Ahhh…good times. First contact. Ripped uniforms. Foam rocks. Latex masks. Double-fisted punches. Old school choreography.
Last post we talked a bit about the notion of taking a fan-favorite Original Series Star Trek episode and modernizing it for group-style roleplaying. This post embraces that concept in a full bear-hug, squeezes as hard as it can, and asks for a giant foam rock to throw at your favorite Starfleet officer.
The episode in question is “The Arena”, episode 18 of season 1 of the Original Series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arena_(Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series). It is a beloved episode that plays much better in memory than in viewing. The story is fairly solid, and I recall it being pretty intense when I was a kid. Compared to the frenetic action sequences of today’s media, however, it plays like a snail-race. Thus, for me, it begged for modernization.
When I rewatched the episode, I noticed something vital for a tabletop game: as written, it would not play well for group activity. The majority of the episode involves the crew watching Kirk fight his Gorn opponent as if it were a boxing match. Certainly, the commentary concerning violence as a sport and the like can be debated, but for most RP groups (mine included) that would not be an enjoyable session.
So, some modifications had to be made to turn the adventure into more of a group activity. This started as a subtle change that wound up altering the entirety of the episodes presentation and progression. I strove, however, to maintain a loyalty to the original concept, while putting a greater emphasis on player involvement, as well as discovery, in particular maintaining the core concept of “uncertainty in exploration”.
The end result is for your judgment, however. Therefore, I proudly introduce episode 4…