The peregrine falcon, also known as the peregrine, and historically as the duck hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head.
But for fans of Star Trek Adventures RPG, Peregrine means so much more. It means Andy Peregrine, the writer of Border Dispute (These are the Voyages Mission Compendium), Footfall (Strange New Worlds Mission Compendium), and the sections on Starfleet Intelligence & Section 31 in the Operations Division Supplement.
I sat down (me at my computer and him at his hundreds of miles apart) to get to know this elusive bird-of-a-man better.
Michael: Hey, Andy. I stretched to write this opening, which begs the question: How much effort did you put into writing for Star Trek Adventures?
Andy: To a certain degree the way I usually get work, finding out someone has a cool project and nagging incessantly! Few secrets stay secret very long in the industry so once I found out Modiphius had the license for Star Trek I caught up with Chris Birch at Games Expo and threw my hat in the ring. While I didn’t get to work on the Corebook, they commissioned the first adventure book at much the same time and I was invited to pitch them an idea for that (Border Dispute) which they decided to include.
How much creative freedom were you given when you were commissioned to work on the project?
Within the confines of the actual commission, I’ve been left pretty much to my own devices. Obviously, this is easier for an adventure. Once the pitch has been accepted you can scurry away and get writing, safe in the knowledge they’ll edit out anything that’s rubbish. Sam and Jim have both been great Line Managers to work with and they trust their writers to deliver what they asked for—and know their Trek.
There is a certain back and forth when you deliver your first draft and you move into editing (or ‘Redlines’). But I’d not say that’s really ‘constricting my creative freedom’. It’s essentially fine-tuning what you’ve come up with to fit in with what the other writers have come up with. Most of the time, when you see an editor’s notes you feel glad they spotted an obvious mistake rather than getting annoyed they haven’t ‘recognized your genius’.
Hmm. I might have to employ that line of thinking with my wife. Back to the game, what was your favorite part of doing a gaming module for Star Trek Adventures?
I generally prefer to write setting material, but adventures give you a lot of opportunities to create places and NPCs which I really enjoy. I’ve been able to work on three books so far. I wrote ‘Border Dispute’ for These are the Voyages because I love Romulans, politics, and espionage.
I was able to put my Religion degree to use with the adventure ‘Footfall’ for Strange New Worlds.
But I think my favorite project was doing Star Fleet Intelligence and Section 31 for the Operations Division book. I could have just written a whole book on espionage in the Star Trek universe if they’d let me. Of course, once I’d finished and handed in my work, Discovery added a whole new plotline involving Section 31! But then, that’s always the danger with an ongoing license.
When did your love for Star Trek first develop? What was your first exposure?
I’m going to sound a little older than I am I expect, but when I was little we didn’t have much science fiction on television. We pretty much had just (TOS) Star Trek, Doctor Who and Space 1999 (and Star Wars on video). So I hoovered up everything I could find. Oddly, it wasn’t the characters I loved in Star Trek, but the adventures themselves. Each episode was like traveling with this incredible starship, uncovering the mysteries it came across each week. Watching the series made you feel part of the crew and I was just happy to join them on their journey.
Do you play STA on the regular? If so, what is your crew like? What character do you play?
Star Trek Adventures is one of the few games I’ve actually played more often than run, which is great. My group played a lot of the early playtest adventures, but they always came with characters. Recently, I joined Sam’s twitch game and had a great time with a Caitian security officer. I got a little addicted to the character creator program and nearly made up a whole crew before settling on that one.
Haha! I’ve been there. I have to have an entire ship blow up so that I can start again. What have you noticed about public reaction to the game? What about STA struck a different chord with the public, do you think?
It’s very difficult to know, but I’ve helped out on the Modiphius stand at a few cons and from my experience, the response has been really positive. I think a lot of this is down to its adaptability and simplicity. It’s an easy game to create a character and start playing. You can play in whatever era you like with very little modification. I’ve played and very much enjoyed the FASA, Last Unicorn and Decipher versions of Star Trek, but the 2D20 variant is easily my favorite.
Speaking of favorites, who is your favorite character in Star Trek? Why?
Wow, that is a really tough question. To a certain degree, it depends on which episode I saw most recently! I think Miles O’Brian might just edge it for me. I loved that he was a minor character in Next Generation who moved into DS9. I also really enjoyed Miles and Keiko’s relationship and how they dealt with the difficulties of pursuing careers and marriage amidst all the difficulties of life on the frontier.
I do have to put in a good word for Tilly in Discovery—who is awesome—and wish we saw more of Jett Reno.
OMG! I thought it was just me. Jett is one of my favorite all-time Star Trek characters now. She is like Dr. McCoy as an engineer! I hope she ends up chief engineer in future episodes. I want more! Oops. Sorry for that outburst, Andy. Go on.
I also rather missed seeing Carol Marcus return in Star Trek: Beyond. I’m very much looking forward to Discovery Season 3 and Picard in the New Year.
What is your favorite part of the Star Trek canon? (TV, movies, book.)
Romulans, and Romulans again. It’s always a disappointment they never seem to get their fair share of storylines. ‘Balance of Terror’ and ‘The Enterprise Incident’ are easily my favorite TOS episodes. ‘Face of the Enemy’ comes a very close second to ‘The Inner Light’ in TNG and ‘In the Pale Moonlight’ in DS9 might be my favorite episode of all. I love espionage and political plots and the Romulans are always at the heart of that. I keep hoping we’ll see them make an appearance in Discovery, fingers crossed.
You are quite the Rommie lover, Andy. Who knew? Would you like to explore other storylines in Star Trek Adventures?
I also love the Mirror Universe. I’d dive into a book on that in a heartbeat.
Which series do you like the best?
As to favorite series, it’s hard to really tell. I’d have to say Discovery at the moment, but mainly because it is such a different version of Star Trek. As you might imagine I’d love to see a series following a Star Fleet Intelligence team.
What would our readers find you doing if it isn’t writing/playing RPGs?
I’m not very exciting so there isn’t much time I’m not gaming! My ‘real job’ is as a lighting technician in the theatre (I’m typing this at the lighting board during the show between cues!). I really love being part of live performance although I’ve very little desire to be on stage. Backstage has always felt more part of the show as we see everything, not just what is happening in front of the audience.
Working in theatre means most evenings aren’t free, so I have to schedule gaming quite carefully. But when I can fit it in I also do Aikijutsu and Japanese sword training. I’m not very good, but waving a sword around is pretty cool.
Sword skills are good to have just in case you run into some Rommies. Ask Sulu. Last question: If you were a component on a starship, what component would you be?
I think that would be quite frustrating as I’d want to leave the ship and join the away missions, so being a tricorder would be pretty sweet.
Otherwise, I’d like to be part of the internal sensors so I can see what all the crew are doing (but not in a creepy way) and follow their stories.
Not creepy at all, Andy. Though I can’t say that about your love affair with Romulans. I speak for STA fandom when I say “keep those stories coming” and “don’t miss your lighting cues”. We look forward to more of your genius storytelling in years to come!