Ansibles: FTL communication

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PsiTraveller
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Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby PsiTraveller » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:31 am

Has anyone played around with having a means of FTL communication between systems? It would fundamentally change a lot of the military and economic systems and assumptions of the Universe.

If you have done so what TL did you have it as? Did you use Psionics as a base?
What were the results like? Did it impact the game play of the system?
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby steve98052 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:30 am

Faster than light communication, and communication that's much faster than travel, are commonplace in science fiction. Star Trek, for example, had its "sub space radio". Star Wars appeared to have communication that could go faster than ships. And of course the LeGuin science fiction universe acquired the original ansible.

However, I think that the limitation that all communications are limited to the speed of the fastest starship is a defining characteristic of Traveller, even more than the Third Imperium setting. If you add the ansible, it's no longer Traveller, unless it's a vanishingly rare Ancients artifact set.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:44 am

FTL comms mean the cops are waiting to get you in whichever system you run to.

FTL comms means battle fleets can quickly be deployed to invasion points.

FTL comms means the central government has much greater control over the frontier sectors.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:41 pm

What if you used a pair of wormholes as a communications device? The wormholes are very small, so they can only be used for communication. No one can intercept the communication through the wormhole unless one is standing at one of the two ends, so its not so much like a FTL radio but an FTL wired phone, where the wire is the wormhole. The wormhole stays open, one can communicate while in Jump space too. What effect would this have?
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Subzero001 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:43 am

I would think it depends upon the "bandwidth" of the FTL communication, Battletech has its device "Hyperpulse Generators: Known as HPGs for short, these employ the same fictional Kearny-Fuchida principles as jump drives, but instead of moving starships they transmit data at faster-than-light speed. Their range is up to around 50 lightyears, and messages are usually bundled and sent out in certain intervals (as opposed to continual transmission, which is also possible but rarely used). A communications network of HPGs was established that survived the downfall of the Star League and now marks the boundary of the Inner Sphere. The HPG network is generally associated with ComStar who exclusively operated it and evolved into a religious body over this.(originally planet based with the lag time like the telegraph sent in packets weekly or mouthy, up to skipe like if willing to pay the big $$$)" copied from http://www.sarna.net/wiki/BattleTech
There is the book series from Elizabeth Moon that has "ansible" systems both financial and general traffic along with a military equivalent (originally planet based with the lag time like the telegraph sent in packets weekly or mouthy, up to skipe like if willing to pay the big $$$). There is the book series done by David Weber that is a "ansible" like in a more primitive way communication via drones, missiles and their Hermes buoys "in system communication drones with stealth" allowing instant communication from the system limit to a planet or another distant ship.

I played in a game in traveller where the GM had cloned psionic job bosses (that had FTL group mind power) that we reported to get our standard missions required of us from the syndicate that we owed pounds of flesh to, we picked up other side jobs to help us outfit the ship, pay for specialized training or equipment etc... was an interesting game until player fraction since we played it on line in real time something like a group skipe.

hope this helps
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Pyromancer » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:42 pm

I'm pondering to give the "Psionic Empire" in the setting I'm working on an ultra-secret way to communicate FTL telepathically. Downside: You need a group of talented telepaths, and it fries their brains in the process. So it wouldn't see everyday use, but would cut down reaction time by half in case of an invasion, for example.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Hopeless » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:18 pm

Oh i thought thought this was about the Ansibles mentioned in the Vatta's War series?!
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby xnet445 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:45 pm

David Drake, in his Hammers Slammers universe, handles FTL communications through a communications relay station built at a galactic anomaly that is the same apparent distance from every other point in the galaxy. This relay is operated by the Bonding Authority, THE megacorp of his universe and a kind of quasi insurance company/bank/arbitration firm. The anomaly is detailed in his novel Voyage Across the Stars.

http://david-drake.com/2011/voyage-across-the-stars/
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Golan2072 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:11 pm

I recall someone proposing an "Old West" flavor for Traveller a while ago. This involved "telegraph" and "railroad". The "telegraph" was a series of monstrously expensive hyperwave antennas capable of sending tiny data-packets to each other; no other FTL coms were available. The "railroad" was a network of stargates, again monstrously expensive to set up, which speed up travel between stargate-equipped systems. As they were expensive, only important systems had them; there was an "outback" without FTL comms or stargates. Frontier systems slowly got them as they developed. Also, to send complex information, not to mention contacting the "outback" worlds, you'd still have to use the Pony Express (i.e. Type-S).
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Subzero001 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:02 pm

Hello Hopeless,

I did mention the Vatta war series as one of my examples "Oh i thought thought this was about the Ansibles mentioned in the Vatta's War series?!"

I first mentioned the Battletech since I have been informed they are related to traveller. the Elizabeth Moon series as an example of a society that had the technology, lost access to it and then regained it but in a different way. I could imagine the Imperium doing similar responses that the mega corp did. The Honor Harrington series shows a developing of the FTL communication showing basic communications, In RLT (real life today) we are developing Quantum And Molecular Computing with 'Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance – instead, a quantum state must be described for the system as a whole. ' what one computer is doing the other receives it in reverse it just has to decode it like a modem for theoretically instant transmission across the universe.

http://www.dwavesys.com/press-releases/ ... ve-systems

http://phys.org/news/2014-07-scientists ... ified.html

http://phys.org/news/2014-10-breakthrou ... based.html

So depending on how the GM wishes to apply it in his/hers traveller universe could just be interesting or a major game changer.

I wonder if there is going to be a refined version Traveller psionics v2 , I would like to try integrating some of the systems into the ships, space-savers, jump/standard drive modifications, time drives etc... Also more information about covers that agents get would be nice as well.

"comment done by Golan2072" I like this idea as well and it was kind of how it worked in the battletech universe, I would suggest a combination of this and how honor Harrington book series for their weapons (in system), of communication (in system) drones/probes (in system) as a basis.

We might have some new interesting books coming out in the future :)
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:40 am

The Vatta's war Ansibles were something I was thinking of when I asked the question. Any fast message system would do.
The Rowan by Anne Mcaffrey would be a psionic version that allowed for messages to be sent between systems with a similar T-1 Primes.

the no messages faster than Jump is part of the Traveller Canon, always has been. I just like asking questions that tweak at what everyone assumes to be a fundamental tenet. I just wondered if anyone has done it to a game they were running and if so, how did it go?
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby alex_greene » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:50 am

Sigtrygg wrote:FTL comms mean the cops are waiting to get you in whichever system you run to.

FTL comms means battle fleets can quickly be deployed to invasion points.

FTL comms means the central government has much greater control over the frontier sectors.
LOL And? They couldn't have caught Dr Crippen without wireless telecommunications. Maybe, in the Traveller universe, the invention of the ansible could be a changing point that happens within your Travellers' lifetime.

You know how industry caused these upheavals in the way people thought and lived? At the start of the century, people were stuck at home and practically had to walk everywhere if they didn't have money to own and maintain a horse, so the range of human endeavour and the scope of human knowledge was limited to what they could read from whatever newspapers were being sold, assuming they could read.

By the middle of the century, people were taking vacations halfway around the world, and seeing events which were taking place on continents they had only heard of in schools.

As the century matured, phenomena such as the Open University brought education to the masses through late night TV broadcasts, and science shows were preparing people for lasers, holograms and silicon chips. A TV documentary, Cosmos, event television at the time, told the world about black holes and supernovas and the quantum world, and suddenly our thoughts and dreams were cosmic in scope.

Radio and broadcast television changed the world, in a single generation in some instances.

Perhaps in Traveller, the invention of the ansible produces similarly seismic changes in economics, culture and people's perceptions. It might even be the major campaign story arc or theme you'd want to touch on as a referee.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Sigtrygg » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:22 am

It wouldn't be the Third Imperium anymore - not in any recognisable way.

I'm not saying this is a good think or a bad thing, just that it would be very different.

Oh, and one of the great forbidden technologies of the OTU as defined by MWM is that there is no FTL comms - ever.

Note that MgT has broken this rule twice and got away with it.

The Secret of the Ancients

The MgT version of the Empress Wave.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby alex_greene » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:18 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:It wouldn't be the Third Imperium anymore - not in any recognisable way.

I'm not saying this is a good think or a bad thing, just that it would be very different.

Oh, and one of the great forbidden technologies of the OTU as defined by MWM is that there is no FTL comms - ever.

Note that MgT has broken this rule twice and got away with it.

The Secret of the Ancients

The MgT version of the Empress Wave.
The Zhodani tool which allows real-time scanning of the core corridor is canon, because the device's findings prompted the Zhodani Core Expeditions and led to the discovery of the Empress Wave.

The Third Imperium and Charted Space as we know it would change with the arrival of said Empress Wave anyway.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Sigtrygg » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:31 pm

It does not allow real time scanning.

It is a map of a route to the core which also has one major psionic function.

You are reading into it abilities it doesn't have in the original.

All it did was give a vague prescient view to very very rare individuals.

Now this may be an indication of psionics being capable of FTL communication and thus 'time travel' of information, but there is no hint of it being a communication device.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:58 pm

Here is a small change, what if some inventor built a miniaturized Jump Drive, and equipped drones with them, they have no passengers, but could act as communications relays, each one makes a jump-6 passes on its message to another jump-6 drone which promptly jumps to the next destination.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby alex_greene » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:13 pm

The one criterion you have to ask is this: does the invention sound a bit Heath Robinson/Rube Goldberg?

If so, it doesn't happen. If not, it happens and changes the universe.

I'm sure that, even as Marconi was putting together his test equipment to bounce the first signals off the ionosphere, people in the Admiralty were even then thinking along the lines of manned relay buoys across the sea receiving and sending heliograph signals. They might even have heard of the properties of radio from their underlings babbling on about the work of Faraday and Maxwell, but as their brains would still be stuck in the Age of Sail they wouldn't be able to put it together - they'd be convinced that their network of deep ocean relays would be The Future.

And in Traveller, the first real ansible broadcast received and acknowledged would even make "disposable" Jump drones obsolete overnight.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Sigtrygg » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:44 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:Here is a small change, what if some inventor built a miniaturized Jump Drive, and equipped drones with them, they have no passengers, but could act as communications relays, each one makes a jump-6 passes on its message to another jump-6 drone which promptly jumps to the next destination.
They had them in original '77 edition classic Traveller, they were called jump torpedoes and were even featured in a canonical adventure A:4 Leviathan. They were written out of the 3I setting and removed as an option in the rules.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby Jeraa » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:26 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:Here is a small change, what if some inventor built a miniaturized Jump Drive, and equipped drones with them, they have no passengers, but could act as communications relays, each one makes a jump-6 passes on its message to another jump-6 drone which promptly jumps to the next destination.
They had them in original '77 edition classic Traveller, they were called jump torpedoes and were even featured in a canonical adventure A:4 Leviathan. They were written out of the 3I setting and removed as an option in the rules.
They are once again possible in Mongoose Traveller 2e High Guard. While the definition of a small craft given in the book says they aren't capable of jumping to another system, the jump drive rules give no minimum ship size (And the book notes the definitions can vary from setting to setting). The section on determining crew implies that small craft jump ships are possible as well:
Ships of 100 tons or less that do not possess a jumpdrive typically have only a single pilot. The journeys undertaken by such ships are generally short and it is assumed regular maintenance will remove any need for mid-voyage engineering.
They felt the need to specifically call out small craft without a jump drive, instead of just all small craft. So from a mechanical aspect, jump torpedoes and other jump-capable small craft are at least possible. They do have a minimum drive size of 10 tons, so that does limit what small craft cold possibly jump.
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Re: Ansibles: FTL communication

Postby AndrewW » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:36 pm

Jeraa wrote:They are once again possible in Mongoose Traveller 2e High Guard. While the definition of a small craft given in the book says they aren't capable of jumping to another system, the jump drive rules give no minimum ship size (And the book notes the definitions can vary from setting to setting). The section on determining crew implies that small craft jump ships are possible as well:
High Guard doesn't specifically limit it, but the Third Imperium setting does, requires a minimum of 100 tons to form the jump bubble. Remember, High Guard is not limited just to the Third Imperium setting.

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