WC RPG Ship Design

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
No, this isn't a thread where you bring out the stats for your Impenetrable-class Superultramegaargonought with 12,000 AMGS and 300,000cm shields. I'm actually curious as to how players of space combat RPGs go about translating the stats into something gameworthy (think along the lines of Star Fleet Battles, Battlespace and Battlefleet Gothic).

I know there was one project where the Confederation-class Dreadnaught was converted into a Babylon 5 Wars ship, and there's the Starmada conversion making the news. Has anyone else tried to come up with a set of principles for converting WC ships to any given pen-and-paper format?


Holy Jesus,

I've tried this many a time. Not too hard to do if you come up with your own game mechanic. It starts the lose it's ability to hold water when you start trying to use existing mechanics.

I personally have tried a Robotech-type system, a Shadowrun-based system, and my own, homebrew system (a sort of hybrid of the two). That seemed to work alright, but I ended up having to design a whole different mechanic to simulate dogfighting, missiles, and gunnery from scratch.

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor

Perhaps I phrased that wrong. I'm not looking for an entire combat paradigm - just a ship design ethos, akin to the Battletech one (with proper limits on tonnage, engines, etc.). Basically something to limit wild fanon mastubatory dreams, and give aspring ship designers something realistic to adhere to.

In the real world, of course, all these factors exist, (protection-maneuverability-firepower-mass-cost)but in scifi it's pretty muddled, and the idea here is to reintroduce the concept of compromise.


For my Starmada conversion, I worked out appropriate statistics for each of the major weapon types - torpedo tubes, laser turrets, anti-matter cannons, neutron turrets (see Tarawa, in End Run), etc. Then I gave each ship the weapons it's supposed to have and set the hull points to whatever seemed appropriate based on the size of the ship and how big it had to be to carry all that equipment. Fighter compliments are basically one squadron for every 10-12 fighters the ship can carry by WC canon. In some cases a broke from canon. For example, I equipped most of the cruisers and destroyers with torpedo tubes whether they had them or not in-game. Also, a lot of ships have laser turrets that aren't listed in-game - I used the stats on the Fleet Tactics website. Finally, I gave the Bengal class some neutron turrets because, as a strike carrier, I felt it should be able to mix it up with the capital ships.

No, that's not exactly what happened. It was more that I had been working from someone else's B5wars conversion to get weapon information, and in that document the Bengals had neutron turrets. I modelled said turrets onto my Bengal, and then reallized they shouldn't be there. Well, the model looked damn cool and I didn't want to change it, and the turrets did fit the strike carrier's role, so I left them on. If I build more Bengals though, I'll most likely leave off the neutron turrets and add torpedoes as per the Fleet Tactics website.

I can explain how I handled things like engines, phase shields, etc, but I don't think that would make much sense unless you've read the Starmada rules. I'd be happy to send you my datasheets if you want.

So basically, the key to transfering WC ships into a tabletop or RPG system is to assign characteristics to the major components of the ships and be consistent in your representation of those components in all of the ships you make.


Aviation Junkie
I worked something out using the Star Wars d20 ship building rules. Let me find my uberdeathmeagultradeluxekilrathikillingorgasmship. Just kidding about the ship. I try to make them as close a possible to the game.