Torch Light Escort Carrier (Converted Merchant Vessel):

Escort carriers generally are converted merchant hulls converted to carrying fighters. Cargo ships have a lot of empty space so they are in many ways easier to convert than a warship would be. As one might expect, escort carriers are fragile compared to most purpose build warships. One major advantage is that they are far cheaper that purpose built warships.

Small merchant ships, often called "Tramp Freighter" are among the most common merchant ships in the Three Galaxies. They are a bit under two hundred meters in length and mass only around nine thousand metric tons. They are not particularly fast or maneuverable with minimal weaponry and only light shields. Still, because they are extremely common, escort carrier conversion can only expected.

Due to their comparatively small size, these ships are not as effective as larger merchant hulls being converted into escort carriers. Medium sized merchant hulls generally make better conversions with better facilities and much larger compliments. As far as cost, these "Tramp Freighters" are far cheaper to convert than larger hulls.

The "Torch" is fairly typical as far as a converted light merchant vessel. She started life as the "Golden Trident" as was already close to a century old when she was converted. Like many such conversions, she was not converted in a yard but instead was converted with only the most minimal of facilities. The "Torch" was converted by a small mercenary company but some have been converted by planetary governments as well. These small converted carriers can vary greatly in their basic design with some being more effective than other designs. The "Torch" herself is a reasonable effective conversion.

Probably the biggest single limitation of the "Torch" and such small escort carriers in general is the vessel's light fighter compliment. The "Torch" is limited to two squadrons of fighters and cannot embark anything other than light fighters. A few conversions are even limited to only about twenty fighters. The composition of the compliment of the "Torch" has varied over time although it is generally a mixed composition and is generally mostly older fighters such as the Vixen and Falx Supina. Other fighters which have been operated from the light escort carrier include the Kitten Trainer, the Bobcat, and the Naruni Kinjal light fighter. Only extremely rarely have Scorpions been embarked aboard the Torch.

As far as weaponry, the Torch is reasonable armed although far from being armed at warship level. There is a large variation in weaponry with converted light escort carriers. Some even mount no weaponry at all. On the "Torch", the weaponry is a combination of the original weaponry carried on her as a merchant vessel and salvaged weapon systems. Original weaponry includes four point defense batteries and four medium range missile batteries. Weaponry added to the vessel when converted to a carrier includes a pair of long range missile batteries from a scrapped scout ship and a pair of particle beams from a scrapped Hunter class destroyer. A total of forty-eight long range missiles are carried for the long range missile batteries.

One item which the "Torch" has over many converted light escort carriers is that she does mount military class shields. These are also from a scrapped Hunter class destroyer but does allow the ship to withstand a bit more damage than it otherwise might. The "Torch" does not have any reinforcement to the hull so otherwise is extremely vulnerable. Sensor systems are upgraded from merchant standards but are older destroyer based systems and are not the equal of systems carried on newer vessels.

The drive system has not been upgraded and is limited to three light years per hour. Its acceleration is also quite low compared to most purpose built light carriers although many of the larger escort carriers have even worse acceleration. Particle and radiation shields have been upgraded which allows the ship to reach up to around sixty percent of the speed of light. The ship retains the original fusion reactor as well.

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: CML-800EC
Vehicle Type: Light Escort Carrier (Converted Merchantman)
Crew: 95 (12 Officers and 83 Enlisted Crew)
Troops: 30 fighter pilots.

Fighter Compliment:

24Light Starfighters (Various)

M.D.C. By Location:

Heavy Particle Beam Cannons (2, built into sides):650 each
Point Defense Laser Cannon Turrets (4):250 each
Long Range Missile Batteries (2):500 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
Hanger Doors (4):500 each
[1] Bridge:1,000
[2] Main Engines (2):2,000 each
[3] Main Body:5,000
[4] Variable Force Field:1,000 a side (6,000 Total)

[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 sublight speed is reduced by half.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the carrier 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 positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (300 M.D.C.) per melee round.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.7 percent of light per melee. Ship has had the merchant radiation and particle shields replaced with military shields.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 300 mph ( 482 kph), can enter an atmosphere because flight system is using contra grav.
Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 3 light years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. Carries about six months worth of supplies on board (Can be stretched to nine months in an emergency)

Statistical Data:
Length: 600 feet (182.9 meters)
Height: 70 feet (21.3 meters)
Width: 90 feet (27.4 meters)
Mass/ Weight: 14,000 tons (12,700 metric tons) fully loaded.
Power System: Fusion with a 20 year life span. The ship normally only goes 5 years between refueling and refitting.
Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 500 tons (453.6 metric tons) of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. 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: Approximately 300 million credits to build and convert (Does not include standard fighter compliment.)


  1. Two (2) Heavy Particle Beam Cannons: The mounts are identical to those carried in a standard Hunter class destroyer and are extremely effective. They can often devastate another destroyer in just a few shots and usually all three are concentrated on a single target. The weapons have good range although not useful against fighters and has standard penalties to hit small targets. One cannon is in the nose and the other two are on the sides mostly in the hull and are extremely well protected. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 10,000 miles (16,000 km) in space and 20 miles (32 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega-Damage: 2D4x100 M.D. each (4D4x100 Maximum for all three)
    Rate of Fire: Each one can be fired up to one time in a melee.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Four (4) Laser Batteries: Weapon system is part of the original design and are used as an anti-missile, anti-power armor, and anti-star fighter. Weapons system has no penalties 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.
  3. Two (2) Long Range Missile Batteries: Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile, when unpowered, is at -25% to be detected.) Long range missiles do not have penalties to hit small targets unlike cruise missiles and are all considered smart missiles. Launchers can launch on multiple targets each.
    Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per melee attack.
    Payload: 48 total, 24 long range missiles per launcher. Extra missiles can be carried in the ship’s cargo hold.
  4. Four (4) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Standard weapon system from a merchant class vessel. 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 melee attack.
    Payload: 24 per battery for a total of 96 medium range missiles. Extra missiles can be carried in the ship’s cargo hold.

[ Altara TM, Brodkil TM, Bushido Industries TM, CAF TM, Catyr TM, CCW TM, Consortium of Civilized Worlds TM, Coyles TM, Free Worlds Council TM, Gene Splicers TM, K-Hex TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kreeghor TM, Kydian TM, Machine People TM, M.D.C. TM, Mega-Damage TM, Metzla TM, M’Kri Hardware TM, Monro TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Noro TM, Paradise Federation TM, Phase World TM, Psylite TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Seljuks TM, Splugorth TM, Sunaj TM, Trans-Galactic Empire TM, Tri-Galactic Military Service TM, United Worlds Warlock TM, U.W.W. TM, Wolfen TM, and Zembahk TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.