"Star Cloud" class Light Clipper:

Most merchant designs operated within the Three Galaxies are fairly slow. The typical merchant hull has a top speed of around three years per hour. Generally, courier vessels are much faster, some able to travel as fast as six light years per hour. As well, many runner vessels are incredibly fast as well. All of these ships have the ability to carry relatively small amounts of cargo. As might be expected, there are still a need for fast merchant ships with the ability to carry more cargo than runner ship or fast courier vessel. These are commonly called clippers.

While more expensive to operate, there are several advantages of fast merchant / clipper designs. One is that they can get cargo to their destination far quicker. This can be extremely important with cargo which have shelf lives. Agricultural products are a common product carried by these fast merchant designs. A second advantage is simply that the ships can outrun many pirate vessels. Pirates also tend to go after slower ships because they are easier to catch than the faster merchant ships. The extra cost to operate these ships is partially compensated by the reduced insurance costs. Because of how expensive these ships are to built, most are better maintained than standard merchant designs around the same tonnage.

While not as common as the more standard merchant designs, there are still dozens of fast merchant designs operated in the Three Galaxies. Still, the Star Cloud class light clipper is fairly typical of the smaller merchant designs. It is around the same size as the standard merchant hulls operated by most merchant lines. They carry cargos too large to be carried by Couriers but too small for larger vessels.

In addition to being operated by several civilian lines, these merchant hulls are operated by several militaries although the bulk of cargo is carried in slower merchant hulls. Still, these ships allow rapid transfer of cargo to the battle front and sensitive locations and they need fewer escorts than slower merchant hulls. Usually these military ships have military class radiation shielding and sensors equal to that carried on most destroyers. As well, many carry extensive counter measures. A few operated by civilian operators near hazardous areas are outfitted similarly.

While many larger vessels use containers to carry their cargo, the Star Cloud class are generally bulk cargo vessels. Some have extensive refrigerated or other compartments for their cargo. In some cases, cargos have to be kept pressurized while in transit while in other cases, the cargo is kept in a vacuum.

Crew quarters on these vessels are quite comfortable, more comfortable than most military ships. Each enlisted crew member shares a fairly spacious berthing space with a single other crew while the officers each have their staterooms. The master of the ship has the most luxurious space. In many cases, couples will serve on these ships together. These ships also have twelve single cabins which give the ship the ability to carry a small number of passengers.

Some of these ships carry no weaponry onboard but even with their speed, they can fall pray to pirates and other raiders. As a result, many of these ships are protected by a light shield array and carry some defensive weaponry. These include four pulse laser mounts and four medium range missile batteries. Due to size and loss of cargo, few of these merchant ships carry much more in the way of weapon. Only a few are believed to have been converted into pseudo warships even though faster than normal merchant designs.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: SSL-1000
Vehicle Type: Fast Freighter
Crew: 45 (5 Officers and 40 Ordinary Crew), Can carry 12 passengers.


4Mini-Tugs (Provision for cargo transport, not always carried)

M.D.C. By Location:

Point Defense Laser Cannon Turrets (4):250 each
Medium Range Missile Batteries (4):300 each
Outer Hull (40 x 40 ft/ 12.2 m x 12.2 Area):100
Inner Hull (40 x 20 ft/ 12.2 m x 12.2 Area):75
[1] Bridge:1,000
[2] Main Engines (2):2,000 each
[3] Main Body:5,000
[4] Force Field (Regular):1,200

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s hull. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[2] Destroying the main engines means that the ship’s faster than light systems are destroyed and maximum sub light speed is reduced by half.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the merchant out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[4] Shields are not variable. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (60 M.D.C.) per melee.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 20 percent of the speed of light maximum due to civilian shields. Some have military class shields and can reach 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.8 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 400 mph (643.7 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight
Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 4.5 light years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. Carries about six month worth of supplies on board for the small crew but normally does not operate for that long without resupply. Can be stretched to nine months in emergency.

Statistical Data:
Length: 680 feet (207.26 meters)
Height: 85 feet (25.91 meters)
Width: 68 feet (20.73 meters)
Weight: 12,000 Tons (10,900 metric tons)
Power System: Advanced Fusion with a 20 year life span. The ship normally only goes 5 years between refueling and refitting.
Cargo: Can carry up to 5,000 tons (4,540 metric tons) of cargo in addition to crew’s supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are take up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: 200 million credits (Military versions about 250 million and non armed version about 150 million)


  1. Four (4) Laser Batteries: Weapon system is used as an anti-missile, anti-power armor, and anti-star fighter. Weapons system has no minuses to hit fighters and small targets and can be operated by a gunner or a gunner program (+2 to strike, 3 Attacks per melee). The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 200 miles (322 km) in space and 4 miles (6.4 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 3D6x10 M.D.C. each.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Four (4) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Normally used for anti-fighter and point defense. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per battery
    Payload: 24 per battery for a total of 96 medium range missiles.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.