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Thread: Warp speed and travel times

  1. #16
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    I made a new thread for the policy questions, and it can be found here; http://forum.trek-rpg.net/showthread...Current-policy

  2. #17
    Okay, so, getting back to the issue at hand:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Lundgren View Post
    But, to have some sort of internal consistency, I at least like to talk about both realism, when applicable, and verisimilitude.
    Verisimilitude is fine, but it's factually incorrect to say that they 'kept changing the warp speed charts' when they never changed it—the chart they were using always just said 'it takes as long as the writer feels like.'

    If you want to introduce consistent warp speeds and travel times into an RPG version of Trek, you have to be aware that you're adding an input to the process that will create output that doesn't match the output of the writer's room or effects crew on-screen.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    Verisimilitude is fine, but it's factually incorrect to say that they 'kept changing the warp speed charts' when they never changed it—the chart they were using always just said 'it takes as long as the writer feels like.'

    If you want to introduce consistent warp speeds and travel times into an RPG version of Trek, you have to be aware that you're adding an input to the process that will create output that doesn't match the output of the writer's room or effects crew on-screen.
    I agree completely that the writers of the show worked with "speed of plot". No argument from me there.

    But, we have had warp one warp scale for TOS warp, which extended past ten, and one for TNG where ten is "instant." That is from the shows and movies, and the TNG table is from The Encyclopedia by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda. Among other things, Michael worked as a technical consultant for at least parts of the show. So while the writers didn't have to bother with that table, or even didn't knew it existed, it seems to have originated from inside the staff of the series. That's why I asked about it, and then gave the page reference when I found it. Personally, I think it had been worse if anyone of the writers had followed that particular table.

    Being both part of the Encyclopedia and ICON Trek (TNG and DS9 rulebooks), it was already introduced there.

    I don't recall it being present in the CODA version, but I haven't been looking through my books yet.

    I don't care what other people do at their tables, and personally I'm about as far from "Rules as Written" person as you can get when it comes to roleplaying. "Speed of plot" works a lot better for some, and they should use that; while a "plausible consistent formula or table" work better for others. The only time we need to agree is if we ever are to play together, and then we still just have to agree for that particular game.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Lundgren View Post
    I agree completely that the writers of the show worked with "speed of plot". No argument from me there.

    But, we have had warp one warp scale for TOS warp, which extended past ten, and one for TNG where ten is "instant." That is from the shows and movies, and the TNG table is from The Encyclopedia by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda. Among other things, Michael worked as a technical consultant for at least parts of the show. So while the writers didn't have to bother with that table, or even didn't knew it existed, it seems to have originated from inside the staff of the series. That's why I asked about it, and then gave the page reference when I found it. Personally, I think it had been worse if anyone of the writers had followed that particular table.

    Being both part of the Encyclopedia and ICON Trek (TNG and DS9 rulebooks), it was already introduced there.

    I don't recall it being present in the CODA version, but I haven't been looking through my books yet.

    I don't care what other people do at their tables, and personally I'm about as far from "Rules as Written" person as you can get when it comes to roleplaying. "Speed of plot" works a lot better for some, and they should use that; while a "plausible consistent formula or table" work better for others. The only time we need to agree is if we ever are to play together, and then we still just have to agree for that particular game.
    well said mate, and your thinking mirrors mine. Tv shows will almost always use 'speed of plot', Star Gate was one of the exceptions.

    I doubt the producers even understood FTL travel, or the distances involved (we all see the inconsistencies in most episodes, as shown in this thread).

    I still maintain that from a practicality stand point vast inter galactic society's would require close to instantaneous travel (or at least instantaneous communications), as shown in Star Gate, or Iconia (for a Trek example) to exist.
    Last edited by WaveMan; 05-30-2015 at 06:36 PM.

  5. #20
    Why, though?
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  6. #21
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    IMHO it is impractical to Govern a large Empire/Federation/Civilization if you cannot deal with issues in a timely manner (if it takes weeks if not months/years to communicate let a lone interact physically with member world Government it is just not going to work) What happens if a disaster happens and it takes weeks to respond? I think you will will soon find you won't have empire. I also think these types of society would have to be dependent on commerce, if one could not get goods to and from member worlds in a timely manner the system could not work. Say a member world needed dilitium (or any other non replicator-able substance or material) for it's planetary power network, and had to wait a month for a new supply, what would happen?

    Even the communications net work in Trek isn't instantaneous (until they establish the Quantum Slip Stream comm's network, but that is later closer to the 30th century Trek Time line), plus as per Space Dock you need a relay station every 26 light years, as comms deteriorate quickly after the 26 ly mark. Loose any of those relays and all of a sudden comm's break down and bad things start to happen. Modern societies rely on fast communications networks, as the size of them increases IMHO this need is only magnified.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by WaveMan View Post
    IMHO it is impractical to Govern a large Empire/Federation/Civilization if you cannot deal with issues in a timely manner (if it takes weeks if not months/years to communicate let a lone interact physically with member world Government it is just not going to work) What happens if a disaster happens and it takes weeks to respond?
    You'd find a post with CROATOAN carved into it.

    I think you will will soon find you won't have empire.
    'Empire,' 'federation' and 'civilisation' are not synonyms. You can have a federation or an empire without cities, not is the existence of an urban culture going to result in either federation with or conquest of other urban units. The motivating factors behind the establishment of federated states also affects what may be considered timely response times for various needs.

    I also think these types of society would have to be dependent on commerce, if one could not get goods to and from member worlds in a timely manner the system could not work.
    The timeliness of the goods really depends on the goods involved, their rarity, and the energy cost of transport vs. use of local alternatives.

    Say a member world needed dilitium (or any other non replicator-able substance or material) for it's planetary power network, and had to wait a month for a new supply, what would happen?
    Put up some solar panels? Maybe a windfarm? Maybe, if we're talking about practicalities here, whoever establishes this interstellar settlement makes sure that the energy needs of the local infrastructure doesn't exceed local means of production?

    Even the communications net work in Trek isn't instantaneous (until they establish the Quantum Slip Stream comm's network, but that is later closer to the 30th century Trek Time line), plus as per Space Dock you need a relay station every 26 light years, as comms deteriorate quickly after the 26 ly mark. Loose any of those relays and all of a sudden comm's break down and bad things start to happen. Modern societies rely on fast communications networks, as the size of them increases IMHO this need is only magnified.
    Modern societies are notoriously unchill about many things. If one were forced to chill out regarding one's expected response time by circumstances, say, the speed of light, the definition of a timely response may allow for interstellar societies to self-identify as such, even if only a small percentage of their goods or members come from off-world. Take the Ekumen from Le Guin, for example.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTK
    You'd find a post with CROATOAN carved into it.
    too true mate. As far as the rest lets agree to disagree. I have my views which I have stated and supplied examples, and you have yours. I doubt either of us are going to change the others mind.

    I will say I probably should have just put "society" rather then all the others (empires/federation). I agree that goods/commodity's supply/demand would be reasonably well situated via established Trek warp technology, but IMO as the society increases in size so too does the need for faster comm's/travel.

    BTW what is the problem with discussing Star Trek Marines? There is no indication of restrictions in the forum guidelines.
    Last edited by WaveMan; 05-31-2015 at 12:54 AM.

  9. #24
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    When goods travel a long way, ideas do too, even if people don't. Most people then to think the Bronze age was filled with kingdoms not having a clue what was over the next hill. But to make bronze, most societies of that time needed trade as very few had either tin nor copper, and about none had both. It is quite possible most of the goods passed through many traders on the way, but as the goods passed hands, ideas passed as well.

    Now, Star Trek is more equivalent to the Iron age as what you need is local enough. While dilithium isn't found everywhere, or at least not in concentrated easy to mine deposits, it seems to usually be found within a few parsec. Especially since the invention of the replicator, the Federation seems to mainly be for sharing of ideas, pooling resources, and a bit of "common foreign politics".

    The few times I actually have had the chance to actually gather players for some Trek RPG, I have myself cut the travel times of that warp speed table with a factor of ten. So getting from one side to the other is about six month, but sending a message is just a couple of weeks. That is fast enough to fit what I believe is needed for an organization as the Federation to stick together, and at the same time resemble what I see when I watch Trek. Well, communication speed still doesn't match what is on screen, but still...

  10. #25
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    Both the Roman and British Empires stood for centuries with slow communications. Fast communications is an invention of the 20th Century... Try reading some real-world history, Waveman. You're from Down Under - what was the communications time between London and your neighbourhood in, say 1800? Besides, having a communications relay every 26 light years still allows for pretty fast communications. - A few minutes to record the message, send it out as a millisecond blip, a second at most to process, rinse and repeat, until you get to the recipient, where it's just a few minutes to listen to it.. With redundancy and checksums built into the system, signal degradation would be minimal. Even at 10,000 light years, that's less than 400 relays (10,000/26=388.88), so only a few minutes (6.48 under optional conditions, though transit times may multiply that by as much as a factor of 10 or even 1000), not including the recording and listening times. Even with longer transit time due to stellar anomalies, that still brings it down to less than a week (108 hours at a factor of 1000) for a 10,000 light year distance. Your point has thus been thoroughly demolished. Game, Set and Match.
    Last edited by Owen E Oulton; 05-31-2015 at 09:42 AM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen E Oulton View Post
    Game, Set and Match.
    It's a competition? No one told me What did you win?

  12. #27
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    Owen seems to always want to disprove/counter anything I post, I don't take it personally and except it as the status quo. I think I annoy him.

    As far as the "Fast communications is an invention of the 20th Century.", yes it is and IMO will continue, once the genie is out it can't be put back in. So comm's will continue to improve to the point of becoming instantaneous over vast distances. This only works to improve a societies ability to operate efficiency.

    BTW you didn't have to do all that calculating, the table I posted already had the figure calculated, 18 days for subspace comm's to travel 10000ly (across the Federation) assuming that all relays are operating.

    I like the idea of reducing travel times by a factor of ten, seems to reflect what was portrayed in most episodes and would be more appropriate.

    I am disappointed the thread has drifted though, it is hardly Wars tech vs Trek tech now...
    Last edited by WaveMan; 05-31-2015 at 04:52 PM.

  13. #28
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    I like the idea of reducing travel times by a factor of ten, seems to reflect what was portrayed in most episodes and would be more appropriate.
    ...and makes it easy to count.

    I am disappointed the thread has drifted though, it is hardly Wars tech vs Trek tech now...
    Yeah... It took a sharp left turn back there. I split it, so we might get the old topic back on track.

  14. #29
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    looking at history, take the American frontier in the late 19th century. Before telegraph and the railway crossed the continent, America struggled to form a true "United" states Government. Fast communication and rapid transit facilitated this transformation. Modern society is made possible (I will concede more efficient) by these two technologies, and still contest that as a society expands in size these two things need to "keep pace" so to speak. Earth is on the way to a one world Government, again only made possible because we can all communicate efficiently.

    The problem only compounds when you start to think about inter galactic communities, imagine having to wait years for comm's (as it stands Federation subspace comm's would take 10 years to reach the nearest galaxy [Andromeda 2 million ly distance] to the Milky Way and again you need a subspace relay placed every 26 ly) to reach you and imagine trying to operate/coordinate a society burdened with such transit times.

    I would also put forward as it stands most Federation vessels aren't capable of sustaining even warp 9 (as of late 2300's) for long periods of time, so say at warp 6 (a reasonable sustainable warp IMO) it would take 25 years to travel 10000ly (to cross the Federation), and as I pointed out even at warp 9.2 that same journey takes 6 years.

    Taken in this context, say a Federation Explorer type class vessel was launched from Utopia Planitia (the key SF construction ship yards in the 24th century and located in the Sol system sector 001) it would struggle to actually get out of Federation held space in it's operational mission time (3 years, most explorers are outfitted with 3 year's worth of consumables, including fuel for their M/AM reactor), a perfect example is the Daneb IV mission the Enterprise-D undertook on it's first mission (Farpoint mission), she was launched from Utopia Planitia and then supposedly went to Daneb IV which is 3320ly from the Sol system. When first launched she could conceivable sustain warp 9.2 so that is a 2 year journey right there, though I would say she would have had to travel at warp 6 which equates to 8.3 years travel time.......

    http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wik...e_(NCC-1701-D)

    http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Deneb_IV
    Last edited by WaveMan; 05-31-2015 at 09:23 PM.

  15. #30
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    Well, the subspace relays are certainly the equivalent of the telegraph. Sorry about the tone of my earlier comments - I was trying to be humourous, but in retrospect it came off a tad snarky. However. The British Empire stretched around the globe, what with South Africa, the Raj, Hong Kong, the Australia/New Zealand area, the Mediterranean and Middle East, the Caribbean, British North America and the Sandwich Isles. Sure, there were conflicts from time to time, but they managed to keep it together until 1947/1996. Likewise the Roman Empire, from the Middle East to Britain. Again. lots of conflict, but it held together until internal corruption in Rome itself brought it down, thus allowing the Germanic Tribes to get out of line. The problems with the "United" States were (and this political reference is for illustrative purposes only) was that in their Constitution they had enshrined the "fact" that a central government was not to be trusted. One wonders what a non-Jeffersonian USA would have been like. Such speculation, however would violate the Rules of Engagement (i.e. the TOS), so let's not go there... In the real world, the telegraph and the railroad came about well before the Civil War. Aside from the Civil War, which DID have the benefit of rapid communication, the extension of the American Hegemony to the West Coast went relatively smoothly (from a gross historical standpoint).
    Last edited by Owen E Oulton; 05-31-2015 at 07:01 PM.

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