Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   Dynamic Sector Map Idea (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=28695)

DangerousThing December 29th, 2012 06:35 AM

Dynamic Sector Map Idea
 
I'm going to be running a T5 game shortly, and I would like a dynamic mapping program that would calculate orbital positions so that I could easily show the positions of the planets in each system (in single system view) and also calculate the jump shadows so that I could calculate how far a ship has to go in realspace before it can jump to system B.

Not only will this make things seem more real, but it may effect the character's next destination.

If nobody has written this, it's time to brush off my Java. Or something else.

I'm just going to assume basic elliptical orbits without gravitational interaction. I don't have the time to solve the n-body problem. :)

All I need is something that works given a starting position and the current date.

Marchand December 29th, 2012 11:57 AM

Astrosynthesis 3.0 from NBOS software does this.

DangerousThing December 29th, 2012 04:14 PM

But can they be coaxed into doing a Traveller style map?

At least I have the program. I just have to install it on my laptop.

77topaz December 29th, 2012 05:29 PM

Linking hexes on a sector map to AstroSynthesis or other system models would be possible (it would require quite some coding, though, I expect, if done on a webpage, but it wouldn't be impossible as such).

A full sector map on AstroSynthesis might look a bit weird since Traveller sector maps are based in 2D (the systems are also further apart than the systems it randomly places).

Kilgs January 9th, 2013 11:30 AM

There are some discussions further back in time here that cover Astro with Traveller mapping (2d). But for OP's need, can't you just create the systems without any real connection to their place in the sector? Since it's for purposes of determining orbital positions within a solar system, as long as all of the systems are on the same date, you're fine.

Also, you can use the AS sector map as a "conceptual" map for your players. Ignore actual real distances and just make clusters of 1 parsec/2psc etc based on the 2D maps. Explain it away as a computer's rendering of routes and not actual stellar positions.

We do it with molecules all the time!

Also, there is plug-in on NBOS to convert the system stats to Traveller UPP.

robject January 9th, 2013 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kilgs (Post 417875)
But for OP's need, can't you just create the systems without any real connection to their place in the sector? Since it's for purposes of determining orbital positions within a solar system, as long as all of the systems are on the same date, you're fine.

^this^

Quote:

Originally Posted by OP
...a dynamic mapping program that would calculate orbital positions so that I could easily show the positions of the planets in each system (in single system view) and also calculate the jump shadows...

First, the likelihood of a planet shadowing a jumpline is essentially nil -- it's better left as a probability rather than a program.

And let's talk about resolution. If you can handle lower resolution, then let's also put a tabletop solution on the table, so to speak.

Consider a 11" x 11" piece of paper with five concentric circles drawn on it, corresponding to the first five orbit numbers. Divide each circle up into six segments. Roll 1D for the segment of each planet. Then have a table showing the added distance due to relative position.

Handwave away orbits 6 and on: the triangle formed by their distance from the other worlds is most of the distance; opposition and conjunction don't add enough to matter, given the acceleration-deceleration formula. Maybe.

Fritz_Brown January 9th, 2013 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 417939)
first, the likelihood of a planet shadowing a jumpline is essentially nil -- it's better left as a [referee fiat] rather than a program.

fify. (imho) :)

EDIT: OK, why won't it let me do "FIFY" and "IMHO", instead of "fify" and "imho"?

robject January 9th, 2013 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown (Post 417945)
fify. (imho) :)

EDIT: OK, why won't it let me do "FIFY" and "IMHO", instead of "fify" and "imho"?

Referee fiat works for me, too.

Otherwise, I too like to at least get an idea as to where the planets are situated around the primary.

HG_B January 9th, 2013 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 417939)

First, the likelihood of a planet shadowing a jumpline is essentially nil -- it's better left as a probability rather than a program.

There's probably about a 5% chance that the star of the system your in or, the star of the destination planet creates a problematic jump shadow.

Maybe a little higher if either of planets is a "hot" world.

samuelvss January 10th, 2013 03:03 PM

What about the Interactive Atlas of the Imperium,

http://www.utzig.com/traveller/iai.shtml

if you have internet access during play?

If you go to the System, System Data, System Detail, this gives you the position of bodies in the system on a date that you fill in. It has an in-system travel calculator, which gives you the relative positions on a date that you fill in; if you leave 1G in the acceleration, and 0 in the "Start Slot" and "Dest Slot," then it will just plot the worlds' positions on that date.

Do this with the starting system, and then the destination system, make the asumption that "up" is coreward on the system map, and you've got a good start. To prep for play, these maps can be pre-printed, based on likely jump scenarios.


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