Friday, April 23, 2021

I enjoy the Business (Biz) Ops part of Traveller Games

I'd like to share:

I know a few people enjoy the Biz Ops of a Traveller game. 

When I play with my gaming group, Role-Playing a Ship business without internal unnecessary conflicts, politics, intrigue or personality conflicts is my FAVORITE way of being unrealistic in a TRPG.

 Setting up pretend management reviews (a term in ISO 9001)  for the Team to decide on upgrades, purchases, and strategy is SOO much more fun than the real live version - and when everyone has fun in a TRPG version of the real deal - it makes me remember what was supposed to be the purpose of such meetings - its to get everyone's input before high impact decisions are made.

Deciding what to do with an influx of cash (PRIZE funds from a captured pirate ship in the game) in the real world is a big biz decision. Any time a company can afford to change its strategy and direction is both a time to celebrate and to look at the Technical Debt and buy it down. 

Especially when the Cash doesn't come with strings!

Especially when everyone gets to apply their armchair strategic skills - knowing every action is an action that narrows the other possible options. And because its a game we can always Pull away when we're thick in the weeds! And then unlike real life there is a GM/Ref who says "reality is like this" and it just ends the argument by injecting PERFECT information. 

Knowing how the Ideal Mgt Review and Strategic Planning is SUPPOSED TO BE if there were no ego, personality conflicts, intrigue, and mistrust make me less stressed in the real deal. It helps me see better what the necessary conflict creates and decide if the trade-off of giving away trust and the risks are worth it. 

Conditional Formatting and using Inbetween Sessions to Decide. Easier for the GM 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Game design elements i like correcting - pointless rolls, lost player turns, penalizing cooperation, robbing success from players

1) do not take any turn away from players, if there are costs then give penalties or costs but never take a turn away from a player. Example - No-Action Conditions in combat or Lost turns in Board Games. My favorite way of correcting it - Make the condition the challenge of the PC, and give them something to roll for. 

2) you succeed you get something, if you can give little wins then GO! never have a roll that has nothing to gain, that's bad design. Example: Task Chain in MGT2, rolling a success of 0 has no benefit in the Task Chain (and Failure has penalties).  

3)  Reward Cooperation, look at the system if it Punishes Cooperation - Example. current Task Chain in MGT2 punishes cooperation. Heck- reward AIDING, if a Player sacrifices their turn to AID, automatic BONUS, no need to roll. TREAT turns like they matter! 

Simple Correction - allow Effect to Transfer to the next character in the task Chain. "Oh no, the players are COOPERATING and maxing out their bonuses" Oh Tragedy. The fucking GM/REf can just give them something HARDER to do. yeah, a group of people OVERCOMING PROBLEMS by working together "That's Broken and OP!"- 

Why do people do drills, work as a team, coordinate, talk out their problems and resolve them - could it BE that working together has BENEFITS!?

4)Effects, degrees of Success and failure matter. I realize its the GMs that learn IMPROV  who know how to make Mixed Blessings/Costly Success/Complications and Escalations - Make something bad or good depending on Context - this is a fucking important life skill - if I know when X becomes terrible or a blessing on context then I have the ability not to get Tricked/Deceived - "Outrages headline, Click Bait, etc..." is defeated by CONTEXT.   

I have a bit of a fever since the Summer here in the Tropics is at 90F and my body is getting shocked at the temperature changes. I wish i can work on my book.  

There was someone at WORK refusing work because "Thats not my Job" what happened because of the pandemic was they had to take Forced leaves because they could not justify their work hours - the department that needed their helped was overturned and have overlaping skills and capabilities. That resulted in Lost workdays during a FUCKING pandemic - WHY: because "Fuck everyone I'm here for myself". That stressed me so much I got a stomach ache and disturbed my sleep for the week. 

When i See bad systems that dont seem to reflect Working together to survive (especially given the pandemic) - Thats red flag in design. 

I'll fix it in my book, that's the thing about being NICHE - a ton of game Designers doing this Part time and Drawing from their life and experience to make a Niche product and Support their patrons. Imagine I BUY a book and I can talk to the Author and give feedback how his stuff can be BETTER! win-win! 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Imagining a Smarter person than me: A Virtualized Model in my head

 TRPGS contributed to making me better imagine and predict what people would do. Simply because we have to think about what we are going to role-play and something believable would be something "We wouldn't do" or actions that reveal our behavior. 

This technique is almost a cornerstone to how I proceed with my limited attention, education, intelligence, and my self-doubt.  I am definitely not the smarter person - but it is enough to imagine someone who acts differently based on different Information than myself. 

The Smarter Person would:

  1. Stronger Logical Rigor than me. Unlike me they would know what argument or logic principle that applies. Unlike me they don't need to check google over and over again what are the terms and principles of the Logic, they would know. And thus they work with a Narrower set of Actions and more Confidence. All I can do is Google and Try to keep up. 
  2. They would know all the Patterns and Anti-PAtterns of Actions, Criteria, and Systems. They would be able to extrapolate the Checklist they will need to organize to Eliminate and Falsify the  Factors and Theory/Hypothesis. I am just a little monkey trying to ape their intelligence - I know what it looks like and have to go in search of something that LOOKS like it. 
  3. They have the Working Memory I dont have, and probably all those who draw from my genetic pool.  If eugenics was ever allowed I'd imagine my family would have been removed from the gene pool with our spectrum of flaws. Its a depressing to not have the working memory of a regular person and have to rely on VISUAL loading - writing all the information down, Drawing them as Diagrams, and using so many techniques just to keep up. When i draw and diagram and take notes I am monkeying poorly what a more intelligent person would do in their head. Knowing I am far inferior but having written it and drawn my solutions and formulas I can have others check my failures and issues. (soo many books and people who believe they are the Genius Savior of the World and people I personally know who believe less intelligent people are not worth saving, I've been only lucky to pretend to have enough intelligence to keep up - only my family's wealth has allowed me to survive when otherwise I would have been eliminated).😰😥
  4. That they have the attention to detail because their intelligence allows them to better Filter out the noise and red herrings. That I can only ruminate and doubt while they have the genius to be certain. They can seem so charismatic by how much attention and thought they can bring to bear and "pretend" to care or play the role the other party wants to see
I have a strong bias and you can say weakness to people as Ignorant as me😅. I want there to be understanding but I know they have to endure the humiliation of being in a world that is very "Intelligence" conscious and working our way to areas far smarter people come to with less effort or loss. I am part of the people who many believe "drag people" down. And my gene pool - and many of us like myself may rely on Ambiguity and luck to come with the ultimate "equalizer" money and power not to be "culled" for mediocrity. 

Survival of the Fittest = Might Makes Right...  and the Weak is to be enslaved. 

I'm just the scared and cautious simpleton who apes the smart person. Games are where I practice pretending to be smart and the illusion is easier to maintain 😅

I think I wrote about this before. Highly aware I'm a broken record. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Space Combat - System Scale and Space Combat Scale

What I want: 

  1. Space Combat where there is order enough to grasp the most key Conditions. More specifically. 

    1. The Conditions are Defined and Loaded with Context. Example
      1. Vectors - Moving and "Stationary" 
      2. Delta-V Budget ΔVB vs ΔV
      3. I'd have to map the ΔVB of each Stationary Vector.  
        1. I need to make a Spreadsheet formula of Escape Velocity and Break it down to more. Thankfully Donjon's System Generator has Gravity, Mass (in Earths), and Radius.
        2. I need a way to quickly Transfer and Clean up Data from Donjon's System Generator, Nearby Space map, and other Such resources. 
      4. Tables of STUFF to encounter. 
      5. Distances and Ranges
      6. Logical Relationships / Dependencies - (Towards, Away, Following, Evading, Shadowing). LR = Attention and Resources spent. 
    2. There is a checklist that helps manages the details. 
    3. Benchmarks: 
      1. Regular Freighters - the regular Traffic and their ΔVB  and Shipping Tonnage periods.
      2. Regular Patrol - the Light Warships that Regularly Patrol or Guard these, as well as the system Defenses. 
      3. Free Traders - the difference between Free Traders and Freighters is that the Freighters are Assets, their contracts guarantee they will operate and make money. It is the WEALTH of the system that determines their GRADE (
  2. Players can Consider Actions and See the Limitations of their Adversaries as well as their Own Situations and Take Risks Accordingly. 
    1. In Hard Scifi Space Combat - Every Encounter has been Wargames/Preplanned and there are RISKS, phase gates, that depending on what happens modifies the odds of an outcome. 
    2. For example - merchants balance  ΔVB with profitability and pirates balance  ΔVB with profitability - the ability to Capture the vessel and the Equilibrium of Strategies. 
or a spherically symmetric, massive body such as a star, or planet, the escape velocity for that body, at a given distance, is calculated by the formula[3]

where G is the universal gravitational constant (G ≈ 6.67×10−11 m3·kg−1·s−2), M the mass of the body to be escaped from, and r the distance from the center of mass of the body to the object.[nb 2] The relationship is independent of the mass of the object escaping the massive body. Conversely, a body that falls under the force of gravitational attraction of mass M, from infinity, starting with zero velocity, will strike the massive object with a velocity equal to its escape velocity given by the same formula.

When given an initial speed V greater than the escape speed {\displaystyle v_{e},} the object will asymptotically approach the hyperbolic excess speed {\displaystyle v_{\infty },} satisfying the equation:[4]

In these equations atmospheric friction (air drag) is not taken into account.

Learning Escape Velocity Taught me:

  1. That Orbits, which require less Escape Velocity, eventually get pulled back to the Planet. 
  2. Seeing #1 in action Taught me how Rocket Stages Work and how I can break up ΔVB with Mass Drivers, Airship Platforms, Inertia Tethers etc.. How the 11km/s can be achieved in segments of 2-3km/s with InfraStructure. I wish I had a media artists to help me explain these concepts visually. 
  3. That this was Essential in Making a ΔVB Map of a System. And started me in Imagining how I will use to diagram a System. 
  4. That after learning the Travel Time Formula and How it Works - how to get Time, Distance, ΔV, ΔVBudget, we learn Escape Velocity to make sense of it all. THEN we learn the simple algebra of Impulse, Thrust, Propulsion: Intake of Wet mass to Accel and ΔV.  Then the Geometry of Ship Building. 

System Scale Map in Roll20.

  1. Default 25px x 70 px for Width and Height. 
  2. Background: Black
  3. Grid Scale: 1 hex 
  4. Hex (H)
  5. Cell With 0.3 px x 70px = 21 px


  1. Systems Like our Solar System are HUGE, so huge that if I scale it to include Pluto or its Heliosphere (44 Astronomical Units) - with AU per hex, Mercury, Venus and EARTH are in the SUN Hex!!! 
  2. Anything that happens in the AU scale happens in the AU/ ΔV (Delta V) of the Moving Vectors. 


  1. Scale on the Fly. DONT set the hex distance just yet. It takes about 2 minutes to Recalculate the SCALE and change the hex distance values. have a method for a GM to quickly Adjust the distances. 
  2.  Vectors and Orbits using the MAP tools in Roll20 can easily be adjusted, number of Hexes can be used to determine Orbits and Distances and Current positions. 

Delta-V Budget 

Delta-v from / to (km/s)LEO-KenLEO-EqGEOEML-1EML-2EML-4/5LLOMoonC3=0
Low Earth orbit (LEO-Ken)4.244.333.773.433.974.045.933.22
Low Earth orbit (LEO-Eq)4.243.903.773.433.994.045.933.22
Geostationary orbit (GEO)2.061.631.381.471.712.053.921.30
Lagrangian point 1 (EML-1)0.770.771.380.140.330.642.520.14
Lagrangian point 2 (EML-2)0.330.331.470.140.340.642.520.14
Lagrangian point 4/5 (EML-4/5)0.840.981.710.330.340.982.580.43
Low lunar orbit (LLO)0.900.902.050.640.650.981.871.40
Moon surface2.742.743.922.522.532.581.872.80
Earth escape velocity (C3=0)001.300.140.140.431.402.80 


Star Data
TypeF7 V Yellow-white Main Sequence
Radius8.78 x 105 km   (1.26 x sol)
Mass3.09 x 1030 kg   (1.56 x sol)
Temperature6300 K
Luminosity8.65 x 1026 W   (2.26 x sol)
TypeRock Planet (Escape Velocity 11,185.98 m/s
Orbital Radius6.41 x 107 km   (0.43 AU)
Period1.96 x 103 hours   (0.22 earth years)
Radius7698.77 km   (1.21 x earth)
Gravity11.72 m/s2   (1.20 x earth)
SpecialHeavy radiation, heavy volcanism
TypeRock Planet (Escape Velocity 10,914.76 m/s)
Orbital Radius1.27 x 108 km   (0.85 AU)
Period5.50 x 103 hours   (0.63 earth years)
Radius10158.97 km   (1.59 x earth)
Gravity16.36 m/s2   (1.67 x earth)
TypeTerrestrial World (Escape Velocity 11,185.98 m/s)
Orbital Radius1.84 x 108 km   (1.23 AU)
Period9.54 x 103 hours   (1.09 earth years)
PhysicsLarge iron/silicate
Radius9073.08 km   (1.42 x earth)
Gravity13.85 m/s2   (1.42 x earth)
Hydrosphere0 % water, 3 % ice
AtmosphereDense corrosive
SpecialLarge moon, planetary rings
TypeRock Planet (Escape Velocity 12,138.56 m/s)

Orbital Radius3.36 x 108 km   (2.25 AU)
Period2.36 x 104 hours   (2.70 earth years)
Radius8023.96 km   (1.26 x earth)
Gravity10.47 m/s2   (1.07 x earth)


Learning So Much - Modeling 10dton Fighters for Cepheus Engine SRD RAW

 There are Some problems in SPACE combat in CE I hope to address. Designing things in a way that 1-2 hours of games that 

  1. can be fast, 
  2. easy to visualize and narrate, 
  3. and filled with actions - Players don't have "Dead AIR" the mechanics always give Agency to the Players. Dont take turns away from players (an Old design relic that punishes players in older game design). 

  1. The ship has to have maneuverable/pivotable thrusters. 
    1. How is the fighter going to dock?
    2. How will it change Vector? Yaw, Pitch, Roll, Bank? 

  2. 2-Crew is an important aspect of combat, I'm surprised most fighter ships default at 1. Mechanics that make PCs valuable give PCs roles in combat. 
  3. I want to make the ship practical in my Harder Scifi game. 
  4. I have to try out modeling first before I realize how to better PLAN a design. Its really  more complicated because I have to plan how to avoid ngons/non-quad faces. 

3 space x 6 space or 18 spaces = 9 dtons. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Today I learned some Basic Orbital Mechanics

 TIL Hohmann transfers and Oberth Effect.  

  1. Why the Navigator is an Important Job (it is not in the Mechanics of Old Traveller and Cepheus) - and Ideas how to make the Navigator important in CE - he helps reduce Delta V and Travel time- 
    1. if you brute force something without Orbital Mechanics YOU GET NOWHERE even if you have a lot of unlimited thrust duration (How long the ship can have thrust) and not enough thrust Power (Gs). 
    2. The Navigator Tracks Vectors. Vectors are the Imaginary Point in space the Navigator tracks and determine - they can be Moving Points like other Ships, or nearly fixed points like Planets and Notable Objects (see Near earth Objects) being 1 Meter in largest dimension is the smallest to the Minimum automatically detected is something as big as Ganymede  (+30km across). 
    3. The Pilot = the Thrust or M-Drive controler determines if the ship Tumbles, Strafes,  "Flips&Burns", wobbles, or creates an area of uncertainty to the exact position on its way to its Vector.  
    4. But the navigator determines if they CHANGE Conditions with the Target - that ranges and the orbital mechanics that influence their actions to change. The captain should have strong Navigation because navigation is the most immediate CONDITIONS of the ship. A firm grasp of Navigation means being able to BREAK UP assumptions and audit conditions for details that may be out of place.   

  Easy Orbital Mechanics I - Getting to the Moon  

 Easy Orbital Mechanics II - Hohmann Transfers    

  Easy Orbital Mechanics III - Interplanetary Travel  

   Easy Orbital Mechanics IV - The Oberth Effect 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Fabrics to Expand Modules for Spin Grav - Cepheus Engine Traveller SRD

Playing around with Hex tube ships for easy manufacture and maintenance. A little gravity is better than none. 
I would imagine this would be the most "basic" ship. 

The hex habitat modules that Expand (combination of fiber/fabric to be very light weight and some hard shell structures). 
5m rad hex expanding for 12m rad. 

It has two counter-rotating (to counteract their oscillation) Spin Grav hex modules for Physical Therapy. People work and sleep in 0G, but have recreation and therapy, in spin grav. 
A little Grav is better than none. Assumes a more efficient drive than the current. More controls and sensors in the cone. 

My current Bottleneck is that I need to figure out how to make simpler  3d modules that would render in Cross sections for the Worldbuilders as well as Kit bashing tools for the GM who wants to detail their ship as well as rendering instructions for Isometric and 2d Maps. 

needs - Sleeping/Fresher pods, workshop, maintenance and housekeeping drones, Engineering kit-bashing, Command stations, Crash couches, med bay, Life Support Infra, etc... 

Based on the Space-X starship and a more Hard Scifi CE.  

I realize the ability to generate Fiber-flex or Scifi-Duct tape is one of the most critical parts of a ship and vacc suit maintenance. As well as drones that fly and float to apply it in hard-to-reach places. 

Blender 2.82 rendered in Ubunut 20.04 

Character Creation Flow Chart for Cepheus Engine Traveller SRD 1 page

 Here is my own take on Cepheus Engine SRD character Creation (linked to I'll probably go through multiple iterations. Here's access to the file so you can customize or improve on it. Color coding is to break it up to Qualification, Survival, Commission/Advancement, Aging, Mustering Phases. Here is the CE SRD link to Drivethru RPG (its $0)

Tables not included are the 

  • Careers and their Ranks, Skills, Qualification etc... p.33