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Feminism - a new version of communism
Like communism, feminism ignores basic, natural rights. Communism, striving for the happiness of the proletariat, trodden among others property rights. Private property was to be abolished, everything was to be shared, and everyone was to receive from common property "as needed." It was necessary to make the unconscious working class aware that it was being exploited by the capitalists. The most conscious part of the proletariat - the communists - were to lead it and bring about a change of regime by abolishing property rights and abolishing the exploitation of the working class. One of the dogmas of communism was the theory of "class struggle". The victory of the proletariat would lead to the liquidation of the bourgeoisie as a relic of the previous epoch and the creation of a classless society. While communism was the ideology of one social class (and fascism - the ideology of one nation), feminism is the ideology of one sex. In seeking to "liberate" women, it ignores basic, natural laws, incl. ignores the fact that gender largely determines social roles. Feminism postulates, inter alia, introducing gender equality. To realize the ideals of feminism, women need to be made aware that they are abused by men. Feminists will be at the forefront of women, eliminating inequality and abolishing the exploitation of women. The victory of feminism will lead to the creation of an androgynous society - in which gender will not determine the social role. Instead of the communist dogma of "class struggle" in feminism, we find the dogma of the "eternal war of the sexes." In feminist magazines, on the other hand, we can find serious considerations as to whether a woman will still need a man in the new society. A feminist is someone who believes that there is such a thing as an "eternal war of the sexes." She is convinced that a patriarchal society oppresses women. He fights for a "brave new world" in which gender will not determine anyone's role in society. She calls for equality, seeing the discrimination against women in the different treatment of women and men. We who have experienced communism find it easier to understand feminism when we realize that feminist concepts are a carbon copy of the communist newspeak. This is illustrated by the following table: communism Feminism class struggle war of the sexes bourgeois white heterosexual men rotten capitalism, oppressive patriarchy classless society androgynous society (asexual) social justice equality points for origin of gender quotas imperialist warmongers, perpetrators of domestic violence class consciousness sense of belonging to the female "gender" class exploitation of women elimination of social inequalities; elimination of gender discrimination fideistic superstitions patriarchal stereotypes people's democracy parity democracy historical necessity (inevitable collapse of capitalism) human progress (inevitable collapse of patriarchy) communists in the vanguard of the world proletarian revolution feminists in the vanguard of the world women's liberation movement reaction Ciemnogród enemy of the people (class enemy) male chauvinistic pig In the case of the communist ideology, it turned out that property rights were the driving force of the economy and that their elimination led to widespread poverty. It turned out that the implementation of the postulates of communism is either impossible or leads to absurdities in social life. It also turned out that average workers generally do not want communist power and the communists lose in free elections. Likewise, in the case of feminism, roles are found to be generally beneficial to families and to society. Implementing the postulates of feminism is either impossible or leads to absurdities in social life. It also turns out that average women generally do not want the power of feminists, and feminists, having no chance to enter the Seym under their own banner, must join a group dominated by men. Alleged or real oppression of women as a pretext for feminism For feminists, the pretext for making absurd demands to meet "here and now" is the real or imagined suffering of women "somewhere and in the past," for example, the suffering of circumcised women in Africa may be the basis for feminists to make demands to improve the situation of women in Poland. Let us ignore the fact that the suffering of African women cannot be the basis for claiming compensation from men to women in Poland. Nor can it be denied that there have been situations in human history where women have suffered a lot. However, if we were to bid on who suffered the most in recent centuries and for what reasons, gender would not be the most important criterion for differentiating the amount of suffering. During the Vendée massacre in revolutionary France, women, children and men were murdered alike for their Catholicism. The Turks murdered millions of Armenians for their faith and nationality. Likewise, Jews were murdered for racial reasons. The communists, on the other hand, murdered according to the class affiliation of the victims. The gender of the victims was not a particularly relevant criterion, and if anything, women were often treated more leniently. The situation of women throughout the history of Poland and feminist propaganda Outraged by the "oppression of women", feminists in Poland disregard the real situation of women in Poland, as well as Polish history and Polish conditions, repeating mindlessly the slogans imported from the West. Meanwhile, if we look at the real situation of women and men in Poland, we can see that women in Poland have never been discriminated against. Although there was a division of roles, women have always enjoyed great social respect. Slavs, as a rule, respected women. Moreover, the adoption of Christianity (where a woman is considered to have a soul just like a man), Marian cult, chivalrous culture and the role of women in uprisings further strengthened the respect for women. A man who did not treat women with respect placed himself on the margins of society. For these reasons, feminism has never had any significant influence in Poland. Despite this fact, women in Poland gained the right to vote at the same time as men, simultaneously with Poland regaining independence, in 1918, by a decree of the Chief of State, as something obvious, without any debates on this matter (for example in such a "progressive "France only a few years after World War II). Feminists did nothing for Polish women. The right to vote for women in Poland was introduced not because feminism was so popular, but despite the fact that feminism in Poland never mattered. Similarly, in Poland, feminists did not have to fight for women's access to education. Also under partitions, women could take part in the general self-education movement, which could, inter alia, result in receiving the Nobel Prize by Maria Curie-Skłodowska. Current statistics indicate even a greater percentage of female students than students in Poland (perhaps men should demand the introduction of quotas?). Feminists who proclaim the slogans of defending women against discrimination cannot understand how it is possible that more women are gathered in Poland by any parish procession than by the feminist manifesto. They do not understand why women, even more than men, have traditional political views and are more attached to the Catholic Church. It is no coincidence that the League of Polish Families is the grouping with the highest percentage of women in a parliamentary club. To explain the fact that women do not feel discriminated against, feminists coined the concept of "false consciousness". If a woman claims that she wants what a patriarchal society is forcing her to do, feminists say she has "false consciousness." For example, a woman may think that she wants marriage, but in fact she is forced into it by the force of patriarchal stereotypes that say that a woman fulfills herself most fully in the family. So she marries against her real desires, secretly dreaming of a career as an aviator or firefighter. Who is really discriminated against in Poland? When repeating their slogans about discrimination against women, feminists try not to accept facts that could indicate the opposite - for example, discrimination against men. Meanwhile, a comparison of the real situation of both sexes in Poland shows that if we were to talk about discrimination, it would be more justified to say that men are discriminated against. Women in Poland enjoy the privilege of retiring five years earlier. Moreover, taking into account the fact that men live shorter and earn more - men earn money for long-term pension payments to women, using it themselves to a small extent. If the pension societies entered into agreements with future pensioners on market principles, determining the amount of the pension contribution based on the average life expectancy in retirement - the premium for men would be lower and the pension paid could be higher. Men are required to undergo military training and defend the country in the event of war - which women do not have. The Universal Defense Duty Act is clearly contrary to the constitutional principle of gender equality, and it is even strange that no dissatisfied conscript has yet requested The family code especially discriminates against fathers of illegitimate children. The woman then has a choice that the man does not have. He may decide to raise a child alone and sue the man for maintenance. She can also give up motherhood by leaving the baby in hospital or giving her up for adoption. In the latter situation, a man who is not the husband of the child's mother cannot recognize the child as his own - without the woman's consent. He cannot raise him alone (or sue the women for alimony). His child may be adopted by someone else, and he has no rights. Pregnant women enjoy specific privileges. The employer is obliged to transfer the pregnant woman to another position if she works in harmful conditions, and she is not allowed to work shifts. At the same time, he has the right to keep his current remuneration. On the other hand, a breastfeeding mother has the right to an hourly break for breastfeeding (instead of a break, she may leave work an hour earlier). Single mothers bringing up children are entitled to tax benefits. In addition to legal privileges, there are many customary privileges for women: passing the door, kissing on the hand, paying in the premises by a man, Women's Day, Mother's Day, Grandma's Day, marked places for mothers with a baby in their arms in buses, the privilege of serving out of order pregnant women, etc. ., etc. If the Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Status was really intended to deal with the implementation of equal status for women and men, she should first of all deal with real problems - for example reducing the very high and increasing excess of male mortality. The difference in the average life expectancy of men and women is already 8 years! Meanwhile, the analysis of the expenditure of the Ministry of Health shows that, despite the advantage of women in terms of life expectancy, still more funds are allocated to combating typically female diseases than typically male diseases. Absurdities and contradictions of feminism Feminism is against nature and against common sense. The implementation of feminist postulates leads to absurdities in social life. To meet feminists' demands that women have access to male professions, standards are being lowered so that women can meet them. In the USA, the cross section of fire hoses has been reduced so that women can bear them. As a result, they now pump less water, to the detriment of the firefighting speed. In Poland, when women were admitted to officer schools, the requirements for the fitness exam were lowered. However, it is difficult to count on the enemy to be equally generous in the event of war, adjusting the attack force to the gender of the soldiers. Promoting feminist slogans, considering whether a man is needed - leads to the weakening of the family. Some feminists choose to have children in advance, assuming they will not be with the child's father. A man is treated only as an object - as a donor of genetic material and provider of maintenance. Meanwhile, modern science unequivocally confirms that the best conditions for raising children are in full families. Of course, sometimes divorce is an unpleasant necessity, but no reasonable person marries, planning in advance the divorce and raising children alone. On the other hand, some feminists, especially those with lesbian inclinations, decide in advance for single motherhood. They use a man, treating him instrumentally - as a donor of genetic material, but most of all they hurt the child. Feminists often believe that a woman has the right to have an abortion because "only she can decide about her belly," and the legal prohibition of abortion is an expression of "a patriarchal culture that oppresses women." Let us ignore the fact that attitudes to abortion do not depend on gender, but rather on a system of values and the view at which human life begins. There are both women and men for and against. It can even be assumed that it is women who, in practice, find it more difficult to decide on an abortion than men. However, if, according to feminists, we recognize that only a woman has the full right to decide about the fate of the fetus, then it should be consistently assumed that only a woman bears full responsibility for her decision (full power = full responsibility). This would therefore release the father from responsibility for the child and from the maintenance obligation if the woman decides to give birth to the child. This is where feminists are already stopping - they demand full power for a woman, but they also want the man to be jointly responsible for her decision. The situation is similar in the case of parities. Feminists demand the introduction of quotas for women on the electoral lists, recognizing that women's participation in power is insufficient. On the one hand, they argue that women have the same governing abilities as men, and on the other hand, that they bring some undefined "new quality" to politics (this is difficult to reconcile, because if women have "the same abilities", then they do not can bring any "new quality"). They ignore the fact that this and no other participation of women in power is the result of a democratic decision of a society in which the majority are women. However, the principle of parity would require that it be introduced not only where the proportions of the participation of women are unfavorable to them, but also where women dominate - in studies, in education, in the middle-level state administration or among office workers - where women definitely prevail. . Consistent adherence to the principle of parity would require that parities also apply in professions such as miners, steel workers, soldiers, policemen, and also among prisoners - which would require taking into account gender when issuing sentences (the vast majority of convicts are men). The principle of parity should also be applied when making decisions on granting custody over a child after divorce - so that the percentage of children specified in the act would be taken over by fathers after the divorce. Meanwhile, feminists are calling for quotas only where women might gain - and are defending themselves against introducing quotas where they might lose. Consistent application of the principle of gender equality would require that this principle be introduced also in sport, eliminating the current gender segregation. Therefore, it would be necessary to lead to joint competitions of women and men in all sports. The belief that women have the same abilities as men, and the observed differences are the result of stereotypes - should also result in the introduction of gender parities in team games. For example, half of the players of any football team should be women. The captain of the Polish football team should be, for example, Edyta Górniak, who has already proved that she can bring a new quality to Polish football. Kinga Dunin, promoting gender equality in "Wysokie Obcasy", advanced the postulate that men should take a hormone - prolactin, in order to grow their breasts. He believes that they could then ease women by taking over some of the duties related to feeding infants, while women could fulfill their professional work to a greater extent. Unfortunately, she did not write whether instead, as part of gender equality, women should take testosterone, for example to increase their aggressiveness in the workplace. However, I'm afraid the idea of men with breasts and women with a mustache and beard will not be very appealing to the heterosexual majority. Rather, I think the average woman would rather devote herself to caring for a baby than sleep with a husband with large breasts and grow a mustache and a beard or shave their hair every day. Feminist hypocrisy Feminists generally do not try to live up to the ideology they preach. A feminist who demands to be treated as a human, not as a woman, forgets about it when invited to an elegant venue. He does not then demand that everyone pay for himself. Receiving a female version of the menu from the waiter (without the prices of the dishes), he does not protest against such discrimination, but treats it as a compliment ("apparently I don't look like a sponsor"). A feminist who laments that women are paid less for "the same job" in her own company also pays women less, arguing that she must do this to keep herself from going out of business. But if women work just as well as men, then it could hire only women, pay them less, and win against the stereotypical competition by employing men. Unfortunately, it turns out that this is impossible and the men in her company are essential, and to keep them, you have to pay them more (both examples are authentic and taken from an online discussion forum). Feminists who demand the introduction of quotas on electoral lists or condemn the Catholic Church for disagreement with the priesthood of women should start by introducing their demands in their own organizations. When such views are expressed, it would be fitting for half of the positions of board members of feminist organizations and the position of vice-chairman to be given to men. Unfortunately, at home - in the authorities of feminist organizations - they do not introduce parities. Women are also employed in the office of the Plenipotentiary for Equal Status in substantive positions. Where the balance is upset in favor of women, quotas are apparently no longer needed ... The desirability of discrimination against men is mentioned by some feminists explicitly, sometimes using the term "positive discrimination" or justifying it as the necessity of a transitional period. As we remember, leftist revolutionary ideologies have it to themselves that they "temporarily" approve all measures in the fight against "the enemies of the people", in the name of future universal happiness. The vision of a "bright future" for the next generations justifies the suffering of the present generations, and especially the suffering of "class enemies". In May 2002, at the invitation of Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, the plenipotentiary of the Swedish government for equal status of women and men, Mrs. Lise Bergh, was in Poland. In an interview published on May 14, 2002 in Gazeta Wyborcza, Bergh made the following statement: "Yes, for a while, until a balance is achieved, men will have to be discriminated against. So that women will no longer be discriminated against and will not be discriminated against in the future." In this way, the spokeswoman for the alleged "equality" and the plenipotentiary for "equal status" - openly promotes discrimination against men. Feminism is therefore an ideology full of contradictions and hypocrisy such as "we want equal rights, but we don't want equal obligations." The slogan of discrimination against women is used by feminists completely instrumentally - either in the struggle for power or demanding additional, unlawful privileges. But they don't want any equality when it comes to responsibilities. The difference between men and women and social roles Feminists demand that "gender does not determine social role." At the same time, they deny the existence of differences between men and women, arguing that any perceived differences are the result of environmental influences. The social environment expects children to behave in accordance with the stereotype appropriate for their gender. The perceived differences between women and men are, according to feminists, the result of social expectations to which both women and men adjust. The remedy for this is to be a change in social awareness, which will make it possible to fully interchange social roles, regardless of gender. Free from the influence of stereotypes, women will be able to exercise power and work in men's professions, and men will be able to take care of the house, wash, clean and raise - depending on personal preferences. It is a fact that women have long been able to work in many male occupations and men have been taking care of the home, but still few families choose to do this. However, according to feminists, it is culturally conditioned and will change as social awareness changes. Meanwhile, human culture arises on a biological basis, and although it is quite plastic, it cannot be freely shaped. Human habits and behaviors often correspond to those of animals that are biologically conditioned. It is interesting to note that there is no equality among primates. Only males participate in the competition for control of the herd. The behavior of the monkeys in the herd - making tactical alliances, intriguing, provoking one another - is deceptively similar to the behavior of employees in the office. The seizure of power comes with certain privileges - priority in access to food, priority in access to females - but also with specific responsibilities. The march of the baboon herd follows specific rules that make it practically impossible for predators to kidnap the young or the female. The marching herd forms a triangle-shaped formation, headed by a dominant male, and at the other vertices of the triangle - males occupying subsequent positions in the hierarchy. This example illustrates well two regularities: (1) the differences between the social position of women and men are not only culturally but also biologically determined, and (2) each social position is associated with specific privileges and corresponding duties. The logical consequence of the first of these regularities is that it is impossible to change human culture to one that ignores human biological predispositions. Biology has a "higher priority" than culture, because while we can change culture to a certain extent, biology remains unchanged and it ultimately sets the framework for possible changes in culture. The second of these regularities says that it is not possible to enjoy the privileges of a particular social position on a permanent basis without taking on the corresponding, specific obligations. Meanwhile, feminists try to build a new society by ignoring both of these patterns. They want women to be treated the same as men where it pays them off, but they do not want to be treated the same where they might lose out. The differences between the sexes are revealed already in childhood. In Vasta, Haith and Miller's "Child Psychology," Chapter 15, "Gender Role Development and Gender Differences," we read that boys are better at reasoning math tasks and that the difference increases with age, shows greater spatial abilities, while girls show greater abilities verbal. When it comes to personality and social differences, boys are more active, more willing to explore their surroundings, and more independent of their mothers. Girls need more encouragement to dare to go out. Boys are also more aggressive than girls and are more likely to resolve conflicts using physical force, while girls prefer verbal persuasion. Feminists argue that the observed differences between boys and girls are the result of pressure from a patriarchal society that forces them into specific social roles from birth. Can the power of a patriarchal society be so great that it also affects monkeys? It turns out that male monkeys prefer to play with toy cars, and female monkeys prefer to play with dolls - just like human children. This suggests that a similar preference in children may be a congenital feature, not an acquired trait, says the American researcher in "Evolution and Behavior". The results of the research therefore challenge the belief that the preferences of boys and girls in choosing toys are shaped by upbringing in response to cultural and social expectations. Gerianne Alexander of Texas AM University, a specialist in the field of sex-related differences in behavior and their biological basis, tested the validity of this belief in studies on vervets. The observations concerned the reaction of monkeys to various toys. It turned out that, just like in children, animal preferences were related to gender. Thus, males spent much more time than females playing with toys traditionally considered "boyish", such as a soccer ball or a toy car. Females, on the other hand, devoted more time to dolls and toys imitating dishes. Moreover, toys assessed by the researchers as "gender neutral", such as a picture book or a teddy dog, enjoyed equal interest from both sexes. According to the researcher, the results prove that whether a toy is "boyish" or "girlish" is not related to cultural stereotypes or upbringing, but primarily to gender-specific preferences for toys of a different type. According to the researcher, preferences as to the choice of specific items have become established in the course of evolution in relation to the roles played by individuals of both sexes in the past, at the beginning of the development of the human species. Thus, boys show an innate tendency to choose objects that can move around in space and whose use requires physical activity. These preferences may be associated with such features as good spatial orientation, which made it easier for men to hunt game, search for food or a partner. Objects of this type also enable more aggressive and active play, characteristic of males of most species of mammals. In turn, the preferences of girls are largely based on the color of the object, which may reflect, among others, the role of women in caring for their offspring. For example, choosing a doll that is pink reveals a woman's desire for bodily contact, which increases the likelihood of survival of the newborn. Denying the role of genes and leftist utopias Denying the role of genes has a long tradition in leftist, utopian ideologies. It is worth returning to the sources of feminist views rooted in the beliefs of the Marxist biologist Trofim Denisowicz Łysenka. This Russian agrobiologist, in the years 1948-1956 chairman of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the USSR, denied the existence of genes and heredity in biology. He tried to transfer the ideas of Marx's dialectical materialism to the field of natural sciences. He argued that the physiological and morphological features of organisms are formed only in the course of their development and are acquired through similarity and adaptation to forms that coexist in a given environment, which in the animal world is known as social determinism. He believed, among other things, that wheat can grow rice (and vice versa) as long as these grains are sown in a rice field, hence he believed that plants can be hardened by planting thermophilic varieties in the vicinity of crops resistant to cold, he believed that it was possible to grow rice in Siberia, and domestic dogs released into the forest could give fox offspring under favorable conditions (without trying to mate them with foxes). Although it may seem improbable today, baldness was the dominant doctrine of agrobiologists in the Eastern bloc, and Lysenko himself led to the imprisonment of several dozen geneticists. For example, the chairman of the Institute of Genetics in Moscow, N. Wawiłow was imprisoned and then banished from the country. Polish geneticists who wanted to keep their positions also rejected Mendel's laws of heredity by going over to Łysenka's side. Fighting the traditional family The traditional family is sometimes portrayed by feminists as a modern form of female slavery and the source of all evil: violence, alcoholism and sexual abuse. What seems to us to be only a family pathology, a perversion of an otherwise good and necessary institution, for feminists is the very essence of patriarchal marriage. In their opinion, domestic violence results directly from the patriarchal culture and is allegedly universally accepted. As Anna Lipowska-Teutsch writes in her book "To raise, heal, liberate": A patriarchal culture is a culture of domination that does not respect differences related to race, age, gender, abilities, and preferences, but constantly uses these differences to dehumanize and exploit others. Violence is a fundamental element of patriarchal culture and serves to enforce obedience and maintain domination. Violence against women by their husbands and partners is a form of control and submission that is widely accepted in patriarchal society. The family is a microcosm that reflects the patriarchal order and is at the same time the foundation of a patriarchal society. Domestic violence is not an anomaly of this system, but is the essence of patriarchal power. At the same time, feminists idealize homosexual cohabitation, presenting it as a seat of pure love. Some feminists even claim that women are bisexual in nature and therefore may choose their sexual orientation. Sometimes they also treat sexual orientation as part of a feminist ideology, according to the slogan: "feminism is a theory, lesbism is a practice". Meanwhile, research shows that homosexual relationships are the most unstable. This is where changes of partners occur most often, and in such relationships the most violence (especially in lesbian relationships, where violence occurs in 50% of relationships). Without denying the fact that pathologies do occur in traditional families, it must be stated, however, that it is the traditional family that can best and fully satisfy human needs. Also the needs of women. Numerous studies show that a successful relationship with a man has a beneficial effect on the emotional balance of women and that this relationship is biologically determined. Feminists and normal, emotionally healthy women As has been shown many times, women are different from men and this difference determines (though not uniquely) their role in society or in marriage. Normal women understand and accept this fact, not wanting to trade roles with men for nothing. Feminists, on the other hand, feel inferior because of this, and to alleviate this feeling, they prove to themselves and to the whole world that they are just like men. Unlike a feminist, a normal woman: she likes men and expects that the chosen man will be the closest person to her (even closer than friends or children); has generally positive expectations of men, attracts, contacts and makes closer acquaintances with men with whom she feels good (despite all awareness that there are also brutes, alcoholics and deviants in the world - but these she generally tries to avoid); as a husband she willingly chooses a strong man who gives her a sense of security; is content to be a woman and takes full advantage of female privileges (adoring, dressing up and painting, coquetry, sex, etc.); does not envy men their privileges, or rather, on the contrary - would not like to trade with them for anything; she feels fulfilled as a woman when she becomes a mother; giving birth and raising children becomes more important to her than professional work; if she previously thought otherwise - such a re-evaluation takes place, for example, during pregnancy (possibly under the influence of hormones) or during breastfeeding; even when she works professionally, a close emotional bond with the child is a source of much greater gratifications for her than professional work. The feminist, on the other hand: he hates men, is afraid of them, is unable to make lasting, successful relationships with men; as a husband she willingly chooses a henchman whose submission gives her a sense of security, while towards a strong man she is distrustful and prepared for divorce (e.g. she secretly sets up a separate bank account from her husband, just in case); has generally negative expectations of men, perceives them mainly as brutes, alcoholics and sexual deviants - and indeed often attracts them to him; cannot enjoy the fact that she is a woman, even if she sometimes enjoys female privileges, her sex life is unsatisfactory due to fear of giving herself fully to a man; envies men of their privileges and would gladly swap with them (but without taking on male responsibilities); more than in motherhood he seeks fulfillment in power, prestige, or high professional position, sometimes he denies the existence of the maternal instinct. author Maciej Kołodziejczyk
Since my other post became excessively large and the title increasingly misleading, I've decided to post a separate guide.
Economy & Empire
1. Economy & Empire
Never tax early on, keep it at 0% until either the planet maxes out or you have no choice and need the funds. Population increases exponentially and you'll benefit from the increased early population growth through migration until the endgame. For reference, a top-quality max population planet can be taxed up to 100% for absurd income.
Your private economy will pay a percentage of their total income as "tax" to the state, then aim to fulfill all utility demands, filling out the remaining cashflow with maintenance costs.
In detail: First the taxes are deducted from private finances. Then, civs purchase ships and auto-build mining stations through your construction ships if there is utility demand. Thus tax reduces the amount of civ ships available in some cases yet frees up these funds for state matters like research and military. This also means the old argument "let your civs pay the bill" is partially true but only in case of surplus private spending or profit. Check the F6 screen to find out, but also look at spaceports to check if transports are gathering around doing nothing - a clear indication of a surplus. Increasing either civ maintenance costs or taxes will directly lower the amount of civ ships available (not existing mining stations). If there's no surplus to take this hit a deficit will form; hampering migration, tourism and resource transport (also mining if the stations fill up).
In conclusion: Only in case of surplus private spending or profit you'll want to militarize mining stations and civ ships. The opposite is also true - you can over-tax the private economy given enough happiness bonuses (else colonies will rebel anyway). Also, low-maintenance civ ships and stations means more civ ships - bigger isn't necessarily better.
While you should play as whichever race and government you enjoy most, wealth determines the size of your military and can be used to speed up research. Thus, economical bonuses are incredibly valuable (growth, happiness and colony income are excellent).
The "change cycle" is very effective due to the exponential nature of population growth (earlier is better), allowing the Gizureans and Securans to expand very rapidly combined with their high base reproduction; to a lesser degree the Dhayut as well.
Slowly reproducing races take more time to flourish, making the early to mid game more difficult but don't draw as much envy from other empires. Thus they have more freedom to choose their wars while the larger empires duke it out.
Resorts are a deceptively good source of income. Proximity is more important than quality. Passengers tend to be ferried to resorts in small amounts, so passenger transports only require large holds for migration purposes.
A few great empire-wide boosts: Firstly, Wonders. The Trade Guild (income) is incredibly powerful, especially if combined with the Holographic Universe (happiness). Growth is also useful though less near the endgame. The "Way of the Ancients" government type (from a ruin) is a boost in stats not unlike an empire-wide wonder while removing the Democracy's downsides. The "Way of Darkness" is a similarly powerful militant government type, including negative diplomatic fallout with non-militant empires, but may still be worth using as a relatively peaceful player.
Wonders' development bonuses don't stack, though their unique bonuses do. Thus, one wonder at each colony is ideal for income with possible exception of the Holographic Network and Trader's Bazaar, which combine well if the Bazaar alone isn't enough to get tax up to 100% on your best colony (max population-wise) while maintaining 15-20 happiness. All in one place is more defensible though the development bonus can pay for protection.
Buy a few empire contacts from pirates if you start in pre-warp. You'll likely get periodic monetary gifts to refund the costs and can trade your map for bonus income, ensuring you don't need to resort to taxation. You might be able to set up a few trade agreements early.
Mutual defense pacts cause major alliances to be formed; galaxy-wide war is not uncommon if you join them. It can be fun but also dangerous by lessening your empire's ability to pick its battles. Neutrality (only trade agreements) is generally easier.
When threatened with war at an inopportune moment consider trading trade sanctions aimed at a friendly empire. You can then end the sanctions immediately. Note that this is an exploit which can be used for trading even if you're not threatened.
Another way to gain millions worth of "trade value" is to build mining stations in enemy territory. Beware that this will cause a temporary relationship penalty.
Gas stations are often picked for automated refueling missions and thus benefit from a handful of docking ports, though manual spaceport selection for fleet refueling lowers this necessity.
Rare luxury resources can be shared for a significant diplomacy boost, making the entire galaxy more friendly towards you using a single colony or mining station.
Caslon/Hydrogen are the two fuel types and you'll likely want to use both to avoid shortages. Caslon engines provide more power and energy capacity per size and are thus ideal for military vessels, while Hydrogen is very fuel-efficient and thus ideal for civ/base use. The top-tier engine uses Hydrogen, at which point it may be useful to swap Caslon to civs and Hydrogen to military use.
Spaceports are best used as construction yards as freighters will prioritize them to offload or centralize resources. Thus, you don't need many unless there's a freighter deficit. Colonies can be serviced with medical, recreational and defensive facilities through the Defensive Base instead.
Different freighter sizes are useful simply because having designs for them causes your civs to buy more (they don't adapt to having less options), but otherwise don't seem to behave any differently. You can use one design and copy it. This understanding also provides the option of reducing the amount of freighters when desired by marking a freighter design as obsolete.
Your finances determine the max size of your military, while resources determine how quickly ships are built and whether or not they have fuel available. Tech, size and your design skills (particularly range setup and weapon choice) mostly determine individual ship power.
Extreme difficulty demands that you pick fights selectively until the lategame. Diplomacy is the best defense.
Sometimes it's a great idea to spend all your funds on an all-out blitz invasion of a friendly neighboring empire, notably when they only have a single or few colonies. Use troop transports and primarily armored ground forces, no weapons, and create an amount of fleets equal to the amount of colonies with troop numbers proportional to their targets - roughly 3x troop power is advised, even 4x if there's a swarm of ships around the colony (they'll likely have troops, which will land almost immediately). Just before invading, position your troop transports directly above the center of the target colony (moving towards a port or vessel is ideal for this), pausing as necessary. When ready, simultaneously invade - they won't be able to retaliate, and everything they owned is now yours.
It's best to retrofit bases but retire any ships to assimilate their technology.
Pirates are best paid off immediately for a cheap protection arrangement. As your relationship improves over time they'll be less inclined to break it. Thus for a small and manageable price pirates don't need to be much of a bother. Alternatively, destroying them for good by wiping their bases (including any Criminal Networks) and construction ship can be the better option, but only if you achieve a quick victory. Fail, and you've now got a persistent enemy who can only be bought off at a ludicrous price which keeps going up as they periodically break your arrangement.
Passive territory defense can globally be done in three ways: Defense fleets using posture to defend key areas, automated non-fleet ships (not escorts/frigates as they'll waste time following civs) and militarizing everything (inefficient). If you're using ships there are a few important considerations to actually make them effective: Response times (range-appropriate hyperdrives), delaying the enemy (armoshields, Gravity Well, shield bypassing damage) and keeping your empire's territory "tight".
An Admiral with +attack power will massively increase damage dealt at max range for falloff weapons as damage loss/distance does not increase proportionally, making long-range torps overpowered. Having a good Admiral can in general make your main fleet immensely powerful. Note that +maneuver and +speed apply to fighters to increase their DPS significantly while helping your carriers dictate range.
If the F11 screen is correct, which I doubt, Admiral bonuses stack.
Explorer ships without weapons are ignored by out-of-range enemies and can thus be used for long-range scanning. Park one in a gas cloud with excess energy collectors (~2x) for sustained operation.
Regarding range dictation, "Standoff" will make the AI attempt to stay at the widest equipped weapon range, causing the ship to err in both directions - sometimes too far, sometimes too close. "Evade" is ideal for carriers as this keeps the margin of error closer to safety. "Point Blank" is ideal for any weapon with sharp damage falloff like blasters, gravs, rails and some torps, though mixed weapons on a single ship benefit from "All Weapons". Different ranges against weakestronger opponents are mostly useful in small engagements as the enemy is likely to target closer ships, meaning there's no such thing as a "weaker opponent" in large battles.
Tractor beams are amazing: Pulling enemies works well in any situation to close distance including large fleet engagements - your fleet will suck in individual ships and blast them to bits, maintaining range advantage both in offense (hitting a nearby target) and defense (getting shot at from far away). Pushing works well unless outnumbered.
For military ships, bigger is better. Firepower housed in a tanky hull stays operational longer as opposed to small ships getting picked off early. They'll have high boarding defense due to hab modules and greater ability to flee before taking fatal damage.
Smaller ships are not faster: A ship double the size with double the thrusters will achieve equal speed.
Resupply ships are essentially supercapitals, going up to 4500 size at max construction, minus 20% on "resupply parts" (cargo bays/docks/gas extractors) = 3600 usable size (1.6 carriers or 2.4 capitals). Note that: The resupply parts will cost around 10% of the maintenance and slow down the ship somewhat, they can only be built on colonies as opposed to construction yards, while deployed they won't defend themselves actively and they refuse to refuel from their own cargo bays. Despite all that they're incredibly powerful.
A good fleet command ship to keep the Admiral and fleet countermeasures/targeting safe is one without hyperdrive. Minimal speed and a single fuel cell ensures it never leaves the homeworld system. If this seems cheesy, use a cowardly tank instead.
Though weapons are only as good as the tactics and Admiral they're used with, it's safe to say gravs, rails and blasters (not phasers) show their weakness in Extreme mode. Gravs have a low time-to-kill even if mounted on supercapitals while rails and blasters have poor accuracy in large quantities.
However, a single grav will damage a ship's hull to make it flee prematurely - great on defensive ships/stations.
Area weapons are very powerful in fleet engagements yet mediocre (not weak) in small engagements. They're bottlenecked by energy capacity and thus combine well with high energy/s modules to get the most out of your reactors. They also combine poorly with tractor beams as you'll want the enemy to swarm together.
If you find a superweapon, use it - especially the Devastator. A few supercapitals with Devastators will make even Extreme difficulty easy.
There are three possible strategies to ship defense: Capacity (shields/armor), sustain (recharge/repair) and speed/range. It's a good idea to specialize in one or two of these strategies, not all three.
Very fast ships set to Evade or long range Standoff don't require much shields/armor, benefit strongly from sustain and rarely get their shields bypassed or boarded.
Calculate "armor recharge" when using a repair bot. The base rate at max tech is 13.33/s (40/3) or 20/s (40/2) with an Ikkuro bot, though more in practice due to reactive armor damage reduction (20% against a point blank torp, more against most weapons). In other words, the sustain equivalent of at least 11 top-tech shields or 16 with an Ikkuro bot, without the energy cost.
The energy requirement of a ship in combat is simply "sprint + weapons + shield recharge" when compared to "excess energy output" as shown on the design screen.
Slightly draining the reactor is permissible as engagements tend to be brief and early damage will take enemies out of the fight sooner (~60 secs is a good aim), unless using area shield recharge (these will not be used if the reactor is drained).
Point defenses are used situationally, meaning they're allowed to drain the reactor more rapidly.
Fleeing causes a ship to switch to cruise speed, freeing up the reactor significantly. Still, make sure it has enough energy to warp, else it gets stranded.
Low delay hyper jumping is better than you might think, particularly on dense maps and with sustain tanking. This allows military ships to flee before taking crippling damage, giving them time to regenerate shields or repair. They'll then get back into the fight or at least avoid destruction. Civs will often take short trips, particularly if you intentionally limit their fuel capacity. However, max speed hyper drives are significantly faster across long distances (1-2+ sectors). The top-tier Torrent Drive is outright better than earlier options, except the Kaldos for hit-and-run tactics (33% longer delay - 3 to 4 seconds).
Partially built stations are already functional, meaning component order can be optimized for earlier operation (that includes mining, med/rec facilities, armor etc). Also, you can use a bare-bones design to "plop" down a base quickly and retrofit it afterwards to save construction ship time - particularly useful when pre-building a defensive base on a new colony.
A few non-obvious things: Spaceports don't require cargo bays. Damage control and repair bots don't stack. A single component plant (weapon, energy, hitech) each is sufficient unless you want to churn out 30+ large ships at once - good planning makes adding more largely obsolete. More than one construction yard per construction ship is wasted as additional yards will not improve speed (including yards used on stations - these just add more queues). Exploration ships ought to be kept lightweight so you can field more. Mining/Gas stations can extract resources without fuel or energy. The "mining cap" is reached at 4 Mining Engines or 3 Gas Extractors.
Intelligence Agents (spies) can be used to boost research progress tremendously, give access to otherwise expensive or inaccessible race-specific tech and steal particularly large galaxy maps (the latter can be sold to other empires). Particularly the Haakonish "Compressed Fuel Storage" is an amazing steal as this renders two subsequent research options obsolete.
Watch your research cap. Too many or too few labs is wasteful, though too few is definitely worse. Always take advantage of location research bonuses as these are applied after the cap. Put your best scientists on these locations to further increase the bonus (only the highest total bonus of any one station+resident scientist applies). A unique "home base" spaceport can house your labs, adding more as you near the cap, using only 3 research stations total for the bonuses throughout the game. A scientist with the "Ultra Genius" trait should be held onto for a +20% bonus to all fields.
Lastly, two off-topic tips: A great way to test any game mechanic or ship build is to start a game at tech 7, or just backup one of your endgame saves for later use. Star amount largely governs the drain on your PC's hardware. If you're experiencing stutter, consider playing on a less populated map. You can lower the map size to keep inter-system distances similar, though vast distances add a certain "deep space" charm to gameplay.
Don't blindly follow a narrative, its bad for you and its bad for crypto in general
I mostly lurk around here but I see a pattern repeating over and over again here and in multiple communities so I have to post. I'm just posting this here because I appreciate the fact that this sub is a place of free speech and maybe something productive can come out from this post, while bitcoin is just fucking censorship, memes and moon/lambo posts. If you don't agree, write in the comments why, instead of downvoting. You don't have to upvote either, but when you downvote you are killing the opportunity to have discussion. If you downvote or comment that I'm wrong without providing any counterpoints you are no better than the BTC maxis you despise. In various communities I see a narrative being used to bring people in and making them follow something without thinking for themselves. In crypto I see this mostly in BTC vs BCH tribalistic arguments: - BTC community: "Everything that is not BTC is shitcoin." or more recently as stated by adam on twitter, "Everything that is not BTC is a ponzi scheme, even ETH.", "what is ETH supply?", and even that they are doing this for "altruistic" reasons, to "protect" the newcomers. Very convenient for them that they are protecting the newcomers by having them buy their bags - BCH community: "BTC maxis are dumb", "just increase block size and you will have truly p2p electronic cash", "It is just that simple, there are no trade offs", "if you don't agree with me you are a BTC maxi", "BCH is satoshi's vision for p2p electronic cash" It is not exclusive to crypto but also politics, and you see this over and over again on twitter and on reddit. My point is, that narratives are created so people don't have to think, they just choose a narrative that is easy to follow and makes sense for them, and stick with it. And people keep repeating these narratives to bring other people in, maybe by ignorance, because they truly believe it without questioning, or maybe by self interest, because they want to shill you their bags. Because this is BCH community, and because bitcoin is censored, so I can't post there about the problems in the BTC narrative (some of which are IMO correctly identified by BCH community), I will stick with the narrative I see in the BCH community. The culprit of this post was firstly this post by user u/scotty321"The BTC Paradox: “A 1 MB blocksize enables poor people to run their own node!” “Okay, then what?” “Poor people won’t be able to use the network!”". You will see many posts of this kind being made by u/Egon_1 also. Then you have also this comment in that thread by u/fuck_____________1 saying that people that want to run their own nodes are retarded and that there is no reason to want to do that. "Just trust block explorer websites". And the post and comment were highly upvoted. Really? You really think that there is no problem in having just a few nodes on the network? And that the only thing that secures the network are miners? As stated by user u/co1nsurf3r in that thread:
While I don't think that everybody needs to run a node, a full node does publish blocks it considers valid to other nodes. This does not amount to much if you only consider a single node in the network, but many "honest" full nodes in the network will reduce the probability of a valid block being withheld from the network by a collusion of "hostile" node operators.
But surely this will not get attention here, and will be downvoted by those people that promote the narrative that there is no trade off in increasing the blocksize and the people that don't see it are retarded or are btc maxis. The only narrative I stick to and have been for many years now is that cryptocurrency takes power from the government and gives power to the individual, so you are not restricted to your economy as you can participate in the global economy. There is also the narrative of banking the bankless, which I hope will come true, but it is not a use case we are seeing right now. Some people would argue that removing power from gov's is a bad thing, but you can't deny the fact that gov's can't control crypto (at least we would want them not to). But, if you really want the individuals to remain in control of their money and transact with anyone in the world, the network needs to be very resistant to any kind of attacks. How can you have p2p electronic cash if your network just has a handful couple of nodes and the chinese gov can locate them and just block communication to them? I'm not saying that this is BCH case, I'm just refuting the fact that there is no value in running your own node. If you are relying on block explorers, the gov can just block the communication to the block explorer websites. Then what? Who will you trust to get chain information? The nodes needs to be decentralized so if you take one node down, many more can appear so it is hard to censor and you don't have few points of failure. Right now BTC is focusing on that use case of being difficult to censor. But with that comes the problem that is very expensive to transact on the network, which breaks the purpose of anyone being able to participate. Obviously I do think that is also a major problem, and lightning network is awful right now and probably still years away of being usable, if it ever will. The best solution is up for debate, but thinking that you just have to increase the blocksize and there is no trade off is just naive or misleading. BCH is doing a good thing in trying to come with a solution that is inclusive and promotes cheap and fast transactions, but also don't forget centralization is a major concern and nothing to just shrug off. Saying that "a 1 MB blocksize enables poor people to run their own" and that because of that "Poor people won’t be able to use the network" is a misrepresentation designed to promote a narrative. Because 1MB is not to allow "poor" people to run their node, it is to facilitate as many people to run a node to promote decentralization and avoid censorship. Also an elephant in the room that you will not see being discussed in either BTC or BCH communities is that mining pools are heavily centralized. And I'm not talking about miners being mostly in china, but also that big pools control a lot of hashing power both in BTC and BCH, and that is terrible for the purpose of crypto. Other projects are trying to solve that. Will they be successful? I don't know, I hope so, because I don't buy into any narrative. There are many challenges and I want to see crypto succeed as a whole. As always guys, DYOR and always question if you are not blindly following a narrative. I'm sure I will be called BTC maxi but maybe some people will find value in this. Don't trust guys that are always posting silly "gocha's" against the other "tribe". EDIT: User u/ShadowOfHarbringer has pointed me to some threads that this has been discussed in the past and I will just put my take on them here for visibility, as I will be using this thread as a reference in future discussions I engage:
When there was only 2 nodes in the network, adding a third node increased redundancy and resiliency of the network as a whole in a significant way. When there is thousands of nodes in the network, adding yet another node only marginally increase the redundancy and resiliency of the network. So the question then becomes a matter of personal judgement of how much that added redundancy and resiliency is worth. For the absolutist, it is absolutely worth it and everyone on this planet should do their part.
What is the magical number of nodes that makes it counterproductive to add new nodes? Did he do any math? Does BCH achieve this holy grail safe number of nodes? Guess what, nobody knows at what number of nodes is starts to be marginally irrelevant to add new nodes. Even BTC today could still not have enough nodes to be safe. If you can't know for sure that you are safe, it is better to try to be safer than sorry. Thousands of nodes is still not enough, as I said, it is much cheaper to run a full node as it is to mine. If it costs millions in hash power to do a 51% attack on the block generation it means nothing if it costs less than $10k to run more nodes than there are in total in the network and cause havoc and slowing people from using the network. Or using bot farms to DDoS the 1000s of nodes in the network. Not all attacks are monetarily motivated. When you have governments with billions of dollars at their disposal and something that could threat their power they could do anything they could to stop people from using it, and the cheapest it is to do so the better
You should run a full node if you're a big business with e.g. >$100k/month in volume, or if you run a service that requires high fraud resistance and validation certainty for payments sent your way (e.g. an exchange). For most other users of Bitcoin, there's no good reason to run a full node unless you reel like it.
Shouldn't individuals benefit from fraud resistance too? Why just businesses?
Personally, I think it's a good idea to make sure that people can easily run a full node because they feel like it, and that it's desirable to keep full node resource requirements reasonable for an enthusiast/hobbyist whenever possible. This might seem to be at odds with the concept of making a worldwide digital cash system in which all transactions are validated by everybody, but after having done the math and some of the code myself, I believe that we should be able to have our cake and eat it too.
This is recurrent argument, but also no math provided, "just trust me I did the math"
The biggest reason individuals may want to run their own node is to increase their privacy. SPV wallets rely on others (nodes or ElectronX servers) who may learn their addresses.
It is a reason and valid one but not the biggest reason
If you do it for fun and experimental it good. If you do it for extra privacy it's ok. If you do it to help the network don't. You are just slowing down miners and exchanges.
Yes it will slow down the network, but that shows how people just don't get the the trade off they are doing
I will just copy/paste what Satoshi Nakamoto said in his own words. "The current system where every user is a network node is not the intended configuration for large scale. That would be like every Usenet user runs their own NNTP server."
Another "it is all or nothing argument" and quoting satoshi to try and prove their point. Just because every user doesn't need to be also a full node doesn't mean that there aren't serious risks for having few nodes
For this to have any importance in practice, all of the miners, all of the exchanges, all of the explorers and all of the economic nodes should go rogue all at once. Collude to change consensus. If you have a node you can detect this. It doesn't do much, because such a scenario is impossible in practice.
Not true because as I said, you can DDoS the current nodes or run more malicious nodes than that there currently are, because is cheap to do so
Non-mining nodes don't contribute to adding data to the blockchain ledger, but they do play a part in propagating transactions that aren't yet in blocks (the mempool). Bitcoin client implementations can have different validations for transactions they see outside of blocks and transactions they see inside of blocks; this allows for "soft forks" to add new types of transactions without completely breaking older clients (while a transaction is in the mempool, a node receiving a transaction that's a new/unknown type could drop it as not a valid transaction (not propagate it to its peers), but if that same transaction ends up in a block and that node receives the block, they accept the block (and the transaction in it) as valid (and therefore don't get left behind on the blockchain and become a fork). The participation in the mempool is a sort of "herd immunity" protection for the network, and it was a key talking point for the "User Activated Soft Fork" (UASF) around the time the Segregated Witness feature was trying to be added in. If a certain percentage of nodes updated their software to not propagate certain types of transactions (or not communicate with certain types of nodes), then they can control what gets into a block (someone wanting to get that sort of transaction into a block would need to communicate directly to a mining node, or communicate only through nodes that weren't blocking that sort of transaction) if a certain threshold of nodes adheres to those same validation rules. It's less specific than the influence on the blockchain data that mining nodes have, but it's definitely not nothing.
The first reasonable comment in that thread but is deep down there with only 1 upvote
The addition of non-mining nodes does not add to the efficiency of the network, but actually takes away from it because of the latency issue.
That is true and is actually a trade off you are making, sacrificing security to have scalability
The addition of non-mining nodes has little to no effect on security, since you only need to destroy mining ones to take down the network
It is true that if you destroy mining nodes you take down the network from producing new blocks (temporarily), even if you have a lot of non mining nodes. But, it still better than if you take down the mining nodes who are also the only full nodes. If the miners are not the only full nodes, at least you still have full nodes with the blockchain data so new miners can download it and join. If all the miners are also the full nodes and you take them down, where will you get all the past blockchain data to start mining again? Just pray that the miners that were taken down come back online at some point in the future?
The real limiting factor is ISP's: Imagine a situation where one service provider defrauds 4000 different nodes. Did the excessive amount of nodes help at all, when they have all been defrauded by the same service provider? If there are only 30 ISP's in the world, how many nodes do we REALLY need?
You cant defraud if the connection is encrypted. Use TOR for example, it is hard for ISP's to know what you are doing.
Satoshi specifically said in the white paper that after a certain point, number of nodes needed plateaus, meaning after a certain point, adding more nodes is actually counterintuitive, which we also demonstrated. (the latency issue). So, we have adequately demonstrated why running non-mining nodes does not add additional value or security to the network.
Again, what is the number of nodes that makes it counterproductive? Did he do any math?
There's also the matter of economically significant nodes and the role they play in consensus. Sure, nobody cares about your average joe's "full node" where he is "keeping his own ledger to keep the miners honest", as it has no significance to the economy and the miners couldn't give a damn about it. However, if say some major exchanges got together to protest a miner activated fork, they would have some protest power against that fork because many people use their service. Of course, there still needs to be miners running on said "protest fork" to keep the chain running, but miners do follow the money and if they got caught mining a fork that none of the major exchanges were trading, they could be coaxed over to said "protest fork".
In consensus, what matters about nodes is only the number, economical power of the node doesn't mean nothing, the protocol doesn't see the net worth of the individual or organization running that node.
Running a full node that is not mining and not involved is spending or receiving payments is of very little use. It helps to make sure network traffic is broadcast, and is another copy of the blockchain, but that is all (and is probably not needed in a healthy coin with many other nodes)
He gets it right (broadcasting transaction and keeping a copy of the blockchain) but he dismisses the importance of it
With the cities across Mozambique vacant for the time being while the population undergoes the Great Cultural Transformation, that leaves the cities open and ready for total remodeling. By remodeling, President Menete meant, bulldozing most of the city and starting over from scratch. While only a few streets of Maputo were considered truly modernized, not a lot of tears will be had about starting over. Which was once a city for 1,000,000, Maputo will be completely redesigned and planned from the ground up to have enough space for 2,000,000 people, who will be the upper crust of FRELIMO and the Government, the Vanguard cadre. Maputo was the exemplary colony of Portugal, and situated right next to Matola, the two cities are virtually inseparable. Just as Maputo will, Matola and Maputo will be combined, taking the name Maputo, and both will be created from the ground up. To maximize reusable resources, the buildings must all be carefully dismantled, and deconstructed so that most of the resources will be usable in the reconstruction of the new city. Maputo has a number of issues, being mostly huts, is not visually pleasing, no sewer, no metro-system, poor roads, poor electricity coverage, water integration, internet, the list goes on of the many issues Maputo has. The Maputo International Airport is poorly designed, and slapped in the middle of the city which awkwardly eats up a huge area of land. The only real redeeming part of the city is the port, but even then- it is definitely not ready for the level of trade that Maputo needs to hold. However, some token spots have been selected to not be destroyed, like the Samora Machel Statue, it will just be stored, as well as Vila Algarve building for the former Portuguese Secret Police, and Maputo Katembe Bridge. The Samora statue will be placed in protective storage for the mean time, while Vila Algarve will be completely preserved in its current status, as it will become the Portuguese Oppression Museum. Additionally, the railways will be retained, but the Maputo Railway Station will be destroyed and rebuilt in a different design. With approximately 100,000 workers from the People's Militia, this will take four months to complete, and when it is leveled- the construction of a new Maputo can begin. The new Maputo will become completely urban-planned like a true Soviet-style city. First, the city will be designed alongside Russian architects and urban planners to cross hatch all of the roads in the city north to south as names of FRELIMO revolutionary figures, and east to west as international socialist figures like Karl Marx, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Xi Jinping, Kim Il-Sung, and the like. There will be two major roads in the city that will be larger and longer than the rest, namely General Menete Avenue which will be a completely modernized Avenida de Marginal, and Progress & Science Avenue which will take place of Avenida de Joaquin Chissano. With the exception of these two roadways, the rest of the city will be sectioned off into districts as follows:
Mpilo District - Maputo Port Authority, Industrial Area, President Menete Railway Station
Ganyah District - High-class residential area, State-Owned Enterprise HQs, Office Buildings, restaurants, local businesses
Ghakarhi District - Parks, light entertainment, shopping centers, sports centers
Phiwokwakhe District - Residential area, restaurants, local businesses
Induna District - Directly borders Maputo Bay, holds General Menete Avenue and the seat of government
Fokazi District - Embassies, universities, high-scale shopping centers
Spamandla District - Entertainment, High-class residential area, restaurants, local businesses
Bongani District - Residential area, restaurants, local businesses
Ilha Xefina District - Island off Maputo's coast, will only hold the new Maputo International Airport and hotel for foreign guests, Revolutionary Gateway Bridge will be created to connect Ilha Xefina District to Maputo proper
These will be the largest and most important districts in the new Maputo. Before any grand construction begins, the sewers must be dug, the water-pipes must be laid, along with internet cabling, and power-lines must be installed. This will prevent any over-ground wire-management and will keep it all centrally contained. At this time, the roadways can also be constructed three lanes on each side with clear dividers separating each side. Traffic light management systems will be installed along with roadway cameras which will be part of a greater "Security Network" project which will CCTV-capture the entire city, and prospectively cities in Mozambique. New signage in Xitsonga will be installed as well. Residences In the residential districts the land will be plotted off for the large scale apartment projects, so the foundation digging process can begin, because under the apartment complexes will be parking garages so that a parking ban can be enforced on the open streets, and keep them more empty during all day hours. The apartments will be constructed in the usual cookie cutter fashion, and will have integrated water systems, sewage, internet, electricity, and AC units as it is excessively warm in Mozambique. This will be standard across all residences in the city, both general and high-class. Because the capital city is for the most loyal supporters of FRELIMO and President Menete, they will be provided for the best. The roofs of each of the buildings will have solar panels on them to give back to the energy grid, while personal solar panels will be provided for each unit for use in their windows. Each unit will have three bedrooms, a kitchen, a common room, laundry room, two bathrooms, a dining room, and a study (Because this is the upper crust capital). The high-class residences that are apartment buildings will have a second story to each unit, and the other options for high-class residences include townhouses, and a select few mansions. The residences will all have gated entry, for apartments there will be three complexes per residential block, which will be gated off. Key card access on foot, or camera-parking pass access for vehicles. The entries and exits of the residential areas will be run by an officer from the Ministry of People's Security, the public law enforcement ministry. Visitors will have to check in and show identification upon entrance, mail will be delivered to the security entrances. There will be at least one officer manning the entry/exit 24 hours a day. Maputo Metro System At this time, the Maputo Metro System will be dug out as well at 500 ft deep, which will also serve as a bomb-shelter network. Three lines will be dug, two will be public, one will be for use of the military, government, and Presidency. The two public lines, Victory Line and Equality Line will provide basic ridership services. With around 2,000,000 people in the city, it is expected ridership will move around 500,000 to 750,000 in a day. No food or drinks will be allowed on the metro services to keep the system clean. Service will run from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM. For riders, tickets can be purchased by stop at a kiosk when entering for a low cost, or by acquiring a Revolutionary Pass which covers transportation by bus, taxi, and metro. Revolutionary Passes can be tapped at the turnstile to give access to the subway and once again when leaving to calculate distance and rate. These cards can be topped up at the same ticket kiosks, but the Revolutionary Passes are only for party members and offer a lower rate than normal. The Maputo Metro System will use SFM16 CRRC Qingdao Sifang rolling stock cars. Service for each station will be monitored by television with expected arrival times listed, cars will rotate between stations no longer than five minutes. Maputo International Airport After the old Maputo International Airport is dismantled due to its unwieldy location, island reclamation projects will begin on Ilha Xefina island to hold the new Maputo International Airport, and the Grand Maputo Hotel at the south side of the island. The Maputo International Airport will retain its old IATA, ICAO, and WMO callsigns, just its location will be moved, and modernized. It will operate two concrete runways of 3,800 meters in length. The airport will consist of two terminals complete with duty free stores, business and first class lounges, gift shops and other amenities like internet. The future of travel to Mozambique is uncertain, and truthfully, the Ministry of National Development has no idea of what sort of traffic to see. Terminal 1 will be domestic flights, whereas Terminal 2 will be international flights, and considerably nicer. Extensive hangars and repair facilities will be constructed as a normal airport might have, as well as a baggage claim system. Revolutionary Gateway Bridge To connect Maputo proper to Ilha Xefina island, it will require a suspension bridge with cable-stay capabilities to span 1.5 miles. The bridge will be 90ft wide and support highway-scale traffic on both sides. Clearance below the bridge should account for 375 ft so that freighters, and military vessels can pass underneath the bridge as needed. China’s Shandong Gaosu Group has been invited to lead the designing and construction of the bridge, to be supported by the People’s Militia work teams. Grand Maputo Hotel Orascom has been invited by the President to construct the largest hotel in Maputo which will service foreigners, domestic government travellers, and heads of state in the future. Most notably, Orascom has built the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang in the neo-futurist style- which is exactly the style that Mozambique is looking for. While Orascom will be given free reign on design, look, and features, the President has a list of specific requirements for the company to meet:
Built with Neo-Futurist Style
Between 1,900 Ft and 2,000 ft
Has a rotating restaurant
Between 100 and 170 floors
Can be completed by 2030
Costs under $2 Bn
Will hire Mozambican labor
Can display videos, images, or colors from the glass walls at night
Maputo Port Authority During this overhaul, the Maputo Port will be expanded and modernized to support a large export capacity that Mozambique will need to bring in its revenues. The Port Authority is looking for 35 container berths, quay length of 15,500 m, an area of 600 hectares of container facilities, 130 quay cranes, and supporting capacity between 20 - 30 million TEUs annually. The fact of the matter is, Mozambique is way too poor to construct this port by itself and will need China Merchants Port to construct it. To finance this, Mozambique is proposing the Gwadar Port standard, where China Overseas Port Holding Company creates a joint venture with the Mozambican Government, like Sino-Mozambique Port Management Corporation, which will give some revenue both to the Mozambican Government, and China to pay back for the costs of construction, which will pay off and transition to Mozambique in 20 years. General Menete Avenue General Menete Avenue will be the most important road in the country, the seat of the Mozambican Government and also the longest continuous road in the city. The presence of the road will revolve primarily around Revolution Square. Revolution Square is a proposed area in front of the new Presidential Residence- the Palace of the Revolution, where military parades and other celebrations will be held for viewing on a national and international scale. On the West side of the square, will be the Palace of the Revolution. President Menete has contacted Mansudae Overseas Projects and asked them to design and commission the Revolution Square, the Palace of the Revolution, National People’s Assembly- comprising the Great Hall of the Nation, and the FRELIMO Party HQ that all will comprise the square. The East side of the square will have a nice view of the ocean. The North side of the square will have the FRELIMO Party Headquarters, which is also the meeting building for the Central Committee, comprising the Hall of the Workers- where the Central Committee and the National Party Conference convenes. The south side of the square will have the National People’s Assembly, where the seat of the legislature is. Between the Palace of the Revolution and Revolution Square, General Menete Avenue will split the two, making it a perfect location for a military parade. At the center of Revolution Square, the Samora Machel Statue will be dug out of storage, cleaned off and placed there. Alongside it, a similar statue will be commissioned by Mansudae Overseas Projects to also be 31ft in height, depicting President Menete. The two statues will be placed side-by-side, and in front of it, will be the National Flagpole, which will be the world’s tallest flagpole at 565 ft. which will carry a super-sized national Mozambican flag. Flanking the Palace of the Revolution on the north and south will be all the headquarters of the various ministries, and the Central Military Commission. One of the Maputo Metro stops for the public, and for the private government line will be Revolution Square. Palace of the Revolution The Palace of the Revolution, upon its completion will currently be the most high-scale and luxurious residence in the country, fit for a President, dare I say- a king. The complex itself spans 4.6 square miles behind General Menete Avenue and behind the properties of the ministries surrounding the facility and is accessible by the private government Maputo Metro line. The main house itself has 300 bedrooms, 115 bathrooms, and 400 other rooms. While three floors are above ground, there are also two floors below ground for access in dangerous situations like war, nuclear attack, and the like. In addition to the Maputo Metro access, it also has an underground railroad (more about that coming soon). The underground levels are protected with layers of thick concrete covered in lead, walls reinforced with iron rods. On the facility grounds is a moderate-sized military base, for the protection of the President, while the State Security Department also has VIP protection units inside the house. The facility limits are surrounded by electric fencing, mine fields, and security checkpoints. For leadership, government figures, the main entrance is actually through the metro, train, or a non-descript back road and foot entrance, where most of the security checkpoints are. The grounds areas have a shooting range, a swimming pool with waterslide, a racetrack, horse stables and riding area, a manmade lake with a yacht, seadoos, its own private airfield, and a large garden. The interiors are about just in the same level of excess as its outside, with banquet halls, interior gym and track, a spa and sauna, interior shooting range, bowling alley, ice rink, and its own restaurants, in addition to several kitchens. President Menete has asked the Supreme Marshal Kim Jong-un for permission to open a Pyongyang Restaurant inside his Palace of the Revolution, in addition to a Samtaesong (DPRK-based fast food chain). Unlikely to get any US companies to bite, President Menete also asked Canada if it could have a single Tim Horton’s location in the Palace of the Revolution. Contrary to popular belief, the Palace of the Revolution is not strictly just for the President, but also consists of the Cabinet members and their families, as well as key individuals designated by the President. Basic Idea Map of Maputo
Rant: Of late, there’s been too much low-quality, bullshit DD on here. I’ve come to rescue you from your own retardation—a formidable task, I might add. Fortunately, I’m not going to do it alone. I’ll be doing it with the help of Thomas Peterffy, a Hungarian refugee who revolutionized the brokerage industry, and in so doing went from penury to multi-billionaire-hood. Peterffy is the founder of $IBKR, or Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. Here’s a description I definitely did not rip directly from CapitalIQ: “Interactive Brokers operates as an automated electronic broker worldwide. It specializes in executing and clearing trades in securities, futures, foreign exchange instruments, bonds, and mutual funds. The company custodies and services accounts for hedge and mutual funds, registered investment advisors, proprietary trading groups, introducing brokers, and individual investors. In addition, it offers custody, prime brokerage, securities, and margin lending services. Further, the company provides electronic execution and clearing services. It serves institutional and individual customers through approximately 120 electronic exchanges and market centers. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.” Essentially, IBKR is inverse Robinhood. It has a shockingly bad user interface, is not designed to gamify investing, and does not have a retarded userbase. However, it does have better fills, better tech, a wider variety of options (both literal and figurative), more client AUM, etc. This is why you might not have heard of it. But rest assured, it’s a massive company; it is, essentially, the engine mobilizing much of the market machine. I’m bullish for two main reasons:
Upcoming earnings (July 22nd) and July EOM numbers report
Comparable companies have shown huge growth (e.g. $VIRT in Q1, which reported three weeks after IBKR and caught more Covid-trading)
IBKR releases monthly KPIs, the last batch of which came out recently, validated the theories described herein, and sent us on an upwards trajectory
Momentum: this stock is an inverse POS, which recently tends to go up with SPY but not down
TL;DR: IBKR 8/21 $55 C, $60 C for higher risk Business Pros:
High moat business with tons of IP
IBKR releases monthly metrics; these have been very strong as mentioned above:
1,862 thousand Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs), 131% higher than prior year and 13% higher than prior month.
Ending client equity of $203.2 billion, 33% higher than prior year and 7% higher than prior month.
Ending client margin loan balances of $24.9 billion, 3% lower than prior year and 7% higher than prior month.
Ending client credit balances of $71.0 billion, including $3.1 billion in insured bank deposit sweeps, 30% higher than prior year and 1% higher than prior month.
876,000 client accounts, 36% higher than prior year and 4% higher than prior month.
487 annualized average cleared DARTs per client account.
IBKR makes most of its money from loans by acting as a quasi-bank
More total client AUM is very good for revenue (see third and second bullet from bottom above)
We’ve just seen banks with a focus on trading outperform, again emphasizing what a large role trading activity is playing in this market
IBKR also be seen tech company—but it’s not above its pre-Covid high unlike most
Serves as a volatility hedge, because volatility is profitable for the company (cheap IV)
This can be seen in part by it’s relatively low market correlation (B = .63)
Volatility will almost certainly increase as we enter earnings season
Great international focus
Recently opened an office in Singapore
69% of their clients are outside the U.S. (international account growth rate at 23% vs 15% in US) which gives broader revenue base
Relatedly, the biggest opportunity driving Net Interest Margin (NIM) income is from key customer segments. There’s only around <0.5% of target asset market (TAM) penetrated in fields of global retail clients through intro brokers, financial advisors and hedge funds.
Peterffy has spoken to the idea that IBKR could capture more TAM and become a high multibagger long term by capturing more TAM.
Major holder of $TIGR, which has done extremely well
$IBKR netted over $1 billion so far off the $TIGR IPO, and the stock has been strong recently
8% short float w/ high days to cover
Not really short-squeeze material, but somewhat squeeze-like conditions existent
Earnings could squeeze this, especially because management owns so much of the stock
Comparables like $VIRT have done super well; IBKR might not be as explosive but certainly should do better than it has been
“The CEO I admire most is Thomas Peterffy of Interactive Brokers. He came to the U.S. penniless and built a massive fortune and, more importantly, a great company. His is a story of innovation; he was one of the first to use computers for market making. Peterffy was smart enough to see the applications of technology to online brokerage, and brave enough to pursue what could effectively kill the market-making business— and he is a great executor. The business has profitably and steadily grown the account base, growing brokerage accounts by 15%+ per year like clockwork. Peterffy still personally owns over 70% of the company, and all but ten of the company’s approximately 1,400 employees own shares. He has built a company with the lowest costs and highest margins, a very long runway for growth, a history of execution, and a highly aligned team.”
CEO explicitly called it a “stay-at-home stock”
Trading volume was 3X normal and account openings were 4x normal back in April—more people have gotten into the game since then!
“Despite markets down about 9% year-on-year, our total client equity rose 9% to $161 billion, the second highest quarterly total in our history.”
The above is only from Q1
Momentum, momentum, momentum. Some of you need to learn that.
They have fuckups, and recently got a ton of bad PR due to the oil contango fiasco!
Not the greatest customer service, certainly (does anyone really give a shit, though?)
Diverse customer base leaves it susceptible to geopolitical and geoeconomic risk
Stock was in a downtrend since 2018 before recent turnaround—who knows where momentum is now
The high (85%) percentage of shares owned by management means that shareholders are effectively a minority interest
To me, this is good, as it indicates a longer term focus, but it might not be good for short term results
Highly valued (possibly fundamentally overvalued) at a PE of 24.9x
Lower interest rates—which will remain for the foreseeable future—are a headwind
That being said, IBKR is less susceptible to them than other brokers
Interest rate risk is lessened as they adopt a relatively fixed net interest margin (NIM) spread.
Client balances receive 50bps below the Fed Funds rate, and excess cash is invested in repos & treasuries, while margin rates are typically 25bps – 150 bps above the Fed Funds, with rates depending on the size of margin.
Most major risks on the downside (refinance, credit risk, interest rate risks etc.) are limited. The main risk is that if they’ve already largely penetrated their TAM and are unable to drive success by broadening appeal to their other market segments valuation is overly rich at these levels.
This market is volatile, and IBKR is in no way immune to volatility in SPY. So you might want to hedge this play.
Summary: Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a tech-focused, low cost brokerage firm. It is also a quasi-bank, making money through interest on client assets. It benefits when:
Interest rates increase
When account signups increase (they have a paid Pro version); this is minor
When total user AUM increases
When DARTs volume increases
While interest rates have declined, IBKR is comparatively less susceptible than are its competitors. And for various reasons outlined above, we can rest assured items 2 through 4 will continue to rise dramatically. This should result in significant appreciation. Is there room to run? Certainly. The ATH is $79.70, which also arrived after a period of volatility (remember, volatility is good for IBKR!). Of course, there’s a time-lag element to the results of volatility, which I map out below. We’re just getting into the good part now: nut For all of these reasons, I believe that Earnings + EOM KPI updates will pour gasoline on the recent fire. Or, as George Soros crustily uttered between denture fittings: “You want to be long the things that are going up, and short the ones that are going down.” TL;DR: IBKR 8/21 $55 C, $60 C for more risk/reward Positions (wanted to let it run a bit before helping out you tardigrades): https://preview.redd.it/32ru2d00i8b51.png?width=1416&format=png&auto=webp&s=0b592f1b956daa8f1dff04544f4bdb6a27e55d24 Disclaimer: not investment advice! do your own DD. I have a position, obviously. Do not yolo. Hedge your bets.
21M 5'10 SW: 230 CW: 169 GW: 165-170 As I approach the end of my weight loss journey, I decided to finish it off with an ode to my IF experience with a 72 hour fast and wanted to write about my experience to help me process that I'm actually at a normal BMI and I hope it'll help someone out there! Sorry (but not sorry cuz you can just not read it) for the long post in advance!
Like many of you out there, I also grew up very chubby and as a result, I was always self conscious about it. In fact, I hated looking at baby pictures of myself until recently because I just imagined a young, chubby version of me and I couldn't stand it because I would just think "I guess I was always meant to be chunky." Although puberty started to distribute my weight around my rapidly growing height, I just kept seeing my round belly (this is due to high body fat and no muscle). In hindsight, I probably was a normal weight until junior year of high school, but due to not having a scale in my house and having high body fat and no muscle, I just kept seeing myself as fat. Constantly seeing my body in such a negative light turned my "I guess I was always meant to be chunky" thoughts into ""I guess I was always meant to be chunky. So what?" That 2 word sentence was so detrimental as I felt hopeless and started to see myself in a cage with no way out. With a combination of the money I got from my first ever part-time job senior year (at an ice cream shop..) and that mentality, I just kept eating out and gaining more and more weight. Moving onto college, as many of you would expect, my weight gain only got more severe. Being in a primarily Christian circle in college taught me 2 things: 1) Christians love to eat together. a LOT. Meeting up always implied a meal for some reason. 2) I was very liked by the people around me for some reason. As a result, I started to justify my weight gain with "Yeah I'm on the heavier side but not to toot my own horn, but I must have a pretty great personality (I don't actually think this in any degree) so it balances out." Not to say that personality doesn't matter or physical appearance matters more, but the mentality is the part I want to highlight. I'm just enabling myself and rationalizing unhealthy decisions and allowed for toxic decisions. Furthermore if that was truly the reasoning, why not go for both? As my college career was very eventful with a lot of ups and downs, I continued to accrue weight until junior year. At this point, I was 230 pounds and my parents would voice their concerns (my dad's side of the family has a history or diabetes so I was likely pre-diabetic). I would be that guy and constantly tell my friends "Yeah I should work out and be healthier.. I'll start next week" but deep down I rationalized myself with, "But I'm not over 250 so I'm still in the clear..." At some point.. I just looked myself at the mirror, thought about the excuses I made, my small but inner desire to be healthy, and was disgusted by myself. For the rest of that summer (2019) I lost about 25 pounds using IF (particularly OMAD because I already basically ate once a day at that point) anddddd after such solid progress.. I got complacent. After receiving compliments from church friends and family I was happy with where I was. After all, 230 to 205 is a pretty big feat! Why should I lose more? But I was still in the obese category and my high body fat percentage didn't help. Fast forward to January, I realized I gained 10 pounds (215 now) and I had a final goal in mind: I wanted a lean physique. The 6-pack, fit, but not massive aesthetic. From there I only did OMAD, I was pretty sedentary so I ate about 1500 calories a day and slowly started to lose weight. Then COVID hit and as much as the snack all the time attitude wanted to sink in I resolved to not come out of quarantine looking like Endgame Thor. So I continued OMAD but I stopped counting calories and just ate until I was satisfied (since I ate pretty healthy at home because most Korean foods are healthy). I lost at a pretty consistent pace but there was a freak month where I lost like 20 pounds but as fear of losing weight too quickly, I maintained weight for the following month to make sure it's real and not yoyo later. COVID also taught me how much of a social eater I was, eating out at every opportunity to be with friends. And here we are today 169 pounds, in the final stretch of my weight loss and looking back at how far I've come, I'm glad how much I've grown physically AND mentally.
1) Not working out/Exercising. This is the big one. Seriously. I kick myself every time I think about it. I hate and I mean HATE working out so I just kept pushing it off with "I'm making good progress without it and losing weight is like 80% diet." I started working out about 2-3 weeks ago which is better than never but what a fool I was. Even though I'm at my goal weight I have such a high body fat with no muscle I look skinny fat shirtless. Man, I've never gotten so heated at myself about anything except this. Work out. 2) Weighing myself everyday. I have mixed feelings because I liked seeing my daily progress but trade-off I got so obsessed with the scale. Like to an unhealthy level. If I ate something salty, I would get angry at myself because my scale weight went up a couple of pounds even though I know I didn't actually gain 2 pounds of fat. I started checking the scale 3-4 times a day. I'm slowly starting to get rid of the obsession, but definitely not worth. Check every couple of days, or week. 3) Did I mention working out? 4) Not understanding water weight or the benefits of drinking 3-4 liters of water a day. My apartment mate (gym rat) walked around with a gallon of water and I never understood why and always made fun of it. Looking back, I was the true fool, though I still think carrying out a gallon jug is still a bit excessive, but hey, to each their own. 5) Not eating more protein! I'm not a fan of Keto. Not because I disrespect it or whatever, it's just.. I love carbs. I can't give them up. Even if I did, if I allowed myself to have carbs I'd probably gain a good amount of weight back fast. Like I mentioned before, I mostly had Korean food which isn't devoid of protein, but there's so many more foods that are centered around carbs (rice, vegetables, soups, etc.). Although carbs definitely helped with my energy, I realized very late into the game that a good amount of protein leaves you feeling more satisfied for much longer. I had a 12oz steak one meal and I still wasn't feeling hungry by my next OMAD. 6) Not allowing myself more cheat meals. Even though no cheat meals may help your weight loss (by a small margin) cheat meals help so much with sanity that I realized the pros outweigh the cons. It's a little reminder of "oh yeah this is the stuff" and a little push, "Lose more weight so you can have more yummy food like this without worrying about your health." Just not too frequently and not TOO big of a cheat meal. Cheat meals still need moderation.
Well first and foremost, I'm a broken record so I'll be focusing on maintaining and working out because I still want to reach my ideal physique. I'll soon be transitioning to 16:8 and learn how to do that because I'm so used to OMAD and want freedom in my eating window. Also, I don't like breakfast foods so I'm not missing out on too much. I also need to mentally work out of what I like to call the "fat-boy perception," which is everyone (including you) viewing you as overweight and having to move around to accommodate the weight or picking bigger sized clothes. You're a healthy weight. Relax. 170 pounds. That's you, no longer 230 you. I also need to update my wardrobe because everything's way too big for me (out of everything this is definitely the best and worst feeling). Unfortunately, although my mall opened recently, fitting rooms remained closed so not sure how I'm going to go about that. Whoo, again sorry for the long post, but it was definitely more for me than you guys haha. I ended up fast-forwarding and highlighting main points to shorten this already long post. Lastly, I want to be a resource to you guys, especially if you're just starting, starting to lose motivation, or whatever the case. I think I learned a pretty good amount in my research about losing weight and what not so feel free to ask questions (dm or comments) you have or about my journey that you may have (just no super specific science about how the body works questions then I'll probably have no answers). I am also act as some stranger you can brag about all your progress to because you don't want to bother your friends daily about your weight journey/encourage you! All in all, losing weight has not only helped me grow physically, but also mentally, with self image, discipline, self-control, happiness, ridding myself of desiring instant-gratification vs the long term, and so many more I can't think of right now so if you're just starting. Do it, you got it, you'll thank yourself later!
Ethical/SRI Criteria Series #5 - L&G Future World ESG Developed Index Fund
As each person’s definition of what “Ethical” means differ and there is no black-and-white definition of “ethical”, it is important to understand that some trade-offs have to be made. In this Ethical/SRI Criteria Series, we take a look at some of the most popular Responsible Investment (e.g. Ethical, ESG, Sustainable, Impact Investing) funds and their "Ethical" investment criteria to help you make better fund selections to align with your own values. L&G Future World ESG Developed Index Fund The Future World funds are for investors who want to express a conviction on environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes. The funds extend LGIM’s approach to sustainable investing across a broad array of asset classes and strategies. Future World is a natural evolution of what Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has always done – it reflects its culture and is aligned with its investor clients’ values. It seeks to identify long-term themes and opportunities, while managing the risks of a changing world. Investors are increasingly recognising that ESG factors play a crucial role in determining asset prices, and helping to identify the companies that will succeed in a rapidly changing world – the winners of the future. As a result, sustainable investing is very much here to stay. Hence the Future World Fund range helping to bring investments that incorporate ESG principles into the mainstream. The fund range include:
Legal & General Future World ESG Developed Index Fund (covered in this post) (Index/Passive)
Legal & General Future World ESG UK Index Fund (Index/Passive)
Legal & General Future World Multi-Index 4 Fund (Index/Passive)
Legal & General Future World Multi-Index 5 Fund (Index/Passive)
Legal & General Future World Climate Change Equity Factors Index Fund (Index/Passive)
L&G Future World Global Equity Focus Fund (Active)
L&G Future World Global Credit Fund (Active)
Legal & General Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund (Index/Passive)
Legal & General Future World Sustainable Opportunities Fund (Active)
Investment Methodology (ESG + T) & Screening The objective of the Fund is to provide a combination of growth and income by tracking the performance of the Solactive L&G Enhanced ESG Developed Index (the “Benchmark Index”). LGIM's approach rests on three pillars: long-term thematic analysis, the integration of ESG considerations and active ownership. It believes that well-managed companies are more likely to deliver sustainable long-term returns. Assessing companies on their management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is an important element of risk management, and therefore part of investors’ fiduciary duty. Companies are intrinsically linked to the economies and societies in which they operate. Investors are collective owners of companies and LGIM therefore believes that it has a responsibility to the market as a whole. By incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions, LGIM believes investors can gain an element of protection against future risks and the potential for better long-term financial outcomes. Future World "Protection List" (Negative Screening) Through the Future World fund range companies are incentivised to operate more sustainably allowing clients to go further in integrating ESG factors into their investment strategy. Companies are incorporated into the Protection List if they fail to meet minimum standards of globally accepted business practices. Across the LGIM-designed Future World funds, securities issued by such companies will not be held or exposure to them will be significantly reduced. The Future World Protection List includes companies which meet any of the following criteria:
Involvement in the manufacture and production of controversial weapons
Controversial weapons are those that have an indiscriminate and disproportional humanitarian impact on civilian population, the effects of which can be felt long after military conflicts have ended and often result in multi-generational humanitarian suffering. These include antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. There are a number of international conventions and treaties that have been developed with a view to prohibiting or limiting the use and availability of these weapons. The manufacture or production of such weapons is illegal in a number of jurisdictions globally and the involvement of companies in such weapons brings reputational risk and censure. LGIM uses data for the identification of companies involved in the manufacture or production of controversial weapons provided by a well-known and highly respected ESG data provider. Companies that are involved in the manufacture or production of cluster munitions, antipersonnel landmines, and biological and chemical weapons will be incorporated into the Future World Protection List. Companies incorporated into the list are involved in the core weapons system or components or services of the core weapons system considered to be tailor-made and essential for the lethal use of the weapon. Additionally, if companies are involved in the production, maintenance/service, sale/trade or research and development in relation to the core weapons system, they will also be incorporated into the list.
Perennial violators of the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is a set of globally agreed standards on human rights, labour, environment and corruption which was created for the purpose of encouraging businesses worldwide to adopt environmentally and socially responsible policies. Companies whose activities breach such principles present increased investment risks due to lax governance and management of their own operations, which can lead to grave reputational damage and potential future liabilities. LGIM uses data for the identification of companies in breach of the principles provided by a well-known and highly respected ESG data provider. Companies that are in breach of at least one of the UNGC principles for a continuous period of three years (36 months) or more will be considered to be persistent violators of the UNGC principles and incorporated into the list.
Pure coal miners – companies solely involved in the extraction of coal
The use and extraction of coal produces significantly high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, contributing to the accelerated warming of the planet. Pure coal companies present heightened investment risks due to the increasing regulatory pressure to limit GHG emissions globally, combined with technological advances such as renewables, which can reduce demand for coal. Due to the inability to diversify their business LGIM therefore does not see a future for this business model. LGIM uses data for the identification of pure play coal companies provided by a well-known and highly respected ESG data provider. Companies which derive a significant proportion of their revenues from the mining of bituminous or lignite coal, development of mining sites for bituminous or lignite coal, or the processing of bituminous or lignite coal are considered to be pure coal companies and will be incorporated into the Future World Protection List. LGIM ESG Scoring (28 metrics) & Tilted indices LGIM uses a proprietary ESG scoring methodology based on 28 metrics to score and monitor companies, across Environmental, Social and Governance factors, plus an extra Transparency factor - see below. It uses these scores to design ESG-aware tilted indices which invest more in those companies with higher scores and less in those which score lower, while retaining the investment profile of a mainstream index. The ESG Score is aligned to LGIM's engagement and voting activities. 28 Key Metrics used to calculate ESG Score Theme: Environment 1. Carbon emissions intensity LGIM considers the carbon dioxide emissions that a company produces directly (‘Scope 1’) or is indirectly responsible for through its purchased energy (‘Scope 2’). The sum of these emissions is divided by the companies’ revenue. This provides a measure of the carbon emissions intensity of a company’s activities, adjusted by company size and applicable across different sectors. Data on indirect emissions from companies’ supply chain and use of sold products (‘Scope 3’) is not used. Companies whose carbon emissions intensity is less than the global median will receive a higher score, whereas companies with more carbon-intensive activities will receive a lower score. Carbon emissions data is provided by Trucost. 2. Carbon reserve intensity Carbon reserves are reserves of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas). Companies owning such reserves present investors with two long-term risks. First, if all known fossil fuel reserves were burnt, the associated carbon emissions would lead to a dramatic rise in global temperatures and extreme weather events. This would cause unprecedented disruption for companies’ operations and supply chains, in addition to the significant human costs from forced migration, water stress and pressures on global food supply. The second risk, which is partly a reaction to the first, is that the value of fossil fuel assets may significantly reduce, due to the ongoing energy transition accelerated by policy and technological trends. Companies with very large fossil fuel reserves or with very carbon-intensive reserves (e.g. coal, tar sands) are more at risk from this change. This metric looks at the embedded carbon in the fossil fuel reserves owned by a company, divided by a company’s market capitalisation, to adjust for company size. This represents a carbon reserves intensity score for a company. Carbon reserves data is provided by Trucost. 3. Green revenues The transition to a low-carbon economy presents investment opportunities. New technologies are already leading to new revenue streams in sectors from agriculture to infrastructure and energy, with further innovation anticipated as the world develops alternatives to our current approach to energy and natural resources. Companies who derive revenues from low-carbon services and technologies are assigned a green revenue score, in proportion to the percentage of company revenue derived from ‘green’ activities. This is applied as a positive uplift to the companies’ score. Companies that may have a lower score due to their exposure to carbon emissions are rewarded if they have revenue exposures to green sources. This is intended to encourage companies to drive innovation and provide solutions to the energy transition. LGIM follows its data provider’s classification of green revenue streams, but exclude carbon trading, gas- and nuclear-related activities. Currently, many companies’ disclosures are not sufficiently granular enough to identify green revenue streams. LGIM encourages companies to improve disclosures in this area. Green revenues data is provided by HSBC. Themes: Social Diversity and Human Capital Social Diversity: LGIM believes that companies that are representative of their employees and society, which bring together a diversity of views, backgrounds, values and perspectives, have a better track record of innovation, decision-making and culture. Having diverse companies also has macroeconomic benefits, as all talent within an economy is effectively utilised. Gender has been chosen as a proxy for social diversity within a company. Data on gender is globally reported, provides an easily measured way to review total workforce and management levels, and can also serve as an indicator for a company’s overall approach, as companies with strong approaches to gender diversity are also likely to have a commitment to other types of diversity. LGIM recognises that some companies and sectors face challenges in attracting a diverse group of employees. Therefore, by looking at diversity across the different levels within a company, we seek to capture the development of a pipeline of talent. The social diversity theme tracks four indicators, looking at the percentage of: 4. Women on the board 5. Women at executive level 6. Women in management 7. Women in workforce Across all four indicators, LGIM considers 30% gender diversity as a minimum standard, with companies below this threshold receiving negative scores. LGIM believes this represents a turning point within organisations, creating a critical mass that can influence change and impact the culture and practices of companies. Having diversity across the workforce is important for the culture of the organisation and an indicator of the future talent pipeline for management. However, LGIM ESG scores that in most sectors and regions, gender representation is higher in the general workforce than it is at more senior levels. Social diversity data is provided by Refinitiv. Human Capital - Policy & Incidents: People are the most important assets for any company. Attracting and retaining the best talent, motivating them to be innovative, efficient and committed to the goal of the company is key for future success. A number of indicators can allow investors to get a sense of how companies manage the risks and opportunities associated with their workforce. LGIM has chosen to use the strength of companies’ social policies, checked against social incident rates, as proxies for how companies value, respect and support their employees and workforce, and how they promote a healthy and engaging work culture. LGIM utilises four human capital indicators to capture whether companies have sufficient policies in place with regards to below. Across each policy category, companies who are deemed to have no formal policies in place receive a negative score. Companies with a formal policy in place receive a neutral score. Finally, companies with adequate to strong policies receive positive scores. 8. Bribery and corruption policy Occurrences of bribery and corruption can indicate issues related to culture and employees; LGIM looks for reassurance that companies are managing these risks by implementing appropriate policies. 9. Freedom of association policy The ability of employees to freely form and join unions is a key component of a healthy work culture. 10. Discrimination policy Attracting and supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace is critical to creating a working culture with diversity of thought to support decision-making. A strong policy against discrimination is a key element to achieving this objective. 11. Supply chain policy The strength of the supply chain is critical for most companies and it is a crucial component of applying consistent social standards across the businesses globally. LGIM expects companies to have strong policies for their supplier relationships. LGIM also incorporate incidents into this theme, as a high level of material incidents may indicate that current policies are either of poor quality or insufficiently enforced. As such, it considers: 12. Employee incidents 13. Business ethics incidents 14. Supply chain incidents A penalty is applied to companies’ Human Capital policy score depending on the severity of the incident. All human capital indicators are provided by Sustainalytics. Themes: Investor rights, board composition and audit quality Board composition - The board of directors is the primary structure setting corporate strategy and direction, overseeing management’s performance and approving the use of investor capital. Having the right composition at the top of a company is an essential element of its success. Maintaining strong corporate governance through a high quality and independent board dilutes the risk of power being concentrated in one or a few people in an organisation and ensures there are appropriate levels of accountability. This theme is composed of data on three indicators: 15. Independence of the chair The chair leads the board, setting agendas for the discussion and ensuring the board has the right people and the right information required to make the best decisions and hold management accountable. As set out in our global voting policy, LGIM therefore expect the chair to be independent upon appointment and throughout their tenure. LGIM assesses whether the chair is currently an executive or has been a former executive of the company. A high score is attributed to an independent chair. 16. Independent directors on the board An independent board is critical in overseeing the management and capital of a company. LGIM acknowledges that the structure of boards varies between companies and countries. As set out in LGIM's global voting policy, it believes that having a minimum of at least 30% independent directors is an essential safeguard for minority shareholders. Companies that fall below this threshold are penalised, whilst companies with a majority of independent directors are rewarded with top scores. 17. Board tenure Regular refreshment of the board contributes to a continued independent board with the relevant skillsets. Regular refreshment can also assist in questioning established best practices and avoid ‘group think’. However, LGIM equally recognises the value of retaining corporate knowledge within a board, therefore do not wish to see too frequent change. LGIM's methodology reflects its global voting policy in that a lower score is attributed to boards with very high or very low board tenure. Audit oversight - Having accurate and reliable financial information is the bedrock of investment decision-making and effective corporate governance. Investors expect companies to demonstrate and explain the established processes and procedures to ensure the independence and robustness of the internal and external audit functions, and the level of oversight from the board. 18.Audit committee expertise The audit committee plays a vital role in safeguarding investors’ interests. LGIM expects all companies to have at least three independent members on the audit committee, including a “financial expert” as defined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules following the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Companies who fail to meet this minimum standard are penalised. 19.Non-audit fees paid to auditors The extent to which auditors conduct non-audit work (i.e. consulting, IT support, etc.) for an audit client is an important proxy for independence. Auditors should not audit their own work, and the higher margins available on the non-audit work may affect their willingness to negatively mark the accounts. LGIM does not expect excessive non-audit work to be conducted by the company’s external auditors, as this will bring into question the independence of their judgment. In line with LGIM's global voting policy, the scoring methodology penalises companies when non-audit fees exceed 50% of the companies’ audit-related fees. 20.Audit opinion of the accounts An auditor’s opinion provides a view into the extent to which a company’s financial statements represent a "true and fair" view of a company's financial performance and position. From a score perspective, LGIM only assumes that a company is compliant when the opinion is “unqualified” (i.e. a company’s financial statements are fairly and appropriately presented, without any exceptions, and in compliance with accounting standards). All other auditor opinions result in a negative score. Investor rights - The ability of shareholders to vote is an important mechanism in the public equity markets, to demonstrate dissent and align the interests of the company and management to that of the owners. In contrast, a diminished ability to hold corporates to account weakens fundamental checks and balances. Investor rights are therefore assessed based on two data points: 21. Free float The greater the number of shares held by disbursed shareholders (free float), the greater the opportunities for shareholders to use their voice for influence and impact. LGIM encourages companies to have a free-float of at least 50%. 22. Equal voting rights LGIM subscribes to the principle of ‘one share, one vote’, as control of a company should be proportional to the risk being borne by investors. LGIM believes this is both a fundamental right of shareholders and an essential feature of good corporate governance. Without it, investors lack the ability to influence the companies they own and have a say in how their capital is being used. Companies are tested against three criteria:
Does the company have dual-class stocks (e.g. class A/B shares)?
Does the company implement a voting cap or ownership restriction?
Do you have to own a minimum number of shares in order to vote?
If companies violate any of these three criteria, they are deemed to have unequal voting rights and receive a lower score. Theme: Transparency In addition to the traditional E, S and G metrics, LGIM also assesses companies on their overall transparency. Without access to comprehensive corporate data, investors are unable to properly assess material risks and opportunities related to their investments. 23. ESG reporting standard Analysing the company's overall reporting on ESG matters and the extent to which it conforms to international standards as well as best practices. 24. Verification of ESG reporting standards Assessing whether the company’s sustainability report has been externally verified according to a report assurance standard. 25.Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) disclosure Responding to relevant CDP questionnaires is an established best practice in carbon emissions reporting 26. Tax disclosure Assessing whether the company reports taxes paid in each country of operation. The best score requires full country-by-country reporting, a moderate score is given for when some but not all taxes are disclosed, whilst a low score indicates that tax disclosure is happening in only a few or none of the countries of operation. 27. Director disclosure Assessing the level of disclosure regarding board directors, including directors’ biographies. This information is critical for investors in order to assess the skillsets and relevant experience of director nominees and the overall quality of the board of directors. 28. Remuneration disclosure Disclosure of executive pay policy and practices is critical to allow proper analysis of the alignment between pay and performance and to ensure that the quantum of pay is both reasonable and within market standards. Score calculation - Each of the 28 data points are assessed and scored, creating a sub-score at the theme level. Individual themes are then aggregated to form the environmental, social, governance and transparency scores. Companies’ final ESG scores are presented between 0 and 100. A high-scoring company will have met most of our criteria for best practice; a company scoring 0 has not met any of LGIM's minimum expectations and represents a very significant concern. Scores are updated twice a year in March and September. LGIM's Global ESG Scores of companies - March 2020 can be found here Responsible Ownership LGIM's objective is to effect positive change in the companies and assets in which it invests, and for society as a whole. In 2019, LGIM focused on: Climate change
LGIM supported more shareholder resolutions on climate change than any of the world’s 20 largest asset managers
LGIM published its second annual ranking of climate leaders and laggards, naming 11 companies that have failed to demonstrate sufficient action, including ExxonMobil
Contributed to successful legal efforts to suspend the construction of a risky, polluting coal plant in Poland
LGIM opposed 35% of pay packages globally:
LGIM has pushed investee companies to adopt a Living Wage for their staff
In the US, LGIM opposed 352 “say on pay” votes and supported a further 32 shareholder proposals to encourage stronger compensation practices
In 2019 LGIM worked to improve gender diversity at 19 Japanese companies
51 of the 72 US companies LGIM targeted for engagement over the past three years have now appointed at least one woman to their board
LGIM did not support the election of over 190 directors at companies globally due to concerns over board diversity
Future World Funds: Climate Impact Pledge As one of the largest asset managers in Europe, LGIM seeks to use its scale to ensure companies are playing their part to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. The investment risks surrounding climate change have become so urgent that, for the first time, LGIM is going beyond solely engaging with companies in order to hold them to account on the issue. In December 2015, 195 governments agreed in Paris to limit the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Climate Impact Pledge represents LGIM's commitment to address climate change by engaging directly with the largest companies in the world, which are crucial to meeting the 2°C Paris target. The companies will be assessed rigorously for the robustness of their strategies, governance and transparency. Companies that fail to meet its minimum standards (ESG Scoring) will be removed from, or not invested in, our range of Future World funds, subject to the disinvestment process. In all other funds where LGIM cannot divest, it will vote against reappointing the chair of their board of directors, to ensure LGIM are using one voice across all of our holdings. The companies covered by the pledge include market leaders in sectors ranging from resource mining to finance. LGIM's assessment takes into account whether they have a corporate statement that formally recognises the impact of climate change; whether they are fully transparent on their carbon contribution; how climate considerations are embedded within the corporate strategy; and whether the board composition is diverse and robust enough to drive innovation and change. LGIM will rank companies based on these criteria, and engage directly with them to improve their rankings. LGIM will also make public the names of some of the best and worst performers, alongside examples of best practices that LGIM would like to see adopted more widely. Disinvestment Process - If companies fail to meet these criteria, and if after a period of engagement, the company has not addressed the areas of concern, LGIM will either not invest or exclude the company from active Future World funds ("Protection List"), and reduce or divest the company from Future World index funds. In the Future World index funds, LGIM will make sure the impact of divestment is no more than the tracking error disclosed in the fund’s prospectus. That could mean it will have to retain some investment in companies that do not meet its criteria in order to avoid tracking error. LGIM believes this combined approach of ranking, publicising, voting and divestment can send a powerful message to all companies that their investors are serious about tackling climate change. Summary: LGIM's proprietary ESG Scoring using 28 key metrics of Global Companies is very impressive to see - it ensures that this is done in-house and not reliant on third-parties, hence it is more transparent and can be amended to match evolving views. I've taken the opportunity to use these ESG Scores and match them up with the L&G Future World ESG Developed Index fund's top 10 holdings below. In addition, the width and depth of the metrics encompasses many important factors, and the fund would effectively penalise those firms with low ESG scores by tilting exposure to those with higher ESG scores. Though there's a lot of detail, I'm surprised that what's missing is the weightings between the environmental, social, governance and transparency factors (i.e. is each factor weighted equally or is E more important than say T?). In addition to this, there is a Negative Screening overlay ("Protection List") and Active Voting/Engagement to compliment the process. For a low-cost passive/index tracking fund, this is all very good to see (and quite rare as most simply have a negative screen) and would certainly please those cost-conscious responsible investors. Having said that, the fund size is still relatively small and the fund lacks a long track record - though this may not be a big concern for an index tracking fund. Fund Stats Fund Size: £126.8m as at 31/05/2020 Number of Holdings: 1292 OCF: 0.25% as at 30/09/2019 Performance https://preview.redd.it/dsy4zrlm8q751.png?width=1006&format=png&auto=webp&s=e66505ed59653631d19aaa07f3b416df6636c360 Target benchmark: Solactive L&G Enhanced ESG Developed Index Asset Allocation https://preview.redd.it/5pj98lxs8q751.png?width=1436&format=png&auto=webp&s=5b5ae84da10866a9be7b011592265191ac6cb33d Top 10 Holdings & LGIM ESG Scores
Niche/Motivation and General Overview of Ragwell Meta-TTRPG
EDIT:u/alice_i_cecileandu/__space__oddity__are very much correct in that instead of trying to get help via stream of consciousness I should just post my game packet. Understand that this is just a super ugly baby right now. Don't tell me my baby is ugly, that's rude - I love it. It also doesn't help fix the problems. Instead, please give me constructive critique. Here is the link:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LjFSYAZfW8whvKWziY9ZmQ9JFeaLiLnz/ Hi. I am a Special Education teacher that has been DMing 5e for a group of very diverse individuals, including some with special needs. Some of the individuals grasp the rules better than me and have whole libraries of source material, while others don't understand that a tabletop RPG is more than just playing with dolls/miniatures and it has taken time for them to get the idea of roleplaying at all. After a couple years, I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed to find a new system due to the following problems I had been having:
We never followed many of the rules anyways, so I wanted a system that was accessible enough to ditch the fudging and that all my players could understand.
My players often wanted to use entirely different source materials in creating their characters, so I needed a system that was simple enough to meaningfully translate different character concepts into it.
I was the only one who leveled up my players and it was excruciatingly tedious/time-consuming, so I needed a system that leveling up was quick and simple.
Players often only knew/used a couple of their many class abilities, even when I would drop huge hints, so I wanted a method to introduce complexity gradually if not have it be entirely optional.
Based solely on in-game rumors and that the lady was rude to them, my players conducted a horrifying home invasion; when I confronted one of them about this they said, with complete seriousness, "it isn't stealing because we are going to kill her first!" D&D's core dynamic of "you too can be a god, and the more indiscriminately you murder the faster you ascend!" was making me concerned for my demographic. So I wanted a system in which players were rewarded more for acting virtuously than murderously.
I looked at a lot of games, but none that I could find seemed good enough for the following reasons:
Despite being marketed as easy they weren't intuitive or easy (and when they were, they were only marginally simpler than 5e.)
And/or they didn't allow for long-term character growth.
And/or there was ONLY flavor.
And/or there wasn't player customization.
And/or they had intensive resource management (an immediate "no" for many of my players).
It was at this point that I decided I should create my own system. I looked at as many character sheets and manuals as I could find, and tried to develop my own approach. I had no idea so many systems already existed, as all I did was simple google searches; I very much regret that I didn't find this reddit, but I am hopeful it isn't too late for you guys to help me. By the time I found this place and realized that there were probably already a ton of unpublished or less popular systems than what my google-fu could find, I had already put a huge amount of time into developing my own system. And once I had done that, I definitely wanted to finish it! This has actually been an amazing outlet for my special interest of creating prudent systems (systems that remove excessive complexity - yes, that's incorporates values/niche - and yes, I know how bizarre of a hobby that is!) Anyways, here is a general overview of the system and I would love constructive criticism and suggestions for general improvement:
The character sheet is divided into "Character Form" and "Character Function."
Character Form includes prompts for name/appearance/aspiration/opposition with some simple rules on restricting those things. I have one player that is literally a talking Beagle, while I have others that took the appearance/background/lore of specific classes/characters from Pathfinder.
Character Function includes 6 Disciplines based on archetypes: Athletics, Biology, Spycraft, Humanities, Mechanics, and Wizardry. There is no limit to how many Disciplines you can develop, but there is the risk of spreading yourself too thin to succeed in advanced skill checks. Each discipline has 21 ranks (Rank 0 through Rank 20) and requires progressively more resource cards to improve.
Each discipline has a secondary combat bonus that is a function of how many ranks you have in it, meaning that everyone benefits from everything and if they choose to specialize will also be the best at something. Vitality Points are a function of your ranks in Athleticism, Healing of Biology, Festering (inflicting healing resistance) of Spycraft, Turn Order of Humanities (for gamey reasons but rationalized as relating history to the present) , Max Enduring Abilities of Mechanics, and Max Transient Abilities of Wizardry.
Saves, Skill Checks, and Perception Checks are all tied to "tests" of the various Disciplines. Balancing across a ravine would be an Athlete's domain, and knowing about the culture or history of a society would be the Humanist's. And regarding perception, a Wizard is going to notice a spell more easily than a Biologist, while a Biologist would notice that someone is sick more easily than someone who is a Wizard; in each case there would simply be a "test of Biology" or "test of Wizardry" or "test of Humanities" etc. versus a DC. (While I definitely have no idea what I am doing, I couldn't resist ditching the "perception" skill given how absurd it is; perception isn't so much raw sensory input as it is sorting sensory inputs by connecting them to your existent knowledge, and so having a singulauniversal "perception" skill makes equally little sense as a singulauniversal "knowledge" skill.)
Attacks & Defenses are the other part of Character Function, and there are also six types of them. They are Bludgeoning, Cutting, Caustic, Electric, Flaming, and Freezing. Attacks and defenses are bound to each other by type; part of being able to fling huge fireballs is being able to take the heat, and part of being able to get stabby is knowing how not to get stabbed. These things are bound to each other for the purposes of simplification (you just have to read off your current rank's row of the form to know what your abilities are.)
Treasure / XP comes in the form of resource cards. The resource cards are either enduring/transient abilities, or Wicks of Virtue (its a lore thing). The virtues are Determinism, Compassion, Authenticity, Humility, and Transcendence. These don't necessarily appear at all when you murder things (in fact, I'm debating having a Vice card appear when that happens as a signal to players that something went wrong). Instead, if you perform an act of exceptional Compassion then a Wick of Compassion may appear, or if you don't give up on a puzzle and eventually solve it then a Wick of Determinism may appear (etc.). This removes the incentive to mass murder, while also incentivizing good behavior - all fighting and killing won't be bad, but home invasions based solely on rumors probably will be.
Leveling has worked exceptionally well in the play tests. Wicks of Virtue are spent (consumed by the Ragwell; it's a lore thing) to unlock the corresponding ranks of Disciplines or Attacks & Defenses. I kept a gold paint pen, and whenever my players wanted to increase a rank they would just trade in the cards they collected and I would bubble in the circles for each rank until it was unlocked. Leveling up went from hours per level, to seconds per rank (or maybe a minute if they needed help copying their new rolls to the Character Function summary form).
Other than the rock-paper-scissors of the types of attacks/defenses (see, I've been learning from this reddit!), most of the strategic depth comes from the use of Enduring and Transient Ability Cards. These function as both perks and special/class abilities, and can either be played once per expedition (essentially once per long rest), or as many times as you would like. After a Transient Ability is used, you put it back into the card protector in the opposite direction. This helps simplify resource management (the only other limited resource is Vitality Points, which is why festering/inflicting healing resistance needed to be added.) Enduring and Transient Abilities are mostly just the class-specific features and abilities in other TTRPGs; there are limits to how many of these can be active at any given time, so players have to choose their loadouts when departing on an expedition. And for my players that don't really strategize, the idea is that I can just help them pick more passive cards, e.g. a transient ability to survive a single death blow, or an enduring ability that increases max vitality points (and I plan on killing my players often, since in the new system their character won't get deleted whenever they die).
On the note of simplicity - everything has a visual. There is a to-scale visual of what the various dice look like, each enduring/transient ability card explains what it does (and those who don't want to mess with them don't have to worry about them), and there are visuals of what actions you can take during combat. Each Discipline and each Attack & Defense has its own reverse pyramid-like set of bubbles / descriptions explaining what you get with each rank. I've even used mini menu stands to create name plates for each players. My intention is to make the game as simple as is possible, while still allowing for complete accessibility and long term growth/strategic depth. Essentially, my intention is to pull the complexity trick as card games like Magic the Gathering, where maximizing efficiency is about learning the functions of all the cards but that you don't need to learn all of that simply to play the game (no 400 page player's guide that you have to learn before you can even start.)
We play tested the previous version for about 3-4 sessions and I was relatively happy with the results.Then the pandemic hit (I haven't GM'd in months), and so I revised/simplified it further based on what I learned in the brief play test. I know it is somewhat late, and that this is somewhat vague, but I would love for you all to help me take this project to the next level. Also, and to be clear, this is an entirely non-commercial enterprise that has grown on me to the point of being a borderline obsession (but not in an unhealthy way). Everything will be 100% free, free to redistribute/build upon/etc. so long as sources are listed. So, categories / terms / basic structure make sense? Maybe? Not at all? What would make it better while optimizing it for my niche?
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