Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek Adventures’

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and Roleplaying Game Fans!

 

This is the latest session from our adventures in the Star Trek Adventures RPG (by Modiphius). Whenever you see text in this reddish brown color, that was what was read to the players. I’ve also included Game Mechanic elements so that others can incorporate it into their games if they want to. Any GM notes are in this bright blue color.

Previous Episodes and Sessions:
Previously on Star Trek Adventures (Kage Hoshi Division):

The crew helped the Ocampa recover their stolen generator parts and rescue their people that had been captured. The Ocampa repaid them with plenty of plants for their journey home. The crew was able to convince the Kazon-Ogla to move on to another planet and leave the Ocampa in peace. Will they uphold their end of the deal or give the crew more trouble? The crew must mine for materials on the asteroids around Ocampa, but can they do it safely?

And now, the conclusion…

Episode Two: Find Your Bearings (Part 3 – Conclusion)
ACT THREE: Scene One – On the Rocks

Back on the ship, the crew is arranging one of the empty cargo areas into a temporary aeroponics bay in order to acclimate the new plants to their new environment. The crew’s next assignment is to pilot a shuttle around the asteroids and mine Dilithium and Duranium for the ship’s supplies. It’s not possible for the transporters to beam the material out of the surrounding rock and all attempts have ended in failure. A manned shuttle must be sent into the asteroid field with a crew to mine the material. The mining crew must work quickly to get as much as possible from each asteroid. The asteroids are rotating while in orbit around Ocampa and it’s not safe to mine from the surface while the asteroid is facing this system’s Sun.

Aboard the Mulgrew, the crew is working on arranging one of the empty cargo bays into a temporary aeroponics bay for the plants that the Ocampa gave them. Dirnick is overseeing the team and working on a more permanent solution.

K’orvo is in the situation room discussing the mining operation with M’Kora, Cross, Zynes, and Zylas.

“I still don’t see why I need to be there. If any of that debris smashes into us, we’re dead. There’s no amount of Latinum that can fix being dead.” Doctor Zylas shrugs. He’s wearing a stark white uniform instead of the traditionally flamboyant Ferengi clothing he usually wears.

“Because, Doctor Zylas, when you signed up to be part of this crew, you agreed to follow my rules and do as I ask. I told you that you would also be expected to assist in any away mission I think your expertise would be a valuable asset. I believe that medical personnel will be an asset in this situation. It’s not just about the flying debris. There is a potential radiation threat too. I think you should be there just in case someone is exposed to too much radiation.” M’Kora says as she studies his coat. “What’s with the vintage uniform?”

“Like it? I found the pattern in the replicator. I think it’s from the late 2250’s. I thought it was time for a change of wardrobe.” Zylas smiles a wide smile, revealing his abnormally flat teeth.

“Stop using the replicators for unnecessary things. We need to preserve energy.” M’Kora sighs and turns to K’orvo. “I would like you to stay here and oversee the building of the refinery. Here’s a list of personnel that I’d like you to use for this project. There are some tension issues that I’d like you to keep an eye on. They’re noted next to the names.”

“Aye, Captain. I will round up the selected personnel and begin the work immediately.” K’orvo acknowledges the assignment and leaves the room.

“Now, Lieutenant Zynes, you are in charge of this away team. I want my best pilot chauffeuring our mining crew around.” M’Kora nods at Zynes and his antenna straighten at the compliment.

“Aye, Captain. I won’t keep them out after curfew.” Zynes acknowledges.

“Wait. You said mining crew? I’m a doctor, not a manual laborer!” Zylas exclaims as he jumps up from his chair. “Surely, you meant ‘mining crew and Doctor Zylas’?”

“You are there to assist in the scientific portion. Ensign Cross will do most, if not all, of the plasma cutting.” M’Kora cuts a sharp look toward Zylas, who in turn, squeaks and sits back down. “I have confidence in your scientific abilities. Lieutenant Commander Dirnick and most of the science team is occupied with another project that can’t be put on hold. You are the next most qualified to operate the science equipment.”

“Yes, captain. I understand.” Zylas looks down and says to himself, “Doesn’t mean I like it though.”

“Captain, I would like to attempt to chart the asteroids movements, if it’s possible. That will help us pick the best target to mine and time the rotation as well.” Zynes says, looking at an orbital chart of Ocampa’s moons.

“Good idea, Lieutenant. Take the doctor with you. Ensign Cross, you should get started loading the shuttle.” M’Kora looks around briefly for any objections and when she doesn’t see any, she dismisses the team. “You’re all dismissed. Good luck out there.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Chart Hazard (Optional)
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Reason + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Conn

Success: Reduce the difficulty to pilot around the asteroids in this zone by two. Navigator can spend two Momentum to extend the navigation to another adjacent zone.

As you chart the area of asteroids, you are able to determine their rotations and trajectories, making it much easier for the pilot to navigate around them.

The space around the asteroids is littered with rocky debris, some pieces large enough that they could do serious damage to the shuttle or crush a humanoid body into goo. Navigating them will take some time, skill, and a little ingenuity.

“Lieutenant, are you sure you can fly us through this mess?” Zylas asks as he stares, shivering, at the shuttle’s small view screen.

“I don’t call him Ace for no reason, Doc.” Cross chimes in from the engineering station behind Zynes. “I suspect he’s the best pilot in all of Starfleet.”

“I’m not the best, but I’m close to it. Don’t worry Doctor Zylas. This is similar to the entry level simulations at the academy. I aced those while blindfolded, on a dare.”

“Well, keep your blindfold packed away for the time being.” Zylas sighs nervously.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Piloting and Landing
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Daring + Conn, Control + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Engines + Conn

Success: The shuttle lands with a jolt, as the light from this system’s sun is fading over the horizon of the asteroid. The crew that’s mining must get to work immediately and not waste a moment to gather as much material as they can. The Dilithium crystals are fragile and need careful handling while the Duranium has unusually harmful radiation emanating from it. Once the materials are brought up to the surface, they must be put into hazardous material containers and secured on the shuttle. Once the materials are back on the Mulgrew, they can be properly decontaminated and stored.

As the shuttle comes to a landing, there is a sharp jolt, almost knocking Zylas from his seat. “What in the name of the Grand Nagus was that?! Are we blowing up?! Shouldn’t there be a red alert?!”

“Keep your lobes in place. It was just a little turbulence on landing caused by the asteroid’s rotation. Nothing to panic about.” Zynes rolls his eyes at Zylas.

Zylas struggles to put the EV suit helmet on over his ears and Cross snickers a little to himself. Once he’s suited up, he gathers his supplies and pulls out a tricoder. He gives Cross an irritated look and sighs, “Ready, Ensign?”

Cross gives Zylas a very concerned look through his own EV suit’s helmet, “Not really, Doc. But it has to get done and we’re the men for the job!”

“Gross. You’re optimism is sickening. Rule of Acquisition, number… ummm.. something: Don’t be too optimistic. Optimism makes Latinum larger than it appears.” Zylas shakes his head at Cross and watches as Cross struggles and wrestles with the plasma cutter. Zylas winces at Cross and asks him, “Are you sure you can manage?”

“Sure can, Doc. You just operate that whats-it and tell me where to point and shoot.” Cross says as he continues to struggle with the bulky, rifle looking piece of equipment. “And I’ve never heard that Rule of Acquisition before. Are you sure it’s…”

“Don’t question me on the Rules of Acquisition! I’m a Ferengi! Now, let’s go!” Zylas waddles up behind Cross into a decompression area.

Zylas and Cross approach the rear of the shuttle and a force field buzzes to life behind them. The two look at the timer displays on the inside of their helmets one last time before decompressing the rear section and opening the rear hatch. Zylas and Cross step out onto the rocky surface of the asteroid. The light from the crews’ SIMs beacons cut through the darkness, revealing the treacherous surface before them.

“Be careful out there. I’ll leave the hatch open. Your timers should be synced to the shuttle’s timer, so keep a close eye on your time.” Zynes says as the two make their way across the asteroid’s surface.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Timed Task: Mining
~ Time Intervals: 10
~ Time per Task:
2

~ Work Track: 8
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Resistance: 2
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Daring + Engineering, Fitness + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

Success/Fail: An alert sounds on the crews’ suits and in the shuttle, letting them know that they need to secure the gathered materials before the sun’s harmful rays peak over the asteroid’s edge.

Succeeding on this task means that the crew gathers a large amount of material. Failure means they gather a minimal amount and they need to try a different asteroid. The crew needs one successful attempt to acquire enough materials for the ship’s stores.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Securing the Spoils
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Control + Science, Daring + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

“Here’s a deposit that’s close to the surface, Ensign.” Zylas points to a spot on the ground where a small, shiny crystal form is peaking through the surface. “Looks like a much larger deposit of Dilithium than the last one. I’ll try to find more Duranium and then we should have enough for this trip.”

“Aye, Doc. Now all I need to do is adjust this nobby thing here so it doesn’t damage the crystals and…” Cross continues to talk to himself as Zylas moves off towards what appears to be a large Duranium deposit.

“I can’t believe there isn’t a single thing worth even a slip of Latinum on this blasted asteroid, besides Dilithium and Duranium. But I can’t make off with any of that. Someone will definitely find out.” Zylas grumbles to himself as he continues to scan the surface for other valuable materials. Zylas engages the two-way comm with Cross and asks, “Have you finished mining that Dilithium yet? I found a Duranium deposit.”

“Sure have, Doc! I’m on my way to you.” Cross answers back. “We should probably start securing the materials we’ve extracted. Our timer is running low and we want to be sure we get this load back on time, wouldn’t you agree, Doc?”

“I’ll start on that while you finish mining this deposit.” Zylas says as he bounces away from Cross.

A short time later, an alert sounds on both of the crew’s suits and Zynes calls to the two over their comms, “You two okay out there? I can put on a suit and help if you need me.”

“We’re just fine, Lieutenant. We’ve almost finished gathering all the mined materials. We should be back at the shuttle in plenty of time.” Zylas responds. And just as Zylas predicted, the two are back aboard the shuttle with a large haul of materials.

“We make a pretty good team. I think we should come back out after we drop off this load and get more.” Zynes says, with a twinkle and a look of pride in his eyes.

“Speak for yourself, Lieutenant. This was way more manual labor than I’m used to.” Zylas complains as he takes his seat on the shuttle.

“Ignore his grumbling, Ace. Doc’s just sour because he didn’t find any trinkets to swipe and sell later.” Zylas cuts Cross an angry look and snorts. “See there? He didn’t deny it! I knew that’s why you kept sneaking off.”

The two snicker at Zylas as the shuttle returns to the Mulgrew to dock and unload.

As soon as the shuttle docks, the ship is rocked with phaser fire and a Red Alert has been issued.

Upon arrival to the bridge, the senior staff relieves the temporary staff. The captain hails the attacking Kazon ship and a grizzled looking Kazon answers the hail. “Captain, I am Captain Zendurk of the Kazon-Nistrim, and we are here to destroy you for your part in the murder of Maje Culluh.”

The crew can attempt to use Culluh as a bargaining chip.

“Culluh is not dead. He is in our brig.” K’orvo steps up to the viewscreen and addresses Zendurk. “His ship was exploding and we transported around 50 of his crew over to our ship, to safety. They acted out in hostility so we detained them. If you want Culluh and his crew, we can make arrangements.”

“Federation tricks! The Maje’s ship is destroyed and bodies were detected. You will pay for the murder of Maje Culluh!” Zendurk yells.

“I do not perpetrate deception! I am an honorable warrior and I do not participate in such dishonorable acts! Your Maje is safe aboard our ship.” K’orvo fires back at Zendurk.

“You are weak, hiding behind your Federation technology. You would not be able to achieve victory in face-to-face combat against a Kazon. That’s why you blew up Maje Culluh’s ship! You took advantage of his lack of technologically advanced weapons, like a coward!” Zendurk yells at the view screen with drops of spit flying from his mouth as he hurls insults at K’orvo.

“Meet me face-to-face and you will see just how much of a coward I am, you dishonorable…” K’orvo begins to defend himself but M’Kora cuts him off.

“Commander, stand down. We need to handle this in a diplomatic fashion.” M’Kora looks at K’orvo and sees the frustration in his face.

“Fine! You deal with this petaQ then! I am going to my quarters.” K’orvo storms off the bridge, punching the wall near the turbo lift as his exits.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Talking the Kazon Down
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Presence + Command, Reason + Command
~ Opposed Task: Insight + Command (15)
~ Maximum Attempts: 2

* GM Note* If the crew decides to send Culluh over to the Kazon ship, the fire fight will be instantly avoided.

Success: The Kazon have agreed to take Culluh and his crew off your hands. And because they were not mistreated, the Kazon have decided to take Cabrok and his subordinates off Ocampa and relocate them, whether they want to go or not.

“Computer, site to site transport – Maje Culluh from the brig to the bridge, immediately!” M’Kora calls the orders out to the computer and there is a twinkling and sparkling of energy to the left of her. Culluh materializes with a look of shock and surprise on his face. “Culluh, one of your ships is here, threatening to destroy us to avenge your death. Will you explain to them that you and most of your crew are very much alive?”

Culluh looks at the viewscreen and sees Captain Zendurk. Culluh smiles and says, “Zendurk, good to see the face of a subordinate I can trust. This ship rescued my crew from our ship before it exploded. And even though they’ve treated us all… well, I would very much like to get back to a Kazon ship.”

“How do I know you’re not some kind of Federation illusion?” Zendurk retorts.

“Zendurk, if you don’t get me and my crew safely off this ship, I will personally skin you alive and keep it as a trophy.” Culluh growls at Zendurk as he glares at him.

“Imagine if we had such a wonderful working relationship aboard the Mulgrew… I’m a bit jealous.” Dirnick says with a smirk, looking at Lorne. Lorne just sighs and continues to monitor the security reports coming in to his station.

“Culluh, we can transport you and your crew to Zendurk’s ship immediately. Lieutenant Lorne, prep our guests for transport. Ensign Cross, please go straight to the transporter room and prep the transporters for mass transport, at least ten at a time.” M’Kora orders and the officers acknowledge and immediately make their way to their assignments.

“Maje Culluh, we will greet you when you arrive. Apologies for the suspicions.” Zendurk bows and the viewscreen returns to a view of the Kazon ship floating in orbit around Ocampa.

M’Kora turns to Culluh and with a friendly tone, says, “Culluh, before you leave, there is a favor I would ask of you.”

“Well, since you kept your word and didn’t kill us all, I might try to do this favor for you. What’s the favor?” Culluh looks suspiciously at M’Kora.

“I would like for you to remove the Kazon-Ogla from Ocampa. I’m certain that is within your power.” M’Kora eyes Culluh.

Culluh lets out a long sigh and says, “I can do this. The Ogla and Nistrim are not allies. They will resist, but they’re much weaker than the Nistrim. I will tell them that the Federation asked us to collect them and take them to one of their ships.”

“Thank you. We will have ships entering this space very soon. It would be best if you collect them and leave quickly. The Federation sees the Kazon as a hostile entity and will likely meet you with aggressive caution.” M’Kora says, waiting to see if Culluh questions the validity of her claims.

“We want no war with the Federation. But we will find stronger technology and return to do battle with your Federation.” Culluh says as a team of security officers arrives and instructs Culluh to come with them.

ACT THREE: Scene Two – Single File, You Will Comply

There are Kazon being escorted to the transporter room in groups of ten by the ship’s security officers. The Kazon are very disgruntled and aren’t afraid to let everyone know. Even as they’re being transported to their sister ship, they show no appreciation or gratitude to the crew. Several of the Kazon attempt to start a fight with the security officers, but they are quickly subdued and carried to the transporter room.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Transport the 50 Kazon
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Control + Engineering
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Engineering
~ Must be done five times, 10 Kazon each transport.

“Step right up, folks!” Cross calls out to the Kazon as they enter the transporter room. Lorne is escorting groups with several of his security team.

While the Kazon are being transported off the ship, some of the other crew members are beginning work on the refinery for the Duranium. The crew is manually transporting the stored goods from one cargo bay to another and replicating materials for the refining machines when the senior staff arrives to assist in the construction of the equipment.

K’orvo has made his way back to his quarters and is resting his eyes for a moment. Zylas has returned to Sick Bay to check on some of the crew that were injured when the Mulgrew was thrown into the Delta Quadrant. Zynes is manning the helm and Dirnick has made his way to the cargo bay, in K’orvo’s place, where the refinery equipment is being put together and calibrated.

Dirnick looks over the equipment carefully and then calls to Cross over the comm. “Dirnick to Ensign Cross, I require your assistance in cargo bay three.”

“On my way, Lieutenant Commander.” Cross calls back and then looks to Lorne. “Could you take over for me here, Lieutenant?”

“It would be my pleasure.” Lorne looks sternly at the group being escorted into the transporter room. It doesn’t take Lorne much longer to transport the remaining Kazon off the ship and the Kazon ship warps away without any sign of appreciation or hostility.

A few moments after Cross leaves the transporter room, the doors to cargo bay three slide open and Cross comes hopping in. “I’m here, sir.”

“Excellent timing, Ensign. We need your expertise in engineering to help us finish constructing this refining equipment.” Dirnick points to a pile of primitive looking machinery.

“No problem! I’ll get right to it!” Cross immediately gets to work, pulling up large pieces of machinery with cogs and wires hanging from it, and then assembling them with ease.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Build Duranium Refinery
~ Work Track: 8
~ Magnitude: 2
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

“All done, sir!” Cross stands over the refinery equipment, looking at it with a sense of pride.

“Well done, Ensign. Now let’s begin cleaning up this Duranium.” Dirnick nods approvingly at Cross and then begins selecting his refining team.

The crew is about to begin scrubbing the abnormal radiation from the Duranium when a proximity alert sounds and a red alert is issued. There are hundreds of voices, speaking in unison, coming across the ship’s communications system. It says, “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ship. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

K’orvo sits straight up in his bed, sweat pouring down his face, and he begins to shake at the sound of the Borg hail. Zylas is screaming and running around sickbay looking for valuables to grab.

The rest of the senior staff drops everything and rushes to the bridge. A red alert and call to battle stations goes out. Lorne and Zynes are already on the bridge when Dirnick and Cross enter through the turbo lift.

“Status report, Lieutenant Lorne.” M’Kora calls across the bridge.

The Kazon ship has already warped away and there is a Borg Sphere pulling the ship with a powerful tractor beam. The viewscreen has a sickly green glow from the light of the tractor beam and there is another alert sounding across the ship. The computer’s voice comes over the ship’s comm, “Intruder alert on decks 19, 20, and 24.” The ship has been pulled into the Borg sphere and is being boarded.

“The Kazon are long gone, and there is a Borg Sphere dropping out of warp directly ahead.” Lorne looks at his captain with a sense of dread on his face.

“Computer, open a ship-wide channel. Alright folks, this is it. We are alone and the Borg are here to assimilate us. We will most likely not make it out of this, but do not go down without a fight! That’s an order! Defend the ship and the crew to the last individual!” M’Kora reaches for her phaser and D’k tahg to ready herself for battle. The other bridge members put their phasers within reach and continue their attempts at fortifying the ship’s defenses.

“Intruder alert on decks 19, 20, and 24.” There is a pit in the stomach of every crew member aboard the Mulgrew when the computer alerts the crew of the intruders.

K’orvo is sitting in his darkened quarters on his bed with his disruptor trained on the door. He’s shaking and his breathing is erratic. Memories of assimilation and the reversal are flooding back to him as he waits for the door to his quarters to open.

Zylas bolts for the entrance to sickbay and then turns down the corridor towards the escape pods, screaming the entire time. His arms are so full of equipment, medicine, and other items that some items are falling to the ground as he runs. He doesn’t seem to notice the loss of any item until he drops a bar of Latinum. Only then does he grow silent and pause to retrieve it. Once he tucks it safely back into his pocket, he resumes screaming and continues his sprint towards the escape pods.

There is a sickening green glow as almost a dozen Borg drones beam onto the bridge. The crew immediately engage the drones with phasers set to rotating pulses. The Mulgrew jerks suddenly and Zynes looks to his console for answers.

“Captain, they’ve got a tractor beam on us! We’re being pulled into their ship!” Zynes calls to M’Kora.

“Someone try to break that beam! Try a feedback pulse!” M’Kora calls out as she blocks an attempted grapple from one of the drones.

Cross is approached by a drone who tries to inject him with assimilation tubules. Cross screams in a really high pitched tone and flails his hands at the drone. The unnatural response startles the drone for a brief moment but the drone decides to attempt to incapacitate Cross instead. The drone punches Cross, who squeaks at the pain, but Cross holds his ground at the console.

“Boss, I can’t stop the beam, but I can do this!” Cross activates a command on his console and every Borg on the bridge begins to twinkle and disappear in a flash of transporter light.

“Where are they, Ensign!?” M’Kora turns to Cross in anger, suspecting he beamed them somewhere else on the ship.

Cross points to the viewscreen and says, “There, boss.”

The viewscreen activates and there are almost a dozen frozen Borg drones floating in space, just outside the ship’s hull. There is a look of shock and surprise on the faces of the other bridge crew, but M’Kora steps up to Cross and places an approving hand on his shoulder.

“Good work, Ensign. Now, let’s take back our ship!” M’Kora says and the rest of the bridge crew rally to her call.

Borg Drone (Minor NPC) – Core Book, pg 322

The crew does everything they can to repel the boarders, fighting them off the best they can. The fight does not end without casualties on both sides. The ship has been pulled into the Borg Sphere by the Sphere’s tractor beam. The fight isn’t over before the ship is rocked by explosions coming from inside the sphere, all around the ship. Lights and panels begin to flicker and dim. Emergency lighting is on but the ship’s internal atmosphere feels off. The air feels lighter and each step takes less effort. Sweat beads off your forehead but doesn’t drop to the floor; it instead floats away from you towards the wall. Everything is starting to feel like it’s moving in slow motion, when the ship is jostled once more and gravity returns to normal.

On the bridge, there is a hail coming in, but it’s audio only. You can hear the voice of a woman calling the ship, but there’s a lot of distortion. You can barely make out what she’s saying and all you can hear is, “This is *static* Janeway. Can you hear me? *static* Please respond.”

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

“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’!

Next Time:
Episode Three: – (TBD)

GM Notes

I added some increased complication ranges to some of the tasks in this after their last session. I did not add it to the base adventure though because I feel like it’s a situational thing that relates specifically to my players. It definitely added some pressure and the fear of potential failure. It scared them enough to spend their Momentum more often, and while they didn’t fail, they did create some complications and generate threat for me to use later.

Show Your Support!

I haven’t heard one way or the other if Modiphius is planning to attend Origins Game Fair this year (2019). Modiphius has something special in the 2D20 system and I think it needs proper representation at Origins. I know they were at GenCon, but many of us can’t go to a convention that size or that expensive. For me, it’s more about the size than the cost. I want to put this out on all channels – Show Modiphius you love their games! Ask them to attend Origins so they know it’s not just me poking at them about it. Even if you’re not planning to attend Origins (which you should), go ahead and let them know what it means to you as a fan and customer, to see them with representation at multiple US conventions!

You can find them here:
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Don’t forget to follow Origins as well!
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Thanks, as always for reading my ramblings and also for your support. Tune in next time, for the beginning of episode three.

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Greetings Fellow Star Trek and Roleplaying Game Fans!

 

This is the latest session from our adventures in the Star Trek Adventures RPG (by Modiphius). Whenever you see text in this reddish brown color, that was what was read to the players. I’ve also included Game Mechanic elements so that others can incorporate it into their games if they want to. Any GM notes are in this bright blue color.

Previous Episodes and Sessions:
Previously on Star Trek Adventures (Kage Hoshi Division):

The U.S.S. Mulgrew arrived at Ocampa and found that there was a substantial amount of interference that prevented them from getting accurate readings from the ship’s sensors.  There were two away teams assembled, one to stay below the mesosphere and relay messages to the Mulgrew, and the other to investigate the planet and its inhabitants. General K’orvo, Lieutenant Commander Dirnick, and Lieutenant Lorne were almost ambushed by a group of hostile Kazon-Ogla. They weren’t willing to negotiate for the Kazon-Nistrim and a firefight erupted. The crew subdued and detained the hostiles in their shuttle and sent Trenack, the Kazon-Nistrim, with Lieutenant Zhang on the second shuttle.

And now, the continuation…

Episode Two: Find Your Bearings (Part 2)
ACT ONE: Scene Two – Beauty Beneath the Surface

(If the players failed the previous scanning task, they may attempt it again. If they passed, they may review their findings)

Once the crew has successfully subdued and secured the attackers, they are able to fix the shuttle doors and secure the shuttle from potential scavengers. The crew looks over their scans once more. The caves that they detected are located a short distance away, but they run deep underground with winding tunnels and areas that the tricorders can’t get readings for. The crew picks up an opening on their scans, just on the other side of the large rock formation that the Kazon were hiding behind. The opening leads beneath the surface and into one of the tunnels. There are very faint readings of plant life and moisture throughout that tunnel, as well as a fluctuating life sign that’s not Kazon and could be in distress.

“Commander, I’m reading a life sign that may be in distress. It looks like we have to traverse a short distance into this opening to reach it.” Dirnick looks at K’orvo to gauge his potential response before continuing. When he doesn’t detect a hard resistance from K’orvo, he continues, “Starfleet protocols require that we lend aid to those that ask for it. Also, these life signs are not Kazon. It’s possible I could be reading an Ocampa life sign.”

“Well, whoever it is did not request aid, but in the interests of the mission, I think we should investigate. Can we safely navigate the tunnels to get to the being?” K’orvo asks Dirnick.

“I believe so, sir. There appear to be hazardous spots, but it’s very difficult to get accurate readings for the terrain below the surface from here. Not sure what’s causing it, but there is some minor interference.” Dirnick says, studying his scans.

“Gather the minimum amount of supplies we might need and let us venture into the tunnels to find this life sign then.” K’orvo sighs as Dirnick signals to Lorne and the trio prepares to venture beneath the surface.

The crew makes their way to the underground entrance and they can easily see the path that lies ahead is treacherous. The walls are rough and the floor is loose dirt. The tunnels do not look like they were created with precision or planning, more like they were dug out with crude tools. The rock is dark in color with hues of purple and burgundy splashed in. There are chunks of wall missing in several locations, like someone dug something out of the wall. The tunnels resemble a crude mining operation. There are no places to hang lights on the walls and there are no ceiling supports either. If this had been a mining operation at one time, it was not very well planned or executed. The crew must take care and not misstep.

“Commander, these tunnels are quite dangerous. My scans were accurate for the upper levels, but if go too deep, we could find ourselves injured if we don’t take care where we step.” Dirnick says, looking at K’orvo. The light from the surface peeks through a few cracks in the ceiling, as the dust they disturbed upon entering the area drifts lazily through the beams of light.

K’orvo surveys his surroundings and turns to Lorne, “Do you think you can safely navigate us through the tunnels? Your past experiences could prove useful here. Bajoran resistance fighters often used caves to hide in, correct?”

“Aye, Commander. I know how to read the terrain. Every planet is different, but some things never change. I can get us safely to the lower tunnels.” Lorne takes the lead, stirring up more dust with every step. The upper levels are easy enough to traverse, but once the crew begins to descend, they find that one small slip could easily leave them injured or worse. Lorne steadies himself and guides the other two around the dangers.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Timed Task: Navigate the Tunnels
~ Time Intervals: 14 (1 Per Attempt)
~ Work Track:
12

~ Magnitude: 3
~ Resistance: 2
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Fitness + Command
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

The lower paths are indeed treacherous have many pitfalls and loose rocks that could easily cause someone to fall to their death, or at the very least, a life threatening injury. The walls are damp and a type of moss can be found clinging and hanging in the moistest areas. As the crew travels the tunnels, light from the surface peeks through cracks and crevices in the ceiling of the tunnels. Once the crew gets far enough beneath the surface, there is no more natural light and the crew must use their SIMs beacons. As the light from the crews’ beacons pass over patches of moss, the moss emits a faint blue glow for a brief time and then the light fades.

“Oh! That’s fascinating! Commander, if I may have a moment, I’d like to take some readings of this mossy substance.” Dirnick is already pulling out his tricorder before K’orvo has a chance to respond.

“Make it quick, Lieutenant Commander. We may be on stable ground for the moment, but I do not wish to linger here longer than is necessary.” K’orvo glances around with a look of concern on his face.

“All done! I just needed a moment. Thank you, Commander.” Dirnick holds up his tricorder to check the readings of the being he registered earlier.

The crew notices that the life sign they detected has begun to move slowly and deeper into the tunnels. The crew carefully works their way through the tunnels and caverns until they finally catch up to the life sign. The crew rounds a divide in the tunnel to find a woman sitting on a rocky, flat protrusion. She’s startled and jumps up from where she was sitting. As she tries to run away from the crew, they notice an obvious limp. The crew calls to her but she only glances back, without stopping. She doesn’t get far down the tunnel before she trips and falls.

“Commander, the life sign is moving slowly, but deeper into the tunnels. We should catch up to it any moment.” Dirnick points out as they approach a divide in the tunnel. They move around it to find that the life sign is an almost human looking woman with ridged extensions on the tips of her ears. When she sees the dark figures of the crew, she jumps up from the rock she’s sitting on and tries to run away.

“Miss! Wait! We won’t hurt you!” Lorne calls out, but the woman is limping further down the tunnel. She glances back for a moment, which causes her to trip and fall. Lorne and Dirnick cautiously approach her and attempt to calm her down. Lorne holds his hands up so she can see that he isn’t pointing any weapons at her. “We just want to help. We noticed you were limping. Is everything okay?”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Calm the Woman
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Insight + Command
~ Player Assist: Presence + Security
~ Opposed Task: Insight + Security

When the crew calms the woman down, they are able to get a quick scan of her leg and discovery the limp is caused by a minor sprain. The sprain is easily corrected with an osteogenic stimulator from a medkit or a dermal regenerator from a standard emergency kit. Once the crew has healed the woman’s ankle, she opens up a little more about who she is and her people.

“You should be good as new, but I would rest that leg when you get home.” Dirnick smiles quaintly at the woman as he finishes mending her injury.

“My name is Lorne, this is Dirnick, and that’s our commanding officer, K’orvo.” Lorne introduces everyone and the woman seems to be more at ease after getting a good look at the crew.

“My name is Tyla and my species is called the Ocampa. We’ve lived here on this planet for over 500 generations. Our planet used to be a beautiful place until “The Warming” happened. Bodies of water evaporated and the rains never fell again. Since then, the Caretaker had always provided for us, but he’s not now. My people learned how to develop a sustainable power generator that uses cormaline as fuel. We built it about a year ago, with the help of a human from the Alpha Quadrant. He was a crewmember of a Federation ship, called Voyager. I didn’t recognize your uniforms in the dark and that’s why I ran. The Kazon, who are brutal and war hungry, discovered that we had developed our engineering skills and they began attacking us. My people are in great danger from the Kazon. The generators that power our force field and all the systems in our society are failing. I was on a mission to recover parts that were stolen from us, but I’ve failed. Without those parts, or a way to repair the broken temporary ones, our force field will fail and the Kazon will invade my home and enslave my people.”

If the crew are worried about the Prime Directive, remind them of this; the Ocampa have a unique culture but they’ve already been assisted by a member of Voyager’s crew. Helping them now wouldn’t be in violation of the Prime Directive.

“If you will let us, we can accompany you on your way back, Tyla. We can take a look at the generators to see if we can assist you.” K’orvo says as Tyla stands up and brushes the dirt from her pants.

“I’m sure the Elders would appreciate any help, especially from Federation people.” Tyla says and motions for the crew to follow her. “This way.”

The crew will hopefully decide to help Tyla and the Ocampa repair their generators. Tyla can guide the crew through the rest of the tunnels with no trouble. Suddenly, they reach a dead end.

The crew follows Tyla through several tunnels, some of which look almost impassible but the dangerous spots are easily maneuvered with her help.

“Scouts, like myself, know every inch of every tunnel. We scout for potential new tunnels and new entrance locations too. We move our surface entrances often, so the Kazon have a harder time finding them.” Tyla explains as she helps the crew across a crack in the ground, big enough to trip over, but small enough to miss in the dark. “We don’t want to live on the surface, but it’s a place that’s rich with our culture’s archaeological history that we want to explore. It’s not much further now.”

The crew follows her until they approach a dead end in the tunnel. Dirnick instinctively scans the area, but his scans do not yield any significant results. “Excuse me, Tyla, but have lost your way home?”

“Don’t worry; it’s just the illusion of a dead end to hide the entrance.” Tyla touches a spot on the wall to her left and a panel opens up. She taps several buttons on what looks like an LCARS panel and the image of the wall begins to pixelate and fade away. There is now a wall of energy where the dead end once was, and the crew can easily see beyond the yellow glow of the energy field. The tunnel continues and not far from where the crew is standing, the rough walls become smoothly formed walls. The floor transitions from dirt to what appears to be a metal plating of some kind. “There are very few access tunnels that are safe to use, so we have to protect them in any way we can. These entrances can’t be moved. The energy signature of the force field is masked so the Kazon can’t detect it. Their scanners should show a magnetic fluctuation, which would deter them from trying to progress beyond the dead end. Cormaline is not magnetic and any cormaline that’s exposed to a magnetic field will change the composition of the mineral, making it worthless. Since the Kazon’s main interest is in the cormaline deposits, this is the best solution we’ve been able to come up with.”

Tyla smiles and presses a few more buttons on the panel. The force field dissipates allowing the crew to pass through the entrance. Once crew is on the other side of the force field markers, Tyla closes the panel and steps across the markers to stand near the crew. She touches another spot on the wall and different panel that’s almost identical to the other panel opens. She inputs several commands and the force field initializes, but the wall doesn’t appear to be visible from this side.

Dirnick watches with intense curiosity, memorizing her hand movements. Lorne steps up to the force field and looks into the tunnel that they just came from. “Is this some sort of two way mirror?”

“This is something we learned how to do on our own. The dead end wall appears normally on the other side of the force field, but we’re able to see through it from this side. We can see potential threats before they see us.” Tyla smiles and motions for the crew to follow her down the hallway.

“Sneaky and resourceful. The Kazon should be thankful that you and your people are a peaceful race.” K’orvo compliments Tyla and she smiles.

The crew follows her as she leads them down a long hallway. There appear to be several retracted bulkhead doors installed in the hallway. It appears that the Ocampa have been reinforcing their home in such a way that they could repel any Kazon invaders. The crew can easily assume that the generators power these doors and all the other safeguarding systems, so without the generators, the Ocampa will be at the mercy of the Kazon.

“It seems you have some serious security measures already in place.” Lorne says as they continue down the hallway.

“We can remotely close these doors, but we need the generators to power them. If we close the doors, we won’t likely open them again and they’re made to withstand any phase pistol the Kazon have. We can also collapse the hallway, rendering it completely useless.” Tyla says with a grim tone.

“I take it that’s a last resort though?” Lorne asks.

“If the Kazon make it beyond the fake wall, the doors are here to prevent them from advancing. When we clear them out of the tunnel, we collapse the ceiling rendering the tunnel unusable.” Tyla doesn’t seem to want like talking about this particular subject.

When the crew and Tyla reach the end of the hallway, it opens up to a great cavernous area that has artificial sunlight beaming down onto miles of city-scape. The architecture of the buildings looks as though it was inspired by the ancient Romans, with domed roofs and massive columns on almost every building. The roads and walkways are very rigid and sharp in appearance with hard angles and no curves, much different than the look of the buildings. Accents of what appears similar to bronze and gold metallic decorations adorn the buildings and walkways. There is a sparkling river calmly flowing down the center of the cavern, from one end to the other. Hanging over the river, at various locations, are planting boxes for a variety of crops and other plant life. There are decorative trees and potted plants placed all around the city. It’s a vast difference from the world above the surface.

“This is my home. The Ocampa live here and wish to be left alone. We study art, literature, music, gardening, and a variety of other life enriching topics. We have no taste for conflict. Follow me and I’ll show you to the generators.” Tyla says as she motions for the crew to follow her.

Dirnick begins scanning the area and his curiosity gets the better of him, “I assume that the crops are not a necessity, but more of a hobby? And what of the river; is it naturally occurring? It’s so still, it’s almost like glass. I’m very interesting in your irrigation techniques as well.”

“Lieutenant Commander, you will have time to discuss plants later. We need to assess the situation with the generators first.” K’orvo says, almost cutting Dirnick off mid-sentence.

“Yes, sir. Sorry about that. I just find horticulture and botany to be of great interest. We may also need to incorporate some of their methods to use on the Mulgrew. We should think about saving energy by using the replicators less and eating fresh food when possible.” Dirnick says.

“I do not have any issue with your personal pursuits. I think it is a good idea, but let us complete our mission first.” K’orvo explains.

“We have replicators, but their main function is to replicate nutritional supplements when we need them. We mostly eat freshly grown food, right from our crop boxes. You will find them interesting. We would be more than happy to show you all of our botany and horticulture projects later, Mr. Dirnick. We’ve arrived at the generator building.”

You enter a large building, which isn’t a building at all. The building face is only for decorative purposes, as far as you can tell. When you walk through the doors, you enter a huge area that’s been roughly carved into the side of the cavern. It looks like they’re still working to smooth the walls, and the floors are mostly dirt with alloy floor panels surrounding massive pieces of machinery. They machines are making a steady humming sound, but every so often the power is interrupted and one of the machines shuts down. The moment it happens, one of the Ocampa monitoring the machines jumps up and quickly tinkers with some settings and changes out a part or two and the machine restarts and begins humming again.

“We have to use temporary stabilizers to keep the generators running. We never know when they’ll shut down, so we have to keep shifts of maintenance workers watching them non-stop. The parts the Kazon stole are too complex for us to replicate, and we’ve got technicians working on rebuilding them, but our parts just aren’t like the originals. They took all of the conversion sustainers from the machines. Now we have to manually swap the temporary sustainers, but that will only work for so long. We will eventually run out of the temporary sustainers and be left defenseless.” Tyla explains with a look of concern and fear on her face.

“They run by converting cormaline into energy. Just a pebble sized piece of cormaline can convert into enough energy to power the city for a month or more. The conversion sustainers make it possible for the machines to use the energy from the converted cormaline. The Kazon invaded our planet and want the cormaline to sell to other races for weapons most likely. If the Kazon mine it all, we’ll have to find another energy source or we’ll be taken as slaves of the Kazon.”

(If asked how the Kazon stole the parts, she hesitates to explain, but will if asked politely. She explains, “We were told that they wanted to extend their hand in peace. We allowed a ‘diplomatic’ party to join us in the city. We thought everything was working out and we were giving them a tour and then everything changed when we came to this room. As we led the party around one of the generators, the Kazon diplomats ambushed us and started to remove parts from the generators.”)

“So, how did the Kazon steal the parts in the first place?” Lorne crosses his arms and looks at Tyla with suspicion.

“We were told that they wanted to extend their hand in peace. We allowed a ‘diplomatic’ party to join us in the city. We thought everything was working out and we were giving them a tour and then everything changed when we came to this room. As we led the party around one of the generators, the Kazon diplomats ambushed us and started to remove the parts from the generators.” As Tyla explains what happened, two more of the generators malfunction and the technicians rush to repair them.

K’orvo sighs to himself and looks at the away team. “We need to get an engineer down here. I do not want either of you mucking about the machinery.”

“You’ll get no argument from me, Commander. I’m happy to avoid it if possible.” Dirnick says as he wipes his index finger across a flat surface on one of the machines. He rubs his thumb and index finger together and makes a disgusted face. “This equipment is somewhat primitive compared to our technology. I wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway.”

“Commander, what about Ensign Cross? Isn’t he more familiar with primitive technologies?” Lorne asks, as he studies some of the moving parts on the closest generator.

“K’orvo to Shuttle Spiner.” K’orvo waits for a few moments and when he doesn’t get a response, he tries to hail the shuttle again. “Lieutenant Zhang, respond.”

“You may not be able to communicate with your shuttle because of the interference field we have in place. We created it to make it more difficult for the Kazon to communicate with anyone on the surface. You’ll have to leave the tunnels to reach them.” Tyla explains as she assists one of the technicians with a different part on a nearby generator.

“Alright, we will all go back up to the surface and assess the situation.” K’orvo says. “They may have somewhat primitive technology compared to ours, but it can still disrupt our operations. That means the Kazon will also have a harder time. I feel confident in the Ocampan defenses, once their generators are fixed.”

“I definitely agree with you, Commander. I think our passive friends here can defend themselves adequately. The captain will be happy to hear it.” Dirnick says as Tyla rejoins the away team.

“We’ll guide you through the tunnels.” Tyla says and the group begins to make their way back towards the tunnels.

Once on the surface, the crew makes several personnel changes to better accommodate the current state of things. Lorne returns to the Mulgrew to monitor security for the Kazon-Nistrim aboard the ship and Cross ventures out to join the away team on the planet’s surface. Ensign Castle is assigned to monitor the Kazon-Ogla in Shuttle Dorn as well as keep a lookout for any signs of danger.

K’orvo, Cross, and Dirnick make their way to the tunnels. Once they have re-entered the tunnels, a crew of Ocampa begin collapsing the entrance and are making plans to open a new one nearby. The away team makes their way safely back to Ocampa with the aid of several scouts. When they enter the generator room, Cross’s eyes grow wide with excitement and he rushes to inspect the closest generator.

“Ah, yes, I see that this doomaflatchy here shouldn’t be acting this way. Oh, never thought to use this thingy-ma-jig in this manner, but it seems to be useful. If you were to swap the attachment here with this do-hicky, then it should increase the output by fifteen percent… maybe more if you add a what’s-it….” Cross’s thoughts and ideas uncontrollably spill from his mouth as he mumbles to himself and instantly jumps into the task at hand.

“Is he okay?” Tyla asks as she watches Cross skirt around the corners of the generators, pulling at wires and tubes.

“This is how he works. It’s… unconventional, to say the least. But he’s effective and efficient. Sometimes I wonder if it’s intentional or accidental.” Dirnick raises an eyebrow as he watches Cross trip over several components and then scold the pieces for getting in his way. Dirnick looks at Tyla with a smile and says, “But they say that genius and insanity go hand in hand.”

Tyla’s eyes grow wide as she now has a look of uncertainty about their choice of aid.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Engineer a Solution
~ Work Track: 8
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Maximum Attempts: 5
~ Base Difficulty: 3
~ Insight + Engineering, Reason + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Any Applicable Pairing with Explanation

You are able to successfully adapt the machinery and the temporary conversion stabilizers, but only enough that the Ocampa can now predict with extreme accuracy when they’ll need to replace them. You were also able to extend the life of the temporary stabilizers, but again, not enough to be a sustainable solution. The Ocampa need their parts back.

Cross finishes his work in a matter of minutes and walks back over to the rest of the away team. “Hey, um, so I kinda fixed the parts, but they really need the actual pieces back. I’m not sure how the others are made so I can’t duplicate them without having one in my hands.”

“We were just discussing the Kazon compound with Tyla. We figured we were going to need to get those components back, regardless of your success or failure. We can not leave technology like that in the hands of the Kazon.” K’orvo says as he studies the faces of the away team.

A male Ocampa walks in, just as you complete your task, and Tyla addresses him. “Elder Quim, these are officers from a Federation ship, just like the Voyager Federation ship. They’ve found a way to extend the life of the conversion stabilizers and also found a way to predict when they’ll fail. This will buy us the time and the manpower we need to get the main conversion stabilizers back.”

“This is good news. Thank you, Federation officers, for your help. We can help supply you with plants to help you grow food on your ship, but we have little else to offer. If you will excuse me, I need Tyla to accompany me. We must put together a rescue effort.” Elder Quim seems genuinely grateful, but also concerned.

(If the players ask who is in need of rescue, Quim does not hesitate to respond. If the players don’t ask, then Tyla will ask in front of the crew.)

“I’m sorry to impose, but if you don’t mind me asking, who is in need of rescue?” Dirnick asks coyly.

“The Kazon have captured our scouts. Only one of them returned, and he was badly injured. It seems that the Kazon are also to be credited for the community members that have gone missing over the past few weeks. Our people are presumed alive, but being held captive. We must try to assemble a rescue team with the people we have left, and also try to retrieve our stolen generator components if possible. The Kazon have become bold because of their new compound manager, Cabrok. If he thought we had powerful allies, it might discourage him the Kazon under his command. You have already done so much for us, but may I request your help in rescuing our people and putting a stop to the Kazon’s embolden attempts at locating the entrances to our home? Please, help us.” Elder Quim pleads with the crew, as the door flies open and wiry young boy bounces in.

The boy takes one look at the away team and his eyes grow wide with excitement when he sets his sights on the Starfleet comm badges the three are wearing. “Starfleet! Federation! The rumors are true! You’re really here! I’ve only heard tales about you! Are you real Starfleet?!”

“Why, yes, we are.” Dirnick begins to respond but the doors open once more as a young woman bursts in and sets her sights on the boy.

“Tus! I told you to stay away from here. Elder Quim, I’m so sorry for the disruption.” The woman says.

“It’s fine, Iriam. Tus, you should be in school right now.” Elder Quim looks at Tus as he scolds the young boy.

“I’m sorry, Elder Quim, but I’m almost two! I wanted to see them before they left. I may never get another chance!” Tus looks the away team over with excitement.

“Wait, did you say, two? As in, you’re only two years old?” Cross looks at the boy with disbelief.

“Ocampa age much more rapidly than other species. We mature by age four and we die around age ten or eleven. Tus is almost two and Iriam just turned five. I think the equivalent ages in human years would be around eight and twenty, respectively.” Tyla explains.

Dirnick pulls out a tricorder to scan Tus and Iriam. “This is quite extraordinary. Are the two of you related as well?”

“Yes, sir. Tus is my younger brother. Our parents have passed and I’m in charge of his care, but he makes it difficult when he doesn’t want to listen to me.” Iriam, standing behind Tus, squeezes her brothers shoulders and he gives an awkward smile.

“I can’t help it. It’s more fun to explore the surface than stay down here.” Tus says, as he stares curiously at Dirnick’s tricorder.

“Oh, I almost forgot! I found something!” Tus says excitedly. “I know where the Kazon have our people AND the generator parts!”

The away team, Elder Quim, Tyla, and Iriam all look at Tus with shock and surprise. But K’orvo is the one that speaks first. “Well, speak up boy! Where are they?”

Tus explains how he overheard one of the patrol guards at the compound discussing the captives and where they were being held as well as the new parts for their equipment. The crew realizes that they need to move quickly and recover the Ocampa prisoners and the components in one attempt. He also overheard them talking about a control room that contains all the controls for all the force fields and security protocols of the compound.

ACT TWO: Scene One – Forceful Diplomacy

Nightfall has come and the crew is scouting the outside the Kazon encampment where the Ocampa believe their people and stolen components are being kept. There are a few Ocampa with the crew: Tyla, Iriam, and Tus. They are crouched on a ridge just on the outskirts of the compound.

Cross stayed behind to study the generators more closely and Lorne returned from the Mulgrew to assist the away team with the upcoming mission.

The crew visually surveys the compound, looking for signs of the Ocampa captives. The compound is not well secured. There are rundown buildings being used as makeshift shelters and there are Kazon sleeping in the open, on the ground. There is one larger building that looks like it’s fortified with locked doors and alarms, a stark difference from the surrounding structures.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan the Encampment
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Reason + Science, Reason + Security, Control + Engineering
~ Player Assist: Opposite Attribute + Discipline used by player attempting the scan.

Success: You’re reading several Ocampa life signs in the fortified building. You are also getting readings from equipment with an energy signature that’s very similar to the one produced by the temporary conversion stabilizers. It also appears that there are Kazon life signs spread throughout the building. You can’t get a clear enough reading at this distance to pinpoint the location of the control room.

Momentum Spend: Spending one extra momentum will give the players details on what they’ve scanned. For instance, how many Ocampa (15) are in the building and where they’re located (left front area of the building). Spending another momentum will give the players details on where the equipment is located (right front of the building) and also that’s it’s hooked up to some machinery that’s causing unusual fluctuations in the stabilizers’ energy signatures. Another point of momentum will give the players details on the Kazon. There are about a dozen Kazon spread throughout the building, but only two near the Ocampa and three near the equipment and all appear to be in motion around those areas.

(Give the players time to work out what they want to do. If the players look lost as to what their options are, give them some suggestions: They can attempt to quietly infiltrate the camp, bypassing the sleeping Kazon; or they can go in by force, ambushing the sleeping Kazon as they go.)

“A smart warrior knows that the wind does not respect the fool.” K’orvo whispers. Dirnick and Lorne look at each other and Lorne shrugs at Dirnick.

“Commander, what does that mean exactly?” Dirnick whispers back.

“Only a fool would try to take on that many enemies at once. Choose your battles wisely. A foolish death does not gain you entry into Sto’Vo’Kor.” K’orvo looks at the two, both still obviously confused. “It means that we can sneak in and then sneak out without being seen.”

“Ah, espionage! Isn’t that a dishonorable tactic?” Dirnick asks, eyeing K’orvo.

“Not when the end result is more honorable than the dishonorable act. It is an honorable mission to aid the civilians and retrieve their stolen property… at least in the eyes of Starfleet.” K’orvo says, studying the layout of the area.

“Well, we should carefully make our way to the entrance, where I can get a better scan of the building’s interior and look for that control room location.” Dirnick says. “I can’t get a clear reading out here.”

“Alright, let us advance upon the enemy territory. Do not speak and make your feet as silent as the mess hall at midnight.” K’orvo says as he leads the team down the side of the hill. One by one, they fall in behind him and move silently and swiftly across the sandy ground.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Infiltration (Each player must attempt this Task).
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Fitness + Security, Control + Security

(If the players choose to ambush the Kazon, they simply approach and attack them while they’re sleeping. There are three Kazon (Minor NPC) between them and the entrance to the building. Attacking any one of them will stir the others. They can attempt to sneak up on them, using the Infiltration Task above, but attacking one will still stir the others. Guards will be alerted by the disturbance and two Kazon Guards will join with the other Grunts.)

There is a moment where Tus loses his footing and almost falls onto a sleeping Kazon. Lorne reaches out and grabs the collar of Tus’s shirt, steadying the boy. He turns to thank Lorne, but Lorne puts a finger to his own lips and shakes his head. Tus nods and steps silently and carefully up to the doorway with the rest of the crew.

(The crew may scan the building from the doorway without disturbing the sleeping Kazon, and they may perform a Task with Difficulty 0 for this if they need Momentum.)

Once the crew has (slipped past or subdued) the Kazon and made it to the entrance of the large building, a quick scan of the building shows that the door opens to a hallway that goes to the right and left. The Ocampa are to their left and the components are to their right. The scan also reveals that the equipment the stolen parts are being used for are actually some form of ground to air weapons.

The crew can see through their scans that there is a crude alarm that triggers each time the door is opened. There is a keypad on the wall opposite from the door, which appears to be tied into the alarm system through primitive electronics. The crew is still having trouble locating the control room through scans, but is confident they can locate it once the door is open.

(The crew can attempt to disable the alarm, but it uses a Task during the upcoming Timed Task. They can destroy the keypad or try to decipher the buttons which will take much longer. Closing the door behind them will close the circuit and shut off the alarm, but this information is only available on a momentum spend if they performed a scan task.)

Dirnick makes a frown and whispers to K’orvo, “Commander, there is an extremely primitive electronic type security system in place. There is no way to disable it or stop if from sounding when we open this door.”

“Can we shut it off after we enter?” K’orvo whispers back, studying the door frame, which appears to be solid stone like the walls.

“I believe so, but it’ll take some time and that’s time we won’t have.” Dirnick whispers back. “The control panel is a primitive keypad device on the wall across from the door. We would need time to decipher their language and then determine the security code.”

“What if we just broke it?” Lorne whispers as he strokes his chin with his index finger and thumb.

“Well, that would work. I don’t see any reason to not break it. Commander?” Dirnick looks at K’orvo for orders.

“Do it. When we enter, break the keypad. Scan for the control room as soon as possible. I will move toward it with Iriam, Tus, and Tyla. Lorne and Dirnick, you two will move toward the room with the parts and retrieve them as soon as I lower the force field. I will retrieve the captives and lead them out. If we do not meet each other while exiting the building, we will meet up on the ridge. Understood?” K’orvo whispers to the away team and the Ocampa. Everyone nods to signify they understand and then K’orvo signals Dirnick to open the door. Lorne slides a knife out of a sheath in his boot.

Game Mechanics
~ Timed Linear Task: Compound Troubles
~ Time Intervals: 16
~ Time per Task:
2
~ Difficulty:
1

ONE – Locate the Control Console
~ Task: Tricorder Scan
~ Reason + Science, Daring + Security
TWO  – Open the Cells and the Generator Room
~ Task: Use the Control Console (Two separate Tasks – one for each goal)
~ Reason + Science, Insight + Engineering, Control + Security
THREE  – Rescue the Ocampa and Retrieve the Components
~ Task: Lead the Ocampa Out
~ Insight or Presence + Command (Diplomacy) – OR – Daring + Security (Forceful)
~ Opposed Task: Presence + Command (Diplomacy) – OR – Daring + Security (Forceful)
~ Task: Remove the Components

~ Control + Engineering, Reason + Science

The door slides open and an alarm sounds inside the building. The nearby sleeping Kazon don’t seem to be stirred by the sound. Lorne rushes toward the keypad and pops the cover off with his knife, while Dirnick scans the interior of the building. The corridors are dark, with sparse shafts moonlight shining in from holes in the ceiling.

“Commander, the control room is to the left and around the corner on the right.” Dirnick says as he turns to the exposed guts of the keypad. He scans the wiring and then cuts several of them, making the alarm go silent.

K’orvo and the Ocampa have already begun walking towards the control room by the time Dirnick silences the alarm. As K’orvo approaches the corner, he hears several voices. The group pauses at the corner of the wide hallway and as he attempts to get a look at the source of the voices, one the Kazon notices his dark figure.

Tyla whispers to K’orvo, “You look like a Kazon in the dark because of your ridges and hair. I bet they won’t know the difference. We can sneak by unnoticed, just keep going.”

K’orvo steps out and walks in the direction of the Kazon, who are guarding the Ocampa locked up behind a force field. The one that noticed him returns to his conversation with the other guard and they completely ignore K’orvo and never notice the Ocampa sneaking around his feet. The group comes to the open doorway of the control room and they slip inside without incident.

Meanwhile, Dirnick and Lorne are making their way to the room where the parts are. They come to the corner of the hallway and peer around it. The wide hallway is empty and the two approach the doorway to the room, but the force field blocks their way. Dirnick looks at it and back at Lorne with a look of concern on his face. “I hope the Commander doesn’t run into trouble. I don’t think we have the equipment to bypass that force field.”

“Aye. At least we’re in position and ready to move when that force field comes down.” Lorne says as he studies the layout of the room through the force field.

Back in the control room, K’orvo is studying the control panels trying to figure out how to lower the force fields without accidentally alerting the Kazon to their presence. K’orvo hears voices headed toward the control room from the direction of the Ocampa captives.

“Those guards are headed this way. Hide!” K’orvo instructs Tyla, Iriam, and Tus, but they’re already hidden. K’orvo looks toward the doorway and watches as the two Kazon pass by, leaving him unnoticed. He overheard them discussing their shift change, and K’orvo realizes this is the perfect opportunity to accomplish their missions and get out before they’re discovered! He works with the control panel as quickly as possible. Tyla is standing at the doorway and signals him the second she sees the force field drop. K’orvo activates a few other controls, hoping those are the ones that drop the force field on the other room. K’orvo, Tyla, Iriam, and Tus make their way back down the hallway towards the captives. As K’orvo enters the room, several of the captive Ocampa startle and scurry to get away from him.

Tyla steps in behind K’orvo and addresses the captives, “Wait! Don’t be afraid! He’s not a Kazon. This is K’orvo from the Federation, and he’s here to rescue you.”

K’orvo looks down at the Ocampas’ hands and sees that they’re bound together with a cord made of some metallic compound. “I need you all to trust me. I have an idea. Tyla, I want you to walk in the back and keep watch. Iriam and Tus, I want you behind me, guiding the bound Ocampa. We do not have time to deal with the binding right now. Everyone walk in a single file line and follow me.”

Meanwhile, Lorne and Dirnick watch as the force field dissipates and they immediately spring into action. They move with lightning speed from one machine to the next, carefully removing the stolen components. Once they have all the components, they make their way to the door and peer out. When they see that the hallway is still empty, they make a break for the compound’s entrance. As they round the corner, they see K’orvo walking down the hallway as though he belongs here, with a line of bound Ocampa behind him.

As soon as K’orvo sees Dirnick and Lorne, he speeds up and they meet at the doorway. They open the door and survey the surroundings. When they don’t see the patrolling guards, the group makes their way around the sleeping Kazon, to the ridge above the compound.

Once the group is safely atop the ridge, K’orvo orders a partial retreat. “Tyla, Iriam, and Tus, I want you three to lead your people away from here. Once you are at a safe distance, try to break the restraints. We will meet you at the entrance to the tunnels once we have completed our mission here. Take the components with you. If you do not see us in a few hours, seal the tunnel and get the components to Ensign Cross. Ensign Cross can find us later. Understood?”

“Yes, K’orvo. We’ll see you soon. And thank you.” With that, Tyla and the rest of the Ocampa disappear into the darkness.

The crew has successfully liberated the Ocampa captives and retrieved the components for the generators. Now all that’s left is to track down Cabrok and try to ‘convince’ him that he needs to leave the Ocampa alone. The crew is faced with a tough decision. They must decide how they want to locate Cabrok. The only method of identification that the crew has is a blurry picture on a PADD that the Ocampa got from one of their security cameras. Scans will only reveal the location of Kazon and not a specific one without an identifying marker. There are several Kazon guards patrolling the perimeter, but none of them resemble Cabrok.

(If the players aren’t certain, you can give them several suggestions: Scout visually for Cabrok, or try to interrogate one of the guards.)

“Now we need to find this Cabrok and see what we can do about the Kazon problem.” K’orvo says as he turns his sight back to the compound. “Lieutenant Lorne, I want you to scout the perimeter. Do not engage the guards unless necessary.”

“Aye, Commander.” Lorne quietly slips into the darkness, back toward the compound.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Visual Scouting
~ Difficulty: 4
~ Fitness + Security
~ No assisting on this Task.

Success: You overhear one of the guards talking to another. He says, “I don’t think it’s fair that Cabrok gets to pick up supplies all the time. Why should we suffer this planet without a break?”

Momentum Spend: The only other information you can hear is something about Cabrok taking a shuttle to meet a cargo ship for supplies and he’s not supposed to be back for several days.

Lorne returns after a few minutes and relays the information he overheard from the guards’ chatter. “Commander, it seems Cabrok is off planet retrieving supplies from a cargo ship. He’s not scheduled to return for several days.”

“Commander, it seems our ‘conversation’ with Cabrok will have to wait. We could cripple them further, maybe try to push them off the planet with force.” Dirnick says.

“Is that a good idea? More violence could cause the Kazon to bring in reinforcements.” Lorne counters.

“Like intimidating Cabrok won’t?” Dirnick snaps back.

As the crew is discussing the information that’s been gleaned from the guards’ conversation, a shuttle approaches and lands a few hundred meters away. The crew watches as none other than Cabrok exits the shuttle, looking quite irritated. He has three guards with him, and he’s barking orders at them. The rest of the Kazon in the encampment don’t seem to have noticed Cabrok has returned.

“The light of Kahless is shining on us today! Our target has presented himself for us to capture. The rest of the camp does not know he has returned. We should take this opportunity to strike!” K’orvo says with excitement.

“Aye, Commander!” Lorne jumps to action.

“Wait! Commander, Lieutenant, should we rush into this? Why don’t we wait and be sure they aren’t going to signal for others to help unload supplies?” Dirnick says cautiously.

“While I appreciate your caution, Lieutenant Commander, this is an opportunity we should not let slip away. We will strike now. Incapacitate the guards first, then Cabrok. Move out!” K’orvo orders and the three sneak up to Cabrok’s landing sight.

When they get within range, the away team opens fire on the three guards, who return fire and rush towards the away team. Several blasts from the Kazon’s phase pistols streak toward Lorne, striking him several times.

“Lieutenant!” Dirnick calls out to his fellow officer. Dirnick fires back at the Kazon with a look of frustration and anger on his face.

“I’m okay, Lieutenant Commander. It burns a little, but I can shrug it off.” Lorne stands back up and begins firing once again. Not all of the Kazon guards are able to span the distance between them and the crew before they are knocked unconscious by the away team.

An infuriated Cabrok rushes blindly into battle against them. He takes a few phaser hits, but continues his advancement. He rushes K’orvo, who lands a hard punch to Cabrok’s gut, knocking him to the ground.  Dirnick approaches Cabrok and with one swift motion, lands a hard kick on the side of Cabrok’s face, knocking him completely unconscious.

“Disgusting. I didn’t tolerate the way my people treated the Bajorans and I won’t tolerate the Kazon’s behavior either.” Dirnick says as he stares at Cabrok.

“Lorne, disable this shuttle. We do not want them using it to escape or to come after us. Loosely restrain those guards as well and leave them in the shuttle.” K’orvo says as he stares at Cabrok, who is laying unconscious in the desert sand. “I think I have an idea, but we’ll need the captain’s permission. K’orvo to the Spiner.”

“Lieutenant Zhang here.” Her voice comes across K’orvo’s comm badge with a bit of static.

“We need a lift.” K’orvo replies.

Once the crew has managed to capture Cabrok, they attempt to convince him to leave the Ocampa alone.

Aboard the Shuttle Spiner, Cabrok is securely locked away behind a force field while Lorne, Dirnick, and K’orvo stare menacingly at him.

“We, the Federation, want you to leave Ocampa. We want you to take all your people with you and do not ever come back.” Lorne says as he stares up at Cabrok. Cabrok stands at least a foot taller than the Bajoran.

Cabrok laughs at Lorne and asks, “Now why would we do that? You won’t be here forever. Just like your Voyager, you will leave too.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Convince Cabrok to Abandon Ocampa
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Command (Diplomacy) – OR – Fitness + Security (Forceful)
~ Opposed Task: Reason + Command – OR – Fitness + Security

Success: He says, “Fine. There are other places to mine for cormaline, for now. But I know you won’t be in this sector forever. I’ll be back when you leave!”

K’orvo steps forward and looks Cabrok directly in the eye and says in a very stern voice, “We will not be gone forever. We have a stable wormhole here. There will be more Federation, more Starfleet, and more of my Klingon warriors coming here very soon. If the Federation does not want to sully their uniforms, my warriors will be more than happy to do so instead.”

A security officer steps up to Dirnick and hands him a PADD. Dirnick looks up with a wide grin on his face and addresses K’orvo, “General K’orvo, you have an message from the Mulgrew. The ships should be here within a 24 hours.”

“Excellent. Thank you, Lieutenant Commander. Well, Cabrok, it looks like you do not have long before this area of space is crawling with Starfleet ships.” K’orvo grins slyly at Cabrok who looks a bit more concerned now.

“Fine. I’ll get my people off the planet, but I’ll need a few days to get a ship here.” Cabrok says. “We can’t stand against the might of your ships. We concede control of the planet Ocampa.”

K’orvo, Lorne, and Dirnick walk to the front of the shuttle, out of earshot of Cabrok. Dirnick whispers to K’orvo, “Captain M’Kora says that the probe should be ready in 24 hours.”

“I got your meaning in the ‘message’ from the Mulgrew, Lieutenant Commander. But it is good news. With the probes in orbit, masked by the interference from the planet’s atmosphere, the Kazon will see Federation signals and avoid Ocampa.” K’orvo says.

“Oh, I thought that was all part of the act. He’s good, Commander. But then again, he’s Cardassian and they’re all good at deception.” Lorne says, as Dirnick cuts him a sharp look of disapproval.

“Regardless, our goal has been achieved. We should retrieve Ensign Cross, if he’s completed his task.” Dirnick says, still eyeing Lorne with sharp glances. “We also need to get back to Tyla and the others before they believe we’ve run into trouble.”

K’orvo nods and directs Lieutenant Zhang to drop them off between the Kazon compound and the tunnel entrance. “Do not release him until we have left your visual range. Make sure he heads back to the compound.” K’orvo finishes his instructions to Zhang and the away team disembarks from the shuttle in the direction of the tunnel entrance, where Tyla and the other Ocampa await their return.

The crew makes their way back to the Ocampa and we fast forward to the crew’s return to the Ocampa city.

The crew and the liberated Ocampa are met by groups of cheering Ocampa, and joyous reunions for those that were once captives. There is a group of engineers that approach you and ask, “Were you able to recover the components?” The crew turns over the components and they’re thanked by the engineers as they rush the components to the generator room.

Ensign Cross is in the generator room and greets the engineers with an enthusiastic smile when he sees the components in tow. “This is perfect! I can easily adjust your replicators to make the component’s individual parts and show you how to put them together. Shall we get started?”

The engineers smile with anticipation and watch every move that Cross makes with looks of curiosity and amazement.

Elder Quim approaches the crew and says, “Well, you officers of the Federation are quite capable and skilled in many areas. The Ocampa should aspire to be like you. What of Cabrok?”

“He will not be bothering you any longer. We will have devices in orbit around your planet that will make them believe we are still here, with more of our ships. This will stop them from returning and your people will be free to live your lives.” K’orvo says.

“I would still take all the necessary precautions, and continue to develop your force field technology as well as your energy masking capabilities. I’m sure there are beings out there that are far worse than the Kazon. And the Kazon may not fall for our deception forever.” Dirnick says as he takes a basket full of what appears to be fruit or vegetables from a young Ocampa woman.

“We can give you a tour now, Mr. Lieutenant Commander Dirnick, if you’re still interested in our horticulture.” Tyla says, smiling at Dirnick. The young woman that brought him the basket also smiles at him.

“Why yes, my dear Tyla. I would love that. Commander?” Dirnick looks to K’orvo for permission.

“Go ahead, Lieutenant Commander. We have to wait for Ensign Cross to complete his work. We have time.” K’orvo nods and continues his conversation with Elder Quim.

(If the crew was successful): Elder Quim says, “This is truly a joyous day! We can’t expect him to uphold his word, but he’s scared now. This will give us enough time to complete some of the work we want to do on the tunnels and then they will never be able to interfere with us again. Deepest gratitude. You may stay as long as you like, to study our society. We also have a variety of plants and seeds ready to be taken to your shuttle. Safe journeys to you all.”

To Be Continued…

Next Time:
ACT THREE: Scene One – On the Rocks

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
  • Supporting Character – Lieutenant Zhang
  • Supporting Character – Ensign Castle

“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’!

GM Notes

I noticed that several of the Tasks were still a little too easy and the threat of failure didn’t loom the way I would have liked it to. I don’t want the tasks to be too difficult, but I want them to be challenging and make my players think about what they’re doing. There was lots of RP in this session on their parts as well as mine and the Tasks worked perfectly for the players. When I edit this module, I plan to add in some increased complication ranges. That’s because they’re on an alien planet, in alien space, and dealing with alien technology or modified alien/Starfleet hybrid technology. I don’t think increasing the difficulty further would be appropriate as it’s already difficult. As long as the players are storing their Momentum (which is relatively easy to do), there shouldn’t be too much concern over the difficulty settings.

Show Your Support!

I haven’t heard one way or the other if Modiphius is planning to attend Origins Game Fair this year (2019). Modiphius has something special in the 2D20 system and I think it needs proper representation at Origins. I know they were at GenCon, but many of us can’t go to a convention that size or that expensive. For me, it’s more about the size than the cost. I want to put this out on all channels – Show Modiphius you love their games! Ask them to attend Origins so they know it’s not just me poking at them about it. Even if you’re not planning to attend Origins (which you should), go ahead and let them know what it means to you as a fan and customer, to see them with representation at multiple US conventions!

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Thanks, as always for reading my ramblings and also for your support. Tune in next time, for the continuation of Episode Two.

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and Roleplaying Game Fans!

 

This is the latest session from our adventures in the Star Trek Adventures RPG (by Modiphius). Whenever you see text in this reddish brown color, that was what was read to the players. I’ve also included Game Mechanic elements so that others can incorporate it into their games if they want to. Any GM notes are in this bright blue color.

Previous Episodes and Sessions:

When we last left the crew of the Mulgrew, they were in a very unusual predicament. An entity known as a Nacene, has thrown the Mulgrew and her crew into the Delta Quadrant for reasons that are not completely clear. All they know is that the Nacene wanted them to ‘preserve the legacy’ of a friend by helping an unknown species. Before they’re able to get their bearings, they’re attacked by a species known as the Kazon. The Kazon vessel was damaged so badly that the warp core lost containment. Ensign Cross transported the crew of the Kazon vessel to the Mulgrew before their ship exploded and there are now fifty Kazon being contained in a cargo bay and the brig. The Mulgrew is on its way to Ocampa, where there are Kazon terrorizing a species native to Ocampa. It’s up to the crew of the Mulgrew to decide if they should help the Ocampan people or to leave them at the mercy of the ruthless Kazon.

Episode Two: Find Your Bearings
ACT ONE: Scene One – Welcome Party

Setup: The captain is in their ready room and the commanding officer is in charge of the bridge. The commanding officer is notified that the ship is approaching Ocampa. The commanding officer will likely order the ship into a sustained orbit around the planet and then notify the captain. Once on the bridge, the captain will likely want to see the planet’s surface, ordering the viewscreen on.

There are several sensor alerts echoing around the bridge. One is at the helm where Lieutenant Zynes is currently operating the ship’s navigational sensors. His blue antenna wiggle back and forth as he turns the alert off.

“Commander, sensors indicate we’re approaching Ocampa.” Zynes informs General K’orvo, who is currently inspecting PADDs while reclining in the captain’s chair.

“Take us into orbit, Lieutenant Zynes.” K’orvo instructs Zynes, who nods and turns back to his console. K’orvo taps the communicator badge that’s clipped to his Klingon uniform and says, “Captain, we are entering orbit around Ocampa.”

“I’ll be right there, General.” Captain M’Kora’s voice comes back over the comm. Within moments, M’Kora steps onto the bridge from her ready room. She looks at the viewscreen and then at Zynes. “Well, what are you waiting for? On screen.”

The view screen displays an ochre brown planet, barren of plant life and devoid of bodies of water. The cloudless atmosphere gives way to towering mountains and deep chasms where water once flowed. The bridge crew stares at the desolate planet before them but a sudden proximity alert breaks their focus. It appears that there are several asteroids near the ship.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Proximity Sensor
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science

Success: The asteroids have entered into a stable orbit. There is plenty of time to do anything that needs to be done on the planet before having to worry about mining.

The proximity alert startles K’orvo and he calls out, “Dirnick, report.”

“Commander, it appears that there are several asteroids that are now entering a stable orbit around the planet. These are the ones we’ll want to send a mining crew to. They’re rich with duranium and dilithium.” Dirnick reports.

“If the asteroids are in a stable orbit, then we can lower the priority of that mission. First priority, I want scans of that planet. I want to know what we’re looking at down there. Dirnick, please get on that.” M’Kora says as she inspects the PADDs that K’orvo handed over.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan the Planet
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science

Success: There is an atmospheric interference with a partial radioactive signature that’s going to block transporter signals. An away team can’t beam down and there’s no way to beam the Kazon survivors to the surface either. A shuttle shouldn’t have trouble navigating through the atmosphere to the surface. There are faint readings of clusters of life signs on the planet’s surface.

Momentum Spend: There are more life signs scattered beneath the planet’s surface. There are also readings of water and vegetation in what looks like underground caverns.

Dirnick turns from the science station and faces M’Kora as he delivers the report. “Captain, there appears to be some form of radioactive interference, but the source is unknown. It’s going to prevent our transporter signal and it’s interfering with the scans. The layer of interference is only in the mesosphere of the planet’s atmosphere. If someone were to scan while on the planet’s surface, there shouldn’t be any interference. The radiation isn’t strong enough to penetrate a shuttle’s hull either. It’s just enough to cause a slight annoyance from orbit.”

“Well, that’s rather annoying. I don’t like sending my people in blind. Can you get anything else from your scans?” M’Kora asks as K’orvo moves to the commander’s chair to give M’Kora her seat.

“Well, there are life signs, but I can’t tell if they’re Kazon or not. The interference is just too much, even for our sensors. I’m also getting readings of what looks like vast underground caverns, caves, and tunnels. It looks like there might be water and plant life there too. I wonder what kind of plant life is surviving in such an inhospitable world. They would be fascinating to study.” Dirnick says, as his gaze drifts off, as though he were daydreaming.

“Thank you, Dirnick. If you discover anything else, please inform us immediately.” M’Kora says, in a loud voice. It snaps Dirnick out of his daydream and he nods at M’Kora.

“Yes, Captain, of course.” Dirnick returns to the console in an attempt to glean more information.

After the bridge crew realizes that thorough scans and transporting won’t be possible from orbit, the captain orders an away team to take a shuttle to the surface and investigate the situation as best they can. The away team will be equipped with survey equipment, weapons, and field med kits in advance. The mission is to make it safely to the planet’s surface and determine the number of Kazon located on the planet and what the Ocampan defensive situation is and then report back to the ship.

“Well, we need to get a team on the surface. I want to know how many Kazon are down there and what kind of threat the Ocampa are under. I can’t leave here knowing that these people might be oppressed by another species. If they’re defenses are adequate, then we won’t interfere. Commander, assemble your team and see what you can find out.” M’Kora says as she nods to General K’orvo.

K’orvo stands up and points to each crew as he calls them out, “Dirnick, Zhang, and Lorne. Meet me in the situation room promptly.”

All the officers stand and acknowledge the orders simultaneously as their relief steps in and takes over their stations. Zynes looks at Lieutenant Zhang, who is sitting at the navigation console, and sighs. “You’re lucky. I wanted to fly the away team.”

She looks back at Zynes with an irritated look on her face. “I don’t feel so lucky. I would rather stay here at navigation, but if the ‘General’ wants me to fly the shuttle, I can’t refuse the order. Well, not if I want to stay in Starfleet anyway.”

“Why did you take this commission if you have an issue with Klingons?” Zynes asks, swiveling his seat around as she makes her way to the situation room.

“That, Lieutenant, is none of your business.” She turns and walks through the doorway to the situation room.

In the situation room, K’orvo and M’Kora are discussing strategies and potential threats to the away team with the other team members. Lieutenant Zhang, who has long dark hair and a light complexion, walks into the room a little later than the rest of the team.

“I apologize for my tardiness.” Zhang addresses the rest of the team as she enters. “Lieutenant Zynes had some things he wanted to cover with me before I left.”

“Please, Lieutenant, take your seat. We were just discussing the best strategy for moving all of you and still being able to keep in contact with the ship.” M’Kora says.

“Captain, I still think we should take two shuttles. One piloted by Lieutenant Zhang and one piloted by Lieutenant Lorne and Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Zhang and the security officers can stay close to the mesosphere, just in comm range of us. We can report to them and they can fly above the interference in mesosphere and report to you. A sort of relay system.” K’orvo says. “It will take a little more manpower and resources, but it is likely the safest way to get our warriors to the surface and then back in a hurry if there is danger. We want to keep casualties and injuries to a minimum.”

“I think the old man has a good idea.” Zhang says.

“Lieutenant, it’s Commander K’orvo. He’s your superior and I expect you to treat him with respect.” M’Kora sternly scolds Zhang.

“Yes, Captain. Commander, I apologize and I do agree with your plan. I think your idea is solid.” Zhang says, looking around at all the other officers.

“Well, I agree.” M’Kora says. “Lieutenant Lorne, assign some security to the second shuttle with Lieutenant Zhang and she’ll stay just under the mesosphere, within comm range of the away team. Lieutenant Zhang, you’ll be in charge of extracting the away team, but only if necessary. I would like both of my shuttles back, in tact. You’re primary mission is to collect reports from the away team and relay them to the Mulgrew. Understood?”

“Aye, Captain.” Zhang acknowledges the orders as she takes a PADD from Lorne with the officer assignments. “Thank you, Lieutenant Lorne.”

“I think we should take Culluh with us as a bargaining chip, in case we come across the other Kazon. Maybe we can use the promise of his safe return to convince them to the leave Ocampa.” Lorne says.

“Are you out of your mind, Lieutenant? You do not take the best you have to offer. You take something else of lesser value to begin negotiations.” Dirnick says with a matter-of-fact tone.

“Well, of course you’d see them as things. I wouldn’t expect a Cardassian to see the Kazon as people.” Lorne snaps back at Dirnick.

“Stop this bickering, right now.” M’Kora glares at the two of them. “If you two don’t reconcile your ‘cultural issues’, I’ll demote you both.”

“I hate to say it, Captain, but Lieutenant Commander Dirnick has the right idea. He just needs to express it in a more ‘Starfleet’ way. Which is something I am struggling with as well.” K’orvo says, as he looks at a PADD with all the Kazon listed on it. “Here is a helmsman, with what appears to be a high rank. His name is Trenack and he is in the brig with the other bridge officers. I bet he will be adequate enough to begin bartering, should we encounter the Kazon.”

“I don’t want you to engage the Kazon unless it’s necessary.” M’Kora says. “I want all the information we can gather about the planet and the Ocampa before we have to engage them. But having a prisoner on hand would be helpful in the event you are forced to engage with them. However, I do not think it’s wise to take Culluh. Trenack should be sufficient.”

“I want him as secure as possible. What kind of restraints does the Federation have, Lieutenant Lorne?” K’orvo asks.

“I can assure you that he won’t be a problem. Our restraints are more than adequate.” Lorne responds.

“I want his hands fully secured. I don not want to take any chances and have him escape or find a way to operate a console.” K’orvo explains.

“I’ve heard tales of a devious device that was used on ancient Earth, that traps the fingers of the prisoner in such a way that if they try to pull their fingers out of the device, it tightens its grip. I believe it was called a Chinese finger trap. Lieutenant Zhang, you may know something about it since you’re Chinese.” Dirnick turns to Zhang, whose face is bright red.

Zhang lets out cough to clear her throat and says, “Lieutenant Commander, the Chinese finger trap is a child’s toy. It’s not meant to be a prisoner restraint.”

Lorne tries to stifle a laugh as he glances at Dirnick, whose face is turning pale compared to his regular purple-grey complexion. “Lieutenant Commander, I think I have the security details under control. If I see any flora that looks threatening, I’ll let you handle it.”

M’Kora has her eyes closed and her fingers clamped on the bridge of her nose when she lets out a sigh and asks herself, “How did I get stuck with such an insufferable group of officers? Kahless save me…”

“Sorry, Captain.” Lorne says, with a snicker and a glance at Dirnick, who is obviously frustrated. “Good news is, we won’t need EV suits! The planet’s atmosphere is not hazardous to any of us.”

“Alright, crew. Round up the prisoner and secure him in our shuttle. Lieutenant Zhang, get your security officers briefed and prepare your shuttle. We launch at 1300 hours. Dismissed.” K’orvo orders and turns to M’Kora when the others have left. “Is it not a violation of the Prime Directive to interfere with underdeveloped species? We didn’t pick up anything resembling warp technology on the planet.”

“General, I don’t care about the Prime Directive right now. I might care tomorrow, but I don’t care today. We don’t know for certain if they have warp technology or not. We also don’t know if they’re more advanced that us or not. They could have something beyond our understanding at their fingertips. That’s why we’re investigating and not engaging any intelligent life, unless necessary. And it may be necessary to speak with the Ocampa to understand their situation. If that’s the case, I give you authority to represent Starfleet and the Federation. I hope you’ve been studying.” M’Kora smiles with a weary look on her face.

“Captain, I will not disappoint you. We will complete our objectives with as little damage as possible to the Ocampa culture.” K’orvo says and he turns to leave. Before walking out of the situation room, he turns back to M’Kora and says, “I will report to you as soon as possible, through Zhang. Qapla’!”

“Kahless guide you, General. Qapla’!” K’orvo leaves the situation room and M’Kora turns to look out the window at the unwelcoming planet below.

The two crews are ready to go by 1300 hours and they are about to the leave the docking bay. Lorne is piloting the first shuttle with Dirnick using scans at the science station to assist. K’orvo is sitting across from the containment field, eyeing Trenack. Zhang is piloting the second shuttle with two back up security personnel aboard.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Pilot the Shuttle
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Conn, Daring + Conn
~ Player Assist: Reason + Science

As the shuttles leave the docking bay of the ship, the vast deserts of Ocampa appear more desolate and unwelcoming than they had on the viewscreen of the bridge. The two shuttle crews look on as their pilots fly the shuttles into the mesosphere layer of the planet. There is a moment when all of the panels and consoles flicker off and on and several of the shuttles’ warning systems sound off. The interference that the ship had detected is in this layer of the atmosphere, but there is currently no indication of what’s causing it.

Success: Despite the disruption in the shuttles’ systems, the pilots are able to land the first shuttle with no real trouble, and keep the other shuttle flying just below the mesosphere. Once the first shuttle has landed safely on the planet’s surface, the crew attempts to hail the ship, which results in static. The shuttle’s systems are operating normally, but it appears that layer of interference is stopping the comm signal, just as predicted.

Momentum Spend: A distress beacon should be able to penetrate the layer of interference. Also, the shuttle’s equipment can assist you in scanning the planet.

The crew of the first shuttle lands safely on the planet and they contact the second shuttle immediately.

“Shuttle Dorn to Shuttle Spiner. We’ve landed safely. Are we coming through clear enough?” Lorne monitors the communications while Dirnick and K’orvo are exiting the shuttle to scan the surrounding area.

“Shuttle Dorn, we hear you. There is plenty of interference but it’s only causing a small amount of static. Is it coming through the same for you?” Zhangs voice comes across the comm and there is static just as she described, but Lorne can easily make out what she’s saying.

“Aye, Lieutenant. We’ll report back within two hours. If you don’t hear from us, come looking. Those are the Commander’s orders. Shuttle Dorn, out.” Lorne stands up from the console and makes his way to the rear hatch.

“Lieutenant Lorne, assemble the distress beacon. I want to be ready in case something bad happens. Lieutenant Commander Dirnick, assist him. I will stand watch.” The two officers acknowledge the orders as K’orvo takes position near the rear of the shuttle, slightly obscured by the shuttle’s shadows, where he can watch Trenack and horizon.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Prepare a Distress Beacon
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Engineering, Insight + Science
~ Player Assist: Control + Engineering, Insight + Science
Note on Assist – The assisting player may not use the same Attribute or Discipline as the player attempting the Task.

Once the crew has assembled the distress beacon, they have a moment to take in the scenery. There is nothing but hot and dry desert as far as the eye can see. There are rocky protrusions scattered sparsely and a mountain range that can be seen far off in the distance. There is a large rocky formation next to the shuttle’s landing spot. The planet looks very desolate and unwelcoming. The crew pulls out their tricorders and begins taking scans of the area, looking for life signs and signs of water.

“Now that we’ve completed this simple task, we should attempt to complete some of our mission objectives. We need to scan the area and find out how many Kazon are here, where the Ocampa are, and if there are defense systems in place for the Ocampa.” Dirnick pats his pants legs, knocking the dust from his Starfleet uniform.

“Do you want to use the shuttle’s sensors, Lieutenant Commander?” Lorne asks, eyeing his superior.

“No thanks, Lieutenant. My tricorder is more than adequate.” Dirnick begins his scans of the area while Lorne attempts to assist him.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan Your Surroundings
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Reason + Science
~ Player Assist: Control + Security
~ Shuttle Assist: Sensors + Science (Only if scanning with the shuttle’s systems)

Success: You detect hundreds, possibly thousands of life signs below the planet’s surface and they do not have the same life signs as the Kazon. You can assume that they are the Ocampa. There appear to be hundreds of kilometers of caves under the planet’s surface too. You also pick up Kazon life signs from behind the nearest rock formation right next to the shuttle which is large enough to hide several shuttles.

Momentum Spend: The Kazon life signs are headed your way and there are also weapon signatures consistent with phase pistols showing up on scans.

“I’m reading hundreds of kilometers of caverns, caves, and tunnels beneath the surface. There are areas that are obscured from my scans as well. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of non-Kazon life signs down there and those may be the Ocampa. There is water and hundreds of varieties of plant life too. It’s baffling as to how they are surviving beneath the surface. These scans indicate that there isn’t an adequate light source beneath the surface.” Dirnick is studying the scans on his tricorder as he turns it towards the closest rock formation.

“Lieutenant Commander, that rock formation is odd looking, almost like it wasn’t formed naturally. Don’t you think?” Lorne asks just as the tricorder begins to sound an alert that there are life signs in close proximity.

“Why, yes, Lieutenant. I do think it’s strange looking, but I’m more concerned about the six armed Kazon moving towards us from the other side of it.” Dirnick eyes Lorne, who is now scrambling for his phaser.

“Prophets protect us! Commander! We’ve got potential hostiles moving towards us from the other side of the rock formation. We should bring Trenack out. Having him in view may prevent them from using a ‘shoot first, questions later’ approach.” Lorne dashes to K’orvo’s side and points to Trenack, who is still in the containment field within the shuttle.

“Good idea, but keep your phaser on him. If he so much as twitches the wrong way, knock him out.” K’orvo looks back at Trenack. “You hear that, Kazon? You do anything we do not like and you will be back in that cell for as long as I see fit!”

Lorne releases the containment field and escorts Trenack from the shuttle, who huffs and stomps out of the shuttle. Lorne puts the tip of his phaser in the center of Trenack’s back and says, “Don’t talk unless we tell you to.”

“I will not be your bartering chip. You are wasting your time.” Trenack spits on the ground at Lorne’s feet.

Lorne, phaser in his right hand, raises his left hand and gives Trenack a swift tap on the back of his head. “What did I just say? You didn’t get a sticker for following directions in school, did you? Don’t speak unless we tell you to.”

K’orvo steps up from the rear of the shuttle and Dirnick takes the opportunity to reposition himself where K’orvo was standing. “I’ll be back here, protecting our rear.”

It’s not long before six Kazon, armed with phase pistols, make their way around the rock formation. They look surprised when they see the three crew and another Kazon, and they take aim.

K’orvo puts up a hand and calls out to them, “Hold your fire! We have a lot of your people and we wish to return them to you. We are not here to fight, only to return your people and discuss your departure from this planet.”

One of the Kazon steps forward, weapon trained on K’orvo, and says, “He is not Kazon-Ogla! He is not one of our people!”

“Wait, he is Kazon and a helmsman from a Kazon ship. We rescued 49 others from that ship before it exploded. He can confirm.” K’orvo looks at Trenack and Lorne pushes the tip of phaser into his back. Trenack nods in agreement and K’orvo calls back to the Kazon, “Do you want them back?”

“He’s nothing to us! They are nothing to us!” The rest of the Kazon train their weapons on the crew.

“Well, this is going well.” Dirnick says as he readies his phaser.

Lorne yells to K’orvo, “This guy is useless! I told you we should have brought Culluh!”

“Culluh! Kazon-Nistrim scum!” The lead Kazon yells.

“The Nistrim will not be slaves of the Ogla!” Trenack yells back, just before the group of Kazon open fire.

A firefight erupts between the crew and the Kazon. The crew is able to use the shuttle as partial cover, ducking behind the corners or just inside the door. When any one of the crew tries to shut the door to the shuttle, the door becomes stuck and they can’t get it to shut. Phaser blasts streak across the desert sands as the Kazon advance on the crew. The crew stands firm in an attempt to stop the Kazon’s advancement. The Kazon fight fiercely, almost without regard for their lives, and they don’t hold back against the crew.

“Don’t move. If you move, I could miss and hit you in the face.” Lorne whispers to Trenack. He uses Trenack’s shoulder to steady his aim and fires a wide phaser spread into the group of Kazon. One of them is stunned and falls to the ground. K’orvo opens fire and nearly incapacitates two more of the attacking Kazon. Energy blasts from the Kazon’s phase pistols fly toward the crew and Trenack, barely grazing K’orvo and Dirnick. Dirnick returns fire, and nearly incapacitates another of the Kazon.

The Kazon rush towards the crew and attempt to physically overpower them. The crew continues to fight back, but with every blow they land, the Kazon fight back with brawler tactics you’d see in a bar fight. The crew is struggling against the Kazon brawlers, but they are able to weaken them substantially.

“They’re weakening! Lorne, fire a spread!” K’orvo orders as Lorne breaks away from the melee.

“Commander, I’ll hit you too!” Lorne calls back.

“Do it! NOW!” K’orvo orders as he grabs two Kazon in an attempt to hold them in place.

Lorne hesitates, but then steps back, quickly sets his phaser to emit a spread, and fires into the group. With one phaser blast, all the remaining Kazon are incapacitated. K’orvo also suffers a minor injury to his shoulder from the close proximity of the blast.

“Commander! By the Prophets! I warned you!” Lorne rushes to K’orvo, but it’s obvious that the wound isn’t serious.

“Get the Cardassian to patch me up. Won’t take much effort since we have those extra medkits.” K’orvo says.

“Don’t worry, Commander. I was already on it before Lorne reached you. This will only take a moment, though you may have some residual side effects, until you get proper treatment.” Dirnick kneels down next to K’orvo and begins working on the phaser burns.

“I will be fine. We have a mission to complete. Besides, if it gets to be too much to handle, I will have Zhang come get me.” K’orvo scoffs at the burn on his back. “We knocked them all out, right? Lorne, go round them up.”

“Aye, Commander.” Lorne jumps up and begins putting restraints on all six of the Kazon-Ogla. Lorne then begins moving them to the containment field area of the shuttle.

K’orvo taps his communicator badge and calls to Zhang, “Lieutenant Zhang, we need you to come pick up the prisoner. He is useless to us down here.”

Zhang’s voice calls back over the comm badge, “Aye, Commander. We’re on our way.” Moments later, the second shuttle descends from the sky and two security officers come rushing from the back hatch as it opens. They each grab one of Trenack’s arms and drag him into the shuttle. Lieutenant Zhang emerges and rushes toward K’orvo, who is brushing the dirt from his clothes.

“Commander, orders?” Zhang asks. K’orvo and Zhang are walking towards the second shuttle. K’orvo pulls out a PADD from one of the storage units and punches in several bits of information as he steps back out of the shuttle.

“Take Trenack back to the Mulgrew and give my report to Captain M’Kora. We can not use the Kazon on the ship to bargain with. They are from different sects, and the only reason they will want Culluh is to kill him. We can not do that.” K’orvo says as he hands the PADD to Zhang.

“Yes, sir. I understand. It’s against Starfleet ideals to do such a thing.” She nods and puts the PADD in one of her belt holsters.

“It may be against Starfleet ideals, but that is not why we can not do it. It is a dishonorable tactic, befitting a Romulan, but not a Klingon.” K’orvo stares at Zhang for a moment and then says, “Not all Klingons are monsters.”

Zhang nods and makes her way back into the shuttle. K’orvo, Dirnick, and Lorne watch as the second shuttle lifts off and streaks toward the atmosphere.

“So much for their little welcome party. Alright crew, we have work to do. Let us get to it.” K’orvo says and both Dirnick and Lorne acknowledge and begin scanning the area for more information.

To Be Continued…

Next Time:
ACT ONE: Scene Two – Beauty Beneath the Surface

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
  • Supporting Character – Lieutenant Zhang

“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’!

 

Show Your Support!

I haven’t heard one way or the other if Modiphius is planning to attend Origins Game Fair this year (2019). Modiphius has something special in the 2D20 system and I think it needs proper representation at Origins. I know they were at GenCon, but many of us can’t go to a convention that size or that expensive. For me, it’s more about the size than the cost. I want to put this out on all channels – Show Modiphius you love their games! Ask them to attend Origins so they know it’s not just me poking at them about it. Even if you’re not planning to attend Origins (which you should), go ahead and let them know what it means to you as a fan and customer, to see them with representation at multiple US conventions!

You can find them here:
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Don’t forget to follow Origins as well!
Facebook
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Instagram
Website
YouTube (GAMA)

Thanks, as always for reading my ramblings and also for your support. Tune in next time, for the continuation of Episode Two.

 

Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

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

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

starter stock

Tokens & Dice

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

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

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

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

Maps

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

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

Character Sheets

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

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

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

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

Starter Rule Book

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

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

Starter Campaign

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Buy or Bye?
Buy!

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

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

Qapla’!

Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

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

The Table

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

table 01

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

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

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

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

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

First…

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

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

Second…

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

paint

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

table 06

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

Third…

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

sharpie

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

table 07

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

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

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

table 08

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

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

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

table 09

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

table 10

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

table 11

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

Fourth… Final Step!

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

acrylic

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

Making Your Mark!

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

visavis

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

table 12

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

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

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

Qapla’!

 

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and RPG Fans!

 

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

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’!