Hitchhiker's Guide to the Frontier and Beyond

Document container for project design documents.

A Passenger's Guide to Interstellar Travel

[Recovered from the list serv archive, written by kveldulf, circa Spring 1998]

A Passenger's Guide to Interstellar Travel
Although the Frontier colonies have been spacefaring civilizations for hundreds of years, many UPF citizens never leave their birthworld. UPF census reports for the last decade that although 75% of UPF citizens have made a suborbital or orbital flight in their lifetime, only 60% of UPF citizens have made an interplanetary journey, and only 35% an interstellar trip. Now, with the Frontier relatively peaceful and the economoy booming in most systems, many citizens are making their first trips off-planet and out-system. It is for such first-time travellers that this datafile was created. The information below offers a broad overview of space travel today, from a passenger's perspective. More detailed questions can be directed to your local travel office or researched on the public data nets.

Booking your Journey
Booking an interplanetary or interstellar space flight is a simple process on all but the most remote colony worlds of the Frontier. Simply contact a local travel agent (numerous independent agents and megacorp travel offices can be fouind in public data listings), describe your requirements and reserve your ticket(s). Be sure to review your carrier's safety record (see below) before leaving for your journey. Also, make sure you take advantage of any applicable discounts available. Common discounts include a 10% discount for double occupancy cabins if both tickets are purchased at the same time (all acceleration couches / beds are designed for double occupancy); 10% discount for round trip ticket purchase (non-refundable if return flight is cancelled, and the discount is forfeit if the date of the return flight is changed by more than 1 standard GST day). Note that no discount is available to senior (post-fertility period) beings due to the higher insurance costs associated with such passengers in space.

Once your flight is booked, be sure to arrive at the departure terminal at least 2 GST hours before departure time to allow time for customs inspections, cargo loading and boarding. If you are travelling storage class, you must arrive 10 GST hours prior to departure to allow for customs inspection, pre- flight physical and hibernation (freezing) procedures. Remember to allow similar time at your destination when you debark from the ship when planning your trip.

Although space travel is commonplace on the Frontier, many citizens rarely travel offworld or have never been spaceside at all. For those passengers new to space travel, the following guidelines outline the amenities offered by most passenger vessels in service today:

Note the following is a table I'll have to straigten out
Typical Cabin Class Cabin Size / Common Area* Amenities Storage n / a none (4 cubic meter pressurized hibernation unit with luggage loaded in separate cargo bay). Journey 32 Cabin - personal acceleration couch / bed; (usually 4 x 3 x 2.5m**) zero-gee washroom and shower; videophone terminal with access to ship's education, entertainment and information databases; emergency spacesuit. Common Area - dining, lounge and gym facilities; holovid theatre; public observation bubble; individual holovid cubicles and / or remote data access to Frontier data and communication nets via public access terminals at varying rates. Luxury 72 Cabin - as per Journey class, plus individual (usually 6 x 4 x 3m**) holovid player, data access terminal and one or more cabin portholes; common options include personal valet android (passenger's choice of apparent sex), wet bar (steam bath in shower for dralasites) and other luxuries depending on ship. Common Area - full serve dining area, lounge and gym facilities; options include full-immersion VR entertainment theatre and cubicles, gambling areas, live entertainment, and liquid water swimming pools (operational only when ship is under 1 gee thrust).

* Common areas are open to all passengers of the appropriate ticket class on board the liner.
** Dimensions are length x width x height; these vary widely based on the ship's hull and cabin designs.

Safety Considerations
Safety is uppermost in the minds of many space travellers today, and it is important to check on the safety record of the corporation or independent liner you will be travelling with. Answers to basic questions such as life support capacity, provision of emergency spacesuits (mandatory under UPF law for all passengers except storage class), and number of lifepods / boats carried should all be available from your ticket agent or on file with local port authorities. Note that most ships today carry enough lifepods and boats to suffice for all crew and non-storage passengers, but some cut-rate carriers carry enough for only half the passenger complement or none at all. Some of these cut-rate carriers offer additional life insurance policies to passengers at discount rates, but these should be avoided as they are often financed through dubious companies which may not pay out in the event of a tragedy.

Besides physical safety provisions, passengers should also verify that their spaceliner meets the minimum staffing requirements set out by UPF transportation laws. These requirements are:
Stewards / Flight Attendants: Minimum of 4 organic (ie. non-robot) steward / attendants per passenger ship, plus 1 per every 50 non-storage class passengers. Liners carrying with only storage-class berths are exempted from carrying stewards or attendants. In addition to the required organic attendants, most vessels will provide androids (usually 1 per organic attendant aboard) to better serve passengers..

Medical Specialists: Minimum of 1 certified doctor per passenger ship, plus 1 doctor / nurse / medical assistant per 100 non-storage class passengers aboard; vessels carrying storage-class passengers must carry 1 additional doctor / nurse / medical assistant per 50 storage berths in addition to the ships' doctor and any other medical personnel. Passengers travelling in storage class have an entirely different set of concerns from other passengers. When travelling storage class, make sure the physician putting customers in hibernation is a licensed doctor as required by UPF law. Before purchasing a storage class ticket, be sure to check with your own physician (beings with cardiopulmonary or nervous system problems are at high risk for complications when revived from hibernation). Under no condition should pregnant beings, budding dralasites or immature (pre- adolescent) beings travel storage class; should a travel agent or liner captain offer you such an option, report them immediately to port and UPF authorities as they are in violation of UPF safety guidelines.

Luggage / Cargo Considerations Luggage / cargo allowances on spaceliners are based on the passenger's ticket / cabin class. Storage class passengers have the lowest allotmens, while luxury passengers have the greatest allotments. Luggage allotments are based ona combination of luggage mass and volume. Although exact figures vary between individual corporations, destinations and ships, the following are typical for the Frontier:
Mass / Volume Allotments Class Legal Minimum Typical Allotment Storage 10 kg / 0.1 cubic meter 100 kg / 1 cubic meter Journey 50 kg / 0.5 cubic meters 250 kg / 2 cubic meters Luxury* 100 kg / 1 cubic meter 1000 kg / 5 cubic meters Extra Cargo Space**: 50 Cr per 100 kg / 1 cubic meter
*Note that cargo space for luxury passengers is guaranteed to be buffered, pressurized. 10,000 Cr of luggage insurance is included in the ticket price for luxury travellers in case of damage to luggage or luggage contents, subject to investigation and arbitration by the insurance carrier; additional coverage can be purchased from the ship's insurance carrier at varying rates.
**Certain ships known as "bulk liners" operate with a combination of numerous storage berths and a few luxury berths for independent merchants.

Since the storage class passengers don't take up much cargo space, the leftover space is sold to the merchants at a discount rate of between 10 to 25 Cr per 100 kg / 1 cubic meter. This practice is common for merchants who sell small lots of specialty cargoes (such as jewels, spices, and high-end / custom electronic equipment) and travel with their wares from system to system. Since such merchants don't sell enough in each system to merit operating their own ship or chartering a freighter to haul their goods it is cheaper to book a passenger flight and buy the extra cargo space (most freighters require customers to purchase large cargo lots to make a run worthwhile).

Void Sickness and other common medical questions
Many first-time space travellers have health questions relating to their trip. Below are answers to the most common:

Q: What is Void Sickness and how do I avoid it?
A: Void Sickness is a feeling of disorientation, motion sickness and occasionally nausea that some travellers experience during the brief minutes a ship spends in the Void during interstellar trips. For most passengers it is an uncomfortable but fleeting feeling. Those passengers with a history of bad reactions to Void exposure or who are apprehensive about the experience can request to be sedated by the ship's doctor prior to Void transition; no adverse effects have been reported by sedated passengers after a Void transit.

Q: What about other space ailments such as exposure to cosmic rays, solar flares, and loss of muscle and bone mass?
A: The hulls of all Frontier ships are shielded against the background radiations found in space, preventing exposure of passengers to radiation levels higher than those found on typcial planets. Passenger vessels specifically avoid high-raditaion areas such as belts around gas giants and the like, and are kept aware of unusual phenomena such as solar flares, plasma clouds, etc. by local planetary authorities and UPF observation posts. Most ships have a heavily shielded "storm shelter" near the engineering section for emergencies, but they typically enter and exit the Void close enough to planets that they can seek refuge within a nearby planet or moons magnetic field in the event of a flare. Muscle and bone mass is rarely experienced, since Frontier ships near-continuously accelerate to Void entry, then near- continuously decelerate to their destination after Void exit; the simulated gravity provided by accel- and deceleration counteracts the muscle and bone effects of low and zero-gravity exposure. Frequent space travellers may suffer some side effects after 6 months or more of frequent variable-gee travel, but this is uncommon and easily treated. As a general note, nearly all primary UPF space routes are short-duration (15 days or less) which keeps space-related health risks to a minimum.


A Starfarers Travel Guide

Cover page (Place holder)

Athor System

Athor is a K2 star.

Discovered in 85 PF when a ship from Araks was sent to investigate radio signals originating from human, dralasite and vrusk colonies. The jump routes from Araks to Athor and Athor to Prengular were charted and contact with the other races was established. This system was colonized in 83 PF by the second wave of the Yazirian Star Exodus. Known as "The Gateway to Yazirian Space" Athor is the main route from Prengular to the yazirian colonies.

Places of note: the planet Yast and it's moon Exib, both of which support agricultural colonies.

Yast, Athor system

Population: yazirain
Population Density: Moderate
Economic Base: Agriculture
Gravity: 1.0
Day: 15 hours
Stations: None
Moons: Exib (A), Ime

Government: Yast's government is called the Council of Clans. This body is made up of chiefs or designated representatives from all recognized clans on Yast. All members of the council vote to choose a Speaker of the Council who acts as the executive officer of the government. The Speaker is aided by a cabinet half of which is chosen by the council and half is chosen by him. This cabinet is known as the Speaker's Council.

The Council of Clans has instituted a civil service program and every yazirian that reaches adulthood is expected to serve the colony and in turn is accorded full citizenship rights. Citizenship rights conveys the important priviledge of being able to speak before the Council of Clans in the Hall of Warriors. Any citizen can appeal to the council for justice but if the council hears the appeal and does not accept it there is a great loss of face. Thus no one makes this appeal frivolously.

A large portion of the civil service program is hard labor supporting the ongoing terra-forming efforts. The mega corp GODco has effectively withheld its support  for the terra-forming program over perceived resistance of Yast's government to the hegemony of Hentz, the Family of One and by extention GODco. Other areas of civil service include teaching, government administration, and in Yast's small militia.

Militia: The Yast militia is classified as non void capable since its naval assets are limited to boarding shuttles and fighters. Entrance into the militia is highly competitive and requires connections. Despite their lack of true star-ships the militia's moral and dedication is very high.

Exib, Yast's moon

Population: yazirain
Population Density: Light
Economic Base: Agriculture
Gravity: ?
Day: ? hours

Government: Like Yast, Exib is governed by a Council of Clans made up of the recognized clans from Exib society. A Speaker and his cabinet is chosen in similar manner. Many of the founding clans on Exib came from Yast so that there are a few "power broker" clans with seats in both clan councils. Some Exib clans are no longer officially part of their parent clan on Yast but still have close ties it.

Despite this Exib is more more relaxed than traditional Yast. It has seen a large influx of yazirians from Hargut as the lower air pressure on Exib is conducive to yazirians miners suffering from Blue Lung.

The relationship between Exib and Yast is an informal one. Exib's ruling council has traditionally taken the subservient role to Yast's government out of loyalty to it's parent world. With the influx of yazirians from planets other than Yast and the eventual recognition of clans that did not originate in Athor some discord has entered into the relationship between the moon and the planet. There are now some clan chiefs on Exib that believe that the day is approaching when Exib must chart it's own course independent of Yast.

When the second wave of the Yazirian Star Exodus arrived in Athor to settle Yast they discovered Exib had a fully evolved ecosystem ripe to be terra-formed for yazirian needs. Since Yast required significant modification a large colony was planted on Exib while Yast was transformed into an ecosystem closer to that of the yazirian home world. The colony abandoned with the discovery of Milo's Disease carried by the medib sting fly.

A decade latter, after the discovery of a treatment for Milo's Disease, a small outpost was re-established on Exib. It quickly prospered and more yazirians emigrated to Exib. The farming colonies on Exib have proved incredibly profitable and despite the ever present threat of Milo's Disease the colony has prospered.

During the First Sathar War a contingent of warriors from both Exib and Yast won renown during the liberation of Pale. The reputation of warriors from Athor's colonies is legendary making them highly sought after as corporate enforcers, usually receiving a 10% pay bonus just to secure their services. The culture of civil service promoted by the Council of Clans frowns on enlisting in corporate service which in turn makes warriors from Exib (or Yast) in corporate service a rarity.


Exib supports no naval militia. The Council of Clans has a small standing force of civil service enlisted warriors at its call for domestic policing. In a time of emergency the Council can make the "Call to Warriors" and every yazirian that can still swing a khad'dan will respond allowing them to mobilize 70% of the population.

Only one time has the Call to Warriors has been made in Exib's history. In year FY 47 fragments of a comet struck the moon. The catastrophe brought the moon's population together and proved the value of the civil service ethic.

Currently Exib contributes warriors and supports a base for the Athor militia but those clan chiefs that feel Exib should act independent from Yast want to form an independent space militia. The fact that this would be impossible since neither society appears to be able to support a proper navy does not prevent it from being debated.

Exib's Zoological Catalog

Dzelt (flit tail)
TYPE: tiny insectivore
MOVE: slow 35m/turn
IM/RS: 9/90
DAMAGE: 1d2 pincer
NATIVE WORLD: Exib (Yast's moon, Athor system)

DESCRIPTION:Dzelt are tiny arthropods that share many Yazirian houses on Exib. They are useful creatures as they hunt the harmful sting flies that typically fill Exibian nights with their buzz and itch and which also carry Milo's Disease. Dzelt are built somewhat like scorpions except they have wings, which they rarely use, and their tail ends not in a sting, but in a third pincer which they use for securing and subduing prey. They can scale walls and ceilings with ease and often suspend themselves from such perches while they wait for their next meal.

Dzelt are common pets among young Yazirians and because they keep sting fly populations in check, a myth surrounding the killing of a dzelt has evolved. Yazirians killing a dzelt (accidentally or not) must leave a small saucer of mulkis milk out at night in apology to the dead creature's family. The mulk actually draws sting flies, which in turn, draws dzelts. The offender is assumed to be forgiven if the remains of sting flies are found floating in the mulk. Failure to leave the mulk offering or if it is not accepted supposedly bodes bad luck for the offending Yazirian.

Medib (sting fly)
TYPE: tiny carnivore
NUMBER: 2-20
MOVE: slow 30m/turn
IM/RS: 5/50
DAMAGE: 1/bite
NATIVE WORLD: Exib (Yast's moon, Athor system)

DESCRIPTION:Sting flies are the bane of any Yazirian on Exib. These creatures not only leave a painful, itching wound when they bite they also vector Milo's Disease in Yazirians (no other races are affected). Feeding during the night, male medib take blood meals from any mammalian host they can find. During feeding, microscopic parasites that live in the fly's gut are often regurgitated into the wound. If a Yazirian victim fails a STA check, he will develop Milo's Disease in 1d10 days.

Milo's Disease is characterized by spiking fevers and a loss of dexterity (halve DEX scores). The only treatment is costly and does not provide further immunity. Haltine is the drug of choice for treatment and while it does negate the fever and dexterity loss, it does not cure the disease. Furthermore, should someone stop their routine haltine treatment, the symptoms will return within a day. Until a cure can be found, Yazirians with Milo's Disease remain infected for life.

Mulkis (domesticated)
TYPE: large herbivore
MOVE: very slow 10m/turn
IM/RS: 5/50
DAMAGE: 1d10 kick
NATIVE WORLD: Exib (Yast's moon, Athor system)

DESCRIPTION:The first Yazirians to explore Exib reported finding small herds of animals that "stupidly bleat-mooed" at them as they stepped down from their spacecraft. Little has occurred to change that perception and no wild mulkis remains on Exib as they were all captured and domesticated with relative ease inside of two years of the colonization effort. Mulkis are famously dull-witted creatures and a common insult among rural Yazirians is to claim that someone does not have the sense that nature gave a mulkis.

Yazirians use these creatures for pulling carts and sometimes plows if machinery is not available. Their violet milk, known as mulk, is used as a beverage and when cured makes a fine purple-hued cheese. They are perfectly useless as mounts due to their size and have wicked tempers, as many young Yazirians can attest, when attempts are made to ride them. They are also often the culprits in raids on grape-corn fields, their favorite treat food.

Many zoologists and ecologists have marveled at the series of events that allowed mulkis to survive as long as they have. A relative lack of natural predators coupled with their yearly foaling were definite bonuses for them and help explain their otherwise dubious survival.

A domesticated four legged flightless bird imported by yazirians to Exib. Approximately the size and intelligence of a terran turkey.

Miniature Wyvole (domesticated pet)
TYPE: tiny carnivore
MOVE: walking- slow 20m/t, climbing-slow 30m/t, gliding-medium 50m/t
IM/RS: 5/50
DAMAGE: 1d10 bite
NATIVE WORLD: Yaz (Yazirian Home World)

DESCRIPTION: Only a yazirian would consider this animal a suitable pet. They are a miniaturized version of the larger wild wyvole but lack the special attack. They maintain their pack mentality but ascribe it to their owners and are very vicious toward outsiders.

Fromeltar System

Place Holder

Naming Conventions in the Fromeltar System
Almost all places in the Fromeltar system have dual names; in both Dralasite and Vrusk languages. This is due to the fact that Fromeltar (Krik Var) is the home world of the vrusk species. When the dralasites were discovered and settled here they could not pronounce most Vrusk words and Dralasite names were developed.

With the development of the Pan Gal language the Dralasite names for locations in the Fromeltar system entered into the Pan Gal lexicon largely because the lead linguist was a dralasite. The vrusk have never made an issue about this as they recognize their language is unpronouncible by the other species in the Frontier and simply use the Vrusk names which their polyvoxes translate into Pan Gal.

Terledrom, Fromeltar System

Terledrom is the capitol of Fromeltar and Kisk'-Kar systems. Fromeltar is the Pan Gal name for the system but the official name is in Vrusk: K'rick Var. Terledrom's official name is Ren-Kit.

Gravity: 1.0, Day: 60 GST hours

Moons: 3 (and rings visible from planet surface)
Wikk- this moon is being colonized with workers in space based industries
Leen- this moon is being used for industrial purposes
Masg- not current use or development

Government: The government of Terledrom is a unique fusion of vrusk trade houses and elected dralasites.

Space Stations: Zik-Kar (armed space station and class 2 star ship construction center)

Population: Heavy population density 71% vrusk, 28% dralasite, & 1% other.

Economy: Industry, star ship construction,

Mega Corporations: Trans-Travel
Trans-Travel is unique among businesses doing business on Terledrom in that it is run by a council of yazirians. Originally known as Hentz Travel Corp the company relocated to Terledrom at the height of the Family of One's power and changed it's name to Trans-Travel. The identities of it's ruling council members is not common knowledge and the reason for its relocation is unknown as well. What has been rumored is that the executive officers of Trans-Travel are either dissenters against the Family of One or refused to allow their company to be taken over by the Family of One on Hentz.

Major Cities:
Sengen is the headquarters of Trans-Travel mega corporation. It is also has the highest density of non vrusk and dralasites on the planet.

Psychsorium is the soul of dralasite culture. The city is known as the City of 1000 Stoa of Philosophy. In truth there is less then 300 officially recognized stoa in Psychsorium but an old joke amoung dralasites is that there are as many schools of philosophy as there are dralasites in the universe. The heart of Psychsorium is the Forum and the Library of Philosophy.

Hive Plantation is a collaborative eventure between Star Play corporation and Trans-Travel. The plantation is an attraction designed to recreate the ancient hive experience of the vrusk. Star Play runs the plantation and Trans-Travel runs star liner tours from vrusk colonies. It was predicted that this venture would fail but the attached convention center and astute marketing by Trans-Travel ensures that the plantation is booked year round by vrusk companies looking to hold company retreats and conferences here.

Militia: (Zzez'k K'rick Var) or the Fromeltar Defense Force
The FDF has three assault scouts and a frigate stationed in Fromeltar and two assault scouts stationed in Kizk'-Kar. 

Psychsorium, Terledrom, Fromeltar system

Psychsorium, City of a 1000 Stoa of Philosophy

Psychsorium is considered the soul of dralasite society and the heart of Psychsorium is the Forum. The Forum is a large open plaza dotted with fountains, art, cafes, shrubberies, and small market stalls. The oldest and most prestidgous stoa front the forum as well as the Library of Psychsorium. The forum is a place for debate. The commerce that goes on there is just a pretext, indeed much pretext goes on without actually any commerce happening.

A stoa dedicated to the art of drawing in the customer arose in the past and its philosophy is focused on debate judo. Its practitioners are mostly cafe or market stall owners who are very good at posing questions and half questions to draw out the philosophy of a potential customer then using their judo like philosophy "throw" the customer. The winner wins the advantage in the commerce which results in either the stall owner lowering the price at a small percentage or the customer buying the pretext item at full price plus an up sell item "would you like batteries to go with that?"

Cafe owners operate a little different. customers must buy before they will really engage them. Though recognized master debaters are prized customers that eat and drink free because their mere presence draws a crowd.

Young dralasite philosophy students that are at the human level of senior in High school or Freshman in College begin to venture into the forum to have their debate skills sharpened. Knots of spetators will gather  on the steps of the Library, by a fountain or on the steps of a stoa to witness great debators plying their craft and skill. Students listen and take notes for "coffee shop" debate among themselves later.

The Library
The Library is not so much a full library but a library dedicated to one topic: Philosophy. It has limited selections in other topics to round out the collection but the Philosophy section is approximately 80% of the collection. The librarians are all master debators that rose to prominence in their individual stoa. Offically they no longer represent their stoa but some have still have been known to keep their individual bias'. It's considered a great honor to be nominated to the ranks of the Librarians. There are  honorary librarians that remain at the head of their stoa but this is a rare honor.

Despite their individual bias most of the librarians strive to remain neutral and will help young dralasites to find the monographs that will best sharpen and challenge them in their particular school of philosophy. They are even quite adept at playing devils advocate, even against their own heart felt beliefs.

The stoa masters, and Librarians fulfill an important role in dralasite society; they form a mix of master of ceremony, high priest, judge, and advisor. Often stoa masters and great debators are called on to arbitrate in matters but occasionally its deemed that the official neutrality of the Librarians is required. An odd number of them will be appointed to a panel. Any librarian with a past tie to a stoa involved in the dispute/debate is by custom expected to recuse himself from the panel.

Timeon System

Timeon is a G5 star.

Discovered in 129 PF by a Royal Merchant Marine crew, the system was latter colonized jointly by the governments of Clarion and Minotaur (125 PF) as an agricultural colony to support the parent planets with food stuffs.

Places of note: planet Lossend and Bouvia Station.

Lossend, Timeon System

Population: human
Population Density: Light
Economic Base: Agriculture
Gravity: 0.7
Day: 70 hours
Stations: Bouvia Station (ASS)
Moons: None