Friday, November 16, 2012

Review & Commentary On The Star Trek Concordance For Your Old School Space Opera Rpg

"This is a revised and updated A-Z guide to the popular television and radio "Star Trek" series, covering all 79 episodes of the original series, the animated series and all the Trek films. The book is highly illustrated and contains more than 2000 entries, explaining names, weapons, Star Fleet terminology, ships, aliens and planets, with plot synopses, and information about actors, directors, authors and special effects."

 Another Good Will find recently is the Star Trek Concordance Bjo Trimble. Before the Star Trek Encyclopedia came out this was the way to go for all things Trek and in a way still is. 

This is was one of the Fasa Trek fact checking sources for a DM using that universe & its various timelines back in the 70s & 80s. 

The black & white illustrations have a Star Trek Fan based quality to them adding a DYI old school feel to the book & it sets up the OSR mood of the book nicely for me. 

 "With more than 2000 entries, explaining names, weapons, Star Fleet terminology, ships, aliens and planets, with plot synopses, and information about actors, directors, authors and special effects"  And they mean it. The material is divided into The Animated series, OST movies, Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Lexicon, Star Trek Vessels, Star Trek Sections of Vessels, Cosmos Star Trek Astronomical References, Actor Cross References, Production Cross References "

How & And Why It Works As a Resource 
There have always been differences between Fasa & regular Trek shows. These gaps aren't so much a hindrance to a DM as an opportunity for bridging the gap with a PC driven adventure. For many years the various Trek "authorities" have dismissed the Animated series for example. But the fans have know better & used that  opportunity to expand into the worlds that many authors dismissed. 


The most important thing about Trek is its accessibility & recognition  The Concordance enables a DM to instantly, completely, & simply grasp a Trek concept & make it their own. Everything is broken down to its simplest essence enabling the DM to not get lost in the minutiae of Trek. 


This book could be used to create a "Keep On the Borderlands" style adventure any number of games while keeping that oh so instantly recognizable Trek brand. Need a item, a phaser, a whole alien species for a game? Bang their right in here. This is a very non game source for lots & lots of ideas as well to fill in those campaign background pieces 

The ideas here are from & about the fan based products that we've seen time & again. Things & characters like Spock, Kirk, etc. are so innovative that the creativity & originality still resonates today with players everywhere making this setting one of the easiest to slide into.
 This makes the Concordance something that I'm still reaching for even before the slick production, etc of the Star Trek Encyclopedia. There is more of an intimacy & DYI sense of this book.
 This Concordance makes it easy to live, work, & dream along with part of a Star Ship crew. This makes the book still matter to me all of these years.
"Star Trek" Concordance
 I've since worn away & tattered my copy of the original Concordance pictured above! 

4 comments:

  1. Hey Needles! Nice trip down memory lane. My original concordance is still in very good shape. It was a clever design with the original, using the rotating paper wheel.

    Have you seen the Haynes owners workshop guides for the Enterprise and (just out this week) the Klingon Bird-of-Prey?

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  2. Hey John! Mine was so used that it simply give up the ghost finally. The rotating paper wheel became a cat toy. The whole book is gone!
    Haynes is on my friends list & the Klingon Bird-of-Prey is coming. Hopefully in time for Star Ships & Spacemen second edition to come.

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  3. I found this in my Mom's attic when I was a kid, and by fourth grade I could pull off a Mr. Spock eyebrow. As I get older, I increasingly realize how much of what I want from my games reflects what I was looking at/found cool as a kid. I won't take that in any obvious psychological direction, but will say this: that the Concordance is awesome because it enables us to re-imagine the 'stuff' of Star Trek as written stories, which frees our imagination a bit from their iconic presentation to fiddle with it all a lot more. Cool beans.

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  4. Nice comment Anathemata & I'm so glad that lots of folks got as much enjoyment out of this resource as I have! There's more coming up!

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