Crew numbers by hull size

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
October 29, 2014 - 11:10am
Is there anyplace in the rules that limits the size of the crew by the hull size of the ship? Once you know how big your crew is you can determine the capacity of your life support system, but I don't see any way to determine crew size except "I guess you could squeeze that many people into that space." Have I missed something?
Comments:

Ascent's picture
Ascent
October 29, 2014 - 12:26pm
They are in the descriptions of the ships. There are no hard and fast rules except for certain ships. It is basically about the crew quarters you can fit into the ship.

Tactical Operations Manual, pp. 7-8, Campaign Book, pp. 5-8.

Not all the descriptions give the exact number of crew and some give equations to figure it out.
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Abub's picture
Abub
October 29, 2014 - 12:58pm
I would say above and beyond crew quarter... cause people can share bunks and be laid out on the floor with sleeping bags (probably attached to the floor somehow for zero-g).

But the Life Support system has a rating on it for number of people it can support Max.  Soooo... no you basically you have to decide one and make the other match... so you could have a huge size 10 freighter that has tons and tons of cargo space that could easily be converted into bunk space... but if the life support system is only rated for three crew members that is all that can crew that big ship.

UPF ships as Ascent mentioned indicate what that design ship is built for... but that not a function of hull size directly... only indicretly as you can't cram 60 people on a scout.

Sooo... I would stat by deciding the crew desired in a ship, then decide if life support is going to have some excess capacity for non-crew passengers, and then decide how big a hull size is the minimum you need.  A lot of judgement and estimations but nothing really hard and fast.

On my players UPF issued assault scount.  They have a crew of six and they just transported an extra soldier for a mission.  I'm assuming the life support on a UPF AS is probably rated for up to ten probably, so that they can also carry non-crew marines for some missions.


Here is a question for the smart people here....

How easy/hard do you think it would be to upgrade or add tempary capacity to your life support system?  Like in my UPF AS... could the design be for 6 but with some method for adding a little for mission specific needs?  Like if they store extra food/water in the cargo area could they host a squad of a 6 marines in addition to the six crew?  Or whatever... refugees, scientist... extra people.

Do you envision them eating space rations that nobody likes?  Something they mix with water or pump air into that saves space in storage?

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Ascent's picture
Ascent
October 29, 2014 - 1:27pm
It's probably about compressed air tanks and food storage and prep capacity. I'd imagine it would take a closet full of food packets. I could see it's size directly related to the number of crew members. As long as you have space, I don't see it being too hard to upgrade the system. Perhaps you might need a mess hall for every certain number of crew/non-crew.

I've actually wondered why there are even beds on a spaceship. Given the non-gravity design, they should all be sleeping in sleeping bags attached to the walls.
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Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
October 29, 2014 - 4:16pm
you could have a huge size 10 freighter that has tons and tons of cargo space that could easily be converted into bunk space

Good point. Crew size is whatever suits the mission of the ship, plus whatever seems like it could reasonably fit into the given hull size.

How easy/hard do you think it would be to upgrade or add tempary capacity to your life support system?

I'd say this is just a case of adding a backup life support system and using it in conjunction with the primary life support system, which is described on page 14 of the Knight Hawks campaign book.

I've actually wondered why there are even beds on a spaceship. Given the non-gravity design, they should all be sleeping in sleeping bags attached to the walls.

When accelerating for a long time, the apparent gravity will produce a down direction. Starships making jumps accelerate for days at a time. Passengers and crew will want to sleep during that time. (Who knows how long system ships take to get from planet to planet?)

KRingway's picture
KRingway
October 29, 2014 - 4:01pm
Temporary crew could be placed in spacesuits and/or put into artificial sleep for the duration of the trip if it's not too long. Or instead of a spacesuit, some sort of life-support suit tailored for transporting crew in such a way.

Abub's picture
Abub
October 29, 2014 - 4:08pm
Being in zero g for long periods of time they are finding causes many health issues. So ships in SF want to fly around at 1g when possible. Like even if it means flying around in system 
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TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
October 29, 2014 - 6:26pm
I always over build my Life support system on my ships.  They typically can support more than the standard crew size.  When desiging a ship I look at the various breakdowns in the KH book and assume the ship is designed for the maximum number in that range.  If I have a crew right on the edge I always pick the next higher one.  The truth is that the life support costs in KH are rediculously low.  A few hundred credits to feed a couple dozen people for 200 days seems fantastic.  I suspect that they were secretly thinking about some sort of "tranmutation" or "creation" tech for the food on board when they designed the system as the volume and mass are just crazy low.

As to supporting larger numbers beyond that, I alway include a backup life support system and all the two to be run simultaneously effectively doubling the number of beings that can be supported.  I've always felt that that represents the oxygen and water systems.  Food is just max number of beings times 200 days.  If you have fewer, it lasts longer.  So if your system is rated for 12 and you only have six on board, your food lasts 400 days instead of 200.  If you had 24 it would only last 100 (but you have recycling issues).
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Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
October 29, 2014 - 7:27pm
One odd thing about the number of crewmen they list with the military ships, is that it feels like they only don't give enough crewmen to account for Damage control, nor extra men to fill all the Watch shifts. And if a fighter is crewed by a pilot limited to sitting in a cockpit, why would a fighter have a Damage Control Rating? Do they have Astromech droids or something?

Two of the best places to check for the amount of needed crewmen is the Skyward Steel (a spaceship supplement for Stars Without Numbers) or the (free) online supplement for Alternity called Warships. If you are going with the latter, it is advised to lower the man-per-Hull Points to account for the differences in size systems. (In the Warships rules, "Hull Points" are used to determine the size of a ship and how much stuff you can add to it — basically like Battletech tonnage. It looks like all you need to do is divide the Alternity Hull Points to get SF Hull Size, but I maybe wrong.) Truth be told, they are both good, as Warships notes what you need given the size and equipment of a military ship, while Skyward Steel notes the organization (ranks, rates, departments, etc.) of a military crew.

Ascent's picture
Ascent
October 30, 2014 - 6:05am
Abub wrote:
Being in zero g for long periods of time they are finding causes many health issues. So ships in SF want to fly around at 1g when possible. Like even if it means flying around in system 
Unless it's a ship that does very little moving, such as a research vessel, most ships in the Frontier will have enough simulated gravity from acceleration and deceleration for the effects of 0g to have little-to-no effect on ship crews.
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Abub's picture
Abub
October 30, 2014 - 6:18am
Ascent wrote:
Abub wrote:
Being in zero g for long periods of time they are finding causes many health issues. So ships in SF want to fly around at 1g when possible. Like even if it means flying around in system 
Unless it's a ship that does very little moving, such as a research vessel, most ships in the Frontier will have enough simulated gravity from acceleration and deceleration for the effects of 0g to have little-to-no effect on ship crews.

Or ships posted to defensive positions in orbit of a planet.

Maybe system ships might use more rotaional gravity.
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Ascent's picture
Ascent
October 30, 2014 - 6:58am
I think that is a safe assumption toward ships that do very little acceleration/deceleration.

Though another solution is that the ship's crew does only stents and are traded out with other crews, perhaps for 2-week or 1-month shifts.
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Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
October 31, 2014 - 5:59am
Or the ship has a grav deck.

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
October 31, 2014 - 6:55am
Bone decalcification is one of those phenomena you can safely ignore when playing at 1970s-style science-fiction.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 1, 2014 - 6:16pm
Malcadon wrote:
And if a fighter is crewed by a pilot limited to sitting in a cockpit, why would a fighter have a Damage Control Rating? Do they have Astromech droids or something?

I simply house ruled that a single seat fighter repair would consist of the pilot running a program that reroutes power from a damaged system to a functional one in order to temporarily overcome the damaged system. It's a pretty low repair roll anyways, in the absence of any engineering skill bonus that could be added to the score.

Regardless of the outcome, the craft would have to dry dock for the actual repair work.
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Abub's picture
Abub
November 1, 2014 - 11:40pm
I would guess what SS said... and it is possible some things might be fixed by the pilot rebooting systems.

In my game I have the repairs happening during the regular 10 minute combat round but requireing three "successes" to achieve a fix.  Sooo... on small ships they rarely have somebody to work on repairs unless it is a critical system.  Bascially in my game the only way a fighter would be able to work on repairs is if combat has left this ship as dead or disabled.

And... who knows... during a half hour period of time... a desperate fighter pilot might EVA if he needed to do something.  Inside, Outside his fighter... if he is disabled and getting shot at, he is dead either way.
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Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
November 2, 2014 - 9:31am
He can reroute systems like Grig from The Last Starfighter. He physically rerouted life support, on a circuit board, to gain engines and weapons.

Abub's picture
Abub
November 3, 2014 - 8:30am
Jaxon wrote:
He can reroute systems like Grig from The Last Starfighter. He physically rerouted life support, on a circuit board, to gain engines and weapons.

or Anikin in Episode 1
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Karxan's picture
Karxan
November 5, 2014 - 5:07pm
Viper pilots in BSG did it a few times also.

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
November 26, 2014 - 3:53am
I found this on page 42 of Alternity's netbook Warships. This might takes some degree of conversion, as the Hull Points to Hull Size vales are erratic, and don't mesh well between ship types, the larger you go. That is the Warship's Fighters and Scouts are only a 10 points difference to the Knight Hawk's Fighters and Assault Scouts. But the light warships (Corvettes to Destroyers) have about a 20-25 points difference, while full-size warships are even higher (the Battleships have a 60 points difference)! Warship's Hull Points seems to be more exponential compared to Knight Hawk's Hull Size.

I post this information to help give a rough idea on necessary crew compliment, and maybe useful to someone here (even if the notes seems to fall short in places):

Crew Requirements

Basic Crew

Deck
  • Deckhands: 1 deckhand per 40 hull points
  • Cargo Handlers: 1 cargo handler per autocargo system, or 1 cargo handler per bay and 2 per hold
  • Bosun’s Mates: 1 boatswain mate per 5 deckhands or cargo handlers
  • Ship’s Bosun
  • Deck Officers: 1 per 3 bosun’s mates
  • First Lieutenant

Engineering
  • Drive Techs: 1 drive tech per 5 hull points for FTL drives.
  • Engine Tech: 1 engine tech per 10 hull points devoted to engines, plus 1 engine tech per engine.
  • Power Tech: 1 power tech per 10 hull points devoted to power plants, plus 1 power tech per power plant.
  • Support Tech: 1 support tech per life support system
  • Cold Tech: 1 cold tech per 2 life suspection units
  • Eco Tech: 1 eco tech per recycler unit or hydroponics bay
  • Petty Officers: 1 engine mate per 5 drive techs, power techs, engine techs, support techs, eco techs, or cold techs
  • Fuel King (if ship carries fuel)
  • Engineering Officers: 1 per 3 petty officers
  • Chief Engineer

Navigation
  • Quartermasters: 2 quartermasters, plus 1 per class (2 for light, 3 for medium, etc.)
  • Helm Operators: 1 helm operator plus 1 per class (2 for light, 3 for medium, etc.)
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 4 quartermasters or helm operators.
  • Navigator

Operations
  • Electronics Techs: 1 per sensor or comm system
  • Comp Techs: 1 plus 1 per class (computer core); 1 per system assigned a dedicated computer.
  • Op Specialists: 1 per sensor system; 1 per weapon system; 1 per defensive system.
  • Intelligence Specialists: 2 on medium ships, 4 on heavy, or 10 on super-heavy ships
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 3 techs
  • Officers: 1 per 3 petty officers
  • Operations Officer

Psi
  • Psi Officers: As needed

Auxiliary Engineering
  • Repair Techs: 1 per 40 hull points
  • Machinists: 4 per workshop, fabrication facility, or nanomanufacture bay.
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 4 repair techs or machinists.
  • Damage Control Officer

Weapons
  • Gunners: 2 per beam or projectile weapon mount, plus 1 per 5 hull points devoted to beam or projectile weapons.
  • Missile Techs: 2 per missile rack, 4 per missile tube, or 4 per cell array.
  • Torpedomen: 4 per torpedo system, plus 1 per 5 hull points devoted to torpedo systems.
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 4 gunners, missile techs, or torped omen.
  • Weapon Officers: 1 per 3 petty officers
  • Chief Weapons Officer

Flight
  • Flight Crews: As needed
  • Aviation Techs: 3 per embarked craft
  • Aviation Storekeepers: 1 per embarked craft
  • Flight Deckhands: 1 per 2 embarked craft
  • Flight Ops Specialists: 1 per 4 embarked craft
  • Aviation Weaponeers: 1 per embarked craft
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 4 aviation techs, aviation storekeepers, flight deckhands, flight ops specialists, and aviation weaponeers
  • Officers: 1 per 4 petty officers
  • Flight Officer:
  • Strike Officer:
  • Wing Commander:

Science
  • Technicians: 4 per lab section
  • Science Officers: 1 per lab section
  • Chief Science Officer

Ship’s Troops
  • Marines: As needed
  • Sergeants: 1 per 4 marines
  • Officers: 1 per 4 sergeants
  • Commander:

Support Crew

Medical
  • Med Techs: 1 per 50 basic crewmembers or 1 per 2 beds in sick bay, whichever is greater
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 3 med techs
  • Surgeons: 1 per sick bay (troop ships only)
  • Ship’s Doctor

Service
  • Mess Hands: 1 per 20 basic crewmembers
  • Mess Stewards: 1 per 3 basic officers plus 1 per passenger
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 5 mess hands or mess stewards
  • Mess Chief

Supply
  • Storeskeepers: 1 per 20 basic crewmembers
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 5 storeskeepers
  • Supply Officer

Administration
  • Yeomen: 1 per 40 basic crewmembers
  • Security Specialists: 1 per 40 basic crewmembers
  • Petty Officers: 1 per 4 yeomen or security specialists
  • Officers: 1 per 3 petty officers
  • Chief Master-at-Arms
  • Admin Officer

Embarked Flag
  • Petty Officers: 20
  • Officers: 10
  • Chaplain
  • Flag Lieutenant
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Admiral

Command
  • Master Chief Petty Officer
  • Executive Officer
  • Political Officer (if needed)
  • Captain

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 26, 2014 - 10:35am
Wow, that's 83 different positions. Not crew members, but positions. Good guidelines for a dreadnaught.
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TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 26, 2014 - 10:39am
Yeah, and as the ships get smaller you cut out extras or double up.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 26, 2014 - 11:55am
definently a list for a big ship.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
November 27, 2014 - 12:44am
It seems that the writer based his info on real life naval ships - it even cited a special thanks to thanks to the officers and crew of a real life US Navy ship, the USS Tortuga (LSD-46).

I noted that Warship's Hull Points are a lot more exponential compared to Knight Hawk's Hull Size, but I did not note that size class boost the Hull Points used for mounting systems then the Hull Points used for tracking damage. I post the Hull Points by Hull Type to show how different the values are. The first values are for damage tracking, and the second values are for internal space (modified by size class).

Military Hulls

Small Craft (+0%)
  • Fighter ------- 10 / 10
  • Strike Highter - 15 / 15
  • Cutter -------- 20 / 20
  • Scout -------- 30 / 30
  • Escort -------- 40 / 40
Light Ships (+10%)
  • Corvette -- -80 / 88
  • Frigate ---- 120 / 132
  • Destroyer - 160 / 176
Medium Ships (+20%)
  • Light Cruiser ---- 320 / 384
  • Heavy Cruiser --- 400 / 480
  • Armored Cruiser - 480 / 576
Heavy Ships (+30%)
  • Battlecruiser - 960 / 1248
  • Battleship --- 1200 / 1560
  • Fleet Carrier - 1600 / 2080
Super-Heavy Ships (+50%)
  • Dreadnought ------- 3200 / 4800
  • Super-Carrier ------- 4000 / 6000
  • Super-Dreadnought - 6400 / 9600
  • Fortress Ship ------ 12000 / 18000

Civilian Hulls

Small Craft (+0%)
  • Launch ---------- 8 / 8
  • Courier --------- 16 / 16
  • Trader --------- 24 / 24
  • Fast Freighter -- 32 / 32
  • Fast Transport - 40 / 40
Light Ships (+10%)
  • Hauler ----- 72 / 79
  • Industrial -- 96 / 106
Medium Ships (+20%)
  • Medium Freighter -- 240 / 288
  • Clipper ------------ 360 / 432
  • Medium Transport - 480 / 576
Heavy Ships (+30%)
  • Tanker ----------- 720 / 936
  • Liner ------------- 840 / 1092
  • Heavy Transport - 1280 / 1664
Super-Heavy Ships (+50%)
  • Super-Freighter -- 2400 / 3600
  • Colony Transport - 3600 / 5400

Yeah, those scores get really inflated the larger they go! That is one of the big reasons why I hate volume-based ship design systems: way too much number crunching!

If you want to make the list of Warship's crew positions work for SF, you might have to adjust it a bit. For example, SF makes no use of FTL drives, so you don't need Drive Techs. Robots (with controlling computer systems) can cover most of the unskilled labor, as to leave the technical crewmen free to focus on more important tasks.

And if you didn't know, a "Fortress Ship" is a fracking Battlestar! *plays BSG theme song*

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 27, 2014 - 5:37am
I would think that assigning hull points for fittings is far better system than what we have with KHs.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
November 27, 2014 - 11:53pm
jedion357 wrote:
I would think that assigning hull points for fittings is far better system than what we have with KHs.

KHs use a similar system for fitting systems, which is volume-based. I find that, along with everything else involved, there are too much numbers to keep track of. Warship is a better system than KHs, but it is overly complicated and have some issues with being an untested rule system.

The system I truly like is for SWoN: a is simple and abstract system that makes building a super-sized dreadnought/fleet carrier as easy as building a dinky little armed scout/patrol ship, and if you're not content with the limits or capacity of a ship type or their fittings, you can change things without braking the system.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 1, 2014 - 5:10am
I cannot argue with SwoN having done a lot of things right.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!