From: beilby@??????.???.??.au Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 14:25:59 +1000 (EST) Subject: Re: New ships.
Hail listjammers, With all the discussion about a spj net.book, and such, I thought I'd finaly get around to postingsome thought I had about some suport style ships. By support ships I mean the sort of ship that the PC's wouldn't want to use, but that would be used by the non-adventuring NPC's. What follows is the description for two versions of a cylindrical ship, and a couple of small utility vessels. Feedback on these ideas will be much appreciated. The design of these ships sprang from thoughts about the type of ship that miners (non-dwarven) would want to use to go prospecting and mining in asteriod belts, and what about merchants that want to set up a mobile market place? The basic form of the ship will be an open ended cylinder. Living space, and whatever structures are needed will be on the inside, though these will be limited to single story buildings, to limit the height of the air envelope, and the tonnage of the cylinder. The limited height of the air enveope will mean that the center of the cylinder will be "above" the astmosphere. This will allow ships to be carefully flown into the cylinder, and then moored in the null grav area by cables that run down to the surface. I envisage two major versions, one a ship in the 100 ton range to be used as a mobile base for mining operations in asteroid belts, and the like. With a diameter just large enough to allow small ships such as wreckboats to be docked in the center. Movement with ships docked would follow the rules for towing other ships. The second varient would be large enough to allow the docking of even the largest ships. (Though maybe not the elven man-o-wars with those wings) This version would serve as a true space dock, offering trading posts, repair and construction facilities. This one would need either a super-duper helm to move under its own power, or could have a number of tug vessels to tow it around when needed. (the tugs would also be useful for helping ships in and out of dock. For both of these vessels, having something bigger than them come into contact and causing a gravity shift would be disasterious. Though for the bigger version, that might have to be the spelljammer, or something on the scale of the Rock of Bral. I've thought of two possible ways to avoid this. The first requires the existence of a gravity field inert material. That is, a material that does not react to, or cause planer gavity. Using such a material to seperate sections of the cylinder such that it is made up of strips of normal material running end to end, joined by this inert material, would mean that if a large ship touched one of them, it wouldn't effect the gravity of the others. Though this would mean each of the sections would be smaller, and would be effected by smaller ships. The second solution is of use only when stationary, and in an area within range of a source of asteriods, or other debries. The solution is to attach lots of asteriods and other large rocks to the outside of the ship, to increase its tonnage above that of any ships that might come into contact with it. This would also make good camoflage, and armour. To do this the tugs mentioned before would be very handy. On the subject of the tugs, I've had some ideas for these suport ships for the the stations. The first would be a small vessel, like the the wreckboat, but having no internal cargo space, high manouverability, a major tactical helm, and hard points for pushing, pulling and carrying large objects around. (A major tactical helm would be a helm cabable of luging around 100 tons or more of ship, but only at tactical speeds. ie lots cheaper hopefully) A second tug varient I've got in mind is for use in the construction of all those wonderful vessels that zip around in space, that obviosly couln't have been made on the surface of a planet. This "ship" would be little more than a strap on minor tactical helm, with a number of hard points to allow moving the various bits of ships around once they where in space, or lifting them from the surface of station. They would also allow the user to be able to do more than just sit on the seat. ie the person using the helm, could also lend a hand in bolting down the section of ship they just lifted up from the station. I'm imagining them as a cross between a NASA jetpack, and the exo frame forklift thing that ripley used in aliens. They would have a pair of main manipulator arms, that would move with the wearers arms, and sockets for special purpose devices, such as magical cutting and sealing/welding devices. Both these "ships", would have to have helm more like the seats found in a fighter plane, than house. ie they would need at least a 5 point harness so they don't fall out when they touch a larger object and have gravity switch 180 degree's. / / / / __ And how can this be? )--/+-+-+-+--- ' \ - Because HE IS THE KWISATZ HADERACH!!! (8| Scorpius>\___/ // )--\+-+-+-+--- \\ // RETINA \ \ \ \ Dougal Beilby (beilby@??????.???.??.au) \X/ A4000/030