Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ship Design Changes - Part One

Like many Traveller referees, I just can't leave the ship rules alone.

Some portions I just don't like (ship weapons limits, for example). Others do not make sense scientifically (Power Plant fuel usage). And missiles are supposed to be dangerous. They weren't, really, in the original CT rules, but some supplements and updates modified this.

I'll go over some of the changes I've made for my campaign in this post.

Aka, CT Rules versus High Guard.
I have expanded the CT ship engine chart, adding more higher-end engines, allowing for more engines and larger CT ship designs. Adding these larger drives and expanding out the tonnage tables allows for CT designs of up to 10,000-ton vessels. This gives regional transport/cargo hauling companies more designs to choose from, without having to design a large freighter with the (much more expensive) High Guard-type ships.

In the original CT rules, there was no variation between power plants of differing tech levels (TLs). A TL-15 power plant used the same quantity of fuel per month as a TL-9 version. This is, needless to say, highly unrealistic. Indeed, this may be one of the most-modified portions of the CT rules ever, with ship weaponry being the only one with more changes.

Mongoose Traveller (MgT) made a significant change in their version of Traveller. Starting at TL-9 when fusion power plants are first introduced, they follow a fairly steady rate of increase. I've followed their example, and what follows is my version (very close to theirs, if not actually the same). As TL increases, the duration of that fuel in the plant increases. This allows a ship designer to leave it be, creating a ship with great in-system endurance, or reducing the tankage, allowing more room in the ship for components or cargo.

   TL                                  9    10   11   12   13   14   15
   Endurance (in Weeks)   2      4     8   12   24   36   72

CT had NO built-in function for ships to purify unrefined fuel. This made it rather dangerous for a ship captain to perform field refueling, risking a mis-jump. Sometimes you have to take that risk, however.

Supplement 5, High Guard, introduced Fuel Purification Plants, and many referees allowed their use in basic (CT) ship designs, giving greater flexibility and reliability to civilian (and player) ships. But my 'beef' with this component is the same as with power plant fuel usage: no TL improvements.

So I did this: I have TWO versions of the purifier plants, Civilian and Military. Each has an increasing hourly tonnage of fuel purification.
And I allow non-military (CT) ships to use military purifiers, if they can get/afford them. Incidentally, this is the ONLY military ship component I allow civilian ships to install and use. I also allow purifiers of differing TLs to be installed on the same ship, again, the ONLY time I allow this.

  Purification plants always displace 1-ton. Civilian models cost MCr 1, and Miltiary models always cost MCr 3, regardless of TL of construction.
  The following chart lists the hourly rate of purification per installed unit. If ships have multiple types or TLs of purifiers, they merely add the purification rates before computing how long it takes to clean the tanks.

  TL                     9    10     11     12     13     14     15
  Civilian (CT)     0.5    1      1      1.5    1.5     2      2.5
  Military (HG)    1      1.5    2      3       4        5      7.5

Well, that should do it for this round. I should have another post about ship design completed within a couple of days.
Don't hesitate to leave a comment or question below, and thanks for reading!