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MegaTraveller ShipDesign

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 8:32 am    Post subject: MegaTraveller ShipDesign Reply with quote

MegaTraveller by GDW was a great pen and paper sci-fi rpg.
It used a similar classification for it's ships.
    The difference between a real starship and a spaceship was the ability to use jumpdrive internally, and not be dependent on external transport to different sectors.
dang. doncha hate using google and you get sent to some gothic fetish site? hehe. ahem...anyways...
Ship designs page
You'll notice the divisions between scout/military/civilian starships (fighters, riders and systemdefenseboats considered to be spacecraft with no internal jumpdrives)
Starship construction 101
You'll love that...It'll give anyone interested in the concept of capital ship design more than a few ideas.

A traveller magazine site
An absolutely gorgeous site

Starship operator's manual (pic)

Doesn't get any better than this
I'm still desperately searching via google for some quotes from "Starship Operator's Manual, Vol 1" by Digest Group Publications (it was a beautiful book)

I lied. you'll jizz
just lovely starship graphics...can't believe what Google can find. *deep sigh* wish it found some decent pilot control panel quotes though. :sad:

Beautiful graphics site
Absolute perfection. wow

No graphics, but this site's got more design schematics than god
Wow...can't get better interface and ease of selection than this site...phew
    Ship controls for megatraveller revolved around Computer cores, HUD "main control" and 'panels' and the type of such things
  • Computer linked
  • Dynamic linked
  • Holographic linked

    There were also 'Bridges' 'Workstations' and 'Crew stations' that were unrelated to the 'HUD controls'...That's why i'm looking for some quotes from "Starship Operator's Manual". it had a lovely description of how it all molded into something really aesthetic
Table 185: Control Systems
TL  Type                     Power(MW)  Price(MCr)  Maximum Airframe
4   Primitive Mechanical     --         0.000007    Simple
5   Basic Mechanical         --         0.000015    Fast Subsonic
6   Enhanced Mechanical      0.000015   0.000022    Supersonic
7   Electronic (FBW)         0.000038   0.000038    Hypersonic
8   Electronic Linked        0.000038   0.000057    Hypersonic
9   Computer Linked          0.000038   0.000075    Hypersonic
10  Dynamic Linked           0.000075   0.000112    Hypersonic
13  Holographic Linked       0.000075   0.000150    Hypersonic
17  Synaptic Linked          0.000075   0.000188    Hypersonic
21  Advanced Synaptic Linked 0.000075   0.000225    Hypersonic
Note: All values per m3 of hull Automation: all values are for
Standard automation. For Low, multiply by 0.95. For High, multiply
by 1.10.

Megatraveller forums and the root site (
Woooooo...looks like there's a new version coming out. hope it's better than the previous crappola.

okay, i've basically given up on searching for quotes from that old "Starship operators" book and threw myself at the mercy of the Traveller forums and the Traveller's Aid Society

Last edited by MajorFreak on Mon Aug 05, 2002 4:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

w00t! someone's emailing me a twopage scan of the thing i was looking for. w00t!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old man from megatraveller...

Where your ship goes, you go. If the pilot swings the vessel into an asteroid belt and butts it up against some rock, that's where they'll find you later. There are simulators that'll start someone off, but the only way to learn to fly is to punch the board.
But how to learn safely, that's the life-and-death question. Sure there's a way. He's called the copilot. More about that later.
Right now i think i'll let you in on a little secret. I've got the best pilots of any ship in the marches. For that matter, i've got the best damned bridge crew of any ship in the marches. It's not too hard to spot real ability if you know how.
When i've got an opening, i put out the word at places where i know spacers hang out, then i wait for somebody to show up. If he's worked on a sub(sidized liner), he never gets aboard. That's the first trick. (Forgive an old man a few prejudices - but i'm set in my ways.)
The next thing is to bring the candidate onto the bridge, set him down in the chair, and ask him to demonstrate what he knows against a simulation. Then keep your eyes open. The computer will score him, sure, and you can doublecheck that number later, but watch him right now and you'll know wheter you want him or not.
Does he reconfigure the board? If he doesn't, show him the hatch. That's my secret. A man who knows his business chooses his tools carefully. They've got these wading birds on Kinorb. You walk in among a flock of them, and you might never get loose. Walk left, the flock walks left. Walk right, the flock walks right. Speed up, and they all hurry along beside you. Stop, and the whole flock waits.
That's not what i want in a crewman. I want somebody who makes up his own mind and does what he thinks best, in the way that he thinks best. If a man doesn't have the configence to reconfigure a board on your ship so that he can do it his way, he's not the best you can get.
As an added test (once he's passed this one), pick another config at random and set the panel up that way. Run the simulation again, and see how much his performance drops off. An experienced hand won't suffer more than, say, 25%, and that should decrease over the course of the test. "Judge a workman by his tool," they say, and that's the first hurdle, but i say a good man can use whatever he's got to his best advantage.
Whoever invented dynamic configs deserves a medal - I'd give him all of mine. Imagine the chaos we'd have without them. A kid joins the Navy on Vland, learns the ropes, and then musters out and joins a merchant company operating out of the (Spinward) Marches.
So what happens? The merchant vessel he's on was built by a company light-years away from the yard that fabbed teh dreadought. All the controls are different: the power switch taht was under the thumb of his left hand is now under the thrid finger of his right. The heads-up attitude display is now flat on the board, and the blue light that signaled a problem is an amber one on the merchant. If he doesn't scuttle her first time out of the dock, you're lucky.
With a dynamic config, he keys in the layout he likes, and if he wants to further customize the panel, he moves the controls around and logs it in the computer so he can call it up any time he wants.
There are moments on the bridge, too many moments, that call for split-second thinking. You set that panel up to your liking - you live with that panel - you marry that panel - and it will always be right there when you need it. Your fingers (and feet, if you use them, but i never do) learn every inch of the board, and you can fly a ship in your sleep. A skilled crewman never looks at the controls - his eyes are on the telltales and other displays.
If a man's skilled with the configs, too, he can handle any board in a crisis. Commo needs help setting up a line-of-sight during a battle? Fine, if nav's not tied up it takes him a second to pull up commo's board at his station. That's why it's so critical that your bridge crew be skilled at several task.
Personally, when i configure a panel i always ignore the leg controls. I don't stop my crew from using them, because a man knows what he likes or he doesn't know anything. But i was never much of a dancer, eitehr, and i feel like my legs just flail around under the consol.
I keep the most common controls under my index fingers, but i won't overlap. If there's two things i need to do at once, they've got to lie under different fingers. I'm left handed, so i put anything i need quick under those fingers. I use my thumbs as anchors, mostly. If controls need locked, sure, i'll put in a toggle where i want it, but if the control needs a sensitive touch but still must be held down, i put it under a thumb so the rest fo my hand can still swivel around to all the positions.
Another good place for anchors is the little fingers. Little fingers are good, too, to set up alternative controls. For example, on my commod board i like my left index to handle fine tuning of radio frequency, but once i've zeroed in on what i want, that spot's wasted. so when i'm ready to transmit the burst, my right pinkie holds what i call my "second set". Then the burst pad is under my left index where fine tuning normally is. Once the burst is through, i let up my pinkie and i can reset the frequency if i want to.
I keep any displays i want in front of me, using heads-up holo. If the station can't handle a holo, i'll use a data-display/recorder headpiece, but i don't like to because i get tired faster.
The main displays are right in front all the time. I map telltales to the center in a contrasting color - for the important ones, i use a mixture of red and green, chosen so they clash with each otehr. I don't like 'em to blink, because i want to look at them and catch the info at any time. The split second between blinks might be the split second i need to make the decision. Choose your own colors; your eyes are different from mine.
I use my right third finger to move the telltale once i've spotted it, and i never use this finger for any other purpose on any board. The warning light appears, in the center as i said, then once i've noted it i punch the board and the light moves off to one side. They're all set so that if the condition lasts over a certain time, the telltale will reappear, and i'll just punch it over to the side again if i'm handling it. I want to know, but once it's in my brain i don't need to keep staring at the light all the time.
If you're not human, of course, little of this applies to you, and i apologize for wasting your time. But you'll be thankful for the dynamic configs. Can you imagine a K'kree trying to drive a human board, or a Vargr pushing a Hiver panel?

Last edited by MajorFreak on Mon Aug 05, 2002 4:29 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gazelle Class Close Escort
The most intriguing "Corvette" class vessel Traveller ever invented.

Source site for that pic
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