Main Compartment

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Main Compartment: This hull section houses the majority of a ship's equipment and payload including the bridge and ship's computer.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Required Starship Components: Starships are constructed on the foundation of a hull, into which are fitted the drives and power plants, the fuel tankage, life support equipment, computers, controls, armaments, and other fittings that adapt it to its intended function. The total tonnage of the installed fittings cannot exceed the tonnage of the hull. [1]

The Hull: Hulls are identified by their mass displacement, expressed in tons. As a rough guide, one ton equals fourteen cubic meters (the volume of one ton of liquid hydrogen and its tank structure). When hulls are constructed, they are divided into an engineering section for the drives and the main compartment for everything else. All drives and power plants must be located in the engineering section, and only drives and power plants may be placed in that section. All other ship components, including fuel, cargo hold, living space, and computer must be located in the main compartment. [2]

There are seven standard hulls which are available at reduced prices and construction times. Any other hull must be produced on a custom basis at a cost of MCr0.1 per ton with a minimum price MCr20. Construction (or build) times for custom hulls can often be much longer than standard hull construction. Hulls vary in their requirements for drives and power plants based on tonnage. [3]

Any specific drive will be less efficient as the tonnage it must drive increases. There are twenty-four standard drive types, identified by the letters A through Z (omitting I and O to avoid confusion). Also listed are various tonnage levels for hulls; any tonnage which exceeds a listed level should be read at the next higher level. Correlating hull size with drive letter indicates drive potential. For maneuver drives, this potential is the G’s of acceleration available. For jump drives, the potential is the jump number (Jn), or jump range in parsecs. For power plants, it is power plant rating (Pn). For example, a 200-ton hull equipped with maneuver drive-A can produce 1-G acceleration; an 800-ton hull equipped with jump drive-K can produce jump-2. [4]

A ship’s hull is broadly composed of two sections:

  1. Engineering Compartment / Section
  2. Main Compartment / Section

Image Repository[edit]

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Main Compartment[edit]

The Main Compartment: The ship's main compartment contains all non-drive features of the ship, including the bridge, ship's computer, the staterooms, the low passage berths, the cargo hold, fuel tanks, armament, and other items. [5]

  • A. The Bridge: All ships must allocate 2% of their tonnage (minimum 20 tons) to basic controls, communications equipment, avionics, scanners, detectors, sensors, and other equipment for proper operation of the ship. The cost for this bridge is MCr0.5 per hundred tons of ship. [6]

The basic controls do not include the ship's computer, which is installed adjacent to the bridge. The computer is identified by its model number; the computer table indicates details of price, tonnage, capacity, and tech level available. In general, larger computers are more advantageous in combat situations. In addition, the model number indicates the highest level of jump which can be achieved by the ships. For example, a ship must have a Model/4 computer before it can perform jump-4, in addition to the proper size jump drive. [7]

CPU refers to the computer's central processing unit, indicating its capacity to process programs; storage refers to the additional capacity available to hold programs in readiness for processing. Programs themselves are classified by size, using a point indicator to specify how much of the CPU or storage capacity is required for that program to fit into the computer. The number of programs (and the exact types of programs) which are on hand, in storage, or in the CPU is important in the operation of the starship, especially in combat. [8]

Computer Software (programs) must normally be acquired separately by purchase (or they may be written by a crew member who has advanced computer expertise). Each computer model is originally furnished with a basic software package of commonly used programs. This package is selected by the purchaser from the list of available programs; the computer model (1 through 7) indicates the credit value which may be selected. For example, Model/1 allows a package with a value of MCr1, while Model/6 allows a value of MCr6. [9]

There are two bis models of computer available. Each is treated as the next higher level for jump support, but as the next lower level for software selection. Thus, the Model/1bis can support jump-2, but is allowed a software package value of only MCr1. [10]

Fire control equipment is required if weaponry is to be installed. Each installed turret requires one ton of displacement committed for the installation of fire control equipment. [11]

Original design plans for ships often include reserve tonnage for later use in installing fire control equipment, or for upgrading computers. [12]

  • B. Staterooms: Quarters for the crew and passengers are provided in the form of staterooms containing sleeping and living facilities. Each stateroom is sufficient for one person, displaces four tons, and costs Cr500,000. In some starships (especially exploratory vessels, military ships, and privately-owned starships), double occupancy is allowed in staterooms. No stateroom can contain more than two persons however, as it would strain the ship's life support equipment. A commercial ship must have one stateroom for each member of the crew. [13]
  • C. Low Passage Berths: Facilities for carrying passengers in cold sleep may be installed in a ship. One low passage berth carries one low passenger, costs Cr50,000, and displaces one-half ton. Low berths also serve well in emergencies, in that they can provide suspended animation facilities for characters when medical care, rescue, or assistance is not immediately available. Emergency low berths are also available; they will not carry passengers, but can be used for survival. Each costs Cr100,000 and displaces one ton. Each holds four persons who share the same chances of survival. [14]
  • D. Fuel: Total fuel tankage for a ship must be indicated in the design plans. There is no cost, but the capacity does influence how often the ship must refuel. At a minimum, ship fuel tankage must equal 0.1 MJn+ 10Pn, where M is the tonnage of the ship, Jn is the ship's jump number, and Pn is the ship's power plant rating. Power plant fuel under the formula (10Pn) allows routine operations and maneuver for four weeks. Jump fuel under the formula (0.1 MJn) allows one jump of the stated level. Ships performing jumps less than their maximum capacity consume fuel at a lower level based on the jump number used. [15]
  • E. Cargo Hold: The design plan must indicate cargo capacity. There is no cost but cargo carried may not exceed cargo capacity. [16]
  • F. Armaments: Any ship may have one hardpoint per 100 tons of ship. Designation of a hardpoint requires no tonnage, and costs 0100,000. Hardpoints may be left unused if desired. [17]

One turret may be attached to each hardpoint on the ship. When it is attached, one ton for fire control must be allocated. Turrets themselves are available in single, double, and triple mounts which will hold one, two, or three weapons respectively. Prices for turrets and weapons can vary greatly across Charted Space

Turrets and weapons may be altered or retrofitted. For example, a single turret can have its pulse laser replaced by a beam laser when it becomes available; a single turret can be replaced by a triple turret when it becomes available. Weapons for installation in turrets include pulse and beam lasers, missile racks, and sandcasters. All are used in the space combat. [18]


What avionics are to aircraft, astronics are to starships. Astronics are specialized electronics meant for dedicated usage in void vessels, spaceships and starships. Many non-professionals still refer to them as avionics.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

No information yet available.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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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. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  2. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  3. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  4. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  5. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13.
  6. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 13-14.
  7. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  8. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  9. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  10. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  11. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  12. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  13. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  14. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14.
  15. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 14-15.
  16. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 15.
  17. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 15.
  18. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 15.