[Let’s Study: Star Trek Adventures] Part 3: Your Continuing Mission

Posted: June 23, 2017 by pointyman2000 in Let's Study, Reviews, Roleplaying Games, Star Trek Adventures
Tags: , ,

Capture

Moving on from the discussions on the history of the Federation, we’re taking a look at the chapter that best displays the kind of thing that Starfleet actually does. Much like in the prior chapter, Your Continuing Mission is broken down into subsections.

Starfleet’s Purpose

For those unfamiliar with Starfleet’s role in the setting, this section breaks it down into what Starfleet is, as both a scientific and exploratory organization and one that is also saddled with the task of peacekeeping.

I like that the setting is well aware of the paradox of being a “neutral” force armed with enough weapons to scour a planet if need be, but for the sake of being ready for anything they might encounter in the frontier, Starfleet should be able to defend itself should the worst come to pass.

There’s also a short segment on Starfleet’s organizational structure. It’s handy to know and they’ve kept it short and to the point and more importantly playable without devolving into too much detail that won’t see play.

The Prime Directive

Allow me to take a moment to say that I LOVED this section. As a fan of moral / ethical dilemmas such as the classic Honor vs. Duty of Legend of the Five Rings, Star Trek Adventures tackles Starfleet General Order One, or the Prime Directive head on for what it is.

To those who don’t know of it, The Prime Directive is a guiding philosophy behind Starfleet that prevents their personnel from interfering with the natural development of other civilzations by abusing Starfleet’s technological superiority.

It was put in place to avoid contaminating the development of pre-warp civilizations and letting them grow on their own.

Naturally, this is one directive that is fraught with a tremendous number of ugly realities. Non-interference looks great on paper, but many Starfleet captains have erred on the side of getting involved for the sake of their crew, or their own morals.

In many ways, this is the soul of Star Trek, and one that I find to be a crucial part of the Star Trek Adventures RPG as it helps paint the conflicts that every Starfleet crew will encounter in their voyages.

Starfleet Academy

This section details the entire experience of going through Starfleet Academy. How they select students, what the time spent in the Academy is like, what bonds they foster among contacts and what values they foster in their students.

It’s a great look into the training that happens before the characters come into play, and I can totally see this working as source material if the group wanted to play a Starfleet Academy game where the players are all still students trying to make the grade.

Assignment

The various departments of the members of Starfleet are described here. Depending on the training and course of study, graduates of Starfleet Academy are assigned to: Command (gold shirts), Sciences (blue shirts) and Operations (red shirts).

This section also discusses the way that Starfleet personnel are assigned to various ships and perhaps on a per mission basis.

Missions for the ships are also discussed here, from the original “five-year mission.” to longer, open-ended deep space missions made possible with new technologies. Some examples of missions and Directives are provided as examples, and these span from more broad statements like “Explore Strange New Worlds” to more specific ones like “Patrol along the Romulan Neutral Zone.”

Duties

This section gives a more detailed look at the various missions of Starfleet ships, and serves as a very fertile ground for GMs looking a what kind of adventures to throw at his intrepid crew of Player Characters.

These are broken down into Science, Diplomatic and Protection and Security missions, each of which has a thorough list of examples. Fans of the series will recognize many of these as near-tropes but they’re definitely endlessly repeatable.

Away Teams

As part of Starfleet operations, sometimes it’s important to put actual boots on the ground. As such the practice of putting together highly-skilled Away Teams that perform hands-on operations for the mission was established.

This is a high-risk assignment, and only the best of the crew are selected based on their capabilities and the nature of the mission. Given the broad range of various missions that the Away Teams can be sent on, I imagine that you’d be sending a different team on certain types of missions.

I might be pre-empting stuff that might be brought up later in the book, but I can certainly see a case being made for Troupe-Style play where players might have 2 or 3 different characters on the ship to make sure that no matter what kind of mission they’re on, they’ll have someone to participate in the action.

After my slight disappointment with the sections in the history chapter, this one blows me away. I’ve always been a fan of the sense of wonder and optimism of Star Trek, but as a much older geek, I also recognize that The Prime Directive can’t cover all situations.

There’s a lot of information in this chapter that answers the central question of RPGs, which is “Okay, but what do the player characters do?”

There’s clearly a lot of work done in Starfleet, and only the best are called to serve. This chapter has me stoked to run a game right now, and that can only be a good thing.

Next up, we’ll be taking a look at the mechanics behind the Star Trek Adventures RPG, and see how the 2d20 system was adapted to best emulate the Star Trek’s brand of action and adventure!

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] Study: Star Trek Adventures] Part 3: Your Continuing Mission @Modiphius philgamer.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/let… https://t.co/rvVLNyuBSv […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s