If you have not already seen the TV adaptation of The Expanse series (by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) then I suggest you find it online and see it forthwith. Read the books as well. The series had it’s genesis in a RPG game that I think had it’s origins in a game loosely based on GURPS: Transhuman Space. It is hard scifi with one major woo-woo which is the Epstein Drive – a sort of super efficient fusion drive that allows constant acceleration (which give a simulated gravity on board ships). When asked how it worked, the authors responded “very efficiently”.
Ships are effectively buildings with the floor being ‘down’. This deckplan is of a small dual purpose passenger and cargo vessel. I used GURPS Spaceships to give me an idea of size and components, but as far as the amount of fuel carried and performance – I just winged it. In The Expanse ships are plot devices so I didn’t bother too much on the details. I figure that the ship has water tanks for reactions mass, and a shielded ‘fuel tank’ to hold some sort of nuclear fuel/reactors.
Attached it the GURPS: Spaceships template I used to sketch out the major components of the ship. It is a PDF file.
Something different this week. This is a GURPS: Spaceships design for a hard(ish) sci-fi setting. This vessel is a small (Size Modifier +8) multi-purpose Passenger/cargo hauler. This setting has no artificial gravity so passenger and crew accommodations are in a spin habitat that provides up to 0.5G in simulated gravity. The rest of the ship is in zero-G. The core cargo areas double up as an emergency storm shelter in case of solar flares. The ship has a sizable fuel store giving a total delta-V reserve of 200m/sec.
To convert this ship to a GURPS: Transhuman Space vessel, drop the FTL drive and add some more cargo space. Also change the propulsion system to A Fusion Pulse Drive and drop the delta-V reserve of the fuel tanks accordingly.
This is my entry in the reddit competition to design a 100Dton Scout ship – any design rules. I went with the GURPS Spaceships ruleset which is an abstract design system that divides a ship up into twenty slots and various systems are then plugged in – fuel, engines, crew accommodations and so forth. Ships are rated by size, ranging from Size Modifier +5 (30 tons) to +15 (3 million tons). Exactly what a particular system plugged into a slot gives you depends totally on the size of the vessel. For example, a bridge on a SM+5 ship has one control station, while on a SM+15 ship it has sixty.
I went for a Solomani Survey Scout. This vessel is designed for survey and research work. It has enhanced scientific sensors to aid in this work. It carries eight crew in somewhat cramped conditions, which is normal on Solomani ships compared to Imperial vessels which allocate more space per crewman on average.
This PDF gives all the systems and ship stats in GURPS Spaceship format.
With my interest in Scifi role-playing and drawing deck plans I browse a lot of star ship images and web sites that host them. I was fortunate to run across David Mueller’s Speculative Starship Designer site. I recommend that you go and have a look. An interesting mix of philosophy and science fiction. I began corresponding with David and asked his permission to try to do some of my deck plans based on some of his designs. He readily agreed and I have started with his Useful-class Freighter from his “STAR VESSELS” PROJECT.
David kindly provided me with some of the wire cage and WIP images he used to produce the images on his site, a few of which are published here. Please go to his site and spend some time browsing – you wont be disappointed.
His write up on the Star Hauler Useful
Star Hauler Useful
The “Useful” class Star Hauler is the most common Human medium cargo ship currently in service. It can tow two large cargo containers in addition to internally stowed freight. The main cargo bay can be accessed from both the front and rear of the vessel. A small complement of passengers can be accommodated along with the cargo. This stalwart second generation Tech Level 6 design has also been produced in survey ship and small hospital ship variants.
Date Entered Service : 464 RE (Radiant Era)
Length: 100.9 meters
Maximum Sublight Speed: 0.19 c
Maximum Warp-Jump Performance: 5.9 light years per day fully loaded
As far as stats for RPG games go – I have only worked this ship up as GURPS Space Ship design. As far as Traveller goes I am thinking about 4-5000Dtons comparing it to my other designs. As GURPS Spaceships design (my current favourite design system) it is a SM+10 ship (About 10,000 Stons).
An updated map of the Terran Sector for Space Opera, or in fact any other game using a 3D map. The map is a 200x200x200 Light Year cube, centered on the Sol System. Ninety stars are shown. It is important to remember that this volume of space contains over 30,000 stars. I have included a spreadsheet showing stellar distances. I would not print it out unless you have an A1 sized printer that can do floor plans. As far as a description of each system – I will leave that up to those who feel they need one. I was going to just use standard Traveller for this task. There are some pretty cool system generators out there that can do this for you in seconds.
If you would like a copy of the actual spreadsheet (or a blank for doing your own star sectors) then please contact me and I will send you a copy.
And one with the main routes of some of the major starlines of the sector shown.
The module Star Sector Atlas 1: The Terran Sector came with a large fold-out map of the Terran Quadrant. For someone used to Traveller subsectors a gaming map encompassing 99,840,000,000 cubic light years was pretty amazing. I have several copies of the original Quadrant map and wanted something electronic – so I knocked one up yesterday.
I changed the format somewhat but tried to keep to the original as much as possible. I have added my own Hadrian Sector to the map – a post on the work on that Sector will be made in the next day or two.
For my new campaign I am using GURPS Space as the basis but like most things I do there will be a lot of hybridisation going on. For example, I have not decided on what system to use for planetary and system generation. For simplicity I was thinking of sticking with Traveller but I have since found some pretty cool GURPS Space generators that can knock out a million systems in no time at all.
Warning: This is a big file – the map is 4688×3632 pixels and is 1.25Mb in size. The orange line is the approximate edge of the Orion Arm. Galactic Centre is towards the right of the map. The map is centred on the Terran Sector which is at location 000/000/000.
Distances are easily computed by simply applying the forumla:
Or even more easily by going to this web site and putting in the numbers. For example, to compute the distance between the Terran Sector and the Hadrian sector (Terran 000/000/000 and Hadrian 600/000/300) plug those into the website linked to above and get 670.8LY. Quite a haul in a cargo freighter crawling along at 10LY per day. Over two months. Only a few weeks in a fast courier though.