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.

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Character Creation

The officers are the heart of every Star Trek story.

Star Trek: Character Creation

The officers are the heart of every Star Trek story. This section gives our heroes the chance to elect their captain, name their ship, and pick a ‘role’, in addition to the usual Savage Worlds character tools of playable races, edges, hindrances, and arcane backgrounds (yes—there are arcane backgrounds!).

Design note: This was one of the first sections I started work on, and the challenge of combining Star Trek with Savage Worlds was an immediate Kirk-punch to the face. With its tactical, medical, and science officers each filling a niche aboard the ship, Star Trek seems to scream ‘character classes’, but we all know Savage Worlds is a system staunchly opposed to classes.

I considered throwing together some broad ‘classes’ based on shirt colour; I considered creating a set of Professional edges (‘Starfleet Engineer’, ‘Starfleet Doctor’, etc.) to give heroes that extra niche; I hummed and hawed quite a bit. In the end, I decided that it’s not the shirt someone wears that makes us remember them, it’s their ability to deal with weirdly specific problems. So, I made a bunch of situational edges that anybody with the right prerequisites could pick up, that would let them shine in difficult moments.

I also reasoned that, given the ‘post-war reconstruction’ theme of the campaign, players should be allowed—even encouraged!—to fill multiple roles aboard the ship if they wish to; that is, Starfleet just doesn’t have as many ultra-specialized officers as they once did. Everyone has to pitch in and do what they can. That’s a much more Savage Worlds approach, I think!