Numbers and Enigmas

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
db98647
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Numbers and Enigmas

Postby db98647 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:31 pm

A few things about Traveller are enigmas to me.

How much power does it take to Jump?

To figure that out you need to know weather power production(pp) is based off of a 6 second round or a 20 min round (i didn't see that listed in the play test doc, but i may have just overlooked it).

Then, all that's needed is to do some simple math: (assuming a 20min round) 2 pp per round, 3 rounds equals an hour, 168 hours in a week, 1 dton is burned per week (1008pp), and 10 dtons of fuel per 100 dtons of ship.

For a 100 dton scout that would require 10080 pp to jump.

But here is the enigma, the burning of jump fuel is described as highly inefficient in some Traveller books, but how inefficient, 60%, 50%, 20%?

If its 60% efficient then that would lower the pp requirement to 6048.
If its 50% efficient then that would lower the pp requirement to 5040.
If its 20% efficient then that would lower the pp requirement to 2016.

I ask, because in one of my Traveller games we came across a ship that used a solar sail to collect energy to power its jump-drive. A large portion of the ship was filled with capacitors.

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Also, how many kW are in a pp?

If I knew how many kW are stored in a liter of LH2 it would be simple.

There are 1008 pp in one ton of LH2 which is 14,000 liters in volume.
So divide the number of pp (1008) by the number of liters (14,000) and you get the pp per liter of LH2 (.072).
Now multiply the kW liter by .072 and you have the number of kW per pp.

Walla!

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And another problem I have is Hydrogen embitterment. Hydrogen is the smallest atom and it seeps into all other known forms of matter and over time weakens them. this would mean that a ship would have to have the fuel tanks replace every so often. If not the tanks would rupture.

Also hydrogen is not the best fuel source for fusion. It has horrible proton discharge in the fusing reaction. This means that you get next to nothing in the form of electrical energy. Helium3 (H3) however is a larger atom, and thus has a slower rate of embitterment, has a predominant discharge of protons during the fusing reaction. This allows directly draw of electrical current from the reaction.

This is of course according to one of my players that designs power plants. He's the ships engineer in the game (how creative, but ha, play your strengths).
klingsor
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Postby klingsor » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:02 am

I always thought that the fuel consumption figures for the jump drives were basically whacked, they just seemed so ridiculously high particularly after the fusion plant fuel consumption figures for 2300 AD given in Star Cruiser – basically there the reactor comes with a lifetime supply of fuel.

Eventually I figured that:
a. It is just a game balance thing, don’t worry about it.

b. It may not actually be consumed as fuel at all. My first thought was cooling but them it occurred to me that it might be part of the jump process – the ship needs to surround itself with a field of ionised gas to protect itself from the jump or whatever. At first I thought this might gradually be released during the jump to maintain the jump envelope but with drop tanks it is all used at the start which makes that wrong. The Lanthanum hull grids as well seem not to require this.
pasuuli
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Postby pasuuli » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:01 pm

It takes a heckuva large chunk of power to jump. Thus what would otherwise be a nice, efficient fusion power plant is traded in for this whacked-out leaky thing, just so that once a week it can crank out enough power to rip open a hole in the universe.

Maybe, when powering up the jump drive for its initial hoo-hah, the power plant consumes one ton of fuel per second or something, and produces like 100x to 1,000x its typical power output. (I guess that means the plant could be used to power a very huge weapon, for one shot anyway).
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Postby GJD » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:50 am

klingsor wrote:I always thought that the fuel consumption figures for the jump drives were basically whacked, they just seemed so ridiculously high particularly after the fusion plant fuel consumption figures for 2300 AD given in Star Cruiser – basically there the reactor comes with a lifetime supply of fuel.

Eventually I figured that:
a. It is just a game balance thing, don’t worry about it.

b. It may not actually be consumed as fuel at all. My first thought was cooling but them it occurred to me that it might be part of the jump process – the ship needs to surround itself with a field of ionised gas to protect itself from the jump or whatever. At first I thought this might gradually be released during the jump to maintain the jump envelope but with drop tanks it is all used at the start which makes that wrong. The Lanthanum hull grids as well seem not to require this.
In Star Cruiser/2300AD it was only the fission/fusion reactors that held their own fuel. Fuel cell and MHD turbines had their own H2 supplies and the powerplant just supplied power to the stutterwarp - you didn't have seperate power plant and jump fuel - the PP powered everything.

In Traveller, if I recall, that a proportion of the jump fuel is vented to form the "jump field" around the ship, and the remainder is used to pump a capacitor bank to facilitate insertion, and the remainder to keep the drive ticking over during transit.

G.
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Postby Shane_Mclean » Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:51 pm

klingsor wrote: a. It is just a game balance thing, don’t worry about it.
I suspect this is the case. Imagine how different the sociopolitical (good word, huh?) makeup of the Imperium would be if ships could easily jump multiple times between refuelling. There'd be less need to visit planets with not other value than being a stop-over. Military operations would be much more agile, in strategic terms. And where would all the pirates that wait at the gas giants go?


Shane
Daneel Olivaw
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Postby Daneel Olivaw » Mon May 05, 2008 9:18 am

pasuuli wrote:(I guess that means the plant could be used to power a very huge weapon, for one shot anyway).
That's very cool. Spinal mounts have been one of my favourite things in Traveller since 1980.

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