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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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  #11  
Old September 6th, 2019, 11:08 AM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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SPI's StarForce had a 1970s map, and their scifi game Universe had an updated one. I got ahold of both, but really didn't see playvalue in them.


The 2300 7.7 LY radiation dump in gravity well bit was again a ship FTL mechanic meant to create nodal stop/encounter systems, different in conception from Traveller but performing the same game function.



So the question you have to ask yourself is what game value are you looking to pull from having a 3-D map and do you want a porous freebooter map or a military/adventure choke point map?
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Old September 6th, 2019, 11:16 AM
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Are you making your own stars? Why density are you planning on using?

The biggest problem with 3D maps is simply the vast number of stars.

Consider a generic subsector as 4 parsec radius (it's 10x8 parsecs, being rectangular, but we'll just go with 1/2 of 8).

Your space volume going from 2D to 3D is 530% larger. So, you generic subsector (50% chance of a system) goes from 25 systems to 133.

When you go to a full sector (16 parsec radius), you're talking 2130% larger in 3D. From 400 system to 8000+ systems.

And, of course, if you aren't making your own stars, the ones near us are mostly pretty crummy.
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  #13  
Old September 6th, 2019, 06:24 PM
wbuthod wbuthod is offline
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So I've been playing with 3D maps (again) for about a year now. I started with simple random placement and, well, random was a problem for me. Also, managing coordinates was a bit untidy. So I abandoned random.

I began looking at sphere packing algorithms, and started with hexagonal close packings. Conversions from integer coordinates to actual spatial coordinates was a bit wobbly, and reversing that was a gold-plated pain in the aft compartment.

I'd been intimidated by face-centered cubic packings until I made a simple breakthrough in how I saw the lattice in my head. Envision a 3D space, centered on 0,0,0 where each increment in the X, Y, or Z axes represents a distance of sqrt(2)/2 (~0.707) parsecs, or ~2.306 light years. To create a face-centered cubic packing of systems with close neighbors one parsec apart, only place systems at or near coordinates where the sum of X, Y, and Z is even. Every system has up to twelve neighbors one parsec away. Next, I added a little variance to the calculated positions, using a randomized azimuth, elevation, and distance (up to a quarter parsec). The number of potential destinations for a single jump escalates rapidly, compared to 2D:







jump2d neighbors3d neighbors
1612
21854
336176
450380
580766
61161288

I'll skip over the details, but I used NetworkX to look for connected components (mains) for each jump number at various stellar population densities. It converges VERY quickly to a single connected component; at about 0.4, the cluster becomes a huge jump-1 main. The cluster begins to converge at about 0.02 for jump-6.

At any stellar density where jump 1 provides access to more than a few systems, nearly the entire volume is reachable at jump 3 or 4. I've modeled some remedies, none so far to my liking.
  • High Density, low tech: You can eventually get most places you want on J1 or J2.
  • Diminishing returns: Jumps of higher orders produce smaller improvements (e.g. 1=1.0, 2=1.9, 3=2.6, 4=3.1, 5=3.4, 6=3.5). The cluster still becomes very, very interconnected around J4
  • Space is inhospitable: You can go a long way through many systems before reaching one that supports life. Scouts have to be able to jump in *and* out, even if refueling isn't possible in a system, such as multi-stellar systems where planets never formed or were tossed out.
  • Jump distances are only partly related to physical distance: THIS is what I'm trying to tweak and model right now. I'd like the scale factor to be deterministic, not arbitrary. I'm modeling jump distances scaled by stellar mass, temperature or luminosity of the origin and destination stars.

Last edited by wbuthod; September 6th, 2019 at 07:33 PM.. Reason: s/or/of/, verb-subject agreement
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  #14  
Old September 6th, 2019, 06:29 PM
wbuthod wbuthod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
So the question you have to ask yourself is what game value are you looking to pull from having a 3-D map and do you want a porous freebooter map or a military/adventure choke point map?
Exactly the reason I like the idea of having a factor other than simple distance that affects travel. If you can reach more destinations from some stars than others, those hubs become the choke points for military and economic purposes.

Last edited by wbuthod; September 6th, 2019 at 07:37 PM.. Reason: s/mercantile/economic/
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  #15  
Old September 6th, 2019, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudnadja View Post
Do you have a different map for NAFAL travel between the stars, or do you just disallow it completely?
Honestly it has never come up: why travel for years or decades when a week will do?

For me, it is just part of the game universe, and I am okay with some gross simplifications.

That, and I just like maps in general. I can do 2D maps. The few attempts I've made for 3D maps and modeling, well, lets just say I never got far. And they are a lot harder to share.
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  #16  
Old September 7th, 2019, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coliver988 View Post
Honestly it has never come up: why travel for years or decades when a week will do?

For me, it is just part of the game universe, and I am okay with some gross simplifications.

That, and I just like maps in general. I can do 2D maps. The few attempts I've made for 3D maps and modeling, well, lets just say I never got far. And they are a lot harder to share.
In T5 there NAFAL travel is common enough that it is mentioned in the rules, yet it doesn't mention jump space and sublight space being different from each other. I do think it would be interesting to split travaller into 3d traveller and 2d traveller, at least for the purposes of mapping, particularly if there is gameplay around earth, where the 3d positions of stars have more meaning and players are more likely to know when stars are placed right next to each other on a 2d map when they are nowhere near each other in 3d space.
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  #17  
Old September 7th, 2019, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has tried running a 3D star map game, and what advantages and/or disadvantages they may have found to it.
I use them about 1/3 of the time. There hasn't been any advantage or disadvantage to them. They are just 3D is all.
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  #18  
Old September 7th, 2019, 07:22 AM
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3D starmaps are great fun to play around with - but at the table in my experience they cause more trouble than they are worth.
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Old September 10th, 2019, 05:42 PM
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I used Astrosynthesis for my homebrew solo Great Game which was going to be a game setting. The application is wonderful and I love it.

But, as noted above, everyone would have needed to have a copy to experience the map. 2D prints/images were bad looking. Since I was planning on running it online it just stopped being feasible.

Nice thing about AS is that it maps out all the distances for you. Generates planetary maps, you name it. It's an incredible program.
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Old September 13th, 2019, 02:06 AM
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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.

Probably a lot easier within a single solar system, with rogue comets and off kilter planets.
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