State Room issue that's always bugged me

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Jak Nazryth
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State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Jak Nazryth » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:56 pm

This is something that's bugged me for decades...

I've been practicing Architecture for almost 24 years, so design, layout, and function are always a big issue for me. When something make no sense, it bugs me more than it should. After all, it is only a Sci-Fi rpg. :)

If a married couple is on their honeymoon, or a couple of young lovers is on vacation, or a family of 4 with the parents in one room and kids in another.. Per the rules as written (in every version of Traveller) double occupancy is permitted but tends to "over tax" the life support system, making the stay uncomfortable.

How can any couple want to travel if they are required to stay in separate rooms in order to remain comfortable? A state room should be able to contain a single queen sized bed, or similar size, rather than have a coupled pair sleeping in separate bunks. And there shouldn't be any problems with double occupancy... This is technology several thousands of years in the future. The ship designers can rip holes in reality, hurling space craft many light years in a week via a pocket dimension... but place 2 people in the same room? Sorry, our technology can't handle that sort of stress.... ;)
I'm not asking cannon to redefine the ship building mechanics... I'm just pointing out how silly it seems.

IMTU I have drawn 8 or so "basic" versions of staterooms. They are CAD blocks. I can simply plug them to my deck plans depending on what the need is. Most versions have a double bunk arrangement (one above folds down above lower if for a second passenger) But at least 2 have a double occupancy bed. I think this isn't such a big ask, and I don't see how 2 people travelling together should tax anything thousands of years in the future.

And no, you shouldn't have to resort to higher class staterooms that MgT2 has just introduced either. Speaking of which... are the large 6 ton and large state rooms single occupancy as well? If you place a second high class passenger in a larger stateroom, would that also stress out the life support system?

I'm not expecting any resolutions. This rule has simply been so hard-wired into the Traveller game mechanic it seems impossible to undo, or redefine to the point it changes Traveller cannon.

This is more of a mini-rant than anything else. Just had to get if off my chest. ;)
AnotherDilbert
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:14 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:
Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:56 pm
Per the rules as written (in every version of Traveller) double occupancy is permitted but tends to "over tax" the life support system, making the stay uncomfortable.
No over-taxed life-support, just cramped, as far as I know.
In some starships (especially exploratory vessels, military ships, and privately-owned starships), double occupancy is allowed in staterooms. No stateroom can contain more than two persons however, as it would strain the ship's life support equipment. A commercial ship must have one stateroom for each member of the crew.
LBB2'81.

More than two people per "stateroom", or less than 2 dT per person, will over-tax the life-support system.
phavoc
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby phavoc » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:26 pm

The life support question has been a vexing question for a while. Also Merchant Prince's livestock container introduced new rules that break stateroom life support rules.

And barracks don't follow the same rule either.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Jak Nazryth » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:44 pm

And Dilbert... yep, you make a good point. And 1980/81 was in fact the time that I was first introduced to Traveller. :) But other versions have described double occupancy as uncomfortable... stale air by the end of Jump... that sort of thing.

ok, I have to modify my previous statement about every version of Traveller-life support rules... cause I just remembered GURPS...
GURPS Startships (sorry mongoose guys... not meaning to plug another system.) was the only game mechanic that I'm aware of that tried to address the situation... That ship building game mechanic had life support as a separate ship system. You could size the life support system based on how many people were on board... not how many staterooms there were. I think it even took into consideration total volume of Cargo Bays etc... it's been ages since I designed a GURPS ship. In any case, the "standard" life support was based on a given number of people based on the single occupancy formula, and you could double occupy a room, which would over stress the system. But you could also simply size up life support to any size you wanted. This allowed maximum flexibility. If you wanted barracks with triple bunks, you simply count the bodies, run the formula, and you have the size of life support required. Life support also had power requirements from the power plant (just like MgT2 does) and the "cost of monthly life support" was based on the tonnage of the life support system itself... not "for each state room". Since it was a separate item, it could also be damaged on an internal "hit" under the combat tables... So in a combat, your cargo, drives, and fuel wen't the only thing that could get knocked out... targeting the Life support systems was an option at close range.

Anyway... it tends to be unfair to compare 2 completely different game mechanics separated by 20 years. mini-rant over.

My request to Mongoose is to perhaps address this issue in a future supplement.
Last edited by Jak Nazryth on Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Infojunky
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Infojunky » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:45 pm

Consider that the "Stateroom" is the volume requirement, not the Accommodation requirement. The situation would be clearer if actual Life Support was a separate volume from the Accommodation volume.

My biggest issue it the Large Number of Restrooms in ships. Looking at classic steam ships and the like 1st class (i.e. High) staterooms have their own, but the rest all have shared facilities....
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby phavoc » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:32 pm

I've 'fixed' the issue of staterooms by simply making it a per ton cost for the level of stateroom you want. Life support is under the assumption that if you design it, it automatically is added. The latter isn't very elegant, however it works.

It would be much better to state X Dtons of lifesupport supports X numbers of people comfortably. You can add more than your lifesupport is rated for if you don't mind the system straining to support it - smells, lower oxygen content, funky water, etc. Sure you may survive the trip, but nobody but desperate survivors wants to live and breathe and drink a porta-potty.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Jak Nazryth » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:48 am

A couple hours ago I was at the office, now I'm home looking into the new rules.
It appears I was mistaken and that this is no longer an issue, even on commercial liners... the phrase now used is "this is called double occupancy and is often done on exploratory ships, privately owned vessels and especially military ships." Page 21, new High Guard. Following sentence... "Employing double occupancy on a ship does not cost anything (which is why many commercial captains insist on it) but lack of privacy for extended periods of time can quickly wear on crew not used to it."
So it seems MgT2 had taken care of double occupancy. A couple on their honeymoon or two lovers on an adventure, a loving family with husband and wife in one room with their 2 kids in another won't be getting on each others nerves... ok... well maybe the family might... ;) But the point being, is that it appears life support is no longer an issue.

Therefore my state rooms designed with a single bed large enough to fit two happy couples, is and always have been ok with cannon... and there was much rejoicing for all the couples in charted space that no longer have to sleep on narrow bunks separated from each other...

However... in The Core rules, page 149, The cost for single occupancy is 1000 Cr and double occupancy is 3000 Cr. The High Guard statement "Employing double occupancy on a ship does not cost anything (which is why many commercial captains insist on it)" is quite confusing. Perhaps this is installation cost? Why would a captain "insist on it" when it costs him triple in operating expense? This is an odd statement. In any case, since you are paying 3 times the cost for one extra person, the comfort level, fresh clean air and water, should not be an issue. You get what you pay for.
IF a captain skimps on paying extra for double occupancy, THEN you will get the stale air, strained systems, "why does the water taste funky"? issues.

But back to the question of "how big is life support equipment"?

A couple years ago I started to tinker with the existing Mongoose rules, but gave up because it simply wasn't worth my time.

My simple rule of thumb was that life support equipment is simply part of the power plant mass. I simply took 5% or so (1/2 ton minimum) from the power plant size, stuck it in a closet and listed it "life support" on my deck plans.
total power plant size was still the same, just a small portion broken off into a closet/nook/corner of engineering.

Now that we have a separate power requirement for "Basic Ship Systems" on page 15 of New High Guard, which is composed of, artificial gravity, lighting, heating, and finally mentions "Life Support". You can possibly extrapolate what percentage of the total tonnage is State Rooms, and calculate how much of the power for "Basic Systems" is life support.

For instance. A 200 ton Free Trader requires 40 power points (20% of the hull) to provide for Basic Systems. 50 tons of the ship is staterooms and low births. 25% of the ship total tonnage is "Occupancy items" which is what you use to calculate basic life support cost. So that means 25% of the required 40 points of power for "Basic systems" is specifically allocated for the life support. You need 10 points of power for the life support alone. A TL 12 power plant produces 15 points per ton. So 2/3 or round up to 1 ton of the power plant can be broken out as "life support equipment". Now you can have a 1 ton (2 square) box of space somewhere in or near engineering and label it "Life Support". Perfect for a disgruntled employee or spy wants to sabotage your ship... ;)

I know it's extra work, but it is still easily done, and still falls within the game mechanics... well, perhaps... I obviously haven't done the calcs for any other ship. The subsidized Liner will probably have a much larger life support slice since it primarily carries people. Still, that's my "simple stupid" method for answering the question..."How big is my life support equipment"?
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Condottiere » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:51 am

Let's assume life support for two humans is allocated per stateroom; depending on occupancy, the engineer diverts enough power and whatever they use to scrub the air to keep the minimum alive.

But you could allocate one tonne devoted to life support to keep ten or twenty guys alive, I forget which.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby hivemindx » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:44 am

Thanks for clarifying this doesn't seem to be much of an issue for MgT. I had always assumed the reason PCs (crew basically) preferred not to share was privacy and was going to have a look in the rules to see what I missed. This is what I think the reference to captains 'insisting' on it refers to by the way. It is cheaper for a captain to insist that their crew use double occupancy rather than have them each in an individual cabin leaving less cabins for paying passengers. In most games I've played the crew use double occupancy to increase their profits, and if there is an odd number of crew the captain is the one who gets a single berth. In fact in the last game the captain felt it was unfair to make the crew share, and we insisted that we'd rather share our cabins and have a bigger pay cheque at the end of the jump due to additional high passengers.

On the matter of stateroom design, I came across something I had not seen before on a trip to Germany. The rooms in the hotel were equipped with a large bed frame which contained two mattresses side by side. It seems that the room was converted from a double to a twin just by changing the sheets. If you wanted a twin you put on two sets of sheets and you have two single beds that are right next to each other, if you put on double sized sheets then you have one large bed (with a possibly slightly uncomfortable seam down the middle). This might be an interesting solution for passenger ships where couples aren't super happy to be offered cabins with prison style over and under bunks.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby allanimal » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:40 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:48 am

Therefore my state rooms designed with a single bed large enough to fit two happy couples,
Wow. thats a big bed.
And seems to be a different kind of starship than I normally see in my Traveller games.
:P
Jak Nazryth
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Jak Nazryth » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:48 pm

allanimal wrote:
Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:40 pm
Jak Nazryth wrote:
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:48 am

Therefore my state rooms designed with a single bed large enough to fit two happy couples,
Wow. thats a big bed.
And seems to be a different kind of starship than I normally see in my Traveller games.
:P
The primary owner of a ship in one of my last campaigns was a wealthy, spoiled noble. He was also a playboy. His goal was to bed a female of every species he encountered, so I designed a heart shaped bed in his personal room. He loved it! :)
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby snrdg121408 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:56 pm

Hello Jak Nazryth,

From CT LBB 2 Starships 1e 1977

"The Main Compartment p. 14: B. Staterooms: Quarters for the crew and for high and middle passengers are provided in the form of staterooms, containing sleeping and living facilities. Each stateroom is sufficient for one person, and contains all important considerations. Staterooms are included at the cost of Cr500,000 each, and displace 4 tons each, In some starships (especially exploratory vessels, military ships, and privately owned starships), double occupancy is allowed, but two persons is the limit that a stateroom will contain.

A non-military starship must have one stateroom for each member of the crew."

I've stayed in hotels/motels that were set-up for double occupancy that had connecting rooms allowing a family of four to stay together.

Allocating volume for a passageway from the stateroom's volume is an issue that bugs me and makes no sense in my opinion.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Condottiere » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:55 pm

Image

You have a mechanism that pop up the lower levels in place for a king size bed, maybe.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby EldritchFire » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:08 pm

Interestingly enough, the VH has a stateroom that's only 2.5dT:

"Similar to the stateroom on board spacecraft (though without many of the advanced facilities) or a small hotel room, a stateroom provides accommodation for one, or two if they do not mind being a little cramped. Space is provided for sleeping and storage of personal items, but a fresher is not included.

A stateroom consumes 10 Spaces and costs Cr100,000.
"

The fresher comes in two sizes: standard and large. The standard fresher is a sink, toilet, and shower; it takes 2 spaces (0.5dT) and costs Cr1,500. The large has a full-sized washroom, tub, vanity, etc and is 6 spaces (1.5dT) and costs Cr5,000.

I always saw the stateroom as seen in Firefly: a bed, toilet, sink, and shower unit. Using the numbers from VH, that's a total of 3dT (12 spaces) and costs Cr101,500.

Interestingly enough, that matches with your initial 'why aren't staterooms 3dT?' query. Funny that.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:17 pm

Spacecraft: 1 dT ≈ 14 m³.
Vehicles: 1 Space ≈ 250 kg payload. Structural elements, drives etc. just implied, not directly modelled.

Apples and oranges.

The shipping size of the vehicle tells us how large a garage we need, it does not tell us how large the vehicle itself is.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:33 pm

Two staterooms opened up together. Nothing says you can't connect staterooms together with a simple sliding (locking) wall feature. I have always considered stateroom configurations to be very modular. The Passage cost is more about how much space and service level one receives than an actual box on the ship.
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phavoc
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby phavoc » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:34 pm

IMTU I have changed the staterooms to be X credits per ton. The only modifier is the level of quality/luxury you want. I tried to keep the idea and prices more or less compatible with the standard stateroom, with changes really just reflecting costs. Initially I had created different classes of stateroom, especially for liners, but it seemed more logical to simply do it based upon overall space. It does mean that you have to break out the listing on a ship description if you want more clarity (which sometimes just belongs in the ship description). However it's easy enough to have a single line item with XX tons of staterooms, and leave the rest in the ship writeup.

Bunkrooms are treated differently, and they are applicable to a different type/class of transportee. For example a crowded bunkroom allows 3 people per 2 Dtons (triple bunks). Prison trasports would cram 4 per 2 Dtons. Then there are separate rules for how many heads you need per-person.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby golem64 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:53 am

I can't remember exactly, but isn't the occupancy issue more about passengers. High Passage is single occupancy and Middle Passage is double occupancy. The Captain and/or Owner might have their own stateroom, but crew are typically double occupancy.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Jak Nazryth » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:06 am

All staterooms are rated for 2 people.
The definition of 'double occupancy" gets a little fuzzy.
Does it mean 2 people, which is what a Stateroom is already designed to house comfortably, or does it mean double the occupancy load, which would make 4 people?
That has always confused me. But I'm used to the International Building Code when it comes to occupancy class.
I am at work and can't review the books...

For high passengers can you tell me the last time a wealthy person went an a cruise alone?
Most people will travel with the wife, husband, significant other.
My High Passage staterooms are designed with a single large bed. Large enough for a couple on a trip.
Or one if you are a lone business person trying to land a deal on the next system over.
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Re: State Room issue that's always bugged me

Postby Condottiere » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:20 am

Life support should be based on per kilogramme of actively breathing human being over a set period, under normal exertion.

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