Ship Design Rules

Step 1, determine purpose (freighter, dropship, battlecruiser, etc)
Step 2, determine tonnage and budget if any.
Step 3, Base speed or speed class. Calulate tonnage of ship's drives, controls etc by (5 times Speed Class) +20% times (total tonnage). So a speed class 4 ship uses 40% of its mass on ship components (4x5 =20, 20+20% is 40% or .4 times the total tonnage). A 2000 ton ship with speed class 4 uses 800 tons (.4 times 2000). Hard burn is Speed class plus 2 (SC4 is Hard burn 6).
Step 4, Fuel tanks. Basic tonnage is 10% of the total tonnage which gives 2400 thrust hours. Divide by Speed Class for basic duration (2400 thrust hours divided by SC4 gives 600 hours range). You may add extra or or reduce fuel tonnage if you like. So 240 thrust hours per 1% of total tonnage. This is the tonnage for the fuel tanks, insulation, piping, etc. Actual fuel volume is 1/5 of the fuel tank tonnage (200 tons of tank tonnage is only 40 tons of fuel)
Step 5, determine ship stats, Strength, Agility, etc. Pages 106-107 in Basic book. Total for initial Complexity.
Step 6, choose Assets and Complications, pages 109-111 in Basic book, plus others. Minor assets add 2 points of complexity, Major add 4. Complications subtract points, again -2 for Minor, -4 for Major. Total complexity for Final Complexity and compare to chart on page 112 of the Basic book.
Step 7, calculate crew needs using the formula on page 112 of Six Shooter and Spaceships. ((Tonnage divided by 200) divided by ship's Intelligence) times Complexity modifier from Complexity chart, round up decimals. This gives working crew for a ship. It does not include medics, stewards, gunners or troops. One steward (minimum) per 8 luxury/first class passengers. Regular or "steerage" passengers do not require stewards, but a steward may increase passenger revenues. One medic is required if the ship carries luxury passengers and is recommended for regular passengers. Troops are as desired, passenger liners may have troops as security officers. Gunners are not required for each weapon, but more in the case of how many attacks you want to make. Like weapons can be grouped into batteries to fire at the same target. A ship with 4 rail gun turrets and 4 missile launchers could have only one gunner to as many as eight.
Step 8, Accomadations. Determine amount of space/life support per crew member and passenger. Usually 8 tons per crew/regular passenger, 16 tons minimum for first class and 4 tons for steerage or prisoners. Passenger ships may devote extra tonnage to lounges, casinos, etc.
Step 9, Gear and weapons. Add weapons and ammunition, armor, grapples, shuttles, etc. Weapons are discussed separately. Armor is on page 113 of the Basic book. Ships carrying luxury passengers and most military ships also have lifeboats, etc, at a capacity of total crew and passengers plus 20-50%. Ships under 1000 tons might not and ships under 100 tons almost never (You don't put lifepods in a shuttle, it is a lifeboat). Lifeboats/pods are 1 ton and $100 per person. Military ships may have one person pods or larger lifeboats, passenger ships will usually have larger lifeboats of maybe 10 people per. Crewmen may have an assigned position in passenger lifeboats to serve as pilot.
Step 10, Cargo. Whatever tonnage is left over.
Step 11, Cost. A ship costs 10 credits per ton times Speed Class times complexity modifier plus gear. So a 2,000 ton, speed class 4 ship with a High Complexity (1.6) has a base cost of 128,000 credits. That includes drives, quarters, fuel tanks, airlocks, cargo doors, sensors, etc. It does not include guns, ammo, shuttles, lifeboats.
Step 12, Annual maintenance. Cost per year is 2 credits per ton times the complexity modifier. This may be modified by certain assets and complications. Calculate maintenance costs of carried craft like shuttles and fighters, but not lifepods, separately and add them.

Short Range shuttles without pulse drives use the same design rules but the basic component tonnage percentage is (5 times speed class) + 10% and cost is 7.5 credits per ton times Speed Class and Complexity. Short range shuttles and most military small craft (fighters, drop ships) do not have pulse drives. Long range shuttles like the Zheng Ou class are designed as ships. Maintenance is still 2cr/ton times complexity modifier. You may have short term airliner style passenger seating at 4 passengers per ton.

New Assets & Complications

Some of these are mine or adapted by me from Big Damn Heroes, some from Six Shooters & Spaceships, the rest are from an online article; “Sailing the Black”

New Assets
Nimble (m): Pick space or atmo, the ship as a two step bonus to Agility in that environment. Cannot be retrofitted (6S&SS).

Overgunned (m) Ship’s strength is treated as one step higher for purposes of the number of energy weapons it can mount. Major dockyard job (6S&SS).

Fast Thruster (m/M): The ship has oversized reaction thrusters. In normal flight, the base Speed Class is one point higher for minor, two points higher for major. Fuel consumption is increased. Pulse drive speeds and fuel use are unchanged. (JGM)

Ain’t got Time to Bleed (M) Ship only has a one step penalty to actions after it takes more than half its Life Points in damage. Cannot be retrofitted. (BDH)

Nautical (m): Thanks to light-weight materials, plenty of internal atmosphere, and just a touch of screening the ship can float. It can make a water landing or, with only negligible power expenditure, it can stay afloat on water or liquids of greater density. Additionally (while burning fuel at the normal rate) it can fully submerge up to 50', moving at up to 20 miles per hour underwater. Cannot be retrofitted, but empty cargo ships will generally float naturally. But perhaps not well…(StB)

Submersible (M): an improvement on Nautical (m), the ship can function better under water (6S&SS)

Heavy Lifter (m/M): The boat is equipped with heavy duty gravity fields and a more rugged design to allow the transportation of dense cargos that can't be hauled by lesser boats. Instead of the normal lift of 1 ton of mass per tonnage of cargo, the boat may haul 5 tons (although the volume limit still applies normally). As a major asset, the boat may haul 20 tons. Cannot be retrofitted. (StB)

Covert (m/M): The boat has a reduced radiation emission and signal reflection, has been stripped of transponders and registration numbers, and has a plethora of active jammers, enabling it to avoid detection or analysis by other vessels. All attempts to detect or scan the ship receive a -2 step penalty; as a major asset, the penalty increases to -4 steps. Any vessels outside the Alliance military found to have such modifications are likely to be impounded, and their captains or owners bound by law. (StB)

Newfangled (m/M): The ship is a modern design incorporating newtech innovations, with fancy miniaturized gadgetry everywhere. The ship's subsystems take up 5% less space, but the contraptions are complicated to repair, imparting a -2 step penalty to maintenance rolls. As a major asset, the boat is truly high fallutin', most likely a prototype of a new model. Subsystems take up 10% less space, but the maintenance penalty rises to -4 steps. Cannot be retrofitted as a whole, but individually retrofitted systems might have advantages like this. (StB)

Smuggler's Hold (m): By chance or design, the boat's labyrinthine subsystems include countless inconspicuous hiding places to secret away cargo (or crew). Items totaling up to 1% of the boat's tonnage may be stashed (counting towards the total cargo capacity) and any attempt to search the boat for such objects suffers a -2 step penalty. I don’t know about retrofitting it, but smaller compartments are possible. (StB)

Another Mouth to Feed (m/M): Ship is meant to carry lots of people, with extra life support, etc. Minor for a passenger ship, major for a troop transport. (JGM)

New Complications
Born to the Black (M): The ship may not enter atmo (6S&SS).

Poor Flier (m): Pick vacuum or atmo. In that environment, the ship is not as nimble and suffers a -2 step penalty to Agility. (6S&SS)

Jury-Rigged System (m): Some minor system was jury-rigged in the past, instead of proper repairs being made. Now, the system shorts out occasionally. This complication may be taken more than once to represent multiple systems. Once per session, the GM can request the ship make a Hard Resistance roll (Vitality+Vitality). If the roll fails, the system must be rerigged. A botch means it cannot be jury-rigged again. (6S&SS, modified) This is a good Complication for a not fully repaired ship.

Slow Thruster (m/M): the ship has undersized reaction thrusters. In normal flight, the base Speed Class is one point lower for minor, two points lower for major. Fuel consumption is decreased. Pulse drive speeds and fuel use are unchanged. (JGM)

Undergunned (m) Ship’s strength die is treated as one step lower for purposes of the number of energy weapons it can mount. Cannot be retrofitted, but could occur from battle damage (JGM).

Glass Jaw (m/M): The ship has structural problems making it vulnerable to damage. Subtract two Life Points for minor, four for major. (BDH)

Blood in the Water (m/M): Because of unrepaired damage, age or poor design, the ship is noisy as hell. It can be detected one and a half times further away than normal and the ship has a totally unique sensor signature that cannot be disguised. If a major Complication, the ship can be detected twice as far and is visually obvious as well: engine flares, smoke trails in atmo, etc. Common for Reaver ships. This should not be used in conjunction with Newfangled unless it is a result of battle damage (JGM).

Shaky Flier (m): Whether due to asymmetrical form, interference with the screening field, or simply lots of loose bolts, this ship rather misbehaves when maneuvering in atmosphere; in such situations, it suffers a -2 penalty to agility rolls. This cannot be taken in conjunction with Born to the Black or Nimble (Atmo). Common for Reaver ships. Duplicates Poor Flier: Atmo. In theory, they could both be taken. (StB)

Malfunctioning (m): Due to poor design or inept renovations, several subsystems interfere with one another. Once per session, at the GM's discretion, there is a temporary malfunction aboard the ship resulting in loss of gravity (or too much, or in an improper direction), sudden lack of power, false alarms, lockdowns, sudden bursts of hard burn, septic spills or other nuisances. The problem can be repaired with an average Intelligence/Maintenance roll and about five minutes worth of work. This is a good Complication for a not fully repaired ship. (StB)

Sensitive Controls (m): Overly sensitive controls make this ship a deathtrap in the hands of a careless pilot. Any failed roll is treated as a botch, unless the pilot or captain expends a plot point to prevent it. (StB)

Nuthin' Fancy (m/M): The boat is based on older technology, or simple, robust parts. The subsystems take up 5% more tonnage than normal, but the simplicity and ruggedness grant a +2 step bonus to maintenance rolls. As a major complication, the boat is truly an antique: the subsytems take up 10% more space, but grant a +4 step bonus to maintenance rolls. Cannot be retrofitted as a whole, but individually retrofitted systems might have issues like this. (StB)

Memories of Blood (M): Some great horror occurred aboard the ship: murders, slave trading, a Reaver attack, or some such. The boat has never shaken off those memories, and has become an unsettling place. Nightmares haunt the night, discord the day. The boat has also gained a thirst for vengeance. All attack actions aboard the ship are at +2 steps (whether aimed at crew or foe), and all social actions are at -2 steps. Characters with the Reader, Nose for Trouble or Superstitious will quickly realize the nature of the vessel. Cannot be bought as a retrofit, but could occur in play. (StB)