Paradoxical Mouse

Star Trek in D&D 'Verse

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So, my players are interested in doing a one-shot that I can say is...interesting. The premise is that the members of a Star Fleet crew somehow get stranded in the D&D verse. The problem is, I have no idea how to handle them mechanically. What do I do about phasers? Would the phasers work? What about their comms? Could the members have latent magic? Also need to have ideas of how they could get there, etc...basically, I have no idea how to set this one-shot up, background-wise. I like Faerun as a setting for the rest of my things, and I think the weave could be interesting in this...but I just don't know what to do with this. Any ideas from anyone?

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If it were me, I'd try to keep the Star Trek guys as close to the way they are in the show as possible. The game would be about the interface between their world and the D&D world. (Which is sort of the canonical Star Trek show anyway.) How will the advanced technology and "enlightened" attitudes work when confronted with monsters and magic?

 

As to mechanical effects, I'd start by matching their capabilities to D&D characters of the level you're planning the game to match, and try to differentiate by flavor. For example, I'd treat phasers as doing total damage in a round similar to that of a buffed archer of the appropriate level, though probably with fewer shots (one shot for 3d6 + 12 at full hit prob rather than three shots for 1d6 + 5 each with a varying hit prob, for example). Tricorders would have a skill roll to use and wouldn't be blocked by much, but wouldn't pick up magic at all. Highly trained crewmembers would have lots of skill points, but few special abilities.

 

My take, anyway.

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Here's my suggestions. (Biases: I'm assuming fun/cinematic rather than serious/realistic, and I mostly watched TOS.) 

 

Model phasers as a magic item that has a few different abilities, but a finite number of charges (in the power cell). If you really want to be daring (and depending on the level you're playing at) go ahead and let them disintegrate stuff with a phaser, but that runs the power cell down quickly (uses multiple charges). Assume they start with just a small one (type 1?) that can only "cast" disintegrate 2 or 3 times before its out of juice (although that still might be a lot if there are enough players). Off the top of my head, assume it can also stun (cast sleep, choose level based on how big a creature you want them putting to sleep) and heat things (heat metal) for few charges (allowing it to last longer). No area effects - if they decide to phaser down a phalanx of skeletons they'll be wasting a lot of their potential. And remind your players that they're enlightened Federation officers, so sleep-and-coup-de-grace is a frowned-upon practice. Those mindflayers are misunderstood aliens and it would be awful to murder one like that.

 

Depending on the length of the game they'll either have to carefully conserve charges or switch to D&D weapons sooner or later and that will force them into some interesting tactics, but they still get some future science shock and awe against an over-confident enemy if they're selective.

 

If you decide you need to limit which characters have phasers, they got stranded while not expecting to be an away team. Maybe a transporter accident or lost shuttle during a ship-to-ship transfer. The security guy or commander might have their sidearms, but maybe the science officer and engineer don't.

 

As for the trekkers using magic, you might allow the right character to do a sort of "use magical device" check based on their scientific knowledge of primitive folklore or something like that, e.g. Mr. Spock figures out how to make the wand of fireballs work despite it being totally illogical.

 

 

Speaking of how they get stranded in the first place, I'm thinking they're meddled with by "aliens" who are D&D monsters, maybe by sending them to the aliens' past, or they're infiltrating the D&D planet or something. That way the premise ties to the overall plot instead of just randomly getting lost and phasering a dragon (not that there'd be anything wrong with that).

 

Agreed on the tricorders. (In 5th edition I'd treat them like tools/kits that allow a proficient character to add their proficiency bonus to a roll.)

 

Communications - just let them use their communicators unless conditions specifically prevent them. If they split up their party they're all at the table anyway, so everybody's going to know what's going on. Exceptions would be that it takes an action in combat to use the device, and you might decide they can't be used deep underground or something.

 

If you are going for a longer, possibly multiple session one-shot, I'd consider dividing it into three "acts" and have the character level up each act (ignoring XP), giving additional bonuses and proficiencies for dealing with the D&D world (e.g. they gain proficiency in D&D weapons, increase use magical device bonuses, etc), and ratchet up the action each act in accordance with the traditional Trek episode structure...

 

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Have you looked into Pathfinder's Technology Guide?

 

It could give you an idea as to how to handle technology.

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How they got there:

 

Out past the interface between Klingon & Romulan space, a Feddie CA finds an extremely low albedo Dyson Sphere, detectable only because of low-band infra-red leaking out into the surrounding space (they "stumble" upon it, explaining why neither Klingons nor Romulans were able to find it!). Beaming down to the inner surface, they discover a world exactly like the D&D-verse, but at a grand scale. The big secret is that it was created by a group of post-Humans from Earth's distant past, that pose as gods & created this environment for scientific/social experimentation, or just fun. It is saturated with nano-bots so any magic or magical creatures are just manipulations of the nano-network if you know the ways (thus allowing the PCs to take levels of wizard FREX).

 

Then, hilarity ensues!

 

Damon.

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Phasers?  Naw.  Go full on, stuck in the holodeck style.  Safeties turned off so they may have some futuristic (or current) knowledge and skills, but they only have access to medieval/fantastic materials and tech.

Some rogue intelligence (a ghost in the machine, a la the Dr. Moriarty story line) affects the system somehow as he/she/they/it can't stand the existential dilemma of being just a bunch of bits of data and ceasing to exist when the game is turned off.

Or you could really mess with players and have some of them actually trapped in another person/entity's holodeck program (I forget the character's name now--kind of nerdy, aloof, imagined Riker as being very short, and had a thing for the bridge ladies--but he'd work).  So some of your players would actually be ghosts, or programs (though they'd very likely believe they were real) while others would be the actual characters they're playing.  Ride it out as a mystery if you want.

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Which era of Trek are we talking?  That will have some implications on the tech and possible story hooks.

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1 hour ago, BLZeebub said:

Phasers?  Naw.  Go full on, stuck in the holodeck style.  Safeties turned off so they may have some futuristic (or current) knowledge and skills, but they only have access to medieval/fantastic materials and tech.

Some rogue intelligence (a ghost in the machine, a la the Dr. Moriarty story line) affects the system somehow as he/she/they/it can't stand the existential dilemma of being just a bunch of bits of data and ceasing to exist when the game is turned off.

Or you could really mess with players and have some of them actually trapped in another person/entity's holodeck program (I forget the character's name now--kind of nerdy, aloof, imagined Riker as being very short, and had a thing for the bridge ladies--but he'd work).  So some of your players would actually be ghosts, or programs (though they'd very likely believe they were real) while others would be the actual characters they're playing.  Ride it out as a mystery if you want.

While I like this idea, I don't believe this is what my players are hoping for. I'd like them to be in the "real" D&D world. So, a hook I've seen in the show that is similar to the idea I'm going for would be the alternate universe seen in DS9.

 

43 minutes ago, Sergeant_Crunch said:

Which era of Trek are we talking?  That will have some implications on the tech and possible story hooks.

I'm only really familiar with DS9 and Voyager, so around that era, just for the sake of the DM not being totally lost. 

 

1 hour ago, Lars Porsenna said:

How they got there:

 

Out past the interface between Klingon & Romulan space, a Feddie CA finds an extremely low albedo Dyson Sphere, detectable only because of low-band infra-red leaking out into the surrounding space (they "stumble" upon it, explaining why neither Klingons nor Romulans were able to find it!). Beaming down to the inner surface, they discover a world exactly like the D&D-verse, but at a grand scale. The big secret is that it was created by a group of post-Humans from Earth's distant past, that pose as gods & created this environment for scientific/social experimentation, or just fun. It is saturated with nano-bots so any magic or magical creatures are just manipulations of the nano-network if you know the ways (thus allowing the PCs to take levels of wizard FREX).

 

Then, hilarity ensues!

 

Damon.

What you have sounds interesting, but I'm a bit lost on what you are referring to, having only seen *most* of DS9 and some Voyager. 

 

@lazylich Your suggestions are interesting. I didn't want to quote your post - would your suggestions work well even if I had my players create their "own" crew?

 

3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

If it were me, I'd try to keep the Star Trek guys as close to the way they are in the show as possible. The game would be about the interface between their world and the D&D world. (Which is sort of the canonical Star Trek show anyway.) How will the advanced technology and "enlightened" attitudes work when confronted with monsters and magic?

 

As to mechanical effects, I'd start by matching their capabilities to D&D characters of the level you're planning the game to match, and try to differentiate by flavor. For example, I'd treat phasers as doing total damage in a round similar to that of a buffed archer of the appropriate level, though probably with fewer shots (one shot for 3d6 + 12 at full hit prob rather than three shots for 1d6 + 5 each with a varying hit prob, for example). Tricorders would have a skill roll to use and wouldn't be blocked by much, but wouldn't pick up magic at all. Highly trained crewmembers would have lots of skill points, but few special abilities.

 

My take, anyway.

That idea for handling the tricorders would work pretty well...

 

For everyone: to put my request into context, my understanding of the Star Trek verse comes from the following sources:

-DS9

-Voyager

-Original Series: Trouble with Tribbles episode

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4 minutes ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

would your suggestions work well even if I had my players create their "own" crew?

 

I think so. Treat branch/shirt color as a "class" - Command, Science, Medical, Engineering, Security and decide who gets proficiency in what bits of gear, hand to hand combat, etc. Then you can get the traditional trek tropes associated with some mechanics without constraining your players' character creation too much. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Paradoxical Mouse said:

What you have sounds interesting, but I'm a bit lost on what you are referring to, having only seen *most* of DS9 and some Voyager. 

 

 

Most of that I just made up. But it's a campaign idea I always wanted to do: a mix of fantasy with a hard-SF background. By setting it between the Roms & the Klingons you can get some shenanigans going with them too, as they show up to see WHAT exactly the Feddies are doing. Imagine Klingon warriors skirmishing with Orcs? Sounds like an encounter in the making!

 

Damon.

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If you really want to turn the silly to 11, map Trek aliens to D&D humanoids - Klingon hobgoblins, Vulcan elves and Romulan drow, Cardassian Gith, Ferengi gnomes, Gorn lizardmen... then ask why all those aliens have been collected on one primitive planet for a long time. Heck, if you're a DS9 fan maybe there's a race of evil mimics taking over...

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There was a Star Trek animated series episode that dealt with this called "The Magicks of Megas-Tu ". Check youtube for some inspiration.

 

Halber

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I really, really hate to say it, but... don't forget the Holodeck.

 

Have a game within a game, with the players playing Star Trek characters that are playing D&D (25th edition) - you don't need to try to fit the same rules, since it is being handled by the ship's computer.

 

Then put in complications that affect the ship as well as the game - perhaps the Great Demon Gax begins haunting the crew decks....

 

The Auld Grump

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I don't have it.  Amarillo games released game supplements for Starfleet Battles RPG using D20 modern rules. 

 

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