Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

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QuinZ33
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby QuinZ33 » Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:05 pm

Tea Rex wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:48 pm
The other day I was about to post a cry for help here. I had started to prepare "The Far Side of Nowhere" and much of this part of the journey is a sandbox that the Referee can fill at will. This looked like an extreme amount of work and I didn't have enough ideas or time to fill the many sectors of space with life. I didn't know how to proceed because since the beginning of the campaign I had been trying to play out the entire journey.

Luckily I got some advice from someone who knows the campaign better than anyone else. His flippant comment: Madness lurks on this path.

That may sound trivial now, but for me it was a revelation. I then talked to my players and it was no problem at all if we mainly orientate ourselves on the events of the campaign, because after all the main focus is on the mission.

I write this because others here may have similarly unrealistic expectations of themselves and the campaign, and perhaps this advice will help them to change their own perspective.

Nevertheless, it would be great if we could continue to exchange ideas, ask questions and discuss problems here to further enrich the campaign.
I'm currently running into this problem.

I feel like The Riftsedge Transit was full of mini-adventures to fill out the campaign.

Near Side of Yonder has a well-developed story 8 full sectors deep into this leg of the journey with literally nothing beforehand. It's almost as if the designers expect there to be a time jump of a few years between meeting the Alikaia and getting to the Sovereigndom.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:30 pm

QuinZ33 wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:05 pm
I feel like The Riftsedge Transit was full of mini-adventures to fill out the campaign.

Near Side of Yonder has a well-developed story 8 full sectors deep into this leg of the journey with literally nothing beforehand. It's almost as if the designers expect there to be a time jump of a few years between meeting the Alikaia and getting to the Sovereigndom.
It seems that these empty spaces are the major weakness of this campaign. ;) I still like the campaign, but it can give you a headache.

I just checked my notes and was really astonished to find, that my Travellers had "only" to cover 2.5 Sectors to reach the black hole in the Vilaakasi-sector and then another empty sector to the Hennlix nebula. And in the next sector I put everything related to the Citadels. So I shrank the distances a little bit to fit it to my level of imagination and ideas. ;)

And I remember, that we just passed through a lot of systems without any extraordinary things happening. I did not even prepare anything for these systems. To give the players a feeling that some time had passed I gave them time to further develop some of their private projects and we had little episodes to see the results. That's it. Perhaps we also had 1-2 events from my events-aboard-a-spacecraft-list, but I do not remember which ones. Shammond also mentioned some nice ideas how to fill this time. And - I was lucky - 2 of my players temporarily took over the job of the Referee to contribute some ideas of their own, that were not related to the campaign.

So, this would be my advice: Just skip part of the way not addressed in the campaign. Inform your players about this and I am sure there will be no problem. Currently, I am doing the same in the Far Side of Nowhere region: I reduced the total number of sectors and I also reduced the sizes of the 2 major polities (Republic and Commonwealth). Otherwise everything is so huge and distances between points of interest are too long.
Last edited by Tea Rex on Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:53 pm

Inspired by Baldo's input I am going to change the background of the Far Side of Nowhere-region a little bit. 300.000+ years ago, the Ancients dominated this region and shaped species and worlds. Since then, numerous civilisations have risen to technical heights and declined again (it is a really long period of time). It is therefore possible to find a wide variety of legacies throughout the region, most of which are now only ruins destroyed by time, wind and weather. This gives me the freedom to realise almost any idea that comes to mind for this region, no matter how crazy it may be. ;)
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:27 am

Here is one example of what Deepnight Revelation could additionally encounter in the Far Side of Nowhere region. It was inspired by Adrian Tchaikovsky's great novel "Children of Time" (If you do not know the book, do not worry, this is only a very minor spoiler).

A yellow sun is orbited by a total of eight planets, the second of which lies in the habitable zone. As you fly closer, you can see a large space station in orbit (terraforming station). It is abandoned and was probably never manned. Once, an alien civilisation had sent a fully automatic terraforming station to this system to make the second planet habitable for its people. However, something went wrong, for the world is overgrown by a grey, planet-spanning fungal web that allows no other life.
The technology used is comparatively primitive (TL7-8). The only thing that is unusual is the large transmitting facility aimed at the planet. This facility was probably able to send complex electromagnetic pulses of great intensity towards the planet. For what purpose is not directly obvious. For this, one would need a sample of the fungus on the surface. In its molecular structure, one would find something that functions as an antenna for electromagnetic waves and transmits signals to the cell nucleus. In fact, the terraforming project and the corresponding organism were to be remotely controlled, adapted and ultimately eliminated in this way so that the builders of the device could take possession of the planet. Obviously, this did not work out as intended and the aggressive fungal organism has continued to mutate faster than expected.
The various fungi are in a constant battle for space and dominance and virtually no habitat on the planet is not taken over by this creature. The oxygen-rich air is permeated with fungal spores right up to the atmospheric boundary, so that samples have to be taken and examined with great care.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby shammond42 » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:35 pm

For those of you currently running a DNR campaign, I'm wondering how much usage the 200 ton Deepnight Scouts get in practice? It seems like one way to run the campaign would be to give the Travellers their own Scout and give them lots of opportunity to do their own thing while the main ship is refueling, etc. That would make it more like a regular Traveller campaign. Of course, it wouldn't exclusively be that way -- you have to break out the big guns at some point.

Anyway, I'm curious how other people are using these ships?

Thanks!
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Geir » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:49 pm

shammond42 wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:35 pm
For those of you currently running a DNR campaign, I'm wondering how much usage the 200 ton Deepnight Scouts get in practice? It seems like one way to run the campaign would be to give the Travellers their own Scout and give them lots of opportunity to do their own thing while the main ship is refueling, etc. That would make it more like a regular Traveller campaign. Of course, it wouldn't exclusively be that way -- you have to break out the big guns at some point.

Anyway, I'm curious how other people are using these ships?

Thanks!
(Disclaimer: Not running a campaign except in my head and on a spreadsheet)
At jump-2 those scouts are not that useful. They would get left behind at the rate the main ship is supposed to be progressing. First thing I did was design a jump 4 version, so they could keep up with the main ship if they went on parallel or vanguard paths, and a double jump-3 version to go places others feared to tread (or at least back and forth J-3 with no possibility of refuel).
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:55 pm

Geir wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:49 pm
At jump-2 those scouts are not that useful. They would get left behind at the rate the main ship is supposed to be progressing. First thing I did was design a jump 4 version, so they could keep up with the main ship if they went on parallel or vanguard paths, and a double jump-3 version to go places others feared to tread (or at least back and forth J-3 with no possibility of refuel).
Our Scout (the "Raptor") still has a jump-2 drive. But in my campaign it was redesigned for stealth and recon missions. So it has a stealth jump drive, a superior stealth coating and a thrust 9 m-drive in case the recon mission goes seriously wrong. My players use this ship usually for in system investigation missions, mostly only because of its superior travel speed.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Condottiere » Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:20 pm

Double fuel tanks are always an option.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Fri Aug 13, 2021 4:36 pm

Huzzah! The concluding books for this big campaign are finally available.

Judging by the huge interest in this thread (currently more than 64,000 views!) I suspect many of you are considering playing this campaign yourselves at some point in the future. I (and most likely the other readers too) am extremely curious to see how you embark on this mega-journey. So if you have questions or want to share bits of your campaign, this is a good place for all of this.

And one thing is for sure: every expedition will be unique and worth to be remembered! Bon voyage! :)
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:06 pm

shammond42 wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:35 pm
Anyway, I'm curious how other people are using these ships?
This brings me to a similar question: Has anybody of you made changes to the basic concept of Deepnight Revelation?

My players wanted more luxury on board the ship in view of the extremely long voyage. Therefore, there is now a biosphere on their ship and significantly more social spaces. One of those is the large multi-purpose room with holographic projectors on the walls that can change the look of the room very quickly. For example, quirky theme parties are regularly held here.

Recently, part of the cargo hold was separated and converted into a ship's chapel - a space of peace and quiet where the crew can pursue their spiritual needs.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby shammond42 » Sun Aug 15, 2021 1:46 am

I hope my players stay away from the Holodeck idea. I like the rest of it though -- quirky theme parties and a chapel seem inevitable. I was thinking with 500 people on board there are bound to be a few who are spiritual, and more might become spiritual over the course of the voyage. I was thinking somebody might establish a museum, before I read about the notion in one of the books. I was also thinking that some of the crew members might form a band to entertain people.

I was a little surprised myself that the ship didn't have a biosphere, hydroponics, or something similar. I won't be at all surprised if my players try to add something like that.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Condottiere » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:49 pm

I've done the economics on life support, and leaving aside incongruities, generally speaking, it's cheaper to just purchase it at each starport.

However, you're in deep space, so you might want to have biodome capacity to about fifty percent crew size.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:36 pm

shammond42 wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 1:46 am
I hope my players stay away from the Holodeck idea.
:D
Of course my players wanted to have a holodeck like in Star Trek, but as far as I can see, this is not feasible at TL15. The projections are only light, so no physical interaction is possible. You could still play some cool 3D adventure games, but that's it. And although the room is comparatively large, I think it is still too small to represent a fictional world. You would constantly walk in circles to avoid hitting the walls.
shammond42 wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 1:46 am
I was also thinking that some of the crew members might form a band to entertain people.
Yes, a band surely would be great. Perhaps also a group of actors performing some plays? My players didn't come up with any of this. But, one player character (the captain) took singing lectures and founded a choir, which I found quite amusing. :)
shammond42 wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 1:46 am
I was a little surprised myself that the ship didn't have a biosphere, hydroponics, or something similar. I won't be at all surprised if my players try to add something like that.
I think that makes perfect sense, because you want to have as much autonomy as possible on your journey and not be dependent on randomly meeting a civilisation that can sell you essential supplies. My players insisted on installing some small manufacturing plants as can be found in High Guard (p. 61).
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:53 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:49 pm
I've done the economics on life support, and leaving aside incongruities, generally speaking, it's cheaper to just purchase it at each starport.

However, you're in deep space, so you might want to have biodome capacity to about fifty percent crew size.
I still am stuck somewhere in the middle of the thread about ship design philosophy (By the way, there are some very interesting considerations to be found in general).
Could you give me a hint where to find your thoughts about economics on life support?

Until now, I was thinking that once you have established the facility, the biggest part of the investment is done. The raw materials are quite basic and easy to get and power consumtion is also not high. Sure, you need specialists to take care of the facilities, but I think it's worth the cost. The crew's morale will be much better if they can eat fresh food regularly than if they have to live on glop for weeks. ;)
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Condottiere » Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:18 pm

1. At some point, things are so far in the past, they become mythology.

2. Going by vertical farming, the biggest component is energy, transformed into light, which you can adjust with filters; and we have fusion reactors.

3. One problem with design rules in Traveller, is that they are a moving target, and I'd assign life support to that category.

4. In terms of pure cost, the biodomes can't compete against just paying for life support, because you first have to pay for their volume primarily, secondarily for the power plant, basically one power point per tonne, standard fusion that's 66.67 kilogrammes for standard fusion, and for hull volume, 1.066.67 tonnes per tonne of biodome, default fifty kilostarbux plus per tonne; 53'333.50 plus 200'00.00 is 253'333.50 per tonne, compound that a little by the requirement for the power plant to provide basic, and so on.

5. So half a tonne provides complete life support for one human being, so let's round that up to 130'000.00 starbux, five percent annual mortgage 2'600.00, maintenance per annum 130.00.

6. Standard stateroom costs 1'000.00 per stateroom, 3'000.00 double occupancy (why?), 1'000.00 per person; per month.

7. So let's say 2'000.00 per month per person, assuming constant occupancy, six years or seventy two months, 144'000.00.

8. 2'730.00 times six is 16'380.00, 146'380.00.

9. However, there are cheaper options than a stateroom, though unclear if those formulas need to include the thousand starbux per person, like barracks, steerage, and so on.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Tea Rex » Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:19 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:18 pm
1. At some point, things are so far in the past, they become mythology.
Thanks for sharing this ancient mythical lore with me. ;)

I totally agree with you: Biospheres are too expensive and perhaps also less reliable than standard life support systems. But as I said before, in case of our DNR campaign it is a luxury supporting the well-being of the crew who have to spend weeks and weeks inside the ship without the chance for shore-leave.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Old School » Sun Aug 22, 2021 3:28 pm

Geir wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:49 pm
shammond42 wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:35 pm
For those of you currently running a DNR campaign, I'm wondering how much usage the 200 ton Deepnight Scouts get in practice? It seems like one way to run the campaign would be to give the Travellers their own Scout and give them lots of opportunity to do their own thing while the main ship is refueling, etc. That would make it more like a regular Traveller campaign. Of course, it wouldn't exclusively be that way -- you have to break out the big guns at some point.

Anyway, I'm curious how other people are using these ships?

Thanks!
(Disclaimer: Not running a campaign except in my head and on a spreadsheet)
At jump-2 those scouts are not that useful. They would get left behind at the rate the main ship is supposed to be progressing. First thing I did was design a jump 4 version, so they could keep up with the main ship if they went on parallel or vanguard paths, and a double jump-3 version to go places others feared to tread (or at least back and forth J-3 with no possibility of refuel).
One change I would make to the scouts: They already have fuel for a 4 parsec jump. My decreasing the bridge size to standard, you free up tonnage to increase the jump drive to J-4. Now you have a much more functional ship for the journey. J-4 scouts have the ability to visit other systems without unduly slowing down the mission.

I'd also ditch the UNREP system to free up space. Perhaps this system is useful for a large vessel being replenished by a large vessel, but makes no sense in a small support vessel that docks inside a cruiser. The small vessel doesn't have enough capacity for the cargo transfer speed to be useful.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Old School » Sun Aug 22, 2021 3:58 pm

As for design of the Revelation itself: On this type of mission, I get how important redundancy would be, but the design as written takes this to an extreme, and ignores the concept of how precious space onboard is. MJD's designs tend to give very little thought to cargo space in general, which I don't understand, especially given the role of this particular ship.

- It has a ton of common space and training space already. The training space can be used for recreation purposes, as noted in the text. All total, there are 1960 tons of common space, 120 tons of gaming space, and 800 tons of training space. Construction decks might be repurposed for recreation as well during slow times.
- It has two large biospheres in the scientific pods as well. Whether they are used to cultivate food, for recreation, or for alien life can be determined by need.
- The "scientific operations suites" have way too much capacity. These pods can accomodate 256 scientific personnel. The ship only has 92 scientific "mission" crewmembers. Even accounting for scientists having multiple projects going on at once and coopting other crew members into the work, this is way overdone. These can be reduced by 1/3 without affecting the mission.
- I get the concept of identical pods, but there is no need for a bridge on each one. You already have a main bridge, command bridge, and engineering bridge. Do you really need two flight operations bridges, one in each hanger pod? And what do the mission pod bridges even do? I'd cut the 40-ton specialist bridges from 6 to 3 at a minimum.
- I understand having two observatories, but the two 48 ton space science suits that somehow need other "general working and storage" space to get to 100 tons each is odd. Again, too much space for two few personnel. At least reduce the space science suite to its stated 48 tons from 100.

With these changes, which I see having no impact on the capabilities of the vessel, you free up 544 tons. This tonnage could be used for dedicated biosphere for food production, or additional cargo space to store foodstuffs. This space is absolutely critical given the mission parameters.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Geir » Sun Aug 22, 2021 6:03 pm

Old School wrote:
Sun Aug 22, 2021 3:58 pm
As for design of the Revelation itself: On this type of mission, I get how important redundancy would be, but the design as written takes this to an extreme, and ignores the concept of how precious space onboard is. MJD's designs tend to give very little thought to cargo space in general, which I don't understand, especially given the role of this particular ship.

- It has a ton of common space and training space already. The training space can be used for recreation purposes, as noted in the text. All total, there are 1960 tons of common space, 120 tons of gaming space, and 800 tons of training space. Construction decks might be repurposed for recreation as well during slow times.
- It has two large biospheres in the scientific pods as well. Whether they are used to cultivate food, for recreation, or for alien life can be determined by need.
- The "scientific operations suites" have way too much capacity. These pods can accomodate 256 scientific personnel. The ship only has 92 scientific "mission" crewmembers. Even accounting for scientists having multiple projects going on at once and coopting other crew members into the work, this is way overdone. These can be reduced by 1/3 without affecting the mission.
- I get the concept of identical pods, but there is no need for a bridge on each one. You already have a main bridge, command bridge, and engineering bridge. Do you really need two flight operations bridges, one in each hanger pod? And what do the mission pod bridges even do? I'd cut the 40-ton specialist bridges from 6 to 3 at a minimum.
- I understand having two observatories, but the two 48 ton space science suits that somehow need other "general working and storage" space to get to 100 tons each is odd. Again, too much space for two few personnel. At least reduce the space science suite to its stated 48 tons from 100.

With these changes, which I see having no impact on the capabilities of the vessel, you free up 544 tons. This tonnage could be used for dedicated biosphere for food production, or additional cargo space to store foodstuffs. This space is absolutely critical given the mission parameters.
Good points on the sizing of the science suites. (And thanks for agreeing that j-2 scouts are not so useful at keeping up). One big problem I had is the whole narrative requires quick jumps to keep up the pace, and the fuel refineries need a week to process enough fuel for the next J-4, meaning a minimum of two weeks separation between jumps. One answer somebody mentioned is to point out that with all the DMs, the chances of a misjump from unrefined fuel are minuscule, but with the mission duration, putting any extra strain on the jump drives from things like bad fuel seems like a bad idea. Eating up some (lots) of that extra space for fuel refineries seems like a good use.

From a campaign perspective, I guess if you want to give the ship (or small craft) redesigns, that's a choice (one I would pick, but that's just my curmudgeon ship design mode), but the question is: whose choice? If the Travellers are the going to be the top commanders, they might have input in the design; if they are troubleshooters or other mid-level people, probably not on the ship itself, but on a scout or pinnace design if that's what they'll mostly be using. Maybe a parameter would be to provide a budget and say: these parts are up for redesign within that budget - which may be more realistic than a heavily tweaked and customized optimized capability-based design (with high-tech upgrades to every component) - one thing to keep in mind is that not every scout needs a DSMS, but perhaps a pinnace or two should have it.
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Re: Deepnight Revelation - GMs Thread

Postby Old School » Sun Aug 22, 2021 8:59 pm

The fuel refiners is a good point. From a game mechanic standpoint, you don't need refined fuel, because the chart room and observatory give a combined +5, and you can get additional bonuses from software and taking extra time, and the ship would certainly have a couple of Astrogation-4 officers on board. +12 total, I think. Even a 4 parsec jump with unrefined fuel (DM-6) would be impossible to fail. But from a "traveller universe common sense" point of view, running for 20+ years without a refit makes refined fuel sound like a really good idea.

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