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Old 05-20-2019, 05:05 PM   #11
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Can a Scout ship have only one station in the bridge?

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
If we can build ships that need only one crew station to run the ship (aka bridge), then every dTon of space we can save for use with transporting freight/cargo helps.
This shifts the point from scouts to commercial freighters, which have considerably different design requirements.

The key point is that if you design a ship with one crew station, you're forever condemning it to _only_ be operated by one crewman, no matter what the mission. That's not the same thing as designing a ship to be able to be operated by one person, either expected occasionally (as with scouts) or in an emergency, but also to be able to be operated by more (as those scouts will also be intended to operate).

I'm also taking about the base design of ship classes. If the PCs with one old tramp freighter really want to rip out their bridge and replace it to get an extra ton of cargo space (for entirely licit and above-board purposes, of course; I know how troublesome these old ships can be...), that's possible. But that doesn't mean the Beowulfs and Empress Maravas would have been designed that way. For commercial operations, given the skill penalties mentioned upthread, there may well be Imperial regulations requiring proper crew stations for the required crew for safe and effective operation. Shipping lines might also require that -- why have unhappy crew, or worse, damaged or lost ships because you wanted an extra ton of space? Then there's the operational requirements -- a starport is going to have means to load and unload reasonably standard-sized cargo containers, and an extra 14 cubic meters worth of cubbyhole in a corner somewhere separate from the main cargo hold is going to mean unpacking crates and shifting cargo by hand.

The extra space would be a lot more useful for crew possessions than cargo space, because it's unlikely to conveniently make the actual hold bigger in a useful way.

I remember X-boats as having one crew, most likely from the CT era. But I won't dispute ak_aramis when it comes to Traveller details, at least not without heading down to the basement to dig through my LBBs. If it's two -- well, one less reason to have a ship class designed with only one crew workstation, even as niche as that is.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:39 PM   #12
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Can a Scout ship have only one station in the bridge?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post

The extra space would be a lot more useful for crew possessions than cargo space, because it's unlikely to conveniently make the actual hold bigger in a useful way.
The thing to remember with respect to "modular design" is that things are not all together in one spot (with the exception of Turrets that is).

that having been said - when you use a bridge module, and then remove 4 workstations from it as part of the ship design - you're not pulling out 14 cubic meters (or 500 cubic feet) from one area - you're simply designing your bridge to be 500 cubic feet smaller, leaving you those 500 cubic feet to be filled with something else - somewhere else.

The other thing to keep in the back of your mind is the RVO software that is capable of being used in lieu of actual crew members. A bridge should be manned during all hours of operation - but if you need to, you can use an RVO program to stand in for that bridge watch.

Again, much of this stems on the fact that GURPS TRAVELLER is not entirely the same as Classic Traveller or anything else for that matter. The rule in CT about losing one level of skill when handling multiple responsibilities - doesn't exist within GURPS. Even so, having an Engineer/Pilot/Navigator aboard a ship in CT would result in his skills being lowered to Skill-0 if all the character had was Engineer-1, Pilot-1, and Navigation-1. CT treats a skill-0 as being meaningful (no penalties for not having at least a skill 0, whereas no skill at all was a problem much like working by default in GURPS.)

In the end? If a 100 dTon hull is designed from the start, to be handled by one crew member - then it doesn't need 5 crew stations (standard for a bridge), nor does the ship require 3 work stations (standard for a compact bridge). A double compact bridge would be only 1 work station.

Such a ship, to put this in Star Trek terms, would be the one that Harry Mudd or Cyrano Jones used.

Can a single person circumnavigate the world via a sail boat? Sure. It is always better to have more people on hand in case something goes wrong. <shrug>
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:48 AM   #13
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Can a Scout ship have only one station in the bridge?

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
The rule in CT about losing one level of skill when handling multiple responsibilities - doesn't exist within GURPS.
Such rules exist -- they're just basic rules, not specific only to starship operation.

Having "no equipment" gives a -10 to technological skills, or even makes them impossible at GM's option. I'd think a crew station with all the controls for the ship would be important equipment for starship crew.

If you're doing two jobs, then you're doing each of them in half the normal time. Per B346, that's a -5 penalty for 50% haste. Three jobs would be 70% haste, so -7.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:23 PM   #14
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Can a Scout ship have only one station in the bridge?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Such rules exist -- they're just basic rules, not specific only to starship operation.

Having "no equipment" gives a -10 to technological skills, or even makes them impossible at GM's option. I'd think a crew station with all the controls for the ship would be important equipment for starship crew.

If you're doing two jobs, then you're doing each of them in half the normal time. Per B346, that's a -5 penalty for 50% haste. Three jobs would be 70% haste, so -7.
Color me skeptical.

GURPS 3e rules were what GURPS TRAVELLER was designed for - not 4e. In addition, GURPS TRAVELLER: STARSHIPS specifically include RVO as a means for having a bridge crew operate short handed.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:14 PM   #15
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Can a Scout ship have only one station in the bridge?

The 3e and 4e skill systems aren't that different. Unless you're just playing the game of rules citations for their own sake, I'd expect the modifiers to be compatible. But feel free to dig up the 3e equivalents of those rules. I still have my 3e Basic down in the basement somewhere, but not terribly handy. Nor as easily searchable as my 4e PDFs :)
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:58 PM   #16
Mike Wightman
 
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Default Re: Can a Scout ship have only one station in the bridge?

You don't need to worry about a skill deficit.

The ship itself can provide the skills the lone crew member lacks - read the quote from Traders and Gunboats again...
Quote:
Ship can function automatically without any crew.
As Hal points out the x boat is effectively a robot with some human oversight.

Last edited by Mike Wightman; 05-21-2019 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:05 PM   #17
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Can a Scout ship have only one station in the bridge?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The 3e and 4e skill systems aren't that different. Unless you're just playing the game of rules citations for their own sake, I'd expect the modifiers to be compatible. But feel free to dig up the 3e equivalents of those rules. I still have my 3e Basic down in the basement somewhere, but not terribly handy. Nor as easily searchable as my 4e PDFs :)
When you cite a rules set that was not in use prior, it sort of makes sense that the rules for a new edition may not be the same as for the earlier edition. ;)

And - the PDF for the third edition is there (I picked up both compendiums and the main rule book for just that reason.)

In any event, the specific rule in GURPS TRAVELLER is on page 171 under the heading of Crew Positions and Skill rolls:

"Crew Positions and Skill Rolls Smaller vessels often have the same crewman performing multiple roles. If a crew member is filling multiple positions during a particular space combat round, he will suffer a -2 penalty on all skill rolls for each extra task he is performing.
Actions counted as tasks are: piloting; fire of one weapon or set of linked identical weapons (except sandcasters) at the same target; controlling one missile or a salvo; acting as a sensor operator; damage control; complex communications... (
"

Note, this does NOT include long term actions so much as short term actions in which multiple things are being done at the same time. The penalty, if any, may very well be that the "Maintenance" isn't be handled, or that at any given time, the skill set necessary for activity may not be needed 100% of the time, thereby allowing a single person to wear multiple hats during the time period in question.

It is not uncommon for a Purser to also have EMT training so they can handle the needs of decanting passengers from low berth - or even for handling medical needs despite not being a full fledged doctor. You don't see the Purser suffering a -2 penalty to either of their duties no?

In the end, you're always entitled to rule as you see fit for your campaign - and like you, I do use 4e with GURPS TRAVELLER (sans the 4e Tech tree or the GURPS INTERSTELLAR WARS ship building rules etc). I use the basic frame of rules - but with GURPS VEHICLES 2nd edition rules for all other things (including for the most part, computers).
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