Why no Star Trek games?



  • So Modiphius just released their Klingon Core Rules for their Star Trek RPG and it got me wondering; why are there no active Star Trek games?

    For me, the few games that have come about have been stationary or they try to fit everyone onto one space station or starship. I'd like something in the middle, myself. Maybe centered on a space station but people can "crew up" and get their own ship to explore some portion of space? Instead of one starship crewed to the gills have a few that use a central space station as a common port of call?

    I dunno. I just know I get the itch to RP Star Trek from time to time and can never find a game!



  • I think a lot has to do with the Military style setting more.than anything. I think the game would need to be like DS9 to allow for the most wide range of PC concepts to make it work.


  • Pitcrew

    @ZombieGenesis said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    So Modiphius just released their Klingon Core Rules for their Star Trek RPG and it got me wondering; why are there no active Star Trek games?

    For me, the few games that have come about have been stationary or they try to fit everyone onto one space station or starship. I'd like something in the middle, myself. Maybe centered on a space station but people can "crew up" and get their own ship to explore some portion of space? Instead of one starship crewed to the gills have a few that use a central space station as a common port of call?

    I dunno. I just know I get the itch to RP Star Trek from time to time and can never find a game!

    I don't think that Star Trek lends itself to a large, multiplayer setting as easily as some other properties. Rank and position is very much a core part of Trek, and that means limited 'spotlight' space on a single ship or station. Everyone wants to be Kirk/Riker/Sisko/Spock/personal favorite; no-one wants to be a crewman on Delta Shift. So, the plum roles/positions go very quickly, leaving 'lesser' roles that would be more like walk-on characters. O'Brien is really the only Trek character that went from walk-on/recurring to a main Cast position. Compared to other Rank/Position genres like L&L (where there's plenty of noble titles to go around and let a PC make a name for themselves and advance) or even Superhero Games (where even though there are obvious 'star characters', other characters can still prove themselves and gain status/become more prestigious).

    Also, some players, or maybe it's just me, are sort of burned out still on the spate of 'Report Status' Trek games from a decade or so back, where we had to fill out IC reports on everything....

    Finally, Trek shows like Discovery and the newer movies haven't been as well recieved by the general fandom; so the enthusiasm isn't where it was in, say, the DS9 & Voyager time when LUGTrek came out. Again, just my opinion, and Picard may have changed the dynamic in regards to fan enthusiasm.



  • You could just make the senior officers NPCs and have people primarily play like Ensigns - LTs.

    I think the model that worked on a lot of BSG games could work for a Star Trek MU reasonably well.



  • @Three-Eyed-Crow said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    I think the model that worked on a lot of BSG games could work for a Star Trek MU reasonably well.

    It depends on the focus. BSG games focus around dogfights and firefights, so it makes sense that the 'star' characters are low-ranking officer pilots and enlisted marines. I don't think that model works too well for most Trek stories, where the adventures are more targeted to the 'movers and shakers' than to Crewman #9.

    Not saying it couldn't be done, but I do think it's a big obstacle for a MU.


  • Pitcrew

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    You could just make the senior officers NPCs and have people primarily play like Ensigns - LTs.

    I think the model that worked on a lot of BSG games could work for a Star Trek MU reasonably well.

    While that makes a certain amount of sense, it's not Trek. Yes, in a logical universe, 90% of the Away Teams would be comprised of the lesser officers. But in Trek, it's the CO and Command Staff that go on the missions and see all the action. The Ensign/jg/LT characters are background gruntwork, unless they have an applicable specialty.


  • Pitcrew

    I never played on any of the Star Trek games but I've played several different genres of space-theme/travel games and here are some of the issues I've noticed with keeping them staffed/focused:

    *Having adequate staff or player storytellers to really allow for exploration/small-crew (by PC, not necessarily the actual size of vessel/crew) stories. Otherwise people come expecting that kind of play and when they don't get it and don't bring their own dedicated player STer team the allure of station play or planet-based cantina play fades fast and leads to a lot of frustration/jealous resource guarding.

    *On military focused games just the sheer amount of people who either don't really get military basic play knowledge or conversely are extremely anal about everything being played "right" according to their own expertise (complicated by the fact that there are a ton of people who lie like hell about their military service). There can be a difficult balance to strike between that, how fun it is/isn't for people to write and publish reports, bottlenecking with continuous idling/changeover of command pcs, ect.

    *I also think that Star Trek and Star Wars (more the latter than the former) can sometimes fall into the SO many things to do/focus on that the overall game can be difficult to stay focused on what the runners/staff had started out doing.

    I mean these are pretty generic issues that can happen with ANY genre of game, but I've noticed that esp. with spacecapades games that when any of that slows down the play dries up really super fast, and for whatever reason, people kind of just expect more Staff-driven storytelling so they can do the exploring/war scenes/away missions.


  • Pitcrew

    @Runescryer said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    You could just make the senior officers NPCs and have people primarily play like Ensigns - LTs.

    I think the model that worked on a lot of BSG games could work for a Star Trek MU reasonably well.

    While that makes a certain amount of sense, it's not Trek. Yes, in a logical universe, 90% of the Away Teams would be comprised of the lesser officers. But in Trek, it's the CO and Command Staff that go on the missions and see all the action. The Ensign/jg/LT characters are background gruntwork, unless they have an applicable specialty.

    This is really more of a result of TV shows always wanting to write for "important characters" than anything else. Star Trek can easily work more logically and have the away teams be comprised of lower ranking officers.



  • Star Trek is over. Its time is done. It's failed.

    We need to begin the era of Tek War MU*s.


  • Pitcrew

    @Coin Oh, absolutely. When you have a ship/station of 400+ crew, it's easier to write for just 7 or 8 'main' characters. It also maintains the audience's focus. But, the point still stands that Trek has a certain 'style', one that doesn't make logical or strategic sense all the time.

    I think that of all the Trek games I've played, Anomaly had a workable concept: a central station and adding ships to accommodate the growth of the player base. However, this also demands a LOT of Storyteller resources, as essentially each ship & the station are it's own 'show'.



  • There have been some very successful games. Back in the day Strange New Worlds (SNW) was one of the biggest things, but had some inherant flaws - very systemy, some staffing pains, etc. ATS Trekmu came out around that time and is still around. Kind of like SNW, but without all the wackiness that SNW had.

    ATS is still kicking, and active from what I can tell, has 20-30 chars logged in consistently.

    Some games like Gamma One, and there were quite a few others focused heavily on military organization and completing jobs, etc. It was very much like a part time job in some aspects, great people, great games, but it had it's niche.


  • Tutorialist

    @Seamus said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    think a lot has to do with the Military style setting more.than anything. I think the game would need to be like DS9 to allow for the most wide range of PC concepts to make it work

    How about a game where all of you are playing small Maquis cells struggling against the monolithic Federation? Or hell, maybe the Terran Empire?

    No? Just me then?


  • Pitcrew

    @Derp I had a campaign idea once where a Federation ship (Galaxy or Sovreign class) accidentally slips into the Mirror universe and can't get back. So, they try to stay off the grid at first to follow the Prime Directive while they try to figure out how to get back home. Soon, though, they get dragged into the fight with the Empire and serve as a rallying ship for the revolution. Star Trek: Liberty.


  • Pitcrew

    I'm pretty new to MUSHing in general, but I've noticed a dire shortage of science fiction games entirely. Dozens upon dozens of L&L games, but looking for something modern, let alone something with a futuristic theme, is bound to be slim pickings.



  • Obvious answer is because I will jump in on any ads demanding they add spaceflight and scare off staff.


  • Tutorialist

    @Jennkryst said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    Obvious answer is because I will jump in on any ads demanding they add spaceflight and scare off staff.

    You monster.



  • Star Trek games in an RPG format hold a distinct challenge. What is more important, the Journey between the stars, or what is found at the end of that journey?

    Those who value the Journey itself clamor for space systems and the like because those support the act of the journey.

    Those who prefer the end of the Journey edge towards 'Station' based RP because that is what they value. (Note: The concept of +report RP becomes the 'journey' between events on the Station rather than actual travel)

    This is on top of the issues of exploratory/military RP and the aforementioned advancement cycle conflicts. How does a character 'level' in Star Trek? They attain rank & additional duties. However with a set number of spots available for individuals to fill, road blocks to advancement naturally occur.

    So if you were to develop a Star Trek game, you'd first have to answer which is more important; the Journey or the Destination. Then you would need to identify how you would fulfill the 'journey' sequence between destinations. Finally you'd need to address advancement of a character with systematic road blocks in place against advancement. Good luck with all that mess.

    Note: The reason games like ATS still 'exist' is because people come and go opening up spots within the 'hierarchy' but Trek Games are by and large on a limited time slot. Once the player base grows frustrated/annoyed at the inability to advance they'll filter off. We can lie to ourselves and say it's about RP, but it really isn't. WE all want /something/ for our time.



  • @Jennkryst said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    Obvious answer is because I will jump in on any ads demanding they add spaceflight and scare off staff.

    I remember you trying this when I brought up Firefly, and we're Still Flyin' (without coded space flight at the moment).

    There are definitely challenges that come up with any space/crew-based game.


  • Pitcrew

    @Paradox said in Why no Star Trek games?:

    We can lie to ourselves and say it's about RP, but it really isn't. WE all want /something/ for our time.

    I really don't think this is true. True for you, and maybe for many, but I do not believe this to be a universal truth, or the full consent/statless/freeform games where there's no advancement at all would not exist. There is a ton of evidence within this niche community that it isn't true, and that's not even branching out to other platforms or genres.



  • @Sunny
    So show me evidence of the Star Trek game that is statless, sheetless, etc, that is currently running.


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