Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I absolutely must come up with some tailor-made encounter tables for my subsectors, which means that I absolutely must come up with a brace of local-color ships to populate them. I want to create more texture, but without adding undue complexity to the game.

The standard designs work fine, don't get me wrong. It makes sense that throughout human space there will be a lot of common designs. These are ships whose classes have been known for centuries: they're like Cogs,
Vlieboten, Galleys: individual features will differ from ship to ship, but you look at the ship's capabilities, basic size and configuration, and you'll know the basic class. 100 tons? It's a courier, or something very similar. If it's 200 tons, streamlined, and modestly powered, it's a free trader regardless of its interior layout. 400-1200 tons, fast and long-legged with full hardpoints? Cruiser.

I'll have to think about other stuff, though: Fast fighting ships with minimal jump? Lower tonnage fast warships? The big, slow stuff? Small ships with long jump capabilities?

Looking at my spread of shipbuilding worlds, I should be able to come up with a batch of basic classes without worrying about details. And really, for encounters, you don't need that much, do you? Tonnage, Drives, Computers, Hard Points. Generic performance so I don't have to sweat about computer loads.

Of course, I'll probably go and stat them out all to hell and back, but whatever.

Corsairs, for example: never liked the one in S4. Historically, wet-navy corsairs were Galleys. Coast-huggers, minimal sail, mainly oar-driven but fast. And government funded... Traveller "galleys" might be 400-1000 tons, m3 or 4 with a jump of 1; perhaps fuel enough for two jumps, to be able to skip a parsec into the "dark" to avoid pursuit. Plenty of cargo space, lots of room for prize crews and fighting men (note to self: how cheaply can a 400 ton hull be kitted out to be able to knock over the average merchantman, and escape? Long jump not required; speed and economy is.)

J-2 merchants: lots of parts of MTU do seem to call for them, simply because they can't be served by short-jump ships. Fart Raiders Far Traders as written are adventurer-yachts, though: something more economical is needed.

Small craft/ system ships: C-D-E ports won't have a lot of these: B&A worlds should. Fuel scows. Outsystem frieghters.

Maybe I need to go crazy with dice and see if I can rationalize what comes up. J1, M6, 800 tons. What's that for?


Blogger Craig A. Glesner said...

Insystem rescue, bulk transport, or perhaps a local Navy cruiser?

2:55 PM  
Blogger Festeria said...

Those fit! Especially in terms of sticking with the small-ship universe.

Ironically, I'm starting to think that preserving a small-ship-feel TU is actually easier in a High-Guard setting: The worlds with BIG shipbuilding budgets in a small-ship TU create sky-darkening hordes of 2000 ton cruisers, which are therefore so common as to make the Type T a silly thing. (Heck, even if a pop A planet blows 99% of its budget on half-million-ton behemoths, they've still got enough left over for a sky-darkening horde of T-ships...) but at least the bulk of the fleet gets concentrated on the big bullies that the PCs never have to run into...

3:23 PM  

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