Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Q is for Quirks and Perks for Starships

"Ship like this, be with you 'til the day you die."
"Because it's a deathtrap."
- Mal and Zoë, Firefly

The Millennium Falcon looks like a piece of junk, the Heart of Gold has a computer with Genuine People Personalities, the Enterprise D's bridge looks like a lounge. The best starships in classic science fiction are characters themselves and can have just as much personality as any of the crew. Here's a list of quirks and perks you can add to your starships. Some will be positive, others negative. Some just add a little flavor. Some may have serious gameplay consequences. Some may act as adventure hooks. I mostly use these for random or NPC starships, and usually pick 2 or 3 for each ship. If the quirk is on the PCs ship, the players should be allowed to repair or replace the affected system if they wish.

I typically put all my gaming tables into Excel spreadsheets. It makes it easier to randomize results and other information, and keeps the entirety of the table in the background when all I need is a couple results. Also, you are not limited to a d6 or d66 style table. With that in mind, I've included some information that would normally be randomized in the table:
  • (system) = computer, power plant, jump drive, maneuver drive, fuel tank, or weapon
  • (system 2) = ship's computer, power plant, jump drive, maneuver drive, autodoc, weapon, pilot controls, nav computer, gunnery computer, crew toilets, or autochef
  • (powered system) = life support, shields, maneuver drive, or computer
  • (drive) = jump drive, maneuver drive, or power plant
  • (location) = bridge, fresher, cargo bay, galley, stateroom, engineering, medical, or any other you prefer
  • (fluid) = oil, fuel, fresh water,  or sewage
  • (+1, +2) indicates a 1 or 2 positive DM to a die roll
  • (-1, -2) indicates a 1 or 2 negatitve DM to a die roll

Quirks and Perks for Starships
  1. (system)  (+1,+2) to repairs
  2. (system)  (-1,-2) to repairs
  3. (system) needs repair
  4. (system2) requires 'percussive maintenance' to work
  5. access to coded military channels
  6. adjustable gravity deck plating
  7. advanced ECM: (+1,+2) against missiles
  8. advanced shields (+1)
  9. advanced vehicle: (+1,+2) tech level high than ship
  10. alien alloy hull: (+1,+2) against lasers
  11. alien alloy hull: (-1,-2) against lasers
  12. alien graffiti on hull
  13. alien porn in the ship's computer
  14. all doors are airtight
  15. animal droppings found in galley
  16. annoying, mild gravity fluctuations
  17. atmosphere modifiers in cargo bay
  18. autochef only makes flavorless gruel
  19. autodoc gives (+1,+2) to MED rolls
  20. awesome color scheme
  21. awesome sound system
  22. awkward control interface (-1 to bridge activities)
  23. battle scars draw unwanted attention
  24. bridge consoles rattle in flight
  25. bridge controls are in an alien language
  26. bunks are really comfortable
  27. bunks are very uncomfortable
  28. can bypass interdiction satellites
  29. can make .5 past lightspeed
  30. cargo door sticks 50% of the time
  31. cargo space can be refrigerated
  32. clean engines - difficult to track
  33. comm system is plagued with static
  34. comm system on the fritz
  35. computer data: (+1,+2) to COMP rolls
  36. computer glitch: (+1,+2) to ENG rolls
  37. computer glitch: (+1,+2) to GUNNERY rolls
  38. computer glitch: (+1,+2) to NAV rolls
  39. computer glitch: (+1,+2) to PILOT rolls
  40. computer glitch: (-1,-2) to ENG rolls
  41. computer glitch: (-1,-2) to GUNNERY rolls
  42. computer glitch: (-1,-2) to NAV rolls
  43. computer glitch: (-1,-2) to PILOT rolls
  44. computer has strange accent
  45. computer is becoming self-aware
  46. computer talks fast
  47. computer talks slow
  48. concussive "backfire" on takeoff
  49. constant "new car smell"
  50. contraband found in hidden space
  51. cooking activates fire alarm
  52. cosmetic damage to the exterior
  53. cramped crew staterooms
  54. cramped Engineering: -1 to rolls
  55. cramped passenger staterooms
  56. custom consoles (+1 to bridge rolls)
  57. database adds (+1,+2) to COMP rolls
  58. dead vermin found on occasion
  59. dilapidated interiors
  60. designed for a different species
  61. designed for water landings
  62. difficult to maintain (-1 to ENG)
  63. difficult to pilot (-1 to PILOT)
  64. difficult to start
  65. distinctive nose art
  66. easy to maintain (+1 to ENG)
  67. easy to pilot (+1 to PILOT)
  68. emergency escape bubbles
  69. emissions make it easy to track
  70. energy weapons do double damage
  71. energy weapons do half damage
  72. engineer robot (can't leave ship)
  73. engine room is very hot. Costly to fix.
  74. engines have a distinctive whine
  75. engines hum pleasantly
  76. engines run hot (+100°F at drives)
  77. engines smoke in atmosphere
  78. entirely robotic crew
  79. exhaust gas fills Engineering
  80. experienced crew (crew has min. skill level 3)
  81. exposed live electrical wiring
  82. false registry papers found onboard
  83. faulty acceleration compensators
  84. faulty grav deck plating
  85. firefight damage to interior
  86. flickering internal ship lights
  87. flushing toilets activates hull breach alarm
  88. free HBO
  89. fuel efficient (-10% on fuel costs)
  90. fuel inefficient (+10% on fuel costs)
  91. fuel skimmers smell of fish
  92. gas leak causes hallucination
  93. good galley (+1 to STEWARD)
  94. grinding noises in Engineering
  95. has flood damage
  96. has gourmet food replicator
  97. has ground defense turrets
  98. has smuggling compartments
  99. hidden space contains (drugs, weapons, contraband, valuables)
  100. high performance fuel scoops
  101. high tech weapons locker
  102. highly automated (+1 to all crew rolls)
  103. highly custom (-1 to repairs)
  104. hull spotted with small arms fire
  105. illegal drugs are found on board
  106. illegal weapons system is found
  107. inertial dampener lag (-1,-2) to DEX
  108. inescapable brig
  109. infested with insects
  110. infested with vermin
  111. interior doors hum pleasantly
  112. interior doors work poorly
  113. interior lights blink on startup
  114. interior lights flicker during jump
  115. intermittent black globe cloak
  116. internal comm system on the fritz
  117. jerky turret: (-1,-2) to GUNNERY rolls
  118. jump drive causes mild jump sickness
  119. landing gear won't retract on 9+
  120. leaks (fluid) when docked
  121. lights flicker occasionally
  122. liquid crystal hull w/ many patterns
  123. looks like a piece of junk
  124. loose deck plating prohibits running
  125. lots of battle scars
  126. luxurious interiors
  127. luxury crew staterooms
  128. luxury passenger staterooms
  129. luxury ship's vehicle
  130. main airlock sticks on 9+ (2d6)
  131. main turret: (+1,+2) to GUNNERY rolls
  132. main turret: (-1,-2) to GUNNERY rolls
  133. mass produced (+1 to repairs)
  134. medical robot (can't leave ship)
  135. military grade sensor suite
  136. misjumps on 12+ (each jump)
  137. nav computer locks up on 12+
  138. needs frequent repair
  139. needs new part
  140. needs repair (-1 to all crew rolls)
  141. noisy air system
  142. non-standard airlock connectors
  143. novice crew (crew has max. skill level 1)
  144. on the run from creditors
  145. poor environmental controls
  146. poor galley (+1 to STEWARD)
  147. poorly maintained (-1 to ENG)
  148. potable water tastes bad
  149. previous owner wants ship back
  150. pristine - not a scratch on her
  151. random audible warnings (1/day)
  152. random fire suppression system
  153. random warning lights (1/day)
  154. recently replaced jump drive
  155. refit time is fast (-20% time)
  156. refit time is slow (+20% time)
  157. refuel time is fast (-20% time)
  158. refuel time is slow (+20% time)
  159. reliable (+1 to crew rolls)
  160. requires proprietary parts
  161. rich Corinthian leather
  162. robotic brain gunnery: (+1,+2) to GUNNERY
  163. robotic brain navigator:(+1,+2) to NAV
  164. robotic brain pilot: (+1,+2) to PILOT
  165. robotic cargo handling system
  166. runs illegal Watchdog software
  167. secondary airlock inoperable
  168. sensors work at double their range
  169. sensors work at half their range
  170. several hull patches of questionable integrity
  171. ship is an obvious lemon
  172. ship kept clean by schloobies
  173. ship's computer is very slow
  174. ship's transponder is +1 to modify
  175. sketchy history/repeatedly renamed
  176. sleeper (looks bad, runs great)
  177. smelly air handling system
  178. sonic showers cause comm static
  179. spacious crew staterooms
  180. spacious passenger staterooms
  181. steward robot (can't leave ship)
  182. strange noises in crew quarters
  183. sub-standard crew staterooms
  184. sub-standard passenger staterooms
  185. suffers from Sick Ship Syndrome
  186. superior control interface (+1 to bridge activities)
  187. surface rust on various ship parts
  188. suspicious: -1 to law encounters
  189. temp stays a constant (50, 60, 80, 90) deg. F
  190. terrible smell in (location)
  191. transponder has 1d4 switchable I.D.s
  192. transponder is twitchy
  193. trusted: +1 to law encounters
  194. turrets are hidden (pop-out)
  195. ugly color scheme
  196. uncomfortable bridge seats
  197. undetected gas causes sickness
  198. unpressurized cargo area
  199. unreliable (-1 to crew rolls)
  200. unsightly stains in fresher
  201. untested alien autodoc
  202. untraceable smell of burnt electronics
  203. untraceable ship's history
  204. used to be a military ship
  205. used to be a smuggling ship
  206. used to belong to a nearby noble
  207. valuables found in hidden space
  208. variable environment cargo space
  209. vents smelly steam on landing
  210. vibrates violently when going into/out of jump
  211. viewports fog up during flight
  212. water landing very difficult
  213. water supply tastes funny
  214. weak shields (-1)
  215. weapons drain power from (powered system)
  216. well loved (+1 to ENG)

1 comment:

  1. No. 161 is the SS Botany Bay, of course.

    My Ustafish (that's submariner for previous submarine), had taken a fair amount of water down the bridge hatch in the 1990's, and it had rushed through the boat until it reached Missile Compartment 2nd Level. It caused some damage to a large bundle of wiring, resulting in some small fires. When I was aboard, we had a systems upgrade that inserted more wires into that bundle, and that bundle was to have the new wires inserted one banded location at a time, to avoid having to completely replace the existing relay cables.