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First Game with Comments

posted Jun 17, 2018 14:46:36 by NervePinch
Howdy,

Had our first game last night. Overall it went well and was a very different rp experience than what we are used to. Everyone had fun. Please take this post as a positive experience.

One mistake I made was instead of senors answering one question per momentum, I made it one piece of information which slowed the game down. However, that won't happen again.

Trying to come up with conditions (from rolled 20's) slowed things down a bit. I wish there were some random table to help with this but maybe I'll get better at it in time.

I have some concerns with Untapped Potential:

Cons:
Attribute - nothing higher than 11
Discipline- nothing higher than 4
Must spend Momentum or Threat to use.
Usage could add to threat or have no payoff if a 3 or 4 is rolled.
Takes the place of another Talent

Pros
Can possible add 1 or 2 momentum to the characters roll.

It seems to me that the math just doesn't seem worth it. Maybe if it were a trait it may help a bit.

Any thoughts?
[Last edited Jun 17, 2018 14:52:33]
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8 replies
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David.S.McBride said Jun 17, 2018 19:00:31
Putting my own points in, as a participant in said game: I have to forward ALL congratulations to Modiphius on putting together a game engine that actually ENCOURAGES AND REWARDS PLAYER/CHARACTER COOPERATION. Rather than, "Roll to hit, roll to hit, make your saving throw," (which certainly ain't bad in itself, considering whatever game might be on the table at that moment) we were making active efforts to assist and prop up other players in achieving group goal-lines. Also - and this is in direct consideration of the ship that the players have been assigned to - we were able to wear a number of different hats depending on the situation; doing Security-oriented stuff, throw in a bit of the Science issues just to make clear and reinforce that this IS "Star Trek", then play around with some Engineering questions and/or possibilities to resolve a crisis point. There have been a number of times over the past four decades that I have started to fade out a bit when the game hit a lull period; no such occurrence here.

We spent a good chunk of the game, players and GM alike, working out the new (at least for us) rules and how to resolve particular issues - again, I had absolutely no problem with diving into this particular pool and learning some new swimming strokes (to use a likely inappropriate metaphor). NervePinch came up with a truly captivating game premise, with something that allowed all players to make a notable contribution. I look forward to our next session, possibly next weekend (same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, hopefully...wait, that's from another fictional franchise) and the opportunity to see more character cooperation and pushing forward to seeing some stat advancement (however that might turn out). Hoping that Modiphius is able to get that transporter working and make sure that Collector's Edition Core book is over here for next week...
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Deadmanwalking said Jun 18, 2018 01:14:19
Untapped Potential is actually super powerful. Gaining bonus Momentum on every important roll is sort of ridiculous mechanically, if it weren't for the restrictions it would likely be too powerful. It's not like it costs Momentum or Threat, it's a free bonus every time you use either (which is very often, and certainly on almost all important rolls). And adding threat only happens when you also gain Momentum, which is a net zero, since the GM getting a threat and the players getting a Momentum are almost precisely mechanically balanced.
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Elijah said Jun 18, 2018 01:25:38
@NervePinch
Check here for some ideas about Complications:
https://continuingmissionsta.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/replicator-resource-complication-cards/
https://continuingmissionsta.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/replicator-resource-complication-cards-part-2-systems/
https://continuingmissionsta.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/replicator-resource-complication-cards-part-3-starbase/

In Regards to Untapped Potential, yeah it kinda doesn't seem that great tbh. It's more of a Special Rule that is a bit of a Handicap than a Talent.

@David.S.McBride
About stat advancement, don't think about it as D&D leveling up. In STA it is more about laterally changing your characters Focuses, Values and Talents, than it is about getting a +1 in Security. Your characters are already the very best the Federation has to offer, i.e. you start at max level. Kirk doesn't have a 5 in every Discipline by Star Trek VI. But his Values, such as "I Don’t Believe in a No-Win Scenario" changed after ST:II, he added a "I can never forgive Klingons for the death of my boy" Value, maybe change the "Phaser" Focus into "Diplomacy" and moved a point from Fitness into Insight.
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NervePinch said Jun 18, 2018 02:26:24
I appreciate the input, guys. Thanks. I downloaded those pdf's- they look good.

A question for you re Sensors -

How often do you allow sensor rolls? One per object to be investigated per scene? So if a sun and planet needed to be scanned would you allow one scan each per scene? Or if a ship approached would you allow one scan for that scene? Would you allow more if the information you wanted imparted wasn't successfully rolled for? Also, Difficulty 0 senors scans Tasks have the potential to build a lot of Momentum if players want to keep scanning.
Thanks.
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Elijah said Jun 18, 2018 10:45:38
@NervePinch First off, remember that Difficulty 0 Task is always at GMs discretion. If a Player want's to roll for it, you can always say no, you won't get any more info from that, don't roll.

One Sensors scan per object to be investigated is a good way to look at it. Think about it this way. I scan the Star System and get all the data. Now I spend Momentum to Remodulate the Sensors on the fly to get more information or to Analyze the received data, in order to gain information. Meaning if a Player remembers they wanted to ask another question 10 minutes after the original scan, they don't scan again, but analyze the Sensor Data and just allow them to use Saved Momentum to ask more Questions. If there is some information that the Players gain without using Momentum, just give it to them straight out. For instance, if the information is necessary to continue the Mission, don't have them roll over and over or spend Momentum, just tell them that information and then ask them to use Momentum to gain more details. If ship is approaching, the Sensors or Tactical Officer can usually detect what kind of ship configuration it is without a Task. If it is an unusual ship or there is some interference then allow a Task to be rolled to gain more information, or allow 2 Momentum to be spend from the scan to Create an Advantage to locate a ships weak point for the Tactical Officer for Attacking (for instance, all Attacks are now -1 Difficulty on that ship while that Advantage applies).

If the Players scan a Nebula 1 or 10 times, the sensors pick up the same data, so there is not point in letting them scan multiple times. And a Scan can always be more than 0 Difficulty if there is some interference, or you can increase the Complication Range. But unless it is a Challenge or an Extended Task, usually there is little point in scanning the same place more than once.
[Last edited Jun 18, 2018 10:48:45]
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Shran said Jun 18, 2018 14:00:00
I don't see Untapped Potential as a handicap. If someone wants to play a young officer, it makes sense that they don't have attributes above 11 and disciplines above 4. So if you have these anyway, you may select the Untapped Potential talent, which is pretty strong. Statistically, you gain 0.8333 Bonus Momentum (so nearly 1 Bonus Momentum on each roll, and sometimes 2!) for adding 0.5 points of threat. That's a good trade. New players are often reluctant to add Threat, but it is not that bad.

Complications are actually one of my favorite things. This let's you be really creative. Remember that a Complication has to be connected to the roll somehow. One default Complication I like is that an item or tool breaks or is lost somehow. Or they get spotted by the enemy. Complications can also have mechanical consequences such as future access to the system increases in Difficulty by 1. Basically you can up with anything. This is a really flexible system to keep the story interesting and realistic. And if you can't come up with an appropriate Complication, you can take 2 Threat instead!

And my players and I totally agree with the other posters: The system is perfectly suited for Star Trek and feels very fitting.
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NervePinch said Jun 18, 2018 15:51:39
Thanks, Elijah!

@Shran
Thanks for your input. I'm not ready to scrap UP at this point - we have only played one game after all - But we'll see how it plays out and then determine what's what.

Re Complications. I try to pay attention to what happens in the TV shows as well - a twisted ankle, rough terrain, sudden tornadoes, etc.

It was a fun game to play. So much player interaction with each other at the table.
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Nathan.Dowdell said Jun 18, 2018 16:33:56
I've pointed this out over on the subreddit, but it's a useful resource:

Rob Donoghue, one of the co-founders of Evil Hat (who make the Fate RPGs, amongst other things), has a blog with a number of useful insights into gaming and game design. One post of his, found here has been especially useful to me in coming up with ideas for complications and consequences for actions.

If you're having trouble coming up with complications, I recommend giving it a read. It's partially for Fate Accelerated, but a lot of the advice is transferable to other games.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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