- Space Travel
- Building Starships
- Building A starship
- Sidebar: Starship Scale
- Base Frame
- Sidebar: Power Budget
- Power Core
- Other Systems
- Crew Quarters
- Defensive Countermeasures
- Hyperspace Engines
- Expansion Bays
- Sidebar: Linking Weapons
- Refitting and Upgrading Starships
No one knows which world first achieved spaceflight, but by the beginning of the Modern era, nearly every world had some form of interplanetary travel. For some, this was purely magical: powerful spells or artifacts, or quick jaunts through other planes of existence allowed travelers access to their intended world. Yet for others, the airless void of space was just another sea to be crossed, which they did in a variety of craft, from magical to mechanical and from biological to divine.
As technology improved, travel time between worlds dropped from months and years to days, and the optimal routes between planets became crowded with spacecraft. Yet even in this new age of space flight, voyages beyond the solar system remained rare; traveling to even the nearest star at conventional speeds would take generations. While a few starships had drives capable of circumventing this obstacle, all relied on extremely expensive magical technology, often controlled by churches or other organizations. From Helldrives to Shadow engines to the prayer-fueled cores of Cathedralships, most of these technologies not only took the ship through other planes but also operated with direct divine assistance, and thus always came with a hefty price. While other drives had been theorized—drives that could fold space, create stable wormholes, or otherwise bend the rules of physics.
Regardless of the mechanism, at the same instant, thousands of cultures across the Plane received the same information: blueprints for a new type of starships drive —one capable of cheaply and efficiently shortening the distance between stars.
A new god revealed itself, claiming to have granted the knowledge as a blessing to its new mortal children. Formerly three minor gods of machines and robotics, now networked together into a single entity, the divine collective claimed to have peered through the substrata of reality and discovered a previously unknown plane of existence. Called Hyperspace, this plane could be reached only via technology—not magic—and would allow mortals to cheaply and easily travel between points anywhere in the galaxy. In granting this discovery to the world, the new god became one of the most powerful entities in the multiverse overnight: The new god of interstellar travel.
Like earlier interstellar drives, Hyperspace engines operate by jumping to another plane of existence and then back to a different point on the Plane, thus never actually running up against the hard limit presented by the speed of light. In the past, that had meant using powerful magic and traveling to places like Heaven, Hell, the Maelstrom, or the Fey Plane—places inhabited by creatures and gods with sometimes inconvenient attitudes and appetites. Hyperspace, on the other hand, is a different type of dimension: a void of swirling color without substance, a mostly empty place of mutable laws, thought by some to be the quantum foam underlying all creation. While magic still functions in Hyperspace, only technology can pierce the membrane between it and the rest of reality, which keeps any other deities or organizations from monopolizing the place.
Travelling through Hyperspace does come with a catch. Every time a Hyperspace engine is used, a tiny portion of a random plane is torn from its home and added to Hyperspace, set to float there for eternity. The farther the jump, the larger the chunk of material, which sometimes appears near the jumping ship, adding an element of risk: you never know when a long jump might tear away a chunk of Hell and leave you flying through a cloud of furious devils. Even those making safely measured jumps might encounter strange beasts trapped there by previous travels. Why the technology involves this side effect is unknown, though some conspiracy theorists believe that the ever-increasing size of Hyperspace—and the corresponding shrinking of the other planes of existence.
Whether they’re patrol craft or battlecruisers, all starships are propelled through space by thrusters. The exact workings of these engines vary from starships to starships—some are technological, while others are a blend of magic and machine.
See the navigate task of the Piloting skill for information about using that skill to plot a correct course. Determine the approximate distance you wish to travel and roll using the travel times below to see how long it takes you to reach your destination, but note that the Game Master is the final arbiter of travel times and may shorten or lengthen them as she desires for the needs of the campaign.
Start Thrusters (1 Minute per Size Category): Though this is rarely an issue, a starships’s thrusters need a short amount of time to warm up before they are ready to be used. Most hangars and space docks require that a starships’s thrusters be deactivated after it lands or docks. However, a starships in orbit always has its thrusters active. A starship also needs to deactivate its thrusters to use its Hyperspace engine (see below) —this requires no time.
Travel Point-to-Point on a Planet (1d4 Hours): Large and smaller starships can operate in a planet or planetoid’s atmosphere, and can travel between two areas on the same planet within reason (a starships isn’t generally equipped to be submerged underwater, for instance). The travel time depends on the distance between the two points. This amount of time can also be used to represent traveling between two vessels in different orbits around the same planet.
Go into Orbit or Land (1d2 Hours): It takes only a short amount of time for a Large or smaller starships to lift off from a planet’s or planetoid’s surface and enter orbit, or to make a controlled landing from orbit. Huge and larger starships can be placed in orbit around only a planet or planetoid, and the crew requires a shuttle or other conveyance to reach the surface.
Reach Satellite (1d8 Hours): From planetary orbit, it takes slightly longer for a starships to reach one of that planet’s satellite bodies (or vice versa) than it would take to land. This travel time depends partly on the size of the planet and the satellite’s orbit.
Travel In-System (1d6+2 Days): Traveling between two planets in the same star system fluctuates based on those planets’ relative positions at the time of travel.
Travel Between Systems: Traveling between two star systems via conventional thrusters is a daunting affair, taking decades at the very least. Only large colony starships or vessels with crews in suspended animation attempt such a journey.
Using Hyperspace technology differs from ordinary astrogation in that the distances between worlds are less important than the Difficulty of correctly targeting the jump. Within a given Solar system, jumps are relatively quick and easy, though this method is only Moderately faster than flying between worlds using conventional thrusters. Outside of a given system, Hyperspace tech divides the galaxy into two sectors: Close and Deep. While Close Space worlds tend to be closer to the galactic center and the systems of Deep Space tend to be farther out, the true difference between the regions lies in the density of so-called “Hyperspace beacons.” These mysterious objects, sometimes spontaneously generated and sometimes placed by priests of Triune, help navigation systems orient ships in Hyperspace. While placing a single Hyperspace beacon on a world isn’t enough to convert a Vast world to Close Space status, placing many in that general region of space can cause the shift, and thus it’s possible to find pockets of Close Space worlds all the way out to the galactic rim, as well as uncharted zones considered part of Deep Space near the galaxy’s core.
When traveling to a world through Hyperspace, determine whether the destination is in the same system, Close Space, or Deep Space . The distance between the start and end of your journey doesn’t matter, nor which category of space you’re starting from: traveling from Deep Space to a Close Space world is no more difficult than between two Close Space worlds. Roll using the travel times below, then divide the result by your starships’s Hyperspace engine rating to determine how long it takes you to reach your destination. For example, a starships with a Hyperspace engine rating of 2 traveling to a world in Deep Space would roll 5d6 and divide the result by 2. If you rolled 15, then the trip would take 7-1/2 days. Note that you never round down with Hyperspace travel rolls, since these partial days can be extremely important when multiple spacecraft are racing each other to a destination. Additionally, since Hyperspace is a plane that you’re traveling through, it is possible to pause midjump, and even to land on one of the floating chunks of terrain or engage in starships combat. Time spent stopped in this manner does not bring you closer to your destination, and thus does not count toward your required travel time. Days spent in Hyperspace are no different for the crew than days spent in normal space, and thus they can craft items, heal, and take other actions as normal.
While traveling through Hyperspace, a starships uses its conventional thrusters. For a starships to engage its Hyperspace engines to either enter or exit Hyperspace, it must remain stationary with its conventional thrusters turned off for 1 minute.
Travel In-System (1d6 Days): Jumping between two points in the same Solar system is Moderately faster than moving between them in real space, and is so short as to carry only a 1% chance of random encounters in Hyperspace.
Travel to Central Station (1d6 Days): Jumping to Central Station always takes only 1d6 days, thanks to the Starstone.
Travel to Close Space (3d6 Days): Close Space contains most of the worlds colonized and contacted so far by their explorers, but there are still thousands of Close Space worlds yet to be investigated. Jumps to Close Space worlds rarely carry more than a 10% chance of a random encounter while in Hyperspace.
Travel to Deep Space (5d6 Days): Largely unexplored, the millions of Vast worlds are significantly more difficult to get to than Close Space, and the risk of a random encounter in Hyperspace can be anywhere from 25% to as high as 50%.
Travel beyond the Barrier: While other galaxies are known to exist, the distances between them are so incredibly large that there have yet to be any confirmed instances of intergalactic travel using Hyperspace technology. Whether this is due to the extreme travel times involved, limits to the reach of Hyperspace itself, or dangers encountered in Hyperspace during such attempts remains unknown.
Starships and their base frames are described using stat blocks that include information about how they move, the size of their crews, and more. When you’re reading a starships or base frame stat block, the statistics and definitions below define its capabilities. A starships sheet is provided on the XXXDownloads pageXXX.
Name and Tier: This is the designation of the starships and its power level. starships of different tiers vary to a greater degree in terms of power and abilities than monsters whose Challenge Rating (CR) differs by a similar amount.
Size Category and Frame: This describes the overall size of the vessel (see Starship Scale). A starships’s size provides a modifier to its Armor Class and Target Lock (see below). This entry also notes the base frame of the starships.
Speed: This is the number of hexes the starships can move using most pilot actions.
Maneuverability: A starships’s maneuverability is rated clumsy, poor, average, good, or perfect. This is generally tied to the mass and size of the starships, and it both indicates how agile the starships is in space and determines the minimum number of hexes the starships must move before it can turn.
Hyperspace: This is a starships’s Hyperspace engine rating. When determining how long it takes a starships to travel to a location through Hyperspace, divide the die roll by this number. If this entry is absent, the starships can’t travel into Hyperspace.
Armor Class (AC): This value is used when determining whether direct-fire weapons (see Type) hit a starships. AC is calculated based on the ship’s size, maneuverability, and physical armor, as well as the pilot’s number of ranks in the Piloting skill.
Target Lock (TL): This value is used when determining whether tracking weapons (see Type) hit a starships. TL is calculated based on the starships’s size, maneuverability, and defensive countermeasures, plus the pilot’s number of ranks in the Piloting skill.
Hull Points (HP): This is the total amount of damage a starships can take before it becomes inoperative. A starships with 0 Hull Points isn’t destroyed, though many of its systems are no longer functioning and it is no longer a threat to its enemies. In a base frame stat block, the Hull Points entry also lists the HP increment, which is the number of Hull Points a starships with that frame automatically gains when its tier increases to 4 (and every 4 tiers thereafter).
Damage Threshold (DT): If an attack deals less damage less than this value, that damage isn’t counted against the ship’s total Hull Points. Only Huge or larger ships have a Damage Threshold, and it matters only when such a starships’s shields are depleted.
Critical Threshold (CT): Whenever the total amount of damage that has been dealt to a starships’s Hull Points reaches a multiple of this value, one of its systems takes critical damage. This value is always one-fifth of the starships’s maximum number of Hull Points.
Shields: In a starships stat block, this lists the ship’s shield system and the Shield Points (Sp), which represent the damage shields can take before they’re depleted. Shield Points are assigned to particular quadrants (forward, port, starboard, or aft). These quadrants correspond in orientation to the firing arcs shown in the diagram.
Attacks: A starships has four firing arcs: forward, port, starboard, and aft (see the diagram). Most nonturret weapons can fire only in the firing arc where they’re mounted; turret weapons can be fired in any arc. The attack entries list the various weapons mounted on the ship that can fire in each of the arcs. Each weapon also lists its damage, range, and other special properties.
Mounts: In a base frame stat block, this entry lists the class of weapon that can be mounted on the starships.
From the smallest transport shuttles to the largest, battle-ready dreadnoughts, starships are an important part of this game. They defend orbital stations from raids by space pirates, engage enemy fleets during massive interstellar conflicts, and explore the deepest reaches of space. But at their simplest, they allow the characters to travel the stars in search of adventure. The following section outlines the process of building a starships from scratch and customizing it to perfectly fit your needs.
Power Core: This lists a starships’s power core or cores and the power core units (PCU) it produces.
Hyperspace Engine: The starships’s Hyperspace engine, if any, is listed here.
Systems: This entry lists a starships’s major systems, such as armor, defensive countermeasures, sensors, and weapons.
Expansion Bays: This entry lists any expansion bays—cargo spaces that can be used for special purposes.
Minimum and Maximum Crew: In a base frame stat block, these entries note the minimum and maximum number of characters who can take actions on that vessel during starships combat. Larger starships use teams that report to a higher officer who performs an assigned role in starships combat (see Large and Small Crews for more about large crews). A starships without its minimum crew can’t be operated.
Complement: In a starships stat block, this section lists the total size of the crew aboard that ship.
Crew: In a starships stat block, this section lists those filling various roles in combat, as well as their bonuses to skills used during starships combat and number of ranks in those skills. Any modifiers listed earlier in the stat block are accounted for here. If a starships has teams supporting officers who fill roles, this entry also lists the number and size of teams. This section is listed only for ships under the GM’s control—PCs can perform their own actions aboard starships they control; for more on these actions, see Starship Combat.
Special Abilities: Any unique actions or qualities a starships has due to its crew or its equipment are listed here.
Cost: In a base frame stat block, this lists the frame’s Build Point cost. Build Points (BP) are an abstract resource used for creating and upgrading starships.
Building A starship
Regardless of starships’ size and purpose, they’re all created using the same process. GMs and players alike can use the following steps to create an incredibly diverse array of vessels, from sleek science ships and nimble skirmishers to heavily armored combat frigates. Alternatively, you can use the prebuilt sample starships detailed later.
While it’s possible to run a game that doesn’t involve starships at all, this game assumes that PCs have access to a starships. Whether it was built from scrap, received from a generous benefactor, or purchased with an exorbitant loan, the PCs’ starships serves as a mobile base of operations, a means of reaching distant stars, and a defense against hostile alien vessels. Often, the PCs’ first starships is designed by the GM and can be upgraded or even replaced as the characters gain experience. However, some GMs might allow the PCs free reign over their starships’s creation, letting them feel a sense of true ownership over the starships that will accompany them throughout the campaign. Either way, a starships’s power level is based on the PCs’ Average Party Level (APL)—the characters’ average character level. See Refitting and Upgrading starships for information on how to adjust a starships’s capabilities when the characters’ APL changes.
When creating a starships, follow these steps.
Step 1: Conceptualize. Start by deciding what type of starships you are designing, with a general idea of its purpose and required crew size. If you are creating a starships to be used by PCs, make sure that all the PCs can fit within the vessel! Some of the choices you make later might depend on your overall concept.
Step 2: Determine tier and Build Points. If you are creating a PC starships, determine the characters’ APL by adding together the characters’ levels and dividing by the number of characters. That number is their ship’s tier. If designing enemy starships, decide the Difficulty of the encounter (see Designing Starship Encounters) and choose the enemy ship’s tier. Once you know the tier of the ship, consult Table 9–1: Starship Base Statistics to determine the number of Build Points you can spend to create the starships. Note that a starships receives a boost to its Hull Points equal to its HP increment at tiers 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
Step 3: Select a frame. Each starships is built upon one of a variety of frames that determines its size, maneuverability, crew complement, weapon mounts, and other basic statistics. Each frame costs a certain number of Build Points; see Base Frame below for more information.
Step 4: Select a power core. A starships’s power core determines its overall power available (listed in power core units, or PCU), so you should spend Build Points on it first. This amount of power can be used as a kind of budget when installing other systems, such as thrusters and weapons—see Power Budget for more suggestions.
Step 5: Select thrusters. A starships without a means of propulsion is nothing more than a floating target (or an inert hunk of metal on a planet’s surface), so spending Build Points on the starships’s thrusters should be your next priority. Thrusters are listed by starships size and speed (in hexes) during combat.
Step 6: Select other systems. Next, spend your remaining Build Points on all the other systems you wish to have on your starships. To be effective in combat, a starships needs armor, defensive countermeasures, shields, and weapons. If you wish to travel to locations outside of your home star system, it also needs a Hyperspace engine. Other, more optional purchases include upgrades to the starships’s computers, expansion bays, security, and sensors. (See Other Systems.)
Step 7: Add details. Finally, once all these choices have been made, you should give your starships a name, determine its relevant statistics (such as its AC and TL), and add any other details (such as quirks, physical description, and so on).
|Tier||Starship Build Points||Special|
Each starships has a base frame that determines its size, maneuverability, starting weapon mounts, hull strength, room for expansion, and other capacities. Although two ships that use the same frame might look radically different, they both have some of these base statistics in common. The frame of a starships includes all life support and Artificial gravity systems necessary to keep the crew (and any passengers) alive and comfortable. The starships’s frame is also built with a transponder that is essentially the ship’s “address” for standard system-wide and unlimited-range communications; this transponder can be turned off, during which time the starships can’t send or receive messages, but neither can it be tracked down by conventional means.
The base frames below are organized by size (from smallest to largest) and cost in Build Points (with less expensive frames coming first within a size). In general, the size and expansion bay capacities of a base frame can’t be changed without a great deal of time and money (and the GM’s permission), so it can be more effective to just start over with a different base frame when upgrading those aspects of a starships.
Size Tiny Maneuverability perfect (+2 Piloting, turn 0)
HP 20 (increment 5); DT —; CT 4
Mounts forward arc (1 light), aft arc (1 light)
Expansion Bays —; Minimum Crew 1; Maximum Crew 1
Size Tiny Maneuverability perfect (+2 Piloting, turn 0)
HP 30 (increment 5); DT —; CT 6
Mounts forward arc (2 light)
Expansion Bays —; Minimum Crew 1; Maximum Crew 1
Size Tiny Maneuverability good (+1 Piloting, turn 1)
HP 35 (increment 5); DT —; CT 7
Mounts forward arc (2 light [1 must be a tracking weapon]), aft arc (1 light)
Expansion Bays —; Minimum Crew 1; Maximum Crew 2
Size Small Maneuverability perfect (+2 Piloting, turn 0)
HP 35 (increment 5); DT —; CT 7
Mounts forward arc (1 light)
Expansion Bays 3 (usually cargo holds or passenger seating)
Minimum Crew 1; Maximum Crew 4
Size Small Maneuverability good (+1 Piloting, turn 1)
HP 40 (increment 10); DT —; CT 8
Mounts forward arc (2 light), port arc (1 light), starboard arc (1 light)
Expansion Bays 3
Minimum Crew 1; Maximum Crew 6
Size Medium Maneuverability good (+1 Piloting, turn 1)
HP 55 (increment 10); DT —; CT 11
Mounts forward arc (1 light), port arc (1 light), starboard arc (1 light), turret (1 light)
Expansion Bays 4
Minimum Crew 1; Maximum Crew 6
Size Medium Maneuverability average (+0 Piloting, turn 2)
HP 70 (increment 15); DT —; CT 14
Mounts forward arc (1 heavy, 1 light), aft arc (1 light), turret (2 light)
Expansion Bays 5
Minimum Crew 1; Maximum Crew 6
Size Large Maneuverability average (+0 Piloting, turn 2)
HP 150 (increment 20); DT —; CT 30
Mounts forward arc (2 heavy), port arc (1 light), starboard arc (1 light), aft arc (1 light), turret (1 light)
Expansion Bays 4
Minimum Crew 6; Maximum Crew 20
Size Large Maneuverability average (+0 Piloting, turn 2)
HP 120 (increment 20); DT —; CT 24
Mounts forward arc (1 heavy, 2 light), port arc (1 heavy), starboard arc (1 heavy)
Expansion Bays 8
Minimum Crew 6; Maximum Crew 20
Size Huge Maneuverability poor (–1 Piloting, turn 3)
HP 160 (increment 20); DT 5; CT 32
Mounts forward arc (1 heavy), aft arc (1 heavy), turret (2 light)
Expansion Bays 10
Minimum Crew 20; Maximum Crew 50
Size Huge Maneuverability average (+0 Piloting, turn 2)
HP 180 (increment 25); DT 5; CT 36
Mounts forward arc (1 capital), port arc (1 light), starboard arc (1 light), turret (1 heavy)
Expansion Bays 6
Minimum Crew 20; Maximum Crew 100
Size Gargantuan Maneuverability poor (–1 Piloting, turn 3)
HP 240 (increment 30); DT 10; CT 48
Mounts forward arc (1 capital), port arc (3 heavy), starboard arc (3 heavy), turret (2 light)
Expansion Bays 10 (must have at least 1 hangar bay)
Minimum Crew 75; Maximum Crew 200
Size Gargantuan Maneuverability average (+0 Piloting, turn 2)
HP 280 (increment 40); DT 10; CT 56
Mounts forward arc (1 capital, 2 heavy), port arc (2 heavy, 1 light), starboard arc (2 heavy, 1 light), aft arc (1 light), turret (2 heavy)
Expansion Bays 8
Minimum Crew 100; Maximum Crew 300
Size Colossal Maneuverability clumsy (–2 Piloting, turn 4)
HP 400 (increment 50); DT 15; CT 80
Mounts forward arc (2 capital, 2 heavy), port arc (1 capital, 3 heavy), starboard arc (1 capital, 3 heavy), turret (4 light)
Expansion Bays 20
Minimum Crew 125; Maximum Crew 500
The power core is the most important system on a ship, as it provides power to every other system. The table below lists the ship size each core is designed for, as well as the PCU it provides and its cost. Each Large and smaller ship has room for only a single power core by default, but Medium and Large starships can be fitted with an extra power core housing (see Expansion Bays). Huge starships can have up to two power cores, Gargantuan starships can have up to three, and Colossal starships can have up to four. Though some ships are exceptions to this standard, they are rare in design. A power core typically has a backup battery system for use in emergencies that can provide limited power—enough for life support, gravity, and comms, but no other systems—for 2d6 days.
|Core||Size||PCU||Cost (in BP)|
|Arcus Light||T, S||75||7|
|Pulse Brown||T, S||90||9|
|Pulse Black||T, S||120||12|
|Pulse White||T, S||140||14|
|Pulse Gray||T, S, M||100||10|
|Arcus Heavy||T, S, M||130||13|
|Pulse Green||T, S, M||150||15|
|Pulse Red||T, S, M||175||17|
|Pulse Blue||T, S, M||200||20|
|Arcus Ultra||S, M, L||150||15|
|Arcus Maximum||S, M, L||200||20|
|Pulse Orange||S, M, L||250||25|
|Pulse Prismatic||S, M, L||300||30|
|Nova Light||M, L, H||150||15|
|Nova Heavy||M, L, H||200||20|
|Nova Ultra||M, L, H||300||30|
|Gateway Light||L, H, G||300||30|
|Gateway Heavy||L, H, G||400||40|
|Gateway Ultra||H, G, C||500||50|
Ships rely on conventional thrusters to move between locations in a system, to navigate the reaches of Hyperspace once they arrive there, to explore, and to engage in combat They are designed for ships of a specific size (specified in the; Size column of the table below), and they can’t be installed in a ship of an incorrect size. The maximum speed of a starships’s thrusters either grants a bonus or imparts a penalty to Piloting checks to fly the vessel, as noted on the table below.
Thrusters are also used when landing on and taking off from a planet. Large and smaller starships generally have little Difficulty landing on and taking off from a planet with low gravity or standard gravity (unless there are atmospheric conditions such as high winds or storms). The GM determines whether or not a starships’s pilot must attempt a Piloting check to land a starships with a speed lower than 8 on a planet with high gravity, with failure meaning it might crash. Due to their sheer size, Huge and larger starships can’t land on planets, and must use shuttles or other means to ferry crew and goods to a planet and back.
|Thruster||Size||Speed (In Hexes)||Piloting Modifier||PCU||Cost (in BP)|
Many other systems have requirements that must be met before they can be installed on a ship. Frequently, these requirements demand a certain amount of power or a specific starships size or tier. Some systems are so standardized that the different types available are simply referred to by their mark (mk), expressing the typical bonus provided.
Armor protects a ship from direct-fire weapons (see Type), deflecting their energy and preventing damage to critical ship systems. It grants an armor bonus to a ship’s AC. Armor’s cost depends on the bonus it grants and the ship’s size category (for the purpose of this calculation, Tiny = 1, Small = 2, Medium = 3, Large = 4, etc.). Armor is a passive system and does not require any PCU to remain functional. It provides protection primarily through mass, which can affect a ship’s maneuverability (making it harder to turn) and make it easier for opponents using tracking weapons to lock on to the ship—these effects are listed in the Special column of the table below.
|Name||Bonus to AC||Special||Cost (in BP)|
|Mk 1 armor||+1||—||1 × size category|
|Mk 2 armor||+2||—||2 × size category|
|Mk 3 armor||+3||—||3 × size category|
|Mk 4 armor||+4||—||5 × size category|
|Mk 5 armor||+5||–1 TL||7 × size category|
|Mk 6 armor||+6||–1 TL||9 × size category|
|Mk 7 armor||+7||–1 TL||12 × size category|
|Mk 8 armor||+8||–1 TL||15 × size category|
|Mk 9 armor||+9||–2 TL, +1 turn distance||18 × size category|
|Mk 10 armor||+10||–2 TL, +1 turn distance||21 × size category|
|Mk 11 armor||+11||–2 TL, +1 turn distance||25 × size category|
|Mk 12 armor||+12||–3 TL, +2 turn distance||30 × size category|
|Mk 13 armor||+13||–3 TL, +2 turn distance||35 × size category|
|Mk 14 armor||+14||–3 TL, +2 turn distance||40 × size category|
|Mk 15 armor||+15||–4 TL, +3 turn distance||45 × size category|
A computer system functions in many ways as a ship’s brain. Most computers aboard starships have at least a rudimentary Artificial personality, and while they can’t fully perform the duties of a crew member, they can assist crew members in various tasks. However, many Spacefarers claim that over time, a starships’s computers can develop temperaments and personality quirks that set them apart from identical computers in other ships. A starships has a basic computer of a tier equal to half the starships’s tier (minimum 1); see the Computers skill and Computers for more information about how a starships computer can be hacked or upgraded. Which upgrades a crew can purchase for its starships computer is determined by the GM; some upgrades can be purchased with Build Points.
While a starships’s computer is responsible for operating and managing a wide variety of starships systems at any given point in time, only a starships with an integrated control module (ICM) can aid the crew in starships combat (the basic computer listed on the table below is the only option that lacks an ICM). In general, an ICM adds a flat circumstance bonus to one or more starships combat checks, decided just before the check is attempted. An ICM has a number of nodes; each node grants its bonus to one starships combat check per round. Multiple nodes allow an ICM to influence multiple starships combat checks in a round, but they do not allow a computer to add multiple bonuses to the same starships combat check.
The cost of an ICM for the starships’s computer is equal to the bonus it grants squared, multiplied by its number of nodes. ICMs can be purchased only with Build Points, not with credits.
|Name||Bonus||Nodes||PCU||Cost (in BP)|
|Mk 1 mononode||+1||1||10||1|
|Mk 1 duonode||+1/+1||2||10||2|
|Mk 1 trinode||+1/+1/+1||3||10||3|
|Mk 1 tetranode||+1/+1/+1/+1||4||10||4|
|Mk 2 mononode||+2||1||15||4|
|Mk 2 duonode||+2/+2||2||15||8|
|Mk 2 trinode||+2/+2/+2||3||15||12|
|Mk 2 tetranode||+2/+2/+2/+2||4||15||16|
|Mk 3 mononode||+3||1||20||9|
|Mk 3 duonode||+3/+3||2||20||18|
|Mk 3 trinode||+3/+3/+3||3||20||27|
|Mk 3 tetranode||+3/+3/+3/+3||4||20||36|
|Mk 4 mononode||+4||1||25||16|
|Mk 4 duonode||+4/+4||2||25||32|
|Mk 4 trinode||+4/+4/+4||3||25||48|
|Mk 5 mononode||+5||1||30||25|
|Mk 5 duonode||+5/+5||2||30||50|
|Mk 5 trinode||+5/+5/+5||3||30||75|
|Mk 6 mononode||+6||1||35||36|
|Mk 6 duonode||+6/+6||2||35||72|
|Mk 7 mononode||+7||1||40||49|
|Mk 7 duonode||+7/+7||2||40||98|
|Mk 8 mononode||+8||1||45||64|
|Mk 8 duonode||+8/+8||2||45||128|
|Mk 9 mononode||+9||1||50||81|
|Mk 9 duonode||+9/+9||2||50||162|
|Mk 10 mononode||+10||1||55||100|
|Mk 10 duonode||+10/+10||2||55||200|
Most starships larger than Tiny have places where their crew can eat, sleep, and bathe during long journeys through space. These quarters can range from hammocks strung between cargo containers to cozy chambers with custom furnishings and private bathrooms. Crew quarters consume a negligible amount of PCU, though amenities in fancier quarters require an operational power core to function.
Common crew quarters are the most basic type. They consist of simple bunks (sometimes folding out from the side of a hallway) or other similarly austere places to rest. Crew members who sleep in common quarters usually keep their personal possessions in a footlocker. Common crew quarters also include a communal bathroom (which includes a military-style shower) and a tiny galley (big enough to prepare only the most basic of meals). starships with crews numbering in the dozens or hundreds often have massive barracks where crew members sleep in shifts.
Good crew quarters are a bit more upscale than common crew quarters. They consist of dormitory-style rooms that can hold one or two small beds (larger starships usually require lower-ranking crew members to share these quarters) and sometimes a personal closet or drawer space for each occupant. Good crew quarters also include one or two shared bathrooms with multiple sinks and shower stalls, and a dining space with an attached galley. Crews of larger starships eat in this dining space in shifts.
Luxurious crew quarters are the pinnacle of comfort. They consist of private rooms for each crew member, with personal bathrooms (including showers with high water pressure) and furnishings that match the resident’s tastes. Some luxurious crew quarters also feature a kitchenette, gaming areas, or intimate meeting spaces.
|Crew Quarters||Cost (in BP)|
Defensive countermeasures systems protect a ship from tracking weapons such as missiles, and they make it difficult for enemies using sensors to get a solid reading on the ship. They do this via a complicated suite of electronic sensors and broadcasting equipment that’s designed to jam enemy sensors and create false readings. These systems grant a bonus to a ship’s TL; the bonus, PCU usage, and cost are listed in the table below.
|Name||Bonus to TL||PCU||Cost (in BP)|
|Mk 1 defenses||+1||1||2|
|Mk 2 defenses||+2||1||3|
|Mk 3 defenses||+3||2||4|
|Mk 4 defenses||+4||3||6|
|Mk 5 defenses||+5||4||8|
|Mk 6 defenses||+6||5||11|
|Mk 7 defenses||+7||7||14|
|Mk 8 defenses||+8||9||18|
|Mk 9 defenses||+9||11||22|
|Mk 10 defenses||+10||13||27|
|Mk 11 defenses||+11||16||33|
|Mk 12 defenses||+12||20||40|
|Mk 13 defenses||+13||25||50|
|Mk 14 defenses||+14||32||65|
|Mk 15 defenses||+15||45||90|
These engines let you travel to and from Hyperspace. The better the engine rating, the faster you can reach distant destinations. Hyperspace engines have a PCU requirement and a maximum frame size. The cost in Build Points is based on the starships’s size category (for the purposes of this calculation, Tiny = 1, Small = 2, Medium = 3, Large = 4, and so on). See the table below for the statistics of the various Hyperspace engines.
For a starships to engage its Hyperspace engines to either enter or exit Hyperspace, it must remain stationary with its conventional thrusters turned off for 1 minute.
|Hyperspace Engine||Engine Rating||Min. PCU||Max. Size||Cost (in BP)|
|Signal Basic||1||75||—||2 × size category|
|Signal Booster||2||100||Huge||5 × size category|
|Signal Major||3||150||Large||10 × size category|
|Signal Superior||4||175||Large||15 × size category|
|Signal Ultra||5||200||Medium||20 × size category|
Most starships have room within their hull for one or more expansion bays, each of which can be converted to function in a wide variety of roles. Unfilled, these bays are simply storage space (and count as cargo holds), and for many large transport vessels, they remain this way. If a starships’s bays are instead used for guest quarters, the ship can serve as a transport vessel for soldiers, travelers, or refugees. If its bays are filled with medical bays and guest quarters, the ship becomes a mobile hospital.
The following options are available for most ships that have available expansion bays. If an option requires multiple bays, this is noted in its description; if it must consume PCU to function, the amount is listed in the table. An entire expansion bay must be used for a single purpose, even if it gives you multiple instances of that option. For example, if you select escape pods, that expansion bay gains all six escape pods—you can’t combine three escape pods and one life boat.
The PCU requirement and the Build Point costs of the expansion bay options can be found.
|Expansion Bay||PCU||Cost (in BP)|
|Drift shadow projector||5||15|
|Power core housing||0||10|
|Recreation suite (gym)||0||1|
|Recreation suite (trivid den)||1||1|
|Recreation suite (HAC)||3||1|
|Sealed environment chamber||2||1|
An arcane laboratory contains all the tools and space necessary to craft magic items, though the crafter must still provide the necessary raw materials. Such a laboratory reduces the crafting time by half.
A brig contains all the necessary restraints and security systems to incarcerate up to eight Medium creatures.
Unconverted expansion bays count as cargo holds. A cargo hold can contain approximately 25 tons of goods, with no item being larger than Large. A starships with multiple cargo holds can hold larger objects; usually 4 contiguous cargo holds are required to hold Huge objects and 8 for Gargantuan objects. These size restrictions can be overridden at the GM’s discretion.
Drift Shadow Projector
This device creates an area of “Drift shadow” when activated. The Drift shadow extends out to a range of 10 hexes from the activating ship, and each vessel in this area treats the Drift rating of its engine as if it were 2 lower. If this reduces the engine’s rating to less than 1, that vessel cannot enter the Drift while in the shadow. Ships attempting enter normal space from the Drift into an area of Drift shadow are affected in the same way. Shadows created by multiple vessels stack, making it impossible for any ship to enter or exit the Drift.
Escape pods give the crew of a severely damaged or destroyed starships a way to avoid imminent death. An escape pod fits one Medium or smaller creature and has enough supplies and life-support capacity for that creature to survive for 7 days. It is also fitted with a distress beacon that is easily identified by long-range scanners. An escape pod has heat shields that allow it to crash-land on a planet with an atmosphere, but no means of propulsion. A single expansion bay can be converted into six escape pods.
Starships that function as passenger vessels require spaces apart from their crew quarters for their guests to sleep. A single expansion bay can be converted into common quarters (usually simple bunks or hammocks) for six passengers, good quarters (usually a comfortable bed, a desk with a chair, and a small set of drawers) for four passengers, or luxurious quarters (usually a large bed, a wardrobe, a couch, a desk with a nice chair, and a private washroom) for two passengers.
A hangar bay can be installed only in a Gargantuan or larger starships and takes up 4 expansion bays. A hangar bay provides a place for up to 8 Tiny starships to dock.
Xenowarden capital ships have the ability to launch pod ships (see page 162) to use as shuttles or other short-range vessels. A hive bay can launch up to two pod ships. For each pod launched in this way, the arkship loses 15 Hull Points and takes a –2 penalty to its AC and TL, and all crew actions take a –2 penalty. As long as the capital ship has an unoccupied slot in a hive bay, it can reabsorb a pod ship to regain these Hull Points and negate the penalties. If the pod returns damaged, the capital vessel regains 1 fewer Hull Point for every 2 points of Hull Point damage taken by the pod ship. The penalties are negated regardless of the pod ship’s condition.
This space holds an entirely self-sustaining garden, complete with oxygen recycling, food production, and lighting that fosters advanced growth. A hydroponic garden takes up two expansion bays and can provide food for up to 10 Medium-sized creatures indefinitely, even if the rest of the vessel is without full power or propulsion. Multiple hydroponic gardens can be linked together to form one massive garden space.
Designed to fit on Medium and Large vessels, these tubes allow a ship to carry a single smaller vessel that can be launched at the start of any helm phase. A launch tube takes up two expansion bays and can hold one Tiny starship. If a vessel needs to dock in a launch tube during combat, it occurs at the end of the helm phase and requires a successful DC 10 Piloting skill check; this check takes a –1 penalty for each hex the smaller ship has moved this round. A failed check means that the ship doesn’t dock with the larger vessel.
A life boat is a more sophisticated version of an escape pod. It has room for one Large creature, or two Medium or smaller creatures, and enough supplies to last those passengers 15 days (or 30 days of supplies for one Medium or smaller creature). While it has the same kind of distress beacon as an escape pod, a life boat also has an on-board computer that automatically detects the nearest hospitable celestial body and minimal thrusters to get the craft there (though a life boat can’t participate in starships combat). A single expansion bay can be converted into two life boats.
A medical bay functions as a medical lab.
An expansion bay can be converted into rows of seating for passengers at no cost. A single expansion bay can hold seating for 16 Medium passengers (though seats can be built for larger creatures). This upgrade is appropriate only for taking many passengers on short trips; starships on journeys lasting multiple days should instead have guest quarters installed.
Power Core Housing
An expansion bay can be set aside for an additional power core (which must be purchased separately) and the associated wiring and safety apparatuses. A power core housing can be installed on only a Medium or larger starships.
A recreation suite includes entertainments that help the crew (or passengers) relax and blow off steam. These diversions can be wide-ranging, with some consuming more PCU than others (see the table). Example recreation suites include a gym, sparring arena, or other exercise area; a trivid den or other comfortable space in which to consume passive entertainment; or a holographic amusement chamber (or HAC), vidgame arcade, or other high-tech interactive entertainment center.
A science lab contains scientific apparatuses and other laboratory equipment to aid in the research of certain topics. A general science lab provides a +1 circumstance bonus to Life Science and Physical Science checks (and is called a general science lab), a life science lab provides a +2 circumstance bonus to Life Science checks, and a physical science lab provides a +2 circumstance bonus to Physical Science checks. The lab type is chosen when the expansion bay is converted.
Sealed Environment Chamber
Occasionally, a starships will need to host an alien or other creature whose biology is radically different from that of the crew. The passenger might be able to breathe only methane gas or can survive in only below-freezing temperatures. In such a case, a sealed environment chamber is required for the passenger to remain comfortable (and alive).
A shuttle bay can be installed only in a Huge or larger starships and takes up two expansion bays. A shuttle bay provides a place for a Small or smaller starships to dock.
Smuggler compartments are cargo holds hidden behind false bulkheads and are shielded from most scanning, allowing a starships equipped with them to haul illegal goods without detection. A smuggler compartment can contain 10 tons of goods, with no item being larger than Medium. A creature on the starships must succeed at a DC 20 Perception check to detect a basic smuggler compartment on the starships. A creature scanning the starships must succeed at a DC 20 Computers check to detect one (this additional check is part of the science officer’s scan action in starships combat). For each Build Point spent over the base cost, these DCs increase by 5 (maximum DC 50), though the amount of power the compartment uses also increases by 1.
A synthesis bay contains all the space and tools required to craft drugs, medicine, or poison, though the crafter must still provide the necessary raw materials. A synthesis bay reduces the crafting time by half.
A tech workshop contains all the space and tools necessary to craft technological items, though the crafter must still provide the necessary raw materials. Such a workshop reduces the crafting time by half.
The additions below help to prevent unwanted scoundrels from absconding with a starships. Security systems require an operational power core to function, but they consume a negligible amount of PCU. The cost of each option is listed in the table below.
By increasing the security of the starships’s computer, these systems increase the DC to hack into it by 1. This upgrade can be purchased up to four times.
An antipersonnel weapon must be mounted near the boarding ramp of a Medium or smaller starships. This weapon can be any longarm whose item level is equal to or less than the starships’s tier. By spending 5 additional Build Points, the installed weapon can be a heavy weapon (of creature scale, not starships scale). When an antipersonnel weapon is activated, if a hostile creature approaches within the weapon’s range increment, it begins firing with an attack roll modifier equal to the ship’s tier (minimum 1). It fires once per round during combat until its ammunition is depleted or the hostile creature is disabled or flees. The weapon can’t detect invisible (or similarly hidden) creatures. This weapon can’t be removed and used by characters. Anyone with access to the starships’s computer system can activate or deactivate the weapon, as well designate what kind of targets are considered hostile. Once installed, this weapon can’t be removed from the starships without destroying it.
The systems of a starships with biometric locks can only be used by certain creatures, designated when the locks are installed; this list can be updated by any creature who can gain access to the ship’s computer systems. A successful Computers check (DC = 20 + 1-1/2 × the tier of the starships) can bypass these locks.
When a foe attempts to hack a starships’s computers and fails, a set of countermeasures can punish the would-be hacker. The crew can install one of the countermeasures listed, following the normal rules for countermeasures. Each countermeasure costs a number of Build Points equal to the starships’s computer’s tier (half the starships’s tier).
Used most often as a last resort, a self-destruct system completely destroys the starships on which it is installed (as if the ship had taken damage equal to twice its Hull Points), often killing everyone on board. A starships in a hex adjacent to a starships that self-destructs takes an amount of damage equal to half the destroyed starships’s maximum Hull Points; this damage can be mitigated by shields. A self-destruct system can be activated only by creatures on the starships (by turning a set of keys, typing in a specific passcode, or other physical means known only to high-ranking members of the crew) and can’t be activated remotely via hacking. The activating creatures set a time delay for the destruction (at least 1 round of starships combat). The cost of a self-destruct system depends on the size category of the ship (for the purposes of this calculation, Tiny = 1, Small = 2, Medium = 3, Large = 4, and so on).
|Security||Cost (in BP)|
|Antipersonnel weapon (heavy)||5 + item level of weapon|
|Antipersonnel weapon (longarm)||Item level of weapon|
|Computer countermeasures||Tier of computer|
|Self-destruct system||5 × size category Sensors|
Sensors function as a starships’s eyes and ears, allowing a crew to see what’s in the space around the ship, whether planetary bodies, other ships, a dangerous asteroid field, or some monstrosity from the depths of space. Sensors are a combination of video cameras, multispectrum scanners, radar arrays, signal interceptors, and optical telescopes. In starships combat, short-range sensors have a range of 5 hexes, medium-range sensors have a range of 10 hexes, and long-range sensors have a range of 20 hexes. All sensors have a skill modifier that applies to any skill used in conjunction with them. Sensors require an operational power core to function, but they consume a negligible amount of PCU.
Sensors operate in two Modes: passive or active. In passive Mode, sensors automatically scan the ship’s surroundings. Passive sensors detect visible or unhidden objects in a 360-degree field around the ship at a range of up to twice the sensors’ range category while in space or in Hyperspace (no skill check required), though local conditions may affect their range. However, gravitational forces and atmospheric conditions limit starships sensors to a range of 250 feet on most planets, and their range might be further limited by terrain, at the GM’s discretion.
Active sensors are far more discerning, and they are required if the science officer wishes to scan enemy vessels and learn details about them during starships combat. The modifier listed in the table below applies to some checks attempted by the science officer in starships combat as specified in the science officer’s actions. Active sensors can discern information about a target up to five times the sensors’ range away from the ship, but such checks take a penalty of –2 for each range increment beyond the first to the target. For example, if short-range sensors (range = 5 hexes) were used against a target 12 hexes away, the check would take a –4 penalty.
Outside of starships combat, a crew member can use sensors to scan a planet the starships is orbiting, attempting a Computers check (applying the sensors’ modifier) to learn basic information about the planet’s composition and atmosphere. The DC for this check is usually 15, but it can be altered at the GM’s discretion to account for mitigating factors or complications. A crew member can also use the starships’s active sensors to attempt Perception checks to examine the surrounding area as if she were standing outside the starships, using her own senses (such as darkvision), but adding the sensors’ modifier as a circumstance bonus to the check.
|Sensors||Range||Modifier||Cost (in BP)|
While almost every ship has simple navigational shielding to prevent damage from tiny bits of debris, this protection does little to stop a starships from being damaged by lasers, missiles, and larger impacts. To defend against such threats, a ship has energy shields. Projectors mounted around the ship create a barrier that absorbs damage from attacks. Each attack reduces the number of Shield Points (Sp) in a given arc until that arc’s shields are depleted, after which point all further damage in that arc reduces the ship’s Hull Points. See Damage for more information. Shield Points regenerate over time and can eventually be used again, but this regeneration occurs only when the ship is not in combat or otherwise taking damage. Shields must be attached to a functional power core in order to regenerate; the rate of regeneration is listed in the table below.
The value listed under Total SP in the table below is the total number of Shield Points provided to the ship. At the start of combat, when the starships’s crew takes up battle stations and the shields are activated, the Shield Points must be divided up between the four quadrants of the ship. No quadrant can be assigned less than 10% of the total number of Shield Points available at the start of combat, or available at the time the shields are balanced again using the balance science officer action.
The table also lists rate of regeneration, PCU needed, and cost.
|Shield Name||Total SP||Regen.||PCU||Cost (BP)|
Space is a dangerous place, plagued with hostile aliens, raiders, and worse. As a result, most ships protect themselves with a variety of weapons, ranging from laser cannons to Solar torpedoes.
Weapons must be installed on special mounts on a ship, specified in the ship’s base frame. These mounts are designed for optimal firing and are placed so that they can be easily tied into the ship’s power and control systems. They also prevent the weapon from affecting the course or speed of a ship when fired.
Weapons are classified using the following key statistics.
This is the name of the weapon.
Weapons belong to one of three classifications. Light weapons can be mounted on any ship but are most typically found on smaller fighters and bombers. While dangerous, light weapons do not have the firepower necessary to damage very large starships. Heavy weapons are a serious threat to any vessel but can be mounted only on Medium or larger starships. Capital weapons can be mounted only on Huge or larger starships. Capital weapons can’t be brought to bear against Tiny or Small targets and are typically used only against other large vessels.
This is the amount of damage (in Hull Points) the weapon deals when it successfully hits a target. See Shooting starships for guidelines on how starships weapons can affect characters.
This is the amount of PCU consumed by the weapon. It uses this amount continuously whenever the weapon is powered up and ready to fire.
This is the cost of the weapon in Build Points.
Starship weapons are one of two types. Direct-fire weapons fire projectiles or beams at amazing speed, targeting the opposing vessel’s AC. Tracking weapons’ projectiles are slower and must home in using a target’s TL. A tracking weapon’s projectile has a listed speed; once fired, it moves that number of hexes toward its target. Each subsequent round during the gunnery phase, it must succeed at a gunnery check against the target’s TL to continue to move its speed toward its target. On a failure, the projectile is lost. If the projectile reaches the target’s hex, it deals the listed damage.
Weapons have one of three ranges: short range (5 hexes), medium range (10 hexes), or long range (20 hexes). As with character-scale ranged attacks, an attack with a starships weapon takes a cumulative –2 penalty for each range increment (or fraction thereof, beyond the first) between it and the target. A gunner firing a tracking weapon takes a range penalty only on her first gunnery check, when the target is first acquired. A starships weapon can fire at a target up to 10 range increments away.
This is the distance in hexes a tracking weapon moves toward its target each round during the gunnery phase. Projectiles from a tracking weapon have perfect maneuverability, and as such, they have a minimum turn distance of 0.
Some weapons have special properties, as noted in Table 9–2. These special properties and how they affect starships combat are described here.
An array weapon fires at all targets within a single firing arc. The gunner attempts a single gunnery check against each target in the firing arc, starting with those closest to her starships. Each gunnery check takes a –4 penalty, which stacks with other penalties. Roll damage only once for all targets. Critical damage is determined by each target’s Critical Threshold. The gunner can’t avoid shooting at allies in the firing arc, nor can she shoot any target more than once. An array weapon uses two weapon mounts.
A weapon with this special property can fire in an arc adjacent to the one in which it was installed with a –2 penalty. A broad arc weapon can fire at only one target at a time.
A weapon with this special property fires a highly focused beam of energy that can slice through shields with ease. Burrowing weapons are always short range and cannot fire at targets outside the first range increment. When a burrowing weapon’s beam hits shields, apply half of its damage to the shields and the other half (rounded down) to the target vessel’s Hull Points. If any of the damage applied to the shields depletes those shields, apply the remainder to the ship’s Hull Points as normal. If a burrowing weapon deals damage to a ship with a damage threshold, halve that threshold before determining if any damage is dealt.
A weapon with this special property emits a beam of electromagnetic energy that does not deal damage to ships or shields, but plays havoc with a ship’s electronic systems. On a hit, an EMP weapon scrambles one of the target starships’s systems, determined randomly. This causes that system to act as if it had the glitching condition for 1d4 rounds. A system glitching in this way can be patched as normal, but if it takes critical damage, its glitching condition becomes constant until the system is patched or repaired (or takes further critical damage). Functioning shields are unaffected by EMP weapons and completely block an EMP weapon’s effects.
A weapon with this special property creates a wave of harmful radiation that penetrates shields and starships hulls. Living creatures on a starships struck by an irradiating weapon are subjected to the level of radiation noted in parentheses for 1d4 rounds of starships combat.
A weapon with this special property can fire only the listed number of times in a starships combat encounter before it requires a brief period of time (10 minutes outside of starships combat) to recharge and rebuild the weapon’s inherent ammunition. A weapon with this special property is often a tracking weapon.
A weapon with this special property fires a beam in a straight line that can pierce through multiple targets. The gunner attempts a single gunnery check and compares the result to the AC of all ships in a line originating from her starships and extending to the weapon’s range increment. Roll the weapon’s damage once and apply it to each target with an AC equal to or lower than the gunner’s result, starting with the closest. If any of that damage is negated due to a ship’s Damage Threshold, the beam is stopped and the attack doesn’t deal damage to targets farther away.
A weapon with this special property is always short range and can’t be fired against targets that are outside the first range increment. If a tracking weapon would hit a ship in an arc that contains a weapon with the point special property, the gunner of the targeted starships can attempt an immediate gunnery check with the point weapon against the incoming tracking projectile using the bonus listed in parentheses in the weapon’s Special entry (instead of her usual bonus to gunnery checks). The DC for this gunnery check is equal to 10 + the tracking weapon’s speed. If the attack hits, the tracking weapon is destroyed before it can damage the ship. A point weapon can be used to attempt only one such free gunnery check each round, but this usage potentially allows a point weapon to be fired twice in a single round.
Once a gunner fires a quantum weapon, he can reroll one gunnery check for that weapon after its launch if the result would be a miss. Only tracking weapons have this special property.
Firing a blast of metal shards, a weapon with this special property deals terrific damage to a ship’s hull but is almost entirely negated by functioning shields. Halve all damage dealt by ripper weapons to shields. Ripper weapons are always short range.
A weapon with this special property can generate a stable beam of gravitons, creating a tractor beam that can move other ships. In addition to dealing damage, a hit with a tractor beam prevents the target ship from moving normally. The gunner can push or pull the target ship (at a rate of 2 hexes per round, resolved at the beginning of the helm phase), or hold the target ship in place. The pilot of the targeted starships can attempt a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × the tier of the firing ship) to break free of the tractor beam as her action in a round. When a tractor beam weapon is locked on to a starships, it can’t be used as a regular weapon. A tractor beam is effective only against ships of the same size as the firing ship or smaller; larger ships are unaffected by the tractor beam.
A weapon with this special property creates a spiraling cyclone of gravitons that tears, crushes, and twists everything in its path, reducing a target ship’s speed by half and reducing its maneuverability by one step for 1d4 rounds on a hit. A ship protected by functioning shields takes no damage from a vortex weapon, but the target ship’s pilot must succeed at a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × the target starships’s tier) or the hit depletes all Shield Points in that arc.
|Light Weapons||Range||Speed (in Hexes)||Damage||PCU||Cost (in BP)||Special Properties|
|Flak thrower||Short||—||3d4||10||5||Point (+8)|
|Laser net||Short||—||2d6||10||9||Point (+10)|
|Light EMP cannon||Short||—||Special||10||8||EMP|
|Light laser cannon||Short||—||2d4||5||2||—|
|Light particle beam||Medium||—||3d6||10||10||—|
|Light plasma cannon||Short||—||2d12||10||12||—|
|High explosive missile launcher||Long||12||4d8||10||4||Limited fire 5|
|Light plasma torpedo launcher||Long||14||3d8||5||5||Limited fire 5|
|Light torpedo launcher||Long||16||2d8||5||4||—|
|Micromissile battery||Long||10||2d6||10||3||Array, limited fire 5|
|Tactical nuclear missile launcher||Long||10||5d8||10||5||Irradiate (low), limited fire 5|
|Heavy Weapons||Range||Speed (in Hexes)||Damage||PCU||Cost (in BP)||Special Properties|
|Gravity gun||Medium||—||6d6||40||30||Tractor beam|
|Heavy EMP cannon||Medium||—||Special||30||24||EMP|
|Heavy laser array||Short||—||6d4||15||10||Array|
|Heavy laser cannon||Medium||—||4d8||10||8||—|
|Heavy laser net||Short||—||5d6||15||12||Point (+12)|
|Persistent particle beam||Long||—||10d6||40||25||—|
|Heavy antimatter missile launcher||Long||8||10d10||15||12||Limited fire 5|
|Heavy nuclear missile launcher||Long||10||10d8||15||10||Irradiate (medium), limited fire 5|
|Heavy plasma torpedo launcher||Long||12||5d10||10||10||Limited fire 5|
|Heavy torpedo launcher||Long||14||5d8||10||8||Limited fire 5|
|Weapon||Range||Speed (in Hexes)||Damage||PCU||Cost (in BP)||Special Properties|
|Gravity cannon||Long||—||2d6 × 10||40||50||Tractor beam|
|Mass driver||Long||—||2d6 × 10||25||25||—|
|Particle beam cannon||Long||—||3d4 × 10||30||30||—|
|Persistent particle beam cannon||Long||—||2d10 × 10||50||40||—|
|Super EMP cannon||Long||—||Special||45||45||EMP|
|Super plasma cannon||Medium||—||3d6 × 10||45||35||—|
|Super X-laser cannon||Long||—||3d4 × 10||50||60||Line|
|Supergraser||Medium||—||2d8 × 10||50||60||Irradiate (high)|
|Superlaser||Long||—||2d4 × 10||20||20||—|
|Supermaser||Long||—||2d8 × 10||40||35||—|
|Vortex cannon||Medium||—||2d12 × 10||55||75||Vortex|
|Antimatter mega-missile launcher||Long||6||4d10 × 10||15||25||Limited fire 5|
|Hellfire torpedo launcher||Long||8||2d10 × 10||10||25||Limited fire 5|
|Nuclear mega-missile launcher||Long||8||4d8 × 10||15||20||Limited fire 5|
|Quantum missile launcher||Long||12||2d8 × 10||15||20||Limited fire 5, quantum|
|Solar torpedo launcher||Long||10||2d6 × 10||10||20||Limited fire 5|
Refitting and Upgrading Starships
As the PCs go on adventures and gain experience, they need an increasingly powerful starships to face tougher challenges. When the characters’ Average Party Level increases, so does the tier of their starships (see Table 9–1: Starship Base Statistics). The PCs receive a number of Build Points equal to the Build Points listed for their starships’s new tier – those listed for its previous tier, which they can use to upgrade their starships. For example, a group whose APL increases from 2 to 3 receives 20 BP that the PCs can use to upgrade their starships. This could represent salvage gathered during their exploits, an arrangement with a spacedock, or called-in favors from a wealthy patron. Some GMs might require PCs to visit a safe, inhabited world before they can spend these Build Points, but this shouldn’t be allowed to impact the campaign too much.
Also remember that at tier 4 and every 4 tiers thereafter, the starships gains an increase in Hull Points equal to the HP increment listed for its base frame.
If the PCs want to alter their starships before receiving additional Build Points (for instance, replacing a weapon with one that costs fewer Build Points or consumes less PCU), they can do so at a friendly spaceport (or safe landing zone) given enough time. If they replace a system or option with one that costs fewer Build Points, they can immediately spend the excess Build Points. Refitting a single system or starships weapon usually takes 1d4 days.
PCs with Build Points to spare can replace a system or weapon with one that costs more Build Points by paying only the difference in cost between the two systems. If the cost is the same, the system can be upgraded for free, but the crew should keep the amount of PCU the starships’s power core produces in mind so they don’t exceed their power budget. When upgrading a weapon, remember that the starships’s frame starts with a certain number and type of weapon mounts (but see New Weapon Mounts below). Installing a single upgrade usually takes 1d4 days.
PCs can’t upgrade the base frame of their starships. They can rebuild their starships with a new base frame if they so desire (within the limits of their budget of Build Points, of course), but that new starships will have a different look (and should probably have a different name). PCs can purchase Huge and larger base frames only at the GM’s discretion, as these usually require large crews and thus are normally reserved for NPC starships.
Buying a whole new starships is a process that can take between 1d4 days and 1d4 months, depending on whether the PCs are purchasing a used starships from a spacedock or having a custom vessel built from scratch.
New Weapon Mounts
Greater dangers means the PCs will require more powerful weapons in order to survive and triumph. Unless they begin flying around with an escort of armed battlecruisers, the weapons they start with will eventually become inadequate. Bigger weapons require the correct weapon mounts, however.
By spending 4 BP, the crew can upgrade a light weapon mount in any of the aft, forward, port, or starboard arcs to a heavy weapon mount. By spending 6 BP, the crew can upgrade a light weapon mount on a turret to a heavy weapon mount. By spending 5 Build Points, the crew can upgrade a heavy weapon mount in any of the aft, forward, port, or starboard arcs to a capital weapon mount. Heavy weapons can be mounted on only Medium or larger starships. Capital weapons can be mounted on only Huge or larger starships and can’t be mounted on turrets.
By spending 3 BP, the crew can fit a new light weapon mount in any of the aft, forward, port, or starboard arcs with enough free space. By spending 5 BP, the crew can fit a new light weapon mount on a turret that has enough free space. Tiny and Small starships can have only two weapon mounts per arc (and per turret). Medium and Large starships can have only three weapon mounts per arc (and per turret). Huge and larger starships can have only four weapon mounts per arc (and per turret).