Combination Platter

The original starship Enterprise

The original starship Enterprise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is interesting, when talking about (and working on) Star Trek episodes (or adventures, as the case may be) and their foundations — that is to say, where they find their roots.  Take The Original Series’ “Obsession” ( which has clear links to “Moby Dick”.  This is a tale of one man’s vengeance and quest for atonement.  Just like other episodes before this one, the theme and story was compelling and exciting, but once thoroughly examined, did not lend itself well to group play.

That did not deter me from wanting to re-imagine the story, however.

In the end, this episode wound up having a little bit of everything, which (I think) is one of the reasons my players responded to it so well.  There’s exploration — and not just space, the PCs get to explore a planet.  In this, my group greatly expanded upon the written narrative and turned the planetside exploration into a session itself.  This, in turn, enabled me to truly showcase some of the oddities created by the Genesis Event and what a newly “birthed” planet might actually be like, with rapidly evolving and competing ecosystems.

There’s spaceship combat.  In this case, it was against a vessel type previously encountered (including an old foe, enabling the group to expand their rogues’ gallery) which showcased the sharp contrast between their earlier starship and their newer one.

There’s a bit of a mystery to it all, as well.  Although, like most re-imaginings, astute players will see the “mystery” for what it is (although, that can be a powerful RP tool, as my players demonstrated repeatedly).

There’s ground-based combat, too.  Yeah, the players got to fire their phasers (and the Security head got to use Photon mortar aspects, too)!

There’s even a good chunk of social interaction, between the colonists, the enemies, and in dealing with (and figuring out) the mystery.

So, really, the episode truly had a bit of something for everyone.

This is also one of those adventures that appears rather short on paper, but has a greater depth than what its length might otherwise indicate; there are ample opportunities to expand and improvise.  And so, it is this wide combination of set pieces and situations that helped to create an incredibly entertaining whole.

I hope it does the same thing for your Trekkers.

Episode 8 All That Glitters


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