Profile - Topaz

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jayphailey
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 7:50 pm

Profile - Topaz

Post by jayphailey » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:17 am

Profile - Topaz

Topaz City

New cities by the sea
Skyscrapers are winking
Some hills are never seen
The universe expanding
We're gazing out to sea
Blue dolphins are singing
Minds swim in ecstasy
Clear planet, ever free
Topaz
(Topaz Tourism Board)

Topaz City looks like what you'd get if you pulled Las Vegas up by the roots and put it where Honolulu is. It's a bright shining city on a sea coast. The boating, swimming and surfing are excellent. The weather is almost always moderate, warm and sunny. There's dozens of really nice hotels, resorts and casinos in easy walking distance

The (apparent) core of Topaz' City is tourism. There are numerous hotels and resorts, that cater to giving tourists an enjoyable experience. Tourist services from tour guides to diving guides and excursions to various exceptionally pretty places can be had.

The Topaz City Police are focused on protecting tourists, and they do this job very well. Fighting crime among the full time residents is second priority. It gets done but how much energy the TPD can put into that varies.

The Resorts and Hotels are owned by faceless corporate holding companies and managed with ruthless efficiency. They also have security, which is very good at protecting the tourists and the interests of the specific hotel.

Rumors to the effect that Organized crime owns the Hotels and Casinos are considered to be widely known truths, but are completely unproven.

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Meta - Topaz City is what happens when Organized Crime matures. The organizations that own the Hotels and Casinos used to be Organized crime, but then they merged with banks and real estate development firms. The resulting offspring are very competent commercial and real estate banks that know some guys who will break your legs if necessary. These organizations maintain some leg breaking crews and bad people. But they insure that all unlawful activities are compartmentalized and cannot be traced back to them.

Every so often, new organized crime groups try to move in on Topaz City. They'll find the TPD particularly effective, determined and resistant to bribery. Encroaching new organized crime orgs will also find their operatives disappearing mysteriously.

There is a level of attention here. A small operation, or one that doesn't harm the over all business of the city noticably won't get a lot of attention. But when it crosses the line, then attention comes.

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The way Topaz was set up, it's legal and financial regulations are very business friendly. Many large corporations set up operations and subsidiaries on Topaz.

The banking regulations are particularly opaque and privacy friendly.

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Meta - this harkens back to the Organized Crime origin of the place as a tourist center. The Casinos needed banks and banks were set up to be friendly to the needs of their original customers.

This means that the Banks are good for money laundering (For a nominal fee) and stashing money in. Attempts by outside regulators to combat this are quietly resisted. The laws specify that records are either private or exempt from reporting regulations. Bank Staff will appear to work with regulators but either bury Auditors under detailed but less than useful information or have trouble finding things the auditors need.

In settings that allow it, Many banks are run by AI's that guard their privacy zealously.

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Because of the pro-business and pro-banking privacy bias of the place, it's also a good way point for spies. Espionage agents can create new identities and stash them on Topaz, for easy switching.

Drugs and Prostitution on Topaz are semi legal. Prostitution is allowed through liscenced brothels where there is liscencing for Sex-workers and their support staff. A popular worker can become something of a rock star and dictate the terms of her contract. Most find themselves well paid but somewhat restricted.

There is a tier set up, from expensive, high class houses, descending into some hell holes. below a certain level, bad, poorly paid and scuzzy houses are shut down by the authorities.

Freelance hookers will be fined. One who makes a lot of money and is well known, but a maverick will find very tough people encouraging her to get with the program.

For Drugs the regulation is about purity, quality, truth in advertizing and liability for harm. There are commercial drug manufacturers on planet who make almost anything you can think of, professionally produced and packaged. Dangerous items are expensive and released with warnings on the labels.

Most vendors keep the dangerous materials in safes behind the counters, and only sell after the buyer signs a release form absolving them of liability.

There is a small undercurrent of heavy addiction going on. Topaz has very good, but small and overworked drug addiction treatment programs.

The Topaz Space Port is large and has extensive facilities for storing and transferring cargo. It's a popular stop for space crews. The pro-business and pro-privacy laws cover cargo as well, making Topaz a good place to stash illicit or stolen cargo. However, if a cargo is proven to be stolen the Topaz PD immediately impounds the offending ship.

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The main tourist areas of Topaz and the Space Port have interesting regulations. The Topaz Police Department can revoke your permission to be in certain places for "Appearance" reasons. usually this means that your appearance is so unpleasant or scary that it detracts from the experience of vacationaing tourists. Open displays of weapons and armor, particularly if large, scary or recently used and blood stained will draw an appearance violation. Some times crews who seem to be casing a place for a future crime will draw Appearance Violations and be asked to leave. Travelling in a group that seems to show strong group identity and cohesion will also draw Appearance Violations. Explaining the appearance violation is up to the cop on site.

Similarly, Starships can draw Appearance violations. An obvious pirate ship , or a mercenary ship fresh from a battle will draw an appearance violation. For instance, The Millenium Falcon would be asked to get the ship washed and to have registry numbers freshly painted on the hull.

There are auxiliary ports where damaged or scruffy ships can set down for Appearance Upgrades. The facilities are real down market and slim there. They do not want to encourage obvious pirates. (Subtle Pirates amd Mercs are just fine. Just don't scare the tourists)

The Topaz Space Defense is manned by mercenaries. They have some of the hottest defense ships in known space. A very good pilot or warrior can find a berth on Topaz, with high pay. But they are often called upon to put down pirates, mecenaries and adventurers who feel the rules do not apply to them. Topaz Space Defense are always manned up and have a waiting list of experienced killers who'd like a berth.

This defense force is paid for by contributions from all the Resorts, Casinos and Banks on Topaz.

There are spacer bars where spacemen look for work. There are also mercenary and bounty hunting job boards.

Sometimes someone who has done something violent or stupid or both gets a bounty on their head from Topaz. Usually Topaz pays very well and asks few questions. They want to discourage people from getting on their bad side.

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Topaz City itself is large and does all the things a city does. It has a large population. There are outlying towns and villages who provide raw materials andd food to Topaz City. The rest of the planet is under-populated compared to Topaz City.

Country folk will grumpily point out the Difference between the planet Topaz and Topaz City.

There are rumors that various notorious retired criminals, mercenaries, spies and adventurers have gone to the hinterlands of Topaz where they enjoy a bucolic life. No proof of this has yet been found or made public.

The economic engine of Topaz is really the banks and financial institutions, but they grew from the casinos and resorts. The Casinos and Resorts still make a pile of money for the controlling groups, So Topaz seems to center around it's tourism industry and the tourist zone of Topaz City.

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The government of Topaz is an elected council that wrangles over small adjustments to power and income. Imagine a County Government sized up to run a planet.

The Chief executive is a manager, who is elected by the Council for a period of 4 years.

The council itself is a sort of outlet for the political aspirations of the public of Topaz. Three councilors serves six year terms, with one coming up for election every two years. Charismatic lunatics and wheeler dealing land barons are encouraged to run for the council.

The Council approves the Manager. But no one who is not approved of by the commercial interests of Topaz will ever get near the manager's slot. The Manager directly controls the Police and Topaz Space Defense.

The council approves the budget for fire, EMS and City Services, making a big show of working for the interests of their coinstituents. But behind closed doors, The main business of Topaz remains sacrosanct and untouchable.

There is a system of favors in place. It's very quiet, friendly and professional.

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Most PCs will experience Topaz as Las Vegas by the Sea. Adventure hooks that involve finding someone who has fled to Topaz, or rescuing someone from Topaz will be quietly ignored by the police or encourged to end quickly and quietly.

PCs might get involved in conflicts with small time Mobs who are trying to muscle in on Topaz. if so, the PCs will be regarded as doing something that would otherwise need to be done anyway.

PCs who create a massive scene, scare the tourists, or do sizable collateral damage in these sorts of conflicts might wind up arrested or charged, or asked to leave and be informed of Topaz's appearance code.

The legal system of Topaz seems conventional (Courts and police and so on) but fundamentally it's organized around the principle "If you broke it, you bought it". PCs who do serious collateral damage or injure civilians will be asked to pay off a sizable amount of money to make things whole. Someone who skips out on this will be hunted by mercenaries and bounty hunters.

People can work off these debts, depending on their skill sets. Paying off a debt to a financial institution on Topaz might be good for any number of adventures.

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Variations:

Star Trek: Topaz is an independant world. Most of the inhabitants are Orion descended people but they're happy to have guests from anywhere. Their jam is tourism and subtle crime. Although the Federation and Starfleet do not have jurisdiction there, they are welcomed as visitors. If someone wanted is stupid enough to do violently wanted things in the Federation and then show up on Topaz and keep his own face, the TPD will stun his ass and hand him to Starfleet. Someone subtle enough to change his face and pay an institution a cut, will just disappear. No one has seen him.

Someone who has been an intelligence asset for Starfleet intelligence will be viewed according to a profit and loss matrix.

The Ferengi have been minor players on Topaz and want to buy in, but the controlling parties are leery. Ferengi are notably unsubtle. There have been a few joint ventures with mixed successes.

Starfleet officers who go to Topaz to gamble, surf and misbehave sexually are strictly off limits on Topaz. If someone nabs a Starfleet officer, or interferes with him, the Topaz authories will cooperate with Starfleet.

Similarly with Klingons.

Topaz does NOT want to be put in a position of an expensive and losing military confrontation and will take steps to avoid it.

The Ruling interests of Topaz have relationships with the Orion Syndicate, but were long ago spun off into their own thing. Topaz pays the Orion Syndicate a small cut and they get left alone. Both sides like it that way. Only the oldest and most decrepit Topaz old timers recall the time when the Orion Syndicate was actively involved with Topaz. They'll discuss it in generalities but will never name names.

Star Wars Imperial Era
Topaz runs as stated. However, they pay the Empire a hefty cut to be left alone, and will take steps to make sure that any rebels who are obvious or cause a ruckus disappear. They're three Star Destroyers away from getting stomped flat and they know it.

Topaz has business and financial relationships with the Elite of the Empire. The Elites use the Banks of Topaz to hide shady gains. Topaz doesn't care about Empire or Rebellion, but they can't hide from the Empire and so will only ignore rebels until their own status of benign neglect is threatened, then they'll join the empire in stomping rebels.

Small groups of rebels, mercenaries, adventurers or pirates can easily come and go from Topaz. Topaz is happy to have anyone who'll spend money. They won't willingly enact any controls on who comes and who goes.

Star Wars other: As stated. Topaz is an independant world and won't get involved in anyone else's fight unless they are directly threatened, as well. They'll cooperate with the Republic precisely to the degree necessary to remain unstomped and no further.

Battlestar Galactica (Yes, I used this world in a BSG Game)
Here, the corruption of Topaz must remain much more subtle and careful. Colonial elites use Topaz to stash ill gotten gains and as a vacation spot to do things they otherwise wouldn't.

But they are always careful not to antagonize the Council of the 12 or the Colonial Warriors.

There is a small base on Topaz where two wings of Vipers are stationed - this replaces the Topaz Space Defense. An elite who crosses the line between subtle and hidden into outright criminality will be isolated and cut off from the rest of the Topaz ruling structure. They'll stand back and let a fool destroy himself.

The TPD here is more interested in containing damage and making sure the publicly stupid are visiblly punished.

In a couple of years, the Cylons will roll in and blow it all up. Lots of elites will escape in richly appointed space yachts and become refugees.




Topaz
The B-52's
New cities by the sea
Skyscrapers are winking
Some hills are never seen
The universe expanding
We're gazing out to sea
Blue dolphins are singing
Minds swim in ecstasy
Clear planet, ever free

Topaz
Our hearts are traveling faster,
Faster than the speed of love
Straight through a tear in the clouds
Up to the heavens above

Bright ships will sail the seas
Starfishes are spinning
Some hills are never seen
Our universe is expanding
Moonrise upon the sea
Starships are blinking
We'll walk in ecstasy
Clear planet blue and green

Topaz
Our thoughts are traveling faster
Moving…

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