Shuttles, Fighters and Assault Scouts Oh My!

Abub's picture
November 10, 2013 - 12:45pm
So.... I'm making decisions for my first jump "back" into SF as I've posted here.

I'm trying to decide for my adventure if I want their shuttle to have areodynamic qualities or be a thurster oriented lander sort fo thing that can mostly only do straight up and down rather than fly around the planet.

Is it common for shuttles to be areodynaimc and have wings for atmospheric flight?

Since fighters use atomic engines... don't they spew radiation everywhere so would be bad to fly around in population zones on a planet?

I don't really have a queastion about Scouts... I guess... I could ask if you let them land and take off from a planet.


TerlObar's picture
November 10, 2013 - 1:49pm
You could go either way and be fine.  I actually did a small interstellar capable shuttle/ship based off the US Space Shuttle that can do both.  It's in issue 11 of the SFMan or on my SF wiki at

As for atomic engines spewing radioactive material, that is one way to look at it.  Personally, I've always gone with the view that the "atomic" part provides power for something else and the radioactivity doesn't leave the ship unless there is some sort of catastrophic containment failure.  Thus they are perfectly safe to operate in planetary atmospheres as long as you don't crash.  But that's just my take.
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Jaxon's picture
November 10, 2013 - 8:35pm
Abub, check out the wiki for SF. 
It has a slew of Scoutships (HS:1-3).
They have crew shize from 3 - 6 and some have space for landers. I have about 23 different versions. Just email me and I can send them to you.

Malcadon's picture
November 11, 2013 - 1:36am
The Assault Scouts are great for military adventures (not just with the UPF spacefleet, but also corporate, militia and pirate fleets) where one is expecting a fair about of action in space, but on a small scale, and a good amount on the ground.

Fighter Groups on the other have a greater emphasis on combat as they usually operate form a Carrier or space station. They are usually deployed to soften an enemy fleet or weaken a planet's defenses, but not for exploration.

All other trans-atmospheric craft like Research Ships (like the UPFS Eleanor Moraes), Packetships, and even the non-canon scoutships (which I really enjoy, with that retro look and feel) are all great for civilian adventures where one is expecting more action on the ground, then in space (and even then, the "action" would mostly be about evasion).

If you want military action with boots on the ground, you could use Assault Shuttles.

OnceFarOff's picture
November 11, 2013 - 10:53am
I handle atomics the same way as Terl Obar in my setting. I have to do a little handwaving or it gets cumbersome to player enjoyment IMO. There was an SFman issue with yachts on it that had some cool options for PCs. There is another with a heavy explorer and attached shuttle that would serve a similar purpose as well.

Jaxon's picture
November 11, 2013 - 4:30pm

Corsair Container for TT-456, #13-p25
Christianna Class Torpedo Frigate, #13-p34
Eagle Transporter, #8-p51
East Indiaman Medium Freighter, the #6-p6
Explorer-class Heavy Scout, #8-p29
Expedition Shuttle, #8-p33
Jump Tug, the, #9-p28
Junk Ship, #13-p38
Liberty-Class Patrol Gunship, #7-p30
New Starship Technology, #7-p64
RT-3100 Merchant Scout, #11-p16
S-200 Assault Shuttle, #13-p32
S-4 Corsair Fighter, #13-p33
Streel “Raven” Class Corvette, #17-p58
TSSS Dart, #11-p13
TT-456 Container Ship, #13-p22
UPF Fighters, #7-p61 (F-40C Vulcan, UPF-5 Shadow Star, RF-41 Seeker, I-76, Enforcer, SF-1 Dagger, F-20 Arrow, YT-100 Phoenix, A-5 Knight Hawk) 

jedion357's picture
November 11, 2013 - 4:50pm
Thanks for posting that list Jaxom.

I had forgotten about the junk ship.

Rereading it gave me an idea for an encounter- more or less a rehash of all the rogue robot scenarios: virus, demented AI, hacked attack by criminals/terrorists. Drone junk ships swarm and begin cutting up the PC's ship as trash.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Jaxon's picture
November 11, 2013 - 5:00pm
Suggestion ~ Take the Explorer-class Heavy Scout and:
  1. put in bunk beds (crew/passengers go from 7/5 to 14/10)
  2. load a torpedo launcher and some reloads
  3. remove the cargo section and add a second shuttle
You can then just treat it as a version of Star Trek: Enterprise. They had a crew of 80 something but, it's just a scaled down version - HAVE FUN!

Jaxon's picture
November 11, 2013 - 5:07pm
A friend of mine was a filler on a group that used the Explorer. They went to a planet (several systems from the Frontier) and it was habitable but only had ancient ruins, like Greek ruins. The landing party was cataloguing artifacts when they were attacked by aliens ~ Xzim. (Apparently, the Explorer crew ran into them several adventures prior and they wanted pay-back.) There was a shoot out, a shuttle chase and then the Explorer chased the Xzim ship. They shot it up and boarded it and rescued their crewmen.

I didn't get a lot of info on the race but, the entire adventure and chronicle sounded cool!

Abub's picture
November 11, 2013 - 5:18pm
cool, thanks for that ship index as I've not gotten through all the SFmans.


jedion357's picture
November 11, 2013 - 6:06pm
Abub wrote:
cool, thanks for that ship index as I've not gotten through all the SFmans.

LOL there is a lot of new material to catch up on.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!