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The process of creating a vehicle is a somewhat more complicated than the process of creating a character but it can be just as rewarding; it is entirely possible that a specific vehicle may become legendary, such as the General Lee or the Enola Gay. Entire lines of vehicles may also achieve the status of legend; in the Wing Commander Universe, the best example is perhaps the F-44 Rapier-II.

The basic procedure for creating a vehicle entirely from scratch is as follows:

  1. Build a design concept.
  2. Select the species that primarily uses the vehicle.
  3. Select a chassis, weight class and user and note any modifiers.
  4. Add any desired Flaws to the vehicle's design.
  5. Determine the type, amount and cost of the vehicle's Armor.
  6. Select the vehicle's Engine Class and determine its cost.
  7. Select any accessories for the vehicle.
  8. Determine the vehicle's crew and passenger complement and its cargo capacity.
  9. Figure up the vehicle’s total cost.
  10. Record the vehicle’s vital stats.
  11. Put finishing touches and any desired additional traits to the vehicle.

Build a design concept

Before the designer actually begins to build a vehicle, they should take a little time to think about just what exactly it is they want to create. Having a design concept for a new vehicle type is a step that is often overlooked and yet is quite important for the overall design process. Design concepts are simply ideas; they can be drawings, a set of desired stats, a design programme and so forth.

The purpose of the design concept is to direct the designer as they go through the creation process and to help them think about ways they may work around situations wherein the creation system may be a little fuzzy. The vehicle creation system has been designed to be as comprehensive as possible; it's not perfect and there may be times when a designer has to improvise. Take for example a designer who wants to create an SUV-type vehicle for an adventure and decides to add a luggage rack. Going through the design process, the designer discovers that there is no "luggage rack" accessory, so they decide to substitute a Cargo Bay Module that uses only 1 cubic meter of space. Circumstances like this happen quite often, particularly when a vehicle is of an unusual design.

The vehicle creation process is generally straightforward. Nevertheless, to help keep potential vehicle creators from getting overly confused, an example will be provided at the end of each step in the process.

Rapier1

The CF-117b Rapier from the Wing Commander movie.

For our vehicle example, we're going to try and re-create the CF-117b Rapier from the Wing Commander Movie. This is going to be an interesting build since we're dealing with a fighter that is far smaller than every other fighter in the Wing Commander Universe.

We've got a pretty good concept for the Rapier from the Confederation Handbook: Currently the primary utility fighter of the Confederation Space Force, development of the Rapier began in 2527 and the first order of 700 was commissioned in 2536. The B-model, with enhanced missile capacity and gun, was phased in beginning in '45; the A-model has been completely phased out. The Rapier has now largely supplanted the earlier CF-105 Scimitar, particularly in frontline operations. The Rapier combines acceleration, maneuverability and firepower to make it the premier one-on-one dog fighter in space today. Its handling superiority is necessary, since its short-range neutron guns require close approach to the enemy in combat. The Rapier's most distinguished visual feature is its rotary-barrel neutron gun. The rotating multi-barrel allows longer continuous neutron fire. The dual neutron pulse generators can be set to alternate or synchronous fire. Wing mounted lasers provide longer-range fire support. It also mounts up to ten guided or dumb-fire missiles, Confed Tempest targeting and navigational AI, and a jump capable drive array. Its life-support systems are rated for up to seven hours cruise time. (A LARP variant exists, the 117b -L, with an enhanced sensor package and rated for up to 72 hours life support, but lacking the neutron gun.) The Rapier is not capable of sustained atmospheric operations - its wings function strictly as weapon/missile mounts. It can generate a retrieval tractor rated for up to 75 tonnes. It is capable of ejecting its pilot into a standard survival pod.

  • Class: Medium Fighter
  • Length: 9 meters
  • Cruise/Max Velocity: 250/'450 kps
  • Weapons:
    • Two Wing-Mounted Laser Cannon, 'Dual-Pulse Rotary Barrel Neutron Gun (forward)
    • 10 Missile Mounts
  • Defenses:
    • Fore and aft phase shields rated to 7 cm
    • 5 cm fore armor /4 cm aft armor, '3 cm port /starboard armor

That's a lot of information and we're lucky to have it; most of the time, a concept won't be nearly this fleshed out in the early going of a vehicle's design.

Select the species that primarily uses the vehicle.

Species selection is perhaps the easiest thing that can be determined about a vehicle; the designer simply needs to select the race that either uses or manufactures the vehicle. Vehicles tend to operate in the territories in which they were manufactured though a few may be exported to other territories (in which case the vehicle's cost should be increased as appropriate).

The selection of the primary user of the vehicle is a critical decision and should not be overlooked. In WCRPG, each species has its own categorical level of technological development; these are the same four general eras of development listed in Chapter 10.2.7: Stone Age, Metal Age, Industrial Age, and Starfaring Age. Certain chassis are unavailable to less developed races and it's important to know whether a species is developed enough to build a vehicle that uses the intended chassis.

We've pretty well determined this step through the concept of the Rapier (more proof of the importance of creating a concept); this will be a Confederation craft and Terrans will be the primary species using it, though it may be exported out to the Union of Border Worlds, Landreich, Firekkan Planetary Alliance, etc.

Select a vehicle chassis, chassis weight, user and Size Class and note any modifiers.

The next step in creating a vehicle is to select its chassis (a vehicle type), its weight class (how sturdy/massive a particular frame compares to other frames of the same chassis type) and its user (the specific group that the vehicle has been designed for). This is a crucial step as it will determine several of a vehicle’s base statistics including its intended terrain usage, cost, base HD, base speed and the number of accessories that can be installed.

The vehicle’s Size Class should also be determined at this time. Size Classes are dependent upon a bounding box volume, the minimum size a rectangular prism (a box) would have to be in order to fit the whole vehicle inside of it. A vehicle is said to be of a certain Size Class as long as it is at least as large as its minimum required volume while not exceeding the minimum volume of the next largest Size Class. The bounds for possible vehicle Size Classes are listed in the table below. 

WCRPG Vehicle Size Class Conversion Chart
Size Class Approximate Minimum Bounding Box Volume (m3) "Safe" Accommodation Space (m3) "Safe" Cargo Space (m3)
1 5 0.1 0
2 11 0.2 0
3 22 0.4 0
4 44 0.7 0
5 88 1.5 0
6 176 2.9 0
7 352 5.9 0.1
8 703 11.7 0.2
9 1406 23.4 0.4
10 2813 46.9 0.8
11 5625 93.8 1.6
12 11250 187.5 3.1
13 22500 375 6.3
14 45000 750 12.5
15 90000 1500 25
16 180000 3000 50
17 300000 5000 100
Size Class 18 begins at 600,000 m3 (see Chapter 7.2).

In addition to their minimum bounding box volume, each Size Class has a safe accommodation space and a safe cargo space volume, which are used to determine the ship's complement and cargo capacity respectively. The amounts indicated take into account the fact that most vehicles do not take up the whole indicated bounding box volume for the Size Class (the chart assumes only about one-sixth of the bounding box volume is used) and that only a small fraction of the available space is used for purposes of quarters and cargo (10% for quarters, 0.2% for cargo).

These data set the basic properties of the vehicle's design. The properties imparted to a vehicle by its chassis, weight class, user and Size Class can never be directly changed, though certain accessories or traits may be given to it later in the design process that may impart some degree of change to them.

We need to select a chassis, weight class and user for the Rapier. Given what we're creating, one of the Fightercraft chassis would make the most sense. However, if we go ahead and calculate the Rapier's bounding box volume given the statistics we have (which we can do since there are side-view and forward-view aspect pictures of the Rapier available and since we have a length stat already), we find that the volume is a mere 113.3 cubic meters, which puts the Rapier in Size Class Five (which is where we must set its Size Class). This is too small even for the Super Light weight class of Fightercraft. Since it's too small for any of the Fightercraft weight classes, we're going to have to use a different chassis. Of the space vehicle chassis and weight class combinations available, only the Medium weight Capsule chassis; that will be what we have to use. Since we're building a military craft, we can go ahead and set the user to Military. Thus, our base chassis, weight class and user is Medium Military Capsule.

Note what all this information already tells us about the Rapier. At Size Class Five, we have 1.5 cubic meters of accommodation space and no internal cargo space with which to play. Our base HD ratings will be 35/45/35 accounting for the base amount from the chassis and the HD bonus from the Military User. The Rapier's base cost is five Cost Points and we will have a times-twenty Cost modifier for the Military User. Its default atmospheric speed is 1000 kph and we'll have a total of thirteen accessory slots with which to fill, three from the chassis and ten from the Military user. For design purposes, the default armor amount will be three centimeters, with a maximum amount of seven centimeters after adding the bonus two centimeters from the Military User. The default Engine is Sixth Class, the craft's top atmospheric speed is 10,000 kph and its standard Cost Modifier is ¤161.30 per Cost Point. It gets two extra points to its Initiative rating thanks to the Military User. Finally, since we know we're dealing with a Starfaring Age craft, we know that we get to add the Tachyon Radar accessory as a freebie. We've already got a lot of information on the Rapier and we haven't made a whole lot of decisions yet.

Add any desired Flaws to the vehicle's design

Sometimes a vehicle's design doesn't work out as well as intended either due to inadequate manufacturing processes or mistakes made during construction, leading to problems with the vehicles functioning. These problems might not be caught until after a substantial number of vehicles have been manufactured with the problem intact. They may even sometimes be something someone knew about before the first vehicle rolled off the assembly line but either couldn't or wouldn't fix. These problems are collectively known as flaws.

Flaws may be used to reflect problems inherent in a vehicle's design or serve as a reflection of imperfect manufacturing processes used in the technological era in which it was constructed. Flaws affect a vehicle’s modifiers and/or the ability of its users to fix any problems. If a designer wants to add flaws to their vehicle, they may choose their own or they may use the chart below. A designer can add flaws and other characteristics to an entire class of vehicle if they wish. The same flaw can be given repeatedly a vehicle; it has a cumulative effect in each case. Designers should make any selections from the "Design" column below; the "Acquired" column is specifically for flaws that are inflicted on existing vehicles during the course of combat (see Chapter 9.3).

Vehicle Flaws by d%
d% Result Flaw
(Design)
Flaw
(Acquired)
01-10 The vehicle's design makes inefficient use of interior space; reduce its accommodation, cargo and hangar volume by 10%. This flaw can be repaired with three successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one per day. The vehicle's paint job is scratched or chipped; no game effect.
11-20 The vehicle's design is not easily modified; reduce its normal maximum number of accessories by one per two Size Classes. All upgrades and modifications to the vehicle will take twice as long as normal to complete. This flaw can be repaired with five successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check per day. Part of the vehicle's outer surface is dented in. No game effect.
21-30 The vehicle has slower than normal throttle settings; reduce its movement rate by one. This flaw can be repaired with two successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every three hours.  One of the vehicle's systems takes some minor but irreparable damage (GM's choice); one of its systems takes 5% damage permanently. This flaw may accumulate.
31-50 Some of the vehicle's systems have had to be jury-rigged in order for it to operate normally; -20 on all Mechanics Checks made to the vehicle. The repair DC for this flaw is dependent upon the specific systems that have been affected at the GM's discretion. One of the vehicle's systems malfunctions. The GM must select one system randomly (see Chapter 9.3); the system malfunctions immediately regardless of its current damage level.
51-60 The cooling system is inadequate to the needs of the vehicle's reactor, making it easy for it to overheat at high speeds. The vehicle may only travel up to half its normal maximum speed without incident; it takes 5% Engine damage for every minute that it travels at speed greater than that level. This flaw can be repaired with two successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every twelve hours. The vehicle's Engine has overheated; it takes an immediate 50% Engine Damage. It takes a further 5% Engine damage for each minute it remains in operation until the vehicle slows to ¼ of its maximum speed. Afterwards, the vehicle may not travel faster than ½ of its maximum speed. This flaw can be repaired with two successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every twelve hours while vehicle is not in operation, or six successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every six hours while vehicle is still in operation.
61-70 The vehicle’s handling is shaky and/or sluggish; -20 to all Vehicle Piloting Check DCs while the vehicle is being operated. This flaw cannot be repaired. One of the vehicle's stabilizers has blown loose. This causes an immediate 20% Engine Damage, -1 to the vehicle's Initiative rating and a -20 DC penalty to all Vehicle Piloting Checks. This flaw can only be repaired by replacing the stabilizer as well as by completing two successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check per day.
71-75 The vehicle has been designed with sub-standard scanning equipment; it takes a +1 Range penalty to all Marksmanship and Ballistics Checks. This flaw can be repaired via replacement of the scanner pallets while the vehicle is not in operation as well as two successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every two days. The vehicle’s Sensors malfunction; it immediately takes a +2 Range penalty to all Marksmanship and Ballistics Checks. This flaw can only be repaired by replacement of the scanner pallets while the vehicle is not in operation and two successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every two days. If the vehicle has no scanners, roll again on this table.
76-80 The vehicle's weapons systems only work intermittently; every time they are activated, there is a 10% chance of a weapons system malfunction. This flaw can be repaired while the vehicle is not in operation via the re-wiring of the weapon power taps as well as three successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every eight hours. If the vehicle has no weapons, roll again on this table. The vehicle's fire control systems have malfunctioned; it takes an immediate -10 DC penalty to all Marksmanship and Ballistics Check. This flaw can be repaired with four successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every eight hours. If the vehicle has no weaponry, roll again on this table.
81-90 The factory where the vehicle was built employed laborers or equipment whose work was sub-standard; each time the Armor has to absorb damage, there is a 10% chance the armor plates will completely fall off. This flaw can be repaired via the complete removal and replacement of the armor plating at a garage; this takes three times the normal amount of time for Armor replacement. Upon replacement, roll d%; on 10 or less, the flaw is still present. The vehicle's weapons capacitors short out; its weapons systems are rendered inoperative and cannot be used again until the damage is repaired. The short causes a blast that inflicts d% Core Damage to the vehicle. Repair of the weapons systems requires five successful Mechanics Checks in a row at a rate of one Check per hour. If the vehicle has no weapons or if the capacitor has already shorted out, roll again on this table.
91-95 The vehicle was designed with sub-standard structural materials; each time the Armor has to absorb damage, there is a 25% chance the armor plates will completely fall off. Additionally, the vehicle has a permanent 1d10% Core Damage. Repair of this flaw requires a full overhaul of the vehicle's chassis to replace the affected beam members; this requires ten times the normal amount of time for Armor replacement. Upon replacement, roll d%; on 25 or less, the flaw is still present.  Serious damage to the vehicle's internal framework; it immediately takes 2d% Core Damage and must double all its HD ratings. Repair of this flaw requires five successful Mechanics Checks in a row, with each check made at intervals equal to a number of hours equal to the amount of HD points gained. The GM is allowed to select secondary effects from this flaw at their discretion (such as lowered AHP, Core Damage or system malfunctions).
96-00 Other. Some other system is either flawed or has become flawed; the GM/designer is encouraged to be somewhat cruel.

Note that flaws added at this stage of the design process apply to entire makes of vehicles; for individual vehicles, flaws do not necessarily have to be added until the "finishing touches" step as described below.

We could add flaws to the Rapier but let's not do so for the sake of argument. If we did anything, we could take the "other" route and give it an unstable jump drive (like what's eventually seen on the F-95 Morningstar), causing a total temporary systems failure for 1d5*10 minutes after any failed jump.

Determine the type, amount and cost of the vehicle's Armor

Once the vehicle’s basic stats have been determined, it’s time to begin selecting its basic equipment starting with its Armor. Armor's primary function is to act as a defensive system; since shields are a relatively expensive and advanced technology, more vehicles than not have Armor only and as such a vehicle's Armor should be selected carefully. Armor is available to Industrial Age and Starfaring Age vehicles only and some of the stronger forms of Armor are further limited by a "service date", prior to which it does not exist and may not be installed on any vehicle.

A designer may arbitrarily set the vehicle's amount and type of Armor. Each Armor type has a Durasteel equivalency rating, which measures the effectiveness of the armor as compared to an equal amount of Durasteel. The vehicle will receive ten AHP per centimeter of Durasteel equivalency installed. For example, Plasteel armor has an equivalency of 10 centimeters Durasteel per centimeter. If a designer puts two centimeters of Plasteel armor on their vehicle, the vehicle will have the equivalent of 20 centimeters of Durasteel armor installed and will thus have 200 AHP. Armor amounts are always listed in tenths of a centimeter and always reflect the actual thickness of the armor on the vehicle in question.

Each chassis has a default armor and a maximum armor rating. The default armor stat is considered an optimal thickness of Armor for the chassis; installing the default amount of Armor on a vehicle will have no effect on its HD ratings. A designer can put less armor on the vehicle if they so desire; this will have the effect of lowering its HD ratings. For each full centimeter (rounded down) below the default armor amount, each of the vehicle's HD ratings should be reduced by one point. If a higher than optimal amount of Armor is installed, each of the vehicle's HD ratings should be increased by one point for each full centimeter above the optimal amount installed. Note that the Armor's type has no bearing on HD ratings but the amount does.

The maximum armor stat lists the highest thickness of Armor that can be installed on the vehicle under normal circumstances; there is an accessory that will allow a designer to add even higher amounts of armor, though it is quite expensive. If the maximum amount of Armor rating is installed on the vehicle, the vehicle's HD ratings should be increased by an additional point above what would normally added for higher Armor amounts. 

Armor is not essential and can be ignored entirely should a vehicle designer choose to do so, though as stated above, it usually is the only substantial defensive system most vehicles have; removing it will greatly reduce a vehicle's survivability.

From the design notes, we know that the Rapier has five centimeters of armor forward, four aft and three on the sides. There's nothing in the rules about having variable amounts of armor per quarter; the easiest thing we can do here is just average the armor among the four quarters. Doing this gives the craft an average of 3.75 centimeters of Armor, which for the sake of argument we will round up to an even four centimeters. From our notes, we know that the default armor is three centimeters and the maximum armor is seven centimeters; this amount falls comfortably within that range. The movie Rapier is a comparatively early design, so Durasteel armor will do just fine. We'll need four centimeters; this will add a total of ¤2,000 to the final cost of the craft and give it a mere 40 AHP. We've added one centimeter of armor over the default amount, so we need to raise the HD ratings by one point a piece. This puts them at 36/46/36 for the time being.

Select the vehicle's Engine Class and determine its cost.

The next most crucial piece of equipment to select is the vehicle’s Engine. The Engine's primary function is to provide the vehicle with propulsive and electrical power; the system always includes whatever power generation technology is required to complete these aims. Each vehicle chassis has a default engine rating, which indicates an Engine Class considered optimal for the chassis; installing the default Engine Class will have no effect on the vehicle's HD ratings. A designer can put a lesser Engine Class on the vehicle if they so desire in most cases (see below for details). Conversely, a higher Engine Class will decrease the HD and BHD ratings by two points apiece. A vehicle's Engine never has an effect on its FHD rating.

Engines have a direct effect on the vehicle's fuel efficiency (see Chapter 8.1) as well as its top speed. For each Class above the default engine rating, the top speed of the vehicle is doubled; this cumulates per Class increase (i.e. two Classes above will multiply the normal top speed by four, three Classes above will multiply the top speed by eight and so forth). Sea vehicles are an exception to this rule; added Engine Classes only raise their top speed by 10 kph. If an increase in the vehicle's speed will put it above the maximum for its chassis, it must be set at the chassis maximum; it cannot be raised above that amount. Installation of higher Engine Classes will increase a vehicle's fuel efficiency even after it has reached the maximum speed for its chassis. 

Lower Engine Classes halve the indicated top speed, rounding down. Sea vehicles are an exception again; lower Engine Classes reduce their top speed by ten kph. Most vehicles can still operate with a First Class Engine installed though both their fuel efficiency and speed will be abysmal. A few vehicle chassis have a minimum engine rating; any Engine Class below this minimum rating installed on a vehicle will not provide sufficient power for the vehicle to operate. No vehicle may have a speed of lower than five kph regardless of its Engine rating.

If they so desire, a designer may reduce the maximum speed of their vehicle below the amount indicated by its Engine Class (i.e. they may add a "speed governor" to the vehicle). Speed governors are considered part of the vehicle's Engine system. Characters are welcome to try to remove a vehicle's speed governor in order to improve its performance; this requires a successful Jury Rig Check. If successful, the vehicle's top speed increases to the full amount indicated by its Engine Class; this also allows the vehicle to travel at speeds exceeding the maximum rated speed for its chassis type. If a vehicle is being operated at speeds exceeding its chassis maximum, it takes 1% Core Damage every three minutes with the attendant risk of catastrophic failure and all associated penalties for systems damage (see Chapter 9.3).

Not all vehicles require an Engine; those that don't have "None (Unpowered)" as their default engine rating. These vehicles are capable of running on some kind of non-internal source such as wind, water, work animal or sentient power. If external sources are used for locomotion, the vehicle can travel as fast as the external source (e.g. a Yacht driven by a 20 kph wind will travel at 20 kph, a Groundcar drawn by a horse at 15 kph will travel at 15 kph and so forth). Externally driven vehicles have no speed governor and may experience the same potential effects that come from the lack of one if the vehicle's speed becomes greater than its chassis maximum, though such occurrences would be exceptionally rare. The Initiative value for a vehicle with a non-internal power source is zero.

We know that a Capsule's default Engine rating is Sixth Class. We also know that we're designing a fighter capable of moving at speeds rated in kps, which is ultimately going to require an Ion Engine accessory (which will switch the velocity units of the vehicle's speed ratings from kph to kps and reduce their values tenfold). From our concept, we know that the top speed of the Rapier is 450 kps. The default Engine Class for a Capsule is Sixth Class and the Ion Engine changes its default speed from 1000 kph to 100 kps. A Seventh Class Engine would double this to 200 kps, an Eighth Class will double it again to 400 kps and a Ninth Class will double it yet again to 800 kps. We therefore need to install a Ninth Class Engine on the Rapier and add a speed governor to knock its top speed down to 450 kps. Note that the Ion Engine also affects the maximum chassis speed (changing it from 10,000 kph to 1,000 kps), so we're still below that limit.

Since a Ninth Class Engine is three levels above the default Engine rating for a Capsule, we get to subtract six points from the Rapier's HD and BHD ratings, bringing them to 30/40/36. It will also add nine points to its Initiative rating, bringing it up to eleven. Finally, the Engine will add a whopping 1,400 Cost Points.

Air Vehicles, Space Vehicles, and Aerodynamic Ratings

Some Air and Space vehicles are capable of moving in a planet's atmosphere at speeds high enough to generate a great deal of friction, in the process generating sufficient heat to melt their frame if heat-dissipating materials are not added to its outer skin. As expected, these materials add to the cost of the vehicle; for every 1,000 kph a vehicle is capable of traveling in atmosphere, one Cost Point should be added to its basic cost. A vehicle's aerodynamic rating is equal to the increase of the vehicle's cost and sets the maximum speed at which it can travel through atmosphere. It functions like a speed governor except that it can be exceeded simply by installing a certain type of Engine; the same risk of catastrophic failure applies. Should the vehicle be operated at a speed greater than both its aerodynamic rating and the maximum speed, for its chassis the amount of Core Damage it sustains is increased to 2% every minute. No vehicle may travel faster than 10,000 kph in a planetary atmosphere.

Space vehicles have a few additional rules in regards to atmospheric operations. It is assumed that all space vehicles are capable of moving at a speed sufficient to enter a parking orbit around the world from which they operate and are capable of travelling at a speed sufficient to conduct any tasks locally (i.e. around the planet and its moons but not much further than that). The maximum chassis speed for a Space Vehicle is ignored when it is operating in space or during launch and landing; it only applies when it is conducting extended operations in a planetary troposphere

It is generally assumed that Air and Space Vehicles have been given sufficient heat-dissipating material on their outer skin in order for them to operate normally in any kind of planetary environment; this includes vehicles that are transported and used on worlds with significantly varying tropospheric conditions (temperature, atmospheric density, gravity, etc.). Simply put, it's easier to make this assumption rather than have to calculate a multitude of permutations of environments in which a vehicle may be called upon to operate, though it is good role-playing to have characters comment on the suitability of a certain vehicle on a certain worlds or to have a problem it crop up because of the environment.

From our concept, we know that the Rapier is "not capable of sustained atmospheric operations". Thus, we can easily say that it is not an atmospheric-capable craft and we do not have to add any Cost Points for an aerodynamic rating.

Select all accessories for the vehicle.

The vehicle’s accessories should be selected next provided it can support them; if it cannot or if the designer doesn’t feel like adding them, this step may be skipped. It should be noted that a vehicle that can carry at least one accessory has the potential to carry many more thanks to the Modified Chassis accessory (though adding this accessory will add quite a lot to a vehicle's cost). Accessories have a number of effects; for more information about what specific accessories are capable of doing, see Chapter 6.2.3. Accessories can change a lot of the basic characteristics of a vehicle; any changes should be noted with the accessory’s effect. Certain chassis may indicate the inclusion of one or more "freebie" accessories; these accessories may be included at a designer's discretion without taking up available accessory slots and without adding their cost to the vehicle; they are considered part of the chassis).

Shield systems are one type of accessory that may be added to a vehicle. Shields are considered full accessories and count as such in a vehicle's accessory count except for Fightercraft and Transports. Like Armor, an arbitrary number of shield hit points (SHP) may be set for a vehicle at the time of its design, with each ten SHP equivalent to one centimeter of equivalent Durasteel Armor plating. This can lead to situations wherein the indicated strength of the Shields does not match the amount indicated by any of the Classes of Shields in the equipment list (see Chapter 6.2.3). If this is the case, the designer will need to find the first Shield Class whose SHP value is more than what they have indicated; that Class becomes the vehicle's official Shield Class. For example, a designer elects to create a vehicle with 105 SHP. This doesn't correspond to any established Shield Classes; checking the chart, the first Class of Shield with a higher SHP value is Second Class at 200 SHP, so the vehicle has Second Class Shields. When modifying a vehicle, the values and Classes of Shields must correspond to the chart; the SHP cannot be arbitrarily set. No vehicle may have over 1,000 SHP. Shields have no effect on a vehicle's HD.

Weapons systems are another type of accessory that may be added to a vehicle at this time. To add a weapon to a vehicle, a Weapons Station accessory must be placed first, which will determine into what combat arcs a weapon may fire as well as the number of weapons present (for more on the Weapons Station accessory, see Chapter 6.2.3; for more on combat arcs, see Chapter 9.3). Vehicles may have multiple types of weapons installed on the same Weapons Station if the designer so chooses (e.g. a vehicle could carry both Standard and Long Range Heat Seeking Missiles on the same weapons station) but may not carry any class of weapon for which it is not designed (e.g. an Ordnance Weapons Station cannot mount Lasers or any other type of Gun). Weapons Stations help the designer to note what weapon is located on what particular mount. Each mount point allows a single weapon of the appropriate type to be mounted on it; these weapons do not take up additional accessory slots but do take up the mounting points on the Weapons Station. The amount of damage or effect of a weapon should be recorded in the appropriate boxes on the Vehicle Record Sheet. 

Finally, vehicles may be configured to carry other vehicles (through use of the Vehicle Rack or any of the various Hangar Bay Module accessories). "Child" vehicles never count as accessories but if they are normally carried by a parent vehicle their cost should be added to its final cost after the rest of its cost has been calculated (see below). Stats should also be made available for the smaller craft if they aren't available already.

From our earlier notes, we know that we have thirteen accessory slots with which to work. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it's going to be sufficient; we know the Rapier has Shields (which we won't get for free since we're not using a Fightercraft or Transport chassis), an Ion Engine, an Akwende Drive and a total of thirteen Weapons Stations; that's going to equate to sixteen accessories at a minimum. We'll have no choice but to put the Modified Chassis Accessory on the Rapier, so we should go ahead and figure out what other accessories we're going to want to add. Going back to our design concept, we're going for something maneuverable with one Gatling gun and a tractor beam, a good tactical and navigational AI, seven hours cruise time and pilot ejection capabilities. From that description, we can add a Scout Module, an ECM module, a Tracking Computer, ITTS, a Tractor Beam and an Ejection Seat to what we have so far. While an Afterburner and a Countermeasure Pod dispenser would make sense given what we're building, they don't appear in the official statistics and so we won't add them.

So, we'll need a total of twenty-two accessory slots to fit everything we want on the Rapier. This means we'll need a Modified Chassis +9 accessory, which will add 900 Cost Points and the remaining accessory slots we need. We can now add ten Light Ordnance Hardpoints (at 25 Cost Points per mount for a total of 250 Cost Points), two Gun Sponsons for the Lasers (also at 25 apiece for a total of 50 Cost Points) and a Gatling Gun Hardpoint (at 240 Cost Points) for the Neutron Gun. We'll then add the Tracking Computer (20 Cost Points), ITTS (10 Cost Points), ECM Module set at times one (which costs 20 times the Size Class; 100 Cost Points total), Tractor Beam (which again costs 20 times the Size Class for 100 Cost Points total), Ejection Seat (10 Cost Points), Ion Engine (250 Cost Points) and Akwende Drive (1,000 Cost Points). Lastly, we need to add a Shield Generator; since the Rapier only has seven centimeters of Shields and that doesn't correspond to any Shield on the equipment list, we'll need to check for the next highest amount of SHP. This turns out to be a First Class Shield; we'll add it for a cost of ten Cost Points and set the Rapier's SHP amount to seventy. We also get a Tachyon Radar as a freebie; its addition does not take up any additional accessory slots and we don't have to add its normal cost (which would otherwise be 35 times the Size Class; 175 Cost Points in this case). Adding everything up, the total cost of our accessories is 2,940 Cost Points.

We also need to add weapons at this time. Our concept is not particularly specific about a default missile loadout, so we'll just say six Dumb-Fires and four Image Recognition Missiles. We can save a little from the craft's cost if we go with the lighter versions of each weapon; this is actually appropriate for a craft of the WC1 era, so we'll go with Light Dumb-Fire and Civilian-Grade Image Recognition Missiles. Each DF costs ¤90,000 and each ImRec costs ¤750,000; we'll be adding a total of ¤3,540,000 in ordnance. We also need to add two Laser Cannons for the wingtips; Civilian-Grade Lasers (the only kind available for the era) cost ¤1,000 apiece. Finally, we'll need to add a Neutron Gun to the design; the Standard gun is the only one available and it costs ¤4,800. The final total cost of our weaponry is ¤3,546,800.

Determine the vehicle's crew and passenger complement and its cargo capacity.

With the vehicle's accessories determined, there is only one major issue that needs to be addressed before its remaining stats can be determined: its crew complement and cargo capacity. Crew complement is an indication of how many people are required to operate the vehicle (its crew) as well as the number of additional people it can carry that aren't essential to its operation (passengers). Similarly, a vehicle's cargo capacity indicates the volume of equipment, parts and commodities it can carry at any given time.

Vehicles have an amount of space set aside for the purpose of housing occupants; this safe accommodation space is determined by a vehicle's Size Class. The amount of space involved has been pre-calculated for each Size Class making the following three basic assumptions about vehicles:

  1. A vehicle's bounding box volume is no larger than the minimum amount indicated for its Size Class.
  2. A vehicle's actual internal volume is only one-sixth the amount of its bounding box volume.
  3. A vehicle devotes ten percent of its actual internal volume to accommodation space.

The amount of accommodations space available on a specific vehicle can be vastly different if any of these assumptions are incorrect; for the most part, a designer can be rest assured that the amount of space indicated is what would usually be available. If a larger amount of space is desired, it's recommended a designer not go above 50% of the bounding box volume for the available internal volume and that no more than 25% of that space be set aside for living areas. Living space can also be transferred from a vehicle's safe cargo space if the designer so chooses.

Accommodations spaces partition a vehicle's accommodation volume into spaces for individual occupants. These spaces vary greatly in size from single seats all the way up to opulent, apartment-like suites. A description of the available types of accommodation spaces is provided in the table below:

Vehicle and Starship Accommodation Spaces
Name Approximate Size (m3) Brief Description
Suite 400 This is a full-sized apartment. It comes with separate full bathroom and sleeping areas off of a main living area or office space and has its own kitchen and dining areas.
Luxury Stateroom 200 This is an efficiency apartment. Its kitchen, living space and bedroom are all rolled into one space, which can be partitioned if so desired by its occupant. It does have a separate full bath area.
Stateroom 100 This is a high-class cabin. It usually has its own full bathroom, a table and chairs for office space, a large bedding area and maybe a kitchenette. This is a good size space for first-class family accommodations.
Double Cabin 50 This is a good medium-sized room. It usually comes with a full bath area, large bed and a small work area. It typically utilizes a shared common area. This is a good size space for first-class accommodations on space vehicles.
Single Cabin 25 Dinky in comparison to some types of quarters, a single cabin has enough room for a bed, a person's belongings and maybe a small toilet. It typically utilizes a shared common room. This size of space is used a lot for second-class passenger passage.
Steerage Cabin 12.5 Steerage cabins are cramped, usually containing just the bed and maybe a desk and a little space for personal effects. It usually requires a shared restroom but otherwise affords a person at least some privacy.
Large Berth 6.25 A good size bunk that folds up into the wall, giving an occupant a good amount of space for working as well as a little more in the way of storage for personal effects. If a shared common space and bathroom are used, there's probably just enough space in the actual room for the bunk and not much else.
Medium Berth 3.125 A larger bunk that can fold up into a wall with a larger storage area. This volume of space is usually good when comfort isn't a priority but some work or office space is needed. Jail cells are usually about this size.
Crew Berth 1.5625 A bunk bed with a locker for storage. The bunks in these spaces are usually stacked three high. This volume of space is good when you have to cram large numbers of people into a really small space. They aren't very private or very comfortable.
Airplane Seat 0.78125 This is one reasonably comfortable partially reclining seat with an overhead bin to hold a small amount of cargo as well as a small cargo space under the chair. This volume of space is good for hauling passengers on trips not much longer than twelve hours or so at the most.
Bucket Seat 0.390625 This is about as basic as it gets; it's a seat that still offers support for the back. No cargo space is included. This amount of space is good for hauling passengers on short trips of about two hours or less, perhaps longer if breaks are scheduled in.
Saddle 0.1953125 A place to put your butt; that's about it. At least you don't have to share it with anyone...

Regardless of its type, each accommodation space added to a vehicle adds one person to its overall complement. A designer is allowed to perform hot racking on any Berth-sized space; this will add an additional person for every two such berths added to the vehicle resulting in a minor drop in its overall performance: if the vehicle's base fuel efficiency is 50% or less, its fuel efficiency should be lowered by 5% (to a minimum of 5%; for more information on fuel efficiency, see Chapter 8.1). Additionally, all Checks made by the vehicle's occupants will be at a -2 DC penalty. An additional person may be added without hot racking for Cabin-sized spaces and larger; a third person may be added for each Stateroom or Suite-sized quarters added. The listed accommodation types assume Terran occupancy; if the species for which the craft is being designed is larger than Terrans (CSC 5), the designer should double the indicated size of the accommodation space for each point of difference in their Size Class. Likewise, the indicated space should be halved for smaller species. The specific types of quarters do not have much in the way of game effects but may add flavor to some adventures.

Not all of the available accommodation space needs to be filled in; some can be transferred over to cargo carrying volume, transferred to hangar space if the vehicle is equipped with any Hangar Bay Modules or just left empty.

Once the number of persons that can occupy a vehicle has been determined, the designer may set any number of them as crew with the rest becoming passengers. A designer is welcome to assign however many spaces they desire to crew, though they should keep in mind that larger vehicles will probably require a significantly larger crew just to run things. As a general rule, about 20% of the indicated number of persons should be required as crew if the vehicle is either Commercial or Industrial (six persons at a minimum), one person for every two Size Classes is required if the vehicle is Civilian and 95% or more (usually all) should be required if the vehicle is Military. Obviously these figures are suggestions; they won't apply all the time (a vehicle with the Automation Module accessory, for instance, doesn't require a crew at all) but should be good for most situations.

Once they have been determined, a vehicle's crew and passengers should be recorded in the appropriate boxes on the Vehicle Record Sheet along with the various types of accommodation spaces placed inside the vehicle.

Cargo space is determined next. It is similar to the safe accommodation space in that a certain volume has been set aside for cargo carrying based on the vehicle's Size Class; the amount set aside is approximately one-sixth of one percent of a vehicle's actual internal volume (again assuming the vehicle takes up only one-sixth of the minimum possible bounding box volume). Like accommodation space, this volume can be adjusted to fit the vehicle's intended function (for example, a transport ship might utilize something like 25% of its internal volume as cargo space; 80% or so may be used for bulk good transports).

Determining a vehicle's cargo capacity is simple enough; the designer just needs to add up any cargo space the vehicle gains from any Cargo Modules installed on the vehicle (including the Refrigeration, High-Temperature, Bio-Hazard and Waste Disposal Modules as well as the standard Cargo Module and Bulk Cargo Module accessories) and add to it the amount of space reserved for cargo. The resultant amount is the vehicle's cargo capacity, which must be recorded in the cargo capacity box on the Vehicle Record Sheet along with a list of its various cargo carrying modules. As with accommodation space, space reserved for cargo can be transferred to accommodation space, hangar space (if the vehicle has been equipped with any type of Hangar Bay module), both or neither at the designer's discretion. Note, however, that cargo space granted to a vehicle from its modules cannot be transferred; that space must remain devoted strictly for cargo carrying.

We know from the movie that the Rapier is a single-seat fighter. We also know from our earlier notes that we've got 1.5 cubic meters of space for accommodations. We can easily stick an Airplane Seat on the Rapier; this will give us a little extra space for a "boot". The Airplane Seat will take up 0.78125 cubic meters of space, leaving us with 0.71875 cubic meters. We'll put an even 0.25 cubic meters to cargo space for the boot and ignore the rest. This gives us a compliment of one person with no passenger room.

Figure up the vehicle’s total cost.

Once all accessories have been selected, any weapons systems have been mounted and the vehicle's complement and cargo capacity are all known, it's time to start figuring up its vital statistics starting with its cost. A designer may begin this process by tallying the cost factors of all of the vehicle’s "non-direct" cost equipment; this includes anything whose value is listed in Cost Points such as Accessories, Engines and Shields). Multipliers are applied after this "subtotal" has been tallied beginning with the user's cost factor. If the Eco-Safe Module Accessory has been added to the vehicle, the tally will be halved after the user multiplier has been applied, rounding up. The resultant amount is then multiplied by the Cost Multiplier indicated for the vehicle's chassis. Once all multipliers have been applied, the cost of any direct cost equipment is added to the result; this includes anything whose value is listed in credits such as Armor, Weapons and any child craft. The final result is the total cost of the vehicle in credits; it should be recorded in the "Cost" box on the Vehicle Record Sheet.

We've been keeping good track of our costs as things have progressed. Our base cost was 5 points, the Engine cost 1,400 and we have 2,940 Cost Points worth of Accessories; tallying these up gives us a total of 4,345 Cost Points. We now have two multipliers to attend to, a times twenty multiplier for the Military User and a ¤161.3 multiplier for the Capsule chassis. Applying the multipliers gives us a cost of ¤14,016,970. We then add the cost of our Armor (¤2,000) and Weaponry (¤3,548,800), giving us a grand total of ¤17,565,770. This value is unusually low for a fighter but is explainable when you consider we based the craft on the Capsule chassis instead of Fightercraft. 

Record the vehicle’s vital stats.

Once the vehicle’s cost has been calculated, it’s time to figure up the remainder of its vital stats. The designer should have been keeping notes as they were going along; if not, then it's important for them to go back and record the effects of the vehicle's equipment. From these design notes, it is possible to determine the vehicle’s combat modifiers (SI, SHP, AHP, Max Speed, INIT, HD, BHD, FHD, Crew and Passengers). Here is an overview of these stats, what they mean and how to determine them:

  • Strength Index (SI): Strength index is a measure of how well a vehicle rates in combat as opposed to other vehicles. A vehicle’s strength index is a combination of the sum of its shield hit points, armor hit points, and the combined strength of all of its onboard guns. Because this value is dependent upon a vehicle's current defensive capabilities, it can fluctuate greatly throughout the course of an adventure; the value recorded should be its maximum possible value. The SI value is a basic method of "keeping score" and helps determine whether or not a vehicle will withdraw from combat if given the opportunity.
  • Hit Difficulties (HD/BHD/FHD): Hit Difficulties are a measure of how hard it is to hit and inflict damage on a vehicle, whether in combat or in potentially hazardous situations wherein no one necessarily intends to cause damage but damage could still potentially result. Several factors determine how difficult it is to actually hit a vehicle, including its size, mass and ability to accelerate. The lower the hit difficulty, the lower the result needed on a d% roll to damage the vehicle. Vehicles have three hit difficulties: normal (HD), "blast" (BHD) and "flat-foot" (FHD). Normal hit difficulty (HD) is used in most situations. Blast hit difficulty (BHD) is used when the vehicle is exposed to the effects of blast weaponry (grenades, missiles, nuclear explosions, etc.). Flat-foot hit difficulty (FHD) is used when the vehicle is surprised or disabled. Each vehicle chassis and weight class has a base HD rating, which is modified by Armor effects, Engine effects, its user and its Size Class.
  • Initiative (INIT): As with characters, Initiative measures a vehicle's ability to react; it is used to determine the order in which different vehicles engaged in combat situations will fight; the higher the vehicle’s Initiative, the more likely it is that it will get to deliver damage before other vehicles. A vehicle’s Initiative modifier is determined directly from its user and Engine Class and may be adjusted depending on the presence of certain accessories or flaws.
  • Maximum Speed (MAX SPEED): This lists the vehicle’s maximum speed rating, as determined by its chassis type, its aerodynamic rating, and/or the setting of its speed governor. A vehicle may travel at any rate of speed from zero to this maximum speed.
  • Combat Speed (SPEED): A related figure to a vehicle's maximum speed is its combat speed, which is the number of range increments it may move during a combat round (see Chapter 9.0). The derivation of a craft's combat speed depends on the units involved in its maximum speed rating and its general terrain category (i.e. if it's a land vehicle, sea vehicle, air vehicle or space vehicle). If a craft's maximum speed is measured in kps, the designer must multiply it by .006 and round the result to the closest integer; the result is the craft's combat speed. If it is measured in kph and the vehicle is a land or air vehicle, the designer must first multiply the craft's speed by .0017; the result of this calculation will give the craft's speed in kilometers per round. If the vehicle is a land vehicle, this result is its combat speed. If it's an air vehicle, however, this result must be divided by twenty; that result becomes the vehicle's combat speed. For sea vehicles, the designer may simply multiply the vehicle's speed by .01; the end result is its combat speed in kilometers per six-minutes (the length of a combat round for sea vehicles). For more on combat ranges and how they play into these calculations, see Chapter 9.3.
  • Shield Hit Points (SHP): This is a measure of the strength of the vehicle’s Shields, if any are installed. Shields can regenerate in combat at a rate affected by the Defenses Skill score of the vehicle's mechanical specialist. If a vehicle’s Shield HP is reduced to zero, any excess damage points are applied either to any Armor the vehicle has or straight to systems damage if it has none.
  • Armor Hit Points (AHP): This is a measure of the strength of the vehicle’s Armor. Armor does not regenerate in combat. If a vehicle’s Armor HP is reduced to zero, any excess damage points go directly to systems damage. Some vehicles can take systems damage even if their Armor is not breached; see Chapter 9.3 for details.
  • Crew: This lists the number of personnel required to operate the vehicle under normal conditions. Crew listings can be filled out by any type of character, including player characters, specific NPCs or "redshirts". A vehicle that has less than 90% of its crew requirement aboard will take a general penalty for being undermanned (see Chapter 9.3).
  • Passengers: This lists the number of personnel the vehicle can transport as passengers. Unlike crew, passengers are not essential to the successful operation of the vehicle. A vehicle may take a general penalty for being overcrowded (see Chapter 9.3) if there are at least 120% of its combined crew and passenger compliments aboard. "Passengers" come in many forms, including travelers, troops and prisoners just to name a few examples.

We're ready to figure up derived statistics. We know the Rapier has 70 SHP and 40 AHP. Its Lasers inflict 18 points of damage apiece (36 between the two of them) and the Neutron Gun inflicts 30; this all adds up to a total SI of 176. We've kept track of the HD ratings as we were going along; it didn't change after we put the Engines on, so the final HD ratings are 30/40/36. We also know its Initiative rating is 11 (again, determined after the Engines were put in place; +9 from the Engines and +2 from the Military User), its maximum speed is 450 kps (which makes its combat speed 3; .006 * 450 = 2.7, which rounds to 3), it has a compliment of one crew and it can carry no passengers.

Put finishing touches and any desired additional traits to the vehicle.

A vehicle is essentially complete after its vital stats have been recorded. If the designer is only designing a general make of vehicle, they may stop there and call it done; a name should be assigned to the make/model if one has not been selected already. A manufacturer and model name will suffice in most cases (e.g. something like the "Origin Daystar" or "Proxima Spaceworks Errant"); a service number may also be added if desired (e.g. something like "CF-117/B Rapier"). If, however, the designer is creating a specific vehicle (such as one a characters group is trying to buy), they may choose to add details to the vehicle such as the color of its paint job, any scratches or dents in its skin or armor, any acquired flaws and so forth.

One thing a designer should consider at this point is who will have access to their vehicle. Obviously, it is unlikely that the general population would be allowed to purchase a battle tank or that the military would want to use an unarmed sporting bike. Of course, there's always the chance the vehicle will be hijacked by someone who's not intended to operate it...

At this point, a vehicle is complete enough to include in adventures but the creation process does not necessarily need to end. Such information as a design programme, the name of the chief designer, the vehicle’s history and so forth can also be added; this will help give the vehicle some of the "personality" that all infamous vehicles seem to have. This part of the creation process does not have to be done at the time the vehicle is created; such information can be added through the course of game-play.

We're pretty satisfied with the Rapier as it is; in fact, we're going to call it done at this point. This is the same craft that appears in Chapter 6.4; it's not necessarily non-canonical but that's probably the best place for it given that our version is a home-brew.

Modifying Vehicles

As mentioned previously, the procedure laid out in this sub-Chapter is used to create a brand new vehicle from scratch. "Creating" a specific vehicle of an existing make for use in an adventure (such as a player character's Epee) is as simple as copying the information provided from whatever source is available (usually from this guidebook or the GM’s own notes). At some point, however, the players or GM may want to make modifications that vehicle. Modifying a vehicle or capital ship is a relatively simple process; all that is required is the removal from and/or addition of a system from the craft, a re-calculation of its cost and a re-determination of its vital stats. The procedure outlined above can also be used for the modification process. Modders should be careful and pay attention to the craft's cost multipliers during this process; the cost of any non-direct cost equipment added or removed will need to be multiplied by the indicated amount before it is subtracted from or added to the craft's overall cost. If necessary, a modder may choose to recalculate the overall cost of the craft themselves.

If a modification involves the removal of old equipment, a vehicle's owner may expect to receive some money back for it. The value of equipment depreciates the moment it is installed on any craft. While in the real world the amount of depreciation would be dependent upon how long the equipment has been in use, for purposes of the game all equipment sold earns 50% of its full value. This amount can be reduced based on any damage it has at time of sale; the GM should shave 0.5% off of the equipment's depreciated value (not the full value) for each point of damage the equipment has received. Destroyed equipment has no value at all. In all cases, it is the equipment's full value (not the depreciated value) which is deducted from the overall value of the craft.

Modification of any of a craft's systems takes time to complete. The amount of time required is fully dependent upon the Class of the equipment being removed, the Class of equipment being added and how well the mechanic (or mechanics) doing the work perform in the course of doing their job. To calculate the base amount of time necessary, simply add the Class of the old equipment to the Class of the new equipment; the result is the amount of time needed for the modification in hours. For example, upgrading from a Fourth Class Engine to a Fifth Class Engine will take nine hours (4+5 = 9). For accessories, a single hour is needed for each piece of old equipment being added or removed; for example, replacing a SWACS Module with a Scout Module and adding another Scout Module will take three hours total. Armor addition will take one hour per whole centimeter equivalent being added or subtracted. Guns will take one hour for every hundred damage points being added or subtracted (round up), light ordnance will take fifteen minutes and heavy ordnance will take one hour.

The amount of time required for modifications may be modified by a Mechanics Check; a successful Check shaves one hour off the amount of time needed to make the modification for every ten points in the degree of success (rounded down). Should the Check fail, another hour is added for every ten points in the degree of failure (rounded up). This Check has critical potential: in the event of a critical success, the modification takes a single hour regardless of the equipment involved. In the event of a critical failure, an additional amount of time is added to the modification time as for a normal failure, with an additional 2d5 hours also added. Each additional mechanic working on a specific modification will shave one hour off of the final required amount of time to a minimum of one hour.

Modifications are allowed to take place concurrently, provided there is at least one mechanic available for each modification requested. If there is an insufficient number of mechanics, the tasks that would take the longest are "queued up" and won't begin until a mechanic is free to work on them. In the event two modifications would take the same amount of time, the vehicle's owner may select which modification they'd like to have happen first.

Let's say we had one of the movie style Rapiers that we wanted to mod a bit by beefing up its shields from seven to fifteen centimeters, swapping out its Durasteel Armor for an equal amount of Plasteel Armor, adding a couple of chaff pods and adding an afterburner that will allow it to go up to 1,350 kps. In the game world, there is a team of four mechanics available to make these modifications, so these mods can occur simultaneously.

For the shields, an increase from seven to fifteen centimeters of effectiveness is going to require the removal of the First Class Shield Generator and the addition of a Second Class Shield Generator. This will add a total of ¤3,226 to the cost of the Rapier (shields are adjusted by the Cost Modifier, 30-10 * 161.3 = 3,226). It will take a total of three hours to complete and the Rapier will have 150 SHP after the modificationFour centimeters of Durasteel are being removed from the Rapier and four centimeters of Plasteel are being added; this will double the price of the onboard Armor (adding ¤2,000 to the Rapier's cost), change its AHP from 40 to 400 and take a total of eight hours to complete. Accessories are going to be a little more tricky; the first thing that needs to happen is the replacement of the Modified Chassis +9 Accessory with a Modified Chassis +11 Accessory to accommodate two additional accessories on a vehicle that already doesn't have any spare accessory slots. The change will add a total of ¤32,260 to the fighter ((1,100-900)*161.3 = 32,260). Adding a Countermeasure Pod Dispenser with two charges will add ¤1,935.60 to the cost (12*161.3 = 1935.6). Afterburners have a listed cost of 25 Cost Points times the vehicle's Size Class times x, where x is the multiplier of the craft's normal maximum speed. We have to do some math here; x will be three (1,350/450 = 3.0; no way we did that on purpose) and the Size Class is 5, so the Afterburner will add a final cost of ¤60,487.50 (25*3*5*161.3 = 60,487.5). The removal of the old Modified Chassis Accessory and the addition of the new one will take an hour (since the mechanics responsible for making the changes to the accessories need to swap out the Modified Chassis first, it makes sense that they'd work together on that one). Once that done, both the addition of the Afterburner and the Countermeasure Pods Dispenser can take place during the same hour, so the accessory changes will take two hours total.

Since the modifications can occur simultaneously, these changes will take no more than eight hours to complete; in fact if the mechanics join in on the mods as they go, the total time will be three hours and forty-five minutes (2 hours for the accessories, an additional 20 minutes with three mechanics now working on the shields after the first two hours, and an hour and 25 minutes for four mechanics working on the armor after the first 2 hours and twenty minutes). The cost of the Rapier will increase by ¤99,909.10 to a total of ¤17,665,679.10. Its SI will have increased from 176 to 616, its SHP will have increased from 70 to 150 and its AHP will have changed from 40 to 400. Note that since the same amount of armor was added as was taken away, there was no overall effect to the Rapier's HD ratings. In fact, the only other vital rating that was affected was combat speed; the Rapier will gain an AB combat speed of eight thanks to the addition of the Afterburner.


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