense). There is probably a faction interested in exploration.

Drachon Clans - The wants and needs of the Drachon are going to be war materiel. They need food, fuel, and weapons of war (transport as well as armaments). Their entire society supports the Warriors; the glories of their Warriors contributes to the glories of their clan. I don't see a huge research and sciences society within the Drachon, which means they steal most of their tech during raids. They may be able to reverse engineer it and improve it in their own way, but they're more likely to steal new weapon technology than develop it. They are going to care about the location of needed resources near their homeworlds as well as the location of various military units (sending new warriors against the Union's less experienced troops, while sending the veterans against the best troops and ships the Union has).

I probably should end up calling these groups something other than Clans; I'm drawing a lot of parallels to the Clans from Battletech, and it could be influencing my development of Drachon society. I'll need to ponder on this further.

The Bathal Host - Without giving too much away, the Bathal want people as well as a specific location within The Garden that is important to their plans. Why do they want people? As food?  As slaves? Too soon to tell (or at least, too soon to tell you).

Unaffiliated - There almost has to be some unaffiliated groups who are in places that either need resources or have additional resources to trade. My goal is to develop 5 of these entities; either as new races or minor factions (2-3 planets and races). They may be drawn in to alliances with the Union, the Clans, or the Host, or be left to their own devices as the campaign setting evolves.

I'm undecided how I feel about tomorrow's exercise; Language. Aside from a few naming conventions, I mostly just subscribe to "the playground test" (does a name sound like something an 8-year old would make a crude joke about on the playground). Still, I've made some good progress this past week, so I'm willing to call this process sound if not outright useful.

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