Finally we’ve hit the chapter that covers Starships, Starbases and the Rules for Combat. It’s quite a bit to take in, so I’ve decided to split this up into two parts again.
Starships, Starbases and Colonies
I’ll cheat a bit here and lump these three sections into a brief description. The chapter spends quite a bit of page count talking about each of these, with the Starships perhaps getting the most attention. Starships are described as being a character in itself (as proven later once we get to Starship Creation) and there’s a summary of the various missions that a Starship crew might be sent out on.
There’s also a great summary of the various main locations within a Starship, from obvious ones like the Bridge and Transporter Room, to less talked about ones like the Stellar Cartography room.
Each section talks about life on each of these locations, and the unique challenges that characters face when going about their duties. I liked the Colonies section since it breaks down the challenges of living in the frontier, and has a summary of the various colonies available from Research Facilities to Trade Stations.
The Rules section opens up with a quick breakdown of two important distinctions:
- Actions taken aboard a starship are handled by the standard rules. The Ship might provide Advantages in the form of facilities and tools that can help.
- Actions taken with a starship always benefit from the ship’s presence and nature because the ship is how the actions are taken. These mean using the ship’s systems to perform an action on something that is usually outside of the ship, rather than inside it.
Starships have the same basic structure as characters, though they represent different things.
A Starship will have one or more Traits, most notably the ship’s origin. Different cultures in Star Trek make ships differently and the Trait reflects that. Other Traits a ship might have could reflect their purpose, reputation or history.
A Starship’s equivalent to a character’s Attributes are its systems. These are Communications, Computers, Engines, Sensors, Structure and Weapons. Like attributes, these Systems have a rating that determines its measure, with higher numbers reflecting greater utility.
Rather than Disciplines, a Starship has six Departments, which represent the various mission profiles, specialties and personnel each ship carries. These are rated from 0 to 5, with Federation Starships having at least 1 in every Department. These are Command, Conn, Engineering, Security, Science and Medicine.
Unlike characters Starships treat every Task it attempts as if it had an applicable Focus. This means that any d20 that rolls equal to or less than the Department being used counts as 2 successes.
Starships have Talents as well, which represent areas of design and equipment focus; these are similar to the Talents of characters, but the context is determined by the Starship rather than character behavior.
Starships come in a wide range of sizes, and the Starship’s scale is a representation of its size, and influences several other ratings that a starship will use. Scale is a value from 2 to 6 for Starfleet Vessels, with larger numbers representing bigger ships.
A Starship’s Scale is used to determine the ship’s resilience. Ships of greater scale can also inflict more damage with energy weapons like phasers and disruptors.
Resistance is a mix of the ship’s hull and spaceframe configuration, the effectiveness of the structural integrity field and deflector shields. Like in characters, Resistance reduces incoming damage for a Starship.
Starships and Starbases are commonly equiped with layers of deflective shields. This grants them a Shields rating, which is reduced whenever a ship is subjected to damage, but can be replenished by the actions of the crew and over time. In essence, this is the equivalent to a character’s Stress.
No discussion about Starships and Starbases is complete without talking about Power systems and the act of diverting them to critical systems. Starships in Star Trek Adventures have a Power Rating that represents its reserve and surplus power that can be spent to boost or support a variety of actions taken with the Starship, and can be lost because of complications, hazards and consequences.
At the start of each scene, the ship generates its full capacity of power, and any Power unused from the previous turn is lost. When attempting a Task with the ship, one or more power can be spent before rolling, with each point increasing the Complication range of the Task by 1. This represents the risk of overloads and problems from straining a system with too much power.
However, if the Task is successful, then the character generates one additional Momentum per point of Power spent.
A ship’s normal Power capacity is equal to its Engines system.
Starships also have a Crew Support number, which limits the number of Supporting Characters that can be used in a single session. This represents the amount of crew available to the team, pulling them out of their standard duties on the ship to serve alongside the Main Characters.
A ship’s Crew Support per mission is equal to its Scale.
Operating a Starship
We’ve touched on this at the start of this section, but for Ship actions, where the character is actively making use of the ship to perform a Task, the ship assists the character’s actions, rolling against a target number made from it’s own System and Department combination.
I’m currently down with mild food poisoning as I write this, so I’ll have to cut this a bit short compared to the usual. In my next update we’ll go over Starship Combat, Starship Creation and a quick look at Alien Vessels!