*This was originally posted on the British Fantasy Society website.
Strange New Worlds is a collection of one shot adventures for the Star Trek Adventures role-playing game by Modiphius. This book reads like a year of broadcast television’s Star Trek, and that’s great for this game and the gaming table. Every so often, you and your group can sit down and make your way through missions outlined in this book in a rather episodic fashion-just like the televised show.
The overall concept and design on this book is fantastic. It looks like Modiphius simply copied and pasted the user interface from the Next Generation computer onto the pages. The colours, the organization of the information, everything looks just like you’d expect to see it displayed on the computer. Combined with the self-contained nature of the missions, you really get a sense that the book was designed to emulate a televised season’s worth of material. It’s a strong concept that really capitalizes on the visual aspect of Star Trek, but also the medium most people associate it with.
Running the missions forces the players to filter their decisions through the Prime Directive. This is absolutely key to Star Trek, and it’s good to see that the authors took the values of the Starfleet Federation into consideration when designing the missions. There is an excellent blend of science and ethics that make Star Trek what it is, and this is present throughout the book.
Where this compilation faltered a bit was that I found myself wanting the missions to be a bit more diverse. I’ll avoid spoilers, but one thing that wasn’t evident was the full scope of Star Trek. While focusing largely on the Original Series and the Next Generation, the individual missions can be adapted in different ways to accommodate the different time periods for Star Trek, and this is a good thing. However, the missions only really aim at those two iterations of the broader intellectual property. Voyager? Deep Space Nine? These more recent additions to the Star Trek pantheon seem to be a bit left out, and since Voyager really dealt with unexplored space it felt like an odd omission.
All in all, these are fun missions. Despite feeling a bit limited in scope, the text in its entirety brings together the ethics, aesthetics, and objectives of the televised show. It really tries to capture the spirit of Star Trek via exploration and embracing the unknown through scientific inquiry, and to the benefit of the gamers, it largely succeeds.