Picking up the Veteran Talent?

Fairly simple question, would it be possible via spending Arc milestones to pick up the Veteran talent? Provided of course that the character had a believable rank to be reckoned a veteran (i.e. Lieutenant Commander)?

It would be possible, provided the character is sufficiently experienced at that point (determined by the GM, in discussion with the player) - they should have decades of experience, and have that assured wisdom that we see in characters like Picard, O’Brien, and Tuvok (who are kind of my definitive examples of Veteran characters, who I based the Talent’s design upon - Wesley, Bashir, and Kim are their counterparts for Untapped Potential).


That definitely makes sense to me :slight_smile: it wouldn’t be right for a relatively fresh Lieutenant (say Nog when he gets promoted to that rank at the end of DS9) to gain Veteran status!

This. Totally. Especially O’Brian. I mean yes, Picard is clearly a Vetran too, but that’s not really the ‘air’ that he projects. It fits. It’d work, but Picard is kinda the ultimate CO, and is Brainy an stuff (If you re-watch some of the earlier seasons he was kinda dickish. lol) but in the end he’s the Captain we all want.

O’Brian was the guy that’s been in the service, on the ground (So to speak) —WORKING— and fighting, hand to hand if need be, and is just… a dude. He gets along. he’s got a wife who naggs him, but whom he loves. A family the works. he’s the well seasoned -veteran-. He’s not an effite scientist that happens to be in charge. He’s the one up to his hips in a machine to fix the replicators on a 60 year old mining station/converted interment camp, to FEED people. He’s the one going out of his way to MAKE his wife a School so she’ll have a ‘reason to be’ on the station. he’s the one that was covered in blood and tortured defending the federation and yet didn’t lose his humanity.

That dude’s earned it.

1 Like

I highly disagree. I mean he isn’t the cynical, grizzled veteran that Miles is, but it definitely shows in the way he carries himself.

I don’t see that from Picard. That he’s a ‘fighter’ or has put in years on the front lines. You see a tiny smidge of it when the Borg are taking the Enterprise but even then it sort of skips “Veteran persona” into “PTSD” and he has his hissy and breaks the little ships.

Picard strikes me more as the Professor who happens to also be a Captain. Started as a Science officer and worked up and all. He just doesn’t hit that… Persona at a glance.

I mean clearly he has experience. He’s old and has been in starfleet forever. But his experiences don’t strike me as the sort that would make you instantly ‘go there’ in the mind.

Aside from his accomplishments as a diplomat, a scientist, and an academic, Picard is a decorated combat officer who had been commanding starships for 32 years before he was given the Enterprise-D (this alone means he probably saw action in the Cardassian war). His most notable other vessel, the Stargazer, he commanded from the age of 27, when the Captain was killed and the XO incapacitated in battle - a young Lieutenant Commander, rewarded for his decisiveness and gallantry in battle. He invented an entire battle tactic and was decorated for it.

Picard, by the time he’s commanding the Enterprise, is a seasoned, distinguished, and respected officer and leader, who’s spent longer in the Captain’s chair than Kirk ever did. He’s decisive but not hasty, and he’s wise and calm under pressure. He’s the only human to be picked as Arbiter of Succession to a Klingon chancellor.

Of course he’s a Veteran, even before I dispute the notion that veterancy should inherently mean being a grizzled war veteran rather than just being a term for someone experienced.

I know he’s had a lot of experience. I even said that. That said the ‘experience’ we know of him from the Cardassian wars was him lowering his Shields and almost losing his ship due to it when the other ship opened fire and he had to flee.

Then losing Jack Crusher on an away mission.

Then in the battle of Maxia, with the Ferengi he did in a pinch, pull off what became known as the Picard Manuver. Which was well and good, but his ship was so damaged that they all had to abandon ship, and he was Court Martialed for it.

The tactic was then later countered by a member of his own crew.

I fully agree he’s seasoned, distinguished and respected, a leader.

When Picard took command of the Enterprise he had what a year on Kirk? So while you’re technically correct it wasn’t like he superseded him by all that much -at that point-. he did get another 15 years after that point though. (In kirks defense he did end up in another reality for 75 years)

Most of Picards accolades (Prior to the ‘show’) were scientific/archeological.

So yes. It sort of comes down to what you mean by Veteran. When I hear the phrase, while i might not always go “Grizzled war veteran” I don’t often think “Distinguished archeologist”. By the end of TNG/Movies era he would be one.

to me though when someone mentions Picard I don’t instantly jump a mental bridge to ‘Veteran’. I think “Distinguished diplomat” “First contact specialist” “Archeologist” “Scientist” “Stern leader” Etc.

With O’Brian, I go “Veteran of the Cardassian wars”

So I stick by my original statement. While Picard "Is’ A veteran (As I stated to start) that’s not the ‘air’ that he projects.

I think it should definitely not inherently mean a grizzled war veteran, but rather exclusively refer to someone with lots of experience, whatever that experience may be.

Thing is, Starfleet is a military organization. While part of their primary mandate is/was exploration they are still a military. Tasked with defending the Federation, under strength of arms. Their science vessels are armed with high powered phasers and photon torpedoes. They are commanded by -officers- that have gone through the Academy. (Not “University”) The rest of the crew are “Enlisted” They all have Rank. When they break rules, or make big mistakes they are given Courts Martial. Not ‘Fired’ or taken to civil court. To be qualified to serve as a member of the bridge crew you have to pass a test sending someone to certain death in combat, knowing they will die to save the ship, and or others.

The --Setting-- as we play it are on (Space) Naval Vessels, commanded by Commissioned Officers in a organization, tasked with defending 150+ Planets and vast stretches of space.

The organization, Starfleet, has gone to -war-, time and again in the setting.

To imply that ‘veteran’ some how -not- being used in a military sense, in that setting, is… ignoring the primary setting for the game and the IP.
By saying that it’s a “notion that veterancy should inherently mean being a grizzled war veteran rather than just being a term for someone experienced” when all the char’s are… MILITARY trained members of a Space Navy is a bit strange to me. When people say “it should definitely not inherently mean a grizzled war veteran” but rather exclusively refer to someone with lots of experience, what ever that experience may be" also is… ignoring the setting and the fact that every character made is a member of the military, and the setting is based around that military.

You’re literally saying that the primary definition of the word, used, pertaining to people of long service and experience IN the military some how should NOT be the way the word is used, when speaking of characters —in the military— and instead should exclusively mean a secondary definition, and ignore the people… -are- in the military.

Now clearly, you can play how ever you want, but the implications pointed out above are silly on the face of them.

If this was a game set in the back allies of New York, or the Jungles of a Fantasy setting with dragons flying over head… it might have more of a spot. If you’re playing Vampires in the halls of power, or Smugglers avoiding imperial blockades, “Veteran” Could default to meaning “Just someone with loads of experience” and not be attributed to it being military experience.

The game we’re talking about here though, is based in the military with the char’s all being members of that military (Or different militaries ) (If not all, the vast vast vast majority) I’m not even sure there are full out rules to create civilians.

Again. One can use it for people of simple great experience. I’m not saying that’s ‘wrong’. I’m saying that in -this- game. In -this- setting, Where all the char’s -are- military char’s serving on starships armed with weapons that can scour a planet from orbit (Or space stations etc) in said Military, acting like using the term Veteran, in a military context is some how not the default, seems to be ignoring the setting completely.

To go further and imply that it ‘exclusively’ should ignore the setting and refer to something else seems strange to me.

Veteran, in its purest sense, just denotes someone with a huge amount experience in their given field. War veteran is certainly the most common use for the term, but you can also have it applied to a doctor, a scientist, a politician. You can legitimately label a Car Salesman a Veteran in his or her field if they’ve been at it long enough.

This is the meaning of Veteran that Modiphius use when applying this talent. After all, the benefits aren’t combat based, which they surely would be if they meant war veteran. It’s simply a measure of experience.

To comment on your setting argument- Starfleet isn’t a military organisation. It’s psudo-military (follows a military style structure) primarily made up of scientists and engineers. The tactical division is just one small part of the larger organisation, which makes use of the other divisions in war time.

Whether or not Starfleet is a military is a matter of massive debate, both in- and out-of-character, and one that has never been definitively answered, in part because it’s valuable for dramatic purposes. Simply having officers and a system of military rank doesn’t necessarily make it a military - there are police forces the world over that use those same rank systems, and the US Coast Guard is organised in much the same way as the US Navy. Roddenberry based Starfleet as much on NASA as on any military, because a major part of Starfleet’s remit is discovery and exploration.

The easy compromise is that Starfleet is paramilitary - it has a military organisation and culture, and some military functions, but it isn’t strictly or purely a military force.

You can’t state “Starfleet is a military organisation” and not expect pushback from other Star Trek fans. For a start, it’s far from uncommon for people to join Starfleet as explorers and scientists first and foremost - the most recent example of this on screen is Paul Stamets in Discovery, who protests the way his research is being used in wartime, but the clash between Starfleet’s various facets was an ongoing tension in DS9’s Dominion War arc, and in the Xindi arc of Enterprise.

And, as I wrote the text for this talent, and the rules chapters in general, I can say with full confidence, that I was using the broader definition of “experienced person” rather than the narrower, more militaristic definition.

1 Like

I too disagree with Veteran = Combat experienced Starfleet Officer.

As a Member of Starfleet you can get in so many hazardous Situations that it is not nessesary to experience Combat to become a Veteran Officer.
But I have to admit, it is nearly impossible for a Star Fleet Officer to avoid Combat.

You obviously read into my post a great many things that weren’t there. I said it mean’s they have experience, whatever experience that may be. It could be war, but it wouldn’t be that exclusively, and that is well supported by the talent itself.

Sorry Section 31, but I didn’t ‘read into’ your post anything that wasn’t there. You said and I quote “I think it should ------definitely not inherently mean a grizzled war vetran, but Rather --exclusively-- refer to someone with lots of Experience”

So… unless you have alternate definitions for the words “Definitely not” “inherently” and “Exclusively”

I read exactly what you said and what you meant.

Holds up hands Not trying to start a fight but… I can read a sentence and yours uses pretty definitive terms. “Definitely not” and “exclusively”.

The horse is dead, guys. Really.

The cost guard are members of our armed forces. Watch um board ships.

As for the debate. I’m ‘aware’ that some people try and debate it.

It’s rather silly for me. You don’t see NOAA going to war with armed ships with other countries. Or does the American Geophysial union have special forces units. Nor does the American Institute for Biological sciences go guns out and blast foes. Nor do they have military rank. Nor do they have Courts Martial. Nor do they have a JAG.

While it’s ok to push back (And I get that some don’t agree) almost every single ship down to two man shuttle craft are outfitted with weaponsystems. Every graduate of the academy has combat training and are commissioned -officers-.

You are --100%-- right that many join starfleet for other ‘reasons’ But many people join the Army and Navy for other ‘reasons’ too. My son is going into the army in a month. :D. My entire family up and down have served. Not everyone joined the army, navy or airforce just to fight the enemy.

You’re not pulling it out of your rear or anything. I’ve seen the debates. For literal decades. I’ve just thought they were rather silly on the face of them. Yes Starfleet is about “Exploration” but for "Explorers and Scientists’ Dayyyyyyyyyyum do they blow up a lot of things, fire a lot of phasers, and a lot of torpedoes.

If the National Academy of Sciences did that. I dare say there’d be a bit of a freak out.

As per how it’s written. That’s fine. You wrote it. That’s fine.

My point wasn’t that it was impossible to use it that way (I’ve stated more than once, of course it can be)

I’m saying to imply that it --exclusively-- should be used in secondary meaning, and a meaning that purposefully ignores the setting, is not my default usage.

More specifically. While Picard is no doubt a veteran starfleet officer, that in MY MIND, he doesn’t project the MENTAL IMAGE of a “Veteran”. Again in setting you’re talking about a Starfleet -Captain- in a Military organization. Picard doesn’t strike me as “badass combatant of a thousand battles!” he strikes me as Dignity, Wise, Knowledgeable, Diplomatic, Levelheaded (Though again he -was- kinda ■■■■■■ in early seasons. lol I’ve been rewatching some of TNG’s early stuff lately). Over all Picard is a great all around captain, but when you look at the wine maker from France you don’t instantly think of “VETERAN”.

Words mean something and using “Veteran” out of context one thinks of the military. In context… it’s being applied to military officers and or enlisted ranks… so saying “Well it should be exclusively be used in it’s SECONDARY meaning” is strange.

Okay, exclusively was actually in the wrong place. I put it in afterward and I intended to put it in after “war veteran”. So I can see somewhat what you’re saying, it could be misunderstood that way, although that’s doesn’t seem like a conclusion that someone would naturally reach unless they were trying to be contrary.

With out trying to be rude, it’s not my fault I took you at what you actually -said- vs what you may have -meant-.

So, I looked up Veteran in several dictionaries. In every instance, the first definition is “a person who has had long experience in a particular field.”, with definitions relating to the military coming afterwards.

The point being: “veteran” may be synonymous with the military to you (and given what you’ve mentioned about your family, that perspective is understandable), but that’s not a universal viewpoint.

Also, Jean-Luc Picard isn’t a vintner (his older brother was), and he was a command track graduate getting in brawls with Naussicaans back in his 20s, and earning a command under battlefield conditions by the age of 27. The fact that he’s more mature and level headed by his late 50s is why he’s a Veteran.

Plus, I wrote the rules, so the definition I used at the time is the de-facto correct one (to entirely non-seriously quote the Mel Brooks movie The Producers: I am the author, you are the audience, I outrank you!). Access to the Veteran talent in Star Trek Adventures is not tied to combat experience or any military action - it is a representation of the character’s overall experience within Starfleet, in whatever form that takes.