Embracing Inclusivity: Integrating Non-Native English Speakers into Star Trek Adventures RPG

Tabletop role-playing games are a wonderful way to bring people together, fostering imagination and collaboration. Inclusivity is essential to ensure that every player feels welcome and valued within the gaming community.

This blog post explores how to integrate players into the Star Trek Adventures (STA) RPG system, particularly those who may not have English as their first language. We will discuss valuable advice, tools, and resources to enhance inclusion, as well as the heartwarming example of a player who took the initiative to convert our game bible into her native language of Korean.

Inclusivity is a fundamental aspect of fostering a vibrant and enriching gaming community.

  1. Embrace Communication and Patience:
  • Encourage open and patient communication among all players, emphasizing the importance of clear and respectful dialogue.
  • Foster an environment where non-native English speakers feel comfortable asking for clarifications or expressing themselves without fear of judgment.
  1. Provide Language Support:
  • Offer language support resources such as dictionaries, translation apps, or translation websites to assist non-native English speakers in understanding rules, terms, or complex concepts.
  • Consider creating a glossary or cheat sheet with commonly used gaming vocabulary translated into their native language.
  1. Game Materials in Native Languages:
  • Recognize the value of providing game materials (if available), including rulebooks, character sheets, and reference guides, in multiple languages.
  • Encourage players to translate and adapt relevant game documents into their native languages, allowing them to fully comprehend plot points and participate in the game’s intricacies.
  1. Visual Aids and Handouts:
  • Utilize visual aids, such as maps, diagrams, or illustrations, to supplement verbal explanations and aid in comprehension.
  • Create handouts or visual summaries of key plot points, character backgrounds, or mission objectives, allowing non-native English speakers to refer to visual cues when needed.
  1. Culturally Sensitive Themes and Characters:
  • Be mindful of cultural diversity and avoid stereotypes or offensive portrayals when designing characters or storylines.
  • Encourage players to share their cultural perspectives and contribute to character creation or worldbuilding, ensuring an inclusive and rich gaming experience for everyone.
  1. Active Listening and Feedback:
  • Actively listen to the experiences and feedback of non-native English speakers, valuing their insights and suggestions for improvement.
  • Regularly seek input on their experience within the game, making adjustments to accommodate their needs and preferences.
  1. Patience and Flexibility:
  • Recognize that non-native English speakers may need additional time to process information or express themselves, and be patient during gameplay.
  • Be flexible with rules interpretation, allowing for collaborative problem-solving to overcome language barriers without compromising the integrity of the game.

The Power of Initiative

An inspiring example of embracing inclusivity is demonstrated by one of our players. With Korean as her native language, she took it upon herself to convert our game bible into Korean, ensuring that she fully understood the plot points and details of the game. [See sample below.] This act of dedication not only allowed her to actively engage in the storyline but also showcased her commitment to bridging language gaps and embracing the game in her own unique way.

Inclusivity is a fundamental aspect of fostering a vibrant and enriching gaming community. When integrating non-native English speakers into the Star Trek Adventures RPG, it is crucial to provide language support, game materials in native languages, visual aids, and culturally sensitive themes. Active listening, patience, and flexibility are key to ensuring that all players feel valued and included. By embracing inclusivity, we create a diverse and vibrant gaming experience that celebrates the contributions of every participant, regardless of their linguistic background.


  1. I have GM’d for a long time and have not run into a multi-language game yet. That said, I support a college with at least 6 languages I am aware of. So the above advise in the article is pretty solid

  2. This is also valuable advice for the workspace. Which goes to back to the theory that role-playing teaches you valuable social skills, up to and including how to wrangle just about any meeting.

  3. I’m coming to this thread with 10 years’ experience teaching university ESL, during which I ran both D&D and STL for groups including anywhere from 1 to 5 non-native English speakers. I found STA to be a tougher sell, as the two Chinese players in my group had no experience with Star Trek going in, but they picked up a lot of the premise pretty quickly. I like Directives, Values, Traits, and Focuses for non-native speaker players because the written descriptors really make a difference as cues to the environment and setting conceits.

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