By Jared Twing, STA Contributing Writer
Art by Tobias Richter
Star Trek Adventures is unlike many tabletop roleplaying games out there. This is exactly what I love about it. It embodies the hope for the future, it allows for interesting lead-ins to missions, and it allows for truly dynamic encounter designs that let all sorts of different character types shine.
For me, growing up, watching the Star Trek: The Next Generation, I loved the action sequences, but it was the hope for the future that Star Trek included that really got me hooked on the series. While I love dark and gritty dystopian stories as much as the next person, Star Trek always gave me hope that eventually everything might work out.
By playing as a Federation crew in The Next Generation era, the players know what is expected of them. There is no ambiguity about who the good guys are, the Federation embodies hope for the future, and the players can just unabashedly embrace that and play good guys. For generations of games that have gotten progressively more and more grimdark, that is refreshing.
I also loved episodes where the crew gets in trouble not because they go seeking it, but despite that. Episodes where the crew is just living its life and the strange alien happenings come to them, or they discover that where they are is not like it seems are always more interesting to me than episodes themed around having a clear and dangerous objective up front.
Don’t get me wrong, rescue missions or diplomatic missions into dangerous enemy territory can be exciting, especially as the danger ratchets up with each new story beat. Where things really shine to me, though, are when the crew starts to let their guard down and then the story beats arrive to really up the ante.
You need look no further than the TNG episodes “Captain’s Holiday” and “Justice” for good examples of this.
The other thing I really love doing in Star Trek Adventures is mixing ship conflict with crew level conflicts. If they are in the same scene, even better! This lets different crew who excel at different aspects of the game all have a chance to shine and can often lead to exciting moments for all involved.
Having an away party be involved in conflict while the ship deals with some other external threat can be a key way to let everyone at the table stay involved. One of the things I really love about Star Trek Adventures is that even when this doesn’t happen, players can take on the role of other crew members in situations where their main crew member cannot be involved. Again, everyone at the table gets to stay involved!
So, go ahead, break the cardinal rule of gaming and ‘split the party’!
All of these aspects went into the creation of “Storms of Kiselia 7.” I hope you will check it out and have as much fun playing it as I have.
Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for news about additional STA products in the coming months. Live long and prosper!