Advanced and Retrotech questions


Banded Mongoose
Geir said:
AndrewW said:
Arkathan said:
As it is, I just make a master brain robot for the ship's AI and allow it to have immobile slaves attached to various computer terminals around the ship, so that non-capital ships have the bandwidth to get a voice activated personality.

That's covered in Robot Handbook.


Also, for the updated Central Supply Catalogue, I also added a bit more about retrotech electronics and computers (retro only applies to them, but proto applies to anything). And some more computers ('mid-sized' to cover anything from a PDP-11 to a modern blade server) and rules for making 'supercomputers'. Nothing that changes the basic dynamic of how computers work in Traveller, though. I'll have to see if it all survives the edit.

There are definitely some 'legacy' issues with Traveller computers. They actually have evolved since the classic books, but they still carry some of that baggage, which I've tried to rationalize, but need to retain for 'game balance'. And given how wrong people were about computer evolution 45 years ago, can we really say that we know where they will be in 45 years - Moore's law is slowly flattening into an s-curve. Could be worse: did anyone else ever read H. Beam Piper's Cosmic Computer (a.k.a. Junkyard Planet) ?

Spoiler alert: The computer was built into the walls. That was a big 'surprise' in 1963 when it was written, but by the time I read it about 20 years later, it was already silly, even though back then all I had was a Commodore 64 and a 300 baud modem... and an Epson dot-matrix printer that still haunts my basement.

So, I have been thinking more about the legacy issues with Computers in Traveller and decided to rework the tables as well as change the Bandwidth progression, and adding in Power Requirements. I wanted to accomplish all of this within the feel of Traveller and play balance, as well adding some sense of "Realism" for lack of a better term. After roughly 18 hours of work and thought on the project, I have only one thing to report. I have a headache and an entirely unbalanced set of spreadsheets. lol


Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
If you think about it, there's only one computer mentioned in Star Trek, per starship.

They have the Main Computer, but they also have all of the individual subsystems with their own "computer cores" as well. Plus in several episodes, they linked the computers of different ships together to increase the processing power. Can't do that in


Emperor Mongoose
In theory, tricorders are pretty nifty computers; subsystems' might be restricted to their specific functions. much as I suspect ours might be as well.


Cosmic Mongoose
Here's what I wrote for the CSC update to cover parallel processing:

Beginning at TL7, multiple mainframes may operate as supercomputers. This requires a geometric progression of mainframes to achieve higher computer capabilities. Two TL7 mainframes may combine to act as a Computer/3, but Computer/4 requires four mainframes, and Computer/5 requires eight. Increasing computing power in this manner requires specialised equipment, and mainframes linked in this manner cannot achieve a greater computing rating than their Tech Level.

And I did add mid-sized computers (minis and servers) which can also act as supercomputers, but without the Computer/X limit of TLX. But it is definitely a case of diminishing returns...

Disclaimer: Just because I wrote it doesn't mean it will survive review and editing and this book isn't on the release schedule yet.