What To Do In Wartime

STAFF Notes for May 29, 2013.

One of the major themes of THE FIFTH WORLD is life during wartime, but due to the current nature of the war, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what might draw characters together often enough to facilitate RP.

The Waygate system really helps that. People can be on another planet, and still be 10-15 minutes away from their duty station (or even less). While of course military personnel who are on duty or on direct alert won't be able to leave their posts, as they're likely in their armor, weapons in hand, ready and raring to go. But although there are always some soldiers and and naval crewmen on duty and on direct alert, no one can stand alert all the time, and this off-duty time is liable to be when most RP happens.

So what does this mean for all those off-duty soldiers and crewmen?

What is there to do for an off-duty soldier during war-time? Pretty much the exact same thing they do during the pre-war build-up, except with less drinking and drug use. It's important, of course, to keep relatively sober when the Hostiles could be arriving any moment, but relatively sober is a relative term if you aren't supposed to be on duty for 12 hours.

Travel between continents and planets is still instantaneous and open with the Waygate system, although there are now guards on all Waygates, so you can easily go have dinner at your favorite restaurant in Phylon and then come back to party in the Westend of Landing. It might also be a good opportunity for a last-minute one-day 'vacation' to the Isles of Terran, although the soldier would have to be careful to stay close to a Waygate (no all-day deep-sea fishing trips, for example, although a ride on a jet-ski relatively close to shore would be totally fine).

Since the main military forces of Haven are a standing military, there are no reservists being called up, and except for those owned by people who enlisted in a fit of patriotism, businesses are all still open.

Is there anything your military character can do while on-duty?

Knights, nobles, officers, and even sergeants will be involved in planning sessions and holo-training. Travel to Landing or to another Paramount House to talk tactics, work out logistics, deliver a message, man a recruiting booth, and the like. Visit the main training center in The Ring or The Citadel (TP Rooms may be necessary since they aren't actually built yet) for some holo-training with your fellow newly-assigned Marines,* your fellow home defense forces, or some mixture there-of. Keep in mind that unless your character is explicitly on-duty and running a critical message (and why isn't it being sent via InfoSphere or a comm call?), they aren't likely to be wandering around in armor (unless their duty is guarding whatever area they're in).

We'll totally be running a few combat scenes for y'all starting in the next week or so, and once the Hostiles get down on the ground (wherever they're able to do that), players will be able to run small skirmishes with patrols of Hostiles at their leisure.

What about the civilians?

Citizen life has really just… intensified… with the knowledge that the Hostiles have arrived. Manufacturing has been kicked up a notch, more people are partying to forget, entertainment has been accelerated to take peoples' minds off of the war or to drive patriotism, etc. Sure, there was likely some fear, maybe some mass panic attacks, but Haven has been planning for this for 460 years, and it's only 6 months early.

Civilians can interact with the military by selling them things, asking for their advice on upcoming movies or songs, helping to ensure that logistical support is in place, stealing from them, trying to wheedle information about troop concentrations from them (to know where the safest places will be), buying them drinks for defending Haven, or any of a score or more ways.

*Look for more information on naval combat, Marines, and boarding parties in an upcoming Staff Notes.

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