Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Traveller Tuesday: Facilities of the IISS

In a nice follow-up to my Random Thoughts about the IISS post, I present to you a lovely article written by Tom Chlebus for the Traveller RPG Facebook Group and prettied up by me.

My use of Traveller setting and dress falls under
fair use guidelines for both Mongoose and Far Future Enterprises

IISS Facilities
The term "scout base" usually refers to one of three kinds of facility: an Xboat station, a way station, and a "proper" scout base. When I refer to something that applies to all three, I will use the term "IISS facility" or "IISS base." I leave it to you to decide what goes in a highport and what goes dirtside.

The first thing to keep in mind is that in most cases, an IISS facility is not a separate entity. Whether or not there is one is directly tied to the system's class of starport, and if there is a facility it is physically part of the starport it is associated with. The separation between the facility and the starport proper is usually a fence marked "keep out" but it can range from a line painted on the pavement to a ditch and parapet. Berths for Scout Service ships are always separate from and in addition to berths at the starport.
Repair Facilities: The repair and shipyard services available at an IISS base are determined by the starport.

Transient Housing: According to GURPS Traveller Starports, transient accommodations are common in Class A and B ports, so at Class D and most Class C the IISS facility will provide its own places for Scouts to bed down. If there is a Naval base present, Scouts might be assigned to Naval transient housing.

Fuel: IISS facilities always provide refined fuel to Scout ships.

Scout Base
The representative IISS facility is the scout base. A scout base almost always has an orbital component, however minimal it may be. Sometimes an arriving scout ship has to offload its crew quickly, and the orbital component provides a place for it. I imagine this would include a hospital with a surgery and 20 beds. The orbital component might consist of a Purcell-class Xboat tender with its 600 dton bay converted for the purpose. Most Class A and B ports have substantial enough highports not to need a separate Scout Service element.

There will be at least one berth for a 1,000 dton ship, 3 to 5 berths for 500 dton ships, and about a dozen for 100 dton ships.

Xboat Station
These perform routine maintenance on express boats before sending them on their way; consequently they are bare-bones facilities. An Xboat station will have one or two 1,000 dton berths, two 500 dton berths, and five 100 dton berths. 

Way Station
A way station placed in the Xboat network is there to service the Xboats. Outside the Xboat network, a way station maintains and repairs an exploration or survey fleet. However, neither function is exclusive to the other. In order to keep Xboats as close to zero failure as possible, Way stations perform a level of maintenance that would be considered unreasonable in other services. All way stations therefore have repair facilities capable of performing overhauls, regardless of the class of port it is associated with. 

Most (or all) of a way station is in an extensive orbital element. Berths typically are four 1,000 dton, fifty 500 dton, and one hundred fifty 100 dton. If the way station serves both Xboats and an exploration/survey fleet, it may have considerably more berths.

Special thanks to Tom Chlebus  for allowing me to reprint his article. 

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