Transportation Technologies of Charted Space

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Sophont species, with few exceptions, are born with a baseline movement means and develop other means of locomotion, or movement, using technology to develop vehicles.

  • For most planetary species, this means walkers, sophonts who traverse the solid surface of a world using various numbers of legs and peds.
  • However, many other forms of locomotion exist for sophonts including: Swimming, flying, digging, amphibious locomotion, triphibious locomotion, and even more exotic means of movement.
  • But all lifeforms are limited to their physiological means of locomotion until they develop vehicles using technology.
  • Via technology, a sophont species may learn to traverse any environment including jumpspace or even pocket universes.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Vehicles are one of the key technologies that sophonts use to extend the range of their permissible environments. Through transportation technologies, a means to get there, and habitational technologies, a means to make an environment comfortable, a sophont species may populate not only their homeworld, but their stellar system and beyond.

Developmental Transportation Technology Paths[edit]

Many different locomotary technology paths exist for various sophont species exist, but a common one for walkers is:

  • Land 》 sea 》air 》space 》stars


  • Ecotope 》Continent 》Ocean 》Atmosphere 》Space 》Stellar System 》Far System 》Stars 》Jumpspace 》Galactic Branch 》Galaxy 》Universe 》Alternate Dimension 》Singularity

Transportation by Environment[edit]

Transportation is developed separately for three key separate environments:

Transportation by method of locomotion[edit]

Vehicles of all types may be propelled by various means. Pedal-Power, Animal Power, Mechanical Legs, Wheels, Tracks, Oars, Push-Poles, Sails, Propellers, Jets, Rockets or Gravity Manipulation.

Some methods of locomotion are improved by (or require the presence of) specific infrastructure. e.g. Wheels are available to cross many types of terrain, but with tracks, that involves less diversions and halts. With Paved Roads and bridges, the delays due to poor weather start to reduce and with waterproof paving the speed can be increased. Rails can make wheeled travel much faster at the disadvantage of being tied to the infrastructure entirely.

Transportation by method of lift[edit]

Aerospace Vessels and Watercraft may achieve lift (movement in the up-down dimension) through Wings, Thrust, Air-Cushion, Magnetic Levitation, Anti-Gravity Lifter and Natural Buoyancy.

Transportation by class of user[edit]

Vehicles may be used by Civil, Paramilitary or Military users. Some vehicles will be specific to roles within one of these realms, but often there is cross-over between realms.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

One of the hallmarks of the vast majority of higher intelligent species is a curiosity or drive to learn more... about everything! Curious sophonts develop technology and then use that technology to modify and explore their surroundings. Vehicles are a natural evolution of that curiosity. Vehicles are a tool by which a species can expand the range of its available environments. Mature sophonts learn how to master the arts of spaceflight and starflight.

Transportation Technology[edit]

Transportation Tech Comparison
TTL G3TL G4TL Land Water Air Space
0 0 0 Foot - Animals Raft / Canoe - -
1 1-3 1-3 Wheel - Carts/Chariots Galleys, Crude Sailing Vessels - -
2 4 4 Advanced Wheel - Moveable Axle, Replaceable Rims Early Multi-Mast Sailing, Crude Navigation - -
3 5 5 Extensive Road - High-Speed Coach Multi-Mast Sailing, Navigation Hot Air Balloons -
4 5 6 Trains Ironclads, Steamships Dirigibles, Early Gliders -
5 6 6 Ground Cars, Tracked Vehicles Personal Self-Propelled Boats, Steel hulls, Early Submersibles Aircraft, Seaplanes Early Rockets (unmanned)
6 6 7 Amphibian Vehicles, ATVs AFVs Submersibles, Scuba, Amphibian Vehicles Early Jet, Helicopters Early Manned Rockets, Unmanned Rockets
7 7 7 Hovercraft, High-Speed Trains Hydrofoils, Hovercraft Supersonic Jet, Hang Gliders Deep Space Probes (Unmanned), Maneuver-1/2 (non-gravitic)
8 7 8 Triphibian Vehicles Triphibian Vehicles, Early Artificial Gills Triphibian Vehicles, Hypersonic Jet Space Shuttles, Space Stations, Maneuver-3-5 (non-grav)
9 8 9 Early Grav Vehicles, Ultra High-Speed Trains Early Grav Vehicles, Artificial Gills Early Grav Vehicles, Rocket Assist Suborbital Jump-1 possible, Sublight Stellar
10 9 10 Grav Vehicles UH Grav Modules Gravitic Maneuver

[1], Jump-1 certain

11 9 10 Personal G-Tubes, HV Grav Modules Jump-2, Thruster Technology[1]
12 10 11 Personal Grav Belts, LT Grav Modules Jump-3
13 10 11 Grav Vehicles Merge with Orbital Spacecraft, Jump-4
14 11 12 Jump-5
15 12 12 Jump-6
16 - - Raw Material Only Short Range Matter Transport
17 - - Inanimate Only Short Range Matter Transport
18 - - Self-Aware Starships, living being portal based Matter Transport
21 - - Multi Parsec Range Starship-Sized Matter Transport Portals

See also[edit]



§ == ( Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information: ) == §


The line between Spaceplane and Spaceship is blurred.
If the design is described as a Vehicle then its a Spaceplane;
if it is described as a Ship its a Spaceship.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 In GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars, this module appears in TL8.