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Old 11-15-2009, 01:23 AM   #21
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

Originally Posted by Langy View Post
Yeah, the process of mining is boring - I'm not particularly interested in that. Hadn't realised asteroid mining would be so cheap that rare metals would have significantly lower prices if we went into 'roid mining, though. Good to know.
If you've got access to JTAS, here is an interesting article about asteroid mining (not only for traveller) which proposes mining asteroids for oxygen, water etc. instead of ores (as a few asteroids are enough to drop prices significantly).
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:37 PM   #22
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

Originally Posted by Kale View Post
I bought Spaceships 6 a couple days ago. It is OK, but I think I would prefer you include some of that asteroid mining info. As other posters have said, I wouldn't want it to be the focus of a campaign, but it would have made for useful background material. If nothing else, it would have brought the page count more in-line with the other supplements, so I'm surprised you didn't toss it in there given that you were not pressed for space.
Here's to hoping 7 turns out to be as meaty as the rumors say it will.
I just bought it half an hour ago and I have to admit that it was the first thing that struck me. I got Dungeon Fantasy: Clerics, a Pyramid subscription and Spaceships 6 at the same time, and Spaceships 6 just seemed a bit short for $7.99. Don't get me wrong, I love the series, but I would have expected a buck or two off, maybe like Dungeon Fantasy: 40 Artifacts. And I do love the fun rules at the back of all the other Spaceships books.

Still, it's always good to see more in the Spaceships series, and if it balances out in the next one then forget I said anything. Incidentally, I counted through my e23 library and I realised that I've bought 62 different GURPS pdfs from there (counting individual issues of the new Pyramid bought through subscription), GCA and a smattering of other products, as well as the free GURPS PDFs, of course. That's a lot of PDFs! I had no idea I had bought that many over the years. I guess I just wanted to say I'm a fan of e23, and even I was a little surprised to see how much! But keep on putting out good products and I'll keep buying!
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:29 PM   #23
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

Sorry, but $8 for 40+ pages (most other Spaceships books) vs. $8 for 24 pages doesn't cut it. I'll wait for Spaceships 7.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:52 PM   #24
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

As somebody who spent a vacation taking tours of iron and copper mines, they are kind of interesting. And I've read about mining, and that was kind of interesting too. But role-playing it would be a little like role-playing double entry accounting.

What asteroid mining does to the economy is your own call for the adventure. It's possible that the cost of transportation will not make these metals especially affordable. It's just as likely that their greater availability instead spurs new technology that wasn't possible when these resources were more scarce, and thus maintains the high demand even with the greater availability.
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:59 AM   #25
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

I hope this isn't too late of a reply.

Originally Posted by Mgellis View Post
How do you turn the refined chemicals into components? That's the missing step.
The way I read it, the refinery module does just that, at least up to the point that the factory can take over. Need beams of iron forged? A multi-purpose refinery can include foundry capability (the iron has to wind up in some regular shape) - note that this means it can forge solid slug ammunition too (though bullets that contain explosives, or any active component such as biological or robotic payloads, probably need a bit of factory time). Need new electronic chips? The refinery gets you the metal, chemicals, and silicon wafers that are the components from which chips can be made; the factory infuses the chemicals to turn bits of the silicon into transistors, and adds the metal circuit leads.

Originally Posted by Mgellis View Post
I just wish there was an official ruling on this (or, if I'm wrong, an official ruling the says, "No, you were right the first time. Buy two factories to handle the two steps." Which would be a more simple way to do it.) Or something.
For what it's worth, I'm the "additional material" credit on the book. I am not an employee of Steve Jackson Games, so I don't know how official my word is, but...

Being independent of the supply chain was the intent of the Rock Snake design, without any extra steps. Material flows into the mining system for the listed conversion rate, from there to the refinery for the listed conversion rate, and from there to the fabricator for the listed conversion rate. Further, these things can happen in parallel if there is enough power and raw materials to keep all systems busy at the same time. (More precisely, a Rock Snake is intended to take raw asteroids and convert them into things that others would use, for profit. The easiest score is platinum and platinum group metals, as mentioned in the book, as those do not need much conversion and are quite expensive - until the platinum market gets flooded. That's when it shifts to manufacturing space infrastructure.)

It is possible that certain components can not be manufactured, or at least not manufactured efficiently, on a Rock Snake. The former is more likely if blueprints are licensed, or any other legal restrictions exist to prevent unlimited manufacturing. The latter depends on the game world as well, but can include things like replacement components (a factory much larger than a Rock Snake can build a Rock Snake - or major systems thereof - faster than another Rock Snake can) and supplies (production lines dedicated to creating, e.g., medicine can do so more efficiently, and thus more cheaply per unit output, than a Rock Snake's jack-of-all-trades systems; see "Manufacturing" in GURPS Ultra-Tech, starting on page 89). These would be among the things a Rock Snake's owner uses those profits for.

As always, change things around to suit your game world. Want a world where space manufacturing has obsoleted all planetside industry, and giant warships are cranked out daily? Ignore that bit about slower rates for manufacturing things above SM+2, and speed up the base manufacturing rates. Want a world where space manufacturing has yet to have much or any impact? Simply declare that factory systems for spaceships do not exist (no one has invented one yet). Want a spaceship that builds legions of clone soldiers? Wet nanotechnology and vatfacs are TL10; simply have a factory system cranking out SM +0 clones, using the prices from GURPS Bio-Tech (and if they are being assembled via nanotechnology, perhaps their brains are created with an already-trained template of memories and skills); another factory can churn out their equipment.

That is my take on the issue.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:16 PM   #26
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

The point here is completely missed by most of the posts.
The issue is for fabricators you need %40 of the items cost which is represented by money as the quantitative value. You can say mining equipment produces X tons of rock per hour all you like and it only helps replicators which convert mass and nan facs to a lesser extent as they reorganize elements you feed them. Without a quantitative value to the tonnage your collecting that X tons of rock could be pure rare metallic minerals or glorified sand. Running with the sand how many tones would you need to make a certain number of glass items? Easy answer, we don't know with out a value on the sand to make up the %40 of the finished product.

Also there's talk here about mining not being adventure worthy? It could be made as enjoyable as any other facet of a game by applying the same techniques that make anything else interesting for players.

Rule 1 Danger and difficulty = reward.
Make finding mother loads a "quest" involving a variety of skills rolls and dangers. All the easy non dangerous resources you don't have to travel far afield for are quickly taken advantage of by anyone who would want them for the same reasons as the players.
Navigate the hazards, claim the treasure whatever the treasure is. The hazards could run a huge range, from competition [hostile or friendly human to unknowable alien]. Natural hazards and threats [space debris/weather or space native lifeforms]. would avoiding rouge asteroids be any less fun or interesting then a thief making rolls to detect and avoid a trap in a dungeon? There's also more mundane complications like ship malfunctions, maybe even turning into a 3 hour mining tour for a change of pace. If players getting ultra rich is a concern... don't let them. There is alot of complication that keep prices what they are mining equipment/ship and repairs aren't cheap. The possibilities to get rich aren't any higher then with standard adventuring if anything they are lower unless abiding by rule 1 to be heroic and "more fun".
I see a potential for good gaming as much here as anywhere else and its limited only by the people you bring to the table and their ability to find enjoyment in other aspects or role playing/story building that doesn't require something being killed every 3 minutes.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:41 PM   #27
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

Is it so much to ask for a "generic asteroid loot" table possibly with some sort of considerations for prospecting, surveying or chemistry skills to work from? Or some way to assign some kind of value to these tons of material mining modules process....
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #28
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

Originally Posted by angellis atter View Post
Is it so much to ask for a "generic asteroid loot" table possibly with some sort of considerations for prospecting, surveying or chemistry skills to work from? Or some way to assign some kind of value to these tons of material mining modules process....
You could play the GDW classic Belter and add GURPS to it. :)
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:40 AM   #29
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

A random thought just struck me: Could we use the planet tables from GURPS Space and tweak them a bit to get the resources for an asteroid? I'm talking about the mineral wealth tables further on in the chapter.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:34 PM   #30
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Default Re: Spaceships 6: We Will Rock You

I don't know how the resource value modifier tables would help much, unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean in 'mineral wealth tables'.

I did do some thinking on this, and came up with a pretty decent way to get the resources for a C-type asteroid, at least. By using this table, you can figure out how much of each element a C-type asteroid might have. I came up with approximately 50% of the mass of a C-type asteroid is in industry-useable elements, with the other 50% being in volatiles (oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon). Using that table's figures, I came up with a figure of ~$2,000 per ton of industrial elements (volatiles are worth ~$250 per ton). If you then use that to produce parts in a factory modules, and then use those parts to build your end-product, you get something like this:

Build two 100 ton craft for $2,500,000 - ship costs $12,500 per ton. Using SM+10 modules.

First, 400 tons of ore is processed by mining modules - produce 200 tons and $400,000 of industrially-useful elements, 200 tons of volatiles (16 tons hydrogen, 175 tons oxygen, 8 tons carbon, 1 ton nitrogen)
200 tons of processed ore given to two factory modules - this $400,000 of ore is turned into $1,000,000 of parts
$1,000,000 of parts given to five factory modules to process - together, produce $2,500,000 of starships

Require 400 tons of ore to produce 200 tons of ship and 200 tons of useful volatiles (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen)

Requires seven factory modules and eight mining modules to produce five factory modules worth of stuff per time period.

A robofac is twice as fast as a fabricator, but it still needs the same amount of parts per finished product - double the number of mining modules required. With nanofacs, you don't need those two extra factory modules at the beginning - you can turn those 200 tons of processed ore straight into your starships. However, they're also twenty times faster than a fabricator - and mining modules don't increase in speed, so if your ships haven't gotten any more expensive, you'll need twenty-times as many mining modules per nanofac compared to a fabricator.

So, it'd go something like this:

Factory Type         # Min. Mods  # Fac Mods  SM+10 Prod/Hr  SM+10 Cost
Fabricator           8            7           $2,500,000     $3,580,000,000
Robofac              16           7           $5,000,000     $7,160,000,000
Nanofac              160          5           $50,000,000    $15,600,000,000
My figures for asteroid composition are rough - I rounded them a bit so that they fit neatly. Other than that, they should be good.

EDIT: Note that if your vehicle costs more than $12,500 per ton, you'll either need to put it through a few more turns on the fabricator or use more expensive ores than the stock $2,000/ton ones. Another round will get you up to $31,250 per ton, then $78,125 per ton, $195,312.5 per ton. The most expensive module is a fully-automated replicator for $20.02 million per ton, which would require sixteen turns on the fabricator to produce, multiplying the raw ore's value over 2,000,000 times over. Alternatively, a replicator might require primarily precious metals in its production, which according to Spaceships 2 might have values as high as $10,000,000 per ton by themselves. If you need large numbers of precious metals to produce a replicator, then you only need to run it through a fabricator maybe two times (one from processed ore to parts, one from parts to replicator).

Also note that Spaceships 2 gives a different value for the price of Industrial Metals than I derived from the asteroid composition chart - $6,000 per ton. Probably either assumes a higher cost for iron or less iron in the mixture.

Last edited by Langy; 03-22-2010 at 07:35 AM.
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