Play-Testing the Captain’s Log

Jim Johnson of Modiphius and Michael Dismuke - the Lead Writer on Captain’s Log - gave me the incredible opportunity to contribute some writing and design to this solo/journaling TTRPG.

In the process, I was able to play-test an early version of the game. I had been very familiar with the rules for Star Trek Adventures, which Michael, Jim, Alison, and other writers had streamlined for the solo TTRPG experience in the Captain’s Log. I wanted to see how these rules played-out at the table, especially the use of the Probability Matrix to act as an exciting and unpredictable Star Trek universe to which a writer could respond.

Illustrating the Rules

These stories illustrate how to play Captain’s Log. I’ve included notes on how I used the rules at each step of the story.

I’ve put the rules notes in the margins, “director’s commentary” style, so the stories can be read uninterrupted.

The rules of the game have been refined since I ran these early tests. I’ve changed a few of my notes to illustrate the use of the final ruleset, without changing any of the outcomes.


The first chapter, “Saavik,” describes how I built Saavik’s character using the Creation-in-Play rules, how I created Saavik’s ship, the USS Le Guin, and highlights some community resources that can help inspire your own characters.

The first episode of the story, “The Call,” illustrates basic usage of the Captain’s Log ruleset including generating a plot using the Probability Matrix.

The next, “A Wounded Animal,” illustrates Starship Combat.

The third, “The Blooming,” makes heavy use of the Probability Matrix to drive the responses of the characters surrounding the Captain.