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Need help planning the layout of a research facility or military installation

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ST (haydnshaw)

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« on: <03-31-14/0722:21> »
Hey guys.

For a couple of my runs, the runners need to infiltrate or otherwise kick down the front door of military installations. For one of them, they need to destroy a weapon.

I need to plan the layout of the base, but I don't know what rooms need to implemented.

Some context:
The weapon the runners needs to destroy is magic-based.
The base is surrounded by a forest and in a remote area (think about the Empire Bunker on Endor from Star Wars).
The base uses mag-lock gates with key cards.
The base has 10 personnel watching the exterior, and 15-20 watching the interior.
The base is making good progress on its project, so megacorp priority for it has been upped a notch.
The base has cameras on the entrances, as well as in key rooms and chokepoints.

Some rooms I've come up with so far:
Mess Hall and Kitchen
Soldier Barracks
Helipad
Weapon Containment Chamber.

What else do I need and is there anything in the internet that makes for good source material (as in reference images)
« Last Edit: <03-31-14/0911:04> by ST »
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Namikaze

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« Reply #1 on: <03-31-14/1057:00> »
FYI, doing Google searches for "military base layouts" might get you some unwanted attention.  With that said, there are several independent structures that are common at military bases (some of which you've got covered):

  • Barracks - I would probably make a barracks for every 100 soldiers on the base
  • Mess Halls - D Fac is another word for a mess.  D-Fac is short for Dining Facility and is quickly becoming a common verbal acronym
  • Offices - lots of offices, really.  Unless the base is a training facility, you've got to have an office for nearly every officer and civilian contractor
  • Gymnasiums - I worked on Fort Carson, one of the bigger Army bases in the country, and they have three gymnasiums
  • Outdoor space - Lots of parks, trails, etc. for jogging, biking, and various other exercises
  • Armory - there would be a few armories, scattered around in non-obvious locations (no signs saying "Armory" unless you're on a training base)
  • Motor pool - this is where all the vehicles are stored and worked on.  There would be a few, each specializing in a specific type of vehicle (tank, HMHVV, aircraft, etc.)
  • Downrange - every base has a training area for their rifles, pistols, operations, etc.  These areas could include small mock-up towns as well
  • Temporary buildings - every base I've ever been on is constantly under construction.  As a result, you get a lot of temporary buildings all over the place
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biotech66

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« Reply #2 on: <03-31-14/1103:20> »
check out drive through RPG.  If you search, they'll sell you a nice military base diagram for whatever type you want. Heck, if you want there is even papercraft military bases out there!

 That or just google it.  Honestly, if you're the kind of terrorist who uses google for their plots, you're pretty bad at this....

And, if you're the kind of government who has Area 51 plans up on a google image search, you're even worse at this....
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Agonar

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« Reply #3 on: <03-31-14/1111:53> »
yeah, I did a search for "military instillation maps images" and it turned out a decent number of results
https://www.google.com/search?q=instillation+maps+images&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7IM5U62UJcHEqQHDv4C4CQ&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1422&bih=1041&dpr=0.9#q=military+instillation+maps+images&tbm=isch&imgdii=_

Another thing you can do is look up actual bases in google maps, for overhead views, and then you can label individual buildings whatever you want to suit the purposes of your game.

As for an actual, detailed room by room map, personal experience has me advising against it.  It'll be much quicker for you to narrate it, rather than play out a room by room search
"Okay, you go through the next 10 rooms, and they are not what you are looking for, now you find yourself at the base gymnasium" or whatnot.

Maybe it's just me, and the fact that most of my gamers are formerly experienced only in D&D, but when a map is on the table, the map is all they start to focus on, and they lose sight of the need for speed that Shadowrun imposes.
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Belker

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« Reply #4 on: <03-31-14/1155:20> »
Something to consider when working up the details of these: Military bases are generally designed to keep the unwanted out. Secure research facilities often are designed to both keep the unwanted out, while also keeping what's being worked on in. (Sometimes for protection of tee IP; sometimes because what they're working on is dangerous and requires control, such as biological agents.) The difference is subtle but very real, and leads to things like negative pressure rooms, increased internal surveillance, bag checks on the way out, etc. in the lab scenario. These may or may not matter depending on what the runners plan, but can be interesting twists to drop on them.

Also, don't forget that even military bases have things like rec rooms for the troops, classrooms, administrative offices, and lots and lots of storage. Depending on the military involved, weapons might be locked up most of the time, or perhaps just the heavy stuff. Live ammo supplies of those carrying weapons might be limited.
« Last Edit: <03-31-14/1417:57> by Belker »
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Emperors Grace

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« Reply #5 on: <03-31-14/1314:01> »
If it's magic based, they're going to need mages and wards, too.

I'd throw in a few upgraded living quarters for the mages and/or top scientists, especially if the corp is pleased with their project.

Remember to account for "shifts". 

Frex, if the place needs ten active guards at any time in a remote location, they're going to have to actually have between twenty and thirty on-site (others training/sleeping) unless the guards are shipping in and out every day (which will make security less tight).  When the drek really hits the fan, they'll be able to join the fray if given a few moments to arm themselves.

Edit - Also, a medical office to care for wounded.   When you play with dangerous stuff...
« Last Edit: <03-31-14/1317:22> by Emperors Grace »

farothel

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« Reply #6 on: <03-31-14/1335:20> »
If it's going to be a research project they have to search for, then you also need some extra rooms/buildings like laboratories, offices for scientists, sleeping and recreation rooms for scientists (they don't sleep in barracks, especially the top scientists), an extra server room for the project files (behind wifi inhibiting paint, completely disconnected from the matrix), secure storage facilities for the project outputs, and so on.

Also, for shifts, you will have to count that a normal shift is 8 hours, so you'll need three times as much people as you want on one shift.  Sometimes the graveyard shift is less manned than the day shifts, but you need a couple of people extra in case people fall ill or have to leave for other reasons (like training).
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Emperors Grace

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« Reply #7 on: <03-31-14/1508:32> »
You mean shifts were 8 hours before the megacorp.  :)  I could see corps extending workdays to pre-labor movement standards. 

Maybe a 12 hr day?  6 hours outside guard, then 6 hours inside guard?  then down (discretionary) 6, rest 6, and repeat?  That way you only really need 4 shifts, each a step off from each other.

farothel

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« Reply #8 on: <03-31-14/1539:48> »
You still want your guards to be somewhat awake, otherwise you can just as well not put any.  You can do 12 to 18 hour days for a couple of days, but after that your productivity will go down (been there, done that).
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« Reply #9 on: <03-31-14/1652:06> »
You still want your guards to be somewhat awake, otherwise you can just as well not put any.  You can do 12 to 18 hour days for a couple of days, but after that your productivity will go down (been there, done that).

I agree, but I think it'd be a good weakness for your team to exploit if they find that a particular guard has been running lots of double shifts, or using Long Haul or Cram to keep himself awake on the job.  If the players can find out about that guard, then they might be able to use it to their advantage in a lot of ways, not the least of which is blackmail or overdosing.
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Emperors Grace

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« Reply #10 on: <04-01-14/1253:35> »
You still want your guards to be somewhat awake, otherwise you can just as well not put any.  You can do 12 to 18 hour days for a couple of days, but after that your productivity will go down (been there, done that).

Er, between discretionary time and rest period they have twelve hours that could possibly be spent sleeping.  I actually thought that was rather generous...

In any case, a little research shows systems that are worse for sleep times:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watch_system

Also, That is part of the point of having them rotate inside after six.  Freshens it up for those on duty but also means you always have the rested eyes on the exterior where they are needed and the not as rested eyes inside where the watch commander can keep a closer eye.
« Last Edit: <04-01-14/1259:09> by Emperors Grace »

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #11 on: <04-03-14/0130:09> »
Yeah, but you're talking a military facility - not (like you're seeing in most of those watch schedules) a ship at sea, or some other location where there's always gotta be X, Y, and Z at hand on the P, D, and Q.  If you're talking actual watches, I'd posit/recommend four shifts of six hour watches, with each shift doing an additional 2-4 hours worth of some sort of activity or maintenance either (consistently) before or after the shift, making them available if the feces meets the rotating turbines.  As it is, though, you've got only 30 people for your watch setup; this isn't a military installation, it's a dinky facility somewhere.  It might be a black facility, but it's frickin' podunk, three buildings max, with at best 15 guys walking beats and supervising the gates for 12 hours a day.

In any case.  In a multi-building facility, you aren't going to be able to have an 'inside patrol' and an 'outside patrol'; you'll have guys moving through each building, keying into 'watch points' either with a designated route, at designated times, or - if they're smart - going erratically from one to any one of several others within range.  You might have guys doing an hour on the cameras, then rotating out to do some walking, thereby always keeping someone fresh with an eye on the screens.
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Emperors Grace

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« Reply #12 on: <04-04-14/1533:05> »
Agreed on most points, however, I was trying to follow the OP's guidelines.

The OP stipulated 10 guards outside, 15-20 inside so I purposely tried to keep it to 30 guards total (I failed (40 required), but tried to keep it to similar size) with a clear division of exterior and interior.

Also, I don't believe OP has multiple buildings as his example is an underground bunker with an aboveground entrance and he refers to rooms, not buildings that he's come up with.

edited for brevity:
Some context:
The base is surrounded by a forest and in a remote area (think about the Empire Bunker on Endor from Star Wars).
The base has 10 personnel watching the exterior, and 15-20 watching the interior.

Some rooms I've come up with so far:
« Last Edit: <04-04-14/1544:16> by Emperors Grace »

Belker

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« Reply #13 on: <04-04-14/1551:20> »
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« Reply #14 on: <04-05-14/0204:14> »
Agreed on most points, however, I was trying to follow the OP's guidelines.

The OP stipulated 10 guards outside, 15-20 inside so I purposely tried to keep it to 30 guards total (I failed (40 required), but tried to keep it to similar size) with a clear division of exterior and interior.
Some context:
The base is surrounded by a forest and in a remote area (think about the Empire Bunker on Endor from Star Wars).
The base has 10 personnel watching the exterior, and 15-20 watching the interior.

Some rooms I've come up with so far:

Ah.  Missed the 'Endor Bunker' reference.  In which case yeah, 15-20 on the inside, but I sure wouldn't have them watching the interior - unless the experiments on the inside are more dangerous than anything outside.  Well, whatever.

Honestly, if they're going into this sort of thing without a complete layout and knowing precisely where the target is, they might as well save time and just shoot themselves in the head.  Or better, shoot the Johnson in the head.  Otherwise, there'd better be pretty serious compensation for all the legwork and pre-intrusion investigation the PCs are going to have to do.

At least, that's my view.
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