Considering other star drive systems in Starfinder.


Homebrew


Hi all, I was wondering if anyone has enteetained the idea of traveller style intra system and interstellar travel?

Looking at the drift engines as described you have interplanetary jumps, near space and the vast. Each with their according time requirements.

With Traveller i see the restrictions of having to be 100 diameters from the planet that you are jumping from basically and not much has been discussed about inter system jumps. And based upon the mongoose traveller rules it seems that drift drive tech is a smidge faster than a drive 1 category ship.

Since i have so much dusty good traveller goodies i was thinking of a way i can give drift and traveller as we know it tech options for getting around.

Any other gms thinking about this and have some ideas how to merge these two types of technologies in a way that could work rather than presto magico you are there. with each tech having their pros and cons?


My first thought after reading the SF rules for the Drift was to drop them and use Traveller Jump Drives (plus the possibility of having some form of jump gate as well). That would also make it easier to use the Traveller Domain maps that I have.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I personally have always liked Babylon 5's way of doing Hyperspace. My homebrew will combine the Drift mechanics with Babylon and X3: Reunion's system, where only ships of a certain size or larger will have jump point generators, while all other ships must rely on large jump gates. Ships can loiter around the beacons used for jump gates, or at various coordinates in hyperspace, if they choose. Makes for an effective statement when a fleet of ships emerges from hyperspace at your signal.


I've been working on a conversion of Dragonstar (the old 3.0 Fantasy Flight "D&D in space" campaign setting) to Pathfinder before Starfinder came out. The FTL drive system they used was called "starcasting", which utilised technomantic devices called starcasters to allow an entire starship to 'teleport' as the spell (technology can't break the laws of physics, aka go faster than light, but magic can).

I basically set it up such that starcasting requires calculating and inputting coordinates for a destination, which requires a successful Physical Science roll and several minutes to do reliably, though I also came up with rules for calculating a starcaster jump on the fly. This allows FTL jumps to feel more like Star Wars, with the possibility for high-stakes space battles/chases where the PCs are trying to hold off enemy ships while the science officer desperately tries to make the calculations for a jump. Because calculations become much harder the further away you're trying to go, it means that the crew can decide if they want to play it safe by making multiple smaller jumps or risk longer yet fewer jumps. It also means that a ship's interstellar speed is more directly tied to the skill of it's navigator ... and there are still higher-end starcasters based off of the 'Greater Teleport' and 'Planetary Teleport' spells.


Pagan priest wrote:

My first thought after reading the SF rules for the Drift was to drop them and use Traveller Jump Drives (plus the possibility of having some form of jump gate as well). That would also make it easier to use the Traveller Domain maps that I have.

Please keep us informed on what you end up doing with this.. if you need help with anything I would be happy to help, I am fluent with Classic Traveller, GURPS Traveller, and I co-authored Traveller for Hero

Cancel Delete!


Inspired by Cordwairner Smith's 'A Game of Cat and Dragon', lovecraftian sci-fi horror like 'Event Horizon', and Dune's Navigators, I am considering the following:

1. FTL through the drift where you probably have to fight some scary extra-dimensional monster to make it through, and it is much easier if you have befriended one of the Cats from Saturn.

2. Successfully navigating the drift requires precognitive abilities that are typically obtained through the use of a fungal based compound derived from the mutated spores of the migo. Using this drug to pilot a starship thorugh the drift increases the accuracy of the jaunt, and decreases the time required, but alters the navigator so that they gain unreliable precognitive powers, attract the attention of ghosts and dangerous extra-planar entities, and become less aware of the physical universe.


Shadowcat48 wrote:
Pagan priest wrote:

My first thought after reading the SF rules for the Drift was to drop them and use Traveller Jump Drives (plus the possibility of having some form of jump gate as well). That would also make it easier to use the Traveller Domain maps that I have.

Please keep us informed on what you end up doing with this.. if you need help with anything I would be happy to help, I am fluent with Classic Traveller, GURPS Traveller, and I co-authored Traveller for Hero

Cancel Delete!

Well, I haven't co-authored any Traveller material, but I do have experience with Classic, Mega, GURPS, T20, and Mongoose. I think that the necessary first step is to move firmly away from Traveller's hard science rules for things like the size of jump drives and the enormous fuel requirements.

So, as a first order approximation:

Minimum ship size = Small
Engine rating = parsecs traveled per jump
Minimum PCU = engine rating x 25 + 25 per size category.
(small: +50 large: +100 etc)
Cost (in BP) = engine rating x 5 x size category


I like this, something else to consider, would a particular drive require a certain computer model?


Thematically, I like the idea that certain drives are only compatible with certain kinds of ships. It forces people to make real choices about prioritizing what they want to have, rather than always tossing on the "best" parts.

Ways of splitting it include...

>Size-based, where bigger ships can have more powerful engines

>Culture-based, where certain creators use certain types of drives

>Prestige-based, where you have to get on good terms with Insert-Power-Figure to be allowed to install certain equipment

I could probably come up with a few others given some time. XD


How about a star drive that accesses the Elemental Plane of Time? There is an Elemental Plane of Time for every direction you wish to travel, like the Drift, you use your thrusters to move through the plane of time. Your ship passes through a gate the Time Drive creates, if you move forward in the time plane, you move forward in time buy not in space. If you move backwards in the time plane, you move backwards in time but not in space, but if you move sideways in the plane of time, you move a corresponding distance in space, but if you don't move forward in time on the time plane while doing this, no time passes in on the Prime Material Plane while you are moving across the plane of time, you can open up another gate back to the Prime, and from the perspective of anyone on the prime material plane, you will seem to have moved instantaneously.


Then time travel is a thing and things are much more complicated as a result.

Grand Lodge

ThomasBowman wrote:
How about a star drive that accesses the Elemental Plane of Time? There is an Elemental Plane of Time for every direction you wish to travel, like the Drift, you use your thrusters to move through the plane of time. Your ship passes through a gate the Time Drive creates, if you move forward in the time plane, you move forward in time buy not in space. If you move backwards in the time plane, you move backwards in time but not in space, but if you move sideways in the plane of time, you move a corresponding distance in space, but if you don't move forward in time on the time plane while doing this, no time passes in on the Prime Material Plane while you are moving across the plane of time, you can open up another gate back to the Prime, and from the perspective of anyone on the prime material plane, you will seem to have moved instantaneously.

I have a head cannon thing that the "Drift" and the Elemental Plane of Time are one and the same. Triune just hasn't let any one know yet.


GM Rednal wrote:

Thematically, I like the idea that certain drives are only compatible with certain kinds of ships. It forces people to make real choices about prioritizing what they want to have, rather than always tossing on the "best" parts.

Ways of splitting it include...

>Size-based, where bigger ships can have more powerful engines

>Culture-based, where certain creators use certain types of drives

>Prestige-based, where you have to get on good terms with Insert-Power-Figure to be allowed to install certain equipment

I could probably come up with a few others given some time. XD

Other Ideas to put forth:

drive systems that require an AI computer to handle operation of the drive and or navigation calculations[various fictions]

drive systems that require time to recharge using charging stations or solar sails[Battletech]

drive systems that take you into a plane where various nasty creatures live and would happily snack on intruders[Warhamner 40K]


J4RH34D wrote:
Then time travel is a thing and things are much more complicated as a result.

Why do you think there are Time Elementals?


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The witchwyrd use things called planar aperture drives, which can travel between planes as well as planets.


GM Rednal wrote:

Thematically, I like the idea that certain drives are only compatible with certain kinds of ships. It forces people to make real choices about prioritizing what they want to have, rather than always tossing on the "best" parts.

Ways of splitting it include...

>Size-based, where bigger ships can have more powerful engines

>Culture-based, where certain creators use certain types of drives

>Prestige-based, where you have to get on good terms with Insert-Power-Figure to be allowed to install certain equipment

I could probably come up with a few others given some time. XD

Well, RAW has a maximum ship size for faster engines, so that to get an engine rating of 5, you are limited to a ship no larger than Medium. All versions of the Traveller rules that I have seen, the minimum ship size to have Jump Drives is 100 dTons, which is about 1400 cubic meters and would likely be the equivalent to a size category Small ship in SF.

This would make things a bit different from the Star Wars movies, where we see fighter craft using hyperspace travel. Putting both of these together, Tiny ships cannot have Jump Drives and only Small or Medium ships can have the highest Jump ratings.


Shadowcat48 wrote:

I like this, something else to consider, would a particular drive require a certain computer model?

The basic minimum computer already seems a higher tech level than what is normally available in Traveller. I don't see a need to add more complexity to what is a fairly simple system just to have the complexity.

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