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Well, this isn’t the blog post I thought I’d be writing when I woke up this morning. On my way to work this morning I was informed by friends that a longtime Star Trek and role playing friend, Roger Taylor, had been found dead in his apartment. He had been having heart issues lately and when he hadn’t responded to his ex-wife’s attempts to reach him, she went over to his place to find he had passed away.
I’ve mentioned Roger a couple of times in past blog posts, recently when we had worked together on homebrewing the Star Trek Adventures stats for an alien race called The Tarn. Roger had run several RPG sessions for various friends including a lot of Star Trek by Decipher. He had homebrewed several items for the Decipher Star Trek RPG, Star Trek Adventures, Serenity and several other games. I even discovered that one of his early adventures he wrote was ported over to the Far Trek system. When we were not joking around or talking about our Star Trek organization, we were talking about games.
I first met Roger when he was working at a security guard at an IT company I was working for around 2008. I could often sneak down to the security office while on a lunch break and talk with Roger about common interests. He loved the fleet of Star Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica ships that I had set up on my desk. I think we knew we were going to be friends when we realized how much we both had a warped sense of humor. When we were discussing the (then) proposal by Madonna to remake Casablanca with a modern twist, my not-so-innocent mind altered one of the famous lines from the black and white movie. “Of all the S&M bars in the world, she had to walk into mine.” Roger was laughing so hard that he practically forgot to breathe. He would bring up this line at random times just to get a chuckle out of me.
Roger joined Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet and with his Star Trek knowledge and organizational skills, quickly moved up the ranks. He started a chapter-in-training which eventually became the full chapter, USS Essex. As a US Navy vet, he had served on the real life USS Essex.
He also loved baking, a pet songbird called Charley, military history (another common interest), building models, playing video games and writing. A phrase I picked up from a common friend for a situation like this was “May his/her memory always be a blessing.” I will have many memories that I will look back on when thinking about Roger. I’ll roll some dice for you in your honor soon.
To Roger’s family, I’m deeply sorry at this time. Heidi, thank you for telling me that Roger cared for me and held a lot of respect for me. I choked up a little bit when I read that message. Roger’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. If you can, please donate.
The Star Trek Roleplaying Game by Decipher was the first Star Trek RPG that I played with my local Star Trek club. I was even able to GM a few sessions. I had a group of young Ensigns (the player characters) lead by an NPC Lieutenant as the CO, head to a shipyard to recover the USS Crockett for refitting just after the end of the Dominion War. Starfleet needed to pull some older, but still serviceable ships out of mothballs to rebuild the fleet and get back to the primary duty of exploring. Because the PCs got kicked off the station managing the shipyard, the team left with the Crockett before making sure the ship was ready to go. There was a very large nest of Talarian Hook Spiders that woke up from hibernation when the environmentals warmed up. As the crew tried to re-take back the ship, one of the PCs accidentally set the Lieutenant on fire who then fell in the turboshaft that they were traversing through. Luckily he survived despite being very injured. After the players recovered the ship and got to their destination, the poor Lieutenant was placed on a medical leave and eventually retired somewhere far away from the PCs.
For this entry in the Character Creation Challenge, I decided that I would make an Andorian Flight Control Officer serving on the Nebula Class, USS Ulysses NCC-66808. His name would be Ensign Rexun and is is a member of the Athrun keith (clan). Selecting the race and the profession was the first and second part of the character creation process.
The attributes used in this STRPG is Strength, Agility, Intellect, Vitality, Presence and Perception. For the random method roll 2d6 nine times and discard the three lowest results, then assign a score to the attribute. There is also a pic method but I felt like rolling dice today. With the racial modifiers Rexun ended up with the following attributes. STR: 8, AGL: 8, INT: 9, VIT: 8, PRE: 7, PER: 9.
Reaction tests are like savings throws. You select the highest of the attribute modifiers that feed into the four reaction scores. These also in turn generate your Initiative and Defense scores.
This is a skills based system. I’ve been a fan of these types of systems, but I’ll play the “general skills” games as well. I just feel that the skills list makes the character unique, especially when you are homebrewing a character seen in the show or in the expanded universe. These skills are selected by going through several steps including Personal Development (military brat was selected) and Professional Development (I selected Helm/Navigator)
The character creation process rounded out with wound status, courage and renown. There is a chapter on equipment, but it wasn’t part of the creation process listed on pages 20-21. In the RAW Starfleet equipment is assigned as per the mission needs. I considered the character done. Here is the sheet.
Creating this character brought back lots of good memories. Especially with friends from Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet. We did some homebrewing in our games and it made me want to homebrew again.
There was a time I had to go find the Players Guide errata. Luckily I had it readily available. The book had a few rough edges while trying to navigate the character creation system. Quite a few bookmarks were used. I remember in the Fleet we had created our own Character Creation Guide to assist members unfamiliar with the game.
We are entering the home stretch towards the end of the Character Creation Challenge. Because I’m creating a character and writing a blog post at the same time, it takes quite a bit of coordination and energy. Especially when I have to stop myself from pulling out the other resource books and fan made homebrews after the character is created. I get distracted by the shiny things sometimes.