Rules Question about Weapon Costs

I just picked up the Core rulebook for Star Trek Adventures and plan to run a campaign in it, but I was look at some of the weapons and I was a little unclear on when it says that a weapon as a cost of Opurtunity 1 and Escalation 1, and anyone help out with this.


Page 184-185 explains it. It’s a matter of spending Momentum or adding Threat. Be sure to read about multiple items because you don’t pay Escalation costs cumulatively for extra items.

Basically Opportunity Cost 1 means the character needs to spend 1 Momentum (immediate) to equip the weapon. Escalation Cost 1 means the character has to add 1 Threat.

Also, because it’s not entirely clear in the text, the Opportunity cost applies to every item, whereas the Esscalation cost applies for the whole party.

So, for example, if you had a four member away team, and each was armed with a type-3 phaser (1 Opportunity, 2 Escalation), 4 Momentum and 2 Threat would cover the cost for all four rifles.

Worth noting as well that Escalation doesn’t apply to equipment purchased with the Personal Effects Talent.

@PiercedMonk Just for my clarification - my understanding was, that the Opportunity and/or Escalation costs apply when the PCs are trying to get the item in the “heat of the scene”, however it would not apply if they would come prepared with such an item upfront, correct ?

Example: Phaser type 3 (rifle) has Opportunity Cost 1
Situation A: Every larger starship with security detachment has a set of Phaser rifles, thus when the team knows they are getting to a heat of fight on the upcoming away mission, the Opportunity cost for such equipment would not apply.
Situation B: The same team gets into the heat of the fight on away mission unexpectedly and within the Federation ground base is trying to search for weapon lockers with Phaser rifles. The Opportunity cost for such equipment would apply to each rifle found.

That’s how I understood it too. The momentum spend is to add something into a scene (effectively creating an advantage), if you hadn’t prepared it in advance. The escalation cost is a constant as the items being there, prepared or not, escalates the potential danger of the encounter.


My understanding is that Opportunity costs don’t apply when the characters have adequate time to prepare, but the Escalation costs would.

I could be wrong, but the reasoning seems to be that some items make a situation more dangerous just by their presence. People are going to react to someone differently if they’re armed with a pair of nasty looking Disco era Klingon disruptors, than they would someone carrying only an unassuming TNG key fob phaser.

That is my understanding of the the intent. Having certain items inherently make a situation more dangerous just by being there.

@PiercedMonk @StephenBirks Thank you for pointing out the Escalation, I have not been touching the subject as I thought it is clear that it would apply in any case as just having such item makes the situation worse despite how the item has been acquired.

BTW This leads me to an a thought that there actually might be a part of the mission resolving around an unique item belonging to some local culture, that the PC team might find on a routine away mission and when trying to return it back to the origin, the things go dime anytime when they show up with this item on hands (in game mechanics the item could be an infamous cursed object with a vary high Escalation cost).

Thank you all. That does clear it up a lot. I was looking a head of the book, because I love the Kingons I wanted to see if they had the bathleth and that’s where I saw it, thanks for answering this question for me

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I think I will have to change my view of the Opportunity Cost for the items acquired or obtained during the preparation, even when such items are usually available.

In the video by Modiphius team (Modiphius Plays: Star Trek Adventures - Part 1), the PCs actually buy the pattern enhancers for the Opportunity Cost even during the preparation on their ship before the away mission.

Such would indicated the Opportunity Cost had been meant to be paid even when there is a possibility to prepare.

“Possibility to prepare” is relative - if there’s time pressure, or things are liable to get worse if you don’t act quickly, then the Opportunity Cost applies, and how that applies is largely left up to the GM. It can certainly be applied during pre-mission prep (it takes valuable time to go and get the gear you want, and that delays you beaming down and seeing to the problem). It isn’t applied if you have limitless time to prepare without a risk of things getting worse over time.

@Modiphius-Nathan Thank you for additional information on the matter, the time investment in the preparation make sense, as now I have also realized we do not know what ship the Modiphius team is actually on (I might have missed it somewhere in the broadcast), so aside of the time invested to just grab the equipment, even for some Starfleet standard equipment (like the pattern enhancers) it also might take time to replicate them and/or assemble them. So bottom line is it really depends on the circumstances and the GMs discretion to decide if the Opportunity Cost might be waived as there is a possibility to prepare.