This is a continuation of the excerpts from the starship construction system. I had originally planned to have the how to draw a star system map post ready for today but I didn’t quite finish it. So I’m posting this one in its place and will have that one up next week.

This article will be about the various type of hulls that you can make you ship out of and the effects they have on the hull points and mass of the ship. In the new system I expand on the basic hull from the original rules to four different types that have different characteristics and costs.

While not related, I’m also including the section on the radar and energy sensors as that is another deviation from the standard system

## Hull Type

There are four different hull types. Each type has a mass and cost associated with it depending on the hull type selected. Different hulls provide different amount of hull points for a given ship size.

Hull Type | Cost multiplier | Mass Multiplier | Hull Point Multiplier |

Light | 35 cr * total volume | 0.15 tons * total volume | 0.6 |

Standard | 50 cr * total volume | 0.25 tons * total volume | 1 |

Armored | 100 cr * total volume | 0.50 tons * total volume | 1.4 |

Military | 200 cr * total volume | 0.40 tons * total volume | 2 |

**Light Hull** – This
is a light duty hull. It costs and
weighs less than a standard hull but only provides sixty percent of the hull
points of a standard hull.

**Standard Hull** –
This is the standard type of ship hull and provides the standard number of hull
points. This is the typical hull used on
most civilian vessels

**Armored Hull** –
This is the highest grade hull available to civilians. It is twice as massive and twice as expensive
as a standard hull and provides a forty percent increase in hull points over a
standard hull.

**Military Hull** – Combining specialized materials and designs, the military grade hull is not available for civilian ships. It is more expensive than even the armored hull although it doesn’t contain as much mass and provides double the number of hull points of a standard hull.

*Example: Obar Enterprises is designing a new mid-sized freighter that has 100 cargo units of space. After selecting all the ship’s, the total volume of the ship is 18,453.2 cubic meters. Selecting a standard hull gives a cost of 18,453.2 x 50 = 922,660 credits and a mass of 18,453.2 x 0.25 = 4613.3 tons. This hull would have the standard number of hull points.*

*If the cost or mass were a concern, they could go with a light hull, which would have a cost of only 18,453.2 x 35 = 645,862 cr (saving nearly 300,000 cr) and have a mass of only 18,453.2 x 0.15 = 2767.98 tons saving nearly 2000 tons. However, this hull would have a hull point multiplier of 0.6 or only 60% of the standard hull points.*

## Additional Armor

Sometimes even the strongest hull just isn’t enough and you want to add more armor to the ship. Once you have your base hull, you can add additional layers of protection to the ship as desired. This will greatly increase the cost and mass of your ship but won’t affect the volume.

You can add armor on to the ship to increase its hull points by up to 25% in 1% increments. The cost of additional armor is 8 cr. per cubic meter of volume per percentage increase. Thus to get a 5% HP increase it would cost you 40 cr. per cubic meter of the ship, nearly doubling the cost of a standard hull. The armor adds an additional 0.016 tons of mass per cubic meter of volume per percentage increase. Thus that 5% increase above would also add 0.08 tons per cubic meter of the volume of the ship.

The armor modifier for calculating the ships final hull points is just 1+(armor bonus/100). So if my armor bonus is 20% the modifier is 1+(20/100) = 1.2. This will be multiplied by the ship’s base hull points to determine the actual number of hull points the ship has.

## Long Range Detectors

### Radar

Radar systems are combination active/passive systems. In active mode they send out pulses of radio waves and detect the reflected pulses. In passive mode, they scan space for emissions from other ships. The range of the radar system depends on its rating. The higher the rating the more distant an object it can detect due to stronger emitters and more sensitive receivers. It takes a lot of power and large transmitters to get returns from objects in the larger areas covered by the higher rated systems. The listed range is the range for the active system. In passive mode, the ranges are at least 10 times larger but can only detect targets that are radiating at radio frequencies.

Rating | Range (km) | Multiplier |

1 | 300,000 | 1 |

2 | 600,000 | 8 |

3 | 900,000 | 27 |

4 | 1,200,000 | 64 |

5 | 1,500,000 | 125 |

Cost: 10,000 cr x Multiplier, mass: 15 tons x Multiplier, volume: 5 cu m x multiplier (7 cu m if aerodynamically streamlined)

### Energy Sensors

These are broad spectrum radiation detectors that look at multiple wavelengths to detect radiation from ship systems. They scan radio, optical, infrared, x-ray, and microwave wavelengths and have gamma-ray detectors to look for signatures from ships’ engines and power plants. These are completely passive systems and like radar come in different ratings that have increased sensitivity. The ranges listed are for detecting shielded, ship-sized energy sources against the cosmic background. If an object is putting out energy emissions that are stronger than typical radiation leaked from ship systems, the detection range could be much larger. For example, even a type 1 energy sensor suite will still be able to detect the system’s star at ranges of billions of kilometers. Exact details are left up to the referee.

Rating | Range (km) | Multiplier |

1 | 500,000 | 1 |

2 | 1,000,000 | 8 |

3 | 1,500,000 | 27 |

4 | 2,000,000 | 64 |

5 | 2,500,000 | 125 |

Cost: 200,000 cr x Multiplier, mass: 50 tons x Multiplier, volume: 20 cu m x multiplier

## Thoughts

That’s it for the hull types, armor, and long range detectors. It’s a fairly simple change but allows for a wide range of ships with various characteristics and costs. Obviously the heavier hulls, armor, and larger sensors are going to require bigger, more expensive engines or suffer a performance penalty but sometimes you just need more hull points or a larger sensor range.

Share your thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comment section below.