Last week I wrote about how I seemingly had dropped off the Star Trek Adventures RPG Living Playtest email (err….”Datapad”) distribution. A few days later, I was hailed by Chris Birch of Modiphius and sent the latest playtest documents. I really appreciate the gesture as after my snarky comments I could totally understand not ever hearing from the playtest again.
This weekend I went ahead and reviewed the v1.36 rules. I must admit they are better than the earlier version. Some of my earlier concerns have been dealt with, others remain, and a few new ones were introduced:
- Without the character generation rules it is difficult for me to see the difference of Values and Traits
- I am concerned that there could be too many rolls involved, like when Assisting the assisting PC makes a full Task roll followed by the action PC making another full Task roll
- Advantages, Complications, Determination, Momentum and Threat all seem to be coming together and mechanically (and narratively) balancing each other
- The rules seem schizophrenic on whether it is the GM or players who make certain calls; please pick one direction and go with it!
The Alpha Rules for starships were also included in this release. Ships are played like characters with many of the same rules. I first experienced this approach to starships in RPGs with the Cortex Classic Battlestar Galactica RPG (though I now know it was done earlier than that). The rules seem to work, though without ship design rules its hard to envision how ships will scale against each other. I have hope that I can do my Vanguard setting; the Original Series Constitution-class cruiser is “Size 3” whereas the Next Generation Galaxy-class is “Size 4.”
This version of Star Trek Adventures has improved enough over the first one to renew my interest. In this next week I will dig into the rules a bit deeper and try to get a playtest session going.