Showing posts with label Traveller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traveller. Show all posts

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Travel Ship Construction - Devil Fish Warship

I dug out my set of Traveller rules. They seem to be a combination of the Classic Traveller quick start rules and some portion of the original Traveller rules. The person who gave them to me made photo copies of the original rule set, but didn't staple them so it's a mess. 

Instead of creating a characters, I went right to the ship construction rules. I like them. They make ship construction fun and easy. I came up with an idea and was able to spec it out in short order. 


This is an old warship refitted for cargo duties. It's a "Devil Fish" class ship. The rules allowed me to have a really out there design which made sense on a couple of levels AND the whole process lends itself to quick memorization of statistics. 

Tonnage: 400 tons
Crew: 5
Main Compartment: 335 tons, Engineering: 65 tons. 
Bridge: 20 tons
Staterooms: 5
Jump Drive: C
Maneuver Drive: J
Power Planet: J
Computer: 4 (Launch, Target, Jump 1, Maneuver/Evade, Library, Navigation, Generate, ECM.) 
Fuel: 120 tons.

Standard Equipment: Laser Turret (1), Lifeboat, One empty hardpoint. 

Non-standard Equipment: Nuclear Missiles (10) on two hardpoints. 

Even while deviating from the standard rules by adding nuclear missiles, the system works. It even hints at why this ship would survive a couple of wars before being refitted as freighter. 

The ship has just enough fuel to make two jumps and maneuver. It's a hotrod with those J type power plants and engines. However, the fuel load is worrisome. You have one jump to the target, one to return home and a good amount of fuel to maneuver. However, if any thing goes wrong it probably can't complete it's mission. Contaminated fuel, a hit to the fuel tank or a bad jump and the ship doesn't hit the target or doesn't come home. 

This ship is a dream to fly, but not the best warship. Given that it's supposed to bomb the snot out of planets, it's not the first ship selected for a mission. The Devil Fish is a nuclear deterrent ship which could be displayed and flown but not used before it outlived it's usefulness. 

Later, I'll be looking at the civilian freighter version and talk about mechanics. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Devil Fish Freighter - Background Information and Crew Notes


Yet, another ship, this time based on the 1977 Traveller rule set. This is a 400 ton freighter. The Devil Fish is a converted warship. As a warship, it was horrible. It was meant for planetary bombardment, but it lacked the fuel pods shown on this refit. It had just enough fuel for 2 jumps and 2 hours of operations. You could end up trapped in a system you just bombarded. None of these ships saw combat, thankfully. 

This freighter version is outfitted with larger fuel tanks which is slightly more practical. The two long beams are where the missiles used to be. In the refit, these long tubes were simply sealed up. The crew calls them "Industrial Accident Site, Port and Starboard", because they lack the funds to put anything in there. It's a long open chamber, completely devoid of any safety features. There is a brass sign with the names of 5 crew members who have been killed and a longer list of names of people merely injured. 

While creating the files for this ship, I made a typo that made me think of an interesting crew feature.

The current crew likes to gamble and won big at the table. It turns out the other gambler didn't actually have all of the funds to support his bet. In lieu of cash, he had a guy who could get the crew name plates for the ship, matching leather jackets and jumpsuits plus some extra patches, complete with names and logos for the ship.

Unfortunately, the crew thought he was faking an accent but he wasn't. Instead of logos with a manta ray logo and the name "The Devil Fish" they got a green devil's head and the word "Devilish". 


Since the ship is registered as "The Devil Fish", mistakes have been made in the crew's favor. Such as escaping security and not paying for goods loaded on board. The name plates are visible only when the airlocks are closed. They objected at first, but once they realized what was happening, the merely hate these details with a passion. It doesn't stop them from using them to run hustles and scams.  

It's such a strange detail, it sounds like it could actually happen. 

Edited - to add the Military variant, with no tanks. 



Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Episode 002 - I Chose Poorly and De Ut Des

This episode has a format change base on feedback I've received. I have a new sponsor, Anchor.FM and the format now supports the concept of sponsors. I also have some new music so let's all give thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the following tracks:

Evening Fall (Piano) and
Starry
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

In this episode, I reminisce about 4 games: D&D, Star Frontiers, Gemstone IV and Traveller.  I cover 35+ years of gaming experiences in one podcast. Part of the reason I have been offline for so long was a mash up of getting my lesson plans online for students, my classes at Buffalo State suddenly switching to an online format and the associate PITA from taking finals online.

I hope this format works better than Episode 001 and 000's. It was a pain to record, mostly owing to my new Podcat, Shinobu. She's cute even as she climbs the cables.

Now on to the episode!






Thursday, January 16, 2020

Playing with Inkscape and an Orion Type Ship

If I could make my own universe, I'd probably run with something like Traveller. However, the ships I have in mind are sort of WTF level.

This is an Orion Type ship. I'm tinkering with Inkscape and coming up with ship designs. This one is a Bixby class exploration ship. The difference between battleship and explorer is slight with an Orion class ship.

Typical models are 10 meters across and about a hundred meters long. The long spar from the base to the top is where the payload goes, which I haven drawn yet. The whole ship is over 600 meters long.

Orions don't scale down, period. 10 by 100 meters is an arbitrary limit that one hits if you merely want to fill a spaceship with niceties like a 50-100 kg barber chair just because you might want one.


Typical Orion type ships have HUNDREDS of kiloton nuclear devices used to push the ship forward. This one probably has thousands. The grey area above the orange is the magazine for these propulsion devices. Often, the nuclear device will be deployed by a gun like mechanism through a hole in the pusher plate. That is option 1.

Option 2 is to have the nuclear device mounted on a missile that flies out the sides of the ship and to the target area 30 meters behind the pusher plate. The delivery rate is a leisurely 1 device per 1.1 seconds and one launcher would have the ability to perform this task. However, this ramped up version has 16 launchers, each one capable of launching nukes once a second, plus the gun-like arrangement at the bottom.

Theoretically, this is an unarmed ship. You can read a story about it in action here. The tech level in this story is all over the place, no FTL, but lots of AIs and reefer sleep. The AI is beginning to think about arming itself.


Monday, November 12, 2018

I Just Can't Stop...

I just can't stop.

While organizing my desk, I happened upon a book by Robert Pearce. It is an incredible set of ship plans for Traveller. Sure, it says "Traveller", but it could be used for any game system. The detail and scope is amazing. It is campaign fuel for sure.

 Why not take a look yourself.

I know I will be pouring over this book for days to come. For some odd reason, it isn't even for sale. It's free.

Damn. A mighty big thanks to you Mr. Pearce, you made my day.