RPG: Star Trek Adventures Review

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Star Trek Adventures lets you boldly go to the Final Frontier.

Star Trek Adventures is Modiphius’ foray into the Final Frontier. Using their 2d20 system, Star Trek Adventures sets out to recreate the feel of good Star Trek, right at your tabletop.

I SAID GOOD TREK

And if that was their Prime Directive, they succeeded in spades. This game feels like Trek, from its character creation to core mechanics, Star Trek Adventures really gets how to make a game feel like you and your friends are playing as part of a crew.

Here’s a real brief rules overview if you aren’t familiar with the core mechanics of a 2d20 game. Most rolls are 2d20 (+ or – the occasional d20) with the goal belong to roll less than a target number determined by adding a trait and a discipline together. There are six traits and six disciplines, and you’ve basically got the gist of it. Players try and score a number of successes from 0 to 5, with modifiers adjusting the number of successes needed, or adding to the number of d20s you roll.

Things like damage and other specific effects are handled by their “challenge” dice, which are d6s that give you whether a 1, 2, blank,  or 1 + effect. You’ll roll them and figure out what success or failure of a given roll means.

But anyway, that’s the core rules mechanic. Far more interesting is the core character mechanic. So they don’t shy away from the fact that starships are big and require a diverse crew of personnel to keep going. You’ll have someone who needs to be the engineer, the captain, the doctor, etc. And not every character is needed for every scene. But they introduce the idea of characters playing a support character in the interim, drawing on the fact that there are plenty of people around.

For now.

This way, the person playing the chief engineer, who has no business tagging along to the diplomatic meeting, isn’t just twiddling their thumbs until something goes wrong on the ship. Plus, this mechanic makes it so much easier to run a B-plot as well, just like a classic episode. You’re never really splitting the party, but you’re able to have the characters all working in tandem on different things. It adds to the immersion of it. Really helps suspend that disbelief.

Plus, support characters are a resource that can get upgraded along with your ship. So, while they’ll never take the spotlight from an actual PC, there’s still a sense of growth and consistency. And you never know where you’ll find your next O’Brien.

From transporter chief to WW2 Flying Ace in two series.

Character creation, too, is incredible in this game. You generate a life path (which is an automatic win in my book) that lets you create a living breathing Starfleet officer, Klingon Warrior, Romulan agent, or what have you. You’ll get a glimpse at important moments in your character’s life, and get to increase your starting attributes and disciplines (skills) or even pick up a talent.

And, let me gush about the flavor of the talents here for a moment. These are great flavor nuggets, things like Mean Right Hook or Doctor’s Orders, which tell you everything y need to know about a character. The only thing missing is some form of “get off my bridge.”

But that’s where the game shines. It knows exactly what it wants to do and it sets that up. As fun as it is, the system can be a little clunky to the uninitiated. It takes some getting used to, and when you’re first figuring it out, assigning tasks the right difficulty will be the bane of your existence. There’s no getting away from it. But, once you have the system down, you’ll be surprised at how flexible it is. And just how much character is present in the game.

And that’s not even touching the starship combat. At any rate, if you’re looking for a good crew-based game, this is one I’d highly recommend.

via Modiphius

Star Trek Adventures Core Book$61.99

Welcome to your new assignment, Captain. Your continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, to bodly go where no one has gone before…

Star Trek Adventures takes you to the Final Frontier of the Galaxy, where new discoveries await keen explorers of Starfleet. Your duties may take you to the edges of known space, or to Federation colonies in need, to the borders of neighbouring galactic powers or into the eye of interstellar phenomena. Your ship and your crew epitomise the best Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets has to offer, and you are needed more than ever.

A new threat looms from across the Gamma Quadrant, as it is confirmed by Commander Sisko and his crew that the Dominion, led by the Founders, represent a significant threat to the Alpha Quadrant. Tension is already high in the region of Bajor and Deep Space 9, as the Maquis continue to act against the Cardassian-Federation peace treaty, with Captain Janeway and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager preparing for their mission in the Badlands. It is a volatile time for the Federation and new crews have never been in higher demand.

• Create your own Star Trek stories of discovery and adventure on the Final Frontier with 368 pages of content (check out the sample spreads in the images). Full colour hardback, features a matt laminate cover with reading ribbon.

• Complete 2d20 game system from Modiphius Entertainment adapted for Star Trek Adventures, used in Mutant Chronicles, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, John Carter of Mars and the Infinity RPG.

• An extensive exploration of the United Federation of Planets and its galactic neighbours in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma Quadrants.

• Guidelines for Gamemasters old and new, on how to run an adventure of exploration and discovery for the crew of a Federation starship.

• A full catalogue of aliens and antagonists including Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, the Borg and the Dominion.

• Brought to you by a team of expert Star Trek writers including writers from previous editions of Star Trek roleplaying games and other gaming talent.

• Personal logs and intercepted communications by Starfleet Intelligence provide a new perspective on Star Trek and its events.

Keep hailing frequencies open to see the full range of forthcoming Star Trek Adventures products. Hardcover supplements await along with lots of accessories including maps, gaming tiles, dice sets and the Borg Cube Collector’s Edition game box.

  • euansmith

    Will this feature on Wil Wheaton’s channel I wonder?

    • JL

      Oh I hope so, and that he plays Wesley Crusher.

      • Jay Arr

        Or better yet–*Captain* Wesley Crusher.

    • Nathan Dowdell

      While Wil isn’t directly involved, there’s a weekly live-streamed campaign on Geek & Sundry (the ‘channel’ that Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day created), called Shield of Tomorrow. It’s one of a surprisingly large number of livestreams and actual plays of Star Trek Adventures that can be found around the internet.

  • euansmith

    I’m thinking that a Star Fleet Intelligence campaign could be a lot of fun. One of my favourite episodes was in “Enterprise” when the crew uncover dodgy dealings in a Vulcan Temple on the boarders of Andorian territory.

    • Jay Arr

      They give guidelines for secret missions and intelligence gathering stuff in the book. And Enterprise is one of the times they flesh out a surprising amount.

      • euansmith

        Cool!

        • miniwar monger

          I was interested in the game but the review kinda unsold me.

          How many hours did the author actually spent olaying rhe game ?

          The review reads like he just read the rulebook without playing at all.