Espionage in Star Trek

I’m here today with some new rules for your Star Trek Adventures game to include high-stakes, tense espionage missions in your game. These rules are modified from the Dune RPG which is also published by Modiphius and uses the same 2d20 system as STA so it’s a natural connection. If you’ve ever wanted to run spy games like Julian Bashir, now’s your chance!

A lot of fans have mixed feelings about the growth of Section 31 in Star Trek lore, though the presence of this morally grey organization does allow for some excellent moral quandries. In the end, though, espionage goes back to the very beginning of the franchise from the Klingon spy in “The Trouble with Tribbles” and the bait-and-switch of “The Enterprise Incident,” not to mention the need for secrecy on any time-travel mission. This continued into The Next Generation with Maquis infiltrators, Picard and Data disguised as Romulans, and Chain of Command (my go-to episode for covert ops in Star Trek) then things really ramped up in Deep Space Nine and beyond.

Spy stories are a great genre because they combine danger and physical challenge without being pure combat scenarios. There’s running and ducking behind cover, short scuffles and then clever thinking. Often the best option is not the most direct and succeeding in an espionage scenario often requires the players to strongly invest themselves in the plot. I love the espionage rules in the Dune RPG and thought they fit well in the sort of espionage operations in Star Trek. I’ll save the rest of my explanation for the document below, but bear in mind I’m also interested in fine-tuning so if you use it and have feedback then let me know!

4 comments

  1. My players tend to be on the idealistic side, but also understand the need for SI. S-31 a lot of them consider an aberration. I tend not to use them except as a chessmaster in the background or a front ‘Urban Legend’ inside the intel community. I’m deliberately not saying it’s around. Because ad organization like that would not advertise itself to anyone

      1. Yeah, Lots of good options in the book. I just prefer to leave it and open question to keep the players guessing

  2. I’m excited about the potential for mixing and matching amongst all of the different Modiphius games. There are some fascinating rules in Dune. Thanks for adapting this one. I think some of the Dune rules could be fun additions to an STA admiralty campaign.

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