Saturday, February 3, 2018

Star Trek Adventures - First Impressions and the Default Time Period

Really liking the LCARS look.

Finished up my initial read-through of Modiphius Entertainment's Star Trek Adventures last month. Our group's other GM ran an outstanding short campaign just before the holidays. I ordered a copy as an early Christmas present for myself. The next step is to go through the book in more detail and make myself some notes on how the game works mechanically. After that, it will be time to pitch the idea for a campaign to our group and go from there!

The designers put in the work to make the 2d20 system fit Star Trek rather than the other way around. The game play reflects how things are seen to work in the various Star Trek television series. Too many licensed games try to make a given peg fit through whatever shaped opening they have handy.

Time Period

The time period that Modiphius Entertainment picked for the default in Star Trek Adventures was a little curious to me. In series terms, it's just after The Next Generation finale, in the middle of Deep Space Nine, and just before the premiere of Voyager. Significant amounts of canon haven't happened yet. Enterprise-D is still kicking around, but her days are numbered. The renewal of the Federation-Klingon conflict is right around the corner. Both the Dominion War and all of Janeway's Delta Quadrant odyssey are down the road. That struck me as quite a bit of story potential to omit.

Then again, setting the default any later has its own problems. Does Star Trek really need another post-Nemesis time line? Star Trek Online and the novels each present their own versions of events tailored for their own purposes. Setting the game during the Dominion War means that it will tend to dominate story telling. Even if not every session deals directly with the war, it's always going to be there, just barely in the background. And there just doesn't seem to be much going on in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants between the end of Deep Space Nine and Nemesis.

The default time period of Star Trek Adventures allows for a full range of plots against the widest possible variety of adversaries. Want the classic episodic problem-of-the-week set up for your starship crew? Perfectly plausible without having to explain why a powerful ship is not on the front lines while the Federation is fighting for its existence (see: Insurrection). A colony or station on the frontier? Fine. Hunting outlaws in the Badlands? The Maquis are still around. Facing a straightforward military threat in a scenario short of a shooting war? The Romulans and Cardassians are available as opponents. Thorny political situations? The area near Bajor is still as troublesome as ever. Plenty of possibilities for player characters to get into trouble while tugging down the front of their uniforms.


  1. Interesting thanks. Will you report a game in the future to show the games flavour?

    1. I'm planning on running it once it's my turn to GM again.