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Who wants to see an updated FFS?



My FFS1 book is the most destroyed book I have, due to overuse and its poor workmanship. I like the way the info is presented (even if some of it turns out to be whacked-wrong) and it's easy to read and keep your place. All the important charts are in the same place where you're reading along, and subjects are started at the tops of pages. Lots of metagame information here too.

FFS2 contains a lot of updates, but overall is an ugly book to try to read. There's very little discussion of why things were done, or how they work, and it looks like they tried to pack as much into a page as possible. I suppose maybe their printer limited them to 112 pages, but I think they could have taken the extra space and made it a 150 or 200 page book, so that it would be readable. There was no need to put all those formulas and tables at the back of the book; it doesn't help, because you have to be reading the rules while you're looking at the charts, and that just adds page-flipping. Now if they had confined this to USEFUL formulas, like how to computer this or that, and they labeled the thigns appropriately, it might have been a good reference.

For FFS3, I would like to see the style/structure of FFS1 with the game updates from FFS2. There's a few things available on TML that could probably be added to it too, but some of those ideas would make the system a lot harder to understand. I don't REALLY need 400 different space drive technologies to choose from at each TL.

On the other hand, fusion rockets (if they can get over the reality hurdle) could stand to be improved and brought into accepted canon. Why wouldn't an engine, described as being a fusion reactor with a hole in it, not have equivalent thrust capabilities? At 20 tons per Megawatt (HEPlaR efficiency) a TL 9-12 engine should put out 40 tons per kl, TL 13-14 would be 60, and TL15 is 120. Much more fuel efficient and less game breaking than either an engine with a MAXIMUM POSSIBLE 112 G-hours of thrust (HEPlaR) or one that's got no practical limit in endurance or grip on reality (Thruster Plates). (Well hidden irony intended.)

FFS1 had a lot of good diagrams, but it could have used even more. Pictures have a great way of explaining things faster than 1000 words can, and this was amply demonstrated in FFS1.

FFS3 probably will have enough material to fill 200+ pages. I have no problem with this at all, especially if the book is constructed better than most of the MT/TNE stuff I've got.

There are a couple areas that Traveller has managed to ignore, one of which is surface ships. Sure, you could use that pair of Challenge articles about Wet Navy, but even when MT was my game, I didn't like it that much. MT stuff feels way too arbitrary for trying to convert into "real" world, something which I think TNE does a much better job at.

FFS1 also presented a number of interesting alternate technologies, allowing you to build your own universe, like you did in CT, whereas FFS2 seemed to pull out from this approach. I liked seeing what else was possible.

The final thing is, who shold make something like this? Should one be made for T5? Should it be made for T20? Can one be done for TNE (Mk1 Mod2)? Is it possible to consolidate into an edition-free version? We are talking about a book that's based on the harder science TNE tried to introduce, and "realistic" stuff is usually more easily translatable to other worlds.

So what do you all think about this?
All I'd want is FFS1 with errata corrected. Otherwise I think FFS1 is a perfect technical architecture book, worth its weight in gold. I love how it explains all the tech as well as just throws tables at you.
Bear in mind that HEPlaR is a magic thruster device; it has a power output (in terms of jet power) which is many orders of magnitude (IIRC about 6) greater than its power input.
Yeah, but from an eduactional point of view, if you come to understand what is wrong with HEPlaR, you'll have gained much greater insight in to the difficulties of space travel than all the mucking about with thruster plates.


I liked FFS, but found actually using it - Difficult.

Far more useful to me would be a program to automate it all - but then you knew that already.


I seem to remember having a line of oversized shotguns, since I felt blut trauma at short range from one of those was about the only way to kill someone in power armour with one shot.

Ah, youth eh.
I'd also love an updated FFS1 with all the errata plus the wet navy constuction sequences. Sadly I don't see this happening unless T5 is compatible (Personally I believe less and less that T5 will ever actually appear, but fingers crossed.)

I have worn out 2 copies of FFS1, it is the single most used supplement I have.

Just how compatable is the stuff in FFS2 with the FFS1 Mk1 Mod 1 anyway? Are designs interchangeable, can they be rated with either system without somwething breaking? I'd really like to know.
A lot of stuff is similar, and looks like it is indeed an expansion to it. For instance, they impose limits on the FFS1 laser design, and PAWS that are less than the maximum focal diameter are less capable than before. (FFS1, a narrow tube degrades range, FFS2, it also degrades damage.) There are more hull forms to choose from, and more armors. They multiplied armor by about 1.4, but I don't think there's a corresponding increase in damage done by anything.

On the other hand, they went back to the archaic, and much complained about 10%/jump rule, and there is no clear answer to what a maneuver drive should be.

I started making a spreadsheet that would allow you to build weapons with either FFS1 (plus all additions and errata) or FFS2, and there weren't that many differences in the weapons I was designing (handguns, particle accelerators, meson guns, never got the rest of it done), mostly just more options, so that's what I thought the whole book was: a poorly organized enhancement to FFS1.

I found out, shortly after making the original post, about the jump drive thing. I will actually have to READ the bleeping thing now to find out what else they screwed up (as if there wasn't enough messed up about it).

A long time ago, before T4 came out, I endevoured to "fix" what was wrong with FFS1. I have since found out that there is a LOT wrong with it, more than I could handle at the time. (I also tried to make a wet-ship design sequence, but got stalled out on how to figure out what its speed would be, among other things.) Nowadays, I have a clearer picture of what I want to see, and what NOT to do. That doesn't mean I'm going to get back on that big 'ol horse and crank out such a book tomorrow. For some one like me, it's a project that would take a year or two, and that's WITH help from all them heavy-duty gearheads.

And even if I got it looking the way I want it, there's no guarantee that MM would allow it, or some one would publish it, or some one would buy it, or anything else. Work like that is not easy for a less-technical guy like me.

So instead, I thought I would ask around, see if there was any interest in a project, and see if THIS company would want to cash in on it. MJD's 1248 project seems to generate about half the traffic on this board, and it's something we've all been crying for for 10 years. I figure FFS Mk1 Mod2 would generate about as much clamor, and greater minds than mine could tackle the issue. It is yet another thing I would buy the moment I knew it was available.

So, the glove is laid out there. If we all start clamoring for it, some one might have a lightbulb ignite above their heads and make the thing, and then we can buy it and happiness will again enter our lives. :D
Ah, gearheading! It's now about all I get to do with Traveller. I moved across country from my old gaming group, got married and now have three kids. Oh well. I don't get to play very often (if at all), but I can occasionally find time to hole up with FFS1 and FFS2 and try to design things!

I would love to see an FFS1 mark 1 mod 2. I would surely buy it! I have also gone about trying to fix various things in FFS1 and 2, not necessarily with much luck :rolleyes:

Let's hope that some increased chatter on the board about this may turn some heads!
I would love to see an updated FFS 1 (TNE FFS). Hell, I'd like to see/get the un-updated original even, as I unfortunately haven't got it. I only have that awful mess that's FFS 2 (T4 FFS) - talk about critical failures in design, layout and printing!

I have been using Greg Porter's (the same guy who wrote most of FFS 1, if I'm not mistaken) own, non-Traveller vehicle design system (or VDS as it is called). It is very adaptable as it's been designed as generic and (mostly) systemless. It is grounded in hard science, but allows "technobabble" designs, but isn't perfectly suited for such "ultra-tech" designs, IMHO. It isn't the simplest of systems and requires you to design the vehicle instead of picking parts of a list and just assemble it. However, this allows a lot of design freedom, albeit at the cost of simplicity. Don't get me wrong, it's not a complex system, it's a kind of meta-system where you design your technology as well as the vehicles produced by it and so requires some thought and a little knowledge in technology won't hurt either (if you want to design vehicles of Real Life realism). It's also compatible with it's sister book Guns, Guns, Guns (or 3G) - three quesses what kind of design system that book is.

I used to use GURPS Vehicles (2nd Ed.), but that really only works if you use the GURPS technology path, IMHO. The Addenda by M.A. Lloyd brought a lot of extra design options and variations from the GURPS TL path, but with it the whole system became too heavy and clunky to use.

I never really used MegaTraveller's design system fully (a few test vehicles only) and I'm not going to even try FFS 2, even the thought of it gives me a headache. However, an update (or even just a reprint) of the much-praised FFS 1 would be very warmly welcomed.
So then, the next Technical Design book for Traveller could be a fixed-up FFS1?

What parts of FFS1 need fixing?
- is there a complete errata on line?

What things need adding?
- fusion rockets?
- wet navy stuff?
- other neat stuff?

What ideas from FFS2 could be added in?
(ideas, not direct grafts, since the data might be wrong and/or different)

If a sample chunk of a reasonably generic system, based on fixed versions of the existing FFS1 or 2, can be prototyped and sent to Marc Miller, he might just take the bait.

I think T5 will have two books in its Technical Architecture series -- one for vehicles and one for equipment.

And as a final caveat, T5 will probably have the same jump fuel requirements as CT and T4. But that's a minor nit compared to a revised, corrected, and bulked-out technical design guide.
I would want the next incarnation of FF&S to have all the design rules for the full Traveller tech tree.
If the world generation system can produce TL20 worlds then I want the technology detailed.
To date only MT has done that.
Yeah man, there's errata online. Dave mentioned making corrections for Mk1Mod2, and some one linked up to a copy of it. It assumes you have all the corrections from Challenge 75, or that you have the Mk1Mod1 version of the book.

To go through a list of what needs fixing would take a long time. If you've never read through it, well, you're missing out. If you have read through it, then you have a good idea what's wrong/missing.

But this is just MY idea of what I want to do, and what I started doing. An official such book might not be anything at all like what I envision, even if somehow I was the author. Though I've not been published, I am aware that few manuscripts end up looking like what the author originally submitted.

Anyway, while I too would like to see the higher tech stuff missing from the book, I realize I would probably not be able to do it myself the first time around, because it would require pouring through the CT and MT stuff, which I am less familiar with (especially CT) in orde to do it right.

But, judging by the underwhelming response I've gotten here, I'd have to guess that the project would not be as well received as I hoped.
I want two books, really.

1) A “Technical Architecture Book” that could be used to create Design Sequences (like the OTU Design Sequence, or maybe the Star Trek Design Sequence, if you wanted to). It would be the target of the most gearheaded of us all, those who want our own Design Sequences.

2) A “Design Sequences Book” that would have several example Design Sequences, including the standard OTU Design Sequences.

By separating the material, we give those who just want to build ships and vehicles the book they want, and the higher level architecture stuff winds up concentrated in the single book it needs, with all the space that it would need.
A design sequence for designing design sequences? Did I understand you right?

What besides the following would you need to design?

Water craft
Land craft
Personal armor
Personal weapons
Heavy weapons
Ship weapons
Biological constructs (possibly including character generation)?
Colony worlds (a la World Tamer's)
Ports and transit networks
Star systems and sectors

I didn't go that hog wild myself, but I wonder if anyone thinks the last 5 or 6 items should be included in a book of this nature, especially considering that they have historically needed books all to themselves, but I figure that as long as we're dreaming, we may as well dream.

Sigg: Thanks for posting the link again.
T5 will probably have a design sequence for 'androids' (biological constructs), rather than a chargen sequence.
Originally posted by TheDS:
A design sequence for designing design sequences? Did I understand you right?

What besides the following would you need to design?

<snip of list>
But those things will all be designed differently depending on the milieu. Drive systems in the Honorverse are not the same as drive system in Starfire (In Death Ground/The Shiva Option), which in turn aren't the same as drive systems in Mechwarrior, which aren't the same as Star Trek . . . etc.

In Star Trek, ships don't get designed at all like in Traveller, and Star Wars is different than both of them.
By having the design meta-system, you can add on whatever you want.