Building ships is fun! ...as long as you have the right stuff. The right stuff being, of course, tonnes of dynomer. Specifically: intermediate scale dynomer is used to make intermediate scale ships, which are measured in tonnes, and ship scale dynomer is used to make ships measured in chassis points (about 10 tonnes each).
There are two competing aspects to ship building: the specific stats, and the functional capabilities. Specific stats are relevant to every part of the ship, such as speed and manouverability, and must be accounted for with every contributing component. Functional capabilities are really what the ship is supposed to do, such as carrying crew and cargo and weapons and equipment. Unfortunately, the greater the specific stats are, the less of the components are left over for the functional capabilities. There are also parallel attributes, such as durability and intelligence, that are independent of the specific stats and functional capabilities.
- 1 Specific Stats
- 2 Functional Capabilities
- 3 Parallel Attributes
The costs of specific stats are cumulatively applied to each unit of ship construction. Amount of dynomer required is multiplied by the number of units (tonnes for intermediate scale or chassis points for ship scale) that the final ship size will be. The percentage of volume used up by the specific stats is added up to calculate how much is left over for functional capabilities. The largest minimum stage of technician or physicist is the default requirement for the entire ship construction.
Stamina is simply how robust the structure of the ship is, fundamentally. Its primary significance is for combat... or crashing. The total stamina of a ship is the specific stamina times the number of units used to make it.
|Stamina||Dynomer||% Volume||Min Tech||Min Phys|
Strength is both a measure of how much mass a ship can carry/pull/lift without affecting its performance, and if the ship has limbs it may contribute to extra damage it can inflict with a hand-to-hand attack. The damage potential is one point (of appropriate scale) for each full unit of extra mass the limb can move.
|Strength||Dynomer||% Volume||Min Tech||Min Phys|
|0||0||0||0||0||Can't actually move.|
It's probably worth mentioning that any ship can actually move any mass in space - Newton's Second Law applies. It is referee's discretion to describe whatever storytelling effect exceeding the strength rating of a ship will have, or what specifically might happen to the specific stats in a combat setting. Perhaps halving all stats for masses over the nominal strength rating, but less than double, and rendering the ship essentially prone (-10 maneuverability) for anything beyond that.
The speed of articulation is roughly equivalent to character speed, and only really matters if the ship has limbs or turrets. It is added to initiative rolls, and determines (unassisted) movement with legs. Base movement is determined by the size of the locomotive limbs, where every tonne of intermediate scale leg size is 1 meter, and every chassis point of ship scale leg size is 3 meters. Note that this is referring to the size of a single leg - total sum of chassis dedicated to legs must be divided by number of legs to get individual leg size.
|Speed||Dynomer||% Volume||Min Tech||Min Phys|
|0||0||0||0||0||Recommended for non-walkers.|
Combat speed is the nominal delta-V that a ship can accomplish in open space. We use the cryptic measure of km/turn², which is technically a measure of acceleration. However, parsing movement in a turn-based combat system is easiest with dipole motion, thus we describe movement during combat as simple distances and with no waypoints possible in a single turn. So, in combat treat the "km/turn²" as just "km". Leave the fact that it's really acceleration for the plot-infliction portions.
|Combat Speed||Dynomer||% Volume||Min Tech||Min Phys|
|0||0||0||0||0||Makes sense for pure walkers, or non-combatants.|
Ship agility is exactly like personnel agility - deftness of movement with respect to other objects.
|Agility||Dynomer||% Volume||Min Tech||Min Phys|
|0||0||0||0||0||Recommended for non-walkers.|
Maneuverability is our measure of deftness of movement in flight (or other free motion). You might think that there's nothing worse than having no maneuverability, but in order to acknowledge the cumbersome gigantic-ness of some of the incredibly large vessels that exist we also include negative maneuverabilities...
So, for ships larger than 1000 chassis points: take the nominal specific maneuverability and divide it by the number of kilo-cp of the ship. Thus, a 2000 cp ship will have its maneuverability divided by 2, and a 10,000 cp ship will have its maneuverability divided by 10. Results less than 1 are translated to negative maneuverability: .9 = -1, .8 = -2, etcetera, and .1 or less = -10. Negative maneuverability directly translates into a negative to duck.
Yeah, I realize that this means there will be a lot of 999 cp freighters with 0 maneuverability to avoid the magical plunge to -10, but so be it. At this scale, it's more about storytelling than actual combat mechanics anyway. Until we think of something better.
|Maneuverability||Dynomer||% Volume||Min Tech||Min Phys|
The hand-to-hand rating of ships construction translates into its intrinsic ability for contact-based combat. For walkers this is basically identical to personnel hand-to-hand (whatever that means), and for non-articulating limbless ships I suppose it would translate as terrifyingly pointy bits and reinforced bludgeoning bits.
|Hand-To-Hand||Dynomer||% Volume||Min Tech||Min Phys|
So you're building your ship, and you've defined all the specific stats and know the total size. You add up all the % Volume numbers, and subtract that from 100%¹, then multiply it by the number of units of the ship (intermediate scale tonnes, or ship scale chassis points). The result is the amount of free space for having the ship actually do things like carry crew or cargo or have weapons or equipment.
It is important to distinguish how some capabilities need to use up free space, while others refer to total volume and do not use up free space.
- ¹ Having total % Volume used being more than 100% is unbuildable. Try being more realistic.
- intermediate scale unit = 1 tonne = 1m³ of ship volume - imagine a cube with each side 1m long
- ship scale unit = chassis point = 10 tonnes = 10m³ of ship volume - a cube with each side 2.2m long
Crew / Cargo
Carrying crew and/or cargo is the most basic function of a ship. Really, it's just space in the building units for people, or stuff, or just future building potential. Crew or cargo spaces are simple 1:1 usage, where a unit of free ship volume translates into 1 unit of crew/cargo volume.
It should be noted that while you can cram crew into volumes closely corresponding their size (mass-wise), this is often insufficient for durations longer than a few hours. A common ratio for shipbuilding room for crew is to have 10 times the minimum volume of the crew. Though, this can be tricky, as personnel can vary considerably in size...
Turrets are a portion of the free space that can be articulated to a sufficient degree that weapons can be "aimed" separate from the rest of the ship. This allows the weapon to have its full aimed accurate range, and lets the weapon be controlled by a separate turret gunner if so desired.
The cost of a turret is that it doubles (2x) the dynomer requirement for the specified volume.
A ship may not have more than 40% of its total volume be classified as turrets.
Limbs are the portion of the total ship size that can be articulated for locomotion or manipulation tasks.
The cost of a limb is that it doubles (2x) the dynomer requirement for the specified volume.
In order for a ship (or, rather, walker) to use limbs for locomotion with the articulation speed and agility of the specific stats the relevant limbs must be at least 25% of the total ship.
Weapons may also be mounted in limbs to act as turrets, but a maximum of half the limb volume can be subverted to weapon-mounting purposes. Which, obviously, also cannot exceed the total free volume of the ship.
Weapons and Equipment
Weapons and equipment take up free space. Duh.
The specific amount is (going to be) listed with the individual weapons and equipment descriptions.
Hyperspace generators are required to travel at superluminal speeds. The core of the hyperspace generator requires one tonne of ship free volume. With the core alone, it can permit any ship to travel AT the speed of light (luminal). For superluminal speeds, an etheric array needs to be woven into the structure of the ship. Every unit included in the etheric array has its dynomer cost doubled (x2). The final superluminal speed of the craft (in Parsecs per hour) is the stage of the physicist participating in the construction, times the ratio of the etheric array size to the total size of the ship. So, theoretically, the maximum superluminal speed, if every unit of ship construction is included in the etheric array, is equal the the stage of the construction physicist.
Cool, right? Everybody loves esoteric math.
Generally, shields take up practically no space, being projected from the ships structural integrity system. But their cost is related to ship size.
Each point of shield power costs at least one point of appropriate-scale dynomer. Shields get more expensive when you try to fit relatively powerful shields on smaller craft. The cost multiplier is ratio of the shield power to the total ship size, rounded up. For example, fitting a 20-point ship scale shield on a 10 chassis point ship will cost (20/10=2) twice as much, so 40 points of ship scale dynomer.
It is possible to mix ship and shield scales; you just need to translate the ship size accordingly. Additionally, to put ship-scale shields on an intermediate scale vessel costs double, while putting intermediate-scale shields on a ship scale vessel costs half. A note for the wise: there can be a significant tactical advantage with larger scale shields in that there is a minimum damage requirement for them to be depleted and they recharge 10 times faster.
For the sake of pure laziness, let's assume that all shields of vessels this size are "manipulated shells" - meaning that they allow total protection of the vessel but simultaneously allow attacks from the vessel to pass through.
Sensors / Comm (EM)
Electromagnetic sensors and communications have a passive range of 1km for every tonne of ship construction dedicated to be part of the EM sensor/comm array. The cost of including a unit of ship construction as part of the sensor array is one unit of dynomer. This cost can be excluded from the multiplication factors of other elements (turrets/limbs,etheric array, etc).
Obviously, bigger ships can have bigger arrays and so can see and communicate further.
Sensors / Comm (Etheric)
Closely tied to Superluminal Speed, etheric sensors and communication are powered by an etheric array. And, conveeeeniently, the range in Parsecs that the sensors and communication can reach is calculated by taking the stage of physicist building and multiplying it by the ratio of the etheric array size to the total size of the ship. So the etheric sensor / comm range is almost always equal numerically to the distance the ship can travel in one hour.
Again, any unit of the ship included in the etheric array has its dynomer cost doubled (x2) - though only one etheric array is required to run all etheric gear and the hyperspace generator.
These attributes are the things that have no bearing on the size of the ship at all, or the dynomer cost of building it. But still important.
Just buy a computer brain for your ship that includes sentience, OK? It's stupid not to. At the very least, it hugely improves the security of your ship by giving it opinions about who it wants to let on board. OK, this might backfire if you're not nice to your ship... So, if you're a douchebag, perhaps you might indeed leave the sentience out.
Another potential benefit is that sentient ships can earn skill, which could be useful. The stage skill of of the controlling mind is added to the ship's basic stamina, which can be significant.
It is also possible to implant an existing mind into a ship (mechanical or with a brain case) such that it becomes the ship.
Durability is the ship equivalent of personnel Will Power - the ability to keep functioning in the face of damage or stress.
The basic durability of a ship is the stage of the technician building it, PLUS the stage of the physicist building it. Unless it's a biological ship, in which case it's about the medic and the biologist. (All the etheric stuff still needs a physicist, though.)
If the ship is sentient, the willpower of the mind adds to the effective durability.