Character Development in Star Trek Roleplaying Games

Written ByTusskin
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Character development is a crucial aspect of any roleplaying game, allowing players to immerse themselves in the story through their character. For Star Trek roleplaying enthusiasts, there is a vast knowledge base of the Star Trek universe to reference when creating –and evolving– a character that captivates the reader.

Understanding the Essence of Character Development

Character development is described in many ways, but a succinct definition is: the process through which a character grows in response to the challenges and experiences they encounter. It involves shaping and deepening the character’s personality, motivations, relationships, and more, to make the character real. In Star Trek roleplaying games, players have an opportunity to build their own original characters or create a new spin on existing Star Trek personalities. A character’s development is a continuous process, whether the character is a fresh cadet with their first assignment on the USS Tanjura or a seasoned captain commanding a starship.

Character development - the traditional way
We’re not suggesting you go this far … but planning how you’re going to develop your character helps!

Establishing Background and Motivations

To create a well-rounded character, it’s essential to establish a comprehensive background and motivations. What’s the character’s history? How did their upbringing, education, and past experiences bring them to explore the galaxy? What’s their motivation to join Starfleet? By understanding your character’s motivations, you and your fellow players can work together to enhance the roleplaying experience and bring your characters to life. 

Unsure of where to start? Our Character Creator has prompts and fields to help you organise your thoughts before you apply to join a game.

Nurturing Relationships and Interactions

Odo and Quark bickering over the latest scam for latinum, Tom Paris and Harry Kim going on holodeck adventures. Data learning what it means to be human with the help of Geordi and others. Relationships and character interactions are the building blocks of the Star Trek universe, and can experience long-term development. As a player, developing friendships, rivalries, or romantic entanglements, and allowing your character to explore those dynamics, will help the reader relate to your character.

Embracing Conflict and Growth

Conflict is something you can expect to find in every Star Trek roleplaying game. Without it… well, you wouldn’t really have Star Trek. Conflict isn’t always epic space battles, rather it’s any obstacle that a character must overcome. This can take many forms, such as facing a fear, making a difficult choice, or even difficulties in a relationship. Challenges help a character grow by exploring how the character overcomes the obstacle, all while pushing your creative boundaries as a writer.

Expanding Horizons Through External Resources

Need more ideas to further your character’s development? The Star Trek universe has an expansive set of resources to help a Star Trek roleplaying enthusiast better understand the dynamics of character growth in science fiction. Writers can take inspiration from official Star Trek novels, comics, and other media to incorporate additional layers into their characters. Additionally, fan forums and communities (like our Discord!) can be another valuable resource, providing a space to discuss character development strategies, techniques, and experiences.

The Role of Game Masters in Character Development

At this point, you probably have a character and plans for character development, and maybe you’ve even joined a game. How do you bring that development to life? Game Masters (or GMs) provide the storylines and challenges in Star Trek roleplaying games that can play into your character’s growth and evolution. If you have a character arc that the storyline doesn’t fully let you explore, talk to the GM! Collaboration is what makes Star Trek roleplaying possible, and by communicating with the GM, your character’s journey can come to life and make the roleplaying experience truly immersive.