Eos Heavy Interstellar Merchantman (SM+11, TL11^)

In this post I’ll continue building up my arsenal of victim ships for my space pirate campaign by adding what we might call a “totally standard” victim freighter. It’s the baseline freighter. As always I’m using the GURPS Spaceships rules.

I need to do this because in Traveller the Type R “Fat Trader” is about equivalent to a GURPS Spaceships SM+9 craft, but I need larger ships in this campaign, so I have to specify what a larger typical subsidized trader looks like in my universe. This one is SM+11. I’ve decided to create unarmed freighters for the beginning of the campaign to reinforce the idea that piracy is unknown at the start.

I’ve started using Eric B. Smith’s amazing Microsoft Excel GURPS Spaceships Spreadsheet so I have attached the PDF output rather than putting the ship stats inline in this post.

Eos Heavy Interstellar Merchantman

In Greek myth, Eos is the goddess of the dawn, the one who travels high above the earth. This standard design of the Eos freighter is subsidized and can be found plying the stars between the densely-packed Jump-1 routes with enough capacity to support a trade in larger bulk freight. The Eos is a slow frieghter, but it is streamlined to allow it to serve downport destinations and even large construction sites on a planet’s surface directly from orbit.

Structurally, the Eos is nothing more than a long 20,000 ton cargo hold — this compartment runs the length of the ship. An engineering deck below the hold contains subspace engines and a fusion reactor aft and a stardrive midships, and a hangar bay forward. Above the hold, a modest bulge in the ship’s dorsal surface contains seventeen staterooms, the ship’s office, and an automated sickbay. The Eos is often supported by the common Alpha Shuttlecraft as ship’s boat. Additional stowage in habitat modules and the hangar bay count toward the total cargo capacity.

As this ship can only ply well-traveled routes, there is no facility for repair and little provision for independent survivability in case of accident: when in trouble, the Eos simply calls for help. It is too slow to outrun any threat.

The typical Eos contains 17 crew, double-bunked except for the captain. It also carries 8-16 passengers (depending on whether staterooms are chartered single or double occupancy). The Eos is a very uncomfortable ship to travel in, with the bare minimum of facilities for passengers it charges discount rates. (A passenger receives a bare stateroom and nothing else.) The very slow 2G maneuver drive means hours will be spent slowly transiting each system to and from the jump point.

Crew Complement

  • Captain
  • Executive Officer
  • Pilot/Navigator
  • Co-Pilot/Co-Navigator
  • 3 x Bridge Officer (Communications and Sensors — may be cross-trained or separated)
  • Cargo Master
  • Purser (passenger care, optional)
  • Chief Engineer
  • 7 x Engineering Technicians

Three bridge officers are specified in order to provide enough crew to stand a 24-hour watch.

Notable Variations

In hostile sectors the Eos can be easily retrofitted to include a weapons battery and/or force screens. Some models also include escape pods, while others use the shuttlecraft for this purpose.

Note that in this PDF output, the “other” crew role should be engineering technicians. I haven’t figured out how to make the spreadsheet specify that.

(Image coda: I imagine this ship as resembling this concept art from the defunct ZAON RPG designers.)

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