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  #81  
Old June 25th, 2021, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post
While I basically agree with you: It does not matter for a Free Trader, but it does matter in some special circumstances, such as fighters.


Allocating 13 Dton or not for a m/9 computer in a fighter matters a lot, especially with an additional 12 EP = 24 Dton power + fuel.

Spoiler:

This:
Code:
FN-0106K91-000000-05002-0        MCr 155          15 Dton
bearing            1  1                            Crew=2
batteries          1  1                             TL=15
                        Cargo=0 Fuel=2,9 EP=2,9 Agility=6

Dual Occupancy                                      0,7     154,6
                                     USP    #     Dton       Cost
Hull, Streamlined   Custom             0           15            
Configuration       Needle/Wedge       1                      1,8
                                                                 
Manoeuvre D                            6    1       2,6       1,3
Power Plant                           19    1       2,9       8,7
Fuel, #J, #weeks    J-0, 4 weeks                    2,9          
                                                                 
Bridge                                      1       4         0,1
Computer            m/9                9    1               140  
                                                                 
Mixed Turret        Full                    1       2            
  Weapon            Fusion             5    1                 2  
  Weapon            Missile            2    1                 0,8

Is rather different from:
Code:
FF-0106N91-000000-05002-0        MCr 218          85 Dton
bearing            1  1                            Crew=2
batteries          1  1                             TL=15
                      Cargo=0 Fuel=19,1 EP=19,1 Agility=6

Dual Occupancy                                      0,3     217,9
                                     USP    #     Dton       Cost
Hull, Streamlined   Custom             0           85            
Configuration       Needle/Wedge       1                     10,2
                                                                 
Manoeuvre D                            6    1      14,5       7,2
Power Plant                           22    1      19,1      57,3
Fuel, #J, #weeks    J-0, 4 weeks                   19,1          
                                                                 
Bridge                                      1      17         0,4
Computer            m/9                9    1      13       140  
                                                                 
Mixed Turret        Full                    1       2            
  Weapon            Fusion             5    1                 2  
  Weapon            Missile            2    1                 0,8
For LBB2 combat, you could pretty much max out the programs needed for a fighter (highest level predict, select, etc) and still only fill up a Mod/6 -- and that's with having everything active through all combat phases, not shifting from CPU to storage. It was also insanely expensive even before buying the computer itself.

HG and later rules are, as you note, different.
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  #82  
Old June 25th, 2021, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rzg6f View Post
... I merely contributed my own interactions with new players concerning this topic which has come up at my gaming table. ...

... I also thought that while changing the game is changing the aesthetics, experience, and feel of Traveller, younger players in my own experience have a problem with Far Future immersion when their own day-to-day experience with technology is more streamlined and compact.
I understand your sentiment here, as I am also somewhat "torn" between the two perspectives. On the one hand (even as an older individual) I look at some of the 40+ year old tech assumptions and come away thinking that "this just isn't believable" (apart from some underlying presupposition of the culture or "history" of the future that is not otherwise specified). But on the other hand too much "automation/computer" tech takes away the feel of the setting so that "people" are not interacting and coming up with solutions to problems as much as they are looking to tech devices to solve things for them. Take the tech too far and there is nothing satisfyingly meaningful for PCs to do - just tell the AI what you need and it does the leg-work. It's not all that fun being the character with "Pilot" skill when piloting amounts to telling the computer where you want to go and it handles everything.

I have thought that perhaps the best way to deal with this (presuming you are running the OTU or a setting which has similar future-historical presuppositions) is to make good use of the "Long Night" scenario - i.e. what transpired to bring about the Long Night after the collapse of an earlier empire, and how did the later (current) empire climb back to prominence (what different technological paths did it take, or (perhaps more interestingly) why is the later empire averse to developing certain technologies beyond a certain level of sophistication? - "What happened the last time we tried this?" I rather like the idea that (for the OTU) perhaps part of the collapse of the Rule of Man was not simply the banking crisis and uprooting of the Vilani Imperium's caste system, but that the Vilani strictly suppressed certain technologies because in the centuries of their rule, they "knew better" about certain developments that if allowed to flourish would be devastating. The upstart Terrans came along with all of their "innovation" and ruined everything. How would that history and mindset manifest in a future society built from a fusion of those two cultural perspectives?

(Also, imagine the possibilities of the PCs finding a "cache" of old empire technology that is very advanced in its computer technology - what benefits (or horrors) might it unleash?)
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  #83  
Old June 25th, 2021, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post
While I basically agree with you: It does not matter for a Free Trader, but it does matter in some special circumstances, such as fighters.
If you're playing a campaign game ala TCS where you're converting MCr in to fleets and flinging them against each other, then "yes". It can matter.

But in an RP situation, "IYTU", no, it doesn't matter.

Folks can makes ships up out of whole cloth for their campaigns, and it wouldn't matter. They're props for the RPG experience, not engineering studies.

We obsess over the most minute details of these boxes flying through space, but if someone needs a hospital, 3 short sentences later and they're in Rhylanor General's ER getting whatever care the Referee deign to give them with whatever handy gizmos, doodads, scanner things and whatcha-medical-its they need. How much did the MRI machine cost?
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Old June 25th, 2021, 03:42 PM
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Two thoughts-

My objection back then wasn't the size but rather then linear capacity increase as defined by the CT computer rules.

In retrospect the easiest solution is some variant of the MgT solution, the program sizes get set bigger for the more capable ones such that they HAVE to execute on the more advanced models. Greater complexity requires higher TL machines.

Heh, now that I think on it, perhaps the TL5 Model/1 is meant to pay homage to the Iowa class battleship fire control analog computers, and 1/bis up are the naval digital computers of the 60s and 70s.


Second thought is that the computers in CT provided a critical role that isn't quite captured by later versions- that of MAJOR combat upgrade.

In CT LBB2 ships are definitely locked into their Main and Engineering compartment limits. Most standard hulls have no recourse to upgrading with the one exception, leaving upgrade paths for major engineering refits to custom hulls with more engineering built in and fuel/cargo in placeholder use.

Hardpoints are set at hull build time, the major multiplier possibility being carried fighters/small craft.

But upgrade the computer, set aside a few more tons out of cargo, pour in millions into higher models and better programs, and you can have a significantly more powerful ship.

Better Predict and Evade gives to-hit/avoid hit making the ship more lethal/survivable, and Return Fire/Double Fire (with custom power plant engineering) can triple firepower. Quadruple if you rule Return Fire can be Doubled, I wouldn't.

Add in the VERY powerful Select program where weapons or engineering can be targeted, and a fully upgraded ship can pack far more punch then the stock models. Nothing else can quite match LBB2 Computers for upgrading ACS in RAW, other then referee fiat.

Well, except maybe for the nuclear/kinetic impact missile rules from the supplement.


Under those circumstances, perhaps the profligate power plant fuel requirements make more gaming cost/benefit sense when an upgraded plant can deliver several rounds of Double Fire.

In a way it was a very forward thinking design move, computing as expensive combat multiplier. So maybe not so backwards, eh?


Just as importantly, the computer becomes one heck of a money sink, ALSO a deliberate design move in the context of the very dangerous starship encounter tables and the speculation table. Risk all, win big, lose big.

And at a certain point the players will wake up from their computer modding focus and realize they can be buying an upgraded craft for the same money- all part of the 'trader journey' game that starts with jump tapes and horribly edge of their pants operating margins to cutting edge fighting ships and subsidized merchant lines.
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  #85  
Old June 25th, 2021, 11:17 PM
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And the software isn't a stranded cost, either. Make copies of the good stuff and load them into your new ride...
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  #86  
Old June 26th, 2021, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
And the software isn't a stranded cost, either. Make copies of the good stuff and load them into your new ride...

Maybe, maybe not. The evidence of the self-erasing jump tapes strongly suggests DRM fee structures were clearly on the software people's mind even in scifi 1977. I gotta think it's a one ship license....
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Old June 27th, 2021, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Maybe, maybe not. The evidence of the self-erasing jump tapes strongly suggests DRM fee structures were clearly on the software people's mind even in scifi 1977. I gotta think it's a one ship license....
No reason to have DRM and self erasing tapes, the nature of jump could simply be time sensitive and only good for a short time, with the success of the jump becoming less likely the older the tape gets. And by "success" I don't mean necessarily arriving in the destination system in the wrong place, but, rather, arriving at all since the jump tape is capturing the state of jump space at the time it was create which is, perhaps, in constant flux, much less actually navigating through it.

I love the jump tape idea, especially in early era games.
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