News:Players Guide - HSpace

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Mal's Notes on Hspace on Serenity MUSH

The concept I had when I created Hspace was simple, do it better then anyone else out there, leave it as simple as I can, and still keep to the theme. Serenity/Firefly backbone is space travel, which takes days at a time.

There are two schools of thought on Serenity/Firefly and its layout of space; one is a single solar, and two, a cluster formation with more then one sun. If you fly around in my formation of the universe you may look at it and think I picked one or the other, the truth is I picked neither.

Trips on Serenity MUSH will take no more then 5 hours in the slowest of ships to get from one side to the other, this is for playability of the game, over favor of realism.

I wanted the system to do everything we saw in the show and movie, from EVA recovery of cargo, to repairs needed to keep you Flyin', to keeping your ship fueled, to evading detection from Alliance patrols. I also went out of my way to make sure we had all of the worlds of Serenity/Firefly available for play. Flyin' on Serenity represents real space travel as in it is truly point and shoot, you find your course, point your ship on it, and you'll eventually get there. Slow down and land.

Hspace offers a clean looking system, and many consider it to be the standard in space systems used on games. But it is not the heart and soul of spaceflight on Serenity. It is a backbone, but you, the players are its flesh, mind, and soul. Much good RP happens, watching the worlds go by, or underway having dinner in a common room. Same as Serenity, and this is the goal of the system.

To introduce you to the system, I offer the following, created by Fallon Player, so credited here and used with her permission in the players guide.

-- Editors note: Fallon's guide, while a great reference, has become dated and was not complete in all the commands required to fly a ship on Serenity MUSH. It has been updated to correspond to the 2014 version of the game.

A Step by Step Guide to HSpace Flight on Serenity MUSH

There's an old expression about skinning cats that applies here. There are many methods people use to fly ship on our MUSH. This is not intended to be a be-all, end-all guide to HSpace and there are certainly differing opinions on which methods are best. The intent here is to provide a new player with a simple, step-by-step guide that will serve them with all the commands needed to safely move a ship from one planet to another. Specific tips and tricks are mentioned in the latter sections and many more can be learned by talking with experienced players. that said,

There are 6 basic parts of every flight.

  1. Power Up
  2. Launch
  3. Navigate
  4. Fly
  5. Approach
  6. Land

In the sections below, all the commands you will need to take off, navigate and land are in BOLD CAPITAL letters with bullet points. You do not have to type them in all caps or include the bullet point. There will be variations between ships and it is impossible to cover them all, but this guide should serve for most cases.

You MUST have the ASTROGATION skill to fly.

Power Up

Before flight can happen, you need a running reactor. Most ships will have an engineer to tend to this and let you know when the ship is ready to fly. If you have an engineer, tell them to start the reactor and proceed to the next section. If not, you should still know how to head back to the reactor and start it yourself.

Before you can start it, you must find and man the engineering console with:


Once manning the console, you start the reactor with:


You will see a nice message stating the ship has started and your reactor will begin to create power. Usually, it takes about a second per MW of power, so to fully power a ship, you may spend several minutes waiting for adequate power. SYSPERC allows you to enter power as a percentage, however, reactor power can be tailored to a specific amount of MW by using the SPOW REACTOR=## command, where ## is the specific output in MW. For now, using SYSPERC to set the reactor to 100 percent is the way to go.

As your reactor builds power, you will need to bring various systems online. To see which systems you must power and how much power is available, use:


You will see something similar to this:

| Engineering Systems Report                               Serenity  |
| System               Status    Power      Stress      Damage       |
| Engines              Offline      0 (100)  0%          None        |
| Internal Computer    Offline      0 (9)    0%          None        |
| Sensor Array         Offline      0 (50)   0%          None        |
| Life Support         Offline      0 (25)   0%          None        |
| Maneuv. Thrusters    Offline      0 (50)   0%          None        |
| Comm. Array          Offline      0 (25)   0%          None        |
|                        +- Computer Status -+                       |
| Power Usage: 9/9                       Surplus: 0                  |
| Consoles   : 2                         Powered: 2                  |
|                        +- Reactor Status -+                        |
| Type  : Reactor                        Output: 350/350(31/350)     |
| Stress: 0%                             Damage: None                |
|                          +- Fuel Status -+                         |
| Storage Level:        99%                                          |

Take note of the Output: numbers in the Reactor Status section of the SYSREP display. These, and all numbers, will vary according to the class of ship, but the important number to note is the 3rd number, 31 in this case. This is surplus power, measured in MW.

Surplus power grows one MW each second the reactor is running until the reactor is at full power
Systems such as engines, sensors, etc. use the amount of power indicated next to their name in parenthesis.
If a system uses 25MW of power, you must have at least 25MW of surplus power to turn it on.
Surplus power decreases when you turn on a system by the amount of power indicated next to its name in parenthesis.

Turn on the system by typing its name. At a minimum, you will need to turn on the following systems to complete your voyage:

  • LIFE
  • COMM

If you get a message saying there is insufficient power for a system, wait until the surplus power is available and try again. You may have other systems aboard your ship. If so, they can be powered up in the same manner. Once your SYSREP shows these systems active, it's time to move up to the cockpit. You do not have to unman the engineering console. That happens automatically when you leave the engine room.


Once you've moved into the cockpit, you'll need to man the console with the flight controls. It can be called different things on different ships, but it will most likely be Pilot's Console, Flight Console, or something similar. Again, we'll man the console (assuming it's called the Flight Console) with:

  • MAN FLIGHT or MAN PILOT'S CONSOLE or whatever your console is called.

Then, power the console with:


And finally,


You'll be rewarded with a series of system checks, followed by a trip into orbit that takes about a minute. Once in orbit, provided you are manning your console, the sensors should come alive with contacts of various planets, bases and/or ships. Take a moment to enjoy the view, because our next step will be to leave it behind.


This is where you must have the Astrogation skill on your sheet. There are many functions to the astrogator that can be discussed at length in another document, but for basic flight, you are using only a few commands. You need to know:

where you are,
where you are going, and
how to ask the astrogator for the direction to point the ship.

To get a list of places to go, type:

  • WAYPOINT SORT NAME or WAYPOINT SORT DIST depending on how you want your list to appear, then:
  • PLOT ALL COURSES for a list of waypoints with Bearing, Distance and ETA.

So we've just launched from Persephone and we want to go to, let's say, Londinium. You would:

Upon entering the PLOT COURSE command, you will see something similar to:
|         ORIGIN         |      DESTINATION       |      COURSE DATA       |
|   (Current Position)   |       Londinium        |  Bearing: 249/6        |
|    X:          1140    |    X:           420    | Distance: 776          |
|    Y:           430    |    Y:           150    |    Speed: 2200         |
|    Z:           -89    |    Z:           -12    |      ETA: 21m 10s      |

The numbers will be different depending on where you're starting from. The important number here is under COURSE DATA called the BEARING.

About Bearings

A bearing is a number pair in the HEADING/MARK format, in this case 249/6. The first number, xxx, is your HEADING from 0 to 359 degrees. The second number, yy, is your MARK from -90 to 90 degrees. So using the bearing from the PLOT COURSE command above, you would type SH 249 6. Remember, if the MARK is a negative number, you must use the minus sign when entering the MARK. A few examples:
Bearing      Command
135/-10   SH 135 -10
225/17    SH 225 17
75/12     SH 75 12

You simply replace the slash with the word MARK. Easy, eh? Now let's point the ship in the right direction.

  • SH xxx yy using your Bearing from your PLOT COURSE command.


The previous command pointed the ship where we need to go. Now it's time to light the fires and move out. First, we need to find the speed your ship is capable of. Unless you have a specific reason to draw things out, most travel is done at full speed. Get your engine specifications with:

And you should see something like:
| System Specifications                                           Serenity |
|                              +- Engines -+                               |
|                                                                          |
| Stress Tolerance: 40             Maximum Velocity : 800 MGLT             |
| Optimal Power   : 24 MW          Acceleration Rate: 10 MGLT/sec          |
|                                  Afterburners     : Yes                  |
|                                  Efficiency       : 1000 lt/fuel unit    |

This panel indicates that we have a Maximum Velocity of 800 and we have Afterburners to double this speed. You don't need to do this step once you've memorized how fast your particular ship travels. Knowing our maximum speed, we now type:

  • SS xxx where xxx is your ship's Maximum Velocity.

Then to double our speed,


Congratulations! You're now hurtling through space at ludicrous speed! When you type PLOT COURSE again, you should see an ETA showing how long you should expect to travel. We're half way through the process now.

Since our trip could take a few hours and it's easy to get carried away with RP, It's recommended to use the PROXIMITY alert. Experience will give you an idea of where to set this, but for now, we'll use 50hm:


Then, during flight, you'll need to make minor adjustments with:

  • PLOT COURSE, then
  • SH xxx yy to overcome slight errors.


At some point in the flight you should be notified when the sensors identify your destination with a message similar to:

[4868] - Contact identified as Londinium. 

4868 is known as the Contact ID. It will be different every time. It will occur at a distance depending on your sensors and the size of the planet. Once you know your destination's Contact ID, either by seeing the message or by using the SREP command, all steering can be done with the INTER command. With your destination's Contact ID as ####, type:

  • INTER ####

This will both plot the course and enter the command to execute the course change. You should see:

- Course heading changed to XXX mark YY.

Do this every 10 minutes or so until the Proximity Alert is displayed. Keep in mind, we may actually get our warning at something less than 50hm due to timing issues. When it happens, it will look like:

***Destination Proximity Alert***  Range: 42


When the Proximity Alert is displayed, or at 30hm away or so, you'll want to begin to stop the ship with

  • NOBURN and
  • SS 300

Once we're slowing, it's usual to start using your sensors to fine tune your bearing and find your landing location. Get a sensor report with:

  • SREP
and you should see something like:
Contacts: 3
C   ####  Name                     Bearing Range      Heading Speed  Type
-  ------ ------------------------ --- --- ---------- --- --- ------ ----------
C  [1908] Colchester               249   7      19.80  --  -- 0      Planet
R  [4868] Londinium                249   6      19.36  --  -- 0      Planet
L  [8166] Unknown                  246   5     213.90 111  -9 0      Ship

Once we've started to slow, use the SREP to find out our destination's four digit contact number. Then, use the 'SCAN ####' command to get a landing location command. Since we're traveling to Londinium, using the above scan, you would type 'SCAN 4868'. Using your contact number as ####, type:

  • SCAN ####

You should something similar to:

| Scan Report                         Londinium  |
| X:       420                   Size: 18        |
| Y:       150                                   |
| Z:       -12                                   |
|                                                |
| Landing Locations: 4                           |
| [##] Name                     Active  Code     |
|   1  Londinium -- Spaceport     Yes    No      |
|   2  Landing Pad - ASO HQ -     Yes    No      |
|   3  The House Complex - Lon    Yes    No      |
|   4  DAS Headquarters - Land    Yes    No      |

Usually, the first landing slot is the main public spot for the planet, but you can chose any other with DOCK ####/#. More on that in a moment. Before we can dock or land, we must be

Within 10hm of a planet and traveling less than 300hm/hr, or
Within 5hm of a ship and fully stopped.

SO! If all goes well, your ship will come to 300Hm/Hr within 10hm of your planet and you can type:

  • LAND ####/# where #### is your contact id and # is the desired landing location

Or within 5hm of a ship fully stopped:

  • DOCK ####/#

You'll be rewarded with an automated re-entry sequence that will set you gently upon the ground. If you've made it here, pat yourself on the back and skip the next section and go to Post Flight.

Missed Approach

But what if you passed the planet or ship without issuing the dock command?

Since you can land on a planet while traveling this speed, your next command is will require your four digit contact ID. This is a crafty command as it plots the course and sets the heading to any contact on your SREP. Since our hypothetical contact was 4868, the command would be INTER 4868. Using the contact ID from your sensor report as ####, type:

  • INTER ####

Your course change will be confirmed and you can resume making SREPs until your planet is within 10hm. Then, issue:

  • LAND ####/# for a planet,

Or within 5hm of a ship, issue

  • SS 0 and then
  • DOCK ####/#

Post Flight

Now would be a great time to let your engineer know to shut down the reactor. If they're asleep, head back to the reactor,

  • SYSPERC REACTOR=0 to shut everything down.

You don't want to be wasting fuel, after all.

Speaking of fuel, now would be a great time to DISEMBARK and find a fuel station.

Kev's hints on figuring when to stop

Now you've figured out how to fly to a planet, now you might be wanting to know how to spend less time on your approach to the planet, knowing when precisely to cut off the engines. The good news is that you can figure out precisely when to do it, and it doesn't require all that tricky of math. For starters you need to get a bit of info about the engines on the ship youre on, you can do this with:

  • SPECS ENGINES - This tells you your max cruising velocity and your de/acceleration which is what you need, you'll see something like this...
| System Specifications                                                    |
|                              +- Engines -+                               |
|                                                                          |
| Stress Tolerance: 45             Maximum Velocity : 1080 MGLT            |
| Optimal Power   : 55 MW          Acceleration Rate: 45 MGLT/sec          |
|                                  Afterburners     : Yes                  |
|                                  Efficiency       : 1000 lt/fuel unit    |

Now for starters you're gonna want to know how many seconds it takes your ship to come to a complete stop. This can be done by dividing the your speed by the acceleration rate:

  • 2160 (afterburning speed) / 45 = 48 seconds to fully stop

So now you know how many seconds it takes your ship to stop, now to figure out how far it takes your ship to stop. Because your ship decelerates at a steady rate, the average speed per hour while stopping is half of the starting speed. So given those specs, and assuming you're traveling at 2,160 clicks per hour, the math to figure out the average distance per second while stopping works as:

  • 2160 (afterburning speed) / 2 = 1080 (average clicks per hour speed while stopping) / 60 minutes per hour / 60 seconds per minute = .3 average clicks per second traveled while stopping.

So now finish all this math, you just need to multiply the average distance you're traveling per second with the total time spent stopping:

  • .3 cps * 48 seconds = 14.4 clicks to bring the ship to a complete stop.

Now HSpace is pretty forgiving, to land at a planet you need to be within 10 clicks of it. So in this case, as long as you cut afterburners and engines within a window of 24.4 to 4.4 clicks, you still would stop within landing distance of the planet. Saving you a few minutes of time slowly coasting up on the planet to land on it.

Other helpful commands

There are many other commands that may come in handy while in HSpace that are not mentioned above. After you've got the hang of basic flight, you may want to know about...


  • STAT will produce a screen similar to:
| APC Rapier (--)               |                  Alliance Patrol Cruiser  |
 >---Navigation Status Report---+------------------------------------------<
|                   239        249        259     | X:       1140           |
|   16__             |____._____|_____.____|      | Y:        430           |
|       |                    > 249 <              | Z:        -89           |
|      -|          ___________________________    | +- Course -+            |
|    6--> 6      /                             \  | C: 249/6    D: 249/6    |
|      -|      /                                 \| V: 800/1100 (1100)      |
|     __|     |                                   |                         |
|   -4        |                 o                 | Shields    *            |
|             |                 +                 |            |            |
| HP: 100%    |    +                              |         * -+- *         |
| MR: 1000    |                                   |            |            |
|              \                                 /             *            |

The left portion of the screen is a graphic representation of your map, along with an indicator for Heading (249 in this case) and another for Mark (6 show here). Also shown are

HP: 100%, which represents hull integrety and
MR: 1000 which is your map range.

The 'o' character represents a planet or moon, and the '+' character is a ship or station. You can set the map range by typing:

  • MAP RANGE xxx with xxx being the maximum range you wish to display. Note that any value larger than 1000 will not display anything beyond the range of your sensors.

On the right side, under the ship class (Alliance Patrol Cruiser), you'll see more useful information:

X: The HSpace X position of the ship
Y: The HSpace Y position of the ship
Z: The HSpace Z position of the ship

Course information is shown as a pair of Bearings.

C: Is the Current Heading
D: Is the Desired Heading

There will be a slight lag in these numbers when you issue a course change command such as HEAD xxx MARK yy or INTER #### depending on the efficiency of your thrusters.

V: Displays several velocities. The first number is Actual Velocity / the second is Desired Velocity (as input by the SS xxxx command) and the third number, in parenthesis, is the Maximum Velocity without AFTERBURN. There will be a lag in the first numbers after making a speed change with the SS xxxx command depending on how fast your ship accelerates or decelerates.

The Shields display is purely decorative on Serenity MUSH as HSpace combat has not been enabled.

STAT is also extremely useful on final approach to a planet to see your speed.

Braking Thrusters

Up to 50% of your forward thrust can be directed backwards with:

  • SS -xxx

There is an HSpace bug, however, that ignores the laws of physics and this command will have you moving backwards very quickly. You should always follow it up in a few seconds with:

  • SS 0

This should keep your speed from becoming a negative number. If STAT reveals you are heading backwards, the ship will slow to a stop. Until then, steering is reversed.


The Astrogator (aka NavSat AI) is a wonderful little tool that does much of the heavy math involved with navigation. Only a few of the commands are really necessary for basic flight, but it is capable of doing much more. To get a complete listing of it's capabilities, type


In particular, it is useful for finding the closest place to land by first sorting the waypoints by distance with:


With WAYPOINT ADD and WAYPOINT DEL, you can add your own spots that you discover while exploring HSpace.

Also, the page Objects In HSpace has commands to update your ship's waypoint database with all the objects currently in HSpace that allow for landing. There are many more moons and other objects that add decoration to our 'verse.