Star Trek: At The Edge of Empire
Adjusting Ashen Stars for Star Trek
Ashen Stars can be used for investigative Roleplaying in space faring sci-fi settings. On its face, the game runs closer to Firefly than Star Trek. A group of 4 or 5 sleuths-slash-sheriffs for hire in the wild west of space, maintaining an arsenal, a ship and a reputation with whatever they pull in from their bounties – or other means.
While the Star Trek universe could host such a game, the default mode is arguably as the “bridge crew” of a Starfleet vessel.
As such, equipment lists and upkeep costs for such can be thrown out. After all, the characters get a universal translator, tricorders and phasers for free. (Oh, also a ship, probably.)
For the most part, bolt-ons can be ignored, too. (Although some Starfleet starships are ‘modular’, so it could be worth exploring once players are familiar with the basics of space-combat, etc.)
Special skills or equipment like “Dream Sight”, “Farsight”, and vibroware should be used as a means of realizing various races.
For example, androids, liberated borg or even a tech-implanted human (see Geordi LaForge) could utilize the vibroware/enhancement integration rules.
Additionaly, if a given ‘vibroware enhancement’ mimics the abilities of a given species, it’s easier to ‘go with the flow’ of the system, rather than create something new. Example: Orions and Stimulust.
However, not every race needs a special skill set. For example, there’s little difference between a non-joined trill and a human.
Klingons can choose between humans or something similar to the Tavak, complete with the “Resist Battle Frenzy” trait.
A betazoid’s telepathic/empathic abilities are encapsulated by
- Neural Sight
- Consciousness Simulation
- Psychic Vitality
Unjoined Trill may as well be humans. But joined trill could use the Kch-Thk’s ‘Migrate Consciousness’ trait.
Vulcans are similar to the balla. Although some tweaking probably needs to be added for various bits. Also, probably, Psychic Vitality, Emotion Suppression.
Changes to Skill Loadouts
History / Culture Investigative Skills
It seems to be a genre-convention that the representative of a given species is the font of said species’ history; so all of the history/culture skills are going to be condensed into a general History skill. The first dot, which every character gets for free, is for their races’ history. More dots in the skill would mean knowing other, specific histories – but I’m not sure if it’ll be worth the investment in my games.
Helm Control, Ground Craft, Shuttlecraft
They’re all merged into the Helm Control skill.
Business Affairs & Public Relations
Merged, since there’s little need for either in a Starfleet-based game, may as well just use as one.
Imaging & Holo-surveillance
Probably best relegated to Anthropology and/or Archeology. (Given universal translators.)
The base ship will be built to relative specs as the storyteller decides; but upkeep, etc. probably won’t be used – but maybe there’s a way to balance crew, etc. into it. But, like I was saying – don’t worry about it.
Also, stellar navigation, etc. checks are only useful for moments of tension.
While this could be used with some adjustments, for now we’re just going to ignore it.