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Shart Carbuncle
Aug 4, 2004

Star Trek:
The Motion Picture

Nessus posted:

hey, HEY

:mad:

Though you probably ought not to get caught up in the weeds, it's true.

I would actually be legitimately interested in seeing how they recap and define the setting perspective that the book is working from, mostly since this is a point of substantial dispute among Trek nerds as it is.

I will be going a bit into how they contextualize things. Something I should have mentioned in part 1 is that the whole game assumes a Starfleet party, so the various factions are cast as rivals or potential allies or whatever. They don't wholly stick with the obvious stuff; some of the things they detail are like footnotes from the show, but that have some kind of tantalizing loose end quality that could make for a good game hook. They jam in a ton of flavor, too.

gradenko_2000 posted:

did anyone cover the Prime Directive RPG? I keep getting the recollection that it was supposed to be really complicated and unwieldy to play, but I can't remember where I got that from

The weirdest thing about that family of games is just the almost-Trek setting, since it's licensed from the Franz Joseph Star Fleet Technical Manual. That, and in being devised for Star Fleet Battles, it tends to be a version of Trek where massive wars and arms races are a constant.

I always wanted to use the GURPS version as a starting point for a Trek game, but it really runs into the problem of trying to be a "realistic" simulation mentioned above in regard to the Decipher game.

The game I'm reviewing has some smart ideas for how to make it feel like the actual show. The biggest problem with a strict simulationist approach is that it encourages you to think in terms of what would be most effective in a more realistic situation, which leads to really un-trekky problem solving. Like, never send anyone important on an away mission, and pretty much just phaser everything from orbit. Oh, and maybe transport explosives everywhere.

They tried to solve the usual division of labor problems that you get from trying to play as a well-rounded bridge crew by encouraging you to make a party of essentially commandos who get sent around as troubleshooters under the temporary command of whatever ship needs you. It's very weird, and probably great for the military fetishist grognard types from which SFB sprang*, but it doesn't feel like you're in an episode of Star trek.

*We could have a whole thread about Steve Cole.

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That Old Tree
Jun 24, 2012

nah


theironjef posted:

We don't count, especially our earlier stuff. Definitely worth a writeup, that game was hot dumps.

Nah man, Prime Directive was like your first episode where I was like "I'm gonna keep listening to these guys for as long as they keep doing this." And it was only like episode 4 or something.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Man the tricode system was some prime vintage player hate. If I remember correctly it was like Research 5/7/9, with each of those numbers representing a number of die results you needed to hit. I can't remember if you had to roll 6s or 5s and 6s on a D6, but I do remember that the low success (the 5 in the example) was always described as like "You don't fail, but just barely. You are about to fail and probably need to roll again immediately."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
All star trek problems can be solved by the proper deployment of lasers, feelings, or if you're particularly great, laser feelings.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012

MightyMatilda posted:

Really? I haven't heard of that one.

Arthur Chu has a pretty good article on the misogyny and homophobia that helped fuel the late-70s anti-disco backlash.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

White Coke posted:

Only if Manslut is a solution to every problem.
I hosed my way into this nebula and I'll gently caress my way out.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 04:44 on Feb 1, 2018

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


THE BLOOD RED FEZ PART FIVE

Day Three


The Orient Express reaches Belgrade at 5:40AM. If Ilsa hasn't made her move yet she does now. It's best to remind the investigators that this is their last day on the train.

Sometime in the morning, the Countess and Minkoff approach the investigators. She confesses her affair with Trubosky and has finally decided to break it off with him. However, when she tried to tell him that he became sullen and threatening. She wants to try and talk to him again and would like the investigators to act as intermediaries. Persuade or Intimidate will put Trubosky in his place.

If Menkaph is still alive and has the tome, he pulls out all the stops that evening to get the investigators (assuming he knows it's them there's an outside chance that they've totally avoided raising his suspicions this entire trip). He accelerates the degeneration of Myers and any Fez-wearing cultists to the Servant stage and throws them at the team. He's hoping to allay any suspicion of his actions and hopefully get the team in trouble. Fighting off the Servants might be tricky but if the team gets their hands on Menkaph he's hosed.

There's enough time in the morning before Constantinople for the team to enjoy a hearty celebratory breakfast.



TLC Hat 2 da Back

The investigators arrive in Constantinople, possibly needing medical attention. If Menkaph survived he disembarks here and gets back to his cult as soon as possible. If he died, it's assumed him or someone else managed to shoot a telegraph ahead at some point. The investigators are met at the station by two of Professor Demir's children, Toprak and Rana, who speak excellent English but are clearly distressed about something. If asked, they will explain that the Demir house was attacked last night; the attackers stabbed Demir and kidnapped their brother Barlas. Demir survived and is recovering, but insists on seeing the investigators right away.

The Demirs are very kind and hospitable hosts if there's four or less investigators, Professor Demir insists that they stay in his house as his guests. If the team is still taking care of the Myers', they can put them up too. Both Demir and his wife Selin are friendly people and good conversationalists, but they're understandably keen to figure out how to get their son back.

Barlas has been kidnapped by the Children of the Fez. After the attack, Demir received a ransom note from the cult. The details vary depending on how well the investigators did on the train. If they got the tome, the cult wants it. If they got all of the Fezzes and the cult now has none, they want those too. If they got neither, they want the investigators out of Constantinople in the next 24 hours. The exchange is to be held at the docks, midnight on Sunday (it's assumed the investigators arrived Saturday morning). Demir knows there's no chance of the cult actually honouring their side of the deal, so there's only two ways to save his son: ambush them at the meeting or find out where he's being kept and rescue him.

If the team has The Whispering Fez, Demir can get right to work on translating the hieroglyphic portion and will be done in 12 hours. In addition, he's very familiar with the local cult scene and can fill in the investigators. He knows that Menkaph is/was a dope, and that the real power behind the cult is Nisra, the Daughter of Fate. He knows of Menkaph's prior alliance with Selim Makryat and knows that Makryat is a scary motherfucker who probably has nothing to do with this. He also knows that Nisra used to be the pupil of an occultist known only as the Frenchman the man can be seen in his mansion in Stamboul, but he's got a bad reputation and Demir is unsure of how helpful he will be.

When Demir finishes his translation, he is shaken by what he discovers. The Fez is a component in a spell called Favourite of Yog-Sothoth (referred to in the text as 'Father of Sorcerers') that essentially works as a more efficient version of Call/Dismiss Yog-Sothoth the more common version of the spell requires the construction of a stone tower to make it pop off. Calling an Outer God into Constantinople is probably not going to end well. He also discovers the spell Destroy the Fez this requires putting on the Fez and challenging another Fez Controller, but would allow the investigators to destroy it permanently. If they have all the Fezzes in their possession right now, I guess the scenario could end here, if they don't feel like helping Demir.



The Frenchman

There's a lot of potential avenues of research here, but visiting the Frenchman is the best. He is in fact none other than the Duc de Esseintes, prior to assuming his role as the Jigsaw Prince. At the moment he's enjoying being an occult bigshot and kicking it back in the luxury of Ottoman Constantinople. He's not interested enough in the investigators to cause them serious harm, and if they're sufficiently courteous and flattering to his ego he'll be willing to give them a meeting. If they gently caress it up here he'll slip them some Dream Drug and give them a bad trip, but honestly, he's quite nice in this scenario. He helps the investigators mainly because he lives for drama and he sees Menkaph and Nisra as upstarts that could give him trouble.

He explains that Nisra was once his student, but abandoned him when the charlatan Menkaph presented the Blood Red Fez as a shortcut to power she will soon discover that there are no shortcuts to any power worth having. He knows that Menkaph is/was a poser and that any power he possessed was stolen from Nisra. The Daughter of Fate has bewitched Prince Ramazan, a distant cousin to the Sultan who was exiled both for his ambition and degeneracy. He's also apparently syphilitic now, which the Frenchman thinks is hilarious. The Children of the Fez are set up on the Island of Doomed Princes, the 10th and most distant of the Princes' Islands. He also knows that as well as being a sorceress, she has a fearsome bodyguard in the form of a fierce Black Eunuch, the colour of the skin being an important distinction where eunuchs are concerned.

Oh, and because he's That Bitch, des Esseintes sends messengers out to Nisra and Makryat after the meeting, informing them of everything. Canny investigators who stick around outside his mansion can see this happening. This also lets investigators track down Selim Makryat and the Brotherhood of Skin to their current base in Scutari. This is before the cult has really come into power and as such they're a lot more subtle. Getting a meeting with Selim will be difficult.

If they pull it off, Selim will not venture any help or information unless they make it clear they oppose Nisra; as well as her being a rival, Selim doesn't like the idea of a woman possessing occult power. In this case, he can tell them about her base on the Island of Doomed Princes and give details about her cult, which numbers fifty strong. A young boy is present at the meeting, silently listening to every word. If anyone tries to study him he looks directly at them until they turn away. This is Mehmet.

If the investigators are tempted to try and nip the Brotherhood of the Skin in the bud here, they will probably die.

Next time: the Island of Domed Hats!

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

HELL SERPENT
Lipstick Apathy

Wikipedia Brown posted:

The weirdest thing about that family of games is just the almost-Trek setting, since it's licensed from the Franz Joseph Star Fleet Technical Manual. That, and in being devised for Star Fleet Battles, it tends to be a version of Trek where massive wars and arms races are a constant.

...

They tried to solve the usual division of labor problems that you get from trying to play as a well-rounded bridge crew by encouraging you to make a party of essentially commandos who get sent around as troubleshooters under the temporary command of whatever ship needs you. It's very weird, and probably great for the military fetishist grognard types from which SFB sprang*, but it doesn't feel like you're in an episode of Star trek.

*We could have a whole thread about Steve Cole.

oh yeah, about a month ago I dug into Star Fleet Battles, so I'm aware of the Not-Star Trek, very wargamey setting that sprang up from the licensing issues.

I made it about one turn into the wargame before realizing that it wasn't my jam.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

Down With People posted:

Next time: the Island of Domed Hats!
You are beset upon by cultists!

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

Selachian posted:

Arthur Chu has a pretty good article on the misogyny and homophobia that helped fuel the late-70s anti-disco backlash.

Yeah, this is pretty much what I was getting at.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Wikipedia Brown posted:

They tried to solve the usual division of labor problems that you get from trying to play as a well-rounded bridge crew by encouraging you to make a party of essentially commandos who get sent around as troubleshooters under the temporary command of whatever ship needs you. It's very weird, and probably great for the military fetishist grognard types from which SFB sprang*, but it doesn't feel like you're in an episode of Star trek.

*We could have a whole thread about Steve Cole.
The main thing I remember about Steve Cole is that he blogged about how the company could save money and address some, uh, personal shortcomings if their secretary cooked them lunch instead of them eating fast food every day.

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015

Selachian posted:

Arthur Chu has a pretty good article on the misogyny and homophobia that helped fuel the late-70s anti-disco backlash.

Not terribly convincing. It's based around making strained comparisons to a modern-day movement that anti-disco backlash bears not even a vague resemblance to. Course, that could just be how it seemed to defend Lena Dunham of all people at one point. Or how I haven't been able to find an explanation for why the backlash occurred in America, but seemingly nowhere else b

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
Especially given he's probably going to be really pissed some randos summoned him for no good reason Yog-Sothoth showing up in the middle of Constantinople is definitely about as bad as news can get. Like for a bunch of jokers with magic hats this cult is hilariously ambitious and playing with fire on a level the main Horrient scenario never approached. I mean let's be real Nyarlathotep gets summoned all the loving time, and a less inbred somewhat incompetent cultist dude ending up replacing a guy who was going to end up King of England was bad but given how secular Mehmet was not as bad as it could be. The Gate and the Key showing up in a major city and who the gently caress knows, Constantinople might end up on the goddamn Moon during the Cretaceous because that's the kind of poo poo you can do when you're salty and literally are Time and Space.

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.

Feinne posted:

Especially given he's probably going to be really pissed some randos summoned him for no good reason Yog-Sothoth showing up in the middle of Constantinople is definitely about as bad as news can get. Like for a bunch of jokers with magic hats this cult is hilariously ambitious and playing with fire on a level the main Horrient scenario never approached. I mean let's be real Nyarlathotep gets summoned all the loving time, and a less inbred somewhat incompetent cultist dude ending up replacing a guy who was going to end up King of England was bad but given how secular Mehmet was not as bad as it could be. The Gate and the Key showing up in a major city and who the gently caress knows, Constantinople might end up on the goddamn Moon during the Cretaceous because that's the kind of poo poo you can do when you're salty and literally are Time and Space.

I didn't mention, but this is actually the other benefit to Favourite of Yog-Sothoth - when he touches down, he really is positively inclined towards the caster and may be willing to grant spells or a bump to POW as a result. Of course, this does no favours for anyone else in Constantinople, particularly anyone in the city who looks up and sees the enormous conglomeration of glowing spheres.

If the caster fumbles the roll though, then you have problems.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

MightyMatilda posted:

Not terribly convincing. It's based around making strained comparisons to a modern-day movement that anti-disco backlash bears not even a vague resemblance to. Course, that could just be how it seemed to defend Lena Dunham of all people at one point. Or how I haven't been able to find an explanation for why the backlash occurred in America, but seemingly nowhere else b

It's almost as if America in the 70s and 80s had some form of racial and sexual tensions tied in with political tensions that the anti-Disco guys latched onto!

Literally anti-disco protests sometimes literally had 'get more white guys on mtv' as part of the thing.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 15:34 on Feb 1, 2018

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Down With People posted:

I didn't mention, but this is actually the other benefit to Favourite of Yog-Sothoth - when he touches down, he really is positively inclined towards the caster and may be willing to grant spells or a bump to POW as a result. Of course, this does no favours for anyone else in Constantinople, particularly anyone in the city who looks up and sees the enormous conglomeration of glowing spheres.

If the caster fumbles the roll though, then you have problems.

I'm going to imagine all the hat based magic was basically a joke by Nyarl and he also slipped an actual real spell for adults in there for laughs. If Yog-Sothoth somehow actually decided to take a look at what was going on, it would be rather confused about all the business with fezzes.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

Scion: Origin: How 2 Scion

So your core mechanic in Storypath is the same as, uh, every White Wolf or Onyx Path game that has ever existed: Take your Attribute and Skill, add them together, roll that many d10s. Each die that hits or beats your target number is a success. That's it! But then it starts to diverge. First, if you roll at least one success and have Enhancements, you get extra successes equal to your Enhancements. If you get enough successes to meet or beat the Difficulty of the check, you succeed. You may need extra successes to overcome Complications. If you don't get enough, you fail, but get a Consolation. Unlike most games derived from the basic system White wolf and Onyx Path have been using for years, Storypath dicepools are rarely modified.

Also, prepare for a bunch of proper nouns that are not explained in the most cromulent of orders.

Once you have 3 or more in a Skill, you may choose a Specialty for it. When you fail a roll that a Specialty applies to, you gain 1 Momentum as well as a Consolation. The Skill list for Scion is:
Academics: Your knowledge of law, politics, bureaucracy, art, literature and so on. A 1 is basic skill at research and a basic grasp of several fields. A 5 is encyclopedic knowledge on most subjects. Academics+Reason is also how many languages you are able to know at once, provided you have the chance to, y'know, learn them.
Athletics: Skill at using your body. A 1 is moderate physical fitness, a 5 is world's greatest athlete. Might+Athletics also determines your lifting strength, based on successes on a roll. Also, it covers bows and throwing things.
Culture: Your knowledge of different societies and their ideas, as well as etiquette in various situations and knowledge of art, language and religion. A 1 is a basic understanding of world cultures. A 5 means you understand the mores and art of pretty much everywhere, and can pass yourself off as a native with little effort. Everywhere.
Close Combat: Hit somebody. A 1 is amateur brawling, a 5 is terrifying combat monster.
Empathy: Knowledge of the motivations and emotions of others, and how to manipulate them. A 1 is a decent sensitivity to how others feel, a 5 means you're basically a walking lie detector that can profile someone off what they ate for breakfast.
Firearms: Shoot someone. A 1 is basic proficiency with guns and their maintenance, a 5 is expertise in sniping and firefights, gun modification and gun repair.
Leadership: Knowledge of how to lead and coordinate groups of people. A 1 is experience in management and teamwork, a 5 is ability to lead entire armies, genius strategy and inspiring loyalty.
Medicine: Heal somebody, human or otherwise. A 1 is basic first aid skill, a 5 is mastery of surgery and medicine, even in challenging conditions.
Occult: Knowledge of the supernatural, cryptozoology and the secret history of pantheons and mystic rituals. A 1 is basic interest and ability to identify common phenomena. A 5 means you know practically everything about mystic rites and cults and know most mythic rules.
Persuasion: Ability to convince others. A 1 means you can probably talk your way out of a speeding ticket, a 5 means you're practically hypnotic.
Pilot: The ability to drive, uh, anything. A 1 means you can handle most vehicles in normal circumstances, including animals. A 5 means you are what stunt pilots wish they could be in just about any environment.
Science: Knowledge of the scientific method and how to look at the world in an orderly and reasoned way. A 1 means you can understand physical evidence and get useful data out of noise. A 5 means you can come up with and test hypotheses in an instant, do kitchen chemistry at a whim and repair most machines just by understanding of physical principles.
Subterfuge: Lying and deception and disguise and forgery and sleight of hand. A 1 means you lie easily, open basic locks and avoid cops. A 5 means you're practically a criminal legend, able to impersonate anyone or get anywhere undetected.
Survival: Understanding and surviving in inhospitable environments. Also, animal training. A 1 means you can handle yourself in unfamiliar locales and can probably survive several days in the wilderness alone. A 5 means you are an expert tracker, and can easily survive even in the most extreme climates.
Technology: Knowledge of software and hardware, whether in operating, fixing and breaking. A 1 means you can get most modern devices to do what you want. A 5 means you're a master hacker, have probably built your own tools, understand electrical engineering blindfolded and can assemble better stuff than is sold in any store.

Attributes start with Arenas - your typical division of Mental, Social and Physical. The Physical Arena is most commonly used for fights and chases, the Mental Arena for research, investigation and planning, and the Social Arena for persuasion and seduction. A character will have a rating of 1 to 3 in each Arena. (Note: these are relative. A weedy and skinny giant has Physical 1, but is big enough that they operate on a different scale. We'll get to Scale.) This then combines with Approach. There are three Approaches. Force, for confronting problems head on - not subtle, but very direct. Finesse, for subtlety and speed, but in ways that can often cause more problems later. Resilience, for outlasting opposition in ways tat are thorough, but often slow or dangerous. A character has a Favored Approach, which gives +2 to an Arena's value when it applies.

Or, in other words, you get a 3 by 3 grid of Attributes.
The Physical Arena has Might (Physical Force), Dexterity (Physical Finesse) and Stamina (Physical Resilience).
The Mental Arena has Intellect (Mental Force), Cunning (Mental Finesse) and Resolve (Mental Resilience).
The Social Arena has Presence (Social Force), Manipulation (Social Cunning) and Composure (Social Resilience).
You will have a 3 in your best Arena, with one 5 where it matches your Favored Approach, and 1s in your worst, with a 3 where it matches your Favored Approach. In theory, any Attribute can be used with any Skill, as long as it makes sense.

So, multiple actions, the bane of any OP game. In this game, doing two things at once is a mixed action. You calculate the dicepool for each of your two actions, then use the smaller one. You must then split your successes between the two actions to determine whether either, both or neither succeed. Relevant Enhancement successes can only be used for the task the Enhancement applies to. This can drastically reduce the odds of success at both actions at once - odds are, unless your pools are very big and/or you're very lucky, you're only going to succeed at one of the two tasks.

So how are target numbers? They're based on your Tier. Tiers are 1 through 4. Tier 1 is mortal characters, or at least those that lack a Legend score. They have a TN of 8. Tier 1 is Heroic, beings with Legend 1-4. Also TN 8. Tier 2 is Demigod, Legend 5-8. TN 7. Tier 4 is Divine, Legend 9-12. Also TN 7. You want your dice to meet or exceed your TN. If you roll a 10, you get a success and you get to roll another die. This is called 10-again, and the extra die can also roll a 10 and add another die. Some benefits can give you 9-again or even 8-again, which give you an extra die on 9 or 8, also. Successes are often abbreviated - 2 successes can be called 2s.

Next time: Difficulty, Complications, Enhancements and Scale.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Just to be clear, Mortals have TN 8 as standard on all checks while anyone with a Legend score has TN 7?

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

Wikipedia Brown posted:

The weirdest thing about that family of games is just the almost-Trek setting, since it's licensed from the Franz Joseph Star Fleet Technical Manual. That, and in being devised for Star Fleet Battles, it tends to be a version of Trek where massive wars and arms races are a constant.

I always wanted to use the GURPS version as a starting point for a Trek game, but it really runs into the problem of trying to be a "realistic" simulation mentioned above in regard to the Decipher game.

The game I'm reviewing has some smart ideas for how to make it feel like the actual show. The biggest problem with a strict simulationist approach is that it encourages you to think in terms of what would be most effective in a more realistic situation, which leads to really un-trekky problem solving. Like, never send anyone important on an away mission, and pretty much just phaser everything from orbit. Oh, and maybe transport explosives everywhere.

They tried to solve the usual division of labor problems that you get from trying to play as a well-rounded bridge crew by encouraging you to make a party of essentially commandos who get sent around as troubleshooters under the temporary command of whatever ship needs you. It's very weird, and probably great for the military fetishist grognard types from which SFB sprang*, but it doesn't feel like you're in an episode of Star trek.

On the surface, it's not a terribad idea, the Prime Team. I even kind of like it as an excuse to have Federation starships carry around what amounts to a group of adventurers. That said the game itself is super American-centric to a degree that will drop nobody's jaw, complete with current USMC ideals and such carried on into the 23rd century. They even still say 'Semper Fi' which I don't exactly have a problem with, but to think one country's thing beat out even coming up with something new in the face of having a bunch more species join, to say nothing of countries and planets, shows at best a lack of imagination.

quote:

*We could have a whole thread about Steve Cole.

I don't know anything about him, but have no trouble believing everything about an old wargames dude is probably terrible. Sad, really.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.

Night10194 posted:

Just to be clear, Mortals have TN 8 as standard on all checks while anyone with a Legend score has TN 7?

No, your TN drops to 7 when you hit Demigod tier at Legend 5. Normal mortals and Heroes are TN 8, Demigods and Gods get TN 7.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I don't know why you'd need Federation ships to carry around a special crew of extra adventurers when, according to the shows you're trying to emulate with an RPG, they already use their bridge crew for that. You could even do like the old point and click adventure games and have them bring down one redshirt, with a bonus to their score if they don't end up getting the poor redshirt killed.

Those games were neat.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

Mors Rattus posted:

It's almost as if America in the 70s and 80s had some form of racial and sexual tensions tied in with political tensions that the anti-Disco guys latched onto!

Literally anti-disco protests sometimes literally had 'get more white guys on mtv' as part of the thing.

Yeah, the whole thing was essentially based on being opposed to popular media directed at people of color, women, and homosexuals. Although disco comes to be associated with empty excess, mostly because rich people latched on to it like they do anything popular, that's largely a bullshit excuse to get around the bigotry. If you look at every popular musical act and genre before, concurrent, and after disco, they were loaded with excess and extravagance. Even if it wasn't buying nice or crazy things, it was all about extravagant substance abuse and partying. Opposition to disco was almost always championed by straight white men, being mad about the aforementioned groups being visible in popular culture. When notable people who were opposed to disco are asked about it, they go back to how it was music by and for people not like them. It's not to say that you have to like everything or are a bigot for not liking disco but when you champion the destruction of an entire musical genre because it's not primarily made for straight white men, you're a bigot.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
If I understand correctly, this was also an era where there was still a lingering attitude that "real" musicians wore t-shirts and blue jeans and were boring. If you actually did anything interesting onstage you were probably a chintzy pop act, or gay.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Yea, Disco unlike Rock'n'Roll didn't get a shiny white man make over to appeal to the masses, so a lot of the top acts were black performers, ambiguously or outright gay, and there's the start of the evangelical "Moral Majority" backlash reaction to the free love of the 60s that is starting to take place, though they didn't get full traction until the 80s.

Shart Carbuncle
Aug 4, 2004

Star Trek:
The Motion Picture

Part 2



Here's where we find out who's who and what they're all up to.



The first subsection has a lengthy overview of the various players in the galaxy, and the subsequent parts detail the state of things in their respective periods. Those in-character fiction bits are out in crazy force, here. In fact, Early History and Recent Federation History are made up entirely of these boxes, making for a very unpleasant layout.


this is a bit much

It's the usual stuff, like the personal log of a Pakled captain planning an excursion through the Bajoran wormhole in order to loot new civilizations in the Gamma Quandrant.


what could go wrong?

At first blush it seems like a lot of ink to spend on poo poo we could look up on Memory Alpha, but they make smart choices about what is likely to come up in a game, and they put it into useful context. If you do use Memory Alpha, you can too easily fall down a 45 minute hole reading about Earth foods and beverages.

Instead, here we have reasonably brief introductions to the various factions in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, and then a grab bag of others, like the Dominion, The Q, the Borg, and even the Terran Empire (from the mirror universe, which, as stupid as the whole concept is, has amazing potential in a campaign). The focus is largely on threats to the Federation, with a few exceptions.

One that jumped out at me was the Nyberrite Alliance. Apparently it's some entity that was barely mentioned in an episode of DS9. It seems like a weird inclusion, but it's nice to have a potentially major ally that hasn't been fleshed out to death in other media already.

While the main text is from the Federation perspective (in character as someone giving a fresh captain a rundown of the state of the galaxy), the boxouts here tend to give a view of the Federation through the eyes of an outsider organization, like the Orion Syndicate (green space criminals) and the Tal Shiar (Romulan CIA).

This chapter seems like a nice way to get a refresher on some faction that you're thinking about incorporating into a game. If you were, say, new to Trek and wanted to get up to speed on what's what... well, I think it's kind of a slog. To be fair, I don't think there's a good way to dump all of this information out there, and they do try to give it some character. The section on the 23rd century sets a nostalgic tone in going over the accomplishments of Kirk and co., and it addresses the contrast between the Wild West of the Original Series and the more measured approach of "modern" Starfleet.



In the end, it's Star Trek. If you're running this thing, you and your players probably have your own ideas of what the cool bits are.

I'd like to close this entry on a general note about the art. There's the usual painted stuff showing locales, characters, ships and the kinds of action they get up to. It's all good! It can look slightly weird when it's the likeness of an actor we've been staring at for years, but I have no complaints.

What I really enjoy are the vector illustrations throughout, which are styled to look like something that would be on a computer display in one of the shows, or to make things like service patches and other logos. If you're reading the PDF version, it's fun to zoom way in on 'em. (And it would be a great place to steal a high quality image of a badge or something.)







This looks like a labor of love to me.

Next time: a deep dive into the Starfleet experience

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.

Snorb posted:

I'm playing in a biweekly Star Trek Adventures game; we're all agreed that it's much better than Decipher Inc's Star Trek RPG. (I mean, it wasn't *bad* per se, but it was literally possible to one-shot kill literally anything, and it was theoretically possible to use a Vulcan neck pinch on or take computer control of THE ENTIRE BORG COLLECTIVE.)

To be fair, that sounds probably unintentionally accurate.

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!

Wikipedia Brown posted:

...
The section on the 23rd century sets a nostalgic tone in going over the accomplishments of Kirk and co., and it addresses the contrast between the Wild West of the Original Series and the more measured approach of "modern" Starfleet.

...

My friend Dayton helped put together a bunch of stuff for the game so this part isn't a surprise at all. Somewhere in the middle of the book is a half page sidebar for the part of the Trek setting he and his writing partner set a bunch of their Trek books in.

Shart Carbuncle
Aug 4, 2004

Star Trek:
The Motion Picture

8one6 posted:

My friend Dayton helped put together a bunch of stuff for the game so this part isn't a surprise at all. Somewhere in the middle of the book is a half page sidebar for the part of the Trek setting he and his writing partner set a bunch of their Trek books in.

Cool! I have a couple of Dayton and Kevin's books on my Kindle in the pile of stuff that I intend to read. :)

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
The best reveal in the setting writeup stuff in Star Trek adventures is that the animated series is canon. (They namecheck Kulkulcan as a space god along the lines of Q/Apollo/etc.)

So someone at some point has to write an adventure about Giant Spock or the return of Space Satan, genuinely chill bro to all humanity.

Bar Crow
Oct 10, 2012

Obligatum VII posted:

I'm going to imagine all the hat based magic was basically a joke by Nyarl and he also slipped an actual real spell for adults in there for laughs. If Yog-Sothoth somehow actually decided to take a look at what was going on, it would be rather confused about all the business with fezzes.

Yog-Sothoth should lose sanity points for being summoned for fezzes.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010

unseenlibrarian posted:

The best reveal in the setting writeup stuff in Star Trek adventures is that the animated series is canon. (They namecheck Kulkulcan as a space god along the lines of Q/Apollo/etc.)

So someone at some point has to write an adventure about Giant Spock or the return of Space Satan, genuinely chill bro to all humanity.

Kirk's character sheet in the The Original Series Character Sheets has a redshirt talking about how devoted Kirk's crew were to each other: "We were tight. We worked well together because we followed Captain Kirk's example. We would have fought the Devil for each other. Matter of fact, I think we did once, but that's another story." I guess that was a Magicks of Megas-Tsu reference?

Also, I was pleasantly surprised that the Miranda class's description actually namechecked the Ptolemy class from the old Franz Joseph Designs Star Fleet Technical Manual. (No in-game stats, though. Then again, the NX class and certain ships from First Contact that I think are cool aren't statted either.)

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso


It's a reference to that time Spock summoned Riker's great-great-grandad to the Enterprise

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

Halloween Jack posted:



It's a reference to that time Spock summoned Riker's great-great-grandad to the Enterprise

I know they got up to some zany poo poo back in the day, but, uh, why was Spock drawing a pentagram and summoning the space devil?

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Space Devil was for real the only actual decent super-powered space god they ever met and they departed on friendly terms after defending him in a space witch trial from space puritans.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Space Puritans are the worst.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

unseenlibrarian posted:

The best reveal in the setting writeup stuff in Star Trek adventures is that the animated series is canon. (They namecheck Kulkulcan as a space god along the lines of Q/Apollo/etc.)

So someone at some point has to write an adventure about Giant Spock or the return of Space Satan, genuinely chill bro to all humanity.

Animated Star Trek is official canon by the way. Anything that was on TV or in a movie is according to various sources over the years. Everything else isn't canon.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
I have an issue of the Star Trek comic book where they travel to a planet controlled by a voodoo master, who can summon and manipulate anything by making a doll of it. Spock stops him using ancient Vulcan mysticism that is practically identical to voodoo.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
So what you're saying is Spock is secretly an elven science wizard.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
And Giant Spock is a giant elven science wizard.

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unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
edit: weird double post bug.

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