Megacorp impact on a new colony

jedion357's picture
January 29, 2015 - 7:53pm
Watching a documentary on sinkholes and in particular on Bayous Corne sinkhole:

This could be a blue print for a corporation behaving badly and putting a colony at risk.


Residents were noticing lots of bubbles in the bayous near natural gas pipelines.
PCs are recruited to investigate and rule out possibilities of rottting vegitation producing the bubbles and natural gas.

Earthquakes and sinkhole activity lead to the collapsing salt dome.

Megacorp buys out local residents- their properties have become worthless over night and its in the megacorp's interest to buy them out and prevent them from filing a lawsuit.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Malcadon's picture
January 30, 2015 - 12:58pm
Louisiana also got screwed by the big companies when they undermined the wetlands that acted as a buffer to the big storms. It happened when the oil companies dug out the coastal marshes for oil pipelines, which caused massive coastal erosion, so when Hurricane Katrina hit, the coastal areas got too much storm water and you know the rest. Unfortunately, the legal framework in the state side with the companies, and their are going to be major budget cuts to restoration programs.

The oil companies and their apologists feel that they are being wrongly vilified. But with all that has been going on in the US and abroad, as well as the ways they handle their mess-ups, it is hard not to think them any better than cartoonish hand-reaming, mustache twirling villains form an episode of Captain Planet.

Mother's picture
January 30, 2015 - 5:56pm
Megacorps behaving badly reminds me of the movie "Outland" with Sean Connery. c. 1981.  Ah the good old days of the post Star Wars Sci-fi rennaissance. "Saturn III" et al.

jedion357's picture
January 30, 2015 - 6:06pm
The ultimate screw over by a 'mega corp' was in the beginning of Hitch Hiker's Guide when the aliens showed up to obliterate the earth to make way for their interstellar space route but then Douglas Adams was always more than a little tongue in cheek.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
January 30, 2015 - 8:01pm

For a good look at Megacorps run amok I recommend the movie "Rollerball" the original with James Caan not that horrible remake.

Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Tollon's picture
January 30, 2015 - 9:49pm

Colonization through contract.

Sign here and provide our company with your skills for the next five years and you can stay here.


We'll gladly transport you to the new colony but it will cost ya.  15 years later after your loan was paided off...

Mother's picture
January 30, 2015 - 11:48pm
The Megacorps in Knight Hawks + the canon Dragon etc. articles makes the Frontier sound like the Wild West or post Soviet Russia with Megacorps being as powerful as many planetary governments. With no central government on the frontier and thus no regulation beyond the settled planets it's probably SOP for Megacorps to "behave badly".   

IIRC, the article "The Volturnus Connection" explained that the Star Devil was actually the owner and CEO of a Vrusk mining corporation that faked his own kidnapping and death. Then set up an illegal mining operation on Volturnus and enslaved the Edestekai. 

rattraveller's picture
January 31, 2015 - 5:17am
Tollon your description is exactly how North America got settled by Europeans. Between the commercial contracts for sponsoring the expedition to the indentured servants there was alot of merchant involvement in the early days.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

iggy's picture
January 31, 2015 - 8:55am
Yup, my great grandfather on my father's side came to Plymouth Colony as an  indentured servant to pay for his passage.  Roger Williams of Rhode Island then purchased Joshua Winsor's contract from the Governor of Massachusetts so that Joshua could come help start Rhode Island.  Roger Williams needed more settlers and Massachusetts had extra by this time.  It also helped that Roger and Joshua were like minded religiously and the people of Plymouth were not.

Note the contacts were with the governors in both cases.  The governments were the corporations with the charters from the king.  I'm sure the frontier mega-corporations are always seeking settlers.  Many will be called employees but there will be relocation packages and contractual durations of employment.  This just sounds like a more balanced indentured servitude system.  I suppose some of the unskilled labor would get contracts the were so corporate sided that there were indentured servitude.  Also we have from the Volturnus modules that governments play this roll too.

This is one way to get new players to a new world and wild adventure.  Have some small startup have a contract with the big entity colonizing a word.  The startup contracts with the PCs to come to the world and accomplish tasks A through Z with payment milestones for each task and a ticket home at the end of the last task.  Of course the only ships to and from the world are controlled by the big entity.  Is would be fun to give the PCs a 30 page contract with all the legal mumbo jumbo and fine print.  Also the big entity could sever the contact with the startup releasing the players from their contacts or leaving them high and dry or even transferring the contacts to them.  This makes for a very adaptive campaign.

jedion357's picture
February 1, 2015 - 6:35am
even 5 pages of legal mumbo jumbo in fine print- no one is going to read it especially if you reduce the point size to 8 or even 6. hand it out at PC generation telling the players they are being hired for contract work on a start up colony. first page is a non legalese non mumbo jumbo explanation of the contract work with some hefty pay bonuses at certain plateaus. 5K, 10K, 20k, 50K, and 100K. Each pay bonus can reflect 2-3 game sessions and maybe some hand waving of chunks of time.

I wonder if there is a resource on the web for legal mumbo jumbo that can be copied and pasted?

EDIT: make the player sign the character's name to the contract.

EDIT 2: legal mumbo jumbo generator"
note there are random generators for Shakespear and Jesus (the Jesus generator is random verses from the book of Mathew)

EDIT 3: Well there you go Iggy with random legalese generator that spits out 20 lines at time I guess you can have your 30 page contract. I'll lend you a few credits to print all that paper.Smile
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Jaxon's picture
February 25, 2015 - 6:45am
Florida got screwed in the 70's when the government thought it was a good idea to drain the Everglades for more farming - pfffhhh! Who needs it or those dang cypress trees....oh wait (fast forward 20-30 years) why are we getting all these sinkholes? Why do we have to drill deeper to hit the acquafier? 

Oh yes - cypress trees/Everglades filter the sea water and Lake Ochechobee (spelling sucks) and the Everglades tap into the aquafier. That is how the aquafier is resupplied.

It sounded like a good idea at the time but, people did not know how the enviroment worked there. Now they try and backpeddle. Especially since the population shot up. 

Florida - 1890 -  391,421
Florida - 1990 - 12,938,000

Tchklinxa's picture
March 16, 2015 - 5:04am
Colonization observations beyond contracts:

There where the people trying to get away from the control freaks in Europe (pre-Pilgrim) they purposely settled away from mainland Europe, in terribly difficult places to live, but once the people who have to impose their will found out about these small groups of people an attack fleet would be sent to some craggy cold island with the accept me as your king and convert to my religion or die threat (sometimes 30-40 people actually tried to fight)... then if island was in the middle of no where tax them, take their best land (church or Gov.) and then ignore them for a long time, come back and wonder why everyone is dead, blame the native population (if there even was one), and wonder who burnt down your village (pirate/slavers). In one case I know of while the colony was being ignored competing foreign whaling companies showed up, whaled in their waters, had a war, got people not involved (colonists killed) and left... it is so grand to be taxed & ignored. The Icelanders for instance could have kept running West but they knew it was pointless, because controlling powers like religious leaders & kings have tantrums and send armies to make you be their's & do as they say!

The attempt of an Indian Tribe to leave USA and all the trouble we went to to make them stay would be another example of this... "What! How dare those people decide to move! And snub our authority!"

Then you have to realize all monopolies suck... government is slow unresponsive and generally has poor customer service and is often run by morally ambiguous people for the exact same reason a mega-corp is... they are both Monopolies, this is why true Capitalism in which Monopoly is the game and Communism often result in the same problems for average people, the only difference is the owner of the Monopoly, and the same personality are in charge.

Just some thoughts.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."