Preferences And House Rules

Posted by azmulder4 on October 17, 2014 at 2:30 AM

Captains log 10.17.14 (Yes I Know That Is Not How They Calculate The Date On The Shows :))

Since the release of Starships & Spacemen 2E I have come up with some personal prefences and house rules that I have incorporated into my intepretation of the game. While I have no issue at all with the game as it is published or its rule system I have developed the following prefences in my own game sessions and hope they could be helpful in yours as well.

1. The term Game Master or Referee is prefered over the term Star Master or SM. Not that there is anything wrong with Star Master, I just prefer the other terms over it.

2. The term Power Point Base is prefered over Power Pile Base. Again this is a personal prefence and Point just has a more elegant sound to it than Pile does.

3. In the Starship section the rules suggest that starship computers are "stupid". I tend to agree....uhhh, I mean. I prefer the idea that starship computer cores in the S&S universe are uncomplicated and deliberately limited to direct responses. The command of a starship has enough responsibility and pressure in and of itself without an A.I. know it all computer making constant suggestions on how to do things based on the current information and sensor data. Instead, I suggest that in a deliberate act to keep computers doing what they do best which is managing information the designers of the computer interface model for SFS spacecraft programed the computer to aide the crew but not think for the crew.

4. In the starship statistics the crew sizes for these massive space vessels are far too small. For this reason I have interpretted the crew capacity #'s presented in the rules is referring to the size of the command crew and not the overall number of personnel actually serving on the ship. When you take this into consideration it makes more sense.

5. I also feel it is important to disregard the rule about automatic demotions for SFS starship commanding officers who order their crew to retreat being considered an act of cowardice in the face of the enemy. I think that a single SFS frigate that wanders too deep into no-mans land and encounters a Zangid Battlecruiser (or worse) would be foolish to sacrifice both ship and crew to fight an un-win-able battle. I think that any military action that an SFS crew engages in will face later review back at the ole starbase and any conduct deemed cowardly or unbecoming will result in disciplinary action including demotion or even loss of command (which can be an adventure hook in and of itself).

6. As a personal prefernce the warp scale in game will max out at Ten instead of Eight.

7. While the saucer is one of the predominate / most common shapes used for SFS primary hulls it should not be considered the only one.

8. A hex map, or even graph paper, is needed for the starship game in order to track distance. I recommend using a tactical map where the hexes or squares each represent 10,000 Miles or Kilometers. Personally I would prefer to use Kilometers over Miles as it is more common among both scientists and the military than Miles. That way when the ship is 190,000 miles / kilometers out all you have to do is count out 19 hexes or squares to determine range and distance. 

9. Interstellar travel is perferred over the term galactic travel.

10. Lastly (At least for now) In the game rules the pods (AKA Nacelles) contain the elements of the hyperdrive and the size and number of pods determines the PPB. Well, I am not trying to get into a technical debate or be a tech lawyer but this description is both correct and incorrect based on the genre's technical themes. In my game I prefer to use the term Core (As In Warp Core, Hyper Drive Core, Power Core, or Energy Core) over pods being the determing element of how much PPB the ship produces. After all PPB is a statistic that tracks energy production and usage, so the power plant that makes the energy is more important than the "pods" that distribute the energy. Thus, a starship could be a dreadnaught like the Vengance or Battleship like the Excellsior and still only have "two pods" distributing the energy but four energy cores producing the power. This also will solve the problem of alien races whoes ships do not have external pods containing their hyperdrive elements.  

Warmest Regards,



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