Designing the Arges-class spaceframe using the new Utopia Planitia rules!

For the unaware, Modiphius started pre-orders for the Utopia Planitia sourcebook yesterday! And like every other STA pre-order, this one comes with an instant PDF copy. There’s a ton of goodies inside, and you can check out the table of contents at the above link.

What this post will focus on is the creation of a custom spaceframe using the guidance provided in Chapter 3. Our target is Howie Day’s U.S.S. Arges. It’s a really nifty ship design, featuring a Vulcan-style drive that’s pure eye candy when it jumps to warp.

Howie Day’s renders are top notch!

To start the spaceframe creation process, we must first determine how many System Points that we can assign to the vessel. So as not to expose crucial charts in the book, I can vaguely say that there are three different starting years with starting system points and guidance for how many points to add per given time span. For the Arges-class, we’re given 48 points to play with. In keeping in mind that this is a class built for speed, I settled on the following Systems:

Comms – 08Engines – 09Structure – 08
Computers – 08Sensors – 08Weapons – 07

Step 2 of the process is determining the Scale of the spaceframe. As the book makes clear, this is not just how physically large the vessel in question is. Things like its crew count, technology, and more all contribute to a series of general guidelines provided in the book. For the Arges-class, it’s a solid Scale 3. Now this does mean that we have to subtract 1 system point in order to be in line with other Scale 3 vessels. Scale 4s are baseline (i.e. no SP adjustments), while bigger scales add system points. In this instance I took a point away from comms so the spread now looks like this:

Comms – 07Engines – 09Structure – 08
Computers – 08Sensors – 08Weapons – 07

Step 3 assigns Department Points. While there are special rules for ships with a Mission Pod (which now have 11 different variants of Pods to choose from), this design instance follows the standard convention of 3 points. Again keeping in mind this is a fast little ship, here’s where I assigned the points:

Command – 0Security – 0Science – 0
Conn – 2Engineering – 1Medicine – 0

Step 4 determines the Talents of the spaceframe. There’s a whole array of new, amazing Talents found in the book, so picking one was difficult! However, reading the flavor text of Variable Geometry Warp Field made it clear this had to be the one all Arges-class have since the ship has a Vulcan-designed Warp Drive! Without spoiling too much, this Talent makes forming a stable warp bubble far easier under adverse conditions.

Step 5 details the Weapons a spaceframe possesses. There are so many new rules for things like 10 Energy Weapon Types, 14 Torpedo Types, Spinal Lances, and a new type of weapon: Mines. If you want the full rules for Mines you’ll have to pick up the book, but I will say here that the Jamming quality (which disrupts sensors and helm actions) on the Blackout Mines fit the “fast and nimble recon/intel ship” vibe I was going for. Add in Phaser Banks (the standard for 23rd century ships) and we have a tough little ship!

Finally, I needed to assign any traits or special rules to the Arges-class. Aside from the standard Federation Starship, I also threw in Prototype since the only example of the class is a NX (NX-2100 to be specific).

And there you have it! It’s that easy to make your own spaceframe based on whatever design you have in mind. For those that want to see the completed ship sheet for the U.S.S. Arges, glance at the image below.

You’ll note I selected one of the new Mission Profiles for the ship, Espionage/Intelligence, as well as another one of the new Talents, Slim Sensor Silhouette, that makes it more difficult to detect the ship at the cost of some power. There’s 17 Mission Profiles to choose from now and that’s not even including the Starbase ones! Yes, you can build your own starbase as well, including rules for making it warp-capable. Small craft aren’t left out either, so if you and/or your players want to build your own Delta Flyer there’s rules for that too!

Overall I’d rate this new supplement a solid 9.99/10. The art and lore alone on each of the spaceframes is worth geeking out over, not mention a slew of new optional rules that will truly make your starship come alive in play. Grab it here on the US store or here on the UK one!


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