Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pumpkin-suit's Manual Preview #3

An Impulse Burn; also covered.
Orbital Maneuvers
Once free from the surface, a spacecraft must achieve a stable orbit. In truth every maneuver a spacecraft makes is an orbit of some sort, either around the moon or planet they launched from,or around the sun in an interplanetary intercept. While transfer orbits to new worlds are common enough, typical orbital maneuvers involve changing orbits around a planet or satellite in order to reach another spacecraft, station, or stable altitude for open flight.

Finite Burn Trajectories
This most difficult of orbital maneuvers are also the most common, as finite burn trajectories are required in order to achieve rendezvous for docking. The difficulty involved in finite burn trajectories comes from the incredible amount of real-time data needed to calculate such precise orbital chances. Up -to-the-second data on spacecraft mass, center of gravity, moment of inertia thrust vectors on reaction controls and propellant consumption must be gathered and calculated for moment-to-moment correction of course and speed. This kind of maneuver is, needless to say, best left to computers. Only AIs, Transhumans, and Nurillia cyborgs specializing in flight control can hope to perform such complex maneuvers without a flight computer.
Description: “The wait is monotonous and nerve-wracking as you spacecraft slowly crawls toward it's target. Everyone is strapped down, as even the motion of a floating passenger could trow off the delicate corrections necessary in order to line up for docking. The only sights are a star-field that seems to move not at all, and the only sound is the drone of the computers range slowly counting down and the occasional hiss of an RCS burn. Whoever said space travel was exciting had obviously never made a finite burn! Oh, well...best get some sleep.”

Classic D6
Skill: Spaceship Piloting: Spaceship Type
Difficulty: Heroic
Special: This maneuver is only possible with computer assistance, or by a Nurilla. Computer aid adds +2D to the Dice Pool, and Nurillas typically have extra dice in Spaceship Piloting as well as the Machine Memory Special Ability. For the purposes of these maneuvers, AI and Transhuman Characters are considered computers.
In either case, the Guidance Officer or Pilot includes the spacecraft's Sensors Dice into their Dice Pool for this roll.
A natural failure requires the maneuver be aborted. It takes a minimum of 90 minutes to reset for another trajectory.
A roll of 1 on the Wild Die that results in a failure causes an abort that requires moving to another orbit. It will take 90 minutes + 1D hours to reset for another trajectory.
A roll of 1 on the Wild Die that results in a failure by more than one Difficulty Level means that the spacecraft is in a bad trajectory that is not aborted, leading to a crash or an emergency correction (Difficult) to avoid.


  1. Wait - the AIs and transhumans couldn't pull off an orbital burn unaided?

  2. Oops! Good catch. I've modified both the blog post and the original document.


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