Tabletop game designer Modiphius Entertainment has released character creation guidelines for its playtest of Star Trek Adventures, the new pen-and-paper role-playing game planned for official release later this year.

In an e-mail to playtest subscribers, company founder Chris Birch also announced plans to open pre-orders for the game in May.

The playtest launched last year as a means for the game developers to clarify rules and allow fans to offer input as the game took shape. The character creation guidelines released this spring were one of the final major pieces of the puzzle to receive testing, meaning playtesters now have a fairly complete picture of how Star Trek Adventures works.

Previous playtest releases included rules for individual action, starship operations and combat, game master guidance and adventure scenarios.  The addition of character creation means the core mechanics are in place for a complete game.

The game relies on a “Lifepath Character Generation” system for creating characters. The system requires players to follow seven steps to craft characters whose statistics reflect their upbringing, experience and training. A particularly clever step in the process involves choosing “career events,” or dramatic turning points in a character’s Starfleet background.

Choosing from a list of events such as previously serving aboard a starship that was destroyed or coming into conflict with a superior officer grant each character an instant history that will color how that character approaches problems in the present.

Rather than a blank slate, these career events allow characters to enter the game with established histories. Even better, the Lifepath Character Generation system produces believable, multidimensional characters who feel like they belong on a Starfleet crew – with all the knowledge and skills that entails.

In his April 19 email, Birch hinted at a May preorder – and also divulged a few tidbits about what fans can expect once the game is finished: including a 32mm miniatures line that will feature both Original series and Next Generation crewmembers as well as away teams, Romulans and Klingons.

The email also announced a special edition art cover for the core rulebook, special dice sets and an upcoming book containing a series of missions for crews to take on. “Beyond the launch there will be Division and Quadrant supplements, campaigns, more deck plans and miniatures. We’ll be unveiling images of these in the coming weeks,” wrote Birch.

Star Trek Adventures utilizes the 2d20 system, a game engine designed by Modiphius for several of the company’s RPG lines. The system’s main task resolution mechanic requires players to roll two 20-sided dice, with low results scoring successes. The game also features a momentum mechanic that allows players to turn extra successes into in-game bonuses and advantages. Likewise, game masters can use their own momentum to create new complications and challenges for the players to overcome.

Check back for more coverage of the development and release of Star Trek Adventures!