Rule Changes in the Klingon Empire Rulebook

The Klingon Empire Core Rulebook for Star Trek Adventures includes some amazing new options for your campaign, many of which could be included in your Starfleet games. The book also has some stealthy updates of mechanics scattered through the book. I imagine these will be included in future errata for the game as a whole but in the meantime here are all the mechanical changes from the Klingon Empire Rulebook.

This post originally appeared on my site Mephit James’ Blog.

These notes cover rules updates between the May 2020 version of the Star Trek Adventures rulebook and the September 2020 version of Star Trek Adventures: Klingon Core Rulebook. In this post, I’ve included page numbers for the original core rulebook (OCB) and the Klingon Core Rulebook (KCB) for ease of reference.

Core Rules

There’s only one “core” rule change that I could find. Well, less an update and more of a clarification, when you are allowed to reroll your dice such as with Determination (OCB 74, KCB 73) you can reroll anything up to the max. So “reroll all your dice” means “reroll up to all your dice.”

Personal Combat

I expected to see a bunch of changes to this considering it’s Klingons we’re talking about but actually it’s a pretty short list.

  • The Direct (OCB 173, KCB 170) action explicitly lets someone make a bonus action. The specifications of the Direct action in the Klingon Core Rulebook says that “The Direct action can only be used once per combat, and the targeted character can only attempt 2 tasks per round.” This means that you can’t have two leaders Direct the same character in the same round so that they make a bunch of Tasks.
  • The cost for the Extra Minor Action Momentum spend (OCB 178, KCB 175) option has been adjusted: it’s now 1 for the first extra minor action and then +1 for each additional ones. So that’s 1 for one extra minor action, 3 for two extra minor actions, 6 for three extra minor actions, etc.
  • Another clarification, you can explicitly only use Swift Task (OCB 178, KCB 175) once in a round to attempt an additional task.
Image © Modiphius Entertainment

Starship Rules

  • The Vessel Scale table (OCB 215, KCB 185) lists the Maquis raider as a Scale 2 ship as opposed to a Scale 3 ship. There aren’t any new stats, though, and the latest version of the base Core Rulebook still has the raider as a Scale 3 so… I think this might actually be Klingon errata.
  • The Override (OCB 221, KCB 196) task is now exclusively for those in the command chair. I don’t know if this is because of how Klingon ships are set up or if it also applies to Federation ships but I’m applying it universally until I hear otherwise.
  • You can use the Direct (OCB 222, KCB 196) action more than once per scene in ship conflicts.
  • You explicitly can use Warp (OCB 222, KCB 197) within combat to move a minimum of two zones. This is pretty niche but if you wanted to engage the warp engines to move to Medium range (such as for a Picard Maneuver) then this is nixing that, or at least making it a non-routine task.
  • The Difficulty of Attack Pattern (OCB 222, KCB 197) is now 1 (instead of 2) but it also reduces the Difficulty of attacks made against your ship by -1 (making it fully parallel to Evasive Action).
  • Ramming Speed (OCB 222, KCB 197) now has Piercing 3 in addition to the other qualities it already had. I can’t remember a player even contemplating this action before but maybe this will change that.
  • Plot Course and Chart Hazard (OCB 222, KCB 197) now have Difficulties of 2 (instead of 3), I guess just to make Navigation tasks more appealing.
  • There’s no Launch Probe option (OCB 223) in the combat section, but it is discussed under sensor operations (KCB 190).
  • Deploy Security (OCB 223, KCB 197) or Deploy Troops for the Klingons) is now assisted by the ship’s Weapons + Security.
  • There are more tasks for Boarding Actions (KCB 199), a very Klingon topic, but these are new and not (strictly speaking) changes to existing rules.
  • The Power Loss Momentum spend (OCB 232) is missing from the table and so is no longer an option under the rules as written.
Image © Modiphius Entertainment

System Breaches

This is a change that I’m not actually a fan of. I love the intricacy of how the Systems fail as they suffer more and more Breaches in combat (OCB 227, KCB 201). In the base Core Rulebook the Systems all follow a similar pattern where they are first Impacted with their first Breach, Damaged when they reach half the ship’s Scale in Breaches, Disabled when Breaches equal Scale, and Destroyed when they reach more than the ship’s Scale in Breaches. The effect of these stages have parallels but they depend on the System in question: Computers has a cascading effect, Structure knocks people around, Engines threatens the warp core, etc.

As of the Klingon Core Rulebook, however, the stages are all standardized.

  • Impacted means you can’t use the System until the Restore minor action is used.
  • Damaged means that all tasks involving the System have +2 Difficulty until repaired with Damage Control (which is a Difficulty 3 task).
  • Disabled means that you can’t use the System until you repair it with Damage Control (this time as a Difficulty 4 task).
  • Destroyed means you can’t use it until you get it totally overhauled at a space station.

There are some allowances made for Engines and Structure in a sidebar to include some of the things seen in the core rulebook. Engines lose Power when Damaged (1 Power), Disabled (2 Power), and Destroyed (3 Power) and there’s the same damage of a warp core breach. Structure can result in Injury when Impacted, when Damaged it increases the Complication range of repairing Systems, when Disabled it increases the Difficulty to repair Systems by +1 (but no Complication increase), and when Destroyed it’s crippled as described in the core rulebook. All other Breach effects are gone, unfortunately.

The streamlined NPC ship damage rules are the same.

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