Thursday, 10 July 2014

Ships in the Oort Cloud, part 1

A night idea. I suppose in reality this is a couple of ideas that have been floating around for a while. On a recent train journey I started thinking about travel time between places in the Oort Cloud. I did some calculations on a series of Post It notes; I assumed that there was no instant travel, that unaltered humans wouldn't want to be subject to more than 1g of acceleration or deceleration. I also assumed that the drive in the ships wouldn't be explained using massive liquid fuel tanks (i.e., it will be totally hand-wavey in game; although some concept of range would be good).
These were in my head, have been for a few days. But at 2am when the baby woke up, the main thing that popped in was dice.
I like Zak S's Popomatic concept: so to come up with a random ship (not necessarily a ship owned/used by a group of PCs) why not roll a d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12 together, with the five numbers signifying different attributes or aspects of the ship.
There are a couple of things which dice could randomly select: weapons, armour, range, style of ship, cargo/berth capacity, maximum acceleration/deceleration. Off the top of my head this morning, I'm thinking:
d4: acceleration/deceleration (1g, 1.5g, 2g, 2.5g)
d6: berths and cargo
d8: armour
d10: weapons
d12: range
I'll have to expand on some of these ideas in the coming days. This is a departure from the way ships are handled in Machinations of the Space Princess, where the concepts/mechanics are much more closely aligned with the stats of PCs. That game as written is more sci-fantasy than I'm thinking for the campaign in the Oort Cloud. So: while I'll continue to do little "night idea" posts, it seems like last night's idea has nudged me in the direction of resolving this little gap that I currently have in my setting schema.
I'll see what the next night idea is, but the next part in this Popomatic Ships series will be saying more about acceleration - which will also, I guess, say more about where I'm coming from in the harder sci-fi setting. More later/tomorrow!

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