The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars is now available!The original publication of Canal Priests Of Mars cut slightly over a third of author Marcus L. Rowland's manuscript to fit GDW's adventure format. The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars restores the cut material, features all new artwork by Paul Daly, and adds many useful player handouts. Enjoy the "author's cut" of a classic Space 1889 adventure, or experience it for the first time!
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"The spectacular Martian cities still stretch for miles beyond the canal banks. Their towers reach upward for hundreds of stories... But the Martians make use of only a fraction of the assets their cities provide... Whole sections of Martian cities today lie empty, deserted, and unclaimed except by the local vermin."
Space: 1889, page 160
In 1880, following the conquest and annexation of Syrtis Major, Avenel and Haat by the British, one of the first actions by the new rulers following the end of hostilities was to "make a survey" of their new realm. It quickly became apparent that large portions of the cities they had conquered were for all practical purposes, abandoned. With the peculiar penchant for real estate possession and regulation that all Humans possess, the British were properly disturbed, even shocked, to discover that no clear or discernible ownership of many of these properties could be found in what few records the Martians had bothered to maintain. The vast majority were simply "unclaimed and un-chatteled" buildings and lands!
After six months of survey and recording, the Colonial authorities had produced a fairly complete list of unclaimed lands and properties within the three cities. With typical British efficiency, documents were prepared, dated, signed, notarized, registered, and filed giving title of these properties to the British Crown. In view of the quantity and diverse category of newly acquired "Crown lands", a new department of the Colonial Office was opened on Mars - The Colonial Building Authority.
For the average citizen who wishes to purchase or lease one of the DPO's properties, the process is fairly straightforward. Once a property is desired, the individual approaches the DPO with the property description and/or address. The DPO checks its records to determine the status of the property in question, and if no previous title is found, the property is cleared for acquisition. Should the individual wish to rent, the DPO has a fixed set of rates, based on size, type, and location of the property from which the correct rate is determined; a deposit is paid, and the individual is free to take up occupancy. Rates are charged monthly, and the DPO maintains a small staff of agents who make the rounds, collecting rents and issuing receipts. In the case of a purchase, a different set of rates is consulted, which establish a value for the property based upon a similar set of criteria. Once the price is determined, the DPO and the individual make arrangements for either outright purchase or a "Rent To Own" program, similar to monthly rents for non-purchasing clients. Once again, upon completion of the correct forms, the individual is free to take up occupancy of their new residence.
Of course, the DPO is more than simply a rental/sales agency. The DPO is also a major participant in the Colonization/Reclamation program established by the Colonial Office in London. The scope of the plan was to encourage British settlement of the cities by making available to would-be colonists homes or apartments at attractive one-time prices, though with a five year "No Sale" moratorium. Not surprisingly, this program resulted in many thousands of applications from across the Empire, as those persons who were looking at either making a fresh start in life, or who were attracted by the idea of owning their own home for the first time in their lives, applied to the Colonial Office for consideration as colonists. To date, several hundred applicants have been granted homes on Mars through this process. Though thousands more names continue to wait on lists, though the recent war with Oenotria has slowed new applications.
In addition to the Resettlement Colonization Program, the DPO is also involved with supplying homes to those who have qualified under the Government's Honourable Service Home Program. Similar to the Resettlement Colonization Program, the Honourable Service Program is aimed at retiring or recently discharged members of the Army and Navy, as well as members of other government departments, who are willing to settle in the Martian Colony. Under this program, accepted applicants are given clear title to a single family dwelling in one of the Martian cities (based upon availability) by agreeing to accept a half-pension versus a full pension, and also agreeing to a five year "No Sale" moratorium. This has been a highly successful program with discharged soldiers and sailors, though not as popular with retiring bureaucrats as was originally hoped. DPO also transfers and sells properties (upon receipt of approved requests) to other departments of the government. Thus, it was the DPO that obtained the buildings used as the "Official Residences" for the members of the Colonial government such as the Secretary, the Governor, and the Viceroy.
Naturally, the homes and apartments that are available from the DPO come in a range of sizes and qualities. While a few properties are little more than hovels, some of the homes are near-palatial! Naturally, these higher quality properties command higher quality prices as well. In game terms, homes can be categorized as being Social Level 1 dwellings, Social Level 2-3 dwellings, Social Level 4-5 dwellings, and Social Level 6 dwellings. Home prices can be rated as "Price" X .67 for Level 1; "Price" X 1 for Level 2-3, "Price" X 1.5 for Level 4-5, and "Price" X 3 for Level 6 homes.
DPO offices are normally staffed by 3-7 officials, depending upon the size of the city (assume there is one DPO official per 20,000 inhabitants). In addition to the office staff, local DPO offices also employs a varying number of Assessors, Collectors, Surveyors, Architects, and others to perform the day-to-day functions involved with making properties available to the public. Many DPO officials have worked as Agents in Colonial Stations, while others are mere bureaucrats, who have never worked outside the confines of a government office.
Posted Monday, 04-May-2009 19:51:55 EDT