Ship Statistics

Ships in the Forgotten Galaxies are created much like characters, in that the ship is defined by a set of abilities and equipped with a variety of technologies in order to do its job. This section provides all of the guidelines for creating a ship along with some examples of common ships.

Ships are defined by the following traits: Size (which determines its Hull rating and crew requirements), Drive, Sensors, and Weapons. Like a character’s abilities, these traits define the overall capabilities of the ship. Additionally, a ship has various qualities, including additional utilities and systems, which function much like a character’s equipment and may have various flaws as well. The ship traits in detail are as follows.


Size Category
Average Length
Build Points
15 ft
1 (2)
Breaching Pod/Escape Pod
30 ft
1 (2)
Shuttle or Skiff
75 ft
2 (4)
Ship's Boat, Drop Ship
150 ft
4 (16)
300 ft
16 (64)
750 ft
64 (512)
1500 ft
256 (2048)
6000+ ft
1024 (8192)
Generational Colony Ship

The primary trait of a ship is its Size. This is one of eight size categories, ranging from a Tiny rock-hopper to a Colossal battleship or truly Titanic vessel the size of a station. Size determines things like the ship’s Hull score, its needed and average crew complements, and its capacity for certain utilities. Generally, the larger the ship, the more potentially powerful it is, but some larger ships are not equipped for combat whereas some smaller ships are, so Size is not the sole indicator of power. A Colossal freighter can easily be destroyed by a Medium ship with the right armaments.

A ship’s Hull measures its overall structural strength. Hull functions much like a character’s Armor, taking into account that larger ships are not necessarily made of stronger materials, but simply a great deal more of them. Larger ships can also more easily soak up damage that misses any of the ship’s vital systems due to their overall massive size.

Whether it carries passengers or cargo, the responsibility for getting the ship to its destination lies with its crew. The Ship Sizes table lists the minimum crew needed to run a ship of that size at full efficiency, along with an estimate of a more regular crew complement for that size. For each category the ship’s crew drops, apply a -2 modifier to tests involving control or oversight of the ship’s systems. So a crew of 16 trying to run a Colossal battleship would leave the ship at a -4 penalty to crew-overseen tests.

Controlling a ship is so decentralized that various command functions can be passed from one terminal to another, even to a hand terminal connected to the ship’s network when necessary. Still, most ships have a bridge or ops (operations) deck where the crew gathers to oversee its various functions.

Build Points
Build Points (abbreviated as BP) represent the number of additional qualities (systems, weapons, etc) a ship can have. A ship's build points are determined by the ship's size. Ships can gain additional build points through flaws and some Qualities.

Any ship operating between planetary orbits is equipped with a Lyrium Drive, powered by it's alchemical reaction. Even with it's increased output the Lyrium Drive still requires long periods of time to travel between planets in a sector or between sectors. Even Jump drives still take days to travel long distances, and as a result, most medium or larger ships possess facilities for the crew to take regular breaks and attend to their biological needs and recover, which means that ships must have stores of food, water, air, medicine, and other consumables in proportion to the crew and the distance the ship plans to travel. In the smallest of ships everything happens without the crew leaving their seats, but that kind of confinement can lead to mental problems alongside physical ones. Most ships provide galleys, toilets, showers, medical bays, and all the other necessities for shuttling living beings from one place to another.

An Lyrium Drive plume is visible and detectable over a considerable distance, meaning a ship on the burn is fairly easy to track. The plume itself is capable of reducing any matter in it down to its constituent atoms, and firing a drive in close proximity to a station, an asteroid, or another ship can cause considerable damage.

In addition to a Lyrium, ships are equipped with maneuvering thrusters for making adjustments in their orientation and heading and for things like station-keeping, matching the rotation or vector of another ship or station, for example. These thrusters use super-heated steam as propellant, leading to the expression “flying teakettle” from ship crews to refer to thruster-based maneuvers.

Some smaller vessels also have rocket thrusters intended for use in a gravity well, for ships intended to take off from or land on the surface of a planet. The ship uses these thrusters for braking as it comes in for a landing, or to reach orbital escape velocity upon departure. Some small orbital vessels like shuttles are equipped solely with these types of thrusters and lack a Lyrium Drive altogether, making them only useful for relatively short trips to high orbit and back.

All ships come with a Lyrium Drive and Thrusters. Adding a Jump Drive to a ship, regardless of it's size, costs 1 Build Point.

Ships use a variety of information gathering devices, including optical telescopes, radio reception, radar, and ladar (laser based range finding and scanning) to sweep nearby space. The ship’s computer assembles this data into usable information for the crew, fed to their terminals. A ship’s Sensors score measures the overall effectiveness of this equipment, on a range from -2 to 6 or more, from the most minimal and broken-down sensor equipment to state-of-the-art systems found primarily in military ships. A Sensors score above 6 is extraordinary, found only in a one-of-a-kind or cutting-edge vessel.

A ship always has at least passive sensors running, plus a mix of radar and ladar scanning the nearby regions of space, software-defined radio packages running broad spectrum sweeps for communications traffic, and automated optical tracking systems parsing data from the ship’s telescopes. Passive sensors can be set to trigger alerts whenever they return a particular result, or when they detect predefined profiles such as those matching ship classes recorded in the onboard database or a specific ship transponder signal.

When the crew decides something is of particular interest, they can use active sensors, which employ the same equipment but focus the area analyzed and increase the power—also making it easier to detect the ship as it sends out radar and laser emissions. Aboard military vessels, the operations and battle stations are linked by expert systems making up a broad-spectrum intelligence package combing all sets of incoming data in real-time, filtering it, and helping the ship’s crew focus on priority targets.

When sensors detect trouble, a ship’s crew will usually ready whatever weapons systems they have available, using the sensors to target them, but most ships also have defensive countermeasures used to help keep enemies from targeting them. Communications arrays can broadcast cycling bursts of radio static across commonly used frequencies to jam communications, and at close enough range, communications lasers can be used to try and blind enemy targeting optics. Physical chaff can be ejected into space between the ship and enemies, spreading out clutter to interfere with targeting lasers or radar.

See Ship Qualities for more on Sensors.

While most civilian ships are unarmed; private, military, and security craft have a variety of weapons, as do some pirates and similar illegal ships. Like piloting, targeting of a ship’s weaponry is rarely left entirely to computers. Usually, command codes restrict firing any weapons until one or all are set to free fire by the captain or another officer, at which point they can be fired by the ship’s targeting software or crew at one of its command stations. Usually, weapons-fire is a mix of computer and crew, with humans selecting and prioritizing targets from those within range of the ship’s weapons, which are then optimally fired by the computer using data from the ship’s sensors, though manual targeting via gun cameras is possible when necessary.

A properly calibrated weapons targeting system will hit any target within range automatically if all factors (trajectory, speed, and so forth) remain unchanged. In combat, though, enemy ships are constantly maneuvering, using electronic countermeasures, and laying down defensive fire to evade incoming attacks, meaning a hit is less certain.

Information on specific types of weapons available can be found in the Ship Qualities section.

Qualities and Flaws
Ships may have various qualities, including a range of utilities from basic creature comforts to vital medical systems to defensive or powerful offensive weapons systems. Similarly, some ships may have various flaws, from design problems to ongoing systems issues or the like.

You can find more about the aspects in the Ship Qualities and Ship Flaws sections.