Traveller My 3I Handwavium

M-Drive Handwavium

Changed to fit new J-Drive handwavium.


M-Drive works similarly to J-Drive in that it creates a bubble into 5D where the laws of gravity work differently.

In this case the M drive creates an M bubble in the core of the ship which allows the ship to *fall* in any direction it wants.

The power plant is required for the M drive to create the bubble but the M drive maintains the trickle of power needed to maintain the bubble after that.

Once created the M bubble lasts indefinitely with just a trickle of power.

The density of the bubble determines the maximum G.



In CT ships need 10Pn dtons of fuel for the power plant where Pn is the power number needed to to power the M drive for max G.

So a ship with an M drive that can create 4G needs a power plant with a power number of 4 also and so that power plant takes 10Pn dtons of fuel or 40 dtons.

In my handwavium it only takes Pn dtons to create the bubble (plus a trickle to maintain it). The 10Pn fuel requirement allows the creation of ten M bubbles.

So under normal operation a ship leaving to jump would fire up the M drive once (first go) till jump point, switch off (as imtu you can’t have M and J bubbles at the same time) and then switch the M bubble on again after the jump (second go) to port.

So 10Pn of fuel is like the amount considered safe rather than the amount used. If a ship only fires up the M drive twice on a trip then it will only use 2Pn.

Also if a ship has an M drive capable of producing nG then it can create bubbles of lower G that require less fuel.

A 2G scout would use 2dtons of fuel to fire up the M drive to create a 2G bubble or only 1 dton to create a 1G bubble.

A type T patrol ship with max 4G could use 4 dtons to create a 4G M bubble or just use 2 dtons and stick to 2G.


 Jump Drive Handwavium

Apparently the standard jump space handwavium is the wormhole idea of warping space-time so two points become adjacent i.e. creating a mini black hole in the ship but some say this isn’t possible because of super heating and stuff.


Alternative Jump Handwavium

based on in particular

  • Extra massive hydrogen clouds: The spectral lines of the Lyman-alpha forest suggest that hydrogen clouds are more clumped together at certain scales than expected and, like dark flow, may indicate that gravity falls off slower than inverse-squared at certain distance scales.[31]
  • Power: Proposed extra dimensions could explain why the gravity force is so weak

nb i’m not saying this is plausible science just that it sound sciency and I don’t think it can be categorically disproved yet which is scientific enough for me 🙂


The underlying idea is gravity is actually a 5D force and what we experience is just its 4D manifestation.

Two points in 2D make a line but if you change your view to look directly along the line then the two points become one point.

So two points may be distinct in 4D space – start and end – but if you jump into 5D space you can create a view where the two points are aligned in 5D space and then simply come out at the destination.

This process could be instantaneous – identical to psionic teleporting – but (handwavium) at current tech levels the jump calculations can only be solved for a minimum amount of time which happens to be roughly a week.

(Implying jump may potentially become faster at some higher tech level – up to almost instantaneous like the Tardis.)

So imtu psionic teleportation works the same way except they can do it instinctively and thus instantaneously.

Cthulhu creature also use the same method for space travel (Byakhee), interdimensional travel (Hounds of Tindalos) and even time travel (Great Race of Yith).


Pretty darn good handwavium imo.


Gravitics Handwavium

The handwavium for how gravitics works IMTU.


Basic Idea

Some kind of power source that creates a field which reacts with gravity. The polarity of the field can be adjusted such that the gravitational force is applied differently.

Earliest/cheapest grav tech can simply reverse the field so gravity provides lift.

First gravs were: large external power source, sea level, external power applied to field generator attached to a chassis, result the chassis rising above the ground and hovering – hover sled.

Over time improved: power source small enough to be carried on the chassis, solid hover ability, separate source of thrust – hover tank.

Over time improved: field generates multiple of G force so can lift rapidly also field can be angled to give thrust and lift – flying tank.

Over time improved: full air/raft functionality.


Secondhand Market

Re-conditioned grav components from scrapyards are jury-rigged into black box components on systems like Glisten for sale on backwater planets. The advanced controllers are generally removed so components only provide lift but they can be bolted onto platforms and switched on and off which is the minimum needed. Grav parts like this are used on hundreds of lotech worlds with the thrust supplied in hundreds of different ways including animals, steam engines, wind etc.

Basic reconditioned grav parts and spare parts for other tech is a very common Free Trader cargo.

A lot of backwater systems have a hybrid kind of gravpunk technology where the cheapest kind of grav tech is combined with local tech capability so John Carter on Mars type planets can exist in the remote parts of the 3rd Imperium where the dreadnought fleets never go.