CR "law levels"? Help?

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 3, 2016 - 1:20am
I keep seeing CR ratings referring somehow to "levels" of law in Wiki entries.  Supposedly it has something to do with Zeb, but I can't find it IN Zeb.

Can anyone explain this or point me to the right articles?  Google Fu is failing me.
Comments:

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 3, 2016 - 6:11am
Never heard of it.  Can you point to some examples?
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
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ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 3, 2016 - 8:55am
http://starfrontiers.wikia.com/wiki/Lossend

Look under "Law".  Other planetary entries have similar.  There seems to be a scale from 1-6 with 1 being the most permissive, and 6 the most restrictive.  I know I've seen this idea before.  I thought it was SF and/or Zeb.  I'm beginiing to suspect it may be from another game and somehow someone grafted it in.

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 3, 2016 - 9:59am
GURPS

Usually it runs 0-5 or 6

CR is Control Rating

0 is anarchy

6 is an absolute totalitarian state 

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 3, 2016 - 10:00am
But maybe it also exists in SF. GURPS might have picked up the concept from Traveller, which has law ratings for worlds.

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 3, 2016 - 10:00am
But maybe it also exists in SF. GURPS might have picked up the concept from Traveller, which has law ratings for worlds.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 3, 2016 - 10:37am
Yeah, there's nothing like that in the original SF rules.  I'd guess, like Bio-Social, that it is an import from either Traveller or GURPS.  Traveller was the first thing I thought of as I'm not overly familiar with GURPS (not that I'm familiar with Traveller either but it's fresher on my mind).
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 3, 2016 - 10:54am
Thanks guys!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 4, 2016 - 12:27am
ChrisDonovan wrote:
http://starfrontiers.wikia.com/wiki/Lossend

Don't worry, it's not canon so someone will be along to edit that out. Sealed
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 4, 2016 - 1:28am
This might be a good topic for an article since it was never given a SF treatment. 

If 0 = anarchy and 5 = total dictatorship where do we put republics and democracies? 2 & 3? And what labels for # 1 & #4?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 4, 2016 - 4:23am

Liked travel's way of designating planets but thought it to confussing.  So I made my own list of laws


 


Code

Law Level

Description

0

None

Chaos and anarchy reign.

1

None

The formal government is limited by resources to enforce laws and unable to police the entire world. No central ruling authority exists or rival fractions compete for control.

2

Tribal

Tribal Rule. Custom, tradition and taboo form the bases for the law system.  Family Counsel and tribal rulers decide the guilty or innocence of the offender.

3

Religious

Religious text forms the basis a standard set of laws.  The church elders and or council decide the innocence of the offender.  Defenses based on religious dogma.

4

Empirical

Empirical Law. Religious and moral values form an unwritten code of Law.  Rulers set about writing the laws without input from the masses. Soldiers tasked with enforcing the laws.  Weapons of quality are beyond the reach of the lower classes.  Simple weapons allowed for hunting.   Appeals taken directly to the attention of the Ruler for review.

5

Rule of Law

Rule of Law. The government legislative body creates laws. Individuals appointed to positions of Authority and carry out law enforcement.  Courts take controls of the criminal process. Crimes are classified in groups.  Weapons allowed for collecting, hunting, and self-defense.  Weapons worn openly.  A prison system is created.

6

Standardize

Standardize laws. Weapon permits need to conceal and carry for self-defense.  Law Enforcement Agency created.  Hunting and collecting weapons are permissible.  Weapons of mass destruction are restricted for military use.  Laws enacted to protect the business and consumers regulate all aspects of business.

7

Balanced

Balanced laws.  Laws enacted to protect both the victim and the criminal.  Prisons no longer are hold areas but rehabilitation centers.  Weapon permits need background checks to conceal and carry weapons for self-defense.  Hunting and collecting weapons are permissible.  Law restricts military weapons ownership.

8

Social

Social Laws.   Courts and social services work hand in hand.  Crimes are dealt with fairly by the court system.  Harsh punishments for capital offenses while issues dealing with social pressures are dealt with common sense laws. 

9

Restricted Society

Restricted Society. Tuff and harsh laws enacted.  The rights of legislative body to create laws limited by the ruling elite.  Punishment maximized to deter crime. Band on all military weapons and/or handguns.  Permits require for hunting. 

A

Police State

Full-fledged police state. Legislative bodies are dismantled by the ruling elite Weapons possession prohibited.  Unrestricted invasion of privacy.  Severe punishment for petty crimes.  Rigid control of civilian movements.  Legalized oppression is common practice.

B

Martial Law

Martial Law. Martial law enacted by the government due to natural disaster, war, and or terrorism.  Weapons are registered.  Curfews, checkpoints and passes are used to enforced laws.  Criminal’s acts tried in a military court.

C

Captive

Captive State. All facets of day life rigidly controlled.  Legalized oppressive practices are commonplace. People are treated like slaves with few rights or course of appeal.

D

Extreme

Extreme.  Totally oppressive and restrictive.

Enjoy.


ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 4, 2016 - 4:50am
I think there are too many variables really to distill it down to one simple rating.

How, for example, would you rate a society with strong and restrictive laws but also a strong commitment to open and fair elections?  True the law on a day to day basis might be oppressive, but at the same time if enough people want different laws they can elect different governors that will make the changes the people want.

Figuring out all the permutations quickly gets messy.

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 4, 2016 - 7:24am
Elections do not matter. That is just process. What matters is how restrictive the laws are for the player characters.

YMMV

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 4, 2016 - 10:35am
I disgree, because what KIND of laws are restrictive may be very different between say, a totalitarian statist society like N Korea, and a society that may have equally strict laws in certain areas, such as the strong anti-weapons laws of Britain.

Furthermore, there are so many "flavors" of even relatively permissive states that it is impossible to distill down to a simple, single letter or number rating.  The "devil" as they say, is "in the details".

I think that there need to be at least four categories by which societies are rated.  Right now I'm thinking:

Personal - measures the degree of restrictiveness in regards to how individuals relate to one another and themselves.  At Level 0, it's a free-for-all.  "Do as thou will is the whole of the law".  Absolute anarchy.  At Level 10 (I favor a 10 scale over a 6 scale), your every action is prescribed or proscribed either by law or by overpowering social custom (such as under a theocratic state or caste system)

Economic - measures how the society relates to economic activity.  Level 0 is full on "let the buyer beware" lassaiez faire. Level 10 is Comrade Director of People's Agricultural Collective #10 for Goose Dung and his Five-Year Plan.

Social - How open is the society to interactions with other cultures and other ways of looking at things?  Level 0 is absolute non-judgemental embrace of any and all ideas and beliefs whatsoever. (Note that I can't think of any possible society that is that permissive, but I'm defining boundaries and terms here.).  How much or how little dissent is accepted and acceptable.

Governmental - this isn't a "how restrictive/not-restrictive" measure but rather a measure of governmental "fairness" and integrity.  Are the elections free and fair?  Do politicians hold themselves accountable to actually represent their constituencies in all things?  Are the laws structured to try to do the most good for the most people, or are they structured to ensure the power and perquisites of elites and insiders?

That's my rough outline at the present time.

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 4, 2016 - 3:41pm

(NO POLITICS PLEASE) There are country in this world that offer free education, personal and economical freedom, and elect their own governments.  Say one bad word about the supreme leader and off you go to the ether world.  People would call that oppressive goverment.  In fact it has a restricted society, one element is out kilter with the rest and as long as you don't talk bad about leader or government. You're life is just as good as ours here with all the bells and whistles offer by our culture.  Which by the way is, under this system, is a Rule of Law.  Since each state can still makes it own laws but if the government wishes to, can trump the states law with one of their own. There is no standarized police force.


jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 4, 2016 - 5:55pm
Politics aside I do like a chart with a number of entries on it that allow for dice rolling d6, d8, d10, 2d10, etc.

Would two tables work best? One for type of gov: tribal, republic, oligarchy, dictatorship, etc. And another for permissive to restrictive laws.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 4, 2016 - 7:16pm
I say seperate the tables, yes.

So far as I can see from the history and current affairs of the real world, there exists no strong connection between the form of government and the level of restriction on activities visiting explorers/operatives/adventurers/ traders would engage in.

An autocratic state may be a very free place for adventurers, as compared with a democratic state. Or vice versa. The process and the labels don't matter, unless the PCs are actively involved in politics.
What matters:

How much hassle is it to land there, leave the starport, exit when biz is finished?

Can I carry weapons? Blasters? Just nonlethal stuff? Screens?

Lot of red tape? Or is it easy to do biz?

How secure is my information, person, and property against agents of the state? Can they stop and search me on a whim, or do they need warrants? Can I use encrypted comms?

--- That kind of stuff.











Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 4, 2016 - 7:17pm
Another thing to note, not actually part of " law level" , is whether Star Law is allowed to operate on the planet and to what extent it can act legally.


YMMV

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 4, 2016 - 7:54pm
Tollon wrote:

Liked travel's way of designating planets but thought it to confussing.  So I made my own list of laws

 


This is a nice generalization for a planet/nation and its culture and government. Then game referees can modify the descriptions as they see fit.
Joe Cabadas

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 4, 2016 - 9:19pm

I generally agree with the Traveller set up.  People who travel from point a to point b inside an interstellar comminuity have certain rights by treaty.  This is doesn't mean a government can bend the rules or say, 'Mr Bubba' broke the rules and now he falls under our jutice system.

Starports are there to foster trade and to act as Embassies of the stellar community therefore, their laws are going to be the same no matter were you go.  Planets seeking trade are going to follow the interstellar law more closely because they don't the community to stop coming.  Traders who think they are being shafted by the local government or harassed by the police are going to take their trade somewhere else. IT's a matter of econmics.

The first parargraph pretty much applies to Star Law as well.   Different governments are going to view them differently.  You're also going to have a branch known as the Star Lawyers these are the guys who have to save Mr Bubba from himself, when he lands in jail on a world where offworlder are not welcome.

 

As far as tables go, I don't like the idea because you get funky results when you them.   A Democracy with Police State, it doesn't fit because their conflict between ideaologies.

 

I view it like this:

 

0-1 wild west, war torn or apocalyptic setting

2-6 Clan, tribal , religious or Oligarchy base goverments.

4-7 Empire, feudal society

9-D tryannts, dictators and just plain old bad guys.

0-1 or 9-D Revolution and hostile take overs.

5-7 Interstellar comunities fall here.

A is for Corporate and Colony worlds.

8  Uptoian society




ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 4, 2016 - 11:44pm
Who is discussing politics (beyond the descriptive sense that is)?

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 5, 2016 - 6:54pm
Post combined

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 5, 2016 - 6:52pm
YMMV, but democracy is not an ideology, in my view. It is a type of government. 
It is the state in which the many (the demos) have political power. Oligarchy( or aristocracy) in which the few hold power. Autocracy/ monarchy is one man rule.
I'm referring to ideas taken from Aristotle, of course. 

I will refrain from using any RW examples, except maybe things from further back in history. 

An argument could be made that many governments are functional oligarchies. 


I am seperating democracy from liberal ideas. The two are often spoken of as linked in my country, but I think a useful discussion of government should seperate abstract ideology from practical politics. 

Do citizens get to vote? 

Do these votes decide many important things?

Is political power generally contingent upon support from a majority?

Are some sort of regular elections held?




A democracy could have slavery. It could also torture criminals. It could exile, execute, or expropriate unpopular citizens at the will of the general assembly.
Trials might sometimes look like lynching dressed up in judicial robes.

So I think a police state is possible if the people vote for Commitees of Public Safety, very powerful security services, and similiar things. 
Fear of an internal enemy is necessary for this, I suggest. Terrorism, fear of Sathar subversion, stuff like that.

 


Now, one could make a convincing (to me) argument that a democratic state which did all that was headed for either an oligarchy of police/security chiefs or some kind of dictatorship. But I think so long as the majority of voters supported the regime and their votes remained the decisive factor in government, it would still be a democracy.

Some of this discussion hinges on semantics. If you define police state and democracy in mutually exclusive ways, natch, you will differ with me.


Thanks for reading if you made it this far through my rambling.















jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 5, 2016 - 8:37pm
Tables are nice for lazy and or time poor referees. Wonky results can be ignored and rerolled which is the common practice, I believe. The table also functions as a list of possibilities for the referee who isn't rolling but working up material to suite himself and his players. 

A couple of tables/ list on this topic would be helpful. I also think it wouldn't hurt if it was a collaboration with many minds suggesting and critiquing. I (or another volunteer) could easily pull together an article from the meat of a discussion and present the consensus or 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 5, 2016 - 9:15pm
Re: Star Law is presented as like an FBI or Secret Service with jurisdiction over narrowish areas of concern: sathar and interstellar criminals. 

I think we can assume this jurisdiction is established by treaty for the simple reason that the Royal Mounted Constabulary of Clarion would have no jurisdiction on Lossend or Prengular and allowing criminals to escape justice by simply leaving a planet would not sit well. 

The one exception I can see is Outer Reach. Either Star Law has a heavy presence there or its very circumspect. 

Under the heavy presence theory the lines are well drawn and understood. With no one rocking the boat for small stuff but when a line is crossed forceful action is taken and no one is surprised. Crime Lords like the Malthar keep constituents in line in order to keep the peace w/ Star Law as that is largely good for business 

Under the circumspect theory the Marshals here avoid doing things that would get them shot, they're careful to stay out of certain area. Alternately, Star Law is circumspect in that they have a large undercover force here and simply avoids attracting attention to its action if possible. They may or may not have a compunction against taking direct actions. 

Depending on how you view the situation, Outer Reach might also be the "Siberia" of Star Law where screw ups and those who have pissed off the powers that be get sent. The fact that there is a higher mortality rate for Marshals stationed here is not the problem of Star Law Command. 

A Star Law marshal would absolutely avoid is getting involve in stopping crimes outside his area of concern. example: college buddy of mine who is a federal agent and I where reconnecting over coffee and witnessed shoplifting. Even though he was armed and carries credentials he handled it by simply informing the oblivious manager/supervisor. The shoplifter saw this and immediately put the stuff back and fled. Apparently, it's nothing but paper work if he draws his gun not in direct pursuit of his duties and local cops are never greatful for someone else doing their job. At most I see a Star Law agent doing the sticking out of a foot to trip a fleeing criminal but avoiding any hard intervention in local problems unless local authority asked for aid. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 6, 2016 - 12:42am
According to the Dragon articles, Star Law also has at least marginal oversight authority over local and planetary governments, they just have to be very circumspect about it, and get higher authority's approval in most cases.

As for the idea of locals getting pissy about "someone else" doing their job (in RL or in the game), I've always wondered why that is.  They're on the same side, or at least they should be.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 6, 2016 - 3:27am
ChrisDonovan wrote:


As for the idea of locals getting pissy about "someone else" doing their job (in RL or in the game), I've always wondered why that is.  They're on the same side, or at least they should be.

Job protection, at least in their limited scope of understanding. The idea here is not to hire anyone smarter than you are so that you appear to be the most competent person in the department. So it goes without saying: if one is a dumb ass, then that one's subordinates are dumber asses. Let' face it, the last thing you (if you were as such) would want is the peons one-upping you and your "superior" knoweldge of said department.

That's my theory anyways, and until I see evidence against it I'm sticking with it. Wink
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 6, 2016 - 5:45am
^True enough, I suppose.  Unprofessional, but true.

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 6, 2016 - 6:08am
Governments may also be suspicious of UPF busybodies sticking their snouts into planetary matters that could embarrass or even threaten said governments.
Rivalry among the member states of the alliance could be a factor, too. If Star Law learns something...what's to stop it from sharing that info?

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
April 6, 2016 - 10:58am
^Ah, the Interstellar Alliance approach... :D

Bio-Social's picture
Bio-Social
April 6, 2016 - 6:49pm
That's what Alpha Dawn describes. I like it, so I use it. YMMV

But even if you went with the federal state of Zeb's Guide, it's still plausible for there to be some quite serious interplanetary, interdepartmental , and central vs local rivalries and conflicts of interest.