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  #761  
Old September 22nd, 2013, 08:11 AM
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OK, sensors......

My Cr0.02, plus questions.

How does drive sensing work? Not the physics, but the idea? My thought is that if we can manipulate it, we have to have a way to sense it. Basically, you would sense how large (volume) and how powerful (the G being employed) the distortion of the local field is (or what is expected from the local field). You could conceivably take this information in through observing distortion of incoming e-mag from the universe, or you could throw out your own calibrated e-mag and watch it distort in the grav field. (And, that's plenty specific for me in-game.) This would tell you, btw, only what they were outputting, not what their capability is - unless you use it like a sonar reading of a ship's propeller, allowing the nuances to tell you "oh, yes, that's likely a P&W500s 3G with turbo and a glass pac."

Checking things like volume of another ship should be done fairly easily via visual sensors. Obviously any of it hidden behind the face you can see won't be detectable that way, nor any of it that is hidden as a "black body" - background radiation cold and dark - at least easily. You could also ping it with ladar or radar. I would think that would be a more active way to do it, obtaining more detail and overcoming simple attempts at stealth.

Passive sensors would pick up e-mag emissions that include: heat output, light output, radiation of any other kind that isn't contained, "holes" in the sky where a ship blocks radiation, radio transmissions (omni-directional, or side lobes of directed, but not laser comm), and sound (in atmosphere).

I don't recall just how much info Jump Flash gives you, other than "oh look, a ship just came out of jump."

I would assume that normal etiquette would be - in a place where pirates are more commonplace - to "ping" a ship once with directed radar/ladar, then to not continue doing so. Anything else might be considered aggressive. (I fully expect some of the defense forces around here to do that; it's still aggressive, but they have their job to do.) I would think that any active grav-drive detection would fall in that category, as well.

I also would think that one active emission would not be considered aggressive, even though constant: general radar. It would seem to be a normal sensor to have running (especially in uncontrolled areas) - much like a TCAS on airliners or the collision avoidance stuff on a sea-going vessel. It's dark out here, and you wouldn't want us to run into you because your headlights are off.

Thoughts? (And, I apologize in advance for any of it we've already hashed out but I don't recall.)

All of which leads to the question, "is the Fargo captain an insufferable tool, or do I owe the man an apology?"
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  #762  
Old September 22nd, 2013, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
All of which leads to the question, "is the Fargo captain an insufferable tool, or do I owe the man an apology?"
Neither, I think, at least not from the evidence presented. When I wrote the msg from Fargo, I didn't know if Donoma had been scanning him or not - I would assume that sensors work at lightspeed, and since his msg followed right after his transponder info, that would imply that he sent it right after coming out of jump and detecting and receiving transponder info from Fortunate Son. My intention was that he was simply saying, "I mean you no harm, I hope you don't mean me any harm, so we have no need for active sensing such as target acquisition, so let's not start any unnecessary aggressive escalation."

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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
I don't recall just how much info Jump Flash gives you, other than "oh look, a ship just came out of jump."
I go back and forth on that. Can't recall seeing any CT rule on it, just general impressions from other SF that there should be some sort of event that can be detected. But then I don't like the detection completely reliable and foolproof, or it makes it too difficult to sneak into a system when necessary. Perhaps a distance range, so if you want to sneak in you have to exit further out, do a fast bit of accel to aim where you want to go, then freefall the rest of the way.

But no, I don't think the Flash gives you much info other than, "Ship just came out of Jump."

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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
I would assume that normal etiquette would be - in a place where pirates are more commonplace - to "ping" a ship once with directed radar/ladar, then to not continue doing so. Anything else might be considered aggressive. (I fully expect some of the defense forces around here to do that; it's still aggressive, but they have their job to do.) I would think that any active grav-drive detection would fall in that category, as well.
Sounds reasonable.

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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
I also would think that one active emission would not be considered aggressive, even though constant: general radar. It would seem to be a normal sensor to have running (especially in uncontrolled areas) - much like a TCAS on airliners or the collision avoidance stuff on a sea-going vessel. It's dark out here, and you wouldn't want us to run into you because your headlights are off.
I agree. Although it is an active sensor, it isn't aimed at getting more info about a particular ship, or narrowing down its position and vector for targeting.
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  #763  
Old September 22nd, 2013, 02:45 PM
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Fortunate Son has jumped, so I've locked the thread on Chapter 01 and started a new thread for Chapter 02.

Since this OOC thread is also getting lengthy, I've been advise to also lock it and start a new one, but first, a bit of post-mortem on Chapter 01.

I'm having a blast so far as GM, and I hope all of you players are enjoying the game as well. If you have suggestions for things I might do differently, please post here, or PM/email me if you prefer.

This Play-by-Post thing certainly has its pros and cons compared to tabletop. I think overall I'd enjoy it more if all eight of us were simply gathered around a big table playing the game, but that isn't really possible considering our geographic separation, so PbP is a good substitute.

One thing that I really like about PbP as GM is the time that it gives me to think about a response rather than just throwing it off the cuff, and for this "mostly sandbox" kind of game we are playing that is important to me since I don't have any detailed adventure prepared, just building it as we go according to choices that y'all make.

For example, one major focus of your visit to Devonia turned out to be the deal with Nero Vulpinerrin and the loading of his special freight at his mining complex. You want to know where that came from? It's a long, involved chain, but it started w Fritz wanting Donoma to do some of her usual daily activities while waiting for Fortunate Son to arrive so that she could decide to sign on. So I threw a couple of package delivery assignments at her, and purely by whim made one of those deliveries be to a mining complex outside of Devonia City.

Then after handing off the package, Donoma was just making conversation with Wallis Kashnavari, the assistant manager at the complex, and asked how things were going, since she hadn't seen her in the City lately. Hmm, what would keep Wallis too busy to go into town? Why, the mine had made a big strike and was producing much more than its usual amounts of Lanthanum and other metals! They chatted a bit more, and Wallis mentioned that her boss was hoping to find a ship to transport all of this unexpected bounty of metals.

That was all, a tiny seed planted, but then when Donoma was hired she mentioned it to Hampton, who asked her to follow up on it, so that I had to invent the character of Nero Vulpinerrin and figure out the details of his contract with Ixion to provide motivation for wanting to get the transport ASAP and being willing to trust a bunch of strangers to haul it.

Y'all are all familiar with "the rest of the story" from there to your current position, in jump space on your way to Nexus, but let me tell you, it was great fun for me as GM making this all up as it went along, not as some plot purely out of my own head that y'all would be guided through as if on railroad tracks, but shaping it in response to your decisions.

I figured that the mining complex during pickup of the freight would be a good scene for some combat, but the possible scenarios for it to happen kept shifting right up to when you worked out each PC's positions for the loading, and even then the exact sequence was all by your tactical choices - for example, if more that just Hampton had chosen to go around the south end, it probably would have been more of an outdoor thing fighting around the VTOL. Plus the fact of having Donoma flying skywatch in the laser-equipped Launch, which I had not anticipated at all, made fairly short work of the resistance at that end.

I had also been expecting some space combat with a pirate at the gas giant when you went to refuel, but instead you tanked up at the starport.

How about for y'all? Are things moving about as you expected? Any comments or suggestions?

I will leave this OOC thread open another day or two, just for closing comments about Chapter 01. I'll open a new OOC thread to go along with Chapter Two.
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  #764  
Old September 22nd, 2013, 05:05 PM
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Heh. All those choices you mention are the same sort of things that happened with my Skype-top game - only I didn't have the luxury of time.

As to jump flash, I don't think there's anything on it officially, except a bit here or there to add confusion. It has been hashed out quite regularly in the forums. (Lots of good different interpretations, btw. I don't have a problem with yours at all.) Only question might be - if all jump flashes aren't the same (jump requires different energy levels based on distance and size), then can it tell you ship size or distance jumped/jumping? Oh, and is there an entrance flash? (EDIT: Oop! You answer that one in the IC thread. )

I didn't realize the timing on that broadcast. He is less than a light second out from us, so lag would hardly be noticeable.
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  #765  
Old September 23rd, 2013, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
Heh. All those choices you mention are the same sort of things that happened with my Skype-top game - only I didn't have the luxury of time.

As to jump flash, I don't think there's anything on it officially, except a bit here or there to add confusion. It has been hashed out quite regularly in the forums. (Lots of good different interpretations, btw. I don't have a problem with yours at all.) Only question might be - if all jump flashes aren't the same (jump requires different energy levels based on distance and size), then can it tell you ship size or distance jumped/jumping? Oh, and is there an entrance flash? (EDIT: Oop! You answer that one in the IC thread. )

I didn't realize the timing on that broadcast. He is less than a light second out from us, so lag would hardly be noticeable.
TNE's Regency Sourcebook explicitly allows you to read an outgoing ship's flash, reverse engineer their course from it, and follow. In the ref's library data
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 11:30 AM
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TNE's Regency Sourcebook explicitly allows you to read an outgoing ship's flash, reverse engineer their course from it, and follow. In the ref's library data
I guess no one has figured out how to do that yet in the era we're playing; the best info you can get from observing a ship going into Jump is a general idea of direction (although sometimes that is enough, if you know the other ship's Jump drive and there are only a few possible destinations within its range).
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Last edited by SpaceBadger; September 24th, 2013 at 05:55 PM.. Reason: added parenthetical note
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 05:06 PM
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It would probably be linked to TL too. The more advanced you are in jump tech the better you know all the aspects of it.
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Old October 13th, 2013, 12:29 AM
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Here is a link to the OOC thread for Chapter 2.
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