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Decipher Star Trek – Character Creation Challenge

Posted by paradisio on June 17, 2009

Inspired by the recent Star Trek movie and a renewed interest in the franchise, I became interested in finding a system to run a Star Trek game. Unfortunately, just like the series, there is no current RPG. On the upside, you can pick up the defunct Decipher version very cheap at WholeSaleGaming, $35 for the full lot, a great deal, which is what I’ll be using today. It’s a great movie based system, far from perfect, and in need of a bit of errata, but it’s great for a Star Trek game that isn’t overly complex.

The original books character creation is a bit… undeveloped, so I’ll be using the steps I found on a great fansite.

The character I’ll be making will be the short lived character Tasha Yar from the Next Generation, a security officer from a failed colony the regressed into depravity, although I doubt I’ll be able to match her 100% at character creation.

1. Species. Well, I have a wide range of choices, each with a variety of different attribute modifiers, but I’ve already made my choice: Human. They get a permanent courage bonus, skill bonuses, and a bonus to a reaction. All stuff we’ll get to later. On the downside, no attribute/stat bonuses.

2. Choose Characters Profession. Once again, a wide variety of choices lay before me, most notably is Starfleet Officer, which contains all the typical Star Trek sub/elite professions. So I pick Starfleet Officer and Security Officer for my profession. This will determine mostly how my character advances, and actually doesn’t effect a lot at creation itself.

3. Choose Characters first Tier ability. All the professions have tiered bonuses and abilities they confer on the character, normally characters only receive one, but being a Starfleet Officer grants me one automatically called Duty, which is basically my job, but I get a second one as well from my Career path. I pick Subdue, which gives me a bonus to stunning or restraining in unarmed combat.

4. Generate Attributes. The game uses six (or sometimes seven) attributes that fall into the typical fields: Strength, Intellect, Agility, Vitality, Presence, and Perception. You can generate them via point buy like system or generate randomly, I’ll do the latter route as usual and I come up with the following stats and assign them as such: 6 8

Strength – 8 (+1)
Intellect – 6 (0)
Agility – 11 (+2)
Vitality – 8 (+1)
Presence – 8 (+1)
Perception – 9 (+1)

Overall, pretty good stats. Next to each stat I have also listed the modifier, which is used in the next part as well as determining total skill bonuses.

5. Determine Reactions. Reactions are basically your character’s defense against attacks, whether they be physical, mental, or psychological. They are broken down into Quickness, Savvy, Stamina and Willpower and your bonus is based off your attribute modifiers.

Quickness +4
Savvy +1
Stamina +1
Willpower +1

Also, I added +2 to quickness due to humans being able to pick a reaction to be exceptionally good at.

6. Determine Defense Score. Simply put, 7 plus my agility modifier or 9.

7. Record your character’s Species special abilities, including any bonus Edges. Not much here, our race is pretty basic.

8. Determine your character’s initial Species skills. First I generate the skills that are intrinsic to where I grew up, language, homeworld, etc. I get my intelligence x 3 (or 18) in points that can be traded in on a 1:1 basis, to a maximum of six like every skill before modifiers. I use it to get the following skills:

Language: Federation Standard – 6
World: Turkana IV – 4
History: Turkana IV – 4
Politics: Turkana IV – 4

9. Choose a Personal Development Package. This represents the skills she learned in skill or on the street. There are many different packages to choose from, and I can even make my own, but a couple do stand out: Colony/Frontier Upbringing and Orphan. After a bit of deciding, I choose the later as the life on the street theme seems more appropriate for the character.

When choosing a package it’s divided into three segments: One skill I get a +2 in, three skills I get a +1 in, and last is an edge. I can take an edge now, but I won’t get to take an edge in the next step unless I take a flaw then. The skills I pick give me the following benefits:
Streetwise +2
Unarmed Combat: Brawling +1
Survival +1
Influence +1

For now, I’ll pass on selecting an edge.

10. Choose a Professional Development Package.
We’ve covered your childhood and birth, last is how you have developed in the workforce. I obviously want to choose something appropriate for my career so I have the option between Basic Security Officer, Investigator and Tactical Officer. Investigator doesn’t seem appropriate and Tactical Officer is more about actual ship security protocols and programs, so Basic Security Officer seems to be the best choice. Unlike the Personal Development Package, you get a wide range of skills automatically, as well as 5 professional skills you can add a +1 to. Last, but not least, is an edge.

Athletics (Climb) +2
Energy Weapons +3
First Aid +1
Inquire (Interrogate) +2
Investigate (Search) +2
Repair +1
System Operation (Security Systems) +2
Tactics +1
Unarmed Combat Skill: Aikido +2

Hand Picked
Computer Use +2
Observe +2
Tactics +1

As you notice, in my hand picked skills I added two to two different skills instead of diversifying, as well, I’ve put more points into skills I already have points in. For edge I picked Promotion, making me gain a rank in the military, Liutenant Junior Grade, one rank below the actual character. At least I’m not a red shirt!

I should note that I also have some skill points thanks to being human, which I would assign to Unarmed Combat Skill: Aikido and Stealth.

13. Calculate Health. Every character has a health rating equal to his vitality attribute plus his strength modifier, or in Tasha’s case: 9

14. Calculate character’s Courage. Every player character begins the game with a pool of 3 courage, but my character is human and a bit more courage so instead I have a pool of 4.

15. Calculate character’s Renown.
All characters start the game with renown 0, bah!

That’s it! All you have to do now is fill out character details, background and add modifiers to skills!


One Response to “Decipher Star Trek – Character Creation Challenge”

  1. it said

    thats a crappy system i use the stargatesg1 system airforce officer,naval officer,etc.instead of sgc insignia call it starfleet.

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