Lepus-class Rim Trader (Type A4R)
This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue.
Author’s note: This ship is designed to Mongoose Traveller rules. The deckplan was made with CC3/Cosmographer.
|Designation:||(Type A4R) Lepus-class Rim Trader|
|Hull:||400 tons, Streamlined (16.16Mcr)|
|M-Drive:||B (3 tons) (8 Mcr)|
|J-Drive:||H (45 tons) (80Mcr)|
|Pwr Plant:||H (25 tons) (64Mcr)|
|Fuel:||192 tons (160 tons for J-4) (16 tons/2 weeks)|
|Fuel Proc:||2 tons (20 tons/day capacity) (.1Mcr)|
|Bridge:||20 tons (1 MCr)|
|Computer:||Model 3/bis (3 MCr) (Jump/4, Evade/1) (1.4Mcr)|
|Electronics:||Basic Civilian (.05Mcr) (1 ton)|
|Staterooms:||6 (24 tons) (3Mcr)|
|Low Berths:||4 (2 tons) (.1Mcr)|
|Vehicles:||Air/Raft (.6Mcr) (4 tons)|
|Armaments:||4 hardpoints. No weapons standard.|
|Life Support:||12,400cr (18,400cr double occupancy)|
The Lepus-class Rim Trader was specifically developed at the Thlalyi-Adams shipyards for private merchants working where traditional Jump-1 or -2 distances would not be sufficient. Built on a 400 ton hull in a streamlined design, the Lepus uses much of that space for fuel and its Jump drive. In exchange, it is capable of Jump-4, allowing it to reach distant or remote markets. At full fuel levels, the Lepus can make 1 Jump-4 and operate for 4 weeks. It has 4 hardpoints, but does not come with armaments standard. An Air/Raft is standard and fits in a berth in fore of the ship.
Lepus-class Traders are traditionally named after swift, sprinting herbivores. While few private trading ships have the jump range of a Lepus, there are significant tradeoffs. The cargo load of 80 tons is comparable to that of the smaller Type A Free Traders, much smaller than the Type R Fat Trader built on the same size hull as the Lepus. In addition, quarters on the Lepus can be cramped, as it has only 6 staterooms. Lepus crews typically must rely on double occupancy, and will rarely carry passengers.
The Lepus’ design is long and lean. Cargo is loaded underneath along the belly, with retractable landing skids supporting the ship on land. A lift at the fore of the cargo deck leads to the other parts of the ship: the Gun Deck with Sickbay, turret access, Air/Raft storage, and Fuel Systems; and the Upper Deck with the staterooms, galley, bridge, and engineering. At a minimum, the Lepus needs a Pilot, Astrogator, and Engineer to operate. However, most Lepus crews consist of a Pilot, Astrogator, Engineer, Medic, and Gunners/Deckhands for any weapon turrets installed, and a Steward if passengers are taken on.
The Lepus is a speciality ship, designed for crews who want to travel far and fast. While one can turn a profit in a Lepus with a solid trade route and good brokers, in most parts of the galaxy the expense and upkeep of a Lepus don’t make good business sense, when you can get cheaper ships that carry more cargo, though can only make Jump-1 or -2. In Rim territories, a Lepus will only attract occasional attention from authorities: Jump-4 ships are still unusual and suggest illegal activity. However, coreward, the long-Jumping Lepus will raise suspicion much more often, and the crew may have to submit to many searches and justifications for why they fly this particular ship.