Gaming the Final Frontier Part I - General Order Two - Pre-Production - Making Adjustments
So I've started pooling together some ideas about my Star Trek RPG series premise, setting and ship (the central location for much of the story). After writing these down and looking over them it was time to think about these elements and discuss them with my players a bit more thoroughly.
In doing so I discovered that the series may be better served by setting the story earlier in Star Trek's 'history'. This occurred to me because:
Many of these players are only casual Star Trek fans or, in one case, not fans at all. As such, they won't know all the fine points of treknology and technobabble so I'm better off keeping it simple and focused - Communicators, Phasers, Photon Torpedoes, Shields, Transporters, Tricorders, Warp Drives are all the really matter.No magical god-tech such as replicators means more of a 'live by your wits' feel to the game. I like that.
Also, I can make them the heroes of important first contacts and minor wars that will impact the 'Next Generation' of tales and maybe even carry over to future campaigns (and I obviously mean future in more ways then one).
While new to Star Trek gaming, this is an experienced group of 25-40 year old players who prefer an action/adventure oriented style. The traditional TNG, VOY approach will just bore them and when they get bored, they get distracted and focus on everything but the matter at hand (i.e. the adventure).
So what does this translate into for my campaign? Well, the premise remains unchanged, a Starfleet Vessel Exploring a Particularly Hostile Frontier Region. No need to alter that. Even the reasoning behind it is sound, we make friends with some alien species located fairly close to an enemy power that agrees to allow us to explore their area and support us when needed. Very likely this helpful alien species is looking to join the Federation, possibly with the ulterior motive of getting help against the hostiles.
The setting is going to change however, with the stories taking place in the Original Series Movie Era, with the first adventure set roughly circa 2279. This time period has the perfect cold war political feel and grittiness mixed into the 'boldly going' nature I love about Star Trek. I want the military look of this setting with its maroon jacket uniforms (perfect for bloodied handprints on the inside flap), darker, more dramatically lit sets (the Bridge, seemingly abandoned science outposts, etc.) and my all time favorite Star Trek ship designs ever, the Miranda Class.
Which brings me to the class of ship we'll be using. This one's a toughy. I still need a vessel that has the same general purpose, an exploration vessel with some muscle. Now what I've been considering is a tough little scrapper instead of a bigger explorer. In D&D/Fantasy RPG terms, instead of a Ranger, what I need is a Scout. Hmm...
Enter the Avenger Class Fast Destroyer created by the amazingly talented Masao Okazaki of The Starfleet Museum. Another version of this vessel appears on the website The Journal of Applied Treknology under 23rd Century History. The latter version is designed to fit the TOS Movie Era and appears to have a construction date of 2275, making the ship only 4 years old at the start of our campaign. Maybe not all the bugs have been worked out of the upgrade...heheheh.
OK, so we are a good ways toward final production here and as such, next time I will indeed get to the crew and various other concerns on how to really get the campaign series started. Be advised that the title is now changed to reflect the adjustments, Star Trek: OUTBOUND - Flight of the >Ship's Name Here<. Haven't decided on the new vessel's name yet. Looking into some kind of mythological flying creature perhaps.
I know, I know, "Adam, the new Star Trek movie is out! Aren't you going to review it?" Yes. Eventually. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it and how to word the review. Check back soon.