Modular hull question

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Annatar Giftbringer
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Modular hull question

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:23 am

Greetings,
Can an empty modular hull (such as a cutter that’s dropped off its module) be used to store cargo?

I assume a module-less cutter still has hull integrity and can fly, but perhaps the empty module space has no floor suitable for cargo, but rather just attachment points and rails for modules?
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:32 am

Annatar Giftbringer wrote: Can an empty modular hull (such as a cutter that’s dropped off its module) be used to store cargo?
I assume it is just empty space with no cargo handling facilities, such as decks or hatches.

But you might set internal gravity to ~0 G and let the cargo float in the empty space?

So, I would rule it as possible, but not necessarily convenient.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:46 am

Sounds fair enough, kinda what I was thinking too. But the outer hull is still intact and sealed, it’s not an open hole to space when there’s no module, right?

Though there might not even be a proper deck to place the cargo on, just railings and connectors...
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:14 pm

Annatar Giftbringer wrote: But the outer hull is still intact and sealed, it’s not an open hole to space when there’s no module, right?
I would assume so, given that the armour is intact and always in the main hull.

Modules seem to be carried internally, unlike Space 1999 (Månbas Alpha).
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby AndrewW » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:33 pm

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:46 am
Sounds fair enough, kinda what I was thinking too. But the outer hull is still intact and sealed, it’s not an open hole to space when there’s no module, right?
Yup, modules are internal.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby phavoc » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:08 pm

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:23 am
Greetings,
Can an empty modular hull (such as a cutter that’s dropped off its module) be used to store cargo?

I assume a module-less cutter still has hull integrity and can fly, but perhaps the empty module space has no floor suitable for cargo, but rather just attachment points and rails for modules?
Simple answer is yes. A cutter without its module displaces 20 dtons. And it's perfectly flyable and stable with no module installed. So long as your cargo fits in the space between the fore and aft sections you are good.

The more complicated anseer is that it depends on what you are trying to carry. Using common sense about the size of the cargo really helps answer your own question. Something 50m long would not fit, even if technically it still only displaced 30dtons. But generally so long as the issue at hand is within reason there's no need to disallow it.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:28 pm

You could embed gravity plates in the bay doors, though then you probably have to recalculate hull cost.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:57 pm

phavoc wrote: A cutter without its module displaces 20 dtons.
No? A crafts displacement (and hence drive rating) does not change regardless of what (or any) module carried since it is internal.

A cutter w/o module is still 50 Dt hull with 4 G thrust.

If you want to detach a part of the hull to leave a smaller craft you have to use a breakaway hull.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby phavoc » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:11 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:57 pm
phavoc wrote: A cutter without its module displaces 20 dtons.
No? A crafts displacement (and hence drive rating) does not change regardless of what (or any) module carried since it is internal.

A cutter w/o module is still 50 Dt hull with 4 G thrust.

If you want to detach a part of the hull to leave a smaller craft you have to use a breakaway hull.
Modular cutters carry the module externally. Technically it should only be 20 Dtons by the rules. It's size doesn't change, just it's displacement. It's probably not the best example to give, but it was the requested example. Since the space between the fore and aft sections is completely open to space it could take on an object larger than it's 30ton module, though it would change the configuration if it entered an atmosphere, though that's not an issue at low speed.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby baithammer » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:39 am

No, modules are internal as depicted by both MGT 1ed and 2ed depictions of the modular cutter and is a reason the cost increase is taken from the hull.

Mgt 1st ed
Image

Mgt 2nd ed
Image

What your talking about is covered by both breakaway hulls and external cargo mounts.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby phavoc » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:17 pm

Ok, fair enough. I was going by the previous versions. GURPS Traveller had an entire supplement on the modular cutter. I have always treated cutters like the previous versions and not how MGT has changed them.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:54 am

Image

You'll note no provision was made for bay doors in the classical version, and for the light fighter tender variant, how does the fighter achieve egress and ingress with no access for the current one?

Unless the module is basically a frame, and the bay doors act as the launch doors.

So the question would be when it was decided to change the canonical configuration, or if the original artists went off the rails first.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby steve98052 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:53 pm

Most versions of the modular cutter have been a rounded
(roughly hemispheric front) control section, a roughly cylindrical engineering section, and a narrow bar connecting them along the top. The modules are cylindrical, minus a flat space or notch for the top bar. In the GURPS version at least, it was more vulnerable to damage without the module, and limited to low-G maneuvers unless a module or reinforcing bar was installed.

With that sort of external module mounting, oversized modules would be possible, at reduced performance, and only in space. I haven't seen that in any published sources, however.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby phavoc » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:02 pm

This is the cutter of yore that I always consider to be the modular cutter of the Traveller universe.

https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/33199 ... ar-cutters

One of the problems with MGT version is that the module is sometimes left behind. So the question is how would you unload the module in a gravity well if your doors only opened on the side?

Change for change-sake is not good when you are trying to continue a gaming system.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby baithammer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:38 am

That version can be covered by the use of breakaway hull.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby phavoc » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:52 am

Aren't breakaway hulls supposed to be flyable on their own? The previous versions of modular cutters had the module as droppable, but it wasn't flyable since it had no engines or controls to do so (many modules didn't even have their own power - you'd need the specialized base modules for that).
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby baithammer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:02 am

Each section must
have an appropriate bridge and power plant to operate it.
Just power plant and bridge for that section.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby phavoc » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:13 am

A bridge and power plant would be kinda useless without an M-drive (and fuel and staterooms, etc).

There's no reason why you couldn't use some of the 30 dtons to build something like that, but that would be a special module and not a regular one (which would dedicate the entire 30 dtons to cargo or whatever you wanted to do).
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:04 am

Breakaways need their own bridge equivalents and set of ship systems.

At least according to High Guard.

The most prominent example would be the Star Trek saucer section.
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Re: Modular hull question

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:30 pm

I think one of the confusions that come along is the definition and use of the word MODULAR and whoat it means.

You can have a MODULE, which is a container that can be moved around. I think most of us understand what these are, freight cars, semi-truck trailers etc. They come in a variety of sizes.

Then you have a MODULAR design feature within a starship - this is NOT a module. It is a design feature that allows you to quickly convert an interior space from one configuration to another. The walls are moveable, furniture is quickly replaceble etc. So, you can convert a Modulear Space from Cargo to Passenger configuration in a few hours.

These are NOT the same thing. although I have to admit, I tend to mix them up too.

The Cutter does not carry a module, it has a designated space that is quickly convertable, so you can carry passengers or cargo or whatever mix of that you want. It is NOT a hull with some kind of clamping system that attaches to a Module and carries it around.

The standard design shown does not carry a module, it is a modular design. Even the writers and designers of the official books have mixed these two ideas up. Offering alternate module designs and costs etc.

Personally, I think it SHOULD carry a module. IMTU, I use it that way - if you build a ship using the Modular feature, it means it carries modules. Under that concept, you could have a Cutter with a Module and 3 other modules which could be swapped out as needed. That design makes sense to me. A modular design, as described does NOT seem to justify the cost as written.
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