There are so many awesome tabletop roleplaying games i want to play! On top of that, several fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaigns i’m itching to run or play. Plus my ongoing Spelljammer campaign – now supported two separate parties of adventurers.
One of the games i’m really excited about is Star Trek Adventures from Modiphius Entertainment. i’ve been a Star Trek since childhood, getting hooked on the original series i watched with my mom.
When Star Trek: The Next Generation hit the airwaves i was 10 years old and dutifully watched it every week. i thought it was so cool and often daydreamed about being on the show. Not as a person living in the Star Trek universe though – i wanted to be on the set as a cast member!
As future series rolled around, my interest continued but certainly waned. i dabbled in Deep Space Nine, watched the premiere and a few episodes of Voyager and caught one or two episodes of Enterprise. The newest series, Discovery, is exciting and fresh. i’ve seen all the movies, in both the prime and Kelvin timelines, too.
But TOS is still the best. There’s a distinct quality to the series episodes that doesn’t carry over to any of the other entries in the franchise. Along these lines, there’s a fantastic fan-created program called Star Trek Continues produced by the nonprofit charity Trek Continues Inc. My preference for TOS remains strong in Star Trek Online, as well, where my Vulcan captain and all the crew proudly wear TOS uniforms despite the vast variety of options.
And then there’s Geek and Sundry’s Shield of Tomorrow. This live streamed series follows the voyages USS Sally Ride, with players taking on the roles of captain and crew for an ongoing game of Star Trek Adventures guided by GM Eric Campbell.
There’s something very special about both Star Trek Continues and Shield of Tomorrow. Neither series features mind blowing special effects, amazingly futuristic sets or blockbuster quality makeup and costumes. And yet both have at their core a powerful heart of dramatic and dynamic character interactions. Both explore the human condition amid a backdrop of galactic wonder.
So it is with great enthusiasm that i and several Nerdarchy staff writers began our own Star Trek Adventures aboard the USS Elpis. On Sundays at 1 p.m. eastern, we’ll be live streaming our game play on the Roll for Mischief You Tube channel as we explore space, seek out new life and new civilizations and boldly go where no one has gone before.
GM Drew Murray is running the game for me, Joshua Brickley and Asa Kinney. My character, Shirok, is a Vulcan doctor and chief medical officer of the USS Elpis.
We played our first session on Sept. 24. During that session i only got to play as Shirok for about a minute at the end of the session, but this is a great example to illustrate one of the strengths of Star Trek Adventures.
In addition to players’ central characters, there are supporting characters to represent other crew members aboard your ship.
Because the game leans into the roots of Star Trek as a television program, gameplay takes place within scenes. This way, if a character is not part of a scene, the player can still participate. i really enjoyed playing most of the session as Lt. Juan Pierce, who in my imagination became a savvy communications specialist on the bridge.
Another thing i enjoy is the sort of built-in command structure. With characters presumably as Starfleet personnel, there is a chain of command beginning with the captain. Some players might chaff at this, since another player essentially takes the role of their boss, but i found it a lot of fun. The setup did not feel stifling to player agency and in fact prompted interesting roleplaying opportunities.
For our game in particular, i am super excited about a unique situation we came up with ahead of time. All of our characters are members of Section 31, a secret organization within Starfleet sort of like the CIA. On top of that, none of our characters are aware that any of the others are Section 31 operatives. GM Drew came up with a terrific idea of giving each character their own secret objectives, and neither the character nor players are aware of anyone else’s goals. Watching how these unfold really has me intrigued.
Since the game is new, and we’re learning the rules as we play live, it might get a little clunky along the way. We were all concerned about this but decided to push ahead warts and all. Everyone involved really digs Star Trek Adventures and we hope sharing our game and foibles as we learn will help other gamers who might be interested in trying it out, too.
Before i wrap up, i want to thank Joshua, Asa and Drew for the incredible amount of work and effort they put into our game. The whole thing came about simply through chatting about getting a game going together, since none of us have gamed with each other. The dedication these folks have put into developing their characters, the ship and crew, and our place in the Star Trek universe plus hosting the game on You Tube and doing video editing is truly astounding. i am very proud to be along for the ride!
Star Trek Adventures is a terrific game and i highly recommend checking it out. It can help to be familiar with the Star Trek universe but not necessary at all to enjoy this great system and setting. Come check us out on You Tube at Roll for Mischief as we make our way through learning the rules while exploring the galaxy aboard the USS Elpis (and undertaking our secret missions under each others’ noses)!