Free Trader

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B-
Battleship
C-
Cruiser
O-
Ortillery
V-
Carrier
D-
Destroyer
E-
Escort
F-
Fighter
H-
Defense/Security
I-
Combat Transport
Q-
Combat Support
S-
Scout
U-
Utility
X-
Commo
Z-
Special
Mercantile Commercial Ships (Trade & Profit) Non-Mercantile Commercial Ships (Industry & Profit) Non-Commercial Ships (Nonprofit) System Craft (Intrastellar)
A-
Tramp
M-
Freighter
R-
Liner
T-
Transport
G-
Industrial
J-
Prospector
K-
Expedition
P-
Corsair
U-
Utility
L-
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N-
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Y-
Private
WB-
Barge
WA-
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WO-
Space Station

A Free Trader is a small starship commonly used for interstellar trade and commerce that is capable of Jump-1.

Technical Data.jpg

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:
Starship:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Free Trader is the term given to an independent interstellar merchant ship, which plys the space lanes carrying cargo and passengers. Usually, a free trader is a 200-ton vessel capable of Jump-1. The Craft Type Code assigned to these ships is A. An example of this type of ship is the standard 200-ton Beowulf-class free trader.

Hundreds of variants exist. The typical size equals 200 tons. A similar starship capable of Jump-2 is called a Far Trader.

Using a 200-ton TL–9 streamlined hull, the free trader is an elementary interstellar merchant ship plying the space lanes carrying cargo and passengers. It is fitted with drives giving it Jump-1 and 1-G acceleration. Fuel tankage supports one Jump-1 and two months of power plant operations. Fuel scoops are included. Installed on the bridge is a computer Model/1 and the default sensor suite.

Cargo capacity, the ship’s most important feature, is 82.0 tons, plus a mail vault. The hull is streamlined, and can land on uneven terrain. The free trader requires a crew of four: pilot/astrogator, engineer, medic, and steward

Image Repository[edit]

  1. An early model Beowulf under spaceflight.
    Free-Trader-WH-Keith-MT-Imp-Encyclo-Pg-36 03-July-2018a.jpg

Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space[edit]

Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space: 1105
Cateogries A-class R-class M-class T-class
Synopsis Tramp Liner Freighter Transport & Tanker
Hull Tonnage 100 to 2,499 dTons 100 to 2,499 dTons 2,500 to 999,999 dTons 2,500 to 999,999 dTons or more...
(...rarely more than 1,000,000) dTons
Size-Cat ACS ACS BCS & FCS BCS & FCS (rarely WCS)
Ideal Freight Volume Zero to Low (Hundreds of tons) Medium (Hundreds to Thousands of tons) High (Thousands to Tens of Thousands of tons) Very High (Tens to Hundreds of Thousands of tons)
Market Unscheduled low volume, high speculation trade routes Mostly scheduled, medium speculation, subsidized trade routes Scheduled medium and high-volume, low speculation trade routes Scheduled high volume trade routes with massive economies of scale, or massive (...usually government) projects
Rough Market Share 10% 25% 45% 20%
Area of Influence Cluster or Trace+ Subsector+ Sector Multi-Sector
Business Fledgling Line Subsector-wide Line & Interface Line Sector-wide Line Multi-sector Line
Remarks Merchant Princes & Adventurers Scheduled & Subsidized Trade Backbone of Merchant Trade Corporate Bulk Trade
NOTES: While standards exist, ship naming standards evolve with time and over tech epochs. Class naming comments are only generalizations and many exceptions exist. Trade is heavily affected by local regulations, the rule of law, and local security conditions. WCS-class vessels are not ordinarily used for merchant missions as they are too large and expensive.

Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)[edit]

No information yet available.

Supraclass Roles[edit]

Far Traders typically serve the following roles:

A1-class Tramp Supraclass Archetypes
Archetype Type Code
Free Trader (A1)
Tramp Liner (A1)
Tramp Vessel (A) (Namesake)

Supraclass Archetypes[edit]

A1-class Free Trader Supraclass Archetypes
Archetype Type Code Exemplar Remarks
Free Trader / Tramp Liner A & A1 Beowulf class Free Trader (J-1): They are typically light, free-spirited J-1 trader craft, built to speculate on primary mains.
  • Incredibly numerous and common craft speculating almost everywhere throughout Charted Space.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

The term Free Trader can be very confusing, as it refers both to a group of individuals and a type merchant vessel. Free Traders (the people) are men and women who owe allegiance to no government and who call no planet home. In many cases they were born on ship-board and have never lived "dirtside." These Free Traders farm a loose-knit tribal community and are the only vestige of interstellar commerce in collapsed Imperial Space, albeit a sparse and thin vestige. Back in Imperial times, there were free traders as well, but the term was merely a description of a job (like "gas station attendant") rather than of a unique way of life under circumstances where there is no longer any interstellar authority. The Free Traders of the New Era are a nation without a state, but form a continuous link to a lost epoch.

The vessels called free traders are a small and relatively cheap type of merchant ship. Although these free traders can be of various specific classes (Beowulf TL-15 free trader, Moraine TL-10 free trader, etc.), all share certain characteristics: they displace 200 tons, have jump-1 and 1-G performance, and almost all orginally had a simple and inexpensive electronics suite.

During Imperial times, the starship free trader was often capitalized in order to specify those precise performance parameters, while the free trader profession was lower case as befitted a general job description. However, in the New Era these terms are differentiated in the text by the use of lower case for the vessels as opposed to uppercase for the people.

Finally, Free Traders who have regular contact with the Reformation Coalition do not fly free traders; you can't get to Coalition Space from the Wilds with a Jump-1 ship. [1]

Basic Supraclass Definition[edit]

THE FAR TRADER: The basic ship involved in free trade is called the free trader. Variations on the basic ship have resulted in variations in the name. The subsidized merchant, partly because of its size, and partly because of its subsidy, is called the fat trader. Some well-equipped high-G traders employed beyond the Imperial border are called fast traders. The type A2 far trader derives its name from its jump capability: its drives are capable of Jump-2, twice what the standard free trader can do. The far trader can be encountered anywhere in the Imperium. It ranges far and wide, and deals with every world it finds. Even amber zones and red zones are not considered off limits by its captains, provided there is profit to be made and the risk of being caught is slight. [2]

Selected Variant Types & Classes[edit]

Merchant Vessel - Tramp Liner:
Merchant Vessel - (Free Trader / Tramp Liner):

  1. Type A class Free Trader
    1. Alexandria class Free Trader
    2. Basil class Merchant
    3. Beowulf class Free Trader
    4. Bremen class Caravel
    5. Carrack class Tramp Liner
    6. Coriander class Free Trader
    7. Lune class Freelancer
    8. March Harrier class Free Trader
    9. Moraine class Free Trader
    10. Nymph class Merchant
    11. Regni Yards Type A class Free Trader
    12. Tequila class Free Trader
    13. Type A1 class Free Trader
    14. Type A-J2 class Free Trader
    15. Type A-P class Free Trader
    16. Type TC(S) class Free Trader

Merchant Vessel - (Far Trader):

  1. Type A2 class Far Trader
    1. Akkigish class Far Trader
    2. Akkigish class Subsidized Merchant
    3. April Hare class Far Trader
    4. Avian class Far Trader
    5. Empress Marava class Far Trader
    6. Fanzhienz class Far Trader
    7. Farrou class Far Trader
    8. Garu class Far Trader
    9. Gizicih class General Trader
    10. Hero class Far Trader
    11. Hnneshant class Trade Boat
    12. Hugin class Trader
    13. Jayhawk class Far Trader
    14. Khershawn class Trader
    15. Maru class Merchant
    16. Prince Ferren class Far Trader
    17. Princess Gunnhilde class Far Trader
    18. Salamander class Far Trader
    19. Soho class Light Freighter
    20. Treader class Free Trader
    21. Type A2L class Far Trader
    22. Type HR class Trader
    23. Type VA class Trader
    24. Wulf class Free Trader

Merchant Vessel - (Deep Trader / Long Trader / Fast Trader):

  1. Type A3 class Fast Trader
    1. Fat Cat class Far Trader
    2. Swordfish class Merchant
    3. Trojan Reaches Type A3 class Trader
    4. Type A3L class Far Trader

Merchant Vessel - (Armored Trader / Frontier Trader / Fast Trader):

  1. Type AA class Armored Merchant
    1. Jasper class Provincial Merchant
    2. Khoghue class Armed Junker
    3. Nguksu class Armoured Fast Trader
    4. Star class Armored Merchant
    5. Type RAX class Protected Merchant
    6. Venture class Frontier Trader

Merchant Vessel - Heavy Trader:

  1. Type AH class Heavy Trader
    1. Dakaar class Freighter
    2. Dakaar class Merchant Transport
    3. Leviathan class Merchant Cruiser
    4. Type TI class Merchant
    5. Type TJ class Merchant

Merchant Vessel - Light Trader:

  1. Type AL class Light Trader
    1. Anjou class Freighter
    2. Aoa'iw class Light Trader
    3. Burning Sky class Merchant Schooner
    4. Consul class Provincial Trader
    5. Fortune class Merchant
    6. Joshim P. Stone class Provincial Trader
    7. Liz Zhorka class Light Trader
    8. Manta class Small Merchant
    9. Panga class Merchant
    10. Paya class Light Freighter
    11. Rhapsody class Merchant Trader
    12. Tachyon class Light Trader
    13. Unholy Exile class Trader

Merchant Vessel - Medium Trader:

  1. Type AM class Medium Trader
    1. Anhk class Merchant
    2. Bloodwell class Merchant
    3. Tyrfing class Freighter

Ship Summary List[edit]

16 Representative Free Trader (A1) Classes

Class Superclass Tons Category TL Origin Jump G Image Canon
Class Superclass Tons Category TL Origin Jump G Image Canon
Alexandria class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 12 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes Yes. Published, canon starship design.
Basil class Merchant A1 200 ACS 12 Third Imperium 1 1.5 No No. Unpublished, non-canon fan starship design.
Beowulf class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 10 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes Yes. Published, canon starship design.
Bremen class Caravel A1 600 ACS 10 Plavian League 1 1 No No. Unpublished, non-canon fan design.
Carrack class Tramp Liner A1 800 ACS 10 Caliphate of Estalia 1 1 No No. Unpublished, non-canon fan design.
Coriander class Free Trader A1 300 ACS 12 Third Imperium 1 1.5 No Yes. Published, canon starship design.
Lune class Freelancer A1 X ACS X Third Imperium X X No Yes. Published, canon starship design.
March Harrier class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 12 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes Yes. Canon starship design with a Keith illustration.
Moraine class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 14 Third Imperium 1 1 No Yes. Published, canon starship design.
Regni Yards Type A class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 12 Third Imperium 1 1 No No. Unpublished, non-canon fan design.
Tequila class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 10 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes No. Unpublished, non-canon fan design.
Type A class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 12 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes Yes. Canon starship design with a Keith illustration.
Type A-J2 class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 12 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes Yes. Published, canon starship design.
Type A-P class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 11 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes Yes. Published, canon starship design.
Type A1 class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 10 Third Imperium 1 1 Yes Yes. Published, canon starship design.
Type TC(S) class Free Trader A1 200 ACS 15 Third Imperium 1 1 No No. Unpublished, non-canon fan design.


References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. Frank Chadwick. The Guilded Lilly (Game Designers Workshop, 1995), 43.
  2. Marc Miller. Traders and Gunboats (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 23.