Tuesday Trekkin’: The “original” Star Trek computer game.

Welp. As promised, my latest attempt at an “irregularly recurring” blog feature has gone about as well as one might reasonably expect. The first installment of “Tuesday Trekkin'” was back on Tuesday, October 20th, so if we’re being kind then I guess we’re tapping “monthly” on the shoulder, but let’s reserve judgment until the next entry.

Meanwhile, here we are. What should we talk about? For this latest trip down Memory Lane, we’re going to set the clocks way back. I was in the 7th grade and one of a small group of students selected to head off from our school for half a day each week to attend a nifty program where we got to do deeper dives into the areas of science, reading, art, and so on. Most of the classes and sessions were fun, but I remember two things pretty vividly from my time attending the program.

First, it was here that I first found a copy of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend, beginning a lifelong love of Matheson in general and this book in particular. Second, it was here that I got my first exposure to computing technology, at least as it existed in 1979. It looked something like what you see to the right.

Yeah, buddy. A teleprinter, or teletype. No screen, no hard drive, no internet. Just this beast and a phone line to a data center somewhere downtown.

Stop laughing.

Continue reading “Tuesday Trekkin’: The “original” Star Trek computer game.”

Happy 20th Anniversary, Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force!

Gotta start ’em early.

I’m not much of a gamer. I mean, I’ve played and occasionally still do play the odd computer or board game, but I’m not a “Gamer With a Capital G.” At best I’m a casual hobbyist, despite generally enjoying myself whenever I venture forth into this realm. If I’m being honest, my heyday for gaming likely peaked in the early 1980s with the advent of videogame arcades before plateauing during the years with the first games I bought for what I now laughingly call my first home computers or game systems.

We’re talking the age of the Commodore 64 and the Atari 2600/5200, kids, which at the time were the absolute cat’s meow. The first Nintendo systems were years away at that point, and ended up being something for which I didn’t have much time. Way back when, the systems we had for home use paled in comparison to the fun one could have at the local arcade though. Tron, Gyruss, Star Wars, Defender, and I long ago forgot the sheer number of quarters I dropped into a Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator game whenever I happened across one, and those of you who follow me with any regularity know I still have an upright cabinet version in my home office.

This one’s for you, Bill Smith.

Still, as home computing (and home computer gaming) technology improved, I did sample the odd game. If it wasn’t an early first-person shooter or adventure game, as often as not it’d be some flavor of Star Trek game. The C64 had a decent port of the Strategic Operations Simulator that even looked better than the original arcade version, but there were also text-based adventures like The Kobayashi Alternative and The Promethean Prophecy, and by 1990s we were getting some pretty decent offerings like Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and its sequel, Judgment Rites. By the end of the 20th century (it feels so weird to write that, yeah?), games like Starfleet Academy were pushing the limits of what gamers could experience on their home computer systems.

(Aside: You have to know I still have these and others stashed in a box somewhere.)

Then we skip ahead to September 2000, and Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force.

Box art for Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force

Released in the UK on September 15th and celebrating the 20th anniversary of its US release today, Elite Force was one of Star Trek‘s early forays into the now quite-popular realm of first-person shooters.” For those unfamiliar with the term, these are video games where everything in the game is presented as if from your personal point of view. You can only see what’s in front of you, you have to navigate the game’s scenarios and obstacles as though actually traversing a tunnel, space ship, jungle, or whatever. This usually involves a lot of shooting at various things that want to eat or otherwise kill you. Long before Fortnite and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order begged for my children’s attention, we had games like Doom, Duke Nukem, and Star Wars: Dark Forces (another kick-ass game from days gone by).

At first blush, Star Trek having a game which could fit into this particular genre might seem off-putting, as Star Trek generally doesn’t evoke lots of images of ground combat or other situations where you’re blowing the shit out of things and people and whatnot. However, Activision and Raven Software managed a truly impressive feat with Elite Force: marrying an actual, bonafide Star Trek story to a first-person shooter setup.

You, the player, take on the persona of a character who’s part of Voyager‘s “Hazard Team,” a rapid-response group that could be described as something like Star Trek‘s version of a SEAL team. Voyager and its crew find themselves attacked by marauders and trapped in a graveyard of alien ships, you and the Hazard Team are dispatched to investigate. Along the way, you encounter various species previously encountered on the Voyager TV series like the Hirogen, Klingons, Malons, and…oh yeah…the Borg. You’re also introduced to all-new species created for the game as you and the team work to unlock the secrets of the graveyard and the mysterious creature that created it so Voyager can escape the alien trap.

Those reading this and thinking the solution is to shoot your way out will be pleasantly surprised to learn the game is much more than that, in the best Star Trek tradition. The entire cast from Star Trek: Voyager provided the voices for their characters, with whom you get to interact as you proceed through the game. Elite Force’s original release did not feature Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, as her schedule at the time didn’t permit her to participate, but a software patch eventually came along and added her into the mix. Many of the Voyager‘s interiors were recreated or invented after only being referenced in dialogue with painstaking detail. There are also a number of surprises and Easter eggs baked into the game, and it would be poor form to spoil any of that here.

Star Trek: Elite Force comic, written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning with art by Jeffrey Moy & W.C. Carani, July 2000.

I’ve not played the game in years, but I remember having a blast playing through it. Elite Force combined the best aspects of adventure and first-person gaming with a fine Star Trek tale. Long ago, when I first started writing Star Trek fiction, I wanted to novels and other ties to the game that might offer more adventures for the Hazard Team. We got something in that vein thanks to Wildstorm Comics, who published a one-shot comic tie-in that offers a somewhat streamlined adaptation of the game’s core storyline. If there were plans for other such comics, they likely ended when Wildstorm lost the license to publish Star Trek comics in 2001. While I did pitch the idea of Hazard Team stories to Pocket Books (and I doubt I was the only one to do so), nothing ever came of such odd wish-listing. Such is life, and all that.

Meanwhile, the game begat its own sequels.

Box art for Star Trek: Elite Force II.

First, there was the Elite Force Expansion Pack, which as you might imagine from the title added a series of new scenarios to the original game. Even after all of these years, I’ve never acquired a copy of this but maybe one of these days I’ll happen across it. A full-blown follow-up came in 2003 with Star Trek: Elite Force II, which transports the Hazard Team to the Enterprise just after the events of Star Trek Nemesis. Of the Voyager cast, only Tim Russ returns to provide the voice for Tuvok, but that’s offset a bit by the addition of Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard. While I’ve played this game, I must confess I enjoyed the original much more.

So, maybe you’ve read my yammering to this point and you’re all the way down here and you’re thinking, “Gee, Dayton. This game sounds pretty cool and I’d like to play. But…you know…you just told us the thing is 20 years old today and do they even make computers that can run a game as old as this anymore?”

Well, you can at least get a taste of retro Star Trek gaming thanks to The Last Outpost, a group of dedicated gamers who – with the permission of CBS and Raven Software – have recreated the game’s multiplayer “Holomatch” component and made it available as a free download. All you have to do is follow this linky-type thing RIGHT HERE.

I don’t have much time for gaming these days, Star Trek or otherwise, but I have to admit to having a bit of an itch to revisit this one. If you’ve played the game, share your thoughts and memories in the comments. Maybe you’ll convince me to chisel out a bit of time to have a bit of old-school gaming fun for a while.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Elite Force!

Adding the Klingons to Star Trek Adventures!

Regular followers of my blatherings may be aware that – seemingly an eternity ago, what with COVID-induced time dilation – I helped out a bit with the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game created Modiphius. Working with friends and fellow Star Trek scribes Jim Johnson and Scott Pearson was tremendous fun. However, given my role was to help with some of the early playtesting by developing a story premise for the game’s “living campaign,” and once that was done I figured my time working on STA was at an end. After all, they have actual game developers and other people who really know what they’re doing, and it’s obvious from how the game has developed and expanded over these past few years that the good folks at Modiphius totally have a handle on things.

But of course Jim Johnson couldn’t resist dragging me back.

STA-KlingonRulebook-CoverYesterday, Modiphius announced the release of a major new expansion to Star Trek Adventures: The Klingon Empire Core Rulebook. Not simply a rules supplement, this new volume essentially is its own standalone game, allowing players to carry out missions of conquest in the name of Kahless completely from the point of view of the Klingon characters they create. According to a new article on StarTrek.com:

This core rulebook contains the same rules presented in the Starfleet-focused core rulebook released in 2017. The award-winning design team, including 2d20 developer Nathan Dowdell, took the opportunity to edit and streamline the rules chapters based on fan feedback since the game’s launch, and introduce new rules for reputation, honor, glory, and house management. Now, for the first time, you and your fellow players can create your own noble Klingon House and seek out glory. Everything you need to create brave Klingon warriors and fearsome Klingon warships are available for you to use.”

What else can you expect to find within this book’s nearly 400 pages?

In addition to the revised rules, the book contains extensive chapters on Klingon history, culture, politics, military, and planets. Players have more than a dozen Klingon starships to choose from and make their own, creating their own ship to crew and take into battle. Players will be able to play Klingons from most any Star Trek era, including pure-bred Klingon warriors as well as those afflicted with the Augment Virus, the QuchHa’. Fans of Star Trek: Enterprise, The Original Series, and The Next Generation era will all find materials to use in their games and play in any time they choose.”

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Read the entire piece here: StarTrek.com – Boldly Go Into the Klingon Empire

For those wondering, Klingons and additions to the lore as depicted on Star Trek: Discovery are not included in this new rulebook, as Modiphius does not currently possess a license to develop material based on that series. Never say never, though!

In addition to myself and Scott as well as the game’s already solid roster of talented developers and writers, Jim wielded his editor mojo and assembled a small band of Star Trek fiction writers to contribute to the book: Derek Tyler Attico, Christopher L. Bennett, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Kelli Fitzpatrick, and Lawrence M. Schoen. I was asked to contribute a variety of background materials relating to Klingon history, politics, the military, and the Empire’s relationships with various allies and adversaries.

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As always, it was great fun to work on a group effort like this, and I think Star Trek Adventures players and Klingon fans in particular will enjoy how this book adds a new dimension to the game. The book is currently available as a watermarked PDF you can download immediately upon purchase for $19.99, with hardcover “standard” and “deluxe” print editions available for pre-order and coming in the fall.

Thanks very much to Jim Johnson for inviting me back to play in the Star Trek Adventures sandbox for a while!

Talking Star Trek Adventures with the Continuing Mission STA blog!

People, people, people.

When are you going to learn?

Despite all my attempts to dissuade danger seekers, people insist on wanting to interview me. I do everything I can to make them reconsider the wisdom of granting me airtime or space in their publications. I routinely ignore such requests as, “You need to take this seriously,” “I wish you wouldn’t drink while we’re recording,” or “No, you really, really have to wear pants for this and holy shit but what’s with the purple underwear,” but do they listen?

NooooOOOOoooo.

So, here we are. Again.

This time, the poor soul who stepped into the breach is one Michael Dismuke, he of Continuing Mission, a blog devoted to the Star Trek Adventures role-playing game produced by Modiphius. Those of you who follow this space know that I was involved in some work for the game back during its development and early rollout of its “living campaign” setup.

The game is firing on all thrusters now, with the living campaign in full swing and the core rulebook and other supplements being released at a fairly regular pace. So far as I can tell, response to STA has been overwhelmingly positive, and I know lots of good things are still waiting in the wings as the development team continues to march merrily along.

Michael tossed me a handful of questions about my involvement with the game and how I approached writing for this new platform and audience. As I’ve said before, it was a bit of a learning experience, but also a lot of fun, thanks in large part to friend and fellow writer Scott Pearson, with whom I worked on the living campaign, and other friend and also fellow scribe Jim Johnson, who invited me aboard in the first place. Both of these gents, along with a whole bunch of other cool people, are continuing to create new material for the game, and I’m as interested as anyone in seeing where things go next.

Meanwhile, you can read my interview with Michael here:

Continuing Mission:
New York Times Bestselling Author Dayton Ward Talks STA!

Many thanks to Michael for reaching out. If you’re an STA player, be sure to check back with Continuing Mission, as he has interviewed Jim as well as other game contributors.

Star Trek Adventures core rulebook: It’s almost here!

This is what I get for missing staff meetings.

sta-rulebookcoverYep! The print edition for the brand-spankin’ new Star Trek Adventures role playing game is up for pre-order, and shipping for the shiny new tome is imminent! The e-Book version has been available for several weeks, but I think the big intro for the hardcover print edition was the GenCon convention this past weekend in Indianapolis. Fans were able to buy copies of the book, and the reactions I’ve heard so far are leaning way over toward the positive sign of things.

Long time Star Trek fans and gamers now that this but the latest in a series of Trek-themed role playing games released over the years. My entry point to this genre was in 1983, with FASA’s still awesome Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. Later, game companies Last Unicorn and Decipher got into the act, each releasing the own versions complete with core rules and a slew of supplements and accessories. Each version has its fans, and I still have certain key books from each game that I use for reference or inspiration with my own writing, but if I had to choose one of the older games, it’d have to be FASA. That said, some of the Last Unicorn supplements in particular are pretty dang cool. 🙂

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trek_heritageNOTE: This is the point where the truly hardcore fans might remind me that there was a Star Trek RPG which preceded all of these. No, I didn’t forget about you. I actually don’t have a copy of this, published by Heritage Models in 1978, so if anyone out there wants to start thinking Christmas ideas for me, here you go.

There’s also Prime Directive, an RPG off shoot of the venerable Star Fleet Battles tabletop combat game, which was published back in the early 1990s. The entire SFB system has thrived for decades, emphasizing the tactical/military aspects of Star Trek gaming, and Prime Directive extends that into the RPG sphere. So, if that’s your thing, I highly suggest wandering over and checking out the entire line of SFB products from Amarillo Design Bureau.

As or this “next generation” of Star Trek RPGs? Modiphius has gone all out, y’all. They have a slate of supplements, dice, figures, and other nifty doodads ready to roll out, but it all starts with the core rulebook, which you can pre-order RIGHT. NOW.

Though I was involved in writing for the new game’s “living playtest campaign” last fall, I also wrote material that ended up in the new rulebook. That said, I have to emphasize that my contributions to the book are pretty minor when compared to the efforts of so many more people who had a hand in bringing this project to fruition. I mean, have a look at the credits page:

STA-credits(Click to Biggie Size.)

I know, right?

So far, all I’ve seen is the e-Book version, and THAT was gorgeous to behold. I can’t wait to see what the print edition looks like.

It’s not too late to get in on the Star Trek Adventures role playing action. Just slide on over to the Modiphius site and check out all the cool things that are there for the checking out.

Go on. Go. I’ll be here when you get back.

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Star Trek Adventures: Pre-Orders are live!

I’m a little behind the curve posting about this, but hey! This is the kind of news that only gets better the longer it’s around, amirite?

Modiphius, purveyors of cool games far and wide, kicked things up a few notches this past week in the realm of Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game. In addition to the ginormous core rule book that will drive the action and fun for all involved, Modiphius is also offering several sets of miniature figures and dice as well as other accessories to enhance gameplay.

“Wait!” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “How do I get in on this?”

Hey! I’m glad you asked. Check it out:

Star Trek Adventures: Pre-Order Now Live!

There are a whole bunch of deals and bundles to be had, depending on how much disposable income you happen to have.

As for now, I’m just jazzed to be a part of something so cool. Those of you keeping score know that I worked last year with fellow Star Trek scribe Scott Pearson to develop the storyline that drove the game’s “living campaign” playtest. That storyline, along with some other material I provided, will be included in the core book, which is jammed to overflowing with the rules, tables, and other descriptive and narrative material as created by a talented bunch of writers and game developers. Many thanks to fellow word-pusher Jim Johnson for introducing me to the Modiphius crew, who in turn saw fit to bring be aboard to play for a while.

So far, early response to the playtest campaign and the game itself has largely been positive, and I know fans are champing at the bit to get their hands on the finished game materials. I know I can’t wait to see it. As stated in the Modiphius bulletin, the pre-order period is underway and goes through August, so you need to get over there if you want to be among the first to own Star Trek Adventures!

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Is this thing on? An overdue update!

Previously, on The Fog of Ward:

test-pattern

Yes, things have been quiet around here, lately. Sorry about that. My last couple of weeks were dominated by finishing up the manuscript for what will be my 25th novel, if the publishing gods are kind.

What can I tell you about the new book?

Um…..it’s about 97,000 words, give or take, and that’s exactly all I can tell you about it at this point. Hopefully I’ll be able to spill at least a few juicy deets soon, but until then, as Sid Hudgens might put it in L.A. Confidential, everything’s “Off the record, on the QT, and very hushhush.”

So….oh, well. 🙂

With that manuscript delivered, my attention will soon be turning to my next novel, for which an outline has been with my editor the past few weeks. I’m anxious to get started on this one because it promises to be tremendous fun. What’s it about?

Um…..it’s going to be about 50,000 words, give or take, and that’s exactly all I can tell you about it at this point. Hopefully I’ll be able to spill at least a few juicy deets soon, but until then, as Sid Hudgens might put it in L.A. Confidential, everything’s “Off the record, on the QT, and very hushhush.”

No, that’s not a temporal loop. Just the state of my writing life, at the moment.

What’s that? What can I talk about? I suppose I can give an update on things that are “Coming Soon!”

hearts-and-minds-coverFirst up, my Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Hearts and Minds is already starting to pop up in stores, ahead of its “official” publication date of next Tuesday, May 30th. It’s both a (largely) standalone TNG tale for Captain Picard and his merry band aboard the Enterprise-E as well as a loose sequel to my earlier novels From History’s Shadow and Elusive Salvation.

(You’ve all read both of those, right?)

Elsewhere, I was also happy earlier this week to find out the core rulebook and a few other tasty accessories have been finalized and approved for Star Trek Adventures, the new tabletop role-playing game coming at ya later this summer from the good folks at Modiphius. Accosta-bridge-1_origrding to the gang putting the game together, the option to pre-order these items will be available in a few weeks, and the stuff will begin shipping in late August to be in stores by September. Those of you who visit this space know I  helped contribute a storyline to drive the game’s initial, “living campaign playtest,” and that “startup” story as well as some scenarios for gaming in that setting are being packaged into the book. I also contributed some other “sidebar” material, but I have no idea what form that stuff will take. I’m as excited to see the finished book as everyone else. 🙂

predator-antho-coverCurrently, I’m tending to a few items on my “To Do List” this week, before I head out with the family for a quick vacation and then come back to get started on the new book. Chief among those To Do Items are reviewing and making any needed fixes to the copyedited manuscript for my short story “Recon,” which will be included in a forthcoming anthology, Predator: If It Bleeds edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and published by Titan Books.

Also, I’m turning some attention and a few brain cells to the outline for an original science fiction novel concept, that I’m hoping to pitch to publishers this summer. It’s been lying dormant for a long while, owing to my focus being elsewhere, but my goal is to have the outline completed by the end of June. Keep those fingers crossed!

There are a few other things percolating, but at present they’re all rather amorphous, so I’m not going to jinx any of them by talking too much.

So, that’s what’s up with me. ‘sup with you?

 

Talking about Star Trek Adventures for MODIPHIA!

One of the more unexpected developments to come out of 2016 was my getting involved with Modiphius Entertainment and their still-gestating Star Trek Adventures role-playing game.

Hey. I have a weird job, sometimes.

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I spent a good bit of last fall working with friends Scott Pearson and Jim Johnson to carry out the task I’d been given: fleshing out a storyline that could be used as part of a “living campaign playtest,” during which the game’s rules would be run through the wringer and kinks addressed and worked out. Players would participate in this testing phase, playing through scenarios developed by the game’s designers and other contributors and offering feedback on what worked and didn’t work for them. The results of this effort will eventually find their way into the game’s core rulebook, scheduled to be released later this summer, and set the stage for many more storylines and scenarios to come within the game’s setting.

So, yeah. That sounded like some cool action to get in on.

Want to learn more about what we came up with, and how I ended up as a part of this snazzy new thing? You can read about all of that and more in the very first, minty-fresh issue of Modiphia, the “official digital magazine” of Modiphius Entertainment, which is now available in PDF form as a free download from the game publisher’s webstore.

modiphia1-cover.pngIn addition to extensive coverage of Star Trek Adventures – including a peak at the storyline we developed and an article I wrote about my own involvement – Modiphia #1 also includes new articles and content for several other games in the Modiphius stable, including Achtung! Cthulhu, Conan, and Thunderbirds.

Many thanks to Chris Birch and Sam Webb at Modiphius for inviting me into their sandbox to play for a bit. I’m honestly not sure what my level of involvement will be in the short term, as everything now is focused on the living campaign and fine-tuning the rules, scenarios, and other info that will be included in the core gaming materials. Those are tasks better left to people who know what they’re doing in those arenas.

Look for more info on Star Trek Adventures in this space, as I’m given the thumbs up to share details. Meanwhile? Get gamin’, yo.

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Interview with Priority One Podcast about Star Trek Adventures!

Yes, once again I have been yammering into a microphone while someone records it so that other people can listen to it.

I don’t get it, either.

priorityonepodcast-logoThis time, I was invited to sit down with hosts Elijah and Kenna from the Priority One Podcast to talk about Star Trek Adventures, the new tabletop role playing game coming soon from Modiphius Entertainment. While I was asked to talk about the storyline I helped develop with the able assistance of friend and fellow Trek nerd Scott Pearson, and how such writing differs from what I might do for other projects like–for example–a novel, a good bit of the discussion focused on the game itself, including its mechanics, rules, and so on.

Fortunately for everyone involved, game designer Nathan Dowdell was with me, fielding with ease every question the hosts threw at him. Nathan is heading up the game’s development team and it’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort has gone into creating the rules that will drive the game while at the same time appealing to hard core fans as well as gamers who might only have a casual interest in Star Trek. From what I’ve read and observed so far, he definitely knows Trek as well as game design, and I’m confident Star Trek Adventures is in good hands.

Our interview with Elijah and Kenna is but one portion of this latest episode of Priority One, which also includes a look back at Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on the occasion of the film’s 25th anniversary, and the latest news and rumors from the development of the next Star Trek movie as well as next year’s new TV series, Star Trek: Discovery, and updates for the Star Trek Online game. The result?

Priority One Podcast Episode 298: The Undiscovered Country

Many thanks to Elijah, Kenna, and the Priority One team for having us on their show, and to Nathan for joining me to provide all sorts of juicy details about the game.

For more info on Star Trek Adventures, be sure to visit the Modiphius website!

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Star Trek Adventures Living Playtest launches! Guess who’s mucking about behind the scenes?

For those who may not be aware, Modiphius, a UK-based publisher with its fingers in any number of creative pots such as roleplaying games, boardgames, miniatures, novels, and all sorts of other stuff, is currently neck deep in developing Star Trek Adventures. This brand new, kick-ass role playing game where gamers participate in a constantly evolving “living campaign.” In this format, thousands of players get to take advantage of a shared setting, doing their own thing individually or as part of a team or group, with their progress tracked by the game designers/owners. With various feedback mechanisms including forums, e-mail, “mission orders” and “mission reports” and so on, players will be interacting with each other as well as the game developers, who in turn can and will use such feedback to shape new directions for the games to take.

Check it out this brand-spankin’ new press release from the good folks at Modiphius:

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STAR TREK ™ ADVENTURES LIVING PLAYTEST LAUNCHES WITH THOUSANDS OF GAMERS WORLDWIDE AND STELLAR WRITING LINE-UP LED BY NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLING AUTHOR DAYTON WARD

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Written and Developed By Famed Star Trek Novelists and Game Designers, Players Will Make Star Trek History as the Course is Plotted for Exploration and Adventure

LONDON, ENGLAND (December 1, 2016): Modiphius Entertainment, publisher of the Achtung! Cthulhu, Mutant Chronicles, Conan, Infinity and John Carter of Mars roleplaying games, announces the missions for the Star Trek Adventures™ living campaign playtest, to develop the first official Star Trek RPG in more than a decade, are now live with more than 5,000 players and counting.

Thousands of players around the world will adventure through the Star Trek universe like never before in an epic storyline written by New York Times Bestselling Star Trek author Dayton Ward and Scott Pearson (Star Trek novellas: The More Things Change, Among the Clouds, Terra Tonight), developed by Nathan Dowdell (Black Crusade, Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition, Corvus Belli’s Infinity: The Roleplaying Game and Robert E Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of) and lead writer David F Chapman (Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Roleplaying Game, Conspiracy X 2.0, Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG). Joining them are an interstellar line-up including writers from all previous editions of the Star Trek roleplaying game, as well as big names from across the tabletop gaming industry including:

Shawn Merwin (Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition: War of Everlasting Darkness, Halls of Undermountain, Dungeon Delve), Jim Johnson (Lord of the Rings RPG, Mage: The Awakening, Shadowrun Augmentation), Jacob Ross (Legend of the Five Rings, Mongoose Traveller, Kaigaku), Patrick Goodman (Shadowrun: Fifth Edition, Shadowrun: Street Legends, Shadowrun: Storm Front), Ross Isaacs (Line Developer Star Trek RPG (Decipher) and Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game (Last Unicorn Games), Ian Lemke (Changeling: The Dreaming, White Wolf Publishing, Earth Down), John Snead (Mindjammer: Traveller, Eclipse Phase, Star Trek Next Generation RPG Last Unicorn Games.), Dan Taylor (IDW Publishing’s Star Trek comics), Bill Maxwell (Fading Suns, Star Trek Roleplaying Game, Mage: The Awakening), Tim Beach (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Red Steel, Maztica Campaign Set, Hail the Heroes, Dungeons of Mastery, City of Delights) and Andrew Peregrine (Doctor Who, 7th Sea, Victoriana)

As well as Aaron Pollyea (Battletech), Oz Mills (Fantasy AGE Bestiary, Dragon Age: Faces of Thedas), Ade Smith (Mutants and Masterminds: Atlas of Earth Prime – Northern Europe, Rogue Gallery. Fainting Goat Games: Extreme Earth), Chris Huff (Mutants & Masterminds Freedom’s Most Wanted, DC Adventures RPG Heroes & Villains Volume 1, DC Adventures RPG Heroes & Villains Volume 2), John Kennedy (Ninja Crusade 2E, Infinity Tabletop Roleplaying Game, Myth Board Game), Kevin Mickelson (Mask of Death, A Learning Time, A Frightful Time, A Miraculous Time), Ryan Schoon (Fragged Empire, Edara: The Steampunk Renaissance, Baby Bestiary) and Chris Huff (DC Adventures, Mutants & Masterminds, Pathfinder).

The playtest gives fans of the legendary television series and films the opportunity to contribute to the development of the game; to sit in the captain’s chair, seek out new life and new civilizations, give all they’ve got to a warp core breach, or explore their own adventures in the Star Trek universe.

The living campaign begins with playtest missions and will continue with the release of the core rulebook in the summer of 2017. The living campaign takes place in the Shackleton Expanse, an area of space vastly unexplored by both the Federation and the Klingons. Starbase 364, Narendra Station, named after the battle of Narendra III where the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C was destroyed, serves as the keep on the borderlands for excursions out into the frontier of space.

As the crews of the U.S.S. Venture, U.S.S. Bellerophon, U.S.S. Thunderchild, explore strange anomalies and discover new life while uncovering an ancient civilization and mysterious technologies, those aboard the U.S.S. Lexington will shape historical events for those very ships.

Assignments are still open for Captains and Officers to take their place aboard the bridge and make Star Trek gaming history. Further, local game shops organizing an in-store playtest group will receive starbase status with pre-order promotions for the game’s retail release. Fans attending Dragonmeet in London on Saturday will have the final chance to receive a free Captain Kirk or Captain Picard figure when they sign up for the Star Trek Adventures playtest.

To register yourself or your group online, visit www.modiphius.com/star-trek.

To register as a retailer, visit http://www.modiphius.com/retail-support.html

Under license by CBS Consumer Products, Star Trek Adventures is slated for a Summer 2017 release and the playtest crews will be listed in the Star Trek Adventures book manifest.

™ & ©2016 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Jenny Bendel
jenny@jennybendel.com
206.979.2202

And, why yes….that Dayton Ward mentioned in the press release is indeed me.

I have friend and fellow word pusher Jim Johnson to thank for my involvement in the game. He had already signed on to Modiphius back in the summer, and it was he who introduced me to Chris Birch. The past couple of months have had be devoting time here and there to helping develop a core storyline for the game’s first “living playtest.” One of the things I was asked to do early on was make sure ideas for this first storyline don’t rub up against anything that’s been done previously, avoid continuity traps and pitfalls, and so on. Other friend and fellow word slinger Scott Pearson is also onboard, acting as something of a overseer of continuity and keeper of the canon as he reviews game scenarios and other materials. I’m helping him a bit on that, too, as well as continuing to write other story-related items as things move forward. It’s been a lot of fun, so far, and I can’t wait to see where things go. More on what exactly I’m doing will be revealed in an upcoming piece I wrote for e-Newsletter Modiphius soon will be publishing.

What’s cool about this game – and what drew me to contributing – is that even though we have this core story in place, things are open-ended enough that things can go wherever, whenever. Something we thought sounded good two months ago can be replaced by something we come up with based on – for example – the way a particular crew handles one of the scenarios thrown at them. So, in a lot of ways, I have pretty much no idea how the story is going to progress.

Buckle up, kids. This is going to be fun.

EDITED TO ADD: StarTrek.com also has an article about the living playtest launch!

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