Decks by hull size

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
November 14, 2014 - 2:25pm
I just noticed this extraordinary passage in the Knight Hawks campaign book (p. 5):

The Hull is the framework of every spaceship, and each hull size includes a specific number of hatches, decks and engine mounts. The Spaceship Equipment section lists each hull size with specifications for engines, entry and exit, and living quarters.

Unfortunately, the Hull Specification Chart only tells you about the number of hatches per hull size. It seems this very handy metric, the number of decks per hull size, was left out!

Can we recreate it? We only seem to have one good data point: the assault scout map shows six decks for the hull size 3 assault scout. The problem with freighters (small freighter map, large freighter map, and the Gullwind in Dramune Run) is that some of their decks are converted into cargo space, so we can't count their decks easily. The Gullwind carries cargo, and according to the rules for civilian design (if they apply) it could carry 5 hull size units of cargo, but maddeningly the module doesn't tell us how many units of cargo the ship is actually carrying. Fighter cockpits may or may not count as a deck. Have we got any other canonical ships that tell us both hull size and number of decks that aren't freighters or something else that combines decks? (I'm not too confident in Ken Rolston's adherence to the rules. I'm also not interested in anything from Zebulon.)

It's dangerous to speculate with only one good data point, but is it possible that the maximum number of decks is double the hull size? Decks can be combined for large cargo holds. Fighters are excepted from this formula.
Comments:

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 14, 2014 - 6:01pm
The only other ships that come to mind immediately are the Elaenor Moraes (HS 3 - 5 decks) and the Money Spider (HS unknown - 8 decks plus a lot of storage area like a cargo ship). 

I don't really thing there is a "standard" number of decks for a give hull size as how a deck is designed affects how tall it is and how many you can fit in a ship.

My standard rule is one deck per 5 meters of height.  That basically represents a maximum number of decks or minimum spacing.  Three meters of open internal space for beings to move around in and 2 meters of machinery, piping, etc between decks.  A "cargo deck" can be made by taking several of these and eliminating the floors and inbetween space of all but on of them giving you 2m below the deck and the rest of the space open (i.e. using 4 decks you get 2m underneath and 18m of cargo space).

So your assault scout, which is 50m tall (although I'd argue that one on the back of the KH map is only 30m tall for various reasons) could have up to 10 decks although the ones in the nose would be small and probably aren't used except to house the assault rockets and astrogation equipment.  A frigate, at 100m could have up to 20 decks, while your battleship, at 600m long could have 120 decks.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 15, 2014 - 9:47pm
I added a few decks to the Gullwind as I felt it didn't have enough.


Once you get to HS:5 you can add decks for any purpose you see fit as there is plenty of room.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

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Abub's picture
Abub
November 16, 2014 - 12:07am
Deck the Hull Size with boughs of holly, 
Fa la la la la, la la la la
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ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
February 27, 2016 - 8:37am
Teri, wouldn't there be some overlap?  The "floor" tween-decks space for Deck 1 would be the "celing" tween-decks space for Deck 2, wouldn't it?  Or is it your intention that there is a full 2 meters between each deck (which amounts to a deck on it's own, albeit a cramped one where you're going to be ducking a lot).

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 27, 2016 - 9:12am
Then the issue pops up with larger ships sporting 40-100m diameter hulls. For a small civilian crew (read:1-2 crew per hull size) you can pretty much put everything they need on one deck, leaving the rest of that 240-600m long ship filled with...nothing.

Or you can divide it up with one piece of equipment or cabin per deck and host grav-ball games in the remaining vast and vacant space. Seriously, on such ships no matter what you do you end up with voids in the hull that are large enough to park capital ships.

And this scenario rears its ugly head with warships and their considerably larger crews as well. I tried rendering deck plans for a light cruiser and gave up after one deck. The bridge, being the most elaborate bridge I ever rendered, didn't even take up half of a deck. And that was one of the smaller diameter decks in the fore, never mind the full diameter mid-section decks mentioned in the hull size chart. Seriously, I could have filled one mid-deck with all the battery weapons and crew cabins, and one more aft deck (where it narrows down again) for engineering, and have enough empty ship left over to park a pair of HS:8 ships inside.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

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ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
February 27, 2016 - 2:57pm
I think the crew sizes are way underestimated myself.  As you and both know from that privateer thread, Shadow, it doesn't take long before you're into aircraft carrier territory in terms of hull size, and those have operating crews of 3-5 thousand people.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 27, 2016 - 10:57pm
True, but a HS:12 freighter isn't maintaining any fighter craft (and honestly, KH carriers really aren't either...12 fighters tops compared to an aircraft carrier's compliment up to 130 F-18 Hornets of similar size). Even modern freight hauling vessels have considerably smaller crews compared to warships, case in point:


Approximately HS:9


12 crew and 6 officers, double what a similar sized KH freighter calls for in canon.


No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

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ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
February 28, 2016 - 7:28am
In the case of a carrier, the 3 end is JUST ship crew, not counting the flight wing.

But I take your point.  I know they do have crews that small, but I just I don't see how such a ship could possibly be handled by that small a crew at all, let alone in an emergency.  Seems like the damn near only thing they could do in a serious situation is run for the lifeboat.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 28, 2016 - 1:11pm
Meanwhile on the opposite end of the spectrum, Star Wars depicts frieghters that can be operated by a crew of two.

Granted by displacement the Falcon comes in at HS:3 so it's still pretty close to SF canon rules. Wink
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 28, 2016 - 1:25pm
ChrisDonovan wrote:
Terl, wouldn't there be some overlap?  The "floor" tween-decks space for Deck 1 would be the "celing" tween-decks space for Deck 2, wouldn't it?  Or is it your intention that there is a full 2 meters between each deck (which amounts to a deck on it's own, albeit a cramped one where you're going to be ducking a lot).

Yes.  Basically it would look like 3m of living/working space for deck 1, 2m of machinery space, 3m of living/working space for deck 2, 2m of machinery space, 3m for deck 3, etc.  There is probably crawl space in there for repairs and such but that allows you to have most of your machinery and conduits between the decks instead of taking space up in the deck itself.  I also always try to have some section of the deck (typically around the elevator shaft) that is blocked off as "machinery" to represent the conduits between the different decks where the piping and such runs.  Otherwise you need life support machinery on every level.
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Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
March 1, 2016 - 4:11pm
We have another canonical ship and it's a large one, but it's not a UFP ship. The Sathar scout carrier. Right there is your base model for the large ships.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 1, 2016 - 10:26pm
36m diameter at its peak with an unspecified length puts the Sathar Mothership at HS:9. Big, but not too big to map.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

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ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
March 3, 2016 - 9:23am
If you know the diameter and have a good side-on view, the rest is math.