SwoN's Free Merchant class vessel

jedion357's picture
May 27, 2014 - 5:29am
I was going to start this discussion in the conversion round table project but its not really a conversion issue.

I've been working on a SwoN project and going over the ship classes in SwoN vs SF and the Free Merchant class vessel has been catching my eye.  Based on the stats I would call it a civilian version of the assault scout, providing you accept the SwoN Patrol boat as equating the assault scout.

The differences in capabilities are due to the differences between military and civilian vessels in general.

Its a much beloved craft we should stat out and describe a HS 3 Free Merchant vessel for the game.

A vessel that is a little ungainly, without the sleek lines of the Assault scout, perhaps a little more boxy or a little closer to the Eleanor Mores.

Stars Without Number wrote:
Free merchants prepresent a class of ships optimized for long distance travel and trade, built off a frigate hull and sacrificing some military utility in order to make room for cargo and personal modification.

Note the frigate hull equates to Sf hulls that are powered by a size A engine but are not a fighter or shuttle. Thus this is not neccessarily a frigate as a SF fan would think of it.

Sort of a Millenium Falcon or firefly for SF.

The role they play is trading in higher value cargos not bulk, though you could expect a captian to pack his ship to the deck heads to maximize profits.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
May 27, 2014 - 5:34am
I could see this in two configurations

1. a two part ship with an ion powered tail section and the bulk of the ship which detaches is a chem drive lander

2. a straight up atomic power vessel
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
May 27, 2014 - 12:53pm
I like the two part idea for the merchant who plays space trucker.  The single falcon or firefly type appeals for the courieand odd cargo merchants more common to PCs.

jedion357's picture
May 27, 2014 - 1:12pm
Actually the space trucker idea reminds me of Space Cowboy from Battle Beyond the Stars. his ship was a lander and a trailer rig.

The all up atomic drive free trader is perhaps more for smugglers and PCs- "She'll make point five past light speed. She may not look like much but she's got it where is counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."

That said the class was designed much like a tractor trailer rig with the lander and trailer except that the trailer had the interstellar drive unit. Latter someone decided to retrofit the lander with atomic drives. this lead to the manufacturer making a strickly atomic drive version of the lander.

In essence its a HS 3 lander and trailer but the atomic version has more cargo space since it doesn't need the mating colar and loses the fuel storage for the chem drive.

In the early frontier this ship was often pressed into service for exploration and scouting and was produced first before the assault scout. A few which had been modified for combat duty performed well in the 1st and 2nd Common Musters and thus the newly organized Space Fleet wanted an all up military version which lead to the assault scout. Hence the name- it had been doing duty as a scout ship but Space Fleet ordered a design for one that could stand into danger as well as fulfill the scout role.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!