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Old 02-21-2016, 12:08 AM   #21
benz72
 
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
And I think we can live with double questions too, we're all grown ups here. Except, Benz- what's a "rutter program"?
A rutter is a description of how to get somewhere. THink of it as navigaitonal instructions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutter_(nautical)
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:48 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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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.

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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-
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How is policing the common laws handled? Organised force? Contractors? Something else?
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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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Old 02-21-2016, 01:03 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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And calculation of your route should be easy enough- just point and shoot, right?-
Probably not. It's not like you are travelling through real space.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:26 AM   #24
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Meta
Mainly

The finding your exact position before jumping seemed to fit with the whole long range jump equals inaccurate jump exit. My internal logic is loosely a microscopic inaccuracy at the start equals many lightyears of inaccuracy at the other end.

Two things related to the subject
- jump gates / navigation points are just very accurate sign posts to your location enabling people who use them to get a good first jump. This relates back to the harshness of the navigation system. A good first jump might reduce the number of jumps in a journey by 1. This is the main reason I included it as it can be used to explain the trade lanes and jump points. However I was writing on my phone and was too brief as a result.

-It also adds an easily explained aspect to jump tech. So you can have better understood technobabble.

Edit
Possible reason to avoid jumping into a "dark area" of space. Some locations do not have standard "land marks" in "view" so determining the exact location is harder.

Edit the second
Some ships have a second bank of capacitors to allow quicker turn around between jumps. but less space for cargo/weapons etc
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Last edited by (E); 02-21-2016 at 03:37 AM. Reason: More ideas.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:08 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

Here's a proposal for jump mechanics, maybe not better, but I finished them before the (E) posted theirs:
To make a jump, first decide how far you want to jump, adding the speed/range penalty from speed/range table, reading yards as light years. The decide how much error you want, adding a bonus from the size column on the speed/range table, reading yards as light years, and treating -5 as negligible (i.e. If I want to travel 150 ly70 ly, the net penalty is -2). Then roll against navigation; success travels the distance in direction intended, then error randomly; critical success reduces error by one level (i.e. 70 ly to 50 ly); failure travels a negligible distance; and critical failure damages the red-drive or something else bad. Note very short jumps are just as difficult as 2 ly jumps, and any jump with error equal to goal distance is pointless. Taking 5 jumps to cross the galaxy, with a +7 modifier separate from range modifiers, it will take 9 jumps to cross the galaxy, excluding any possible failures.
Time to plot a jump is 2 hours for +0, and time spend bonuses/penalties apply as normal (Most take 15 or 30 times for precision). Capacitors need to be charged for quadruple their time constant (generally 10 minutes) between each jump; however, they can be recharged while plotting the next jump, so it is generally irrelevant unless there is a failure to jump in a desperate circumstance. Jumps can be attempted with under charged capacitors, but have a Malf of 16 for triple time constant and 12 for double time constant. Equipment modifiers certainly apply, red-drives are +0, +1, +2, +4 for basic, fine, very fine, and best respectively, they also receive a +1 for every TL after TL9 the drive is. I'll handle star charts with the next question.

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?
Not so much "secret" but mildly obscure are the Dirk-Scales equations, which when provided with some very sensitive measurements can simplify astrogation equations significantly (+2), for certain positions and distances (i.e. 3 AU from Sol, 2.7 AU from Jupiter, travelling 27 ly). Databases of these points are offered for sale. There are more advanced equations that can provide more favorable conditions (up to +5), but these are either deliberately suppressed or incredibly obscure. Some points vioare unpublished, usually by free traders that search for their own points. Not all free traders do this, usually because the instruments are very expensive. Some solar systems are so filled with these points that they become important centers of trade regardless of the planets available in the system.

Question: How is policing common laws handled?
Interstellar law is generally enforced by the closest government be it planetary, system-wide, or interstellar. When a free-trader is fried by the Van Allen belts, Earth comes to aid. When its flare star begins acting up, Alpha Centauri posts warnings. When the nebular pirates massacre a passenger ship, the CyKoi Coalition organizes a punitive expedition. The acceptance of interstellar law is kept in check by the ostracization of rogue governments, severity depending on how sharp a break is made. Minor violations like lack of rescue services and poorly maintained spaceports lead to embargoes, led by shipping companies and free traders, even if no government presses for them. Grievous violations like funding of piracy most certainly lead to sanctions and other diplomatic pressures, usually leading to punitive expeditions.
And another race:
The CyKoi are a humanoid race, who look very much like humans with a few exceptions. Their nose, while in the same place, is completely flat with slits at the bottom. Their skin is turquoise, their faces narrow, and on average 50% taller.
CyKoi civilization is extremely slow to develop technology because their traditionalism delays adoption of new technology. They have only recently reached the TL of majority of the galaxy, despite having begun colonizing other solar systems with generation ships since the early 1900s. This is not because of some aversion to technology, but because they are heavily inclined to work with proven technology instead of the bleeding-edge.
Due to the long time they have spent in interstellar space, they are among the most centralized of all of the spacefaring species. This centralization makes them a very dangerous enemy.
Traders should be advised that CyKoi traditionalism demands precise rituals for every social interaction. For example, when purchasing rare minerals, the purchaser should offer beverage before appetizers, serve weak alcoholic drinks, serve only poultry for meats, address them as a superior laborer, not to talk about personal lives, and offer 80% fair price. Failure to follow ritual can lead to confusion on who is selling, what is being sold, cause insults, and accidental marriage proposals.

Question: Are there faster than light communications? If so, are they limited?
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:28 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Like a kind of nautical almanac.
Not really. An nautical almanac consists of tables of positions and times for celestial bodies that you can use for navigation anywhere on the right world. The spacing-going equivalent might be the real-space positions of pulsars and similar distinctive objects so that you can work out where you are.

A nautical rutter is a set of instructions: "Start from X, proceed magnetic North until the headland with three trees on it bears East-South-East, then turn East until the sea shallows to five fathoms with mud and shells on the bottom..." It was a product of a more primitive age of navigation.

A rutter for space navigation would presumably describe a route that was difficult and/or secret, somewhere where you don't want anyone with the rutter to just know the position of the target, or where there are major obstacles to avoid.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:51 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

A rutter would also include a map that is distorted to exaggerate key points for when information was needed most.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:33 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

I think I meant to say that a rutter is like a nautical almanac in that it's a handy little book that sailors would probably carry around in the days before search engines, but the education has been edifying.


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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
And another race:
The CyKoi are a humanoid race, who look very much like humans with a few exceptions. Their nose, while in the same place, is completely flat with slits at the bottom. Their skin is turquoise, their faces narrow, and on average 50% taller.
The first humanoid race, nicely done.
Races tally:
Humanoids- 1/3, 2 left
Non-humes- 5/9, 4 left


Quote:
Question: Are there faster than light communications? If so, are they limited?
Answer:
FTL Communication

Even if it were possible to send a point-to-point comm beam through a jump hole, the fact that there's no way to predict where it comes out the other end precludes it from having any practical use. Therefore, messages essentially have to be carried by hand. (BTW- This is one of the conditions that seems necessary for a free trader setting to work, according to here, so it's lucky that it's come out.)

Now in this tech age, that means computerised data servers carried on jumpships which connect with planetside or station-based servers when they're within broadband range. It means that messages only go as far as they've been paid to go, which means they go nowhere for free. It means that most jumpships have a data server to make some extra cash on each jump. It means that empty data storage, like empty cargo space, makes no money, so traders will fill up their servers with cheap entertainment that they can try to sell off along their trade route. And it means that small star systems that are off the major trade routes will be somewhat disconnected from communication with the rest of the galaxy, unless they can contract a vessel to make daily runs to a local data hub.

More civilised areas are serviced by highly organised, specialised network data carrier jumpships, and there are almost as many variations on how they handle that as there are networks.

One of the pre-eminent examples is the Durras Cluster Postal Union, which serves the 180 odd star systems of this open stellar cluster. They have a large fleet of light and medium freighters doing the rounds of the cluster on an almost incomprehensibly complex schedule, but it means that stock orders, share market indexes, corporate correspondence, the news- the lifeblood of commerce- never take more than a day to reach their recipients.

As an interesting aside for budding free traders, ex-DuPo freighters are often available cheap at auction too, especially second or third hand. The union regularly cycle old cruising stock out of the fleet, which is why you shouldn't be surprised to see the familiar blocky outline of a Durrant Freefaller in the neighbouring berth on a spacering halfway round the galactic disk.

Question:
Which mainly human polity does everyone else consider to be bad guys? What have they done, or what do they want to do, to deserve this dark reputation? And is the reputation actually justified or are they just misunderstood?


And I'm going to cheat with an...
Auxiliary Question:
What year is it?
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:01 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

In the millennium or so since humans started exploring space there have been hundreds if not thousands of technologies and technological applications that have been deemed illegal. The list includes but is by no means limited to certain genetic engineering boundaries,some types of neural implants and A.I.s past defined limits.

The people and groups who flout these laws are called Divergers. The fact that what they do is illegal binds them together and they have a loose coalition for self defence.

The largest faction within the Divergers is the genetically engineered and Simbiote using population of the Galadriel system.

Some Divergers are little more than brutal pirates while at the other end of the spectrum there are otherwise normal people who are ostracized for having illegal genetics.

Question
The binary worlds of Harsh and Penelope are in the Galadriel system, what makes this free port so popular with traders and tourists.
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Last edited by (E); 02-22-2016 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:56 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

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Question
The binary worlds of Harsh and Penelope are in the Galadriel system, what makes this free port so popular with traders and tourists.
The popularity of the binary worlds stems from two factors their location and their mode of governance.

The binary worlds lie on the edge primary sphere of human settlement on the preferred low to medium jump route between Earth and the Kanagowa Group of interspecies colonies. The Binaries serve as a convenient layover point and a useful rendezvous for trade between the 'Primaries' and Kanagowa.

This convenient position is reinforced by the presence of the Elysians a, comparatively, conservative diverger faction who hold a de facto hegemony over this balkanised system. Despite the perceived risks of dealing with divergers the Elysian Cyberacracy maintains a reputation for honest and efficient government. Combined with low tariffs and the carefully cultivated atmosphere of 'safe sleaze' this reputation has made the Binaries a popular port of call.

Another precursor artefact:

Fetch, Fetches are relatively common artefact that have been found on (strictly speaking in orbit around) a number of worlds dispersed over small but non-trivial fraction of the galaxy there primary claim to fame is the number that have been found in more or less working order. Based upon detailed study of defunct or quiescent Fetches they appear to have started life as miniaturised automated data carriers although the working specimens often appear to serve other purposes sometimes collecting data on behalf of unknown parties or broadcasting garbage signals. Even those that can be coaxed into serving their designed function frequently exhibit strange behaviour taking unexplained detours, garbling or even allegedly altering messages.

The physical appearance of Fetches is somewhat variable faceted spheres, cylinders and teardrops have all been reported. Whatever their shape the Fetch is between three and five meters in length with a seamless hull of grey-white ceramic. The operating principles of the miniaturised power and jump systems are poorly understood and have long resisted duplication. Attempts to understand the control system have enjoyed slightly more success from studies of wrecked Fetches and the small number of co-opted specimens it appears the control systems are relatively sophisticated (non-volitional) AI's following a complex but poorly understood instruction set. The last intriguing feature of the Fetches is their age, the 'Fetch Builder' civilisation appears to have been almost implausibly long lived, tentative dates for finds cover a range of several hundred thousand years.

Q: Is civilisation limited to habitable planets? Are there large habitats either in free space or on uninhabitable planets?

Last edited by Frost; 02-21-2016 at 08:19 PM.
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