By Jim Johnson, Star Trek Adventures Project Manager
Art by Rodrigo Gonzalez
The earlier blog posts in this series have worked you through character generation, ship generation, setting up your first story, and then writing your first mission’s opening log entry. Now what? Now you can build your story, scene after scene, encounter after encounter. How? Read on!
If you haven’t already, give Chapters 5 and 6 a read-through to get a feel for the rules of the game and the storytelling and writing advice provided. The guidance in these two chapters can help you think through the opening scene following the information placed in that first log entry, and give you ideas on where the story could go next.
Once you’ve glanced at those two chapters, check out page 238, which features one of the key tools in the game, the core game loop.
The core game loop and explanatory flowchart on this page, coupled with the Yes/No Probability Matrix on page 254, serve as the engine to empower you to unlock your imagination and tell your character’s story. With your opening log entry complete, you know the story’s mission parameters, inciting incident, and opening complication or advantage. Now, you can start narrating toward a task in the story by being creative and by adding more details via the various random tables in the book as needed, until you get to a point of uncertainty or to a point where the character has to perform a task.
Then, roll the dice to resolve that uncertainty or to attempt the task. If you rolled on the Yes/No Probability Matrix to determine the likelihood of something, what happened? Was the result a yes or a no? If attempting a task, did the character succeed or fail? Did their task attempt generate Momentum or Threat?
Once you know what the result of the die roll was, you can then determine the impact of that result. Given where your character was in the story, what’s the most logical next thing to happen in the story given the results of your die roll? If they failed to contain the contaminant spill, what happens next? Probably need to evacuate the lab, or at worst, the whole ship or station. If they successfully hit an opponent, track the hit – do the combatants fight on, retreat, some other result? If the probability result is that the ambassador is highly unlikely to back down from their position, what does your character do then? Raise the stakes, change arguments, back down? The choice is yours, influenced by the results.
Then, once you’ve figured out the impact and what the next logical step in the story is, narrate that outcome. Flesh out the scene in prose or bullet points, adding more details gleaned from the other probability matrixes and tables in the book. Make the scene come to life with details.
And with that scene complete, check off the next delta on your mission tracker if it makes sense to do so, and go back to the start of the core game loop and narrate to your next moment of uncertainty or task attempt. Repeat until you come to a satisfying conclusion to your story.
As you work through the core game loop a few times, you should start to feel the rhythm of the story and it should become second nature to you. You’ll be crafting scenes and stories for your character one after another, adding to the tapestry of their life and career.
May your stories prove to be bold ventures into the final frontier!
Order your copy of the Captain’s Log Solo Roleplaying Game now and receive the final PDF right away and start creating your own Star Trek stories!
Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for news about Captain’s Log and other Star Trek Adventures product releases. Live long and prosper!
Go to Captain's Blog #5
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