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How To Build A Star Trek Adventures RPG Character (Featuring William Riker)
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How To Build A Star Trek Adventures RPG Character (Featuring William Riker)

Every Wednesday at 9:30 PM , a talented crew roleplays their way to fulfill their mission and boldly go where no one has gone before. Join the adventures of the USS Sally Ride on Shield of Tomorrow on Twitch.

Star Trek Adventures finally gives us an outlet to live out our Trek fantasies. With this in mind, I wondered how my favourite, awkward chair sitting, first officer would look as a Star Trek Adventures character sheet. In creating a sheet for a character that’s familiar, it helps give a clear idea of the process and show how unintimidating it is. In the end, you can get dice rolling pretty quick if you’re as eager to play the game as a newly-assigned Ensign is to embark on their first mission.

STEP ONE: SPECIES

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When making a character in Star Trek Adventures, there is a 7 step process to follow. With Riker being an established character, some of these steps will be shorter than others. Species for example, is Human. Duh.

Where this matters, is that each species improves 3 of their Attributes and increases them from the starting value of 7, to 8.  As a Human, instead of the Attributes being determined, you get to choose them. So which Attributes really encapsulate Riker? Presence, Fitness, and Daring.  We get a Talent, but we’ll choose all 4 of our Talents during Step 7, as our character will be holistically created at that time.

STEP TWO: ENVIRONMENT

Riker Alaska

When considering the Environment for your character, this has to do with where your character was born. In the case of Riker, he was born and raised in Alaska, so for this, we choose Homeworld (Earth).

After choosing Homeworld, we get to improve one of our 3 selected Attributes, as well as add 1 to the Disciplines of Command, Security, or Science. Additionally, we add our first Value. As Riker is oozing charisma, we’re going to go for Presence and the Discipline is an obvious one; Command.

Values in Star Trek Adventures describe the attitudes, beliefs, and convictions of the character. So a Value at this stage, should reflect this environment. For Riker, who was raised by his mostly absentee father, it forced him to take on responsibility at an early age, and instilled in him a drive of excellence. Don’t just do something, be the best at it. For this reason, I’ve selected a Value of, “Always be the best.”

STEP THREE: UPBRINGING

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Upbringing represents the environment in which a character was raised. Riker, growing up in Alaska, far from the population centres of Earth, should select “Agriculture or Rural”. When choosing an upbringing in Star Trek Adventures, you have to decide if the character accepted or rebelled against this upbringing. Unlike Captain Kirk who rebelled, Riker looks fondly on Alaska and his time there. By accepting this upbringing, you increase your Control by 1 and your Fitness by 2.

This upbringing also allows you to increase a Discipline (Conn, Security, or Medicine) by 1. As I’ve never seen Riker pilot the ship but he can definitely handle a phaser, I selected Security. This upbringing is also reflected with a single Focus, Focuses represent specialization and expertise stemming from practice and deeper study. A fitting Focus would be Athletics, since he engages in a variety of extra-curricular physical activities.

STEP FOUR: STARFLEET ACADEMY

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At this stage in character creation, you choose the track (Command, Operations, or Sciences) that your character took through the academy. As a first officer, who is frequently being offered his own commission, he obviously took the Command Track. Your time at Starfleet Academy is incredibly formative and as such, a number of things happen.

First, you earn a new Value, reflecting your time at the Academy. For Riker, and this is especially true of his early career (The Pegasus), this Value is clearly, “My duty is to my captain.” This reflects his unquestioning loyalty to his captain, and combined with his previous Value, explains why he is commonly referred to as an excellent officer.

For Attributes, you gain 3 points that you can spend on either 2 or 3 different Attributes. As our character is not, Riker-y enough yet, I think Daring should get +2 points and Presence should get +1. This brings our Riker trifecta up to 10 points in each.

For Disciplines, you have to choose a major (+2 points) and two minors for your study at the academy. Obviously Riker majored in Command, minored in Security and Conn (which may have been intnetional since shuttles to Risa won’t fly themselves.)

The Academy also brings three more Focuses, which should be used to represent things he excels at, and reflect things he excels at; Composure, Inspiration, Team Dynamics.

STEP FIVE: CAREER

Riker Through the Ages

This is the part of character creation where you choose how long you have served in Starfleet. Are you a new graduate, like Riker on the Pegasus? An experienced officer, like Riker at Farpoint? Or a Veteran Officer, like Riker at the end of Nemesis? The Riker I’m imagining is one from the TNG  run and Experienced Officer fits best for what I am imagining.

Selecting Experienced Officer grants another Talent, and a Value. The best Value I can imagine for this point in his career is, “Married to the Enterprise.” This reflects the numerous commissions he turned down, just to remain on the Federation flagship.

STEP SIX: CAREER EVENTS

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This step is performed twice to reflect significant events that have occurred throughout the career of your character. If there was a monumentally important event, you can wrap up both of the situations into one larger one and this is the best way to represent the situation Riker was put in, as an Ensign, under the command of Captain Pressman on the Pegasus. When the crew mutinied, Riker betrayed his own ideals to protect the Captain (who was illegally experimenting with cloaking technology); a decision that Riker  has come to regret. Betrayed Ideals for a Superior increases his Command discipline by 1, his Presence attribute by 1, and gives him a Focus representing what Captain Pressman taught him, Persuasion.

The mutiny of the Pegasus culminated in its destruction after Captain Pressman, Ensign Riker and several other crew had escaped on an escape pod. This segues well into the Ship Destroyed event. This increases your Daring attribute by 1, your Security discipline by 1, and a Focus related to the incident, in this case Survival.

STEP SEVEN: FINISHING TOUCHES

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This is the section where you finish up your character (obviously, look at the title). First of all, we add our final Value that rounds out the character. Due to Riker’s…extensive extra-curricular’s, combined with a career of “firsts” (like participating in an officer exchange program with the Klingons), the Value of, “To boldly go where no one has gone before” is fitting.

For your attributes, none can be above 12 (Riker is good for this), and you get two final points to allocate. As Presence and Daring define William Riker, I am going to bump both of those attributes to 12.

Next, you check your disciplines. No discipline can be higher than 5, and you cannot have two disciplines at 5. As Riker’s Command is currently 5 and his Security is 4, this means that both points we get to finish should go into Conn.

Finally, let’s grab those 4 Talents. Talents are game abilities, providing bonuses to gameplay that reflect things the character excels at. For Riker, the best Talents are Bold, Dauntless, Advisor, and Follow my lead.

At this point in Star Trek Adventures, characters would fill in their Stress (Fitness + Security), other personal details and equipment. For now though, Riker is ready for new adventures.

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Hopefully this process has made it clear that character creation in Star Trek Adventures can give you a rich, layered character with lots of options, without being overwhelming. If you’re ready to catch the game in action, the crew of the USS Sally Ride flies every Wednesday at 9:30 PM PT on Twitch.

Image Credits: CBS

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