Ever since J.J. Abrams took the Star Trek franchise and revitalised it through the most recent movies, I have been itching to run some games in the setting.
When a couple of friends also started to engage me with requests to run a one-off Star Trek game, I found myself thinking about how I might do it.
Your Trek May Differ
If there's one thing that Abrams has reminded us it's that our Trek can differ from the franchise.
It's a lot of fun to take the setting, key characters, tech, ships and species of Trek. It's even more fun when you're not bound by the official canon of events.
My idea is to set my Dark Trek campaign sometime around the birth of the Federation, as the "Enterprise" series ends and the movies begin. Running one-off, high-stakes and very high-octane stories which move forward through the early era of the Federation would be very cool. What would be even cooler is if the players were aware that "Your Trek May Differ".
Do the player's provoke a war with the Klingons? So be it. Let's play it out.
Or do they damage the fledgling alliance of worlds that is the new Federation? Let's work out the consequences in play.
What I want is for the players to feel that every decision they make can have potentially big consequences. This is, after all, what Trek is all about: heroic characters who make decisions that affect the galaxy.
Booting a System
My only barrier right now (other than finding time and a group to play it) is in deciding which narrative-style game I want to run with. I've narrowed it down to two: HeroQuest2 and Cortex Plus. The latter is probably going to win.
Narrative, you say? Yes.
At heart, I'm a gamer-simulationist. I've played Trek with FASA, GURPS and d20. The truth, however, is that TV and movie properties feel better within the framework of a narrative engine. Things have to "feel" right... and that means that the "reality" of the setting is actually beholden to the "believability" of cinematics, not hard science.
I'm taken with using the Cortex System Hacker's Guide... a good dose of Cortex Action blended with some of the new Firefly RPG stuff... and a few tweaks of my own. Unless I get lazy and just bust out the much simpler to run HeroQuest2.
Anyone for Dark Trek? I might just have to see about having that one-off game after all.
Labels: Cortex, HeroQuest, musings, settings, Trek