My players said last night that it's not working for them, either. The problem is reward cycles. Specifically... When bad rolls happen, the other side gets to make more bad happen. When good rolls happen, that side gets points for more good rolls No experience system in the Playtest too broadly competent.
They can't even get the rank chart correct.... they put SCSp insignia as outranking Fleet Admiral, and labeled "Chief of Operations"...
The "experience" system is "Move a point in category" type, a lá Fate 2.0... If you trigger a standard milestone (my players would have about 3/4 of the time), you can do one of to your PC or to an NPC who was used: Rewrite a value that was challenged and crossed off Move a point between attributes, with a 7–11 range limit for both. Move a point between disciplines with a 1–4 range limit for both. Swap a focus for a new one. Save it for use as a callback to get a determination point once.
once every few sessions (They suggest 2-3), a "spotlight" is supposed to be made available. Players vote who gets it from those who earned it that session... The spotlight can be used to swap a talent, or to mod the ship as if it were a PC. Plus they still get their standard for that session.
And, after 3 spotlights on the same PC, said PC gets to either add a new focus, gain a new talent, gain a new value, raise an attribute by 1 to max 12, raise a discipline by 1 to max 5, or do similar to the ship. To do it again requires 4 more spotlights; then 5 more, etc.
So, to actually get to improve, assuming everyone votes only for you, you're looking at 6-9 minimum, and likely more like 18-20 sessions.
Promotion is by Reputation... it's possible for a character to be promoted once they hit Reputation 15... it starts at 10, and can go up or down 1 point per session... but it doesn't seem to reset to 10 once promoted... once it's 15+, the CO can offer a promotion instead of an earned increase. Promotion does NOT reset it to 10...
Minor improvements to ship combat.
Lots of general fluff of use... but not any better than any of the other licensed games of the last 20 years.
Ship "Building" - pick a spaceframe - that sets attributes and provides 3 points of departments (Disciplines), plus a talent and the weaponry, and then a mission profile, which provides the rest of the skills (12 points worth), and one of a selected list of 4 talents to pick one from. Spaceframes: Akira, Constellation, Constitution, Defiant, Excelsior, Galaxy, Intrepid, Miranda, Nova. Missions: Strategic And Diplomatic Operations, Pathfinder And Reconnaissance Operations, Technical Test-Bed, Tactical Operations, Scientific And Survey Operations, Crisis And Emergency Response, Multirole Explorer Refits give an extra attribute point per 10 years since introduction... They eliminated foci for ships, but ships now always count as having a relevant focus.
Book is VERY pretty... but more style than substance. Very limited discussion of the tech, and almost no mechanics related to it.
I did some playtesting of the JOHN CARTER game, which also uses 2d20 and didn't like it much. Then I got to play a little CONAN, which also uses 2d20, and it didn't seem that bad. So I guess I'm totally torn about this.
1) Does 2d20 seem to "fit" Star Trek, particularly the TOS era?
2) No comments in this thread since July. Any further developments or insights?
Marv [Finarvyn] Discovered Star Trek TOS back in 1973 OD&D since 1975, C&C since 2003, DCC RPG in 2011
"You know, going back in time, changing history... that's cheating." - James T. Kirk (ST:XI)