Much like drives, reactors, artificial gravity, and weaponry; passive defensive systems such as hull, armor, and shields vary greatly within (and without) the Ecumene.
A great diversity of hull materials exist in the Ecumene. This is a summation of the more common types.
- Durasteel is a shorthand for any metal treated to produce an absurdly strong version of itself.
- Adamant is a shorthand for any "uncommon" elemental or alloy armor.
- Other Mineral-Based
- Plasteel is a shorthand for a mix plastics and metals.
- Ceradamant is a mix of ceramics and adamant.
- Resin armor
- Grown armor
- Fully-Living armor is any armor that is currently alive.
- Magmatter armor
- Gravitic armor
- Nanobot armor
- Sandwich armor is a simple layering of multiple types of armor. Unlike composites, sandwich armor has very little mixing of different armor types.
While armor materials are often quite similar to hull materials, the ways they are applied vary greatly.
- Plate armor is simply an individual plate of some armor material, especially if it is made of a "sandwich" material.
- Band armor consists of plates linked together to make a long strip.
- Gap armor consists of two layers of armor separated by vacuum, often known as a whipple shield.
- Shell armor is a complete shell of armor around a ship's main body- excluding gun emplacements, hangars, sensors, FTL guidevanes, and other protrusions.
- Pocket-Shell armor features a complete shell around a ship's main body, plus all of its protrusions. It also includes doors to allow such protrusions to be deployed.
The most esoteric type of protection is usually shields or fields. These are forms of protection that extend beyond the hull, but are not semi-independent from it or deployed like chaff.
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- Magnetic shields are designed to produce a small version of a planetary magnetic field, ideally not requiring a planetary mass to do so. Magnetic shields are best used for protecting interstellar slow-ships.
- Plasma shields are a refinement of magnetic shields, manipulating plasma to produce both a magnetic barrier and a material barrier to protect against actual weapons. The most advanced plasma shields can also be used for power generation and even spacecraft propulsion.
- Barrier shields are the most diverse type of shields- any shield which presents a metasolid "barrier" that blocks some form of attack is a barrier shield.
- Bubble shields are the simplest type, and often the strongest. They come in two forms- sphere-shaped "true bubbles" and ship-shaped "skin-tight bubbles".
- Gem shields use multiple facets, facings, or directions of shielding to allow a ship to not become helpless the second it loses a shield.
- Apeirohedric shields use many tiny facings of shielding to produce a more flexible bubble. They are useful for more efficient large shields, shields that need to stay up while allowing some energy or matter in, and for remote shielding of unshielded craft.
- Restart shields are a specific redesign applicable to most shield generators that allows for a shield generator to restart much quicker after the facing(s) it control(s) are taken down.
- Gravitic shields use gravitic and inertial generators to deflect incoming material.
- FTL-derived shields use alternate-space bubbles to change or dissociate matter approaching the shield generator.