The FASA Star Trek Insider; Page 4 of 5   12-07-2020

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Here are some of the comments mentioned by some of the people who worked on FASA Star Trek.
These are the old Stardate / Stardrive Magazine Ask Starfleet / Closing the Gap Q&A sections.
Then newer postings and e-mails from the internet in later years from some of the designers.
If you have word from any of the designers please send it to me to be added here.


Caitian and Claws
Skipping Ship Payments
Largest Ship Class

ABOUT Star Trek: The Role Playing Game
Brief History
Paramount Licensed Products
Money In The Federation
FASA Klingons
Human Enlightenment
Filling in Gaps
Tricorder Playing Aid
Doctor Who RPG System
Federation Rec Manual Notes from Designers
Designer on some Books
The Story of the Original Enterprise-D Blueprints
Jaynz Masterhead Ship Art
Orion Ruse and Game News
White Flame
TOS Poster
Denial Of Destiny Cover
The Vanished Cover
The Outcasts Cover
Decision at Midnight Cover
Old Soldiers Never Die Cover
Tricorder / Starship Sensor Display
Starfleet Intelligence Command Manual
The Strider Incident Cover
The Dixie Gambit Cover
Trader Captains and Merchant Princes (2ndED) Cover
Operation Armageddon Cover
ST:TNG Officer’s Manual // Equipment Cut-away Drawings
Talk About ST TRPG
Bladeship Model



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

This will 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 questions....



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 the STAR FLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL, the STAR TREK SPACEFLIGHT CHRONOLOGY, etc.?

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 perform.



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 throw able 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.



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.



From: Stardate Mag N1 1984
Author: FASA

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:TRPG 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 publish 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 your ships are pretty neat. Since the Enterprise, Reliant. 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 Terrain 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., Terrain 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 Terrain 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 weapons it would be next to impossible to destroy and there- fore lessen the play value (fun) of the game. If you would like to up gun 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 Dock?

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 700Lbs. 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 receives more than one sensors hit in a turn are the accumulative?

A. You roll the die for the first hit then add one turn for each additional 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 received 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 small post 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 by 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 permanently. 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.

All 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 work.



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 Survey 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)



From: Stardate Mag V3N3 1987
Author: by Bob Gray

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

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.



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!



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



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.



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. 



From:  Games * Design * Art * Culture - Origins2004
Author: by Gred Costikyan (West End former Employee)
Date: 2003?

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 focusing on combat and war and drifting from the philosophies that made Star Trek popular in the first place. Battletech was beginning to do well, and FASA seemed 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 licensing functionary which caused FASA to abandon their popular Star Trek rpg in the eighties. Here's hoping history doesn't repeat in this situation.

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

Paramount 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.



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 aboard 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".



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

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

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.



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 aforementioned 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.



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 coherent whole. They were also trying to make it interesting for people to adventure in, and utopian societies 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 dishonorable barbarian classic Trek Klingons that rings true with TNG's neo-Samurai 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 sources.

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 D&D/AD&D.

I missed much of the beginnings of this exchange.



From: His old Website
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.



From: (
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.



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!



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.


The Story of the Original Enterprise-D Blueprints

Author: Phil Broad (for Ed Whitefire)
Date: 2005

The Original Enterprise D Plans By Ed Whitefire
The ship was designed by Andy Probert who would also work with Ed Whitefire on the original set of interior plans for the "D", which are presented for the first time (2005) anywhere.

Phil Broad: "It was sometime during the first season of Next Generation's run on on TV that I mentioned in passing to Ed that "someone" should see about doing plans of the new Enterprise, like the old Franz Joseph deck plans of the ship from the original series. Ed replied "that gives me an idea" and the rest is history."

Ed contacted Paramount Studios and eventually came in contact with Star Trek Art Department staff member Andrew Probert who listened to his idea. Andrew thought it was good and they agreed that Ed should do the "official" plans for eventual publication. It would be up to Ed to not only create the drawings but to find a publisher as well. This would prove to be no small task, the drawings would take two 1/2 years of effort to design and draw and the search for publishers was not easy either. In the end the gaming publisher "FASA" was given the contract to publish and distribute the plans under their existing license with Paramount for Star Trek related products.

As Ed got going on the project some of his original pencil layouts would be displayed at the last "Equicon" science fiction convention held in Los Angeles and interest from the fans seemed reasonably high. After two years of effort and uncounted trips to the studio to confer with Andrew Probert, Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda, the plans were finally ready for publishing. Ed had them duly copyrighted and all seemed well.

It was at this point that fate intervened when it was learned that FASA had let their license with Paramount expire and they could no longer publish the plans. Ed began to cast about for a new publishing house and it was during this process that he learned that Rick Sternbach had agreed to the Pocket Book offer to produce plans of the ship. Ed now had to watch as all his work was cast aside so someone else could publish the "official" plans. There proved to be little that Ed could do to stop the other project as by this time his friend Andrew Probert had left the Star Trek Art Department.

The new plans seemed to borrow heavily from Ed's work yet did not incorporate many of the design features that the ship's original designer Andrew Probert had intended. Only Ed's drawings do that.

Now, after more than ten years, Ed has agreed to make his plans available for free via the "Vault". For the first time this gives fans a chance to see the "Enterprise D" as it's original designer intended. The copies posted do not do justice to the level of detail found in his full size originals but they are generously provided by him to you, free of charge here on the internet.

Note: Ed sells these old plans and the newer updated plans on the internet, his drawings come in a custom drawing tube which will feature a free full size copy of his plans. These plans consist of 13 sheets, 22x34 inches in size.

(2005 Trekplace Ed Interview)



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 remembrance, 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 different 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 original 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 signature!."

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 adventures... 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 into 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, somehow..."



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."



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."



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 Klingons.

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.



From: From the Archives! Web Blog;
Author: Mitch O'Connell
Date: February 20 2011

<poster image>

My first and only actual job was spent happily drawing away for a year and a half at FASA, a role-playing game company in Chicago. Started right after leaving art school, but then began to get enough freelance to not bother with 9 to 5 employment. The rest is history!



From: Twitter @couchguy
Author: Guy McLimore
Date: January 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm

It is always a nice surprise when I come across someone who has such fond memories of Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. As one of the original designers, I can tell you that the time I spent with my long-time collaborator Greg Poehein and the late David Tepool working on the game, supplements and adventures still stands out as one of the best creative experiences of my life.

I still remember the day we were offered the project out of the blue by FASA’s Jordan Weisman. For me, it was the dream job — the project I had always wanted. As a Trek fan and gamer, the Star Trek universe was the most incredible place to explore. The three of us felt very privileged, spending a number of years placing our own small mark on this incredible adventure setting.

Many of my favorite memories of my career as a game designer come from my Star Trek days. Among my favorites:

* Working around the clock with Greg and Dave to meet the tight deadline for the manuscript before the FASA license lapsed.

* Opening the very first case of the First Edition boxed set in a hotel room the night before debuting it at a major Star Trek convention.

* Replaying the bar fight from “The Trouble with Tribbles” with Jimmy Doohan and Walter Koenig reprising their roles at a charity event.

* Collaborating with my much-missed friend John M. Ford on The Klingons supplement and having our team written into the climactic scene of his Star Trek novel “The Final Reflection” as Klingon officers.

* Meeting the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself in an elevator in St. Louis and giving him a copy of the game (and finding out years later from Majel Barrett Roddenberry how much Gene had liked it).

These are things that stick with you for a lifetime. Greg’s clever and fun game mechanics and David’s peerless starship combat rules formed the strong framework of the system, while I did my best to keep the role playing experience true to the spirit of optimism, adventure and diversity that made the Star Trek universe so special to all of us. We had a great time doing it.

Hearing after all these years from people who played (and apparently are still playing) the game who think in some measure that we succeeded — that’s the best thing of all. Thanks for playing.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: June 13, 2014

“Rich artist” is a contradiction of terms for most creative types. That certainly has been the case in my career; I have had periods of peak activity and affluence but they never last long enough to even out for the lean years. As a good friend said ” One month the chicken is in the pot and the next month you get only feathers.” In order to mentally and emotionally survive you have to find your rewards in others ways. You can’t used income to keep score.

Sometimes the pay-off comes with the subject matter you are assigned. It’s been my good fortune to make my living doing Star Trek art at three separate times in my career. In the mid-eighties I did covers for FASA corporation’s Star Trek role-playing game, in the mid-nineties I did a couple of sub-sets for Skybox Cards Star Trek Masterworks II set, and in the mid -“oughts” I did the three dealer-incentive covers for IDW comics adaptation of ‘The Wrath of Khan”.

It was kind of nice the way that all worked out….

This was the first cover I did for the FASA game series. I had just started free-lancing after four years as an officer in the army and truth be told this was a little difficult for me. During my “time in” I did occasional free-lance work but not enough to push me into developing my work; I came out making images almost exactly the way I did when I went in.

Unfortunately my “eye” did continue to develop – what I could conceive was much more demanding of what I could produce. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but was having a hard time getting there.

Considering the predicament I was in at the time this didn’t work out all that badly. It was done in July of 1983 with airbrush on illustration board with inks and Dr. Martin’s dyes. Some areas have been embellished with colored pencil or brushwork. It measures about 12″X16″ – it was originally a wrap-around cover so you’re missing half the image – the back area was split between white space and a continuation of the space-view.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: June 16, 2014

Second in the run of Trek covers I did for FASA corporation,” The Vanished” was probably the least visible out of them all. The supplement had been published previously using cover art by another illustrator and I was told that Paramount licensing was not happy with the way a female figure had been depicted – her Star Fleet tunic skirt was too tight/too short…which seemed to contradict the definition of a Star Fleet tunic-skirt.

To be honest I thought the first cover illustration was great but I was all too happy to get the work.

This was one of the few covers Jordan was less than thrilled about – specifically the blue reflected highlight on Sulu’s face and the large hands on the security guard behind him. I thought we was going to kill the project but between the tight deadline and the fact that he loved the ship, monster and background it went to print. As a second printing it didn’t get a very large run; FASA was also unsuccessfully experimenting at the time with packaging the supplements in a cardboard sleeve that could be hung from a peg which also hurt sales.

…and there was that yucky blue highlighting!

24″X16″ ink and Dr. Martin’s dyes applied with airbrush on cold-press illustration board. Detail added with colored pencils, designers markers and gouache. August 1983

thought on “The Vanished”

David R. Deitrick on June 24, 2014 at 11:27 am said:

I come from a family of Trek fans and no one was more excited about these covers than my nephew Erik (Taveres). It was frustrating for him though because his buddies didn’t believe him when he’d tell them his Uncle David was doing the covers for the books they were carrying around – the different surnames didn’t help much for that matter. I decided to give him a hand: it’s hard to tell with a small image like this but scattered in the numbers in the computer readout on the back cover are his phone number, birthdate and street address. I also sent him an autographed cover signed “Uncle David”….




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: June 17, 2014

Third in the series of FASA Trek covers. For various reasons there was an 18 month gap between this book and the previous one. In that time I had gone to the 1984 WORLDCON in Los Angeles where I spent most of my time going through the art show and taking notes. Soon afterwards I make a major change in the way I worked, incorporating more paint over the top of the airbrush work and using better reference material.

16″X24″ on hot-press watercolor board. (back portion of the wrap-around has been cropped off). Acrylic paint over the top of airbrush which in turn was laid over the top over a water-color underpainting. My friend Mark Robison posed for the Starfleet officer – the first of several instances in which he did so. The “Vulcan” in the background was based on my nephew Gordon Laird Michael.

The original art fell victim to the Christmas in Chicago curse. Four years running I had a painting bent when it passed through Chicago during Christmas time. FASA was still able to use this piece by some imaginative use of a clear overlay and an airbrush. but I was able to salvage only the cropped out head & shoulders of each figure




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: June 24, 2014

One of my favorites…but one with some odd stories behind it.

The plot involved a Starfleet captain that had gone insane and was trying to start a war. I held on to the original until January of 1993 when a guy walked into the CHATTACON art show at the last minute and bought it for the immediate purchase price. The buyer kept gushing about the great portrait of Commander Riker he’d purchased and when I told him that A) it was an illustration for a classic TREK product published two years before ST;TNG came on the air and B) the guy who posed for the piece just happened to look like Jonathon Frakes the buyer’s eyes would kind of glaze over.

There is also a sad story to go with piece. About the same time I did this painting I got a reply from Task Force Games about an inquiry I had made to them 6 months earlier about doing work for Star Fleet Battles ( it’s a long story but it was a licensed line co-existing with FASA’s products. When I finally heard back I was told that the game’s designer specified that I not be used for the game – by name. As I had never met the guy it kind of took me back but evidently he wanted a lot more detail that I usually included – especially more little dead bodies getting sucked out into space…so when I did this space battle scene I made sure that I had lots of little dead bodies.

…but as I was finishing up the painting and cleaning my brushes an announcer broke into the classic rock station I was listening to, saying ” Folks, I’m not sure what is going on but we’ve gotten word that something wrong has happened at Cape Canaveral – that something might have happened to the Space Shuttle Challenger.”

Yep, it was early 1986 and while I was being oh-so-clever about dead bodies in space the shuttle was blowing up. There are times in my life when I felt like a bigger jack-a** than I did that day – but not many.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: July 2, 2014

One of my pet peeves with doing book covers is the “who shot John” phase after a book tanks. Invariably it is blamed on the cover – but when the book sells well it’s the author who is solely responsible…but to be honest I am guilty of a similar crime. If one of my covers looks bad, I’ll usually dump it in the lap of the designer that handled the type.

This is one of my faves out of the TREK cover line, but it enjoyed a brief stay in my portfolio. When I heard “Great illustration but that type…” for the third time I pulled it out. I wasn’t happy about it though because it was the kind of thing I lived for: good likeness of George Takei, nice retro-design of a Romulan war “clumsy cylindrical ship” and the whole thing pulled together in a nice thematic design.

Unfortunately this was produced in March of 1986 – the Pre-Jeff era. Jeff Laubenstein was a staff artist at FASA and is (without a doubt) the best typographer I have ever worked with or ever knew of. You could put a photo of dog-vomit on a cover and Jeff would design type that would make it look good. Luckily, he was soon regularly handling the cover type on just about everything I did for FASA.

Same technical stuff – Mixed Method/Medium on hot-press watercolor board.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: July 12, 2014

This one is a little different. Not only did I create the art – I designed the thing as well. I had put together a small version for use in a Trek RPG campaign that ran intermittently during the course of 1984 and when I mentioned it in passing to Jordan he jumped right on the idea.

Unfortunately it lost something in translation. The original device was much simpler to use, being limited to just the dials. When I sent in the prototype and instructions the project got handed off to another writer who added a measure of depth and complexity that just didn’t fit. Instead of being able to quickly dial in readings players had to stop and consult charts for range as well as go through other steps that slowed play down.

The prompting for the project came from playing the old “B1 Bomber” computer game on the TRS-80. It was text-based, but I liked the fact that you could take contacts and headings and plot them on a chart. As a veteran and one-time aviator I knew that most information gleaned from dials and read-outs had to be interpreted and I liked that one little step closer to reality…of course now 30 years later you get instruments that lay all the information out for you, interpretation and all.

I’m not sure what happened to the original art – neither piece was very marketable to collectors. It’s just as well – I used airbrush on regular weight illustration board and some of the inks I used were not light-fast…and yes, I know that I spelled a word wrong on the sensor side. Tight deadlines prevented FASA from sending the work back to me before printing – and this was years before Photoshop.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: August 5, 2014

Noteworthy for a couple of reasons:

1. My dual-view of Pavel Chekov, first as a line officer and then as an undercover agent.

2. The featured starship is a bladeship – my personal design.

3. I wrote a fair amount of written material that was incorporated into this book.

For most of the time I worked on the TREK series my “second life” was as the battalion S-2 (intelligence officer) for 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) UTARNG. I was doing so much in the way of technical writing for that job that I kind of eased into writing a special operations command supplement for Starfleet. Known as ‘SPOOX” they were an SAS/SF/GS7 amalgam with their own dedicated ship designs…like the bladeship.

Bladeships were packed full of sensors and receivers for use in reconnaissance and surveillance. It had some weaponry, but it was meant to fight running away (it had two torpedo tubes firing aft but only one firing forward). It was the fastest ship in the ST:RPG universe but couldn’t take a whole lot of damage and had sleath-shields that were the closest thing Starfleet had to a cloaking device…in other words a combined AC-130, submarine and “black helicopter”.

“SPOOX” was another casualty of the demilitarization that The Great Bird was stressing in the late 1980s – but it was just as well because I ended up butting heads with editors over what they wanted (Rambo) vs. what I wanted ( Tom Clancy). The bladeship and a lot of the equipment were folded into the rest of the Intelligence manual material.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: August 21, 2014

What do I do with original art?

In the beginning I just stored it away. I wasn’t going to conventions and galleries weren’t interested in “space boy” art so I had no means, no venue for selling it. It was just as well as in the beginning I was also using a lot of “fugitive media” – inks and dyes that were not UV-resistant and prone to fading rapidly when displayed in sunlight or strong interior lighting. I was also using non-archival illustration board for a ground which would start to discolor over time because of its wacky pH balance ( or lack of). However, as my career progressed I moved into spending more for archival art supplies; I also started displaying my work in convention art shows where people would then buy my artistic “children” and (sob) take them away forever!

It was then that I discovered something interesting – actually it came from Bill Whitaker, a former teacher of mine and a master of the human figure. Those philistines buying and pawing my masterpieces were no dopes. I found that my favorite paintings were the ones that the consumer wanted but if I just “knocked something out” just to pay the rent it would just hang on the panel lonely and undisturbed. It wasn’t always a matter of quality either – quite often I’ll find myself liking one of my works of art because of the concept behind it – or even because of the era and circumstances in which it was painted. I couldn’t have told you the nonverbal cues in the piece to save my life but the non-creative buyers would react to it too.

Consequently Lori and I had to make a rule about what went up for sale and what didn’t. At each show we could designate one (1) piece of art as “NFS” (not for sale) but everything else had to have a price tag – after all it was a business we were engaged in and the money we earned from selling the originals often made up a sizeable percentage of a month’s income. The rule worked fairly well except when during those rare times when I happened to produce several remarkable paintings all in a row. Such was the case with the cover illustration for “THE STRIDER INCIDENT”

It was getting close to the end of my time working on Star Trek role-playing game. the line would continue to stay in publication for a couple more years but between continuing friction with Paramount’s licensing department and the exploding popularity of BATTLETECH more and more of my time was being booked creating uniforms, equipment and vehicles for that world of giant anthropomorphic fighting robots. I looked at my stock of original TREK art and realized that A) I didn’t have much TREK stuff left and B) I wasn’t going to be making much more of it. I had liked the way the slightly abstract background and worked with the representational handling of the ships in THE STRIDER INCIDENT so I figured that painting to be a keeper.

There was a problem though: I was scheduled to attend NORWESCON in Seattle and unfortunately I had already chosen my NFS piece. I decided to play dirty so I priced the STRIDER INCIDENT art high enough that most convention attendees couldn’t afford it – but not so high that Lori would figure out what I was up to.

My cunning plan worked…temporarily. Just as I had planned the painting failed to sell at the convention. However, at the convention I met a real nice guy by the name of Bill Mimbu, a long time TREK fan and had followed my work on FASA products over the years. He was a fan – but not a fawning fan. I liked the fact that he could discuss the pros and cons of each one of my covers in an informed and intelligent manner – some of my work he liked and some of it he thought stunk, though he was much too diplomatic to express his opinion in that matter. With that level of insight and knowledge AND the fact that we were at a science fiction convention I figured him to be a clerk in a bookstore.

I was wrong. Three weeks after the convention I received a nice letter from Bill, asking if THE STRIDER INCIDENT art was still for sale. It turned out that he was well paid engineer for Boeing and the convention had just caught him in between paychecks. Lori had taken note of his letter in the mail so was compelled to let THE STRIDER INCIDENT warp on out the door to the Pacific Northwest.

As far as technical data – Same tools and media as before as far as with the other TREK covers. Hot-press watercolor board with airbrush and acrylic used for the rendering. I never realized how many compound curves were included in the movie-version of the starship Enterprise and I have to confess to cheating in some spots and straightening some of them out.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: September 2, 2014

I’m including this one only because my eldest son Conrad will never forgive me if I left it out. The Dixie Gambit was by far and away my least favorite FASA Trek cover. Why? There are too many reasons to reel them all off but A) the crewmen are not my best work involving the human figure and B) my first (and rejected) cover design was ever so much cooler, featuring Uhura dolled up in Klingon armor and doing her best “Dirty Harriet” while aiming a disruptor at an unseen target.

(‘Did I fire four phaser bolts or five? Go ahead – make my light-year”)

Technical specifications: Ditto as with the previous covers. Once I got comfortable with that mixed airbrush/paintbrush technique I stayed with it because it worked so well.




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: September 5, 2014

This was a nice bookend of sorts; the second TREK supplement I did for FASA was a reworking of a Mitch O’Connell cover and this (almost) next to last FASA Trek supplement was an O’Connell rework as well. At the time I never got a straight answer as to “why’ they were having me do new covers because Mitch’s work is great, but as time has passed I found out that I was being used as a club to keep him and other artists in line – in the same manner that other younger, less expensive artists were eventually used against me when I was better established and getting better rates

There were other aspects in the project that were equally stressful. I made a typographical error in the computer readout in the illustration but there was not enough time to send it back to be reworked. Oddly enough I was glad that I had to let a mistake like that stand because I would have been required to make another change had there been an extra week or so available.

I’d have been required to make the security guard white.

One reason the original TREK series appealed to me in the first place was the way people of all shapes, sizes and colors got along – so it was disconcerting to find that my efforts to put some variety in the RPG covers met with resistance. There were no crossed being burned – but there was always a “good reason” why I had to change this person or that person. I worked around the issue by featuring George Takei twice but with this cover I just made sure in the sketch that security guard had strong side-lighting so the skin-tone wasn’t so obvious, and once the sketch is OK’d…

It wasn’t the last time I would run into covert bias. A few years later I had another client who fought tooth and nail to keep strong female characters off his covers so when I sent in a cover featuring an armed female adventurer standing guard while her male compatriot (with weapon holstered) was working on bypassing an alarm I came close to having the job cancelled and being banned from all future work.

This was also one of my first “celebrity death covers” too. I had a lot of fun featuring Harry Mudd on the cover but two months later Roger C. Carmel (the actor who played him) died. It happened again twenty years later when Ricardo Montalban died two months after I included him in one of the covers I did for IDW Comics Wrath of Khan adaptation.

…so, the next time you start thinking that it would be fun for me to paint you into one of my covers you may want to get a check-up first!



From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: September 16, 2014

FASA Star Trek Boardgames

<Operation Armageddon Cover Image>

I was startled to find this image while doing some ‘surfing” today. It brings back some difficult memories of hard lessons learned.

This was a comprehensive sketch for one of three strategy board games FASA was developing in the middle of their RPG run. Paramount had just announced modification to their licensing agreements; up to this point West End Games also had a licensed Trek game line but were limited to strategy board games but that policy was being changed. From that point on the various licenses were non-exclusive – the holders could develop board games, RPGS or whatever they thought would sell.

I got a panic call from Jordan: they needed comps for proposed games to go in the new catalog – but there was no budget to cover the cost. As at this point we were all still “friends” I did the work on spec, with the understanding that I’d get top dollar when the actual game covers were commissioned.

They never were…and it was at about this time that I noticed a distinct “coolness” radiating from Van Buren Avenue in Chicago and the whole “we’re in this together” atmosphere slowly faded away. It was a sad lesson: sometimes you can’t be as nice to people as you’d like to be. Sometimes people take it as a sign of weakness.

Sometimes people shoot themselves in the foot.


David R. Deitrick on January 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm said:

never saw a manuscript – just a short verbal description over the phone (as was usually the case). I don’t think anything became of them.

David R. Deitrick on January 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm said:

When the Trek game started out in 1983 there wasn’t much oversight by Paramount – in fact the first half dozen covers I did I signed my name with a copyright bullet and they let it go without requiring a change. STIV and ST:TNG changed everything- Paramount’s licensing department mushroomed and they started micro-managing everything. GR got a lot more clout too. He was always trying to downplay the military aspects of Trek (which is a glaring contradiction) and he thought that FASA’s interpretation was too militaristic and focused too much on combat and violence. I don’t know if he was a factor in the overall license but I do know that he personally killed the Star Fleet Marines supplement, which was sad because a top-notch artist did uniform designs and cover for it that never got used.

David R. Deitrick on January 28, 2016 at 7:05 pm said:

As far as I know none of the operation Armageddon books went to print – at least I was never commissioned to do covers for them and both Jordan and Ross were evasive
when I inquired about them later on.

All the Trek work I did is long gone. I occasionally do commissions (marker renderings of characters) in fact I did a red-tunic movie era Vulcan last month – a female Vulcan SF officer for a friend in the Bay area.

David R. Deitrick on January 30, 2016 at 11:08 am said:

Jordan Weismann and Ross Babcock – the two principals in the FASA corporation. As for the Vulcan drawing: she’s on this blog. I think I posted the image in December (2015)




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: September 18, 2014


This was almost one of the coolest products ever to hit the street from FASA. I started work in late 1987 and I worked on it sporadically for the next couple of months. It was full of all sorts of nice techy information but evidently the Great Bird had problems with some of the text; book was pulled and edited down to a ghost of the original form (I think most of my cutaway drawings failed to make the cut). If you have the first volume you have a collectors’ item.

I worked hard to make the “guts” of each device look functional. Again, a background in industrial design followed by experience as a maintenance officer in the Army was of great help. In order to facilitate maintenance almost all complex devices in the military are built up out of smaller components; first and second echelon maintenance/repair consists mainly of testing and replacing those smaller modules. It was disappointing to see wire & LED “spaghetti” when Data or some android was opened up on camera. Maybe it was a budget thing or writers thought viewers needed 1950’s technology in understand what was going on.

STTNGPhaserOne STNGOfficersManualPhaser

When I got to the Phasers I tried to carry on with the design philosophy used with the Original Series side-arms: the concealable Phaser 1 could clip into the Phaser 2 when more power was needed with the Phaser 2 clipping into a rifle when you really needed to knock something down. When I got to my version of the rifle I decided to have some fun.


Taking a page from George Lucas’ book I styled the rifle on a British STEN submachine gun i.e. the lethality of the base weapon is mirrored in the new device. I rationalized the long side-handle as being the base for a more accurate “triangulating” sighting system…and these weapons would need them because you’d have a hard time hitting anything with them.You’ll have a hard time finding a current military rifle without a pistol grip because they help shooters more instinctively aim. It plays on the way you hold your hand when you point a finger. Flatten the hand out and your aim gets even more shaky; when Worlds of Wonder used a flashlight -format for the initial prototypes for Lazer-Tag they found effective aim to be impossible.

The word must have gotten through: this “dust-buster” format got an angled-down handle towards the end of DS:9.



From: EN World / Email
Author: Guy McLimore
Date: July 1 2017

Talking With Guy McLimore About FASA's Star Trek Roleplaying Game
Christopher Helton

For many old-school gamers, it was the original Star Trek role-playing game – with no bloody A, B, C or D. Star Trek RPGs, much like the USS Enterprise herself, warped through some major refits through the decades, but few iterations can match the scope of FASA’s Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. FASA held the license for much of the 1980s and delivered a detailed and crunchy means of experiencing life in Starfleet during the classic era of Kirk and Spock. FASA’s extensive line of rulebooks, adventure scenarios and setting guides created a rich canon that often built upon elements that were only hinted at during the on-screen depictions of the Enterprise’s five-year mission.

Guy McLimore, one of three writers who sculpted FASA’s first edition of Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, was kind enough to answer some questions from EN World, conveyed by email, about his experience designing a game worthy of one of popular culture’s most revered properties. Read on to learn how McLimore got started writing for Star Trek, what makes a good Trek rpg adventure and how he thinks the game has aged in the decades since.

A Dream Job
McLimore’s experiences as both a gamer and a Star Trek fan reach back decades. He participated in the famed write-in campaign that contributed to the classic television show earning a third season when the network was considering its cancelation after its second year, and he started gaming with the original "brown box" edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

Those two passions collided at a GenCon in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while he was running a booth with David Tepool and Greg Poehlein, two friends with whom he’d established a game design partnership. The trio met FASA founder Jordan Weisman, who mentioned casually that FASA had acquired the license to produce a Star Trek RPG. The conversation led Weisman to ask the trio if they would be interested in working on the game after several other designers had failed to come up with something acceptable to both FASA and Paramount.

"I don't think I ever had to work harder to keep a poker face in my life," McLimore said. "To this day, I can't conceive of any fictional universe more suitable for a great RPG than this one. I already wanted to live there. Designing the game would give us the closest thing to that dream."

McLimore, Tepool and Poehlein scrambled to build a game engine complete with character creation, personal combat and starship operations systems to meet FASA’s 30-day deadline. The effort required some late nights, but it paid off. The game received approval from FASA and Paramount, and the trio became the core design team (credited as "Fantasimulations Associates") for much of the early FASA Star Trek catalog.

Charting The FASA Galaxy
McLimore and his colleagues stressed the importance of baking Star Trek’s philosophies of peaceful exploration and seeking out new life into the game. Their design objectives sometimes ran counter to the prevailing tastes of the tabletop industry, which emphasized combat and realistic tactical simulations. The Fantasimulations team often turned in a different direction for their game, McLimore said.

"Solutions to problems had to come from using knowledge, technology and human effort in the spirit of exploration, cooperation and good will," he said.

Even so, Star Trek: The Role Playing Game couldn’t escape the prevailing influences of the early 1980s tabletop game industry. The "simulationist" bent of the era seeped into the game design, requiring the writers to go to some wild lengths to capture a realistic feel.

"I will never forget Dave Tepool, while working on the character combat system, 'playtesting' the classic Captain Kirk dive roll maneuver over and over in real life to see how it would really affect the combat timing," McLimore said.

The design team produced most of the early content for the game, including supplements focused on the Klingons, Romulans and merchants. They also developed an extensive list of adventures scenarios. McLimore named "Ghosts of Conscience," an introductory adventure included in the deluxe boxed set, as one of his favorite accomplishments while working on the game. The adventure sends a starship crew in search of the USS Hood, which is caught in a pocket of interphase space that causes it to shift between universes. “The Triangle,” another popular supplement, offered gamemasters a ready-made sector of space full of adventure hooks for further exploration and boldly going.

McLimore said good Star Trek RPG adventures avoid the hack-and-slash storytelling commonplace in many tabletop role-playing games. Rather, Star Trek games should mimic the structure and pace of a television episode, he said, giving players opportunities to make difficult ethical decisions that affect the rest of the story that follows.

"It has dramatic highs and expository lows, pacing the action and building to a satisfying climax," McLimore said. "It presents a lot of diverse viewpoints and opportunities for very different beings to find common cause."

All Good Things…
McLimore and his colleagues remained involved through the launch of the game’s second edition, but McLimore said the team increasingly ran up against a desire from the publisher for a more militaristic tone that the writers felt clashed with Star Trek’s core philosophy. FASA tapped other editors to rework some of the presentation and mechanics for the new edition, he said.

"Our primary editor rewrote a lot of the structure with this in mind to make it sound more like a military organization," McLimore said. "I think we fought more over the Second Edition more than anything we'd ever done. We won some of those battles, and lost others."

Those creative differences, along with disagreements over payments, eventually led McLimore and his colleagues to step away from Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. But, looking back on the game today, McLimore said he sees a product that managed to offer an authentic Star Trek experience that drew many Trekkies into the tabletop world.

"We succeeded in attracting a lot of Trek fans to the game who had not previously been role players, in great measure because they found our game gave them a new way to be part of the Star Trek experience," he said. "I'm most proud of that accomplishment, at least."




From: David R. Deitrick Web Blog
Author: David R. Deitrick
Date: February 7, 2019

I designed the bladeship to be Starfleet’s primary Special Operations support vessel – a concept that kicked off a short but brisk discussion that recently spread across WordPress and Facebook. Essentially an SR-71, an AC-130 and a submarine rolled into one ship, the bladeship was central to an (unfortunately) unpublished special operations supplement I wrote for FASA’s Star Trek role-playing game back in the day. The fact that at the time I was also serving as the battalion S2 (intelligence) for the 1st battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (ABN) UTARNG was most definitely a factor in the whole project

The aforementioned discussion got me thinking about all the work that went into the project and how it could be of enough interest to support a couple of posts. Unfortunately, I started the original bladeship project thirty-four years and seven houses ago, and as I learned in the army “three moves equal one fire” …so I’ve essentially been burned out twice since 1985.

I still have some “stuff” left, including this Styrene and Bondo ® model built in scale to the original AMT USS Enterprise model. As I think about this I’m pretty sure I’ve already written a post or two about the bladeship but A) it’s been awhile and B) the pertinent files have proved to be elusive.

<Bladeship Model Image, Insert Here>



In this section there are a few known interviews recorded of the designers located for download on the web. If you have transcripts of these interviews, please send them to me to post here.


From: Geeky Pleasures Interview
Author: Guy McLimore
Date: June 25, 2012

Guy McLimore Interview to discuss many things Star Trek, media and technology. Things we discussed during the interview include: Guy’s background; 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; A fabulous story about Dork Tower creator John Kovalic; and more.


From: Axanar 38: A Psychic Timeshare / TrekFM
Author: John Theisen and Stephen Fender
Date: May 31, 2016

The Making of the FASA Role Playing Game.

The story of Axanar was born of the role-playing game published by the FASA Corporation between 1982 and 1989. Many elements of the game have influenced later Star Trek, particularly John M. Ford’s supplement, The Klingons, published in 1983. But it was 1986’s Four Years War sourcebook and its companion campaign module “Return to Axanar” that would plant the seeds for the story of Prelude to Axanar and the film yet to come.

John is the original author of the FASA Four Years War supplement, and Stephen penned the four-part novel series.



From: Trek Talk: A Star Trek Podcast – Episode 6 Interview
Author: ‎Guy McLimore and Greg Poehlein
Date: April 5, 2017

We interview ‎Guy McLimore and Greg Poehlein who, along with David Tepool, designed FASA’s Star Trek The Roleplaying Game first published in 1982!