While the Guardsmen are content to use surplus Protectorate ships for patrol, general combat and rescue duties, there was nothing available with the speed and technical capabilities needed for the ever-increasing problem of piracy on the Frontier.

The Protectorate’s surplus vessels were warships; combat vessels a generation out-of-date. They were soldiers.

What the Guardsmen needed was a hunter.

Hiring some of the best designers in the market, and willing and able to spend more per ship than most governments would for a frigate, the Guardsman Interplanetary Security Service (GISS) designed a fast, gun-heavy frigate loaded with high-tech sensory equipment. It needed to be able to sniff out pirates, catch them, and kill them.

The Accipiter does just that. It is the fastest frigate-class vessel ever made by humanity. It is armed like a destroyer, but fitted out like a scout ship, with hull-penetrating scanners, powerful passive and active sensor arrays, and enough armor to fend off most of the weapons a pirate can get his or her hands on.

To be sure, the Accipiter is not a warship, and it’s not meant to go toe-to-toe with its equivalents in the Imperial Freehold. However, the Protectorate is watching the Accipiter’s performance closely and so far has liked what it has seen. It could end up that the GISS ends up making far more money off of the Accipiter than it spent.

The Accipiter is armed with a four ion cannons, a pair of solid state lasers, medium missile launcher batteries, defensive laser turrets, and a pair of electromagnetic pulse guns. One of the things that makes the vessel unfit for warfare is its lack of kinetic weapons. It does not have the cargo space for anything more than a few missiles and a brig. This would make it particularly vulnerable to Arkhon warships unless it underwent some major design changes.

The Guardsmen have found numerous uses for these ships, which was a necessity considering the cost. They are patrol ships, rescue vessels, escort frigates and picket ships. But first and foremost they are pirate hunters.

Accipiter-class frigates are named after species of birds of prey, but they need not be actual accipiters. Examples include the Goshawk, the Osprey and the Kingfisher.

Model: Anti-Commerce Piracy Interdiction and Emergency Response Frigate Type 1

Class: Frigate

Crew: 4 officers, 12 crew, and 10 troopers in heavy armor or exoskeletons. Can carry an additional 10 troopers or passengers as the need arises.

M.D.C. by Location

Laser defense turrets (2) – 250 each

Ion cannons (4) – 400 each

Missile batteries (2) – 300 each

Laser cannons (2) – 350 each

Electromagnetic pulse guns (2) – 200 each

Wing shields (2) – 1,000 each

Wings (2) – 700 each

Wing shield Secondary Thrusters (2) – 550 each

Main Thrusters (2) – 1,600 each

Extending Boarding Collars (3) – 200 each

Forward Fire Control/Observation Bubble – 400

Sensor Array – 600

*Bridge – 750

**Main body – 4,500

*Destroying the Bridge will likely kill the crew and will eliminate primary controls for the vessel. Auxiliary controls are located in the Forward Fire Control bubble, but the ship loses any bonuses to dodge and is -4 to initiative.

**Depleting the Main Body M.D.C. will disable the vessel, leaving it adrift with multiple hull breaches and no power. Reducing the M.D.C. to -2,000 will cause the vessel to explode, doing 2D4x100 M.D.C. to anything within a 500-foot radius.


Maximum Sublight Speed: .2 C (20% of the speed of light)

Maximum Acceleration/Deceleration: 8G’s per melee round.

FTL Speed: Cx365 (1 light-year per day.)

Top Atmospheric Maneuvering Speed: Mach 9 (can achieve escape velocity on a full engine burn and still retain a small amount of maneuverability)

Statistical Data

Height: 35 feet

Length: 179 feet

Width: 97.5 feet

Cargo: 50 tons

Power Plant: Anti-Matter Reactor (20-year estimated lifespan)

FTL: Negative Mass Drive (Military-Grade NMD-365)

Range: 2 months of consumables, or a 60 light-year range.

Cost: Not for sale. The GISS has not revealed how much it pays per ship, but it is assumed to be much more expensive than most frigate-class vessels. Most pirates and other ship thieves consider the ships too “hot” to keep, and all are equipped with the ability to be “scuttled” or self-destructed by their commanding officers.


Weapon Systems


1. Ion Cannons (4): The Accipiter’s main guns are two pairs of medium ion cannons about equivalent to the secondary guns on most destroyers. These weapons are mounted, with their power regulators, on the inside of the protective wing shields. The wing shields must be destroyed to destroy the regulators and fully disable the weapons. The weapons have medium range and are generally used against frigate-class vessels or larger.

Primary Purpose: Anti-Ship

Mega-Damage: A dual blast from a pair of cannons does 1D4x100 M.D. A blast with all four cannons does 2D4x100 M.D. and can only be used against ships over 100 feet in length or width.

Effective Range: 200 miles

Rate of Fire: Each pair can fire up to twice per melee round.

Payload: Effectively unlimited.


2. Laser Cannons (2): The Accipiter’s secondary laser cannons are made to hit smaller targets and to engage targets at long range.

Primary Purpose: Assault

Mega-Damage: 1D6x100 M.D. for a dual blast. Only fires dual blasts.

Effective Range: 500 miles.

Rate of Fire: Four times per melee round.

Payload: Effectively unlimited.


3. Medium-range missile launchers: Underneath the forward “forks” are a pair of large missile launchers that fire medium-ranged missiles. The Accipiters tend to keep a variety of warhead types to maintain situational flexibility. These missiles are useful in assaulting fortified positions or ships, but mainly find use in combating enemy fighters and intercepting incoming missile attacks.

Primary Purpose: Defense.

Mega-Damage: Varies with missile type

Effective Range: 150 miles.

Rate of Fire: individually, in pairs, or in volleys of 3 0r 6.

Payload: 60 missiles per launcher, for a total of 120.


4. Laser Defense Turrets (2): These are classic defense turrets, operated by a gunner in the turret. They have 360 degrees of rotation and 90 degrees of gun elevation. The Accipiter has no blind spot for these turrets, meaning at least one turret can engage any target within range at any time.

Primary Purpose: Defense.

Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D.

Effective Range: 5 miles

Rate of Fire: Equal to hand-to-hand attacks of gunner.

Payload: Effectively unlimited.


5 Electromagnetic Pulse Guns (2): These two guns, located on either side of (and controlled from) the forward fire control bubble, are used to disable small ships by overloading their electronics with a powerful electromagnetic pulse. Once a ship has been disabled, heavily armed and armored troopers can be dispatched to subdue the crew and secure the ship. Most military ships have hardened circuitry that greatly increases their ability to resist this type of weapon.

Primary Purpose: Apprehension

Mega-Damage: None, targeted ship must make a save vs EMP of 14 or better or be disabled. All systems will shut down completely; even life support and the vessel will be adrift. The effects last for 3D6 minutes. In freighters and transports, there is still enough ambient air and heat so that the crew is not endangered. For fighter pilots, however, this can be a death sentence. All military vessels have hardened circuits protecting against EMPs, giving them a +6 to save. Even if they fail, duration is reduced by half. There are some hardened circuit packages available for civilian ships that will give them a +4 to save (duration stays the same). The guns always fire dual shots. Destroying one of the guns gives a +4 to save vs EMP to any vessel hit afterwards. This weapon does not have the power to affect ships classed as Cruisers or larger. A critical failure (rolling a 1) on a save means that the ship’s reactor solenoid (the electromagnetic kind, not the kind in your car) is burned out and must be replaced before a restart is possible. Most well-stocked ships have a spare, which can be installed in 4D6 minutes by a trained mechanic after a successful starship mechanics roll. Note: The mechanic will most likely have penalties to their roll, as they’ll be doing this in the dark, while running out of air and with the temperature plummeting and the ship adrift…or being boarded; GM’s discretion.

Effective Range: 2 miles.

Rate of Fire: Twice per melee round.

Payload: Effectively unlimited.


6. Sensors: The Accipiter has a powerful sensor package, with long-range mass and energy signature detectors with a range of one Astronomical Unit (about 23.25 million miles), standard, full-spectrum short-range sensors with a range of 150,000 miles, and hull-penetrating “molecular sniffer” scanners with a range of 100 miles.


7. Bonuses: The Accipiter is extremely quick and agile, utilizing a fighter-type control set up for the helmsman. Combined with its powerful long-range sensors, this gives it maneuverability equal or better to many Imperial Freehold vessels. +2 to initiative and +4 to dodge.