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The Imperial Mercantile Alliance (TIMA) CYOA

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CYOA : here
COMPANION SPREADSHEET: here
LORE DOCUMENT: here


I've been working, on and off on...

Emizaquel

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CYOA : here
COMPANION SPREADSHEET: here
LORE DOCUMENT: here


I've been working, on and off on a CYOA, and I'd like some feedback and a little help.

following a certain trend, I was reminded of the Empire builder shories that were popular a few years ago and I decided to try and create something based on that.

This is The Imperial Mercantile Alliance, a conglomerate of uncountable inter-planar empires and other polities, trading with each other and seeking to grow. They are something of an upstart, on the multi-planar stage, but they have already accrued so much power and so many allies that they are a force to be reckoned with.

One of their means for fast expansion is recruiting various people with a lust for adventure, giving them a relatively small sum of money, access to various resources and a catalogue of discounted materials and allowing them to grow into more useful trading partners.

At the moment, I've got the first draft of the main CYOA done, but I'm short on pictures and I'm not entirely happy with the current cost distribution - partially because of the lore implications.

That is available here

I haven't made as much progress on the companion spreadsheet, so I'd like suggestions on worlds (including ranks and trade opportunities to look out for) and some good un-discounted prices for various goods and services associated with those worlds.

The spreadsheet is available here(it's in Google Sheets)

I've also created, but not started a lore document here, if you are interested in adding to TIMA lore.
 
Last edited:
The CYOA has been updated with the first round of suggestions from Reddit, though I think that my current option for the colour scheme is pretty bad, any suggestions?
 
Version 0.2 is released with updates from Reddit, I hope I've addressed the issues that have been brought up, but if I haven't please leave a comment!
 
I think it needs some form of simpler "contract magic" item or power as it would be indispensable to a budding trade wizard

lore wise it could be some form of void mana construct with defined consequences and a predetermined lifetime as it expends itself? Something full alliance citizens could easily shed (to justify alliance still having law enforcement) but low tier civs could not.

Also I recommend adding to the store
uplift kits
open source tech databases ( you kinda already have this with the doctor)
a seed capital item, like a ton of "manufactured gold" (dwarf wants natural mined gold for a reason no?)
universal translator
standalone power generators
books for magic and other non-downloadable skills.
-and/or a couple instructor type employees

questions:

do alliance tech self maintain of is that another thing you have to be on top of?
what is the range of portals and teleports in the same dimension?
do the training courses come at Earth sophistication level or alliance sophistication level?
 
I think it needs some form of simpler "contract magic" item or power as it would be indispensable to a budding trade wizard

lore wise it could be some form of void mana construct with defined consequences and a predetermined lifetime as it expends itself? Something full alliance citizens could easily shed (to justify alliance still having law enforcement) but low tier civs could not.

Also I recommend adding to the store
uplift kits
open source tech databases ( you kinda already have this with the doctor)
a seed capital item, like a ton of "manufactured gold" (dwarf wants natural mined gold for a reason no?)
universal translator
standalone power generators
books for magic and other non-downloadable skills.
-and/or a couple instructor type employees

questions:

do alliance tech self maintain of is that another thing you have to be on top of?
what is the range of portals and teleports in the same dimension?
do the training courses come at Earth sophistication level or alliance sophistication level?
Thank you for the feedback!

A contract magic Item sounds great, though I might limit it a bit, perhaps it only works for fixed agreements? It kind of takes away the conflict of empire building if you have a citizenship contract that's magically enforceable. Might be that they operate according to the letter of the contract, and you need to specify and load them with the spells that will be cast if a clause is broken and you can't hide any information or the magic breaks? Sunds like something I could possibly attribute to Renith? or Regandria?

Uplift kits seem a tad overpowered, though I am considering adding a construction drone swarm, like a couple hundred drones that can fly, lift materials, weld, hammer, nail and cut. Not particularly fast, but decent enough for building. That said, for the price of a theoretical uplift kit, you should be able to pick up addresses for a wide array of different worlds that would basically have everything you would need for an uplift.

An uplift kit would be... about 500 credits? That's a T3 address Limitless, Artemis Fowl, Assassination Classroom? any of those should easily uplift you to near future levels.

I have also added Factorio as a T3 though, so that should be a comparable option. Decent near-future uplift package and you get a planet thrown in for fun.

Inthis does have a medical database, but I'm not sure if a straight techbase would fit... I mean, I'm making the Basic Competence 50 credits now, and single use, but between that and a teacher, you are already pretty much set n knowledge based uplift, it's only really the tech you need, and that's the sort of thing that any story written for this would have as an early game narrative. Importing a few tools and people and using that to figure out how to make an empire.

Seed Capital, I thought I had covered that in the form of the Horn of Panacea and Liquid Life, or do you mean a cheaper option?

Ah, I thought I had forgotten something, yeah, I'll add automatic translation to the neural implant.

Standalone power generators... maybe? The tech options are explicitly reverse engineerable, and even the laser weapon produces enough power on it's own to power a small 21st century town. Would a standalone power supply be redundant in the face of that?

Magic is a dificult thing, since Reometion exists, but a cheaper basic primer (maybe 150 credits, as opposed to 50 credits for the new Basic Competence) could be worthwhile. I'll consider it, but I'll want to come up with 4 that I can use to add a new row.

Instructor types? I guess I should probably have a few that are more mundane. Maybe a teacher, soldier... maybe a agriculturist? I need another.

As to your questions:
I've added a section that states that Alliance tech won't need maintenance unless the outer shell is breached.
I've added a note saying that you need to spend 10 mins to acquire a location, and you can teleport to that position freely, and you have a 1 km teleport range within the same dimension to both of the personal travel options.
The training courses come at earth sophistication level.
 
MIght want to expand on the available trade wares you offer. If it's a trade empire cyoa, only having 2 different kinds of wares while mentioning other wares in your cyoa is... well, maybe add something more.

Different kinds of factories?
Mining equipment, mines?
fishing?
mercenaries/guard companies?
 
MIght want to expand on the available trade wares you offer. If it's a trade empire cyoa, only having 2 different kinds of wares while mentioning other wares in your cyoa is... well, maybe add something more.

Different kinds of factories?
Mining equipment, mines?
fishing?
mercenaries/guard companies?
I am in the process of filling out the companion spreadsheet, which has listings for various goods and services that can be traded through the alliance, I haven't fully filled it out yet, only just got started really, but the address you pick up should have plenty of trade goods.

I'd actually love suggestions for worlds, trade goods and services to add to the list!
 
Uplift kits seem a tad overpowered, though I am considering adding a construction drone swarm, like a couple hundred drones that can fly, lift materials, weld, hammer, nail and cut. Not particularly fast, but decent enough for building. That said, for the price of a theoretical uplift kit, you should be able to pick up addresses for a wide array of different worlds that would basically have everything you would need for an uplift.

Yeah but simple non slave workforce is right up my alley in the "quiet farmer" niche you have recognized with stargrain. Having a lot of fun figuring out if I prefer empty or post-apocalyptic planets to agri-form. Plus plans of filling sun's Lagrange points and the moon full of agri habitats. PD: what happens if the grain gets 24/7 non stop sun with plentiful water? What are the temp extremes?

I have also added Factorio as a T3 though, so that should be a comparable option. Decent near-future uplift package and you get a planet thrown in for fun.

You mean the creature planet, yeah recruiting that engineer would be a nice coup.

Inthis does have a medical database, but I'm not sure if a straight techbase would fit... I mean, I'm making the Basic Competence 50 credits now, and single use, but between that and a teacher, you are already pretty much set n knowledge based uplift, it's only really the tech you need, and that's the sort of thing that any story written for this would have as an early game narrative. Importing a few tools and people and using that to figure out how to make an empire.
Fair

Seed Capital, I thought I had covered that in the form of the Horn of Panacea and Liquid Life, or do you mean a cheaper option?
Definitely cheaper and easier to sell without having to use it to prove it works. Think 'glass beads' for the natives

Standalone power generators... maybe? The tech options are explicitly reverse engineerable, and even the laser weapon produces enough power on it's own to power a small 21st century town. Would a standalone power supply be redundant in the face of that?

I kinda don't want to leave my gun or my robo secretary powering my factory town or risking them in the reverse engineering when I could be elsewhere. Maybe add a 50c generator with the capacity of the omni tool but balance it by making it non portable? (car sized, truck sized?) you could add other tiers on top of that like the antimatter generation and storage system the ships have. Kinda like how your sell the core as a standalone item.

Magic is a dificult thing, since Reometion exists, but a cheaper basic primer (maybe 150 credits, as opposed to 50 credits for the new Basic Competence) could be worthwhile. I'll consider it, but I'll want to come up with 4 that I can use to add a new row.
that works
 
Yeah but simple non slave workforce is right up my alley in the "quiet farmer" niche you have recognized with stargrain. Having a lot of fun figuring out if I prefer empty or post-apocalyptic planets to agri-form. Plus plans of filling sun's Lagrange points and the moon full of agri habitats. PD: what happens if the grain gets 24/7 non stop sun with plentiful water? What are the temp extremes?
It's basically magical BS, it will grow in a year as long as it gets some light most days that year. It would grow on the south pole if you planted it there.

In terms of heat distribution, it will manage up to about 80C or so? and it will survive sount to about -100C

I kinda don't want to leave my gun or my robo secretary powering my factory town or risking them in the reverse engineering when I could be elsewhere. Maybe add a 50c generator with the capacity of the omni tool but balance it by making it non portable? (car sized, truck sized?) you could add other tiers on top of that like the antimatter generation and storage system the ships have. Kinda like how your sell the core as a standalone item.
Might do, seems like a reasonable thing and I need a few options for the new row.
 
So I can get behind not info dumping on how a lot of systems work in this, it gives flexibility in personal execution. However there has been one thing bugging me; the modular laser weapon is listed to output a one gigawatt pulse laser for one twentieth of a second. What exactly does that mean? It might make more sense to tell us how much damage it does, because to me that sounds like an unstoppable death ray. Is it?
 
So I can get behind not info dumping on how a lot of systems work in this, it gives flexibility in personal execution. However there has been one thing bugging me; the modular laser weapon is listed to output a one gigawatt pulse laser for one twentieth of a second. What exactly does that mean? It might make more sense to tell us how much damage it does, because to me that sounds like an unstoppable death ray. Is it?
Basically, it's the equivalent of causing someone's skin to explode as you violently vaporise it. A single shot would be enough to gouge a fist-sized hole into somone.

I should probably rewrite it though, perhaps say that it's enough power to kill an unarmoured individual as long as you hit centre-mass and it's good enough to blast through wood and plaster, but it won't melt through anything more than a few mm of steel?
 
Basically, it's the equivalent of causing someone's skin to explode as you violently vaporise it. A single shot would be enough to gouge a fist-sized hole into somone.

I should probably rewrite it though, perhaps say that it's enough power to kill an unarmoured individual as long as you hit centre-mass and it's good enough to blast through wood and plaster, but it won't melt through anything more than a few mm of steel?

So what we are looking at is the equivalent of a 40k lazgun then? I can get behind that even if the fire-rate is fairly slow. Something for that power range should be a bit cheaper when looked at in comparison to other purchases though. Something to consider maybe?
 
So what we are looking at is the equivalent of a 40k lazgun then? I can get behind that even if the fire-rate is fairly slow. Something for that power range should be a bit cheaper when looked at in comparison to other purchases though. Something to consider maybe?

It does come with all the attachments by default, so those are included in the price.
 
Yeah but simple non slave workforce is right up my alley in the "quiet farmer" niche you have recognized with stargrain. Having a lot of fun figuring out if I prefer empty or post-apocalyptic planets to agri-form. Plus plans of filling sun's Lagrange points and the moon full of agri habitats. PD: what happens if the grain gets 24/7 non stop sun with plentiful water? What are the temp extremes?
By the way, I've made a revision that now adds a new standard trade good, but I'm open to more recommendations on that front.
 
new standard trade good,
The fruit is fun but you have a typo on the value of the produce. I really like it, super useful for cleanup .

Even more fun, as-written it sounds like ideal for vacuum low effort farming. Stick a bunch on a flat slab of rock orbiting a star like solar panels and chuck the occasional bit of asteroid their way.

As for new ideas;

Mage yeast. Mana potions are literally brewed and this yeast has an insignificant naturally occurring void tap and will infuse its surrounding liquid with mana. Requires what yeast everywhere does, mostly water and sugar.
---Something, something, stargrain vodka or magic beer

Eatmees. Small furry lizards that desire to be eaten as soon as they reproduce. Extreme omnivores, to a lesser extent than the fruit

Mind cristals. Psionic energy crystals with useful resonant properties that grow from accumulating loose mental energy from sentient intellectual labor and strong emotions. Usually grown from crystal fragments in utility closets on schools, office buildings, art galleries, and amusement parks.
 
The fruit is fun but you have a typo on the value of the produce. I really like it, super useful for cleanup .
What do you think the value should be? I have it as a placeholder value for the moment.

The others seem useful, though I'd probably swap out the eatmee for some sort of meatfruit.

I've also got general magic reagents, which I could roll the magic yeast into.

Still thank you for the concepts, they are really cool!
 
at least 3x the price of grain per weight.
got to be since it is incredibly more useful but because it has a slower setup time



meat potato please! like the uruk in the lotr movies :p
Err, yeah, so, it's about five times the amount of the grain, right now, listed at five times grain by weight. It isn't included in the CYOA, something I will fix soon, but it is there in the companion spreadsheet.

Meat potatoes sounds pretty good actually!
 
I kinda don't want to leave my gun or my robo secretary powering my factory town or risking them in the reverse engineering when I could be elsewhere. Maybe add a 50c generator with the capacity of the omni tool but balance it by making it non portable? (car sized, truck sized?) you could add other tiers on top of that like the antimatter generation and storage system the ships have. Kinda like how your sell the core as a standalone item.
I've made a tweak to the matter Fruits that make them combustible and capable of being used to make antimatter, (with the appropriate foundational technology), in addition to being plain combustible for more primitive utilization.
 
Basic blueprints for what though?
To name a few possibilities;
Ships, factories, luxury items, weapons, power plants, raw material refineries, modular space stations, weapons, medicine.

This stuff doesn't even need to be close to top of the line. As multiverse spanning traders and industrialists the ability to open new markets on relative low tech universes would be incredibly lucrative.
 
Ships, factories, luxury items, weapons, power plants, raw material refineries, modular space stations, weapons, medicine.
Part of it is that I don't want to have the CYOA to be 'complete' it's intended as a writing prompt, so I need there to be obvious routes for story progression.

Developing spacefaring technologies seems like one of them.

That said, Factorio is a T3 world, and getting in touch with the survivor there should be everything you need for basic spacefaring technologies, everything from basic spacecraft to the equipment needed to make orbital habitats. The same would actually go for material refineries and weapons, at least to some extent. It would also allow you to develop basic, and expensive space lift technology, but definitely something that They even have some pretty useful automated factory technology.

Matter Fruits are designed to make basic material refineries effectively obsolete, pursuant on the ability to create, at minimum a particle accelerator, and more complex refineries would mainly focus on dealing with more exotic things such as organic compounds and matter with exotic properties like Naquadah or Eezo, which I feel would be something that comes from Addresses and advancing on local technologies.

Power Plants are now... sort of a thing, in the form of Matter Fruits, either as a environmentally friendly substitute for coal and other combustible fuels for steam generation (I've changed it to specify that the process only produces heat and nothing else, and specify how much heat they put out) or as a good feedstock for a number of different ways to make antimatter.

Medicine, I could see being justified as a humanitarian thing, though implementation would be weird, Cultures for penicillin should be possible to get from a modern Alternate Homeworld, so it would need to be better than simple broad spectrum anti-biotics, but I don't want to remove plagues as a possible route for story progression. Perhaps the recipe for a basic healing potion? Something that can be made from the reagents in the "magical plants and fungi" groves? Not a perfect healing potion, but one that augments natural healing?

The big one on that list, however, is luxury items. What do you mean by that? I mean, I assume you don't mean stuff like the latest smartphone, and why would anyone buy the plans to make jewellery when even people from the Greco-Roman era have a basic understanding of metalworking that can be developed with access to more and better materials. I'm open to adding some
 

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