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Old 01-27-2019, 06:55 PM   #41
Icelander
 
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Default Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

Would I get any utility from GURPS Vehicles: Steampunk Conveyances in coming up with an encounter where PCs are on the ground when a zeppelin from the Antarctic Space Nazis flies overhead?

The zeppelin should have been designed to fit through a gate that cannot simply be scaled up to infinite size without extravagant cost, so it's not monstrously huge, but it should be big enough to operate on its own for a long scouting mission. Of course, nuclear power would make that much more feasible.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:46 PM   #42
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Would I get any utility from GURPS Vehicles: Steampunk Conveyances in coming up with an encounter where PCs are on the ground when a zeppelin from the Antarctic Space Nazis flies overhead?

The zeppelin should have been designed to fit through a gate that cannot simply be scaled up to infinite size without extravagant cost, so it's not monstrously huge, but it should be big enough to operate on its own for a long scouting mission. Of course, nuclear power would make that much more feasible.
You wouldn't even need an atomic power plant, really. A Shenandoah-class dirigible would mostly do the trick.

It has a range of 5,000 miles (8,000 km) on the fuel it can carry, and if it finds favorable winds it can stretch that out enough that food and water for the crew becomes the real limiting factor.

Cut out a few of the crew complement of 25, and you increase the range even more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Shenandoah_%28ZR-1%29
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:59 AM   #43
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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You wouldn't even need an atomic power plant, really. A Shenandoah-class dirigible would mostly do the trick.

It has a range of 5,000 miles (8,000 km) on the fuel it can carry, and if it finds favorable winds it can stretch that out enough that food and water for the crew becomes the real limiting factor.

Cut out a few of the crew complement of 25, and you increase the range even more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Shenandoah_%28ZR-1%29
That's a really impressive range.

As it happens, these wacky Nazis controlled the Zeppelin Works of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH in Friedrichshafen by the time they started planning for their Last Redoubt in 1943. That is, Hans Kammler, the man in charge of the Wunderwaffen project which incorporated the Frierichshafen plants of the company, was a senior member of the SS conspiracy to establish an extraterrestial Last Redoubt. At the time, the company was no longer making zeppelins (they officially stopped such work in 1940), instead having a role in V2 rocket production, but they still had the staff, plans and equipment.

In 1944-1945, when the Antarctic Space Nazis were making their escape, gates to the World Tree were only slightly larger than a man. At best, the largest single piece of anything that could be transported would have been 400 lbs., carried along the World Tree by massively strong servitor beasts. I don't know if this would have allowed the transportation of the complete manufacturing plant for zeppelins or if some individual pieces of the machinery involved are heavier than that. I suspect they are, given the massive sizes involved.

Even so, that would only mean a delay in establishing zeppelin works in the industrial outpost of the New Reich. They had detailed plans and the experienced staff, after all, and given resources and slaves in the thousands, reproducing the capabilities they had on Earth could be done eventually.

I suspect that the limiting factor would be the size of the gate. I haven't decided how large to make the gates, but as a general rule, making gates of enough diameter to allow even the smaller WWI zeppelin designs through would require massive sacrifices of energy and souls. Something the size of the Shenadoah would probably require years of effort. I can imagine such gates at their homeworld and the most vital industrial outposts on 'neighbouring' worlds, but I'm inclined to limit the diameter of gates to newly discovered worlds to something less.

The length isn't specifically a limitation, except in so far as a certain diameter might be required for structural strength. But I'm thinking the scout craft need to be smaller around than the Shenadoah, which would obviously reduce range, at least for the first couple of generations of scout airships (no doubt gasoline powered), but it couldn't be helped.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:02 AM   #44
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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largest single piece of anything that could be transported would have been 400 lbs., carried along the World Tree by massively strong servitor beasts. I don't know if this would have allowed the transportation of the complete manufacturing plant for zeppelins or if some individual pieces of the machinery involved are heavier than that.
They certainly are. There would have been no motive to make them light in their original uses. You can take most of the high-precision parts, along with the plans, but you're going to need to set up iron and steel production on an industrial scale to get those machine tools back in action.
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as a general rule, making gates of enough diameter to allow even the smaller WWI zeppelin designs through would require massive sacrifices of energy and souls. Something the size of the Shenadoah would probably require years of effort.
Airships moving at low speed are extremely sensitive to gusts of wind. What happens if one of those causes a zeppelin to hit the side of one of these games?
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:19 AM   #45
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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They certainly are. There would have been no motive to make them light in their original uses. You can take most of the high-precision parts, along with the plans, but you're going to need to set up iron and steel production on an industrial scale to get those machine tools back in action.
Then that's yet another good reason why the first generation of the Antarctic Space Nazis mostly exploited the worlds they'd already discovered and for all their willingness were unable to mount proper military scouting expeditions to new worlds until they had a bigger population base and more advanced slave industry.

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Airships moving at low speed are extremely sensitive to gusts of wind. What happens if one of those causes a zeppelin to hit the side of one of these games?
Well, nothing supernatural. But if the zeppelin has started moving through the gate, it won't be able to move sideways further than the gate allows, so I should imagine anything from an unpleasant jolt to the frame being ripped apart, depending on the power of the gust.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:24 AM   #46
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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Airships moving at low speed are extremely sensitive to gusts of wind. What happens if one of those causes a zeppelin to hit the side of one of these games?
I'd imagine you'd have crew clinging to the balloon with poles ready to fend off during gate passage maneuvres.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:46 AM   #47
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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I'd imagine you'd have crew clinging to the balloon with poles ready to fend off during gate passage maneuvres.
For zeppelins travelling from the home world to one of the important industrial outposts, certainly there would be great numbers of people involved in assisting during the navigation of the gate itself. Also for those arriving at home after a successful mission.

It would be during the use of a gate to a new world that the danger would be greatest. No doubt there would be an escort within the World Tree who'd do their best to minimize any dangers and the crew of such a zeppelin no doubt has one or more Hexensoldaten who specialize in weather control magic, but even so, the risk would be greatest there.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:03 AM   #48
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For zeppelins travelling from the home world to one of the important industrial outposts, certainly there would be great numbers of people involved in assisting during the navigation of the gate itself. Also for those arriving at home after a successful mission.

It would be during the use of a gate to a new world that the danger would be greatest. No doubt there would be an escort within the World Tree who'd do their best to minimize any dangers and the crew of such a zeppelin no doubt has one or more Hexensoldaten who specialize in weather control magic, but even so, the risk would be greatest there.
Sounds like they might be motivated to build a shelter around the gate(s) to allow safer zeppelin passage. Something like this?
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:20 AM   #49
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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Sounds like they might be motivated to build a shelter around the gate(s) to allow safer zeppelin passage. Something like this?
At home, certainly.

On a new world, yes, that would be one of the things that they'd eventually want as part of a base intended to establish a foothold there.

But the PCs are encountering a scout zeppelin on a world where the Antarctic Space Nazis have not yet established any kind of dominance and, indeed, have only just started exploring. I mean, sure, they've started to establish a base at a remote location and are conquering the TL3 civilization closest to them (mostly through shooting leaders), but I imagine that they have not yet finished any massive building projects on that world and still have trouble bringing in anything heavy, being limited to their scout airships and even those being risky to operate.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:00 AM   #50
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Default Re: Alternate-World-Exploring Zeppelin

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Would I get any utility from GURPS Vehicles: Steampunk Conveyances in coming up with an encounter where PCs are on the ground when a zeppelin from the Antarctic Space Nazis flies overhead?
That book has stats for a Santos-Dumont No. 9 (SM+6), an Adventurers' Dirigible (SM+9), a P-class Zeppelin (SM+12) and an Aerial Battleship (SM+14). The latter two use internal combustion and would give a starting point at least.

There are rules for rough-and-ready airship construction using GURPS Spaceships in Pyramid #3/64 (needs #3/34 too).
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