Thinking About the Serena Dawn and Omicron

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
December 10, 2016 - 7:16pm
It seems pretty universal that  people consider the "Starship Bridge Area Map" deckplan from the "Serena Dawn" in SF0 Crash on Volturnus, and the "Starship Upper Deck Map" from the "Omicron" in the Assault on Starship Omicron minimodule to be parallel, rather than perpendicular, to the axis of thrust.

I've been puzzling over it myself for a while today.
But I think I've come up with a way where I can explain (badly) how the Serena Dawn and Omicron work within the KH design aesthetic.

In SF0 we are told we toured other areas of the ship off the map, such as recreation areas, observation dome, galley, first class living areas, and ... fuel storage? Okay... I never would have wanted a tour of the wonderful world of atomic or ion fuel storage but I guess the Serena Dawn stewards go all in on the 100 credit tour.

Using KH rules - a 60m diameter hull is hull size 14, giving you a 380m long ship with six engines, 5 hatches, and AD/MR of 3 - far far too much for the Serena Dawn we saw. But, that also assumes a circular hull plan with many decks, and the Serena Dawn and Omicron as rectangular with only a few decks.

So, imagine a different approach where the Serena Dawn would look like the bricklike, utilitarian hull design of the ConAm 27 shuttle from the movie Outland:
http://www.cyber-mecha.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/OutlandShuttle.jpg

If you go further and imagine that the Omicron and the Serena Dawn are variants of the same class, you can use the upper deck map and bridge area map for both. Just rename some of the areas on the upper bridge map to be the first class, galley, recreation, etc... and put the observation dome as a level above the upper deck map centered on the "Hatch to outer hull"

When you re-orient the map of the Serena Dawn bridge area, placing the escape pods and bridge on top (or dorsal side?), then the Outland-style shuttle idea kind of works. The officer quarters and passenger class areas could have forward facing portholes in the ceilings of the rooms, like skylights. The first class areas on the deck above would have bigger nicer ones. And with the upper deck map in place, the bridge is still able to see forward, as the crew could look up and out and see over the edge of the upper deck map.

This Outland shuttle idea also has the engines facing the right way for this idea to work.

I also found a map error (shown below):
If you overlay the Upper Deck over the Bridge Area Map, the hatches on the Upper Deck map don't line up with the Bridge Area map. Three of them do, but the fourth does not.

If you count deck squares, you will see that the upper deck map has 8 squares between the center airlock hatch and the hatch in the airlock between robot storage and medical lab.
But, there are 9 deck squares between the hatches in the center airlock and the airlock between hydroponics and spare parts storage.
I overlaid the airlock between robot storage and medical lab over the airlock leading to the escape bay on the bridge deck.
That puts the other airlock one square off from matching with the hatch to the airlock near the passenger quarters.

Anyway, I am prepping SF to run my kids through every core adventure in order from Pan Galactic Security Breach through Beyond the Frontiers in one arc covering 60FY to 70FY in my timeline and I am going to try out this dual-deck ConAm 27 Shuttle style version of the Serena Dawn/Omicron and see how it goes.
Overlaid deck plans showing error
Comments:

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
December 11, 2016 - 6:17pm
One issue with the deck plan is there are two engine rooms on the same deck as the bridge. Traditional KH deck plans have the bridge on one of the uppermost decks and the engine room on the lowest deck.

In order to explain away from decks-parallel to main axis (or cinematic decks) these drives could only be Chemical thrusters since Ion & Atomic drives are mounted on struts away from the hull...thus making the Serena Dawn a system ship...unless the engine rooms are struts extending beneath a cinematic/decks-parallel hull which makes more sense.

Also noteworthy Alpha Dawn depicts other decks-parallel craft in canon material, specifically the crashed Hepplewhite Inc ship in the sample scenario towards the end of the rule book. KH even fell into their own trap in Beyond the Frontier when they rendered the Sathar Scout Ship in decks-parallel. Suffice it to say it is very safe to assume the Serena Dawn (and resulting Omicron upper deck map) is a decks-parallel design.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
December 11, 2016 - 8:03pm
Totally agree that traditional KH designs are cylindrical Bridge forward, engineering aft rockets.
I was thinking maybe Serena Dawn/Omicron are not traditional, and more torward that bricklike Outland shuttle.

The two engine rooms on the main deck could make sense if the "unless the engine rooms are struts extending beneath a cinematic/decks-parallel hull" - exactly how I was imagining it - the two engine rooms are sort of like *cough* Jeffries tubes and the engines themselves are "below" the deck, facing away from us - so that the deck is flying straight at us. The engineering spaces we see are the top of the well going down into the struts.

The Hepplewhite and Sathar designs I always chalked up to more aerospace than space only. They had to be adaptable to use while landed, and while in space, and so accommodate both. They have chairs facing forward you'd be strapped into while in zero-gee, and decks/facilities laid out for gravity while landed. I always thought the Sathar scouts would be empty, stored in the carrier, for most space operations, while the crew was mostly in the carrier decks instead.

Just trying to find flimsy rationalizations to make it all work within the "canon" or "core" rules as written. One of my kids is an inquisitor and could easily rabbithole into some of these areas if I don't have something thought out.

iggy's picture
iggy
December 11, 2016 - 8:37pm
When I replayed Voltrunus with my kids I used the reworked KH style deck plans from the Deck Plans project here:
http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/3448
-iggy

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
December 12, 2016 - 8:47pm
Checking those out - very nice.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 16, 2016 - 6:33am
I like Exile's thinking on this. I see a lot of possibility here. Let me throw some other mud on the wall.

1. lets assume that the brick like lander portion is chemical drive and since the ship obviously was interstellar it also had ion drives that were part of a tail section that this brick like lander disconnected to and left in orbit.

2. two engine rooms- easy one is a back up but we can assume that one is dedicated to the aforementioned ion drives and one is dedicated to the chem drives.

3 Lets also assume this is an old class of ship from early in Frontier history when there was not a lot of infrastructure in space yet which made the design great since you had to have a lander. This would also explain the lack of elevators so common in many KHs designs; a small ship like the assault scout has no less then two separate elevators!

The store rooms where you dice for contents of the cargo containers are not the only storage. There is also some bulk storage at the very bottom of the brick.

In orbit the tail section can accomodate more storage and the ion engines as well as chem rocket fuel storage.

Finally it always struck me as odd that the pirates blew up the Serena Dawn but if there are tanks that hold chem rocket fuel to refuel the lander portion we can hand wave that something the pirates did accidently ruptured those fuel tanks and resulted in the destruction of the Serena Dawn.

POST SCRIPT: I've noted elsewhere that Space Cowboy's ship in Battle Beyond the Stars was very much like the small and large freighters in KHs in design. Although its very box like in shape. We can make it fan cannon that older ship designs are very box or brick like while the sleeker elegant designs are more modern.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
December 16, 2016 - 7:56am
jedion357 wrote:


1. lets assume that the brick like lander portion is chemical drive and since the ship obviously was interstellar it also had ion drives that were part of a tail section that this brick like lander disconnected to and left in orbit.

If it was a lander it would not need lifeboats (not to mention a host of other rooms on the two levels), and according to KH rules it would have to be HS:10 minimum to accomodate a pair of lifeboats.


FWIW here's my interpretation of the Dawn/Omicron layout should be as a lander type vehicle: http://ssomicron.20m.com/
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 16, 2016 - 8:21am
Shadow Shack wrote:
jedion357 wrote:


1. lets assume that the brick like lander portion is chemical drive and since the ship obviously was interstellar it also had ion drives that were part of a tail section that this brick like lander disconnected to and left in orbit.

If it was a lander it would not need lifeboats (not to mention a host of other rooms on the two levels), and according to KH rules it would have to be HS:10 minimum to accomodate a pair of lifeboats.


FWIW here's my interpretation of the Dawn/Omicron layout should be as a lander type vehicle: http://ssomicron.20m.com/


Sure the ship is HS 10 but that is only when the two parts are connected. life boats just happen to be where the quarters and passenger cabins are located.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 19, 2016 - 8:06pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
jedion357 wrote:


1. lets assume that the brick like lander portion is chemical drive and since the ship obviously was interstellar it also had ion drives that were part of a tail section that this brick like lander disconnected to and left in orbit.

If it was a lander it would not need lifeboats (not to mention a host of other rooms on the two levels), and according to KH rules it would have to be HS:10 minimum to accomodate a pair of lifeboats.


FWIW here's my interpretation of the Dawn/Omicron layout should be as a lander type vehicle: http://ssomicron.20m.com/


Oooo! A very interesting design.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
December 20, 2016 - 3:46pm
Thanks, I need to flesh it out more (first and foremost being a set of chemical thrusters for atmospheric use that I left out when I made that page, and I'll probably reduce the weaponry as well even though they are all HS:1-2 fighter systems on an HS:4 craft) but I am happy with it on the whole.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
January 1, 2017 - 9:16am
Happy New Year
Here's a "fixed" Starship Upper Deck Map that removes one vertical column of the map so tha tthe hatches on the upper deck map line up with the hatches on the starship bridge area map in SF0.

Edited Omicron deck map to restore symmetry

Edited to fix the Hydroponics room to have more hydroponics racks matching the pattern of the original.

iggy's picture
iggy
January 1, 2017 - 8:21am
Good fix, I like it.  This restores the symmetry that should exist left to right.
-iggy

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
January 1, 2017 - 9:18am
Something bothered me on the previous edit, the hydroponics had far more wasted space with some of the racks removed. I've updated the map image above with another edit that has the hydroponics racks restored in the same overall pattern of the original. I think I am pretty well happy with this one.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 1, 2017 - 11:46am
Now the Zeb's Guide "Column Shift" finally makes some sense.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
January 2, 2017 - 12:10am
Shadow Shack wrote:
Now the Zeb's Guide "Column Shift" finally makes some sense.


LaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughing
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
January 2, 2017 - 12:20pm
Oddly enough it looks like I subconsciously made the same fix when I rendered the Omicron II ---


Strange how I never noticed the original version was off by a row.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website