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Offline pyrotech

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A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« on: January 10, 2017, 09:29:23 AM »
I am putting together a wishlist of vehicles that people would like to see added to the Harp SF rules.

From an old thread on this I've got:

a blockade runner/smuggler (smaller faster light freighter - lightly armed and stealthy)
a colony ship
a space cruise liner (multi-day recreation)
a space passenger liner (for multi-day transport not recreation)
a private space yacht (such as for megacorp executives)
Silth ships (plus ships specifically tailored to the other PC races)
a light armed ground personel carrier (like a armed Humvee)

What other vehicles are we missing?

Would having an alternative drive system be helpful for anyone?  I've done some work on fusion rockets for my bughunters game, would something like that help others?  Much lower acceleration and additional fuel requirements than the grav drives in Tintamar.

I'm keenly interested in hearing how other GMs use vehicles in their HARP SF games.

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline GMLovlie

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 06:13:41 PM »
Fusion rockets, and other alternate (slower) types of propulsion would be a really nice addition to my current game. Although I've juggled around a slower max speed and top acceleration.

But yeah, something akin to, for instance Proxima or the Expanse series, could be really cool.

Other types of starship types could include:
  • Scavenger ship
  • Exploration vessel
  • Asteroid mining vessel
  • (small) frigates
  • Customs/inspection types ships ... not sure how you would classify them
  • Breaching pods/troop ships

Those are from the top of my head. And mostly space-faring vessels. There are of course ground and air vehicles. Pods. Mechas ... like the one in Alien, or the ones in Avatar.

Additionally, a system for customisations and modifications of said vessels. Like standard upgrades, replacements, fine-tuning, etc. Would be ace. Of course most of this is covered by the rules in a way, but perhaps suggestions, stats, cost, showing what's available.

Rules for cryo-sleep - if such a thing is already covered and I have overlooked it - and long distance travel with slower and different propulsion systems. Reading Proxima at the moment, they got some different kind of propulsion from magneto gravitic, but also different from the Epstein (?) drive from Expanse.
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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 02:37:15 AM »
Also, a guide to designing starships.

I assume this, to some extent, already exists. As, I believe, it was hinted being included in the eventual SysOps guide. I also gather there would slight tweaks to it, depending on the style of play and genre the game is set in.
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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 04:25:37 AM »
I guess cryo-sleep and long distance non-FTL travel may also be a nice addition to an exploration book.
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Offline pyrotech

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 12:24:56 PM »
Hmmm,

Cryo sleeper pods should be pretty easy for me to write something up for - especially since I am already using stasis pods for my own game.  I'll have to write that down so I don't forget it.  I'll just have to look in the medical equipment section to make sure everything is consistent with the existing tech.

Right now I run under the assumption that the stasis pods use the same amount of power and take the same volume and mass as a bunk, personal storage, and about 1/3 of a head in a space craft.  That means it takes about the same space and power as a normal spartan crew accommodation - but that passenger doesn't consume food, water, or other space resources on the craft.  I also assume the stasis pod has an integrated utility power cell for emergency power loss situations.  Once I get a better handle on their power requirement I might have to revise that assumption.

I would probably use the same stats for a cryo pod as a stasis one.  The shipside effects are near to identical, with mostly just social and economic impact of the game differences.  The original bughunters material used stasis pods which replaced almost all freezer and a lot of refrigeration technology for households.  Cryo technology would have similar medical impact (without my added fun of the "fetish bag") but not the change in food storage.

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline pyrotech

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 12:42:39 PM »
I've written a number of vehicles up for HARP SF so far and sent a bunch of them to the Guild Companion.  I've got another vehicle article pending their review and publishing now (it might even be in this months release, or maybe not- editing always takes time). 

So with each post and article I have tried something different.  Some are just the stats with a very brief description, others have more description but no "flavor text" as my old CCG friends call it.  Some have descriptions plus some campaign flavor text and others have a full on back story with the stats.  What I'm not sure is what do people want to see for these kinds of write ups?  Do you really care for a detailed description?  How about the flavor text, does it help?  What about campaign specific details, do people use the default Tintamar setting or do they use their own custom ones? 

So what kinds of things are you looking for in a vehicle write up?

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline GMLovlie

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 02:05:42 AM »
Regarding flavour text:
I think this depends a bit on the type of ship. Some need only a short burst of flavour, like a customisable freighter or shuttle type. Others, like a gunship (think Rocinante of the Expanse,) may need more information about classification, uses, history and so on. It also depends on whether you're making specific ships, or models of ships. Other could have historical blurbs on conflicts they've been used in, and how they've now been relegated to shuttling civies to and from orbital stations and the planet/moon below.

One thing that is important is that all rules and designs for the ship is explained. If a ship has automated tracking systems and other computerised stuff, then this needs to be called out both in flavour text, but also game-mechanic-speech. Whether as suggestions or as hard and fast rules.

I think the description of each ship could limit itself to a short paragraph or two, giving the ship a historical dimension and a "use" dimension - what it was used as, what it is now used as. You don't need a full page write-up of the history, design, corporate espionage and conspiracies with each and every type of ship - although such hints could be spread out among the more interesting designs ;)
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Offline Ironmaul

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 01:02:18 AM »
Although not classed as a ship I would like to see various space stations.
Our GM is using his own setting... in our own universe but without the aliens and a little bit like the Firefly TV series.

Offline pyrotech

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 01:11:06 PM »
Yeah, space stations are something I have been trying to decide on putting in my proposal.

1) At least three of us here on the forums have run into the need for space stations.

2) It is very easy to miss some issues with space stations when building them yourself - so having some models to work off of would be nice.

3)  Space stations are big and require a lot of work to do on your own.  Having a model to work off of would be nice.

But....

4) Space stations are not "vehicles" as normally thought of (although they can be).

5)  Space stations are typically larger than you really need stats for (does it really matter how much damage the spinal mounted blaster cannon that runs through the space station housing 30000 marines does? - the GM can probably just say "plenty").

6) Space stations are big, they require a lot of work to do right, and there are a lot of different ways to do one and very dependent on the campaign.

So I have been internally debating.  Your feedback probably pushes me towards adding a section for it.  Maybe just throw in three or so ideas A) The small spacestation.  A space based habitat for around one hundred or so people.  B) The bigger O'neill cylinder space station.  It would have rotational gravity as a cost savings over running magneto-grav for so many - plus it would maintain gravity in the event of power loss.  And C) A bubble city space station.

That leaves out the classical spinning torus (Stanford Torus) space station, the tethered habitats space station (good for cycler stations), and probably about 3000 I haven't thought of or forgotten about. 

Are there any other types of space stations people need out there?

Regards,


-Pyrotech

Offline Ironmaul

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2017, 06:20:57 AM »
The other space station if you could call it that would be a "junkers" station. Something along the lines of merged vessels that contribute to the overall community.

Forgive my ignorance but are you writing up a proposal for a HARP sci fi source book?

Offline pyrotech

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2017, 12:14:07 AM »
Yes, I have been working on a proposal.  Its grown and morphed slightly from my first idea, but these kinds of things tend to do that. 

That is one of the reasons I've been pestering the forums for info about what vehicles are needed, and what kind of information is most useful to most of us.  I don't want to waste efforts on details that people won't use and prevent me from possibly including more things people will use - but conversely I don't want to exclude details that people do want.  So I am trying to find a balance point. 

The detail balance point won't really be an issue until I submit a proposal that Nicholas likes - but I know how hard it is to get info like this so I'm starting early.  But the better I know what types of vehicle related ideas people are looking for now, the better I can plan before writing the material..... if Nicholas likes the proposal.

So please tell me if you know of anything!  Now is the time for me to get the ideas added.  My revised proposal has gone through an initial proofread by a player of mine and been tweaked again - I've got another pair of eyes looking at it now.  So I am getting close to sending it off to Nicholas unless I get a bunch of new ideas from you guys.

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline Ironmaul

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2017, 11:32:57 PM »
Good for you for having a go!

What I would like to see in a product about space/sci fi vehicles?
Initially I think having several crafts that a group of players can use in the game for adventures much like those already mentioned. A section of vehicle creation rules would be nice. Also a section of each class of ship/craft that could have upgrade levels. Running costs of vehicles would be a bonus. Something that would be great is a list of NPC stats for several ships...they have this in the Serinity rpg book IIRC. As for settings I think that Tintimar is the priority here. Having said that I think it would be good for having the option of being able to use it in other settings as well, like alternate travel technology. And obviously deck plans is a must. And also ship criticals to spice up ship combat...not sure if there is ship combats rules in other of the books.

If your still unsure I would suggest asking questions here.

Cheers,
Rick.

Offline pyrotech

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 11:30:18 PM »
Hello,

I believe at one point Nicholas indicated vehicle creation rules would go in the Sys Op guide - plus as an new author I'm leery of biting off more than I can chew, and the ship creation rules *may* just be that until I have a better handle on how a big project like this goes.

Hmmmm.  Upgraded levels for ships....  Let me see if I am understanding you correctly here.  You are looking for different technology progress levels ( early, mature, advanced) or are you looking for cheap/normal/premium levels of ships?

Running costs on ships - I hadn't thought to include that.  I'll have to check my notes on that, I have a bunch of stuff I wrote up for a potential TGC article that I never finished that might help there.  Perhaps covering labor times, credit costs, and energy costs for normal operations of a ship/vehicle, and not just credit costs.

Hmmmm.  The NPC stats for vehicles.  So what you would be looking for here is maybe a chart similar to the one at the end of the Harp SF book, with typical skill numbers for skills used in ship to ship encounters - probably broken down by class/role of ship and average level of the crew?

Something like this maybe:

Trader/Merchant Ship
                 Piloting          Gunnery A     Gunnery B  Signaling(Sensors and Countermeasures)  Engineering
Lvl 1          XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 5          XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 10        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 15        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 20        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX

Privateer/Pirate
                 Piloting          Gunnery A     Gunnery B  Signaling(Sensors and Countermeasures)  Engineering
Lvl 1          XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 5          XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 10        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 15        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 20        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX

Military Vessel
                 Piloting          Gunnery A     Gunnery B  Signaling(Sensors and Countermeasures)  Engineering
Lvl 1          XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 5          XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 10        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 15        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX
Lvl 20        XX                 XX                 XX             XX                                                          XX

I could see that as being very useful.  I could certainly use it for my games.  I can think of a few sticky issues that would need resolved, but that should be pretty easy to do.

I am already planning for some alternative travel technology ideas - plus some other vehicle options that aren't covered already.  Combat rules for ships are already in Xtreme so they won't be in this proposal - but drone rules are right now.

Thanks for the feedback, your ideas have been very useful.

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline Ironmaul

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2017, 11:12:09 PM »
Yes, having ships with character like stats would be helpful.

Running costs could also included ships registration, docking fees, hull maintenance costs, sanitary cartridges and oxygen filter replacement costs. Having a ship shouldn't be easy to maintain, besides ship captains need to spend their money on something.

Buy upgrade levels for ships I mean the latter. A ship could have a standard hull frame with a standard itinerary of features but these can be swapped out for better or more efficient gear for a higher price point or when it is affordable. This could be a good way to create custom ships for the game. Some ships might be similar but have various different gear and upgrades that could make the difference in combat or evasion situations. You could even categories certain ship hull frames into merchant, freighter, cruise and military. Not all class gear and upgrades are interchangeable between ship frames...unless heavily modified and that may not be legal but if your a pirate...who cares.


Offline Dennis

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2017, 12:14:23 PM »
My new campaign will take place in a stellar cloud containing thousands of star systems 40 or more AU apart. Stellar dust and debris prevent any FTL travel. Will also be using this setting for a Privateers  campaign when my books arrive.

Offline pyrotech

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2017, 01:32:38 PM »
So no FTL for at least the majority of you game, and only STL drives.  And everything is within 80AU of each other (and probably less than that).  So what kind of travel times are you looking for?  I assume you aren't really interested in sub-1G acceleration in that would make for very long travel times even in a very dense setting like this.  Weeks to cross the setting?  Months? or maybe just days?

It sounds to me like you are aiming for a Serenity/Firefly type setting which would normally take a few weeks to cross the setting.  I'll have to check my math again but I suspect a Fusion torch drive would work for you, as would a grav drive as described in SF Xtreme (but maybe with lower accel factors).  The questions that you would need to answer are 1) Is there artificial gravity and inertial compensation and 2) Is there a limit on the top speed your ships can reach (limited by shields, limited by fuel, limited by time, limited by crew requirements, etc.)

So I am pretty sure I have material to cover a setting like this. 

In case you are wondering what material I would use for this:
(click to show/hide)
Thanks for your feedback, I am trying to make sure I have ideas available for most of the games out there.

Regards,


-Pyrotech

Offline pyrotech

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2017, 07:24:09 PM »
KLAATU, BARADA, NECRO POST


I've started the draft of the vehicle companion now, and while I haven't gotten to writting up any vehicles yet that is coming.  So I'm necro-ing my old post about what people are looking for in vehicles and their writeups.  I've got a pretty good list of vehicles to create (but will gladly look at any additional suggestions), but am still worried about how to present them.  So just how do you guys want to see vehicle write ups?

I've always been very partial to the old Battletech Technical Readouts.  They included all sorts of "useless" fluff that really made the setting seem more real.  Knowing that some component was made by some specific company and maybe even a specific plant wasn't really necessary but gave campaign details a GM could work with.  But I've seen other game materials that just gave the stats and a bit of information and let the GM fill in whatever else was needed.  Both are perfectly good solutions with pros and cons.  I am leaning towards a stat block with two or three paragraphs of text about it, but that still gives me a lot of formatting options to decide on.

So are there any strong opinions on this?

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline joel.lovell

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Re: A wishlist for HARP SF vehicles
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2017, 06:59:08 AM »
KLAATU, BARADA, NECRO POST


I've started the draft of the vehicle companion now, and while I haven't gotten to writting up any vehicles yet that is coming.  So I'm necro-ing my old post about what people are looking for in vehicles and their writeups.  I've got a pretty good list of vehicles to create (but will gladly look at any additional suggestions), but am still worried about how to present them.  So just how do you guys want to see vehicle write ups?

I've always been very partial to the old Battletech Technical Readouts.  They included all sorts of "useless" fluff that really made the setting seem more real.  Knowing that some component was made by some specific company and maybe even a specific plant wasn't really necessary but gave campaign details a GM could work with.  But I've seen other game materials that just gave the stats and a bit of information and let the GM fill in whatever else was needed.  Both are perfectly good solutions with pros and cons.  I am leaning towards a stat block with two or three paragraphs of text about it, but that still gives me a lot of formatting options to decide on.

So are there any strong opinions on this?

Regards,
I would go over to RSI and look at all the ship designs they have for their Star Citizen computer game. A LOT of practical thought has gone into making ships for a functional universe. There is a ton of inspiration there.


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