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Ideal Player ship


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What is the ideal ship for an adventuring party? Scout/Merchant/paramilitary?

Me: I like either the 400 ton patrol cruiser, or 800 ton Broadsword. Both have the legs needed to allow a party to range freely, and allow some NPCs which are actually spare characters if needed. I modified both ships somewhat for the party's needs.

The 200 ton Free Trader would be a good fit also if it had Jump2. There are just too many places that require something above jump 1 to make it.
Over-all I would agree with something in the 200/400 ton range. The scout has always proven too small for anything short of solo/pair adventuring and you better have a good source of money too. The next step up is usually a good fit for a normal size party without having to resort to too many NPCs. or 'droids for gm's who don't want to get bogged down. One of my most sussesfull designs started out as a standard free trader but after a few MCrs were spent on her she was a good all purpose ship. Just enough cargo to make a living, enough legs to go where we wanted to (J-3,M-4), and enough firepower to discourage all but the most desperate pirate. She was such a success that there were several "sisters" out there with different groups over the years. Yeah sometimes a more "focused" group might have need for a more specialized vessel but I would be surprised if most groups couldn't be well served by a well modified free trader.
Originally posted by Murph:
What is the ideal ship for an adventuring party? Scout/Merchant/paramilitary?

I'd have to say first - what are your goals as GM? That drives what they are _allowed_ to have.

Given that, my best experiances have as a GM have depended upon milleaux.

Scout or Far Trader (Marava and just ignore the displacement problems the plans have - I've yet to have a non-grognard (ie real) player complain yet).

If you actually play the Hard Times (yeah, you know who you are) a Firey class Gazelle variant is exquisite. Enough firepower potential to survive the messiness while still having a crew size with in reasonable limits.

Hope this helps.

Dependant upon size of party, and nature of the PC's, any of the following have been good ships under my modified MT games:

Type S Scout/Courier: ubiquitous, 4 in comfort, eight in crowding, no commercial useage, but usually includes a built in meta-patron, the IISS.
Type S1 Serpent Class Scout/Couriers : Aerodynes, not ubiquitous, but still moderately common, otherwise nigh identical to the type S performance wise (except for the chin-mount VRF Gauss Gun). I make it available for 2 reciepts of a scout ship. As per the std type S, it's at least 40 years old.
Type S2 Viper Class Survey/Scout: my homegrown variant Type S1. Much better sensor suite, better computer, but otherwise a Type S with a single lab. I make it available for 3 reciepts of a Scoutship. Typically only available as an MOB post 1100, due to the TL 15 gear... the first run is now being sent to detached duty.
Donosev Class Survey Corvette: For a heavy-scout-laden party, this ship I make available upon 4 rolls of Scout/Courier by one PC, and at least one type s rolled by another scout PC. They may trade in their two scouts for a Donosev. Makes for a great "Still in the Scouts" game's base ship. Room also for NPC's in the Crew.
Type T Patrol Covette: Excellent for starmerc oriented games. Not so hot for trade games. Need party of 5-8.
Type R Subsidized Merchant: Excellent for merchant games, good excuse for players to have a ship. Maxes out the capabilities of a Book 2 cargo generqation rules for a consistent break even.
Type A, A2 Good stable merchant designs. readily convertible to other uses (like troop transport, etc).
Gazelle CE For large parties, or "Still in the Navy" games, this staple of large system and most subsector navies is an ecellent choice.
Type TN Rift Patroller (homegrown)Courtesy of MT and careful attentions to detail, and a massively overpowered computer, the 3J4 TN can make it to the islands on one load of fuel. An excellent special missions ship, but lacking in comforts, cargo space, and amentities. The 3J4 capacity makes it a fair courier, too. Externally very close to the type T; you'd have to be counting access ports to distinguish, or doing a density scan to find the huge fuel volume (75%

I don't like the seeker, nor the safari particularly much. Both are too specialized for my games.

Special Case: Yachts Lousy for any real money making, but OK for dilletant travelling with several friends.

Special Case: Mercenary Cruiser aka Happy Fun Ball: yank the full size troop SR's (Staterooms), replace with twice as many small SR's, then double up in those! If under MT, the reduced fuel volume means some cargo space, too, and maybe even more troops. And, for the really psycho, put the ratings aboard into bunks, the officers in Sm SR's, the Captain and First Officer in Large SR's, and doubled up troops in small SR's, and you can pack a deccent force aboard... but cabin fever will make long trips a bad idea. And for the really bent: replace one cutter with 3 fighters.

Smith & Wesson: The Original Point and Click interface!
You can beat the cabin fever by giving everyone fast drug, so the trip in space passes as if it were a single day.

Dave "Dr. Skull" Nelson
DOnt like drugs.

Looks like a general consensus that the best range is in the 200-800 ton range with decent accel and jump (2-4 each).

Yachts are nice if you have a rich patron, although the FASA yacht M1/J4 was really great for adventuring.
What about the Far Trader? J-2 so it is more overall useful than the Free Trader, although it just can't quite make it economically.

Scout? A little too small.

What about ships bigger than 1k ton? ANyone use these?
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Murph:
What is the ideal ship for an adventuring party? Scout/Merchant/paramilitary?


If all of the charecters are members of the TAS then they don't even need ships. They can wander the universe at the rate of one high passage every two months forever. This option requires a bit more work on the part of the ref and of course the TAS memberships aren't available to every career.

Adventures in a campaign of this type will tend to be more planet oriented than the standard. Although should the ship they are travelling on be the target of pirates, hijakers, or other mishap the charecters may get to play a rather active part in saving all and sundry.

I am increasingly of the opinion that RPGs are by the nature of their creation subjective phenomenon. due to the interaction between game designers, game masters, and game players all definitions, rules, settings, and adventures are mutable in acordance with the uncertainty principle as expounded by Heisenburg. This is of course merely my point of view.

David Shayne
What about the Far Trader? J-2 so it is more overall useful than the Free Trader, although it just can't quite make it economically.

I always thought a j-2 beast was required for trader type players. the only thing the referee (me) could handle. As for the economics we don't want to go there. I've tried to re-work the economic issues so many times my brain repels at the idea today. My only item to every make Ol' Joe Heck's House Rules were economic. Oh. But to get back on target. Far Trader. Love it. Put a player in it any day and we've got a campaign.

mark ayers n2s@qwest.net , philosopher serf, editor of n2s; the journal for an empty mind
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Dave: If all of the charecters are members of the TAS then they don't even need ships...Adventures in a campaign of this type will tend to be more planet oriented than...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I always liked the campaigns without the player controlled ship. For us it was mostly a side session or twelve. Patrons with a capital P. That was the ticket to the ticket. Always someone rich enough with problem enough to rely on we motley crew.

mark ayers n2s@qwest.net , philosopher serf, editor of n2s; the journal for an empty mind
The ship my last group spent a lot of time in was actually a Type P Corsair (http://members.aol.com/gypsycomet/index.html and look into Campaign material for the Bird of Paradise). Since I determined IMTU that the "Corsair" is a commonly seen tramp freighter hull (encouraged behind the scenes by those who like to hide among them...) the group didn't attract boarding parties at every port, just most of them...
<<<What about the Far Trader? J-2 so it is more overall useful than the Free Trader, although it just can't quite make it economically.>>>

It only can't make it economically if it's used legally. : ^ ) Smugglers make a lot of money.

<<<Scout? A little too small.>>>

Depends on the size of the adventuring party. Scouts are great - free fuel at the right places, automatic adventures if you play it right - alien/Ancient/mystery adventures seem to follow them all over the place. Scouts on detached duty can be recalled at just about any time. Limited cargo space, but then you can get 100 bottles of Zilan Wine and sell each bottle for cr500. Buy low, sell high trading works wonders - as does smuggling.


Hi, I'm new to the group but a loonnng time Traveller player. An old White Dwarf (I forget which one) had a design for a Heavy Scout. It a was streamlined 300 tonne. M2, J4 or J5, with 3 turrets (2 w/ Pulse-Missle-Sand and 1 w/ Triple Beam. It was easily upgraded to M4/J4 and left room for 4-8 PCs and some cargo. My players loved it. I gave the trading capacity and adventerous feel of a Far Trader along with the legs my guys craved. The third turret (one more than a Fat Trader) didn't hurt either. The article had more details and feartures than I will list here unless I get a requset to do so.

If you want longer legs, I still *love* the Type-T. If you junk the Ship's Boat, it becomes quite workable as a semi-merchant. (I.e. you are merchant to make ends meet between your more lucrative adventures.)

It has 80 tons of cargo and 4 staterooms to rent out. You can even get 8 more tons of cargo if you kick out the G-carrier. (I liked to keep the vehicle option available, though tended toward 2 Air/Rafts.)
The type R 400 ton Fat Trader. Although, it does need to have INTERNAL, COLAPSABLE FUEL TANKS in the hold so it can get that extra jump (no ship IMTU has external drop tanks).

If you run the numbers, this class is the only standard merchant that stands a chance of making a profit. As such, IMTU, a merchie is much more likely to get a loan approved for a type R that an A or A2.
I've refereed a group with an Animal-class safari ship and got good results. They were wandering adventurers/speculative traders/wilderness guides.

I'll always have a soft spot for the Type T but I balk at private ownership because I think it would be too expensive and sophisticated to run and maintain. (At leats in my TU).

For adventuring these days I'd go with a Type S.
Not too shabby at all. But I do have one question-why the odd tonnage? Just curious, I've designed at 150 and 250 dtons, but the rest of the time I've stayed with fairly conventional tonnage settings ie. 1000, 5000,75000 et al.
That comes from it being a player ship (started as a 200 t free trader) for quite a few years in the 70s to 80s. ...Rip out a counsul here, re-build a M-drive there....
One mission, She took a Critical, frying it's drive and it 'landed' on a low-G world. Only bounced twice!
Since that whole mission was due to being set up and screwed over for the good of the Spinward sector, the Navy was obliged (by Norris decree) to re-build her in payment for services rendered and secrecy assured on a recovered-from-Zhodani list of Imperial SDB assignements.
Using a percentage/hard-number design formulae and inputting what was desired, the Navy architect resulted with a 257 ton ship. We ended up with a 260 tonner....but get TL-14 out of it!