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Agemegos 12-11-2020 07:54 PM

Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF
I've started work on a compendium of brief world descriptions for FLAT BLACK, with the working title "Forty Exotic Worlds". The contents might be of use in other interstellar-SF settings.

The plan now is to try to make them rather shorter than I previously intended, so the scope has to be restricted and the format condensed. Here is a draft entry for Tau Ceti in the form of a two-page PDF. If you think there is something missing from that scope, or feel strongly that something is superfluous, I would be grateful for helpful criticism. Can you read that format comfortably? Is the type large enough?

This is probably not the best place to discuss content, i.e. the particulars of Tau Ceti.

Agemegos 01-19-2021 06:49 PM

Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF
One of the people who gives me substantial feedback on the draft is pressing me to adopt a consistent use of units in the tabbed data at the beginning of those world-description entries. And no-body else is pushing back.

Doing that would involve deleting the figures for diameter, gravity, and year length in D♁, g♁, and a♁, giving barometric pressure and partial pressure of oxygen in kPa instead of bar, and giving illuminance in klx instead of a percentage of Earth’s. Then I would have to teach in the key that Earth’s diameter is 12 742 km, its gravity 9.8 m/s˛, its atmospheric pressure 101.3 kPa, its ppO₂ 21 kPa (and the breathable limits about 11 kPa to 40 kPa), and its solar illuminance at the top of the atmosphere 128 klx.

How much squeaking would that elicit from players used to US customary units and to operating SCUBA gear in bar?

Pomphis 01-20-2021 01:44 PM

Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF
I am all in favor of consistent units. While using metric in RL, I have a slight preference for US units in gaming material as a result of almost exclusively playing GURPS. But I don´t really care, switching isn´t that difficult.

LokRobster 01-24-2021 09:23 PM

Re: Scope and format of world data sheets in SF
I for one use metric for “sciencey” and mechanical stuff (car repair) and regular US units for life in general. Grew up in Texas but have been tinkering on VWs and Hondas since high school and work on Japanese-made semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Use a 12mm wrench and add a quart of oil, 2.3 liter engine with 220 horsepower, water in my machines flows at 40 L/min with the bath at 20.1C, but it’s 52F outside... it’s all a mix of US and metric now for me, and same for quite a few others.

Planetary data is definitely Science enough to go full in. kPa and m/sec and km all work for what you’re doing, I think. It’s easy enough to convert if really necessary, and metric makes it more future/space SF in tone and feel.

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