Thursday, December 27, 2012

Star Trek RPGs

I was chatting a little bit with my buddy Greg on Star Trek RPGs.  He had mentioned while he love Trek he has yet to find an RPG that really captures that proper Trek feel.

I give Greg the benefit of the doubt on this one, he has played all the Trek RPGs out there and playtested a few more.  He has also played more SciFi games than I have.

Now I will admit that so far Starships & Spacemen 2e seems to fit the bill rather nicely, it's not perfect. In fact in my mind it even has a couple of potential problems, but I am not talking about that one today.

So let me ask you all.
What does a game need to have or do to be a "Star Trek" game? 
Any series is fine.  Any game is fine.  Just let me know why it works.


Peter Robbins said...

I tend to agree that to-date, no RPG has really caught "the feel" of the original TV series at least. If you want to follow along as our growing little G+ community kicks off using S&S2e, join up over here -
As we actually get some sessions notched on the belt, we'll be able to supply a more solid review of whether S&S2e has caught 'the feel'. It has issues lining up as-printed to Star Trek. But we've gotten past a lot of those initial hiccups. I think it will emulate the TV series well.

Tim Knight said...

Tim, you must have been reading my mind again. There was a Star Trek them to several of presents this year and it got me to wondering about Trek RPGs.

I don't own S&S2e, but have joined Peter's community to see how they reckon it shapes up as a Trek-system.

Will be interested to hear what you see are the shortfalls of the system - as pertains to emulating Star Trek.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@Peter. Thanks! I will certainly check this out.

Siskoid said...

Now there's a question!

The only true Trek game I've played was the Last Unicorn TNG one, and it its career paths, a bit like Traveler's, worked fine for character modeling. I don't remember too many system-specific issues, but what it DIDN'T do is encourage genre emulation. My players made the campaign collapse when they decided to pull rank on the NPCs and force THEM to do the hard work of adventuring. While that is logical, it's not Star Trek.

Really, I think it depends on what you consider to be Trek. What elements are part of its unique genre (as opposed to other space opera) and what games emulate those elements best?

Peter Robbins said...

Regarding career paths, our community member Trey did a quick and dirty conversion of FASA's paths and lined it up to S&S2e. That doc is linked somewhere in our community. Also, he re-wrote the alien classes with the original series in mind. Trey also just recently added a new "Phaser", which I think is a lot more realistic to the show's depiction. Anyhow, I do look forward to using the rules. I especially like the abstracted yet still covering most situations starship rules. I also like the use of the Computer to ask YES and NO questions of. There is a lot of Trek flavor added to S&S2e, with a solid base rule skeleton in tow. I for one think they are a highly commendable set of new rules and they warrant a look-see by any Trek fans wanting to role-play the original TV Series. As to how well it emulates the later series, I'll leave that to fans of those series to say yea or nay that its caught those flavors. Oh, and I like its depiction of Psionics. In fact, more so than most systems I've ever seen (regardless of genre). Just clean, simple, but detailed. That is my overall review of S&S2e. Clean, simple, but detailed. It just needs some polish here and there to line it up more proper to Star Trek; and that is of course due it the serial numbers being filed off the original IP. Not really the rules themselves.

Alex Osias said...

I rather liked elements of some of the Lightspeed RPG sourcebooks.

Kilsern said...

I've always believed that Last Unicorn Games was largely ignored. I'm not a huge Trek fan, nor have I played any Trek RPG other than LUG, but my group had a blast with LUG. The campaign ran for over a year, and my group was kind of mad at me for ending it.

Rhonin84 said...

Ok..I need to weigh in since I was the impetus of this post. Kilsern you and I are on the same page with LUG...I love LUG and have some great memories of that system.

Decipher isn't horrible ONCE you iron out their editing for them... (BOO!)

FASA...the Grand Daddy for much as I loved LUG, FASA is that comfy chair.

Now onto S+S 2e...I am going to give it a try but it just feels clunky..

Timothy S. Brannan said...

FASA was my favorite by way of the old Doctor Who FASA and the Next Gen stuff they produced.

I liked the look and feel of LUG.

I want to give S&S2 a fair shake, but I have already identified a couple of issues I need to either work around OR reread the rules to make sure they say what I think they do.

Trey said...

I was a big fan of FASA Trek and own LUG and Decipher, but I've never played them.

S&S has some issues, but I've been enjoying "adapting" Trek elements to it for the game(s) Peter and I are planning to run. I'll probably post some stuff on my blog at some point.

Tim Knight said...

No-one has yet mentioned Traveller: Prime Directive - the forthcoming Traveller supplement from Mongoose and Amarillo Design Bureau -

For my money Traveller should be a perfect fit for Star Trek. No clue though when this will actually be published.