Good golly I loves me some Star Trek RPGing.
I’ve been running Trek games since 1982 with the FASA system. It is a system that is long out of print. Since 1989 in fact. For seven years, FASA put out the best damned Trek RPG that would ever be published. I love the system and while I have picked up Trek rulebooks by other publishers in the years since FASA, I’ve always returned to these books. FASA Star Trek has been the foundation of some favorite hours at the game table.
The system is not overly complex. It’s percentile based, which is to say all values for skills, attributes, checks, etc. are represented by a number from 1-100. As you’d expect in a Starfleet game, characters start off extraordinarily knowledgable and skilled. Best, the starship combat system (and supplemented by the Starship Combat Simulator) involves all department heads each controlling resources and systems critical to ship performance.
We had an ongoing campaign with my local group way back in the day. We played every weekend, usually two sessions! Man, those were the days.
Their ship was U.S.S. Nimitz.
Ours was a long running series of games that carried over the course of two years. In that period, a trend developed where the Captain would return to the ship as the only survivor of away missions. It happened a number of times. As you would imagine, morale suffered amongst the red shirts.
In a border skirmish that would lead to full-on war with the Klingons, Nimitz’ weapon-systems were knocked out. The engineering and science teams utilized the transporters to beam overloading-hand-phasers to the enemy ships. This worked so well that they would later fully weaponize the transporters to stealth launch torpedoes.
We played through the war, jumping between stories involving the crew of the Nimitz, Starfleet Intelligence operatives, and even merchants dealing in unalligned territories. In-game, the war lasted for more than two years. In real time, it was just a few months.
After the war, Starfleet was able to return to its primary objective – seeking out new life and new civilizations and nailing hot, alien chicks.
In its final mission, Nimitz explored coreward following an archaelogical trail leading to the very center of our galaxy. Tracking down the origins of the most ancient of civilizations, Nimitz stumbled into the middle of a terrible civil war. Perceived as an invading force, the warring factions found common cause and fired upon on Nimitz.
She fought valliantly, but Nimitz was outnumbered and too far from home to call for aid. All hands were lost.
Seriously, one of the best game experiences I have ever had.
From time to time, I will run a Trek game. While I have the Last Unicorn and Decipher Trek books, I always come back to FASA. Love the system, but even more? I think I love the memories.
I’m curious to see if Paramount will license a new game for the movie release. If so, I’ll buy those books. And then most likely use my FASA rules.