|Used Primarily By||All races|
|Crew (Min/Max)||10/25 (total weapon crew: 3)|
|Man-Days of Fresh Air||3,000|
|Landing - Land||No|
|Landing - Water||No|
|Saves As||Thick wood|
|Power Type||Major or minor helm|
|Ship's Rating||As per helmsman|
|Standard Armament|| 1 Light Catapult (crew: 1)
1 Medium Ballista (crew: 2)
|Source||Concordance of Arcane Space|
The standard Tradesman is the most common ship in civilized space, varying little throughout the spheres. It is used by humans, lizard men, elves, dwarves, halflings, goblinkin, gnomes, and even mind flayers (under duress). The Tradesman is a common short-range merchant ship, plying its way between its ports-of-call, and not equipped to deal with much more than a similarly-equipped vessel that has turned pirate. The performance of the Tradesman is mediocre at best, and the only reason it has become such a popular vessel is its simplicity (which allows it to be easily built at many different ports, as well as allowing crews with little or no training to handle it), and the fact that its cargo bays and cavernous steerage deck allow it to carry more cargo than most ships its size.
A typical Tradesman is operated by a singe captain. If the ship is a free trader, the captain is also the owner, however there are collections of guildsmen and combined business interests, called trading costers, who own fleets of Tradesmen. In these trading costers each ship's captain is both partial owner of his ship and of the whole fleet. Trading costers have the advantage of strength through numbers. They can minimize the loss of a particular ship because they have so many. Costers vary from locale to locale, but all Tradesmen owned by a particular coster fly similar colours. Often groups of coster Tradesmen will be encountered, carrying merchandise across space in a caravan - if the profit is high enough. Crew assignments on a Tradesman vary from ship to ship and from race to race. Lizard man ships are arranged along typically slapdash lines, while elven ships adhere to a strict chain of command that (to human minds) often borders on the effete and ludicrous. Humans make do with a captain, helmsman, first officer, and pilot, with other positions filled as needed.
Trading: The vast majority of Tradesmen are used as traders, keeping asteroid-based civilizations supplied, transporting bulk valuables, and even transporting passengers. Most Tradesmen operate on a single trade route over and over, typically staying within a single sphere.
Free Adventuring: The Tradesman is often the first spelljamming ship for bands of adventurers, although this is more because of the fact that it is common and readily available rather than because of any suitability for the task. Adventurers who are successful usually upgrade to a more suitable ship as soon as possible. The chain of command aboard an adventuring ship usually sops after captain - which in adventuring terms usually means "the one who yells the loudest."
Piracy: The common nature of the Tradesman also makes it a vessel for pirates new to the trade, again before they "trade up" to a more suitable craft. When using a Tradesman the pirate's best targets are other Tradesmen and groundling ships. The only advantage that a pirate Tradesman has is that most potential targets would not consider a Tradesman to be a threat, and will not expect an attack.
Light Cruiser: A Tradesman variant preferred by pirates and those plagued by pirates, the Light Cruiser is plated, increasing AR to 4, but reducing MC to E. Tradesman Light Cruisers typically carry 3 medium ballistas or catapults, reducing cargo capacity to 15 tons.
- Spelljammer reference: Concordance of Arcane Space