TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:56 am

Reynard wrote:"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.
Well, leaving aside the fact that the fuel tankage for fusion plants is what is termed in professional circles as "absolute bollocks" (realistically, that much hydrogen fuel volume could power a fusion plant for decades, if not longer), there's no reason why Collectors have to be better than standard jump tech. If it's a different tech then it has its own standards to work with.
"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.
I really don't understand publishers who insist on oversimplifying things because they assume that people who play scifi games are idiots. Formulas will not kill anyone. And they can always use tables too. But anyway - I don't know if HG2 has power points or anything, but the table should go something like this:

Code: Select all

                                   Distance/AU							
             0.05     0.25     0.5     1       2      3     4       5       10  AU
Luminosity
1000        0.00042  0.0105  0.042   0.168  0.672  1.512   2.688   4.2     16.8      early B V & giant stars
100         0.0042   0.105   0.42    1.68   6.72   15.12   26.88   42      168       late B V & giant stars
10          0.042    1.05    4.2     16.8   67.2   151.2   268.8   420     1680      mid/early A V
5           0.084    2.1     8.4     33.6   134.4  302.4   537.6   840     3360      late A V
2           0.21     5.25    21      84     336    756     1344    2100    8400      early F V
1.5         0.28     7       28      112    448    1008    1792    2800    11200     mid F V
1.25        0.336    8.4     33.6    134.4  537.6  1209.6  2150.4  3360    13440     late F V
1           0.42     10.5    42      168    672    1512    2688    4200    16800     early G V
0.75        0.56     14      56      224    896    2016    3584    5600    22400     mid G V
0.5         0.84     21      84      336    1344   3024    5376    8400    33600     late G V
0.25        1.68     42      168     672    2688   6048    10752   16800   67200     early K V
0.1         4.2      105     420     1680   6720   15120   26880   42000   168000    mid K V
0.01        42       1050    4200    16800  67200  151200  268800  420000  1680000   early M V
0.001       420      10500   42000   168000 672000 1512000 2688000 4200000 16800000  late M V & white dwarfs
This table shows the time (in hours) that it would take to charge a jump drive (168 hours = 1 week). It shows how this time would vary with luminosity and distance from the star - e.g. if you are a 0.5 AU from a star with luminosity of 1.5 Sol, then the drive takes 112 hours to charge. It's assumed that the "particles" are directly proportional to luminosity (twice the luminosity = twice the particle flux at the same distance), and that they drop off with the inverse square of distance (twice the distance = 1/4 of the particle flux). I've also shown the star type corresponding to that luminosity (bear in mind that M V are the most common stars, stellar frequency decreases rapidly as luminosity increases, and giant stars are fairly rare). These numbers are easily adjustable - if you want to say that it takes say 3 weeks (504 hours) to charge in the habitable zone instead, then replace the "168" at (luminosity 1L, distance 1 AU) with "504", and multiply all the other values in the table by 3. Bear in mind that six weeks = 1008 hours, so anything beyond that and we're looking at cripplingly long waiting time.

So from this we can determine a few things:
- 1) It is assumed to take 168 hours (1 week) to fully charge a jump drive at the habitable zone distance of the star (which varies with distance depending on star type). It takes 1008 hours to charge at 2.45x the habitable zone distance (roughly where the Outer Zone starts). Anything further than that, and it takes significantly longer (at 10x habitable distance, it takes 100 weeks - about two years! So don't try this at Saturn!). If it takes longer than 1008 hours then essentially it's not worth even trying.
- 2) Being closer to the star really helps. At Mercury's distance from the sun, the drive would only take about 27 hours to charge. But then you also need to worry about cooking the ship.
- 3) Giant stars really speed things up (even at 10 AU from a 100L giant star, the drive takes 1 week to charge. At 1 AU (if that's not within the star itself) it'd only take 1.68 hours! But again, you'd also be cooking your ship (and possibly fighting significant solar wind pressure from the giant collector sail)
- 4) you have to be much closer to dim stars to charge things up at 168 hrs (and as you'd expect, their habitable zones are correspondingly much closer to the star too). For the dimmest stars (0.001L) you have to be around 0.03 AU to get a 168 hour charging time - if you're at 1 AU from such a star it'd take you 1000 weeks (19 years!) to charge the drive (so obviously don't even try)!
- 5) It should be quite obvious that you can't use collectors in interstellar space. Presumably Brown Dwarfs (not having fusion in their cores) do not emit the magic particles that the Collectors use either.

Obviously it'd take longer to charge up a bigger or smaller drive. I'm assuming a J3 drive here - maybe they all take the same length of time, maybe there's an additional factor for whether you're looking at a J1 or J6 drive. But this gives you an idea of how it'd work in practice (and something considerably more useful than the vague "1-6 weeks depending on star type and distance from star").

So the moral of the story is - use the Collector within the Habitable or Inner Zones, unless you have a lot of time to kill.

'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?
It sounds like they're zero gravity only. It's basically unravelling an energy-collecting light sail.
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.
It did - see my previous post. It sounds like it could power both drives for a single use, so the ship could do a J3 jump followed by a J2 jump on a single charge.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby -Daniel- » Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:21 am

I just caught up with this conversation and I have to say, I just don't see ever using these in my game. I think I will leave them as an odd curious alien artifact at best.

Thanks to all of you for hashing it out so much to make it easy for me to come to that decision. :mrgreen:
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Condottiere » Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:37 am

Don't those things wear out, and you have to replace the Brita filter after a hundred uses?

My gut says that a tech level nine monojumper or tech level eleven bijump drive is just going to be simpler and cheaper to maintain.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:32 am

Hang on a minute...
To jump, a ship creates a bubble of hyperspace by means of injecting high-energy exotic particles into an artificial singularity. The singularity is driven out of our universe, creating a tiny parallel universe which is then blown up like a balloon by injecting hydrogen into it. The jump bubble is folded around the ship, carrying it into the little pocket universe.
MgT2 Core, p148.
So if Collectors just collect the "high energy exotic particles" to (create? push out? manipulate?) the artificial singularity, what "blows up the balloon" in the jump bubble if having Collectors means you don't need jump fuel?
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby rust2 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:47 am

fusor wrote: So if Collectors just collect the "high energy exotic particles" to (create? push out? manipulate?) the artificial singularity, what "blows up the balloon" in the jump bubble if having Collectors means you don't need jump fuel?
Yep, no jump fuel required. :)

However, you still need the usual fuel for the power plant [which seems to be a hydrogen combustion engine, judging from the amount of fuel it needs]. :shock:
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:47 am

MgT is the only version to ever come up with a hydrogen filled jump bubble.

It is a piece of fanon that has been criticised to oblivion over the years - MWM's original jump space article didn't have a hydrogen bubble, in point of fact the first place a 'bubble' was mentioned is in the MT SOM, but it just says a bubble of normal space surrounds the ship, no mention of filling it with hydrogen.
Fanon misinterpreted this and lots of people over the years suggested that's why you need all the hydrogen.

Consider this - it is possible to power a jump drive with an antimatter plant, a collector, or a fusion plant. Two out of the three have no need for massive amounts of hydrogen.

T5 has three different ways for the jump field to be generated - a jump bubble (no mention of hydrogen filling it), a jump grid (creates a jump field close to the hull and conforms to it, and jump plates.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:14 am

The hydrogen bubble has been Traveller standard a long, long time. Yes there are some glitches in the application of the concept but so far only the high tech anti-matter power plant and the collector have disconnected the way jump fields are formed. I noticed the 'errors' have never been corrected after so long especially with MegaTraveller which has always been detail obsessed. Accumulators were originally created as a one shot story plot and became an oddity that remained that one ship from an unknown alien race. Mongoose revives it, cleans it up then catalogues it in the alternate tech section without bothering to address the hydrogen issue. It's up to refs and players to use as is and come up with a clever reason it works such as their universe jump creates the exotic energy bubble without hydrogen. For anti-matter power plants, the high tech level for it's use may have also found a means to tweak jump engines to operate more efficiently and again not needing hydrogen to hold the field together.

Stop stressing about the hows and whys and use the material, maybe create reasons as part of the fun of the game and actually play the game with resources given.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby phavoc » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:48 pm

Reynard wrote:The hydrogen bubble has been Traveller standard a long, long time. Yes there are some glitches in the application of the concept but so far only the high tech anti-matter power plant and the collector have disconnected the way jump fields are formed. I noticed the 'errors' have never been corrected after so long especially with MegaTraveller which has always been detail obsessed. Accumulators were originally created as a one shot story plot and became an oddity that remained that one ship from an unknown alien race. Mongoose revives it, cleans it up then catalogues it in the alternate tech section without bothering to address the hydrogen issue. It's up to refs and players to use as is and come up with a clever reason it works such as their universe jump creates the exotic energy bubble without hydrogen. For anti-matter power plants, the high tech level for it's use may have also found a means to tweak jump engines to operate more efficiently and again not needing hydrogen to hold the field together.

Stop stressing about the hows and whys and use the material, maybe create reasons as part of the fun of the game and actually play the game with resources given.

By "long, long time" you mean since the advent of MGT, right? 'Cause before that it was lanthanum grids that generated the jump drives, and you had zuchai crystals in your drives. Previous versions had the jump grid requiring a great deal of power to be dumped into it in a very short time, and then in a flash (literally) you popped into jump space. T5 seems to be pushing the accumulator tech down into MGT, rather than vice versa. And T5 has pushed a LOT of crap out into the Traveller universe (multiple jump variants, multiple jump bubble types, etc). I'm not opposed to new things being introduced. But I think Miller has done an incredibly shitty job of introducing it. It would have made far more sense to have these different jump techs being developed by different races instead of saying "hey, you can hop, skip or jump your way across the stars, just take your pick from these very different technologies!" I Kickstarted T5 and yeah, I paid for the right to be critical of it.

As far as accumulators go they were first introduced in CT. And black globes became really handy to have for warships. Instead of having to refuel in an enemy system you could simply let them shoot you while your globe was on, charge your accumulators and then dump that energy into the jump drive and run away, err, I mean perform a strategic retreat. I'm not sure if Double Adventure 2 (where Annic Nova was introduced) came before the black globes or not. I think the first mention of black globes was in the Kinunir adventure. But early CT jumped around a bit. Though both the Annic Nova and black globe were considered alien tech.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:27 pm

Reynard wrote:The hydrogen bubble has been Traveller standard a long, long time.
No , it hasn't. Mongoose is the first ruleset to say the jump bubble fills with hydrogen - no other source backs this up.
If you can find a direct quote of hydrogen being used to fill the jump bubble in any other official version of Traveller please post it and I will stand corrected.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:34 pm

phavoc wrote:
As far as accumulators go they were first introduced in CT. And black globes became really handy to have for warships. Instead of having to refuel in an enemy system you could simply let them shoot you while your globe was on, charge your accumulators and then dump that energy into the jump drive and run away, err, I mean perform a strategic retreat.
There is a really annoying little rule in HG that states you also need the usual % of jump fuel to perform the jump.
I'm not sure if Double Adventure 2 (where Annic Nova was introduced) came before the black globes or not.
Annic Nova was first introduced in JTAS 1, around the time Adventure 1 Kinunir mentions black globes for the first time and then we got 1979 edition of High Guard which had the rules for them.
Shadows/Annic Nova was actually double adventure 1.
Though both the Annic Nova and black globe were considered alien tech.
Not quite, the first black globes were relic alien devices, but by 1105 the 3I had learned to make their own TL15 version.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby phavoc » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:47 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
phavoc wrote:As far as accumulators go they were first introduced in CT. And black globes became really handy to have for warships. Instead of having to refuel in an enemy system you could simply let them shoot you while your globe was on, charge your accumulators and then dump that energy into the jump drive and run away, err, I mean perform a strategic retreat.
There is a really annoying little rule in HG that states you also need the usual % of jump fuel to perform the jump.
Right, but unless somebody is shooting at you AND you have black globes, you still need the fuel requirement to actually jump. That rule is present for all ships, assuming that people don't regularly shoot you while you have your black globe engaged.
Sigtrygg wrote:Annic Nova was first introduced in JTAS 1, around the time Adventure 1 Kinunir mentions black globes for the first time and then we got 1979 edition of High Guard which had the rules for them.

Shadows/Annic Nova was actually double adventure 1.[/quote

I wasn't sure which came when. I got pretty close though! :)
Sigtrygg wrote:Not quite, the first black globes were relic alien devices, but by 1105 the 3I had learned to make their own TL15 version.
Yes, at one point the Imperium figured out how to build their own. But like the accumulators the tech wasn't originally developed by the Imperium on it's own. That was my point. I can't recall from the Annic Nova adventure whether or not the crew was supposed to be completely alien, or somehow related to the ancients.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Belisknar » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:13 pm

So what it seems to be coming down to now is that the problem isn't with Collectors/accumulators as a concept... but more that it's an issue with the Hydrogen bubble based description of the jump travel that Mongoose has proppogated over the 2 editions.

Seems if we were working with a Jump Grid or Matrix that is folded around the ship using the 'exotic particles' that are mentioned in both of the MGT descriptions, we might be on a better footing as to how this tech might fit better into the traveller universe?

Am I wrong in saying this? If the hydrogen inflated bubble line wasn't part of the jump description would it make the collector tech less outlandish? Maybe if instead the huge amounts of hydrogen were being used to generate massive surges of power to focused through something in the jump drive which generated or drew in these 'exotic particles' to be folded around the ship for the jump bubble to be created.

Perhaps what the Collectors/accumulators take a week to draw in, Hydrogen based drives could do it in a matter of minutes.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:01 pm

"By "long, long time" you mean since the advent of MGT, right?"

I was thinking in terms of Classic and MegaTraveller as well as referencing from Marc Miller's Traveller and Traveller: The New Era.

"'Cause before that it was lanthanum grids that generated the jump drives, and you had zuchai crystals in your drives. Previous versions had the jump grid requiring a great deal of power to be dumped into it in a very short time, and then in a flash (literally) you popped into jump space."

MegaTraveller also had the power for the jump generated from a fusion reactor part of the engine. The jump capacitors (zuchai crystal array) are the storage for the energy from the reactors, Accumulators or Black Globes. The jump grid still operated with the jump bubble but MegaTraveller I believe decided to remove the hydrogen feature for a form fitting energy bubble. Not sure at the moment about T4 but T5 is essentially saying there are various ways to create the field and all work in the same universe. One needs hydrogen to create an actual sphere and cheaper but has its disadvanges and is inferior. That works for me.

"T5 seems to be pushing the accumulator tech down into MGT, rather than vice versa. And T5 has pushed a LOT of crap out into the Traveller universe (multiple jump variants, multiple jump bubble types, etc)."

Mongoose has not used very much from T5 at all as you seem to have found. One jump type, one jump bubble. Was the Collector pushed on Mongoose or did they decide they liked the idea, worked the game mechanics, submitted for approval and received approval? I actually use T5 to fill in parts I like for use with MgT.

"I'm not opposed to new things being introduced. But I think Miller has done an incredibly shitty job of introducing it."

This is where this unreasonable and exaggerated bias against T5 and sometimes any edition under Marc's direct control make discussions less convincing for their objectivity.

"It would have made far more sense to have these different jump techs being developed by different races instead of saying "hey, you can hop, skip or jump your way across the stars, just take your pick from these very different technologies!" I Kickstarted T5 and yeah, I paid for the right to be critical of it."

I bought the book after the Kickstart and I also can give both positive and negative review and commentary. By the way, I will NEVER do kickstarting. That's gambling and people who do sometime refuse to realize placing a bet doesn't mean you're entitled or guaranteed to have it exactly the way you want. You say you have the Right to be critical. You also have the Right to willingly take a chance and not 'win'.

The one thing I love about T5 is it gives LOTS of detail and options I can and do reject or embrace. Diversity is not a bad thing. One thing I love about MgT is it is NOT complex and super detailed. I paid for both warts and all.

"As far as accumulators go they were first introduced in CT. And black globes became really handy to have for warships. Instead of having to refuel in an enemy system you could simply let them shoot you while your globe was on, charge your accumulators and then dump that energy into the jump drive and run away, err, I mean perform a strategic retreat."

You really, really interpreted the rules to mean that? I read the rule and saw a device to protect important ships in battle with the side effect they could be destroyed if too much power is absorbed, you know the ship everyone is firing at and can't fire back? It got you in close then is dropped to fight. Often the ship is now bleeding off that energy because they want to use the Globe again without blowing up.

"I'm not sure if Double Adventure 2 (where Annic Nova was introduced) came before the black globes or not. I think the first mention of black globes was in the Kinunir adventure. But early CT jumped around a bit. Though both the Annic Nova and black globe were considered alien tech."

Kinunir is 1979 while Annic Nova is 1980. Black Globes are in High Guard 1980 and listed as Force Field in Trillion Credit Squadron 1981. The BGs were/are originally relics added only to very important ships. Later, in 1987, they have TL 15 Globes that are less efficient than artifact TL17+, Proton Screen are TL 19-21 and White Globe which don't restrict sight or weapon fire arte also TL 20-21.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby AndrewW » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:10 pm

Reynard wrote:Was the Collector pushed on Mongoose or did they decide they liked the idea, worked the game mechanics, submitted for approval and received approval?
It came from T5, wouldn't really say it was pushed but it was supplied from there and incorporated.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:11 pm

JTAS 1 in which the Annic Nova first appears is copyright 1979 also.

I am yet to find out why the 79 version of HG was replaced so quickly with the 80 version, especially since ships like the Kinunir and Gazelle used the 79 edition.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Condottiere » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:22 pm

Let's say every transition method works, it's just a matter of economics.

A fission plant will love you long time.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:45 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:It is a piece of fanon that has been criticised to oblivion over the years - MWM's original jump space article didn't have a hydrogen bubble, in point of fact the first place a 'bubble' was mentioned is in the MT SOM, but it just says a bubble of normal space surrounds the ship, no mention of filling it with hydrogen.
Fanon misinterpreted this and lots of people over the years suggested that's why you need all the hydrogen.
I think it's more that the hydrogen-filled bubble was used as an excuse to explain why the Jump Drive needed hydrogen fuel at all.
Consider this - it is possible to power a jump drive with an antimatter plant, a collector, or a fusion plant. Two out of the three have no need for massive amounts of hydrogen.
Well, three of the three have no need for massive amounts of hydrogen. Fusion plants do not need "two weeks of hydrogen fuel" - they'd probably need more like a few litres at most to last their entire lifetime (which can be built into the plant itself). I view the 2 week thing as more "they need regular maintenance every two weeks or things start to break".

T5 has three different ways for the jump field to be generated - a jump bubble (no mention of hydrogen filling it), a jump grid (creates a jump field close to the hull and conforms to it, and jump plates.
Nice of them to be so clear about it. :/
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby fusor » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:53 pm

Reynard wrote:It's up to refs and players to use as is and come up with a clever reason it works such as their universe jump creates the exotic energy bubble without hydrogen.
Or maybe it's up to the authors to not write inconsistent, confusing, contradictory rules in a design document.
Stop stressing about the hows and whys and use the material, maybe create reasons as part of the fun of the game and actually play the game with resources given.
People have often used this "part of the fun is coming up with reasons for the flaws" excuse with Traveller - that just reeks to me of trying to justify reasons to yourself to use a flawed product. I'd much prefer that the flaws weren't there in the first place because the authors actually wrote decent, usable material that made sense.
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:26 pm

"It came from T5, wouldn't really say it was pushed but it was supplied from there and incorporated."

So, the T5 gang are on the 2e design loop and say "Well we have a few elements you might like to incorporate such as those Accumulators from long ago, we call Collectors now. Look the stuff over and see if you want to use any of it."?
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Re: TL 14 Collectors In High Guard

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:29 pm

Condottiere, it gives you a warm, tingly feeling all over like after a fortnight vacation at Chernobyl?

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