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Introduction introduction
Welcome to Future: Starship 16 Celestial, the latest installment in Ronin Arts ongoing series of PDFs for use with futuristic d20 campaigns. This series makes some assumptions about your campaign; the starship designs in this series will be most useful in campaigns in which the following statements are true: I The campaign is not a hard science setting. Campaigns that are more space opera/adventure movie are the intended target for this series. I Starships are not rare or unusual. All of the starships in this series assume that space travel is a standard and common occurrence individuals either fly their own ships or ride on passenger ships. Starships and space travel are as common for characters as a plane ride is for people of our reality. I Space combat is not uncommon. Its just another exciting adventure when the player characters have to engage the enemy while fleeing from some world or other. I The campaign is packed with action. If things arent exploding, how much fun can the game really be?


In order to use Future: Starship 16 Celestial Defender you will need the modern and future SRDs, available free online, and e-Future Tiles: Starships (available at No other Ronin Arts products are required to use this PDF.


Philip Reed has been working professionally in the roleplaying game industry for over a decade. In that time he has worked for such companies as West End Games, Privateer Press, and Steve Jackson Games. Today Philip spends his days at home running Ronin Arts, writing and designing new games, and reading whatever books interest him at the time. To learn more about Philip Reed and Ronin Arts please visit and The approved Ronin Arts fan forum can be found at

new rules and ideas

Analyze Battle Situation
This full-round action may only be performed from a crew station equipped with a tactical analysis computer (see box). As a full-round action, a starship crewman may make a Computer Use check (DC equal to 10 + the number of opposing starships on the tactical map). On a successful check the crewman has successfully analyzed the current situation and all crewmembers onboard the starship gain a +2 insight bonus to attack and saving throws for 1d4 rounds. If the check fails the crewman has made a





A tactical analysis computer is used to track and predict the actions of enemy starships during combat. Only a starship equipped with this system may perform an analyze battle situation action (see above). The purchase DC of the tactical analysis computer depends on the size of the ship. Purchase DC: 18 (Huge), 23 (Gargantuan), or 28 (Colossal). Restriction: Military (+3). major error in his calculations and all crewmembers onboard the starship suffer a 2 penalty for 1d4 rounds. A starship may only attempt this action once every five rounds.

Electro-Gravitic Shields (PL 7)

First seen during the Gravity Age, starship shields bathe a starship in a field of energy specifically designed to absorb incoming attacks. Shields have a Capacity Rating and can wear down over time electro-gravitic shields have a Capacity Rating of 80, which means that the shields can absorb a total of 80 points of damage before theyre completely worn down once worn down the shields provide the ship with no protection until they recharge. Each round that a starship equipped with electrogravitic shields is not damaged the shield capacity recharges by 5 it takes 16 rounds for an electrogravitic shield to recharge to its maximum Capacity Rating. Example: A starship equipped with electro-gravitic shields is hit by a heavy mass cannon (65 damage), leaving the shields at Capacity Rating 15. On the next round the ship does not suffer any damage so the shields recharge to 20. On the third round, though, the ship is hit by a heavy neutron gun (45 damage). Since the ships shields are currently at 20, 25 points of damage penetrate the shields and damage the ship. The shields are now at 0 until they recharge. Shields do not count toward the total number of defense systems that a starship may carry though any ship may carry only a single shield system. Purchase DC: 10 + one-half the base purchase DC of the starship. Restriction: Military (+3).

Overcharge Engines
This full-round action may only be performed from a crew station that allows direct access to a starships engines. By making a successful Repair check (DC 25), a crewmember may alter the engines performance, boosting the ships tactical speed by 2 squares for a number of rounds equal to one-half the crewmembers total Repair skill bonus. At the end of this time the engines are strained and the ships speed is decreased by 1 square until after one-hour of maintenance has been performed (a successful DC 10 Repair check required). If the check to overcharge the engines fails then the engines go off-line for 1d4+1 rounds.


The following new devices are installed in the Celestial Defender as described herein. For even more starship devices see Ronin Arts Future: 13 Starship Devices and Future: 13 More Starship Devices.

Dual-Purpose Sensor Package (PL 7)

This compact system melds any two PL 5 or PL 6 sensor systems into a single, PL 7 component the two sensor systems must be purchased separately in addition to this device. With this device installed a starship may effectively carry more sensor devices, though the extra sensor devices are limited to the earlier progress levels noted above. Purchase DC: 22. Restriction: Restricted (+2).

Grav-Shielded Crew Stations (PL 7)

A starship equipped with grav-shielded crew stations better protects its crew during combat, reducing the chance that the crew will be tossed around during a fight. At any time that a crewmember


Basic Information

Note: Passenger compartments may also be equipped with grav-shielded couches for the same price as a grav-shielded crew station. Purchase DC: 10 +3 per crew station.

seated in a grav-shielded crew station must make a save to avoid being dazed, shaken, or stunned the crewmember gains a +6 equipment bonus to the check.

basic information
Originally in military service as the light frigate Nexus-9b, the Celestial Defender was decommissioned and sold as scrap during the early years of the Gravity Age. Purchased by the rulers of Drexas IV, an outer system world known primarily for its status as an intergalactic junk yard, the frigate was stripped down and rebuilt with the sole purpose of patrolling the systems shipping lanes, boarding ships with questionable documentation and taking and illegal cargo that such ships may carry. Unfortunately for the people of Drexas IV, the Celestial Defenders first combat action ended in near-defeat the ship was unsuited to its intended role, the designers having short-changed their clients during the rebuilding process. With 7 of the ships 10 crew killed in the engagement, and the Celestial Defender reduced to a smoking, failing hulk, the people of Drexas IV found themselves in a terrible situation. Salvation came from an unexpected direction, as the Black Hole Syndicate signed a contract with Drexas IV.The criminal organization was given control of the ship, which they immediately repaired and improved, and tasked with protecting the system. Why the Syndicate entered into such an unusual contract is unknown, but the people of Drexas IV are just waiting for the dreaded day in which the Syndicates true purpose in-system is revealed. While the Celestial Defender typically operates alone, it isnt at all uncommon for two or three wings of ultralight fighters, all owned by the Syndicate, to fly cover for the frigate. Recently the Syndicate started construction of a small station just on the edge of the Drexas IV system, adjacent to the primary shipping lane.What the station is for is unknown by all but the highest ranked members of the Syndicate.

game statistics
Type: Ultralight Subtype: Light Frigate Defense: 7 Flat-footed Defense: 5 Autopilot Defense: 5 Hardness: 30 Hit Dice: 20d20 (400 hp) Initiative Modifier: +4 Pilots Class Bonus: +3 Pilots Dex Modifier: +2


Gunners Attack Bonus: +2 Size: Colossal (8 size) Tactical Speed: 3,500 ft. (7 sq.) Length: 180 feet Weight: 900 tons Targeting System Bonus: +3 Crew: 8 (trained +4) Passenger Capacity: 24 Cargo Capacity: 30 tons Grapple Modifier: +16 Base Purchase DC: 52 Restriction: Military (+3) Attack: 2 fire-linked heavy neutron guns 3 ranged (15d8) and 2 fire-linked rail cannons 8 ranged (9d12) and CHE missile 8 ranged (6d12/1920) Attack of Opportunity: Point-defense system +3 ranged (1d12x10)


Standard PL 7 Design Specs:

Engines: Ion engine, thrusters Armor: Vanadium Defense Systems: Damage control system (1d10), magnetic field, point-defense system, radiation shielding, sensor jammer, electro-gravitic shields Sensors: Dual-Purpose Sensor Package (Class III sensor array and targeting system), tactical analysis computer Communications: Laser transceiver, radio transceiver Weapons: 2 fire-linked heavy neutron guns (range incr. 6,000 ft.), 2 fire-linked rail cannons (range incr. 3,000 ft.), 1 CHE missile launcher (8 missiles) Grappling Systems: Grapplers Miscellaneous Systems: Grav-Shield Crew Stations

starship key
Unless noted otherwise in the descriptions below, the following characteristics are common to all areas in the Celestial Defender. Doors: Doors within the starship are automatic and open as soon as someone steps into a space adjacent to the door. 2 thick steel, hardness 12; hp 30; AC 5; break DC 30. Walls: The walls in the starship are dull gray in color. 1 ft. thick steel walls, hardness 25; hp 200; AC 10. Computer Terminals: Each computer system is tied into the starships central database and can be used to transmit and receive messages, research, watch vids (including those broadcast from other ships or stations), and a number of other non-essential duties. Only the computers in the starships cockpit, tactical station, sensor control, and maintenance stations can be used to access the ships sensors and only the computers in the cockpit, fire control, and engineering stations can be used to access the ships weapons. Restrooms: The Celestial Defenders designers stripped out the two restrooms (originally located in what are now the maintenance stations) and replaced them with retractable facilities at each crew station (a crewmember simply plugs his suits umbilical attachment into a port in a chair the systems cleanse the suits small storage tanks when the suit and chair are linked). There are no shower facilities onboard the ship since it is intended solely for short (2-3 hour) flights. In the event of a longer flight the crew can make use of chemical refreshers mounted in the maintenance stations but these are neither relaxing nor completely effective (each is a scrubber device that emits a cleansing alcohol substance that dries quickly without need of towels or hot air). The Celestial Defender is definitely not a luxury ship.


Starship key


1. Cockpit
Designed for three crewmembers a pilot, communications officer, and navigator the cockpit is cramped and uncomfortable. The fire control and tactical stations include backup controls from which the ship may be piloted (-2 penalty to Pilot checks) in an emergency. The door does not open automatically and can be locked (DC 35) from either inside the cockpit.

5. Fire Control
All of the ships weapons can be fired from these locations, at no penalty. In addition to combat duties, these areas also serve as personal storage and first aid supplies, with numerous small lockers lining the walls. The door to fire control does not open automatically and can be locked (DC 35) from either inside or outside the station and through the computers in the cockpit and engineering stations. Hatches in the floor of each area connect to crawlspaces that allow access to the ships maintenance stations each crawlspace hatch is locked (DC 35) and the locks can be opened from either the hatch, cockpit computers, or the engineering station computer.

2. Tactical Station
This centrally-located stations primary purpose is to serve as home to the starships tactical analysis computer. This station is staffed only when the Celestial Defender is engaged in combat (or its crew is expecting combat). The crew frequently use this area as a lounge, using the computers in this station for entertainment, mail, or studying.

6. Sensor Control
These sensor control stations were installed when the ship was first retrofit. Today, though, the Syndicate is planning to rip these stations out and replace them with more offensive weaponry and cargo space the sensor controls in these stations do little to assist the ship in its primary mission and many speculate that they were included only to increase the original cost of the Celestial Defender.

3. Central Storage
A single, 10-ft. hatch in the ceiling is opened only for the largest of confiscated cargos that will not fit through the ports in the secondary storage areas (see below). This area is typically covered in loose cargo, assorted boxes, and spare parts, and moving through the central storage compartment slows one down (count each square as difficult terrain).

7. Maintenance
These are standard maintenance stations, each one providing access to all of the ships vital, nonengine systems. Crawlspace access here leads to an external hatch and to maintenance tubes that run beneath the ships floor, connecting to the fire control stations each crawlspace hatch is locked (DC 35) and the locks can be opened from either the hatch, cockpit computers, or the engineering station computer. These stations are never manned, and are accessed only during times of emergency (usually when something is broken, has been shot out, or otherwise needs quick repairs).

4. Secondary Storage
Originally sleeping quarters, before the ship was gutted and redesigned, these two small areas now serve as secondary storage lockers, each one typically loaded down with spare parts and whatever contraband the crew have liberated from smugglers that theyve encountered on their current patrol. Maintenance hatches in the ceiling, each one a 5-ft. portal in the center of the ceiling, include an extendable docking ring the crew of the Celestial Defender uses these docking rings to secure to whatever starship theyre currently inspecting. Perhaps surprising to the creators of the Celestial Defender, these areas also still serve as makeshift sleeping quarters, with the crew stealing whatever floor space they can for quick naps. Its not at all uncommon for the crew to hang hammocks within these two storage areas.

8. Engineering
This advanced engineering station provides access to the ships engines. Crawlspace access here leads to an external hatch and to maintenance tubes that run beneath the ships floor, connecting to all of the ships engines each crawlspace hatch is locked (DC 35) and the locks can be opened from either the hatch or cockpit computers.




open game license

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc (Wizards).All Rights Reserved. 1. 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Modern System Reference Document Copyright 2002-2004, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, Eric Cagle, David Noonan, Stan!, Christopher Perkins, Rodney Thompson, and JD Wiker, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Wiker. Future: Starship 16, copyright 2006 Philip Reed. Published by Ronin Arts Starship deckplan artwork copyright Ed Bourelle, used with permission. To design your own deckplans please visit and

Future:Starship 15 copyright 2006 Philip Reed. You may not distribute this document without permission of the publisher.Some portions of this document are presented as open game content,see p.2 and the Open Game License at the end of this document for more information. Deckplan art copyright Ed Bourelle,used with permission. Ronin Arts and the Ronin Arts logo are trademarks of Philip Reed and Christopher Shy.For more information on Ronin Arts,and Ronin Artssister company,Studio Ronin,please visit and


Celestial Defender
Gravity Age Ultralight (Modified) light frigate Top View Schematic

Front View Silhouette

Celestial Defender
Gravity Age Ultralight (Modified) light frigate

Deck Plan

6 7

3 8

4 6

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Cockpit Tactical Station Central Storage Secondary Storage Fire Control Sensor Control Maintenance Engineering