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Star Trek Alpha v1.3 Discussion

posted Jan 16, 2017 17:49:08 by ChrisBirch
Discuss the second rules release here. We'll continue to use the existing Alpha Rules Queries thread.
[Last edited Oct 10, 2017 23:51:12]
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552 replies
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JohnBrentMacek said Jan 16, 2017 18:43:54
Looking forward to getting back in the center seat. Good timing, too, since I have the day off.
Risk... risk is our business! That's what this starship is all about... that's why we're aboard her!
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William Nabors said Jan 16, 2017 18:55:46
OHHHH eagerly waits email rules packet/email. :-D
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Elbert Smith said Jan 16, 2017 19:08:24
I have a question on the characters, which ones go with what ship? Or do we just pick characters to go with the era we play in?
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Charles Li said Jan 16, 2017 19:16:08
I reread the 64 pages of rules over the lunch hour. It is clearer than previous, and that will help immensely regarding when/how to use Momentum/Determination, etc. I like the clarity in combat and that no radical changes occurred. I look forward to this round of playtesting and reporting.
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Nathan.Dowdell said Jan 16, 2017 19:34:23
I have a question on the characters, which ones go with what ship? Or do we just pick characters to go with the era we play in?

Pick whichever ones you like (within reason - there are specific roles they're each designed to fill); we considered a distinct set for each ship, but felt that it was better to give players flexibility rather than mandate specific combinations of crew.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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ChrisFougere said Jan 16, 2017 19:49:45
Can't wait. Already have a session planned for the 28th! The USS Lexington will soar!

Question though - for playtest purposes should we play through the previous adventure with the updated rules or simply play through something of our own design?
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LibrariaNPC said Jan 16, 2017 19:51:45
Packets have been added to my PADD and databanks and will hopefully be read in entirety the near future!

That said, a few quick, more immediate questions:

1) Will we eventually see stats for shuttlecraft, as well as "generic" versions of the named ships? (e.g. will we have a non-modified/named Intrepid-class or Constitution-class vessels in the final product)
I love seeing named ships, but I also like knowing the "baseline" should I want to write up a campaign.

2) For the Bellerophon's Multi-spectrum Shielding: is the 14 before or after this effect? We don't know what a stock Intrepid-class has with regards to shields, so I do not know if this has been added in.

3) Will there be different rules regarding sizes of ships taking each other on? I ask as the Danube-class is armed enough to be used as "an agile mobile defense platform," meaning it could be (and in canon, has been) used in combat should the situation require it.

And before anyone asks: yes, I've clocked in WAY too many hours playing, running, and playtesting FFG's Star Wars mechanic, and the scale between vehicles is always a hard point to consider.

4) On the new Pregens sheet, Kareel Toma still has Focuses listed under each Discipline with respective rating. Was this an oversight?

5) Some of my first group asked: is it possible to take one of the Cadets and put them in an officer position in the next stage, or should players stick with the listed senior officers?

6) In the rulebook, page 5 (Changes), Skills have been renamed Disciplines, but on page 10, under Focuses, it states "The Divisions characters are trained in are broad". Was this just a typo, or an alternative name that didn't make the cut?


Sorry for the list, just trying to ask questions that I and my group have, and wanted to relay typo concerns just in case.
[Last edited Jan 16, 2017 20:12:03]
"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to make a sarcasm font." Lost_Heretic
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David Whitecar said Jan 16, 2017 19:59:12
I may have misread it, but I'm not really getting the Crew Support rules. It seems like those points can be spent, but how do they come back? Or are they not spent, but assigned for a scene and then are free for the next? Seems like something is missing in that section to me.
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Michael Willett said Jan 16, 2017 20:07:58
Poor Intrepid class ships and that forgotten Aeroshuttle. :)

Also, could the Bellerophon swap out a Class 8 shuttle (or two) for Class 9's? I seem to remember Voyager was packing both. There are also versions of the Intrepid class that change the aeroshuttle bay into a hold for a Danube- or similar sized shuttle.

Also echoing the questions on Bellerophon's shields clarity and the crew support rules.
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Christopher Lovejoy said Jan 16, 2017 20:16:21
Am I somehow missing the playtest adventure, or is that coming in a different email?
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ThomShartle said Jan 16, 2017 20:18:50
No char gen rules? I thought that was expected with this release.Will we be getting any info on how the living champaign will work or will that come with chargen?
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LibrariaNPC said Jan 16, 2017 20:23:26
Am I somehow missing the playtest adventure, or is that coming in a different email?


@Christopher Lovejoy: This was explained in the 2nd Paragraph of the e-mail, namely:

"Whilst we wait for the individual ship missions to be approved (we expect very soon) we want you to get your hands on the new ruleset and give the ships and crew and test"

So...soon, I guess.

No char gen rules? I thought that was expected with this release


@ThomShartle: Nathan pointed out that the information about getting character creation in this packet was incorrect.
"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to make a sarcasm font." Lost_Heretic
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ThomShartle said Jan 16, 2017 20:26:27
They said Adventure is still being approved, they wanted to give us updated rules to ponder while we wait :D
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Nathan.Dowdell said Jan 16, 2017 20:34:57
1) Will we eventually see stats for shuttlecraft, as well as "generic" versions of the named ships? (e.g. will we have a non-modified/named Intrepid-class or Constitution-class vessels in the final product)
I love seeing named ships, but I also like knowing the "baseline" should I want to write up a campaign.

Shuttlecraft will have full rules in a subsequent version (or, at the very least, the final version). "Generic" versions of the main ships is a little trickier, because I don't regard there being a "generic" form for those ships - the full profile for a ship includes mission packages, unique developments, and so forth, and a set of "ship creation rules" will be part of the process. So, while all Intrepid-class ships are broadly similar in a number of ways, the way they're outfitted will have a significant impact on the specific capabilities of each individual ship of that class.

2) For the Bellerophon's Multi-spectrum Shielding: is the 14 before or after this effect? We don't know what a stock Intrepid-class has with regards to shields, so I do not know if this has been added in.

The 14 includes the bonus from the Talent. I do have a formula for ship shields written down somewhere in my notes, but I can't remember it off the top of my head right now.

3) Will there be different rules regarding sizes of ships taking each other on? I ask as the Danube-class is armed enough to be used as "an agile mobile defense platform," meaning it could be (and in canon, has been) used in combat should the situation require it.

To an extent, this is covered in the Scale value of the ship - ships with higher Scale are bigger and tougher, and this is factored into how they take damage, as well as a number of their other values. For NPCs, a ship's Scale is also the number of Turns it gets each Round in combat (a PC ship ignores this, and gets one Turn per PC, regardless of the size of the ship, though there are only a finite number of stations that let you fire weapons, etc), so smaller ships are more likely to operate in groups to match a single big ship.

4) On the new Pregens sheet, Kareel Toma still has Focuses listed under each Discipline with respective rating. Was this an oversight?

Yes, this is in error. Focuses no longer have an associated rating, and are not tied to a specific Discipline.

5) Some of my first group asked: is it possible to take one of the Cadets and put them in an officer position in the next stage, or should players stick with the listed senior officers?

The notes for "upgrading" the Ensigns from the first pack are sufficient to bring them mechanically into line with the senior officer pregens, so you can use whichever you like, assigning whatever rank you see fit (and, possibly, assuming a suitable amount of time has passed since the Xerxes incident).

6) In the rulebook, page 5 (Changes), Skills have been renamed Disciplines, but on page 10, under Focuses, it states "The Divisions characters are trained in are broad". Was this just a typo, or an alternative name that didn't make the cut?

Both - I'm not 100% sold on Disciplines as a term yet, but it's good enough for now. The main point is to try and get away from "Skills", because based on other RPGs that can imply a certain limited range of utility that isn't the case here. Disciplines and Divisions are both under consideration, but I must've had the wrong one in my head when I made that specific change.

I may have misread it, but I'm not really getting the Crew Support rules. It seems like those points can be spent, but how do they come back? Or are they not spent, but assigned for a scene and then are free for the next? Seems like something is missing in that section to me.

Per adventure (or per session for really big adventures). It's essentially your "supporting cast" budget - you've got scores of extras milling about in the background, but spending Crew Support brings a character to the forefront, gives them dialogue and a significant place in the scene. The precise balance and utility of Crew Support is something I'm interested to see.

A collection of pre-generated Supporting Crew can be found in their own document. Again, the starting competence of Supporting Crew is something I'm interested to have tested - are they capable enough to be useful/too capable and overshadow the PCs (the latter is unlikely)/just right? When I get character creation and advancement sorted, you'll be able to bring back previously-used Supporting Crew and upgrade them, developing them over time (the "Chief O'Brien" effect, where an extra becomes a significant member of the cast in their own right).

Poor Intrepid class ships and that forgotten Aeroshuttle. :)

Also, could the Bellerophon swap out a Class 8 shuttle (or two) for Class 9's? I seem to remember Voyager was packing both. There are also versions of the Intrepid class that change the aeroshuttle bay into a hold for a Danube- or similar sized shuttle.

At this point, feel free; shuttle specifics aren't under consideration without specific rules to govern them (yet).

The Aeroshuttle was going to have numerous common elements with the Danube-class anyway (to save on building a new cockpit set, they'd use the runabout cockpit), but the Aeroshuttle wasn't ready when Voyager launched, so they just left the cover plate on where it would have docked.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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DavidRosson said Jan 16, 2017 20:51:53
Initial observations:

* Several areas of much clearer language. Solid improvement just about everywhere. How Momentum is or isn't stored is particularly less confusing to me now.

* I really like the change to focus. Simpler and more flexable.

* Directives: Global values. I love it.

* Personal Traits: So other then character image why would a person ever pick a negative personal Trait, as opposed to grabbing three positive ones. For example, in the pregens some characters have problem traits like Lt Nosim's "Socially Awkward" and Lt Seyhan who "Struggles with Emotions" but Cmndr Reiter and Lt Cmndr Vaoret do not have any such weaknesses ("Outdoorsman" doesn't usually give you problems when indoors). Negative Values at least can serve as Determination generators, but a negative Trait is basically choosing a regular penalty over a regular bonus for no mechanical gain.

* Control: Agility and mental fortitude are still conflated. When looking for somebody to resist interrogation, hire an acrobat.
* Daring (Bravery): This still occupies a strange place. It amounts to "everything other stats cover, but when in a hurry". The Daring + Medicine roll for first aid is a great example... when under pressure the impulsive guy has a far better dice pool for healing then the genius.

* Momentum / Determination: The overlap between 2xMomentum and Determination has expanded to the point having both is becoming questionable.

* Renaming Skills to Disciplines seems fairly needless. It is just replacing a more universally understood term with something else for people to mentally translate.

* Extended Tasks: One less CD on success? Were many people complaining that the progress bar was moving to fast and breakthroughs came to often?
On a wording issue, the word "overcome" (which implies completion) is used seperately to talk about just completing progress (which doesn't end the task, just make Breakthroughs easier), completing all breakthroughs (which does end the task), and succeeding at individual tasks (which doesn't end the task, may not complete progress, and may not make a breakthrough).

* Combat Tasks: The actual rules of the taks from p38-39 might be usefull on an additional Summary page, as well as possibly the healing recovery rules from p43. They will likely be referred to a lot.
"It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." - Q
Star Trek RPG Files (Character Build Reference and Constellation Class Starship)
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