The FASA Starship Construction Manual (1st Edition) was solely concerned with game mechanics which I do not use, except for the chapter Designing in Detail, which gave much-needed advice on designing deckplans for the various factions in Star Trek.

FASA's Ship Construction Manual 1 Ed.

I have transcribed the pages in question as an aid for all GamesMasters, regardless of system. Note that at the time the book was written, only the first few Star Trek movies had been released, so the book necessarily reflects a 22nd century view of things. Some notes deal with mechanics of the FASA system and some to illustrations, but these can safely be ignored. A common measurement given is in "gaming squares". This convention referred to a square of 1.5 metres of 5'-0" across, for an area of 2.25m², or 24.2ft². At one point, mention is made of recording onto magnetic tape, even though it was clear in TOS that use was made of solid-state data wafers (a precursor to TNG's isolinear chips).

Designing in Detail, by David F. Tepool, FantaSimulations Associates,
from the FASA
Star Trek Role Playing Game Starship Construction Manual, 1st edition

This section is for those of you who are laying out the decks of vessels that you have designed. Included herein are illustrations of various facilities that would be found on vessels in Star Trek's time. Guidelines are given for differences between cultures. The Klingons, for example, are not exactly known for great crew comfort and spacious private staterooms. Remember that these are guides only.

FASA will vary widely on vessels they design and so should you. Stateroorns should NOT look alike on all Federation vessels. Change walls, or exclude item as you desire. This section is intended to assist those of you who are novice ship designers.

An airlock is designed primarily for one thing - to allow for easy passage of people or things from one air pressure (or lack of it) to another. Airlocks are basically the same from culture to culture, the size depending on how large an item(s) or how many personnel would normally use it at once. Controls are normally duplicated on both doors, inside and outside of the chamber. Emergency overrides will be found in the engineering section and on the bridge of the vessel.

Number Per Vessel: Minimum of one for all cultures.
(Normal Size: Normal minimum of three gaming squares, although shape and size vary widely.

The bridge of a vessel is the nerve of all operations. All ship's functions and operations can be monitored from here. Although bridge size varies greatly, all vessels must have at least one, be it a one-men vessel or a 300,000 ton colony ship. The stations listed below are normal on a bridge, be it a one-man, 2 square facility or a ten man bridge on the larger vessels.

COMMAND - The officer of the watch or ship's captain sits here. Ship's log and communication/cornputer can be accessed from hare on most vessels.

HELM - This station handles the actual maneuvering of the vessel. On many vessels this station also handles the offensive weaponry.

NAVIGATION - Handles travel, plotting of courses between destinations. Works hand in hand with Helm. On many smaller vessels (under 50,000 tons) these two are combined and handled by one person. Handles defensive (deflector shields) weaponry.

COMMUNICATIONS - Handles all communications aboard the vessel, intemal and external. Access to computer banks makes cross-reference possible for various forms of communications. Internal communications can be to any individual station or room in the vessel for most cultures.

SCIENCES/COMPUTER - Usually combined into one station. Handles all sensor information received. Data is analyzed, evaluated, and stored in the ship's computer, which can send this data to almost any station aboard the vessel (some cultures, especially the Klingons, severely restrict the locations that can access this data).

NAVlGATlON SUBSYSTEMS - Provide visual readout on all navigational equipment and systems on board.

WEAPONS SUBSYSTEMS - Monitor all offensive weapons systems and subsystems on board. On more modern Federation vessels(beginning with the refitted Enterprise) this station is the primary fire control venter, rather than the Helm.

WEAPONS SYSTEMS - Handle all systems relating to defense. On the more current large Federation vessels this may be combined with the station above.

ENGINEERING - All engineering systems are monitored here. All power generation and channelling is controlled from this station.

ENGINEERING SUBSYSTEMS - Provide readouts on all subsystems.

ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS - Monitor all environmental systems of the vessel. Any changes in atmosphere, gravity, etc. are controlled and changed from here. These stations can be combined on smaller vessels. See below.

Number per Vessel: One bridge is required on all vessels, regardless of size. Two bridges are required on Federation vessels of 75,000 tons or more. Other cultures have no set requirements for two bridges, this being a matter left up to the designing firm and the nature of the vessel.
Normal Size: Minimum of 3 squares on all vessels. Normally there is 1 square per every 3000 tons of vessel for all cultures. Every manned station requires at least 1 square (for command, helm. and navigation) and 2 squares (for all other stations). See appendix F for rninimal crew requirements for vessels. Each of the required crew stations listed in this appendix will require a station on the bridge.

Used for the holding of personnel under restraint. Temporary brigs can usually be rigged by a competent engineer and his crew. The Klingons tend to have more mace devoted to this type of facility.

Number per Vessel: - Usually one per vessel on vessels over 75,000 tons.
Normal Size: - Varies widely.

Varies widely from vessel to vessel. See TRADER CAPTAINS AND MERCHANT PRINCES for more detail on cargo areas.


A ship's computer will vary greatly in size, according to the vessel's mission. The Constitution class, for example, have immense computers storing all of the known data in the Federation, with new data being constantly added. Semibiological computers and semibiological microcircuit chips are in widespread use, allowing data storage of quantities unimaginable in the 20th century. The computers we're referring to here are general purpose computers. The computers used in each department (engineering, navigation, etc.) are assumed to be built into the appropriate control panels. The main (ship's) computer can override any sub-computer at any station.

Number per Vessel: Varies, but minimum of 1
Normal Size: Varies, but minimums are listed below

  • Federation -1 square per 4000 tons
  • Klingon - 1 square per 2000 tons
  • Romulan -1 square per 3500 tons
  • Tholian - 1 square per 6000 tons
  • Gorn - 1 square per 1200 tons
  • Orion -1 square per 3000 tons.

These rooms are scattered throughout vessels of all cultures. They are used to hold meetings, brief and debrief landing parties, boarding parties, etc. They can be used for study groups or (in the case of Klingons) indoctrination sessions. Sizes and number are highly variable.

These are used to receive personnel and equipment that must be decontaminated for one reason or another.

Number per Vessel: 1 per vessel for vessels over 100,000 tons (many vessels use cargo areas, conference rooms, etc., for temporary decontamination areas).
Normal Size: 4 squares

Engineering controls are the controls necessary for the 'life' of the ship. They control the engines, life support, all power generated and the channeling of that power, the lights, and anything else that requires power consumption. There may be duplicate panels aboard larger vessels in case one set is destroyed by boarders or malfunctions. These are normally located adjacent to the engines or where the warp nacelles connect to the hull. These controls do not include any pumps, fabrication equipment, etc. These are main controls and equipment only.

Number per Vessel: Minimum of two sets, one on thebridge (minimal controls, two gaming squares in size normal), the other in the engineering section of the vessel. This is required for all cultures.
Normal Size: Bridge set is 2 - 4 gaming squares in size for all cultures. Sizes for engineering sections vary according to culture and are outlined in the table below:

  • Federation - 1 square per 10,000 tons, minimum of 6 squares.
  • Klingon - 1 square per 8,000 tons, minimum of 8 squares.
  • Romulan - 1 square per 9,000 tons, minimum of 7 squares.
  • Tholian - 1 square per 15,000 tons, minimum of 4 squares.
  • Gorn - 1 square per 6,000 tons, minimum of 10 squares.
  • Orion - 1 square per 15,000 tons, minimum of 4 squares.

These are lockers for the storage of environmental suits. Each gaming square of locker holds 10 suits. These lockers are normally scattered throughout the vessel for emergency use. Lockers are kept unlocked for easy access at all times.

Number per Vessel: Varies widely, as below:

  • Federation - 1 locker per every 10 crew
  • Klingon - 1 locker per every 30 crew
  • Rornulan - 1 locker per every 10 crew
  • Tholian - 1 locker per every 10 crew
  • Gorn - 1 locker per every 20 crew
  • Orion - 1 locker per every 5 crew
Normal Size: 1 or 2 gaming squares.

This equlpments comes in many shapes and sizes, a few of which are illustrated below. Then: are four basic types of fabrication equipment: food, organic, non-organic metallic, and non-organic non-metallic. These are not normally carried an vessels of under 25,000 tons at all, except for food fabricators. The use of these devices eliminates the need for numerous 'supply' stops, as raw materials on board, and recycled materials are used in a constant cycle of usage. Little is wasted aboard a vessel.

Number per Vessel: Varies, as below.
Normal Size: On vessels of all cultures: Normally 1 gaming square per crew member.

Recreation aboard a vessel is important, for the mind as well as the body. Crew members are encouraged to work out daily in most cuitures and races. Gyms aboard the Klingon and Rornulan vessels are separated either in time or place according to rank or social status. Many vessels have swimming pools, firing ranges, boxing arenas, etc. for crew usage.

Number per Vessel: 1 or 2, depending on size of vessel. Vessels under 20,000 tons normally do not have gyms. (Sometimes they do have minimal weight equipment). Vessels between 20,000 and 50,000 tons normally have 1 gym, and those over 50,000 normally have 2 facilities.
Normal Size: Highly variable. Normally 1 square per every 2 crew members is devoted to physical activity facilities of some type, be it gym, pools, firing ranges, etc.

This is a sanitary facility. The type can varv widely awarding to the type of crew and/or passengers. Sanitary facilities can be of many types, be they old Earth water showers, ultraviolet waves, or more. All waste is recycled for use in the ship's fabricators.

Number per Vessel: Varies widely.
Normal Size: Usually 1 or 2 squares. Usually 1 head per x number of crew as listed below. Passengers usually have 1 head per every 2 passengers.

  • Federation - 1 per every 2 crew
  • Klingon - 1 per every 10 crew
  • Romulan - 1 per every 6 crew
  • Tholian - 1 per every 2 crew
  • Gorn - 1 per every 15 crew
  • Orion - 1 per every 5 crew
(Remember, these are averages only)

Although covered in detail in the ship combat design section, we will mention briefly that a vessel will only have one impulse engine. Power sources vary widely from culture to culture and even within a culture. Impulse engines are controlled normally from panels adjacent to the engine itself and from overrides in the engineering section and on the bridge's engineering consoles. Under normal circumstances it will take five minutes to bring an impulse engine to 'life' from a cold start. An engineer's skills may be used at the gememaster's discretion to modify this figure.

Number per Vessel: One, all cultures.
Normal Size: See IMPULSE ENGINES, in first section of this booklet.

Labs vary greatly from vessel to vessel and there is no standard number of gaming squares devoted to such. Labs may be of any type, according to mission of the vessel. Many vessels carry no labs of any type. Some common types of labs are listed below.

CHEMISTRY - For the study of unknown substances encountered.
ENERGY - For the study of various forms of energy and application of same.
BIOLOGY - For the study of life forms.
GEOLOGY - Primarily for the study of planetary (including asteroids and such) structure and origins.
PHYSICS - For the study of any of the physical sciences.
BOTANICAL LABS - For the study of plant life.
COMMUNCATIONS - For studies in new methods of communications.

These are not required on all vessels but are common on vessels that are on missions of long duration, and on research vessels. The Federation strongly believes in library facilities on must of their vessels. All Federation vessels carry library/small computer chairs as illustrated below: These chairs (and most other cultures have similar equipment) can access many books, both technical and leisure. Many have keyboards or voice recorders so that letters or other materials can be recorded on magnetic tape, which can then be 'popped out' of the device for storage.

This is the equipment necessary for the maintenance of life on the vessel. The controls for life support are on the bridge in a seperate environmental systems station on vessels of greater than 50,000 metric tons. Duplicate controis are in the engineering section. On vessels of less than 50,000 tons life support is controlled from the engineering station on the bridge. An override is located in the engineering section. From either life support station (bridge or override) life support can be maintained or shut down anywhere on the vessel, even in individual rooms. The life support controls on a vessel can control the environment in any location and modify it for almost any life form in the STAR TREK era. It takes 2 minutes to 'vacuum' a room on a vessel, and 5 minutes to make a 'vacuumed' room occupiable again. The equipment necessary for life support (pumps, water tanks, etc.) is highly variable depending on the ship's crew size and mission length. The figures below represent a good average size to use, but are by no means considered a fixed rate.

Number per Vessel: Bridge set (environmental station) and duplicate engineering override on vessels of 50,000 tons and greater. Located on engineering console and in engineering on smaller vessels of all cultures.
Normal Size: 2 - 4 squares at environmental station. On smaller vessels and in engineering sections this equipment is already figured into the engineering section. The actual equipment normally occupies 1/20th of a vessel's space. This is highly variable.

These are facilities for dining. Normally the Federation, Orion, and Tholian facilities are more spacious and pleasant. The Gorn, Klingon, and Romulan facilities tend to be more spartan. Sizes and number vary widely.

These are spacious on Federation vessels (see the Enterprise description booklet. and are covered under gym and library in addition to the notes here. Recreation can vary widely from culture to culture and even within a culture, and the various forms of recreation are too numerous to cover in detail here. This also covers lounges for informal gatherings.

Number per Vessel: At least one facility of some type on all vessels over 5000 tons.
Normal Size: Usually a ratio of squares to crew as below:

  • Federation - 1 square per every crew
  • Klingon - 1 square per every crew
  • Romulan - 1 square per every 5 crew
  • Tholian - 1 square per every 20 crew
  • Gorn - 1 square per every 12 crew
  • Orion - 1 square par every 6 crew
These are minimums and are usually higher on vessels with long tours of duty.

These are covered in the basic rulebook. There is no set size, although the controls are usually on the Bridge Science panel. All vessels carry sensors.

The equipment found here is covered in the basic rulebook. Larger ships will have dentistry, psychiatry, and more. Small-crewed vessels will have someone aboard medically qualified to handle most instances. Even though they may not have sick bays, they will carry some equipment and use staterooms in emergencies.

Number per Vessel: Minimum of 1 on vessels of 100 crew or more.
Normal Size: Varies widely. Federation, Orion, Tholian and Romulan sick bays tend to be larger and better equipped than Gorn or Klingon.

This is a storage and launch facility for shuttlecraft. There is no set size, as this depends on the number of shuttlecraft aboard and their size.


This is a locked storage area for hand weapons. Only Command and Security personnel have the access codes for these areas. These are normally located near rooms and brigs.

Number per Vessel: 1 for vessels under 50,000 tons. 2 or more for larger vessels.
Normal Size: 3 or more squares.

These are the living quarters for the crew and passengers. These tend to be more spacious and well furnished on Federation, Orion, and Tholian vessels. Most of the Federation sleeping facilities (beds) are equipped with anti-grav plates for zero-gee or low-gee sleeping. Federation, Orion, Tholian, high-ranking Klingon, Romulan, and Gorn staterooms are normally equipped with other furniture according to the individua's tastes, a work area, a small living area with a computer station, or other comfort facilities. Most of these are also equipped with their own head. See the Enterprise and D-7 deck plans for ideas. Staterooms on passenger vessels can be quite luxurious, as evidenced by the Royal Suites on the Sunshine class passenger liners. Some of the suites on the Sunshine class make many 20th century apartments look like closets. Some of these suites have private physical fitness centers with stuff. The largest suite on the Sunshine class has a small private pool.

Number per Vessel: According to crew size.
Normal Size: According to the table below:

  • Federation - 9 squares per crew member
  • Klingon - 2 squares per crew member
  • Romulan - 6 squares per crew member
  • Tholian - 8 squares per crew member
  • Gorn - 2 squares per crew member
  • Orion - 7 squares per crew member
Remember, these are averages only. Officer and passenger quarters will usually be larger than the normal crew quarters on a vessel.

Streamlining a vessel enables it to land planetside for direct repairs at a base or for direct embarkation/debarkation of personnel/cargo. Streamlining does not mean the vessel need look like a 20th century airplane. The term indicates that the vessel has maneuvering thrusters and landing "legs" enabling it to land planetside. The 'legs' may merely mean the vessel has a flat bottom hull so that it can 'sit' on the ground. The cost of streamlining is .0001 MCr per ton of vessel. Streamlining is restricted to vessels under 75,000 tons because of superstructure size! stress limitations.

All vessels carry tractor beams. The equipment used for tractors are built into the hull in the same manner as the deflector screens. Tractors draw power as described in the basic ship combat rules. Tractors may be used as pressor beams. That is, instead of drawing an object to the vessel, the power flow is reversed through the tractors to push the object away.

TRANSPORTERS The use of these is covered in the basic rulebook and needs not be covered in detail here.

Number per Vessel: Minimum of one small (2 - 9 personnel) per every 50,000 tons. Minimum of one emergency (10 - 30 personnel) per vessel of over 150 crew. Cargo transsporters as needed.
Normal Size: (For controls, room, and pads) Minimum of 3 squares per personnel pad. Cargo transporters vary widely.

These "elevators" will take you where you need to go in a hurry. Smaller vessels, of course, do not have these, as there is no need for them. There is no set number or size for these, being placed where the designer feels they're needed.

These are covered in the earlier sections of this booklet. Controls are in the engineering section.

These are the squares occupied by the controls for the various weapons systems. Although weapons are fired from the bridge, all subsystems and checks ere carried out here. Weapons can be fired from here if the primary fire control is damaged on the bridge.

Number per Vessel: 1 on vessels over 10,000 tons.
Normal Size: 2 or 3 squares.

This page ©2013 Owen E. Oulton
Quoted text © FASA Corp.