Star Trek Adventures – Starter Set

I recently ran the first adventure in the three adventure mini campaign from the the Star Trek Adventures Starter Set from Modiphius Entertainment. Overall we had a good time playing through it and it worked quite well. Here are a few random observations and questions that came up along the way. I’ve also tried to avoid any major spoilers for the adventure.

The first thing I noticed is that the Starter Set comes with five pregenerated Player Characters and one Ship. The Quickstart Guide which is available for free on the Modiphius website has the same five pregenerated PCs plus one additional one, the Denobulan Science Officer.

Lt. Natala

What makes this interesting is that on the sheet of tokens that is included with the Starter Set actually includes a token for the Science Officer even though she isn’t included in the set.

Tokens

I just printed off the Science Officer from the Quickstart Pdf and threw the sheet in the Starter Set box with the rest of the PCs and we used her during our game.

I did come across one mistake in the adventure, on page 17. The characters need to climb down a turboshaft, which the adventure says is a “Control + Fitness” task. When rolling for tasks in the game you take one Attribute and one Discipline and add them together to come up with your Target number. The problem here is that Control and Fitness are both Attributes. We figured it should be Fitness and Conn and went with that. Normally I’d consider that a fairly minor problem, but when you are using an adventure that is specifically designed to teach the game, it’s fairly important to get those sorts of the things correct.

Another very minor issue was with one of the maps. You are told to pull out map 2.3, easy enough, here is a picture of the map.

Next, you are supposed to refer to the back of the book and layout the Romulans where indicated on the map, and have the PCs come in near the Star Fleet logo on the other side.

Layout Guide

Notice anything odd? I was directing one of the players on where to place the miniatures and he seemed to be putting them in the wrong spots. Then I realized that the room on the left where the Romulans go is reversed between the layout guide in the adventure book and the actual poster. It makes very little difference to the adventure but did throw things off for a moment. The adventure also didn’t describe what would happen if the PCs managed to stun several of the Romulans. I simply spent some Threat and had the last standing Romulan close the door between them and the PCs.

A question that did come up during the game was around the disruptors that the Romulans were using and whether they have a Stun setting. From what most of us could recall from the TV shows they don’t. One of the mechanics in the game is as the GM I would need to spend a Threat token to have a weapon set to lethal rather than stun, which I didn’t really want to do so I ruled that they could be set to stun. Checking the Core Rule book later, the disruptors don’t have the “Deadly” quality so that was a correct call.

Another question that came up was whether the range to a target affected the difficulty to hit. I.e. was someone at Close range harder to hit with a phaser than someone at Medium or Long range? This particular adventure did have a Location Trait that stated that the Difficulty increased by one for Medium range and beyond, but didn’t say anything else. Checking the Core Rule book didn’t come up with any modifiers for range for weapons although there are modifiers for identifying creatures or objects and trying to communicate.

The only other question that came up that we couldn’t quickly find an answer for was how many characters could assist on a task. I allowed only one, but that was more due to the situations and lack of space for multiple characters for the task being attempted at the time. The Quickstart rules do say “One or more characters may assist the Task”. I didn’t notice if it mentioned the maximum five die limit on tasks anywhere in the Quickstart rules, I didn’t find it in a quick search, but I do know it is in the Core Rules.

Overall, I think the Starter Set is a good product. The maps are rather strangely sized, roughly nine and half by 18 inches. There are two double sided sheets and each side has two parts, some connecting rooms, some completely separate maps. In the Print and Play pdf that you can get for the Starter Set, each part is on a separate page. Unfortunately they are also in black and white. I think I may scan the color ones in, split them and enlarge them slightly to print on a 8.5 by 11 cardstock then trim them.

We had fun playing the first adventure, one memorable event was one of the characters fumbling their phaser in the turboshaft and bouncing it off another characters head. It ended up being a good thing as the Conn Officer was able to take the damaged phaser and jury rig it as a stun grenade, which quickly came in very handy.

I look forward to running it again at the Calgary Expo and then running the second and third adventures with the Calgary Star Trek Gaming Meetup group. My thanks to the players in that group that allowed me to dust off my Gamemastering skills and test this out with them.

Omni-Stand System by Corsec Engineering

This is a follow-up/companion article to my “Corsec Bases and Rods with tweaks” posting that I did back in November of 2015. I’ll repeat the first three paragraphs from that posting and then go on to show in more detail both the standard way that the system can be used and then add some additional information on some of the tweaks I described in the earlier post.

Over the years I’ve tried out several different types of stands and bases for my miniatures, but I think I’ve finally settled on the using the Omni-Stand system from Corsec Engineering.  What I like about it is that it is very versatile, especially when combined with a few accessories from a fine tool store like Lee Valley.

There are three main parts to the Omni-Stand system, the base, the supporting rod, and the mount, all of which are interchangable, which means you can use the same miniature for multiple games and just swap out the base, going from a round base with 30 degree firing arcs for something like Full Thrust, to square bases customized for use with the X-Wing Miniatures Game.

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Happy New Year – 2019 part 1

I’ve been thinking about this update for awhile and just haven’t been able to find the time to do it all in one go, so I’m going to split it into several smaller postings.

I did do a mid year update for 2018 so you would think there would be few things to review, but that isn’t really the case. There have been changes related to jobs, the loss of a friend, some additional work on the house, a couple of new apps I’ve been using, getting out and meeting new gamers, and the regular updates on various projects to cover.

I think I’ll start with an easy one, health and fitness. I see from last year’s New Years posting that I started at 260 lbs which was down from 268 from 2016.

I made some decent progress again this year, primarily around May and then maintaining it through the rest of the year. My actual weight on Jan 2 2018 was 252.5 lbs, which is a pretty good indication of most of the year, I’ve been bouncing between 250 and 255 since my initial drop in May. And, here is a nice little graph that shows my progress throughout the year.

Brent’s Weight 2018
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Star Trek Adventures

I’ve started working on a Campaign for the new Star Trek Adventures Roleplaying game.  I’m basically going to convert some of the material from my old FASA Star Trek campaign, using some of the ideas and adventures I used in that one, along with some published adventures, some stuff lifted from some of the novels, and some tie ins to the original television series.

The campaign will start in 2269, which puts it after The Original Series (TOS) and part way through The Animated Series (TAS).

The characters will be part of StarFleet Intelligence and their primary goals will be gathering information on Klingon and Orion activities in the area around K7 Space Station, which is along the Federation/Klingon border.  According the “Stellar Cartography” maps, the nearest Starbase in that area is Starbase 46 or Starbase 2.  I’ll probably have them working out of Starbase 2 as it’s also along the border.  Also, Starbase 46 is only mentioned in Star Trek: Discovery, which I’m pretty much ignoring in my campaign.

I am going to have the characters assigned to an Archer Class vessel which comes from the Vanguard series of novels.  I like that it is a small ship, with only 14 crew.  This means I can easily have four to six regular players, and either they can each play a main character and a supporting character, or I can easily create the rest of the crew as Non Player Characters.  It also means the players will have to solve most things themselves rather than calling up the resident expert on the ship, which can happen on the larger ships.  I’ll know exactly what the skill sets of all the crew members will be. 

I also like that the transporter on the ship can only beam one person up or down at a time.  The ship is capable of landing on planets, so that is generally the main method of travel.  It seems like every second published Star Trek adventure includes an ion storm, or strong electromagnetic field around a planet, or something else to prevent transporter use. This will help get around having to do that.

It also allows for the flexibility of having a few guest players from time to time as well.  And, I have a nice set of deck plans from Starship Dynamics.

I was able to scan in the sheets that have the areas accessible to the crew and created a set of deck tiles at miniature scale for those areas.

Archer Tiles

I’ll have them supported by a Ptolemy Class tug with various specialty cargo pods, a throw back to some adventures I ran in FASA’s Triangle Campaign.  I haven’t decided yet if the Triangle will exist in my current campaign or not.

For the first adventure, I’m going to adapt the “Again, Troublesome Tribbles” adventure from the First Edition FASA Star Trek Roleplaying game box set.  I’ve just started working through converting the NPCs, then I’ll try converting the creatures.  And, I’ll change enough things around so that any other old Trekkies that might have played the original may not know exactly what’s going on. 

I’ve got a discussion started on Meetup for those in the Calgary area that might be interested in playing. Whether I go ahead with it will depend on the level of interest. I’d want to get at least four committed players in order to start.

Star Trek Stellar Cartography

I recently picked up the new edition of “Star Trek Stellar Cartography” and thought I would do a comparison between the new 2018 edition to the original 2013 edition.

2018 Edition and 2013 Edition:

(Note, I will be added some additional photographs, links, and some notes on a comparison of the Poster Maps in the near future)

The descriptions on Amazon for the two products are identical:

The Starfleet Reference Library: Stellar Cartography collects together ten original, never-before-seen large-format maps of the Star Trek universe. Pulled from the cartography archives of Starfleet Academy, these beautifully reproduced maps provide a rare opportunity to view the expanse of Federation space (and beyond) through the multiple lenses of the Galaxy’s key players.

The maps include an ancient Vulcan map, a Klingon Empire map from the pre-Organian Peace Treaty era (in the native Klingon), an official Romulan government map of the Empire, a native Cardassian Union map from the Bajor occupation, along with Federation maps from the modern era. Housed in a handsome clamshell case and paired with a fully-illustrated reference book providing detailed information on planets, systems, and topography, this exclusive collection showcases the Star Trek universe like never before.

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Ravenstar Space Stations and Shipyards part 3

Continued from Part 2

Now that everything had been primed, it was time to do the painting.  I wanted to do painting of the Stations and the Shipyards at the same time to make it easy to paint similar features the same way with the same colors to bring a consistent feeling to them all.  Not many comments to make here, just some photos showing what I did. Despite the Testor’s paints showing at the top of this photo, I exclusively used Vallego paints on the miniatures.

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Ravenstar Space Stations and Shipyards part 1

Last November (2017), Ravenstar Studios had a pre-Christmas sale, so I bought some items that I had been thinking about for quite some time. I picked up the Space Stations that he had available as well as the large Ship Yards kit. The original order actually got lost in the mail somewhere, but he kindly sent out a second one, along with some extras.  The items I ordered were:

Fort Courage Space Station
Missile Platform (2)
Jansen Research Station (2)
DSS McKinzie Space Station
ShipYard – Complete Set

He also included these items in my shipment as extras:

Warden Sensor Station (3)
Freeman Repair Station
Zane Refueling Station
Battle Station Raiden
Typhoons Grace
Fuco Cruiser
Unlisted Federation Expanse ship, similar to Raimus Destroyer but bigger

It all showed up in a fairly typical shipping box:

Everything was packed in nicely with a protective bubble wrap layer

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