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Pierreich-Fenac-class Orbital Security/Sensor Boat (OSB-11)

This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue.



Mission(s): Logistics, Command, Border Security, Police, Science, Survey
Hull: 200 tons, Distributed Configuration (7.9Mcr)
Armor: Crystaliron 15% (12 pts.), Reflec Coating (30 tons) (4.32M) (20MCr)
M-Drive: A (2 tons) (4MCr)
J-Drive: None
Power Plant: A (4 tons) (8MCr)
Computer: Model 3/fib (Advanced Electronics, Fire Control/3, Long Distance Scanning, Planetary Survey, Surveillance Software) (Redundant)(20 tons) (19MCr)
Armaments: 3 Triple Turrets, Beam Lasers standard (3 tons) (12MCr)
Fuel: 30 tons (210 days operation)
Crew: 13 (Captain, Navigator, 2×Sciences/Electronics, Engineer, Medic, Crew Chief, 3×Gunner/Security, 3×Crew) (32 tons) (4.5MCr)
Small Craft: Ship’s Boat (30 tons) (16MCr)
Cargo: 24 tons
Tech Level: 11
Cost: 91,400,000Cr


The OSB-11 is a maneuverable boat designed to orbit a planet and remain in operation for weeks or months at a time. It is capable of fulfilling a variety of missions and can be refit and staffed accordingly. It is built with advanced sensor packages and a redundant Model 3/fib computer, and typically runs advanced software for increasing the efficacy of its sensors (Visual, Thermal, EM, Lidar, Densitometer. Reduce Range by a factor of 1 to determine level of detail. Additional cost 1MCr.) In addition, by removing the jump drive and reconfiguring the hull, the OSB sports a third hardpoint. (Additional cost: 10% basic hull.) Coupled with crystaliron armor and Reflec coating, the OSB can be a tough nut to crack. Often, it is deployed to keep tabs on system borders, either in high orbit around a world or near a jump point to watch for ships arriving and leaving the system. The OSB is also useful in planetary defense, where it can serve as a command center, logistics station, or communications hub. Some governments deploy the OSB in lower orbits and use them as surveillance and law enforcement tools against the population on the surface. Lastly, the OSB can take on a purely scientific mission for long-term study of a world or moon, though getting to that world may require a Jump carrier. It is designed for long-term self-sufficiency, with room for its crew of 13, plenty of fuel, and cargo space for supplies. It is also equipped to receive visitors with two docking bridges aft, which can be installed or removed in a few hours if necessary. The avionics array is underneath, along with the docking ring for the Ship’s Boat. The OSB-11’s cost means that only planetary governments or scientific research megacorporations will invest in a non-Jump vessel like this; however, versatility, durability, and longevity make it worth it.

Adventure Ideas

Distress Call: The players receive a mayday from a nearby OSB, under attack by local enemies. The OSB is owned by either the local government (which will be grateful for the player’s assistance and make life easier on the world for a while, along with a cash reward), or by a scientific research company, which will not only reward the players by become a contact/source for other adventure ideas in the future. (“Since you all did such a good job driving off those dissidents, maybe you’d be interested in checking out these strange readings for us…”)

Fight the System: The players are hired by a local group of rebels/dissidents/underground who are trying to bring down the government. An OSB in orbit over a major city has been able to track their movements and coordinate police response. The players are to either destroy the OSB (very unlikely; it will have police and navy ships backing it up) or board and sabotage it. (Possible, if the players can find a reason to be invited on board first…)

Ghost Town: The players encounter an OSB in a slowly decaying orbit over a remote world in the system. There doesn’t seem to be anyone on board, nor any sign of damage. Breaking into the ship’s computer will show increasingly erratic crew behavior recorded in logs, and the flight plan of the missing Ship’s Boat, leading down to the surface…

To the Battlements: While their ship is in dock for a long refit, the players are hired by the understaffed local colony militia to fill in on the colony’s main defense, an OSB for a couple of weeks. (Maybe an epidemic of some sort has put most of the trained personnel in the hospital.) The colony’s main enemy (a rival colony, pirates, hostile species, etc.) has been launching sorties on the colony lately and the OSB must be staffed! Here comes the first wave!

Mad Scientist: The players are hired by an eccentric academic who has managed to procure an OSB and has it in orbit around a world of interest, using it to methodically map and study the surface. The problem is that for some reason his hires keep quitting on him, and he needs crew. The academic is rather vague about what he is looking for, is demanding, abrasive, and unpleasant. The OSB is undersupplied, squalid, and in need of an overhaul. But work is work… (Little do the players know the academic has enemies tracking him who want what he’s looking for… )

Bug Hunt: A research team based on an OSB is taking fauna samples from a world calls for help. It seems that one of their samples has escaped and is now causing havoc in the ship, hiding and attacking crew. And it’s also growing. And perhaps even multiplying…