By Michael Dismuke, STA Contributing Writer
I have spent countless hours thinking about one thing: how to get more people into playing RPGs.
It’s obvious that many people gravitate toward video games for various reasons—flashy graphics, competitive experience, addictive qualities designed into the games. Others play board games because of their interactive aspects, generally simple rulesets, and limited time requirements.
For those of us who have delved into the realm of role-playing games—be it Star Trek Adventures or the multitudinous other RPGs out there—we know the experience to be an all-encompassing, multifaceted, gaming extravaganza that is limited only by one’s own imagination. We relish memorable one-shot adventures or, in many cases, month or years-long campaigns that enable a player-controlled character the opportunity to battle monstrous forces, delve into fantasy or sci-fi worlds of wonder, or tackle deep social issues in a safe space for exploration and discovery.
But how do we draw more people into the genre of RPG to share our incomparable passion?
This was the challenge that I was presented with when I was asked to collaborate on the Star Trek Adventures Players’ Guide. Understandably, Star Trek as a franchise can be an intimidating prospect for the average person. Over 55 years of canon. Dozens of characters who seeped their way into pop culture. Thousands of episodes, movies, novels, and comics are dedicated to exploring a futuristic universe.
Now, ask a newbie who may not even know what a Vulcan is to join you at a table to play a role-playing game. They see the dice, the pencils, the paper, and thick core rulebooks and supplements splayed all over the place. You tell them that the story is happening in their imagination and that they must picture a world they may have never seen on screen. Asking them to jump in and have fun is comparable to asking them to write out pi up to 100 digits.
The Star Trek Adventures Player’s Guide is the answer to this problem. While writing my chapters, I decided to test certain sections out on my teenage nephews. I read select sections about what it is like to live in the future, be an officer in Starfleet, and explore the Galaxy. They were enraptured. And you know what? We jumped online and started playing. Three games later and they are begging for more. What’s more, they have started watching episodes of Star Trek in order to better familiarize themselves with the genre. It made my heart leap for joy when one of them said, “This is like watching a stage play.”
In a day and age when politicians offer more problems than hope, the world is in social upheaval, and the future of Earth seems imperiled, Star Trek Adventures offers a fun diversion that, in my opinion, is a grand reflection of what humanity will achieve in the future. The Player’s Guide makes the Star Trek universe digestible. Let it be your first step into the wondrous world of not just Star Trek tabletop gaming, but the tabletop gaming hobby as a whole.
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!