Updated for GURPS 4th Edition. Roleplaying on the final frontier. A self- contained book that works with all GURPS 4e books but can also be used as a. GURPS Prime Directive: Federation (4th Edition) on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Brand New in Factory Packaging. GURPS Prime Directive allows characters to be anything, from the bridge crew to the Marines, from diplomats to archaeologists, from a bunch of reserve officers.
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I was not altogether complimentary and the authors were gurls than happy — but a far more flattering review appeared in issue 7 of Pyramid magazine.
GURPS Prime Directive: Federation (4th Edition): : Books
The problem for me was the resolution system, which although clever, was coupled with a dice pool mechanic that essentially took any character skill out of the equation and thus negated the fact that the Star Trek setting is gugps skill oriented. Yet Directivee persevered with the Prime Directive line, purchased all of the books and even if I never ran the game, I at least used the background material.
Now the roleplaying game of the Star Fleet Battles universe returns, not so much in a second edition, but at least with a full set of new mechanics in the form of GURPS.
Setting gurpss Course The setting for Prime Directive is sourced from the original sixties Star Trek series, with additional elements from the seventies cartoon, rpime going its very independent way, by increasing the involvement of the Gorn and the Tholians, as well as adding a slew of their own new gutps. Those new to the game who expect elements from The Next Generation and later series will be in for a disappointment, as there are none here.
That said, neither the original Prime Directive game nor this version can be said to be specifically aimed at Star Trek fans in general, but are instead targeting devotees of the Star Fleet Battles game who wish to add a roleplaying element to their campaigns. The look and layout of the book feels rather dated and this is not helped by the cartoon quality of the illustrations.
This dated look can mostly be ascribed to the rules being organised as if they were for a yurps — such as Star Fleet Battles — and not a roleplaying game.
At the same time, references within the text to other sections use both wargame rules notation and ordinary page numbers, which is a little disconcerting to the reader.
GURPS Prime Directive
direcctive By necessity, much of the book is taken up by the GURPS rules, with the remainder given over to describing the setting and how to apply the rules to it. Where Prime Directive concentrated solely upon players taking the roles of ‘Prime Team’ members Starfleet’s equivalent of special forces, hostage rescue teams, super scientists, and ambassadors, all rolled into oneGURPS Prime Directive opens up the setting to allow other campaign types.
These include guidelines for the bridge crew, now standard to all Star Trek RPGs, as well as fighter pilots, special gurrps as Federation Marshals, and freelance civilian campaigns.
Standard power level for a GURPS Prime Directive game is points, with cadets built on points, green characters onveterans on and elite Prime Team members on Heroic characters are built on points or more. To create a character, a player buys a template for his character’s race and possibly a package to reflect his training, and with the rest of the points, creates a GURPS character as they would for any other game.
There are almost fifty racial templates included, which cover not just members of the Federation, but also the Gorn, the Romulans, the Klingons and their client prjme and the Orions, but also many species native difective to direcfive Star Fleet Battles universe, including one or two which are dirrctive to have become extinct over the course of the setting’s timeline.
Many of these suffer from the ‘pets in space’ syndrome: The resulting race is thus available and ready to use in said game as both player character and NPC. Classic examples of this are the Aslan and Vargr from the Traveller universe. Of interest to most gamers will be the inclusion of the Kzinti as an NPC race, but these are not quite the classic hormone driven, “look before they leap” Kzinti of Larry Niven’s Known Space stories.
GURPS Prime Directive
The Kzinti of the Star Fleet Battles universe have these aspects, and while still fairly tough, are not quite as physically capable as in Niven’s stories. They are more technologically advanced than in Known Space and it is actually possible to play a female Kzinti. The packages provided are all for the Federation Academy and allow the creation of enlisted crew and officers in Prije, the marines and the merchant marine.
Two additional packages are for more high-powered games that include members of the Galactic Intelligence Agency or the Federation Marshals Service. Future releases for the line will cover other races and services, but in this first book they are all geared towards Federation based campaigns. The latter is the nearest that this supplement comes to allowing the creation of a Prime Team member. Directivve notable departure the book makes from traditional GURPS is a simplification of the rules for psionics.
This simplification allows Vulcan psionic masters to be created with greater ease and a lower point cost. Psionic power is treated as an advantage costing five points per level, and all psionic abilities use this single score as their power level.
Psionic skills are bought as mental skills, but instead of being based on the IQ attribute, are based upon the character’s Will statistic. The standard notation of ‘Y’ followed by the year number is used throughout. The referee is free to set their games at any point along this timeline as there are no set periods or eras and primw is helped by the GURPS technology levels that are used throughout, running from TL9 — the ‘Non-Tactical Warp’ era to the ‘X-Technology Era’ of TL13, with the introduction of each level noted for all of the main races.
Of course, technology in this setting is slightly different, as transporter or matter gurpss is commonly available at TL 10 instead of TL 15 as is standard in GURPS.
The chapter on technology not directkve covers shipboard and personal equipment that most characters will use, but the various pieces employed by the different races as well.
Besides the long timeline, which is still just a list of the wars fought between the various races, the setting chapter explains the nature of the Star Fleet Battles universe. Much like other Star Trek RPGs, the book suggests how player characters can become directly involved in shipboard operations during starship combat who’d want to sit it out?
Other sections detail different aspects of this divergent Star Trek universe, including Klingon subject races, Federation and Starfleet awards and decorations, the various types of prime teams employed by the different factions, the Romulan Code of Honor and the full deck plans for a free trader and its many variations.
Though this feels a little pri,e of gurpw with the rest of the book’s contents, it is nevertheless useful. A map shows the positions of the many empires, on a hexagonal grid with a scale primme parsecs per hex.
Most of the major worlds of the Star Fleet Battles universe are listed and several of those in the neutral areas between the empires are discussed in passing. This information feels a little spotty, but adds enough color and flavor to differentiate this setting from any other Star Trek universe.
The book is rounded out with ‘Rescue on Roon,’ a hostage rescue mission that allows the players to play through the events of the color fiction that opens the prologue of GURPS Prime Directive. It is a mixture of problem solving and prrime that could be run in almost any SF RPG and there is little here that makes it into a Star Trek scenario.
The first are fans of Star Fleet Battles who want a roleplaying game to go with the boardgame. Unless future releases change the setting dramatically, GURPS Prime Directive portrays a very militaristic style of Star Trek, which may dissuade some from purchasing either this book or later supplements. Yet the GURPS rules are inherently flexible in both their mechanics and their outlook, and hopefully this flexibility can be applied to the Star Fleet Battles universe.
This directiive certainly worthwhile if you want to game yurps the Star Fleet Battles universe or just play something dirwctive to classic Star Trek using the GURPS rules, but if you’re looking for a more general Star Trek game, this book is probably not for you.
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