Tag Archives: Starship

Custom Build

Patron: Scout Pilot
Skills Required: Technical skills, Administration
Equipment Required: tools

Players’ Information:
The PC’s are contacted by a detached duty Scout, who is looking for help o a building project. He has acquired a starship hull, which is sound but lacking some key components. The Scout has borrowed against the selling price of the ship to purchase or build the required parts. He offers the party a share of the selling price, initially 30% to him and 70% split amongst the group. The Scout claims to have a buyer already lined up.

Custom Ship
Custom Ship : Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest, “LIBERTY SHIP, 1943. – A Liberty Ship Under Construction At The Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard In Baltimore, Maryland. Photograph, April 1943.”, accessed 23 Aug 2012 . (rights-cleared image)

Referee’s Information:
The situation is as the Scout has explained it, the hull is legally his, and he has secured funding. Referee can choose the size of the ship based upon the size of the PC group and their skills. Any starship, even a rebuild should be worth several MCr. The ship sits on a paved area that used to be a warehouse floor, outside of the local metropolis, and he has rented some heavy equipment necessary to lift large components. The referee must determine the number of parts still needed and their cost. It is suggested that the referee consult the Traveller Book, p. 78 ‘Repair parts’, the Starship Operator’s Manual page on Maintenance, under Other Tasks, the JTAS article Starship Malfunctions, (JTAS 15 p. 16), and ‘Refitting Ships’ and ‘Repairs’ in Adventure 5: Trillion Credit Squadron.

1. The buyer has only a limited time in which he is able to purchase the ship. The players will have to work very fast to meet the deadline. After that date the PC’s will need to find a new buyer.

2. The buyer is a crook, and is planning to forge payment then skip the system with the ship.

3. There are some components which cannot be gotten locally. Someone will have to travel to another star system to find them, buy them and have them shipped back.

4. The hull has a secret compartment, containing a Macguffin. The referee must determine the nature of the Macguffin, and what parties may wish to buy or steal it.

5. The local shipyard manager objects to the competition and is using his connections to hold up the project by requiring permits, inspections and lots of red tape. Local police may be called in if the permits are not in order. If pushed to extremes, the manager may employ yard workers to attempt sabotage.

6. The buyer backs out unexpectedly, leaving the group with a very large debt. Then they find out that the money came from loan sharks, not a bank.

A quick review of Quick Decks 2

Quick Decks 2 from DSL Ironworks is a tool that helps you to quickly make deckplans for Traveller starships. However, when you start using it and see how good and useful it is, you will probably spend a lot of time using it to make pretty deckplans. The front cover of the product shows what you can use the resulting deckplans for.

Quick Decks 2
Quick Decks 2: Expansion Pack
From DSL Ironworks

In the example that I have done for this review there is a lounge with a bar in the front of the ship. Just outside the lounge are two “freshers”. (I thought that was needed outside the bar…) A wide corridor leads to the next section. In the corridor there is a first aid cabinets and a fire cabinets and a sofa. There are four staterooms connected to the corridor.

Example from a Liner
Example from a Liner. Made using Quick Decks 2 and GIMP.

I used GIMP when I made the deckplan in this example, but any other good image editor will work fine. I set the grid to 100*100 pixels and the offset to x=75 and y=75 pixels, and then selected snap to grid. Then it was easy to import images from the pdf to gimp and fit them exactly where I wanted.

There are lots of components to choose from. There are the usual classic symbols and many more. There are premade staterooms, lounges, briefing rooms, libraries, laboratories, brigs, armories, barracks, barbettes, sensors, magazines, boarding equipments and more. With the armories and barracks I also want to build some Starship Troopers inspired deckplans.

In 2005 there was a discussion at the CotI boards about additional book-2 components. I suggested some of those we now see in this product. This product makes me happy, since it helps me to implement deckplans using my old ideas.

This is an inspiring product. You just want to build more and more deckplans with it. Another nice feature is that the pdf is layered, so that you can hide some of the components in the images. You can try it using the full size preview. This product is the second in a trilogy of deckplan tools. You might need them all if you are a serious deckplan designer.

A Fat Cat or an interesting ship

The Fat Cat (tIG TPT-133 “Fat Cat” Logistics Transport) is an interesting ship from Fat Cat Games. It’s a 300 ton trader with an unorthodox design. 300 tons might be a nice compromise between the 200 ton far trader, that might seem too small and the 400 ton Subsidized Merchant that may be too big. This feels like it would be a perfect adventure ship. The design is done for Mongoose Traveller rules, but can easily be used with any Traveller rules. The design is for an unspecified ATU (that I think we will soon hear some more about), but can easily be used in the OTU.

Fat Cat front cover
tIG TPT-133 “Fat Cat” Logistics Transport
From DB Game Design

The deckplans in the book are in black and white. The level of detail in them are better than what we are used to see in a CT product. The side views are really cool. I like that they have included images of humans to show the size. The descriptions of the deckplans are very good.

Side View
Side View of Fat Cat

The CGI images are good but I think the texture on the ship is a bit boring. (I want to see serial numbers, name of the ship, company logo, warning markings, etc.) The darker images are the ones I like the best. The mirror effect on the landed ship is quite cool, since that is not what we are used to see. Showing humans with the landed craft is also a good idea.

Fat Cat in Space
Fat Cat in Space

In the last part of the book there is an example crew and 3 Patrons (adventure hooks). I like this, since I like adventure. Now it is easy to use the ship, either as an encounter or as a PCs ship to run some quick scenarios.

I like this product. It could serve as a template for what a product for a Traveller Starship should include. (I only missed a good index.)

You can get this now as a pdf at DriveThruRPG, but there is also a Kickstarter project for a printed (and updated) version. At the Kickstarter site, there is also a nice picture of the ship landed in water.

The Pretty Penny – A Pretty Deck-plan

This product is a deck-plan of the Type M Subsidized Merchant “HIMS The Pretty Penny” from Scrying Eye Games.

Front Cover

It is the second deck-plan of about 20 that they have planned to release. I hope they do the Shivva Patrol Frigate. 😕

You can also get an air/raft in the same style for free.

The scale is 25 mm/square. The side of a square is 5 ft.  This fits a number of counters, card board heroes and miniatures nicely. But it doesn’t match the classic scale exactly (but close enough). It also makes the deck-plan of the ship quite large. The ship is fitted within 19 pages that you have to assemble yourself. It would have been nice if there was a hi-res image-file includes as well, so you could print it out on a large printer/plotter.

There are lots of details in the images. This is very nice compared to the standard classic deck-plans. Now you can see how everything will fit, and where all the rubbish will end up… Have a look at the engineering work station below. 🙂

Work Station

The need for deck-plans has always been there. In my group, and in other groups that I have played in, we have always used deck-plans. Even though there might not be any combat within the ship, it is always nice to see where your character lives and works. If there is combat within the ship, a deck-plan is a must.

Combat can be solved using standard traveller rules, or using special on-board rules like Snapshot.

Even though this is a very nice product, I will not use it. The reason for this is that my group is quite tainted by what the March Harrier from the Traveller Adventure looked like. The March Harrier is a type R. (The classic type M is a 600-ton Subsidized Liner.) There are a number of elevators in this ship. Where is the Launch? This is not the same ship. It doesn’t match the March Harrier. But for a new group it would probably be very nice to have this pretty deck-plan on their gaming table.

This is what I think a classic type R should look like.