Modiphius Teases New Supplements for the Star Trek Adventures Roleplaying Game
I’m no stranger to Star Trek games on the tabletop. I’ve played every other RPG iteration of Star Trek ever released, as well as Starfleet Battles, A Call to Arms: Starfleet, and the Heroclix lines of Star Trek games. Needless to say, after a drought that lasted over a decade, I was really excited when, about two years ago, Modiphius Entertainment released their take on Star Trek tabletop gaming in the form of Star Trek Adventures.
I went all in with this release, and although finally getting the product turned out to be a bit of headache, in the end, I received great quality materials to allow me and my friends to play make believe in one of the most expansive modern mythologies in existence.
Modiphius promised their Star Trek Adventures fans that subsequent releases would follow that would continue to expand material that could be used to enhance game play for both player characters and game masters. And indeed, in 2018 Modiphius released a supplement for building more varied command department characters, one for building more varied operations department characters, and a book outlining the astronomical layout of the Beta Quadrant. They also released a collection of pre-written adventures for players to use.
New Releases are Just Around the Corner
February 19 will mark the release of the first of 2019’s releases, the Sciences Division supplement. Previous supplements of this type, namely the aforementioned Command Division and Operations Division have given more detailed background into what type of person assumes roles within these departments in order to players a better glimpse into the motivations of such characters. They have also added new dimensional aspects to game play, such as the inclusion of Section 31 storytelling in the Operations Book.
There have been ship and equipment added to the mix, as well as stat blocks for popular characters from various shows. Lastly, new talents, focuses, and backgrounds have been added to allow players to make more customized characters. However you cut it, these various division supplements have been treasure troves of juicy information to help players of the game build a layered and complex sandbox in which to play.
So what does the Sciences Division promise to offer players? I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll see more of those talents, focuses, and backgrounds that will allow more customization of science officer player characters. It’s also a good bet that there will be some more depth given to how to play a character within that division and the archetypal attributes associated with characters of that division.
We’re probably going to get some new science oriented starship stats, as well as new science equipment to help players accomplish missions. However, like the Section 31, and intelligence game play information given in the Operations Division, Sciences has a rather large game play bomb to drop as well. It seems that this release will include information on playing using Q Continuum characters.
Considering the godlike nature of such creatures, that’s huge! My guess is that most game masters will put a moratorium on players building those types of characters to use in regular game play, but having well-defined rules on how to incorporate them as a story point is a pretty big deal.
Future Releases to Keep Us Excited
In addition to the Sciences Division book, Modiphius also announced that they will be releasing the Alpha Quadrant supplement in July, and a second collection of pre-written adventures in August.
The Alpha Quadrant book will likely take a page from the previously released Beta Quadrant book. This means it will likely include background information on prominent political powers within that quadrant, and guidelines for building characters of various species found in the quadrant. It’s easy to see how this type of information would be useful to players as they build their unique versions of the Star Trek mythology.
The second anthology of adventures, Strange New Worlds, promises to offer even more exciting adventures to play within the Star Trek universe, all written by talented authors with years of experience behind them. While I find the pre-written adventures of Star Trek Adventures to be a jarring departure from the format that I’m more accustomed to via games like Dungeons & Dragons, these resources are a welcome aspect of any game from the perspective of game masters who are either inexperienced and in search of a safety net while they gain that experience, or game masters who lack the time to prepare adventures on their own. Either way, I’m sure that this tome of great stories will be a welcome release among fans of the game.
What Comes Next for Star Trek Adventures?
This is a pretty robust year of releases for a company that has their hands in a ton of different games. It’s also right in line with the initial release schedule that was quoted to fans as the game came out. That means that most likely in 2020, we’ll see the release of the final two quadrant books, the Gamma and Delta quadrants.
Unfortunately, these last two releases, and perhaps another adventure anthology will mark the end of the announced releases for the Star Trek Adventures line. This leaves Modiphius under no obligation to continue to produce material for the game. A decision to discontinue the line would be sad, and that’s not something we want to think about so how about some speculation/wishful thinking?
It’s no lie that there are a lot of things that could be mined to continue to flesh out a universe for a Star Trek tabletop RPG. In the last 53 years, the universe has exploded with new ideas, ships, characters, alien races, and strange new worlds. Some facets of the universe have gotten more attention than others. For example, DS9.
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To that end, here are a few things that I wouldn’t mind seeing come out of the Star Trek Adventures line in the future, you know, in case Modiphius is reading.
First, It would be great to see some supplemental books that put finer points on running games in the various eras of Star Trek. Information has been provided in bits here and there, but the primary focus at least at this point has been the TNG/DS9/VOY era. That’s easy to understand though. That covers a lot of Star Trek history, both in real life and in universe so it makes itself an easy era to mine for ideas.
However, running a campaign set in the TOS era or the ENT era would feel quite different, and the technology as well as the political relationships would be quite different. Hence, from this aspect, it would be really cool to get some materials that detail the technologies, the sociopolitical aspects, and the narrative tone of these various shows.
I would also like to see, assuming it’s allowed by their license, some lore written to take us beyond Nemesis and into the future of the Star Trek universe. This might be one where Modiphius finds their hands tied, but I know there are a lot of fans out there who are champing at the bit to see a continuation of the saga post-Nemesis. Sure, none of it would be canon, but building a framework of ships, technology, and political powers in an era that has yet to be explored on screen could serve as a way to inspire fans and keep them excited about the franchise.
Lastly, I’d like to continue seeing stat blocks for well-known characters. Modiphius has already done packets of character sheets for the main characters from TOS, TNG, and DS9. I was extremely pleased with what we got from those packs as not only did we get the character sheets, but we also got ship stats as well. The obvious follow-ups would be the Voyager crew and the crew from Enterprise.
However, it would be supremely cool to see some prominently featured side characters from the various shows as well. For example, Leah Brahms, Morn, Brunt, Vedek Bereil, Seska, Shran, Admiral Nachayev, Admiral Forrest, Admiral Paris and so many others who could be worked up and made to easily throw into a story as needed. There are a ton of beloved characters out there that fans would gladly throw in as a cameo if provided the means and it’s the type of thing that could keep going for very long time.
Star Trek Adventures has rightfully won its place in my heart, and I’ve got a lot of experience with Star Trek RPGs. It’s a system that emphasizes having a good time while telling a fun and interesting story. Its rules reflect the importance that story plays in the systems, and as a narrative RPG player, I really appreciate that. I only hope that we can continue to see wonderful, high quality releases to the system for years to come!