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Old 06-21-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
wabishtar's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default [GURPS Spaceships] Meridian

So I'm a big fan of David Pulver's Meridian setting published in GURPS All Star Jam 2004, and I recently attempted to convert the spaceships from Meridian into something else of Pulver's that I'm a big fan of, namely GURPS Spaceships. If you haven't read the setting, it's a setting where humans have built a wormhole network far in the future, and planets are connected by a Galactic Railway of space elevators. The space elevator goes up to geosynchronous orbit and docks with a station that holds the wormhole, then it goes through the wormhole to come out at another station in orbit of another planet. Basically, FTL travel happens by way of a big Galactic Railway. The catch is that you have to make the two sides of a wormhole in the same place, and then move them apart at slower than light speeds. This is done with Seedships (which I've detailed below) that make the slow journey from solar system to solar system so that future travellers can travel between those solar systems instantly. Travelling on a seedship isn't as bad as it sounds, because while it does take years, possibly even decades to get to it's new destination, it's carrying a wormhole onboard, so the crew can pop back to their home planet in their off time via the railway!

Anyway, Mr. Pulver makes it clear that there are only two super science assumptions made in this setting. The first are the wormholes, which I've already mentioned. The second is the Alcubierre Drive. That's what we call it today, anyway, (look it up on wikipedia if you like), but in this setting it's called an NMD Drive. Basically, it's a warp drive that can't go faster than light, so it's a really high acceleration reactionless pseudo-velocity drive. I used the Super Reactionless to model it. The NMD drives don't function in atmosphere, though, so ships planning to enter atmosphere need a conventional drive. Here, I had to add a little more super science to make the ships work, because the thrust the ships in Meridian had was more in line with the limited super science drives than the strictly realistic ones. However, other than those three super science assumptions, the setting is totally hard science. I defined the society of Meridian as tech level 11, and the State of Mind (a nation of digital intelligences that exists in a kind of cold war to Meridian) as tech level 12. There's much more to this setting than I'm saying here, it's a rich, interesting setting for a game, I'm just trying to explain what you need to know for the spaceships. If you want to know more about it, you should buy GURPS All Star Jam 2004 on e23. It's well worth the money. OK, onto the ships!

First up is the Seedship. I made a fairly big change to how this ship works, but I think it works better with the GURPS Spaceships rules. You see the original ship had a VERY tiny NMD drive, giving it only 0.1 acceleration. It kind of needs to keep that speed, or else the settlement of new planets happens to quickly. However, when using GURPS Spaceships, I can't install a drive that small. I could install a rotary reactionless drive, but that seems strange given that it uses the same amount of power as the faster Super Reactionless that the other ships use, and in a ship that costs around $782 Billion, the $19.5 Billion I would have saved with the rotary reaction less drive didn't seem to be a savings that made enough sense. Then I noticed something in the book that said wormholes and NMD drives couldn't be turned on at the same time, as the both use negative matter, they would interrupt with each other. I changed this so that wormholes and NMD drives can't exist on the same ship at all. To me, that makes the slow acceleration of the seedship make more sense, since it has to rely on conventional drives. Now, it doesn't have enough fuel tanks for constant acceleration trips to another solar system, but it does have a wormhole connecting it to a home base, so I figure mission control can just refill the tanks whenever they get low until the ship gets up to ramscoop speed (I gave it a ramscoop, too). Anyway, that's the liberty I took with this ship, so it doesn't function exactly the same as it did in the original book, but for story concerns, it should work out fine. Without further adieu, here's the Seedship!


Front Hull

[1] Armour, Advanced Metallic Laminate, dDR 200, $6B
[2!] Weapons Battery, Medium (3 300-GJ Fixed Mounted X-Ray Lasers), $15B
[3] Habitat (2,000 Luxury Cabins, 9,000 Cabins, 500 mixed establishments, 2,000 offices, 25 major labs, 500 bed Automed Sickbay, 200 man brig, 4,750 tons of steerage cargo), $5.505B
[4] Open Space, 10 acres, $20M
[5] Three SM +14 Systems
(1) Ramscoop, $100B
(2-3) Fuel Tank, $600M
[6] Science Array (Comm/Sensor 17), $30B
[Core] Control Room (C12 Computer, Comm/Sensor 15, 60 Control Stations), $6B

Centre Hull

[1] Armour, Advanced Metallic Laminate, dDR 200, $6B
[2!] Weapons Battery, Tertiary (30 30-GJ Turreted X-Ray Lasers), $15B
[3!] Jump Gate, $150B
[4-5] Hangar Bay, 200K tons, 5,000 ton/minute launch rate, $600M
[6] Cargo Hold, 150K tons

Rear Hull

[1] Armour, Advanced Metallic Laminate, dDR 200, $6B
[2-4] Fusion Power Plant (6 Power Points), $90B
[5!] Nanofactory, $3B/hour, $300B
[6] Three SM +14 Systems
(1-2) Fuel Tank, $600M
(3) Fusion Torch, 0.16G, $20B
[Core] Fusion Power Plant (2 Power Points), $30B

Exposed Radiators
Pseudovelocity Drive
Spin Gravity, $300M

TL Spacecraft dST/HP HT Hnd/SR Move
11^ Seedship 1,000 14 -4/5 0.16G/60 mps*

Lwt. Load SM Occ dDR Cost
3,000,000 356,950 +15 22,000ASV 200 $781.625B

*Unlimited when fuel supplied by wormhole

Next up is the Outrider. These are used for exploration, trade, and courier missions. a seedship carries a bunch of them. You'll notice the tiny secondary conventional drive for use if this ship needs to land.


Front Hull

[1] Armour, Diamondoid (Hardened), dDR 30, $60M
[2] Control Room (C9 Computer, Comm/Sensor 9, 6 Control Stations), $6M
[3-5] Habitat (20 Luxury Cabins, 1 Nanofactory Minifac ($10K/hour), 1 Lab, 5 Bed Automed Sickbay, 20 Hibernation Chambers, 35 tons of steerage cargo), $11.5M
[6!] Weapons Mount, Spinal (3-GJ Particle Beam)

Centre Hull

[1] Armour, Diamondoid (Hardened), dDR 30, $60M
[2] Science Array (Comm/Sensor 11), $30M
[3!] Weapons Battery, Secondary (10 100-MJ Turreted X-Ray Lasers), $15M
[4-5] Cargo Hold, 300 Tons
[6] Engine Room, $1M
[Core!] Weapons Mount, Spinal (3-GJ Particle Beam), $50M

Rear Hull

[1] Armour, Diamondoid (Hardened), dDR 30, $60M
[2!] Weapons Mount, Spinal (3-GJ Particle Beam)
[3-5!!!] Super Reactionless Engine, 150G, $60M
[6] Three SM +8 Systems
(1) Fuel Tank, $300K
(2-3) Antimatter Plasma Torch, Water, 2G, $20M
[Core] Antimatter Reactor (4 Power Points), $60M

Exposed Radiators
Pseudovelocity Drive
Stealth Hull, $5M

TL Spacecraft dST/HP HT Hnd/SR Move
11^ Outrider 100 13 +1/5 2G/120 mps 150G/c

Lwt. Load SM Occ dDR Cost
3,000 339 +9 40ASV 30* $438.8M

Air Performance

Hnd/SR Move
-1/5 20/1750 (3,500 mph)

Finally is the Harrier. This ship is used by a group from The State of Mind called the Preservers who want to stop Meridian from terraforming other worlds, and are willing to resort to violence to do it. The super reactionless drive uses is TL 12 performance, and the Meridian article mentions that State of Mind NMD drives can operate in atmosphere, so this ship has no secondary drive. Also, it is used purely by AIs, so it has no room for habitation. The AIs reside in the ship's computer and only download into the cybershell when necessary, so no need for life support, but there are 400 hibernation chambers for prisoners taken aboard.


Front Hull

[1] Armour, Diamondoid (Hardened), dDR 50, $200M
[2!] Weapons Battery, Major (1 Fixed Mounted 3-GJ X-Ray Laser), $60M
[3-4] Habitat (20 Bed Automed Sickbay, 400 Hibernation Chambers), $12M
[5] Science Array (Comm/Sensor 13), $100M
[6] Control Room (C11 Computer, Comm/Sensor 11, No Control Stations), $19.5M

Centre Hull

[1] Armour, Diamondoid (Hardened), dDR 50, $200M
[2-3!!] Weapons Battery, Medium (6 1-GJ Turreted Antiparticle Beams), $120M
[4-6] One SM +11 System
(1) Hangar Bay, 1,000 tons, 200 ton/minute launch rate, $3M
[Core] Antimatter Power Plant (Derated, 3 Power Points), $150M

Rear Hull

[1] Armour, Diamondoid (Hardened), dDR 50, $200M
[2] Three SM +9 Systems
(1) Habitat (100 Person Hall, 1 Nanofactory Minifac ($10K/hour), 1 Lab, 35 tons of steerage cargo), $6M
(2-3) Cargo Hold, 300 tons
[3-6!!!!] Super Reactionless Engine, 400G, $240M
[Core] Antimatter Power Plant (4 Power Points), $200M

Exposed Radiators
Pseudovelocity Drive
Dynamic Chameleon, $7M
Stealth Hull, $10M
Total Automation, $75M

TL Spacecraft dST/HP HT Hnd/SR Move
12^ Harrier 150 13 +2/5 400G/c

Lwt. Load SM Occ dDR Cost
10,000 1275 +10 0 50* 1.6B

Air Performance

Hnd/SR Move
+2/5 4,000/25,000 (50,000 mph)
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all-star jam 2004, spaceships

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