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Traveller Chat #2: IYTU (In Your Traveller Universe)

The following transcript is edited to remove some irrelevant actions and side chatter.

<FreeTrav> Good evening, all, and welcome to Traveller Topical Chat #2 - IYTU

<FreeTrav> Basically, tonight is intended to be an open discussion...

<FreeTrav> ... on the character of your Traveller universe, and why you made the decisions you did.

<FreeTrav> Or, if you don't GM, why you prefer playing in/writing for/what-have-you a particular kind of universe.

<FreeTrav> There are a lot of parameters that can define a Traveller universe, including questions like 'What ruleset', 'big ship/small ship navy', 'strong/weak nobles', 'strong/weak Imperium', and others.

<FreeTrav> What parameters do *you* use, and why?

<FreeTrav> Anyone want to step up and be first?

<shadowcat> sure, I will be a guinea pig

<CNW> small ship as its a more personel scale

<shadowcat> as far as rules, CT/MT

<shadowcat> I just cant stand TNE, T4 works just as well for the most part with CT so I dont count it seperately

<shadowcat> GT I mostly just design ships for

<shadowcat> navywise, I use smaller ships for the PC's, unless I have a need for a battle using High Guard or something

<shadowcat> or a boarding action etc

* Heavybolter has joined #traveller

<Omega-Moshpt> anything else, sc?

<shadowcat> the central imperial government is weak, while the nobles and the local represenatives of the imperium have a lot of power

<shadowcat> sorry, its hard typing with my big paws

<shadowcat> hello Heavybolter

<Heavybolter> Howdy Shadowcat!

<shadowcat> the local reps of whatever flavor still have to answer to somebody

<shadowcat> but it might take a while for the reckoning to come about

<shadowcat> biggest reason is the communications lag imposed by the sheer size of the imperium and the lack of FTL communications

<FreeTrav> How about the relationship between the nobles and the armed forces?

* ]- kraehe has joined #LoneStar

<FreeTrav> Hi, Krahe!

<FreeTrav> We're mostly on the other side of the bridge!

<]-> kraehe> ah - i thought only bots here

<shadowcat> depends on the noble and force in question

<shadowcat> nobles can have a "Guard

<shadowcat> " unit ranging from 2 rentacops with pistols to regiments

* FreeTrav nods.

* kraehe has joined #traveller

<shadowcat> as far as the military organization goes

<FreeTrav> Which implies that, by and large, you have a professional Unified Army, and Navy, rather than one beholden to a local noble.

<shadowcat> each subsector has a line fleet, a reserve fleet, a line army, and a reserve army

<kraehe> imtu local nobles or groups have their small army's

<shadowcat> sizes will vary considerably

<Heavybolter> Shadowcat, is this IYTU, or your idea of the OTU?

<shadowcat> if a noble has the power/creds to maintain it, and he doesnt tork off somebody above him

<shadowcat> both

<FreeTrav> Heavybolter: It should be presumed to be IHTU unless otherwise specified.

<shadowcat> my idea of the TU

<shadowcat> although I organize my armys and fleets a little differently

<kraehe> also Gushemege is a bit different - as Lancians dislike being in the army - but prefer to employ a foreign army

<shadowcat> IMTU the regimental combat team tends to be the most common line unit

<FreeTrav> OK. Given a TU where nobles can raise their own troops, and with a weak Imperial authority, how does your TU prevent intramural conflicts?

<Heavybolter> I would think it encourages it given human nature...

<kraehe> Anagathics-D

<kraehe> TEDs that could be critical dont recive a Yacht Port from the Parents - but cheap tech level D anagathics

<shadowcat> standard rules of war apply, if things get too out of hand, the local/regional leader can intervene

<FreeTrav> So you *don't* prohibit low-level armed conflicts within your Imperium?

<shadowcat> right

* FreeTrav nods.

<kraehe> also strict enforment of custom control by the Parents - e.g. no nuclear weapons in jump able ships

<Heavybolter> So it's something like Feudal Japan... Local warlords can practice their own wars as long as it doesn't hurt the Shogun's military strength...

<shadowcat> just about

* FreeTrav nods.

<shadowcat> you also have megacorps that maintain standing units for security etc

<FreeTrav> ...and, presumably, everyone is expected to drop it and pull together when an external threat manifests.

<shadowcat> yes

<kraehe> there is no single most powerful force in my Rurevayn/TNE

<Omega-Moshpt> like a couple of divisions of crack troops with the latest gear, sc?

<shadowcat> nah, my own megacorp has about 2 battalions of regular/veteran troops at TL-12

<shadowcat> and those are quite spread out

<shadowcat> its very rare to see more than a platoon in one place

<kraehe> @shadowcat: whats your battalion size ?

<shadowcat> 3 companies roughly 120 men each

* kraehe likes disclassification of ships and units.

<kraehe> so compareable to Tl:8 light mechanised infantry in size ?

<shadowcat> yep

<shadowcat> combat environment suit, 9mm ACR

<kraehe> Rurevayn run out of cats ;(

<shadowcat> Maximus also maintains its own escorts for its merchants

<CNW> sorry have to go, see you all latter I hope

<shadowcat> Fierey being the most common in standard use

* CNW has left #traveller

<kraehe> there had been Aslan empoyed as a foreign army from 600imperial till AI virus - but those did'nt survive

<shadowcat> Virus wont occur IMTU

<shadowcat> Maximus has also built a class of Merchant War Cruisers

<shadowcat> which is a closer to a light cruiser in merchant drag

* FreeTrav grins. Somehow, it always comes back to military hardware... :)

* kraehe shakes his head.

<shadowcat> one of the few good ideas in TNE was the Aurora

<shadowcat> clipper

<shadowcat> so I built a 30,000 ton version

<FreeTrav> Gah. That's big-ship.

<kraehe> imtu, the most important idea in Rurevayn was civilian - the Yacht Port

<shadowcat> theres only 6

<shadowcat> of them

<shadowcat> in peacetime she mounts an assortment of turret weapons

<shadowcat> and trade a lot of them out for bay modules

<shadowcat> and 2 hangar bays

<shadowcat> and a letter of marque

<shadowcat> during a war

<kraehe> the clipper idea is really nice

<shadowcat> ok, I'm done

<kraehe> Rurevayn has two different 600dt classes

<shadowcat> unless theres any further questions for me right off the bat

* FreeTrav doesn't have any atm

<Heavybolter> Who is Maximus?

<Omega-Moshpt> well, since kraehe wanted to speak up, perhaps it's his turn?

<kraehe> ones as a 360dt clipper jumpable up to 120dt - and one as classical liner - able to reconfigure for troops and 6 small fighters.

<shadowcat> Maximus Interstellar Defense Industries

<FreeTrav> But what sort of universe do they fit into, Kraehe?

<shadowcat> IMTU megacorp

<Heavybolter> Tnx...

<shadowcat> and also published in BITS 101 corps

<kraehe> the 600dt liner fits from 200 before 3I to current

<kraehe> the 360dt clipper fits to modern Rurevayn (in storry)

<shadowcat> and is a great design for refitting/tweaking/doing rude things to

<Heavybolter> Rurevayn?

<FreeTrav> OTU, with post-Rebellion divergence?

<kraehe> Rurevayn is a subsector of Gushemege

<Heavybolter> Ah... ::pulling out maps::

<kraehe> There are two maps of Gushemege

<shadowcat> what TL are they built at?

<kraehe> the old map (before 600 imperial) has Usdiki in the middle of Gushemege on a main called Oulpaque

<kraehe> the new map (after Arrabellatra) shows Usdiki (sector capital) at the edge on a rift - at a jump 3 only place.

<Heavybolter> Gotta love continuity... ;-)

<kraehe> RT-12-600-Tsunoi.tds

<shadowcat> yeah, some maps have changed a bit over the years

<shadowcat> especially some of the non GDW sectors

* FreeTrav nods.

<kraehe> some even with reason (handwave Arabellatra and Psionic Revolution)

<FreeTrav> Well, I have problems with that as an explanation for changing the locations of stars. Changing names is one thing, but... :)

<kraehe> it must have a reason that former Usdiki is barren/dessert/tainted ?

* FreeTrav scrabbles through some notes.

<kraehe> had been a nice capital world before

<shadowcat> nuked from orbit?

<JohnAppel> "Pacified". )

<Hypnotoad> it's the only way to be sure..

<kraehe> thats the official handwave for Usdiki

<Heavybolter> Mayhap some noble simply declared the two planets renamed...

<kraehe> the noble was Arabellatra

<Omega-Moshpt> or someone threw rocks?

<shadowcat> or the IISS pulled a greenland/iceland

<kraehe> she also installed the new sector capital in the rift at a jump 3 only place - for good reason

<FreeTrav> That has advantages and disadvantages - advantage; it's protected - disadvantage, it's hard to get to for legitimate purposes.

<FreeTrav> (just off the top of my head)

<FreeTrav> I like a TU with characteristics that I honestly admit I have trouble reconciling.

<Heavybolter> Of course, she could always control the local shipyards and only allow commerce ships with J3 or better to be purchased by her corps... ;-)

<shadowcat> sorry, that was a message from our sponsors in the Ihatei

<Heavybolter> That way all the commerce to and from that area of the sector would be in her control/fill her pockets...

<kraehe> oh - the Lancians started to employ Cats after the Arrabelatra war.

<Heavybolter> Cats?

<kraehe> They had employed Syleans before

<FreeTrav> Aslan

<Heavybolter> Ah...

* kraehe nods.

<JohnAppel> Lancians?

<shadowcat> and theres one now gracing the top of the monitor

<FreeTrav> And calling them 'cats' really is a misnomer, despite some Solomani Turk's perceptions of them.

<kraehe> Lancian's are native people from Gushemege - humanoid - vegetarian - known for fine arts and for their 'communist behavior'

* FreeTrav calls most of the aliens by their own names for themselves, modulo physiologically impossible pronunciation issues.

<JohnAppel> Humanoid, but not part of humaniti?

<FreeTrav> Lancians? No, they're human.

<Heavybolter> What book were the Lancians detailed in?

<JohnAppel> Ah, thanks.

<kraehe> HIWG docs

* JohnAppel wants to see FreeTrav sign some Hiver. :)

<FreeTrav> Not sure they ever were; I think they've been mentioned, but are primarily fanac.

<kraehe> Lancians practicing the fine arts of war are also known, as : Loeskalth

<kraehe> most people think that those are different races

<FreeTrav> John: That's what I meant about 'physiologically impossible pronunciation issues'!

<FreeTrav> :)

<FreeTrav> I thought the Loeskalth were a Vargr pack.

* FreeTrav will allow for the possibility of being wrong.

<kraehe> The Loeskalth and their culture were to all intents and purposes,

<kraehe> eradicated through the vilani consolidation wars that raged in

<kraehe> Gushemege between -5400 and -5300. In little less than a hundred years

<kraehe> an independent human culture with a recorded history of six thousand

<kraehe> years was extinguished. The loss was virtually so complete that a

<kraehe> thousand years after the passing of the wars, the Loeskalth were

<kraehe> confined to myth.

<shadowcat> loeskalth= atlanteans?

<JohnAppel> Ah, so they spit into the Vilani wind.

<Heavybolter> Do you type that fast or were you copying and pasting?

<FreeTrav> Kraehe: So it sounds like you play in a TU that is either OTU, or congruent with OTU.

<Hypnotoad> lol...

<kraehe> cut&paste from HIWG Document: HD 3426

<FreeTrav> Heavybolter - he was C&P - you can tell from the spacing.

<shadowcat> HeavyBoler: you play 40K?

<Heavybolter> SC, yes, I do... Dark Angles!

<shadowcat> epic eldar and tau

* kraehe nods to FreeTrav.

<Valin> grah... I gotta run. one of my clients just snafu'd their PC.

<Valin> later guys

<Heavybolter> SC: If you want to talk 40k with me, let's keep it in a PM... ;-)

* Valin waves

<Heavybolter> Bye Valin! Have fun!

* Valin has quit IRC (Quit )

* JohnAppel peers around for other "built from scratch" adherents.

* FreeTrav finally gets his notes together well enough to talk.

<FreeTrav> I tend to like small-ship, strong nobility, weak Imperium - but professionalized armed forces. Ultimately, it's the professionalism of the armed forces that acts as the binding force in the Imperium, and that's what I have trouble reconciling.

<Hypnotoad> brb...

<FreeTrav> Why should the Army/Navy be professional, rather than locally-owned and operated?

<Heavybolter> Are you asking, or arguing your own point?

<JohnAppel> FreeTrav - sounds like Niven & Pournelle's Second Empire Navy.

<kraehe> mtu has mostly small ships - large ships got disarmed and used a jumpable starports - or moothballed - or just hunted down.

<FreeTrav> Heavybolter - a little of both.

<kraehe> body shapes mind - most warships had been insane

<FreeTrav> The professionalism of the armed forces is basically what ends up damping the tendency of a strong-nobility weak-imperium polity from fragmenting.

<kraehe> Rurevayns armed forces had been professionals - either hired from Lancian's or troops to supress Lancians (e.g. Vilani troops - or Sylean troops after 600)

<FreeTrav> I distinguish between 'professional' and 'mercenary'.

<FreeTrav> 'professional' means that these people are dedicated to the polity, and not to any particular faction.

<kraehe> a soldier is professionaly doing nothing - a merc is doing the real job

<Omega-Moshpt> like the standing navy, FT?

* kraehe sends the army to kitchen patrol.

<FreeTrav> If you apply my view to the OTU, it was a loss of professionalism in the Armed Forces that allowed the Rebellion to take place.

<FreeTrav> That professionalism was largely maintained during the Barracks Emperor period.

<kraehe> the 3I had been rotten to teeth after 1000 years of corruption

<Omega-Moshpt> because they were military themselves?

<FreeTrav> (though not totally maintained, otherwise the Admirals woudn't have found fleet support)

<FreeTrav> I view small-ship as good for play because it means that a PC party *can* participate in Big Events, and Make a Difference.

<FreeTrav> And ultimately, playing is all about Story.

<kraehe> the dualism that created the 3I also destroyed it, i think

<FreeTrav> Similarly with weak Imperium - and to me, weak Imperium necessarily implies strong local leadership.

<FreeTrav> In the Imperium, that's the nobility and the megacorps; in the OTU Julian Protectorate, it's the political polities however internally organized.

<kraehe> the idea of the 3I was a trade monopol with fixed prices (1dt = 1000 credits) backed by an army of subsidary armed traders + nobles owning warships.

<kraehe> this dualism of subsidary trade monopol + noble warship captains - killed the 3I in its rebellion

<FreeTrav> Krahe: I disagree.

<FreeTrav> Which leads to another important issue.

<kraehe> wont you call the 1000credits=1dt price artificial ?

<FreeTrav> I view a weak Imperium/strong Nobility situation as essentially mandating a fairly strong feudal contract.

<kraehe> thats the credit - the credit backed by trade capacity - like old currencies had been backed by gold

<FreeTrav> IOW, there are obligations in both directions.

<Omega-Moshpt> "You mess up, we mess you up?"

<FreeTrav> And what would cause a OTU-style rebellion is the nobility growing TOO strong relative to those in fealty to it.

<kraehe> the 3I had several rebellions - but there had been one last rebellion

<FreeTrav> Because if you lose 'noblesse oblige', there are few if any constraints.

* kraehe nods to FreeTrav.

<kraehe> think about the greed of legaly controling a trade monopol with warships.

<Heavybolter> So how does the Imperium keep track of it's vassals?

<kraehe> by playing them against each other

<kraehe> the Sylean's had been welcomed to free Rurevayn from Vilani suppression

<FreeTrav> HeavyBolter: That's a dual issue - in a weak imperium with a strongly professional Army and Navy, it's the armed forces and the megacorps that end up defining the bounds of the Imperium.

<shadowcat> and the megacorps have a lot of influenece and reach

<FreeTrav> As well, ultimately, as the chain of feudal obligations.

<kraehe> and Gushemege helped pacifying Vland in the early 3I

* JohnAppel stumbles off in search of more rum.

<Omega-Moshpt> since megacorps proper subset of nobility?

<FreeTrav> But remember, in the feudal system, my lord's lord is not my lord, and I have no obligation to my lord's lord.

<FreeTrav> No, Megacorps are not (legally) a proper subset of the nobility.

<FreeTrav> Although most of the top people in megacorps will in fact be nobles.

<Heavybolter> I thought the Emperor maintained a separate Oath of Fealty with all nobles?

<FreeTrav> HeavyBolter: OTU, perhaps. I consider it impractical.

<shadowcat> depends on the level of Noble

<Heavybolter> Ah...

<FreeTrav> However, the professionalized armed forces swear an oath not to the Emperor, but to the Throne.

* kraehe shakes his head.

<shadowcat> here would be a scary idea

<shadowcat> office of Imperial Heraldry

<kraehe> a professional Vargr armed force swears to its captain only.

<FreeTrav> Kraehe: Vargr, yes.

<FreeTrav> I'm focussing on the Imperium right now.

* kraehe likes pet armies.

<FreeTrav> Imperial Vargr would be Imperial first, Vargr second.

* shadowcat agrees with FT

<shadowcat> non imperial its up for grabs, at least to the captain

<FreeTrav> Now, the presence of a professional armed force doesn't preclude noble private forces, such as the Duke's Own Huscarles.

<Heavybolter> SC, to non-Imperial Vargr, EVERYTHING is up for grabs! ;-)

<Heavybolter> (At least everything not nailed down!)

<FreeTrav> But those private forces are NOT part of the Imperial TO.

<FreeTrav> If there are intramural wars within the Imperium, they're conducted by the private forces.

<kraehe> true - Lancians empoyed cats in late 3I - as a private force to counter Sylean supression - really loyal cats, if you offer some land grants as permanent resistents.

<FreeTrav> The Imperial forces will step in only if the local fighting gets out of hand, and threatens to impair the Imperium's ability to respond to a threat.

<shadowcat> yep

<shadowcat> or nukes etc

<Omega-Moshpt> FT - aka "take it outside, guys" ?

<FreeTrav> More like 'Take it to the gym'.

<kraehe> and I think Aslan had been the most profession mercs in the late 3I ?

<FreeTrav> Since there is no real 'outside' for them to take it to.

<FreeTrav> Note: I would allow for a loss of professionalism leading to a Rebellion; I do not admit to the possibility of Virus, and a TNE scenario is not in my Travellerview.

* JohnAppel agrees with FT

<shadowcat> Virus hit too quickly, and did too much damage for me to suspend disbelief

<Heavybolter> I thought the Virus was a little much...

<Omega-Moshpt> I liked it

<kraehe> one could argue about the AI Virus to Empress Wave timeplot - but its a canon plot

<JohnAppel> As someone on the TML put it - it "snapped my suspenders of disbelief".

* FreeTrav nods at SC. Also, knowing computers the way he does, he finds the mechanism ... unlikely in the extreme.

<Heavybolter> I like the idea of the Virus, and the Vampire Fleets were a cool thing, but it spread WAY too quickly...

<kraehe> those who like the 3I have 1000 years of space and time to enjoy it

<FreeTrav> kraehe: Which is fine if you want to play congruent to OTU.

<Heavybolter> Eventually there would have been armed resistance to it, and it probably would have bogged down into a stalemate...

<FreeTrav> But it's not necessary.

<FreeTrav> It's a Rule One situation - "If you don't like it, CHANGE IT!"

<kraehe> those who like a dark age without virus could play before 3I or after EW

<shadowcat> what exactly was EW

<Heavybolter> FT: How are Psionics handled IYTU?

<kraehe> empress wave

<FreeTrav> Empress Wave. Which we don't know enough about yet.

<Omega-Moshpt> according to TNE:1248, the deathscream of a human race

<shadowcat> right, but theres been nothing much published about it

<FreeTrav> Heavybolter: I tend not to have suppressed psionics, but I make them harder to use.

<Heavybolter> Is QLI publishing TNE:1248?

<Omega-Moshpt> a human race had been plonked way coreward, after much tweaking by Yaskoydray

<Omega-Moshpt> as far as know

<FreeTrav> Yes, 1248 is a QLI line.

<JohnAppel> Is anyone else an adherent of the "TU built from scratch" camp?

<Omega-Moshpt> getting snotted by a nearby supernova really tends to mess up your year

<Heavybolter> What do you mean, built from scratch?

<kraehe> the EW is an enigma - its known that its muddeling badly around with psyionics - many (even non psions go mad) some become psion - following will be the " age of the wandering knights " - a bit like star wars in Traveller.

<shadowcat> John: I would be if I had the time to do one justice

<FreeTrav> John: Yes and no. I'll tend to try to use OTU as a guideline, but I'll break what I want to improve story.

<JohnAppel> As in, built the way we did before there was an Imperium - starting from a blank sheet of paper.

<Omega-Moshpt> who's next up to the plate to describe their TU?

* FreeTrav steps back if there are no questions.

<FreeTrav> Mosh: Why don't you take a stab at it now?

<Omega-Moshpt> ok

<Omega-Moshpt> well, MTU, so far, is still evolving, (FT would be listed in the credits), but *deep breath* here goes...

<kraehe> hm

<Omega-Moshpt> MTU is some relative of the GTU (Dulinor still had his accident), with big cap ships and a fairly strong Imperium

<Omega-Moshpt> like Mdton DNs

<Omega-Moshpt> various research stations are pushing TL13 (J7, FTJ comms being two of the major research achievements)

<JohnAppel> Omega-Moshpt: You're talking GTL-13, right?

<Omega-Moshpt> sort of implied

<kraehe> whats GTL compared to normal MT or Classic TL ?

<Heavybolter> Or T20

<Omega-Moshpt> anagathics are only in wide use in the Marines, with 80% varities issued to the regulars and the whole hog issued to the special operations mob

<FreeTrav> kraehe: Pretty much the same as CT up to about TL8.

<shadowcat> GTL-10/CTL-12

<Omega-Moshpt> the research and manufacturing effort needed to supply the IMC has resulted in private anagathic use, but not on anything like the same scale as the Marines

<FreeTrav> After that, CT TL increases faster; GTL 9 is CTTL 9-11, GTL 10 is CTTL 12-13, GTL 11 is CTTL 14-15, GTL 12 is CTTL 16

<kraehe> so GTL-13 is far beyond 3I ?

<Omega-Moshpt> all four major armed forces (Army, Scouts, Marines, Navy) are thoroughly professional, with nobility only really trumping time in grade for flag rank

<FreeTrav> Not far beyond, but beyond.

<Omega-Moshpt> thought GTL12 = TTL15 ?

* FreeTrav may have it slightly wrong.

<JohnAppel> Here's a link, "Matching the Classic Traveller Tech Tree in GURPS", http://www.freelancetraveller.com/features/rules/ctgttech.html

<shadowcat> agreed on G12=T15

<Omega-Moshpt> so then bleeding edge of late GTL12 is pushing into TTL16

<Omega-Moshpt> outside the Admiralty, nobility generally is counted as an extra year or so in grade

<Omega-Moshpt> discovery and intial exploitation of a world called Ballybran has allowed the halting development of FTJ comms

<Omega-Moshpt> said world lifted almost holus bolus from the Crystal Singer series

<Heavybolter> How close are they to getting FTJ comms?

<Omega-Moshpt> in both milieux, dark shades of Ballybran crystal are valuable because of their interstellar comm properties

<shadowcat> what about Longbow

<Omega-Moshpt> initially, dequantization of message traffic

<Omega-Moshpt> you have a message propagating at J6 and a courier at J6, the message will arrive first for everything that aint an even multiple of 6 pc away

<Omega-Moshpt> just about to break through to J6.1 message propagation speed, but still need relay stations every 6 pc (at max)

<Omega-Moshpt> Longbow II is one project which is consuming a rather large portion of Ballybran's darker shade output

<kraehe> @shadowcat: http://traveller.copyleft.de/yard/ about additional typical ship classes, imtu

<Omega-Moshpt> the initial crystal comm link was between Ballybran and its sector capital, Usdiki, then from Usdiki to whatever Dagudashaag's capital is (Medurna?)

<shadowcat> its saying verboten

<kraehe> *oups*

<Omega-Moshpt> the crystal links are only in the early days of their operation, and no major effects have been observed on the planets thus linked

<Omega-Moshpt> price forecasts have been enabled for planets slightly further afield

<kraehe> imtu: Longbow was running through the rifts on deep space callibrations points - as the rifts had been darker.

<shadowcat> since were trading shipyard links

<shadowcat> http://fafrhd.pocketempires.com/

<Omega-Moshpt> a J2 can now, along the crystal link, service two planets in the chain that are 5-6 pc apart

<Omega-Moshpt> the major thing holding back rollout is cost and lack of capacity

<Omega-Moshpt> since most of Ballybran's production is going towards Longbow

<kraehe> index on traveller.copyleft.de/yard/ should work now -

<Heavybolter> Gotta go guys... Have fun till next time! ;-)

* Heavybolter has quit IRC (Quit )

<Omega-Moshpt> no major political shifts have happened ... yet

<kraehe> goal of Longbow is still to spy the Zho's ?

<Omega-Moshpt> apparently

<Omega-Moshpt> the Zhodani are a little worried about rumours of the technical advances that the Imperium has made

<Omega-Moshpt> Norrie is agitating for a trans-Rift link, but without much success

<FreeTrav> Mosh: So you're setting up for a 6FW?

<Omega-Moshpt> yup

<Omega-Moshpt> and drop my PCs right in the middle of it, as the fleet admiral's staff aboard the Vindicator battlegroup

<kraehe> my player's nearly stared an Islands war

<kraehe> about 5 years ago

<Omega-Moshpt> haven't yet nailed down *where* ballybran is, but I'm leaning towards it being in the Rift itself

<Omega-Moshpt> only accessible by J4 or higher

<shadowcat> what about the chips on cymbeline?

<Omega-Moshpt> as per Rim Of Fire - Virus is still bottled up in RS Omicron

<kraehe> so Tl:13 is the border between civilian and warships in you TU, Omega-Moshpt ?

<Omega-Moshpt> GTL13 is the absolute bleeding edge

<Omega-Moshpt> some civilians (mainly ex-military nobility) have been able to obtain some GTL13 parts (like the aforementioned megathruster module)

<Omega-Moshpt> GTL12 is still the overall maximum

<Omega-Moshpt> with GTL12 fusion power components, a megathruster puts out 740 ston of thrust as opposed to a GTL12 M-drive's output of 100

<shadowcat> something the folks at X-Tek had a hand in to an extent

<Omega-Moshpt> Lyman Jump drives are starting to percolate into use, again making the Zho's nervous

* kraehe also has some bleeding edge jump drive technology - making the Regency nervous - the (in)famous missjump drive - you need a small ship - 2 jump drives and an insane computer navigator ;)

<Omega-Moshpt> although I've jacked up the cost a wee bit from FT's original

<kraehe> what are Lyman jump drives ?

<Omega-Moshpt> they're at Freelance Traveller

<Omega-Moshpt> in Cowboy Bebop's case, it allows J6 with ~14% of hull volume in fuel

<kraehe> URL ? and how balananced are they ?

<Omega-Moshpt> allowing battletenders to carry more battleriders, cap ships to be longer ranged and more heavily armed and armoured

<FreeTrav> kraehe: An alternate jump drive technology I designed to reduce costs of operation enough so that the typical PC ship isn't quite as hand-to-mouth.

<kraehe> a ship is a hole in water to throw money into to prevent sinking - a starship is a hole in space ...

<Omega-Moshpt> I've also incorporated a couple of the fuel use changes from FT.com - fully refined fuel (for a regular J drive) uses 5% of tonnage * jump number

<FreeTrav> Hold on - looking for the exact URI for Lyman.

* kraehe normaly keeps his players bankrupt - thats best ;)

<Omega-Moshpt> unrefined fuel uses the whole hog with attendant misjump risk, and for intermediate contaminations, usage varies with log(contamination)

<FreeTrav> http://www.freelancetraveller.com/features/rules/tech/lymanjd.html

<shadowcat> my travhero game right now is turning into a bit of a warped game

<shadowcat> there becoming interstellar porn merchants

<Omega-Moshpt> so fully unrefined fuel (on average around 10% contaminated) would be 10% of tonnage * Jn, 1% contaminated would be 9% * tonnage * Jn, 0.1% would be 8%, etc

<Hypnotoad> ok well I need to go

<Hypnotoad> I'll be back on later guys..

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<Omega-Moshpt> advantage of multiple jumps' worth of fuel allowed by the Lyman is refining on the run - only need to refine enuff for the first jump (assuming you ran your tanks dry) and do the rest in Jumpspace

<kraehe> thats possible with any jump drive - and preserves a lot of space for susquent jumps - its a technology mainly seen at low tech (tl:A jump 1) - to switch a main

<Omega-Moshpt> such worries are obviated in Bebop's case by skimming every three weeks

<Omega-Moshpt> 3 J6 jumps, skim, nick off, refine

<Omega-Moshpt> the Solomani Confederation use a fair bit of cybernetic enhancement

<kraehe> 3*J6 are special (re)configurations

<Omega-Moshpt> nope

<Omega-Moshpt> Bebop's unrefuelled range is 4 jumps

<kraehe> who is Bebob (i missed that point)

<Omega-Moshpt> cyberpunk style planetary matrices are in use, on worlds of GTL10 or higher, with deckers from GTL12 worlds (frinstance, Capital, Earth, etc) running rings around the more primitive nets

<Omega-Moshpt> Cowboy Bebop is the bounty hunting and salvage support ship my PCs crew on

<FreeTrav> Mosh: Is the CB a typical ship from YTU, or is it a specialty job?

<Omega-Moshpt> more a specialty

<Nr7> id use GTL9 or higher

<Nr7> thats ttl 9-11

<shadowcat> that the one I built?

<Omega-Moshpt> a couple of iterations later

* FreeTrav would like to stick to the general character of a TU, rather than going into particular story items.

<Omega-Moshpt> Bebop and other members of the Hard Rocker class tend to be customised by their captains, but they tend to be bounty hunting support initially

<Omega-Moshpt> good point about GTL8-9 worlds, Nr7

<Omega-Moshpt> tossing up whether to mention sub-Imperial moots

* kraehe has 4 classes: substandard Tl:9 humanoid - standard Tl:A to Tl:C humanoids - Tl:D to Tl:F Parents - and Platon running Tl:G on papertape, chewing gum and smuggled or recovered spare parts.

<Omega-Moshpt> as detained by L.E. Whipsnade in his Wounded Colossus idea

* JohnAppel shudders to think of the consequences of being "detained" by Whipsnade. :)

<shadowcat> Larsen hangs his hat in here on occasion

* FreeTrav chuckles

<Omega-Moshpt> the Imperium tends to be strong - if I do use subsector and sector moots, the nobility won't be able to do much but whine

<kraehe> so bounty hunting = small ship big job scenario ?

<Omega-Moshpt> ya

<kraehe> i also prefer that style

<Omega-Moshpt> helps when you can drop half a Gcr up front and not have to worry about it hitting your finances later

<shadowcat> small ships, but I prefer to custom build or at least tweak

<Omega-Moshpt> could set up for a bit of hypocrisy - the Imperium frowns on and supresses democratic movements, yet sets up sector moots

<kraehe> i introduced a few custom designes over years - and a lot in TNE with FFS

<shadowcat> I prefer HG or GT for ship design

<FreeTrav> Mosh: Depends on how the moots operate, and how powerful they are.

<shadowcat> or Ultimate Vehicle for my hero stuff

<Omega-Moshpt> as outlined by Larsen ?

<Omega-Moshpt> as for the big cap ships, the IN doesn't really favor either way strategically self-mobile capships versus battle and dreadriders

<Nr7> nighto

<Nr7> bbl

<JohnAppel> Nite Nr7. )

<kraehe> i see a similarity to old german navy here

<kraehe> the most effective ships had been called 'boats'

<Omega-Moshpt> the use of lyman drives hasn't really altered that balance

<kraehe> the highest rank to reach on a 'boat' had been KaLeu

<FreeTrav> One thing that's been missing in a lot of the discussion tonight is the answer to the question "How do your departures from OTU - how does your TU's character - affect the Story? IOW, *why* did you choose the departures you did?"

<Omega-Moshpt> a capship may be able to be longer ranged and carry more bang bangs, but a tender can carry more riders

<JohnAppel> Well, I threw the OTU away. :)

<Omega-Moshpt> compulsive modification of GTU canon

<kraehe> so nobles did'nt run those boats but deserved real warships - now remember how long Prince Eugene or First Bismark survived ;(

<shadowcat> Prince Eugen survived the war

<shadowcat> they sunk her at Bikini as a target

<Omega-Moshpt> any questions, or do I let JA step up to the plate?

<JohnAppel> Or, more accurately, began mine before the OTU was well-established.

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* FreeTrav nods

<JohnAppel> If no one objects, I'll take a swing.

<FreeTrav> Go ahead.

<JohnAppel> MTU was begun about 1979 - at least that's the date on the earliest notes I have.

<JohnAppel> It doesn't predate the OTU, but is about the same age.

<kraehe> so your group started with CT ?

<JohnAppel> That's correct.

<JohnAppel> We also played around in the OTU quite a bit.

<JohnAppel> I went into the Army in 82, so the setting got some work but only got played in a few times for a few years.

<JohnAppel> The setting is now sector-sized.

<kraehe> what sector and timeframe ?

<JohnAppel> Totally home-grown - no relation to the OTU at all.

<JohnAppel> The backstory is that the original human inhabitants were exiles from somewhere else.

<kraehe> btw: whats the translation of OTU ? Old TU ?

<JohnAppel> OTU = Official Traveller Universe.

<FreeTrav> Orthodox/Original/Official TU.

<kraehe> CT+MT timeframe

<JohnAppel> It has no relation to the GDW timeframe at all.

<JohnAppel> "In the beginning, there were the LBBs, and you made everything up yourself..."

* FreeTrav nods.

<JohnAppel> Don't get me wrong, I like to play in and play around in the OTU too...

<JohnAppel> But even waaay back when, there were things that snapped by "disbelief suspenders".

<JohnAppel> In any case, I have the mystery of where the humans in the region came from as a puzzle that maybe will be explored some day.

<JohnAppel> There's one big pocket empire, the Decatur Unity, about 100 systems, in the middle of the sector.

<JohnAppel> About a dozen other polities, ranging from two to a dozen or so worlds.

<kraehe> does this PE share the artificial 1dt=1000 credit fixed price

<kraehe> or is there free trade ?

<JohnAppel> There's some standardized pricing along the main runs, although I long ago switched to a cost based on distance instead of a flat KCr 1/jump.

<JohnAppel> Out beyond the borders... well, you might get paid with a cut of the cargo. Enjoy your sheep. :)

* kraehe cheers *good job* lets get rid of 3I monopol - install free trade again ;)

<JohnAppel> Influences over the years have caused things to be added... some limited cybertech, better computers, etc.

<kraehe> do you use CT computer/jump limitations ?

<JohnAppel> Big ships are possible, but there aren't many, because only the Unity and some of the PEs with Hi-pop worlds can afford them.

<kraehe> i like them and (re)introduced them into TNE

<JohnAppel> As in, computer size limits jump? Yep, kept that.

<kraehe> MT had insane big ships, imho

<JohnAppel> So, within the Unity, you might see a cruiser squadron that wouldn't look out of place in the OTU...

<JohnAppel> In the frontier regions, the Unity 4000-ton patrol frigates will be the biggest you see.

<kraehe> *hm*

<JohnAppel> And there's not many of those.

<kraehe> 4000dt is escord cruiser or destroyer class

<JohnAppel> Sez you. )

<kraehe> frigates normaly have lower (<1000dt) imtu

<JohnAppel> The patrol frigates and their operations are loosely based on the exploits of the early 19th-century US Navy frigates.

<JohnAppel> The setting has worked pretty well - we've got more prosperous high-tech areas in the Unity and some of the PEs...

<JohnAppel> And plenty of independent worlds for mayhem. :)

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<JohnAppel> The Unity government is a lot more involved in things like technology uplift on the member worlds than the Imperium - one of the things I found hard to believe about the OTU.

<JohnAppel> I *did* lift some of the Traveller aliens and dropped them in.

<FreeTrav> The lack of uplift or equalization efforts, you mean?

<JohnAppel> The K'Kree are just too cool as villians. )

<JohnAppel> FreeTrav - aye, that never made sense to me.

<JohnAppel> And I kept the Vargr but as an uplifted race - they came along with the humans, but have their own worlds.

<JohnAppel> I have the Ashani, which I stole from the Sten books - ferocious carnivores that look like teddy bears. :)

<kraehe> as long as cows, cats and dogs are not living on same world ;)

<JohnAppel> Psionics are OK in the Unity, but uncommon, and attitudes vary from a quasi-Zhodani human enclave to "burn the witches".

<kraehe> are the Ashani employed as merc's - or are they doing their own job ?

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<JohnAppel> They have their own polity of four worlds, their homeworld and three colonies, but you'll find some in the Unity and occasionally elsewhere.

<JohnAppel> They aren't exclusively soldiers.

<JohnAppel> Oh, and the max TL is 13, for reasons I now have totally forgotten. I made that decision back in 83 or so, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

* JohnAppel shrugs

<JohnAppel> I think it was to leave room for expansion and growth, but that's a lot of bottles of Captain Morgan ago.

<kraehe> Model MCr Ton Capacity Ship TL EP max jump min jump

<kraehe> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

<kraehe> 7fib (G) 100 18 20/50 Y D 7 1,000,000dt <- who needs bigger ships ?

<kraehe> Tl:D is fine

<JohnAppel> I'm considering a total revamp - the colonization system I've talked about, FreeTrav - but that's on the back burner.

<JohnAppel> Oh, and as far as ruleset - CT originally, MT since then, but I steal ideas from anywhere. :)

* shadowcat has stole a lot from the Space Opera RPG

<kraehe> @John: about uplifting http://traveller.copyleft.de/yard/yacht-port.txt

<JohnAppel> Thanks, I'll check that out. )

<JohnAppel> That's the nutshell version. I've got some additional subsectors generated to use if I ever get an exploration campaign going.

<JohnAppel> The coolest thing about not being set in the OTU is that it's easy to change something if a better idea comes along.

<FreeTrav> Indeed.

<FreeTrav> OK. Does anyone have anything they want to add? Questions for anyone?

<JohnAppel> Quaintly retro, from the "Traveller as rules, not a setting" period, but I like it. )

<FreeTrav> If not, we'll call it a wrap for tonight. What I'd really appreciate if you'd all do would be to send me an email - editor@freelancetraveller.com, include "[chat]" in the subject line - critiquing tonight's chat, and what you'd do differently in running one. Also, feel free to suggest future topics, and preferred days/times.

<FreeTrav> And THANK YOU ALL for coming and participating!