New Mechanics and Smaller Changes

By Nathan Dowdell, 2d20 System Developer
Art by Tobias Richter


The previous posts have described a number of the bigger changes made in second edition Star Trek™ Adventures, but we’ve made a number of smaller quality-of-life changes as well. Here are just a few of my favorite tweaks and refinements:

  • PASTIMES: Every player character now chooses a pastime during character creation, which should represent a hobby, interest, or activity the character pursues when off-duty. This is the character’s main pastime, the one they spend a lot of time engaging with or thinking about, and the one that’s most important to them (at least, for the time being, as people’s interests change over time). This is unlikely to come up on a task; it can be treated as an additional focus on those occasions where being an expert on 22nd century Tellarite literature or the history of Romulan mystery cults is relevant in play.

  • SPECIES ABILITIES: Every species now receives a single distinct ability in addition to the choice of species talents a character has during character creation. This was implemented partly to avoid situations such as with Betazoid telepathy, where a species had a potent ability that took up a talent choice, but also to help lean into making characters ‘feel’ more like the iconic species in a way raw numbers can’t represent. Andorians are more intense and driven, Vulcans are more disciplined and stoic, and Humans benefit from a little Faith of the Heart to drive them toward adventure.

  • EXPANDED SHIP OPTIONS: All player ships now have a Service Record option, giving the ship an extra trait and special rule reflecting the history and legacy the vessel has or doesn’t have. Is your ship a relic from the last century? Or a legendary ship continuing a proud legacy? Is it a state-of-the-art prototype, full of potential and unforeseen glitches? Now these things can matter.

  • TERRAIN: Crossing or circumventing difficult terrain and physical obstacles is now far simpler and requires less die rolling: as you move, you spend Momentum to move through the hindering terrain. If you don’t have enough Momentum, you can add to Threat instead—taking a risk while traversing an obstacle—or you can take an action to generate the Momentum you intend to use to cross the terrain. This applies to ships too: a starship navigating a debris field, nebula, or gravity well is resolved in exactly the same way as a person wading through water or clambering over a wall.

  • TAKE COVER!: A defensible position no longer provides Protection, but instead makes you harder to attack overall, by letting you turn an enemy ranged attack into an opposed task. More than that, if you’re defending against a ranged attack and win the opposed test, you get the opportunity to counterattack. A defensible position is invaluable, potentially allowing a few combatants to fend off many, and an entrenched foe can be a serious tactical challenge to overcome.

  • BE MORE DIRECT: The Direct action can now be used as often as you want, letting commanding characters oversee their comrades more effectively, if they’re willing to pay the price: you’ll need to spend Momentum each time you Direct an ally. Micro-managing your away team might limit their potential…

Pre-order your copy of the second edition Star Trek Adventures core rulebook now in standard format or one of three limited edition covers!


2nd Edition Core Rulebook:

2nd Edition Core Rulebook (Command):

2nd Edition Core Rulebook (Sciences):

2nd Edition Core Rulebook (Operations):


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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