Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mongoose Traveller Core Rulebook MGP 3800 Part 7 Spaceship Operations.

Spaceship Operations

Spaceship Operations include all of the following:

  • Airlocks: Yes, space ships need these.

  • Atmospheric Operations (and landing): If you are not at least semi streamlined, don't do this.

  • Boarding & Docking: You don't have to be docked to board, but jumping for ship to ship seems a bit extreme.   Also, unless the other ship wants you to dock to it, it's difficult (-2) do do so.  I would think it would be higher than that.

  • Costs and Maintenance: Basic costs are your mortgage, life support, which is based on the number of staterooms, and doesn't matter if they are in use or not, fuel, monthly maintenance, and crew salaries.  As expected all of these add up to quite a chunk, makes for the PC trying to make the big haul all the time.  There are rules for skipping out on your debts, but at any given world, regardless of how far or how long it's been you have a 1:36 chance of getting caught (a natural 12 on the check)

  • Encounters:  There is a d66 chart, with mods for the leading digit, making it go from 01 to 96 for something that you encounter between the jump point and the port. several of them are not avoidable (attack by pirates, solar flares, that sort of thing)

  • Fuel: Jump eats this.  10% of the mass of the ship per jump number used.  If you have a J2 ship and jump 1 parsec, you only use 10%, not the full 20% you are carrying.

  • Jump Travel:  Jump is broke into several steps, each of which feeds to the next check.

    1. Astrogation check

    2. Divert Power

    3. Jump check.

  • Life Support: This covers radiation and running out of air, mainly.

  • Passage: Standard High, Middle/Working and Low.  And random d66 passenger list is included.

  • Repairs: covers the 3 types of damage (Hull, Structure and Systems) and where they can be fixed and how much.

  • Security: This set of rules is very obviously post 9/11, and are bit hard to read today.

  • Travel Times: MgT doesn't include the famous travel time formula, but does have a spiffy chart of distance travelled vs thrust rating of the ship, ranging from 1000 km at 1 G (633 seconds) to 1,000,000,000 km at 6 G (2.9 days)

There isn't that much different from Classic Traveller Book 2 in this section, and nothing really all that surprising

Next up is Space Combat and I've got a bunch to say there.



  1. Pah, with an infinitely-running manoeuvre drive you can do atmospheric ops with a rock. Just brake down to near-zero relative speed before you hit the sticky stuff. GURPS Spaceships got that right.

    I despise people who are scared of square roots.

    But this all looks like pretty standard stuff, just a bit expanded. Which is kind of the impression I mostly get of MongooseTraveller in general, where they haven't deliberately changed it.

  2. The biggest thing is don't try and land a space ship built with the "distributed" option. Even if you manage to "fly" it down, it's going to fall apart on landing.

    A major design element of MgT, at least at first, was to be as close to CT as possible, while bringing the rules mechanics up to 21st century standards.

  3. Yyyyeah, but...

    You've got a dispersed structure ship. It's got engines that can push it around at a couple of gravities.

    OK. So let's consider a planet with a 1g surface gravity. (I know, but over short timescales it's possible.) We can fly near that planet, and enter its atmosphere if we do it really slowly (I'm talking sub 100mph). We can hover over that planet, with our engines countering the gravity field.

    And if we built tall towers on that planet, one of them reaching up to each engine, that would be mechanically indistinguishable from keeping the engines firing, but we would have landed.

  4. And you turn off the on board gravity system and the fact that the struts aren't quite strong enough to support their own weight with out A/G support, much less the rest of the ship becomes obvious. Crash, boom, thud, etc.