( ⇪ Technology )
As it turns out, instantaneous travel and communication have an absolute hard limit of 2000 miles when that distance would cross the vacuum of outer space, even if the travel or communication method’s normal stated range is “unlimited” (such as with greater teleport). This is true even though traditional instantaneous travel has to move through a transitive plane to get anywhere. Thus, other forms of extraterrestrial travel and communication had to be innovated.
The weave and shadow weave are responsible for the existence of magic, but are also responsible for why stars and planets and galaxies are ultimately able to attract eachother in a gravitational pull.
Spaceships travel great distances by — instead of mucking about in a transitive plane — by folding the ever-present weave and shadow weave (and thereby fold space outright) using a network of Hyperion-built “super-portals”. Super-portals operate on a similar principle to what happens when you push a portable hole half-way through a pair of ring gates. The set-up of this network required that a set of specially-equipped spaceships had to go out there the hard way first and form a smaller portal so that more could come through, each one making the resulting super-portal more powerful for the next leg of their journey.
|GM’s Note: Since a ship’s potential use as a ramming weapon is directly proportional to how useful its engines are, having engines that can turn a spaceship into an effective ramming weapon then births the need for ship weapons which can destroy such a ship before it rams you, which then spirals out into ship weapons being a military-only application… who then inevitably loses some of those weapons and then full-blown wild-west-style life becomes the norm. This is why piracy was so prevalent in the real “age of sail”. Design-wise, we can prevent all of this by having spaceship engines by their nature not make a ship an effective ramming weapon.|
Spaceships serve mostly in the same capacity as a boat in most campaigns. Usually, players will not and should not have access to directly control a spaceship, and even when they do, it should generally serve little purpose except for getting their characters from plot location A to plot location B. Combat inside a ship is acceptable, but inter-ship combat is too much of a hassle and can easily ruin a campaign. Combat in a ship that puts the ship itself at risk of destruction should if at-all possible be set up so that no matter what the PCs will live.
Functionally, spaceships are buildings that fly in space. From the outside, they may appear streamlined, but inside they’re structured much like a building (although the visible parts may have some streamlined aesthetics). Spaceships are superdevices and as-such can be upgraded in a variety of ways by finding cubes of magine (for magic spaceships) or psiodine (for psionic spaceships). The nature of these upgrades is up to GM fiat as plot demands (i.e. “I want transporters, so how much do I need for that?”). Removing a cube from a system makes that system inoperable. Most ships store their cubes in the power core and divert power as needed to each system by redirecting the power from each individual cube to its needed system.
The aspects most important to life support in space are a vacuum seal, atmospheric pressure, air supply, and comparable warmth. Creatures that don’t breathe air don’t care about air supply, but still are in big trouble if the vacuum seal or atmospheric pressure are lost (and water-breathing creatures still require water as normal). Only completely-inorganic constructs can survive in the vacuum of space. No construct with the living construct subtype is completely-inorganic. For these reasons and more, all spaceships are completely-inorganic quadrupedal constructs.
(This section is a Work-In-Progress)
Using technology similar to a permanent teleportation circle, waypoints are a set of structures in orbit around a planet that assist in travel between a planet and its moon(s). For every moon a planet has, there are typically ~199 of these waypoints strung out in a straight line between the planet and that moon.
Typical travel using waypoints involves simply stepping onto a “teleportation pad” in a designated “open” lane. There are two kinds of teleportation pads:
- “Automatic Pads” which teleport you directly onto the location of the next teleportation pad in the lane (maintaining facing), and
- “Manual Pads” which teleport you to a location a few squares away from the next teleportation pad in the lane (maintaining facing).
Every pad has marked above it the number of the waypoint that it leads to, and has safety protocols ensuring that no one gets teleported into the vacuum of space or stuck in someplace that’s not publicly-accessible. Because Automatic Pads teleport you directly onto the next pad in the lane, only a split-second seems to pass between stepping onto the pad and arriving at the destination of the ending Manual Pad. By arranging different combinations of these two types of teleportation pads, waypoints thus have four kinds of lanes:
- “Express Lanes”: These lanes use Automatic Pads all the way from one end of the lane to the other. In every waypoint, in each direction there are usually at least five Express Lanes, but the pads in the middle are only publicly-accessible by teleportation pad.
- “Single-Jump Lanes”: These lanes use Manual Pads all the way from one end of the lane to the other. In every waypoint, in each direction there are usually at least five Single-Jump Lanes.
- “Multi-Jump Lanes”: These lanes come in multiples (typically 5, 10, and 20). They use a Manual Pad to make the final leg to the multiples and Automatic Pads on all the others. In every waypoint, in each direction there are usually at least two Multi-Jump Lanes of each multiple, but they’re only publicly-accessible at the waypoints numbered with that multiple.
- “Fraction-Jump Lanes”: These lanes come in fractions of the total number of waypoints in the lane (typically 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 varieties). They use a Manual Pad to make the final leg to the closest waypoint to that fraction (without going over) and use Automatic Pads on all the others. In every waypoint, in each direction there are usually at least two Fraction-Jump Lanes of each fraction (although they’re only publicly accessible at the waypoints associated with that fraction).
For example, in a set of 199 waypoints (“waypoint 0” is the planet and “waypoint 200” is the moon):
- Express Lanes are publicly-accessible only at waypoints 0 and 200,
- Single-Jump Lanes are publicly-accessible at every waypoint,
- 5-Jump Lanes are publicly-accessible at waypoint 0 and every 5th waypoint,
- 10-Jump Lanes are publicly-accessible at waypoint 0 and every 10th waypoint,
- 20-Jump Lanes are publicly-accessible at waypoint 0 and every 20th waypoint,
- 1/2-Jump Lanes are publicly-accessible at waypoints 0, 100, and 200,
- 1/4-Jump Lanes are publicly-accessible at waypoints 0, 50, 100, and 150, and
- 1/8-Jump Lanes are publicly-accessible at waypoints 0, 25, 50, 75, etc.
Waypoints also serve as spaceports.