Generation Ship - useful resources ?

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Lessa

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I've got the PDF for both Legacy: Life among the Ruins 2nd edition and the Generation Ship expansion. I've finish reading it and found it pretty good, and I'm readying a pitch for my friends soon, but it lacks details like maps, ship-types, etc. This being PbtA, I know it's usually left for the group to fill in those, but I wish the book could at least give some directions for that, which it doesn't.

I'm aiming for the vibes of Blame! and Pandorum here, like, ragtag humanity remnants trying to survive on a megalithic structure with eerie atmosphere and weird threats. The game's default assumption of a central "City" where the families reside is a good start (and fits that Blame! vibe), and I'll go from there.

If anyone know of any good resources for finding such things (maps, descriptions on ship types, etc), please give me a hand here.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Tabletop Adventures has a book called Derelict Starships which has 105 random rooms/hallways/etc., which I have found very useful...
 
For fiction to get your synapses crackling I'd recommend reading these generation starship classics: the Universe novella by Robert Heinlein (the sequel Common Sense is pretty terrible, avoid it), Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss and Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage.
 
For fiction to get your synapses crackling I'd recommend reading these generation starship classics: the Universe novella by Robert Heinlein (the sequel Common Sense is pretty terrible, avoid it), Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss and Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage.

There are two Metamorphosis Alpha anthologies as well.

It's not well regarded, but to me it has a goofy charm... The Starlost:

 
I would say to start, make a few decisions...

What technology do they use? Is it near future or far future in which we never cracked FTL?... Is there any transhumanism?

Drive technology... Is it real world restricted and they need more reaction mass than actual mass to acheive a speed they can use and still hold onto half for deceleration. Or do they have a macguffin technology that allows them to go forth with little fuel and lots of hope?

Is Gravity an issue? Do they use Centripital force or gravity generators? If the latter, is it part of their drive system? Do they attempt to maintain constant thrust for gravity?

How many people? How long of a journey, how long have they been under way

Government and factions

Threats... internal or external... Aliens?

Just a couple thoughts to start, From there you could extrapolate a lot. If you have a Macguffin that provides limitless energy but a drive limitation to prevent near light burns you don't need a massive fuel reserve.
If you need Centripital gravity, you may want to explore having a few Stanford Toruses a Bernal Sphere, or even a form of Cylinder for the habitat section and micro gravity to no gravity elsewhere. This will also lead to kilometers of unused corridors that are essentially open space inside structure and struts.
If you don't want gravity to be n issue and use gravity plating, graviton generators, etc... then you can have any shape ship you like. The original Battlestar Galactica was essentially a generation ship with it being over a thousand years old and having generations of people who lived in the lower decks.
 
Back in the 70s there was a Canadian tv show called "The Starlost" that had the same generation ship gone awry premise as Meta Alpha would use later. Cheesy show (but written by Harlan Ellison!). Anyhoo, the ship design was a cluster of domed environments linked by corridors to a central hull. The great thing about that was, different domes could have suffered different kinds and degrees of damage. Try an image search on "the starlost" and you'll see what I mean.
 
Back in the 70s there was a Canadian tv show called "The Starlost" that had the same generation ship gone awry premise as Meta Alpha would use later. Cheesy show (but written by Harlan Ellison!). Anyhoo, the ship design was a cluster of domed environments linked by corridors to a central hull. The great thing about that was, different domes could have suffered different kinds and degrees of damage. Try an image search on "the starlost" and you'll see what I mean.

Oops I see Gringr beat me to it, why didn't I see that post when I scrolled thru the thread? Anyway, check out the ship design.
 
For fiction to get your synapses crackling I'd recommend reading these generation starship classics: the Universe novella by Robert Heinlein (the sequel Common Sense is pretty terrible, avoid it)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Universe and Common Sense were later printed together as Orphans of the Sky.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Universe and Common Sense were later printed together as Orphans of the Sky.

Yep but it is paired with the inferior Common Sense I think that book does no favours to the original. Universe is enough of a classic that it often appears in the many Heinlein compilations of short stories as well as the SF Hall of Fame collection of novellas and I’d recommend seeking that out instead.

He really needs a well edited Selected Stories as too much of his best short work is mixed across several books with more mediocre material.

BTW sometime people will claim that the Generation Starship idea comes from Heinlein’s story but Blish notes the idea was shopworn even by the time he wrote it, he just did a better job than any previous pulp writer.
 
Its kind of Noah's Ark in space. The concept has persisted through many forms.
The idea of surviving and restarting is appealing to those who are disregarded.
 
Thanks for the tips and sources, folks. :thumbsup:

Is Rendezvous with Rama also good?
 
Thanks for the tips and sources, folks. :thumbsup:

Is Rendezvous with Rama also good?

It is one of the best Clarke novels I'd say but it is more a Big Mysterious Artifact novel than Generation Starship.
 
Fair warning - he has a speech impediment so it can be a bit daunting until you get used to it. It took me a while to understand his Doctor Bono was my Doctor Bernal, but it was fine once I got used to his odd pronunciations.
 
Fair warning - he has a speech impediment so it can be a bit daunting until you get used to it. It took me a while to understand his Doctor Bono was my Doctor Bernal, but it was fine once I got used to his odd pronunciations.
I started with his later videos and worked back. For the longest time, I thought it was an accent.
 
Issac Arthur does know his stuff. His videos are pretty good. I endorse this idea too. ;)
 
It is one of the best Clarke novels I'd say but it is more a Big Mysterious Artifact novel than Generation Starship.
Books like Rama and Ringworld usually get described as BDO, or Big Dumb Object stories.

Both are great, but they aren’t really generation ship books. Though Ringworld has an extreme generation ship in it. What with an entire planetary system as a generation ship. A concept that gets expanded on in Fleet of Worlds.
 
Here is my take on a Methuselah/Generation ship...

It uses an Alcubierre drive to achieve .9C This will get it to Proxima Centauri in around 200 years.
It has a rotating space habitat 40 km long in the main section, with 2 counter rotating agricultural rings on the outside. Heat venting is still an issue, so it has a venting ring at the rear as well grafted over the storage and fabrication ring.
An Alcubierre drive uses two large rings to generate the "warp bubble" and then uses regular thrust to generate speed. For my own fiction... the limitations on the drive is radiation venting. Literally, if they accelerate too fast and for too long to power their conventional drive, they will cook the inhabitants. So acceleration occurs after long intervals making it go faster on longer journeys. Then there is also fuel limitations and the fact that thrust also generates gravity, so you will want to keep acceleration relatively low to avoid having two sources of gravity.....
In all, this behemoth is 60 km long. It uses centripetal force to generate gravity and has an enclosed sustaining eco system. Something like this would still have limitation on how long a journey could be, but I figure a modest half century is possible. This would allow it to reach up to a dozen planets within 12 ly of Sol.
Honestly, if we have mastered gravity to make flat plane ships, I doubt we would have sleeper or generational ships at all, so this keeps in line with realistic expectations of theorized tech and minimal use of Macguffins.

7638
 
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