As a GM, sometimes you find a great species from another media’s RPG, and would like to introduce them to your game either as is, or with modifications. Or, you need an alien species right away but need inspiration. But it might take time to adapt the stats from the other system to Star Trek Adventures. If only there was a quick way to convert the stats…
Recently I’ve been watching old reruns of Doctor Who from the Sixties, and there are some long-ago aliens and storylines that would transplant well into Star Trek Adventures with some modifications, without your players necessarily recognizing them. I also happen to have the full set of Doctor Who: Adventures In Time and Space RPG sourcebooks by Cubicle Seven, which is very comprehensive. I wondered if I could come up with a way to quickly convert some aliens from DWAITAS to STA. Nothing too complicated – just looking for simple rules.
Here’s my take on a quick alien/character conversion guide. There will be examples of Sensorites and Ice Warriors at the end.
Conversion Guide: DWAITAS to STA
- Control: 6+Coordination.
- Daring: 6+Resolve.
- Fitness: 6+Strength.
- Insight: 6+Awareness.
- Presence: 6+Presence.
- Reason: 6+Ingenuity.
You can take the following skill scores for Disciplines. If you feel there are too many zeroes to fit that particular species (such as the Ice Warriors), you can assign a minimum score of 1 for each.
- Command: Convince score.
- Conn: Transport.
- Security: The higher of Fighting or Marksman.
- Engineering: Technology.
- Science: Science.
- Medicine: Medicine.
- There are 12 Skills in DWAITAS: Athletics, Convince, Craft (Item), Fighting, Knowledge, Marksman, Medicine, Science, Subterfuge, Survival, Technology, Transport. Take the four highest Skills by name, narrowing the Area of Expertise down further if desired (such as a specific scientific field). Some entries have such AoE listed.
- If Armour or other damage reduction is mentioned, Special = Resistance 4, Major = Resistance 2, Minor = Resistance 1.
- Traits: You can take the Traits from DWAITAS and simply list them as Traits in STA, modifying Difficulties as normal. If you think one is a straightforward Talent, move it to Special rules.
Give all species two rules:
- Bold/Cautious (Discipline): Choose the highest Discipline, or whatever makes sense, and whether it is Bold or Cautious (though for NPCs, there is no practical difference).
- Proficiency (bonus d20): as per page 305 for NPC special rules, choose some skill that the species is good at, and give them a bonus d20 when doing that task.
- Those two rules should be enough for a quick conversion, but some Talents are naturally suggested (e.g. Telepath). Add as needed.
- For weapons, simply choose one from the standard weapon list.
Example: The Sensorites
Let’s take a species from Season 1 of Doctor Who: the Sensorites (in the episode of the same name). They are caste-based (Elder, Scientist, Warrior, and lastly Sensorite).
Here is the stat block for a Sensorite Elder, using the above conversion and the shorthand I discussed in another article.
SENSORITE SCIENTIST Ctrl.8 Dar.9 Fit.8 Ins.8 Pres.8 Reas.10 / Cmd.3 Conn.0 Sec.0 Eng.0 Sci.4 Med.0 // rs.0 ss.8 Focuses: Convince, Knowledge, Subterfuge Traits: Alien, Face in the Crowd, Impaired Senses, Psychic, Weakness (loud noises, darkness) Special Rules: Cautious (Science), Proficiency (Subterfuge bonus d20), Telepath
SENSORITE SCIENTIST Ctrl.8 Dar.9 Fit.8 Ins.8 Pres.8 Reas.10 / Cmd.1 Conn.1 Sec.0 Eng.3 Sci.3 Med.0 // rs.0 ss.8 Focuses: Technology, Science, Knowledge Traits: Alien, Face in the Crowd, Impaired Senses, Psychic, Weakness (loud noises, darkness) Special Rules: Cautious (Science), Proficiency (Technology bonus d20), Telepath
SENSORITE WARRIOR Ctrl.8 Dar.9 Fit.8 Ins.8 Pres.8 Reas.10 / Cmd.0 Conn.2 Sec.2 Eng.2 Sci.0 Med.0 // rs.0 ss.10 Focuses: Marksman, Subterfuge, Technology, Transport Traits: Alien, Face in the Crowd, Impaired Senses, Psychic, Weakness (loud noises, darkness) Special Rules: Cautious (Security), Proficiency (Marksman bonus d20), Telepath
SENSORITE Ctrl.8 Dar.9 Fit.8 Ins.8 Pres.8 Reas.10 / Cmd.1 Conn.1 Sec.0 Eng.0 Sci.0 Med.0 // rs.0 ss.8 Focuses: Convince, Craft, Knowledge, Transport Traits: Alien, Face in the Crowd, Impaired Senses, Psychic, Weakness (loud noises, darkness) Special Rules: Cautious (Conn), Proficiency (Craft bonus d20), Telepath
Example: The Ice Warriors
Second example are a more familiar species, the Ice Warriors. They don’t have the right skills for Disciplines, so we’ll assign a minimum of 1 to all Disciplines, since the Ice Warriors are a formidable species.
ICE WARRIOR Ctrl.7 Dar.9 Fit.13 Ins.8 Pres.8 Reas.8 / Cmd.1 Conn.1 Sec.4 Eng.1 Sci.1 Med.1 // rs.2 (armour) ss.17 Focuses: Fighting, Marksman, Survival Traits: Alien, Cyborg, Natural Weapon (Sonic Gun), Slow, Weakness (can't stand intense heat) Special Rules: Bold (Security), Proficiency (Fighting bonus d20)
So, there you have it: a quick conversion guide. This may not work so well for powerful and familiar aliens such as Daleks (not that you would want to, except in a crossover), but there are decades of other aliens in Doctor Who. And if you don’t have the game or the official sourcebooks but would still like to try this out, the DWAITAS fans have produced free Expanded Sourcebooks that make use of secondary Doctor Who adventures (books, audiobooks, etc.). There may be some aliens in there that may inspire, and that you can convert.