Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek Adventures’

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’!

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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!

Thank you for reading!
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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’!