All I Ask is a Tall Ship…

Star Trek: Phase II

Star Trek: Phase II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is definitely true for most science fiction pieces that something as mundane as a vehicle, a simple mode of transportation, becomes as intricate, intimate, and intrinsic as any other character.  Yet, in many forms of science fiction, starships become exactly that.  Whether it is the Millenium Falcon, Serenity, or Enterprise.

Star Trek is filled with intriguing vessels, from the exotic to the exciting and everything in between.  This section of the Star Trek FATE core book presents starships, from small shuttles to the vital vessels that defend, explore, repair, rescue, and research.

This book was written to provide the players of the Star Trek game as complete a picture of the setting as possible, without detailing any of the settings secrets or surprises.  Therefore, you will find only Starfleet vessels detailed.  Furthermore, as the setting was an alternate universe, Original Series era campaign, the ships are older and more specialized; Starfleet was still in its “younger years” and had yet to develop a “jack-of-all-trades” starship.  Thus, the vessels presented are specialized in their capabilities.

In upcoming posts, we will examine alien culture starships as well as take a look at Starfleet’s evolution and introduction of several more “familiar” vehicles.  For now, however, we join Starfleet as they push to explore further and maintain their borders against several hostile cultures.  It is an exciting time to be a crewmember aboard an interstellar vessel.

Star Trek FATE Starships

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6 thoughts on “All I Ask is a Tall Ship…

  1. I believe NDGT himself voted the Enterprise (original NCC-1701 Constitution Class) his favorite sci-fi spaceship. To your point, though, the various series have always used the vessels to be expressive of their users’ culture. It’s a clever way to give the audience information about foreign cultures quickly, too.

    • I agree entirely…although determining a favorite amongst the Star Trek vessels is a tough call. I am partial to both the original connie, but the NX from Enterprise (despite the Akira-class comparisons…or perhaps due to) stole my heart and imagination.

  2. I’m currently running my own FATE game for Star Trek, but using FATE Core for the ground stuff and Strands of Fate for the space stuff (not ideal, I know). I’m curious as to how you try to balance each ship against one another, and also if when you say a ship has more than two weapons in a battery (such as the 4x beam array broadside on your new Gorn ship) if you just treat that as flavor, or if it confers a gameplay benefit as well.

    Quite interested, keep up the good work!

    • Ship-to-ship balance was never really an issue for me. This is primarily due to the sheer number of specialized actions, and therefore aspects, that the players had each exchange. Compare this to an NPC-driven ship and the in-game difference becomes profound (as it is in the shows and films).

      As far as weaponry and other implements, there are adjustments made to stats (Weapon Rating – WR – most notably) when terms such as “4x beam array” come up. Typically, I adjusted +1 per two beams/cannons/whatever, but there were times where it made the number ridiculously high and it had to be shifted for feel. Therefore, some degree of mechanical crunch was used to back the narrative fluff.

      And thank you for the encouragement!

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