[Shipbuilding] Crew capacity and cargo hold size


General Discussion


So I had a nifty idea of building a small ship for kicks, and for use for an NPC team that I'm going to have coming and going in a story; aiding the PCs, feeding them info, etc (not to mention just for the sake of designing a ship). I'm trying to design the ship for both form, and function, and I'm getting a bit confused by the templates, ship examples, and the lack of definition in certain fields.

I'm trying to design a dropship smaller than the Vesk Norikama (medium transport) vessel given in the ship examples, then have the characters refit it for their own purposes). My design uses the small shuttle template and is based around a smaller troop transport or dropship that has been refit to haul a small bit of cargo (like for smuggling/ transporting artifacts, etc for Starfinders.) Shuttle template has 3 bays, so one as crew, 2 as cargo)

My questions are: when you have an expansion bay, what's the general size (like, in square feet) of the bay?

How many people could you fit in a bay in a troop transport (like Starship troopers dropship style) in an expansion bay? (I'm assuming 16, going by the Passenger Seating expansion descriptor, and assuming that regardless of harness or w/e system used, they'll take up about the same space).

Would this mean that using a small shuttle template, I would basically have approx. 3 4x4 squares (each square being 5') of space to work with when I draw it on graphing paper? (Not counting cockpit, engines, etc)

I'm finding this a bit confusing, because the book uses the Ringworks Wanderer as a fighter/small shuttle, and it certainly doesn't look like it has 1 expansion bay, let alone 3.

I'm starting to get a basic shape that I like, and I'm currently working on an amalgam/rework along the lines of that ship from the cover of Mel Odom's Master Sergeant (the artist of which I can't find the name for), and something I found online called the Hound Class Transport


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I tend to have the mental image of a "typical" cargo hold/expansion bay being roughly the size of a real world shipping container, or slightly bigger. So, 16 fully armored marines with gear and spartan seating seems appropriate for a combat drop. Note that I have a hard time seeing this being comfortable enough for long term transit. If the intent is for the marines to actually live on said ship, they'll need more space.


The cargo holds looked pretty big. If you check out the various deckplans from the AP they usually do one per book the cargo holds look like if you wanted to set up some bunks you could fit a good number of folks in them. The big question would be can your environmental systems/recycling handle the extra folks.


I have a third party book that offers many bay options, as well as already designed dropships, called Starships, Stations and Salvage Guide by Edward Moyer, published by Gamer Printshop (and is available at the Paizo Store).

We designed cargo bays to vary with the size of the ship - from small as a 10 x 10 x 10 space, medium 20 x 20 x 20 space, large 40 x 40 x 40 space, huge as a 80 x 80 x 80 ft space, etc. However, you don't have to have a 40' tall space on a large ship, you can displace the cargo area to be 20' x 40' x 80' on a large ship, just the volume of space is defined per scale of ship.

Of course it is not official, rather third party content.


kaid wrote:
The cargo holds looked pretty big. If you check out the various deckplans from the AP they usually do one per book the cargo holds look like if you wanted to set up some bunks you could fit a good number of folks in them. The big question would be can your environmental systems/recycling handle the extra folks.

My ruling, at least, is that you need to really abuse the privilege in order to actually run into trouble with life support systems. They have enough technomagical margin to support a lot more people than just the standard crew.

The real limiting factor, IMO, is not air but morale. Stick enough extra people on a ship without proper facilities, and yeah, everyone can still breath and drink and eat. However, everything gets a lot more unpleasant, with worse smelling air, less hot or cold water, more demand on the bathrooms, and food replicators reduced to the poorest quality of rations. Before you run into issue of adequate air, you run into "everyone is so miserable that you get a riot or a mutiny" issues. So, if you want to cram an extra hundred refugees on a S-sized shuttle, well, it better only be for a couple hours, tops.


Metaphysician wrote:
kaid wrote:
The cargo holds looked pretty big. If you check out the various deckplans from the AP they usually do one per book the cargo holds look like if you wanted to set up some bunks you could fit a good number of folks in them. The big question would be can your environmental systems/recycling handle the extra folks.

My ruling, at least, is that you need to really abuse the privilege in order to actually run into trouble with life support systems. They have enough technomagical margin to support a lot more people than just the standard crew.

The real limiting factor, IMO, is not air but morale. Stick enough extra people on a ship without proper facilities, and yeah, everyone can still breath and drink and eat. However, everything gets a lot more unpleasant, with worse smelling air, less hot or cold water, more demand on the bathrooms, and food replicators reduced to the poorest quality of rations. Before you run into issue of adequate air, you run into "everyone is so miserable that you get a riot or a mutiny" issues. So, if you want to cram an extra hundred refugees on a S-sized shuttle, well, it better only be for a couple hours, tops.

I would agree. If you are going on the shortest duration flight say back to absalom station you could probably pack people in cheek to tentacle and likely get everybody back safe if not comfortable. For any longer journey though lack of sanitation and lack of space is going to make everybody stabby with each other possibly even literally stabby.


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Had the same problem with the cargo module and changed it so that the cargo/cabins increase by ship size:

small - 25t or 5 cabins
medium - 250 t or 10 cabins
large - 2.000 t or 100 cabins
Huge - 10.000t or 300 cabins
Gargantuan - 50.000t or 1000 cabins
Colossal - 100.000t or 2000 cabins

For the cabin size I normally take the one-person cabins from StarTrek Enterprise (NX-01 - DeviantArt Link or url=https://www.deviantart.com/bobye2/art/Enterprise-NX-01-Enlisted-Personn el-Quarters-490978514] DeviantArt Link2[/url]
).

So if cramped together you can have 2-4 persons in one cabin.

P.S.: This artists ship interior drawings are really a nice insperation regarding size and room on a space ship. :)


Woo. Thanks for the input guys. I'm gonna keep fiddling with this.

Speaking of the AP ships, I've been using some of the ones from Dead Suns (especially the Sunrise Maiden) as a template for approximate size for stuff., and comparing with other ships in that adventure.

I drew it out on grid paper first, but also started playing around with literal cut and paste of the rooms. It's still a WIP, and I keep changing it every time I turn around, but I'll try to link/post it here. Sometimes I think I made it too big for want I want (I want it to be a smallish, but not tiny), and sometimes I think I'm over complicating things by focusing so much on the 'original use' that is basically a backstory in it's design (I thought hey, maybe people would want the original design too) instead of just making the design I want to use it for.

Deck plans1.

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