Tag Archive for '2300AD'

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[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part III – The New French Arm (v2.0)

NOTE: This is version 2.0 of the New French Arm – it has been significantly updated from its original version. See here for the full explanation for the change, otherwise read on for the updated Arm!

Following on from my overview of what 2300AD’s Arms could look like on a realistic starmap, let’s take a closer look at my reinterpretation of the French Arm (as well as Pentapod and Kafer space) by starting off with a general overview (and some 3D maps!):

View of the French Arm from above.

3D Map of the New French Arm (view from “above”).

This new 3D map shows what the revised “New French Arm” looks like in the realistic starmap, as seen from “above”. The solid blue lines show the explored and colonised parts of the French Arm, the red/pink section is Kafer Space, and the light pink section is Pentapod Space. Dotted lines are “extensions” that haven’t been colonised yet but provide space for future expansion. Sol is located at the bottom left corner of the network, and Pentapod and Kafer space are “above” Sol, closer to the viewer.

While a 3D map is nice to look at to get an idea of the real layout of the stars, they are a little hard to interpret! Fortunately, the nature of the Arms is such that they can be represented using a much simpler “subway map” (shown below) that displays all of the connected systems in and around the French Arm much more clearly. This map was made using the very handy subway map generator at http://beno.org.uk/metromapcreator/ – it has a few quirks (such as not saving the maps properly – some screen capturing and assembly in Photoshop was required!) but it works pretty well once you get used to it.

Subway Map of the French Arm and Alien Space

Subway Map of the French Arm and Alien Space

The subway map shows the Arms and branches much more clearly. I’ve tried to arrange it so that the lines vaguely agree with reality, though in doing so it looks a little un-intuitive – I had to put Sol at the bottom right end of the dark blue line (with the French Arm extending to the left from it) in order to get the Beta Canum Branch on the same side of the map as the Arcturus Branch.

I’ve also had to move some of the named systems around to get the history working with the new map, and also had to incorporate the systems that were at fictional stars or stars that turned out too distant to be usable. I tried to fit the systems to similar stars, but there may be some differences (that probably matter less in the grand scheme of things than their placement on the arms).

So. What do we have now? We’ll actually start from the top of the arm and work down towards Sol.
Continue reading ‘[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part III – The New French Arm (v2.0)’

[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part II – Overview

So what could humanity’s expansion to the stars in 2300AD look like with a realistic star map? It could look like this…

The Realistic Arms of 2300AD

The Realistic Arms of 2300AD (click to expand)

The map above shows all of the stars within 60 lightyears of Sol, though only the stars on the French, Chinese, and American Arms are labelled (as well as those of all of the other space-faring nations and alien races). Obviously there’s a lot to digest in there – I’ll be discussing the arms individually in later posts, but in this post I’ll be providing an overview of what’s going on. As I pointed out in my previous post, this is merely my own personal (obviously non-canonical) interpretation of where the Arms would go – I’ve tried to keep as many systems in common with the original arms as I could given the more realistic stellar distribution, but this is by no means the only path the Arms could take.
Continue reading ‘[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part II – Overview’

[2300AD] Realistic Near Star Map Project: Part I – Introduction

Realistic Near Star Map with new Arms! Scroll down and play the video!

OK, 2300AD fans – you may recall that last year in my 2300AD Near Star Map post I examined how the Arms in 2300AD shaped up when compared to our current knowledge of stellar distribution and discovered that they were actually pretty wrong, with lots of missing stars and broken links.

Also over the past year I’ve been (slowly) tracking down and compiling Star Catalogues on my Stellar Mapping page so I can figure out where the stars around Sol actually are.
Continue reading ‘[2300AD] Realistic Near Star Map Project: Part I – Introduction’

[2300AD] Near Star Map Astrosynthesis DB file

This week I received an email request for the Astrosynthesis DB file that I used to make my realistic 2300AD near star/arms map, and after digging it up I figured I may as well post it for everyone to use. It uses a special version of the realistic stellar databases that I’ve presented elsewhere on this site – it has the 2300AD-specific names for the stars and systems, so it shouldn’t be used for scientific purposes (I think it just uses the RECONS + DENSE + Hipparcos databases). As usual, please don’t redistribute this yourself – just link back to this page if you want to spread the word!

Instructions: Click the image below to download the 2300AD_DB.zip file, unzip it into a local folder, open Astrosynthesis 3.0, and open the unzipped 2300AD.AstroDB file from there. Hopefully it’s some use! 🙂

2300AD Astrosynthesis 3.0 database file



Copyright stuff: The 2300 AD game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright 1986 – 2012 Far Future Enterprises. 2300 AD is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Far Future permits web sites and fanzines for this game, provided it contains this notice, that Far Future is notified, and subject to a withdrawal of permission on 90 days notice. The contents of this site are for personal, non-commercial use only. Any use of Far Future Enterprises’s copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, any program/articles/file on this site cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the author who contributed it.

[Stellar Mapping] The 2300AD Near Star Map

The 2300AD Near Star Map

The 2300AD RPG – originally published by Game Designer’s Workshop in 1988 – presented an excellent gritty, realistic near-future hard sci-fi setting with lots of exploration, mystery, and interesting aliens. It’s also about to be republished by Mongoose Publishing as a setting for their version of the Traveller RPG!

One of 2300AD’s most interesting features is that the setting is built around a realistic (for the 1980s) Near Star List based on the Gliese Catalogue (2nd Version). FTL travel in 2300AD has a maximum range of 7.7 lightyears, resulting in the creation of “Arms” that extend from Sol to connect only the stars that are within this range of eachother (this limit can potentially be extended to 11.55 ly using Stutterwarp tugs, but this is expensive and uncommon).

There are three of these Arms, each colonised by a different political power in the setting – the French Arm, the Chinese Arm, and the American Arm. The French Arm stretches “upwards” from Sol towards Galactic North, ending at the orange giant star Arcturus. The American and Chinese Arms share the same beginning, but split off so that the American Arm heads Coreward/Spinward while the Chinese Arm sprawls around the (galactic) southern part of the solar neighbourhood.

Unfortunately the Near Star List (NSL) has not been updated for the new version of 2300AD. A lot of stars have been discovered in the solar neighbourhood since the late 1980s (as shown on my Stellar Mapping page), and the locations and distances of existing stars have been greatly refined since then too – so how does the updated stellar data affect the Arms?
Continue reading ‘[Stellar Mapping] The 2300AD Near Star Map’

[Stellar Mapping] RECONS list updated!

Oops! Gliese 667 slipped through the cracks and wasn’t included in any of the original stellar datasets on my Stellar Mapping page! This is slightly embarrassing since it’s a bit famous for having planets around it! It was within 22.8 ly from Sol, but for some reason wasn’t on the RECONS list – and because it was so close it wasn’t included in the Hipparcos dataset either.

I’ve now added Gliese 667 to the RECONS CSV files, so if you’ve already downloaded the RECONS data, you’ll need to download the new version so you can include Gliese 667! (I only found it because I was checking the stars on the American Arm for 2300AD!). There shouldn’t be any other missing stars there – I checked the border between RECONS and HIP and couldn’t find any other HIP stars within 22.8 ly that weren’t already on the RECONS list.

[Stellar Mapping] How to make your own stellar database!

Looks like my new Stellar Mapping page has been well received so far – thanks to everyone who has shown an interest in it, I hope you’re finding it useful!

In this article I’m going to show you how to make your own stellar database, with the same tools I used to construct the ones I presented on my mapping page. For this exercise we’ll be relying on something called VizieR, which is a huge online database of thousands of star catalogues. You’ll need to have a basic understanding astronomy to make the most out of this, but it’s not that tricky.

Let’s say you want to make a database of stars in a corridor between Sol and the famous Pleiades star cluster (if you’re familiar with the 2300AD RPG, this is essentially the path the Bayern took to the Pleiades). We’ll be using the Hipparcos star catalogue, since it has the most accurate parallax measurements (from which we can derive distances).

Continue reading ‘[Stellar Mapping] How to make your own stellar database!’

Website Update: Stellar Mapping page updated!

My new Stellar Mapping page is finally online! This is a complete rewrite of my previous “Realistic Astrography” page, and now includes Equatorial to Galactic co-ordinate conversion files, the complete RECONS (2012) and DENSE star lists, as well as all the data from the Hipparcos, Gliese 3, and Yale catalogues for stars out to 300ly from Sol! And the Further Stars list is also in there too 🙂

RECONS-coreward

RECONS dataset, looking towards the galactic core.

The focus has moved away from Traveller and its hex map format (I realised that I was taking accurate data and then making it inaccurate by forcing it into hex map format, so I’ve dropped that completely) and moved towards raw data and Astrosynthesis, but this will still be very useful for anyone interested in using realistic data for the stars near Sol.

You can check it out at http://evildrganymede.net/wp/rpgs/stellar-mapping/

I’ll be writing some articles in the coming weeks to expand this – this will include how to use the Vizier stellar databases, and what this means for the 2300AD RPG!

Website update: Further Stars List uploaded!

EDIT: This has been superseded by my new Stellar Mapping page!

I’ve finally added the “Further Star List” to my Realistic Near-Sol Astrography webpage – it’s an excel file containing accurate locations of a selection of major stars (including Vega, Deneb, 51 Pegasi, Spica, Bellatrix and Algol) that are more than 10pc from Sol.

The format is a bit raw (and I’m not entirely sure why I selected those specific stars to list!). The dark red X/Y/Z columns show the distances in each direction (Sol is the origin, +X is Coreward, +Y is Spinward, +Z is “above” Sol). If you have trouble interpreting it, let me know!

You can doublecheck the stars too – you can use the Convert spreadsheet in Section 1 of the mapping page to convert the RA/Dec of any stars into X/Y/Z coordinates. If you have astronomy software like Celestia, open it up and activate the Galactic Grid and rotate it so that you’re facing 0° latitude and 0° longitude – you’re now looking directly along the +X axis. Turn to look at 0° Lat, 90° Lon and you’re looking directly along the +Y axis. Look at the Galactic north pole, and you’re looking directly along the +Z axis. You should be able to find your stars using this (e.g. Aldebaran is pretty much directly along the -X direction, and down a bit on the Z axis. Look towards 180° Lon direction and -20° Lat, and there it is!).

I’ve been sitting on this for six and a half years (!!) and finally decided that I’m never going to draw hexmaps showing these stars, so I may as well just release the data and let other people figure it out! Enjoy! 🙂

The link is at http://evildrganymede.net/wp/rpgs/stellar-mapping/.