Back in 2021 I remember getting a surprise from Modiphius when they released the IDW Year Five Tie-In for Star Trek Adventures. I was so inspired that I wrote a review of that product here on my blog. Well on Star Trek Day (September 8th) for the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Animated Series, Modiphius dropped another surprise on me by releasing the Star Trek: The Animated Series Supplemental Guide.
Can you say “Instabuy”? Yea, spoiler. But I’ll still give you a full review. This book had a lot of good effort put into it.
As I was looking through the PDF, I knew that I had to write a blog post about this. But the real world gets in the way and I had to wait for the workday to completed. Stupid real life.
The Star Trek: The Animated Series Supplemental Guide is a PDF only release from Modiphius. The document comes in 69 pages (compared to 26 for the Year Five Tie-In) with ten chapters in total. This PDF is bookmarked for easy navigation. The writing was done by Aaron Harvey, Jim Johnson, Fred Love and Aaron M. Pollyea. There wasn’t an ISBN number listed, but it did have a product number of MUH0142322-PDF. The copyright is 2023. The foreword is written by Aaron Harvey who is the co-author and designer of the Star Trek: The Official Guide to the Animated Series that was released in 2019.
There was an interesting tidbit in the foreword regarding the writers strike that was happening in the 70’s when the Animated Series was in production. I thought this was interesting considering the current state of affairs between the studios and the unions currently going on now. Considering the production schedules that corporations follow I’m fairly certain that this was written before or just about when the current strike started.
So the first chapter gives us the stats for the characters that we see in the Animated Series. I had to chuckle when I saw that the Department of Temporal Investigations had redacted a piece of information in a couple of the bios (and where they missed one). Not seen in other publications are the stats for Lt. Arex, Lt. M’Ress. The second chapter covered some additional crewmemers from both the Enterprise and other Starfleet services.
New Life and New Civilizations is the title of the third chapter. Here we find information on various planets that were visited in the Animated Series. And since they were colorful, there is a lot of color in this section.
For those of you wanting new races for the game, Chapter Four gives several new lifepath options. We get stats for the Aquans, Aurelians, Caitians (yes we had them before, but this was to be complete), Edosians, Kzinti (Yay, I’ve been waiting for this one), Pandronians, the plant like Phylosians and the Skorr. I did notice something when I first saw the Kzinti, the stats were different than they were in the Star Trek: Lower Decks Campaign Guide. When I inquired on the Modiphius discord server, Jim Johnson (Project Manager) replied that the Lower Decks guide was a misprint and that I should use the stats in this book. I did like that the Kzinti entry gave information on why some Kzin are members of Starfleet.
Chapter Five gives us the Equipment and Gear. This includes the Life Support Belt, the Automated Bridge Defense System, the Phaser Bore and the Telefocals.
Gamemasters may find the items in Chapter Six interesting. This is Science and Spatial Phenomena. I’ve seen Pocket Universes used in several different stories.
Being a Treknologist, I was glad to see the starships in Chapter Seven. Besides the Enterprise, we get to see the Inflatable Decoy, the Aquashuttle (loved the Monty Python joke embedded here), the Stormbird-Class Romulan Battlecruiser (chef’s kiss for the FASA reference), the IKS Devisor, the Traitor’s Claw (a Kzinti police vessel), the Orion Orchid-Class and more.
Chapter Eight provides the different Allies and Adversaries that were seen in the Animated Series. We get information on Harcort Fenton Mudd, Ari Bn Bem, The Aprils, Thelin, Cyrano Jones, Spock 2 (no Electric Boogaloo jokes please) and more.
We get some additional creatures in Chapter Nine. Do you want genetically modified Tribbles? Because this is how you get genetically modified Tribbles. Plus Glommers, Le-Matyas, Shelats and a host of others.
The last chapter is the Index. Something that may come in very handy while trying to look something up.
For the art and layout, it’s very easily to read. There is some original screen captures from the shows and some very well done new art. It captures the feel of the Animated Series with a modern twist. The usage of pink is a tip of the hat to the usage in the series (partially because the producer had some colorblindness).
Does it give us all of the items from the Animated Series, no. I’m not certain what the limits are on a PDF production. If there is a time limit or just a need to keep the document to a certain number of pages, but there are a few items that didn’t make it into the book. The Copernicus shuttle, the Bonaventure, the Lactrans, the USS Huron, the Dramians, Sord, Vedalans and other entries are now fair game for homebrewers. I feel that about a good chunk of what was seen in the series is listed in this book. So, overall it is an excellent source for any Star Trek Adventures campaign. Ever since Deep Space Nine, elements of the Animated Series were inserted back into “canon” after being pushed out in the late 80’s. Lower Decks has practically dragged the Animated Series back into the light so I would highly recommend picking up this book.
What do you remember from the Animated Series? What would you like to use from it in your Star Trek Adventures game? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.