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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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  #21  
Old September 13th, 2019, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
3D starmaps are great fun to play around with - but at the table in my experience they cause more trouble than they are worth.
I concur. During my tinkering, I wrote a script that generates a graph of every system up to two jumps out for the jump range of the ship. If it had been interactive, I'd have added two features: the ability to tap on a system to re-center the graph on that system, and a "return to current system" button. As it was, the script just spat out Dot code for formatting with Graphviz.
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  #22  
Old February 29th, 2020, 03:36 AM
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The Trav 2D density isn't representative, and wouldn't carry over to a 3D map. Our stellar neighborhood is about 8 cubic pc per star. That means there are about 64 stars in a 5 pc radius. On the other hand, it also means that any star has only about 1 in 3 chance of having a neighbor within 1 pc. If you allow Jn to reach n+0.5 pc the chances of a neighbor in J1 reach go way up.



That more stars are reachable within a given number of parsecs is the whole point. A J2 3D ship could trade like a J3 2D ship, and a J3 3D ship could trade like a J5 2D ship. J4+ becomes the province of military and high-price express travel.
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  #23  
Old March 6th, 2020, 07:53 AM
nobby-w nobby-w is offline
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Originally Posted by Condottiere View Post
Three dee star mapping should probably wait until someone generates a computer simulation that you can easily navigate on a tablet, and which would require a rather extensive retconning of Third Imperium astrography.
[ . . . ]
This is the principal issue with 3D mapping. While you can do a projection that can visualise a small region of space on a paper map, doing anything cleverer puts you into the realms of needing a computer to visualise it effectively.

Even on a smaller scale there are practical issues that make it quite hard to do well, and in practice it doesn't bring a lot of benefit to actual game play. I put it in the 'Not worth the effort' bucket.

Actually building an app to do this and doing it to a quality level where it can be let loose on random DMs is a significant investment, probably out of the reach of all but larger publishers. It also makes your game dependent on the app - which may or may not be strategically desirable. Most of the attempts I've seen at doing this didn't work all that well or were unusably buggy.

Even before you get into the effects on the OTU, you're also into a cubic growth of your universe with dimensions, making the development of sandboxes a rather larger effort. Applying the OTU's assumptions about communication to make a 3D Imperium of the same dimensions would result is a very large region of space with millions of stars. While a published sandbox on that scale would be totally awesome, it wouldn't be practical to build through anything but procedurally generated content. At that point you might as well just go and play No Mans Sky or Elite: Dangerous.

If you were doing a computer game a 3D map isn't a big deal, and you're in a use case where you can assume the player has a computer. For a pen-and-paper game it brings a significant development cost and a dependency on a computer that you or your players might not want.
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  #24  
Old March 6th, 2020, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by nobby-w View Post
Even before you get into the effects on the OTU, you're also into a cubic growth of your universe with dimensions, making the development of sandboxes a rather larger effort. Applying the OTU's assumptions about communication to make a 3D Imperium of the same dimensions would result is a very large region of space with millions of stars. While a published sandbox on that scale would be totally awesome, it wouldn't be practical to build through anything but procedurally generated content. At that point you might as well just go and play No Mans Sky or Elite: Dangerous.
You can't layer "The Imperium" on to such a structure, not the canonical at least, since the Imperium is the Imperium partly because of the structure of the 2D map. The Imperium has actual borders.

Other than that, going to a lower distribution of planets, along with a longer jump (say J1 is 3 parsecs instead of 1 parsec, or something similar) can counter the cubic complexity issue, making the differences a wash.

But trying to get the higher level Imperial dynamic in to such a sphere, is less practical. It can be inspired to be sure "Look! We have Dukes!" but the history itself is quite different.

What would the Spinward Marches volume be like?
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  #25  
Old March 9th, 2020, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by whartung View Post
You can't layer "The Imperium" on to such a structure, not the canonical at least, since the Imperium is the Imperium partly because of the structure of the 2D map. The Imperium has actual borders.

Other than that, going to a lower distribution of planets, along with a longer jump (say J1 is 3 parsecs instead of 1 parsec, or something similar) can counter the cubic complexity issue, making the differences a wash.

But trying to get the higher level Imperial dynamic in to such a sphere, is less practical. It can be inspired to be sure "Look! We have Dukes!" but the history itself is quite different.

What would the Spinward Marches volume be like?
You would have to substantially re-hash the OTU to fit it to a 3 dimensional space, which was the point of my post. Also, the cubic relationship grows, well, cubically, so it gets bigger a lot quicker than a two dimensional space. It's not just bigger, it grows at a higher rate.

Borders can exist in three dimensions, but you get back to needing CGI to visualise them. A 3 dimensional border based on power projection capability from systems (i.e. some function of jump range) would look like an agglomeration of spheres resembling Yog-Sothoth; intersections between spherical regions of influence belonging to different parties would result in lenticular regions that could be contested. If there was a system in that overlapping region then it could potentially be the subject of conflict.

Alternatively you would have to find a way to sneak a fleet into a neighbouring unihabited system and use it as a jump-off point for an attack. Keeping systems that could be used in this way patrolled to prevent this from happening would be a substantial ongoing job for the Navy.

A 40x32x40 sector would be around 50,000 cubic parsecs and a subsector around 800. For 26 systems per subsector you would have about 30 cubic parsecs per world, or an average of J3-4 between sytems. To fit the same number of worlds (about 400) into the sector, you would have about 6.5 systems per subsector, or about 1 per 120 cubic parsecs, averaging 5-7 parsecs parsecs apart.
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Last edited by nobby-w; March 9th, 2020 at 06:00 PM..
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  #26  
Old February 26th, 2021, 02:02 AM
LeagueOfSuns LeagueOfSuns is offline
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I'm working on doing that right now. For my map, I'm using randomly generated stars, with a density of about 0.095 solar systems (some of which have multiple stars) per cubic parsec, which is roughly what it is within 5 parsecs of Earth. A subsector is 8 x 8 x 8 parsecs, and a sector is 4 x 4 x 4 subsectors.

I'm generating the systems physical data using modified 2300 rules, but then using MgT for population, government, law & tech level. Much of the work is done using Filemaker Pro, including calculating the distances between nearby systems.

I'm doing this because I want a harder science feel in my next campaign, so I've also decided there is no grav tech, FTL uses stutterwarp instead of jump drive (although with an 8.15 ly limit instead of 7.7), and there are no aliens with comparable technology.
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  #27  
Old February 26th, 2021, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LeagueOfSuns View Post
I'm working on doing that right now. For my map, I'm using randomly generated stars, with a density of about 0.095 solar systems (some of which have multiple stars) per cubic parsec, which is roughly what it is within 5 parsecs of Earth. A subsector is 8 x 8 x 8 parsecs, and a sector is 4 x 4 x 4 subsectors.

I'm generating the systems physical data using modified 2300 rules, but then using MgT for population, government, law & tech level. Much of the work is done using Filemaker Pro, including calculating the distances between nearby systems.

I'm doing this because I want a harder science feel in my next campaign, so I've also decided there is no grav tech, FTL uses stutterwarp instead of jump drive (although with an 8.15 ly limit instead of 7.7), and there are no aliens with comparable technology.
I got a subsector map for you, it is in my Andromeda Sector and its 8 parsecs thick, 8 parsecs wide and 10 parsecs long.

https://www.deviantart.com/tomkalbfu...Gaia-871279682



The two images are viewed from 2 different angles just in case some stars are in front of others. Each sector consists of 16 subsectors just like in standardTraveller, and each subsector has on average 40 star systems rolling 6d12 will get you in that ball park, then you roll 1d8 for the first two digits of the hex number, 1d10 for the second two digits and 1d8 for the vertical number or layer. I find it's not worth going more 3 dimensional than that.
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  #28  
Old February 26th, 2021, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeagueOfSuns View Post
I'm doing this because I want a harder science feel in my next campaign, so I've also decided there is no grav tech, FTL uses stutterwarp instead of jump drive (although with an 8.15 ly limit instead of 7.7), and there are no aliens with comparable technology.
So, no Imperium-threatening aliens?
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  #29  
Old February 26th, 2021, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AtlanticFriend View Post
So, no Imperium-threatening aliens?
No, and no Imperium either, although there have been many small empires (none covering more than about 100 worlds). There are some human groups that have undergone DNAm treatments resulting, in some cases, in new human species.
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  #30  
Old February 26th, 2021, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LeagueOfSuns View Post
No, and no Imperium either, although there have been many small empires (none covering more than about 100 worlds). There are some human groups that have undergone DNAm treatments resulting, in some cases, in new human species.
Well in the Andromeda Sector, there is no Imperium either, FTL travel is only 26 years old and Interstellar nations haven't had much time to develop yet.
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