Primitives Fake-DD #1: Calamities

stellaris 1 - Primitives Fake-DD #1: Calamities


Compared to proper spacefaring civilizations, pre-FTL species are highly vulnerable to disruptive events that can kill a high percentage of their population or in the worst case even bring about their extinction.

Broadly, calamities will be divided into two sub-groups:

Natural Calamities are events like massive famines or epidemic diseases, which will mostly befall the least advanced civilizations until advancing technology allows them to largely overcome these. However, there are some like flood basalt eruptions that can destroy even the most advanced pre-FTL civilizations.

Created Calamities are those disruptions brought about by the advancing technological capabilities of the primitive civilization. They will only start to pop up once the civilization has reached the Machine Age, but some others remain locked until the Nuclear/Early Space Age. As they are mostly highly dependent on the characteristics of the civilization that might birth them, they warrant closer examination:

  • Nuclear War is a calamity that can befall every civilizations in the Atomic Age, Early Space Age and . It is more likely if the species if Militarist or Egalitarian (representing the higher chances for the rapid succession in democratic systems to roll a natural 0) and less likely if the species is Pacifist or Authoritarian. If this calamity happens unabated, the civilization will go extinct and the planet will be transformed into a Tomb World.

  • Ecological Destruction is the most common of created calamities, as the planet's biosphere is struggling to cope with the advancement of its dominant species. The civilization being Industrious/Wasteful will increase the chances of this calamity happening, while being Conservationist will decrease it. If not dealt with, the civilization will go extinct and the planet will shift to another habitability class, with Dry and Cold planets even able to be reduced to Barren Worlds (with the Terraforming Candidate modifier).

  • Genocide is perhaps the least destructive created calamity, but nonetheless one that needs to be dealt with. It is more likely to occur in Xenophobic and Authoritarian societies, while Xenophiles are much less likely to encounter it. Fanatic Xenophile primitives will not see it, full stop. If left to its own devices, it will merely reduce the number of pops of the species as well as shift the ethics of the entire civilization towards Xenophobe, which makes much harder.

  • AI Takeover can happen once a civilization reaches the Machine Age, but becomes much more likely in the Early Space Age and . It is much more likely in Materialist civilization, while it can not occur in spiritualists. What specifically happens to the primitive species during the AI takeover heavily depends on when it occurs. Early, the species will go extinct and be replaced by either a normal Machine Empire or a Determined Exterminator. Starting in the Early Space Age, the AI can also arise as a Driven Assimilator or Rogue Servitor as well, with the organic species being turned into Cyborgs and Bio-Trophies, rspectively.

  • Psionic Awakening is in some ways the Spiritualist counterpart to AI Takeover. It is very rare, but more likely in Spiritualist primitives, while Materialist prohibits it from happening. To keep in line with the Shroud being a highly fickle place, it's effecty can also range from very positive to very negative. Sometimes nothing happens. Sometimes the species gains the Psionic trait. Sometimes the species goes extinct and the planet turns into a Shrouded World. Sometimes the species goes extinct, the planet becomes shrouded and an angry Psionic Avatar appears above it.

Dealing With Calamities

If a spacefaring empire is observating a primitive civilization, the measures by which it can react to a calamity occuring on the planet down below depends on its native policies:

  • empires that allow for Aggressive Observation can use potent ad-hoc measures to deal with on ongoing crisis. Nothing solves an impending nuclear war like the worst warhawk of their planet having committed suicide by a bullet to his neck. What do you mean they have found out he was assassinated by alien agents and are now pointing their nukes at our observation post?

  • empires that allow for Native Assistance can instead use prophylactic measures. Nothing solves an impending nuclear war like the species having for some reason embraced anti-nuclear policies decades before nukes were a thing. They are immensely potent with having calamities two development stages in the future never happen at all, but are ill suited to deal with a calamity once it has occured and some Natural Calamities (can't tell the planet's mantle the chill while keeping within the concealment protocols). However, such species also have the opportunity to at least attempt to evacuate a viably large population if the civilization faces impending doom.

  • empires that allow for both are unsurpringly very good at dealing with most calamity situations

However, it might not always be correct to shield a primitive civilization from the calamities that might befall them. Firstly, doing so will always come at a cost, be it in energy, minerals, science or influence. Generally, ad-hoc measures will be paid for in a singular transaction while prophylactic solutions incurr small monthly costs. Secondly, as alluded above any suspension of the concealment protocols, no matter how well-meaning it might've been, runs the risk of having the primitive civilization becoming aware of the fact that they are watched. They might not like that, and in the most extreme cases look for friends.

But this is a part of which will be discussed at a later point.

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