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Hiver Starship-long


SOC-14 1K
This turned out to be way longer than I had anticipated. I pulled the in school suspension supervisor duty today lots of extra time.
Anyway, submitted for the benefits of many readers: The feared and legendary Manipulator Ship! :eek:

Hiver Starship (LBB2)
Most of the equipment/stats are canon with a few IMTU tweaks and embellishments. The Hivers my favorite canon alien and this is my first attempt at really detailing what a Hiver ship might be like. Feedback is appreciated as I plan on integrating this stuff into a game next week if I can. Hey I am just making it up as I go along anyway

Hive Federation Advanced Multipurpose Extended Mission Scientific and Transport Vessel. The exterior is identical to the very common (IMTU) 2000 ton Heavy Freighter used by many Federation worlds.

Hiver Manipulation Spacecraft:
Officially this is a science and research vessel but its real purpose is to facilitate long distance manipulation. The real number of these craft is unknown and they can be found performing duties as mundane as cargo transport or esoteric scientific research. Also “embassy” missions to other Hiver worlds are not uncommon as are scientific and economic “goodwill” missions into Imperial space and beyond.

These are prestigious ships and each ship is considered a hive with the crew functioning as an integrated community. These ships lack a nursery so all new crew members are recruited from other hives.

The Basics
2000 ton hull streamlined (five decks about 400 tons per deck)
Maneuver Drive: J (1G)
Power Plant: K
Jump Drive: K (two jump 2)
Minimum crew of 6
Typical crew of 38
Fuel: 1,100 tons
Cargo: 200 tons
Ship’s vehicles
1 40 ton Hiver Pinnace
1 20 ton Hiver launch (radical stealth package/ECM) It’s an abduction craft!
2 ten ton covered Hiver air rafts

Ten hardpoints (see “weapons” below)
1 Dedicated two rack probe launcher
2 BB (LR)
3 BB (LR)
10 PPP

Command and Control
Bridge 20 tons
The bridge is a utilitarian structure that is fully staffed during critical periods but typically one Hiver and a robot are all that can be found here. Supervising starship operations is considered to be boring and best left to machines.

One Hiver model H-3 computer (–3 tons)
10/18 This is the Starship Operations Computer. (SOC)
Software stored in memory: 18 units
Jump2 (1), Navigation (1), Generate (2), Anti-hijack(1), return fire (1), Anti-missile (2)
Maneuver/evade 5 (2), Target (1), ECM (3), Launch (1), Predict 5 (2), Selective 1(1).

Two Hiver model H-7 + computers –19 tons
40/100 units plus robotic intelligence nodes
Core 1 and Core 2 are state of the art synaptic/parallel hybrid computers designed to assist in complex modeling and sociological “thought experiments” that can simulate the choices and decisions of billions of individual sophonts. These computers are specialty pieces of equipment that require a Hiver computer-2+ understand and operate.
In a crisis the model 7 computers can be called into action to help defend the ship.
With Multi-Target 4 and an auto-gunnery program (treat as gunner skill 1)
Other programs of note: Chaos simulator 10, Library 40, psychological emulator 5

Long Range Sensor Array 8 tons
Hiver sensors are 50% more effective than their Imperial counterparts. Bust sometimes even that is not enough.

Hivers some times have the need to operate quietly and out of sight so this ship has a deployable sensor array that gives it unparalleled listening capacity. Optical, EM, neutrino and meson arrays all listen patiently and observe their target in silence. It takes one full starship combat turn to deploy and one full starship combat turn to retract the array.

An important note on species specific design elements.
The Hiver day is about 30 standard hours long and is made up of six intervals.

Aboard ship one is for sleeping, one for communal duties (if needed, this is flexible time) and one for professional duties. The other two are personal time.

Since this ship is not intended to accommodate any other sophonts on a regular basis all the controls are made to accommodate Hiver physiology. As a result all attempts to operate Hiver equipment by humans take the standard –4 penalty if it can be operated at all. Human .”common sense” does not apply to Hiver design. Also Hiver corridors tend to be short and wide when compared to human design. As a result the corridors on a Hiver starship are typically 1.8-2 meters high and 5.5-6 meters wide sometimes causing a hazard to humans who frequently find themselves bumping their heads on low beams and piping. (-1 to all Dex checks)

(Here I am somewhat perplexed, the CT Hiver alien module describes them on page 4 as 1.5 meters “high” and 3 meters wide on average. The illustration makes them look even shorter when compared to humans. The book says 1.5 so 1.5 it is.)

Since the Federation thermometer is starts at absolute zero using an entirely different number system (base 7 or 14?). Reading Hiver instruments can be a perplexing and frustrating experience as using the Hiver “keyboards” that are split into two radial banks of 24 keys one 1.2 meters apart. They are used together to produce the characters of the Hiver language. Displays are likewise arraigned in a circular pattern to accommodate the placement of Hiver eyes.

Hivers find bright lights painful and can see in the near infrared spectrum. As a result the ambient light in a starship is not as bright as humans might like and up to 10% of standard computer display colors will not be visible to human eyes.

Hiver ships tend toward the cool and humid side. A temperature of 63-65°F (15°C?) with 70% humidity is not an uncommon Hiver “room temperature”. A slightly lower atmospheric pressure may cause PC ears to “pop” a bit. (This last bit is just a cinematic touch to drive home the alien feeling.)

Hivers tend to eat communally as it pleases them in the main workroom.

Being gizmo-centric they will automatically employ a high-tech solution to a low-tech problem. Hiver technology is not shoddy but designed with an operational life (designed obsolescence). This drives Vilani designers and naval architects buggy. Sure a Vilani TL-12 frictionless electromechanical switch will last forever but a TL-15 synaptic wireless remote selector box is better because it is so cool.

Special Crew Issues
Most crew members on this class of ship have two jobs on board to satisfy their curiosity
This ship has two dedicated engineers but any hive member will assist if they have the appropriate skills and be credited a stipend for their work. The ship has one designated “gunner” who supervises training and repair but up to eight other researches may be trained as gunners. In a pinch robots will also fill in as needed for damage control and defense.

The ship also has a full-time administrative officer position. This individual acts as auditor, quartermaster, arbitrator, and is never the crisis manager.

Normally one experienced Hiver is designated as the crisis manager so that in the event of a threat action can be taken quickly and danger avoided.

By tradition many prestige research vessels are commanded by a committee of 7 crew members that are changed occasionally by hive consensus.

Just how the council system manages to run the ship is a mystery to the human mind.

The typical ship’s council
Administrative officer
Crisis manager (sometimes the gunnery master)
Medical officer or Navigator
Senior Engineer
Most respected researcher
Second most respected researcher

With this in mind it is important to state that all manner of administrative structures are found on Hiver ships. This is simply the most common.

Collective and Cooperative Workroom 80 tons
(Adjacent to the scientific computers)

This facility is an odd cross between lounge, kitchen, laboratory and workshop. Hivers working on projects (manipulation) spend much of their time here. The area is mostly open but individual workstations can be made semi-private resembling cubicles with walls that can be reconfigured to meet any number of needs. The extra high-resolution holographic projectors and direct access to the laboratories and computers increases the functionality of this room. In a pinch this room can also serve as secondary bridge and is the place where the hive will retreat to if threatened.

Additional laboratory space is available in three 20 ton laboratories that are accessible from the CCW. Each laboratory is equipped to deal with a specific set of disciplines.
#1 Is a medical/psychological laboratory. Various devices include a memory probe and psionic conditioning equipment reside here.
#2 Deals with physics and astronomy.
#3 Deals with forensics technology, archeology and anthropology.

The Dormitory
38 regular and four guest rooms. (single occupancy) 4 tons each (42 rooms is divisible by 7, a sacred number for Hivers)
In contrast to the collective workspace the dormitory is very private. Each stateroom is customized and decorated to meet the tastes and needs of each individual. Each crew member proudly displays its achievements, accolades and diplomas. Hivers love clutter in the sense that private rooms should be filled with curiosities, antiques, projects and artifacts that stimulate the occupant. Hivers have been known to collect small numbers of books and paperweights just for their aesthetic qualities.

Ship’s locker 10 tons
Most crew take personal responsibility for most small equipment such as vaccsuits, personal weapons, their share of the hive’s little duties and portable sensors. Some equipment is communal and is stored here. It includes the rifles (normally laser) and some repair equipment as well as stacks of foreign currency and official Hiver exchange notes in a lightly guarded safe.

Snohl Chamber 50 tons
Hivers have preserved food aboard but they love that tasty fresh squishy fungus. The “Snohl” chamber doesn’t really contain a Snohl but it does provide a steady supply of the fresh fungi that the Hivers love to eat. Various mushrooms, scales and other smelly nasty things grow in these vats and racks. Most are highly toxic to humans and Hivers are aware of this. When traveling in areas populated by humans they will store a small supply of human food so they don’t seem rude to their guests.

The Baths (two baths @ 20 tons each)
Another unique feature of the this Hiver ship is the luxury of the grotto-like bathing facility/tea room.

The room is warm, musty and dimly lit. Cool stones line the floor in this circular chamber and an odd fermented beverage is often served on the benches along the perimeter of the room. This deep orange carbonated, mildly alcoholic (2.2%) liquid is not toxic but by all accounts is sickly sweet, gritty, tastes like iron and has an aftertaste like mud. One sip to be polite will not injure most humans but do not consume any amount of the substance or risk a very loose bowel for 2d6 hours.
Humans frequently refer to it as “mud in a cup” or Hiver Beer (no conventional beer ingredients are involved). The best translation from Hiver is “The Cool and Most Lovely High Tea”.

The bath itself consists of a warm shower of very warm distilled water infused with plant essences taken in the center of the room. The experience is quite pleasant for humans assuming you don’t mind the powerful smell of the vanilla /anise like herbs. Hivers will spend a few sevenths of an interval per rotation here bathing, drinking and relaxing.

Fumigation equipment locker –4 tons
(Fumigation day)
Since manipulation ships are long duration vessels, once a month the entire ship is fumigated for Hiver larvae. This typically consists of each crew member taking responsibly for one small area of the ship and using a special fumigation kit that looks like a scuba tank with a canister vacuum cleaner attached. If necessary all delicate items will be stored in a safe place and the ship will be depressurized.

Fabrication Center 25 tons
This room is dedicated to making and repairing high-tech pieces of equipment

Robots (20 ton robot center)
Hivers love technology that does the grunt work for them. As a result this class of ship employs 6-10 multipurpose operations robots. They perform routine maintenance tasks, fumigation, cleaning and monitor the ship’s systems on a day to day basis. A repair bench is located here as well as a number of spare parts, tools and diagnostic equipment.

When a Hiver crewed ship encounters danger their primary choice will be to fire off a salvo of long range missiles and then attempt to flee the area.

Since it is rare for Ithklur marines to be carried on this class of ship early warning, defense and escape are the primary concerns of the defensive systems.
Gunner is not a specialty. Instead a master gunner will instruct and supervise researchers to act as the gunners in a time of crisis if the need arises. Most gunners they skill-1 or 0 leaving it up to the computer or a robot to do most of the shooting.

The ship is equipped with ten hardpoints. All turrets are “masked” making them difficult to detect when deactivated.

Turret 1 double “missile” probe launcher (2G15 discretionary burn units)
These lovelies are more deadly than any nuke. Instead of an explosive warhead they are designed to tap into communications networks and plant information. They distribute sociologically altering memes and carefully worded news and popular fiction. They are disposable and have a self-destruct feature that keeps their true nature a secret.

Double Turrets 2 and 3. Twin long range double focused beam lasers (1.5 spaces each). These little gems inflect a standard two hits (one for each laser) but at twice the normal range thanks to the extra gravitic focusing elements. Although they can be used offensively their main purpose is to knock out incoming missiles long before they are a threat.

Triple turrets 4 mounts 1 sand caster and two countermeasure missile racks. (EMP followed by chaff then a flare)

Triple turret 5 fires conventional continuous burn 5G5 ship to ship missiles.

Triple turrets 6 and 7 fire long range discretionary burn 3G12 missiles
These are classified as anti-missile ordinance. Again, defensive cover for the ship.

Turrets 8 and 9 contain triple sandcasters

Turret 10 mounts three standard pulse lasers
^That's the rub. Got a rough idea down on graph paper but no scanner. Gonna give it a try. I think my public lib. has a public use scanner.
Excellent KG. I'll be using this as well. I really like the cultural specific details on the various rooms, organization and tactics.
Originally posted by Kurega Gikur:
The Basics
2000 ton hull streamlined (five decks about 400 tons per deck)
Maneuver Drive: J (1G)
Power Plant: K
Jump Drive: K (two jump 2)
I like the whole idea.

One question though: which version of LBB2 are you using? In most of the later editions' Drive Potential Tables, you'll need something like a drive-V to get level-2 performance in a 2000-dton hull, and that'll eat noticably more displacement and require more crew.

But, of course, that table has been known to vary from edition to edition...

The overall concept is very nice, either way.
"Boring" is a human sensibility. Always liked the gunship design, but my problem is the same one that I have always had with Mr. DeGraff's work.

Where are the windows? With alien ships I can understand, but humans gotta look out at stuff...


I did two Hive designs for my game, one being the top ship, "The Old Age Hobby", personal transport of Retired Admiral Custer and his band of not-so-merry non-men. This ship had its Jump Drives destroyed by a certain group of PCs and is currently crashed somewhere in the Ki Gaven system. The "Old Age Hobby" the ship is named after is violence, which is Custer's field of study...

Sorry its a crappy gif. I must be selective about revealing things in open forum. White bulbous areas are crew hab areas. The green and grey ring area outside is the Control Surface Torus, which flexes and self-corrects to adjust handling in atmosphere. I don't know how to model it , yet... it even has Lord Boulton stumped!

The Second is the "Go House" which at the outset was intended to be a mobile Hiver Base. I currently am running a few Hiver characters in various games that would love this sort of thing. Show up in system and do everything by telepresence and telemechanics in the comfort of your own mobile nest...
Originally posted by Sigg Oddra:
Here's Jesse DeGraff's take on them...

Not to beat on Jesse, the images are fine (and I know they're old ones aswell) but the ship design is... well, it's just a box.

I was kind of hoping that the giant asteroid in the early pics was the Hiver ship, but sadly no.
Okay, I know the idea of organic ships that look like giant insects and arthropods is a really old sci-fi cliche but really, I think the Hivers deserve something really unusual looking to compliment the fact that they are the most unusual looking major race in the Trav universe.

Anyway, this thread isn't really about how it looks - sorry for the hijack! =(

Oh and 'Six Eyes Nest Go House' is a contender for the best ship name I've ever heard.

The more I look at Old Age Hobby the more I love it. What's the problem with modelling the outer ring? (D'oh! I'm hijacking again! Sorry!)

Thanks, Lord Crow!

The windows issue struck me last night as I was reading Rim of Fire... Solomani ships are depicted... but they dont have windows! No windows means no Jump Shutters!

Plus they look a bit "platey" for Hiver ships... I would think they do more organic looking stuff being burrow dwellers...
It wasn't just the ring, it was the shape of the whole ship I couldn't get my head around.

I kind of like the idea that the weirdest, most incomprehensible aliens have really dull, boring ships.
The ship in the original CT alien module definitely looks insect-like to me, but it was TNE that canonised the brick shape.

It's a shame that they weren't made to look more alien or alive IMHO, as the good Baron suggests.
Like the one in the Keith brothers' Flare Star adventure perhaps...

Nice ship by the way Baron
The shape I had in mind was like a long oval. Like a "pill" with bits sticking out.

let me look at my drive table again. . . .
I might just fudge it. It is not a PC ship nor is it one they will be able to "take home".
Originally posted by Kurega Gikur:
The shape I had in mind was like a long oval. Like a "pill" with bits sticking out.
I envision Hiver ships as conical, like their homes.
Yeah, I could picture a collosal mothership shaped like a cone - or maybe several cones creating spires, a bit like the Alliance ship from Firefly - with small crab-like launches and workpods flitting around it like flies.