Starships and Spacemen Adaptation

Part 1: Characters
Four player races are used:
Humans, Taurans, Rigelians, and Andromedans

Human Nature: Inquisitiveness, Creating, Socializing
Human Physiology: Iron based hemoglobin (red) Human sized.
Human Racial Trait: Any 1
Human Nature: 3+
Like to create things: +1
Like to be alone -1
like to learn new things +1
Want to stay safe at home -1, no bold
There are always solutions +1 no stubborn
Nature 0= sociopath
Nature 7= maniacal fixation

Andromedan Nature: Emotional, Quiet, Psionics
Andromedan Physiology: Cobalt based Hemoglobin (blue), dog sized
Andromedan Racial Trait: Compassionate, Innocent, Quiet, or Psionicist
Andromedan stats: -1 Will and -1 health (min still 2)
Nature 3+
Want to be part of the group: +1, no leader
Like to be the center of attention: -1, no quiet trait
Prefer things to people: -1, no compassionate
Hate to be alone +1, no loner
Throws tantrums when things don’t go your way: +1, no calm nor quiet.

Tauran Nature: Logic, Duty, sleeplessness
Tauran Physiology: Copper based Hemoglobin (Green), human sized
Tauran Racial Trait: Rational, Calm or inquisitive; always also strong
Nature: 3+
Read it, not try it: +1, no inquisitive
Test it before doing it: +1, no bold
Never show emotion: +1, no compassionate
Sense of Humor: -1, no rational
Do only what you’re told: -1, no inquisitive
No sense of duty: -1, no Guard’s Honor.

Rigelian Nature: Personal Combat, Fearlessness, intimidation
Rigelian Physiology: Iron based Hemoglobin (Red), human sized
Rigelian Racial Trait: Jaded, Fiery, Deep Ears, or Fearless; always calm
Rigelian stats: -1 Will, +1 Health (min 2, max 6 in CG, max 8 Hlt in play)
Nature: 2+
Like to break things: +1, no calm
Like to creatively interpret orders: +1, no Guard’s Honor
Like to carry big guns: +1
“Armor? We don’t need no stinking armor!”: +1, no cautious
Like people outside your kin: -1, no jaded
Have ever been truly afraid: no calm, fearless, nor fiery, -1

Ensign: ages 17-25
Lieutenant: Ages 21-35
Commander: ages 25-40
Captain: ages 30-50
Commodore: ages 40+

Step 0: Concept - get group approval.
Step 1: pick race; take 1 trait (2 for Rigelians and Taurans
Step 2: Homeworld - pick 2 “normal” skills and one trait (list to be developed later
Step 3: Academy - Pick 4 different choices from:Administration
Athletics, E-suit, Fighting, Life Sciences, Militarist, Orate, Persuade, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences

Step 4: Pick a field, and take 4 skills for it once each:Ops: Astrogation, Gunnery, Helm, Shuttles
Technical: Computer, Communications, Sensors, Drives, Teleporter
Sciences: Life Science, Medical Science, Physical Science, Social Science, research.
Marine: Fighting, Demolitions, Survival, Scout
Support Services: Administration, Research, cook, laborer
Psionic Services: Mindspeak, Truth-tell, Life-check, Command, Hibernate, Inconspicuous, Loremouse, Mind-sift

Step 5: determine how you interact with others. Pick 2 different ones:
Haggle, Persuade, Orate, Deceive, Research, Mindspeak.
Step 6: specialty- take +1 in one skill in your field.
Step 7a: field experience: Ensign 0, Lieutenant 2, Commander 4, Captain+ 5; skills are chosen from academy and field skills. Each skill may only be marked once for lieutenants, twice for others.
Step 7b: Ensigns get two skills not available from academy or any fields listed; Lieutenants get 1
Step 7c: Captains get 1, Commodores get 2, and admirals 3, in choice of: Militarist, Administration, Haggle or Oration.
Step 8: Wises - Ens 1, Lieutenants, Commanders 2, Captains and up 3
Step 9: Traits: pick one

Changed skills:
Scientist is divided up. If taken, all Ob’s +2
Psionic Skills are based off of Psi. Without help or the psionicist trait, they can’t be tried unskilled. Loremouse becomes a psionic skill.
Healer becomes Medical Science. Andromedans (only) may use nature as a base for beginner’s luck tests; others must have the Psionic trait to try beginner’s luck. (Level 3 gets to use it as 1d for beginner’s luck purposes as if it were level 2.).

New skills:
Athletics: Health. see climb and escape under mouse nature.
Computer: Will based. Ob is number of yes/no questions to be answered or NVOPOp instructions. Computers are skill 1 for all actions outside their nature (Reiterate known facts, correlate data, simulate based upon known data)
Sensor: Will based. Ob is number of yes/no questions to be answered by the GM, modified by range
Communications: Will Handheld Range: Nearby, Visual, out of sight, Orbit, In System, Deep system
Life Science: Will. Scientist, but only about living things that are not “People”
Social Science: Will. Science about how “People” act.
Physical Science: Will. Science about stuff.
Teleporter: Will. Operating the Teleporter device; it creates a hyperspace rift that swaps the stuff at the pad and the stuff at destination. Only works from orbit, and only in LOS from the ship’s emitters or between two ships. Range:Ship-to-ship, Ship-to-surface-teleporter, ship-to-open surface
Trouble: Ship damaged, rough target terrain, moving target, energy storm
commo: No open commo, no comm unit
Helm: Will. executing ship maneuvers. Ob is usually opposing helm. Executing a normal course is Ob1, a complex one Ob3, etc.
Shuttles: Health. Same uses as helm, but for small space vehicles
Astrogation: Will. Ob: orbit change, in system plot, landing, nearby system, long system high speed course.
Gunnery: Health. used to fire torpedoes and lasers mounted on ships.
Demolitions: Will. USed to blow stuff up. Ob by GM Fiat.
E-Suit: Health. Ability to use an encounter suit. Putting one on is Ob1, Ob2 if in a hurry. Maximizing LS pack, Heating/cooling is resisted by the encountered environment.
Mindspeak: Psionic. Used to talk without talking. Unwilling targets may roll will to raise the ob. Willing Targets: Touch, Close, LOS, Through a close wall, within a few dozen yards/meters. Note that mindspeak is one-way. Tool die is for having mindspoke with the individual before.
Truth-tell: Psionic. Resisted by target’s will. If target wins, target gets MoS lies believed. If Truthteller wins, MoS is number of omissions/half truths noted in addition to all lies.
Life-check. Psionic. Finds life forms of a specific type (Ob2) or species (Ob3) nearby, or within a few dozen meters (+1 Ob) or beyond a barrier (+1 Ob). Can be used to tell the health of a being (Ob3) or life of a being (Ob1) at touch (+0), LOS (+1), to a few dozen meters (+2), or even behind a barrier (+1).
Command: Psionic. Ob is number of words, and range: Touch, Close, LOS, No LOS but close
Hibernate: Psionic. Time: Hour, Shift, Day, 2-3 days, week, two weeks, month. Health Rolls vs coditions gain bonus of 1d for a day, 2d for a week or more
Inconspicuous: Psionic. Used to resist skills that would reveal the character.
Mind-sift: Psionic Ob is number of yes/no questions to be truthfully answered, or twice number of short answer questions, plus target’s will successes. Range is touch only. If target is sedated, unconscious, or asleep, that counts as a tool die.

New Trait: Psionic: the character is powerfully psionic. It can be used to manifest or resist psionic actions of others… but it also leaves one distracted by strong emotions of others, residual emanations from places of mass suffering, and noting the unrequited lust of one’s fellow crew.

Weather can be anything appropriate. Most planets have seasons, so pick one. Space weather (Ion Storms, meteor showers) is usually factor 6 weather.
Wilderness can be used for dirtside missions.
Space wilderness includes vacuum (7d), radiation(6d), etc. Get campy… ala STTOS, STTAS, Lost in Space, Space 1999, etc.

Since we don’t have normal seasons, use 6-12 missions. Promotions are handled at starbase at end of year, and one gets a month of shore leave, too, while the ship undergoes annual maintenance.

Weapons: Laser pistols add 1d to attacks, and 1d to maneuver.
Laser Rifles add 2d to attacks, and 1d to maneuver, but if used for more than one action, require an ob2 heath check to avoid being tired after conflict.

Holy cow.

Ships! Ships! Ships!

And those weapons are kind of weak. They’re both simply too good!

It’s going to require an additional rule to handle those… that will be part 3. Ships are part 2…

Part 2: Ships

A ship is not quite a character, but more than just a tool.

Ships have Shields, Lasers, Torpedoes, Teleporters, Shuttles, Stores, Sickbay, and Quarters, plus a hull. And of course, they have their crew. Each is treated as a tapable rating. They may also have traits. Each Quarters hit is space for 5 crew.

A Frigate is commanded by a lieutenant.
Shields: [][]
Lasers: [][]
Torpedo Launcher []
Torpedoes: [
Teleporters: []
Sickbay: [
Shuttles: []
Quarters [
Stores: []
Hull: [

A Destroyer is commanded by a Commander.
Shields: [][][]
Lasers: [
Torpedo Launcher [][]
Torpedoes: [][][][][][][][][][]
Teleporters: [][]
Sickbay: [][]
Shuttles: [][]
Quarters [] []
Stores: []
Hull: [

A Cruiser is commanded by a Captain.
Shields: [][][][]
Lasers: [][][][]
Torpedo Launcher [][][]
Torpedoes: [
Teleporters: [][][]
Sickbay: [
Shuttles: [][][]
Quarters [
] [][]
Stores: []
Hull: [

A Dreadnought is commanded by a Commodore.
Shields: [][][][][]
Lasers: [
Torpedo Launcher [
Torpedoes: [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
Teleporters: [
Sickbay: [
Shuttles: [
Quarters [
] [][][]
Stores: [
Hull: [

Class 1 Freighter
A Class 1 Freighter is commanded by an Ensign.
Shields: []
Lasers: [
Teleporters: []
Sickbay: [
Shuttles: []
Quarters [
Stores: [] [][][][]
Hull: [
(Class +1 is +1 rank: +1 Shield, +3 stores, +1 Hull; per +2 class, +1 Teleporter, +1 shuttle and +1 quarters)

Class 1 Liner
A Class 1 Liner is commanded by an Ensign.
Shields: []
Lasers: [
Teleporters: []
Sickbay: [
Shuttles: []
Quarters [
Passenger Quarters [][]
Stores: [] [][]
Hull: [
(Class +1 is +1 rank: +1 Shield, +2 stores, +1 Hull, +1 passenger quarters; per +2 class, +1 Teleporter, +1 shuttle and +1 crew quarters)

Zangid Ships: Remove Torpedoes. Increase lasers by 1, quarters by 1, and teleporters by 1, reduce hull by 1.

All non-player crewmen are considered Enlisted personell. As they are circled, they are defined by race, division, and specialty. No more NPC crew may be carried than the quarters permit. Circles: Ob1 crewman is skill 2 in field, skill 3 in specialty. Ob3 PO is Skill 4 in field, skill 3 in one other department skill, and skill 2 in the rest of the department. Ob 5 Chief PO is Skill 5, with one skill 4 and 2 skill 3. If he’s not the same species as the circler: +1 Ob. If he’s not Nature 3, +1 ob for ±1. If he’s loyal, +1 Ob.
Crew always form 4 person teams. Each player may plot one NPC team in addition to his own when relevant. Generally, they are only Healthy, Injured and/or sick.

Ship Conflict:
Ship conflict is handled with some additions to the normal process
Attack: Gunnery, plus lasers
Feint: Militarist, Communications, or Sensor, as described.
Defend: Helm or Orate or Drives
Maneuver: Helm or Drives

Notes on Maneuver
“Torpedo Range”: getting into torpedo range costs 2s from a maneuver. It allows an action using torpedoes (attack or feint) next round.
Drives based maneuvers represent simple flat out chase type action, with the engineer ramping the drives over redline; Helm based maneuvers represent outflying one’s opponenent.
Disarming: Disarming can be used to pick a particular system hit. It doesn’t take out all of a given type of weapon, just allows damaging a single system. If you don’t have any weapons left, explain how you did it with something else… Hull can’t be “disarmed” unless everything else is gone. It can also be used to block systems not on the damage track: Commo, sensors, computers. In these cases, those must be repaired to be used again.
“Get Behind him!” 3s: He gets no lasers next action.

Notes on Defend
Defend based upon drives allows juryrigging damaged systems to bring them back on line, reinforcing shields, and the like; successes over opponent’s (if Vs) are used to repair battle damage, 1s for one system, 3s for two system hits, etc. Note that fired torpedoes can’t be repaired.
Other forms of defend don’t repair systems; the MoS is used to raise disposition

Notes on Attack
You usually get to add lasers to your attack roll, and if your previous action was a maneuver that put you in torpedo range. But your opponent always gets to resist with shields if they have any. For each 3 disposition lost in a single action, 1 system is damaged. If torpedoes were used, for each torpedo used, 1s may be turned into 1 damage instead of -1 dispo. Militarist, sensor, and helm are suitable helpers.

Notes on feint.
Commo feints and sensor feints represent spoofing as a means of getting them in close. Militarist feints are use of dirty tactical tricks. In any case, it’s lure them in and blast them up close. Gunnery or helm helps, but can’t be primary. Shields do not help against feints, but feints don’t damage systems as well. 1 damage per 4 disposition lost.

Damage: Damage done by attacks and feints is marked by the victim by their choice. If you take more than one damage, one must drop a shield. Damage by Disarms can not hit hull.
Hull may only be hit once shields are gone, unless everything else is, too.
if all hull is gone, BOOM!

Note that the use of damage is entirely optional; it’s some extra bookkeeping, but it’s got story hook all over it. Damage not repaired in conflict requires checks to be “healed”; 1 per system, and an Ob3 check appropriate to the system.

Warp Away: If you decide to run from combat, you will be demoted when the Admiral finds out. But heck, you’ll stay alive… Unless, of course, you were outgunned 2:1 or have taken hull damage. If you want to warp away, declare it at the end of any turn (not action). Make opposed helm rolls. If failed, mark a hull. Cowards never prosper.

Quarters hits: Each hit is rooms for 5 people. If you have more people than rooms, the excess will be injured or killed. remaining quarters hits x5 is number of uninjured people; remaining (Quarters+Hull)x5 is number of unkilled people. NPC’s die first, and then PC’s take injuries first. If you haven’t defined that many yet, no problem…

Circling up ships: A ship’s skipper may circle up another ship… A Freighter is Ob=(Class+1). A Frigate is Ob3, destroyer Ob4, Cruiser Ob5, and Dreadnought Ob6. The option for a simple failure should be available here… Or it could be Zangid.

Ship traits: all PC ships may start with one trait at level 1. It may be used by any member of the crew while aboard. It’s checks may be used by whomever the captain permits. If you change ships, you lose all the traits.

Zangid Nature is Scheming, Warfare, Honor. Zangids are generated just like SFS personnel, but may not take sciences department nor psionics department. Their default attitude is hostile to SFS personell. Zangid just don’t do psionics; it’s dishonorable.

Part 3: nerfing the weapons.

  1. remember, the zangids guns are just as good.
  2. it only requires 1s, not three, to disarm them… 1s per laser-weapon disarmed (battery dead, knocked from hand, etc)

The SFS Code:
I am an SFS Officer. I will not kill unless there is no other option. I will not flee. I will protect the innocent, and pursue the guilty. I will not fire first, but I will fire last. I will not corrupt aboriginals. I will work for the good of the Space Fleet Service, and the Confederation it protects.

I love the code, dude.

Now compare it to the NPC circle diffs…

This is fantastic! I’ve grabbed much of it for my Traveller conversion.

I have a couple of questions though.

In Starship combat how do you calculate Disposition? Hull + Hull roll instead of Nature + Nature roll?
Are there other factors?

Regarding the Torpedo Launcher. Under the Defend rules, you mention that “fired torpedoes can’t be repaired”. Are Torps counted? If so, how? Is it your Launcher rating? Ie, if you have a Torpedo Launcher 3 - do you only get 3 torpedoes? Or is that purely for damage purposes (granted, looking at the Torp ratings, if you hit, you probably only need one!)

You mention in the Warp Away rule that it’s Helm v Helm and if you fail, you take damage to a system. Do you still Warp Away or is it a total fail including damage?


Whomever has the Conn should roll Militarist and add Will for ship combat disposition. THe ship doesn’t decide to stay, the Conn does.

Torpedoes are a limited resource; our maximum in a round is the number of launchers. Maximum between starbases is the listed number of torpedoes. So a destroyer at torpedo range can convert 1s to 1 damage for 1 torpedo, or 2s to 2 damage for 2 torpedoes, but can’t convert 3s in one attack.

failed warp away: Minimum effect is 1 hull damage; further is at the discretion of the GM; If the aliens are not warp capable, it should be a clean break. GM decides if it’s a clean break, or break with complication. If you aren’t going to get demoted over it, some other complication should occur, possibly including another round.

Cool, thanks for the reply.

Am I understanding right that each [_] is a die? If firing lasers from a Destroyer you add 3 dice to your gunnery for lasers?
If so, when you make a torpedo attack from a Destroyer, you are literally rolling ten dice? Or is that simply the number of torps in the inventory? If the latter, what do you roll for Torpedo attacks/damage?


Cool, thanks for the reply.

Am I understanding right that each [_] is a die? If firing lasers from a Destroyer you add 3 dice to your gunnery for lasers?
If so, when you make a torpedo attack from a Destroyer, are you literally rolling ten dice? Or is that simply the number of torps in the inventory? If the latter, what do you roll for Torpedo attacks/damage?


The Torpedo line is ammo for the Torpedo Launchers.

Torpedoes don’t add dice, just allow coverting successes on the attack into damage to ship at 1:1, to a limit of the torpedo launchers left (or torpedoes left), instead of damaging disposition.

Some examples:
Gunnery 4, 3 lasers, destroyer: rolls 7D to attack. Defender is attacking as well, so only his shields count. (Shields always count if you add Lasers.) 6, 4, 3, 2, 1, 5, 6 (4s) vs 3, 3, 2 (0s).

  • If not at torpedo range, this does 1 damage, and reduces disposition by 4.
  • at torpedo range, it may do
    • 1 damage and 4 disposition
    • 2 damage and 3 disposition, spending 1 torp
    • 2 damage and 2 disposition, spending 2 torps (but why you would is beyond me)
    • 3 damage and 1 dispostion, spending 3 torps

Same ships, same situation, next volley, spending a fate to open.
5,6,5,4,6,6,6 +1,2,4,4 (9s) vs 1,2,4 (Shields 1s)
Either 8s, doing 2 damage and probably gaining the conflict intent, or if at torpedo range, 6 and 3 (spending 2s and two torps).

Now, if a Dreadonought got 9s, she can only convert 3s via torps, but she’s got 3 launchers, so she can do up to 5 damage that way.

Also a couple changes:
Torpedo range against a particular target lasts until either side maneuvers again, with a minimum of the next exchange even if the target maneuvers.
(That was my intent, but I failed the wordsmith roll, and wound up with MoF errors)

Converting attack successes to damage should be alowed at 2s=1dmg up to (number of lasers) times.

Killing an enemy ship should be worth the captain’s Orate roll in recovered disposition as a bonus.

Ship Combat intent may NOT include destruction of enemy ships, but may include destroying some cargo item or one ship’s system.

Awesome adaptation, man!!! but, did I miss something? What are the Zangids? Are the Zangids the only enemies of the SFS? What’s the universe like?

I guess a description of these, especially the Zangids is forthcoming, huh? Waaay cool!

Thanks again

Zangids: FGU’s method of avoiding the term Klingons. As developed in the games Starships and Spacemen and Star Explorer, they are close to TOS klingons, but not quite. Videni, who will get treated later when I turn this into a booklet, are kind of modeled after the Romulans.

Wow… this is really an adaptation! (dummy moi, I thought you made it all up):o

Failed my RPG/boardgame-wise!

Well, my only SF RPG was Star Frontiers, which sufficed at the time…:rolleyes:

Thanks for the clear-up