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Acceleration vs Top Speed
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Ning Leihrec
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 12:46 am    Post subject: Acceleration vs Top Speed Reply with quote

Anybody got house rules on increasing a ship's top speed at the expense of slowing their rate of acceleration? A well equipped freighter could then have a chance at outrunning a TIE, maybe just take a couple rounds to get up to full speed.

Also wondering about afterburners... Like a booster that increases speed instantly for a few rounds. Maybe it's only good for a limited number of boosts before it has to be replaced, or the boosted speed is followed by a penalty while the strained system recovers power.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What of the slam system (That rocket booster) Poe used in Ep 8?
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speed and acceleration are intrinsically related. The more capable a ship is of one, the more capable it is of the other.

I posted here years ago the idea that acceleration could be a modifier added to pilot rolls when chasing. Top speed would also provide a modifier. This way, faster ships had an advantage, but not a guarantee, of catching slower ships (or escaping them).

You would have to give each ship its own modifiers, though.

"Acceleration" and "Top Speed" were two separat entries on the vehicle stats.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My simple answer? Remove dice of Maneuverability and add some proportional amount to their Speed.

The freighter may be able to kick up the speed, but they'll lose the ability to maneuver. If the TIE fighter decides to slam it, though, they can get freaky fast (since it's like strapping a JATO unit to a Honda* in their normal operating mode, much less TRYING for speed.)


*I typoed this as "strapping a JATO unit to a Hondo", which is far different, but still amusing, image.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My current theory has the main limitation of top speed being the acceleration compensator, in that the faster a ship moves, the harder its acceleration compensator has to work (E=MC^2 for Beginners: “the faster you go, the heavier you get), which in turn creates a time/space distortion that creates a “virtual drag” effect that must be constantly thrust against, or else the ship will slowly drift to a halt.

As such, to achieve extremely high speeds (ala the A-Wing or the TIE Interceptor) requires extremely robust sublight drives AND acceleration compensators, as well as as little other mass as possible, such that the drive and acceleration compensator both take up increasingly larger portions of the ship’s total mass as it gets faster.

Of course, the closer you get to the maximum capability of the acceleration compensator, the greater the chance of a catastrophic failure, where even the briefest flicker exposes the crew to hundreds or even thousands of g’s. The Honor Harrington series had ships run at a safety maximum of 80% of the compensator’s maximum capacity, which could be exceeded in case of emergencies, but carried with it an attendant risk, as described above.

With that in mind, I’d suggest something along the lines of Naaman’s premise, in that auxiliary thrusters (high-tech JATO rockets or a SLAM module, for example) can be used to temporarily boost a ship’s Space rating (thus allowing it to cover greater distances at the same Speed Level), but with added Difficulty to the Piloting skill roll, representing a malfunction or failure (partial or total) of the acceleration compensator system.
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Ning Leihrec
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about introducing an acceleration rating that represents the number of turns it takes to reach top speed? I would imagine a rating of 1 as average with 0 or 2 being less common.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
My current theory has the main limitation of top speed being the acceleration compensator, in that the faster a ship moves, the harder its acceleration compensator has to work (E=MC^2 for Beginners: “the faster you go, the heavier you get), which in turn creates a time/space distortion that creates a “virtual drag” effect that must be constantly thrust against, or else the ship will slowly drift to a halt.

As such, to achieve extremely high speeds (ala the A-Wing or the TIE Interceptor) requires extremely robust sublight drives AND acceleration compensators, as well as as little other mass as possible, such that the drive and acceleration compensator both take up increasingly larger portions of the ship’s total mass as it gets faster.

Of course, the closer you get to the maximum capability of the acceleration compensator, the greater the chance of a catastrophic failure, where even the briefest flicker exposes the crew to hundreds or even thousands of g’s. The Honor Harrington series had ships run at a safety maximum of 80% of the compensator’s maximum capacity, which could be exceeded in case of emergencies, but carried with it an attendant risk, as described above.

With that in mind, I’d suggest something along the lines of Naaman’s premise, in that auxiliary thrusters (high-tech JATO rockets or a SLAM module, for example) can be used to temporarily boost a ship’s Space rating (thus allowing it to cover greater distances at the same Speed Level), but with added Difficulty to the Piloting skill roll, representing a malfunction or failure (partial or total) of the acceleration compensator system.


I mean this with no derision or sarcasm, but you are so damned good at technobabble.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a reason he's "Director of Engineering".
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
I mean this with no derision or sarcasm, but you are so damned good at technobabble.
Raven Redstar wrote:
There's a reason he's "Director of Engineering".

Thank you. It's nice that my otherwise useless acquisition of trivial knowledge has found a place where it's appreciated.
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CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ning Leihrec wrote:
How about introducing an acceleration rating that represents the number of turns it takes to reach top speed? I would imagine a rating of 1 as average with 0 or 2 being less common.

I've considered something like this in the past, but in the end, with so few steps in the Acceleration rule, even just increasing from 1 step/round to 2 steps/round results in a massive burst in speed, with no real room for incremental steps above or below the "double" value. Under this proposed rule, a ship could either have "normal" acceleration, or 2x normal, with no steps in between without a lot of math. Since the end result of increased acceleration is to cover a greater distance in a shorter amount of time, it works just as well to temporarily increase the ship's Space.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, putting together a couple of ideas.

Hyperdrive requires a short-term, massive acceleration... approaching c for a moment before you punch into hyperspace.

If top speed is partially determined by the rating of your acceleration compensators, I wonder if you could set up for some short-term, extreme acceleration (an "afterburner" effect) by engaging your hyperdrive compensators, letting you push closer to c for a moment.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not according to the rules. There's only the appearance of massive acceleration, which is just an optical illusion ("pseudomotion") caused by the ship crossing the dimensional barrier from realspace into hyperspace. There's no mechanic in the RAW to represent an actual massive burst of acceleration; a ship is in realspace one moment, and in hyperspace the next.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Not according to the rules. There's only the appearance of massive acceleration, which is just an optical illusion ("pseudomotion") caused by the ship crossing the dimensional barrier from realspace into hyperspace. There's no mechanic in the RAW to represent an actual massive burst of acceleration; a ship is in realspace one moment, and in hyperspace the next.

I agree that makes the most sense. Another feature of jumping to and from lightspeed is that it doesn't involve the realspace feature of noticeable time dilation as speeds significantly approach c (the speed of light). Meaning, relative time for the traveller slows down with respect to planetary speeds. For the miracle of hyperspace travel to work, it makes the most sense that the transitions to and from hyperspace is instantaneous and it occurs at a significant speed below c (in the real of "sublight speeds"). What we see in the films is just to make it look cooler. An optical illusion is a good explanation.

Of course, therein lies your only option. If you want move a great distance within a star system in a short amount of time, then jump into hyperspace for a micro-jump. You can be anywhere else in a second, if you succeed in your astrogation roll.
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