English: Logo from the television program Star Trek: TOS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The campaign, at least if you have been following what’s been presented of the one I ran, has been building for a while. In fact, we’re now hitting our twelfth episode. Most of the episodes took about two sessions, so we’ve been playing for a while.
During that time, many elements that make traditional Star Trek stories Star Trek have come to pass in our own tales. There have been exciting discoveries, challenging social situations, villains to thwart and out-maneuver, and downright alien moments. There has also been plenty of character development, interaction — both internal (with other PCs) and external (with NPCs), and possibly a change or two in the cast. Space can be a dangerous, deadly place.
Few things in tabletop roleplaying games validate play experience like bringing them up (or better making them a central aspect) in an evening’s adventure or episode. The same can also be said, when cementing verisimilitude, about consistency amongst locations and characters. This is especially true if you happen to bring back an escaped foe.
This episode is all about exactly those two elements, and because of that, it took extra care, both in preparation and in execution.
In its typed format, it is one of our shorter pieces with slim references to game mechanics. This is intentional. At this point in the campaign, the mechanics became second nature to myself and the players, and should likely be there for you. Determining difficulties of tasks and results of foe actions should, at this point, be nearly rote.
Because of the scant mechanics, however, the material is rich in story. This was a key episode in the campaign — it highlighted a traumatic change a PC had recently undergone (in this case, it was as Trill junior science officer who had been infected by Borg nanites and where the Trill symbiote and the Borg nanites had come to something of a controlling “stalemate”, enabling the PC to play a Borged Trill). At the same time, we re-introduced an old foe that had caused the PCs a great deal of misery. Simultaneously, while bringing back this old foe, we also took a sidelong look at the “mega-story arc” that had been running through the entire campaign.
This was an episode of some revelations, but of greater questions. It was an episode that moved the story forward, both for the group and for a specific PC.
Now, because of that, I had to do some minor re-writing to make it as “generic” as possible. In the end, this was not entirely possible. For the episode to truly work, it almost requires a Borg-infected PC. It is my hope, however, that for those games that have not, do not, or will not go in that direction then perhaps the framework provided can inspire in other ways.
Regardless…Episode 12 Mudd In Your Eye