I based this on the FTL drive described in one of my favorite space operas. Extra credit if you can identify the work without Google.
The fiveskip accesses a different spatial domain than standard jump drives: fivespace, a five-dimensional volume that enables FTL travel in the same manner as jump space, but whose geometry is much different.
Available starting at TL16, the fiveskip enjoys several advantages over standard jump drives: it is much faster; it can be used much closer to large bodies, within a single radius of its surface (or cloudtops, in the case of gas giant planets); and it can be used tactically, making FTL skips within a system.
The fiveskip also has a critical disadvantage, however: where a jump drive activated inside the 100-diameter limit will simply fail to function, skipping into radius (activating a fiveskip within one planetary radius of a world, or skipping into that volume from outside it) inverts both ship and crew in three dimensions, causing all aboard to suffer a horrible death.
Fiveskip technology does not scale in the same way as jump drives; there is only one “rating” of fiveskip. The fiveskip draws on the ship's power, in proportion to the speed demanded. To find the power requirement, multiply the desired speed in parsecs per day by 5% of the ship's displacement.
The fiveskip can also be set to a lower-frequency tactical setting. In this mode, apparent speed is measured in millions of kilometers per second, but the calculation remains unchanged: multiply the desired speed by 5% of the ship's displacement to find the required power. Tactical skip is hard on a ship's inertial compensators, and so causes the ship to emerge from fivespace with a significant velocity: 0.01% of its skip velocity is carried through into realspace. This can be extremely hazardous for both the skipping vessel and any nearby ships, habitats, or planets; for this reason, tactical skips are normally only used in combat.
Switching between interstellar and tactical skip settings requires a Significant Action by the ship's engineer.
A fiveskip takes up 3% of the ship's volume, and costs MCr3 per ton.
Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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