What is your favorite licensed RPG? 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.
As I’ve been getting more things organized (the goal that never seems to be completed) I come across more items that I want to talk about. I’ve posted scans of various FASA catalogs giving details and insight on their published products and products they wanted to release. I found the 1999 catalog for Last Unicorn Games. In the late 90’s LUG had the rights to the Star Trek and Dune RPGs. They were able to produce several products before the company was bought out.
When I was going through this catalog I noticed several things. There was a sticker on the back of the book that contained a different address (I found another 1999 catalog without the sticker and it had an address similar to the one printed in the books). They also had a description of roleplaying games and the different types of publications at the front of the catalog. With this covering a couple of popular IPs, they probably wanted to explain what their products were for.
Some of the books were already released. Several were going to be released soon that we did see out in the wilds but with different covers than were depicted in this book. But, like the FASA catalogs, there were several products that we never saw. These include:
The Klingon Empire Boxed Setting I understand a few pages were released on the internet as a sneak peak into the product. This was scheduled for release in November 1999.
Operation Stormbird: The Neutral Zone Campaign Volume 2 This would have been a sequel to A Fragile Peace. This was scheduled for release in January 2000.
Call of the Prophets: The Bajorans It would have been interesting to see how this sourcebook would have come out. This was scheduled for release in November 1999.
The Cardassian Union Boxed Setting Like the Klingon Boxed Setting and the Romulan Boxed Setting, it would have covered the history and background of the Cardassians. This was scheduled for release in October 1999.
Final Frontiers: The Star Trek Films Covering all of the original Star Trek films with details for the RPG. I would have loved to have seen this one as well. It was scheduled to come out in February 2000.
Through a Glass Darkly: The Mirror Universe There is something about mirror universe supplements. Decipher had a mirror universe supplement that they were able to release in PDF but not in print. It was scheduled to come out in December 1999.
Spacedock: The Starfleet Starship Construction Manual, Volume 1 With how much use I got out of the FASA Starship Construction Manual, I would have been all over this. It was scheduled to come out in December 1999.
Unfortunately I’ve never seen or collected any of the Dune RPG books by LUG. I do not know how many they were able to release or what system they used.
I don’t believe there were any other catalogs from Last Unicorn Games as the company wasn’t around for very long. If I do happen to come across another one, I’ll see if I can scan it and get it posted. Enjoy.
I have loved boxed sets for different role playing games. Besides the various books, sometimes there are extras that are included in the box. Dice, maps, character sheets, player aids and (one of my favorites) catalogs. I also think that the boxes look better than some of the books when I’m taking a shelfie (a picture of books on a shelf) of my role playing game collection.
The bad thing about the boxes is that they are made out of a type of cardboard. This cardboard can be easily crushed or damaged at the corners. Games that have been kept in temporary storage boxes (more cardboard that can easily be crushed), over stuffing the box with more than it’s capable of holding, moved from place to play by friends who don’t know what’s inside, constant opening, etc. can take a toll on some of these boxes.
Here are some photos of some of the boxes that I have in my collection that are in need of repair.
As you can see, some of these boxes are so damaged that I don’t even want to move them on the shelves. This is not good. I’ve been researching how to repair these boxes without damaging them further. I really don’t want to tape up the box as the tape will eventually fade and fail (I’ve got one book that I did this to in the 90’s and I wish I had done something differently now). One site suggested getting candy boxes with thin cardboard and cut them for use in the corners of the box that you wish to reinforce. I’d have to make sure the box is free of any food particles before I do that.
I think the first thing I’m going to do is buy some used board games at a thrift store that come in boxes with similar thickness. Toss the game contents and then use the boxes as my test platforms. I can experiment with different glues and repair styles. This way if I mess up, I’m not further damaging a collectable. I don’t know if I want to go all the way in my restoration project to make the game like mint. Sometimes having a little bit of wear and tear shows the love for the game. But I’d like to be able to pull my Star Trek RPG box out without praying that the entire box doesn’t disintegrate on me.
I’ll make a future blog post with details when I take this project on.
“Welcome” could easily be a post about how to make sure that all players feel welcomed at your gaming table. “Tradition” could be a host of things, none that are coming to me currently. “Fresh” could be a post on how to keep your game from becoming stale and stagnant. I could see some possibilities in today’s recommendations.
I never had the chance to play the Last Unicorn Games Star Trek Roleplaying Game. When the game was first published I was going through a turbulent time in my life. Luckily, there was a lot of books available when I was able to get back into collecting and reading. But this was after the Decipher Star Trek Roleplaying Game had been released so I was able to find the books quickly and cheaply. However I think I may be missing a few books from the collection.
A couple of notes about the game. I liked the fact that the game designers gave a tip-of-the-hat to the creators of the FASA Star Trek Role Playing Game in the credits. I thought that was a classy move. There was also a disclaimer at the front of the book that sometimes the game writers had to take some liberties with the Star Trek universe in order to fill in while remaining faithful to the franchise. All game designers had to take this step and there was some conflict between previous publishers and certain elements at the studio. A subject for a future blog post later. But this disclaimer attempted to avoid any pitfalls encountered from those earlier conflicts.
Last Unicorn Games was able to published a large number of books before the company was bought out (which resulted in the end of the run). They had a core game book for The Next Generation (the first publication), The Original Series and Deep Space Nine. From what I recall, there were plans for a Voyager and Enterprise core game book before the company ceased to be. Each one of these core books added a little bit more to the game universe for GMs and players. Because of this opportunity, I thought that my Day 17 entry into the Character Creation Challenge would be a Bajoran smuggler using the DS9 book.
Avo Tarnis was a member of the Bajoran Resistance during the Cardassian occupation. Like most Bajorans he celebrated when the Cardassians finally withdrew. He was suspicious of the Federation offering to help, but he had no ill will towards them. Tarnis joined the Bajoran Militia when it was first formed, but bowed out after a year of service finding it too strict. Uncertain what do to next, an old-member of his resistance cell recruited him to help with some “discreet supply runs” like they use to do during the occupation. Tarnis saw this as a chance to get badly needed goods to those suffering on his home planet while waiting for the bureaucracy of the Provisional Government and the Federation to finally get something done. So now he is a pilot on the freighter “Renoth’s Call.”
For quick play, the book provides a series of pre-generated characters that you can tweak or you can go through the character creation process. For Tarnis, I elected to follow the process. The three parts of the character was the attributes & edges, advantages & disadvantages and skills. Each step of the process would add values to one or ore of these three parts. Attributes was your typical selections that you would find in most RPGs. Edges was add-ons to the Attributes. Fitness (with edges of Strength and Vitality), Coordination (Dexterity and Reaction), Intellect (Logic and Perception), Presence (Willpower and Empathy) and Psi (Range and Focus).
The first steps was to select a template (i.e. the species). I wrote down the various elements for a typical Bajoran. Not surprising they had a disadvantage of Species Enemy (Cardiassian). Of the skills I could selected, I figured that Athletics-Running and Medical Science-General Medicine would fit. Resistance members would constantly be on the move and you would always need to help out in patching someone up after a raid.
The next steps was the overlay which is the character’s profession. There is a Pirate/Smuggler overlay that I was able to take some stats from. Afterwards I selected my character’s background. This was a little confusing. I knew I was going to have Tarnis grow up in a refugee camp. The RAW talked about spending development points to purchase such a package, however I couldn’t find anything on how many development points you started out with. I was finally able to track the information down (you took a package or spent the points ala-carte).
Then you added the finishing touches to the character. Courage points was easy to calculate. If I understood the Renown details correctly, I placed one point in the Skill aspect. The Wound Levels came out at 2. There was a section in the book about equipment, but nothing about obtaining these items. The game must assume that the players are part of an organized fleet. I know there is a Rogues supplement out there, it probably has more information for independent groups. So I considered the character done. Here is the character sheet.
The organization of the DS9 book could have been slightly clearer. I was jumping from section to section looking for information and using bookmarks to remember where I was. The index didn’t point me in the direction to answer a basic question (how may development points do I start out with) which was a little frustrating. I was able to finally track down details, but I had to pull out one of the other core books to find it.
I wonder how the system played out. It’s been a while since I gave any of the core books a read through. But from what I recall, I thought it made sense at the time.
Thank you again to those who have been using my DriveThruRPG links to order PDF copies of the games.