Running Star Trek using 4e D&D
I mean, how hard can it be?
That was my off the cuff idea I threw into the twitterverse, and the more I thought about it, and others jumped onto me asking the difficult questions, the less is seemed like a stupid idea, and the more it became a darned good one.
Which probably says a lot about the people I hang around with on Twitter. Blame this one on newbiedm, spankeddm, phaezen, paulbaalham, markmeredith, SnarlsAtFleas, deadorcs, symatt and the rest (and if I’ve missed anyone, please drop a link to your Twitterfeed into the comments, ‘kay?).
Here’s what we have so far. Please feel free to add, amend, make suggestions, toss insults and generally help turn this into something usable.
Character generation is much like Gama World, except PCs are created using Race (Human, Romulan, Klingon…) + Branch (Medical, Engineering, Navigation, Security, etc) rather than two Origins. The combination of Race + Branch provides your character’s key attributes and abilities.
As this is Star Trek, the emphasis is on using Skill Challenges (combined with great role-playing, as always) to solve problems. And when that fails, there’s always Ship Combat!
Ships are generated using the Monster Building rules.The have their own Armour Class (which represents shields and plating), hit points and abilities. Ships could be Lurkers (such as the iconic Romulan Warbird, below), Brutes (most Klingon craft), Artillery (ships with particularly long-ranged weaponry), etc. Minion Spaceships are perfect laser cannon fodder.
Here’s a quick, sloppy and most likely wildly inaccurate example, just to give you an idea.
Scale is non linear. One-man ships (such as an X-Wing) are Small, The Enterprise is Large and the Death Star (from Star Wars, but bear with me on this) is at least Huge. Elite and Solo is reserved for spaceships with advanced technology or equipment that makes them significantly more dangerous than the norm. The Death Star would make a fantastic Solo Elite (complete with swarms of Tie Fighter Minions. Booyah.)
Combat is as per 4e D&D, but with Spaceships. In addition to their own characters, the players share control of the Spaceship. Combat is carried out in Ship Initiative order with each character responsible for his or her console at the Bridge. For example, the Navigator can move while Engineering monitors (and repairs) the shields. The Captain has give orders, but it’s up to the crew to interpret them (or obey them at all).
As with characters & monsters, a Spaceship can take one Minor, Move and Standard Action per turn.
Each square on the battlegrid may represent hundreds (or thousands – I’m vague on Star trek scale) of kilometres. “Melee” weapons are close-range attacks usable within visual distance (tractor beams, short-range torpedoes, sensor pods, etc) while longer-ranged weaponry is classified as Ranged.
Now it’s your turn
What do you think so far? Good idea? Stupid one? What can you add to it? Feed me comments!
I’ll leave the last word to dazedsaveends:
Black Hole (Level 8 Hazard) Close burst 10, +10 vs. Fortitude, target is pulled 3 squares & immobilized (save ends).
UPDATE: Over at Dice Monkey, Mark has started work on the Race and Classes. Check it out!