When in doubt, an NPC ship has the following stats:
3 Shields, 0 Armor, a d6 Short/Medium weapon, 10 Hull, 10 Drive, 10 Tech.
Rather than listing specific Specialty Modules, NPC ships use “Tech” as being the Ability to roll for things the ship is designed to be good at.
Adjust stats for ships (or space creatures) that have notable or significant differences. Most of the time these can be differentiated by actions, motivations, and behavior rather than needing to adjust stats.
Difficult to damage ships have Armor, up to 3.
Deadly ships have stronger weapons, or multiple weapons and the necessary crew to operate them.
Damage ranges from d6 for basic weapons, to d10 for devastating ones. Make sure to consider what ranges these weapons can properly operate within.
- Durable or large ships have 15 Hull, fragile or small ships have 5.
- Fast, maneuverable ships have 15 Drive, slow or awkward ships have 5.
- Advanced, or specialist ships have 15 Tech, outdated or poorly maintained ships have 5.
Remember that there are NPCs piloting a ship or operating its weapons and Modules, and use their Abilities when necessary.
Although NPC Ships can track Core Modules damage exactly as if it were a PC ship, this will usually be significantly more complexity and overhead than is necessary.
Optionally use the following simplified system to reduce book keeping in combat:
When a ship takes Critical Damage, roll a d6:
1-3: Damaged. The ship still functions but its systems begin to fail and its weapons are impaired. If already damaged the ship becomes Incapacitated.
4-5: Incapacitated. The ship can do nothing but awkwardly maneuver and attempt repairs. If already Incapacitated, the ship is Destroyed.
6: Destroyed. The ship suffers catastrophic failure.
As a further simplification instead of tracking individual NPCs a single “Crew” ability can abstract the number and skills of individuals on the ship. 10 for an average ship, 5 for a ship crew which is poorly trained or understaffed, 15 for a plentiful and skillful crew.
3 Shields, Phased Array (d6 s/m), 8H/12D/10T/15C
Modules: Subspace Bore, Autopilot, Repair Bots
The crew of the Witness, and their AI companion, take jobs creating short hop small throughput warp gateways for corporate subsidiaries looking to build infrastructure in currently unconnected systems.
Goals: Protect the crew, keep flying.
3 Shields, Phased Array (d6 s/m), Ion Cannons (d8 s), 12H/8D/10T/10C
Modules: Hologram Drone, Broad Spectrum High Reflection Coating, Shield Autocharger
Captain Hastings hides the Demon in the outer layers of a star’s atmosphere and uses holographic drones to lure targets close before disabling and looting them. Prefers corporate targets, but ultimately isn’t that picky.
Goals: Hit hard, move fast, get out.
3 Shields, Phased Array (d6 s/m), Auto Turret (d6 s), 8H/12D/10T/15C
Modules: Photomagnetic Sail, Self-Recycling Drive, SWISH
The Aimless Gang is on a perpetual retirement cruise for Captain Ashmel and her crew of close confidants. After burning out from years of Meteor Corp employment, she now prefers to spend her time exploring and sightseeing away from more densely populated areas of the galaxy.
Goals: See the galaxy, don’t get entangled, be self sufficient.