Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hammer Class Passenger Variant with Steerage

One of the regular blog readers, Peebo-Thuhlu Thuhlu, pointed out how well the steerage compartment might work with the Hammer Class starship. I decided it was too good of an idea to let pass, and put it on my ever expanding to-do list of Traveller ideas. It turns out it was one of those itches that just had to be scratched, and since the majority of the drawing and modeling was already complete I decided to just get it done.

The deck plan layout is based on the Ore-Hammer prospector's variant and fills up the entire 15 ton cargo space with only a few bulkhead modifications. A new ceiling allows the additional life support to be placed overhead, and even allows for some additional overhead cargo space. While intended to be left alone during flight, the attic space storage can be accessed by a panel in the lounge ceiling if necessary. The layout includes two steerage "dormitories" with two triple bunks each, and the basic lounge, galley, and fresher (with laundry facilities) you would expect. This is about as packed as a small ship can get without putting everyone in low berths. Since the Hammer Class has no real amenities, steerage passengers are rarely given access to the crew areas of the ship.

Most steerage bunks have a simple privacy curtain. For more privacy and safety, some bunks include retractable, hardened panels that lock from the inside, and only authorized crew members can override the locks. The bunks have variable transparency panels and each bunk contains basic environment controls. When not in use, each set of triple bunks can be completely sealed off.

Keeping Thing Under Control
From the crew's point of view, the biggest problem with steerage passengers is, well, steerage passengers. Any time you have a large number of people confined to a small space for extended periods of time there is the potential for problems. There are a variety of options a crew may utilize to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone:
  • Give the passengers something to do. A smart captain will have an extensive ship's library full of holovids, games, music, and reading material. Many ships include the free use of a personal library pad.
  • Employ a steward. Steerage passengers do not expect the services of a steward, so having someone provide even minor services is seen as a plus.
  • Put them under. Sleeping passengers don't cause trouble and they don't use as many resources. Some captains may freely distribute sleeping aids and other drugs. IMTU there is a jump variant of Fast Drug ("Fast Jump") which only last seven days. For those interested, it can make a week long journey feel like only a few hours.
  • Keep them separated. If there are groups or individuals not getting along, it is best to keep them separated. They can be moved to separate sleeping areas and allowed access to the passenger areas at alternating times.

To Avoid A Steerage Incident During Jump: Roll 6+ on 2d6 with the following DMs:
    +1 per level of Steward (limit +2)
    +2 if primarily corporate passengers, families, or chaperoned group
    +1 if passengers have access to ship's library
    -1 per 12 active passengers
    -1 if major religious, political, or other ideological difference between passengers (GM decides)
    -1 if 6+ rogue passengers

Steerage Incident: Roll 2d6
    2 - Fire in the galley causes major damage.
    3 - Classic barroom brawl in the lounge and galley. Several people injured.
    4 - A passenger reports theft of valuables from their locker. Crew or passengers can investigate.
    5 - Overuse of steerage toilet facilities causes overflow. Ewww.
    6 - Passenger screaming match leads to minor ship property damage.
    7 - Ongoing screaming match between passengers. Nobody hurt, but your ship gets a bad Yelp review.
    8 - Passenger gains access to major weapon. Stand off with crew or other passenger.
    9 - Passenger fight. The loser is beat unconscious.
  10 - Passenger fight. The loser requires low berth storage to survive.
  11 - Passengers fight. The loser dies.
  12 - Passenger discharges energy weapon and causes hull breach.

Crews experienced in operating ships of this type have learned another valuable lesson: keep the troublesome and questionable passengers in the forward dormitory. Nothing gives a bunch of drunken revelers (or potential hijackers) more pause than the lights and klaxons going off when the inner airlock hatch is opened from the bridge.

For a higher resolution PDF, click this link: (Traveller Starship Deckplan Hammer Class Passenger Liner). The deckplan was created to be printed out on 11"x17". Scale is 1" = 10'-0" so it can be used with 15mm miniatures. Enjoy!


  1. A work of genius! (^_^)

    Have you seen the page about 'Fuel densification'? On larger ships saving 10% or so of space/volume can add up.

    Even on small ships like the Hammer, every small amount shifted from fuel to... well... ANYthing else is a bonus.

    Much creative cheers!

    1. I've seen the article and I think it is a step in the right direction. I've always felt the fuel requirements were needlessly high. If I were to fix it I would shoot for more like 50% reduction. Regardless, I won't be including anything like this in my ship designs until it becomes canon.

      Thanks again for the Hammer suggestion. Glad you like the new design.

    2. Also take a look at:

  2. Wow! Fast and fantastic.
    I do have a question: where does the Crew eat? Do they share the facilities with the Passengers? Or is the Steerage area for Passengers only?
    mactavish out.

    1. Thanks! The crew eats in the Crew Common Area. There is a small galley between the couch and the ship's locker. Crew and passenger facilities are completely separate.

  3. I like the steerage concept. Brings back memories of Navy ship berthing compartments.

  4. I introduced this to my group while we were having a discussion about what high passage is in Traveller and they questioned the economic feasibility because of all the power you would need for life support.