Starship Creation Guide (WIP)

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Starship Creation Guide (WIP)

Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 15:57

26 Aug 2011, 11:25 #1

While this is not completely comprehensive, it is a good guideline to helping understand some basics on shipbuilding. This is a constant Work In Progress…
All ships have different statistics and parts that make them what they are. For now, here is a good detailed list of components: Ship Components

What is the purpose of the ship you are designing? Why can't you use an existing design? What role does it fill that others cannot? Does it belong to an organization or an individual?

What type of ship is it? Freighter, Intercepter, Cruiser, etc.? How long is the ship? Combatant or Non-Combatant? Does the ship type fit the role?

Who built the vessel? Ships are VERY expensive, so how was it built? If it is an existing vessel and modifications were done, who built in the modifications?

What is the history of this kind of ship? Why was it designed? What problems does it have? What strengths does it have? How is it paid for?

Every ship has a powerplant, so what kind is yours?
Dual Fusion Plant
Helium-3 Fusion Generator
Nuclear Fusion Plant
Solar Power Generator
Emergency Power Core

Compliments to Powerplant:
Hydrogen Power Cells
Hydrogen-Oxygen Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells are expensive. They are not an option for all ships. Only capital ships have the room to accommodate fuel cells.

What propulsion does your ship use?
Ion Engines
LOCKE Engines/Units
(Expensive Brand-Name Engines)
Mass Effect Drive Core
Maneuvering Thrusters
Hydrogen Thrusters

If it is a military vessel, does it have Antiproton Thrusters instead? These are very expensive and use a unqiue, expensive fuel type. If militaries are fielding these ships, they typically should be Grade C or higher.

Does it also possess a FTL Drive? Most ships do, but they are very expensive, so they are not found on fighter-sized ships.

Typically, armor is standard for its ship type. Heavier or lighter armor can be used for any ship type. For example:

Standard Hull Armor - normal
Light Hull Armor - decreased protection, increased speed/manueverability
Heavy Hull Armor - decreased speed/maneuverability, increased protection

*Silaris Armor is reserved for Citadel members only. It is an asari technology that is so expensive, it is COST PROHIBITIVE on any vessels larger than a fighter.

Kinetic barrier shields are pretty standard. You will be fine listing "Standard Kinetic Shields" for this entry.

*Cyclonic Barrier Technology is reserved for Citadel members only. It can only be used on two-man fighters and frigates.

There are tons of weaponry out there, but here are some standard items:

Mass Accelerator Cannons (MAC) - offensive/defensive
Torpedo Tubes - offensive
GARDIAN Turrets - defensive

10. CREW/PASSENGERS (Including minimum and maximum) WIP




There are really three sizes for capital ships: frigate, cruiser and dreadnaught. While the design of capital ships may be fitting for other names, all must fall into these three categories, but all are considered “warships” by the galaxy at large. Here are some other “versions” of ships and what category they fall into:

- Destroyer (Frigate: typically armed heavily with torpedoes or missiles)
- Heavy Frigate (Frigate: typically large and heavily armored sacrificing some amount of speed and maneuverability)
- Battlecruiser (Cruiser: fast, maneuverable and heavily armed, but sacrifices heavy armor)
- Heavy Cruiser (Cruiser: typically large and heavily armored sacrificing some amount of speed and maneuverability)
- Battleship (Cruiser: typically large, bristling with turret weaponry and numerous space-to-ground weaponry)

Small, fast ships used for scouting and screening larger vessels. Frigates often operate in wolf-pack flotillas. It is very rare for a frigate to be in a role other than combat. This is typically the heaviest capital ship that most governments and organizations have access to. Only in rare circumstances will such a ship belong to an individual, such as a SPECTRE.
Average Length: 100-270m

Middle-weight combatants, faster than dreadnoughts, and more heavily-armed then frigates. Cruisers are the standard patrol unit, and often lead frigate flotillas. It is rare to find cruisers in the hands of anything other than major organizations and governments. They instantly attract attention and are a threat to any corner of space. Only Grade A, B or C organizations typically have access to a cruiser.
Average Length: 350-750m

Kilometer-long capital ships mounting heavy, long-range firepower. They are only deployed for the most vital missions. These ships are only in the possession of the largest governments and organizations in the galaxy. Their numbers are heavily regulated as a result of the Treaty of Farixen. Any organization possessing a dreadnaught that is not a Citadel race will draw undue attention and distrust. Not to mention, it taps into government treasuries to construct a ship of this size. Typically, only Grade A militaries of Governments have access to dreadnoughts.
Average Length: 800-1000m

Dreadnought-sized vessels that also carry a large amount of fighters. Typically either a spacecraft carrier or an assault carrier. Either way, their ship-to-ship weaponry is mostly defensive due to the space needed for their complement. While their numbers are not hindered by the Treaty of Farixen, their deployment is watched closely. Like the dreadnaught, this ship will take a tremendous draw on a government’s treasury due to the exorbitant price of its construction. Typically, only Grade A or B government militaries have access to carriers.
Average Length: 800-1200m

Some ships are considered capital ships due to their size. This could be freight carriers, starship transports, mining vessels and even some small space stations. Approvals for these type of vessels are handled on a case by case basis. If they are heavily armed, they will undergo heavy scrutiny.

Smaller than frigates, corvettes are maneuverable ships, often used for planetary patrol and scouting. It is a versatile ship that comes in both civilian and military versions.
Average Length: 50-90m

Typically, a civilian ship that comes in many varied shapes and sizes used for hauling and transport. Traditionally, it is armed with defensive weaponry only. Those that are armed with offensive weaponry are seen as combatants and treated as such by the many governing bodies in the galaxy
Average Length: 25-95m

Usually a one-man craft used for multirole functionality. It is often perceived by civilians as an air-to-ground combatant.
Average Length: 15-25m

Usually a one-man craft used to perform close-range attacks on enemy ships.
Average Length: 15m-25m

Usually a one-man craft optimized for destroying opposing fighters.
Average Length: 15-25m

Personal Scale – sentient beings
Fighter Scale – intercepters, fighters, gunships, tanks, armored vehicles, artillery turrets, light freighters and corvettes
Capital Scale – frigates, cruisers, dreadnaughts, assault carriers, freight carriers, planetary weaponry

All weaponry falls into one of three scale categories: personal, fighter or capital.
- Personal weaponry is weaponry that is usually small enough to be carried by sentient beings used on other sentient beings. The have marginal effect on fighter-scale vehicles and no effect on capital-scale vehicles. Examples of this are pistols, SMGs, assault rifles, sniper rifles and grenades.
- Fighter-scale weaponry includes the types of weapons designed to do affect other fighter-scale vehicles and to do immense damage to personnel and marginal damage to capital-scale vehicles. Some examples would a gattling gun mounted on a gunship, a mass accelerator cannon mounted on a fighter and a handheld anti-fighter missile launcher.
- Capital-scale weaponry are weapons that can only be mounted on capital ships or on massive weapons planetside. They can even be as big as hundreds of meters long. They are designed to affect other capital ships, hardened targets and do immense damage to fighters/personnel. Examples of these are Mark II Mass Accelerator Cannons, Hellfire Torpedoes and GARDIAN clusters.

Mass Accelerator weaponry comes in all three scale categories, as the primary weapon technology in the Mass Effect Universe. However, the Mark-series of Mass Accelerator Cannons, Missiles and Torpedoes are unique to capital-scale ships. Missiles and Torpedoes come in Fighter-scale and Capital-scale categories.

Capital-Scale Weaponry Designations
Mark I - must be frigate-sized ship or larger to mount
Mark II - must be cruiser-sized ship or larger to mount (exponentially larger than a Mark I)
Mark III - must be dreadnaught-sized to mount (exponentially larger than a Mark II)
Mark IV - double barrel that must be frigate-sized or larger to mount
Mark V - double barrel that must be cruiser-sized larger to mount (exponentially larger than a Mark I)
Mark VI - double barrel that must be dreadnaught-sized to mount (exponentially larger than a Mark I)
Mark VII – triple barrel that must be frigate-sized ship or larger to mount
Mark VIII – triple barrel that must be cruiser-sized ship or larger to mount (exponentially larger than a Mark I)

Mark-Designated Mass Accelerator Weapons
These capital-scale weapons are the most destructive weapons in the Mass Effect setting. They require immense power and a lot of space to mount on ship. If a ship wants to mount a Mass Accelerator Cannon (MAC) on their ship, the weapons runs 90% of the length of the ship. They are able to mount one or two of them across their spine. For example, if a cruiser wishes to have a Mark II (or Mark V) MAC mounted, it is able to have one (or two if there is space) running along its spine. MACs take up an immense amount of room. But if two MACs of the ship size are mounted, they take up an excessive amount of room, so there is little room for other features.

Cruisers are able to mount capital-scale weapons smaller than their size in addition to the one or two MACs its size. For example, cruisers would be able to mount broadside Mark I MACs within the sides of the ship. They would also have the capability to mount Mark I MAC turrets along its frame, but not as many as internally mounted broadside MACs. Turrets with MACS also took up a lot of room and power, so be aware of this drawback.

Dreadnaughts are able to mount capital-scale weapons smaller than their size in addition to the one or two MACs its size. For example, dreadnaughts would be able to mount broadside Mark I MACs or Mark II MACs within the sides of the ship (more Mark I MACs than Mark II MACs due to size). They would also have the capability to mount Mark I MAC or Mark II MAC turrets (more Mark I MACs than Mark II MACS due to size) along its frame, but not as many as internally mounted broadside MACS.

Torpedoes and Missile Launchers
Like the Mass Accelerator Cannons, these launchers follow similar rules to the Mark-series MACs, but only Mark I, II and II. The fixed, broadside and turret all follow the rules for the Mark designation. For example, a cruiser can be mounted with Mark I and Mark II launchers, but not Mark III launchers, whether they are fixed or turreted. The Mark designation is an overall denotation of the potency of the launcher and its spread of torpedoes.