Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Star Trek: The Roleplaying Game

Star Trek is a franchise that probably everyone is aware of - almost certainly if you find yourself reading blogs about RPGs, anyway. What is there not to like about playing a character serving on a starship, traveling throughout the stars looking for new planets to explore, and new aces to contact? Well, or conquer if you are into the Cardassians, Klingons, Dominion, and that crowd. There have been several RPGs based in the Star Trek universe; this is the most recent, by Decipher, which also made a Star Trek CCG. The system is a fairly simple one, so let's get to it, shall we?

First, I have to choose a species. You can choose from basically all the Star Trek standards - Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, Bajorans, Cardassians, Talaxians, Trill, Betazoids, Ferengi - there's even a whole book devoted to various aliens, but I think I'll go with a bog-standard Human. As a species, they have no adjustments to the basic statistics, but they do get the ability Adaptable, which gives them a bonus to either Stamina, Quickness, or Willpower; Human Spirit, which gives them +1 Courage; and Skilled, which lets them add +2 to one skill or +1 to two skills. Then I choose my profession, My choices are Diplomat, Merchant, Mystic, Rogue, Scientist, Soldier, and Starship Officer - and within the Starship Officer profession, you choose from Command, Operations, and Science. Being as it is Star Trek, I'll go with Starship Officer, and choose Operations, as I'd like to make a tactical officer. Then I choose my attributes: the attributes are Agility, Intellect, Presence, Perception, Strength, and Vitality. I can roll for this, or choose from an array; I'll go with the array, which is 10, 9, 7, 7, 5, and 4. As I want a tactical officer, the book recommends I get Agility, Perception, Vitality, and Strength, then Presence and Intelligence, so that is how I will distribute my points. Then, we move on to skills. First I choose species skills; this is a number of points equal to my Int (4) x2, so 8 points to distribute among skills like Culture, History, Politics, Religion, Homeworld, and various languages. Then I choose a personal development package; this is, essentially, what I get for my character as he grew up. I'll choose the Military "Brat" package. I'll get Energy Weapons +2, Computer Use +1, Survival +1, and System Operation +1, plus an Edge - I'll go with Alert. Then I get a Professional Development package; since I want a tactical officer, I'll take the Tactical Officer package, which gives me Computer Use (Hacking) +2, Culture +2, Energy Weapons +2, Repair +2, System Operation (Tactical) +4, Tactics (Space) +2, and an Unarmed Combat skill at +2. Then I get 5 skill points for Security Professional skills, so I'll take +1 to Athletics, Energy Weapons, First Aid, Observe, and Tactics (Space). I also get another Edge, so I'll choose Resolute. I then get a third Edge choice, so I'll go with Promotion, to make my character a Lieutenant (junior grade) instead of the standard Ensign. Then I determine a number of characteristics, the Reaction scores; Quickness gets the modifier from either Perception or Agility, Savvy from Presence or Perception, Stamina from Strength or Vitality, and Willpower from Intellect or Vitality. Defense is 7 plus my Agility modifier, which is +2. Health equals my Vitality attribute plus my strength modifier, so I have 7 starting Health. I have 4 starting Courage, the 3 standard +1 for being Human. As a beginning character, I have no Renown. So, after all that is done, my character looks like this:

Tactical Officer Lieutenant j.g. David Holdstock
Agility 10 (+2 modifier)
Perception 9 (+1 modifier)
Strength 7
Vitality 7
Presence 5
Intelligence 4

Quickness +2
Savvy +1
Stamina +2
Willpower +0

Defense 9
Health 7
Courage 4
Renown 0

Energy Weapons +5
Computer Use (Hacking) +3
Survival +2
System Operation (Tactical) +5
Human Culture +4
Repair +2
Tactics (Space) +3
Unarmed Combat (Self-defense) +2
Athletics +1
First Aid +1
Observe +2
Human History +2
Earth Knowledge +2
Federation Standard Language +2

Alert, Promotion, Resolute

Professional Abilities
Starship Duty, Security Protocols

As a Starfleet officer, David gets equipment as assigned to him for a mission, though he can request specific items.

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