Questions And Answers
Q) The sourcebook uses the terms "Federation" and "Republic" when referring to the in-system government. That said, Athennia is noted as the capital of the "Federation of Celendria", overseen by a Great Council which comprises the Prime Governments of the System. The rest of the book uses the word "Republic" almost exclusively, noting the Republic fleet, Republic bases, and Republic frigate. Are the two names synonomous, or is the Republic of Tereste a member-world of the Federation of Celendria? If not, why might the same government print two types of currency, the Republic credit and the Federation dollar?
A) The interuse of "Federation" and "Replublic" is a "deliberate mistake", in the vein of Star Wars. Meaning, I like to keep the mythos flexible, and plant many errors to ensure there is no rock solid mythos that people can argue. Much like Star Wars with its "elected queen" and "Imperial senate" and such. The "Replublic of Tereste" could be just a part of the larger whole, as if that Republic is part of the Federation. You can really take it how you want, and that's the idea. Your story has freedom to go where it needs to go.
Q) Is the Republic frigate on page 25 the standard vessel of the Celendrian Federation? Or do the member-worlds sail their own fleets? We get a pretty good idea of what the Empire of Thaetis has from the Sourcebook and Adventures, but what sort of naval assets does the Republic have?
A) All the ships and vehicles given are pretty standard for everybody in the system. Perhaps the Republic originally made them, but since then, everyone's gotten their hands on them. Like alien races and equipment, those found in the books are the more common ones, the rare ones being unique to individual Adventures or a GM's own designs.
Q) Are the Shadows and Shadow people the same beings?
A) No. Shadows and shadow people are similar, but different. Kind of like Ninjas and Assassins, or Vikings and Barbarians. Some people probably see them as one and the same, though. Like ghosts. Could be a disembodied soul, could be memories imprinted on time, could be strange energy. Looks the same to the casual observer, but the shadows come from different sources.
A) Could be. In this case, there's a lot more real-world mythology creeping into the work than usual. With the Bible's mistranslation of "Giants", "giant" became to me more of a catch-all term for star travelers, spacemen, aliens, call them what you will.
Q) On page 46, the divine caste are noted as the rulers of Tereste and that only natives of the world can participate in government. Are other castes eligable for government positions? If so, since the nobles appear to be only figureheads, do the military and civilian castes do the heavy lifting when it comes to governance?
A) The divine caste rule unofficially. Technically, anyone can have a voice in government, but the system has really rigged it in favor of the divine (I wonder who rigged it that way . . . ?) Like Republicans and Democrats, technically a third party could have a voice, but the rules have been rigged to favor of the existing parties, so realistically no third party will ever be a real threat in an election. The divine of Tereste probably say things like "Anyone who wants to badly enough can change their government . . ." but whether that is realistic or even plausible is another matter entirely, regardless of what the law books may say.
Q) On Page 145 of the core rules, right above Table 130, the text mentions a Defense Score bonus for advancement, yet there is no such bonus. Please clarify.
A) That is a huge typo on our part, actually a part of the game originally intended until we realized that a DS bonus for Level would make Characters ridiculously powerful, given all their other ways to achieve a higher DS. So, please just ignore that bit of text, and promise not to cut us down with a lightsaber if you see us at a convention (our personal DS isn't all that high, after all, we're writers, not warriors).
Q) How can I reprogram a robot?
A) You can't. For what it's worth, the argument goes something like this: Robots and robotics are infinitely variable in a space fantasy setting, indeed they are used for everything. Therefore, it stands to reason that existing robots can be reprogrammed to do something else, right? Wrong. Not only would allowing for robots to do different things simply with a few new chips make the game system incredibly unbalanced, but it doesn't suit the story, either. When any new technology first appears, it's exploring different avenues and finding it's balance, and therefore is somewhat applicable to everything, then, at its beginning. But in a technological society where robots have long since found their place, their designers give up on making them applicable, and just make them economical, in that they have specific tasks and can't do anything else, any more than a person in our world could reprogram his DVD player to make coffee.
Q) Can webgear be used to lower the burden of a weapon's recoil and so help reduce the penalty one has to attack?
A) No. Any weapons large enough to cause an Attack Roll penalty simply aren't going to be buttressed by webgear. That's not what it's designed for anyway.
Q) In the Celendrian System Sourcebook, the Maps in the back (Pages 72-73) display an inch as 1000 and 10000 lightyears respectively, but if this is our own solar system, isn't this a grossly inaccurate measurement of the distances?
A) The Celendrian System isn't necessarily our solar system, and even if it is, a 'lightyear' as they name their standard unit of measurement isn't necessarily what a lightyear is in our own world. For example, a billion means a very different amount to Americans than to the British. However, even if all of these things were nailed down, it's still a space fantasy, meant for Saturday-matinee adventure, and some vast distances simply had to be applied if there was going to be any purpose of having a Map, for if everything was kept to the size of our own solar system, it would take less than a day at light-speed to travel from one end to the other, and there simply has to be some chances of getting lost, stranded or starving.
Q) If a Knight (or a Phantom) loses their lasersword, how can they get a new one, given that it's their primary weapon?
A) When advancing in Levels, a Knight can usually get Creation Points enough to employ the 'Creation Options' of his Character Class and so spend 3 Points to acquire a new lasersword (probably with the help of other Knights in the temple or through their connections). For Phantoms, well, nobody ever said joining the dark side came with insurance, as they're just going to have to find a new one the hard way, same as anyone else who wants such an incredible weapon.
Q) How easy is it to recognize a specific vehicle amongst the countless vessels in space?
A) The makes, models, classes and classifications of vehicles creates an arguable point, that every ship being unique is also as a result unidentifiable. But actually, the truth is just the oppositeunique ship designs makes each one all the more recognizable, not only to the naked eye but also to all manner of detection, such as sensors that record heat blooms or high-definition cameras that record the slightest difference in detail, to say nothing of the savvy of anyone experienced enough to be a captain who would see a vessel, recognize its basic design, its menuevers, the tactics employed by its pilot, etc. In simplified terms, every ship is recognizable for what it is and who is known to operate with it.
Q) Why is there no basic system access Tech Check for computers?
A) There are so many computers in the galaxy, access can range anywhere from 1-10, and so the GM will (and is encouraged to) simply choose the difficulty based on the levels of security in the network one is accessing, as well as the intended difficulty level of the Adventure. Having a universal difficulty for such a widespread task would oversimplify computer networks, even for this game.
Q) Why is there no Power source for 'Z' Classed vehicles?
A) Such vehicles of 'Z' Class, including battleships, frigates and liners, have an engine of such enormous capacity that they cannot simply acquire a new power supply, but rather must be (re)started by a massive effort beyond the normal rules, such as rerouting an entire city's power or building a worldwide energy grid, and thus can only be accomplished at the Game Master's discretion.
Q) How come there are no Experience Point awards for vehicle combat?
A) This game is designed to keep the focus on the individual Characters, as so many space-based RPGs inevitably become wargames of vehicles. Vehicles in this game are thus the same for the rules as they are for the characters, a way to get somewhere, be in another planet or plotline. That vehicles can accomplish this and also wage war is a bonus, not a necessity to space gaming. By giving awards for doing so only encourages more vehicular use of the rules, which the rule-engine of this game is not designed to handle, and could red-line it all too easily. However, if one really wishes for XP awards for vehicle combat, there is always the optional rule.
Q) When making a combination of vehicle types, and thus paying extra for them, does this combine their Body Points as well?
A) No. Buying additional Classes of vehicles simply allows the vehicle to have a wider variety of capabilities, as it has more Letter Classes, for purposes of enhancements, etc.
Q) Why is there an Encumbrance factor for 'heavy gear' weapons when they need to be mounted to be fired?
A) Just in case someone decides to pack one along on a march, planning on mounting it on something later.
Q) If one uses dual laserswords does he get the special benefits of both?
A) No. When using any dual weapons, one must state which one he is using for the attack itself, and that weapon alone determines his potential Damage and special effects. For example, if one was using a blue lasersword and a green lasersword, he would not with a single Attack be able to both nullify his chances of a Critical Miss and pass through Protection, but rather he would have to choose one or the other (before rolling). Of course, he can alternate between each and every Attack Roll, as long as he remembers to state he is doing so.
Q) In the Sourcebook (Celendrian), why don't planets and other worlds have statistics for mass, gravity, circumference and other scientific data that can be easily listed?
A) It's not useful to an adventure game. All too often do role-playing games flood their books with needless data. Sure, it's good for world-building, but seldom do writers or corporate honchos stop and consider if something is good for the game. At best, the cumbersome data that usually fills a good half of any sourcebook is faint inspiration for the GM to write adventures. Big whoop. We'd rather use that other 50% of dead trees for something much more useful, things that give a lot more fodder for adventure. More bang for your buck, so-to-speak. Moreover, having useless data, even if seemingly innocuous or even not used at all, still hinders the game simply by being there, as it gives a false impression of what the game designers consider important, and gives rule-lawyers ammunition for senseless arguments and potential loopholes. Truly, in a space fantasy, is 1.2 gravity on a planet something to worry about? Can't we just assume that cities which have made the atmosphere breathable and a hundred different alien species able to seamlessly communicate also have developed something to compensate for that 0.2 difference so that gravity is normal, and we can get on with worrying about villains and gunfights in the streets? Do we want to go to astronomy class or do we want to go to the movies? Unless there is a major difference or significance, such as 3 or 4 times the normal gravity or an atmosphere that simply kills outright, any world's scientific stats shouldn't be anything more than just technobabble for flavor text, something the Characters can deal with quite easily, while the severe differences would become just another challenge in the comic-opera of adventure, with intense gravity or toxic air being no different than swamps or deserts or a blizzard of lizards.
Q) Since Story Points can be traded in for Creation Points is the reverse also true?
A) No. Creation Points must be used for Character Creation, and only in the ways they are described. They cannot function as Story Points in any capacity. Story Points have the benefit of working in all ways because they are earned by role-playing, which is the heart and soul of the game, whereas Creation Points are earned by numbers alone and even given away free, so they cannot be 'as powerful'.
Q) How about allowing called shots to pick out weak spots in a target's armor?
A) In the abstract nature of a role-playing game, one has to be mindful of what may already be considered by the rules, and such a detailed combat action as targeting an armor's weak spots certainly is. With a random range of 1-20 for an Attack, a range indeed broader than all of the modifiers one can possibly have and thus the entire measure of their skill says that such a roll accounts for a great deal, including such things as opportunities that can arise in battle like weak spots in armor. Not only must one be mindful, but careful of adding details to rules, otherwise it sets a bad precedent that quickly leads to the rules becoming three or four or ten times as complex and essential unplayable. Trust that your Character is already taking the best shots possible, including accounting for things like weak spots in armor. Or rather, ask yourself: Why wouldn't he be taking such shots all the time? He doesn't fight blind, after all.
Q) If someone is turned into a monster, such as by some mad scientist's apparatus, does he retain his mental abilities?
A) Should someone be transformed into any creature whose statistics are given in the Core Rules, a Sourcebook or any official Adventure material, he will take on all of those statistics until changed back, even Intelligence. One could argue that he should still have his mind and memories, and indeed he does, it's simply that now he hasn't the cerebral capacity to use them or call on them as well as he did before, given his monster-brain as opposed to a human brain or an alien or robotic one
Q) How is it that there is errata for this game when it hasn't been released yet? Why not just work questions and corrections into the game now and fix it before it's released?
A) Before New Dimension Games releases a new product, it is not only playtested extensively in-house (literally), but it is also played at conventions and other venues, and sometimes Players just don't like to wait for the final version to come out and demand to buy a copy even with holes and glitches, and the questions just build up. Still, most of them are indeed worked into the product, otherwise this page would be far more extensive by now. However, sometimes a few things are deliberately left here (the question about called shots for weak points in armor, for example) as they would be redundant in the rules themselves but have something good to say which gives those who may be surfing this website a glimpse into the game's playstyle. That easily set and damaging precedent of padding the rules for every question that rises only makes the book cumbersome, and is a vain attempt at perfection. In other words, since the errata will begin eventually, it may as well start now and give us a head-start on promoting the product.
Q) Why is there no Index or Table Index for the core rulebook? After all, they were done for both Fantasia and Pirates.
A) Matt deMille plays his own games with various groups quite often, always with a sharp eye out for what is liked and disliked, or in some cases not used. According to him, both the Rule Index and Table Index are simply not referenced, and so he decided not to include them in Starquest.