The CyberWolfe's Den
'Punks In Space
Weapons and Defenses
The way this table is laid out, you will start by deciding roughly how large a starship you want and adding components in as you go. You'll end up devoting about a third of your design tonnage and volume to your power and drive components, with another third going towards personnel accomodations.
Of course, the above assumes you're not building the mother of all freighters - just as with modern super-tankers and cargo ships, you realize that there's really only so many people needed to run them, and you don't need to be the fastest ship in the quadrant. This lets you open up big cargo holds.
On the components table itself, each item is listed by the most-common unit of purchase. For larger systems, get out that calculator and start mutliplying. I took pains to make them all make sense, but here are some qualifyers in case you got lost:
Mass This is how many tons the item would mass at 1G. We all know how things in space are 'weightless' , but that doesn't mean they weigh as much as a feather - it means there's just no gravity to slam it down on your head.
Volume How much physical space does the item occupy? This number is taken in Cubic Yards. This does not mean that the item itself is a cube, just that it occupies X amount of space, reduced to the simplest form. You'll find that cargo containers come in standardized sizes, however, to make keeping track of cargo simple.
Power This is the amount of power, in Megawatts, that the device will draw. Amounts listed with an asterisk* are instant-draw high-amperage devices - they will need to run off the equivalent wattage from capacitors.
Cost is well, how many arms and legs it's going to take to get the whole thing out of hawk.
Notes on measurement
For those of you thinking "Wolfe, c'mon, it's the 21st Century - why aren't you using a sensible measurement system, like metrics?" The answer is very simple: I'm an American, you nitwit.
Truth of the matter is that even in the U.K. today, the common person is just as familiar with traditional units of measurement if not more so. Someone trying to 'lose a stone' is not out to pass a kidney stone, they want to lose 20 pounds.
What does all this mean? It means I don't have to deal with metric conversions and you get to deal with yards.