What Do I Know About Reviews? Star Trek Discovery Season 1 Player Characters (Star Trek Adventures)

Disco CoverIn recent years, we’ve seen a lot more “micro releases” coming from RPG companies, where short, PDF only supplements come out for a game system. Shadow of the Demon Lord did this at an amazing pace when the system was first released, and Modiphius continues to take advantage of this style of publishing with its various 2d20 releases. Today, we’re looking at one of those, the latest in a line of products providing the statistics for various Star Trek television show crews. This time around, we’re looking at the season one version of the Discovery crew.

Disclaimer

I have received review products from Modiphius in the past, but this was my own purchase. I have not used any of the material in this supplement, but I have played and run Star Trek Adventures in the past.

Schematics

This PDF is 22 pages long, including a credits page, a table of contents, two pages of ads for other Modiphius Star Trek Adventures products, and an ad for the Star Trek Timelines mobile game. I just recently realized that the character images provided in these appear to come from that game.

Each of the eras in Star Trek Adventures has its own formatting that is a callback to the topic of the product. For example, the default formatting in the core rulebook mimics the LCARS computer displays from the Next Generation era. The Klingon core rulebook and adventures mimic the sharper red and orange displays on Klingon ships. This product shows us the blue lines and displays reminiscent of holographic displays seen on some of the ships in Discovery. Unlike the LCARS format, this one is like the Original Series and Klingon books, in that the pages are white, with darker borders.

Coded Transmission

This PDF is presented as a report from Dr. Kovich to the Starfleet Admiralty of the 32nd Century. While it is written from the perspective of the 32nd century, this document specifically covers only season one of Discovery. There are several places where Kovich mentions upcoming reports that will further cover the crew at later points in their history.

What Crew?

The following crew members get statistics in the product (again, reflecting their season one positions):

  • Captain Lorca
  • Commander Saru
  • Stamets
  • Commander Culber
  • Michael Burnham
  • Tyler
  • Cadet Tilly
  • Emperor Philippa Georgiou
  • L’Rell
  • JG Bryce (Supporting Character)
  • Detmer (Supporting Character)
  • JG Owosekun (Supporting Character)
  • Rhys (Supporting Character)

I know that Bryce, Detmer, Owosekun, and Rhys were effectively supporting characters in the show, but given that they eventually do get more screentime, I was a little disappointed that they aren’t presented as full characters. I was also a little disappointed that Airiam wasn’t included, and I miss Linus, of course, but he didn’t show up until season two.

Additional Material—U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031

We get the statistics for the Discovery itself in this supplement. Normally I love getting additional ship statistics, and I like having the Discovery here as well, but I’m not sure the Crossfield Class gets a lot of use outside of being the testbeds for the spore drives, although there may have been a few others made that got reassigned as general science vessels. The procedure for activating the spore drive is a two-step task that is relatively difficult to pull off, which is in keeping with the earlier version of the spore drive seen in season one.

Additional Material—Kelpian

Since Saru appears in this supplement, we get the species rules for Kelpians. In addition to general information, Kelpians gain access to two additional talents, Ganglia and On All Fours. Kelpian characters determine if they are pre or post Vahar’ai, and the Ganglia talent works different depending on the stage of life.

One phase of life allows for additional momentum whenever the GM spends threat, and the next phase of life allows them to use ganglia darts as an inborn weapon.

Prime Directive

This supplement does what it says on the tin. If you want to have these characters for a one shot or for guest appearances, or if you need their NPC stats, this is a good summary of how they appeared when Discovery first started. I liked how this was framed as Kovich’s assessment of the crew, which made it an interesting document to view through that lens. I wanted to have Kelpians as an option almost as soon as I saw Saru, as he’s one of my all-time favorite Star Trek characters now.

General Order

I know the amount of supplemental material in these documents is limited, but I couldn’t help but hope that it might cover at least season two, and maybe provide player stats for Terrans, Cyborgs, or Saurians. I understand why it doesn’t. I do feel like by constraining this to season one, it is very much framing this as an advertisement of things to come. Even Kovich’s notes mention, several times, that updates looking at the crew at later dates will be forthcoming.

Tenuous Recommendation–The product has positive aspects, but buyers may want to make sure the positive aspects align with their tastes before moving this up their list of what to purchase next.

This isn’t a bad product, and I don’t by any means regret picking it up, but because of the very narrow season one focus, this feels more limited than some of the other crew supplements we’ve seen. It really feels like a tease for whenever we see details of the Discovery show in a sourcebook down the line. Until then, I’m going to enjoy my Kelpians, and dream of my Walker class starships and Saurians. I’m also really interested to see if we have a Picard or Lower Decks crew PDF coming anytime soon.

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