Freedom Amongst The Countless Stars
|Hull Mass (metric tons)||Hull Toughness||Cost per Armor Pip|
|Less than 10||0||500|
For values over 250,000: For every additional 250,000 tons, add +1 pip to the Toughness. One pip of armor costs 100 times the number of tons.
> Hull area: Not applicable
> Hull mass: 0.6 x mass of modules
> Hull cost: 500 x hull mass
> Atmospheric streamlining cost: 100 x hull mass
> Atmospheric streamlining mass: 0.25 x hull mass
> Landing gear cost: 75 x hull mass
> Landing gear area: Not applicable
> Landing gear mass: 0.2 x hull mass
> Landing gear energy requirement: See text
> Armor cost: See list
> Armor area: Not applicable
> Armor mass: Cost/1,000
> Armor energy requirements: None
> Maximum armor: Hull Toughness
> Shields cost: 1.5 x armor cost per pip
> Shields area: Shields cost/20,000
> Shields mass: Shields cost/10,000
> Shields energy requirement: 1 energy unit per pip
> Maximum shields: None
> Round all fractions up.
The next step of starship design is to encase the modules that make up the ship’s interior with a hull that holds the whole thing together and adds components for thrusters, weapon conduits (to account for scale), compensators, and the like. Adding an exterior casing does not increase the vehicle’s size, but it does add to the vessel’s mass.
The mass of the hull equals half the mass of all the other modules included in the ship so far. (Round up the module mass total before determining mass of hull. Round up the mass of the hull.) To ﬁgure out the cost of the hull, multiply its mass by 500 credits.
Then, use the bulkhead’s mass (not the total mass of the entire vessel) to determine its base Toughness by reading the ﬁgure on the accompanying chart. Round the number of tons down when ﬁguring hull Toughness.
Some vessels can operate within the atmosphere of a planet. A vessel streamlined for atmospheric capability is more expensive than a nonatmospheric vessel —it increases the hull’s cost by 20% (that is, it costs 100 times the hull’s mass). The streamlining smooths out the rough edges and adds stubby wings; it also increases the hull’s mass by 25% (round up). A vessel with atmospheric capability must have at least 2 times the base hull Toughness (armor plus shields) to protect against the heat generated by re-entry.
Atmospheric Movement Rate
A ship’s atmospheric speed generally relates to its capabilities in space. To determine the base atmospheric movement rate, multiply the ship’s space Move by 50. Then use the table to translate that value to kilometers per hour. Find the closest atmosphere rate to get the corresponding cruising speed in kilometers per hour.
|Atmosphere Rate||Kilometers per Hour|
For every additional 50 in atmosphere Move, add 150 kilometers per hour. Ships traveling over 1,150 kilometers per hour (approximately the speed of sound at sea level in an Earth-like atmosphere) could have detrimental eﬀects on the planet’s environment. Multiply the kilometers per hour value by 1.4 to get the approximate number of meters per round.
Characters who wish to have their vessels touch down on planets ought to include landing gear in their ships. Stored along the underside of the vehicle, these are activated when the landing sequence is engaged. They take a form appropriate for the setting, such as sturdy, folding legs (possibly with solid wheels) that drop out, or a series of heavy-duty anti-gravity compensators.
Since bigger ships need more landing gear, mass of the gear is based on the hull’s mass. Though the landing gear requires power to deploy it, the need is minimal and comes from power plant reserves or systems that aren’t used within the atmosphere (such as interstellar drives).
Aside from sensor decoys (listed under weapons), ships can use other means to hide themselves from other vessels.
Stealth paint increases the difficulty for other ships to detect it by +5. It costs a number of credits equal to the hull’s mass to put it on. Damage to the ship’s exterior, however, scratches the paint, lowering its eﬀectiveness by one point for each point over the combat difficulty. Damaged paint must be replaced.
Jamming programs send out electrical signals that prevent sensors from getting information about the vessel. For every +1 to the sensor difficulty, the cost is 1,000 credits. A jamming program requires a duty station.
> Cost: Hull’s mass
> Energy requirements: None
> Bonus: +5 to opponent’s sensors difficulty
> Cost: 1,000 per +1 to opponent’s sensors difficulty
> Requires duty station
Space vessel shields work very much like hull armor (adding to the damage resistance of the vessel), but they have an additional advantage — unless the whole system is blown away, they will usually only need to be ﬁtted with a few new components. Enough damage can overload them, however.
Energy shields are “bottles” that surround a ship. The shield projectors work in conjunction to form this bubble. Shields cover the four quarters of a vessel (forward, aft, port, and starboard), and the ratings can be divided among those four quarters as the ship’s captain sees ﬁt.
The shield generator module costs 1.5 times the cost for adding armor, per pip, but there is no maximum. (A three-pip increase equals one die.) They have an energy requirement of one unit per pip. Divide the cost by 10,000 to get the number of tons and by 20,000 (round up) to get the number of area units. These areas represent the individual shield projectors, which are spread over hull of the ship. Shield-generator modules do not add to the ship tonnage when determining the hull Toughness.