IN THRUST WE TRUST'S 319 PACT WORLDS AEROSPACE EXPO SPECIAL: WHAT'S NEW


Homebrew


INTRODUCTION

Sen Hiriko, human male host: "Welcome ship enthusiasts, to In Thrust We Trust's coverage of the 319 Pact Worlds Aerospace Expo. The normally crowded space around Absalom Station is even more crowded this week, as the Pact Worlds' biggest aerospace show graces the station. Just about every starship and component manufacturer, most of the top modders and custom designers, lots of recent graduates from flight academies, as well as from crew and engineering schools, and courting them, of course, are navies from almost all governments, corporations, and religious orders, shipping lines both huge and tiny, and many others. In fact, the only faction I don't see here are the Corpse Fleet, like anyone here would want them to show up, anyway!"
"This year, the trend is toward 'personal' space transportation. Now, even mid-level execs are torn between a luxury land cruiser and a Tier 1/4 or 1/2 starship. And the starship builders are doing their best to accommodate them, from well-known names like
Sanjaval, ATech and Ringworks, to newcomers like Infinite Driftworks, who in a couple of years, has made a name for itself in the luxury market."
"Many of these new ships feature new frames, components, weapons and the like. Here we're featuring the latest and greatest systems this year, so let's get started!"


NEW FRAMES

Mini-Shuttle
Rebeka "Revved Up" Terapin, human female, freighter specialist: "The personal spaceflight trend has worked its way into cargo hauling. Now it seems like every small shop, freelance mage or what have you, instead of trying to negotiate with the freight lines or with indies like me, has got their own mini-shuttle, taking their goods around the planet, to the nearest space station, or even other worlds in the system."
"These mini-shuttles are the smallest spacecraft to carry an expansion bay, just a single 25 ton one. But of course, using the same types of expansion bays as bigger craft, mini-shuttles are about as diverse."

Mini-Shuttle
SIZE: Tiny
MANEUVERABILITY: Perfect (+2 to Piloting, Turn 0)
HP: 25 (Increment 5)
DT: -
CT: 7
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 1 (usually Cargo Holds or Passenger Seating)
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 2
COST: 5

Patrol Craft
Admiral Trig "Triggerman" Masterson (Ret.), human male space combat and tactics reporter: "Gunboats, torpedo boats, system defense boats, call them what you want, they were a large part of sea-going navies, and they're still a key component of space-going navies as well. Positioned between fighters and frigates or corvettes, patrol craft back up fighters for planetary or system defense, or, equipped with drift engines (patrol craft with drift engines are called ships, those without are called boats), they're used to protect fleets against swarms of fighters. With the latest in weapon mounts, like Sponson and Spinal Mounts, they xan alao make captains of frigates and corvettes a little nervous.

Patrol Craft
SIZE: Small
MANEUVERABILITY: Good (+1 to Piloting, Turn 1)
HP: 45 (Increment 5)
DT:-
CT: 9
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 3
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 6
COST: 9


NEW FRAMES (Cont.)

Frigate/Corvette

Admiral Masterson: "Frigates and corvettes are the workhorses of any navy worthy of the name. In smaller government, corporate or religious fleets, they're usually the flagship. In larger fleets, they're not only effective against fighters and patrol craft, but also against other smaller ships as well. In Steward use, they're called cutters, and are given independent duties. Corvettes are frigate-sized ships, usually equipped with M-12 thrusters for fast strikes.

Frigate/Corvette
SIZE: Medium
MANEUVERABILITY: Good (+1 to Piloting, Turn 1)
HP: 75 (Increment 15)
DT:-
CT: 15
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 heavy, 1 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 4
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 7
COST: 16

Light Dropship
Admiral Masterson: "Landing an army onto a planet is a risky job. True, the infantry can use, and have used, civil transports with upgraded weapons, but armies also have recon vehicles, transport vehicles like trucks, fighting vehicles like hovertanks and self-propelled artillery, not to mention siege robots or even AHAVs. Many militaries have found out that ordinary freighters are ill-equipped to
carry these across space. Therefore, the dropship was born. Light dropships are the more common of the family, being welcomed in mid-sized government, corporate, religious, and even the better mercenary units."

Light Dropship
SIZE: Medium
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0 to Piloting, Turn 2)
HP: 75 (Increment 10)
DT:-
CT: 15
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 6
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 9
COST: 16

Heavy Dropship
Admiral Masterson: "In the Pact Worlds, only the Veskarium, and the bigger corporate and religious fleets use heavy dropships, but if you need one, they're a pretty handy vessel for carrying assaults from above."

Heavy Dropship
SIZE: Large
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0 to Piloting, Turn 2)
HP: 100 (Increment 20)
DT:-
CT: 26
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (2 light), Starboard Arc (2 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (2 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 10
MINIMUM CREW: 9
MAXIMUM CREW: 16
COST: 45


NEW POWER CORE

Micron Micro

Upgrade 1, asexual android ship systems reporter: "When Ringworks decided to make a mini-shuttle version of its popular Wanderer, they found that the Micron Light that powered the Wanderer was too powerful (and too expensive) for the new mini-shuttle. Micron, however, came through with an even smaller 30 PCU version of the Light, and now the new Micro is the power core of choice for low-end mini-shuttles."

Micron Micro
SIZE: T
PCU: 30
BP: 3

NEW THRUSTERS

T-16 Thrusters
Fleets "Fleetfoot" Padfoot, halfling female racing reporter: "Just when the racing community thought that the T-14 wouldn't be surpassed for years, along comes the T-16, and it's a gamechanger! Although Infinite Driftworks snapped up the first 250 thrusters for their new racers, the T÷16 is appearing on more and more custom racers, too."

T-16 Thruster
SIZE: T
SPEED (IN HEXES): 16
PILOTING MODIFIER: -3
PCU: 45
BP: 8

Vectored Thrusters
Upgrade 1: "Vectored thrusters are used to improve the maneuverability of a ship, one factor that was hard to improve."

Vectored Thrusters
Vectored Thrusters upgrades maneuverability by 1 rank (for example, from Average to Good, or from Good to Perfect), or if the ship's maneuverability is already Perfect, they add +1 to its Piloting bonus.
Vectored Thrusters add 5 to PCU requirements, and raises thruster BP by half (rounded up to the next whole number). Vectored Thrusters are only available on T, S, M and L thrusters, and can't be retrofitted.


NEW SYSTEMS

Variable-Sized Cockpits
Fleeta Padfoot: "When most ship designers start to fire up their computers, they generally design their vessels around human or humanoid-sized races, making it difficult for smaller or larger races to fit inside. Luckily for me, my racers were customs, but Varitech, a Sanjaval Spaceflight Systems subsidiary, is known for making versions of racers, interceptors and fighters (Sanjaval models in particular) with cockpits that fit smaller or larger races better."

Variable-Sized Cockpits
Character Size. BP per Seat
Small 1 (for 2 seats)
Medium 0
Large 1
For Racers, Interceptors and Fighters only. Variable-Sized Cockpits can't be retrofitted.

Ejectable Cockpits
Upgrade 1: "When crews and passengers of large ships have to abandon ship, they can usually board escape pods. Even many smaller ships carry them. But what about single or two-seat craft? Very often, they have to use their ejector seats, which were designed to be used in an atmosphere. What if you have to eject into space? Unless you're an android like me, your life expectancy is limited to the amount of oxygen in your space suit. But help is at hand! Now the cockpits of fighters, interceptors and racers can eject from their soon to be destroyed ship, and they can be used as a makeshift escape pod. Of course, it won't be as deluxe as a regular escape pod (for instance, instead of a working toilet, Ejectable Cockpits supply 'waste disposal bags'), but they do increase you chances of survival. And since the Stewards made it a requirement for their fighters, practically manufacturers everywhere are revamping their designs to make use of them. Even many Eoxian shipbuilders are using them (have YOU priced the training and resurrection of an Eoxian pilot?).

Ejectable Cockpits
Adds 1 BP, 1 PCU per seat. Converts a Racer, Interceptor, or Fighter cockpit into an Escape Pod (see Core Rulebook, Page 297) when activated. Ejectable Cockpits can't be retrofittwd.


NEW EXPANSION BAYS

Mini-Shuttle Bay
Twerk "The Tweeker," Ysoki male ships systems reporter: "With the popularity of mini-shuttles, it was inevitable that there would be an expansion bay to accommodate them. While a standard shuttle bay can accept two mini-shuttles, many ship owners only need one. And besides, with a delicated mini-shuttle bay, even a Medium-sized ship can house one (or another Tiny ship, like a fighter)."

Mini-Shuttle Bay
2 BP, 5 PCU, takes 1 expansion bay. A Mini-Shuttle Bay can only be installed on a Medium-sized ship or larger.

Variable-Class Passenger Seating
Rebeka Terapin: "Well, passenger liners do it all the time, why not join them?'

Variable-Class Passenger Seating
Common: As in Core Rulebook, Pages 299-300. BP:0, PCU:0.
Good: BP:2, PCU: Negligible.
Luxury: BP:5, PCU: Negligible.
All Variable-Class Passenger Seating takes 1 expansion bay.


Cool things, but a few notes:

Charles Marshall wrote:

Mini-Shuttle

SIZE: Tiny
MANEUVERABILITY: Perfect (+2 to Piloting, Turn 0)
HP: 25 (Increment 5)
DT: -
CT: 7
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 1 (usually Cargo Holds or Passenger Seating)
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 2
COST: 5

CT is based off HP and is 1/5 maximum HP, it's part of the base rules and makes this confusing when calculating out crit because players and GM's now have to remember that this base frame's CT is an exception to the rule. Also, this almost entirely invalidates a base frame published by Paizo (not sure whether you care about that, but still going to note it): the Statikete. The Mini-Shuttle frame has the same cost, but can have 1 more crew, an expansion bay and the increased CT. The only "advantage" the Statikete frame has is that it halves the duration of EMP weapons used on it, which is not guaranteed to make a difference, unlike the ones that the Mini-Shuttle has which will always come into play. Overall, this frame is much better than a published one.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Patrol Craft

SIZE: Small
MANEUVERABILITY: Good (+1 to Piloting, Turn 1)
HP: 45 (Increment 5)
DT:-
CT: 9
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 3
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 6
COST: 9

This frame... is just overpowered. It costs 1 less than the light freighter, but has more HP, an extra weapon mount and doesn't lose anything. It's just better overall in every way. There's no downside to it and it invalidates all other small-sized frames.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Frigate/Corvette

SIZE: Medium
MANEUVERABILITY: Good (+1 to Piloting, Turn 1)
HP: 75 (Increment 15)
DT:-
CT: 15
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 heavy, 1 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 4
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 7
COST: 16

Light Dropship
SIZE: Medium
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0 to Piloting, Turn 2)
HP: 75 (Increment 10)
DT:-
CT: 15
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 6
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 9
COST: 16

I'm just going to combine these into one because not only does the frigate invalidate the light dropship, it's also better than all of the other medium-sized frames. The frigate gets better maneuverability and a heavy weapon mount versus the light dropship getting an aft weapon mount and 2 expansion bays. That heavy weapon mount is worth more than the aft weapon mount and 2 expansion bays don't really make up for better maneuverability. Plus, compared to the Oma frame, the frigate has a turret and better maneuverability which more than make up for the aft weapon mount and extra expansion bays of the Oma frame which also costs more BP to start with. The light dropship is more reasonable, since upgrading one light weapon mount in the front of the frame makes it cost the same as the Oma frame with less HP, but a turret mount in exchange. However, the thing that makes it much better is that the Oma frame increases the cost of all drift engines by 50% which means that the light dropship frame just straight up invalidates the Oma frame.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Heavy Dropship

SIZE: Large
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0 to Piloting, Turn 2)
HP: 100 (Increment 20)
DT:-
CT: 26
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (2 light), Starboard Arc (2 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (2 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 10
MINIMUM CREW: 9
MAXIMUM CREW: 16
COST: 45

The Heavy Dropship frame is honestly, the most reasonable of all the frames as it has less HP than all of the other Large-sized frames, but has the same problem with CT as the mini-shuttle. It would be reaasonable if it didn't have all those weapon mounts though in addition to the expansion bays. Like, it can carry more cargo than a heavy freighter and has more ways to hit enemy starships than any other ship of its size. I think it would be fine if it had one or the other, but with both it just makes more sense to take this over the Destroyer and the Heavy Freighter frames. A dropship should not have more firepower than a destroyer, much less also having more cargo space than a heavy freighter.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Micron Micro

SIZE: T
PCU: 30
BP: 3

The remainder of the homebrew is harder to evaluate, but this power core is fine, though it would probably be alright to increase its PCU to 35 as 30 is cutting it close to the minimum necessary for propulsion alone and doesn't give much space for shields and weapons.

This is my two credsticks, so take it as you will, but I think you should tone back the frames to be more in line with what has been presented in the books published.


NEW EXPANSION BAYS (Comt.)

Vehicle Bays
Upgrade 1: "These bays are the heart of any dropship, allowing vehicles or robots to be stored, repaired, and so on."

Vehicle Bays
MEDIUM: Stores vehicles like motorcycles or enercycles. BP: 1, PCU: 3, takes up 1 expansion bay.
LARGE: Stores othwr Large vehicles. BP: 2, PCU: 5, takes up 2 expansion bays.
HUGE: Stores Huge vehicles. BP: 4, PCU: 4,takes up 4 expansion bays.
GARGANTUAN: Stores Gargantuan vehicles. BP: 10, PCU: 20, takes up to 8 expansion bays.
COLOSSAL: Stores Colossal vehicles. BP: 20, PCU: 60, takes up 12 expansion bays.

NEW WEAPONS

Light Gravity Gun
Tweek "The Tweeker": "They've finally made the Gravity Gun into a light weapon! Now smaller ships can capture and tow other small ships, or asteroid miners can tow chunks of asteroids to processing centers."

Light Gravity Gun (Light Weapon)
RANGE: Medium
DAMAGE: 3D6
PCU: 20
BP: 15
SPECIAL PROPERTIES: Tractor Beam

Heavy Mining Laser
Tweek "The Tweeker": "And how are these ships going to saw off pieces of those asteroids? With THIS baby!"

Heavy Mining Laser (Heavy Weapon)
RANGE: Short
DAMAGE: 4D6
PCU: 20
BP: 10
SPECIAL PROPERTIES: Burrowing

Wayfinders

Thanks for a fun report! My Crew Chief is asking for a cheesecake poster for Fleeta for the repair bay!


NEW WEAPON MOUNTS

Sponson Turrets
Admiral Masterson: "Sponson turrets have been part of naval design back when navies still ruled the seas. Now they've made a come back for space-going naval vessels. They have less rotation than full turrets (they only have three arcs of movement rather than the 360° rotation of full turrets), but even with this limitation, sponson turrwts are still uswful, because theu allow patrol craft and larger vessels to concentrate their firepower."

Sponson Turrets
COST: 4 BP per light weapon, 10 BP per heavy weapon (capital weapons can't be mounted in Sponson Turrets). Weapons in Sponson Turrets automatically have the Broad Arc special property, but with no penalty for firing at the adjacent arc. Tiny and Small starships are still limited to 2 weapons per Sponson Turret, Medium and Large ships are still limited to 3 weapons per Sponson Turret, and Huge and bigger ships can only mount 4 weapons per Sponson Turret. Sponson Turrets can be mounted in any firing arc (Forward, Port,Starboard or Aft). Sponson Turrets can't be retrofitted to an existing vessel.

Spinal Mounts (for non-Supercolossal ships)
Upgrade 1: "When the first ultranoughts with spinal-mount weapons were launched [in Dead Suns 5/6: Empire of Bones - C.M], the modder and custom community took notice, not to shrink those superweapons down to fit normal-sized ships, but to allow those ships to carry bigger weapons than they normally could. These smaller Spinal Mounts are still connected directly to the power core, and they're still limited to the forward firing arc only, but you don't have to wait for one to charge up, either. The major shipbuilders caught on to this, and now you get them straight from the shipyards."

Spinal Mounts
For 10 BP, a Tiny or Small starship can Spinal Mount a Heavy Weapon in place of 2 Light Weapons. For 15 BP, a Medium or Large starship can Spinal Mount a Capital Weapon in place of 2 Heavy Weapons, BP and PCU permitting. Spinal Mounts can only be mounted on the Forward firing arc, and can't be retrofitted to an existing vessel.

Sen: "Well, there you have it, the choicest components, the best new systems, and so much more! Stay tuned to the aftershow, where Executive Producer Charlie Marshall answers all your questions, coming up next! And don't forget, as if you ever could, the ITWT team goes through all the ships the Pact Worlds Aerospace Expo has to offer later this week!"


So, in addition to the comments I had earlier...

Charles Marshall wrote:

Vehicle Bays

MEDIUM: Stores vehicles like motorcycles or enercycles. BP: 1, PCU: 3, takes up 1 expansion bay.
LARGE: Stores other Large vehicles. BP: 2, PCU: 5, takes up 2 expansion bays.
HUGE: Stores Huge vehicles. BP: 4, PCU: 4,takes up 4 expansion bays.
GARGANTUAN: Stores Gargantuan vehicles. BP: 10, PCU: 20, takes up to 8 expansion bays.
COLOSSAL: Stores Colossal vehicles. BP: 20, PCU: 60, takes up 12 expansion bays.

Other than the Colossal version, technically the base cargo holds vehicles already at the given number of expansion bays. Really the only one of these that's useful is the Colossal version and unlike the comments I had earlier about things being too powerful, these ones (other than the colossal version) don't actually do anything if I'm right.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Spinal Mounts

For 10 BP, a Tiny or Small starship can Spinal Mount a Heavy Weapon in place of 2 Light Weapons. For 15 BP, a Medium or Large starship can Spinal Mount a Capital Weapon in place of 2 Heavy Weapons, BP and PCU permitting. Spinal Mounts can only be mounted on the Forward firing arc, and can't be retrofitted to an existing vessel.

I don't think these ones are worth having, after all, the whole point of when you can get the higher weapon sizes being tied to starship size is so that you can tell what a capital ship is, otherwise the classification of Huge and larger starships being capital ships doesn't make sense. Giving a shuttle or an explorer a capital weapon is not just nonsensical, it also doesn't fit in the definition of what a capital ship is: i.e. "a large warship such as a battleship or aircraft carrier." Starfinder clearly aims towards Huge or larger ships being capital ships because they're in the top 3 sizes of starships in the game system. The heavy weapon spinal mount I can see arguments for it, and I disagree, but the capital weapon spinal mount has no good merit without messing up both mechanical and flavor restrictions.

Oh and I missed it when I posted before but:

Charles Marshall wrote:

Mini-Shuttle Bay

2 BP, 5 PCU, takes 1 expansion bay. A Mini-Shuttle Bay can only be installed on a Medium-sized ship or larger.

The mini-shuttle bay invalidates and is much better than Launch Tubes from the Pact Worlds book. It costs half the PCU, less than half the BP, and only uses one expansion bay for the same benefit (minus the rules regarding docking and launching mid-combat).


And finally, time for the aftershow!
First, for Corsair, who wants a poster of Fleeta; the problem is, I haven't described her looks yet, so you and your crew chief might have to wait a while.

And now for Dryad. Actually, you were right on a few things. The CT on the Mini-Shuttle and the Heavy Dropship did need some rework, 9 BP was too cheap for a Patrol Craft frame, and 30 PCU was inadequate for the Micron Micro. Revised stats below.

Mini-Shuttle
SIZE: Tiny
MANEUVERABILITY: Perfect (+2 to Piloting, Turn 0)
HP: 25 (Increment 5)
DT;-
CT: 5
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 1 (usually Cargo Holds or Passenger Seating)
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 2
COST: 5

Patrol Craft
SIZE: Small
MANEUVERABILITY: Good (+1 to Piloting, Turn 1)
HP: 45 (Increment 5)
DT:-
CT: 9
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 3
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 6
COST: 11

And maybe the BP for the Light Dropship was too low....

Light Dropship
SIZE: Medium
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0, Turn 2)
HP: 75 (Increment 10)
DT:-
CT: 15
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 6 (usually mostly Vehicle Bays)
MINIMUM CREW: 1
MAXIMUM CREW: 9
COST: 18

Heavy Dropship
SIZE: Large
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0, Turn 2)
HP: 100 (Increment 20)
DT:-
CT: 20
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (2 light), Port Arc (2 light), Starboard Arc (2 light), Aft Arc (1 light), Turret (2 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 10 (usually mostly Vehicle Bays)
MINIMUM CREW: 9
MAXIMUM CREW: 16
COST: 45

Micron Micro
SIZE: T
PCU: 35
BP: 3


Now about this "invalidation" business.
First, I'm only comparing starship frames you can buy at any shipyard, rather than space creatures like oma or statiketes (BTW, which book has the statikete stats?), because I don't know how you do uour campaigns, but in my campaigns, shipbuilders don't have pens of oma swimming near their shipyards.
Sexond, with the exception of the Mini-Shuttle, these new frames are military frames, designed to be used in warships, and in the case of the Dropships, military transports. They're supposed to have more HP, weapon mounts, and so on, than their civilian counterparts.


Charles Marshall wrote:

Now about this "invalidation" business.

First, I'm only comparing starship frames you can buy at any shipyard, rather than space creatures like oma or statiketes (BTW, which book has the statikete stats?), because I don't know how you do your campaigns, but in my campaigns, shipbuilders don't have pens of oma swimming near their shipyards.

Statikete is from Attack of the Swarm: Fate of the Fifth which I'll admit means means they aren't common, but they do exist and people do want them. Same with Oma, and I'll agree that it's a matter of preference on the grounds of invalidation, but at the very least, Paizo made sure that the Oma and the Statikete have both advantages and disadvantages in comparison to their core rulebook base frames.

Charles Marshall wrote:

Second, with the exception of the Mini-Shuttle, these new frames are military frames, designed to be used in warships, and in the case of the Dropships, military transports. They're supposed to have more HP, weapon mounts, and so on, than their civilian counterparts.

The Destroyer frame is military, right? And yet... the Heavy Dropship has more weapon mounts despite being a "troop transport". The Heavy Freighter is the frame for transporting cargo, yet the Heavy Dropship has more cargo space than it. Actually, if you look at it, the military frames (destroyer, cruiser) in the large and huge sizes have consistently less expansion bays than the non-military frames (heavy freighter, bulk freighter). If you want the Heavy Dropship to be a meaningful choice and not just outright guaranteed, it should be somewhere in the vicinity of halfway between Destroyers and Heavy Freighters, not vastly over both of them. I would personally make the Heavy Dropship look like this:

SIZE: Large
MANEUVERABILITY: Average (+0, Turn 2)
HP: 130 (Increment 20)
DT:-
CT: 26
MOUNTS: Forward Arc (1 heavy, 1 light), Port Arc (1 light), Starboard Arc (1 light), Turret (1 light)
EXPANSION BAYS: 6
MINIMUM CREW: 6
MAXIMUM CREW: 20
COST: 35

It preserves the Destroyer as the military vessel for ship-to-ship combat and allows for the heavy freighter to carry more cargo while also being a middle ground between the two that doesn't give cause to be power creep.

My other issue with the dropships is that the frames provided in the core rulebook are fine as dropships, all of the Small and larger frames have 3 or more expansion bays, which means that they can carry a platoon of soldiers, since one passenger seating bay can hold 16 Medium-sized creatures, plenty enough since a platoon is defined as 20 to 44 soldiers. If you have Large-sized passengers, then the Transport frame has 5 expansion bays, more than enough for 45 Large-sized soldiers or 2 platoons of Medium-sized soldiers if you want. Also, the Transport frame doesn't state that it's purely for civilian use, nor that it's for only goods or people, it's meant for whichever one is appropriate to the starship. Case in point: Norikama Dropship which goes on the really nice side for its troops and has guest quarters for a 20-man platoon. Yes, your light dropship frame does it better, but that means that you're eliminating a frame from use that doesn't need to be.

To be clear, this isn't me saying that you're an idiot or that you're doing things wrong, I just don't think that the dropship series is needed because there are frames that can do their job more than satisfactorily in the core rulebook's base frames and the same problem can be seen in other homebrew and 3pp where they add more things (weapons/expansion bays/maneuverability) than is really needed to differentiate a base frame from the published ones.

Edit: Also, adding these frames that are honestly mostly generic (light dropship, heavy dropship, corvette/frigate, patrol craft) all come with an inherent flavor problem: Why wasn't the military using these before if they're all so good? They've had more time (200+ years, with war, which speeds up military development) than you or me to design and reject other designs. And why wouldn't civilians be using them? Beyond the names you gave them, they don't have any military connections and wouldn't have those names in setting either. The frames don't exist because something (flavor: physics-wise most likely; mechanically: they don't allow for diverse starships to exist) doesn't make them possible.


I was going to get to the dropship question, so here it is. The comments made by ITWT's reporters aren't fluff, but accurate descriptions of frames, parts, etc. Dropships are used by militaries to transport vehicles or siege robots, or other big battle machines to a planet's surface. Militaries still use civilian freighters to carry infantry or power armor troops (there is something to be said about cost effectiveness), but civilian freighters are barely able to haul military vehicles and their crews. The Heavy Freighter can barely carry two Huge vehicles, and their crews have to hitch a ride on another transport. That's why I came up with dropships (or maybe I should just call them Military Transports to clear things up).
In order to be anle to carry more stuff, military transports have to be a little bigger than civilian transports (compare, say, the C-5 or C-17 with the 747). And the weapons layouts on military transports are different than those on full-on warships. A frigate or destroyer has to deal with fighters, patrol craft, and other warships, while the military transport mostly deals with any fighters or patrol craft that somehow got through the tramsport's escorts. That's why they don't carry heavy weapons. Actually, I was surprised about how little the destroyer was armed; if I designed the core rulebook frames, the destroyer would have had 2 light weapons or 1 heavy weapon on their port and starboard arcs.
I should have mentioned in Vehicle Bays that they also have ramps that allow vehicles to enter or leave the transport, though.
"If they're so good, why weren't they in the core rulebook?" Well, until Empire of Bones, we didn't know supercolssal ships existed, either, but the description of the Eoxian ultranought states that they had them before the Gap. The same is true with these frames.
We just didn't notice them.
And as I mentioned in the reporter's comments, militaries are about the only ones with sufficient vehicles to justify dropships/military transports (unless you're a corporation that makes vehicles rhat needs to ship them to other worlds).

Wayfinders

A new Kickstarter opened today called StarshipIV. It is for 3D printers and their previous ships can still be gotten through this. But this allows us to print off 4 different designs that would all be fun for Starfinder. A Tiny Shuttle with a variant that would make length into a Small, 2 other Small ships and one variant and a new one that are both Medium size. I am really looking at building the Patrol version of the Beta Scout for the Patrol Craft you dreamt up.


Charles Marshall wrote:

I was going to get to the dropship question, so here it is. The comments made by ITWT's reporters aren't fluff, but accurate descriptions of frames, parts, etc. Dropships are used by militaries to transport vehicles or siege robots, or other big battle machines to a planet's surface. Militaries still use civilian freighters to carry infantry or power armor troops (there is something to be said about cost effectiveness), but civilian freighters are barely able to haul military vehicles and their crews. The Heavy Freighter can barely carry two Huge vehicles, and their crews have to hitch a ride on another transport. That's why I came up with dropships (or maybe I should just call them Military Transports to clear things up).

In order to be anle to carry more stuff, military transports have to be a little bigger than civilian transports (compare, say, the C-5 or C-17 with the 747). And the weapons layouts on military transports are different than those on full-on warships. A frigate or destroyer has to deal with fighters, patrol craft, and other warships, while the military transport mostly deals with any fighters or patrol craft that somehow got through the tramsport's escorts. That's why they don't carry heavy weapons. Actually, I was surprised about how little the destroyer was armed; if I designed the core rulebook frames, the destroyer would have had 2 light weapons or 1 heavy weapon on their port and starboard arcs.

Regardless of "little-armed" the destroyer frame is, it still shouldn't be outgunned by another frame in its size category and the heavy freighter still shouldn't be outhauled by the heavy dropship. In fact why do you think the transport frame is not military? "Transport" as a term does not preclude it from being military, in fact transportation of goods is very necessary to military supply lines. You can even transport a Huge Vehicle and 16 soldiers in one and as stated before the Norikama Dropship is a Vesk military vessel. The Inheritorworks Shieldcraft is also a military vessel, and it's also a Transport frame.

Charles Marshall wrote:
I should have mentioned in Vehicle Bays that they also have ramps that allow vehicles to enter or leave the transport, though.

I can concede this point. Though, did you realize that you can only get Colossal vehicles to the ground in pieces despite the vehicle bays? Because there's only 3 frames that can use the Colossal version... and none of them can land on a planet, nor can any of the ones that can land on planets hold Colossal-sized vehicles

Charles Marshall wrote:

"If they're so good, why weren't they in the core rulebook?" Well, until Empire of Bones, we didn't know supercolssal ships existed, either, but the description of the Eoxian ultranought states that they had them before the Gap. The same is true with these frames.

We just didn't notice them.
And as I mentioned in the reporter's comments, militaries are about the only ones with sufficient vehicles to justify dropships/military transports (unless you're a corporation that makes vehicles that needs to ship them to other worlds).

In my view, the difference is that Supercolossal Frames are giving more to the game by increasing the maximum size and giving more lore. The ones you're proposing don't. There are existing frames, that can do what you want, you just don't believe they can be used. Also, if you're a corporation that ships vehicles, the bulk freighter is available and having multiple trips between planet/space station and starship is not unheard of in fiction. Also, if the problem lies anywhere, it's that expansion bays don't scale with the size of the starship. That alone would solve most problems as Heavy freighters could then hold twice as many vehicles or troops for an in-game military operation. And even then, the Large starship would lose out in capacity to the Ultimatum Hover Carrier (roughly the same size as the largest Large starships or the smallest Huge starships), which can carry 16 Huge vehicles and 10000 passengers while also having 8 starship expansion bays (of specific kinds, but the total is still almost the equivalent of 700 starship expansion bays). But regardless, invalidating another frame by taking its purpose and slamming it together with another frame's purpose is pointless and only engages in unnecessary power creep. That's my view on the matter.


Damnit, I forgot one thing about the heavy dropship's weapons layout. It's also for ground assaults.
Anyway, the dropships were never meant to replace the other transports in the game, but to supplement them. That's all.


And now for Corsair17 again. It might take a while for our team of artists to work on your crew chief's poster of Fleeta (especially since I've got to find a team of artists first), but I can describe Fleeta's looks in case you have some artistic talent.
Picture a 3" tall version of Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island fame at her prime, with pointy ears, bobbed dark hair, and usually in a skin-tight racing space suit. That pretty much sums Fleeta up.
And now unless someone later on has a question about anything mentioned on this thread, I've got to be working on In Thrust We Trust's 319 Pact Worlds Aerospace Expo Special: The Ships, hopefully out sometime next week.

Wayfinders

Thanks! My Crew Chief, Tinker the Gnome is now officially in love.

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