TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

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Sigtrygg
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:10 pm

Nerhesi wrote:I'd be wary in attempting to define scifi (forget even hardness) with what is realistic today.

Jump drives and armour that can shrug off nuclear explosions, is logically, as handwavium as collectors, grav drives, Mesons, dodging/evading, any character skill mattering at all in space combat (to-hit or dodge - lol).

How realistic something I has zero bearing on scifi or even hard-scifi (I'm sorry - too bad). What hardness in scifi means to me, is internal consistency.

If I have collectors, do I need fuelled jump drives?
If I have ftl communication? Why can't I weaponize that?

That's what matters. But whether Tachyons weapons are realistic or not, or ar grav drives realistic - that isn't a problem.

Establish your handwavium. But then make sure you've considered all potential side applications and impacts of said handwavium.
Excellent post - I agree with everything you have said here.
I would add one thing that is sadly lacking in Traveller - consistency.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Nerhesi » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:18 pm

Thanks Sig

Fusor: Collectors rely on something that doesn't exist today. Today.

Just like traveller armour relies on something that doesn't exist. None of the materials we have today, can be applied to have the effect of ignoring particle/fusion/near-c kinetic/nuclear etc attacks.

That material is magic or magically treated.
Just like jump drives, psionics, mesons.

These explanations are just as weak, as collectors (some less some more).
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:26 pm

fusor wrote:Grav drives? Gravity exists, and it's not unreasonable to believe that it could be manipulated at some point. Jump drives? Wormholes are theorised to be possible, it's not unreasonable to believe that we could find a way to make them (with 'jumpspace' being the transit through the wormhole). Superdense armour? superdense materials exist, maybe we can find a way to collapse matter into such a state and manipulate it. These are properly "science fiction" - there's a little science in there even if it's mostly fiction.
I have to agree, not all handwaveium is equal.

MT Referee's Manual, p56 had a good introduction:
OVERVIEW OF TECHNOLOGY
Traveller makes certain assumptions about the nature of future technological developments. In addition to the pro- gressive refinement of existing equipment and methods, several areas of future technology have been postulated. Traveller bases its technology on a series of logically explainable developments even if they may be far beyond any present science.
The first major advance upon which Traveller technology is built is the commercially viable fusion reactor. ...

The second major breakthrough is artificial gravlty. ...

A third major breakthrough related to artlficlal gravity is damper technology. ...

The fourth significant development came from the search for a starship maneuver drive that did not lose efficiency when away from a strong gravity well. Artificial gravity and damper technology led to yet another sub-atomic force-based technology. This new, artificially generated force pushes against a vessel's "thrust plates" themselves, which make true reactionless thrusters a reality for starship sized vessels.

The fifth major area is meson technology. [Note: pi-mesons are a real thing]
And I see that they left out jump technology, sigh. And inertial compensators...

That's supposed to be it when it comes to pure handwaveium in Traveller. If you take real physics and these assumptions you have the classical Traveller universe.

As LBB0 said:
Referees should feel free to modify any rule to whatever extent they see fit, providing they bear in mind that:
...
- All changes should be rational, logical, and scientifically sound (after a!l, Traveller is a science fiction role-playing game).
LBB0, p34.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:31 pm

fusor wrote:

It's not about that. I don't know why people are having such a hard time understanding this. Collectors rely on something that doesn't exist. Not that can't be detected - it just does not exist. It is pure fantasy. There is no science in there whatsoever.define scifi (forget even hardness) with what is realistic today.
I understand your point I just disagree with you totally. You do know modern science doesn't know everything? Up until a couple of years ago there was no Higgs boson, just a theory. Then evidence was collected. Unlike dark energy and dark matter which are purely theoretic with no evidence whatsoever beyond solving a few equations. But I digress from my point. Earlier this year scientists were excited because a blip in the data suggested an unknown particle that would destroy the standard mode. Fortunately for the standard model the data proved to be just an aberration, but scientists conducting these experiments are open to the possibility that one day experimental evidence of a particle that breaks the standard model will be discovered. That is science.
Saying that something can not exist - I wonder if a caveman could contemplate the quark?
Note that I keep saying "as described". If Collectors are a thing, then fine, but they just need a better explanation that agrees with how they're supposed to work.
A bit of this could have been resolved if someone had stuck to this bit in the original adventure:
Required recharge time: 1 to 6 weeks
(ID), depending on the distance from
and spectral type of the star serving as
radiation source.
So:

1) If we allow that they are collecting some kind of magic particle from stars, then the rate at which they do so must depend on the luminosity of the star and on the distance that they are from the star. That's just basic physics right there, and cannot be ignored.
I agree with you (see above quote from the adventure) and postulate either a type of particle that we have not detected yet in the real world or it is some kind of manipulation of the neutrino (which is an interesting particle in itself since it can change from one type to another by a mechanism we can not fully explain yet)
2) Alternatively, maybe they don't collect anything at all. Perhaps they just tap into 'zero point energy' or the quantum foam or something like that (again these are known to exist. Right now it's fantasy to say that they can be tapped for any energy, but one could imagine that by TL14 maybe someone's figured out a way). This wouldn't depend on distance from stars, it just requires that the ship exists in spacetime (and maybe it requires undisturbed spacetime so it can only be done away from large masses like planets).

Either of those options would address this issue.
That would work for me too.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:41 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:I have to agree, not all handwaveium is equal.
<snip>
Very true, I am not a particular fan of DGPs MT handwavium.
I see the tech breakthroughs/paradigm shift as understanding these technologies:
fusion - actual working nuclear fusion power stations
gravitics - including null grav modules (or contragrav or anti-grav - I just stick with the earlier term), the gravitic maneuver drive (don't like MT handwavium for this), acceleration compensation (or inertial dampers as just about everyone has adopted the Star trek term
jump drive
nuclear damper technology - manipulation of the strong nuclear force
meson technology - manipulation of the strong and weak nuclear forces
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:49 pm

The game changing nature of Collectors depends on three things that I can think of off the top of my head.

1; The speed of Collection of the exotic particles. 1 week flat rate allows a 2 Jumps a month just like a regular ship. This saves the need for skimming or buying a lot of fuel and allows Collector ships to just be more efficient and profitable than the old ships. Sucks to be old Tech.

2: Does the Collector need to be in a system with a star in order to collect energy? Annic Nova showed a 1-6 week recharge time. This really slows down the competitiveness with Hydrogen if it can take 6 weeks to recharge.
If the new system does not need a star to recharge, then crossing rifts becomes a tactical possibility and changes the military balance everywhere Collectors are available.

3: How far can the Collectors move a ship? Is is J1, J2, J3? higher? Can they power a Jump 4 Jump Engine? If so that has some military implications as well. J4 normally needs 40 percent of the hull volume in fuel. Collectors allow far more cargo or weapons to be moved within the same size hull.

Anyone else have anything to add to the list?
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:56 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
It's not about that. I don't know why people are having such a hard time understanding this. Collectors rely on something that doesn't exist. Not that can't be detected - it just does not exist. It is pure fantasy. There is no science in there whatsoever.define scifi (forget even hardness) with what is realistic today.
I understand your point I just disagree with you totally. You do know modern science doesn't know everything? Up until a couple of years ago there was no Higgs boson, just a theory. Then evidence was collected. Unlike dark energy and dark matter which are purely theoretic with no evidence whatsoever beyond solving a few equations. But I digress from my point. Earlier this year scientists were excited because a blip in the data suggested an unknown particle that would destroy the standard mode. Fortunately for the standard model the data proved to be just an aberration, but scientists conducting these experiments are open to the possibility that one day experimental evidence of a particle that breaks the standard model will be discovered. That is science.
Saying that something can not exist - I wonder if a caveman could contemplate the quark?
Right, but that's what the science in science fiction is about. It's got to have some basis in science. If it doesn't, then it's just fantasy.

Cavemen couldn't contemplate the quark. But their equivalent level of "science fiction" would extrapolate from things that they know about the world (Ok, they don't have science, but roll with me here). They know big tigers exist, their stories might have huge mammoth-sized tigers. They know fire exists, their stories might have raging firestorms descending from the sky. Maybe they think there's another land over the big ocean, that might have other strange cavemen on it. And so on. Those would be valid example of their "science fiction".

But if some caveman said "ugh. matter made from particles. particles made from other tinier stuff. Me call it quark", then that would be pure fantasy to everyone else around them. That's just making stuff up that isn't there.

The point being that science fiction, like science, isn't fixed - but it still must have a basis in the science known at the time to qualify as such, otherwise it's just not "science fiction". I'm not saying it has to slavishly adhere to science and realism, but it's one thing to say "it takes stellar neutrinos and converts them into exotic particles, and the efficiency drops with distance from the star" and another to say "it takes magical particles that we haven't seen and that are emitted by stars that are strangely the same no matter what the distance or stellar luminosity is".
Last edited by fusor on Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby alex_greene » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:13 pm

Collectors, plus the space folding drive.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:26 pm

fusor wrote:
The point being that science fiction, like science, isn't fixed - but it still must have a basis in the science known at the time to qualify as such, otherwise it's just not "science fiction". I'm not saying it has to slavishly adhere to science and realism, but it's one thing to say "it takes stellar neutrinos and converts them into exotic particles, and the efficiency drops with distance from the star" and another to say "it takes magical particles that we haven't seen and that are emitted by stars that are strangely the same no matter what the distance or stellar luminosity is".
I agree with you - an attempt should be made to at least have a nod towards science.
Which is why I detest he ion canon and the tachyon canon - not too keen on the meson gun either to be honest :)
Ion canon - the particle accelerator is an ion cannon, it fires charged particles - ions - at an enemy, the 'ion' cannon as described should be more properly described as an electromagnetic pulse projector. The name is a rip off from Star Wars and misuses the term ion. Oddly enough I have no problem with the weapon system itself - I need something liked this to provide rules for the EM affectors in my Culture campaign.
Tachyon cannon - please no, just no.

Too much pseudoscientific technobabble makes a game science fantasy rather than science fiction
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:36 pm

As an aside, why exactly does the Annic Nova have separate J2 and J3 drives? Can it just not use a J3 drive to go 1, 2 or 3pc? It's not as if it needs to worry about fuel economy to require a J2 as well.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby AndrewW » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:43 pm

fusor wrote:As an aside, why exactly does the Annic Nova have separate J2 and J3 drives? Can it just not use a J3 drive to go 1, 2 or 3pc? It's not as if it needs to worry about fuel economy to require a J2 as well.
The Leviathan has two for backup purposes. Haven't seen it stated anywhere why the Annic Nova does. Even without collectors a J2 or J3 driving making a Jump-2 still uses the same amount of fuel, so nope not fuel economy.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:48 pm

Perhaps the race that built them copied them from the jump 2 and jump 3 traders/scouts that came calling. They don't have a jump 1 drive and the jump 2 engine is used for jumps 0-2 and the jump 3 engine for jump 2.1-3 only.
Another oddity is the software package includes jump 4
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Belisknar » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:58 pm

alex_greene wrote:Collectors, plus the space folding drive.
The space folding drive doesn't use fuel, just power so it's usefullness as an alternative to fuel is mute. I would imagine in most cases the size of the collectors wouldn't be larger than the extra size for the power plant to provide the power needed for the SFD.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby AndrewW » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:02 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:Another oddity is the software package includes jump 4
Which version? The one in the new High Guard has Jump Control/3.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:19 pm

Sorry I should have said - in the original JTAS adventure.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:20 pm

AndrewW wrote:The Leviathan has two for backup purposes. Haven't seen it stated anywhere why the Annic Nova does. Even without collectors a J2 or J3 driving making a Jump-2 still uses the same amount of fuel, so nope not fuel economy.
Looking at the original adventure, it says "the accumulators can store enough energy to power each jump drive once, as well as maintain internal life support under normal conditions." So it sounds as if it could charge up, then use its J3 for one jump and then its J2 for a second jump, so perhaps it's a low tech way of getting the equivalent of J5 on a single charge (it specifically says that they can't be combined into a single J5 jump though)? (then again J5 should be possible at TL 14 shouldn't it? So I guess this race hadn't figured that part out at least).

Also, while collecting, the canopy for the Collector unfurls into a big circular disk that's 1km in diameter, so this thing needs a lot of room! (p15 of the original adventure).

And as Sig notes, they do actually say in the original adventure that charging takes 1-6 weeks depending on the type of star and distance from it. So if that could be broken down and tabulated more clearly in HG2 so that GMs knew exactly how long it would take to charge given the situation then that would work.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:24 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:Sorry I should have said - in the original JTAS adventure.
In the Double Adventure version, it's a "non-standard model/3 computer". There doesn't appear to be a program listing in the Double Adventure version (though as you say there is in the JTAS version, and Jump 4 is listed).
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby alex_greene » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:41 pm

Belisknar wrote:
alex_greene wrote:Collectors, plus the space folding drive.
The space folding drive doesn't use fuel, just power so it's usefullness as an alternative to fuel is mute. I would imagine in most cases the size of the collectors wouldn't be larger than the extra size for the power plant to provide the power needed for the SFD.
This works just like the standard jump drive on page 14, but there is no weeklong wait in hyperspace. No time whatsoever elapses during the transition from one place to another, but the drive must recharge for 24 hours before it can make another jump.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Belisknar » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:53 pm

alex_greene wrote:
Belisknar wrote:
alex_greene wrote:Collectors, plus the space folding drive.
The space folding drive doesn't use fuel, just power so it's usefullness as an alternative to fuel is mute. I would imagine in most cases the size of the collectors wouldn't be larger than the extra size for the power plant to provide the power needed for the SFD.
This works just like the standard jump drive on page 14, but there is no weeklong wait in hyperspace. No time whatsoever elapses during the transition from one place to another, but the drive must recharge for 24 hours before it can make another jump.
I think that's for preparing to jump etc in terms of how it opperates and how you play it in game with task chains to jump.
High Guard p.67 wrote:Power Requirements: In order to use the space folding
drive, the ship requires a number of Power points equal
to 50% of the hull’s total tonnage multiplied by the
space folding drive rating. No fuel is consumed
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Reynard » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:11 am

"1; The speed of Collection of the exotic particles. 1 week flat rate allows a 2 Jumps a month just like a regular ship. This saves the need for skimming or buying a lot of fuel and allows Collector ships to just be more efficient and profitable than the old ships. Sucks to be old Tech. "

As I said in an earlier post, most ships don't spend a lot of time traveling to and from jump points and destination. Travel between a far neighbor world and a destination world and back again at 1g is a week. That's obviously far further that a 100D ride at the destination even if it's a gas giant for any reason. Far more likely than not, you are parked in orbit at the destination for a long time watching ships that arrived at the same time refueling with hydrogen and off in far less time. If there's no highport, you better hope for expensive cargo/fuel load and unload shuttle service or waste space for your own small craft. You still need to find L-hyd for your power plant at the same time you're charging the jump. Lots of missed opportunities at downport only sites. Sucks to be specialized new tech.

"2: Does the Collector need to be in a system with a star in order to collect energy? Annic Nova showed a 1-6 week recharge time. This really slows down the competitiveness with Hydrogen if it can take 6 weeks to recharge. If the new system does not need a star to recharge, then crossing rifts becomes a tactical possibility and changes the military balance everywhere Collectors are available."

Annic Nova recharge was based on how far from a star it was. It's making the assumption the necessary energy and particles are part of a star's fusion production (just like fusion PP) and concentrated within a star's local vicinity (inverse square law). They made the process simpler assuming you will always be at an optimal distance from a system's star(s) and you destination.

"3: How far can the Collectors move a ship? Is it J1, J2, J3? higher? Can they power a Jump 4 Jump Engine? If so that has some military implications as well. J4 normally needs 40 percent of the hull volume in fuel. Collectors allow far more cargo or weapons to be moved within the same size hull."

'Collectors consume 1% of the ship’s tonnage multiplied by the maximum jump number its drive is capable of, plus 5 tons.' The collectors are build to handle the size of a ship's jump engine. No J4s in the Core book so we try an 800 ton merc cruiser at J3. That's a Collector displacing 29 tons compared to 249 tons fuel. Sounds great except a Collector cruiser should not be able to deploy that honking huge canopy under gravity in an atmosphere which it's built to operate in. Just to be fair though rather than assuming - Mongoose, can canopies be used planetside or are they those gigantic gossamer structures that work only in zero gravity?

The Annic Nova scenario never explained the double jump drive capacity or how the Accumulator charges both except it could because it was Weird Alien Stuff. The HG2e version was again simplified to handle one jump capacitor system at a time. It seems reasonable it could spend a second week to charge a second jump drive that is equal to or smaller than a primary jump engine. Adding a second Collector system seems impossible with the canopy component.

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