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SpaceBadger March 7th, 2013 08:06 PM

Best Detailed World/System Rules
 
What in your humble opionion is the best ruleset for generating detailed worlds and systems for Traveller? I'm looking at rulesets going beyond the mainworld UWP to generate the system star(s) and other planets as well. I'll list the ones that I have or am familiar with; if you have a different suggestion, please add it. If you have time, I'd appreciate any explanations of why you favor a particular ruleset, pros/cons, etc.

McPerth March 7th, 2013 09:19 PM

I always liked the 2300AD system. It is one of the few I've seen not based on the Bode's Law, and gave many possibilities for variety. It's only problem was that it lacked most of the population/social data, as it was based on a game were colonies were few and well described.

As a second one I'd probably put GURPS space.

SpaceBadger March 7th, 2013 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 425240)
I always liked the 2300AD system. It is one of the few I've seen not based on the Bode's Law, and gave many possibilities for variety. It's only problem was that it lacked most of the population/social data, as it was based on a game were colonies were few and well described.

Was that in the old 2300AD rules? I thought I remembered something about Garden, Pre-Garden, etc planets and calculation of habitable zones from the Near Star List data, but when I skimmed through my Mongoose 2300AD PDF I could not find the rules for it. Will need to check my PDFs of the older rules on my CD-ROM from FFE.

Limburger59 March 8th, 2013 04:34 PM

I voted for "First In", because that is the reference I have, I refer to, and most importantly I appreciate.

That said, I have had the privilege of looking at a copy of DGP's World Builder's Handbook, and have coveted it ever since. I long to try out the expansions of the government, law, and tech levels. I believe that if I ever got my hands on a copy, and used it to generate a system, it would be my clear choice...but I'll probably never know. (Just like we'll never know what would have happened if we had had a chance to date that cheerleader everyone longed for back in High School.)

whartung March 8th, 2013 05:41 PM

TNEs is "World Tamers Handbook", but it relies on the base TNE extended system generation and then adds on things like climate and such, but much of the book is more about adventure type and economics than world building.

TNE's Rule Book system is basically Scout 6.

rancke March 8th, 2013 06:14 PM

I use both WBH and FI. They both have details the other hasn't.


Hans

timerover51 March 8th, 2013 09:00 PM

I sort of use the system in Scouts, but play around with it quite a bit, as well as in some cases, simply deciding what I want in a system and then working from there. I do modify the population size based on how difficult the environment is.

Fritz_Brown March 8th, 2013 09:12 PM

I would love to use WBH, but I haven't been able to afford it. So, it's LBB6 for me.
(Hopefully, someday soon, y'all can see the results of some of my efforts there.)

Cryton March 8th, 2013 11:00 PM

Love me some WBH!!! Especially with a side of Book 6 System generation!

Mind you, I have been adjusting my Book 6 use to reflect what I am studying for my Astronomy degrees, but the WBH/Book 6 combo still cant be beat!

Although adding in the world mapping templates from T5 is going to be like adding hot fudge to a sunday! :devil:

~Rich

Icosahedron March 12th, 2013 02:03 AM

I use LBB6 for basic generation, tweak as necessary, then add details from TNE World Tamers Handbook and Gurps First In if and when I need more detail.

I will never buy the DGP stuff unless I can obtain it for a sensible price.

I've also used the Heaven and Earth and Universe software to automate the process (I believe they're both based on LBB6).

Advantage: It's the best I have.
Disadvantage: Too many Pop9 TL2 Asteroids. Especially when automation makes tweaking difficult...

Fritz_Brown March 12th, 2013 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Icosahedron (Post 425750)
Disadvantage: Too many Pop9 TL2 Asteroids. Especially when automation makes tweaking difficult...

Amen to that. In my LBB6 spreadsheet, I have all the raw rolls available in hidden columns, and go move rolls around to "fix" that. Yes, a lot of work.

rich4421972 March 15th, 2013 12:32 AM

My vote is for TNE. It has all of the star/ planet and orbital locations of GURPS and yet is relatively simple and easy to use. I also like the star classification system which is still fairly accurate t what we know about stellar types and their approximate presence.

aramis March 15th, 2013 02:07 AM

I voted WBH and other. For insane cultural details, nothing yet beats WBH (or its progenitors, Grand Survey and Grand Census). For system gen, my homebrew redevelopment for MgT into an extended gen ala bk 6.

SpaceBadger May 16th, 2013 09:43 PM

Cautionary note on WBH: I recently found my copy and got into a major snit over what I saw as errors in many of the size-related details (pp. 60-63), where they had obviously confused radius with diameter - until I read more closely and saw that the variable R in many of the calculations was for the planetary size digit from UPP, which approximates planetary diameter in 1000s of miles. Why they called this variable R (suggesting radius) rather than D (suggesting diameter) remains a mystery :oo: , but if you follow those directions the calculations do work out correctly.

aramis May 17th, 2013 03:29 AM

2300 used the titus-bode relationship, McPerth. it just didn't use mercury and venus for all systems' initial a and b distances.

less broken, that way.

I find T20 plus MT WBH to be awesome for color details.

GURPS Space is more realistic, but realism ceased being my goal about 2008.

McPerth May 17th, 2013 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aramis (Post 434613)
2300 used the titus-bode relationship, McPerth. it just didn't use mercury and venus for all systems' initial a and b distances.

IIRC, Titus-Bode law gives orbital relation as O1+(O2-O1)n-1, where O1 means first orbit, O2 second orbit and n means orbital number, so giving you a geometric relation among orbits.

2300 multiplies the former orbit by 1.3 to 2.1, but a different multiplier could be for any orbit. IMHO those are not the same numbers.

As an example, in Titus-Bode law, by knowing the first and second orbits, you may estimate the 8th orbit with little margin of error, in 2300 you could not, as the variation may quite extensive. (form O1*1.37, so O1*6.27 to O1*2.17, so O1*180 in extreme cases).

Thanos May 17th, 2013 09:57 AM

So If I were to pick up one of these books, what should I get? Something that's easily compatible with mongoose.

BytePro May 17th, 2013 11:24 AM

CT Scouts (LBB6) system gen is very compatible. Most that don't change the meaning of the UWP should be good as far as avoiding conversion issues.

MgT (Mongoose) Scouts had some system stuff in it, IIRC, that might have some compatibility issues, but that should be minor.

Note these books generally cover more than just system building - they include rules for playing in the system which would not be directly compatible with MgT. But spec-ing the system with anything compatible with LBB6 should work decently with MgT.

(LBB6 is available from FFE in the collection CDs (maybe reprints still), and probably from DriveThru individually...)

MichaelSTee May 18th, 2013 11:14 AM

WBH has a lot of extra details that can be useful. GURPS Space (4th ed.) is the most realistic system I've ever seen, but does include shortcuts (still realistic, but with less math). But for Traveller-based systems, Aramis' system is the best amalgamation of rulesets I've seen.

To replace Titius-Bode, I'm thinking of using a log scale to determine approx orbit. Actual orbit can be up to 25% plus/minus.
|orbit|AU|Sol system equivalent
| 1|0.1 |
| 2|0.18 |
| 3|0.32 |mercury 0.39
| 4|0.56 |venus 0.72
| 5|1 |earth 1
| 6|1.8 |mars 1.5
| 7|3.2 |belt 2.7
| 8|5.6 |jupiter 5.2
| 9|10 |saturn 9.5
|10|18 |uranus 19
|11|32 |neptune 30
|12|56 |pluto 30-39 - kuiper belt
|13|100 |
|14|180 |
|15|320 |
|16|560 |
|17|1000 |

the.barwickian May 18th, 2013 12:22 PM

This was quite a tough one. I went for GURPS Space (having the 4th edition in mind) as it's the most up-to-date and is very detailed. For some reason I love detail in world building, even if it means I build fewer worlds.

Having said that, for all its supposed faults, the DGP World Builders' Handbook is a superb balance between detail and usability, and I often refer to it for the social details.

And First In is pretty good, too.

If I really go all out, I suppose I use a blend of all three, seasoned with a dash of Stephen Gillett's World-building for inspiration.

aramis May 18th, 2013 02:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelSTee (Post 434865)

To replace Titius-Bode, I'm thinking of using a log scale to determine approx orbit. Actual orbit can be up to 25% plus/minus.
|orbit|AU|Sol system equivalent

The math shows that it would be just as wrong as the titus bode "law" for the derived orbits of the 4+ world systems already discovered, and for the jovian and saturnian systems of moons.

Titus-bode is essentially a base 2 log with an offset.

Problem is, no pattern to orbital systems has evolved that stands up to the observed measures of the last 7-8 years. And, as yet, we don't have complete enough data to generate a new relationship, but do have enough to render titus-bode bogus and other log scales dubious.

If you're going to go with a fixed scale, Titus Bode is as good as any, because at least you get the Sol System correct to 0.1 AU through Neptune, provided you ignore anything under 500 mi diameter... and a few larger ones with moons of their own, Like Pluto, Eris, Sedna and Haumea.

BytePro May 18th, 2013 02:58 PM

Yeah, I just use AUs and random (computer, not dice) placement since first researching this as a teen. Without taking into account the initial and temporal evolution of a system, complex multi-body and multi-system analysis, much less with only our system as a model, it made no sense to me to do otherwise. I resorted to sequence numbers as 'orbit numbers' (orbit 1, 2, 3 etc.) around primaries for ingame purposes. A simple AU is usually only just an average distance anyway - more 'useful' are the parameters for actually figuring an orbit and position at a given time in relation to other bodies. (Well beyond normal pen and paper games.)

On a human timescale, even clearing out planetoids belts would take so long, they could exist in what would otherwise be considered unusual orbits given gravitational permutations and locations of other bodies. (More interesting though.)

In reality I've long expected that while we may very well find some number of patterns - such as from resonances - but, no one simple model will ever emerge.

Marchand May 21st, 2013 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Icosahedron (Post 425750)
I use LBB6 for basic generation...

Advantage: It's the best I have.
Disadvantage: Too many Pop9 TL2 Asteroids. Especially when automation makes tweaking difficult...

You must be rolling up a lot of worlds - minimum TL for a Pop9 belt would be 6 (roll 1 then +2 for size=0, +1 for amos=0, +2 for pop=9) unless you roll 12 for starport=X (-4). But the chances of a X0009zz-2 are 1 in 36x36x12 = not much (admittedly ignoring gov code effect).

An X0009DD-0 would be... interesting. I would probably tweak to X0009D9-5. Could be a set of asteroid habitats with presiding semi-intelligent life support systems which are worshipped by the population as a pantheon of gods. The priesthood get around between habitats, when they need to, with rocketships of Chesley Bonestell / Wernher von Braun type.

Anyway, I voted GURPS Space, although it's a close call vs. First In.

Although much like an earlier poster who no longer shoots for realism, I do feel part of the reason for more detailed world gen systems is to make the X0009D9-5s not just phenomenally unlikely, but impossible, and where is the fun in that?

thalassogen May 23rd, 2013 08:10 AM

The best one I ever saw is GURPS Space 4th edition. But I also liked World Builder's and World Tamer's.

mike wightman August 7th, 2016 11:48 AM

I'll echo GURPS 4E: Space.

maksimsmelchak August 7th, 2016 05:46 PM

*** What about T5? ***

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Nathan Brazil August 7th, 2016 09:27 PM

T5.09 is mostly, IMHO, a redo of CT Book 6, without the supporting math and details on stars. It also uses the Titus-Bode orbit relationships. on the good side (for me) it extends some of the UWP codes, ties in a bit more directly to sophont and beastmaker, and creates some more info not previously in CT.

atpollard August 8th, 2016 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maksimsmelchak (Post 546193)
*** What about T5? ***

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

T5 Option added (in the same format as MgT).

robject August 8th, 2016 05:42 PM

What's Andy Slack's system like?

flykiller August 8th, 2016 06:09 PM

if you like book 6 I wrote a generator here. just hold down the enter key and it'll spit them out three or four a second.

AsenRG July 12th, 2019 04:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flykiller (Post 546306)
if you like book 6 I wrote a generator here. just hold down the enter key and it'll spit them out three or four a second.

Thank you:)!


On topic, I voted for all of them, because I don't see the differences as major. Yes, I know, it's probably just me:cool:!

kilemall July 12th, 2019 05:59 AM

I'm using R-something Worldgen, what I like about it is the start with star type and how long this part of space is settled and goes from there. Definitely renders a different feel for 1000s of years empire space vs. frontier.
I can use the Near Space type star lists and feed in the star type and get understandable results, even if they prove not to be consistent with what we eventually find the pattern of planetary development to be.
The other part I really like is the native level of life development valuation, really fits in with a subplot of MTU, what is the moral use of terraforming if you are wiping out entire biospheres in the process, even if it is 'useless' methane microbes.

https://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/RTT_Worldgen

I wouldn't be surprised if elements of this is already in some of the other products mentioned, I have not surveyed all of them to know.

estar July 15th, 2019 04:49 PM

I coded up various generation system including Book 6, GURPS Space, and GURPS Traveller. The problem I found is that is when you include temperature calculation then the number of earth-like and marginally inhabitable world go way down. Like there would be a handful at best per sector.

https://batintheattic.blogspot.com/2...completed.html

Screenshots
http://www.ibiblio.org/mscorbit/beta...er_Editors.jpg

The Galactic for Window EXE
http://www.batintheattic.com/downloads/Galactic.exe

BRJN July 15th, 2019 08:55 PM

I voted for 'Other' because I use a kitbash method that draws on Scouts, Grand Survey, 2300AD, and World Tamers' Handbook.

kilemall July 15th, 2019 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by estar (Post 604315)
I coded up various generation system including Book 6, GURPS Space, and GURPS Traveller. The problem I found is that is when you include temperature calculation then the number of earth-like and marginally inhabitable world go way down. Like there would be a handful at best per sector.

https://batintheattic.blogspot.com/2...completed.html

Screenshots
http://www.ibiblio.org/mscorbit/beta...er_Editors.jpg

The Galactic for Window EXE
http://www.batintheattic.com/downloads/Galactic.exe


Which, depends on your POV and milieu, could be a negative if you want Star Trek planet of the week, could be a positive for both 'we're not in Kansas/hard space' and justifying terraforming.

ShawnDriscoll July 26th, 2019 09:27 PM

T5.10 is my go-to for worldgen these days.

sudnadja July 28th, 2019 08:40 PM

One of the difficulties with T5 (at least as it exists in 5.10) is that it has a tendency to produce systems of moons around gas giants that would be lost. The built in T5 sample of Lusor-Assiniboia-Regina is one of those systems, in fact:




I like T5 in general, but it would be better with a few adjustments applied.

ShawnDriscoll July 29th, 2019 12:08 AM

Just matte paint them in.


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