DX Cancri


B1478AA-8, pop=200m

DX Cancri is a red dwarf star. The colony is located on an inhospitable gas giant moon. It was founded only a century ago by William Chu, a young radical from Earth’s Favoured caste. Chu is adored by his followers. His decisions govern every aspect of life in the colony. He has preached rejection of the Uploads, and the destruction of the caste system. Ever since, the colony has been a destination for Earth’s disaffected. Chu still runs the colony, even though he is now very elderly.

The Commonwealth has reached out to the Cancrites, arguing that they have a common cause against the Uploads. Many Cancrites are sympathetic, but Procyon stands between them and Earth, and Cancri is too poor to threaten Procyon in any case.

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  1. alex said,

    15 December, 2014 @ 12:08

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    Tony Jones When you’re designing your star systems for these games are you taking into account advances in astronomy since Traveller came out? In particular I’m thinking of the discovery of Super-Earth type worlds, which were unknown when it was written and so not feature in the star system generation rules at all.


    Alexander Tingle That’s a good point. I have modified the basic rules somewhat – mainly to reduce populations and tech levels, and to forbid A class starports on Lo-pop worlds. The planetology stats are unaltered. That’s mostly nonsense anyway.

    I’m using some real data for nearby star systems, but that rapidly drops off into randomly generated Traveller fantasy, further away. The most obvious deviation from reality (aside from the whole 2D space thing!!) is the sparse stellar density. There are far far more stars in reality, especially if you consider all the red & brown dwarfs.

    I’ve been quite tempted to disconnect the jump-space topology from that of normal space. With a bit of hand waving, you could say that jump space really IS two dimensional, and that the stars might be very, very far from each other in real space – even in distant galaxies. I really wanted to have a STL aspect to the setting though, so I reluctantly abandoned that idea.

    I think I’ll go and retrofit some super Earths, and see if I can modify the system gen rules to allow for them. Gliese 581 and HD 40307 are both quite nearby…

    Tony Jones Cool. You could still have some long range jumps if most ‘tramlines’ are to local stars but some go much further away…

    Tony Jones Making jump links something like a scale-free network:


    Alexander Tingle On super Earths: I think the most interesting aspect from the perspective of this game is the possibility of “wilderness refuelling” from gas dwarf planets that might be present in the inner system. The outer system is relatively inaccessible, because the jump points tend to be near to the star, and manoeuvre drives are normally limited to 1G or (often) much less.

    Matt Fitzgerald IIRC the handwavium explanation in Traveller was that it was only tracking stars with an inhabited world, hence the low density.

    Tony Jones Don’t forget all the ‘hot Jupiters’ that have been discovered too, all in the inner system. And the super earths that are covered in vastly deep oceans…

    Andy Miles With regards to density…could you redraw the map using 1 light year as the scale instead of the parsec? You could then lay in the jump routes, perhaps colour coding them for access by different jump ratings. Or even do away with the hex grid altogether (much as 2300 did) and simply show the links between worlds.

    Andy Miles …and on super-Earths…would they be suitable as a main world? Surely if they have greater mass they would also have greater surface g? At what point would the surface become effectively uninhabitable because of the g?

    Alexander Tingle From what I’ve read, there are three basic types of super earth. Firstly there are gas dwarfs, which are essentially “mini gas giants”. Then there are huge water worlds. Finally there are rocky planets like Earth, but with much higher surface gravity. I imagine there is plenty of potential for life, especially on the water worlds. They wouldn’t be very comfortable for humans, unless some kind of gravity plating were available. (Core world humans don’t have that technology, although they are aware that it exists.)

    Andy Miles So that is kind of my point; they are interesting phenomena within a system but none of those variations is a suitable candidate for a surface colony world. Perhaps at higher tech (with contra grav) you could have a flying city in the upper reaches of an earth-like super-earth (perhaps like Bespin in TESB).

    Alexander Tingle Well, I think you’d be OK on worlds with up to about 2G surface gravity. Of course the cost of take-off & landing on such worlds would be quite high. (Remember that human space drives are much more “realistic” in this setting than the standard Traveller M-drives.)

    Alexander Tingle AFAICT, super-earths are actually fairly rare. We have detected a lot of them simply because they are easier to detect than smaller rocky planets.

    Tony Jones Not sure that’s true. According to this ‘Observations using space-based and ground-based telescopes have indicated that a new class of objects dubbed super-Earths – worlds that are about two to 10 times our planet’s mass and up to two times its radius – could be among the most common type of planets orbiting other stars':

    How abundant are Super-Earths? | PHYS.ORG

    Tony Jones From what I’ve read some super-earth would be almost useless. These would be the ones with a rocky core overlaid with hundreds of kilometres of ocean, the bottom of which would be a wierd phase of ice due to the pressure, and only under that would there be rock. So if you want water, you’re OK but not for anything else. As I understand it they would have oxygen atmospheres though, even without life, due to UV dissociating water and nothing to oxidise to soak it back up again…

    Andy Miles So, looking at the Wiki that Tony linked to on super-Earths earlier it looks like the surface would be in the region of 2-3g. What effect would that have on human life both short and long term? Presumably in the short term you could overcome the most obvious effects with things like powered exoskeletons, but would there be longer term effects that might inhibit colonisation? Might it, perhaps, put an intolerable strain on the cardiovascular system? (This I suppose then opens up all sorts of possibilities of a penal workforce/forced labour…). On the other hand, even if the most hospitable are inhospitable and/or uneconomic to exploit then again they become little more than interesting phenomena that are unsuitable, from a human perspective, for main worlds.

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