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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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Old February 6th, 2019, 11:10 PM
Carlobrand Carlobrand is offline
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Default The EARC

Playing around with the EARC - Emergency Atmospheric Re-entry Capsule, a dTon 3-person drop capsule that allows occupants to evacuate a ship in orbit and land on the planet below in an emergency. You find yourself in the position of that poor Hercules in Traveller Adventure, you bail out in the EARCs, assuming they're installed. Fleshed out in MT Errata 2.1:

"The EARC is similar to the ARC with identical performance characteristics ...," so 6.5 kl internal space, guidance by on-board inertial navigation with a hand computer providing guidance and control, 50km-range radio, "...and armor," 8F, equivalent to 2 cm steel. "...(T)he single roomy passenger position in the ARC is replaced by three cramped positions in the EARC. Cargo space is reduced to 0.5 kl and this is used to store an emergency supply kit . Maximum allowable weight for the EARC is 354.6 kg. If launched while a ship is in or close to orbit, battery life of one hour will allow for atmospheric re-entry and safe landing...," with maybe 30 minutes power remaining, based on the ARC ability to land and then return to be recovered by the launching ship. " Otherwise, the batteries will sustain life support systems for 22 hours." Costs Cr 22,000.

So I tried to make it using MT Referee's Manual, 'cause I'm bored and some tweaking and additional battery power could give me a variant vehicle to sell as a nice little runabout for short day-trips. Came pretty close for MT. A minor but interesting issue was that for space reasons you had to assume it was using some sort of computer-linked panel linked to that hand computer (described in MT IE as "equivalent to Model/1 in computing power"); that has some interesting ramifications in other quarters.

A bigger one involved the environment/life support system: for it to be powered for 22 hours off of the power that would ordinarily operate the drive for one hour, as it was presented, it could not be the canon environment/life support system presented in IE. Even putting in overpowered engines (which meant the maximum allowable weight went way up, and which - why not, it was cheap, there was plenty of extra room, it let the maximum allowable weight go up, and it meant the base ARC would have been able to get from orbit to ground faster, a good thing in a combat transport), I only ended up with about 13 hours if the power was used for life support instead of gravs. So, some unstated alternative that draws less power. That made sense: the little thing evolved from a design whose purpose was to spend 30 minutes delivering a soldier from orbit to ground, which meant it didn't need to deliver water or deal with sanitation. It really didn't even need to deliver breathing air: the air space would have been good for several hours, much more than a soldier would need on a 30-minute drop.

So, I'm thinking: keep environment, drop life support, and go to a chemical O2 generator and CO2 scrubber. I have a 20-liter box that can serve three occupants for a day. After that, power for environment runs out, assuming it wasn't used up powering the gravs for a landing. They could carry spare O2/CO2 boxes but, without spare batteries, it's going to get warm pretty quick after the environmental system shuts down with three bodies generating heat. And, if things are so bad you have to evacuate your ship, and there isn't a handy world to harbor on, you are most likely going to die.
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Comments made are for the purpose of offering alternative campaign settings for consideration. The writer acknowledges that Traveller is intended to emulate certain common science fiction tropes and that, in the course of emulating those tropes and providing a better playing experience, some liberties must be taken with science. No statement by the writer should be interpreted as constituting a criticism of the game on that basis ... except for that bit about Virus. Dude, really?!
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