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Starship Construction Manual, Vol 1. For S&S-2E, (2020 Update)
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2020 17:20:23

This looks like it could be a useful addition to S&S, but there appear to be a number of editing and/or math problems with the design system. Full-size and 1/2 size H-pods are not described. Sick bays are also not described. I note that in the volume 2 manual, it is implied that starship sick bays include some number of cryo tubes, but this is not stated here. Also, the construction points (CP) needed to build the basic ships in the S&S book is much higher than what would be available under this system. The basic frigate in S&S would cost at least 68.5 CP, but would have a design budget of only 50 CP under this system. Something just doesn't add up.

Also, bookmarks in the pdf would be extremely helpful, as would an editable ship design sheet.

Edited: I felt I should add that the new systems and rules included look good and could add interesting twists to the game.

2nd Edit: I re-read the rules and realized that what I thought was a fundamental flaw in the system was actually just a misunderstanding on my part. Also, the system values have been updated since I bought it, so the math now works better: it's actually possible to build the basic ships with this sytem now. There's still several editing problems, however, and the whole DB/CP/PPB thing is not explained very clearly. I've upped my review since I think this will be useful and has some good ideas, but explanation needs some work.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Starship Construction Manual, Vol 1. For S&S-2E, (2020 Update)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the feedback in your review. We have just updated the stat blocks to be more compliant with the base model example ships found in the 2E rulebook. You will receive an update notice in your download que. As far as your concern about being able to fudge the system and just add as many hyperdrive pods as you can afford... this is a potential cheat but the rules system address this issue with the warning that all systems must be balanced in order to work correctly. For example if you add too many hyperdrive pods you will not have enough points for living quarters resulting in not enough crew to operate the ship, or weapons to defend it. Hope this is helpful and thanks for your input. Thanks again for supporting our products.
Thanks again for the review, we really appreciate the feedback and with volume 3 in development I will keep your concerns in mind and implement what I can to try to make it easier to understand. Basically, the anticipated amount of PPB that your design can produce determines how much it will cost which is your Design Budget (DP). You have to stay under your design budget when selecting the components that will go into your custom ship. The CP value is the individual cost of everything that you will be purchasing to go into your ship. In the end the total CP for everything that goes into the ship has to meet or be under your design budget. There are additional bonuses in the system that can raise your adjusted PPB giving you more CP value to your budget so you can add a few extra luxuries or Wishlist items into your design. If this were a car it would be like saying, if I put this fuel efficient V4 engine in here then I wont be able able to attach a tow package because the engine is too small to tow with. Everything is dependent on what kind of energy (PPB) your engine can produce. I retested the stat blocks and all of the ship classes work but the Frigate is the tightest fit to match the 2nd ED rulebook if you want to include a tractor beam on it. The original stat block in the game does not include the tractor beam in any of the ship stat blocks so it might be presumed it is optional or comes standard on all starships. We included a CP price tag on it for those who are building a new class of ship from the ground up. You can always ignore this line item, presuming it is standard equipment such as doors, elevators, etc. However, if you do wish to include it as line item you can always use one of the Budget bonuses such as Benefit of Rank or Starship Age to boost the budget to include the tractor beam emitter too. We also included the tractor beam as separate line item so that you can purchase more than one which while expensive in terms of energy use would allow you to target more than one item at a time with separate beam emitters. Hope this helps and again thanks for the feedback in your review.
Pathfinder Technical Manual - For Starships & Spacemen 2E
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2018 11:03:55

A nice Frigate sized ship for Starships & Spacemen 2E. Visually it fits in well with the "pseudo-Trek" aesthetic of S&S, with the obligatory saucer hull + nacelles configuration. It's noticeably more squat looking though than most Not-Trek ships.

The deck plans supplied as PNGs are black & white, bare wall outlines, which was a little disappointing, but the main PDFcontained full-colour deckplans populated with furniture, which are easily extracted. The plan style is colourful and functional, (think classic Star Frontiers deck plans) rather than photo-realistic. This ship was clearly built with Luminious's Starship Construction Manual in mind, as it describes systems from that and lists the crew complement for the "cinematic" (i.e. realistic) crew level (which in the SCM is 10x the traditional S&S crew), and the floorplans reflect this number. There are three variants listed, which if the in-service dates translated to Trek-eras would roughly equate to one TOS-era, one movie-era refit and one late-movie-era refit. The ship stat block lists the baseline S&S ship stats, description of non-standard equipment (like the Mk-III's extensive automation) is left to the fluff text description. I can see why LD did this (to make it accessible to people who don't have the SCM) but it would have been nice to see the full SCM design spelled out (though it's easy enough to reverse-engineer).

Major gripes? I really don't like the layout of the command deck, which wastes an awful lot of space in the interest of symmetry. The bulk of the space on this deck is taken up by two corridors running around the outside of the saucer from the turbolift at the back to the bridge at the front. The only access to the bridge itself being through one of two very tiny conference rooms that flank it on either side. I'd want to modify this to make better use of space, make the bridge more defensible (only one entrance) and make the conference room a usable size, big enough at least for a table that all the command crew could sit around.

As for how usable this is outside of the not-Trek S&S2E game? Well the nacelles that give the ship the essential "Trek-ness" aren't on the deckplans, so this works fine as a generic sci-fi saucer-shaped ship. It would work fine as a small scout-ship for Star Trek Adventures (although you'll need to come up with your own ship stats), just don't expect the level of art you get in deckplan products from the likes of 0-hr or Heroic Maps.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pathfinder Technical Manual - For Starships & Spacemen 2E
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Creator Reply:
Hi Chris, Thank you very much for this great review. We are very happy to see thorough reviews like yours because they help us decide directions for future products. Did you see that the full color PNG files for the Deck Plans were included in the download file? If not please let me know because I did upload those and they should have been accessible to customers purchasing this product. Thanks for your feed back on the Mark-III write up, I try not to over detail the descriptions to leave a little room for the customer to interpret the material to fit into their own game style. The Hyperdrive field generators (nacelles) were not included in the maps because they are not crew accessible other than the service tube in the crows nest. A large portion of Deck #1 is occupied by computer core and the machinery/technology access surrounding it. It is pretty compact on Deck #1 and Deck #5. It certainly is not TNG Enterprise D big in there and again I tried to remain just enough off-brand as to remain generic. Thanks again for the feedback it is appreciated and valuable. Please let me know if those full color maps are present so I can address the site if they are not.
Ashdown: 100 Worlds For Starships & Spacemen 2E
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2018 11:38:28

Honestly I found myself very very disappointed with this product, but to be fair it is exactly what the description says - one hundred planets, divided between 16 star systems. The only information you get about each world is the name, planet type and the type of the star it orbits. No descriptions or useful information beyond that. One of the star systems is our solar system, which accounts for 11 of the 100 worlds. Yes, not only does this include the semi-mythical Nibiru, but also still recognises Pluto as a planet (raises fist in unity with my Plutonian brothers - we will rise again from the tyrranny of deGrasse-Tyson!) There are other problems with some of the "real" star systems too.

On the plus side, the presentation and layout is very nice, very slick looking. Artwork is mainly generic CGI space art, nothing obviously specific to the worlds described but nicely done. The overall design is polished and it's an attractive looking product. I wouldn't be averse to looking at future products by this creator on that basis alone. But the bottom line is I feel there just isn't enough content here to justify the price. Sorry guys, but this sort of product relies on giving the gamesmaster something evocative and inspirational, which just telling us Viden Prime is a class H planet just doesn't do. Give us a line or two of blurb about each world (or at the very least each system) and tell us what makes it special.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ashdown: 100 Worlds For Starships & Spacemen 2E
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Creator Reply:
Greetings Chris J, Thank you very much for your purchase and interest in my product. I appreciate your honest feedback and both your kind words as well as the constructive criticisms.
An updated version of the product will be available in the near future which should address some of the concerns you had on this initial release. Since you have already purchased the product you should receive a notice and be able to download the updated files.
Updated and Expanded version now available with more specific content.
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