Stardrifter 08: New Gear
An item for the RPG
Hey everyone! This week we've got a new item for the Equipment chapter of the Stardrifter Roleplaying Game. This sort of stuff comes to me in fits and starts, but I've had a few of them in a row recently, and will be sharing them here. I hope you find something useful in these rambling thoughts.
Again, if you haven't been playing the Stardrifter RPG, well, what have you been doing with your time? Grab a free copy here:
I've been working on the the next short story, "The Prince of Ramador" pretty steadily. I think it'll be a lot of fun, though it's also going to be a bit more work than most. Being organized will help considerably, so I'm doing my best in that regard. It's not a personal strength, so wish me luck!
Also, "All He Surveys" is creaking on. It hasn't gotten the attention it needs this month, but that's scheduled to change. I'll be focusing on it exclusively once the short story is done, and will be rolling into Draft 03 quickly from there on in.
Prereq: Piloting: Z-G (New Skill, coming soon!)
This is an item — really, a personal transportation device — that straps around the torso, providing controllable movement in zero or microgravity conditions. Harnesses use a variety of operational interfaces, including flexible displays, touch input devices, and muscle control sensors, all of which respond to a wearer's physical movements by firing off specific thrusters spaced throughout the Harness.
Z-G Harnesses appear as flexible, adjustable vests with pinhole nozzles ejecting compressed gas for reaction mass. This item is useless in anything other than near zero-g; however, it uses inert gases like argon and nitrogen, so it may be operated safely inside space stations and ships with full atmo. Z-G Harnesses contain temp control elements for the gases and internal components, so they are also useful in the vacuum conditions of open space.
Large and adjustable enough for wearing over regular clothing, armor, or even exosuits of various kinds, Z-G Harnesses possess a series of buckles and straps, allowing for a decent one-size-fits-all approach. Unusually large or short people may need this item to be tailored to fit. Harnesses can be structured much like tool or safety vests, including spaces and inserts for holding equipment and gadgets. A few custom-made versions have even been designed to appear as fashionable suit vests (for whatever reason).
Harnesses carry compressed gas cartridges capable of up to ten minutes of continuous usage. From a dead stop, the top velocity of a Z-G Harness in vacuum and zero-gravity along a straight line trajectory is dependent upon mass load. For game purposes, though, it can be assumed to be in and around 1 kilometer/second. Understand, this is a reflection of constant acceleration, and not at all of normal usage. Anyone who goes up to this speed using a Harness will run out of propellant, and be unable to stop unless they have a spare bottle with them (many Harnesses have straps, buckles, or pockets specifically for spares, but it is up to the character to make sure they have extra bottles when needed). Running into objects at high speeds while wearing a Z-G Harness can be dangerous or even fatal. (See the section in the Base Rulebook on Impact Damage, in the chapter on Damage and Healing.)
Normal usage of a Z-G Harness generally involves only short puffs, of less than a second's time, rather than long jets of reaction mass, in order to set a velocity and course-correct/stabilize the flight. For practical game purposes, a GM may simply choose to ignore reaction mass reloads, if the Z-G Harness is used in a "normal" manner — that is, for careful, personal transportation around a defined space. If the GM decides reloads are required, either a calculated approach (10 minutes equals 600 seconds), or seat-of-the-pants estimate ("You've been flying around for a while now, so let's say you're almost out of propellant.") to how much reaction mass has been used are acceptable. Z-G Harnesses have displays within easy view of the wearer for the current status of the fuel load.
NOTE: Using this item without the Piloting: Z-G Skill is extremely dangerous. Any activation of the Harness by such a person requires a successful roll versus their associated Attribute, and probably with a penalty (GM's option). Failure at any point means the wearer is careening out of control. Impact damage, or tumbling off into outer space is a likely result.
NOTE: Though not classified as a form of Armor, a Z-G Harness nonetheless has PR 1 and SR 10, which is added to any other Armor worn. Once its Structural Rating has run out, though, it ceases to operate, and must be replaced or optionally (GM's determination) repaired by someone with the Engineering Skill.
Replacement propellant bottles cost 10QxCoL, and are usually easy to come by around space stations and supply depots.
And that's it for this week. Talk to you soon!