ship repairs on lower TL worlds

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Jak Nazryth
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ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Jak Nazryth » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:42 pm

So my players need to do some major repairs to their ship. They are in the middle of "nowhere" within the Trojan Reach after sustaining damage in a space battle.
Their problem is that their ships TL is 14 and the closest Type A/B port is a TL 10 and 11.
Their main fuel tanks are completely destroyed. Luckily they had dis-mountable fuel tanks installed in two separate cargo holds, when main tanks and both dis-mountable tanks are full they can make a jump 3. The dis-mountabledid not get hit on a "fuel tanks" location on the hit table since they are considered cargo.
Question... normally I would agree that for complex systems, like Jump Drives, you would need a repair facility/ship yard to be equal to the TL of the ship. But this is simply replacing internal fuel tanks. True, it is a TL 14 hull with the added benefit of 1 hp and 1 sp for every 40 tons, but really what is the difference between TL for fuel storage? The Core rules state that to replace a destroyed system is 2d6X10% of the original cost. I’ve calculated that based on the percentage of original hull space taken up (10%) the cost of the fuel tanks is 1.5 Mcr (since their base hull cost 15Mcr).
Because of the difference in TL I’m considering adding a an extra value to the repair cost based on the difference in TL, so if they get their ship repaired at a TL10 facility, (4 TL difference) instead of rolling 2d6 x 10%, they would roll 2d6+4 x 10% to replace the fuel tanks.
Does this seem reasonable to everyone?
Comments welcomed.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby hdan » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:54 pm

Ah, the curse of having a high-tech ship in a low-tech sector. :)

I'd say that a TL-11 shipyard can't repair a TL-14 hull (that is, one using Bonded Superdense armor), but if the part needing repair *could* be built at TL-11, then the shipyard could work on it.

Since their hull is using TL-14 advantages, I'd say that the TL-11 shipyard would have difficulty working on the hull itself, but with the only damage being to the lhyd storage, your solution sounds very reasonable.

For other repairs to systems like drives, note that it could be possible to get off-world parts shipped in, but of course that becomes expensive and time consuming if the world they're on is really far away from high TL areas.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby far-trader » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:55 pm

Seems reasonable enough, you want to keep the game moving and such after all :)

One thing I'd add is reducing the extra hp and sp accordingly (every fraction of 40tons damaged and not repaired to spec loses those points until properly repaired at full cost at appropriate TL). Effectively the repairs they're getting are permanent, but not up to the full original performance specs. And subsequent repair to return to full specs will be at full cost (they should just be glad they won't have to pay to have the old stuff removed and the shipyard will be willing to take it for scrap value against the extra work ;) )
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby BP » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:03 pm

Yeah - what far-trader said!

That is pretty much exactly what I would do off the cuff, with one addition - an extra negative DM to the next maintenance roll and to any further repair attempts (say such gets damaged again, it could be harder to repair with mixed TLs). Even fuel tanks will require interfaces for not only mechanical fittings, but for feed control and monitoring sensors (fuel amount, temp, pressure, flow rates, etc.).

I'd probably extend that to other items as well - on a case by case basis. Ex: items that take advantage of TL size reductions might not be repairable at all - except if within so many TLs, but with a rating drop. Items without TL advantages, but minimum TL for ratings, would also drop in rating.

Shop may also offer good 'salvage' for damaged higher TL items - but with a complete swapout with one of their own TL (within available size - and, of course, it would probably take a lot longer than estimated ;) ). RP-ing this might be fun - since the shop folks might 'prefer' to replace rather than repair.

If players have the mechanical and engineering skills (esp. the less used science skills) - I would probably allow them to attempt to 'assist' with things, perhaps offsetting the downsides (assuming they succeed :twisted: ).
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:46 pm

Alternately, you could say that if they were willing to give up a ton or so of cargo space, they could have full strength hull/structure again. The TL10/11 materials are bigger and bulkier than the Bonded Superdense and that is the penalty for the same strength.

I like Far Trader's solution as well.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Jak Nazryth » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:55 pm

I agree with repairs to the hull, though with spar parts they can do it themselves with mechanical rolls, assuming they are using TL 14 spare parts...
I did just remember that we did use the high guard rules for engines/TL/Cost breaks etc… so technically some of the engineering components are at lower TL’s than the hull itself.
It’s just a very good thing that they did have the flexibility of dis-mountable tanks in cargo holds, because their battle occurred in an empty hex between worlds. They would have totally been screwed, with no way to jump out or even maneuver to a gas giant, way station, repair facility etc…
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby far-trader » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:04 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:I did just remember that we did use the high guard rules for engines/TL/Cost breaks etc… so technically some of the engineering components are at lower TL’s than the hull itself.
Just curious to have this clarified. You used the rules to gain performance/cost benefits by using lower TL items built to TL14 specs? The way I see that (if that's what you mean) is that the items are TL14, not lower.

For example (just made up from memory, probably not even close to HG rules):

Fitting your TL14 build with TL7 maneuver drives to get them for half cost means they are TL14 versions of TL7 maneuver drives, not TL7 drives installed in a TL14 build. To repair them would require TL14 imo. They could be replaced with TL7 versions on a lower tech world, if they were the same size.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Solomani666 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:05 am

If a stranded Zhodani exploration team can repair their jump drive on a TL 3 world in only 38 years, then I think that a class A TL 11 starport should be able to do it on maybe in (TL 14 - TL 11 = 3) 3 times the normal time for repair. 4 times the normal time for repair if a class B starport.

The tech level of any world is a general tech level of their locally manufactured goods. Some industries will be lower and some will be higher.

* You can assume that with a class A starport that their local space industry will be a higher tech level than the base planetary TL.

* The vast number of Imperial ships are TL 12. Even if a class A starport can not manufacture a TL 12 ship they will still have plenty of parts on hand at TL 12, and probably a cache of TL 13 and 14 parts too held in reserve for the Imperial Navy, nobles etc..

* If a TL 4 world can make sand-caster ammo, then any class A starport should be able to repair any hydrogen fuel tank.

* The ship has spare parts at the appropriate tech level. The rest should be fairly easy to cobble together at a class A starport.

* If you are still missing a critical something then charter the next trader to fetch it for you, or to deliver a message to the nearest naval / scout base.

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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby far-trader » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:40 am

Solomani666 wrote:If a stranded Zhodani exploration team can repair their jump drive on a TL 3 world in only 38 years, then I think that a class A TL 11 starport should be able to do it on maybe in (TL 14 - TL 11 = 3) 3 times the normal time for repair. 4 times the normal time for repair if a class B starport.
Nice bit of on-the-fly ruling with the TL difference time factor :) There should probably be a limit on the maximum TL difference though.

...but I have to wonder just what the "repair" above entailed. I don't recognize the reference but I think 38 years is either far too long or far too short to repair a jump drive with TL3 resources.

Far too long if the repair is doable at all (without reinventing and building up every bit of support technology from TL3 through TL9) then it would be doable in short order with the basic supplies and tools aboard.

Or far too short if it requires the above reinventing and buildup of technology. It would also depend a lot on a large degree of local labour (and education of same to a level where they can help).
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Rusty_Unycorn » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:05 am

far-trader wrote: Or far too short if it requires the above reinventing and buildup of technology. It would also depend a lot on a large degree of local labour (and education of same to a level where they can help).
Ring of Fire campaign, anybody? Cause you just gave me the perfect setup for it.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Solomani666 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:27 am

far-trader wrote:
Solomani666 wrote:If a stranded Zhodani exploration team can repair their jump drive on a TL 3 world in only 38 years, then I think that a class A TL 11 starport should be able to do it on maybe in (TL 14 - TL 11 = 3) 3 times the normal time for repair. 4 times the normal time for repair if a class B starport.
Nice bit of on-the-fly ruling with the TL difference time factor :) There should probably be a limit on the maximum TL difference though.

...but I have to wonder just what the "repair" above entailed. I don't recognize the reference but I think 38 years is either far too long or far too short to repair a jump drive with TL3 resources.

Far too long if the repair is doable at all (without reinventing and building up every bit of support technology from TL3 through TL9) then it would be doable in short order with the basic supplies and tools aboard.

Or far too short if it requires the above reinventing and buildup of technology. It would also depend a lot on a large degree of local labour (and education of same to a level where they can help).


What if the biggest obstacle was simply finding the raw materials?

What if the second obstacle was building the machine, to build the machine, to build the final machine to make the part etc. and they have HALF the parts and tools to do it??

Too short or too long? Can't their be something in the middle?


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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Jak Nazryth » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:34 pm

One of my players is an experienced Traveller player who's GM's his own Traveller game on weekends (that I cant attend because of another prior game) and helped a lot to design the parties ship. It turns out that he used a TL 12 hull, even though it was built in a TL 14 shipyard, not wanting to spend the extra cash for additional hull and armor points.
But they do have "2 layers" TL 14 bonded superdense armor.
Question, can you place Bonded super dense on a TL12 hull/structure?
I know all these questions are picky, but there is nothing in the rules that prevent it.
I'm not going to make anyone redesign the whole thing, I was just curious.
But they got all the ship repairs done... It took a little over 6 weeks in game time.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Subzero001 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:38 pm

Here is something I found that may help. Sorry I don't know if it comes from a book source or not. and where it comes from. (it has been found)

REVERSE ENGINEERING : example of a starship breakdown on backwater planet and they need to repair.

You are correct thx Its on pg 13 of the central supply catalog (CSC) :shock: I think I originally found it online from somewhere posted.

I was in a game we found an Anti-matter device we decided to try and reverse engineer to our conventional J drive to get longer range jumps (conserving fuel) from our Frontiersman Scout 2+2 drive since we were adventuring in the Void (lots of blank space :roll:).
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby BP » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:59 pm

Supp 4: CSC - definitely the style! :roll:

First couple dozen pages has several paragraphs/pages related to such, IIRC.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby hdan » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:31 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:But they do have "2 layers" TL 14 bonded superdense armor.
Question, can you place Bonded super dense on a TL12 hull/structure?
I would think "no". They could repair the TL-12 hull and structure with no trouble, but not the armor.

Consider it analogous to "fixing" a broken magic weapon. They could probably find someone who could do the work for the right price, but the normal shipyard isn't going to be able to properly fit or bond the advanced material.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:18 am

Jak Nazryth wrote: It turns out that he used a TL 12 hull, even though it was built in a TL 14 shipyard, not wanting to spend the extra cash for additional hull and armor points.
But they do have "2 layers" TL 14 bonded superdense armor.
Question, can you place Bonded super dense on a TL12 hull/structure?
.
Yep.

Higher or lower tech components can be mixed and matched as you want. The basic Hull can be tech 12 or tech 10 or tech 16 if it represents the base hull and structure. Into that and onto that you can add anything that will fit. The base hull and structure is merely the framework.

So adding BSD plates to the hull that is lower tech is simple (well for a tech 14 yard anyway), as long as you have the anchor points to molecularly weld the armour to the structure you are sorted.

In terms of repairing it. You mentioned the Fuel tanks had taken a hit, they can be repaired anywhere that can make fuel tanks so tech 9 and up since higher tech level fuel tanks are no different, they just use more advanced manufacturing.

Had they taken an armour hit that had reduced the coverage of the armour they would be stuck, no replacement BSD on this dirt ball.

Think of the tech levels of manufacture this way. Unless using the rules for higher tech items being stronger, smaller etc all items have equal performance. A scout hull built on a tech 10 world has the same characteristics as a basic hull built on a tech 15 world. The tech 10 world may have used thicker lower tech alloys, the design may be blocky and clunky looking, most of the work force would have been people and many of the parts would be custom made. The tech 15 hull may use stronger lighter alloys assembled by a fully robotic system with a handful of human supervisors, the greater strength of the alloys allows them to be shaped into graceful shapes.

Both have 2 Hull and 2 Structure and hold 100Dtons of stuff.
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby BP » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:47 am

Captain Jonah wrote:...Both have 2 Hull and 2 Structure and hold 100Dtons of stuff.
Not when using High Guard rules (pg 52). That TL-10 Scout hull would get a 1 Hull due to it being low tech! ;)
Captain Jonah wrote:...Unless using the rules for higher tech items being stronger, smaller etc all items have equal performance...
Many spaceship items actually have such rules in High Guard. (CSC has rules that can be applied more generally, IIRC - but not my cup of tea.)
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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:31 am

BP wrote:
Captain Jonah wrote:...Both have 2 Hull and 2 Structure and hold 100Dtons of stuff.
Not when using High Guard rules (pg 52). That TL-10 Scout hull would get a 1 Hull due to it being low tech! ;)
Captain Jonah wrote:...Unless using the rules for higher tech items being stronger, smaller etc all items have equal performance...
Many spaceship items actually have such rules in High Guard. (CSC has rules that can be applied more generally, IIRC - but not my cup of tea.)
Hey I said unless using the rules for higher tech stuff :roll:

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Re: ship repairs on lower TL worlds

Postby phavoc » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:34 pm

Could they cobble together something that would get them going again on a TL-11 world? Easy answer is yes.

Hull damage can be patched, but with lower-level materials. It won't be pretty, but TL-11 tech is easily sufficient to give them a space-worthy hull. Will it be pretty? Oh, hell no. It will also be structurally weaker from the lower grade materials AND the fact that its a patch job.

Some things just won't be repairable because of the TL differences. However, that doesn't mean they are totally stranded. Say their TL14 jump interface (about the size of a breadbasket) widget is destroyed, or requires parts that are not present. There's a TL11 version of it (size of a refrigerator) that can be used. Again, it's not pretty, it's not spec, and some creative engineering might be required to fit it in (or maybe they have to run cables from engineering to a cargo bay which is the only place they can put it), but there's bound to be replacements.

If their J-drive is totally slagged, the best they could do is rip it out and put in a TL-11 drive and work on the interfaces (hardware & software) and then deal with the rest.

Actually, PAYING for all this is going to be interesting. TL14 gear on a TL11 world is going to be highly valuable. Even if they can't build it, they can probably adapt some of the tech to things that would provide the TL11 guys with abilities and understanding beyond their means. They may even take it to try to reverse-engineer it.

You could run all kinds of adventures with a bunch of hoops they have to jump through in order to get this spare part, or that widget from this junk dealer (whose daughter happens to be held by bandits, etc..).

The players ship should have all the necessary tools to do maintenance and, with time, things like cutting out hull sections, welding patches, etc. Obviously a shipyard with the right equipment will make this a much smoother job, and quicker too.

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