Newsfeeds

Lightning Workflow

New Drupal Modules - 14 November 2017 - 12:26pm
Categories: Drupal

Lightning Media

New Drupal Modules - 14 November 2017 - 12:22pm

DO NOT USE. This module will be included in a future release of the Lightning profile.

Categories: Drupal

Agaric Collective: How to declare hexadecimals on a PHPDoc Block

Planet Drupal - 14 November 2017 - 11:30am

TL;DR: For PHP Hexadecimals, Decimals and Octals are all Integers, so they must be declared as @param integer

While I was working on a patch I had to write the docblock of a function which received a hexadecimal number and I wasn't sure what I was supposed to put in the @type param.

I went to Drupal's API documentation and comments standards page to see which is the best type for this param and I found the following:

Data types can be primitive types (int, string, etc.), complex PHP built-in types (array, object, resource), or PHP classes.

Alright, a hexadecimal number is not a complex PHP built-in type nor a PHP Class so it must be a primitive type, so I went to the PHP documentation page to see which primitives PHP has and I found the following:

  • boolean
  • integer
  • float (floating-point number, aka double)
  • String

So there wasn't a specific reference for a Hexadecimal number...

The solution:

In the end Pieter Frenssen helped me (Thanks!) with this, and he showed me that in PHP, it doesn't matter what the base number is and it can be an octal, hexadecimal or a decimal, for PHP they all are integers (which makes sense but I wanted to be sure) and he shared this small snippet where we can see that PHP sees the numbers as integers and the base doesn't matter:

$ php -a Interactive shell php > var_dump(gettype(0x0f)); string(7) "integer" php > var_dump(0x08 === 8); bool(true)

So if you are writing the documentation of a function in which one of its params is a hexadecimal number you must declare it as Integer.

Categories: Drupal

Podcast Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 November 2017 - 11:00am
Tuesday. I know that Arthur could never get a handle on Thursdays. I feel that way about Tuesday. Sure, the week’s well and started, but it’s like Monday 2: Mon Harder. Not that I think it’s particularly as bad as Monday, but still, it’s a really long way from the weekend. Gotta make it get […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Cards Against Humanity Saves America

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 November 2017 - 10:25am
It’s Cards Against Humanity. I sometimes wonder if it’s still a game or if it’s performance art. It’s the holiday season and they’re at it again. This time, they’re out to Save America. Send them $15 and you’ll get 6 cool things (so not cow flop or literally nothing). What’re they going to do with […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Elevated Third: Elevated Third’s CEO Featured as a Drupal Expert

Planet Drupal - 14 November 2017 - 10:21am
Elevated Third’s CEO Featured as a Drupal Expert Elevated Third’s CEO Featured as a Drupal Expert Ayla Peacock Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:21

Elevated Third’s CEO, Jeff Calderone, recently shared his insights with Clutch on Drupal, how to choose a platform and how to choose the right web developers to build your website. This is part of a series of interviews that Clutch has been conducting to educate businesses on the options they have when building a website.

Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews website that ranks digital agencies to help business buyers choose the best partner for their next dev project. We’re currently ranked as a top 5 Drupal Development firm and a top 5 Denver web designer in their research.

Drupal is one of the most popular opensource CMSs. Its community of developers ensures that the platforms continues to evolve and improve. According to Jeff:

“Drupal is great because it gives you a lot of functionality out of the box, the core functionality that’s been built by thousands of developers over time. It’s really solid, tested, and secure. The modules that are created by the community are really where the power comes and where it stands out. We can start with a key suite of modules and core functionality and often get our clients 60-70% of the way to where they want to go, but then be confident that we can build custom modules and functionality to get them the rest of the way, and oftentimes, replicate the functionality of a fully custom website for much less because we’re using the opensource community that has created all this functionality over time.”

Each business has different needs for their website. When it comes to choosing a website platform, Jeff offered:

“Especially if they’re in the B2B space and have that longer sales cycle, I think they need to pick a platform that is going to be able to grow with them and integrate with their existing legacy systems as well as connect with marketing automation and Salesforce and CRM in a way that is user proof. Personalization is coming. Voice activation is coming. All of those exist in some form already. Building on a platform like Drupal allows you to get something up and running quickly and be modular both now and in the future and add onto a solid core as these technologies and trends become actual.”

Another challenge that companies face is choosing the right partner for their project. According to Jeff the key to finding the right company is:

“Focusing on an agency that’s going to understand your business and solve the right problem as opposed to just developers who are going to build what they’re told to build… There are a lot of shops that have good developers that will build whatever you tell them to. We focus on providing that strategic insight. Half our agency is strategy and UX and design and helping the company to solve the right problem trusting that the other side of our shop, the Drupal developers, can implement and build those things that we recommend… It’s key to have that integrated approach and not just one or the other.”

If your business goals and website requirements are planned out early on, choosing the right platform and partner for your company will be simple. To learn more about Drupal, you can read the full interview here.

Categories: Drupal

Runes of Ragnarok Dice Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 November 2017 - 10:00am
Odin’s missing. Now, that might not seem so bad, if it’s just a quick jaunt, but this is pretty serious. The world tree, Yggdrasil, is shaking violently, its limbs possibly breaking and throwing the nine realms into chaos. The other Norse gods have decided that something must be done. That something, of course, is to […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acro Media: Video: Making Migration to Drupal Commerce 2 Easier

Planet Drupal - 14 November 2017 - 9:47am

Moving to a new e-commerce platform can be a massive undertaking, but Drupal is making it simple. Whether you currently use Commerce 1, Ubercart, Shopify, or Magento, there is (or will soon be) an easy way to move over to Commerce 2 and see what it can offer you. Watch the latest High5 video here to learn more.

What moving means

There are a ton of different parts that make up your e-commerce site: products, product variations, orders, customers, account balances, user logins, etc. One of the first things you need to decide is which parts you're going to migrate. Maybe you want to pull order data, but not discounts, which can be notoriously difficult to move over. Products are obviously essential, but moving tax rules over is not nearly as crucial, since you could probably set those up yourself (and if you work with a third party for that anyway, migrating tax rules is a waste of time).

What migrate tools can do

Migrating your site manually is incredibly labor-intensive and prone to failure (you try moving 10,000 products manually without screwing any of them up.) Automating the process with migrating tools that have been thoroughly tested will give you a lot more consistency when moving your data around. And the best part is that this is all open source; we're releasing these tools so that anyone can migrate their site on their own at no charge.

How the tools were developed

We started from the most common stuff (products, orders) and worked our way out to customers and discounts and product classes and all the rest. We have sample sets that we test for each of those aspects. So we have full databases of Ubercart sites, for instance, that we migrate over so we can see which parts are missing and what needs to be improved. We continually work to build those missing pieces and fill out all those edge cases.

What's ready and what's coming

We have all the basics done for Ubercart; if you want to do an Ubercart to Commerce 2 migration right now, you can do it, though you might have to do a little bit of configuring and customizing to get the edge cases. We're trying to get to a point where you can literally just push a button and have everything move over, but that's still a couple months away. Commerce 1 is close to that, Magento is pretty basic, and Shopify is more of a prototype right now.

Categories: Drupal

Steamforged Announces Rookie League Event

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 November 2017 - 9:00am
People love to see characters grow and change over time. That’s the whole point of the narrative structure for a story. In Guild Ball, we’ve seen how numerous characters have progressed along (including now taking dirt naps, because the Guild Ball fluff is the Game of Thrones of miniatures sports games). But what about heading […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Stand-Out Games from Day of the Devs 2017 - by Daniel Chamberlin

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 November 2017 - 8:45am
A review of some of the stand-out titles from the annual indie game showcase in San Francisco held by DoubleFine and iam8Bit. Including Untitled Goose Game and UFO 50.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Understanding Audio in VR - A Game Music Composer's Resource Guide - by Winifred Phillips

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 November 2017 - 8:38am
Video game composer Winifred Phillips offers a roundup of resources available to game composers interested in composing music for virtual reality games. Included: methods and techniques, software tools, online communities, conferences and organizations.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ogre Miniatures Set 2 Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 November 2017 - 8:00am
Longtime readers know my nostalgia around Steve Jackson’s Ogre game. Heck, I used to go by Ogre_MkV online in places. Well, Steve’s looking to get more miniatures made for the 6th edition of the Ogre minis game, and so they’ve taken to Kickstarter in order to get it done. From the campaign: The Superheavy Tank, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Chromatic: Taxonomy Term Shuffles - Hook Updates with Batch API in Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 14 November 2017 - 8:00am

Clare breaks down how to reassign nodes from one taxonomy term to another. Code samples included.

Categories: Drupal

WizKids to Create Magic: the Gathering Board Game and Minis Line

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 November 2017 - 6:43am
WizKids has announced they have expanded their licensing partnership with Wizards of the Coast. As such, they will be creating a line of miniatures as well as a board game based on the popular Magic: The Gathering card game. The announcement says we’ll be getting this stuff in Fall of 2018. So there’s a bit […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin (5e)

New RPG Product Reviews - 14 November 2017 - 6:30am
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
Rating: 5
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module from Jon Brazer Enterprise’s „Deadly Delve“-series for experienced groups clocks in at 46 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 41 pages of content. It should be noted that the pdf comes with an extra-pdf that contains properly-sized, big versions of the maps – these are key-less and generally player-friendly – with one exception: There is a “S” denoting a secret door left on one of them.


This review was moved up in my reviewing-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



..

.

All right, so this adventure begins with a ranger collapsing, talking about the village of Northam being razed to the ground – one of multiple settlements adjacent to swampy terrain. Trying to warn other settlements and find out more, the PCs will soon, in Mistlevy, happen upon their first massive fight – with the lizardmen of the Ixtupi tribe – a somewhat quasi-Aztec vibe accompanies them and their culture as a leitmotif, but more on that later. To their shock, the PCs will encounter a deadly black dragon crash into the clash between the elite Stormhammer guards and the Ixtupi – thankfully, this dragon, quite possibly the commander of the lizardfolk, does retreat – and she has an agenda.


You see, once, this whole area was rules by a black dragon named Nyrionaxys – the draconic being enslaved all it could find and killed the warmbloods. When the dragon was slain, the victors failed to notice one of the dragon’s eggs – this hatchling, fostered by the Ixtupi, grew into Nyrionaxys II, brainwashed to believe herself the reincarnation of the ancient draconic overlord by being raised by the Ixtupi. To complicate matters further, some more benevolent lizardfolk, tired of being salves to draconic whims, have since then split off, becoming the Tsiikil tribe, who was trying to keep the Ixtupi at bay – but with dark whispers in the dragon’s mind, her time seems to be drawing near: She heeds the call of Tlaloc, who has promised her power – all it takes is a blood sacrifice in her home, one of powerful individuals. And suddenly the blatant provocation of the dragon makes sense – the PCs are walking right where the dragons want them to go…


Still, this leaves the PCs without much recourse – they need to stop the black dragon, asap! Thus, they venture deeper into the marshlands towards the temple of the Ixtupi. Tsiikil lizardfolk can provide support and directions, should the PCs help them. The temple of the Ixtupi is a foul stone pyramid surrounded by a great moat – to even get to it, the PCs will need to deal with potent, dragonblooded lizardfolk; the presence of stormwyts, an alkaline-spit-using wyvern-variant adds a further danger – and woe if the PCs start using elemental magics: The taint of the place causes such magic to spawn tainted elemental spirits– stats for all 4 variants are included, just fyi. Big plus in the 5e-version, btw. – the lizardfolk get, at least partially, unique actions that represent their culture: We get e.g. the Tlaloc’s Blessing reaction and similar design decisions to represent the influx of draconic blood and the peculiarities of the tribe.


Breaching the temple is already a feat in and of itself – but exploring the dungeon will not be simple, either: Here, Ixtupi warpriests, mud-caked lizardfolk zombies, mummies and spirits, kobold trappers and even a dire venus flytrap, stand between the PCs and progress – but to reach further below, the PCs have to pass the mosaic pillar chamber – where multiple unique beasts spring forth from the pillar…and that’s before the traps, which make this transitional area a really nice gauntlet.


The bulk of Ixtupi resistance can be encountered in the lower temple – here, the most potent of the tribe await – alongside glass golems, demons, evil idols boosting the foes of the PCs…and even a half-dragon gynosphinx – and yes, she comes with sample riddles. Ultimately, past all the traps, the PCs will have to delve deep into the place where caustic water and grueling sights await and face Nyrionaxys II…if they don’t fall prey to the hatchling ghosts of her brood mates or the half-draconic anaconda. Or the stormwyts…and yes, all of this doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, here is a big difference to almost all adventures featuring dragons: Nyrionaxys II doesn’t wait to be slain. A full page is devoted to tactics of the mighty dragon – who btw. comes with legendary actions as well as access to lair actions.


Speaking of which: Beyond the numerous variant monsters mentioned, I enjoyed the variety of the builds: The 5e-version goes above and beyond to make the respective lizardfolk feel unique and concise; the versions of the new creatures, similarly, are interesting. As a minor complaint, though, it should be noted that here and there, very minor hiccups can be found – an attack value that’s off by one (challenge 8, thus +3 proficiency bonus, with Str 16 = +6 to attack, not +5), but these glitches are rare and the exception – the stats, as a whole, as surprisingly well-made. Among all versions of the module, they are my favorites.


Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good. I noticed no serious accumulations of either formal or rules-language glitches in the module apart from a couple of minor hiccups. Layout adheres to a really nice two-color full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience. The maps featured for all major sites are solid and full-color; apart from the minor tarnish of the remnant secret door-relic mentioned before, the inclusion of player-friendly maps is another big plus. Artwork deserves special mention: The module sports a couple of really nice full-color artworks.


Richard Moore’s “Reign of Ruin” was an honest surprise to me: You see, there are two basic dragon-module set-ups (not counting random encounter dragons): The long, epic one, wherein you defeat a dragon at the end, after much hardship, and with the exact goal of defeating the draconic threat; and the briefer one, where a dragon at the end is basically the boss. The first tends to be represented by mega-adventures, campaigns, etc.; the second by smaller modules. Both have one thing in common: Most of the time, the dragons in them are DUMB, character-less engines of destruction, when ostensibly, they are supposed to be really smart. This module, thankfully, gets that aspect right: The dragon herein is an interesting character, embedded in a dungeon and social environment with an interesting leitmotif; she makes sense. Her proactive strategies can allow the Gm to unleash hell upon the PCs and vanquishing her doesn’t break ongoing campaigns – the rewards are significant, but won’t break the game.


In short: While this does not reinvent the wheel, it’s one of the few anti-dragon modules that did not cause my brain to hurt at one point – and that’s a big, big plus. 5e’s as a whole well-crafted mechanics help as well; to the point where I honestly believe that the mechanics of this version may be the best of the bunch in terms of creativity and how they enforce a succinct cultural identity. Were it not for the minor hiccups in the stats, I’d award this version my seal of approval as well. While thus not absolutely perfect, this still remains my favorite version of the module, directly followed by the PFRPG-iteration, which is why my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars – recommended as a fun, challenging module.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin (Swords and Wizardry)

New RPG Product Reviews - 14 November 2017 - 6:21am
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
Rating: 4
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module from Jon Brazer Enterprise’s „Deadly Delve“-series for experienced groups clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 30 pages of content. It should be noted that the pdf comes with an extra-pdf that contains properly-sized, big versions of the maps – these are key-less and generally player-friendly – with one exception: There is a “S” denoting a secret door left on one of them.


As you can glean from the cover, the OSR-rule-set employed in this version of the module would be Frog God Games’ Swords and Wizardry. We get both ascending and descending AC-values.


This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



..

.

All right, so this adventure begins with a ranger collapsing, talking about the village of Northam being razed to the ground – one of multiple settlements adjacent to swampy terrain. Trying to warn other settlements and find out more, the PCs will soon, in Mistlevy, happen upon their first massive fight – with the lizardmen of the Ixtupi tribe – a somewhat quasi-Aztec vibe accompanies them and their culture as a leitmotif, but more on that later. To their shock, the PCs will encounter a deadly black dragon crash into the clash between the elite Stormhammer guards and the Ixtupi. Thankfully, this dragon, quite possibly the commander of the lizardfolk, does retreat – and she has an agenda. Which brings me to a problem that’s somewhat inherent in the system and the faithful version to the system: In S and W, dragons can be pretty fragile – and compared to her servants, the dragon boss of this module unfortunately adheres to this formula; here, a deviation from the standard rules to account for her boss-nature would probably have made sense.


You see, once, this whole area was rules by a black dragon named Nyrionaxys – the draconic being enslaved all it could find and killed the warmbloods. When the dragon was slain, the victors failed to notice one of the dragon’s eggs – this hatchling, fostered by the Ixtupi, grew into Nyrionaxys II, brainwashed to believe herself the reincarnation of the ancient draconic overlord by being raised by the Ixtupi. To complicate matters further, some more benevolent lizardfolk, tired of being salves to draconic whims, have since then split off, becoming the Tsiikil tribe, who was trying to keep the Ixtupi at bay – but with dark whispers in the dragon’s mind, her time seems to be drawing near: She heeds the call of Tlaloc, who has promised her power – all it takes is a blood sacrifice in her home, one of powerful individuals. And suddenly the blatant provocation of the dragon makes sense – the PCs are walking right where the dragons want them to go…


Still, this leaves the PCs without much recourse – they need to stop the black dragon, asap! Thus, they venture deeper into the marshlands towards the temple of the Ixtupi. Tsiikil lizardfolk can provide support and directions, should the PCs help them. The temple of the Ixtupi is a foul stone pyramid surrounded by a great moat – to even get to it, the PCs will need to deal with potent, dragonblooded lizardfolk; the presence of stormwyts, an alkaline-spit-using wyvern-variant adds a further danger – and woe if the PCs start using elemental magics: The taint of the place causes such magic to spawn tainted elemental spirits…


Breaching the temple is already a feat in and of itself – but exploring the dungeon will not be simple, either: Here, Ixtupi priests, mud-caked lizardfolk zombies, kobold trappers, spirits, mummies and even a dire venus flytrap, stand between the PCs and progress – but to reach further below, the PCs have to pass the mosaic pillar chamber – where multiple unique beasts spring forth from the pillar…and that’s before the traps, which make this transitional area a really nice gauntlet.


The bulk of Ixtupi resistance can be encountered in the lower temple – here, the most potent of the tribe await – alongside glass golems, demons, evil idols boosting the foes of the PCs…and even a half-dragon gynosphinx – and yes, she comes with sample riddles. Ultimately, past all the traps, the PCs will have to delve deep into the place where caustic water and grueling sights await and face Nyrionaxys II…if they don’t fall prey to the hatchling ghosts of her brood mates or the half-draconic anaconda. Or the stormwyts…and yes, all of this doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, here is a big difference to almost all adventures featuring dragons: Nyrionaxys II doesn’t wait to be slain. A full page is devoted to tactics of the mighty dragon. Still, while S and W obviously uses smaller numbers and her AC and defenses are impressive, at 32 hp, the dragon still remains comparatively fragile.


Speaking of monsters – the stat-conversions to S and W are solid, as far as I’ve seen. Spell-names are adjusted, etc. Big plus, btw.: The hoard of the dragon, while massive, is WBL-appropriate and shouldn’t pose a problem for ongoing campaigns. In fact, being mostly copper, transportation may yet pose some interesting problems…


Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good. I noticed no serious accumulations of either formal or rules-language glitches in the module. Layout adheres to a really nice two-color full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience. The maps featured for all major sites are solid and full-color; apart from the minor tarnish of the remnant secret door-relic mentioned before, the inclusion of player-friendly maps is another big plus. The OSR-conversion to S and W is solid and generally well-crafted.


Richard Moore’s “Reign of Ruin” was an honest surprise to me: You see, there are two basic dragon-module set-ups (not counting random encounter dragons): The long, epic one, wherein you defeat a dragon at the end, after much hardship, and with the exact goal of defeating the draconic threat; and the briefer one, where a dragon at the end is basically the boss. The first tends to be represented by mega-adventures, campaigns, etc.; the second by smaller modules. Both have one thing in common: Most of the time, the dragons in them are DUMB, character-less engines of destruction, when ostensibly, they are supposed to be really smart. This module, thankfully, gets that aspect right: The dragon herein is an interesting character, embedded in a dungeon and social environment with an interesting leitmotif; she makes sense. Her proactive strategies can allow the referee to unleash hell upon the PCs and vanquishing her doesn’t break ongoing campaigns – the rewards are significant, but won’t break the game.


In short: While this does not reinvent the wheel, it’s one of the few anti-dragon modules that did not cause my brain to hurt at one point – and that’s a big, big plus. A minor issue of the S and W version, at least if your PCs are lucky, may be the relative fragility of the boss – but that’s something inherited from the system. Still, compared to the other versions, I feel that this version is slightly less compelling – mainly since the versions for the other systems work so well due to the mechanics; to make up for their brevity, more flavor and/or bonus-content for the OSR-version would have been nice. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Bioengineered robotic hand with its own nervous system will sense touch

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 14 November 2017 - 6:20am
Researchers are developing a first-of-its-kind bioengineered robotic hand that will actually feel and adapt to its environment. This “living” robot will have its own peripheral nervous system directly linking robotic sensors and actuators.
Categories: Virtual Reality

New technology makes artificial intelligence more private and portable

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 14 November 2017 - 6:13am
Technology is paving the way for artificial intelligence (AI) to break free of the internet and cloud computing.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Wyrd Previews Alternate Rasputina For Malifaux

Tabletop Gaming News - 14 November 2017 - 6:00am
I love alternate sculpts for minis. I truly do. They’re a great way to add some personality and customization to your armies and teams without having to be a professional modeller, yourself. Plus, for those that are sticklers for such, they’re not proxies, so they’re good in any tourney or event. Wyrd’s well-known for coming […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Star Trek Adventures Review

Gnome Stew - 14 November 2017 - 5:00am

Long before I ever picked up my first d20, my older brother received permission from my parents to let me stay up late on Sunday nights so I could watch syndicated episodes of the original Star Trek with him. Whenever a new Star Trek movie would come out, my brother and I would make a point of seeing it together in the theater.

Because of these family traditions, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Star Trek. Despite this, I never owned a Star Trek roleplaying game until I picked up the PDF of the latest version, published by Modiphius.

Structural Integrity

As I finish up the review process, the hardcover of this game is currently available, but I am still working from the PDF version of the rules. The PDF is 376 pages, including five pages of ads, two page spreads showing the Star Trek galaxy at the beginning and end of the book, a four-page index, three pages of play tester credits, a character sheet, and a ship sheet.

There are several half and quarter page pieces of painted artwork from both the original series era and the Next Generation era, and most of the chapters start with a full-page schematic spread of a ship, station, or piece of technology from Star Trek lore. The entire book is laid out to look like the L-CARS computer display from the Next Generation era of the show. That is impressive adherence to theme, and it is consistent throughout.

Chapter 01–Introduction

The introduction has standard “what is roleplaying” and “example of play” sections. This chapter mentions what dice are needed for the game (d20s and d6s), and that special dice are available to make conversion easier. The special characters on the dice mainly apply to the d6s, and the number of special characters and alternate values is much less than in a game like Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars RPGs, as an example.

Some terms used later are mentioned in passing in this introduction, for example having tokens for momentum, the threat pool, and determination.

Chapter 02–The United Federation of Planets

The next chapter is on the United Federation of Planets. It spans pages 11-43, and is broken up into an overview, early history, the twenty-third century, and recent federation history. Initially this information takes the form of a Starfleet briefing, and starts with general galactic geography, and a summary of the powers at play in various regions.

The chapter then moves into Federation history. The different time frames mentioned correspond to the suggested campaign time periods, namely the time periods around the time of the show Enterprise, the original series time frame, and the Next Generation time frame—although the most attention is paid to the Next Generation time frame in this book. None of the material in the book presents information beyond the events of the Generations movie, so the history ends just before the war with the Dominion begins.

There are a lot of in-universe sidebars that show the perspective of characters from different factions on the major events of the setting’s history. Some of these are fascinating from a fan’s point of view, but I’m not sure that most them are providing gameable information. This section really seems to play to the diehard fan, and I wish there was just a bit more tailoring to make this section more functional at the table.

That’s not to say it isn’t well written or entertaining, it just isn’t as functional or focused as it could be. This is also probably a good place to state my preference that a ruleset with a default setting present basic setting and genre information up front, detail the game and how to play it, and then dive into the specifics of the setting later in the book.

Chapter 03–Your Continuing Mission

Pages 53-66 detail topics like Starfleet’s Purpose, the Prime Directive, Starfleet Academy, Duties, and Away Teams. There are illustrations of the various rank pips used in the 24th century, department colors, and sidebars showing in-universe perspectives on these topics.

This is the section I would have led with. Without getting too deep into history and perspective, this lays out in 13 pages what Starfleet stands for, what a member of Starfleet does before they start exploring space, their duties on a ship, and what they do planet-side in an unknown situation. It’s a much more succinct primer for what a Star Trek game looks like in action, and is a lot easier to digest for a casual fan that just wants to play the game.

Chapter 04–Operations

The operations chapter includes the subsections to introduce players to the game, basic operations, and advanced training. This covers things like rolling dice, determining success versus difficulty, and defining terms. The final section is an introduction to some of the situational rules in the game.

To determine success, you add your attribute to your discipline, which determines the number you will attempt to roll under. You roll 2d20, and for each die that rolls under this target number, you get a success. If you have a focus, and you also rolled under your discipline range, you get another success in addition to any others you generated. Difficulty ranges from 0 to 5 for tasks.

In any given scene, you might have traits, advantages, or complications that can move the difficulty up or down. Rolling a 20 on one of the dice allows the GM to introduce a new complication to the scene, or to add threat to the threat pool.

What’s a threat pool? It’s a pool to track one of the currencies in the game, those currencies being threat, determination, and momentum.

  • Threat is spent in the same manner by the GM to boost their characters
  • Momentum can be spent on extra dice or effects when rolling or resolving tasks
  • Determination can only be spent when a directive or a value is in play, but it allows for an automatic 1 on a roll, or the ability to reroll a player’s entire dice pool
  • Players can also add to the threat pool to get the same effect that they would get from momentum

Directives are things Starfleet wants you to accomplish, and will vary depending on the mission assigned, and values are things that make up what has shaped your character and drives them. In some ways, traits, advantages, complications, directives, and values are like aspects in Fate, except that there are more specific ways in which they allow for changes in difficulty, rerolls, or other benefits and penalties.

That’s a lot of simple individual concepts, tied together in a moderately complex web, and a lot of that information comes at you in close proximity. None of this has yet introduced personal combat, starship combat, or discoveries. The advanced rules section does touch on challenges (multi-part skill challenges that may need to be done in a certain order) or extended tasks (which have two separate tracks to measure success). Extended tasks are noted as being optional, but there are several rules later in the book that relate to them, so optional is a bit of a fuzzy term in this case.

While each step of resolution is simple, it might feel like a bit much to take in all at once. One thing that I like about this resolution mechanic is that you can attempt a difficulty 0 task to gain momentum. You can’t fail, but you can introduce a complication. That immediately communicates to me that you can have those holodeck scenes or musical recitals, and those scenes can actually affect momentum, if the player is willing to risk a potential complication that might be generated.

Chapter 05–Reporting for Duty

This is primarily the character creation portion of the book, and introduces both lifepath creation, and creation in play. There is also a section on creating supporting characters, talents (special abilities that modify the existing rules), and character development.

Lifepath creation walks the players through each aspect of the character’s history, from where they grew up, their education, and early career. There are special talents that can be taken to reflect an inexperienced new character (Wesley) or a character with a long career behind them at the start of the campaign (Picard).

The range of ability between characters isn’t too broad, so everyone can contribute. At various points in the Lifepath creation, players are prompted to create a value based on that part of their lives, but values are very broadly defined.

Creation in play gives a set of numbers to use for attributes and disciplines, and characters can add values as they emerge in-game. I can see advantages to both ways of creating characters, but the GM is encouraged to use the same method for all players. One value should be reserved for a connection to another player or the ship they serve on.

Species is addressed in this section, and gives several attribute adjustments for Vulcans, Denobulans, Trill, Bajorans, Betazed, Andorians, and Tellarites. There are also species-specific talents that a character can take to show different aspects of a given culture, such as a Vulcan that has learned to mind-meld, or a Trill that has a joined symbiont.

There are a set number of “named” NPCs that the ship will support, and they have their own stats, which are just a bit less robust than player characters. Whenever a player’s character wouldn’t logically participate in a scene (like, if you are the captain, and your first officer won’t let you go on an away team mission), that player can play the “named” supporting character. This character belongs to the whole group, not just the player using them in that scene. They are created in a fashion not entirely dissimilar to the “Creation in Play” option, but with fewer choices to make.

Character advancement reminds me a bit of Fate. You have milestones, spotlight milestones, and arc milestones, that allow for different levels of changes in a character.

  • Normal milestones allow characters to do things like changing a value or adjusting numbers between disciplines, but they can also “bank” that milestone to cash in for Determination in a later mission
  • Spotlight milestones allow a character to swap their attribute scores around, switch out talents, or advance the ship or a supporting character’s stats
  • Arc milestones allow for actual increases to attributes or disciplines, or new focuses or talents

Normal milestones involve just being active in a game session, while spotlight milestones are awarded to characters that “starred” in an episode, which can be voted on by the players. There is a minimum number of spotlight milestones that the group needs to have achieved before an arc milestone is awarded. All of this is perfectly functional, but as with a lot of elements of Star Trek Adventures, the simple elements can be a little complicated to follow, because there are so many options under each type of advancement. I do enjoy that advancements can be “donated” to supporting characters or to the ship.

Finally, the chapter introduces reputation, which is a means of tracking how well regarded a character is, and how successful their career is perceived to be by others. Reputation checks are resolved like other tasks, but the roll involves the reputation score, a privilege score (determined by rank), and a responsibility score (determined by rank as well).

Characters with higher rank are more likely to get more successes, but when they fail, they are more likely to accrue extra failures, or to potentially have a failure range that extends into their success range, robbing from some of their normal successes.

I understand the inclusion of the idea. The original series started with a court martial, Kirk has been in trouble a number of times, and a system like this is almost tailor made for fleshing out a character like Tom Paris. Despite this, it feels clunky, in part because it is “almost” like the rest of the system, but not quite. You may not be playing with this aspect of the system much, unless you have a lot of demotions or court martials in your game, or you really want to heap on the extra praise for extraordinary mission success.

Chapter 06–The Final Frontier

This section further elaborates on the types of things a crew will encounter during their missions. The sections in this chapter are Strange New Worlds, Alien Encounters, Stellar Phenomena, and Scientific Discoveries and Developments.

Strange New Worlds touches a bit on the kind of damage you can expect from hostile environments (and we haven’t gotten to the part of the book that explains harm to characters yet), but that section, Alien Encounters, and Stellar Phenomenon are really overviews of what a crew might encounter. This section really feels like it could have been rolled into the Gamemaster section and connected to the mechanics that appear there.

Scientific discoveries and developments are examples of extended tasks that the PCs might engage with to come up with specific outcomes. While noted as “optional” in the Operations chapter, this is only one of multiple times extended tasks get revisited.

I like how they explain that characters might create their own solution to a scientific or engineering problem, and the book lays out a specific procedure for how to resolve these situations. However, for everything they assign a rigid structure to, they leave a lot of nebulous area in the rules. This could be a bug, or a feature, depending on how much the players and the GM jump on narrative elements of the game, but I can’t help but feel just a wee bit more explanation could make these rules clearer.

Chapter 07–Conflict

This chapter is broken down into an introduction, social conflict, and combat. The introduction spells out the order in which structured scenes will unfold, with the logical initiator taking the first turn, and handing off between the PCs and GM characters until everyone has taken a turn.

Social conflict can utilize any of the previous rules for getting something done, but might have an opposed NPC taking part as well. In that case, the character with the most amount of successes “wins” the exchange, and counts the number of remaining success. This can come up when negotiating with a new species while Ferengi are trying to cut a deal with them, for example. Social conflict can also utilize advantages called social tools, which make it easier to score successes, and the process can even involve characters rolling specifically to create certain scene traits before attempting to “win” a negotiation.

Combat involves punching, kicking, shooting phasers at, or firing makeshift mortars at opponents. In Star Trek tradition, if you make a lethal attack attempt, you add to the threat pool. Characters have a set amount of stress.

  • Being reduced to 0 stress, or taking too much stress at one time, causes a wound
  • A character can spend momentum and determination to mitigate wounds, but if you have one that hasn’t been dealt with in some fashion, the character is incapacitated for the rest of the scene
  • If you took lethal damage, you die if not treated before the end of the scene

This is a little reminiscent of the Fantasy Flight Star Wars games, where taking wounds doesn’t kill you, but taking critical hits can kill you. The GM is encouraged to not end a scene before other characters have a chance to treat a wounded character.

Characters get a minor action and a major action each round, and can get extra minor actions (such as moving or aiming) by spending momentum for additional minor actions. Determination can be spent to gain an additional major action. There is a chart showing other uses of momentum in combat, and if those expenditures can be made more than once, it is noted on the chart. Ranges are abstracted into areas rather than providing specific measurements, in a sort of hybrid of Fate zones and Fantasy Flight Star Wars range bands.

Chapter 08–Technology and equipment

Most of the technology amounts to narrative permission to do something. You can talk to people that are on the ship or the other side of the planet if you have a communicator. You can scan for things you can’t see, hear, smell, or touch directly if you have a tricorder.

There are some very basic rules for how many items a character can carry, and what they are assumed to have issued to them based on their rank and position on the ship. “Buying” extra gear that isn’t assigned to you isn’t done with any form of currency. If you look for something in an action scene, it may cost momentum or threat to find it.

Personnel that aren’t considered secondary characters are treated as equipment. They can provide minor boosts, like a tool that a character can requisition. Sometimes they will be wearing red shirts.

This may be a shock if you’ve been reading the rest of the review, but there are some really detailed, and yet somehow loose narrative guides for adding traits to existing technology. This can be done to add permissions in the story, beyond what is already assumed, or can be used to overcome scene traits that have developed during play.

While most of the game does a good job of giving as much detail to non-combat sections of the game as it does to combat sections, weapons do get a lot more specific details compared to other equipment. There are charts and lists of traits that various weapons have. Some weapons default to lethal damage, and are harder to use in a non-lethal fashion. Some weapons may knock someone out even if they haven’t done enough stress to normally incapacitate a character, and some weapons do extra damage when an effect is rolled.

The effect dice have been mentioned in the rules previously, in the extended tasks and combat section, but any place in the rules where more granularity is called for, the d6s get rolled. When tracking points (like the amount of stress done), 1s and 2s count as 1s and 2s, 3s and 4s don’t count for anything, and 5s and 6s count for 1 point and one effect. In the case of weapons, those effects rolled can be exchanged for special weapon abilities.

Chapter 09–A Home in the Stars

This section goes over Starships, Starbases, Colonies, Starship Rules, Starship Combat, Starfleet Ships of the Line, and Alien Vessels. The first three sections go into explaining how such things function in the setting, while the last three sections include more specific game mechanics.

Example Starships from various eras are detailed. Specific years that ships were put into service are called out, because older ships may still be in service. After several years in service, overhauls can add new items to that ship’s base stats. This means some ships from the 23rd Century could still be in service in the Next Generation era, but they are likely to have a few extras added to them as time and technology advance.

Starship combat seems to be the most involved subsystem of resolutions in the game.

  • Ships have resistance (which reduces damage) equal to their scale
  • Their shields function as stress does for a character in personal scale combat
  • Damage that gets past resistance and shields directly damages various ship systems
  • Depending on how damaged that system is, a ship loses some of its functions, certain starship actions may not be taken, or the ship may be on its way to a warp core breach

There is a list of what each station on the ship can do in combat, and there are details for repairing a system that has been damaged in combat, which can optionally use the extended task rules. NPC ships don’t need fully fleshed out crews, and they get a number of actions equal to their scale. Instead of tracking individual damage for NPC ships, the amount of punishment they take is determined by their scale, and instead of the specifics of system ramifications, they can lose one of their turns when they take serious damage, until they become incapacitated.

Several starships are given base stats in the section, with examples from the original series era and the Next Generation era, as well as a few Klingon, Romulan, Ferengi, Borg, Cardassian, and Jem’Hadar ships. There are stats for shuttle craft as well, but despite mentioning the Enterprise era a few times in the book, there isn’t really any support for it here.

Different ships have different stations, which allow for different actions in combat. Weapons have specific qualities for how they are grouped and do damage. Each individual resolution still follows the general rules, but Starship combat seems to be where more specific rules interact with each other than any other section of the game.

It’s a running theme with the more complicated parts of this game that the rules feel very Star Trek in what they highlight, but also feel very exacting. I would really want to make sure I either created some cheat sheets or considered the handouts that come with the GM screen before running Starship combat.

Chapter 10–Gamemastering

The gamemaster advice section has areas that highlight running and creating missions, gamemaster facing information on character creation, managing the rules, the differences between player facing rules and how those rules work for NPCs, experience and promotion, encounter building, and creating memorable missions, NPCs, and locations.

One big thing I would point out about this section is that a few of these topics are touched on in other sections of the book, and many of them would have made more sense to have been wholly in this section. In some instances, it feels like this chapter is calling back to previously touched on topics, which didn’t need to be touched on earlier. It feels a bit disjointed.

For players that might not be as comfortable with narrative rules elements like aspects from Fate, or Hard Moves from Apocalypse World derived games, there isn’t as much advice for using the more open-ended aspects of the game as there might have been.

Chapter 11–Aliens and Adversaries

This section contains some of the more commonly encountered “archetypes” of humanoids, aliens, and other creatures that a GM can adapt for their own use in missions.

NPCs are categorized as minor, notable, and major NPCs. This category determines which special rules that NPC can utilize. Minor NPCs can avoid injuries, for example, and Major NPCs have Values that let them spend threat in special ways to mimic how PCs can use of determination.

There are specific traits that different NPCs might have, such as invulnerable (the creature might be incapacitated for a time, but never takes injuries), or menacing (as soon as the creature shows up, the GM adds threat to the threat pool).

Some adversaries have special rules, like the circumstances that cause the Borg to adapt to weapons, or a Klingon’s additional resistance to non-lethal attacks. There are sidebars about stat adjustments for different species introduced in this section (so you could make a Klingon or Ferengi officer if you wanted to, but there are no species related talents in this section).

While most of the things detailed in this section are active beings, some powerful alien artifacts from various media are detailed here, such as the Guardian of Forever, or the Planet Killer doomsday ship from the original series.

The final section details animals or creatures that are either non-sentient, or don’t have a consciousness that can be measured by those that have interacted with the creature. Targs, Shelats, and Mugato make an appearance here, as does the Crystaline Entity.

Chapter 12–The Rescue at Xerxes The book looks amazing, and that appearance does a tremendous job of keeping you in the mindset of the various series. The procedures for various tasks, such as starship combat, or using social tools, feels very much in keeping with the source material. 

Note: I played in this adventure during the playtest for Star Trek Adventures, and this adventure serves as the first adventure for the organized play campaign created by Modiphius to support the game.

This adventure serves as an incremental introduction to Star Trek Adventures. Various aspects of the rules, such as Challenges and Extended Tasks, appear in the adventure, but they are introduced in a very simple, isolated way, making them more accessible.

The adventure has enough decision points to allow characters to challenge their values or debate over the right course of action. My medical officer was in favor of not risking lives in the present, just to potentially help people in the future, and that got to play out for a bit at the table.

Shore Leave on Risa

The book looks amazing, and that appearance does a tremendous job of keeping you in the mindset of the various series. The procedures for various tasks, such as starship combat, or using social tools, feels very much in keeping with the source material. The book spends a lot of time on resolving scientific and social situations, and avoids the criticism that falls on a lot of RPGs that want to promote non-combat scenes, namely, that there isn’t as much support for non-combat resolutions. The way the individual rules components work is quite logical.

Vacationing on Seti Alpha V

The in-setting information presented up front may be fun for a die-hard fan, but it may not be what a more casual fan wants to wade through when learning the game. The Shackleton Expanse is mentioned briefly and would have been great to detail in the book, making the setting more usable out of the gate, but the details of that sub-setting are reserved for the organized play campaign.

The resolution mechanics for various situations is very detailed, but the way that some of the narrative elements work within those mechanics is left vague. Information that seems as if it should be grouped together, isn’t.

Qualified Recommendation–A product with lots of positive aspects, but buyers may want to understand the context of the product and what it contains before moving it ahead of other purchases.

The game has a lot of information that a die-hard Star Trek fan will likely love. It is definitely a narrative based game, but it is not a rules-light game. Because of the balance between more open ended narrative elements, and more rigid, procedural resolutions, it may be more difficult to get a good feel for the game.

The game does a good job of emulating the source material. Casual fans should probably keep in mind how much of the book is dedicated to a deeper look at the setting. Fans that may not be comfortable with broad narrative elements, or fans that are comfortable with broad narrative elements, but aren’t as enamored of exacting resolutions, may want to know what is in store for them before diving into the game. Given how well the game evokes the feeling of Star Trek, I imagine it will still work very well for a wide number of fans.

Let me know what you thought of the game and this review. If you have ideas for future reviews, I’ll be happy to see those as well! Looking forward to hearing from you.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pages

Subscribe to As If Productions aggregator