World Builder's Handbook - Suggestions and opinions welcome

Geir

Banded Mongoose
My next project for Mongoose Traveller is to write an updated version of the World Builders Handbook.

For those who have spent too many years playing or following Traveller, you'll remember that the namesake to this title is a book published by Digest Group Publications for MegaTraveller in 1989. It did for MegaTraveller sort of what Book 6: Scouts (1983) did for Classic Traveller. The commonality for these two books was an extended system generation procedure that allowed the creation and detailing of all the stars and significant worlds of a system. World Builders also went further into the social aspects of the system and drilled down all the way into detailed planetary surface conditions and guides for creating maps.

When those books came out, astronomers had discovered exactly zero exoplanets and everyone assumed that our solar system was pretty typical. Now, 30-odd years and 5000 exoplanets later, this assumption seems to be rather incorrect - yes, I know, detection techniques favor planets big and close to their stars, but nobody anticipated hot jupiters, super-earths or extremely compact solar systems like TRAPPIST-1. The physics hasn't changed, but the our understanding of how the universe looked certainly has. So an update is overdo.

Nothing in this book will change existing UWPs for planets - only add more detail - and maybe a few extra codes for bigger worlds and odder atmospheres. The concept of Orbits - something based on the Titus-Bode relationship - a mathematical kludge that really didn't even work for Neptune - is not going away, but with the aid of fractional Orbits and a redefinition of Orbit 0 to, um, 0.0 AU, it is still a useful way to place and describe world orbits. Plus, keeping it avoids invalidating nearly four decades of accumulated Traveller lore that relies on Orbits. On the social characteristics side, more detail is also the goal, drawing from not only the original World Builders Handbook, but from other volumes from other versions of Traveller that have tried to work out some economic and industrial factors (and yes, this includes T5 stuff, though likely in a modified, but compatible format).

What this is: A book on how expand the UWP (and associated letters and numbers on a system row of a subsector table) into a detailed description of a star system, its mainworld, and its people. It is a point-in-time look at the system, focusing on current characteristics and their meaning.

What this isn't: A guide to creating a colony, nor on building and using a fleet of ships, nor on how to build a pocket empire campaign (maybe that's another book for next year). It also isn't a catalogue of scout equipment nor an advanced scout character generation system.

I have a plan (it's a cunning plan, no really!) on how this book will all work out, but not only does no plan survive contact with reality, but no book has any real value without an audience. So if you have any strong opinions or concerns or know of any blatant problems with relevant current or past materials that should be addressed, then this is the topic thread to discuss them.

Thanks,
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Geir said:
My next project for Mongoose Traveller is to write an updated version of the World Builders Handbook.

For those who have spent too many years playing or following Traveller, you'll remember that the namesake to this title is a book published by Digest Group Publications for MegaTraveller in 1989. It did for MegaTraveller sort of what Book 6: Scouts (1983) did for Classic Traveller. The commonality for these two books was an extended system generation procedure that allowed the creation and detailing of all the stars and significant worlds of a system. World Builders also went further into the social aspects of the system and drilled down all the way into detailed planetary surface conditions and guides for creating maps.

When those books came out, astronomers had discovered exactly zero exoplanets and everyone assumed that our solar system was pretty typical. Now, 30-odd years and 5000 exoplanets later, this assumption seems to be rather incorrect - yes, I know, detection techniques favor planets big and close to their stars, but nobody anticipated hot jupiters, super-earths or extremely compact solar systems like TRAPPIST-1. The physics hasn't changed, but the our understanding of how the universe looked certainly has. So an update is overdo.

Nothing in this book will change existing UWPs for planets - only add more detail - and maybe a few extra codes for bigger worlds and odder atmospheres. The concept of Orbits - something based on the Titus-Bode relationship - a mathematical kludge that really didn't even work for Neptune - is not going away, but with the aid of fractional Orbits and a redefinition of Orbit 0 to, um, 0.0 AU, it is still a useful way to place and describe world orbits. Plus, keeping it avoids invalidating nearly four decades of accumulated Traveller lore that relies on Orbits. On the social characteristics side, more detail is also the goal, drawing from not only the original World Builders Handbook, but from other volumes from other versions of Traveller that have tried to work out some economic and industrial factors (and yes, this includes T5 stuff, though likely in a modified, but compatible format).

What this is: A book on how expand the UWP (and associated letters and numbers on a system row of a subsector table) into a detailed description of a star system, its mainworld, and its people. It is a point-in-time look at the system, focusing on current characteristics and their meaning.

What this isn't: A guide to creating a colony, nor on building and using a fleet of ships, nor on how to build a pocket empire campaign (maybe that's another book for next year). It also isn't a catalogue of scout equipment nor an advanced scout character generation system.

I have a plan (it's a cunning plan, no really!) on how this book will all work out, but not only does no plan survive contact with reality, but no book has any real value without an audience. So if you have any strong opinions or concerns or know of any blatant problems with relevant current or past materials that should be addressed, then this is the topic thread to discuss them.

Thanks,

You just totally exploded My brain! First off, thank you so much for taking on the challenge of writing such a difficult work. Second, I have so many ideas that I could share on the topic, that I don't even know where to start and don't want to overwhelm you with My craziness...lol...

I totally agree with the approach of don't design it until you need it, but that breaks down entirely in a sandbox-style game. So for most people the existing system with the updating and minor tweaks that you are talking about will be more than sufficient. So I am still very excited to buy this when it comes out. I will repost My ideas for UWP and Starport classifications below so people can easily access them in this thread. If you like some of My ideas, I would recommend that you use them to take existing UWPs from all of the 40+ years of Traveller history and create the "expanded UWPs" from there. That way, none of the OTC information changes. It all stays exactly the same, just adds a new level of detail underneath. This new system has several variables that make up the classic UWP. So even between planets of exactly the same UWP, there can be huge variations while still remaining unchanged from the classic UWP.

UWP Rework

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/3c0lefdmhxlrvjkke1olm/UWP-Mechanic-Rework.docx?dl=0&rlkey=y5dsdnkqdk40hp84qx7w2v80u

Starports Rework

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/7f0906gksi0gnd8vl8ewk/Starport-Classification-Rework.docx?dl=0&rlkey=bxf3pnnkjx4z99sm4893r7gxx
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
I too will back this.

Some thoughts.

Ensure compatibility with MgT current sources such as Great Rift and DNR where possible.

Make sure there is some compatibility with T5.

If it is for the Third Imperium setting then this is not a generic add on, it would be nice if it could be used for a homebrew setting or even MgT2300 as well.

If it allows for the description of alien cultures then it stands to reason it needs some sort of alien maker sub-system too - this should be as compatible as possible with T5 sophont maker.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Sigtrygg said:
I too will back this.

Some thoughts.

Ensure compatibility with MgT current sources such as Great Rift and DNR where possible.

Make sure there is some compatibility with T5.

If it is for the Third Imperium setting then this is not a generic add on, it would be nice if it could be used for a homebrew setting or even MgT2300 as well.

If it allows for the description of alien cultures then it stands to reason it needs some sort of alien maker sub-system too - this should be as compatible as possible with T5 sophont maker.

+1
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Sigtrygg said:
I too will back this.

Some thoughts.

Ensure compatibility with MgT current sources such as Great Rift and DNR where possible.

Make sure there is some compatibility with T5.

If it is for the Third Imperium setting then this is not a generic add on, it would be nice if it could be used for a homebrew setting or even MgT2300 as well.

If it allows for the description of alien cultures then it stands to reason it needs some sort of alien maker sub-system too - this should be as compatible as possible with T5 sophont maker.
Some answers:

So since Matthew already gave me the thumbs up to proceed - and with enthusiasm I'm like 75 pages into it after 3 weeks - there's little upside to me (or you, actually) for a Kickstarter, since it could fail... but that's just my opinion.

It is definitely intended to be 'generic' as in not setting specific, and the running example used to illustrate the process is an intentionally convoluted system created just for illustrative purposes. It does cover how to take existing Travellermap information and run with it as well as creating systems from scratch.

No reason why this can't be used for 2300, in fact, I may borrow some concepts from the version 1 Tools for Frontier living to deal with biosphere complexity and things like that.

I'm trying to make it compatible with T5, but more accessible.

And as for an alien maker, there's a bit of that in the Sector Construction Guide already (available now at a store near you!)
 

Peleliu

Mongoose
Would it be possible to include a section on how to retrograde a current era fixed UWP to represent events such as The Long Night and how worlds might look during Milieu 0? I know the intent is to make it as system generic as possible, but there may be some use in having a guideline to adjust how planetary variables such as population and tech can change over time.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Peleliu said:
Would it be possible to include a section on how to retrograde a current era fixed UWP to represent events such as The Long Night and how worlds might look during Milieu 0? I know the intent is to make it as system generic as possible, but there may be some use in having a guideline to adjust how planetary variables such as population and tech can change over time.

Maybe some kind of "Regression Guidelines" or something along those lines would be cool. Generic, but applicable. :)
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Peleliu said:
Would it be possible to include a section on how to retrograde a current era fixed UWP to represent events such as The Long Night and how worlds might look during Milieu 0? I know the intent is to make it as system generic as possible, but there may be some use in having a guideline to adjust how planetary variables such as population and tech can change over time.

I think that's been done. Or I've seen it somewhere, but can't remember where. If somebody remembers the reference to it, I can check it out. Not sure its entirely appropriate for the point-in-time aspect of the handbook, but if it's brief enough, it could fit in a box text aside (them blue things in the current format).
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Geir said:
Peleliu said:
Would it be possible to include a section on how to retrograde a current era fixed UWP to represent events such as The Long Night and how worlds might look during Milieu 0? I know the intent is to make it as system generic as possible, but there may be some use in having a guideline to adjust how planetary variables such as population and tech can change over time.

I think that's been done. Or I've seen it somewhere, but can't remember where. If somebody remembers the reference to it, I can check it out. Not sure its entirely appropriate for the point-in-time aspect of the handbook, but if it's brief enough, it could fit in a box text aside (them blue things in the current format).

If anyone finds it, all you'd have to do is add a little blurb of a paragraph or two in a side bar or something of that nature. Nothing huge or specific mechanically, just a guidelines memo. :p That way you cover both the point-in-time aspect as the main focus of your sourcebook, but would also provide for historical world-builders as well without needing to dedicate a huge amount of space to everything that a tome like that could contain...lol...
 

Lurking Grue

Banded Mongoose
This is wonderful news! I am beyond excited for a new World Builder's Handbook!! Bring it on!!! (More exclamation marks!!!! :D )

My hopes and wishes for this would basically boil down to having an updated version of the DGP original from its page 52 onwards (i.e. the detailed star system and world generation stuff). There's so much in that book that is pure gold, but in order to bring it up to date with our modern understanding of the universe, a proper revision and update is in order.

I truly hope this project does not shy away from Science and Math (with capital letters, no less), in order to keep it simple and digestible. It is about star systems and exoplanets, you know, it's not supposed to be simple, but it can be digestible and it can be simplified - just look at the original WBH! When I bought that way back in the 80s, I knew practically nothing about star types, orbital eccentricity, tidal locking etc., but I did get it after reading that book - and it was all applicable in game as well! In addition to Starship Operator's Manual (from DGP as well) the original WBH is one of my all time favorite supplements of any game! Keep the new version true to its legacy and you're golden - nay, you're mithril!

I do understand you must keep it in line with the expansive canon of Traveller and keep the UWP, that's not a problem at all. I just hope you're making the new book so that one can go beyond the UWP if one wants, with optional and expanded rules which can extrapolate and fill in the blanks of the UWP. Like what you're doing with the fractional orbit numbers to get variable orbital distances (if I understood you correctly).

As to the Kickstarter, does this have to go to it? I mean, Kickstarter is great for meaty campaign books or books about mercenary forces in spaaaace, but something maybe a bit less sexier topic like star system generation might not grab everyone's attention. There's bound to be an audience for this book, but in Kickstarter where there are thousands of projects screaming for your attention (with flashy lights and explosions!!), I dunno.

Anyway, this got way longer than I intended. Needless to say, I'm hyped! Give me the WBH mk2 - now, plz. :D

Godspeed, Geir!
 

paltrysum

Cosmic Mongoose
Some things I would like to see:

  • An expansion of size A worlds to include a super-earth category. You might want to differentiate them from really big super earths as those become exceedingly hard to live on without a great deal of technological assistance. Then again, we do have grav plates, don't we?
  • Another super earths category to insert into star systems that encompasses really big worlds, those which likely would not be selected for habitation.
  • An explanation of empty hexes. Astronomers now theorize that there are more rogue planets than those that orbit stars. We probably need an explanation for why those are not settled in Traveller, or why they aren't mentioned if they are settled. Could it be that the existence of jump drive has shaped how sophonts map their universe? Jump drives require gravity wells to glom onto, but rogue planets have gravity wells, too. Why aren't they easily detectable? Or, uh, 'jump-to-able' without overly taxing one's astrogator?
  • Guidelines for how to assign planets in a binary (or trinary) system. E.g., if the mainworld is an Earthlike garden world, and there are two stars present in the system, is that justification to avoid making them a close binary pair? You could specify that, or at least... encourage it. Not sure if you'd want to codify it with rules or merely make strong suggestions as to how system designers might go about tackling issues like this.
  • We now know that circumbinary worlds (those which orbit both stars of a binary system) aren't all that uncommon as we used to think. Rules for when to appoint such a system, or guidelines similar to those in the last bullet point, would be great.
  • Tidally locked worlds – Worlds that orbit close to their stars, such as those in the habitable zone of a red dwarf, are most likely tidally locked. There are also a lot of theories about convection currents between such a world's dark and bright sides that might create rather inclement conditions. How does one reconcile that with a world with a fairly tame UWP?
  • Asteroid belts don't behave themselves. While they might be said to inhabit an orbit, they really occupy a band that encompasses multiple orbits and brings those rocks within striking distance of a system's other worlds, sometimes even hitting them! Quite often, actually. Is there a way to explain that in this updated book?
  • Stellar flares – Some stars are just more temperamental than others. Red dwarves, for example. (And yes, I know you prefer 'red dwarfs' but I did recently read a book on exoplanets in which the author used 'red dwarves' so I'm ambivalent about it.) Is there a way to incorporate these events in the book. Having to deal with them would enhance a Traveller adventure, giving the players more things to deal with.
  • Oort clouds – Got room to add these? Travelling into them and visiting the resources contained therein could make for some great adventuring. The thing is, if we count all the planets that are likely to be in them, it vastly affects the number of planets in a system which is problematic when trying to keep the existing Atlas of the Imperium stats current.
  • Is a Standard atmosphere always breathable. What about temperature, weather, etc.?
  • The original WBH had equipment for exploration. I know you just rewrote the CSC, but do you plan to add updated exploration equipment to this book? The stuff in the DGP WBH was great, but it was very... 80s-esque. Could be time for an update.
  • When to move system mainworlds out of the habitable zone. They really needn't be there if there are other attractions that establish why they were chosen as the main world of a star system.

Alright. That's all I'm going to bombard you with now. Can't wait to see what you come up with!
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Lurking Grue said:
This is wonderful news! I am beyond excited for a new World Builder's Handbook!! Bring it on!!! (More exclamation marks!!!! :D )

My hopes and wishes for this would basically boil down to having an updated version of the DGP original from its page 52 onwards (i.e. the detailed star system and world generation stuff). There's so much in that book that is pure gold, but in order to bring it up to date with our modern understanding of the universe, a proper revision and update is in order.

I truly hope this project does not shy away from Science and Math (with capital letters, no less), in order to keep it simple and digestible. It is about star systems and exoplanets, you know, it's not supposed to be simple, but it can be digestible and it can be simplified - just look at the original WBH! When I bought that way back in the 80s, I knew practically nothing about star types, orbital eccentricity, tidal locking etc., but I did get it after reading that book - and it was all applicable in game as well! In addition to Starship Operator's Manual (from DGP as well) the original WBH is one of my all time favorite supplements of any game! Keep the new version true to its legacy and you're golden - nay, you're mithril!

I do understand you must keep it in line with the expansive canon of Traveller and keep the UWP, that's not a problem at all. I just hope you're making the new book so that one can go beyond the UWP if one wants, with optional and expanded rules which can extrapolate and fill in the blanks of the UWP. Like what you're doing with the fractional orbit numbers to get variable orbital distances (if I understood you correctly).

As to the Kickstarter, does this have to go to it? I mean, Kickstarter is great for meaty campaign books or books about mercenary forces in spaaaace, but something maybe a bit less sexier topic like star system generation might not grab everyone's attention. There's bound to be an audience for this book, but in Kickstarter where there are thousands of projects screaming for your attention (with flashy lights and explosions!!), I dunno.

Anyway, this got way longer than I intended. Needless to say, I'm hyped! Give me the WBH mk2 - now, plz. :D

Godspeed, Geir!

Thanks for your support!
Yes, From page 52 and beyond! (Cue Buzz Lightyear) And I've actually gone back to the DGP predecessor books, Grand Survey and Grand Census to check some stuff (like how in WBH the formula for day length says 'days' when they meant 'hours'). There is definitely Science and Math in this book, but within reason. Two weeks ago I went down a rabbit hole dealing with Orbits in systems with multiple stars and I suddenly realized I was trying to solve the n-body problem with a spreadsheet - but then sanity kicked in and I wrote out a few rules of thumb that ought to work - close enough, anyway.

I'm trying to explain terms and concepts as I go, giving the Science(ish) and examples inline as I work through the processes (I plan on doing fluff-less dense checklists at the back as an appendix and quick reference). It shouldn't read like an Astronomy textbook, but it shouldn't contradict what you'd find in one either. The goal is to provide enough science explanation to walk through the process to add the detail wanted. Today's tough problem for me is how to deal with tidal locks in a simple way when even the Hard Science Math is sort of couched in maybes and assumptions (in a way, that actually helps - I dare someone to prove me wrong whatever simplification I throw in)

I'm self-taught in this, mostly because of Traveller. I did take two Astronomy courses in college, but a head-on collision between a 20-year-old rather lazy know-it-all and an 8am class called Imaginary Calculus (yes, that's a thing, vectors and stuff) taught by a TA with poor English and worse handwriting caused a complete phase change: I ended up not in the Engineer-Physics program anymore but with a degree in History with a minor in Math/Physics (fun fact: for history, the only math you really need to remember is that in the Common Era dating system there is no year 0). Meanwhile, annoyed with some of the stuff in Book 6, I spent a decade writing a program to generate star systems - it ended up as 10,000 lines of Visual Basic and worked pretty well for at least double star systems - that effort not only taught me a lot more about astronomy, but also enough about programming and computers to help get me a job once I got out of grad school (still no more math than an MBA required - I can calculate compound interest and make a balance sheet, um balance - sort of... there's an entirely off-topic ramble on that which has no bearing on any of this).

My programming effort died when confronted with actual exoplanet systems, but this is basically a continuation of it. On the Physical UWP side. On the Social side, I will also draw off of WBH, T5 and maybe other sources such as GURPS: Far Trader and some version of Trillion Credit Squadron to delve into details of population, government law level, Tech level and their effects on economics and social structures.

One final note on what became a much longer comment for me as well. The goal is not to make a one-size-only guide. I do believe in the MOARN principle and nothing in this is intended to be anything other than a guide for diving into detail when it is necessary or wanted. Admittedly, you have to work out primary star and orbit deals to figure out temperature, but you don't need to figure it out for every planet or even worry much about that little red dwarf out in a Far orbit.

Enough! Back to tidal effects...
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
paltrysum said:
Some things I would like to see:

  • An expansion of size A worlds to include a super-earth category. You might want to differentiate them from really big super earths as those become exceedingly hard to live on without a great deal of technological assistance. Then again, we do have grav plates, don't we?
  • Another super earths category to insert into star systems that encompasses really big worlds, those which likely would not be selected for habitation.
  • An explanation of empty hexes. Astronomers now theorize that there are more rogue planets than those that orbit stars. We probably need an explanation for why those are not settled in Traveller, or why they aren't mentioned if they are settled. Could it be that the existence of jump drive has shaped how sophonts map their universe? Jump drives require gravity wells to glom onto, but rogue planets have gravity wells, too. Why aren't they easily detectable? Or, uh, 'jump-to-able' without overly taxing one's astrogator?
  • Guidelines for how to assign planets in a binary (or trinary) system. E.g., if the mainworld is an Earthlike garden world, and there are two stars present in the system, is that justification to avoid making them a close binary pair? You could specify that, or at least... encourage it. Not sure if you'd want to codify it with rules or merely make strong suggestions as to how system designers might go about tackling issues like this.
  • We now know that circumbinary worlds (those which orbit both stars of a binary system) aren't all that uncommon as we used to think. Rules for when to appoint such a system, or guidelines similar to those in the last bullet point, would be great.
  • Tidally locked worlds – Worlds that orbit close to their stars, such as those in the habitable zone of a red dwarf, are most likely tidally locked. There are also a lot of theories about convection currents between such a world's dark and bright sides that might create rather inclement conditions. How does one reconcile that with a world with a fairly tame UWP?
  • Asteroid belts don't behave themselves. While they might be said to inhabit an orbit, they really occupy a band that encompasses multiple orbits and brings those rocks within striking distance of a system's other worlds, sometimes even hitting them! Quite often, actually. Is there a way to explain that in this updated book?
  • Stellar flares – Some stars are just more temperamental than others. Red dwarves, for example. (And yes, I know you prefer 'red dwarfs' but I did recently read a book on exoplanets in which the author used 'red dwarves' so I'm ambivalent about it.) Is there a way to incorporate these events in the book. Having to deal with them would enhance a Traveller adventure, giving the players more things to deal with.
  • Oort clouds – Got room to add these? Travelling into them and visiting the resources contained therein could make for some great adventuring. The thing is, if we count all the planets that are likely to be in them, it vastly affects the number of planets in a system which is problematic when trying to keep the existing Atlas of the Imperium stats current.
  • Is a Standard atmosphere always breathable. What about temperature, weather, etc.?
  • The original WBH had equipment for exploration. I know you just rewrote the CSC, but do you plan to add updated exploration equipment to this book? The stuff in the DGP WBH was great, but it was very... 80s-esque. Could be time for an update.
  • When to move system mainworlds out of the habitable zone. They really needn't be there if there are other attractions that establish why they were chosen as the main world of a star system.

Alright. That's all I'm going to bombard you with now. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Yes to all except the empty hexes and Oort. Also, flares - not directly, but I'm considering radiation as a form of taint, so it's sort of being dealt with that way. Asteroid Belts, only in old WBH depth, and with a point-in-time approach, not sure I would do much with rocks falling out of the sky, but it's a though - or box text. And very light on the Equipment section, but a few things.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Geir said:
paltrysum said:
Some things I would like to see:

  • An expansion of size A worlds to include a super-earth category. You might want to differentiate them from really big super earths as those become exceedingly hard to live on without a great deal of technological assistance. Then again, we do have grav plates, don't we?
  • Another super earths category to insert into star systems that encompasses really big worlds, those which likely would not be selected for habitation.
  • An explanation of empty hexes. Astronomers now theorize that there are more rogue planets than those that orbit stars. We probably need an explanation for why those are not settled in Traveller, or why they aren't mentioned if they are settled. Could it be that the existence of jump drive has shaped how sophonts map their universe? Jump drives require gravity wells to glom onto, but rogue planets have gravity wells, too. Why aren't they easily detectable? Or, uh, 'jump-to-able' without overly taxing one's astrogator?
  • Guidelines for how to assign planets in a binary (or trinary) system. E.g., if the mainworld is an Earthlike garden world, and there are two stars present in the system, is that justification to avoid making them a close binary pair? You could specify that, or at least... encourage it. Not sure if you'd want to codify it with rules or merely make strong suggestions as to how system designers might go about tackling issues like this.
  • We now know that circumbinary worlds (those which orbit both stars of a binary system) aren't all that uncommon as we used to think. Rules for when to appoint such a system, or guidelines similar to those in the last bullet point, would be great.
  • Tidally locked worlds – Worlds that orbit close to their stars, such as those in the habitable zone of a red dwarf, are most likely tidally locked. There are also a lot of theories about convection currents between such a world's dark and bright sides that might create rather inclement conditions. How does one reconcile that with a world with a fairly tame UWP?
  • Asteroid belts don't behave themselves. While they might be said to inhabit an orbit, they really occupy a band that encompasses multiple orbits and brings those rocks within striking distance of a system's other worlds, sometimes even hitting them! Quite often, actually. Is there a way to explain that in this updated book?
  • Stellar flares – Some stars are just more temperamental than others. Red dwarves, for example. (And yes, I know you prefer 'red dwarfs' but I did recently read a book on exoplanets in which the author used 'red dwarves' so I'm ambivalent about it.) Is there a way to incorporate these events in the book. Having to deal with them would enhance a Traveller adventure, giving the players more things to deal with.
  • Oort clouds – Got room to add these? Travelling into them and visiting the resources contained therein could make for some great adventuring. The thing is, if we count all the planets that are likely to be in them, it vastly affects the number of planets in a system which is problematic when trying to keep the existing Atlas of the Imperium stats current.
  • Is a Standard atmosphere always breathable. What about temperature, weather, etc.?
  • The original WBH had equipment for exploration. I know you just rewrote the CSC, but do you plan to add updated exploration equipment to this book? The stuff in the DGP WBH was great, but it was very... 80s-esque. Could be time for an update.
  • When to move system mainworlds out of the habitable zone. They really needn't be there if there are other attractions that establish why they were chosen as the main world of a star system.

Alright. That's all I'm going to bombard you with now. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Yes to all except the empty hexes and Oort. Also, flares - not directly, but I'm considering radiation as a form of taint, so it's sort of being dealt with that way. Asteroid Belts, only in old WBH depth, and with a point-in-time approach, not sure I would do much with rocks falling out of the sky, but it's a though - or box text. And very light on the Equipment section, but a few things.

I get more excited for this book every time you post! Just make sure you include a surf forecast in the sidebar on tidally-locked worlds...:p
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Tidal forces... That took a lot longer than I thought and hurt my brain more than I wanted.
Have to balance realism with level of effort and complexity and the ability to roll 2D and get an answer.

So there are three effects of tidal forces:
Tidal lock - that's the one we think about with regards to red dwarf worlds and moons of gas giants. That I can do as a table with a ton of DMs.
Tides - That's what happens when you're not locked and the water (or whatever) sloshes around the world. Three possible sources: the primary on the world, the moon on a world, and moons on one another. Formulas for each.
Tidal heating - Think Io and Enceladus - they're locked, but because their orbits aren't circular they still experience tidal forces that deform the surface and cause seismic stress. And causes mental stress:

From the wikipedia article on tidal heating:

... [the constant] represents the imaginary portion of the second-order Love number which measures the efficiency at which the satellite dissipates tidal energy into frictional heat.

Yeah, thanks for that.

I kludged together something good enough to be workable for those who care to delve into that detail. The kludged formula gives a result of 101 for Io, 11 for Enceladus, and 0.017 for Luna - good enough. It only actual matters when the satellite is in a resonance orbit with another satellite and that factor prevents circularization of the orbit. If eccentricity drops to zero, so does the tidal heating effect. And that ends the Science lesson for today.
 
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