Wednesday, July 20, 2022

OSR Commentary On The Hostile Rpg & Dragon Magazine issue #51 A Part Of The Military Action At The Shoulder of Orion

 This morning its been a whirl wind of activity followed by phone calls & player's questions about throwing something together this weekend. So this weekend it's gonna be a balancing act of taking on a whole bunch of DM Steve's players from old school Traveller & bringing them into my on going Hostile game. Enter Dragon magazine issue #51 which has lots of articles devoted to old school Traveller!  This is post is going pick up right from this blog entry here. 

And one of the articles in The Dragon issue #51 is Masers & Cameras By Paul Montgomery Crabaugh. Within it is section on adding in a Survey Module; 'The Survey Module For those of you who spend a lot of time poking around uncharted planets wondering what things are like at ground level, there is the Survey Module. The module is an array of cameras, sidescanning radar, IR cameras, telescopes and such, along with various support equipment, to gather the information needed to map a planet. The Survey Module masses three tons and costs MCR 1. The three tons are fairly amorphous, being mostly freestanding consoles and the like, and can thus be fit into any three-ton volume aboard which has at least one exterior wall. The most common installation is in the erstwhile cargo hold of a Scout ship.' Sounds like perfect retrotech device  to add into a Hostile game. A corporate exploritory ship that holds a few of these Survey modules is lost or captured by 'outlaws' who demand a randsom for the return of the module. 
Let's give this ship a spin with the effects of time diliation here by allowing the survey ship to be lost for fifty years or so. This ship's hyperspacial transponder then begins transmitting and now the Space Force suddenly becomes very interest. Where has it been & what data does it contain?! If we incorporate this into the Shoulder of Orion campaign setting suddenly things become a lot more interesting. 

The automated survey ship may have brought far more back with it then the player's mercs are going to be expecting. How will this play out?! There a few ideas that are playing in the back of my head with Dragon magazine issue #51. Because in the same article there's a bit on Masers; 'Masers are microwave lasers. Actually, technically, a laser is a visible-light maser, to reflect the priority of invention. However, the term laser has become ascendent. A ship-mounted maser cannon is not much of an offensive weapon, although at close (boarding) range it could have unpleasant effects on a person’s nervous system. Maser cannons are intended primarily as defensive weapons, since a hit by a maser would tend to confuse electromagnetic sensors (such as radar) rather thoroughly. A maser is similar to a beam laser in size, shape and so forth. It costs MCR planet’s rotation has not been retarded: the length of the day, in other words. More will be said later about the odd entry for a size 8 world. Mass is the mass of the planet, relative to Earth. The lower three sizes are best described as “very small.” If it is necessary to have a figure in pounds, by all means look it up. But the relative figure is the most useful. O(t) is the period, in minutes, of a tight orbit (200 miles). A useful figure for planning pickups or surveys. O(synch) is the altitude of a synchronous orbit in kilometers. A good place to be to maintain communications with a ground party. Once again, the planet is assumed to have an unretarded rotation; retarded rotations produce other altitudes. Concerning retardation and the 15-hour period of 8000-milewide worlds: 15 hours, more or less, is how long the Earth’s day would be but for the good graces of (mostly) the moon, which has been slowing our rotation down, bit by bit, over the eons. This phenomenon is called “retardation.” 1.25, since it is not a commonly used item. It is not affected by sand in combat. If the target ship has a fibre optic computer, a DM of -2 is imposed to hit (actually, there is the same chance of hitting, but less chance of confusing, the target). A successful hit by a maser has the effect of imposing a -1 DM on the enemy‘s attacks for the next turn. This effect is cumulative; three hits by masers cause a -3 DM on all attacks made during the next turn." 
Now I'm wondering if maser systems might be used in the Shoulder of Orion as another part of this automated  survey ship's systems. And this is when it hits that the reputation of this survey ship should be like a legendary flying dutchman of  'The Shoulder of Orion'  at Mu Orionis. Corporations will fight over such a ship, assassins will murder for it's location, and we can create a blood thirst mess in the middle of interstellar space quite easily! 


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