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Old 01-07-2016, 07:42 AM   #11
Lord Azagthoth
 
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

I always tell my players that with piloting you can control the height of your vehicle yourself while with driving you are ground bound. A hovercraft is also ground bound. Just have to figure out what type of controls a particular hovercraft uses to get the defaults right.

As for halftracks, some used tank controls (US halftracks early WWII). Later they adapted this when they captured a German halftrack, which used a steering wheel).
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

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Originally Posted by Crystalline_Entity View Post
However, given that they rely on exerting a force against the ground/water to manoeuvre I can understand why it is classed under Driving instead.
All the ones I know about use ducted fans or propellers to maneuver - they exert a force against the air, not the ground/water, for maneuvering.

I imagine it would feel very different from either flying or driving. A hovercraft would tend to roll downhill in any direction (not just the direction the wheels are aligned with) and drift with the local windspeed, and with no brakes or wheeled steering the only way to correct for this would be to vector your thrusters. (I imagine staying in your lane wound be more difficult and require more attention in a hovercraft than an automobile.) And unlike airplanes you don't maneuver by banking. Helicopter piloting at low speeds might be closest.

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Old 01-07-2016, 09:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
All the ones I know about use ducted fans or propellers to maneuver - they exert a force against the air, not the ground/water, for maneuvering.
The one I have driven uses a ducted fan with deflector. This one: http://sharewood.org/uploads_cause/c...s/625_3676.jpg

It is used in the archipelago to transport things and for emergency service when there is ice, so boats cannot get there, but the ice is not thick enough to drive over with cars. Though most places use hydrocopters for such purpose.

But many smaller hobby ones have steerable ducted fans or propellers.

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I imagine it would feel very different from either flying or driving. A hovercraft would tend to roll downhill in any direction (not just the direction the wheels are aligned with) and drift with the local windspeed, and with no brakes or wheeled steering the only way to correct for this would be to vector your thrusters. (I imagine staying in your lane wound be more difficult and require more attention in a hovercraft than an automobile.) And unlike airplanes you don't maneuver by banking. Helicopter piloting at low speeds might be closest.

Luke
In a way your analogy of helicopter at low speed is close, but yet totally different... :)

There is much less of the sideways torque you get in a helicopter and "none" of the difficulty of holding the same height.. A hovercraft is thus totally different feel.

A hovercraft at higher speed feels also in a way similar to a space flight simulator but in 2d.. basically you have your momentum and thus you will continue going in a given direction unless you apply thrust in another direction. Though unlike spaceflight simulators you actually do have friction in a hovercraft from the interaction with the surface(and air resistance), but for anything you need to do "now" you need to apply thrust in correct direction to cause it. But mostly you try to do "defensive driving" in anticipating the maneuver needs so you can do them gently enough.

I have not driven one in very hilly ground (mostly over water/ice, but some on open ground), but based on how "interesting" it is just with a gentle incline up to ground from the sea I would think that even fairly small sideways incline would be quite difficult to control as you would need to vector your thrust to balance for the gravity while still maintaining forward momentum.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:42 AM   #14
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

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Originally Posted by Lord Azagthoth View Post
I always tell my players that with piloting you can control the height of your vehicle yourself while with driving you are ground bound. A hovercraft is also ground bound. Just have to figure out what type of controls a particular hovercraft uses to get the defaults right.
Additionally:

Driving = Only gives you Yaw and Thrust authority (i.e., the ability to turn left or right and to accelerate/decelerate).

Piloting = Gives you more or less full Pitch, Roll, Yaw and Thrust authority (i.e., the ability to pitch the vehicle's nose up and down, pivot around its longitudinal axis, turn/skid left or right, as well as acceleration/deceleration).

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Originally Posted by Lord Azagthoth View Post
As for halftracks, some used tank controls (US halftracks early WWII). Later they adapted this when they captured a German halftrack, which used a steering wheel).
The most common US halftrack, the White M3 Scout Car, used a steering wheel and it was introduced in 1941. But, you're right that halftracks could go either way for controls, although a steering wheel arrangement seems to have been much more common.

Of course, prior to late TL6, there wasn't as much standardization for ground vehicle controls, so driving a particular model of car, halftrack, or tank might require a fairly long period of familiarization.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:49 AM   #15
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

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I have not driven one in very hilly ground (mostly over water/ice, but some on open ground), but based on how "interesting" it is just with a gentle incline up to ground from the sea I would think that even fairly small sideways incline would be quite difficult to control as you would need to vector your thrust to balance for the gravity while still maintaining forward momentum.
The inability to brake in a hovercraft makes it similar to a fixed-wing aircraft. The controls might be similar to those of a car. Other than that, it seems like its own Driving specialization.

I imagine that it's very tricky to drive a hovercraft in rolling terrain since you would have to constantly adjust your thrust vector. I guess that's the reason that TL7-8 hovercraft are mostly used in flat areas like swamps, water, and areas of relatively flat sea ice.

Presumably, ultra-tech GEV have computer-controlled thrust/tilt sensors to keep them steady on slopes. (And, it seems like something that's easy to engineer at our current TL, should someone wish to do so.)
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

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The inability to brake in a hovercraft makes it similar to a fixed-wing aircraft. The controls might be similar to those of a car. Other than that, it seems like its own Driving specialization.

I imagine that it's very tricky to drive a hovercraft in rolling terrain since you would have to constantly adjust your thrust vector. I guess that's the reason that TL7-8 hovercraft are mostly used in flat areas like swamps, water, and areas of relatively flat sea ice.

Presumably, ultra-tech GEV have computer-controlled thrust/tilt sensors to keep them steady on slopes. (And, it seems like something that's easy to engineer at our current TL, should someone wish to do so.)
Bulletproofing it, however, could make it a bit more costly. I had a van that had a dying computer. First, it acted like it was empty, on a half tank, once the engine was warm. We replaced the fuel filter, but it didn't help. Killing the engine, opening the door so the radio would turn off, and starting it back up, worked and we'd limp the car home a few miles at a time. Then the cruise started getting contrary, dropping without warning for no apparent reason beyond the heater was on, (or the cab was a consistent 80+ degrees). Eventually, the cruise wouldn't hold for more than a second, and I just quit using it.
A hovercraft that used computer assistance to stay straight might start pulling to the left, say, when the computer started failing. Possibly all at once, in traffic, like you got hit by a strong crosswind while on a tall bridge or hill. Suddenly, driving THAT hovercraft would be about like keeping a car going straight that's just had a blowout on a front wheel, at speed, or worse.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

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Originally Posted by SRoach View Post
Bulletproofing it, however, could make it a bit more costly. I had a van that had a dying computer. First, it acted like it was empty, on a half tank, once the engine was warm. We replaced the fuel filter, but it didn't help. Killing the engine, opening the door so the radio would turn off, and starting it back up, worked and we'd limp the car home a few miles at a time. Then the cruise started getting contrary, dropping without warning for no apparent reason beyond the heater was on, (or the cab was a consistent 80+ degrees). Eventually, the cruise wouldn't hold for more than a second, and I just quit using it.
A hovercraft that used computer assistance to stay straight might start pulling to the left, say, when the computer started failing. Possibly all at once, in traffic, like you got hit by a strong crosswind while on a tall bridge or hill. Suddenly, driving THAT hovercraft would be about like keeping a car going straight that's just had a blowout on a front wheel, at speed, or worse.
That would be true for most larger aircraft today. They're nearly all fly-by-wire. It can be made quite reliable with redundancy and regular maintenance and inspection.

It does make me wonder what will happen when the latest generations of cars will start to get old. My experience is that it is getting harder to diagnose and fix things, especially because the manufacturers aren't very keen on disclosing information and most mechanics get lost on the electronics quite quickly.
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

Piloting (Hovercraft)

Once the skirt is inflated there is not traction or contact with the ground.

The internal fans inflate the skirt and the external fans provide power with rudders to direct travel.

It is heavy on inertia, put bluntly we are looking as Newton's laws being applied. That is, without traction, the vehicle relies on the rudder to turn but it will keep momentum in the previous direction of travel until the thrust has exerted enough power to keep the vehicle travelling in its new direction.

When entering water the Hovercraft still has no contact for traction. The difference is it may need to accelerate to get over the 'hump'. Waves help keep the nose in the water and powering up allows the vehicle to ride on top of the waves.

Smaller Hovercraft often rely on their crew on shifting the centre of gravity in order for it to perform at its peak performance.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: Are hovercraft controlled with Driving or Piloting? Plus other vehicle skill stuf

Per RAW, hovercraft is driving. This is relevant because (a) it means it defaults to and from other driving skills, and (b) it's not affected by 3d spatial sense and perfect balance.

Realistically, not being modified by 3d spatial sense and perfect balance seems reasonable, but it probably shouldn't default to other Drive skills. While we're at it, Mecha probably shouldn't either, Locomotive probably shouldn't exist, and Construction Equipment should be a separate skill. Likewise, non-aerodynamic flight types (contragravity, LTA, spacecraft, vertol) shouldn't default and in some cases (lightsail, low performance spacecraft) probably shouldn't exist.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:06 PM   #20
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Per RAW, hovercraft is driving. This is relevant because (a) it means it defaults to and from other driving skills, and (b) it's not affected by 3d spatial sense and perfect balance...
Oh yeah there it is on B188.

Must have got it confused in from my years in the ATC.
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