It is sometimes said that diversity is the spice and the spice is the life. Even at the event horizon of cataclysm it pays to have more than one salable commodity. The original settlers of the Tartarus Rim long ago realized this truism and took efforts to diversify the local economy. In addition to the bovine noifen a number of other Terran and exotic species have been cultivated over the years.
Among the more prominent is the trusty pig. Compact, hardy, and delicious, pigs remain popular throughout human space, and particularly so in those areas heavily influenced by old Earth Asian cultures.
Another Terran transplant is the venerable goat. Independent animals requiring little tending make nearly optimal transplants in areas short on both advanced technology and skilled labor, thus goats can be found nearly everywhere along the Rim.
Somewhat less Terran is the local Tartaran "Bé Xanh" or "Blue Baby" hybrid of the Terran ox.
Exotic fauna have not escaped domestication. The Blanding Terror Bird, sometimes called Hell's Chicken, has become a profitable meat export. One world's monster becomes another's delicacy. Here we see both the Terror Birds and Noifen raised in the same enclosure. Thanks to their different ecological origins the two eat neither one another nor their opposite's feed.
Of course, all that livestock needs transportation, and local tramps are generally happy to provide it. Thus the ancient Terran two D program "Pigs in Space" comes to pass, albeit less happily for the pigs.
Hey, I never said the pigs were flying the spaceship! Like lambs to the slaughter we go.
As in every era, resource extraction has lead the way to the far edges of the settled universe. The "Final Frontier" would be less of a frontier without mining, ranching, and indeed farming.
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Meanwhile behind the curtain:
Last summer at BOYL I finally came face to face with Foundry's products, and among other things they have quite a large line of assorted beasties, so I was able to add more diversity to my miniature ecosystem. For space livestock I picked up a good half dozen packs of miniatures; some mundane, others fantastically monstrous. Below you can see about four packs worth getting the treatment: the "livestock" set and three "terror birds." These last come one to a pack, but there are three different poses. (Maybe more.) So the premium gets you some large and distinctive animals. In addition to these I also picked up the "wild pigs" who featured so prominently above.
There were quite a lot of other Foundry miniatures netted in the haul. Since I was already paying to ship myself I figured I'd make a proper adventure of it. But more on those later. For now, thanks for coming along on this little exploration of the Tartarus Rim. Hope to see you next time.
Awesome post. I really like your vision of the simplicity of the economy in a far distant starship culture.ReplyDelete
I figure the economy will get more sophisticated the closer you get to the densely populated spots. But we will always need resource extraction at the edges. And . . . Space Western! Maybe I'm retconning a bit. (And making an homage to all the art I love.) ;-)Delete
Great stuff! I love the extra colour that things like lifestock adds to the table. I was just thinking how onerous shipping the original livestock into a colony world would be. Did firefly have some episode where they moved animals?ReplyDelete
They did indeed! Down to and including Mal stepping in it on his own deck. I think the job might even possibly have been set up by a fellow in a bowler and a pinstripe suit, though I'm not certain about that without checking. Firefly was really instrumental in getting me back into this. There's something about it that feels like every episode was rolled up out of Rogue Trader. *flips through some pages* And the very first plot is . . .Delete
"The governor of a farming world has lost most of his crop/herds to a raiding party from a rival imperial world. [snip] A counter raid must be mounted to recover the stolen stock."
Amazing. I should probably revisit the series soon. I seem to recall some blogger starting to play through each of the mission out of the rogue trader book. They tapered off (as it was pretty ambitious), but it sure would have been cool to see more....Delete
There are SO MANY!!! And if you add in the permutations and complexications the possible number would probably take a lifetime. I truly love that scenario generator. One of the very best things in the book.Delete
As to Firefly, it's worth a revisit, but there's also a lot of really great sci-fi coming out now. I begin to think we're truly in a gold age. Well . . . except for the obvious and multiplying ways in which the present is beginning to look uncomfortably close to dystopian sci-fi.
Inspired post...with gorgeous pictures!ReplyDelete
Thank you Phil! That means a lot coming from you. :)Delete
Great additions, the live stock really adds a live dimension to the frontier worlds. I need to add some goats to my collection.ReplyDelete
I know Foundry has flocks of sheep. And they have as few goats in the livestock pack. (A billy, a doe, and a kid.) Not sure if they have a larger pack of just goats, but it wouldn't surprise me. Goats are always a good choice. :)Delete
Those foundry animals are great, and the pigs in particular look like excellent future livestock (despite being more archaic types!).ReplyDelete
Looking forward to your other packs picked up at BOYL!
I actually felt the "archaic" types looked better for Sci-Fi, since they're a bit bigger and more dramatic looking. Just a touch less familiar and more visceral. Foundry also has boars, apparently, which are even bigger and more spikey still. ;-)Delete
That's fantastic! I also got the Firefly reference in mind :)ReplyDelete
I really enjoy your take on this kind of world, and how things actually work. These are solid foundations for any story/adventure you want to play :)
Thank you! My goal for the last several years has been to craft a collection of toys useful for telling a story. When I first started playing I, of course, wished to fight battles against my friends in a fashion that was perhaps a bit more like a board game with fancy pieces, but Rogue Trader always begged for better stories than that. And early on I picked up a few of the "aventurers." They didn't really lend themselves to unit based battles, but they sure suggested colorful stories with their exotic garb and equipment. It just took me a while to figure out how to combine my passions for role playing and modeling. Discovering rules systems like Pulp Alley that really worked for story based gaming really helped. After that . . . :) Thank you sir! I'm glad you seem the mark I'm aiming at.Delete