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  #1  
Old December 2nd, 2010, 10:15 AM
Andrew Boulton Andrew Boulton is offline
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Default Another 10 Questions For Marc W. Miller

Marc got a little carried away, so here are the answers to another 10 questions...



Another 10 Questions For Marc W. Miller

Part 1



"Will Traveller8 be released when T5 is released?"
- MichaelSTee

No. At some point after. I envision a boxed product with a short game rules set and an explanatory text for Parent or Grandparent. Since kids at 8-9-10 are compulsive about what they care about, the kit needs activities that: pages to color, paper fold-ups of ships and vehicles, more as I think of them. My idea is that these activities fulfill the child’s need to play on this subject, but avoiding an 18-hour a day commitment by the adult.

I also envision the adventure playing process enhanced by miniatures (star wars figures, star trek figures, perhaps encountering whatever is around the house: dinosaur figures, the family dog).

Lastly, and perhaps unpopular, is that Traveller8 has no guns. It involves verbal negotiation, arguing, perhaps wrestling, but activities without weapons. Encounters with beasts are about taking pictures; adventures are about finding things, quests, overcoming environment, self improvement.

For those who care, the step up to Traveller5 gets them access to guns and battles.



"Just one: how do I send you a bottle of champagne? Like to say thanks for the game."

Saying thank you is enough. I appreciate every one that I hear.



"How does he see for his "OTU", the sovereign rights of the Imperium versus the sovereign rights of the member worlds?"

The Imperium is an empire: a group of nations (in this case worlds) each holding power in its own right, but consenting to be ruled as a group by single sovereign.

In our case, the Imperium rules the space between the stars; its member worlds rule their own worlds, subject to specific powers held by the empire.

That doesn’t stop the Imperium from landing on worlds and doing things, but usually it has (or has created) an excuse.

My parallel is the governmental hierarchy in most nations. National government sets broad standards and enforces them, but education is controlled by the local school board. The supreme government can’t get involved in every little detail. Its only when the little details get troublesome that the Imperium intervenes. Like when the schools teach that the nobles are bad and should be overthrown, or when they advocate returning to the ancient bilunar calendar that prevailed before the Imperium.



"Is a common citizen of Regina considered a citizen of Regina or an Imperial Citizen?"

Imperial citizen isn’t like Roman Citizen; it doesn’t convey special rights to trial by the Emperor. Instead, it just means that local jurisdiction can’t be arbitrary in it justice. A world can pretty much do what it wants with its own locals. Visitors, tourists, foreign businesssophonts can expect somewhat better treatment when they run afoul of the law.



"Why is all the "good" technology set above Imperial standard? (i.e. Artificial Intelligence, Disruptors, etc..)"

I am pleased that the Traveller5 texts have resolved that the absolute highest TL is 33. And that its essay on technology actually addresses TLs above 15.

Frankly, when Ct came out, I didn’t know myself what lay above TL 15. It was the “magic” technology section that allowed us to implement fantastic equipment at our whim without having to define it. I think now we not only define it, we have a rational basic for talking about it.
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  #2  
Old December 2nd, 2010, 10:17 AM
Andrew Boulton Andrew Boulton is offline
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Another 10 Questions For Marc W. Miller

Part 2



"What is the reasoning behind the bias against Psionics?"

When I wrote that chapter so long ago, I thought it was clear that anyone who could get psionics would: it was just another powerful ability. And if every character got it, then every NPC would get it as well. I had to give a reason why most people didn’t have psionics, and the idea of bias was born.



"What do you think of the direction that GURPS Traveller took?"

By that I assume you mean “No Rebellion?”

That direction was a specific decision by Steve Jackson and myself when we opened Traveller to GURPS. We both saw potential in exploring the continued history of the Imperium without the Rebellion.



"Do you have a Recommended Reading List?"

I should make one some time. I have worked on a list in the back of Traveller 5 and I keep adding to it.



" What's the single best thing in CT? (The thing you are most proud of)"

Prior Careers. It set Traveller apart from any other possible SFRPGs immediately, and made it possible to start playing even if alone.



"Are you a time-traveller who came back in time 3500 or so years to tell us these stories?"

Great. Now you’ll have to be killed. Or maybe I can use this Mind-Blink thing from Men In Black...
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
No. At some point after. I envision a boxed product with a short game rules set and an explanatory text for Parent or Grandparent. Since kids at 8-9-10 are compulsive about what they care about, the kit needs activities that: pages to color, paper fold-ups of ships and vehicles, more as I think of them. My idea is that these activities fulfill the child’s need to play on this subject, but avoiding an 18-hour a day commitment by the adult.

I also envision the adventure playing process enhanced by miniatures (star wars figures, star trek figures, perhaps encountering whatever is around the house: dinosaur figures, the family dog).

Lastly, and perhaps unpopular, is that Traveller8 has no guns. It involves verbal negotiation, arguing, perhaps wrestling, but activities without weapons. Encounters with beasts are about taking pictures; adventures are about finding things, quests, overcoming environment, self improvement.

For those who care, the step up to Traveller5 gets them access to guns and battles.
This is exactly what I am looking for my young tykes. We improvised GDW's Asteroid which had the family dog as a PC - albeit with a translator/voder and somewhat geneered for greater intelligence (to offset the terrier blood in him). But, I cannot wait to see Traveller 8...but please let it be sooner than later...

Not having guns is actually quite brilliant. And, I do not think it is unpopular. Most of my Traveller adventures only have guns as the last resort and I am an adult.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 06:27 PM
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Default modular cutters

Why to they appear to have a round cross section? A rounded side rectangular 'box' would be more efficient use of internal space.
30 tons is a LOT of internal space, and we can do a lot of good things with it- and as the 'workhorse of the Imperium' it would get a LOT of attention as to efficiency of design. So why-come?
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Old December 28th, 2010, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Deliberatus View Post
Why to they appear to have a round cross section? A rounded side rectangular 'box' would be more efficient use of internal space.
30 tons is a LOT of internal space, and we can do a lot of good things with it- and as the 'workhorse of the Imperium' it would get a LOT of attention as to efficiency of design. So why-come?
The geek in me wants to say mechanical strength. How many box section aircraft are there?
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Old December 28th, 2010, 04:04 PM
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The geek in me wants to say mechanical strength. How many box section aircraft are there?
Quite a few during the WWII era, and many small planes are box-cross section.

A Cessna is, in essence, a short box, and a really long pyramid.
The best known is the C119 Flying Boxcar.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Quite a few during the WWII era, and many small planes are box-cross section.

A Cessna is, in essence, a short box, and a really long pyramid.
The best known is the C119 Flying Boxcar.
When I was flying for a previous employer (we did a lot of business with state governments, and I was the "send someone out to fix the computers" guy, I spent a lot of time on the (rectangular cross section) Shorts 330 and Shorts 360, as "puddle jumpers" from big airports (e.g., Detroit) to small ones (e.g., Lansing).
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Old December 28th, 2010, 09:15 PM
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Round is lighter at the same wall thickness as square, as well as a round shape's flexural modulus is more stable. Square tubing for example will deform to round under heavy stress while the round retains it's shape until failure.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:34 AM
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Round is lighter at the same wall thickness as square, as well as a round shape's flexural modulus is more stable. Square tubing for example will deform to round under heavy stress while the round retains it's shape until failure.
Redactus ad absurdum. (it was reduced to absurdity.)

The outer hull shell isn't the only structural member. Nor is deformation under off-axis load the only consideration in a hull. (In fact, it's rather often one of the least important for pure spacecraft.)

Square is, for most given thicknesses over that extrudable in round, far easier to manufacture. Rounded corners can be extruded, and mated to large flat panels easier than continuously round sections can be mated together. Easier to measure if you're on, easier to adjust if you're not, and when coupled to internal skeletal structures, not at a significant disadvantage in overall structural strength versus a round hull except vs uniform pressures.

Uniform pressures which, in routine operations range ±2ATM...

If the difference were terribly significant, most tall buildings would be round. The tallest several are, but only because they are pushing the structural envelopes... but most are the more useful rectangular.

Rectangular structures are also far easier to make efficient use of.

Case in point: our highest stress manned aircraft are capable of 16G's transverse stress before structural failure. The pilots are only rated to about 10G's... and the frames are rounded rectangular extrusions with conical ends...
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Old December 29th, 2010, 03:34 AM
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Yes, all that is true. I was merely giving a mechanical engineering thought on the subject. However without actually knowing the parameters the Cutter operates in, we really can't know how relevant the examples are. It does seem to be in need of high strength. The factors I see are continuous take-off and re-entry of planetary atmospheres, landing in high pressure super dense atmospheres, extreme ocean depths (subamarines come to mind), extreme thrust, maneuvering and wistanding buffeting in dense atmospheres. Not being an aeronautical engineer, I can't be certain why the shape of fuselage is round, rectangular provides more useful space for sure, though commercial airliners are round as well. My guess would still remain lightness and strength as the principal reasons.


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