An official version of this ship is available in the Gamma Quadrant sourcebook.
Welcome to Starship Sunday, presenting a new spaceframe for the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, filling in some gaps until official material can be released.
This week continues February’s theme of Dominion Warrior ships that could have fought in the war at the last quarter of the 24th Century. This week is the fan favourite Prometheus, famed for its ability to split into three separate ships.
Random fact to start with, I’m playing in a Roll20 game (streamed on Twitch, archived on YouTube) set on a Prometheus-class vessel. Ironically, I’m not a Prometheus fan: the logistics of the iconic multi-vector assault mode are weird. If you can give a ship that much firepower, why have it split, and require three deflector shields, and extra sets of outer hulls? I suppose the obvious answer is “because it’s cool”, which is hard to argue against.
From a design perspective, this one gave me pause. At 414 meters, the size of the Prometheus is right between an Intrepid and a Excelsior ship in length. It could be either Scale 4 or 5. In the end, the features of the ship pushed me to Scale 5: from descriptions it has ablative armour, and an Emergency Medical Hologram. Plus it would have secondary reactors from its ability to split, which itself would be a talent. And it has been described as having quantum torpedoes in later sources. Plus it’s supposedly the fastest ship in the fleet, implying a fast warp drive. That’s a lot of talents. In order to have any customization for personal ships, it needs to be a Scale 5. Also, given the Prometheus is effectively a warship, it makes sense it would have the higher resistance and do more damage.
The Prometheus-class is pretty clearly the first Starfleet warship. It’s a one ship attack wing, designed for battle and little else. From this perspective, the class is very interesting. First, because it’s a good ship to use for conflict focused games, perhaps dealing with threats occurring after the Dominion War, such as a renewed Borg offensive, Species 8472, splinter factions of the Romulan Empire, or new threats. Alternatively, the game could focus on the opposite, dealing with what a Federation warship is used for during times of peace.
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Multi-vector Assault Mode
The ship is designed so that it can separate into multiple sections (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma), which can operate as three distinct ships. Each section has the same Systems, Departments, Talents, and weapons, but their Scale is two lower than the whole ship, and each section only one third the Power that the ship had before separation (rounded up). Furthermore, if the ship has suffered any damage, ongoing effects of that damage apply equally to all sections.
If the ships can communicate, they can coordinate their attack against a single target. The lead section makes its attack assisted by one or both of the other sections. If the attack is successful, it gains the Piercing Damage Effect with a rating equal to 1 plus the number of assisting ships.
Separating or reassembling the ship is a Control + Conn Task with a Difficulty of 2, assisted by the ship’s Computer + Conn, performed from either the helm or internal systems position, or from main engineering. Separating and reconnecting cannot be done if the Structure or Computer of any ship has been Damaged or Disabled.
Yes! This is gonna be a life saver for my game.
My thought on the usage of MVAM is the Federation was bleeding ships and manpower badly. The loss of the seventh fleet, with only 14 ships out of 112 returning from a disastrous attempted offensive early on in the war, was likely the straw that broke the camel’s back. It taught the Federation-Klingon alliance that conventional war with the Dominion was suicide, something new was required to keep them at bay. Tactics and design philosophy the Dominion hadn’t seen before and wouldn’t expect.
So while the alliance switched from attack to defend and began focusing on commando raids on key facilities, Starfleet R&D dug deep into the Federation’s bag of tricks to come up with a ship capable of changing the calculus of any engagement in a few short moments. They eventually came up with something both absolutely badass, and more than a little weird. Besides the Yeager I mean.
Its easier for a smaller vessel to take off and land, so each of the Prometheus’ sections would also be ideal for delivering a massive number of troops to ground theaters quickly, while the other sections could provide air support. That also makes them useful for emergency evac. or scouting missions. As it makes up the bulk of the primary hull, its likely the “Alpha” vessel could likewise function similarly to the saucer section of a Galaxy in the event of a catastrophe.
Can’t wait to use this thing, its a swiss-army knife shaped like a starship. As for logistics, I’m borrowing a bit of color from Babylon 5.
Where is the shields?
They’re calculated at the end, when you assign a Mission Profile, like the other spaceframes in the rulebook.