It’s a general question to GM’s out there that are playing a ToS or TNG style game. As there is talk of starting a new campaign as our old one had finished up a little while ago and my players were asking about whether I was going to try and incorporate the new shows into my game. I told them that since if I run another game it’ll be year 2386+ I count Discovery, Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks and Picard as being in their own timeline / dimension primarily because there are some inconstancies issues between old and new material that I don’t want to hammer out plus the series are still running so don’t want to deal with that complication either.
I am curious what other GM’s are doing in their games?
Edit: Spelling correction
So I sat down and figured this out for my own campaign and I basically believe there’s 4 total timelines as far as I’m concerned.
TOS, TAS, the first 6 movies, TNG, Star Trek Generations, the start of First Contact, first chunk of Deep Space Nine (up to about S5E09ish), First 3 seasons of Voyager (give or take) are the “Prime” Timeline
For these, Enterprise didn’t happen the way we saw, nor did Strange New Worlds or Discovery, no telling what’s missing right but they as far as I can tell aren’t part of the Prime Timeline (replicators and holograms early, borg in Enterprise, etc)
The movie First Contact takes them back in time which leads to the First Contact Timeline.
This covers everything after the movie (last 5 seasons of Voyager, Lower Decks, Picard, last 3 seasons of Deep Space Nine and the last 2 TNG movies, Hobus star explosion, etc) but also means Enterprise, Discovery, and SNW make more sense cause the Borg arriving and running into them in ENT lead section 31 to go “hey we need to amp up our technology HARD” which makes sense for holograms and replicators to be more involved for DISCO/etc (also I use this to explain why the hair is wrong on ENT finale for Troi but that’s because I like closure). but this timeline makes it so TOS/TAS/TNG/DS9/VOY and movie inconsistencies can be ignored.
Then you have the Kelvin and Mirror universes (Kelvin having ENT canon)
We are starting season 3 soon(ish) and the time will be 2378 or so. I will take some stuff from Lower Decks, certainly the Luna class is canon. But LD will be treated kind of like a holo-spoof show. So nothing will be too canon should there be a conflict.
SNW, DIS and PIC will be canon, although I don’t see that coming up a lot. Basically everything is one “Prime” timeline. I already alluded that Section 31 is responsible for the Romulan supernova.
The attack on Mars should be sufficiently far away for now so I don’t have to think about it.
We see some nice updated ships in PIC season 2, so maybe our crew will have either the first or second prototype of that ship class before it goes into mass production ten years later or so.
Uniforms will be the First Contact grays, although I really like the Dauntless uniforms and combadge from the PRO finale. So I’d like to see first what that is about.
Without a STA campaign currently running my answer ist, that is does not matter…
If I had one, it would depend on the era. But generally everything before the start of the campaign would be canon (except perhaps some elements from TAS). Everything after may be canon, but does not have to be, even if I consider all shows not only canon but also part of the same TL.
Hmm honestly I don’t consider Discovery to be in the regular timeline. I’m not a fan of Lower Decks (I don’t like that humor, its stressful to me for some reason) so I don’t count it. I also don’t think Picard counts as the future post-TNG.
I can see the events of SNW being included (minus the mention of Burnham and such) but honestly I probably put it in its own thing as well. Which I am fine with - the setting of Star Trek totally is capable of having multiple timelines.
To me the main timeline of TOS, TNG, Voyager, DS9 is one timeline. I can potentially see the events of SNW being there if things flow well.
Enterprise came about due to time travel shenangians so its kind of its own timeline but also kind of in the main one.
Discovery is its own thing. Picard is its own thing. Lower Decks isn’t ‘real’.
But this is my opinion.
TOS, TNG, DS9 is the basic timeline I use.
Elements of ENT and VOY are used but we downplay the “I can’t figure out anything interesting, so time travel” stuff. We know it is unfortunately glomped onto Trek, but it can be ignored.
We prefer the optimistic good guy Federation vibe as opposed to the the grim dark grim grim dark stuff that followed with Trek hung on it and pretty much ignore it.
No idea about SNW because no one has the stream anymore and the grim grim murder torture bloody splat Trek was a big turn off.
But there are people that seem to like it, so I hope they enjoy. I just hope Modiphius keeps their products easily separated. My personal preference is for supplements to be separated by series (ish?) ENT, TOS, TNG/DS9/VOY and so on. Just an opinion.
Those do not exist in my STA games, not even as a separate timeline.
Honestly: I do not see how any Trek would not fit into any other Trek. I leave out stuff I don’t like, indiscriminate of the series this stuff was seen on screen originally.
There’s plenty of Trek in TOS or TNG I don’t like. Wanna have examples? TNG 01x04 “Code of Honor” is a perfect example. Another? – I cannot stand a lot of the good old TOS episodes. Take the iconic TOS 01x24 “Space Seed”. It’s become one of the Core episodes of Star Trek regarding continuity and all. Yet, I cannot un-ironically stand the presentation of Lt. McGivers which is blatantly sexist. There are many examples. Do I ditch a whole series because of this? No, I don’t.
So, in conclusion, the answer where DIS, PIC, SNW and LOD fit into my campaign is: Everywhere I want them. They’re no more or less Trek than any other series that happened to be aired before I turned 30.
It’s all canon so I use it all as needed in my games. Lately I’ve been running post-Nemesis games, but pre-Picard, so Picard and 32nd century Disco aren’t a factor yet. I sprinkle in LD stuff as I feel, as well as any content from other shows if it fits my group’s needs.
They do not nor will exist. Not for any reason other than I pull from the post-nemesis novels where needed.
Our game takes place in 2266 and Kirk does not exist. I really like this starting point because everything is wide open for my players to explore. We haven’t played in a while but when we left off, the Federation was almost at war with the Klingons and rather than the Organians putting a stop to things, like in TOS, the players will have to find a way to make peace. Or, maybe they won’t. It’s up to them.
My players and I know very little about those other shows you mentioned, other than watching enough episodes to know they weren’t for us. Honestly, everyone gathered at the table isn’t concerned about canon and the different series. They just want to sit down, throw dice and have some laughs. I include what I want and what works for me but I will also include canon that works for the players. As an example, one player wanted to be the brother brother of Matt Decker. No problem. Maybe Matt needs this brothers help in destroying the Doom Day Machine in a future game?
I try to incorporate Enterprise canon but some stuff, I thought, was a bit whack so I leave it out.
We are not playing TOS we are rewriting TOS.
My preferred timeline is from Star Trek: Spaceflight Chronology by Fred and Stan Goldstein. It is used and expanded upon in FASA’s Star Trek: The Role-playing Game.
It is my favorite “vision of the future” hands down.
Now, that said, for TNG, DS9, VOY, I just ignore what is odd and go with the rest (Zephram Cochrane being a human instead of an Alpha Centaurian; Earth having the World War III Spock told us in TOS that we avoided; etc.). AND… I totally ignore Romulus being destroyed by a supernova. Good freakin’ grief, folks. I know that it is painfully and tortuously explained in some novel, but give me a break: I’m really glad stars just don’t go “boom” like that in RL.
Enterprise… I can tolerate the show, but as far as usefulness? Not much for me. I can’t get over an intelligent alien species… no, wait, make that FIVE OF THEM… sending a “junior doomsday weapon” to attack Earth, giving away all advantage of surprise, etc. in the process. That was just…dumb.
JJ Trek: The 2000s meets '60s and '70s Gold Key Star Trek comics, baby! Fun while it’s on, then instantly forgettable! Plus, let’s destroy Vulcan for no apparent reason!!
Nu Trek: Best thing so far is Strange New Worlds, but I don’t count it as canon 'cause it is tied to Discovery, which has Romulus being destroyed as well. That takes out Picard, too, but that is my least favorite Trek show EVAR. The Federation-Klingon War in Discovery… thank goodness that didn’t really happen in my version of the timeline. How ludicrous.
My players keep asking me if Romulus is going to be destroyed, especially snice in the campaign we just finished we had a player Romulan spy and one of the cores of the story was dealing with a sudden Romulan expansion into unaligned space causing a lot of moral and diplomatic issues for my players which they eventually negotiated into a compromise that nobody liked but worked, for now .
Personally I think the destruction of Romulus was the biggest opportunity Picard missed out on.
Something like the destruction of the homeworld of one of the major galactic powers inherently should generate a plethora of stores, from following Romulan families as they try to relocate, maybe some federation personnel having a few direct personal connections through the Unification movement trying to save their allies and friends maybe even against orders, to the interstellar political ramifications as there is zero reason for the Romulan fleet to have been destroyed so they may become highly militant, or the Klingons might attack to grab some territory. The internal politics of all major powers could get very dicey, Things could get even more complicated if an internal factions of one of the other galaxitc powers was responsible. Say Section 31 was responsible and a federation captain found out, would he stay quiet or let the galaxy know. Telling the galaxy might invoke an immediate hostile response from the other galactic powers against the Federation.
This should have generated seasons of drama, action, and intrigue, but they glossed over it. As we’re talking about starting up a new campaign starting at 2386+ the threat of Romulus being destroyed is the main question I am getting from my players, and if it is kicking up this much conversation among my players imagine what some good writers, directors, and producers could have done with it, especially if they presented a story line of people trying to stop it. We know it was destroyed in some timeline which caused the Kelvin timeline, but is it in the timeline we as the audience are watching or is it some other timeline. Again so much tension and we could have brought in old TNG cast and see what their lives were like and new Star Trek characters to follow into new series. so much potential.
But on the upside for me, now I get to explore all that in the new campaign.
Funny enough I like the destruction of Romulus as it leads to the idea of the splitting of the Romulan Empire into a number of factions, including one that ends up joining the Federation. I think this ‘civil war’ element to that nation has lots of potential for the end of the century/start of the next.
The one good thing about roleplaying games is that its easy to create a timeline that is a bunch of dates on a page while ignoring various moments in the episodes that might cause issues.
Given the prevalence of time travel, other dimensions, mirror universe and that our game’s is in a date range that is unexplored by any TV or Movie my players don’t know what to expect, including my two Star Trek aficionado players. There are only possibilities and we all love it.
Well, you are right about that: it would be a monumental event and one that could generate all sorts of stories like you said. Now, when the movie first released, my friends and I scoffed at the idea of the entire Romulan Empire crumbling due to the loss of one star system. I mean, they are an Empire. Don’t they have other shipyards, agricultural colonies, etc., etc., etc.? And if their mining ships are that deadly, just think… lol.
To take this to the absurd, you have the destruction of the “Klingon moon Praxis” bringing the Klingon Empire to its knees. Don’t get that one, either.
I hinted in my campaign that the Hobus supernova may not have been a natural event. This would explain why the star “suddenly” explodes.
Also I’ve read somewhere that supernovas can actually affect planets up to 50 light years (2 sectors in Star Trek) away by blasting them with gamma rays and destroying their ozone layer.
Of course it would take 50 years until such a planet is affected. But still, it makes the destruction of Romulus, the scope of the evacuation and the fall of the Romulan empire a little bit less nonsensical.
My current campaign is a TOS game set about five years after the Enterprise’s first 5year mission with Kirk ended. It’s based on the FASA Trek universe, with some changes because of DSC and SNW. I gave the players a handout to explain some of the differences, including the fact that ST is a vidshow in their universe.
“Star Trek is a popular, pseudo-historical dramatization of the adventures of USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). Drawing from the unclassified parts of Enterprise’s real five year mission under Captain James T. Kirk (from 2265 to 2270), Star Trek presented thinly fictionalized accounts of many of the actions and situations encountered by Enterprise and other Federation ships. Produced with the cooperation of Starfleet’s Office of Public Relations, Star Trek become very popular among Starfleet crews, with weekly ship-wide viewing parties (along with episodes of Battlecruiser Vengeance) happening on many ships.”
There are some episodes of ST:TOS and ST:TAS that are especially relevant to the campaign They provide information that may be useful and show background look-and-feel.
Episodes are rated on three levels:
Level 1 - Episode happened mostly as shown with some changes for dramatic effect. May have involved a different crew and starship. This information may be treated as substantially true.
Level 2 - Episode mostly happened as shown. Details and facts may have been changed for dramatic or security purposes. May have involved a different crew and starship. This information may be treated as possible, but suspect.
Level 3 - Episode did not happen and mainly consists of fiction. Some scenes and/or facts may be true. This information should be treated as complete fiction, and may not be relied upon.
Examples of Episode Ratings:
ST:TOS - Season 1
- The Naked Time
- Mudd’s Women
- Dagger of the Mind
- The Corbomite Maneuver
- The Conscience of the King
- Balance of Terror
- The Squire of Gothos
- Space Seed
- The Devil in the Dark
ST:TOS - Season 2
- Amok Time
- The Doomsday Machine
- I, Mudd
- Journey to Babel
- Friday’s Child
- The Trouble with Tribbles
- A Private Little War
- The Ultimate Computer
ST:TOS - Season 3
- Day of the Dove
- For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
- The Tholian Web
Yeah, this is why my players are so nervous about the super nova showing up in the next campaign, because they know I’ll use at least the basic laws of relativistic physics and the supernova won’t just wipe out the Romulan heartland in one fast ultra-hyper-blast-of-anti-science. In the last campaign a fifth of the Romulan Star Navy blitzed and conquered about three sectors of non aligned space in five years. It took that long before Starfleet mobilized enough ships and was willing to risk a showdown that could have ended in war to halt the Romulan advance. They are worried that if something like the supernova occurs that would motivate the Romulans Empire to drastic measures. On the reverse they hope they can stop the supernova from happening or if it does happen there are Romulan’s they have negotiated and worked with before, including a Romulan spy that has kept back channels open with them after he returned to Romulan space to prevent a military action in response to it. Needless to say my players are ready for our next “series” continuing the story.