Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The FASA Corporation, commonly known as FASA, was an American gaming company that produced role-playing (RPG), text, board, and video games. It was founded around 1980 by Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock III in Chicago, Illinois. The "FASA" acronym stood for "Freedonian Air and Space Administration".

Some of FASA's most popular and extensive lines included the Shadowrun, MechWarrior, BattleTech, Doctor Who, and Star Trek games. Its (now highly sought-after) 1979 Battlestar Galactica role-playing game, one of the first products that the company released, served as the template for the Star Trek: The Role Playing Game four years later. [1]

FASA closed its doors in 2001 after twenty years in operation, but its creators continue to license new games based on earlier FASA releases. Meanwhile, Star Trek gaming content has continued to evolve and licensing has been awarded to other companies including Last Unicorn Games, Decipher, and WizKids.

Star Trek licensing

FASA gaming miniatures assortment.jpg FASA logo, original.png
Assortment of painted FASA gaming miniatures
Original FASA logo as used in the Star Trek era

In 1982, FASA received licensing from Paramount Pictures to produce a RPG based on the studio's first four Star Trek films and Star Trek: The Original Series. After four development versions were rejected because they focused too strongly on combat, which did not fit in with Gene Roddenberry's vision of a more utopian future, a fifth development team consisting of Guy W. McLimore, Jr., Greg Poehlein, and David F. Tepool, was brought in. It was this team that succeeded in developing a version that was met with approval by both the franchise and FASA. (Designers & Dragons, p. 120, ISBN 9781907702587)

The basic game was released in 1983 as Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, followed by numerous associated components, supplements, and reference works. FASA also produced four Star Trek "Micro-Adventure" games that incorporated some of the RPG's elements into smaller, less complex games. Aside from the game also including some content from non-canon Star Trek novels and comics, Star Trek: The Animated Series was also incorporated into the game's content, as it too was covered by FASA's licensing.

Conversely, information and designs from the FASA game have been influential in subsequent Star Trek novels, comics, and games. Despite the non-canonical nature of the game, content created by FASA designers has even influenced some elements in early canon Star Trek: The Next Generation-era filmed Star Trek productions. FASA's Star Trek RPG became a major contemporary competitor to Task Force Games' Star Fleet Battles RPG, which, as the first of its kind, began to debut its releases a few years before FASA.

A major contributing factor to the success of their game was the simultaneous release of a line of highly imaginative – where their non-canon starship designs were concerned – pewter gaming miniatures. They proved to be very popular in their own right, eclipsing the popularity of the previously-released Task Force miniatures, and garnered the company a 1984 H.G. Wells Award in the "Best Vehicular Miniatures Series" category. This was followed by two "Best Vehicular or Accessory Series" awards in 1985 and 1987 for model sculptors Ab Mobasher, who sculpted the first twenty-two models of the line, and Randy Hoffa and Steve Apolloni, respectively.

With the advent of The Next Generation in 1987, FASA geared up to incorporate the new production into their game framework and published the season one supplemental sourcebook and the Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual in 1988.

In 1989, FASA was already in the process of manufacturing accompanying gaming miniatures based on TNG when its contract with Paramount was terminated abruptly, due to difficulties with acquiring licensing. The predominant reason for Paramount ending the relationship was its desire to establish a more coherent "franchise" approach by exercising a firmer grip on content and continuity. This new approach was exemplified by Paramount's expressed displeasure with FASA's TNG publications, which contained information upon release that was already contradicted by aired episodes, instantly rendering them non-canonical. (Designers & Dragons, p. 123; [2] – see also in this respect: Print material franchise)

Star Trek: The Role Playing Game editorial staff

this list is currently incomplete

See also

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