This past August, the Deseret News announced the open play test for a new roleplaying game based on the Star Trek Universe, Star Trek Adventures. Produced by Modiphius Entertainment, the game is now underway with thousands of people participating.

Chris Birch, publishing director for Modiphius Entertainment, said, “The play test, with over 7,000 groups so far, ensures we really get amazing feedback from the community to help make the game really ‘feel’ like Star Trek. Whilst designers can come up with fantastic ideas, it’s at the ground level of solid play that we really discover if it’s a fun game.

“On top of that, the ‘living’ aspect of the play test means the story will be evolving as the players continue through the game, based on their feedback. For example, if most groups ended up saving a particular planet but lost a ship, that’s what the story will include.”

The goal of the game takes the form of a personal approach to Star Trek. During play, a character’s beliefs and values will be challenged, just like in the Star Trek episodes. “You’ll be faced with moral dilemma’s, difficult choices and problem solving which are often key aspects of a Star Trek story,” said Birch. “Of course who doesn’t want to be part of their own five-year voyage of fantastic missions.”

But doesn’t everyone want to be the captain? If a gamer joins the play test, will he or she be thrust down into the bowels of the ship as a lowly engineering ensign analyzing warp core anomalies? “The play testers will be bridge crew," Birch said. "But even as captain, a player must be careful with the responsibility. We’re working on ways of making the captain’s position balanced but fun. In reality, a captain will listen to the experts around him or her and not make demands.”

What’s interesting about the game are its differences from standard fantasy roleplaying where characters fight monsters, steal treasure, become more powerful and destroy everything in their paths. Star Trek Adventures is different. “You will gain experience through various actions and this will allow you to increase your attributes, your skills and also your skill focuses, which are more specialized knowledge," Birch said.

“Beyond that, characters will add to their talents, gain rank within Star Fleet and increase both the capabilities of their ship as well as its crew. Also, secondary characters can be brought in to play on the ship when a primary character goes down to a planet on an ‘away team.’ In this way, players won't miss any of the action whether they’re on the surface or aboard the ship.”

Participating in the game in a variety of capacities are big names from across the tabletop gaming industry. An epic storyline written by New York Times best-selling Star Trek author Dayton Ward and Scott Pearson entices gamers to keep involved to not miss out on any of the action.

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“The living campaign begins with play test missions and will continue with the release of the core rulebook in the summer of 2017,” said Birch. “The living campaign takes place in the Shackleton Expanse, an area of space vastly unexplored by both the Federation and the Klingons. Starbase 364, Narendra Station, named after the battle of Narendra III where the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C was destroyed, serves as the ‘Keep on the Borderlands’ for excursions out into the frontier of space.”

It’s not too late to join. Gamers can choose between joining four different crews based on their interest. The USS Venture is participating in a variety of missions. The USS Bellerophon has a science focus. The USS Thunderchild deals specifically with conflict-based missions while those aboard the USS Lexington will shape historical events for the previous ships acting in an alternate time. Find out more at Modiphius Entertainment.

rmorgenegg@desnews.com