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2024 Character Creation Challenge Day 8: Star Trek Alpha Quadrant

For Day 8 of the 2024 #CharacterCreationChallenge I will be making a Starfleet Officer for the Star Trek: Alpha Quadrant roleplaying game. What is Star Trek: Alpha Quadrant? It is a fan-made conversion of the Cepheus Engine System Reference Document for Star Trek. It originally started as a conversion of the FASA Star Trek RPG, then evolved to cover all of the shows (up to Star Trek: Discovery) that had been released by 2017. Several years ago, the publishers of the Prime Directive rules wanted to make a “Traveller” version of their game, but it hasn’t appeared yet. So for fans who want to play some sort of Trek with the 2d6 system, this is probably going to be up your alley. Steven J. Ege, the author, did state that Star Trek: Alpha Quadrant is not compatible with other 2d6 style games.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve used a fan-made Star Trek RPG in the Character Creation Challenge. Previously I had covered Far Trek and Where No Man Has Gone Before. I have also covered the original Little Black Book version of Traveller as well as Cepheus Deluxe release. So I’m interested to see where this goes.

The Star Trek: Alpha Quadrant PDF has 160 pages with the character creation checklist on page 11. There is no character sheet in the book, but luckily I found a fan made character sheet on the Polyhedral Nonsense gaming blog. This sheet has four pages with the first being stats and skills, second page is equipment and weapons, third page is character history and the last page is any telepathic skills. I discovered that there are a lot of good character sheets on the Polyhedral Nonsense website.

OK, let’s light this candle. The first thing the checklist states is that the characters begin at the age of majority (usually 18 in Humans). But with the Q’s consent (Q is the name of the Game Master in ST:AQ) the character can start at 19 or 20. The character is entering Starfleet Academy. After discussing with the Q what positions and ranks that the character will take you can dig into the attributes. Thinking about this, I want to create a character in the time of the Original Series. Looking at the different alien races available (there are several basic ones that are mentioned in the front of the book, then a lot of races listed later in the publication) I selected Denobulan and named him Lt. Commander Tropp. He would be the Chief Engineer on the USS Valley Forge, a Constitution-Class starship.

Next we generate the attributes for Tropp by rolling 2d6 and assigning them. They are Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Endurance (END), Intelligence (INT) and Education (EDU). For those of you wondering, INT is the intellect and the EDU is the learning and experience. Traveller/Cepheus players may notice that there is no Social (SOC) attribute. The author of AQ did state that he had to make some changes to make it fit the Star Trek universe. I’m assuming that dropping this attribute was one of the items he was referring to. I rolled my dice and made the racial adjustments and wrote down the attribute modifiers.

Step three is to select the background skills that Tropp had before he entered the academy. The rules state that you divide the EDU score in half and that is the staring number, in his case 4. These skills would be of rank 0 (semiskilled) and I had to choose two from the education category and two from the development category.

Now we enter the academy and gain several skills from the curriculum. This includes core, candidate school, outside electives and advanced study. While this took a moment, I was able to complete the task.

Step six is the cadet cruise. I rolled a 2 on 1d6 to represent that Tropp participated in two six-month cruses. At the completion of the cruises, he has graduated from Starfleet Academy and now holds the rank of Ensign. To be a Lt. Commander, Tropp needed to go on nine tours of duty (from rolls and various modifiers). This time allotted resulted in several skill rank increases, which I wrote down.

The steps now indicate that I should come up with a background for the character (which I would if this was really going to be played). The Universal Character Format at the end of the steps can list equipment, but no rules were listed at this time to any allocation. I snuck down to chapter 4 to read about the equipment and it described some equipment types, but didn’t really say if you started with anything. In most Star Trek games, your equipment would be what is available on hand. So I didn’t bother with any on the sheet. This meant that I only wrote on the first character sheet for this challenge. I’m certain that at least three of the pages would have been used in a campaign.


This book was pretty thorough and covered the bases that you would find in a standard RPG core rulebook. These include a “What is roleplaying” section and how the core rules worked. You wouldn’t need any of the Cepheus books to play this game.

The lack of a character sheet concerned me. I was very grateful to find the Polyhedral Nonsense release. Their character sheet is also fill-able which may be of interest to some players. Since I was going old-school with my entries, I had mine printed out to mark up with a pencil.

Another concern was the use of graphics in the book. Since this book was never going to be printed for copywrite reasons, the author could use the images as he saw fit. There were some pages where a full color image in the background with white highlighted lettering over the top of it. It made it difficult to read.

I liked how the PDF was bookmarked. This made it easier to jump to a section to look up information. I also appreciate that major and minor characters from the Original Series and The Next Generation have been stated out. When talking with Star Trek fans who haven’t had a lot of experience with RPGs, they might create a character by saying “He’s good with computers, just not as good as Spock.” or “He’s just as strong as Worf.” I can take the provided stats to give them a starting point.

There is also a FASA to AQ conversion guidelines in the back of the book. While reading, I could see a lot of FASA influences in this publication. I could easily see myself homebrewing for this system just as I want to for Star Trek Adventures, Far Trek and Where No Man Has Gone Before.

Additional Notes:

I had a couple of readers report to me that they had heard of The Dark Eye and even owned a copy, but they hadn’t had a chance to do anything with it. So I guess this European game has made it to the states. But because they hadn’t tested it out yet, they couldn’t tell me about how the game plays at the table.

Coming Up Next:

Monty Python’s Cocurricular Mediaeval Reenactment Programme

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