The Fast Reach

Space is big. Even at high warp, it takes a while to cross the space of one of the major civilizations, and their spheres of influence are largely determined by the spread of culture and resources at moderate warp. However, space is "thinned" in an area near the rim, allowing faster travel. Thus, the civilizations that really matter are those with access to the Reach. Unfortunately, the Reach itself is sparse of stars, making it difficult — and less useful — to maintain interstellar civilization there.

The most common hypothesis for the formation of the Fast Reach relates to the area of "crystallized space" surrounding Chomaris: that the Chomaris system was the site of the last major battle between the Aikori and Kerlorn, and some final weapon used there is what destroyed Subspace.

Precursors

Clear signs of habitation along the Fast Reach involve several precursor societies, the oldest vastly predating the current crop of galactic civilizations. However, “precursor” doesn’t necessarily mean “superior”. Archaeology has discovered that the Reach was initially plotted out, and the first permanent bases placed, by civilizations with somewhat lower technology than current standards.

Chantaur

The earliest visitors to the Fast Reach were the Chantaur, who were present in the region from 18 to 15 gigacycles ago. They laid down the Old Foothold stations that form vital links along the Fast Reach, and left traces of occupation on many of the Fast Reach worlds. While any such traces have been wiped from areas thicker with stars, Chantaur sites suggest they came here because the sparseness afforded them a safe refuge from some enemy. Their society was built by a single species — most Chantaur were chantaur.

The archeological evidence suggests the Chantaur were comfortable with a relatively low standard of living, with little in the way of networks, shelter, clothing, and what might be called consumer goods. Even so, they also performed much of the terraforming that has made some Reach worlds inhabitable. This suggests some of their technology was paradoxically high, and may indicate a bioengineered origin.

Aikori

Traders rather than warriors, the Aikori spread far and wide, the first interstellar people in many areas. They were xenophilic and diverse in species, but renashti and tarkona were notable among them. While they rose to prominence in other areas barely a gigacycle after the Chantaur disappeared, the vast Aikori network only trickled into the Fast Reach — until the Aikori Late Period, when a militant faction gained some traction, and fortified the Reach and the Sparse Rim with a sort of interstellar point-defense system.

Roughly 6 gigacycles ago, their society was torn apart by the "destruction" of "Subspace", the medium of their long-range communications. Of the sections created by this split, the only one to leave any impact on the archeological record is the precursor people known today as "the" Precursors.

Today, Aikori sites are a major source of funding for archeology; we haven't yet caught up with their artifacts. Some are kept for scientific research, some sold for technological research, and some actually restored and sold for use.

Kerlorn

Little is known about the Kerlorn; the computer units their technology was built around were considered so inimical by the Aikori that they thoroughly eliminated every last one. With a precious few exceptions, every indication we have that the Kerlorn even existed is recovered from Aikori sites. While the Aikori collected diversity through trade, they spoke of the Kerlorn collecting diversity by conquest, and of their techniques somehow being superior.

A recent discovery, at an Aikori ruin that was destroyed in the middle of a Kerlorn invasion, has raised more questions than it answers: the Kerlorn thought of warp not as a change, or as a speed, but as a place. They ran conduits "through warp", and if they lost power while "in warp", instead of the warp flattening back to normal their ships would coast freely down the conduit — at warp speeds.

"The" Precursors

A successor state from the collapse of the Aikori, "the" Precursors started from a group — predominately renashti — that had been experimenting with an alternate communication technology that could interface directly with the renashti mind. This alternate communication technique survived the "destruction" of "Subspace", and "the" Precursors held together a civilization for over two hundred megacycles. Haphazard deep mental interaction, combined with communication delays, led to dissonance as thoughts spread through the network; the renashti responded to this with increasing hidebound attitudes. The non-renashti eventually rebelled, the rapid change needed to crush them fragmented the network, and eventually their civilization collapsed under the infighting.

While "the" Precursors were attempting to rebuild a techbase, their "telepathic" communication left behind little information, and archeology has been slow going. They appear to have had a solid techbase around TL10^, with dramatic excessions via old Aikori technology.

Systems

Chomaris

While the system itself can be observed, it's surrounded by an area of "crystallized space" about 23 ly across, which is impractical to enter. A number of probes have been sent in, and retrieved decades later, confirming the system as young, significantly younger than the ones nearby — in distance and in velocity — within the Reach. It's a rather ordinary binary, an F-type star with eight terrestrial planets, an M-type star, and six gas giants around it, along with a froth of planetesimals as it goes through a bombardment phase.

The edges of "crystallized space" are difficult to detect using anything but long-range sensors; it works as a sort of lens because conventional warp, including field-jacketing, doesn't work within crystallized space. This can be a fatal surprise for any ship that crosses over at warp, and thus a series of "lighthouses" have been built. Each of these emits the polarons that only function within "crystallized space", and convert into detectable bursts(mostly pions and gamma rays) when they leave.

Kashta

While Chomaris is the topographic center of the Fast Reach, Kashta is its economic center. A unary star on the edge of G and F, its planetary system is dominated by a large gas giant, Ish Chel, with major moons Renot, Fincoup, Erelare, and Wothe and Warin; the next orbit in is an extensive asteroid belt. Retheved Station orbits Ish Chel out beyond its major moons, and the major moons have orbital stations and groundside ports of their own.

`

Characters

Species

Precursor-Kin

Unified by their engineered descent from the renashti, Precursor-kin are all warm-blooded and generally humanoid.

Elutozer

The smallest Precursor-kin, elutozer average 12dm tall and 22kg. They're covered in soft fur — black, red, or white, depending on race — and have large eyes with slit pupils and reflective retinas. Their loose joints and balancing tails lend them a remarkable agility.

#char Elutozer
-2
0	SM: -1
20	+1 DX
12	+1 DX(No Fine Manipulators(-40%))
-30	-3 ST
5	+1 Per
-10	-½ Basic Speed
-5	Curious(SC: 12(×1))
15	Flexibility: +5
-15	Lecherousness(SC: 12(×1))
6	Night Vision: 6
0	Feature: Fur

Reese

Averaging 17dm tall and 63kg, the reese are slender with a sinuous neck and tail, averaging 24dm from nose to tailtip. Their skin is a medium grey, but their scales turn this into a shifting mottle of light and dark, with ridges of thicker scales decorating various places around the body. The head features dramatic auditory crests, whose arrangement marks race. Their vision sacrifices color to handle a variety of light levels without eyelids or slit pupils.

#char Reese
0
0	SM: ±0
20	+1 DX
-10	-1 HT
-10	-1 ST
4	Acute Hearing: +2
-10	Colorblindness
2	Extended Lifespan: 1
-5	Hidebound
4	Night Vision: 4
5	Ultrahearing
0	Feature: Scales

Silethar

Averaging 18dm tall and 95kg, the silethar are the toughest Precursor-kin; many believe they were engineered as warrior servants, although no evidence remains of any master race. Perhaps more likely, they were engineered to survive the various wildlife of the moons of Tisar. Their skin is mostly bare, and ranges in color from medium brown to ebony. Select parts of the body, notably the head, have thick, wavy hair. Their mouth is short, with large canine teeth. More of their organs are redundantly paired than any other Precursor-kin's, notably including their hearts.

#char Silethar
0
0	SM: ±0
-20	-1 DX
20	+2 ST
+5	+¼ Basic Speed
-5	Compulsive Carousing(SC: 12(×1))
6	Hard To Kill: +3
4	Nictitating Membrane: 4
-10	Night Blindness

Young

Some trees of life progress quickly to technology; these generally produce a centauroid species, large enough to afford a power-hungry brain, without complex biochemical features. Most are oviparous.

Aloren

Aloren average 200kg and 27dm long, standing around 17dm tall. They're covered in short fur, with a mottle of browns and greens; many have a dusting of white spots somewhere. Their heads are slender, with wide-set eyes. Their hands have six digits, in three opposable pairs, and their feet are broad paws, showing the most signs of their more-recent adaptation to a sedentary lifestyle. Their nearest relatives still live on the plains, fleeing predators at high speeds.

#char Aloren
2
0	SM: +1
-20	-1 DX
20	+1 IQ
27	+5 ST(No Fine Manipulators(-40%), Size(-10%))
-15	-¾ Basic Speed
5	Extra Legs: 4 Total
-15	Miserliness(SC: 9(×1½))
-15	No Depth Perception
15	Peripheral Vision
0	Feature: Fur

Gara

Compactly built, gara average 120kg and 19dm long, standing around 13dm tall. Their skin is hairless and smooth, a dark grey with spots; some have black spots, while others are sex-dimorphic, silvery for females and red for males. Their feet have sure-footed cloven hooves, while their hands have four digits, one opposable. Their heads have moderate muzzles with plenty of carnivore teeth, leading up to the punctuation of their expressive pointed ears. Unusually for a young species, they're viviparous.

#char Gara
6
0	SM: ±0
-10	-1 ST
24	+4 ST(No Fine Manipulators(-40%))
4	Acute Hearing: +2
5	Extra Legs: 4 Total
-10	Restricted Diet: Fresh Meat(Very Common)
-10	Squeamish(SC: 12(×1))
2	Teeth: Fangs
1	Perk: Reproductive Control

Lutha

Heavy-bodied, with silvery skin and a fin running from the forehead around the swimming tail, lutha cut an imposing figure. Averaging 280kg and 26dm long, plus 18dm of tail, they stand around 16dm tall. They're air-breathing but amphibious, apex omnivores of their home swamps. They have long muzzles, with three main tiers of teeth, and from there their heads taper out to complex forests of little horns behind their ears.

#char Lutha
39
0	SM: +1
-40	-2 DX
20	+1 IQ
27	+3 ST(Size(-10%))
17	+3 ST(No Fine Manipulators(-40%), Size(-10%))
-10	-½ Basic Speed
10	Amphibious
5	Extra Legs: 4 Total
-5	Overconfidence(SC: 12(×1))
15	Striker: cr(Long: +2(+200%))

Tarkona

While tarkona are "young" in that they're from early on their tree of life, the species is anything but young in the conventional sense; their ancestors were among the Aikori. The're lightly built, averaging 67kg and 18dm long, and standing fully 15dm tall, giving them good maneuverability in cluttered spaces. They have light scales, ranging from dusty blue to vivid green, which thicken into traction scutes on their feet. Their heads are wide, and their pupils are round at light levels comfortable to most races; they actually do have slit pupils, but adapted to tolerate very bright lighting. Their ears use fans of skin stretched between spines, resembling batwings; at the base is a fold of skin where they can stow their ears for safety.

#char Tarkona
3
0	SM: ±0
12	+1 DX(No Fine Manipulators(-40%))
-30	-3 ST
18	+3 ST(No Fine Manipulators(-40%))
-5	-¼ Basic Speed
6	Acute Hearing: +3
1	Protected Hearing(Alternate Ability(×1/5))
-5	Curious(SC: 12(×1))
-10	Easy To Read
5	Extra Legs: 4 Total
5	Single-Minded
5	Protected Vision
1	Perk: No Bone Degeneration In Zero-G

Other

Berinael

The smallest major race, berinael average 7kg and 8dm long, with a finned tail adding another 5dm. Their sleek-furred bodies hang low under a pair of wings, and their legs can tuck up underneath. They have no hands, using a complex set of auxiliary mouthparts instead. Their eyes are large, with advanced daylight color vision characteristic of their world's mid-line predators.

#char Berinael
-5
0	SM: -2
40	+2 DX
-20	-2 IT
-50	-5 ST
-10	-½ Basic Speed
30	Flight(Winged(-25%))
-10	Horizontal
25	Hyperspectral Vision
-10	Night Blindness
0	Feature: Fur

Liariel

Averaging 22kg and 14dm long, liariel are arboreal by nature, climbing with six clawed legs; they can walk along a flat surface, but prefer climbing. They're covered in shaggy purple fur, ranging from greyish to dark. Over the head they have two arms, each with one sharp claw and three digits. The head itself is rounded and covered in shorter fur, with a rounded mouth, six beady eyes, and four feathery antennae. The antennae are both how they hear and how they vocalize, with at least two antennae needed for "proper" speech.

Liariel are sexually polyphenic, with a number of physical cues which perhaps once coordinated to signal an individual's current sex, but now are separately under conscious control.

#char Liariel
3
0	SM: -1
20	+1 DX
-10	-1 IT
-30	-3 ST
-5	-¼ Basic Speed
5	Claws: Sharp
16	Clinging(Clawed(-20%))
10	Extra Legs: 6 Total
7	Hermaphromorph(Mix And Match(+40%))
-10	Horizontal

Skennet

Averaging 36kg and 29dm long, skennet routinely coil their tails to rear up 13dm. Their skin is covered in scales, ranging from grey to a vibrant blue, with heavy grey scutes down the middle. Their heads are triangular, with a long muzzle bearing their fangs and cheek venom sacs.

#char Skennet
-3
0	SM: -1
20	+1 DX
-10	-1 IT
-30	-3 ST
-5	-¼ Basic Speed
15	Affliction(Follow-Up: Fangs(+0%), 
Effects[Euphoria(+30%), Ecstasy(Secondary(×1/5), +20%), +50%]) 15 Flexibility: +5 -10 Lazy(SC: 12(×1)) 0 No Legs: Slithers 2 Teeth: Fangs 0 Feature: Scales
Zerin

Aquatic "semi-vertebrates", zerin have bones but no joints. They average 84kg and 15dm long, with paddle-shaped fins along the belly and a four-fluked tail. Their skin is slick, and ranges from brown to gold to white. The head is bulbous, with a sturdy round mouth, and is surrounded by four arms. Each fin and fluke has a fan of long bones inside, linked only by their musculature; the arms are the closest to vertebrate, each with a dozen small bones linked by muscles.

From the perspective of other species, zerin are at a disadvantage in space travel because water is dense… but since this means they're always with an excellent accel tank, it's also given them a lead in sublight technologies.

#char Zerin
-20
0	SM: ±0
-20	-1 DX
+5	+¼ Basic Speed
-50	Blindness
-5	Cold-Blooded: 50°
20	Extra Arm: 2
15	Flexibility: +5
5	Injury Tolerance: No Neck
-20	Invertebrate
0	No Legs: Aquatic
20	Scanning Sense: Sonar
10	Ultrasonic Speech
0	Feature: Gills

Cultures

Ascendists

A quasi-religious confederation, the Ascendists are devoted to reaching a "higher plane of existence". While some pursue this goal through meditation or various forms of ecstatic experience, the Ascendist mainstream uses scientific means. This includes a bewildering mix of approaches to accelerate invention itself, experimentation into technological dead ends(especially high-energy ones), searching for signs of Subspace, and xenoathropological study of energy beings. The Fast Reach is dotted with the remnants of Ascendist labs that produced useful data and/or exploded.

Uploaded coreminds dominate the Ascendist leadership, but the bulk of the population is simply diverse.

The Ascendists have led the way in energy sources and storage, and may be on the verge of inventing TL11^ super powercells. The rest of their tech is largely second-hand, and their medical TL is merely 10^ because their ideology disdains "conventional" biology.

#char Ascendist Commoner
0
5	+1 Will
-5	Disciplines Of Faith: Mysticism
	`

#char Ascendist Engineer
0
10	+1 IT
-5	Workaholic
-5	Obsession: Long-Term(SC: 15(×½))
	`

Churzak

Politics is raised to a high art by the Churzak; the result is a people who are sneaky and deceptive by reflex, even when it doesn't make sense. However, they do strive to follow(or subvert) laws, on the grounds that an illegality is a vulnerability.

Churzak eat as quickly and efficiently as their fastidiousness allows, often on the side during work or play; flavorless meal bars and "bachelor chow" are popular. Aside from an efficient bath upon waking, they bathe socially, taking a midday bath at a public bathhouse(typically with coworkers, classmates, and friends of compatible species), and an evening bath at home with their immediate family.

The most common species is elutozer, with reese and skennet large minorities.

The Churzak use their own energy sources, primarily because regular power plants are hard to stealth; these are TL8+3^ by the standards of other civilizations. They're also the only manufacturer of TL11^ stealth gear, and thus a target for reverse-engineering by others.

#char Churzak
-11
-5	Honesty(SC: 15(×½))
-10	Paranoia
5	+1 Per
-1	Quirk: Fastidious

Dacsi

At the rimward edge of the Fast Reach, Dacsi space is home to a cluster of civilizations with advanced biotechnology. They use it freely on themselves as well as organisms for industrial use, so it can be difficult to tell if the Dacsi are descended from multiple species swapping genes with one another or a single species that has modified itself into a diverse family. However they got that way, Dacsi civilization is made up of a number of small federations and independent systems. These nevertheless maintain close ties of language and culture with one another.

One of the hallmarks of the Dacsi is that they move in groups. Officials are rarely without an entourage of 10 or 12 people, and merchant vessels venturing into the Reach typically carry sizable crews and entire extended families. Even a single family unit needs at least 5 members to officially marry — this type of union began as a "buddy system" to deal with biomod malfunctions, but has taken on a life of its own.

#char Dacsi
0
-10	Chummy: Gregarious
15	Empathy
-5	Xenophilia(SC: 15(×½))

Feram

Starting out innocuously as a group investigating some new hypothesis for the "crystallized space" around Chomaris, the hypothesis either failed horribly or succeeded wildly — or some demented combination thereof — and they were taken over by a conspiratorial group. In the ensuing infowar, they managed to destroy any remaining indication of what the hypothesis was, but apparently the Feram were able to develop varilytic shock weapons from it. They've carved out a small dominion around the Cuttleye Nebula, near Chomaris, but the Teo prevented them from choking trade by taking Kashta or Sarrat, so the Feram military today is a group of pirates, using terrible varilytic shock weapons as a threat.

Feram status is rigidly stratified; an downtrodden underclass exists below the middle class, above which a series of Choril ranks limit mobility, with the Sysimperator and their family at the top. By adoption, a Choril can upgrade anyone lower, producing strange interspecies families in the Great Houses; the Sysimperator can also confer any Choril rank(a la knighting).

Members of Great Houses, and those with personal Distinctions, add a baldric to display such symbols. A cloth(metallic or animal fiber) baldric has negligible weight, a light metal baldric is 1pd, a heavy metal baldric is 4pd. Choril rank is more subtle, but Savoir-Faire can normally determine it from clothing.

#char Feram
4
-5	Chummy
-5	Cowardice(SC: 12(×1))
5	Single-Minded
10	Voice
-1	Quirk: Chauvinistic

Iori

Iori cultivate a sedate demeanor whenever possible, producing an air of quiet dignity. What can be communicated with a curt nod, a sweep of the hand, or a waggle of the fins, an Iori won't waste words on. Furniture favors chaises and beds, in wide pillared spaces with low ceilings, which leads to their habit of using multi-story apartment buildings instead of freestanding houses.

The most common species is lutha, with skennet a large minority.

#char Iori
0
6	Fearlessness: +3
-5	Stubbornness
-1	Quirk: Attentive

Kashta Ark

A conglomerate of corporations from elsewhere, and with a bewildering diversity of species, Kashta Ark provides a safe trading environment for the hub system of Kashta — and keeps other governments out. Taxes go to infrastructure, medical, security, and certification systems; some tension exists between the attitude that anything should be sellable, and the security need to prevent slavers from operating in Kashta space.

Kashta Ark is too young to really have its own culture; its cultural melting pot hasn't blended yet.

Teo

Formed by a group of Churzak and Vurilath, mostly reese, who wanted to respond militarily to the Feram. While they lost the resulting war, the general opinion among the Teo is that their position would've been even worse had the Feram been unopposed.

The most common species is reese, with elutozer and silethar large minorities.

#char Teo
-20
-10	Jealousy
-15	Charitable(SC: 12(×1))
5	Eidetic Memory
	`

Vurilath

Spiritual and a font of entertainment, the Vurilath nevertheless carry an undercurrent of violence, with ritual contests to determine social standing. While this is not necessarily military, it usually falls to athletics/endurance contests or solo "pain challenges", and many Vurilath treat this as preparation for a military career.

Part of the reason Vurilath media is so popular is an ongoing memetic war; the self-conscious barbaric splendor of the traditional ways contrasted with the thoughtful supernaturalism of more modern ways, and the deconstruction/reconstruction cycle of "hybrid entertainment". Thus even a connoisseur of all their media can be looked down upon by a Vurilath for not getting it.

The most common species is silethar, with reese and aloren large minorities.

#char Vurilath
-1
5	+1 Will
-5	Selfish(SC: 12(×1))
-5	Disciplines Of Faith: Ritualism
10	High Pain Threshold
-5	Truthfulness(SC: 12(×1))
-1	Quirk: Preoccupied With Philosophy

Gear

Money

Every listed culture except the Ascendists issues backed fiat currency("credits"), with the Mark 220 standard comprising a shared money market of recursively-signed quantum cryptokeys. It includes a specification for cash interchange, in which translucent plastic chits are 3D-etched with the cryptokeys. The smallest are 2cm squares, but larger denominations are longer in one dimension. All are 2mm thick.

Power

Power is normally generated via fusion; regular fusion was introduced at TL9 and is mature at TL11. Synthetic-pressure fusion("Super Fusion" in G: Spaceships) is TL11^ and costs about 3× as much, but generates power twice as fast. The Churzak government uses TL11^ polaron-catalyzed temper slip reactors, which are similar to synthetic-pressure fusion but stealthy; outside Churzak space these must be imported at 5× cost. Radiopiles(bigradient voltaics) provide more endurance and reliability than effectiveness.

Antimatter power is also available(developed to TL11), but rare; the military roles for super fusion also require not broadcasting telltale gamma rays. It remains in use as a "battle mode" power supply since it's essentially hypergolic. The antimatter must also be made, so this is perhaps more of a battery technology.

TL11 regular powercells are available as normal. TL10^ super powercells are available at 12½× cost(which includes the TL difference); since these only hold 1¼× as much as TL11 regular powercells, this isn't a great deal, but can give an edge when you really need it. Many expect the Ascendists to invent TL11^ super powercells soon.

Clothing

For the most part, adjusting for SM covers shape as well. The exception is shoes and gloves; a species with 4 legs buys two pairs of shoes at -1 SM, and similarly for arms and gloves. Liariel, with 6 legs, buy three pairs of shoes at -1½ SM, which is ×1/3(for a total of ×1/6, since their overall SM is -1).

Consumer Electronics

Personal Sensor Unit

An array of sensors with a weak computer; it can be set to use only passive sensors, at lesser effectiveness(listed after a slash). The integral powercell lasts 4 hours between recharges. Three types are available:

Rad: +6/+4 for energy tasks, ±0/-4 for life sciences and earth sciences tasks.

Bio: +6/+2 for life sciences tasks, ±0/-2 for energy tasks, ±0/-4 for earth sciences tasks.

Geo: +6/+2 for earth sciences tasks, ±0/-2 for energy tasks, ±0/-4 for life sciences tasks.

4 000cr, 1pd

Data Pad

A computer with a large display for a portable. Also includes a small comm and camera, and slots data chips. The integral powercells last 20 hours between recharges.

Cx7, 10EB storage, 100cr, .6pd, LC4

Comm

A common way to stay in touch, grav-ripple comms are issued by many organizations, and include built-in translation. Their integral powercells last two weeks between recharges.

A badge comm has a nominal range of 16km; 50cr, neg. weight, LC4.

A wrist comm has a nominal range of 1600km and includes a video screen; 1 000cr, .5pd, LC4.

A security variant doubles the range and adds built-in encryption; 600cr(badge) or 2 500cr(wrist), LC2.

Survival

Rations

Compact portable food, for survival situations, short-term space travel, or just reducing the inconvenience of eating. Stats are for one SM: ±0 man-day, with shelf life.

Meal packs: 6cr, 3pd, 50 years.

Survival rations: 15cr, 1.5pd, 70 years.

Bachelor chow: 3cr, 3pd, 10 years.

Nutritional liquid: 2cr, 5pd, 2 weeks.

Nutritional paste: 10cr, .75pd, 100 years.

Weapons

• plane/helicopter
AA missile
AA gun
DP gun
• diving sub
anti-submarine missile
depth charge mortar
• surface ship
DP gun
anti-ship missile
torpedo
• anti-ship missile
point-defense gun

capital ship
fightercraft
underground fortress
minefield

However, and this is the interesting point from a "Jane's" POV, the different weapons have different applications and generally aren't cross-applicable. You can't sink a diving sub with a DP gun round, or down a plane with an anti-ship missile let alone a mine. Sending a torpedo to deter an approaching helicopter will not quite make the pilot wet his pants, except if he has problems with bladder control during laughing fits. And harming a hostile surface ship with an AA gun can be a rather frustrating undertaking. An anti-aircraft or anti-submarine missile may do some damage to targets other than aircraft or submarines, but won't be an optimal solution at all.

All diversity of this kind is lost with phasers and photon torpedoes, which do pretty much the same thing to all types of targets (indeed sometimes raising the question of why one is used and the other is not in a specific engagement). A phaser is a phaser is a phaser - if it can carve to pieces an enemy cruiser, you can predict it can also destroy underground fortresses or minefields or maneuvering fightercraft with equal potency. The drama of "our big gun is down!" is lost when ships generally have 4 pi coverage of the single type of weapon emplacement they carry: it's incredible that one "gun" could not compensate for the loss of another in these circumstances, whereas a WWII movie might feature breathtaking hijinks and mcgyvering and heroic efforts to allow for such compensation.

Blasters(TL11^)

Blasters are the most common weapons. Usually, these are either A) Vurilath-built, B) Churzak-built, or C) knockoffs of their designs. Teo blasters are making some inroads due to their reliability, but knockoffs generally lose that.

Teo blasters have Malf: Ver Crit. Vurilath & Churzak blasters have Malf: Ver. Knockoffs have Malf: 15. Knockoffs also have only 80% Acc and range, but halve cost.

Aikori Dispersion Torches(TL12^)

Highly-adjustable weapons, once favored by the Aikori for their many uses as tools rather than weapons. Their power level can be adjusted in quarter-die increments(treat each leftover quarter-die as a +1), and the frequency and dispersion can be adjusted to several canned settings or tweaked manually. Canned settings are:

Stun
Deals (5) FP damage, with a minor incendiary effect; 1%(round up) counts toward Making Things Burn. Greenish.
Kill
Deals (5) tight-beam burn damage. Pale greenish.
Cut
Deals ×1/2(2) corrosion damage. Like tight-beam burning, 1/10 counts toward Making Things Burn. Reddish.
Heat
Deals ×1/2(2) regular burn damage, at ×1/10 energy consumption. (But like tight-beam, it can still target the eyes and vitals.) Pale reddish.
Intercept
Deals ×1/2(10) FP sur damage, with a side effect of Drunk. Like tight-beam burning, 1/10 counts toward Making Things Burn. Bluish.
Pain
Deals ×1/2(10) tight-beam burn sur damage, with a side effect of Moderate Pain. Pale bluish.

Vehicular dispersion torches can combine any setting with cone or proximity blast. Cone deals ×1/4 damage in a ±15° cone, at ×4 energy consumption. Proximity blast deals explosive damage, at ×1/10 range and ×10 energy consumption. Proximity blast can target a hex in empty space.

Note that the listed weapons use integral rechargeable superscience powercells, at 25× cost(already factored in). Their costs are also already doubled for use at TL11^.

Torpedoes

Spatial Torpedoes

Proximity weapon for use against maneuverable targets.

Impulse Torpedoes

KK weapon for use against stationary(or low-maneuver) targets.

Seismic Torpedoes

Situational weapon, MIRVs for "scorched earth" planetary strike.

Other

Varilytic Shock Projector(TL11^)

The smallest practical implementation of the terrible Feram weapon, similar in form factor to a shoulder-fired rocket launcher.

VodaDyne Blaster Pistol

This bulky blaster is made in Kashta, and is VodaDyne's only claim to fame. It operates like a Churzak blaster pistol in "light mode", but in "heavy mode" damage is doubled, ROF drops to 3, and it consumes 4 shots per shot. 3 300cr, 2pd.

It can also be modified to use its full ROF in heavy mode, but it'll overheat in about a second; its ROF counts as 1 for overheat purposes.

Stats

WeaponDamageAccRangeWtROFShotsSTBulkRclCostLC
Churzak Blasters
Pistol4d(5) cor5300/9001.5/C10800(3)4-222 200cr3
Carbine6d(5) cor8500/1 5006/2C10720(3)10/5†-329 200cr2
Rifle8d(5) cor101 000/3 0009/2C10400(3)7†-4218 000cr2
Teo Blasters
Pistol8d(5) cor4200/6001.5/C3200(3)4-221 700cr3
Carbine6d×2(5) cor6300/9006/2C3180(3)10/5†-327 200cr2
Rifle8d×2(5) cor8700/2 1009/2C3100(3)7†-4214 000cr2
Vurilath Blasters
Pistol8d(5) cor5300/9001.5/C3200(3)4-222 200cr3
Carbine6d×2(5) cor8500/1 5006/2C3180(3)10/5†-329 200cr2
Rifle8d×2(5) cor101 000/3 0009/2C3100(3)7†-4218 000cr2
Aikori Dispersion Torches
Palm Torch2d max3300/600.9410300E24-1110 800cr3
Cuff Torch4d max61 000/2 0002.810600E27-3143 200cr2
Rifle Torch6d max121 700/3 4008102 400E26†-4197 200cr2
Other Weapons
Varilytic Shock Projector6d×5 cor ex³101 000/3 00020/3D11(5)10†-8472 000cr1

E2 Rather than counted shots, the weapon has arbitrary energy points; each shot consumes [Dice × Dice] energy points.

Vehicles

Star Flower-class Tramp Freighter

This is a tramp freighter designed for operations in frontier regions with primitive port facilities. Its reactionless drive gives it enough thrust to blast off from a planetary surface, or elude customs patrols or pirates.

Usual crew are four control crew(captain/navigator, pilot, chief engineer, and comm/sensor operator), and an engine room technician, plus a steward(to look after passengers) and a medic.

Nile-class Freehauler

A stock freehauler with excellent cargo capacity.

Castor-class Container Ship

An unstreamlined beast with containers simply docked in between the habitat and drive bulbs, this is not a glamorous ship. Nor is it particularly fast, with a single embedded warp engine and a small reactionless drive. However, many ply the Fast Reach, bringing container cargo through it at low prices.

Modified Nile-class Corsair

A typical interstellar pirate ship, upgraded with salvaged or war-surplus weapons, a force screen, and the standard reactionless engine upgraded to twin super reactionless to improve performance. However, it lacks the power to fire all weapons and have full thrust. It replaces cabin space with bunkrooms(and cells) to carry additional boarding crew or captives.

Modified Castor-class Corsair

A container pirate ship. The habitat-bulb cargo hold is filled with salvaged weapons and a force screen generator, the drive-bulb cargo hold is filled with extra engines(reactionless and warp), the fusion reactor has a synthetic pressure system bolted on, and the cheap steel armor has been replaced with diamondoid plated with steel. It doesn't have enough power for everything, but with the warp engine powered down it can run everything else.

Instead of replacing its cabins with cells and such, a modified Castor will usually play a nastier role; its container docks will include extra fighters, with the cabins for their crew.

Kodiak-class Short-Range Fighter

A tough manned weapons platform, the Kodiak is an ugly geodesic ellipsoid of armor punctuated by utility ports. It has the most shielding possible for its size — a heavy partial force screen on each section — and decent armor underneath. It's armed with a pair of VRF blasters for tearing down shields, and a big spinal blaster for making kills. It has good sensors and thrust — although it doesn't do air or warp — and finally, a quad-core fusion reactor to power everything at once.

Longsword-class Battlecruiser

This is a very fast and well-protected reactionless drive starship, with good acceleration and interstellar performance. It’s designed almost exclusively for ship-to-ship battles, with a heavy armament of xasers and missiles, and a powerful defensive force screen. It can blast directly off from a terrestrial planet’s surface, so the design doesn't include provision for carrying smaller craft.

Tiger-class Frigate

This fast, reactionless-drive starship is intended for fleet escort, commerce raiding, long-range patrol, and fleet or convoy escort. Its beam weapons are optimized for ship-to-ship combat rather than planetary bombardment.

Eclipse-class Stealth Patrol Ship

This is a fast and agile Churzak warship, optimized for scouting missions, and capable of atmospheric and space operations. It relies on -6 in electronic countermeasures rather than armor for defense, but its cloaking device, force screen and good armor makes it a capable small combatant — it is sometimes used as an interstellar patrol ship.

Perseus-class Trans-Atmospheric Shuttle

A "flying saucer" shuttle, intended to support a larger ship by ferrying people to and from planets; it can even do so under fire, with a force screen and two blaster turrets. It lacks warp capability.

Modified Star Flower-class Blockade Runner

A fast refit of the Star Flower, mainly used against the Feram. The twin standard reactionless engines have been replaced with a single super reactionless, and a third warp nacelle has been added.

Stats

Vehicle ClassLWt(T)Load(T)ArmamentOccsAccelWarpAtmosST/HPDRHTHnd/SRCost(cr)
Freighters
Star Flower1 000343.51t×10M J5+15 ASV2GTier 23 500mph S7007013-1/544 500 000
Nile1 000452.4- -` ASV1GTier 22 500mph S7003013-1/5`
Castor1 000526.2- -5+7 ASV25GTier 1- -70050/0/5013±0/528 500 000
Warships
Modified Nile1 000331.42t×30M J, 4t×10M J6+18 ASV100GTier 225 000mph S70030 + 700f13+1/565 700 000
Modified Castor1 000301.21f×300M J, 1f×3M J VRF5+7 ASV50GTier 2- -700300/0/300 + 700f13±0/5108 400 000
Kodiak30.11f×30M J, 2f×100k J VRF1 SV150G- -- -200100 + 600fM12+2/411 690 000
Longsword30 0002152f×10G J, 10t×10M J VRF, 10×40cm61+59 ASV100GTier 225 000mph S2 0001 400h/700h + 2 000fH13±0/58 188 000 000
Tiger3 000171f×1G J, 2t×1G J, 1t×10M J VRF13+7 ASV150GTier 231 000mph S1 000600h/300h + 1 000fH13+1/5825 600 000
Eclipse300.41t×100M J4 ASV100GTier 225 000mph S500300/150 + 500f13+1/569 150 000
Other Ships
Perseus (Trans-Atmospheric Shuttle)303.12t×10M J2+14 SV50G- -18 000mph S20030 + 200f13+1/42 855 000
Modified Star Flower (Blockade Runner)1 000343.51t×10M J5+15 ASV50GTier 318 000mph S7007013±0/558 500 000