How would you run a game in a setting that adheres to the Dark Forest theory of alien civilization? The essence of the theory is that every successful civilization is one that uses relativistic weaponry to snuff out any civilization they detect in order to ensure the success of their own species. This is why SETI and such have not found any communication signals from alien life, because everyone is hiding and looking for everyone else's signals to fire an RKV at them.For the purpose of this premise, let's assume that the setting is as diverse and populated as the typical space opera, or maybe, was. First of all, permanent planetary settlement is out. If it has a consistent predictable trajectory then having it destroyed is a matter of when, not if. There could be an RKV aimed at earth right now. Anything that has survived this long has likely already had its homeworld destroyed or it is going to be destroyed. The destruction of planet-bound civilizations is practically background noise. Species that survive will be ones that are always on the move, maybe in space ships or mobile stations or what have you, siphoning resources from worlds before moving on to the next while countless sensors, probes, and defense networks play chess against every other player, like a galaxy-wide submarine war.
>>82642938The players consist of species which are not perfectly rational actors. While the optimal Malthusian action might be to go full genocide against all alien species, there are enough species which have members that will put short-term gains over long-term survival that there exists an illicit network of trade and communication between the peripheries of the nomadic military juntas that are constantly killing each other with relativistic weaponry. The players can hop from ship to ship and station to station solving crimes, doing odd jobs, plundering the ruins of dead civilizations, getting slowly drawn into vast conspiracies or intergalactic wars, and maybe forming a nomadic military junta of their own if they amass enough resources. I feel a setting such as this would benefit greatly from a map and roll tables. Roll up the local factions, randomly move their stations/ships across the map whenever the players take a turn. Maybe a station they're on good terms with makes a misstep and gets taken out by a rival. I feel like there ought to be a constant sort of paranoid tension of imminent destruction. Even if living on a mobile station is pretty safe compared to orbit-bound life, there's always that chance you die due to one bad move. A good example of similar atmosphere would be the comic Brink, for example. Drugs, rations, increasingly psychotic behavior due to the stress of life in a cramped metal tube floating in the void.
One thing that might be a defining moment of a given species would be their behavior during the [insert cool name here] Window; the time period between the point a species has the ability to take necessary measures to preserve their existence and the point the RKV that has already been launched at them inevitably makes impact. Some species were very fortunate and arrived at Dark Forest theory very early into their [name] Window period, they took it seriously from day one, and the nearest RKV launcher to them was still far enough that they had a long time to escape and settle the void of space. They might have a very lucky road ahead of them. Other species which had short windows or were too slow to come to the right conclusions might live in desperately thrown-together shelters barely able to keep pace with the people trying to kill them, or the lucky few who boarded the only functional ship before their world got trashed.
Another major cultural divide could be whether a civilization (and by extension a player character belonging to a civilization) falls under the Rational or Irrational paradigm, or what end of the spectrum they fall under. This paradigm is used to explain the extent to which a species adheres to the Dark Forest theory. A purely Rational civilization does not contact any other civilizations at all, and focuses entirely on maximizing resource acquisition and eliminating threats. They tend to last the longest as individual species. Irrational civilizations are still Rational enough to play the RKV game, because anyone who doesn't is already dead, but will not behave in the perfectly Malthusian manner practiced by purely Rational civilizations. Individuals within the species will screw over their peers and companions for personal benefit, or at the very least take species-sub-optimal options for the benefit of themselves. Humans would fall somewhere on the Irrational spectrum as would all player character races given any pure Rational species would not be part of the aforementioned illicit trade network in the first place. Irrational species tend to last a shorter time than Rational ones on average, as all the little mistakes and petty incidents of corruption and imperfect behavior eventually lead to a fatal mistake. However, Irrationality as a whole (the term meaning 'all non-purely-rational' civilizations) continues to persist and keep up with Rational species due to the weakness that has them individually disadvantaged, as the under-network keeping them all connected facilitates the flow of resources and information that Rational civilizations by definition cannot participate in.
>>82642938I'd probably just run a regular campaign for a session or two then say, "At this moment, the planet is struck by a relativistic weapon and destroyed. You don't even have any time to process it, everyone dies, that's the game."Then I'll shriek that's realistic and logical while my players throw their drinks at me, and sob alone in a corner about how very intelligent I am and how they just don't get it, as they go do something actually interesting.
>>82643577>t. didn't read the thread.I spent 4 posts explaining the means by which meaningful adventurers could be squeezed out in this setting but I suppose I should spell it out clearly then.First of all, the easiest assumption that can be made is that the players are Irrational life forms which were born after their species passed the [cool name] Window and developed into a spacefaring race engaging in the RKV submarine warfare game every race plays by necessity. For a low-scale game, playing as detectives, tunnel rats, gang members or revolutionaries or what have you within the confines of a single space habitat or ark ship could do (again, Brink is a good example of this), and also serve to acclimate players to the setting in a relatively safe area, though there should be sporadic reports about OTHER places getting randomly struck down by the cruel hand of god because they turned the power a little too high or whatever, to keep that constant state of dread going. A fun real-world place to turn to for inspiration would probably be the Cold War during the height of paranoia when everyone believed the world would end in nuclear exchanges any day now.For a larger scale, higher-power game the players can start as owners of a vessel belonging to the under-network of Irrationality. It's unlikely a space trucker crew or mercenary band would be singled out for getting hit by an RKV, but resource management would be a much higher priority, with the added tension of there always being the chance you could arrive at a destination that is now in pieces. With sufficient resources the players might be able to gain enough materiel and followers to unlock domain level play, and who knows? Maybe they could improve society somewhat.In terms of actual game mechanics my first thought would be to use Stars Without Number as a base due to it already having solid procedural generation mechanics but I am open to suggestions.
>>82643802Anon I genuinely do not care whether this theory is accurate or what the CIA is or isn't trying to do with it. It's a fun concept to run a game in, that's it. If you believe it applies in the real world that's not my problem.
>>82643860Don't bother. /pol/ngiggers are the most incoherent and mentally damaged creatures on this entire site. You'll just prompt another word wall of schizophrenia.
>>82642938What happens in this setting when a civilization events faster-than-light travel and just sends out a billion probes to take down everyones fancy pants RKV rockets?
>>82643973Well the setting ends or changes into something unrecognizeable because the premise no longer holds any weight, I suppose
>>82642938I think the elephant in the room with this theory is the rewards of not acting according to it. Voidships operating in silence in the deep void of space for as long as they can between mining runs are hard to destroy, and still capable of destroying locations much larger and more built up than themselves. But a trillion such voidfleets won't control the same amount of power and material as a fully optimized dyson sphere, much less a harnessed black hole. And all those fleets are going it alone because staying in contact with other fleets of their species is harder and more obvious than just staying together in the first place.A civilization that focuses their efforts on building up a single system instead of destroying other civilizations and evading destruction, if that civilization of somehow by Murphy's law survives could economically and technologically eclypse every group of nomadic wanderers avoiding communication. Enough to make said groups as irrelevant as a chimpanzee is to an aircraft carrier by the time attacks from the further away fleets could hit them.A fully defensive strategy ensures that you lose slowly. So many species really would take a hybrid strategy. Put some of their members on fleets that build up enough resources that parts of them can settle down elsewhere while settled groups try to tec up. Having parts of their species be open enough to contact that they can either broadcast their findings in a way the hidden members or their species can benefit from before being wiped out, or locate members of another species who'd rather cooperate with an alien for the benefits an exchange of information could give than test their odds facing every other evolved lifeform in the universe alone.But whether someone gets enough ahead that being shot first isn't a risk, or survives long enough for the unknown others of the universe to not become so unknown or so other, the dark forest scenario will eventually cease to apply.
>>82644147Then obviously the premise requires justification for why the galaxy is like that in the first place. Maybe it just comes down to the first one or more races to spring up, or even a few that lagged behind, being total dicks and sending RKVs to everyone else, who had to go silent and full paranoia in response, and eventually it just became this horrible dark age of constant imminent demise everyone has to live with. Maybe the next galaxy over is watching the whole thing going "holy fuck, jesus christ, what are they doing over there". Maybe the horrible RKV dark age will eventually end, but as it stands right now the players are in the thick of it and have to deal with the consequences and interact with the world under that premise.
>>82642938This isn't an RPG setting, this is a double-blind strategy game setting. And I want to play it.
>>82644214I imagine you could get pretty horrific with it with the right presentation.
>>82644174Oh yeah, it can definitely be a long awful period of galactic history that would be awesome to make a game around. I was just trying to suggest that one of the elements of the setting, if you wanted to flesh it out, would be the groups that were trying to get the fuck out of rocket tag hell. Even in the middle of the premise, some groups are going to be trying to communicate, cooperate, and/or advance because maybe they'll get lucky, and even if they fail there are fleets of other Glabulons out there, and as long as they keep trying it will make their lives better someday.
So any civilisation would either not know of any other surviving civilisation (congrats, you got "humans only" just with the "well there might be someone nasty out there" bit, though for role playing that's diminished by that we won't really have any invasion that can be fought or anything, just instant annihilation), having pushed the doomsday weapon on any it could find, or it'll know that the doomsday option failed/will fail since we have these colony ships sneaking about at which point it seems the insistence on blowing up anything and everything is more about "but that's how the setting is" than anything terribly rational.And what the fuck would the PC's do here, stare at scanner logs all day? This is a setting you play on a galactic map, were wars are fought by astronomers and sensor networks, not by having one PC point a gun at an NPC.
>>82644309>he didn't read the thread
>>82642938>How would you run a game in a setting that adheres to the Dark Forest theory of alien civilization?I'd explain that it's ridiculous because any species that dumb enough to use lightspeed travel in such a manner would wipe themselves out long before meeting other intelligent life.
>>82642938>red board>Israeli flag>JIDF flag>red board with flags>"Trust me guys everyone logically needs to kill and conquer for self preservation! Constantly acting in this cartoonish nature is the only reason everyone in your country is alive now!"Early on man was savage and simply tried to survive one day to the next. Life was about either killing or dying.Later on man became cunning and developed forethought driven to make life easier for tomorrow. Life was about either labour to avoid danger or danger to avoid labour.Now man has become civilized and understands the limits of the world and tries to manage mankind and the environment in order to maintain to peace and prosperity. Life is about inventing, innovating, and negotiating.When was the last time you were walking down the street and stopped to kill the first pigeon you saw? When was the last time you attacked a stranger just because you didn't know that person?When was the last time you gathered your neighbours and raided another city?When was the last time you spent fiat currency to by a product invented in a foreign country and manufactured in yet another country?A space faring civilization is impossible without becoming civilized.
>>82642938this site is too incoherent and politicized for you anon. I too had this problem trying to talk about new ideas etc. Games are just a soft political proxy for the majority here. Shame, because this is a fucking dope setting, and I think you should really invest time in it - I would 100% play in this setting, and I'd even buy a book or board or whatever. Feels like a good 70s sci fi premise, something you might read from the SF Masterworks collection.
So these RKV's are targetted using special type of signals right? Couldnt you just use that as a trap?>send out big old ship with lots of these signals to random dead system>start it up, it's as loud and bright to these sensors as a civilized planet>watch it and wait for the RKV and try to trace its point of origin>launch your own RKVSure they'd be hard to track, but a civilization advanced enough to launch this shit should have figured out a way to get a rough idea.
>>82642938It's an interesting idea and I hate the fact that the thread immediately started devolving into /pol/ vs /antipol/. Could multi-species stations be a way to escape this theory? Constant warfare is time- and resource consuming. Having a station with multiple species on it would create a mutual hostage situation, allowing for temporary peace and trade.
>>82642938>How would you run a game in a setting that adheres to the Dark Forest theory of alien civilization?I wouldn'tyour setting is depressingyou just invented mudcore in spacecongratulations I guess
>>82645328I dunno I like the other anons idea of an illegal fringe society of criminals and traders and outsiders cropping up in space stations and on dead worlds. You could get really weird with these little fiefdoms. To keep it /pol/ related you could make it real libertarian or ancap or just generally anti government with these gigantic, stifling, obsessive deep state bureaucracies and their 'elected' puppets stifling the potential of galactic civilization out of their own paranoia, and its up to the free wheeling, free thinking outlaws on the edge to try and make some sort of flourishing society in the cracks and hidden places of the galaxy these giants can't see
>>82642938>>82642941>>82642987>>82643075You spend a lot of time talking, without outlining where the fundamental game is in these posts.Even in a traditional forum, a post nearly in excess of 1000 words, of which the majority is abstract conceptualism, itself accompanying an "image" which is really a sub-post of equal length, is not liable to draw enthusiastic commentary or support.>>82643716This is a phenomenally bad way to respond to the implicit criticism that your proposed "game" is too abstract and intellectual, and frankly, hide-bound by it's conceit.It's like you tried to explain an Age Of Colonialism/Age Of Exploration era setting, by first leading with all the rationalism for why, ACTUALLY REALLY THO', the natives stood no chance.>>82645211Politics are baked in to the premise. I cannot imagine a group of real players being handed this -abstract-, with no rules or actual pro-forma 'game' and responding with anything more than abstract curiosity and political gesticulation. There is nothing to engage with other than vague assertions of fact, and OP has failed to show he is willing to negotiate those premises.>>82643802Although I don't believe the initial element, the strategic problem of relativity, is a CIA psy-op, I grant freely and unresevedly that if you pay attention to what is actually said in the sub-post, so to say, the rationalized xenophobia, regression and imperialism are taken for granted and made center piece.Overall OP, I suggest you abandon this thread and work out your actual G A M E first in your own time, and lead with that, then when someone asks "gee anon, your cock is so big, how'd it get that way" you explain the RKV and the thought frame you built around it.
>>82642938The premise doesn't work because the distances are too large. Even at 99% of light speed, launching from one light year away gives the target up to 87 hours of early warning, depending on how good their telescopes are. That may not be enough time to stop it but it is enough time to launch their own, if they prepared for such an event. Maybe their telescopes aren't that good and maybe they didn't prepare for a retaliatory strike, but that means we're assuming a not-quite-worst-case scenario in which there are no situations where the preemptive strike is not necessary but also no situations where the preemptive strike is not sufficient. Assuming the worst means assuming that they have prepared for it.
>>82642938I have something similar though it's less about every race wrestling to hold the belligerent retard ball and more the active exterminator great filter wiping out anyone who gets too conspicuous (Inhibitors say hello). In this case it's time fuckery since I'm a masochist, the gist is that there's a Galactic Intelligence from some time in the future which gets tremendously pissy when causality violation tech (like say, FTL) is used within its light cone. Luckily for us the ascension process scrambled its memory and it doesn't know which of the various civs (or combine of them) will become it thereby ruling out pre-emptive extermination of just about everybody.Gameplay consists of space-archeology on planets which succumbed to increasingly elaborate (and apparently vindictive) failure states (the GI imposes Final Destination tier probability twisting on targets). The PCs do all this while dodging memetic hazards, dormant nanotech, the few still living yet deranged hider civs and a growing "space madness" which seems to scramble their communications with home (if there ever was a home which some may come to doubt).>>82645733 aside I'm of the belief that any genocidal firstborns could and would glass all potential life-bearing planets while we were still amoeba making the premise moot. An oxygen haze is pretty conspicuous and pre-emptive murder is apparently the galactic norm. Even if you couldn't just leave behind a timed gun (only multiple shots would let enemies divine your path) negating long term risk by culling a world which will lead to yet another diaspora of killer fleets is worth the short term exposure to peers.
You could take some inspiration from stories of unfamiliar tribes encountering one another.I'm pretty sure that humans in 3000 BC knew that a group of armed men wandering through their territory had unknown aims, but would not immediately assume they were friendly.If interstellar travel is possible, I can see alien societies doing whatever they can to eg infiltrate each other and (for example) spread memes of pacifism or just monitor them for a few extra years warning when the target civilization starts developing antimatter engines.In the OP book, one couldn't even escape by taking off in fast ships, because the signature of an antimatter drive will give away your position--the implication is that the only way to survive is to hide on a dark rock between stars. The argument against the thesis is that the target civilization could have enough off-world resources to launch a counterstrike, even if they have no hope of long term survival.So it could look a lot like cold war MAD strategy, but with an unknown number of players.
>>82644736But anon, aren't you scared 'strolling into Central Park'? Which is in no way a phrase coded in racism?
The safest societies to approach would be pre-spacetravel civs if you came across them.Actually strikes me as a good justification for a "big brother" dynamic. A remnant from a destroyed world could assist another civ in colonizing brown dwarfs and build up a stealth civilization that isn't vulnerable to being wiped out by one RKV strike
>>82644736>When was the last time you gathered your neighbours and raided another city?You described most of human history. Our brains are wired to figure out who the outgroup is and gang up with a tribe against them.Granted I agree in OP's scenario, where there's back channel communication and reliable space travel, a more stable political situation could evolve.>>82646265How often do you go shopping in East New York at night?
>>82642938You fool! Don't you realise that by posting this and making us aware of you and your game's existence, someone will now be coming around your house to kill you?
The universe is silent because we're the fist sentient, as per the iron saturation of the universe.The universe is excessively young and dynamic compared to its potential.
Prime real estate would be brown dwarfs and jupiter objects that don't orbit a star. Plenty of raw material and energy for billions of years.Blindsight addresses this possibility, with a possibly hostile alien entity that sends out seed pods which can risk interacting with another species at least enough to do reconnaissance.
>>82642938Tbh, the kill or be killed notion being inevitable is something I just don't buy.Imagine the following - a previously uncontacted island tribe is found. The island contains no significant resource, has zero practical or strategic value to anyone. The tribesmen are roughly at a stone age level of technology. Do you nuke them out of fear that one day they might develop into a rogue nuclear state?
>>82642938>>82646429Also there are a few questions that need to be answered.OP assumes that the baddie aliens have access to FTL-travel. If such a thing is possible (and desu, it breaks the universe in fundamental ways, and allows for things like time travel), they would outclass non-FTL races to such a degree that considering them threats would be nidicolous.If the baddies have no access to FTL, they could only notice developing civilizations 100s of thousands of light years late, and would need just as much time to respond to them. That would mean that the technologically advanced races could exist for about as much time, and would be perceivable by us. Besides, if I were as paranoid as the baddies, I would not only aim at planets with signs of intelligent life, but ones with the possibility of developing such as well. If the alien astronomers scoured the skies for the signs of complex life supporting planets, they could destroy these planets millions of years in advance.If such a civilization existed in our galaxy, the would've probably glassed Earth before the emergence of multicellular organisms.The theory of mutually assured destruction also comes into play, If civilization A detects B, and both are advanced, it's likely that B detects A as well. They would have plenty of time to launch genocidal strikes against each other as well.
>>82642938>>82646559Further elaborating on the MAD strategy, I imagine there are 2 likely scenarios:- One civilization develops way before others do - in this case, were I that civilization I would build automated probes to ensure that younger upstarts don't get a taste for alien genocide - by hanging the threat of extermination over their heads if necessary.- Civilizations develop close enough in time that they can mutually kill each other. In this case, I'd assume they know game theory - exterminating the other guy brings no benefit to them, and will not prevent their own extermination, thus such an action is useless.If they are not so reasonable, and they manage to murder each other, a great reset occurs and we go back to square one.
>lol aliens kill youDumbfuck setting. Dumbfuck theory.
>>82642938Start with a parable to get the idea across.>"The hunter awakes in his hiding place and carefully listens for suspicious noises from the thick undergrowth before he gets up.">"Another night has passed without incident. The forest is dark and full of fog.">"He considers calling out to others to end his loneliness but stops himself at the last moment.">"What if they are like him?"
>>82642938The Dark Forest hypothesis would be a good background to have as a mystery for the players. Trying piece together the bits and clues to find out what led the galaxy to become the Dark Forest. What started the war or wars and how that might be avoided.
>>82646559>>82645964Brought up the pre-multicellular thing here. It's a pretty-self defeating concept when the anthropic principle guarantees that they have some notion of mercy or their weapons/detection aren't as good as the Dark Forest would require.
David Brin had a similar (inverted?) take in Existence. The premise is that species past a certain tech level have the potential destructive impact of individuals outweigh society's means of prevention, bad enough on its own but on an galactic level this led to "fomites" which are basically chain letter probes which arrive on pre-self-destruct tier worlds, uplift them enough to make more fomites while selling them on the idea that self-destruction is inevitable and the best way to guarantee continuity is to mass-produce fomites (thereby hastening society's collapse). I think there was an implied Von Neumann apocalypse which preceded the fomites and the novel ends with humanity setting up a less exploitative paradigm which may become the new base state.
>>82647159Not CIA but it was popularized by a chink. I can't imagine why a culture with China's history might tend towards justifying ruthless scrambles for the mandate of heaven. The elites in the West are probably as eager to believe it as any other parasitic caste.
>>82643577the 36d12 approach, i like it
>>82645294That's a cool idea.
>>82645294I hope you aren't firing your RKV from your own planet because you're going to feel like a silly billy the minute you run into a civilization that had the same idea and also the wherewithal to fire their RKV from a non-populated planet.
>>82642938Imagine being afraid of Central Park in the year of our lord 2013
>>82642938Looks like Kurzgesagt had done their job.But, consider the possibilities of the Dark Forest shootout to a civ:1) civ can't do anything to RKVs, gets hit and die.2) civ can't do anything to RKVs but could migrate/move their civ elsewhere3) civ develops rapidly enough to deflect or otherwise neutralize RKVs4) civ can't do anything to RKVs, but either due to the inherent distances and time involved in RKV shootings (or just plain bad aim), the shooter civ misses5) RKV shots take such a long time that it will maybe hit long after the civ that shot it perishes naturally, so would-be shooter civs don't bother6) RKVs look good on paper/'close'-range but in practice they barely do damage to distant targets, so would-be shooter civs don't bother7) RKVs are actually a communication methodYou could set your game when a fledgling civ learns that it's being targeted by an RKV, and show the turmoil and /or the unifying, galvanizing moments for the civ, either falling to chaos or getting their shit together... only for the RKV to miss and hit another planet on their solar system instead. Then further analysis indicated that there used to be an alien civ on that neighboring planet, extinct for millenias hence. So now you have a ruined world/RKV defense tech, what do you do with it?
>>82646296>>>82644736>>When was the last time you gathered your neighbours and raided another city?>You described most of human history.That question was designed to make the one that answers it confront the fact that the more man develops the more alien and antiquated such behaviour becomes.>a more stable political situation could evolveWithin one's civilization it would be a necessary prerequisite to a space faring civilization. A very stable political situation would be the only thing preventing the emergence of bandit communities, piracy, and potentially world ending terrorism. Yet between civilizations there would also be a necessity for stable political relations for the same reasons as mentioned within a civilization, but also due to the vastness of space. There could never be a guarantee that a preemptive strike would kill an entire civilization, which means there could always be the chance of second strike capability making the potential cost and losses of war absolute. Whats more there is an overwhelming pull towards cooperation in the form of trade deals involving completely alien technology, completely alien cultural works, completely alien flora and fauna, completely alien professionals, completely alien customers, as well as internal and external security alliances. This is all not to mention that the ability to quickly and reliably travel the unfathomable vastness of space makes it completely illogical to attack alien colonies for resources which themselves will likely be lost in any military action, and could instead be easily traded for.
>>82648320This is the problem presented in The Killing Star. Antimatter engines leave a distinct signature that can be seen by anyone. When humans start sending out probes it seals their doom, because the neighboring aliens now know they're dealing with a species that can do RKV attacks.It's not irrelevant that the genocidal aliens are actually prisoners of their own thinking machines, living as parasitic coomers while the machines make all the decisionsWe also see the game play out in only one iteration (which is sort of the point--this is a game where you get one move, and if it's the wrong one, it's game over).>>82648358Pellegrino was writing in the 80's and 90's I believe.>>82649082>the more alien and antiquated such behaviour becomesI don't see that inclination disappearing at all. We're better fed and sedated so it doesn't often turn into total war.>>82649082I agree there's a lot of different outcomes. Where it differs from "tribe encounters strangers on the steppe" is that there you can't send out scouts without giving away your strength and position. So you don't just risk a few braves, you risk the whole tribe in every single encounter (unless you can hit the genocide button first).Within Pellegrino's story it's about as plausible as space SF ever gets. In OP's premise he's basically describing a midpoint between "omnicidal free for all" and "federation of planets". It seems likely that eventually, somewhere, a cooperate/cooperate state would occur, and outcompete the defect/defect players.If you have interstellar travel and lots of small, distributed habitats, you're pretty hard to exterminate even with Godtech, so that would end up figured into the game. If neither party can exterminate the other, it suits both to negotiate boundaries.
As a backstory I'd start with something like "cooperation-minded potentially-friendly ayyliums find the Voyager probes and destroy them before something nastier finds them, then come looking for us to tell us to shut up if we want to live", then go from there. The ayyliums tell us the score, give us fancy tech and a lot of dire warnings, then bugger off in case a nasty is headed this way already.
>>82642938I honestly wouldn't, because I don't find it to be terribly realistic.Look, intelligent life is probably pretty rare - the exact sequence of evolution needed to make humans self-aware could be nigh-impossible to replicate. In any event it's certainly not all that common. We have no reason to think that sapience evolved at any point prior to us. The Cambrian Explosion happened 530 million years ago and in all that time it produced just one thinking species.Thing is that however common intelligent life is, UNintelligent life is almost certainly much, much more common. For every planet that develops a thinking species there's going to literally be literally hundreds that don't but still develop advanced multicellular organisms, and literally thousands more that support simpler animal/plant/fungus/wahtever life.Earth is special because we can't, at the moment, get anywhere else. But assuming that we do, I think we're gonna find that life is inevitable - that is, practically as soon as a planet develops the conditions where life CAN develop, it does, simply because once it HAS developed it's pretty hard to get rid of as long as the planet doesn't lose its magnetic field or something. We're probably going to find that the universe is lousy with life-supporting worlds, more than we could ever possibly use in a million years of insane expansion and consumption.And that's without stopping to consider terraforming. With the technology we have available on Earth RIGHT NOW, if cost was no issue, we could begin the process needed to terraform Mars, and fuck, could probably even terraform the Moon inside of a century.If life-supporting worlds are common but intelligent species are rare - and there is literally no reason to think otherwise - then there's no logical reason to RKV another species. Even a couple dozen solar systems under one species' control would be more resources than the species could ever actually go through.
>>82643918>Don't bother. /pol/ngiggers are the most incoherent and mentally damaged creatures on this entire site. You'll just prompt another word wall of schizophrenia.please leave /tg/, tourist, you are not welcome here and never were.
>>82650456The abundance of life given it's H + time is pretty spooky unless the challenges of endosymbiosis, multicellularity and tool-using are all big enough filters in of themselves and there's nothing nasty in store for sapient civs. Then again we could have our cake and eat it if the skies are lively but only recently became so along with the galaxy's rising metallicity. Being elder sibling to a bunch of other peoples is a good end provided we don't squander the sky on war. Also as has been said what kind of half-assed genocidal maniac waits for spacefaring diaspora before shooting? Flatten anything with an abnormal atmosphere which nobody has so nobody will.
>>82650509You know the irony is, you know that comic what depicts a leftoid taking over a perfectly good game by forcing it to dumb down its rules and everything?Yeah that's you too, /pol/tard. You're as much a tourist as any lefty tranny.
>>82650545>You know the irony is, you know that comic what depicts a leftoid taking over a perfectly good game by forcing it to dumb down its rules and everything?>Yeah that's you too, /pol/tard. You're as much a tourist as any lefty tranny.That's the thing, I am not from /pol/, most people here aren't any more because it's half feds and half bots now. But that is besides the point. The point is that we was to have fun and don't want to bring the "le culture war" bullshit into this. Guy has cool topic and you come in here screeching about /pol/ and using the nigger word. You are not welcomed, you did not come here for a good time. You came here to seethe. And we aint about that...sometimes.
>>82650605>I am not from /pol/Oh I believe you. But if you walk like a duck and quack like a duck then I'mma call you a duck even if you're technically a coot or a loon.
>>82650633this >>82650509 is my first reply to you. Take your meds
I'm not going to read this whole thread because it's to much. Once of the big problems with the Dark Forest theory is that it presupposes than everyone within a society will be on the same page when it comes to shutting up and hiding. But when you think about it, that's fucking not going to happen. There's morons that wont even take a vaccine to protect their own grandma you expect people not to try to shout out and get every alien in the galaxies attention?Buuuuut... that might make a good premise for a session or two. Some arrogant jack asses decide to buck the current zeitgeist and call out to the galaxy. Maybe a cult, maybe a political party, maybe just a super rich ass hole. Either way the party has to stop them before they get billions killed.
>>82650743>get billions killed.*save the human race from the Elites
>>82650743I think that's covered by OP in whatever posts you didn't read, he specifics you could group the different races into hyper-rational malthusian murder autists who last a long time individually and sub-optimal self-interested races who are more likely to break silence or illicitly interact with other races at the cost of having a shorter/smaller survival rate individually, but benefiting the loose coalition of sub-optimal self-interested races as a whole by providing information and trade.
>>82650743>But when you think about it, that's fucking not going to happen. There's morons that wont even take a vaccine to protect their own grandma you expect people not to try to shout out and get every alien in the galaxies attention?>There's morons that wont even take a vaccineThey are not morons, they are self aware. Try it sometime.
>>82650743>But when you think about it, that's fucking not going to happen. There's morons that wont even take a vaccine to protect their own grandma you expect people not to try to shout out and get every alien in the galaxies attention?Bad analogy, people have a good reason for not taking the vaccine. With that said your whole criticism of Dark Forest theory falls a part because it was made on erroneous assumptions.
>>82650842 Laugh at him.Point at him and laugh.
>>82650708>There is only me and one other person on 4chan
>>82650871I would but after two years I'm hoarse and there's little to be gained by off-topic bullshit.
>>82650860>people have a good reason for not taking the vaccine.People THINK they have a good reason for not taking the vaccine, but unless they've got a licensed medical professional telling them to not take any vaccine for actual recognized medical conditions that make it dangerous, then they don't.
>>82650871why he is right?
>>82650897>>82650884>>82650897>People THINK they have a good reason for not taking the vaccine, but unless they've got a licensed medical professional telling them to not take any vaccine for actual recognized medical conditions that make it dangerous, then they don't.Who are you to say? Are you a medical professional?
>>82650871I rather laugh at you
>>82650743>equating the flu to a aggressive alien civilization with relativistic weapons.You have no one to blame but yourself for the replies you are getting.
>Thread will not get off the 1st page of /tg/>/pol/ screencap in OP>Argument about a (((hypothetical))) game scenario metaplot that has nothing to do with any actual tabletop game that anyone is playing, will play, or even might play>And even if there was a game where this metaplot scenario existed it would be relegated to window dressing within 5 seconds and have nothing to do with gameplay going forward from there because the entire premise of the metaplot is that nothing interesting happens because every single living being in the universe is 110% autistic.>Argument about the coofGet the fuck out.
>OP wants to run a game using an uncommon setup>Thread devolves into antivaxxers and angry cia-nigger noises
>>82650842>>82650860>>82650924>>82650942>>82650965>>82650982See? These morons would be BEGGING for the aliens to crack our planets open like cocoanuts. Look at them? They love the idea. Dying for nothing makes them horny. lol fucking marvelous, thanks for proving my point guys.
>>82651012Because you don't need to make a new set of mechanics when Stars Without Number already exists retard, OP already mentioned the best game to set it in so all that's left is the window-dressing.
>>82651012>>82651036this is why you are usually laughed out of /tg/ anon.
>>82651012>Get the fuck out.you first tourist
>82651012>82651036>82650743ignore the retard tourist and continue discussing the neat topic in the OP
>>82651088>implying anyone ever leaves
>>82650871Proving his point, low amygdala.
>>82651088Out of /tg/? Find one college educated who DIDN'T take gender classes who doesn't go "Get the fuck away from me."Fauci is a slur among physicians.
>>82651169read the posts I was replying to, you got the wrong idea
>>82651215I understood, but I also added.They redefined dictionary entries. REDEFINING of all things, was their downfall.
>>82650743There's also the time lag to consider. By the time an advanced civilization detects spaceflight the more primitive civ has likely had it for decades or even centuries depending on the distance between the two, and they'll have another however many years before the RKV hits them. If at any point in that time they leave their home planet and develop self-sufficient colonies elsewhere in their solar system then there will be survivors, and survivors imply the possibility of retaliation. Plus once you're aware that someone in your galactic neighborhood is shooting RKVs and have a rough guesstimate at how far away they are, it's not too hard to start hiding from them. By that logic, as others in this thread have pointed out, the better strategy is to just target any planet with life on it, rather than wait until you detect radio or rockets or whatever. And if someone were doing that near us, assuming they'd been at it for a while, there would be some kind of evidence.
>>82651020>being anti-vax>in year of our Lord 2021Almost made me laugh. There are currently no vaccines against Covid.
>>82651408This. Also, once the DF theory is accepted by the population, they would try to spread out as quickly as possible.
>>82651435>antivaxxer in denialI'm going to pretend you aren't a retard and ask we get back to the topic of the game.
>>82651408agree. assuming you can put together a von neumann that's semi-reliable (basically it manages to replicate itself at least twice during it's lifespan) the end result of DF should just be that there's pretty much only one spacefaring civilization per galaxy.In that case your PCs should probably be members of that race. You could center the plot around contact with a very stealthy civilization which it is their job to wipe out or maybe a galactic collision or passby causes a galaxy vs galaxy war. something like that.
>>82642938I'm not sure this is ideal for a tabletop campaign outside of the background setting fluff but it sounds like a rad backdrop for a Battleship variant. Very cool. I was already aware of the premise, but applying it to tabletop is something new.>>82650897Endemic heart attacks among athletes in their prime is a good enough reason.
>>82651616>I'm going to pretend you aren't a retard and ask we get back to the topic of the game.good then don't bring up topics you know nothing about next time. Now let's get back on topic.
>>82651616It's not a vaccine though. The COVID jab doesn't fit the definition of a vaccine>a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the diseaseIt doesn't provide immunity at all. It's not a vaccine. Thats a marketing push by big pharma
>>82650743In the book OP quotes, the signal of a potential threat is firing up an antimatter engine (the only thing that can get any significant amount of mass up to dangerous speeds).Radio signals alone don't indicate a threat.If I were in OP's grimdark universe, maybe I'd launch some cheap probes at nearby stars and have them scream out radio signals and X-rays just to lure a kill crazy civilization into revealing their position.
>>82642938I would never run a game about this autistic bullshit holy fuck.
>>82655100>Radio signals alone don't indicate a threat.Why not? If they can master technology up to broadcast radio, then it's only a hop, skip and a jump to spaceflight. Better to kill them now while they can't possibly defend themselves or strike back rather than wait until they already get space nukes. Or even better. Just start blasting off the atmospheres any terrestrial world in a star's Goldilocks zone. It's the only way to be sure.
>I actually read the threadIt's cool as fuck and also terrifying thinking how this applies to us. Why is /tg/ so illiterate?
>>82642938>How would you run a gameI wouldn't. I've read Cixin's books, I like them, but that setting does not translate to a game of any kind since the players literally cannot interact with the cool parts of it.
>>82655891That is the equivalent of trying to shoot a specific set of grains of sand in a sandstorm, because you are assuming that some of them might kill you, which they will attempt to because you are firing at every thing that might be a threat with no guarantees that you have located all of them.You would be better off trying to make first contact as at least then you are less likely to be shot
>>82657223You can't autistically stick to pure DF theory and do a good campaign, but you can bend it just a bit and have something. One anon already suggested the idea that there exists a sort of grey area along the fringe between space controlled by two species where unofficial trade and communication happens. I'd expand upon that to say that every spacefaring civilization that does not get blown into tiny pieces evolves into a total police state, but out on the fringes they have less power. After all, you can't track everyone if everyone is running dark. It is an unspoken yet absolute rule among the Traders that nobody ever says anything about home, and if anyone does, you didn't hear them say it. (After all, as a Trader you have a vested interest in your business associates not being blackbagged by their species' equivalent of glowniggers.) Using the oversimplified language of the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Traders are a cooperate/cooperate society existing on the border between two defect/defect societies. This has the potential for a lot of good intrigue.
>>82642938Rare earth is the clear and obvious answer to Fermi, but if we want to entertain dark forest then we must wonder why an I dividual civilization lasts when different members possess relativistic weaponry. They could kill each other too, no? The reason is that they are more confident about their own species's actions because they can communicate with them. So, even if every civilization is hiding, if they are able to blow up each other's assets anyway then they are able to extend communications attempts. If two civilizations can talk to each other even a little then the iron curtain gets much thinner. So any civilization that does successfully establish communications before getting blown up, and there will inevitably be one or a few tht do, will have an enormous advantage over the others. Secrecy isn't logical, it's just that futurists get really caught up in their predictions and thought that scary theory was fun.
>>82642938>absence of signals from ayys is a strong indicator of some mumbo jumbo bullshitThis is retarded beyond belief.The only reason we can't find ayys is not because there's so many places to look, but each and every one of them is light from different points in past, meaning that the statistical probability of us finding ayys is basically 0.
>>82655891That's one of the conceits of the book.Presumably building a planet killer RKV is very expensive, requires enough antimatter to fuel 21C earth for millenia. And to launch it is to expose your own position.Also, it's supposed that there are species who figure out this game theory application before they figure out radio, and thus stick to focused transmission instead of broadcast
>>82651616>physicians, doctors in training, medical staff, and pharmateucians, are antivaxxer in denialRemember when the media called Trump's vax a shit? You brought it upon yourself, wokies.
>>82657438Perhaps some traders get psychosurgery to remove detailed position info about the homeworld>>82658770It's just a book guys. Fictional premise that OP wants to adapt for a space adventure game. Who goes into a 5e thread and says "It sucks, dragons could never fly, totally unrealistic, you should play Vampire the Masquerade instead"
>>82657991In regard to Pellegrino's novel, it's limited by the fact that we can only see one "move" in the dark forest game. A species that has survived the filter has adopted the policy of blasting the homeworld of any technological species they spot. They send a clean up crew to hunt down offworld survivors (and collect a few specimens for their victory zoo), but it's clear that it's really hard to do exterminate a spacefaring species. One group of survivors almost escapes by hiding in the corona of the sun, and a colony on Ceres takes off for deep space.The next move might be the Ceres colony builds up it's powers out in the dark between the stars, colonizing jupiter objects and brown dwarfs. Do they make a retaliatory strike against the aliens that destroyed earth?To extend the OP metaphor--perhaps some dunce really does respond to someone shouting "I'm a friend" and it works out, just by dumb luck. Now there are two men wandering the park in coop mode. Now they get better sleep because someone is watching their back, and if one gets got his friend will avenge him.If you run the game for billions of years, it seems like eventually someone would stumble into a cooperate/cooperate equilibrium and dominate the game in their local area.
Another problem is that it's impossible to tell if a big object going a fraction of C is a first contact ship, or a missile. They look the same until deceleration.It might be too intense for a space opera adventure game, but how do you establish friendly relations when even a small ship can wipe out a whole habitat just by stepping on the gas?
>>82660287>It might be too intense for a space opera adventure game, but how do you establish friendly relations when even a small ship can wipe out a whole habitat just by stepping on the gas?According to OP the implicit assumption would be that it's already been worked out by whatever network links the different irrational factions together. Maybe going to a place untouched by the network will present that kind of challenge but in places already in the know there's probably a pass code or something.
>>82642938Since you can't really let players do anything fun in the setting (fly around, visit planets, find aliens, etc) I guess I'd just shrink down the scale and just run a noir story aboard a cramped space ship colony. The players are cops or criminals who stumble upon some conspiracy involving the captain of the ship, possibly related to the setting itself. Maybe some bad actor aboard the ship is secretly communicating with something out there? Or maybe the captain is lying to the citizens, and the whole Dark Forest thing is just an excuse to implement authoritarian control? Or maybe it's the opposite: only the captain knows that we're in a Dark Forest, and the average person is blissfully aware that the "mining accelerator" they fire every so often is actually snuffing out civilizations? But at that point, why not just run a cyberpunk detective game set on Earth instead of using such a depressing setting?
>>82662692>Since you can't really let players do anything fun in the setting (fly around, visit planets, find aliens, etc)>anon posts this>anon did not read 5 posts worth of explanation explaining how you could do all of thatholy fuck this entire board cannot read
>>82659986>One group of survivors almost escapes by hiding in the corona of the sun, and a colony on Ceres takes off for deep space.Which makes the premise of relativistic death to all from afar as a standard appraoch rather thin, if you could guarantee a species extinction it'd be one thing, but there is no way of knowing from a distance if a group really is confined to their homeworld, and while they /may/ have been an enemy,in the future and a threat to your own species survival, trying to kill them and failing will mean they /will/ go on to be your enemy and a threat yo your own species future survival.More likely that default intelligent approach will keep as many options in hand as possible until /required/ to use them, rather than investing in so much risk by pre-emptive strikes.
>>82663006I agree. In the OP novel, the killer aliens would either have to be extremely thorough or be able to wipe out competitor species before they even got to radio tier. It's explicit that they've BTFO multiple civilizations. Assuming a crowded universe where everyone can see you blowing up planets.Especially if you imagine a universe with multiple technological civilizations, and reasonably robust interstellar travel and comms, RKVs could be a looming threat but not necessarily an auto-win button. The optimal stategy would probably be to spread out and have lots of colonies and redoubts. Antimatter is too expensive even for godaliens to go blasting every suspicious rock in the universe.
>>82662930The first 5 posts really don't cover that well. It suggests that there are nomadic fleets wandering around, but the odds of two such fleets actually coming into contact is very small unless those fleets are travelling at a significant percentage of lightspeed. And if they are, that obviously paints a target on them, and more importantly means that there are enough RKV ships being left alone for sufficient periods of time that even the 'rational' species clearly haven't been successful in protecting themselves.The idea of an intergalactic war as mentioned also seems far-fetched, as the setting already proposes that any 'war' will be a preemptive strike to render the opponent extinct, since any other move is 'irrational'. Having peripheries, communication, and survivors all point to reasons why the 'rational' species in this context are anything but. Instead, you have a setting where a bunch of crazy aliens have decided to RKV every inhabited planet, and now everyone just lives aboard starships because they're the only thing that isn't vulnerable to RKV strikes. Essentially, the setting would largely be past the idea of a Dark Forest, since any species that has been spacefaring for long enough simply wouldn't have a homeworld. Therefore, there is no reason to remain hidden. In the analogy of Central Park at night, being shot simply turns you into a ghost that can't be shot. From that point on, there's no real reason to remain silent. >>82660287I would say that one potential way to differentiate would be the degree of overkill it would be. If you've got two planets in your system, several dozen fast objects are heading your way, and even one of them would be sufficient to destroy your planet several times over, then it'd be incredibly wasteful if it were an actual attack. Similarly, if you've got several colonies planets in your system and there's only one object, it'd be less likely to be an attack, since they'd want to prevent retaliation.
>>82642938>because everyone is hiding and looking for everyone else's signals to fire an RKV at them.I know this is just fiction and all but the idea that you can hid an active interstellar civilization is fucking stupid, if you actually wanted to ensure survival the biggest fish will just rush to colonize all world to ensure no one else can develop there. also if you do mange to hide somehow your entire history is still beaconing out to the universe via light lag.
>>82664781>the idea that you can hid an active interstellar civilization is fucking stupidhttps://www.orionsarm.com/eg-topic/45bd1a9eb4a5cYou might think, but no, it's been rather thoroughly thought out to hard science fiction standards.
>>82664832I am not saying it's impossible or even that now intelligent group will try it but that it's impossible that everyone else does it, everything we do just on this plant is producing signals and clues about our existence, if you want to hid the energy print of an entire space faring civilization you need to cut back so much you might as well not have one.all it takes is one group that doesn't follow this mindset to colonize the galaxy in just a few million years and we are still sitting in an empty galaxy. also even if there was a galactic big bad that still didn't get to colonize everything that was turbo nuking every speck of xeno life and they were the reason everyone was hiding. how did everyone find out about the big bads? how did they managed to find out about them and then go through the process of hiding without being spotted by a supposedly technologically superior force.again, not saying that hiders can't be a thing just that they can't be the reason everything seems dead
>>82664991>one group that doesn't follow this mindset to colonize the galaxy in just a few million yearsThe problem is that by the time "one group" colonizes anything beyond a single star system they cease to be "one group" relativity necessitates autonomy at least on the stellar level.
>How would you run a game in a setting that adheres to the Dark Forest theory of alien civilization? It's not easy, but it is possible.
>>82665872Interesting elaboration in that sentience=FTL means that there's a selective benefit to irrationality. Also the fact that the Eaters are unaware until the PCs all but wave their dicks in their face after releasing their slaves makes the whole "why not wipe out all potential cradles?" plot hole. Detection isn't an issue since they have humanity's recordings on hand to give the killshot a personal touch but they must leave species be because of the utility of non-sentient systembound slaves. Only other FTL capable sentients are a threat (and humanity even more so since anthropmorphisation is a secret superpower which could open the door to cross-sentient cooperation which beats singleton races though it evidently leaves them open to manipulation by non-sentient parasites). I'd be intrigued to see facultatively sentient civs, The Inhibitors in Revelation Space largely function on exceedingly effective autopilot (it makes coordinating over trillions of years despite light lag more predictable) but occasionally cobble together atavistic personified agents when starkilling (one of the few arts which could do with further refinement). A semi-sapient traveler civ might function with unfeeling efficiency in realspace and switch to sentient eccentricity for jumps. Could be interesting if it was partially at war with itself as the sentient stage universally abhors return to "dead space" (combined with jumpspace's madness).
>>82664323>Essentially, the setting would largely be past the idea of a Dark Forest, since any species that has been spacefaring for long enough simply wouldn't have a homeworld. Therefore, there is no reason to remain hidden. In the analogy of Central Park at night, being shot simply turns you into a ghost that can't be shot. From that point on, there's no real reason to remain silent. Not that anon, but what makes you say that? If a planet of intelligent beings is too dangerous to let live, why wouldn't a ship be considered the same? Sure, you can't easily doom a ship from 50,000 light-years away like you can a planet, but a "rational" species would still probably torpedo the fuck out of anything that emits a radio signal or propellant, for fear of the same being done to them. You're right about a self-sufficient colony ship having less to fear than a planet, but a "rational" species would still kill you on sight. Because of this, finding someone to cooperate with would still be extremely unlikely, and if you did find a ship of aliens willing to cooperate, you'd have little reason to ever leave them again.
>>82666079>makes the whole "why not wipe out all potential cradles?" plot hole.It wasn't ever clarified in game, but the PCs speculated that the energy cost of wiping out every potential world was too high. They also weren't sure when, exactly, the Eaters launched their missile. Could have been decades before the game.>hropmorphisation is a secret superpower which could open the door to cross-sentient cooperationOh, that was never the reading I put on it. It wasn't a superpower, it's an evolutionary trait that's helpful now, but that gets selected out fairly quickly as species develop. Humanity didn't "win" in this scenario. They just avoided losing in one way.
>>82666300>space is big, took months to find it>relativistic projectile, launched decades before game startMonths, decades? For hard science fiction the time scales are ridiculously small.
>>82666334It's also got cheap FTL travel in it, so time scales get compressed, especially when the antagonists are thinking far faster than humans. It's hardly perfect hard sci-fi.
>>82666334Also, months to find something in a star field is pretty realistic, given a big enough telescope array and some powerful computers. It might even be an overestimation.
>>82666300Secret superpower in that a trait useful in this scenario can also be useful in another just as it can be a hinderance. Specifically while not locked into full blown Dark Forest MAD because of the cost of killshots the Eaters and presumably any other sentients like them are forced to be at each other's throats. Humanity's anthropmorphisation may have patterns which can be identified or exported, if the opportunity came for humanity to rape it into a few other sentients there might be a larger cooperative swarm than most empires could manage. Said anthropmorphisation makes them vulnerable to non-sentient or other master manipulators but this also makes them useful and secures their survival in some situations where they'd be left to perish (such as the campaign). Even if raping ingroup obsession + eclectic ingroups into other sentients fails a patchwork of species under human rule might understand that without them the proxy conflicts via manipulating the trusting (albeit well armed) fools would escalate to the regular perpetual genocide. Very unstable but a minor selective benefit to anthropmorphisation which might not universally doom it to winnowing, not that I'd expect humans who manage to leverage it to their benefit to be anything like us otherwise.
>>82666450Anon, you may want to check your meds.
>>82666480Shit critique. Try again.
>>82666506Not a critique, more of a concern. You're doing a lot of high-energy leaps from topic to topic and connecting things that aren't really connected. Could be a sign of enthusiasm, could be a sign of a missed dose of bottled neurotransmitters.
>>82666558Enthusiasm. I was clarifying what I meant when I referred to anthropmorphisation as a "superpower". It's unorthodox and broadly nonadaptive but then so's sentience in that universe yet the races which developed it found themselves unexpectedly getting ahead when it comes to exploiting jumpspace. The rape as salvation thing is also related to Watts since that was the Thing's motivation in his fan-fic.
>>82662930>Fly Around Even if you could just fucking buy a ship in a setting like this, where would you even go? All the planets are destroyed or doomed, and anyone dumb enough to build a permanent settlement in space and not hide or move it every so often is probably doomed too. The only "destinations" you'd encounter would be done by pure chance. >Visit planets All destroyed. Every plausible destination would either be a ship or some kind of superstructure capable of movement. Sure, maybe some people live in a secret hollowed-out asteroid base or something. But if you know about them then they're not very secret are they? So someone's going to blow it up eventually. >Find aliens Assuming they detect you, AND assuming they just don't just kill you, AND assuming that they don't just hide and let you pass, AND assuming that they decide to risk revealing their location to try to talk, AND assuming that they're even able to understand you... what would they say? Ships might go thousands of years without contact, so they'd all be self-sufficient. So no need to trade goods. With communications being kept to a minimum, any interstellar politics would be contained to individual ships. So no need to give/request favors. And being aliens, it's likely that your ship would be unable to support their kind and vice versa. So no need to board each other or exchange people. You have absolutely nothing to gain from cooperation with another ship. I did read your posts. Maybe you should try reading the one you linked in the OP, so you can understand the sheer oppressive dread and gravitas of the setting you're proposing.
>>82666298It's precisely because you can't easily doom a ship in the same way. At that point you're looking at some thing that's less akin to submarine warfare or the Cold War with nukes and more akin to jet fighter or naval engagements.Like >>82659986 points out, the reason it's a dark forest is because there's only really one visible 'move'. If you're close enough to someone where you're able to aim at them with guided missiles, you're also close enough to them where lightspeed communications can actually allow for a conversation. There's also the fact that unlike the planetary scale, somebody else learning about the existence of your single ship does not doom your planet or other members of your species to destruction, beyond those that are on your ship obviously. The easiest way to think of it is that there's clearly a point between an interplanetary planetary RKV-wielding empire of a species and a lone individual of a species where that species stops being too dangerous to let live. It then becomes a question if a "rational" species wouldn't be too hyper-paranoid to even get to space.
>>82666658An exterminationist mindset could also take hold for other reasons.In the near term, "shoot on sight" is "rational" enough--you're wandering central park, and you know that there's one other guy who's a stone cold killer. You both have long range rifles. Makes sense to at least not expose yourself until you can observe him for a while. Safest bet is to shoot him and run.In the mid term, at least someone will eventually win by taking the risk of making contact and cooperating. If you shoot on sight, every other sniper hiding in the park will know you're a killer and take you out. Having a friend watching your back is such a big advantage that most other shooters would rather join you or stay out of the way.But maybe someone is thinking in the very, very long term, about the end of the universe, and plotting to make sure they get every scrap of energy out of this bitch for themselves before the last proton deteriorates. Perhaps new insights about physics would make this a more obvious strategy than it appears. In this scenario you might have "players" who think in terms of a game of Diplomacy--cooperate, but keep your allies divided and weak and shove them off a cliff at just the right moment.
>>82668470In the mid and long term, I would expect that many of the real life advantages of trade and cooperation would win out. Granted, that does depend a lot on futuristic technology, but generally speaking the people who are willing to explore and make deals are going to excel while those who run away all the time and shoot anyone who gets too close aren't. Having some long-term grandiose scheme to sabotage and eventually betray everyone also seems difficult to execute when you're on the scale of a civilization over the course of literal millions of years, rather than a handful of individuals playing a board game.
This sounds horrific but also more like it'd be a strategy game than a TTRPG
>>82642938If that theory’s true, would humanity be in trouble? I’m kind of worried.
>>82671920If anyone was close by and looking, they'd already know where we are. It's hard to hide anything in space, and we're not exactly trying to be quiet. Anyone within a hundred lightyears of us would be able to detect our expanding shell of radio transmissions. That said there's a lot of problems with the Dark Forest theory as pointed out in this thread. A preemptive RKV strike would only make sense if you can guarantee it'd completely wipe out the target race, and due to the time lag there's no guarantee that the race hasn't made it off world by the time the RKV hits. Even if someone detects us and fires a shot tomorrow it wouldn't make it here for another hundred years at least, by which point we might conceivably have off planet colonies which would survive the strike and be able to retaliate, and the odds of this happening only increases the further away the aliens are from us. Plus, even from a purely rational, survival oriented viewpoint there's also much to be gained from cooperation, and game theory suggests that a defect/defect strategy like blowing up everyone you see is usually less effective than attempting to find people who you can work together with and saving the nukes for the people you can't.
>>82673799I think it's analogous to game theory that developed around cold war MADYour only deterrence from a first strike is to have your own second strike capability--say, hidden RKVs in deep space that can be activated if the homeworld is nuked. Unfortunately that second strike capability is useless unless the enemy knows about it, and nothing really distinguishes a defensive capability from an offensive one in this game.Other factors>communicating complex ideas to an alien race may be as or more difficult as communicating with a dolphin or elephant>is it possible to maintain a single policy stance over the course of decades and centuries? What if the aliens you're communicating with experience an October revolution or Fall of Rome in between messages?Personally I think any civ that could pull together quantities of antimatter sufficient to pose a threat to a civ 20LY distant would also have technics that make snuffing them out far too expensive and difficult. But it's an interesting idea.
>>82642938Dark forest theory is retarded. Nothing in that scenario prevents civilization a from seeding neuman probes and launching them on indirect trajectories. If they're really paranoid they could alter the physical properties of construction materials to muffle any spectral markers unique to their system of origin.
>>82642938Played straight it simply doesn't work, because even minor headstart would allow to detect all potential habitable planets and knock them out of game.
>It will probably not be good for us ever to build and fire up an antimatter engineHow do you have a Dark Forest scenario if launching a "relativistic bomb" requires giving away your position?
>>82677620you don'tit was always retarded idea
>>82642938Wouldn't an RKV be trivially easy to destroy? Due to the long distance between targets, even something flying at 90% of the speed of light still CAN be detected in advance of hitting. And considering how much energy it takes to get up to speed, odds are good that it will draw notice of any reasonably advanced civilization. If I see a RKV coming and have literally any space capability at all, all I need to do is spread a cloud of normal-ass water of its flight path. The water is harmless, but the RKV will slam into it at relativistic speed, the energy release atom-scattering the RKV in the process. If the RKV is too massive to be reliably atom-scattered in this fashion, the same strategy can still be used to impart a course-alteration on the RKV and turn a deadly hit into a clean miss. It takes an RKV years, perhaps decades or centuries, to reach its target. A much lower tech civilization not even advanced enough to develop RKVs of their own at most a couple months to render it harmless, perhaps even as short a time as a few weeks or days if they have a developed enough space fleet.
This whole premise seems fundamentally flawed. the RKV if only useful if you hit a planet with it before the develop space travel.If you are detecting civilizations by spotting their 'antimatter engines', its already too fucking late. You are 20 LY away. That means that, at bare minimum, your RKV is going to be 40+ years late to the party. 40+ years of them having antimatter engines and doing shit in space as a result.Annihilating their home planet is nasty work, but you have to know that not all of them will be planetside anymore. You have to assume they have space stations and bases elsewhere in their solar system. If they have gotten far enough up the tech tree for antimatter engines they probably had some of those even before they did the thing that caused you to become first aware of them. So the loss of their planet cannot be trusted to be the extinction of their species. This means that, when you pull the trigger, you KNOW that you are not landing a killshot. You are going to massively piss off an alien race, one which you fear has or soon will have RKV capability of their own, but you won't kill them. You are going to start a fight without finishing it and just hope it never blows back on you.That is, by any reasonable metric, a fucking idiot move.
>>82677893More realistically rather than sending single, large and easily detectable rkv you would send constelation of antimatter powered solar sail micromachines, to reduce range to detect at launch and in flight. Rather than one mutli Gt boom millions of kt booms. Doable to defend against it proper space presence but ground civs would be fucked
>>82678188>constellation of antimatter powered solar sail micromachinesAre you just smashing words together now? Why would solar sails need to be antimatter powered? Thats like saying you have a jet engine on your rowboat.
>>82644736>When was the last time you gathered your neighbors and raided another city?March 20, 2003. Humanity never stopped harassing natives living in isolated parts of the world, it just became restricted for poor and politically powerless people. Very confused law enforcement personnel would stop /k/'s plan to invade zimbabwe to establish a country with an anything-goes policy for international webserver hosting if they ever took it beyond shitposting, but wealthy and powerful politicians attacking foreign countries to create a rationalization for Patriot Act-style increased authoritarianism and looting taxpayer money from the general public in favor of politically-connected industries, whose managers then provide kickbacks in the form of cushy jobs, campaign donations and sometimes open bribery is socially accepted. Going a-viking on grounds of 'they have stuff we want, but we're better fighters so let's take it from them' just went from something the average man could use to raise their own standard of living through pillaging to an upperclass-only activity.
>>82643716All of these are shit, boring, and if you suggested it in my group, I would give an actually detailed list of why it's a bad idea. Since I don't want to right now, I'll just go with the most banal - it's boring. If the Central Park model is correct (since you're just a fucking dumbass who watched the Kurgezat people, instead of consuming classical sci-fi) just exists in the background and doesn't affect gameplay, then why have it? If it does, then it's boring because it means there can be no meaningful species contact because absolute xenophobia is a must. And that's boring. Fuck off.
>>82678246*laser sailuse laser to launch themuse on board anitmatter for power and guidance
>>82650509Fuck you to death, /pol/ are the tourists and always have been. You fucks have been SUCH a problem for every other board you got two goddamn containment boards,].
>>82662692>The players are cops or criminals who stumble upon some conspiracy involving the captain of the ship, possibly related to the setting itself. Maybe some bad actor aboard the ship is secretly communicating with something out there? Or maybe the captain is lying to the citizens, and the whole Dark Forest thing is just an excuse to implement authoritarian control?The players are plebeians aboard the cyberpunk dystopia space colony. Their win condition is to build a broadcasting device and threaten to dox the colony's location to aliens getting everyone killed unless the colony's leadership give them concessions. MAD deterrence.
>>82659868>>82654129>nooooo stop labelling me based on what I do, stop thinking less of melol, get fucked
>>82678295Really, the best setup for what OP is suggesting is to have xenophobic retards take over, enact a Dark Forest policy and have RKVs ready to go at the slightest hint of advanced alien intelligence...And then *POIP*! An alien ship just pops into existence in Earth orbit and opens up radio communication. They are here, we had no warning, we have no idea what their tech level is beyond 'just did something that shouldn't even be possible', and it rapidly becomes apparent that they are here as friendly explorers, not xenophobic annihilators. What has also become apparent is that they don't realize that we thought we were in a Dark Forest scenario, and thus have not yet put together that we had these planet-killers on standby to shoot first and ask questions later. A fact that would probably have nasty consequences if they find out what we were prepared to do to them if they had been anywhere near our tech level or if we knew where their homeworld was. So you have the general chaos of first contact, combined with a naturally distrusting populace that is ALSO scrambling to hide the evidence of being xenophobic doomfuckers because we don't want to trigger the aliens that are already here and have changed the math.
>>82678399>player goal is to board the aliens aboard a fucking soyuz capsule and hijack it like somalian pirates vs a modern civilized ship
>>82678399>We come in peaceLook, we've done this neo-colonial song and dance beforeFirst contact we're singing kumbaya, then before we know it you're withholding development aid until we let you strip-mine the moonLike just fuck off.
How about we just skip all the technobabble and pseudo-psychological analysis of alien beings that don't exist and just play an RPG of pic related?
>>82678478Nah, I need a complicated narrative to really get into it.
>>82678456I mean, if you honestly thought your planet was going to get RKV'd by an enemy you would never even know existed before your entire civilization exploded, alien neo-colonialism is basically your dream come true and literally better than what you could have hoped for. Doesn't the same logic that informs this thread mean that you have NO CHOICE but to throw yourself at the feet of this alien power? These advanced aliens do not seek your annihilation, but others still might. And these aliens have the tech to avoid that destruction. Since the Dark Forest scenario DEMANDS that you assume you have already been fired upon 20 years ago at all times no matter what, you CANNOT DO ANYTHING ELSE but immediately demand to become slaves to this alien power. You have to do it NOW. You could have only hours before the RKV hits, you need their help before that happens.
>average distance between starts in the Milky Way is only 5 light years Found that pretty interesting. So it’s very conceivable two civilizations could spring up right next to each other. If what I read about acceleration energy is right it’s takes the energy equivalent of slightly more than 3 megatons of tnt to accelerate 1kg to .5c (which will have an impact of the same energy). As someone mentioned a species would have to be extremely paranoid to invest in a weapon to attack someone light years away.Things become much more fun and interesting if a civilization develops coms, weapons, sensors that operate ftl
>>82678456>First contact we're singing kumbaya, then before we know it you're withholding development aid until we let you strip-mine the moonIt's interesting that, on a galactic scale, there's literally nothing worth exploiting in the Sol system that isn't available elsewhere.Why bother negotiating for mining rights to the moon when there's a thousand equally moon-like moons (or even more convenient asteroids) in a thousand nearby unoccupied systems? Raw resources are not a limiting factor. Aliens don't want our water, our helium, or our iron; they've got plenty of every element.Cultural products, specific biological-chemical products (like wood, or humans having a convenient method for turning light into lysine) might be of interest, but that's about it.
>>82679354I dig the Crysis novelization where the ayy virus is implied to not be a weapon but a harvest mechanism. Ice? Comets. Metals? Asteroids. Memes? Monkeyspeak has no more to say than frogs croaking. Our biology though is millions of years of protein folding and that stuff's a bitch computationally model let along factoring in the additional quality control via natural selection. Render the biosphere unto soup and then suck it up. Doesn't help that the book implies we're at war with the ayy equivalent of Roombas and the actual sapients at the top of the pyramid have bigger fish to fry elsewhere.
>>82642938What are some alternative theories that you like, and why do you support them?
>>82678399This would make a great star trek episode.
>>82662930I'm not reading a 3-post essay on an idiot's take on why aliens would kill each other at a moment's notice because they're autistic. BESIDES the fact that an interstellar attack would require that one is actually there for it (because if you miss you're FUCKED), if you're going to visit them with your weapons you may as well arrive with an open mind and say "Hey, please don't shoot us! We're scared and lonely, and we want to get to know you so we can avoid chucking nukes at each other!"
>>82650743>a doomsday cult is gathering long forbidden materials for a ritual to summon the end of all things>only you can stop them and save the worldRight back to the classics.
>>82683879>warlock pact - sophons
>>82686605>warlock pact - sophonsI don't get it.
>>82688834A warlock pact based around being a member of the ETO, aka, a Useful Idiot for alien invaders.
>>82642938Damn this is cynical. Who came up with this?
>>82689593>Who came up with this?Charles Pellegrino.
This >>82678478 is now my headcanon for what trisolarans look like. I've got no actual evidence, but it'd be funny.
>>82682101The universe is young and the light of relatively recent abiogenesis + climb to spacefaring simply hasn't reached us yet (varies based on how severe you think the various filters along the way might be). Sapient species don't tend to last long so the likelihood of overlapping both in time and space is minuscule. "Crackpot but makes more sense than universal genociders who somehow forget to wipe out living pre-sapient planets" is that this is a simulation which for whatever reason the designers have left largely lifeless (less something I think is plausible than a scale for my absolute contempt for the Dark Forest).
>>82679410>the Crysis novelization
>>82648320But you can't put your RKV on another planet. Because if you do it's now the new capital and you're stuck doing what it says.Remember, you are in range of your own RKV's.
>>82645294Ah yes, the old Serbian Microwave trick.
>>82696000Yeah, you can. You point your Defensive RKV at the planet with your Assault RKV.Also the RKV doesn't have to be fired from a planet in the first place since it's just a space ship you ram things with, you toss it into the void then shoot it.Basically the difference between a SSBN and a hardened silo.
>>82696146>Serbian Microwave trick.The what?
>>82696000Anon you complete fucking mongoloid. Nobody's on the RKV fitted planet, the shit is operated by Remote Control.