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[OFFICIAL] Colony lists and Planet Types

From: Adrian Johnson <ajohnson@i...>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 15:09:06 -0500
Subject: [OFFICIAL] Colony lists and Planet Types


>1) What do we want? ("We" being the list membership, as a particularly
>enthusiastic cross-section of FT/DS/SG players). A star map/colony list
>that is as close to known astronomical data as possible, or one that
>applies a bit of artistic licence (as most SF authors do) and allows
>to be planets wherever they best suit the storyline? If the latter, do
>stick to "real" stars only, or make the whole thing up once we get past
>few LY out?

I fall into the "use real stars but take artistic licence with detailing
the planets and other inhabitable / useful bits" category.  Artistic
licence is fine - after all, this is a science fiction game universe,
not a

>2) Of those people who use the "official" background, or a minor
>modification of it (on the assumption that those who hate the
>won't be interested in all this anyway!), do you actually WANT to see
>defined in this sort of detail, or left loose (as we have done so far)
>allow more freedom to come up with your own colonies, campaigns etc.?
>you want to see detail of specific events/places in the timeline, and
>exhaustive lists of whose settlements are on which worlds etc.? This
>of background "fluff' is fairly easy to produce once you get it rolling
>(provided it is carefully cross-checked for contradictions - I'm sure
>guys (and girls - sorry Beth....) will gleefully go through it all with
>fine-tooth combs... <grin>), but I am aware that some people can also
>it as too restrictive on their creativity.

I agree with the "detail the inner areas like crazy and leave the outer
areas / fringes hazier to allow for personalization, with a few detailed
examples for story purposes and to provide examples" sentiment on this. 
really enjoy a well developed background/history/storyline in a game,
inevitably end up tweaking it for my own use.

>Realspace "speed" will depend on frequency of jumps -	once out into
>interstellar space each jump is probably around 2  light-years for
>drives, 1 for Merchants. Following the fluff I put in the FB, you need
>undefined number of shorter jumps at the beginning and end of the trip,
>average jump frequency is about 1 per day (maximum with Milspec drives
is 4
>a day). So, we could say that trip time by merchant ship is about 1 LY
>day, plus (say) 2-3 days of corrective jumps at each end, with an
>warship being able to halve that - so a "slow" freighter would do Sol
>Centaurus in around 10 days, Barnard in 12, Ross 154 in 16; to an
>at 50LY would take around 56 days if the ship had the endurance to keep
>the constant jumps, which is highly unlikely - it would probably do it
>stages, with several layovers that would increase the trip time
>considerably. A Warship would do Centaurus in (say) 5-6 days at normal
>cruise, but could do it in a couple of days in a flat-out emergency
>Endurance could be either in time (crew stamina and lifesupport
>etc.) or number of jumps (power/fuel requirements, and crew stamina
>For gameplay purposes it is probably better to keep endurance
>short, even for military ships, to prevent bypassing of large chunks of
>territory - if layovers have to be fairly frequent then it becomes more
>tactically necessary to hold star systems rather than	just detour

I like this.  There's a related thread discussing planet types, and
are asking what is valuable in a planet - resources, habitability,
population/economic base, etc.	With limited ranges for FTL travel,
is strategic value in planets/systems that have no/little resources, but
are a good layover point or just happen to be on the route you are
travelling.  Makes for interesting scenarios where you have to fight
someplace that isn't inherently valuable, but has value because the
guy wants it, or 'cause it's on the way to someplace else which is
valuable.  Much like real war.	I wouldn't like it much if the only
of "value" was planets/systems with big productive potential or natural
resources.  That makes sense from an economic point of view, but doesn't
necessarily follow from a military/strategic point of view.  Of course,
end objectives are going to be about resources of various kinds
food, living space, etc), but by necessity there is value in the route
get there (and back).

My $0.02


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