Naval Bases

Peleliu

Mongoose
Hoping for some input as to how GMs conceive of Naval Bases as shown on the map. Especially in off the beaten path systems with no obvious military significance. This situation is common because of how systems are generated.

I ask because I am trying to fill out some details for my Trojan Reach campaign area. I always use Traveller Map as my starting point for information.

As an example, looking at Corben (Gazulin, Trojan Reach). Class E starport. Only 80,00 population. Not much really compelling about the system, but there is a Naval Base either on the planet or somewhere in the system. Why would it be there? What facilities and naval assets would be there? There are two more naval bases within J-2 (Peridot and Iscand) that have far more organic reasons for existing.

Corben is just one example. Almost every subsector seems to have several of these anomalies. Any comments or ideas welcome.
 

Garnfellow

Banded Mongoose
I tend to have these small bases fill niche needs -- a specific type of refit, training school, replacement storage, etc. Many might be the Imperial equivalent of pork barrel politics. Many of these are probably very mundane: The Lozo Institute for Naval Time Management Studies. But because of their low profile, they might be just the place for Travellers to obtain classified information or restricted equipment.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Garnfellow said:
I tend to have these small bases fill niche needs -- a specific type of refit, training school, replacement storage, etc. Many might be the Imperial equivalent of pork barrel politics. Many of these are probably very mundane: The Lozo Institute for Naval Time Management Studies. But because of their low profile, they might be just the place for Travellers to obtain classified information or restricted equipment.

Remember. That Class E Starport is the commercial starport. There is nothing that says that the Naval Base in the system couldn't be a 100,000,000Dton Class A Starport. The travellermap is an "in universe", publicly-available, "commercial", open-source database. Think of it as the non-classified files or the "We don't know what's there because the scout service hasn't sent anyone there in over 200 years"... The possibilities are endless.

I would say that it is likely a supply and maintenance base, as it is exactly J-4 from the Naval Bases at Caraz, Gazulin, and Neumann. It is also J-2 from the Naval Bases at Peridot and Iscand and J-1 off the X-boat Route, so it is an a great spot for communications, as well as shipping goods to the Base at Corben on J-1 civilian ships for cheap. Hell, the system in the middle is even called "Junction". It is the junction between the supply/maintenance base at Corben, the Imperial Marine Vaccuum Warfare Training School at Iscand (maybe?), and the 501st Heavy Transport Squadron Base at Peridot (perhaps). Tons of ideas in that little area of space... :)
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
Depends: did it have military significance in the past?

I think Portsmouth is half a museum, now.

It might be cheaper to have a co location agreement with the local space force, or lease a couple of berths from the star port.

They could also have dragged in orbit a large planetoid, and build facilities as required, which is what I would have done.
 

paltrysum

Cosmic Mongoose
The base on Corben breaks the World and Universe Creation rules for Naval bases. See p. 257, which indicates they should only appear on worlds with class A and B starports. Generally speaking, the listed starport in the UWP is intended to indicate what the world supports as far as starports are concerned. Certain adventures break those rules by saying that the listed starport is just the "publicly" available facility, but the stats of the worlds in the Imperium generally contradict that. To have added a naval base on a world with a starport E, the sector designer had to deliberately break the rules.

So, what might it mean? A processing facility for mustering out? A base under construction from the ground up, and they've only laid the foundation at this point (as Classic Traveller describes the class E: "Frontier Installation. Essentially a marked spot of bedrock with no fuel, facilities, or bases present.") It's basically up to you, the ref, since there is no official data.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
paltrysum said:
The base on Corben breaks the World and Universe Creation rules for Naval bases. See p. 257, which indicates they should only appear on worlds with class A and B starports. Generally speaking, the listed starport in the UWP is intended to indicate what the world supports as far as starports are concerned. Certain adventures break those rules by saying that the listed starport is just the "publicly" available facility, but the stats of the worlds in the Imperium generally contradict that. To have added a naval base on a world with a starport E, the sector designer had to deliberately break the rules.

So, what might it mean? A processing facility for mustering out? A base under construction from the ground up, and they've only laid the foundation at this point (as Classic Traveller describes the class E: "Frontier Installation. Essentially a marked spot of bedrock with no fuel, facilities, or bases present.") It's basically up to you, the ref, since there is no official data.

I had a similar problem with Vorito and the loss of the highport dropping the TL of the whole system. The TL of the planet should be what is listed on the travellermap, but in many cases it does not. On Cordan, the population stat only refers to the Baronial Families and not any of their unknown number of subjects. Vorito with it's Highport TL. Drinax I can understand as being out of date (200 years out of date? Really???) and Vorito's are updated and current as of 1105. So having these numbers not being the "real" numbers means that any system based on those numbers are inaccurate, such as WTN from G:FT or Importance in T5. The wider galaxy may not notice the difference, but everyone local (the Travellers) would have charts that don't match the travellermap. It is currently causing Me the same kind of headache that you are facing on the Naval Base issue. So, it seems like the issue we are having is not so much the rules are not working right, as the travellermap either doesn't follow the rules, this can be overcome by simply coming up with a plot hook for whyever it is like that/finding the book that the writer broke the rules in and see if an explanation was given (the writer may have already done the work for you. lol), or the travellermap is giving inaccurate information as to the true state of the current universe, which makes it much less useful for world-building within the current OTU. I always make some changes to MTU, but I try and keep it inline with the modern-day printed material. (Sometimes I fail at this too...lol...) At game start, I like to use the travellermap "as-is", then make changes as needed as the campaign evolves.
 

paltrysum

Cosmic Mongoose
I’m not a big fan of narratively altering UWPs, but it’s been done quite a bit in the Trojan Reach materials. I prefer sticking to the posted UWPs and figuring out why they’re so weird.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
paltrysum said:
I’m not a big fan of narratively altering UWPs, but it’s been done quite a bit in the Trojan Reach materials. I prefer sticking to the posted UWPs and figuring out why they’re so weird.

I prefer this as well, but the Trojan Reach is a mess when it comes to narrative changes made to the UWPs or even what they are referencing, the planet, the Starport, or the system.
 

phavoc

Cosmic Mongoose
Peleliu said:
Hoping for some input as to how GMs conceive of Naval Bases as shown on the map. Especially in off the beaten path systems with no obvious military significance. This situation is common because of how systems are generated.

I ask because I am trying to fill out some details for my Trojan Reach campaign area. I always use Traveller Map as my starting point for information.

As an example, looking at Corben (Gazulin, Trojan Reach). Class E starport. Only 80,00 population. Not much really compelling about the system, but there is a Naval Base either on the planet or somewhere in the system. Why would it be there? What facilities and naval assets would be there? There are two more naval bases within J-2 (Peridot and Iscand) that have far more organic reasons for existing.

Corben is just one example. Almost every subsector seems to have several of these anomalies. Any comments or ideas welcome.

Naval bases should run the gamut from a refueling station to a nodal fleet base with significant supply and repair capabilities. The existing naval base identifier isn't sufficient to handle smaller bases that are dedicated to smaller patrol vessels and itinerant ships passing through. It really depends on what you are needing the naval base for. If it's not key to the adventuring then I'd say just ignore it and move on. Sometimes there is also no logical reason for the bases to be where they are located (which I think is more about random die rolls than a thought process).
 

Arkathan

Cosmic Mongoose
phavoc said:
Sometimes there is also no logical reason for the bases to be where they are located (which I think is more about random die rolls than a thought process).

I look at the random die rolls as the result of the influence of centuries dead politicians... and with a bureaucracy that big, no one is going to go to the effort to move the base.
 

phavoc

Cosmic Mongoose
I look at the random die rolls as the result of the influence of centuries dead politicians... and with a bureaucracy that big, no one is going to go to the effort to move the base.
That is a very valid point about justification for something that appears to make zero sense. Though along those same lines you'd have to have some fairly powerful LOCAL interests to make that happen. A noble with that great of influence isn't going to support a major fleet installation on a a podunk planet unless he's got a link back said podunk planet (like industrial interests, or even something as plain as being blackmailed). The issue with both is that if the Navy is wanting/needing to move that base, then once the Noble dies or loses influence you'll see it being downsized. There will be equally valid competing interests to see that profitable naval bases are located elsewhere. And the navy will, typically, always be pushing to realign them based upon it's needs.

Randomization is ok in some instances, but so too is common sense logic. Too much randomness means you have to juggle too many "it could be this..." explanations or justifications. And after a point it gets too exhausting - at least as I see it.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
If you take the Royal Navy model, good harbour, strategic positioning, generally networked in accordance to range of warships and commercial sea-lanes.
 

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
You can also make them Mostly Abandoned Bases. They were needed a few hundred years ago, but now the border has moved and they are not needed; but politically can't be shut down. So you have a huge complex that used to house thousands of people and now has a small detail of a few dozen people listlessly doing checklists and keeping the rats out of their food... Probably mostly stripped and empty buildings.
 
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