I’m a fan of The Next Generation but I want to know more than just the events of the episodes when I run this game for my friends. Would anyone know of resources that can show me the details of each race, the events in the canon, and explain some of the technobabble specifics so I can actually immerse my players?
I am aware that there is likely a wiki, but I also know some people prefer this to that and I’d like to hear what sources you trust.
For all the technobabble you could want, I’d suggest getting a copy of the TNG Technical Manual and the DS9 Technical Manual (if you can find a copy). The former is still (STILL!) in print and is a wealth of information.
My primary ‘series’ is set at the Academy at the moment, so I’ve had to go in pretty deep with my research. The previously mentioned resources are excellent (and the TNG tech manual in particular is one of my favourite things), but you might find some of the following of interest too:
http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/ - long-running fansite which focuses (amongst others) on starships and technology. They have a lot of articles that delve into what is seen on screen to extract information, such as a discussion of the accurate locations of Starfleet’s facilities in San Francisco.
Sadly many fan sites (including those mentioned above) are not objective. It is always a weird mix of canon and fanon material. And it is always assumed that things that look different in different shows or movies are different even when they are supposed to be the same.
In my opinion Memory Alpha is the only site on which you will not stumble across fanon material, although it is not without mistakes.
Memory Alpha is great. I use it frequently to learn more about anything I see on the shows and movies, or read about, or see in Star Trek Online. I use Beta hesitantly; mostly if I want to add details to something and don’t want to completely make it up myself. I’ve learned a ton about Trek this way and I haven’t been a Trekkie except in maybe the past year, but now I am kind of the encyclopedia for my group.
I also obtained a copy of that! It’s been a really great resource for me. I did disagree with some of their decisions and ended up designing my own stuff in those cases (e.g. the Academy is clearly in the Horseshoe Bay area north of the golden gate bridge and not on the Presidio) but even in those cases it helped me start thinking about things.
(thanks for linking it to me though! If I hadn’t discovered it by accident before I would be all over that)
According to the reboot movies, yes (see the attribution on Memory Alpha), but I disregard those. In TNG and VOY you can see the Golden Gate in the background in a position that would most likely place it in Marin county with San Francisco in the background. Starfleet Command, however, is likely on the Presidio.
Starfleet Academy Headquarters are located at the Presidio. But the Academy is large and likely consists of several facilities. The training grounds for example were in Marine Country.
But keep in mind that these are “Hollywood locations”. For me as a German, when I hear “San Francisco”, I automatically assume that the Golden Gate Bridge is always visible in the background from any location.
I imagine that there are certain production constraints involved in location shooting: real locations are in the places they are, and while you can hide or change that to an extent (see: every show and movie filmed in Vancouver), more distinctive locales are harder to conceal.
Beyond that, we don’t actually have a precise map of 24th century Earth; we don’t know how, for example, earthquakes and tectonic activity might have shifted the landscape and forced rebuilding (at least until technology developed enough to prevent it), or how population centres have shifted in the post-scarcity economy of Earth under the Federation.
I’d liken it to any previous image of the Moon or Mars seen in Star Trek - very few such images (at least until recently) showed the signs of human habitation, but we know they’ve been populated for a while. There’s a difference between what can be reasonably depicted on screen and what is intended for the setting.
Oh indeed; I tend to… aggressively interpret what we see on screen rather than accept it as a perfect representation, but my dissatisfaction with the LUG academy map sent me on a bit of a deep dive. Mechanically it shouldn’t even matter - we can assume public transport is so good in the 24th Century (especially in one of Earth’s most important cities) that it doesn’t make much of a difference whether you’re on the north or south end of the bridge.
Because my series is set, for the time being, on Earth, I’m actually really interested in what 24th C Earth would be like. What is it actually like to live in a post-scarcity moneyless society? But that, perhaps, is a topic for a different discussion thread.