Friday, April 8, 2016

Psi Wars: Miscellaneous Ships

As befits most space opera, Psi Wars brims with spaceships, but most of them fall beneath the radar of what the typical player might want to regularly interact with. Things like passenger liners, freighters and prospector vessels tend to show up in the background, rather than in the hands of actual player characters.  Still, they're worth discussing at least in brief.

Other ships might be useful to the players, at least in specific circumstances, including the Nugget-Class interstellar prospector, and the Corvus-Class assault boat.

Civilian Vessels

The Betelgeuse-Class Superfreighter

Found in SS2 on page 9, this super-freighter is in the “Capital Ship” size-category, and larger than anything but a Dreadnought. It's fantastically slow, effectively immobile in combat, but it doesn't expect to participate in combat: It jumps to hyperspace, and then jumps out near a planet, maneuvers to a space station, offloads its cargo or fuels up for another jump, and that's all it does. One could imagine a faster ship with gravitic compensation: having only one engine, and given its size, it would have an acceleration of 12.5 (that is, half the necessary speed for a +1 maneuver point). For its economics, little is gained by a more expensive engine.

The Aquarius-Class Interstellar Supertanker

Found in SS 6 on page 23, this super-tanker is the fuel-equivalent to the cargo-hauling super-freighter. It likely transports hyperdrive fuel or possibly refined hydrogen for high performance fighter craft. It's significantly faster than the Betelgeuse for no particularly good reason (though still effectively mobile in combatg), and is an even larger craft, measuring as large as a Dreadnought (as large as a Legacy-model Empire-class dreadnought). A slower super-tanker might be feasible, or a faster one (with super reactionless). The latter would have around 25g acceleration. I also feel the lack of gravitic compensation and artificial gravity is an oversight, but both are easily rectified for a few billion more GURPS dollars. Assume that such a vessel has both.

The Xanadu-Class Luxury Liner

Rounding out the large transport ships, the Xanadu (Found on SS2 page 13) is a vessel fit for diplomatic excursions and senatorial rendezvous. The Willow Star, mentioned in the playtests, might be a Xanadu-Class luxury liner. It's the smallest of the three “large transport ships,” as large as a Sword-Class heavy cruiser (Making it “Capital Ship” sized), and far slower. The rules suggest that it has a “Hot Reactionless” drive with 100G acceleration, while the statline has 50g. They probably mean that it has a Super Reactionless drive, which means (in our rules) it has a 12.5g acceleration, allowing it to actually maneuver in combat.
Exodus-Class Colony Transport
Psi-Wars focuses more on an ancient, and established, galaxy, one that's unlikely to have too much colonization. Nonethless, an entire galaxy has enough room for expeditions to previously untapped worlds, even if it falls beneath the radar of most psi-wars campaigns. The Exodus (found on SS5 page 20) might serve as a vessel for such colonists, or it might act as a cruder passenger transport vessel, the sort of ship refugees might use. It's a large ship, almost a dreadnought, and it's very slow, about as quick as a Betelgeuse (and effectively immobile in combat). A faster version should have an acceleration of 12.5, like most other large civilian vessels.

Utility Vehicles

Samaritan-Class Rescue-and-Salvage Ship

Found in SS6 page 13, the Samaritan slots perfectly into Psi-Wars, sporting appropriate weapons, a light screen, super reactionless engines, and sizing in at a heavy Corvette size. It's even almost player-affordable! It's the sort of ship one might find scavengers in, combing over the wreckage of a battlefield.

Nugget-Class Interstellar Prospector

Found in SS6 on page 20, the Nugget joins the Samaritan as a vessel that can slot right into Psi-Wars with no adjustments. It's the size of a light corvette, and it's highly affordable, so much so that a single well-off PC could have one for himself.

Alpha-Class Shuttle

Found in SS2 on page 20, Psi-Wars needs the Alpha Shuttle for all those vast ships that cannot actually land themselves. The Alpha Shuttle is the same size as a Starhawk (thus a fighter) and could probably work fine as is, but players who expect Star Wars might be surprised to learn that the vessel isn't actually winged, that it lacks super reactionless engines, and that it lacks artificial gravity. Adding all of these things increases its acceleration to 50g, and increases the cost to $1.15 million.

Military Vessels

Banshee-Class Dropship

The Banshee, found on SS4 page 17, is the same size as a Wyvern and works perfectly fine in Psi-Wars, serving as a troop transport and gunship. Note that the Plasma turret should be an improved plasma turret. It also lacks artificial gravity.

Corvus-Class Assault Boat

Psi-Wars lacks teleporters, but prefers close-up, physical action. So how do players get aboard a ship? Other than sneaking in through a hangar bay, they could force their way aboard with a Corvus. The The Corvus can be found on page 23 of SS4, and it's the size of a Wyvern. The Corvus really needs a Super Reactionless engine, which increaseits cost to $4.2 million and gives it a move of 25g. An even better version would replace its reactionless drives with a Super Fusion Torch.

The Corvus-Red Model

The Corvus-Red spares no expense at protecting its troops, and focuses on getting its elites as close as possible to the enemy despite the possibilities of a highly dangerous combat environment. If a Corvus is sufficient for pirates or basic grunts, a Corvus-Red is preferred for elite soldiers. It also replaces the MHD turbine with fuel-cells, improving the benefits of its Stealth hull. It's far more expensive, but also more likely to survive: the sort of assault boat a player might use, provided he has access to a sufficiently large ship that might typically carry one of these (an Empire-Class Dreadnought would be a classic example)

Front Hull System
Hardened Nanocomposite Armor (total dDR 30) ($3,000k)
Major Battery (fixed mount 30 MJ anti-particle beam) ($1,200k)
External Clamp ($10k)
Defensive ECM ($1,000k)
Control Room (C8 computer, comm/sensor 6, and two control stations) ($200k)

Central Hull System
Hardened Nanocomposite Armor (total dDR 20) ($2,000k)
Passenger Seats (six seats each) ($120k)

Rear Hull System
Hardened Nanocomposite Armor (total dDR 20) ($2,000k)
Fuel Tank (5 tons of hydrogen with 450 mps delta-V) ($30k)
Super Fusion Torch Engine (50G acceleration each) ($8,000k)
Cargo Hold (5 tons)
Fuel Cell (one Power Point) ($50K)
The Corvus Red has a Dynamic Camouflage ($350k), Stealth hull ($500k) and gravitic compensation ($100k)

TL Spacecraft
11^ Corvus-Red
100G/450 mps

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