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The process of creating a fully-functional capital ship from scratch is a very rewarding experience, though it can become long and drawn out particularly if its designer goes into a lot of detail about it; all that detail usually boils down to a very few critical stats. Players and Gamemasters should feel free to create their own ships as desired or as the need arises. A GM may wish to build a "boss" ship for the final adversary in a campaign (such as KIS Sivar for example) or perhaps a customized ship to act as an ally. Perhaps an industrialized race will achieve faster-than-light flight for the first time during the course of a campaign; a new capital ship class will be required at that point. All of these are valid reasons for building capital ships from scratch.

In addition to being used for building a ship from scratch, the following set of rules may be used to modify an already existing ship. Refitting a capital ship is generally conducted at a friendly dry-dock, usually one belonging to the government to whom the ship belongs; if non-governmental dry-docks are used, it usually belongs to a party in a very tight relationship with them. Even then, it's entirely possible that not every piece of equipment that would ordinarily be available to members of the allied party will be available to the crew of the ship under refit; GMs are highly encouraged to consider where equipment will be available before an adventure begins as well as the specific pieces of equipment that will be available.

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

  1. Build a design concept for the ship.
  2. Select the species that primarily uses the ship.
  3. Select a chassis and weight class, and determine if it is a military ship.
  4. Add and desired Flaws to the ship's design.
  5. Select the ship’s default basic equipment and determine its cost.
  6. Select any accessories for the ship.
  7. Determine the ship's crew and passenger complement and its cargo capacity.
  8. Figure up the ship’s total cost.
  9. Record the ship’s vital stats.
  10. Put finishing touches and any desired additional traits on the ship.

Creating a capital ship is a lot like creating a vehicle (see Chapter 6.2) and for the most part the two procedures are the same. There are a few key differences, though; special emphasis will be placed on those sections that are significantly different. Capital ships also use the Vehicle Record Sheet in order to record their vital stats.

Build a design concept for the ship.

Having a design concept for a new capital ship type is a step that is often overlooked and yet is quite important for the overall design process. As with vehicles, 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 capital ship creation process is generally straightforward, perhaps even more so than vehicles. Nevertheless, in the interest of fairness, an example will be provided at the end of each step in the process.

Tarawa

TCS Tarawa (CVE-8), a Wake-class Escort Carrier

For our capital ship example, we're going do to something interesting and build a popular craft that appears in the Wing Commander canon and yet doesn't have a set of official stats; it must be considered semi-canonical at best. In this case we're referring to the Confederation Wake-class of Escort Carriers that first make an appearance in the novel End Run.

For the sake of having a baseline, we'll have to pull some data from various sources, including the Wing Commander: Standoff website, WCPedia, the novel End Run, and even a standard Google search. The Wake-class has a crew of 500, a fighter compliment of 45, is 405.75 meters long, and can achieve a top speed of 240 kps (which is impressive for a capital ship). The Standoff folks have a nice multi-aspect picture of TCS Tarawa, the most famous ship of the class and the one featured in End Run, at WCPedia; we can use this along with the stated length to figure up a bounding box volume and figure out its rough size. We come up with a beam of 209.37 m and a draft of 156.31 m for a total bounding box volume of 13,328,586.85 cubic meters. Another image of Tarawa (one used to make some pretty nifty-looking ball caps) puts a grand total of five gun turrets on the ship; we can compare the two images and say that two of them on the ship's underside are actually replicated port and starboard of the ship's keel, for a total of seven gun turrets. What kind of guns are in those turrets are going to be conjectural as will be the ship's defensive capabilities (though we know from End Run that Tarawa was able to survive a direct torpedo hit and that it had mass driver turrets, which tells us something at least). We also know her standard fighter complement is three squadrons: a squadron of Ferrets, Rapiers and Sabres each with fifteen birds.

As much information as we've collected, we've got some room left open for conjecture, which will make WCRPG's version of this ship as unique as any other version of it.

Select the species that primarily uses the capital ship.

Species selection is perhaps the easiest thing that can be determined about a capital ship; the designer simply needs to select the race that either uses or manufactures the ship. Species tend to operate capital ships within a specific sphere of influence, though some starfaring societies may have exploratory fleets that do not operate in a specific area. It is a very rare occurrence when a capital ship is sold into the service of an alien fleet; more often than not, a ship in the service of a species other than the one that manufactured it is a captured prize vessel.

Needless to say, capital ships should only be utilized by Starfaring Age societies; if an Industrial Age species needs a capital ship, it's recommended that a Transport be substituted instead. If a true capital ship chassis is desired in this case, it is recommended the designer pick a Corvette only.

We've pretty well determined this step through the selection of our craft (more proof of the importance of creating a concept); this will be a Confederation Naval ship and Terrans will be the primary species using it.

Select a chassis and chassis weight, and determine if it is a military ship.

The next step in creating a capital ship is to select its chassis, its weight class and to determine if it is a military ship or not. This is a crucial step as it will determine several of a ship’s basic statistics including its cost, base HD, Size, equipment Class limitations and the number of accessories that can be installed.

Capital ships typically aren't as flexible as vehicles when it comes to their Size Classes. For smaller capital ships, simply picking a weight class will determine its Size Class. For larger craft, the designer will need to assign it a Size Class within the prescribed Size Class Range for its given weight class.

As with vehicles, 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 ship inside of it. A ship 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 capital ship Size Classes are listed in the table below. Capital ships also have a safe accommodation space and a safe cargo space volume, which are used to determine the ship's complement and cargo capacity respectively; these are also dependent upon Size Class.

WCRPG Capital Ship Size Class Conversion Chart
Size Class Approximate Minimum Bounding Box Volume (m3) "Safe" Accommodation Space (m3) "Safe" Cargo Space (m3)
13 22,500 375 6.3
14 45,000 750 12.5
15 90,000 1,500 25
16 180,000 3,000 50
17 300,000 5,000 100
18 600,000 10,000 200
19 1,200,000 20,000 400
20 2,400,000 40,000 800
21 4,800,000 80,000 1,600
22 9,600,000 160,000 3,200
23 19,200,000 320,000 6,400
24 38,400,000 640,000 12,800
25 76,800,000 1,280,000 25,600
26 153,600,000 2,560,000 51,200
27 307,200,000 5,120,000 102,400
28 614,400,000 10,240,000 204,800
29 1,228,800,000 20,480,000 409,600
30 2,457,600,000 40,960,000 819,200
31 4,915,200,000 81,920,000 1,638,400
32 9,830,400,000 163,840,000 3,276,800
33 19,660,800,000 327,680,000 6,553,600
34 39,321,600,000 655,360,000 13,107,200
35 78,643,200,000 1,310,720,000 26,214,400
36 157,286,400,000 2,621,440,000 52,428,800
37 314,572,800,000 5,242,880,000 104,857,600
38 629,145,600,000 10,485,760,000 209,715,200
39 1,258,291,200,000 20,971,520,000 419,430,400
40 2,516,582,400,000 41,943,040,000 838,860,800
41 5,033,164,800,000 83,886,080,000 1,677,721,600
42 10,066,329,600,000 167,772,160,000 3,355,443,200
43 20,132,659,200,000 335,544,320,000 6,710,886,400
44 40,265,318,400,000 671,088,640,000 13,421,772,800
45 80,530,636,800,000 1,342,177,280,000 26,843,545,600
46 161,061,273,600,000 2,684,354,560,000 53,687,091,200
47 322,122,547,200,000 5,368,709,120,000 107,374,182,400
48 644,245,094,400,000 10,737,418,240,000 214,748,364,800
49 1,288,490,188,800,000 21,474,836,480,000 429,496,729,600
50 2,576,980,377,600,000 42,949,672,960,000 858,993,459,200

These data set the basic properties of the ship's design. The properties imparted to a ship by its chassis and weight 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.

There are only two types of "users" of capital ships, non-military and military; the only real difference between them is the amount of weaponry allowed in the initial design. Military capital ships have no major restrictions on weaponry, though all costs associated with the craft are multiplied by ten (this includes everything, including the cost of the chassis). Military craft may also use any gear whose Service Date is up to twenty years prior to its initial commissioning date (or date-equivalent). Non-military capital ships have several limitations on weapons selection. Special weaponry is not allowed aboard non-military ships (for specifics, see Chapter 7.2.2) nor may any ordnance with a damage potential of greater than 500 points be installed. A non-military capital ship is not allowed to carry more than a dozen Weapons Stations in total. Finally, all weapons must remain with their default versions (i.e. no "adjusted" weapons are allowed). Note that these rules count for design purposes only; it is possible for a non-military user to use a military ship during the course of game-play. Ships of this nature are usually operated either by corporations for extra muscle or by pirates.

As previously mentioned, we've got a nice two-aspect picture of the Wake-class and a length statistic. We've already figured out the bounding box volume based on that data; the Wake-class has a bounding box volume of 13,328,586.85 cubic meters, which puts it squarely in Size Class 22 'according to the chart'. That narrows down our choices quite a bit; we can either select a Heavy Destroyer, Very Light Battlecruiser or Very Light Dreadnought chassis. Since we're building a baby carrier and we know the design was originally based on a transport hull design, we'll use the Heavy Destroyer chassis, which is the lightest of the three choices. We're dealing with a warship, so naturally it's a military vessel. Note how much information we already have about our craft: at SC 22, we know it's got at least 160,000 cubic meters of accommodation space and 3,200 cubic meters of internal cargo space. Since it's an SC22 Heavy Destroyer and a Military craft (which is going to bump the cost of everything up by ten), we know the base cost is ¤516,100,000, its base HD is 54/47/54 and it can have up to 39 accessories. We also know since we're working with a Destroyer that we can't install Engines above Sixth Class or Shields above Seventh Class. We also can't have greater than a total of 600 points of Gun damage available without installing a Capship Systems Adapter and we can't have more than eighteen centimeters of Armor installed without a Reinforced Chassis.

Add and desired Flaws to the ship's design.

As previously mentioned, capital ships are basically vehicles and as such they can sometimes have flaws in their design. As with vehicles, flaws in a capital ship affect the ship’s modifiers and/or the ability of its crew to fix any problems. If a designer wants to add a flaw to their ship, 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 capital ship if they wish. The same flaw can be given repeatedly a capital ship; 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 ships during the course of combat (see Chapter 9.4)

Capital Ship Flaws by d%
d% Result Flaw
(Design)
Flaw
(Acquired)
01-10 The ship'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 Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check per day. The ship's paint job is scratched or chipped; no game effect.
11-20 The ship's design is not easily modified; reduce its maximum allowable number of accessories by one per two Size Classes (round down). All upgrades and modifications to the ship will take twice as long as normal to complete. This flaw can be repaired with five successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check per day. Part of the ship's hull is dented in. No game effect.
21-30 The ship has slower than normal throttle settings; reduce its movement rate by one. This flaw can be repaired with two successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every three hours. One of the ship's systems takes some minor but irreparable damage (GM's choice); one of the ship's systems takes 5% damage permanently. This flaw may accumulate.
31-50 Some of the ship's systems have had to be jury-rigged in order for it to operate normally; -20 DC to all Damage Control Checks made to the ship. The repair DC for this flaw is dependent upon the specific systems that have been affected at the GM's discretion. One of the ship's systems malfunctions. The GM must select one system randomly (see Chapter 9.4); the selected system malfunctions immediately regardless of its current damage level.
51-60 The ship's Engines are badly calibrated and as a result it burns more fuel than normal; halve the ship's fuel efficiency (round down to the next 5% tier). This flaw can be repaired with three successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check per day. The ship's Ion Engine has overheated; it takes an immediate 50% Engine damage. This damage can only be repaired with six successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every four hours.
61-70 The ship’s handling is shaky and/or sluggish; -20 DC to all Starship Piloting Checks while the ship is in flight. This flaw cannot be repaired. One of the ship's maneuvering thrusters has been blown off. This causes an immediate 20% Engine damage, -1 to ship's Initiative rating and -20 DC to all Starship Piloting Checks. This damage can only be repaired by replacing the thruster in dry-dock as well as by completing three successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every four hours.
71-75 The ship 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 in dry-dock as well as two successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every two days. The ship’s Sensors malfunction; the ship immediately takes a +2 Range penalty to all Marksmanship and Ballistics Checks. This flaw can only be repaired by replacement of the scanner pallets in dry-dock and two successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every two days.
76-80 The ship was designed with sub-standard Shield emitters; every time they are activated, there is a 10% chance of a Shield system malfunction. This flaw can be repaired through the complete removal and replacement of the Shield emitters in dry-dock. A malfunction caused via this flaw may be repaired via a successful Defenses Check but at three times the normal repair rate. The ship's faster-than-light drive system has overloaded; the ship immediately takes 80% Engine damage, d% Core Damage and cannot make any FTL transition. The Engine damage can only be repaired with six successful Internal Systems Checks in a row at a rate of one Check every twelve hours.
81-90 The shipyard where the ship was built employed welders 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 in dry-dock; 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 ship. Repair of the weapons systems requires five successful Defenses 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 ship was designed with sub-standard structural material; each time the Armor has to absorb damage, there is a 25% chance the armor plates will completely fall off. Additionally, the ship has a permanent 1d10% Core Damage. Repair of this flaw requires a full refit in dry-dock to replace the hull platings and 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 occurs to the ship's internal framework; it immediately takes 2d% Core damage and must double all its HD ratings. Repair of this flaw requires five successful Damage Control 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 classes of ships; for individual ships, flaws do not necessarily have to be added until the "finishing touches" step as described below.

A number of flaws on the table above would be appropriate for the Wake-class (at least as it originally appears in End Run; presumably the Confederation had worked the kinks out by the time of Tarawa's refit. Let's keep things simple and add the -10% space Flaw for the sake of the "cramped deck" of which Bondarevsky makes note in the novel. That will reduce our accommodations space down to 144,000 cubic meters and the cargo space to 2,880 m3. We'll need to remember to adjust the hangar space when we finally come to it.

Select the ship’s default basic equipment and determine its cost.

Once the basic stats for a capital ship have been determined, it's time to select its basic equipment, including its Engines, Armor, Shields and Weaponry. Capital ships always have positions reserved for Engines, Shields and Armor; none of them will ever count against the ship's number of accessories. Weaponry in and of itself never counts against the ship's number of accessories but adding it to a ship requires the use of Weapons Stations, which are themselves accessories.

A capital ship's chassis determines its maximum allowable equipment Class ratings and strengths. Capital ships have no default equipment ratings, so they have as low of a Class of equipment as their designer wishes. The trade-off for the lack of defaults is less of an HD benefit from Engines. If equipment higher than the maximum allowable amount for the chassis is desired, the designer can either put the Capship Systems Adapter or Reinforced Chassis accessories on the ship; the Reinforced Chassis specifically allows the addition of extra Armor and the Capship Systems Adapter is for all other systems. Each piece of basic equipment works almost exactly like its vehicle analog.

As with vehicles, Armor sets the number of armor hit points (AHP) for the ship and has a negative effect on its HD ratings as its thickness increases. A designer may arbitrarily set the ship'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 ship will receive ten AHP per centimeter of Durasteel equivalency installed. For example, Plasteel armor has an equivalency of 10 centimeters of Durasteel per centimeter. If a designer puts twenty centimeters of Plasteel armor on their ship, the ship will have the equivalent of 200 centimeters of Durasteel armor installed and will thus have 2,000 AHP. Armor amounts are always listed in tenths of a centimeter and always reflect the actual thickness of Armor on the ship in question. Every ten centimeters of Armor (rounded up) adds one point to all three of a ship's HD ratings.

Engines are another capital ship system that behaves similarly as they do for vehicles. Engines affect the ship's HD and also have a direct effect on its speed and fuel efficiency ratings (see Chapter 8.1 for details). Engines subtract one point from the ship's HD and BHD ratings per Class (for example, Fourth Class Engines would subtract 4 points, Sixth Class Engines would subtract 6 points, etc.). Engines also directly set the ship's Initiative rating; it equals the Engine's Class. Capital ships fall into the general category of space vehicle; as such, they all have a chassis maximum speed of 10,000 kph in the atmosphere and 1,000 kps in space regardless of what Class of Engine is installed. The cost of any ablative material on the ship's hull for atmospheric flight has been figured into the cost of its chassis. Capital ships may have a speed governor installed; exceeding the indicated speed will cause Core Damage at the same rate as with vehicles (5% every fifteen minutes). Capital ships can go without other equipment but they MUST have an Engine installed in order to function.

Shields are usually considered a vital part of a capital ship's equipment; they are as handy at blocking out harmful cosmic radiation and curtailing micro-meteoroid damage as they are at blocking enemy weaponry. Because of this necessity, space is always reserved on a capital ship chassis for the installation of Shield systems. Unlike vehicles, the installation of Shields does not count against a ship's accessory count (as previously mentioned); capital ship Shields are otherwise functionally the same as vehicle Shields. Like Armor, an arbitrary number of shield hit points (SHP) may be set for a ship 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 7.2.2). 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 ship's official Shield Class. For example, a designer elects to create a ship with 1,050 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 2,000 SHP, so the ship has Second Class Shields. When modifying a ship, the values and Classes of Shields must correspond to the chart; the SHP cannot be arbitrarily set. Shields have no effect on a capital ship's HD ratings.

Weapons systems for capital ships function identically to vehicle weaponry. To add a weapon to a capital ship, a Weapons Station accessory must be placed first, which will help determine into what combat arcs the weapon may fire (see Chapter 9.4). Capital ships are also allowed to use any weapon that appears on in the weapons lists for vehicles in Chapter 6.2.3. 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. As a general rule, a capital ship should carry at most one type of Special Weapon; while any single special weapon can give the ship some truly awesome capabilities, its addition tends to jack up its price substantially.

We want the Wake-class to be able to withstand a torpedo hit; torpedoes of the WC2 era (the Mk. IV Torpedo) cause 2,000 AHP of damage and can bypass shields, so we want the ship to have somewhere between two and four thousand AHP. We'll say 2,500, which is comparable to a Waterloo-class Cruiser; 25 centimeters of Plasteel Armor should do the trick. At a million credits per centimeter, this will add ¤25,000,000 to the ship's cost and add three points to each of the ship's HD ratings, moving it up to 57/47/57. Since we know the ship's top speed is going to be 250 kps, we know she'll need at least an Eighth Class Engine; this will add ¤700,000 to the cost. We'll have to add a speed governor in order to get her down to the 250 kps mark. The Eighth Class Engine sets the ship's Initiative rating to eight and subtracts eight points from the ship's HD and BHD, moving the HD ratings to 49/39/49. Installing this Class of Engine is going to require us to add a Capship Systems Adapter to our list of accessories, as Eighth Class is over the normal maximum limit for the Destroyer chassis. Since the Wake-class is a modified transport, we can use the design of Confederation transports of that era (i.e. the Clydesdale-class) as an indicator of its actual shield strength. Clydesdales have 25 centimeters of shields, so we'll say the same amount for the Wake-class; that's going to be a simple set of First Class Shields set to 250 SHP, which will add ¤10,000 to its cost. We're dealing with a WC2-era capital ship, which means we're also going to want to put Phase Shields on the Wake eventually.

That brings us to weaponry. Tarawa is never seen launching torpedoes or missiles on its own, so we're going to say that the Wake-class in general does not carry any type of ordnance and we'll go with the Guns we identified earlier. To give the ship a little more oomph, we'll say that the turret emplacements are all dual-fire with the exception of the main gun emplacement on the ship's prow, which we'll say is a quad-fire. None of the turrets look particularly strong, so we'll forgo putting any armor on them. Likewise, in End Run, Bondarevsky laments the choice of standard anti-torpedo guns over newer systems that could pump out rounds at a faster rate, so we'll forgo making any of them Gatling guns. The positioning of the turrets looks like they would enable "over the shoulder" shots into all firing arcs. So, to accommodate our desired weaponry, we'll need seven Weapons Station accessories, six of which will be Dual Gun Turrets and one of which will be a Quad Gun Turret. The dual-fire emplacements will need Mass Drivers. To make things interesting, we'll say the quad-fire gun is an Antimatter Gun emplacement; this will give the ship a little bit of defensive capabilities against opponents in an emergency situation. So we have a total of twelve mount points that we need to fill with capital ship-scale Mass Drivers (6 x 2 = 12) and we need four Antimatter Guns; we'll go ahead and use the Defensive variant of the Mass Drivers. The guns will add ¤2,510,000 to the cost of the ship and are capable of delivering 5,040 points of damage in aggregate, a figure we'll need for the calculation of the ship's SI down the road. We've already got a Capship Systems Adapter lined up for the ship's accessories due to its Engine, so we don't need to worry about adding it for going over the chassis limit on gun strength here. Adding the cost of all the basic equipment together gives a total of ¤28,220,000, another figure we'll need in the near future.

Select any accessories for the ship.

The ship’s accessories should be selected next. All ships are capable of supporting accessories though larger ships can handle more than smaller ones at the cost of being more expensive and easier to hit. As with vehicles, a designer does not have to add accessories if they don't want to, though the wisdom of going without at least weapons mounts is a matter of conjecture. Unlike vehicles, a capital ship is stuck with the number of accessories indicated by the chassis; the Modified Chassis accessory cannot be added to ships. A capital ship automatically has access to both Ion and Impulse Engines, a Matter/Antimatter Reactor and two External Docking Ports; they are all considered part of a capital ship's chassis already. As usual, a designer may feel free to ignore the inclusion of any of these free accessories at their own discretion. Capital ships also have access to one type of FTL drive system as a freebie (a D-Drive, a Morvan Drive or an Akwende Drive); installing secondary FTL drive systems will require the use of accessory slots. Accessories can change a lot of the basic characteristics of the ship; any changes should be noted with the accessory’s effect. The cost of accessories should also be taken into account; all accessories added to a capital ship cost as much as is listed (i.e. there is no cost multiplier for capital ships).

Larger ships in particular are well suited to act as carrier craft for smaller vehicles such as shuttles or fightercraft (see Chapter 6.2). As with carrier vehicles, small craft do not count against a ship's accessory count but the cost of any vehicles is added to the final cost of the ship if they are carried as standard equipment; stats for the small craft should also be made available.

Accessories (aside from Pods, which are considered Accessories for design purposes) cannot be sold off or exchanged once assigned as standard equipment aboard a capital ship unless it is also given the Modular Design bonus, which comes with a cost multiplier (as discussed later in this procedure).

We already know that we're going to need a Capship Systems Adapter, since both the amount of Gun firepower and the Engine Class are over the normal maximum limits for a Destroyer chassis; at 1,000 times the size Class, the Adapter will cost ¤22,000 credits just by itself. As it turns out, we're also over the limit on the amount of Armor  a Destroyer can support and so the Reinforced Chassis accessory is also going to be required; for seven extra centimeters at Size Class 22, it is going to cost ¤15,400. We have discussed what we're going to need as far as weapons mounts go: we want one Quad Gun Turret for the Antimatter Guns and six Dual Gun Turrets for the Mass Drivers. The combined cost of these weapon mounts is ¤460. We know the ship was equipped with a Tractor Beam (otherwise Tarawa wouldn't have been able to slingshot away from Kilrah in End Run as depicted), so we'll add one to the mix for another ¤440. Finally, we need to give some thought of the ship as a carrier. A quick calculation of the combined volumes of a squadron of Ferrets, F-44H Rapiers and Sabres yields a result of 95,722.92 cubic meters (somewhere in SC15). Since this is just the amount of space we would need for the fighters (to say nothing of maneuvering them around on the deck) and accounting for the fact we'll need to adjust down whatever hangar space we do have due to the design flaw we gave the ship, we'll go ahead and add a full Hangar Bay Module. This adds ¤1,100 to the cost of the ship; normally it would add 180,000 cubic meters of hangar space but the flaw reduces this to 162,000 m3. We also would like to be able to repair fighters on the deck; to emulate this, we'll need to add a Repair Bay Module (which adds ¤2,200 to the cost). We'll also need to be able to launch and land craft from the ship while it's in flight, so we need at least one Carrier Systems accessory. We'll add just one to limit the Wake's launch and landing capacity; this adds only ¤50 to the final cost of the ship. That's all we really need as far as accessories go, so we'll use the rest of our available space (14 accessory slots) for Expendable Pod Mounts (adding ¤210 to the cost) and place Escape Pods on them (at a cost of ¤1,400). We can quarter the size of the individual pods to get four times as many individual pods; they'll be cramped but there will at least be enough for everybody to have one if their needed. The final total cost of all the Accessories and Pods we've selected comes out to ¤43,260.

Determine the ship's crew and passenger complements and its cargo capacity.

A capital ship's crew complement and cargo carrying capacity are determined in exactly the same manner as for vehicles (see Chapter 6.2). The ship's Size Class will indicate an amount of the ship's volume that can be used for accommodation space, assuming one-sixth of the ship's minimum Size Class bounding box volume is actual inhabitable space on the ship and only 10% of that space is used for accommodations. To determine a complement, the accommodation volume will need to be filled in with accommodation spaces; the spaces used on capital ships are the same sizes as those available for vehicles:

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...

Some space can be assigned to crew and some to passengers. A designer is welcome to assign however many spaces they desire to crew, though they should keep in mind that larger capital ships will probably require a significantly larger crew just to run things. As with vehicles, 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 ship has any Hangar Bay Modules or just left empty. Cargo capacity for capital ships is determined in the same manner as vehicles, by adding up the total volume of space from the ship's chassis to the total amount that can be carried by all of its cargo carrying accessories. As with accommodation space, a designer may transfer any cargo space to accommodation or hangar space, provided that the space transferred comes from the chassis and not from any accessories. The ship's complement and cargo capacity should both be recorded in their respective boxes on the Vehicle Record Sheet.

We already know that we have 144,000 cubic meters of space for accommodations (which is quite a lot for a warship with a crew of just 500 people); we need to divvy that up. Let's say we want to toss all but 40,000 cubic meters of that space over to more hangar space before we do anything else; this will give us another 104,000 cubic meters of hangar space and 40,000 cubic meters for accommodations. That works out to 80 cubic meters of space apiece given a crew of 500; this gives us space for a few staterooms for the senior officers and some smaller quarters for the crew. Let's go with twenty Luxury Staterooms for senior officers and VIPs for 4,000 cubic meters. We can divvy up the remaining space with Double Cabins; doing so gives us 720, more than what we need. Let's say ten of the staterooms are for senior officers and the other ten are passenger spaces; we only need 490 cabins for the rest of the crew at that point. We'll go with that number and toss the space that would go to the other 230 cabins into yet more hangar space (perhaps we should've gone with a Shelter Module after all; it would've saved us a little on the ship's cost). This gives us a crew compliment of 500 with 10 passengers and a total hangar space of 277,500 cubic meters. We haven't adjusted the ship'cargo capacity at all, so it will stay at a total of 2,880 cubic meters (the amount we get from the chassis).

Figure up the ship’s total cost.

Once all accessories have been selected, any weapons systems have been mounted and the ship's complement and cargo capacity are all known, it's time to start figuring up its vital statistics starting with its cost. To calculate a ship's cost, simply add together the cost of the ship's chassis, all basic equipment and all accessories that have been added to it; the final result is the total cost of the ship, which should then be recorded in the "cost" box on the Vehicle Record Sheet.

A designer may decide to give their ship resistance to particular weapons or damage reduction bonuses (see Chapter 7.2.2 for full details). If the ship is given a bonus, a multiplier to the ship's total cost will be given; if it is given multiple bonuses, they should be summed together into a single multiplier. The designer will multiply the previously tallied cost of the ship and its equipment by this multiplier; the final result is the total cost of the capital ship, which should then be recorded in the "cost" box on the Vehicle Record Sheet.

We've been keeping track of the ship's cost as we've been going along. To recap, the chassis cost ¤516,100,000, the total cost of the basic equipment was ¤28,220,000 and the total cost of accessories was ¤43,260. Adding those up gives a final result of ¤,363,260. We're dealing with a military ship, so we need to multiply this amount times ten, for a final value of ¤,443,632,600. This is probably expensive enough as it is, so we're not going to add any additional bonuses to the ship.

The cost we just tallied only covers the price of the ship itself; we know that in its default configuration the Wake-class carries three 15-craft squadrons, one of Ferrets, one of F-44G Rapier-IIs and one of Sabres. Their total cost (¤6,627,541,500) will also have to be added, bringing the final total to a whopping ¤12,071,174,100 (which is still a bargain when compared to a full-sized Confederation fleet carrier...).

Record the ship’s vital stats.

Once the ship’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 ship's equipment. From these design notes, it is possible to determine the ship’s combat modifiers (SI, SHP, AHP, 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 ship rates in combat as opposed to other capital ships. A ship’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 the ship's defensive capabilities, it can fluctuate greatly throughout the course of an adventure; the value recorded should be the ship's maximum possible value. The SI value is a basic method of "keeping score" and helps determine whether or not a ship 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 ship, 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 ship, 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 ship. Capital ships, like vehicles, have three hit difficulties: normal (HD), "blast" (BHD) and "flat-foot" (FHD). Each ship chassis has a base HD rating, which is modified by Armor effects, Engine effects and its Size Class.
  • Initiative (INIT): As with characters, Initiative measures a ship's ability to react; it is used to determine the order in which different ships engaged in combat situations will fight; the higher the ship’s Initiative, the more likely it is that it will get to deliver damage before other ships. A ship’s Initiative modifier is equal to its Engine Class, which may be adjusted depending on the presence of certain accessories or flaws.
  • Maximum Speed (MAX SPEED): This lists the ship’s maximum speed rating as determined by its Engine Class and any installed "speed governor". A ship may travel at any rate of speed from zero to this maximum speed.
  • Combat Speed (SPEED): A related figure to a ship'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). To derive a capital ship's combat speed, the designer needs only to multiply its maximum speed by .006 and round the result to the closest integer; the final result is the craft's combat speed. For more on combat ranges and how they play into these calculations, see Chapter 9.4.
  • Shield Hit Points (SHP): This is a measure of the strength of the ship’s Shields. Shields can regenerate in combat at a rate affected by the ship's Chief Engineer's Defenses Skill score. If a ship’s Shield HP is reduced to zero, any excess damage points are applied either to any Armor the ship has or straight to systems damage if it has none.
  • Armor Hit Points (AHP): This is a measure of the strength of the ship’s Armor. Armor does not regenerate in combat. If a ship’s Armor HP is reduced to zero, any excess damage points go directly to systems damage.
  • Crew: This lists the number of personnel required to operate the ship under normal conditions. Crew listings can be filled out by any type of character, including player characters, specific NPCs or "redshirts". A ship that has less than 90% of its crew requirement aboard will take a general penalty for being undermanned (see Chapter 9.4).
  • Passengers: This lists the number of personnel the ship can transport as passengers. Unlike crew, passengers are not essential to the successful operation of the ship. A ship may take a general penalty for being overcrowded (see Chapter 9.4) 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 just a few examples.

We can now calculate the ship's derived statistics. With 2,500 AHP, 250 SHP and 5,040 total potential Gun damage, its SI will be 7,790. The HD we've determined up to this point is 49/42/57; nothing else will change those numbers, so they're good as is. We've got an Eighth Class Engine; with nothing modifying the value this will give us a final Initiative of Eight. We've determined SHP, AHP and our crew complement already, so at this point we're done with the ship's derived stats.

Put finishing touches and any desired additional traits on the ship.

A ship is essentially complete after its vital stats have been recorded. If the designer is only designing a general ship class, they may stop there and call it done; a name should be assigned to the class if one has not been selected already. This can be something as generic as the species name and general purpose of the craft (such as "Firekkan Transport" or something similar) or it could be named after the first ship of the class ("Intrepid"-class, for example). If, however, the designer is creating a specific ship (such as one a character group is trying to buy) they may choose to add details to the ship such as the color of its paint job, any scratches or dents in its hull, and acquired flaws and so forth.

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

We're pretty satisfied with the Wake-class as it is; in fact, we're going to call it done at this point. This is the same craft that appears in Chapter 7.4; it's not necessarily non-canonical but that's probably the best place for it given that 'our version is a home-brew.

Modifying Capital Ships

As mentioned previously, the procedure laid out in this sub-Chapter is used to create a brand new capital ship from scratch. "Creating" a specific capital ship of an existing class for use in an adventure (such as the character's group's home carrier) 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 to that ship. Modifying a capital ship is a relatively simple process; all that is required is the removal 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 also can be used for the modification process.

If a modification involves the removal of old equipment, a ship's crew 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 percentage point of damage it 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 any equipment being removed, the Class of any equipment being added and how well the engineer (or engineers) doing the work perform in the course of doing their job. To calculate the amount of 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. Only ships with the Modular Design bonus may swap out accessories; all others are stuck with what they have. 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 an Internal Systems 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 tacked on. Each additional engineer 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 engineer available for each modification requested. If there are an insufficient number of engineers, the tasks that would take the longest are "queued up" and won't begin until an engineer is free to work on them. In the event two modifications would take the same amount of time, the ship's crew may select which modification they'd like to have happen first.

Let's say we had a Wake-class Escort Carrier that we wanted to go ahead and fix up a bit (say, after it was purchased by a certain frontier empire). We're going to be limited to basic equipment changes only, since the Wake-class does not have a Modular Design. There's still plenty we can do with it...let's say we want to swap out the default Armor with half as much Isometal Armor, take off the speed governor, put on a Ninth Class Engine and swap out those Mass Drivers for Antimatter Guns. We've got two engineers available to make these modifications.

First, let's deal with the Engine. Removing an Eighth Class Engine and replacing it with a Ninth Class is going to take seventeen hours (8+9 = 17) and increase the cost of the ship by ¤7,000,000. After the modification, the ship will be capable of traveling up to 512 kps, as fast as most fighters. We may elect to put a speed governor back on to hold that down (say to 275 kps) or we could even leave the old one in place and simply put on the new engine to make the ship more fuel efficient. Next up is the removal of the ship's twenty-five centimeters of Plasteel Armor and its replacement with twelve-and-a-half centimeters of Isometal Armor. The cost of Isometal is exactly twice that of Plasteel, so half as much Isometal Armor will cost the same amount as the standard amount of Plasteel Armor for the ship; the cost doesn't need to be adjusted in this case. It will still take 37 hours to make the change (25 + 12 = 37). This change will increase the ship's AHP to 15,000, decrease its HD ratings by one point a piece to 48/41/56 and jumps the ship's SI up to 20,290. Finally, we want to swap out the ship's Mass Drivers for Antimatter Guns. There are twelve Mass Drivers installed on a Wake-class ship with a combined cost of ¤5,100,000. Twelve Antimatter Guns will cost ¤60,000,000 total, so the overall cost of the ship will increase by ¤54,900,000. The 3,840 points of available gun damage from the Mass Drivers will be replaced with 3,600 points for the new Antimatter Guns; the changes will take seventy-five hours to complete (3,840 + 3,600 = 7,440, 7,440/100 = 74.4, which rounds up to 75). The ship's SI will decrease by 240 points to account for the new guns; its final SI after our changes will be 20,500.

Since we only have two engineers to make these changes, we can't have all of them happening at once. The Gun changes will take the longest amount of time, so that will get put in the queue for the engineer working on the Engines to do once they get finished. After seventeen hours have passed, the engineer working on the Armor will be finished and can begin work on the Guns; both engineers will be working on the Guns together after the first engineer has been working at it after another twenty hours (37 - 17 = 20). Since two engineers will be working on the Gun modifications at that point, they will only take another nineteen hours to complete (75 - 37 = 38, 38 / 2 = 19). All told, these modifications will take a grand total of 56 hours to complete. The cost of the ship will go up from ¤12,071,174,100 to ¤12,627,174,100, its SI will have nearly tripled and its survivability in the event of a torpedo hit will have gone up considerably. The only problem with this set of upgrades is that even though we've given the ship some awesome anti-capship abilities, we've completely eliminated its anti-fighter and anti-torpedo weaponry in the process. That and an extra sixty-million-plus credits for the taxpayers to have to foot will probably keep the Confederation from ever making this particular set of changes...


NEXT: 7.2.1 Capital Ship Chassis
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