Jump Calculations, Travel Time, Etc

adamm's picture
adamm
June 28, 2010 - 11:45am
An email from Darren got me thinking about jump calculation times and other stuff.  A typical jump is 3.5 days of acceleration, 3.5 days of decceleration, and somewhere between 10 - 200 hours of preperatory calculations at 10 hours per light year.  This led me down several different trains of thought that I'm wondering if other people have input about.

1) Can a large team of astrogators distribute the workload.  I.E. a 20LY jump requires 200 man hours, on my large and well staffed ship I have 5 astrogators, can I have them each do 40 hours of work and thereby reduce the time required?  You can't do this if the work has to progress in a linear way, like the result of step A is needed for step B and so forth, but I'm curious if anyone has allowed it.

2) Should it really take that long to begin with?  I know computers weren't as impressive in 1983, but I'm imagining the computer doing most of the work.  The computer MUST have a database with all the relevant information about every body in the Frontier large enough and close enough to affect a jump along any of the charted jump routes....that information is required regardless of whether the man does the calculation or the machine does, so it MUST be there.  Given that....why does a person need to do the calculating?  I'd bet the vast majority of the work would be done by the computer and it would be done in a matter of minutes or a few hours at most.

3) How long in advance can you pre-calculate a jump?  I assume eventually objects will move enough to make you have to redo your calculations, but how long does that take?  If it takes 200 hours to plot a 20LY jump, then apparently you can start at least 200 hours ahead of time.  If the players want to be able to make a quick getaway, can they calculate their escape jump before beginning their planetside mission for example?

4) Can you calculate your next jump without decelerating from your first one?  I.E. can I stay coasting near jump speed while calculating another jump so that we can save 7 days of the accel/deccel cycle?

5) My gut feeling is that the jump calculations should be faster, and that you could calculate the next jump without decelerating.  However that has two drastic implications.  One is that you could jump from one side of the Frontier to the other in a little over a week.  The other is that provided the jump routes are charted, a fleet could jump from system to system and not stay in each one long enough to be detected...meaning that the Sathar Fleet could attack in force anywhere at any time.  So question 5 is should I just leave everything the same even if it doesn't make sense to me?  Such a seemingly small rules change seems to have a lot of ramifications.
Comments:

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 28, 2010 - 1:59pm
1)  Yes  I allow for multiple astrogators to reduce the "wall clock" time necessary to make a jump calculation.  The simplest is with two astrogator, they take shifts picking up where the other left off so that you are effectively working around the clock instead of having to take breaks for sleeping, eating, etc.  The a 10 ly jump will be done in 5 days instead of 10.  I think there should be a point of diminishing returns as some parts of the caclulation have to be serial so you can't just throw 10 astrogators at it and have it done in 1/10th the time.  What that point is up to the referee.  I believe Shadow Shack had a house rule on this but I don't remember what it was.

2) I go back an forth on this one.  On one hand, computers should be able to do a lot of this.  On the other hand, it may be a lot of work to compute the epemeris for all the objects in the current and destination system.  On the other hand much of that should be pre-computed.  At some level I think this part of the rules are for play balance to specificaly prevent you from jumping around quickly but requiring it to take time.  I'm actually actively thinking about this aspect right now.  If I come up with any ideas, I'll be sure to post them.  In the end I guess it depend on what pseudoscience you use to explain void jumping.

3)  I would say this depends on your ephemeris data but once again, it should be possible to calculate it well in advance, maybe not a year ahead but definitely on the order of days to weeks without any problems.

4)  Absolutely.  There is no need to slow down.  The only problem is that if you don't start declerating, you won't have any simulated gravity on ship and be in zero g the entire time.  Typically, the KH ships are designed for that but you could do it if you wanted.  Of course you could get around that by just decelerating a little and then speeding back up and repeating that over and over again so you stay near jump speed but never really slow down.

5)  As long as you think through the ramifications, make what changes you want.  But for simplicity, I vote to leave it how it is.  It works as is, even if it doesn't completely make sense and it does keep the Sathar from dropping into say Madderly's Star with their whole armada undetected. Smile.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
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Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 28, 2010 - 2:56pm
I thought of something else in relation to #4.  Assuming that you need to be generally traveling in the correct direction (I would say EXACTLY in the correct direction) toward your destination, You will probably have to do some serious course adjustments to get lined up for your next jump.  So you would be under accleration for all of that time to alter your course.

Now in real life, there is no such creature as the MR rating of a ship and you can't just turn 60 degrees on a whim.  You have to completely kill your velocity with ADF in the direction you don't want to go and add velocity in the direction you do want to go.  It's realtively straightforward in real life to figure that out but would be hard to abstract in game terms to figure out how long that would take but it could be a significant amount of time.

So the bottom line is that you could probably (for most series of jumps) stay relatively close to jump speed while still under acceleration as you changed your velocity vector to point towards your new destination.  If you wanted to jump into a system and turn around and jump back out the same way you came in, you'd have no choice but to come to a complete stop and then reaccelerate back out.  (At least that's the fastest option.  I guess you could stay close to jump speed and accelerate around in a circle but that would take longer.)

Anyway just some more thoughts
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
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Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 28, 2010 - 3:14pm
I permit shorter jump calc times with multiple astrogators. I have a formula but it isn't handy at the moment.

That said judging by the interior description of jump travel (KH Campaign Book) actual jump speed is a tick over 200 hexes per turn (assuming 10K km hexes). With ADF:1 being 1G acceleration, your astrogators will need far more time to plot the course than what ion engines are capable of spewing out. So the only possibility that exists to shorten jump time is to shorten the calculation time, hence multiple astrogators working shifts rather than one taking a full week... 

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
June 28, 2010 - 6:25pm
We used to house rule it like this 1 light year takes a day in game time. We did not really worry about the Astrogator or the little details unless we were charting new routes or exploring then we followed the rules to the letter, But for known jump lanes we basically called it simple. Other than that we hired an NPC or a robot to do it for us. Our Player character astrogator really did not do much unless it was to share work load with he hired hand, unless multiple player chararcters were astrogaters  and then we assumed we were sharing the work load. Mostly we were just being lazy about it, we wanted to play the game not worry about How many calulations we could turn in a day. So for known jump lanes we ignored the rule and went with the Alpha Dawn Book saying 1 day travel per light year. We used the full Night Hawks rules when it was time to explore or risk jump. Now we knew that we could get there Quicker buy doing all those things every time, But game play was more important than simply being slaves to the Astrogation rules, So we just did it our way all the big kids were happy with it and the younger kids votes did not count anyway. Sorry. Well there was this one time Justin really wanted to get there before the bad guys so every character with an Astrogation skill 3 of em I think worked 8 hours on and 16 off until calculation was done. And they Arrvived in System before the bad guys and were waiting for them. I think it was the time That they stole Erics mining ship and had headed out with a cargo of some precious ore. Justin and Wayne and Eric and Sean were Playing along with Adam I was the GM. That sticks out in my memory because we used a rule similar to the one you guys were talking about. One of the PC's owned a Corvette similar to a Pirate Corvette.... Can't remember who's character it was though.

Nuke-Em till thier boogers glow and shoot them after dark!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 29, 2010 - 2:40am
Quote:
I believe Shadow Shack had a house rule on this but I don't remember what it was.


It's probably in the House Rules Wiki project here, IIRC it was (total time divided by # astrogators) +1/astrogator. The +1 per 'gator part accounts for the new guy picking up from where the old guy left off (cross checking/double checking etc) and also makes it linear so that after so many astrogators, it starts to add time rather than reduce it. 

But one more thought --- adding in additional astrogator stations, as in purchasing more than one set of equipment and software. Granted this would end up being multiple astrogators working in tandem without the benefit of checking each other's work (meaning astrogator A is working on the first third of the coordinates, B is working on the middle third, and C is working on the final third...probably too much room for error though).



As for #4 --- it depends on how much your crew enjoys gravity.

As I mentioned earlier, it typically takes far more time to plot the course than it does for the drives to accelerate to jump speed. re: 100 hexes/turn, so at the slowest acceleration (ADF:1) it takes 100 ten minute turns or 16 hours & 40 minutes, that can be reduced to 20 turns or 3 hours & 20 minutes at ADF:5 (which is anything but comfortable for extended periods of time). So by dropping out of the void and holding at sub-jump speed (re: 99 hexes/turn) you'd be coasting at zero gravity until the astrogator(s) finish their course plotting, which I define as having to occur in the departure system since you're targetting one star from a "home" star.

As such, I rule that unless otherwise specified, the pilot keeps accelerating and decelerating at 1G/ADF:1 until the number crunching is finished, then they can enter the void when ready. A reliable pilot will hover near the sub-jump velocity, accelerating/decelerating from about 95 hex/turn or thereabouts, and then simply nudge the throttle up and enter the void when ready.

adamm's picture
adamm
June 29, 2010 - 7:12am
FYI Shadowshack, ADF1 is about 2.8g. I don't think anybody would go a full ADF outside of combat. 
At 1g of acceleration 9.8m/s/s it will take 84 hours to reach jump velocity. 

Rick's picture
Rick
June 29, 2010 - 1:46pm
I always considered a jump calculation to be calculating a fixed start and end point, and a course between the 2 that avoids slamming the ship into a gravity well, sort of like threading a series of needles. A computer might hold all the data on where those objects to be avoided are, but you still have to calculate the jump based on your start and end points; if a pilot moves the ship too far away from a calculated jump point, chances are it'd have to be recalculated all over again for a new start point.

"But, Sir," the bosun said, regretting the words even before they left his mouth, "we don't have any thumbscrews."

"That, Bosun," the XO replied in a low, mad whisper, "is why they give us machine shops!"


adamm's picture
adamm
June 29, 2010 - 5:21pm
Good points from Terl O Bar and Shadowshack on question 4.  You might have to be on a different vector to the next destination.  I hadn't thought about it that way because of the misjump rule.  Supposedly if you misjump you end up a random destination star regardless of what direction you were trying to go, so I had assumed there was not a connection between the void space vector and the real space vector.

While we're on the topic of jumping:  Even though the KH book states that it's simply a quirk of physics that you void jump when you're past a certain speed.  I think I would assume in my game that some sort of device is required to initiate a jump because there are almost certainly bodies flying through space above 1%c right now that are not void jumping.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 29, 2010 - 5:39pm
Yeah, I use a modified version of the misjump rule that throws you somewhere along the general direction of travel.

I also like the idea of a "device" to initate the jump.  Although for Star Frontiers, I just go with the 1% c rule even though you're right, there are things out there moving at > 0.01c in real life.  I'm currently working on an alternate backstory/explination of how Void jumping was discovered and how it works (It also describes how Atomic engines work).

It's part of an alternate, Human-only setting I'm developing.  It may end up as a FrontierSpace setting or just a setting for myself (I've decided to take up story writing as an additional hobbyFoot in mouth).  In any case, once it's finished and cleaned up I'll post it and probably submit it to the Star Frontiersman.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
June 29, 2010 - 6:09pm
I think Adam and I would agree on this one, we need to make a house rule in our own campains about just such a device that would open the Void for the ship. We are gonna run some sort of Game on the weekend of the 10th at my house with him his wife and my wife probably. My wife wanted to try an RPG game so why not SF. I had originally planned on showing her D&D first, but SF is easy to to understand since its all D%. And she likes Sci Fi stuff like BSG and Startgate and SG Atlantis. It will be the First time that we have Played an RPG in a long time and an even longer one for Star Frontiers.

Point. What if there was a Malfunction with the ships ADF Just as it is about to enter the void. It enters the void, they go to decelerate to leave the void and it wont decel... uhh ohhh... in the void for far too long; dont know where you ended up. Or worse it does a "Toyota" on you, Just after you leave the void it accerlates and takes you right back into the void! Now you really have no idea where you are. Actually this could be a Great Adventure hook. "Lost in Space" style, except without the annoying Robot and Mad scientist along.

But with a device that opens the void once you reach 88MPH.... ooops wrong movie.... LOL. A device that will take you into the void once you reach jump speed... such a device could be shut down or damaged.... such as the Hyperdrive Motivator on the "Millennium Falcon" (Empire Strikes Back)... Of course we wont Call it that. The Device must have a Name of it's own not stolen from a copyrighted movie. Void Device sounds a little un-spacy in my humble opinion how about Star-Transit Module or Void Interpreter. Or some other Sci-Fi name.
 
Gives the GM some things to work with and food for thought.
Nuke-Em till thier boogers glow and shoot them after dark!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 29, 2010 - 8:48pm

Ah, never actually did the math for ADF vs gravity. Still, 84 hours isn't bad, and a far cry less time than a single astrogator can plot most jumps (IIRC only the Cassidine/Dramune jump could be plotted by a single astrogator in under 84 hours).

As for a void enabling device...it makes logical sense and is more realistic. But I prefer the simplicity of the rules as they stand, and there are certainly many options you can enable to challenge a party as such --- malfunctions such as the drives shutting down just before entering the void, or a maneuvering thruster knocking the ship off course just before nudging the accelerator, etc.



 


And not to be politically correct, but the sticky throttle thing turns out to be outside of Toyota's hands (despite their slow response to recalls). Chrysler is experiencing the same exact problem right now, although you probably won't read about it in the media because Uncle Sam manages Chrysler these days but it's been buried in the back page a couple times now. Anyways, it turns out that these recalled Chrysler models are utilizing the exact same pedal assembly that the runaway Toyotas had, and those pedal assemblies were made right here in the good ol' U.S.of A.


But such a malfunction is certainly possible in SF...


iggy's picture
iggy
June 30, 2010 - 11:57am
I also use a void engine or jump device that must be active in conjunction with 1% C velocity for a ship to jump.  We have never satisfactory defined it, but my brother and I have kicked it around for years.  Our take is that the device is linked to sub-space communications.  When the dralasites discovered jumping it was because they were monitoring a test of a probe accelerating.  They were in constant communication with the probe when it jumped out of the system upon reaching 1% C.  At first they thought it vaporized or disintegrated from some accident, but it reestablished contact hours later from far  outside their system.  Subsequent tests and analysis lead to the understanding of what they had accidentally discovered.

About changing vector to go directly to the next jump, I can see ships using the star they just jumped too to sling-shot around and gain the vector change more efficiently.  Large Jovian planets may work as well, but I have not contemplated the math sufficiently to say.
-iggy

Bilygote's picture
Bilygote
June 30, 2010 - 6:50pm
this is what I use for void travel

http://starfrontiers.info/archive/Ephemeris/void.html


Shing's picture
Shing
July 3, 2010 - 7:22am
I sort of use some bits and pieces from several ideas to do my jumps around space.  Basically for calculations I use the in place system and idea that the ship travels in a straight line from A to B.  In order to get to B you have to be able to see it from A, do calculations based on current known objects (and hope no unknown ones have entered your jump path) through charts and observations.  If you can't see your destination, then you will have to do multiple jumps to get there, or use known gravity wells to alter your path (and determine if your velocity will negate the effect thus make a second jump required anyway).  My computers allow the retention of a reciprocal course without requiring additional calculations as it is too easy to apply a "back bearing" with the current data.

For the actual jump, I basically made my "science" of the technology such that a ship requires some form of equipment to "motivate" the jump.  To do this, it siphons off some of the energy generated by the propulsion source until there is enough to force the ship into the void.  My science required a ship to accelerate at 1G for the 84 hours in order to properly collect the energy, at which point it is relased into the engines as a single explosive force (which is why engines require an overhaul, the force is very damaging to everything).

Experiments were done with ships accelerating at 2G+ to shorten the energy gather time but these ended in disaster.  It was also not possible to gather the energy while stationary as the engines had to be producing thrust, not just idling (an attempt resulted in a space dock being torn apart and the engines separating from the ship creating several out of control missiles that destroyed a few ships).


"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 3, 2010 - 2:23pm
Quote:
My science required a ship to accelerate at 1G for the 84 hours in order to properly collect the energy, at which point it is relased into the engines as a single explosive force (which is why engines require an overhaul, the force is very damaging to everything).


The hole here is Ion Drives, which are jump capable yet do not call for an overhaul following a jump...

Shing's picture
Shing
July 3, 2010 - 3:18pm
Not so much a hole, I was just not thinking about those in particular, sort of generalizing as it were.

That can be explained in my science-lite by saying that that particular engine type produces a result that is not so much explosive as it is really fast acceleratiion.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
July 3, 2010 - 3:21pm
TerlObar wrote:

I also like the idea of a "device" to initiate the jump.  Although for Star Frontiers, I just go with the 1% c rule even though you're right, there are things out there moving at > 0.01c in real life. 


I was just logging on to ask Terl about this very same thing. How cool is that? Last night I was looking at a slide show found on FoxNews.com that dealt with astronomy. The image of lightning on Venus caught my attention.
http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/scitech/2010/06/09/spaceshots-best-new-photos-universe/?test=faces#slide=1

One image (slide #14) mentioned a bullet-like projectile being blown out into space and mentioned that this exploding star had twice as much energy as a typical supernova. This made me wonder what are some of the fastest objects in space (not including light or other forms of radiation) and at what speeds they travel. I hadn't thought of it before, but perhaps supernovas can make void travel more hazardous than I realized.

Gullwind's picture
Gullwind
July 3, 2010 - 5:15pm
The rulebook description for the Analysis program says that at level six, the program can do all forms of calculations, including theoretical math. I always wondered why it couldn't do jump calculations...
"Rome didn't build an empire by having meetings. They did it by killing those who stood in their way."

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 4, 2010 - 2:55am
I mandate any ship's computer to have an analysis program that is at least the same level as the astrogation program, and LVL:6 for a deluxe astrogation package.

"Inigo Montoya" wrote:
but perhaps supernovas can make void travel more hazardous than I realized.


"Travelling through the void ain't like dusting crops, boy. Without precise calculations, we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that would end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
July 4, 2010 - 7:20am

Traveling through a star... Always a known possibility for the pcs, what about an npc ship misjumping and slamming into a habitated planet or even a space station? It could by a huge (and devistating) mystery for the pc's to figure out what snuffed out the lives of thousands of souls in a split second and cause the shrapnel that was formerly a huge space station to lay waste to a dozen nearby ships. A new sathar weapon? The act of terrorists? No, just some acadamy drop out who faked his resume to get a post as a space liner astrogater.

It's a bit on the tastless side, but the thought just reminded me of a 9/11 type attack. sathar agents work to get their astrogation licenses...


Gullwind's picture
Gullwind
July 4, 2010 - 8:39am
That's a good point. The way the system is set up, a terrorist could easily calculate his exit from the void to be a point just a few seconds from impacting an inhabited planet. No way to stop it, either.

So why didn't the Sathar just build large ships for the express purpose of ramming the Frontier worlds during either of the wars? A HS 20 ship traveling at 1% c would make a pretty big dent. Not enough to take out a whole world, but enough to erase a city. And several of them would make life pretty unpleasant for the surviving population.
"Rome didn't build an empire by having meetings. They did it by killing those who stood in their way."

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
July 4, 2010 - 1:10pm
One must assume that the Sathar are not trying to Destroy Civilization as much as conquer it. Also Remember that Planets revolve around thier stars and rotate on thier axis. This Interstellar Ship/bomb would have to have a pretty hefty AI to attempt such a feat. Move at that speed , then Jump then come out of the void and then navigate its way to the planet then hit a city precisely. City's may seem large to us but on a Galactic scale it would be like aiming at a needle 400 yards away with a .22 rifle.
Comming out of the void right next to the planet would be great if your calculations are that good, Most likely you would miss and and have to turn around, giving the locals a chance to defend.
Nuke-Em till thier boogers glow and shoot them after dark!

Gullwind's picture
Gullwind
July 4, 2010 - 10:12pm
I have to believe that at 10 hours of calculations per light year, the results would be precise enough to put a ship three seconds out from a planet in the right place to hit a city close enough to damage it. It might even take more time, but it should be possible.

I concede your point about the Sathar not wanting to destroy but to conquer, though. I could see this as a weapon of last resort, though.
"Rome didn't build an empire by having meetings. They did it by killing those who stood in their way."

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
July 5, 2010 - 10:58am
I am sure that the sathar wouldn't mind sacrificing a few agents on targets that are low priority for them. You don't have to hit a specific target in order to cause destruction. Just ask the dinosaurs. Close enough and often enough should work well enough. Especially if such suicide crafts are full of biological agents designed to survive the impact and infect the inhabitants. But I too would have to agree with you about specific targets like a city or a space station. Pity. However, it is still plausible in a game as the tragic results of a misjump. Weird stuff happens.

Ellzii's picture
Ellzii
July 5, 2010 - 10:02pm

It's back to gravity. You have to assume it's a factor if you are using canon jump rules. There is a great article talking about the science of Lagrange Points and how many factors effect gravity. It applies here. You have to counter the planet (not running into it but it effecting the angle you come in) the star, any moons around any other planetary bodies. So, lets say you drop out 3 turns (30 min) out traveling at <.1%c. You need to adjust course, and prepare for atmospheric insertion without blowing the ship up or bouncing off the atmosphere. (I still think you would be coming in way to fast to not burn) all the while trying to hit a target that is moving (rotation of the planet). It can be done, but you need a hell of a pilot, and a navigator that are both willing to die. Further ALL of your calculations would need to be spot on, including your atmospheric insertion which would be under the gun given you have 30 min to do it. It woud be difficult to find someone that talented and suicidal.

The only other way is if you have something sitting in system that could send real time signals to your "missle" doing your calculations for you. Basically fly by wire over 100's of hexes. The problem becomes your jump point insertion to real space. If you are too far you will never make the course corrections in time. the same if you are too near. Processing time and relativistic flight becomes factors as well. Then you have to get away because you already look suspicious just sitting out there.

So in essence, it could hapen, but it's not something that would happen daily.

-LZ


TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
July 7, 2010 - 6:43pm
After talking with dmoffett last week in chat, I decided to put this out sooner rather than later.  I promised I'd get it posted before their game on the 10th so here it is.

I've been working on some other things besides Star Frontiers that may or may not turn into a setting for FrontierSpace.  In any case, I've been working up a description of Void travel and a background of how it was discovered and some of the mechanics of how it works.  This is a rough draft of the description of Void jumping for the setting.  If it bears any resemblance to anything else, that is purely coincidence.  I pulled this straight out of my head without reference to any other material.  I'm sure I've read a bunch of stuff that influenced it (and it definitely has a Star Frontiers flavor) but this is my take on how to make Void travel work.

This is a three page document distilled down from about a dozen pages of ideas and material that I have.  It just gives basics and general ideas of how things work.  I have a couple of more pages on misjumping and what can cause it and what effects it can have that I may post as well at some point.  Right now most of this stuff is just raw material that I was typing as fast as I could to get it down on (electronic) paper and out of my head before I forgot it.

Anyway, enjoy and feel free to post comments.  And before anyone asks, yes I will submit this as an article to the Star Frontiersman at some point.Smile
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine

iggy's picture
iggy
July 8, 2010 - 11:42am
TerlObar:  I like what you have put together.  I too have had gravity be a prime variable in the ability to enter and exit the void.  I just never put an AU distance on it, tho I do put the distance in the outer planets.  And, my astrogators aim at the stars to make their jumps.  I also have been favoring an additional theory that the jump speed is mass * energy related.  Thus a jump can happen at slower than 0.01C if the mass * energy are increased to accommodate it.  I have a race that discovers void jumping by drawing energy from their star and throwing probes into a void field generated from near stellar orbit satellites.  It's fiendishly dangerous, but the race views the value of life differently based on an individuals development.

I also like how you distilled the astrogation calculations down to an initial investment of time and then the prolonged time of the pilot and astrogator working together to dial things in.

I have always blamed the development of void travel on the dralasites.  This is based on the intro to the basic rules where it states that the vrusk and dralasites meet first and the humans were playing proactive SETI and contacted them by subspace communications.  This intro may imply that the vrusk actually figured void travel out then found the dralasites, but I don't like my vrusk to be vulcan substitutes so I credit the dralasites with the find.  They are thoughtful and methodical in my view so they worked out the accidental discovery faster.  The vrusk were close.

I have never played the engines into the void jump.  I never thought of it.  I have always blamed it on the activity of the subspace communications producing a field around the ship.  They basically overpower the array causing the entire ship to couple with the antenna array and the breach into the void is created.  Turn off the array and the field collapses and you fall out of the void.  Also the velocity upon entering must be maintained or you drop out of the void.  Gain too much mass while in the void and you drop out (don't know how you would gain mass in the void however).  And finally, get too close to a large mass (gravity increase) and you drop from the void.  Using the communications tie in causes jumping ships to cause a subspace ping as they enter and leave the void.  This is useful for detection and early warning systems.  Also, the ship can not communicate when ready to jump as this would mess up the jump.
 
-iggy

Gullwind's picture
Gullwind
July 8, 2010 - 5:37pm
One change I made was to alter the speed at which the ship actually jumps. In the canon rules, every jump should take the same amount of time, since it is accelerating to the same speed, and the vast majority of the distance is covered in only a few seconds.

What I did was work out a formula so the farther the ship intends to jump, the faster it has to accelerate before it can. This way the acceleration/deceleration time works out (at 1g) to one day per light year. When the ship is at the speed appropriate to the distance, it activates (technobabble) jump initiators that actually send it into the void.
"Rome didn't build an empire by having meetings. They did it by killing those who stood in their way."

Shing's picture
Shing
July 13, 2010 - 4:58am
Was just tossing an idea in my head for the last day or two, not sure if it was mentioned elsewhere in the past but it can speed up canon void travel.

You basically have a HS 20 freighter (no specific reason, just thought it made sense), that has characteristics similar to an aircraft carrier in that ships align themselves to it across the top "deck".  This ship sits in position and does nothing but run calculations for a journey.  Canon rules have a ship calculate data, use that data then dump that data, the critical points being that the ship knows where it is, knows where it is going and uses the end calculation (the answer) to jump.

If you had an astrogation ship do these calculations, align you ship to it in extreme close proximity, it feeds that answer to your ship and off you go.  You don't have to calculate the jump, just do it.  These 'gator ships would be manned but stationary and possibly even expensive.  At the other end there would just be a beacon to tell people to stay clear as it is a high traffic route, (the beacon could even issue a warning when a ship was coming in).

Just an idea for a middle development in faster calculations or jump gates (if you wanted to go that way).
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

adamm's picture
adamm
July 13, 2010 - 11:26am
Actually....that's a totally awesome idea that doesn't seem to break the existing rules at all.  I think you would have to keep the jump calculating ship/station in the same position relative to the origin and destination star, so it would need engines for keeping station.  I'm not sure how you would go about determining it's annual fuel cost, but since it would need to use fuel to stay put I think you'd keep it as small as possible.  

On the other hand since it would be a heavily traveled place, maybe it would also be a convenient hotel, refueling station, tavern, cargo exchange, military listening post, embassy, etc etc.  In which case you'd really want it to be a HS20 ship....or even a full size space station.  If the route has any strategic significance you'd make that a fortified space station complete with a fighter squadron or two.

Maybe there would be the tiny version for less traveled routes and the big Babylon5 version for really important routes.


Shing wrote:

Just an idea for a middle development in faster calculations or jump gates (if you wanted to go that way).