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aramis October 12th, 2016 02:59 AM

Star Trek RPG by Modiphius
Modiphius Press (of the UK) has the license for a new Star Trek Adventures RPG.

Playtest application opens 13 October 2016... (no links here, please. Anyone interested can google it easily enough)...

Things known about it at present:

1. Uses their 2d20 system (which actually uses 2d20 to 5d20)
2. Supports Primary Timeline only (no JJVerse)
3. Includes TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise under the license.
4. includes ship combat.
5. 4 different adventure path sets for playtest
6. Plans for a living campaign system - Initially, just feedback determines state for later adventures, later to include an organized play system (confirmed today)

What I know of the system comes from the quickstarts, and a borrowed copy of Mutant Chronicles.
Att range on other 2d20 games is 5-14, centering about 9.
Conan has 7 attributes, 25 skills. Mutant Chronicles 3rd ed has 8 attributes, 17 skills. Infinity has 7 attributes, 24 skills.
Skill levels on the quick-plays for other 2d20 games show skills linked to attributes, and in the 0-4 range, as does the MC core.
Focus is separate from skill level in MC & Infinity, but appears linked directly to it in Conan.
Talents (similar to d20 feats or FFG SW Talents) are present in the QS's for MC and for Conan. Talents in MC are attached to specific skills, while in conan they are more general.

Each d20 rolled is checked separately...
Roll ≤ Att+Skill = 1 success
Roll ≤ Focus = +1 success (total 2)
Roll 20 = Complication (Stress can make the range go down as far as 15-20...)

So, a basic roll (2d20) has a potential for up to 4 successes; difficulty scale goes 0-5 successes needed. (0 is no roll needed, but roll allowed to gain extra successes...)

All of them have a pool of once/session bonus points that grant extra successes. Also, there are points which can be used to buy extra dice, reactions, and trigger special abilities; these come from exceeding difficulties.

I'm planning on applying for the playtest.

It promises to be interesting, even if I foresee issues with the system mechanics.

aramis November 30th, 2016 05:32 AM

Got ahold of it. Not bad, in the hybrid space (Between Narrativist, Gamist, and Simulationist), and pretty good for an Alpha draft. I take it to table friday.

Spinward Scout November 30th, 2016 11:23 AM

No Refit/movie/Ent-A era?


Would love to hear how this goes.

aramis November 30th, 2016 02:18 PM


Originally Posted by Spinward Scout (Post 553942)
No Refit/movie/Ent-A era?


Would love to hear how this goes.

No ships yet!

Seriously, it's a public ALPHA test. Not a beta - they're still writing the rules!

Task system:
Stat (7-13) + Skill (0-5 theoretically, 1-4 in the pregens) or less on each d20 for 1 success. If roll ≤ Focus level (default 1, max 4), that die grants a second success. 2x d20 rolled, each checked individually, vs 0-5 successes needed.

Momentum (unused margin of success, stored from prior rolls; max 6 stored for the party) can buy extra dice.
Determination (limited resource) can buy a die already set at a 1 result (so, it fills a die slot, but is always 2 successes).

Lots of uses for momentum. Including extra minor actions.
So, you can do a move, shoot someone, roll the extra shooting success into a dive for cover...

Supplement Four December 1st, 2016 12:03 AM

You know how I feel about it, Will. I can't stand the system because it uses community dice. And, the game promotes meta-gaming, which is a huge no-no in my book (though Modiphius denies that it is meta-gaming).

A characters starts off with 2d20 to throw for a task. He can make up to four successes on those two dice (one success for rolling low below Skill+Attribute, and one success for rolling under a lower target number sometimes called a focus), though it's hard to do that. If you need three successes to succeed on a task, you'll probably want to buy extra dice.

A character can buy a few extra dice (I think it's a limit of two, but I may be wrong about that) by paying a point to a GM pool (called Doom or Fate or some other such name).

The GM uses the points in the pool to boost NPCs who cannot buy extra dice like the player characters do. When the player characters buy extra dice to ensure a success or try for a really hard task, they create points for the GM to use against them.

Modiphius has suggested that these GM points be kept track of using buttons in a jar. Every body at the table can see how many buttons are in the jar, and in this way, the game is very meta-gamey. If you know the GM has a lot of points to work with, then you know that whatever obstacle is around the next corner will probably be difficult (because the GM will use the points to make his NPCs do extra stuff--like take extra attacks, go first in the round, or have other units "activated" by spending the points).

I can't stand that aspect of the 2d20 System.

The GM pool will most certainly influence what the players do. If, for example, the Traveller players know that the GM will be putting -3 DM penalty modifiers on all their task rolls as soon as the PCs turn a corner, then the players will certainly adjust to that obstacle.

The same goes for that GM pool. Players know the GM has a lot of "ammunition" to use against the players, so they'll figure that in their planning and actions.

I also don't like the fact that player Jimmy can buy a lot of dice for his throws and therefore build the GM's pool. But, someone else can pay for it as the GM uses the GM points against another player's character.

For example, let's say Jimmy builds up the GM pool in a gun fight encounter outside the BBG's fortress. Then, in the next scene, Frankie's character tries to sneak inside the fortress. Now, the GM has a lot of ammo to use against Frankie's stealth attempts--yet the player, Frankie, had nothing to do with the GM getting those point to use against his character.

I think that's very poor game design.

aramis December 1st, 2016 04:16 AM

First off, S4, you've got the mechanics somewhat wrong in a few minor ways - it looks like you're citing the Conan ones. Like Palladium, they tweak each game from the common core conceit. (Unlike Palladium, the tweaks are meaningful, and they have two core engines at present - 2d20 and another one which uses only d6's.)

PC's buy extra dice from stored excess successes (Called Momentum), of which up to six are allowed (even in Conan) to be stored.

Unless the difficulty is 5 (which is the MAX difficulty allowed, period), there's not a formal need to buy extra dice, since in this one, all d20's have a minimum change of 1/20 of 2 successes... (Maximum on the samples is 4 out of 20.) It's actually harder than in Conan, since the focus value is NOT the same as the skill value, and so focuses are more rare...

Also, players are not required to spend threat for immediate momentum spends nor extra dice if the pool isn't empty. (They're used for reactions.)

The GM is allowed to use Threat (which is exactly like stored momentum, except that it's not limited to 6) for ALL the same purposes as PC's use momentum, plus can buy complications... 2 threat for a minor, 4 for a major... a minor is "something that can be cleared with a minor action"... in d20 terms, cleared by a move-equivalent action. Major requires a task to clear. Story level complications cost well more. The GM also uses threat to pull in reinforcements mid-scene.

And, at the end of the scene or the end of the combat round, stored momentum and threat both drop by 1. So the GM can't just sit on it all... otherwise, he loses it.

Yes, it's metagamey... but so is High Guard... So is D&D encounter balancing. So is playing a K'Kree.

And *I* don't mind metagame when it makes for better story.
And further, I don't mind systems which limit the GM...
which I suspect is where your dislike for 2d20 stems from... You traditionally decry as "Metagame" just about every game that limits the GM's options.

And, you've said your piece. Do yourself a favor, since you know you won't like it, move on, and leave the discussion to those who are at least open to liking it.

aramis December 3rd, 2016 07:19 AM

Got STA to table
We played the playtest adventure. It's a nice little "learn the system as you go" type adventure. Still a bit rough around the edges, but lots of room to personalize it.

Threat wasn't an issue; I wound up using most of mine before the climactic scenes, so it was tense but not too bad.

One interesting side note:
None of the attributes is "purely" physical nor mental; all have some of both.
Melee is bravery & security; ranged is Control+security.

Wide Beam is a fun option for phasers. My players used it.

Cover can be impressive.

mike wightman December 3rd, 2016 08:08 AM

How quickly did your players adapt to the convoluted system - I've played around with the conan quickstart rules a bit and mine got the hang of it pretty quickly.

One change we tried out was to flip the target numbers so that it becomes a roll high system - too many years playing D&D to accept trying to roll '1's instead of '20's.

Which 'ship' have you signed up to?

aramis December 3rd, 2016 02:30 PM

Took about an hour for them to grok it; 2 of the 3 had read the rules, and groked it in 15 minutes. Third hadn't, but was up to speed in about an hour.

Biggest issue there seemed to be the use of the term Dice Pool - because that implies to these experienced gamers that skill is number of dice. Once that was cleared up, all was good.

Roll low was NOT a problem. Biggest hangup was that attributes are not groupable into physical and mental easily...

I used mini-meeples on the map for PC's, and cubes for everyone else. The NPC they rescued got a meeple.

The use of poker chips was QUITE the helpful thing.
Red for their stress track.
white for both threat and stored momentum.
Green for Determination.
On an extended task I used green for the difficulty, and white for the progress, but next time red becomes progress, as it's just the damage mechanic.

The Attributes: Bravery, Control, Empathy, Presence, Reasoning, Resilience
The Skills (in TNG/DS9/Voy colors): Command, Conn, Engineer, Security, Sciences, Medicine

Melee is, for example, Bravery + Security
Ranged combat is Control + Security
Notice appears to be Reasoning + Security
Stabilizing the dying is Empathy + Medicine... as is surgery.
Fear checks are Bravery + Command
Resilience is both strength (it limits your weapons load in a T&T like manner), and creativity (Resilience+Engineering can be used on working around existing system limitations, for example)...

Control is used both for accuracy and for self-discipline.

aramis December 13th, 2016 05:00 AM

I've gotten it to table twice in two weeks.

I've managed to screw up several rules...

I completely missed the "5+ stress done in one hit does a wound"... (there are two other ways to wound, so...)
I messed up wide beam phaser fire in session 1.
I messed up the reroll special abilities in session 2.
I discovered after season 1 I was wrong - threat doesn't drop when the turn/scene ends.

Still, it was a fun time. It felt trekish.

Looking forward to the A1.3 draft.

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