Dan's Top 19 RPGs - #17 - Star Trek (Last Unicorn Games)
In the late 1990s I resumed regular gaming for the first time since high school. The game we played was Star Trek: The Next Generation, published by Last Unicorn Games (LUG). We played all the incarnations of it - they came out with three RPGs for Star Trek. Their first release was for Star Trek: The Next Generation, covering 24th century Starfleet games. They later came out with releases for the original series and for Deep Space Nine. I really liked their DS9 game as it allowed for a variety of character types, much like the television show it was based on.
When making this list, I gave some thought to all of the Star Trek RPGs I've played. I've played the FASA, Last Unicorn, and Decipher ones. I do have a place in my heart for the FASA game, though I found its extremely tactical combat system a bit of a mismatch for its genre. The Decipher game I didn't get to play all that much. It was the Last Unicorn version I got a ton of play out of.
Like the FASA Star Trek game, characters in the LUG Star Trek games are built with a sort of a life-path, following your characters development as a Starfleet officer (or other sort of character). Characters have both attributes and skills, with you rolling a number of six-sided dice equal to your attribute and then adding the skill rating, comparing to a difficulty. Fairly straightforward.
I found the game played very fast, definitely feeling like Star Trek. The supplements and adventures for the line were all rather good and there was an active online community around this incarnation of the game - I'm still in touch with some of the people I met from this community. Regrettably, as time went on there were a lot of schedule slips and LUG was eventually bought by Wizards of the Coast. The only book that came out of that was a limited edition of Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium. The Star Trek license was acquired by Decipher. As I understand it, Wizards of the Coast had planned on d20 versions of Dune and Star Trek games, something that never came to pass.