How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

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Pyromancer
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Pyromancer » Mon May 06, 2019 9:26 pm

WingedCat wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:05 pm
Apparently I stated my intent incorrectly. Here is an attempt to restate:

* Take a look at any animal listing in Mongoose Traveller's books.
* Notice that there is some narrative description above, and below that, a box listing hits, speed, traits, skills, and so forth.

I am asking, "what do I put in that box?" I have been given leave to ask for your help with that specific topic.

I fear that discussion of what goes in the narrative will crowd out and prevent discussion of what goes in the box, which is itself a form of (usually unintended) censorship. I am not asking that you do not discuss what goes in the narrative, merely that in doing so, you do not prevent discussion of the game mechanics.

Discussing the narrative in another thread would be one way to accomplish this goal. I would even be able to participate in that thread after the JTAS article has been published. I had taken it as obvious that the law makes it a bad idea for me to participate in that part until then, for much the same copyright reasons why I may not simply repost the article here*. If that was not obvious, I apologize, and I now state it explicitly.

* Even if that might be the only way to prove in advance that "how can this creature exist" is being addressed. It is not a hundred-page thesis detailing every single subsystem**, since my co-author and I only have a few paragraphs to work with, but I can at least promise that the entire creature is not a single, undifferentiated, monolithic blob of handwavium.

** Though I might add the existence of such a thesis into the narrative.
What you "put in that box" strongly depends on the narrative description! If you provide the narrative description, we can better help you with the "text in the box".
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Galadrion » Mon May 06, 2019 9:54 pm

Why would you actually need physical ratings for such a beast? This is a plot device, not an NPC/encounter. (Or are you expecting the players to actually get into combat with the thing? Honestly, unless it's just about the most passive beast imaginable, if it fights back against player-scale targets, it's going to squish them - in a thoroughly messy manner. Even most vehicles they might be in - a hundred kilotons of beast stepping on a vehicle is gonna leave said vehicle kinda bent around the edges. A civilian vehicle... fuggedabahdit. Player's're gonna be a pureed filling in a cheap ceramalloy/plastic pastry shell...) Just rate the thing in terms of how much mass it can move (in various modes - what can it lift, what can it push/pull, and so forth), how fast it can move it, and how long it can go before needing how much time to rest/feed?

As for how much it could move... well, for a meaningful answer, we'd need a bit more in the way of details. What's the body form of this thing? Bipedal? (At that size, not bloody likely.) Quadruped? (Can probably carry 10% to 30% of its body mass. Pulling sledge-style, probably up to 60%. On a wheeled or equivalent platform, up to its own body mass or slightly higher. A grav platform - essentially frictionless - maybe double its body mass, but have some sort of braking mechanism available; two hundred kilotons bumping into something will leave something nasty in the way of scratches and dents.) Maybe increase the capacities by 10% to 15% for a hexapod, 25% to 50% for an octopod, and anywhere from 50% to 150% for more feet (oversized centi/millipede) or no feet at all (sandworm/giant serpent body type).

Physical stats are pretty much meaningless for something like this. Strength is going to be off the scale (hundreds of thousands up into the millions, easily), Endurance will be similarly scaled (good luck doing anything that it'll even notice), but Dexterity will probably be somewhere around that of a hippopotamus, mostly because it's going to have problems even noticing anything on a human scale, and it's going to have no real reason to fear most things on that scale. You're going to need starship-scale or milspec equipment to be able to do anything to it.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby WingedCat » Mon May 06, 2019 10:19 pm

Pyromancer wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:26 pm
What you "put in that box" strongly depends on the narrative description! If you provide the narrative description, we can better help you with the "text in the box".
And I am not allowed to simply C&P the narrative description. So I have to ask based on what fragments I can share.

That said, I have asked elsewhere, and the best suggestion I have seen so far is to make the Gigantic trait ranked, like so:
Each rank represents a 10-fold increase in strength, volume, and so on. Something with Gigantic (1) uses Spacecraft scale, that being 10x the hits and damage as Ground scale, along with the Spacecraft scale modifiers for to-hit, AP, and so on. Gigantic (2) is to Gigantic (1) what Gigantic (1) is to non-Gigantic things. To-hit et al have double the modifiers between Gigantic (2) and Ground-scale, which is two levels added up.

Creatures with Gigantic (1) tend to have a mass around 100 tons. Anything, creature or otherwise, with Gigantic (1) has the STR to move masses of that magnitude (carry up to 100 tons, up to 200 with Bane, and push or pull - under good conditions, in zero g or with a grav, wheeled (on land) or floating (at sea) sled under it - up to 1,000). Each higher rank increases this 10x. Contests of raw strength between different Gigantic ranks are not rolled: the higher Gigantic rank wins automatically.

Hits, Armour and damage are listed at the Gigantic scale, for example something listed as Gigantic (2) and 2 Hits has 200 Ground-scale Hits. Higher ranks of Gigantic often but do not always increase speed, so speed is not mechanically linked to Gigantic.

Gigantic is mutually exclusive with Large. Anything with both Gigantic and Large should be treated as having just Gigantic instead. Any Gigantic listing without a rank is Gigantic (1), though Hits, Armour and damage may need to be adjusted to Gigantic scale (see above).
This would put the collopha, at 100,000 tons, at Gigantic (4).

Does this seem like a viable, robust (given all the ways this mechanic may be used) means to mechanically represent something with STR way above the usual scale?
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby WingedCat » Mon May 06, 2019 10:43 pm

Galadrion wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:54 pm
Why would you actually need physical ratings for such a beast?
Because I am not setting the rules in this case. Mongoose is. Reading their style guide strongly suggests that, if it's an animal, it gets animal stats.

(I could publish it independently, but my primary desire in this instance is to aid Mongoose by generating content for JTAS. That means following Mongoose's rules.)
Galadrion wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:54 pm
Or are you expecting the players to actually get into combat with the thing?
In fact, I do expect some to try. Most of them will do so unwisely, but I know players who could kill it using nothing but a few fresh-out-of-character-generation travellers (with, granted, good rolls and thoroughly optimized generation paths, including a spaceship and other equipment benefits, and a bit of time to gear up - that's where most of the magic happens). Part of the trick is to never get close enough for it to strike back - and pick on one that is not carrying or guarded by artillery. It is specifically a thing that some better equipped big game hunters (aslan in particular) occasionally poach collopha, though it is not easy or cheap.

More to the point, the mechanics for this are intended to serve as precedent for less titanic encounters, such as something that is merely 100 tons.
Galadrion wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:54 pm
You're going to need starship-scale or milspec equipment to be able to do anything to it.
Yes. The Gigantic trait, even before the proposed rewrite, says as much. The stats should reflect this.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby MonkeyX » Mon May 06, 2019 11:04 pm

So this thing is four times larger than spacecraft?
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Moppy » Tue May 07, 2019 3:07 am

It's a Mongoose rule?

Has someone there been watching old 80s cartoons?

Image

Hawk Home vs Tigress, who wins? (Yes, I know it's not alive).
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby phavoc » Tue May 07, 2019 3:01 pm

WingedCat wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 9:05 pm
Discussing the narrative in another thread would be one way to accomplish this goal. I would even be able to participate in that thread after the JTAS article has been published. I had taken it as obvious that the law makes it a bad idea for me to participate in that part until then, for much the same copyright reasons why I may not simply repost the article here*. If that was not obvious, I apologize, and I now state it explicitly.

* Even if that might be the only way to prove in advance that "how can this creature exist" is being addressed. It is not a hundred-page thesis detailing every single subsystem**, since my co-author and I only have a few paragraphs to work with, but I can at least promise that the entire creature is not a single, undifferentiated, monolithic blob of handwavium.

** Though I might add the existence of such a thesis into the narrative.
Just FYI - copyright exists on something the moment you publish it. However, this being a gaming system, you cannot copyright a 100,000 ton beast that drags spaceships. Your copyright would only cover the exact verbiage and, to an extent, the names you come up with. So if you said "My googlesaurus masses 100,000 tons, tows spaceships and is purple", another could publish "My 100,000 ton big & dumb animal comes in variety of skin colors, with purple being the most common, and masses 100,000 tons. Some people domesticate them and tow objects like spaceships" with virtual impunity.

Where you should be careful of asking in a public forum to provide specifics is that you could lose your copyright. Authors who have characters have to be careful of avoiding fan forums and accidentally or otherwise picking up idea that they then try to incorporate into their novels. It is possible that they could lose their copyright protections by taking public material, which has to be proven in court, and making it their own. It's a very messy & complicated arena. Fortunately you are probably pretty safe because the amount of money to be made is dwarfed by the cost of litigation. But for major authors who sell millions of books it can jeopardize their cash cows.

TL;DR - by publishing the article in the forum you do not lose your copyright - that is established upon first writing. If you are writing this and being paid and surrendering your copyright to the publisher then copyright is still already established, though who owns the copyright gets to control where and how it is published.

For US copyright protections - https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html

When is my work protected? - Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

What does copyright protect?
- Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "What Works Are Protected."
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby WingedCat » Wed May 08, 2019 12:22 am

MonkeyX wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 11:04 pm
So this thing is four times larger than spacecraft?
You're thinking linear. This is exponential.

A 100-ton spacecraft using animal stats would be Gigantic (1). A collopha is Gigantic (4), which is 3 (as in 4 minus 1) ranks bigger.

Each rank is 10x. 3 ranks is 10 x 10 x 10, or 1,000.

So this is 1,000 times larger than a 100-ton spacecraft. In other words, it is about 100,000 tons.

The same applies to Hits, Armour and damage. 2 Hits on a Gigantic (4) thing is 2,000 Hits on a Gigantic (1) or Spacecraft scale thing.

One of the questions is, is this too confusing? Would it be simpler to have all Gigantic Hits, Armour and damage simply on Spacecraft scale? I hesitate to do that, as even Gigantic (3) would mean rolling at least 100 dice for damage when it hits.
Moppy wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 3:07 am
It's a Mongoose rule?
As in Mongoose Publishing.
phavoc wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 3:01 pm
If you are writing this and being paid and surrendering your copyright to the publisher then copyright is still already established, though who owns the copyright gets to control where and how it is published.
This is the case. I have surrendered copyright for this article to Mongoose. (I am being paid for doing so, but that is technically irrelevant except to help establish that I have surrendered copyright on this to them, which I state independently of any matter of payment.) Last I heard, they do not want the full text - not even large sections - of their copyrighted materials to be posted in public, such as on their forums. The full narrative of the collopha would, to my knowledge, count as a sufficiently large section for this purpose. However, I have been given specific relief on this with regard to the game mechanics, for the purpose of crowdsourcing a good answer. This is why I drew that line on what I can discuss at this time.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed May 08, 2019 12:17 pm

WingedCat wrote: Each rank is 10x. 3 ranks is 10 x 10 x 10, or 1,000.

So this is 1,000 times larger than a 100-ton spacecraft. In other words, it is about 100,000 tons.

The same applies to Hits, Armour and damage. 2 Hits on a Gigantic (4) thing is 2,000 Hits on a Gigantic (1) or Spacecraft scale thing.
You realise that this makes the creature immune to normal weapons, everything except spinal mounts. In effect it is tougher than a 100 kDt battleship.

WingedCat wrote: One of the questions is, is this too confusing? Would it be simpler to have all Gigantic Hits, Armour and damage simply on Spacecraft scale?
Yes, much simpler.

WingedCat wrote: I hesitate to do that, as even Gigantic (3) would mean rolling at least 100 dice for damage when it hits.
1D × 100 would be simple enough?
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby MonkeyX » Wed May 08, 2019 12:37 pm

Ok at that scale then it doesn’t need a strength score any more than a planetoid or moon does. I say list damage against the different scales as noted above. Even then it seems a bit crazy with armor and hits making its nigh invulnerable.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Moppy » Wed May 08, 2019 1:33 pm

Mechs vs Monsters Traveller Extreme Wrestling when?
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby phavoc » Wed May 08, 2019 4:15 pm

Is the creature some sort of plot device, or just an article?

It's so massive that creating stats for it is kinda pointless. A ref needs to know how it can be damaged, what damage does to it, how much damage it does itself, and then some idea on how it's used and whatever personality traits it might have (if any).

To be honest, I cannot forsee this sort of creature being used as a plot device for anything but a one-off. And if that's the case the work you are requesting is rather pointless since it's unique. The animal design system does not contemplate such creatures, thus it's not terribly useful.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Moppy » Wed May 08, 2019 5:25 pm

I actually want the stats for the wrestling game.

A very select number of game systems are able to handle mecha and kaiju and they're almost all Japanese themed. Having this in an American scifi RPG would be interesting.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:14 am

Edited to make the post a lot less snarky which wasn't my intent at all, sorry.

JTAS 4 is available as a pdf to backers.

We can now read up on this marvelous beast...

yup, totally ridiculous Star Wars cartoon beast. Bioengineered by the Second Imperium, roams far and wide throughout the Third Imperium, hunted by Aslan war bands. I like it :)

No info on how a 100,000t beast feeds, a skeleton that is as strong as titanium - hmm, I don't think that's strong enough - and a hydrogen sack weight reduction and cooling mechanism - although quite how venting hydrogen gas cools it down is beyond me. edit - some thoughts on this in my next post.

I'm sure this thing has a place in a Star Wars cartoon inspired setting, heck you could have a battalion of tarrasques riding them into battle, a whole platoon to one beast. Now that is a truly inspiring image.

But common throughout the Third Imperium and into Aslan territory? Nope, not in the OTU, not in any hard science based setting.

How did they get from the few worlds where they were located during the Second Imperium to being spread out throughout the Third Imperium and beyond?
Last edited by Sigtrygg on Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby WingedCat » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:44 am

They cut some of the article, including the bits you wanted to see (such as how it feeds). I'm asking them if that means I can post the missing info to the wiki, or what.

As to venting: concentrate heat into the gas, then purge the gas, just like any emitted coolant.

How hydrogen sacs counteract weight (not mass, just weight when in atmosphere) should be obvious, though.

You don't have to use them in YTU, but any setting material that's in the final version of JTAS is OTU canon, like it or not. That's not your call or my call; that's Mongoose's call.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:09 am

The Mongoose ATU just diverged even further from OTU canon in that case. This is not necessarily a bad thing, I prefer to have as many options as possible and then decide what I will use.

This beast breaks laws of physics and biology with no satisfactory ingame explanation. Put the detail back please :)

But hey, the rool of kewel trumps everything - and a beast that make Godzilla look like a flea that can tow Tigress class battleships out of lakes is certainly kewel. :)

I may use them in my John Carter game, or in a virtual realm where the normal universe rules of physics don't apply.

I hope you do release the additional details - I want to know what predates them :)

2nd Imperium bioengineering - you would need a way to concentrate a lot of oxygen in its tissues, so we can adapt whale DNA for that. The digestive system has to be incredibly efficient and capable of digesting very high energy value foodstuffs. I wonder if it eats coal and drinks oil? Or has specialist gut bacteria that allows for plastics digestion? It's digestive system could have been designed with waste disposal in mind, feed it just about any organic material - once living or synthesised from hydrocarbons.
Waste heat would be an issue - hydrogen gas venting doesn't get rid of anywhere near enough waste heat. A biproduct of respiration is water, it should have plenty of water for sweating. Now lets add glands that can synthesise glands that can produce ethanol or its like and mix it with the sweat so it evaporates faster and has a greater cooling effect.
A titanium skeleton isn't strong enough to support its mass once it starts moving - need to think about that one a bit more.
Last edited by Sigtrygg on Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:36 am

WingedCat wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:44 am
They cut some of the article, including the bits you wanted to see (such as how it feeds). I'm asking them if that means I can post the missing info to the wiki, or what.
Can't see why you couldn't post it to the wiki, I doubt if Matt would object but it is polite to ask :)
As to venting: concentrate heat into the gas, then purge the gas, just like any emitted coolant.
It doesn't quite work like that. A mixture of alcohol and water on the other hand...
How hydrogen sacs counteract weight (not mass, just weight when in atmosphere) should be obvious, though.
I get that bit, but the sacks would have to be huge so the illustration needs a couple of enormous blimps added :)
You don't have to use them in YTU, but any setting material that's in the final version of JTAS is OTU canon, like it or not. That's not your call or my call; that's Mongoose's call.
I already have space whales and other fantastic beasts, one more can't hurt. I just need to be able to work out the details.
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Re: How to model high strength entites (archive/lock after 5/10/2019)

Postby Moppy » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:40 am

Agent of the Imperium has large (several hundred meters) spherical space creatures with density several times that of water.

100 meter radius sphere of water is several million tons of mass.

In any case this is one of those "it's not impossible for it to exist" and therefore it has more credibility today than the jump drive which can never exist. I don't really understand the objections, and I don't think it's "not part of the style" for Traveller since there's so much unknown in their universe, and the ancients can do anything they want anyway.

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