Friday, November 13, 2015

Station Nation

With all the exploration done in the OTU and the colonization done as well there is a serious dearth of space stations. They are barely given a nod in most material I've seen of heard of. At the very least some C, most B and nearly evert A class starport will have an orbital element. Do you think all the people there commute to work and live on the planet's surface?

Beyond that I find it hard to believe a size A world with atmosphere class F will play shelter to all the 100 million people its UWP code indicates. Insert your own deal breaker world here if you don't mind having to swim through an atmosphere in battledress to get anywhere in 1.5 gees.

Perhaps a world's population rating could refer to all sentients living within say 100 diameters of it? That 100 diameters does come up a lot, don't it?

Of course this is also my opportunity to create a Universal Station Profile. I don't just stat zombies.

1) One class higher ( i.e. B becomes A maximum of A)
2) One class higher ( i.e. B becomes A maximum of B)
3) Equal to mainworld starport
4) Equal to mainworld starport
5) One class lower ( i.e. B becomes C minimum of C)
6) One class lower ( i.e. B becomes C minimum of D)

Type of Gravity
TL -7 Zero-Gee (0)
TL 8-9 Spinning wheel (1)
TL +10 Artificial gravity (2)

Orbit roll 3d6 DMs: Mainworld TL 7 -6, TL 8 -5, TL 9 -2, TL 10-11 0, TL 12 +2, TL +13 +4. Mainworld size -6 +1.
3-4 Low Orbit (0) The bare bones orbit. Even chemical propellant gulping dinosaurs can reach this with some usable payload. It's liable to be relatively crowded with bits of debris, orbital and suborbital traffic.
5-6 High Orbit (1) You need something with a little more kick than chemical engines to reach this high. It is relatively clear of debris or traffic but often is the realm of communications, weather and defense satellites.
7-8 Geosynchronous Orbit (2) Communications and defense satellites occupy this orbit which remains above a fixed pint on the planet's surface.
 9-11 Jump Limit Orbit (3) Satellites this far out are better serviced by maneuver drive ships or atomic rockets (grumpy cat optional). They often serve as transfer points for merchants on a tight schedule (or corporate merchants). Drop off your cargo, refuel and jump right out. No stay over, no leave. They often have casinos and other clip joints to fleece crews with a few hours to kill.
 12-13 Cycler (4) A cycler is a ship that moves between two orbits. They allow bare bones spacecraft from each orbit to rendezvous and be carried along to their destination orbit where they are dropped off to their destination. They often take prepackaged cargo modules for a drop off to be picked up by low cost orbital taxis.
14-15 Tower (5) this is the sign of a pre-gravitics culture with too much money. A Tower is a statin in geosynchronous orbit at the top of a space elevator reaching to the planet's surface. People can literally ride an elevator to orbit. They are often kept up in cultures with grav drives because they are still borderline profitable and they're awesome tourist attractions.
16-17 Static (6) This station is not in orbit but uses thrusters, maneuver drives or solar/magnetic sails to remain stationary over a planet. They usually are built and moved into position for a long term missions: survey, communications or defense. These installations are very dangerous to the uninitiated. If you take a space walk and lose your grip you fall until you burn up in re-entry. Ditto for untended ships that come lose (though that shouldn't happen unless you tick off the wrong people.)
18 Mobile (7) The station moves albeit slowly from orbit to orbit using low power engines, sails or both. It may not be where you last encountered it, like right in front of you when you come out of jump. Who did you tick off anyway.

Docking Rating
Roll 1d6 + 1/3 mainworld TL (round down)
Docking Rating is the size of ship that can dock to a station efficiently. Your Tigress class dreadnought's crew is not going to appreciate being passed through a four man airlock for shore leave though it is possible to dock nearly any ship to any station in a pinch. Read the docking characteristic like a population code: 1 is ships in the tens of tons, 2 is ships in hundreds of tons etc. This is also a rough idea of the cargo that can be handled in a typical shift on the station.

Roll 1d6
1) Crew in 10's
2) Crew in the hundreds
3) Crew in the hundreds
4) Crew in the m thousands, hundreds of residents
5) Crew in the thousands, with thousands of dependents, merchants and residents.
6) Colony with 10,000+ residents and crew

Administration Type
Roll 1d6 + population roll
1) Corporate Run
2) Merchant Council
3) Participatory Democracy
4) Technical Feudalism
5) Military controlled
6) Colony

Law Level Mainworld LL + 1d6-3

Tech Level Mainworld TL

Special Feature(s)
roll 2d6 or pick        
2) Casino
3) Fine Dining
4) Excellent Expedition Supplier
6) Tax Shelter
7) Duty Free Shop
8) Medical Center
9) Traveler's Aid Hostel
10) Research Lab
11) Jump Enhancement Tech (drop tanks or whatever system your setting uses)
12) Psi Institute Annex

Odd Features
2) Life support is breaking down/power shortages
3) Crazy AI controls some areas (this might make some people assume #6 is in effect)
4) Gang culture is flourishing
5) Mostly deserted (zombies optional because ... reasons!)
6) Haunted (spacers are a superstitious lot, ask Andre Norton)
7) Vermin infested (you'd amazed what people get complacent about and refer to as vermin)
8) Many stowaways
9) Long quarantine period (once there were two rabbits ...)
10) Constant state of emergency
11) Movie in production (you have to live through one of these to understand what a pain in the ass it is)
12) Celebrity owner (this might lead to #11)