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What else can you do with Conn?

posted Feb 20, 2018 02:46:58 by CMDR_Riker
Other than piloting/navigation, what can you do with the Conn discipline? The rulebook mentions an understanding of ship operations, and procedures and cultures of space exploration. It also mentions representing your ship and arguing starship protocol. So how would you apply this aspect in play?

How far does an understanding of ship ops extend? Could I run the Ops console with it? Would that give you an understanding of every task on the ship? Would you be able to execute those tasks with your Conn discipline? Is this a catch all "military" skill? What does "procedures and cultures" cover? Does a character with a high Conn skill have a functioning knowledge of Klingons and their military? Do you have a good understanding of Interstellar law? Or would that be covered by Command, or Science or Security? Let's say I want to build a JAG officer - would the knowledge of Starfleet protocol be covered by Conn? Could I investigate infractions with Conn, or would I need Security or Command?

I realize that the system is necessarily flexible and you can probably do almost anything with any combination or Attributes and Disciplines, but I'm just looking for some ideas on what you can do with Conn, or reasons to take it instead of relying on a supporting character to fly the ship from episode to episode.

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8 replies
PatricHenson said Feb 20, 2018 04:49:27
Conn can be a bit of a tricky one. I think Ops tasks are going to primarily fall under Science and Engineering (see Data's character sheet, for example). I think ship identification, ship piloting and navigation, investigation of infractions, knowledge of law (within the federation and other cultures) would all be good examples of how to use Conn.
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Nathan.Dowdell said Feb 20, 2018 10:53:53
One of the other things I use Conn for in my game is moving around in zero-G. It's also good for being able to intuit or deduce how an unfamiliar alien spacecraft may function based on knowledge of how ships as a whole work, understanding military/spacefaring procedures and traditions, including the laws that apply in space. A JAG Officer is likely to have decent scores in both Command (for the "public speaking in court" aspects) and Conn (for the Starfleet procedures and protocols aspects).

There's overlap between any of the Disciplines, but Conn most of all - there's a lot of knowledge there (but there's knowledge aspects in all the Disciplines), but even just considering the "pilot" angle, it overlaps with technical knowledge of ship propulsion, zero-G and orbital mechanics, the science of astronavigation and how celestial phenomena interact with the ship... and so forth.

It's covered in more depth in the Command sourcebook (which covers Command and Conn characters).
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jonrcrew said Feb 20, 2018 10:57:36
Would it be useful for use of starship weaponry or is that purely security?

(It might help with a PC issue I'm having :))
Nathan.Dowdell said Feb 21, 2018 14:18:13
Starship weaponry is covered by Security.
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jonrcrew said Feb 21, 2018 14:39:28
I thought as much - shame!

CMDR_Riker said Feb 21, 2018 22:07:05
I've got another question about appropriate Disciplines. Let's say I want to build a character with a background in psychology. Not necessarily psychiatry or diagnosing mental illness, but understanding how and why people make decisions. I could see that falling under Medical, but I could also make the argument that a character could understand that type of psychology without having any other medical knowledge. I could see it being Science in the same way that Anthropology is covered, but I could also make the argument that it wouldn't necessitate knowing much else about any other type of Science. I could see the argument for Command because it is all about interpersonal skills. Obviously, you could use any, but where would you put it off the top of your head?

What about Xenopsychology? Or History?

Deadmanwalking said Feb 22, 2018 01:52:27
Depends on what you do with your Psychology. Psychology is a Focus and can thus apply to pretty much any Discipline (though Engineering is admittedly gonna be a bit rare).

You'd need Medicine to do actual therapy (ie: helping people overcome emotional issues or trauma), and either that or Command to do psychological evaluations of people. Command would likely also cover group dynamics and most sorts of psychological manipulation. Rigorous psychological experimentation of the sort a research psychologist does is likely Science, and interrogation is certainly Security much of the time. Conn would be the intersection of the aforementioned laws and Starfleet Procedures and knowing how people's minds work. Engineering might allow for some insight into the character of who built a particular device, and similar things.

My PC for example, is a Ship's Counselor with Command 4, Security 4, Medicine 5, and every other Discipline at 1 and a Psychology Focus. He's a stellar therapist and very good at interrogation, reading and profiling people, but is not the best choice for conducting detailed psychological experimentation, and probably not for analyzing how people will react to a new regulation (though, actually, that might fall somewhat under Command, now that I think on it).

Someone with Command 5, Medicine 1, and Psychology might be more specialized in practical applications in terms of reading people and figuring out how they tick, without actually being able to provide meaningful therapeutic help.

That'd all be my interpretation, anyway.
jonrcrew said Feb 22, 2018 10:08:27
That's pretty much my understanding of how the system works - the Focuses are basically the expert skills (and operate across Disciplines), while the Disciplines reflect broad areas of familiarity and training.

In the original question, of course, an actual expert in Starfleet procedures would have a Focus in it.

Personally, I like this approach, it's flexible and handles alternative approaches to similar ends. It can be confusing to get used to, but the effects on both character design and subsequent roleplay are quite striking.

7th Sea, 2nd ed, also goes down a similar route with their attributes (as opposed to skills), although they've run into issues with the new Khitai iteration which uses much more abstract attributes, such as Honour and Respect...
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