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What would be the crew complement of an Excelsior Class star-ship closer to the time of the Dominion War? I know originally it had like 750, but older space-frames tend to have fewer crew as time goes on.

I'm running a Star Trek Adventures RPG and my players have chosen the Excelsior Class for their ship and I'm trying to make it accurate.

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    In lieu of a hard answer, I'd either: a) leave it the same - while some ops functions would be automated or deprecated, engineering crews would need to be a bit larger to keep the old girl running, or b) You seem sure that older frames end up with smaller crews - if you have evidence of this, maybe look up an example and apply that same ratio. For example, if the Miranda-Class went from a crew of 575 to 450 (78% of the original), then you could imagine a "modern" Excelsior-Class to have a compliment of just under 600. – Vanguard3000 Sep 20 '17 at 17:43
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    this may point you in the right direction - nothing specifically in the wiki re: crew complement but perhaps in the books? memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/USS_Lakota - memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/USS_Lakota_(NCC-42768) – NKCampbell Sep 20 '17 at 18:55
  • Also, as seen in many episodes, a starship can be flown by a much smaller crew in an emergency, possibly as low as one and frequently of not much more than a dozen. Depending on the mission, you might not need all of the cargo attendants, galley workers, and light bulb reinstallers. – Robert Columbia Sep 20 '17 at 23:47
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According to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, the Excelsior class has a standard crew complement of 750 units, between officers and regular crew.

Excelsior-class tech specs from DS9 Technical Manual

Since the manual was written entirely from an in-universe point of view during the DS9 years (~2375), we can assume that this information could be considered up-to-date for the timeframe of the Dominion War.


Anyway, it should be noted that the DS9:TM has received criticism for some inaccuracies, especially in the section that describes the various starships, exactly what we are discussing here; in example, the Excelsior class is said to have a complement of 750 units, exactly the same of the much bigger Nebula class (that is more or less the same size of the Galaxy class); it seems a bit strange that these two very different ships could have the same crew numbers.

  • I'm torn between upvoting and not, because the tech manual is a non-canon source, as yourself point out. The truth is that there's no canonical answer, because there was never a story where it mattered enough to write a number into the script. – Michael Scott Shappe Oct 3 '17 at 23:22
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    Technical manuals and other reference books are not considered non-canon. They are not officially considered canon either, leaving them in a grey zone that can be considered at least as an "authoritative semi-official material"; I tend to accept this kind of information if it does not explicitly contrast what is seen on TV – Sekhemty Oct 3 '17 at 23:31
  • While I can't argue with the sentiment of the notes, there are potential logical reasons for it. The newer, larger ship may have a proportionally smaller crew because that's all it needs. Advances in computer support and automation frequently lead to reduced manning requirements in the real world - starships would be no different. – T.J.L. Oct 11 '17 at 14:10

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