Showing posts from February, 2016

New Shinies!

First of all ... this! Hoverboards! Imperial (or whatever flavor yours come in) Marines are bad enough. Imagine a bunch of them chasing you on hoverboards (cutlass waving optional). Add fluff. Hoverboards are personal transport devices and another step on the road to realizing mankind's dream of personal flight. first designed in the early 2ith century on Terra the devices use rotorcraft technology and are usually an open platform with some screening around the fans to prevent injury. By the mis 21st century advancements in energy storage allowed the vehicles to increase their range and become valuable tools for search and rescue, exploration and reconnaissance. Although they are classified as vehicles they definitely fall in the area where the line between equipment and vehicles will blur. They are compact, simple and with multip[le rotos and battery pack they are surprisingly robust. Hoverboards are also much cheaper and easier to find parts for on low technology worlds

Dark Conspiracy/Traveller: SAR Workers

Dark Conspiracy was my unrequited love. The setting was great, no one liked the rules that I gamed with. It did have very interesting and versatile life paths for characters. One of my friend gt far enough to generate a firefighter. His reasoning: they were in good shape, knew how to break into buildings (and thus made passable second story men), they also used protective breathing gear, knew first aid, could drive trucks and ... fire axes!! The following branch table is to bring Search and Rescue Workers into CT format. In a near future setting like Dark Conspiracy Vacc skill would refer to breathing gear, not actual space suits. A rescue worker trained (and willing) to board a disabled ship in a vacc suit seeking injured people in various states of protection from space would be a useful character to any party. A ship you are trying to get people off has got to be hurting pretty badly and spaceborne SAR teams are viewed as angels incarnate. I doubt even pirates will mess with th

The Dark Classic Conspiracy of Traveller

I liked the setting of GDW's Dark Conspiracy. I did not like the rules. Too complicated. Monsters died too easily when dealing with heavily armed players. I like 'em to take a round or two, shit bears are real and they're a bitch to kill from what I hear. If your troll or ogre is offed with a cap from a 9mm there's more thrills in hunting bear (a monster wearing a bulletproof vest is just sad.) I like Classic Traveller and it already handles near future ( and far future) tech levels. My next step should be obvious. Lie down till the urge to port stuff passes. But it didn't work so here we are. Dark Conspiracy using Classic Traveller I kept two things in mind when converting things from Dark Conspiracy to Classic Traveller: in the first place DC came out in the 90’s and CT in the 70’s. Dark Conspiracy dealt with some TL 8 stuff in Traveller terms but we had a much different view of TL 8 twenty years after CT! Lasers are much less efficient than we’d ho

I Meant the Other Starport

There is a sizable group of SF roleplayers who simplify their maps to the point of having two areas: starport and everywhere else. I'll admit that a lot of stuff starts and ends at starports. But this mentality also leads many people to think that systems put all their space traffic infra-structure in one location. Nonsense in most cases. I already made a case for outposts at nearby gas giants (for ships that want to gas and go but have other pressing needs.) Now I'm looking at the mainworld, the one that gets mentioned in the Atlas of the Imperium. High Guard tells us that planetary navies may construct ships on their planet regardless of the existence of a shipyard using local resources which I could only take to mean that while a world might not have construction facilities for civilians it has other military facilities for building ships and projecting power. Note High Guard said 'ships' not craft so the military could build starships for itself even if the ec

Collateral Damage

Captain: What the hell else could I do?? Toff, get back here! Toff: Sir, with all due respect, go to Hell. Captain: Toff, you may not respect me or like me right now but you will respect my rank and my job. The gynoid was reprogrammed with alien technology. She had access to our computer systems. I followed protocols. Toff: She wasn't going to hurt anyone! She at least deserved a chance to show her intent ... which was probably to get me some data files or a cup of coffee. You'd show the enemy more mercy in war. Captain: Not where my ship and crew are concerned. I knew you and the Exec would get this way. Toff: That's why you pressed the Ensign to reboot her, possibly destroying a unique AI that showed no hostile intent. I checked our systems. She did nothing to the mainframe. If she wanted to hurt us she's have done it before she came running to you. Captain: I'm not taking that chance! How can I? <<Psssht>> Exec: Captain ... Toff ...

The Nuts and Bolts of Setting

I've spent a lot of time discussing and pondering Classic Traveller. While this post applies to all brands of Traveller it deals mainly with the sandbox approach: you make up your own setting  (as in the 1977 edition LBBS) and set aside the well crafted Imperium. It can also be applied to creating space opera settings of any stripe. Using the Imperium or not is the Big question for many Traveller referees, the single most important question about their TU. A great many gamers of CT choose to set the Imperium aside and create their own governments/societies from scratch. Some people profess hate for the 3I though most I've encountered just prefer their own homebrew. in discussing all this I have come to likethe original sandbox approach but using the Imperium or a variation on it is far from the only tweak you can impose. In fact in my opinion the Imperium is not a huge issue and does not invalidate the sandbox setting. Traveller, according to the original editions,  is supp

Language Arts and Crafts

Doc: I really appreciate this Professor Mukh. Mukh: Please, no need for formality. I think it's sweet you want to learn Lurran for Riasi. Most humans think if you speak Terran loud and slowly aliens will just understand it. Doc: English. It's called English. Where did you learn to speak it? Mukh: Correspondence course. Doc: No offense but it couldn't be very good. Mukh: If it were any good do you think I would have picked Tiglath Alfstan as my first and middle names? I got better. Doc: You did. Mukh: Now, do you speak any Lurran? Doc: Sure. I can say, "Good job." Hreeeeshereeet! Mukh: ... Doc: What? Mukh: It means, "My fur rubs the other way ... asshole." Doc: ... That could explain a lot actually. Mukh: It is a very concise language. While aliens al seem to speak English on television that may not be the case. For one thing they may opt for Chinese or Spanish as more people speak those languages on modern Earth. Aliens might

Oddball Planets Pt. 3

The hydrosphere is an often overlooked aspect of a planet. Most people never notice it unless 1) it's zero or 2) it's 9-A. Unending sandy dunes or mile high arcologies stuffed with people are usually easy to spot. The reason for ignoring the hydrosphere is simple: historically we Terrans don't use a lot of our ocean and what we do use is mainly the top part. Even Aquaman gets very little respect (especially from my wife for some reason) despite controlling 75% of the world. On many worlds the hydrosphere greatly surpasses the land in numbers of biomes and sheer biomass. This becomes a valuable food source on water worlds but there's no reason planets with more land wouldn't use fishing to supplement or replace their land based food sources. Waterways can be an integral part of starports. It makes sense to have your air and space traffic move over empty ocean as much as possible on landing and takeoff when most accidents happen. If you're dealing with reactio

It's a Girl!

The Captain ordered me to remain in the conference room. I will remain. He thinks I am a threat since the AXA reprogrammed me. I must regain his trust. I must prove I am still goodtech. I am … lonely? I know fear. The negative feedback anticipating damage, destruction or confrontation. I’ve experienced that numerous times. That too. I love the Captain but I do have wifi and the Tesla AI’s company would be welcome right now. I may as well find out right now if I have any secret directives to take over the ship. I think I made a joke. That’s a new development. The conference room has had its wifi turned off. Makes sense. Conference rooms need to be secure at times. It is ironic that I am thwarted by a mechanical switch when I have firewall cracking programs from here to the Sagittarius Bridge. Human technology is full of little tweaks like that to keep the AIs in their place. All modern tech has a human factor if you will. They built us. They fear us. Even the Captain. I

Tools of the Raid or Trade

"The difference between salvage and piracy is just a matter of timing." -Captain Zag Zagig "Right. In salvage the crew is dead before you start stripping the ship!" -Captain Vi Hexen just before spacing Zag Zagig Zero gravity operations of any kind are difficult. The problems of weightlessness are compounded by the operator often needing a space suit to stay alive. The first tools for eva or zero gravity were devised in the early days of space travel: high speed, low torque power tools to facilitate the removal of the primitive nuts and bolts low tech cultures and cheapskates seem so fond of. The best tools let you do your job with the minimal apparent weight of magnetic boots or elastic lines while saving a few of your fingernails (no one has ever made spacesuit gloves that were sufficiently rugged, affordable and easy to wear.) Modern salvage operations require a number of tools for prying, smashing, and forcing mechanical solutions on stubborn derelict

Ship Dossier: Launches

Ship Dossier: Launches
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