Researching New Technology

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Mirja
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Researching New Technology

Postby Mirja » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:12 am

I have a player who wants to be a scientist with a speciality focus in Physics and Enginner (Jump Drives) & (maneuver Drives) with a hope to discover new types of Drives that use less jump fuel in each junp or requires smaller space on the ship. She has not decided yet.

How (if) you would allow that as a GM, how would you resolve a player for doing this?
If not, why?

She has said that she is happy if she can remove like 10% of the jumpdrive's size or so.


This is not meant as a quiqk roll and she will succeed, she wants to have this as a long term project that spans a big part of the campaign and she has convinced the oother players to have an extra stateroom as her workshop.
AndrewW
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby AndrewW » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:38 am

Mirja wrote:I have a player who wants to be a scientist with a speciality focus in Physics and Enginner (Jump Drives) & (maneuver Drives) with a hope to discover new types of Drives that use less jump fuel in each junp or requires smaller space on the ship. She has not decided yet.

How (if) you would allow that as a GM, how would you resolve a player for doing this?
If not, why?
Book 10: Cosmopolite has some stuff on researching.
Mirja wrote:She has said that she is happy if she can remove like 10% of the jumpdrive's size or so.
You can already reduce jump drive size through the Primative and Advanced spacecraft section in Book 2: High Guard.
Mirja
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Mirja » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:54 am

Thank you, Andrew. I have to buy that book then
phavoc
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby phavoc » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:26 am

Allowing the player to do so presents a number of options/issues.

The biggest is that it's a HUGE change to the underlying aspects of jump travel throughout all space. Any researcher who is able to do this will be able to write their own research ticket, have more money than they could ever spend... and possible be dodging assassins, kidnappers and rogue mega-corps. This person will become the most valuable, most sought after (and potentially hated) person in the galaxy.

Remember that jump tech is hinged upon tech level. It takes a TL-15 tech base to develop and build a J-6 drive. So if you kept with the same theme, your researcher would need to be operating in (possibly) a TL-16 environment for part of what she is looking for. Enhancements can still occur in the same TL range. At least that's a good rule of thumb to use. Sometimes an apple falling out of a tree really does cause a breakthrough.

All of which gives the enterprising GM many new avenues towards adventure!
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Infojunky » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:52 am

AndrewW wrote:
Mirja wrote:I have a player who wants to be a scientist with a speciality focus in Physics and Enginner (Jump Drives) & (maneuver Drives) with a hope to discover new types of Drives that use less jump fuel in each junp or requires smaller space on the ship. She has not decided yet.

How (if) you would allow that as a GM, how would you resolve a player for doing this?
If not, why?
Book 10: Cosmopolite has some stuff on researching.
Mirja wrote:She has said that she is happy if she can remove like 10% of the jumpdrive's size or so.
You can already reduce jump drive size through the Primative and Advanced spacecraft section in Book 2: High Guard.
You might want to look at the front section of the Central Supply Catalog as well ans there are some rules on gagteering and inventing there as well...
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Mirja
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Mirja » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:52 am

phavoc wrote:Allowing the player to do so presents a number of options/issues.

The biggest is that it's a HUGE change to the underlying aspects of jump travel throughout all space. Any researcher who is able to do this will be able to write their own research ticket, have more money than they could ever spend... and possible be dodging assassins, kidnappers and rogue mega-corps. This person will become the most valuable, most sought after (and potentially hated) person in the galaxy.

Remember that jump tech is hinged upon tech level. It takes a TL-15 tech base to develop and build a J-6 drive. So if you kept with the same theme, your researcher would need to be operating in (possibly) a TL-16 environment for part of what she is looking for. Enhancements can still occur in the same TL range. At least that's a good rule of thumb to use. Sometimes an apple falling out of a tree really does cause a breakthrough.

All of which gives the enterprising GM many new avenues towards adventure!
Thank you for all those ideas.

What she want to do is make their jump-3 drive and powerplant take less space. And as J-3 is TL 13 I thought it could be possible if she shed TL 15 stuff to miniturize a TL 13 item, or at least attempt to do it :) I just wanted to know if there were any rules about it
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby AndrewW » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:07 am

Mirja wrote:What she want to do is make their jump-3 drive and powerplant take less space. And as J-3 is TL 13 I thought it could be possible if she shed TL 15 stuff to miniturize a TL 13 item, or at least attempt to do it :) I just wanted to know if there were any rules about it
A jump-3 drives is TL12, if you make a jump-3 TL15 drives that's three steps up in TL, so you can reduce the tonnage to 75%.

Book 2: High Guard page:53.
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Infojunky » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:11 am

Mirja wrote: What she want to do is make their jump-3 drive and powerplant take less space. And as J-3 is TL 13 I thought it could be possible if she shed TL 15 stuff to miniturize a TL 13 item, or at least attempt to do it :) I just wanted to know if there were any rules about it
Jump 3 is a hallmark of TL12 if that helps....
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:31 pm

Regarding reducing Jump Drive Fuel usage:

Given that the HISTORY of the setting is almost 3000 years old and Jump Drive has been around (amongst the Vilani anyway) for at least twice that long.

What does your player think he will discover that literally BILLIONS of other scientist haven't been able to discover?

You may let him research it, but I don't know that I would let him discover anything truly revolutionary.

Also, he is from a TL15 world using TL15 technology right? Cause anything less than that is a waste of time.
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phavoc
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby phavoc » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:37 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:Regarding reducing Jump Drive Fuel usage:

Given that the HISTORY of the setting is almost 3000 years old and Jump Drive has been around (amongst the Vilani anyway) for at least twice that long.

What does your player think he will discover that literally BILLIONS of other scientist haven't been able to discover?

You may let him research it, but I don't know that I would let him discover anything truly revolutionary.

Also, he is from a TL15 world using TL15 technology right? Cause anything less than that is a waste of time.
Within your own campaign setting it's fine to do so - it's just something that wouldn't necessarily translate well into another canonical campaign. Other inventions have happened by luck/circumstance and revolutionized a specific industry. Things like the microwave and teflon were discovered/invented by accidents. So it's entire possible and plausible within the confines of a sci-fi RPG.
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:24 pm

phavoc wrote:
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:Regarding reducing Jump Drive Fuel usage:

Given that the HISTORY of the setting is almost 3000 years old and Jump Drive has been around (amongst the Vilani anyway) for at least twice that long.

What does your player think he will discover that literally BILLIONS of other scientist haven't been able to discover?

You may let him research it, but I don't know that I would let him discover anything truly revolutionary.

Also, he is from a TL15 world using TL15 technology right? Cause anything less than that is a waste of time.
Within your own campaign setting it's fine to do so - it's just something that wouldn't necessarily translate well into another canonical campaign. Other inventions have happened by luck/circumstance and revolutionized a specific industry. Things like the microwave and teflon were discovered/invented by accidents. So it's entire possible and plausible within the confines of a sci-fi RPG.
What if someone invents a Jump-7 Drive?
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Mirja » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:38 pm

phavoc wrote:
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:Regarding reducing Jump Drive Fuel usage:

Given that the HISTORY of the setting is almost 3000 years old and Jump Drive has been around (amongst the Vilani anyway) for at least twice that long.

What does your player think he will discover that literally BILLIONS of other scientist haven't been able to discover?

You may let him research it, but I don't know that I would let him discover anything truly revolutionary.

Also, he is from a TL15 world using TL15 technology right? Cause anything less than that is a waste of time.
Within your own campaign setting it's fine to do so - it's just something that wouldn't necessarily translate well into another canonical campaign. Other inventions have happened by luck/circumstance and revolutionized a specific industry. Things like the microwave and teflon were discovered/invented by accidents. So it's entire possible and plausible within the confines of a sci-fi RPG.
The goal is not to succeed into doing something ground breaking, but to have a long standing goal and maybe get some minor benefit. It is more meant as a life goal that would span over years in game. aybe somewhere a long the line manage to reduce 1-5% of needed fuel or 1-5 % of Jump Drive tonnage.

I just wanted to know if there were any rules for it
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby phavoc » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:39 am

Tom Kalbfus wrote:What if someone invents a Jump-7 Drive?
Inconceivable, like winning a land war in Asia, or betting against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

Besides we live in a d6 universe.
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby dragoner » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:23 am

If J7 is canonical in the OTU, it's likely to appear in Mongoose too.
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby phavoc » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:46 am

dragoner wrote:If J7 is canonical in the OTU, it's likely to appear in Mongoose too.
Which OTU are we talking about? Classic Traveller? Technically, sure, it's canonical. That is assuming you want to add in Grandfather and Ancient tech. Hell, then anything is possible.

Or if you want to use the rules and bring in J7 from TL16 (and assuming it would be present at that TL) down to TL15 by paying for the costs of the components, then again, yes, it would be considered canonical.

Or if we consider Darrian tech, they have TL-16 ships.

The MGT Darrians even have TL-17, plus there are worlds within the Imperium that are listed at TL-16 (just a handful though).

I'm curious where you found mention of it in the CT books (assuming that's where you are referencing from).
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby dragoner » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:04 am

Not CT, but T5, which Mongoose draws from as well, even sharing the same people. But whether it appears in Mongoose, it's anybody's guess.
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Reynard » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:00 pm

Once more, a ref and players can do anything they want in Their Traveller Universe. Have an extra Jump limit every two levels over 15 or make anti-matter engines more accessible or even create the fuel saving jump carburetor the Imperial government has been suppressing for centuries. If you really want the scientist to make such astounding Grandfather type discoveries on limited resources and you're all having fun then no problem. It just won't be Traveller standard game mechanics or canon. STAY CALM and enjoy the game.
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:28 pm

Higher Jump levels or more efficient FTL drives are needed if you want a Galactic Empire! If you are going to do a Galactic Empire, then you are not going to get every system, instead on you map, you will have a "main system" instead of a main world, the players will just have to understand that the world noted in each hex is the main world of the main system in the hex. A good scale to use for mapping Galactic Empires is 500 parsecs per hex, the main world in the main system will have an atmosphere of 5, 6, or 8, and probably has a hydrographics of at least 2, should have a World size of at least 4, and a population of at least 8, and there are a million other systems within that same hex, the one listed is simply the most important or the most habitable. The Jump Drives if Jump Drives are used would be J500, J1000, J1500, J2000, J2500, J3000 and would consume the same amount of fuel as would J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, and J6 in the standard OTU campaign.
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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby simonh » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:04 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote: What does your player think he will discover that literally BILLIONS of other scientist haven't been able to discover?
If it is at all possible for anyone to do something, then it's possible for a Player Character to do it. To me, your post reads like a call to action - what has the character discovered? How did that come about? What are the consequences? It sounds like a great tale in the making.

As for all those billions of scientists, each one doesn't start from scratch. They build on each other's work. If a breakthrough is possible, the more people have tried before and failed, the more they have pushed the state of the art forward and made an eventual discovery all the more likely. Is the Imperium going to be stuck at TL 15 for ever?

As to actualy answering your question, there are many possiblilities. Maybe the character realy is just a dedicated scientist that's made a breakthrough discovery. But that's only one option. Perhaps the breakthrough is based on an analysis of Ancients tech, or some other advanced but now lost civilization. Perhaps it's from synergistic combinations of technologies and research from several interstellar cultures. Maybe it's based on the notes of a brilliant predecessor or mentor that met their end under mysterious circumstances. The stars are the limit.

As for the existing rules on advanced versions of drives, that's just a starting point. It demonstrates that there's considerable scope for flexibility even within the rules as written, but there's nothing to stop you going way beyond that within your game and exploring the consequences.

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Re: Researching New Technology

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:57 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:What does your player think he will discover that literally BILLIONS of other scientist haven't been able to discover?
I was keeping quiet as I didn't want to put down what might be fun for someone to play, but since you brought it up I'll add what I was thinking.

Does your researcher have dedicated space, equipment, funding, time and additional personnel available? Major corporations and Universities have and certainly are doing research with abundant resources and teams of extremely skilled personnel. They have the money for test engines and ships because who's going to be stupid enough to try out some new design on their own personal ship - oh wait, the adventurers! Insert miss jump and ensuing adventure here.

The following is a game concept I've toyed with but never done yet. A game based on a major Jump Engine research project. The characters are the test crew of a ship using new designs. In your case, the science character is a part of the research team and goes on the test flight too. Insert miss jump and ensuing adventure here.

For the more typical game, perhaps some research and tinkering in the spare time of a highly skilled engineer may produce a small modification that has both pros and cons. For example, uses slightly less fuel but the weaker jump bubble has a higher failure rate. Insert miss jump and ensuing adventure here.

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