400 ton J-2 design

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F33D
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400 ton J-2 design

Postby F33D » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:19 pm

I wanted to make a mid sized ship with j-2 that was less expensive than a Fat Trader. This model has some armour & a decent cargo space. Designed for a crew as little as 2 or, as many as 8. Players could take the design and upgrade as they are able and end up with a nice ship.

Anyway, file with other ships designs and comment as you see fit.
400 ton.jpg
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby JP42 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:09 am

Intending for this ship to stray into harm's way? The armor ate up 10% of your cargo space, and depending on the size of your crew, you may only have room for frozen stiffs as paying passengers.

I think, were it mine, I'd strip out those low berths (though the 1 emergency berth could come in handy) for the five tons of extra cargo and leave the idea of combining passenger service with cargo service behind. Though I suppose, frozen, those people aren't much different from any other cargo, now are they?
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby F33D » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:46 am

JP42 wrote:Intending for this ship to stray into harm's way? The armor ate up 10% of your cargo space, and depending on the size of your crew, you may only have room for frozen stiffs as paying passengers.
Yes, it is a frontier freighter.
JP42 wrote:I think, were it mine, I'd strip out those low berths (though the 1 emergency berth could come in handy) for the five tons of extra cargo and leave the idea of combining passenger service with cargo service behind. Though I suppose, frozen, those people aren't much different from any other cargo, now are they?
On a per ton basis, low passage can be more profitable than mid passage or cargo...
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby Captain Jonah » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:44 am

Leave the low berths in or even add a few, as F33D said they are a better money maker than cargo.

Also if you are operating in an area of space where you need a layer of Bonded superdense then carrying awake passengers is going to be a no no. Stay with 6 crew rooms and only frozen passengers.

The safe core sector varient takes out the armour and adds extra cargo.

A question. You have jump 2, power 2 and yet only 1G. As a ship that is going into harms way the extra speed would be usefull and it adds 4Dtons though it also adds Mcr8.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby F33D » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:13 am

Captain Jonah wrote: The safe core sector varient takes out the armour and adds extra cargo.
Yep.
Captain Jonah wrote:A question. You have jump 2, power 2 and yet only 1G. As a ship that is going into harms way the extra speed would be usefull and it adds 4Dtons though it also adds Mcr8.
I thought it over and figured that most pirates/privateers would have at least M-3 so they'd always close the range and, wouldn't be attacking unless a patrol craft were more than a few hours away. The only hope for a merchant is to have armour & some guns to make the risk/reward chance not a sure thing for the pirate. That was the thought process anyway. A lot of unknowns to consider though.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby mr31337 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:40 am

F33D wrote:
Captain Jonah wrote:A question. You have jump 2, power 2 and yet only 1G. As a ship that is going into harms way the extra speed would be usefull and it adds 4Dtons though it also adds Mcr8.
I thought it over and figured that most pirates/privateers would have at least M-3 so they'd always close the range and, wouldn't be attacking unless a patrol craft were more than a few hours away. The only hope for a merchant is to have armour & some guns to make the risk/reward chance not a sure thing for the pirate. That was the thought process anyway. A lot of unknowns to consider though.
It's only two extra tons but it's another 4MCr, which is a lot if you're building a low cost trading vessel. Although, considering economics, wouldn't fuel processors scoops start saving money after having paid for themselves in about 25-30 jumps? I admit I haven't checked the numbers. :P
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby F33D » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:01 am

mr31337 wrote: It's only two extra tons but it's another 4MCr, which is a lot if you're building a low cost trading vessel. Although, considering economics, wouldn't fuel processors scoops start saving money after having paid for themselves in about 25-30 jumps? I admit I haven't checked the numbers. :P
Yes, that's why I put them in. Plus on the frontier you might have to skim. A 2G drive doesn't really help econ wise though. It only shaves off 1 1/2 hours getting to the 100D limit of a size 8 world over a 1G drive...
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby mr31337 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:52 pm

F33D wrote:
mr31337 wrote: It's only two extra tons but it's another 4MCr, which is a lot if you're building a low cost trading vessel. Although, considering economics, wouldn't fuel processors scoops start saving money after having paid for themselves in about 25-30 jumps? I admit I haven't checked the numbers. :P
Yes, that's why I put them in. Plus on the frontier you might have to skim. A 2G drive doesn't really help econ wise though. It only shaves off 1 1/2 hours getting to the 100D limit of a size 8 world over a 1G drive...
Oops, must have missed those late last night. Yeah, I agree with you on the M Drive, just not needed cost wise, could always leave some space to retrofit something larger.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby GamingGlen » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:38 pm

Having decided that I MIGHT run a Traveller game soon, and to entice players to play (most are stuck on fantasy) I will advertise it as a Firefly-esque campaign. :twisted:

Being that a Firefly class is roughly 400 tons (based on several website postings), I'm redesigning the Fat Trader into a J2 Chunky Trader with fatter wings for larger fuel tanks and a second launch. The 2nd launch could be a cargo version so it's cargo space can be used as part of the total cargo of the ship if needed. The two launches will sit on either side of the upper deck, one facing forward and the other facing backwards as the launchs' design has one airlock on one side. I'm giving the ship a class name of Skybird.

With that said, I see your version does not have the launch. Also, why have luxuries if you're not going to carry many passengers? This is a "frontier" freighter as you say, not a passenger liner. Why have a model 3 computer?

I haven't put armor on mine. They're flying a freighter, not a warship. With armor the players will be enticed to get into more trouble than they can handle.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby Mithras » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:54 pm

Think of armour as buying you time, time to respond in force or time to get away. At 1G or even 2G getting away is unlikely, and with civillian weaponry fighting is unlikely ... I'd ditch the armour...
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:51 am

Mithras wrote:Think of armour as buying you time, time to respond in force or time to get away. At 1G or even 2G getting away is unlikely, and with civillian weaponry fighting is unlikely ... I'd ditch the armour...
Time to negotiate?

F33d pondered, time to make a pirate consider that costly repairs are not worth the payday?
F33D wrote: The only hope for a merchant is to have armour & some guns to make the risk/reward chance not a sure thing for the pirate. That was the thought process anyway. A lot of unknowns to consider though.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby F33D » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 am

GamingGlen wrote: With that said, I see your version does not have the launch. Also, why have luxuries if you're not going to carry many passengers? This is a "frontier" freighter as you say, not a passenger liner. Why have a model 3 computer?
A launch doesn't fit in econ wise. The luxuries are there because the crew has to live in the ship and if they do take passengers, they don't need anyone being a Steward. The computer is so that you can automate some crew positions if you want to.
GamingGlen wrote:I haven't put armor on mine. They're flying a freighter, not a warship. With armor the players will be enticed to get into more trouble than they can handle.
No armour = pirate bait.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:07 pm

F33D wrote:No armour = pirate bait.
No armor and maneuver 1 = target for other merchants behind on payments with a crew to feed and a ship to maintain.

No armor and maneuver 1 also could conceivably = not being as competitive in obtaining cargo because there is doubt you'll make delivery.

However, unless they blast you into dust, raiders still need to board at some point to get the cargo, parts, or even the whole ship.

No armor and maneuver 1 = money to spend on personal armor, weapons, hiring capable crew, and training them.

Maybe you don't even have ships weapons for that firefly feel. Other ships can just come up along side and try to board. A ship and crew may gain a reputation for being ruthless defenders so pirates and others that have heard of them don't try anything.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby coldwar » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:09 pm

Looking at the design for me makes me think of it as a slow speed smuggler going to systems of the beacon tracks. When it goes to a normal area it then just becomes a odd honest trading ship. I think also it would find its way in to the service of pirates, due to its armour, jump drive and the amount of weapons it has. By this, I mean it would be a ship to transport all the ill gotten gains, and sell them whilst the main ship goes of finds another prey. Would have ideal defense's to stave of jealous pirate attacks trying to pirate the pirate group.

Overall I do think the ship in general would find itself in more illegal usages then typical honest tramp trading, even despite it's slowness. As it makes up for it in being defendable.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby F33D » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:12 pm

coldwar wrote: I think also it would find its way in to the service of pirates, due to its armour, jump drive and the amount of weapons it has.
It has NO weapons. You should read the design specs.
coldwar wrote:Overall I do think the ship in general would find itself in more illegal usages then typical honest tramp trading, even despite it's slowness. As it makes up for it in being defendable.
Why? ALL basic tramp designs from the MRB have armour and no weapons. Same as this design...
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby Captain Jonah » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:22 pm

With regard to 2G drives. Shaving a few hours of the time to reach a planet isn’t much. The time to reach a gas giant to skim is a lot better. Getting into a fight and running from that 3G pirate, they will close on you a lot faster if you are running at 1G rather than 2G. The cost and space of a 2G drive is a lot less than is wasted on a launch. Taking combat damage, one drive hit and you are drifting in a 1G ship

With regard to armour. Traveller is an odd space combat system in that by adding 6 armour you become immune to beams and normal missiles. Pirates with less than 6 armour are idiots, pirates not armed with P-Beams are failed merchants. Given a decent gunner Pulse lasers should be present, a triple turret full of them along with some sand and beams for defence gives you a decent capability in a fight. That’s where the law prevents you from having P-Beams yourself

A lot depends on the Law. If you are in a well protected area full of law abiding ships then anyone with armour is going to stand out as looking for trouble. No decent merchant is going to sacrifice cargo and income for armour unless they are expecting to get shot at.

If on the other hand you are expecting to be attacked then you can quickly turn your merchant into a pocket warship with some cargo space. Odd thing is when you are armoured like a warship and armed like a warship then you start to think like a warship and then you are just another pirate.


With regard to a Launch. I can never understand the point in fitting one. It takes 20Dtons, holds 13Dtons of cargo meaning you have lost 7Dtons. It is 1G so it’s as slow as the ship and no use for making fast side runs. If your ship can enter atmosphere and land anyway why bother with a launch.

The 400Dton subby should have another 20Dtons or cargo, not waste space on a launch. A liner with a ships boat may want that 6G high speed taxi for passengers but that’s about it.

A launch has 13Dtons of cargo if that is all it carries. A 400Dton ship with upwards of 200Dtons of cargo is going to take 12-15 trips to unload and reload by launch. That is a huge waste of time anywhere. If your ship can land then do that, if you are worried about security on the ground then why are you landing even a launch on that world. Having 2 launches is 40Dtons, 10% of your ships total volume. The multi megacredit costs of the launches combined with the loss of income from lost cargo makes no economic sense.

In the Firefly verse it’s not a problem but in an economic game it makes no sense. If you want something small and fast you can send in harms way to keep the ship safe then use a ships boat.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby GamingGlen » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:34 pm

F33D wrote: Why? ALL basic tramp designs from the MRB have armour and no weapons. Same as this design...
What designs are you looking at? Not ALL the freighters I see in the main rule book have armor. No weapons? Pshaw. You got the hardpoints and the turret tonnage set aside, it won't take much to slap on turrets.

I see you use Bonded Superdense armor, armor available at TL 14+ worlds. Perhaps armor never needs maintenance, but if it does it might be hard to find TL 14+ worlds out in the frontier.

Another thing I noted if you're so worried about pirates: I don't see any Evade software for that expensive computer.
Last edited by GamingGlen on Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby GamingGlen » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:52 pm

Captain Jonah wrote: With regard to a Launch. I can never understand the point in fitting one. It takes 20Dtons, holds 13Dtons of cargo meaning you have lost 7Dtons. It is 1G so it’s as slow as the ship and no use for making fast side runs. If your ship can enter atmosphere and land anyway why bother with a launch.

The 400Dton subby should have another 20Dtons or cargo, not waste space on a launch. A liner with a ships boat may want that 6G high speed taxi for passengers but that’s about it.

A launch has 13Dtons of cargo if that is all it carries. A 400Dton ship with upwards of 200Dtons of cargo is going to take 12-15 trips to unload and reload by launch. That is a huge waste of time anywhere. If your ship can land then do that, if you are worried about security on the ground then why are you landing even a launch on that world. Having 2 launches is 40Dtons, 10% of your ships total volume. The multi megacredit costs of the launches combined with the loss of income from lost cargo makes no economic sense.

In the Firefly verse it’s not a problem but in an economic game it makes no sense. If you want something small and fast you can send in harms way to keep the ship safe then use a ships boat.
I'm not going to run an economic game, I shall run a role-playing game. Other craft provide for more RP options. The main ship is heading to the main world while others might want to take an excursion to another location, or make that secret rendevous on the other side of the planet. Perhaps one of the passengers wanted to go elsewhere in the same system and paid for the extra taxi service?

The launch is not meant to be a get-away vehicle. 1G is sufficient for getting around.

I am rethinking about whether to add the second launch, but as I plot out the deck plan I keep thinking of how to give the ship some shady background that the players may find out. This could be a variant of the type R that has 2G, some token armor, hidden compartments, and was used for clandestine operations in its distant past.
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby coldwar » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:59 pm

F33D if you'll check it, it has 4 tons set aside for turrets already. To me that just screams it is going to be armed on the frontier. And armed pretty heavily with 4 turrets. Remembering the concept for the ship is to be operating on the frontier.

So yes, I read the specs very carefully.

Could see it being used by Mercenary's too. As a armoured support ship of some kind. Just thought of another usage. Escort ship. Not a full on escort, just a escort for hire whilst the crew do trading of their own, escorting another frontier ship, that isn't armed, or has weak weapons and likely has no armour at all, just its standard hull.

In general I don't really see it much as a straight out trader, might get used as such, but is going to find usage in other ways. Possible including Military in nature too.
Is sort of a design that tries to be good in everything, but not good at them at all. Overall it is a good design and think it would find many usages, especially by players. But isn't really a ship a typical free-trader crew would use.
Even most frontier free-trader ships tend not to have any armour
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Re: 400 ton J-2 design

Postby F33D » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:52 pm

GamingGlen wrote:
F33D wrote: Why? ALL basic tramp designs from the MRB have armour and no weapons. Same as this design...
GamingGlen wrote:What designs are you looking at? Not ALL the freighters I see in the main rule book have armor. No weapons? Pshaw. You got the hardpoints and the turret tonnage set aside, it won't take much to slap on turrets.
ALL the free (non gov owned) traders have armour. (slap on turrets)? LMAO. That takes MILLIONS.
GamingGlen wrote:I see you use Bonded Superdense armor, armor available at TL 14+ worlds. Perhaps armor never needs maintenance, but if it does it might be hard to find TL 14+ worlds out in the frontier.
There are PLENTY of TL 14+ worlds in the Marches.
GamingGlen wrote:Another thing I noted if you're so worried about pirates: I don't see any Evade software for that expensive computer.
The model listed is the mass produced base model. When you get more familiar with the rules and setting it'll make sense.

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