Klingon & Starfleet Awards

In this thread, I said that the Awards within the new Klingon Core Rules were a bit inconsistent. Here, I want to explain, why I think so. Also, I want to present a comparison-table so that the Klingon awards haf Federation names and vice versa. Starfleet awards derive from the Command Division supplement.

The Alternate Starfleet Reputation Sheet says on p. 2 that awards are designed to be fully compatible with the rules in the Command Division supplement. Some awards presented in the Klingon Core rules are new awards, mechanics wise. Thus, The awards in the Command Division supplement would need fitting Klingon Names while the new awards of the Klingon book need names apt for Starfleet.

  • Dahar Master – Great / Grand Cross of Starfleet
    This award is a high-powered version of Command Division’s Star Cross. The Dahar Master award is the exception to the rule that Glory/Acclaim cannot be banked. However, one must pay at least the rate of Glory/Acclaim that would be necessary to aquire the Star Cross. Thus, I would say the first ‘rate’ of Glory/Acclaim would result in acquiring the Star Cross (which, by the way, has lower requirements anyway) with the possibility of either simply upgrading to the Great Cross (only paying the difference in between the two awards to upgrade) or to aquire the Grand Cross separately. In the latter case, the Star Cross and Great Cross woud fuse to become the Grand Cross of Starfleet, making both benefits available simultaneously.
  • Order of the Bat’leth – Legion of Honor
    This award has only changed in name.
  • Order of Kahless – Christopher Pike Medal of Valor
    This award almost only changed in name, yet is a bit more expensive and the benefit is a bit more versatile in its applicability. One could either use the rules of one source to supplant the other, simply changing name. Or one could introduce two classes of the award, having a OoK/CPMoV Second and First class; the second class of both using the rules of the Command Division Supplement, the First class those of the Klingon Core Rules.
  • Order of Kri’stak – Starfleet Decoration of Gallantry
    This order was rephrased for clarity, otherwise, as far as I see, unchanged.
  • Cochrane Medal of Excellence – Citation of Excellence
    As a general rule, Klingon Scientists get no Respect. Some do. Regarding, however, the comparably low standing of scientists in the Klingon society, this should more be a citation than a medal.
  • Christopher Pike Medal of Valor – Order of Khaless
    (see above)
  • Grankite Order of Tactics – SuvwI’pu’ ‘ongbej Deghmo’‘e’
    I am a novice to the Klingon language, so you might want to refer this to e.g. the Klingon teacher from Germany (who helped in designing the book, yay! :smiley: ). What I want to say is “Medal of the very cunning warriors”. For lack of a better reference to a famous battle where some Klingon displayed great tactical prowess.
  • Karagite Order of Heroism – Order of the Three Turn Bridge’s Legacy
    At the Three Turn Bridge, Kahless fought an entire Army. Of course, a reference to the battle of Qam-Chee would also perfectly fit for naming this award.
  • Legion of Honor – Order of the Bat’leth
    (see above)
  • Palm Leaf of “X” Peace Mission – Medal of the Glorious “X” Campaign
  • Star Cross – Dahar Disciple
    See above for the special rules of this lower grade of the Dahar Master award. Can eventually upgrade to the Great Cross / Dahar Master award. If both benefits are available in parallel, both awards together would be called Dahar Grandmaster.
  • Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry – High Council Citation for Glorious Mettle
    Because Klingons are glorious and Metal. :metal: Qapla’
  • Starfleet Decoration of Gallantry – Order of Kri’stak
    (see above)
  • Starfleet Medal of Honor – Empire’s Medal of Valor
    Since ‘Honor’ is rather a set of concepts than a concise term in the Klingon culture, it should probably not be used in the names of decorations.
  • Starfleets Surgeon’s Decoration – Kos’Karii lolchu’be’ Deghmo’‘e’
    Again: I am a novice to the Klingon language. What I want it to say is “Medal of the bad Kos’Karii” (literally: Medal due to (being a) Kos’Karii not being in the right attitude). It’s probably utterly wrong.
    This is a very ambiguously named award. Kos’Karii are siren-like creatures that lure away the souls of dead Klingons who are ferried on the Barge of the Dead towards Gre’thor, Klingon Hell. While the soul, being in Gre’thor, would have an afterlife (although a miserable one), a sould captured by the Kos’Karii is simply consumed and, as far as I’m familiar with Klingon mythology, utterly destroyed.
    What seems like an insult can be, in the strange sense of Klingon humour, seen as a great compliment: The surgeon did all they could to save a Klingon’s life and, so to say, lured them away from their path to their afterlife – just like the Kos’Karii. However, as a ‘bad’ Kos’Karii, they did not destroy their patient, but enabled them to live to die (honourably!) another day. This award acknowledges this – while keeping a bit of a cautious distance to those who often seem to stand in between warriors and their honourable deaths.

What do you think? Do you have other fitting names for the awards?

I’d model the KDF awards system on Imperial Germany, so you have a small handful of prestigious awards issue’d by the central government, but many if not all of the great houses also have their own awards. Of course some great houses may focus on things that klingon society as a whole neglects, so while the KDF as a whole may not see a point to awarded a medal for warp engineering, such as the Cochrane medal of excellence, House K’tinga, just for example, may value it higher, to the point of having an award that is seen as the de facto highest reckongization for engineering excellence in the empire.

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Great idea! On that note: There’s the tradition of the Hanseatic Cities of Hamburg and Bremen (also today so-called city-states within the Federal Republic of Germany) has the tradition of “not accepting foreign honours and awards” (while seldom issuing awards themselves). So even when recommended or actually invited to an award ceremony, they would turn down the honour. I would love to see a Klingon House having a similar tradition of never accepting (or awarding) awards. Maybe this could come with a talent/trait making them immune to the effect of bragging with reputation (so one still would need to do a Presence + Command check instead of a Presence + Reputation check against them)?

By the way, also the Germany of today has only a few awards issued by the Federal Government, while nearly all Länder (federal states) issue own awards. The abovementioned tradition by the hanseatic cities of Hamburg and Bremen is still valued by some. For example, if asked, the city’s senate (= state level government) will generally advise against honouring citizens of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Neat idea, but I wouldn’t match awards one for one. Not every award from one nation will have an equivalent for another.

A government like the Federation and a service like Starfleet would most likely have more non-combat honors than combat ones since war is lower on the preferred outcome list than diplomatic results or scientific success.

With the emphasis on Glory and Honor, the Klingons will probably have far more degrees of awards for combat than they do for non-combat, be they Imperial or House awards.

Just as I’d guess that Vulcan probably has many science related distinctions and most likely no combat ones. And most likely regard any Federation/Starfleet combat related awards given to a Vulcan with a resigned disdain.

The idea of expanding and fleshing out awards is a great one. But I’d avoid trying to make everything the same except for the name. There should be cultural disconnects played up with PC confusion over why would anyone consider “X” an honor?

Well, the awards itself consist of three ‘ingredients’: A fancy name, an optional condition as prerequisite and a benefit, i.e. a mechanical effect. The first two are fluff while the latter is crunch.

There is no reason, why any player should be barred from having crunch if they like (and don’t overdo it). So, in my humble opinion, one definetly should map the existing crunch to aptly flavoured fluff. This can involve completely changing the award.

Take for example the ‘Palm Leaf of ‘X’ Peace Mission’. Its effect can be used by Klingons in situations where combat would be dishonourable and/or simply suicidal (Kahless said: The wind does not respect fools.). So the crunch is useful (though possibly not so much as for a Starfleet character) and it can (should) be mapped to be stylish in Klingon games. Of course, one would need something warlike and the benefit would, roleplay-wise not so much soft-talky but rather intimidating (“I killed a Jem’Hadar, armed to his razor-sharp teeth with nothing but my off-hand – do you really want to mess with me, petaQ?”), but the effect, in terms of game mechanics, would be the same.

Of course, one has not only to adapt the name but also the conditions. I did not go into detail since this would have involved publishing several pages of the Command Division book which is probably not what Modiphius would like around here. :wink:

The game mechanics may be expressing them in that manner for the rules, but some sense of reality are necessary to support one ability to reach the suspension of belief needed for play. Awards (Flag Letters, Commendations, Medals) serve purposes in the organizations that have them. So some nod to that helps the game, just making lists to have lists does not.

But hey, it is your mod.
I’ll just bow out and move along.

Taking the Vulcan history with the Andorians into account, I would like to contest this speculation. Vulcans have an attitude towards violence.

Anyway, I don’t understand your concern. I do see your point in not having everything the same except for the name. There, indeed, should be cultural discconects played up with PC confusion over why anyone would consider ‘X’ an honour. This is why I stressed that there is more than a name and an effect, but also conditions.

Take for example the Starfleet Surgeon’s Decoration. Indeed, why would Klingon honour medics? This is why I tied in Klingon lore. But still, medics? This is why I set a description making the award ambiguous (it could be detrimental and, by some Klingons, even seen as an insult) and changed, albeit vaguely to respect Modiphius’ copyright, the condition: In addition to the condition under the Command Division supplement, the character must prevent a dishonourable death. The only thing the two awards have in common is the mechanical benefit and parts(!) of their conditions. Yet the whole concept of the award was considerably changed, imo. Starfleet e.g. would ask ‘why a dishonourable death? why not any death?’.

If name and conditions are changed and only the mechanical effect is translated, in my opinion, it is a different award.

But I obviously miss some point. Your argument, please let me reiterate that, is valid and I very much agree. So, if I may, I would like to ask for a hint which award should be better adapted to fit Klingons. Thanks! :smiley:

I am not sure if I have had not missed it, however with Klingon award system it could be even more interesting going deeper into the roots of the historical orders, to their very start inb the late medieval times (e.g. Sigismunds Order of Dragon), where the Order was an organisation centered around set of rules and principles (e.g. the (in)famous Templars) or high figure promoting some principles (e.g. the above mentioned Order of Dragon or I believe this is the start of the Order of the Garter).

In other words in world of Klingon warriors the recongintion is actually an acceptance of the individual to the ranks of the Order, because he embodies the very principles the Order is built around. For instance imagine something like “Friends of Worf”, where one must really befriendf Worf to begin with (the high figure the award is centered around), but also to be able display the very “worfy” characteristics and promote them - like being able to follow the code of honour through together in combination with respect and cooperation with other cultures. (I know it is a cheesy sample, please be merciful, I am just trying to illustrate what I am trying to say :wink:) .

Of course this might effectivelly mean that in the longer timescale a lot of such Orders are limited (one can not befriend Worf before he was born or after he would die). On the other hand it might give some flexibility to actually game play / role play - every GM could tailor it towards their intepretation of the Klingon society as well as actual state of Campaing, and every player could use such Order as an determination or specificic Directive for their team (“noblesse oblige”).

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the bit about orders is actually a good one, even today many awards give membership in basicly a fancy club. and in one of the IKS Gorkon novels we actually see the Order of the Batleth used to effectively gather a force when politically going through normal channels would be difficult. I defaintly think that the KDF should be more “european” styled. then the UFPs American styling. Don’t worry aboput closing out any avenes for your players so long as NEW ONES open up. playing Klingon chars should have some distinct feels to it.