How does setting a phaser on a wide beam to hit multiple opponents work in Star Trek Adventures RPG? This is a question I asked myself as—for the first time in 18 gaming sessions—my players prepared to attack a squadron of six enemies who had them captive.
For actual episodic reference to this effect, there are many episodes to check out. As all you know-it-alls know, a phaser beam can be focused to a single spot or widened to impact a large area. A wide-field stun setting was used when large groups needed to be stunned with a single shot in TOS: “The Return of the Archons“. The level 16 wide-field setting could easily destroy half of a large building with a single shot. (TNG: “Frame of Mind“) Scary stuff. Some other cool tricks are available too. Personnel phasers were normally set to fire a single steady stream of nadion particles. However, this beam could be widened to perform a phaser sweep.
Some of you are thinking, “I know the answer to your question. It’s in the Core Rulebook! Look it up!”
But, hey, I wanted instant gratification. So, I posted the Star Trek Adventures RPG Facebook page instead, where throngs of STA geeks peruse the forum like perverts walk around Risa. (Bad analogy?) And I got great responses, which of course pointed me to the exact page references in the rulebook that I needed to enable my crew to take out multiple targets at once. (Laziness paid off.)
First, the gurus sent me to Chapter 8, page 193. This highlights the need for a player character to perform a Charge Minor Action first, changing the setting of the weapon.
They then reminded me of the Area effect.
I, of course, needed to make sure I knew which weapons have the Area effect available. So, I referenced the handy chart.
Thanks to all you geeks and gurus that made my day so much nicer. I love the Star Trek Adventures community!
Now, let’s go wipe out a swath of bad guys!