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Old 08-11-2021, 12:31 PM   #31
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Spaceship Tech in your Setting

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Originally Posted by cvannrederode View Post
I
The superscience available: Artificial Gravity, Rotary Reactionless Drives, and Hyperdrives. A.
You don't mention contragravity lift. Do you include that in "Artificial Gravity" or are real starships orbital only with some sort of HEDM shuttle or aomething like that?
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Old 08-11-2021, 12:51 PM   #32
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Default Re: Spaceship Tech in your Setting

Oh, another thing I like for spaceship drives: warp drives function even at low altitudes, but they have a speed that is inversely dependent on the local gravitational field. A drive that can reach 100 m/s near Earth (G=10m/s^2) can reach 170 km/s in stellar orbit at 1 AU (G=5.9e-3 m/s) and more than 30c in deep space (G=1e-10m/s). This guarantees that most travel time is spent in relatively interesting locations (it works out that time to escape is linear in gravitational potential and can be computed as (speed at current distance) * (distance to center of object)).
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Old 08-11-2021, 01:14 PM   #33
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Default Re: Spaceship Tech in your Setting

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Oh, another thing I like for spaceship drives: warp drives function even at low altitudes, but they have a speed that is inversely dependent on the local gravitational field. A drive that can reach 100 m/s near Earth (G=10m/s^2) can reach 170 km/s in stellar orbit at 1 AU (G=5.9e-3 m/s) and more than 30c in deep space (G=1e-10m/s). This guarantees that most travel time is spent in relatively interesting locations (it works out that time to escape is linear in gravitational potential and can be computed as (speed at current distance) * (distance to center of object)).
The reactionless drives in my Harpyias setting function somewhat-similarly, although there it's simply dependent on distance from the system's star rather than any gravitational interactions. Each of the setting's Aetheric Stars (those that hyperspace travel can travel between, and thus the only ones the PC's would ever be visiting) have 12 orbits of note - one each at one each at 0.25 AU, 0.41 AU, 0.67 AU, 1.11 AU, 1.84 AU, 3 AU, 5 AU, 8.25 AU, 13.6 AU, 22.45 AU, 37 AU, and finally 61.15 AU. The first 11 typically have something in them - a planet or asteroid field - while the last is where ships are able to transition into and out of hyperspace. The further you get from the central star, the faster the ship goes, such that a typical vessel takes around 1 day to travel between two orbits (regardless of if this is the "short" 0.16 AU jaunt between the first two orbits or the 24.15 AU expanse between the last two).
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:24 PM   #34
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Spaceship Tech in your Setting

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Oand more than 30c in deep space (G=1e-10m/s). T
30c isn't very fast. That works out to 1 ly every 12 days or a bit more than 50 days to Alpha Centauri.

I've seen calculations that put the average distance to stars with Earth-like planets at 200 ly. That's 6.5 years with your drive.
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Old 08-11-2021, 09:10 PM   #35
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Default Re: Spaceship Tech in your Setting

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Oh, another thing I like for spaceship drives: warp drives function even at low altitudes, but they have a speed that is inversely dependent on the local gravitational field. A drive that can reach 100 m/s near Earth (G=10m/s^2) can reach 170 km/s in stellar orbit at 1 AU (G=5.9e-3 m/s) and more than 30c in deep space (G=1e-10m/s). This guarantees that most travel time is spent in relatively interesting locations (it works out that time to escape is linear in gravitational potential and can be computed as (speed at current distance) * (distance to center of object)).
Great concept, but, like Fred said, that scale still gives a very long travel time.
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Old 08-11-2021, 09:30 PM   #36
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30c isn't very fast. That works out to 1 ly every 12 days or a bit more than 50 days to Alpha Centauri.
That's a deliberately slow example. It also takes 18 hours to escape Earth and more than a week for solar escape.
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Old 08-11-2021, 10:18 PM   #37
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That's a deliberately slow example. It also takes 18 hours to escape Earth and more than a week for solar escape.
In terms of interstelar travel Alpha Centauri is as quick as it gets. There might even be a reason to go there. Alpha Centauri a+b are both the right sort of stars to produce an Earth-like planet.

There is very little reason to go just to the heliopause.
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Old 08-11-2021, 10:47 PM   #38
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For my space opera setting:

Faster-than-Light Drives and Communications
Faster-than-light travel consists of shunting the craft into a sidereal aspect of the universe commonly known as hyperspace. Hyperspace exists alongside "RealSpace" in a manner that is best modeled using the analogy of an onion. RealSpace is the "skin" of the onion, with hyperspace existing in layers "beneath" the "skin." The "deeper" into hyperspace one travels, the shorter the distance between two points in RealSpace becomes. This happens because space, according to Einsteinian physics, is curved; by cutting through hyperspace, the curve becomes closer to a straight line.

There is a drawback. In theory hyperspace should permit instantaneous travel between two points; in practice, however, the most common speed for a hyperdrive is 6 lightyears per week. The effective maximum speed at which organic life can survive is five lightyears per day (35 lightyears per week). This is because the physical nature of hyperspace puts a strain on one's body and mind; the strain gets worse the deeper into hyperspace one goes. Those who travel through hyperspace report nausea, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, and an inability to concentrate – and those are the milder side effects from short trips at slow speeds. A number of travelers have fallen unconscious, and a few, notably the elderly and severely ill, have fallen into comas or died.

The physical nature of hyperspace is also unsettling to biological minds when viewed directly while in transit. Information dating back to the Human-Pondrur Wars and as recently as the Glrrü War have reported people going insane when visually exposed to hyperspace. Because those who have viewed recordings of hyperspace do not exhibit any tendency towards insanity, even when making the transit at the time, it can be inferred there are elements of hyperspace which cannot be recorded and yet are picked up by one's subconscious when viewed directly.

Travel through hyperspace is best performed along one of the well-mapped trade routes that cover the Sol Sector. Outside the Sol Sector sit a number of regions that are not that well charted. Gravitational anomalies, particularly unmapped brown dwarfs and rogue planets, have been known to drop a ship out of hyperspace without warning. A Navigation (Hyperspace) roll is required to successfully plot a course, with the Sol Sector gaining a +4 to the skill due to being well-charted.

While faster-than-light transportation has become commonplace, the secret to efficient faster-than-light communications remains elusive. At present, real-time hyperspace communications are limited to a range of 500 A.U.s, and even this requires massive relay stations on both ends.

Communications
Radio communications is still in use on the frontier. In the Sol Sector, however, gravity-ripple comlinks have become standard. Like the cell phone networks of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, comlink networks can operate worldwide, providing real-time holographic communications. A comlink usually has to "link up" to a larger computer network, usually one of the worldwide or space station computer networks, although larger ships such as cruisers, carriers, and battleships can host comlink networks as well. Only the military or the most affluent can afford holographic communications; most comlinks are still voice-only.

Most comlinks come with a translation program to translate conversations between the user's native language and Trade Pidgin, with both languages at Accented or better proficiency. In essence, this means that two or more people speaking different languages can communicate almost in real-time, as all comlinks involved will be translating to a common language.

Augmented and Virtual Reality
Many HUDs, helmet visors, goggles, and vid-glasses have a link to the public identification systems, providing "augmented reality" to anyone who can afford the monthly fees (which is nearly everyone; PCs can count it as part of their monthly Cost of Living). Because of a lack of FTL communications, the public databases – which include "mug shots" of all identified people, weapons, and vehicles – must regularly be updated through sharing information with interstellar ships. Due to regular traffic, it is very hard to live "off the grid" in the Sol Sector, but much easier out in the frontier where updates are less regular; a newly-settled colony from a recently-awakened sleeper ship would probably have information that is 100-200 years out of date.

Virtual reality, however, has been the subject of much debate. Because it has shown to be psychologically addictive – many people in the past have wasted away living virtual lives that, to them, were more 'real' than their real lives – virtual reality is banned on nearly every world and station in the Sol Sector. This makes VR equipment, particularly VR suits, neural interface cyberware, and virtual environment software, hot commodities on the black market.

Ranged Weapons
The most common personal weapons encountered are blasters, weapons that fire charged particle beams. Lasers in the IR to UV bands are still popular on the frontier. All ranged weapons come standard with laser sights and a HUD link which ties into the HUD display of most standard combat helmets. Outside military circles, however, the ability to outshoot an opponent without relying on these systems is held in high regard.

Melee Weapons
Superfine blades (UT163), monowire blades and whips (UT163), vibroblades (UT164), hyperdense blades (UT164), and force swords (UT166) are quite common; vibro-knives are especially common among the criminal element, and Kronaks love hyperdense axes. It should be noted that hyperdense blades are able to parry force swords without taking damage themselves. Force swords have the innate ability to deflect blaster and ion fire (lasers are generally too fast to parry, and sonic weapons project a cone the force sword cannot parry), although a character should have Enhanced Time Sense or Precognitive Parry in order to parry blaster fire.

In addition to the above, any metal sword or polearm can be made into a "blastsword". This replaces any thrusting impaling damage with a thrusting crushing attack linked to a 2d (5) burn attack. This modification is an additional +$600 to the price of the weapon (double if a HT-2 (3) stun setting is added), applied after any modifiers such as superfine, vibroblade, or hyperdense, but before any ornamentation modifiers. Most blastswords are also equipped with a basket hilt for no additional charge; treat a hit from the basket hilt as a loaded fist (thr cr).
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Old 08-11-2021, 10:48 PM   #39
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Default Re: Spaceship Tech in your Setting

Spacecraft Systems

Armor Systems
The following armor systems are available in the setting: Ice (SS1:11), Stone (SS1:11), Iron (SS7:6), Steel (SS1:11), Light Alloy (SS1:11), Metallic Laminate (SS1:12), Advanced Metallic Laminate (SS1:12), Nanocomposite (SS1:12), and Diamoindoid (SS1:13). Ice and Stone are most commonly encountered in bases built inside of or designed to look like comets and asteroids, respectively. Light Alloy and Metallic Laminate are usually used in the manufacture of civilian spacecraft, while Nanocomposite and Diamondoid are normally encountered on military vessels.

Atmospheric Systems
Certain systems aren't likely to be found in this document as systems for spacecraft, but are still used in the setting for purely atmospheric craft. Most atmospheric craft in use in the Sol Sector use Contragravity Lifters (SS1:14) and some form of propulsion, and don't exceed SM +8. The Afterburning Turbofan (SS7:10), Gasbag (SS7:9), Helicopter Rotor (SS7:10), Jet Engine (SS1:19), Fusion Air-Ram (SS7:10), Maneuver Enhancement (SS7:11), Ornithopter Wings (SS7:12), and Turbofan (SS7:10) are all available for purely atmospheric craft.

Reaction Engines
The most common reaction engines are the Fusion Torch (SS1:23) and Plasma Torch (SS7:16), the latter usually operating in a low-thrust, high-efficiency mode. The Super Fusion Torch (SS1:23) has just been invented, but has yet to reach full production; it may, however, be found on certain unique experimental craft. The Fusion Torch and Plasma Torch engines are often built for aerospace operations with the Ram-Rocket option (SS1:30).

Reactionless Engines
The Rotary Reactionless Engine (SS1:24) may not be placed in a Central hull section. This engine otherwise resembles the Standard and Hot Reactionless Engines (SS1:24), but designed for very low thrust.

The Super Reactionless Engine (SS1:24) has not yet been invented.

All Reactionless Engines are given the Waste Heat Signature setting switch (see below). In addition, they are all pseudo-velocity drives, producing pseudo-velocity thrust equal to 10 mps times their acceleration in G.

Space Sails
Many pleasure craft or scout craft may be encountered using a sail system in the area inside a system's snow line. While the Lightsail (SS1:25) is the most common, the Magsail (SS1:25) and Radioisotope Sail (SS7:17) systems are also available. Most of the time, these systems are found on pleasure craft used by the idle rich. In fact, a lightsail race is held annually at the Nantucket station in the Procyon system.

Lightspeed and Stardrive Engines
The only Stardrive Engine (SS1:25) available is a hyperdrive. Unlike the model described in Spaceships, additional hyperdrives do not increase speed; instead, a second unit may be used as a backup drive. The most common speed for a hyperdrive is 6 lightyears per week, although this can optionally be boosted by one additional lightyear that week for every point of a margin of success on the Navigation (Hyperspace) roll. The effective maximum speed at which organic life can survive is five lightyears per day (35 lightyears per week).

The Lightspeed Drive (SS7:11) is also available, but rarely seen outside of antiques dating back to the Human-Pondrur Wars.

Weaponry Systems
The following beam weapons are available: Laser, Electromagnetic Disruptor, Particle Beam, Plasma, UV Laser, Antiparticle, Tractor, and X-Ray Laser. The Electromagnetic Disruptor is usually called an "Ion Beam" or "Ion Cannon". The most common weapons used are the Improved Particle Beam, Improved Ion Cannon, and Improved UV Laser; Tractor Beams are not uncommon as well, but usually only see use by and against pirates and smugglers.

Electromagnetic Guns and standard Missile Launchers are also available in the setting; missiles are much more prevalent than guns. Warp Missile Launchers (SS1:29) are not available.
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Old 08-12-2021, 09:13 AM   #40
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Default Re: Spaceship Tech in your Setting

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You don't mention contragravity lift. Do you include that in "Artificial Gravity" or are real starships orbital only with some sort of HEDM shuttle or aomething like that?
Rotary reactionless drives are probably sufficient to make HEDM, etc. uneconomic and unnecessary.
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