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Old 09-01-2021, 01:56 PM   #71
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Sure, but the difference there isn't the nature of tramp freight, it's the general corporatization of the global economy.
And on any planet with an industrial base large enough to support regular rocket launches or beanstalks would you say that corporatization and/or government control of the shipping industry is likely to happen?

And on a planet that can't support regular rocket launches don't you think that the it's difficult for small ships to be able to land then take off from?

Unless, of course, you have superscience that makes taking off from those planets easier.
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Old 09-01-2021, 02:18 PM   #72
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I don't know why people think tramp freight only can exist to support isolated backwater planets.
Adventurous tramp freight is pretty much limited to backwaters. Mostly because if it's not an isolated backwater there's going to be local people more qualified to solve whatever problem is at hand than the crew of a random spaceship.
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Old 09-01-2021, 03:43 PM   #73
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
And on any planet with an industrial base large enough to support regular rocket launches or beanstalks would you say that corporatization and/or government control of the shipping industry is likely to happen?
No, I wouldn't say so.

Actually, I would say that the proposal is malformed. The space shipping industry is inherently interplanetary. It isn't controlled "on any planet"!

But that aside, you may be able to plausibly say that any large economy will be dominated by megacorporations. But frankly, you can also plausibly say that it won't. Without even needing to make an argument for it really because structure of speculative economies isn't an area with especially solid known principles. Some settings do provide reasons that vast civilization-spanning corporations might be less favored than they seem to be in current Earth history though.
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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
Unless, of course, you have superscience that makes taking off from those planets easier.
As already noted, it's perfectly possible for a portable shuttle with no superscience components to do so.
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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Adventurous tramp freight is pretty much limited to backwaters. Mostly because if it's not an isolated backwater there's going to be local people more qualified to solve whatever problem is at hand than the crew of a random spaceship.
If we're defining adventurous tramp freight as tramp freight where you also regularly engage in troubleshooting local problems wherever you make port, yes.

You could have adventures that are actually directly related to your business and thus either not the jurisdiction of or not something you want to present to local troubleshooters.
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Old 09-01-2021, 03:45 PM   #74
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
People expect a space game to have scenes in space.
Perhaps. (They also expect it to have superscience.)

But similarly people expect a James Bond-inspired games of international espionage to have scenes in picturesque and glamorous locations around the world, and that does not require Bond to either own a private jet nor be flight crew on a tramp air-freighter.

Lots of times we find GMs who are designing settings ask questions in these forums about fundamentals that frame their settings but that will not be in the control of PCs. For example they ask about population densities, city sizes, and numbers and distributions of skilled-trade practitioners in low-tech settings. They ask about gravity on flat worlds. About the signs that might be left on a planet that had been terraformed millions of years ago or on which a technological civilisation had wiped itself out tens of thousands of years ago.

Just because the OP asked about ground-to-orbit capability without superscience does not mean that only tramp freighters in space are relevant.
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Old 09-01-2021, 03:54 PM   #75
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
And on any planet with an industrial base large enough to support regular rocket launches or beanstalks would you say that corporatization and/or government control of the shipping industry is likely to happen?
Depends on the laws of the setting. I'm no lawyer, but I could potentially see laws structured so that a single megacorporation has a good deal of power in a colony it establishes, but antitrust regulations (from the parent polity) prevent it from establishing a full monopoly. Given the megacorporation has some control over who gets shipping contracts, it could opt to keep its large competitors (other megacorporations) at bay but encourage independently-owned vessels to handle the needed tramp freight, potentially leveraging this into positive PR (probably revolving around "helping the little guy").

Granted, I don't see tramp freighter spacecraft really being a thing in a hard science setting.
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Old 09-01-2021, 04:11 PM   #76
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
If the players have no ability to travel through space on their own then there's not much use in making it a "space" game instead of a single-planet sci-fi campaign.
Iíve been running multiple-planet sci-fi games for over thirty years. They have been successful and well-received by scores of players. And they have never involved the PCs having private spaceships nor other means of travelling through space on their own. PCs have been Imperial law-enforcement officers, explorers working for the official Survey program, rich dilettantes travelling for recreation, intelligence officers, clandestine operators, troubleshooters for NGOs, mercenary cadre, art thieves, and undercover security & counterterrorism officials. Iíve run hundreds of adventures, the exotic geographical and social characteristics of the planets have been highly relevant, and the PCs have never had a private spaceship.

Though admittedly that setting does involve superscience for FTL travel, and limited-superscience (fusion-powered steam rockets) for ground-to-orbit services on planets with too little trade and development to afford non-rocket launch facilities.

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They might as well be hopping a plane from Paris to Shanghai for all the difference it makes.
Lots of fine adventure material involves characters such as James Bond and Indiana Jones hopping from place to place on commercial airliners. It does make a difference and is well worthwhile.

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At that point you might as well just set it on Earth to make the fictional background easier to deal with.
Not if dealing the the fictional background and the institutions and characters it produces is the whole damn point.
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Old 09-01-2021, 04:13 PM   #77
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Granted, I don't see tramp freighter spacecraft really being a thing in a hard science setting.
Indeed not. Limited orbital injection windows favour scheduled services.
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Old 09-01-2021, 05:26 PM   #78
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
Just because the OP asked about ground-to-orbit capability without superscience does not mean that only tramp freighters in space are relevant.
For one example, military campaigns will be very different if one can land a recovery boat that is able to return to orbit (a la Starship Troopers), vs. having to capture the beanstalk/laser launch site/etc. or die in the attempt.
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:29 AM   #79
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Default Re: [Spaceships] getting into orbit without superscience?

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Both of these still require huge infrastructure. Which means highly populated worlds. Which tends to edge out the tramp freighter for large megahaulers, whether they're corporate owned or government run or even independently run is rather beside the point - it removes the plausibility of a small ship owned/run by PCs from being able to hop from system to system.
Well, current ports are huge infrastructure and the population desnities in say europe are high and yet we have a lot of tramp freighters around. Most freight by far is transported by large containerships, but yet the tramp freight exists. I do not see why this would have to be different in the given scenario.
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