Project Blackbird: A Mars Colonial Setting

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Aug 8, 2018
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It all started with this, one of my most :heart::thumbsup: set of images to date:

So - found an article and a set of images to set a chronicle in. It is images from a proposal Mars Base from an unlikely source with NASA aid.

Near Future Sci-Fi. Use for a police game. Use for a small village game. They could be the soap opera of the building the next vehicle to go in place. Use as a backdrop for other chronicles. Imagine "Variant" vigilantes enforcing justice in the domes, rather than skewed corporate law. Imagine UF as just enough Humanity is in space that the paranormals are with them... or the First Ghost on Mars occurred.. is angry.. and has all the power of the entire planetary psychosphere at its disposal. What happens when the Martians (immaterial beings) begin to crop up in dreams and even take over human colonists?
Actually, the first one is this one:
For me, this is either a sci-fi colony, a cyberpunk enclave, or a D'ni Unwritten world/realm.

So I thought about it for a bit, about an hour or so, and I put down some notes. I created a document (with a lot of images - most of the 14 pages), with nearly 2k words about the setting. So I thought I would think out loud here on the Hub.

Oh I have a lot of Mars Ideas stashed here on a Pinterest board. I have some more stashed in other boards. So while I play with this... here we go.
Persona Aspects and Factions (You could opt to join)

So we are going to start with Persona Aspects (and related Political/ Social Factions). You have all seen these in BRP, The total of an opposed pair is 20, with each opposition point being 20-score.

Persona Scores Greater than 14 or less than 6 usually require a gift or flaw to achieve. These are your opinions on the subject, you may or may not be actively working for the faction. Factions will have their own values.

Red/ Green

Red Martians: Do minimal to no ecological terraforming. Humans should adapt to mars, not the other way around.

Green Martians: Ecological Terraforming all the way. Mars should adapt to Humanity.

Brown Martians (Gift or Flaw) Somewhere between Red and Green (hence brown because mix red and green you get brown). However, they are all about genetic engineering humans (and other life forms) to deal with the slightly improved atmosphere. (Human vs Martian) How far do you want to genetically change humans. Now some Greens are pro genetic manipulation of Earth plants. Red Martians might be pro genetic manipulation, but limited.

Red, Brown, and Green are factions.

Community vs Individual (Rugged Individualism)

Develop vs Ecological - We want to build up habitats/ colonies, seriously exploit the resources, and make ship fuel. VS We want to carefully and slowly develop, using only the resources we have to, and try to be as sustainable as we can.
Progressives and Redpeace are the related factions

Mars vs Earth How attached is the character to Earth and Earth Nationalism or are they thinking that Mars colonists should be separate from all that (to some degree).
Nationalists and Mars Independents are factions.

Gold vs Copper
Silver vs Copper
Silver vs Gold
Gold vs Silver
Copper vs Gold (or any colonists before them)

This is based on your character's view of their group and the other. It should be
Your colony group vs another.
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These are my first pass at the roles for characters in the colony.

General Colonists
Biomers – Bio systems/ recycles/ air/ food/ those folks.
Builder - Construction Specialist
Cropper - You are a specialist in “farming on Mars” which is very different from farming on Earth.
Digger/ Miner - They help build the underground sections of habitats (pits and tunnels and artificial caves so protect from radiation) and mining (as we need the metal to build things.. you can only make so much from algae-based plastics and mars soil cement.
Drivers – Trucks and some construction vehicles.
>>Trucker – Rust Riders - these are our folk heroes. Lonely, Tough, Willing to risk it all for the Colonies, everything from the 70s Iconic Trucker with a serious dash of John Wayne/ Action Hero.
Makers – Technicals for assembling comm lines, info system. They also tend to make things like remotes.
Refiner - Deals with metals from rough to refined.
Shockers – Specialists in Power systems and lines.
Wranglers – Control Drones and Handle the expert systems

Scientists – Still a lot of work to be done, but in Mars Science and development of plants, materials, and processes and regular science (Fusion will happen.) Note: We need to define subtypes of the Scientist archetype.
>>Planetologists -
>>Material Scientists - Making things with native materials and resources.
>>Ecologists - Study of ecologies. Some are for studying Mars and some are for changing it.
>>Botonists - in the Scientist fold, they are working on figuring out which plants will grow in Martian Soil (Potatoes) if we have heat and water. They also need to figure out which plants will produce Green Mars.
>>Botonists/ Rangers The Grottos (See this Image) will need designers and managers on site. BIG QUESTION: Now do we need insects and animals to keep the tree's healthy? Could we simply import a park ranger with a forest management degree?
>>Meteorologist - Well weather is going to happen. Perhaps more once we start ecoforming?
>>Geologist - Study planet crust and find water resources.
>>Cyberneticists - Computer Research Here. Do we have a small high tech infrastructure here? So Hardware and Software Engineers.

Rats – Science and Technology specialists for the lab/ research support. Science Grunts. They might do the Field Work and Surveys.

Coders – Might have other skills, but they are still selling software and work for their Earth Company or Alpha-Mars (The first martian division of an Earth Company). A lot of the colonists were software and hardware tech people. They could continue their jobs on other planets and beam code back. In fact, they bring money in from Earth to Mars... so coders are a good thing... as long as they can help support the colony physically.
Engineers - We really need those. Makers are part of this. Engineers proper might be useful.
Architects - most of this should of been done early on, as the general designs are plug and play. However, maybe Mars needs a local one?

Administrators – Someone has to keep it all organized. Now, these are normally related to either a company or the Colonial Company/ Org, often more project managers than suits. However, there will be office people here doing some of it, because shuffling information back and forth with the time delay is a pain.
Supervisor - like an admin, but actually does more work.

Diplomat - Depending on how fractured the colonies are along national lines.

Sheriffs/ Marshalls – Someone will enforce the laws. Since there aren’t many six shooters here, it is fairly safe. However, you have a bunch of inventive people here, it can be dangerous. These are our investigators, limitedly. If we need an actual detective... they might send one or we do it remote. Maybe we have like one inspector on Mars. We might need to share resources between every dome.


Medicals – Doctors/ Practioners
Medical Staff (RNs and others)
Therapist - Because let us face it, these people will need it.
EMS – Emergency Medical Services. Medical help and light rescue.
DEC Disaster / Emergency Construction aka Deckers. A small number are on call all the time. They deal with fires, explosions, wall breaches, door breaches, and open holes. They are often doing urgent repairs before builders or others can get there. Many people are volunteers Deckers
Rescue and Recovery aka R Squared – Out of the colony, pilots ems and dec all rolled into one.

Teacher - We can't have too many kids here, but enough that one teacher in "the little red school house" model.

Pilots – Atmo (Hoppers, Vector Thrust copters)
Pilots – Planes/ Astroplanes.
Pilot – Astronaut – space ship pilot for take off and landings, plus docking.

Astronauts (technically every colonist was an astronaut.) These are those that work in Space Ships that move between planets.
Spacers – those that live in black habitats (orbitals currently, but there are plans)

Entertainers – In this silver age, we are just getting people who are entertainers and less productive workers.
Escorts – Those who provide social and physical companionship.
Bartenders – the first non productive job on Mars. The bartenders in the Golden Era tended to make their own alcohol, a tradition that silver era bartenders still do to some degree.

These are all the expected ones. There are others. You could be an artists, who has a job as a Rat. You could be a musician who is an EMS. They might not be a great musician but a great EMS or a Great Musician and a less great EMS. Using developing pieces to allow you other things.

Plot Implied Ones

Military (normally not available):
Marines - Military shipped here
Drop Pilot
Light Tank Crew (after all they know colonist will simply adapt building equipment/vehicles to weapons)
Diplomat (Face to Face Talk person)

Labs Additional
Archaeologist - Those who study the artifacts of the past
Diggers - Those who move dirt/rock. They can be doing gross work (big amounts) or fine sifting and cataloging.
Security/ Marines?
Chemists (a specialty of scientists)
Linguists/ Cryptographers - to decode anything found

Genetic Engineers - Genetic Designers and builders.
Genetic Wranglers - Dealing with animals and other lifeforms created
Womb Tech - Those in charge of artificial incubation.

Vehicle Design Engineers - Those who make airplanes and space planes

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Developing Pieces
These are gifts and flaws that will be applicable to characters that are only found in this setting.

Golden Colonists – These are your first wavers (first couple of colony groups over). They did the rough work. The Key Work. The Infrastructure. They signed up for a one way trip without insurance of ever going home. They deserve respect and their senior positions.

Silver Colonist - Next Wavers and Golden Colonist Children. They are developing and refining the colonial experiences. Less social engineering of colonial groups. More expecting an Earth like life of work and liberties. (I am planning that the colony is in Silver Era. This would be the default.)

Copper or Bronze Colonist – Dregs being sent. Most Colonists will disdain these folks and contemplate tossing them outside without a suit. Their skills are not useful or what we need.

Earth Born: Given higher cardiovascular strength and general strength.
Mars Born/ Mars Adapt: Unable to handle that full 1 G environment
Space Born (We should not have any, but someone will want it) Still takes a penalty operating on Mars and really crushed on Earth.

Brown Martians (Gift or Flaw) Somewhere between Red and Green (hence brown because mix red and green you get brown). However, they are all about genetic engineering humans (and other life forms) to deal with the slightly improved atmosphere. (Human vs Martian) How far do you want to genetically change humans. Now some Greens are pro genetic manipulation of Earth plants. Red Martians might be pro genetic manipulation, but limited.

Red Set
Merit Badge/ Red Cert – knowledge on how to survive outside the habitats. Some of it is emergency survival and some is how to handle the low oxy level and the cold.
Red Marked: You have survived an emergency situation outside the habitats and domes. You did a good job in doing such. Often the Gold Colonists will mark your pressure suit or work clothes with a swash of red dirt on your shoulder… so everyone knows you know what to do, how not to panic, and are tough enough to make it.
Low 2 or High 2 – you need less or more oxygen than expected. It is a combination of genetics and natural adaption to thin atmospheres. Some people have genetic treatments to allow them to be Low 2
Low T and High T – How well you handle (or don’t) the Mars normal or Earth level cold.
Radiation Resistance - for some reason you are less impacted by radiation - such as the energy coming through the thin Martian atmosphere. Each level grants bonuses to resistance checks and reduces the long term exposure roll chances.
Muscle Advantage - The character has greater strength than their default G-Level would imply. This is a combination of genetics and exercise (and maybe some illegal genetic tweaks.)
(2,T, Rad, and STR adv could require regular medications, reducing gift cost and increasing flaw cost.)

Suit Set
Suit Skill: Ability to handles the light pressure suits (and space suits).
Astronaut training: (Most gold and silver colonists have the training on how to handle themselves on a space crafts.

Skill Sets
Biomers – Skills, training, and experience in this field
Builder - Skills, training, and experience in this field
Digger/ Miner – Skills, training, and experience in this field
Drivers – Some knowledge in handing outside habitat vehicles
(Trucker – Rust Rider)
Makers – Skills, training, and experience in this field. Tends to be a building maker of little things
Shockers – Skills, training, and experience in this field
Wranglers – Skills, training, and experience in this field

Lifetraining on Earth These are college or specialty training graduates. Some of the skill sets were also specialty training schools
Academic Training
Advanced Academic
Academic, non science,
Coding - Skills, training, and experience in this field
Medical, Trainings Basics - EMS
Medical, Training Advanced – Doctors/ Practitioners
Military, Ground
Military, Spec Op
Military, Drop/ Space (or may have Astronaut training)
Military, Advanced
Military, Ship/ Sky
Military, Technical
NASA – Full Astronaut Trainings

Experience and Odds
Experience in a given field like EMS, EC, R2 and such.

Experience in Space for those that have spent more and more time there either lots of flights or are spacers.

Experience of an Earth Field

Musician: The character is known for having skills in music and performance. It is a reputation that will make you popular.

Member of a Faction: You just don't kinda believe what they believe, you will actively take steps to ensure that the opposing factions and the colony do not take the wrong actions.

Secret: Genetic Tweaks. Messing with the Human Genome is illegal just about everywhere. Xeno genes are majorly illegal. Minor tweaks within the human genome are illegal to a lesser degree. (Curing genetic diseases are limitedly allowed in some countries.) So as long as nobody knows, you can get away with it B1 or B2 if more notable.

Dial out - Connection to nearby habitat - you have regular contact with people in other habitats.
Dial out - Connection to people on Earth - you have regular contact with a person on Earth. There is time lag

The average distance between Earth and Mars the two planets is 140 million miles (225 million km). The distance between the two planets affects how long it would take to travel between the two. Light travels at approximately 186,282 miles per second (299,792 km per second). Therefore, a light shining from the surface of Mars would take the following amount of time to reach Earth (or vice versa):
  • Closest possible approach: 182 seconds, or 3.03 minutes
  • Closest recorded approach: 187 seconds, or 3.11 minutes
  • Farthest approach: 1,342 seconds, or 22.4 minutes
  • On average: 751 seconds, or just over 12.5 minutes

Escape Velocity of Earth 25,020 mph
Escape Velocity of Mars 11,252 mph
A Blackbird can go 2,200 mph , perhaps up to 6138
A concord went 1,354 mph
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So this is about the setting and how the setting would be "set up".

Once I have that established and things needed to create characters, we could go insert any kind of genre/ chronicle
Now you have all seen this:

Near Future Sci-Fi. Use for a police game. Use for a small village game. They could be the soap opera of the building the next vehicle to go in place. Use as a backdrop for other chronicles. Imagine "Variant" vigilantes enforcing justice in the domes, rather than skewed corporate law. Imagine UF as just enough Humanity is in space that the paranormals are with them... or the First Ghost on Mars occurred.. is angry.. and has all the power of the entire planetary psychosphere at its disposal. What happens when the Martians (immaterial beings) begin to crop up in dreams and even take over human colonists?

That is each a page or two of genre notes and plot ideas. (And the rules have to support Variants (supers), UF (magic and monsters), and so on. Luckily enough the rule set I am thinking of does.)

So I would need to include a couple of historical paths... and some options/ dials for
corporate intrusion
if we are actively going to rebel for some reason
if supplies no longer come...
and various other options (Plague on Earth.. well nobody gets to come to Mars anymore.)

So - Sections

So - A section on the physical layout/ set up of the Colony/ Habitat/ Town
This would be a rough layout map - much like 3x5 cards on a flowchart. This allows easier options to move stuff around and make the habitat your own.

A section on how to Create Characters

A section on things they might have - individual and big (trucks, jumpers, diggers, lifters, craft, drones, and so on.)

A section of general plots (Colonial and Earth)
>>Under this general plots would be psuedo history or key historical things that had to be done (and roughly the order)

A section of Core PLots
>>Genetic Work (and related plots)
>>Earth War Transfer
>>Find Artifacts and begin the Bone Wars... archeology and maybe military
>>>>Maybe you can unleash ancient Martians/Aliens. Maybe a monster.
>>Horror Movie - some monster from the ancients
>>Alien Invasion (on their way to Earth, they stopped off for some light mayhem on the way)
>>Ship Yards (above)

And such... Plus some ideas of other things you can do. Put a vampire loose here. How long before we all find out and what about all those changed? Super Heroes in the Domes. Psionics/ Espers (if you have an anime bent).
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Random thoughts of the moment 01:

01 Fun
Truck Races - moderate and long range.
Modified Mine Car races (maybe with rockets added)
Skiing with wheels down Mons, but wet skiing someday.
Mars Olympics - Those numbers would be very different.
Do we have sands smooth enough? We could have sail-powered sleds on fine sand.

02 Holidays
Landing Day (All Mars - when we landed. We didn't have an exploratory one. We went from random probes to full on colonization (as getting too and from was hard.)
First Launch Day (First return craft launched)

Founding Day (for a given habitat having the first day the dome or biggest biome was built)

There are other cultural holidays - And every prays in the same direction... up... these days. (because closest direction to easily find Earth, though a dedicated enough person could find the exact direction for the hour and date.)

03 Mars Cities
The biggest solar field is from (INsert first city) which is on the southmost side on Mons Olympus (well like 1/5th the way up).

Bradbury, Wells, Bouroughs, Helium, and Space X City are some of the first names. IN English Verne might be one too. We need Chinese names.

04 Solar Satellites
Could we have microwave solar satellites beam down with hard design of the equipment not to send water agitating microwaves? Thus you would have to do serious changes of hardware before you could weaponize the power system.

05 A couple of sci-fi plots
Linked mass mind in a colony of religious folks.
Monster from the lab escapes
Governments/ Corps decide to reinforce their colonies because other nationalists might attack.
Could a NGO different from the corporate one that sent them here be their salvation?

06 AI work here because they are afraid if it gets loose on Earth?
07 Robots are made? Do we use Robots here or just smart drones?
08 We ignore Androids/ Gynoids unless you want a plot point. (Or maybe just one on the entire colony).

09 Clothing - fairly normal... except
Outdoor worksuits are very light-pressure suits, with O2 support and CO2 recyclings.
Some people who can handle the cold and the pressure just need o2 support or need to be very careful about exertion
There may be heavier worksuits (like space suits) for work in the mines, though those might be pressurized in many areas.

10 - Water - Cisterns and wells - Water mines.

11 - Pets? Silver era might allow them. Cats? Maybe. Dogs? Awfully big and not good "indoors". No rats. If you can keep the rats and roaches off out planet it would be great.

12) Entemology Bio-Treaty - nobody is allowed to bring Earth Bugs to Mars. They are afraid of mutations and that they will out compete humans.

13) Decker -
The splat gun. It shoots out either tight or big globs of chemical foam. This will expand and harden (not incredibly but hard enough). Thus you can plug holes in habitat walls from a distance. You can put out fires. You can slow down suspects. (This might be our best weapon as you can't break the habitat.

Deckers (and others) might have mini-can jets for super jumps... or Batman like Line throwers...Crowbars and firefighter tools.

14) Going into The Big City? So there are several habitats. I am sure we have a big habitat/ colony - Our City. So a trip out of your town into the big city would still be a thrill to colonists, like it would be to smaller town people on Earth. Also just seeing people who you don't see every day/week would be good (so going to the other town would still be it.)
Who has a space port? Who has a Sky Port?
Who has a special factory that others do not have?
Every Habitat might have a specialty. The GM will define their habitat.
Some might have something special like a restaurant, theatre, stage, VR Game place, etc.
Other Elements: Mine. Refinery. Cement Plant. Clay Gatherer. Brick Foundry. Better Farms. Energy. Sky Port. Manufacturing. Research Center. Science Node (part of several spots (like weather). Hospital (everyone has an infirmary or maybe an emergency room (like all 2-4 beds). Church/ Temple/ Dioceses of Mars Cathedral (which holds all of 200 people!). A community swim pool/ water park! Power Plant (one is burning stuff to produce CO2). Planetary Prison (because every place might have a holding cell or maybe a jail - I would thing community service of the worst kind would be a better punishment). Greenhouse/ Ecoforming Gas Station. Oxygen Production Station (extra or for atmo release). Gravel Pit/ Quarry.

15) Metabolic Stimulants: Medicines based on our increased understanding of the body that will make the body need less Oxygen, be more cold tolerant, and other such. They may give you this for special events or you might have to spend a great deal of money to keep up treatments.
>>The Radiation inoculation might be a regular thing.

16) There are no need for guns on the various colonies, but you might have them in case of military emergency. So certainly no private guns. (But people have access to fabricators and could make them on the sly.... and rail guns/ coil guns are the same). Big melee weapons might be collectors items, but are probably things against the law. Yet various kinds of knives are "tools" for work or eating. And we do have fabricators. So while the Martial Artist might seem to be the Combat Warrior of the Space... there are those weapons out there in secret.

Besides, technically and legally, you don't have anyone to fight so why have a weapon?

17) Legacy Pieces. This is a second wave "town". So small/ medium habs were probably shipped here by hopper to here. Your habitat inherited these hand-me-downs. Eventually, you will ship them off somewhere else. So you will have some old stuff that still sort of works but we don't need... a combination of redundancy and the amount of work to dismantle it. Thus you will have some small algae tanks. You might have a small launch/land facility.

18) Lighted Paths: We will pave roads to outside sections (like power center, research center, launch center). So these roads will probably have street lights. Some people will complain that they generate light pollution, but they improve safety and provide a sense of civilization. You might have dark paths. Does the outside of your habitat complex have a lot of lights so you can go around?

18.5 How paved are the paths between Habitats? Is it easy or harder for Rust Riders? Are there beacons along the way (or lone solar powered "street lamps" every now and again). Maybe emergency habs at every beacon site.

19) Dome Lights: Why would the big done have lights? Unless it was agriculture, no real need. But some domes would be lighted on an Earth Schedule. So it may be Mars day morning, but the full lights might be on because it is Noon (relative) on Earth anchor spot.
>>The Dome could have rain/ misting ability too, if you have enough water. (Water is probably what we truck the most of).
>>The Dome is insulated with two layers of glass and such. But the light should warm it, but there might be "support heaters" for the Dome.

The Dome might have youngish trees and grass and a few bushes, but mostly it will be public buildings and such to go with the Condo Circles.

20) Red Guardian: Above Mars is a stationary. It is the place for docking and transferring things. They originally never would come down to the planet, but be the last stop before other did go down. They are your guardians. They monitor our communication sat system (all twelve). They are traffic control around Mars. They are your Earth data link (for the most part).

Launching out of a Gravity Well is still an Event... and everything pretty much stops at Red Guardian.

21) Humidity - or lack of
It is going to be cool and dry even in the habitats. Lip balm and eye drops will be the number one personal products. A custom of having skin cream at the door (for in or out) might be like a pandemic year hand sanitizer container - everywhere. In better years, there may be some water there so you can wash grit off your face and hands. Shoes off or off at the door will be a thing... perhaps even outerwear. Sweeping (and eventually roomba like robots) will be ever present because of the grit and dust-like grit.

Note: You will need to research Arctic Habitats.
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There are five stations in a rosette pattern between Earth and Mars. They technically are just big communication satellites with habitat cans attached. Technically they were supposed to be manned, but they do not have to be. (One of the system might be manned at a time, maybe two). They keep relaying information between Earth and Mars even when Sol is in the way. (They also act for improved relays for various signals.)

In case of emergency, you could stop at one and get some air/heat and maybe food for a while... and hope someone can help rescue you in space. Not exactly AAA out here.

How many ships are out there? Is there commercial service between areas? Well between Earth and L points.

How far along are we on exploiting the Belt? There should be Habs of sort on the larger rocks or become "stations" (Stationary ships).

Are we sucking Gas from Jupiter? (Are there stationaries around it?)

How are out has manned exploration gone? Explorers would have shuttles to help get around, but so far, hard to land and get back up.
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Generally, Mars makes me think "swords and planet". So, I'd just add that due to a custom that remained in vogue since the days of the early colonists, people wear swords in domes, and firearms are kept in lockers (protecting the dome's integrity:shade:).
I'm a little distracted, I'll take a read in a few. Thank you for sharing.

Humans - This is both the default and in many chronicles the only kind/ species of characters. They mostly come from the planet Earth
>>Earth Human - A human born and raised on Earth.
>>Mars Human aka Martian - a Human born on Mars and is used to that lower gravity, but more resistant to the cold and the air pressure.
>>Spacer - Humans born in the micro G environment of space habitats and ships

---------------------------------------Primary Plot Point
>>Brown Martian aka Martians - This is Human Being that has been (illegally) genetically modified to be able to survive on the Surface of Mars without extra equipment (except maybe a dust filter mask). They sometimes need help being in the Earth Pressure and Warm habitat areas.

Expert system - a not quite full intelligent robot or computer system. As smart or smarter than humans in their field, they are limited outside of it, and are not very creative.
---------------------------------------Additional Plot Points
AI - Illegal, but fully intelligent and not limited in processing speed. They are smarter than humans, but they need more "growing up" before they can really make use of it.

Uplifts - Animals raised to intelligence. Sometimes they will be modified

Red Adaptions - An artificial lifeform that resembles an octopus, but adapted to life on Mars.

Grey Aliens

Two or three other UFO species

Old Martians - They are now immaterial spirit beings - bundles of energy in the psychosphere of the planet. They can sometimes reach Human sleeping minds and give them dreams. Eventually, they enter Humans and become a symbiote, slowly changing the Humans into a form between the Old Martian form and Humanity.
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The enemy of every colonist. The fine dust and near sand gets everywhere. It builds up and starts becoming disruptive. You will bring it into the habitat when you come in from outside - getting into the tiny spots of your work suit. It will come in on tool bags and every time a door is open. You can't stop it. It is almost a sentient forces... finding new places to be...

It is not hard to clean up, but it is a constant battle. Easier if you use water, but can you waste the water on that?

Grit is our Frak - swear word like Damm it.
However, if we're talking about genetically modified humans and humans born in lower are you planning to account for their lower strength (and thus speed), lower toughness, elongated limbs, and difficulties operating in higher gravity:shade:?
I'm rather interested in this a solid setting, are you going to run it online or just spitballing something awesome?
However, if we're talking about genetically modified humans and humans born in lower are you planning to account for their lower strength (and thus speed), lower toughness, elongated limbs, and difficulties operating in higher gravity:shade:?

So far, I was not putting genetically modified humans in the setting. Notice that Brown Martian are "illegal". So simply I was adjusting strength for lifting and damage resistance. Dexterity would not be modified, but fatigue points would occur more often (instead of the normal 1 per 3 continuous actions...1 for every impulse they exert themselves and long-term endurance for an hour of activity.) Fatigue would produce negative modifiers once enough has accumulated.

Note: It was implied by the OP (and related articles), but let us state it. This is a near future setting. I was not expanding proper genetic manipulation of Humans. If there was genetic manipulation of humans, it would cause "outrage", "legal response", and be a major plot point.

I'm rather interested in this a solid setting, are you going to run it online or just spitballing something awesome?

Since I wrote Continuum (Not C0ntinuum the time travel game) which in edition 2 will be Convergence Point, every setting I have created has been made with that game in mind. (Convergence Point is a Balanced, Cinematic, Universal, Roleplaying Game.) That means a setting I am really interested in gets the full treatment as if it is a game supplement. My players (who are not playing Firefly) have "Chronicle Packs" of 32 to 128 pages which included the setting set up, everything the players needed to create characters, magic/power sets and examples, and genre points. So if a setting is worth doing, I do it full bore.

I am not sure the setting is worth doing full bore. (I may be wrong, you all seemed to thumbs up.) It has potential if I can expand it. The project would be a setting to set other games in. So it needs all those things to make the setting "solid" so you can do what you want in it. This would include some meta plots and conflicts happening in the background of your chronicle. (Or you could make those THE PLOTS if they are good enough).

So I might play it online or in person. I might make it a supplement book for the game. The Game is in a major re-edit and stalled a bit in a major subsection (and many pages over defined goal.)
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Key Points

It was implied by the OP (and related articles), but let us state it. This is a near future setting.

We are two or three decades into Mars Colonization. Manned Mars exploration had to be colonization because getting back required a built infrastructure. So we went from drones to colonization, do not pass go.

We should have a Moon Colony or nine. Mining should be happening. If we did it on Mars, we might do a couple of Moon bases.

We do not have FTL. We might have significant STL or maybe NTL drive. The issue would seem to be launched out of a significant gravity well (like even Mars.) I would like the reactionless systems to be working, so fuel for power not propulsion.

We are exploring the system with manned and unmanned. Those Ships are basically going to be habitats that happen to move. So crew of 3 is a no go, but a lot of people so you can maintain things. We might be exploring Saturn.

We might be doing commercial mining of The Belt. We will have the beginnings of Habitat Cities in the various L points.

Earth Politics will still be Balkinized, will have various issues (pollution, warming, etc), and no planet destroying war. The same tech being used in Habitats would be used to a lesser extent to make Earth easier to live on. For the "Most Part" Earth is very recognizable.

A big question is: Are colonies National things? Are they Corporate? Are they Free (i.e. Musk's just sending people there....)? Are they Sponsored (life free, but the sponsoring organization might have strings or limit who can go - a monk colony)? Some Mix?

Note: The rest of the setting is going to be quite vague. We are not building a full setting (with all the history and system defined). We are building a Martian Colony Town... and not even doing all the rest of Mars (make it up to fit your story with the ideas presented).

Note to Self: Neo Frontier could be here. Bionics is a point that might be good for core project. Esper add is easy. Synthetics (Clones and Robots mostly) are workable. All plots simply import, just the technology needs to be tweaked upwards.
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Things to research 01:

Done: Escape Velocity Post 4

Kinda Post 10: Ecoforming - Terraforming: Do I need special engineers? Do we need Terraforming Vehicles? Do we need Terraforming Buildings? Mostly it has been mentioned lichen, some earth plants, (increasing atmosphere oxygen and pressure from free O2/Carbon) moving water to the surface and/or dropping a comet to increase the water on the planet.

What do we want to explore in the system?

Likely Environmental and Earth Issues in the next 100 years.

Sorta: Will the asteroids actually have enough material to mine to be worth the cost? Maybe depending on the source.

Arctic Habitats: Some of their environmental edges will be incorporated in these habitats.
Note: Habitats might not have full on airlocks, but there will be an air chamber to minimize escape every time someone comes in and out.
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Ecoforming Notes:

Ecoforming/ terraforming Mars will be a huge undertaking if it is ever done at all. Initial stages of terraforming Mars could take several decades or centuries. Terraforming the entire planet into an Earth-like habitat might have to be done over several millennia. How are we supposed to transform a dry, desert-like land into a lush environment, where people, plants and other animals can survive? Here are some terraforming methods that have been proposed:
  • Large orbital mirrors will reflect sunlight and heat the Mars surface.
  • Greenhouse gas-producing factories trap solar radiation.
  • Smashing ammonia-heavy asteroids into the planet raises the greenhouse gas level.
  • Smashing Comets to increase the free water level
  • Pumping up Water in the Crust of Mars
  • Earth Plants that will survive Free Mars conditions and help produced free O2 (and maybe CO2).
The Solar Sail Mirrors to propel spacecraft could be used to heat areas of the planet. Several of them combined could make a large enough mirror to heat a notable area and or melt the polar ice/ sub surface ice. This would also release CO2 trapped and maybe CFCs.

Set up solar-powered, greenhouse-gas producing factories. Humans have had a lot of experience with this over the last century, as we have inadvertently released tons of greenhouse gases into our own atmosphere. The same heating effect could be reproduced on Mars by setting up hundreds of these factories. Their sole purpose would be to pump out CFCs, methane, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Maybe we could refine resources found at the same time. Note: The factories would either have to be ferried to Mars or made out of materials already located on Mars.

Thought; These greenhouse machines would mimic the natural process of plant photosynthesis, inhaling carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen. It would take many years, but the Mars atmosphere would slowly be oxygenated to the point that Mars colonists would need only a breathing-assistance apparatus, and not a pressure suit as worn by astronauts.

Photosynthetic bacteria could also be used in place of or in addition to these greenhouse machines.

Space scientist Christopher McKay and Robert Zubrin, author of "The Case For Mars", have also proposed a more extreme method for greenhousing Mars. They believe that hurling large, icy asteroids containing ammonia at the red planet would produce tons of greenhouse gases and water. If it is possible to smash an asteroid of such enormous size into Mars, the energy of one impact would raise the temperature of the planet by 3 degrees Celsius. The sudden raise in temperature would melt about a trillion tons of water, which is enough water to form a lake, with a depth of one meter, that could cover an area larger than the state of Connecticut. Several of these missions over 50 years would create a temperate climate and enough water to cover 25 percent of the planet's surface. However, the bombardment by asteroids, each releasing energy equivalent to 70,000 one-megaton hydrogen bombs, would delay human settlement of the planet for centuries. Well if we stay underground, mostly, ....

Archetypes - Add ons - for Terraforming and in general
>>Botonists - in the Scientist fold, they are working on figuring out which plants will grow in Martian Soil (Potatoes) if we have heat and water. They also need to figure out which plants will produce Green Mars.
>>Botonists/ Rangers The Grottos (See this Image) will need designers and managers on site. BIG QUESTION: Now do we need insects and animals to keep the tree's healthy? Could we simply import a park ranger with a forest management degree?
>>Meteorologist - Well weather is going to happen. Perhaps more once we start ecoforming
>>Geologist - Study planet crust and find water resources.
Note: We need to define subtypes of the Scientist archetype.

>>Cyberneticists - Computer Research Here. Do we have a small high tech infrastructure here? So Hardware and Software Engineers.

Engineers - We really need those. Makers are part of this. Engineers proper might be useful.
Architects - most of this should of been done early on, as the general designs are plug and play. However, maybe Mars needs a local one?

We should use the term Ecoform - to build up an ecosystem. Terraforming would be a Green Martian Wet Dream. Many Red Martians are not against plants that work with the martian ecology.

Since this is "town" would the ecoscientists be here? Would they be on the Main City/ First colony? Do we have an auxiliary team here?
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...Note: It was implied by the OP (and related articles), but let us state it. This is a near future setting. I was not expanding proper genetic manipulation of Humans. If there was genetic manipulation of humans, it would cause "outrage", "legal response", and be a major plot point....
Ones I can see that might fly under the radar and even could be metabolic tweeks is increased red blood cells and ability to get by on few calories. The former Earth analog are those of the Himalayas, e.g. sherpas, and the later an example might be the Pima. Well that and being short and small.

I like the vibe, to me it is a The Expanse like vibe.
I like the vibe, to me it is a The Expanse like vibe.

The Expanse is the most realistic near future space science fiction. This project is based on NASA projections for the project (and using some of the things from Space X), as done by Black Bird. (The STL/NTL drives are even based on Nasa research.) This project would be in the Expanses' past if there was a link.

Oh and the Under the Radar/ Secret about your genetics has been included.
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Here, so you all can follow along:

You want to go through and see the foundation of our Base? Project Eagle by Blackbird is it.

Oh if you don't want to download that: There is a walk through of sorts here
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The first few posts are locking now. I can't add anything like I have been. (So yes go look what changed.)

I am still looking at this in terms of viability. It might be okay.

Questions or Comments or Things I have missed or Ideas to add?

As of posting = my Inside Doc is 3600 words and that does not have all the things I put in the thread yet.

Note: Page 4 Add the post locked while I was putting it in.
Low C and High C - for how many calories you need
Muscle Advantage - The character has greater strength than their default G-Level would imply. This is a combination of genetics and exercise (and maybe some illegal genetic tweaks.)
(2,T, Rad, and STR adv could require regular medications, reducing gift cost and increasing flaw cost. Note: Illegal genetic boosts reduce the cost by one, but you must have a "secret - genetically modified" flaw)

Note: A Ring of Fire Option where the town sideslips to a "fictional" Barsoom/ Mars.
Note: Mode for Ancient Martians: They may actually be from another happentrack. So we have options for archeology (with a switch for Gismos to be found)... and sliding up to Immaterial Martians invading dreams... and eventually shifting people to the pointed chin, sharp features, large ears, large and wider set eyes (with a variety of iced colors), and hair that is a bit translucent. (oh and small hands and feet). Espers of Sorts.
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What would you need to survive?
This is the start to "A Gamer's Guide to Mars".

For starters, here’s a short list: Water, food, shelter – and oxygen.

The Martian atmosphere is thin – its volume is only 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere. To put it another way, there’s 99% less air on Mars than on Earth.

That’s partly because Mars is about half the size of Earth. Its gravity isn’t strong enough to keep atmospheric gases from escaping into space.

And the most abundant gas in that thin air is carbon dioxide. For people on Earth, that’s a poisonous gas at high concentrations. Fortunately, it makes up far less than 1% of our atmosphere. But on Mars, carbon dioxide is 96% of the air!

Meanwhile, Mars has almost no oxygen; it’s only one-tenth of one percent of the air, not nearly enough for humans to survive.

If you tried to breathe on the surface of Mars without an environmental suit supplying your oxygen – bad idea – you would die in an instant. You would suffocate eventually, but because of the low atmospheric pressure, your blood would boil.

Without question, Mars is an extreme environment. And it’s not just the air. Very little liquid water is on the Martian surface. Temperatures are incredibly cold – at night, it’s more than -100 degrees Fahrenheit (-73 degrees Celsius).

But plenty of organisms on Earth survive extreme environments. Life has been found in the Antarctic ice, at the bottom of the ocean, and miles below the Earth’s surface. Many of those places have extremely hot or cold temperatures, almost no water and little to no oxygen.

And even if life no longer exists on Mars, maybe it did billions of years ago, when it had a thicker atmosphere, more oxygen, warmer temperatures and significant amounts of liquid water on the surface.

There is still some liquid water in the polar regions. (Check here). However, most of it is locked underground so heated wells would solve water issues.

Food. I hope you packed some and brought enough for everyone. It will be a bit before we start growing food here. Some farming is possible in just inflatable hab tents and actual hab units. Algae is important for habitats, but that will take a little while to grow into its needed volume. Actual farming would have to wait for the traditional Glass Domes (or Geodesic domes)

Shelter: Well first we will shelter in the landing crafts. Then we will use inflatable habitats. Then we will partially bury the habitats for insulation and radiation resistance. Plus they are less likely to have issues like ripping after that. Then the Digging will begin. Martian settlers will be mole people for a while. Glass will a product early on, with the silica and such of the soil. We will need to find metal deposit and begin the refining... so we can make the struts to hold up the glass and glass like product of the dome.

Perseverance Rover Daily Weather Report to show you how cold it is on moderate latitudes of Mars.
Should Weather be measured in Kelvin or C or F?

Note: Do it yourself oxygen
A MOXIE is an incredible device that takes carbon dioxide out of the Martian atmosphere and turns it into oxygen. If MOXIE works the way that scientists hope it will (it is being tested on Perseverance), future colonists will not only make their own oxygen; they could use it as a component in the rocket fuel they’ll need to fly back to Earth. The more oxygen people are able to make on Mars, the less they’ll need to bring from Earth – and the easier it becomes for visitors to go there. But even with “homegrown” oxygen, colonists will still need an environmental suit for decades to come.
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It might be of interest to you... MOXIE seems to work quite well. They recently pushed the one on Perseverance a bit harder than usual and got to about 50% of the oxygen generation rate necessary to keep a human alive, which is not bad at all for a prototype.

A Day Full of MOXIE
Random Thoughts of the Moment 2

So building off Post 6 #14 Going into The Big City?
The First City/ Colony is going to be Mars Greenwich Time So Bradbury Mean Time or MMT Mars Mean Time. They will have a big public clock with Earth Time and Mars Time, years/ annum sol, days/sols, months, hours, and lastly min. Red Guardian is in Geosynch orbit above the first colony, so many like to list it as Mars Mean Time.

1) Martian Time
Mars solar rotations are called "sols" to mark it different than an Earth Day. They are not that different. The Sol is only 37 minutes longer than Earth’s day. The first colonists nearly came to blows as to how to deal with it. Martian Analog clocks are 24 hours (instead of 12 hours) and have a grey wedge after the 24, marked with a 0. The zero wedge is at the top of the circle and marks those 37 minutes. Digital clocks have a 0 time for 37 minutes. Because of various scientific equations and just common uses, the Hour, Minute, and Second are the same on Mars as on Earth.

The Martian year is about twice as long as an Earth year: 687 Earth days or 668.6 Martian sols. (note: This fact annoys any new child colonists who hate being "younger" jumping from 8 to 3 1/2). Leaps happen as a day 0 every two years - most of the time. They call them Sol Annums or Annums.

Martians mostly count the year in terms of sols (with the Northern Winter Solstice being day 1 of the calendar). (Note First Landing Day just happened to be the day before the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.) This is because martian months are variable due to Mar's eccentric orbit. It is named after the sign of the zodiac the sun is passing through. The Calander begins on the First Day of Pisces (48 Sol). Then it goes Aries (51 sols), Taurus (56 sols). The vernal equinox occurs on the first of Gemini (61 sols), Cancer (65 sols), Leo (66 sols; Mars is at aphelion on Leo 24th), Virgo (65 sols, northern summer solstice), Libra (60 sols), Scorpio (54 sols), Sagittarius (50 sols; the autumnal equinox is Sagittarius 1st), Capricorn (47 sols), and Aquarius (46 sols, the shortest month; Mars reaches perihelion on Aquarius 16th).

So the 100th sol is normally listed as Sol 100 (or starting with the years since the first landing). It could be listed as Sol 100, Taurus or Sol 100, Taurus 1. Oh, and it happens to be a Tuesday.

Martians follow the 7 Day Monday to Sunday "Sol Names" of Earth convention. The week was just too convenient in use to ignore.

2) For Gamer's Guide to Mars
Mars is smaller and less dense than Earth. Woulda coulda shoulda, if it only was a little bigger or more massive, it might have had a very different geological and ecological history.

Mars has a mean radius of 2,086 miles (3,390 kilometers) vs Earth's radius 3, 958 miles. Its surface area is 54.7 million square miles or about 28% of Earth’s surface area. But a lot of Earth is covered by water, so the area of Mars is only slightly less than Earth’s land surface. Hopefully, that will change with some ecoforming.

The density of Mars is 0.715 times that of Earth. This suggests that Mars has a smaller metallic core than Earth does, generating less heat and releasing smaller amounts of volatiles into the planet’s atmosphere. Mars’ smaller and less active core may also be the reason it has almost no magnetic field. Magnetic field is important for repelling solar and cosmic radiations. While the sun is dimmer in the sky, non-thermal radiation is still quite high (in addition to cosmic radiation). The solar ultraviolets are not screened out, so exposure to the sun can crisp you rather than tan you.

The gravity on Mars is approximately 0.38 standard G. It varies slightly between the poles and the equator because of the planet’s rotation and its slightly irregular shape. The low gravity means relatively low orbital and escape velocities. To reach low orbit around Mars a spacecraft has to be going 2 miles per second, as opposed to the 5 miles per second required for low Earth orbit. Escape velocity for Mars is only 3 miles per second,
less than half of Earth’s. In the future, this could be an important fact in the economics of a colonized Solar System. It’s much cheaper to lift things off of Mars than it is to lift them off Earth. Mars, not Earth, may end up the commercial hub of the system. Note: Already ships are being assembled with some Mars products in Mars orbit (for being shipped off to the Belt).

Note: Add to Gamer's Guide that the UV is quite bright and martian need to cover up. UV can give you quite a burn if you are exposed just a little.

3) Add to Habitat Feature List
Charged Particle Dish (sending up charge particles in an umbrella protecting an area with less radiation). Communication Dish. Communication Tower. Quarry (for gravel/ concrete). Quarry, Exotic (interesting stone quarry). Hopper Port. Warehousing. Smelter. Refiner. Linked to Remote Mine (so the mine is notably far from the habitat, trucked or hoppered here.) Mechanic Shop (all habitats have places to make (build) things. However, Domes with Mechanic Shops have all that and in spades (more space, more equipment, more power). Helium Mine. Greenhouse

Habitats will have Domes. These are exceptionally big (thanks to gravity level of Mars) with glass covers to save on weight and allow heat/ light in. They are the primary open areas for colonists so they did not feel claustrophobic and could have an open air life (with environmental/ outdoors suits). Domes come in a variety of purposes.

Town Dome - The interior of the dome looks like small town America in the Mid Century (minus cars). Small retails and food spots, a central park areas, and civic buildings.
Agro-Dome - The Dome is used for "conventional agriculture of grains, bamboo, and vegetables. Anything not more easily grown hydroponically or underground (i.e. fungi).
The Three: There are three specialized forms of Agro Domes. Grapes (to make wine). Coffee (it took 2-3 martian years before the plants might yield anything.) Chocolate / cacao (Just now the first plants are finally producing... it took a while to support the finicky plant AND sugar beets needed to be a crop before chocolate could be made). Yes, Humans could lives for quite a while without coffee or chocolate, but nobody wanted to. And ditto for wine.
Greenhouse Domes are kept warmer and wetter than most to facilitate the quicker sprouting and growth of Earth plants. These dome can be smaller one usually.
Park Dome - A town dome without much in the way of buildings inside.
Forrest Dome - A natural earth environment with trees and such - mostly for producing oxygen and the occasional wood product.
Desert Dome - a Red Martian ideal, a desert environment using little water and plants that could survive in mars standard atmo (though they still need some temperature protection).
Arena Domes - A dome that is dug in some, and functions just like an indoor sports arena on Earth. The most common in dome sports are Football (Soccer for American Readers), Rugby, and Cricket - (Martian Cricket is a hybrid between Cricket and Baseball with limits on the hits). Sometimes they will play Gridiron (Football for Americans).
Ice Domes - Small domes for Large skating rinks or Ice Parks. Hockey is hit-and-miss in most domes. All sorts of figure and speed skating are popular.
Note: Racing on Mars tends to be mechanized and outdoors. They are televised, as very few people want to be in environmental suits in the stands.

Some of the very large domes will have a couple of purposes.

Note: If a habitat is going to have a fair or festival it is normally in their dome and the hallways just around it.

Grottos are open caves under the surface. (The archetypal Grotto is here) They can be just dug through holes or be at the bottom of a Condo (Apartment) disk/round or Office Round. The big mini-dome at the bottom of these build outs become the light source (and heat source) for the grotto under it. (and provide heat for the build outs above them eventually). Grottos are 95% green spaces providing air, wood, and open space for out-of-suit living. So far very little "logging" has been done on Mars. The trees are much more valuable for oxygen and maintaining biosystems than they would be for wood.

4) Fashion on Mars
Mylar and foil fabrics (which create an 80s sort of look) are very popular because they are light and warm (reflecting body heat in and UV out). Bright Colors are also very popular as most habitats are fairly drab in colors (being "soil colored"). Rayon and Spandex are the two most common synthetics used for clothes. Cotton is not yet commonly grown on Mars. Modified Bamboo fibers are the most common "natural fabric" made on Mars. Before the colony launches, different technologies had been developed that allowed bamboo fiber to be used for a wide range of textiles, fabrics, yarn, cloth, and clothing (T-shirts, pants, underwear, socks, towels, bedsheets, pillow covers, blankets, mattresses). Bamboo could be used to make bulletproof vest parts, which made it perfect for making environmental suits (called outside wear by Martians).

Depending on your domes, UV protection is a good idea for long-term exposure. Now, this can be the slathering of sun screen. Or some Martians have taken to wearing scarf wraps (something type of hijab wrap) and/or a caplet cloak. These help with the UV protection and help keep one warm, as domes or grottos (or living spaces in general) are often not as warm as most colonists would like. If a light environment suit is worn outside, sometimes a scarf or caplet is worn over them. This makes it warmer and helps identify individuals at a distance.

Lab fur (as well as cultured meat/ printed meat) are possible. So fur wraps/ stoles and fur trims are fashionable inside wear (they would hold too much grit if taken outside and are often vacuumed/ cleaned after inside wear).

5) Snow Days
Sometimes fallow agro domes (which have a misting/ water system) are often kept cooler (why heat them if fallow?). If there is enough water, recreational snow days could be set up. One habitat built a terrace growing system inside a crater wall for a rice experiment. That dome is famously used for snow days with sledding. So much so, that people travel to that habitat for them and they are thinking of just making a sled run hillside dome.

5.5) Some people are trying to get the CO2 in the air to freeze solid at reasonable altitudes on Mons Olympus. That way a proper ski experience could be had, rather than those roller skies that people are playing around with. There are a few known CO2 compounds that stay snowy at easier to achieve temps but would be toxic or carcinogenic in an environment once melting. Sure not a problem right now, but will be a problem eventually.

6) Backgammon and Cards
While trying to make Chess the Planetary sport of Mar, the colonist decided to play backgammon instead. They also play a lot of cards - mostly Bridge and Pinochle. Martians are deadly serious Poker Players too, but the betting gets too intense and there really are not enough free credits floating around to really support it. Uno Decks have been banned in a number of places due to early issues.

7) Plastics and Bakelite
Most of the materials used to make conventional plastics are not easily available or cheap on Mars. Many of the Golden Era colonists knew of this going in and prepared to make plastics (or plastic like substances) the old fashioned way... Parkesine (invented 1862 and needed plant matter), Celluloid (invented 1865 and also needed plant matter), and Rayon (invented 1891 and again plant matter, but this is from bamboo and soy, things conventionally grown in habitats).

The winner of the plastics race - trying to find the best material and most efficient to produce - was (insert famous and now richer martian) finding a way to make Bakelite from byproducts of habitat living. (It is a chemical combination of phenol and formaldehyde (phenol-formaldehyde resin), two compounds derived from biosludge and alcohol/ methanol.) Bakelite was created in 1907 on Earth. Like many modern plastics, Bakelite is lightweight, durable, and can be molded into nearly infinite shapes. Its properties make it suited for a much wider variety of purposes than its predecessors. (Resistant to heat and is non conductive/ a really good insulator). It is suitable for mechanical and electrical uses. In addition, Martians were attracted to its aesthetic qualities: a sleek, stylish look coupled with a substantial, high-end feel. Martians have gone crazy for the stuff like the people of the early 20th century did - making/ buying bakelite jewelry boxes, lamps, desk sets, clocks, radios, telephones, kitchenware, tableware, and a variety of game pieces such as chess sets, backgammon pieces/ dice, billiard balls, and poker chips. On Earth and Mars, the Bakelite revolution ushered in a new era of attractive, affordable, convenient goods, making it possible for a broad range of colonists to enjoy products that previously had been inaccessible and had to be imported from Earth.

8) Kid Sports
Well sometimes they can play in the Sports Domes. Indoor Street Hockey is usually played in Hallways or semi-abandoned storage areas. Handball and Redball (like handball but with big red balls) are common. Skating on ice or on extra slick room surfaces are common. Tag is an interesting one. Yes, the kids will play conventional tag. However, between Mars Gravity and Parkour skills, Martian Tag is not just next level, but two levels up from tag on Earth. IN fact, Martians of all ages are involved in Chase Tag. (If you haven't seen World Chase Tag... well that is just next level.)

9) Com Watch
Take everything a digital watch can do - including network contact and put it on your wrist. (It will use micro wireless to any of your gear, so you can check power consumption, fuel levels, etc.) Big Thing for colonists are the health monitoring: heart rate, respiratory rate, body temp, and your O2 saturation and the Environment monitoring: your location, the temperature for where you are, the O2 level where you are, the air pressure, and radiation levels). It will relay to Command and Control if you are abnormally low/off or the environment you are in is abnormal. (Many a habitat leak has been detected by several peoples Coms show fluctuations in a general area. C and C will dispatch EMTs or Deckers as needed, but sometimes they will flag "leads" or "supervisors" that someone's reading are off. Sure you could call out privacy concerns, but in the early days those readings saved lives and habitats. Note: Some watches will sense electromagnetic levels usually visible light, heat, and ultraviolet. Your com watch will also synch with the sensors you have and your environmental suit.

10) #Martian Ecogoals

11) Non-Human Colonists...

Bees may be the exception to no insects transplanted from Mars. They would help grottos and agriculture. They are also being "fledged" off-world so in case of a second epidemic of Colony Collapse Disorder there would be bees to return to Earth.

Someone accidentally may release some ants. They might function outside after a few generations of freedom.

Worms: They would never survive in the wilds of Mars (until they mutate into something terrible). However, in UV protected, organics enriched soils of dome pans or grotto pans, they would happily do their work of making dirt into soil.

Spiders would develop in Mars Gravity well. They could not function well outside habitats, but neither can Bees.

There should be no Rats here, but the pet cats brought along have caught a few. Cats can function in micro G surprisingly well. So they might be allowed with the Silver Era colonists. (Oh a Cat Environmental suit is a "pet ball" with some O2 and heat support.)

If we had a Dog here on Mars, you would either habitat bound dogs or genetically modified Burmese Mountain Dogs/ Northern breeds that can handle outside a habitat for brief periods of time. Environment suits for Dogs or other animals is a luxury not yet available. (Though air masks for support could be cobbled together.

12) The Ares Organization or The Cult of Ares Plot Point
Semi-Publically they are people who support those who have skills of war and mental/ emotional fortitude. They started as a soldiers supporting soldiers (as many Gold Era colonists had military backgrounds). They would help each other out and help with psychological issues (such as PTSD). They then added some cinematic elements of Ares veneration. Part of this is drilling, working out, doing an obstacle course (like the one on military bases), and practicing with ancient weapons (and it rumors are true actual firearms or tools made lethal (like the DECker coil gun line thrower). They often wear weights on their ankles, arms, and belts to keep up Earth level strength. They are an intensely loyal bunch, as every member will help out another. They could have an esprit de corps.

While the soldiers supporting soldiers element is still there, The Ares Group has a secret agenda. They are training "The Martian Militia". They know it is just a matter of time before it happens. The Martians would declare independence (political at the least), or Earth Countries would try to enforce claims over habitats, or corporations would try to take over or forcibly "break a strike", or a Boston tea party scenario, or a couple of less likely scenarios. No matter what happens, Earth would send military forces to Mars "to quell the problem". They would assume that Mars did not have a military, so they might be fighting a few random colonists who are probably not well supplied. It would mostly be a show of force. Well, The Ares Organization is prepared, somewhat supplied, drilled, and organized for any such "show of force". (They also have plans for how to defend habitats topside and underneath... as well as evacuate civilians.)

Their more tech-inclined members or associates have already drawn up plans (and fabricated some of the parts) to convert trucks, crawlers, diggers, and construction gear, into suitable weapons. The group has military-grade environmental suit with much of the Novawarrior program adaptions (future warrior). Now if they could just get enough resources, there are some designs that look a lot like a small mecha they could implement.

13) The Date for the default listing is 2053. Mars colony launches would be starting in the early 2020s. Again, we are not married to this number, nor should you be. Choose the date IF YOU NEED ONE. But in most cases, you won't.

14) Mean Datum - or determining Altitudes without a Sea Level
Mars has no seas, so it has no sea level. But scientists needed to come up with some baseline for measuring altitude on Mars. The result is known as the “Mean Datum.” It was originally defined by air pressure, but that changes too much. With superior mapping data in place, an average spacing was determined with altitude up and down determined from there. Thus Mons Olympus is 21KMs above Mars Mean or Mars Baseline or Mars Plainsline (depending on which specialty a person has or how long they have been on mars determines what they might call it. The number is pretty much the same.)

Can't add more, reached character limits
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Any given Colonist might have leanings towards one group or another. They may not be card carrying members, but they will basically have these opinions and work towards these goals.

Colony Groups - Golden - First wave of colonists. They were building lives here mostly because they were unsure if they could ever leave. They were working hard to set up the infrastructure of the habitats and the Martian Way of life. Everyone had a job basically from their point of launch on.

Colony Groups - Silver - Later Colonists and The children of the first wave. They are building lives here. Even though they can leave (it is expensive), they want to make this their home. These people have to find their place in Martian society, but usually fill a need.

Colony Groups - Copper/ Bronze - A new wave of colonists that don't fit the colonial mold of scientific/technical dreamers who are going to work hard and work for the betterment of the entire colony. These people don't always have the skills to serve a purpose on a colony. Some countries might be sending penal colonists or "discontents". Some organizations are sending the poor (or some middle class) out of their country to the Martian Colonies because they do not want them in their country.

The Ares Movement - These are people who follow the tenants of the Ares Organization. They are pro-fitness and organization, made up of mostly people with military experience. (See Random thoughts #12) They tend to be pro mars/ independents.

Browns (Brown Martians) - Belief in changing Humans to better fit Mars (or a slightly modified Mars). They are usually pro-genetic engineering. Given some of the issues on Earth, genetic engineering - especially on Humans - is something that is illegal everywhere ON EARTH. Now remember: some Greens are pro genetic manipulation of Earth plants. Red Martians might be pro genetic manipulation, but limited.

Corporates - They do not believe in making Mars their home. They believe that this is just a place to come and work for a while, eventually to return back to Earth. They are not political, they are about making money from Martian and Space resources. Habitats are temporary homes.

Greens (Green Martians) - Pro Ecoforming Mars to a more Earthlike state. Their ideal is a second Earth (ecologically). Many think that is a pipe dream. However, changing Mars to be more suitable to Humanity is their goal.

Mars Independents - They believe that Mars should politically (and economically and eventually in terms of resources) be independent of Earth.

Nationalists - These people are still attached to their Nation State on Earth. They think of themselves as citizens of those places and Mars is just a place to work. They believe in transplantary ownership of lands by Earth States.

Progressives - To develop and some say exploit Martian resources. If ancient Martian artifacts/ locations were found, they could easily be destroyed or plowed under if they did not have immediate economic uses.

Reds (Red Martians) - They are against Ecoforming Mar (or keeping it to a minimum). They do not want "Earth Life" on the surface/outside a habitat or grotto. (They are not again Earth Plants in Habitats). Humans should adapt to Mars (in the colonial way of machines and design), not change the planet which is fine as it is now. Remember, there are those of Red leanings that do not mind a "minimum level" of changes like atmospheric improvements to protect from radiation and provide heat.

Redpeace - Note: While many of them are Red Martians, they want development on Mars to be done carefully, using only the resources they have too, and minimizing environmental contamination. They do not want to duplicate the mistakes Humanity made on Earth. We now know better.

Should we have a socialistic vs capitalistic grouping as well?

We may need to add
Colonist vs Corporate as a persona rating.

American vs Chinese
Western vs China (because Japan is part of "the west" for these purposes.
These nationalities are the ones most likely to pull nationalist shenanigans or send troops to Mars.
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Synthetics - Blackbird Style - i.e Robots

Comprehensive AIs or AGIs are nearly possible at this point in history. They are still experimental in nature. Nobody wanted to be "the field test" on Mars. Thus currently there are none. (Note: Except in a fully electronically isolated work station near a town by a cyberneticist and for an Earth/Mars company trying to develop them and have them be stable.)

Thus the best you will have are Expert system - EI - a not quite full intelligent robot or computer system. As smart or smarter than humans in their field, they are limited outside of it, and are not very creative. These are seldom installed in Humanoid forms. They are usually in rover sized adjustable tracked vehicles and are used to carry thing and transport thing to and from local hab spots. Some of the construction vehicles have EIs.

Note: it is apropos that most of the robots on Mars are in little rover forms that are very similar to the various primitive explorer remotes/ rovers of the unmanned martian exploration age.

A few habitats will have EIs monitor (if not run) some of the systems that keeps the Habitat going. (These are Pony Keg sized and shaped computers that are plugged into a standardized port. Usually they are not switched out ever, but they can be.) EIs tend to work with partners - often wranglers - that help them do what they are supposed to do. (So an EI running the ventilation system will have a human partner who will do what they suggest, even though the EI could just run the show by themselves.)

EIs are often the processing for "fabricators"/ 3D printers and laser carvers.

EIs are sometimes installed and run workstations that are a distance from a habitat. So you might have a communication relay hab somewhere between two habitats or a habitat and a mine. That relay and hab might be run by an EI without a person (or the person could be optional).

Terminology Note:
Habitats are big complex groups of things. Habs are one or two room remade spaces with life support and some power generation ability. They are either from sent ships (thus round and cylinder-shaped) or semi-inflated neo-tents. (Neotents are sometimes buried 3/4th the way - with two zip up airlocks one on the front and one on the back (so you can dig a tunnel to the back of the buried neo-tent.) )
Random thoughts 3

1) Additional Development Pieces

Wrangling Skills (Handling robots and EIs)
Marshall/Sherriff Training Sets
Coding skills (Asset/gift or Set)
Add The Experience Set
Archeology experience
Liberal Arts - Basics (improving on academics)
Liberal Arts - Advanced (improving on academics)
Status bonus for MA or PHD.
Mystical/ Supernatural Experience - Earth
Mystical/ Supernatural Experience - Mars (See Ancient Martians)

Gravity Experience: Normally athletics are challenging because of change of gravity. Thus you need to be trained on how to deal with it or just "get use to it" for a while. Depending on your archetype or kind, you may be used to it. If not you could always used a set with a Gee level and a trait for the level of Mars.

2) Archetypes
Surveyors - these are our mappers and explorers of Mars. Surveyor teams of two or three and some vehicles will do serious exploration in the Golden Era. Follow ups in the Silver. NOTE: No Ecoforming was allowed until the initial survey was completed and most life tests were exhausted. Mars seems not to have native life or minimal underground simple plants/ molds/ etc. That took a few years. Now the debate can continue about ecoforming and how much ecoforming can be done.

Prospectors (Field work for the geologists) looking for all resources and exotic materials (rare earths are called something else here).

Launch Personnel - These are the staff that work at the Space Port/ Lanch and Retrieval stations.

System Operations - These people are in charge of industrial processes. These are the people making fuel, Bakelite, and such.

3) The Mission One reason all Mars mission plans are so complicated and expensive is the need to get the astronauts home again. Any mission is thus burdened with the huge mass of the return vehicle and fuel. The Mars Direct plan solves that dilemma by making the fuel on Mars itself, but another solution is to simply do away with the return vehicle altogether! This would be the Mars One Way plan, championed by Space X and others. The plan this history followed is a mix of Mars One Way and Mars Direct. The Project would shift from unmanned probes to a colony, with follow up supplies and additional personnel sent. A Mars Stationary in geo synch above Mars would act as the half way point and guardian angels of colonists. The Colony would create fuel and convert old landing vehicles into launchables. (Some of the later landers would be shuttle like vehicles, capable of being relaunched and returning.) The Launches would rendezvous with Red Guardian. Earth ships bringing supplies would pick up things and drop things off at Red Guardian (each mission early on would bring lander to get it all down). Those people on the ground were likely never to leave the planet, but a few could. And more colonists could come.

Eventually, the technology worked in favor of solutions. Speed of ships in space was increased by reactionless drives. Superior design technology and engine development made it easier to launch from Mars (and Earth). A shuttle would be using "a sled" of additional boosters and fuel to get it high enough and fast enough to break into space. (low orbit and sometimes high orbit). The Sled was mostly recoverable with each launch, just needing retuning and refueling. The industrial complexes of Mars had most of the materials needed to make the Shuttles with a few additions from Earth and cannibalized parts from earlier landers.

Currently, Mars can launch a shuttle every 60 days, if needed. Launches are less frequent unless the mining of the Belt needs more.

4) ETOH or Alcohol for the under-educated heathens.
Please remember that given the number of science and technical types, alcohol of all sorts have been made on Mars since early on. Potato Vodka is the best and most regular early product. However creative and inventive types tried everything and a variety of processes. Now wine is being produced. Beer is not quite perfected as hops need different soils and there is not enough grain grown to support the colony yet, so no excess for beer. Rice alcohols are being used. Note: Canibus plants designed for CBD oils are being grown in small amounts and some are being applied to etoh products.

5) Life, and as we know it.
Being a fairly straight up near future realistic science fiction setting, we are unlikely to find exotic life on Mars. Given that, most of the search for life will be with a geologist's pick and a microscope looking at any sedimentry rock. There might be microbial life in the Martian deep water table, but unlikely. (Still we have Ancient Martian Plotline or Alien Base Plotlines.)

6) More Habitat Options (post 23 number 6)
Tanks - Now every habitat will have tanks (three of them for Oxygen, Water, and Fuel (what are we using for fuel? Rocket Fuel? Liquid Gas? ETOH?) )
Having Tanks listed show that the habitat has extra of said "tank stuff" Now these are normally assets, but you could have frequent problems with OR glaring weakness for the Tank as Burdens.
Ark - A Genetic Depository - It could be seeds and sex cells. This would quickly be stuffed into the safest and deepest part of the Habitat.
Library System - Every Habitat has a computer system with a vast set of knowledge. A Library System would be all that and more... pretty much everything they could find. This would be fiction as well as non-fiction, in a variety of languages.
Book Reserve - Well eventually they will ship books from Earth or start making them. Your habitat has a notable amount of tangible knowledge.
AI - Well some habitat, especially a corporate one, will have to be the first. Lucky all of you. The AI is doing a lot of the EI activity, plus helping out with science research and sorting through survey data.
Well - Ideally every habitat will have a well associated with it. This entry means the well is notable. Most likely is that the Well is a distance away from the habitat. Water may be piped or trucked back to the habitat. (Again could be a burden if there are plot complications with it.) If a habitat has wells, it has many sources of underground water or a frozen ice source.
Astronomy Center - telescopes and dishes to scan the heavens.
Teaching Center - The habitat has a noted teaching center of good size. So this is your major school (maybe Martian Highschools are all Boarding schools. The advantage is that these kids would have links to other colonists around Mars.) This could be a technical program. If it is a double point teaching center, it functions like a small college.
Extra Living Space - There is open living spaces beyond what the habitat's regular inhabitant need. This could be relisted as a Dorm or Hotel. This eliminates the need for visitors to bunk in with a local family or individual.
Factory - Metal/Iron, Bakelite, or somesuch is made and formed here. This is a major center that produces significant amounts of product.
Garage - The vehicle pool is entirely "inside" either underground or in a big shed (partially buried?). They will have repair facilities for the vehicles and usually fueling/ powering systems. All habitats have this to a degree, but these are better. Plus there will be more vehicles here.
Hanger - A garage for Hoppers - quad copters that can handle Martian air while flying at relatively low levels.
Vehicles - The habitat has more vehicles than expected for its size. This will increase even the garaged number of vehicles. You can divy these up to "trucks", "Sweepers", Construction, and Diggers/Drillers.
Low Land (inside a crater): If Ecoforming ever gets off the ground, the habitat is in a low lying area (locally). It could become marshy or even a lake. This is why most Habitat in such places are build on the "lip" or edge of the crater.

Most Elements for said places are directly part of the Habitat. However, there are orbit items... things around it that are associated.
Easily Accessible (Resource): These are usually metals, but could be other things.
Easily Accessible Water: You could be under or near a big aquifer.
Main Road: You are easy to get to and get away from... and this path leads to places you would want to go.

7) Exotic Plot Point Habitat Options
Hyperanium Deposit - this is a material with a high dimensional vibration, known for changing ways of world around it. It tends to make things... "interesting" in the area around it. (Eventually the vibrational charge wears off... and becomes inert.) On Earth it has been responsible for much of the supernatural. Humanity would ignore this substance because it is not of much value (unless you are building a gate system).

Alien Site: Ancient or otherwise. There are non-terran artifacts to be found and possibly an actual location to explore (temples, housing, lab, "throne room", underground pyramid) Counting this twice would mean that there are useful resources or technologies to be gained.

Genetic Research Lab - Usually kept away from the actual habitat, this is where genetic engineering of legal or questionable legality is performed. Mars is basically unlivable to life as we know it (at this point of the ecoforming), so nothing could escape... could it?

Node: There is not a lot of "energy" on the planet because there has never been a lot of life. That is no longer the case. The Martian Psychosphere and subtle energy flows are "filling" and beginning to move for the first time in ages - if not ever. Thus there is a power point where such energies radiate from and can be tapped. Much like a dragonline/ leyline node or the power vortices of Sedona Az.
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Replacing Post 11

The enemy of every colonist. The fine dust and near sand gets everywhere. It builds up and starts becoming disruptive. You will bring it into the habitat when you come in from outside - getting into the tiny spots of your work suit. It will come in on tool bags and every time a door is open. You can't stop it. It is almost a sentient forces... finding new places to be...

It is not hard to clean up, but it is a constant battle. Easier if you use water, but can you waste the water on that?

Oh you need to never breathe the stuff if it gets inside the habitat. It is a serious irritant and might cause respiratory problems if inhaled.

You can tell a real Martian, they swear "Grit!" a lot. (and variations of Grit, Gritty, Gritt'n, and so on. Other swearish words can be generated using Grit metaphors. Grit is our Frak - the swear word like Damm it.

The surface of Mars is covered with dust, ranging from fine sand to particles like talcum powder. (Thus Grit can be divided into Dust and Grit.) Because of the extreme dryness of the atmosphere, the dust doesn’t stick together well. It poses a hazard to colonists and colonial equipment.

Random air currents gradually deposit a film of dust on any exposed surface. This is a problem for solar cells and optical sensors. Functions fall off by about a fractional percentage for each day left unattended in the Martian environment. It can easily be restored to full function with a whisk broom or dust rag (or moving and shaking the surface). Yes handheld dust vacuums are common.

The Devil of Dust and Grit

Dust and Grit become serious hazards during dust storms.

These are mostly a southern hemisphere phenomenon. As the polar carbon dioxide warms and becomes gas, the atmosphere becomes denser. Thus the winds occur and have more power. Wind speeds of up to 100 miles per hour have been measured in these dust storms. The size of a storm is generally about half a million square miles, but at times storms can cover an entire hemisphere or even the entire planet (as happened in 1971 when the Mariner 9 probe first arrived). A typical dust storm will last 2d weeks (2d+2 for hemispheric or greater), though northern ones will last 1-6 days.

Smaller dust devils, resembling Earthly tornadoes but sometimes measuring half a mile across, are very common in the Martian plains. The thin air makes the winds relatively harmless, but as their name suggests, dust devils do kick up dust. They last for a few minutes (1d6 to 1d10). You can make a vehicle roll or a Red Survival Roll to avoid the worst of these. Note: Solar power will drop by half or more during.

In high winds, the actual Grit rather than the dust becomes the danger. It can become a harsh abrasive, scouring surfaces like sandpaper. It can scratch up windows, solar panels, and helmet faceplates. This can generate a "darkness mod" looking through the surface. Also said mod will also reduce solar panels. There are expensive high tech super hard transparent materials to withstand the scouring. However, simply adding a removable plastic film over said surfaces (and replacing it) will protect and repair the damage.

Dust Blind
During either a dust devil or dust storm, the dust and grit can rub and make a charge surface (for tiny shocks to the non insulated) and actually stick for a while. This can make viewing (in vehicles windows or an environment suit face plate) near impossible unless cleared off. It takes a while, but this effectively blinds viewing, making characters act in "the dark".

Low level flying, really the only kind on Mars, will take penalties for the winds of a storm or devel with an additional -1 for the grit. Then you can apply

Grit Fever
There is not Hay on Mars, but all symptoms are there (and more). The dust (and Grit) is chemically reactive. It is rich in peroxide, salt, alkalines, and other active chemicals. Humans exposed to it will get irritated eyes and mucous membranes, and breathing dust is sure to cause lung irritation or allergic reactions. Colonists may need to wear simple filter masks/ rag masks inside their habitat units if too much dust gets tracked in.
There should be a hazard roll for this based on transits. It will generate an allergy response

The dirt analyzed by various landers (and survey teams) is roughly half silicon dioxide (sand) and about 20% iron oxide (rust). The remaining third was a mix of oxides of aluminum, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, and some other compounds. The abundant iron and sulfur is what makes Mars actually Red. mean that the Martian dirt really is red.

The ultraviolet radiation that reaches the surface (as there is little atmosphere to stop it) changes things chemically (oxidant chemicals, salts, and alkaline compounds.) These will react with carbon compounds (i.e. most organic chemicals) and release carbon dioxide. Thus Mars soil out in the wilds is very inhospitable to (carbon based) life.

It needs help before it can become definitionally soil. Growing plants in Martian dirt requires more than just filling a pot with soil. It’s very salty and lacks organic compounds. Some minor chemical changes and keeping it out of the UV radiation in the open will improve things. Organic material added to it (possibly with worms added) will slowly change the dirt into soil suitable for agriculture. (This is why Domes actually have a dish or pan like bottom floor with dirt (someday to be soil) piled over it. (Grottos have a similar underlayer as well.)

NOTE: Dirt is useful as protection from radiation, which is especially important given how thin the Martian atmosphere is. Habs are often mostly buried under a few feet or a meter of it for radiation protection. This is why so much of every habitat is underground or in a circled hole.

Martian Concrete:
Martian dirt is especially good as a building material – when wetted it forms a kind of natural concrete
almost as good as the stuff used by builders on Earth. Reinforced with fibrous material (processed bamboo now, but previously glass fiber, or plant cellulose) it would be entirely suitable for building permanent structures. (Though if ecoforming goes through, maybe a coat of waterproofing will be required. )

Iron and Other Metals
Iron makes the Martian surface red, and iron is the easiest metal to extract and process on Mars. Using hydrogen gas or carbon monoxide (both of which are by-products of making oxygen from water or carbon dioxide), the red iron oxide in the soil can be turned into pure iron. It is a simple process. The pure iron can then be smelted and worked using basic techniques. This means most homegrown metal equipment will be iron.

Other metals also exist in the Martian regolith (dirt and loose rock fragments): aluminum, magnesium, and titanium are fairly abundant. However, they’re all bound up in oxygen compounds which take a lot of energy to break up. It takes a lot of energy to run smelters to reclaim them. Smelters tend to be large machines, built for economy of scale rather than compactness.

There are still metals to be mined rather than quarried. Plus mining has the advantage of workers needing less radiation protection. Most early mines will be for deposits of Unique Materials (They are called Rare Earths on Earth, but Rare Mars didn't quite work linguistically.) So far, no exotic compounds or materials not found on Earth (in any quantity) have been located on Mars.

Solar Power:
The sun's power grows weaker as it moves out into the solar system. Solar Panels and mirror systems will operate at 40%-50% capacity on Mars. Then consider grit covering the surfaces reducing it even more.
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Geological Activity

"Oh no, Mars-quake!"

"Um no. It would be a ground quake here, but that was just an explosive charge from the mine. Maybe if one of the big soil movers drove by right outside the hab you might get that... but no. You are not in California anymore."

It appears that Mars has been generally less active than Earth throughout most of its history. There are no signs of plate tectonics, no patterns of fault lines, no subduction zones, and fewer volcanoes. Less geological activity means less material brought up from the planetary interior, and less recycling of material in the crust.
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GMing Section

Insert list of Big Mars plots - these are ones that reflect all of Mars, Earth, etc.

Insert list of Small Mars plots - these are the ones that reflect what is going on in the habitat. This is a combination of smaller scale sci-fi/ mars plots and small town drama. (In a habitat that has 2000 people, where everyone pretty much knows everyone else, a couple getting married is a big deal.)

The Big Mars plot might go on for many sessions - a story arc. Sometimes that Big Mars plot might fade away - it is still going on, but is in the background. There might be another Big Mars plot that is more active/ visible. There does not have to be.

The Small Mars plot might go on for a session or three. It is happening in the background or something that people might need to touch upon.

Then there is your primary plot. This is based on your chronicle (Police Drama, Against the Corps, Spies, Super Heroes, Small Town Soap, Secret Psionics, etc, etc.) and your character framework (why is your character group together?). These would be the things you are focusing on, while this other stuff is going on. The Small Mars and Big Mars plots that are going on should be there as just color (just so you can tell the world is forever going on) or as a complication to your primary plot ("Oh that corporate saboteur is obviously going to set a bomb to breach the habitat soon." "OMG, the wedding, all those people will be right there... it will be a TPK." )

Now sometimes a Big Mars or Small Mars plot might be your primary plot: The Conflict between Jake and the Redpeace and Mayor Smith and the Progressives gets heated as the debate about radically changing the landscape and putting up green houses... Small Mars Plot duplicating a Big Mars plot.

There are also Mars Plots that are (*). These are ones that will change things from this point on. (They may be Big or Small). [Ancient Martian, Alien Invasion, Active Revolution, and so on.]

Then you need to remember the characters' personal plotlines... sometimes tied to a primary plot arc, sometimes a Small Mars or Big Mars plot, or just some personal goal. Finding a way to tie in the character's personal plots into "bigger things" makes it more personal and engaging to the player and the character. ("Wooh, Jakes just stopped the Bomb, where is running off to?" "My guess? I think he realized he loved someone and has a wedding to stop." "You know, we could turn off the power to that section from here... the turmoil in the dark might buy him some more time to get there before the I do." "I like the way you think when you bother to" "Hey!" )

It is a matter of focus and intertwining. The official term is story weaving. If you are not weaving together the various plotlines, you are not going to give characters a chance to develop equally and keep all players/ characters in play (as much as possible).

The Author is just here to help you create a small town habitat on Mars in the Silver Era to have fun in, and you can fractally expand the setting to what you need and want to see.

Now remember - the ideal is to have the Mars stuff happening in the background. Then you can run the campaign you want. Everything else in the solar system is just interesting, but unimportant background stuff.

However, I am not going to go to your house and be a bother if you decide you just want a slice of life/habitat chronicle.. where you follow the daily lives of your characters and people/ groups in the habitat and Mars. If you want to expand this and "go to the big city", build one and sure do it. If you want to get into planetary politics, okay... do what makes you happy. Just take what we have provided and build the pieces out from there.

GM techniques that work well for this: setting
Big Panoramic Scenes - Help establish the setting in players minds by taking a descriptive moment to talk about the Mars outside or the the activity in the dome, or in the main hallways.

Montage - Describe a couple of quick "scenelets" in a row. Time passes and you can show it by having a couple of scenes through the day, trucks moving stuff, and the "end of shift" change go on. They show time passing and reinforce "life in the habitat"

Cut Scenes - showing the players what is happening in other places where they are not. That way you can show the tense drama in the Mars Council as some vote is coming up. That way you can show what is happening in the hab/ waystation that will become the focal point of the adventure later.

Set Ups - Using Cut Scenes or seemingly unrelated elements in a scene one session to help set up a future plot/ scene.

The Question - Have players stop a scene before anything will be resolved (or seems unresolved). ((Give them tiny EP boost or drama points). This is the gaming equivalent of start a scene late, leave it early. It helps create tension and drama... and make play go faster. (And the player might of made a decision, but has not expressed it yet. (Pass the GM a note saying something like, "after thinking about it while at work I will go through with the plot.")

Think of your game like a Video. Think of how the "camera" jumps about. How long a given scene is. If things are resolved quickly or over several scenes. When will the drama happen and when will it be cranked up? When are the commercial breaks (because having game breaks then is handy.) The Series Video Episode is a good way to think of this kind of chronicle.
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What would you need to survive?
This is the start to "A Gamer's Guide to Mars".

....That’s partly because Mars is about half the size of Earth. Its gravity isn’t strong enough to keep atmospheric gases from escaping into space.
Only partly, IIRC Mars has enough gravity to hold onto O2 and N2, and of course CO2. I bet there is an on-lie calculator. Just compare the RMS velocity for the molecule to the escape velocity. You need to know the temperate but you could start with 25C and see.

The lack of atmosphere has more to do with lack of a magnetic field I believe. Over time the solar wind ionized and drove away the atmosphere. That being said....without an atmosphere to speak of or magnet field...ionizing radiation is high on the surface, especially during the day.

On water, food and shelter.

As long as you have oxygen and hydrogen at hand you can make water, all it takes is energy and a catalyst helps. The off the top of my head knowledge on how much hydrogen there is locked up on Mars is limited.

On shelter, have you seen the concept of "printing" bricks, slabs, etc. using the martian soil? Again, given energy should be doable. One idea is robots are sent ahead to form the construction materials then colonists come and assemble.

As you need shelter from radiation, one robot could dig out a shelter in a crater wall for example while another processes the tailings into bricks, tiles, etc.

Also not sure of the silicate content of martian rocks and spoil, but given that you can also make glass.

Now the temperature differential on Mars is not necessarily a bad thing....can use it to generate electricity.

Last but not least, depending on your material science, Mars is a much better candidate for a space elevator, less gravity, less weather, etc.
Had to take a day off the project to make sure I was not spiraling in. It might be worth the result to work ratio. (currently having issues because of BP, check out the exercise thread, so hard to focus for very long).

The lack of atmosphere has more to do with lack of a magnetic field I believe. Over time the solar wind ionized and drove away the atmosphere. That being said....without an atmosphere to speak of or magnet field...ionizing radiation is high on the surface, especially during the day.

Well yes, atmospheric bleed is a combination of gravity (lack of) and solar wind (repelled by electrosphere). But three books and every article have put the primary reason as lower gravity, so that is the reason I am going to use.

The UV factor is one of the big stumbling blocks to the ecoforming/ terraforming of Mars.

As long as you have oxygen and hydrogen at hand you can make water, all it takes is energy and a catalyst helps. The off the top of my head knowledge on how much hydrogen there is locked up on Mars is limited.
Given enough energy (that you can afford), you can do anything. Per the Books I have read, the problem is free Oxygen, (as confirmed by the various probes). Sure you can break up carbon dioxide (or water) with a huge amount of expensive catalyst OR enough energy. Currently, water enough to support a modest population can be found in the frozen substrata or scraped from the polar points. (However, if supporting the moderate pop, it could not be used to do even a fraction of the ecoforming.

On shelter, have you seen the concept of "printing" bricks, slabs, etc. using the martian soil? Again, given energy should be doable. One idea is robots are sent ahead to form the construction materials then colonists come and assemble.
Given enough energy you can do anything. And at no point has any current plan from NASA to Space X has included robots. This project is based on those plan, they were not included. (Again Mass and Power (plus number of launches - the expensive part of the equation), vs just getting the Humans there.)

Now if the locals get enough industry (since this is in the silver age of colonization (two to three decades in) they can build simple robots.

As you need shelter from radiation, one robot could dig out a shelter in a crater wall for example while another processes the tailings into bricks, tiles, etc. (Or one guy driving a high tech CAT and some time. The original habitat plans moving past first habs, are basically "shovel over" or "dig in, place, and then shovel over". The digging equipment will be there for both mining and construction. It would be easier just to pour water over the soil and let it dry, in the adobe process.

Also not sure of the silicate content of martian rocks and spoil, but given that you can also make glass.
Yes, you can. That has been in the plan from NASA to Space X (though downstream on that plan).

Now the temperature differential on Mars is not necessarily a bad thing....can use it to generate electricity.
Except for the summer months, not economically feasible per the projections Cheaper to have just sent fuel. Since that is prohibitively expensive, ... other options must be utilized.

Last but not least, depending on your material science, Mars is a much better candidate for a space elevator, less gravity, less weather, etc.
That is true and postulated in a number of books on the subject. However, the infrastructure to build it... without enough carbon present on the planet... it the limiting. Still, just using it as the center launch facility for the System given lower G/ and Escape energy requirement, could make economic sense (and why the Expanse projects that).
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Random thoughts 4

1) Mars Council

This is the governing body of Mars, as all the habitats are going to need to work together for certain infrastructure and ecoforming projects. They will help set up the guidelines that stop people from trying to dump microlife or overdrill aquifers... etc. (I guess we have Marshall. Taxes/ supply reserve. Also banking.) Various "Factions" might have faces on the councils.
>>>Plotline: The Council is debating something Big again. (Red vs Green?). Arguments will happen. Tempers will flare up. Sides will be taken. Lines will be drawn. (And next news cycles, they will be on about something else... usually after deciding nothing.)

2) Add to Post 30 GMing Tools
Faces - Like they do on television shows, they usually use one character as "the face" or the narrative point for a group's action. The one guy who seems to speak for the mob, or the one politician doing the talks, or the leader of X. This is a storytelling tool that has been used for ages, and needs to be used more often in gaming. Big Mars plots might have these faces, but Small Mars plots that are smaller versions of Big Mars plots, must have Faces.

Encyclopedia Moments - This is 1-3 minutes before the game proper starts that we give the audience (players) a spiel about some aspect of society, history, or culture. These would be familiarities that everyone who was in "that setting" would have. The Spiel traditionally is about something that will be important in the sessions (or next). Mars Spiels would be about some aspect of Habitats, some historical point, explaining that there are tension between these two Earth countries and thus their colonies, why Tag is a thing, explaining why Bamboo is grown everywhere, and so on.

3) Plotlines a moderate list for examples and ideas.

Faction vs Faction

(M/m) Gold vs Copper
(m) Gold vs Silver

(M/m) Reds vs Greens

(M/m) Colonists vs Nationalists
>>>Proxy Conflict Western vs China - China has its own Habitats. Are they going to go to war with the US national Habitat?
>>>Mars Independence?
>>>Mars being repressed?

(M/m) Redpeace vs Progressives

(M) Cutbacks on launches from Earth cause related events.
>>>This will mean a shortage of supplies, although they say it won't.
>>>This might mean oxygen rationing and certain habitats moving people off habitat.
>>>This will slow down the building of Star Ships and System Ships.

(M/m) Part shortages happen. Now key parts are becoming harder to find. What do we do to get what we need? And is there a gray market / black market in space? Can we salvage the parts somewhere?
>>>Can we make them local?
>>>Can we get them from Belt Mines?
>>>Can we only get them from Earth?

(M) Solar flares are happening more and more frequently. Certain habitats are beginning to need to evacuate because they can't keep up with the radiation.

(M) Space corporations are beginning to let people use their returned bond money. A return bond is basically spare money that you put away so you'll be able to return down the gravity well back to Earth. It has always been the spacer safety net. But now we have people left out here who are desperate and without a way to get anywhere else.
>>>Some people are just getting to Mars because that is all they can afford. Extra people with nominal skills?
>>>The Government is now taking back control of Return Bond Funds due to abuse by the corporations that were handling them.

(M/m) Corporate Shenanigans

(M/m) Solar storms: these are much more dangerous to the Martians than they already humans. So there will be a period of battening down the hatches and maybe staying away from the surface for a little bit. It will also interfere with communication.

(M) Asteroid watch: Yes something could impact the planet Mars. It does that more often because there are fewer meteorites on Mars.

(M) The future cut off date for food being spent to Mars is coming up. Will Mars be food self-sufficient.

(M/m) Invasion by a friendly or unfriendly country: so Brazil decides that it wants trans-earth colonies. It's decided to seize them by war. So sure enough they're going to send somebody here or send a squad of them here. Who are they going to attack and who are they going to defend. And is this really a surprise?

(m) The wells gone dry!: A given habitat's water supply has dropped considerably. The local aquifer may not have enough water or any water to really support it. They'll need to put a well somewhere away from the habitat. Or they can try kicking it or borrowing it from other people. This is what truckers are probably moving most likely.

(M/m) The Appleseed mission: plants trees specifically are being imported the next run. How many colonies are going to get how many tree saplings for their grottos and domes.

(M/m) Tax season: The Mars council requires things to be sent in. This can be money but that's awfully tough. It can be usually a reserve. Water oxygen fuel rocket fuel or other strategic materials. These reserves are supposed to be here for all of Mars to use during tough times or during crises for a given habitat.

(M/m) GMO/genetically modified plants: do we allow a particular load to be sent to Mars. And these GMO plants might not be so bad if they stayed in a habitat. Whoever they're being designed to be planted outside under a UV shade and some other stuff or in just a straight greenhouse.

(M/m) A habitat or a research center attached to one is doing questionable genetic experiments. It might be illegal, it might be kinda illegal, it might be legal (but you don't want it on your planet. Do it in space where nobody would care.)

(M/m) A habitat or a research center attached to one is doing questionable General AI Research. It might be illegal, it might be kinda illegal, it might be legal (but you don't want it on your planet. Do it in space where nobody would care.)

(m): Another Habitat or Hab nearby is doing high energy chemistry work. Can you say Explosions? Can you say stuff that is toxic for a thousand years? Can you say, not in our backyard?

(M/m) Bidding goes up for a piece of equipment coming from Earth:

(M/n): Grit Storm: How big, how long?

(m) Birth, Marriage, Death, Personal Feuds, Team/sports Feud, Lost?,, Accident?, Cave in?,

(m) Rust Rider is lost or has skipped your colony.

(m) Big Equipment broke (Construction/ Mining/ or Standing). What can we do to fix it? Do we need to evac (all, some?).

(M/m) A small company is coming to Mars to make proper Tofu. Do you have a stake in this? Does your habitat grow Soy? Do you have a competitor? Are you looking forward to a new food?

>>Ancient Aliens (which combines artifacts and non-material aliens)
>>>Find Artifacts and begin the Bone Wars... archeology and maybe military
>>>>>Maybe you can unleash ancient Martians/Aliens. Maybe a monster.
>>Genetic Work (and related plots)
>>Earth War Transfer
>>Horror Movie - some monster from the ancients
>>Alien Invasion (on their way to Earth, they stopped off for some light mayhem on the way)
>>Ship Yards (above)

4) AoE Note:
MARs AoE: Combine G skill, Space/Habitat tech skill, and Survival/EM skill for habitats.

5) Food
Mushroom/ fungi and lichen The less fun food sources. However, will work in the caves.

Data showed that hydroponic cultivation improved the nutritional quality of soybean seeds with regard to fats and dietary fiber. They also suggest that specific cultivars should be selected to obtain the desired nutritional features of the soybean raw material depending on its final destination. In short, these will be your main protein crop because they do not require soil (vs dirt) and domes. (They are the most food for the buck so to speak.)

Potatoes may be grown hydroponically without any major issues if approached with care. They require a larger grow bed than other systems, a 6.0 pH level, water temps of approximately 70°F to 75°F, and 6 to 12 hours of light. Perlite, peat, and vermiculite are preferred growing mediums.

They will be good for soil preparations and as a good source. Just check out The Martian.

Chickens on Mars? Rabbits on Mars? (These are both food animals that will not just die on the trip in space.) However, animals for food are not very efficient. However, Humans do not always care for the smart and the efficient. And will we have pets in the habitats? I mean really?

Bamboo is being grown in the Habitats. Not for food but for fiber and as a building material (use it as "rebar" in Martian Concrete or Adobe).

6) Vehicle Listing
Rovers - more open jeeps for short jaunts
Trucks: the basic frame will include a box truck (with or without a sealed cargo area), or open tucks (pickup trucks with taller sides)
Trucks - Big: More of a Semi-Truck trailer truck. So the next size up. Or they convert one of the other trucks to a semi-truck and have trailers or flat beds. It could all be the same truck with small, medium, or long - areas in the back.
Movers: These are utility vehicles that will be earth movers/ bucket diggers/ fork lifters/ and so on.
Graveller: Picks up dirt and rocks to process. Given enough time, they will dig.
Hoppers: Quad Copters for 2-4 people - which may or may not have a lifting winch.
Mobile Hab: Combine a Truck and a Hab. Get an RV.

Most of these will come from the same company, so parts are easier to come by. However, some countries or some corps might opt for other vendors.

7) Mars TV is not broadcast. It is cable systems (no ionosphere to bounce signals and do we have a network of communication satellites around the world yet?). I would think it would be cable or recorded to disk and moved to hab to hab. You should get that sat network up soon, so maybe limited bouncing broadcasts off them.

7) Personal Items
Generally, check the walmart catalog.

Add work related tools
Climbing Gear may be "work related"

Add Padds or personal electronics
Various personal lighting options
Digital Shades
Personal Rolling Drones
Personal Flying Drones

Dust Devil Vacs (or as well call them on Mars Dust Angels or Grit Angels.. as they were first sent here)
Brushes, everyone will carry paint brushes of the 2" or more size to clear surfaces.
Wipe Clothes (especially ones that use static) to remove grit.
Zip Bags - These resealable bags are important to keep things separate and clean.
Ultrasonic brush - high tech, only works so well, but some people will swear by them.

Work suit/ Jumper
impact suit/ padded pieces (Tag can get pretty impactful here)
Light Environmental Suit/ Lab Suit
Outdoor Suits/ Environmental Suits
Heavy Outdoor Suits
Mining Suits

Decks of Cards
Personal Backgammon
Various things to slide on grit/ dust. Skis, Shield sleds, flexi, and such
Mars Weight Rugby Ball
Martian Baseball/ Cricket Back
Mars weight Football ball.
Hall Hockey Gear.

8) NOTE: Find better sources for what plants would be brought to Mars to survive outside and start ecoforming.

9) Thing to Do - Quick tour of Mars terrain so you can place a habitat.

10) Thing to do: Gear for DECkers, Recovery and Rescue, Enforcers, Rust Runners, and their volunteers. As well as any special gear for other professions.

11) Thing to do: Example Frameworks for characters

12) An interesting macro discussion of costs and lunar vacations

Remember, anything I have missed? Anything to add? Comments? Post it up.
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Okay, this is a simple overview. I originally had a live stream going here, but that ended. So I yanked it and put this up.

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Son of Random Thoughts 4

13) Ikea and Nasa have worked together on possible furniture of Martian/ Space Hab and Habitats.

“When you design for life in a spacecraft or planetary surface habitat on Mars, you need to be creative yet precise, find ways to repurpose things and think carefully about sustainability aspects,” adds Nikolic. “With urbanization and environmental challenges on earth, we need to do the same.”

When you think about it, space is the ultimate small space challenge, so who better to tackle it than IKEA?

The RUMTID collection is divided into four sub-projects focusing on time, small space, water, and air. Items include an air purifier, an indoor terrarium pod, innovative lighting solutions, and a modular, block-based furniture system made from “wood and waste” for custom-built pieces.

There are pieces that are air purifiers, special lighting, and indoor gardens/ terrariums. The most important concept for me? INTERCHANGEABLE PARTS


These parts from RUMTID's tubing system can be combined in a variety of ways to build furniture, including sofas, tables, and beds. The modular block-based furniture system made of a new lightweight material made of recycled wood veneer and waste that is rolled into hollow tubes. Their hollow veneer design means that they are extremely lightweight, multifunctional, and best of all–sustainable.

“By cutting the tubes in different lengths and joining them, we can build almost anything, whether it’s sofas, cabinets, beds or anything else,” said creative leader Micahel Nikolic.

Okay, I know focusing on Ikea seems weird. However, you need to know what is inside the habitats if you are going to do something like, "Okay, I grab a chair and him him over the head with it" (well if they are all folding director's chairs.. okay...) Besides, this corporate-branded feel lets you sneak a little cyberpunk feel into your science fiction on Mars.

Native Furniture will be Bamboo Plus Bakelite Connectors.

Here are various applicable MARS and RUMTID design blogs. Also ideas for living in a small space, like a Hab or a future condo on Mars.

Where are the Stars
What Happens in Space
Make space for RUMTID
Space to the concrete jungle
Rooftop Bees
Small Space Living - Hab's
Small Living Spaces
Space 10

14) Look at the Antarctic Habitats. You need to either bury these things or lift them off the ground some. Part of this is for temperature control. Part of this is for building up of snow (or in our case grit.)






In our case, the habitats on stilts are not for snow. They are for the Grit that will build up. Any surface level thing (including the entrance to underground habs), will have to deal with build up of grit at the front door - possibly burying it.

15) You know the two busiest EI Rovers? The sweepers. One will be cleaning the Dome(s). One will be sweeping in front of entrance/ airlocks and ladder downs (to keep them clear and reduce tracked Grit). There might be an entire set of several of these support EI Rovers doing this.

16) Save the Poop
Normally Space Poop from a ship is tossed out and burns up in the atmosphere. However, it would be possible contaminant if you do that on Mars. However, you want to save the poop from all these people for 80 to 150 days. It will become the base for soil in the pans of domes and habitats and the first "farm habs" created. In fact, until the algae farms get up and running, all organics will be converted into components to help make soil.

17) Add to Mission
The notional journeys outlined in the November 2016 talk would require 80 to 150 days of transit time, with an average trip time to Mars of approximately 115 days (for the nine synodic periods occurring between 2020 and 2037).

Now we are somewhere between Mars Direct and Mars Colonization project.


Currently at 19,900 words towards the project. I still need to add a couple of sections, but some of these sections could be edited down some. (and Archetypes would be plus and minus) If I wasn't serious about this project before (and I wasn't), I might be now.


18) Ancillary Info

NASA to explore asteroid made of $10,000 quadrillion worth of metal

Be Aware, anything, not a day old, is subject to editing and additions. I have doubled the size of Random Ideas 4 recently. So look through things you have previously looked at. There might be changes.

Remember, anything I have missed? Anything to add? Comments? Post it up.
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So let me tell you a story.

I blame The Pub for not finishing my game. It is not its fault, it is just responsible. I was having problems with my game and needed a break from it. So I found the Pub again, after not being here for a number of years. And was both enchanted and distracted by it.

Often when I have trouble with a primary project, I will so a side project - usually a game setting. This becomes important later in the story. (Note: I get trouble with my game on a regular basis, so I have a lot of game settings 30-50% done.)

So I found the cosplay thread. (I even found some other cosplay things.) I realized that I barely recognized half of these anime characters and didn't know a lot about some that I did know. This realization was one morning early. So I went out for a walk (see exercise thread) with it still bouncing around in my head. The thought that came to the fore, "I miss all my 70s (early 80s) animes.. that I knew... with Espers, Spacers, Robots, and Undersea things. This idea mixed in my head with all the various Ultraman series I had been watching recently. It became The Neo Frontier, a setting with all the elements of science fiction/ anime of that era (Espers, Clones, Bionics, Robots, AIs, Space, Undersea Habs, shady secret organizations behind it all, and so on.)

So I wrote words and words about the Neo Era, including Spacer things on Mars. (I blame Trigger for so much Mars stuff). I was playing with all these elements and did a lot of words on it. I even came up with a faux history of the series. Series 1 (2 seasons) was all this. Series 2 (another 2 seasons) was a revamp several years later with witches, vampires, magical warriors (usually girls), kaiju, armored forces (rangers) and Daikaiju... with some limited Mecha rules... just to have all the other anime tropes in it... and to give mystical/ spiritual explanations for some of the stuff in Series 1. There is the OVA - the Spacer x Earth War of Independence with Mecha (an Alien invasion interrupting it) and other things set "in between" the two series. [Note: Convergence Point supports psionics, mecha, space ships, constructs, various species, monsters, magic, vampires, superheroes, and so on.] Series 2 and the OVA have been all outlined and certain sections being written. (There are two sections on Mutations and Net Running I might want to add.) While doing all of this, I found some images for the "Art to Base a Campaign on" that happened to be a really cool-looking Mars Habitat. The Set got 10+ emoticon responses. It piqued my interest.

So I started thinking about these Mars things. They were different, sort of, and more realistic. It distracted me from Neo Era. So now I have done a bunch of research and 19k words on the subject. This Blackbird project is its own thing, no longer a part of Neo Frontier (though you can adapt parts of it back). So I am going to collect, collate, and organize Blackbird/ Mars. I am going to finish the Series 1 book - mostly. Then I am back to trying to finish Convergence Point. (Then the kickstart. Then I will add Neo Frontier and Blackbird to the stretchy goals.)

So here I am. Just to explain and straighten it out in my own head.

So It is the Pub's fault... just like thread drift.
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Currently, I have not addressed the exact method of launch from Earth. I am pretty sure, but would have to have someone do the math, that the fixed wing launch option would not function in Mar's atmosphere.

ADD ON Link to full article and a video

London to New York in less than an hour? Hypersonic trans-Atlantic jet travel gets a step closer as scientists successfully work out how to stop the engine melting at 2,500mph

  • Reaction Engines has tested the aircraft at simulated speeds of Mach 3.3, or three times the speed of sound
  • They aim to fly at Mach 25 which they say would be able to travel from New York to London in under one hour
  • The company tested a new 'pre-cooler' technology which would enable it to travel at hypersonic speeds
  • Their experimental Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine - Sabre - is designed to drive space planes to orbit


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Random Thoughts 5

If you want to learn more about what is going on, go to

1) Gear Porn Thoughts
#4 - 10) Thing to do: Gear for DECkers, Recovery and Rescue, Enforcers, Rust Runners, and their volunteers. As well as any special gear for other professions.

The DECker is going to have an impact suit that is sealed and insulated. Sure it will be mostly open most of the time. However, they are going to be at risk for exposure, so it is going to be either an actual suit or an emergency survival mode suit.

Glop Gun (and the backpack to carry more "glop" if they are smart)
Projector Gun (Bat Grapple)
A Firemans/ Woodsman Access Tool - cut, break, hook.
Some people are going to have a welding tool.
A wrist computer with plans and scanning data.
First Aid Kit
Maybe: Extra O2, mini heaters, survival balls (get inside cloth tents and be somewhat protected from the environment)

R&R teams will have the:
Armored Outdoor Suit/ or at least an impact one.
Goggles for enhancing vision and HUD
Ascend/ Descend Harness and maybe built-in motor.
Projector Gun
A wrist computer with plans and scanning data. HUD option
Access tool/ cutting tools.
Extra O2, mini heaters, survival balls (get inside cloth tents and be somewhat protected from the environment)

Bean Bag Guns or Glop Gun
Wrist Computer
Maybe: Impact Suit (and Emergency environment).

Rust Runner
Wrist Com. Their units have serious radio power. They might be able to remote control the rig with it.
Goggles for enhancing vision and HUD
Outdoor Suit of some kind, usually not fully sealed.

Scaled down R&R Gear (or access to it in their rig) They are inside the dome and the tunnels. However, if someone is hurt, it is possible that the environment has been compromised. DECkers should be handling that, but if you are first on the scene....

2) Character Frameworks
#4-11) Thing to do: Example Frameworks for characters

Frameworks are what you set the chronicle in. In the character aspect, it is the why the characters are together AND what kind of characters are available.

1) Faces About Town: You are the seemingly important people about the Habitat. You are in charge of important sections or are the person that seems to represent a group of people (faction or neighborhood). So you can have the Marshall, Chief Coordinator, Head DECker, the Bio Team, the Doctor on site, etc.

2) Faction Land: In a chronicle based more on "faction friction", you will be important people "the face" of the Faction in your habitat.

3) Emergency - You are EMS, R&R, DECker, and Enforcers for the Habitat. People being people will have emergencies, disasters, and do stupid things.

4) Media Team - In most cases this would be boring in a community with 2000-4000 people, but maybe you are the media folks for a couple of smaller Habitats.

5) Olympus High - Mars does not have a population to support lots of schools. So High School (upper school) will be a boarding school. Thus you can have school plots, mars plots, and what happens on field trips or vacation days when you are visiting new people.

6) Survey Team - Most of Mars has been explored, at least once. However, the job continues... looking for resources, interesting geography, and any signs of life or previous civilizations or alien visits that could be missed. The team could be going into the caves in the north and south polar region.
7) You are just folks - You just happen to be people from the habitat or visiting when the catalyzing event happens.

8) Rust Rovers - Truckers between Habitats. (maybe one or two in a truck). Driving supplies and dealing with every crisis that will happen. Could be a trope play situation or lots off characters from "the pool" pulled for "today's session".

9) Touchpoint - Martian Space Port and Air Port (which won't have much air traffic given the atmospheric pressure). You are the staff dealing with the day to day - and all the various crisis that people bring to your place.

10) Miners in a mine. Again, puts you all together. Plus you can have suits or visitors when it all goes down.

11) Order of Ares - there is a conspiracy for you.

3) Habitat and Hab technology will actually be the testing ground for new technology, new techniques, and new lifestyles that will help us live on Earth in the future - as the temperature crisis, weather issues, and overcrowding continue. Arcologies are now being perfected given what we have learned about close system living. New materials, made from more common or conventional compounds, will help us build these things cheaper. (Hence why Habitats will grow Bamboo.). (Note: This is of some importance in Neo Earth, but the majority of people are reactionary and want to live "the way we always have". However, Space Habs, Hydro Habs, Underground Habs, and such are ways to be safer in a climate hyper active world.

4) Pebble Bed Reactors - Atomic Power will be the way to go on Mars. Yes, they are fission reactors, but they are very safe and use carbon dioxide as a coolant. Plus they are a reactor type that just shuts down rather than melts. Yes, Fusion reactors would be a lovely way to go. However, all the projected prototypes and production units from the prototypes are big, heavy, and expensive. They are more of a Bronze Era of colonization kinda thing.

5) Award-winning Mars Project Design For my purposes, the units of the modual construction. It seems to be a little technically handwavy / a bit of fairy magik to get back off mars and to their ship. And they are going to need a fuel infrastructure early on.

6) First Built Habs: Remember that the first habs that are built here are going to be inflatable domes or inflatable structures. Many will be covered over with dirt for radiation protection. The digging equipment that will be used for mining will first be used to make the safer underground parts of the Habitats. Once the basics are done, then we can set them loose mining.

Yes, they think the 3D printer model of building with bots will be viable. That tech is experimental on Earth (though being proven). Maybe it would be valid.

7) Craters and such: You know, designers and artists have a fascination with craters. They want to put habitats in craters. Okay, maybe you can dome the crater eventually (but you still have to pan the bottom for water and microbe retention.). The crater will trap grit and things will be more easily buried. Eventual ecoforming will put water in every big deep hole (as a lake). And where is your hab?

Now building them against cliffside or ridge sides.. makes sense because it will be easier to dig in the underground parts in that space.

Now here is a beautiful habitat. Other than trying to do solar power (which is 40% less effective on Mars, plus constant battling of grit), it is another habitat in a crater.

Also remember that a lot of these designs thing you can put a dome over Martian Dirt and a) with a little air and water grow things (which it can't) b) we need to protect those plants and such from contaminating the martian eco system (if there is one) and will need a pan of some kind under it to make a soil (not dirt) layer. Even if we protect from the UV, the dirt is still very, very sterile and has nothing to help you grow. You will need to condition the dirt and apply organics and some chemistry to make it soil. You might as well stick to the hydroponic gardening. (But for psycho social and Environmental reasons, Grottos are still a good idea. And dirt/ soil farming for the same reason.

Lets see some images here - this shows making domes, but doing a cliffside habitat Plus we have some psychosocial issues which make sense to mention, as most people seem to forget them (These are from



Note: The more I research, the more diverse and complex this gets. I am wondering if I should just take bits in and stick to the Blackbird roots.
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A post from another site that I did. It was about time patrol/ time watch adventures. It dovetails with this.

45) Tharsis being the main Habitat of Mars Society, large enough to be an actual city, is the most common location for Neo Era Martian Historical Events. Several temporal intrusions occurred on the same day/time (stretching The Watch thin) three in Tharsis, one in a hab village outside Tharsis, and in Blackbird way in the far northern reaches. The moment the alarms went off, the agents did not even need The Mind to tell them, it was The Tharks (or Thark 5) at risk (Thanks to Benjamin Chang being in Blackbird and the only historically notable PoE in Blackbird in the early Neo Era.

Someone was making a concerted attack against the Tharks, the main architects of the Martian Patriotic War, The Martian Constitutions, and most important - The Mars Laws of The Freedoms. (Important as the Martian imposed victory against Earth at the End of WWIII put the Laws of The Freedoms in the Neo Era Union Constitution).

At this point, they are all anywhere from six to eighteen in age. The disruptors probably thought it was before the Watch would be monitoring them. Agents need to get in, stop the disruptors without causing too many alterations, and get out.

Your agents might be there for some other reason when the alarm goes off. For you this is a brave new world, dealing with habitat technology, odd living expressions, and a dangerous environment.

Plot Twist - Amber Bright is currently twelve years old. She is going to be one of the only "graphic designers" on Mars in the near future and is the "Betsy Ross" of the Martian Constitution Flag. She is visiting friends for here (in the hab village or Blackbird) for the next few months while her parents are on a survey mission. She is also on the hit list.

Plot Plan - Much of the "Hab life" is the same throughout the Neo Frontiers era, be it on Mars, a Ship, an Orbital/ Stationary, or a blister dome one some rock. You can use this adventure as a "learning experience" for the players, so they will be familiar with it all.... when you send them to The Neptune Mission (when Humanity find actual tangible evidence of Trans-solar intelligences) or some other "out there" mission.

37 Osirus Office

The Cover up top is a Bar/ Club called The Osirus. It has become a real pop (to use the local terms) and has been since most people can remember. (It is made famous by the Martian Author Mckennzie, in his classic novel, Of Violet Dreams (Macmillian Mars, 2418).

While Mar's Human History is quite short, relative, there is still The Martian Ancients and astroecology to contend with. There is often activity here.....
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