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Old 04-18-2021, 08:10 AM   #11
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Space Exploration Worldbuilding

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Regarding combat, but I have to be very careful because GURPS is already somewhat dangerous and people use coilguns on each other. Whatever the 'threat' is it has to be potentially survivable and allow players to use their talents or call in help so that it's a fight and not just a test of who can hit first and annihilate their target.
The 'trick' with small arms is to make them do no more damage than modern guns (so about 2-3d for a pistol and 5-7d for a rifle) and to instead show their improved performance in improved penetration modifiers. The gauss rifles and lasers in Ultra-Techa good example of this. The other thing is (and here is where the UT guns are too good) is to not increase accuracy too much. The laser rifle in UT is stunningly good because of the combination Acc12 and RoF 10, its low recoil, and reasonable damage. Even the gauss rifle is good in skilled hands (in less skilled hands the pi- damage makes it less than great), and in fact it's probably about what you want in a gun for your game - unskilled people probably won't outright kill PCs with it, but a skilled shooter (like a PC who's a professional combatant probably is) can do great things with it.
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:27 AM   #12
Tiger
 
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Default Re: Space Exploration Worldbuilding

I'm going to be custom designing much of the tech based on my own calculations and pet design ideas - UT is a reference but not a shopping list for PCs. The Pyramid articles for designing Cutting Edge and UT armor, as well as the one for designing blasters and lasers, will be used extensively.

I appreciate the advice on jump drives. However one thing that stops me from using it is my desire to have travel be extremely long rang and somewhat discontiguous. If I could figure out a rationale for why only some jump points are known or valid I'd be down for it. For example: - maybe there's a set of viable jumps from any given system, like the lagrange points or electron orbits, and these could lead almost anywhere. Trying to jump 'between' these points either sends you to one of the valid points or kills you. Likewise, calculating a jump could require planetary Super computers so ships can't try jumping on the fly - at least not safely. They need specific precalculated navigation data that only these computers can provide. Every system has different valid bands. But again this is basically just wormholes renamed.

I'd also appreciate some advice on psionics. I have Powers, Supers, the Psionic Campaigns and Psis books plus the Pyramid issue Psis II currently and I've looked through them all. But I would like to try to keep psi somewhat more 'realistic' or controlled. Telekinesis in particular screams to allow reactionless drives which I don't want to do. I'm not necessarily opposed to powerful Psis but i don't want what they do to be obviously magic. Telepathy, for example, should be limited by light speed and compatible brains. So I'm going to have too modify some of the powers. Most of them would be more plausible if confined to physical contact, since then it can be explained by physiology and the nervous system utilizing some bodily energy. But lifting two tons at a hundred feet without burning yourself alive sith waste heat seems very dubious from a physics perspective.

Last edited by Tiger; 04-18-2021 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:00 AM   #13
RogerBW
 
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Default Re: Space Exploration Worldbuilding

Well, as everyone's said, work out what you want the FTL drive to do, then come up with the justification for it. It's not as though we had any actually plausible methods of achieving it that you had to work round.

As for psi, this is mostly a special effect rather than a formal rules definition. Taking reaction into account is always good: the TK who lifts half a ton puts half a ton of load through their legs.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:34 PM   #14
khorboth
 
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Default Re: Space Exploration Worldbuilding

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I appreciate the advice on jump drives. However one thing that stops me from using it is my desire to have travel be extremely long rang and somewhat discontiguous. If I could figure out a rationale for why only some jump points are known or valid I'd be down for it. For example: - maybe there's a set of viable jumps from any given system, like the lagrange points or electron orbits, and these could lead almost anywhere. Trying to jump 'between' these points either sends you to one of the valid points or kills you. Likewise, calculating a jump could require planetary Super computers so ships can't try jumping on the fly - at least not safely. They need specific precalculated navigation data that only these computers can provide. Every system has different valid bands. But again this is basically just wormholes renamed
What if jump points are one-way affairs? Make them relatively easy to calculate from point-of-origin, but impossible from another system.

Then, you have some well-known routes. They're established, safe circles. Some great ones are even bi-directional or even a three-system loop.

Then, there are some places where scouts or automated probes have jumped out but never returned. Did they run into hostiles? Suffer a malfunction? Keep exploring for decades? or... What? If each system has 2-4 jump destinations, then it's very likely you'll eventually find your way home. But there will still be some places which haven't been explored because the access junctions have problems of one kind or another.

Brave explorers are needed to go map these routes. Sketchy folk sell supposed "maps" to systems which are off the typically traveled trade routes. Perhaps garnered from those aliens which don't communicate so well with others. Or perhaps they claim to have made the harrowing journey once themselves.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:14 PM   #15
Tiger
 
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I've been writing a lot of stuff since I last posted. I ended up going with randomly located wormholes. The Sol civilization texh level is about 10, with fusion being fairly new. There are almost 400 billion people in the Sol system, which is not a lot considering it's 3820. There are literally millions of quasi government social institutions which overlap in a seemingly chaotic but surprisingly functional manner.

The wormhole travel method was discovered 120 years ago, and people living around Saturn to Uranus (called the Mountain due to its position in the system's gravity well) managed to form a combine with a quasi-military force to concentrate development and exploration. There are about 60 vaguely mapped core systems with infrastructure and/or commercial value, with roughly 500 more believed to be connected to a network (these systems were drone examined only).

I went through the David Weber/Chris Weuve Astromilitary building process on Atomic Rockets, developing a Singularity Survey Service which is the primary exploratory organization. It has about 4.4 trillions (in GURPS dollars) yearly budget, and I have s breakdown of that into various maintenance and construction activities, plus R&D and missions.

Having they background I created the first system (the 3Body System) which ended up with three stars, two planetary groups, lots of gas giants and ice moons plus one jungle garden world. This latter has an orbit of 56 hours facing each side.

Local life is occasionally sessile and made of a carbon-Silicon matrix with temperature change and water playing a major role in biological processes.

I created the intelligent locals, Squeals, who are square shaped 3300lb creatures dwelling on the broad banks of deep rivers. About TL2, though more 0+2 given their planet and the types of life on it. Squeals use woven mineral fabrics. They're a water-based lifeform, a kind of mineralized jelly that forms hard carbon spines around itself by electrochemical processes. They have developed agriculture and live in hives which raise only one offspring at a time from egg to adulthood (they reproduce with two sexes). Over the past few thousand years a tribal structure of related or allied hives has grown to help defend the long waterways and their crops. They're not really mobile on land and use gills, so 'Hydraulic Empires' in the literal sense are growing up among these canals and rivers.
They're also compulsively playful, curious and congenial. They've got poor eyesight but ultrasonic sonar and discriminatory taste, their main means of communication is sonar.

20 years ago a mining colony outpost was set up near what was a Squeal frontier base. This base,the Tiger Cage, is focused on infrastructure and basic study of resource locations, native threats, etc. Most of the native life is so drastically different that it's sometimes unaware of the humans around it and Tiger Cage has found plastic and concrete is reasonably effective for keeping out potentially troublesome pet rocks.

Humans have barely noticed the Squeals and generally don't consider them sentient, but the Squeals have noticed them. They are also starting to resent having their fields torn up so humans can run fission electrolysis plants along the Great Valley. Aside from having some stuff stolen near the river the humans don't suspect the Squeals are at all interested in them.

The characters are on the crew of one of the newest Survey frontier vessels, SM +12 with both a fusion rocket and Orion drive, which is to survey both planetary systems and check in with the outpost (who expect the rest of the colonists within two years).

The Posthumans, genetically engineered slowboat cyborgs, have hidden devices to spy on the system and want to domesticate squeals as underwater mechanics.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:40 PM   #16
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Space Exploration Worldbuilding

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square shaped 3300lb creatures... a kind of mineralized jelly
So, they're cubes. And they're gelatinous.

Is this going to be a stand-up fight, sir, or another bug hunt dungeon crawl?
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:56 PM   #17
Tiger
 
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Default Re: Space Exploration Worldbuilding

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So, they're cubes. And they're gelatinous.

Is this going to be a stand-up fight, sir, or another bug hunt dungeon crawl?
Unless the PCs get extremely trigger happy they shouldn't end up fighting the Squeals. More the Posthuman robot forces. Squeals have somr cool biological traits but are no match for TL10 gauss cannons.
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Old 04-24-2021, 02:09 PM   #18
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Space Exploration Worldbuilding

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I ended up going with randomly located wormholes.
Presumably not randomly distributed in space as a whole? If so, just about all of them would be in interstellar space. Random within star systems? Within system planes?
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