Game Prep: The Verge, Pt 2

Okay, it’s probably more accurate to say that it’s part 3 with that gravitics thing really being part 2 … but … yeah. This is fine. Moving on.

Speaking of gravitics, I’ve done some additional digging and realized that we mis-identified Porozlo’s tech level. Using GURPS Traveller 3E, yes, it is TL9, but we’re using 4E and this corresponds to TL10^. So the entire gravitics discussion is kind of moot since artificial gravity should be pretty commonplace. Which is … damn. That’s a little irritating since I I wanted to dial back on the use of artificial gravity here to try and add a more Expanse-like feel.

So … since I still want to do that, how do I get around what should be (artificial gravity everywhere)? Right now, I’m leaning toward a combination of factors. First is the cultural one. I’m thinking that the citizens of the Verge – those who live in the Porozlo system but not on the mainworld – actually look down on gravitics in starships because they’ve spent generations without it. This is a cultural thing that is gradually being swept aside as newer generations grow up and adopt more modern things. Still, because it’s a cultural thing, it isn’t easily stamped out.

Second, I could potentially look at allowing the maneuver drive to be pushed harder without artificial gravity … at the potential drawback of turning the crew into paste if they push TOO hard. Hmm. Looking at Spaceships p24, I see the Hot Reactionless is TL10^ and each engine give 1G acceleration; without artificial gravity, what I could say is that the acceleration output is doubled? So, having two engines, FREX, without artificial gravity provides a 4G acceleration? Fusion drives S1:23 states that “any engine may be high thrust (double acceleration but halve delta-V per tank. Any engine can also use water instead of hydrogen (triple acceleration, one-third delta-V.)” I’d not seen that before but I could totally rip that off with the presumption that any ship without artificial gravity is considered high-thrust, then the engineer can BOOST the drive (not the same as the SS7 “boost drive” feature) with successful check to triple the acceleration ala using water with a high-thrust fusion drive. So in my above example with the two engine ship, they’d have a 6G acceleration. Actually … that’s already built in with the “Emergency Thrust Task” so … if I presume that acceleration is automatically doubled if there is no artificial gravity acting as a “governor” or the equivalent (bringing my example ship to 4G accel), then with the emergency thrust task, that ship would be capable of being bumped to 8G … which oof … that could suck.

Incorporating something like the Juice from The Expanse is pretty easy in this case – depending on the effectiveness of this, it provides a +1, +3, +5, or +8 (the latter being military-grade so pretty limited) Resistant (Acceleration, Rare) … which is already part of the basic book. Yeah. I think this is doable.

Now I’ve got a legitimate excuse for making that particular game a bit more Expansey while simultaneously allowing the Saturday group to potentially do the same once they discover the advantages and drawbacks of doing so.

Next up, I’m going to try to focus on the narrative themes and story elements for a while instead of all this irritating world-building stuff.

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