Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dungeons & Dragons for Star Trek!

A number of recent RPG blogger posts have reminded me of why I made my own blog in the first place. I wanted to discuss Science Fiction Role Playing Games, specifically Traveller and my all time favorite, Star Trek.

Star Trek, The Role Playing Game by FASA was the very first role playing game I purchased all by myself with my own money. Well, technically that's not true. The first was Villains and Vigilantes by Fantasy Games Unlimited but I split the cost of the Second Edition boxed set with a friend. Star Trek I bought all on my own. 

When I walked into the Compleat Strategist in New York City, NY (my FLGS) for the first time at the age of 13, I was in awe. I had already played Dungeons & Dragons (Basic and Advanced), Gamma World, Traveller, and a few others. I was aware of perhaps a few more games through my friends. When I entered this die-slingers paradise, this mecca of gaming, I could barely absorb and register all the games, minis, dice, and related gaming paraphernalia before me.

As I walked forward in a daze, trying desperately to look at everything at once, I stopped dead in my tracks after only twenty feet or so. Walking back a few steps I turned slowly to my left and saw a box with the faces of James T. Kirk and Mister Spock painted on it. I gingerly took it off the shelf and looked it over, reading the back of the box very carefully. A Star Trek Role Playing Game. This thing in my hands was a role playing game for Star Trek.

I walked up to the counter and the guy at the register asked, "Did you find everything you were looking for?" I smiled, took a deep breath, and said in a voice both honest and satisfied, "Yes".

After buying the game I went home and called my best friend Joe on the phone right away...

Me: "Joe, its Adam. I found the Compleat Strategist today."
(We were 13 and lived in Brooklyn, a dozen or so subway stops out of the big city. We didn't know our way around Manhattan.).

Joe: "No! Really? What's it like?"

Me: "Incredible. They had everything Joe. EVERYTHING! I bought a game."

Joe: "A new game? What? What did you get?"

Me: "I bought...Star Trek, The Role Playing Game."

Joe: (Stunned silence lasting a good half a minute). "Wha...?"

Me: "Dungeons & Dragons for STAR TREK! You can make your own crewmember, fly your own starship, go to different planets, fight Klingons..."

Joe: "I'll be right over." (Joe lived about 6-8 blocks from me).

Me: "Wait! No. I need time to read the rules. I just bought it. Find one other player to game with us and I'll run it this weekend."

Joe: "Done. I'll call you later."

And the adventure...begins...

Barking Alien



  1. This is such a great story. I mentioned on my blog that I also had that "and the choir sang" moment when I first spotted FASA Trek at my hobby store in Ohio. Unfortunately, my gaming group at the time wasn't at all interested (we were pretty much going our separate ways around that time due to college and such anyway). We did play the Tactical Combat Simulator the next summer, I think, but I never got to run the grand TOS campaign I had in mind (and the notes for which are sadly long gone). I didn't even get to play as a player until years later at Origins, and it was a game that went nowhere. Still, I really treasure my FASA boxes, supps and minis, and it ranks in my Top 5 RPGS (along with Holmes D&D, CoC, The Fantasy Trip and Thousand Suns).

    There have been other Trek RPGs, but there has never been another "Dungeons & Dragons for Star Trek"!

  2. Too true, too true.

    Well, stayed tuned for more. I'm going to try and chronicle my early campaign(s) with FASA, my playtesting and writing for Last Unicorn Games and my next campaign (yet to be finalized).

    Barking Alien

  3. *sniff*

    That's a beautiful story, man...

    Those are the kinds of moments that stay with you forever, aren't they?

  4. Cool anecdote indeed.
    This is why we love games.
    Not for the games themselves, but for the stories we can tell over and over about them.
    Play Long and Prosper.