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fmitchell
02-14-2007, 08:59 PM
I just blew about $25 downloading spaceship maps from Ki Ryn and Fat Dragon Games. The maps were interesting, but irked me somehow ... until I realized that they were all constructed like boats or aircraft: there's a front and a back, a port and a starboard, a floor and a ceiling.

Uh, guys, this is SPACE!

We're not on a TV budget here. Where are the designs that assume a spinning cylinder to provide an illusion of gravity? Where are the true "spacer" designs for people quite comfortable with zero-G? Why aren't they built like towers, since a more-or-less continuous thrust from "below" would provide a semblance of gravity? Why has none of these graphic artists looked at plausible starship designs and realizes the living quarters are tiny compared to the engines.

Why aren't spaceships spherical? Conical? Icosahedral? Toroid?

I mean, take this one: http://www.tullisart.com/fdg0006.html First off, it's like some Star Fleet Battles mutant offspring of Federation and Gorn cruisers who had a little too much dilithium one night. Second, each of the saucers is one floor. ONE! They're connected by long hallways with airlocks on both ends. Why? One hit and your ship is in two pieces. If I ever use this map -- and the interior is fairly nice -- I'll assume that the three saucers are actually three levels of an oblate spheroid craft ... or the crew area atop giant engines.

OK, now that I've gotten that off my chest ... has anyone seen "plausible" floor plans of a spaceship or starship, as an RPG supplement or not? Anyone feel like designing one?

gurusloth
02-15-2007, 01:10 AM
Well, as you pointed out, the ship design would depend on what level of technology the builders were capable of at the time. If you had artificial gravity inducers and a FTL drive, perhaps you could get away with designing your ships in a more nautical fashion.

For other kinds of ships, you might be able to get away with borrowing maps from other sources and modifying them. For example, a map of the residential levels of a tower-like continuous thrust spacecraft (as seen in the new Heinlein/Robinson book Variable Star) might be easily replicated by simply using the plans from a high-rise apartment building.

Skunkape
02-15-2007, 07:46 AM
Whenever I design my own ships, I consider what level of technology I am using in the campaign. I don't run many near space, low tech campaigns, so most of my ships are designed more like aircraft or nautical ships because the technology available means they have artificial gravity.

From the quick look I took at the one ship design you provided, I'd say they're using high tech which allows for artificial gravity. I haven't seen many ships that are designed around low tech.

I remember one ship I designed that had two floors in every room. It was a cylinder, that once the ship was coasting, after acceleration, they would spin up the cylinder and use the outer hull as the floor, when they were in acceleration/deceleration mode though they used the bulkheads that were perpendicular to the length of the ship and split the ship into sections.

The thrust from the acceleration/deceleration generated the gravity at that point. But I didn't run that campaign for too long.

fmitchell
02-15-2007, 08:21 AM
If you had artificial gravity inducers and a FTL drive, perhaps you could get away with designing your ships in a more nautical fashion.


But then, why does the artificial gravity have to work along a plane in a vector perpendicular to the direction of motion? (Woo, pseudo-math.) Maybe it emanates from the rear drive. Maybe it comes from the core of a cylindrical or spherical ship ... or the hull, as part of the shields. Maybe, to fit odd spaces or odd minds, it comes from arbitrary directions based on which deck you're on and where you're going, like M.C. Escher's "Relativity".

Even for fantasy gamers, imagine a version of Expedition to the Barrier Peaks where the players have to realize the ship is, in fact, upside down.

TwoGunBob
02-15-2007, 09:03 AM
The Warden from Metamorphisis Alpha?

http://www.metamorphosisalpha.com/ma1map.html

I mean, it's crude as heck but seemed to make a loose sort of sense when your talking about THE terraforming vehicle of the future. Well, the future as percieved in the 70's...

fmitchell
02-15-2007, 01:06 PM
The Warden from Metamorphisis Alpha?

http://www.metamorphosisalpha.com/ma1map.html


Well, it's still a fore-and-aft design, with ludicrously small and off-center Star-Trekky engines. But it's not a big stretch to use the interior floorplan and hypothesize cyclopean fusion engines underneath, or a set of ramscoops, or preposterium space-warping drives under the lowest level.

My beef isn't with the size of a ship's living space, but its layout. Maybe also I balk at the size of the engines for a craft that traverses interplanetary or interstellar distances; I suppose if you want a bunch of riffraff to own their own ship, you have to presume propulsion is so advanced it's about the size of a jet engine, but it still stretches credulity.

shilar
07-20-2007, 12:23 AM
The reasoning behind these ship designs has nothing to do with real physics. These designs are familar, easy for most people to wrap thier head around. Until people start regularly building ships in the shapes you talk about the most common designs you will see in games will be based on familiar designs like nautical craft or aircraft. As far as aircraft style designs go, this shape actually makes sense for all but capital class ships because of the potential need for using spaceports. As for the whole gravity plane thing. Unless the gravity generators can only pull toward a single fixed point on the ship(with a spherical ship thus being the most suitable design). Then a flat plane with only one established down would play the least havoc on human anatomy. Ask anyone who knows about the space program, it doesn't take long in zero G to mess a human up. And the disorientation of switching gravity directions. Can you say violently ill.

fmitchell
07-20-2007, 02:33 AM
My original rant came from the perspective of trying to run a "hard science" campaign. Current science admits no plausible way of generating gravity, or moving FTL.

On the other hand, most space games are less about realistic technological capabilities and more about the ultimate freedom of going anywhere in the universe in the Millennium Falcon/Serenity/Enterprise/White Star/Liberator/whatever.


These designs are familar, easy for most people to wrap thier head around. Until people start regularly building ships in the shapes you talk about the most common designs you will see in games will be based on familiar designs like nautical craft or aircraft. As far as aircraft style designs go, this shape actually makes sense for all but capital class ships because of the potential need for using spaceports.

Planet-base spaceports assume ships can go in and out of the gravity well easily. Especially at lower TLs, a more reasonable solution is to have shuttles from the ground to an orbital station or ship, and then ships optimized for deep space.


Then a flat plane with only one established down would play the least havoc on human anatomy. Ask anyone who knows about the space program, it doesn't take long in zero G to mess a human up. And the disorientation of switching gravity directions. Can you say violently ill.

There are some games/worlds, notably GURPS Transhuman Space, that assume the residents of orbitals and extraterrestrial colonies might be genetically engineered to live in micro-G or zero-G without adverse health effects. (Usually, Earth-like gravity messes them up, although I'd assume spacefaring parahumans would also be used to constant acceleration to travel between planets.)

I'm beginning to think that, if I ever run a SF game, I'll gloss over space travel entirely, and just assume the players got to the planet via Guild Highliner, generation ship, or TARDIS.

InfoStorm
07-24-2007, 09:39 AM
If you can get a hold of some old Star Frontiers material, they ships were desighed along your tower ideas. That game system HAD gravity simulated by constant thrust.

Farcaster
07-27-2007, 12:13 PM
I'm beginning to think that, if I ever run a SF game, I'll gloss over space travel entirely, and just assume the players got to the planet via Guild Highliner, generation ship, or TARDIS.

At the very least, you and your players will need to have some idea of how they got to where they are, which will help set the tone. If they came on a generation ship, then they may have adapted a very different culture than the one they came from. They will also have no direct knowledge or connection to the planet of their original launch, and may even lack motivation for leaving the ship at all.

On the other hand, if you use the mechanism of cryofreezing or time dilution to explain how they traveled such a long distance without FTL and without aging very much, then the characters may be people who didn't have much to loose back on Earth (or wherever they came from). They will have left everything that they knew behind and as a result they may be more determined to make the mission and the sacrifice a success.

So, the technology behind it doesn't have to be greatly detailed, but how the characters got to where they are will have some baring on their character motivations and backgrounds.

fmitchell
08-06-2007, 02:38 AM
At the very least, you and your players will need to have some idea of how they got to where they are, which will help set the tone.

No, I get that. Your examples are very good, BTW.

I just meant I'd worry less about the travel aspects (apart from time and mechanism), and more about what happens on the planet/moon/orbital. That cuts out the complexity (and, admittedly, the fun) of designing spaceships and space combat.

Although I could see myself running a game inside a generation ship, sort of like Metamorphosis Alpha replacing "mutants" and psi with a "transhuman" society. Might keep the accident and the aliens, though ...

Kelbin
08-10-2007, 02:43 PM
I like the designs, but since I am going to be using the Star Wars setting they can work for me.

jayphailey
01-14-2008, 08:57 AM
OK, now that I've gotten that off my chest ... has anyone seen "plausible" floor plans of a spaceship or starship, as an RPG supplement or not? Anyone feel like designing one?

There are a LOT fo questions to be asked there.

What technology? What function? All of that affects how a ship is designed.

In a super hero game, we had a condition where Iron man like super-rockets were released to the wild.

One of the results of this was a "Llama" a cone shaped ship based on various SSTO designs. They had the super rockets, but they didn't get any of the other super technology designs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X

Anyway - After a couple of attempts to run games with limited and more sensible technology development lines, I gave up and ran Star Wars. It works as a role playing game and I don[t have to argue engineering and costs of development issues with my friends.

Jay ~Meow!~

rabkala
01-14-2008, 09:22 AM
If you can get a hold of some old Star Frontiers material, they ships were desighed along your tower ideas. That game system HAD gravity simulated by constant thrust.
There are still people who play Star Frontiers, although far and few between. There is some of the old stuff at the SF site. http://www.starfrontiers.com/modules/

fmitchell
01-14-2008, 01:33 PM
What technology? What function? All of that affects how a ship is designed.

My definition of "realistic" was to discount any technology not possible by current physical theories. We can generate pseudo-gravity by walking around the inside of a rotating cylinder, but unless there's some new experimentally-confirmed physical theory I'm not aware of, the only source of true gravity is a big freaking mass. FTL violates Einsteinian Relativity, and "force fields" are an SF writers' invention of desperation.

So, no artificial gravity, no FTL drive, and no force field generators, to name three. Given those constraints, I was thinking of the full gamut of functions: interplanetary freighters, scout ships, military ships of various sizes, even interstellar ships (generation or suspended animation). Of course, if one assumes reaction drives are still slow, so that Earth to Mars takes months instead of days, interplanetary travel becomes immensely harder, and only exploration vessels, colony ships, orbital stations, and ground-to-orbit planes would remain practical.

Farcaster
01-14-2008, 02:27 PM
FTL violates Einsteinian Relativity, and "force fields" are an SF writers' invention of desperation.

What about travel through wormholes, which in principle do not violate the theory of general relativity? In Hyperion, Dan Simmons proposed just such a solution by the creation of a network of artificial wormholes. His milieu had both traditional slower than light travel, and wormhole travel. In fact, in order to setup these "portals," slower-than-light ships had to be sent in advance to construct a portal aperture at the destination site.

By the way, traveling through one of these portals was called "farcasting," and the network of portals was referred to as the Worldweb. I had just finished this book when I first heard about the "World-Wide-Web" and so it is the origin of my alias.

rabkala
01-14-2008, 03:21 PM
Interesting, I will have to pick up Hyperion. I have never read that.

Why do we care about Einsteins special relativity? While Einsteinian relativity is popularly held as correct, it is still not proven. There have been many scientists proven wrong before now. Do you conjecture that humanity will never get past this point in understanding?

The Alcubierre drive which would allow warp travel has not been disproven. Many objections were raised, but numerous counterarguments were also raised.

The theory that light speed is fixed, has been challenged by numerous scientists. Even the smallest fraction of change in the normal speed of light distance, opens the way for 'unreal' possibilities and a hole in relativity.

fmitchell
01-14-2008, 04:39 PM
I guess I was aiming for more of a "hard SF", "playing with the net up" feel, a la Gregory Benford. (Or for that matter, Firefly, if you disregard artificial gravity and questionable celestial mechanics.) I wanted to explore the idea of people _in space_, not people on boats or aircraft that somehow travel through space as most science fiction seems to do.

The clearest indication of "you're not in Star Trek/Star Wars/Doctor Who anymore" is ships without a single "down" direction. After that, I wanted to ditch the whole "one city on the entire planet" cliche in a lot of media science fiction. (Planets are big. We're on one.) Making space travel actually hard in some way, and in particular making travel from one star system to another a major life choice, would emphasize that space is *different*.

As far as Einsteinian Relativity goes ... it hasn't been conclusively proven, given the scale on which it operates, but it hasn't been definitively overturned, either. There have been inconclusive experiments on faster-than-light effects, but many involve quantum entanglements and hence too random for macroscopic objects. So, if you're going to avoid rubber science, you have to uphold Einsteinian Relativity or (as with the wormhole idea) come up with some fairly esoteric loophole.


What about travel through wormholes, which in principle do not violate the theory of general relativity? In Hyperion, Dan Simmons proposed just such a solution by the creation of a network of artificial wormholes. His milieu had both traditional slower than light travel, and wormhole travel. In fact, in order to setup these "portals," slower-than-light ships had to be sent in advance to construct a portal aperture at the destination site.

Wormhole travel isn't too bad, but it still assumes a ship that can get out to the wormhole, which might be far from a habitable planet. (Possibly by design; see Cowboy Bebop, where a prototype hyperspace gate in geostationary orbit exploded, rendering Earth nearly uninhabitable.) Unless you want to go with human-scale Stargates, which is just a "magic portal" dressed up with rubber science, and *not* the feel I'm going for at all.

One idea I've been toying with is wormholes that do *not* violate Relativity. From a traveller's perspective, he only spent an hour or so in the wormhole ... but when he emerges, as far as the universe is concerned he's travelled his N light-years in N years and a bit. You can go to another planet, spend a month, and come back ... to find you've been gone a century.

Actually, another one I like is Ursula K. LeGuin's idea that matter can't travel faster than light -- intact, anyway -- but information can. "Think Like a Dinosaur", by an author whose name has slipped my mind, posits an information-based "teleport" from one star to another, with the slight complication that a passenger ends up both here and there ... and the one here has to be rendered into atoms in order to "balance the equation".

Inquisitor Tremayne
01-15-2008, 08:10 AM
I guess I was aiming for more of a "hard SF", "playing with the net up" feel, a la Gregory Benford. (Or for that matter, Firefly, if you disregard artificial gravity and questionable celestial mechanics.) I wanted to explore the idea of people _in space_, not people on boats or aircraft that somehow travel through space as most science fiction seems to do.

The clearest indication of "you're not in Star Trek/Star Wars/Doctor Who anymore" is ships without a single "down" direction. After that, I wanted to ditch the whole "one city on the entire planet" cliche in a lot of media science fiction. (Planets are big. We're on one.) Making space travel actually hard in some way, and in particular making travel from one star system to another a major life choice, would emphasize that space is *different*.

If thats the case then wouldn't you really just be playing a Sci-fi RPG set on another planet? Since Space Travel is difficult and a major life choice I would assume there would be a brief adventure on the vessel in space, dealing with no gravity and mechanical issues and then you land and start a new life on the new planet.

I mean if its a risky proposition why would a hero continually risk it when there are plenty of adventure opportunities on the new planet?

fmitchell
01-15-2008, 02:20 PM
If thats the case then wouldn't you really just be playing a Sci-fi RPG set on another planet? Since Space Travel is difficult and a major life choice I would assume there would be a brief adventure on the vessel in space, dealing with no gravity and mechanical issues and then you land and start a new life on the new planet.

To be accurate, interstellar travel would be a life choice. Space travel within a system would be more reasonable. So, you might have one very well settled Earthlike planet, a few harsh but terraformed planets, and a bunch of orbitals, lunar colonies, and the like. The campaign might alternate between adventures on one or more planets and interplanetary voyages; depending on technology, voyages might range from slightly uncomfortable interludes to claustrophobic months-long voyages punctuated by hazards.

While I haven't read Transhuman Space yet, that might be a model for the sort of campaign I'm thinking of. Only not within our Solar System, so the GM would have a blank slate to design cultures, flora and fauna.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with "planetary romance" campaigns, where advanced Earthmen end up on a backward and dangerous planet, trying to get back home.

nijineko
01-19-2008, 09:59 AM
I just blew about $25 downloading spaceship maps from Ki Ryn and Fat Dragon Games. The maps were interesting, but irked me somehow ... until I realized that they were all constructed like boats or aircraft: there's a front and a back, a port and a starboard, a floor and a ceiling.

Uh, guys, this is SPACE!

We're not on a TV budget here. Where are the designs that assume a spinning cylinder to provide an illusion of gravity? Where are the true "spacer" designs for people quite comfortable with zero-G? Why aren't they built like towers, since a more-or-less continuous thrust from "below" would provide a semblance of gravity? Why has none of these graphic artists looked at plausible starship designs and realizes the living quarters are tiny compared to the engines.

Why aren't spaceships spherical? Conical? Icosahedral? Toroid?

I mean, take this one: http://www.tullisart.com/fdg0006.html First off, it's like some Star Fleet Battles mutant offspring of Federation and Gorn cruisers who had a little too much dilithium one night. Second, each of the saucers is one floor. ONE! They're connected by long hallways with airlocks on both ends. Why? One hit and your ship is in two pieces. If I ever use this map -- and the interior is fairly nice -- I'll assume that the three saucers are actually three levels of an oblate spheroid craft ... or the crew area atop giant engines.

OK, now that I've gotten that off my chest ... has anyone seen "plausible" floor plans of a spaceship or starship, as an RPG supplement or not? Anyone feel like designing one?



uh, yes actually. i've designed some. my notes are in a rather incomprehensible format using star frontiers, knight hawks and neo's custom mods, and i'm not sure where they are. i actually designed six ships that could link together into a rather large super-ship. (no, it wasn't anthropomorphic). the main cannon was a fun piece of work however. working out the area and the shapes that area would take was rather fun. (who would have thought that descent 2 level designing would come in so handy for starship design!?)

Jay
01-31-2008, 09:01 PM
Most every bit of science we just KNEW was true seems to get overturned by the next generation of thought. So postulating FTL, gravity fields, or wormholes is not beyond my concept of "hard" science fiction. As to linear oriented spacesphips, they have a comfort feel to them and fit easily into a sci-fi RPG with, after all, is just a game not a thesis paper. I'm also a fan of the KISS approach to game rules :-)
Jay

nijineko
02-01-2008, 02:17 AM
heh. well, then go with neo's custom rules, but ignore the star frontiers rules. ^^

i'm not the best person to go to for that sort of thing, after all, i actually like car wars car design and movement rules.

fmitchell
02-01-2008, 02:33 AM
Most every bit of science we just KNEW was true seems to get overturned by the next generation of thought.

But that cuts both ways. We don't have flying cars or robot butlers in the 21st century, but there are far more than six computers in existence doing things nobody thought of in the 40s. Past generations predicted moving walkways in every city and automatic traffic control of cars, but nobody thought we'd telecommute; Buck Rogers had a radio the size of a large suitcase with a giant microphone, but today we have cell phones that fit in your pocket and give you maps and weather.

One of my reasons for keeping FTL and artificial gravity out of a space campaign was to shake players out of the familiar, but another is that I think if future generations ever do migrate into space they'll find the ships of Star Wars and Star Trek as naive and quaint as we find going to the Moon via giant cannon or Cavorite capsule.

jayphailey
02-01-2008, 08:16 AM
This is world building just like kingdoms or magic.

What is the energy source?

Sure in 15 years something may well happens that renders your extrapolation in accurate to real life.

So?

The reason why I ask what the power source is, is because that determines about everything else about your designs.

Ships with a high energy supply, using anti-matter, or a magical "Zero-point" energy generator could have contant thrust.

They'll be organized with a common up and down. The engines will fire constantly so the acceleration stands in for gravity.

A ship with less energy will have to make burns at specific times, generally follow ballisitc courses, and probably will have a rotating section to mimic gravity if possible.

Trips will be on the order of years. Ships will have to be self supporting.

Some people have speculated about putting space cities into ellipitical orbits, so small ships making the passage from, say, earth to Mars could rendesvous with the space city - the crew and passengers spend six months as passengers/workers on the space city and then undock when they get near Mars.

The real big problem with realistic space travel is that takes a heck of a long time and no place is that much fun to go to.

Asteroid mining and building space cities seems to be a logical progression, (Assuming the huge problems of making self sustaining bio-spheres and in-space large fabrication could be solved)

But then you get into questions of radiation and radiation shielding.

Although there have been a few interesting experiments....

http://www.ess.washington.edu/Space/M2P2/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini-magnetospheric_plasma_propulsion

These lead right back to the question - What is the power supply

Although both these articles talk abot using this as a solar sail, one article I read a long time ago speculated about the effectiveness of this technique as a radiation shield.

Jay ~Meow~

Jay
02-01-2008, 09:53 AM
Hi-
I was always a fan of Dick Tracy's wristwatch communicater and the gravity vessel they used to go to the moon :-)
I do view the science to be RPG "magic" to use as you want. So if no FTL or artificial gravity makes your campaign fun, go for it.
I would think it would still leave ships with a default up and down based on the prodominate acceleration vector. When the drive is turned off, then use all available surfaces for secondary functions.
Jay

jayphailey
02-01-2008, 10:27 AM
I think RPG and Fiction Science-Fantasy techno-magic needs to be jhjust as internally consistent and clearly thought out as fantasy magic or other parts of the world building.

Jay ~Meow!~

nijineko
02-02-2008, 07:19 AM
But that cuts both ways. We don't have flying cars ... in the 21st century....

actually we do. flying car, but it's pricey and difficult to get license for it. (http://www.moller.com/)

rabkala
02-02-2008, 10:00 AM
I want a flying car! Too cool.

nijineko
02-02-2008, 12:42 PM
and only for $500,000 ~ $995,000....

rabkala
02-02-2008, 01:10 PM
Well, the technology is there. That's important. Next comes making it better and cheaper.

nijineko
02-02-2008, 01:13 PM
indeed. there's lots of tech out there, but making it affordable, that's the trick.

Engineer Doramos
10-11-2008, 03:58 AM
I can totally understand the flavor of a realistic sci fi space travel setting. I'm currently trying to create one. Ironically, it has FTL, grav control, and force fields, but I worked that into new advances in quantum theory 50 years from now (the game takes place 150 years from now). My science *fiction* theory is basically that energy and matter are aspects of space itself and thus related to gravity, so if you can manipulate matter the right way, you can push it through the fabric of space. I draw a lot from Madeline L'Engle in my perspective of spacetime though. However, it is a game, and it is fiction. As a game it has to be playable, and as it is fiction it is not real. You are left with choices of style really in the end. To say one's style is wrong due to details would be incorrect. The only valid criticism would be whether the style is successful in the end or not.

The comment on spacecraft design was very interesting. I'm still in the stage of trying to figure out common designs of terran ships from various countries. It just may be a segmented sphereoid or disc might be best, considering how thrust works in space, and that my ftl drive is centrally located.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-11-2008, 11:10 AM
I ran across this the other day, thought some of you might find this useful.

http://www.people.iup.edu/pnwm/comparison.gif Click on the picture to enlarge.

When it comes to cylindrical(sp?) anti-grav. ship design, i havent been able to find much either. In the end, i just had to design my own.

boulet
10-11-2008, 11:28 AM
Not just useful, it's neat too !

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-11-2008, 11:34 AM
Not just useful, it's neat too !
Glad to hear it. I thought it pretty cool too. It also helps when visualizing size in spacecraft design.

Engineer Doramos
10-12-2008, 04:29 AM
Haha, George Lucas has everyone beat for biggest ship. I'm looking at that now. I was mulling over this game my friend made where he had earth classify its ships by size. And the biggest was pretty huge, but it was shaped like a big missile basically. It may be as size increases, spheres become less efficient due to mass, and hollow orbs would be unstable kinda, so something that has a shape that can provide thrust in several directions, like space spiders would be best on small scale ships. But you have to take into account, what kind of ship would Japan build, and Russia, and the US? I also have orbital fighters which are jets with ramjets and space thrusters that can stay in space for a while. And then there's the aliens... I have to design ships for basically 8 other spacefaring species other than humans. However, I think I'm keeping sizes pretty small, even for the two superadvanced species.

nijineko
10-13-2008, 01:22 AM
geodesic dome is the strongest shape for large scale design. the bigger it gets the stronger it gets. only shape known that does that.

Engineer Doramos
10-13-2008, 03:32 AM
Thanks. I remember hearing that on some tv show at some point too. I'm having trouble thinking of a geo-dome ship though. I think I will use those for colonist temporary living pods, which of course will be the house of choice in slums and refugee camps everywhere by this point of time. The problem with domes as a spaceship design is the likelihood of attack in space in this setting. The bigger you are, the easier you are to hit and breach that pretty dome. And if you fill up a sphere or semisphere, you have a lot of mass to slow down maneuvers. Saucer shapes for big ships which must transport fighters, like carriers or battleships might be best. That way, you can have a large shape for docking that you can make harder to hit by the angle at which you are seen by enemies. Of course, by that logic, the cigar-shape is also good for large ships that don't need a lot of docking area for fighters, like frigates and destroyers.
Then smaller scouting and private-class ships would probably be built for maneuverability and appearance would be based on placement of thrusters.

Skunkape
10-13-2008, 07:47 AM
I ran across this page a long time ago and still find it to be very informative!

Jeff Russell's STARSHIP DIMENSIONS (http://www.merzo.net/)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-13-2008, 11:41 AM
I ran across this page a long time ago and still find it to be very informative!

Jeff Russell's STARSHIP DIMENSIONS (http://www.merzo.net/)
Also, very, very cool.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-13-2008, 11:43 AM
geodesic dome is the strongest shape for large scale design. the bigger it gets the stronger it gets. only shape known that does that.
I think once you get to a certain technological level, shape and design would be for appearances only. Of course, we are talking very high tech. here.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-13-2008, 11:48 AM
I ran across this page a long time ago and still find it to be very informative!

Jeff Russell's STARSHIP DIMENSIONS (http://www.merzo.net/)
Another thing i found interesting from your link is that the ship Surrenity is about the size of a 747. It's nice to be able to visualize appropriate sizes from the craft we see on tv.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-13-2008, 11:51 AM
It is my belief that spirituality and science will eventually meet in the far future. What do i mean? In the end, life-forms will just travel by thought. Nice thought, anyway, no pun intended. Of course, if one follows that the Greys of the future have hyper-light systems, then that would blow my theory out of the water...er...um, space.

Webhead
10-13-2008, 01:42 PM
For an interesting take on starship design, check out the RPG setting Rocketship Empires 1936. The idea behind it is "what if, in the 1920's, Martians visited earth and taught humanity the secrets of space-faring technology". As a result, most of the starship designs are clearly just retrofitted examples of ships and planes of the era. Many of them are quite litterally star "ships".

Dimthar
10-13-2008, 08:13 PM
My take is that Battle-Ships have to be "Long" so you can take "Long Walks". A Tower shape will make me "Claustrophobic".

I guess the bigger the Ship, the more you can get away with the Shape (e.g. Death Star).

"Thrust" looks like a big factor, if "Unidirectional", you want the "Fighters" to leave the protection of the Mother-Ship at Full Speed to be less susceptible to attacks.

"Inertia" seems like a big thing too, You will have to use a lot of Power to change the direction of movement, specially because friction is not there to help you slow down.

When fighting each other I guess a long shape allows for a Full-battery use when the ships are crossing each other (something like in the Pirate Battles).

Star Wars favors Big Windows, specially in the Control Tower in contrast to Star Trek and Battle Star Galactica.

My 2 cents

tesral
10-14-2008, 10:42 AM
You asked why. I think the why has been covered. In the end you do as you see fit. Design your ship in accord with how you see it should be done for the tech you are stipulating for your game. Simple enough.

Me? Sure I play Trek, but I also design ships that do not assume artificial gravity. You get all sorts of shapes.

Engineer Doramos
10-14-2008, 11:04 AM
My take is that Battle-Ships have to be "Long" so you can take "Long Walks". A Tower shape will make me "Claustrophobic".

I guess the bigger the Ship, the more you can get away with the Shape (e.g. Death Star).

"Thrust" looks like a big factor, if "Unidirectional", you want the "Fighters" to leave the protection of the Mother-Ship at Full Speed to be less susceptible to attacks.

"Inertia" seems like a big thing too, You will have to use a lot of Power to change the direction of movement, specially because friction is not there to help you slow down.

When fighting each other I guess a long shape allows for a Full-battery use when the ships are crossing each other (something like in the Pirate Battles).

Star Wars favors Big Windows, specially in the Control Tower in contrast to Star Trek and Battle Star Galactica.

My 2 cents

Cool POV's on the length of ships. I was thinking most ships would have a main thrusting direction, simply for the sake of pilot sanity and probably because it would be more energy efficient. However, I do want counterthrusters in all positions because they would need the maneuverability. Thus, they would be as unidirectional as possible, but likely not to go as fast backwards as forwards.

A benefit to being a smaller alien species then would be less need for cabin tonnage and thus lighter faster ships in the long run.

nijineko
10-15-2008, 12:48 PM
nice site. =D maybe i'll get an entry on there someday. ^^

spiralcat
12-13-2008, 09:35 AM
I just read a story here at this link about spaceships filled with a liquid (http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/spirey.htm) instead of a gas, to cushion impacts and high g action. Now that is radical.

schonovic
03-04-2009, 03:51 AM
If I wanted real space I'd be an astronaut not a gamer. The whole purpose is I'm playing the role of a character I might like to be in some ideal world where things are the way I want them to be. You know I blow up the death star bag the princess and we live happily ever after; and there is gravity and there is hyperspace!!! I design ships for roleplaying.

Skunkape
03-04-2009, 07:33 AM
If I wanted real space I'd be an astronaut not a gamer. The whole purpose is I'm playing the role of a character I might like to be in some ideal world where things are the way I want them to be. You know I blow up the death star bag the princess and we live happily ever after; and there is gravity and there is hyperspace!!! I design ships for roleplaying.

Sounds like you're gaming to have fun! Which is what I always try to stress when I'm running/playing, have fun and do whatever you need to do to allow you and the rest of the group to have that fun!:D

Valdar
03-04-2009, 03:29 PM
Tangent- Did you notice that in the "hover test" of the flying car, there's a crane in the background?

"Investment opportunities" indeed...

fmitchell
03-04-2009, 04:31 PM
If I wanted real space I'd be an astronaut not a gamer. The whole purpose is I'm playing the role of a character I might like to be in some ideal world where things are the way I want them to be. You know I blow up the death star bag the princess and we live happily ever after; and there is gravity and there is hyperspace!!! I design ships for roleplaying.

I don't want to knock your preference for space opera. However, my original point is that some of us want to have fun by exploring the constraints and opportunities of an environment where gravity is either absent or arbitrary. That, too, is "roleplaying".

Skunkape
03-05-2009, 08:13 AM
Tangent- Did you notice that in the "hover test" of the flying car, there's a crane in the background?

"Investment opportunities" indeed...

Due to insurance stipulations, his test vehicle needs to have a tether attached to it. The crane isn't lifting the car, merely allowing them to have the tether attached in case the car looses power etc. Otherwise, his insurance company won’t insure the car.

Etarnon
03-05-2009, 09:44 AM
To me the ships are the same problem with 3-D space mapping.

You can have all the realism in the world, or you can have easy to deal with.

For my purposes, it's much easier to lay out a ship on a sheet of graph with a long multi deck plan, then to have a series of stacked circles, with a central ladder / lift.

Similarly, I love my Traveller maps, which are a flat, unrealistic topographical sheet, where realistic stars would be a 3-d Spaghetti tangle of jump routes, that are really only best viewed in a 3-Spin software program.

So I go for ease of "Flat" mapping and use.

When I'm playing EVE Online, I used the 2-d "Flat Map".

schonovic
03-08-2009, 04:20 AM
I don't want to knock your preference for space opera. However, my original point is that some of us want to have fun by exploring the constraints and opportunities of an environment where gravity is either absent or arbitrary. That, too, is "roleplaying".

I understand then why the loss of 25.00 would be distresing, but maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Perhaps the situation is calling for some improvising on your part. For example perhapse you could use metal plate decks and magnetic slippers. A child maturing on such a ship may grow unnaturally tall for a human.
The japaneese have developed a supermagnet that can attract or repel any form of matter. Such a magnet could be used as a gravity simulator. I'd go ahead and use the plans now that you have them.

fmitchell
03-08-2009, 12:04 PM
As a positive example of maps that eschew fore-and-aft design (partially) without compromising ease-of-use, take a look at Argos III (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=27932) and Invictus (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=50111) from Ki Ryn Studios. Both feature a huge rotating ring composed of duplicated tiles, keeping the number of different maps down while maintaining the premise of pseudo-gravity through centripetal force. (Both also have central command sections, which one can declare are zero-g.)

schonovic
03-08-2009, 04:47 PM
As a positive example of maps that eschew fore-and-aft design(partially)without compromising ease-of-use,take a look at Argos III and Invictus from Ki Ryn Studios. Both feature a huge rotating ring composed of duplicate tiles, keeping the number of different maps down while maintaining the premise of pseudo- gravity through centripetal force. (Both also have central command sections, which can declare are zero-g).

I'm not saying centripetal motion isn't fun; esp. when pouring milk or throwing a baseball (ha-ha). It is fun. I have ships that have centripetal gravity sections. I must concede, if you are running a science fiction campaign you should have some science in it, and centripetal gravity sections is classic old school sci-fi so more power to ya.

schonovic
03-09-2009, 11:13 PM
It is my opinion that humans are most comfortable in squared off habitations with 4 walls 8 corners doors and windows. We like to know where we've been and where we are going. We can deal with arbitrary or absent gravity but we do not like it. So we will in the future do something about it. If we are running a realistic campaign we must leave out fusion technology at least where power reactors are concerned. We have to admit that humanity has as yet not produced a productive fusion power plant. How far then are we going to go for the cause of realism. Can we say then that our game is a science fiction roleplaying game or should we call it a reality role playing game. It could be a new genre then. Reality roleplaying games, interesting.

fmitchell
03-10-2009, 12:33 AM
It is my opinion that humans are most comfortable in squared off habitations with 4 walls 8 corners doors and windows.

Modern man might, although I've also seen a few octagonal houses, and houses built underground; as far as I know they don't drive their residents insane. Permanent structures with straight-edged walls are generally easier to build, so they're most common. On the other hand, Native Americans, among others, lived in circular houses, sometimes without windows, for generations; hemispherical structures retain heat better, and nomadic people by definition use tents or other temporary shelters.

On the other hand, some lifetime sailors feel uneasy on land because they're used to the rocking motion of the ocean. While micro-gravity and zero-g pose problems for human physiology (loss of bone strength and muscle tone, for example), I could imagine that a generation of space-travellers


If we are running a realistic campaign we must leave out fusion technology at least where power reactors are concerned. We have to admit that humanity has as yet not produced a productive fusion power plant. How far then are we going to go for the cause of realism. Can we say then that our game is a science fiction roleplaying game or should we call it a reality role playing game. It could be a new genre then. Reality roleplaying games, interesting.

I'll take Slippery Slopes for $300, Alex.

All I'm saying is that RPGs haven't explored the possibilities of actually living in space. Most RPGs are obsessed with blow-by-blow combat and realistic weapon ranges. However, they design space ships as if they were boats or planes, even though anyone who's taken high-school physics knows nothing necessarily sticks people to the "floor", and those inside the ship will feel only acceleration toward the back of the ship (assuming it's going forward). Sure, that's in line with TV and movies where simulating zero-G is prohibitively expensive, and therefore it accurately "simulates" Star Wars, Star Trek, BSG, Serenity, and every other media property (save parts of Babylon 5, and a brief moment in Star Trek VI).

For fans of hard science fiction, though, "artificial gravity" to make a space vehicle feel like a boat seems limiting, even quaint. Fission and fusion power, even STL star travel, are at least theoretically possible, with designs on the drawing board. Nobody knows how, even theoretically, how to simulate gravity apart from centripetal force or continuous acceleration, both of which change the layouts of a space ship.

And yes, the same goes for FTL ... but without that, you'd have travel between one icy rock or tin can and another, unless you go with Serenity's improbable planetology and orbital dynamics. Of course, the FTL pixie dust doesn't have to reside within the ship; perhaps there are external jump gates, or perhaps (as in Dune) smaller craft must hitch a ride inside huge cargo ships. Besides which, postulating a universe without FTL leads to its own interesting premises: interstellar vessels seen once in a dozen generation, crews in suspended animation, humans scattered across the cosmos knowing that help will never arrive in their lifetimes. But that's another thread.

schonovic
03-13-2009, 10:06 PM
Being a gamemaster must be such a privalege. I've never indulged in taking the position. Really, I've never wanted to until lately. The position I usually enjoy is science fiction gaming rescource provider. I create things for the game special equipment and such. one time I turned a small rotating asteroid into a power generator. I design spaceships that are laid out in the fore and aft "silly" format. That doesn't mean I have to design them that way it just happens to be the way people seem to prefer. My goal is to provide the customer with what they want. I do have an awesome cylander shaped thousand ft. long ramship with nuclear fission decellaration rockets that I could draw up if somebody made it worth my while. Postage could be re-embursed. Guaranteed satisfaction or return of fees.

schonovic
03-20-2009, 09:49 PM
A man's reach should exceed his grasp, otherwise; what's heaven for?

schonovic
02-14-2010, 02:59 AM
you know if you read the right science magazines there are theories for devices that can achieve an effect like gravity although it is not actual gravity. Also a plasma window can perform functions that science fiction force fields have portrayed in star wars and star trek. i do however agree that a "space ship" need not have to be built like an aircraft or naval vessel, i prefer cube shaped with thrusters on all sides so that changing direction or speed is easier.

tesral
02-14-2010, 09:16 AM
Yet the spacecraft currently flying is an airplane. Abet one whose interior is designed around 0g work.

The difficulty of multiple directions of thrust is you now have to take all of that into effect You have a cube with six axises of thrust. You have to consider the g effects from six directions. Hence the reason that primary thrusters are placed on one end only. It makes engineering the craft easier.

With the current state of spacecraft development the most likely candidate for an interplanetary engine is the low thrust ion engine. So you work in micro gravity the whole trip. Constant high g, while better for the people is hard on the fuel supply.

So you build a ship that gives a constant 0.01 g. Not enough to hold you firmly to the floor, but a direction things will drift. You have to take that into consideration.

One possible design is a central axis for the drive with a perpendicular axis spun for gravity. A slight cant off 90 degrees will compensate for the thrust. You don't need arms of equal length, the mass just needs to be balanced.

Manned mission to Titan. The balancing mass is the decent/ascent craft, and the reactor. You have a means of balancing the arm by moving it along the drive axis for when the craft is lighter from fuel use. The crew lives in one sixth g, not as good as one g, but better than 0g. You don't need to rotate the craft as fast or have a long an arm.

shadowmane
02-21-2010, 01:16 PM
Has nobody here looked into Mini Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion (M2P2)? You create a magnetic field around a ship, and create magnetic "sails" that actually push the ship along. The field around the ship is for protection from radiation and what not. If you designed it right, in the form of a toroid, using the same system maglev trains use, you could create a solar wind jet that pushes the ship along without using anything but the gas used to create the magnetic field and the energy necessary to create the maglev effect on the solar wind.

In using a toroid, you could rotate the ship itself, creating the artificial gravity. You could extrude the toroid out into a cylinder with a hole running through the center creating something the size of Babylon 5 with propulsion.

Max_Writer
03-12-2010, 12:34 PM
Unsure if this has been mentioned yet:

http://www.starfrontiersman.com/

These are magazines for Star Frontiers made for the web. Issues 6, 8, 9, 11, and 13 all have the "tower" ship deck plans you mentioned earlier. These are all for Star Frontiers and I don't know if that helps but there you go.

magic-rhyme
05-14-2010, 01:49 PM
I just blew about $25 downloading spaceship maps from Ki Ryn and Fat Dragon Games. The maps were interesting, but irked me somehow ... until I realized that they were all constructed like boats or aircraft: there's a front and a back, a port and a starboard, a floor and a ceiling.

Uh, guys, this is SPACE!

Next time you decide to purchase spaceship maps, specify "Hard SF" and avoid "space opera". A better discrimination among genres would have saved you 25 dollars.

You will find that most spaceship designs look like sea-going ships because that's what people want. It has nothing to do with T.V. budgets -- many of the ships in all six Star Wars movies resemble aircraft carriers, and many ships in anime resemble battleships in space. Even the grim and gritty re-issue of Batttlestar: Galactica had the feel of an aircraft carrier. Babylon 5 had hard science consultants, but some of their spaceships resemble sea-going vessels in space (or giant fish or flying saucers or space-travelling squid . . . )

Space as ocean is a very popular metaphor, and even though it makes no more sense than giant bipedal robot-ships or faster-than-light travel, sea-going ships in space, anthropoid mecha, and FTL drives are probably here for the long run, or for at least as long as space opera remains popular.

So look specifically for "Hard SF" or "military SF" spaceship designs, and avoid any which are labelled as "space opera" or compared with Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar: Galactica, or Babylon 5.

fmitchell
05-15-2010, 12:41 AM
Diaspora's ship design rules assume pseudo-gravity from forward acceleration. While it takes an explicitly "hard SF" perspective, most space games make no such distinction between that and "space opera". Traveller and GURPS should be able to handle both ends of the fact-fantasy spectrum, especially at lower tech levels, but most ship maps for those games still look like boats or airliners. At least the new GURPS Spaceships system is abstract enough to accommodate the whole spectrum. (The original included Apollo-era rockets, while 7th supplement includes a thinly-disguised TARDIS.)

FWIW, later Ki-Rin designs, notably "Argos III" and "Invictus" use rotational pseudo-gravity for nearly all decks. (The flight decks still seem to use artificial gravity though.)

kedamono
08-19-2010, 02:07 PM
I agree with you PMfmitchell. It's my current rant for FTL:2448. The ships there are all boats or airplanes. They are not spaceships.

And don't get me started about artificial gravity!

OK, let me rant about that. To get one Earth Gravity, you need One Earth Mass or the energy equivalent. Period and Full Stop even. And for comparison, 1 gram of matter converted to energy will yield 21.481 kilotons of TNT. The Earth has the mass of 5.9742 × 1024 kilograms. You can do the math.

If you can cheaply create and control gravity, why do you have to worry about fusion drives or laser weapons? You Fraking Control Gravity!

Most games put gravity control under total energy control. That's wrong. It takes total energy control to control gravity. Gravity control is the top of the pyramid.

tesral
08-19-2010, 06:28 PM
Except I can get 1g with 1g of acceleration. Let's get back to the core. By science as we understand it FTL is silly. What kind of silly space craft you use after that is...well arguing the point is itself silly.

Science has yet to explain mass itself. Important since mass is what Gravity works on. With some of the possible theroies I have heard artical gravity would be easy, if you could grab the rest of the force from out of the folded dimensions. But others you cannot do it at all.

It is strange how FTL is not even questioned here, but artificial gravity is. It is called Science Fiction for a reason.

Star Trek, and I believe the cause can be laid at the feet of Star Trek, assumed artificial gravity because the show had to be made under a 1g field. Ergo artificial gravity was easy, they had real gravity. Building the ship in the direction of gravity meant it was easier and cheaper to do. And TV loves the cheap solution.

Likewise the transporter was a TV necessity. Also the fact that all the natives spoke English. It made it easier on the TV audience.

It franky is not that big a deal. If my enjoyment of the story hinges on whether there is artificial gravity or not it isn't a very engaging story.

fmitchell
08-20-2010, 08:14 AM
Except I can get 1g with 1g of acceleration. Let's get back to the core. By science as we understand it FTL is silly. What kind of silly space craft you use after that is...well arguing the point is itself silly.

Actually, I had another thread which postulated gaming without FTL, either within a single star system or as centuries-long voyages where every system is a new and potentially dangerous experience. But never mind.

(Oh, and a third which insisted "true" aliens would be far stranger than anthropoid animals and humans with bumpy foreheads. That one fared even worse.)


Star Trek, and I believe the cause can be laid at the feet of Star Trek, assumed artificial gravity because the show had to be made under a 1g field. Ergo artificial gravity was easy, they had real gravity. Building the ship in the direction of gravity meant it was easier and cheaper to do. And TV loves the cheap solution.

Likewise the transporter was a TV necessity. Also the fact that all the natives spoke English. It made it easier on the TV audience.

The crux of the argument is that RPGs don't have those budget restrictions, for the same reasons novels and anime don't: we can imagine something different. And that something different might be both scientifically justifiable and far more interesting than Horatio Hornblower or Das Boot in spaaaaace. For example, the Invictus design from Ki Rin studios imagines a rotating section, and Diaspora designs ships more like towers to take advantage of the ship's own acceleration to simulate gravity. The Transhuman Space universe likewise eschews artificial gravity in favor of the previous two methods or simply adapting to micro-g.

On the other hand, if we throw current scientific understanding under the bus, why doesn't everyone use a TARDIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TARDIS), Stargate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stargate), or Boom Tube (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boom_Tube)? They're all much more convenient ways to get from planet to planet without mucking around in an irradiated vacuum.

tesral
08-20-2010, 01:36 PM
What are you playing? A TARDIS isn't very Star Trek or Star Wars. There is nothing wrong with any of the above concepts. However a genre games is defined by the liberties and limitations you place on the setting. It wouldn't be Star Wars if you didn't have driods and light sabers. Star Trek isn't Star Trek without transporters and warp drives, and yes, ships built like airplanes. By assuming that if it isn't done by your self set limitations there are no limitations, and limitations are pointless is rather short sighted.

The basic problem with the whole theme is the assumption that there is a absolute "right" way to do SF gaming and all other ways are "wrong". No one is stopping you from doing it exactly the way you want to. However do not expect everyone else to alter their perceptions to fit your view of imagined reality. It is rather like screaming at someone for painting their house blue when you think all houses should be white.

fmitchell
08-20-2010, 05:49 PM
The basic problem with the whole theme is the assumption that there is a absolute "right" way to do SF gaming and all other ways are "wrong".

I'm assuming no such thing. Sure, if you want to play a strict Star Trek, Star Wars, BSG, B5, or Commander Cody game, you'll have to assume people build ships as if they were actually sets on a soundstage in Burbank (or Pinewood Studios). On the other hand, many games strike out and build their own universes ... yet keep the same assumptions. Such a limitation of the imagination, the thing which RPGs are supposed to exercise, irks me.

The point of my original rant was that commercially available ship floor plans, based on "original" designs (scare quotes intentional), adopt the assumptions of TV and movie science fiction. Worse, as I cited in the original post, some are laughably ill-conceived even if miraculous artificial gravity devices exist. Other people and I have pointed out exceptions: Transhuman Space, Diaspora, later Ki Ryn designs, some university projects and serious scientific attempts whose links don't work any more.

If you want to play with boats in space, damn the phlebotinum and full speed ahead. If you want an excuse to go to different planets, sufficiently advanced alien technology will cut out the boring bits. If you actually care about scientific plausibility, though -- and apparently not a lot of people do -- then you'll need to start from scratch, since commercial deck plans, and most existing shipbuilding systems, owe more to Star Trek than to hard science fiction. Whatever floats your boat, engages your chevrons, or rotates your reference frame.

P.S. Remember, I'm the guy who also hates the Tolkien races present in nearly every fantasy game, including every edition of The Most Popular Role Playing Game (even the unpopular ones). But that's yet another rant, most likely somewhere in one or more different threads.

tesral
08-20-2010, 11:26 PM
P.S. Remember, I'm the guy who also hates the Tolkien races present in nearly every fantasy game, including every edition of The Most Popular Role Playing Game (even the unpopular ones). But that's yet another rant, most likely somewhere in one or more different threads.

As long as you don't expect anyone to change their preference for you, knock yourself out.

Frankly most people do not care about scientific plausibility. And kind of hypocritical to do so playing a Twillik Jedi, or a Colonial Warrior.

I cannot find fault with the practice because people think with gravity in mind. It is simply how Humans are wired. How much time have you spent in real zero g? A nothing but real science interplanetary game would not be much fun I think. One would have to at least stretch reality as far as Heinlein's "Space Cadet".

I'll stick with my unrealistic artificial gravity, and Elves too. My players are happy with it.

Max_Writer
08-21-2010, 06:20 AM
I don't know if I mentioned it before (and I probably didn't as this isn't about deck plans) but Traveller: 2300 and 2300 A.D. both dealt with a very realistic future. No artificial gravity and FTL that was more akin to matter transportation than actually breaking the laws of FTL physics. The ships were designed realistically and without artificial gravity (some using rotation to create the illusion of gravity, others not even bothering with it). Unfortunately, I don't think there were ever any deck plans made for that game.

RockDad
09-11-2010, 09:46 PM
Here you go (http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dheb/2300/index.htm) :cool:

tesral
09-20-2010, 02:33 AM
Nice site.

RockDad
10-23-2010, 04:45 PM
I am currently selling plans for spacecraft that do not use handwavium gravity generation. One of them, appropriately dubbed the Heinlein (pic in my sig), is a good, old fashioned flash gordon looking rocket, with plausible capabilities and tech. If you wanna see the plans (I believe in preview prior to blowing $25 bucks myself) You can access my Flicr slideshow off of my homepage: http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/ . I'm doing How-to articles on plausible RPG spacecraft design, if anyone is interested in making there own. Either way, I got links to some great Hard SF resources for rockets up as well, so feel free to visit!

RockDad
10-25-2010, 09:19 AM
For all you early birds, here's some sexy space-ly-ness with which to start your day:

http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/2...-for-role.html (http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/2010/10/designing-plusible-spacecraft-for-role.html)

Happy Monday!

tesral
10-25-2010, 09:59 AM
Looks like a decent site outside of the scroll and wait latency of the too many toys website. If again, you are doing hard science.

On his point of interesting ships. We have a fairly standard guideline for Star Trek. "The PC ship is better than 80% of what it encounters." Why? Becasue ship combat is not what Star Trek is about. It is not D&D with phasers. Star Trek is about people problems. The ship should be a fairly secure method of getting the players from issue to issue, not their chief problem in life. ST has been described as Mary Worth in space, and that is an accurate assessment. ST is about people problems. I tend to speicalize in oddball rescues.

TNG episode The Outrageous Ohana is a perfect example. The plot is basically Romeo and Juliet with a Han Solo-alike playing Friar Lawrence. the PC ship steps into help "Lawrence" with a technical issue and gets embroiled in the affairs of the two warring houses and the star crossed lovers. It is not their problem at the start of the story. They are observers and mediators, but they could easily dump the whole mess over board and move on, it is never their problem. They make it their problem and that is the perfect Star Trek story in a nutshell.

RockDad
10-25-2010, 02:05 PM
The Hard SF ethic also de-emphasizes combat in space, though for a different reason. Its next to impossible to attack an opposing ship without their concent, and spaceborn attacks are so lethal that its possible no one would survive.

fmitchell
10-26-2010, 12:22 PM
I am currently selling plans for spacecraft that do not use handwavium gravity generation

I bought these yesterday. I really like the layouts and underlying assumptions. Actually, giant windows might not be such a good idea. Apart from the threat of decompression, spaceships would probably function entirely on instruments like a submarine. (Then again, the Heinlein assumes comparatively low levels of technology.)

You really should use a spell-checker on the text. ("Discription"?) More space between columns of text would also help clarity. Minor quibbles, though.

RockDad
10-26-2010, 02:43 PM
@fmitchell:
Sorry about the layout problems...We are working on that and will have them corrected for next months release.
The wrap-around windows on the side pods are primarily for atmosphereic flight, cargo loading/unloading and other manuvers where the flight avionics are either impractical or require the emergency backup of bare eyes. All windows are fitted with armored shutters for use when traveling through hazardous debris and during combat maneuvers.
Feel free to write a review of the products on DriveThruRPG.com, and thanks for the imput. Any suggesstions about future products you'd like to see, email us at mailray@rocket-dad.com.
Thanks again.

RockDad
10-27-2010, 10:25 AM
I will be doing the layout for all future projects in Scribus, so that should correct all the issues found in the Heinlein release. I will, ASAP, issue corrected Heinleins (re-done in Scribus) to those buyers who are interested. These new Heinlein PDFs will not contain new material, only corrections and a better layout. Again, sorry about the problems. fmitchell, I assume I can put you down for one?

BTW, Part IV of Deisigning Plausible Spacecraft is up on the sight, now. Check it out for the first look at my latest project!

http://bluemaxstudios.blogspot.com/2010/10/designing-plausible-spacecraft-for-role_27.html