Star Trek: Discovery actors play D&D as a creative storytelling outlet

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Great idea. IMO they should run through movie and show scripts in an RPG format to see if the plot makes any fucking sense.


Wasn’t there an actual Star Trek RPG?


“I’m such an overthinker. And I’m so fearful of bad outcomes,” Coutts says. "But I do things impulsively in this game and think, ‘It’s probably not going to be that bad.’ And even if it is, it kind of just becomes another fun problem we get to figure out.

Sounds like a dream player!


Back in the day there was Star Fleet Battles, which was more of a war gaming strategy ship game.

I don’t recall an RPG game… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

Star Wars, on the other hand…


Pretty sure that’d be the last thing they would want to play…

There was at least one: fumbled through character creation with a friend one time, and there was a definite issue with “Why wouldn’t everyone want to be Vulcans?”

Used d100 stats if I remember correctly.

I loved the West End version, with all its warts. There was a d20 one as well? Just didn’t seem as suited to the feel of the universe.


Why does there always have to be some supposed ‘fan’ of the show always bitching about something in the show? Especially when its really unrelated to the subject at hand (which is really cool)


There is a current Star Trek RPG from Modiphius. It has got a fair amount of support.


Several. I remember playing through an adventure from this one.

There were others, too, including GURPS Prime Directive.

Part of this exercise was probably to flex their acting muscles in a different setting, though, and it’s cool that:

the moralistic core of any Star Trek iteration is alive in their game, investigating problem-solving without violence.

The spirit of Roddenberry’s approach to storytelling is something I’d like to see present in more RPG adventures and their players/GMs.


FASA made one, and then there was GURPS Prime Directive, based on the Star Fleet Battles setting since its license was free from Paramount.

Yes, I have the FASA one, and lots of its supplements. Never got Prime Directive, as I stuck to GURPS Traveller instead.


West End, IMO, had the superior world building and reference material. The system was a bit clunky. I did streamline combat for our players when they were going up against troopers and other fodder like characters. Had like a hit placement chart that lead to faster kills, but also helped characters more likely suffer a non-critical hit. In some cases it made for some interesting cybernetic replacements.

I still have all my old books, and been thinking about getting more.

I tried to a game with the D20, but not in a good spot to game, so that soured the experience some.

One thing the West End game did was basically not allow Jedi, or rather really limit them to quixotic or complete neophytes. At least originally. Jedi were super rare, mysterious people, like in the original movies.

Depends what we are talking about. Nerds are never happy. But also, that doesn’t excuse horrible, confusing writing, or writing that goes against the original feel and “mission” of a show.

I sincerely think if more writers ran through their story ideas with either play testers, or better yet the actors, they would end up with better story lines. Actors who are invested in their character are often times in a better position to know how their character would react, or what they would do. Dice rolls also add a level of “I tried to do this, and screwed it up, or did really good!” which subverts expectations.

But more over, it would hopefully reduce story lines where if you step back 10 feet you go, “Why the hell are they doing this this way? It makes no sense.”

I’m outta the loop!

Ohhh. FASA did the Star Fleet Battles. I don’t recall seeing this game, but, you know, I didn’t see all of it.


No, mate, “Tales From The Loop” is produced by Fria Ligan :wink:


Yet all you seem to be complaining about is not present in Discovery. Or at least you haven’t provided a single instance or evidence of such. To claim that DSC doesn’t make sense or goes against the ‘mission’ of what makes Star Trek what it is shows one doesn’t actually watch the show or is so close minded on their gatekeeping they cant even accept that Trek is many things to many people.

Do the characters make strange decisions some time? Sure, but not any more than any other Trek.

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FASA lost the license to Start Trek right when TNG started on the air.


I love the idea. I’d say, “Just have one other person read it!”, but that person would probably be another screenwriter, and I get the feeling that screenwriters as a class are derived from people with a logic phobia.

In theory some screenplays get cast read-throughs, I wonder if that helps.

I think Philip K. Dick did essentially this by running his stories through the I Ching. Didn’t improve plot integrity! But then, that wasn’t the point.


You’re describing the process of theatre.


My comments was in general, nearly all media could benefit from this exericse. It boggles my mind multimedia movies and shows put out content where no one looked it over and said, “This doesn’t make sense.” Often times it is small changes that can make everything fall into shape better. For example, we just had a post about the original Edit of Star Wars and what a godawful mess it was. Thank god Lucas had people like Spielberg and Brian DePalma were there to point this out and forced a re-edit. (And thank god for the talented editors who made it work).

But if we wanna talk about Discovery specifically:

No, it is quite a diversion from original Trek or TNG Trek. Now I don’t blame Discovery by itself, it is has been a slow and steady slide from a show about optimistic exploration, and devolved into pessimistic war and action. Now maybe people like this direction, and that is fine. No gatekeeping, you can like whatever you want. If you think Discovery is perfect as is, uh, great.

Now granted I have only seen the first season, but I was so disillusioned with it, I was like, “Why subject myself to the next one?”

I did like many of the characters and a lot of the design. I even managed to suspend belief this uber slick and dark look was a bit before TOS. But I didn’t like several of the story lines and while Trek stories don’t always make perfect sense, they rarely leave me with the alarm bells in my head that distracts from enjoying the show.

As for other areas where we could weed out things that don’t make sense, how about the initial reboot movie. There were a ton of things in that movie where the perils involved didn’t make sense. I don’t have the time to re-familiarize myself with the movie and rant about complaints, but many of them are self evident.

And not that Star Trek is alone - the Star Wars sequels are a convoluted mess, even if they are slick looking.

Like I said, I think if you can’t run through a script with live actors role playing it and can’t make things happen fairly naturally, then events and plot points will feel shoe horned in.

And same with fantastic tech and dues ex machina moments. Trek has always had fantastic tech, but there gets to be a point where it is too silly. Often times same events with different explanations would work better.

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I didn’t know about this, do you have more details handy?

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I clicked on this story expecting Anthony Rapp to be involved, and I was not disappointed. He’s a major gamer. Wasn’t sure if he was into RPGs, but years ago on a podcast he talked about how much time he would sink into videogames. He almost obsesses, needing to get platinum achievements on Playstation games. His trophy collection proves it.


Interesting. I knew it was a plot aspect of “Man in the High Castle”, but it looks like he did use it to write the book, too.

VERTEX: Do you use the I Ching as a plotting device in your work?

DICK: Once. I used it in The Man in the High Castle because a number of characters used it. In each case when they asked a question, I threw the coins and wrote the hexagram lines they got. That governed the direction of the book. Like in the end when Juliana Frink is deciding whether or not to tell Hawthorne Abensen that he is the target of assassins, the answer indicated that she should. Now if it had said not to tell him, I would have had her not go there. But I would not do that in any other book.

Dick’s wild plots were more compelling than any that would result from required story approval by fanbois. The fan service, GamemasterAnthony’s Birthday Parties, detailed technical exposition, and Mary Sue/Marty Sue characters they’d insist on would make most shows unwatchable.