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

The FASA Corporation (commonly referred to as FASA) was a company that produced role-playing (RPG), text, board, and video games and was founded around 1980 by Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock III. 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. A highly sought after rarity FASA released, has become the 1979 single Battlestar Galactica role playing game outing, one of the very first products the company had released, and which has served as the template for the four years later released Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. [1]

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

The Star Trek license Edit

FASA gaming miniatures assortment Original FASA Logo
Assortment of painted FASA gaming miniatures
Original FASA logo as used in the Star Trek era

In 1982, FASA was licensed by Paramount Pictures to produce a RPG based on Paramount's first four Star Trek films and Star Trek: The Original Series. After four development versions were rejected, because of a too large focus on combat, which did not fit 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 by approval of 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 also became included as part of 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 competitor at the time to Task Force Games' Star Fleet Battles RPG, which, as the first of its kind, had started its releases a few years before FASA's.

A major contributing factor to the success of their game was the release, likewise starting in 1983, of a line of accompanying, highly imaginative – where their non-canon starship designs were concerned – pewter gaming miniatures, which have proven to be quite popular in their own right (eclipsing that of the earlier released Task Force miniatures), and it has garnered the company a 1984 H.G. Wells Award in the category "Best Vehicular Miniatures Series".

With the advent of The Next Generation in 1987, FASA geared up to incorporate the new production into their game frame work and released both a season one supplemental sourcebook and the Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual, both published in 1988. FASA was already in the process of manufacturing accompanying gaming miniatures based on the production, when its contract with Paramount suddenly ended shortly thereafter in 1989 due to licensing difficulties. The predominant reason for Paramount to do so was their desire to have a more coherent (official) franchise in place by exercising a firmer grip on it, and which was exemplified by their unhappiness with the Next Generation FASA publications which contained information already contradicted upon their release, and thus rendered non-canon, by events taking place in the series as concurrently aired. (Designers & Dragons, p. 123; [2] – see also in this respect: Print material franchise)

Star Trek: The Role Playing Game editorial staffEdit

this list is currently incomplete

See alsoEdit

External link Edit

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