Thursday, July 30, 2015

FASA Star Trek Designer's notes and interview link with Guy McLimore

I can't remember where I got this from, but these are Q&A with the creators of the FASA Star Trek RPG, a game I lovingly played in the 80s. Posting them for the fun of it and before it gets lost to history.

Audio of an interview where he discusses developing the Star Trek RPG. How he got into designing tabletop RPGs, Working with Paramount and FASA on a licensed game; Why he stopped working with FASA; The designing of Star Trek: The Role-Playing Game; A wonderful story about meeting Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett; The Star Trek universe; Technology and media, plus content distribution, Why the Star Trek love


*Designers Comments on FASA STAR TREK*
Compiled by Mark FASAST
Last updated on 06/07/11


*Stardate Magazine N1- INTRODUCTION*

*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

This wilI be a regular feature of STARDATE, featuring rules questions
about STAR TREK THE ROLE PLAYING GAME and related products. The system's
designers and developers will address queries' on rules interpretation.
Our replies can be considered ''official'' for the present; though we
reserve the right to establish different rule clarifications in later
expansions, if necessary. Even so, feel free to make whatever rules
modifications you wish in your own games! (''infinite Diversity in
Infinite Combinations...'')

The appearance of this column does NOT mean we have given up our,
efforts to personally answer all letters sent to us. Sometimes it takes
a bit of time, but we WILL get back to you. (Letters DO go astray
occasionally, however, so write again if you fear your letter might have
been lost.) Meanwhile, you can help by sending rules questions in a
separate envelope to ASK STARFLEET COMMAND at the address listed at the
end of this article. (Be sure to put ASK STARFLEET COMMAND on the
envelope...) General comments on ' the game, suggestions for future
work, friendly words, and other communications are also welcomed by us
at Fantasimulations, but send communications about the magazine's other
features to STARDATE in separate letters.

Also, when a questions answers by one of the co-designers, the answer
will be signed by him. This first column will address itself to some
commonly-asked questions from the mail we've been receiving. On to the


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Why does certain material in ST:RPG conflict with things stated in

A. There are several reasons for variances between ST:RPG and other
licensed book material. For one thing, it is our feeling that much of
the published material in these two works is not consistent with the
Star Trek universe as established in the TV series and films. Also,
Franz Joseph's approach (in the Tech Manual) to Star Fleet as a military
unit (especially as evidenced by the Dreadnought design) is not in
keeping with the design team's ideas on Star Fleet's role. If the
individual player or Gamemaster wishes to adopt material from these
works, or others, be our guest. We, as designers, have different
philosophies and speculations about the history and technology of the
STAR TREK universe, and we will stick with them. As player, adopt
whatever you like best.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Why are there no rules in the basic game for accumulation of
"experience points" (or a similar system) toward increases in rank for
player characters?

A. For one thing, among top officers, an increase in rank would often
require a transfer to another ship. Commander Spock, for instance, could
not become a full Captain without being moved off the Enterprise. .(Or
until Kirk was promoted out, which is indeed what happened...) This
tends to break up campaign groups. (Of course, a person in this position
could turn down the promotion, as Spock is rumored to have done on
several occasions.)

Most important, however, is our feeling that promotions are too
important to be left to an arbitrary experience system. Only a
Gamemaster can look over a campaign and see where a character has
performed in such an exemplary manner (and gained sufficient experience
as an officer) to merit promotion. In this respect, the Gamemaster takes
the ''role'' of Starfleet Command superiors, examining the reports filed
by the candidate's fellow officers as well as the officer's service
record before deciding to offer a promotion.

Gamemasters should not promote characters too quickly. It would be
unusual in the extreme for a promotion to come along before the officer
had spent at least a year at her/his current rank. If the character has
a satisfactory performance record at a low-grade rank (Ensign or
Lieutenant J.G.) for a year or so, good recommendations from superiors,
and perhaps a 'commendation 'or two, then and only then will promotion
likely be offered. For higher grades, promotions come more slowly and
require more evidence of excellence. Generally, a promotion above full
Lieutenant would not come for two years or more. Promotions above
Lieutenant Commander are rarely made on Constitution class vessels
except between 5-year tours of duty. (Spock promoted. from Lieutenant
Commander to Commander during the voyage, was an exception.)

Very rarely, a character may be offered a promotion as a resulted a
special instance of extreme heroism or demonstration of professional
excellence under extreme conditions. Such efforts are more often
rewarded by such honors as the Star Fleet Citation for Conspicuous
Gallantry or Legion of Merit.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. If two players simultaneously declare that they wish to make
opportunity actions, which goes first? How many actions may be taken in
a row before the person whose turn is being worked out may continue?

A. If two players on the same ''side'' declare simultaneous actions,
they may decide between themselves who acts first. lf opponents declare
at the same time, the figure with the highest DEX attribute acts first
(unless the Gamemaster rules that special conditions present would delay
the action).

If an opportunity action is declared, it takes place as soon as the
player currently acting (on his turn) completes the single action now in
progress. Moving one hex is a single action, so an opportunity action
can interrupt movement in the middle. The interrupting figure gets ONE
action (one shot from a ready weapon, move one square, etc.); then the
character whose turn is in progress may make another action before being
interrupted again. If more than one character interrupts, each
interrupting character gets ONE action before the character whose turn
is in progress gets to continue. (Thus, a character running across a
room full of enemies may be stopped in the middle and fired upon by all
enemies present with ready weapons, but each can only fire ONCE before
the character can continue. )

One exception can be made, as the Gamemaster desires. If a player is
trying to dash across a short stretch of open area, avoiding gunfire to
seek shelter, the Gamemaster may rule that he can be interrupted for
fire combat only ONCE per opponent even though the character may move
several squares. Use common sense in applying this rule. If the area to
be crossed is large, the Gamemaster may want to allow two or three shots
per opponent.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Why don't the phasers in ST:RPG have a wide-angle stun setting as was
shown in several episodes?

A. The newest editions of the game will contain this rule, and it can
also be found in the pullouts with the ST:RPG Gamemaster's screen.

Briefly, it works like this'. A wide-angle stun shot affects all targets
in three CONNECTED squares (any pattern chosen by. the attacker). AII
targets must be within the stated SHORT range of the weapon, and a clear
line-of-sight must be drawn to EACH TARGET SQUARE. A wide- angle stun
shot drains FOUR TIMES as much power as a standard stun shot.

A separate To Hit roll must be made for all affected targets. If the
roll fails, the target is missed (or at least unaffected), even though
targets on either side (or in the same square) may be hit. A 20 point
bonus is applied, however, to all wide angle stun to Hit rolls.

Only phaser-type energy weapons (not disruptors, police stunners,
blasters, etc.) have this setting, and it works only with the stun
setting. (Wide angle heat is possible, but it does no damage to normal
living targets...) Resetting a weapon for ' wide-angle stun requires
performing a ''reset weapon'' settings action, as does returning the
angle setting to normal. There is no ''wide angle heavy stun'' setting.

By the way, since we just mentioned the Gamemaster's screen, let me also
point out that the weapons tables in the screen and pullouts contain
data for old-style laser weapons, police stunners, and stunclubs, all of
which were mentioned in TRADER CAPTAINS AND MERCHANT PRINCES. We also
included weapons statistics for the Mark II Phaser weapons, as used in
the STAR TREK movies. Using this data you can get a head start on our
upcoming movie supplement.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Must a ship have a ''sensor lock'' on an opposing vessel to fire on
it? Can several ships be ''sensor locked'' at once? Can a ship whose
sensors are temporarily inoperative fire weapons?

A. A sensor lock is not necessary to fire at a visible target, under
normal conditions. Thus, more than one ship can be targeted in a given
turn. A sensor' lock must be present, however, to monitor the results of
fire. Thus, if no sensor lock is present, a firing vessel cannot
determine whether or not a shot did . any damage, or what type of damage
is done, and such information should then be determined secretly by the
Gamemaster and not told to the firing vessel's crew. Only one ship can
be ''sensor locked'' at a time.

Even so, a ship with its sensors temporarily inoperative (due to battle'
damaged) cannot bring weapons to bear at all! This is because sensor
systems are used to aim weapons, even though a '' lock'' is not required.

In the case of a ship that is not visible (such as a cloaked Romulan
vessel), a sensor lock is necessary for direct fire. If the ship was
visible (or sensor locked) last turn, a try can be made for a sensor
lock for the subsequent turn. If the lock is successful, the ship is
sensor locked and' can be fired upon until it moves.

Once an invisible ship has moved, a saving roll on Ship's Sensors skill
by the Science Officer is necessary to maintain the lock for firing
purposes. If the roll succeeds, you continue to track the ship and may
continue firing. If the lock is lost, it cannot be regained unless the
ship scans blindly.

A blind scan can be made for an invisible vessel at the beginning of any
turn. Blind scans are made in a general direction conforming to one
firing arc of the ship (either forward, aft, starboard, or port). The
saving roll is made at a 40 point penalty. lf the roll is successful,
the hex where the invisible ship is located is identified, and a sensor
lock may be attempted.This scan method will reveal only one invisible
vessel (the closest), even if two or more are present in that sensor arc.

Remember that cloaked vessels cannot be in cloak the same turn that they
fire weapons. The can return to ! the cloak at the beginning of the next
turn. Remember also that a sensor lock or blind scan cannot be made if
the sensors are inoperative or the Science Officer (or other officer
delegated to operate sensors on your ship) is temporarily unable to


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. In STRPG. you mentioned alien hybrids such as Vulcan/Human. Is it
possible to have a Vulcan/Romulan or Human/Romulan crossbreed? This
example was set by Lt. Saavik in STAR TREK II.

A. Yes, Vulcan/Romulan hybrids are quite possible, as Lt. Saavik's
existence makes clear'. Vulcans and Romulans are physically quite
simiIar, and such crosses require no special genetic restructuring.
Human/Romulan hybrids are theoretically possible but would require very
special laboratory help and genetic tailoring as was used by Ambassador
Sarek and Amende Grayson to produce Spock, a Vulcan/Human hybrid. There
are no recorded instances of persons within the Federation who are of
mixed Romulan/Human heritage.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Was Lt, Uhura born in the United States of America or Africa? On page
20 it says she was born in the "United States of Africa ". (A misprint.
I believe...)

A. The United States of Africa is Lt. Uhura's correct birthplace. This
nation evolved by STAR TREK'S time from a coalition of smaller
independent African nations and includes much of Central and Western
Africa. The United States of Africa has Swahili as its official
language, and it is an economically strong country by STAR TREK's time.
The Africans learned that they could make better use of their rich
natural resources by pooling their efforts.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. ls there a recorder or computer on board a ship that records
everything automatically all the time? Players in my campaign wanted to
use recorded evidence to support their report on a combat vs. the
Klingons, but l would not allow it because they didn't specify at the
time that they were recording the incident. They claim that everything
is automatically recorded. Who is right?

A. Yes, most routine ship's actions and all combat actions are
automatically recorded by the ship's flight recorder. This recording can
be dumped into the memory storage area of a ship's recorder buoy and
released if the ship is in danger of being destroyed, or It can be
transmitted to Starfleet Command's nearest outpost.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Can you beam someone to or from an enemy (or friendly ship as long as
there is one unshielded side on both ships, even if the unshielded sides
do not face each other?

A. All beaming by transporter is line-of-sight. Thus, there must be a
clear, straight, unshielded line between two ships before beaming can
take place.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Dave Tepool. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Are there any shields on the under-side of the Constitution class
ships or D-7 battle cruisers?

A. All shields extend around top and bottom of their respective sides.
Think of the shields as being sections out of a large ball and you'll
get the idea.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. When you set a phaser to overload, is it immediately audible, or is
there a delay of, say, 1 combat turn or so?

A. Setting a phaser to overload is immediately audible. There is no delay.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Dave Tepool / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. The weapons list on page 54 of the STRPG rulebook does not allow for
weapons such as pole weapons, axes. and maces to be thrown. Some of
these weapons can be thrown. What are the throwing ranges for them? Also
how are ''power points'' determined for weapons like the bow and the MG?

A. Some, but not all pole weapons, axes, clubs, and maces can be thrown.
(For instance, a glaive, broadax, spiked club, or z-handed mace cannot
be thrown with any reasonable accuracy for any distance...) lf a weapon
is of a throwable variety, it must be stated when the weapon is first
described. If so, they have the following range requirements:

CLUB/MACE/AXE: S 1-3, M 4-7, L 8-11, EX 12-15
POLE WEAPON: S 1-5, M 6-10, L 11-1 5, EX 1 6-20

Weapons in these classifications vary greatly. These are average ranges,
and you are free to modify them for specific types of weapon, if you
desire. The "power points'' for ranged weapons like bow, MG, etc. are
the average number of rounds carried in typical weapons of the type
noted. In other words that's how many shots can be fired before you must
reload (or, in the case of a bow, refill your quiver). Again, this can
be adjusted for the specific situation you have in mind. Some types of
pistols carry more rounds than others, etc.

*D-10 STATS*

*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Dave Tepool / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. In THE KLINGONS, the D-10 heavy cruiser has one set of range and
damage information for the forward KD-9 disruptors, while the SHIP
CONSTRUCTION MANUAL has different data. Which is correct?

A. The D-1O statistics in the SHIP CONSTRUCTION MANUAL are correct. The
ones in the Klingon book are in error.


*From: Stardate Mag N1 1984*
*Author: by Guy W. McLimore, Jr. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. ls there a saving roll to detect a false tribble in the adventure
"Again,Troublesome Tribbles''?

A. There is no saving roll the first time a false tribble is encountered
by a person. After a person has had a chance to (carefully, we hope)
examine a false tribble, he or she should get a basic saving roll on the
INT attribute to recognize one again if it is examined closely before
being picked up.


Finally, we would like to reply briefly to all those who have written to
make mention of concepts, rules, ship designs, and historical notes from
Task Force Games Star Fleet Battles and related publications. The Task
Force game has no connection with ST:RPG or STAR TREK in any manner, and
the Star Fleet Battles universe is NOT the STAR TREK universe, despite
marked similarities. Nothing published for their game system has any
official connection with what we do and we take no responsibility for
remaining consistent with their system. Despite similarity of names,
ship designs, etc., Star Fleet Battles is not licensed by authority of
Paramount Pictures, who hold copyright on all STAR TREK material.

Once again, if you as a player or Gamemaster wish to adapt outside
material for your games, be our guest.

But neither we nor STARDATE can pubIish such material, and please do not
expect us to take such material into consideration in our speculations
and expansions on the official STAR TREK universe.



*From: Stardate Mag N2 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Are the stats ie. length, width, height, weight, speeds, phasers,
photon torpedoes, crew, shuttlecraft and transporters originated at FASA
or by Paramount?

A. The stats come from both sources.The dimensions of the ships that
appear in any of the STAR TREK fiIms come from Paramount. FASA receives
photos of the ship models and then makes all the appropriate
measurements to come up with the proper dimensions. Only the speeds,
weaponry and other data listed for the Enterprise, Constitution, Klingon
D-7A, D-7M, and Romulan Bird of Prey came from Paramount. AlI others
were created at FASA. It is interesting to note that Paramount never
generated the weaponry for either the Excelsior or the Klingon Scout in
STAR TREK III. All of the information published by FASA has been
approved by Paramount and is therefore what should be used.


*From: Stardate Mag N2 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. About the photon torpedoes on the USS Excelsior. On the' back of your
miniatures card (#2517), the torpedoes are listed as FP-6, however, in
your STAR TREK III Sourcebook Update (#2214) they are listed as FP-4.
Which is correct?

A. The correct torpedo is the FP-4.


*From: Stardate Mag N2 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. My first question deals with miniatures; After seeing some of the
ships in the Federation Ship Recognition Manual, I noticed that most of
vour ships are pretty neat. Since the Enterprise, ReIiant. Chandley, and
Loknar have been made into miniatures will any of the other ships be
made into miniatures? l think I would like to see the Brenton cruiser
and the Baker destroyer and one of the freighter made into miniatures.

Secondly, I seem somewhat perplexed about some of your terminology. l
noticed that the Chandley is called a ''frigate'' but it has more
weaponry than your Enterprise class heavy cruiser, and at 175,000mt. not
to mention it carries 250 Marines! Surely this Baker class destroyer
according to your book, weighs 122,000mt. isn't this a little big for a
destroyer? I Would really appreciate it if you could explain your
terminology to me.

Thirdly I was shocked to see your stats on the Enterprise class cruiser.
l compared them with the ST-TMP bIueprints; which showed this ship with
18 phasers not 6 and a weight of 19,000mt. and with an emergency warp
capability of 12. Why such a difference?

A. First of all the Baker and a freighter will be released for sure. The
tramp freighter featured in the first issue of STARDATE will be released
soon and the Kobayashi Maru will be released sometime in 1985. Plans are
being made to make more ships, but what ships those will be has not been
decided. FASA would like to hear from everyone about their interests.

Second, in the time of STAR TREK, the Federation classifies ships
similar to the Terran classifications of the late 18th century. A
Frigate is a large ship designed solely noncombat where as the heavy
cruiser doubles as a warship and research vessel, Around 1800 A.D.,
Terran dating, the frigate was the largest ship on the seas. It was
replaced by the Ship-of-the-Line, which was later called a cruiser. This
is where the terminology comes from. It is a bit confusing when compared
to Terran navies of the late 1900's where frigates were very small
ships. The Baker is a Class IV destroyer. This is not considered heavy
by Federation standards. Once again, I refer to the mission or tasks of
the ship type. It is possible for a destroyer to weigh twice as much,
but is unlikely.

About your third question I must admit that we gave the Enterprise less
phasers than on the blueprints. The En-terprise is the most powerful
ship in our game (excluding the Excelsior and that is with only 6
phasers. It is possible to destroy one in combat with a little cunning
and good tactics. lf the ship were given any more weaponsit would be
nextto impossible to destroy and there- fore lessen the play value (fun)
of the game. If you would like to upgun your Enterprise class, feel free
to do so, but I deceive you will find that it is too powerful. As for
the weight and warp capability, we did not look at the plans when we
published our stats and this causes the difference. We will not change
the models we have but are considering an unrated Enterprise MK III that
will reflect the increased weight and higher warp capability.


*From: Stardate Mag N2 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. I have just purchased your model of the Klingon Ship in STAR TREK III
and must say l am impressed. The package calls the model a Frigate and
shows it to have more crew and Weapons than the one in the movie. Would
you please explain the difference? Also, are you going to make the Space

A. When FASA was first given the plans and photos of the new Klingon
ship, the information supplied did not match the pictures. There are
several pictures that show the ship to be different sizes. When we asked
Paramount about this discrepancy, they were not sure what was true.
Finally, they told us to go with the picture that appears on the STAR
TREK III Starship Combat Game. This is the photo most used in promotion
that shows the Bird of Prev sitting in front ''of the Enterprise. It is
from this' photo that we made our model. And, as you will see, our
miniature is as large as the Enterprise. We, therefore, named it a
frigate and gave it the L-42 classification. Later, approximately April,
1984, Paramount supplied us with information that the ship was a scout
and only carried 12 crewmembers. Of course we asked how a ship that
large would only have 12 people on board and be able to destroy the
Enterprise. The answer relieved was several more pictures from the
movie, one of which, showed the ship sitting on the planet Vulcan with
crowds of people around. This only led to more confusion for now we had
two photos from the movie that showed this vessel to be two different
sizes. At this time, we decided to cover both bases and created the
stats for the K-22 scout. More pictures arrived from Paramount showing
still another size to this ship. Thus, we created the D-32 light
cruiser. And, as our luck seemed to be running high, when the movie came
out, this marvelous ship was seen to be not three different sizes but
five. Hollywood never considers the facts but is concerned with visual
impact. When viewing the movie, look at the size of the ship when it
appears over the tramp freighter when it attacks the Grissom. when it
first attacks the Enterprise, when the Klingons realize that the
Enterprise is about to blow up and turn their ship away, and, finally,
when it lands on Vulcan. In all these cases you will find the ship is a
different size. At this time it is not feasible for FASA to make this
model in any other scale and so you have the L-42 frigate. Stats for the
K-22 and D-32 are found in other FASA products, so that you may play
them all .

As for the Space Dock, FASA decided not to produce the miniature of this
when it was determined that no more than one or two could be sold. The
model in scale would be 3' wide and 4' tall and would only weigh 700Ibs.
The retail price would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000. It
was felt that the item would not be marketable. The truth is we could
not agree on the packaging.



*From: Stardate Mag N3/4 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Admiral, I have two questions about your starship game. The first is
when a ship recieves more than one sensors hit in a turn are the

A. You roll the die for the first hit then add one turn for each
aditisional hit. You may wish to have sensors permanently damaged after
five hits. This would reflect the damage to the unit itself and the time
required to repair it.

Q. What happens to the damage points on an engine hit when the engine
has been reduced to zero power?

A. Any hits recieved in the engine area are counted as superstructure
hits with no casualty modifier.

l have been playing your game since Origins this summer and am extremely
pleased. Thank you for your time.


*From: Stardate Mag N3/4 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Star Fleet Command I have recently purchased another of your fine
starship models the USS Excelsior and find that it does not fit on the
stand properly. The mounting hole in the ship is larger than the small
post of the stand. When I place the ship on the stand it tips and tilts.
What can I do to correct this?

A. On this model and several others we have enlarged the hole to correct
an earlier problem of the smallpost on the stand breaking off To make
your Excelsior fit better. Carefully snap off the small post of the
stand by pressing it against a hard surface until it breaks off or bv
cutting it with a hobby knife. The hobby knife is the better method. I
would also recommend that you super-glue the stand into the ship
permanentlv. This will prevent the opening in the ship from enlarging
with use and therefore making the fit loose.


*From: Stardate Mag N3/4 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. I would also like to know what the official colors for the various
ships are.

A. The following is a list of the official hull colors by race.
Federation: Off-white or a very right blue-gray (Equine Gray) Klingon:
Silver-grey or light steel Romulan: Platinum or light gray-gold Gorn :
Light metallic green Orion: Take your pick. Any colors will be correct.

AIl of these colors are available from the fine lines of paints by ''The
Armory'' or ''Genesis Gaming Products ''. A painting guide will be
forth- coming in a future issue of STARDATE. Finally, I must say you
have produced an 'excellent game in STAR trek. Please keep up the good


*From: Stardate Mag N3/4 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q. Star Fleet Command, I would Iike to know if you are going to make
deck plans of the new Enterprise, Reliant, Regula l and any of the new
ships from the third movie.

A. Plans for making these deck plans are beginning. They may appear late
in 1985.


*From: Stardate Mag N3/4 1984*
*Author: by Forest Brown. / Fantasimulations Associates*

Q.Sirs, My question has to do with the Ship Recognition Manual: The
Federation There is a discrepancy between the Derf class frigate and the
Loknar class survey vessel. The color three-view of the Derf matches the
black and white print of the descriptive page for the Loknar. The
opposite is true also. The FASA metal miniature of the Loknar looks like
the Derf. What is correct and what is not?

A. What is correct is that the Loknar is the frigate and the Derf is the
Survev ship. The black and white page for each of the ships are correct.
The only errors on the color pages are the actual names of the ships and
their placement in the book is reversed. This question has been asked by
almost everyone who has purchased the book and finally l can answer this
for all those who were afraid to ask.

askstarfleet-ships.gif (16514 bytes)


*Caitian and Claws*

*From: Stardate Mag V3N3 1987*
*Author: by Bob Gray*

Q. What is the damage bonus for a Caitian using its claws incombat?

A. Caitians abhor violence, but when forced to, they will use their
claws as a last resort. They do 1D10/3 (round down) points damage. On a
roll of 10 they rip their claw out and besides the damage to the victim
they do 1D10/2 (round down) points damage to themselves and cannot use
that claw again until healed.


*Skipping Ship Payments*

*From: Stardate Mag V3N6 1987*
*Author: by Bob Gray*

Q.In the Star Trek RPG what happens when players skip out on payments on
their ships?

A. Well,nobody is very happy and a bounty is put out on the ship making
it fair game for anyone to grab for the bounty. That ought to make the
players' lives interesting!

*Largest Ship Class*

*From: Stardate Mag V3N6 1987*
*Author: by Bob Gray*

Q.What is the largest starship class that any race can build?

A. They are limited by the engine tables per race in the Ship
Construction Manual. The numbers are: for the Federation, Class XX;
Romulans, Class XIX; Klingons, Class XVIII; Gorns, Class XVII, and
Orions, Class X


*ABOUT Star Trek: The Role Playing Game*

*From: --- ~guymc*
*Copyright 1996 Guy W. McLimore*

/Guy McLimore, Greg Poehlein, and Dave Tepool were privileged to add
their small part to the Star Trek legend as the authors of *Star Trek:
The Role Playing Game* for FASA Corporation. As long time Trekfans, the
trio is still very proud of the work they did on this project in its
early days. /

/Guy, Greg, and Dave, operating at that time as Fantasimulations
Associates, were assigned the Star Trek project by FASA after five other
design teams had failed to turn in a manuscript that both FASA and
Paramount Pictures would approve. FASA's license option was about to run
out, and they needed to get a product into print almost immediately. /

/"We had only a few weeks to create character creation, character
combat, and starship combat systems," remembers Guy. "When we made that
deadline, FASA assigned us the entire project." It was to absorb almost
all of their design efforts for the next several years. Guy, Greg, and
Dave created the first edition of the basic ST:RPG rules, which debuted
at a Trek convention in Omaha, Nebraska. The game was an immediate
success, and soon became the second best selling RPG in history at the
time (although well behind #1 - Advanced Dungeons and Dragons). /

/The first boxed set included both the role playing rules and a role
playing style starship combat system that remains unique among game
systems. Instead of a tactical board game, the role playing combat
system offered players the chance to sit at "consoles" for the various
bridge stations and perform their duties by allocating power to various
systems, setting course, activating the shields, and firing weapons. /

/A series of expansion volumes soon followed, all written by Guy, Greg,
and Dave, including *The Klingons*, *The Romulans*, and *Trader Captains
and Merchant Princes*, which introduced non-military personnel as player
characters for the first time. Most of the early adventure supplements
were also written by one or more members of the trio. David created and
later revised the *Star Trek Tactical Ship Combat Simulator*, which was
eventually boxed as a separate component of the system and probably
outsold even the role playing game because of its fast play mechanic and
authenticity. /

/The main books of the system, including the Basic Game and the
Klingons, Romulans, and Trader Captains supplements, entered a second
edition, using the Fantasimulations Associates systems and text that was
rewritten and edited by John Wheeler. The second editions proved even
more popular than the first. /

/FASA was already pursuing another success story in the form of
Battletech. Future warfare was very popular, and FASA was in the
forefront of the new gaming craze. /

/FASA's desire to stress the combat aspects of Star Trek led to disputes
between them and the Fantasimulations Associates designers, who wanted
to maintain the less-violent focus of the Star Trek TV series. This led
to ST:RPG projects being assigned to other designers, and eventually to
a payment dispute which ended the three Fantasimulations Associates
designers' association with FASA and the Star Trek property. /

/The later ST:RPG works became very controversial in fandom because of
their focus on military themes. Gene Roddenberry returned to active
interest in licensing (during the initial planning of Star Trek: The
Next Generation) and was reportedly unhappy with the change of approach
to the game materials. A number of proposed FASA projects were turned
down when submitted to Paramount for approval. One short-lived
sourcebook was actually sent to press and distributed before Paramount
had ruled on it. When it was turned down, Paramount insisted that FASA
withdraw the book from publication. /

/Eventually FASA did not renew the license to produce Star Trek
materials, and the game went out of print. Paramount has never again
allowed a role playing game license to be sold for any Star Trek
property, despite the interest of companies such as TSR, Mayfair Games,
and Steve Jackson Games. /

/There are still a lot of fans of the FASA game, and on this page in the
future will appear some of our notes for projects that never saw print,
including the Star Trek adventures produced by Guy and Greg as RPGA
tournaments. We're also very interested in Star Trek material for our
upcoming fanzine for out-of-print games, *The Orphan Games Gazette*.
We'd especially like to see ST:RPG character stats for characters from
the movies, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and
Voyager, along with ship designs for the Star Trek Starship Combat Game,
adventures, updated weaponry and gadgets, etc. /

*Brief History*
*From: David Schneiders fasatrek site*
*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 2003*

/In the early 1980s, the game company Fantasimulations was granted a
license to develop the first role-playing game based on Star Trek. The
first boxed set included both the role playing rules and a role playing
style starship combat system that remains unique among game systems.
Instead of a tactical board game, the role playing combat system offered
players the chance to sit at "consoles" for the various bridge stations
and perform their duties by allocating power to various systems, setting
course, activating the shields, and firing weapons./

/The game system uses percentile dice for randomization. Characters were
created by rolling up some basic attributes and assigning points to
various skills through a training process, which was nicely expanded in
the second edition's "Star Fleet Officer's Manual." Close combat could
be played out using a counter (or miniature) based "Tactical Movement"
system featuring lots of possible weapons and actions./

/The basic first edition included:/

/* core rulebook /
/* Adventure book (with three adventures) /
/* Enterprise deckplans /
/* Klingon cruiser deckplans /
/* 22" x 33" starfield hexgrid map /
/* 2 die, counters /
/* and FASA catalog /
/* Am I forgetting something?/

/The Star Trek Role Playing Game Deluxe Edition contained the following:/

/* Star Fleet Officer's Manual (a guide for players) /
/* Game Operations Manual (a game master's book) /
/* Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook (overview of the Star Trek universe) /
/* Starship Combat Role Playing Game, 64-page rulebook /
/* 78 full-color counters /
/* 22" x 33" starfield hexgrid map /
/* record keeping sheets /
/* 2 die/

/The second edition boxed set contained three books:/

/* Star Fleet Officer's Manual (a guide for players) /
/* Game Operations Manual (a game master's book) /
/* Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook (overview of the Star Trek universe)/

/In the second edition, starship combat wasn't covered in much depth;
for detailed rules, players had to purchase the Star Trek III Starship
Combat Game./

/Before going out of print, FASA's Star Trek RPG attained great success
and spawned an impressive number of supplements. It did eventually come
to an end, however, and the torch was passed on to Last Unicorn Games (a
great game, and hats off to everyone involved: Ross Isaacs, S. John
Ross, Charles Ryan, Don Mappin, Dan Moppin, etc... ). On January 1,
2000, the license expired, and Paramount bestowed the honor upon yet
another company, Decipher. /

*Paramount Licensed Products*

*From:  Games * Design * Art * Culture - Origins2004*
*Author: by Gred Costikyan (West End former Employee)*
*Date: ?*

Almost word for word from a former West End employee

"...West End had a bit of a pissing match with FASA over the Star Trek
rights. (Essentially: Paramount licensed FASA the /"roleplaying
boardgame"/ rights, and they published a highly successful Trek RPG Trek
Starship Mini-Game of Weissman's design; Paramount turned around and
sold West End the /"adventure gaming boardgame"/ rights, which was a
problem, because both groups published Trek boardgames, and both claimed
the exclusive rights to do so. In retrospect, it was Paramount's fault..."

*Newsgroups:  rec.arts.startrek*
*Author: by Richard Arnold (Star Trek Consultant)*
*Date: 9-10-1991*

A Quote from an Interview, this portion focuses on the FASA situation.:
...Star Trek has never been about violence--in fact, it's the antithesis
of that. And, in order to...I'm trying to remember the way he put
it...for _image_ reasons, he thinks that no version of Star Trek should
be excessively violent. And that's why he's never really allowed the
phasers to be sold weapons, as guns, for kids to play
with--'cause he doesn't like the idea of kids running around shooting
each other with phasers when they're _only_ a defensive weapon--they're
not an offensive weapon. And that's why he got particularly upset with
FASA, because they were looking to build more and more and more battle
scenarios into the role-playing game...they were looking
for_enemies_...they were doing whole supplements strictly to build in
another enemy to fight with, and that was _not_ what he wanted. And when
he got a fight from them on it, when--and, of course, at the same time
the studio was fighting back against Gene as well--that was when he just
drew the line, that he would not have Star Trek sold as a war game any
longer. Even though there are people that claim that when they play the
game, they never "war" it, we've all seen examples at conventions, of
people who maneuver it into battle scenarios, and on Star Trek, you lose
if you fight, you don't win. I mean, when you resort to that, you've
lost. You've lost the philosophy, you've lost the point. So, violence is
not story on Star Trek, and conflict does not have
to resort to violence in order to tell a Star Trek story. Again, anybody
on the show can tell you that it's rarely necessary.

[phone break]

Yeah, I know at times we've said one thing, and at other times we seem
to be saying another, but when somebody drags somebody in, a race for
instance--this is a specific charge--when somebody drags a race in
strictly to use them as an enemy, we say, you know, "don't drag in
people that we've used in the past just for these purposes, be more
creative!" And then at other times, we say, "We've never heard of this
race before, you're trying to turn them into a new major villain, we do
not want new major villains, use someone established like the Klingons
or Romulans. So I know it sounds contradictory, but it's really not....

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/01/22*

Paramount isn't known for being particularly stable in their policies.
FASA's view of ST seems to have been completely out of synch with
Paramount's by the time STNG aired. Rodenberry would say things like:
"There's no lusting for a superior's job in ST." and FASA would publish
a scenario about a mutiny on a Federation Starship. Or the Klingon
"pre-X-Files 'everyone is out to get me'" adventures.

/Paramount now takes much closer looks at licensed products than they
did in the early days. The original objections to the later FASA
products came when Gene Roddenberry himself saw a sea change in the way
FASA was pursuing the license and called on Paramount to call a halt. My
last info was that Paramount had decided NEVER to issue such a license
again because it took too much time and trouble to police it. /

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/01/22 *

/Just a bit of my take on this, as an early participant.../

/From my viewpoint, support for FASA's Star Trek products started to
wane when they began focussing on combat and war and drifting from the
philosophies that made Star Trek popular in the first place. Battketech
was beginning to do well, and FASA seemd to have the idea that Star Trek
should be more of a wargame, too. It was certainly at this time that
FASA and Paramount began to have trouble./

/In the early days, right up through the second editions of the basic
game and the Klingons, Romulans and Trader Captains supplements, ST:RPG
was the second-best-selling RPG on the market, right behind AD&D. It
dropped off when FASA's products started to drift from the Star Trek
formula, which was why Paramount became disenchanted with FASA./

/I was an outside observer by that time, as FASA and I had already
parted company over a payment dispute, but I was still a game retailer
at that time and still interested (intellectually but not financially)
in how ST:RPG developed. I saw the drop off in sales coinciding with the
change in direction./

/There is a fundamental difference between the Battletech player and the
Star Trek player. BT people tend to be from the wargaming mold (as most
of FASA's originators were). ST:RPG players were role players who had
graduated from the hack-and-slash stage into the "heroic adventure" and
"playing inside someone else's head" stage. FASA's designers during that
time period proved better at serving one breed of cat than the other./

/And, indeed, FASA has made more in the long run from Battletech (whose
rights they control and can license out to others) than they did from
Star Trek (a license they had to pay -- and pay well -- for). /

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/11/25*

Paramount knows just how hot the Star Trek license is and wants 1
million a year for the right to use it. That is what they charged FASA
all those years ago for the very few Next Generation books they put out
and that is what they still want.

/Yes, Paramount charged a lot of money for the Next Generation license,
but there is no way FASA ever paid one million dollars a year for it.
Paramount in those days (and I believe still today) licenses every Star
Trek property separately. Thus, if you publish something based on the
original series, you do NOT have the rights to use material from the
movies, ST:TNG, Deep Space Nine, etc. unless you license each of THOSE
individually, too. That adds up very quickly. It is why some of FASA's
Trek projects carried an original series logo, some carried a logo for
one of the movies, etc. And it's why things got so expensive as time
went on./

/I was not involved as a designer with the FASA Next Generation
projects, but my understanding is that failure to get them through the
entire Paramount approval process before sending them to press was the
major issue between the two companies that led to FASA's Star Trek
license being withdrawn by Paramount. Paramount originally licensed
ST:RPG for a very reasonable fee, as I understand it, but as the
franchise became popular again they upping the ante, making the later
projects less profitable for FASA. So it is possible the line would have
come to an end anyway./

/But a million dollars -- that may be a figure you were given now, but
I'm sure FASA never paid that. In fact, it was Paramount policy as
recently as a year ago that no RPG license would ever be granted again.
If you were offered a license, I'd be interested in hearing about it, as
it signals a recent change in their desires in regards to RPGs./

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1999/01/14 *

I was once informed that it was the excessive meddling by a Paramount
liscensing functionary which caused FASA to abandon their popular Star
Trek rpg in the eighties. Here's hoping history doesn't repeat in this

/That is not strictly true. FASA had little problem with the Paramount
approval process at the time my partners and I were designing the bulk
of the FASA Star Trek products. In fact, on no occasion was any rewrite
required on any product, to my knowledge, nor was any objection to them
by Paramount ever made known to me or to my partners./

/Later, I understand things did get more adversarial, with Paramount
objecting to what they perceived as a more combat-oriented stance in the
games. But in the end it is my understanding that it was Paramount who
pulled (or perhaps failed to renew) FASA's license, allegedly because of
FASA's failure to properly submit certain items for approval. It may
well be, however, that FASA didn't fight too hard to keep it, as
Paramount was asking significantly more and more for each successive
renewal, and FASA was doing very well with Battletech by that time and
not as dependent on the Star Trek property./

/There's a whole new crew in charge at Paramount these days, and LUG
seems to have a good relationship with them from all I've heard from
folks I know there. I lament their lack of a decent "official" web
presence, too, but they've made a fine start on the game side, which is
certainly more important./

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 2001-02-06 14:30:27 PST*

Paramout took away the license from Fasa, apparently because they
thought that FASA was taking too many liberties with the ST universe.
More specifically I seem to recall that FASA was planning a planet-side
forces sourcebook (Federal Marines, or something like that) and
Paramount decided that the feel of the game was heading towards a more
wargamish mood, and this would be in contrast with the generally
"violence as the last resort" ideal expressed in the TV series and movies.

/To the best of my knowledge (as per what I was told by then-FASA
employees and by Majel Barrett Roddenberry herself years after the/
/fact), this is essentially correct. My understanding is that the last
straw was the publication of at least one supplement without final
Paramount approval. I have no first-hand knowledge, as my partners and I
were no longer freelancing for FASA by that time. But I have heard this
story confirmed by enough people who were involved at the time that I
believe it to be true./

*Money In The Federation*

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/01/22*

"There's no money in the Federation." And FASA would publish adventures
about merchants and give the pay scales for Federation crew members.

/There was never an objection to money voiced by anyone at Paramount
that I'm aware of. There certainly IS money in the Federation, but
abopard ship you rarely dealt with it (as you would rarely deal with it
directly aboard a modern submarine on deep duty). Remember "The Trouble
with Tribbles" established the "Federation credit" as the unit of
exchange in the Federation. The same episode established Cyrano Jones as
an independent trader, the model for our characters in "Trader Captains
and Merchant Princes". /

*FASA Klingons*

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/01/22*

John M Ford's version of Klingons seems to differ greatly from

/Not at the time. In fact, we adopted John M. Ford's Klingons as
canonical because Paramount asked for his notes and back story
information from the novel, intending to make it official. It was only
after ST:TNG writers started playing with things that Paramount shifted
gears. There were NO Paramount objections to the first or second edition
of "The Klingons". And I have it on excellent authority that Mr.
Roddenberry was quite taken with Ford's novel. And the recent "sequel"
to "Tribbles" aired on Deep Space Nine has a line by Worf that makes it
clear that no one outside the Klingon Empire itself is STILL exactly
sure why the Klingons changed appearance. Ford's explanations are still
as good as any/.

*Human Enlightenment*

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/01/22*

"Humans are a much more enlightened race in the 24th century." And they
weren't in FASA's version. (See the afforementioned mutiny scenario, as
well as the Sherman's Planet adventure,the Triangle stuff, the Merchant
stuff, etc.)

/More enlightened as a group, but still capable of villainy and
stupidity as individuals. Again, I am unaware of any Paramount
objections to The Triangle material./

*Filling in Gaps*

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/01/22*

Granted, FASA was doing what game companies do. They were taking
previously viewed material and trying to make it into a coherant whole.
They were also trying to make it interesting for people to adventure in,
and utopian soceties generally aren't good places for adventure. So FASA
created it's own material from things that they saw on the series. With
licensed material, sometimes this works. But with FASA and Paramount, it
didn't work.

/Granted, we had to fill in gaps where no canonical material existed.
But no one (certainly not Gene Roddenberry) has ever claimed the
Federation is a perfect utopia (except, perhaps, compared with 20th
century Earth). Certainly ST:TNG and ST:DS9 episodes have made clear
that the Federation has it's share of fools, poltroons, power-mad
sadists, etc. -- even in Star Fleet itself. But the good people, with
courage, caring, and a high regard for the spirit of Life, eventually
come out on top. That's the way my partners (Greg Poehlein and Dave
Tepool) and I tried to write our Star Trek material -- in the traditions
of the original series concepts. My feeling (and it's just my opinion)
is that later editorial decisions and designers tried to make Star Trek
into a wargame-oriented battleground. Certainly, it was this change in
direction that hacked off Roddenberry and Paramount. I think it cost
FASA their audience well before it cost them their license./

*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1998/08/17 *

FASA fell into the trap of making up stuff about Star Trek. Remember
"The Klingons" sourcebook? All true Trek fans get a laugh out of reading
it now, as it was WAY off the mark! To be fair: The Klingon Sourcebook
was written well before TNG was a twinkle in any eyes but Rodenberry's,
was based on (a very good) bit of Trek fiction and was presumably
approved by Paramount, both when John M. Ford was writing 'The Final
Reflection' and the source book. Certainly these days Paramount are very
picky about what gets written, I expect things were laxer in those days,
but I doubt it was radically different.

Sure Paramount chose to go down some different paths, but what's there
is pretty much entirely consistent with all the Klingon stories that had
been given airplay before 1984. There's really very little in the
dishonourable barbarian classic Trek Klingons that rings true with TNG's
neo-Samuarii Klingons.

/As one of the original designers of FASA's Star Trek: The Role Playing
Game and The Klingons sourcebook, I can speak to this question, I think.
In point of fact, Paramount was pleased enough with Ford's "The Final
Reflection" to ask to have his unpublished notes submitted so that
future authors could work from them. (They were also used in the
creation of the RPG supplement.) Paramount accepted "The Final
Reflection" as canon (something done with very, very few other novels)
and indeed encouraged us in our decision to base our view of the Klingon
Empire on it as well as the series episodes./

/This was changed when, for the purposes of ST:TNG (particularly because
of the popularity of the Worf character) Paramount decided to rework a
lot of the thinking about the Klingons. I certainly don't apologize for
being unable to borrow the Enterprise, take a slingshot orbit around the
sun, and travel forward in time to anticipate what he Klingons would
become in later seasons of ST:TNG./

/If any "true Trek fans" were laughing at The Klingons then, it didn't
show in the sales figures, apparently. Nor has anyone laughed since. It
was based solidly on accepted canon and Paramount's plans AT THAT TIME./

/In the case of The Romulans, we had no such clear direction. The
original TV series episodes give us only a very thin look at their
culture, and the novels out at the time had wildly contradictory views,
none of which was accepted as canon by Paramount. So we made it up. Lots
of it. We had to. If someone else's view was different, they were
certainly free to play it that way. But we had to have some unified
vision, and ours was approved 100% by Paramount./

/In point of fact, during the time the Fantasimulations Associates team
(myself, Greg Poehlein and David Tepool) worked on ST:RPG I do not
recall EVER reciving a single request from Paramount for a change based
on noncanonicity. Quite the reverse, in fact. Paramount often referred
to details from the RPG during the early days of planning on ST:TNG, and
if you look closely you will occasionally see data pages directly from
the FASA books appear in the background as data screens on the
Enterprise control and data displays in Next Generation episodes./

/There is no harder task in RPG creation than converting a well-known
and detailed fictional universe into a game universe. The level and type
of detail required by gamemasters and players is much different than
that required for episodic dramas. RPG authors are often forced to "fill
in the cracks". In that respect, the designers of the new LUG systems
have an even tougher task than we had. The STAR TREK universe is far
more detailed today than it was in our day, but the fact that it
continues to grow makes it a dead certainty that their materials will
end up contradicting/
/SOMETHING that comes along from some screenplay writer's mind in the
future. That should hardly spoil the fun for a "true Trek fan" playing
the game, however./

/Want a laugh? Sit down right now and write game materials based on, for
example, the universe portrayed in Babylon 5 and try and anticipate the
details about it that will be revealed in the potential five-year run of
the upcoming Crusade series. Keep that document and read it after the
final episode of Crusade airs in half a decade./


*Author: by Guy McLimore*
*Date: 1997/01/22*

As for the sales totals, saying that Star Trek was being outsold by
Battletech is in direct contradiction of what I've been told by various

/As I've said elsewhere, my information is that as of the time of the
major second edition Star Trek RPG releases (The second edition rules,
and the second editions of The Klingons and Trader Captains and Merchant
Princes), ST:RPG was the #2 best selling RPG in the world, right behind

/I missed much of the beginnings of this exchange./

*Tricorder Playing Aid*

*Author: David R. Deitrick*
*Date:   ?*

As an author, I actually wrote something - a playing aid,
tricorder/sensor display for the Star Trek role playing game by FASA.
The sales were disappointing.

Also did the Federation Cover and many other drawings and covers.

*Doctor Who RPG System*

*Author: Guy McLimore (*
*Date:   06-30-2000 17:15*

./..the Doctor Who RPG system is NOT the same system that was used in
Star Trek: the Role Playing Game. It uses several of the same
assumptions, but fact, FASA seemed to me (at the time and now, in
reflection) to be deliberately trying to alter the system AWAY from
looking too much like ST:RPG's, even if it meant making the system much
clunkier to do so. /

/Why? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that my partners
(Greg Poehlein and David Tepool) and I, who created ST:RPG, had a
contract which gave us royalties on any product that made use of the
ST:RPG systems. So it was necessary for Dr. Who NOT to use those
systems. We did end up working on the Dr. Who RPG (and we wrote the
DALEKS sourcebook), but our involvement came after the systems were
pretty much set by other designers. Our job was to add more Dr. Who
flavor to it and work out some problem areas such as TARDIS operation,
etc. /

/At any rate, judging ST:RPG by Dr. Who is like judging D&D 3rd Edition
by SenZar because SenZar is sort of a level-based system like original
D&D was. Read ST:RPG for yourself (if you can get hold of copies of
either edition -- they're hard to come by and demand high prices on eBay
and such) and decide if you like it or not. /

/I think that, given the prevailing taste for more complex systems at
the time, ST:RPG simulated its subject matter well. I won't claim that
for Dr. Who, which I feel took itself far too seriously, system-wise,
when the subject matter called for something much breezier. Though
hindsight is always 20-20, it certainly is not how I would approach the
matter today. /

/The CIA concept was a tool by which we could justify allowing players
to play other Time Lords than the Doctor. We knew it was a tenuous
connection at best, but it offered play possibilities that would
otherwise be denied, and allowed gamemasters and players much more room
to create their own sagas instead of just playing untold stories of the
television series characters. (The serial nature of Doctor Who's
episodes makes fitting in "untold" stories between the ones in the
series a bit difficult anyway, unless you simply shrug and assume that
with a TARDIS, anything is possible. Which is certainly a valid
assumption in this case, I suppose,) /

/Of all the stuff we did for Dr. Who, my favorite part was the example
character story featuring Stan, the slightly dotty Time Lord, and Tabby,
his companion. This was not actually CREATED for the game originally,
and certainly not in the location and way it was used. It was requested
by FASA for a separate pre-release brochure they were putting out which
was supposed to show the flavor of how the game was played as a teaser
for the release of the full system. Instead, that publication was dumped
and the material was used in the game rules to illustrate various parts
of game play and the rules. Despite the fact that it wasn't what had
originally been intended, I still love that section and happily claim it
as my own. /

/Overall, I felt the review was a fair assessment of the game from the
viewpoint of a player today. The game systems were closer to what was
the prevailing taste at the time than the reviewer gives them credit
for, but they don't hold up as well today as I feel ST:RPG does.
Nonetheless, I'm proud of our contributions to Dr. Who, and I'm really
happy we got the chance to be a small part of TWO pieces of TV SF
history, both of which are very close to my heart. /

*Federation Rec Manual Notes from Designers*

*Author: Robert Oswald, starship illustrator & playtester*
*Date: Jul 29 2002*

/My work appeared in the second edition of the Federation Ship
Recognition Manual. Dana Knutson was the only other Illustrator and I
believe Forest Brown wrote most of the technical data and designed the
game stats for the ships. Forest gave me most of my direction. Scale and
timeframe was very important to the consistency of the stats vs. the
illustration. The Kiev was my favorite ship. I like the weapons pod at
the top./

/I actually traced some of the components from my set of Enterprise
blueprints published by Del Rey back in 1980. The drawings were larger
than Forest and Dana needed but they were able to reduce them to the
size needed for paste-up./

/The reason that I like the FASA products over any other, is that they
pour a lot into the game mechanic and even more in the fiction. All of
the worlds they create are very rich with detail indeed.  The only
change I would add is the Quick Draw rule to all of the Battletech,
Renegade Legion and Star Trek products. Quick draw rules is from
"Crimson Skies" and is basically stating that if your unit has a higher
quick draw value than your opponent, you get to fire first and damage is
immediate. Exchange or fire is NOT simultaneous!/

*Designer on various books*

*Author: MicroTactix - Guy McLimore*
*Date: 11-28-2004*

>The Starship Combat Game was excellent for its day. And very easily
tied in to the RPG, too... There were two (possibly three) editions of
the Starship Combat Simulator, with mostly-identical rules and a
slightly different selection of ships in each.

/Give credit for this to David Tepool, who did the lion's share of the
design work on the Starship Combat Game. In my admittedly-biased
opinion, it's still one of the best ship combat boardgames ever. The
incredible complexity of the ship creation rules were because we didn't
have time originally to DESIGN it with ship creation in mind. (We had
six weeks to develop all the core systems -- character creation, combat,
ship combat -- because FASA was about to have the license expire. It's a
LONG story. Suffice it to say we were the fifth or sixth design team
assigned to the project and time was very, very short by the time we got
it. Anyway, we had to go back later and design a ship creation system
AROUND all the assumptions made for the existing ships from the first
edition of the board game. Note to designers: don't EVER do it this way!
But the game itself was damn fine work. I've been trying to get David
back into design work for years. David has promised Greg Poehlein he
will at least help playtest the PlainLabel-based starship combat game
Greg is working on./

>The Klingon set was mostly written by John Ford (and will thus fit
nicely with what you've learned from TNG) (mostly, I repeat). The
Romulan and Orion sets are very much made-up-on-the-spot and bear little
relation to anything ever televised. (I much prefer to ignore FASA's
Romulans and use Diane Duane's instead.)

/J. M. Ford was my roommate for awhile during the time we were both
starting our writing careers. Several years later, he was finishing up
his novel The Final Reflection just about the same time as we were
working on the RPG. (He wrote Greg Poehlein, Dave Tepool and I in as
Klingons on the bridge in the final sequences of the novel. Look for
Kreg, Kepool and Klimor. As this novel is generally considered to be the
best Star Trek novel ever written, this mention may be my only lasting
claim to fame. When I saw the manuscript of the novel, I begged to be
allowed to base the upcoming Klingons supplement on it. Thus, the good
stuff in the supplement is Ford's. Anything you don't like in it you can
blame on Greg, David and myself, as we wrote it. Since Paramount adopted
this as the OFFICIAL view of the Klingon Empire until the introduction
of Worf changed everything later, it was an apporpriate decision. I
liked Duane's treatment of Romulans, too... but hers was one of several
different and incompatible fictional takes on the Romulans -- and we
didn't have permission to use any of them. The lesson taken from this is
that I am not as good at extrapolating cool alien cultures as J. M.
Ford. I can live with that, since most SF writers (about 99% of those
writing Star Trek novels) also have to live with the same knowledge./

>There was also a supplement called "Trader Captains and Merchant
Princes", which set things up so you could play civilian types or even
pirates. Would be useful for a DS9-style campaign. I never had access to
a copy myself so I can't tell you how well it covers the subject.

/I wish we'd had time and space to do more with non-Star Fleet
characters, and we would have if the ride had continued longer than it
did. I had to beg to do this one, but time and DS9 proved me right --
some of the best stories in the Star Trek universe were eventually told
about people not in Star Fleet./

>Another supplement I never had access to was "The Triangle Campaign",
which covered a 'no-man's-land' region of space caught between the
Federation, Klingon, and Romulan borders, where several minor polities
jockeyed for power and the great empires courted each.

/I loved doing this one, largely because it was a place we could cut
loose and set up tons of adventure hooks in a campaign area. There were
two pieces to this. "The Triangle" was the sourcebook and set up, which
our crew wrote. "The Triangle Campaign" was adventure material based in
our setting, and that was written mostly by others./

>Finally, there is the semi-mythical "Operation: Armageddon", a
four-part strategic simulation meant to tie in to the Starship Combat
Simulator and allow players to play out long-term war campaigns between
any combination of the three great powers. It was on FASA's catalog to
be released and development was started - partial manuscripts may still
exist buried somewhere - but it was at this point that FASA lost the
Trek license.

/This isn't semi-mythical, it's entirely mythical. As far as I can
recall, no manuscript ever existed. though Jordan Weisman may have had
notes for it. (I do seem to recall seeing such at one point...)
Paramount (and Gene Roddenberry) hated the idea of a "wargame" and would
never have approved it. We snuck the starship combat game past them by
calling it a "simulator". Eventually, Paramount's dissatisfaction with
the increasingly military tone of the later FASA supplements killed the
line, according to what folks at Paramount told me later. By that time,
Greg, David and I were long gone./


*Author: Chris lynch (Ravenstar Studios)*
*Date: Jun 6 2005*

The Ranger class was a small gun boat type of ship that operated in
groups. The Ranger is from the long ooP Fasa's StarShip Tactical Combat
Simulator and was, to the best of my rememberance, never produced as a
mini. FASA's Recognition manual lists the Ranger as 57m by 87 m. Future
Legends (FL) lists their fig as 1.8 ins by 1.4 ins. If my math is
correct that gives a scale of somewhere around 1/1900 to 1/1600. Don't
know how consistent that is with the rest of FL's range.Proportions
(assuming both FASA and FL are measuring the same points) are slightly
diferent with FASA at 0.66 and Fl at 0.78.

/Well Fasa At one time did have one in the works , I know because I
sculpted it(The Ranger) and two others, the Brenton and Baker, only one
made it , the Baker Class. The Ranger was Lost along with another ship I
did(Brenton) by UPS back in the early 80's , man That was a long time
ago. yup. they were my very first mini sculpts besides the Baker. Broke
my heart and I backed off doing minis for a while (years really) .If a
Ranger was sculpted to scale it would be tiny, about a 1/4 of a inch .
there is a great top view of all the Fed ships in scale done in Black
from the oringinal SRMs. If you can find one of these you can see the
true scale to say the enterprise A./

*From: CreativeWorks and other places on the net.*
*Author: Ab Mobasher*
*Date: 9/19/2001 and October 2005*

The first 22 Master Miniatures Sculpted by Ab Mobasher.

/Winner of H. G. Wells Award. Scale;1/3950. 22 Brass masters sculptured
by Ab Mobasher in early 80's. Licensed and manufactured by Fasa Corp. of
Chicago under licensing agreement with Paramount Picture. Fasa no longer
manufactures these miniatures."/

USS Enterprise & Klingon D-7 were the first 2 of the 22 Star Trek
Miniatures machined by Ab Mobasher in 1981-85 under a licensing
agreement with Fasa & Paramount Pictures.

Fasa provided blue prints of USS Enterprise and a plastic model with 12”
diameter dish for comparison. The final brass master (approx. 3” long)
was actually more detailed than the much larger, injection molded
plastic model. The original master (brass pattern) was meticulously
machined out of 12 brass pieces. 2-Dimentional industrial engraving
machine (Kohlmann Gm II), magnifier and microscope were used to machine
the 3-D master. Machining started with larger cobalt & carbide end mills
and cutters. Single flute cobalt cutters with tip diameter of .002”
(size of human hair) were used to add final lines, geometrical patterns
and created the microscopic details. The brass masterpieces were grouped
in sub-assembly sections and were reproduced in 40/60 tin-lead alloys in
vulcanized rubber molds and by spin-casting process.

Fasa Corporation of Chicago received the famed H. G. Wells Science
Fiction Award because of the extreme details of these miniatures created
by Mr. Mobasher.

/"I understand that there is about 4% shrinkage after each casting. Wish
I knew that before making the miniatures because many of the thin
sections had difficulty flowing in the spin casting molds. In that
process, they make a set of second generation originals and from that,
they make casting, therefore more shrinkage."/

Made of Lead. /"They usually use Tin-Lead alloy in the ratio of 40%-60%
for best flow rate and details."/

/"These miniatures were so detailed that you need to use microscope and
magnifier to really appreciate the workmanship or even find my

Note: Ab is almost blind when he made these miniatures


*From: E-mail*
*Author: Guy McLimore*
*Date: December 31 2005*

On your old website (MC+ site of 1996), you mentioned that, "There are
still a lot of fans of the FASA game, and in the future will appear some
of our notes for projects that never saw print, including the Star Trek
adventures produced by Guy and Greg as RPGA tournaments." Is there
any way these could be made available?

/"Some of this stuff no longer exists -- some may be on old Apple II
5.25" floppy disks somewhere. Greg may indeed have one of his old RPGA
tournament advantures... I seem to recall he mentioned it once. I'll ask
him this weekend and see if he knows where the files are./

/We could never sell any such material, as we don't own the rights to
the Star Trek material. The rights to all our design material returned
to us under contract two years after it went out of print, but that
doesn't help much when we don't have permission to use the Star Trek
trademarks and names. Still, releasing an adventure that was never
published as a free download would probably be OK under Fair Use -- of
Greg or I finds anything, perhaps we'll do that. With our workload right
now, though, it's unlikely to be soon..."/


*From: E-mail*
*Author: Guy McLimore*
*Date: December 31 2005*

A "mystery ship" from the back of the Star Trek II: Ship Construction
Manual. "We" have no idea what it was to be; it doesn't seem to match
any Fed, Klingon, Romulan or Orion ship design. It has been speculated
that it is a Gorn ship, but it is "color coded" as being a Federation
ship on the folder version of the Star Trek II: Ship Construction
Manual. Can you help?

/"Hmm... Wish I knew. I don't specifically remember the design. I'll
pass that along to David Tepool when I see him next and see if he
remembers. He and Jordan Weisman sketched out some of the roughs on the
ships originally. Others were done by FASA artists and adapted by David
when he did the Ship Construction Manual. It's possible one of those
slipped inton the cover that was never actually intended for use. It
isn't likely to be Gorn, as we were never working on those. It may have
been a Federation colony ship design -- but most of the Federation ships
used outboard nacelles. The design looks vaguely Klingon to me,

*Jaynz Masterhead Ship Art*

*From: E-mail*
*Author: Dave Tepool*
*Date: December 31 2005*

/"The Art of the Jaynz column was stock art & not of a particular ship,
if I remember correctly."/

*Orion Ruse and Game News*

*From: E-mail*
*Author: Pat Larkin*
*Date: December 31 2005*

Did you write "The Korellian Caper", published in "Game News 2"?

/"Yes, that short piece was one of mine. IIRC, it was just about a page
or so long as published in the magazine. (Game News wanted to print one
or two very short RPG mini-adventures in each issue.)"/

/"Aside from "The Korellian Caper," I think my only other Star Trek RPG
work was a FASA-published adventure -- "The Orion Ruse." It was about
40,000 words long and it was set on an Orion-settled world outside the
Federation. It was designed for use with the Trader Captains & Merchant
Princes supplement, and player characters could be either merchants or
Federation officers operating covertly."/

*White Flame*

*From: Fasa Trek Universe Group*
*Author: Karl Hiesterman*
*Date: September 17 2006*

First of all, thank you for all your kind words. It's always nice to
hear when your work rings true with the audience.

Regarding Boarding parties: If I remember rightly, I only used Boarding
for the three-way pirate scenario, two pirate players both trying to
beat up the convoy but winning separately. For that scenario I
specifically set the boarding numbers to be what was appropriate for the
scenario. I needed the Convoy player to have more marines than one
pirate, but both pirates combined to have more than the Convoy. I
certainly think a D-10 would have a much larger marine contingent than a
Destroyer, but for the scenario I made them fairly equal, so the Convoy
player had some more options. I think I explained away the difference in
the scenario vignettes by saying marines had been removed from the
Cruiser... (I have to back and read my own book?) I would think we could
easily just base Marines off of a percentage of the number of crew as a
general rule, with a few exceptions (I've always expected Klingons to
have more marines than Feds, and the Chandley class was a Marine
transport, if I remember rightly...

Regarding Victory points and such: Remember, VPs and victory conditions
often vary according to the scenario. They are the tool the designer
uses to affect the behavior of the players to fit the supposed behaviors
and conditions of the situations they are "simulating". Thus it's
possible for both sides to claim victory in some of my scenarios, or for
a victory to be Pyrrhic at best (on some of the linked scenarios, for
example. Win scenario 1 but be so beat up you lose #2?). If I remember
correctly, when I had just points for ships destroyed or whatever, those
values were based on the Combat Efficiency numbers somehow, but for the
life of me I can't remember how. You can probably see a pattern by
looking at the CE numbers and my VP charts...

One campaign I ran a long time ago was based on the White Flame
scenarios, I made up a set of about 6 basic scenarios: Convoy attack,
Base assault, Patrol, Fleet Engagement, etc. And we rolled randomly for
each player as to what scenario he played this turn. And a ranking
system that just gave you points worth of ships, so the scenario
auto-balanced for you. If you were a new player in a Convoy game, the
other player had fewer points, if you were and experienced player, you
had a bigger fleet, but so did your opponent. Unfortunately, those rules
are lost to time...

Did I ever consider doing more Trek work: Oh, I would have loved to do
more, but there wasn't much call for it, I'm afraid. FASA was about to
lose the Trek license (they didn't know that at the time?) and
Battletech was going strong, so most of the attention was there. I think
the only reason White Flame was done was because Jordan and Ross loved
the game and wanted to do at least one scenario book for it. They knew I
loved the game to and just came up to me and said "we want to do a
Scenario book for the Combat Simulator, and we want you to write it. Do
whatever you want". So, loving Klingons like I do, I did a Klingon
squadron. The natural reaction would probably have been to do a Fed
book, but everything is so Fed focused in Star Trek, I wanted the bad
guys to have their day? I tried to make sure the opponents were varied,
so it wasn't just Fed vs Kingon, and so I had them serve on both fronts
near the Triangle, so they could fight Fed, Romulan, Pirates, and other

An interesting side note, the character artwork in that book was done by
a then newcomer to the gaming world, Doug Shuler. He was a friend of
mine, and a young and really talented artist, but it was really hard for
an artist to break into that field. Artists are notoriously flaky in the
publishing industry, missing deadlines, etc., so publishers don't like
risk trying new artists (better the devil you know?). I had just gotten
Doug his first work, illustrating a piece of design work I had just
completed, the Battletech combat books for Nova. I asked FASA if they
would consider Doug for the White Flame, and they said no thanks. So
what I had Doug do was go ahead and do the Character illustrations
anyway, made sure I finished the Character stuff first so he could work
on the art as soon as possible. Then I sent both the manuscript and the
art together thinking they couldn't
turn down suitable art exactly to their needs? I was right, they loved
them and included them in the book, and Doug got his start in the Gaming
Industry. He's a fairly well-known gaming artist now, did a ton of work
Magic-the Gathering and loads of other stuff...

...As for White Flame, well I was greatly helped by the fact that John
M. Ford had already written his fantastic Klingon suppliment, which
really brought them to life. Particularly the whole Komerex zha concept,
which gave Klingons a whole new level of struggle.

I started with trying to make sure the scenarios themselves were
interesting. I made the assumption that the readers had probably already
done lots of standard, equal-point fights, and so resolved to have
victory conditions more varied than just fight to the death, and force
balances that were different. I designed well balanced scenarios, and
playtested them, before I wrote a word of the background (although a lot
of it was in my head...). It sounds kinda backwards, but it worked. It
made sure that the primary purpose was served (that is, interesting
scenarios for the Combat Simulator) and still was cool and interesting,
made you care about what happened in the scenario, not just a dry combat.



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