Life Support

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:33 pm

Ishmael wrote: This amount corresponds to the upkeep costs for soc-8.
That cost INCLUDES rent. So, it is not relevant.
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Re: Life Support

Postby Ishmael » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:52 pm

And yet, this cost has been part of the official setting for a bit more than a quarter century.

Actually, I'm beginning to think that the amount spent would give an idea of the 'social standing'* of the ship itself, aka the kind of accommodations exist. The clientèle would end up being related to the ship's social' which might range from surplus MRE's and bare walls, to filet mignon, goose live pate' and wine within richly panelled staterooms and deluxe beds/fine linens, etc.

The amount that the ship's owners feel is proper will determine passenger and crew comfort for a trip.

*btw, the social standing upkeep costs make no sense and should be a log function, not linear. This would allow the upkeep to follow wealth and income curves such that a lowly pilot on a tramp frieghter wouldn't be able to live like a Soc-16 noble with cash to spare.
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:03 pm

Ishmael wrote:And yet, this cost has been part of the official setting for a bit more than a quarter century.

Actually, I'm beginning to think that the amount spent would give an idea of the 'social standing'* of the ship itself, aka the kind of accommodations exist. The clientèle would end up being related to the ship's social' which might range from surplus MRE's and bare walls, to filet mignon, goose live pate' and wine within richly panelled staterooms and deluxe beds/fine linens, etc.

The amount that the ship's owners feel is proper will determine passenger and crew comfort for a trip.

*btw, the social standing upkeep costs make no sense and should be a log function, not linear. This would allow the upkeep to follow wealth and income curves such that a lowly pilot on a tramp frieghter wouldn't be able to live like a Soc-16 noble with cash to spare.
Yes. I can see the "wealthy" refusing to travel on a "low rent" Tramp Freighter.
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Re: Life Support

Postby Captain Jonah » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:12 am

Since the Cr2000 is a fixed value and refers to only basic food stuffs what is it that the passengers are eating and drinking?

It costs the same Cr2000 for a high passenger as it does for a middle passenger or for packing in two of your unwashed crew. Or as we have said, when the stateroom is empty.

I like the idea of having standards of support to reflect the passengers as I mentioned way back on page 1.

But why does an empty stateroom cost. If it is maintenance of a ships life support then it should be based on people, staterooms are an indicator of how many people the ship can hold so you should be looking at a maximum of two per stateroom and saying your life support is rated at that and so costs this much a month to keep running.

Consumables should be based on how many people are actually doing the consuming. Unless there is some weird spacer tradition across all races that at the end of every month all the unused food and drink is sacrificed to the gremlins of subspace to keep them happy and away from the ship.

Ideally we would have three levels of space stores, Economy for the really cheap crew or scout service, standard for normal ships and ones with middle passengers and Luxury for the nice ships or high passengers. Subsistence would be below economy but existing on the bare minimum daily food is for disasters not spaceships. As I said before use these like the crew/passenger comfort levels from 2300 so high passengers will not book unless you are servicing Luxury foods etc.

However these would be in addition to the life support costs since they clearly list only Spartan food.

Which doesn’t change the basic question that no one can answer. Just what are you paying for. Cr2000 for a stateroom empty or occupied. Cr3000 for a double occupied stateroom. An extra Cr1000 for the second person suggests Cr1000 per person but as its not food and it doesn’t matter if anyone is using the air or water just what are you paying for???

Having a basic cost per month for support and maintenance/replacement of air/water filters is reasonable, you need to keep filtering the fresh water to prevent green glowing alien fungi taking up residence in the water tanks. Basing this cost on the size of the ships life support as determined by how many staterooms is reasonable.

If you drop the reference to “Spartan” food and say that it includes standard food suitable for middle passengers at Cr1000 per passenger per month and that the actual life support is Cr1000 per stateroom per month then you are replacing very expensive filters and bits for Cr1000 per stateroom per month regardless of occupancy and paying Cr250 per week per person.

Calling the cost rent, tax or any other nebulous payment makes no sense since the cost applies to every race and situation.
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Re: Life Support

Postby Hans Rancke » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:02 am

Captain Jonah wrote:Since the Cr2000 is a fixed value and refers to only basic food stuffs what is it that the passengers are eating and drinking?

It costs the same Cr2000 for a high passenger as it does for a middle passenger or for packing in two of your unwashed crew. Or as we have said, when the stateroom is empty.
Or, it costs an average of Cr2000 per month for each stateroom on the assumption that each stateeroom is fully occupied by one person. This average could (for example) be C1500 per person per month in food and sundries plus a standard fee of Cr1500 per stateroom every three months for refreshing the air and water system. Referees who don't want to bother with keeping track of such details as stateroom occupancy and maintenance shedules simply pays Cr2000 per stateroom per month.

Meanwhile, knowing full well that the canon MgT life support cost is not a "real" figure but simplified for gaming purposes, those who don't mind a bit more record-keeping (especially players who love saving 500 credits here and 500 credits there) could pay Cr500 per person per ten-day in consumables and the Cr1500 per stateroom per quarter. Indeed, we could even work out different standards of living and pay less in life support for tramp merchants than they pay on regular passenger liners.

Perhaps we could even get the MgT PTB to sign off on that interpretation.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?


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Re: Life Support

Postby Captain Jonah » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:51 am

It would need to be Cr1000 per person since you add Cr1000 for a second person in a double occupancy room.

My numbers were weekly since aside from a few hours going to and from a world from the 100D limit most people are using the staterooms in week long blocks. A day here or there can be ignored. Besides which people are happy with weeks, everyone thinks and works out time in days and weekly blocks so it makes sense to stick with that :wink:

If it is weekly and Cr1,000 per person that is a tidy Cr250 per week per person.

The Cr1,000 per stateroom becomes Cr3,000 per quarter or Cr12,000 per year as life support overhauls which would allow you to put off the cost of life support for a while if you don’t mind funny coloured water and odd smells in the air or you can do it every few months to keep everything fresh and clean for passengers.

For long trips you do the overhaul up front and then have a year before things start to go wrong, though after a year the air and water are going to be ”Interesting” :shock: to say the least…..

The scout service or mail boats may owe something of their reputation to the fact that they do the life support overhauls annually. :roll:

Cr250 is Standard for middle passengers.

Halve it for economy packaged meals, double it for high passengers who want luxury supplies. You can then vary this cost with broker rolls based on the trade codes of the world. A decent broker on an agri world is going to be able to buy them much cheaper and it then makes sense to stock up several months worth where it is cheap or even sell it on where it is more expensive. If you say a Dton is 40 Weeks (Cr10,000) and you can buy a Dton for Cr7,500 with a good broker roll on that garden world you can then sell it for maybe Cr12,500 at the asteroid mines

In terms of volume you can do the same, 1Dton is say 40 weeks standard, twice that in economy MREs and half that in high bulk luxury items. So you can pack a half Dton of economy stores in a corner for emergencies.

I still think you should be able to tuck in a quarter Dton per stateroom is storage cupboards and the galley allowing you to stock up where it is cheap and run a month or more on stores before you need to restock. This allows you to stage longer trips away from re-supply, you only use stores when you have people using them and you can prepare ahead of time for extended trips.

This gives you a single stateroom able to hold 5 weeks of luxury stores or a double occupancy one holding 10 weeks meaning you need to allocate cargo unless you are restocking every 5 weeks when full. But when not full or when the staterooms are only occupied two weeks out of every four your stores last a comfortable two and a half months.
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Re: Life Support

Postby phavoc » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:42 pm

far-trader wrote:
phavoc wrote:And an interesting aside... if you have aliens with fast metabolism, the life support cost is doubled (and slower ones are halved).
In the rules? That would be interesting. I've houseruled it for decades but a rule cite would be a bonus, however...

...the issue is still one of just who is drinking all that generic BEER and eating all that generic NOODLES etc. when you still have to pay Cr2000 per month per stateroom even with NOBODY living there. Never mind why one is paying those extortion level prices for generic blandness.

The interesting bit about the alternate costs for different metabolisms is why is an EMPTY stateroom only costing half as much to NOT HAVE a slow metabolism alien instead of NOT HAVING a regular metabolism human? And if I instead DO NOT HAVE a high metabolism alien instead of NOT HAVING a regular metabolism human, do I pay double?

:wink:

There's your fix of course, IF that bit about metabolism IS in the rules. Just choose to NOT HAVE empty staterooms occupied by deceased passengers. Their life support needs would be ZERO for that trip. Problem solved.

;)
It's in there. Core rulebook, pg 41 - "Fast Metabolism: Creatures with a fast metabolism require more food than most species, and their life support costs are doubled. In combat, fast-metabolism creatures gain a +2 initiative bonus. Fast-metabolism creatures halve their Endurance for the purposes of determining fatigue."

pg42 "Slow Metabolism: Creatures with a slow metabolism require less food than most species, and their life support costs are halved. In combat, slow-metabolism creatures suffer a –2 initiative penalty."

I agree that paying expenses for an unoccupied stateroom is nuts. That's why I don't with house rules.
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Re: Life Support

Postby Bardicheart » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:59 am

Just some notes of my own.

According to Core rules p142, a starship life support system with power can keep someone breathing for 1 month per stateroom comfortably, or 6 months if the system is stretched (no rules for how this is "stretched" or its effects are given). Without power (i.e. air scrubbers, and so forth are not running) the system can keep one person per stateroom breathing for 2 weeks.

From that I would extrapolate that the life support included with a stateroom includes enough stored air for 1 person for 2 weeks. This is part of the 4 dT.

Comparatively, a small craft uses 1.5 dT per person for cabin space. No figures for endurance or cost of this life support are given (including monthly maintenance costs, occupied or empty). However, High Guard p59 notes on fuel requirements that standard operation time is fuel for 1 day of operations and that it is not normal for small craft to operate for 2 weeks.

From that I extrapolate that small craft are intended to normally operate for only 1 day and the smaller cabin size reflects this. Thus I would suggest amending the small craft rules that if the craft is intended to carry passengers for more than 2 days, it must have standard staterooms rather than passenger cabins to reflect the increased life support demands. (Note: This seems to have been the case in the design of some of the small craft in Traders and Gunboats, i.e. the Business Yacht which has staterooms rather than cabins).

This is still an imperfect solution, the best option would be to separate out life support from cabin size and figure the life support capacity and dT requirements separately but I think that would be too much of a rewrite of the existing rules (pity Mongoose didn't do that from the start).

That brings me back to the question of the cost for said life support and also what are you paying for?

I think the simplest rule adjustment is to state that if the stateroom is not occupied, it incurs no life support cost (essentially reverting back to CT). I would support this further by pointing out that small craft, which apparently are intended for only 1 day of use (and thus are not regularly occupied), have no life support cost. We can extrapolate from that that the cost of recharging the air and water supply is so small as to be negligible and that the cost of a few in flight meals is also negligible. Life support costs for barracks also needs to be addressed, High Guard seems to have overlooked this. Maintenance of air filters and other mechanicals is included in the cost of monthly ships maintenance. Luxuries installed as part of the ship's construction are also maintained by this monthly maintenance cost, so to some extend it could be reasonably argued that includes restocking of those luxuries.

Thus what we are paying for monthly is the cost of consumables; food, air, water, toiletries, linens, library updates (reading material, new videos...), etc. for an extended period of time, weeks if not months.

In most cases air should not be bought at all. Any ship with a purification plant can produce all the air needed as a by-product of refining fuel. That is, since water being cracked for the hydrogen is roughly 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, cracking 200 dT of refined hydrogen fuel would produce roughly 100 dT of oxygen as a by-product (not exactly, but the point is, anyone cracking ice, water, etc. for fuel and refining it is going to be producing plenty of fresh oxygen. If we assume as much as 1dT of a stateroom is oxygen storage, most ships are still going to produce far more oxygen than necessary to completely recharge their air supply as a by product of fuel refining.). The ship normally stores 2 weeks worth of oxygen for 1 person x staterooms capacity (specifically 5,000 person/hrs of oxygen per stateroom, Core Rules p142).

Water likewise probably doesn't need to be bought, if you can crack it for hydrogen you can recombine some of it back into pure water. So that leaves us with consumables such as food stores, restocking the ships locker with misc. items, toiletries, and so forth.

How much this should cost when occupied should be a function of the cost for level of luxury / comfort / quality desired x the time used. Again, this would be best served by figuring such life support and ships stores separately, but that doesn't seem possible without significantly rewriting the rules.

To sum up, I'm with those who suggest the life support cost should only be charged for staterooms actually used that month.

How much it should cost is debatable to my thinking, but should probably be a weekly charge rather than monthly, and also be based in part on the quality of the consumables provided/used.
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Re: Life Support

Postby Captain Jonah » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:22 pm

Just to make things a bit more complex. I just ran some numbers on the topic Barracks

viewtopic.php?f=89&t=52246

With current (tech 8) life support the volumes needed are tiny, a few kilograms per person per day inculding everything. Life support systems can be tiny, 1 Dton of cubic volume handles the air and water for 70 people and renewables is inculded in the few kilos mentioned above.

A single stateroom capable of providing life support for two people can hold enough supplies and consumables for a year in roughly a cubic meter. Also many of the air and water recycling systems are renewable which menas they can be cleaned up and reused for no more than a few credits a time at a starport which is set up to handles thousands of such filters a year.

So as has been asked and still not answered, just what is this huge life support cost you are paying for :wink:
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Re: Life Support

Postby Bardicheart » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:37 pm

Captain Jonah wrote: So as has been asked and still not answered, just what is this huge life support cost you are paying for :wink:
Think its pretty obvious that number isn't even remotely realistic / based on anything. Another of those "that looks good" decisions. So the question is, what numbers do make more sense? Seems like there were some good ideas for starting numbers earlier in the thread.

Reading your other post, great bit of research btw, you noted one of the cheapest ways to supply air would be to use bottled and dump the CO2. Question, how much space would be required for a 2 wk bottled air supply per person? I ask because based on the rules I noted in my previous post it *seems* as if ships carry a 2 wk bottled supply and depend on recycling to extend it comfortably for a month or up to 6 months if you really push the system (at which point the filters are just dead / used up). Not sure what, if anything, I'll do with that info but I'm curious.

The numbers on food and water storage are helpful as well. My first thought however is what kind of food does that provide? While the spacefaring equivalent of MREs might work for tramp freighter crews, it also assumes an industrial base capable of supplying it. What happens when the ship has to resupply on a lower tech world where such food stores aren't available? My point being that I would think Traveller ships allow for a more "flexible" sort of food store, not so space efficient but also allowing everything from fresh fruit and salted meat to high tech MREs. If it helps, I think the image of the galley on Serenity was an interesting example, a mixture of high and lower tech, variety of food types, and a big wooden table in the middle of the common room.
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Re: Life Support

Postby phavoc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:07 pm

As far as I can tell, the life support costs are supposed to include all aspects of life support - food, consumables, replacement of consumables, etc. There is a table out there with a breakdown of costs related to your SOC standing, but starship travel has always been kinda simplistic.

I think, like many other things in Traveller, when the question was first asked, an answer was given and it's been that way ever since.

I would think that for the sake of costs, you would not be including air/water recycling in every cabin, though that certainly could occur if you wanted to incur the costs. But your maintenance costs would increase too, as someone would need to inspect and service these units regularly. I'm assuming even in the future **** is going to stop working for some odd reason. We've certainly never figured out how to conqueror the unexpected!
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Re: Life Support

Postby mr31337 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:27 pm

Has anybody considered that also included in life support ought to be energy/fuel for heating 4dtons of stateroom?

I don’t know if I like the idea as you’d assume this would be a function of the ship, but since the CRB tells us life support is good for two weeks without power and we know space is very, very cold (2.73 kelvin), where is the heat for that two weeks coming from? Or should we assume this is the time for any ambient heat to radiate into space? If you have no power I would imagine you’d die faster without heat than you would without air - in space.

I am undecided if this is a 'requirement of life support'. Sure, heat supports life, but under normal circumstances isn't a requirement. But would it be included? What if the power plant packs up and you ran out of spare parts? Yeah I think I'd be very pleased to have some energy cells or something to connect to the stateroom heat system.

Does it significantly affect cost/tonnage of life support? I doubt it. Just throwing it out there. :)
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:55 pm

mr31337 wrote:Has anybody considered that also included in life support ought to be energy/fuel for heating 4dtons of stateroom?
With a space ship + fusion PP, the problem is getting rid of heat not producing it. the energy (electricity) is already accounted for with the PP. So, there is no added cost for those.
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Re: Life Support

Postby mr31337 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:39 pm

F33D wrote:
mr31337 wrote:Has anybody considered that also included in life support ought to be energy/fuel for heating 4dtons of stateroom?
With a space ship + fusion PP, the problem is getting rid of heat not producing it. the energy (electricity) is already accounted for with the PP. So, there is no added cost for those.
Doesn't look like you read the rest of my post. Looks obvious to me I went on to qualify the circumstance as being without power.

Here's a snip...
mr31337 wrote:... since the CRB tells us life support is good for two weeks without power and we know space is very, very cold (2.73 kelvin), where is the heat for that two weeks coming from?
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:44 pm

mr31337 wrote: Doesn't look like you read the rest of my post.

Read the last 2 sentences of your own post...
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Re: Life Support

Postby mr31337 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:44 pm

F33D wrote:Read the last 2 sentences of your own post...
What my last two sentences are interested in is if indeed the energy storage required to heat a 4dton room, to room temperature from 2.73kelvin for two weeks would require subtancial tonnage or cost...or not.
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:04 pm

mr31337 wrote:What my last two sentences are interested in is if indeed the energy storage required to heat a 4dton room, to room temperature from 2.73kelvin for two weeks would require subtancial tonnage or cost...or not.

You would only have to heat from -454ºF to ~72ºF if you started with a "cold" ship. Otherwise, you just have to maintain a highly insulated environment in vacuum (which greatly slows heat loss anyway).
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Re: Life Support

Postby mr31337 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:53 pm

F33D wrote:You would only have to heat from -454ºF to ~72ºF if you started with a "cold" ship. Otherwise, you just have to maintain a highly insulated environment in vacuum (which greatly slows heat loss anyway).
While there is no conduction or convection, heat will radiate into a vacuum. Given that the temperature differential is so vast it might be reasonable to suspect it would become very cold very quickly on the ship, even if insulated. Unless there are some Traveller insulation products from higher tech levels that I’m unable to recall at the moment, I’d imagine it would require an impractical displacement of insulation on a ship to be effective.
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Re: Life Support

Postby F33D » Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:22 pm

mr31337 wrote:
F33D wrote:You would only have to heat from -454ºF to ~72ºF if you started with a "cold" ship. Otherwise, you just have to maintain a highly insulated environment in vacuum (which greatly slows heat loss anyway).
While there is no conduction or convection, heat will radiate into a vacuum. Given that the temperature differential is so vast it might be reasonable to suspect it would become very cold very quickly on the ship, even if insulated. Unless there are some Traveller insulation products from higher tech levels that I’m unable to recall at the moment, I’d imagine it would require an impractical displacement of insulation on a ship to be effective.
No need. We have low mass insulating products at TL 7 that fit the bill... So, unless TL's run backwards there's no problem. :wink:
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Re: Life Support

Postby mr31337 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:51 pm

F33D wrote:No need. We have low mass insulating products at TL 7 that fit the bill... So, unless TL's run backwards there's no problem. :wink:
MLI is used on satellites and so on, giving them their gold colour, but as to how practical this would be in Traveller I think is open for further discussion. It would certainly reduce heat loss through radiation, perhaps by as much as half.

I feel there is a clear need for 'some' quantity of energy to keep your stateroom warm (survivable in space) as part of life support for power loss situations. How much energy and how much dtonnage it requries as part of 'life support' compared to say water or oxygen I have not currently considered/researched, but I suspect more than most people imagine.

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