Posts Tagged ‘Roleplaying Game’

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’!

 

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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’!

 

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’!