Spacecraft

As of yet, there is only one way known to man to travel between the stars: in a ship. Plumbing the vast empty space between ports of call, exploring the great unknown in hopes of finding your fortune, just like the stories of the Golden Age of Sail.

Ship Classes

There are five primary categories of ships: Personal Craft, Corvettes, Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships, and Dreadnoughts. Fighters, corvettes, and cruisers have three sub-classes based on their size. The designation is generally inconsequential, but larger vessels can fit more kit.

Ship Classes
Class Volume (cu. m.) Crew Est. Size Cost (AP) Max Real Points
Personal Craft 100 1 6 30 480
Corvette 1,000 10 9 45 720
Destroyer 10,000 50 13 65 1040
Cruiser 100,000 500 16 80 1280
Battleship 1,000,000 2,500 19 95 1520
Dreadnought 10,000,000+ 25,000 23 115 1840

Cost of Acceleration

An engineer only needs to know two things: F=ma, and you can't push a rope.

Force equals mass times acceleration, so acceleration equals force over mass. The more massive something is, the more force it takes to accelerate it. Therefore, every ship must take the Increased Endurance limitation on it's primary flight power, with a value of -3/4, and the power costs is the cost of the ships size divided by five per phase. E.g., a cruiser with a size cost of 80 pays 12 more END per phase to accelerate.

Newtonian Physics

The cost of acceleration is used very deliberately in the previous section. A character (ships included) can accelerate 5m per meter up to their combat or non-combat speeds. The Flight power is bought with the Cumulative +1/2 advantage with no upper limit to represent in space there is not really anything other than massive bodies to prevent your acceleration up to the speed of light. Most ships though will not purchase more than 1G of acceleration. 1G = 10 m./segment = 120 m./turn - the flight per phase limitation is determined by the Speed of the ship. Any more than this, crew inside must start making CON rolls to prevent STUN damage. This can be replaced by a PS: Fighter Pilot roll, as they are trained to resist G-forces.

Ships that do not buy the Cumulative advantage follow the standard acceleration rules, and it is presume that the ship's frame cannot handle higher velocities and will buckle under the forces. So the usual non-combat speed multipliers apply.

Most Ship Complications

Most spaceships take the following complications:

  • Physical Limitation, Cannot Enter Atmospheres, Infrequently, Very Impairing, 15 Points

Artificial Gravity

To date in Praeter Sol, all ships that have artificial gravity generate it via rotating disks and centripetal force. If you estimate the average person at 2 m. tall, and want a less than 5% difference in gravity from their toes and head to their torso, the minimum radius of said spinning disk is 23 m. This generates a volume of at least 1662 cu. m., so in general only destroyers have artificial gravity. Some large and extra large corvettes also have spinning disks. The lower decks of the disk are reserved for crew areas, living space and work areas. In the upper decks with less gravity you'll tend to see storage areas and server rooms or the like.

If you want less than 1% difference, a 103 m. radius is required, so cruisers and larger are the most comfortable ships for long term voyages.

Laser Fusion Reactors

The advent of laser fusion power brought about the technological revolution that nuclear fission promised. Should the system fail, instead of causing a fission chain reaction that could decimate an entire city and leave the area radioactive for hundreds of years the system merely burned up the remainder of the fuel then extinguishes, like a much, much hotter thermite reaction. Of course, if this happens on your ship you'd better close the blast doors or be prepared to vent your life support to space.

In game terms, a laser fusion reactor is merely an endurance reserve, usually buying recovery equal to the reserve. It is given the OAF Immobile limitation to represent the reactor itself, and a -1/2 limitation "Only Powers Electrical Devices and Systems."

Example: 120 END (30 AP), 120 REC (80 AP), Total 110 AP; OAF Immobile (-2), Only Powers Electrical Devices and Systems (-1/2); Total Cost: 31 RP

Propulsion Systems

All spaceships generally purchase two modes of flight: their primary engines and their maneuvering thrusters. Starships generally purchase their FTL travel as a multi-power due to the fact you can't use the two at the same time.

Nuclear Fusion Rockets

Example: Flight 90 m. (90 AP); Costs Endurance (-1/2), Increased Endurance (Size AP / 5, -3/4), OIF Immobile (-2); 31 RP

Tachyon Drives

Example: FTL Travel 500 LY / Y* (28 AP); Costs Endurance (-1/4), Extra Time (1 minute startup, -3/4), Requires Skill Roll: PS Engineer (-1/4), OIF Immobile (-2); Total Cost: 6 RP

*500 LY / Y == 17.52 hours per LY

Maneuvering Thrusters

Example: Flight 20 m. (20 RP)

Operations Systems

There are many systems on the ship that can be classified as Operations systems. In general the most common are long range sensors, communication, and computer assistants.

RADAR

Radio Detection and Ranging, a.k.a. RADAR, is used to detect objects at a distance, define their speed and disposition. We are all familiar with this device as police use it in most areas to detect and regulate speeding vehicles on roads. The size of an object RADAR can detect is dependent upon the distance to the object, the further it is the smaller RADAR "shadow" it will produce. But still, forewarned is forearmed.

Example: Enhanced Senses Radio Group, Limited Class Physical Objects (5 AP), Targeting (10 AP), Mega-scale (1 m. = 10 km. +2), Total 45 AP; Costs Endurance (-1/2), OIF Bulky (-1); Total Cost: 18 RP

LIDAR

Light Imaging Detection and Ranging, a.k.a. LIDAR, is a technology which detects objects on the surface, as well as their size and exact disposition. LIDAR appeared on the market after RADAR and SONAR, and it uses laser light pulses to scan the environment, as opposed to radio or sound waves. It generally does not have the range of RADAR, but can detect smaller objects, as well as give a detailed image of the surface of the object.

Example: Enhanced Senses Sight Group, Limited Class Physical Objects (5 AP), Mega-scale (1 m. = 1 km. +1 1/4), Total 11.25 AP; Costs Endurance (-1/2), OIF Bulky (-1); Total Cost: 4 RP

Long Range Sensors

Both RADAR and LIDAR arrays can be enhanced to increase the range of their capabilities.

Example: +20 with RADAR/LIDAR to offset range penalties (10 AP); OIF Bulky (-1); Total Cost: 5 RP

Navigation Computer

A basic system designed to help you ship's pilot navigate the stars.

Example: +4 to Navigation: Space rolls (2 AP); OIF Bulky (-1 1/2); Total Cost: 0 RP

Weapons Systems

Energy Weapons

Laser beams, plasma bolts, particle projection cannons, any damage inflicting medium travelling at relativistic speeds is an energy weapon. Here's one example.

Example: Omnipurpose Laser RKA 3d6 (45 AP), Auto-fire 5 (+1/2), MegaRange (1 m. = 10 km. +1 1/4), 123.75 AP; OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4), Limited arc of fire 60 degrees (-1/2); Total Cost: 45 RP

Solid Projectile Weapons

Rail cannons and gauss cannons are pretty much the only solid projectile weapons used on ships. You could use chemical propellant if you really want, but why? Due to the relatively low speeds of solid projectile weapons, they are limited to 10 km. range maximum.

Example: Rail Cannon RKA 3d6 (45 BP), MegaRange (1 m. = 20 m., +1), Total 90 AP; OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4), Limited arc of fire 60 degrees (-1/2), Beam (-1/4); Total Cost: 30 RP

EMP Weaponry

Do you want to disable instead of destroy your target? This is a good alternative to deadly force.

Example: Focused EMP Emitter Disable Electricity Powers 6d6 (18 BP), Megascale (1m = 1km, +1), 36 AP; OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4), Limited arc of fire 60 degrees (-1/2); Total Cost: 13 RP

Warhead Delivery Systems

In other words, missiles. Star Hero 6th Edition - Star Hero says missiles in the HERO System are purchased as vehicles. Fuck that noise, that's more effort than it's worth. Here's the easier version from the Star Hero 5th Edition - Ultimate Vehicle that's 10x easier, updated to represent 6ed point costs.

Example: Ship to Ship Missile RKA 3d6 (45 AP), Armor Piercing (x2; +1/2), 32 m. radius explosion (+1/2), Increased Maximum Range (x100 or 45 km.; +1 3/4), No Range Modifier (+1/2) (191.25 Active Points); OIF Bulky (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4), Limited Arc Of Fire (180 Degrees forward; -1/4), Extra Time (travels at the rate of 500 m. per Segment, taking a minimum of one Extra Segment to reach its target; -1/2), 6 Charges (-3/4), Physical Manifestation (-1/4); Total cost: 47 real points.

Tachyon Cannons

REDACTED :: CLASSIFIED

Defensive Systems

Starship defense comes in two forms, armor and electromagnetic shielding.

Armor

There could be all manner of small flotsam in space, armor is really good at making sure that flotsam doesn't cause your ship to explosively decompress.

Example: You ship has PD and ED in its stat line. Every +2 points costs 3 AP, and it is resistant. Buy that.

EM Shields

At the current level of technology in Praeter Sol, electromagnetic shielding is only capable of blocking energy weapons. There are many ways to get ED in the Hero System, and most of them are appropriate for Praeter Sol. Here are two examples.

Example 1: Electromagnetic Shielding Resistant Protection 16 ED (24 AP); OIF Bulky (-1), Costs Endurance (-1/2), Ablative (-1); Total Cost: 6 RP

Example 2: Deflector Shields Deflection (20 AP), Mega Scale (1m. = 10 km. +1 1/4), Total 45 AP; OIF Bulky (-1), Only ED Attacks (1/4); Total Cost: 20 RP

Personnel Systems

Was your trip in space pleasant and, well, possible? Then you have personnel systems to thank.

Life Support

You think CO2 will turn itself back into O2? Survive the intense radiation, and deep freeze of space on your own? Not likely.

Example: Life Support, self-contained breathing (10 AP), high radiation (2 AP), intense cold (2 AP), intense heat (2 AP), vacuum (2 AP), Total 18 AP; costs endurance (-1/2); Total Cost: 12 RP

Food Supplies

You like to eat? I do! Replicators don't exist yet, so I hope you like MREs!

Example: Life Support, no need to eat or drink (3 AP), easily replenished outside of ship (0 AP), 1 continuing charge 72 man-months (+0) (as capped per charges section); Total Cost: 3 RP

Artificial Gravity

Because muscle atrophy and trying to pee in zero-G sucks.

Example: Telekinesis 20 STR (30 AP), selective (+1/2), Total 37.5 AP; OIF Bulky (-1), Only to pull straight down (-1); Total Cost: 12 RP

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