Not Impressed with MGT Preview #4

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
atpollard
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Postby atpollard » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:00 pm

For what it might be worth, the classic wedge shape of the Type S Scout makes it a VERY hard ship to accurately create a deckplan for. The hull slopes in two directions creating naturally wedge shaped decks. The front 20% of the ship is less than 3m tall and the back 20% of the ship is 3 levels tall.

An accurate plan would probably involve 5 levels of partial decks (like a split plan house), sloping ceilings that render some of most rooms too low to stand in, and a 'section' cut down the spine to identify how the partial decks fit together.

That hull shape at 100 dTons mean that plans will either be inaccurate 'representations' (like a subway map) or too 'technical' to be read by the average gamer.
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Postby Zowy » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:30 pm

atpollard wrote:For what it might be worth, the classic wedge shape of the Type S Scout makes it a VERY hard ship to accurately create a deckplan for. The hull slopes in two directions creating naturally wedge shaped decks. The front 20% of the ship is less than 3m tall and the back 20% of the ship is 3 levels tall.

An accurate plan would probably involve 5 levels of partial decks (like a split plan house), sloping ceilings that render some of most rooms too low to stand in, and a 'section' cut down the spine to identify how the partial decks fit together.

That hull shape at 100 dTons mean that plans will either be inaccurate 'representations' (like a subway map) or too 'technical' to be read by the average gamer.
The more I look at the new Scout deckplan, the more I think just switching the Air/Raft bay and the Cargo bay is the only thing it needs. After all the Armor, landing gear and most of the fuel is not show, as they are above and below the crew spaces.
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Postby Klaus Kipling » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:57 pm

The problem with designing a deckplan on paper and making it look neat and logical is that this is not the same as engineering a functional starship.

A deckplan designer will tend to seek to arrange staterooms and corridors and other internal spaces in an aesthetically pleasing or efficient way. A naval architect will arrange all the ship's systems to get the best out of them and then hang the crew spaces in whatever's left over, creating idiosyncratic internal areas.

The original type S qualifies as wonderfully idiosyncratic.

I'm not bothered about strict adherance to the absolute number of squares unless the scale is massively out of kilter. Even the massively oversized Empress Marava is easily fixable, without losing it's quirks.

I do note there is still no proper entry/exit airlock on the new design. In the old one you could fit one in in the redundant corridor next the the air/raft bay.
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Postby JRMapes » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:06 pm

Holy Broken Calculators, Batman!

From the quotes and the looks of it, it seems that someone got way overzealous in his endeavor to right the wrongs of the past and forgot to engage his calculator. :roll:

The deckplans are wonked, pure and simple.

Time to go back to the drawing board.

But this time lose the cloak and mask and make sure there is fresh batteries in the calculator.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Court Jester » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:19 pm

I guess if you think this is the important part of your game then by all means get upset that some sclae is out of sync.

Me, I don't particularly care. I doubt it will EVER be a problem in any games I run.
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Postby AKAramis » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:31 pm

The wonkiness of the plans in Supplement 7 has ALWAYS been an issue.

Which is why, in my games, I don't use it any more. I do my own plans. Usually in CC2 or Appleworks.

This is because I have players who modify ships. So spacing becomes an issue, and only one type S plan has actually fit the design sheets... and it wasn't the classic one.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:39 pm

Court Jester wrote:I guess if you think this is the important part of your game then by all means get upset that some sclae is out of sync.

Me, I don't particularly care. I doubt it will EVER be a problem in any games I run.
?

It doesn't bother you that the deckplan is half the size it should be?

So...let's say Mongoose publishes a book that features starports. Floor plans are provided for the various buildings.

You see a pic of an obvious two storey control tower. You can tell it's two stories because there is an outside balcony on the second floor. The floor plan shows the interior of the building as one level, with the balcony on the ground floor.

That wouldn't bother you?

Or, how about a floor plan for a starship berth. The floor plan shows it as four squares by four squares. The key shows 1.5m squares. Yet, starships are supposed to fit within the confines of the berth--so, obviously, any starship longer than 6m wouldn't fit in the berth, but the berth is a regular sized berth.

That wouldn't bother you either?

That's what we're dealing with here.
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Postby Court Jester » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:59 pm

Supplement Four wrote:
Court Jester wrote:I guess if you think this is the important part of your game then by all means get upset that some sclae is out of sync.

Me, I don't particularly care. I doubt it will EVER be a problem in any games I run.
?

It doesn't bother you that the deckplan is half the size it should be?

So...let's say Mongoose publishes a book that features starports. Floor plans are provided for the various buildings.

You see a pic of an obvious two storey control tower. You can tell it's two stories because there is an outside balcony on the second floor. The floor plan shows the interior of the building as one level, with the balcony on the ground floor.

That wouldn't bother you?

Or, how about a floor plan for a starship berth. The floor plan shows it as four squares by four squares. The key shows 1.5m squares. Yet, starships are supposed to fit within the confines of the berth--so, obviously, any starship longer than 6m wouldn't fit in the berth, but the berth is a regular sized berth.

That wouldn't bother you either?

That's what we're dealing with here.
Thats just not the sort of detail I worry about in a game. You may well fret over the minute details of berthing your starship in the correct way but I wouldn't.

Its a story and as the GM I am telling the story. I won't tear my hair out if what is written is wrong... I change it and get on with enjoying myself. All the players really need to know is that they can or cannot "park".

But I guess for many Traveller players its ALL about these details. I don't mind that you are upset by this scale error. It just has no impact on me, my players or my game.

After you have made sure all the measurements are correct you should come join us blasting evil alien technology, rooting out seperatist cells, exploring the Line and hunting down rogue War Drones...

:P
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Postby -Daniel- » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:42 pm

Court Jester wrote:I guess if you think this is the important part of your game then by all means get upset that some sclae is out of sync.
I hope you do not mind if some of us are somewhere in between. I would not say I am upset. But I also would not say I do not care.

I would say I expect more from Mongoose. I would expect they would use more care in how they do these things as they are selling it to me. I would expect they would have checked such simple things as what scale they are using in the rules vs the maps they put out.

When I download a free map from a fan I am more like you. I do not check it too close and forgive any oddities I find. But once I start paying for a book then I do expect the person who is selling it to have done their QC to make sure that things as simple as this do not get through to the final product.

Daniel
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Postby captainjack23 » Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:35 pm

Its the key that's the error, not the plan.

Each square is a dton - not .5 dtons based on previous scales. It's right, it's just at a different scale ratio than you are used to.

All of the components are the proper number of tons -just 1/2 as many spaces. The ship takes up the correct area and volume given 1dTon squares. - as to the the "but they said 1.5" argument, Draw a line through the 1.5 m square key and move on, fer christsakes. Unless you are blowing it up for a minis game, how does it matter ?

From my viewpoint, the one square:one ton ratio works better - but then, I'm not a big fan of increased granularity just for the sake of cooler numbers. Its just fine for pointing out where things are, where changes are, and etc, and keeping the game running.

If you are planning to game on a ship map, let me assure you that the floor scale will not change perceptibly, particularly if you draw it out at the double scale you prefer....and since you'll have to do that anyway......well. what's the problem ? Who games on the maps in Gunboats and Traders ? (I suppose you could actually game on the plans provided, assuming you have -oh I'm guessing 5mm scale figs...z scale I think ?)

So far, there have been about as many scales, dton definitions and fudgefactors for plans as there are editions of traveller. This is far from the most serious production gaffe....t4 spaceships anyone ? Heck - MT for all that it looked super gearheady accurate was often no better than CT for mapping deckplans to design. So, lighten up.

And, just my opinion, but if you expect your gaming goodies to give you a "stiffie', welllllll....perhaps you need to...you know....get out more in a nongaming sort of way ?
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Postby Court Jester » Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:40 pm

captainjack23 wrote:Unless you are blowing it up for a minis game, how does it matter ?
how about a floor plan for a starship berth. The floor plan shows it as four squares by four squares. The key shows 1.5m squares. Yet, starships are supposed to fit within the confines of the berth--so, obviously, any starship longer than 6m wouldn't fit in the berth, but the berth is a regular sized berth.

That wouldn't bother you either?

That's what we're dealing with here.
I can't help but read the above text in a voice rapidly becomes hysterical especially on that last line...

:wink:
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Postby captainjack23 » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:30 pm

Court Jester wrote:
I can't help but read the above text in a voice rapidly becomes hysterical especially on that last line...

:wink:
now that's just not nice....... :wink:

Still.....unless one is actually placing a model based on the MGT plans physically on top of the berthing space, all one has to do is point at the berth and say - "it's in docking bay 57, there; think you can get out to your contact at the cantina there, and back before the stormtroopers OR the smugglers nab you ?"

I mean, if I was actually trying to build the facility and the ship, even as a diorama, it would matter...sort of. The discrepeancy is probably less tha what one would find across HO scale train terrain and components....and if it's cool with model railroaders, fer heavens sake, its probably good enough for a wargame or RPG.
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Postby Zowy » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:31 pm

The new Scout deckplan is -not- off by 30-40 dTons.......

A a dTon here and there maybe, if you take into consideration that the engineering room most like has a height of 4.5m or more. The back of a wedge shaped scout ship is 8m or more tall. Hull armor, landing grear, fittings, most of the fuel purifier and fuel tanks are not shown and they do not need to be.

The bigest problem is people don't want to give up the old oversized scout ship. Just swap the Cargo and Air/Raft bays and call it good enough for a simple 2D deckplan. On a small 100dTon wedge shaped ship not all parts will have 3m headroom. The lower bay and forward areas will have a bit less, the back end a bit more. I don't want or need something with cutaway 3d views.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:40 am

captainjack23 wrote:Its the key that's the error, not the plan.

Each square is a dton - not .5 dtons based on previous scales. It's right, it's just at a different scale ratio than you are used to.
Mongoose has stated that the combat scale will be 1.5 m per square (which is why the key on the deckplan says 1.5 m).

They need to stick with that, if indeed the combat grid will be 1.5 m. Deckplans need to adhere to that standard.

And, that's why you have a grid on a starship deckplan--in case you run a combat there.

This is a goof that needs to be fixed (on all deckplans, if the problem persists) before MGT hits print.
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Postby AKAramis » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:14 am

Cap'n Jack:

The staterooms and commons are oversized if indeed it is one dton per square, so it is STILL broken going that way.
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Postby captainjack23 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:29 am

AKAramis wrote:Cap'n Jack:

The staterooms and commons are oversized if indeed it is one dton per square, so it is STILL broken going that way.

Aramis,

The staterooms are 4dTons ea. , they are 4 squares.

Yes, I know that staterooms only showed 3 tons in the original deckplans - the extra was assumed folded into life support and commons. So ? It was a handwave then, too, to justify hallways and...commons..

The commons ? Not sure where that space is allocated from -likely in the minimum bridge requirement. Still, where is there a maximum size for the commons ?


The key here, is this: none of us know what we are talking about. Anyone posting here design starships ? No ? Not a fair question, really, so, how bout real space vehicles - the new generation of apollo capsules, perhaps, or the shuttle or the ISS ?
Okay, no takers ? Aviation designers ? Hell, maritime architects (subs for preference )?
So, given that, but putting aside the fact that designing a sub, a ship, an airplane and a space capsule are all very different and require very different techniques and compromises, lets start with a few basic questions:
What actually is the ratio of living space to machinery and electronics filled space ? How much space is dedicated to structural support and hull for the vehicle examples (the ISS having minimal movement stress) ?
How much waste space in a typical design, how much needed just for access to repairable wiring ? fuel and ventilation conduits ? Crew lockers ? food storage ?

What's the end result ? That there is enough of a grey area in this task which cannot possibly be clarified empirically that the level of accuracy being argued about is absurd. We are declaring a deckplan "Broken" because it doesn't have the right amount of an imaginary component as represented on a casual and incomplete approximation of what a real architectural plan would be, if there were any for the imaginary ship in question, which there isn't.

If there's a typo in the key, big frappin deal. Typos happen. Theres a new scale in town for the casual orientation drawings. As I said, draw a line thru it and move on.
If the scale is correct, then it's as workable as any attempt to draw a deckplan for traveller, better than many, and no worse than most.

If you don't like the plans , well, be honest enough to stop calling it broken, when it is entirely your own opinion. I don't like Pepsi, so, its obviously broken. Is it too much to ask for for a company to make a higher Ph beverage with less sugar ? PLUS, it's not the same pepsi as it used to be. This fructose.....bad idea; and not what they said they would do in 1938.
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Postby captainjack23 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:43 am

Supplement Four wrote:
captainjack23 wrote:Its the key that's the error, not the plan.

Each square is a dton - not .5 dtons based on previous scales. It's right, it's just at a different scale ratio than you are used to.
Mongoose has stated that the combat scale will be 1.5 m per square (which is why the key on the deckplan says 1.5 m).

They need to stick with that, if indeed the combat grid will be 1.5 m. Deckplans need to adhere to that standard.

And, that's why you have a grid on a starship deckplan--in case you run a combat there.
If you want to blow it up to make a mat, the dimensions of the actual ship and components are all the same regardless of what size grid you put on it. Its not (ahem) rocket science.

I fear that you are mistaking the map for the terrain, and a deckplan for an architectural blueprint.

Supplement Four wrote: This is a goof that needs to be fixed (on all deckplans, if the problem persists) before MGT hits print.
This only became an issue because of the instant criticism that the ship was too small for its stated scale. When THAT was suggested to be the issue, it was then wrong because the scale was different. The arguments that the scale or the size is wrong hinge on some very iffy arguments: specifically, that the layout and volume of components is empirically wrong, and that the deckplan is an exact document. It isn't. See my previous posts. The "errors" are created by an assumption of a really, really false accuracy to an imaginary standard.

My point is this: that there is enough uncertainty and handwaving in any attempt to model construction of, and then mapping of a starship that there is a bottom level of possible accuracy....and these arguments are way below that. The plans work at either scale, because they can.....and because, honestly, we here don't know how to really build a spaceship. Those who do seem awfully quiet if they are online here...or play traveller.
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Postby AKAramis » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:29 am

Jack: stateroom volumes are canonically only half in the room, the rest is commons. Commons space traditionally has been taken from staterooms and bridge tonnage. See The Traveller Book or Traveller Bk 2.

Your objections and hyperbole are, to be blunt, beside the point, since we have a guideline in several places... This design fails against that guideline. It's not even within the 10% slop that the aforesaid guideline allows for.

It's no different than designing a federation starship for Trek which has no nacelles but still does Warp 9... it violates the constraints of the setting norms.

As presented, the plan is majorly flawed. It needs corrections and/or clarifications.

As for what a ship is like when done within those guidelines:
http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discus ... post256387
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Postby Tathlum » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:01 pm

Does this really have to be that confrontational? It's a mistake, yeah a small one like a typo, but still a mistake and it should be fixed. If a typo came up in editing it would be fixed. If it's too late to fix the first run, fix the second printing and print an errata.

Yes fans split into factions. There are some who see a group attacking MGT no matter what and those who see others as defending every percieved defect no matter what but does this have to poison every thread? Where's the middle ground?

I read the artist saying it isn't rocket science and that a square at this scale is 1 ton. This is wrong at that scale. It's a little mistake. It doesn't break the game, but it's wrong and can be fixed. The simple thing to do is to just say oops and fix it and move on.

There is no agenda, no attack, no hysteria intended in this post, just confusion as to why we seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill???
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Postby Court Jester » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:06 pm

Tathlum wrote:just confusion as to why we seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill???
Join the club...

/me does not understand why people are making such a fuss over an error that will probably be corrected after the first print run.

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