A First Look at Star Trek™ Adventures Second Edition

By Nathan Dowdell, 2d20 System Developer
Art by Paolo Puggioni


Developing the second edition of Star Trek Adventures was a big challenge. On the one hand, revisiting a game I’d designed was a great opportunity…but, unlike when I’d designed the first edition, I had more than my own expectations to contend with: the game has many dedicated fans now, and I would have to account for their existing enjoyment of the first edition.

But, you came here because you want to know what has changed. Following is a summary of the key elements of second edition. More detail on each topic to come in future blog posts. 

  • Cleaned up and refined presentation of the rules. The core mechanics are essentially the same, but we have years more experience with not only Star Trek Adventures but also other 2d20 System games to refine and improve upon how those mechanics are explained and presented on the page (and, yes, the pages are white with black text now).
  • Lessons learned. A lot of the guidance and advice we came up with for the Player’s Guide and Gamemaster’s Guide from a few years ago has been refined and worked into the core of the game.
  • Expanded guidance on and use of the traits mechanic. This was an element which was devised during development of 1st edition, but which was a little under-developed at the time, and not used as fully or as effectively as they could have been. In particular, player characters now have a handful of extra traits to help define their place in the universe.
  • No challenge dice. The game now only uses 20-sided dice: no more challenge dice. Damage in combat has been revised to account for this change, as have extended tasks (and extended consequences, which were introduced in the Gamemaster’s Guide and have been added to the core rules).
  • A wealth of character options. We’ve included 14 character species in the core book, including Cardassians, Ferengi, Klingons, Orions, and Romulans. We’ve added lifepath options for enlisted crew, intelligence operatives, diplomats, and a variety of civilian backgrounds to join the Starfleet officers of the first edition. An expanded list of character roles, and the existing ones from first edition have been made more impactful and interesting to use.
  • Punchier, more evocative talents. Character talents across the board have been tweaked to make their effects more interesting and dramatic, especially the ones that were perhaps a little bland before. In addition, every character species has a distinct ability separate from their talent options, to help rebalance species and avoid situations like the Betazoids and Klingons who had to take ‘mandatory’ talents.
  • Updated advancement and reputation rules. The well-received rules for character advancement and reputation first featured in The Klingon Empire core rulebook are present in the new edition.
  • Revised starship mechanics. Starship mechanics build on the same basic core as they always have: the ship as an extra character that assists the crew. Many elements have been adjusted, partly to reduce how much extra tracking needs to be performed during play, and partly to make actions and choices more impactful and meaningful, especially for those characters not flying the ship or firing phasers.

We’ll be going into more detail on most of these topics in future blog posts, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for news about other upcoming Star Trek Adventures product releases. Live long and prosper! 


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