This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space  (Read 927 times)

Jamfke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« on: May 13, 2020, 11:29:45 pm »
I've seen a few threads in various fora where folks discuss the realities of space travel. Hyperspace being more for space fantasy or opera type games, and automatic cryogenic storage type systems, or similar, for more hard core sci-fi. I'm more of an opera/fantasy fan so I like having "real time" hyper travel systems in my games just because. One of my projects has both hyperspace travel, with varying speeds/travel times depending upon the level of tech your ship has, and an out there idea that I cooked up that uses high brow mathematics and quantum physics type brain power needed to make it work properly (in game, not that the players or myself need big brains!).

Basically, you spend a few hours calculating, triangulating, and recalculating before pushing the go button, and your ship essentially teleports to the other location. The probability of porting into a solid object is high if you don't spend the necessary time doing the calculations, but if the journey has been taken more than once, you can shorten the time needed by an hour or so. Anywho, this tech is only available for a few of the big galactic governments or criminal organizations, primarily the big bads, and it is only available for the big capital class vessels, so the PCs won't be tangling with it very much at all, but it will be an option if a GM wants to put something like this into the players hands.

My question is, is this too far out as a space travel alternative?

Bonus question, if you don't like space opera/fantasy, why not you heathens? :D
Thanks,
James F Keck
Keck Publishing
Role Players Direct
Threat Record. Get it! On sale now at RPGNow!

Ratman_tf

  • Alt-Reich Shitlord
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5837
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 01:31:01 am »
Sounds like space fold technology. Like in Macross or Dune.

I've often wondered why there's usually only one method of FTL in most settings. I think it's be neat if different races/factions had different methods of FTL. Like a race with Stargates, another with Fold tech, and a third uses Hyperdrive. Give each method benefits and drawbacks to balance them out.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 01:33:11 am by Ratman_tf »
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
-Haffrung

Jamfke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2020, 01:41:53 am »
Quote from: Ratman_tf;1129923
Sounds like space fold technology. Like in Macross or Dune.

I've often wondered why there's usually only one method of FTL in most settings. I think it's be neat if different races/factions had different methods of FTL. Like a race with Stargates, another with Fold tech, and a third uses Hyperdrive. Give each method benefits and drawbacks to balance them out.

That's pretty close to what I have envisioned. Hadn't considered the star/wormhole gate aspect though. I may have to incorporate that in as well!
Thanks,
James F Keck
Keck Publishing
Role Players Direct
Threat Record. Get it! On sale now at RPGNow!

Premier

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • P
  • Posts: 1145
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2020, 07:07:55 am »
Quote from: Jamfke;1129920
Basically, you spend a few hours calculating, triangulating, and recalculating before pushing the go button, and your ship essentially teleports to the other location. The probability of porting into a solid object is high if you don't spend the necessary time doing the calculations, but if the journey has been taken more than once, you can shorten the time needed by an hour or so.


Suggestion: if you're trying to come up with an "explanation" in order to make your world building more, let's say, "plausible" or "realistic", than make sure it doesn't have anything that obviously sounds implausible by going against facts we know to be true. Faster-than-light travel, teleportation... whatever goes. It might not exist in real life, but it's sci-fi, so the reader or player will be willing to buy it. However, when your explanation includes the statement that "the probability of porting into a solid object is high if you don't spend the necessary time doing the calculations", that's much harder to sell, since it goes against established facts that we do know.

Going by this particular estimate, only 0.0000000000000000000042% of the universe's total volume is occupied by matter. But even if someone doesn't know that specifically, any casual sci-fi fan will be aware that space is, in fact, vastly and mind-boggingly empty with only tiny collections of matter located very, very far from each other. So, in fact, the chances teleporting into a solid object should be very, VERY low.

So I think you'd sell the idea more readily if you just said "teleporting is dangerous if you don't make precise calculations" and leave it at that. It's better to let the audience fill in the gaps with their imagination than to offer a scientific-sounding explanation that's clearly wrong on a basic level.
Obvious troll is obvious. RIP, Bill.

nDervish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • n
  • Posts: 750
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2020, 08:55:04 am »
Quote from: Jamfke;1129920
My question is, is this too far out as a space travel alternative?


Too far out?  How could an excuse to say "Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?" be too far out?

Granted, you're talking about instantaneous teleportation rather than superluminal flight through hyperspace, but, still, it sounds like pretty mainstream FTL trappings to me.

Quote from: Ratman_tf;1129923
I've often wondered why there's usually only one method of FTL in most settings. I think it's be neat if different races/factions had different methods of FTL. Like a race with Stargates, another with Fold tech, and a third uses Hyperdrive. Give each method benefits and drawbacks to balance them out.


That's one of the things I really liked about the (computer) conquer-the-galaxy game Sword of the Stars.  They had six races/factions (I believe seven with all expansions) and each one had its own distinct method of FTL travel, with different tradeoffs for speed, flexibility, etc.

Mongoose Traveller 1st edition had a page with three or four alternate FTL methods (aside from the Traveller default of one-week jump drives), but the assumption seemed to be that you'd just pick one for your game, not use all of them in the same setting.

Quote from: Premier;1129935
Suggestion: if you're trying to come up with an "explanation" in order to make your world building more, let's say, "plausible" or "realistic", than make sure it doesn't have anything that obviously sounds implausible by going against facts we know to be true. Faster-than-light travel, teleportation... whatever goes. It might not exist in real life, but it's sci-fi, so the reader or player will be willing to buy it. However, when your explanation includes the statement that "the probability of porting into a solid object is high if you don't spend the necessary time doing the calculations", that's much harder to sell, since it goes against established facts that we do know.

Going by this particular estimate, only 0.0000000000000000000042% of the universe's total volume is occupied by matter. But even if someone doesn't know that specifically, any casual sci-fi fan will be aware that space is, in fact, vastly and mind-boggingly empty with only tiny collections of matter located very, very far from each other. So, in fact, the chances teleporting into a solid object should be very, VERY low.


Even so, I don't have any issue with the OP's description because you're not going to be teleporting to an arbitrary random point anywhere in the universe.  If you're going someplace worth making the trip, then you probably want to arrive somewhere in the general vicinity of a substantial quantity of matter.  As long as the error in your arrival point isn't more than a few thousand km, then there's a non-negligible chance of arriving at a location which intersects the substantial quantity of matter you had intended to visit.

However, that said, this intersects with the recent "TPK for one character's mistake" thread.  After one or two incidents of ships misjumping into planets and causing massive civilian casualties, FTL will very quickly be either banned or restricted to only arrivals far enough out in space to ensure that you don't arrive in the space occupied by anything of consequence, purely for the sake of keeping planetary populations safe, even if interstellar travelers are willing to accept that risk for themselves.

insubordinate polyhedral

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • i
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2020, 11:49:49 am »
Quote from: Premier;1129935
Going by this particular estimate, only 0.0000000000000000000042% of the universe's total volume is occupied by matter. But even if someone doesn't know that specifically, any casual sci-fi fan will be aware that space is, in fact, vastly and mind-boggingly empty with only tiny collections of matter located very, very far from each other. So, in fact, the chances teleporting into a solid object should be very, VERY low.

But that sample set is over the entirety of space. Presumably the crew is jumping towards something, not just empty space or a randomly chosen point. In that case, the target jump zone is more occupied than the universal average and contains moving objects (planets and moons in orbit), for example. Maybe some jump targets are more challenging than others?

Zalman

  • RPG Evangelist
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 468
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2020, 12:02:06 pm »
Quote from: Jamfke;1129920
Anywho, this tech is only available for a few of the big galactic governments or criminal organizations, primarily the big bads, and it is only available for the big capital class vessels, so the PCs won't be tangling with it very much at all, but it will be an option if a GM wants to put something like this into the players hands.
That's a cool backstory ... in real life though, my experience is that giving the players this tech at some point in their career is going to be pretty much standard GM-practice. If you put it in the game, then sooner or later no campaign will be complete without the players getting to use it. Not that I think this is a bad thing by any means.

Quote from: Jamfke;1129920
Bonus question, if you don't like space opera/fantasy, why not you heathens? :D
Right?
Zal

Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School"

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 14558
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2020, 12:57:10 pm »
Star Frontiers has a bit of both. Jumps occur nearly instantly. But getting out to a safe jump point and doing the calculations takes days and getting up to and then down from the required jump speed takes about a day each. circumnavigating the known spacelanes round trip takes about 4 months. Not including 2 stops for refuelling and 4 stops for engine overhauls. Most trips are not THAT long. But for long hauls some passengers travel in cryostasis. Example: a trip from Theseus to Dramune is a bit over a month including a maintenance and possible refueling stop on a class 10 ship. So travelling cryo would be a tempting option for those not interested in spending so long shipboard.

Vidgrip

  • Newbie
  • *
  • V
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 01:05:54 pm »
Your idea is no more "far out" than any other method of FTL travel.  They are all pure fantasy, but necessary to the space opera genre.  Go for it!

Answer to bonus question: I love to read space opera.  I have played in, and run space opera games, but they are certainly not my favorite rpg genre.  I like sandbox gaming, and in a fantasy sandbox i can predict fairly well what I might need to prep for the next session.  Players can only travel so far in one session.  With FTL travel, and wildly different cultures and environments within easy reach, I really struggled to run a space opera sandbox.  I'm playing in one now and the GM is barely holding it together for all the same reasons I found it a struggle.

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 14558
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 06:14:09 pm »
Some sort of FTL is necessary for ANY sort of sci-fi, not just space opera, that wants to have space travel be more than a one way trip to a new world and for all intents and purposes a prop to get the PCs to the setting rather than a means of travel.

And keep in mind that some space opera actually dont have FTL and either keep things in system, or explore the problems of possibly decades or centuries of time skips and future shock.

hedgehobbit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 517
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2020, 09:04:16 pm »
Quote from: Ratman_tf;1129923
I've often wondered why there's usually only one method of FTL in most settings.

There was an old boardgame called Web and Starship about two alien races. One had planetary gates where they could move massive amount of material from one planet to the next, but they could only build new gates by launching sub-light probes. The other aliens had FTL travel but their ships couldn't carry much cargo so if they ever tried to invade a planet, the gate-aliens would easily swarm them with troop. But, the FTL aliens could easily shoot down the gate-alien's sublight probes. It was an effective stalemate.

In the middle where the Earthling who could use both technologies but only in a limited manner. Each of the aliens had to make deals with the Earthlings to borrow their tech to defeat the other alien while the Earthlings tried to turn that into their own empire.

It was a good setup for creating conflict through incompatible technology.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 09:08:00 pm by hedgehobbit »

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2020, 03:37:31 am »
Quote from: Jamfke;1129920
I've seen a few threads in various fora where folks discuss the realities of space travel. Hyperspace being more for space fantasy or opera type games, and automatic cryogenic storage type systems, or similar, for more hard core sci-fi. I'm more of an opera/fantasy fan so I like having "real time" hyper travel systems in my games just because. One of my projects has both hyperspace travel, with varying speeds/travel times depending upon the level of tech your ship has, and an out there idea that I cooked up that uses high brow mathematics and quantum physics type brain power needed to make it work properly (in game, not that the players or myself need big brains!).

Basically, you spend a few hours calculating, triangulating, and recalculating before pushing the go button, and your ship essentially teleports to the other location. The probability of porting into a solid object is high if you don't spend the necessary time doing the calculations, but if the journey has been taken more than once, you can shorten the time needed by an hour or so. Anywho, this tech is only available for a few of the big galactic governments or criminal organizations, primarily the big bads, and it is only available for the big capital class vessels, so the PCs won't be tangling with it very much at all, but it will be an option if a GM wants to put something like this into the players hands.

My question is, is this too far out as a space travel alternative?

Bonus question, if you don't like space opera/fantasy, why not you heathens? :D


Ringworld had something like this, the novels I mean. FTL was done by moving thru hyperspace, you needed to calculate in order not to go thru a gravity well, a singularity or to exit near/in one. But I seem to remember even there trvel wasn't instantaneous. What do your ships use? Giant Blue Space Tardigrades?

FTL is pure handwavium, when I use it I don't make mechanics to try and dress it as science, the navigational computer does the calculations and shazam.
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjC7-w5KDKNiD-k0tVo1DPw?view_as=subscriber

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 14558
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2020, 04:43:15 am »
Theres a few others where there is multiple space travel methods being employed by different races. In for example Gateway you had the FTL ships, solar sails, and other means of travel.

Or in Yamato where the earth ship was riding a tachyon wave to accelerate in a series of jumps. And conventional space engines. (atomic drives I believe). Other races were using teleport/gate tech and one was even submerging and rising in and out of the Sea of Dirac.

jeff37923

  • Knight of Common Sense
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16954
    • View Profile
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2020, 05:08:21 pm »
Quote from: Omega;1130150
Or in Yamato where the earth ship was riding a tachyon wave to accelerate in a series of jumps. And conventional space engines. (atomic drives I believe). Other races were using teleport/gate tech and one was even submerging and rising in and out of the Sea of Dirac.

Gross Conceptual Error.....

RPGPundit

  • Administrator - The Final Boss of Internet Shitlords
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 46673
    • View Profile
    • http://therpgpundit.blogspot.com
Sci-Fi: Thoughts on Hyper Transport in Space
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 09:22:20 pm »
My Space Opera game Star Adventurer presumes some form of hyperspace travel for your ships, though in the space navigation and starship combat rules I make it easy to skip that if you don't want it.
LION & DRAGON: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying is available now! You only THINK you've played 'medieval fantasy' until you play L&D.


My Blog:  http://therpgpundit.blogspot.com/
The most famous uruguayan gaming blog on the planet!

NEW!
Check out my short OSR supplements series; The RPGPundit Presents!


Dark Albion: The Rose War! The OSR fantasy setting of the history that inspired Shakespeare and Martin alike.
Also available in Variant Cover form!
Also, now with the CULTS OF CHAOS cult-generation sourcebook

ARROWS OF INDRA
Arrows of Indra: The Old-School Epic Indian RPG!
NOW AVAILABLE: AoI in print form

LORDS OF OLYMPUS
The new Diceless RPG of multiversal power, adventure and intrigue, now available.