[Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

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[Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:05 am

ORBITAL 2100

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ORBITAL 2100 is available on DriveThruRPG and as a softback on Lulu. It has a realistic (TL 9) feel that is set within our own solar system. The Earth us locked in a Cold War with the people of Luna. Both face off, 400,000 km apart, threatening mutual annihilation whilst they compete to colonise the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Older colonies such as Mars and Mercury are independent and caught up in this struggle for solar system supremacy. Spacecraft use nuclear thermal rockets and create gravity by spinning pods or centrifuges, this is spaceflight as envisaged today! In keeping with the near-future and hard-science fiction themes, role-playing campaigns focus on real people doing real jobs. The game has rules, technology and advice to allow scenarios based around deep space haulage, asteroid mining, salvage, rescue and exploration.

This '2100' revision adds construction rules for orbital vehicles (like Soyuz) and for launch rockets (like Ares, Titan, Energia, etc.) The spacecraft design system is reorganized and crucial tweaks made. Hit location and damage tables have been added that properly reflect the fragile nature of TL 9 spacecraft (we've all seen Gravity, haven't we?!). Finally, and probably most importantly, the rules are compatible with Cepheus Engine and 1st edition Mongoose Traveller. Traveller references have been excised due to changes in the licensing agreements. However, the setting material is unchanged. Previous customers of the first edition of Orbital have been sent a 50% discount code through DriveThruRPG to reflect this fact. If you were not signed up to accept DriveThru emails, please get in touch with your watermarked product number!

http://www.paulelliottbooks.com/orbital.html
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Gypsy Knights Games » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:31 pm

Great stuff Paul.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Solomani666 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:54 pm

Now we can all play "The Expanse"!

I just started a solo game that I intended to be TL9, but decided that redesigning all the ships would be a royal pain.
If only I had this.
It looks great by the way!

Does this have revised tables/calculations for travel times using chemical rockets?
(Earth to Mars, etc.)

Will you be making a version compatible with 2.0?
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:09 am

Hi, I watched The Expanse for the first time a couple of months ago and in many ways it screamed 'Orbital' to me! Only The Expanse has a darker edge to it, with endemic corruption and exploitation. Orbital is a more optimistic future, but that dark edge is all in the referee's presentation, really. There are people traffickers, smugglers and angry rebels out there.

The standard drive is a nuclear thermal rocket and operates with an initial burn with a long coast, like most Mars proposals and of course 2001's Discovery. Travel times are realistic and simple to calculate.

Expanse's Epstein drive is included as a TL10 option, a fusion plasma drive using continuous 1G thrust, this uses the slightly more complex acceleration/deceleration calculation (the one that is included with Classic Traveller, Mega Traveller etc. not sure its in Mongoose Traveller). It is included in Orbital of course. Trade rules are only slightly amended to suit the Solar System stop offs of the setting.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:43 pm

Interesting, I've outlined a campaign, that has sort of developed into a "Mars Western" it is a slight alternate history setting, the main difference from our history is that an artifact has been discovered in the Long Island Sound in 1866, it is a stargate, which is an artificial wormhole, the apparatus that maintains the wormhole is in the shape of a tetrahedron (basically the shape of a 4-sided die) each face of the tetrahedron is a stargate leading to another tetrahedron-shaped stargate on Mars, not Mars of this setting but a far future Mars. (about 30,000+ years in the future) In this future, Mars has been terraformed, it has an atmosphere that's similar to Earth's although it stacks 2.4 times as high due to the lower gravity. (which also increases the greenhouse effect due to the greater volume of air) That stargate was placed in what was to be the Long Island Sound, 30,000 years ago, which at that time was during the last Ice Age, the Ocean level was lower and the Tetrahedron stargate was on dry land, and each face is 50 feet on a side. All sorts of flora and fauna, as well as ice age paleo-indians migrated through that stargate, and then the glaciers melted, the ocean levels of both Earth and Mars rose on both sides of the gate. When the stargate was under water, fish from the North Atlantic migrated into Mars' Northern Ocean. There were cities on Mars long before these migrations occurred, the paleo-indians didn't know much about them, the original inhabitants were no where to be found, so they continued their lifestyle on the low gravity world of Mars.

The United States discovered this stargate off the shore of long island, and an expansion onto the surface of Mars accompanied the settlement patterns out west. This western setting continued into the 20th century, on Mars cars are rare, because they run on gasoline, or require such substitute fuels as alcohol of biodiesel, horses are popular as a means of transportation across the landscaped of Mars. History continues Earthside, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II occur on schedule, and in the 1950s, Werner Von Braun moves his rocket program to this Mars, he figures it is much easier to get into space from Mars than from Earth. I figure in this setting access to space occurs one tech level earlier, at Tech level 6. Von Braun finds that he can build a one-stage rocket that can reach orbit. After a number of trails, he builds a winged orbiter that can land on a runway on Mars by the year 1960. Telescopes have discovered an installation on Phobos, Von Braun is interested in sending a rocket there. Perhaps some elements of Orbital can be used here. Because of the low gravity of Mars, humanity would get out into space earlier than usual, landing on Earth and taking off again is still a problem however. Some previous humans have terraformed Mars and disappeared before the Paleo-Indians and ice age animals showed up on Mars, what happened to them is a mystery. Probes that have been sent to Earth have detected ruined cities overgrown with vegetation. Something happened to humanity in this Solar System, and nobody know what it was. That is the basic premise.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:28 pm

Sol666, what is your solo game? By that I mean, what rules set-up or campaign method do you follow to resolve missions/events and adjudicate them?

As a solo player (ever since my boys grew up a few years ago and stopped Travelling, anyway!) I have experimented with a couple of approaches. One I documented as Star Trader, but I am very interested in publishing a more definitive Traveller solo book. There must be many solo Travellers out there in need of such a rulebook, TL 9 or otherwise.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:22 pm

By the way, are you going to stat up Elon Musk's Mars Colonial Transporter?
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This looks like a real cool vehicle, it comes in two reusable parts, actually three if you include the tanker
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interplan ... ort_System
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:42 pm

I've got no plans to do that Tom, but I would be interested in seeing it represented in Traveller stats, if you want to give it a go.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:52 am

Mithras wrote:I've got no plans to do that Tom, but I would be interested in seeing it represented in Traveller stats, if you want to give it a go.
I would need to get the latest set of rules first. One big difference from the Orbital Campaign, is this ship gets around of methane burning chemical rocket engines, the main secret of its range is it gets refueled frequently. You launch it into orbit, the bottom stage goes back down, lands on the pad, a fuel taker is loaded on top, and it is launched again, the fuel tanker docks with the ships, transfers its fuel to the empty tanks, and low Earth orbit energy wise is halfway to anywhere in the Solar System, it could use its chemical engines to plot a course t any planet in the Solar System, it would take a long time to get to the outer planets, but it could get there. The current configuration is good for going anywhere in the Inner Solar System, as it relies on solar power during transit, and of course it would need shielding and cooling if it were to go to Mercury. Details details. the economics works similar to the standard Traveller. A group of player characters purchase the ship and rent the lower stage to get them into orbit from Earth, then they pay for the extra fuel delivery to their ship, so they can head to some other planet. Landing is possible on any low gravity World and on Earth, getting off of Earth again requires a lower booster and a launch pad. the ship could o course make short ballistic hops across the Earth's surface under its own power, needing to refuel each time it does one.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:19 pm

Methane or whatever, just treat it as a chemical rocket.

I read a science paper a long time ago about mining the ices of Mars to refuel for the return trip. Only have to carry the fuel to get there.

There is water/ice all over the solar system, so you don't have to carry all your fuel, just enough to get to your destination. Even if you go to Venus, you could process some of the trace gasses in the atmosphere for fuel.

Traveller's idea that water/ice is very rare is completely wrong. Ice/Water is everywhere.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:17 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:Methane or whatever, just treat it as a chemical rocket.

I read a science paper a long time ago about mining the ices of Mars to refuel for the return trip. Only have to carry the fuel to get there.

There is water/ice all over the solar system, so you don't have to carry all your fuel, just enough to get to your destination. Even if you go to Venus, you could process some of the trace gasses in the atmosphere for fuel.

Traveller's idea that water/ice is very rare is completely wrong. Ice/Water is everywhere.
It is a bit misleading to treat Europa as if it has 100% hydrographics, but in a sense it does, it is a vacuum world with 100% hydrographics with a solid surface that you can land on. So what do you think does a frozen water world with no atmosphere have 100% hydrographics of 0%?. On Europa, you would also need dry Ice plus water ice to may methane and oxygen to fuel your rocket.
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Kind of reminds one of Flash Gordon's Spaceship doesn't it?
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It always seemed wrong that this ship had a habit of landing on its side rather than on its tail. I guess they didn't know how to fly it!
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:48 am

Tom Kalbfus wrote:It is a bit misleading to treat Europa as if it has 100% hydrographics, but in a sense it does, it is a vacuum world with 100% hydrographics with a solid surface that you can land on. So what do you think does a frozen water world with no atmosphere have 100% hydrographics of 0%?.
Tom, Orbital doesn't give Europa a Hydrographics % of 100%. If you check page 119 the method of recording under-ice oceans is given. We use the Traveller term ice capped to denote these moons, with Hydrographics 1 and Atmosphere either 1 or 0.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:23 pm

Yep I know, all of the outer moons would be considered ice capped, moons which were size S would be considered ice capped. Io doesn't have much ice, there might be some, but with volcanoes going off all the time, I'd say most of that ice was gotten rid of. Titan is an interesting variation, it has fluid oceans of methane and ethane, it rains this stuff, has rivers and lakes of this stuff, but its crust also includes water ice, there are plenty of places to refuel on Titan, the main problem with fuel manufacture is the creation of liquid oxygen, this can be done through melting the surface rocks and soil into water and doing electrolysis to split it into hydrogen an oxygen, you would want to keep the oxygen, and then pump in some methane from a nearby lake or river, and your ready to go. You might want to use something other than rockets for landing on Titan's surface though, the rocket engines would tend to melt and boil that surface into steam, the landing pads would tend to sink into the puddle created, and when the rocket engines switch off, that puddle would rapidly freeze around the landing pads, and you would not want to sink too deeply, up the rocket engines, because then the ic would freeze around that, and it might be a problem for taking off again., Also the exhaust products of a methane oxygen rocket would be water vapor and carbon-dioxide, both would tend to precipitate out of the atmosphere as snow. Maybe roton helicopter blades would be a good idea for landing, or maybe parachutes, or maybe the rockets could be shut off, perhaps cold compressed gasses could be used for touch down.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:38 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:There is water/ice all over the solar system, so you don't have to carry all your fuel, just enough to get to your destination. Even if you go to Venus, you could process some of the trace gasses in the atmosphere for fuel.
Traveller's idea that water/ice is very rare is completely wrong. Ice/Water is everywhere.
Agreed! All Deep Space Vehicles going to the Outer System should be equipped with Mining Drones and Fuel Processors so that ice can be mined and processed in order to create liquid hydrogen rocket fuel. Most asteroids contain ice. It is everywhere. A whole breed of Orbital travellers exist around the Belt who are independant and self-reliant like this. Those Mining Drones can also be retasked to mine particular types of rocks for nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and calcium, crucial for running agricultural modules on these frontier Belter spacecraft. The rules for this, the equipment involved and the dangers present, are on pages 133-138.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:46 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote: ... this ship gets around of methane burning chemical rocket engines, the main secret of its range is it gets refueled frequently.
That is TL 8 technology Tom, and you won't realistically get a Solar System teeming with colonies using only chemical rockets of that type. That is why all of the current plans look at nuclear thermal or fusion rocket developments. Heck, the NERVA design that functions as the basis for Orbital's prime mover was developed and prototyped in the 50s and 60s. Orbital is based on modern technology, yes, but for drives it has to depend on these next generation drives to make the Solar System viable. Who wants to create a character and then have to wait 6 years before they get to the action in orbit around Jupiter? Leave the chemical rockets in orbit.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:20 pm

Mithras wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote: ... this ship gets around of methane burning chemical rocket engines, the main secret of its range is it gets refueled frequently.
That is TL 8 technology Tom, and you won't realistically get a Solar System teeming with colonies using only chemical rockets of that type. That is why all of the current plans look at nuclear thermal or fusion rocket developments. Heck, the NERVA design that functions as the basis for Orbital's prime mover was developed and prototyped in the 50s and 60s. Orbital is based on modern technology, yes, but for drives it has to depend on these next generation drives to make the Solar System viable. Who wants to create a character and then have to wait 6 years before they get to the action in orbit around Jupiter? Leave the chemical rockets in orbit.
You would need nuclear reactors to manufacture chemical fuel in any case, those unfolding solar panels would only work in the inner solar system. the upper stage of the Interplantary Trasportation System (ITS) is good for landing on low gravity worlds such as Mars. Fortunately the only high gravity worlds are Earth, Venus, and the Gas giants. the upper stage can land on MArs, produce fuel and take off again. it can also land on Titan, it would need a powerful heater to keep is occupants from freezing once the chemical engines are shut off. Nuclear reactors are a necessity in the outer solar system, but this is the sort of ship player characters could own, it is not a one-shot deal. You hire a lower stage to get into orbit from Earth, and you pay them to deliver your initial fuel to get out of low Earth orbit and your all set! I can forsee a whole range of upper stages, perhaps a Mercenary cruiser of a sort which can land on Mars, produce fuel and then take off again., each upper stage would be specialized to do a different job, whether its cargo, passengers, or even piracy! I think there is a role for plasma drives, nerva and the like. You could replace the methane engines with a Nerva Drive in the upper stage, but still rely on chemical boosters to get you off Earth. As for Venus, it would make a lovely prison planet, very hard to get off from without infrastructure.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:46 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote: You would need nuclear reactors to manufacture chemical fuel in any case, those unfolding solar panels would only work in the inner solar system.
I urge you to buy a copy of Orbital, Tom, many of your suggestions and ideas are already there, using Traveller rules. The ORVIN is an Oxygen Recovery In Situ 10 ton module built around a 2.5 ton fission plant that cracks ice into liquid hydrogen rocket fuel, potable water and oxygen and forms the heart of most mining outposts and start-up colonies. Its all there! I think the ORVIN was a NASA oroposal...I can't remember, either that or I created it from another project I had read about.
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:39 am

There is a pretty comprehensive review on the follow blog post, if you wanted to look into it more deeply:

https://rockymountainnavy.wordpress.com ... adventure/
Paul Elliott
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby crazy_cat » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:05 pm

Is there a print and PDF bundle option available anywhere?
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Re: [Zozer Games] Orbital 2100

Postby Mithras » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:33 pm

Orbital 2100 is available as a nice softcover book through Lulu, for various reasons I can't offer a PDF / Softcover bundle through Drivethru RPG.
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