As I’m reading the book, I’m really stuck on why the book (published in 2017) is set in 2371, which roughly equates to season 3 of DS9 and pre-Voyager?
Which book exactly are you referring to? Not all books are set in 2371, as the timeline advances over multiple publications.
Sorry, the core book. Do the various supplements advance the timeline? I have all of the supplements.
They do indeed. Delta Quadrant for instance, takes it all the way to Voyager. For reasons, I suppose.
Shoot, page 3 of the core book explains why we picked 2371 as the starting point for STA. Stuff’s happening in the Alpha Quadrant. The Enterprise-D just got blowed up, things are getting hot around Bajor with the Dominion lurking about, and Voyager just disappeared in the Badlands. Great opportunities for new ships and new crews to enter the picture with adventures and stories of their own.
Plus there’s a lot of canon material to work with in and around that timeframe.
The Alpha, Gamma, and Delta Quadrant sourcebooks incrementally move the timeline forward as well, to where Delta brings us up to 2379ish, the end of Voyager and the end of Nemesis (not coincidentally the extent of our license with CBS).
Setting the timeline after Insurrection doesn’t leave a lot of room for canon references or growth. Four years ago, no one knew the Picard series was going to come out, and the post-Nemesis timeline was a blank slate.
I read that. I suppose that makes sense, in a way. It just sort of sat weird with me to set the “world setting” essentially 8 years in the (game’s) past (based on when the book was published) which was 15 years behind the source material at that point.
Basically just that at this point the player characters are “locked in” for 8 years of timeline, anything they do will be minor and have no effect on the Greater Story because if you’re meshing your game to the greater canon, as the years roll on, the Dominion is going to do Dominion things, the Klingons, Cardassians, Bajorans, all have stories to play out and the PCs would be on rails instead of being any significant factor.
(Edit: I fixed the title realizing I had put Insurrection and not Nemesis. Shelter-in-place typo).
If you’d feel “locked in” within a TNG era campaign – how do you feel about TOS or even ENT? If you want to advance a timeline your way from one point on – do it! And if you don’t want to mess with ‘Canon’ (Canon in your campaign is what you define it is), there’s always the occasional parallel-universe…
You could always set your game later on from the default setting. The rules are the same, you will just be missing a few of the opponents really. Given that it is all based on a separate set of source material it is fairly easy to wing it.
And Games companies have to keep some stuff back for later source books or they would never make any money.
It is one of the reasons I love table top RPGs more than computer RPGS (Though I play both). You can take the core rules & setting and just twist them as you want to fit you and your players views.
Though I admit I don’t think I have ever run a game in it’s pure setting. I am constantly changing things to ‘fit better’ as I see it so maybe my view is a little skewed when it comes to things like this.
If you’re feeling locked in, run in a parallel universe. Canon has shown us loads of examples. Every STA campaign out there is essentially an alternate universe from the Prime. Change what you don’t like or don’t want to use and game boldly.
Yep, that’s pretty much how I view things. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of (the visuals of) DIS, and I have a couple of ideas to adapt the core of DIS in what I believe would’ve been a more fitting setting. And I have a few more ideas about events happening post-Nemesis, inspired but not directly based on the Living Campaign, and even leading up to Star Trek Online (with or without PIC, as I haven’t seen it yet). Essentially, I consider all the “classic” Trek (TOS to ENT in the real-world timeline) as canon with little change. It’s post-ENT that I have reservations about.
I take this to an extreme. I only use the most broad strokes of what the canon ST materials provide to us as a basis for my universe. This applies to both the “past” of the campaign as well as whatever “future” it moves toward. It especially applies toward the various episodes that create tremendous continuity headaches (especially time travel, which in my STA universe is much harder and more rare).
Any chance you will pick up licenses for Picard as it a perfect example of a role playing group in the ST universe?
A very good question Jim. Any chance of the licences expanding to include Discovery and Picard? There is not a large amount of info yet, but it would be nice to know they will ge expanded on in the future. I couldn’t care less about the Kelvinverse though.
I imagine discovery would be the more intreasting lisence to pick up, in terms of expanding things, from a game design POV Picard has given us a small look at the world of independant ships but not eneugh to go much on though so proably not easily expanded yet, 3 or 4 new types of romulan ships, and a new federation ship.
By contrast, ST discovery has given us 8 or so new federation ship designs, and a ton of new Klingon designs.
All of which, presumably would still be in service in the TOS time frame. (and may have even been pushed into emergancy use during the romulus evac)
Honestly, being new to ST fandom in general, watching DS9 as a “new” fan with long-time RPG experience my first thought was how interesting it would be to play a NON-Federation or even non-military character at all. Playing a generic colonist, trader, or merchant that has to deal with the Grand Events going on around them seems like it would be even more interesting.
Just need the Coronacation to keep going another week or so and I’ll have all of the shows watched and all of the (RPG) books read. And yes, I know how terrible it sounds coming in as a fan that has only watched TOS and TNG prior to two weeks ago and having an opinion on ANYTHING, but I really was only a casual fan until DS9 showed me that ST was bigger than Captain Kirk or Picard and Boldly Going and the Alien-Crisis-Of-The-Week. Apologies to Gene Roddenberry, but DS9 put it all in perspective.
Hey, the more the merrier… and it’s a big tent - all views and opinions are welcome, even if some disagree with their content
You’re right about Trek: it is so much more than the adventures of the Enterprise-X, and there’s a huge range of locations, times and events to explore. DS9 gave us rogues and the homefront, Voyager and Discovery gave us other ships and crews, while Enterprise showed us how it all started. Picard is even giving us the places Starfleet can’t reach.
The STA game works well to cover the wonders of the exploration theme at its core, but there’s nothing stopping people from playing Klingons, Romulans, Orions or any other group, doing whatever they want (although the system may need to tweaking to distract from the “everyone working towards the greater goal” ethic). It’s a big galaxy out there… you just need a little imagination.
For my part, I’ve found the starting in 2371 not to be a problem. My players are following their own stories, occasionally tangential to the shows, but not so closely tied as to compete with the series’ heroes doing their thing while we do ours.
My TNG group is moving toward the Dominion War, but they’ll be operating in a different area from DS9, based out of Starbase 47. Using a Nova-class, they’ll have more recon missions, rather than serving in the mass fleet battles, as well as their being on the opposite side of Cardassian space from the majority of events we saw on screen. It’s a big universe. There’s a lot of room for more important stories which we never saw on-screen.
To the point above, a pre-Dominion War setting let’s us see all of the iconic antagonists available to play with. After the war, the Cardassians are a shadow of what they once were. A rogue Gul here and there could be a problem, but they won’t likely have the support of any full Cardassian military orders. After Nemesis, the Romulans will be destabilized, with most of the Senate killed as well as the self-proclaimed new Praetor, making a massive power vacuum, followed only a few years later by the destruction of their capitol.
Post-Voyager, the Borg will be crippled for a while until they can recover from the loss of a Unicomplex and repair damage to their transwarp network. Yes, that encourages us to play with more strange new worlds, but arguably, we’re playing a Trek game because we want to play with Trek story elements. 2371 - 2375 is kind of a sweet spot where we can use the new enemy in the Dominion, and still deal with the more classic ones like the Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians and Borg. Post-war, I’d expect Jem’Hadar encounters to be quite rare, at least for several years following the Treaty of DS9.