Archive for the ‘Roleplaying Games’ Category

Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

I know it’s only January right now, and Origins Game Fair isn’t until June – but if you’re planning a full week trip to Origins, you should probably start thinking about it now. I get asked a lot of questions about Origins and how to get ready for it. I want to share planning methods and tips for the convention that Mr. DDK and I have. We may not be the most seasoned when it comes to Origins (been a few times), but we’ve traveled a lot and we’ve definitely learned a lot!

Most of this article is written for travelers that are driving or taking other modes of ground transportation. I don’t have much advice for anyone flying because I’m not familiar with flying protocols.

October – November 2018

Hotel blocks and badge registration opened in October and November, respectively. We don’t usually book hotel rooms or buy badges that early. A lot of people do though. If you’ve got the money to spend, we would definitely recommend getting a room from one of the Hotel Blocks listed on Origins’ site – especially the connected hotels or one super close. By now, most of them are already booked. If you want to get a room at one of the connected hotels, you would have to be ready to book the moment the blocks open up. The hotel block registration for Origins 2019 opened on October 15, 2018. If you’re planning for next year (2020), be watching for the block announcement on their Facebook page or in their newsletter.

January – April
Hotel

These are the months when we scout hotels and decide which one to book. I’m not the best at stalking about the internet for the absolute cheapest rooms, so we probably end up paying more for a room than the expert scouts. There are tons of websites out there that can teach you how to take advantage of the discounts and sales and find the cheapest possible room.

When we look for a room, we try to find one within a mile of the convention center. The address for the Greater Columbus Convention Center is:

400 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

If the room is within a mile, that means we won’t have to drive and pay parking fees, and it’ll be roughly a 20-25 minute walk. Parking fees aren’t terrible for one day, but once you’re paying them for five days or more, it becomes a huge chunk of what could have been spending money.

We like rooms with a refrigerator so we have a place to keep food or drinks. We also try to get a microwave in the room or in the lobby, at the very least. We like to try to get a room with two beds or one bed with a pull out couch, just in case we have folks that decide to go with us.

Once we know what we want in a room, I will usually browse Kayak for rooms that have a free cancellation policy and a pay at the hotel feature. Once I’ve found a room that we like, I’ll book it, but I’ll keep looking at rooms all the way up to the last day that I can cancel my booking. I do that in case I find a room that’s cheaper, closer, or better than the one I booked. In all the years we’ve traveled, we have never cancelled one room for another, but it doesn’t hurt to keep looking. If we can save a few hundred dollars on a room, then why not? If the room is cheaper by less than a hundred dollars, I won’t bother cancelling our current room.

Badge Registration

Badge Registration for 2019 opened in November of 2018. We don’t typically buy badges until March, just because that’s when we have extra income. Work in your badge purchase when it best suits your finances. But don’t wait too late to register! Early bird prices have a cut off date and if you miss it, you’ll have to pay more for your badge.

There are a variety of different types of badges that grant you access to the convention for one day or all five days. We always go for the full show badges, but you should get the one that suits your plans.

May

This is the month that purchasing opens for Ribbons, Event Tickets, and Generic Tokens for the various happenings at Origins Game Fair.

Ribbons

I’ve never purchased a Ribbon at Origins, but I’m seriously considering it this year. You can find the info for Ribbons at the bottom of the Registration page. Ribbons have a super sticky part across the front top of the ribbon. When you get your Ribbon, you stick it to the back of your badge, so the front of the Ribbon hangs just below your badge. I’ve seen folks with a stack of Ribbons, stretching almost all the way to the floor. Some Ribbons are earned by accomplishing various tasks, like turning in a coupon and getting your free spin on a prize wheel. Wearing the Ribbon shows you’ve done it, almost like a badge of honor.

I’ve heard lots of great things about Origins After Dark and the Board Room and that they are worth buying. I’m looking at getting the Upper Deck Ribbon because they make the VS System 2PCG: The Alien Battles and I love Alien. I wanted to learn to play it last year, but it was extremely difficult to get in without a ticket or ribbon – and I couldn’t schedule it easily last year either.

Event Tickets

Event Tickets are special tickets that you can purchase which guarantee you entry to a particular event at a specific time. You can buy tickets for practically anything at various times. You can download the 2018 Event Grid (last year’s) from the current event page, here. That’ll give you an example of the events. Last year, I bought a Giant King of Tokyo ticket and Star Trek Five Year Mission event ticket. Buying tickets in advance for events that you know you’ll want to play is a great idea. Doing it early will guarantee that you save yourself a seat! I plan on purchasing Giant King of Tokyo and some painting sessions this year. If there’s another Five Year Mission game, I’ll be getting in on that too! Mr. DDK loaded up on Dungeons and Dragons gaming sessions with Baldman Games.

We’re always careful not to buy too many tickets in advance. I’m not good at micro managing and you almost have to be to manage a stack of event tickets. We’re also careful when buying tickets for game sessions that are too close in time to each other. Origins is huge and if we buy an event ticket for an event that starts right after one ends, it’s not likely we’ll make it on time and lose our seat. Mr. DDK didn’t have to worry about running between events last year because all of his were in the same room, just at a different table.

If this is your first time at Origins, only buy a few event tickets so you can get a feel for the flow and ebb at Origins. Event tickets are usually available at Origins too, not just in advance. Some events sell out rather quickly, like the D&D events. Last year, Mr. DDK bought D&D event tickets in advance for what he could, and then picked up generic tokens when we got there. Sometimes, folks don’t make it to a scheduled event that they purchased a ticket for, or the event has extra spots open up. If that happens, folks with generic tokens have a chance to get in on that event. That’s not always the case though, so if you’re specifically looking at the D&D events, I would suggest buying them as soon as possible.

Generic Tokens

Generics are tokens that are similar in appearance to small plastic poker chips. They’re decorated with the Origins logo and each is worth $2.00 towards the entry into an event that accepts generics. Most events that I inquired about last year accepted generics, so long as all the ticket holders were seated first. If you don’t use all your generic tokens, you can turn them in by a specific day and time for a refund. It’s good to have several generics on hand, and I recommend picking them up before you start exploring the convention.

June – Leading Up To Origins

Origins month! Now it’s time to get ready for the trip!

Preventing Con Crud

Con crud is catch-all name for the germs that folks get when they spend a lot of time at a convention and don’t take care of themselves before, during, and after the convention. I should really be taking a daily vitamin all year long, but I typically start taking a daily vitamin around the first of June. Taking a daily vitamin is a good way to boost the immune system and help prevent the onset of con crud.

We also buy several travel sized bottles of hand sanitizer. We like the ones that attach to the outside of a bag so we have quick and easy access to them. We like to keep healthy snacks and plenty of water on us while at the convention. Eating well also helps to prevent the crud.

Washing your hands often while at the convention is probably the best prevention practice, which I talk about more below.

Demo/Purchase Wish Lists

It’s around this time that I start checking up on the companies that are attending and what products they may be bringing. This helps me make a list of games that I want to demo and games I want to purchase. When I make a list of games that I want to purchase, I usually keep it short. This leaves room for the possible addition of something I didn’t realize was going to be available, or in the event I demo something that I really want to buy afterwards.

My list of games to demo is usually pretty long. I like to experience as much as I can and meet as many folks as I can! I recommend making a demo list that’s larger than your purchase list. I don’t like having a large purchase wish list because then I feel like I need to go buy those things on my list and I’ll put off buying something else that’s not on the list.

I usually don’t plan on buying anything until after I’ve had a chance to demo a lot of the games on my demo list, unless it’s a game that looks like it might sell out. I would definitely recommend prioritizing the games on your lists in case some of them are hot sellers.

Buy Supplies and Make A Checklist

I always start my travel checklist around the first of June too. Making a checklist helps prevent me from forgetting anything. My travel checklists are detailed all the way down to which t-shirts I’m taking for each day. I know that might sound silly to some, but being organized helps keep my stress levels to a minimum. I write down everything, even if it seems like something obvious – like a phone charger.

Making a travel list also helps me see what I need to buy for the trip. For example, if I write shampoo down on the list, it’s not completely practical to take an entire bottle of shampoo. Buying travel sized toiletries will help save a little bit of luggage room. Saving a little room everywhere you can means you have more room to bring more things home. Do you realize how many sets of RPG dice you can fit in the space difference between the size of a normal bottle of shampoo and a travel size bottle?

Travel Food and Vehicle Prep

Chocolate, super sweet candy, and sodas are not good travel snacks. I would recommend beef jerky, trail mix, crackers, peanuts, and water or some other beverage like lemonade or Gatorade. I don’t bring anything that will melt or go bad in a hot vehicle. We make the trip by car and it takes us the better part of eight hours to get to Columbus, Ohio from Dyersburg, Tennessee. Having wholesome snacks also helps keep the number of stops to a minimum. It also helps to have good snacks for the hotel room too, so I always make sure to pack plenty of snacks.

We also make sure our vehicle has had its regular maintenance like an oil change and a tire inspection. We also check to be sure we’ve got a spare tire, jumper cables, plenty of gas in the tank, a map, and a GPS. I will sometimes check our route ahead of time and see where the long stretches are between gas stations and make a note to check the tank before reaching those points. Jumper cables should be in your vehicle at all times, regardless of the vehicle’s age. Spare tires are also important and we like to make sure we’ve got some funds set aside in case we need to buy another tire on the trip. Folks sometimes laugh at me for having an atlas in the car, but there could be times where you lose signal on your GPS or phone and you need to know where to go. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Weather Forecast

June is warm, but heads up – the convention halls can get chilly! We bring a light coat or a light weight long sleeved shirt with us to the convention.

We keep an eye on what the weather is supposed to be doing for the entire duration of the convention. We plan to walk to and from the convention, so we’ll need to know if rain is in the forecast. It didn’t rain at all while we were there last year, at least not when we were going to and from the convention. We took an Uber back and forth between the hotel and the convention last year. We also pay close attention to what the weather forecast is for the road trip.

Plotting the Course

We always check the suggested routes for which one appeals to us the most. Sometimes, we prefer the more scenic routes, and other times we prefer traveling through more populated areas. We cross check them with the weather and then select the one we think is best.

June – Convention Time!
Road Trip Time!

When departure day arrives, we make sure everything on our checklist is checked off and we put our selected route into the GPS app, and we head out! Depending on which day we leave, usually determines what time we leave. If we leave on Tuesday, we leave later in the morning, putting our arrival around dinner time. If we leave on Wednesday, we leave as early as possible (usually 7:00 or 8:00 am) which puts our arrival around 3:00 or 4:00 pm.

Pit-Stops and Safety

We stop as few times as possible, because that not only saves time, but also saves us a little on gas.

When we stop for a meal, we make sure it’s not super greasy fast food. Eating healthier on the road helps us stay alert on the trip. I know this all sounds cheesy, no pun intended there, but it’s the honest truth! I used to eat nothing but Cheetos and drink Mountain Dew while traveling and since I changed my diet, I’ve noticed a world of difference. When we stop for a meal, we make it worthwhile.

We also check the area around our potential stop for red flags. We never stop at a location that looks like it belongs in a horror movie – because I don’t want to be in a real-life horror movie scenario. We make sure the places we stop are well lit and clean on the outside. If there are storage buildings or trees close by, we don’t ever park near them. If there are a lot of folks hanging around outside a place, regardless of how they look, we will pass it by. We also look at the buildings in the area around where we’re thinking of stopping. If the area looks run down and unkempt, even if the place we’re wanting stop at looks okay, we will pass it up. It doesn’t take much effort to stay safe, just some common sense.

We also lock our vehicle at every stop, even if we’re only running in for a second, and we never leave the vehicle running. That’s just asking for someone to steal it. We like to cover our luggage with a solid colored sheet of cloth too, so anyone peering in won’t see what’s in the back of the vehicle. We hide anything that looks valuable, either under the seats or under the cloth in the back of the vehicle. And we also clean the change out of the cup holders. You would be surprised what folks will break into a car for.

Arrival!

When we arrive in Columbus, we like to check into our hotel room first if possible, just to be sure everything is in order. We haven’t really had any issues during an Origins trip (yet), but we’ve had issues with hotels in the past.

If we arrive on Tuesday, we usually take that time to relax and look over the website, making notes or changing wish lists. There isn’t much to do on Tuesday, besides visit the comic store and meet up with friends in the food court.

If we arrive on Wednesday, then we go directly to the convention center upon arrival in Columbus. Origins opens the on-site registration and badge pick up on Wednesday, as well as the gaming halls. The Exhibit Hall (Vendor Hall) is not typically open on Wednesday. We will oftentimes sit in the food court and browse the Origins event book and coupon book you get at registration.

Origins Game Fair

Everyone goes to Origins not only for gaming but to socialize with fellow gamers, the creators of their favorite games, and the companies that produce games. Origins is a very relaxed experience for how many folks attend. You wouldn’t think of 18,000 folks milling around as a relaxed experience, except the folks organizing this convention know what they’re doing. The GAMA organization does a wonderful job of it every year.

Quiet Time

This is an important topic for me and many other gamers as well. If you don’t already know this about me, you may be surprised to learn that I have some pretty severe anxiety issues. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I have panic attacks when strangers get too close to me. If I feel safe and comfortable, my anxiety isn’t an issue. A convention like Origins feels like home to me and I feel safe, so my anxiety isn’t an issue here.

I like how they have the convention set up. It never feels cramped in the gaming halls since the doors to them stay open most of the time. The only major ‘rush’ is when the Exhibit Hall first opens everyday. But once those folks filter in and disperse, which is actually quite fast, the Exhibit Hall doesn’t feel cramped either. The more popular booths will always have a crowd, but even those crowds are easy to maneuver while in the booth. The later in the day it is, the less crowded the booths are.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, there are lots of quiet areas all over the convention center to sit in. Most of the areas aren’t even designated as quiet spots, but they work great for folks like me that need a few minutes to rest. The Origins volunteers are helpful and understanding for anyone in need and can guide you to a quiet area or direct you to someone that can help.

Charging Stations

Last year, I thought I’d have to sit in the floor by an outlet in order to charge my video camera and my phone, but I didn’t! The Greater Columbus Convention Center has charging stations all over the place! They’re at tables, in the food court at a charging bar, in lounge areas, practically everywhere. It’s a convenience that I greatly thank them for.

Wednesday – At Origins

Unless they change something, Wednesday is the day we’ll be picking up our badges. The gaming halls are usually open and some events could be up and running. Wednesday is the day we use to scout out the locations for events we purchased tickets for and to visit the comic store, Heroes and Games, in the convention center. The staff at this store is always so nice and helpful and it’s a must visit place while at the convention.

We also look around the food court and see if there’s anything on the menus that we just have to try and make a note of it for later. There are a lot of great options for breakfast and lunch. The food court is spacious and bright, but they have dimmer areas too if you prefer it, and it’s a great place to sit with friends to get away from the bustle of the convention.

We try to hit the food court last so we can grab lunch and look over our booklets. When you register and get your badge, you also get a couple of Origins booklets, plus a coupon book. We’ll sit and go through the coupon book and select the coupons we’re most interested in and also browse the convention map and the event booklet for anything we might have missed.

If it’s not too late by the time we’re done with that, we’ll make our way back to the gaming halls to see if any of the booths are open and get in some early demos. If not, we’ll find some folks to play some games with!

Thursday to Sunday – At Origins

Thursday is probably the biggest day since that’s the first day the Exhibit Hall is open. Folks are trying to get in for the early show deals and trying to get any freebies they might have from the coupon book. Events are in full swing and folks are bustling around with bags full of games. The excitement is almost palpable in the air. There are vendors offering demos, supply vendors displaying their goods, artists and writers talking about their works, and folks from all walks of life coming together to enjoy the atmosphere and join in the excitement of playing old favorites and newly discovered favorites alike.

These four days are all similar in that we’re participating in various events, browsing products, and having fun! Sunday is the only day that’s different for us because that’s the day we check out of our hotel room and head home after we’re done at Origins. Many folks stay the night and leave on Monday, but we’re usually ready to head home by Sunday. It’s a whirlwind of excitement and fun for us everyday and the experience is well worth the trip!

Origins Game Fair Tips
3-2-1 Health and Hygiene Rule

I’m sure many of you have heard of the convention hygiene rule in one form or another. I’ve always heard it called the 3-2-1 Rule, but in recent years I’ve seen variations pop up. It’s basically this:

  • 3 – Get at least three hours of sleep each night of the convention.
  • 2 – Eat two proper meals each day of the convention.
  • 1 – Take at least one shower each day of the convention.

Sleep – Some variations say you need five or six hours of sleep each night of the convention. Every person is different. Some of us can function just fine off of three hours of sleep. Others need eight hours, or more. I’m somewhere around a six hour person and if I don’t get enough rest, I look terrible and I’m very grumpy. Don’t sacrifice sleep for more game time because you might regret it as the convention continues on.

Eat – Everyone needs at least two proper meals everyday of the convention. Mr. DDK and I get our three meals in, plus snacks. I love gaming, but I love food too. I won’t sacrifice food for more gaming. There is a time and place for each one and when it’s time to eat, then I go eat! Pretzels or other con-foods are not a substitute for a meal. There is an entire food court in the convention center with a variety of reasonably priced food and drink. Eating regular and proper meals is important for energy levels too. If you’re not eating properly, you are not on top of your game!

Shower – This is not just a courtesy for those around you, it’s a health thing too. You’re going to be in and around all kinds of folks. Some of those folks might have a germ or two and not know it, or they could have germs and not care. If you get those germs on your clothes, you’re transporting them around and spreading them. You need to shower every day to get those germs off. Don’t contribute to the spread of con crud, shower it off.

As a side note to go along with showering – do not shower in aftershave, cologne, or perfume – use soap and water, please. Use scented things in moderation. We’re not really in tight quarters in the gaming halls, but there are lots of people with sensory issues and a strong scent could trigger a negative response. Only in recent years, as my anxiety has worsened, have I learned just how debilitating a sensory problem can be. My sensory issue is texture and sound related, but I totally understand what folks go through when their sensory issue is triggered. Be kind to those around you and don’t drown yourself in scented things.

Clothes

Bring enough sets of clothes that you can wear different clothes everyday – pants included. If you can’t do this, or just don’t want to, have your clothes laundered. Wearing the same pair of pants for two days could contribute to the spread of con crud. I have a set of clothes for every day of the convention, plus backups. When we get back to the hotel, I toss my dirty clothes in their own bag so they don’t potentially contaminate my clean clothes. And that’s usually the first thing I do after we unload the car from the trip – I wash the clothes! Just because you’re not at the convention anymore doesn’t mean you didn’t bring the crud home with you.

Wash Your Hands

It’s very important that you wash your hands regularly, not just after using the facilities. And hand sanitizer is great if you can’t make it to the restroom right away, but it’s not a substitute for washing your hands. I make frequent trips to the restroom to wash my hands, especially after handling demo products or shaking hands with folks. Germs spread rapidly at conventions and the best way to stifle them is wash your hands and use sanitizer.

Cart or Bag?

Should you tote your purchases around in a shopping bag, a rolling basket or cart, a wheeled suitcase, or by some other method? Well, only you can answer that question! Last year, I used a wheeled suitcase and I’m leaning that way again. I wanted a wired basket or wheeled tote, like the ones shown below, but after lugging that suitcase around last year I think the basket might be too much of a hassle.

rolling carts

The suitcase worked fine and it was fully enclosed. While I feel safe at Origins, I am not that trusting that I would leave my belongings out in the open. The major benefit the baskets have over the suitcase is that they’re collapsible and the extra suitcase isn’t. The baskets are also larger, which could be good or bad depending on the situation.

There are plenty of folks that make purchases and carry their goodies using shopping bags, which works fine for them. But if you’re planning on making lots of purchases and you can’t easily make a drop off in your hotel room or car, then you might want to think about a cart or suitcase. Just be sure to keep your possessions out of aisles so folks don’t trip over them.

Conclusion

Origins Game Fair is lots of fun and a great experience. There is so much to do and there’s something for everyone who loves gaming. There are diverse gaming experiences for all kinds of folks, from board games and role playing games to live action role playing and video gaming. It’s an event that I recommend everyone try to attend at least one time, even if it’s just for one day. It’s an affordable convention in a beautiful venue and it’s located in a wonderful city.

I hope that sharing my planning steps and convention tips helps folks plan their trip according to their needs. If you’re attending Origins in 2019, I’ll hopefully see you there!

Feel free to share your tips in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Board out, game on!

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Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

Some of you may be following the crew of the U.S.S. Mulgrew already, but if you’re not, be sure to check them out! You can find the most recent (at time of writing), here. We are using Modiphius Entertainment‘s Star Trek Adventures RPG rules. If you’re not familiar with the 2D20 system, then this Star Trek Adventures RPG Starter Set is the product for you! It won’t answer every question, but it’s the perfect place to start.

In my unboxing video (HERE), you can get a look at all the items in the Star Trek Adventures Starter Set. I wanted to take a moment and put a few words in this article about what I think of the product overall as well as the individual items.

starter stock

Tokens & Dice

In the starter set, you’ll find several different punch board tokens. There are Momentum, Threat, and character/ship tokens. The Momentum and Threat tokens are pieces you will definitely use for every game you play. You can use anything to represent Momentum and Threat, but it’s nice to have actual tokens designed for Momentum and Threat. The character tokens; consisting of player characters, opponents, and ships, are perfect for the starter set. You can easily use these tokens in other games too, especially if you don’t use miniatures or haven’t purchased any yet.

Overall, the tokens are standard cardboard punch out tokens, but they serve their purpose and they’re perfect for a starter set like this one.

The dice included in the starter set are two standard D20’s, and four custom D6’s. The D20’s are opaque dark maroon with white accents. The custom D6’s have two blank sides, a single burst side, a double burst side, and a Star Trek Delta symbol on two sides. The D6’s are opaque black with white accents. The special D6’s are called Challenge dice and you will use them for a variety of things in the game like rolling for work on an Extended Task’s Work Track and dealing damage in combat.

Overall, the dice are as basic as you can get for this game. Modiphius has custom premium dice available for each of the three divisions and those are made by Q Workshop. But the dice in the starter set are more than adequate for all levels of game play, so if you only have the starter dice, you’re set to play!

Maps

There are several double-sided poster maps included in this box. The maps are beautifully colored and detailed. They don’t have unnecessary reference marks on them, which makes them perfect for games beyond the starter set adventures. There are examples in the Adventure booklet that show you where to place tokens on the maps. I’m so glad that Modiphius put all the Adventure-relevant info in the book and not on the maps. The maps are made from paper, but it feels thicker, like a poster.

Overall, the maps are very pretty and useful for more than just the starter games. That’s a major plus for me. They’re also worth getting laminated, which I’ve never done for any other starter set.

Character Sheets

There are five unique characters included in this box and all of them are a different species and have a different skill set. There are a variety of ranks as well, with Lieutenant Commander being the only duplicate rank. The sheets are easy to read and have all of the important information needed to play the character. The only thing I would change on the sheets is how the Focuses are formatted. I would have made them into a bulleted list like the Values, just so they would be easier to see each individual Focus. I love how they used each characters’ division color for the accents on the sheets. That was a nice cosmetic addition that serves a functional purpose as well.

On the back of each character sheet, as well as the ship’s sheet, you will find a reference sheet that makes it easier to understand the details of play with the chosen character. Some of the reference sheets work for all the players, like the Conflict Reference on the back of the Medical Officer’s sheet.

The ship, USS Magellan, has its own character sheet. I’m so happy Modiphius chose to put a ship in the starter set! This ship can be used outside of the starter set, as well as a reference or guideline for what a ship’s completed sheet should look like. And the back of the ship’s sheet has both charts for Personal and Ship Conflict Momentum Spends – which is invaluable during play.

Overall, the character sheets appear to be complete and well thought out characters. If you read through each of the characters’ lists of Values, you can glimpse highlight of that character backstory. I also like that they left each character unnamed. Being able to name a character, even a pre-generated one, usually gives players a feeling of ownership and control of the character. The character sheets are great and could easily be used for newer players in any game, and not just this starter set. And having the reference sheets on the back of the characters sheets is so great! I’m thinking of getting these sheets laminated as well, mainly to preserve them, but also so a dry erase marker can be used for writing on the character sheet.

Starter Rule Book

This starter rules booklet is as useful as the reference sheets. All of the basic, need-to-know information is in this booklet. I really wish I had purchased this starter set before the Core Rulebook because it would have made our first few sessions go much smoother. We did fine, but there was a lot of time spent digging through the Core Rulebook for things that are easily found in this booklet. It feels like it’s made out of the same paper as the maps. The colors are gorgeous, and I love that it’s white text on black paper. It makes it easier on my eyes when I read for an extended period of time, and it looks super classy too.

Overall, I love this booklet. I didn’t think it’d be as useful as it is until I started looking though it. If I would have had this booklet when we wanted to start playing, we would be much further along in our adventures. I spent several months reading over the Core Rulebook and I would rather have started with this booklet.

Starter Campaign

I haven’t read the entire booklet, but it appears to be a full campaign, from beginning to end. There is a lot of content in this book and as you play through the campaign, it teaches you everything you need to know as a player or GM. I assume this is a TNG Era campaign since one of the playable characters is a Bajoran, but I didn’t see anything to verify this (unless I overlooked it). The Galaxy Class ship, USS Magellan, would definitely be a TNG Era ship as they weren’t in commission during Enterprise and TOS eras. I’m sure the campaign could be modified for TOS play, but not sure about ENT play. Just like the starter rulebook, the pages feel like they’re thicker than normal paper and they’re black with white text. The last few pages show where all the character tokens should be placed on the maps. The pictures are brightly colored and easy to see.

Overall, the starter campaign looks like a fun and easy way to introduce players to the Star Trek Adventures RPG system. It also looks like a great campaign for players that are already familiar with the system.

Conclusion

This is probably my favorite starter set out of all the starter sets I’ve ever purchased. It’s well rounded and contains literally everything you need to play. It has a good price for what you get in the box. You can usually find the starter set for around $30.00 (USD). That price will vary depending on where you buy it from and if there are shipping costs included. I would recommend asking your FLGS if they can order it, and if they can’t, go directly through Modiphius.

For anyone that enjoys playing through the starter, I would highly recommend picking up the Core Rulebook and These Are The Voyages Volume One. There are additional supplements for the different divisions and different quadrants space, premium tokens and dice, and miniatures! All of this is not necessary, but they do enhance game play.

Buy or Bye?
Buy!

This isn’t just great for beginners, it’s a also got handy and useful resources for players that are already in a campaign. It’s well worth having to help introduce new players to the Star Trek Adventures RPG!

Want to drop me a line? Do it here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading!

Qapla’!

Greetings Fellow Dice and Clix Fans

 

It is with some sadness that I officially announce the retirement of my Dice Masters Confusing Card of the Week articles as well as almost all Dice Masters and HeroClix content. If Dice Masters has anything related to the Star Trek IP pop up, I’ll definitely cover it. HeroClix is still planning some Star Trek sets, and I’ll be unboxing those and talking about them, but I won’t be filming matches or writing any other general content articles for those two WizKids games.

That’s the short version. Here’s the rest…

Normally when I leave a gaming community, nobody notices and it’s likely that will be the case here too. But I know there are a few folks who actually read my articles and do genuinely care. I wanted to be sure I gave them a chance to hear my reasoning and some of what’s been going on behind the scenes.

When my dear friends from Double Burst announced the retirement of their Dice Masters podcast, I felt that it was time to say what I’d been feeling for a long time. I don’t get excited about Dice Masters anymore. I don’t get excited about HeroClix either, but my presence in that community was minimal.

I’ve been around the gaming industry for a very long time, well over 20 years now, and I’ve played a wide variety of collectible games that have been released since MtG. I’ve been in and around those games when the doors closed on each one. I’ve seen the mistakes of more than a dozen gaming companies and I can say that I feel like WizKids has changed Dice Masters in a way that wasn’t for the best. WizKids has made way too many errors in judgement, regarding Dice Masters, for me to keep investing my time and money into it. I won’t go into the list, because it’s quite extensive. I’m also not bashing them or hating on them for their choices with the game, I’m just saying that I don’t like how they’ve handled Dice Masters and I’m done.

Dice Masters Players

Another reason I feel my time is being wasted in Dice Masters, has to do with certain members of the community. The community as a whole isn’t bad and there are communities that are far worse. I was going to detail some of what transpired, without disclosing the individuals, but I’ve decided not to. It’s a bunch of negativity happened through private messages, so there is no point to spread it or give those individuals any satisfaction of detailing their bad deeds.

I will miss some things, like getting together and rolling dice with friends. But the bitterness I have associated with Dice Masters is not something I want to experience anymore. I likely won’t play the game any longer unless it’s with a particular IP, like the TMNT sets or a Star Trek one if they ever make one. I will miss meeting folks through the game. I’ve met so many amazing people and I’ve had so much fun over the years. I will miss the feeling of family when I see everyone at a WKO or Origins. Board games are great and you can meet friends through board games, but there’s something about the collectible competitive scene that feels different. “We’re friends, family, and comrades, but we’re also competitors. I’ll help you train, but when we face off in a tournament, it’s for real.” That’s what I will miss – that competitive feeling.

Thank you, to all of you that were nice to me. Thank you, to all of you that helped me along the way. Thank you, to all of you that read my articles. Thank you, to all of you that were my friends, my family, and my comrades. If you’re in board games or anything Star Trek related, then this is not a ‘goodbye’, but a ‘see you soon’. If you’re only a Dice Masters player, then this is goodbye and I hope you have positive experiences to remember me by.

Special thanks to the Double Burst crew, Chris and Andy (MOD), and the Dice Coalition (Michaela especially). I know I’ll probably see most of you folks at Origins or other conventions. Roll on, my dice family.

HeroClix Players

My existence in the Clix community was short lived. All I can really say is that once my spoilers stopped coming from WizKids, nobody was interested in my other articles. I have no reason to believe that this would change now. That makes me feel like my opinion on anything related to Clix isn’t worth the time or effort, that the majority of the community only wanted to see the spoilers.

This shouldn’t be a surprise if you read my last HeroClix Figure Spotlight. I announced the end of those articles in that final one.

Thank you, Daniel, Jason, and David. You guys are always awesome. Thanks you, Sam. You were one of the few girls that I could easily get along with in a highly competitive game and I love you to pieces. I still want to play with all of you, but you know me and what I like – Battle Royales or something crazy like my Shirtless Squad!

I’ll still post unboxings for any Star Trek Clix that WizKids puts out, but that’ll be the extent of it. I’ll post Instagram pictures of my teams too, when I play. Live long, and Prob it!

Conclusion

I’m sorry that I couldn’t find the energy and the love for Dice Masters to stick with it until the official end. But for me, the game has died completely – mainly because there is no more collectible competitive scene. If they ever return it to the collectible format, I may come back and revive my articles.

Fear not! Dice Dice Kitty is not going away! My future is full of Star Trek Adventures RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, board games and Star Trek themed games, miniature painting, comic book articles, and many other exciting things! I’m happy to close the book on this chapter of my gaming life and move on. I only wish I’d done it sooner. Spend your time on what you love and what makes you happy, otherwise, it’s being wasted. I hope there is still something of interest for you to read on my site or watch on my channel. If not, then thanks for your support up until now. If you’re still here with me, the adventure will continue!

Qapla’!

Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

I received lots of positive feedback in regards to my refurbishing of our game room table and I wanted to share the table’s background and the process of turning it from an eyesore to a decorative and functional piece of furniture.

The Table

Years ago… like back in 2010… we were given a table. This table was going to be thrown away by one of my husband’s co-workers. They didn’t want the table because ‘someone’ had left an iron on the table and it scarred it really bad. The table also had lots of deep scratches and blemishes from its previous owner(s).

table 01

My husband and I weren’t married yet (not even engaged yet) and he took the opportunity to acquire a table for our table-less game room. Since 2010, this table has traveled from the first rental property we were living in, to one other rental house, and finally to the house we now own. We had thrown table cloths over it all these years to hide the blemishes. The tablecloth would get caught on everything and get pulled off the table all the time.

In October of 2018, I had finally had enough and we were thinking about getting a new table. But I had an epiphany, and why it took me eight years to come up with it, I’m not sure. I was thinking about my ‘battle map’, which is a half sheet of particle board that’s spray painted green and has a one inch grid drawn in pen on it. We use it at our FLGS for large D&D battle royales, or to expand the table size for D&D games. It’s just a piece of particle board – not a table. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to turn the table into a new battle map with a dry erase top…”

Then it hit me! There are acrylics and other finishes for that. I decided to refinish the table instead of buying a new one and so the project began!

Supplies
  • Table
  • Hand Sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper Towels or Rags
  • Paint – Color of Choice
  • Yardstick
  • Square Tool
  • Ruler
  • Sharpies – Color of Choice
  • Polycrylic
Project Time

About 12 Hours – This is from beginning of sanding to the final coat of Polycrylic.

First…

Regardless of how nice your tabletop is, you’re going to need to sand it to prepare it for paint. DO NOT SHORTCUT PAST THIS STEP. This is important. I’ve seen lots of projects go wrong because someone thought they could bypass the sanding step. Sanding the tabletop will smooth out any imperfections so you don’t get weird textures showing up through the coats of paint. In the pictures below, you can see how bad the iron burn was an just how deep the damage went. After sanding it many times, it was smooth enough for paint to hide it. Had I not not sanded the table, the paint would cover the burn, but the bubbling scar would have shown through.

Once you’re done sanding, take a some moist paper towels or rags and wipe all the dust off the tabletop. Be sure all the dust is cleaned off and do not use any chemical cleaners. Chemicals could have an odd effect on the paint, so be sure you only use water. My table was quite pretty after the layer of finish had been sanded off. It’s a shame that I couldn’t sand out the iron burn or I might have left it like this.

Second…

After the tabletop is sanded and wiped off, you can begin to paint it. Depending on how you prefer to paint will determine if there is a primer involved, how many coats of paint, etc. I used a paint and primer combination from Lowe’s (LINK), which was around $12 when I purchased it. I only purchased a quart because I didn’t plan to use it for a large scale project. I also chose a flat finish so I wouldn’t have any trouble drawing on the painted surface with my Sharpie markers.

paint

The Valspar paint claims to cover in one coat, but like every paint out there, that’s not really the case. I put three coats of paint on the tabletop to be sure there was complete and even coverage. I used a roller to apply the paint and not a brush. I prefer the look of rolled paint to brushed paint on surfaces like this. You can see in the picture below, there is a touch up spot on the right that was still wet when I snapped the picture.

table 06

There was also some water damage (toward the bottom right corner of the picture) to the table that I couldn’t sand out without cutting into the table and partially replacing the top. It’s noticeable in this picture, but not so much now that’s it’s finished.

Third…

Once the paint is dry, you can begin to draw the lines on your tabletop. I used a ruler to help measure and the yardstick as my straight edge to draw the lines. I used a silver colored Sharpie brand permanent marker for the lines on my table.

sharpie

I chose silver because I wanted the line color to be noticeable, but not too bold. Black was definitely too dark for me and it would also make dungeon lines harder to see. I had thought about using brown or copper, but I thought it would still be too dark for my liking. The silver I chose has a cool ‘shifting’ look depending on how the light hits it. Gold might work as well and have the same shifting look as the silver, but I haven’t looked into it. I’m more of a silver person anyway.

table 07

I was asked a bunch of times about my method for how I chose a starting point for the lines on a round table. It’s super simple – I put the yardstick on the table’s edge and drew a line. It looked good enough for me, so I started from there. I’m sure there’s a super complex mathematical method to make the lines exact, but I didn’t care about ‘exact perfection’.

If you don’t like your first line, or any line, it’s an easy fix. A quick touch up with the paint and a little drying time and then you can start again. I got lucky and my first line looked good enough for me.

Marker Tip: Be sure you do not draw with the tip of the marker. This will chew up the marker long before you run out of ink. Use the side of the marker tip and not the point of the marker tip.

table 08

Once you’ve got your first line, use a ruler near one end of the line and measure one inch from the line. Use a pencil and make a light mark, then go to the other end of the line and do the same thing – measure an inch from your line and make another light pencil mark. Then lay the yardstick on the table and line up the edge with the two marks. Once you’ve got the yardstick lined up, place the tip of the marker on its side and slide it down the edge of the yardstick.

If the table is longer than your yardstick, which was the case when I got to the center of the table, make multiple marks along the length of your line and draw as far down as you can. Then move the yardstick and line it up with the partially drawn line and the other measured mark and finish the line.

Measuring Tip: Make sure you measure the same way each time. What I mean by that is, if you place the ruler on the center of the line’s mark and then on the far side of the next line’s mark, your squares are not going to come out as the exact same size. That’s because the marker line is thick, unless you use a pen or something with a fine tip.

table 09

Once you’ve finished drawing all the lines in one direction, you can start drawing the cross lines. To start this, I used a square tool and put on one of the lines to make a 90 degree corner, then placed the yardstick against it and drew a very light pencil line. I checked corners along several of the lines to make sure they were all square and then drew the line again with my Sharpie.

table 10

Once you have your first cross-line, the rest of the lines are drawn the same way as your first batch of lines.

table 11

I recommend checking your squares with the square tool to make sure they’re all uniform and something doesn’t get off track somewhere. I was paranoid enough that I checked every single line. Some of my squares may be slightly off in size, by like a hair, but they’re all square!

Fourth… Final Step!

When all the lines are done, you’re ready for the final step of the process. It’s time to coat the table with your finish of choice. There are tons of options out there, but I chose the most cost effective for my particular project. I chose to use Polycrylic (LINK) because it was only $10 and not $50 – $100 like all the clear Dry Erase finishes I found. If that price decreases, then I will likely refinish the table in Dry Erase so I can use those type of markers.

acrylic

This finish works best if you apply several coats. I used a nylon brush and applied four coats to the tabletop. I would recommend applying the finish just before you go to bed or leave the for an outing, that way it will be dry when you get up or return home. You’ll be able to place items on the table when it dries, but the finish needs at least two weeks to cure before you try drawing on it. I tried to draw on it the next day and everything stained it. I consulted some folks at Lowe’s and was given the advice on allowing it to cure. Allowing it to cure means you’re giving it time to fully harden.

Making Your Mark!

The Polycrylic I chose does not work well with dry erase markers. They tend to stain the finish and there was only one way I found to salvage it without a complete re-work. I had to use rubbing alcohol to remove the marks on the stained area, let it dry completely, and then re-apply the finish. I tested a variety of colors of dry erase markers and each one stained the finish. I tried Expo’s Vis-à-Vis wet erase markers and found that only the black works perfectly. The red, blue, and green all have a tendency to lightly stain the finish.

visavis

Once the finish has cured long enough, there should be no trouble cleaning off the black Vis-à-Vis marker. It only takes a damp paper towel to easily and quickly remove the marks. I’ve let marks stay on the table for hours and had no trouble erasing them. I can’t say how long the marks can stay without them staining the finish because I haven’t dared to test that. I might try it on the very edge at some point, but right now, I prefer to keep my work intact.

The examples above are mostly D&D related, but we also use the table for our Star Trek Adventures (Modiphius) games. That system uses ‘zones’ and not a grid system. Even with the grid lines on the table, I can still draw out the zones without them being a distraction because of how light they are compared to the black marker. The walls I drew could easily be two zones in a Star Trek game or a building in D&D. These marks were on the table for about two hours before erasing them.

Conclusion

My table is very low tech compared to the super fancy tables that I’ve seen. I like using low tech accessories because they’re much less work for me in the long run. I’d rather spend thirty minutes drawing out a map than spend hours trying to figure out how to draw a map, download a map, and then get a map from a program to fit correctly on a TV table insert. I’m kind of a ‘theater of the mind’ type of player/GM as well. We draw out maps for combat to make it easier to visualize where everyone is. This type of gaming accessory is perfect for me and my players. Is it perfect for every group? Definitely not, but it’s perfect for us.

This is a project that anyone that’s inspired to do so, can take and modify to their budget and abilities. We used an old table, tools we had on hand, and only purchased what we needed. The project cost us less than $30 because we had most of the tools needed. I only needed to buy a yardstick, paint, Polycrylic, brushes, roller, and Sharpies. Don’t like grey and silver? Pick tan and gold! We used neutral colors that we liked, but also ones that would fit with the various games we play.

table 12

Colossal Red Dragon (D&D Icons Miniature) against a party of medium sized adventurers.

My table project is not fully completed yet. I want to finish the edges of the table in either silver or grey and maybe modify the tabletop into a turntable. The turntable option is one that I likely won’t have done for a little while because of the mechanisms involved. If I don’t go with a turntable, I might put pull out trays around the edges for folks to put their drinks/dice/books/etc on so they have more room in front of them. You can be certain that I will share the updates when I finish them!

Do you have a project you’re proud of?
What are your future projects?
Share them with me here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

Qapla’!

 

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and RPG Fans!

 

We just finished our tutorial adventure of Star Trek Adventures, from Modiphius. This is a role playing game where you create characters in one of the various Star Trek eras, and boldly blast across the galaxy in search of adventure!

Previous Episodes and Sessions:

The following is the report for the most recent Episode, or gaming session. Game mechanics will be in blue for anyone else that would like to run this adventure. I wrote everything in this adventure with inspiration taken primarily from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. The roleplay from my players inspired most of the conversation, but the base story and mechanics were all written by me.

Carry Over From Rescue at Koralis IV

A Nova class Starfleet science vessel, the Novelle, sends a transmission to let you know they’re on their way. You take the initiative to send all of the information about Irumodic Syndrome and the unusual devolution phenomena to the science vessel and they begin working on a cure for the devolution problem. In the few hours it takes them to reach you, their scientists were able to devise a cure for the devolution. Once the shuttle docks on the Novelle, you’re all decontaminated and taken directly to sickbay where the cure is administered to you. Since the three of you were not in the advanced stages of devolution, you’re free to return to the shuttle and gather your belongings in preparation for your arrival at DS9. You see Dr. Schipp in the shuttle, gathering some of her PADDs and she thanks you for your assistance and you part ways with her as the Novelle docks at DS9.

Star Trek: Kage Hoshi Division
Episode One: Collapse

 

Scene One – Quark’s (Session 1.1)

The airlock opens and you see a compliment of officers ready to greet you. Dirnick has wrapped a scarf very loosely around his head so he can hide his face if he feels the need.

“Greetings. I’m Captain Benjamin Sisko. This is our Bajoran liaison, Major Kira Nerys; our chief medical officer, Doctor Julian Bashir; our chief security officer, Constable Odo; and Lt. Commander Worf, here on special assignment. Welcome to Deep Space Nine. Please, feel free to explore the station while you’re waiting on the Mulgrew to leave the docks.” Captain Sisko greets you warmly with a handshake and a smile. The rest of the officers greet you and welcome you to DS9.

“Captain, I am not sure it is wise to have General K’orvo ‘exploring’ the station without a security detail. He is a dishonored Klingon and our ‘guests’ will take offense to his being here.” Worf steps forward and addresses Sisko and K’orvo.

“I don’t like the way you say ‘guests’, Mr. Worf. Should I be concerned?” Dirnick steps up.

“We have enough trouble right now with all the Klingons running around the station, we don’t need another issue. I can spare two security officers to tail General K’orvo and intervene if there’s any trouble.” Odo crosses his arms and eyes K’orvo.

“I don’t think our Klingon guests will cause too much trouble with our General. Not after the incident with Garak, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a detail on General K’orvo. I’m sure you won’t object too much if it would make me feel better, would you, General?” Sisko smiles and extends his hand to K’orvo.

K’orvo shakes hands with Sisko and says, “No trouble at all Captain Sisko. I’m not here to cause a ruckus, only to meet up with an old friend.”

“I want to be the first to know if there are any issues with the Klingons. That’s all I ask.” Odo says as he turns to leave.

“I am confident that Constable Odo has security under control. The other concern I have is for Dirnick. I think he will be more of an issue than General K’orvo. It is not safe for any Cardassian, even a defector.” Worf stares warily at Dirnick.

Dirnick blinks at Worf and says, “I don’t see why me being a Cardassian would matter, but I assure you, I’m only here for a short time. I don’t plan to take up residence on DS9. Though I’m certain it’s a wonderful place to live.”

“I suggest you meet with your contact from the Mulgrew and then board that ship. There’s not much room here for two Cardassians.” Garak’s voice echoes down the corridor.

“Mr. Garak, I thought you’d be happy to see a fellow Cardassian?” Doctor Bashir says.

“I’m not happy to see any Cardassians, but I can’t deny what you did for Bajor. But I agree with Garak. While you are welcome here, there are current guests that may take serious offense and try to hurt or kill you.” Kira says as she averts her gaze from Dirnick and the Bajoran earring he’s wearing.

“You may think him a twisted hero, Major, but he’s worse than garbage to me. I know all about you, Mr. Dirnick. I know who you work for too.” Garak glares at Dirnick.

“Garak is it? Is that what you’re calling yourself now? How quaint.” Dirnick stares at Garak who stares back with a burning hatred in his eyes.

“Stop it! All of you! These people are our guests and I will not tolerate hostilities toward them, from anyone. That includes the current residents of DS9, Mr. Garak. Now, everyone should resume their duties. I apologize for this, and if you need anything, you can find me or another officer in ops.” Captain Sisko apologizes and turns to walk back to ops, but pauses when he sees Garak is still standing at the t-junction at the end of the corridor. “Mr. Garak, don’t you have a business to run on the promenade?”

Garak breaks his glaring gaze from Dirnick and looks at Captain Sisko with a startled glance. “Yes, Captain, I do. I also have the right to refuse business to anyone, so I’m letting it be known now; Mr. Dirnick is not allowed in my shop.”

“Fine, Mr. Garak. Mr. Dirnick, please stay away from Mr. Garak and his shop.” Sisko asks Dirnick.

“Captain, what is it that he peddles again?” Dirnick asks.

“He’s a tailor.” Sisko watches Garak as he turns and storms away toward the promenade.

“Well, I don’t think I’ll be needing a suit in the short time I’ll be here. I’m also certain I can hem my own pants too.” Dirnick says as he bids farewell to Captain Sisko and the three arrivals all walk toward the promenade.

The motley group makes their way to the promenade where they see almost a hundred Klingons mingling with Bajorans and other aliens. When they look out the promenade windows, they see countless numbers of Klingon ships, cloaking and decloaking all around DS9.

As they approach the entrance to Quark’s bar, they notice a detail of security officers in close proximity. Dirnick pauses by the entrance and eyes a peculiar plant, but as he leans down to inspect it, the plant changes into a brownish gold gelatinous substance before taking the form of Constable Odo.

“Don’t mind me. I’m just keeping an eye on things.” Odo says as he motions to several security officers and instructs them to stand by the door.

“Fascinating. That must be how they look when they change shape. I would love to get a sample or a few scans, at the very least.” Dirnick watches as Odo walks back to the security office.

“Would you like to join me for a drink, fellow outcast?” Dirnick asks K’orvo, doing the best he can to keep his scarf around his face.

“Sure. I might as well keep an extra body around if things go south. I say we get our beverages and head for the upper balcony.” K’orvo points towards the balcony and Dirnick nods in agreement.

K’orvo enters Quark’s as Dirnick follows him and Lorne splits off to look for his contact. K’orvo and Dirnick both order a Starduster from a Ferengi behind the bar when a different Ferengi hands K’orvo a glass of bloodwine. He quickly realizes that he’s given it to the wrong Klingon and says, “I’m sorry. You Klingons all look the same. This is his glass of bloodwine.”

“You Ferengi all look dishonorable.” K’orvo says gruffly.

“Quark! Are you giving away the bloodwine that I paid for?!” A Klingon walks up and pushes K’orvo aside. “Wait a minute. Do I know you? I do know you. You’re the dishonored General K’orvo. Why are you here?!” The Klingon warrior stares at K’orvo.

“Here’s a fresh glass of bloodwine. Don’t start any fights in my bar!” Quark sets a fresh glass in front of the aggressive Klingon. He turns to K’orvo and whispers, “You owe me two slips for that glass of bloodwine.”

“I ordered a Starduster, not bloodwine.” K’orvo retorts.

“Fine. But get your drink and enjoy our seating outside the bar.” Quark looks up at the aggressive Klingon who is getting more angry.

“I don’t like your presence here, quvHa’!” The aggressive Klingon puts a hand on the handle of his d’k tahg.

Game Mechanics
~ Opposed Task: Social Conflict
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Presence + Command, Reason + Command

(Success)
(K’orvo is able to talk his way out of a fist fight with the aggressive Klingon.)

“There is no honor in battling one without honor. You should probably read and study the qeS’a’ again, more closely.” K’orvo turns back toward the bar and takes a gulp of his bloodwine.

“You are right. I will not dishonor myself and my family by tainting my blade with the blood of a petaQ!” The aggressive Klingon laughs loudly and the other Klingons around him let out a boisterous laugh and they disperse.

“Well, that was exciting. I thought we might die.” Dirnick says as he waves at Quark. “My drink, please.”

“Today is a good day to die. Ferengi! We want our Stardusters!” K’orvo says and then sips the glass of bloodwine.

“I must somehow find my contact in this endless ocean of Klingons. It’ll likely take a lifetime.” Dirnick says as he takes his drink from a Ferengi behind the bar. “Lorne will have an easier time, so long as he can convince that group of Klingons to talk to him.”

K’orvo leans in close to Dirnick and says, “You wouldn’t be looking for M’Kora, would you?”

Dirnick moves back with a look of surprise. “How did you know that?”

“It wasn’t hard to figure out. We were all coming to DS9 on the same shuttle and that wasn’t coincidence. I know her, so I should be able to find her easily.” K’orvo says as he looks around the room. “And there she is.”

Dirnick looks in the direction K’orvo nods and sees a female Klingon sitting alone. She has hair that’s more neatly groomed and her battle scars are not as prominent as the other warriors in the room. After K’orvo points her out, Dirnick notices that she is definitely not part of the Klingon fleet.

“Well now, isn’t this interesting. Shall we go say hi?” Dirnick smiles at K’orvo and they begin to walk toward her.

***

Meanwhile, Lorne is looking around for a Klingon that could be his contact. He sees at least a dozen female Klingons and no way to know exactly which one he’s meant to meet with. He also thinks it might not be wise to mention to her name, given that he doesn’t know her status with the Empire.

He sees a table with two female Klingons and three male Klingons that look extremely drunk and more friendly than usual. Lorne orders a round of drinks for their table and walks up with the waitress.

Game Mechanics
~ Opposed Task: Subtle Questioning
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Security, Daring + Command, Daring + Security
(Success)

“What a fine group of warriors you all are!” Lorne says as he approaches them.

“You are a cute little Bajoran. It is a good thing we are here to defend your frail species. But I guess you cannot be that frail; you did survive the Cardassian Occupation after all.” She laughs loudly and punches a fellow Klingon next to her who also laughs loudly. This signals the rest of the table to join in with deep howling laughs.

“You are speaking to a warrior that helped to liberate his people from that very Occupation.” Lorne puffs his chest out in pride in an attempt to appeal to their warrior spirit.

“Well, not so frail after all, are you? Is there something you want from us, little Bajoran warrior? You bought us all drinks, so you must want something.” The female Klingon says.

“I don’t want anything, just to honor great warriors, such as you and your friends here. I bet a warrior as decorated as you knows a lot of other warriors. Do you know all the warriors in this room?” Lorne asks as he waves a hand around, gesturing at the other Klingons.

“Of course I know them all. I’m the first officer on a ship. I have to know everyone.” She takes a drink of bloodwine.

“I’ll bet you a glass of bloodwine that you don’t know everyone.” Lorne eyes the female Klingon.

“I’ll take that bet, little warrior!” The female Klingon starts naming off every Klingon she can see. “See, there isn’t a single Klingon here that I do not… know… Wait. That female there. I don’t know her.”

Lorne looks in the direction that the female Klingon is pointing and sees another female Klingon sitting alone in a corner with a glass a bloodwine.

“Well, I guess I owe you a glass of bloodwine.” The female Klingon says.

“Just put it on a tab for me. I’ll drink to your honor another day.” Lorne says as he starts to walk away.

“As you wish, little Bajoran warrior.” And she waves him off.

Lorne decides to observe the lone female Klingon for a moment and sits at the bar. It’s not long before he sees K’orvo, followed by Dirnick, walk by him and approach the Klingon.

M’Kora stands and smiles at K’orvo. In a low whisper she says, “General, it’s been a while. And you must be Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Well, I have one more crewman to collect in here before we can leave.”

“You wouldn’t happen to be looking for Lieutenant Lorne, would you?” Dirnick asks.

“Why yes, I am, and here he is now.” Lorne walks up and M’Kora says, “Alright, now that we’re all here, please come with me.”

As they all leave Quark’s, a security officer approaches them and M’Kora nods at him and the security officer escorts them to an empty situation room. Everyone takes a seat and M’Kora steps up to the end of the table.

“Greetings to you all. I’m Captain M’Kora of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. You were both briefed by Starfleet about the nature of the Mulgrew, correct?” M’Kora asks Dirnick and Lorne and they both nod. “Good, then you two know your duty is to me and the Mulgrew. We will board the Mulgrew shortly, but I need to finish a few things here first. General K’orvo, I would like you to join me on the Mulgrew. I need a first officer and there are no officers currently that I trust in that position.”

“I would be honored to serve under you.” K’orvo nods.

“Starfleet has ordered us to investigate the area that Voyager vanished from in the Badlands. It’s going to be dangerous with the remaining Maquis hiding around there and now the Cardassian threat too. But we need to try to find out what happened to Voyager. Starfleet has intel that Voyager is still out there, but we’re not sure where. Any questions?” M’Kora looks at all three of her new crew and they shake their heads.

“Now that everything’s settled, I’ll see you all aboard the Mulgrew at 0600 for duty. Dismissed.” M’Kora says as her new crew members stand and leave the room. She follows close behind them, a wide smile on her face.

Scene 2 – Badlands (Session 1.2)

The Mulgrew is approaching the edge of the Badlands. On the viewscreen, there are sporadically erupting plumes of plasma as far as anyone can see. Dirnick is working on an assignment in the genetics laboratory, so Doctor Zylas has taken up duties at the science station.

“Doctor Zylas, can you begin scans on the area, please?” M’Kora asks as she takes her seat in the captain’s chair.

“If I must.” Zylas sighs and lackadaisically operates the sensors at the science station.

“Lieutenant Zynes, plot a course and navigate us through the funnels following Doctor Zylas’s scans.”

“Aye, Captain.” Zynes looks at Zylas and sees his head resting in his hand, elbow on the console. Zynes sighs and turns back to his console.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Sensor Sweeps & Navigation
~ A Sensor Sweep must be successful before a Navigation Task is attempted.
~ Players must complete 5 pairs of Sensor Sweeps + Navigation Tasks.
~ Work Track: 10 (Each success, not pairs, grant Work)
~ Magnitude: 2
~ Base Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science & Reason + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science & Computers + Conn

The crew successfully navigates to the coordinates of Voyager’s disappearance will no trouble. Plasma funnels are erupting unpredictably all around the Mulgrew and it takes a diligent and watchful eye to prevent the ship from being caught by one.

A perimeter alert sounds as one of the plasma funnels nearly clips the port nacelle. “Doctor Zylas, that was a little too close for my comfort. Keep your eyes open.”

“Okay, Captain.” Zylas lets out a long sigh as he stares at the console.

“What are we looking for, Captain?” Asks Zynes, looking at the viewscreen.

“We’re looking for anything that could have pulled Voyager into a different area of space. Are we at the exact coordinates, Lieutenant Zynes?” M’Kora asks as she watches the viewscreen for visible anomalies.

“Aye, Captain.” Zynes replies.

“Keep your eyes on your sensors, dodge the plasma funnels, and watch the viewscreen for anomalies that the sensors can’t catch.” M’Kora stands up from the captains chair and moves toward the viewscreen. “They’re out there, somewhere.”

After hours of unyielding scans, the Mulgrew is about to return to a safer location for a few hours when a ship emerges from behind a large plasma funnel. It’s a Cardassian Galor Class warship and its weapons are charging.

“Red alert, shields up, and open a channel to the Cardassian ship.” Captain M’Kora stands up and faces the viewscreen. “Unidentified Cardassian warship, this is Captain Warren of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. We are a science vessel, doing research on the plasma funnels. We are not here to fight with you.”

The viewscreen switches from the view of the Badlands to show a male Cardassian with a sly grin. “This is Gul To Vall, captain of the Zire. Captain Warren, we’ve been watching you for hours. You’ve scanned more than just the plasma funnels. I think you’re up to something and I want to know what it is. I’m prepared to destroy you if you don’t allow full access to your ship’s computers. We’ve scanned you several times and all we see is a ship full of humans and no weapons to speak of.”

“We don’t want any trouble, but we also can’t grant you access to the ship’s computers. Surely, you know that’s a futile request?” M’Kora returns to the captain’s chair.

“Fine. We’ll take it from you.” And with that comment, Gul To Vall cuts communications and powers up his ship’s weapons.

Game Mechanics:
Combat with a Cardassian Galor Class (pg 263 Core Book).

“Lieutenant Zynes, employ evasive maneuver alpha! Shields up!” K’orvo says.

“Shields are at maximum. Employing evasive maneuver alpha.” Lieutenant Zynes’s hands move with lightning speed.

“Lieutenant Lorne, ready phasers and target their weapons. We don’t want to destroy them, just cripple them.” K’orvo says as a phaser blast erupts from Gul To Vall’s ship. It strikes the shields, but doesn’t have much effect.

“Lieutenant Lorne, damage?” K’orvo asks.

“No sir. It was just a glancing blow off the shields.” Lorne says, never taking his eyes from his console.

“Fire phasers!” K’orvo jumps up from his seat beside the captain, with a sense of purpose and excitement in his eye.

“Direct hit, sir. Weapons are damaged and they’ve suffered some structural damage as well.” Lorne reports.

“I don’t want the ship destroyed. Be careful with the intensity on the phaser blasts. Hail the Cardassian ship and let’s see if they’re in a more reasonable mood now.” M’Kora stands up and says sternly.

“Sorry about that. We’ll be more careful in the future, and they’re hailing us, sir.” Lorne says as his console makes several beeps and blips.

“On screen.” M’Kora stands up and straightens her shirt. The viewscreen shows Gul To Vall sitting in his chair while crewmen dash about trying to extinguish fires and dispatch other crew to critical areas.

Gul To Vall’s face is grim and he speaks in a humbled tone. “Well, Captain Warren, it appears our scans were not accurate about your weapons. I hope that this doesn’t harm the relations between your Federation and Cardassia. We will withdraw if you’ll allow us.”

“We should blow you out of the Badlands, you…” K’orvo jumps up again and yells at the viewscreen. M’Kora puts a hand in front of him.

“It’s okay, Commander. We can stand down and allow you to limp home, Gul To Vall. I will, however, have to report this incident to Starfleet.” M’Kora says as K’orvo sits back down in his seat.

“Do what you must, Captain Warren.” Gul To Vall cuts the communications off and his ship begins to leave the Badlands at impulse speed.

Once the Cardassian ship is out of sensor range, the Mulgrew begins to navigate the Badlands once more. Doctor Zylas is not paying attention to his console like he should be and he misses the eruption of a plasma funnel, just beneath the Mulgrew.

“Zylas, what’s the meaning of this!?” M’Kora stands up yells across the bridge.

“Oh my. Why is it automatically my fault? Isn’t the Andorian supposed to be flying this heap?” Zylas immediately begins to monitor his console once again.

“My fault? I was going off the information, or lack thereof, that you gave me!” Zynes snaps back.

“Stop it, both of you! Get back on those sensors and get us out of here!” M’Kora orders but it’s too late. The Mulgrew is tossed hard to port and another plasma funnel strikes the port nacelle and engineering. The crew on the bridge is jostled and thrown away from their consoles as sparks erupt from the panels and smoke fills the bridge. The chief engineer, Lieutenant Kobi, is rushing about, barking orders in engineering when it’s struck by the plasma funnel. Lieutenant Kobi is knocked unconscious when he hits his head on the corner of a console. He’s dragged out of engineering by his subordinates amidst the smoke and fire.

“Engineering, report!” M’Kora calls over the ship’s comms and when there isn’t an answer, she starts to get worried. “Doctor Zylas, get down to sick bay and prepare for injuries and possible casualties. Ensign Cross, get to engineering and figure out what’s going on.”

Ensign Cross looks blankly at Captain M’Kora and asks, “Boss? Me?”

“Yes, you! Get going, now!” M’Kora steps toward him and he jumps up from the console and rushes off of the bridge to engineering. Zylas drags himself out of the science station seat and moves sluggishly toward the turbolift. M’Kora puts a hand to her head and pulls it back, revealing blood from a cut. “I swear to Kahless, if that Ferengi kills us, I’m going to kill him a hundred times over in the afterlife.”

Scene 3 – “When it rains, it pours.” (Session 1.3)

A gaseous substance erupts from the pipes and conduits inside the Jeffries Tubes along the corridors leading to the engine room. Main access to the engine room is cut off and the only way in is through the Jeffries Tubes. The warp drive is already offline and if the repairs are not finished quickly, the damage could become much worse and cause the Mulgrew to lose impulse too.

“M’Kora to engineering, status report!” M’Kora pauses and when she doesn’t get a response, she calls again. “Ensign Cross, status report of engineering!”

“Boss, engineering is in shambles. The warp core has been knocked out of alignment and the warp drive is completely offline. We have impulse for now, but we won’t if someone can’t get into the engine room to make repairs. We’ve got injured crew and panels are offline all over the place.” Ensign Cross calls back over the comm.

“You’re in charge of the repairs! Get down to the engine room and fix it!” M’Kora orders.

“Sure thing, Boss! I’m on it!” Cross calls back over the comm.

“Captain, Starfleet Command is on a secure subspace channel, requesting to speak to you.”  Lieutenant Lorne says.

“Put it through to my ready room. I hope they make this quick. I don’t have time for their crap right now.” M’Kora jumps up from the captain’s chair and rushes into her ready room.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Access the Jeffries Tubes
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Security, Daring + Security, Fitness + Security

Once in the Jeffries Tubes, Ensign Cross shuffles along with his toolkit. Smoke blows into his face from a ruptured conduit, but he continues on. After he reaches the engine room, he sees the extent of the damage and knows the situation is much worse than first thought. If he can’t get the damage repaired as soon as possible, there will likely be a feedback loop into the warp core and a breach will be imminent.

Game Mechanics
~ Timed Challenge Task: Repair the Engines
~ Successes Needed: 4
~ Time Intervals: 10
~ Time Per Attempt: 2
~ Difficulty:
2

~ Control + Engineering, Daring + Engineering
~ Daring + Science set for Difficulty 3

Ensign Cross begins repairs, focusing on the critical damage first. He knows that his time is short and he works quickly and diligently. He mumbles to himself throughout the entire process, telling himself what tool to grab and what to work on next, almost like he’s giving himself instructions. But he’s still a little unfamiliar with all the intricate workings of machinery and tools in this universe. He has a slip with one of the tools and cracks a casing on a plasma injector.

“Well, that’ll need to be fixed once we’re stable again…” Ensign Cross mumbles to himself. Once the engines have been repaired, Cross breathes a sigh of relief and calls M’Kora over the comm, “Boss, we’re back in business, for now. But we need to get out the Badlands and dock for extensive repairs.”

“Good work, Ensign. Lieutenant Lorne, open a ship wide channel.” M’Kora says as she emerges from her ready room, a stern and sour look on her face. “Attention crew of the Mulgrew, this is Captain M’Kora. It appears that the most pressing repairs have been handled. But there’s an old saying from Earth, ‘When it rains, it pours.’ I have devastating news from Starfleet Command. The Klingons have declared war on Cardassia and the Federation has condemned their actions. In doing so, the Klingons have seen this as a slight against the Empire. Chancellor Gowron has recalled all Klingon citizens and expelled all non-Klingon citizens from Klingon controlled territory. But that’s not all… Chancellor Gowron and the Klingon High Council have decided to withdraw from Khitomer Accords. The Klingon Empire and the Federation will soon be at war. This means we will likely see much more dangerous missions in the future. Please make all appropriate preparations. Thank you.”

“Well, if that isn’t a pile of targ ****.” K’orvo says as he sits back in seat and stares at the view of the Badlands on the viewscreen.

Scene 4 – Caretaker (Session 1.4)

Once all the engine repairs have been completed enough that the Mulgrew can safely navigate out of the Badlands, M’Kora orders a retreat to DS9. But the mood aboard the ship is melancholy and everyone is unable to hide their uneasiness about the news of the Khitomer Accords. The science station suffered heavy damage and repairs are underway, but that means Zynes will have to fly the ship out of the Badlands with no assistance from the science station sensors.

“Lieutenant Zynes, take us out of this forsaken area of space, quickly. I want to get full repairs and a refit at DS9 before this war becomes official.” M’Kora puts a hand to her forehead in exasperation. “Ensign Cross, get to the bridge to start repairs on the science station as quickly as you can.”

“Sure thing, Boss. Headed that way now!” Cross calls back over the comm.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Repair the Science Station
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Control + Engineering

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Navigate to the edge of the Badlands
~ Difficulty:
3

~ Reason + Conn, Daring + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Computers + Conn

Cross arrives on the bridge and begins working on the science station as Zynes does his best to visually navigate the Badlands, with minimal support from his station’s sensors.

As the ship nears the edge of the Badlands, there is a blinding white light that streaks across the viewscreen. As the crew on the bridge watches, the light darts around without regard for the plasma funnels.

The light streaks like lightning towards the Mulgrew and appears to collide with the bridge. There is no damage where there should be a gaping hole, but there is now a glowing white orb, hovering in the air about eye level with Captain M’Kora.

“Dirnick, Zylas, get over here and figure out what this is. Security to the bridge! We have an entity on board.” M’Kora watches as her crew jump into action.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Analyze the Threat
~ Difficulty:
4

~ Reason + Science
~ Information Gained on Success – It’s a being made of energy. It’s definitely a lifeform.
~ Momentum Spends – It appears to be a type of sporocystian lifeform. It’s non-corporeal, but has a crystalline base.

“Captain, it appears to be a sentient, non-corporeal, sporocystian lifeform with a crystalline base.” Dirnick reports as he scans the orb.

“Does it understand us?” M’Kora asks Dirnick and Zylas. Before they can answer, the being darts over to a console and appears to inspect it and begins looking through the ship’s records. “Lieutenant Lorne, keep an eye on that thing. See if you can encourage it away from the computers.”

Cross is huddling beneath the science station console with his hands over his head in an attempt to hide from the entity. He’s mumbling something, but nobody can hear what he’s saying.

“Captain, maybe it needs to use someone as a conduit.” Dirnick suggests as he watches the entity.

Lorne, with his phaser at his side, looks at Dirnick and says, “Are you out of your mind, you crazy Cardassian?!”

“It was only a suggestion and I wasn’t implying that you would be a suitable conduit.” Dirnick smirks at Lorne and Lorne rolls his eyes.

As Lorne approaches the entity, it darts away from the computer console and into the center of the room. It slowly takes on a humanoid form and then turns to the crew.

“I am a Nacene; a species that is developed well beyond your comprehension. A very old and dear friend was taking care of a species far from here; a caretaker, if you will. That species is in trouble once again. You will be sufficient enough to preserve his legacy.” The Nacene changes back into the glowing orb of light and exits the way it entered the ship.

“What in the hell is that about?! Someone track that thing!” M’Kora orders, but there is a blinding light that engulfs the Mulgrew and knocks the crew unconscious.

Scene 5 – Delta Quadrant (Session 1.5)

When the crew starts to come to, they return to their stations and begin analyzing records and sensors.

“Report!” M’Kora orders as she steadies herself in the captain’s chair.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Lorne’s Security Report
~ Difficulty:
0

~ Reason + Security, Insight + Security
~ Ship Assist: Communications + Security

Lorne is the first to speak up, “Captain, it appears we were only unconscious for about ten minutes and there are no reports of injuries, casualties, damage or anything else. Everyone just seems to be out of sorts.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Dirnick’s Sensor Sweep Report
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science
~ Information Gained on Success: None of the star markers that should be in the Alpha Quadrant are there. (Encourage Momentum Spend)
~ Momentum Spend: You find a chart with partial information on what the star markers look like for the Delta Quadrant and they match. You are now 70,000 light years from home. That’s roughly 70 years from home.

Then Dirnick chimes in, “Captain, there’s a huge problem. I can’t find the stars of our system. We’re not in the Alpha Quadrant. It appears we’re in the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light years from Starfleet. It’ll take us approximately 70 years to get back, if we travel at maximum warp the entire time.”

Suddenly, a proximity alert sounds for an approaching ship. M’Kora springs into action. “Red alert, all hands to battle stations. Get those shields up and at full power. Don’t arm the torpedoes or charge the phasers just yet. I don’t want to appear aggressive and cause a fire fight if it can be avoided. We have no clue what we’re going to encounter so I want to be ready. Open a channel to the ship. Unidentified ship, this is Captain Warren of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. We’re a diplomatic ship of exploration and would like to make first contact with you.”

The viewscreen changes to show a very angry Kazon. “I’m First Maje Culluh of this Kazon vessel and I know all about your Federation’s ‘diplomatic’ and ‘exploration’ missions. Prepare to be boarded and to turn over your ship!”

The viewscreen cuts back to the Kazon vessel as it charges weapons and prepares to fire.

Game Mechanics:
Combat with Kazon vessel (using the D7 on pg 259 Core Book, without Cloaking).

“Evasive maneuvers, pattern omega!” K’orvo calls to Zynes. Zynes’s fingers dance across his panel as he readies himself and the ship for evasive maneuvers. Dirnick mans the science station and begins scanning for any weakness that they can use to their advantage. Phaser fire from the Kazon ship is lighting up all around the hull of the Mulgrew.

“None of their attacks are landing. They’re not even hitting our shields.” Lorne reports.

“Well, try to disable their ship. Don’t do anything lethal.” K’orvo watches his panel closely, taking in all the incoming reports from around the ship. “I may not be Starfleet, but it is dishonorable to destroy an enemy that is much weaker than you are.”

“Aye, Commander. Should I fire on them?” Lorne asks, hands at the ready.

“Yes! Fire on them, Lieutenant!” K’orvo turns and yells at Lorne. Lorne’s fingers hit the command buttons to fire phasers at the Kazon vessel. “Target their engines, Lieutenant.”

“I already fired, sir.” Lorne turns to look at K’orvo.

“By the blood of Kahless the Unforgettable… Fire again, Lieutenant!” K’orvo yells.

“Commander, Captain, we’ve caused a major breach in their engines and taken their weapons offline. If we fire again, we could destroy them.” Dirnick reports to his commanding officers.

“Incoming hail from the Kazon ship!” Zynes calls out.

“On screen, Lieutenant.” M’Kora stands and straightens her uniform.

“Federation vessel, we are losing containment! We were not going to kill you, only take your ship! You can’t destroy us like this!” Culluh yells.

“We didn’t intend to destroy you, First Maje Culluh. We can transport as many of you to our ship as possible, and maybe give you safe passage if you behave yourselves and cooperate with us. There isn’t much time, so make your decision quickly.” M’Kora turns from the viewscreen, a look of satisfaction on her face.

“Wait! We’ll head to our transporter room. Get us out of here!” Culluh immediately cuts the transmission.

“Ensign Cross, get to the transporter room and get as many as you can. Make sure you neutralize potential weapons with the transporter. Lieutenant Lorne, get several security teams in place.” M’Kora says as she takes her seat. Lorne acknowledges the orders and makes his way to the turbolift.

“Sure thing, Boss. On my way now!” Cross jumps up and rushes for the turbolift.

“Captain, I would like to ask our guest a few questions. I’ll take Lieutenant Lorne with me once all the guests are on board.” K’orvo stands and addresses M’Kora.

“Granted. Get any information you can and keep a comm open with me. Lieutenant Zynes, back us off as soon as the transports are complete. I don’t want to be too close when that ship blows.” M’Kora says as K’orvo makes his way to the transporter room and Zynes acknowledges his orders.

In the transporter room, Ensign Cross is working quickly to beam over as many as he can in each transport. Each transport allows him to get ten crewmen from the Kazon ship. With each beam in, Lorne sends a security team to escort the group of Kazon to a cargo bay that’s been converted to a makeshift brig. Lorne instructs the teams to take Culluh and the other bridge officers to the brig, in order to keep them separated from the rest of the crew.

Game Mechanics
~ Timed Challenge Task: Transport the Kazon!
~ Successes Needed: 5
~ Time Intervals: 12
~ Time Per Attempt: 2
~ Difficulty:
2

~ Control + Engineering

Four of the Kazon are injured and are escorted to sick bay. Dirnick is waiting with his tricorder ready.

“Please, come in and have a seat. We’ll take some scans and then have you fixed up in no time.” Dirnick smiles and Zylas rolls his eyes at him.

“Who’s the chief medical officer here? Oh, that’s me! Stop telling my patients what to do.” Zylas says with a sarcastic tone. The EMH (Emergency Medical Hologram) is helping Zylas tend to Lieutenant Kobi when the Kazon are escorted in. The EMH rushes over to the Kazon and quickly scans them with a medical tricorder.

“Doctor, these patients have plasma burns and broken bones. They need immediate attention. Lieutenant Kobi is stable right now.” The EMH informs Zylas.

“Nobody asked you. Computer, deactivate…” Zylas starts to say but is interrupted by the EMH.

“Wait, Doctor Zylas. I can continue treat Lieutenant Kobi if you wish.” The EMH says.

“Fine, whatever. Just stay out of my way.” Zylas buzzes over to the Kazon where Dirnick already has a tricorder out and scanning one of them. “There’s a charge to use my equipment, Dirnick.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Tricorder Scan
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Medical

“Good thing I’m using the equipment issued to Starfleet crew then, and not your personal tricorder.” Dirnick smiles at Zylas, half heartedly, and starts scanning the Kazon again. “It’s okay. I think I have all the information I need anyway. It looks like these are crew from the engine room of the Kazon vessel.”

“We’re the only ones left after you destroyed our ship!” One of the Kazon spits at Dirnick’s feet.

“Well, Doctor, I’ll leave them in your capable hands. I have more important matters to attend to, like scanning the debris of that inferior vessel of theirs.” Dirnick smirks at the scowling Kazon as he puts his tricorder into his science pack and leaves sick bay.

Meanwhile, Lorne and K’orvo make their way to the brig where the Kazon bridge crew is being held. When they walk through the brig door, they see Culluh pacing in his cell with a very angry and irritated look on his face.

“Take us to our people! We had an agreement!” Culluh yells at K’orvo and Lorne. He looks at K’orvo with a confused look. “Wait… what are you? There are far less humans than our scans revealed. What trickery is this?!”

“I’m a Klingon and that’s really not what you should be concerned about right now. We didn’t agree to take you to your other people. We agreed to help you off your ship and maybe give you transport to your people if you behave and cooperate. So far, your crew is behaving and now we want your cooperation. You mentioned that you were familiar with the Federation, correct? We want to know how. There shouldn’t be any Federation ships out this far.” K’orvo steps up to the force field of Culluh’s cell.

“I don’t have to tell you anything, and good luck getting information from my ship’s computers now that my ship is destroyed.” Culluh smirks and then looks beyond K’orvo and sees Lorne. “I know your kind, Bajoran.”

“Wait. You know what Bajoran are, but not Klingons? How is that possible?” Lorne asks.

“Well, the only Klingon I’ve seen wasn’t a true Klingon. She was only half so she didn’t look like this one here. But I know what a Bajoran is. They are a subservient race!” Culluh yells at Lorne.

Lorne approaches K’orvo and puts a hand on his shoulder. K’orvo turns to Lorne and Lorne whispers, “Let me ‘talk’ to him, Commander.”

“Lieutenant, we don’t want to cause any unnecessary harm to our guests. If you want to talk to him, that’s fine, but you will not go into that cell without orders to do so.” K’orvo stares at Lorne and Lorne nods.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Subtle Interrogation (Opposed)
~ Difficulty:
1 (+1 Difficulty for Bajorans)

~ Presence + Security
~ Information Gained on Success: Voyager, under the command of Captain Janeway, was here about a year ago and caused some trouble for the Kazon.
~ Momentum Spend: There is a planet called Ocampa that’s no far from here. There are Kazon on that planet that enslave the Ocampans and raid their underground homes. That’s where Culluh wants you to take his people.

“Aye, Commander.” Lorne approaches the cell’s force field. “Why don’t you tell me how you know about the Federation? If I’m such a lowly race, it won’t hurt to tell me, now will it? And if you cooperate by giving me the information I want, I’m sure my Klingon friend will be more than happy to take you to your people. It’s such a small request. It’s not like we want information on your race or ships, just how you know about the Federation. That’s all we’re asking for and we’ll take you to your people.” Lorne whispers to Culluh.

“It was your cursed Voyager, lead by Janeway, that caused me so much trouble a year ago. I do not need or want another Federation vessel in my space! I want you to leave me and my crew with our people on Ocampa and then get out of my space!” Culluh yells.

Lorne looks at K’orvo and K’orvo relays the information to Captain M’Kora. “Captain, it looks like we’re actually where we need to be. Voyager was here a year ago.”

“Acknowledged. Good work General. Keep me updated with any further information.” M’Kora calls back over the comm.

Lorne turns back to Culluh and asks, “Is Ocampa your home? Where is it, so we can take you there?”

“You can find Ocampa here.” Culluh points to a spot on a PADD that Lorne holds up to the force field. “Once you get me there, I can make the Ocampans repair one of the old transports and I can get back into space.” Culluh mumbles to himself.

“So the Ocampans are the inhabitants of the planet?” Lorne asks.

“Yes, and your two races have a lot in common, being that you’re both slaves.” Culluh sneers. Lorne turns to K’orvo as K’orvo is relaying the new information to M’Kora.

“Lieutenant, I think we’re done here.” K’orvo says, implying that they should leave.

“Aye, Commander. I’ll return to my post on the bridge.” And with that, Lorne and K’orvo leave the brig and head for the bridge.

Back on the bridge, Dirnick enters from the turbolift and takes over his post at the science station.

 “Reports, please.” M’Kora sits down in the captain’s chair and looks over the reports as they come in.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Dirnick’s Sensor Sweep Report
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science
~ Information Gained on Success: Class H Desert Planet about an hour away at warp 2. Dilithium and Duranium deposits on several asteroids caught in the gravitational pull of the planet.

Dirnick makes several notes from his sensors. “Captain, sensors detect a Class H, desert, planet at the same location the Kazon gave us. It’s maybe an hour away at warp two. Sensors also indicate Dilitium and Duranium deposits on several asteroids that are currently caught in the planet’s gravitational pull. If we get there in time, we can mine both for backup supplies. We might want to take any opportunity we can to stockpile.”

The doors of the turbolift open up. Lorne and K’orvo enter the bridge and return to their posts at the security station and the commander’s chair.

“Nice work, Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Anything else to report General?” M’Kora asks K’orvo.

“Nothing further.” K’orvo says as he adjusts his seating. “If I may say so, this is a mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.”

“It is, General. But if anyone can get out of it, it’s the crew of the Mulgrew.” M’Kora says with a sense of pride.

“With Ace flying this ship, we’ll be back in the Alpha Quadrant in no time!” Cross blurts out from his engineering console. Zynes rolls his eyes and is about to say something, but instead sighs and focuses on piloting.

“Ensign, set course for Ocampa.” M’Kora orders as an ensign takes the navigator’s seat. “Lieutenant Zynes, take us into the black.”

Roll Credits!
  • Travis – Lieutenant Zynes/Lieutenant Commander Dirnick
  • Wednesday – Doctor Zylas/Commander K’orvo
  • North – Ensign Cross/Lieutenant Lorne
  • Kat (Dice Dice Kitty) – Captain M’Kora
Gamemaster’s Notes

I try to tell myself that mistakes are okay since this was the first adventure I’d written for our Star Trek Adventures. But I’m kind of overly critical of all my work, and this was no exception. I noticed right away that their first Extended Task was a little too easy.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Sensor Sweeps & Navigation
~ A Sensor Sweep must be successful before a Navigation Task is attempted.
~ Players must complete 5 pairs of Sensor Sweeps + Navigation Tasks.
~ Work Track: 10 (Each success, not pairs, grant Work)
~ Magnitude: 2
~ Base Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science & Reason + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science & Computers + Conn

I should have added Resistance or increased the Difficulty by one because they blew through this Extended Task like a hot knife through butter. Lesson learned for next time!

The next thing I noticed that I made a huge mistake on, were the ship battles. They were way too easy. The Mulgrew, granted it has a few additional bonuses that you wouldn’t normally have, chewed up the Galor and the D7 (pretending it was a Kazon vessel). They weren’t even trying and they instantly ate through the D7 shields and destroyed the engines on the first attack. The players didn’t call a system to target, so they rolled and the engines were picked randomly. That resulted in the ship’s eventual destruction.

Either we’re doing ship battles wrong or I shouldn’t have allowed the additional bonuses. The additional bonuses were granted because I knew they were going to the Delta Quadrant. They didn’t know they were headed to the Delta Quadrant until the moment it happened in game. There would be no way for them to get upgrades or refits without getting super creative with the story and the engineering – which may happen anyway. But that poor Kazon vessel didn’t have a chance and it couldn’t even hit the Mulgrew. But next time, I’ll modify the enemy ship or add more ships to the battle.

Aside from my mistakes, the players all seemed to really enjoy the game and had lots of fun. We are all in agreement that the 2D20 system is super fun and the way the game is designed encourages lots of roleplay. Modiphius has hit a jackpot with Star Trek Adventures and I can’t wait to finish writing the next Adventure for my players!

“These are the voyages of the starship Mulgrew. We go where other Federation starships cannot. We blaze a path in the stars for fellow explorers. We don’t just boldly go, we go boldly and silently into the black.”     ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and RPG Fans!

 

We just finished our tutorial adventure of Star Trek Adventures, from Modiphius. This is a role playing game where you create characters in one of the various Star Trek eras, and boldly blast across the galaxy in search of adventure!

This session was a continuation from our previous session, here.
You can read the crew backgrounds, here.

As I explained in the previous post, I took the adventure from the back of the Star Trek Adventures core book and made some minor adjustments to the story. I took liberties with the GM description for the scenes.

The following is the report for the session. Anything that was read aloud to the players is italicized and colored reddish brown. This is the GM text and most of it was written in the book. I only made minor adjustments or added on to what was already there. Game mechanics will be in blue.

Note – So everyone understands my numbering system, each adventure will consist of five to six scenes. Each session will have a number associated with the adventure and the scene. For example, we started on character creation in Session 0 and advanced through scene one, so Session 0.1 is the designation for that scene. When we play our next session, it’ll be Session 0.2 for the Session 0 adventure and the second scene in the adventure – and so on.

Rescue at Koralis IV
Session 0.2: The Trek

It’s obvious that the march to the science outpost is no simple stroll. The journey covers several kilometers and the terrain between your current location and the science outpost is rough and rocky. There is an abundance of strange flora growing wildly over the landscape. There are brightly colored flowers speckled across large patches of the fern like growth.

Lorne, Dirnick, and K’orvo set their sights on the science outpost, but it didn’t take long before Dirnick was distracted by the local flora.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Evaluate the Flowers
~ Work Track: 10
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Maximum Attempts: 3
~ Reason + Science, Presence + Medicine, or Control + Security

“Sir, what are you doing?” Lorne asked Dirnick.

“This flora is highly unusual. I want to examine it more closely. Who knows – we may find it useful!” Dirnick pulled a tricorder from the medical kit he brought from the runabout and began scanning several of the plants. “This is very interesting. These flowers seem to be a different species than the others, even though the plants look almost identical.”

“Funny, how a ruthless race like the Cardassians can find a flower interesting. Klingon warriors have no use for such fragile things. I don’t see the benefit in wasting our precious time to look at flowers. Let’s go, before this blasted storm traps us!” K’orvo grabbed Dirnick by the shoulder.

“Now you hold on just a moment! I’ll have you know, I’m a skilled botanist, not just a scientist. If I want to examine this flower, I’ll do so. For all we know, it could be deadly! Ruthless races love to use poisonous flowers against their enemies.” Dirnick stood face to face with K’orvo and made gestures towards the batch of plants he was examining. The two of them continued to argue back and forth while Lorne knelt next to the flowers and studied the petals closely. He noticed that there was a coating of dust like substance on some of the batches of flower, but not on others. Lorne reached out, about to pluck one of the flowers, but Dirnick slapped his hands away.

“Don’t touch those, lieutenant!” Dirnick opened the tricoder again and scanned Lorne’s hands.

“If you would let me explain, sir. I noticed there’s a dusty substance on one of the flowers, but the other batch of flowers next to it doesn’t have it. On Bajor, there are two plants that developed an unusual defense mechanism. One of the plants has a toxin that it secretes when an animal gets near it. The other plant evolved to look like the toxic plant, but it was a little different. I wanted to see if these plants were like the ones on Bajor. I wasn’t actually going to touch the thing; just get close enough to see if anything happened.” Lorne pointed to a cluster of flowers that didn’t have a dusty coating. “And look there. Those petals have a liquid on them now.”

Dirnick knelt next to the plants and scanned them with his tricorder. “Smart thinking, lieutenant. Looks like you were right. This one batch has a toxin while the other doesn’t. Okay, so avoid touching the plants that don’t have the dusty coating. That’s a nasty contact poison the other plants have. Lieutenant, do you think you could assist me in harvesting a sample?”

“What would you need it for?” Lorne asked, eyeing Dirnick.

“You never know when something like this could come in handy.” Dirnick had a sly smile cross his face and Lorne felt a cold shiver run up his spine. “I might want to experiment with it at some point too.

“I guess you’ve got all kinds of experience with experimenting on unwilling subjects.” Lorne instantly regretted his comment.

“Need I remind you, I didn’t like what Cardassia did to Bajor? I only did experiments on Bajorans if I had to, in order to keep my cover. It wasn’t ‘fun’ for me.” Dirnick held out a small sample container as Lorne carefully placed the toxic flower in it.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Handling the Toxic Flower
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Daring + Security, Control + Security

After a few awkward moments between the Bajoran and Cardassian, K’orvo stepped up to get the group back on track. “If you two are done playing in the dirt with flowers, we need to get moving.”

The two stood up, brushed off their uniforms, and the trio started in the direction of the science outpost.

You come up to a deep gaping chasm that stretches on for what appears to be forever. The ravine is deep, but not particularly wide. At a glance, you all can see a large piece of wood that could easily be made into a makeshift bridge, but someone needs to cross the ravine and move the log.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Crossing the Ravine
~ Difficulty: 4
~ Fitness + Security

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another and it’s all trying to stop us. I want off this blasted planet!” K’orvo roared into the seemingly bottomless ravine.

“It looks like we’re at a good place to cross. The walls are closer together here and I might be able to jump across.” Lorne stood near the edge of the ravine, eyeing the distance to the other side. “Once I get across, I can move that large log to make a bridge. Then we won’t have to worry about it on the way back to the runabout.”

“And I thought Cardassians were crazy. Are all Bajorans just as insane as you are? You think you can actually jump that distance?” K’orvo said as he looked around for another solution.

“I’m kinda sure I can make it.” Lorne sounded less sure of himself now. “Unless you have a better idea?”

“How about we use one of those logs over there?” K’orvo pointed to several smaller logs. “They don’t look long enough to reach the other side, but you could jump from the end of it. It’d make your jump shorter. Me and the Cardassian can stand on the other end to help keep it from falling.”

“Well, I’m determined to make it across and this should help boost my odds, so sure. Let’s give this a try.” Lorne replied as they moved the smaller log into place.

“I’m not so sure this is a good idea. If he falls, he’s a goner.” Dirnick looked very skeptical at the setup.

“Well, there’s some vines. Let’s tie a vine to him.” K’orvo pulled out his d’k tahg and cut down a few vines that were hanging in a nearby tree. K’orvo realized after cutting them down that there wasn’t enough of the vine to span the width of the ravine. “Never mind the vines. Just don’t fall.”

With his comrades stabilizing the log, Lorne cautiously stepped onto the log. It felt steady enough, and Lorne felt his confidence rise. He sprinted towards the end of the log, but just before reaching his launching point, his right leg went straight through an insect infested part of the log. Lorne felt the sting and burn of his flesh being ripped and he could feel the warm blood running down his leg. K’orvo grabbed the log, bumping Dirnick out of the way, and pulled with all his might. The log came sliding back, bring Lorne with it. Once he was back on the ground and not stuck to a log dangling over the ravine, Lorne freed his foot from the deteriorated part of the log.

“I thought this was a bad idea.” Dirnick knelt down to examine Lorne’s leg and ankle. “Luckily, you didn’t break, fracture, or sprain anything. I can patch these scratches up with no trouble. I guess it’s a good thing that I have so much experience with Bajoran anatomy.”

“Yeah, guess I’m lucky all those other Bajorans gave their lives so you could discover what makes us tick.” Lorne felt his stomach ache a little as he watched Dirnick mend his leg. Dirnick glanced up at Lorne with a look of disgust at the comment, shook his head and went back to work.

“Hey, Bajoran, what if I gave you a heave across as you made your jump? You think you could make it then?” K’orvo stood over Lorne with his arms crossed. Lorne stood up and walked around for a minute to see how well he could withstand the pain.

“Maybe. My leg hurts, but it’s not bad enough that I can’t run.” Lorne hopped a few times and winced.

Dirnick walked up behind Lorne and shot him with a hypospray. “There you go, lieutenant. You should be feeling great in just a moment.”

“What did you shoot me with?!” Lorne yelled as he turned around to see Dirnick smiling.

“It’s okay, lieutenant. It’s just adrenaline. It will help block the pain and give you a physical boost.” Dirnick placed the hypospray back in the medical kit.

“Well, I guess I better do this before the adrenaline wears off. Ready, K’orvo?” Lorne gave Dirnick a disgusted look and then turned to see K’orvo positioning himself near the ravine and ready for Lorne’s approach.

“Ready as I’ll ever be. I’ll give you a heave as you run by.” K’orvo motioned for Lorne to run.

“Well, here goes everything!” Lorne bolted for the edge of the ravine and just as he reached it and jumped, K’orvo reached up and pushed Lorne with all his strength. Lorne could tell that the extra push threw his momentum off a little, but he knew he would at least make it to the other side. Lorne crashed against the side of the ravine, barely catching the top edge. After some struggling, Lorne pulled himself out of the ravine and lay on his back. After a moment had passed, Lorne could feel his heart slowing back down, and a new sharp pain in his left leg. He looked down and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but he could feel something was badly damaged inside his leg.

“Lieutenant, what’s wrong?” Dirnick called from the other side of the ravine.

“Not sure, but it hurts really bad. I’m certain it’s more than just a scrape or bruise. Maybe a torn muscle or something.” Lorne stood up, trying to keep all the weight off of his left leg. “I’m not sure if I can move this log now.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Moving the Log
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Fitness + Security, Control + Science

“Lieutenant, use those vines and some of the low hanging branches to make a pulley type apparatus. That will help you move the log without needing to bend down and lift it.” Dirnick pointed to the closest cluster of trees near the edge of the ravine and Lorne hobbled to it. “Too bad these vines aren’t long enough or you could just throw them to us and we could pull the log over.”

After some time, Lorne worked the log into place and then dropped to the ground. The adrenaline had completely worn off and he was in excruciating pain. Dirnick and K’orvo tied vines to each other and crossed the bridge one at a time, holding the vines as long as they could for each other.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Crossing the ‘Bridge’
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Security

Once they were both across, Dirnick rushed over with his tricoder and began scanning Lorne. “You’ve fractured your fibula in at least two places. I can’t fix it here. We’ll need to get to the runabout to use the medical station there, unless the science outpost has the proper facilities. I’ll make up a splint to keep you from doing further damage to it. You should be able to make it to the outpost, unless we need you to scale a mountain next.”

“How does a creature as fragile as you make it out here in space?” K’orvo chuckled and slapped Lorne’s shoulder. Lorne rolled his eyes and winced as Dirnick applied the splint to his leg.

Once across the ravine, you all set your sights on the science outpost once more. As you clear the tree line next to the ravine, you see large patches of brightly colored flowers littering the field between you and the path that leads up the bluff.

(This is where the crew would have analyzed the flowers, but they had completed that task earlier than expected. The crew avoided the toxic flowers and made their way to the bluff.)

Session 0.3: The Outpost

The path leading up the bluff is well traveled and gives you no resistance. As you approach the science outpost, you can tell it’s in tact but there is heavy damage along the exterior of the structure. Most of the damage appears to be dents and punctures, but a few areas of phaser fire are evident as well.

You approach the entrance to the outpost and the doors slide open, granting you entry. As you step through the doorway, it is apparent that there has been massive vandalism. As you venture through the corridors, checking for someone – anyone, you get a better view of the destruction. From the living quarters, to the kitchen, to the laboratories, it’s very obvious that someone or something wrecked the place without regard. Whoever or whatever it was, was intelligent enough to destroy the communication systems. A brief glance at the smashed equipment and you can easily tell that it’s not salvageable.

As you are about to give up your search for life, you find one last storage area with the door closed and locked. When you ‘re unable to gain entry easily, you try to force the door open. The noise disturbs something in the storage area and you can hear a muffled voice coming from inside. You look over at the door panel and see that there is power going to it and it is intact. Someone might be able to bypass the lock if you can’t get the door open by force.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Bypass the Lock
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Reason + Engineering, Reason + Security
* A roll is not required, but an attempt may still be made in order to gain Momentum. Complications would still apply. *

“We should probably check that out. Someone could be injured and in need of help.” Lorne said as he eyed the door panel. “I think I can bypass this without damaging it.”

“We should be cautious. We don’t know who or what is behind that door.” K’orvo pulled out his disruptor.

“Be sure you aren’t aiming to kill anyone, K’orvo.” Dirnick instructed.

“I’m not Starfleet. If I see a threat, I’m going to shoot it before it comes for me.” K’orvo aimed towards the door, ready to fire.

Lorne was working on bypassing the lock when sparks erupted from the console and he was given a jolt of electricity in his fingertips. The console went dim as the door opened.

“Guys, it’s open, but it wasn’t me. Or, maybe it was me. I’m not actually sure what happened.”

(In game terms, Lorne succeeded the Difficulty 0 Task, but he scored a complication as well by rolling a 20.)

The door unlocks and opens. You see a middle-aged Human woman sitting on a cot at the back of the storage area. She cradles a man in her arms, but it’s hard to determine his age because of his strange appearance. His sweat-soaked face is covered with hair and as you watch, the ridges of his eyebrows twitch and pulse, as if changing in sporadic fits.

As you enter the storage area, the woman looks up at you, her eyes unfocused and filled with tears, “It’s too late. They’re all gone, and Jasper is…” She can’t finish her thought through her sobbing and she clings tighter to the man in her arms.

Lorne limps over toward the woman and tries to calm her. “Miss, we’re from Starfleet. Can we render aid?”

“Bajoran, you aren’t even able to aid yourself. Don’t try to fool this woman.” K’orvo stepped into the room and looked closer at the man.

Dirnick stepped in the storage room and approached the man and woman, scanning the man with his tricorder. “He appears to be suffering from the same affliction as the other people.”

“You saw the others?” The woman looked up. “Please, you have to help us!”

“My name is Dr. Heidi Schipp. I’m the Federation scientist leading this team of 11 other scientists. We’ve been here for just over a year, studying the flora and fauna for scientific and medicinal uses. The ion storm has been ravaging the planet off and on for more than a week now, and something about it has caused the living inhabitants to devolve. Some of us were more susceptible to the effects and changed, almost immediately, into neanderthals. Others took longer, but they still transformed. I’ve held out the longest, but I’m not sure how much time I have. I can feel it starting to affect my mind.”

“What type of research were you doing here, if you don’t mind me asking.” Lorne winced at the pain in his leg, but he wanted to keep her talking.

“Just before the storm struck, we had a breakthrough in our research. A combination of genetic material from the flora and fauna could be useful in treating or even curing Irumodic Syndrome. It’s all thanks to the help of my assistant, Dr. Jasper Conrad. Those neanderthals beat him severely and now my love is also turning into one of those beasts!”

“Dr. Schipp, we’ll do anything we can to help, but first I need to mend my crewman’s leg. Is there a medical station I can use?” Dirnick placed a hand gently on her shoulder.

“Y-yes. It’s in the room just outside this storage area. Help me move Jasper there, please.” Dr. Schipp helped Lorne as K’orvo and Dirnick moved Jasper into the laboratory. It didn’t look like a medical bay, but the equipment there could be used to treat injuries.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Heal Injuries
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Insight + Medicine

“We need to get off this planet. I suggest you come with us to Deep Space Nine. We already have four of your scientists locked in the shuttle.” K’orvo told Dr. Schipp.

“I’ll leave, but only if I can save my research and finish the cure for Jasper.” Dr. Schipp grabbed her head and when she pulled her hands back, K’orvo saw the ridges of her eyebrows twitch and pulse like Jasper’s had earlier.

“You won’t be doing much of anything besides throwing rocks before too long.” K’orvo grabbed Dirnick’s arm, just as he was about to start mending Lorne’s leg. Dirnick turned and saw the state of Dr. Schipp.

“Dr. Schipp, I will do everything I can to get as close to a cure as possible. Can’t we come back after the storm and collect your work on Irumodic Syndrome?” Dirnick asked.

“No. Once the plants have changed from the ion storm’s effects, the Irumodic Syndrome treatment will be lost. They must be collected soon, before the full force of the storm hits.” Dr. Schipp’s eyebrows looked like the had shifted back to their natural state.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Convince Dr. Schipp to Leave
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Reason + Command, Presence + Command
* Because the crew is going to attempt to comply with the two conditions Dr. Schipp has set, the Difficulty is 0. Only agreeing to one condition increases the Difficulty to 3 and not agreeing to either would increase the Difficulty to 5. *

“K’orvo, Lorne, we have some work to do. I can work on curing or at least treating Jasper. Can the two of you salvage parts for the runabout and help Dr. Schipp collect her samples? We likely won’t get her off the planet otherwise and we can’t leave her here.” Dirnick quickly mended the fractures in Lorne’s leg as they discussed who would perform which task.

“I can scavenge some junk for the shuttle.” K’orvo volunteered.

“I’ll go with Dr. Schipp and help her collect the samples, as soon as you’re done with my leg.” Lorne said as he watched Dirnick work.

“I’m all finished. You’ll be a little sore, but picking flowers shouldn’t be too much trouble for you.” Dirnick moved toward Jasper, who was lying on an adjacent table. He looked up and raised an eyebrow at Lorne. “At least, I hope it’s not going to be trouble for you.”

“No, sir. I can handle some plants. Dr. Schipp, would you help me locate the specimens?” Lorne asked as he picked up a sample kit from a nearby shelf. (I allowed the players to use Dr. Schipp as a supporting character in one of the Tasks, because there are only three of them and the Gathering Specimens Task would not be possible to accomplish without help.)

“I think I can do that. Please, help Jasper.” Dr. Schipp placed a hand on Dirnick’s arm and he gave her a confident smile and a nod.

Session 0.4: The Decisions

Game Mechanics
Timed Tasks: 15 Intervals

The trio split up in an effort to accomplish their tasks. Time was running out as the ion storm’s intensity was increasing. The trio was starting to feel strange and they were all experiencing bouts of paranoia and primal fears. Luckily, the effects were still minor and if they had landed the runabout any further away from the outpost, they might have been worse off.

~ Task: Salvaging Parts
~ Successes Needed: 3
~ Time per Attempt: 2 Intervals
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Reason + Engineering, Reason + Conn, Control + Science

K’orvo was scavenging all over the outpost for any usable parts. He even had to physically pull a few parts out of the equipment. He managed to get an armful of parts and components that he thought might be compatible with the systems on the runabout. Once his task was done, he rushed back to Dirnick to see if he could assist him in treating Jasper.

~ Main Task: Gathering Specimens
~ Successes Needed: 3 (1 Success = Locate and Collect)
~ Time per Attempt: 2 Intervals
~ First Task: Locate Sample

~ Difficulty: 2
~ Insight + Science, Reason + Science
~ Second Task: Collect Sample
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Daring + Security, Control + Security

Dr. Schipp was helping Lorne to locate the specimens, but she was unable to assist in the collection of them. It took them quite some time to locate and collect all the samples, and Lorne was concerned that Dr. Schipp may turn on him before they made it back to the outpost. She would pause and stare off into the brush or she would jump at the slightest noise. Lorne felt some of the paranoia too, like they were being watched and followed. Once they completed their task, they returned as quickly as they could to the outpost.

~ Linear Task: Curing Jasper
~ Time per Attempt: 2 Intervals
~ Task 1: Identify the Cause
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Reason + Science

Dirnick had what seemed to be the most stressful of all the tasks. It didn’t take him long to discover the actual cause of the devolution. The ion storm and a chemical in the atmosphere were causing an extreme reaction from all organic creatures.

~ Task 2: Study the Symptoms
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Control + Medicine
Each time this Task is completed on a different specimen, the difficulty of Task 3 will decrease by 1.

He studied the symptoms that Jasper displayed in an attempt to see just how far he had progressed compared to the others.

Suddenly, an injured neanderthal stumbled into the laboratory from outside. Dirnick grabbed his phaser and shot the neanderthal, stunning it.

“Oh goodness. If it hadn’t been injured already, I might have been in some trouble. But this gives me an opportunity to study this phenomena a little more.” Dirnick took his equipment and a began to study the creature.

K’orvo walked into the laboratory with an armful of components and parts and saw Dirnick leaning over the stunned neanderthal. “What in the name of Kahless?! Where did that thing come from?”

“It found its way back in from outside. It was already injured so I just stunned it. I’m trying to study this symptoms that this one has manifested compared to the others and Jasper.” Dirnick picked up a medical tool and didn’t check the settings before turning it on. A laser beam seared through the skull of the creature and Dirnick dropped the tool. “That wasn’t supposed to happen. My goodness. This is a mess now.”

“Did you just kill that thing?!” K’orvo dropped all the equipment.

“I didn’t mean to. I didn’t realize these tools has such high settings on them. They shouldn’t be left on those settings either. Well, at least I can still study it… kind of.” Dirnick finished his analysis of the creature while K’orvo gathered the equipment up and packed it in a container for transport.

~ Task 3: Devise a Cure
~ Difficulty: 4
~ Daring + Medicine, Daring + Science

Dirnick gathered all the information he could from the two specimens, Jasper and the now deceased one, and went to work on a cure. “I have a temporary solution! This will stop the progression of the devolution until we can get to a laboratory that’s not mostly destroyed.”

~ Task 4: Administer the Cure
Two options are presented for administering the cure.
Individual Cures
~ Difficulty:
1
~ Insight + Medicine (opposed by hostiles)
Mass Cure (Reaches the area just beyond the outpost, not the whole planet.)
~ Difficulty: 4 (Created the device)
~ Daring + Engineering
~ Difficulty: 4 (Calibrate the device to deliver the cure)
~ Daring + Medicine
* Dirnick decided it would be best to create several hyposprays instead of the stationary device. *

“Good, now what? Can we leave?” K’orvo asked, rubbing his ridges.

“Let me load these hyposprays and we can ready ourselves to return to the runabout.” Dirnick explained as he finished his work. He administered one of the treatments to Jasper and the twitching of his eyebrow ridges stopped. Dirnick gave himself and K’orvo a shot too, and just as they had finished, Dr. Schipp and Lorne returned with the samples.

“We’ve got parts, the specimens for the cure for Irumodic Syndrome, and Jasper has stopped devolving. Let’s get out of here before the storm traps us!” Dirnick said as he administered the hyposprays to Lorne and Dr. Schipp.

“That’s the best thing you’ve said all day. Let’s go.” K’orvo pushed the stretcher with Jasper on top and the equipment underneath as Lorne guided it. Dirnick carried the medical kit and the pack with the hyposprays. The group quickly made off for the runabout, with the full force of an ion storm on their heels.

Session 0.5: The Escape

The crew returns to the shuttle to find that everything appears to be just as they left it on the outside. The ion storm’s strength is increasing and the window for escape is beginning to close. The team knows they must get into the shuttle and repair it before the storm gets any more intense. Before everyone has a chance to reach the shuttle, a rustling comes from the nearby brush and several dark figures dart out towards the shuttle.

The remaining scientists in neanderthal form darted out toward the crew. They were so terrified that they were blindly attacking. Luckily, none of them were wielding phasers, but they had become adept with clubs. The neanderthals rushed the crew, beating them relentlessly with their clubs. Dirnick incapacitated the one neanderthal that was attacking him and was able to help the rest of the crew to quickly subdue their attackers. K’orvo and Dirnick loaded the neanderthals into the runabout with the others, who were still unconscious. Lorne immediately set to work on the repairs and Dr. Schipp secured Jasper and herself in the rear of the runabout.

With the remaining neanderthals incapacitated, the crew quickly begins repairs on the runabout. The ion storm’s intensity is steadily increasing, causing the winds to become violently strong and bolts of energy to strike at objects on the ground. It’s clear to you all that you must get off this planet and away from the ion storm or you’ll be trapped on this planet and become neanderthals before anyone finds you!

Game Mechanics
Extended Task: Repair the Shuttle
~ Work Track: 12
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Control + Engineering

Lorne began working on repairs while Dirnick oversaw his progress. K’orvo was behind the force field in the rear of the runabout, securing the remaining neanderthals.

“Lieutenant, are you sure that part goes into that spot like that?” Dirnick asked, distracting Lorne. Sparks and smoke erupted from the panel that Lorne was working under.

“No, sir. But I have to make it work. Now if you don’t stop bothering me, we’ll never get out of here!” Lorne focused his attention on the task at hand.

“Engineering isn’t my specialty, but this repair doesn’t look right over here.” Dirnick pointed to a jury rigged piece of equipment that was humming loudly.

“Of course it doesn’t look right. None of these parts are compatible with the runabout. I’m having to jury rig everything in hopes it works.” Lorne’s hand slipped and the tool he was using snapped. “Are you serious?! I don’t think I can make any further repairs. We’re going to have to try it like it is.”

“Is it repaired enough for space travel?” Dirnick asked as he looked over some of the repairs.

“If we can get liftoff and break the atmosphere, we’ll be fine in space. The problem is going to be getting off the ground. I’m not an engineer, but I’ve been around enough of them as a pilot. I think the repairs I made are going to be just enough, as long as nothing else goes wrong.” Lorne sat as the conn and Dirnick took his place at the other console.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Plot a Course
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Science
Two Momentum may be spent on the success of this task, to reduce the Difficulty of the next task (Piloting Through the Storm) by 1.

Dirnick examined the flashing console, trying to plot a course away from the oncoming storm. The console was losing power but he managed to find the best path for them.

“Course laid in, heading 248 mark 132. Impulse engines engaged and operating nominally, but it should be enough to get us through the atmosphere. It looks like warp engines are completely down. My console’s power conduit just went out.” Dirnick grabbed some of the tools, opened the panel under his console, and attempted to repair the power conduit. “I don’t think I can fix this. You’ll have to navigate manually once we clear the storm.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Pilot Through the Storm
~ Difficulty: 3 (or 2 – depending on the outcome of the previous Task)
~ Control + Conn

Lorne adjusted the controls at his station, engaged the course settings, and initiated liftoff. “Everyone hold on to something! This is going to be a very rough ride.”

“You two fly worse than a child trying to ride a greased targ! Don’t blow us all into oblivion! I want to reach Sto’Vo’Kor one day.” K’orvo called from the rear of the runabout. He was trying to secure himself in a seat, but the two belts for his seat had the same ends and wouldn’t fasten together. He tied them together and sighed. “By the light of Kahless!”

As the runabout takes off, an energy bolt strikes the ground where it had just been. The nacelles glow and the runabout breaks through the atmosphere just as the ion storm overtakes the area. You open a com to DS9 and put out a distress call. You hear a female voice coming through but the signal is still full of static and garbled. You ask them to repeat their message and because you’ve now gained enough distance from the ion storm, the voice comes through clear.

“This is Major Kira from Deep Space Nine. Whatever that interference was, it’s gone now. Be careful out there! We’re picking up an ion storm in your vicinity. We’re also detecting some damage to your major systems. Just hang tight. We’ve got help headed your way.”

“Kira! What a relief to hear your voice!” Lorne said excitedly as the runabout made it’s way towards the direction of DS9 and the ship sent to aid them.

Roll Credits!

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“Today is a good day to die, unless you can live!” ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

 

Welcome Aboard the U.S.S. Mulgrew

 

The year is 2372, and to put this in better perspective, it’s been almost a year since the destruction of the Enterprise D, the loss of Captain James T. Kirk, and the disappearance of the U.S.S. Voyager (in roughly that order). The relations between the Klingon Empire and the Federation are strained due to the potential Cardassian and Dominion threats. Tensions and nerves are running high right now, as Starfleet and the Federation seek a solution to this ever growing threat.

Welcome Letter from Captain M’Kora

Greetings to you, and congratulations on your new assignment.

There is a growing need for organizations and divisions of officers and specialists that are trained in wartime tactics. Section 31 is an autonomous organization within the Federation that’s not officially recognized, but it exists and a few too many folks know about it. They operate on their own and don’t have anyone holding them accountable for potentially damaging actions. Section 31 also doesn’t ask anyone for approval for certain actions or missions. The Federation and Starfleet have an official, but unofficial, program similar to Section 31 – but much more secret and definitely accountable for their actions. While Section 31 is the Federation equivalent of the Romulan Tal Shiar, we are an organization that’s monitored and kept in check by Starfleet and the Federation. We are known as the Kage Hoshi Division, the shadows among the stars. Our ships, missions, and personnel are all classified. We go on typical missions and report to Starfleet, just like other ships and personnel, but we do it quietly. We relay information to Starfleet about various things and they determine who to send to investigate. If Starfleet believes we should be the ones to act, we do. But as far as the general population knows, we don’t exist.

I’m Captain M’Kora, no first or last name, just simply Captain M’Kora. If you know who I am, that means one of three things: you knew me as a commanding officer in the Klingon Imperial Fleet, you serve or have served under me on the U.S.S. Mulgrew, or someone at the Kage Hoshi Division isn’t doing their job.

If you’re not familiar with me, allow me to give you some background, so you feel a little more comfortable around me. I was born and raised on Qo’noS. My mother and father were diplomats, ambassadors, and honorable Klingons. They served the Empire in life, and they honor the Empire in their deaths. I was an officer in the Klingon Imperial Fleet when they died in honorable combat during a treaty negotiation that went bad. I was proud of them and their work. They were also proud to consider themselves allies to the Federation and what the Federation stands for. Many believe Klingons can’t exist without conflict – some war to wage. That’s not true. We’re a culture rich in art, ceremony, and custom, but we value our skills as warriors too. We fight if we must and revel in the battle, but we fight with honor in order to preserve our way of life. My parents fought battles in a different way. They used their words instead of a d’k tagh or a bat’leth. I have chosen to a walk a similar path, by using diplomacy as a weapon and only resorting to physical violence if necessary. There is great honor in being able to do battle in unconventional ways, and my parents understood this as well.

Growing up on Qo’noS with such an unconventional family wasn’t always easy. I never let the weak minded stand in my way though. I can handle myself in any confrontation that’s forced upon me. I excelled in my studies as well as my combat and tactical prowess. This led to a rapid promotion through the ranks in the Klingon Imperial Fleet. I soon found myself under the command of General K’orvo, a commander of superior skill and also a great mentor. I served under his command for many years until the day we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise-D commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. A compliment of bridge officers were invited to tour the Enterprise and join them for pleasantries. Upon our arrival, we were all shocked to see a Klingon there to greet us in the transporter room alongside Picard. We had all heard the tales of Worf, son of Mogh, but we were not prepared to see a Klingon in a Starfleet uniform. As the rest of my fellow officers and General K’orvo stood there, staring at Worf, I took the initiative and greeted him. The Starfleet personnel seemed a little curious at my actions, since I addressed a lower ranking officer before addressing the Captain. Once I noticed the eyes on me, I turned to Picard and greeted him, introducing myself. He gave me a warm and genuine smile, greeted me in return and then greeted the compliment of my fellow officers.

Worf and I became fast friends in that brief visit and I was immediately inspired to be more like him. I admired, no, that’s wrong – I still admire Worf. His work continues and I follow his actions closely. My admiration of him has inspired me to be the best Starfleet officer that I can be. I hope that I can one day be an inspiration to you, the same way that he is to me.

It was actually Lieutenant Worf (now Lt. Commander), that recruited me for Starfleet while he was serving aboard the Enterprise-D. It was my hope that I would be assigned to the same vessel, but it seemed that Starfleet had a different assignment in mind. They felt I was best suited for command of a starship, but one that wasn’t on the records. I wasn’t sure if I was to consider this assignment an insult or a compliment, but I didn’t really have a choice. Once you’re selected to be a member of the Kage Hoshi Division, you can’t really turn it down. It was clear to me the moment I boarded the U.S.S. Mulgrew that this was more than a compliment; it was a huge amount of trust and faith that was put into me and my abilities. It was an honor to be selected to be a captain, straight from the academy, and one that I could tell no one about. Crew aboard a classified ship like the Mulgrew are typically assigned to these ships for life. There are opportunities to retire, but in my five years of command, I’ve only seen one of the twelve that retired, stay in retirement. Many get restless and need to work. Your assignment aboard a classified ship can end in retirement after fifteen years, unless you’re a captain or the second in command. Those positions are lifelong commitments.

It’s not uncommon to find that crewman have fallen in love with another member of the crew, or with someone they see on a regular basis at a space dock. When they do, we don’t discourage them from starting a family aboard the ship. Sometimes, the children that are raised on the ship, will fall naturally into one of the crew roles and that family becomes one of the many generational family units within the Kage Hoshi Division. My parents would have seen it as an honor to serve on a ship like the Mulgrew, as you should too. I am honored to have you aboard.

These are the voyages of the starship Mulgrew. We go where other Federation starships cannot. We blaze a path in the stars for fellow explorers. We don’t just boldly go, we go boldly and silently into the black.

Welcome to the U.S.S. Mulgrew, NCC-65056. Qapla’!

~ Captain M’Kora

Meet the Crew!

The crew and officers of the U.S.S. Mulgrew are being played by a mix of veteran, novice, and somewhat beginner role players. I will be playing Captain M’Kora, only because the group is so small. I’ve played D&D since it was AD&D and have played/GM’d various other RPG’s. Travis (Mr. DDK) has been playing RPG’s for a little over a decade and he’s played a variety of RPG’s as well. North has also played a variety of RPG’s over several years. Wednesday is newer to RPG’s, but picks up on the games rather well.

I’ve encouraged them to make two characters to help with bridge operations, but they have to choose one or the other for away missions. We won’t be using as many Supporting Characters because of that. I will only have Captain M’Kora, which you met in the letter above, as my NPC and likely won’t go on away missions unless necessary. These are the characters that they will be in charge of, and a little of their character backgrounds too.

Lieutenant Commander Nir Dirnick (Travis)

Nir Dirnick is a Cardassian standing right at two meters (six feet, two inches) tall and weighing roughly 95 kilograms (210 pounds).

He was a brilliant scientist that was recruited by the Obsidian Order. He specialized in genetics and xenobiology, which the Obsidian Order hoped to use to further their nefarious plans for the Bajorans. Nir Dirnick lived on Cardassia and he knew about the Occupation of Bajor, but the Cardassian government always painted the Bajorans as the terrorists that would destroy Cardassia and the Cardassian culture. Nir Dirnick never really expected that the information was false, until he was sent to Bajor.

The Obsidian Order sent Nir Dirnick to Bajor on a specific assignment. He was to study a particular species that the Bajorans were also studying. He oversaw much of the work that Dr. Mora Pol was conducting on an unusual creature, referred to as Odo’ital, or Odo for short. The Obsidian Order thought that they might be able to use this creature to their advantage somehow and so Nir Dirnick studied everything Dr. Mora had on Odo. When it was discovered that Odo was a sentient being, Nir Dirnick became much more interested. He went to Dr. Mora’s laboratories and worked closely with him even after Odo left for Terok Nor.

During all this time, Nir Dirnick was witnessing first hand just how cruel the Cardassian military and government was to the Bajoran people. Nir Dirnick was a loyal Cardassian, but loyal to the Cardassia that he thought he knew. He was not happy to see that his government was putting on a facade. He kept doing his work, but also kept detailed notes on the movements of the military as well as the government officials and what they were doing.

Nir Dirnick got to know the Bajoran people for who they truly were: artists, musicians, poets, writers, and scientists in their own right. He eventually met a Bajoran woman, Neerwo Oku, a beautiful and very open minded botanist. It wasn’t long before they found themselves in love. It wasn’t uncommon for Cardassians to use Bajoran women as ‘comfort women’, but it was uncommon for a Cardassian and a Bajoran to become engaged. Most of Nir Dirnick’s colleagues and superiors saw the engagement as a way for him to keep Oku to himself, and they didn’t hassle him about it. Oku was a pleasant distraction for Nir Dirnick in the midst of all the horrible things happening around them.

But their happiness was short lived. A Bajoran Resistance Cell attacked the science building where Oku was working. They planted explosives on the major structural supports of the building and waited until the building was full of workers. The explosives were detonated and the building collapsed, killing all 283 people inside. All Bajorans in that building were considered collateral damage in the attack. The news of Oku’s death struck Nir Dirnick to his core and he decided that this was it, the last straw.

Nir Dirnick reached out to Starfleet and told them everything he knew and begged them to help end the Occupation. He said that there was too much evil on both sides and he volunteered to work as an undercover agent for Starfleet. He would gather any intelligence he could and get it to Starfleet, as long as they promised to end this and keep the Bajoran people safe. He said that the Cardassian people and Cardassia had lost its way and needed to be set on the right path once more. Starfleet took him up on his offer and used his inside information to help the Bajoran people put an end to the Occupation.

About a year before the end of the Occupation, the Obsidian Order suspected Nir Dirnick was a traitor to Cardassia. With his connections inside the Obsidian Order, word reached him quickly that he needed to get out before they apprehended and executed him. He put in a call for help to the Federation and Starfleet and they were able to sneak him away from Bajor. The only possession he brought with him was Oku’s earring that he had used to proposed to her. He put the earring on and has wore it everyday since he left Bajor for Earth.

During his time on Earth, he had been a scientist working in secret laboratories with the Federation. He was teaching them Cardassian genetics and giving them all the information he had on Cardassia and the government officials. He told them everything he knew about the Obsidian Order and how they function. He also studied everything he could about the Federation and Starfleet. He has just recently been called to the office of Admiral Reynolds.

Nir Dirnick entered the Admiral’s office and saw a silver haired Human sitting behind a desk. Admiral Reynolds seemed to have a gruff but pleasant demeanor. “You must be Nir Dirnick, our very own Cardassian defector. I can’t express how much I admire you for what you’ve done. It’s not an easy thing to do, to abandon your world and people for your ideals.”

“Admiral, sir, I think you have it wrong. I didn’t abandon Cardassia or my fellow Cardassians. They abandoned me when they strayed from the path. We are indeed a military people, but we’re also a people of science and culture. Our paranoia and xenophobia has lead my people to their self destruction. So you see, it’s not my ideals that caused me to defect, it was their error.” Nir Dirnick sat in the plush office chair across the desk from Admiral Reynolds.

“Well said. I think I would leave Starfleet if it ever strayed from its moral compass. I may not fully understand how you feel, but I can at least pretend to understand.” Nir Dirnick nodded at Admiral Reynolds as he continued, “We have chosen to recognize you for all you’ve done. I understand that you’ve studied everything you can get your hands on about Starfleet, including protocol and operations. You’ve basically done the work of five Starfleet cadets in the span of three and half years.”

Nir Dirnick raised a finger, pointed at the ceiling, in an effort to politely interrupt the Admiral. Admiral Reynolds paused and gestured at Nir Dirnick to proceed. “Not to sound paranoid, but all that work I did was for myself. I wanted to see who I’d gotten into bed with, so to speak. Starfleet seems to be what I thought Cardassia was. As much as I condemn my people for their paranoia, I still needed to be sure.” Nir Dirnick could tell he was losing the Admiral’s attention and maybe patience, but he wasn’t sure of the latter. “I didn’t do the work for recognition. That’s what I’m trying to say.”

“Regardless of why you did the work, you still did it. Starfleet and the Federation have signed off for you to be granted the rank of Lieutenant Commander.” Admiral Reynolds smiled and then added, “But, they also want you to be a crewman on a classified ship. This ship is very special…”

Before Admiral Reynolds could continue, Nir Dirnick stood up and grabbed his hand, shaking it vigorously. “Say no more Admiral! I know what ‘classified’ means and I know what I’m getting into. I was a member of the Obsidian Order after all. Truth is, I’ve been quite bored here. I’m not sure how you all keep from dying of boredom.”

“Well, then all you need to do is take the shuttle from Koralis IV to Deep Space Nine and meet your contact there. Here is all the information you’ll need until then.” Admiral Reynolds handed Nir Dirnick a PADD and showed him to the door. Two security officers waited just outside the door to escort Nir Dirnick to the transport ship. “I expect great things from you, Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Be safe out there.”

“Thank you, Admiral. I am looking forward to this assignment, as well as a change of uniform.” Nir Dirnick looked down at his civilian clothes and lab coat. “I imagine I’ll look stunning in ‘science blue’.” Nir Dirnick smiled and nodded in the Admiral’s direction. The security officers lead the way down the corridor to the transporter room and Nir Dirnick walked with a bounce in his step and purpose for his soul.

Lieutenant Thasiv Zynes (Travis)

Thasiv is an Andorian that stands a little shy of two meters (five feet, eight inches) tall, and weighs about 77 kilograms (170 pounds). Thasiv is a very normal and very average Andorian, in most ways. He grew up on a frontier colony, dreaming of adventures in the stars. He would fly small craft and shuttles to pass the time, and even race them as a way to gain additional supplies or materials from off-worlders. He became an exceptional and very well known pilot on the colony.

The day came when Starfleet made a social call to the small frontier colony. They were there on orders to assist the colonies with anything they needed, such as medical supplies or materials of any kind. Thasiv was enamored with the idea of flying through space on ships that could potentially house the population of his colony. He spoke to several of the Starfleet personnel and made up his mind the same day; he was going to Starfleet!

Thasiv was a normal student with typical grades, but his piloting skills were the likes that hadn’t been seen in decades. He graduated Starfleet as an Ensign and was lucky enough to be immediately assigned to the U.S.S. Exeter (NCC-26531). They were in need of a new pilot, immediately. All Thasiv was told was that the previous pilot was expelled from Starfleet; something about him lying about a pilot error that resulted in the deaths of three of his fellow officers. Thasiv had later heard the name Paris, but many of the Exeter’s crew didn’t want to talk about the incident and Thasiv wasn’t that interested anyway.

Thasiv worked his way up to the rank of Lieutenant after a year. His assignment on the Exeter proved to be full of experience and helped him hone his piloting skills. In 2371, He was going to ask for another promotion when he was sent back to Starfleet headquarters. It was there that he learned of a new challenge and one he happily accepted. Starfleet reassigned Thasiv to the U.S.S. Mulgrew and that’s where he’s served for the last year, honing his skills even more as a pilot.

Lieutenant Lorne Dayne (North)

Dayne is a Bajoran that was born and raised on Bajor during the Occupation. As an adult, he stands just under two meters tall (roughly six feet tall) and weighs about 90 kilograms (200 pounds).

The Cardassian Occupation of Bajor lasted for around 50 years, so most young Bajorans only know life as it was under the boot of a Cardassian. When Dayne was 14 years old, his mother and father were killed by the Cardassians for being resistance sympathizers. His parents were aiding several resistance cells by giving them supplies and information. There aren’t many details on who it was that betrayed them to the Cardassians, if anyone did. The Cardassians may have just gotten lucky and figured it out. But the night they came to the Lorne home, the Cardassians made a show of it and made an example of them. They stormed into the Lorne home like they were after hardened criminals, drug his parents out into the street in front of their home, and executed them. Dayne, only a young boy at the time, was hiding behind a secret door in the wall, but he could see the whole incident through a crack in the wall. Even at a young age, Dayne knew how important it was to keep quiet and get to safety – not to be hero. He waited until the Cardassians were gone before leaving his home behind to seek out the resistance fighters. The resistance was going to need strong young men to fight the Cardassians and this act of malice lit huge a fire in his belly.

When Dayne found his place in the resistance, it was within the Shakaar Cell. He had befriended Kira Nerys, who was within the same cell. Even though they were friends, they would not get to see much of each other. They were both destined to lead different groups within the Shakaar Cell. But they remained friends and contacted each other if they could.

The Occupation ended in 2369 and Bajor was given control of Terok Nor, later renamed to Deep Space Nine. The Bajoran Provisional Government asked the Federation to step in and assist with the space station and they gave primary control of DS9 to the Federation. Starfleet Commander Benjamin Sisko and Colonel Kira Nerys both recommended that Dayne join Starfleet and enter the academy. With special recommendations and life experiences as his teachers, Dayne excelled though the academy and graduated in 2371 at the rank of Lieutenant, instead of Ensign.

Dayne was seeking a promotion while serving aboard the U.S.S. Curry, but was recalled to Starfleet headquarters in 2372. He spoke to Admiral Reynolds, a gruff but pleasant enough older human with silver hair. He informed him that Dayne had been selected for a special assignment to a very special ship called the U.S.S. Mulgrew. Dayne was also informed that the missions, crew, and the ship itself were all classified. Dayne was also informed that if he chose to decline this new assignment he would return to the U.S.S. Curry, after a slight memory adjustment. No further details would be given until he was aboard the Mulgrew.

“Son, this could be an opportunity you don’t want to pass up. You’re young and highly intelligent. You’ve also got an instinct about you and those are the people we want on these type of ships.” Admiral Reynolds reclined in his chair and rested his hands across his stomach.

“I appreciate the offer, Admiral Reynolds. It sounds like a wonderful position, but I think I could do more good on the Curry. I think the Curry needs me right now.” Dayne rubbed a hand over the top of his head, ruffling some of his neatly groomed brown hair.

“If you’re concerned with doing good deeds and helping others, the Mulgrew is exactly where you need to be. You will be blazing trails for ships like the Curry. Now, do you want to be at the head of pack, or just picking up the leftovers? Because that’s what’ll happen. The Mulgrew is a life assignment too. Move up high enough in the ranks, and you get your own ship within our Division.” Admiral Reynolds leaned forward and put his elbows on his desk.

“What Division of Starfleet is this, Admiral Reynolds?” Dayne’s dark eyes squinted at Admiral Reynolds. “I’ve never seen that style insignia before.” He pointed at the command insignia on Admiral Reynolds uniform.

“That’s classified, until you board the Mulgrew.” Admiral Reynolds smiled and said, “Which I have every confidence that you’re going to do. I’ve read your files, naturally. An officer like you with your background wouldn’t pass this offer up. The chance to be first at the scene of a disaster; the first to assess the potential threat of a newly discovered civilization; the first to save a civilization from annihilation at the hands of a tyrannical invader. You were made for this Division.”

Dayne’s eyes were wide with thoughts of all the good he could do. “Well, since you put it that way, how can resist? What is it that the Borg say? Resistance is futile. Guess I’ve been assimilated into the crew of the Mulgrew.” Dayne jumped up from the chair and reached out to shake Admiral Reynold’s hand.

“Borg jokes, huh? I lost half my Division ships and crew in the Battle of Wolf 359.” Admiral Reynolds stood and gripped Dayne’s hand tightly. “You might want to use different material for your jokes. And yes, I heard about that too, how you think yourself a comedian.”

“That’s more of a nervous thing actually. I can’t help it. Sometimes it lightens the mood.” Dayne’s hand was released from the Admiral’s grip.

“Whatever you call it, better watch it around your new captain. She’s as rough as they come and she’ll work you hard. You’ve got a ride to catch. They’ll drop you and another officer off in a shuttle around Koralis IV. You’re likely going to have a passenger too. You’ll rendezvous with the Mulgrew at Deep Space Nine. When you arrive at Deep Space Nine, go to Quark’s bar and find a Klingon female named, M’Kora. She’s expecting you and she’ll give you further instructions. Good luck, Lieutenant Lorne.” Admiral Reynolds gestured towards the door and it opened, revealing two armed Starfleet officers.

Dayne looked back at Admiral Reynolds as he was being escorted out, “Thank you Admiral. I won’t let you or Starfleet down. Prophets guide you.”

“Live long, and prosper. The light of Kahless shine on you. All that religious stuff. Just don’t die out there, okay? We can’t afford to lose anyone else.” Admiral Reynolds smiled disingenuously as the door to his office closed behind Dayne.

“I get to meet a Klingon. Cool.” Dayne said quietly to himself as he followed the two security officers to the transporter room.

Ensign John Cross (North)

John Cross is a Human engineer with brown hair that stands about two meters tall (five feet and nine inches) and weighs about 90 kilograms (200 pounds). He was born and raised in the Mirror Universe. One of his personality quirks is that he doesn’t refer to anyone by name or rank. Once he meets an individual, he’s inspired to give them a nickname. He claims it’s a sign of respect and not to poke fun at the individual, because the bonding between two individuals transcends given names and ranks.

John was raised on the Trill homeworld by a Trill diplomat, Ronnan Turin. Ronnan was a double agent, serving as a diplomat for the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance and also a supporter of the Terran Rebellion in secret. Ronnan’s daughter, Yozri, was beautiful and skilled as a negotiator. Yozri could gather information about KCA and its movements without raising any suspicions, and then relay that information back to the Terran Rebellion with the help of her father. Their ultimate goal was to see peace in the universe.

John was the only pilot that Ronnan and Yozri trusted, not only because he was loyal to them, but because he was able to fly them out of several tough spots. He was also a skilled engineer, and was able to fix just about anything. He could see solutions to a mechanical problem that others wouldn’t have thought of, and all he needed to do was grab a handful of miscellaneous parts and look them over.

Yozri admired him for his ingenuity and loved sitting with him for his conversations. She would often find him talking to himself while he worked on more complex mechanical problems. When they were on a particularly long flight, she would often sit with him and they would talk about everything from the stars beyond their quadrant, to strategies on bringing down the KCA. John found himself falling in love Yozri, but their family situation complicated things.

Ronnan and Yozri weren’t joined Trill, because most of the Symbionts had been murdered. Dax was one of the few that survived, but the only one that the KCA and the Terran Empire knew about – or so everyone believed. Ronnan and Yozri were members of a secret society of Trill that knew about the remaining Symbionts. The members of this society were limited to less than a dozen Trill. John was the only non-Trill that knew of the Symbionts’ existence. Part of his job as a pilot was helping to relocate the Symbionts and their hosts to safe houses across the Alpha quadrant. Ronnan and Yozri had the diplomatic status to help them bypass checkpoints and shuttle searches, and John had the skills to pilot them out of potentially dangerous situations and repair the shuttle in a snap.

John stayed on the shuttle during most of the trips to the KCA bases on Cardassia and Qo’noS. He wasn’t a confrontational type of person and wanted to avoid any possible issues that might arise. He had been able to talk his way out of some previous confrontations with some Cardassians, but if it had been Klingons, he would have been in trouble!

Very early one morning, Ronnan shook John awake and informed him of a serious issue that had surfaced. There was joined Trill that had been wounded in an altercation between a Cardassian Galor Class ship and a Bajoran Scout vessel controlled by the Terran Rebellion. It was reported that the Galor class ship was already heavily damaged and wasn’t able to completely destroy the Bajoran Scout vessel. The Trill was mortally wounded but the Symbiont was in no danger as long as another host was found quickly. The information that the Symbiont had was extremely important to the Terran Rebellion and the only viable host within reasonable distance that could be trusted was Yozri.

John was shocked to learn that Yozri had already gone through the joining ceremony and was now a joined Trill. Ronnan also told him that they needed to leave immediately for the Badlands to transfer Yozri to another ship for relocation. They couldn’t take her to the safe house themselves without the risk of being discovered. John had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. He even told Ronnan that there was something off about the attack on the Bajoran Scout vessel. Even with so much damage, he thought the Galor Class should have had more than enough power to destroy the Scout vessel. John felt like it was trap, but Ronnan said there was no time and no options – the transfer has been arranged and must happen.

John was piloting their shuttle through the Badlands to the coordinates they were given, but they didn’t quite make it. A Klingon Vor’cha Class ship emerged from behind a plasma storm funnel and opened fire on the shuttle. Phaser blasts struck the shields of the shuttle and damaged them so badly that John couldn’t repair them while simultaneously trying to pilot away from the Klingon ship. Backup power generators were completely knocked out and systems were failing all over the shuttle. A plasma funnel erupted next to the shuttle and blocked their path of escape, putting them directly in line of fire with the Klingon ship. The Klingon ship fired another phaser blast, but another plasma funnel erupted between the Klingon ship and the shuttle. This dampened the force of the phaser blast, but not enough to prevent it from almost breaching the hull. The shuttle rocked and Ronnan was thrown into a nearby control panel, causing almost immediate and fatal brain trauma. Yozri was thrown directly into the path of an energy blast from one of the failing system’s control panels. John leaped from his control station and cradled Yozri.

“John, I won’t make it. The Symbiont knows it too. We have to pass on the knowledge to you, and if you survive this, get it to the Terran Rebellion. This information could save the entire universe.” John leaned close to Yozri as she whispered into his ear. His eyes grew wide with surprise. “Please, save the universe if you can. And John, if we lived at another time, we would have been perfect together. Live on, John. Live and be happy when this is all over.”

Yozri’s eyes closed and she was still. Tears fell from John’s eyes, splashing onto her cheeks. It seemed as though everything was happening in slow motion as sparks flew behind him and the shuttle careened towards a plasma funnel. There were several streaks of vertical red lights that formed all over John’s body and in an instant, he was no longer on the shuttle. He found himself in a holding cell on the Klingon Vor’cha ship that was attacking them.

“Traitor to the Alliance!” A Klingon yelled at him in a gruff and scratchy voice. “You have been sentenced and will be taken to Terok Nor to slave away in the labor camps on Bajor.” John just sat, staring at the floor and said nothing.

During his time in the labor camps of Bajor, he met Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax. They found a way to pull him out of the labor camps and he found a place to call home on Sisko’s ship.

It wasn’t long before Sisko was dead and a pretender showed up. After the events of “Through the Looking Glass” (Deep Space Nine, Season 3 – Episode 19), Benjamin Sisko from the main universe (Prime Timeline, Universe Proper) accidentally took John back with him. Once the stowaway had been discovered, Sisko alerted the Federation and Starfleet. Starfleet decided the best thing to do, would be to place John Cross on a classified vessel so he wouldn’t be able to do much damage to the timeline. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Mulgrew almost a year ago and has been trying to adjust to life in this new universe. He still hopes to find a safe way back to his universe so he can help save it.

General K’orvo (Wednesday)

K’orvo was once an honored and celebrated general in the Klingon Imperial Fleet. He stood well over six feet tall, 198 centimeters to be exact, and weighed in at almost 120 kilograms. His hair was so dark, it was almost black. His dark eyes always set on the path that would one day lead him to Sto’Vo’Kor. He wasn’t known for his average build or his mostly average appearance. He was a great general, known for his prowess commanding a ship and his battle tactics. He wasn’t just a great commander on the bridge of his ship, he was a skilled warrior in hand-to-hand combat. None of his crew ever bested him in a brawl in the decades that he flew the B’rel class ship, the I.K.S. Hov’pach. K’orvo led many raids into the edge of Romulan space and earned many victories in the name of the Klingon Empire.

K’orvo couldn’t stem the flow of time and like many great warriors that do not die on the battlefield, he grew old. His hair streaked with silver over time and eventually became a solid, milky white. His eyes were sharp, and his mind as quick as ever. This helped to  ensure he kept his place as general and captain, for a time. But the end comes for all.

K’orvo’s last mission sent the Hov’pach and its crew into a patch of mostly uncharted space, where reports of Borg activity had been coming in. K’orvo and his crew were ambushed and made into Drones by the Borg. A few months later, a Federation ship happened upon two Borg Drones that were on the surface of a planet, and one of them was K’orvo. The away team scuffled and fought with the two Drones and killed one. The other Drone’s connection to the collective was severed and the away team saw an opportunity to save the Klingon’s life. Star Fleet contacted medical specialists on Qo’noS and then took him home so he could get proper medical treatment.

K’orvo endured many surgeries to reverse the Borg implants. The surgeries were performed by scientists experimenting with Borg technology and not by properly trained medical staff. It left scaring all over his body and the only implant that couldn’t be removed was the ocular implant in his right eye. After K’orvo was released from the science facility on Qo’noS, he began to see looks of disgust from other Klingons as they stared at his eye. They felt he was without honor, because he allowed himself to be captured by the Borg and rescued by Star Fleet and the Federation. They also felt he was dishonorable in allowing himself to be experimented on, even though it was the Klingon High Council that issued the order. He felt defeated and dishonored. He was later called into the Council Chamber and stripped of his rank and achievements for his dishonorable actions against the Klingon Empire. The Klingon High Council deemed it necessary to exile him from Qo’noS as well. He was to spend the remainder of his life, drifting through the stars like a derelict ship.

He was living, simply just existing, on a space station on the border of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants when he received a transmission from an old friend. One of his subordinates from years ago, M’Kora, had reached out to him once she had heard of his exile from the Empire. M’Kora had served as a commander aboard the Hov’pach before leaving for Star Fleet, a year and a half prior to the Borg encounter. She wanted him to meet with her while she was on a brief stay at Deep Space Nine, but didn’t tell him what the meeting was about. He was to meet her at a gathering place called, Quark’s on the promenade.

K’orvo trimmed his belly-long, scraggly facial hair up to his chest, though it was still slightly out of sorts when he finished. He took a comb and tried his best to straighten out his long white hair and gave up when he convinced himself that his appearance wasn’t that important. He covered his right eye with a worn, black leather patch. His studded leather jacket rested comfortably over a plain grey shirt. The large shoulder pads on the jacket gave him more presence and made him appear more formidable. He worn a thick chain with a square medallion that bore no symbol. His heavy boots felt like lead, as he left his room. The door shut behind him and he suddenly had a nagging feeling that he may not be returning; call it, warrior’s intuition.

Doctor Zylas (Wednesday)

Zylas grew up on Ferenginar with his moderately wealthy family. He was very short and chubby for a Ferengi, standing about 145 centimeters tall and weighing roughly 95 kilograms. He was always an odd child, even for a Ferengi.  He never sharpened his teeth like most Ferengi do. He always kept his latinum safely hidden away instead of spending it on fancy teeth sharpeners or flamboyant clothes that would show off his social status. He only had one head-skirt that he wore, and it was a simple design. He would later adapt it to the color of his doctor’s uniform. Zylas always said that frivolous spending was a waste of profit!

He studied to be a doctor, because medicine and pharmaceuticals are very profitable. But so is convincing someone that they’re sick when they aren’t. His father, Bot, despised the idea of Zylas becoming a doctor. Zylas was an only child and his father wanted Zylas to continue the family business, so they would continue to be wealthy well into retirement. But Zylas had other plans once he finished medical school, which he finished quickly and with excellent scores. He started his career as an assistant doctor on Ferenginar and was known by many as the Smiling Ferengi. That’s because he was always smiling in a very creepy, wide smile when you saw him. He claimed it was the best cure, to ‘scare the diseases away.’ His father still refused to acknowlege his accomplishments. When Zylas was in the presence of his father, he would sometimes call himself, Zylas – Son of Bot, just to annoy him.

The first job Zylas took as the head of medical personnel was aboard a Ferengi D’Kora Marauder. The crew was competent enough to not get themselves killed, but they were always coming back with bumps, bruises, scrapes, and the occasional severed limb. It was easy enough to take their latinum for heavier medicines and extra procedures without them realizing they were being gouged and cheated. After all, who’s going to question their only doctor? His first experience as a doctor was going quite well and he was already wealthier than his father.

The ship and its crew landed on a planet that was seemingly abandoned. If not for the ruins of buildings, homes, and cities, you would not know that there had been intelligent life on this planet. Zylas was a little curious as to what could have happened to the prior inhabitants and he ventured off on his own. The rest of the ship’s away crew pillaged buildings and looked for some form of life to harass. Zylas was also keeping an eye open for anything he could sell off at the next starbase they docked at. Federation cadets, fresh out of the academy were easy to pull one over on, sometimes. While digging through the rumble of a warehouse, he found an oddly shaped vial with a dark purple liquid in it. He shook the vial and the liquid sloshed around. He heard one of the crew call all away personnel back to the ship and he promptly shoved the vial in his medical kit. He returned to the shuttle with the away crew and didn’t think anything else about the tiny vial of purple liquid.

While the ship was docked at a starbase in the Alpha Quadrant, Zylas was riffling through his medical bag for a ‘cure’ to a ‘deadly’ disease that the Humans call, influenza (by this time, we had a cure for the cold and the flu). He saw the tiny vial rolling around the bottom of his bag and his curiosity was reignited. After quickly ‘curing’ a Bolian of ‘influenza’ and charging a large amount of latinum to do so, he took the tiny vial out of his bag to inspect it once more. The liquid was still purple, but now it had tiny black sparkles shimmering and dancing around in it. Zylas opened the vial and the liquid sprang from it and turned into a dark gas. Zylas was startled and screamed, and then swatted the gas away and it dispersed into the air.

A very short time later, practically within minutes, the inhabitants of the starbase were walking around in a zombie like trance. Zylas didn’t seem to be affected, even though there were other Ferengi that were. He knew this was too much of a coincidence to not be related to the liquid in the vial. He pulled the vial out to see if there were any traces of the substance left, but there wasn’t. About an hour had passed since the substance escaped, and now there were people who had more than just runny noses and puffy eyes, they were starting to vomit. Fatigue was setting in too as people were beginning to collapse where they stood. Zylas knew that if he survived, he would be the obvious choice to blame. He had to fix this, and fast.

There were now unresponsive people in the medical bay, and some had even expired. He was working non-stop, going on 24 hours, to find a cure for whatever this was. It took some time, but he finally discovered the adaptable virus like qualities of influenza were also found in this substance. He would have to disperse a mass cure to eliminate the virus completely. He finally found a solution after 45 hours of non-stop work, and pumped the inhalant into the ventilation system. He was certain that it would wipe out all traces of the virus in the bodies of people, as well as from surfaces that they were in contact with. There was no place this virus could hide from him.

Once the quarantine was lifted from the starbase, Zylas decided it was probably time to seek employment on a new ship. He went to the mess hall and sat for a few hours before a female Klingon strolled in. She wore the traditional garments of a Klingon captain, and sat alone at the bar with a cup of Bloodwine. Zylas thought this would be a great opportunity to get far away from the Ferengi. They would never bother a Klingon for a missing Ferengi – too much trouble.

“Greetings to you, honorable warrior! My name is Zylas…” Zylas was cut off by the Klingon.

“Stop right there, Ferengi. I don’t want anything to do with whatever you’re peddling.” She took her cup of Bloodwine and started to walk off.

“Oh, I’m not a peddler. I’m a doctor.” Zylas waddled behind her, trying to keep pace. She stopped abruptly upon hearing that he was a doctor.

“Doctor, you say. Our Chief Medical Officer was just killed. Are you afraid to die, fat Ferengi?” She leaned down to look him directly in the eyes.

“What’s that saying you people have? Today is a good day to die!” Zylas said mockingly and smiled wider.

The Klingon grabbed him by his lab coat and shook him, gently for a Klingon. “This is no game and not a joke. If you board my ship, you don’t leave it. You die on my ship and for me. Once you leave with me, you have no more family, no more friends; nothing else matters except the ship and her crew.”

Zylas continued to smile and with a shaky voice said, “That’s fine with me. My father doesn’t acknowledge me for my career choice, and I don’t need friends if I have latinum.”

The Klingon released his lab coat and stood up. “Then welcome to the Mulgrew. I’m Captain M’Kora. Now come with me. We have contracts to sign.”

Zylas gave a quick hop and skip and followed close behind her, pausing only briefly, “Wait, did you say, contracts?” Captain M’Kora glanced back at him with a wide grin on her lips.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the main bridge crew of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. Each of the players gave me snip-its of their characters and I expanded those into the stories you’ve read here. After we finish playing through the Rescue at Koralis IV adventure, the main campaign will begin and you’ll get to see more of the crew and follow the Mulgrew on its continuing missions.

As always, thanks so much for reading!
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
“Today is a good day to die, unless you can live!” ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and RPG Fans!

 

We just finished a session of Star Trek Adventures, from Modiphius. This is a role playing game where you create characters in one of the various Star Trek eras, and boldly blast across the galaxy in search of adventure! This initial session was primarily for character creation and to discuss various aspects of the game mechanics. These types of sessions are usually called, Session Zero. After everyone was done with characters, we wanted to go ahead and get started on the adventure in the back of the Core Book. I had already read over the adventure and took notes, but I also changed several of the details to better accommodate my current compliment of players.

I already had a main story line in mind and where I wanted my players headed. The adventure, Rescue at Xerxes IV, takes place in Klingon space near the Narendra Station. That’s not where I wanted my players to start at, but I wanted us to all get better acquainted with the system by using this adventure. I wanted them closer to Deep Space Nine, so I moved the adventure to the Koralis System and made up a planet called Koralis IV. I will also have an article published later that goes more into the backgrounds of these characters.

Note – So everyone understands my numbering system, each adventure will consist of five to six scenes. Each session will have a number associated with the adventure and the scene. For example, we started on character creation in Session 0 and advanced through scene one, so Session 0.1 is the designation for that scene. When we play our next session, it’ll be Session 0.2 for the Session 0 adventure and the second scene in the adventure – and so on.

The following is the report for the session. Anything that was read aloud to the players is italicized and colored reddish brown. Game mechanics will be in blue.

Rescue at Koralis IV
Session 0.1

Lorne and Dirnick have been briefed by Starfleet about their positions and what’s required of them on the U.S.S. Mulgrew. The Mulgrew is a classified ship. Most of the missions are classified and off the records. The two officers and K’orvo are in a runabout headed to DS9 where the Mulgrew is currently docked for re-supply and awaiting your arrival. K’orvo is on his way to DS9 for personal time.

We find a runabout headed to Deep Space Nine with three unlikely passengers. Lieutenant Lorne Dayne, a Bajoran refugee and Starfleet officer; a Cardassian Starfleet officer that was working undercover for Starfleet within the Obsidian Order, Lieutenant Commander Nir Dirnick; and a dishonored Klingon General with grey hair and an eye patch, named K’orvo. Lt. Lorne and Lt. Commander Dirnick were on their way to DS9 for a new ship assignment, while K’orvo was headed there for personal time.

“So, since we’re all stuck in this shuttle together, might as well get to know each other a little. No since in avoiding pleasantries, right Lieutenant?” Dirnick said as he eyed Lorne.

“Well, if I can speak frankly, sir, I’m not a fan of your kind. I’m sure you understand why. I definitely don’t trust you, and I don’t have anything pleasant to talk about.” Lorne looked at Dirnick warily. “And honestly, I can’t believe Starfleet allowed you to be an officer. I don’t care if I get a reprimand for that, it’s the truth and you asked for small talk.”

“It’s okay Lieutenant. I won’t reprimand you for speaking your mind. But why is it so unbelievable? I was an undercover operative who infiltrated the Obsidian Order and gave Starfleet all the intel I could gather. I lost the love of life, a beautiful and intelligent Bajoran woman, whom I honor by wearing her earring. I’ve sacrificed much for Starfleet. I haven’t sacrifice anything for Cardassia. The government has gone astray and I can’t stand by and watch the Cardassia that I knew and loved be destroyed. I have to fight for it.”

A loud snort and grunt came from the back of the shuttle. K’orvo stood and walked toward the compartment divider and leaned against the wall, just inside the control cabin. “You speak of honor for your lost love like you know what honor is. You’re a Cardassian. What do you truly know of honor? I dishonored my people and now the very culture and way of life I love is threatened by your people and their ‘Dominion’. You have not truly sacrificed anything until you have died for your people.”

Lorne rolled is eyes and looked at Dirnick. Dirnick smirked back and said, “Well, at least I can still go home some day. The way I understand Klingons, you’re out of luck if you’ve been dishonored in the eyes of your people.”

“Bah! You’re a petaQ! I’m going to take a nap. Wake me upon our arrival to DS9!” K’orvo demanded as he spun around and returned to the passenger cabin towards the rear of the runabout.

Dirnick snickered to himself. “Thankfully, my next assignment won’t be with him. And since you won’t talk about your assignment, I’ll share mine, or what I can share. I’ve been assigned to a classified ship, one that suits my skill set.”

Lorne’s eyes got as wide as saucers, “Wait, did you just say a classified ship?! You’re not talking about the U.S.S. Mulgrew, are you?!”

A wicked smile crossed Dirnick’s lips and he turned his seat so that he faced Lorne. “Why, yes. Now how would know about the Mulgrew? You wouldn’t happen to be assigned to it as well, now would you? I was told there would be two officers joining her compliment.” Dirnick said, smiling devilishly, and seeming very happy with the situation.

As you are all getting acquainted with each other, you receive a distress call from the surface of Koralis IV, an uninhabited Class M planet containing no sentient life except a Federation science team. The distress signal offered no information except that the science team stationed there was in danger.

Just as Lorne was about to reply to Dirnick, an alert sounded and both officers turned to their consoles. “It looks like a distress call coming from the Koralis system. I can’t pinpoint the exact location. There seems to be some odd, magnetic interference. I’m trying to compensate now.” Dirnick’s fingers danced across his panel as he tried to get the location of the distress call. “It looks like Koralis IV. The distress signal only says that a science team is in danger. There are no other details. We had better go and lend aid, and I vote we have the Klingon help too.”

“Yes sir. Sounds like a plan to me.” Lorne adjusted the heading of the runabout for the planet’s surface.

As you guide the runabout toward the planet’s surface, you are caught in a violent ion storm that knocks out navigation and other systems. With systems failing and the planet’s surface rising quickly toward you, the situation is grim.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Landing the Runabout
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Conn officer (Lorne): Daring or Control + Conn.
~ Ops officer (Dirnick): Assist against Control + Engineering (to help keep the systems up and running), or against Reason + Science (to locate the best place to land).

A violent wave of magnetic energy from an ion storm strikes the runabout, knocking out navigation. Lorne frantically tries to adjust sensors. “Sir, navigation is down. I’m flying blind! Doesn’t look like I can get those systems back online from here.”

“Turn the forward view screen on and try to land by sight. I’ll see if I can get enough out my sensors over here to find a suitable landing location. Most of my sensors are out, but I’ve got a few echo location tricks to try. They were super effective against the Maquis.” Dirnick explained as his fingers gracefully and quickly found the buttons they sought.

The runabout was closing in on the planet’s surface, far enough ahead of the ion storm, but still dangerously fast and without major navigation systems. Without the internal stabilizers in place, the runabout jolted and jerked through the atmosphere, causing the crew and passenger to be jerked about.

K’orvo was thrown into the floor of the runabout, almost falling into a weapons locker. “You fly like a child learning to wield a bat’leth! What is the problem up there? Do you need a warrior to take over the consoles and instruct you on how to fly?”

“Not now, K’orvo! We lost systems thanks to a rogue ion storm.” Dirnick yelled back. “Lieutenant Lorne, I found a location. Sending the coordinates to you now, if you can use them.”

“Based off where we were and where I think we are now, I think I see your landing spot. Looks like a clearing, but it’s awful close to a ravine. I can see it on the view screen from here. Not sure if the ground’s stable, sir.” Lorne questioned the choice for a landing spot, but was still guiding the runabout in that direction.

“There may be a ravine near it, but it looks like there are smaller surface cracks further down. I think the ground will be fine, just don’t set her down too rough.” Dirnick said cautiously. “Unless you see a better location, which I don’t, I suggest you land as close as you can to those coordinates.”

“Yes sir. Brace for impact, just in case!” Lorne called out. The runabout was coming in quickly, but at just the right angle to slide across the planet’s surface, for a softer landing than what was anticipated. There were sparks and flashes erupting from various consoles and panels on the runabout as they landed. Smoke billowed from several vents in the ceiling. K’orvo had been flung halfway across the runabout on the landing, but no major injuries were apparent.

Game Mechanics: Lorne was successful with Daring + Conn and Dirnick was successful on the assist with Reason + Science.

The runabout was heavily damaged. A quick look over the systems tells you that the potential for repairs is high, so long as a few replacement parts can be acquired.

“Well isn’t this just great.” K’orvo was picking himself up off the floor of the runabout, again. “All I wanted was some time away, on DS9. I didn’t ask to get drawn into some half baked Starfleet rescue mission. Fools, both of you.”

“Quiet down, old man. The ion storm never showed on our sensors. We’ll get us and the scientist out of here in no time.” Lorne made a dismissing gesture at K’orvo, who huffed back at him and sat back down in his seat. “Sir, looks like most of the damaged systems can be easily replaced, if we find suitable replacement parts. There are very few, if any, of the essential systems that can be repaired to working order as they are.”

“Well, the science outpost should have parts we can use, or at least maybe some parts that we can make work in place of the replace parts. We have to investigate what the distress call was about anyway.” Dirnick went to the weapons locker and pulled out several type two phasers. He put one in his phaser holster and gave Lorne and K’orvo their own phasers. He passed out tricorders and grabbed a med kit. “We should be as quick as possible. We don’t know what could be lurking on this planet and that approaching ion storm could trap us here if it gets too intense.”

“Do I have a choice in this? I don’t see why you need me to go along.” K’orvo grumbled.

“Oh, come on. You don’t seriously want to stay in the shuttle do you?” Lorne sighed. “I know I wouldn’t. I’d rather be doing something constructive.”

“Fine. You two are in need of someone who knows what they’re doing. I’m the Klingon for the job. Let’s go save you’re weak Federation scientists then.” K’orvo and Lorne approached the back hatch of the runabout with Dirnick close behind. They opened the hatch to reveal a slightly windy and static-charged atmosphere.

As you exit the damaged runabout to survey the surroundings, you hear strange grunts and shrieks. A group of strange neanderthal humanoids surrounds the runabout. They throw rocks and lope towards you, raising large branches threateningly above their heads. All of these primitive looking creatures appear to be wearing tattered remnants of Federation issued science uniforms, and it appears that one of the creatures wields a phaser. It doesn’t appear that the creature knows how to fire it accurately… yet.

Game Mechanic – Combat
~ Four Neanderthals (one wielding a phaser type one).
~ Three Zones: Inside the Runabout, around the runabout, and the forest. (Note, the runabout grants Cover of 4 Challenge Dice and the forest grants Cover of 2 Challenge Dice.)

As the hatch opens and the crew and K’orvo see the neanderthals loping towards them, they duck behind the sides of the hatch opening and prepare to fire at the oncoming threat.

Dirnick calls out, “Don’t kill them! They look like Federation citizens. They’re wearing uniforms. Something isn’t right here and I need them alive.”

“Yes sir, Lieutenant Commander!” Lorne checks his phaser to be sure it’s on the stun setting and a wide beam, and fires in the direction of several of the creatures. The beam hits two of them, barely stunning them. They seem to shake it off and continue their advancement towards the runabout.

“Honorless beasts. There is no honor in defeating such foes! They’re obviously inferior in intelligence.” K’orvo had his hand extended, pointing at the creatures and was looking back at Dirnick, when one of the creatures caught him by surprise. K’orvo was struck in the chest with a club and knocked off his feet. “Blasted creatures. I’ll help you find your way to Gre’thor! The Barge of the Dead awaits you!”

“K’orvo! Don’t kill them!” Dirnick called out as he fired a phaser blast just over K’orvo, who was still trying to get up off the floor of the runabout. The phaser blast hit one of the creatures and it collapsed unconscious.

The creature that wielded the phaser was mimicking Dirnick and Lorne’s actions when the phaser went off. A stroke of bad luck occurred and Lorne was struck in the chest by the blast. Dirnick and K’orvo struck down two of the remaining creatures in time to see Lorne stand back up, with just a slight burn on his uniform.

“By the prophets, if that had been anything other than the lowest setting, I’d likely have been done for! We need to get that phaser away from him before he really hurts us or himself!” Lorne brushed some of the char off his uniform and aimed at the creature with the phaser. The creature, unaware of what was coming, looked like it was going to attempt to fire his phaser again. Lorne’s phaser blast struck creature and it collapsed to the ground.

“Oh my. That was not pleasant at all. It appears that this could be a much more dangerous situation than we anticipated. We have to get to the science outpost and find out what’s going.” Dirnick explained as he rifled through the med kit. “Here, Lorne, this will help with any phaser burn you may have.” Dirnick administered a quick shot from a hypospray.

Dirnick inspected the unconscious creatures more closely for a few minutes and made a discovery. “Oh my! My examination of these creatures has confirmed that they are genetically identical to Humans, but their genes have regressed. I’m not certain what caused this and I hope it doesn’t affect any of us. This is most unpleasant to see.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task:
Examining the Neanderthals
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Science or Medicine
~ Success reveals they’re Humans with regressing genes (Dirnick used Reason + Science and succeeded).

“Sir, we should restrain these four and lock them in the runabout until we can return. If they really are Federation or Starfleet, then we’ll need them safe and alive.” Lorne searched the weapon lockers for restraints. “We can put a force field up in the passenger cabin so they don’t access the control cabin.”

“Lieutenant, do you know that old Earth saying, ‘Great minds think alike’?” Dirnick asked as he began administering something in a hypospray to the creatures.

“No sir, never heard it. Are you implying that we both have great minds? Or are you saying we had the same idea?” Lorne applied the restraints and moved the unconscious creatures into the passenger cabin of the runabout, with the help of K’orvo.

“Kahless save us if the two of you think you’re minds are ‘great’.” K’orvo grumbled.

“Well, Lieutenant, I was simply implying that we had the same thought process. I’ve administered a sedative to keep them sleeping for several hours. Should give us time to get the outpost and back before they begin to stir.” Dirnick administered the final hypospray and the trio closed the runabout.

Game Mechanics
~ Task:
Making a Sedative for the Neanderthals

~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Medicine
~ Success grants the use of a sedative that last for a few hours (Dirnick used Reason + Medicine and succeeded).

The science outpost could be seen a few kilometers away, atop a rocky bluff. The trio set off to find out what happened to the scientists, where the neanderthals came from, and to find some spare parts so they can leave this planet before the ion storm hits in full force.

End Scene One

Commercial break!
We’ll be right back with more scenes to this adventure!

Qapla’!