‘Faster Than Light: Nomad’ Ship Generation, Part 2: Fleets

Posted: 2024-07-05
Last Modified: 2024-07-22
Word Count: 2880
Tags: ftl-nomad rpg

Table of Contents

2024-07-06: Links to Confederation Space article.

2024-07-21: Fix ships to show numbers in parentheses as Passengers, not total aboard.

2024-07-22: Added rationale for Ylem Wraith Sphere variant damage table.


As part of my exploration of Faster Than Light: Nomad, I decided to make yet more ships.

Standard STL Ships

These are some common smaller vessels used below.


See “Defense Fighter”, FTLN p 148

Life Pod

(I don’t know whether the standard ship builds include life pods, but I’m going to include some.)

These are cramped four person life pods. One occupant acts as the pilot. While not the most maneuverable vessels, a Life Pod’s thrusters can be useful in dodging missiles and flak from enemies who do not respect the rules of war.

A pod can support its occupants safely for about a week … plenty of time to be rescued, one hopes.

By GM fiat, any ship that carries ten or more people automatically has a number of life pods equal to a quarter of the craft’s occupancy, i.e. crew and passengers, rounded up.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Pod 1 Week 2/4 1 (4) - - +2
base 12 hrs 2/4 1 0.5 1d6 +4
steps -2 -3 +1 +1 +2 0
cost +20% +30% -5% -10% -20% +25%

Travel Multiplier: x1

Modifications: None.

Cost: 75,000 Cr

Monthly Cost: 4660 Cr


(This is identical to the ship on FTLN p 148.)

Nearly every fleet has some version of this craft to ferry cargo and passengers between a ship and a planet’s surface. It sacrifices arms and armor to carry more passengers, so it’s unsuited for more lawless areas.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Small 1 Week 7/9 3 (7) 8 2d6 +3
base 1 Week 14/17 3 8 4d6 +3
steps +1 -2 +1
cost -10% +20% -10% 0%

Travel Multiplier: x1

Modifications: None.

Cost: 2,500,000 Cr

Monthly Cost: 22,500 Cr

Kante Empire

Technology Age: Late Interstellar

The Kante Empire exists to defend “client” planets against external threats and to sustain itself, not necessarily in that order. Ignoring the standard and nonstandard orbital bases, and any “conscripted” ships it employs in its planetary defense fleets, it employs only six standard classes of FTL-capable ship.

Admiral’s Launch

While many in the rest of Confederation Space would regard an Admiral’s Launch as a ship unto itself, the Empire considers it a glorified shuttle.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Scout 3 mo 18/21 4 (6) 8 - +1
base 1 mo 18/21 4 16 5d6 +2
steps -1 -1 +1 +4 +1 -4 0
cost +10% +10% -5% -10% -10% +10% 5%

Travel Multiplier: x0.75


Cost: 8,400,000 Cr

Monthly Cost: 39,000 + 15,000 (exta propellant) = 54,000 Cr


The largest Imperial ship class yet seen, a Dreadnought serves as the flagship of an Admiral. While it mostly stays out of battle, its wings of fighters and formidable guns take out any attackers who dare to approach.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Carrier 4 yrs 35/39 300 500 10d6 -3
base 4 yrs 35/39 300 500 10d6 -2
steps +1 -1 0
cost -10% +10% 0%

Travel Multiplier: x1


Cargo Spaces Number Total
Fighter 8 40 320
Admiral’s Launch 64 1 64
Shuttle 24 4 96
extra space 20

Cost: 4,000,000,000 Cr

Monthly Cost: 2,150,000 Cr


Intended for year-long patrol deep space missions, an Imperial gunship can take on foes a size class above. Conditions are cramped, with not a lot of entertainment. Some naysayers call gunships “deep space tombs”.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Destroyer 1 yr 29/33 25 0.5 8D6 +2
base 6 mos 25/29 25 64 7d6 +1
steps -1 -1 +5 -1 -1 -1 0
cost -10% +20% -25% +20% +10% +10% +15%

Travel Multiplier: x1


Cost: 115,000,000 cr

Monthly Cost: 264,000 cr

Standard Warship

The “Standard Warship”, called simply a “Ship” in the Empire, makes up the bulk of the Empire’s Defense Fleets and Reserve Fleets. They are a common, albeit not always welcome, site in orbit around Imperial “clients”.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Battleship 2 yr 32/35 200 250 9d6 +0
base 2 yr 32/35 200 250 9d6 -1
steps +1 -1
cost -10% +20% +10%

Travel Multiplier: x1


Cargo Spaces Number Total
Fighter 8 25 200
Shuttle 24 2 48
extra space 2

Cost: 1,210,000,000 Cr

Monthly Cost: 2,150,000 - (75000 / 2) = 2,112,500 Cr

Support Ship

In the Imperial Fleet support ships do what support ships always do: ferry supplies and personnel, cater to Imperial “clients”, and if neccessary defend the profits principles of the Empire.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Cruiser 1 yr 25/28 100 7d6 +1
base 1 yr 29/33 100 125 8d8 +0
steps +1 +1 -1 -1 0
cost -10% -10% +10% +10% 0%

Travel Multiplier: x1


Cargo Spaces Number Total
Shuttle 24 4 96
extra space 29

Cost: 385,000,000 Cr

Monthly Cost: 875,000 Cr

Stellar Alliance Exploration Fleet

Technology Age: Early Galactic

The ambitious and idealistic (but not naïve) Stellar Alliance presents a paradox: an overtly peaceful and decentralized interstellar civilization of over three hundred worlds that possesses a heavily armed “exploration” fleet with a centralized, military style command hierarchy.1

See “Ships of the Stellar Alliance” for details.

Transhuman Commonwealth

Technology Age: Late Galactic

All citizens of the Transhuman Commonwealth are Synthetics (High Artificial Intelligence “robots”). Most have gray-skinned artificial humanoid bodies, with some exceptions.

The “Transhumans” or “Posthumans” as they like to call themselves have Galactic Era technology, yet they seem disinterested in colonizing or conquering the galaxy … at least physically. Transhuman-made technology sells for quite large sums in the greater galaxy, particularly their (Interstellar Era) FTL Engines which are easier to maintain than those made by Interstellar Era civilizations. In return they only ask that their trading partners either cease building true Artificial Intelligences or grant them full citizenship.

Each Commonwealth ship is made of the same biomechanical pseudo-flesh that make up the Synthetics themselves, albeit hardened to survive the rigors of space travel.


Outsiders – non-Transhumans – most often see the Commonwealth Trader. These ships carry a delegation of Transhuman merchants seeking out new trading partners and new resources to feed their vast industrial machine.

Their cargo holds are small, but the hold carries an industrial fabricator that can construct virtually anything given the right raw materials.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Scout 3 mo 14/17 1 (3) 4 4d6 +2
base 1 mo 18/21 4 4 5d6 +2
steps -1 +1 0 +2 +1 -3 0
cost +10% -10% +10% -10% -10% +35% +35%

Travel Multiplier: x0.75


Cargo: Small Industrial Fabricator (2 spaces), samples

Cost: 8,000,00 + 25% = 1,000,000 Cr

Monthly Cost: 39,000 + 15,000 (propellant markup) = 54,000 Cr

Dominion of the First

Technology Age: Cosmic

The First Ones dwell at the antispinward edge of Confederation Space. They have forsaken planets entirely in favor of vast City Ships, each tens of kilometers in diameter.

Contact with the First Ones is difficult. They value their privacy and have little regard for “lesser species”. A few dozen people have managed to contact the First Ones through space radio; a scant handful have trod on the decks of the mighty City Ships and returned to tell of it.

While mainly retired from the petty politics of Confederation Space, the First Ones can occasionally emerge from retirement if a galaxy-wide threat is imminent. Or if they want to complain about sapients these eons.

FTL Harness

Inured to the vacuum of space, the First Ones can eschew space ships entirely with an FTL Harness. Essentially this consists of a unit strapped to the First One that extends force fields and reactionless drive fields to allow the First One to fly through space.

First Ones can use the harness to make an FTL transit to anywhere within 50 parsecs (and then wait for the engine to cool down), but the main purpose of the integral FTL Engine is to pull enormous numbers of Gs.

The Harness only works for First Ones, due to their unique physiology. It would kill any other being instantly.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Pod(?) 1 day 2/4 1 - - +4
base 12 hrs 2/4 1 0.5 1d6 +4
steps -1 +1 +1 -1 0

Travel Multiplier: x1

Modifications: FTL Engine

Cost: unknown

Monthly Cost: unknown


The First Ones’ Palanquin-class ship provides a more comfortable experience than an FTL Harness, but less unwieldy than a full Palace. It’s the ship of choice when leaving the security of a City Ship.

The crew are invariably some form of Synthoids, while the one passenger is the actual First One.

Hull Type End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility Mods Total
Scout 1 mo 18/21 3 (1) 2 4d6 +2
base 1 mo 18/21 4 16 5d6 +2
steps -1 +2 +1 -2

Travel Multiplier: x1

Modifications: Automation, FTL Engine, Double FTL Engine

Cost: unknown

Monthly Cost: unknown


Technology Age: Beyond Cosmic

Ylem Wraiths appear mainly at the edges of Confederation Space, although some have been sighted even within the Kante Empire. Despite the dire-sounding name, they appear friendly … if subtle mockery and absurd behavior can be considered friendly.

The Ylem Wraiths’ need for Travel Spheres, Battle Spheres, and “gates” indicates they’re not as “godlike” as the Móshén or the Entities of [REDACTED].

Travel Sphere

Instead of normal ships Ylem Wraiths fly “Travel Spheres”: perfect silvery spheres just big enough to enclose them, any passengers they want to bring, and any cargo they carry. Those who have ridden in a Travel Sphere report a solid silver floor, domed walls, and an eerie feeling of being inside some vast alien machine.

Spheres move through normal space at typical speeds, but they can also “teleport” in three phases: 1) the sphere shrinks down to an invisible point, 2) the point moves, perhaps through another dimension, 3) the sphere expands to its “true” size once again. With a command a Ylem Wraith can shrink a sphere and stuff it into a “pocket”, or expand the sphere around themself and anyone or anything standing next to them that they want to carry.

Diameter (Size) End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility
2m (Pod) 18/21 1 +5
3m (Pod) 18/21 1 (2) 2 +5
4m (Micro) 18/21 1 (6) 2 +4
6m (Micro) 18/21 1 (8) 2 +4
8m (Small) 18/21 1 (18) 2 +3

Travel Multiplier: Not applicable; see below.

Modifications: Who knows?

Cost: unknown

Monthly Cost: unknown

Battle Sphere

According to legend, the Ylem Wraiths cluster around “gate worlds”, which contain portals to their home dimension or reality. Each such world has “Battle Spheres” guarding it: larger spheres with offensive capabilities.

Diameter (Size) End. Armor Crew Cargo Guns Agility
10m (Small) 32/35 3 - 10d6 +5

Travel Multiplier: Not applicable; see below.

Modifications: Who knows?

Cost: unknown

Monthly Cost: unknown

Special Rules for Spheres

  1. A Ylem Wraith with a Travel Sphere in its “pocket” may create it around themself with a single combat action. A Wraith may also deactivate the sphere with a single combat action, and put it back in a “pocket”.

  2. A Ylem Wraith Sphere can use a combat round to leave normal space; the sphere appears to shrink to nothing. On the second round after the ship disappears the ship may re-enter normal space somewhere in the same star system, even in empty space inside another ship, appearing to grow from a point to its full size.

    A sphere outside normal space may also continue onward through hyperspace(?) to another system no more than 50 parsecs away.

  3. In space combat, each Sphere may take a number of combat actions equal to the number of active crew plus one. (There’s evidence Spheres have their own form of Automation.) Thus a Travel Sphere may take two Actions in combat, and a Battle Sphere may take four.

  4. On Damage to a Sphere roll on this table3:

    2d6 Regular Critical
    2-4 Crew Knocked Out
    5-6 Engine Knocked Out
    7 Weapon / Engine Crew
    8-9 Engine Crew
    10-11 Power Plant Destroyed
    12 Critical Destroyed

    Where two options are given use the first if or while it exists, then use the second.

  5. A Sphere that is Destroyed will toss its contents into the vacuum of space. (Spheres have no life pods.) Wraiths will be fine; other passengers, on the other hand, …

  1. Many of the “policing” and “defense” duties of the Exploration Fleet have recently devolved onto a new and controversial “peacekeeping fleet” which is overtly militaristic. ↩︎

  2. Every unused crew slot can carry 0.125 Cargo. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  3. Why a variant table? Because a Sphere doesn’t have “Electronics”, exactly, the hull is essentially an N-dimensional force field (so no Breaches), and the only Cargo is probably passengers. Which leaves the Crew, a Weapon if any, and the “Power Plant” and “Engine” striving mightily to keep the “hull” intact. ↩︎

  4. So-called “Elder Wraiths” stand up to three meters tall. ↩︎