Spaceship Zero

Version 1.0 was posted to the spaceship_zero Yahoo! Group on 1/25/2003. Errata posted by other list members are given in block quotes, followed by the poster, date, and subject line. Version 3.0+ was posted to wikispaces 10/25/2007. 

There is some intermixing of English and metric measurements in the text. Most distances and speeds are given in terms of feet, ft./sec., or mph, but GUs (p. 89) are defined in km. (See also note for pp. 124-125, Death Anemone.)

Credits (p. 1) and back cover
The back cover copy mentions contributions by John Tynes and Monte Cook, and they receive Additional Contributions credit on p. 1. Tynes’ work is labeled as such (p. 6, “What is a Roleplaying Game?”), but Cook’s is not. [According to author Toren Atkinson, Cook contributed work under a pseudonym.]

I. Introduction (p. 4)
No notes.

II. The World of Spaceship Zero (p. 8)
No notes.

III. Game Mechanics (p. 12)
p. 15, Narrative Time: In Wendy's second speech, "Stackbox" should be "Stackhouse."

p. 16, The Common Sense Rule: Elfstar and Black Leaf are allusions to Jack Chick's anti-D&D tract, "Dark Dungeons".

p. 25, [illustration]: These are atomic zombies; see the "Asteroid X" adventure:

IV. Character Creation (p. 26)
p. 42, Sample Character: Space Lieutenant Richard “Dick” Ross, Pilot:

I noticed that Dick Ross has too many zero skills. In the early days, Throw was in the B column. Now it is in the A column. I’d drop the Navigate(Space) to normal skill status. [Warren Banks, 1/14/2003, re: so far, cool AND clean]

p. 46, Sample Character: Infra-Redbeard, Space Pirate: See note to pp. 109-111.

V. Skills (p. 50)
No notes.

VI. Action Time (p. 64)
p. 68, Advanced Table VI-II: Combat Skill Modifiers: Under Size Difference, delete the "5 ranks" line; there are only 5 size categories, period, for a maximum difference of 4 ranks (see p. 121). Under Notes for that section, the death anemone is Large (its maximum size); replace "Tyrannosaurus Rex" with "Star Behemoth" on the 4 rank line.

p. 79, Suffocation and Drowning: Because a round is roughly six seconds, it would be easier to state that a character can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to his Brawn score.

VII. Ground & Space (p. 80)
p. 83, Maneuvering on the Ground: In the example, "High Speed" should be "Fast Speed".

pp. 89-90, Elementary Space Travel, and pp. 152-155, Spaceships:

SZ0 has a thrust of 3. What is that used for? How does that figure in? Can it go 3G? Can it make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? [Aaron Vanek, 1/16/2003, Re: explosive decompression]

Ok, Thrust 3? That does put it at an acceleration of 3G. When you're flying about in an atmosphere it lets you move at about 300 Mph.

When you're flying from planet to planet, the Thrust speeds up your trip. If you're making a short hop, it takes off a couple of hours. For longer trips it takes off a time step (see Time Step Chart on p20.) Page 90 has the chart for times - the first column is how far you're going, the second one is how many hours it's going to take, the third and fourth columns are how many hours you add/subtract from your trip for having a faster/slower spaceship.

Here's a handy-dandy summary of planetary distances (In GUs) from the Sun to help with distances:
Mercury - 58,000
Venus - 108,000
Earth - 150,000 (The Moon is 384GU from Earth)
Mars - 230,000
Jupiter - 775,000
Saturn - 1,450,000
Uranus - 2,870,000
Neptune - 4,500,000
Pluto - 5,870,000

As a general rule the SSZ can get from Earth to the moon in about 1.5 hours, to Venus or Mars in 24 hours, Jupiter takes a week, Saturn takes a month, Uranus takes 1.5 months, Neptune takes 2 months and Pluto takes 3 months.

The SSZ has a Thrust of 3 and is pretty fast mind you. Ships with 2 Thrust take 20% longer to get from A to B and anything that clunks along with only 1 Thrust will take about 50% longer to get to somewhere than the SSZ.

Of course the ZM has a lot of leeway when it comes to travel time because orbits can take planets way farther apart, or bring them closer together. [Adrian Estergaard, 1/17/2003, Re: explosive decompression]

VIII. Zero Meistering (p. 92)
No notes.

IX. The Secret World of Spaceship Zero (p. 98)
For timelines for Universes 1 & 2, see Spaceship Zero (Timelines).

p. 102, [illustration]: The creature depicted is likely a moon beast; see the adventure, "The Strange Secret of Dr. Quisling":

p. 104, [map]: The Hydronaut [not "-naught"] Hot Zones are light gray, not dark.

p. 105, Manaos, The Land of Fate, South America: The Mayans and Quetze[l]coatl are Central American, not South American.

p. 107, Antarctica: The Refuge: The "bulbous, protoplasmic alien creatures" are an obvious reference to shoggoths (see Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness"). They could be represented by mutant amoeboids (p. 121).

pp. 109-111, Destination: Asteroid Belt: The only pirate mentioned by name here is Infra-Redbeard, who is the sample character on p. 46. Perhaps the names of the two pirates on pp. 46 and 111 should be switched?

pp. 114-115, Arcadia and the Alien City: The “2” in “O2” should be a subscript, not a superscript.

X. Space Bestiary (p. 120)

Many creatures in this chapter were inspired by Cthulhu Mythos monsters: Amoeboid, Mutant (formless spawn? shoggoth?); Astro-Automaton (mi-go); Bat-Being (nightgaunt?); Hydronaut (deep one); Mind Bug (insect from Shaggai); Space Rat (rat-thing?); Star Behemoth (elder thing? Yithian host race?).

pp. 124-125, Death Anemone: In the description, replace “meters” with feet; the diameter is 2.5-7 feet. [Confirmed by Toren Atkinson, 1/17/2003, Re: errata.]

p. 126, Hydronaut; pp. 126-127, Hydronaut Commandant: See note to p. 180.

p. 127, Hydronaut Hybrid: Under Skills, "Speak" should be a Language and Lore skill, and "Language and Lore: Hydronaut" should be "Language and Lore: Hydronaut Customs". Under Perks & Quirks, "Tongue" should be "Translator" (per the Hybrid archetype on p. 40).

pp. 130-132, Animals: No size categories are listed. The size categories are identical to those used in d20, so these animals' sizes are as follows: Brown Bear (Large); Cat (Tiny); Crocodile (Medium); Dog (Small [or Medium?]); Elephant (Giant); Giant Squid (Giant); Gorilla (Large); Horse (Large); Lion (Large); Snake (Medium); Shark (Giant).

p. 131, Snake (Python); pp. 131-132, Shark (Great White): These two entries are out of alphabetical order.

p. 134, 9. Give It Quirks: The "Avian" ability should be renamed "Flight" (cf. Bat-Bring, p. 123), because not all flyers are birds.

XI. Power Up (p. 136)
p. 143, Spacecorp Space Weaponry; p. 148 (table); pp. 152-153, Spacecorp Rocketships:

In the SpaceCorp ship descriptions, they are listed as having "Atomic Star Bursters" that the 6" Atomic Coil? Since they also have atomic coils, without differentiating which one it is...I assume a 6" coil is also called a star burster? [Aaron Vanek, 1/16/2003, Re: explosive decompression]

Yup, you're right on target - SpaceCorp would be proud!
3" Atomic Coil Turret = Atomic Coil Turret
6" Atomic Coil Turret = Atomic Star Burster
[Adrian Estergaard, 1/17/2003, Re: explosive decompression]

pp. 152-155, Spaceships: See notes for pp. 89-90 and 143.

pp. 154-155, The Hydronaut Scout Fleet: The 3D graphic on p. 154 is a Dreadnought. The Scout Saucer, Dreadnought, and Slave Ship can be seen in color at:

XII. Technical Manual (p. 156)
p. 157, Deck 3: Deconstitutor: This deck also contains the emergency survival kit and Asteroid Field Hospital (see p. 137). He ship also carries a toolbox, but its location is not given.

p. 157, Deck 6: Bendall Field Generator: The four subheaders here should be their own headers, not part of Deck 6.

p. 160, Air Circulation System & Water Supply: The “2” in “CO2” should be a subscript, not a superscript.

p. 160, Our Friend Xenon: In order to better compare Earth and Mars, one part in twenty million equals 0.05 ppm.

p. 161, Carbon Dioxide Toxicity; p. 161, Hazards: The “2” in “CO2” should be a subscript, not a superscript.

p. 162, The Drive: The "(3)" in the footnotes seems to be misplaced in the center of note (2). What is the missing text for note (3)?

XIII. Space is Hell (p. 168)
p. 169, Insanity: In the first paragraph, insert “not” after “the symptoms of insanity”. Insanity wouldn’t be insidious if it were always obvious.

p. 170, Effects of Excessive Deconstitution: In the first column of the table, switch "deconstitution" and "reconstitution".

p. 172, What Ifs: In the 4th paragraph, see the adventure, "The Strange Secret of Dr. Quisling," about this doppelganger:

In the last paragraph, delete "to find it".

XIV. Intro Adventure (p. 174)
p. 178, The Hydronaut Language: See note to p. 180.

pp. 178-180, Scene Two: We're Under Attack: The engineer is called a hydronaut in the first column of p. 179, but a hybrid in the next column (under "State Peaceful Intentions"). Which is it?

p. 180, Hydronaut: The footnote on skills says that the engineer knows two human languages, but p. 178 (The Hydronaut Language) states that they are physically unable to understand or speak any human language. However, the Hydronaut entry on p. 126 merely says that they can't speak human languages. If the engineer is a hybrid (see note to pp. 178-180), then he at least can speak and understand both species' languages.

p. 181, Scene 3b: The Hard Way: The boxed text should be moved to just before “Experience.”

XV. Character Advancement (p. 182)
p. 183, Spending Those Points: In the 3rd sentence, delete "as".

Appendices (p. 184)
p. 186, How High the Moon Beast: See the adventure, "The Strange Secret of Dr. Quisling," about moon beasts:

pp. 188-190, 3. Glossary: In the ARU and Carbon dioxide entries, the “2” in “CO2” should be a subscript, not a superscript.

Fluid Spaceship Zero
Fluid Spaceship Zero is a multi-player campaign run at conventions and other settings. Details can be found at author Toren Atkinson's webpage: