Prime Directive (role-playing game)

Prime Directive (role-playing game)

Infobox RPG
title= Prime Directive

designer= Mark Costello, Timothy D. Olsen
publisher= Amarillo Design Bureau Inc, (formerly)Task Force Games
date= 1993 "(1st edition)"
2002 "(GURPS edition)"
2005 "(D20 edition)"
genre= Science fiction (Star Trek)
system= Custom, "GURPS", "D20"

"Prime Directive" is a role-playing game set in the "Star Trek"-derived Star Fleet Universe. The game has gone through two different incarnations.

"Prime Directive" RPG

The original release of "Prime Directive" was published by Task Force Games in 1993. [citation| url=| title=Prime Directive| publisher=Steve Jackson Games|journal=Pyramid|volume=7| year=1994| last=McCubbin| first=Chris|accessdate=2007-11-04] Using an in-house design by Mark Costello and Timothy D. Olsen, it used a D6-style system similar to "Shadowrun" and "Star Wars". PD’s most popular aspects were a multi-tiered task resolution system, where characters could achieve 'Complete', 'Moderate', 'Minimal', or 'Botch' levels of success with their actions, and the Character Reputation and Background system that allowed characters to “spontaneously” develop skills, abilities, and prior associations appropriate to the mission at hand. Both of these aspects provided a sense of Television Series verisimilitude that many found to be appropriate to the game’s Trek origins. The greatest complaint was that character selection was limited to members of a "Prime Team" or a similar group, not allowing players to be captains or other important positions, although later supplements did provide this ability. Also, since the rules were unique to this game, and only vaguely similar to other systems, many players were not willing to take the time and effort required to learn them, although the same could be said of many RPGs of that time.

The published books for the game included the core rulebook, a Federation sourcebook (which has not yet been updated for the new "GURPS" and "D20" editions), and a few adventure books.

"GURPS Prime Directive"

After the folding of Task Force Games and the cancellation of the original "Prime Directive" line, Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc., the new publishers of Star Fleet Universe games, were left with the question of what to do with "PD". They were primarily a wargame company, and the poor sales of the supplements were cause for a reexamination. [Captain's Log #18, Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc. A WHOLE NEW COMPANY (ADB, 1999)] Eventually, they approached Steve Jackson Games to utilize the "Powered by GURPS" format. [cite web|url=| title=GURPS Prime Directive (Review)|| last=Pook| first=Matthew| accessdate=2007-11-04]

The new version dispensed with the restrictions on characters, opening the doors for players to play virtually any type character they wished. The move to "GURPS" also allowed some cross-genre moves to be made, and to include some limited elements of the "Traveller" Universe.

Originally "GURPS Prime Directive",the "GURPS Klingons" imperial source book and "GURPS Module Prime Alpha" module were released under the third edition of "GURPS". The new fourth edition of "GURPS" prompted a rework of the previous major books ("GPD" and "GK") and a delay of the (then) upcoming "Romulans" sourcebook (which became one of the first 4th Edition "GURPS" supplements). "Module Prime Alpha" (and its intended sequel, "Module Prime Beta") were dropped from the line, due to poor sales.

At this writing, the core rulebook, "GURPS Klingons" and the first new sourcebook for "GURPS" 4th Edition, "GURPS Romulans" have been released for this new system. Supplements for the Federation, Gorns, Tholians and other races are in various writing stages.

"D20 Prime Directive"

At this writing, the core rulebook, "D20 Klingons" and "D20 Romulans" are available for this system. [cite web| url=| title=Prime Directive (Core Rules, Klingons, & Romulans)| last=Lee| first=Travis| year=2005|month=September|| accessdate=2007-11-04] Supplements for the Federation, Gorns, Tholians and other races are in various writing stages.

"Other Prime Directive variants"

It has been announced that versions of "Prime Directive" and related sourcebooks will be released from 2007 on for the D6 role-playing system in order to further expand the potential user base for the role-playing aspect of the Star Fleet Universe.

Prime Teams

Prime Teams were a concept pioneered in the original "Prime Directive" game. The concept was a specialized 'Landing Party' that could do a wide variety of functions, including science, negotiations, and combat. The concept was developed by the designers who wished to avoid the television and movie cliché of having the Captain and primary bridge personnel always putting themselves in danger. Prime Teams were criticised by some as being essentially a Star Fleet version of the "adventuring party" found in numerous "Dungeons & Dragons"-style fantasy games.

While "Prime Teams" themselves are a Federation designation, nearly every race had their own equivalent.


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