Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Armed Packet

In Traveller, players inevitably gravitate toward a ship of their own. However, I have always been dissatisfied with the ship classes traditionally available to players. The scout ship? Too small for most of my groups. The beloved Type A trader, or fat trader, or far trader? Again, too small, and Jump-1 seems much too limiting. And since I’ve never really gravitated toward mercantile games, all that cargo space feels wasted. And even the far trader’s Jump-2 seems a bit wimpy. From there the choices quickly become too weird, too specialized, or too large. Safari ship? Nope. Broadsword or AHL? Too military and too large.

A Type UF armed packet, from the Green List, “the casual user’s recognition guide, distributed by the Travellers’ Aid Society.”

Traveller5, though, introduced the Armed Packet, a 300 ton, Jump-3 ship providing “unscheduled passenger service for those in a hurry. The crew can be trusted, but these little ships still find themselves jumping in harm’s way.” This really is the Goldilocks ship I have waiting for all this time. It’s the right size, has got a nice Jump number, and a great mission type that matches up well with the type of Traveller games I like to run. Someone needs to get off planet, and quickly? Or deliver a high priority message? Or evade a blockade or two? An armed packet is the ship to look for.

The only problem? T5 provides no ship stats for the packet. Luckily, Rob Eaglestone, who has done a great job fleshing out the T5 rules, posted a nice version of the Armed Packet to RPGnet back in 2013.

Using Rob’s design for guidance, I created my own packet for Mongoose Traveller 2e using the High Guard rules. It was a good opportunity both to try out the revised HG ship design and to compare this to T5 ship design. In general, there is a nice continuity between the systems. T5 has a “airframe” hull configuration, which is basically streamlined but optimized for atmospheric operations. While there’s no match in HG2, MongTrav does have an “aerofin” option which more-or-less accomplishes the same thing.

Edit: The eagle-eyed poster AnotherDilbert over on the Mongoose Traveller forums spotted a couple of errors in my calcs, the most significant was in the costing of staterooms. I’ve fixed the math below, which brings the cost for the ship down considerably. He also offered some excellent suggestions, which I’ll eventually incorporate into a revised design.

Pemami-class Armed Packet

The TL12 Pemami-class armed packet is an Allied Prefabricated Ships and Vessels product, derived from the standard Type UF design used throughout the Imperium. The Pemami has proven a popular class in Magyar sector. Using a 300 ton hull, the packet is a secure transport ship for unscheduled passenger service for those in a hurry. Its drives and fuel tankage support one jump 3 and up to 3-G acceleration for a month. It has scoops and processors allowing it to gather and purify fuel from gas giants and oceans.

The ship requires a crew of four: Pilot, Astrogator, and two Engineers. There are 5 crew staterooms and a barracks for the gunners, 12 passenger staterooms, and 5 low berths. On the bridge is a computer Model/15. For armament, the ship sports two triple missile launcher turrets, and one triple beam laser turret. It has an air/raft, carries four tons cargo, and has a mail vault for express boat contracts.

Ship Details

Armed Packet [Type UF]
TL12  Tons
Hull 300 tons, streamlined -
Armor Armor 0 -
M-Drive Thrust 3 9
J-Drive Jump 3 27.5
Power Plant Fusion, Power 240 16
Fuel Tanks 4 weeks operation, J-3 92
Bridge Small (DM-1) 10
Computer Computer 15 -
Sensors Civilian grade (DM-2) 1
Weapons Triple turret missile rack x2 2
  Triple turret beam laser 1
Systems Aerofins 15
  Fuel scoops 0
  Fuel processors (30 tons/day) 3
  Air/Raft -
  Docking space (4 tons) 5
  Mail vault 1
  Medical bay 4
Staterooms Crew x5 20
  Passenger x12 48
  Barracks 8
  Low berths x5 2.5
Common Areas   18
Cargo   4

Hull Points



Pilot, Astrogator, 2 Engineers

Running Costs

Maintenance Cost: Cr9918.75/month

Purchase Cost: MCr119.025

Power Requirements

Basic Ship Systems: 60

Maneuver Drive: 90

Jump Drive: 90

Sensors: 1

Fuel Consumption

Jump-1: 30 tons

Jump-2: 60 tons

Jump-3: 90 tons


Levels 1 and 2

  1. Airlock
  2. Cargo bay and air/raft dock
  3. Missile triple turret
  4. Missile storage
  5. Airlock
  6. Mail vault
  7. Low berths (5)
  8. Aerofins
  9. Lift
  10. Fresher
  11. Jump drive
  12. Power plant
  13. Maneuver drive

Level 3 and Turret

  1. Avionics/sensors
  2. Bridge
  3. Storage
  4. Fresher
  5. Passenger stateroom (12)
  6. Passenger lounge
  7. Crew lounge
  8. Crew stateroom (5)
  9. Clinic
  10. Ship’s locker
  11. Barracks
  12. Triple turret beam laser

Copyright Information

The Traveller game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright © 1977 – 2019 Far Future Enterprises. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Far Future permits web sites and fanzines for this game, provided it contains this notice, that Far Future is notified, and subject to a withdrawal of permission on 90 days notice. The contents of this site are for personal, non-commercial use only. Any use of Far Future Enterprises’s copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, any program/articles/file on this site cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the author who contributed it.

Materials produced by Digest Group Publications (DGP) are copyright © Roger Sanger. Any use of Digest Group Publications' copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this Web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights. Usage is intended to follow the guidelines announced by Roger Sanger on the Traveller Mailing List for preserving the overall Traveller milieu.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Shawn! I see that T5.10 has a packet ship design, though it isn't armed and a bit different than what was described in T.09