Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

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Balfuset790
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Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Balfuset790 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:32 pm

Having seen this mentioned in a few topics, I got to thinking.

I know in the core Traveller Rules as they stand any ship below 100dTons can't have an FTL drive for whatever reason. What I'm wondering is, has anyone made any house rules for settings/games where FTL CAN be used on small ships... say, for something like a Star Wars X-Wing or any of the ships from David Braben's Elite series?
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:40 pm

I have, several times.

Option 1:
Allow any sized ship to fit a Jump-A drive. If it fits, along with everything else you need, fine. I personally like this one as it provides a minimum size for the Jump Drive.

Option 2:
Create a Small Drive Table with Jump Drives sized like the M-drives from High Guard.

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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Balfuset790 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:43 pm

True enough, I guess mostly I'm curious about balancing weight vs. performance on a small craft scale. A comparison of small craft to starship M-Drives from High Guard and Core Ruelbook might provide a sufficient scaling factor.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:52 pm

Honestly either way you go your are going to have a marginally performing ship at best and you are NOT going to have a 10-ton Jump Ship.

I personally found that below 50-tons, you just can't fit everything in that you need.

Remember, you need J-Drive, 10% fuel, M-Drive (possibly) and P-Plant, Staterooms for crew, Bridge (not cockpit). Just those components are going to be pushing 50 tons combined. What is left?

Also, what would be the MISSION of the ship? How would it be profitable for the operator? It is too small for a merchant. Perhaps it could be a courier but not much else.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Balfuset790 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:59 pm

As I said, I'm mostly looking to see how viable re-creating the feel of fiction which has the concept of the Long Range Fighter.

Not so needed if you consider naval fleets operating carrier-class capital ships of course, but as said, the idea of something like an X-Wing or Y-Wing from Star Wars or a Cobra Mk. II or Eagle Long Range Fighter from Elite.

Something like a small craft for Ship Tracing and bounty hunting. Maybe I'm underestimating how small those ships are supposed to be though?
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Reynard » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:37 pm

It's a good what if and you see it takes a ship down to about 50 tons without any actual purpose except a noble's toy. What we're also seeing is the why there are game mechanic limits on various rules in relation to the universe outlook. In our universe, you don't see pocket fission reactors and solar powered cars are just not commercially feasible. It come down to there are real, or game imposed, limits to an item's size to be effective let along commercially reasonable. In a game's reality, 100 tons displacement has been tested and confirmed to be the absolute minimum for function, safety and commercial viability. This can well have something to do with the jump field.

Again, there may be a crazy noble climbing into their dangerous, overpriced toy gallivanting about the stars with people keeping a safe distance from him and his dang fool machine.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Condottiere » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:22 am

1. I don't want to troll through my past notes.

2. However, if I recall them correctly, when I tried to reconcile HG with the alphabet drives, and specific to the Jump Drive, each drive has an overhead element/tonnage that's consistent in the equation.

3. This is one percent in HG, and five tons in the alphabets.

4. Smallest HG drive is forty plus tons, and thirty plus tons if you add in TL+3 bonus.

5. Smallest legal alphabet drive is A with ten tons; TL+3 bonus would push that down to 7.5 tons, though I'm a little puzzled as to when that starts to stage.

6. My own extrapolation places a sE Jump drive at 7 tons, at best; possibly 5.25 tons at TL+3 bonus.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:22 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:Honestly either way you go your are going to have a marginally performing ship at best and you are NOT going to have a 10-ton Jump Ship.

I personally found that below 50-tons, you just can't fit everything in that you need.

Remember, you need J-Drive, 10% fuel, M-Drive (possibly) and P-Plant, Staterooms for crew, Bridge (not cockpit). Just those components are going to be pushing 50 tons combined. What is left?

Also, what would be the MISSION of the ship? How would it be profitable for the operator? It is too small for a merchant. Perhaps it could be a courier but not much else.
Yes, but to the OP, the 100dt minimum size for a J drive should be seen as an OTU limitation, if you want to recreate something like an X wing, or a Viper, then you probably want to change the FTL, and use a different type of fuel. Probably make the drives a little smaller as well.

Egil

P.S. Do "Jump Torpedoes" exist in YTU? :twisted:
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Reynard » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:11 pm

The game mechanics in Traveller is Traveller game mechanics. Has been for DECADES. OTU is Traveller long before any variants and borne from the Traveller generic system. Amazingly, people have been satisfied and played these rules.

In the mean time, people have also tweaked the rules for personal entertainment as we do with every game system and it's fun. Even Mongoose does it for other games using the basic Traveller system but it's a specific change for a specific game. No problem with that either. I have a couple of those games myself.

I'm sure (hoping) it's just forum chatter, however, it seems there's a lot of obsessive push to reinvent the successful system for a lot of munchkin homebrews. Rather than harping that the rules are dumb and should be THIS way just say here's a variant I play, what do you think. If you really need 10 ton (or less) fighters that can jump, write the engine rules or just say it happens and enjoy. Hell, JJ Abrams took Star Trek warp drive and transporter physics that originally had limitations on speed and range and made both instantaneous over tens of parsecs! Have fun and have jump fighters with instant jump in your games. Just stop repeatedly demanding the game rules officially be revised.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Balfuset790 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:04 pm

I apologise if the implication of my post seemed to be that I'm demanding that the Traveller system should work differently than it does, that wasn't my intention.

What I was aiming to do was spark discussion and idea sharing for people who, like me, had considered making personal modifications to the existing ruleset to encompass a different paradigm of TU different from that of the OTU.

To me, Traveller is a nice set of sufficiently generic semi-hard sci-fi rules that I can use, not use, or tweak as suits my table and the campaign I want to run. It's a refreshing change from other space-centric sci-fi I've explored up until this point, of which only one, Starblazer Adventures, came close to what I wanted - and get - with Traveller.

As a generic ruleset, I don't see the harm in discussing ways to make the rules work for something different. Heck, Matt has already said that MGP have projects in the works to take Traveller and do other things, other settings, with it.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Reynard » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:05 am

Well then, lets hear what there is to offer. Are we assuming mini jump engines still have the one week limitation meaning there needs to be sufficient life support on board. What would be the characteristics of s- class engines? Might they be less efficient due to size which is why 100tons is preferred?
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Condottiere » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:12 am

Assuming minimum size of jump drives is one ton, based on FFS I think, then you'll have an enlarged jump torpedo.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:14 am

Balfuset790 wrote:As I said, I'm mostly looking to see how viable re-creating the feel of fiction which has the concept of the Long Range Fighter.

Not so needed if you consider naval fleets operating carrier-class capital ships of course, but as said, the idea of something like an X-Wing or Y-Wing from Star Wars or a Cobra Mk. II or Eagle Long Range Fighter from Elite.

Something like a small craft for Ship Tracing and bounty hunting. Maybe I'm underestimating how small those ships are supposed to be though?
Just say the fighter goes faster than light. You apparently saw it being done for a story somewhere. And you are more interested in the setting from that story. If you are worried about how Traveller won't let you make such a craft, don't be. Because you're not using its rules anyway. Don't even worry about how the craft is made or works. You obviously saw it working somewhere. And that's really all players need to ever know about the craft anyway.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby GypsyComet » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:36 am

Balfuset790 wrote: Something like a small craft for Ship Tracing and bounty hunting. Maybe I'm underestimating how small those ships are supposed to be though?
The game can handle a solo ship at 100 tons, but if you want smaller, by all means do so. The Star Wars, Elite, or even Cowboy Bebop model can be great fun, though you'll want to shorten jump times or keep some sort of quarters option open. Since the first starts to cascade into setting changes, the second seems like the better approach.

Use the TL rules in High Guard to knock the A Drives down in size (ignore the stated minimums in the rules, since those are built on the 100 ton minimum displacement). Keep the fuel the same, use the TL reductions on the Small Bridge as well.

Make the rules squeak. This is *your* game.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:50 pm

Balfuset790 wrote:As I said, I'm mostly looking to see how viable re-creating the feel of fiction which has the concept of the Long Range Fighter.

Not so needed if you consider naval fleets operating carrier-class capital ships of course, but as said, the idea of something like an X-Wing or Y-Wing from Star Wars or a Cobra Mk. II or Eagle Long Range Fighter from Elite.

Something like a small craft for Ship Tracing and bounty hunting. Maybe I'm underestimating how small those ships are supposed to be though?
I would suggest you consider something like was used in the Star Wars Pre-quals.

Have an add on, that can be clamped to the fighter (clamp is on the addon). It has the J-drive and fuel and whatever else is needed for FTL. The fighter docks do it and now the combined ship is over 100 tons and off it goes.

Spending a week sitting in the cockpit of a fighter would be seriously difficult, but could be done with the right drugs or Low Berth adaptation. I would suggest using the Warp Drive or another optional FTL drive - but then, you can drop the 100ton limit if you like.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Reynard » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:27 pm

Can't find it at the moment but I have seen a module that attaches to an SDB making the vessel jump capable.

Quite frankly, except for the WOW factor of a 10ton one man jump fighter, I see no sense especially with Traveller mechanics. Small craft with jump are very expensive, very, very inefficient small craft with jump. Seems analogous to those people who sail across oceans in boats or small planes simply to do it because their vessels have no capacity for any other purpose other than drug smuggling.

Traveller instead uses carriers for fighter transport and tenders or jump carriers for small craft and small non-jump vessels at much better cost. Once again, a jump capable fighter or SDB is outmatched by their non-jump twin.

Just to keep with the topic and my curiosity, let's see some designs and the mission profile for the design. By all means use High Guard for hypothetical Small Jump Craft. Anything left over after all mandatory requirements is what will be the design's purpose and no, you can't have the crew in low berth plus there is no pantry or toilet in a cockpit or control cabin.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby atpollard » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:17 am

Just jumping in with my 2 cents ...
There should exist a 100 dTon Jump-1 ship, so there is a missing Jump Drive about half the size of the JD-A (based upon the internal logic of the game).

... So a ship built around this missing drive (J1 in a 100 dTon hull), might reduce the size of the "rich man's toy".
Personally, I think that they are a great idea, they should exist (and IMTU, they do), and they will probably never make an economically viable trader ... So no real harm to the OTU.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:23 am

atpollard wrote:Just jumping in with my 2 cents ...
There should exist a 100 dTon Jump-1 ship, so there is a missing Jump Drive about half the size of the JD-A (based upon the internal logic of the game).
Except the jump drives really baseline at 200 tons, not 100. 100 tons is just the smallest hull that can, OTU, jump safely.
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Infojunky » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:44 am

GypsyComet wrote:
atpollard wrote:Just jumping in with my 2 cents ...
There should exist a 100 dTon Jump-1 ship, so there is a missing Jump Drive about half the size of the JD-A (based upon the internal logic of the game).
Except the jump drives really baseline at 200 tons, not 100. 100 tons is just the smallest hull that can, OTU, jump safely.
Hence my assertion that the Scout boat is a smallcraft that can jump....
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Re: Small Craft Jump/FTL drives

Postby Reynard » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:38 am

Wait.. what? Now we're getting into a weird state of semantics. Page 105 specifically states "Small craft are any vessel under 100 tons; all small craft are *incapable* of Jump...". Where is it written anywhere in the Traveller rules since they were created that 100 tons is a small craft let alone small craft can have Jump? I thought we were hypothetically designing small jump ships and now we're creeping back to yes they exist.

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