So in the 2021 Character Creation Challenge I created a character for the D20 Prime Directive roleplaying game. I talked about how this is a licensed game set in the Star Fleet Universe, which can only use races/events referenced in the original Star Trek series. Because of this, they would never lose the license (a good thing) but the company has had challenges coming out with newer supplements (still waiting for the various Gorn and cat races supplements). Since the first edition of Prime Directive (also known as PD1) was a different game than the D20 and GURPS versions, I decided that I would create a character for the 2022 Challenge.
The characters in Prime Directive are members of Starfleet. But instead of serving as a Captain or Department Chief, they serve on Prime Teams. A troubleshooting group that, if needed, are expendable. These specialists can come from various backgrounds that are sent to emergency hotspots on various missions.
The first step in character creation is selecting a race. There is the standard Federation races seen on Star Trek like Humans, Vulcans and Andorians. For some reason Tellarites are not listed in the core rulebook. Then there are Rigellians (large humanoids), Alpha-Centauran (Female dominated humanoids) and Cygnans (albino humanoids good with tech). All of these races have different characteristics which are Strength (STR), Accuracy (ACC), Speed (SPD), Leadership (LDR), Logic (LGC), Intuition (INT), Discipline (DIS), Technical (TEC), General Knowledge (GKN) and Perception (PER). All the races have set numbers except for Humans and Alpha-Centaurans. Later in the character creation process you can adjust these numbers.
Let’s go for a race I’ve never played before. Between the three new races I selected this character to be a Cygnan named Kovil. Next for Kovil is deciding which Starfleet service division he would be a member of out of Command, Engineering, Marine Service Combatant, Science, Medical and Psionic. I’m going to make an Engineer.
There are a series of skills that each character has. There are basic skills that each member of Starfleet has plus the skills acquired for the service division and branch. Apparently the Engineering division has only one branch, Technical. As a member of Starfleet, each person has a rank. They could be enlisted or an officer. This was the first dice roll of the game as the rank was randomly assigned. 2d6 and check the chart for your division. Kovil rolled a 10 which resulted in a Lieutenant (j.g.) rank. And, for some reason, you roll for the seniority of your character. Afterwards you come up with the Professional and Heroic Reputation scores along with the Initial Background Ratings. (boy there are a lot of these things in here, I wonder if they will all add up in the end)
Now, that I’ve received my “free” skill points, I get to use Initial Character Improvement Points (which is 56 to start out with plus some bonus points based upon my seniority). Character improvement points can be awarded after adventures to improve your characters. These can be spent on skills or characteristics. Now that we have our final characteristics and skills, we add the two together and divide by 2 (round down) to determine how many d6 dice you roll when using that skill. Ugh, this is a lot of complication, but now this section is finally done.
Now comes the section where you determine how much damage you can take in various forms. These include Stun Damage and Lethal Damage. Had a few movement stats to fill out. Oh gheez, now you get 10 more points to put in to skills that are just personal interests. While this is a kewl idea, I swear this paperwork never ends. Had I known this section was here, I wouldn’t have picked a few things in this category earlier.
There is a whole page for equipment, which is assigned before missions. So yea, I’m done making this character and I’m only scanning in the sheet that I actually filled stuff out on. There was still a few blank spaces, but I think I’m done.
While going through the branches, it looked like the had some branches pretty well fleshed out while others seemed lacking. There was a lot of focus on rank and seniority while trying to warn players not to abuse it. I haven’t seen this come up in other system documentation.
I don’t know what it is, but the way this rule book is laid out has made my eyes glaze over. Eventually I was wishing that they could just get to the point when things were being explained. I seriously doubt I’d play this system without seeing it in action first. While it’s a Star Trek game and I want to homebrew for them, this one may be on the bottom of the list. I haven’t heard of anyone playing this game.
I did get the urge to make an actual checklist for character creation that would have helped.
10 more days left in the 31 day challenge. We can do this. You can do this. You can still jump in and have fun if you want. That is all this is for, is to have fun. I’m learning a lot. Some good, some bad, but I’m learning. I’m having fun, when my college age kid calls me every night one of the things she asks is “What character did you make today?”
Coming Up Next:
Werewolf The Apocalypse