• Welcome to the new COTI server. We've moved the Citizens to a new server. Please let us know in the COTI Website issue forum if you find any problems.

Serenity’s Flash and Burn; A Firefly design question.


Ok, this is a question I have been playing with for a little while in my efforts to create a Firefly Traveller setting. The Firefly class ships have the ability to produce a high burst of acceleration, but how is never explained. Those of us that have designed Fireflies using Book 5 have never really dealt with the issue either (at least not that I’ve come across). Since I’m not really an engineer, even a Traveller one (thank goodness for HGS), I was wondering what those who do understand the design systems for Traveller think about the problem and this proposed solution.

My idea is that a workable answer is that Firefly class ships have been designed to allow their fusion reactor to be used as an emergency fusion rocket, venting plasma to produce a burst of acceleration to get out of trouble fast. If that’s the case, how would you deal with that in a Book 5 design?

Would you give the ship a special emergency acceleration of 6Gs?

Would you over design it so you could produce an emergency agility rating of 6?

Other ideas/options?

Thanks in advance.
Emergency acceleration is not a bad way to go.

MegaTraveller (at least) allowed up to 400% overthrust to the drives for short durations.


Up to 40% overthrust could be can be maintained for a few days with little damage if carefully and competantly managed.

Up to 400% overthrust (the equivalent of the Firefly burst perhaps) can only be maintained for a few minutes and at risk of severe damage despite contiuous monitoring by highly skilled crew.

I think you'd have to sacrifice any (and all) agility to run hot enough to get the 400% performance. It's for running, not dodging
Have you decided if the firefly drive is for FTL travel or for faster travel around a single system?

If you are going with the FTL model then you can use the HG numbers for jump drive, but say that the first part of making an FTL jump is a burst of acceleration to match vectors with the target system.
This can be used in extremis for beefing up the normal maneuver drive - how about multiplying the two together, maximum number of turns equals the lower of the jump /maneuver drive rating.
I'm thinking that the firefly drive is not specifially an FTL drive because it seems to be unique to that that design. Neither the Alliance crusers or the other ships have a similar design. My thinking is that the emergency fusion rocket is a special design intended to allow the ships to outrun any trouble. That would explain why fireflies are unarmed (and why they would be popular tramp frieghters). I imagine that ship designers would be playing around with all different types of configurations, and this one was based on emergency speed rather than armor and firepower.

I do like the idea of multiplying the jump number by the powerplant number to get the emergency acceleration value. That would really give the ship a kick, while keeping the durration short enough to make it something you only do when you really have to.