Type T/ST variant planet types

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Re: Type T/ST variant planet types

Postby Vandervecken on Wed 12 Dec 2012 03:39

I don't know whether to call you unlucky or lucky because as you are connected to Starfire Canon, you need ST worlds to stay consistant with the past writings. I pretty much got rid of ST (O-N higher-grav worlds when I did my main studying for my v6.0 and v6.1 work and concluded that very few of the worlds with higher than 1.4 gravities would be found with Terrestrial atmospheric conditions. Out of fondness to Starfire, I settled for 1 in 10, but the data I could dig up and the equations in 2nd Edition GURPS space and at a University website, made me believe that number was high by 5, 10, or even 30 times depending on the original atmospheric mixure as guessed by planetary scientists in the 80's. If the mass was over 1.8 (or maybe 2.0?, fuzzy memory) of Earth, it took an exponential hit (but an O-N terrestrial atmosphere with decent Atmos. Pressure WAS still possible, just exceptionally rare). A significantly large moon was even more essential than what we needed with our own moon.

Yet this is a Science Fiction 4X game, so reality can (and possibly should) be bent. I've been playing with ST worlds for as long as Starfire has had them. Where would the Gorm and others be without them?
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Re: Type T/ST variant planet types

Postby Crucis on Wed 12 Dec 2012 04:07

Vandervecken wrote:I don't know whether to call you unlucky or lucky because as you are connected to Starfire Canon, you need ST worlds to stay consistant with the past writings. I pretty much got rid of ST (O-N higher-grav worlds when I did my main studying for my v6.0 and v6.1 work and concluded that very few of the worlds with higher than 1.4 gravities would be found with Terrestrial atmospheric conditions. Out of fondness to Starfire, I settled for 1 in 10, but the data I could dig up and the equations in 2nd Edition GURPS space and at a University website, made me believe that number was high by 5, 10, or even 30 times depending on the original atmospheric mixure as guessed by planetary scientists in the 80's. If the mass was over 1.8 (or maybe 2.0?, fuzzy memory) of Earth, it took an exponential hit (but an O-N terrestrial atmosphere with decent Atmos. Pressure WAS still possible, just exceptionally rare). A significantly large moon was even more essential than what we needed with our own moon.

Yet this is a Science Fiction 4X game, so reality can (and possibly should) be bent. I've been playing with ST worlds for as long as Starfire has had them. Where would the Gorm and others be without them?


Well, I do consider myself lucky to have worked with Dave Weber and Steve White on 2e and 3e way back then. I made a number of contributions that largely went below the radar screen. All of the Star Union, Zarlokyan, and Bug ship designs in the ISW-4 scenario mod are of my design. A number of weapons linked to the Star Union and the Zarkolyans are my creation (the SM2, Capital Point Defense are two of the most familiar). Everything related to the Star Union, the Crucians, the Zarkolyans, etc. are of my design. The concept of gunboats were my idea (the details of it were Dave's). I convinced Dave that it would be a bad idea to have another war (after Crusade) where the bad guys didn't have fighters, and if Bugs couldn't handle fighters for the known reasons, maybe they could handle something a little larger where they could get together enough minds to function. Most of the Crucian characters mentioned in The Shiva Option were created by me (Robalii Rikka being the most familiar), as well as all of the names of Star Union star systems and ship class names.

I actually have a number of Crucian and Bug ship classes that didn't make it into the ISW4 manuscript. Lots of Crucian designs, as a matter of fact. A couple of "anti-kamikaze" escort and corvette designs (packed with point defense). The released ISW4 module screwed up one of my USN designs, the 50 HS "CA" which the Crucians saw as a large light cruiser. And there was a "heavy destroyer" designs (a 40 hs CL in reality). The "Dahlaikyn" HDD class, IIRC. I had them call the 40 hs CL a HDD because with all the electronics needed for a CL to be at all functional in the ISW4 environment, the remaining HS's left the design having the combat capability of a DD. Same for the 50 hs "CL". Also the 50 hs "CL" was a "war design", built to a size for maximum production speed. And for that matter, the USN's Monitor design was limited to only 180 HS not for monetary reasons as was mentioned in the released product, but because there was a Type 11 (180 hs capacity) warp point that was in a critical location that prevented the USN from using a full sized MT.

The idea for SDE's and MTE's was my idea. Dave had created a really nasty BCE design for the Terrans or the Gorm, IIRC. So I decided to out-do him and raise the stakes. I reasoned that if you're going to have a command battlegroup of 6 ships, isn't it a waste of a slot to have the "escort" be only a battlecruiser? So I came up with the SDE's and MTE's. And Dave loved them so much that he went back and added in SDE's and MTE's of his own for his Alliance races.

Gawd, there's tons of details about the Crucians and the Zarkolyans that only I know.


As for ST planets, yeah, it's part of Starfire tradition, though if it were not for the Gorm, I suppose that it could be discarded. But it won't. As for how common they are, for game balance reasons, it's necessary for them to exist in a 2-1 ratio with Type T planets (2 T's for 1 ST).
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Re: Type T/ST variant planet types

Postby Vandervecken on Wed 12 Dec 2012 04:27

Didn't mean to say that your connection to 2E and 3E was either lucky or unlucky, I was simply saying that there will be a few things you won't be able to change even if you wished to do so because of Canon. And if you did wish to do so, that would be the unlucky part of that coin. Thanks for reminding me and others about some of the wonderful 'Lucky' parts and fond memories you have of the Crucians/Zarlokyan and those things you worked into Starfire; which allowed many old-timers to Starfire make some good memories of their own "back in those days".
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Re: Type T/ST variant planet types

Postby Crucis on Wed 12 Dec 2012 04:37

Vandervecken wrote:Didn't mean to say that your connection to 2E and 3E was either lucky or unlucky, I was simply saying that there will be a few things you won't be able to change even if you wished to do so because of Canon. And if you did wish to do so, that would be the unlucky part of that coin. Thanks for reminding me and others about some of the wonderful 'Lucky' parts and fond memories you have of the Crucians/Zarlokyan and those things you worked into Starfire; which allowed many old-timers to Starfire make some good memories of their own "back in those days".


Oh, it's not a problem. I was just reminiscing. :mrgreen:
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Re: Type T/ST variant planet types

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Wed 12 Dec 2012 08:33

Actually, the subtle change in the Gorm from 2e to 3e may help to balance the T/ST question. In 2e the Gorm were thought to be able to handle the (It) solely due to their being a ST race. In 3e that was changed to their unusual radiation tolerance. Could that change be used to lower the mass range on ST's slightly so that their atmospheres would evolve a bit faster?
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Re: Type T/ST variant planet types

Postby Crucis on Wed 12 Dec 2012 08:45

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Actually, the subtle change in the Gorm from 2e to 3e may help to balance the T/ST question. In 2e the Gorm were thought to be able to handle the (It) solely due to their being a ST race. In 3e that was changed to their unusual radiation tolerance. Could that change be used to lower the mass range on ST's slightly so that their atmospheres would evolve a bit faster?


Alexei, I'm not sure why I really need to bother. This is really only an issue for uber-sysgen geeks. The average player isn't going to care.

I think that we should focus more on things that will help me move the process of completing sysgen forward, and not get too, too bogged down in the minutia.
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Re: Type T/ST variant planet types

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Wed 12 Dec 2012 21:35

I don't want to get too bogged down in the details either. I just want to have ST's that make sense both in game and somewhat in reality. What I'm getting at is that perhaps Earth is towards the upper end of the mass range for T planets. That would make ST's believable in terms of mass, gravity and atmosphere. Right now, for exoplanets, about all we can do is extrapolate mass and distance from our detection methods. We really can't tell what the atmosphere of a potential T/ST is even with space based instruments.

Using fiction that most of us here are familiar with, my cut off for T planets would be a world similar to Sphinx. The gravity is greater (to the point where much of the native population was genetically engineered to cope) and I would assume a somewhat denser atmosphere to match.

I'm also assuming that barring variants, T/ST planets would tend to have an Oxygen-Nitrogen based atmosphere. The pressures would vary, as would the percentages of O2, CO2 etc., but all would be broadly similar to Earth.

For a variant (and I'm not sure how to handle it in the sysgen process), I could see T/ST sized woulds where the indigenous life would be methane breathers.
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