Ship Attributes Explained
When you spend as much time with a piece of equipment as a crew does with their spaceship, you get to know her like you would a person—her good points, her moods, her flaws. After a while, it might come to seem to you that she is a person—another member of the crew.
The Agility Attribute represents a ship’s reaction speed and maneuverability. Agility—not Speed Class—determines movement in combat. An Agility of 0 is used for an orbiting base or space station that has only minimal attitude control thrusters. An average Agility for ships required to make more than the most basic maneuvers is d6—anything higher is certainly a plus in a difficult situation.
The Strength Attribute represents the size of a ship and her resistance to damage. Strength usually equates to tonnage, but can vary.
The Vitality Attribute represents the a ship’s repair and maintenance status. Vitality may be temporarily reduced to 0, but only as a result of neglecting routine maintenance.
The Alertness Attribute represents the range and resolution of a ship’s sensors and communications equipment. Civilian vessels tend to skimp on electronics, installing only the bare minimum. Military ships tend to the opposite extreme.
Virtually all ships have some type of autopilot—smart enough to follow simple course instructions,and keep the ship from crashing during routine operations. The Intelligence Attribute represents the expert systems available in a ship’s control, navigation, and guidance suite. Intelligence is also used to determine how easy it is to spoof her. No ship in the ‘Verse is really “intelligent,” though, in the sense of being self-aware. An Intelligence of 0 indicates manual controls with no autonomous capability at all.
The Willpower Attribute represents the redundancy and safety margins built into a ship’s design. This is the measurement of the ship’s ability to operate despite damage, the ability to bypass malfunctioning systems and jury-rig temporary substitutes, and a measure of how far a ship can be pushed beyond her design limits.
All the traits are described in detail on pages 109 to 112
Skills for ships (and other vehicles) represent the programs and relational databases executed by the controlling computer and its expert systems. Ordinarily, these systems lack the creativity and flexibility to go beyond the general into specializations; their Skills are limited to d6 unless the GM grants an exception.
Unlike more integrated systems, weapons and armor for ships can be purchased and installed, usually at the expense of cargo capacity. Other gear, particularly auxiliary craft (shuttles, hovercraft, etc.) can also be installed on the same basis.