The Tools of War

By Al Spader, Star Trek Adventures Contributing Writer
Art by Sibylle Hell


Perhaps the greatest thing about the 2d20 System is its flexibility. While the rules of Star Trek Adventures can be as detailed or as light as a group wants them to be, some players enjoy more immersive mechanics and options. The Federation-Klingon War Tactical Campaign gave us an opportunity to include more detailed rules around both hand-to-hand and space combat in order to provide a more cinematic experience for the players.

With a dozen pages of rules options to choose from, the book offers the option of introducing a new action type known as a reaction. Each character has 1 Reaction per round and may use it at any time. With this variant, making attack actions opposed uses a character’s Reaction. Several other options are provided for using a character’s Reaction, such as diving for cover.

From there, several types of initiative variants are presented, allowing characters to have set initiatives or to roll for their initiative. This section also provides a variant of ship-to-ship initiative where lower-Scale ships activate first and ties are broken based on the ship’s Command rating.

We have also adapted a simplified multiple ship combat system from the Homeworld: Revelations RPG. This system gives each player an opportunity to control their own ship as part of a larger conflict. Borrowing the crew quality concept from the simplified gamemaster ship combat in the Star Trek Adventures core rulebook, this allows everyone controlling a ship to have a simple set of statistics to use for their rolls. 

The tactical campaign also provides a unique variant to help the ship’s engineer stay engaged on every turn of space combat. In the assigning ship power variant, the engineer assigns power points to each system and tasks assisted by those systems remove power from their assigned points instead of a general power pool. This variant allows for a more interactive power distribution story amidst a space battle.

Additionally, we have included a type of modified extended task to use during a chase or pursuit scene in an episode. Allowing the narrative to drive difficulties and dice rolls to influence both Pace and Distance, the chase mechanic adds a degree of story intensity to the conflict that many may find satisfying and unique.

Finally, we have included rules for stealth missions when sneaking behind enemy lines or in an enemy stronghold, adapted from the 2d20 System SRD. These rules introduce the concept of stealth states, which include hidden, detected, and revealed. We even include a list of actions and how likely they are to reveal your presence to the enemy. To offset these rules, we have also included rules for using your senses to detect hidden enemies when sensors are inoperative.

This toolkit of options allows the gamemaster and players to cultivate the type of story they’d like to tell. While these tools are presented in a book about war, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used for regular missions and campaigns if everyone agrees to them. The key is to discuss what options the group wishes to use during a Session 0 and to have the flexibility to add or remove rules variants as players wish throughout their campaigns.

Order your copy of The Federation-Klingon War Tactical Campaign now in either print or PDF and start creating your own Star Trek wartime stories!



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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