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Do Nomad Motherships have Minotaur Drives?

The Nomad source book has only very few information about the Nomad Motherships capability to travel.

Usually, so it seems, they will use the Circulars to transport their massive ships through the wormholes.

But for the BAKUNIN there is some more information given in a sidebar on p. 14:

Bakunin is by no means confined to Circulars though. With proposed modifications to the Mothership’s drive pillar coming daily, including a custom Minotaur Motor, you never quite know where they’ll show up next.

So the sidebars describes that the BAKUNIN is not confined to using Circulars - present state.
Then it describes “proposed modifications”, so that would be a thing of the future, something they intend to add to the drive pillar.
And in the schematics on page 12 there are two Minotaur Motors shown - also present state (while the proposed dome shown on the schematics is clearly labeled “proposed”).

So, what is the state of the BAKUNIN in the year the RPG is supposed to start, 67 NC?

And more general: Do Nomad Motherships have Minotaur Drives? All of them, or only some?

If it was only going to be one fitted with a Minotaur Drive, I would guess it would be Bakunin!

That is lamentably inconsistent, though - I wonder if it came about through different bits being written at different times, and then not checked for consistency?

Regarding space travel, there are many unclear topics as for example the Circulars, how they work, how gravity is generated, whether they have Minotaur Motors or other types of drives, whether they actually ever stop, etc.

And the same for the Nomad Motherships. The actual technical parameters they operate under will become relevant in many games where the PCs have to do anything on board of one of those Motherships. How gravity is generated, how the ship actually travels, how often, how to determine in which solar system you might find one anytime when there is not a Krug, where in a certain solar system they might be - close to the settled planet(s) or more in the outer system?

Lots of questions that could have been answered on a single page or maybe two. Just some clear statements. - But even with the Nomad source book as a GM you have to guess and make something up that maybe seems consistent enough that your players don’t put the finger on it right away.

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I’m guessing it’s stuff that CB hadn’t answered at the time the book was being written (if they even have done so now).

i think these are mainly decisions for GMs (and potential story hooks!) rather than items of canon. i haven’t read all the CB published material, but in what i have there doesn’t seem to be any indication of whether or not the Nomad ships have minotaur engines or not. based on technological primacy, very possible for Bakunin and Tunguska to have them, less likely for Corregidor given its start as a prison. fwiw, even if they did have minotaur engines, the motherships might very well still travel along the circulars rather than burn their own fuel, as docking fees are probably cheaper than burning your own nessium.

for the Circulars, it’s implied that they have minotaur motors as those are required for interstellar travel. given the fact that they are essentially space trains that are also giant cities on fixed travel routes, i think their dimensions and specs are deliberately left vague for the GM to fill in detail if they want. perhaps the C8 which hits the Human Edge and Svalarheima is more cargo heavy and less developed than the C6 which hits Neoterra, Varuna, Acontecimento, and Yu Jing systems. i don’t recall the passage, but my understanding is that they circulars don’t stop, they merely slow by vila boosters to a pace that allows for intrasystem ships to dock with them and ferry people on- and off-board.

in terms of gravity, there are few passages from the core book and GM guide that specify the hows for particular ships:

The drive-pillars on Bakunin are generally kept firing at all times except for short-lived periods of “turn-over”, generating a default state of artificial gravity in which “down” points towards the magnetic exhaust nozzles on the “bottom” of the mothership.

Corregidor prefers short, hard burns for manoeuvring. (Visitors will note that most areas are outfitted with crash couches.) Thus the mothership is usually kept weightless, and the interior environments largely reflect that. Where gravity is needed for certain industrial applications, however, individual sections of the station are designed to be rotated for artificial gravity.

Experiments in synthetic gravity have had mixed results, and no examples have been more than proof-of-concept tests with highly classified results. Thus, the matter of microgravity environments is a concern for those travelling in space, as it can lead to significant health issues. Treating these problems is within the capabilities of modern medicine, but it’s still better to prevent them in the first place.

Some vessels resolve the issue at least partially by orienting their decks so that the ship’s engines are beneath their feet, so that when the ship moves, its acceleration serves as a substitute for gravity. Other vessels use centrifugal force, generated by rotating the ship along its axis, to replicate gravity. Others still use diamagnetism to simulate a gravitational force, though typically at less than 1g due to power consumption. These solutions don’t work equally for all ships in all circumstances, however, so the search for a better solution continues


I can’t remember where i saw that (or if it’s just my imagination), but I recall seeing something about some aleph ships having artificial gravity, courtesy of retro engineered EI technology.

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That would probably fit into the “highly classified” category. :slight_smile:

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