Freedom Amongst The Countless Stars
Drives, drawing energy from the power plant, move the ship through space They can be anti-gravity propulsion, hyperspace generators, or however you can describe the technology and physics behind it. Ships have in-system (or sublight) drives and, sometimes, interstellar.
|System||Space Move||Area Units||Mass (tons)||Energy Draw||Cost|
|System||Maneuver||Area Units||Mass (tons)||Energy Draw||Cost|
|Improved thrusters (per pip)||+1 pip||—||—||+2||+600|
In-system drives propel a vessel through space at sublight speeds. Even vessels capable of interstellar ﬂight need an in-system drive to take over propulsion of the ship when it’s maneuvering within the conﬁnes of a star system.
The smallest in-system drive covers three area units, has a mass of three metric tons, and has a cost of 2,500 credits. It gives a space Move of zero. For each additional Move increase of 1, the cost goes up by 1,000 credits and the cruising speed energy requirement goes up by three.
Designers who want to push their craft to extreme speeds frequently should be certain that their power plants can handle it: Moving at all-out speed takes 2 times the normal amount.
Though the bulk of the in-system drive is housed in a single section of the ship, a series of maneuvering jets and retros along the ship allow it to turn in frictionless space. The basic system included with ships provides the 0D in Maneuverability. Better or additional thrusters increase the Maneuverability. Their size is ﬁgured into the hull and as part of the rest of the ship. Each improvement to the thrusters adds one pip to the Maneuverability rating, with an energy draw of two units. (Remember that there are three pips in one die.) The maximum Maneuverability of any ship is 5D.
|System||Drive Rating||Area Units||Mass (tons)||Energy Draw||Cost|
This drive allows space-faring vessels to make the miraculous leaps of distance that can shape the universe, crossing the space in far less time than it would take using conventional in-system drive systems. Regardless of the in-game explanation for interstellar travel, most interstellar drives commonly fall into two categories: the jump drive and the warp drive.
A jump drive is one where the vessel crosses the distance between its origin and its destination by “jumping” from point A to point B without ever crossing the intervening space. The vessel winks out of existence, and re-enters the universe at its destination, having “jumped” the gap in between. During the crossing, the vessel travels through a parallel dimension where the distance is greatly reduced (often called hyperspace, warpspace, subspace, otherspace, etc.). In some settings, people on board the vessel may be aware of the passage of time within the jump, or it may be instantaneous from their point of view. Other common names for jump drives are quantum drives, wormhole drives, and similar terms.
A warp drive is one where the vessel somehow warps the physical rules of the universe, so that speeds in excess of the speed of light are possible, and relativistic reality (time dilation, greater speed/greater mass, etc) is ignored. The vessel travels physically through the intervening space between point A and point B, simply by going exceptionally fast. Other common names for the warp drive are hyperdrives, lightspeed drives, faster-than-light (FTL) drives, and the like.
The interstellar drive must be located next to the in-system drive, because the interstellar drive is actually an extension of that system, drawing on the same power source but using it in a vastly diﬀerent way (as determined by the gamemaster). Interstellar drives are ranked by ratings. Interstellar drives with low rating numbers increase the amount of time it takes to reach a destination, while high ones decrease it. Most civilian ships have a rating of 0.5 or lower, and most military vessels have a rating of 1 or better. The lowest rating a ship with an interstellar drive can have is 0.1. It costs 5,000 credits. It takes up two area units, with a mass of ﬁve tons and an energy requirement of 10. For each additional 0.1 in rating, add one area unit, three tons of mass, 10 energy units, and 5,000 credits to the price.
Backup Interstellar Drive
Some captains, especially those on deep-space expeditions, like to have a spare interstellar drive on hand. Usually this is small drive with a low interstellar Move. The captain needs to pay for the second drive and include the area and mass in the ship’s design, but they don’t worry about the energy unit requirement (as long as it’s less than the main drive), because the backup cannot operate at the same time as the primary drive. (It thus shunts energy from the presumably useless main drive.)