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GURPS Prime Directive

4th Edition


Publisher Description

Welcome to the Generic Universal RolePlaying System!

With GURPS, you can be anyone you want – an elf hero fighting for the forces of good, a shadowy femme fatale on a deep-cover mission, a futuristic swashbuckler carving up foes with a force sword in his hand and a beautiful woman by his side . . . or literally anything else! Thanks to its flexibility, quality writing, and ease of use, GURPS has been the premiere universal roleplaying game for over three decades!


A Complete Game for Exploring the Early Star Trek Universe [ edit ]

The Start Trek franchise has spawned numerous games since the show first came out in 1966, including one called Starfleet Battles.  This game was based on both the original Star Trek series, and also partially on the animated series, but at one point it diverges from that series to create its own an alternate universe (the first of many for Star Trek).

This alternate universe has not only been the setting for Starfleet Battles (a long-running board game), but also other games, such as the popular Starfleet Command computer game ... and GURPS Prime Directive.  This supplement starts with humanity's first contact with Vulcans (2060), proceeds for awhile through the canon (original) Star Trek universe, and ends in the alternate timeline (in the year 2285). Campaigns can be set at any point in that timeline.

What It Offers [ edit ]

If you are looking to run an RPG campaign in that universe, Prime Directive offers a wealth of resources, starting with character creation tools such as templates for various Star Trek races (not just Klingons and Romulans, but many others as well, including some only found in the alternate universe ... and even one that's taken from the Traveller universe!)

The book also contains tons of setting material, from maps and timelines to detailed descriptions of the interstellar nations.  It also includes rules for things like spaceship combat ... although (owing to its origin as a space battle board game) it also describes how to play a sort of hybrid game, where you use Starfleet Battles for the spaceship fights, and GURPS for role-playing.

GURPS Lite Rules Included [ edit ]

Unlike most GURPS products, you do not need to have the core GURPS book to play Prime Directive, because the book includes a copy of the (much shorter/simpler) GURPS Lite rules with it.  Of course, fans looking for a slightly more detailed RPG system may still wish to use the actual GURPS rules instead, and the supplement works perfectly well that way also.

If you're curious to see just the GURPS Lite rules themselves, you can actually download them for free from Steve Jackson Games' website, at:

Great for Fans of the Original Star Trek [ edit ]

GURPS Prime Directive is not a book for fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, or most other Star Trek shows (Star Trek: Enterprise being the main exception, as it's also set early in the Star Trek timeline).  However, if you're looking to explore the universe of the original TV show (and most of the animated show), using GURPS' great RPG rules, then Prime Directive is exactly what you want.

It's also worth mentioning that Prime Directive isn't the only product in the series either: Steve Jackson Games also published three separate books which detail the territories, subraces, etc. of the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan empires.

Finally, while there are two editions of GURPS Prime Directive, there's no need to worry about getting a specific version.  As the publisher notes here, there aren't any major differences between the two, just some minor editorial fixes in the more recent version.