By Troy Mepyans
Over this last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend Marmalade Dog 25, a gaming convention in my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I’ve been attending for the past twenty-three years and have run STA there since it first came out. This year, I again ran STA and was able to introduce several gamers to the game and help generate enthusiasm for it through our play.
I ran two sessions, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday; both of which had endings that caught me off guard and would normally had led to significant consequences for the characters involved had it happened in a campaign setting. Because it was a one-shot, I let the players guide the game and end it the way that was the most fun and satisfying to them.
From a young Helmsman standing up to his captain and resigning his commission over differing views on how best deal with a newly discovered artificial lifeform that was in conflict with the biological lifeforms on their world, to an Operations Manager who unilaterally sent out a code that formatted the artificial lifeforms back to their original programming, effectively wiping their minds, before being arrested by the First Officer, there was drama aplenty even in so short a time as four hours.
My players enjoyed the game and story so much that I had two of them return for a second go at the episode the following day; albeit with different characters and approaches to those characters. When all was said and done, one of the players bought the Boxed Starter Set, and two others were planning to pick up the Core Book as soon as possible to start up their own games in their towns.
We all love Star Trek Adventures, and we all want to see the game grow even bigger than it is now. We are inclusive and supportive of new players; and, with that in mind, we need to take advantage of the opportunities that convention play offers us as GMs wanting to spread the word about it. The idea of setting up a game within a few-hour time constraint and creating characters that will work within that setting can be daunting, as can facing players that you don’t know or have a feel for how they will play the game. It can be difficult running an episode in that limited time while trying to impart the basic mechanics at the same time, but the rewards when it comes to adding new and enthusiastic players to the STA community far outweigh that for me.
I would suggest that the Starter Set is a great starting point for a first-time convention GM, since it does most of the legwork for you; but feel free to create your own missions and characters in order to make the game your own. Make sure that you have options available for which era the players are most interested in if you are able to, as that invests them in the game before the first dice is rolled. Be prepared to stop play often to answer questions and impart information, and be patient with players that don’t quite fit the style of play you’re used to. IDIC after all, right?
Hopefully, we will see more GMs out there reporting in about their games at conventions around the world, along with an influx of new players that are chomping at the bit to board their own starship and blast into the Final Frontier to Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before. Live Long and Prosper!
Continuing Mission has done so much to support STA that Modiphius wants to give some love back, and so we are pleased to offer this discount code, CMISSION01, which is a 10% off coupon for the STA Starter Set and usable on both the Modiphius UK site and the Modiphius US site.