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Old 09-04-2019, 05:50 PM   #51
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
OK, unless I've missed a post somewhere, I've only had one response to the question of which FTL drive is preferable, which is really not enough to get a consensus. I'd like more opinions to that, if anyone has them.
Well, if you care, I prefer spacetime warping, though would prefer rejustifying it to negative mass created by telekinesis or something. Either way, using jump based FTL would eventually be used to jump through space obstacles, and that hardly fits Trek.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:40 PM   #52
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

Alright, the answer seems to be something like spacetime warping (but we might revisit later the question of whether it should be based on teleportation). I edited the question post, because there was space for it, and also to save space in the ToC. I'm going to post a question that I should have asked earlier in a little bit (in fact, I probably should have asked it first). As I think I've mentioned elsewhere, I seem to have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life, so this is really not as organized as I'd like.

EDIT: To clarify, we had one person who wanted stutterwarp, one person who suggested that there should be multiple drives, mentioned the idea of stutterwarp and jump drive as non-psionic drives (which is outside the scope of this idea, since that would be non-psionic superscience), but didn't rule out other drive types, and one person who likes the idea of spacetime warping but thinks it shouldn't be teleportation based, and has a fairly reasonable argument against stutterwarp.

... and no-one likes the 'astral hyperdrive' concept.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:09 PM   #53
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

Antimatter and Technological Progression

I probably should have asked this earlier.

Antimatter-based power and weaponry are quite common in Star Trek, in large part because antimatter is probably the most efficient form of energy storage known to modern science (well, in theory - right now at TL8, manufacturing it is extremely inefficient, although some claim that a large part of that is because we're doing it with scientific instruments that also do other things, rather than with dedicated machines designed by engineers to just make antimatter efficiently). It's also rather dangerous in large amounts for that same reason, and rather difficult to store... at least currently. At later tech levels it may be quite easy to manufacture, and much safer to store for long periods. GURPS Ultra-Tech suggests that this should happen at TL11. A lot of Star Trek tech fits within TL11, so this isn't a huge problem. Of course, psychotronics could allow this at lower tech levels, but psychotronics in this setting have issues working without people being around, which may be considered a good reason not to use psychotronic antimatter storage (though psychotronic antimatter production is another matter). If we're using psychotronic fusion technology, this is much less of a problem - if a fusion reactor loses containment, I'm told that it tends to shut down, rather than explode like a 'Mech reactor in Stackpole's BattleTech books.

My current intention is to go with something between the Accelerated and Fast Technological Progression from GURPS Ultra-Tech p8, with TL9 starting in the early 2020s, TL10 being delayed by the Genetics Wars, getting a slower start some time after they end, and TL11 starting in the mid-22nd century, at which point antimatter manufacture becomes cheap enough to be really useful. Is this generally acceptable? If you have an idea that you like better, what is it?

EDIT: OK, it seems we're using natural psi-reactive crystals and specific 'mining' locations to produce enough anti-matter to make matter-antimatter annihilation viable as both a source of power and a warhead's physics package.
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Last edited by Prince Charon; 09-12-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:48 PM   #54
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

Antimatter possesses questionable utility unless you only store positrons, then it possesses equivalent utility to fusion. I would honestly have the 'antimatter' reactors actually being antimatter-catalyzed fusion reactors, which would offer similar efficiencies as antimatter reactors. They would only be as costly as fusion reactors though.

If you want to get really crazy though, use muon-catalyzed fusion reactors, which causes fusion to occur at near room temperature. While the science is a little funky, you can use antimatter to produce muons, which then can cause room temperature fusion. If done correctly, you do not even need large radiators, only the small ones used for life support. Of course, the engineering would be really complex...
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:28 PM   #55
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

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Antimatter possesses questionable utility unless you only store positrons, then it possesses equivalent utility to fusion. I would honestly have the 'antimatter' reactors actually being antimatter-catalyzed fusion reactors, which would offer similar efficiencies as antimatter reactors. They would only be as costly as fusion reactors though.

If you want to get really crazy though, use muon-catalyzed fusion reactors, which causes fusion to occur at near room temperature. While the science is a little funky, you can use antimatter to produce muons, which then can cause room temperature fusion. If done correctly, you do not even need large radiators, only the small ones used for life support. Of course, the engineering would be really complex...
It's my understanding that Star Trek uses the crystaline matrix of "dilithium" to contain and direct the antimatter reactions, with the reaction itself causing dilithium to destabilize (hence the need to replace the crystals until Spock figured out in ST4 how to regenerate the crystals using - ironically enough - gamma radiation from fission reactors). This made the crystals valuable enough to fight for mining rights on border worlds between the Federation and Klingon Empire.

Does Psi-Trek's own psychotronic antimatter tech require psionic-aligned crystals to control/contain the reactor?
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:10 AM   #56
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

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It's my understanding that Star Trek uses the crystaline matrix of "dilithium" to contain and direct the antimatter reactions, with the reaction itself causing dilithium to destabilize (hence the need to replace the crystals until Spock figured out in ST4 how to regenerate the crystals using - ironically enough - gamma radiation from fission reactors). This made the crystals valuable enough to fight for mining rights on border worlds between the Federation and Klingon Empire.

Does Psi-Trek's own psychotronic antimatter tech require psionic-aligned crystals to control/contain the reactor?
Possibly. I mean, if we're using antimatter-catalysed fusion or muon-catalysed fusion we probably don't need those... although a natural psi-crystal that is needed to manufacture useful amounts of antimatter efficiently could also have two lithium atoms in whatever complex molecule makes it up. Having one or more forms of MacGuffinite built into the setting could be very useful for the GM.

Incidentally, the Atomic Rockets website has a page on Antimatter Fuel, though by it's nature, it focuses on hard SF, while Psi Trek is by nature kind of rubbery (though probably less so than the average episode of most Star Trek series).

On the subject of radiators, there are enough other things that produce heat on spacecraft of the size that I'm imagining (or even much smaller) that I really thinking that we're going to have to assume that cryokinetic refrigeration is hyperefficient.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:29 AM   #57
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

One advantage of having psi technology is that you can transfer waste heat somewhere else. If nothing else, they could 'teleport' the heat away from the spacecraft.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:41 AM   #58
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

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One advantage of having psi technology is that you can transfer waste heat somewhere else. If nothing else, they could 'teleport' the heat away from the spacecraft.
I did something like that in Five Earths, but they do it by using small heat sinks, and teleporting them away when they get too hot.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:51 PM   #59
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

That does kind of bring back the concept of reaction mass if not fuel. Not everyone wants that for their superscience setting.
It is interesting and forces pit stops that would be otherwise hard to justify in setting.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:20 PM   #60
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Default Re: [Psionics] [Space] Psi Trek - Worldbuilding

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
EDIT: To clarify, we had one person who wanted stutterwarp, one person who suggested that there should be multiple drives, mentioned the idea of stutterwarp and jump drive as non-psionic drives (which is outside the scope of this idea, since that would be non-psionic superscience), but didn't rule out other drive types, and one person who likes the idea of spacetime warping but thinks it shouldn't be teleportation based, and has a fairly reasonable argument against stutterwarp.
I like the idea of psionic space warping based FTL. You may want to limit the warp drive's velocity near a star to make ambushing an entire planet harder.

I'm opposed to adding multiple FTL techs unless they have distinct strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, we won't be gaining anything from the added complexity.

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[A]nd no-one likes the 'astral hyperdrive' concept.
I'm fine with ships traveling through hyperspace. Ships traveling through an alternate dimension provides a plausible excuse for why starships have no signature that is detectable by present day tech. Hyperspace might even have "faster routes" and "space weather" a la Psi Wars.

In Star Trek, FTL is not a safe haven for a ship. Ships routinely engage each other at FTL. They also follow each other into FTL. I'd probably resolve this the same way that Stargate did. Ships can follow and engage an enemy ship if they entered hyperspace fast enough. Otherwise you would lose too much ground to catch up.
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