Glotmorf on 22 Jun 2002 23:04:06 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Spoon-business] DimShip redo

{{ _Nomilogue 8: Who Mourns for Adonis?_


We sat at a worktable in the warehouse, each with a glass; a bottle of the Old Man's scotch rested between us.  Across the room, lit by a single worklight, sat the ship, the name "Benomicant" visible high on the hull, near a ruptured seam.

The work crews were gone.  The lab techs were gone.  The onboard staff was gone.  I had been able to find interim work for all of them, much of which might lead to long-term projects.  I haven't laid off anyone since starting the company, and by the grace of God I'll never willingly do so.

But the horde of people who had birthed and nurtured the ship all this time were very visibly not there.

"Will she ever fly again, Mr. Morf?"

"Well, if you can find a high enough cliff..."

The Old Man glared at me.

I sighed. "The hull plating ruptured on its seams, and a good chunk of the panels are buckled.  The frame itself is bent, even with the semiflex joints.  The displacement containment system is unstable now; we couldn't guarantee enough precision to target a particular realm...or, for that matter, to avoid one.  The shield generator overloaded and caused a feedback loop with the main drive..."

"In other words, no."

"Frank would call it a radiator cap job."

"A radiator..."

"Take off the radiator cap, drive a new vehicle underneath."

The Old Man gazed at the ship as he sipped his drink. "And to think, Barney considered us his friends.  I wonder what would have happened if he had been angry with us...?"

"I've never seen an angry Barney.  He'd've probably sung us some good-behavior songs..."

We drained our glasses in unison.

I picked up the bottle and refilled our drinks. "We shouldn't have been there, you know," I said.

"I did not desire to return, Mr. Morf.  Did you?"

"Couple women in the lab wanted to set up an observation post...I think their maternal instincts kicked in.  But that's not what I meant.  It looks like navigation gets unstable out on the fringe.  We're not sure we could have reached that realm if we'd deliberately aimed for it."

"The realm should not exist, then?"

"Not if I had any say in it."

"I it an anomaly?  An impossibility?"

"An anomaly implies the existence of normality.  We redefined 'normal' and 'impossible' the first time we threw the switch." I sipped my scotch, and idly swirled the liquid in the glass. "We don't know what's out there.  We're still not sure whether it already exists, or if we're making it exist by going out and looking at it.  Schrodinger's frontier."

The Old Man scowled. "Then what did you mean when you said, we should not have gone to the Barney realm?"

"Well...let's say dimensional space goes by quantum theory, and is affected by the observer.  That means we get random results if we do random exploration.  The Barney realm was a random result.  We got that result because our exploration methods have been as structural as a Monopoly game with no board."

"Ah," he said. "So you are suggesting a more structured approach to exploration, which will reduce accidents?"

"Yeah.  I'm thinking if we concentrate on the dimensional axes, get some determination regarding isolated factors, we can set up a baseline for interaction between those factors."

"In other words, we draw the lines, then paint between them."  The Old Man mused of this as he sipped his drink. "But you say our ship will not fly."

I pulled out my notebook. "I've worked up a preliminary proposal for a new design..."

"I rather thought you might."

"...Which I'd like you to look over and perhaps make a deposit on."

He accepted the notebook from me with a mild look of resignation, and began to read...


Change Rule 493 to read as follows:

{{ _DimShips_

DimShips are objects used to adjust a Player's virtual (perceived) dimensions by applying positive and/or negative modifiers to eir real (actual) dimensions.

A. Definitions

A.1. Real Dimensions

A Player's real dimensions are dimensions that are not modified or adjusted in any way.

A.2. Virtual Dimensions

A Player's virtual dimensions are the values of eir real dimensions, plus the buoyancy and minus the ballast of whatever DimShip e is currently occupying at the time.  A virtual dimension cannot differ from the corresponding real dimension by more than |100|.

A.3. Buoyancy and Ballast

A DimShip's buoyancy and ballast are, respectively, the amounts added to and subtracted from the values of real dimensions of an occupying Player to produce eir virtual dimensions.  A single DimShip is limited in ballast and buoyancy to 50 each, though each can be a combination of modifiers to be applied to different dimensions.  E.g. a buoyancy of 10 style, 10 respect and 10 charm would be a total buoyancy of 30.


The Old Man scowled at the notebook. "I appear to be getting less functionality for the same amount of money."

"No, sir.  It's just a different type of functionality.  Plus a more stable shop design."

"'Less is more'?  That sounds vaguely orwellian, Mr. Morf."

"Just keep reading, sir."


A.4. Coupled Ships

A coupled DimShip is two or more DimShips connected together and functioning as a single ship.  Ballast and buoyancy for a coupled DimShip are still each limited to 50, but are multiplied by the number of single ships in the coupled ship.  E.g. if a coupled ship contains three single ships, and the coupled ship's buoyancy is set to 10 respect, the modification applied would be +30 respect.

B. Ownership

B.1. Purchase

A DimShip can be purchased for 100 score points.  The DimShip must be given a uniquely identifying name at the time of purchase.  Newly purchased DimShips begin Landed.

B.2. Equipment

Objects that can be added to a DimShip are called DimShip Equipment.  These objects are not automatically purchased with the DimShip; they must be purchased separately.  DimShip Equipment includes:

B.2.1. Guns

Guns can be purchased for 10 points, and count as 10 respect buoyancy and 10 charm ballast against the DimShip's buoyancy and ballast limits.  Guns can only be added to a DimShip while the DimShip is Landed.

B.2.2. Armor

Armor can be purchased for 10 points, and counts as 5 respect buoyancy, 5 style buoyancy and 10 charm ballast against the DimShip's buoyancy and ballast limits.  Armor can only be added to a DimShip while the DimShip is Landed.

B.2.3. Pilots

A pilot can be hired for 10 points, and will then charge 2 points per nweek starting with the following nweek unless and until the Pilot is fired.  A Pilot can board and disembark a Landed DimShip, or can move from a single DimShip to another within a coupled DimShip, or can move from one DimShip to another if their ballast and buoyancy are the same.  If the DimShip the pilot is moving to does not belong to the Player who hired the Pilot, the owner of the DimShip must explicitly permit the Pilot to enter on the public forum.


"Why so much to hire a Pilot?  A salary is not sufficient?"

"Operating a DimShip is kinda specialized training."



B.3. Giving a DimShip

A Player can give a DimShip e owns to another Player.  Guns and armor installed on the DimShip are transferred along with the DimShip.  Pilots on the DimShip are only transferred if the giving Player explicitly says so and if the receiving Player explicitly accepts them, whereupon said Pilots are considered to be hired by the receiving Player.  A DimShip containing Players other than the recipient or Pilots not belonging to the recipient can only be given if the recipient explicitly accepts it.

B.4. Scrapping a DimShip

A Player can Scrap a DimShip e owns, which removes it from eir possession and destroys it.  A Player receives half, rounded down, of the value in points of the DimShip e Scraps, calculated as the sum of buoyancy and ballast capacity, plus 10 for each Gun or Armor installed at the time of Scrapping.  Pilots inside DimShips being Scrapped are considered to be Fired; no points are returned for Pilots.


The Old Man raised an eyebrow at me. "I trust the Pilot does not...go down with the ship, Mr. Morf...?"

I stayed deadpan. "It'd be more cost-effective that way..."

"I find that sort of humor disturbing."

"Hey, if I didn't have a sense of humor, I wouldn't be building DimShips for you."



C. Use

C.1. Launching and Landing

A DimShip is put into active use when it is Launched.  A DimShip is taken out of active use when it is Landed.  Launching occurs at the end of the nweek.  Landing can occur at any time, and results in buoyancy and ballast being set to 0.  A DimShip reduced to 0 buoyancy and ballast capacity Lands automatically.

C.2. Occupying

A Player can board (enter) a DimShip e owns if that DimShip is landed.  A Player can move from a DimShip e occupies to a DimShip e owns if the DimShips are in the same location.  A Player can board a DimShip e doesn't own, or move from a DimShip e occupies to a DimShip e doesn't own in the same location, if the owner of the DimShip explicitly permits.  A Player can force other Players and Pilots the Player has not hired off a DimShip e owns if the DimShip is Landed.

A Player only occupies a single DimShip at a time.

C.3. Moving

A DimShip's dimensional location is determined by its buoyancy and ballast settings, offset from the Origin.  A Landed DimShip is considered to have buoyancy and ballast at 0, regardless of its contents or Equipment.

A DimShip moves to a new dimensional location by setting its buoyancy and ballast.  Players occupying a DimShip are not considered to be at the DimShip's dimensional location.

A DimShip must be occupied by its owning Player or by a Pilot hired by its owning Player in order to move.

A DimShip cannot contain or occupy another DimShip.

C.4. Coupling

A Player may couple any number of DimShips e owns in the same dimensional location to produce a coupled DimShip.  A Player may uncouple DimShips from a coupled DimShip at any time; the uncoupled DimShips are considered to remain at the same dimensional location as the coupled DimShip.

C.5. Combat

A DimShip Gun installed on a DimShip may, once per nweek, fire a Shot at a DimShip in the same realm.  The Shot causes 3d6 damage to the targeted DimShip.

If the targeted DimShip has Armor, each Armor absorbs 3d6 damage.

Damage not absorbed is applied to the targeted DimShip's buoyancy or ballast capacity, determined randomly by the Administrator.  If the damage exceeds the randomly determined capacity, the remainder is applied to the other capacity.

If a DimShip's ballast or buoyancy capacity is reduced below N, where N is the number of Guns and Armor the DimShip carries times 10, first Guns and then Armor are destroyed until N is at or below both buoyancy and ballast capacity.  Destroyed Guns and Armor no longer count as ballast or buoyancy.

In addition to the above, if a Player possessing the Sushi occupies a DimShip with a Gun, e may, once per nweek, shoot the Sushi at a Player in a DimShip in the same realm.  This is equivalent to forcefully giving the Sushi to another Player, but does not require the Sushi to be owned for four ndays. (This takes precedence over Rule 213.)

D. Application

The values of a Player's virtual dimensions are used in any instance where a rule checks but does not alter the value of a Player's dimensions.

The values of a Player's real dimensions are used in any instance where a rule alters the value of a Player's dimensions.  This includes instances where the values of a Player's dimensions are checked prior to and as a condition of alteration.


"Explain this, please."

"Well, sir, that means you can't take more money out of the bank than you have.  But you might be able to qualify for a platinum credit card."

"Interesting.  What about leveraged stock purchases?"

"I'm just a simple physicist with a Ph.D.  I don't pretend to understand the stock market."


This rule does not apply to itself.


Remove the last paragraph of Rule 213.

Repeal Rule 635.


The Old Man sat and stared at my proposal long enough that, even with the scotch keeping me relaxed, I started to squirm.  At last he sighed and set it down on the table, refilled his own glass, and contemplated the wreckage of our first ship.

"Um...what do you think, sir?"

"I think you are trying to drive me into bankruptcy."

"What is the price of adventure?"

He scowled. "You can only quote me once and get away with it."

I nodded and sat back, resisting the urge to gulp my drink.  We absorbed the silence and the dimness for a while.

At last he rumbled, "We keep the name."

"Benomicant II?"

"That will do."  He picked up the pad again. "Multiple ships.  Will that make me an admiral?"

"We don't have them yet.  Will you settle for a commodore?"

He grunted and leveraged himself to his feet. "I will settle for financial solvency.  When will you begin?"

I fought off a shiver of excitement. "Soon as I can get the crew back together."

The Old Man nodded and headed for the door. "By the way," he said, with his hand on the knob, "I appreciate you keeping my name out of your damned articles."

My mouth hung open as the door slammed shut.



spoon-business mailing list