TrekRPG.Net Routes Around Paramount Damage

This is a story about two companies with very different attitudes toward their customers: Last Unicorn Games and Paramount.

I’m one of those folks who loves to hate Star Trek, and Last Unicorn Games did an excellent job with their four separate role playing games for the various Star Trek properties (they were the same game at the core, but with different emphasis and some custom rules to cover the differences between the series). If I had time to role play, a “destroy the Federation” Star Trek campaign would be great.

Anyway, a few months ago Wizards of the Coast — the folks who brought us the Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon collectible card games bought Last Unicorn Games. Since WoTC also owns the Star Wars RPG license, I was looking for the inevitable crossover book. Alas that is not to be.

There is a proviso in most such licensing companies that allows the licensing agreement to be reviewed if the licensee is sold or its ownership is otherwise transferred. So, in its infinite wisdom, Paramount decided to cancel the Last Unicorn Games license literally only months after it had finally managed to get all of the Star Trek series books out and get geared up on supplements. Instead it awarded the license to another game company which will bring out yet another Star Trek role playing game (this is the fourth such game — there was a Star Trek: The Original Series game published by FASA in the 1980s and another Trek RPG that used the Star Fleet Battles license rather than the Star Trek license).

After watching this unfold, it is easier to understand why the Star Trek movies and series have begun to suck so badly lately. First lure in people to spend hundreds of dollars on an excellent sci-fi RPG and then say “Ha! Sorry suckers. We’re going to force that company to discontinue production and make you buy another game!”


Not that all is lost. TrekRpg.Net, a web site devoted to the Last Unicorn Games RPG, is carrying on with supporting the game and they managed to get cooperation from Last Unicorn Games. Before the license was cancelled, the company was close to finishing a supplement on starship construction and combat, Spacedock. That 200 page supplement can now be downloaded for free here. Better get it before Paramount sends them a cease and desist order, though.

Starfleet Command II Demo Out

A demo of the upcoming Starfleet Command II game is avaiable at Gamespot. The original Starfleet Command is the only Star Trek game I’ve ever seen that was any good. On the other hand the game is extraordinarily complex. I messed around with it for a couple weeks and it was a lot of fun, but getting to a point where I was any good at the game would have taken a lot more time than I had — the game is loosely based on the Star Fleet Battles pen and paper game which was an accountant’s dream, and much of that complexity and depth is reproduced in Starfleet Command.