July 29, 2017

Two To Beam Up! (Star Trek Adventures)

Okay, so yesterday I posted a quasi-review of the Star Trek Adventures RPG.  So today's post, I'll be going through the character creation process for both a Main Character and a Supporting Character.

Starting off with the Main Character, I'm thinking of going with a Command-type, perhaps a youngish and not-as-seasoned version of Captain Kirk or Commander Riker.  And while I'm not intending for this PC to be the commanding officer of a starship, I figure he'll still be adept in a leadership role either sitting in the captain's chair or leading an away team on a mission.  I don't have a full name in mind, but I do have a first name in mind, that being Rafael, mostly as I'd been doing some reading up on Castille in the Nations of Theah Volume 1 for 7th Sea.  I'll come up with a surname later on.

So Step 1 is choosing a species for Rafael, which is going to be a Human.  I opt to put his three +1 modifiers into Daring, Insight, and Presence, putting those at 8 up from the base 7 that all attributes start at, and note the Human species trait for Rafael.  I also get to select a talent, and I take Bold for the Command Discipline since I see Rafael as being a daring leader willing to take risks.

Step 2 is Environment, or where my character is from.  I see Rafael as being from Earth, with the idea that he's of mixed racial heritage.  Opting to have him be a West Coast native, I'm now thinking a blend of both Hispanic and Oriental, and come up with the surname of Tashiro.  Back to making this character, I chose the Homeworld option which gives me a free +1 in one of the Attributes that is improved by my species bonus in Step 1.  Since being a Human gave three floating +1s to assign where I choose, I could probably put the +1 increase from this step wherever I wanted, but I'm opting to instead put it into Daring, making that a 9; this is a guy that definitely isn't adverse to taking risks.  I also get to increase one of Rafael's Disciplines (this game's name for skills) by one, which I'm going to put into Science, raising that to 2.  I also get to select a Value, which is a Trait that represents a core value for my character, for which I jot down "Fortune Favors the Bold."

We move to Step 3, which is Upbringing.  I don't have anything particular in mind, so I roll a d6 and get a 1, which is Starfleet.  I immediately get the idea of a character that comes from a long line of Starfleet brats, with multiple generations on both sides of the family tree having served in Starfleet since it's inception.  I get the choice of whether Rafael chose to accept or reject this upbringing; I go with accepting his upbringing and being proud that much of his family history is tied to Starfleet.  This gives Rafael a +2 to his Control and a +1 to his Fitness.  Being a Starfleet brat lets me increase one of his Disciplines, which I choose to put that point into Conn, giving him skill at flying ships and navigating the Starfleet bureaucracy.  I also get to select a Focus, which lets my character be even more successful when making checks that fall within its realm, for which I choose Starfleet Protocol to give Rafael a strong grasp of how Starfleet operates as an organization.  I also get a talent, and choose to take Mean Right Hook to make his unarmed attacks more effective, be it the classic Starfleet judo chop or the Kirk Hammer of TOS Trek.

Step 4 covers Rafael's time at Starfleet Academy.  His choice of which academy track to follow is pretty simple, that being the Command Track.  At this step, I chose to increase his Daring, Presence, and Reason by +1 each.  Since he's going to be in the Command branch, I take a +2 increase to his Command Discipline (now a 4) as well as a +1 to Conn (now a 3) and +1 to Security (now a 2) to give him a bit more of an intellectual angle.  I also get to select three more Focuses for Rafael, with at least one of them relating to his academy track, and choose Hand to Hand Combat (advanced combat training, which I opt to further refine as being trained in Wing Chun style of kung fu; blame my recent viewing of the Ip Man films), Helm Operations (knows quite a bit about controlling a starship), and Persuasion (being able to convince others to follow his lead).  I also get to select another Talent, taking Follow My Lead to account for his command training and aptitude for leading during hazardous situations.  And finally, I add another Value, for which I take "Know When to Bend the Rules Without Breaking Them."  Being willing to take risks or face danger means that you can't always go by established protocol, but at the same time a commanding officer has to abide by the general spirit of the rules and regulations.

Step 5 is Career Length, and while I don't see Rafael as being a fresh, still wet-behind-the-ears young officer, neither is he well-seasoned veteran officer, so I default to experienced officer, which provides me with another talent choice, taking Starship Expert to give Rafael a boost when picking out the strengths and weaknesses of other vessels.  I get a third value, which I decide to use to have Rafael be tied to another character in the group, selecting the female Vulcan medical officer T'leya, who is a very close friend from his days at the Academy.  As to how close, after a bit of talk with T'leya's player, we decide that they were very close, perhaps even intimately so, leading to the value "T'leya is My Closest and Most Beloved Friend."

Step 6 is Career Events, and since I don't really have anything in mind, I break out a d20 and roll twice.  The first result is a 5, which is "Required to Take Command."  Well, that's about perfect for Rafael as you can find, forcing him to take charge during a dangerous situation.  This gives him a +1 to his Daring (now an 11), a further +1 to Command (now a 5, which is the max you can have in a Discipline), and a Focus, for which I select Lead By Example to give him a "lead from the front" feel.

Now for Rafael's second Career Event, I roll again and get a 17 for "Special Commendation."  Since the rules suggest you can do it, I opt to combine the two events, and figure that Rafael got his commendation for saving the lives of his fellow officers when he was required to take command.  This gives him a +1 to his Fitness and a +1 to a Discipline of my choice, for which I select Security since I picture this as him having to take the lead against a threat to the ship he was stationed to.  I also get one last focus, which I choose to pick Athletics to figure that he'd need to be in good shape during high risk situations.

And we come to Step 7, the Finishing Touches.  Right now, Rafael has 54 points of Attributes, so he gets two further +1 bonuses, which I apply to Insight and Presence.  He's also got 14 points' worth of Disciplines, and receives two +1 boosts, which I apply to Engineering and Science, raising them up both to a 2 and making Rafael a little more well-rounded in his Disciplines, which is a good thing for a command officer.  I get one final Value, for which I take "Every Dilemma Has a Solution" to give him a spin on Kirk's classic "I don't believe in a no-win scenario" line from Wrath of Khan, but with not quite as much hubris.  I'm also at the point where I choose Rafael's rank, and while my initial idea was to probably have him be a Lieutenant, after his two Career Events I choose to give him the rank of Commander, making him something of a hotshot officer that's quickly climbed the ranks.  I also have to select what assignment on the group's ship this character has, and it quickly becomes clear that he's going to be the one sitting in the captain's chair, making his role on the ship that of the Commanding Officer.  Since he's a senior officer, Rafael has a Type 2 phaser, as well as possessing the Starfleet uniform, communicator, and tricorder that come standard for all Starfleet officers.

Commander Rafael Tashrio (Main Character)
Traits: Human
Values: Every Dilemma Has a Solution, Fortune Favors The Bold, Know When to Bend the Rules Without Breaking Them, T'leya is My Closest and Most Beloved Friend
Attributes: Control 9, Daring 11, Fitness 9, Insight 9, Presence 10, Reason 8
Disciplines: Command 4, Conn 3, Engineering 2, Security 4, Science 2, Medicine 1
Focuses: Athletics, Helm Operations, Lead By Example, Persuasion, Starfleet Protocol, Wing Chun
Talents: Bold (Command), Follow My Lead, Mean Right Hook, Starship Expert
Equipment: Type-2 phaser, communicator, Starfleet uniform, tricorder

And so we have a young starship commander.  Now, you may have noted that at no point do I make a distinction as to what century it is, so this character can work in either the 23rd or the 24th century.  Personally, I'm leaning more towards him being active in the 23rd century, but that's due to my being more familiar with TOS Trek than anything.  As for what sort of ship we're flying, that's yet to be determined, but odds are it'll be a Miranda-class, hopefully with the Multirole Explorer role.

Okay, so that was creating a Main Character, and now we go onto creating a Supporting Character.  For this one, I'm going to whip up an Andorian science/communications officer, choosing to make this character a young female Ensign, whose name I'll suss out later.

I start with a pool of values for her Attributes, along with a +1 bonus for her species to Control, Daring, and Presence.  I set her base values at Presence 10, Insight and Reason at 9, Control and Fitness at 8, and finally her Daring to 7.

Next are her Disciplines, which again have a pool of values to assign.  Being she's primarily a science officer, I set her Science to 4, followed by Conn at 3, a 2 in both Command and Medicine, and lastly her Engineering and Security are both 1s.

Up next are Focuses, for which I get three options, one of which has to relate to her role on the ship.  For these, I pick Computers, Linguistics, and Team Dynamics.

Last steps are her default equipment, that being a type-1 phaser, a communicator, a Starfleet uniform, and a tricorder.  Normally when a Supporting Character is first introduced they get a free boost to one of the above, be it a +1 to an Attribute, +1 to a Discipline, or an extra Focus, or a Value.  Given this is an example of building the character, I'll give her that introduction bonus right now, selecting a +1 to her Reason.  Finally, this young Andorian science officer needs a name, finally settling on Thralla Zynes.  Put all the above together, and here's what her stat block looks like:

Ensign Thrala Zynes (Supporting Character)

Attributes: Control 9, Daring 8, Fitness 8, Insight 9, Presence 11, Reason 10
Disciplines: Command 2, Conn 3, Engineering 1, Security 1, Science 4, Medicine 2
Focuses: Computers, Linguistics, Team Dynamics

Equipment: Type-1 phaser, communicator, Starfleet uniform, tricorder

As you can see, coming up with a Supporting Character is a fairly quick process, which makes sense as the intent is that the players will create these characters on an as-needed basis, for times when they might not be able to bring their Main Character on a mission, or there's only a couple of players and they could use some NPC support to shore up Disciplines that the Main Characters aren't quite so adept at.

Well, that's the two Star Trek Adventures characters I promised in yesterday's blog post.  Honestly, I'd love a chance to get Rafael into a game to see just how well he works out as a ship's captain; as written he certainly does have that feel of a younger version of Kirk or Riker, or perhaps a slightly more seasoned version of NuTrek's Kirk, having lost much of the cockiness but still having the nerve to go with unconventional solutions to the current dilemma.

Until then, live long and prosper *performs Vulcan salute*

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