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Old April 4th, 2003, 04:43 PM
Keklas Rekobah Keklas Rekobah is offline
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This is rather long...

I'm starting a new topic here. The intent is to take known scientific principles, or actual discoveries in science, and apply them to the Traveller milieu. Also, intended is a forum for suggestions that would add detail to any version of Traveller.

(My ideas may not be any more scientific then others covering similar topics - granted. I am trying to avoid topics in other forums like; "TNE sux cuz it ain't GURPS!", or "What's so hot about GURPS, anyway? It is not the be-all and do-all of science-fiction role-playing games!")

For example:

1) Many of us know that stars are classified by type {W,O,B,A,F,G,K,M,L,T}, Subtype {W0,W1,W2, ... T7,T8,T9}, and Class {Ia,Ib,II,III,IV,V,VI}. Why are there no tables within the Traveller system that include the Type L & T stars?

L & T stars were relatively unknown before 1998. They are stars that are too small to have ignited the hydrogen in their cores to fusion. As for being "painfully uninteresting"; since when is any class of star more interesting than another? One of my intents is to expand the possibilities for planetary development. As for L and T stars being "too old and too cold to have any habitable planets", what self-respecting GM would limit his players to only those planetary environments that are "SIZ-8, ATM-6, HYD-7" orbiting a class G2-V star, anyway? Have you never played your character in an asteroid belt that lies beyond the habitability zone? Now THAT is an environment that is very cold and quite old if you place it in an Oort cloud.

(BTW: R, N, and S class stars are nothing more than "M" class stars with peculiar spectra - some have even proven to be L0, L1, and L2 stars!)

2) Classic Traveller used a 2D system for determining UPP and UWP. This usually resulted in a decimal range of values from 0 to A (A =10). Why not used 3D with DM-3 for a hexadecimal range of 0 to F (F = 15)? This would provide a little more detail to the UWP, at least. For atmosphere, then:

0 - None
1 - Trace, tainted.
2 - Trace.
3 - Very Thin, Tainted.
4 - Very Thin.
5 - Thin, Tainted.
6 - Thin.
7 - Standard, Tainted.
8 - Standard.
9 - Thick.
A - Thick, Tainted.
B - Very Thick.
C - Very Thick, Tainted.
D - Insidious.
E - Corrosive.
F - Exotic.

3) Why does Traveller not use an overall world classification system? To call an Earth-like planet "Class-M" did not originate with Roddenberry and Company. In fact, the term "Class-M World" originated in an old Astronomy paper from the late 1930's! In the 2D system, an Earth-like planet's UWP always begins with "867". Such a code would be for any "Class-M" world. Any world that deviates from the value "867" would have a lower "Class". "767" would be a "Class-L" world, and "000" would be a "Class-E" world. I propose then an addition to the UWP code, such that Earth would be something like "A-867-M-887-A". Anybody who knows where to look would know immediately how hospitable any world's environment would be. That we don't know what is really "out there" is all the more reason to set up a classification system beforehand (the precedent being set by the field of biology, with it's taxonomic classification system). After all, we have classified stellar types {W/O,B,A,F,G,K,M(RNS),L,T} even though we can not see every star in our galaxy - this certainly beats having to describe the spectrum of every star down to fractions of an angstrom. Why not have a shorthand classification system {E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M} for planetary bodies, as well?

M - Ideally Hospitable to Humaniti.
L - Hospitable.
K - Endurable without environmental protection.
J - Survivable, environmental protection recommended.
I - Survivable for short periods without environmental protection, terraforming possible.
H - Not survivable without environmental protection. Terraforming difficult.
G - Extensive environmental protection required. Terraforming very difficult.
F - No terraforming possible.
E - May as well be in open space.

Another historical note: the genre of "Science Fiction" was originally called "Speculative Fiction", which encompassed any piece of fiction that extrapolated on current conditions and known facts to provide an environment where ordinary characters are confronted with extra-ordinary conditions.

Opinions? Thanx!
"Keklas! What is your payoff in playing the role of Referee?"
"To challenge my friends, to see them playing before me, and to hear the lamentations of their characters."
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