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Shaar Muzaandi-class Freighter

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2021 issue.

A common sight across the Imperium, the Shaar Muzaandi-class freighter is Sharurshid’s medium sized workhorse. Capable of transporting up to 780 tons of cargo, the Shaar Muzaandi fills the niche between large bulk freighters and smaller independent free traders; it’s a classic Vilani design, simple and efficient.

Traditionally, Sharurshid trades in luxury and speculative goods from all parts of the Third Imperium and many areas beyond its borders. In the Restored Vilani Empire, Sharurshid is now tasked with overseeing all aspects of trade. Transporting passengers may be profitable, and exploring new systems exciting, but freight is the lifeblood of a starfaring economy. Sharurshid typically has a broker at each port of call to pre-arrange cargo and passengers as the Shaar Muzaandi makes its scheduled runs.

Interior Details

Deck A: Living Quarters: The topmost deck contains the bridge and quarters for the crew and passengers. Behind the four-station bridge is the captain’s quarters, dorsal laser turret access, and crew lounge. One small stateroom and purser’s office as well as four double occupancy staterooms provide quarters for the crew. Ten well-appointed staterooms and thirty-two low berths provide passengers with a variety of travel options. Docks house the ship’s two enclosed air/rafts, one dedicated for passengers, one for cargo. A spacious lounge with a transparent rear wall provides passengers with a spectacular view of the local system. Access to the dorsal sandcaster is located in the passenger lounge.

Deck B: “The Attic”: Between the passenger and cargo decks is a deck often called ‘the attic’. Designed to carry cargo or fuel based on the ship’s needs, it can hold 130 tons of fuel, 130 tons of cargo, or 65 tons of each. This flexibility allows the Shaar Muzaandi to maximize its cargo capacity for each jump. A jump-1 allows for 780 tons of cargo to be carried; a jump-2, 715 tons; and a jump-3, 650 tons. A maintenance passageway extending the length of the ship provides the crew with access to the ship’s sensor, computer banks, two weapon mounts, and the lower decks.

Deck C: Engineering: The ship’s maneuver drives, jump drive, and power plant are located in the two wings. The power plant is constructed at TL 15, but most of the ship’s other systems are built at lower tech levels. This allows for easier repairs in frontier regions where high-tech worlds may be few and far between. Two aft-facing sandcasters provide the Shaar Muzaandi with a reasonable defensive capability. On the ventral surface of each wing, a hardpoint is available for one triple laser turret.

Deck D: Cargo: The most predominate feature of the Shaar Muzaandi is its three-story tall, full-access, tunnel-type cargo deck, which has been optimized for containerized cargo. Four large doors provide quick and efficient transfer of cargo. A floor hatch provides maintenance access to the ship’s chin sandcaster. This deck is capable of transporting 650 tons of cargo.

Deck E: Support: The lowest deck is dedicated to ship maintenance and fuel processing. Because the Shaar Muzaandi is designed to operate in frontier areas, the ship is equipped with a small machine shop, which is used for minor field repairs as well as fuel scoops and purifiers for when refined fuel is not available. On ships that ply the core sectors, where there is little need for the machine shop, crews often convert this space into a small crew lounge, allowing the crew a break away from the hustle and bustle of normal ships operations. With a significant decrease in the capabilities of many starports, the machine shop on all ships has been stocked with spare parts and updated tools. Finally, the ship’s ventral laser turret is located on this deck.

The Armed Freighter

Shaar Muzaandi are always armed, typically outfitted with two triple beam turrets and four sandcasters. In this configuration, the ship has an agility of one. The ship can support additional armament: a total of twelve hardpoints are installed, allowing the ship to be equipped with two additional triple laser turrets as well as four additional triple missile turrets or sandcasters. When triple missile turrets are installed in the two dorsal hardpoints, they are supplied by magazines capable of providing twenty-four missile rounds of combat. If turrets are installed in the port and starboard cargo deck mounts, cargo space must be sacrificed for missile or sand storage. With the escalating dangers to travel and shipping due to the rebellion, all Sharurshid ships are being fully armed. Most Shaar Muzaandi freighters have received four missile turrets as well as two additional laser turrets. Fully armed, the ship has an agility of zero and requires up to nine gunners, at the cost of three passenger staterooms.

MegaTraveller Specifications

CraftID: Freighter, Type M, TL 15, MCr 292.46, (MCr 304.50 Fully Armed)
Hull: 1170/2925, Disp=1300, Config=1SL, Armor=40G, Unloaded=6354 tons, Loaded=17111 tons
Power: 23/46, Fusion=6250Mw, Duration: Jump=8/24, Cruise (50%)=30/90), Combat (100%)=1/3
Loco: 23/46, Maneuver=1, 46/93, Jump=3, NOE=190kph, Cruise=750kph, Top=1000kph, Agility=1, Em Agility=2
Commo: Radio=System2, Laser=System
Sensor: PassiveEMS=Interstellar, ActiveEMS=FarOrbit, Densitometer=LowPen(250m), Neutrino (10kw), Neural(VLong); ActObjScan=Routine, ActObjPin=Routine, PasObjScan=Routine, PasObjPin=Routine, PasEngScan=Simple, PasEngPin=Routine
BeamLaser= x04
Batt 2
Bear 2
Def: DefDM=+4
Sandcaster= x07
Batt 1
Bear 1
Control: Computer=43, HolographicLinked224, Heads-UpHolo4, Environ=basic, basic ls, Ext Life, Grav Plates, Inertial Comp
Accomm: Crew=10 (Command=1, Bridge=2, Engineering=3, Gunnery=3, Steward/Medic=1), Small Stateroom=9, Stateroom=11, LowBerth=32, AirLock=4, SubCraft=Enclosed Air/Raft2
Other: Cargo=8755 kl, Fuel=4810 kl, Additional Cargo/Fuel=1755 kl, Scoops, Purification Plant=48 hrs, Passenger Lounge, Machine Shop, ObjSize=Average, EMLevel=Moderate

Classic Traveller Description

Using a 1,300-ton hull, the Shaar Muzaandi-class MA freighter is a merchant vessel intended to transport medium sized speculative cargo quickly and efficiently between worlds. The ship is capable of jump-3, 1G acceleration, and has fuel for 30 days of operation. The hull is streamlined and equipped with fuel scoops and purifiers. The crew of ten consists of a captain, pilot, sensor/navigator, steward/medic, three engineers, and three gunners. Classified as an armed merchant, the ship is always armed with at least two laser turrets in addition to four sandcasters. The Shaar Muzaandi is a standard design, costs MCr292.46 and takes 28 months to build.

Designer’s Notes

The Shaar Muzaandi plans were inspired by the artwork of Tom Peters on page 35 of MegaTraveller Alien Vol 1: Vilani and Vargr [ 1990 by DGP]. I view these deck plans as technical drawings because I put forth significant effort to match the deck plans with the artwork and to calculate the correct volume for the ship and its components. This design uses all know errata for MegaTraveller’s ship design sequence, starship add-ons presented in various sources, as well as the optional jump fuel system presented in The MegaTraveller Journal #4, page 89.