Guys, I love Star Trek and roleplaying. In the past, I've been unimpressed with the complicated system used for many Star Trek (and other ) RPGs. They possess a certain technical fidelity, but suck in general. My dissatisfaction stems from the belief that Star Trek is a morality play set in a science fiction universe, not a cohesive, hard science fiction setting. I would love to play a Star Trek RPG, but I can't; anyone else running Star Trek would get it wrong. This leaves the creation and execution of a Star Trek Roleplaying Game in my hands.
If you've ever run a roleplaying game, you know that roleplayers are dickbags who generally don't get Star Trek (or at least my very narrow interpretation of the franchise). I've adopted an approach which accepts that players are dickbags who at least want to learn how the Star Trek universe works. Keeping that in mind, the best pitch I've got is: Ten years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, aka Star Trek 10, aka Star Trek: Franchise-Killer, the human race began vanishing, removing the backbone of both The United Federation of Planets and Starfleet.
Over the next ten years, The Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, and Cardassians rushed to take advantage of the weakened Starfleet, igniting a series of devastating wars. To stem the chaos, the interested parties formed a puppet Federation and a paper tiger Starfleet to maintain order while they vie to emerge as the dominant force in the quadrant. These empires often use Starfleet for costly, dangerous, and unpopular missions. Missions like exploring new worlds and new civilizations.
By asking players to take on the role of "bad guy," they can (ideally) come to understand the principles that underlie Star Trek, and integrate them into their characters.
First and foremost, characters are defined by their Classification. Starfleet officers are either Science, Medical, Engineering, Line, Operations, Diplomatic, Soldier, or Line officers (There are also unclassified officers, aka "Red Shirts."). The characters can have training from any number of Departments, but only have one Classification. For example, a Medical Officer may have training in another Department, like Engineering, but remains a Medical Officer. The Departments they're trained in will determine their Skills. For example, the same character trained in the Medical Department, will use that training in tests governing first aid, identifying symptoms, using medical equipment, or anything else the Storyteller deems relevant to their field.
There are also ancillary skills to represent hobbies, trade skills, or cultural backgrounds a character may have, which may or may not be related to their careers in Starfleet.
Characters may also gain Features. Some are disadvantages, some are drawbacks, and others are neither. Not all disadvantages are bad things; they simply complicate the character's life and give the Storyteller hooks for stories. For example, all characters start with Drawback: Family of three. Family isn't a bad thing, but for the purposes of the story, they are generally rarely-seen relatives who have a genuine bond with the character, but whose appearance will none-the-less harbor a complication in the character's life.
One of the more noteworthy features is the addition of Features related to ship quality. Borrowed, from ideas like the Mutants & Masterminds headquarters system, it allows the players to give their characters the ability to improve the vessel around which the series revolves. The base quality of a crew's starting vessel is up to the storyteller, but the players can buy features that all count towards enhancing the ship. If the characters are interested, they can make their ship the best in the fleet. If they don't, they better be ready for a lot of garbage scow jokes.
In accordance with ancient tradition, stories should be in-hand before a serious campaign pitch is made (which I cannot emphatically state enough; this is not).
Remembrαnce – The information repository at Memory Alpha was encrypted on the eve of the new Federation's creation, but now Starfleet cryptographers are on the cusp of unlocking it. Who remains to stop them? What secrets—or traps—will they find inside?
Ask Not—The ship approaches a shuttlecraft emitting a distress call. Just as they beam aboard a Cardassian Operations officer, power and computer systems fail catastrophically. Is this officer truly on a secret mission to root out traitors? Or is there another reason their crew seems to have turned on the party?
Fair Trade—As thousands die from a hemorrhagic fever on Alkada Prime, the ship must get a cure from a world with its own problems.
Timeless Flight—When another Starfleet vessel comes to their rescue, the crew are shocked to learn it comes from twenty years in the past!
99 Problems—The ship responds when a civilian transport comes under fire from rebels. But can they survive when Starfleet Command is playing a larger game?
The Union—When a rogue Cardassian regiment lays claim to the Curas System, the crew must pacify a sympathetic Cardassian settlement. The situation escalates when it's revealed that there's a saboteur on board.
FΩoresight—The test of an experimental cloaking technology gets awry when the Captain orders the ship into the heart of Romulan space, putting the ship and crew at risk.