Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
HalC
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Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:21 pm

Rather than go deep into Maintenance, Repairs and/or Construction rules in the megafreighter thread, I figured it best to break the thread off into its own and take it from there.

Groundwork for this thread


It is suggested that if one is going to quote rules from any game system, that you give page references and underline key bits of the relevant wording when making a post. For instance...

AnotherDilbet made a very precise quote in which he quoted:

The general rule in CT was:
LBB5'80, p20 wrote: Technological Level: Technological level is important in the design of a ship because it governs where the ship may be produced, and how well the crew can operate and maintain it. The technological level of the building shipyard determines the technological level of the ship being constructed (a class A starport on a tech level 14 world constructs a tech level 14 ship).
While he didn't underline the section about operate and maintain (I did that), the words "and maintain" didn't seem to have any impact on the discussion.

So, can a TL 12 population operate a TL 15 ship, or do you need to educate your operators to a TL 15 level in order to operate or maintain a TL 15 ship? Putting this into real world terms, would you take someone who had the education consistent with American Civil War Era of the early 1860's decade and place such an individual in charge of the sensors of a modern USN warship? I largely suspect the answer is no. Note too, that AnotherDilbert made it a point to present both issues in the sense that the rules from High Guard 2nd edition do not quite match those of the rules from 1st edition (and he did a good job of arguing the merits and letting the readers draw conclusions instead of presenting the data that supports his conclusion and excluding mention of anything contradictory).

Here is the problem if you will...

Early Traveller specified for the bulk of its printed editions, that the TL of the world coupled with its port type, determined what the capabilities of the ships produced at the world were. I always wondered that if the only difference between a class A starport and a class B starport was whether or not it could manufacture jump drives and install them - why one couldn't simply transport an entire jump drive in a ship's hold, jump from a class A starport to a B starport, and then manually install the entire completed jump drive into a "Boat" hull (thereby making it a Starship). But, I accepted the fact that this might not be possible. Then I got to wondering - can a Class B starport repair a damaged Jump Drive? If a class B starport can't install a completed jumpdrive carried in a ship's hold, how can it repair battle damaged ship drives?

So - argue the merits of Repairs, Maintenance, and Construction in this thread. Use any game system rules you care to mention (but insure that you clarify the rule system being used so that people can say "I don't allow rules from GURPS TRAVELLER in my games" or "I don't permit rules from TRAVELLER: THE NEW ERA in my game" or what have you. But one can at least point out possibilities and share concepts/ideas that may or may not enrich another GM's game universe going forward.
baithammer
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby baithammer » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:00 pm

With training and practice, a low TL world can use high TL items.

However, it can't produce on its own higher TL items and can't maintain said higher TL items. ( Note, not all items on high TL ships are at the maximum TL.)

The usual route is using foreign high TL ports to do the maintenance and repairs with the option of Repair / Construction ships to provide services. ( Can also have a higher TL port built in a system and have its logistics from out of system.)

Another route is to use prototype versions of the higher TL. which uses current TL materials / construction in order to reach parity of said higher TL. ( With some inefficiencies.)
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby NOLATrav » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:34 pm

baithammer wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:00 pm
...
The usual route is using foreign high TL ports to do the maintenance and repairs...
This is what happens IMTU. A few different star-nations have to go elsewhere for ship upkeep so there are high TL ports that are basically city-states catering to all. You could be docked next to your nemesis but on neutral ground. Lots of intrigue and tension depending on the mood of the day.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:45 pm

CotI has a recent treah about this: http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discus ... hp?t=39700
McPerth wrote:Forgive me to bring (again) MT to bear, but on it, a character has a penatly to use stuff of a TL higher than its own, but also has a panalty (albeit lessened) to use stuff of a lower TL. IIRC, the same penaltiy applied per TL above his usual one is applied to use lower TL stuff per TL cathegory (early stellar, average stellar, etc) under his usual.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby phavoc » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:04 pm

World TL and starport TL <> match. For one thing I don't think much, if any, thought goes into developing star systems and setting their TL's according to any sort of logic or pattern. Random dice rolls seem to be the maker of the day. Which makes it very hard to try and logically justify how a TL6 planet in the boonies has a population in double digit billions, or a planet of 500k has a A starport when it's not connected to much of anything.

Beyond that there is no reason that a TL3 planet could not do basic or even moderate maintenance on a TL15 starship. There are two parts to this - personnel being trained, and having the appropriate tools and spares available to do the work. You see places like Somalia doing basic maintenance on Dreamliners (787s, arguably one of the more advanced civilian airliners in existence). They don't make the parts, but the people go and get get trained elsewhere and the tools are imported. You also see, to an extent, the most exhaustive 'D' level checks, where planes are essentially stripped to their frame and rebuilt, in some out of the way places. Why? Because labor is cheaper there than it is back in Europe or the US, and these tasks are very labor intensive. An airline can potentially save millions per 'D' check by doing this - but some prejudice and past experience has shown you get what you pay for, so it's not always done.

If you go just by the world ratings in the books, then it's probably just easier to follow the stated TL's and require players to their work at a planet or starport of the appropriate TL. However, if you've taken the time to do a little more development of the subsector then it's easier to justify why Bob on Planet Easycake is able to do TL15 work (illict even!) on ships and outfit them with whatever you can afford and can be bought/borrowed or stolen. For those who read the Han Solo novels (the classic early ones), there is a story line of Han being in the Corporate Sector and getting some of his first military grade upgrades (cannons, sensors) at an out of the way chop-shop set up by a guy who knew exactly what could be done to a piece of junk. He had the know-how, tools and parts to do so. The same is possible with a mechanic working out of his driveway to turn your Malibu into a souped-up getaway car. But this requires effort to detail things out. So depending on how much work your referee wants to do that's what can be done - and reasonably justified.

Then again, you can simply say Bob's Chop Shop can do X,Y but not Z. Take it or leave it.
HalC
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby HalC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:16 pm

I apologize for seemingly opening up TWO separate threads for the same topic.

Originally, when I posted, it seemed as though my browser had a failure sending my topic, so I tried to resend it thinking I had an error - I then made the mistake of accidentally erasing the subject line, so I copied and pasted a line in my post (which I did save).

So, that's why, and I apologize for the mistake. Can a Moderator merge these two topics into one?
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby DickTurpin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:33 pm

McPerth wrote:Forgive me to bring (again) MT to bear, but on it, a character has a penatly to use stuff of a TL higher than its own, but also has a panalty (albeit lessened) to use stuff of a lower TL. IIRC, the same penaltiy applied per TL above his usual one is applied to use lower TL stuff per TL cathegory (early stellar, average stellar, etc) under his usual.
This rule has bothered me ever since I first saw it. It is total BS. I can see someone who just picked up a(n) advanced or primitive item he found laying on the ground withoout even seeing it in operatio having difficulty using it correctly but once he is trained in its operation the origin TL makes absolutly no difference. I myself am quite competent with a cutlass (TL 2) , have built and can use a longbow (TL 2), have used black powder weapons (TL 3); none of these weapons impose a penalty on their use due to their low technology. My skill is not as great as that of the experts of those times but that is a function of the amount of time spent honing the skills. The skill use rules already account for that issue.


I must confess that I have no experience with a laser rifle or magrail pistol, but after being shown how to load and operate one I have no doubt that I can use one just as well as any human at a similar training level be they from a bronze age village or high stellar world city.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby steve98052 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:43 pm

One point about repairs and maintenance is that there are several reasons they're needed:
  • Routine wear and tear
  • Exceptional wear and tear
  • Flight mishaps
  • Surface mishaps
  • Personal level combat
  • Heavy weapons combat
  • Ship to ship combat
  • Sabotage
  • Anything else that might not fit clearly into the above
Different types of wear and damage require different types of maintenance. A year of ordinary operations (as if adventurers would go a year without something out of the ordinary) wouldn't require much more than a comprehensive inspection and replacement of expendable parts. (Realistically, there would be different routine maintenance lists for each year, alternate years, decades, etc., as with car maintenance schedules, but that's overkill for a game.) But an overhaul after limping back to a starport after ship to ship combat that included a critical hit would require quite a bit more work, and a lot of different work.

On the matter of combat damage, one big advantage of GURPS Traveller is the unified hit point model. An average character with Cloth armor has 10 GURPS hit points and something like 6 points of armor ("damage resistance"), and an ordinary handgun does 1d damage. A civilian starship has thousands of hit points and 100 points of armor, and starship turret weapons do hundreds of dice of damage (typically rolled as 6d×n). A small warship has thousands of hit points, hundreds or thousands of points of armor, and large starship weapons do thousands of dice of damage.

It may seem absurd to roll 6d×100 for a starship weapon, but it makes scaling work better. Can your gauss pistol disable that ground car? Can your squad laser rifle damage that armored car? Can your bazooka shoot through a starship airlock door? Will there be anything left besides a plasma cloud if you shoot a grav SUV with a starship laser?

Anyway, as that applies to maintenance, you could work out the cost and time required for repairs by common sense and some calculations. Ground car disabled by gauss pistol? Never mind the hit points, and assume that it shot through the vehicle skin and crippled some small critical component (distributor, generator, etc.); repair cost is some body work and replacement of the broken component. Bazooka shot through the airlock door? Look up the cost of an extra airlock and roll 2d×30% for parts and labor, or 2d×15% for parts if you're doing it yourself. (A full replacement costs more than the cost of including it in a new ship because it goes through the parts department rather than the shipyard's wholesaler.) Starship laser shot your tank? But a new one, and see what the junkyard will give for the wreckage. Starship missile got past your point defense? That's not coming out of petty cash, even if the hit location was just the cargo hold.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:46 pm

HalC wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:21 pm
The general rule in CT was:
LBB5'80, p20 wrote: Technological Level: Technological level is important in the design of a ship because it governs where the ship may be produced, and how well the crew can operate and maintain it. The technological level of the building shipyard determines the technological level of the ship being constructed (a class A starport on a tech level 14 world constructs a tech level 14 ship).
No, that is the general rule for ships built using HG, which use a different paradigm to the ships in the basic rules. Also, the HG paradigm is intended as generic for a variety of settings. To understand the intent you have to look at the setting and the way the rules are modified to fit the setting rather than the tournament setting of HG/TCS.
So, can a TL 12 population operate a TL 15 ship, or do you need to educate your operators to a TL 15 level in order to operate or maintain a TL 15 ship? Putting this into real world terms, would you take someone who had the education consistent with American Civil War Era of the early 1860's decade and place such an individual in charge of the sensors of a modern USN warship?
A world in isolation that knows nothing but TL12 can not operate a TL 15 vessel, but a world that is TL12 that is part of a well established TL15 polity, with the knowledge base of that TL15 society freely available can.

The US Navy takes people with 1860s level education all the time and trains them to operate the sensors, they then train some of them to actually fix them, still others get trained to experiment and build the next generation. people are not backward or stupid because their native TL is lower then the maximum, hter are plenty of real world examples of this,
Early Traveller specified for the bulk of its printed editions, that the TL of the world coupled with its port type, determined what the capabilities of the ships produced at the world were. I always wondered that if the only difference between a class A starport and a class B starport was whether or not it could manufacture jump drives and install them - why one couldn't simply transport an entire jump drive in a ship's hold, jump from a class A starport to a B starport, and then manually install the entire completed jump drive into a "Boat" hull (thereby making it a Starship). But, I accepted the fact that this might not be possible. Then I got to wondering - can a Class B starport repair a damaged Jump Drive? If a class B starport can't install a completed jumpdrive carried in a ship's hold, how can it repair battle damaged ship drives?
No.
CT 77, CT 81, TTB and ST had no restriction limiting ship construction to a worlds TL in the ship building section.

Then within the setting we have examples of TL15 ships being constructed at TL10 planets and TL15 merchants operating a long way from TL15 worlds. And finally there is Kinorb A663659 5, a type A starport on a TL5 world...
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby steve98052 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:47 pm

HalC wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:16 pm
. . .
So, that's why, and I apologize for the mistake. Can a Moderator merge these two topics into one?
I'm not sure whether it's possible to delete a thread, but if so you could quote each message in one thread and paste the quote into the other, then delete the one you like less.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:29 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: No, that is the general rule for ships built using HG, which use a different paradigm to the ships in the basic rules.
Agreed, but LBB5 is the general system, while LBB2 is a limited system using standard components, or as LBB5 puts it:
LBB5'80, p18 wrote:The ship design and construction system given in Book 2 must be considered to be a standard system for providing ships using off-the-shelf components. It is not superceded by any system given in this book; instead this book presents a system for construction of very large vessels, and includes provisions for use of the system with smaller ships.
Note that even in LBB5 the standard drives from LBB2 are not limited by TL:
LBB5'80, p22 wrote: Custom-built drives must be produced and installed while observing restrictions as to tech level and interior space. It is possible to include standard drives (at standard prices) from Book 2 if they will otherwise meet the ship's requirements; such drives use fuel as indicated by the formulas in Book 2.

Sigtrygg wrote: Also, the HG paradigm is intended as generic for a variety of settings.
Quite, as is LBB2.

Sigtrygg wrote: To understand the intent you have to look at the setting and the way the rules are modified to fit the setting rather than the tournament setting of HG/TCS.
Neither HG nor TCS is only about tournaments or wargames.

HG is just as much about tournaments as LBB2, i.e. not at all. With LBB2 we could design and fight multi-kDt warships just as well as we can design 200 Dt adventure ships with LBB5. Adventures A1 Kinunir, A4 Leviathan, and A7 Broadsword are all part of the large Traveller toolbox.

The interesting part of TCS is the campaign rules that can just as well be used for a naval role-playing campaign.

Sigtrygg wrote: CT 77, CT 81, TTB and ST had no restriction limiting ship construction to a worlds TL in the ship building section.
Agreed, but neither did it have the concept of starship TL.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:46 pm

Two of the same thread? With replies to both? Odd.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:21 pm

Different slant to the discussions, they will diverge as posts and time pass.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby Condottiere » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:23 pm

Operation of machinery and interpretation of data may not be reliant on technological level of applicant's schooling, that would be more intelligence and dexterity.

As long as the process can be communicated to and understood by the applicant.

I'm pretty sure Conan could grasp the operation of an FGMP-15 and battle dress, and how to apply them correctly.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby HalC » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:11 am

Condottiere wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:23 pm
Operation of machinery and interpretation of data may not be reliant on technological level of applicant's schooling, that would be more intelligence and dexterity.

As long as the process can be communicated to and understood by the applicant.

I'm pretty sure Conan could grasp the operation of an FGMP-15 and battle dress, and how to apply them correctly.
To counter that example...

Certain Middle Eastern nations who purchased large extents of their war fighting systems just could not keep their war systems operational despite there being only 1 Tech Level difference (per Traveller's guide lines) between themselves and the manufacturer of said equipment. Things like Tanks and/or Jets saw significant down time for some odd reason.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby phavoc » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:35 am

HalC wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:11 am
Condottiere wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:23 pm
Operation of machinery and interpretation of data may not be reliant on technological level of applicant's schooling, that would be more intelligence and dexterity.

As long as the process can be communicated to and understood by the applicant.

I'm pretty sure Conan could grasp the operation of an FGMP-15 and battle dress, and how to apply them correctly.
To counter that example...

Certain Middle Eastern nations who purchased large extents of their war fighting systems just could not keep their war systems operational despite there being only 1 Tech Level difference (per Traveller's guide lines) between themselves and the manufacturer of said equipment. Things like Tanks and/or Jets saw significant down time for some odd reason.
The Middle Eastern issue is one, I think, that is more societal based than anything else. These same people have put forth large numbers of infantry who have mastered the art of using small infantry weapons and other light arms (machine guns and rocket launchers). However their skill level in usage is probably level one, max, for the bulk of their forces. They seem to gleam basic understanding of the weapons, but maintaining them or doing the more complicated portion is not something they seem to WANT to learn about. At least for the bulk of society. There are many Middle Eastern pilots who have mastered advanced equipment such as the F-15.

This issue of professional militaries is one that plagues that part of the world. And I would say this is more one of culture than a lack of raw ability to master things. And that is something that could plague any society or tech level.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby Condottiere » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:00 am

I think I've actually read the report that analysed why Middle Eastern militaries tend towards incompetence.

It's all about control, and in this aspect, control of knowledge by the middle management.

For the guys on top, they're always afraid of coups, or being suspected of being over ambitious.

For the career officers, they're currency is their knowledge of military operations, and even how equipment functions, which they're not inclined to disclose to the rank and file, fearing irrelevancy.

And all the above remain highly tribal, literally.

You should always bear in mind that Saladin was a Kurd.

The Mamluks and Janissaries originated as slave soldiers.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby HalC » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:23 am

The one thing I did like about TCS was the fact that they tried to imply that government types matter where it comes to how the military gets its funding, etc.

Over at the SJGames Forums, I noted one person talking about max carrying capacity for worlds, and sprouted a 2% growth rate figure. To get a 0% growth rate, the average number of children per woman works out to 2.1 children per. One to replace the mother, one to replace the Father, and that extra 10% of a child to handle the odds and ends of life that throw curveballs (sterility, lack of interest in having families, accidental death, death by disease, etc). Then there is the issue of the growth rate for England for a period of approximately 500 years (starting in 800 AD on up to about 1300 AD. The growth rate wasn't 2%. It was closer to .3%. To reiterate, 3 tenths of one percent. Now, take a look at modern demographics. Many First World nations are seeing a ratio of 1.7 children per woman, and even the United States is currently experiencing a less than zero percent population growth due to about a 1.9 children per woman average. This is in some cases, a result in cultural change, but it is also in response to things like excessive taxation, lack of confidence in the future etc.

So, taking a page out of this background - how well a culture handles the disparity in education, technological know how, etc - will largely determine whether that particular culture can import technology beyond their means to produce and maintain.

Also? As a thought strikes me. There are those who are accomplished gunsmiths who can modify or reproduce a fair number of weapons that are produced by factories here. Sometimes a technological advance that occurs within one technological boundary (or period of time) could conceivably have been invented/discovered earlier had but fate or fortune smiles more brightly on the right individual or place or what have you. Some "accidents of discovery" (such as penicillin) aren't really tech dependent per se. In any event - the ability to handle technology on the large scale that the original technology might be possible to handle on a small scale with intensive efforts. Just because a world can handle one thing from the output of a high tech base, doesn't mean that it can handle the entire complexity of a supply chain that would be involved. Simple things like having a high stress tolerant nut made out of a given material is essential to the maintenance of something, but a low tech version of the same thing might be incompatible. I recall reading that one cheap nut was so corrosion prone that it actively weakened those crash barrier devices they string up along roads and high danger curves with a waiting ravine nearby - that they had to replace the entire assembly. If memory serves, it was analogous to what happened when they used iron bolts and copper plates under salt water conditions during the age of sail...

In any event - maintenance, Repairs, and Construction was the title of the thread,and maintenance is the name of the game. Elsewhere in another thread, someone commented that the US military routinely takes people educated at the mid 1860's level of education, and place those individuals in charge of sensors and the like. I have to wonder. How much effort was required to rehabilitate the individual(s) in question with deficient levels of education, and bring them up to snuff to modern functionality. It doesn't take much to tell a grunt "Point this thing like this, look through here like this, pull this thingie when the color diamond over your target turns red" and expect that the person can't fire a high tech weapon despite their level of education. But to teach them how to repair the broken gun, or how to engage in corrective action to return a malfunctioning gun back to combat service - may not be so easy.

STRIKER rules for higher tech weapons and weapon systems than what the army can handle might be the place to start when it comes to handling maintenance costs of ships or starport "modules" etc. into the game.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:22 am

HalC wrote: Elsewhere in another thread, someone commented that the US military routinely takes people educated at the mid 1860's level of education, and place those individuals in charge of sensors and the like. I have to wonder.
I sincerely doubt it. In 1860 most of the world including most if the US (but not Scandinavia, of course) lacked mandatory education of any kind. Taking an illiterate person who has not been to school a day of his life and turning him into an effective sensor tech (or tech of any kind) would be a challenge, and might take many years.
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Re: Maintenance, Repairs, and construction

Postby WingedCat » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:39 am

Not commenting on the rest of this for now, but replying since I think I know the answer to this bit.
HalC wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:21 pm
I always wondered that if the only difference between a class A starport and a class B starport was whether or not it could manufacture jump drives and install them - why one couldn't simply transport an entire jump drive in a ship's hold, jump from a class A starport to a B starport, and then manually install the entire completed jump drive into a "Boat" hull (thereby making it a Starship). But, I accepted the fact that this might not be possible. Then I got to wondering - can a Class B starport repair a damaged Jump Drive? If a class B starport can't install a completed jumpdrive carried in a ship's hold, how can it repair battle damaged ship drives?
A jump drive is not an engine that one can carry separate from a ship. A jump drive is woven into the hull of a starship - be it a jump grid, a jump bubble projector, or whatever. It is also internal machinery, mainly capacitors to feed energy into that hull equipment.

Class B ports can of course patch hull, and sometimes this is all that is needed to repair a jump drive. They can also probably fabricate (or import) struts of lanthanum (or whatever jump drives in their sector commonly use), enough to patch a hole in jump equipment but far from sufficient to fabricate an entire ship's worth of jump hull. (At least, at the tonnage the shipyard is rated to work with. Perhaps, maybe, a class B starport that routinely repairs 100,000 ton ships might be able to scratch together enough spares to cobble a 100 ton jump hull together - but if its working on 100,000 ton ships all the time, it likely wouldn't have reason to, nor would its workers likely have the time, except maybe by GM fiat.)

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