Set phasers to ‘finally’: Star Trek Gear chapter is up.

Star Trek ‘Gear’ Page

Quick, what’s the difference between a laser and a phaser?

The fun part of writing this chapter was trying to differentiate between all the energy weapons that can be found floating around in the Alpha Quadrant—trying to come up with ways to make them all a bit different in terms of their mechanics. So, Starfleet’s phasers are complicated and versatile (they seem to have about ten thousands settings on the show), Klingon-style disruptors are all about brute force, and Jem’hadar rifles are more soldierly and mean-spirited. Of course, there are only so many things you can say about “pistol what shoots an energy beam,” but players do get a few options this way.

Apparently, Starfleet was originally going to use laser guns, not phasers. But as scientists in the ’60s learned more about what lasers could (and couldn’t) do, the producers of Star Trek decided to go with a completely fictional technology so they wouldn’t end up looking bad for getting the details wrong.

New One Sheet, ‘The Tower of the Holodeck’

One of the ship’s crew was roleplaying as Conan the Barbarian when the holodeck malfunctioned. With the safeties off and the program refusing to shut down, it’s up to the senior officers to don furs, hoist iron weapons, and rescue their crewman from the wicked sorcerer Yara’s fabled tower—before Yara can complete his blood ritual.

The Tower of the Holodeck – PDF

Who doesn’t love a good holodeck episode? In addition to a fish-out-of-water romp through Conan the Barbarian’s world of Hyboria, this standalone adventure provides some rules for reprogramming the holodeck on the fly in order to give your heroes seemingly magical abilities.

Fun fact: When making the excellent Sherlock Holmes holodeck episode, the writers of The Next Generation assumed the character was freely available in the public domain. They were 100% wrong about that, and the resulting legal problems prevented them from following up on that story for several years. That’s also why, after the Holmes incident, the holodeck was mainly used for generic spa days, no-name noires, and “how close can we get without being sued” Bond adventures. Fortunately, Savage Fan writers don’t have the same problem.

You can find this One Sheet—and all the others—on the Adventures page.

Enemies, NPCs, Starships! Hooray!

Happy to say the ‘Enemies, NPCs, and Starships’ section is now online!

This was always a daunting chapter to take on because there are just so many creatures and so many ships in the Star Trek universe that it’s tough to know where to begin. I have to write up an entry for the Borg, that’s for sure, but do I also give stats for the salt monsters from The Original Series? If not, why not? I have to write up the USS Enterprise, but what about the Defiant? What about Picard’s old ship, the Stargazer? Again, why not?

Rather than go nuts trying to cover every vessel and character from 50 years of shows and movies, I decided to focus on creating an essential ‘baseline’ that could be built on in the future. To start, I’ve written stats for different non-player crew members, offered quick tweaks to make them fit different major factions (like the Klingons or the Ferengi), created a new(ish) Starship Modifications table to knock together new vessels, and then filled out the stats for every creature, baddie, and starship that appears in the adventures written so far. That’s plenty to get started with, and gives room to flesh things out as we go.

First set of adventures!

A pair of One Sheets and the first Plot Point are online.

Star Trek Adventures Page

I’m happy to say the first three adventures are now online: two standalone One Sheets, and the first episode of the Plot Point campaign. I had a lot of fun making them, and there are more on the way.

If you’re starting a Trek campaign using No Sound is Heard, I would recommend beginning with the first episode of the Plot Point, which gets everyone together, introduces them to the world of Trek, and puts them in command of a starship.

Star Trek: No Sound is Heard

You’ve found the Savage Worlds Star Trek module created by /u/pocket-contents.

You can use the menu to get PDFs of the various sections of the module (Character Creation, Setting Rules, Adventures, etc.).

No Sound is Heard takes place a few years after Deep Space Nine, and the Federation is still reeling from its exhausting war with the Dominion. The “post-war reconstruction” backdrop is present throughout the module, but there’s still plenty of room for the more familiar Star Trek adventures of seeking out new life and new civilizations.

My end-goal with this project is to have a complete campaign book with locations, loot, random encounters, loads of baddies & starships, and a complete Plot Point campaign in addition to some standalone adventures. I’m happy to say it’s humming along nicely.

I’m still in the process of creating this module, so everything you find will be edited and changed over time.

If you want to talk Savage Worlds design or Star Trek lore, leave a comment on this blog or drop me a line on Reddit.

See you out there,

/u/pocket-contents

Setting Intro

In 2380, the Alpha Quadrant is still reeling from the recent Dominion War.

Star Trek: Setting Intro

In 2380, the Alpha Quadrant is still reeling from the recent Dominion War. Although the victory was won, the stability of the Federation has been pushed to its breaking-point. The road to reconstruction will take ingenuity, strength of will, and most of all: time.

Design note: When I decided to attempt a (third!) Star Trek homebrew, I pitched three ‘eras’ to a friend of mine: (1) Kirk’s time, (2) sometime between Archer and Kirk (apparently this is the period the new show will cover?), and (3) post-Deep Space Nine. Basically, I wanted to avoid The Next Generation completely. Which is weird, because that’s my favourite series.

I’ll probably talk more about this topic in a future blog. For now, enjoy the introduction to what I think is a cool concept for a Star Trek setting.

Setting Rules (Starship combat)

Although Star Trek isn’t known for its nonstop action, ship-to-ship combat is still a central aspect of the setting.

Star Trek: Setting Rules

Although Star Trek isn’t known for its nonstop action, ship-to-ship combat is still a central aspect of the setting, so this section mainly deals with space battles. There are a few other notes regarding Starfleet “currency” (in this campaign, Starfleet commanders must earn Requisition Points to upgrade their ships and crew), the Black Market, and the value of boardroom meeting scenes.

Design note: I had a lot of fun trying to balance the inherent complexity of Star Trek ship battles with the desired simplicity of a Savage Worlds game. I think there’s a decent balance here, mostly because two of the more ‘complex’ mechanics (rerouting power and targeting subsystems) are totally optional. They add flavour and a bit of tactical depth to battles, but a campaign can easily survive without them.

(It turns out this balance is tough to strike! One of my players almost mutinied when I told her there would be no ‘rotate shields’ mechanic.)

I also had a lot of fun rewriting the Critical Hits table. It’s always struck me as odd that in most Savage Worlds books, every Critical Hit has a pretty much equal chance of landing. That is, a cannonball has an equal chance of bouncing off your frigate’s hull as it does of blowing up the powder magazine. I tried something a bit different by building the Critical Hits around the 2d6 probabilities made famous by Settlers of Catan. Rolls of 6-8 cause the least ‘dramatic’ Crits, while rolls of 2 and 12 cause nightmare scenarios.