Equipment Labs: Exploring the Galactic Fringe – The Phoenix Hawk Light Pinnace

Let’s be honest for a moment.  The selection of vehicles provided in the Edge of the Empire Beta is pretty sparse, particularly where suitable ships for a group of PCs are concerned.  Understandable, since the Beta was intended more to get people to stress-test the new system that Jay Little (aka Agent Y14) developed for Fantasy Flight Games’ new Star Wars RPG line.  But while we wait for the final version of the Edge of the Empire rulebook to come out, I thought we here at the GSA might offer up some interesting alternatives for a party’s ride as they travel from one end of the galaxy to the next.

For this installment, we’ll be taking a look at one corporation’s less-than-successful attempt to create a personal transport for the masses.  And while it might be deemed an archaic design compared to many recent starship designs, it’s still reliable enough to be seen even during the Rebellion Era.

Phoenixhwk

Hull Type: Shuttle
Ship Class: S40K
Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
Hyperdrive: Primary: Class 2, Backup: None
Navicomputer: Yes
Ship’s Complement: One Pilot, one co-pilot/engineer
Passenger Capacity: 4
Encumbrance Capacity: 30
Consumables: 2 months
Cost/Rarity: 112,000 credits/4
Silhouette: 4
Sensor Range: Short
Speed: 3
Handling: -1
Defense: 1/1
Armor: 4
Hull Integrity: 16
Strain Threshold: 13
Customization Hardpoints: 1

Weapons
Heavy Blaster Cannons (Fire Arc Turret; Range Close, Damage 5, Critical Hit 4, Linked 1)
Light Ion Cannons (Fire Arc Turret; Range Close, Damage 5, Critical Hit 4, Ion, Linked 1)

One of the first ships designed and built by Kuat Systems Engineering prior to the onset of the Clone Wars, the Phoenix Hawk Light Pinnace was intended to be a personal transport craft that was affordable by all classes of society from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim Territories, enabling as many beings as possible to engage in space travel. Unfortunately, to keep the price tag of such a vessel within a reasonable range, KSE had to cut a lot of corners, resulting in berths that were cramped at best and amenities that were sub-standard.  Compounding the issue was the S40K’s ungainly appearance; while such a profile worked quite well for the Firespary-31 patrol craft, it was ill-suited for a civilian transport.  When Kuat Systems Engineering was absorbed back into Kuat Drive Yards after the formation of the Galactic Empire, the production of the S40K was discontinued.  However, the Phoenix Hawk Light Pinnace has proven itself to be a remarkably sturdy vessel, and is quite well-armed and shielded for a civilian transport, leading many a resource-poor bounty hunter to purchase the vessel used and then reconfigure the craft to serve as a mobile base of operations, frequently trading out the passenger berths for a containment cell.

Image is courtesy of Wookieepedia.

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