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Old 02-19-2016, 10:13 AM   #1
Daigoro
 
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Default [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

So this Setting Generating Game thread was almexactly a year ago, and I thought it was time for another.

We can use the answer a question -> ask a question format as before.
Try to keep the questions open-ended and avoid "leading" questions, which sneak in too much detail in a question that should be in an answer.

The goal this time is to make a space opera setting which supports a free trader campaign. Apart from that, it's open slather!

Therewith, the first question:

Q1- What kind or kinds of FTL transport are there?


ETA:
Here's a summary of what's been contributed as far as post #62.

Addendum: A partial mirror of this thread is available at this wiki, organised by topic.

Summary
The Interstellar Drift
It's the year 3116...

Groups & Polities:
Spoiler:  

Other Details
Spoiler:  


Locations
Spoiler:  

Races:
7 of the 12 known sapient races have been named or described.
Spoiler:  

Artefacts:
Spoiler:  

Ships
Spoiler:  


Ship Weapons & Systems
Spoiler:  

Name Characters
Spoiler:  

Equipment
Spoiler:  

History
Spoiler:  
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Last edited by Daigoro; 02-17-2017 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Answer: FTL is capable of huge jumps at a time, but the more you take in distance, the more you loose in accuracy -- you can cross the galaxy in five jumps, but once you're there it takes five MORE jumps to actually get close to your target. Each jump takes quite a bit of time

Which, if any transhuman aspects are prominent? (true AI, Neural interfaces, human genegineering...)



EDIT: I love this game! And I've had this FTL method eating at me for a long time!
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

No transhuman aspects are present aside from ancient and highly stigmatized sapient robots, all of whom have long since stopped functioning. All that remains is the stigma and a faded memory of how mankind was semi-enslaved by their own creations and atrophy of their own ingenuity and initiative.

Is there a galactic empire?
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

There is no galactic empire as such, since the FTL drive makes a mockery of political boundaries and subdivisions. There are, however, a number of widely accepted conventions with the force of customary law, which allow traders to function throughout civilization with some sense of security. Some groups of worlds also from trade compacts or postal unions to further protect and promote their agendas.

Q: What kind of goods are most frequently traded?
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Heavy elements remain rare throughout the univers as compared to most volitiles, and are widely traded. Livestock and seedstocks are common goods, as well, since populating new worlds with sources of human-eatible foods is rather important.

How common are easily inhabited (habitability rating 7 or 8) worlds?
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Finding a shirtsleeve world is easy -- you've got an entire galaxy to choose from. Finding a world that is pleasant is hard: alien vegetation generally isn't edible, and atmospheres are really fond of being too dense, too thin, or having 'off' mixtures of gasses.

How 'full' is the galaxy? Are new worlds being settled all the time? is it pretty much mapped out? are worlds as full as earth common?
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrash View Post
There is no galactic empire as such, since the FTL drive makes a mockery of political boundaries and subdivisions. There are, however, a number of widely accepted conventions with the force of customary law, which allow traders to function throughout civilization with some sense of security. Some groups of worlds also from trade compacts or postal unions to further protect and promote their agendas.

Q: What kind of goods are most frequently traded?
Not if you think of it less like a continental empire and more like a maritime empire. Venice, Imperial Japan, and parts of the British and American hegemonies all depended on a series of sea stops with ocean in between rather then a definite border. Borders in any case were surprisingly ambiguous through most of history and had to wait until someone got it into their heads to do a proper survey. Even so they still can be kind of weird because settlement patterns never really are as neat as rulers want them to be.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Answer: FTL is capable of huge jumps at a time, but the more you take in distance, the more you loose in accuracy -- you can cross the galaxy in five jumps, but once you're there it takes five MORE jumps to actually get close to your target. Each jump takes quite a bit of time
I've been wondering how this would work exactly- in-universe and rolling the dice.

So, to be clear, you're saying that a jump of say 20,000 ly (1/5th of the way across the galaxy) might have a "deviation bubble" of being maybe 40% off course, then closing in on your destination involves some 1,000 ly jumps which are off by 30%, 100 ly jumps off by 20%, then 10 ly jumps off by 10%? Hopefully you can see I'm using the exponent as the lead digit in the percentage, to get a narrowing-in effect.
  1. Are those numbers too harsh?
  2. How would Navigation rolls, time spent plotting courses on the nav-comp, quality bonuses for good equipment and star charts or high quality engines affect the jumps?
  3. Do longer jumps also use more fuel, energy, or other expendables (hyperspace ablative shielding, perhaps)?
  4. Why does each jump take time- is it plotting navigation, charging the capacitors or shaping a hole through space-time? Does the prep time depend on distance?
  5. Are longer jumps possible with any starship, or only long range classes? In Spaceships shipbuilding, you could say each extra drive module sends you x10 distance: 1 drive- 10 ly; 2- 100 ly; 3- 1000 ly...
  6. Would you be able to work in the Speed/Range table?
  7. What effect does this lead to for free traders? Most would prefer reliable short-range hops, but they would go further for more lucrative markets, maybe.

I'm asking ericthered because it was his idea, but anyone can answer.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

First off in response to frosts question.

In some species the range of colonization is essentially limitless.

However most species (including humans) initially followed a colonize and terraform the nearby systems stratagem, usually about 40 light years deep. But the reality that it is cheaper to go further for better usually puts this stratagem to rest a few generations after the introduction of ftl travel.
This has resulted in a situation where most species home world is surrounded by the least hospitable colonies and outposts and the more attractive colonies are huge distances away.
These core worlds while usually economically behind the further colonies are attractive to free traders as they are frequently mono industrial, slightly ignored politically and close together.

Jumping in to answer the drive questions. (Completely willing do drop this section from my post if anyone has better ideas.)

1) Numbers might be a bit harsh but there is enough detail left to be revealed to fine tune the system. Assuming a generate, calculate, charge, jump, locate sequence.
Speed and efficiency can be improved at each stage.
For instance Many militaries have ships (carriers?) with large power generation capabilities relative to their size so that the can jump as soon as the navigational calculations are finished. (They have big computers too)

2) better equipment/engines/capacitors result in a more disk shaped jump exit zone as apposed to spherical exit zone with lower quality gear. This allows jump exits to be plotted closer to obstacles. Especially important for in system jumps.

2.5) star charts as well as "stellar positioning systems" greatly speed up the process of figuring out exactly where you exited. A key part of the following jump calculations. Up to date information regarding "jump" conditions at a desired destination can aid in improving jump accuracy.

3) there are 2 types of jump "deep" which is typically used for distances over 0.1 of a lightyear. A characteristic of a deep jump is the exit point tends to be away from gravity wells. The other kind of jump is a shallow jump which is effected less by gravity and tends to get used in system. Counterintuitively the calculations for a shallow jump take longer than a deep jump mainly due to the more complex nature of the environment.

Deep jumps of less than 1000 light years require more power to start and stop the jump than is used to travel the distance.

Shallow jumps use a similar amount of power regardless of the distance traveled. A shallow jump typically used about 1 percent of the power as a deep jump.

If power is low (or expensive) long range ships (bigger generators etc) can easily shallow jump up to 0.5 of a light year.

4) See point 1

5) the output of the ships capacitors relative to its size is the main limiting factor on the range of a jump.

6) pass

7) shorter range jumps mean less corrections so there would be a mathematical breakpoint do do with the probable number of jumps to get to a destination. Sometimes there would be deliberate undershooting of the desired target. Free traders would target a system then visit many locations once they get there.

FTL ships require position data, big generators, capacitors, navigational computers, a jump drive with external components (frequently retractable).

Question

How is policing the common laws handled? Organised force? Contractors? Something else?
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Last edited by (E); 02-20-2016 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by benz72 View Post
A rutter is a description of how to get somewhere. THink of it as navigaitonal instructions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutter_(nautical)
I see, cool. Like a kind of nautical almanac. I thought it might've been a typo, because a quick Google didn't find anything that looked relevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
... they can jump as soon as the navigational calculations are finished. (They have big computers too)
...
2.5) star charts as well as "stellar positioning systems" greatly speed up the process of figuring out exactly where you exited. A key part of the following jump calculations. Up to date information regarding "jump" conditions at a desired destination can aid in improving jump accuracy.
I'm not sure that position calculations are a difficult thing. If you can find the centre of the galaxy and some external landmark- Andromeda or the Large Magellanic Cloud- it should be pretty easy to triangulate. OTOH- astronomers today have trouble gauging the distance to the galactic core, so it may remain an observational problem rather than a computational one.

And calculation of your route should be easy enough- just point and shoot, right? And for the long range/low accuracy schema, if you know you're going to miss your target whatever you do, you'd just point roughly in the right direction knowing you'd have to do many short jumps at the other end. I guess it's the short jumps which need more accuracy...


We have 2 questions open now-
Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
How is policing the common laws handled? Organised force? Contractors? Something else?
Quote:
Originally Posted by benz72 View Post
Question: We know that there is a 'primo' hyper drive, but is what kinds of 'secret' navigational or rutter programs and databases exist to take advantage of improvements in distance and accuracy?
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