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Old 07-17-2016, 03:34 AM   #1
Tallor
 
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Default Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

I've been looking through Ultra-Tech and Campaigns, but I can't find any rules for microgravity and the bazillion medical issues that one can run into.

Zero-gravity of early space travel and low-gravity from asteroids, smaller planetoids is one thing, but what about "spin gravity" starships?

According to Spaceships, ships require a minimum SM+8 for spin gravity, and require a massive SM+14 to have a structure sturdy and large enough for full 1G gravity. I imagine that long travel--for instance, moving through "slow" hyperspace for a few months--could mess with someone's physiology.

Assuming hyperspace tech exists in this scenario but artificial gravity doesn't, perhaps most humans (especially the easily space-sickened) would prefer cryogenic freezing for long-term travel, avoiding most of the issues entirely. That's my hypothesis anyway.

What do you think?

PS. It's a bit late so I may have made some organizational errors.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:23 AM   #2
Celti
 
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

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Originally Posted by Tallor View Post
Assuming hyperspace tech exists in this scenario but artificial gravity doesn't, perhaps most humans (especially the easily space-sickened) would prefer cryogenic freezing for long-term travel, avoiding most of the issues entirely. That's my hypothesis anyway.
I've never liked the idea of freezing people keeping them healthier than alive and in a slightly-less-than-optimal environment. I've used a custom set of cryosleep rules based on a variety of inspirational sources (though I think predominately Niven and Pournelle's Heorot series) for any game where it mattered and was appropriate.

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Originally Posted by Celti
Entering or leaving cryosleep requires fifteen minutes and a Physician roll from the attendant; if no attendant is available, entering takes twice as long and the Physician roll is treated as an automatic failure. On revival, the subject must roll HT+4, at a -4 if one Physician roll was failed, or -8 if both were failed.

On a critical failure, the subject permanently loses 1d levels of IQ, takes 1d of injury, suffers from Confused (6) for 20-HT hours, and suffers from Confused (9) and Amnesia (Partial) for at least one week; roll weekly to recover. Even after recovery, the subject may still suffer from lingering memory loss and/or mental quirks (GM call; 3d-3 points of disadvantages is suggested).

A normal failure means the permanent loss of one level of IQ, one point of injury, and the recovery roll is daily, not weekly. Any lingering effects are minor (1d-1 points of disadvantages is suggested).

On a success, the subject takes one point of injury and suffers from Confused (9) for (20-HT)/2 hours; minor lingering effects only occur on a second failed HT roll.

A critical success means immediate recovery with no side-effects.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallor View Post
I've been looking through Ultra-Tech and Campaigns, but I can't find any rules for microgravity and the bazillion medical issues that one can run into.

Zero-gravity of early space travel and low-gravity from asteroids, smaller planetoids is one thing, but what about "spin gravity" starships?

According to Spaceships, ships require a minimum SM+8 for spin gravity, and require a massive SM+14 to have a structure sturdy and large enough for full 1G gravity. I imagine that long travel--for instance, moving through "slow" hyperspace for a few months--could mess with someone's physiology.

Assuming hyperspace tech exists in this scenario but artificial gravity doesn't, perhaps most humans (especially the easily space-sickened) would prefer cryogenic freezing for long-term travel, avoiding most of the issues entirely. That's my hypothesis anyway.

What do you think?

PS. It's a bit late so I may have made some organizational errors.
According to relativity, there is absolutely no measurable difference between acceleration and gravity, so there should be no health problems from a properly designed spin-gravity ship, provided the radius is big enough to avoid the "gravity" at your head being significantly lower than the gravity at your feet.

I think there are ways to do spin gravity on the cheap, including having a couple of exercise/recreation pods spinning around the main ship on long arms. Daily resistance training seems to help significantly against the long term effects of micro-gravity. Daily exercise in a 1-G environment would help even more.

I imagine that, even if most of the work and sleep were done in zero-G on board the main ship, but every crewman was required to do 1 hour of weight training and cardio in the 1G exercise pod and 2 hours of whatever they want in the 1G recreation pod, that would pretty much eliminate the health problems from micro-gravity.

The rotating arms could even be retracted in times when you need the ship to be smaller (docking with a space-station or flying through a star-gate, etc...).

The other traditional work around for gravity is to make the back the ship "the floor" and simply accelerate the ship at 1G, then turn around and decelerate at 1G until you reach your destination. Again, there's absolutely no difference between the subjective experience of acceleration and gravity, so this is a perfect model of being on a 1G planet--there would be no physiological side effects. The downside, however, is the absolutely ludicrous fuel usage that would be required.

Last edited by aesir23; 07-17-2016 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

I would suggest looking up Free Falling in Pyramid #3/85 - Cutting Edge. It covers everything you need to know about freefall and microgravity.

As far as spin gravity goes, the only noticeable effect is likely to be a slight difference in percieved gravity based on if you are walking spinward or antispinward that results from the coreolis effect. 3e pegged that at a -2 familiarity penalty (it didnt make the cut for Free Falling but it's still appropriate if you want some hard realism). Otherwise, it should suffice to prevent health issues.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

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Originally Posted by Celti View Post
I've never liked the idea of freezing people keeping them healthier than alive and in a slightly-less-than-optimal environment. I've used a custom set of cryosleep rules based on a variety of inspirational sources (though I think predominately Niven and Pournelle's Heorot series) for any game where it mattered and was appropriate.
Why not? Hibernating bears don't suffer the effects they or we would in microgravity over months. If real animals can avoid deterioration, then why can't hypothetical "cold sleep" tech allow humans to as well?
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

Transhuman Space solves the problem with bio-tech. The relevant rules for 4e are on p47-48 of Bio-Tech, and come out as a perk, "No degeneration in Zero-G", available at TL9 onwards.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

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Transhuman Space solves the problem with bio-tech. The relevant rules for 4e are on p47-48 of Bio-Tech, and come out as a perk, "No degeneration in Zero-G", available at TL9 onwards.
One tiny fix for a boat ton of unrelated medical problems really shoves everything under the rug. I don't consider it realistic or anything more than a slight nod to reality. But OP did mention hyperspace, so...

(Unrelated as in microgravity effects the skeletal, endocrine, circulatory, occular, olfaction, intestinal symbiotes, etc. systems)
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Why not? Hibernating bears don't suffer the effects they or we would in microgravity over months. If real animals can avoid deterioration, then why can't hypothetical "cold sleep" tech allow humans to as well?
Have we tested how hibernating bears deteriorate in microgravity? Regardless, hibernating bears aren't in cryogenic hibernation and do deteriorate over their winter, accumulating toxins and losing substantial fat and energy reserves and they're animals that evolved for such a state, with significant abilities for recycling and metabolic control. We haven't been able to reliably duplicate such a state in even pigs for more than a few hours without damage to the brain or other organs.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

Well, the only degeneration that we have a rule for is musculosceletal. Fixing that is definitely no more than a perk. And point costs are usually about drama, not about utility for race. I do not have an opinion how realistic is that fix at TL 9, but even if you have fixed every thing that goes wrong in microgravity, it should not cost more than 1 point. You may bump it to TL 11, you may consider it a radical species modification (increasing its $ cost), but on the character sheet it is no more than a perk.

Now about spin habitats - I am unable to find the source quickly, but I remember reading that even 0.3 G will remove most of the health problems associated with microgravity. So you may be able to use large, but not SM 14 ships and with non-modified crews.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: Microgravity -- Roll for Bodily Issues?

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Well, the only degeneration that we have a rule for is musculosceletal. Fixing that is definitely no more than a perk. And point costs are usually about drama, not about utility for race. I do not have an opinion how realistic is that fix at TL 9, but even if you have fixed every thing that goes wrong in microgravity, it should not cost more than 1 point. You may bump it to TL 11, you may consider it a radical species modification (increasing its $ cost), but on the character sheet it is no more than a perk.
We also have Cardiovascular Weakening, Spinal Stretching, and Inner Ear and Balance concerns covered. Fluid Shifts are even given a nod, too. See page 25 of Pyramid 3/85. The following page offers a less realistic but streamlined approach and the means by which to handle recovering once you return down the well.
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