Klingon Ship Recognition Manual (1985)

This is the Klingon Ship Recognition Manual (1985) for FASA’s Star Trek RPG. Same basic thing as the Federation Ship Recognition Manual, except most of the ships derive from the Great Bird frigate design.

Continuing from yesterday’s post, the FASA game basically became the nexus for Star Trek canon in the 80s, and created vast swaths of it as needed, including some basics for the Klingon language. A lot of FASA’s treatment of the Klingons draws from and adds to the non-canon novels by John M. Ford, which sought to kind of build a Klingon culture out of the very little information that was presented in the original TV show. FASA also tried to reconcile the difference in appearance between the movie Klingons and the more human looking TV series Klingons (genetic experimentation!). 

Fans got really invested in this version of the Star Trek universe! So much so that when Next Generation came out, there was genuine anger about Rodenberry discarding this fanon (again, shades of what would unfold decades later with Star Wars – Star Trek did promise to boldly go, after all) and blamed him when Paramount revoked FASA’s license in 1989. That’s only sort of true. After the launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount did become more conscious of Star Trek canon. But the revocation of the license had more to do with the game’s preoccupation with militarism – something that long bothered Paramount – and the studios disappointment at FASA’s handling of its two TNG sourcebooks.

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