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Superfluous Engineers

posted May 15, 2018 23:55:51 by TimKellogg
Depending upon the Era one plays, are Engineers superfluous in starship combat? In TOS Scotty was always very busy finding a little more power for Kirk, or eking out more from the warp reactors etc. etc. But in the rules, the Engineer seems an after thought. Ops does the power manipulations and manages Damage Control. Repairs are not mentioned, or am I missing something?
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13 replies
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Deadmanwalking said May 16, 2018 01:06:21
Check p.224 under 'Main Engineering'. Someone in Main Engineering can do any internal systems task, and all but using the transporters are at -1 difficulty. This leaves the person at that station free to do sensors stuff, or they can double up and both do internal systems stuff.

And repairs fall under the 'Damage Control' action.
[Last edited May 16, 2018 01:07:19]
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TimKellogg said May 16, 2018 04:46:49
Alright, that makes sense.
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jonrcrew said May 16, 2018 08:37:46
I handed Internal Systems & Damage Control to the Engineer - admittedly, we're 23rd century, so no Ops Manager, but it was a simple solution :) It's the Comms Officer that doesn't get much to do.
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myrrdenvindex said May 16, 2018 16:45:58
I'm with joncrew on this one; our campaign is 2269, so it seemed fitting given TOS to hand damage control and internal systems to the Chief Engineer. For us, comms are handled by a supporting character/crew when needed. My PCs include Science Officer, Command, Security and Engineering. Science doesn't get much to do in space combat, but we're so far running pretty light on ship to ship battles. They've happened, but they're usually a very short scene used to help set up or advance a story. (The last incident was the players' ship helping to save a freighter from the Klingons, which led to the discovery that the freighter was manned by pirates and smugglers.)

In any case, the -1 difficulty to power management tasks for someone in the Engineering section is ample reason to use an engineer for some tasks...
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Deadmanwalking said May 16, 2018 16:53:25
If the Science Officer isn't doing much in space combat, you need to reexamine Scan For Weakness. It's kind of a ridiculous force multiplier on attacks.
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Nathan.Dowdell said May 16, 2018 18:18:06
If you've got nothing else to do, a Science Officer or Engineer's action could easily be used to create an advantage, representing some technobabble solution created that helps the situation. That option is available to everyone to represent a variety of different things, and it's a versatile option that can be valuable if used cleverly.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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StephenBirks said May 17, 2018 07:18:47
@Deadmanwalking - I'm playing a Tellarite Science officer (crazy amounts of obtain information!) in an ENT game, and in the space combats I go first most rounds - Scan for Weakness is brutal!
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TimKellogg said May 21, 2018 21:32:32
"Nathan.Dowdell said 5 days ago
If you've got nothing else to do, a Science Officer or Engineer's action could easily be used to create an advantage, representing some technobabble solution created that helps the situation. That option is available to everyone to represent a variety of different things, and it's a versatile option that can be valuable if used cleverly.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com"

Thanks for the input. Our group has a Captain and First Officer, Conn/Nav Officer, Ops, Security/Tactical/Internal Systems, Science Officer, and Engineering Officer. I will split Internal Systems between the Engineer and the Ops Boss. I appreciate your comments about the Science Officers role, but our Science Officer has hardly ever seen an episode of any of the shows or movies. He pretty much sits like a bump on a log, playing with his cellphone. We have tried to get him to participate, but he sits and stays mute most of the time. So, technobabble from him is pretty much a non-starter. I have tried multiple methods of engaging him, but he is detached even on an away mission focused on science. Frustrating, but your point is well taken.
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Nathan.Dowdell said May 23, 2018 09:18:36
Player engagement isn't really something that the rules can help, unfortunately, and generally speaking I'm wary of trying to "solve" out-of-character problems in-game.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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TimKellogg said May 23, 2018 21:36:00
Nathan Dowdell, right, I get that. I guess I was looking for more with a player that does not have a vast Star Trek background.....like my Science Officer. Apologies if I did not make that clearer.
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jonrcrew said May 24, 2018 09:07:19
I'd consider a different role - he might be better off in Security or Tactical where he has to actually do things?
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TonyPi said May 24, 2018 11:53:43
And let the Science Officer run the Master Systems Display, i.e., roll every Ship Assist roll. Then they are involved in a lot of shipboard action. During their actual turn, Let them choose a System or Department to create an Advantage for (which lasts the next round). Then they have some investment in how the ship performs during a space battle.
Contributor to Continuing Mission at continuingmissionsta.wordpress.com. F&SF author.
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TimKellogg said May 24, 2018 16:38:24
TonyPi : Thanks, we may get into some starship combat and I will push your suggestion. I think his problem goes deeper, outright lack of knowledge or interest in Star Trek. (The world wonders!)
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