Packets Vehicle in The Observatory | World Anvil
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Each planetos is separated from all the others by the astral sea, immense distances through space and metaphor.   While there are species capable of surviving in the astral sea indefinitely, most sapient species cannot do so, even for the time to travel between a planetos and any orbitals it may have. They instead rely on specially designed vessels and equipment. While personal scale equipment and gear have a variety of names and uses, vessels and transports are colloquially referred to as packets.   Their shapes, styles, and attributes vary wildly throughout the immensity of the Observatory, to the point that generalizations are difficult to make. There are roughly seven classes of vessels based on the number of humanoids that the vessel could theoretically hold, as the energy requirements and capabilities of a packet are directly correlated to the packets total size. While humans are but one of the many sapient species in the Observatory, they are also the most consistently sized sapients, and as such are commonly used as a benchmark for sizes and capacity.   The classes are, in order of ascending size:  
  1. Apdats: The smallest class of vessel, generally only capable of holding a few handfuls of humanoids, normally no more than fifty. The defining trait of this class is that they are only capable of accessing the virtual layer, and as such, only capable of entering the shallows of the astral sea. These are generally used as patrol vessels, lifeboats, and near-physical fishing.
  2. Presdats: The smallest vessel used to travel between planetos, their ability to access the Hosted layer being the defining distinction between presdats and apdats. They are correspondingly larger as well, holding up to a hundred humanoids. However, their relative lack of equipment and durability means that using them beyond close planetos or orbitals is an extremely dangerous and risky proposition.
  3. Seshdats: The smallest vessel considered a 'ship of the line' or a proper fleet ship, with a capacity for between a hundred or two hundred fifty humanoids. These fill a variety of roles, from combat, to transport, to inter-orbital trade, and strike forces. However, they are unable to survive the intense pressures of the streams.
  4. Datagrams: The smallest vessel that is capable of traveling within a stream without being destroyed by the pressures involved, though the storms of the astral seas and passing through lunar gates were also extremely to these vessels. They are generally capable of holding two hundred fifty to a thousand humanoids. These were the early sources of inter-planetos trade, discovery, and colonies.
  5. Packets: The most common form of vessel used for travel between planetos. The first class of vessel capable of safely traveling through Lunar gates and surviving most storms found in the astral sea. These vessels generally hold between one and five thousand humanoids. The creation of these vessels is what truly opened up the Observatory to empires, and as such came to be the general term for diving vessels.
  6. Datframs: For a long time, these were the largest class of vessels that could be produced by non-divine sources. These vessels have a capacity between five and ten thousand humanoids. These vessels could consistently travel through even the lunar gates without concern. These generally cover the realm of great transports, major carriers, cruisers, and the majority of merchant ships.
  7. Baud: The largest class of vessels, and generally referring to anything larger than datframs. They are better classified as mobile cities than simple transportation. These vessels are so large that they can carry hundreds of other vessels within them. The discovery of the materials and designs, as well as the production capabilities to produce these enormous vessels is a portion of what allowed the Templar Kingdom to dominate the Observatory.
  There are a number of systems that allow packets to move through the astral sea.
  • Crawlers: Systems that allow passengers to move the vessel through the astral sea through their own power.
  • Astral Sails: Relying on the currents of mana in the astral sea, riding them as they move too and fro between locations and hitching rides with them.
  • Mana Impellers: Using bound systems to gather the ambient mana of the area, they compress and fire it out to create thrust, working more efficiently the deeper in the astral seas the vessel is.
  • D-Drives: The full name are dollop-drives, these use dollop-based systems to generate thrust by igniting and catalyzing the liquid life.


Common to Unique
Complement / Crew
Cargo & Passenger Capacity

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