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Author Topic: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers  (Read 1604 times)

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Offline LinnaTopic starter

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Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« on: June 03, 2016, 10:25:46 PM »
Hey everyone, Linna here.  I've been hinting at a new game for a while now and I've decided to start a thread to keep interest going and to give everyone a sneak peak as to what you can expect when the game opens.  I'm super excited about this project and I've put way too many hours into this already, but here it is.

Star Trek Frontiers


Set late in Kirk's original 5 year mission, Frontiers explores the universe from a new and unique angle based on a blend of history and what we've seen in both the Original Series and Animated Series.

Starfleet, the heroes who keep humanity safe, are still ever watchful but now have new threats emerging from the frontier of Federation space. New enemies who strike from the shadows and retreat before anyone can get a good look at them.  Plus, the Klingons and Romulans are starting to get a little antsy, and are probing the borders to gauge Starfleet's strength. It's a frightening time to be on the frontier, but where can they go?  Their ships are now homes, their engines converted into power plants to keep the lights on. All that stands between them are 500 crew in a lone ship.

So ok, to kind of get things kicked off, I thought I'd go over some of the inspiration for the game and what you can expect.  First, this isn't JJ Abrams at the helm, this is me. You're not going to see super sleek ships with giant breweries for engine rooms. What you will find is a ship built to both explore, defend, and provide aid to anyone who needs it. You know, what they did in the Original Series, only with a more kickass crew: you guys!

There will be a ton of reference material available to everyone, and I expect you guys to use it. I'm not going to sit here and roll dice or try to get you to read cover to cover, but rather than hand you everything, I'm going to let you explore and find out. Heading for, say, Vulcan?  Look it up and discover things. This way, when something happens, you're genuinely surprised when you aren't given a big glowing hint about what to expect. Makes me sneaky that way.

The game is based off the original FASA Star Trek RPG, but we're not going to get into the ridiculously overcomplicated system. I'm an engineer and even I had to build a massive excel sheet to keep track of the rules, and they still confuse me sometimes. But, you will get to use the character creator to randomly make a character with a random, complex history and then fill in the blanks from there. Maybe you were a model student but screwed up your first training voyage... or maybe even got promoted straight into a good posting.  Life is screwed up sometimes, and no matter how good or bad you are, sometimes things happen without you really intending them to come out that way.

Also, I'm getting this out of the way now.  NO DRAMA LLAMAS!  Seriously.  Starfleet recruits the best and the brightest, and you're not going to get selected if you are a delicate flower who can't stand up for yourself. You're meant to be a leader or at the very least, someone competent with your craft so that when shit hits the fan, you're confident you can do what it takes to jump in and save the day, or know it's out of your league to fix and do what you can with what you have.  How many times did Kirk face off against gods and tyrants with just his wits?  Be like Kirk: so awesome he can stare down a supercomputer aiming to irradiate Earth.

So that's it for now, please let me know if you're interested.  If you are, just a simple wave would be appreciated so I can take a list of names on who to update, and I'll keep you posted every three days or so with how things are progressing.  So far I have about 20% of the Starfleet Medical Reference Manual finished, about 50% of the Academy Handbook ready, and we're going to just use the FASA Federation Manual as is with a few notes from me about what's different.

Below is our first look at some of the history that has definitely changed, because it's more fun that way. If it helps your characters, great, or maybe you're interested just for the sake of curiosity. Let me know what you think and have fun!



Today's History Lesson: The Eugenics Wars (1992 to 1996)

The origins of the Eugenics Wars were said to have been traced to a group of international scientists who worked during the 1960s-1970s who had laboratories in Haiti and Pakistan as well as Chad along with their headquarters in North Yemen. These progenitors of a super race worked in the poorest countries on Earth as it was easy to bribe the officials into silence and hire human guinea pigs for their work. Unknown to him at the time, Ralph Offenhouse supplied this cabal with equipment from electron microscopes to computers, drugs and even chemicals which broke export regulations and smuggling laws.

The wars' roots lie in the "Chrysalis Project", an ambitious program of selective breeding and genetic engineering in the 1960s conducted by a group of scientists trying to create a new, artificially improved breed of men and women: smarter, faster, stronger than ordinary human beings, a super-race to take command of the entire planet. Designed and facilitated by a group of world-renowned geneticists and biochemists, the top-secret Chrysalis Project involved creating human embryos genetically superior to those created through the random genetic shuffling of ordinary reproduction using techniques that appeared to be far beyond what humans were capable of at the time. Free from any government's authority, Chrysalis was a private consortium that answered to no one, having complete autonomy. Chrysalis had its headquarters located in the Thar Desert, thanks to its remote location, the Chrysalis endeavor was completely isolated. The main complex was hidden beneath the ruins of an ancient Rajput fort.

Like so many others of their generation, the members of the Chrysalis Project nurtured dreams of making the world a better place. They believed, however, that a better world was impossible without better people to live in it. Democracy, socialism, psychiatry, religion... all these avenues to Utopia inevitably run into the inherent limitations of human nature, at least as we presently know it. Only by improving the human species itself, through controlled genetic manipulation, can we ever hope to overcome the ills that have perpetually plagued the peoples of the world: poverty, war, disease, and so on. They believed we cannot depend on environment and heredity to produce such individuals as Albert Einstein or Martin Luther King, Jr. at random. At Chrysalis, they were taking chance out of the equation, producing an entire generation of superior individuals, capable of completely transforming civilization as we know it. The Chrysalis Project endeavored to give their genetically enhanced creations full rein of the planet. To do so, the engineers of this project intended to release a bacterium. A genetically modified streptococcus, to be precise, capable of devouring soft tissue at an accelerated rate. In order to infect the world's populace, they procured a quantity of ICBM missiles equipped with specialized biowarheads to use as implementation vehicles from moles in the Soviet germ warfare program, Biopreparat.

The genetically engineered Augments of the Chrysalis Project were mentally and physically superior to ordinary men and women. They were five times stronger than the average person, their lung efficiency was 50 percent better than normal, their heart valve action had twice the power of an average human, and their intelligence was double that of normal humans, which gave them superior analytical capabilities compared to ordinary humans and an increased capacity for absorbing new information. The problem was that, as one Chrysalis scientist wrote before he was murdered by an Augment, "Superior ability creates superior ambition." The so called supermen felt that their superior physical and intellectual abilities gave them the right to rule over the rest of humanity. To that end, they conspired throughout the 1980s to seize power through the use of behind-the-scenes manipulation, brute force and "puppet leaders" who answered only to them.

Of all the genetically enhanced manipulators who rose to power during this period, none were as ambitious or as ruthless as the man known as Khan Noonien Singh. The son of Dr. Sarina Kaur, Khan Singh's presence was felt throughout the world, perhaps most discreetly. He fought against Soviet soldiers outside Vladimir Lenin's tomb, where he stopped a coup, and maintained the safety of President Mikhail Gorbachev while he was attending the summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was rumored to be all over the Asian and Indian subcontinent, inciting the 1987 pro-democracy uprising in South Korea, fighting alongside the Afghan rebels in their guerrilla war against the Soviet Union, personally arranging the 1988 plane crash that killed General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, leader of the Pakistan's military government, returning democracy to India's nearest neighbor and rival. Khan was also credited with the so called "natural" death of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Aided and abetted by power-hungry individuals in various governments, business organizations, and independent agencies who allowed themselves to fall under his domination, Khan attempted to gain control of the entire planet. In 1992 Khan quietly seized power over much of Southeast Asia and the Middle East through blackmail and strong-arm tactics. Dozens of "figurehead rulers" either answered to Khan or in some fashion allied themselves with him. He ruled his dominion from what he called the Great Khanate in the remote parts of India. His fellow "supermen" took over key positions of power in South America, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, remote parts of the South Pacific and in sections of North Africa. Khan's Great Khanate was centered in Chandigarh, India and had a secondary command center on Muroroa Atoll, "Chrysalis Island", of the Tuamoto islands in the French Polynesia. On June 14, 1992 from Muroroa Atoll, a former French nuclear testing area (Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique), Khan launched the Morning Star satellite into orbit, giving him the ability to damage the Earth's ozone layer. On July 10, 1992 Singh held an assembly with delegates from nations in Southern Asia and the Middle East, where he demonstrated Morning Star's abilities and issued an ultimatum, "if I fall, the world falls with me". The satellite would later cause an increase in the hole in the ozone layer that was publicly blamed on the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Various incidents of violence around the world were spurred by Khan and his fellow Augments throughout 1992, such as civil wars in Liberia, Peru, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere; race riots in Los Angeles and food riots in Albania. On June 14, 1993, Khan held a summit with 6 of his most powerful Chrysalis siblings, where he attempted to unify them to create a new world order with him as the prevailing voice. The summit was a failure as Khan's dream of unity collapsed when the Augments' enhanced ambition caused them to turn on one another, spawning the Eugenics Wars.

Carried out through mostly covert operations, the war did result in massive causalities that the legitimate governments publicly said were rogue terrorist incidents or natural disasters. (TOS novels: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1, The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 2) The outbreak of the war limited the efforts by Earth in its attempt at manned space flight with those resources instead being diverted to the global war that was being fought on the planetary surface. A massive impediment by the various nations against the Augment threat was the fact that the various intelligence bureaus failing to cooperate with one another or share their gathered information. This allowed for a number of military defeats to be suffered at the hands of the Augments and thus lengthened the war.

During this time, in their eagerness to assert their self-proclaimed destinies as rulers of the Earth, the Augments sparked civil wars and unrest all over the globe, in Eastern Europe, Liberia, Somalia, Peru, Haiti, Rwanda and elsewhere. Though the public-at-large was aware of the majority of such events - most never knew that the events were in fact all related to one another. Indeed, the public was kept entirely ignorant of many of the related "battles" of the Eugenics Wars and even Khan himself was not known to the majority of the world.

One notable incident of the war occurred on 30 September 1993, when Khan was lured to the Ajorra caves in central India by Vasily Hunyadi, the Augment force behind the Serbian government, who attempted to assassinate Khan by triggering an earthquake caused by an underwater concussive charge place by Hunyadi. This earthquake was in the previously-considered aseismatic region of Maharashtra. The death toll from this quake was over 10,000 and entire villages were destroyed.

Khan attempted to retaliate on 7 February 1994 during a submarine battle under the Mediterranean Sea between Khan's forces and Hunyadi's. However, his effort was thwarted when the ballistic missile submarine S.G.K. Kaur was attacked because of the no-fly zone imposed by NATO. A couple of months later, on April 21 Dr. Donald Williams of the Chrysalis Project gave to Khan the genetic sequence for the flesh eating strain of streptococcus-A developed by Sarina Kaur. Khan would begin human testing of this carnivorous bacteria on October 2 of that year.

On August 29, 1994 Hunyadi addressed the United Nations in defiance against the economic sanctions and the NATO peacekeeping presence to declare that Serbia had nothing to apologize for. During his speech, members of the Army of Eternal Vigilance (AEV) released sarin gas, a nerve toxin, into the council chambers, suffocating to death many ambassadors and tourists and also Vasily Hunyadi. The AEV was an anti-government militia based in Cochise County, Arizona. It was commanded by an Augment named Randall "Hawkeye" Morrison. Morrison had teamed up with Khan to eliminate Hunyadi. Morrison's ambition with nerve gas was notorious, the AEV attempted to release Sarin gas at both ends of the Eurotunnel at its opening to the public. When this strike was stopped paranoia consumed Morrison. He attempted to kill all his followers but they escaped and Morrison committed suicide.

On March 17 of 1995, Khan acquired over 200 bio-warheads from the former Soviet Union. Eventually, after learning the secrets of the Chrysalis Project, Khan redeveloped the flesh eating streptococcus that his mother developed and prepared to devastate the planet with its presence. On September 5, 1995 Chrysalis Island was attacked by a joint Russian-American strike, a ten-kiloton nuclear device destroying Khan's biological warfare lab and his doomsday weapon. The cover story was that France had privately resumed nuclear testing in the area of the old Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique.
With his weakened arsenal and with the major superpowers of the world now aware of Khan's plans of genocide, air strikes from American B-52 bombers and a ground assault from the Russian Spetsnaz eliminated Khan's henchmen and palace. On January 10, 1996 U.S. forces bombed Khan's "terrorist base" in Chandigarh as well as several other Augment bases in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan.

Facing certain defeat at the hands of combined forces from multiple nations, the very next day Khan and 84 of his Augment followers secretly escaped Earth aboard a stolen prototype vessel of the DY-100 sleeper ship christened the SS Botany Bay.  The failure by Earth's intelligence agencies in sharing information meant that they were not aware of this fact which allowed Khan to escape from the planet at the end of the Eugenics War. This ship was developed using technology reverse-engineered from the Ferengi ship that crashed at Roswell, and launched from the secret American facility nicknamed "Area 51". Khan headed for outer space with the dream of someday ruling a world of his own making. On board the ship, the crew were cryogenically frozen to allow them to remain in suspended animation.

In 1996, the USS Enterprise was sunk in the Sea of Japan. Also, at some unknown point, the cities of Tokyo was nearly completely destroyed while New York City was destroyed in its entirety.

Towards the end of the war, there had been a small peace movement, trying to stem the tide of destruction. Upon failing this task, they decided to leave the Earth in search of a more peaceful world. They constructed a spaceship, launching themselves into space in suspended animation in 1997.

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 11:35:46 PM »
Keeping an eye on this.

Offline CaptainErotica

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 09:16:12 AM »
Definitely interested in this!

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 01:12:16 AM »
That's quite an exciting setup you've got there. I'm happy to see something based on TOS and the long-forgotten animated series...The later programs came on at times in my life when I just had too much going on, so I never really got 'into' Voyager and the other revival series.

I do have to say that randomized-background CG isn't necessarily one of my favorite things (nightmares of Original Traveller tabletop where the game became "Who can actually get a character to survive character generation with the dice this cold?").
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 01:20:45 AM by CarnivalOfTheGoat »

Offline Thorne

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 01:22:40 AM »
I preferred DS9 myself, but ... this is of interest to me.

I'm willing to try the randomized background thing at least once, even accounting for the dice hating me. A lot. ^^;

Offline LinnaTopic starter

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 09:44:55 PM »
Holy crap you guys! I was gonna update this morning but I was running late, so I thought "Meh, I'll update tonight. Won't be too bad."  It's 9:30 and I just got home. Thank goodness I had most of the update ready for you to poke around with. I'll try to have these out every 3 days or so, and use it to both keep interest alive and also write the history of Earth as we go. Don't worry if you don't want to read it all right now, I'll have it in the main game manual before it's all said and done.

So yesterday I found several reference materials and consolidated them down into a number of books. These are auxiliary materials that will be useful but not critical. One of them, the Starfleet Medical Reference Manual, might be useful to anyone playing a medical officer, but otherwise it's not absolutely critical. I still have to get the main sourcebook, the one that will combine history, standard terms, vital information about key systems, etc. into one place that will serve you guys for the majority of the game. The biggest issue currently is finding topics to cover that you will need to know. If you have any suggestions, go ahead and let me know!

The game should be up and running around July 1, giving me a bit of time before I have to start panicking. I probably will but meh, that's normal. I still have a lot of material to go over and such, but I was going to let you guys know I'm going to make this as easy to slip into as possible. You don't have to know a thing about Star Trek to get into this game. If you just like the concept, I'm open to getting you into it. We can worry about lore and such later on.

Time for questions and comments!


That's quite an exciting setup you've got there. I'm happy to see something based on TOS and the long-forgotten animated series...The later programs came on at times in my life when I just had too much going on, so I never really got 'into' Voyager and the other revival series.

I do have to say that randomized-background CG isn't necessarily one of my favorite things (nightmares of Original Traveller tabletop where the game became "Who can actually get a character to survive character generation with the dice this cold?").

Carnival, if you want I can let you see the generator... I built it over a year ago and it still (somehow) works, so if you want to copy it and take a stab at how the random rolls go, I'll be glad to let you. Same goes for anyone else. Just go to File > Make a Copy and save it to your own Google Drive, then poke around.  Any questions you have about it, I'm more than willing to answer.  And yes, all those species are available to play as. There's also the Star Trek IV sourcebook with a variety of other races, though please ask before you choose to play one.

I preferred DS9 myself, but ... this is of interest to me.

I'm willing to try the randomized background thing at least once, even accounting for the dice hating me. A lot. ^^;

Poke around a bit. I'm sure you'll find it's not so bad. DS9 is my second favorite because of Ben Sisko's Mother Fuckin Pimp Hand, also known as the Defiant. I'm sure it was a clerical error and when Sisko found out, he slapped on an extra pair of phasers just because.

Today's history lesson: World War III (2026 to 2053)

Historians traced the earliest phases of the war as far back as 2026, with factions of eco-terrorists launching attacks responsible for as many as 37 million deaths. In addition, it is possible that a further root cause of World War III lay in the political destabilization of several European nations, including France, which was torn between the Trotskyists and the Neo-Gaullists, circa 2024. At the time of the final conflagration in the 2050s, one side was composed of the New United Nations, including the United States and the European Union; the other side was an alliance known as the Eastern Coalition. The war's origins went back decades, but by the year 2051, Lee Kuan had emerged as a general in the military hierarchy of the Eastern Coalition, helping to overthrow the emerging democratic movement within the government of that political bloc. This ultimately helped to cement the ECON's hard line opposition-stance to the United States's policies, bringing it into direct military conflict within two more years.

The final catalyst-events for World War III were a series of confrontations between the New United Nations and the ECON over oil fields located in Antarctica and Taklamakan, a few months before the first major nuclear salvos are launched. Rioting breaks out in several major American cities during the days immediately leading up to the war, with fires and looting prior to the nuclear strikes as people attempted to flee the impending target zones with their lives.

At precisely 0230.26 hours Eastern Standard Time, on 1 May 2053 (an event later known as the "May Day Horror of '53"), the Eastern Coalition launched a first strike comprised of intercontinental ballistic missiles, bomber attacks, and portable nuclear weapons, against major North American and European cities, combined with a simultaneous Interface viral assault against the New United Nations computer infrastructure. Much to surprise of the ECON political leadership, the New United Nations immediately retaliated with nuclear launches of their own, as well as bomber and satellite-based attacks against targets in the Middle East and Asia. Many Pacific nations side with the Eastern Coalition against the United States when fighting finally breaks out. Other political groupings, such as the Muslim Bloc, are likewise hit extremely hard during the nuclear exchanges, despite being non-aligned with either side during the war.  The detonation of nuclear weapons over cities (in the multiple-megaton range) such as London, Moscow, Berlin, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Toronto, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Mecca, Riyadh, Samarkand, Karachi, Singapore, and New Delhi killed nearly half a billion people instantly. Smaller detonations occurred over Hong Kong, Beijing, and Ho Chi Minh City. Un-detonated or failed nuclear devices were discovered in or around targets such as Washington D.C., Denver, Paris, Madrid, Rome, and Istanbul. Of the hundreds of ICBMs and bombers launched by the United States and allied forces, only one in five makes it into the air, due to EMP weapons and viral attacks against the military computer networks — of these, only a fraction detonate properly.

Conventional military forces on both sides were quickly moved into offensive position against their respective foes — on 3 May 2053, the First, Eighth, and Sixteenth Fleets under New United Nations command carry front-line troops into the Bay of Bengal, and the ECON launches a massive invasion of the North American continent, sending troops and military aircraft southward through Canada. Targets in New England (including Massachusetts), Minnesota, the Rocky Mountains, and the Midwest are hit hard by ECON forces, the U.S. military's defenses along the Canadian border failing utterly. The United States Air Force and United States Army both fight back against the invaders, but lose many fighters and ground soldiers to the enemy. Certain military units are abandoned in enemy territory during the war, including a New United Nations brigade under the command of Colonel Green in Kashmiristan in late May. Finally, the Eastern Coalition's governing palace is destroyed by American forces, killing ECON founder Lee Kuan.

The post-atomic horror that followed severely destabilized global civilization; terrorist organizations and rogue states often detonated small-scale "suitcase nukes," while toxins and biogenic weapons were released. Drug-addled soldiers were often sacrificed in conventional battles on the ground after much of the planetary computer systems failed; numerous small-scale conflicts created chaos throughout the globe as warlords fought over the scraps of civilization. As a result of the ICBM detonations, an enormous dust cloud envelops the Earth, resulting in several nuclear winters. Sovereign nations, including the United States, essentially cease to exist following the war, the country falling into barbarism, carved up into fiefdoms controlled by competing warlords (including Colonel Green's despotic reign over the Pacific Northwest). Without federal resources to fall back upon, most local governments were unable to feed their own people; chaos and anarchy would reign for generations afterward, well into the 22nd century. The President of the United States, President Mendoza, survives the initial days of the war, but finds herself in command of very little afterwards.

The war culminated circa 2053, when several of Earth's governments met in San Francisco to declare a cease-fire, effectively ending the war. In the end, most of the world's major governments collapsed, and over 600 million people had died just from the immediate combat. Despite the end of actual hostilities, the after-effects of the war referred to as "the post-atomic horror"—lingered for decades to follow. Rule of law broke down in many places, and legal systems were abolished, with the suggestion to "kill all the lawyers" from Henry VI being taken literally in some places. Asia was particularly devastated. Much of the United States economy was ruined, with the population reduced to standards of living less than that of the victims of the Great Depression a century earlier. So great were the horrors that human genius Zefram Cochrane had himself implanted with a pain-inhibiting chip in order to cope with the world around him. Nonetheless, his Project Phoenix was able to secure backing, and led to first contact only ten years later.



Linna's thoughts:  I thought for the longest time WWIII and the Eugenics Wars were one in the same, but since I did a whole big history thing on the latter last time, it's clear that opinion has changed. Part of this is because it leads to a much darker timeline, with humanity having a very dark past that colors their perception of how they fit into the universe. Most "civilized" states such as the Klingons and Romulans see humanity as backwards for nuking their own world, and with good reason. Propaganda definitely depicts the savage humans dropping nuclear weapons on unprotected planets and then settling on top of the still charred and radioactive ruins. Not to mention that numerous cultures were completely erased in a flash, leaving little for the survivors to build upon. It would take decades, even with Vulcan assistance, to rebuild humanity into even a shadow of what it was. For the average person, the legacy of WWIII has definitely led to a redefining of what it means to be human. The nation states of old were burned away, leaving echoes of their glory behind for the people to aspire to, even if the reality was far, far different.  The two big nations, the United States and Soviet Russia, were the now dead titans that had battled it out and left ruin and devastation in their wake.

I wanted to point out something important. The number of casualties, 600 million, refers only to the number of people who actually died in combat. What came after, the post-atomic horror, was barely hinted at in First Contact, when they showed people living in shacks in the Montana wilderness. Paranoia ran high that the Eastern Coalition would return, like the boogie men of old, and that was in the middle of nowhere. Imagine the horrors of seeing both ECON and NUN forces marching in lock step under Colonel Green, rolling through the Pacific northwest and ruling with an iron fist. The horrors of the war went far beyond those who died in combat, and likely led to casualties of almost two billion over the next few years when famine and chaos spread. No centralized government and irradiated crops that don't grow would lead to famine and death in horrible conditions. By the time the Vulcans showed up, Earth's population was probably down to around 5.5 billion people, which is still a lot. But how do you bury that many dead?

Vulcans must have this interesting history, given the state they found humanity in. This backwards, barbaric people who killed off almost a third of their own people in some of the most horrific ways possible somehow figuring out the secret to faster than light travel just a few years later. I mean, a long lived species like the Vulcans with their own violent past must have been reminded of some horrible things when they found Cochran's home.  Yet I think that's ultimately why they stuck around to help humans... they saw the potential there. They saw a species that had nearly killed themselves off and were still able to make something just a few years after the devastation, and they saw a glimmer of the hope Surak must have felt when he united the Vulcan peoples so long ago. And to then turn around and have this upstart species join forces to defeat one of the most dangerous threats in known space at the time AND find common cause with two other species to form a full Federation?

Next time, we'll be taking a look at the next major conflict in Human history, the Earth-Romulan War.

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2016, 05:15:43 PM »
I poked around in the attic and I still have my old FASA books, including the kay-dets' and Officers' manuals and a handful of others. Reviewing the system (and your worksheet) I'm reminded that this isn't QUITE on par with Traveller (where you could quite handily die in character generation) but it still has some of the uneven-ness. Depending on your dice, you might end up with a youngster with moderately low skills and little experience outside of the Merchant Marine, or a grizzled veteran, highly-skilled and with esprit and reviews out to here due to constant Constitution-class assignments. There was a whole time-period back in the late-70s, early-80s where that sort of thing was pretty typical in many RPGs (Twilight: 2000 had a really rough one where you might "muster out" with an army private with minimal experience and expertise...Or roll your way into the special forces and come out as Dick Marcinko's even-more-badass love child). I guess I don't remember that variance fondly, because more and more as time has worn on and we've moved into (what is it now, fourth?) later-generation RPG storytelling ideals, more and more control over the character concept has become taken for granted. Even in early D&D the option was inserted pretty quickly for things like 'roll 4, take 3 and put them in whatever order you like' when people realized they weren't terribly eager to play their worst possible dice rolls which horrendously limited character and class choices.

Still, as I said, I've dug out the books and eyeballed the spreadsheet and it's workable. Will we be able to shift around our 3d10 attribute rolls?

Goodness, that's a dark little bit of history, even if "suitcase nukes" still makes me smirk every time someone brings them up (really due to certain people who still to this day constantly panick about "stolen Soviet suitcases nukes"...the smaller the device, the less leeway available in maintaining critical mass...And therefore, the shorter the shelf life. Anything pared down to a "man portable" system won't last more than six months.). I do rather like the insight into the Romulan/Klingon/Vulcan POV about it.

The Andorians must really have fits about that recent human past, given their combination of 'extremely warlike race' with 'high ecological priorities.' Hm. That gives me an idea...

EDIT: Fiddling around with the spreadsheet a bit...Something seems to be bugging as far as the automatic fill for F29, H29 and J29.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 05:48:50 PM by CarnivalOfTheGoat »

Offline Caradoc

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2016, 05:52:45 PM »
I may be interested in this one myself. Well, no, I know I'm interested, it's a matter of time. But potentially, yeah. I haven't RP'd Star Trek in a long time.

Offline LinnaTopic starter

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 08:59:56 PM »
I got home and started on this and it was so much fun I can't help myself. Here's a bonus history lesson!

For much of the last century, soldiers, historians, and politicians have debated the many unanswered questions about the Earth-Romulan War of 2156 to 2160. What was the cause of the war? Why did the Romulan Star Empire attack the deep space stations of the United Earth (UE)? What did the Romulans hope to achieve? Some have suggested that the UE should be blamed for the war because its aggressive sensor probes and starship patrols led the Romulans to believe an invasion of their territory was imminent; according to this line of reasoning the Romulan attacks upon the UE space stations were preemptive and launched purely in self-defense. Others say that the UE sought war in an attempt to spread human civilization throughout the galaxy.

However, a consensus has slowly been building among Federation historians that the Romulans' attacks were the first step in a campaign to conquer and return to their ancestral homeworld of Vulcan. Some 3 millennia ago, Vulcan was being torn apart by civil and religious wars. Amid the chaos, several factions left Vulcan to establish new societies in nearby solar systems. However, the exiles soon fell to fighting among themselves, leading to repeated cycles of schism, war, exodus, voyage, and resettlement on alien planets further and further from their homeworld. Most of the new off-world colonies withered and died through war, starvation, inbreeding, and natural disasters, but finally, after a hundred generations and a journey of 60 ly, a robust colony was established on a planet orbiting the star Gliese 431, which we now know as Romulus. Over the subsequent centuries, the Romulans built an interstellar society, but they never forgot how they had been exiled from their homeworld. They vowed to return one day and punish their erstwhile oppressors.

In 2153, Romulan ships on patrol from their base at Gliese 480.1 (also known as Taugus) encountered 3 ships of a previously unknown race: Humans. Having the tactical advantage, the Romulans destroyed one of the UESN ships and were even able to glean valuable intelligence from the debris. They learned that the inhabitants of Vulcan still thrived under the teachings of Surak and had allied themselves with the Humans. The Romulans were astounded by the energy and ambition of the Humans, who had progressed from steam power to supraluminal flight in little more than two centuries. If the Vulcans were allied with such a bold race, any Romulan efforts to conquer Vulcan might soon be in vain. While they were now at rough technological parity with the Humans, the Romulans would have to strike quickly before the Humans gained an insurmountable advantage. However, in the likely event that the Humans chose to defend the Vulcans, who had become their important partners in science, culture, and trade, how were the Romulans to prevail? The Romulans concluded that the only way to prevent the Humans from defending Vulcan was to a pose a greater, existential threat to the Humans themselves. To this end, the Romulans planned to attack and occupy the UESN bases in the Gliese 440 and Luyten 143-23 (Innes' Star) systems. These systems were the most antispinward outposts of the UE, and their capture would provide the Romulans direct, unrestricted access to all the major UE population centers. With their core star systems under threat of invasion, the UE, the Romulans concluded, would have little choice but to abandon their Vulcan allies.

Pre-War Strategy and Positions
The UE Stellar Navy (UESN) had established Deep Space Stations Yu-lei and Shen-shu (named after the mythical Chinese guardians of the Gates of Hell) in the late 2140s in the Gliese 440 and Luyten 143-23 systems to monitor the antispinward approaches to the UE core from as-yet-unidentified "over-the-horizon" threats. The close spacing of these stars (0.6 parsec, or 2 light years) allowed the twin stations to host the Aker Array (named after the two-headed Egyptian lion god), an advanced long-baseline passive and active subspace sensor system that provided high-resolution omnidimensional imaging to a distance of 1.5 parsecs. Dedicated subspace communications links connected the two deep space stations to each other and to the Centauri system 3.4 parsecs spinward. After the 2153 skirmish in the Taugus system, the twin stations had received enhanced weaponry and refueling and maintenance facilities to serve as bases for defensive patrols by the Amarillo-class cruisers UES London (CC-33) and UES Al-Qahira (CC-45), the Pioneer-class heavy cruisers UES Firebrand (CH-35) and UES Sentinel (CH-37) as well as a squadron of 5 Archer-class patrol craft (UES Leyton, PC-61; UES Winstead, PC-72; UES McKeggan, PC-75; UES King, PC-78; and UES Castillo, PC-80).

Owing to the unprecedented range and resolution of the Aker Array, the great distances (at least 1.9 parsecs) to the nearest Romulan-controlled star systems GJ 1128 (now known as Qualor) and Hipparchos 54298, and the perceived limitations of enemy warships, the UESN was confident that a successful attack upon the Aker Array stations was extremely unlikely. Indeed, the UESN did not even believe its own fusion-powered ships capable of succeeding in such an attack. However, if the Romulans were to attack, the UESN did not doubt its ability to detect the attack before or soon after its launch and thereby to marshal the UESN fleet to defend their deep space stations and the core star systems of UE space.

In the years following the Kursk Incident, Romulan warships undertook aggressive scouting missions from numerous systems bordering areas controlled by the UE and Andor. Romulan scout ships launched from long-range motherships probed the Andor-held systems of Tlolu (Beta Hydri) and Shressh (Zeta Tucanae) and the UE-held systems of Utopia (61 Virginis), Gliese 440, and Luyten 143-23. These incursions met with stiff resistance from UESN and Andorian intrasystem defensive ships and interstellar cruisers, which were tasked with their own missions of "reconnaissance in strength." These scouting missions often led to tense stand-offs, warning shots, pursuit, and the loss of several small ships. Both the UESN and the UE citizenry feared that these border skirmishes would lead to full-scale war with the Romulans. But where, when, and how would war start?

Unknown to the UE, the Romulans had, for the previous 3 years, devoted the greater part of their national energies to assembling a great invasion fleet in the Beta Corrolis system (Gliese 293), which was 3.1 parsecs from Shen-shu (Luyten 143-23) and beyond the range of high-resolution scanning from the Aker Array. The tip of the Romulan spear was an immense, powerfully armed cruiser known by the UESN code name Cabbage. Cabbage-class cruisers had been developed from an existing interstellar cruiser for the express role of carrying out large fleet attacks across interstellar distances. Although the original cruiser had been designed to operate independently with a balanced load of fuel and payload, the Cabbages carried larger numbers of missiles for ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface attacks and a powerful plasma weapon at the expense of fuel, which was to be carried by accompanying tankers.

Cabbage-class ships weighed an estimated 500,000 tons. Behind the 118-m-diameter hemispherical command hulls was a spherical fusion reactor that powered 3 pedunculated warp nacelles mounted in a 120-degree configuration. The fusion reactor also powered a single axial impulse drive unit with thrust shapers for travel at sublight speeds. The main weapon was an extremely powerful plasma cannon that, although not capable of supraluminal speeds, was effective at ranges up to 5 million km. This plasma cannon had been designed to destroy enemy ships, space stations, and even surface installations. Cabbage cruisers also carried a variety of fusion-powered, warp-capable, fusion-tipped missiles for defense and long-range attacks against ships and fixed targets.

Cabbage cruisers had an observed maximum speed of wf 2.9 and a cruising speed of wf 2.6, which were slightly better than those of the UESN's fusion-powered Amarillo-class cruiser. However, because of the inefficient fusion reactor, which powered both the warp and impulse drives, range at cruising speed likely did not exceed 3 ly despite the large deuterium fuel tanks Cabbage carried. Therefore, to attack across average interstellar distances in the Romulans' push into UE space, refueling en route could not be avoided. Predictably, handling at both warp and sublight speeds was extremely poor and can best be described as sluggish. However, because of their great size, Cabbage cruisers could absorb enormous amounts of damage and remain in action.


The Attacks on Stations Yu-Lei and Shen-shu
Since December 2155, the Aker Array had suffered a series of unexplained technical problems. One day, the subspace emitters might drift off proper alignment, preventing a coherent sensor beam from being produced. Another day, the communication link between Yu-lei and Shen-shu might become unstable, preventing the array from operating at its full range and resolution. As soon as one problem was fixed, another would arise. The engineering staff was overwhelmed and becoming increasingly frustrated, so requested that additional technicians be dispatched from Centauri; however, they were not expected to arrive for at least 4 months. Until the problems were solved, the Aker Array could not operate at full capacity or reliably detect or identify approaching ships. In addition, UES Firebrand was having problems with its integrated logic systems and remained in port at Yu-lei. To this day, the problems that plagued Yu-lei and Shen-shu have never been satisfactorily explained, but sabotage has not been ruled out.

On March 15, 2156, the Earth-Romulan War started with the attack on the Yu-Lei and Shen-shu stations by a combined force of 25 Cabbage cruisers and numerous support ships. The invasion fleet, which had likely left the Beta Corralis system at least 150 days earlier for its 10-light year journey, had been sighted by UES London on defensive patrol some 4 days before its expected arrival, but this was far too late for reinforcements to arrive from the Centauri system. The stations did their best to prepare for the attack, but it became increasingly clear from the size of the approaching fleet that any defense would likely be futile. Stations Yu-lei and Shen-shu and the Aker Array would certainly be destroyed, and both star systems would be occupied by the Romulans. To minimize loss of life, the UESN Admiralty ordered the stations to be evacuated. UES London and UES Firebrand, although not yet fully repaired, left for Centauri with most of the stations' crews 2 days before the attack. The other cruisers, UES Al-Qahira and UES Sentinel, were ordered to engage the invaders with their missiles but then to fall back towards Centauri. The Bison transports UES Gugalanna (AP-32) and UES Taurus (AP-44), which had put into Yu-lei for repairs, could not be made spaceworthy in time and were scuttled by their crews. A small group of volunteers stayed behind to man defensive missile batteries and Archer-class patrol craft in attempt to destroy as many attacking ships as possible.

The 25 Romulan Cabbages dropped out of warp about 100 million km from Gliese 440 and Luyten 143-23 and began firing their missiles at a distance of 20 million km. Middle- and long-range missiles fired from the cruisers, stations, defensive satellites, and emplacements on planets and moons intercepted approximately 70% of the first waves of Romulan missiles and severely damaged 5 Cabbages (2 at Yu-lei and 3 at Shen-shu) In addition, 3 remotely piloted Archer-class ships (UES Leyton, UES Winstead, and UES King) rammed and destroyed 3 more Cabbages. However, the Aker Array components in solar orbit in both systems were, as expected, completely destroyed by subsequent waves of Romulan missiles. The Cabbages continued to fire their missiles at any UESN assets they could identify and then used their beam weapons to turn the surfaces of planetary bodies and moons to black glass. This first action of the Earth-Romulan War later became known as the First Battle of Hell's Gate.

The victorious Romulan fleet made no effort to pursue the retreating UESN ships but instead took up defensive positions in the two systems. The next few months saw the arrival of 10 additional Cabbages, as well as scores of support ships, including such Cabbagevariants as tankers (Tonsil class), subspace sensor/communications ships (Rodent class), and troop carriers (Syrup class) so that the systems could be used as bases for attacks upon the UE and Vulcan. By the summer of 2157, the Romulans were ready to take the next step in their campaign to conquer Vulcan, which would end at the Battle of the Vela Gap.

United Earth on the Defensive
Perhaps more than any other class, the Archer class of system patrol ships were responsible for saving the outer colonies of the United Earth (UE) during the perilous early months of the Earth-Romulan War. These tiny ships were often all that stood between the mighty Romulan war machine and thousands of colonists on the planets within striking range of the Romulan Empire.

Archer was designed in the early 2150s to serve as a semiautonomous intrasystem patrol vessel for protecting colonies and performing police actions against raiders and pirates. The UE Stellar Navy (UESN), whose strength at that time was still at its extremely low prewar levels, had barely enough ships to patrol the major space lanes and protect UE core worlds, much less to defend colony worlds at the far reaches of its territory. The UE frontiers were simply too vast to be reliably protected by the UESN's lumbering interstellar cruisers, such as those of the Alexander class, which could barely make wf 2.3. To provide for colonial defense, Archer-class ships were to be based singly or in pairs at each border system, where they would operate under nominal local control. Unlike larger UESN cruisers, the 62-m-long Archer carried only a small, high pressure 6N-4A fusion reactor, a single Firefly inline warp nacelle, and a small supply of deuterium. This drive system allowed Archer to respond at moderately high warp speeds (wf 2.7) to trouble within 500 au of its base but not to travel to other star systems.

All Archer-class ships were all built at the Monarch R&U Shipyards in orbit around Mars and were transported to their bases 4 at a time by specially modified Bison cargo ships similar to the later Yorktown-class carriers. These small ships could be based in orbit around colony worlds, at asteroids or space stations, or even at tenders far from any planetary body. Archer required little maintenance (a support team of 30 was standard) to be kept in a constant state of readiness and could be launched on a mission with its crew of 20 in as little as 15 minutes. Because of their relatively modest drive systems, Archers had more room available for sensor and targeting systems, lasers, and missiles than did interstellar ships of similar displacement.

The lead ship of the class, UES Archer (PC-59) was launched in the summer of 2154, just as the Romulan threat was finally being publicly revealed. In view of this threat, the initial order of 25 ships, which was believed adequate in peacetime, was immediately doubled. Through 2157 some 73 Archers entered service with the UESN. Even before the formal declaration of hostilities between the UE and the Romulan Star Empire in March 2156, Archer-class ships had already begun countering incursions by Romulan raiders and scoutships. For example, in May 2155 an anomalous energy signature was detected by orbital sensors near the UE's Utopia colony at 61 Virginis. The single Archer based there, UES Suri (PC-74), was sent out to investigate and soon detected faint sensor traces suggesting the presence of a small, stealthed Romulan ship. The two vessels played a desperate game of cat and mouse for 3 days before the intruder was destroyed.

In the valiant but unsuccessful defense of Deep Space Stations Yu-lei and Shen-shu in the war's opening action, the First Battle of Hell's Gate, 3 remotely piloted Archer-class ships, UES Leyton (PC-61), UES Winstead (PC-72), and UES King (PC-78) rammed and destroyed 3 Cabbages. Two manned Archers, UES McKeggan, (PC-75) and UES Castillo (PC-80), managed to destroy a further Cabbage apiece. Amazingly, 54 of the UESN crew who volunteered to remain in-system and fight aboard Archers and at surface installations survived the Romulan attacks by hiding aboard these Archers in the systems' asteroid belts. They were rescued when a UESN relief force recaptured the systems in the Second Battle of Hell's Gate the following year.

Archers did much to blunt Romulan thrusts in the desperate days following the attacks on Yu-lei and Shen-shu. In the first 4 months of the war Archers were credited with the destruction of some 25 Romulan ships, including 6 half-million-ton Cabbage-class cruisers. In June 2156 2 Cabbage and 3 smaller Elbow-class cruisers attacked the Utopia colony. The 4 Archers UES Pemberton (PC-60), UES Haar (PC-66), UES Suri (PC-74), and UES Hachez (PC-92) and 1 San Francisco-class corvette (UES Taipei, CL-73) based there engaged the attackers near the system's Kuiper belt. Four of the Romulan ships were destroyed (including 1 destroyed in a suicide attack by UES Hachez), and the fifth escaped back across the frontier.

With the introduction of shipboard matter/antimatter (M/AM) power systems in 2158, the UESN launched an improved version of Archer, designated the Curran class. Although outwardly resembling Archer, Curran, which was also constructed by Monarch R&U, was powered by M/AM fuel cells similar to those carried by the famous Minotaur fighters. However, unlike Minotaur, Curran did not carry a fusion reactor capable of creating and sustaining a warp field for interstellar flight. Minotaurs were usually carried internally at warp speeds by Yorktown-class carriers and released deep within enemy territory. After attacking a target within 300 au of its release point, the Minotaur would rendezvous with the Yorktown and be carried back to UE space. However, if a Minotaur were unable to rendezvous with the carrier or if the carrier were destroyed, the Minotaur could return to UE space at low warp speeds using its onboard fusion reactor. In contrast, Curran's fusion reactor was used only to power internal systems and the sublight impulse drive; warp drive was powered only by fuel modules. Within these replaceable modules, 10 of which were carried by Curran, matter and antimatter were stored, then reacted at narrowly controlled rates. However, because Curran was never expected to cross interstellar distances under their own power, a large fusion reactor was unnecessary. This weight savings allowed Curran to mount more powerful sensors with which to detect attacking ships. They could also achieve higher peak speeds (wf 4.6) than could Minotaur or Archer for intercepting enemy ships and making attack runs.

In the last 2 years of the war, 30 Currans entered service with the UESN. Although Curran was a more powerful attack ship than either Minotaur or Archer, it did not achieve the fame of either of these ships because by the time it was introduced the tide of the war had turned in the UE's favor. In the latter half of 2158, UESN task forces, spearheaded by powerful second- and third-generation M/AM-reactor-equipped cruisers and carriers had begun their drive towards the Romulan homeworlds. Although the UE's outer colonies were still under threat of Romulan attack until early 2160, by 2159 the Romulans had begun to withdraw from their most forward bases and to consolidate their defensive sphere around their core worlds. Thereafter, Romulan forces made only occasional nuisance raids against the UE's outer colonies, which were now much more heavily defended than in the early years of the war.

Archer and Curran were purely defensive patrol craft that took no part in the great UESN offensives of the last 2 years of the war. However, by defending the outer worlds of the UE against Romulan attacks in the war's early years, they saved the lives of thousands of UE citizens and held the line until the UESN was itself ready to go on the offensive.

The Battle of Vela Gap
In August 2157, UES Bowen (CCM-2) was on deep space patrol from Starbase Jordan, a recently established UESN base in the NN 3622 system, to the Vela Gap, a potential invasion corridor previously unguarded because of the limited range of fusion-powered ships. Bowen crossed a Romulan subspace wake 4.5 ly southeast of Gl 440, site of the destroyed UESN Deep Space Station Yu-lei and now occupied by the Romulans. Bowen followed the wake like a shark following a trail of blood and discovered a trio of Romulan Tonsil-class tankers. Bowen destroyed the tankers and proceeded along their likely course; 66 hours later, Bowen's long-range sensors detected a 50-ship Romulan armada. Bowen shadowed the armada and dispatched a warp message torpedo reporting the discovery to Starbase Maxwell in the Gateway system (Ross 128). Seventy-one days later, a 15-ship task force, spearheaded by the UESN's new M/AM-powered ships, arrived from Centauri and engaged the enemy fleet. The Romulans, caught in deep interstellar space without their tankers, gradually lost their ability to maneuver at warp. After a fierce, 3-day action, which became known as the Battle of the Vela Gap, the remnants of the badly mauled and surrounded Romulan invasion fleet self-destructed to avoid capture.

In the aftermath of the Battle of the Vela Gap in September 2157, the United Earth (UE) resolved to launch an offensive into Romulan-held space. However, the United Earth Stellar Navy (UESN) had never undertaken an invasion of such magnitude in its 80-year history. To spearhead the attack on enemy worlds, a number of new ships were needed. The Farragut-class fleet monitors (FMM-1) were designed as a platform to mount heavy fire support for bombardment of ground-based targets from high planetary orbit. Like many other heavy warships, Farragut was based on the reliable Bison design. The ventral forehull was modified to carry accommodate a drop bay for Grand Slam orbit-to-ground attack missiles. Unlike ship-to-ship missiles, where speed and maneuverability were key, ground attack missiles were slow, but optimized for descent through a planetary atmosphere. These missiles were especially designed to take out hardened surface and subsurface installations to soften resistance prior to landing. Farragut also carried an Ultra Zeus orbit-to-ground pulse laser mounted in a ball turret, for intercepting missiles launched from the planetary surface. However, no Farragut-class ships ever saw action in their intended roles; the projected troop landings on Romulan-held worlds never took place. The Romulans fought so ferociously to defend their planetary holdings that a direct orbital assault was usually impossible. Instead, most task forces had to resort to stand-off bombardment of a Romulan planet, a much more destructive and time-consuming operation. In other assaults, the Romulan bases would self-destruct by detonating their fusion reactors rather than succumb to enemy occupation.

Mobile subspace transmitters represented a revolutionary leap in interstellar communications. Even before the United Earth Stellar Navy (UESN) transitioned from a defensive war to an offensive war, timely and reliable communications between frontier units and fleet commanders was essential. After its launch in 2157, the Marconi-class subspace communications cruiser (ACSM-6) played a vital role in the offensives into Romulan-held space. These ships were made possible by the pioneering but flawed Baikal class of the late 2140s. Although faster-than-light (FTL) starships had, by 2154, been used by Earth for nearly a century, sending messages at similar speeds was a different matter. Early subspace transmitters, which were first deployed in the 2110s, were extremely large: the transmitter generator had volumes of more than 60,000 m^3, and transmitter dishes spanned 200 m or more. Power requirements were correspondingly enormous to send a message over interstellar distances. As a result, a mobile subspace transmitter remained impractical for all but the shortest-range transmissions. In contrast, the equipment needed to receive a subspace message was small enough to be easily mounted on most warp-capable starships.

UES Marconi finished construction in July 2157, and was immediately rushed to the front lines. Although they arrived too late to participate in the Battle of the Vela Gap, Marconi-class ships are credited with the early detection and interception of 5 Romulan task forces in their first 6 months of service. Marconi-class ships brought several immediate benefits to the battlespace. First, a Marconi could accompany a frontier patrol force (often led by an Amarillo- or Krechet-class cruiser), and provide continuous updates to the nearest command base concerning the force's location and disposition. When an enemy ship was detected, a warning could immediately be sent to all nearby ships by subspace. If reinforcements were needed, they could also be summoned much more rapidly. As the UESN began to push into Romulan space in mid-2158, Marconi ships were also teamed up with the new Powhatan-class escort cruiser on hunter-killer missions. A "wolf pack" of 3 Powhatans would accompany a Marconi across the border into Romulan space, using the superior sensor capabilities of the Marconi to search for targets of opportunity. These missions, combined with the long-range precision attacks launched by Yorktown carriers and Minotaur fighters, did much to clear Romulan space in preparation for the coming UESN invasion.

Perhaps the most notable action involving a Marconi was the Battle of the Krakowski Void in June 2158, where timely intelligence on enemy movements relayed by subspace from UES Popov (ACSM-9) allowed an outnumbered UESN squadron to outmaneuver its Romulan opponents and destroy a staging area in Sector 19.

By early 2159, 8 Marconi-class ships had entered service. However, the Conqueror-class heavy cruisers were nearing completion as well. These new cruisers were capable of faster speeds (up to wf 4.1), thanks to the new SSWR-III-D M/AM reactor. To prevent the slower Marconis from becoming a tactical liability, the remaining 6 ships of the class were constructed with the same SSWR-III-D reactor and improved Jaguar Ia nacelles to allow them to keep pace with their escorts. Two of these "block 2" Marconi-class ships participated in the Battle of Cheron in 2160.

In June 2158, the M/AM-powered Minotaur fighter (P/A-33) and the M/AM-powered Yorktown carrier (CVM-5) were introduced in an attempt to overcome the operational limitations of early M/AM ships by combining the speed and range M/AM-powered warp flight with the maneuverability of high-impulse fighters. Yorktown was based on the Pioneer-class cruiser, which had entered service in 2154 and had itself been developed from the Bison-class transport. Whereas Pioneer had a large fusion reactor, a single midline Pachyderm III warp nacelle, and two auxiliary directional Jaguar I nacelles, Yorktown carried a new SSWR-III-B M/AM reactor and four paired Jaguar III warp nacelles. The impulse drive and its fusion reactor were moved to the extreme stern. At the front of Yorktown's cylindrical forehull, which had been lengthened by 20 m, were sensors and the navigational deflector, command centers, the computer core, crew facilities, and life-support machinery. In the center section of the forehull were docking cradles and missile-loading equipment for 5Minotaur long-range fighters. In the aft section of the forehull were support facilities for the Minotaur fighters. With a displacement of some 670,000 tons, Yorktown was by far the largest Earth-designed warship produced to that time and would not be surpassed until USS Excelsior (NX-2000) was launched in 2281.

Minotaur was approximately 50 meters long and carried a hybrid warp drive system consisting of 6 M/AM power modules and a fusion reactor. Although capable of warp flight, Minotaur normally did not travel interstellar distances under its own power; instead, each power module allowed Minotaur to make a linear or slightly curved wf 4.5 jump of up to 100 au (approximately 0.0016 ly or 15 billion km) with its single 16-m-long, midline warp nacelle. If several jumps of varying length and direction were made, the Yorktown carrier could stay safely hidden and out of range of defending fighters and missiles. The fusion reactor powered the impulse drive and could also be used for somewhat slower warp flight (wf 2.8) for short periods. The relative simplicity and small size of the warp drive system and the absence of facilities for long-term life-support allowed Minotaur to be quick and maneuverable at sublight speeds. Minotaur's crew of three (commander/pilot, weapons officer/navigator, and engineer) were seated in an ejectable cockpit module in the foresection of the 26-m-long command hull. Minotaur normally carried 16 single-stage, warp-capable, fusion-tipped Corsair missiles, which had a range of 10 au (1.5 billion km, or the approximate distance from Saturn to Sol) and a top speed of wf 5, and 4 nose-mounted pulse laser cannons for use at sublight speeds. A 6-m-diameter targeting sensor array was installed in Minotaur's nose.

A Typical Yorktown/Minotaur Mission
The September 30, 2158, attack by the Yorktown-class carrier UES Saratoga (CVM-27) and the four other ships of the 3rd Fleet's 14th Carrier Assault Group against targets in the Qualor system was typical of strike missions carried out by the Minotaur/Yorktownsystem. The goal of this mission was to destroy active subspace sensor arrays in preparation for a planned large-scale advance into Romulan space. (Like early subspace radio transmitters, active subspace sensors of that time were too large to mount on most ships.)Saratoga, accompanied by the Powhatan-class escorts UES Cyane (CEM-22) and UES Choctaw (CEM-31), left Starbase Bolivar at her cruising speed of wf 3.1. After the final "go code" was received by subspace radio from 3rd Fleet Central Command, Saratoga and her escorts accelerated to their supercruise speed of wf 3.9 for the 6.2-ly, 38-day journey to the Minotaur launch point in Romulan space. Several hours before Saratoga reached the launch point, the M/AM modules, deuterium, and warp missiles were loaded onto theMinotaurs, and the flight crews entered the cockpits. When the three ships reached the Minotaur launch point 98 au southeast (galactic coordinates) and below the targets they cruised at high sublight speed while the five Minotaurs were undocked and exited throughSaratoga's ventral bay doors, a procedure taking approximately 30 minutes. Using their M/AM power modules, the five Minotaurs made the first of their jumps to their targets. Once the fighters were safely away, Saratoga and Cyane headed for the rendezvous site, while Choctaw took up silent station along the planned return route to discourage any pursuit attempts. Two of the Minotaurs, Gwendoline (#814) and Thumper (#922), made jumps of 62 au (5.6 minutes), 41 au (3.7 minutes), and 55 au (5.0 minutes), easily outrunning Romulan defensive missiles and point-defense fighters. When 9.4 au away and still traveling at wf 4.5, each Minotaur fired 6 missiles at the targets; 30 seconds later, the missiles' warheads detonated and the sensor arrays were destroyed. Gwendoline and Thumperveered away from the targets, then travelled by separate indirect routes to the rendezvous site. After all five Minotaurs had safely redocked, Saratoga and her escorts returned at wf 3.9 to UE space.


End of the War
The final Bison-based ships to be built during the war were the Conqueror-class cruisers (CHM-69). These cruisers, introduced in 2159, were basically improved Tannhäuser-class ships with smaller, more powerful SSWR-III-D reactors, new Typhoon B2 warp nacelles mounted outboard above the centerline, and an upgraded sensor suite. New weapons included a forehead-mounted, high-velocity "missile rifle" with a rotary feed system and a ship-to-ship version of the Ultra Zeus ground-attack laser cannon first used in the Farragut class. These immense cruisers provided valuable service during the last year of the war. Leading numerous task forces ever deeper into Romulan space, Conqueror launched steady missile barrages that were instrumental in the destruction of the Romulan fleet. Conquerors served most prominently at the Battle of Cheron in August 2160, where a massive UESN task force ambushed a Romulan fleet in its staging area and eliminated the remnants of organized Romulan resistance. This defeat left the Romulan homeworlds open to UE invasion and forced the Romulan government to sue for peace.


Linna's thoughts on the war:

The Earth-Romulan War was something romanticized in the TOS episode "Balance of Terror" when it was hinted of a savage war where both sides were hurtling towards each other in what amounted to tin cans with warp engines and nuclear bombs that they flung at each other, and I have to say it's not far off. The ships of this era were tiny compared to the Enterprise and other ships that would come later, and they were often cramped with no room to get around and very little in accommodations. These were ships built for a war in which the admiralty knew they needed a lot of ships really fast, and they were playing around with technology they didn't really understand at the time. Matter/antimatter engines were a new thing, and there weren't any detailed manuals on how to run these things beyond "Good luck!"

To be a pioneer in this era was one of my early thoughts but I decided that it wouldn't be nearly as much fun. I had a blast writing this and I hope it encourages you guys to wonder just how screwed the Federation would have been had the Romulans gotten the upper hand and pressed the advantage, because they would've prefered to nuke everything and leave it a smoldering ash if they couldn't keep it. There's a reason no one knew what a Romulan looked like: they destroyed everything, including themselves, rather than surrender. And given how tight the quarters were already, there wasn't any quarter to be given, so human crews knew they would either win or die. That kind of war leaves deep scars, and it's no wonder people are distrustful of Romulans to this day.

In case you're wondering, the Romulans are still a very enigmatic species even once their relationship to the Vulcans was realized. The Romulans simply do not trust anyone beyond their own, and even then they don't trust them entirely. Romulan relations with the Federation are simply "This side is yours, this side is mine, keep it that way" and that's that. They weren't happy with the war and still aren't, but most of their calmer heads realized that Earth had full right to bomb them out of existence with nuclear fire. If the situation had been reversed, Earth would be a smoking ruin and nothing would remain hinting there'd ever been a space-faring species on the planet.

This early victory would go on to kick off what would be known by many as the Age of Imperialism, when Starfleet was riding the military high of victory and could do no wrong for the better part of a century. Colonial expansion kicked off in a major way, Starfleet built newer and more advanced ships, and the Federation actually nearly splintered when the other races began to fear humans would take over the Federation as their own private empire (an interesting note is this can be seen in Klingon attitudes in Star Trek VI when Chancellor Gorkon's daughter remarks "The Federation is a homo sapiens only club"). This would come to an eventual end, but it would take brushing up against another major player to do so and a bit of cleaver political maneuvering to accomplish this. From it we would see a rebirth in the scientific and exploration side of Starfleet, and it would eventually lead to the great and wonderful Constitution class (yay).

Next time we'll talk about the first and latest war with a major power: The Four Years War. Hope you're excited!

Offline Muse

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 09:06:26 PM »
  I'm very curious about your game Linna, but I don't believe I know this system? 

Offline LinnaTopic starter

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 05:25:18 AM »
I poked around in the attic and I still have my old FASA books, including the kay-dets' and Officers' manuals and a handful of others. Reviewing the system (and your worksheet) I'm reminded that this isn't QUITE on par with Traveller (where you could quite handily die in character generation) but it still has some of the uneven-ness. Depending on your dice, you might end up with a youngster with moderately low skills and little experience outside of the Merchant Marine, or a grizzled veteran, highly-skilled and with esprit and reviews out to here due to constant Constitution-class assignments. There was a whole time-period back in the late-70s, early-80s where that sort of thing was pretty typical in many RPGs (Twilight: 2000 had a really rough one where you might "muster out" with an army private with minimal experience and expertise...Or roll your way into the special forces and come out as Dick Marcinko's even-more-badass love child). I guess I don't remember that variance fondly, because more and more as time has worn on and we've moved into (what is it now, fourth?) later-generation RPG storytelling ideals, more and more control over the character concept has become taken for granted. Even in early D&D the option was inserted pretty quickly for things like 'roll 4, take 3 and put them in whatever order you like' when people realized they weren't terribly eager to play their worst possible dice rolls which horrendously limited character and class choices.

Still, as I said, I've dug out the books and eyeballed the spreadsheet and it's workable. Will we be able to shift around our 3d10 attribute rolls?

Goodness, that's a dark little bit of history, even if "suitcase nukes" still makes me smirk every time someone brings them up (really due to certain people who still to this day constantly panick about "stolen Soviet suitcases nukes"...the smaller the device, the less leeway available in maintaining critical mass...And therefore, the shorter the shelf life. Anything pared down to a "man portable" system won't last more than six months.). I do rather like the insight into the Romulan/Klingon/Vulcan POV about it.

The Andorians must really have fits about that recent human past, given their combination of 'extremely warlike race' with 'high ecological priorities.' Hm. That gives me an idea...

EDIT: Fiddling around with the spreadsheet a bit...Something seems to be bugging as far as the automatic fill for F29, H29 and J29.

The spreadsheet is mostly to get a general background and then we go from there. Once play starts we won't be using dice or anything, just gives me a rough idea of what your character can and can't do. For example, if you have a luck score of, say, 30, and you enter into a high stakes poker game, it's not very likely you'll win. But, that being said, I do love random so I might make a roll behind the scenes to decide if you win or not.

I don't like pure random chance determining everything because that's never the actual case. How you do something can have a major impact on if you succeed or fail. If you have a high charisma but act like a total ass, you're not going to get as far as someone who smiles and is very calm and patient. If you have a broken piece of gear and you try to fix it with just your bare hands, it might work if it's simple, but will fail if it's lots of tiny electronic bits.

So yes, there will be moments of random chance, but they're balanced by how you do whatever it is you're doing.

Also, I'll take a peek and see if I can find the error. I have the actual excel sheet it was built from. I'm going to see if a friend has the really big one I made way back...

  I'm very curious about your game Linna, but I don't believe I know this system? 

FASA made this RPG way back as a potential game when all they had was the original and animated series. They crafted a universe and put in their horrifically unbalanced mechanics, then it was all for naught when Gene Roddenberry wanted a more peaceful Federation and axed the project when The Next Generation came out (which explains why there's only a season one TNG sourcebooks). The system works, but compared to more modern systems it can be a bit clunky and so I don't plan to use it that much beyond character generation. As I said above, it's mostly a tool to add a tiny bit of random into the mix because I'm a horrible person like that.

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 04:42:58 PM »
If you really want to see an unbalanced pre-Gene Roddenberry-Pacifism-Putsch version of the Trek universe, there was a kind of a board game called Star Fleet Battles at one point. I remember that it had Larry Niven's Kzinti in it, because they appeared in one of the animated series shows, as well as a bunch of other fleets and empires that I think were only briefly hinted at back in the day.

Offline LinnaTopic starter

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 07:26:19 AM »
If you really want to see an unbalanced pre-Gene Roddenberry-Pacifism-Putsch version of the Trek universe, there was a kind of a board game called Star Fleet Battles at one point. I remember that it had Larry Niven's Kzinti in it, because they appeared in one of the animated series shows, as well as a bunch of other fleets and empires that I think were only briefly hinted at back in the day.
Where have the Kzinti NOT shown up? :P

Seriously, those furrballs are everywhere.

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 09:23:28 AM »
I'd definitely say I'm interested.  Anyone who is going to put that much time and energy into the interest thread to prepare the ground for the game is likely going to make a good DM for a game.


Offline paradisic

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 07:03:48 PM »
Similarly, undoubtedly interested.

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 07:58:10 PM »
Good evening my lovelies!  I have had a very busy week so getting to write in the books has been difficult. BUT! I do have several of the books ready, and today you get to see one of them. This book was compiled from several pieces and places but should contain everything you need to know to find your way around the ship you will be calling home.

Constitution Class Deck Plans

Like I said this is compiled from several places from the highest resolution images I could get my hands on. This is the ship that you will be living on for the episodic play we'll be engaging in, so while it's useful to get to know her, it's not required. Hell, nothing is required, but it is meant to help you find information yourself so you can write elegant posts and not need me to tell you every little item in the universe. Just take a peek and figure out what you can, then go with it. I'm here for the big stuff, like the burly Klingon about to rip you in half and wear your guts as garters, not what some guy is poking around his tray in the chow hall.  Unless I need him to further the plot of course.

I'm glad a lot of people are showing interest. It's great seeing people who enjoy the universe and see the potential of what it can be. I hope half this enthusiasm carries over into the game because then we'll be having a blast and just rocking out. We're still on course for a July 1 start (I have that Monday off so I have a long weekend to write for you guys!) and I'll have everything ready by then. I will be opening up character creation as a handy Excel sheet so that all you have to do is type in the fields and it'll spit out the BB code so you just copy paste. Why? I'm awesome like that.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, gripes, etc. please let me know and we can sort them out.  Thank you all so much for showing interest!

Today's history lesson is going to be different. There is so little information regarding the Four Years War that I finally had to admit defeat. However, that doesn't mean I don't have a history lesson on the Four Years War for you. It's just in a much more awesome form!  A short essay followed by a very well done documentary that I think will entertain a lot of you. So sit back and enjoy.

Today's History Lesson: The Four Years War (2252 to 2256)

Birth of the Federation
The period of relative peace following the Earth-Romulan War was one of Earth's most prosperous periods, with some even calling it a golden age. The defensive alliance formed between Andor and Earth, with the gentle guidance of Vulcan to counter the temperments of Tellar and the other powers, formed the United Federation of Planets in April of 2161. However, as is clear even today, the powers were united through politics, but not mindset. The pacifistic Vulcans ran counter to the warlike Andorians and militant humans, while the Tellarites wanted to expand their mining rights far beyond their pre-Federation borders.

To further complicate issues, Earth's shipbuilding was now on par with the Andorians, and humans took to the stars when the defensive outposts along the now established Romulan Neutral Zone came online. Earth's United Star Fleet became the model for the Federation's own Star Fleet, though at the time most of the production of starships was conducted by private corporations. This emphasis led to numerous contracts being rewarded to Earth's corporations over Andorian ones, much to Andoria's annoyance. This would not be the last time political maneuvering would win Earth advantages that would strain relations with the other powers.

Expansion by new colonies along the frontier were fueled by the cheap and plentiful Bison and Reid Flemming class ships sold off after the war, leading to the Federation Council setting clear boundaries on where colonies were allowed to expand. That didn't stop all colonies, and many took off for the darkness only to later beg for assistance from Starfleet later. Starfleet was slowly being hollowed from within by the Council's decreasing of funds or allocation towards the exploratory arm of Starfleet rather than the military, stretching Starfleet's resources further and further.

To counter the lack of funding, Starfleet allocated funds towards the development of a new generation of heavy cruiser, the Hyperion class, which launched in 2194. Among the numerous advances onboard was a subspace radio that didn't require its own dedicated starship to broadcast. The ship also carried the first practical transporters to be used by Starfleet. While the ship was otherwise only a marginal improvement over the earlier Moskva class, which began to take on the saucer-shaped primary hull and cylindrical secondary hull common to Starfleet vessels today.  Perhaps the most famous ship of the Hyperion class was the U.S.S. Triton (NCC-866), which was the first Starfleet vessel to make contact with the Klingon Empire.

The Triton Incident
Throughout the end of the 22nd and early 23rd century, traders would probe beyond the edges of the Federation, hoping to establish trade routes with yet undiscovered cultures in the hopes of cornering a lucrative market before Starfleet could survey the worlds and announce their presence to others through official channels. Some of these independent traders, operating in the galactic southeast past the Donatu system, approached the sector Starfleet commander at Starstation McCall with complaints that all attempts to establish trade relations with a race they called the "Clingans" had been forcefully rebuffed. They requested that Starfleet "encourage" this race, with force if necessary, to accept diplomatic and commercial relations with the Federation.

As modern first contact protocols had not yet been introduced, Triton's captain, Natalia Thibodeaux, decided to beam herself and a diplomatic first contact team into the Great Hall on Kronos on October 11, 2218. Unfortunately, the Klingons had assembled in the Great Hall to celebrate their "expulsion" of the H'urq 11 centuries earlier and killed 7 members of the first contact team. Thibodeaux and 13 members of the team managed to beam back safely, but U.S.S. Triton was severely damaged and nearly brought out of orbit by Klingon attacks. A total of 32 crew members were killed. By the time Triton limped back to Starstation McCall, the Federation was on the verge of war with the Klingon Empire.

Cicatrix IV and the Battle of Donatu
While the Triton incident wasn't the best first impression, diplomats were able to smooth affairs over with the Klingons and keep the peace.  However, it was only a matter of time before the Klingons would let their own nature encourage them to push against Federation expansion. As the Valley Forge class began to come into service, the Klingons began to push into Federation territories, launching light raids on commerce and colonies beginning in 2227. 

However, no major engagements were fought until January 20, 2244, when contact was lost with the Federation border monitor station on Beta Tetsuwan XII. Fourteen hours later, a squadron of 12 D6-class cruisers attacked the Federation colony on Cicatrix IV. They were engaged there by U.S.S. Cougar (NCC-1468) under the command of Captain Timsig Surrha which managed to disable two of the Klingon cruisers before destroying a third and herself by ramming the enemy vessel. Nearly all 1,000 inhabitants of the colony were killed by a ferocious orbital barrage.

On January 22, the Klingons were intercepted near the fifth planet of the Donatu system by a task force of 10 ships led by Commodore Ibrahim Proulx of U.S.S. St. Petersburg (NCC-1467) . Although the Klingons were forced to withdraw after the destruction of 6 more of their vessels, U.S.S. Dallas (NCC-1496) and the Siegfried class dreadnaught U.S.S. Simpson (NCC-1603) were destroyed and U.S.S. Franz Joseph (NCC-1233, Lancaster class), U.S.S. Proteus (NCC-1478, Valley Forge class) and U.S.S. Lysander (NCC-1592, Siegfried class) were damaged.

Please watch this documentary to continue.

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 06:51:50 AM »
Good grief, the things fandoms can do these days.

We used to think we were doing pretty good when we had an APA that lasted five years, and most of those were run off on mimeographs.

I just about bit my computer screen when it cut from the D-7 launch to "Tune in next time, if we get a budget!"

(I sure hope they get the budget.)

Also, another very nice writeup. As an old TOSser (HAH!) I admit I'm less than familiar with a lot of the "add-on" history that has come into being through both studio and fan delving into different aspects/possibilities of the Trek universe, and so I am finding these history write-ups very enjoyable.

Offline LinnaTopic starter

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2016, 07:04:06 AM »
Good grief, the things fandoms can do these days.

We used to think we were doing pretty good when we had an APA that lasted five years, and most of those were run off on mimeographs.

I just about bit my computer screen when it cut from the D-7 launch to "Tune in next time, if we get a budget!"

(I sure hope they get the budget.)

Also, another very nice writeup. As an old TOSser (HAH!) I admit I'm less than familiar with a lot of the "add-on" history that has come into being through both studio and fan delving into different aspects/possibilities of the Trek universe, and so I am finding these history write-ups very enjoyable.

Thank you. I'm trying to build a consistent history that everyone can refer back to time and again. It's not absolutely vital, but it does give everyone an idea of why the Federation is confrontational with the Klingons, why the Romulans keep hidden away, why there are still deep scars on Earth from the Augments and WWIII. With much of the culture wiped away, people need something new to latch onto, and part of culture is influenced by history. If you were born in, say, San Francisco, you might still have a deep cultural history. But several cities in Europe were obliterated and so there's nothing there anymore except debris.

I keep hoping I get questions so I can delve deeper on some of these topics. I'm having a blast writing it all for you, and hope to keep adding more and more as time goes on.

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2016, 03:46:21 PM »
Questions. Hm. I'm presuming (as you already mentioned the various races available in the chargen spreadsheet) that we're far enough along that multi-species crews are a thing. I've been mentally kicking around an idea for an Andorian SecChf...Seems like an appropriate combination. So...Any major divergences between the Andorians-as-presented in places like Memory Alpha (which I've been prowling the past few days...Very broad, but without much depth), and the Andorian-Human history in your own version of the setting?

Offline Thorne

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2016, 04:36:49 PM »
And from the assorted series.. caveat here, the only one I completely turned my nose up at was Voyager. I haven't gotten around to the animated series yet. ;p
I've been working my way through Enterprise, and the Andorians come up a fair amount in the first two seasons. Vulcans having flaws is entertaining the heck out of me, to be honest - more so than I thought when I started the series. Um. Where was I ...

Not sure what I'm planning to throw. Still have a lot of 'buh.. well ..' floating around, and a rampage through the character folder isn't helping any.
As a result, not very many questions. My technobabble isn't really up to running an engineer... Still thinking about it.

Offline LinnaTopic starter

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2016, 06:08:29 PM »
Questions. Hm. I'm presuming (as you already mentioned the various races available in the chargen spreadsheet) that we're far enough along that multi-species crews are a thing. I've been mentally kicking around an idea for an Andorian SecChf...Seems like an appropriate combination. So...Any major divergences between the Andorians-as-presented in places like Memory Alpha (which I've been prowling the past few days...Very broad, but without much depth), and the Andorian-Human history in your own version of the setting?

Andorians in this game are wrestling with a very war-like past and yet trying to improve themselves. They are like humans in many respects, with a lot of energy and trying to find non-destructive uses for it. The reason they haven't expanded like humans is due to the lingering remnants of a dying empire: The Vegan Tyranny. Once a great civilization, they were around just late enough to encounter the Andorians, and so the Andorians learned to fear travelling into space. It was only the disappearance of the Vegans and the arrival of humans that began to shift Andorian attitudes towards the stars again. With humans beginning to venture out into the universe, the Andorians blazed their own path. With human worlds so close to Andorian ones, it only seemed natural that the two form a defensive pact with each other. If a human world came under attack, Andorians would defend them, and vice versa. This resurgence in shipbuilding meant Andoria would soon have (and maintains to this day) the second greatest shipyards, surpassed only by the yards above Mars.

Andor was neutral throughout the Earth-Romulan war, at least in theory. In reality, Andorians were supplying arms and shipbuilding components to Earth to build their navy. With Earth's requirements in hand, it was only a matter of time before there was a mutual standard at both yards, with Andorian components becoming interchangeable for Earth's. Even a few Earth ships later in the war were entirely built at Andor's yards, which at that point didn't matter so much given that Earth was on the offensive and plunging deep into Romulan space. Even if the Romulans found out, there would be little they could do to stop it.  The close working relationships established during the war led to Andoria becoming one of the founding four to build the United Federation of Planets after the war ended.

It was Andor that introduced Earth to the Tellarites, the pig-like species with a natural talent for engineering and mining. Tellarite business with Andor was blunt and to the point, as was almost everything with Tellarites. It was during the war when materials were needed in bulk that outpaced what Earth and Andor together could produce that they turned to Tellar, who took the opportunity to supply both materials and schematics for installations that would prove instrumental later in the war, such as the rebuilding of the Akers Array and the numerous outposts to watch for Romulan involvement. The contracts for those outposts were given to Andor yards, using materials mined from Tellar. While the two species don't exactly get along (Andorians being hostile when agitated and the Tellarites loving to provoke them), they are both valuable members of the Federation.

And from the assorted series.. caveat here, the only one I completely turned my nose up at was Voyager. I haven't gotten around to the animated series yet. ;p
I've been working my way through Enterprise, and the Andorians come up a fair amount in the first two seasons. Vulcans having flaws is entertaining the heck out of me, to be honest - more so than I thought when I started the series. Um. Where was I ...

Not sure what I'm planning to throw. Still have a lot of 'buh.. well ..' floating around, and a rampage through the character folder isn't helping any.
As a result, not very many questions. My technobabble isn't really up to running an engineer... Still thinking about it.


Speaking as an engineer who has heard technobabble... don't. It's a cheap and lazy cop out that makes technology seem like magic. There are very clear processes going on that can be rationally comprehended. Technobabble only promotes ignorance of how science works and makes me very, very sad.

Also, I'm trying to work out how things work and put them in the handbook so that you, as a player, have simple diagrams to explain how this stuff works. I can describe a piece that MIGHT be broken, and you can tell me what you do about it. You must interact with things to figure out in a logical manner how the thing works and I tell you what happens.  Oh, and expect pictures. Lots of pictures as you post and you get to figure this stuff out ^_^

Offline Thorne

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2016, 06:33:28 PM »

Speaking as an engineer who has heard technobabble... don't. It's a cheap and lazy cop out that makes technology seem like magic. There are very clear processes going on that can be rationally comprehended. Technobabble only promotes ignorance of how science works and makes me very, very sad.

Also, I'm trying to work out how things work and put them in the handbook so that you, as a player, have simple diagrams to explain how this stuff works. I can describe a piece that MIGHT be broken, and you can tell me what you do about it. You must interact with things to figure out in a logical manner how the thing works and I tell you what happens.  Oh, and expect pictures. Lots of pictures as you post and you get to figure this stuff out ^_^

I'm an artist by trade, but I spend a lot of time around people who occasionally sound like they're speaking a whole other language. Totally legit, but at some point, I completely lose track of what they're talking about. I get that; when I start in on something I know a lot about, there's a lot of specific terminology that just doesn't track for someone without the specific knowledge I have.

Now, if you think you can provide enough information that I can sound like I know what I'm talking about where a warp engine is concerned... might be fun to play an engineer. Not all my favorite Trek characters were engineers, but there are a bunch on the list.. ^^;

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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2016, 07:54:16 PM »
I'm an artist by trade, but I spend a lot of time around people who occasionally sound like they're speaking a whole other language. Totally legit, but at some point, I completely lose track of what they're talking about. I get that; when I start in on something I know a lot about, there's a lot of specific terminology that just doesn't track for someone without the specific knowledge I have.

Now, if you think you can provide enough information that I can sound like I know what I'm talking about where a warp engine is concerned... might be fun to play an engineer. Not all my favorite Trek characters were engineers, but there are a bunch on the list.. ^^;

Ok, lets see if you can understand what I'm trying to say in this portion straight from the handbook.

Glossary
Antimatter A type of matter whose electrical charge properties are the opposite of 'normal' matter.  For example, a 'normal' proton has a positive charge, but an antiproton has a negative charge.

Antimatter can be used to interact with, modify, or destroy normal matter.  When a particle of antimatter is brought into contact with an equivalent particle of normal matter, both particles are annihilated, and a considerable amount of energy is released.  The controlled annihilation of matter and antimatter is used as the power source for the warp drive systems used aboard starships.

Deuterium (or heavy hydrogen) is an isotope of hydrogen which contains one proton and one neutron in its nucleus, and one electron orbiting the nucleus.  Naturally-occurring hydrogen consists of less than 1% of this isotope.

Dilithium is a naturally occurring crystalline material used in the warp drive systems of many starships.  Dilithium regulated the matter/antimatter reaction in a ship's warp core because of its ability to be rendered porous to light-element antimatter when exposed to high temperatures and pressures.  It controls the amount of power generated in the reaction chamber, channeling the energy released by mutual annihilation into a stream of electro-plasma.

Electro-Plasma In high-power mechanics, electro-plasma (also known as warp-plasma or drive plasma) is a super-energized plasma used to transfer energy from a central power source using plasma conduit transfer.  In matter/antimatter reactions, dilithium controls the amount of power generated in the reaction chamber, which produces a steady stream of plasma.  Electro-plasma is the main power transfer medium.

An EPS (electro-plasma system) feeds from a warp core on a starship, a fusion reactor on an instillation or starbase, or an impulse reactor on a non-warp spacecraft.  Besides the large warp plasma conduits (power transfer conduits), there are smaller plasma conduits, with EPS taps that transfer power as electricity to all subsystems connected to the power transfer grid.  If a plasma conduit or EPS tap ruptures, the contents could set off a plasma fire.

A fusion reactor is an energy generation unit that employs deuterium fuel to yield helium plasma, which is typically used to power the impulse drive or is sent through the secondary EPS system to power other systems.

The impulse engines (also called impulse drive) is a type of propulsion aboard Federation starships that uses conventional Newtonian reaction to generate thrust.  Limited to sublight speeds, the impulse drive is essentially an augmented fusion rocket powered by a fusion reactor.

The intermix chamber is a major component of a starship's warp core.  Its functions include the maintenance and regulation of plasma pressure within the core.

A nacelle is a large outboard structure that houses a warp-drive engine.  The interior of the nacelle is dominated by two rows of massive semi-circular warp-field coils that serve to transform the ship's drive plasma stream into the subspace field that makes faster-than-light speeds possible.  The warp coils create a subspace displacement field, which "warps" the space around the vessel allowing it to "ride" on a spatial distortion, and travel faster than the speed of light.

Power Transfer Conduit On a Federation starship, a power transfer conduit (abbreviated PTC) is an advanced type of plasma conduit, used for carrying warp plasma from the vessel's warp core to the drive nacelles.  The conduits are magnetically shielded against the superheated warp plasma, and are roughly 0.6 to 1 meter in width.

Along with carrying the warp plasma, the power transfer conduits also contain manifold links to the electro-plasma system (EPS), where electronic energy is bled from the warp plasma in the form of microwaves, providing electrical energy for the vessel.

Overview


The warp system aboard a starship is nearly universal throughout the starfaring empires of the galaxy, and the system can be summarized as shown above.  Deuterium and it's opposite counterpart, anti-deuterium, are fed from storage tanks to the intermix chamber, where they are combined in a controlled reaction using a dilithium crystal to produce electro-plasma.  This plasma is then channeled primarily to the warp nacelles but can also be fed to the electro-plasma system (EPS) and distributed to secondary systems. 

Deuterium is also used to fuel the onboard fusion reactors, which produce power for the EPS and the impulse drive, which moves the ship when not at warp.  During an emergency, in which the matter/antimatter system is offline but has not caused a warp core breach, the fusion reactors can provide electro-plasma to the warp nacelles, though not at the same rate as the matter/antimatter system.

Offline Thorne

Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2016, 10:25:33 PM »
That might cover enough ground to keep me from tripping over my feet... it certainly clarifies how it all hooks together.
Out of curiosity, which book did you pull that out of?


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Re: Interest check: Star Trek Frontiers
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2016, 11:24:12 PM »
That might cover enough ground to keep me from tripping over my feet... it certainly clarifies how it all hooks together.
Out of curiosity, which book did you pull that out of?

One I'm writing myself.  Yes, I'm actually writing a book just for this game with diagrams and information so you can play without having to read an entire universe worth of material.