The Space Men Play Star Trek Adventures, Part I

This begins a new series submitted by Star Trek Adventures Uber-Fan Daniel Li

Gamemaster’s Introduction

My first Star Trek experience was at the age of 7. My dad took me on our weekly trip to the public library and, perusing the stacks of TV shows on VHS, I came across “Balance of Terror.” My dad was in the midst of a phase where he was showing me an episode or two of shows from his childhood. Perry Mason didn’t stick. Dragnet did. So did Star Trek. In those days, TNG was in its first run, with reruns of TNG and TOS back-to-back late at night too. The library had the movies. I binged. I was hooked. I marked my calendar for “All Good Things…” months in advance. I went to the Star Trek Convention in Minneapolis where DS9 and VOY were new and being hyped up. I even wore a Starfleet uniform to Montessori school for career day.

At my middle school, Star Trek was huge. About two dozen of us went to see First Contact in the cinemas together (having waited for home video for the mess that was Generations). Insurrection was disappointing, but it was Decipher’s Star Trek Customizable Card Game that kept us going. Almost every recess and lunch from 6th through 8th grade, a bunch of us would bring out our card collections, stashed in our desks beneath our school books, and compare cards and play a game.

We scattered in high school, and right around that time a few things happened that could have derailed my Trekkiness for awhile: Decipher discontinued its 1st edition CCG and launched the 2nd edition CCG right around that time, requiring me to start my card collection over if I wanted to keep up the hobby; Nemesis came out and I hated it; Enterprise bored me stiff, and my new school was not full of new friends who shared my interest. 

And yet, this interval was short-lived, because late freshman year, in the gorgeous Barnes & Noble store in the old Chateau Theater, I spotted Decipher’s Star Trek: The Roleplaying Game. I took it with me to my summer camp and my roommate there improvised an adventure where I (the only player) essentially re-enacted Under Siege on a space freighter, with a Gorn mercenary named Rrk taking the place of the Steven Seagal character. I also picked up Star Trek: Armada II on CD-ROM at the Mall of America during that same summer enrichment program and it quickly became my go-to RTS.

Back home, my best friend and I binge-watched Babylon 5 and DS9, both of which were new to him, and planned out a campaign using the Decipher books that would have taken place immediately after the Dominion War. It never took place due to a lack of other interested players. We split up for college, I left my Decipher books behind and went into another Trek desert for a number of years. I missed the Abrams/Kelvin era entirely.

It wasn’t until nearly a decade later that my interest rekindled with the unlikely suspect of Enterprise. On a wiki walk through TV Tropes, I learned that series, which I had given up for dead midway through season 1, had later gotten a new showrunner (Manny Coto) and gotten good, but too late to avoid cancellation. By now the streaming era was well underway, and I binge-watched the Xindi arc and then Season 4 for good measure. I was back.

Around the same time, I had my first and, to date, only D&D experience as an old college friend ran a 5e campaign virtually on Roll20. I was the paladin. We made it 8 sessions before life got in the way. 

I had never been a gamemaster before but fell into the role of necessity. Listening to Shield of Tomorrow and Clear Skies gave me enough grounding that I felt like I could wing it.

Not long afterward, my long-distance girlfriend was visiting and I needed to find something romantic but not too weighty to watch with her…and in a blast from the past, came up with TNG “Parallels.” She loved it, and we made it through chronologically from “Broken Bow” all the way through “What You Leave Behind.” She moved to our hometown along the way, and I have many fond memories of eating Chinese or Indian takeout on her couch while taking in an episode or five. Enterprise was and remains her favorite series, rivaled only by Picard (the only person I’ve met who says that!) and she had quite a crush on Trip. She would often tell me “you’re 100% Star Trek!” Gilmore Girls helped me understand her, and Star Trek helped her understand me. We got married so it must have worked pretty well!

As it turned out, several of our mutual friends loved Star Trek as well. We began calling our little tribe the Space of Refreshment, and it’s male half the Space Men. We all got together to watch Picard as it premiered…and then COVID-19 arrived and we hardly saw each other for nearly two years. As the isolation was getting me down, my wife gave me the Core Rulebook and Strange New Worlds last Christmas, and a new plan began to hatch. I had never been a gamemaster before but fell into the role of necessity. Listening to Shield of Tomorrow and Clear Skies gave me enough grounding that I felt like I could wing it. When the men finally met in person again last April, we would be playing Star Trek Adventures.

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.

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