I found it (them)!
The Boudicca class 400ton frontier trader or the 700 ton Empress Deschellei class Express Liner from this post by lucasdigital.
They are "dungeon-y" enough to be interesting to explore (and the three decks are perfect) but not too big to be unrealistic to be owned by a private and not a company (because plot).
I prefer the 700dton ship because it's a little bigger and "dungeon-y", but that would require a little tweaking to replace one of the boats by more cargo hold.
I'll have to decide which one I'll use!
Regarding the suggestions about the ships in the various books, they seem all interesting, but for me buying supplements is not an option right now. Thank you anyway, I'll keep an eye on them!
Might I suggest that, rather than Aliens, you use the early Replicator episodes of Stargate as a reference? Aside from the fact that the replicators are mechanical, they would seem to fit better as a smaller 'horde-type' alien threat?
Thanks, I'll take a look at that if I'll find myself with enough free time! :?
Assuming it is a cube, a 1000 ton ship is roughly 24 meters (80 feet) long on each side. Roughly 4 side by side would be the length of an American football field. If you limit it to about 10 meters tall (roughly 3 decks), its roughly 37 meters (122 feet) long and wide. Making it 2 decks (roughly 6 meters) would put it at 47.5 meters (156 feet) wide and long, or about half an American football field in length.
Traveller ships are small, at least compared to ships from other sci-fi settings.
An interesting use for this kind of creatures. Maybe some mad scientist bio-engineered them and started selling batches of eggs to the black market with this purpose. Of course after some time things will "go rimward"!
It's not the case for this mission, there's a different plot behind and these roaches are the "natural" variety, but since I decided to use these creatures as a recurrent "monster" encounter in this campaign I will keep this idea in mind. :twisted:
Once all the food is gone, they simply flip over and pretty much go into hibernation until they die
How about rethinking the antagonist. It can't be an insect, must be radically alien.
It doesn't matter how tough a bug is it has to breathe. Pump out air wait several hours, infestation ends. Or reduce oxygen for same effect.
Bugs need to breath, they breath through holes in side called spiracles. The reason you don't see 20 foot bugs outside is because spiracled life forms have no lungs and their oxygen requirements are immense. If you place dragon flies in a sealed oxygen tank room they'll happily grow to pre-dinosaur day immensity. Remove from such they die.
Evacuating the ship would or could be the final solution, if the players think of it. In the meantime, players should be plagued by the unknown assailant learning more as they face the menace. Remember that much of the adventure can be discovery of the bugs' previous activities creating mysteries to be answered and horror to be experienced. The critters are introduced later in the adventure and now the players need find an solution which could be blow the air.
Hi tension horror like Aliens is hard to get right in a game... From personal experience it's one of the trickier scenarios to pull off. But when you get it right boy oh boy is it fun.
The use of many small critters hiding in the crawlspaces and hidden recesses of the ship is a good approach, one or two large critters can be gunned down by the resident Marine in combat armor with an ACR handy.
For a plausible origin of the critters the engineered life form is always good..However if you really want them nervous..perhaps it's something left over from a dead world, or genocidal war in pre-history.
The freighter/liner transporting samples from an archaeological dig, or being used to smuggle contraband artifacts. A bio-weapon, or area denial weapon ( booby trap/landmine)left behind by a race to ensure that no one settled worlds they were using as a sort of buffer between themselves and their enemy.
if you really want them to be a pain to deal with....Think about using a living polymer, or a combination of polymers and silicon based micro-organisms.