Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
WingedCat
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby WingedCat » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:46 am

http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Apocalypse_Package
http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Library_class_Archive_Ship

It turns out, taking the various production packages in High Guard and packaging them together, one can get a good approximation of the "makertech" alluded to in other editions. A few of us on the CotI Discord batted about the conclusions, and came up with this. Submitted for y'all's review.

Notes on things some people are likely to stumble over:
* This is a small factory, not a Star Trek replicator. This is much, much, much slower, and doesn't do atomic conversion or the like. Also, it requires a lot of manual labor.
* This is not von Neumann. While one apocalypse package can create another, it can't (directly) create a second person to crew the new package.
* This does not exist until it is created out of panic and necessity just before the Collapse (somewhat after the Golden Era that Mongoose's books focus on), at which point conditions are far less than optimal for people to start using it, even if many might think they want it.
Moppy
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Moppy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:22 pm

WingedCat wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:46 am
* This does not exist until it is created out of panic and necessity just before the Collapse (somewhat after the Golden Era that Mongoose's books focus on), at which point conditions are far less than optimal for people to start using it, even if many might think they want it.
Why don't colonies have these?

What's the difference between one of these and what you would send to a new colony?
WingedCat
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby WingedCat » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:08 pm

Moppy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:22 pm
Why don't colonies have these?
Because this wasn't available to entities that did colonization efforts. This was a product of the IISS.

At least at first. Some may later have been delivered to colonies.
Moppy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:22 pm
What's the difference between one of these and what you would send to a new colony?
Given canon descriptions of new colonies, it looks like nobody in all of Charted Space had both the tech to make this and the forethought to equip a colony with it (at least until the Collapse, at which point there were few new colonies being made and many existing colonies dying or being evacuated), emphasis on the forethought. Most new colonies did not get anything resembling this.

The closest I am aware of is the Tijian Expanse series of colonies, and they couldn't sustain the industrial base (their effective TL slipped too low) to make something this compact and advanced. (In particular, no synthetic anagathics.) Though they did push for their colonies to get standardized factory modules once they were able to pay for them. Likewise, the Solomani Preserve started out with a TL 12 analogue: a modified Tvastar manufactory ship.

But those are both polities I have written. What I get from reading others' colonies is that this most colonial planners just did not think of it. I can guess that this is because of the usual reasons why people made new colonies, and the usual priorities of said efforts. (In particular, that industrial equipment would often be the biggest line item if brought along, and many new colonial expeditions just could not afford it.)
Last edited by WingedCat on Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
Moppy
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Moppy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:22 pm

WingedCat wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:08 pm
Moppy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:22 pm
What's the difference between one of these and what you would send to a new colony?
Given canon descriptions of new colonies, it looks like nobody in all of Charted Space had both the tech to make this and the forethought to equip a colony with it (at least until the Collapse, at which point there were few new colonies being made and many existing colonies dying or being evacuated), emphasis on the forethought. Most new colonies did not get anything resembling this.
Traveller canon is completely bizarre to me. This might be part of the reason why I've always consdiered Traveller to be science fantasy.

How can you build a factory and not have the ability to place it on a mobile platform?

How does anyone not think of it? If I ask you to make a plan to colonise a new place, one of the first things on your list will be the industrial capacity required for self-sufficiency, and you (or someone on your staff) will ask if it's possible to install a factory or power station onto a ship.

edit: You might even ask if this is quicker than sending a bunch of megafreighters carrying pre-fab parts? Something with constrution machinery goes ahead to setup for the arrival of the megafreighters, or to repair anything broken on arrival?

The only think I can think of is a political rule preventing the creation of mobile factories as part of the 3rd Imperium's limitation of personal freedoms in the interest of stability? So perhaps it's a political decision? In which case these things are illegal to operate privately or commercially?
WingedCat
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby WingedCat » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:22 pm

Well...

1) It's expensive as heck. Part of the "bleeding edge TL-15 miracle" for the apocalypse package is that it is only MCr50. In most cases, the minimum equipment to give a colony viable industry is much more expensive - much more than most new colonies can afford at first. Economics rules all, and if a colony can only generate enough wealth to sustain TL 8 industry, then TL 8 goes on its UWP even if everyone present is taught TL 15 science and the colony's starting equipment was all TL 15.

This works against mobile factories too: factories need supply chains, which are far easier (and thus cheaper) to set up when the factory does not move around. Consider why oil refineries IRL do not move around to oil platforms, making a circuit to process local storage so they don't have to waste money shipping around all that crude oil (as opposed to a smaller volume of refined products). (Another part of the "bleeding edge TL-15 miracle" is that, being all-in-one working from asteroids and biological waste with a total output that is within scope of the primary market (the LIbrary's lone pilot) while being expandable to greater markets (a colony) with substantial work, the supply chain is easy to set up anywhere you have a planetoid belt - even in some places where you don't.)

2) It may well be political as well. Consider the vilani. Also check the backstory of the Quarter Hammer in that Alphabet of Ships thread (I'm planning to port most-to-all of those to the wiki over time); if something like that was canon, it might well have put a political clamp against mobile factories (at least in the First and Third Imperium; other major polities might have their own reasons, or have learned from the First Imperium).

That said, "illegal to operate privately or commercially" technically applies to the apocalypse package. The IISS handed these out to give copies to colonies its pilots deemed worthy - in other words, by permission of what remained of the Third Imperium, for (colonial) government use only. But it's a law from a government that soon ceases to meaningfully exist, kind of like anyone in a Pirates of Drinax campaign caring about breaking the laws of the long-vanished Sindalian Empire.
Moppy
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Moppy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:59 pm

The Darians certainly have a few of these hidden away somewhere after they learnt from last time.

It would need to be ruinously expensive at lower TLs to prevent some corporation from doing it. GeDeCo for example has a long term objective of building infrastructure in the backwoods. This would be perfect for them.

I don't see why it would be ruinously expensive to build a mobile factory 3 TLs down from current (TL 12 or so) but ... Traveller. 15 would certainly be very expensive. (How much is a silicon chip factory today, double digit billions?). Lower should be easy. I can literally build a steam engine in my home workshop. But come to think of it, I've never seen any kind of large scale mobile factory of any TL above 8 in Traveller anywhere (not counting asteroid smelters).
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3725
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:26 pm

I can't remember anything in canon that says we can't build mobile factories.

It's just that factories in general are not detailed in Traveller.


I tried making mobile shipyards in beta and it worked, but it was expensive. Probably cheaper in general to ship the finished product, than to ship the entire factory.
WingedCat
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby WingedCat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:47 am

Moppy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:59 pm
The Darians certainly have a few of these hidden away somewhere after they learnt from last time.
Wouldn't they just have factories in highports that can be moved to the shadow of a planet if needed?
Moppy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:59 pm
It would need to be ruinously expensive at lower TLs to prevent some corporation from doing it. GeDeCo for example has a long term objective of building infrastructure in the backwoods. This would be perfect for them.
GeDeCo almost certainly does have a lower tech, and less capable, version. Probably more of a process than a discrete set of units.
Moppy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:59 pm
But come to think of it, I've never seen any kind of large scale mobile factory of any TL above 8 in Traveller anywhere (not counting asteroid smelters).
If you can get a copy of the upcoming JTAS #3, that is slated to contain the Tvastar, a TL 12 large scale mobile factory of the Second Imperium - which does smelt asteroids, but also much more.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:26 pm
I tried making mobile shipyards in beta and it worked, but it was expensive. Probably cheaper in general to ship the finished product, than to ship the entire factory.
Yeah. This is why mobile factories don't tend to - but not can't - get built.
Moppy
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Moppy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:24 am

WingedCat wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:47 am
Moppy wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:59 pm
The Darians certainly have a few of these hidden away somewhere after they learnt from last time.
Wouldn't they just have factories in highports that can be moved to the shadow of a planet if needed?
Depends how paranoid they are. Likely they have some ringing planets, and some hidden in deep underground shielded safespots and some hanging out in secret deep space safespots with no star systems (edit: for other distasters). There's probably a star-monitoring program too, but these bursts can also come from deep space (i.e. distant stars).

But it's more like they've had to deal with it before so they're probably more prepared for disasters in general. The first time people are like "Nah, it'll never happen, why are we spending all this time discussing it?".
Moppy
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Moppy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:45 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:26 pm
I can't remember anything in canon that says we can't build mobile factories.

It's just that factories in general are not detailed in Traveller.


I tried making mobile shipyards in beta and it worked, but it was expensive. Probably cheaper in general to ship the finished product, than to ship the entire factory.
It should be more expensive, but the ability to build equipment on-site is also valuble.

Mobile construction should at least be detailed in the military supplements. The tankers and tenders are, but the repair ships aren't. Repair ships were a useful asset in the World War 2 Pacific theatre.
Subzero001
Stoat
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 4:17 pm
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Subzero001 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:55 am

there is a TAS Vulcan Class Logistical Production Vessel available on drivethurpg which is a lot like what is being described here.
WingedCat
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby WingedCat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:58 pm

Moppy wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:45 am
Mobile construction should at least be detailed in the military supplements. The tankers and tenders are, but the repair ships aren't. Repair ships were a useful asset in the World War 2 Pacific theatre.
Maybe poke Mongoose to include this in the Fifth Frontier War books? Mobile repair would be useful there just like in the WW2 Pacific, as both are primarily naval affairs (different types of naval, but in both cases you have ships that get damaged and stuck far from home).
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4233
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby AndrewW » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:16 pm

Moppy wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:45 am
Mobile construction should at least be detailed in the military supplements. The tankers and tenders are, but the repair ships aren't. Repair ships were a useful asset in the World War 2 Pacific theatre.
There is one in Traders and Gunboats.
Moppy
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Moppy » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:46 am

AndrewW wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:16 pm
Moppy wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:45 am
Mobile construction should at least be detailed in the military supplements. The tankers and tenders are, but the repair ships aren't. Repair ships were a useful asset in the World War 2 Pacific theatre.
There is one in Traders and Gunboats.
I couldn't find that.

It's not in original and I don't have Mongoose 1 but there are salvage scoopers in there, which aren't the same thing.

edit: I did find a repair ship in the Drinax ship book. I notice the nonbo of 1-G and tow cables, so it can't tow at any legal thrust value.

edit: I can accept overloading the drive a little, but bringing back a 200-dton SDB with a 700-dton ship is close to a 30% overload.
Old School
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 698
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Old School » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:43 pm

You can still get where you're going at 0.7g acceleration.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7222
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:33 pm

Should be mobile if you have a large enough platform and electrical generator.

Apart from it's viability as a manufacturing plant, the issue of kickstarting civilization is a different issue.

Going by the Phoenix Project, I suspect that any Solomani attempt would include a wide range of technology templates from seven to fourteen, so that you can start at any point that the applicators can comprehend.

This sounds more like something Hari Seldon thought of.
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4233
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby AndrewW » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:40 am

Moppy wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:46 am
It's not in original and I don't have Mongoose 1 but there are salvage scoopers in there, which aren't the same thing.
Yeah, it's in the Mongoose book. Just goes out and does repairs in the field, isn't equipped for towing. Though has space to bring smaller vessels inside.
WingedCat
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby WingedCat » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:28 am

Condottiere wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:33 pm
Going by the Phoenix Project, I suspect that any Solomani attempt would include a wide range of technology templates from seven to fourteen, so that you can start at any point that the applicators can comprehend.

This sounds more like something Hari Seldon thought of.
That's why it has so much of its budget in computers and software: upgrade what the applicators can comprehend. The class is called "Library" for a reason.
Sigtrygg
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:23 am

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:36 pm

Winged Cat - have you read Agent of the Imperium? Marc's novel.

Capital ships have makers that can fabricate maneuver drives for asteroids, an IISS ship leaves a maker and fusion+ power plant on a distant world to foster allegiance with the Imperium. All of this centuries before the golden era of 1105. This is T5 technology.

Have you read TNE? In there are mentioned the jumpstart caches that Strephon ordered built...
WingedCat
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Re: Apocalypse package & Library class Archive Ship

Postby WingedCat » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:12 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:36 pm
Winged Cat - have you read Agent of the Imperium? Marc's novel.
I have.
Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:36 pm
Capital ships have makers that can fabricate maneuver drives for asteroids, an IISS ship leaves a maker and fusion+ power plant on a distant world to foster allegiance with the Imperium. All of this centuries before the golden era of 1105. This is T5 technology.
I was not sure how common or standard this practice was. The basic concept is certainly possible well before the 1120s; one could do something like it today, on IRL Terra. That said, aside from scale/portability/simplicity (including the computer library to teach all the needed skills, which can be far more important than the miniature factory itself), the main new capability the apocalypse package brings is the ability to synthesize anagathics, so the same person can guard it for centuries if need be.
Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:36 pm
Have you read TNE? In there are mentioned the jumpstart caches that Strephon ordered built...
I have, but I have also heard that parts of TNE are getting decanonized. In any case, this would be in parallel with (and more mobile than) said caches; those who made the jumpstart caches and those who made the apocalypse packages might have been unaware of each other.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests