Star Trek Adventures Back to Reality. RPG review

Star Trek Adventures Back to Reality, Modiphius, c2020, £3.99 GBP

Review by Seth Stauffer

Mysterious anomalies have been discovered in a dense asteroid belt, and the Federation wants to investigate. This module puts players in an area of space that has a bizarrely high concentration of quantum disturbances. Characters will be tasked with bringing back samples of the asteroids that can be studied, but is there more to these disturbances than what they initially appear to be? Modiphius has published a digestible one-shot for Star Trek Adventures that aims to put the players in a deep space conundrum.  

The supplement is quite short and very easy to navigate. Everything is clean and clear with the appropriate amount of flavor-text to illustrate what’s happening, but not overwhelm players. As an aside, maps might have been nice to include for this, but they aren’t necessary. However, one of the better elements of this mission is that it requires the characters to be dispatched via shuttle, and without the support of their ship. It really tests the player’s problem-solving abilities, forcing them to rely on themselves, rather than their vessel. 

A problem with this adventure is that it assumes a lot about player behavior. It’s an issue with the plot, but one that can be managed smoothly by a GM. Since the mission is somewhat linear, i.e. certain things have to happen in a certain order for the mission to be completed, the way players are expected to arrive at their crucial juncture is a bit of a leap of faith. Samples of the asteroids can be collected, and the players can skip everything else. A lot will fall on the shoulders of the GM to run this mission in a way to compel the players to want their characters to do more and go that extra distance for the actual mission. 

Barring the storyline hiccups, this one-shot by is very typical Star Trek fare. If you’re familiar with the show, especially Next Generation which this mission is optimized for, everything is exactly as you’d like to see it. Additionally, at an affordable price and in a manageable length. There are a couple of things that might have been smoothed over, but this is a focused mission that fans of Star Trek should appreciate for its blend of high technology and ethical complexity.