Today we bring you a real labor of love, a thorough analysis of ship Scales using Eaglemoss‘s official ship measurements. This was a lot of work and I’m thrilled to be able to bring it to you to enrich your Star Trek Adventures campaign.
Christian “Su-tehp” Fernandez-Duque is a lawyer, a Star Wars and Star Trek geek who sees no need for the fandom rivalry between the two (“Dudes, we’re ALL nerds here!”), and a tabletop gamer since 1992 with the advent of the 2nd Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade (which makes him one of the original “tragically hip” gamers). He’s a fan of the Old World of Darkness games, the Trinity Continuum, Exalted, Star Wars D6, and Pathfinder. He got into Star Trek Adventures in late 2020 and is loving every minute of it.
His analyses do have some changes from official publications, which might make you groan with frustration. There are a few different answers to discrepancies between game material and canon sources. Firstly, it’s important to remember that Scale is not length, width, mass, or any other physical property. This is deliberate: Scale is a general estimate of the size and presence of the ship, its ability to combat other ships and to navigate the rigors of space. Two ships of the same Scale don’t have to share any qualities in common. On the other hand, Scale certainly has something to do with size and Star Trek isn’t like most science-fiction communities. The fans of Star Trek pride themselves on technical specifications (just look at the blueprint books!) and fact-checking the physics of this beloved setting. If a change makes your campaign closer to setting canon, shouldn’t you make it?
Well, ultimately this is a rhetorical question. Make the choice if it works for you and don’t if you’d rather stick with what’s printed or what you’ve been using. There’s no question, though, that the most accurate interpretation of the Star Trek universe into STA rules is with Chris’ work here. I did mention he’s a lawyer, right?
If you think adjusting the Scale of a ship might be too much work, you needn’t worry; it’s actually not that difficult. You can even do it on the fly with about two minutes of notes so making the change takes nothing more than sticking to it through each spaceframe. When you change a ship between Scales by some number X (which could be positive or negative depending on if you’re making it smaller or bigger) then the following changes also happen.
- The energy weapons’ damage also changes by X. Torpedoes do not.
- The Crew Support value also changes by X.
- The Resistance value also changes by X.
- Tractor Beam strength also changes by X.
- Technically, the number of Talents should also change by X. This is certainly house-rule-able, though.
The crux of Chris’ work is these three charts published by Eaglemoss, the official model producers of the Star Trek franchise. You can find the charts in the gallery below and whether you are making these Scale changes or not they certainly are beautiful and a fantastic resource for STA campaigns.
Below you’ll find the files that Chris wrote. He went through each and every ship on these charts and compared them, working out a rough length-to-Scale chart for converting. As I noted above and he notes repeatedly here, length isn’t everything. There’s mass to consider, overall shape, and of course precedent for ships of a certain design and character. Chris was thorough, though, and I think you’ll find his reasoning well documented here. Enjoy!