DIY starship part 2

Hello again. This is the second installment on how to build ships using my Intercept design system.  You can get the rules, design system etc here.


The payload area holds the cargo and hangar bays if any, missile magazines if any, the computer, neutrino and mass sensors and any repair bots. Cargo and Hangar bay volume should be input in dTons (or m3 if the 5 m3 dTon option is used). Cargo and Hangar bay also have fields for entering load in tons so you can calculate actual thrust Gs and frame Gs for loaded and unloaded configuration. I will later change the design sheets so this calculation will be done automatically. Our Suleiman will have 5 dTon (25 m3) cargo hold. Note that the missile magazine entry says “3 missile volleys in launcher”, this is just a reminder that the missile launcher themselves hold three missiles per launcher. Enter a number above 3 to have more reloads for the ships missile launchers if any. The computer then, the clunky old Traveller computers with their quaint model numbers. Just enter the model number you want and see if the TL you picked has it. Above the model limit of a given TL you need 10 parallellcomputers and after that you need 100 parallell computers, beyond that nothing helps. Note that as you go over teh single computer price rises much fastaer. We know from canon that the Suleiman needs a model-2 in order to perform astrogation for J-2.

Next come the neutrino and mass detectors. You may wonder why I haven’t grouped all sensors into one place and the reason is simply that Visual/IR and Radar must work outside of the ships hull but the neutrino and mass sensors see right through the armor and are therefore placed in a separate hitlocation. Our trusty Suleiman has neither neutrino nor mass sensors so we add none. The robots entry let you replace your technicians with robots if you want a highly automated ship. Robot technicians has Computer# -4 skill so before Model-4 they perform worse than regular technicians but take up considerable less space. The Suleiman has no robot technicians so we add none.


The crew area of the ship holds lifesupport, freezers, various crew stations, the crew living area and the ships floorfield. Lifesupport come in three varieties:

  • Basic lifesupport Temperature and air, sufficient for up to 24 hour operation. Sanitation facilities are of the diaper variety.
  • Full lifesupport temperature, air, sanitation etc. can keep crew alive indefinitely given enough supplies.
  • Closed life support Same features as full lifesupport but it needs no supplies as it recycles water, air, urine, feces etc, think high-tech greenhouse.

Each crew and passenger require lifesupport but robot technicians does not. The Suleiman has four double occupancy staterooms according to the deckplans so we give it 8 Full lifesupport units which need 0.25 tons of supplies per man-week. We assume enough supplies are stored in the cargo bay as buying life support supplies is not part of this design system. Freezers hold crew or passengers in suspended animation. In Traveller there is something called the ‘frozen watch’ which means a duplicate crew complement that gets thawed out when the crew has taken enough casualties. There can only be one frozen watch though, as the frozen watch will also take casualties from crew damage. Activating the frozen watch requires a morale throw if that optional rule is used; activating the frozen watch is a brutal reminder that the high command consider crew expendable. We add two freezers to our Suleiman.

The next couple of entries are the various forms of crew stations. All crewmembers require crew stations except the technicians and robots.

  • Limited station Small and cramped station where the crew begin to suffer fatigue after 4 hours. Negates 2 Gs of  thrust. Think jet fighter.
  • Limited tank Small and cramped station. Filled with oxygenated fluid to counter acceleration. Fatigue sets in after 4 hours, negates 5 Gs of acceleration.
  • Full station Large and roomy cramped station where the crew begin to suffer fatigue after 8 hours. Negates 2 Gs of  thrust. Think wet navy station.
  • Bridge station Even larger station with lots of extra displays. Fatigue after 8 hours, 2 Gs negated. Ships with these for each crewmember win initiative ties for Ship tactics and Fleet tactics.

We give our Suleiman 4 Full stations as. Next up is the living area which encompass the staterooms, freshers, mess, corridors and whatever else the crew can move around in. Larger living area let the crew do longer missions without physical or psychological risks, the safe trip endurance is noted for the entry. We give our Suleiman 32 dTon (or 160 m3) living area, enough for 8 crew to live in space for a month before physical and psychological risks appear. Roleplayers have a tendency to cram in too many people in their cramped ships, let them roll for physical and psychological illnesses. Nothing livens things up more than the 120 kg engineer raving about space ghosts and then goes on a murdering rampage with his coolant wrench.

The last entry for the crew location is the floor field. A floor field simulates gravity and counteract acceleration. As noted earlier, the crew stations counteract some of the acceleration Gs and the floorfield does too. Subtract the crew station G protection and the floofield strength before applying acceleration Gs fatigue (these fatigue rules are not yet in the Intercept game rules but they will be, trust me). Any remaining acceleration G is applied as a negative DM on all tasks. Choose whether the floorfield should apply to living room and crew stations only or if you will have it in the cargo and hangar areas as well.

All right, this wraps things up for this time. Next installment will cover the sensors and weapons as well as the ship ratings and how some of the stuff ties in to the Intercept game.

Conserve space; dump in jump!

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