So the gang at Modphius just announced a Star Trek: Lower Decks campaign guide for Star Trek Adventures. You don’t know how excited this announcement has made me. There is an old running joke that Dungeons and Dragon campaigns start as Lord of the Rings, but turn into Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Why, because we have fun around a table for our roleplaying games. I can see this also happening with Star Trek Adventures. Even at the recent SaltCON there were several STA sessions inspired by Star Trek: Lower Decks. According to the email, this book should come out in Quarter 3 of 2023. Sigh, I hate waiting so long.
To tide us over, Modiphius has released two Lower Decks products on PDF. The Lower Decks Season 1 Player Characters (aka the crew pack) and the Lower Decks inspired adventure Lurkers. Now in past blog entries I’ve reviewed the Star Trek: Discovery crew packs. So I thought I’d do a quick review of these publications.
Like the other character guides, they are written as reports given by the superiors to the USS Cerritos officers. The book comes in at 17 pages, which is smaller than the Discovery character guides. We get eight main characters, several supporting characters and a write up for the USS Cerritos itself. No new races for the game (sad) but most of the races used were already covered. They could have given us stats for Excocomps, however that wasn’t the case. Hopefully that will be in the campaign guide.
I loved Mariner’s “Contraband Stash” but wondered about the claim that Tendi was the first Orion in Starfleet. I wonder how the focus of “catnip” will come into a session? (guess where that was listed at). I think this was a good purchase for me and I can’t wait to see the season two character guides to see what has been added.
I really wondered if I wanted to read through the adventure “Lurkers” as I wanted to play it. But I also wanted to see how a “Lower Decks” adventure was written up. When we had our Lower Decks inspired game at SaltCON, the gamemaster gave a lot of prep and setup for the game. We had players who had never seen the show, but still had fun. So I would recommend that the GM set the tone at the table explaining that this is a comedic episode and letting the players go a little wild. At SaltCON, we had a player end up with two Orion slave women that I don’t think was originally part of the scenario. But the way the NPCs came to be a part of the group (we hid them from the drunk commanding officer by stating they were new crew) added to the humor.
Without giving the plot to Lurkers away, I can see where the setup works. Bad bureaucracy leads to the scenario and the players have several choices to make along the way. There is an option for combat, but most of the adventure is thinking on your feet and not getting caught or left behind by the senior officers. One of the things that I like about Lower Decks is the various Star Trek Easter eggs that are scattered through-out an episode. Lurkers gives the GM an opportunity to through several of these in the adventure. So I would recommend that the GM be very brushed up on their Star Trek minutia trivia. Especially with debates among various Star Trek fandoms. There is even an opportunity to slip Lurkers into a regular Star Trek Adventures campaign, but the main characters use by the players should be of the Lower Deck variety. In a way, I’d really love to see a veteran group of STA players take the actual Lower Deck characters and play this scenario (and record it on YouTube for others to see).
One final note about Lurkers, it actually has a follow up mission briefing listed for GMs to use as part of a follow up. So you are getting more than just a single mission. I’d recommend picking this up.
Until then, I can’t wait to get the Lower Decks campaign guide. Ugh, 3rd Quarter 2023 is such a long ways away.
Are you looking forward to the upcoming Lower Decks STA products? Have you picked up the character guide or Lurkers? 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.