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About Alasseo

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  • Birthday 01/23/1987

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  1. I really want to like that, but the pedant in me is screaming "It's 'COM'ST THOU at me, brother', not 'cometh'..." Well, it should be, but, a) English tends not to care about correct grammar in actual usage, and has basically abandoned the familiar you anyway; b) we're using english to stand in for a different language entirely, and one which, if it has english roots at all, has been subject to 37000+ years of linguistic drift; and c) it's just a game.
  2. You know you're playing Rogue Trader when: the GM has ever had to say (whether as an influential NPC or simply out of game) "Please don't catastrophically destabilise the economy of an entire (sub-)sector again. Seriously." The word "sector" in the above sentence could ever be replaced with "segmentum" There is a branch of the Administratum who has issued a warrant for their arrest and execution for crimes of Gross Fiscal Irresponsibility. The accompanying reward offered is a planet. The Seneschal agrees that the Administratum is probably justified, but they've made enough money to buy the entire branch from the Adeptus Terra and have the AdMech turn them into high-end ballet servitors. The plan is only vetoed because no-one thought the Mechanicum knew enough about ballet to program them properly...
  3. Thing is, ships that small do have a place in fluff outside of the special snowflake bracket. Hell, there's even an example of a warp-capable vessel whose only given dimension is 90' (that's given as her height, but we don't know if she lands on her tail or her belly, so she could well be longer, but given typical imperial design philosophies, I'd be surprised if she was more than 90-120m long), with a crew of 2, and the only comment of note about her was amazement that a ship so obviously cheaply built, then neglected and poorly maintained could fly (warding gargoyles were badly worn, hull pitted from debris impacts, less than half the internal lights worked, no blessed incense). There were a number of other ships in the same novel of similar, or even smaller size, but we don't find out how many (if any of them) are also warp-capable. Well, except for the daemon vessels that almost certainly wouldn't work for long outside of the Eye. However, the Wandering Star is an example from old, old fluff. Pre-Black Library, IIRC (in fact, going by the copyright page, Eye of Terror might well have been one of the last books from the old GWP imprint before BL). Fluff changes (the Gothic class of that era was considered a battleship, and Cobra destroyers were not warp-capable but launched from the decks of an Emperor class battleship). Of note, even fluff of a similar vintage (the Inquisition War trilogy) puts a common lower bound at around 200m with the Tormentum Malum (which is treated as a special snowflake ship, requiring a crew of only 5+servitors).
  4. I'd note that 1 point of crew population can vary considerably in size as well- on an Avenger-class grand cruiser, that 1 point represents over 1000 men, while 1 point of a Viper-class sloop's crew is a (comparatively) measly 75. So I'd take the base crew size of the prize ship when determining the needed prize crew. This means that, assuming you reduced the crew of an Endeavour-class light cruiser (for example) by 60 points, you would have to find 4 points worth of people to form a prize crew to take it (using javcs' formula). That's 2700 people- a mix of officers, petty officers, armsmen and some voidsmen. If the victor in this example is, say, a Falchion-class frigate, optimised for boarding, it has to find that prize crew from the survivors (as it's highly unlikely to win without losing anybody) of its complement, and for a vessel of her size, 2700 represents 10% of her nominal crew. So they'd need to (temporarily, at least) sacrifice another 10 points of crew population in order to get the prize back to a friendly port (warp permitting). With regards to ships disengaging, a key thing to remember is terrain. Just because they're in space doesn't mean there's no terrain to take advantage of- they can hide in the shadow of a planet/moon, or try and slingshot around it; they can lurk in a gas cloud, or drift in a debris and/or asteroid field. Even if there's nothing handy around (say they were ambushed out by the system's jump zone), there are still ways to turn a terrain-like advantage- a high-speed close pass of the other ship on a reciprocal course leaves you in the aft fire arc (and thus temporarily safe from virtually all fire), and in such a position that they will (hopefully) be too far away to catch you on an Active Scan when you go to silent running and disengage; or alternatively, still trying to turn around and re-engage when you escape into the Warp. (I've had my players try this trick a couple of times- it worked fairly smoothly running a Navy blockade, although there I did give them a bonus to Silent Running/Disengage as they were effectively masking themselves in the drive wake of a larger ship. Didn't work as well against a Night Lords cruiser, but they'd managed to damage the maneuvering thrusters on their firing pass and escaped into the Warp with no more extra damage than a few welded airlocks from a pointedly powerful Focussed Augury). I'll also note, on the house-rule front, that if there's a significant navigational hazard around, I'll start adding penalties to Detection if ships start travelling particularly fast as bits of debris and particulate matter strike the shields and degrade the auspex returns. In well-travelled orbits (say, the volume around a spaceport or inhabited world), this can start kicking in for everything travelling at greater than 6 VU/turn (the exact penalties and max speed before they occur depend upon the situation, and can be negated with Repulsor shields). This makes it easier for ships pursued in a Stern Chase to escape and disengage (the ship overhauling has to be moving faster, and is having a harder time seeing stuff ahead). In a similar vein, (and for similar reasoning) I rule that if a Void Shield is hit, it flares briefly, blinding the auspex and augurs of the ship it is mounted on temporarily. In a normal turn this doesn't matter so much, as they'll have reset within a couple of minutes and each turn is 30 minutes long, but in theory it could be used to mask a close-range launch from torpedo bombers, the final approach of boarding craft, or, if a ship's captain and helmsman are particularly skilled, covering an attempt to disengage. The latter situation has not come up (not had an NPC think of it who has also had the skill to pull it off, and it doesn't work if there's more than one ship from whom you're attempting to escape), but I have had players try and use it to cover a boarding attempt (their timing was off, and they killed almost 1/3rd of the Arch Militant's assault companies when a stray shot hit one of the shuttles). When it comes to my own campaigns, however, unless they go for a ship while they're fairly close to port, they've tended not to capture them (as they have been worried about manpower levels when detailing prize crew. They're more likely to take one of the first two options from the classic Admiralty instructions: "burn her, sink her, or take her a prize" (For "sink", read "hulk") The ships that they do take sufficiently intact that they don't strip off prize crews for tend to have as many voidsuits as they can find confiscated, charges set on the major intercompartmental hatches, and on strategic external airlocks, so they can dump all the air from the companionways (but leave life-support active) and just strand the ship there. No-one aboard can get her underway without going through sections in vacuum and restoring pressure to helm compartments. That way, they didn't kill an entire crew, starvation/cabin fever did. And if they return with enough for a prize crew, all it takes is welding closed the blown external hatches and pumping in some extra air to make up for the loss. Any surviving members of the original crew are either so grateful for the rescue they won't cause trouble or so deranged no-one cares if they get executed... The other ships... well, occasionally, to make a point, they'll disable (block/weld closed) the drive tubes and set the realspace engines to spool up to maximum power. Flood the entire ship with plasma. If it survives, you're left with a fire-gutted hulk, all components slagged (they did this to a wolfpack raider sworn to Karrad Vall, then left a taunting message in the ruins of the bridge once it cooled, knowing one of the other ships got away to report). If it doesn't survive, well, a plasma drive explosion is rather pretty to watch (and they should have time to reach a safe distance).
  5. rofl! In all likelyhood there would be a good bit of that before they got to the stage I mentioned. In fairness, I suspect that attitude is not entirely lacking from the Adeptus Mechanicus. Just take a look at the following extract from Runic Spaceflight - An Introduction; Naval Flight Manual W110E: Strike the first rune upon the engine's casing employing the chosen wrench. Its tip should be anointed with the oil of engineering using the proper incantation when the auspices are correct. Strike the second rune upon the engine's casing employing the arc-tip of the power-driver. If the second rune is not good, a third rune may be struck in like manner to the first. This is done according to the true ritual laid down by Scotti the Enginseer. A libation should be offered. If this sequence is properly observed the engines may be brought to full activation by depressing the large panel marked "ON".
  6. Quite possibly. I'd probably rule the stresses of micro-jumping knock a couple-hundred hours off the service life/time til next major refit, mind you. As for fitting a secondary drive system- major dockyard job, I'd say. As in, have to rework the power conduits to at least 1/3 to 1/2 the ship to get it to fit, reshape the hull over at least that much, overstressing the plasma reactors (somewhat, at least. Potentially catastrophically at that, but I'd likely GM-Fiat that away as "power plant goes into meltdown: burn Fate to survive, stranded in deep space with half a ship and no drive" is no fun and likely a crap story. Or at least not the planned story). If it's replacing the warp drive- it's still a major dockyard job, but not to quite the same degree (or at least in quite the same way), but you still have the same problems with targeting safe emergence zones. I might give a bit of extra leeway, but I suspect I'd actually rule in the other direction, with them being more sensitive to non-flat Lorentzian metrics. I'd have to look more into how Tau drives work. It'd fit with the descriptions of the Tau "merchant" fleets (pre-Damocles Crusade, at least) being significantly more vulnerable, and not just because of their unwieldy and modular designs. The biggest issue (religious/xeno-corruptive aside) in fitting a Tau-style drive to an Imperial ship is probably going to be software-based, but I'd say a (more-or-less heavily) modified version of the Navigator-free jump calculations would do it. I still think it's doable without modifying the ship (although stealth systems aboard will help once in-system), particularly when remembering that the Tau are limited to speed-of-light detection, provided the ship in question has a reason to be headed that way (which Errant has provided, if you need one). It's just a really impressive display of bravura Navigation.
  7. I'm not sure a ship Component/Upgrade is necessary, or at least necessarily the right way to go. If we assume the danger of jumping insystem is due to the presence of a gravity well (or at least partly- the usual inaccuracy and possibility of hitting something when leaving the Empyrean is part, and so is the possibility of Immaterium-based pollution, which of course you don't want anywhere near inhabited planets) creating a shear gradient, plus potential tides; then in theory it should be safe (for the ship in question, anyway) to translate in or out at Lagrange points. Warp pollution is then something of the major factor, particularly when jumping out. Jumping in, it becomes a test of the Navigator's skill, and how accurate/up-to-date the charts are (and how well synched the charts aboard ship are with the actual positions of planets, moons etc. in the system. The longer a ship has been in Warp, the less accurately they'll be able to plot the Lagrange points, thanks to warp-dilation). Assuming accurate charts, it's just a case of hitting a much smaller exit locus than usual. Difficult, certainly (I'd up the test's difficulty quite significantly), but a relatively simple problem that doesn't require extra gear. I would say that it's not something that could be done the first time a ship enters a system, particularly not after a long passage. BUT- if you were to come out short (a couple light-weeks out would do, but I would say anything within 1LY or so), and spent a day or so looking at the system ahead and plotting the positions of major bodies, such a trick would be possible (and pretty much undetectable unless someone was keeping a psychic watch on your original exit locus (and it is possible to "ease" a ship back into realspace virtually undetected at such range, according to Execution Hour)). Then all it takes is a very short micro-jump (probably put a lot of stress onto the warp engines hauling a ship in and virtually straight back out, but it will minimise warp-dilation, and time at risk of daemon-gribblies). I'd probably recommend a Warp Sextant, mind you. ^all off the top of my head. I'll probably have a more detailed think and look later, but I hope it is helpful.
  8. Upon reading that Astropaths are all blind, and see things using the psychic residues left on them by souls (and particularly that soulless beings like Pariahs are invisible to them), she believed that she couldn't see things unless they had souls. This meant that she couldn't see things like walls, and requisitioned a squad of "guides" from the ship's armsman complement (also assigned by the ArchMilitant to execute her if it looked like she was going to be possessed/lose control of her powers). She also decided that since she couldn't see any vox units, the ship evidently didn't have any, and so would write any messages she needed to pass to different members of the dynasty, and send one of her guides to hand-deliver them. Of course, being blind, said messages were essentially undecipherable, so the runner had to try and remember what she was muttering as she wrote it... The other Dynasty members didn't like the delay of sending messages back with the runner, so used the ship's PA system to reply. Of course, if they were going to carry on a conversation, she had to scribble the next message and send that off by a runner, and so on. As the campaign progressed, they ended up assigning more and more "guides", as an extended conversation regarding a Warp Encounter she went below to deal with wound up with an entire platoon of her "guides" being run to the point of exhaustion (being made to carry messages from the lower prow decks of a Repulsive-class to the bridge, 5 kilometres aft, up 700m of stairs in under 40 minutes could do that).
  9. I see where you're going with the feels-comparison to the Siege-Perilous class, but to be honest, they're conceptually closer to modern USN arsenal ships (a good example might be those Ohio-class subs converted from SSBN to SSGN; low detection profile, hard to board, great mid-to-long range offensive punch, lacking in defenses and close-range weapons systems). The IN Falchion hull honestly sounds like a pretty good fit to me (I have a soft spot for the Voss-pattern ship hulls which they arguably don't deserve, given the relative fragility their long axial compartments would give them). Possibly use Turbo- weapon components for the dorsal batteries? For a bit more survivability, I might even suggest going up to a light cruiser (have a look at the Endeavour hull, and possibly have a monkey around with my own take on it, the Aspis). That, or go down to destroyer size and make it even sneakier (heavy Cobra FTW). That said, I have to sort-of disagree with your take on the Glorious Heritage-class heavy cruisers (like the Andromeda Ascendant). Mostly in your characterisation of their crew- sure they have scientists aboard, but most (the vast majority, in fact) of their crews were pure military. At least, while the High Guard Argosy was an actual thing. And yes, they had fancy quarters, conference rooms and gardens etc, because they were intended for use as flag vessels for battle groups. Admirals and senior High Guard captains rate the fancy. But if you ever think that Rommy wasn't a warship, just look at her specs: 200 missile tubes, 76 slipfighters and plenty of anti-proton and laser turrets for close in combat and point defence (plus her Nova bomb allotment), not to mention they're supposed to carry an entire regiment of Lancers for ground actions. The reason I only sort-of disagree with you is that given their relative sizes, the Enterprise NCC 1701-D is arguably heavier armed (ok, objectively and in total, the Glorious Heritage-class has waaay more firepower than a Galaxy-class, even without Nova bombs. They're also about 8x the size of a Galaxy-class). In fact, if Starfleet wasn't massively militarily incompetent, they'd be absolutely terrifying warships to face. Thankfully, the new Abrams-Trek has started to fix that, with observable weapons doctrine starting to take advantage of the design features inherent in the ships already. But the Star trek incompetence rant is a whole other massive discussion. In this context- I only sort-of disagree with you because the general role the two ships are designed for is fairly similar (command and flag duties, heavyweight all-round combatant, plus capability for long range solo missions). Andromeda just does it better.
  10. Thing is, with the exception of lasgun/shield interactions* and the Butlerian Jihad nuking Earth to the point of totally sterilising the biosphere (which I believe is only canon in the Kevin J Anderson novels, and hence can likely be happily ignored), the entirety of the Dune mythos can be dropped into the backstory of 40k without any problems- Dune takes place in the year 10191 after the Butlerian Jihad (191.m21, by the 40k Imperial Calendar), with the death and reincarnation of Leto II Atreides taking place in mid m23 and early m25. This happily lines up with the transition between the Golden Age of Technology and the Dark Age of Technology, so Omnius et al map very well with the Men of Iron, Leto's Diaspora with the sudden expansion of human colonies, even the rise of prescience and other psychic abilities fits surprisingly neatly (plus, of course, the Navigators of the Spacing Guild, as mentioned before). It even neatly explains the Imperium's apparent disgust of cloning (the ghola of the Bene Tleilax). Sure, unless you find a stasis chamber or a hidden Tleilaxu outpost you're not going to meet Duncan Idaho or the Baron Harkonnen out there, and most of the knowledge of that period will have descended into myth and legend (if not be just plain lost), but it'd be interesting to see what 15 millennia have made of the Fish Speakers, or the Honoured Matres... *Easily explainable with the words "wheee! Archeotech!", or in long form by introducing the Holtzmann Field as a specific form of shielding that went out of fashion with the rise of las-weapons.
  11. Is that "can be described roughly as Kim Possible, but psychotic", or "essentially a version of Kim Possible, but am unsure of the relative degree of psychosis"? Me thinks the first one, but not entirely sure on the difference between the two. Care to explain? The second acknowledges that both the character and Kim Possible are psychotic, but that it is unclear which is most psychotic...
  12. Is that "can be described roughly as Kim Possible, but psychotic", or "essentially a version of Kim Possible, but am unsure of the relative degree of psychosis"?
  13. In theory, yes. However, there is also the effects of continued radiation exposure, which could well bleach or otherwise alter the pigments (the Apollo 11 flag on the moon, for example, is now completely white, rather than the red, white and blue stars and stripes) and arguably* micrometeorite/trace particle strikes (even deep space isn't a complete vacuum... although it comes close). That said the Imperial Navy, and many merchant marine and privately-flagged vessels totally paint their hulls. Why? Advertisement when entering port, tradition, devotion to the God-Emperor/Omnissiah, Keynesian econimcs, pride, punishment/penal details, or even because the captain thought it would look cool. Also, never mind spray cans, think more along these lines. Actually, given the size of the Red Dwarf, that's not a bad analogy at all... *I say arguably because these could be counted in your own statement.
  14. To a large degree, the answer depends on the component, as well as the degree of available dockyard support. Something relatively plug'n'play, like pulling thunderstrike pattern macrocannon and upgrading them to mars or stygian (or swapping out for something fairly self-contained like a jovian missile battery), in a major shipyard like the lathes- sure, d5 days sounds about right. Fitting out a ship with new torpedo tubes (or nova cannon, or even installing lances where there were none) is a bit more major, as it requires a non-trivial amount of work redesigning the interior compartments, re-laying power conduits and potentially cutting holes in (and fitting airlocks in the holes) the thickest armour plating on the ship. Likewise fitting something like a tenebro-maze, or replacing the auspices or the void shields (potentially. It may well be possible to do in a relatively plug'n'play manner, depending on the volume and power requirements, but I wouldn't bet on it), simply for the amount of work it would take, distributed all over the ship. Even in a major dockyard, that's going to be at least a week's work (potentially a couple of months). Fitting or removing engine components, a gilded hull or a warpsbane hull is pretty **** major though. In the case of the engine refit, it pretty much comes down to a complete rebuild of the aft third of the ship, followed by re-connecting (potentially wholly re-working the layout of) the power conduits. When you're doing major work that affects the entire outer hull (potentially/arguably replacing it completely), it's going to take a while (if for no other reason than you may well need to take precautions regarding decompressing the inner compartments), but attempting it at somewhere like the Lathes is going to be the most efficient place to go about it, as outer-hull work makes it easier to just throw work crews at the job without worrying about them getting in each other's way. It should therefore be possible to do it faster than an engine refit (weeks-months rather than months-years), with the major bottleneck being blessing the parts as they go in. Sure, assuming you could afford the number of servitor crews it would take, you could potentially have yourself a brand-new warpsbane hull fitted in maybe a couple weeks, but all those anti-daemon statues on it would have to be pre-blessed, or else you'd spend the next few months as the few Ecclesiarchy peeps go round activating them properly (or head off reliant on just the Omnissiah and some vac-boiled-to-nothing machine unguents and gun-oil). Arguably, it'd be faster/more efficient to seek that fitting at a naval base rather than an AdMech world. Of course, that's just how I'd play it in my campaigns. YMMV.
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