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Thread: A skill question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002

    A skill question

    Been running a Next Gen. game & one of my players was taking a runabout out to survey an anolomy. They asked which skill they needed to pilot the runabout,Starship Helm Operation or Shuttlecraft Pilot. I told him to use SP until I could get an answer.I know about the Small Ship Pilot skill in the Merchants book , but I don't use it.I'm kind of torren,I've read both discreptions & it kind of falls in a gray area.What do ya'll think.

  2. #2
    Stay with the shuttlecraft skill.

    "I'm not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity,
    but maybe we should just remove all the safety lables and let nature take it's course"

    "A Place For Everything & Nothing In It's Place"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    The choice is...

    1. Starship Helm Operations
    2. Shuttlecraft Pilot
    3. Small Vessel Piloting

    ...for driving one of those River-class runabouts?

    It really falls in the arena of gamemaster's choice, but a runabout is much more than a shuttlecraft: phasers, transporter, and warp drive (yes, we've seen warp capable shuttles, but something is different here)

    I don't use the "Small Vessel Piloting" skill even when running a merchant adventure...just too confusing to players. Although I've never run a 24th century-based game, I would op for Starship Helm Operation on this simply because DS9 era runabouts seem to be considered "little" starships rather than shuttles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    A Mi-go mine somewhere in the Rockies.
    Although the canon answer for FASA rules would be to use Small Vessel Pilot. However, since you do not use that skill, the next best skill would be Starship Helm Operations, as mentioned already, the Runabout is much more than a simple shuttlecraft.
    "For to win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." Sun Tzu - The Art of War

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Simple rule for determining if a runabout is a shuttlecraft - what does it say on the hull in the shows? It says "USS (Name)" and has a unique NCC number. Shuttlecraft bear the name and number of the ship or station they're assigned to. Further, on DS9, it was routine for the commander of a shuttlecraft to identify it as the "Starship USS (Name)." We have never seen runabouts on screen assigned to a ship, although in one instance we know they were ferried on one.

    Given all this on-screen evidence, it is quite clear that a runabout is a starship in its own right.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Thanks guys,I appreacate the answers.Was leaning toward Helm Ops,but a couple of my players had convincing reasons the other way.

  7. #7
    I'd go either/or
    St Helm Op
    Sm Vessel Piloting

    Whichever skill is greater. I would presume (mind you, it's just me) that Starfleet vessels would have universal control panels for their ships, regardless of size;an argument for the Helm Op skill. An independent trader or a another branch of Starfleet officer (like a security officer or something) may opt for the Sm Vessel Piloting, citing that the controls are there, just in different places. You may offer a +10 penalty maybe, if they choose to use that skill. I don't have the books here, but, you can argue either way. I tend to let the players have it their way if they can logically justify it. I like to keep the game rolling, and then figure out the logistics later and point it out for future reference.

  8. #8
    Funny to see these decades later the Small Vessel Pilot skill was never much used.

    An easy differentiation I have used is
    -5,000mt = Shuttle Pilot
    +5,001mt = ST Helm

    As to armed runabouts in particular, ST Weapons Op and Def Shield Tech cover firing and defense.

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