Technology in Astra Imperia can cause some headaches at times. Power plants must be added to account for systems, which increases the hull size, which increases the amount of power required to move the ship, which increases the number of power plants, ad nauseum.
With this in mind, I have started a rework of the technology system as a whole, and changed Power Plants, Armor, and Shields to be percentage of hulls rather than tonnage. Power plants have increased their output by a major amount. This means that a Standard Fusion plant in the new system outputs 2,500 power, costs 300MCr, and consumes 18% of the hull. The old Standard Fusion plant would have output 100 power, cost 300MCr, and weigh 18 tons. An equivalent power output would cost 7,500MCr and weigh 450 tons. Admittedly, on a 5,000 ton ship the new power plant weighs in at 900 tons, but it also costs less. Prices are also under work, but have not been changed yet. Most likely a change of 5x will be implemented.
Armor & Shields
Armor and shields remain the same, with the exception that they consume 10% of the hull each, rather than a straight 10 tons. On the aforementioned 5,000 ton ship, they will each consume 50 tons. So with Power, Armor, and Shields, you’ve got 38% of your hull consumed. This will max out at 40%, and minimum value is 31%.
Technology now has Research Areas which are basically the Theoretical Technologies, and Technologies which were the Applied Sciences.
There are six Research Areas:
- Energy Systems dealing with propulsion and energy generation.
- Defensive Systems dealing with armor, shields, and missile decoys.
- Electronic Systems dealing with sensors and scanners, ECM/ECCM, stealth, command nets, science instruments, and the modifications to each of those.
- Construction deals with mainly hull costs and industry.
- Biotech deals with populations, organic indices on planets, and personality aging.
- Weapons deals with everyone’s favorite topic. Guns.
Research points are generated per turn and then allocated to one of the six areas. These points generate 1% per point (more on that a bit later), which then increases the level of the research area. All of the Technologies fall under these six areas.
As the research areas increase, they increase the levels of the technologies below them. As an excerpt, I’m including the first five levels of the Energy Systems Research Area.
- Basic Fission, Power Efficiency I, Thrust Efficiency I.
- Standard Fission, Standard Engine Class.
- Improved Fission, Nuclear Pulse Engine, FTL Class II.
- Enhanced Fission, Primitive Fusion, Improved Engine Class, Power Efficiency II, Thrust Efficiency II, Standard Inertial Compensators.
- Advanced Fission, Basic Fusion, High-Energy Capacitance Rings I.
There is a level zero for all research areas which gives the players a number of starting technologies.
Going from the list above, if a race generated 60 RP in a turn, and allocated those RP evenly to the areas, each area would gain 10%. Once the area has reached 100%, a d100 roll is made: 01 – 05 = Overruns, 06 – 95 = Tech Available, 96 – 00 = Breakthrough. This roll is made per technology at that level.
Overruns require an additional 2d10% worth of RP be allocated before another roll can be made. Tech Available should be self-explanatory. The tech is available for immediate use. Breakthrough gains 2d10% worth of RP applied to the next level. The breakthrough is applied to the technology, not the area. So if a breakthrough is rolled for Basic Fission, and a Overrun on Power Efficiency I, the breakthrough RP apply to Standard Fission, and cannot offset the overrun in Power Efficiency.
You may have noticed I said “worth of RP” earlier. Every five levels increases the amount of RP required to gain 1%. Levels 1-5 are at x1 cost, 6-10 are at x2 cost, 11-15 at x3 cost, etc. So at higher levels overruns are more costly, while breakthroughs save more. This variation means that some techs may lag behind or race ahead of others. You cannot advance in a direct descendant tech (Standard Fission from Basic Fission) without completing the ancestor tech (Basic Fission).
There is a method to focus on a technology. A technology with a focus gains 50% more RP worth of advancement, while others at that level lose 50%. Going with the previous example, the 10% allocated to Energy Systems is spread evenly. If the player decides to focus on power plants (primitive/basic/standard/improved/enhanced/advanced) classes, they would gain 15% while the other technologies at that level only receive 5%.
The advantages/disadvantages dealing with research have been modified slightly. Research Bonus +5% and +10% now increase the Breakthrough range from 96 – 00 to 91 – 00 and 86 – 00 respectively. Research Penalty now increases the Overruns range from 01 – 05 to 01 – 10.
Personality advantages/disadvantages also affect the new research. Research Genius adds 5 RP to be added to an area, Intuitive Mathematician adds 2 RP to be added to an area, Absent Minded subtracts 5 RP, and Incompetence increases the Overrun roll by 1% to 01 – 06 and is cumulative with Research Penalty (01 – 11).
Strewn about the various levels in the research areas are levels with no technologies. These areas still require 100% worth of RP to be allocated, but do not require a roll.
The full preliminary document will be available in the File Downloads section.