Starships

Starships

Firstly, In order to build a starship (Out of character) use the SAS Base System. There are a couple of other things I’m working on here, that describe how spaceship combat works and guns and starship damage vs. characters and things. Did I mention this is a work in progress? Good. :)


Starships.jpgStarships are built to last, and many of the ships plying the jump gates in Emperor Chryselios’s time were actually built during the Second Republic – or even during the Diaspora in same cases. It takes a core of dedicated technicians to keep them running, but since Guild trade, noble power and Sectus influence all rely on space travel, these techies are well-paid. If they were to slack off on their jobs, vital information might not make it to its destination in time or important shipments might arrive too late to be of use. Most important shipboard positions are taken by hired guild members; freemen or serfs make up the bulk of the crew complement. The technical details of most starships are unknown to most people; all posthumans usually know about ships is that they go up and out through a jump gate and sometimes come back again. More advanced knowledge is usually confined to specialties: a ship pilot may know little about the engine or its needs, and a captain may not know how to fly the thing if the pilot has a seizure.

What is known by all is that these things can be broken fairly easily – a stray shot from a slug gun or blaster could foul up the life support system or blow a hole in a bulkhead. No matter how good the technician, it might take days to fix such problems, by which time all on board could be dead. Everyone is expected to be on their best behavior on a starship.

Describing Your Starship

In addition to the SAS Base System stats, the following traits apply to all spacecraft, from small planetary shuttles to huge jump-capable carriers and destroyers.

Name: The common name for the craft, eg. The Elena Genesis
Class The size and type of the vessel, eg. Medium Frigate, Light Fighter, Capitol Dreadnought, etc. This can also be described by the level of Awkward Size of the craft, from 1-8
Grade: The three grades of ships are Void, Atmospheric and Lander. This determines whether the ship may enter atmospheres and land on planets (preferably at a spaceport) without difficulty. Atmospheric ships may enter upper atmospheres only; they cannot land on planets and must either dock in orbit or at a spacestation. Landers can land, etc.
Builder: The guild, race or family that builds the majority of the craft.
Tech level: Tech level of the craft. This represents the Tech level of the design, not necessarily every piece of tech included in the ship. For instance, weapons and sensors may be higher tech than the ship itself.
Length: Length of the ship from stern along the keel.
Width: Width of the ship at it’s widest point.
Crew: Minimum crew needed to operate the ship. This is based on the class of the ship. Without enough crew, penalties to pilot and manage the vessel may apply. Some use automation to handle these tasks, however this can be dangerous (and expensive). See chart below.
Passengers: Number of passengers the ship was designed to comfortably allow. This is based on the class of the ship. See chart below.
Cargo (Internal): Cargo contained inside the ship, measured in metric tonnes. This is based on the class of the ship. See chart below.
Cargo (External): Cargo attached to the hull or cargo struts (metric tons). See Clamp, Magnetic and Fusion Bonding, below.
Speed: The maximum speed the ship can attain in Hyperflight and the time it takes to reach the average jump gate (averages 7-15 billion kilometers away or 50-100 astronomical units). If the ship is Hyperflight capable, listing their Drive Rating, number of Jumps and speed separately.
Jumps: This is the number of trips a ship can make to and from a jump gate before it needs to refuel (about 200 AU each jump). Most ships do not have fusion generators; they store energy but cannot create it. Recharging a ship’s fusion stores requires a hook-up to a more powerful, stationary fusion generator, found in every starport and spacestation. The average cost is 300 falcons per jump. Those ships that do have generators usually have a higher number of jumps they can make, but even these eventually run down as more energy is used than is generated. There is a certain amount of fusion the generator requires to be able to create more energy; if this amount is used up, the generator will shut down and the ship will run only on it’s fusion stores (halve the number of jumps). Engineers usually regulate a ship’s energy needs well enough not to worry about losing power, but a surprise space assault will greatly tax a ship’s energy use. Ships which do not have jump drives will have a range (in AU) and Drive Rating listed instead, representing how far the ship can travel before it is out of fuel.
Supplies: How much food, water, air, etc, the ship normally contains. Most ports have merchants who deal specifically in reprovisioning ship stores. Costs vary with crew size and amount of time the stores are intended to last. Figure one Falcon per passenger (including crewmembers) per week. Certain passengers may cost more, especially if they insist on their own staterooms and caviar with every meal.
Sensors: Sensors are rated on a scale of 1-10 representing astronomical units, or 150 million kilometers each, and by type. Similar to the Sixth Sense power, but with greater range for starships. See Sensors, below.
Weaponry: This is the standard or most common armament found on the craft. Mounts can fire in one direction only, while turrets allow 360 degrees of fire.
Maneuvering: A bonus or penalty applied to the pilot’s Piloting skill.
Armor: The armor rating of the ship’s hull. See BASE HEALTH in the SAS Base System.
Shield: Type of Shield, if any. See Energy Shields, below.
Vitality: The % amount of damage a ship’s armor can take before it suffers internal ship damage. This is similar to how if an attack does over 50% of a character’s hit points in a single hit, there must be a body check or the character stands a chance of going into shock and losing consciousness, however this is a set percentage of total armor points that causes damage. The subtractions suffered at low Vitality affect maneuverability and most rolls (piloting and mechanics or electronics). The subtraction is also applied to the ship’s speed. In addition, the ship suffers internal damage which could effect any number of ship’s systems catastrophically. Unlike characters, ships do not heal themselves; any Vitality damage must be repaired by a technician. The costs and times for repairing hull damage are listed with each ship (see Common Modifications), and the internal damage tables below have their own repair requirements.
Cost: The cost in Imperial Falcons, the coin of the Galactic imperium. Recall that outside currencies are generally valued at 1/4 of a Falcon. (1 Talon)
Description: This is a general description of the craft and it’s common uses.
History: Interesting historical facts about the craft.
Common Modifications: This lists the most common modifications available for the craft. Time = the among of time it takes before a roll can be made (usually a mechanical or electrical check); Points = the total amount of successes over the target number required on a sustained roll for installation; Max = The total amount of that modification that can be made to the craft; Cost = Cost in Falcons.

Starship Classes

Fighter.jpgStarships are rated by their class, dependent on hull type. The smallest interstellar vessel is the explorer, designed to hold a small crew of merchants or adventurers. (Shuttles and fighters are smaller, but they are at most involved only in interplanetary travel within the same solar system.) Next in size is the raider, a vessel designed specifically to target lone freighters or other likely prey or piracy ventures. For this reason, freighters are usually accompanied by escorts designed to defend against piracy.

Frigate.jpgLarger than an escort is the standard gunship, the frigate, a versatile vessel designed for limited engagements and boarding actions. Above the frigate is the galliot, a troopship specifically built to deliver a host of marines in a boarding action against a target vessel.

Destroyer.jpgNext are the destroyer, designed for all-out gun battles in space; and the assault lander, a troopship build to deliver a host of troops onto a planet.

Then there are the capital ships, the military behemoths of the space lanes. Cruisers and dreadnoughts are the bane of any invading fleet, with their massive arrays of guns and meson cannons.

CapitalShip.jpg



“What, by the moons of Czernobogu is that thing coming out of the jump gate, your Grace?”

“Absolution, my dear Lord Bogovi, Absolution.”


Ship Class Awkward Size Armor Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Power Storage/Range Supplies Cargo Maneuver
Shuttle/Fighter 1 50 25% 1 1 0-1 10-100 50 kgs per wk 500 kgs +2
Explorer 2 75 25% 5 2 2 400 100 kgs per wk 1 ton +1
Raider 3 100 25% 10 4 4 800 500 kgs per wk 5 tons +1

Medium Vessels

Ship Class Awkward Size Armor Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Power Storage/Range Supplies Cargo Manuver
Freighter/Escort/Yacht 4 125 50% 50 8 8 1,500 1 ton per wk 10 tons -1
Frigate/Gunship 5 150 50% 100 15 15 3,000 5 ton per wk 100 tons -1
Galliot/Destroyer 6 175 50% 500 30 30 6,000 10 ton per wk 1000 tons -2

Capital Ships

Ship Class Awkward Size Armor Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Power Storage/Range Supplies Cargo Manuver
Cruiser/Heavy Destroyer 7 200 75% 1,000 60 60 12,000 100 ton per wk 10K tons -3
Dreadnought/Colony Ship/Monitor 8 225 75% 5,000 125 125 25,000 1K ton per wk 100K tons -4
  • Range is in AU and at Drive 1 speeds (1x Lightspeed), anything faster uses more Energy per AU. See Hyperflight
  • A ship that takes it’s vitality % in current armor damage in a single hit automatically suffers internal ship damage.
  • Crits always cause a roll on the internal ship damage table. See Internal Ship Damage below.

Starship Grades

Lander.jpgA simple designation that describes the capabilities of the vessel when interacting within or without an atmosphere. Generally it’s expensive to outfit a ship to be able to land, fly and be spaceworthy, and the energy costs of building and launching a capital ship on-planet are prohibitive when it’s often easier (and cheaper in fuel) to build or repair in space.

Ship Grade Description Requirements
Void Ship is unable to withstand the burning forces of atmospheric reentry and the gravity of a nearby world and will tend to break up if forced into atmosphere, collapse under it’s own weight in a world’s gravity or simply lacks landing gear. Most Capital ships fall into this category. Life support (via Item of Power), usually a Hyperflight or Jump Drive (with the possible exception of fightercraft)
Atmospheric Ship is capable of entering a planet’s upper atmosphere, but cannot land, or may be capable of taking off and landing on a planet but is not spaceworthy enough to handle the Void. Often Medium vessels fall into this category. Available in short takeoff and landing (STOL) or VTOL configurations Flight. These vessels are classified as Flitters (air yachts) or Hoppers (boxy, flying cargo transports) or Skimmers (skim/float over ground).
Lander Ship can travel from a planet to the stars. Small to Medium ships are most likely to have this capability, and are often used to ferry personnel and goods from larger capital ships. It’s quite rare for a Capital ship to be capable of this, as most are built and designed in space, for space, and carry a compliment of lesser Landers. Levels of flight and Life support (via Item of Power), are required for Lander class. Not required, but useful is a level of Hyperflight.

Starship Supplies

Dinner.jpgCosts are 1 falcon per week x Crew + Passengers, with the following modifiers in Imperial Falcons, the standard accepted coinage in the galaxy. Every other kind of currency is considered a ‘talon’ and is worth 1/8th of a falcon. So 100 falcons is worth $800 (roughly), and $100 is only worth 12.5 falcons, though the costs of goods and services may vary greatly from planet to planet, (and strangely things tend to cost more for outsiders). On First Earth, most denizens of first-world nations like America are used to Good to Very Good quality food goods, including fresh produce on demand, easily available meat, and a variety of quality potables. What’s considered ‘Food’ to the rest of the galaxy however is closer to what one would be able to purchase during the Renaissance era, meat highly salted for travel, biscuits and hard tack and food similar to what sailors from that era would be used to. Alternatively, you could think about what modern astronauts eat: lots of dehydrated food, chemically heated that lasts forever and makes occasionally makes microwavable dinners seem like a feast. Planetside Terrans also have relatively easy access to Sumptuous foods (provided they can afford it) whereas not every other planet in the galaxy is so lucky, and when it comes to most starships, you only have what you bring onboard with you.

Supply Type Modifier
Gruel x0.5
Rations x1
Food x1.5
Good x2
Very Good x3
Sumptuous x4

Starship Crew

Crew.jpgBelow are some guidelines for crew types and salaries throughout the Galactic Imperium with adjustments are depending on who the employer is. Without sufficient crew to fully run a vessel of whatever class, a vessel’s captain will be forced to run around without assistance and manage the ship, something that on large, complicated vessels may as well be impossible, and perhaps even dangerous, particularly in combat.

Position Pay per Jump
Pilot 20
Navigator/Communications 10
Engineer 15
Assistant Engineer 7
Gunner 5
Security Guard 3
Purser 3
Butler/Server 2
Stevedore 1

Use the following adjustments depending on who the employer is:

Employer Adjustment
Noble house +10%
Sectus -10%
Small Guild -20%
Independent contractor -30%

A crewmember also gets free meals during the journey. Pilots, navigators and engineers usually share a two or four person stateroom. Other crewmembers share nine person rooms.

Starship Sensors

Sensors.jpgSensors require little attention except when trying to discover details, such as whether that ship exiting the jump gate is a frigate or a scout ship and if it’s a Sectus or a Guild ship.

Fine observation requires a Mind + Architecture check, however, subtract one from the target number for each AU (astronomical unit) distant the ship is. Sensors cannot detect anything past their ranges (One AU per rating).

Starships may have one or more of the following sensor arrays:


Sensor Type Tech Level Description Max Rating Cost Gadgets
Radar TL4 The most common type of sensors, using active radio wave transmissions. 5 500 +200 per rating. 1 Major + 1 Minor per rating
Laser radar TL5 Light-based radar, sending active light transmissions. While more information can be conveyed than with radar, it can be blocked or confused by debris, gas clouds or other obstructions. 5 750 +200 per rating. 1 Major + 2 Minor per rating
Densometer TL5 Measures the density of surrounding space. 5 750 +200 per rating. 1 Major + 1 Minor per rating
Infrared TL5 Reads the infrared spectrum for heat sources such as spaceship engines. 7 1000 +200 per rating. 1 Major + 3 Minor per rating
EMS TL6 Sensors which read a wide array of the electromagnetic spectrum. Particularly useful for those who wish to know when they are being scanned by another vessel. 8 3000 +200 per rating. 2 Major + 1 Minor per rating
Neutrinos TL7 The standard sensor array of the Second Republic, using neutrino beam transmissions. 10 5000 +500 per rating. 2 Major + 1 Minor per rating
Psi sensors TL8 Extremely rare, these psionic devices scan space for neural activity. These can only read people, not ships.These sensors do not require psychics to operate them. These are used as backup sensors only; a ship with Psi sensors alone would not be able to read large, lifeless space debris. 10 30,000 +200 per rating. 3 Major + 2 Minor per rating
Probes TL5 (or higher) Robotic probes were somewhat common during the Second Republic, but the post-Fall Sectus’ hate of golems and their ilk has made them extremely uncommon. Nonetheless, some ships can be found with a compliment of long or short range probes, designed to be shot forth at high speed to a particular destination (such as a planet’s atmosphere) and then relay information back from that point. Some probes can even return, but most are one-way. The usual range is 10-20 AU. The sophistication and durability of a probe depends on it’s Tech level and manufacture. Probes are rare ‘ammunition’. Most probes have Vitality 50%, Armor 1 (10 pts). N/A 50, X3 or x4 if returnable 1 Major per probe + 1 Minor per Tech Level above 5
Buoy TL5 Stationary buoys can be placed at various points in a solar system to quickly relay information to a ship designed to receive it’s coded message. Since this form of transmission is one way (from buoy to ship), it is meant to travel farther than most two-way sensors. The usual range is 20 AU, but a chain of buoys can be linked to send information farther. Such “Guard posts” (most buoys scan within a 3 AU region) are favored by those noble houses who can afford to lace their planetary systems with them (they are often destroyed by malcontents, pirates or rivals), and are especially favored by pirate-hunting Inquisitors. Most Buoys have Vitality 50%, Armor 2 (20 pts). N/A 300 1 Major per buoy
Emergency Signals: TL5 All ships can emit an emergency signal, an interplanetary call for help. This signal gives little information beyond the location of the troubled ship. The range is usually 20 AU. N/A N/A FREE

Note: Such sci-fi standbys as “life scanners” are unknown in the Galactic Imperium, although Desecrated are rumored to be able to detect life at long ranges. in addition, very little about a planet’s atmosphere can be detected without a sample of that atmosphere – which usually requires entering the atmosphere.

Starship Weaponry

StarshipWeapons.jpgThe Starship Weapons Chart gives the most commonly available ship-mounted weapons in the Galactic Imperium, though meson weapons and torpedoes are normally only available to the various military groups of the three main powers – no one wants an unaligned meson cannon running amok. These weapons can be purchased through the various sources, usually a Guild merchant or noble-house backed weaponsmith, but there are many independent vendors on the black market. Most starship weaponry requires the Heavy Weapons skill.

Starship Weapons Chart

Weapon Roll Damage Shots Rate Cost Gadgets Abilities Disabilities
Antipersonnel Blaster (1) ACV + Heavy Weapons 90 (Machine-Gun) N/A 2 1000 2 Major Accurate X4, Long Range
Anti-armor Med Blaster (2) ACV + Heavy Weapons 60 (Machine-Gun) N/A 1 1300 2 Major Accurate X4, Penetrating x5, Long Range X5
Lt Laser (3) ACV + Heavy Weapons 30 (Energy weapons) N/A 2 1000 2 Major Accurate X5, Burning, Spreading, Long Range X5 Low Penetration (dust), Unique Disability: Stopped by nebulae
Med Laser (3) ACV + Heavy Weapons 40 (Energy weapons) N/A 2 1500 2 Major Accurate X5, Burning, Spreading, Long Range X5 Low Penetration (dust), Unique Disability: Stopped by nebulae
Hvy Laser (3) ACV + Heavy Weapons 60 (Energy weapons) N/A 2 2100 2 Major Accurate X5, Burning, Spreading, Long Range X5 Low Penetration (dust), Unique Disability: Stopped by nebulae
Lt Blaster (4) ACV + Heavy Weapons 50 (Machine-Gun) N/A 1 2100 2 Major Accurate X4, Long Range X5
Med Blaster (4) ACV + Heavy Weapons 60 (Machine-Gun) N/A 1 3000 2 Major Accurate X4, Long Range X5
Hvy Blaster (4) ACV + Heavy Weapons 70 (Machine-Gun) N/A 1 4500 2 Major Accurate X4, Long Range X5
Gatling Blaster (4) ACV + Heavy Weapons 50 (Auto-Fire) N/A 3 (A) 5000 2 Major Accurate X4, Auto-Fire, Long Range X5
Lt Meson Cannon (4) ACV + Heavy Weapons 120 (Launcher) N/A 1 per 2 14000 3 Major Accurate X5, Long Range X5 Static, Slow
Hvy Meson Cannon (4) ACV + Heavy Weapons 200 (Launcher) N/A 1 per 3 30000 3 Major Accurate X5, Long Range X5 Static, Slow x2
Gatling Meson Cannon ACV + Heavy Weapons 100 (Auto-Fire) N/A 2 (A) 40000 3 Major Accurate X5, Auto-fire, Spreading, Long Range X5 Static
Rocket Pod ACV + Heavy Weapons 50 (Auto-Fire) 24 3 (A) 1500 (20) 2 Major Accurate X4, Auto-fire, Spreading, Long Range X5 Backblast, Limited Shots (24), Only Air Targets, Stoppable
Missile Rack ACV + Heavy Weapons 80 (Auto-Fire) 12 3 (A) 2000 (20) 2 Major Area Effect X5, Auto-Fire, Homing, Long Range X5, Penetrating Backblast, Limited Shots (12), Only Air Targets, Stoppable
Torpedo Launcher (5) ACV + Heavy Weapons 150 (Launcher) 2 1 4000 (40) 2 Major Accurate X4, Area Effect X3, Long Range X8, Penetrating X2 Limited Shots (2), Self Destruct, Slow, Static, Stoppable
Plasma Bombs (6) ACV + Heavy Weapons 200 (Grenades) 8 2 1000 (10) 2 Major Area Effect X8, Long Range X5 Limited Shots (8), Self Destruct, Only Ground Targets
(1) This is a ‘character-scale’ gun (not meant to kill, does not do 5X damage and will leave wounded unless dmg doubles HP)
(2) Armor is halved when defending against this weapon
(3) Starship Lasers suffer -10 dmg in dust clouds and -30 dmg in a nebula
(4) Starship Blasters and Meson Cannons ignore shields on rolls of 2-5
(5) Torpedoes may be shot down by any weapon except a torpedo, missile or rocket; at least three successes over the target number on Body Heavy Weapons. Torpedoes have 50% Vitality and 1 Armor (10pts)
(6) Ground targets only

Note: Costs are in Imperial Falcons. Costs in parentheses are for a single shot. All starship weapons except Torpedo Launchers and Meson Cannons can be mounted on a turret, allowing 360 degree fire. This adds 20% to the cost of the weapon.

Starship Energy Shields

Shields.jpgThe Ambrim family, under the patronage of House Dodekatheon, is one of the few manufacturers of commercially scalable spaceship energy shield generators in the Galactic Imperium. If it’s not an Ambrim, it’s military surplus or stolen, according to most. Most ships that can support shields have them, but operating a shield takes a lot of energy. Captains who value a shield more than speed or weaponry sometimes strip some parts of their ships to make the energy necessary to fuel a starship shield.

Shipboard energy shields operate similar to personal forcefields, however due to their size they can only be purchased at stretches of set power levels, rather than slowly and incrementally.

Shield Rating Shield Power Falcon cost Energy Cost Point Cost before PMVs
Vambrace 3 60 5000 10 2
Standard 5 100 10,000 20 10
Assault 6 160 15,000 30 24
Battle 10 200 20,000 100 40

NOTE: PMVs not shown above and must be purchased separately. Starship Shields are Items of Power.

PMV/Cost Area Duration
0 pinpoint Instantaneous
1 10 cm 1 round
2 1 m 5 rounds
3 10 m 1 min
4 100 m 10 min
5 1 km 1 hr
6 10 km 12 hr
7 100 km 1 day
8 1000 km 1 week
9 10k km 1 month
10 100 km 6 months
Starship Shield: Vambrace
Shield Power 60
IoP Level: 3
Cost per Level: 4
Starting IoP Cost: 12
Disabilities: -1 Activation Time (1 round)
-3 Restriction (Force Field Generator; Static)
-1 Detectable (Force Field; Visible, electrical signal)
-3 Burns Energy (3) 10 energy
-2 Unique Disability (As per Shield Only – But Area PMV restricted to Level of Awkward Size)
Cost before PMVs: 2 Points
Starship Shield: Standard
Shield Power 100
IoP Level: 5
Cost per Level: 4
Starting IoP Cost: 20
Disabilities: -1 Activation Time (1 round)
-3 Restriction (Force Field Generator; Static)
-1 Detectable (Force Field; Visible, electrical signal)
-5 Burns Energy (5) 20 energy
Cost before PMVs: 10 Points
Starship Shield: Assault
Shield Power 100
IoP Level: 6
Cost per Level: 4
Starting IoP Cost: 24
Disabilities: -1 Activation Time (1 round)
-3 Restriction (Force Field Generator; Static)
-1 Detectable (Force Field; Visible, electrical signal)
-6 Burns Energy (6) 30 energy
Cost before PMVs: 13 Points
Starship Shield: Battle
Shield Power 200
IoP Level: 10
Cost per Level: 4
Starting IoP Cost: 40
Disabilities: -1 Activation Time (1 round)
-3 Restriction (Force Field Generator; Static)
-1 Detectable (Force Field; Visible, electrical signal)
-10 Burns Energy (10) 100 energy
Cost before PMVs: 25 Points

Shield Overload

ShieldOverload.jpgBecause the hungry Void of space is constantly attempting to drain energy, Starship Shields are not dependable against all attacks. When a ship suffers more attacks in one turn than it’s protection rating, the shield may burn out. Roll 2d 10; on a roll of 13 or less, the shield continues to work. If the roll fails, the shield activates this turn, but will burn out afterwards. On a botch, the shield burns out and does not activate this turn. Once a shield burns out, it must be repaired by technicians, a task requiring 20 points above the technician’s target number on a sustained Mind + Electronics roll as the cold drain of the Void actively fights the technician’s attempts to restore power. One roll can be made per turn.

Frictionless Hull Coating

Coating.jpgSome ship owners who cannot afford shields or heavy armor have been known to coat their hulls with frictionless gel. This aids a ship immensely against meteors and other space debris. It also adds 20 to the ship’s armor against physical attacks and 10 against energy attacks. The ship also handles better in atmosphere, negating most penalties for high winds. This treatment is very rare, expensive, and – in most people’s opinions – not worth the cost.

It costs 1000 falcons for enough gel to coat one side of the ship (usually only the fore is coated). This gel must be repainted after about two weeks of journeying through space, as it has a tendency to lose its bond after long exposure to the Void.


Starship Jump Drives (Item of Power)

These are some examples of the unique items of power: Jump Drives based on the level of the Jumps listed associated with the Starship’s class (Classes are rated above as associated with levels of Awkward Size). Each ship class allows a certain number of Jumps, and affords number x200 fusion storage in it’s drive core. Each Jump costs 200 energy, however the drive core must be powerful enough for the class of ship it is jumping. In addition, a more powerful jump drive will not fit in a smaller ship than the awkward size rating associated by it’s class.

Starship Jump Drive: Explorer Class (2)
Item of Power 6×4 23 Difficult to Lose
Disabilities: Under Certain Conditions -1 Must be mechanically set (Mind + Mechanics)
Limited Functioning -1 Must be powered up (Mind + Electronics)
Restricted Use Must have dispensation from Sectus in Imperium space or face pentalties
Unique defect -3 Use without a Bleed Dampener may cause rampant occultism
Hyper Teleportation 17 Dynamic Powers Major or Large Categories
Disabilities: Activation Time -3 1 round (Can be interrupted)
Burns Cosmic Energy -5 200 Fusion per Jump
Detectable -2 Fusion exhaust, Divine, Cosmic
Under Certain Conditions -3 Requires Open Jump Gate, Active Jump Drive, Correct Ingress Key
One Aspect of Category -5 Points/Level (Can only teleport to specified gate locations)
Range 5×1 = 5 10,000 AU
Area 5×1 = 5 1km
Cosmic Energy Bonus 2×4 = 8 400 Fusion
Starship Jump Drive: Frigate/Gunship Class (5)
Item of Power 8×4 31 Difficult to Lose
Disabilities: Under Certain Conditions -1 Must be mechanically set (Mind + Mechanics)
Limited Functioning -1 Must be powered up (Mind + Electronics)
Restricted Use Must have dispensation from Sectus in Imperium space or face pentalties
Unique defect -3 Use without a Bleed Dampener may cause rampant occultism
Hyper Teleportation 19 Dynamic Powers Major or Large Categories
Disabilities: Activation Time -3 1 round (Can be interrupted)
Burns Cosmic Energy -5 200 Fusion per Jump
Detectable -2 Fusion exhaust, Divine, Cosmic
Under Certain Conditions -3 Requires Open Jump Gate, Active Jump Drive, Correct Ingress Key
One Aspect of Category -5 Points/Level (Can only teleport to specified gate locations)
Range 7×1 = 7 10,000 AU
Area 5×1 = 5 1km
Cosmic Energy Bonus 6×4 = 24 1,600 Fusion
Starship Jump Drive: Cruiser/Heavy Destroyer Class (7)
Item of Power 10×4 41 Difficult to Lose
Disabilities: Under Certain Conditions -1 Must be mechanically set (Mind + Mechanics)
Limited Functioning -1 Must be powered up (Mind + Electronics)
Restricted Use Must have dispensation from Sectus in Imperium space
Unique defect -3 Use without a Bleed Dampener may cause rampant occultism
Hyper Teleportation 21 Dynamic Powers Major or Large Categories
Disabilities: Activation Time -3 1 round (Can be interrupted)
Burns Cosmic Energy -5 200 Fusion per Jump
Detectable -2 Fusion exhaust, Divine, Cosmic
Under Certain Conditions -3 Requires Open Jump Gate, Active Jump Drive, Correct Ingress Key
One Aspect of Category -5 Points/Level (Can only teleport to specified gate locations)
Range 8×1 = 8 10M AU
Area 6×1 = 6 1km
Cosmic Energy Bonus 8×4 = 32 12,000 Fusion

Bleed Dampeners

A bleed dampener costs 1 Major Gadget.

Starship Combat

SpaceBattle.jpgCombat between starships is handled is handled differently than combat between characters, (and on a larger scale). Rather than rolling ACV and DCV, (unless they are using the ship’s guns, in which case ACV + heavy weapons is rolled) character’s make skill rolls to effect the other ship. Players may take as many combat actions as there are guns to fire, (and beings or programs to run them) generally, however there can be only one pilot. Often a co-pilot/navigator will be present to take over if anything happens to the pilot, or run and monitor supplementary systems and pass orders to the crew though. Most commonly a dedicated Engineer will be in the engineering section, monitoring the volatile fusion core, engine output and shield generators (if available) and usually the Engineer has at least one assistant. It’s also not uncommon to have dedicated gunners on the gun-deck during combat. Non-essential crew usually either readies to assist with fire control, hunkers down in staterooms, or slips on a space suit if things look like they’re going badly. Melee types may arm up for potential boarding actions (or defense of them).

Ships cannot engage in combat anywhere near their maximum speeds, as they would be travelling far too fast to ever target another ship. Even with Accuracy x10 any speeds approaching the speed of light make it impossible to target. For this reason, most engagements take place near the planet of launch (before the ship has accelerated enough to avoid assault) or at the destination (as the ship slows down to maneuver its landing or entry into a jump gate). Certain ships have tractor beams which can force a target to slow down enough to engage it. (See Tractor Beams, below).

Starship Pursuit

StarshipPersuit.jpgPursuit can only take place between ships which can detect each other with their sensors. Pursuit is treated as a sustained action. Each pilot rolls a Piloting check, and must beat their target number by a set number of points in a series of sustained rolls. Whoever collects the required points first is the winner: the pursuer closes on his prey and combat begins, or the prey outdistances the pursuer, leaving sensor range. The amount of points above target needed depends on the situation; the usual amount is 10. As a general rule, the number should be no less than the pursuing ship’s Sensors rating.

The amount of points over target number can be adjusted by various factors: if the pursuer is close to the prey when the chase begins, he may have to accumulate less points than his prey; a chase through an asteroid field may increase the amount the pursuer must roll (in addition to requiring Piloting checks to avoid colliding with an asteroid); and a run through a nebula may interfere with both ship’s Sensors, dramatically decreasing the amount the prey needs to escape. In addition, the GM may award faster ships a bonus to each roll they make.

StarshipEngineer.jpgA Good Engineer: Sometimes a starship needs to give ‘er all she’s got to escape a battle or to start one. The ship’s engineer can temporarily tweak his engines to give his ship the extra oomph it needs.

Each turn, roll Mind + Mechanics and add half (round up) the points above the target number to the ship’s pursuit point total. However this is dangerous in the hungry Void, for it strains the engines past their safe operating limit. If a critical failure is rolled, the engines shut down, along with weapon systems and shields. The ship immediately begins to drift. The engines will remain down for at least one hour.



Starship Combat Actions

Broadside.jpgOnce a ship has closed within fighting range of it’s prey (Less than one AU), it may fire it’s guns. If the other ship’s engines have been disabled or shut down, the attacker can attempt to board the ship. There are a number of actions that can be taken by pilots and crewmen:

Firing Guns (ACV): A pilot or gunner can fire one of the ship’s guns. Roll under Body and Heavy Weapons. On a successful hit, compare points above target to opposing Pilot’s dodge roll (if applicable). This takes an action to perform. Then check for damage percentage as per normal. Rather than adding the character’s ACV to the damage however, add any points above the target number to damage. Crits automatically cause a roll on the Internal Starship Damage table below.

  • With a successful Mind + Architecture check beforehand. It is possible to target specific ships systems, at the same penalties as are normally afforded to called shots.

Dodge (DCV): A pilot can maneuver his ship to avoid enemy fire. Make a Piloting check and contest the number of points between gunner and pilot. This takes an action to perform.

Characters and Starship Scale

StarshipHumanScale.jpgShips have a Vitality %, armor, shields, weapons and a number of other traits that define them using the SAS Base System.

However these traits are on a much larger scale than similar character traits. In most instances, it makes sense that a character’s weapon or special attack will be largely incapable of harming many spacecraft, or do so little damage as not to matter. When dealing with character scale situations (characters at a spaceport shooting a docked ship with blasters), figure that each point of ship armor is worth 5 points of character damage. (This is not true once inside the ship, see the Starship Internal Damage table for more).

In addition, starship weapons do their normal damage X5 when directed against characters. For instance, a light laser cannon, which normally does 30 damage (at 100% damage), will do 90 damage (at 100% damage) against characters (plus any points above that gained by the gun operator’s ACV rating).


Internal Starship Damage

When fighting with firearms and special ranged attacks aboard a starship, missed shots will hit walls or doors behind the target. First, determine what substance the wall is made from, using High-Tech Substances. If any shot has punctured the wall; see below for effects.

When taking damage from external sources that penetrate the hull or cause critical damage (a critical hit by an opposing ship) roll 1d6 and then roll accordingly on the appropriate table:

1-2 Bridge
3-4 Gun deck
5-6 Engineering
Starship internal Area Damage Effects Roll 2d 10

Bridge: Bridge shots may damage delicate controls.

2-3 Internal communications: No communication between this section and other decks and sections except by personal squawker until repaired.
4-5 Damage degrades deck walls. If inner wall, roll again (below). If an outer hull wall takes armor point damage, it is breeched – automatic systems will seal the room within one turn; anyone still in it after the doors close is exposed to vacuum, unless they are in working spacesuits.
- Inner wall:
- 1-5 No effect except to degrade wall armor points.
- 6-10 Short circuit or mishap: GM determines effect
- 11-14 Door jams until repaired with Electrical Engineering.
- 15-16 Waste removal duct breached: Those within 10 m. sprayed with waste.
- 17-19 Electrical fire: Those within 5 m. suffer 20 electrical damage while it burns (4 rounds).
- 20 Bad electrical wire: Those within 10 m. suffer 20 electrical damage while it burns. Automatic fire control systems shut off all power (including lights and life support) to the section within one turn; power is restored 4 rounds later.
6-9 Piloting controls: -4 penalty on all piloting checks until repaired with a Electronics check -2 to target number.
10-11 Minor explosion in piloting: Those within 10 m. suffer 10 fire damage. Ship cannot be controlled until repaired with an Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering check. 25 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
12 Major explosion in piloting: Those within 10 m. suffer 20 fire damage. Fire burns tor 4 rounds, heat damage to anyone within 10m. Ship cannot be controlled until repaired with an Electrical and Mechanical check. 30 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
13-16 Sensors: Ship flies blind until repaired with an Electrical and Mechanical check.
17-18 Minor explosion in sensors: Those within 10 m. suffer 10 fire damage. Ship is blind until repaired with an Electronics check. 25 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
19 Major explosion in sensors: Those within 10 ft. suffer 20 fire damage. Fire burns tor 4 rounds, dealing heat damage to anyone within 10 ft. Ship is blind until repaired with a Mechanical and Electrical check. 30 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
20 Life support systems: No more breathable gas is pumped into the room, and smoke and other hazardous gasses fill the room until repaired with a Mechanical and Electrical check. 50 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.

Gun Deck

2-3 Internal communications. See description in Bridge (above).
4-8 Damage degrades deck walls. See description in Bridge (above) tor possible effects.
9-12 Gun damaged: -4 penalty on all Heavy Weapons checks with that gun until repaired with a Mechanical and Electrical check. 25 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
13-15 Gun destroyed: That gun cannot be used until repaired with Mechanical and Electrical check. 30 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
16-18 Gun explosion: Those within 10m. of that gun suffer 20 fire damage. Gun is destroyed and cannot be repaired.
19 Chain reaction explosion: A gun explodes (as above) and causes an adjacent gun to explode on the following round. Those within 10 m. suffer 20 tire damage. Fire burns for 4 rounds, dealing 20 heat damage to anyone within 10 m. Guns cannot be repaired.
20 Life support systems. See description in Bridge (above).

Engineering

2-3 Internal communications. See description in Bridge (above).
4-8 Damage degrades deck walls. See description in Bridge (above) for possible effects.
9-12 Engines damaged: Ship can only accelerate/decelerate at half its speed until repaired with a Mechanical and Electrical check. 25 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
13-15 Engine explosion: Everyone in the engine room suffers 20 fire damage. Generator is damaged (as above). Ship cannot accelerate/decelerate until repaired with a Mechanical and Electrical check. 30 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
16-19 Engine breech: Everyone in the engine room suffers 20 Fire damage and 10 Radiation damage tor every round thereafter. Automatic fire control systems signal that the room will be voided of air and pressure within one round. Anyone still in the engine room after the doors dies, unless they are in working spacesuits, are immune to vacuum and radiation. Ship cannot accelerate/decelerate until repaired with a Mechanical and Electrical check. 50 points over the target number must be accumulated for each fix at one roll per round.
20 Life support systems. See description in Bridge (above).

Starship Computers

Each starship requires a computer, from the minor computer of a shuttle to the more sophisticated, multitasking machines of a frigate. The ships ‘out in the galaxy’ are assumed to have computers capable of handling all their standard requirements; getting them to do anymore than that requires reprogramming work. Below is a list of some extra programs that are available. Any of the computers listed in the Items are available as Starship programs also.

Ship Computer Description Cost Gadgets
Gunnery: There are a variety of computer programs which can aid under-manned ships, taking over gunnery positions. These automatic tracking systems have a target ‘ACV’ of 7, making them worse than most dedicated gunners, but better than an empty turret. 500 per gun. 1 major
Autopilot: The ship can pilot itself. It must be given a destination to which it will plot the best course. Giving it extra parameters helps (i.e. you need to get there faster rather than safer). Alternately, some autopilots simply have emergency landing routines whereby they will choose the destination themselves (the closest, safest landing or orbit). 1000 falcons for one type, 1500 for both. 1 or 2 major
Combat Pilot: A more advanced autopilot, this program can take over tight maneuvering. It is best for defensive maneuvers, but performs relatively well in offensive situations also. These programs have what amounts to a target ACV of 7 for attacking and DCV of 9 for dodging enemy fire. 3000 2 major
Mapping: The computer can map and remember multiple star systems, storing many details on those systems. Proscribed routes (for worlds such as Odium or the Jith homeworld are more expensive, and hard to find. 2000, +200 per system 1 major + 1 minor per system
Data Analysis: SEE LABS in SAS Base System Lab Levels cost 2000 +200 per level N/A
Jump routes: The computer has preprogrammed jump routes within its memory. Beware however, for the Hornblower’s Guild consider this illegal. They will actively seek to destroy such memory and usually the machine with it, if not the ship’s crew also. While it is harder to steal jump route data than a jump key, it takes longer to access the data, potentially. Costs vary with the route, but the black market cost of such a thing for very common jump routes, such as Capital Secundus to Criticus still costs… 2500 2 major + 1 minor per route

Please note: per pg. 36 of the SAS core rulebook, when attempting to access a computer built as an Item of Power, the character suffers a penalty to the Mind Stat check of -2 for each Level of the Item of Power.

Starship Life Support

Fortunately the SAS Base System covers this pretty well. It’s an Item of Power that makes air and protects against radiation, vacuum and a few other things. Standard life support systems would be built as follows:

Starship System: Life Support
IoP Level/Cost per lvl: 2/3 (6 pts)
Disabilities: -3 Restriction (Life Support System; Static)
-1 Reduction (-1 per lvl ; Life Support System; Internal, only protects people within the Ship)
-1 Special Requirement (Life Support Systems; After 3 months, system has to be flushed, cleaned, and restocked)
-2 Burns Energy (2) 5 energy
Adaptation Level/cost per lvl: 5 Adaptation (Cold, Heat, Pressure, Radiation, Vacuum)/1
Special Defense/cost per lvl: 5 Adaptation (Oxygen x2, Disease, Poison)/1
Total Cost: 1 Point

Starship Artificial Gravity

StarshipGravity.jpgUsing a variation of stolen Jith repulsor technology, artificial gravity is a standard feature in most Galactic Imperium ships. This does not mean that it works on all ships though, as the crews of poorly maintained ships often find themselves floating about after a severe shock to the ship. Artificial gravity is normally maintained by repulsor pads in the ceiling of ships, exerting a constant downward gravitic pressure on the passengers, just enough to mimic a comfortable level of gravity. This force can be altered for the preference of different races.

GravityPlateSchematic.jpgHorror stories abound about crews who were crushed by gravity systems. However this is not usually possible, as most systems are usually designed to go no higher than 2G’s. Some captains modify their ships, allowing them to raise gravity levels in some sections in retaliation for a boarding action, but these can malfunction and slay the ship’s crew. Some ancient ships have no artificial gravity and instead use forces of acceleration or centripetal rotation on long voyages to simulate gravity. In combat situations, these ships become very dangerous as quick maneuvers throw floating crew members into nearby walls.

Item Tech Level Falcon Cost BC Gadgets
Jith Repulsor Plate 8 10,000 10 4 major per section (sections = level of Awkward Size)

Tractor Beams

Certain large ships still bear a wonder of Second Republic technology: a tractor beam. These repulsor rays can latch onto another ship and force that ship to slow it’s speed to match that of the beam emitter or halt the ship entirely (usually for a boarding action). The beam’s action is not immediate; it’s prey is slowly brought down. Each turn the beam subtracts from the prey’s speed until either the desired speed is attained or the ship comes to a halt, held steady by the beam’s powerful field. Most beams subtract 1% of the captured ship’s speed in the first instants of contact (enough to tax the target’s artificial gravity generators and throw the crew about when the beam first hits their ship) and up to 10% of speed each turn afterward.

The known tractor beams are Second Republic relics, and few of them can fit into a ship smaller than a frigate. Most beams were destroyed during the Fall of the Second Republic. The Primacy Wars left the Emperor and the Sectus with the lion’s share of the surviving snares. They are favorites of the Inquisition.

Clamp, Magnetic and Fusion Bonding

CargoClamps.jpgWhen Posthumans first took to the spaceways, they hauled goods in the interior of their crafts to keep them safe. As armor plating and radiation shielding improved, cargo began to be carried on the exterior of ships, clamped down by powerful hydraulic arms and locking pins. As technology steadily improved during the Diaspora and Second Republic, alternate methods arose which allowed cargo to be picked up and dropped off more quickly. The first innovation was magnetism TL5. Electromagnets form the surface of most cargo struts with magnetic bonding, using their massive force to attach metal crates to the struts. This works well with most cargos, but cargos containing very sensitive electronics are often disturbed by the massive magnetic fields produced.

The solution to this problem was fusion bonding TL6. Like the molecular bonds of a mollecule, this relied on the sharing of electrons between the cargo strut and the cargo container. This process took hours when first invented, but eventually allowed cargo to be attached in less than five minutes with fewer workers. Fusion bonding is much rarer than magnetic bonding, since few can maintain or manufacturer the technology today.

Escape Pods

EscapePods.jpgWell maintained ships usually have a compliment of escape pods for a full crew and passenger load, but with the less well maintained ships this is not always the case. There are relatively few manufacturers of life boats in the Galactic Imperium and among the various technologically savvy races of the galaxy, leaving many ships in the predicament of having less escape pods than needed, or none at all. Most military ships have a full compliment, as do most noble ships, but it is not uncommon for a freighter to only have enough room in it’s escape pods for half it’s crew. Some crews have taken to bolting landers to their starships to serve as life boats instead. This seldom works out, as most crews do not have time to power up the lander before the mother ship meets an untimely demise that takes the lander with it.

Escape pods are usually built in five-man increments, ranging from five-man escape pods to 20-man escape pods. These pods usually hold enough food for a full passenger load for two weeks, in addition to tents, a small handgun and an emergency beacon. This beacon has a range of about 20 AU and activates as soon as the escape pod is jettisoned from the mother ship. Most escape pods travel at 5% of the speed of light. Escape pods are considered to have a Vitality of 20 and 40 armor, with a Maneuverability of -4. They usually have a range of about 10 AU. Escape pods cannot be fitted with a jump drive.

An escape pod can be jettisoned within one combat round after every one has boarded. The escape pod, equipped with an emergency landing autopilot, then locates the nearest habitable area (it usually has radar sensors rated at 3 – which is 3 AU), usually another ship or a planet. The crew of the pod may refuse certain destination choices, such as an enemy ship. The escape pod’s computers look for the most basic life requirements, meaning that the planet it decides upon may be just marginally habitable. These computers of course are prone to failure in the Void. Some have been known to fly straight into a star or crash into another ship.

Starships

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