Strange New Worlds

I, apparently, at one point wrote a World of Dungeons hack meant to mimic Star Trek? This is news to me. In fact I wrote two of them, apparently. There’s clearly some Stars Without Number in here. Looks pretty undone to me.

*Strange New Worlds*
a star trek hack for world of dungeons
by alfred rudzki

roll 2d6 four times for your stats:
6- is 0, 7-9 is +1, 10-11 is +2, 12 is +3.

the stats are:
Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma.

pick a background:
*TERRANS* get Leadership and choose two special abilities: *Phaser-happy* (+2 ranged damage), *Command* (when leading, everyone who follows you takes +1 armor forward), *Number One* (when someone follows through on your support or set up, they take +1 forward), *Lucky* (once per game, you may turn a miss into a partial success)

*VULCANS* get Knowledge and choose two special abilities: *Mind Meld* (exchange deep personal knowledge, with time and a touch), *Improbable* (Once per day, declare something to be true; tell the GM how you discovered this), *Nerve Pinch* (grapple a familiar biology for +3 damage), *Mighty* (you can lift great weights and bend sturdy materials). Consider playing a Vulcan if you have INT+1.

*KLINGONS* get Athletics and choose two special abilities: *Hardy* (+6 HP), *Skirmish* (+1 damage, and treat armor/cover as one type simpler), *Slay* (+2 melee damage), *Undying* (once per day, choose when killed: enter a coma and survive, or awaken immediately with 0 HP). Consider playing a Klingon if you have STR+1.

*ANDORIANS* get Subterfuge and choose two special abilities: *Tough* (+1 armor), *Reflexes* (you always go first and can react when suddenly surprised), *Fearsome* (when you lock eyes with an enemy, they must choose: back off, freeze, or attack), *Vicious* (attack with surprise for +3 damage). Consider playing an Andorian if you have DEX+1.

*BETAZOIDS* get Communication and choose two special abilities: *Read Auras* (the GM will tell you if a character has positive or negative intentions), *Empathy* (with time, you may learn appropriate leverage for NPCs), *Telepathy* (speak, plead, or threaten over a distance without a spoken word), *Connections* (you can, once per session, call on the services of a powerful social ally). Consider playing a Betazoid if you have CHA+1.

*Make your own background:* Choose a skill and two special abilities.

When you attempt something risky, sum 2d6 and add one of your attribute scores, based on the action you’re taking. (the gm will tell you some of the possible consequences before you roll, so you can decide if it’s worth the risk or if you want to revise your action.)

A total of 6 or less is a miss; things don’t go well and the risk turns out badly. A total of 7-9 is a partial success; you do it, but there’s some cost, compromise, retribution, harm, etc. A total of 10 or more is a full success; you do it without complications. And a total of 12 or more is a critical success; you do it perfectly to some extra benefit or advantage.

pick a second skill:
Athletics, Awareness, Communication, Engineering, Helm, Knowledge, Leadership, Medicine, Subterfuge.

If you have an applicable skill, you can’t miss. a roll of 6 or less counts as a partial success, but with a bigger compromise or complication than a 7-9 result.

design your ship and crew. have someone draw:
a saucer
maybe an engineering hull
one, two, three, or four warp nacelles
(above or below the saucer, with line of sight to each other)

outline your crew. have everyone choose one department below that is strongly represented on your vessel. have everyone choose one department that is weakly represented on your vessel:

______ Culture (select one)
Orbital Ops
Space frames
Stellar Imaging

name a ranking officer from each department. while loyal, they have motivations and egos that need to be navigated.

when assisted by an officer specialist or a team of specialists in a strongly represented department, take +1 forward when following through on their advice. If something goes wrong, it will probably affect the specialists first.

Characters begin with a single hit die, plus one per STR. Determine HP by rolling your hit dice, and choosing a number of dice equal to your character’s level. The sum of these are your HP.

HP is diminished by conflict, exertion, and injury.

You may reroll your hit dice any time your character has a chance to rest. When treated by a physician, roll an additional hit die. When treated in a medical center, set one of your hit dice to 6.

When you fall to 0 HP, if the injury is nonlethal, you fall unconscious. if the injury is lethal, roll+CHA to survive.

Light Weapon: Type II Phaser, Small Disintegrator, Knife, et al. When dual-wielded, you may re-roll damage. *d6*

Medium Weapon: Type I Phaser, Disintegrator, Plasma Whip, et al. *d6+1*

Heavy Weapon: Type III Phaser Rifle, Disintegrator Rifle, Batleth, et al. May be used when wielded two-handed, and braced. *d6+2*

Explosives: Overcharged phaser, etc. *2d6* or *3d6* if you fail to evade.

Light Armor: leathers, orbital jump suit, thrust suit, simple padding, simple cover. *Armor+1*

Heavy Armor: extreme environment suit, riot armor. *Armor+2*

Tricorder: Medical, Scientific, And others.

Your vessel starts at Level 1, and its level can increase in a few ways:
•every time it is re-built after being destroyed
•your ship gains a level if its systems are modified extensively
•if other notable ships have had the same name, your ship inherits their levels

When in good repair, your ship has 2-power. You may split this power between weapon damage, armor, and any skill checks made using the ship’s systems. flying around with 2-armor makes you look like you’re expecting trouble.

You may shut several systems down entirely to gain +1power. For each power, take +1-ongoing to damage, armor, or skill checks (as appropriate). There is no limit to how much of the ship’s power can be devoted to one thing, but 3-power will stress systems and risk damage.

When your ship takes damage, you may choose to negate up to 6 points of it by spending 1-power. When critically damaged, your starship may also lose power.

If your total power, in all systems, ever drops to 0, your ship is drifting and the crew likely in danger unless the warp core is reinitialized.

by default, your starship has these stats:
1-armor 2-power.

Pick one of these to start:
*Cloaking device* (Spend 3-power to completely avoid detection; reveal yourself to gain 3-power.)
*Indomitable* (once per game, turn a miss into a partial success)
*Phaser Banks* (+2 phaser damage)
*Advanced Torpedoes* (+2 torpedo damage)
*Flagship* (vessels that follow your lead take +1-armor forward)
*Battleship* (+1damage, treat armor and cover as one type lighter)
*Frigate* (+1armor)
*Medical Vessel* (set two HD to 6 when healing)
*Rotated Crystal Lattice* (+1power)
*Reinforced Systems* (+6HP)

Photon Torpedos: heavy duty, useable during warp, may fire multiple salvos to re-roll damage. *d6*

Phaser Banks: can only be fired while traveling at impulse speeds, or while sharing a warp bubble with the target. *d6+2*

run SNW like you would world of dungeons. ask questions, build on them, and offer problems without pre-determined solutions. if you need a situation to seem pre-planned or pre-existing, use j Walton’s quick and dirty dungeon rules to generate a status quo. this can easily create content resembling the episodic structure of Star Trek.

that said, much of Star Trek is populated by hyper-capable action scientists, testing theories until they find a way to save the day and make new discoveries. in these situations, where an experiment is being undertaken, the following solution is suggested:

when constructing a solution, tell the GM the problem you’re solving. the GM, through the voice of the computer if possible, will choose 4 from below.

then, roll the appropriate stat. on a hit, you can think outside the box and explain how you’re going to get around those needs. On a 10+, you may replace three of the GMs choices. On a 7-9, you may replace one, or two if you let the GM make a new selection.

• It’s going to take hours/days/weeks
• First you must ____
• You’ll need help from ____
• It will require a lot of simulations
• It will use up a lot of supplies
• The best you can do is a lesser version, unreliable and limited
• You and your allies will risk danger from ____
• You’ll have to disassemble ____ to do it

Strange New Worlds 2e

The farthest reach of known space is the last great mystery to be solved. Prepare yourself as you plunge beyond the edge of your star charts, into space where none has gone before. It is your mission and your calling to discover planets beyond your wildest imagination, to extend your hand in peace to alien life, to humble yourself before and learn from stellar civilizations. This is your ship; these are your voyages; these are _your stories._

You play officers, crewmen, ambassadors, and civilians of the Planetary Union at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy — wide open and full of opportunity. Your mission: serve in your capacity as scholars, trained and educated by the Stellar Academy to better understand the universe, to lift-up sapientkind, and to defend those who suffer oppression or ignorance. However, your behavior is bound – limited – heavily scrutinized by your oaths to the Academy and to the Union. You are expected to act with decency, to fulfill your role aboard the ship, and to obey – before all else -The First Pledge: that all life is deserving of respect, that every culture is unique and has a right to its own practices, and that interstellar civilization shall not interfere with, nor appropriate, the development of a species not yet capable of leaving its star system. 

Do you want to do good? Do you want to expand your horizons? Do you want to struggle with the space where your Academy pledges cross paths with your personal loyalties and oaths to your crew? Prepare yourself to explore Strange New Worlds!

Character Creation
The player’s Academy graduates are represented by a collection of stats that correspond to the best values sapientkind has to offer; values prized by the Academy. We measure these from -1 to +3, representing not how well you embody these qualities but rather how much you struggle to stay true to them.

The Academy’s Values include…

•Courage: representing fearlessness, stoicism, conviction, standing up for others, speaking your mind, and more.
•Kindness: representing peace, openness, empathy, compassion, diplomacy, understanding, and more.
•Brilliance: representing quick-thinking, three-dimensional thinking, thinking outside the box, deduction, induction, and more.
•Faith: representing cooperation, hope, belief in one another and belief in forces greater than yourself; perhaps spiritual, but just as often forces of nature or the sweep of history and civilization.

Roll 2D6 and assign your scores how you see fit; 1-3 is -1, 4-6 is 0, 7-9 is 1, 10-11 is 2, and 12 is 3. Then, refine your Values by including an Always/But statement (ie, “I will always take a stand against sexism, but I fear my own passion,” “I will always exchange personal anecdotes, but I close myself off from touch,” etc). These statements are your Struggle, and include your personal strengths and weaknesses; they crystallize how you approach your Academy Virtues and how you grapple with them.

When your character behaves in a manner that upholds any of their Always statements, they take +1 forward until they have changed the situation. When the GM makes a move against your character, their associated But statement is a unique fictional vector that is always available to them.

The default sapientform for SNW is the Terran – humans roughly as we know them now. They are generally sturdier and more intelligent on average owing to cleaner living and improved care for their home world. Improved medicine has expanded their health to the point where 150 years is the new limit of life. Terra, and all planets in the heart of the Planetary Union, are post-scarcity — providing for all their citizens’ needs and education, leaving the people free to pursue self-improvement, leisure, and their own creativity.

As a result, all Terrans are sturdy, competent, deeply curious, and generally unused to personal hardship — this last reality is why the Academy considers its mission of installing knowledge and empathy so vital. If you wish to play a Terran:

When playing a Terran sapientform, decide on a non-white appearance and create 3 to 5 names from 2 or more languages; feel free to introduce linguistic drift by altering one or two phonemes. If you do, share these with the other players so they are aware of the Terran details you are creating. Also, genetic manipulation is medically available and in some cases practiced for cosmetic or utilitarian reasons — feel free to introduce unique physiology to your fellow players by making it part of your character; explain the physiological augmentation’s purpose and make a note of it.

If you would like to play a sapientform from another planet, feel free to do so. To begin, settle on what niche you see your species fulfilling. While no individual is emblematic of their entire species or culture, and no monoculture can represent every individual, the Academy acknowledges the radical physiological discrepancies between Terrans and other Union beings.

Once you’ve settled on what distinguishes you from Terrans, select two Lenses and keep them in mind as you develop your sapientform throughout play. Consider what kind of culture would value these ideas, or cast them in opposition:


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