Starships Main Computers Jumps Shields
Armor Cost Length & Width Supplies
Artificial Gravity Crew Life Support Tech Levels
Builder Escape Pods Maneuver Tractor Beams
Cargo Grade Modifications Types
Character Scale History Names Vitality
Class Hyperflight (Speed) Passengers Weaponry
Combat Internal Damage Sensors

Firstly, In order to build a starship (Out of character) use the SAS Base System. I have moved most of the items that used to fill this loooong page into their own sections if they are part of the Starship Description. (Notice those are now links). :)

Starships.jpgStarships are built to last, and many of the ships plying the jump gates in the Galactic Imperium during the current era 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.

Shipyard.jpgOut in the alien sectors of the Milky Way Galaxy, such as the Zon-Gra Protectorate, many Starships are passed down from generation to generation, modified and repaired and added-on to, or cannibalized for space station or colony parts if they are deemed irreparable.

Indeed starship manufacturing is rare, even in those areas that are not stymied by the repressive anti-tech regime of the Sectus due to the exorbitant costs of production and nearly one hundred years of unending war the Zon-Gra have experienced from the invading alternating forces of the Ka’Hadan and Chaldathan Royal Swarm. New starships that come off of the line are almost immediately pressed into direct military service, (Particularly in the case of the militaristic Rondi Confederation), often without a thorough shakedown period, and sometimes not even fully finished, all to keep the unending hordes of invaders at bay.

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.

What Came Before

Plans.jpgI’ve modified the existing SAS Base System to account for high-tech materials used in interstellar Starships, making them stronger, and eliminating/simplifying the Armor/Hit Points aspect of it and adding a few things. Most of what a Starship is is based on it’s Base Level, (1 Major Gadget per level) which governs it’s Awkward Size level.

  • Each Level of Base still costs 1 Major Gadget and provides 1 level of Awkward Size.
  • Unlike Buildings, Starships are ALL armor, as there’s no need for two sets of stats for a ship, and you get a lot more of it for your buck, because Starship scale operates at 5x normal.
  • Starships have a shock value based on % of remaining HP. I call this “Vitality”.
  • I codified the number of Crew vs. Passengers on starships, rather than the general range of Capacity. You have to have enough Crew to pilot a given Class of ship, or characters simply cannot manage it..
  • I’ve included Jumps (based on Jump Drive IoP) for traversing Hyperteleportation Jump Gates
  • I’ve included Cosmic Power Storage/Range increments, because Starship Engines
  • I’ve included a Supplies requirement for feeding everyone on board a vessel.
  • Added Cargo capacity, because looting can get ridiculous in space.
  • I’ve added a small trade off for massive ships, a plus or minus to maneuverability based on Awkward Size rating.

Since it may be useful for folks to see what the existing base system was, and how buildings work in the system:

Silver Age Sentinels Buildings (SAS Core Book pg. 138)

TABLE 3-12: Buildings
Phone Booth 1 5
Wood Shed 2 10
Three-Bedroom House 3 15
Small Office Building (6 Floors) 4 20
Mid-Sized Office Building (12 Floors) 5 25
Large Office Building (24 Floors) 6 30
Skyscraper (50 Floors) 7 35

This is expanded on by the SAS Base System proposed in the Shields of Justice book.

Silver Age Sentinels Base Types TABLE 3-1 BASETYPES (Shields of Justice: The Heroes Almanac pg. 66)
Each Level automatically includes the Capacity, Awkward Size, and Armour Rating detailed in Table 3-1. A base is empty at this stage, until the characters furnish it properly.

Each Level of Base costs 1 major Gadget.

Type of Building Capacity Awkward Size Armour Rating Health / {[ Hit ]} Points
Phone Booth 1 1 5 35 / {[ 20 ]}
Wood Shed 2-5 2 10 60 / {[ 35 ]}
Three-Bedroom House 6-10 3 15 85 / {[ 50 ]}
Small Office Building (6 Floors) 11-50 4 20 110 / {[ 65 ]}
Mid-Sized Office Building (12 Floors) 51-500 5 25 135 / {[ 80 ]}
Large Office Building (24 Floors) 501-5000 6 30 160 / {[ 95 ]}
Skyscraper (50 Floors) 5,001-10,000 7 35 185 / {[ 110 ]}

And for ease, here’s the standard, by the book, awkward size defect from pg. 92 of the core book:

Awkward Size
Awkward Size extends to Level 10 following the Slow Magnitude Chart, starting at 2.5 to 4 metres tall (x2 height; Level 1) increasing to 2000 metres tall (1000x height; Level 10). Mass increases proportionately as a cubed function of the height multiplier, starting at 0.8 tonnes (Level 1) increasing to 27,000 tonnes (Level 5), and finally to 1 billion tonnes (Level 10). An elephant, for example, would be Awkward Size Level 2.

Again, that was the old system.

…and now I give you the new and improved Starship Class system.

Describing Your Starship


In addition to the SAS Base System stats that have been modified into the Starship Class system, 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. Based on the Awkward Size level.
Width: Width of the ship at it’s widest point. Based on the Awkward Size level.
Crew: Minimum crew needed to operate the ship. This is based on the Starship 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).
Passengers: Number of passengers the ship was designed to comfortably allow. This is based on the Starship Class of the ship.
Cargo (Internal): Cargo contained inside the ship, measured in metric tonnes. This is based on the Starship Class of the ship.
Cargo (external) Cargo attached to the hull or cargo struts (metric tons).
Speed (Hyperflight): 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 Fusion Energy each jump). This is based on the Starship Class of the ship. 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.
Maneuver: A bonus or penalty applied to the pilot’s Piloting skill based on Starship Class.
Armor: The armor rating of the ship’s hull. Modified from the SAS Base System to the Starship Class system.
Shields: Type of Shield, if any.
Vitality: The ‘shock value’ a ship can take before it suffers internal damage. Based on Starship Class
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). Based on Starship Class
Description: This is a general description of the craft and it’s common uses.
History: Interesting historical facts about the craft.
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.

alert-icon-red-11.png(Click on the link here for a a Starship Dummy Template to use in building your spacecraft that you can use)

Basic Starship Structure

Starship_Structure.jpgThink of a Starship like a train, with each of the levels of Base like boxcars on a train. (Each boxcar is a base level, and base levels cost a Major gadget per level). You can buy up to 8 levels. Every level you buy adds another module of space to put things in, and ALL the boxcars get larger, more heavily armored and can each individually fit more people and things in them, and you have one more boxcar. You can put TONS of things in your boxcars, like recreation areas, a war room, a training arena, barracks, a motor pool, a library, cargo space, extra security features, fast engines, mounts and weapons, energy shields, even a prison. Each level of Base you buy, puts the starship into a new Starship Class that has other secondary effects as well, such as how far it can travel, and how easily it can be maneuvered.

However, there are three key areas of every starship: The bridge or cockpit, the engineering area, which contains the ship’s power plant, and the gun deck. A starship cannot do without a cockpit or engine area. Plenty of ships don’t carry armaments however, and so a gun deck is the least important, however, if a ship is damaged above a certain level of it’s armor, it will begin to take internal damage in one of those three areas, regardless of how many levels the ship has. Between each ‘boxcar’ is a bulkhead. The more levels you have, the more bulkheads between one end of the train or the other. All bulkheads do is save some of the passengers from the harm that can befall them when internal damage causes an explosion one boxcar and they happen to be in another.

Building a Starship

You can find, buy or make your own starship, each with it’s own set of difficulties and requrements. You can salvage parts from one starship to put into another, and you can beg, trade for, borrow or steal them. Considering there are thousands of potential iterations of ships however, what’s stock for one class and style of ship might be a luxury for many others. Lots of starships have life support and sensors, for example, but few have shields, and vastly less have tractor beams.

Starship Salvage

Spaceship_Salvage.jpgSalvaged ships are worth a number of Major gadgets equal to their base level, assuming the ship is physically intact (if not, there may be some negotiation needed). Many Items of Power (such as starship engines) can be plugged in whole cloth into another ship, or converted to add energy to an existing shield or engine core generator. If the engineer is savvy enough. The exception to this is if the Tech Level is far too low, there might be a cost in gadgets to convert the engine for use in a higher or lower TL. Similarly, You can mount a gun from one ship onto another of a similar size, but there are limits. Don’t bother trying to mount a capital ship’s heavy meson canon onto a fighter. That’s literally not going to fly. That said, there’s a long, proud history of many races for thousands of years, shoehorning one kind of tech onto another kind of ship using a hodge-podge of spit-and-bailing-wire work-arounds, power conversions, Multi-Gloo™ and duct-taped monstrosities. System-wise, any difference of two class sizes or more may not be allowed. Better to sell the incompatible part for a more ideal one.

Customizing a Starship

Per SAS Base System

There are many ways to improve upon a lair, of course. The following options can be added to enhance a base’s features and utility. Most enhancements cost an amount of minor or major Gadgets. Not only can a character replace one major Gadget with four minor Gadgets, but four minor Gadgets can likewise be traded up for one major Gadget.

You can browse the menu above, or check out the index of Modifications for your Starship.

Happy flying!



Silver Age Beyond brightwyrm