Discovering and uncovering other dimensions, by purposeful experiment or accidental stumbling, is another Star Trek staple. Whether alternate universes (such as the much-loved Mirror Universe), parallel existences (like fluidic space, home of Species 8472), or smaller “pocket” dimensions (ala the Nexus from “Generations”), these “other worlds” are a common source of mystery and adventure for the crew of any Starfleet vessel. It was only natural, then, that we eventually get to one of our own.
This episode (actually an intentional two-parter) did exactly that.
Like many others, I was fascinated by the Borg. I had found, however, that what history was known of them, either through speculation or actual reveal, was left wanting, and I wanted something different. That is one of the beautiful aspects of tabletop roleplaying — you can explore alternatives, options, and different directions at a whim. In this particular case, I wanted to explore the Borg’s ancestors, so to speak, and that’s what this episode was all about.
From a game mastering and adventure writing standpoint, I was entering a phase of improvisation with my group, hence the shorter page count on this episode than others. Improvisation is something that exists in roleplaying games no matter what, but there are varying degrees to its implementation. For this two-part episode I went much further to the “little prep” side of the spectrum, and for what I had in mind, it worked well. The group got to really explore this “other where”, and I was able to react immediately to the emotional cues my players sent.
It worked well. In fact, I seem to recall a series of “No!”s when I declared, “To Be Continued…”