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Belter's Boarding Axe & other tools

Liam Devlin

SOC-14 5K
This article is for the basic Boarding Axe, found on pp 10, 21, & 25 of TA-1.

T20 stats:
Boarding Axe: TL: 8 Cost Cr 100 (+Cr 25 for Spade) Weight 1500g Range 3m Damage 1d10 (19) (Piercing/Slashing) Size: L

CT Stats.
Battle Axe: 7 -2 10 +2 -2 3D

This variant of the standard spacer's polearm weapon, has the following additions: A compressed air cartrdige inserted into the grip 'above' [using the illustration on TA-1 for reference] the hand guard grip within the shaft; a triggering system within the handguard itself, And the 1 meter portion of the butt spike is fired off like a speargun.

Contained within the handguard grip is a second trigger below the first which reels in the the 1mm thick spun steel fishing line [usual load is 500m of line].

The thrusting 'point' of the spear end of the pike thus launched on impact opens into a four prong magnetic grapple. This works well with ship to ship, or high metal content asteoids usually. For Cutters, who work Ice asteroids, this grapple head is echanged for a piercing one with can be extracted with a push button release as it is spring loaded. In worse case scenarios, it can unscrewed off the end, and replaced if imbedded too deeply to remove.

This variant comes at twice the cost of the normal boarding pike, at 200cr. All other melee damage values remain the same, save that if the spike is fired at a person the spike' damage is 1d8, as if a light spear, and accurate range is about the same.
Belting, as we have seen, is assumed to take on from OTU sources like 'Beltstrike', MT's 'Hard Times' and certain novels, the mining of asteroid systems primarily, or belts [found in the UWP Tppg column]. On another thread & forum The Ursula Setting, I gave an updated analysis of the "types' of belting" careers based on those.

In addition to Belters being a popular career choice by players, there is also to some folk's view point the askance of UWP's and tech levels--like, "How can these folks at this tech level be Mining in Hard vaccuum!"

So, in answer, I have taken this from the MT Hard Times book, pp89-90 as refresher for those who do not have it, or have forgotten it. In line with the topic, the following Vac Suits...

Vac Suits By TL

"TL-4: The TL4 vacc suit looks and performs like something out of a Jules Verne novel. Bulky, ponderous and alarmingly prone to pressure leaks, this suit has no integral valves for use with individual air tanks [although such valves could be retrofitted with some effort]. Instead, the suit's heat and oxygen supply is piped in through a dedicated umbilical tube. The umbilical tube has avariety of predictable drawbacksit limits the user's range, is an impediment to movement and is extremely vulnerable. However, as individual air tanks are not available until TL5, it is the best the manufacturers can do.The TL4 suit is also noted for its inability to keep heat in and radiation out (in spite of the very heavy lead mesh). All physical tasks are increased by two levels of difficulty for any character wearing a TL4 vacc suit."

In T20 terms that means upping the skill level DC by 15, for T20 users.

Tech Level: 4 Weight: 18 kg
Armor: 2 Price: Cr22,500

TL5: TL5 vacc suits are more flexible than their TL4 predecessors, less prone to leaks, and equipped to accept either individual air tanks or improved umbilical connections. Heat comes from small electric warmers [powered by one hour
batterie]. Radiation protection, though better than the TL4 model, is still rather poor. All physical tasks are increased by one level of difficulty for an individual wearing a TL5 vacc suit."

For T20 users, increase DC skill checks by 10.

Tech Level: 5 Weight: 15 kg
Armor: 3 Price: Crl6,OOO

TL6: At TL6, vacc suits become lighter, more rugged and much more flexible. Descended from high-altitude flight suits, these garments offer better radiation protection and greatly improved heating and personal comfort. Unfortunately, they are no more puncture-resistant than their predecessors. They can accept both umbilical connections and air tanks. Wearers of TL6 vacc are one task level more difficult than normal.

For T20 users, apply the DC modifier +5 to skill checks.

Tech Level: 6 Weight: 7 kg
Armor: 3 Price: Cr12,500

TL7: Although bulky, the TL7 vacc suit represents a vast improvement in terms of user protection. Radiation shielding and puncture resistance are both greatly increased. Extended
comfort-including waste-processing systems and nourishment dispensers-is now available, thanks to the introduction of the basic PLSS [see below]. However, the suits can also utilize personal air tanks and umbilicals. All physical tasks conducted by individuals wearing TL7 vacc suits suffer a -2 penalty to dexterity checks. "

For T20 users, apply as stated to skill checks involving Dex.

Tech Level: 7
Armor: 5 Price: Crl6,500

TL7 Basic PLSS: The basic personal life support system [PLSS] is introduced at TL7, making extended vacuum operations feasible. Although designed for use with TL7 and TL8
vacc suits, it can be integrated with more advanced gear. Although heavy, the basic PLSS is solid and reliable. It is powered by internal batteries.

Tech Level 7 PLSS: Weight: 13 kg
Duration: 6 hours Price: 2,650cr

TL-8: The TL 8 vacc suit is a refined, less-bulky version of the TL7 model. Increased manual dexterity and radiation shielding are two important features. It is commonly used with a basic PLSS. Personal maneuver capabilities can be provided by the maneuver pack [also introduced at TL8 and fully integratable with the TL 8 suit and basic PLSS combination]. Wearers of TL 8 vacc suits modify their Dexterity by -1."

For T20 users, apply as stated to skill checks involving Dex.

Tech Level: 8 Armor: 5 [as cloth]Weight:
Weight: 14 kg Price: Crl0,OOO

TL-8 Maneuver Pack: "This is a man-sized framework of 24 small, highly advanced, water resistojets. The entire thrust potential of the unit is 60 seconds of 0.04 tons of thrust. It is powered by internal batteries and is refueled by adding 2.5 liters of water."

Tech Level: 8 Weight: 5 kg
Price: Cr1,250
Bravo Liam! A few more items on my list of things to type up I can cross off and items I'm sure a few folks will find useful

I really like the improvements on the boarding axe!
Thank you, Liam!
It has always been one of my pet projects/peeves that Space Suits -- a most basic Traveller tool! -- has always been glossed over for differences by Tech Level. Thank you for bringing this knowledge back to us.
Far Trader & Lord Vince.

/me bows.

The tool-axe saw it's inception in TA-1, I have merely made it more a tool-weapon, and a Belter's trusty "must have thing". Having described it in the storyline of 'A quiet word for O'Rourke', I felt compelled to post it.

The second post on Vac suits was for those who lacked the knowledge, of which while not the author, am free to remind folks its out there, published, and useful!
More Belter's tool reminders, taken from T20 THB, pages 211-214. From the tech levels of the equipment one can extrapolate it doesn't always take TL-9+ to get the job done. It just takes longer, and more stuff! Mining is dark, dirty, hard work. The folk who do it are rough and tough, and tend to be self-reliant a lot. Some work better in groups, others alone or small teams. But that's another topic for another forum. The basic stuff is rugged and sturdy, and not always “hi-tech”.

I.Life support tools

Filter Mask: TL-3, Price: 10cr, Weight: 0.5kgThese are great for atmospheres of 4,7, & 9 for miners.

Combination mask: TL-5, Price: 150cr, Weight: 1kg.-great for atmospheres 2, 3 & those filter masks cover for miners.

Air tanks: TL-5, Price: 500cr, Weight: 5kg
Great for where there is no air! Also is 'in synch' with above post on Vac suits.

Protective suit [Radiation]: TL-5, Price: 700cr, Weight: 5kg. Worn under the TL-5 Vac suit.

Cold Weather clothing: TL-1, Price: 200cr, weight 4kg.-Generally worn under TL-4 & 5 Vac suits to help the wearer maintain body heat.

II. Personal devices

Hand calculator: TL-7, Price: 10cr Weight: 1kg Great item for calculating the total cubic feet of a find to doing your possible proceeds from it. For old fashion folk, the Abacus is TL-1.

Long Range communicator: TL-6, Price: 500cr, Weight: 15kg, Range 500km So the mother ship can keep in touch with base camp!

Magnetic compass: TL-3, Price: 10cr, Weight: NA--Great for miners underground in the dark when the flashlight's about to wane.

Medium range communicator: TL-5, Price: 200cr, Weight: 10kg, Range: 30km Allows the base camp to keep in touch with you!

Metal detector: TL-6, Price: 300cr Weight: 1kg., Range: 3m--Useful once you're in reach of the find. Developed off the man-pack mine detector.

Radiation counter: TL-5, Price: 250cr, Weight: 1kg., Range: 30m Extremely useful when your working an exposed face to the star, or with lucrative radioactive ores!

Short-range communicator: TL-5, Price: 100cr, Weight: 5kg. Range: 10kmAdds weight to your Vac suit, but you can talk between yourselves worker to worker.

III. Visual Aides

Binoculars: TL-3, Price: 75cr, Weight: 1 kg Useful for looking at things at some distance away, provided light and Atmospheric visibility is not a problem.

Chemstik: TL-8, Price: 1cr/Stik, sold in boxes of 20 at 20cr, Weight: NA, Duration: 6-12 hrs, average is 8hrs. Snap and glow, easy to use, will illuminate an area 3m in diameter, and provide light enough to read. Come in the ROYGBIV colors, as well as an IR version for discreet signaling.*

Cold Lantern: TL-6, Price: 20cr, Weight: 0.25kg., Duration: 72 hrs nonstop. An improvement on the TL-5 ‘Electric torch’, or flashlight. Uses disposable batteries.

Electric torch: TL-5, Price: 10cr , Weight: , Duration: 6hrs nonstop use.—Dandy tool for looking at things 18m away obscured in the dark/shadows. Don’t leave home without one!

IR goggles: TL-6, Price 500cr, weight: 0.25kg Range: 18m-Allows for visual spotting of heat sources, though some distortion is expected. Good for finding that missing cat in the dark ship, or crewmember.

Light intensifier goggles: TL-7, Price: 500cr, weight: 0.25kg., Range: 18m clearly Gives user monochrome vision, and any amount of bright light will impair their usage.

IV. Tools

Electronic tool set: TL-7, Price: 2000cr., Weight: 5kg. Most everything in mining in outer space requires electricity, whether it’s solar powered, battery powered, or generated off hydrocarbon distillate generators, to a fission reactor. Sometimes a bad fix shorts out, and you have to rewire in order to have light, or heat. A ‘must have’ for Belters.

Mechanical tools: TL-5, Price 1000cr, weight 20kg. Stuff breaks, and a Belter has to be able to fix it on the spot. A lot of Belter’s mining equipment and their early STL spacecraft can be a chore to maintain, but they do it.

Metal work toolkit: TL-4, Price 1500cr, Weight: 50kg. Most of this is the anvil’s weight, and portable forge. Sometimes you can’t get a shiny new replacement, and you have to repair or fabricate a replacement. Another Belter’s ‘must have’.

V. Shelter

Vac suits have already been discussed to some length. But sometimes, like in the case of ‘Rocksiders’, who work the asteroid find right there, or surveyor teams away form their ship, you need this stuff. This stuff too is THB, T20 pp 211-214. Other sources for items include MT/ Referees handbook.

Advance base: TL-8, Price 50,000cr, Weight: 6000kg., Capacity: 6 persons—Taking 12 man hours to assemble, some 16 modules that are 1.5m x 1.5m x 2m tall, and grants 12dtons living space, at weight of 12 tons.

Advance base, pressurized: TL-8, price 75,000cr, Weight 8000kg., Capacity: 8-persons. Aside from price, this one includes solar panel roofing for its own electrical lighting and heating Life support needs, and has an airlock. 16 man hrs to assemble., and provides 16dtons living space at 16 tons gross weight. Underwater versions for deep sea mining do exist.**

Prefabricated cabins: TL-6, Price: 10,000cr , Weight: 4000kg. Really suitable on worlds with atmospheres 4-9, they are however cheap, and reusable housing units.

Pressure tent: TL-7, Price: 2000cr, Weight: 25kg , Capacity: 2-man-size beings—Useful survival tool, the basic issue for a Belter’s Buggy. As per book, must be re-pressurized after each entry/exit. 4-man, and 8-man models exist at x 2/ x 4 price and weight.

Full pressure tent: TL-9, Price: 4000cr., weight 70kg, Capacity 8-persons This tent comes with its own airlock, unlike earlier models, and does not have the former models disadvantages.***

Prefabricated ‘Soft’ Dome Shelters: TL-7, Price: [varies see below], Weight: [Varies], Capacity: [Varies] Soft doming with higher test opaque and clear plastics are more for an established settlement than a prospecting group of Belters. Used for surface dwelling habitats, the framework and sheets and generally glued together and anchored at th surface where it meets whatever is called ‘the ground’. In general designs it comes on hemispherical shapes, in three sizes of domes, Small , medium, and large.
The tensile strength of the materials has an AR: 1 rating for withstanding damage. Law levels in areas with said domes will correspond accordingly. Adding airlocks and pressurizing are extra. Up to four ‘door-ways’ per dome come with the kits, or more if ordered as such.[/b]****

Small Soft Dome: TL-7, Size: Covers area 20m diameter x 10m high, Price: 1500cr., weight: 2000kg. Requires 10man hrs assembly.

Medium Soft Dome: TL-7, Size: covers area 30m diameter x 15 meter high, Price: 3,000cr, weight 3000kg.

Large soft dome: TL-7, Size: Covers area 50m diameter at 20m high, Price: 5,000cr, weight 5000kg.

* From RW sources for said items.
** These modular quarters as seen in the MT/HT adventure module ‘Operation: Vigilante’.
***MT/ Referees Guide, equipment list.
**** Author’s extrapolation of prefab buildings industry and materials used circa 1990-2005.
Tools for belters, cont'd.

Welding tools,

A Belter's feats to 'jury rig', as well as 'gear- head' do require some tools. Some we have listed as per book, others were not included then, but th ability to make repairs, or 'new' items form old does require something more than baling wire, bondo, superglue, and chewing gum...

TL-5 & 6The oxy-acetylene welder first makes its appearance at TL-5 with the ability to compress air and acetylene.
Advantages: tanks can come in a variety of sizes.

Disadvantages: This tool needs to be used with protective mask, vest, and gloves, and is slow hot dirty work. It also requires being used in an atmosphere where oxygen is present. Underwater variants exist.

TL-5, Cost: 200cr., Weight: [hoses and welder arm, 5kg., Tanks wt. varies with sizes]

TL-7 & 8:
The arc welder comes about, using 18-24" disposable rods to weld with. Again, protectve vest gloves and mask highly recommended.

Advantages; Portable, lighter to move than the O-A welding kit. Can be used underwater with proper insulation of power source.

Disadvantages:Electrically powered, it needs in TL-7 models direct power sourcing. TL-* models come with own power battery or carbon-distallate generator [requiring an atmosphere].

TL-7, Cost: 250cr, weight:25kg total.
TL-8, Cost: 225cr., weight: 20kg total.

TL-9 thru B:
The laser welder appears alongside the laser pistol, and like the weapon, they are battery powered by a manpak, and cord [the former which gets smaller by TL-B to negligible weight.], much like the TL-8+ cordless battery tools era.

Advantages; Man portable, safer and cleaner, and can be used underwater, or in atmospheres without oxygen.

Disadvantages: The power cord and battery pak's limitations for a weapon user are the same for a welder.

Prices comparable to laser pistols of same TL/ battery packs.

The Laz welder, hand held, resembles a 'staple gun' pistol, and uses a battery much like a gaus rifle does, only less powerful, to make small repairs in seams, etc. One fully charged battery can weld 2-5 standard ship's hatches shut.

TL-C, cost: 150cr, weight: 2kg.,
batteries: cost 10cr ea, weight: .025kg.
Greatings Grand Master Liam!

Pressure tent: TL-7, Price: 200cr, Weight: 25kg , Capacity: 2-man-size beings
Who's your supplier? Most pressure tents out on the market are Cr2000, except for GT. Are you sure these things will work? Plop looks at the labeling Ah, made in Roup. That explains alot. Probably a General Products close out special.

Full pressure tent: TL-9, Price: 400cr., weight 70kg, Capacity 8-persons This tent comes with its own airlock, unlike earlier models, and does not have the former models disadvantages.***
I'm guessing your TL9 pressure tent looks very similar to the 2300ad pressure tent. I still wonder about the price though.

And now, the big debate:
which one would you use?

While your contemplating this, be sure to put in a word for the humble baggie. Thats right. Whether its the sandwhich bag size or one of those 1 gallon hefty bag sizes, those baggies are very usefull for hauling your rock samples around. Even the first Solomani off-world expeditions had'em for picking up soil samples. Lets all drink to the humble plastic baggie! ...glug, glug, glug...

Ahh! Good eyes! TY. Have edited to reflect 2kcr/ 4kcr (with airlock).

Ore sampler or multi-scanner...
Ore sampler. Why?

Good point to the Ziploc (tm) Bag!
Ziplocs require more care in a Belter environment, though. You can pop the seal on that sucker if you have a little air in it, then go out in vacuum.
Which brings up the next question: Are Belters stuck with Pringles (or their Vilani
equivalent)? Regular bags would go POP if you ever lost atmosphere. Have you ever tried to get potato chip (or crisp) crumbs out of a keyboard?
Grand Master Liam replies:
Ore sampler or multi-scanner...
Ore sampler. Why?
Just that alot of folks, when they see TL8 Ore sampler, turn their nose up at it. Its 'old' and
not 'cool'. They wanna do that Solomani Star Trekkie thing, and for that they love the multi-scanner--just like a tri-corder. :rolleyes:
Well Plop101, the TL-8 ore sampler me figures is more common, and easier to replace than say at TL-12+ device. Fits the Belter 'career'/class much better.

Now those corporate hounds for LSP, and Sternmetall, LIC.--hey, they've the budget for all the whiz-bang gizmoes for their crews!
An Additional brainstorm came to me today watching the Russian & American astronauts EVA work on the O2 of the space station..even if its been invented, I haven't see 'em in game so here goes:

IV Tools

Magnetic Mechanical tools: TL-8, Price 1300cr, weight 17kg. Stuff breaks, and a Belter has to be able to fix it on the spot Like the TL5 set, but has internal batteries to switch on/off the tool's magnetic ability, so as not to lose it in operating in weightlessness, or hard Vacuum.