Thinking about running a play by play here…

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This topic contains 94 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  LtCmdr Xanni Dutrax 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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    Feel free to join in. Before you post in prelude, I request you bounce your character ideas off the players here. There is a link to our google drive folder for this adventure you can see what we have. Enjoy the game!!!

    Edit: Yes, the first officer position is open and considering what was just found junior science/engineering/security may not be a bad thing.

    There is a scheduled appt coming soon for crew transfers and supplying the ship so…


    Kudos Das

    Welcome! We could use a First Officer, if that’s something you’re intetested in playing. If you’ve got another character idea in mind feel free to toss it out there and we’ll see how we can work it into the game.


    And we finally get to the reason I started this adventure. What is everyone thinking so far? Any ideas anyone wants to input? How is it running to you?

    Currently we have a pretty good crew set up

    6 crew momentum in the pool still

    Current USS Prelude crew setup
    Oberth class science and deep space survey vessel (2307)

    Capt Harzan Kohvarr – Rigellian Jelna – Ship’s Captain
    LtCmd Nexim – Denobulan – Chief Engineer
    LtCmd Haimich McGregor – Human – Chief of Security
    Lt Ets’ona – Kilingon – Flight Control
    Lt Azraelia Casperia – Human – Chief Science Officer
    Cmdr Lenara Razix – Former Trill Initiate – Chief Medical Officer – Acting First Officer
    Ensign Max Teppolt – Human – Jr Science Officer

    NPC Cmdr Dorn Razix – Former Trill Initiate – Cartographer – Temp Crew – Acting Captain

    This is about right for the senior officers on board a skeleton crew of 35. There will be about 7 more junior officers and the rest enlisted. If you want to play around with character making, feel free to create some crewmen. We can create a folder in our google drive just for NPC crewman if you want.

    Security team:
    Spec 2 Aaron Shields
    PO1 Marianne Bevaire
    Chief Marny Main
    Ensign Eric Eldermane


    Brick Andreasen

    I am loving this so far. It’s fun to be able to take a quick break from whatever I’m doing and toss in a quick post. I think we all have great characters, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they all interact in the future.


    I added a spreadsheet to show a command structure for NPCs and crew alike. The cartographer is not listed, but he is obviously an acting first officer. Let me know if I missed something and I’ll fix it or add NPCs… like who is currently on the bridge with Razix? I am going to review the adventure to see if I should be waiting for more replies or write a little about the trip over. My kids are a tad bit farther than this and they had some bad rolls for me to play with. Let’s see what will happen here!!



    Perfect. I’ll get back to you guys about character ideas. First officer is a bit high for me, but I’ll gladly come in as a Jr. Science officer. I’ll get some stuff to you tonight.



    Alright, here is my idea:
    Ensign Max Teppolt, Science officer, junior grade, perhaps brought on board a s specialist?
    Born and raised on starships, both parents officers in starfleet. Enjoyed travelling and seeing different worlds his entire life, has a talent for science and engineering, He loves to solve puzzles, and particularly is interested in quantum mechanics and astrophysics.
    He has served on a few missions as a specialist examining ancient technology, and had to take command on one away mission.
    He lives to fulfill his role as a Starfleet officer, as his family has a long tradition of serving in Starfleet, dating back to before the formation of the Federation. This puts a lot of pressure on him, as he has to live up to the standards of the proud Teppolt traditions.

    I have posted the character sheet in the google drive. I don’t mind changing things around.


    Brick Andreasen

    As requested in the gameplay thread, I will explain how disadvantages (and conversely, advantages) work in STA. I’m pulling from the Core Rulebook, pages 77-79 and 278-279.

    Aside from the 2d20 rolling, momentum, and threat, the core mechanic of this RPG system is the Target Number, which is what you’re aiming for when you roll. Depending on the difficulty of the task that a character is attempting, the task receives a base difficulty. Firing a phaser, for example, has a base difficulty of 2. Unless stated in the book, the GM gets to set the difficulty of the task. The GM’s Screen has the following examples as loose guidelines for task difficulty:
    – 0: Researching a widely-known subject, shooting a training target with a phaser, performing routine maintenance and repairs.
    – 1: Researching a specialized subject, striking an enemy in hand-to-hand combat, routing power during an emergency.
    – 2: Researching obscure information, shooting an enemy with a phaser, repairing a transporter pad while under fire.
    – 3: Researching restricted information, shooting an enemy with a phaser in poor light, altering a subspace antenna to overcome interference without the proper tools.
    – 4: Researching classified information, shooting an enemy in a defensive position with a phaser in poor light, attempting to integrate Starfleet technology with the incompatible technology of another species.
    – 5: Researching a subject where the facts have been thoroughly redacted from official records, shooting a small and fast-moving target with a phaser in poor light, attempting a transport while at warp to another vessel which is also at warp.

    Now here’s where things get really interesting. Characters, species, planets, situations, technology, and vehicles all have Traits, which define them as an entity. For example, each of our characters has a species Trait which lists certain strengths and weaknesses of the species. A character who had the Debilitating Injury career event could also end up with a cybernetic limb Trait. Geordi LaForge has a Trait that says he is blind, but has the visor that while worn gives him above-average sight. Even starships have Traits. A Starfleet vessel, for example, has the Starfleet Ship Trait, while a Klingon ship has the KDF Ship Trait.

    Traits are important because they can influence the difficulty of the task at hand.
    – For example, a Task to cross the Klingon border would be a simple navigation task, perhaps TN 1 so as to avoid any charted navigational hazards. However, because the ship has the Starfleet Ship Trait, the GM could rule that the difficulty increases to 2 because the KDF is on the lookout for any Starfleet vessels near the border. A civilian merchant ship, on the other hand, would not incur this increased difficulty, because they don’t have that Trait.
    – As another example, perhaps Captain Picard is attempting to mediate a conflict between a Klingon and a human. Ordinarily, such a dispute might have a TN of 2, due to the raised tempers, but the GM could rule that since the Klingon has the Klingon Trait, the TN increases to 3 (or even 4), as Klingons are known to put a dk’tagh between your ribs if you piss them off.
    – For a third example, say that a character is down on a planet, attempting to climb up a steep embankment to reach the malfunctioning Duck Blind that is studying the planet’s pre-warp civilization. However, the planet has the Violent Storms Trait, and it is currently heavily raining. What would normally be a TN 1 or 2 task now increases to 3 or 4 as the rocks get slippery and the wind picks up.

    Even though Traits are the primary thing that modifies the difficulty of any task that a character attempts, there are two more that fall into a similar category: Advantages and Complications. An advantage is something in the situation that works in the players’ favor, either making their tasks have lower difficulty or increasing the difficulty of enemy NPCs. A complication is something that works against the players, either driving up the difficulty of tasks or giving the danger of injury. Players can spend 2 momentum to create an advantage, and the GM can spend threat to create complications. Additionally, a complication is generated when a player rolls a 20 on a d20.
    – For an example of creating an advantage: if the player of the ship’s doctor is about to attempt a Task to perform surgery, he could perhaps spend 2 momentum to create an advantage, saying that the ship’s computer happened to have this patient’s medical record on file, listing their allergies and previous medical incidents, giving the doctor a knowledge of this specific patient. That would then, with GM approval, lower the difficulty of the check.
    – As another example: say a spacial anomaly fuses a lot of the power conduits on the ship, and the Helm needs power to get the ship to safety, and requests it from the Chief Engineer. The CE, while attempting the task to route power, could spend the two momentum and say that he had just updated a few circuits to a newer, more resistant design, thus lowering the difficulty of the task to route power to the engines.
    – For an example of creating a complication, say the player is attempting to navigate an asteroid field in a shuttle, and spent some time beforehand mapping the drift of the field to make it easier. If the GM wanted to create some drama, he could spend 2 Threat to create a complication, saying that several asteroids suddenly collide, throwing off their orbits and colliding with others, which collide with others, etc. This, obviously, increases the difficulty of the navigation.
    – Another example: a player is attempting to scan for dilithium in an underground tunnel. She succeeds, but also rolls a 20 on a d20, generating a complication. The GM then could say her tricorder picked up the dilithium, but as she moved closer, the stone beneath her crumbles, dropping her into a lower level of the tunnels and possibly injuring her.

    I love this system, as it’s clearly inspired by the plot twists in TV shows. Every time I watch an episode, I catch myself going “oh, they rolled a complication there!” or “Ooh! They created an advantage there!”
    Anyway, I recommend reading up on the rules themselves in the pages I listed above, but I hope this helped clarify things a bit.

    Edit: I also forgot, the GM can spend Threat to increase the Complication Range on Tasks by 1 for each Threat spent. For example, if he spends 1 threat, he can increase the Complication Range by 1, so that if a player rolls a 19 or a 20, it generates a complication. 2 threat = 18, 19, or 20, etc.


    Janpfe, that’s a good character option for this and with that rank, he or she could have already been on board. Your original task would have been running computations through the computer to help create a 3D map of the Federated Planets/Delta Tau system border. You’ve heard some rumors that the upper echelon officers have left the ship to investigate something floating in space.

    Brick, thanks for the input. I don’t have a book yet, so I am depending on input like this. In this case I would spend 1 threat to create a complication. I will edit that the computer was slow responding to Ets’ona’s commands … People are still trying to recover through the accident so not much has been done beside sit there… The captain should be back online tonight.


    Alright crew, every character is now in play and working in sync with each other…. even if annoyed with a cousin. We are also approaching a milestone. I ask all of you, do you feel one character has earned the title role so far? if not, we won’t use that option as it’s rare anyway. The book suggests the group vote on it, so i’m setting it up due to our availability times. Feel free to take a few days to think on it. I keep rereading the adventure and the character backgrounds. I love these characters and hope to keep the game going as long as you want. I have a surprise for every character at a specific point in the mission. NO SPOILERS! 😛

    Hope your enjoyning this!!


    Kudos Das

    From my perceptive this has been going really well so far. I know I’m looking up rules fairly often, which is helping me to learn the game better. I’m hoping to pick up the Operations book today, so I might have a few updated tips and tricks to share once I sink my teeth into that. The PDF versions are reasonably priced, so if people are humming and hawing about picking up the books that’s a nice middle ground, especially as far as the core book is concerned.

    We’re running into some of the issues most play by posts run into, but I think overall we’ve been doing a good job of balancing keeping the story moving with giving people a reasonable chance to respond. Along those lines, I think from the players’ side if you anticipate a roll being required just go ahead a roll it, highlighting any potential focuses or talents that may factor in. We’ve got everyone’s character sheets posted, so it should be fairly easy for you, Dutrax, to see if a roll still succeeds at the task if you feel a different attribute or discipline is a better fit.

    I’m thoroughly enjoying everyone’s posts, and I’m certainly inspired to get the rust off my creative writing skills.

    Keep it up all, can’t wait to see what happens next!


    That is a good idea kudos, but I feel the players rolls make the game. Not mine alone. If I rolled for the character, then I take the game away fro. The player. However, if I need to progress the scene and I need that roll, I will and have done so. I simply ask you to update/edit how your character reacts after i have done so.

    Is that fair?

    Let us know how you feel about the operations handbook and thanks for the feedback.


    Kudos Das

    Yup, I think that’s fair enough Dutrax. As for the milestone, I’m easy either way. We’ve had some great roleplaying so far, but I think we’re all still trying to figure out our characters, the system, and/or this whole play-by-post format somewhat. Maybe when we head back for our rendezvous with the supply ship we can revisit it?

    As for the operations handbook, it unfortunately had already sold at the store I went by to pick it up from. Guess I should have picked it up when I first saw it. Oh well.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  Kudos Das.

    Kudos Das

    Alright, I’ve got two notable NPCs done up to cover our xenolinguistics/xenoarchaeology/xenoanthropology requirements. We can either use one or both as appropriate, but I’ve got a few plot hooks that might be fun to play around with. Without further ado here are Lieutenant Nate Williams and Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Chora Morvek.

    Lieutenant Nate Williams – Xenoarchaeologist

    The son of two prominent Federation archaeologists, Lieutenant Nate Williams is no stranger to the search for new civilizations whether they be past or present. During his third year at Starfleet Academy, Nate elected to take a work term assisting his parents at their dig site on Horan II. An unknown pathogen was accidentally released from an ancient storage container by an over enthusiastic archaeologist on the dig site, resulting in the death of his parents and several other researchers. Nate’s older brother, who was also visiting at the time recovered quickly, however Nate himself almost died, his lung tissues so badly ravaged by the disease that they need to be replaced with artificial ones. The illness and subsequent recovery caused Nate to miss an entire year at Starfleet Academy and graduate late, and take on a much more subdued demeanor.

    Since then Nate has preferred to keep his head in the dirt and has avoided postings that might take him away from doing archaeology. He and Azraelia had several classes together at the academy, and briefly had a romantic relationship before Nate’s illness and loss of his parents. His two older siblings are also in Starfleet, his sister pursing the command track with her eyes on the captain’s chair while his brother is in his element at the conn.

    Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Chora Morvek – Xenolinguist

    Chora Morvek has had an unconventional life from the start. Chora’s father was a Gul who fought alongside Dominion forces during the Dominion War. Shortly after Chora’s birth, Gul Morvek disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Fearing her husband dead and further retribution planned against the family, Chora’s mother fled Cardassia with her underage children and sought asylum from the Federation. A brilliant xenolinguist, Chora’s mother used her area of study as a means of keeping the family constantly moving around Federation space and beyond, always on the look out for potential assassins or kidnappers sent by those responsible for her husband’s disappearance.

    Chora inherited her mother’s xenolinguistic skills as well as her wary, constant vigilance. Even after finding herself in Starfleet Chor has been unable to let her guard down in any meaningful way. She has been cautioned several time by her superiors about her aloof mannerisms and the difficulty they present to working productively as part of a larger team, as well as her willingness to bend Starfleet regulations and circumvent the proper chain of command when it suits her needs. Nevertheless, Chora’s xenolinguisting skills are impressive, and her work ethics and dedication to any task set before her are unquestionable. She has recently been assigned to Lieutenant Williams’ archaeology team to assist him with his ongoing research, and in part to provide Chora a somewhat less formal setting to tackle her inherent trust issues. While Chora has little reservation about openly voicing any criticism regarding Williams’ work or analysis, she has nevertheless developed a begrudging respect for the archaeologist.

    Alright, those are my two proposed NPCs. I figure they’re on an archaeological dig somewhere within a couple of weeks travel, which means one or both of them might be able meet up with the Prelude sometime in the near future. Dutrax, I’ve posted the character sheets on the Google drive for you to take a look at. If you feel any tweaks are required just let me know.


    Great concepts. I think they’ll fit nicely, and have an idea of what to do with them IF and when the time comes. I think you will like my surprise. My only concern is the choices players will make for their characters when the time comes.

    I’ll take a look and make edits after this line if there are any changes needed. Thanks

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