Star Trek Deep Space Nine is my favorite Star Trek, and one of my favorite shows ever. It’s not perfect, but it has some of the best character development, and pits Starfleet morality against a backdrop of war. If you’ve ever wanted to play out a role in the Dominion War yourself, or have a Star Trek Adventures crew you want to send through to the Gamma Quadrant, Star Trek Adventures Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is a great supplement to any Star Trek Adventures repertoire.
I have to admit right away that I love Star Trek Adventures. This tabletop role-playing game has been a mainstay for my group, who participates in weekly sessions as the crew of the USS Coalition. So naturally, I welcome any additional resources to further engage my players, and I love the opportunity to have them interact with some of my favorite parts of Star Trek.
Star Trek Adventures Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook isn’t a set of rules. If you want to play Star Trek Adventures, you’ll at least need the Starter Set or more preferably, the Core Rulebook. Instead, it’s a supplement that details the lore surrounding the Gamma Quadrant, as well as gives information about Gamma Quadrant species, planets, and technologies—with lots of story hooks to get your gamemaster’s creative juices flowing, and to inform players of what they could expect if they ever find themselves on the other side of the Bajoran wormhole.
It should be noted that those who have not seen Deep Space Nine might want to watch the show before diving into this sourcebook. The Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is absolutely chock full of spoilers for a show that relies more on a larger series arc than other Star Treks. In fact, there is an entire section of the Sourcebook that basically lays out some of the biggest plot points of the show—and their aftermath. As a result, there may be some spoilers in this review. Let this be your warning.
Like the Star Trek Adventures Alpha Quadrant Sourcebook, the Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook pushes the Star Trek Adventures default timeline forward a bit, to the years of the Dominion War, ending around the year 2374—so it’s a great reference to the most current state of the Star Trek universe—obviously excluding the forthcoming Picard show. Also, like the Alpha Quadrant Sourcebook, the Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook plays a little loose with established canon by adding in additional information to fill in the gaps. This isn’t a bad thing, but those who want to rely solely on established canon may want to stick to the wiki Memory Alpha, which sources its information directly from the shows. That said, I’m sure every Star Trek Adventures group is homebrewing their own aliens and backgrounds anyways, and the lore that the authors add is believable, and seamless.
The Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is set up similarly to the Beta Quadrant and Alpha Quadrant sourcebooks. It is broken up in chapters dealing with lore, different species, starships, and plot hooks which they call “encounter seeds.” For anyone who has seen Deep Space Nine, it shouldn’t surprise you that their chapter that deals with species and governments of the Gamma Quadrant is made up mostly of the Dominion. This massive, expansionist faction lead by the mysterious Founders is the dominant faction in the Gamma Quadrant, and when they meet with the Federation, it results in one of the deadliest conflicts Starfleet has ever participated in.
That’s not to say that the Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is all about war. It still has lots of information about strange new worlds, and ways to challenge your players without participating in the Dominion War. But if you did want to run a Dominion War campaign, this sourcebook is essential. Still, if you’re running a campaign in a different era—especially in the earlier The Original Series or Star Trek Enterprise eras, this book isn’t completely useless. It has a handy “Yesterday’s Enterprise” guide that gives some ideas on how to incorporate what’s in this sourcebook to other eras, and savvy gamemasters can use this information even if it isn’t completely relevant.
The Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is a great resource, but it’s not without its flaws. I appreciate the lore that the book provides, but large sections are just plot summaries from Deep Space Nine arcs. And some of the lore that is made up to fill the gaps felt a bit questionable, and something I won’t bring to my campaign. Luckily, any information you want to take or leave, you can do so as you wish. But there are a few times when their interpretation of lore doesn’t quite fit canon, but it’s up to your gamemaster to use it or not.
The Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is filled with the same great artwork that we’ve seen in the other Modiphius released Star Trek Adventure books. And while I would have liked to see more of the starships and characters have artwork, the artwork that is there is top-notch.
Star Trek Adventures Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is a great addition to any Star Trek Adventures game. It’s full of plot hooks and important lore for those looking to run a game set at any point during the Dominion War, and after. It has enough information to base a campaign around, or you can use the encounter seeds they provide in an ongoing game.
The Star Trek Adventures Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook is available digitally through DrivethruRPG or directly from Modiphius.com. It will be available in print soon.
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