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Old 04-29-2019, 09:19 PM   #1
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Ship's Registration Papers from FAR TRADER

Hi Folks,
I'm just curious to see if anyone has ever used the forms that were listed in GURPS TRAVELLER FAR TRADER for their campaigns.

For instance, I noted that there is a section there for things like

Date of Preparation
Ship Name
Registration Number
Ship Type
Builder
Home world
Laid Down
First Flight
Cost (New)
Occupation

After that, it gets into the stats on the ship.

At a guess, a ship's registration number is likely going to be defined by which shipyard it is built at. I just wondered if anyone had a "System" they use for registration numbers for hulls or not.

Right now, I'm toying with the idea that Registration numbers will be based on:

Sector Code/World Code/Shipyard/Year/Contract Number

It might be that a single world might have more than one shipyard operating within its "Starport" and thus, there might be a need for a code for the shipyard.

If the contract numbers for the building of hulls recycle every year, the ship that was built at say, Lunion, might be listed as SPMA-Lun-002-1101CS0025

The ship would have been built on Lunion in the Spinward Marches, shipyard #2, with the contract being drawn up in the year 1101. It was a civilian hull (hence the C) and was contract #25

Another ship might be listed as being:

SPMA-LUN-003-1101-CB0027

Such a contract was done shortly after the spaceship contract #25, at the third shipyard, was a Civilian Boat (not jump capable).

Each world then, would have its own 2 letter "sector" ID, its three letter World Abbrev (maybe 4 might be better?) and then all the pertinent information would follow.

Does this make sense? Would you modify it for any reason (and if so, why)?

What I hope to do is create a sort of "standardization" that would work regardless of whether the ships are registered from Deneb, Vland, Core, Massillia, etc.

Since I don't know how many new hulls are going to be built at any given time from any given port, the idea would be to have sufficient characters necessary to encompass the largest number of contracts (ie hulls) possible.

Always open to ideas, or willing to give some ideas to others in case they like it for their own campaign universe.

Imagine if you will, stumbling across a ship whose Registration might look like this:

SoRi-Terr-019-1098CS01284

Anyone who knew their business would likely whistle saying "She's a long way from home, that's for sure".
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:18 PM   #2
Colonel Kane
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Default Re: Ship's Registration Papers from FAR TRADER

Would you really need a sector/ world code? I'm, each shipyard would have its own code and no two shipyards should have the same code, though it could be possible in a interstellar government. I seem to remember reading somewhere, that airplanes in WWII use number based on where they were manufactured and what year.
Bottom line is it is your verse, do what you think is right. I could see where there might be a need for sector and world codes. Look up VIN numbers for vehicles. 17 digits long, telling where it was built, which manufacturer built it, which plant it was built at, as well as the serial number of said vehicle
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:47 PM   #3
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Ship's Registration Papers from FAR TRADER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Kane View Post
Would you really need a sector/ world code? I'm, each shipyard would have its own code and no two shipyards should have the same code, though it could be possible in a interstellar government. I seem to remember reading somewhere, that airplanes in WWII use number based on where they were manufactured and what year.
Bottom line is it is your verse, do what you think is right. I could see where there might be a need for sector and world codes. Look up VIN numbers for vehicles. 17 digits long, telling where it was built, which manufacturer built it, which plant it was built at, as well as the serial number of said vehicle
So in effect, what I've done is largely the same thing - each vessel gets its plant of manufacture code as part of its number, plus a string of alpha-numeric characters to uniquely identify it from all other vehicles manufactured at the same plant. Nice to know I wasn't TOO far off the track.

:)

I suppose rather than use a sector name ID and a World ID, I could simply give each sector an ID number, each starport their own unique number, and then continue with the original plan, but this way, I don't have to dig up 36 subsector data files, dig through and get only those worlds with an A or B starport - then assign them numbers or values, and keep a database of what each of those unique shipyard ID values were etc.

One does have to wonder just what the maximum number of hulls are that are produced at any given point in time.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:06 AM   #4
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Ship's Registration Papers from FAR TRADER

It makes sense, and is workable. How else might you do it?

The drawback to coded numbering schemes (where there's a bunch of fields in the number with independent values that mean different things) is that they're inefficient. Everybody's joked at some point about why their utility company needs a 30-digit account number. I once did some database work for an organization that had 26-digit account numbers to represent a few hundred accounts (rather than 10^26 sources and sinks...)

The most efficient scheme is just to allocate serial numbers with no coding whatsoever. The number means nothing, and your central point of administration just makes they don't hand out the same one twice. You only need as many bits as you need to count all the objects you're numbering.

So, real-world organizations that don't have a centralized point of administration in real time (which the Imperium certainly can't) often compromise with a scheme where they hand out blocks of numbers to some sub-administrator. Examples would be the US Social Security Number (the first three digits originally were a geographic code for states; the last four were a serial number assigned as states issued them; the middle two are complicated; since 2011, they've just handed out blocks without even that much coding) or Internet IP addresses (where the IETF hands out a range of numbers to a company, ISP, etc., then that organization has to eventually wind up assigning numbers to individual computers as they see fit) or MAC addresses for Ethernet devices. These as essentially hybrid schemes, where you could look at the blocks as a code for different areas/groups/whatever (though a single entity might well get assigned multiple blocks, so it's not 1:1 as in the fully coded case). So not quite as efficient, not quite as easy to decode into a meaning.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:45 AM   #5
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Ship's Registration Papers from FAR TRADER

One of the things I just finished examining was the starship construction rates from GURPS TRAVELLER STARSHIPS.

I looked at the rules for construction of a 200 dTon Empress Marava class ship, versus a 5,000 dTon Destroyer hull, vs a 500,000 Tigress Dreadnaught class ship.

The numbers I got were startling to say the least: The first number before the slash is CT construction time, the second number is the GURPS TRAVELLER time in weeks (where 5 days = 1 week):

200 dTons: 48/25

5,000 dTons: 144/11 weeks, default time becomes 25 weeks (6 months)

500,000 dTons: 232/238 weeks


As you can see - GURPS TRAVELLER time to build hulls takes less time for the smaller tonnages than it does for the larger.

While CT didn't have shipyard sizes per se, they did have production values based upon the capacity value, which in turn was calculated from the population of the work force manning the shipyard. Said population was equal to the world's population/1000 (assuming a Government modifier of 1...)

In all? GURPS TRAVELLER makes some changes to the ship building rates. It unfortunately does nothing to give an idea of how many dTons of hulls are being produce each year. The rules for the "aging of ships" implies that ships can last a LONG time before they're retired. So, how many hulls production does the Imperium need to service its needs?

<Shrug>

That value doesn't seem to exist, and likely never will. What does one really need shipyards for?

1) construction of new hulls
2) overhaul of aging hulls (rebuilds)
3) Modifications to existing hulls

No where will you see just how much shipyard capacity is used for "maintenance purposes" and there is a resistance to "inventing house rules" to address that issue. But that gets me back to my original issue...

How much shipyard capacity is TOO much? You don't build a HUGE shipyard and then only use 10% capacity. You don't keep an entire workforce employed for the theoretical maximum if you only have enough work to keep 40% employed at any given time. My thoughts are this:

If one took the entire trade structure requirements for shipping, multiplied it by 1.1 - you would have sufficient capacity for shipping the goods and have each hull carrying about 90% its full capacity at any given time. That should be at best, the highest capacity of shipping that is required.

If Military ships can last some 80 years without problem, what is the duration of an aging civilian fleet? If you only have to replace about 1.25% of your existing hull tonnage per year due to aging losses - that's not an awful lot of shipyard capacity being kept busy on a regular basis (1.25% is 1/80).

I expect, with the formula approach that I took, I probably don't need to have 6 digits for contract numbers. If fighters take a minimum of 1 month to produce, then a shipyard with 55,000 shipyard modules can produce some 1100 fighters every 6 months. Somehow, I don't think the Imperium is building that many fighters per month - not in peacetime at least.

Ah well, speculation on this matter is likely not worth the effort.
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