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New player questions

 
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Iron Knight
Ensign


Joined: 10 May 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:03 am    Post subject: New player questions Reply with quote

Howdy,
I just picked up copy of Klingon Boarder after playing the demo with my group. We are looking for a step up from A Call to Arms and a system we can modify for a house made RPG. After looking at the forums and reading the rules I have a few questions I’d appreciate help with.

Are opponents’ ship’s status open knowledge?

What exact weapons are knocked out on a ‘phaser’ hit? Is it random or owner/attacker picked?

Is there an easy way to get all the rules updates since the 4th revision without having to sift through the newsletters?

Is there a file with all the ship updates on it? (I’ve read a few of the newsletters and there seems to be a lot of changes)

Are there any rules for EW?

Are there any rules for ship creation/modification? Any ‘blank’ ship sheets?

Is there a campaign/rpg book to go with this system? (I know there is an argument to be made about whether to have ship combat system in a RPG or not, but my group has decided to use one, likely this one)

Are there any ‘must have’ rules expansions I’d need to buy to be up to date?

Thanks
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junior
Captain


Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Re: New player questions Reply with quote

Iron Knight wrote:
Are opponents’ ship’s status open knowledge?

Yes. The status of an opponent's ship is always known to you, including how much energy the ship has remaining. You can always request that your opponent show you his ship display.
Quote:
What exact weapons are knocked out on a ‘phaser’ hit? Is it random or owner/attacker picked?

The player who owns the targeted ship decides which specific phasers are hit on a phaser hit. Similar rules apply for weapons hit on drone or torpedo hits. Note that heavy weapons other than drones and torpedoes are classified as to which of the weapons they're hit on in their rules. For instance, Disruptors are hit on a Torpedo hit even though they aren't called torpedoes.
Quote:
Is there an easy way to get all the rules updates since the 4th revision without having to sift through the newsletters?

There's a link to a list of rules updates in the Commanders Circle (which is the same location where the issues of Communique are found). It's called the CRUL. Updates to the CRUL which haven't yet appeared in it are found in the thread at the top of this forum topic.
Quote:
Is there a file with all the ship updates on it? (I’ve read a few of the newsletters and there seems to be a lot of changes)

A PDF list of every ship release (along with the location where it can be found) is available in the Commanders Circle. The name of the PDF is FC_Master_Ship_Chart_3R.
Quote:
Are there any rules for EW?

No. Starfleet Battles has rules for EW, but these were cut from FedCom to make the game easier and faster to play. An issue of Captains Log a couple of years ago did include some basic EW rules that allowed the use of 'Scout' ships (which have powerful sensor suites that can be used to jam or un-jam fire control systems on ships), but the rules are referred to as part of the 'Borders of Madness' project (specifically, stuff that makes it easier for SFB items to be imported into FedCom without making them a required part of the game), and considered extremely optional.
Quote:
Are there any rules for ship creation/modification? Any ‘blank’ ship sheets?

Nope. But a simple sheet of graph paper will allow you to do so without too much trouble. Feel free! Just be aware that there are certain things to keep in mind, particularly with regards to the license from Paramount, and you should be cautious in sticking something in a public location that is a FedCom conversion of a copyrighted ship (from any series or movie, not just Star Trek).

There are a number of people who post on the forum who have mentioned that they've created their own ships, and if you have the desire you should go ahead and do so. Unfortunately, figuring out points values tends to be much more of a "does this number look right?" sort of thing than a clear cut "this is how many points a ship with X phasers costs" sort of thing, so it may take some time to figure out how much your new ship is really worth.
Quote:
Is there a campaign/rpg book to go with this system? (I know there is an argument to be made about whether to have ship combat system in a RPG or not, but my group has decided to use one, likely this one)

Not at this time, though a number of people on the forum have created their own campaigns.
Quote:
Are there any ‘must have’ rules expansions I’d need to buy to be up to date?

All you really need is either Klingon Border or Romulan Border. The rest is all extras and can be added to the basic game as you and your group see fit. If, say, Orion Attack (the most recent release) catches your eye on a store shelf, then you can pick it up without worrying about the fact that you never bought Tholian Attack.


Welcome to the game! And I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2926
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:24 am    Post subject: Re: New player questions Reply with quote

junior tied it all up nicely. I'll add:
Iron Knight wrote:

Is there a file with all the ship updates on it? (I’ve read a few of the newsletters and there seems to be a lot of changes)

There actually have been very few ship "updates" (i.e. changes). The C-7 would be one of the ones with the most significant changes (firing arcs were wrong on the first print run).
The overwhelming majority of the "revised" ships in Communique are just revised to be prettier - which is just a different way of saying "here's a bunch of free ships; have fun!".

Iron Knight wrote:

Is there a campaign/rpg book to go with this system? (I know there is an argument to be made about whether to have ship combat system in a RPG or not, but my group has decided to use one, likely this one)

There are several homebrew campaigns (like junior said). There are also several official campaign products currently in-work. They will be done by third-party companies, but set in the Star Fleet Universe. There is no "official" ADB-developed campaign system, as getting all the different SFB factions to agree would be like herding cats. The F&E strategic game (which is far too detailed and huge to use as an on-going scenario generator) would be as close as things got.
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3495
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it looks like I am late to the party here. junior and 'dood pretty much got it covered.

For the Consolidated Rules Update List (CRUL), go to the Commander's Circle. Registration is required, but it is free. Click on "Resources" in the little menu to the left. Scroll to the bottom of that page, and it is the first item in the "Play Aids" section.
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terryoc
Captain


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1380

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as RPG/Campaign systems goes...

For a pure RPG, there's Prime Directive, available in D20 and GURPS flavours, as well as D20 Modern soon. Expansions are planned for other systems too including Hero and Fudge, but no idea when those will be out. A Star Fleet Universe version of Battlestations is being worked on, no idea when that's coming out.

There's a "campaign designer's handbook" available from ADB for SFB, which you could use to design your own FC campaign, as others have done.

Victory By Any Means Games are working on "Federation Admiral" a campaign system for FC and SFB but mainly FC. Check out the forums at www.vbamgames.com in the Federation Admiral section for more details.
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Iron Knight
Ensign


Joined: 10 May 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Hopefully my group will be able to tackle a real game now.

Quote:
Just be aware that there are certain things to keep in mind, particularly with regards to the license from Paramount, and you should be cautious in sticking something in a public location that is a FedCom conversion of a copyrighted ship (from any series or movie, not just Star Trek).


One question about this, from other games I have played I have noted that starfleet games are more concerned about this, which I can understand, but why is it that other companies seem to be open to other series conversions? Does FC have any different contractual liabilities/restrictions from paramount?

Would it violate rules to post a fan made ship if it has no ties to any copyrighted fiction (like my own campaign), for instance trying to point out new ships my group members create?

I forgot there was a VBAM/FC project going on, I'm a big fan of VBAM. I will have to pick this up when it is out.
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the game, and I hope you and your gaming group have much fun with it!

With regards to posting ship cards goes, as far as I understand it the following is the case: posting any ship card whether "home made" or "official FC" is usually dodgy ground because the ship card display style itself is protected and copyrighted FC content. There is nothing to stop you making and using home-grown ship cards or reproducing ship cards and resources from FC for your own use, but generally this does not extend as far as distributing them or selling them. Basically I think if you were to make ships, you could print them and play with them, but to distribute them to people (say for example giving somebody a copy of your image file) or to post them on the internet, etc. is a no-go.

I think there might be a licencing issue with Paramount for the "new series" Trek stuff such as TNG, though I am not sure on the specifics. In any case, I would consider it unlikely that FC would ever include such ships even if licencing and copyright wasn't an issue, because the Star Fleet Universe as seen in FC is already fairly complete and is different in its "history" to some of the later Trek stuff. Again, there is nothing to stop you using the rules for FC and creating your own ship cards to represent ships from later Trek, or even your own creations - indeed, I have heard of people doing this for SFB and FC - but again be weary of the rules regarding distributing any ship cards you do make.
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1963
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to post your own content related to any part of the Star Fleet Universe, the best bet is to read ADB's On-Line Policy.

It's a set of simple principles by which ADB allow people to publish game-related material on their own sites etc.

Hope this helps!
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iron Knight wrote:
... Does FC have any different contractual liabilities/restrictions from paramount?


If I understand SVC's comments properly (and I'm probably waaaay off base here...); ADB obtained the rights to produce games set in the SFU [Star Fleet Universe] way back in the mid-70s when Star Trek was not the money-making, cash-cow that Paramount now views it as.

As such, their license only covers items that had been in Star Trek up to that point, i.e. the original series and the animated series. Adding anything from the movies or later series would violate the terms of a very sweet licensing agreement.
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Archduke Russell John I
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Langhorne, Pa

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And to add to Scoutdad, my understanding of the license (which could also be way off) is that ADB's license is forever while most modern Paramount Star Trek licenses are for a limited time period.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Archduke Russell John I wrote:
And to add to Scoutdad, my understanding of the license (which could also be way off) is that ADB's license is forever while most modern Paramount Star Trek licenses are for a limited time period.

Something along those lines...

All modern Star Trek licensing agreements are for a limited duration with the decision to renew / not-renew is made solely at the discretion of Paramount.
IIRC, ADB chooses whether or not they wish to renew their license..what a deal Cool
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Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3082

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gosh, nothing for me to add. This 'junior' guy must be my long-lost son. Drop me an email, Junior!
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have said this before, but in summary....

don't post copies of official FC ships anywhere.

Don't post FC conversions of SFB ships.

Don't post FC conversions of other people's copyrighted works. (Some companies don't care if you post, say, a "Star Wars" ship designed for their game system, but they really shouldn't. It's not my job to protect Lucasfilms but as a general principle I cannot assist you in ripping them off.

If you invent your own ships, post them under the published web policy. This policy requires a certain statement to be on the ship card. The statement gives ADB ownership of the design, but, if we publish it we pay you the normal rates, and you cannot publish a derivative work without permission of the original copyright holder anyway.

Now, there is one new wrinkle that came up recently. Suppose you have for years worked up your own imaginary science fiction universe, and you want to do those ships for FC. You do them under the web policy (we own the FC versions) but YOU still own the underlying scifi design and if you want to publish them for some other game at some future time, knock yourself out.
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