Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Putraack » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:06 am

New questions, on piracy and encounters. I'm new to actually running Traveller, I've been reading the setting for decades.

When setting up an encounter, the intro. speaks of rolling 3d6 x the world's diameter to determine the encounter distance in 1,000 of km. Is that the distance between the ships, and/or the distance to the planet or the 100d line? I'm flipping back and forth between the main rulebook and this intro., and it's a bit confusing for me. When a local customs cutter or SDB is called, how far away is that?
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Elrick » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:02 pm

Putraack wrote:When setting up an encounter, the intro. speaks of rolling 3d6 x the world's diameter to determine the encounter distance in 1,000 of km. Is that the distance between the ships, and/or the distance to the planet or the 100d line?
Distance at which your players encounter the other ship. It corresponds to the range bands at the start of the Space Combat chapter in the Traveller rulebook. This allows you to work out how long it will take the players to get close enough to the target to get some loot.

Note that the target won't necessarily know that the players are up to no good at this point - it's up to the players to keep the target from suspecting trouble for as long as possible. :twisted:
Putraack wrote:When a local customs cutter or SDB is called, how far away is that?
See the table under Pirate Hunters on page 26 of the intro.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby middenface » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:44 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:One tiny thing, I hate to mention it because I don't want to spoil things and its overall a very good start. Its a niggly little detail but don't P-Beams need a triple turret these days. Most people probably didn't even notice the double turret reference, sorry :oops:
I drew the thing and missed it totally... So I drew as one turret as Particle beam and the other as missile rack (disabled) - which fits the current rules.. Left in the missile store too - you could use that as storage.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Putraack » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:01 am

Elrick wrote:Distance at which your players encounter the other ship. It corresponds to the range bands at the start of the Space Combat chapter in the Traveller rulebook. This allows you to work out how long it will take the players to get close enough to the target to get some loot.
Putraack wrote:When a local customs cutter or SDB is called, how far away is that?
See the table under Pirate Hunters on page 26 of the intro.
Well, that indicates that the responder is at the planet or the 100d line, but how far away is that, if the number rolled is the initial encounter distance?
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Elrick » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Putraack wrote:Well, that indicates that the responder is at the planet or the 100d line, but how far away is that, if the number rolled is the initial encounter distance?
Depending on the thrust of the responding ship you should be able to calculate an approximate distance from the jump transit table.

For example, if you have a 4g ship (a type T maybe) in a system with a size 5 world and you roll 3 hours for the intercept that could mean it is over 1 million km away (800,000 km at 1.75 hours flat out), that is assuming that they are already alert. If they need some of that time to get loaded up and underway they might be closer.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Putraack » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:00 am

Elrick wrote:
Putraack wrote:Well, that indicates that the responder is at the planet or the 100d line, but how far away is that, if the number rolled is the initial encounter distance?
Depending on the thrust of the responding ship you should be able to calculate an approximate distance from the jump transit table.

For example, if you have a 4g ship (a type T maybe) in a system with a size 5 world and you roll 3 hours for the intercept that could mean it is over 1 million km away (800,000 km at 1.75 hours flat out), that is assuming that they are already alert. If they need some of that time to get loaded up and underway they might be closer.
That works for about 1/4 of the instances, but most of the table results don't give a time to respond, just "at the starport" or "at the 100d limit."

And that just brings me back to the initial question, how far is the pirate and prey from the 100d line, should the pirate decide to get out of there?
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby alex_greene » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:58 am

Putraack wrote:And that just brings me back to the initial question, how far is the pirate and prey from the 100d line, should the pirate decide to get out of there?
It depends upon the plot the Referee sets. Don't look for rules. It's the Ref's job to set initial encounter distances, which basically means (if you're the Ref) that you decide whether to plunk a tasty fat merchant loaded with juicy cargo or SDB right in the characters' path or not, and they decide whether or not it's an encounter worth going to battle stations over.

Look at Star Trek, and how they would gloss over such little details as initial encounter range. One episode, it's "Long range sensors have picked up a ship dropping out of warp. They are on an intercept course. Estimated time to visual range, 22 hours," thus giving the scriptwriter a good five minutes of script to allow the Captain to chat with the Counsellor about something, then at the appropriate moment, the com beeps. "Captain, the vessel is about to enter visual range," "On my way," and then it's back to the Bridge and the story gets back on the tracks when the intercepting vessel heaves into view.

At other times, "Captain! Long range sensors have picked up a ship! It is on an intercept course!" "On screen." *screen comes on immediately* *enemy vessel looming large in the screen* "Comms, signal the Fleet. The enemy has arrived. Let's get the party started. First Officer; sound General Quarters," and they're straight into battle.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Elrick » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:40 pm

Putraack wrote:And that just brings me back to the initial question, how far is the pirate and prey from the 100d line, should the pirate decide to get out of there?
That's part of the dilemma for the pirates. They need to be far enough out from the world that they can get away afterwards without pursuit being too close behind them, but close enough in to maximise their chances of meeting a potential target.

Don't forget that the 100 diameters limit is not a point but is all around the world (http://vectormovement.wordpress.com/201 ... ogation-3/). You might have your pirates on or close to the jump limit (they made a lucky guess about where they might find a target presumably) and still have a patrol vessel also sitting on the 100 diameter limit but partway round the circumference from where the pirates are.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Hans Rancke » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:02 pm

Elrick wrote:That's part of the dilemma for the pirates. They need to be far enough out from the world that they can get away afterwards without pursuit being too close behind them, but close enough in to maximise their chances of meeting a potential target.
The real problem for pirates (in systems with system defenses) is lurking for any useful length of time in a spot far enough out from the world that they can get away afterwards without pursuit being too close behind them, but close enough in to maximise their chances of meeting a potential target, without arousing suspicion.

Ships on innocent business don't hang about in space. They arrive in the system, switch on transponders, contact system control, get a flight path assigned, and proceed at their optimum speed to the surface, conduct their business, and leave again on an assigned flight path going as quickly as they can to the 100 diameter limit and jump out. The odds that a suitable prize will happen to arrive in the system at precisely the right time are not good (They increase with the size of the population (or rather, the amount of trade, but that correlates to population size), of course, but so does the size of the system defenses). The chance that system control will assign the pirate a flight path that makes it able to chase down a departed merchant is even smaller.

Besides, in order to chase down a ship that departed ahead of you, you need maneuver drives that are more powerful than the prey's. If you want to visit a starport with a ship more suited for piracy than honest merchant activity without conducting legitimate business and be allowed to depart shortly after a laden merchant vessel departs, you'd better be prepared to shell out some hefty bribe money.
Don't forget that the 100 diameters limit is not a point but is all around the world. You might have your pirates on or close to the jump limit (they made a lucky guess about where they might find a target presumably) and still have a patrol vessel also sitting on the 100 diameter limit but partway round the circumference from where the pirates are.
But if system control is doing its job, the patrol vessel is sitting at the spot on the jump limit where the merchant's flight path directs it. Also, a pirate chasing a departing ship risks the merchant risking a jump from inside the 100 diameter limit (but outside the 10 diameter limit, of course). Incoming ships are better prey in that respect, because they have empty tanks.


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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Putraack » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:14 am

alex_greene wrote: It depends upon the plot the Referee sets. Don't look for rules. It's the Ref's job to set initial encounter distances, which basically means (if you're the Ref) that you decide whether to plunk a tasty fat merchant loaded with juicy cargo or SDB right in the characters' path or not, and they decide whether or not it's an encounter worth going to battle stations over.
Well, then I wish the author hadn't written something that looked like half a rule that contradicted the partial rule that was already in the main rulebook. If there had been instead, "make up some stuff about ships and traffic" rather than some tables and a half-baked rule, I could work with that.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Liam Devlin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:46 am

I for one (writing/ gaming in the region) look forward to this next installment of adventures!

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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby locarno24 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:14 pm

One question (a fairly important one if on the clock!):
Moving a cargo container manually: Zero-G+ Strength, 1-6 minutes, Difficult (-2)
Refers to how big a container?
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:15 pm

I would assume the standard 30-ton container, like is used in the Cutter???
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby hdan » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:25 pm

I would assume a standard 1 ton (two "deck squares") cargo container, roughly analogous to the modern "container ship" box. It's possible that a cargo would have a larger, custom container but I think most shipping is done through the standard fixed-rate 1-ton cargo box.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Liam Devlin » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:18 am

I looked at this and no matter the container's size, once it is unsecured, and gravity turned off in the CG-bay (If looting one presumes the Pirates have control of the vessel), the loaded dton mass becomes a moot issue, so the time factor is the key issue here.

Having been the Unit Movement Officer for my unit for two deployments, I am quite familiar with the 4dton & 8ton (10x10x20' & 10x10x40' connex containers), as well as the smaller ones. Each has a manual locking mechanism to adjoin for stacking, or to a deck. Smaller, packaged goods, such as 0.25dton containers also stack, but are secured when loose by cargo netting. Inside a larger container (2, 4, & 8dton) these can stack 2-high.

Though tedious, if a connex cannot be moved, with a simple pilot jack and 2-4 personnel, a 4dton container filled with the 0.25 dton smaller containers can be emptied/ loaded inside of 40 minutes manually (this involves working with gravity--without, there is the balance of time between pulling them out/ pushing them in).

Hope this sheds some light on the process!

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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby locarno24 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:37 am

I would assume the standard 30-ton container, like is used in the Cutter???
Shifted from ship-to-ship by one guy, in six minutes, without powered assistance? I was assuming so at first but then thought "hang on, that can't be right...."
the loaded dton mass becomes a moot issue
Still for inertia, surely?
I would assume a standard 1 ton (two "deck squares") cargo container, roughly analogous to the modern "container ship" box. It's possible that a cargo would have a larger, custom container but I think most shipping is done through the standard fixed-rate 1-ton cargo box.
Hmm.....sounds sensible - of course, spending half an hour to grab only 5 dtons of stuff isn't going to make people happy. I think "buy many, many cargo robots" is an important lesson here!
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Hopeless » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:10 am

locarno24 wrote:
I would assume the standard 30-ton container, like is used in the Cutter???
Shifted from ship-to-ship by one guy, in six minutes, without powered assistance? I was assuming so at first but then thought "hang on, that can't be right...."
Given this is the future wouldn't they either install anti-gravity loaders as part of the container or either have an exoskeleton available (ala Sol Bianca) or perhaps a magnetic based loading system to reduce the time needed to load and unload?
the loaded dton mass becomes a moot issue
Still for inertia, surely?
I would assume a standard 1 ton (two "deck squares") cargo container, roughly analogous to the modern "container ship" box. It's possible that a cargo would have a larger, custom container but I think most shipping is done through the standard fixed-rate 1-ton cargo box.
Hmm.....sounds sensible - of course, spending half an hour to grab only 5 dtons of stuff isn't going to make people happy. I think "buy many, many cargo robots" is an important lesson here!
I wonder how that would be handled in say a Firefly based setting?

Sorry but I can't help wondering how this would be handled.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby locarno24 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:53 am

Given this is the future wouldn't they either install anti-gravity loaders as part of the container or either have an exoskeleton available (ala Sol Bianca) or perhaps a magnetic based loading system to reduce the time needed to load and unload?
They do. There's actually a small table of possibilities.

By hand, they need a Zero-G+STR, taking d6 minutes. By a cargo grappling arm, it's Remote Operations+DEX, taking 1 minute, by Waldos it'sd6 minutes but requiring no particular skills, and by cargo robot it's 3 minutes and you can slope off and have a crafty fag whilst they get on with it.

It's just that shifting it by hand without powered support made me wonder how big the things were - even in zero-g there are limits to what you can controllably move around.
I wonder how that would be handled in say a Firefly based setting?
If ships don't, as a rule, have any cargo-handling gear then they can't logically be carrying containers that need cargo-handling gear to shift. Result; cargo is always in containers probably less than a dTon in size. Still use that time frame for shifting a dTon's worth of them, though.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Imeanunoharm » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:23 pm

I always thought it like this.
The container was a standard container. The pallet might be antigrav and owned by the ship. Even pallets that might "dock" at each corner of a container. I mean who is going to pay for antigrav unless it's absurdly cheap to incorporate into a container to begin with. Or then again, that part of traveling is actually boring, you guesstimate and you get on with the adventure. Note, I take the later.
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Re: Free Epic Campaign - The Pirates of Drinax

Postby Hopeless » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:51 am

Imeanunoharm wrote:I always thought it like this.
The container was a standard container. The pallet might be antigrav and owned by the ship. Even pallets that might "dock" at each corner of a container. I mean who is going to pay for antigrav unless it's absurdly cheap to incorporate into a container to begin with. Or then again, that part of traveling is actually boring, you guesstimate and you get on with the adventure. Note, I take the later.
It would make sense whoever loaded it would have it in a position so it could be easily unloaded and when it concerns goods from higher tech level societies thats when it becomes more likely they have built-in facilities to help speed up the loading and unloading.

Failing that they could nick the ship's own exoskeleton or use the ship's own cargo unloading facilities if present!

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