EDIT: This is odd...all the text after this line, which appears in the "edit" screen, is not appearing on the published page. How irritating...
Lando: "How ya doin’ ya old Pirate!?"
Good Day, Gamer Nation, and welcome to Lando’s Used Shipyard! Each installment will feature ships and starship modifications that highlight the varied craft within the Star Wars Universe.
Lando: "I’m the Administrator of this Facility"
...and I’m Darth GM, and for our first installment, Fulongamer and I decided to start the series with perhaps the most iconic craft in all of Star Wars, the YT-1300 light freighter. Made by the Corellian Engineering Corporation in the Fall of the Republic Era, the YT-1300 was one of CEC’s most popular lines. It’s low cost, ease of modification, and general utility led many freighter captains to purchase the 1300.
Given it’s common status and rugged survivability, the YT-1300 is a perfect "group transport" for a PC party. It can be modified in a wide variety of ways, as evidenced by comparing the base YT-1300 stats in P184 SotG (p 182-183 SECR) to the Millennium Falcon on SotG p 186. Because it’s a YT-series ship it starts with a mammoth 10 Emplacement points for modifications, allowing the owner to really trick out the craft quite a bit before the need to sacrifice cargo space sets in.
Lando: "Hello, what have we here?"
For 100,000 credits new or 25,000 used, your basic features are a standard Corellian Cockpit Module, port and starboard docking collars that may or may not incorporate single or dual boarding ramps, a forward cargo loading system nested between the booms for direct access to the cargo bays combined with an external cargo coupling. A solid navicomputer, primary and backup hyperdrives, a light laser cannon in a dorsal turret, and a cluster of individual escape pods round out the basic fittings for the base-line light freighter. For a starter vessel the only two glaring shortfalls are a lack of shields, and perhaps combat thrusters (for your defensive purposes only, of course)
Of course, for ships often this old, they never really come "stock" anymore, because everyone wants to put their two credits in. Part of the modularity of the design is displayed in the basic configuration. Within the confines of the Saucer Section and the Cockpit Module you really have several options. What most have seen is the "starboard" configuration, with the cockpit module in the familiar location, but there are also ships with a "port" or "centerline" cockpit location as well. Choosing one of these alternate styles will immediately allow you to differentiate your ship from the familiar lines of the Falcon and dispense with any unwarranted wannabe accusations.
The sectors of the primary hull can also be reconfigured to meet your preferred needs as either a cargo vessel, passenger carrier, or even a combat vessel and there are a wide variety of engine arrays as well. A significant increase in cargo carrying capacity above the standard 100 tons can often be evidenced by notably bulked-out hull sections, squaring off some of the sloping lines of the primary hull or even filling in the space between the forward booms for more internal cargo capacity. Passenger accommodations can vary from quite spartan to luxurious opulence, depending on the number of passengers and supplementary crew you intend to carry regularly.
Most often weapon mounts are situated on the dorsal and/or ventral apexes for the best field of fire, but more heavily armed craft have re-dedicated one of the docking collars into a side-mount turret, sacrificed the forward cargo access for a fixed firing emplacement between the booms, or even sacrificed the forward boom structures entirely for non-standard hardware such as tractor beam projectors, or even turbolaser hardpoints (for a big bang, these will also pack a severe drain, so use with caution, and no, you probably won’t be able to conceal them). Pop-out deck-guns for (1 emplacement point each and +1000 cr over each gun cost) such as the Falcon’s are also not uncommon for protection in seedier spaceports.
With ten emplacement points standard, you can load some serious armament onto the YT-1300 without losing cargo space. Quad Laser cannons are only 2 EPs, and will run you 15,000 credits a pop. Loading a missile system can beef up your combat damage, but can get bulky. A good Concussion missile launcher will eat up half of the free emplacement points, but give your ship some serious punch, if you find yourself needing to blow up the reactor of a planet-busting space station.Upgrades, Upgrades, Upgrades!Lando: "What have you done to my ship?"
What a stock YT-1300 lacks is finesse. It’s a brick, and handles like one. For 25,000 credits you can add Maneuvering Jets to get a Dexterity of 14. Beef up the stock hyperdrive if you can, you’ve got places to go, and a x2 hyperdrive just won’t do. Adding additional armor can be helpful, but cost ramps up quickly, and space disappears the more you load on.
If you want to get a good use of a 4 PC party, and don’t want to lose cargo space; I recommend 2 Quad Laser Turrets for 2 EPs each and 15,000 credits, a pilot-controlled Proton Torpedo Launcher with a 9-missile capacity for 1 EP and 2000 Credits, combat thruster to kep you safe from Capital Ships for 1 EP and 10000 Credits, Maneuvering Jets +4 for 25,000 Credits. Take the last free EP and upgrade your engines from speed 2 to speed 3 for 15,000 credits.
Sometimes your imagination is the only limit (along with GM approval) for your modification choices. Perhaps there is an instance where the ship’s crew were all "shorties" (squibs, jawas, ranats and the like) and they chose to split-level the standard internal crew spaces. Somebody always wants to configure one of these into a vehicle carrier, with either small ground vehicles or even a whole starfighter stashed somewhere in there. (neither easy, cheap, nor without significant drawbacks and sacrifices).
These types of modification require a bit of bending of the rules, as you can’t put hanger space into anything smaller than a frigate. You could go with docking clamps, or maybe your GM would allow you to spend a number of emplacement points to get a simple fighter launch.
There are fully submersible variants such as those produced for Mon Calamari and other aquatic spacefaring races. I’ve even seen extremes like coupling two primary hulls in a stack that take on the appearance of a small Hapan Dragon (or Cylon Base Star).
The YT-1300 is perfect for any game in the Fall of the Republic, Clone Wars, Dark Times, or Rebellion Era. After the Rebellion, the ship’s popularity starts to wane, replaced by more advanced models of CEC’s light freighter lines. Still, an old YT-1300 can still kick some tail further into the Legacy era. Going backwards from it’s start date, it’s not too far a stretch to think that CEC made something comparable in the KotOR era. Use the stats as a base line, but you may want to dial back the free emplacement points to 5, keeping it in line with the Dynamic Freighter, another CEC ship from that era.
And that’s it! Thanks for coming to visit us in Lando’s Used Shipyard! We’ll be cranking these out as often as we can, and there’s so many ships out there we might be working with Lando for...YEARS!
Lando: "This deal keeps getting worse all the time."
For deckplans of the YT-1300, check out the following resources.
SotG p 154 stock yt-1300s
Chris West’s mapsofmastery
WEG D6 Tramp Freighters Guide
D20 Starships of The Galaxy
FV Bonura’s Star Wars Deckplans Alliance
The Star Wars Complete Cutaways books