Attributes, Skills and Tasks

Something that puzzles me in many games is the rather abritrary way of how characters or heroes are defined by stats like attributes, abilities, skills and such and how those are used in the context of challenge resolution. Everyone wants to describe his hero just like you want to tell your best friend the cool […]

Beam Cannons

Beam Cannon

or Direct Energy Weapons are the second type of the three typically used large scale weapons systems used in space battles (the other two being Kinetic Kill Cannons and Missiles). Laser cannons A long time ago lasers and particle beam cannons were considered to be the weapon system of the future, superior to conventional ballistic […]

The Expanse: Annoying logic holes

The Expanse is a space opera – it’s about story-telling while trying to deliver a rather believable scientific background. They started quite well in terms of the scientific approach, but have made major mistakes in the second season that are very obvious and not easy to your eyes at. Even more irritiating ist the fact […]

The Expanse: Theory on the Ancient Builders

I haven’t seen all episodes of Season 2 yet, so I may be off topic completely here. But I just came up with one, actually two, ideas about the motives of the ancient race that is responsible for creating the protomolecule and the wormhole network spanning space (that I read about internet spoilers already). I […]

Spinning Habitat Rings on Spaceships

Rotating Habitat Rings

Without the help of magical constructions that create artificial gravity aboard spaceships, there are actually only three options to have some sort of gravity in spaceflight: Accelerate by thrusting Make your ship spin (or a section of it) Place a large mass under your ship Option 1 works perfectly as long as you can accelerate […]

Space Trucking

Space Trucking

The Mercury Planetary Book of Jovian Chronicles has some details about running freighters between the planets. On page 0072 and following it states the following information: The formula is based on the number of Equivalent Burn Points a captain or pilot wishes to spend to make the trip. Half the EBPs are spent accelerating the […]

Detection – I can see you…

With the lack of windows and an endless void between you and any other ship, the usage of sensors is crucial for survival and navigation alike. On a naval destroyer you can always use your eyes and binoculars if all systems fail (not very helpful in smoke or at night). On a starship you are […]

The second question: costs

The second question when desiging spaceships will be “how much”? The cost of building a specific design is crucial to it’s success. You can build a state of the art or futuristic ship, like the Zumwalt, and then find your project cancelled after the first prototype left the wharft due to exploding costs. Successfull designs […]

The first question: purpose

While playing around with different ship building rules and methods from various roleplaying games I found, that all of them start with the question: “How big?”. The first thing you had to decide was how large you wanted your spacecraft to be. I think this comes from the fact that the very same rules had […]

Thoughts on spaceship designs

Many popular fictional spaceship designs look sleek and powerful but that is not because they are well designed, their looks trigger memories of well known naval ship designs merged with jetfighter shapes and aspects. We have seen huge naval ships and fast and agile jetfighters for decades and learned to associate different impressions and adjectives with […]