One thing I really like about Star Trek Adventures is the structure of the party. Roleplaying games use a lot of different frameworks for linking players together (something I’ve written about a little) but having a crew in Star Trek is a powerful tool, especially as it gives everyone something that they excel at.
Crew roles are actually something that I often forget about in Star Trek Adventures, much to my regret. Between Talents and Focuses and floating Advantages it’s easy to forget that a crew member’s assignment also gives them a little boost. Now that all three of the division supplements are out (check out my review of the latest one, which is also my favorite one) we’ve got plenty of different roles to choose from. On the other hand, there’s always room for more!
Here are a few roles that fit into any Star Trek game, but especially one with a long-term mission and a need to be self-sufficient.
- Damage Control Specialist: Everyone in a starship’s Engineering Department is used to repairing damage to the ship’s system as quickly and efficiently as possible. During battles or hazardous conditions, the damage control efforts are overseen by a secondary department head who leads repair teams to hold the ship together. When the Damage Control Specialist assists another character with repairing a damaged subsystem (including when they are attempting the Damage Control Task) they allow the main acting character to re-roll one d20.
- Morale Officer: This is not a typical role among the crew, but some starships maintain an informal morale officer when in tense situations. Most often this is a civilian onboard who maintains a social area on the ship, but on large ships with trying missions or aboard starbases this might be a formal assignment for someone trained in public relations or counseling. The Morale Officer may start a scene once per mission to boost people’s moods. This scene should take at least an hour (meaning it cannot be activated in tense situations) during which the Morale Officer can use the Rally Task. If successful, this Task generates two bonus Momentum which must be spent on removing a Complication affecting one of the characters present.
- Transporter Chief: Transporters are one of the most miraculous technologies on a starship, though many Starfleet officers take them for granted. Every engineering subsystem has a specialist in charge, but the transporter chief is especially important because of the frequent use of the transporters and the dire risks when the system is malfunctioning. They are responsible for maintaining the transporter systems and staff, and are usually the most skilled operators called in for tricky situations. When using transporters, the Transporter Chief gains a bonus d20 to their Control + Engineering roll.
I’m also inspired by the amazing wiki for the Starbase 118 collection of campaigns. Specifically, there is a lot of attention given to the Starfleet Marine Corps, the spiritual successors to the MACO units seen in Star Trek: Enterprise. There are several great roles for a campaign or mission focused on the Marine Corps in the Operations Division Supplement but here are a few more to cover some more positions.
- Combat Pilot: For away team missions into hostile zones or the pilots of the Starfleet Marine Corps, these specialized pilots are especially skilled at weaving through weapons fire and avoiding enemy ships. When the Combat Pilot attempts an Evasive Maneuver Task (p. 222) they gain a bonus d20 to their Daring + Conn roll.
- Search and Rescue Leader: When away teams go missing or ships are disabled and lost, these security personnel lead the effort to locate and retrieve them. For the Starfleet Marine Corps this is a common mission type so any division will have an SAR Leader. The Search and Rescue Leader can use the Direct Task to assist other characters with scanning for lifesigns or missing ships. When they succeed in this Task they gain a bonus Momentum which can be used for the Obtain Information Momentum spend.
- Squad Weapons Specialist: Teams of Starfleet Marines are the best-trained soldiers in the Federation, but each team has an expert devoted to maintaining their weapons and safety measures. This is more than just making sure the phasers keep firing but also making sure that heads-up systems (such as target-linking eyepieces and exographic targeting sensors) are functioning and optimized as well as picking the right equipment to bring on a particular mission. Once per mission, the Squad Weapons Specialist can Create an Advantage without rolling or making an action. This reflects their optimization efforts between missions and should affect one Main Character’s equipment or a specific class of equipment brought on the mission (such as phaser rifles, tricorders, or targeting sensors).