Let's Read “Traveller: Core Rulebook - Common Spacecraft”

Quirky Ships and Isomorphic Maps

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A part of my Let’s Read “Traveller: Core Rulebook” series. Go grab your copy of Traveller: Core Rulebook and join in.

Having read the Space Combat chapter, let’s dive into some example ships.

First we get some basic guidance on where Travellers can build and buy ships. Then we get a section for random spacecraft quirks. In character creation, some of the ships that characters may start with will have 1d6 random quirks.

Imagine you’re at a spaceship yard, a sales person presents a few ships to purchase. Traveller provides a table to randomize the age of a ship. The older the ship, the deeper the discount. Also, the older the ship, the more quirks it has. These can be increased maintenance costs, a damaged hull, improved sensors, bad library data, and a black-list ship. Based on the type of ship (e.g. Trader, Military, or Other), there are some different quirks.

I like this part, it demonstrates that these incredibly expensive assets have a long life. On the table, you can get a ship that’s over 100 years old. It’ll cost 50% less, but will be loaded with 10 quirks. This is how you get something like the Millenium Falcon, always regarded as an old hunk of junk, yet full of some positive surprises.

Isometric Deckplan Key

To my knowledge I6: Ravenloft was the first RPG suppliment to use isomorphic maps.

This section provides a legend for the deck plans of starships. The plans are presented in an isomorphic format, rendering as a 3D map. I’m not afan of including starship maps. I love a good map, but I find this to be wasted space. Most of the time, I don’t need a map of any starships for my games. If I do, I can make it up as needed. Especially in a game that uses distance abstractions.

Ships

The final section of this chapter includes 15 example ships. Each ship includes an external sketch, a floor plan, tech level, the components of a ship, require crew, maintenance cost, purchase cost, fuel consumption, power requirements, and a quick description.

This chapter provides examples of what I assume to be smaller vessels. The Patrol Corvette and Mercenary Cruiser being the heaviest ships. These are more than a match for the Yacht, Free Trader, Science Vessel, or Scout vessels available to each person.

Conclusion

Any sci-fi game should have plenty of starships. And Traveller delivers on these examples. I don’t need the maps, but I appreciate the external renderings.

In the next chapter we’ll dive into Psionics ; Though I did explore a bit of this in my second example character creation.