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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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  #11  
Old July 8th, 2018, 03:20 AM
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Whartung, how far was the ship able to jump per jump, and how many parsecs away was it able to reach in the six months? Its been a real long time since I had my nose in the jump rules, and don't really remember. I am going to limit a jump 1 ship to one parsec, but I think I recall depending on what rules are used that a jump 1 ship might be able to go further. Something about the smaller the ship, the further it can jump. I may have remembered that all wrong.

Will have to dig out the books on system scouting to get an idea of how much time it would take to determine a planets economic potential. Then would have to get an idea of how long it would take the powers that be, to determine just where they will spend the RU's to get a way station or colony set up, in order to expand their control. How long would it take to get everything needed in order set that mission into motion?

Lots to ponder.
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  #12  
Old July 9th, 2018, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 2010 View Post
Whartung, how far was the ship able to jump per jump, and how many parsecs away was it able to reach in the six months? Its been a real long time since I had my nose in the jump rules, and don't really remember. I am going to limit a jump 1 ship to one parsec, but I think I recall depending on what rules are used that a jump 1 ship might be able to go further. Something about the smaller the ship, the further it can jump. I may have remembered that all wrong.

Will have to dig out the books on system scouting to get an idea of how much time it would take to determine a planets economic potential. Then would have to get an idea of how long it would take the powers that be, to determine just where they will spend the RU's to get a way station or colony set up, in order to expand their control. How long would it take to get everything needed in order set that mission into motion?

Lots to ponder.
The Rules solution is (in most editions): a J1 comes out 1 parsec away after a week ±1 day (168:00±16:48 hours:minutes). If sufficient fuel is aboard, a second jump may be done, also taking 7±1 days, and potentially, a third such jump; most ships only have facilities for 4 weeks LS. A J2 works the same, but 2 parsecs each.

Additional LS charges and food come in at "One ton of such supplies in the cargo area will support 2,000 person/days at a cost of Cr50,000. That translates to 285 person/weeks at a cost of Cr175 per week." (JTAS 3 p18)

Few ships can have a payload at 66% fuel (under Bk5, FF&S, T20, MGT1) or worse, 70% (CT-77) or 80% (CT-81/82/83), so 3×J2 is about the far end of range; 3×J3 is physically impossible without drop tanks under all editions.

Depending upon the ship design, a J2 scout can reasonably be designed under most systems for 2×J2, and still be able to have 4 wks PP fuel, plus crew and a good computer.

EG: CT-81/82/83
200 Td 0MCr 22 Hull, 200 Td Custom Streamlined
020 Td 0MCr 1 Bridge
025 Td MCr 40.0 JD D=2
013 Td MCr 32.0 PP D=2
007 Td MCr 16.0 MD D=2
080 Td 0MCr 0.0 J-Fuel 2×J2
020 Td 0MCr 0.0 P-Fuel Weeks×4
009 Td MCr 80.0 Model 7
020 Td 0MCr 2.5 Staterooms×6 (PNEEM)
002 Td 0MCr 0.2 Hardpoints×2
200 Td MCr192.7 totals
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  #13  
Old July 9th, 2018, 02:58 PM
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Yea, it was a simple J1 -- 1 Parsec. A ship with fuel to do two back-to-back J1.

Using similar formula, starting in Regina, with a combination of gas giant and water fueling, all but, like, 4 or 5 of the systems in the Spaniard Marches are reachable by a 2xJ1 ship.

So, a J1 ship is quite capable.

I actually wrote code to, essentially, "traveling salesman" the Marches, that's how I found that some systems were unreachable. They also didn't have a 6 month mission limitation, just a single, long tour. The goal was to see exactly how much was reachable via J1 and wilderness refueling. "Most everything" as it turns out.

The scouting exploration question is interesting because something needs to drive the need to continue to explore. Seems that like, for, 1-2BCr (which is, you know, "nothing"), you could fund the pathfinder missions to the 6 month limit over 10 year hosting a few starships, and get a glance at all of those systems. You'd think it would cost more. The first 10 jump capable ships should be pretty expensive, I'd think. Even 10-20BCr is "cheap".

But then what?

If anything, you can now work on more detailed, targeted survey. You can think about expansion. But, as folks were asking in the other threads, to what end? What's going to drive the people off their home planet to go somewhere dangerous and expensive? "Adventurers", sure.

Colonists? They going to go out with horses and shovels and plows? Or are we looking at several 100 thousand credits of supplies and such for a adventurous family? Who's going to subsidize those ventures?

In agricultural society, "free land" is a great benefit and attractive to people. In an industrialized society? Eh, maybe not so much.

Anyway, its easy to see how once Jump is discovered, that a there would be great incentive and pressure to at least explore the nearby systems. But I think the thirst for knowledge would dwindle quite quickly once they started heading back out to do formal surveys, which will take a lot more time. Will they keep pushing out? Making outposts sole to support more exploration?

As I understand it, the difference between discovery of J1 and J2 were several hundred years. So that leaves a lot of time for formal survey. Also is a lot of time for development, colonization, empires to rise and fall.
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Old July 9th, 2018, 04:46 PM
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If you allow Deep Space Jumps to a "calibration point" without a mass...

A J1 100 ton Bk5-81 scout has tonnages like this:
Td_ MCr
100 008.0 Flattened Sphere (SL) 100Td. TL 9
020 000.5 bridge
002 008.0 JD 1
002 003.0 MD 1
006 018.0 PP 1
001 000.0 PP Fuel × 4 weeks
030 000.0 JD Fuel 3 × J1
016 002.0 Staterooms × 5 (P/N, E 2×MissionSpecialist)
001 000.1 Hardpoint ×1
003 018.0 Model/3 ×1
009 000.038 Fuel Purification
004 000.6 Air Raft
004 000.0 Mission Pallet Bay (4Td)
002 000.0 Supply Locker (Cargo, 2 Td)
100 Td, MCr58.238.
Operational range, 150 weeks round trip (food limit) with no specialists. 4 weeks between fueling stops, or 2 jumps; if loitering, jump-in-refuel for jump back, then loiter up to 44 weeks.

A 200 Td 4xJ1 Bk2
200 002.2 SL custom 200 Td.
020 000.5 bridge
003 018.0 Model/3
015 020.0 JD B=1
007 016.0 PP B=1
003 008.0 MD B=1
080 000.0 JFuel 4×j1
020 000.0 PPFuel weeks ×8
004 000.6 Air/Raft
008 000.0 Mission Pallet Bays ×2
002 000.2 Hardpoint
024 003.0 Staterooms ×6 (P, N, E, M, MissionSpecialist ×2)
014 000.0 Cargo Bay.
200 Td MCr65.5

8 weeks, 4×J1, 525 weeks out with crew of 4, 350 with crew of 6.
REALLY long legs there. And it's TL 9.
Ditch both mission bays and 12 tons cargo, and you can add a 5th jump.
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  #15  
Old July 10th, 2018, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by whartung View Post
But then what?
It depends on how accessible the technology is. If it is all state run Apollo style projects then one path is followed it. If the technology is accessible to private citizens in the way rocketry has been in the past decade then the possibilities open up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
If anything, you can now work on more detailed, targeted survey. You can think about expansion. But, as folks were asking in the other threads, to what end? What's going to drive the people off their home planet to go somewhere dangerous and expensive? "Adventurers", sure.
It depends on what the surveys show. If there is literally a ball of millions of tons of rare earth metals worth trillions then it will be exploited. Other people less connected and with less resources will take a chance at other other opportunities suggested by the survey. The focus for many of these ventures will be on getting X from "out there" back home to Earth or at least the Solar System.

Depending on how accessible the technology and what the survey turns next are the adventurers and those with specific agenda (think Puritans).

For a time the frontier will a mix of folks hyper focused on resource extraction and a mix of the weird, adventure thrill seekers, and off the wall. Eventually what known will expand beyond the surveys and new opportunities will present itself. This is when the first wave of colonization starts. Piggy backing on the infrastructure that was first built. In large part the people that go are those who are not doing well at home, or found an opportunity for wealth.

Will be a geometric expansion after there is enough people to support service or middle man type enterprises.

For example in year 70 of the Terran Diaspora, John Smith of Bentford Ontario is a struggling owner of a machine shop. A friend, Mark, has come back to Earth from Eridani an inhabitable world 8 weeks out from Earth. One thing John hears from Mark accounts of his adventures is that Eridani has now has a downport that has been setup with a reactor. After a week or so of checking out things it looks like the reactor is not fully utilized.

Despite being inhabitable Eridani was never on anybody top ten places to colonize. Out of the handful of other inhabitable worlds Promixa and Salvation are the ones that got most of the press and attention. However there are only a handful of inhabitable place so Eridani got visitors most of which are to a international research outpost on the surface.

Over the years enough people trickled into Eridani that the planet's population is now in the low thousands. The two highest centers of population are around the research outpost and a settlement by an odd Fusion Millennist cult. Enough that the outpost got a capital budget to build a small downport.

After checking his saving and what he could get for his building, John found that he had enough to make a move out there with enough equipment, mostly 3D fabricators to establish a tool shop on Eridani. He would be literally the only tool shop there outside of the outpost. Mark seems to think the idea will work although a bit risky. John contacts the authority in charge of the downport with Mark's help and find they have more than enough excess power to supply what he needs. They are more than happy to have him if he brings along most of what he needs.

After going what the hell, John makes the move.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 04:00 AM
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There has been a lot of good input in this topic so far. I haven't had as much time as I would like to work on it as I would like, but the input has given me a lot to ponder when I do have the time. One of the things I think would make creating an alien "empire" or whatever their controlled space is called, would be to not allow empty parsec jumps. I think constricting the available space for J1 and J2 races would reduce the amount of work needed to generate and develop the setting as time passes. It may even be beneficial to restrict the first few alien contacts to J1 or J2 races, so that the ref can get a feel for just how the whole process of evolving the background works. I have a rough idea how it should work, but I know that the reality is much different than the vision. Just today I started cutting paper templates for a contraption I need to build. Holding the pieces in place, I realized that my initial drawings were more complex than needed. I was able to cut the sheet metal and only use half the parts I thought I would need to build it!!

Since Pocket Empires is where I am drawing most of my information from, much of the details for running the aliens in the background is already in place, including their military forces. What they don't have are their scouting forces. I'm just going to add costs for creating the scout units and add it to the military budget. All is needed is the cost of a scouting factor per tech level. The jump cost is the same.

Since each military point is x depending on the tech level, I figure that setting up a scouting point value should be 25 to 50 percent of the military cost. They don't need all of the weaponry... Each scouting point would be enough for scouting operations for 1,2 or even 3 worlds from one world as its base of operations.

PE has two scouting Meta Tasks that cost 1 RU each. The first takes one year to determine the UWP of the world. The second takes two years to determine the full economic extension of the world. I'm sure that it should not take that long, but the tasks are planned in yearly increments, and takes into account that the entire system is scouted, as only main worlds dealt with in play. Also the data needs to be reviewed at higher levels to determine what should be done with those systems, and where to deploy the scouts next.

At this point, I think its time to start rolling dice and focus on just playing the background for a while. I'll roll up some worlds using sparse density and make sure that there are about 6 or so worlds in J1 range. Then will extend it for J2 and see how things progress from there. I'll start with an earth uwp except that it will be TL9 in order to start exploration and colonization and see what happens. Also change the government to a world government in order to use the full economic weight to expand and develop.

One last note. I generated a few random sectors with Heaven and Earth and was surprised how many highly developed worlds did not have many RUs in excess for spending. Looks like There are only so many worlds in an "empire" that have the economic muscle to get things done. Interesting.
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Old July 12th, 2018, 02:38 PM
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Since each military point is x depending on the tech level, I figure that setting up a scouting point value should be 25 to 50 percent of the military cost. They don't need all of the weaponry... Each scouting point would be enough for scouting operations for 1,2 or even 3 worlds from one world as its base of operations.
25-50% budget is either Really High, or you have a really crummy military.

When I think scouting, I think of expeditions like Lewis and Clark, or the other great explorers that took their ship or small fleet and went in to the farthest corners of the Earth.

A far cry from 100-500 ships navies with Man of Wars and heavy weapons (not to mention land forces).

Plus, there was simple the matter of the private scouts of the "Daniel Boone" variety, just poking around the woods.

Now, if you're simply talking the cost of an individual ship, then, perhaps. A Scout ship could well be cheaper than a fully armed military ship. But operationally, the Scout ship wouldn't be dramatically cheaper than a similar sized Military ship. Still got to feed and pay the crews, you just don't have to necessarily pay the maintenance on some fancy weapon system.

If you limit yourself to J1 and no empty hexes, you will find the empires hindered quite readily. J2 will open a LOT of doors, though. There's little difference between J1 and twice the jump fuel, and a J2 ship. For my experiment, if anything, the sphere would have been expanded greatly since time was the primary constraint, and J2 helps with that.

Simply, you may find that J2, with a typical Traveller sector is not much of a limitation at all. But J1, it really is.
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Old July 13th, 2018, 01:35 AM
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Whartung, I usually get to replying pretty late and am usually pretty tired, so my posts often get rambling. I don't always get things across the way I think they should, so forgive me if you get confused, as I usually get confused posting

If you are familiar with the way military forces are represented with PE then this is old info for you. A military unit with an attack factor of 1 at TL6, has the same amount of punch as a unit with an attack factor of 1 at TL 12. The TL6 unit is just much larger to achieve the same amount of firepower, and costs much much more. You are correct in your second comment about the cost of a scout ship would be much less than a military ship of the same size. That cost difference is what I was referring to with my 25 to 50 percent of a military ship. In this case however, the number of ships does not matter. The scouting factor is just an idea of how much the scouting unit it represents, is capable of doing in a years time. That time includes the actual planning to send the scouts out and what they are trying to accomplish, getting the results back to higher authorities for processing, logistics... a player ship entering a system near the scout unit, would have a chance to encounter a scout ship and there is a good reason why it was there. Of course if the players enter the same system and the scout unit is operating much farther away, then the chances of encountering a scout ship would be less. However, this does not take into account that there could be a scout there from a corporation, rich speculator... Am looking to give those scout bases and scouts more of an active role in the background.

While looking at the military unit system in PE another thought came to mind. When an alien race has been contacted, and the ref figures out just where there homeworld is located, by generating what the size of their military force is, can help determine how much force they can deploy to control the amount of space surrounding them. Will be looking into that possibility for setting up their controlled space and area of operations very soon.

Also while pondering the alien worlds question, the question of how long have the aliens been jump capable stays in the back of my mind. PE has a table of how long it would take to successfully research a tech increase. I can roll for each level and add a modifier or two and come up with a timeline. This can help determine how developed their colonized worlds are. Lots more to figure out here but its a possibility.

Again I thank you all for your replies. Each of them have given me new ideas or a different view of existing ones. I hope perhaps the readers may get some little or big spark of imagination for their travelling as well.
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Old July 17th, 2018, 05:42 PM
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So far I have been getting all of the information needed to create all of the details for system creation together in a streamlined format, to generate the details as easily as possible. The information is scattered in the Pocket Empires book, which makes it more difficult than it should be. Am really happy with the results so far.

The next task is to get the alien race generation process down. My question for everyone now is, from what version is the easiest to use?
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Old July 17th, 2018, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2010 View Post
So far I have been getting all of the information needed to create all of the details for system creation together in a streamlined format, to generate the details as easily as possible. The information is scattered in the Pocket Empires book, which makes it more difficult than it should be. Am really happy with the results so far.

The next task is to get the alien race generation process down. My question for everyone now is, from what version is the easiest to use?
Yeah PE is a tough book as the walls of text are hard to wade thru and the tables feel very out-of-context. I feel like there’s a much simpler way to do things in there somewhere but as long as you’re happy that’s all that matters.

As far as aliens, do you mean canon aliens (Aslan, Vargr, etc) or your own creations? If the latter, there’s a third party supplement for Mongoose 1e called Flynn’s Guide to Alien Creation that’s very straightforward and robust enough to create interesting and different races (and drop the sentience stuff and you’re making cool beasties).

Can’t speak to the T5 alien creation process but it seems viable as well. The mechanics in T5 seem similar to T4 (ie, the PE system) but without half-dice. I’m sure someone has worked up the T5 alien race cards for the canon aliens so maybe that work is essentially already done.

EDIT: in re-reading the last several posts it seems I misunderstood your question. Are you doing a post-Long Night as in PE? Reconnecting a previous empire as it were? Or discovering a region for the first time?
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Last edited by Fovean; July 17th, 2018 at 09:28 PM.. Reason: Clarification of response
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