Spaceship Design System

Malcadon's picture
January 2, 2012 - 3:39am
As noted in the project header, building spaceships should be fun and simple. There are those who like to micro-manage every square meter of the ship, but in practice, that is cumbersome and redundant. Keeping the rules simple cuts-down on the paperwork and allows for more open-ended ship designs. The basic KH rules (from the booklet) did right with it's simple state blocks, but once the advanced rules kick-in (the Campaign Book), the whole game falls apart! The additional rules becomes disjointed and incompatible with itself. The basic nature of game stats is of a tactical nature, so ship design should reflect this - with everything else being secondary considerations.

One thing that should go is the cubic meters of the equipment. A ship should already have all the necessary items built-in (like engines, control stations, computers, crew quarters, life-support systems, life pods, etc.), with a number of slots available for extra equipment (like weapons, passenger quarters, cargo holds, etc.). Built-in systems can be altered, but it would adjust the base cost of the ship, and it might cost or free-up extra space for other equipment. Alterations include things like Cramped Quarters (to free-up space at the cost of crew moral) and Trans-atmospheric Capability. Additional equipment (weapons and such) includes all of the necessary systems needed to run it (additional electronics, extra crew capacity, etc.), in the cost.

Hull Size could stand to be a little more broad. That is, a Destroyer (HS 5) is like a Frigate (HS 6), but with ten more meters of length, and an extra weapon. While some hull sizes rarely get used - namely 2 and 4. Grouping them so that HS 1 are small craft like Fighters and Shuttles, while HS 2 are corvettes like Assault Scouts, HS 3 are Frigates and Destroyers, and so on. Another method is to use the Hull Types from the Alternity rule-set called Warships. That is, the player chooses a Hull Type as a blank slate (like Trader or Strike Fighter), then the player fills out the ship with equipment and alterations to the basic design.

So do anyone else have any ideas on making a simple spaceship design system?

AZ_GAMER's picture
January 2, 2012 - 2:13pm

In the game system I am designing I use a module system. Each Hull Class (essentially Hull Size) is depended on the number of modules it has in the ship. Each module can fit upto 8 bays which contain things like equipment and acessories. Every piece of equipment has a bay cost in terms of size. Now these modules and bays have absolutely nothing to do with shape or configuration. They can be shaped or configured in any fashion suitable to the design of the ship with the exception that the number of modules cannot excede the Hull Class. This accounts for the fact that there will be certain areas that will be null spaces filled with machinery, superstructure, bulkheads, crawl space etc. So a small craft with only one module (HC 1) has up to 8 bays of component space which can house the equipment for that module. So an HC 12 starship has up to 12 module slots and upto 96 component bays (Some modules in this system such as a tactical module pre-assigns 4 of the bays for weapons and leaves 4 bays open for the player to assign)

jedion357's picture
January 4, 2012 - 5:46am
MHS needs to go the way of the dodo bird. The idea that your HS6 ship only has room for two laser batteries but we could add a number of other batteries as long as they are not laser is silly IMO. This simple feature almost guarrentees that an opponent will have one of the batteries that is attracted to the screen you are using. Why use a screen that degrades an electron beam and improve the performance of a proton beam fired at it when in all likelihood most opponents will have one of each.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

AZ_GAMER's picture
January 4, 2012 - 4:33pm

I know its not SFKH, but in my system you can add any weapon you can first afford and second have sufficent bay space to house. So if you have a kinetic battery that takes up 1 bay you could load 4 into your module or two disruptor batteries into the module that take up more space.