DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

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paltrysum
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DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby paltrysum » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:26 pm

In MgT2 High Guard, we have the "Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft" rules. For advanced spacecraft, you can upgrade your drives at higher tech levels to gain certain advantages. My question to the community is: Would you allow your ship's engineers to perform such work?

For example, updating the jump drive of a far trader so that it has energy efficiency, stealth jump, or other advanced characteristics requires higher tech and money. Presumably, some of these changes could be made at a shipyard, but it seems to me it's an excellent gaming opportunity to have the players do the work and possibly at a reduced cost to having it done in a shipyard.

Just wondering if any of you have done something along these lines in your campaign.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
DickTurpin
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby DickTurpin » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:15 am

Upgrades are not retrofitted to existing equipment, they are designed and built in prior to the equipment being installed in the ship during construction.

High Guard 2nd Edition, p. 48 "Altering Tech Levels: This is all handled by adjusting the Tech Level, price
and tonnage of components while a ship is being designed using the previous chapters."

So to go from a standard jump drive to a Stealth Jump, Energy Efficient jump drive would require removing the existing drive and replacing it with the appropriate new drive. That would most certainly require a full shipyard rather than just a little tinkering from the engineer.
Infojunky
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby Infojunky » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:59 am

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:26 pm
In MgT2 High Guard, we have the "Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft" rules. For advanced spacecraft, you can upgrade your drives at higher tech levels to gain certain advantages. My question to the community is: Would you allow your ship's engineers to perform such work?
If it makes a better game for your group then Yes.

Note I have let players build ships cobbled together out of bits in a Starship junkyard.
Evyn
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:41 am

Reaction rockets could be just a matter of scaling.

For a jump drive, you're looking at one hundred and forty cubic metres of a complex device that can arguably recreate a wormhole, and stabilize it for a week.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:06 am

paltrysum wrote: In MgT2 High Guard, we have the "Primitive and Advanced Spacecraft" rules. For advanced spacecraft, you can upgrade your drives at higher tech levels to gain certain advantages. My question to the community is: Would you allow your ship's engineers to perform such work?
I would not allow it.

It takes more than a little tinkering to transform a WWI era engine to a modern engine...
paltrysum
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby paltrysum » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:09 pm

Glad I brought this up. I agree that a jump drive is a complex piece of technology, arguably the most complex thing that can be constructed in the Traveller universe.

That said, let's look at stealth jump tech for example. While it might not make sense to let the players cobble together this tech and add it to their J-drive in willy nilly fashion, what about a temporary "silencer"? Obviously if I want it to happen in my campaign, I can just make it so. But what do you guys think about the possibility of creating a device that "muffles" your jump signature on a one-off basis?
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Linwood
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby Linwood » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:01 am

I don’t think I’d let them do that on the fly, unless it was a “one-off” situation with a very real risk of doing major damage to the system in question. But as the result of an extended task taking weeks/months involving some very difficult Science and Engineer checks - sure, why not?

But as always YMMV...
Condottiere
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:13 pm

Repairing them with chewing gum and string theory should be possible.

I think that all jump drives would need to be certified, especially do it yourself variants, if they are installed on a registered vessel.
Epicenter
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Re: DIY advanced tech starship upgrades

Postby Epicenter » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:11 pm

I allow it. But there's I also apply a variant of the Ship of Theseus paradox. ( https://en.wikiepdia.org/Ship_of_Theseus if you're unfamiliar )

However, I have the advantage of knowing guys who love to work on cars; like real fanatics ranging from guys who like to work on JDM stuff to guys who love to work on American cars from the 1950s and so on. A common discussion that occurs among these types is the Ship of Theseus paradox and certain variants of it:

* How many and what components can you swap out / upgrade before it stops being the classic car you were working on? (The answer usually is surprisingly messy with a broad answer of "as long as it looks like the original car" but then you can ask them "but how closely?" and get threatened with a sanding block gummed with bondo powder to the face.)

* A more pressing dilemma is: Is it still worth it to work on a classic component (99% of the time an engine) if you're replacing so many components the cost of the replacements is more than simply buying a reproduction part?

In the case of the changes you're talking about, I'd say many of them would require the so much modification you're moving into the realm of "rebuilding" the engine or basically replacing it with a better one. It'd cost nearly as much (or more) than simply buying a new part with the performance parameters you want except it wouldn't be as reliable or efficient as buying a new part that was designed and built from the ground up with the parameters required for the job without trying to make do.

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