Nebula class, an oddity

So, the Nebula class in STA has saucer seperation, but to be frank, I think this is a bit odd, I just don’t see how it could physically happen. Thoughts and imput?

The docking procedure might be a bit more delicate than with the Galaxy class, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t work.

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After a quick google-search I discovered this image on deviantart:

I agree with @PiercedMonk, docking procedures would be more delicate than with the Galaxy Class. But in general, it should be physically possible.

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Just looking at the pic MisterX posts kinda proves my point it’d be an EXTREMELY tricky manuver, to the point where I can’t imagine any captain in his right mind ordering it.

Okay, there are two possibilities:
1.) You accept that a fictional object is able to function in some fictional way, or
2.) you don’t.
Either is completely fine.

In case 1.) there is a ruleset for this tricky manoeuvre you can use to represent the trickyness. If you deem it to easy compared to a Galaxy-Class, just add/modify the piloting-check (e.g. Daring/Conn or Control/Conn, depending on the situation) to add some spice.

In case 2.) just rule out the saucer separation of the Nebula stats and replace it with something you deem fit.

And, concerning the obvious third option: If you want to discuss fictional tech within a fictional environment, here we go: A ship with the saucer separation functionality probably has lots of sensors and cameras and fine-tuned thrusters as well as automation/assistance systems for the pilot. The manoeuvre itself might as well be a question of moving a huge object in with tolerances of only a few metres (or feet, if you prefer that measuring) but this is not unknown even today. Ever seen a lorry/truck with about 40t maximum parking? Or even ships, for that matter? And, think of it: Also with the Galaxy class, eventually docking the thing is a question not of metres but of millimetres (1 mm = about 0.04 inch) because the docking-clamps etc. have to literally fit hand in glove. If this kind of precision is manageable, I see no reason why the pilots in question should be afraid of a (exchangeable!) module some metres/feet away.

Saucer separation is nothing you do multiple times a day. It is used in emergency situations only.

And I see no reason the computer can’t handle separation and reintegration procedures. And who knows, maybe the mission module or whatever can be jettisoned before saucer separation.


Perhaps the mission pod slides backward out of the way? I don’t know, but you could always use a milestone to swap it out. I thought that was a bit strange too, but I find it more odd that the Nebula is a scale 5 ship despite dwarfing the scale 6 Sovereign class.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable. Even the Enterprise from TOS had the ability for emergency saucer separation, but it was a more permanent separation, requiring the use of micro-explosives to blow couplings and such.

Saucer separation actually doesn’t seem like that big a deal. They sweat it pretty hard in ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ because, according to Data, no one had ever tried to perform a separation while at warp before, but it goes pretty painlessly. Then, when it’s time to reattach, Picard tries to knock Riker down a few pegs by ordering him to perform the process without any automated assistance, but again, it’s smooth sailing even though the stress of being at the helm for the maneuver caused O’Brien to transfer to security, and then transporter chief.

Normally, the computer probably does all the heavy lifting with dedicated tractor beams, and depending on just how the Nebula’s secondary haul sockets into the saucer – maybe the saucer looks more like a cookie with a bite taken out of it – seems like it shouldn’t be much concern.

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Heh. I actually just started a new campaign and my players elected to play a Nebula. I think they wanted a ship that was as middle ground as it gets, and they seem interested in the modularity of this ship (as am I).

I too always found it odd that the saucer can separate … but given it used the exact same primary hull as the Galaxy, I guess that makes sense.

As for finickiness … well, we’re already on the verge of mastering AI driving in 2019. I figure that several centuries from now, even the worst auto-piloting systems can auto dock a saucer in the vacuum of space.

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