Which phaser should be issued?

I read the rules for standard gear, but I’ve also looked at the sample characters from the various series (TNG, DS9, and VOY) and it isn’t clear to me why so many non-senior, non-security characters have type-2 phasers. We have the likes of Torres, Bashir, Dax (listed as LT, not LCDR), Paris, and Kim that should all have type-1s but are listed with type-2s. For that matter, ‘civilians’ like Kes and Neelix get type-2 phasers too. OTOH, La Forge has a type-1 despite being a senior officer (LCDR).

So, who is really supposed to get type-1s and who is really supposed to get type-2s?

Is there some shift that, perhaps during the Dominion War period, the type-2 phaser simply became standard issue to all?

Nathan explained this once. As I recall he mentioned that the Type 1 pretty much stopped being used a short way into TNG for filming reasons (namely that it was barely visable and thus made it appear that a beam was coming out of their thumb) so it seemed reasonable that they would’ve been the standard issue “in real (Star Trek) life”. It seems an unusual justification considering “we have to use what we see on screen” has been used to waive away similar reasonings, but it makes them actually see some usage anyway.
In a recent adventure my PCs were very happy to have a type 1 when they were able to conceal it from their captors.

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From my understanding of it, Senior Officers, Command Staff, and Security are supposed to have Type-2 Phasers, every other character is supposed to have a Type-1, except in a known combat situation. Even Senior Staff officers can have a Type-1 along with the Type-2.

Torres (Chief Engineer), Bashir (Chief Medical), Dax (Chief Science), Paris (Senior Flight Control Officer), and Harry Kim (Chief of Operations) are all considered to be command staff, so their ranks do not factor into it.

Kes and Neelix are civilians, and don’t always get issued a weapon, but when they are going into a situation where hostility is expected, they get a weapon to defend themselves with.


I’ve left it up to the Captain’s discretion depending on their Mission. Currently, the Captain of my home game has standing orders that all personnel shall be armed with a Phaser-2, while Security personnel are to also carry a Phaser-3 (Rifle) while on Duty. Much to his chagrin, the Medical staff keep getting reprimanded for only carrying a Phaser-1 when they are NOT in Sickbay or other Medical lab.

Whatever phaser gets the job done. :wink:

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I didn’t see anything about ‘Command Staff’ (whether this means from Command department or officers with Roles like Operations Manager, Science Officer, and/or Executive Officer) getting type-2s. The only thing I saw was this:

Finally, characters receive a sidearm for personal defense. All Starfleet
officers receive a phaser type-1 as standard. All security personnel, and all
senior officers (lieutenant commander and higher rank) receive a phaser
type-2 as their sidearm instead.

Unless there is errata that I do not have, either the above (from the core rules) is incorrect/incomplete, or the sample player characters have several mistakes here.

The command staff counts as senior officers because they are often senior officers.

First define “command staff” and then show me where in the book it says they should have type-2s. This is a game rules question/observation, so I’m looking for why the rules in the book are not being followed.

Per page 126 of the Core Book under the Rank and Role section:
Role will have a greater impact upon the character in play than Rank will, so this should be determined first. Main Characters will normally be the senior staff of their ship — the group of personnel who make the important decisions about the ship, and who aid the Captain as department heads, subject matter experts, and trusted advisors.
Main Characters may fill any of the following senior officer roles aboard their ship. Not every ship will have every role, and not every role must be filled by a Main Character. The senior Staff are chosen at the discretion of the captain, so if there are roles not represented in the group, that’s not a problem. Some roles are specific to certain departments, which will be noted with each entry.
Each role comes with a distinct benefit in-game, as well as defining what the character’s job is on the ship. These in-game benefits are marked in italics in the entries below.

If you chose or were given a department head role like Chief Engineer, Chief Science, Chief of Security, you are ‘senior staff’/command staff, regardless of rank.

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You are right in one regard. There is no command staff. It is always called senior staff.

You mean, the captain doesn’t hold a 3 foot long command staff?

Usually referred to as the Command Scepter, this is more a personal preference of the commanding officer, and has it’s own set of advantages and complications.

:laughing: I remember only one captain holding a much shorter staff …
… and he was an idiot! :wink:

Doesn’t the captain always wield the “chain of command”?

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Nope, that’s Jayne Cobb’s privilege.


That was an Swagger Stick… and yes he was an Idiot.