The Canon According to Captive Planet

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 14, 2014 - 9:13pm
Having never read Captive Planet but just getting a copy in the mail from ebay I thought I'd categorize the setting details in it in a systematic manner.

I would note that not all canon material bears the same weight for example KHs and Alpha Dawn rule books could be said to bear more wt than anything else that is canon. The modules could be viewed to stand next in line in authority followed by Dragon magazines then Ares and Polyhedron magazines and Zebs goes somewhere ( I dont toss out Zebs completely but would place it somewhere after the magazines. I had not considered the Endless quest books as a source of cannon material but I would rank them somewhere after the magazines and perhaps equal to Zebs.

It should be said that Captive Planet is a childrens book aimed at the 12 year old market and as such we probably should be critical of it if it does not mesh well with the established canon. For example the author's inclusion of anti-grav is clearly contra to the setting and should be ignored. However the assertion that New Pale is a PGC private colony even in a system that should be dominated by Streel is something we should consider- for example it might explain part of the motive for Laco's War. PGC was so committed to the war (10 years and over a million casualties and several star ships destroyed in orbit). In the end it could be that the settlement of Laco's War resulted in the ceding of New Pale to Streel or Pale and Streel abandoned its claim to Laco. PGC simply decided that controlling Laco and the tetrarch ruins would be more important than controlling New Pale and its crop of mannakin that was so important to the entire Frontier.

Pages 6-9
Computer Institute at Port Loren is a PGC run facility and at least some students are there by invitation

the top floor of the computer center is a communications center (presumably to maintain contact with the far flung PGC empire) It would seem that there are numerous subspace radios permanently maintained in alignment such that a code can be punched in and the call made to distant planets

New Pale is a PGC corporate colony (which is an odd in that it is in a STreel dominated system) there is a PGC funded research station on New Pale

Page 10-11
Large havester robots can have a reactor that can blow up (in an 1980s A-Team sort of way)
scouter star ships have anti-grav thats turned on with a switch and causes the ship to float.

Page 13-15
Star Law has a corporal rank (in fact there are all sorts of military ranks in Star Law: Captain, and Colonel)

Page 16-21
A level 4 security cybot can bypass a thumb sealed door (I presume that to mean that you can use your thumb print to seal a personal bedroom door) and its possible for someone to watch thru the robots eyes and see what it sees

The dean of the Computer institute is a vrusk named Luxtar

Star Law has shuttles (it seems from the story that these shuttles traveled from Prengular to Truanes Star without a support vessel that actually carried it there). It also has a fleet of star ships that it will launch at New Pale.

The crop mannakan is grown in New Pale. PGC places the greatest value on this crop as the entire Federation depends upon it.

Corporation merchants (in a star ship) arrive on schedule ever three days for a load of mannakan and the Frontier depends on this crop

THE Brim Darkstar looks like a 70's porn star complete with moustache. He claims he's named after a black hole which may be apt if he's really a 70s porn star. Laughing the actual story is that a Ranger (presumably Star Law) named him Darkstar after his parents and whole colony were swallowed by a black hole. "Brim was found adrift in deep space,a baby in a tiny escape capsule, the sole survivor of the worst starship disaster in Frontier history."

Unit Five is a famous team of adventurers and agents for PGC (we can presume that there are any number of "units" with a numerical designation that are special action teams) however it would seem that Unit 5 has explored more sectors of space for the purpose of colonization (is PGC concerned with colonization?) than any other "technical Research team"

Yast has a terrible creature called a fire dragon

It would seem that New Pale's star port is named Truane City.

there are numerous forest on New Pale.

Page 22
New Pale is a private PGC colony

Page 23-25 A Hovercycle looks like a land speeder or some sort of skimmer (based on the artwork)
 
Page 26-27
Star Law can classify a mission as secret and military

Page 31-32
The main computer of Truane's city controls everything on New Pale (one would presume this is a robot brain from the Alpha Dawn rules)

Brim Darkstar's Unit 5's ship has a radar screen? and anti grav. which allows it to land anywhere despite the security measures of the robot brain in Truane City.

Soccer is played by the youth on New Pale.










I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 14, 2014 - 9:30pm
Page 34-38
The science behind the sonic disrupter, and probably by extention all sonic weapons is that they speed up the vibration of molecules causing friction and causing the target to disintergrate.

Truane City, New Pale has a building called the Entertainment Center; you go past it and bear right to get to the computer center.

A warbot can  be 3x the size of a hvy ground car

Page 39-41
vrusk chop the air with their mandibles when they are thinking.



I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 15, 2014 - 6:17am
I have found all the analysis of this book very useful, one each of us have noted different things.

As to canon yes I think it fits in, I like it better then Zebs... 

Some where in the http://www.erbzine.com site is an article on reading books for information on a setting, it is very good and changed how I was reading if I found a book useful for RPG. I will try and find the article, it makes good points... like can your sources be trusted: Carter always says he is danger yet he is Superman on Mars, and after he has tired out the Martian smiles and kills the guy, he also says slavery is a very nice condition to be in on Mars but every time he ends up as a slave he causes a slave revolt... conclussion he lies. So you have to look at his omission of information or what he is actually doing versus his spin to see the true Barsoom/Mars. I will hunt for the article today.
"Zoinks!"

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 15, 2014 - 7:23am
Page 42-44
If the reactor on an agbot is hit with a laser it can/will explode destroying everything in 20 kilometers

Page 47-51
A garbot is a giant vacuum cleaner

Page 57-62
the anti grav device is new technology

Its a "star drive" that lets ships travel faster than light, and the situation is that if they didn't leave in 20 minutes they would have to wait a day "because everything must be timed perfectly"
everything must be weighed that is brought on board because "a few excess grams would mess up the star drive"

It would seem de-oxygenated dralasite blood is purple-ish: purple veins and nerves come together to form the eye spots

The distance from Port Loren to New Pale is 8LY (its more like a little more than 10 with the jumps being 5 LY each from Prengular to Dixon's and Dixon"s to Truane"s)

Page 63-65
vrusk shells glow in anger

The robot brain at Truane's City on New Pale is level 6 and controls everything from security to farming

Another location on New Pale is Station Alpha

Page 69-
There is a galactic peace treaty between Hentz and Yast which was almost ended when the yazirian character pushed a priest into a sacred pool (that's sort of gratifying to me since I have invested so much mental energy into developing a conflict between Hentz and Yast)

a sacred pool figures into the Fo1 religion.

Apparently you dont have to be smart to be a cop or rather the hero character Darkstar was too smart to stay with Star Law (this is the opinion of the yazirian character and he goes on to denigrate Star Law quite a bit)

Page 72-75
cybo dragons can fly

it takes biocort several hours to fuse bone (this would cast biocort as a typical sci fi "quick heal" compound which is something I've certainly speculated on in the past)

Page 76-82
New Pale has "air defense" systems designed to stop attack from space

The computer center at Truane City is a short building next to the tallest in the city. The tall building is the security center.

At the appaerance of the cybo dragons Andru says there just arnt any animals on New Pale like that one (it contradicts the Dragon article "The Volturnus Connection" which states that new pale is inhabited by large dangerous dinosaurs)

cybo dragons have albedo screens






I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 15, 2014 - 7:38am
Tchklinxa wrote:
I have found all the analysis of this book very useful, one each of us have noted different things.

As to canon yes I think it fits in, I like it better then Zebs... 

Some where in the http://www.erbzine.com site is an article on reading books for information on a setting, it is very good and changed how I was reading if I found a book useful for RPG. I will try and find the article, it makes good points... like can your sources be trusted: Carter always says he is danger yet he is Superman on Mars, and after he has tired out the Martian smiles and kills the guy, he also says slavery is a very nice condition to be in on Mars but every time he ends up as a slave he causes a slave revolt... conclussion he lies. So you have to look at his omission of information or what he is actually doing versus his spin to see the true Barsoom/Mars. I will hunt for the article today.


I would be very interested in that article please do post a link when you find it.

I'm developing a theory on Captive Planet; that it should be treated as a bad holo drama within the setting. this lets you hand wave away all the inconsistencies in it and chalk it up as entertainment for kids since the main character is 15.

On the other hand we can gleen details from it like: mannakan is an important export crop from New Pale,
Yast has a creature called a "fire dragon", there has been a long standing conflict between Hentz and Yast that will eventually spill over into a more direct conflict- this was the subject of the optional material I was working on in this project: http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/6023

Details about New Pale can be kept like Truane City, the descriptions of the security center being the tallest building and the computer center being the short one next to it (what flashed in my mind reading the description was the united nations building in NY) In fact a map could be worked up showing the mannakan fields, Alpha Research Center, and Truane city.

Brim Darkstar's origin and all the details about him can be treated as fiction for the sake of the holodrama- perhaps he's a childrens James Bond. The intellectual property of Star Play that has put out a series of formulaic holo-dramas marketed to children, where the basic plot is that Brim Darkstar and his team will save the Frontier aided by a youthful companion that is plausibly or implausibly included in his adventure. Each holo has a new youth character.

In fact I think my stand on all of the Endless quest books is that they are holo dramas and thus not authoritative for the setting but could contain some facts.

EDIT: The Brim Darkstar holo dramas are paid for by PGC, though filmed by a Star Play subsidary, and they are about promoting the PGC brand and have product placement throughout leading to marketing of the PGC Robcom kit as seen in "Captive Planet"
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
iggy
January 15, 2014 - 10:59pm
So there are mannakan breakfast flakes and power bars with chocolate coating and Brim Darkstar eats them for a balanced breakfast of champions.

I like the angle that the endless quest books are Starplay holo dramas for kids.  The humans love this stuff.  Dralasites poke fun at it and debate human psychology and cultulral implications in it.  Vrusk ignore it as unproductive time wasting.  Yazirians laugh at it and spin their own versions for their children where the charater is an honored warrior and the bullet, beams, and blades do hit their mark and the bad guys do die.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 16, 2014 - 6:10am
iggy wrote:
So there are mannakan breakfast flakes and power bars with chocolate coating and Brim Darkstar eats them for a balanced breakfast of champions.

I like the angle that the endless quest books are Starplay holo dramas for kids.  The humans love this stuff.  Dralasites poke fun at it and debate human psychology and cultulral implications in it.  Vrusk ignore it as unproductive time wasting.  Yazirians laugh at it and spin their own versions for their children where the charater is an honored warrior and the bullet, beams, and blades do hit their mark and the bad guys do die.


Ahh... vrusk are actually concerned with the beauty and art of a holo drama and thus denigrate this as not even worthy of a Galaxy Award nomination. They do appreciate a good holo drama that is artistic and beautiful. In fact there are very intense water cooler talks at vrusk companies over the merits of one holo drama vs the next and whether one drama got snubbed for a nomination or as to which one will win the award.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 16, 2014 - 6:23am
I am still looking for the article... it may have been on a different site, argh.

However here are a few things I remember:

Changing your perspective: Normally when we read a book it is for fun, but when reading a book to dissect the setting information of places, people, social customs, flora, fauna, habitats, architecture, cultures, racial differences and technology you have to adopt either a police detective type mentality or an anthropologist type mentality. You should always be asking questions and follow up questions.

Informant Reliability: How reliable are the characters in the story? This includes but is not limited to their words and actions match or do not, what they do, but also to knowledge base. How likely is it for the character to actually know about what they are talking about? For example just because every one local in the city of Mantor believes the planet is a disk does not mean it is or just because they crash on a glacier does not mean they are actually in the North Pole. So you have to see how the descriptive information matches what the characters experience or don't concerning various subjects, like religion, places, and deeply held beliefs. In the case of beliefs there is often the "spin" version the characters tell/explain about a subject and the harsh reality of the subject, and again a long list of questions must be asked. Example on Barsoom slavery is common, the Noble and Royal part of the culture thinks it is civilized, one city state prince explained slaves are purchased in his city so the rich do not have to perform their civic labour tax and then "most" people set their slaves free after a certain amount of time and the city is so awesome no one wants to go home. "Most" does not equal "all" and so implies legally the slave owner can keep his slaves slaves forever, and once set free how can these poor people (as they have no money) get back home? Basically they are stuck there. Also implied is that the slaves are coming from someplace out side of this city-state which may have different customs concerning slavery (like once a slave always a slave).

Descriptive Narration or Artifacts: This is where you view the crime scene so to speak or take a hard look at material culture: what is in the room, do you have dimensions, what weapons are used, clothing, and anything that makes a place or culture physically unique. For example with the exception of one culture on Barsoom there are no stairs, only ramps in their building designs. What is the purpose of items, why does everyone use blank except these people here, etc.

So who, what, when, where and how are constantly asked and everything is challenged as you analyze the data in the book.

Finally if you can get author notes or thoughts on a subject in the book that also helps. 

That is a few things off the top of my head that I use from the article... I hope I explained it good enough. I will keep hunting for the article as it was really good.
"Zoinks!"

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
January 16, 2014 - 10:45am
Jedion, I agree with your assessment of Captive Planet, and would place its canonicity somewhere around Zeb's as well. 

Basically, my advice to everyone: take what you like & ignore the rest.

Anything that doesn't obviously contradict anything could easily be canon, such as the agricultural colony and its mannakan crop, the computer center and its communications floor, Star Law ranks, Truane City, etc.

Brim Darkstar as a 70s porn star.  Laughing


jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 16, 2014 - 12:44pm
bossmoss wrote:
.

Brim Darkstar as a 70s porn star.  Laughing



Cue the funky 70's porn music, "Boom chicha wa wa...."



I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
October 10, 2016 - 12:39pm
jedion357 wrote:
bossmoss wrote:
.

Brim Darkstar as a 70s porn star.  Laughing



Cue the funky 70's porn music, "Boom chicha wa wa...."





Oh, no!
Joe Cabadas

parriah's picture
parriah
January 16, 2017 - 10:20pm
I have only "Vilains of Volturnus", never read the other 3. DESPERATELY desire them. But reject them as canon. Never considered them as hokey, camp child holo productions, but great idea!
FIAWOL TANSTAAFL!!

parriah's picture
parriah
February 1, 2017 - 8:06pm
Tchlinxa, I don't remember you from my previous encarnation here, but glad to make your acquaintance. Also, fantastic observations. Much like a trained historian.( huge compliment)
 
FIAWOL TANSTAAFL!!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 1, 2017 - 8:28pm
I love Brim Darkstar as a FY 70 Star Play subsidy porn star.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 1, 2017 - 8:49pm
jedion357 wrote:
I love Brim Darkstar as a FY 70 Star Play subsidy porn star.

But he got replaced by a robotic actor.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 1, 2017 - 10:31pm
JCab747 wrote:
jedion357 wrote:
I love Brim Darkstar as a FY 70 Star Play subsidy porn star.

But he got replaced by a robotic actor.


Shades of West World
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 2, 2017 - 1:13am
jedion357 wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
jedion357 wrote:
I love Brim Darkstar as a FY 70 Star Play subsidy porn star.

But he got replaced by a robotic actor.


Shades of West World

50 Shades of West World
Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
February 11, 2017 - 10:25am
parriah wrote:
Tchlinxa, I don't remember you from my previous encarnation here, but glad to make your acquaintance. Also, fantastic observations. Much like a trained historian.( huge compliment)
 
Thanks... and guys I can't seem to find that article out of thousands on that site, I just tried again... sigh. Maybe I should try to put together a how to read a source for information versus the fun of it using SF materials as examples?

I just had to update my computer's operating system and when I did my word processing program became non functional... my documents are all intact as best I can tell but I need to find a new version of the old program or another way to open them and write new ones... got a few days off coming up in 2 weeks so maybe I can get that resolved over the vacation. I need to poke around in the new operating system more, there has got to be something I can use in it.
"Zoinks!"

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 11, 2017 - 3:24pm
What program were you using?
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
February 11, 2017 - 5:43pm
Word... but a real old version. I just brought the operation system of my apple laptop up to date, I had to down load multiple OSs took several days of tech support help. I can open the documents in a program I found in the apple and see the files are intact and readable so that is good, next I need to try and see what the program does to a file I will not cry over if I make changes to it... this is less of a disaster then when I updated a PC years ago and the new Microsoft program literally ate and deleted all files... I also have a lot backed up on a data stick. ;) 


"Zoinks!"