Note: I started writing this post back on 10 July 2012 and since then it fell by the wayside as things moved on. Rather than let it go mouldy and have bit rot set in I thought I’d finish it off and post it to the world. I should also mention that Starblazer Adventures is no longer available and is out of print.
So I’m spending time preparing a stand-by game so that we’ve got something to play when one of us goes on holiday.
I’ve always been enchanted by the various incarnations of the Star Trek RPG; from FASA through Last Unicorn Games and Decipher’s take on things.
Since we’d played the Decipher incarnation of the game I hunted out the books and thats when I hit a snag, a big snag; the important books for the Decipher edition were missing! Sure I had the players books but the Narrators guide wasn’t there.
So rather than abandon the whole concept I decided to fall back onto another system and hack that to match Star Trek and one book caught my eye; Starblazer Adventures by Cubicle 7. It’s not hard to see why this book attracted my attention, it is the largest gaming book I own and is over 600 pages of FATE powered Sci-Fi. The book is crammed to the gills with all sorts of interesting bits and bobs; rules for aliens, starships, mutants and cyborgs.
Of course I had to figure out what parts of the game I needed to keep and how to deal with some specific Trek related themes. Races became aspects as this seemed to be the best way of handling them, that way you could invoke the aspect to duplicate what we saw of that race in the television series. Some races were better than others, but then that’s always the way in games.
I had previously run a Trek game set during the Original Series movie era but wanted to move things into the Next Gen side of things. I wanted to run a game that wasn’t the usual Star Trek trope of Federation vs Romulans or Klingons; I wanted to use a villain that would make the campaign stand out and that called for another alien. I read all sorts of history for research and found an area of space that was between two of the global powers in the game and seemed to be ripe for using; this was between the Federation and the Cardassians.
So with the history done I turned to Starblazer Adventures and started to hack it to be the game I wanted. I ran into a few problems with how to handle psionics but the game never got beyond the planning stage so I never addressed this issue.
What with the history and the era addressed I needed a world so I decided to generate one from scratch and I used NBOS Software Astrosynthesis to lay down the planetary bodies in the area and followed it up by using the Fractal Terrains software package from ProFanstasy software.
In the end I turned out some interesting planetary maps even if Fractal Terrains kept producing worlds that were a little too Earth like.
I don’t want to abandon this idea so that’s why I’m dusting off this old setting and publishing it just to get it out of my system and perhaps revisit the idea soon.
I know if I was to create it now, I would use FATE Core to do so and perhaps the accompanying system toolkit to make it work; or I may use one of the other narrative systems I bought. When it comes down to things, I feel the mechanics are secondary now to a good idea for a story.
I would reuse the software as they both work very well together and compliment each other perfectly.
Fractal Terrains 3: https://secure.profantasy.com/products/ft.asp
FATE Core: http://www.evilhat.com/home/fate-core/