Tabletop RPG Podcast and Roleplaying Resources

Category: Star Trek (Page 1 of 3)

Homebrewing a Star Trek Game

I’m working on a homebrew variant of the Where No Man Has Gone Before Star Trek RPG rules. I’ve spent a few hundred dollars on the Star Trek Adventures RPG, but in running this game a few times (as well as Conan, another 2d20 game from Modiphius), I’ve gotten a bit frustrated by the rules. Or, to be more precise, the rules organization. Here is one quote I found on a forum that sums up my frustration pretty well (emphasis below is mine):

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Dicehaven Podcast Naming Convention Proposal

Here is my proposal on podcast naming conventions.

Seasons and Episodes have 2 digit numbers and we abbreviate them for the podcast feed but spell out ‘Season 01 Episode 06’ in blog posts and other contexts.

Each season has ‘Specials’ which are bonus games we play opportunistically at ShinnCons and what-not. These are not tied to the main campaign, but are in the same universe during the approximate same time as the main campaign. We use secondary characters or pregens. We can release as part of the normal season release schedule, or hide behind a Patreon paywall.

The convention is therefore:

<Season #>-<Episode # OR ‘Special’> <Game System><Optional Campaign Name> – <Adventure Name><Adventure Part #>

Over time the podcast feed would look something like this:

S01-E01 STA Vanguard – Signals Part 1
S01-E02 STA Vanguard – Signals Part 2
S01-E03 STA Vanguard – Signals Part 3
S01-E04 STA Vanguard – Signals Part 4
S01-E05 STA Vanguard – The Edge of Eternity Part 1
S01-E06 STA Vanguard – The Edge of Eternity Part 2
S01-E07 STA Vanguard – The Edge of Eternity Part 3
S01-E08 STA Vanguard – The Edge of Eternity Part 4
S01-E09 STA Vanguard – The Edge of Eternity Part 5
S01-E10 STA Vanguard – The Edge of Eternity Part 6
S01 (Special) STA Vanguard – The Orion Syndicate Part 1
S01 (Special) STA Vanguard – The Orion Syndicate Part 2
S01 (Special) STA Vanguard – The Orion Syndicate Part 3
S01-E11 STA Vanguard – A Plague of Arias Part 1
S01-E12 STA Vanguard – A Plague of Arias Part 2
S01-E13 STA Vanguard – A Plague of Arias Part 3
S01-E14 STA Vanguard – A Plague of Arias Part 4

S08-E01 John Carter of Mars – Swords of Mars Part 1
S08-E02 John Carter of Mars – Swords of Mars Part 2

S11-E01 AiME Mirkwood – The Darkening of Mirkwood Part 1
S11-E02 AiME Mirkwood – The Darkening of Mirkwood Part 2

We can discuss in person but thought I’d memorialize this as a blog post.

Vanguard Session 01: Signals (Take 2)

Red Dwarf by Justv23

Red Dwarf by Justv23

Captain’s Log: Stardate 1253.01

“We’ve received a message from the civilian exploration starship Ventura that their long-range shuttlecraft called the Susquehanna has gone missing in the Carina Nebula, deep within the Taurus Reach. The Susquehanna was investigating an unusual alien signal that originated from the nebula on the newly discovered Class M planet Seku VI when all contact was lost. We have been ordered to enter the nebula, find the shuttle, and determine the origin and cause of the alien signal. Starfleet has also advised that Romulan and Tholian ships have been sighted in the region, so we should exercise caution since they may well have detected the alien signal as well.”

Characters

  • Lieutenant Bennett (the Human Chief Medical Officer, played by Bailey)
  • Lieutenant Commander Abossas Zharath  (the Andorian Chief Of Security, played by Mason)
  • Commander Cort Ranier  (the Human 1st Officer, played by John)
  • Lieutenant Commander Brev Chasch (the Tellerate Chief Engineer, played by Jeff L.)
  • Ensign Sevek (the Vulcan Science Officer, played by Jeff M.) (Not Appearing in this session) 
  • Captain Gregory Konstans (NPC)
  • Lt. Commader Chen (NPC, Transporter Room Engineer)

Episode Summary

Captain Konstans summons an away team aboard the U.S.S. Darius, a single-nacelle, Saladin class starship patrolling the Taurus Reach. He dispatches a team of 3 to beam down to a Class M planet recently discovered nested in the Carina Nebula. The Darius had traced the ion trail of the lost shuttle Susquehanna to this location. Heavy electrical interference in the atmosphere is making reads on the planet difficult, but a clearing in the perpetual storms allows to take the shuttle Defiant and hazards the storms down to the site of interest. The team first investigates the communicator signals and found the two hapless scientists (Scientist Eloy Pedigrew, and Scientist Henry Watson) dead from a transporter malfunction, partially beamed into the ground.

A tricorder scan of the area indicates three notable areas of interest.

  1. Two kilometers to the North are trace signs of the lost shuttlecraft.
  2. Three kilometers to the Southeast, a trail of smoke (barely visible in the red, dim horizon) snakes up into the sky.
  3. Six kilometers to the Southwest the tricorder picks up a chirping signal consistent with the signature of the alien signal the Ventura was seeking when it dispatched the shuttle the Susquehanna to investigate.

Investigating the crashed shuttle Susquehanna, the away team is  immediately attacked by 2 Romulans. Due to their superior training and tactics, the Starfleet officers manage to stun the Romulans. The Romulans are beamed about the Darius, and the away team then takes to skies to investigate the next site of interest.

The episode ends with the away team’s shuttle being struck by a massive energy surge and the shuttle plummeting down planetside just like the crashed Susquehanna had done previously!

Momentum, Threat, & Advancement

  • 0 Momentum at end of session
  • 1 Threat at end of session

 

 

Star Trek Rules Q&A Part 1

Rules Questions

Here are some answers to last sessions Star Trek Adventures rules questions.

  1. Question: Does momentum go away at the end of a scene?
    Answer: “At the end of each scene, one point of Momentum in the pool is lost” (p. 84).
  2. Question: How many questions does Momentum grant you?
    Answer: A successful roll achieves some result. For each point of Momentum a player spends, then can receive 1 additional answers.
  3. Question: How does “retain the initiative” work?
    Answer: “After a character has completed their Turn — attempted a single Task and any Minor Actions they wish to perform — the Player hands the action to the opposing side (typically, but not always, Gamemaster-controlled NPCs), who will choose a single character to act next. Alternatively, the Player may spend 2 Momentum (Immediate) to keep the initiative, handing the action to another Player Character instead. Once a Player has opted to keep the initiative, nobody on that side may keep the initiative again until the opposition have taken at least one Turn of their own. In any case, no character may take more than one Turn in a Round.Once all characters on one side have taken a Turn, then any remaining characters on the other side take their Turns in any order they choose, one at a time, until all characters on both sides have taken one Turn. Once all characters on both sides have taken a Turn, then the action goes to a character on whichever side did not take the last Turn, and the whole process begins again for the next Round.” p. 163
  4. Question: How does Advantage and Complications work and what mechanically it means to create a problem (Quickstart rules are unclear on this).
    Answer: See pp. 76-77. Traits (with Complications and Advantages) are similar to Aspects in Fate RPG. Complication increases Difficulty of related tasks by 1.
  5. What type of ‘Ice pick’ does the Andorian have?
    Answered: It’s a climbers ice pick.

Phases Roll-out of Rules

Star Trek Adventures core rules book is over 300 pages, so its amazing, but a lot to digest. Here’s my approach for learning and rolling out the rules.

Phase I (Now through most of Season 1)

Using 32 pages of rules from the main book (pp. 73-88 Core Rules, and pp. 163-180 Conflicts), which covers roughly the same rules introduced in the Quickstart.

Phase II (End of Season 1, or Season 2)

Add 26 additional pages of rules (pp. 89-91 Advanced Rules (Challenges & Extended Tasks), and pp. 210-233 Starship Rules).

Phase III (At Kickoff of Season 2)

Character creation and the rest of the rules.

 

 

 

 

Vanguard Session 01: Signals (Take 1)

Red Dwarf by Justv23

Red Dwarf by Justv23

Note: We had some audio issues with this first session so we rebooted the adventure and recorded it again over here.

Captain’s Log: Stardate 1266.01

“We’ve received a message from the civilian exploration starship Ventura that their long-range shuttlecraft called the Susquehanna has gone missing in the Carina Nebula, deep within the Taurus Reach. The Susquehanna was investigating an unusual alien signal that originated from the nebula when all contact was lost. We have been ordered to enter the nebula, find the shuttle, and determine the origin and cause of the alien signal. Starfleet has also advised that Romulan and Tholian ships have been sighted in the region, so we should exercise caution since they may well have detected the alien signal as well.”

Characters

  • Lieutenant Bennett (the Human Chief Medical Officer, played by Bailey)
  • Lieutenant Commander Abossas (the Andorian Chief Of Security, played by Mason)
  • Ensign Sevek (the Vulcan Science Officer, played by Jeff M.)
  • Captain Gregory Konstans (NPC)

Episode Summary

Captain Konstans summons an away team aboard the U.S.S. Darius, a single-nacelle, Saladin class starship patrolling the Taurus Reach. He dispatches a team of 3 to beam down to a Class M planet recently discovered nested in the Carina Nebula. The Darius had traced the ion trail of the lost shuttle Susquehanna to this location. Heavy electrical interference in the atmosphere is making reads on the planet difficult, but a clearing in the perpetual storms allows the away team to beam down.

Planetside, the away team beamed down and were almost immediately attacked by 3 Romulans. Due to their superior training and tactics, the Starfleet officers manage to stun the Romulans.

A tricorder scan of the area indicates three notable areas of interest.

  1. Two kilometers to the North are trace signs of civilian Combadges, a signal consistent with the crew of the lost Susquehanna.
  2. Three kilometers to the Southeast, a trail of smoke (barely visible in the red, dim horizon) snakes up into the sky.
  3. Six kilometers to the Southwest the tricorder picks up a chirping signal consistent with the signature of the alien signal the Ventura was seeking when it dispatched the shuttle the Susquehanna to investigate.

The episode ends with the away team communicating with Captain Konstans about their findings and discussing next steps before an incoming magnetic storm again disrupts communications.

Rules Questions

  1. Does momentum go away at the end of a scene? (We seem to recall it does in Conan)
  2. How many questions does Momentum grant you? (With a successful roll and 2 momentum earned and spent, is that 2 questions, or 3?)
  3. GM picking who goes first (Need to read the full rules on initiative)
  4. Turn order and cost to retain the initiative (Bailey’s character had a special ability but we had questions on how it exactly worked)
  5. General questions on how Advantage and Complications work and what mechanically it means to create a problem (Quickstart rules are unclear on this)
  6. What type of ‘Ice pick’ does the Andorian have? (Answered: It’s a climbers ice pick).
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