Refined Fuel?


Banded Mongoose
NOLATrav said:
Militaries train their personnel to mitigate risks.

As far as fleet movements, there’s canonical precedence that military vessels can use unrefined fuel without penalty. Specially tuned drives or something, goes back to 80’s era CT. So there’s that, but I don’t use it IMTU.

I like a gritty, rough’n’tumble feel to space travel and fuel processors everywhere make it feel safe and mundane. Obviously YMDV :)

J-Drives specifically designed for unrefined fuel would be a good way to do it as well. Price them so that they are never economical to use and therefore only used by polities and/or megacorps on very select vessels. Then you get your rough and tumble feel, because Travellers will rarely be able to afford such a J-Drive as long as you control their cash flow...:p One idea could be decreasing the monthly maintenance period from every month to every month + every jump, or every month + every parsec jumped. That way using a J-Drive designed for unrefined fuel would have sky-high maintenance costs and require maintenance to be performed after every jump as described in a lot of CT material.


Emperor Mongoose
The Scout Service feels like fan fiction, specifically the Han(dyman) Solo solo scoutship.

The difference is, they tend to have far more capable starships, as I recall from those pulp novels.

Essentially, Starfleet is the more efficient way to explore, to seek out new life, and keep tabs on, strange new worlds and civilizations.


Cosmic Mongoose
My view is that this is one of those ideas that never got rationalized from the beginning of CT. The original scout ship description stated that the power plant was specifically designed to run on unrefined fuel (which didn't mesh with the rules as written). The idea of unrefined fuel matched the idea of frontier refueling, though the fuel processor wasn't around at the beginning.

Then fuel processors got shoe-horned in with High Guard. But the concept was never looked at and designs updated after that. And iterations of Traveller never really took another look at what was already done.

Your question is a valid one, and if you combine common sense with it, then yeah, no merchant would bother with trying to buy the much more expensive refined fuel. The idea that Class A/B starports don't even offer unrefined fuel is, in my view, an extreme stretch of reality. To install a water line is, well, pretty basic. And a ship that has landed and is taking on passengers/cargo could easily top off it's tanks and begin refining fuel. For the most part, by the time it's ready to lift off and makes it to the 100D limit, it would be refined. Only those ships that have super-tight schedules wouldn't be able to do that.