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Senior Officers to the Bridge characters in Star Trek Full Thrust

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Threshold Cards for Star Trek Full Thrust

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Senior Officers To The Bridge...
Characters for Star Trek: Full Thrust By James F Clay

These rules were written for providing Kirk, Picard and Sisko characters for a Star Trek - Full Thrust campaign.

The models used were from the MicroMachines range of Star Trek models, which gave us all the ships we required. Extra ships and merchant vessels were obtained from the "official" Full Thrust range of ships from Ground Zero Games.

The campaign rules, were a modified set of rules from Anthony Morton, who converted a set of VM naval rules Challenge and Reply by Agema Publications.

holodoc

One aspect of Star Trek that is not covered in the "normal" Full Thrust rules is that of the crew, or to be more precise the bridge crew. All too often in the TV shows, a certain action by a certain officer results in the saving of the Enterprise from near disaster.

What this article wants to do is provide a simple system for providing starships with a bridge crew, with which players can protect their ships. The system has to be simple in order to keep with the ethos of Full Thrust. Though specifically designed for a Star Trek style campaign, the rules are easily used (and adapted) for a "normal" Full Thrust campaign, even one based on the Eurasian Solar Union (ESU) and New Anglian Confederation (NAC) background

The system is also really designed for a campaign rather than one-off battles. With a series of linked battles, it is possible to improve your crew and thus ensure that their skills and experience improve. It will also result in the player taking more care with ships, afraid they may lose certain characters with whom they have built up an affinity. Should they push that ship into the close battle, or keep the crew for another day for a fight where they are certain to win.

As the players build up their crews, within a campaign, they will need to make choices. Do they exercise care and spread their more experience officers across the fleet, or do they concentrate their skilled officers within a flagship.

Gains in experience and skills will eventually result in promotion, for example moving an experienced first officer to his/her first command. This first command may be a very different ship to the one previously served on.

Eventually, if they survive that long, the character will approach either retirement or, promotion to admiral and a desk job.

The System

So how does this simple system work, well each character has a certain number of points, most characters will start off with zero points. The characters will gain points for carrying out certain actions, surviving missions, fulfilling mission objectives, away missions, and luck. For each ten points the character has gained a level. Each level allows the character to carry out one action on each mission to help the ship. A character with twenty-five points is a level two character and may carry out two actions. A character with forty-nine points is a level four character and may only carry out four actions. The action is determined by the position the character holds.

There are eight positions a character may hold: Captain, First Officer, Science Officer, Tactical Officer, Navigator, Engineer, Chief Medical Officer (doctor) and Counselor. These are Star Fleet names, and Klingon, Romulan, Ferengi and other alien ships will, of course, have different names for these positions.

In order for a character to become Captain, they must be promoted as such, this require certain conditions. The character must have the minimum points required, and must have the rank of Commander.

The Captain, must have a minimum of thirty points gained in one of the other positions. The Captain may carry out one Command Action for each ten points or level the Captain has in any one mission. Thus a forty point character may carry out four Command Actions in one mission or battle. The Captain may also carry out any other Action (for instance a Tactical Action) instead of a Command Action.

The First Officer and all the other character, do not need a minimum number of points. The First Officer may carry out one Command Action for each ten points or level the First Officer has in any one mission. Thus a twenty point or level two character may carry out two Command Actions during a battle. The First Officer may carry out other Actions only in the original position they held. So, a First Officer, who was an Engineer, may also carry out an Engineer Action instead of a Command Action, but may not carry out a Tactical Action.

dax

The Science Officer may carry out one Science Action for each level they have, per battle.

The Tactical Officer may carry out one Tactical Action for each level they have, per battle.

The Navigator may carry out one Navigation Action for each level they have, in each mission.

The Engineer may carry out one Engineer Action for each level they have, per mission

The Chief Medical Officer (doctor) can carry out one Medical Action for each level they have, during each battle.

The Ship's Counselor may carry out one Counselor Action for each level they have, for each mission. In many respects the Counselor is a similar position to that of Communications, as carried out by Uhura in the original TV series, or Classic Trek.

When starting a campaign, assume that all Captains already have twenty points. Another method is to assign a set number of points to each side to be allocated amongst their characters, this allows players to have initially more experienced characters, which is offset by the number of inexperienced officers.

Each ship is assigned a number of characters, the actual number depends on the size of ship. On the smaller ships, it is assumed that the positions not represented by a character are filled by an average person (or somebody in a red shirt). These characters can do their job extremely well, but don't have that extra little bit that makes them a character.

As for number of characters on each ship, this is calculated by using the ship design rules from Full Thrust. On a Courier, Scout Ship and Corvette, there are no characters. However, characters may travel aboard these ships as "passengers" and then help out the crew. On any other Escort size ship there are three characters. On Cruiser size ships there are four characters. On Capital ships, you can have five characters. On Merchant ships, only three characters are allowed.

Using Actions.

Each character can carry out different actions, what are these particular actions. Some actions are carried out before the battle, in which case the "effect" only lasts for that battle. Other actions are carried out during the battle. Finally, some actions are carried out after the battle.

There are two version of most actions, one to take account of the "normal" or official Threshold Points rules, and one to take account of players using Threshold Cards.

Command Actions

Using some special tactic, the Captain has managed to avoid the damage resulting from an attack. This requires three Command Actions and can be played after the dice have been thrown.

Using a similar special tactic, the Captain has managed to avoid the firing ships weapons. This requires two Command Actions and must be stated before the dice are thrown.

Using another special tactic, but not as effective, the Captain has managed to avoid some of the weapons fire from an enemy ship. Halving the number of dice being thrown. This requires one Command Action and must be stated before the dice are thrown.

The Captain may attempt to hail an enemy ship and accept their surrender. This requires one Command Action. It works in a similar vein to the optional rule, Striking the Colours from More Thrust. If the ship has filled in one line of damage boxes (reached a Threshold Point) the ship will surrender on a 6 on a D6. If the second line of boxes has been filled in, then the ship will surrender on a 5 or 6 on a D6, and so on. If the hail is unsuccessful, the Command Action has still been expended.

Science Actions

The Science Officer has managed to upgrade one of the phaser banks. This a C Class battery is now a B Class battery. A Class batteries may not be upgraded. This requires four Science Actions, is carried out before the battle. Using eight Science Actions it would be possible to upgrade a C Class to an A Class Battery.

The Science Officer has managed to get extra power to the shields for the duration of the battle. The ship has gained one extra level of shields. This must not take the shields to above three. It requires four Science Actions. The effect is cumulative, thus you can take the ship from one shield to three shields.

The Science Officer has managed to get extra power to the weapons systems for one shot. This enables an extra die to be thrown. So an A Class Battery at a range of under 12", gives you four dice, instead of the normal three for that turn only. This requires two Science Actions, and must be stated before throwing the dice. The effect is cumulative.

Science has managed to get extra power to the shields. For one turn the ship has one extra level of shields. This must be written down as an order, TAS. It requires two Science Actions. This may take the shields to above three, which means most weapons have no effect on the ship. The effect is cumulative.

The Science Officer has managed to tinkle with the instruments. The amount of thrust available to turn has increased by one. So a ship with a Thrust of six is now able to use four points for turning instead of three. If the ship uses all four, then, as per the rules, it only has two left for increasing (or decreasing speed). This requires four Science Actions, is carried out before the battle and is not cumulative.

The Science Officer has boosted the impulse engines. The Thrust of the ship has increased by one. This has no effect for turning, so a ship with a Thrust of six, now has a Thrust of seven, but can only use three for turning. This requires four Science Actions, is carried out before the battle and is not cumulative.

The Science Officer has managed to cure the injuries of one of the injured crew (see below). This requires two Science Actions.

The Science Officer has managed to prevent the death of one of the crew (see below). This requires five Science Actions.

Tactical Actions

The Tactical Officer has managed to upgrade one of the phaser banks. Thus a C Class battery is now a B Class battery. A Class batteries may not be upgraded. This requires three Tactical Actions, and is carried out before the battle. Using six Tactical Actions it would be possible to upgrade a C Class to an A Class Battery.

Tactical has managed to get extra power to the shields for the duration of the battle. The ship has gained one extra level of shields. This must not take the shields to above three. It requires three Tactical Actions. The effect is cumulative, thus you can take the ship from one shield to three shields.

Tactical has gained extra power to the weapons systems for one shot. This enables an extra die to be thrown. So an A Class Battery at a range of under 12", gives you four dice, instead of the normal three for that turn only. This requires one Tactical Action, and must be stated before throwing the dice. The effect is cumulative.

Tactical has managed to gain extra power to the ship's shields. For one turn only the ship has one extra level of shields. This must be written down as an order, TAS. It requires the use of one Tactical Action. This may take the shields to above three, which means most weapons have no effect on the ship. The effect is cumulative.

Navigation Actions

The Navigator has managed to tinkle with the instruments. The amount of thrust available to turn has increased by one. So a ship with a Thrust of six is now able to use four points for turning instead of three. If the ship uses all four, then, as per the rules, it only has two left for increasing (or decreasing speed). This requires three Navigator Actions, is carried out before the battle and is not cumulative.

The Navigator has managed to outsmart the enemy and has second-guessed their movement so may move for one turn without using orders. This must be written down as an order, NA. All other ships must move first, to their orders, the player may then write the orders for his/her ship, and them move the ship accordingly. This will allow opposing ships to both have NA orders, and neither to have an advantage over the other.

Flying by the seat of the pants, the Navigator has managed to avoid an asteroid or planet that would have resulted in the destruction of the ship. Small planetoids require one Navigator Action, Medium two actions and Large, three actions.

O'Brien and Kira

Engineer Actions

The Engineer has boosted the impulse engines. The Thrust of the ship has increased by one. This has no effect for turning, so a ship with a Thrust of six, now has a Thrust of seven, but can only use three for turning. This requires three Engineer Actions, is carried out before the battle and is not cumulative.

The Engineer has managed to upgrade one of the phaser banks. This a C Class battery is now a B Class battery. A Class batteries may not be upgraded. This requires three Engineer Actions, is carried out before the battle. Using six Engineer Actions it would be possible to upgrade a C Class to an A Class Battery.

The Engineer has managed to get extra power to the shields for the duration of the battle. The ship has gained one extra level of shields. This must not take the shields to above three. It requires three Engineer Actions. The effect is cumulative, thus you can take the ship from one shield to three shields.

The Engineer has prevented destruction of a system following Threshold Points rolls. After rolling a Threshold Point die and a system is destroyed, the Engineer can carry out an Engineer Action and has managed to save the system, "re-rout the power conduit", etc... (For those players using Threshold Cards, this action allows the Engineer to ignore one Threshold Card).

The Engineer has enabled some emergency power to the engines, increasing the Thrust by one. However, each time this is used, the ship takes D6 points of damage. The extra thrust may not be used for turning. The effect can be cumulative, each point of thrust requiring one Engineer Action, however remember, each point results in D6 points of damage. (For those players using Threshold Cards, you may require the player to take an immediate Threshold Card each time the extra Thrust is used).

The Engineer has managed to get extra power to the weapons systems for one shot. This enables an extra die to be thrown. So an A Class Battery at a range of under 12", gives you four dice, instead of the normal three for that turn only. This requires one Engineer Action, and must be stated before throwing the dice. The effect is cumulative.

The Engineer has managed to get extra power to the shields. For one turn the ship has one extra level of shields. This must be written down as an order, EAS. It requires one Engineer Action. This may take the shields to above three, which means most weapons have no effect on the ship. The effect is cumulative.

Medical Actions

The good doctor has managed to cure the injuries of one of the injured crew. This requires one Medical Action.

The doctor has managed to prevent the death of one of the crew. This requires three Medical Actions.

Counselor Actions

The Counselor may attempt to hail an enemy ship and accept their surrender. This requires one Counselor Action. It works in a similar vein to the optional rule, Striking the Colours from More Thrust. If the ship has filled in one line of damage boxes (reached a Threshold Point) the ship will surrender on a 6 on a D6. If the second line of boxes has been filled in, then the ship will surrender on a 5 or 6 on a D6, and so on. If the hail is unsuccessful, the Counselor Action has still been expended.

The Counselor has managed to cure the injuries of one of the injured crew. This requires two Counselor Actions.

Gaining Points

Characters will need points in order to gain in level.

Most points will be gained on a ship basis, in other words, if a ship successfully carries out a mission it will gain a certain number of points that may be distributed amongst the crew at the player's own discretion. Other points will be gained by characters.

Characters will individually gain one point each time they do something really well. This should normally be at the umpire's discretion, however, if the players respect each other and don't have an impartial umpire, they should be able to sort this out for themselves. These points should be rare, for instance a player scores quite a few sixes, thus you may want award the Tactical Officer one point. Lucky positioning of a ship, right behind, one point may be given to the Navigator. If a ship survives a horrific Threshold Point roll (4,5, or 6) without taking additional damage, you may want to award the Engineer (or Captain) one point. Additional points may be added for good role-playing as well. Howeve, care should be taken, and no character should gain more than three individual points per battle, and normally would either get one or none.

Whereas characters will only gain points on an ad hoc basis, ships will gain points under the following:

3pts If the enemy ship they fire at explodes (as in warp core breach in Threshold Cards). If you use the "normal" rules, ships do not explode, you could add a rule, whereby a destroyed ship will explode on a 6 on a D6.

2pts If the enemy ship they fire at is destroyed. This means that all damage boxes have been filled in.

1pt If they destroy the engines of the enemy ship, so that it can't manoeuvre, change speed or go to warp (FTL).

1pt If their shot destroys the last weapons system of the ship.

3pts If the ship surrenders, strikes the colours.

3pts If their ship survives the battle, and their side won - they can have taken damage.

2pts If their ship survives the battle and it was a draw.

1pt If their ship survived the battle, but they lost.

The following points will depend on the campaign rules you use. Most naval campaign rules can be used.

2pts For each campaign turn the ship is in training. Whilst a ship is in training it may not have repairs undertaken.

1pt For each individual character undertaking training. Whilst a character is under training, they may not be aboard a starship.

x pts For winning certain conditions within the campaign. In the campaign rules we are using, you gain victory points for successfully carrying out certain missions. The number of points you gain being equal to the number of victory points. These include away team mission on planets.

Other points should be awarded at the discretion of the umpire, such as campaign objective, etc...

chakotay

Promotion

Each time a character gains a new level (ten points), then they have a chance for promotion. On a roll of 6 on a D6 they have gained one level in rank.

The promotion structure is as follows: Ensign, Lieutenant, Lieutenant-Commander, Commander, Captain and Admiral.

Once a character has been promoted to Commander they may be assigned as First Officer to any ship, but this is not compulsory.

A Commander may be given temporary command of a ship until, a Captain is assigned, however, they do not have the abilities of Captain, and may not carry out Command Actions, unless they are also a First Officer.

Once a Commander has been promoted to Captain, they must be given command of their own ship. If no ships are available, then the newly promoted Captain is assigned to (Star Fleet) Command until a ship is available.

A Captain may refuse promotion to Admiral twice, on the third promotion, they must accept. Once an Admiral, the character is assigned to command (desk job). If a player has insufficient Captains, Admirals may be assigned to ships, however, once enough Captain are available then, the Admiral must return to Command. Admirals may be permanently retired.

Demotion is also a possibility, if a character has done something cowardly or failed badly, this is probably determined by an impartial umpire, rather than some kind of system. Demotion should be not a matter of luck.

New Characters

Each campaign turn, the player may be assigned new characters (to make up for losses). The exact number could depend on a random dice thrown, the number of planets you hold, or the same number each campaign turn.

All characters start off as Ensign. Roll a D6 for which field they are skilled in:

  • 1 Counselor
  • 2 Tactical Officer
  • 3 Navigator
  • 4 Engineer
  • 5 Chief Medical Officer
  • 6 Science Officer

You may want to introduce (as an optional rule) multi-skilled characters, but this does make things more complicated.

Losing Characters

Space is a dangerous place, and all too often it is easy to lose characters, either on away missions (Tasha Yar) or in battle (Captain Garret).

At each Threshold Point, roll dice for each character, as though they were a ship system. Thus on the first threshold, you need a 6 on a D6. If the score required is achieved, the character is injured. If the character is already injured, then she/he have died.

Injuries may be cured either by the Chief Medical Officer during a battle, or the character takes no action in the next campaign turn, in which case the injuries heal. However the character is still aboard the ship, unless specifically replaced, thus is subject to risk if the ship explodes. The character does not take Threshold rolls, whilst in sickbay.

If a ship is destroyed, characters manage to escape in escape pods on a roll of 5,6 on a D6. If the ship explodes, the characters escape on a roll of 6 on a D6. Injured characters and characters in sick bay take one off their die roll.

Dukat

Racial Differences

The characters rules imply that the ships belong to the Federation. It is very simple to change things for Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians and other alien races. Most of the time it is just changing names.

One aspect to take account of is promotion amongst Klingons and other warlike races, where assassination is an accepted norm for a route to promotion. In this case, a 6 on the D6 promotion roll, will result in the death of the senior officer automatically (or on a roll of 4,5,6 on a D6, if you want to be fair).

Conclusion

The introduction of characters into one-off battles of Full Thrust does not add very much to a game. Adding characters to a Full Thrust campaign gives more colour, and makes players more responsible for their ships. These rules still need some work on them, so any constructive comments will be most welcome. They also have the potentail to turn Full Thrust into a full-blown role-playing game.

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