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Old 02-14-2017, 11:18 AM   #21
marvin
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

To answer a few questions since I am still interested in making this work...

The Event occurs in local year of 1973 but the Steam Punk year is 1889 (it's primarily Space 1889 but with a few things from GURPS Mars, Dying Mars and GURPS Steampunk.)

The planets affected are...
Vulcan: use the statistics from GURPS Steampunk. Thus far no one from Space 1889 has landed on that small, boiling hot planet.

Venus: Similar to Space: 1889, but the sentient Lizard Men are from Aetheria from GURPS Steampunk. I find that version to be more interesting.

Mars: Very similar to Space: 1889 BUT with a left over beanstalk coming up from Pavonis Mars.

Lift wood works on Earth, but I really don't see that as being all that much of a game changer. Airplanes and helicopters are just as good and far cheaper to manufacture. I do think I'll have some of the Martian crystals (perhaps left over Phaeton technology) be room temp. superconductors or have other powers.

I'm not going to make 1973 another alternate TL. Too hard to keep track of and too confusing to players.

Thanks.
Ben

Last edited by marvin; 02-14-2017 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Bad grammar bugged me
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:20 PM   #22
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post
To answer a few questions since I am still interested in making this work...

The Event occurs in local year of 1973 but the Steam Punk year is 1889 (it's primarily Space 1889 but with a few things from GURPS Mars, Dying Mars and GURPS Steampunk.)

The planets affected are...
Vulcan: use the statistics from GURPS Steampunk. Thus far no one from Space 1889 has landed on that small, boiling hot planet.

Venus: Similar to Space: 1889, but the sentient Lizard Men are from Aetheria from GURPS Steampunk. I find that version to be more interesting.

Mars: Very similar to Space: 1889 BUT with a left over beanstalk coming up from Pavonis Mars.

Lift wood works on Earth, but I really don't see that as being all that much of a game changer. Airplanes and helicopters are just as good and far cheaper to manufacture. I do think I'll have some of the Martian crystals (perhaps left over Phaeton technology) be room temp. superconductors or have other powers.

I'm not going to make 1973 another alternate TL. Too hard to keep track of and too confusing to players.

Thanks.
Ben
What makes liftwood so valuable is that its anti-gravity properties allows things to float without the use of any fuel. That makes it valuable beyond comprehension -- not because of the liftwood, itself, but because it provides a means by which 20th Century physicists can figure out how to generate anti-gravity.

Once Earth's scientists understand out why liftwood does what it does, it opens the entire solar system up for inexpensive exploration, and would very likely make it possible (or maybe even pointless) to build a space elevator, on this planet.

There is just about no problem in space exploration that anti-gravity couldn't alleviate at a vastly reduced cost. In fact, if liftwood somehow creates, or acts as a depository for, anti-gravity particles, one could even (eventually) figure out how to generate (or collect) enough of them to trigger wormholes. The discovery of liftwood changes the world -- not necessarily right away, since the research and experimentation could take a lot of time, but inevitably the world changes in vast and unpredictable ways.
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Last edited by tshiggins; 02-14-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:35 PM   #23
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

Liftwood allows continuous lighter than air lift regardless of atmospheric pressure, which is how Space 1889 craft can even reach escape velocity with such low thrusts. It would make SSOs that are super cheap and efficient.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:52 PM   #24
marvin
 
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
What makes liftwood so valuable is that its anti-gravity properties allows things to float without the use of any fuel. That makes it valuable beyond comprehension -- not because of the liftwood, itself, but because it provides a means by which 20th Century physicists can figure out how to generate anti-gravity.

Once Earth's scientists understand out why liftwood does what it does, it opens the entire solar system up for inexpensive exploration, and would very likely make it possible (or maybe even pointless) to build a space elevator, on this planet.

There is just about no problem in space exploration that anti-gravity couldn't alleviate at a vastly reduced cost. In fact, if liftwood somehow creates, or acts as a depository for, anti-gravity particles, one could even (eventually) figure out how to generate (or collect) enough of them to trigger wormholes. The discovery of liftwood changes the world -- not necessarily right away, since the research and experimentation could take a lot of time, but inevitably the world changes in vast and unpredictable ways.
Excellent overview, thanks. Unfortunately that being so, I don't want Lift Wood to work on Earth. It makes things too easy. I think I'll limit it's utility by saying that Mars was prepped by Ancients who embedded a network of counter-lift plates in it's subsurface crust. In order for Lift Wood to work these counter-lift plates must be present. Perhaps a network could be installed on Earth, like adding a major rail network, but it would be difficult and very expensive.

Thanks,
Ben
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:11 PM   #25
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by marvin View Post
Excellent overview, thanks. Unfortunately that being so, I don't want Lift Wood to work on Earth. It makes things too easy. I think I'll limit it's utility by saying that Mars was prepped by Ancients who embedded a network of counter-lift plates in it's subsurface crust. In order for Lift Wood to work these counter-lift plates must be present. Perhaps a network could be installed on Earth, like adding a major rail network, but it would be difficult and very expensive.

Thanks,
Ben
That doesn't fit with the source material, though. Wouldn't it be easier to just say that Mars and Venus have a bubble of etheric space around them?
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:13 PM   #26
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Liftwood allows continuous lighter than air lift regardless of atmospheric pressure, which is how Space 1889 craft can even reach escape velocity with such low thrusts. It would make SSOs that are super cheap and efficient.
What Tshiggens said and this too and more:

Liftwood has the potential to make air freight transport vastly cheaper. I don't know if it would make it all-the-way competitive with oceanic and train freight but I'll bet it could make it competitive with OTR trucks. It would depend on how much it cost to bring it to Earth, and on the total supply available.

There would be a lot of research projects to see if the stuff could be made to grow on Earth. Even if the ultimate answer was 'no', people would keep trying because the potential payoff would be so huge. Sort of like when the secret of silk was smuggled to Europe.

Along with cheaper freight, there would be substantial military applications for liftwood. Imagine if you could build a flying personnel transport that was as fast as planes, but could carry as many troops or as much materiel as a sea ship. Think about that for a minute.
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:19 PM   #27
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post
Excellent overview, thanks. Unfortunately that being so, I don't want Lift Wood to work on Earth. It makes things too easy. I think I'll limit it's utility by saying that Mars was prepped by Ancients who embedded a network of counter-lift plates in it's subsurface crust. In order for Lift Wood to work these counter-lift plates must be present. Perhaps a network could be installed on Earth, like adding a major rail network, but it would be difficult and very expensive.

Thanks,
Ben
You're going to need something to make space flight easier, or else the transition will only have indirect effects for a very long time after 1973. You might do better to let it work, but make the supply of liftwood very small, so it's so expensive that it only makes sense to use it for space flight or emergencies when you're off Mars.

One thing that will happen if the Mars is mostly that of Space1889 or Dying Mars is that 1973 Earth is far better positioned to study and figure out the secrets of the ancient Martians than 1889 Earth would have been. One of the big motives of travel to Mars is going to be the desire to study the Martian relic tech.

(There was an old S1889 supplement in which the PCs discover an old Martian facility from their glory days, and it's filled with such things as a modern recognizes as computers and advanced electronics.)
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:32 PM   #28
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Along with cheaper freight, there would be substantial military applications for liftwood. Imagine if you could build a flying personnel transport that was as fast as planes, but could carry as many troops or as much materiel as a sea ship. Think about that for a minute.
Unfortunately this is a thing liftwood would not do. An air freighter as large as a sea freighter would have a lot more drag than a conventional airplane of smaller size. To go just as fast it would have to have proportionately bigger engines and fuel use.

You could get away with somewhat less drag from not having wings. It's not certain that this works out in liftwood's favor though. Only a lift mechanism with virtually no volume avoids any drag penalty. You get drag from wings and you get drag from gas bags and you get m9ore drag from the gas bags which is why lighter-than-air craft are special niche only these days.

So it could depend on how bulky liftwood is. It's possible that it would impose drag penalties as large as or even greater than that of wings.

Lift without expending energy is good and without the crippling drag penalties of gas bags is even better but you're nto going to get away without drag penalties.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:03 PM   #29
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Yes, there are Atlases in production in 1973 but no Atlas Vs
After the Saturn V (and the smaller Saturn 1b) the next largest US vehicle is the Titan series. . .
Unless I (very well could have) missed something the USSR is still in the game -- they've got Really Big Boosters (the Big Dumb Booster in aerospace terms) so could get stuff to Mars/Venus faster than USA in that time.

Of course, they might want adherence to the Glorious Worker's and Peasant's Republic in exchange for their help . . .
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:03 PM   #30
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Default Re: Steampunk Mars/ Cold War crossover

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
What makes liftwood so valuable is that its anti-gravity properties allows things to float without the use of any fuel. That makes it valuable beyond comprehension -- not because of the liftwood, itself, but because it provides a means by which 20th Century physicists can figure out how to generate anti-gravity.
Does liftwood just negate gravity up to a mass limit, or does it actually provide lift, allowing you to gain gravitational potential energy? If it's the latter, some laws of physics are going to need a rewrite.
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