Starship Construction

Non that I have heard of either.

Although the upcoming ships of the galaxy book would be the most likely place for these rules, I have not heard of any intent to put any in.

Frankly I am not really sure about construction rules. After all, this is a RPG, not a wargame. If the GM wants an completely new vessel to appear, he can make up any stats he likes, orienting himself on the existing ships.
And player characters won't be in any position to construct a ship in any case.

Now... modification rules... that'd be a good thing. Players can after all get a small ship during play, and some may want to tinker with it (or have some NPC's tinker with it). After all, who wouldn't want extra armor & pop-up guns like James Bond and enhanced engines & smuggling compartments like Han Solo on his Skylark light freighter...
(Attention Mongoose people - supplement hint! :wink: )
I'd really hope the guys at mongoose will one day make a supplement like that...
- first several pages showcasing the most common shuttles & light freighters in the B5 universe, complete with stats (both game stats and fluff stats like dimensions, in-service date, etc.) deck plan (like for the "Lightbringer" in S&P-15; easy for ships that size) and some class history (who built it when, what are the things a spaceship-knowing player would know about it, etc.), say 30 or so ships with two pages each;
- then a part containing rules for player modifications and BG for places where players can buy parts or get NPC's to modify their ship;
- and then a part with info on some modified ships and crew floating around the galaxy (think "Rise of the Lightbringer" article in S&P-15 again), from shady smugglers to badass raiders, from secret agents to bounty hunters, all ready for the GM to pop into his campaign!

And then maybe CtA miniatures for all of them... small little shuttle minis and similary sized small freighters... (see the Minbari Flyer)
It would be great if they could make a supplement book that contains rules for modifications, I'm so with you guys on this. That's a book I would buy right away.

I'm not much for miniature rules, but I wouldn't cry if it contained info about that too, as long as I had a book with rules that let me spend x amount of credits and get that upgraded engine or whatever :)

Please Mongoose, hear our plea, wave your wand, and get someone to do such a supplement :)
If it does happen, I'd like the author to bear in mind that upgrading an engine (for example) isnt just a case of finding the cost for the upgraded engine, but that it has to a) fit the structure, and b) large parts of the rest of the ship may well need redesigning to work with it (power consumption may change, providing a knock-on effect to other systems - Victory Class with its primary weapons systems limitation comes to mind). So I'd like to see some theory in here as opposed to just a few stat blocks and costs for "throwing them" at an existing spaceframe.

And thats just for modifying existing vessels... designing one from scratch should require engine specialists, spaceframe designer, and other team members just to get it right on paper before actual production starts, and even then its not just a matter of grabbing parts off the shelf as some may well need to be produced from scratch, involving tooling up a machine shop of some kind just to produce all those custom components that can't be bought retail.

There's certainly enough material here to warrant an entire book rather than just a few pages of stat blocks...
If it does happen, I'd like the author to bear in mind that upgrading an engine (for example) isnt just a case of finding the cost for the upgraded engine... -snip-
Yes. It's a case of finding out which engine the ship already has (so that one can estimate how much improvement is actually possible by upgrading/replacing the engines), and then look what can be done with the available space & power... as you stated, one can't just "tack on" a few extra thrusters (well, actually one can, but even that is not as easy as it may sound - in case of extra thrusters you'll still need structural calculations to make sure they won't just rip off when you fire them, and that their thrust won't unbalance the ship, or change it's maneuvering stats, etc.)
It gets worse if you want more then just upgrading an existing system - like when the players want a concealable gun on their shuttle. Structural calculations to determine where you can install the hidden weapon port, space needed for the weapon itself, capacitors/ammo storage, targeting computers, pop-up hydraulics... maybe a completely new (military-grade) sensor suite...
And then, when you know all that's technically possible, it's a case of how well will your mechanic do his work, and (especially when the ship already has some history) how many unexpected problems will pop up.
Of course, in game terms is has to be a little bit simpler.
I would expect 'generic' modifications with a "need" list (and some info on how to get all that - sure, things do fall off the back of space freighters too, but you won't be able to buy then at factory prices or in perfect condition from your local fixer - I see some rolls coming up...) and a "mechanics difficulty" (several rolls for bigger modifications - and an "NPC mechanic skill & hire cost" table for those players who are not up to screw around with all that tech stuff on their own - hey, nice pun... :p ); and info on starships - how easy or difficult they are to modify (modular constructiuon or not, lots of empty space or not, standard design or not, etc.). And then a table for "almost perfect" modifications (unless your mechanic rolls Really well, and your parts are in really good condition, your ship ought to pick up some quirks - from harmless stuff like "need to hit the console to power up the engines" or "makes buzzing noises when in use" over annoying things like "may stop working until repaired on 15+ every time it's activated" or "needs one hour cooldown after each 10 sec. of use" or "cannot be used together with system X due to power consumption" to nasty stuff like "system blows up on 10+ when used" or "melt ships main power lines on 10+ every time it's activated"... Remember the "Millenium Falcon"? If not, now'd be a good time to rewatch Star Wars Ep. IV and V)

And thats just for modifying existing vessels... designing one from scratch... -snip-
Would be pretty much impossible for the average PC. Too much specialized knowledge needed. And too much cash for experiments and prototypes. Look at how difficult, expensive and time consuming it is to design a modern fighter aircraft... or space shuttle. Now double or triple that for even a small spacecraft... waaay out of the league your usual players operate in.

There's certainly enough material here to warrant an entire book rather than just a few pages of stat blocks...
Theoretically - yes. Practically it will of course come down to a balance between realism and playability... but I thin my initial estimation of the supplement space allocation woudn't be far from the mark...
frobisher said:
zwerg said:
Despair said:
Are there rules for starship construction anywhere?

Other than the bit in "Eathforce Fact Book"?

That's just timescales, not construction rules.

Ah, but the poster asked if there were any rules, and there is a bit there (timetable). As for building new/unique starships, etc, the answer is "no".