Vacc suits for free?

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Annatar Giftbringer
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Vacc suits for free?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:04 am

Greetings,
Just curious, how do people handle vacc suits for new groups? Do you generally assume that ships come with a proper vacc suit for each crew member (possibly hostile environment for the engineer(s)) plus a bunch of emergency suits scattered throughout the ship?

Or, emergency suits for everyone, plus spares in convenient places, and one or two ‘proper suits’ in the ship’s locker?

Or emergency suits for everyone, you want a proper suit you buy it yourself!

?

Of course the answers changes depending on group and playstyle, but assume a mixed travelling/trading group, with a free trader as mustering our benefit.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby MonkeyX » Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:57 am

I normally have enough emergency suits available for the total recommended crew. Anything better is brought by the individual.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby ottarrus » Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:39 am

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:04 am
Greetings,
Just curious, how do people handle vacc suits for new groups? Do you generally assume that ships come with a proper vacc suit for each crew member (possibly hostile environment for the engineer(s)) plus a bunch of emergency suits scattered throughout the ship?

Or, emergency suits for everyone, plus spares in convenient places, and one or two ‘proper suits’ in the ship’s locker?

Or emergency suits for everyone, you want a proper suit you buy it yourself!

?

Of course the answers changes depending on group and playstyle, but assume a mixed travelling/trading group, with a free trader as mustering our benefit.
In the group I'm just starting, they already have a Type A2 Far Trader. I generally handwave the Ship's Locker, assuming that they have a set of mechanical, electronic, and ship engineering tools for the TL, a reasonable level of first aid supplies, etc.
But I'm very specific... What they have aboard is what is strictly necessary to run their ship and meet regulatory requirements. Anything and everything extra come out of their pockets. NO explosives, NO salvage gear [cutting torches etc.], NO extra weapons, NO super vacc suits, etc. That being said, I equip their ship with one TL 8 Vacc Suit per crewmember and two rescue balls per stateroom.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Condottiere » Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:08 pm

If they just got their spacecraft during character creation, let's assume that the ship's locker is more or less complete with default vacuum suits.

If there's some creative accounting in acquiring one, it might not be.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:12 pm

So, having a bunch of TL8 vacc suits come with the ship should be ok? I mean sure, my game my rules, but it’s interesting to hear other people’s reasoning.

On the one hand it does seem reasonable to bake in a couple of suits when the ship-loan is arranged, and I’d also give them some uniforms, on the other hand diving suits can be useful for modern-day ships from time to time but afaik not every ship has a bunch of those onboard…
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby ottarrus » Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:22 pm

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:12 pm
So, having a bunch of TL8 vacc suits come with the ship should be ok? I mean sure, my game my rules, but it’s interesting to hear other people’s reasoning.

On the one hand it does seem reasonable to bake in a couple of suits when the ship-loan is arranged, and I’d also give them some uniforms, on the other hand diving suits can be useful for modern-day ships from time to time but afaik not every ship has a bunch of those onboard…
Mostly that's because most ships [merchant or naval] don't have qualified divers aboard, much less divers trained in doing any kind of engineering task [welding, damage assessment, whatever].
Now, this is a qualification that Traveller pretty much handwaves with skill tasks, but in the real world there are serious dangers involved with diving. Nitrogen narcosis ['the bends'] is just one of them.
[My ex-wife was a scuba diver, so I know a little about it]
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby NOLATrav » Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:33 pm

They could be included in the Ship’s Locker, maybe one TL8 Vacc Suit per required crew position, along with a rescue bubble for each stateroom.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Garran » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:03 am

Ships may not have diving suits, but they generally do have lifeboats, floatation devices, cables and hoists, and other emergency/service kit and parts, though exactly how much of what will vary with the type of ship - a small pleasure craft may not have much more than a PFD per person and a handheld tool set, but a passenger ferry (in any properly-regulated environment), freighter, etc, will have considerably more.

Real-world ships also have a much easier time calling in assistance (again, there are exceptions) if they run into trouble, and don't usually operate in a lethal environment, so they don't need to maintain quite the same level of preparedness.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby ottarrus » Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:47 am

NOLATrav wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:33 pm
They could be included in the Ship’s Locker, maybe one TL8 Vacc Suit per required crew position, along with a rescue bubble for each stateroom.
That's pretty much what I have for it... 1 x TL 8 suit per crewman and 2 rescue bubbles per passenger cabin.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby ottarrus » Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:55 am

Garran wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:03 am
Ships may not have diving suits, but they generally do have lifeboats, floatation devices, cables and hoists, and other emergency/service kit and parts, though exactly how much of what will vary with the type of ship - a small pleasure craft may not have much more than a PFD per person and a handheld tool set, but a passenger ferry (in any properly-regulated environment), freighter, etc, will have considerably more.

Real-world ships also have a much easier time calling in assistance (again, there are exceptions) if they run into trouble, and don't usually operate in a lethal environment, so they don't need to maintain quite the same level of preparedness.
Well, in Traveller terms we're talking two different levels of regulation. Major carriers and cruise lines carry many more people and much more valuable cargoes and therefore have high levels of expectations insofar as safety goes. Tramp freighters like Type A's or Type R's have safety regulations they must follow, but it's asking quite a lot for 200-ton ship to burn up 10% of its tonnage for a 20-ton launch large enough to carry everyone on board.

Besides, just like Traveller assumes that pilots have the qualifications to do their jobs and the certifications that legally allow them to do their jobs, it also assumes that engineers with Vacc Suit skill are qualified and certified to do their jobs EVA.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Condottiere » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:30 pm

In deep space, assuming you can send off a jump torpedo, you're looking at a fortnight's communication latency.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby ottarrus » Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:21 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:30 pm
In deep space, assuming you can send off a jump torpedo, you're looking at a fortnight's communication latency.
J-Torps are.. problematical. They suffer the same problems that any other undersized hull suffers insofar as misjump is concerned [it happens a lot more often]. Furthermore, because they're automated and don't have the same 'feel' Astrogation plots like biological beings do, they tend to be wildly off course even when they DO precipitate into the correct system. Ideally, a ship wants to emerge from Jumpspace at 110 to 150 diameters away from their destination port. J-torps are rarely, if ever, that accurate. And because a J-torp's distress signal is traveling at the speed of light, just like every other signal in space, if it emerges from Jump somewhere in the outer Oort Cloud, you might as well have not sent it at all.

Given the space requirements of a torpedo system on a ship anyway, most designers don't feel that Jump torpedoes are worth the time and expenditure of resources better spent elsewhere. The IISS doesn't equip them and neither did the Deepnight Project.

The sun takeaway is that if it 'absolutely, positively has to be there this month' a crewed courier get a message to its recipient far more safely and far more timely than a J-torp, for all the greater of expense of building and crewing a courier ship.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:52 pm

The way current rules are, anything less than a hundred tonnes isn't going anywhere, really fast.

As regards spacesuits, the default has to be the eleven kilostarbux technological level ten hardsuit, which about balances out cost, protection and performance.

Anything else is pretty much compromised, optionally the two kilostarbux emergency softsuit, which is eggshelly vacuum tight.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:22 pm

1. If you could wear cloth armour over an emergency softsuit, for a tad under three kilostarbux, you'd be relatively well taken care off, for the next four hours.

2. One reason starships might stay within clusters, is that if they misjump, they will likely fall into a hex with an inhabited planet, or at least some large rock orbitting a sun that they can head towards, or beam an emergency signal.

3. If you have a large enough starship, you can carry a scout sized ecks boat.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby cunningrat » Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:55 pm

Does lack of a vacc suit have any story potential (for you) beyond "oops, you are lacking a vital piece of equipment -- too bad, so sad, go roll up a new character"? Does it allow you to throw more fun adventures at the players?

Does the *presence* of a vacc suit have any story potential (for you)? Does it allow you to throw more fun adventures at the players?

Will giving everyone a free (very basic) vacc suit unbalance the game?

To me, it's all about the story.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:21 pm

Space can be breathtakingly abrupt.

I've heard you can survive falling twenty thousand feet without a parachute.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby ottarrus » Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:30 pm

cunningrat wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:55 pm
Does lack of a vacc suit have any story potential (for you) beyond "oops, you are lacking a vital piece of equipment -- too bad, so sad, go roll up a new character"? Does it allow you to throw more fun adventures at the players?

Does the *presence* of a vacc suit have any story potential (for you)? Does it allow you to throw more fun adventures at the players?

Will giving everyone a free (very basic) vacc suit unbalance the game?

To me, it's all about the story.
A vacc suit is a tool, just like a weapon or a starship. Tools provide capabilities and a lack of tools restricts those capabilities.
Inasmuch as Traveller is a sci-fi game, space is going to be the backdrop. It's awfully hard to interact with that backdrop if you don't have a space suit. That isn't to say it can't be done, of course, but the reality that there is a very hostile environment just on the other side of that wall is something that should always be in the back of a Traveller's mind. Or, rather, the consequences of forgetting that space hates you and wants to suck the life out of you....

Remember that scene in the first season of The Expanse, where the survivors of the Canterbury are taken aboard a Martian capital ship? They're sitting together in this makeshift room aboard the Donnager and the ship goes to battle stations and the 1MC [the announcement system] orders everyone to 'rig for evasive maneuvering'. The Cant's crew straps in to ride out whatever it happening, and their medic is killed when battle damage penetrates the hull and decapitates him. The penetration also begins to decompress the compartment. At this point, a headless former medic has his blood streaming out of the hole in the hull but the atmosphere is rapidly leaking out with the blood. A quick-thinking Cant crewman grabs a tray and plugs the hole, which restores pressure. Unfortunately, the ex-medic isn't done gushing blood all over the place...

So if you're just in it for the story, there you go.... The moral of the story is, 'It's a dangerous universe out there. This is the consequence of not having a space suit. Preparedness saves pain.'
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Reisender » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:49 am

Well, it depends on the campaign you are running. Getting the necessary equipment might be part of that campaign. I assume, as apparently quite a lot of people, that any ship that the Travellers purchase or simply have, comes with a certain number of vacc-suits for emergency. I think a number of suits according to the listed number of crew for that vessel would be reasonable. Any additional crew member or passenger would have to provide their own suits in my opinion. The suits that come with a ship might be in different states of repair/maintenance/cleanliness. The question is if you want to get into a vacc-suit that another person, that you may not know, has been sweating in. Not to mention other bodily functions. I think it is like underwear or clothing, you certainly want your own personal suit or at least make one present on board your own.
Another issue not addressed is size. I'm pretty sure that vacc-suits come in a certain fits-all-sizes form, but I think that this has limitations, especially if it comes to alien races. But even a small or big human might not feel comfortable in such a suit and might prefer a more tailored one.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:59 pm

It depends, as with most things, on economics, utility, and convenience.

If it's worth it to own your own vacuum suit, whether bulky hard or emergency soft, or ones that will only temporarily protect you while you head for the nearest oxygen oasis, will probably depend on the player's cost benefit analysis.
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Re: Vacc suits for free?

Postby ottarrus » Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:03 am

Condottiere wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:59 pm
It depends, as with most things, on economics, utility, and convenience.

If it's worth it to own your own vacuum suit, whether bulky hard or emergency soft, or ones that will only temporarily protect you while you head for the nearest oxygen oasis, will probably depend on the player's cost benefit analysis.
Among professional spacers, and even more so among belters and other 'EVA-for-a- living' types, your vacc suit says a lot about you. Looking at a sophont's suit will tell you what kind of work they do, how new they are at the game, what environment they work in, etc. etc.
It's not completely unreasonable for a real pro to own more than one suit for different jobs. And you can bloody well bet that anybody who was forced to use 'company gear' [military spacers, etc.] is going to have some definite ideas about what should and should not be equipped on a vacc suit.
Anybody who knows they're gonna have to bet their life on the quality of their gear sooner rather than later eventually drops the 20-40 k-credits for a custom made suit fitted for their requirements. People who don't have an appointment with a body bag waiting on them.
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