Grav Floater question on page 103 in PDF rules.

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
vitalis6969
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Postby vitalis6969 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:28 pm

DFW wrote:
Absolutely agree. My point was that the "Floater" because of pricing, is the ONLY Grav vehicle that allows Grav vehicles to be "Ubiquitous". The other pricing means that they are as rare as a $300k Ferrari on the streets
of Backwater, Kansas.
Only if you are saying Ubiquitous to mean every common man has one. You could say the 100 ton scout is "Ubiquitous", but I would think that they are less common than a $300k Ferrari on the streets of Backwater, Kansas. At least as far as the common man is concerned. Except, that it most definitely is Ubiquitous. Just like the Beowulf Far Trader.

In even closer terms an engine forward semi-tractor is the common semi-tractor in the US, one could even say it is "Ubiquitous", but I sure as **** can't afford 100k to buy one.

The price of the grav disk is off. And it has nothing to do with being ubiquitous or not.

-V
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Postby DFW » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:28 pm

vitalis6969 wrote: Only if you are saying Ubiquitous to mean every common man has one.
I mean as in the way Trav positions them. On high tech worlds it being a COMMON civilian transportation item. Their pricing doesn't match the 'hype'...
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Postby rust » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:42 pm

DFW wrote: I mean as in the way Trav positions them. On high tech worlds it being a COMMON civilian transportation item. Their pricing doesn't match the 'hype'...
I tend to agree, with this price tag they can only be about as "common"
as helicopters and hovercraft are in our real world - used by the govern-
ments, some major organizations, a small number of specialized compa-
nies and as playthings by some wealthy people, but rarely by an average
citizen. Which, by the way, should also make the relevant skill a bit more
rare, the average citizen will hardly have a need (or the money) to learn
a skill that is the equivalent of our world's helicopter pilot license.
vitalis6969
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Postby vitalis6969 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:13 pm

DFW wrote:
vitalis6969 wrote: Only if you are saying Ubiquitous to mean every common man has one.
I mean as in the way Trav positions them. On high tech worlds it being a COMMON civilian transportation item. Their pricing doesn't match the 'hype'...
And good sir, you have just hit the nail on the head with trying to price anything with a common system when you are dealing with multiple worlds and multiple standards of living.

Common pricing will never work when you are trying to cover low tech and high tech worlds. Poor world and rich worlds. 275k credits may be a princely sum on an out of the way dirtball, but a paltry amount to buy the family floaty car on an extremely solvent world.

-V
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Postby rust » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:27 pm

vitalis6969 wrote: Common pricing will never work when you are trying to cover low tech and high tech worlds. Poor world and rich worlds. 275k credits may be a princely sum on an out of the way dirtball, but a paltry amount to buy the family floaty car on an extremely solvent world.
Well, according to the rules the income and mustering out money of the
characters does not depend on the general wealth and technology level
of their homeworlds, like the rules' prices they are "one size fits all" - and
with the income and mustering out money (according to the rules) and
the prices of grav vehicles (according to the rules) the family floaty car is
highly improbable: Someone from the Civilian career needs to roll six ti-
mes a 6 or three times a 7 to have those 275,000 credits ...
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Postby DFW » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:44 pm

vitalis6969 wrote:And good sir, you have just hit the nail on the head with trying to price anything with a common system when you are dealing with multiple worlds and multiple standards of living.

Common pricing will never work when you are trying to cover low tech and high tech worlds.
Actually, that's not the problem. The pricing doesn't work ANYWHERE in the
in the 3I based on the 'positioning' I talked about above.
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Postby far-trader » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:47 pm

The price of the Air/Raft alone speaks to it not being a civilian vehicle, at least not in the sense of common private transport. More in the realm of personal aircraft (not ultra-lights, full on aircraft).

For a more reasonable take on what a common if not ubiquitous civilian/private daily flyer grav vehicle would be you need to cut that price to about 10%. You do this by making it much less robust than the standard Air/Raft. And with much less performance capability.

It doesn't need to be able to achieve orbit, a hover of half a meter would be enough, but if you need the skyway look and feel all you need is 100 meters or a little more, or not much more than the highest buildings at any rate.

It doesn't need to go 400kph, 100kph would be plenty.

It doesn't need to operate under extreme conditions and will be built for the local conditions only. It won't need armouring.

It doesn't need all kinds of (implied) fancy sensors. Required for wilderness operation yes, at all necessary for city/civilized areas, no. It will have autopilot as a requirement, not an option, and it will be controlled by the city when not off the grid. Skill won't be an issue under most usage, zero level would be plenty.

It won't need to run for days or weeks, or be able to operate under wilderness refueling conditions. It will run on cheap batteries, allow a few hours operation, and recharge while at work or home.

All this will (should at least) go a long way to reducing the cost. But even that is not going to bring any kind of grav vehicle down to Cr500. That's just silly.
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Postby DFW » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:54 pm

far-trader wrote:It doesn't need to be able to achieve orbit, a hover of half a meter would be enough, but if you need the skyway look and feel all you need is 100 meters or a little more, or not much more than the highest buildings at any rate.
In Trav it either is anti grav or it ain't. Other than pressurization, additional altitude costs nothing extra (at least short of orbital capability. Not how the tech works.

Like I said, they utterly screwed the pricing based on the premise.

But, yes 100kph is fine. Open top is stupid as it costs almost nothing to add a hard top. Actually, the craft would be slower as an open top.
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Postby far-trader » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:05 pm

DFW wrote:
far-trader wrote:It doesn't need to be able to achieve orbit, a hover of half a meter would be enough, but if you need the skyway look and feel all you need is 100 meters or a little more, or not much more than the highest buildings at any rate.
In Trav it either is anti grav or it ain't. Other than pressurization, additional altitude costs nothing extra (at least short of orbital capability. Not how the tech works.
There's much more you're overlooking or ignoring than just pressurization issues. A simple hover of half a meter won't need fail-safes for falls from altitude for one thing. Nor will it have to deal with altitude changes and holding. Yes while the anti-grav effect is unlimited (or rather, is poorly defined as to the limitations that should exist and the systems required to make it functional) the fallout of that is not.

Personally I've always thought the idea that an Air/Raft or the like could achieve orbit is ludicrous. And I'm pretty sure it was just fluff thrown in (borrowed from some golden age sci-fi story) without any consideration of the ramifications. Simply it was made so because it was kewl. And should be ignored and discarded in my opinion for the self same reason.
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Postby far-trader » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:10 pm

DFW wrote: Like I said, they utterly screwed the pricing based on the premise.
I would (am in fact) spin it the other way. They totally blew the premise based on the pricing. Air/Rafts are not civilian, not common, because of the price.

I can see some form of grav vehicle being all that though. Common (at higher TLs) private transport at reasonable prices. It's just not the Air/Raft (over built) or the Floater (insanely, unbelievably, under priced) as presented.
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Postby DFW » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:12 pm

far-trader wrote:There's much more you're overlooking or ignoring than just pressurization issues. A simple hover of half a meter won't need fail-safes for falls from altitude for one thing. Nor will it have to deal with altitude changes and holding. Yes while the anti-grav effect is unlimited (or rather, is poorly defined as to the limitations that should exist and the systems required to make it functional) the fallout of that is not.
.
The functions of directing flight via computer control to the grav modules at TL 11+ would be too easy and cheap to bother mentioning here.

If you are talking about 1 meter off the ground you are talking about driving in traffic. How fast can you stop? If it is really fast at 100kph, like a car, your grav thrust would HAVE to be sufficient for you to go faster than 100kph. Also, what's the failsafe when all engine go out on a 737? The SOL hotline.
At high tech levels (at couple above grav tech) the fail rate is going to be FAR less than current aircraft tech.
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Postby rust » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:14 pm

far-trader wrote: Personally I've always thought the idea that an Air/Raft or the like could achieve orbit is ludicrous. And I'm pretty sure it was just fluff thrown in (borrowed from some golden age sci-fi story) without any consideration of the ramifications. Simply it was made so because it was kewl. And should be ignored and discarded in my opinion for the self same reason.
One of the scenarios we did play had at its centre an assassin who made
his victims helpless or unconscious with some entertainment drug, put
them into their grav vehicles and sent them towards the orbit - and ano-
ther drunken fool had a deadly accident ...
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Postby vitalis6969 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:47 pm

I haven't found any reference in the rules about the air/raft being common on high tech worlds.

It says they are ubiquitous, remarkably reliable and flexible vehicles.

The stat line says that they start at TL8.

I take that to mean that they are indeed ubiquitous as they floaty car for people who have the creds for a floaty car. In my game that means companies or individuals spending upwards of 275k for a new air/raft, nothing outside of the rules there.

Much like companies who spend a ton of money on nice new semi-tractors or heavy equipment.

A Frieghtliner cab is ubiquitous, I can't afford one.
A CAT front end loader is ubiquitous, I can't afford one.
A Helicopter is ubiquitous, I can't afford one.

I *could* afford a hacked out used front end loader, but then again, I'm sure on a 3k a month salary (picking a low average from the ship board pay scale) I could afford a hacked out air/raft as well with a loan and some savings.

Add in the failure of a standard pricing system not being workable with different tech levels on worlds and you get the failure here. If an air raft is TL8, then the 275k pricing is at TL8. That kind of frumpy tech at TL15 would be super super cheap. Just like you can reasonably expect to get paid a fortune for a piece of TL15 tech on a TL8 world.

-V
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Postby rust » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:24 pm

vitalis6969 wrote: I'm sure on a 3k a month salary (picking a low average from the ship board pay scale) I could afford a hacked out air/raft as well with a loan and some savings.
You could, because another silly number in the rules would make it pos-
sible: According to the Central Supply Catalogue, page 182, you would
only have to pay 400 credits per month for your living costs at an ave-
rage standard of living (SOC 7). :)
vitalis6969
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Postby vitalis6969 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:34 am

rust wrote: You could, because another silly number in the rules would make it pos-
sible: According to the Central Supply Catalogue, page 182, you would
only have to pay 400 credits per month for your living costs at an ave-
rage standard of living (SOC 7). :)
wow, lololol... 2 or 3k per month income, cost of living 400 per month.

That is awesome. I think I will be moving to the traveler universe sometime soon... Waaaaaaaaay better than what I have to put up with in real life.

Every time I start designing a game or a world to play in the first thing I start with before pricing anything is what is the common wage. Once you have that you can price anything. I don't know why game manufacturers don't do the same thing.

-V
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Postby Gee4orce » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:36 am

From the rules "A grav floater is a forerunner of the grav belt, a platform upon which a single person can stand and be carried along. It cannot achieve any great speed but can, like an air/raft, achieve any altitude up to orbit."

From that reading, I think it's highly unlikely that a character just happened to have been towing one around all day, 'just in case' ! Encumbrance is not equivalent to mass - it's also the bulk of the item.
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Postby simonh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:41 am

DFW wrote: The functions of directing flight via computer control to the grav modules at TL 11+ would be too easy and cheap to bother mentioning here.
Also grav isn't a ground-effect technology, so to hover at 1m over varying terrain you'd have to sense for the ground surface and actively adjust your flight continuously to track the surface - much harder than just flying at a safe distance above the ground.

DFW is absolutely right on this, floaters are just platform equivalents of grav belts.

Simon Hibbs
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Postby simonh » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:44 am

far-trader wrote: Personally I've always thought the idea that an Air/Raft or the like could achieve orbit is ludicrous.
Given the technology, why wouldn't it be able to reach orbital altitudes?

Simon Hibbs
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Postby DFW » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:20 pm

vitalis6969 wrote:I haven't found any reference in the rules about the air/raft being common on high tech worlds.
UBIQUITOUS

: existing or being everywhere at the same time
commonplace, everyday, common,

Umm, it's just a 'bigger' word for common.

So, you did find the reference for them being common.
Last edited by DFW on Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BP » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:43 pm

simonh wrote:
far-trader wrote: Personally I've always thought the idea that an Air/Raft or the like could achieve orbit is ludicrous.
Given the technology, why wouldn't it be able to reach orbital altitudes?

Simon Hibbs
Both comments seem reasonable to me ;)

Achieving orbit and reach orbital altitudes can mean two different things.

'Grav' tech, as used in traveller, isn't dependent on distance/mass so no reason these shouldn't be 'capable' of reaching orbital altitudes (excepting their flight times - ex: grav belt battery). However, 'achieving orbit' (assuming one is referring to 'orbiting' rather than an escape or ballistic trajectory) requires a velocity at an altitude. Here, the speed limits make this virtually impossible for a planet. Note: Core does explicitly state 'achieve any altitude up to orbit' for a grav floater, not 'achieve orbit' (for Air Raft it says 'reach orbit' - again not 'achieve orbit', though less explicit).

As to the game 'reason' for being able to reach orbital altitudes with such - that seems quite evident... to provide a (corny) way for PC's to reach a ship that can't reach them ;)

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