The Beyond is a mess

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The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:47 pm

I'm pretty sure I voted at least once for The Beyond to be tackled in a future Mongoose project, but it wasn't a big deal before Deepnight Revelation. Probably still isn't a "Big Deal", but it is an annoyance.
The "official" "Under Review" version on travellermaps.com is kind of awful. I object less to giant furry spiders than to flying humans, but for the purpose of transit, the star systems themselves are an issue, not just the symmetrical star patterns, but the gas giant population.

I've taken it upon myself to play with the admittedly early and raw version of Deepnight Revelation from the Kickstarter as an admittedly overly ambitious solo project with the goal of providing useful feedback (I've pretty much had to redesign every ship, some because they were wrong, others because I wanted to go in a slightly different way, but that's something I'll post on Kickstarter after the release of the next version).

But anyway, I got the expedition to Tobia in more detail than necessary as a "shakedown cruise" and a way to learn all the rules. Now comes a nearly two-year transit to the edge of Charted Space. I could drive along the Rift through Aslan space, using the Great Rift sectors, but it makes more sense to cut through Florian space and into The Beyond.

There's barely any gas giants! The system layout is goofy! The system names are silly and even the Aslan worlds have inappropriate names!

Fortunately, travellermaps also has an Apocryphal and an Unofficial version of The Beyond (you can search for them to find out where they're stashed), both appearing to use the same, much more "normal" star layout and gas giant frequency. I think I'm going to go with that layout. Not sure what I want to do about the political layout, so there might be a lot of fast transits using gas giant refueling and not a lot of social calls.

But seriously, somebody, whether the T5SS or a future product from Mongoose should take a look at The Beyond, especially given all the material for the adjacent Trojan Reach. Beyond the Beyond, the Vanguard Reaches doesn't look so bad…
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Old School » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:40 pm

Considering the number of completely uncharted sectors that Deepnight Revelation has to transverse, what’s one more that needs to be created?

I’ve been pretty vocal on the Kickstarter about the lack of proofing of the ships prior to layout, as well as a few other issues, but I don’t think Matt Sprange and I will ever agree on what’s important for a quality RPG product. I do like what we’ve seen so far on the campaign as a whole, however.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:52 pm

With regard to ship design and editing, keep in mind that what was put out for Deepnight was an "alpha" product. I would cut Matt some slack on editing (I'm not just saying that because its his board). It's been a few decades, but I've run a small business. There's never enough money to do the things you want to do, and never enough time to do the things you have to do, and definitely not enough heads to fill all the hats you need. I suppose if we bought more stuff, he could have someone as a full-time dedicated editor. I'm pretty vocal about trying to find errors and typos when I have the time to do so, but if you want to look back in time to the LBB era, the editing was less than perfect back then. So typos at least are nearly Traveller canon. And those books didn't have any art at all, so quality is definitely better from my perspective, forty years down the line.

My biggest issue with the ship design isn't whether the spinal mount is 5400 or 5600 tons, it's that the ship doesn't have anywhere near the fuel processors to keep to the schedule the story demands. I'll still nit pick the details, because… OCD and a little bit of spectrum.

As for the Beyond, that's more of a T5 Second Survey responsibility, but a published product might push for some more cleanup. And yeah, I'm likely to go my own way for The Beyond… gas giant shortage pushed me over the edge.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Old School » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:07 am

Ah, you’re the guy worried about the fuel processors. I responded to an old comment you made about the lack of processors on the kickstarter page. I think it was on update #16. Go take a look at it. Short version is, the ship is so good, it doesn’t need no stinking fuel processors.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby paltrysum » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:41 am

It baffles me that The Beyond is somehow "official data" according to Travellermap. It just doesn't fit in with canon at all.
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php ... %20Griffen
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:00 am

Old School wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:07 am
Ah, you’re the guy worried about the fuel processors. I responded to an old comment you made about the lack of processors on the kickstarter page. I think it was on update #16. Go take a look at it. Short version is, the ship is so good, it doesn’t need no stinking fuel processors.
I see your point. I also agree that they should be removed entirely then. My thought is that they're expecting a 20+ year mission. Despite what the rules say, wear and tear on the the drives from using unrefined fuel twenty times a year would likely be a concern. So yes, either strip them out entirely, or up them to they point they can do 27,000 tons a day. Anything in between is a half-measure waste of resources.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:05 am

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:41 am
It baffles me that The Beyond is somehow "official data" according to Travellermap. It just doesn't fit in with canon at all.
Well, it's "under review".
I found the old Paranoia Press Supplement in a box in the basement. At least the current canon version took out the ringworld.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby paltrysum » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:16 pm

Geir, do you have any interest in redeveloping it in a way that makes it fit more cohesively with canon? I realize you're already doing that, based on your comments above, but you might be able to get Marc's blessing and make your work official. Travellermap's creator/admin posts here on the forums. I'm sure you could reach out to him to propose such a project.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Old School » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:37 pm

Geir wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:00 am
Old School wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:07 am
Ah, you’re the guy worried about the fuel processors. I responded to an old comment you made about the lack of processors on the kickstarter page. I think it was on update #16. Go take a look at it. Short version is, the ship is so good, it doesn’t need no stinking fuel processors.
I see your point. I also agree that they should be removed entirely then. My thought is that they're expecting a 20+ year mission. Despite what the rules say, wear and tear on the the drives from using unrefined fuel twenty times a year would likely be a concern. So yes, either strip them out entirely, or up them to they point they can do 27,000 tons a day. Anything in between is a half-measure waste of resources.
It's really something the GM can take whatever direction they want. In an emergency situation you might be firing up the jump drive in a hurry, and your fancy observatory might not help you on a rushed astrogation check (house rule). Wear and tear on the drives is a valid point, although you'd have to come up with our own mechanic or just abstract it. I could see the processors being a "nice to have", and maybe increase them to 450 tons, enough to process fuel for a 4 parsec jump in three days.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:45 pm

[
paltrysum wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:16 pm
Geir, do you have any interest in redeveloping it in a way that makes it fit more cohesively with canon? I realize you're already doing that, based on your comments above, but you might be able to get Marc's blessing and make your work official. Travellermap's creator/admin posts here on the forums. I'm sure you could reach out to him to propose such a project.
Interest, sure. Time, sometimes (random and capricious real life events tend to intervene), though without a deadline it would get done eventually (2D months?). The 1991 Apocryphal version looks like the best fit with the Floriani and Aslan worlds and has reasonable star distributions and gas giant distribution. Star data is missing, but it would be good practice to for me to script something. Biggest problem is political boundaries and races. And that 1991 version was relegated to (literally) the far corners of the map for a reason. So it would be useful to know the background on that.

And if it were up to me, the flying humans would have to go...
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:48 pm

Old School wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:37 pm
Geir wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:00 am
Old School wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:07 am
Ah, you’re the guy worried about the fuel processors. I responded to an old comment you made about the lack of processors on the kickstarter page. I think it was on update #16. Go take a look at it. Short version is, the ship is so good, it doesn’t need no stinking fuel processors.
I see your point. I also agree that they should be removed entirely then. My thought is that they're expecting a 20+ year mission. Despite what the rules say, wear and tear on the the drives from using unrefined fuel twenty times a year would likely be a concern. So yes, either strip them out entirely, or up them to they point they can do 27,000 tons a day. Anything in between is a half-measure waste of resources.
It's really something the GM can take whatever direction they want. In an emergency situation you might be firing up the jump drive in a hurry, and your fancy observatory might not help you on a rushed astrogation check (house rule). Wear and tear on the drives is a valid point, although you'd have to come up with our own mechanic or just abstract it. I could see the processors being a "nice to have", and maybe increase them to 450 tons, enough to process fuel for a 4 parsec jump in three days.
With the benefit of sleep I retract my "half-measure waste of resources" remark. The lack of processors are an issue for fast transits, but if the ship is doing exploration, it can refine as it lingers, so an occasional "flush" of the system with refined fuel would have benefit.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby InexorableTash » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 pm

The Beyond is indeed a mess. The preliminary integration of the Paranoia Press version of the sector into the T5SS dataset was done by Don McKinney shortly before he passed away, so much of the context was lost.

The most effective way to work to improve it is to join the mailing list at http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/mailman/li ... lerrpg.com and propose changes.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:04 pm

InexorableTash wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 pm
The Beyond is indeed a mess. The preliminary integration of the Paranoia Press version of the sector into the T5SS dataset was done by Don McKinney shortly before he passed away, so much of the context was lost.

The most effective way to work to improve it is to join the mailing list at http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/mailman/li ... lerrpg.com and propose changes.
Thanks.
I've subscribed, or at least requested it.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Old School » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:09 pm

Good stuff. Keep this up and Mongoose will have you writing sector guides before you know it.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:10 pm

Well the first responses from the T5SS group doesn't show a lot of enthusiasm for a new version of The Beyond, and I can understand that.
But I just can't see using it as is, so no matter what, for IMTU, it needs to be redone. I've gotten through the first pass of the my overarching "historical" step to background the sector and done detail for four trailing subsectors. Rather than dump all that onto this forum or into their emails, I threw up (almost literally) a blogspot site to post the work:

https://geirbloodaxe.blogspot.com/

With regard to sector books, I really like the Beyond the Claw book, even if much of the material is rework of previous stuff. A sector is more than a bunch of numbers and filling in the background detail is what makes it come to life, and not look like a random number generator. I've done three or for sectors over the past couple of years, not in the 3I universe at all, and imported the results into travellermap's booklet and sector maker, so I'm familiar with the process.

But creating a sector and even writing up some world descriptions and background is not the hard part. Making a book is layout and artwork and market analysis and promotion. And production. Regardless of what T5SS decides to do, I'm going to finish the sector for my own use and post the pieces to that blog, hopefully before I run out of steam or get distracted by something else.

And in any event, if you look at the Mongoose second edition sector products, it takes two sectors to make a book, so I'd have to tackle the Vanguard Reaches too...
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Old School » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:31 pm

You need to tackle A LOT of sectors, and them post them (or sell them as a TAS product which I would gladly pay for), so one day I can use them for a Deepnight Revelation Campaign. Of course, we’ll need to see how many sectors are prepared in the official campaign guides. I think there are six expansion sets funded in the kickstarter campaign that we haven’t seen yet. But over 30 sectors need to be crossed to get to the Voidshore. Should keep you busy. :)
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:51 pm

I could tackle a bunch of sectors, but I would want to see how much information comes out in the next Deepnight release and at least not contradict any of it.
The other sectors along the route don't have the serious flaws that The Beyond does. The Vanguard Reaches doesn't look that bad as is, and the biggest problem with Iphigenaia and Theron seems to be that the data for barren worlds is raw and most have no population, but government and law levels. Easy fixes.

Once we get off the map... I think Martin might have started down that road, realized how pointless most of the work would be, and reverted to his "Reaches" approach. Makes sense. I mean, I would do the whole sector because of OCD and spectrum issues, but for the purposes of getting the adventure written, it's a giant waste of time.

A mostly computer generated "Survey Index 3" map - stars and presence of gas giants is all the Travellers would have access to for the route, and some of that would be bad data.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby RogerMc » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:56 pm

Is that the one with a subsector full of worlds named after SS divisions?
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby Geir » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:52 pm

RogerMc wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:56 pm
Is that the one with a subsector full of worlds named after SS divisions?
If you mean the worlds of Die Weltbund in subsectors B and C of the "in Review" or currently most official version of The Beyond, then not literally named after SS Divisions, but all in German, yes. In some cases, though some SS Division names would be an improvement over the names given: e.g. Nibelung would be a good name for a world, but only because of Wagner or earlier Germanic myth, not because of the division name. I'm actually starting to hack my way through those two subsectors right now.
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Re: The Beyond is a mess

Postby RogerMc » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:27 pm

Actually thinking of Pandemonium subsector in Vanguard Reaches - a dozen worlds literally named after Nazi SS divisions.

Which was just tasteless even for 1981.

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