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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook €18,74
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Thomas J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2017 10:15:10

The Good: I'm coming off of running two sessions of Star Trek Adventures, and I'm very satisfied with the system. It seems to take the best things from a lot of different systems and combine them into something cohesive and fun. The two groups I ran had a good time, which is most important, but I also think this RPG fosters a spirit of cooperation and diplomacy over "kicking in the door and killing things," which is important for Star Trek to do.

The history of Star Trek setting in the book is SUPER interesting. As a long time Trekker, I learned a couple things about the setting, so I know it was thoroughly researched.

The Bad: There are some typos in the book, but I'm sure they'll be fixed in errata or a new printing.

It also feels like the players should have a decent working knowledge of Star Trek to play. I think the setting information helps, but I had a few people unfamiliar with Star Trek playing, and they seemed a little bit lost for a lot of the play session.

Overall, it's a good book, worthy of your money. The setting information alone is worth the price of admission.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2017 14:51:21

First off; the book is beautifully styled, with TNG era LCARS elements adding visual flare to sidebars and headers. The STA Corebook also seems to be well laid out for the most part.

If you are familiar with the events of the Star Trek series and the ethics of Starfleet, you can skip ahead to chapter 04, which gets into the dice and basic game mechanics.

As a fan of Star Trek, i can say that the most entertaining stories in the setting are not simple binary moral quandries, the best bring the individual characters' ethics and values to the forefront to cause tension and conflict and drive the plot forward. STA represents this with the values and determination sub-system.

Character Creation was a unique experience for me, i thought more about WHO my character was and less about WHAT they can do. The Lifepath system has you add values at certain points of creation, long standing ideals that may be challenging to overcome. The creation system also asks you a number of questions throughout the process that make you think about WHO not WHAT your character is. In short...mechanical creation can be done in about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how fast you write and how clear your concept is. Character creation however takes me about an hour and a half because for the first time...WHO i am in the game matters.

Character development in STA is less about statiscal boosts as it is about personal change and growth. For the most part you will be re-arranging your stats not boosting them, Arc milestones being the only 'level up' that allows you to add to your character without subtracting.

In closing, I feel as if the team at modiphius were more concentrated on the Trek Feel and less about selling a game system.

2D20 has been assimilated. It's mechanical and statistical distinctiveness have been added to the Trek. Resistance is Futile.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Emmanuel P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2017 03:56:09

I love 2D20 Conan, Mutant Chronicles 2D20 is a blast to play and Infinity looks very romising. It s beyond me, why Modiphius recently began to water down their very good house system and tries to bend it into something else FATEeresk with John Carter and STA. The layout is gorgeous as I am used to from Modiphius and I still remain a faithful Modiphius fan but this new take on their 2D20 system recently is rather disappointing. Just my 2 cents, others might disagree.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Wayne M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/27/2017 20:39:33

As I am a contributor to this particular product, I suppose one could say my review is biased. However, my position is that a good product is a good product, and this is exactly that. My experience is with the PDF edition, and my viewpoint is from a general ST fan, and a full time illustrator who is attuned to good art and presentation. This edition looks very solid, and the artwork reproduction, with my own included, is spot on. Granted, I am not a hardcore RPG player, so I leave the informational specifics to the ones who know and who share their response. My only complaint is that I was not able to open a hardback edition and smell the fresh ink wafting from the crisp pages! Regardless, I highly recommend this product for the visuals alone!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Saul S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2017 23:47:28

The book has been an enjoyable read so far and I'm working my way through Character creation and Starships to hammer together a ship concept for a friend who's wanting to run it. The systme itself is fairly smooth and lends itself to roleplaying fairly well and encourages imaginative characters. as I am now bringing in second generation players, havinga simpler system is a nice bonus.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Gene A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2017 21:43:11

So far I have found STA enjoyable. The layouts are attractive, clean and thematically appropriate with evocative illustrations and accompanying sidebar blurbs that further immerse the game in the Trek universe. I haven't read the rules in their entirety but like the relative simplicity of the mechanics. What stands out for me are the mechanisms for supporting characters augmenting the player character cast. I think the designers found an elegant way to make players feel as though they are part of the ship's company rather than a ,"party of four". The method of character creation feels organic, encouraging storybuilding and choices rather than having outcomes dictated by the roll of a die. I am excited by the possibility of storytelling withiin the Trek universe and sharing a mission of exploration with my friends. The book provides some background for games set within three eras (Enterprise, TOS, and TNG). The emphaisis is strongest on the two former periods but with an adaptable system and so much information availible for the setting ( I love you Memory Alpha :D ) I have every confidence the crew of USS Mariner will rock the 22nd century!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2017 14:57:08

While the look-and-feel of the Trek Universe is there, I'm several chapters in and just scratching the surface of game mechanics, and haven't even touched character creation (which, for most iterations of Trek, is a fairly involved process).

I feel like I'm being kept at arm's distance. Most of us are familiar with Trek, and familiar with RPGs. The core book should get players and gamemasters up and running as quickly as possible. Show, don't tell. Provide a quick-start reference.

I hate to say it, and I understand that writers from former versions worked on this, it'd be easier for me to dig out my older game books.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Dustin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2017 14:17:35

Great system with a comprehensive ruleset. Easily the best Star Trek RPG out there.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2017 12:47:52

Fantastic. It's been a long time coming. Cant wait for supplements etc



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Jeremy G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/10/2017 11:43:23

I have run this once, and have read most of the book. We intentionally left out formal starship operations, given that we were all new to the game and didn't want to wait to play it. Here's the bottom line: it runs easily at the table; the mechanics help to establish a vibe that feels right for Star Trek; and the subsystems (character generation, combat, research, etc.) all make sense within the demands of Star Trek. I am very impressed with this as a game - that is, an entity of mechanics, systems, and reference material - and as a resource for telling stories within Star Trek. As other reviewers have stated, it's a beautiful product, well-organized and nice-looking, and I've had no trouble finding whatever I need in the PDF. I'll certainly buy the physical book, but this has enabled me to read the rules and run it now rather than having to wait.

As a final note, I played the FASA version extensively BITD, and still own almost all the LUG books, although I only played that version a handful of times. I have no experience reading or playing the Decipher version. All that said, these are the best Star Trek RPG rules I've played, hands-down, and an excellent ruleset, regardless.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/08/2017 14:52:46

Visually, the entire book is laid out as if you were viewing an LCARS (Library Computer Access and Retrieval System) screen in the ST-NG era... quite beautiful and distinctive to look at but I always find white text on a dark backround a bit tiring on the eyes for any length of time. It's worth persevering though, the content has been put together by people who clearly love the Star Trek universe and want to bring it to life in the shared alternate reality that is your game.

After a beautiful star chart Chapter 1: Introduction welcomes you to the Star Trek universe and explains what the game involves. It explains that the default setting is 2371 (or perhaps we should say Stardates 48000-48999), but that it's quite possible to run games in other eras, be your favourite captain Kirk or Archer: all you need do is adjust technology and surroundings to suit. Advice is to be found in the Gamemaster material and in promised future supplements. There's mention of the dice and other materials that you will need, and an example of play that should get the idea across for anyone new to roleplaying.

Chapter 2: The United Federation of Planets serves as a detailed introduction to the universe, with particular attention paid to its history. The default is that the Dominion has just been discovered in the Gamma Quadrant, the Maquis are getting frisky in the Cardassian Demilitarised Zone and it's thought likely that the Borg will come back for a second attempt at assmiliating, well, everybody, but of course you can call a pause in the timeline whenever you want to adventure. We read of the major power blocs, complete with atmospheric 'intelligence reports' and other snippets such as diary entries, history lessons from Starfleet Academy professors and more which make it all come to life - and everything's written in a style that makes it suitable for in-character use. It's a neat way to tell the history of the universe.

Next, Chapter 3: Your Continuing Mission provides extensive details about Starfleet itself - organisation, the Prime Directive, the Academy, the sort of duties members undertake and what away teams do. Sidebars include a neat rationale about why uniform colours changed from command wearing gold and operations red in the time of Captain Kirk to the other way around in later years... it was actually due to the implied stigma of a 'red shirt' being most likely to die on an away misson or other dangerous circumstance! The explanation of the different sorts of duties and missions is fascinating and should help inform character creation and indeed adventure design.

Chapter 4: Operations follows. This explains the rules and game mechanics which govern play. As well as d20s and d6s, the system involves a special 'Challenge Die' which bears a special symbol (a sort of 'Starfleet arrow' based on the original series badge). There's an explanation of how to use an ordinary d6 instead - or you can buy Challenge Dice from the publisher Modiphius. We learn about the different things that can occur during play and about a system of Traits - short phrases or single words that describe a thing, a place or a person - which serve to convey what is and is not possible. Traits can be advantages or complications. A Task is a roll to determine the success (or otherwise) of an attempt to do something, and the character brings their innate Attributes and learned Disciplines to bear on the task, with their scores being used to determine the target number for the task (it might have made more sense if characters had been covered first rather than in the next chapter, but it's quite straightforward really). The GM then sets the Difficulty of the task, which tells you how many successes you need to roll to do whatever you are trying to do. A success occurs when you roll equal to or less than the target number. Then you get the dice out - at least 2d20 but you can roll more by use of various additional rules. It may sound a bit complex written out but it's slick in play once you have tried it a couple of times. The chapter goes on to explain various details like having appropriate equipment and other factors that can help or hinder you, how to deal with opposed tasks and so on. If you do exceptionally well in the die roll, you gain Momentum, a mechanic that gives you advantages at the time and/or later on, depending on how you choose to use the points. The GM has a complementary system called Threats. Things called Values and Directives may also come into play. Described properly in the next chapter, Values are statements about a person's attitude and drives, Directives apply to the mission - and hence to the entire party engaged in it.

On then to Chapter 5: Reporting for Duty. This covers a whole lot more than character creation, although that's the main gist of it, using as examples characters from the TV show - hopefully most readers will be familiar with them! Each character has six Attributes (Control, Daring, Fitness, Insight, Presence, and Reason), innate abilities that define them, and then get training in six Disciplines. While a character will specialise in one or more (and so have more points in it), Starfleet expects its officers to know at least something about everything. The Disciplines are Command, Conn, Engineering, Security, Science, and Medicine. Then it gets fun with a Lifepath Creation system that builds the character and his backstory at the same time, showing how, when and where he acquired his knowledge and skills. It does help if you have some idea of where you want to end up before you start, though! There's loads of detail to help you make all the choices required, starting with race and going through environment (the one you grew up in), upbringing, attending Starfleet Academy and subsequent career in Starfleet. All this results in a rounded character who has lived a full life even before play begins. The main focus is on Starfleet officers, but there are notes on created an enlisted character if that's what you prefer. There is also a novel alternate method of creating a character during play, where you part-create a few simple details and add the rest as the game proceeds. Different, but I think I prefer the Lifepath method.

Then Chapter 6: The Final Frontier talks about the universe itself, covering planets, alien encounters, stellar phenomena and scientific discoveries and developments. This is an overview, talking about characteristics and dangers, rather than detailing specific planets or aliens that can be encountered. It includes a delightful article entitled 'Zen and the Art of Warp Core Maintenance' which discusses how the science of Star Trek is either real or has been at least considered to be theoretically possible, and also shows how in-character research can be conducted.

This fascinating chapter is followed by Chapter 7: Conflict. This deals with a lot more than brawling (although combat is in there), covering any occasion in which two parties have different ideas about, well, anything and how the matter may be resolved. It provides a nuanced way to navigate through social conflict using a mix of role-play and die rolls. Naturally, there is extensive coverage of how to deal with situations in which combat breaks out, concentrating on melee (individual against individual). This is followed by Chapter 8: Technology and Equipment, which talks about what is available and how to use it. Should you wish to venture outside the mid-24the century default, this is the area in which the greatest changes will occur. It also covers details like how much people can carry as well as how to develop new items of equipment as and when they are required.

Star Trek is all about travelling the stars, exploration accompanies nearly all missions even if they have another goal, and so Chapter 9: A Home in the Stars looks at where the party might find themselves - primarily starships of course, but starbases and colonies are also examined. There's plenty of detail on starship operation and day-to-day life to help create a believable background. A note on planet-based games helps show how you can make life on a colony just as much an adventure as one based on a starship or starbase. This chapter also includes rules for starship combat and presents an array of Starfleet ships as well as some alien vessels. Combat between ships, as well as the more obvious concepts of manoeuvering and shooting at each other, also includes the management of power aboard ship, an added dimension... and of course there are the perils of warp core breaches and even abandoning ship.

We then move on to material of most use to the GM, beginning with Chapter 10: Gamemastering. Herein is a wealth of advice about running the game, staying on top of the rules and ensuring that the players' characters develop and grow over time. Some is general advice, useful whatever you're planning to run, but much of course is aimed specifically at Star Trek Adventures. There are ideas for adventure, guidance in managing character creation and notes on how to make the rules work to best effect. There's an interesting discussion on how Star Trek Adventures has a slightly different approach from many games, in this universe cooperation rather than conquest is the aim and while fights do break out, Starfleet prefers to obtain its objectives by more peaceful means. Belonging to a large - and hierarchical - organisation is also covered: the characters cannot become pawns following orders... but then, no-one would accuse Kirk or Picard of being a pawn! There's lots on the mix of creativity and mechanics that go into creating scenes, encounters, sub-plots and everything else that's going on, on pacing, and on creating missions, NPCs and the locations in which the action will take place (including a system for designing planets). A thoroughly useful chapter!

Then Chapter 11: Aliens and Adversaries takes you through the various opposing entities - the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Borg Collective, Ferengi Alliance, Cadassian Union and the Dominion - as well as alien artefacts and all manner of beasties. There are example NPCs for each group (and for the United Federation of Planets), and there are nots on how to handle a player desperate to play a Klingon or a Ferengi... as well as details of what happens to those unlucky enough to be assimilated by the Borg!

Finally, Chapter 12: The Rescue at Xerxes IV provides a ready-made adventure to get you started. It's actually the first adventure from the massive 'living playtest' that was part of the game development process, and would make a good campaign starter or a one-off to introduce players to the game. It all starts with the characters in a runabout travelling to their new assignments...

Overall, this is a magnificent beginning to what has the potential to be a fine re-telling of the Star Trek story in game form. Your mission is, of course, to boldly go where no-one has gone before, and these rules will aid you in not only getting there but coming back to tell the tale!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/07/2017 02:44:30

Where do I even start? I knew of Star Trek before from some of the movies and a few of the original series and TNG episodes I’ve watched before, but I wasn’t really a fan. So when I got the preview pdf offer from Modiphius, I wasn’t certain I would understand the appeal of the game. But since I was sold on the 2d20 system from my experiences with Conan, I figured it can’t be that bad, right?

Fast forward to now and I’m practically gushing about the game mechanics to my long-suffering wife, who even now nods patiently in understanding while I type this out and she reads it over my shoulder.

Art and Layout

Fans of the aesthetic of Star Trek will find plenty to love here, with the layout mimicking the user interfaces of the ships. However, I have to admit that adjusting to reading white text on dark background on screen was a little difficult at times, and I found myself wishing for a black and white version for readability.

There are a few typos in my preview copy, but hopefully those will be dealt with by the time the final product rolls out in stores.

The artwork is pretty evocative, and I didn’t really cringe at any of them. The Starships are probably the highlight of it all, and I did find myself wondering why there weren’t any more images of Starfleet in more relaxed situations. There’s a lot of Starfleet guys running / shooting / dodging explosions, but you’d be surprised at how hard it was to find an image to go with the Social Conflict article.

Mechanics

This is a mechanics-heavy game that will take repeated exposure, careful reading and more than a few goofs to internalize. While the basic mechanics are easy enough to grasp, there’s a ton of subsystems to cater for different styles of play. GMs will have to spend a bit of time really studying the system to get the most of it. Hopefully this series of Let’s Study articles can help future GMs learn faster!

I found the ship combat to be pretty heavy, and I’ve yet to try it out to see how things turn out. It promises a lot of explosions and show-appropriate destruction, so I’m looking forward to it.

Review & Conclusions

Buy it.

If you can afford the collector’s edition, get that.

If you can afford the Borg Box, then by all means, get THAT.

Star Trek Adventures has made a fan out of me out of the sheer amount of love and care put into creating a game that delivers on the promise of playing through and experience that is true to the series. This isn’t D&D in space in Starfleet uniforms. Modiphius knows what it’s doing whenever it works with a licensed setting.

Every rule exists to enforce the physics and ethics of the setting. There’s not a sign of lazy game design anywhere here, with each rule and subsystem carefully considered before it was added to the final product.

My only concern, if any, would be the fact that it’s a big read with a fair amount of complexity. But if you’re willing to put in the time to go through it and understand the systems, you’ll see the elegance behind it.

I also have a full review series covering all the chapters of the Star Trek Adventures RPG on my blog. If you're interested, you can read through them here: https://philgamer.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/lets-study-star-trek-adventures-introduction/

There's a handy list of links at the bottom of the introductory post to help you get to the rest of the chapter reviews.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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