Gravity, Mass and Weight

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 11, 2013 - 6:56am
Reading through a Space Opera module I discovered this:

Probe NCG8436 wrote:
Various gravity fields dont change the mass of an object but they do change the weight. To reflect this change of weight from planet to planet of an object and on its effect on carrying capacity use the guidelines below.

Evaluate the PC's homeworld gravity to a specific value. The character's carrying capacity is what s/he can carry under a gravity equal to their planet of birth.

Add the PC's mass and carrying capacity. Then multiply by homeworld gravity to get an adjusted carrying capacity for 1G (remembering to subtract body weight). Leave the body mass in the adjusted carrying capacity and divide by the local gravity to determine local adjusted (on occassions, some characters wont be able to carry their own mass/weight).


Now you might be deciding that Space Opera is a bit more complicated than Star Frontiers any you'd be right. This other statement appeared earlier int he module:

Probe NCG8436 wrote:

Space Opera has the most complete and accurate set of rules for science fiction role playing in space that I've seen to this time. This tends to make things somewhat more complex then other science fiction role playing games, but then life and nature are also complext.


The writer was not shy about the fact that his game was complicated.

So do we really care about carrying capacity in varying gravities? We would have to enforce a choice of homeworld. But what if a character was raised on a space station- treat the stations simulated gravity as homeworld gravity?

Page 20 of the AD book has a "for every tenth of a gravity below 1g a character gains x, y, &z
and for every tenth of a gravity above 1g the character is penalized x, y, & z

Its far simpler though perhaps not completely accurate from a science stand point? Do we even pay attention to gravity in our games?

If we did PCs with lower str might want to get an exo skeleton to function on certain worlds like New Pale 1.4g or Morgaine's World 1.5g (to be honest I dont beleive I ever considered the impact of gravity when I wrote planetary briefs like the "Cultural Perspectives, Morgaine's World" I should have commented on the fact that people from Morgaine's World are generally Physically stronger.

Much like when you take the ferry to Nantucket Island and find a bunch of businesses right off the ferry renting mopeds for you to get around I can see the higher grav planets having businesses at the star port to rent exoskeletons.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 11, 2013 - 7:06am
Further comment: The module introduced an unarmored power suit (exoskeleton) with a body stocking that exerted pressure on the lower body to prevent hemostatic unconsciousness (blood rushing to the feet) in higher gravity. The main planet to explore in the module had a 2.0 gravity.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
December 11, 2013 - 7:37am
For the most part in the past I have ignored the varying gravities.  However, in more recent games I've been trying to remember to include it.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
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Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 11, 2013 - 3:40pm
I am a fan of trying to find a balance between Realism, KISS and Sci-fi fun... so I personally tend toward rules that keep it simple and fast moving. But that is me, I however might try being more realistic this time around.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Abub's picture
Abub
December 12, 2013 - 12:41pm
Well... as my players are going to get hit with doing stuff in ship stuff in Zero G for the adventure I'm planning... I've decided to make the planet a 1g planet just for conviance sake.


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Ellzii's picture
Ellzii
December 13, 2013 - 12:52am
I tend to like .6ish G planets to see my Yaz's head for the trees. Everyone wants to be Rocky the flying squirrel for some reason.

-LZ

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 13, 2013 - 4:05am
Ellzii wrote:
I tend to like .6ish G planets to see my Yaz's head for the trees. Everyone wants to be Rocky the flying squirrel for some reason.

-LZ
I can see the yazirians in the crew hanging around the scanner tech waiting to here what the new planet's gravity will be.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
KRingway
December 13, 2013 - 7:17am
Different gravities can make for interesting challenges within adventures. The same can be said for different atmospheres - 'Mutiny on the Eleanor Moraes' is a good example.

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
December 15, 2013 - 12:41am
Another one is Starfall in SFman# 23.

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
December 15, 2013 - 3:06am
I definitely use varying gravities & atmospheres in my game.  I love that stuff.  One of the players in my current game is from a high-G world, and although she looks like a skinny teenager, she is the "John Carter" of the party.  I also have planets with atmospheres of fluorine or chlorine.  Science is fun!

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
December 15, 2013 - 7:28am
I have a planet with methane. Fluorine and chlorine? How does that play into the game? Chlorine is similiar to mustard gas/ Fluorine...?

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
December 15, 2013 - 4:22pm
Jaxon wrote:
I have a planet with methane. Fluorine and chlorine? How does that play into the game? Chlorine is similiar to mustard gas/ Fluorine...?
is even worse.  Full chemical suits to move around on those planets.  Kiss
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

KRingway's picture
KRingway
December 16, 2013 - 10:20am
The situation would be even worse if it was a planet like Mesklin...

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
December 16, 2013 - 4:22pm
Chlorine and Fluorine are both extremely dangerous gasses which can kill you dead. And that you ingest everyday. They are so dangerous that any life found in these environments would be completely alien to even the Core Four but more likely there wouldn't be any.

Moving on the planet would not be a problem. Since both are so corrosive they would eat your suit and ship in short order. Why do you want to land on this planet anyway?
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 16, 2013 - 8:08pm
rattraveller wrote:
Chlorine and Fluorine are both extremely dangerous gasses which can kill you dead. And that you ingest everyday. They are so dangerous that any life found in these environments would be completely alien to even the Core Four but more likely there wouldn't be any.

Moving on the planet would not be a problem. Since both are so corrosive they would eat your suit and ship in short order. Why do you want to land on this planet anyway?


Because...
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
December 18, 2013 - 1:49am
I chose these because of their cool biochemistry.

Everyone always uses silicon-based life as an alternative to carbon-based life, but there are other possibilities.

Sulfur, for example.  It's an abundant element in the universe, essential to many biochemical processes.  It occurs in hydrothermal vents, where creatures are different enough to almost qualify as alien forms of life.  On Earth, we used to have sulfur-based life forms.  A sulfur-based creature could breathe chlorine or fluorine, and could also reduce cobalt, manganese, and even uranium.

You are right that such atmospheres would be highly corrosive, and would eat atmospheric suits.  In my game, any structures built there break down over time.  Not really a good place for a colony!  Although in reality they would be rare, such strange environmental conditions are a staple of science fiction.  Chlorine, fluorine & methane breathers are featured in both the Well World series and the Hospital Station series.

Other biochemical possibilities (according to scientists such as Carl Sagan) include germanium-based life, boron-based life, phosphorus-based life, and even metal-oxide-based life.

The movie Evolution features nitrogen-based aliens.

The modern Doctor Who series had aliens which were based on calcium (who explode on contact with vinegar), and in the classic series, they had aliens which breathed methane.

Xenon-based aliens are mentioned on Star Trek: Voyager, as well as photonic life forms.

You could also have aliens which breathe hydrogen.  Such life forms would be less active than oxygen breathers, and would have to live on a world with higher gravity in order to keep the hydrogen available.  They might use ammonia as a solvent instead of water.  Chlorine breathers could also use ammonia as a solvent.

A creature on Titan might use hydrocarbons instead of water (which is a solid there).

Techno-organic, metallic life forms would probably be metal-oxide based, using such elements as vanadium, titanium or magnesium, and might even breathe (or reduce) uranium.

Different gravities & atmospheric densities would affect what kind of atmosphere works best for life on that planet.  For example, silicon-based life works best under tremendous atmospheric pressure.

Remember that these do not need to be planets with intelligent life.  The planet might only have algae or plants, or even just microorganisms.  You'd be surprised what sorts of life forms have existed on Earth that breathe weird stuff.

Anyway, this is a fun idea, and one you can see I love playing with.

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 26, 2013 - 11:26pm
I like the idea of aliens that breath a different atmospher... also no atmospher can be a challenge besides the normal worries, one of my Sci-fi favorite short story serries involves the hero dodging/hidding from laser beams he can't see and trying to find the shooter when there is no flash! Rocks blowing up around you in your space suit is a scarry thing when you have no idea who or what is shooting at you and people have already been murdered. He figures out away to get some gas released around him so the next barrage gives him at least a clue from where. All good stuff and makes the realism more scarry then TV laser shots in space. 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."