Friday, June 12, 2015

Merchanters and Stationers - Take #5

OK, I have a functional Alien creation system, and a setting creation system. Now I have started work on spaceships.

Luckily, Alert and I have worked out a new fusion-based drive system for The Necklace, and that can be dropped into this pretty much intact. The Jump Drive from StarCluster 3 can be adapted into the hyperspace drive used in the Alliance/Union/Compact Space setting fairly easily too, but how spaceships behave in M&S is pretty much going to be diametrically opposite from how they behave in SC3!

In SC3, Jump Drives use a wormhole network to go from star to star, so ships jump into a system at the outer limits - and in the system ecliptic, with a relative speed of zero, so they are effectively defenseless until they can build up some reasonable speed. Albert and I designed it this way to really limit offensive movement into a star system, making for a mosaic of independent worlds.

The Cherryh-verse ships in M&S will be riding the hyperspace interface, dropping into real space at relativistic velocities well out of the ecliptic, which the ships need to bleed off with skips along the hyper-interface to bleed off speed as they come in. And the depth into the system they arrive at depends on the skill of the navigator. All the initiative in these situations rests with the incoming ships, who can blast into a system just behind their own wavefront, and possibly carrying relativistic debris or even munitions.

Also, there are three types of jump route available - normal routes for freighters, longer jumps for freighters carrying no/light cargo or overpowered jump vanes on a normal mass ship, or else one only the overpowered vane ships can make if they strip down to a no cargo condition.

So how people use jump travel will be very different indeed!