Wednesday, June 19, 2013

IMTU the transient human form

What if human form was very easy to modify? 
I know genetic manipulation is taboo in the default Traveller, funny because it may be the only way few can survive the Long Night. You had the ability to use genetic therapy and adapt all the children of those willing to survive and adapt to the planet and its environment: G-variance, Atmosphere, available nutrients (harvested by modified plants and animals), common state of water, scarcity of food, etc...
It takes centuries or millenniums to terra form, but it takes a generation to biologically adapt. Strangely there is a spiritual or cognitive lesson there. 
First obstacle is the Taboo, so billions died because they could not get their head around having their children so different from them that there is a possibility that they are going to be incompatible Yup unnecessary loss of life when facts are difficult to swallow is part of the human condition (see reproductive health in current news and events). It would take only one generation for genetic adaption and therapy, the Long Night lasted +1700 note that not everyone was plugged back in at the same time.

Is it really that hard to love someone as your own when they are not carrying your genes? I mean it kinda brings up all these precedents like adoption and loving pets not as pets but as companions. The capacity to love and live with something that is not your own genetic relation.
It would be a nice story for some AIs to raise the children of their "masters/family" when so many died because of the panic and unnecessary cognitive dissonance in the face of the Long Night. A generation of children that were raised by an AI, only to find out that their AI parent was severely persecuted by most of the original inhabitants despite raising the new people who are adapted to the new world in a way that they did not hate their "ancestors".
Or you can turn that story around into tragedy and destruction, an AI raising an race of conquerors and expansionists.  
I imagine one of those who can thrive are those who were able to adapt quickly and move quickly to restore their infrastructure.
To those Transhumanism Fans Ghost in the Shell has a new pre-quel season. Kusanagi before in the body we know her in. 
This is great opportunity also to introduce more Bio-Tech. IMTU plants and animals are great Automated Harvesters and Logistics for minerals and nutrients. Modified Bugs, because their carapace and their physical features would be awesome in hostile worlds.

I can imagine some young worlds with active cores, but with special minerals, have something like Purple Worms. Creatures that harvest minerals from the extreme and concentrate them in their form and body. Instead of sending a ton of nanites or digging a open pit and filtering the debris, you have feeders that just swarm around and consume the key nutrient/element. (talked about this already).

What if form alteration is so important that some Humans (vilani or terran) don't mind the changes?
Go into a world, and change their biology to suit their world. Its not like they will keep changing, although there is room for such humans who can't help but keep changing. People only change when the economic investment has a great ROI in the long run.

Example: Jane is moving to system X, where the planet I'll be stationed in will be a great place to nest up and start a family - her partner get both modified. All such modifications take time, and there is a modified CPVacc Suit that allows them to adjust in time. After a year: BAM! they are walking around with no or very minimal life support - no filters, no light filters (depending on the Light Range available to their form), etc...
With the Birth Boxes or Capsuls then

If combined with T^2 extended life span, one can go through many bodies in the course of their career and life span. Dwarven body when he managed a High-G Bio-harvesting World, Elven body when managing a belter colony, or modified elf body when he was assign as a scout courier, then modified again as a administrator in an frontier world etc...

If such careers were so long, he/she could have had families as a dwarf, elf, and "other". Some people like being family people, and consider the constant state of being part of a family ideal. I can imagine some folks starting new families with different partners as they amicably change or fall out... not just the serial monogamists who have families continually over the course of their T^2 life span. (when you have T^2 life span population growth just spikes because there is lower death rate plus the ability to continually work, adapt to the market place, and look for new value to create).
An Idea of a Terraforming T^2 family, specialized in drawing out the aesthetic appeal of the system while making it self sustaining. Moving system to system, to begin work on a extended Lifetime of Terraforming. 
Of course where will be the new generation form in?
Birth Tubes or Capsuls like in Vorkosigan and Honorverse, where did those go? I can't find them in GURPS Ultra Tech. The repercussions of such a technology, was it too controversial to be put in the book or they just forgot? I'm not the only person who would love that technology (in its reliable generation) be available, it basically allows anyone to start a family and not be hindered by age or surrogate availability.


Game Balance Munchkining the Cybernetics and Bio-enhancements. I really don't mind because I follow the "Don't play with Assholes Rule". If they abuse that, its easy to just stop playing with such people because of the way Hangout Gamers are so plenty friendly and its easy to be on the same page with people. Personally I used to write about Doctrine regarding enhancement factoring in Economies of Scale, Diminishting Returns, Arms war and Policy Changes. 
 This is easy, the Munchkin gets to only use a limited selection of the kick ass combos he's figured out. Munchkin personally handicaps himself by giving the GM all the cards, thats the only way its permissible. 
I'm currently trying to figure out if its sustainable that Marines and Army personnel are "enhanced" as part of training, indoctrination, and HR optimization. They should be because of Arms-Race rules/Prisoners Dilemma, it creates a larger market of cyberware as well uniformity in performance. It also stops Marines and Army from being the Lowest Paid in the Ship - which is absurd. In such a high TL where education is cheap, Life stops being cheap, so risking one's life should have a premium salary IMO. 
Im allowing people to buy enhancements by either Points or Money IMTU. Yup a munchkin GM likes playing with fire lolz.  

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