Star Trek: Deep Space Nine but Fantasy

Hello Folks,

I love Star Trek Deep Space Nine because much like Mister Rogers Neighborhood, it’s about the journey inside. Yes, one uses puppets and the other weird prosthetic foreheads, but both are about the exploration of the self, more so then say other Star Treks. I can’t comment on recent children’s television, but I imagine Fred did something special.

At first I had an idea to to run something like Original Series Star Trek, but in an endless ocean, with countless islands, sort of fantasy land. Island(moral dilemma) of the week, sort of thing. Regular people(Napoleonic era) transported to a strange fantasy land.

I thought this might prove exhausting week after week. Creating a new island every so often, a new problem, with a hard-to-see-at-first solution(s).

Then I thought, what about a fantasy Deep Space Nine? The role-playing game Primetime Adventures came to mind. There are other games that try and address character arcs(just a few!). No game will be perfect; because games aren’t stories. They simply aren’t.

I thought about game-structure-only-as-needed. Maybe it doesn’t need a resolution system? But maybe it needs a curse/blessing/mystery generator? I could just wing it?
Maybe I should only fill in what I, and everyone else needs? I imagine this is how early D&D evolved. Create as you go.

I don’t think I’m that interested in traditional rpgs for this, and yeah that includes Apocalypse World(not that there’s anything wrong with it). Characters aren’t defined as a series of questions, which is something I like.


At first blush, it feels like what you would need is a way to generate or prompt events; unexpected things that “roll through” the fixed setting, allowing characters to express themselves about the situation and/or play a role in their resolution. This, in turn, would let the character arcs play out organically.

Something like A Quiet Year might be a good starting point, but more character-centric. Or perhaps bridging the gap between A Quiet Year and Fiasco?

Certainly an interesting topic, will be keeping an eye on how it develops!

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Have you seen Chuubo’s marvelous wish granting engine ? It is all about character arcs. I also recommand Medical Bay III for an original weekly island mystery creation model.

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I imagine basing a Burning Wheel game around B2 Keep on the Borderlands might get you most of the way there.

I think to be totally useful, these tables have to be based off of characters triggers. And they might not be always obvious. I think of really good television, and how things happen to challenge, highlight, showcase, reinforce certain character traits.

Also, once you get how to craft something closer to a story then most games, how do you get something that could help shape that not-quite-story that includes multiple paths/vectors. An “a” and a “b” story.

What do supporting characters do? To my understanding, they do a bunch of things. Primetime Adventures treats supporting characters as less adept characters, giving them less cards, less resources, and that seems counter, if you’re going to view their interactions in a pass/fail paradigm. Supporting characters rarely fail. I mean, it’s a huge problems with rpgs, this focus on pass/fail. Anyway.

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I thought about giving Burning Wheel a go as well, but it’s I believe too much game?

I’ll give them a look.


It’s definitely a lot of game, though it’s very modular. If you play with just the core bits, what’s called the hub and spokes, it’s fairly manageable. It’s built entirely around character development and growth over time, so seems well suited to your goals.

I think I want much less up front than Burning Wheel requires?
If I’d want something like Burning Wheel, I’d just use The Shadow of Yesterday.
For whatever reason, I like Keys more than Beliefs.
I would want more wiggle room for beginning characters than I believe Burning Wheel requires.
I think good characters are questions, more so than answers.

I mean, stories don’t need a game structure, they need a story structure. You’d have to give every type of story it’s own game structure, or you’d have to abandon the structures that don’t help. Set-ups, pay-offs, acts.

Burning Wheel doesn’t attempt story. Luke would likely even say so. It’s its own thing.


100% agree that BW resists story structures.