Star ship architecture by species

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 19, 2014 - 2:28pm
this is an evolving idea.

I was thinking as an optional rule star ships could have "racial abilities" based on which specie designed and built them.

For example any yazirian craft of HS5 or smaller automatically gets atmospheric streamlining or gets it for a discount. All yazirian built ship also have a 10% reduction in HP but get +1 ADF

Treat vrusk and dralasite ships as the same due to the close association of those two races and or the dralasites having simply adapted to or conformed to vrusk ideas concerning star ship construction. this ships are naturally tougher as the vrusk abhore the possibility of loss from the company ledger sheet due to loss of a ship- all ships get a 5% bonus to HP

Human ships: due to the culture of looking for the lowest bidder this ships can, at the builder's option have a savings in cost (-10% or -15%) but must roll on a quirk table (I remember seeing one somewhere, maybe in the sfman) such that it will have a bunch of nuisance quirks.

Note the above in not meant to be fair and balanced. Its simply to introduce some flavor and character into star ship hulls. so if someone was looking for fast ship hull they would be looking for a yazirian built hull. Perhaps the cost on the yazirian hull is higher for resale as people just want them.

Perhaps a hull built in the Rim is problematic in that the ifshnit and humma are low to the ground and the osakar can deal with tighter spaces thus this hull has a cost associated with it to convert it to UPF standards or core four individuals that stay on boarded one for 5 days gain a penalty like the pain penalty for 1/2 STA but this one is just -5 to all ability & skill checks till the person has been off the ship for 10 hours.

NOTE: I think we may have discussed this or something similar in the past but I cant remember for sure.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 19, 2014 - 2:31pm
We could go a little further with discribing the architecture-

Vrusk go in for geometric shapes

yazirians go in for styling and lines, they build the ferrari's of space so they should look hot

humans go in for utilitarian designs

yazirian ships that are large enough can have a space called the "cathedral" which is a large open area for 0 g gliding the name being a play on their religious nature and taken from human architecture- cathedral ceiling.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 19, 2014 - 9:14pm
I wrote some penalties for the core four races into movement and actions aboard the Sathar Destroyer since it had low ceilings and narrow passages.  That may be what you are remembering.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

KRingway's picture
KRingway
April 20, 2014 - 12:44am
I had a similar sort of idea in the past. I've always thought that ship design should reflect the culture from which is came, as their a bit too uniform as shown in the game itself. One idea is that Ifshnit ships, for example, look like an agglomeration of various bits and bobs as each part is owned by an individual or group but all of this is combined together as a collective business venture. Kind of like how the ISS is now, but much more untidy Wink

Ascent's picture
Ascent
April 20, 2014 - 4:10am
There's more to ship design than simply culture. It depends also upon the money that goes into the ship design as well as aesthetic considerations or lack thereof due to availability. Utilitarian has more to do with cost concerns and a lack of market availability. The more expensive and less available they are, the more utilitarian they will be, with little to no aesthetic considerations. But the closer to a marketable value they are, and the more common they are, the more they will reflect aesthetics. And the aesthetics will be broad and variable, based upon the purpose of the ship (sporty or luxury, work hauler or recreational, personal or corporate,)

Cultural considerations usually have more to do with size and geometric relationships than an overall "these would be sporty and stylish, but those would be utlitarian eye sores."

From a cultural/species perspective, I would consider ship design from these angles:
  • Vrusk are corporate. (Extravegant for self, austere for everyone else.)
  • Yazirians are offensive. (Hostile and responsive in combat situations, even if unarmed, and geared towards intimidating their life enemies.)
  • Dralasites are adaptable and fun. (Evading combat and easily modified, even if armed.)
  • Humans are governed by desires. (Invoke envy, whether through size, shape or function.)
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

KRingway's picture
KRingway
April 20, 2014 - 5:44am
By 'culture' I meant the way a civilisation goes about constructing an item such as a spaceship. As far as we can tell from the game, the actual culture of each race is uniform pretty much across it's whole. So it seems that Vrusk ships, for example, would look a certain way and be made a certain way. The same would be the case for the other races. That said, you might also be able to boil it down to individual companies or other forces within each culture, which might have different design approaches.

An example of this would be from our own world - there is a difference between US and Russian spacecraft. Although they pretty much do the same thing, there is a difference in design in various ways between each.This model would work within any given single culture (i.e. ships made by different Vrusk groups look different to each other - although perhaps not radically so) or work from culture to culture (i.e. Vrusk ships look different to human ships).

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
April 20, 2014 - 8:03am
Well we do have to remember the practical. WWII warships came from different cultures but based on function looked alot alike. A Battleship and an Aircraft Carrier would not be confused even when they converted old battleships into aircraft carriers.

In the SF Universe we have three types of engines which all go in the back of the ships. We also have no artificial gravity so decks have to be stacked vertically. Speaking of which since gravity is controlled by thrust there are alot of zero and micro gravity times so ships need to be able to handle this.

Of course Yazirian and Vrusk handle zero gravity very differently.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

KRingway's picture
KRingway
April 20, 2014 - 10:52am
Yes, but those WWII ships were all from the same planet, and made by one species. The same is not the case for SF Wink

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
April 21, 2014 - 1:52pm
KRingway wrote:
Yes, but those WWII ships were all from the same planet, and made by one species. The same is not the case for SF Wink


Ah not the point. The point is that when ever you put basic rules in then while each race may have certain particularities the basis is always the same.

Take Star Trek Universe for example. Federation ships tend to have a large saucer and small body attachments. Klingon ships have small "heads" with large body sections. Romulan ships are very curvy with the larger ones forming ovals. BUT all three races used warp nacelles for propulsion and had to have them represented on the ships.

When the writers wanted to create a truly "alien" race in the Borg they had cube and sphere ships with a different propulsion system.

PS Star Wars Universe does not seem to have any consistant ship design rules or at least ones that make sense.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

KRingway's picture
KRingway
April 21, 2014 - 4:31pm
Well, Star Trek may not have completely thought things through Wink It's easier to keep depictions samey (inside and out) for producton reasons.

I think the different races and civilisations would have different approaches - unless, of course, we go down the route that they're sort-of personifications of various human things. Yes, engines may have to always go in a certain place, and a few other things, but I still don't think they'd look all that similar across the board.

Ascent's picture
Ascent
April 21, 2014 - 9:51pm
I think you're both right and both wrong.

The Borg were not concerned with the effect of transwarp drives on its crew, which is why the engines are inside the ship. They stated that on one of the episodes. They also explained that the square shape is simply a gemotrically logical shape, expressing Borg structure, while the round ships are the most efficient. The Borg Queen ship, however, has no such geometric shape. Instead, it is essentially a giant transwarp drive with support struts because it is a mothership transport for all the cubes. They have no aesthetics.

The Borg were not created to be "truly alien". They were created by Gene Rodenberry to be the ultimate killing machines to make a threat that the Federation would have to adapt to in order to overcome to demonstrate the Federation's right to be in the universe, which was the very theme of the Next Generation, starting in the first 2-part episode and the final episode both involving the Q trial.

I don't remember which book has the history, but as I remember it, the Yazirians created the engines, but shared their tech with the other races in order that they could meet in the Frontier. So all the tech is based upon Yazirian designs. There will be very little variance in engine design. However, the Rim Coalition will have their own engines, as they developed under similar circumstances. The Sathar also have their own design of engines. But that is still only 3 unique designs, only 2 of which are available on the market.

Not all the ship designs are going to be vertical, some are horizontal, because ships of size 5 and smaller can land on planets if designed to do so.

I think the overal shape of a vertical ship is going to be guided by its purpose. From that point, any aesthetics applied will reflect the race's personality while also reflecting regional culture and the tastes of the designers and their customers.

I do not think the designs would be as uniform as Star Trek ship designs for each race, but it makes for more interesting definitions of races, defining their ships by uniform designs. And I think the game has already given in to this way of doing things through its presentation of the Sathar.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 22, 2014 - 1:19pm
I went away for the weekend so a lot transpired in this thread. I like the point that warships look a lot alike on earth simply because the are built for a particular function and this is perhaps true of star ships to a limited degree within the setting. and this dovetails into what I was really thinking; that its less about looks (comments by me to the contrary not withstanding) but more about little perks particular to craft.

Even while destroyers will look a lot a like on earth there will still be significant differences between destroyers of different nation. Which brings me back to things like yazirian ships tending to be a tand faster than others and etc.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
April 22, 2014 - 5:37pm
Ascent a couple points.

1) The Borg were created by Maurice Hurley not Gene Roddenberry.

2) The timeline in Zebs has the Vrusk/Dralasite meet, then Vrusk/Humans meet, then Vrusk/Humans/Dralasites meet for the first time then 30 years later the Yazirians enter the Frontier. Doubting the Yazirians are the gift givers of space technology to the other races.

Now one of the reasons we are given for the simplicity of SF is it was designed for a younger audience. So all the races (Sathar included) were given almost identical ships. Possibly because Pan Galactic Corporation was the only Megacorp and made all the ships?

A possible explanation for the three different drives (Chemical/Ion/Atomic) is that Vrusk/Human/Yazirian each developed one of them. Dralasites by timeline and lack of planets do not seem very big on space travel. Each of the three races would primarily use one of those engine designs in their ships. From the type of engine used by that race other design features could be extrapolated.

FOR EXAMPLE
Vrusk developed Ion Drive which they used to meet the other races (Human and Dralasite). Since they need to be mounted outside of ship and Vrusk love art, Vrusk ships themselves look like abstract art with many different designs depending on what kind of fuel is used for the ions.

Humans could not wait to explore space and developed extensive chemical drives to explore their original system. When the Vrusk found them and shared (leased the information at a reasonable profit) with them the Humans again were so impatient they mostly strapped ion engines on existing chemical hulls. Some of that has changed. Human ships are the most diverse in style to meet the many needs of the very varied Humans.

Yazirians needed big ships with big engines to take them the farthest of the Core Four and so they could travel by clan. Atomic engines allowed them to meet these needs. Yazirian ships are big and a little slower. Partly from the size but also from the lower standard gravity Yazirians prefer.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

KRingway's picture
KRingway
April 23, 2014 - 12:57am
But we still have other races to consider that are canon: Humma, Ifshnit and Osakar.

Rather than human ships being the most varied, I don't see that wouldn't also be the case for the other races. After all, ships have to be built to suit some sort of purpose, which would make for differing designs. The factor that would make them look truly different from race to race is whether they are designed to be crewed by a single race, or mixed crews. In the latter case, there may need to be some differences to allow the differing crew requirements - unless, of course, a generic one size fits all set of designs evolves which caters to all races in one ship.

That said, there may still be individual notes of design flair from race to race - or from manufacturer to manufacturer - even with these more generic ship types.

Ascent's picture
Ascent
April 23, 2014 - 3:10am
rattraveller, there was an earlier history than that, which Shadow Shack alludes to from time to time to highlight that the Zeb's timeline is flawed.

Thanks for the correction on the creator of the Borg.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

Ascent's picture
Ascent
April 23, 2014 - 3:27am
rattraveller wrote:
Yazirian ships are big and a little slower. Partly from the size but also from the lower standard gravity Yazirians prefer.

This is actually one of the most enlightening statements in this thread so far. Yes, gravity is a strong consideration in regard to speed. So Yazirian ships would indeed be slower, which also fits with the fact that the Yazirians tend toward militancy. Being slower, the Yazirians would have to arm their ships more heavily to account for being the straggler.

Their fighters would also be slower, as their adjustment to gravity would also affect their tolerance of extreme gees. In fact, they would probably prefer bombers and gunships. Inversely, given the Sathar's penchant for speed, I would guess that they actually come from a heavier gravity planet, which would make sense, as slithering would be the best way to deal with such extreme gravity and also explain why they stand so well on spindly arms.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 23, 2014 - 4:05am
Ascent wrote:
Inversely, given the Sathar's penchant for speed, I would guess that they actually come from a heavier gravity planet, which would make sense, as slithering would be the best way to deal with such extreme gravity and also explain why they stand so well on spindly arms.


I'm not sure about that statement:

Compared to UPF ships, sathar ships are not fast. They are universally heavier and slower while the UPF ships tend toward lighter and more nimble. The most common UPF ships are the assault scout and frigate (smaller and faster) while the workhorse of the sathar fleet is the destroyer (heavier and slower).

RE: yazirians and slower ships- I think that since they potentially glide before they ever walk that flight is a first love for them and that they might just have a "fighter jock" mentality and desire for speed and nimbleness that goes with that. Sure the ships they used for the exodus would have been big and slow but I'm not convinced that they would go the route of heavier and slower for all classes.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
April 23, 2014 - 6:24am
Gliding would be slower on a low gravity planet. While they may have a fighter jock mentality because of it, their bodies will still only be accustomed to slower flight, not high gees. Though, even in low gravity, high gee maneuvers are still possible, I think the environment would prohibit their bodies from becoming accustomed to high gee maneuvers. Though it is certainly possible that it could allow human-equivalent tolerance, I doubt they would be comfortable for extended periods at human tolerance.

I was thinking that Sathar ships were originally faster than UPF ships, but that the UPF had to catch up and produced the Assault Scout. Though, granted, if Sathar were from a high gravity environment, they would not have a problem catching up themselves until they surpassed human tolerance.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 23, 2014 - 7:44am
Ascent wrote:
Gliding would be slower on a low gravity planet. While they may have a fighter jock mentality because of it, their bodies will still only be accustomed to slower flight, not high gees. Though, even in low gravity, high gee maneuvers are still possible, I think the environment would prohibit their bodies from becoming accustomed to high gee maneuvers. Though it is certainly possible that it could allow human-equivalent tolerance, I doubt they would be comfortable for extended periods at human tolerance.

I was thinking that Sathar ships were originally faster than UPF ships, but that the UPF had to catch up and produced the Assault Scout. Though, granted, if Sathar were from a high gravity environment, they would not have a problem catching up themselves until they surpassed human tolerance.


I dont see it as a given that being from a lower gravity world means they go in for slower tougher designs. Their ability modifiers (at character creation) are a penalty to STR/STA with a boost to DEX/RS which does not suggest a plodding juggernaut but rather a nimble agile fighter. The slower tougher juggernaut mentality strikes me as counter-intuitive to the yazirian psyche. they are nimble, dexterous fighters. their physical forms of combat are founded on speed and nimbleness not linebacker models. Their pre-disposition will be to seek to develope this model for fighter operations not go juggernaut. If we were discussing a race like Wookies I'd I would say yes to juggernaut philosophy.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
April 23, 2014 - 10:46am
By that logic Yazirian ships would also be smaller and all have glide flaps. (I was hoping we could avoid the d20 Future design flailing.) So you're saying the Yazirians have no ability to adapt? They have to always act dextrous even when they're at a speed disadvantage?

Humans are pack hunters, scavengers and runners, but we have a completely different mentality in combat. We seek the most effective means of combat at our disposal, not because our genes have narrowly defined us to fight in a particular way.

A species could never survive if it could never adapt. Thus, I see all the species in the Frontier as adaptable. However, they have cultural differences that inform how they adapt. But not adapting to being the slower fighter in space would bring a quick end to the Yazirian race in the Frontier.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

KRingway's picture
KRingway
April 23, 2014 - 11:05am
There's also the case that the physical capabilities of combat personnel in any of the races would have to be above average, so taking the general ways stats suffer a plus or minus isn't the whole picture. One would have to look at the way individuals are picked out because they are above the norm, regardless of the way that the average works. This is true of humans on our planet, and IMHO would apply to any of the SF races.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 23, 2014 - 1:32pm
@ Ascent: I'm simply saying that it would seem to me that the race (in part or in whole; whichever) would tend to naturally value nimbleness and speed. Love of flight and gliding will not automatically mean they will go info slow craft. Power flight will appeal to the race on a whole at a very gut level and it will be natural for them to see just how fast they could push a powered craft. Also in a warlike race like the yazirians it would take an genius to see that faster is better in military aircraft and since they get that little bump to their LOG they are not stupid. Clearly they will have gone through a century or two of developing powered atmospheric fighters before they ever turned a hand to space capable fighters and it would stem to reason that they will not so readily break with centuries of design philosophy. That is not to say that they didn't develope hvy bombers but then again we dont really have a KHs weapon system that acts as a bomb.

There is no sucking up to D20 Future which would be hard to since I dont own a copy of it.

As to not being able to handle high G, really? what exactly does ADF work out to in Gs? The assault scout pulls this routinely and yet its intended mixed crews. The G forces pulled by KHs military vessels would require some technological fixes for them to make sense.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
April 23, 2014 - 1:43pm
Quick note. The slowness of a Yazirian ship was based on the 1G. The Human 1G is based on the approxiamately Earth gravity. Yazirians glide best in a .7 Earth gravity so for them before they meet the other races the Yazirian 1G was not the 1G of the other races. Once they met the other races things may have changed.

2nd note I was writing about large multi-being ships. Fighter design is a different matter as these are specialty ships which would be designed according to the race flying them and the percieved threats they would need to respond to.

IE system jumping X-wings vs "No those are short ranged fighters, they must have a base nearby"
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Ascent's picture
Ascent
April 23, 2014 - 3:02pm
When I say "high gee", I mean the highest gees of human tolerance.

Actually, jedion, only the scale is the problem in KH. 60k km hexes were artificially chosen for no discernable reason whatsoever. It's a game design flaw.

Fact: Yazirian bodies are built for 7/10ths (less than 3/4) of earth gees.
Fact: Yazirians have less STR/STA than humans because they come from a lower gravity.
Fact: Yazirians have greater DEX/RS because of their glide capability.
Fact: Yazirians have greater INT/LOG for whatever reason.

The glide chart for Yazirians, which is actually quite accurate, demonstrates that the 43% increase in gravity over what they are used to has so significant an impact on their gliding capability that it is reduced to 1/10th. How would you feel in gravity that is 143% that of earth? You would be 143% heavier. I'm 190 lbs. That would make me 271 lbs and I would feel every pound of it. How about you? Can you lug around 81 lbs and not be affected? So yes, I don't care how used to high gee flight they are, they would never be able to deal with human equivalent gee tolerance.

But it's not just fat weight. Fat people can still have blood that flows well. But Gee tolerance is about bloodflow. If their bodies are from a lighter atmosphere, high gees are going to have a much greater effect on their blood flow than ours. The blood itself actually becomes heavier with greater gees. Their hearts are not designed for pumping blood with that kind of weight in it. So the encumbrance that a Yazirian would feel would be much greater than what a fat person would feel.

As for how they are going to make up for moving at 3/4 of our speed, I think they would bulk up their arsenals and defenses or else they are going to be sitting ducks. No amount of Dexterity is going to help them when the enemy is laughing at their lack of maneuverable speed.

I think Yazirian intelligence would allow them to adapt better, which makes them more likely to abandon their racial instincts in favor of a more logical response, which is, if you're slower, then you need greater defenses and increased strength, which means bigger ships with more armor and weapons, which suits the aggressive Yazirian mentality. Likely, they were already into big guns. (Which is suggested in Elmore's cover art.)
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 23, 2014 - 3:56pm
Ascent wrote:
When I say "high gee", I mean the highest gees of human tolerance.

Actually, jedion, only the scale is the problem in KH. 60k km hexes were artificially chosen for no discernable reason whatsoever. It's a game design flaw.

Fact: Yazirian bodies are built for 7/10ths (less than 3/4) of earth gees.
Fact: Yazirians have less STR/STA than humans because they come from a lower gravity.
Fact: Yazirians have greater DEX/RS because of their glide capability.
Fact: Yazirians have greater INT/LOG for whatever reason.

The glide chart for Yazirians, which is actually quite accurate, demonstrates that the 43% increase in gravity over what they are used to has so significant an impact on their gliding capability that it is reduced to 1/10th. How would you feel in gravity that is 143% that of earth? You would be 143% heavier. I'm 190 lbs. That would make me 271 lbs and I would feel every pound of it. How about you? Can you lug around 81 lbs and not be affected? So yes, I don't care how used to high gee flight they are, they would never be able to deal with human equivalent gee tolerance.

But it's not just fat weight. Fat people can still have blood that flows well. But Gee tolerance is about bloodflow. If their bodies are from a lighter atmosphere, high gees are going to have a much greater effect on their blood flow than ours. The blood itself actually becomes heavier with greater gees. Their hearts are not designed for pumping blood with that kind of weight in it. So the encumbrance that a Yazirian would feel would be much greater than what a fat person would feel.

As for how they are going to make up for moving at 3/4 of our speed, I think they would bulk up their arsenals and defenses or else they are going to be sitting ducks. No amount of Dexterity is going to help them when the enemy is laughing at their lack of maneuverable speed.

I think Yazirian intelligence would allow them to adapt better, which makes them more likely to abandon their racial instincts in favor of a more logical response, which is, if you're slower, then you need greater defenses and increased strength, which means bigger ships with more armor and weapons, which suits the aggressive Yazirian mentality. Likely, they were already into big guns. (Which is suggested in Elmore's cover art.)


Well that was better argued without a sneer involving D20, I will concede the point.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!