Does anyone have any ideas for the new California Class?

So I’m pretty new to Star Trek Adventures, just got my hands on a few of the books and never played, but I thought it would be fun to think about the newest ship to be revealed in the fleet, the California-class from Lower Decks. I realize the show is controversial around here, but if you like the show or not, it seems like we could try to come up with a space frame for the California Class.

I have a few ideas, but being that I’m a noob to the system I dunno if posting them here would be wise or not. Has anyone thought about it? Personally I think using the Nebula-class as a base, because the show-runners have shown that there are Operations-focused, Science-focused, and (I think) command focused versions of the California class. Only, unlike the nebula class, the California class cannot switch ‘upper pods.’

certainly some elements could be taken from it. but size wise it is probably closer to a Miranda or an Intrepid, so you may want to look at those as well.

i’d say it probably has access to the Expanded Shuttle bay trait, given the multiple large shuttlebays seen. though that might be a feature of the engineering configuration.

Well, here’s what I’ve come up with. Keep in mind that I’ve never played this game, so I’m not sure if this ship is even viable or if anyone would want to play on it. But given that the California Class seems to be pretty old (the Cerritos described as ‘falling apart’ in episode 5), that they don’t seem to be terribly prestigious vessels (the captain of the Vancouver seems to put it down when talking to captain Freeman) and that they don’t seem to be terribly sturdy vessels (in episode 4 both California class vessels get torn up pretty easily, and in episode 7 the Rubidoux gets destroyed pretty easily) I kinda did the best I could to represent that. Keep in mind this is as of episode 7. If it later turns out that the Cerritos has an EMH on board things might need to be shifted around.

Comms 08 Engines 08 Structure 07
Computers 10 Sensors 08 Weapons 09

Command - Security+1 Science-
Conn- Engineering- Medical-

Scale 4

-Phaser Banks
-Photon Torpedoes
-Tractor Beam (Strength 3)
(Shax hasn’t actually gotten to fire on anyone, but I assume these guys have both phasers and photon torpedoes. Probably not quantum torpedoes though.)

Extensive Shuttlebays

Special: Modular Design
The California class can be built with either command, operations, or sciences focuses in mind. This is typically denominated by red, yellow, or blue stripes above and below the primary hull. Unlike a Nebula-class starship, these subsystems are not modular, and cannot be swapped out. Thus a command-focused ship cannot become an operations-focused ship. When creating a ship, choose command, operations, or sciences, and add the appropriate abilities to the starship frame.

Command: The ship was built with VIP transport missions in mind. The ship gains +1 to Command and Conn, and gains the talents Diplomatic Suites, and Improved impulse Drive

Operations: The ship was built with extra isolinear cores which give it greater computer power. The ship gains +1 to Security and Engineering. The extra cores give it the Redundant Systems (Computers) talent. The additional isolinear cores also allow it calculate the most effective way to recharge shields (assuming all isolinear cores are plugged in and functioning) giving the ship the Improved Shield Recharge Talent.

Science: The ship has significant resources devoted to life sciences. It gains +1 to Sciences and medical, and it gains the Advanced Sickbay talent, as well as the Modular Laboratories Talent.

Looks like a good start to me, I had something similar in mind. I’d make it a Miranda.

Just apply the appropriate mission profile: Strategic and Diplomatic Operations for the Command version, Technical Test-Bed for the Engineering version, and Scientific and Survey Operations for the sciences version.

Keep in mind the whole point of having one base space-frame is to leverage efficiency in building the ships. So, each version won’t have significant structural differences or there would be no point.

Extensive Shuttlebays and Backup EPS conduits are available for each profile, make that the base ship as designed, then pick Diplomatic Suites for the Command version, Advanced Research Facilities for Science and High-Power Tractor Beam for Operations (not normally a choice but appropriate to the ship’s mission type)… that leaves you one Talent open to diversify specific ships.

So…Modular Design is not modular?

Lol, could have said that better. I wrote it up late at night. Probably should have named it ‘variant designs’ or something.

I think what he meant was that once the ship was built with the associated subsystems, it can not be changed. While the Nebula-class’s pod can be switched out at anytime.

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The problem was that I called the thing ‘modular design’ and then in the text I explained that it wasn’t modular. But yes you got the right of it.

It’s worth noting that a big shuttlebay does not mean a ship has to use the extensive shuttlebays talent. The Galaxy class has dozens of shuttles in its bays, but that’s not even a default talent for the space frame in the Core book. Unless Lower Decks shows the Cerritos launching a whole bunch of shuttles at once, I would swap the shuttlebays talent for something that fits the role of rugged smaller service ship.

IIRC, the number of shuttles you can launch is dependent on the size of the ship. The Galaxy class is 7, I think? While I pegged the California at four. But the California, according to what I have read, has two huge shuttle bays each capable of housing more than 3 shuttles, in addition to the repair bay we see in episode 8, so I gave it expanded shuttle bays. Certainly could do without them though, I was just being true to the show.

@Felderburg is right: Extensive Shuttlebays explicitly gives the ability to operate loads of shuttles at once, and you can get away without it if only 2 or 3 are in operation at the same time.

Shuttlebay 1 on the Galaxy is absolutely huge (about 60% of two of the largest decks in the primary hull), and can hold around 50 shuttlecraft…

I don’t have the books in front of me, but IIRC correctly a size 4 ship can launch 3 shuttles at a time, and the California, from what I’ve read, has two large shuttle bays each capable of holding way more than 3 shuttles, NOT counting the shuttle repair bay in ep. 8, so I put it in. But I’m new to the system, and you could certainly take it out without too much fuss. If we see later on that the California class has an EMH, you could swap shuttle bays for EMH no problem.

Because the rules explicitly note that the limit is on how many launch, not how many a ship can carry, I always assumed the small craft rules are there to make sure players don’t turn their ships into fighter carriers (and to be true to the show). Because how many times in a show have we seen a Starfleet vessel launch more than one shuttle at a time? Yes, there are some notable exceptions, but for the most part, the dozens of shuttles a ship has are not launched. And the way the game’s starship combat is set up really emphasizes ship vs. ship (as in the show) so it would be a bit much if an enemy suddenly had dozens of phaser firing shuttles to deal with (not to mention it being annoying for the GM :stuck_out_tongue:).

Yeah, even I (Disco-lover that I am) was a bit surprised when they did that in the DIS season 2 finale.

Perhaps they burned Momentum for that… :wink:

Having recently rewatched Discovery (I’m going back through in chronological order, so I’ve done Enterprise and Discovery, and just started TOS), I’d say that the large numbers of small craft are a combination of factors:

  • An experienced GM comfortable in applying Traits/Advantages/Complications liberally
  • The crews of both the Discovery and the Enterprise spending time refitting and preparing as many additional craft as possible (rather than just the standard complement of readied craft that the rules typically cover) - taking action (and creating Advantages) to allow more small craft than normal to be deployed.
  • Number One specifically noting that she’d requisitioned some extra experimental fighters and combat-ready shuttles for this mission, so the Enterprise specifically has additional small craft available.

With regards to Traits: while rules-as-written, they affect task difficulty and whether or not as task is possible, the latter part of that can be very flexible in the hands of a GM and group familiar with the workings of the game. In this regard, “allows you to perform a Task that isn’t normally possible” is limited license to bend or overrule a specific rule, or to apply a rule that wouldn’t normally apply, at the GM’s discretion.

I would be entirely happy, for example, to allow a group to ignore the normal limits on small craft deployed if the ship’s crew took time and effort to prepare additional small craft for operation, using an Advantage created as a note to say “I’m suspending this normal rule for the moment”. Landing all those craft back in the launch bay/recovery operations later might be more complex or take longer than normal, though…


May I ask how you are determining chronological order?

Very roughly, so far. Enterprise takes place from 2151-2155 (I skipped These Are The Voyages). The Cage is 2254. Discovery seasons 1 and 2 occur across 2257-2258. TOS is 2265-2269. Then the TOS movies (I-VI). Then TNG (2364-2370), Generations (2371), DS9 (2369-2375), First Contact (2373), Insurrection (2375), Voyager (2371-2378), Nemesis (2379), Lower Decks (2380-), Picard (2399-). There’ll be some hopping back and forth between TNG and DS9 as there are a few crossovers.

Then, my friend, let me share this with you:

Oh the joys of being able to watch Star trek and claim you are doing Research. :joy:

Just make sure you don’t breach the working time directive with all your overtime. :grin: