Author Topic: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?  (Read 1763 times)

Herr Brackhaus

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[SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« on: (18:24:27/02-09-16) »
One of my players have come up with the rather ingenious idea of converting a zeppelin for use as a living space.

The team "acquired" an LTA before Rigger 5.0 was released so this particular Zeppelin is somewhere in between the 5th Edition LZP-2070, described as a "personal leisure craft" consisting of "nothing more than a lifting body and a small control cabin", and the 4th Edition Airship Industries Skyswimmer, described as a "recreational vehicle for middle-class families" with enough room to place one's whole team aboard and "travel in relative comfort to anywhere".

Now, I'm not sure how to house rule this in 5th Edition. I figure a custom lifestyle will have to be used for sure, because while the LTA could theoretically remain airborne forever (SunCell, Improved Economy, and LTA makes for long flight capabilities) the player will have to come down to work or resupply somehow. Alternatively, they could use drones to have supplies delivered and waste taken care of (no plumbing means chemical toilets or the like), and I kind of see this as living out of a motorhome, but in the sky.

If the player pays to have the amenities improved to at least low or medium I'd consider letting them use the Zeppelin as either a respective lifestyle. Neighborhood would be used to determine where they pay for a berth to dock if they ever need to land, while Comforts & Necessities would describe the actual living space itself. Security could apply to both the berth and the vessel itself. We'd discuss points spent on assets and services (obviously, no swimming pool!) and I don't feel like the player is trying to exploit those anyway.

So, what do you think? Am I crazy for considering allowing this? Can you think of anything that might be done to abuse having a floating home in the sky? How about challenges for the player who lays his head to rest on a bed flying the unfriendly skies? The runners are currently in Seattle laying low after and trying to ditch some heat they picked up in NAN territories, so I don't foresee a lot of issues other than the occasional bad weather.

Mystic

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #1 on: (22:08:31/02-09-16) »
No worse than say having a house boat.

Vehicles in Rigger 5 can be modded for specific levels of amenaties (sp), so that could help with lifestyle costs. As for abuse, I would see this as a great opportunity to mess with the player. A flying house is going to be a PAIN to try and secure, is very vulnerable, and to be honest dangerous. Oh, and don't forget being tracked. The zeph-house owner is gonna need some way to bypass radar, file (or forge) flight plans, deal with border security, and a lot of other stuff. And yeah drones could re-supply, but how easy would it be for a enemy hacker to either go after said zeph or simply crash a drone into said zeph-home?

Honestly. I think the player shot themselves in the foot with this and made your job a lot easier. 
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Herr Brackhaus

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #2 on: (22:12:43/02-09-16) »
Hehehe. Thanks, Mystic. I don't generally mess with my players unless they a) mess up in-character and get attention called to themselves, or b) are up for it because that's shit could happen in the world of shadows.

And cheers, I do appreciate the ideas. We'll have to see how circumspect this particular player wants to be; they've been exceptionally careful in the past, so I expect them to take plenty of precautions.

farothel

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #3 on: (01:39:20/02-10-16) »
It's also going to be a bit more expensive in terms of maintenance than a regular house.  And that maintenance will leave a datatrail (since all maintenance on airborne vehicles has to be tracked).  If it doesn't, an inspection from the NTSB will show that maintenance hasn't been done (as there isn't any paperwork showing it has) and the zep will be grounded.

Besides the troubles, I don't have any problem with a player taking a zeppelin as home.  I've seen in a PbP a player who had a truck as home.  It looked just like a regular truck, but in the trailer was a very cozy home.
« Last Edit: (01:41:04/02-10-16) by farothel »
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TheWayfinder

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #4 on: (00:07:21/02-12-16) »
Let them go with it.  Because always let your players do something amusingly dumb, so you can have a lot of fun with it.

Aircraft, of any kind, are not meant to be lived in, unless you have the wealth to outfit them to such an extent that you never have to deal with the problems.  Security, maintenance, fuel, and other things are going to be a burden, but let's go over the realities of living in a plane, or a zepp. 

When it gets cold, your players are going to know it.  In order to maintain a comfortable living temperature inside the aircraft, the HVAC has to be on, and that means that the aircraft has to have power applied.  If this is done on an airfield on the ground, hit the players with outrageous hangar fees (this isn't a mobile trailer park).  In the air, this means just a little bit extra fuel is being consumed that's powering a generator that's powering a heater.  Your bathroom will be about the same as you might find in an RV, if it has one, and often that might mean no shower.  Chances are there isn't any laundry facilities aboard, so that has to be done at a laundromat or at a friend willing to let the PCs use their equipment.  Unless we're talking about luxury accommodations, most aircraft do not have real kitchens, so whatever they're eating will be nuked. 

All aircraft need constant maintenance in order to be used.  That means they need legitimate airfields with adequate maintenance facilities.  That means every time you get that aircraft on the ground, it also needs to be Grounded, meaning long thin wires attached to the ground have to be attached somehow to the aircraft (either clamped on or there are sockets like stereo headphone sockets that go into the plane).  This is critical because of static electricity; just the air going around the aircraft can generate enough electricity to stun someone unconscious, and that means it could ignite fuel if not properly grounded.  Engines have to be overhauled after so many flight hours, which depends on the manufacturer, but you can go about a thousand flight hours between major engine overhauls, and I suspect for a zepp this is the same case.  It's much shorter for helicopters due to the nature of the stresses they exert on themselves.  Sure, as Shadowrunners, they may decide to flaunt the rules and go longer between overhauls, but that's when you can give them all kinds of problems. 

Let's talk about FOD - Foreign Object Damage.  The players better be doing checks around the aircraft looking for stray bits of trash and rocks that could conceivably get into the aircraft's machinery.  Anyone who uses aircraft on a regular basis are anal about FOD, and for damn good reason; it doesn't take much to bring down an aircraft.  Also, the longer an aircraft stays on the ground, birds want to roost in it somewhere.  They will find a way inside the tightest nooks and crannies, and make nests in there.  I once saw a bird's nest in the tail boom of an AH-64A Apache, and to this day it's a mystery how the thing managed to do that, because there's no obvious way in. 

Let's talk about altitude.  Every now and then my players want to join the Mile High Club and they will have a plane that can reach the stratosphere to do it.  But, the higher you go, the more O2 you need and the more pressure is exerted from within the aircraft.  This isn't so bad if the aircraft is decently maintained, as in most airliners, but if that pressure should drop, your PCs will be in a world of HURT.  This is why the little masks descend from the little contraptions above your head in an airliner, so that you can have O2 in order to LIVE, or you will begin to die.  Without it, you will begin to pass out, and suffocate, and even if you don't do that, the higher you go, the less temperature water needs to boil.  Though I doubt your players will ever go to 100,000ft., (unless they're in a suborbital), but at that altitude water boils at like 70 degrees F.  That means their blood will boil if their pressure goes out.  That is a level of pain that I can't describe (I've had the Bends once, and I'd rather castrate myself than endure that again, so I have something of an idea of what this might feel like).  They will die in minutes. 

One of the reasons blimps and airships went out of favor, aside from the hydrogen factor (which you don't have to worry about in Shadowrun, I don't think) is that they are just a glorious pain in the butt to get ready.  They're slow, ponderous, and the wind blows them all over the place.  Not exactly what you want if you're punching a clock.  They're slow to take off, ponderously tediously and OMG laborious to land, and they really don't carry a lot of cargo for their sizes.  Yes, I know about the new airships coming out, that can carry a lot of cargo, but even those aren't going to be very fast. 

There are all kinds of things you can do to mess with your players should they decide to do this kind of thing.  Have fun with it, and enjoy a good laugh on me!

Novocrane

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #5 on: (00:21:38/02-12-16) »
There's a traveller lifestyle, and while it's intended to be used for motels and such, I don't see why it couldn't be applied to this.

farothel

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #6 on: (02:43:10/02-12-16) »

Let's talk about FOD - Foreign Object Damage.  The players better be doing checks around the aircraft looking for stray bits of trash and rocks that could conceivably get into the aircraft's machinery.  Anyone who uses aircraft on a regular basis are anal about FOD, and for damn good reason; it doesn't take much to bring down an aircraft.  Also, the longer an aircraft stays on the ground, birds want to roost in it somewhere.  They will find a way inside the tightest nooks and crannies, and make nests in there.  I once saw a bird's nest in the tail boom of an AH-64A Apache, and to this day it's a mystery how the thing managed to do that, because there's no obvious way in. 

Let's talk about altitude.  Every now and then my players want to join the Mile High Club and they will have a plane that can reach the stratosphere to do it.  But, the higher you go, the more O2 you need and the more pressure is exerted from within the aircraft.  This isn't so bad if the aircraft is decently maintained, as in most airliners, but if that pressure should drop, your PCs will be in a world of HURT.  This is why the little masks descend from the little contraptions above your head in an airliner, so that you can have O2 in order to LIVE, or you will begin to die.  Without it, you will begin to pass out, and suffocate, and even if you don't do that, the higher you go, the less temperature water needs to boil.  Though I doubt your players will ever go to 100,000ft., (unless they're in a suborbital), but at that altitude water boils at like 70 degrees F.  That means their blood will boil if their pressure goes out.  That is a level of pain that I can't describe (I've had the Bends once, and I'd rather castrate myself than endure that again, so I have something of an idea of what this might feel like).  They will die in minutes. 

Birds is not the only issue.  I've seen on Air-crash Investigations (a good show to watch as GM if your players go on with this, or look them up on wikipedia) about an airliner that crashed because a wasp had build it's little nest in one of the pitot tubes that are used to indicate altitude.  The crew didn't know how high they were and while flying at night, this is not good.

Altitude will normally not be a problem, as a zepp doesn't go all that high.  I don't think they go a lot higher than 5000 metres (around 15000ft) and there you can still breathe normally.  If you use one as a home, you probably won't even reach that high.

One of the main problems I see is the visibility.  While having something like that might be fun for an AAA vice-president, a shadowrunner should keep a low profile.  Unless of course you run a campaign across multiple countries, in which case a highly mobile home can be an asset.

I wouldn't use the traveler's lifestyle as owning a zeppelin will be a lot more expensive than staying in a hotel (unless you only stay in the Savoy or the Ritz).

As to feasibility, I've seen somewhere on this forum a picture of a home-zeppelin.  It was something they were working on at the moment, so maybe you can search for that one and use that as a guidance.
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ScytheKnight

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #7 on: (05:02:46/02-12-16) »
Wasn't there an LTA in Rigger 5.0 that was described as being used a bit in barrens as housing?
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BetaCAV

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #8 on: (00:20:42/02-21-16) »
Without it, you will begin to pass out, and suffocate, and even if you don't do that, the higher you go, the less temperature water needs to boil.  Though I doubt your players will ever go to 100,000ft., (unless they're in a suborbital), but at that altitude water boils at like 70 degrees F.  That means their blood will boil if their pressure goes out.
It also means that even though their soykaf was made with boiling water, it still won't be hot when they drink it.

This was also a potential problem in spacecraft using a high-O2/low-pressure environment, though it rated far lower than the fire risk. Space suits still do use this system (low pressure allows you to bend elbows and knees), and probably still will in 2070, but generally still won't have hot beverage service.

AwesomenessDog

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #9 on: (17:03:43/02-22-16) »
Lets look at this from the viewpoint of someone who wants to get at your runners (after all, they want this thing for security reasons anyway): whats to stop anyone from just getting a sniper riffle, rocket launcher, or anything that pierces armor and shooting through you zeppelin? Unless they painstakingly armor it themselves (costing an approximate/guesstimate of 500k nuyem for that much plasteel plating and runflat gel to stop bullet hole leaks; the install time probably about a 1 month 80 armorer extended test (in WWI, it took more than a year and a half to make one zeppelin from scratch with a team of engineers and workers) and dont forget that it has to be logged as pointed out above), anyone with a smartlink can drop it from the ground. If everyone didn't have contacts everywhere, then this would be a great idea for hiding before the baddies knew where you were, but as soon as you dock, someone's border patrol contact has seen you and "Six Degrees of Separation" kicks in. You are also away from civilians on a machine that basically removes all evidence of a crime should it be shot down: this means that if an angry Johnson knows youre in there, he doesnt need a team of riggers to head up and attack it, he just has to send a bomb into one of your luggage containers next time you dock: the whole cabin goes boom, the ship starts hurdling to the ground and just maybe hits a populated area if ER doesn't redirect its crash path, but if it does land somewhere important, all LE knows is that some now dead criminals had a cabin explosion in their secret base.

All of the above said, I think this is a great idea for many reasons, but none of them are what your party thought of.

Herr Brackhaus

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #10 on: (19:41:53/02-22-16) »
*shrugs*
I don't have a "mess with my players" kinda attitude. At least not to the point where they should be worried about uparmoring their zeppelin. I thought it was a novel idea by a player, so I decided to go with it.

If an adversary wanted a character dead, there are probably easier and less expensive ways of doing so than shooting down a zeppelin. Unless said someone wanted to send a very public message, but...

Duellist_D

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #11 on: (19:04:53/02-29-16) »
I see no problem with this and honestly can't understand these "kill all potential fun the player could have had with a nice idea" posts.

As Novocrane said, use the travellers Lifestyle with upgradeded Amenities and call it a day, provided they invest a tiny bit of Roleplaying into it.
Win-Win for both sides. The players have an uncommon but amusing homebase and you have a lot of potential plothooks.
Hell, it probably would even make the players a bit more considerate, because "burning some random Lifestyle" is a lot easier on a players mind than losing a cool mobile home.

AwesomenessDog

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #12 on: (00:07:41/05-03-16) »
I see no problem with this and honestly can't understand these "kill all potential fun the player could have had with a nice idea" posts.

As Novocrane said, use the travellers Lifestyle with upgradeded Amenities and call it a day, provided they invest a tiny bit of Roleplaying into it.
Win-Win for both sides. The players have an uncommon but amusing homebase and you have a lot of potential plothooks.
Hell, it probably would even make the players a bit more considerate, because "burning some random Lifestyle" is a lot easier on a players mind than losing a cool mobile home.
I'm not saying burn the house down from the sky. I'm saying that if the characters think that the zeppelin is a safe place for them to hide, they are wrong and looking at it the wrong way. It's a great assault vehicle, storehouse, potentially self sustaining, ultralux mobile home. It is not an impregnable bunker.

Herr Brackhaus

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #13 on: (00:21:46/05-03-16) »
No one claimed it was a bunker.

For what it's worth, the players have been up to their usual cautious selves. Like I said, they were hanging out in Seattle to wait for some heat they stirred up in the NAN to die down; nobody was coming after them with rocket launchers.

The Decker ran through a series of hosts and planted flight plans corresponding to an advertising blimp. The rigger and Decker both worked on the zeppelin to make the exterior into said advertising blimp. The face did some legwork and managed to pull actual advertising plans from Horizons Seattle office, and the whole team worked together to further the illusion that the zeppelin was just fulfilling its role as a piece of floating advertising. At an altitude of less than 2000ft the chameleon coating on the exterior gave them a jumbotron sized space to run their packaged ads, and none were any the wiser.

Again, I don't mess with my players and I certainly don't go to the lengths that some have described to make life difficult for them.

They had a cool idea and we all ran with it; the end.

Fizzygoo

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Re: [SR5] Zeppelin as dwelling?
« Reply #14 on: (01:17:29/05-03-16) »
Sounds like a fun idea (and sure there's all the dangers that come with it but that's for the players to get themselves into, and out of, at a later date).

The quick way I'd house rule it is; Pay for a lifestyle level and the character's actual livestyle has the amenities and entertainments (from Run Faster) of the next lower lifestyle. So if they pay for Medium lifestyle...it's the equivalent to a Low lifestyle...where the difference in cost is going to "pilot licenses" (or the equivalent), safety checks (or paying off the agents doing the checking), docking fees, refueling (of things that need a "fuel" like water, chemical toilet, etc.), and so on.

Slow way, would be to work out a base cost for those things listed above and just tack that on to the lifestyle they normally have (and tied with living amenities of the airship).

Then just make sure it's all tied to a fake (or real) SIN. So the fake SIN of Joe Bob comes up when Knight Errant runs the LTA's numbers.

But I like the idea of a sub-culture arising of LTA semi-nomadic retiree's floating around, "parking" at "RV" parks, while the rich kid elites take their LTA's out over Lake Havasu for spring breaks, and weaving throughout it all are shadowrunners using them as cover.
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