Monday, August 20, 2018

Hard Space - Preliminary notes on Technology

Below are some preliminary notes on technology in my Hard Space setting for Classic Traveller and the Cepheus Engine.

  • Hard Space is generally TL10. Cybernetics, computers, and medical/pharmaceutical technology are at TL13.
  • Corporations try to develop all sorts of cutting-edge technologies. Prototypes of such technologies, often found in high-security laboratories, may be up to TL16. The higher the prototype's TL, the more dangerous it is. Messing around with TL11+ jump technology is particularly dangerous and often creates catastrophic results (ala Event Horizon). "True" AI is TL16, a "holy grail" of corporate IT R&D, and will most likely produce catastrophic results omce created (ala System Shock)...
  • I'm using 3-Book Classic Traveller drive TLs. This means that smaller ships are faster than larger ones, and that you can attain Jump-3 at TL9 and Jump-4 at TL10, albeit on very small ships. Also, there are definitely no empty-hex jumps - you need a gravity well on both sides of the jump. This means that space has a "topography" and that commerce and colonization strongly prefer "mains" allowing Jump-1 travel.
  • As I noted before, there are no gravitics and no grav vehicles.
  • Fusion plants exist, as well as fusion-torch drives, but fusion is expensive and bulky. The smallest fusion reactor available is 1.2 displacement tons - approximately 16 or 17 cubic meters - in volume and costs MCr3. 

On a side note, one thing I am thinking about is setting Hard Space in 2120 rather than 2130. I do like the "(exactly) one century into the future"* vibe of 2120, thoughit requires significant developments (J-Drive and potentially fusion) in the 2050's. Even then, this means that all colonies are young - 1st generation colonies are 65 years old, 2nd generation colonies are 41 years old, and the oldest 3rd generation colonies are at most 16 years old. There are people born outside of the Sol system, and people who are the second (and in some cases even the third) generation of extrasolar spacers!

* If this develops into something substantiation, 2020 seems like a reasonable deadline for publication

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