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
<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> 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?
* 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.
<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> 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> 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
<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
<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... ;-)
<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.
<kraehe> They had employed Syleans before
* kraehe nods.
<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> 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.
<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.
<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
<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> 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> well, MTU, so far, is still evolving, (FT would be listed in the credits), but *deep breath* here goes...
<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.
<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
<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
<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> 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> 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)
<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> 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 ?
<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
<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.
<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> 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> 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org, 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!