Sunday, June 28, 2020

Learning Children of a Dead Earth Orbital Mechanics and Phasing.

Children of a Dead Earth was about 1usd because of the steam Summer sale. So I got it. 

Unlike Kerbal, I KNOW I can skip to the Orbital mechanics and I can barely grasp the concepts

And I don't understand it still. I have to do some "homework" and study. 

Trying to learn the Orbital Controls in Children of a Dead Earth. Still looking for the links that explain the concepts of how the 

Radial (Green, B), 

Ok this is in the 2D orbital plane with 2 axis of: Away from or Towards the Orbiting Body. So all rockets tend to try to get AWAY from the Orbiting Body, while METEORS go towards the orbiting body. Green ROCKETS and METEORS. 

Tangential (Red, V), 

It's supposed to be Perpendicular to the Orbited Body, but wasn't that supposed to be out of Plane? But still in the 2d Plane of Orbit. 
AHHH!!! Ok so its perpendicular relative to the Axis of Away and Towards the orbital body. Now I get it. its V in the Wikipedia diagram. ??? So I have to think of either the Relative relationship of the Place I want to go.... that's confusing I can use both to get out of the orbit of the Orbiting Body. My brain can't figure this out. 

AHH! Oh i can imagine it as the Velocity I'm going to be Orbiting. If I want to SPEED UP to catch up to something in the Same Orbital Plane OR slow down TO CATCH UP. (which is actually WRONG because of Orbital Phasing ). 

TANGENTIAL RED is Go Faster or Reverse Along the Track (Orbital Path). 

Out of Plane (Blue, N), 

So this is Perpendicular the Orbital Plane. So I guess its going towards the Poles - North and South. So the Axis is North or South. 
If I'm imagining it this makes me Change my Orbit clockwise or counterclockwise to the Orbiting body. 
The Infolinks in the game says its used to line up on the same orbital plane as the object. 

BLUE is Changing the Orbital Plane. I should Imagine it as Changing Lanes of some kind. 

Temporal (White, M).

Can't find it. Hope I bump into it again. 

Holy crap! 
"If spacecraft is behind the final position on the same orbit, the spacecraft must slow down to enter a smaller, faster phasing orbit to catch up to the final position."
That's Counterintuitive!!! 

Focal point.png

A quick Video of me trying to figure it out and actually getting it WRONG but still finishing the mission!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Quick Combat Update June 24 2020

This is system I just want to make because I want to apply the concepts I like from various systems like Cepheus Engine/Traveller, Dungeon World/Apocalypse Engine, The Fantasy Trip, GURPS, and experience in what works. 

This is meant to be Quick Character Generation with a fist full of D6 and some scratch Paper.
Then Start the combat with some scenarios and see if my son takes to it. 

The design influences are
  • Turns have no Interruption actions. No opportunity attacks or reactions, players just know there are Automatic Effects that affect their roll and character when they perform certain actions.  A player or GM does not interrupt the other player. 
  • No GM rolls. Failure results in Costs and Damage. 
  • Fewer Rolls. Use of Margin of Success/Failure and Fail Thresholds. 
    • One Roll per Turn. 
    • One throw Many Dice. Damage and a Confirmation D20 is rolled as part of the 3d6.  
  • Death Spiral. Penalties and Costs accumulate.  
  • Limited Modifiers
    • Competence (skill and stat or ability mod)
    • Advantage
    • Condition 
    • Scale

  1. 200413 Quick Combat - Weapons and Armor

    1. Finish the Weapons and Armor. 

    2. Adventuring Gear remains. 

    3. Template Equipment Remains. 

    4. 200425 GITB Quick Combat - Combat Mechanics

      1. Fatigue and Exhaustion

      2. Healing and Recovery of Stress, Trauma, Fatigue, Exhaustion, and 

        1. Uses of Medicine

      3. Condition Levels are 0,-1, -3,-7, -10

      4. Combat Actions Clarification. 

        1. Defend. How does it work in 1 side rolls system?

          1. I guess you roll when you're being attacked if you haven’t attacked on your turn. 

          2. So on your turn you either Attack or Are Attacked. When defending a success means getting to continue what your doing. Certain Feats, Class Features, etc.. allow characters to deal damage even when defending. 

          3. When defending possible to use an Athletic Skill or A different combat skill depending on the context.

          4. If the character is Interposing themselves against an Adversary and Choosing to Defend, they were not performing anything else, they have an Advantage to the Roll.  

          5. If you are attacked, roll against the DC of the Adversary (10 + Competence + Scale). Roll using your Competence + Scale. 

          6. Failure by the Fail Threshold (Skill Modifier) is to abort any action you were going to do. 

          7. Characters can have a Costly Failure by Choosing to Take the Damage even if they did not exceed the Failure Threshold (Level of Skill) to Continue their Action.    

          8. Defending Only Action - grants an Advantage on a Success for the Action of the Next Turn.. 

        2. Ready Actions. 

      5. Actions like Running. Dex roll for Running. 

        1. 1 round of sprinting 

        2. 1 minute of running 

        3. 10 mins of jogging  

      6. Damage

    5. 200424 GITB Quick Combat - Basics and Characters

      1. Dash Feat. Better Movement. 

      2. Forgot the Shields Table. Shields Modify the Fail Threshold. 

      3. Off-hand weapon is its Own and Separate Skill. It can grant a Shield effect increasing the Fail Threshold so the character can avoid taking damage, but not as effective as shields. . 

      4. Oh yeah Skill Modifier for Margin of Failure. 

    6. 200419 GITB Quick Combat - Test Characters

      1. Update the features and Load outs. 

      2. Finish Loadouts for Legionnaire and Guardsman.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Cost of the Liberty Ship, Victory Ship, and the Type C2 Ship.

I'm using this as a Baseline for my KiloTon TL9 ships. to the Page. 

The Book is free, I have to check if its Public Domain.

Historical Reports on War Administration, War Production Board. Documentary Publication

TIL in WW2 the

1,845,520 USD of the Liberty Ship. 26,280,204.8

2,522,800 USD of the Victory Ship 35,924,672

3,380,400 USD of the Type C2 Ship 48,136,896

Inflation at 14.24 from 1945 to 2020

Notice the Ratio of Production comparison. 2700, 500, and 100. It can be a basis for how long it takes to make, a factor that even if you have the funds speed may be a factor. 


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Getting Back to my April 2020 Project - Quick Combat

I got back to my April Project of Quick Combat System (gdoc link) Inspired by The Fantasy Trip, meshed with D&D. As always many of what I do is in a Gdoc/Gsheet so people can easily grab anything they might want to reuse or repurpose. 

The reason I got back to this is that I need to ween my son off the Laptop. No classmates or peer group, no activities after class except roblox and youtube (Minecraft proving too addicting). The cycle of that would make this addicting cannot be helped because there is no other socialization and the games are fun. There is a lag in real life, a delay before satisfaction or gratification that happens that makes us able to think and instead of pure reaction and reflex. I'm sure he can "de-program" the conditioning after a Vaccine arrived and is administered but that technical debt will be worse if I don't try to lower it NOW. 

TRPGamer Dad trying to figure out ways to make TRPGs that are too slow and boring for his son work. Am I the same kid who had 2 younger brothers and figured out to have Imagination games in the long idle times of my busy parents and having to go to school >20km away growing up? Why can't I figure my own son out? (I'm sure every dad ask himself). 

Now I've incorporated Alternative Cepheus Engine (ACE) Elements - just the Skills and planning to Incorporate 1 Term of in the Creation and Just a Simple 2d6 (11 outputs) of Events. The goal is that I need to set things up that I and my Son can just roll up characters and play.
Random Stat. 
roll 7d6 keep 6.




















Random Race






Versatile Fighterts



Savage and Reckless



Nimble and Evasive



Resilient and Reliable



Keen and Cunning

Random Background






Scavengers, Thugs, Bandits, Deserters, 



Militia, Levy, Conscripts, 



Professional soldier of unsteady employment



Professional Soldiers of a Kingdom or Empire



Warriors of powerful patrons

Random Class






Mobile fighters.



Chargers, The Hammer


Heavy Infantry

Defenders, the Anvil



Reconnaissance, Intelligence






Creatures whose purpose is ending lives.



Trained to protect and defend.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Writing Skills Down more Thoughtfully

I dont know how to describe when I describe skills in this way: 
1) select a people or cultural group (example given), the character will know the customs and practices expected to get along and show respect or community. 
1.1) Roll to know how to resolve complicated situations that would be culturally accepted. 
1.2) this includes knowledge of Taboo practices and Topics for that people. 
1.3) Roll to know how to save face. 

writing skills feels like there needs to be concise language for Use. Particularly the technical language like cultural group, showing respect, showing community (that one has accepted the implicit obligations and duties of being part of community), and saving face (resolving a situation where the person's credibility or social standing is damaged). 

My experience of Skill Description. My problem with some Skills written is
  • the Function is not clearly stated. Particularly discussing the situation in a real world and game world manner. The description should answer "What is this skill used for?" This means describing a situation or occasion for the skill. it can be as simple "Saving Face" 
  • Benchmarks or Baselines. What is Automatic or Assumed the character knows so as to push the story forward, what would be Points of Uncertainty or Tension - Can the character show they get along with the Locals? Can he forage enough edibles for his team/squad? What the character CAN do or know, and what he may or may not be able to do. 
  • To write in a way that PUSHES the Story forward, Advances the Plot, Escaltes the Challenge. One of the lessons I learned in TRPGs that I apply to real life is that I can classify my abilities and Limits in: What pushes the story forward and what causes Tensions/Uncertainty. Like in TRPGs I need to clarify What is the Conflict of this Situation, process the situation in a consistent manner, and make a decisions. 
    • Processing Situation in a Consistent manner means having a procedure or checklist. its taking an intuitive thing that is inconsistent and forcing consistency into it and Accepting and being aware when I'm inconsistent. 

But since I dont want to go through a lot of Drafts I will "formulate my spell" or formulate the key wording into short sentence ideas like "Save Face", "Get along", "Forage Edibles", "Quickly Stop Bleeding", etc... which I will detail in the future. Using Progressive Elaboration 

Lately I've had to break up my Survival Skill into a Skill Group or Knowledge Area - which is related Group of Skills. First Aid, Navigation, Investigation, Insight, Area (Culture Group), Area (terrain), etc... 

Side Trip of Throughts: pushing the story forward

As to Why knowing how to push the story forward is a life skill its because I get into a Mental Recursive loop instead of breaking the Loop by taking out of my working memory, writing it down (Puting it in an External memory system like Writing/Documentation/Drawings) and going about it one step at a time. 

Knowing when my Working Memory is having an Error that I cannot detect because my Working Memory is overloaded is having a PC Hang and you cannot call up Task Manager to kill a process. You cannot call up task manager when the the PC hangs. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Walled Garden of Apple - the Vilani Nobility's Tech Monopoly and Cartels

In Gurps Traveller Interstellar Wars (2200 to 2300s; 2100-2299 ) the Vilani being an Imperial Monopoly and Cartel going crazy will allow for REALLY expensive but good tech. Black Boxing the Tech - vs Open Tech - Give them the Apple Experience: Walled Garden TL10-11. Its Outcast Systems or People get the sudden shock of being left on their own and slowly having to raise back their Tech levels. 

It's funny that the Implications of a Cartel and Monopoly not mentioned or raised the way what naturally happens with Inequality (high Gini coefficient). It reminds me of Doublespeak: A sanitized way to say a "High Gini Coefficient" without having to say life is so cheap, every day its snuffed out over petty reasons of prestige and appearance. 

It is as inevitable as Gravity when some humans are so detached to the suffering of the rest that they become disconnected and dehumanize with these people. Empathy like any brain organ - loses functionality when left to atrophy. 

In walled Garden Tech - the role of humans becomes more DISPOSABLE - since you don't want them breaking the monopoly and redistributing knowledge and wealth. The system works contrary to reality. the Great Houses in the Vilani is closer to the Waylan-Yutani type mega Corporations in Aliens. Of course, all propaganda says otherwise, but Policy has a lot of doublespeak that can be evidence of the deception. 

Imagine that draw from Cyberpunk and Modern-day Technology Movements (Right to repair, Open Science) creating that Messy Dirty ragtag Solomani Navy (metric mega ton TL9 structures with jump drives) against the Sleek Elegant and sophisticated Apple Vilani lolz (enclosed metric kilo ton structures, with toruses for the nobility). 

Android devices are the Baseline but compared to Apple - android being replaced every 2 years vs Apple's and MS's decade long support. 

Take aways
Imagine the Torus or Spin Gravity being a Monopoly and requires a License to produce lolz. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

What would be a different Ship Design System for Cepheus Engine?

So in a Metric based and Delta-V Budget Cepheus Engine Ship Gen with a Spreadsheet You can imagine it as a Table with Rows of Components and Columns of Attributes: Category (engineering), Module (Propulsion, Fuel, Power), mTon (mass), dTons , cost, ops (man-hour/day), and maintenance (man-day/week).  

Delta V Budget
What will be different is that there will be Notes on the Spreadsheet guiding the creation - and KPI as you build it. KPI like DVB (delta-V budget), Operations Man-hour/day, and Maintenance Man-Hour/week,  and Benchmarks - Commercial Freighter, Passenger Liners,  Tramp-Freighter, and Destroyers.

Opportunity Costs as a KPI. When I made our ships in Bob's Traveller game I had to calculate the Opportunity cost of DTONs to make an Informed Decision. What is the Market Value per Ton of Cargo. 

I notice as KPIs got complicated I just needed to know higher than or lower than X. My brain started bogging down. 

Its weird when there is a LARGE amount of Working Memory required in some game-related tasks that can be reduced by organizing the data with KPI and baselines. So I want a Tramp Freighter BUT I want X trade-offs. No one wants a game system that reminds them they're BASIC, except me. 

It's funny that people can't sell Spreadsheets and its to expensive to make a program. Although what is Sell-able is the Art, Fluff, Economic consideration, and tested Scenarios. Like many Open Source Models (like Blender and Linux) the Free tools (spreadsheets) compliment the Service/Product being sold. A spreadsheet I can use on a Tablet would be useful as I run a game on VTT. 

I made about 3 Videos of how to use my GURPS traveller spreadsheets - one is a builder another is a Comparative analysis of Operating Costs of several ships. 


I'm taking a break, got burned out doing the fun stuff of writing and designing. Its like eating something you love, it can make you SICK so I have to pace myself, BUT I have to make sure I don't lose my place. I do this to rest and learn after work. 

To do
  1. Prep the Basic Outline of the Computer Design System, Draft 1. 
    1. Some Basic TL9 Computers. TL9 being 2050s to 2200s 
    2. Share the Sample Spreadsheets (200510 Cepheus Engine Variant Rules).
    3. Some basic Software for TL9 and up. 
    4. Some Basic Robots: Humanoid and Quadruped form Pre-Draft 1 Objectives.
  2. Update my 20130819 Sci-FI Notes
  3. Re-write the Scout Events (200607 Scout Creation). I realized I learned a lot by the time I got to Soldier Events that there was a BIG difference in the writing quality of the Events. 
  4.  Proceed with Next Careers. The goal is to have a Working Draft of each. 
  5. Working Draft of Equipment, Robots, Ships, Hazards, and Combat. Combat is pretty far down in priority.  Hazards and TURN-Based Hazard resolution would be interesting - making Game Challenges into Apolo 13 challenges I think would be great. Especially if it is framed as a Business, Disaster, Emergency etc... 

  1. Planning

    1. Purpose and Function. 

      1. Key Concepts.

        1. Trade-offs

        2. Budgets

        3. Delta-V Budget

        4. Man-hour/day

        5. Man-day/Week

        6. Technical Debt. 

    2. Benchmarks

      1. Commercial Freighter 

        1. Cost

        2. Upkeep: Man Days and Materials

        3. Cargo

        4. Budget Breakdown

      2. Passenger Liners

        1. Cost

        2. Upkeep: Man Days and Materials

        3. Cargo

        4. Budget Breakdown

      3. Tramp Freighter

      4. Pirate Ship. 

      5. Smallest Warship: Destroyer

  2. Engineering

    1. Engineering KPI

      1. Delta V Budget

      2. Maintenance. mh/d 

      3. Operation  mh/d

    2. Propulsions

      1. 5-10% mTons 

    3. Fuel

      1. 10-20% mTons

    4. Jump-Drive

      1. 10-20% mTons

  3. Controls

    1. Bridge/Command

    2. Sensors 

    3. Computers

  4. Crew Requirements

    1. Quarters

    2. Life support

    3. Amenities

  5. Function Modules

    1. Cargo

    2. Workshop

    3. Medbay

    4. Docking-bay

    5. Hangar-bay

    6. Crafts

    7. Drones

  6. Defenses

    1. Point-Defense-Lasers

      1. Micro-meteors and debris.

      2. Kinetic Rounds. 

    2. Combat Drones

  7. Finalize

    1. How to Iterate