Looking into Star Trek Adventures

aramis erak

Legend
Let me start by saying that, while I have played TTRPGs pretty much continuously since the Metzer box, almost of all of my experience has been with so-called "traditional games". I have played every version of D&D, but also Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands, L5R, 7th Sea, TSR Marvel, and more recently several D&D-derived 3pp systems (of which Level Up is my favorite for play).

All of that being said, I have very little experience with any more narrative system, any game that makes extensive use of metacurrency as it is commonly defined, or any game where player agency at the table extends beyond the PC. The few times I have tried such a game, I immediately balked.

In an attempt to ease myself into such games, I have decided to start a campaign with Mophidius' Star Trek Adventures. While I am told that the game is still trad in a lot of ways, I figured that and my love for the subject matter would make the whole process easier for me.

What I am looking for from this thread is any insight into STA (and potentially other 2d20 games) that can help me understand what the game is like in play and what I can expect. Personal experience, as a GM or a player, is great. Links are ok, but if it's to a video I likely will not watch it (I don't watch gaming videos, or YouTube in general much as a rule).

Thanks in advance. What I'm hoping to accomplish here is increase my understanding of other kinds of gaming outside of the traditional model, but not so far outside that I know I'll mentally reject it.

  1. Spend your threat liberally; encourage PCs to spend momentum. It's probably the biggest hurdle.
    1. One particularly ugly session, I'd been spending threat, but not as fast as they generated it. They were disappointed to realize I had 15 unspent threat at end of mission, even tho' they succeeded. 3/4 of the ship off limits, half the crew dead, and they solved the case...
    2. Another session, they breezed through and I didn't spend much threat, so had a pile... this one was way more demoralizing...
  2. Don't change the threat rating unless things are dire and getting worse - it can lead to a threat snowball
  3. every trait can be used for +1, -1, to prohibit some action, or to enable some action; these are not exclusive nor even per turn.
    1. If it makes sense it would help, it reduces TN by 1
    2. If it would hinder, but not prohibit nor severely curtail, it subtracts adds 1 to your TN
    3. If it would make something unreasonably difficult, it prohibits
    4. If you can't normally do something. but the thing makes it look like it should be doable, allow it.
    5. Values are traits too! Just ones that let destiny be spent.
    6. NPCs can be represented as a trait in some cases. If all they are doing is providing needed bodies, the PC leading treats them as traits for a -1 TN...
  4. It's not a sim of the characters, its a sym of the show style.
  5. Advancement is PAINFULLY slow.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
  1. Spend your threat liberally; encourage PCs to spend momentum. It's probably the biggest hurdle.
    1. One particularly ugly session, I'd been spending threat, but not as fast as they generated it. They were disappointed to realize I had 15 unspent threat at end of mission, even tho' they succeeded. 3/4 of the ship off limits, half the crew dead, and they solved the case...
    2. Another session, they breezed through and I didn't spend much threat, so had a pile... this one was way more demoralizing...
  2. Don't change the threat rating unless things are dire and getting worse - it can lead to a threat snowball
  3. every trait can be used for +1, -1, to prohibit some action, or to enable some action; these are not exclusive nor even per turn.
    1. If it makes sense it would help, it reduces TN by 1
    2. If it would hinder, but not prohibit nor severely curtail, it subtracts adds 1 to your TN
    3. If it would make something unreasonably difficult, it prohibits
    4. If you can't normally do something. but the thing makes it look like it should be doable, allow it.
    5. Values are traits too! Just ones that let destiny be spent.
    6. NPCs can be represented as a trait in some cases. If all they are doing is providing needed bodies, the PC leading treats them as traits for a -1 TN...
  4. It's not a sim of the characters, its a sym of the show style.
  5. Advancement is PAINFULLY slow.
This is very helpful, thank you.
 

aramis erak

Legend
The effect seems largely the same, however, and it would seem to serve the same goal.
In practice, they aren't even close.
First off, most 2d20 games, and STA in particular, do not have initiative rolls. STA, initiative starts with the PCs unless the GM throws threat at it.
STA p. 163 said:
At the start of a Conflict, the Gamemaster determines a single character to take the first Turn. This is determined in the following way:
  • Unless there are any reasons for an NPC to take the first Turn, the Gamemaster chooses a single Player Character to start the combat. This may be obvious, based on events that occurred prior to the start of combat, but if there is any uncertainty (such as multiple characters who could all justifiably act first), select the Player Character with the highest Daring to take the first Turn.
  • If the NPCs have an obvious reason to start the combat, then the Gamemaster should select one of those NPCs to take the first Turn. This should only be done if there is clear justification for that NPC to act first.
  • If there is doubt as to who should act first, the GM may spend one Threat to allow an NPC to take the first Turn, instead of choosing a Player Character.

Star Wars does. The slots are fixed to a side, but generated individually. When a PC drops, one PC slot goes away.

Secondly, 2d20 initiative is always A-then-B-then (repeat until only one side remains)
Star Wars can wind up with AAAAAAA BBBBBB. I have, in fact, had it happen.

STA initiatives are much more consistent, and players tend to switch order for tactical advantage
 

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