Tchklinxa's picture
June 16, 2015 - 10:33pm
Okay the following is the corrected original Economic Profile: I feel I can tweak this...

Multi-Cap Corp fits nicely into a SF setting and the system it is using sounds like something a big company would do, basically Janus is a Corporation Planet.

Since I am thinking Pre-Frontier the Recon-Development and Exploration Council could be a race specific Council or an early multi-race pooling of exploration resources, perhaps funded by several Corporations. PGC would be part of this but not all of it in an early time line I would think.

I think the majority of the first paragraph will need to be changed all the Centralized government stuff needs to go, though I did note it is not near the main travel paths, so it could be placed further off. 

Free Trade Federation  I think this can be salvaged as a Free Trade Agreement between the races, not a real Federation but more of a treaty agreement between the Core 4 in the very early days of trade, exploration & colonization.

Federation Board of Inquiry I think this should be changed to Free Trade Council Board of Inquiry... basically I can imagine competitors and civil rights folks accusing Multi-Cap Corp of enslaving the population of Janus as a means to gain access to Janus. But I can also see the charges failing as Multi-Cap Corp is probably doing exactly what PGC did on New Pale minus the native labor. Basically the foxes in charge won't find another fox guilty, if it means they could latter be charged with the same crime too, with a real financial loss involved. Sure they will use it as a PR slander campaign against a competitor but not really go in for the hard kill as they would be cutting their own throats too.

The Member Corporations and Governments that signed the FTA would have some sort of councils to resolve disputes, concerns, negotiate and help facilitate trade among members.  In all reality the FTC would not have power unless the majority of members wanted a problem resolved.

Another point of intrest is the use of water to transport crops, reminds me of Tom Sawyer days. So modern River Boats would be moving up and down the rivers, or across lakes. 

Smuggling, illegal extract making would be issues for law enforcement and Multi-Cap Corp.

Note the Robot tech is not as good as the supposably less intelligent Woolies. That means more primitive robotics I would think #1 and #2 maybe Woolies aren't that dumb. 
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Janus was discovered over a century and a half ago by exploration ships of the old Recon-Development and Exploration Council. It was briefly cataloged, and forgotten, along with a thousand other worlds “explored” by the last bloated wave of centralized bureaucracy. After the fall of Centralization and the development of the Laterial Federation, planetary development was opened officially. Due to its location off the mainstream of galactic travel, Janus and most other Sol-Type worlds along the spiral were virtually ignored during the boom and bust periods of exploration and exploitation that followed the creation of the Free Trade Federation.

About sixty years ago Janus was again touched by galactic travelers when the trading ship “Borderline” crashed in the southern hemisphere. The owner  and commander of the ship was Jerry Tatum, who was also the discoverer of the Tatum Plant, whose leaves made an almost universal pain killer and a good antiseptic. Since then the production of Tatum-leaves have become the primary product of Janus and its principle source of export income.

Tantum and his crew were also the discoverers of the planet’s inhabitants, dubbed “Wollies”. These creatures are bipeds covered with shaggy fur standing about six and a half to seven feet tall. The civilization of these people is described as nomadic and semi-tribal, although some larger tribal units of relative stability have been observed, primarily on the northern continent. Their intelligence in galactic terms has been tested as very low, and their survival potential as a race on Janus judged as low.


The economy of Janus depends almost entirely on the growth and export of Tatum leaves, from which a base is extracted to be made into painkillers and antiseptics. Due to this situation, the real economic power on Janus rests with the Multi-Cap Corporation, a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm with galactic distribution, and whose directors realized early on the potential sales to be gained from exploiting Tatum leaves.

Multi-Cap functions as the real governing power on Janus, although there is a rudimentary parliamentary system, and a planetary-based police force which is roughly equivalent to the Sol-Type sheriff system used by many asteroid belt mining communities. Multi-Cp company police appear to be the real law enforcement power of planetary affairs.

Multi-Cap has developed large tracts of the southern hemisphere, and administers it in the following manner: Tatum Plants are grown on extensive plantations. Land tracts are apportioned by Multi-Cap, which picks the owners of each tract, helps the owner with financing, clearing the land, equipment purchases and the other set-up costs. These plantations are settled along major waterways in order to secure cheap and reliable transportation for movement of the harvested Tatum leaves.

A plantation system is established with the owners of the plantations in debt to Multi-Cap for development capital and dependent on Multi-Cap for control of the land itself. Multi-Cap agrees to buy all the Tatum leaf produced and offers settlers a reasonable price, not neglecting the profit margin they stand to make from the product when it is refined and sold off planet. For security reasons, no Tatum leaf extract is refined on Janus itself. [Speculation—that this helps maintain the firm control Multi-Cap holds over the plantation owners and develops an even greater dependence on Multi-Cap’s purchasing power.]

The labor to actually plant, weed and harvest the Tatum Plant is provided by the Woolies. Use of Woolies as labor appears to be a mutually exploitive system. That is, the growing and harvesting of vast acreage of Tatum-Plants would be impossible without a source of cheap, effective labor able to make independent decisions beyond the capability of programmed robot labor.

The plantation system appears to be a salvation for the Woolies themselves. The planet is over run with a host of natural predicators, both animal and plant, and most of these predators feed on Woolies, whose function in the ecology appears to be roughly equivalent to that of rabbits in Sol-Type Normal worlds.

The lack of large tribal or clan connections, or more than elementary civilization development, make the Woolies a poor long-range choice to emerge as a dominant species on Janus were it not for the intervention of other intelligent species, specifically, the advent of the Multi-Cap Corporation and plantation system.

In return for working the plantations the Woolies receive free food, free housing, free medical treatment, and trade privileges as payment. Woolies do not appear to fully understand the term “payment for wages” or the concept of labor being valuable. However, they are willing to work the plantations in return for such implements as knives, spears, trinkets, and primitive weapons such as bows. Apparently the primary consideration from the viewpoint of the Woolies is security. There are no predators within the boundaries of the plantations (except for occasional intervening creatures which break thru the security perimeters), which means Woolies can raise families and live a peaceful existence without the fear of imminent death. The second consideration is medical attention, which they regard as some sort of god-magic provided by the generous out-worlders. They do not regard free food or housing as any benefit at all, since in their natural state food and housing is relatively “free” anyway.

Investigation eleven years ago by a Federation Board of Inquiry reveals that the system utilized by Multi-Cap does not constitute slavery, voluntary or otherwise, and from all appearances the Woolies themselves, as well as the plantation owners, are happy with the situation which places them at the disposal of Multi-Cap. The system appears to be uniquely fitted for exploiting the only real economic potential available on Janus in the best and most efficient way possible.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
June 17, 2015 - 10:34am
Okay this was a lot and there is more economic stuff to post still coming... but from this bit I am thinking Multi-Cap is both a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm & a pharmaceutical ag compnay. I am thinking they should be headquarted on a different planet.

The Recon-Development and Exploration Council may really be more of a claims office in function.

Multi-Cap has pretty much 100% control of the planet which leads me to believe they may have financed the orginal exploration vessel, thus where able to lay claim to the planet or they had something to do with the Borderline and thus discovered the planet had potential and somehow got control of the world. I am inclined to think the Borderline crashed but was not there by accident. It may have taken them a while to develop the drug, develop a domestic plant version of the wild one, determine best grow method, work out a viable & profitable colonization plan & develop a relationship with the natives. So the 150 year lag might makes sense.

I can see Multi-Cap wanting the planet in general for growing plants (ag buisness side of them) and the new biological medical potentials. They probably had to go slower becuase of the Woolies.  So the first settlements would have been research station based. Once they realized what they had, they would have proceeded with Test Ag farms. Then and only after that would they begin recruiting colonists. So first towns/communities would have been all company personel. So planet discovered 150 plus years ago subtract 60 years ago, means it really was  ignored for 90 years, but once Multi-Cap had a reason to sink capitol into a colony it only took them 60 years to research, develop, and market a product that is no doubt a real money maker. I think that is pretty fast.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
June 17, 2015 - 5:03pm
I carefully read through the whole module looking for racial references to get an idea about Multi-Cap & planetary racial demographics. All non-native NPCs described are humans. At no point did vrusk, dral, or yazi appear. There was one reference to the farm town having a mixed population. The planet's non-Wooly population seems to be mostly human, there might be a few members of the other races but they seem not to be in positions that concern daily operation of the port, security and so on.

The module's PCs are Human, Yazi & Dral absent was the Vrusk.

I am thinking Multi-Cap is a human company, that probably employees a few non-humans and probably, but mostly has human employees, thus Janus is mainly colonized by humans.  

I also am thinking maybe the Trade Agreement & Exploration Agreement between the races might have have caused Multi-Corp to return to the planet. My thought is this, everyone (all 4 races, companies) are exploring new systems, trying to find planets they can colonize and resources and stick the proverbial company or racial group flag in the ground... but they are not necessarily all ready to colonize each planet they find right away... so they record their claim and come back latter, but I am thinking the claim on an undeveloped planet has an expiration date so I was thinking the pre-UPF Free Trade & Exploration Agreement states a parties claim expires at 100 years if they have not begun development of their claim... so Multi-Cap realized that date was approaching on a planet they had a claim on but had not really done anything with and decided to see if it was worth keeping or selling so out they send the Borderline and Shazam they have a huge reason to colonize, and so they get bases set up ASAP.  Now if I go with the idea your claim can expire, that would have then gotten grandfathered into the UPF because everyone is familiar with the laws... 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
June 17, 2015 - 5:45pm
More of the Econmics Text:The blue lined section I found interesting.

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Under the terms of the Federation Covenent, no planet may shut off trade with anyone, except for medical reasons, and open trade must be sanctioned by any governmental body, official or otherwise,.

Free Traders do come to Janus, however they come mostly as carriers of goods to the planet, and do very little trading on Janus themselves. While Tatum Plants grow wild all over the face of the planet, they are seldom concentrated enough to make up enough of a harvest weight to interest free traders. In addition, Woolies in the wild apparently have difficulity understanding the concept of propert and property-trade rights.

Some unscrupulous traders have influenced tribal bands of Woolies to steal from plantations at harvest time, and have gotten away with it. However, Woolies appear to be loyal workers, and while such practices have occurred, they are by no means common.

There are rumors that sapphires and large deposits of aluminum ore are found in the interior of the southern continent. Some traders have managed to barter such inconsequential items as mirrors, metal knives, bells, rope, and the like and have obtained raw sapphires, though not in serious quantity. Most free traders specialize in exotic plants and fruit. Orchid type flowering plants are common. In general, however, free trading on Janus is not well established and does not appear to hold any great potential due to the meager economic potential of the planet at this particular stage of  its development.


Multi-Cap has reported at least one shipload of Tatum-leaves being hi-jacked in the past six-months, despite the usual high security procedures. Pirates are not unknown in this region, however, they normally do not gother with secondary yield cargos such as this.

Using this hi-jacking as an excuse, Multi-Cap has consigned and is shipping to Janus extra security armament for the planetary police and the compane security force. Routine investigation of invoice-movement reveals that some of the items Multi-Cap is importing include heavy-duty laser cannon, sonic blast towers, magna-thrust land mines, and radiation blast torpedoes. Obviously this type of … I am missing the next page, page 4.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
June 19, 2015 - 7:28am
Should multi-cap be a subsidiary of an existing mega corp? For example Tachton the robotics megacorp on Lossend which is an ag economy. Make Janus an isolated station on Lossend and make woolies a slang term for wypongs and you would very effectively root this module into the Frontier. Lossend is a human colony too. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
June 19, 2015 - 10:13am
I'll take a look at the wypongs...
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."