Suggestion: Slaves

General discussion about the game.
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:02 pm

Suggestion: Slaves

Postby Lestibournes » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:01 pm

When acquiring a slave setting it free and having it join the crew should not be the only option. If you set it free it may choose to join the crew or leave the ship, depending on its circumstances, such as whether it is safe to go home, its loyalty to your faction, etc, and even if it does join the crew that doesn't mean it will remain loyal: it could be deranged or working for a hostile faction.

You can choose to keep it as a prisoner, in which case it will consume resources, at least space on board, without providing any usefull function, but it will be neither a slave nor free.

You can choose to keep it as a slave, in which case you can keep it confined or put it to work. Putting it to work is risky, as the slave will run away, kill the crew, or sabotage the ship if it sees a good chance at freedom, or if it is deranged enough then for revenge. It may also be an agent of a hostile faction as above. Choosing to keep a slave also carries additional risk, as crew members who originate from factions that oppose slavery may leave the ship, help the slave escape, or even mutiny. If the faction you yourself belong to opposes slavery you will definitely have a mutiny by the crew members that originate from your faction, although other crew members may choose to side with you and enter the criminal world with you. Even if you win, you become a wanted outlaw not only by your faction, but also any other faction with whom it has an extradition treaty, any faction that outlaws slavery, and bounty hunters - severely increasing risk. Entering the criminal world will however allow you to take on criminal jobs and eventually join a faction that opposes your original faction and does not oppose slavery.

It would be cool if there was some slave-related tech to help keep them under control so that they could not mount open rebellion unless that tech is disabled. Something like slave collars combined with something like drone control to monitor their actions, issue remote commands, and punish or disable them in case they are detected being disobedient or rebellious. The control could perhaps use an AI for basic monitoring and restriction and relaying orders, but require a person to supervise in order to truly minimize disobedience and attempts at sabotage and escape. Perhaps the AI can be an upgrade to a basic control unit, with an AI that is almost (but not quite) as good as a person as the final and very expensive AI upgrade.

It could be interesting if characters could hack into the slave control center and use it to take command of the slaves, using them to help take over the ship or freeing them. On that note, it would be interesting if there were ship security drones that would seek out and fight intruders or other enemies or insurgents, and if drones could be taken over like that as well.

Slaves would not make for very efficient or effective workers - they would tend to work slow when not in immediate danger or if what they are working on isn't immediately necessary to avert said danger. They will also tend to work slow if the enemy happens to be of a faction friendly to their faction or a faction that opposes slavery - that is, if your enemy might set them free. They will also tend to sabotage the ship if they can do so undetected.

It might be an idea to also allow the player to choose a method for slave management (reward and punishment policies), and to be able to choose rewards and punishments for specific incidents. Possible punishments include death, torture, confinement, and dietary deprivation. Possible motives include better food, better clothes, better room, and more freedom of movement. This could affect the slaves behavior, making them more eager to please, more independent, more desperate to escape, or so depressed they can't even muster the will to eat, and each may react differently to the same stimuli, but using different standards for each of them to match their personalities may have an adverse effect as well.

Finally, slaves can be sold for a profit.

In the case of freeing a slave from slavery yet keeping it as a prisoner, there is generally no penalty and no risk, but no reward either. The point is generally to avoid the possibility that the liberated slave may turn out to be a saboteur and then drop it off at the first opportunity, or even take it to its chosen destination.

There is always the chance that a prisoner may break free, especially as a result of damage during battle. What the prisoner does is anybody's guess - it may try to help you, aid the enemy, or try to escape the ship.
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Re: Suggestion: Slaves

Postby ezryder » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:23 am

Instead of slaves, how about the method Space Pirates & Zombies uses; they pick up survivors, and any that cause trouble get flushed out the airlock. ;)

So not slaves, but new recruits. People (or aliens) that were on the other ship that didn't share the rest of that crew's ideology or whatever. :)
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:20 pm

Re: Suggestion: Slaves

Postby dicesquirrel » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:02 pm

Haha, god this must be human nature at work.


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