SciForums StarFleet Battles - Discussion and design

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by Kittamaru, Dec 16, 2016.


Turn Based, Free Form, Tabletop style

Poll closed Jan 16, 2017.
  1. Free Form

    0 vote(s)
  2. Tabletop

  3. Turn based

  4. Other (Please explain!)

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Greetings all - just figured I'd put this out there and see what, if any, interest there was in a pseudo tabletop style SciFi Fleet game.

    At its essence, it would be run similar to a Dungeons and Dragons meets Starfleet Battles / Battletech setup - you would design your ships and vehicles, craft your character and backstory, and unleash them on the universe. Some limitations will be needed, if only to prevent Mary Sue / Gary Stu archetypes, but my thought was to do ship and character creation on a points-based system.

    This can be fleshed out later if there is interest, but for a quick and dirty system (I'm going to use Star Trek as my basis for comparison, as it's the one I'm most familiar with):

    Starship Creation
    Points can be allocated to give "values" for the power and capabilities of different ship systems. This is to allow a standard "set" against which actions can be resolved. You can still provide fluff, backstory, or description of various systems (such as the use of Phasers, Lasers, Plasma Cannons, Railguns, or whatever else you would like to use for weapons, of course).

    Sublight Propulsion (Impulse)
    FTL Propulsion (Warp Drive)
    Other Propulsion (Quantum Slipstream, Transwarp, etc)
    Maneuvering (RCS Thrusters, etc)

    Shields (Barriers, deflectors, shields, etc)
    Armor (Ablative, impact, etc)
    Weapons (Phasers, Photon Torpedoes, etc)
    E-War (jamming, decoys, etc)

    Range, Resolution, etc (at your discretion)

    Life Support
    Environmental (Oxygen, etc)
    Supplies (Replicators, hydroponics, etc)

    Small ships facilities

    Medical Bays
    Transport facilities
    Diplomatic facilities

    Ship Classes and Points Available:

    Frigate / Corvette - 250 Systems Points
    Small, quick, and mission-specific. Can be heavily armed and armored with few scientific or recreational facilities, such as an escort (think the Defiant), fast and flashy (think a blockade runner, like the Millennium Falcon), etc.
    Bonuses to speed, maneuverability, and stealth. Generally harder to hit with capital ship grade weapons due to smaller physical profile and ability to flit in and out of combat. Limited internal space resulting in specific designs as opposed to all-around capabilities. Capable of carrying one or two auxiliary craft at most. Typically have a somewhat limited range due to space for resources (unless systems space is dedicated towards replenishment services)

    Destroyer - 400 systems points
    A step up from Frigates, these have added space for systems, but sacrifice a little baseline agility and present a slightly larger profile. Often the first ones on scene, these can be considered your bread and butter. When designed for specific mission profiles, these can become immensely capable ships, able to be glass cannons, effective interceptors, scientific explorers, and everything in between. Trying to be it all can stretch them thin, however.

    Cruiser - 600 systems points
    The first of the so-called capital ships, cruisers make up the bulk of brute-force operations. Carrying a myriad of weapons, sensors, defenses, and sometimes even auxiliary craft, Cruisers are slower but more durable and harder hitting than the smaller destroyers. They are more resilient when facing smaller ships; however, they are more vulnerable to larger capital-class ordinance.

    Battlecruiser - 700 systems points
    Purpose built for combat, these mount far more tactical systems than their cruiser brethren at the cost of scientific and recreational/diplomatic facilities.
    Bonuses to weapons output and defenses

    Battleship - 1000 systems points (think Galaxy class starship)
    Large, somewhat slower, and capable of taking punishment just as well as dealing it, Battleships are the primary Capital ship class. Able to be a jack-of-all trades, incredible forces of combat, immense command platforms, or pretty much anything you can imagine.

    Dreadnaught - 900 systems points (think Prometheus class)
    Also known as pocket battleships, these monsters of combat are built with a singular mindset - blow it up. Often sporting immense firepower, but slightly weaker defenses and far fewer scientific capabilities, and forgoing recreation or diplomatic capability altogether, these are not the ships you want to see on your doorstep.

    Freighter/Liners - 500 systems points
    Typically slower, but able to carry immense quantities of goods or people, these ships sport mild to moderate defensive capabilities and little scientific capability. However, they provide ample space to be retrofit for other, more clandestine purposes.

    Carriers - 750 or 1250 systems points
    Light and Battle variants - capable of housing wings of strike craft, worker bees, or other auxiliary craft. Typically try to keep these out of direct lines of fire, and let their lil friends do the work for them.

    Obviously any and all of this is subject to discussion and change - I'm sort of envisioning this working like Star Fleet Battles, but don't limit yourself to Star Trek! I'm flexible and willing to allow a lot - the main purpose of the point and class system is to be able to "level" a large and varying set of choices into something that can be played together - otherwise, trying to normalize between the capabilities of a Galaxy class starship, the Millennium Falcon, SpaceBall1, and the Dauntless would be... interesting.

    As far as how play will work out, I would act as a Dungeon Master of sorts, resolving actions and helping to keep the story progressing. I had three "methods" of progression I was thinking of:

    Turn based - Each "round" would be roughly 24 hours, during which you describe what you are doing and trying to accomplish. Everyone would get one post per round to describe their actions - the advantage here is that nobody gets "left behind", but because you are not resolving your actions, it removes a little of the grandiose nature.

    Free Form - you post "at will" (though I would ask that you give everyone a chance and don't just be the hero!) and can resolve minor actions yourself (describing an attack run on an enemy ship, for example), though "major events" would still fall to the GM to resolve.

    Tabletop Based - actions would run like a traditional D20 - "dice" will be rolled to determine the outcome of your actions. This adds a bit more of the traditional tabletop experience, but can potentially leave you frustrated if the dice decide not to roll in your favor.
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So how would it work, from a character/ship creation point of view? Bear in mind that not all of us may know the underlying rules of D&D and/or Star Fleet Battles. Personally I know D&D quite well (at least up to 3.5e) but no idea about SFB.
    Do we each start with a certain number of points to allocate? How do we allocate points, if we do at all?
    Do we get to choose which ship we want? Is someone who starts with a battleship initially not vastly overpowering someone with a Frigate.
    Is this PvP (we're in teams, or individuals, against each other) or PvE (e.g. us as the "good guys" against whatever you, as DM, throw at us)?
    I'm intrigued, just would like to know more.

    Edit: I would be cautious about going free-form, as it is liable to just end up with chaos.

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  5. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    The idea would be that each "class" would have advantages and disadvantages - for example, a Battleship "hull" would potentially have far more firepower and shields than a Frigate, but the Frigate would be more maneuverable and better able to avoid detection.

    As for initial points - that's something I'm still trying to determine a good setup for. To be honest... I'm not 100% sure. I had, at one time, an entire tabletop Star Trek game planned out... but that was several years (and computers) ago heh.

    As for the type, it'd be co-op - PvP would require far more structure to be fair.

    Maybe, to be fair, we can start with only having Corvette and Frigate "hull" classes available?
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