I've been on a Classic Traveller kick lately. I'm not sure if this kick is "still" or "again" since the Month of Traveller Adventures back in 2011, but either way it's in my head and needs out. I'm fleshing out an alternative to booking passage on a ship, which I'll post when I figure out how TAS and port authorities will respond. Grav Scooters are marginally related to this idea, but worth releasing on their own merits.
I'm sure this has been done before, but I didn't see anything in the Classic Traveller Little Black Books that fills the niche between an air/raft and a grav belt. Surely there are cheap gravitic knock-off vehicles designed to go really fast with no concern for the pilot's safety? What else would down-on-their-luck teen nobles try to kill themselves with? And with so much lifting power available so cheaply, how could this not bleed into the cargo market on poorer worlds?
Are there any artists out there interested in illustrating a few hoverboards lifting a shipping container? That image sticks in my mind, and it could use some CT-style line art love.
Enjoy the thrill ride.
TL 9, Cr60,000, 100 kg
A stripped-down personal grav vehicle, the Grav Scooter is a skateboard-sized platform with an attached control stick that folds down for easy storage. They're commonly called Hoverboards by a handful of humans with a strong sense of nostalgia. The platform is designed for a single pilot, but it can carry 2 standing humanoids if they hold on to each other. To make it faster and more responsive than an air/raft, a standard Grav Scooter’s lift capacity is 2 tons, and some grey-market modifications will boost this capacity even more.
Originally designed as a thrillseeker vehicle, it can maintain a 200 kph cruise speed and reach 300 kph if pushed (air/raft skill -2 when cruising faster than 100 kph since it has no pilot restraint system). It has a long history of fatal or debilitating accidents which caused sales bans on some worlds, but poorer and lower-tech worlds employ modified scooters as cheap alternatives to standard cargo lifters. Some inventive experimenters have removed the repulsor engines and retrofitted them with remote controls for other applications (Editor's Note: See the Lift 'n Hack column in Grav Times Zine for ideas).
Scooter pilots are strongly encouraged to wear vacc suits, since a scooter can reach orbit in half the time it takes an air/raft (half the UPP planetary size digit in hours). (Editor's Note: For a list of IGSC rules and sanctioned races, please search for Interplanetary Grav Scooter Circuit.)
As an added bonus, I wrote up some rules and tables to cover Crashing Your Grav Scooter.