View Full Version : Star Trek rpg's?

10-01-2008, 08:40 PM
I ran an Amazon search for Star Trek rpg's & found a small number of them, but without much info. Has anyone played them? Can you provide some info on them about the game mechanics, whether you use the tv characters, and what you'd consider the fun factor?

Thank you. :)

10-01-2008, 11:04 PM
Sadly, I don't have a lot to add as I've not actually played any edition of the Star Trek RPGs.

However, from all the gamer Trekkies that I know, they seem to almost universally prefer the version published by Last Unicorn.

I did own the Player's Guide for the version published by Decipher for a short time and it was interesting. Almost a combination of a "d20-like" resolution system (but using 2d6 instead) with the "merit and flaw" type mechanics thrown in a la WoD. It is supposed to be nearly identical system-wise to the Lord of the Rings RPG that Decipher also published. But I never actually played it so I couldn't offer more than speculation.

10-02-2008, 02:05 AM
I've played Star Trek for the last ten years. I haven't played by any of the given rules sets. I own 3-4 different system. FASA, LUG, Prime Directive, and one other I don't remember. All are used as source books.

Star Trek is cursed by systems that don't last long enough to really develop in any direction. They just get going and Paramount pulls the old rug jerk. Frankly, I would touch that license with a ten parsec pole, even being the drooling Trekkie that I am.

10-02-2008, 05:31 AM
FASA was the only system I ever knew. I enjoyed it and would love to play it again sometime, time permitting.

10-02-2008, 11:15 AM
I did a few Star Trek games, using GURPS for the characters and Star Fleet Battles for the space combat. Seemed to work pretty well, but you first have to work around the "Federation sends you on a mission and you do it" problem- it's railroading by nature. The best metaplot seems to be something like the premise of original Trek or Voyager- you're on a mission of exploration, and have minimal contact with home, so you're free to make your own decisions about what direction you want to take the game in.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-02-2008, 11:18 AM
Sorry, never played it, but liked too. If i knew gamers that did, i would have pounced on the opportunity like a spider to a fly. :spider:

10-02-2008, 11:56 AM
I did a few Star Trek games, using GURPS for the characters and Star Fleet Battles for the space combat. Seemed to work pretty well, but you first have to work around the "Federation sends you on a mission and you do it" problem- it's railroading by nature. The best metaplot seems to be something like the premise of original Trek or Voyager- you're on a mission of exploration, and have minimal contact with home, so you're free to make your own decisions about what direction you want to take the game in.

The potential plot-restraint and the fact that I'm nothing even approaching a Trekkie are the primary reasons why I ended up selling my Dechiper book. I didn't really see myself every actually finding people to play the game, nor was I entirely convinced that it was a game for me in the first place.

Sure, there are ways around it, but a lot of Trek seems focused on "you are on the crew of a big ship" and unless your PCs are in command, you're going to be taking orders a lot, which some players vehemently oppose on basic principle.

Still, with willing players and a good GM, it can be done and made enjoyable.

10-05-2008, 04:16 PM
GURPS Prime Directive seems to have a decent grasp of it. Plus you can use other GURPS sources for material.


Made by the guys who offer piles of Star Trek stuff here;


Never played in a Trek game, but if I did, I think GURPS could make a decent system for it.

11-07-2008, 03:12 PM
I have Prime Directive D20, that i picked up for a laugh, haven't tried it yet, but it shows some serious potential. Maybe mixed with d20 Future.

11-07-2008, 03:24 PM
I have played all but 1 or 2 Star Trek sysytems, my favorite was by Last Unicorn Games. As for the nature of the game you can work around the railroading aspect by putting the PCs on a smaller ship so they can have positions like assistant chief something and in most of the games I played there was always one person the PCs took orders from...the captain. All in all they were good games and despite the railroading aspect, we had alot of fun playing them, and to be honest we did not notice the fact we were taking orders that much.

11-17-2008, 11:37 AM
The FASA one is decent, it has some mechanics I really enjoy and have implemented in other systems. Thats the only StarTrek I have tried though.

11-24-2008, 04:25 PM
We played the FASA system some years ago for a long running Klingon campaign. We eventually overhauled the system to incorporate elements of SpaceMaster and Star Fleet Battles.

*sigh* those were the days!

11-27-2008, 01:59 AM
Deleted (Browser Crash)

11-27-2008, 02:04 AM
I've GM'ed FASA, LUG Trek, and Decipher for years.

FASA, as a system, is simple, it was the first Trek RPG.

It uses a very deadly wargame style square grid combat with movement and action points for personal combat.

Essentially it is use a phaser, if you hit you kill (Unless on stun), and if hit by one on kill you are dead. So it lends itself to that kind of red shirts get killed feel, though occasionally some PCs can die, not to difficult to get killed. Diplomacy is a big key in the game, and it reflects the show.

Space combat in fasa is fast and loose mostly description, / story telling style, in the rules as Written. Every Trek GM i knew used the FASA tactical simulator boardgame as a plugin. The counters for it were really nice for the day, though flat hex shapes. Minis were sold that are rare and prized these days. we got by with star trek paramount momento / pewter minis, or star trek micromachines (Neither of which are sold these days, except on Ebay.

I Dmed that for years. One thing though was the character generation while fun (it was like a mini-lifepath, except focussed on skills) was a bit weird in that each time you pick a skill you roll a d10 to add to it, so that three guys taking the same 3 courses in astrophysics in the Academy might range from 3-30 in skill, with an average of 15.

The ship assignments table and ranks table was great. I used that in other later games, and rewrote it to tailor it for my own Triangle Quadrant campaign.

So FASA ruled the skies for a long time. the modules are pretty good, even if some of them feel like dungeons in space, but some are just excellent.

On to LUG
in the late 90's, Last Unicorn games came out with LUG Trek. It is a different direction, in that it has a GURPS like feel, with advantages and disadvantages that you use in the game to add to abilities, and give more points to your PC as plot hooks, which really adds to the flavor of the PC.
PCs can be designed with a points system, or walked through character generation as in FASA.

Skill resolution is a lot different.. whereas FASA was a % based, LUG uses a number of d6 according to skill, use the highest number only. So it fells a bit like SW D6, only you don't add & Stack. I liked it a LOT, as it allowed a raw space recruit to sail along side say Kirk, and it's just that the regular crew of Enterprise almost always make the skill check, while the new guy doesn't.

The skills are more and much better defined, but there's also a lot of room to customize each skill with subskills...that the GM invents.

Of All Trek RPGs, I liked LUG the best. It had good support from Paramount, and there were a lot of books for it, OPriginal Series, Next Gen, And DS9, and they are pretty cheap on Ebay. The adventures written for it are good, the rules really give the flavor with pictures, sidebars, etc.

When Last Unicorn Died, Decipher got the license. Decipher's game is, no matter ehat the designers say, heavily influenced by D&D 3e, with classes, prestige classes, and multi-classing and such, whereas both previous versions LUG and FASA were skill based.

The ship combat in Decipher is excellent in FEEL, even though it feels like a big strategic battle of modifiers vs modifiers, as are the books of Narrator's Guide (Best in the series) and the star fleet Ops guide.

The Decipher Narrator's guide is now my bible on how to write Star Trek modules (Though I use the LUG system), it's written to give you a feel of capturing the TV shows, planning a campaign, planning story arcs, etc.

It's even applicable to other story-based 3 act screenplay style games, and owning and studying it in detail has helped me so much as a DM, I can't adequately state it here.

But I'd never run decipher straight, it's too much like 3.5e, multiclassing is complicated as hell to figure out but it is playable.

Overall LUG is the best value, and I will run that over the other versions, but do pick up the Decipher Narrator's guide.

It's worth gold as to how to plan a campaign, and write episodes.

If you have more specific questions, Post here or PM me.

11-27-2008, 07:44 AM
I've GM'ed FASA, LUG Trek, and Decipher for years

Holy crap! Thanks for all the details!! (And welcome to the board, btw)


12-02-2008, 01:34 PM
A gaming buddy of mine told me about a game he played at a con. I don't know which system. Apparently they had several tables of players and each table was a ship in a massive simultaneous game. At one point, they started hearing things about the Enterprise is doing X or the crew of the Enterprise is blah blah blah. My buddy thought, how tacky is it that somebody decided to play as the Enterprise? Then a curtain got pulled back and, lo and behold, the actors from Star Trek were playing with them. IIRC, it was The Next Generation crew.

Very awesome. Wish I'd been there :cool:

12-02-2008, 04:04 PM
I'd pay 100.00 to enter a game like that, as any bridge position.

Imagine opening ship to ship freq, and talking to Patrick Stewart, asking for orders for the upcoming engagement.

Ye gods. That's about as real as it gets.

I'm getting all goose-bumpy thinking about it.


Then again, I build websites like this:


04-18-2009, 05:48 PM
With all due respect to Etarnon, I felt Last Unicorn's system was pretty poor. While pretty, the books were fraught with typographical errors, more than a few of the pictures were low-res screen caps (or possibly even photos of a television screen), and the play was remarkably clonky.

The old FASA system was on-par with other games of the early 80's with a percentile skill based system, but the source material for it was absolutely outstanding. Dozens of books on ships, races, etc. And the other thing I loved about that particular edition was the character creation system that charted a general history of what sort of ships the character had served. When I ran a GURPS-based Star Trek game back in the late 90's, it proved to be a great source of backstory for the players, much of which got incorporated in to stories, one way or another.

I have not seen Decipher's take yet, though I'm going to take a look at GURPS Prime Directive.

04-19-2009, 11:54 AM
I am told that Decipher's system is LUG with the bugs shook out. My son has been playing it. He likes it.

I've collected the books primarily as reference for my own Trek-verse and writing. I had most of the FASA and LUG books. For their flaws the LUG books are decent material. I also have a decent collection of 70s and 80s fan and pro material, unrelated to gaming.

06-09-2010, 09:49 AM
I loved the FASA ST combat sim. It's a better game than Warhammer 40K, and it's cheap. Currently using it as the backbone in my homebrew scifi game.

06-11-2010, 01:31 AM
I've run the FASA version a number of times over the years and have to admit that I love it. I've tried Prime Directive, LUG and Decipher and, honestly, found them to be lacking in atmosphere compared to the old FASA product. The Star Trek Star Ship Tactical Combat Simulator is still one of my favorite board games.