Idle Speculation

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BLHarrison
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Idle Speculation

Postby BLHarrison » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:52 pm

I'm planning to use VBAM2 as a source of background detail for a RPG campaign I'm working on. As part of the overall setting I'm planning on placing a resort/pleasure world some where in the main empire.

One of the major features of the world is that it has great natural beauty (and in VBAM2 terms it will have a low RAW, even if I have to fudge the roll). There will not be many roads/railways, unless they could be considered "scenic" and at least at the time of settlement most developed areas will be on a sea/navigable river, air transport will be used extensively ect.

Starting with VBAM2 TL0 at what point do you think deep "maglev" or similar railroads would be economically viable? With these the in use one could have an extensive rail net, totally out of the way which could open up the interiors to more tourism.

Thoughts Please?

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virtutis.umbra
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Re: Idle Speculation

Postby virtutis.umbra » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:13 pm

As there's no real guideline as to the amount of technological progress inherent in one TL, and TL0 merely indicates "starfaring civilization capable of FTL" I'd say the answer to that question probably falls into "setting specific - see source materials."

So in this case the answer is "whatever you like" :)

That said, 21st century Earth technology is capable of basic maglev; it's mostly engineering, energy and other infrastructural hurdles that keep it out of use presently. I should think any starfaring race would be capable of overcoming those problems, so if it was me I'd pin a planetwide maglev rail network at TL0 or TL1. Whenever locomotive-sized, safe, not-too-hot fusion generators come into widespread use.

Check out the GURPS tech levels for guidance here, maybe, and decide how many GURPS TLs == 1 VBAM Tech Level.
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Re: Idle Speculation

Postby Vandervecken » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:08 pm

I'll second the TL0 to TL1 idea. If they are still getting power from the GRID, TL0. If the Maglev's are self powered they probably are TL1. Although with a lot of Bells and Whistles (Like done on a Airless, Harsh, or even more hazardous atmosphere world, one could make an arguement for pushing to TL2). Remember, you're the boss; as long as your comfortable with your decision, go for what feels right to YOU !
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Re: Idle Speculation

Postby BLHarrison » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:25 pm

Vandervecken wrote:I'll second the TL0 to TL1 idea. If they are still getting power from the GRID, TL0. If the Maglev's are self powered they probably are TL1. Although with a lot of Bells and Whistles (Like done on a Airless, Harsh, or even more hazardous atmosphere world, one could make an arguement for pushing to TL2). Remember, you're the boss; as long as your comfortable with your decision, go for what feels right to YOU !


Comfort was part of the reason I was asking around, for some things I like getting the thoughts of others.

That being said, I think the planet will start work on the mag-lev net at overall TL-1 because the over all tech would be easier to use/import/ect.

Thanks for the input all.

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Re: Idle Speculation

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:40 am

I would agree that a late Industrial civilization could build basic maglev rail systems, with actual familiarity with the technology being achieved at the Interplanetary stage prior to hitting Interstellar tech levels. As was mentioned, TL0 just marks the point of transition where a Interplanetary culture moves on to Interstellar.

I haven't finished dividing up the low-tech power unit design modifiers yet for 2E, but what we'll likely be looking at is something like this:

Pre-Industrial: TL-10, -9, -8, -7
Industrial:TL -6, -5
Information: TL -4, -3
Interplanetary: TL -2, -1

You could assign a new low-tech power a tech level then by either rolling -1 x 1D10 or going -1 x 2D6-2 (using TL 0 results to mean the empire is high tech but never developed FTL drives, which has a certain appeal).

What does this mean? A TL -6 Industrial power that builds a 16 EP unit would have (16 x 2) x (1 + 10% x -6) = 12.8. Rounding to nearest gives us 13 MU to spend on unit stats. For comparison, the same unit built by a TL +0 Interstellar power would have 32 MU to spend for the same cost. If they use their maximum mass unit allotments, the Industrial unit would cost 1 per year to maintain while the Interstellar unit would cost 3 per year to maintain.

I know this is a tangent to the discussion at hand, but it demonstrates how 2E will handle low tech powers.

Oh, one more thing: I still have to update them, but the Companion will include rules for strategic resources, and the morale resource is one that might be applicable to this tourist planet. The resource gives a +2 morale check bonus to one of the player's colonies. Setup a trade link in that system and then you can transfer the bonus to any planet you like. These same strategic resource rules can be used to simulate things like Quantium 40 from Babylon 5, or possibly even the spice melange from Dune. For example, Quantium 40 could either be a shipyard resource (+50% shipyard capacity) or a military resource (+25% FTL, round up).
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Re: Idle Speculation

Postby BLHarrison » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:04 am

OK, both to provide some random thoughts for the group as a whole and to fish for suggestions (at least I'm honest ;)), let me ask for some more idle speculation.

One of the species that are/will be in my particlar 'verse are modeled very much off of D&D "Orcs", at least as far as being raiders and pluderers. Now with the "Q-ship" special ability/tech shown in the latest draft being know, it is obvious that just about any ships will have this ability, but raids can also be down on a planets surface as well. Do you think such a species would go more for flights with atmospherics for ground raids or will several classes of FTL ships also be atmospheric? And if so what would the max class size using the guidelines from the draft?

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Re: Idle Speculation

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:35 am

BLHarrison wrote:One of the species that are/will be in my particlar 'verse are modeled very much off of D&D "Orcs", at least as far as being raiders and pluderers. Now with the "Q-ship" special ability/tech shown in the latest draft being know, it is obvious that just about any ships will have this ability, but raids can also be down on a planets surface as well. Do you think such a species would go more for flights with atmospherics for ground raids or will several classes of FTL ships also be atmospheric? And if so what would the max class size using the guidelines from the draft?


Strictly speaking, there is nothing that would prevent your raiding nation from building "Q-Ship" ground forces that are designed to be landed in a system or at a planet and start tearing the place apart in search of war spoils that they can send back home.

I would imagine that these space orcs would operate as a tribal-style collection of pirate clans that would want to be able to scatter in all directions should any major threat comes there way. That would encourage the construction of smaller combat units, space and ground alike. Atmospheric starships would be a good investment for them if they didn't have the Shipyards to support non-atmospheric construction, or if they just don't want to invest in Shipyard infrastructure in the first place.

If they did have ground-based Q-Ship troops for raiding, I could see their small (C$ 10 EP or less) atmospheric FTL combat boats being equipped with decent FTL systems to get in and out quick plus some Assault rating to allow them to transport small ground combat units into a system.
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Re: Idle Speculation

Postby BLHarrison » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:13 am

Tyrel Lohr wrote:If they did have ground-based Q-Ship troops for raiding, I could see their small (C$ 10 EP or less) atmospheric FTL combat boats being equipped with decent FTL systems to get in and out quick plus some Assault rating to allow them to transport small ground combat units into a system.


I like the overall suggestions, especially as they match some of my thoughts. In general most clans have nothing bigger than a CA equivelent (or more for larger clans)

As for Q-ship ground units I was thinking of as a house rule (but am also suggesting as an optional rule) that after a defensive senerio that instead of an invasion, a roll on the commerce raiding table could be done. If the system had no trade links then they would get only 1/2 (1/4?) of what they could have gotten if the system did have a trade link. This could be done even if the two powers where only at "Hostilities" as the troops will be withdrawing qucikly.

BTW all the options that have been mentioned (example ship yard raids) for after a defense senerio are they instead of or in addtion to being able to actually invade?


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