Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Icy Shores and Sunless Seas

I was spending entirely too much time pondering my TL 9 Traveller set up. I researched a bit of the First Interstellar War for inspiration and found it a little vague on some points.

TL 9 gives you Jump 1. Even if you want to be a stickler and say Alpha Centauri, the nearest star, is outside the drive's range standard drive can simply do the trip in two jumps each way. Except the Terran ships couldn't. They used the drive only for in system trips and I guess to the Oort Cloud. There they discovered a rogue planet a light year out they could use for wilderness refueling to get to Alpha Centauri and Barnard's Star. Mention was made that the drives were fuel guzzlers. Maybe instead of .1 M * Jn they used .3 or .4 M * Jn but you could still get around this with tankers and setting up a refueling station. I'm going with the drives needing a large mass at both ends of the jump for it to work, say Pluto size or bigger. Bigger masses work better as you can fix their positions better. Don't forget you have more than four dimensions to plot a curse in. At least 6 and maybe 36.

I did a preliminary map and switched the scale from 1 parsec per hex to one light year. Then I stuck a couple of rogue planets (or planetars.) Many stars are only accessible using rogue planets as waystations, both due the jump drive range and the higher fuel requirements. I'm going to say that locating and fixing rogue planets over light years. Some companies and governments still send out STL ships to chart them. Some people leave for star systems not yet open to jump travel to be away from Earth's government and start anew. new and safer routes to star systems are precious information and worth your life.

The asteroid fields around the larger stars represent their Oort Clouds. Sometimes you can latch onto a dwarf planet there but that is not common knowledge. The white sunbursts are brown dwarfs. The ringed planet is a super jupiter and the white dot a dwarf planet. I'm probably going to work up a table to roll for each hex. Next some ships for the setting.