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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 July 18th, 2020, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomslang View Post
Yeah; operationally, it's often much more fuel than smaller ships actually use in practice (cf. Beltstrike).

As per page 11 of the Belter's Handbook, a 100dt, Plant-2 Type S which "must" carry 20dt of fuel to support 4 weeks of power plant operations typically burns through less than 1 dton of fuel per week even if you constantly hotdog it around at 2Gs.

Plus, if you hack a Type S into a Type J, you are either breaking the Jump fuel requirement or the power fuel requirement. I always figure that 10Pn is a rule-of-thumb safety regulation, rather than a descriptive metric. At 30 dtons total, a Type J does in fact carry 10Pn in available fuel -- 20dt -- but operators often fly around on less, having burned a full 20 dtons to make a J-2 previously. The 30 dtons of fuel a Type J carries by default in integral tankage meets both the Jump fuel and power plant fuel guidelines, just not combined, so I figure the ship is granted its spaceworthiness certificate and allowed to operate from starports with 20dt to meet either requirement and 10dt left over to partially satisfy the other, as needed by the varying particulars of how it is operated.

Finally, there is the weird problem that -- for example -- a model A power plant "needs" 20dt of fuel to operate in a Type S, but the exact same drive only requires 10 dtons when installed in a Type A. The rule assumes the Model A power plant drives the same model A M-drive at the same output -- 200Gee-tons -- somehow twice as efficiently in the bigger ship, Beltstrike notwithstanding.

And in both cases, the power plant is apparently really only using ~.75 dtons of fuel a week, tops. The 20dt a Type S carries should be good for not merely 4 weeks, but more like 26 weeks -- half a year or so. (Which is not a big deal, since fuel for a Type S can often be had for free anyway.)

Hence the definite "oddnesss" of the rule...
Seems to me that the Beltstrike fuel consumption rules were built with High Guard ships in mind (at the very least, written so they wouldn't invalidate HG designs), which is why they look silly when applied to a converted Type S.

I still think the Type S has the extra fuel for Jump purposes (this is non-canon and requires some apparently dubious rules interpretations).

It can do a J1 and a J2 consecutively by only using the powerplant at Pn-2 during the week in J-2.

Or, it can do an emergency J-1 from just outside the 10D limit (and with Pn-2, do it in one HG turn instead of two), accept the misjump, and still have a chance of re-entering normal space with enough fuel to Jump to a self-rescue. ("So you're saying there's a chance?")

It's extremely high-risk, but the Type S is such a woefully poor combat platform that its odds of surviving a running battle to the 100D limit make a misjump the less-risky option...
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  #12  
Old July 18th, 2020, 08:12 AM
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Type A pp/md m-rating/fuel requirement 2g/20t in a 100t ship, 1g/10t in a 200t ship.

My explanation - the maneuver drive field (which encompasses the volume of the ship) reduces the inertial mass of the ship such that in a 100t ship the thrust component of the engine (fusion rocket) can achieve 2g. Put the same engine/machinery in a ship with twice the volume/mass and you can only achieve 1g so you use less 'fuel' reaction mass.

Note
1 the ships in Beltstrike are LBB2 designs, even the 5000t mining platform is described as having type W drives.
2 in original CT 77 the pp fuel was replaced every jump as well as the jump fuel, there was no four week duration.
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Old July 18th, 2020, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
Seems to me that the Beltstrike fuel consumption rules were built with High Guard ships in mind (at the very least, written so they wouldn't invalidate HG designs), which is why they look silly when applied to a converted Type S.
I am not at all convinced of that explicitly as such. The Type J is included right there in the module; the only tacit acknowledgement of High Guard in Beltstrike is the mention that 5000-dton Type NS Mining Platforms get transported to the systems in which they are stationed by some sort of even bigger transport -- hence, Book 5 is assumed, necessary background chrome, but the adventure is clearly aimed at PCs with a Book 2 vessel -- by default, a Type A2 named Go For Broke.

I note that Beltstrike is intended as a Starter Traveller adventure (it says as much in the intro on page 2 of the Belter's Handbook); Book 5 is not mentioned anywhere in the entire module (and Book 6 is only mentioned once in passing).

The waters are further muddied by the idea that small craft are useable for prospecting (see dead-tree editions of JTAS, for example, from which Beltstrike was eventually drawn), and are, by the time of ST/BT/DT/TTB, pretty clearly using B5 fuel requirements (and power plant output calculations of EP to support weaponry and computer installations -- but that is a separate ). The fuel consumption rates from Beltstrike are consistent with small craft operations as well, suggesting that the consumption rate(s) were informed by High Guard and then retconned into the Basic Traveller context of Beltstrike.

The (canonical, if we must use such a word) evidence therefore suggests that Book 2 ships in practice consume a fraction of the power plant fuel they are required to carry. (As I have mentioned elsewhere, I figure the overly-generous 10Pn requirement is so that planetary navies are not constantly tasked with diverting resources to rescue cheapskate traders who have shaved their costs so thin that, due to the vagaries of astrogation, they have run out of fuel and are now adrift and on batteries. You fly with less than 10Pn at your own risk, as it were.)

I see the fuel consumption rules in Beltstrike as a later attempt by GDW to establish some consistency between B2 and B5 ships by specifying in more detail how the former operate, in a manner consistent with how the latter do. So, not so much with B5 ships "in mind" as "in light of stuff we finally got around to looking closely at when we wrote HG2 that has implications for the entire OTU" I would venture.

Much like getting rid of "M-drives as energy weapons" when moving from HG1 to HG2, while retconning gravitics-based propulsion (to replace the original, terrifying idea of HEPlaR-based M-drives) into Basic Traveller so that PCs aren't setting entire ecosystems ablaze in fits of pique over inflated berthing fees, for example. B5 and B2 are clearly in conversation with each other, despite not being in harmony. But Beltstrike per se is pretty B5-agnostic.
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Old July 19th, 2020, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Type A pp/md m-rating/fuel requirement 2g/20t in a 100t ship, 1g/10t in a 200t ship.

My explanation - the maneuver drive field (which encompasses the volume of the ship) reduces the inertial mass of the ship such that in a 100t ship the thrust component of the engine (fusion rocket) can achieve 2g. Put the same engine/machinery in a ship with twice the volume/mass and you can only achieve 1g so you use less 'fuel' reaction mass.
Sort of reasonable, but the fuel use should still be proportional to [mass (volume) * acceleration]. Then again, the rule is unreasonable (it's for game effect, not realism) so the handwave doesn't need to be reasonable either...
Quote:
Note
1 the ships in Beltstrike are LBB2 designs, even the 5000t mining platform is described as having type W drives.
2 in original CT 77 the pp fuel was replaced every jump as well as the jump fuel, there was no four week duration.
That's a really high burn rate... which brings me to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomslang View Post
...
Much like getting rid of "M-drives as energy weapons" when moving from HG1 to HG2, while retconning gravitics-based propulsion (to replace the original, terrifying idea of HEPlaR-based M-drives) into Basic Traveller so that PCs aren't setting entire ecosystems ablaze in fits of pique over inflated berthing fees, for example.
...
The LBB2 maneuver drive always felt to me as though it was intended as an thrust-producing attachment to the power plant, especially in the '77 edition where only the maneuver drive needed a power plant.

Where the other drive letter tonnage formulae were "X*(ordinal value of drive letter)+Y= tons" (i.e. Jump: 5*letter+5=tons, Power: 3*letter+1=tons) maneuver drives were 2*letter minus 1=tons. The first two imply that those drives are made up of a constant-size component and a variable-size component that scales with output. The third implies that the maneuver drive has a variable-size component with a hole in the middle that's always 13.5m3 -- like a rocket nozzle!
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Old July 19th, 2020, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
There are a couple of other options.

...2 - reduce the cost of lower TL pp in HG so that low TL plants are big and cheap while high TL plants are smaller but more expensive,
Considered that one once. Triggered a discussion where people pointed out that new tech was often less expensive than older tech, this computer I'm typing on being an example.

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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Yup, you really need to import the reduced cost standard hull as well.
Damn, forgot to mention that detail. That was an important point. Yes, we're also using the reduced cost standard hull where needed to reduce costs further. Thanks for reminding me.

I'm of two minds there. Option one is simplest: we rationalize it by saying we're recycling old hulls, pulling out all the innards and build the new ship inside of them. Ships whose designs are old enough and common enough that they show up in significant numbers for recycle serve as the basis for cut-rate hulls. I figured when Striker threw tank-armor hulls at me, I could make a bit of lemonade out of it by riding that for the standard hull rule.

Option 2 is a bit more complicated in that I'd need to adjust the Book-5 combat rules a bit, but it allows me to integrate Book 2 features a bit more effectively: the so-called "standard" hull is a seriously cheap hull adequate for space flight but not intended for combat. Canon descriptions of entry through the hull have you cutting through a hull of the same thickness as the inner bulkheads. I think we argued at one time for that to be equivalent to something like an inch thick steel. Book 2 combat made this the stuff that missiles could do multiple hits to, thin enough that power plant and jump drive hits are a possibility. So, the hull is a metal plate faced with ceramic heat tiles, mounted on a structure of girdering and backed with a thick section of a lightweight radiation-absorbing plastic, atop another metal plate, the whole sufficient to stop radiation and most micrometeor hits but no more difficult to penetrate than the typical bulkhead when attacked with personal energy weapons. Space combat weapons striking a ship equipped with a "standard" hull do not receive the +6 damage DM when using the High Guard combat rules and, in the unlikely event a "standard hull" comes under fire by a weapon with a rating of A+ (i.e. spinal mounts), that weapon receives a -6 to the damage roll (which means more than half the time the result will be a critical). And, no, they are not as hardy as the ships described in Adventure 12, Secret of the Ancients; they aren't intended for operations in deep water or deep in a gas giant atmosphere.
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Old August 6th, 2020, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
Considered that one once. Triggered a discussion where people pointed out that new tech was often less expensive than older tech, this computer I'm typing on being an example.
That is certainly true when you are dealing with sales taking place at or near the manufacturing location.
However, if the point of sale is a significant distance from the manufacturing point, then the price is dominated by supply and demand considerations instead of cost to manufacture.

For an in game example (extreme case): imagine a tech 11 world (call it Farb) out in the middle of a rift. There is a jump 5 route that connects Farb to a region with more densely packed stars. Occasionally a J5 or J6 ship may pass through Farb, though not often. Farb can and does produce J2 ships used for reaching the handful of planets that are in range.
Back in the more densely populated region tech 15+ planets are fairly common, and tech 14 J2 ships are, on average, cheaper than tech 11 J2 ships of similar size and capability. However on Farb tech 14 J2 ships will cost many, many times more than an equivalent tech 11 J2 ship because there will be so very few of them, but everyone will want one.
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Old August 7th, 2020, 12:30 AM
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Generally speaking, an entrepreneur will open up a factory locally, if demand is large enough and transport costs prohibitive.

There may be political factors both furthering and hindering such enterprises.
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Old August 7th, 2020, 05:10 AM
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Is there therfore a gap in the market for some sort of manufactory ship?

Move you ship into a system and then send out subcraft and refineries to harvest raw materials from moons, asteroids and comets.

Your manufactory ship is basically a collection of makers that can turn out any product of any TL up to its own...
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Old August 7th, 2020, 05:51 AM
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That's fifty kay starbux per tonne, default, before you start calculating in the other ship systems.
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Old August 9th, 2020, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
That is certainly true when you are dealing with sales taking place at or near the manufacturing location.
However, if the point of sale is a significant distance from the manufacturing point, then the price is dominated by supply and demand considerations instead of cost to manufacture. ...
The more the item costs per unit volume, the less the significance of shipping costs in the equation. At a thousand credits per dTon per parsec, something with a base cost of 1 or 2 million credits per dTon can go quite a long way before the shipping costs reach more than a percent or so of the item cost. Whether you're talking about a multi-million credit power plant or a 4-dTon crate of 100-credit 1-liter Ultra-Gameboys from Rhylanor, shipping costs are not really all that significant at the far end of the market over distances within a sector. The real factor at that point is how much can a given world turn out, how much of that is going to be consumed locally before the export market gets its chance at them, and does a given import planet have a big enough population for anyone to bother serving that market. The four TL15 worlds account for 44% of the Imperial Marches GWP but only 14% of the Imperial Marches population, which implies a manufacturing base well able to serve the distant markets for high-value exports. Loop in the TL13-14 worlds and they account for 64% of GWP but 28.5% of pop.

As GURPS sees things, interstellar trade is only a tiny fraction of these megaworlds' GWP, but that still amounts to millions of megacredits annually. Fusion plants aren't shipping far enough within a sector for shipping costs to be a factor, and the output from the high-tech industrial worlds should be sufficient to meet at least the needs of shipbuilding. I'm still left with either arbitrarily lowering the cost of the lower tech plants without adequate explanation or introducing these alternate cheap-but-fuel-hungry plants that sorta could maybe serve to bring in a few of the Book 2 ships.

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Originally Posted by Condottiere View Post
That's fifty kay starbux per tonne, default, before you start calculating in the other ship systems.
What's a starbux?
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