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How do you have a race


Far-trader mentions "tea-races" and Behind the Claw mentions a "yacht race". But what constitutes a race if a jump is always the same distance at the same time? Is it in manuevering to find fuel and get back? But there is plenty of roof out in space so no need to manuever(in the normal not the manuever drive sense)for it-and who would allow people to fight for space close to a fuel sourse?
There are alot of ways to have a race. You plot a course around obstacles, through gravity fields, etc. The better navigators, astrogators and pilots will take the absolute shortest route available (in other words, contested rolls among the participants with a minimum DC or target number) Of course the closer to the obstacles, the more dangerous it is. Impose penalties on the rolls, failure would probably indicate a course abort...critical failure could be a crash.

If you permit your players to make any performance mods to their vessel, this could provide an edge in the form of a modifier to the rolls.

Hope this helps!
Well, the yatcht race in Behind the Claw is a timed event -- first one to finish the course wins.

The catch is the course is huge. It involves visiting the subsector capitals of eight different subsectors, IIRC. Each team entered in the race is given a log book. Once the race starts, the teams have to visit the subsector capitals and have their visit verified by a specified judge. They can take any route they want from capital to capital, as long as they get all eight judges to verify that they were there.

Out of curiosity, I did some calculations one night to see how long the race would take: close to a year.
And remember jumps aren't al the same length. Each ship will be making it's own calculations and the variance in the time due to the navigation rolls will make a difference. It should average out over the race, but it does introduce uncertainties.
I thought in-system races might possibly be made 'fun' using 2-person kit craft built onto high-power, volatile liquid-fuel rockets, which burn most of the craft's fuel getting it into a high velocity; starting from the insystem, it would have to use what little maneuver fuel it has left to slingshot around anything ranging from a moon to a gas giant, and return to the starting point.

If you want to inject some space opera into it, make the course pass through a "Star Wars"-type asteroid belt.

That leaves lots of room for added risk, capitalizing on different skills to compensate. Mass is a critical factor. Nastier fuels, faster or slower burn time, less (or more) structural support, piloting skill, mechanic skill, even gravitics skill can play a part. Even, perhaps, a controlled amount of allowable sabotage.
Over on Yahoo CT-Staeship list such a race was run 1 year ago .... ?
Each of the entrents designed a racing yacht to a size and cost specification, then they turned in their rout to the organizer. The organizer then ran the race. The course was not the same as the BtC one but of similar magnatude. The winner and the second place finisher were with in an hour or so of each other, last place came in over a month later. Oh and IIRC 2 of the ships whent around the course in the wrong direction due to a misunderstanding of the rules. There some other things going on in the background as well to generate some interesting adventure hooks for thoses that were using the race as background in their games. Much fun and a good read.

I think that the organizer is a member here maybe he will see this thread and comment on how he ran the race, but I have not seen him post either here or at CT-Starships in a long time.
Keep in mind that yacht racing is much like any other kind of racing where the rules attempt to level the playing field and highlight the skill of the individual; in this case a pilot or navigator.

IMTU, there are several racing circuits with races being hosted near most high pop worlds. There is even a NASCAR-esque cutter racing circuit where even the locals might just win.

This was just color until one of my players decided to roll up a noble playboy/gentleman spy type; he had a penchant for yachting as well as other things. I had to flesh it out so that each different circuit had its own strict limitations on tonnage, max G thrust, fuel cap, and mandatory crew positions. The top fuel circuit was a full 100t vessel with no integral J-Drive and 1 pilot, 1 navigator, and 1 engineer as a minimum crew.

The races were always intra-system obstacle courses. Most of the game play was the players trying to beat the rolls of their competitors (with a lot of embellishment). I created a table of random race events that allowed each PC to contribute to the victory. The engineer got to tweak the engines and make critical repairs, the nav got to plot dangerous courses and save fuel, and the pilot tried to guide the ship through obstacles and ahead of the competition.

The other players in our group acted as the command crew for his support ship and an impromptu commando unit as necessary. It was a fun summer, jumping to a new system for a race every other month and foiling plots to overthrow local governments in between.
Hey, those are excellent rules! A cutter race sets the design specifications very nicely!

Likewise, custom gigs would work well, too. And for planetary races, tricked out speeders might add a little thrill to otherwise boring lives. I suppose that's getting too close to pod races though :(
/me perks up at the words "cutter race"

As in Modular Cutter?

/me hands a copy of GT: Modular Cutter and various Traveller ship design rules and programs to Ex-Endeavor Coxswain Asu


<Asu giggles and skitters off to design the Cutter Race winner Kawaii Kola III*> ;)

Gig races could be fun too. Less range of customization but faster. FWIW I did enjoy the pod race. There were at least two rules for it on the net including one for Full Thrust. (which IIRC has had some Space Race scenarios before)


* Kawaii Kola I being confiscated by IMPNAV as part of a Military Secret due to Evaporate Drive experiments performed using it during the Rim War, Kawaii Kola II being destroyed in the line of duty
Combining the race with a scavanger hunt of official race items the PC's have to find, with each team given a different set of goals might add some spice. Some racers can discover the specified items of other teams and may hire people to 'disrupt' their aquisition of the item. This changes it to a test of their ability to design and fly a starship and interact with local cultures to find the location of their specified item.