Various morphs and morph upgrades have or add the Thrust Vector mobility type, apparently sometimes also referred to as Thrust-Vector and as Vectored Thrust. But due to the way things are written, I'm unsure about what exactly it is and what are its technical characteristics, especially in regards to how much vertical thrust (lift) such systems are capable of providing (i.e. are they suitable for normal or high gravity) and how they interact with atmosphere/vacuum.

Eclipse Phase corebook, page 310 (emphasis added):

Thrust Vector: These shells use either turbofans or turbojets to create atmospheric lift with a set of wings.
The engines may be maneuvered to point and generate thrust in different directions for vertical takeoffs/landings and better maneuverability in zero-G. [Moderate]

Turbofans and turbojets are types of airbreathing engines.

However, in the Morph Recognition Guide, page 30, Fighting Kite (emphasis added):

In vacuum, it can drive itself with thrust-vector nozzles.


Mobility System: Ionic 12/40, Thrust Vector 8/40, Walker 2/8, Winged 8/32

So are they capable of working in vacuum or not? If yes, should I assume these are stabilised metallic hydrogen propulsion systems (thus prone to exploding in case of less of control)? If yes to the former and no to the latter, then what are they, and do they provide enough lift in to operate in vacuum in an Earthlike gravity?


It seems that EP, as written, lacks a clear definition of what thrust vectoring is.

If we assume any sort of realism (which EP seems to somewhat adhere to) any air-breathing engine like the turbofan or the turbojet would be unable to work in vacuum. Zero-G is ok though, as long as there is an atmosphere to inhale and expel. (That probably describes the insides of a big-enough spacecraft.)

Thrust vectoring in the real world is the ability to modify the force vector direction of any sort of reaction engine, air-breathing or not, by redirecting the stream. This also includes rocket engines which contain all their reactants(fuel+oxidiser) and reaction mass. The F-22 fighter jet with turbofan engines uses thrust vectoring to increase manoeuvrability, as well as the the space shuttle engines, which can work very well in vacuum.

It is safe to assume that the system mentioned in the core book isn't directly related to the mode of propulsion, which constrains the vacuum-atmosphere capabilities, but just to the mode of manoeuvring, and enables vertical take-offs and hovering.

The Fighting kite is probably meant to use rocket engines in vacuum, using thrust vectoring to allow it to turn on a dime in tight places. The authors probably didn't make that point clear enough.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding 'The Fighting kite is probably meant to use rocket engines in vacuum': the rocket engine is represented in the system (internal rocket), but has its own separate description and stats (with a modest ¼g acceleration, so not good enough for Earthlike takeoff/hover, but a damn good delta of about a dozen km/s). \$\endgroup\$ – vicky_molokh Apr 9 at 11:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Writing a game is like writing software. It is easy to imagine and make nice parts and details, but all hell beaks loose when those parts start to interact in combinations the author never imagined ;) \$\endgroup\$ – edgerunner Apr 9 at 15:02

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