heron61 wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:23 am
So, originally in CT, starships were limited in size to 5000 tons. So, I'm wondering how the TU would change if this was kept, and vessels like the Kinunir were top-line military starships, rather than relatively small support craft. Presumably, larger non-jump capable ships are possible, since I can't see any reason that they wouldn't be. However, what if there was a hard limit on jump-capable starships of 5000 tons, so that jump bubbles (or whatever) simply can't be made larger than this.
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Commerce would be more expensive to a greater or lesser extent, as there would be less opportunity to get economies of scale. Scenes like the opening battle of Star Wars would remain in the realms of science fiction.
Having said that, 5,000 tons is still quite a large spaceship. Given that large wide-bodied airliner such as a Boeing 747 or an Airbus A380 is about equivalent in size to a 200-300 ton starship, a 5,000 ton ship is still a substantial piece of hardware. With double occupancy in the staterooms a 5,000 ton passenger liner could carry something like 1,000 passengers on a J3 route, more if it only supported J1 or J2. Freighters could still take a substantial amount of cargo. Commerce would have a preponderance of scheduled flights, more flights, more often.
Colonisation doesn't have to be done via a single, large colony ship. Fleets of ships could just as easily support a colonisation effort. Most of the new world was settled by folks travelling on ships that are a lot smaller than you might think. If you're in London, take a look at the Cutty Sark just down from the Borough Market - it's no bigger than a modern luxury yacht.
The actual effects on play would be that ships of a size that adventurers might actually use are more relevant. There isn't such a dichotomy between capital ships and everything else (although this was more a function of the balance in the HG rules than anything else).
I've done a 'small ships+' universe on a number of occasions. IMTU a large transport ship might go up to about 20,000-30,000 tons and warships max out in the 5,000-8,000 ton range. I did have to tweak the starship design and combat systems to make the balance work for ships this size, though.