What’s a decent Space Opera without spaceship and space travel, aye?
Coriolis knows full well that to truly claim ownership of this genre, you need to have everything from different kinds of spaceships, to harrowing space dog-fights and all the other troubles that spacefaring adventurers get into.
Star Travel in The Third Horizon is a fairly straightforward affair, with a network of portals linking star systems that allow spaceships to make jumps that shave off an enormous amount of time.
There’s a whole lot of controls and protocols for making a jump, as these are busy commercial lanes that are used every day in The Third Horizon. That said, making a jump is a complicated affair, with heavy fees levied for the coordinates for a reasonably safe jump.
Poorer pilots will have to make do with their own calculations, or even Jump blind, which will likely entail a much bigger margin of error leading to any number of misadventures.
Creating Your Ship
Ship creation is one of those quiet pleasures of a Sci-fi game. Unlike fantasy settings there’s something about being able to create a craft (or in some games, a mech) that truly belongs to your character.
Coriolis’ ship creation system is a template based one, and we’ll be going over the steps as we attempt to put together a decent ship worthy of a group of Free Traders.
Decide what kind of ship you need
The book recommends a Class III vessel as standard for most adventuring groups. Given that I’m looking at a Free Trader group concept, a Small Courier ship sounds like a good deal.
At this point the group also chooses which Shipyard their craft came from. This choice modifies the base stats of the ship.
After looking it over, Chelebs Shipyard sounds fun, with “Beautiful, lean and fast ships” +1 to Maneuverability, but +1 to Signature and +5% to base price.
Looking over the Ship Classes Table, here’s what the stats look like do far:
Maneuver +1, Modules: 10, EP 5, HP 6, Signature +1, Armor 5, Speed 2 for a price of 1,050,000 birr
The Ship’s Problem
Here’s a fun detail. Every ship has it’s own problem, one that the GM can trigger to make life more interesting with Darkness Points.
After looking over the available problems I figure this one sounded the most amusing (or infuriating)
Eccentric Ship Intelligence: When the problem is activated, the intelligence will refuse to perform a specific task and instead begin to protest loudly over the ship’s intercom. The effect lasts during a combat encounter, or a few hours.
A ship has a number of modules that perform certain functions. There are three required modules in a ship: The Bridge, the Reactor and the Graviton Projector.
Looking over the available modules, I decide on the following:
- Salvage Station
- Docking Station
- Cabins – Standard
- Cargo Hold
- Service Station
- Smuggler’s Stash
This ups my ship’s cost by another 160,000 Birr
Next up in creating a ship is picking out its features. Ships in the game start with 3 features, but more can be added later. For the ship, I go for:
Gives +1 to all sensor rolls +10% cost
Versatile AI, all attribute scores 1, relevant skill levels 3 +30% cost
Bonus +2 to the advance / retreat action +10% cost
This brings my ship total to hefty 1,815,000 birr, definitely not a cheap ship, and possibly why we’re running away from the Syndicate to begin with.
Coriolis definitely has enough systems and forethought to come up with unique ships with funny (and appropriate) problems that will make for a memorable time in space. I can definitely see the advantage of doing this as a group as everyone has their own chance to contribute to the ship’s final appearance and personality
Next up, a quick look at the setting, maybe a sample combat if I can fit it into my schedule and then my thoughts on Coriolis as a whole!