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Thread: series idea

  1. #1
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    series idea

    Greetings everyone, so I am hosting a meetup to meet individuals who might be interested in playing in a Star Trek game here in the San Diego area. Now you might be asking why this is not in The Gaming Hub section, and here is why. Since I am open to running any period (saving that ENT is not cannon, but a historical fiction piece), yet only have the TNG core book, I am looking to bounce around ideas for one shots that can be developed into a campaign. Here are some ideas:

    TOS:
    While being aboard a Starfleet supply vessel on a run to supply an observation post on the Romulan Neutral Zone, a distress call is received from a new colony, and your vessel is the closest vessel able to respond (say a days travel at maximum warp (warp factor 6)), with the nearest other (more appropriate vessel) a weeks travel. Upon, reaching the planet, the communication satellite in-orbit is now debris, and responds to hails have ceased. Colonial administration buildings are damaged or destroyed, but most everything is untouched. The small colony of a thousand people are missing. So that is the set up
    My thinking is that Orion Syndicate or other criminal group slavers have transported away the colonists, with a few elderly colonists being left, while the slavers take the non-elder colonists, and children away from the Federation core and beyond the reach of the Federation into a life of slavery.

    TMP:
    Set after Star Trek:IV, Earth is repairing itself following the unintended, the Federation Council wanted to know the origin of the whale probe, tasking the player characters aboard a Soyuz class ship to seek its origin. Having been a arrived after the probe had passed to assist the USS Saratoga, the Soyuz class ship had been unaffected during the events that occurred when the whale probe entered Federation space, and after Saratoga was able to get underway under her own power, she is ordered into the neutral zone to find answers.
    Upon entering the neutral zone, at a point between the observation posts, where they weren't effected, long range scanners reveal multiple non-moving Romulan vessels, and the player character's cautiously enter the neutral zone, not being challenged by any Romulan vessels. Crossing paths with a disabled romulan vessel, the player character's ship renders aid, only to be meet with hostility as the Romulan vessels crews believe themselves attacked.

    TNG/DS9:
    I want the setting to feel like modern day El Paso, with a busy hub of commerce, straddling a line of control, but with border smuggling, and lawlessness just on the other side of Federation control, all while the early years of DS9 occurs in the background. So I am think that the PCs, having just all received their commissions from various routes, OCS, ROTC, Starfleet Academy, one of the other Academies are assigned to a patrol squadron, with its hub in a medium sized but bustling planet who shares many cultural traits from the smaller power across the line of control, with a very intertwined economy and history. Yet, on the otherside of the line of control corruption has weakened its central government, and cartels have infiltrated its colonial planets, and cause the civilians to live in fear and not wanting to gain the wrath of its corrupt local governments or the wrathful cartels, all while the Federation seeks to stop contraband from crossing over into Federation Space. I was thinking the sector would have a failed non-federation colony, and several colonies of this minor species power.
    I need more help in developing this one, as a one shot, and if that is successful into a campaign.

    So, I post these ideas up, so that way I can get feedback to see how I can improve these ideas into one shots, and then possibly into interesting campaigns.

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  2. #2
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    So I was thinking of the setting for the TNG/DS9 setting I was thinking it being set in 2368, to coincide with the beginning of DS9, in a sector just rim-ward & outward of the sector where the Galen border conflicts occurred, so in the non-federation space close to Grazer as seen in Star Trek: Star Charts, so the area containing Iota Cassiopeiae. I am thinking that in the sector, the primary Federation solar system would have two inhabited planets: a Class M planet colonized by Risans, Grazerites, and Betazoids, and a Class K mineral rich planet colonzed by Humans from Terra Nova and Tellarites; this system will be the primary base of operation for the PCs if the one shot begins a campaign. The Class M planet will be the economic center of the system, while the Class K will be its industrial base.

    There will be five other solar systems with habitable planets, two unoccupied and are claimed by the Talarians, and three of which are populated by an intelligent species that we previously subjugated by the Talarians. This intelligent species are similar to the Grazerites in that they are herbivors, but are similar to Minotaurs in a from a fantasy setting, and were used as laborers as well as for food by the Talarians. I was thinking for their background that they were at a per-industrial stage of development when first encountered by the Talarians, and were for a couple centuries used to build and feed the expanding Talarian Republic, who over the course of centuries created different breeds designed for labor, feed, and domestic work; when Galen border conflicts occurred, the Federation assisted a rebellion by the Minotaur like species, and after the conflict were resettled with assistance by the Federation onto these three systems (however, their home system having been fully colonized by the Talarians was lost to them). At first they appreciated the Federation assistance, but due to less then competent and sometimes corrupt advisers, after a few years (2364) the council of elders (it's loose leadership group) of the Minotaur like species requested the Federation leave, seeing them through the eyes of the officials as being equally willing to subjugate them, to which the advisers were recalled. The species now uses old 23rd century starships that they had acquired during the conflict/assistance period, and sub-light sleeper ships of their own design, not being able yet to produce warp capable ships themselves. They are not unified, and have become prey to the corrupter elements out there, as well as a leading source of kemocite, whose ore is plentiful in one of the systems they inhabit.
    My one shot for this setting is this: while patrolling a distress signal is received from a passenger/freighter vessel; upon arriving the vessel (a talarian freighter type vessel) is being attacked by another freighter, this one armed, if the PCs ship attempts to intervine a third vessel warps in and warns the PCs to leave the freighters be, as it is an internal matter; if the PCs continue they will be attacked by the third ship and possibly starting a conflict.
    Last edited by JALU3; 09-07-2013 at 10:06 AM. Reason: expansion

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  3. #3
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    So I was thinking, if the TNG/DS9 era is chosen, I was thinking of an "episode"/adventure set around a cargo cult, which could be similar to A Piece of the Action. Has anyone else ran an episode similar to this idea?

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  4. #4
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    I've always thought it could be interesting to do something with a cargo cult. Did you ever read Brian Daley's Han Solo and the Lost Legacy?
    + &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;<

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    I've always thought it could be interesting to do something with a cargo cult. Did you ever read Brian Daley's Han Solo and the Lost Legacy?
    Best of the three books (all of which are good)

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    I had an idea for a story that might help a cargo cult concept. We all know that the radio waves our civilization generate will be bouncing around space forever. I imagined a race that thanks to some cosmic coincidence and a nearby 'gravity lens' basically got all our radio signals at almost the same strength as we do, maybe better.

    They would be picking up these 'strange signals' almost immediately after they discovered radio/tv. They would quickly begin trying to contact us, but thanks to the lens they couldn't. So rather than a group of people or a culture becoming obsessed with a piece of cargo they found, they got almost all of 20th Century Earth culture (such as it was) beamed into their lives. They eventually learned our languages, adopted our styles of dress, etc.

    In my story idea, they lost the feed from Earth in the opening shots of WWIII, so they assumed we wiped ourselves out (I figured after the war and First Contact we switched to something that didn't broadcast like our Radio signals). So, when Star Fleet meets these guys, they are like "OMG! HUMANS!!! You survived!!!".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky View Post
    I had an idea for a story that might help a cargo cult concept. We all know that the radio waves our civilization generate will be bouncing around space forever. I imagined a race that thanks to some cosmic coincidence and a nearby 'gravity lens' basically got all our radio signals at almost the same strength as we do, maybe better.

    They would be picking up these 'strange signals' almost immediately after they discovered radio/tv. They would quickly begin trying to contact us, but thanks to the lens they couldn't. So rather than a group of people or a culture becoming obsessed with a piece of cargo they found, they got almost all of 20th Century Earth culture (such as it was) beamed into their lives. They eventually learned our languages, adopted our styles of dress, etc.

    In my story idea, they lost the feed from Earth in the opening shots of WWIII, so they assumed we wiped ourselves out (I figured after the war and First Contact we switched to something that didn't broadcast like our Radio signals). So, when Star Fleet meets these guys, they are like "OMG! HUMANS!!! You survived!!!".
    Reminds me of Lrrr from Futurama demanding the return of Single Female Lawyer. Your scenario creates an interesting take on the old TOS "cultural pollution" type episodes. Perhaps what it could be is that the gravitational lense no longer functioned due to movement of steller phenomena or stars which served as amplifiers to the older to early World War II signals. Furthermore, given no cultural context it would be curious how they interpret the different cultures and languages, and even the commercials and products that would play. All that is akin to what occurred in A piece of the Action on Sigma Iotia II. Would be interesting whether different segments of the population would gravitate to different countries broadcasts, and possibly emulate what they could extrapolate our cultures being (I know, another off-world Nazi possibility scenario that seems more common then it really should be in Star Trek).

    I was something akin to what occurred in Who Watches the Watchers and False Profits, in that the scenario begins with receiving a distress signal on the AM band, that (if the PCs tests succeed) are several years old. Upon reaching the source of the wreck the PCs find the wreckage, a burial site, and a rigged transmitter; further investigation finds a few survivors of the wreck being worshiped as spiritual entities, who had horded the cargo upon learning of the cargo cult and the value and power that power gave them, and slowly gave the cargo to the worshipers. By the time the PCs find them at the rate that they were disseminating the cargo they only had a couple months supply left. Upon, arrival of the PCs, an element of the cult seeks to kill one of them, as it was only after killing a survivor that the remaining survivors began disseminating the cargo, and thus beginning another cycle of kill, begin receiving. Or at least that is an idea of where to take this concept.

    Another way to use the concept is that a species who had previous contact, and was a benefactor of a pre-Prime Directive vessel, who provided goods to the less technologically advanced people using shuttlecraft. Due to the need to repair the vessel, the crew traded mined raw materials for goods from the ship, much as the Horizon had done, and remained in orbit for less then two years before it could continue its mission of exploration. Ultimately, the ship was lost without being able to inform anyone of its interaction with the planet, and thus no one being aware of the cultural impact it had on the planet. Over time a religion formed around the visitors, and the site(s) where the shuttles had landed were venerated and the observed actions of the crew emulated as part of rituals in the thought it would bring the shuttles return.
    Enter the PC, who through sensors witness the planets first attempt to seek the return of the ship from all those years ago. I was thinking this would come in the form of a one time high powered signal, or through the launch of a rocket.

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    Hmm, both of your ideas sound pretty good. One is a good old "what would you do to survive?" scenario and the other is more of an unintended consequences situation. Both good drama and appropriate for ST.

    As regards to my idea; what if they got POST WWII signals? There seems to be this fascination with the 30's-40's in a lot space/time travel stuff. What if they got the "culture" from the 80's? Or the swinging 60's (ok, kinda done on TOS, but still)? Or throw your players for a loop and have aliens influenced by OUR times (hard to do without getting crazy political)?

    I just had an idea along the same lines as a cargo cult but also with a TOS feel to it: What if instead of a crew member of a crashed ship survived, just the ship did? What if a malfunctioning main computer started issuing orders to the primatives that found it? These might be instructions on how to repair the ship (but then they don't really know what to do, do they?), or a collection of suggestions or observations.
    Or maybe the holodeck is engaged and some character from a program is acting as a god.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky View Post
    As regards to my idea; what if they got POST WWII signals? There seems to be this fascination with the 30's-40's in a lot space/time travel stuff. What if they got the "culture" from the 80's? Or the swinging 60's (ok, kinda done on TOS, but still)? Or throw your players for a loop and have aliens influenced by OUR times (hard to do without getting crazy political)?
    Or to stretch the idea out, lets say a civilization who had just entered a period similar to ours at the turn of the 20th century; and began to receive signals beginning just before The Great War. With the knowledge of those signals limited to a group of individuals, say a learned class, who used the knowledge to guide their civilization to make better decisions based on the lessons they learned from our broadcasts (from ever culture we have, using major incidents to create a Rosetta Stone for them). Then World War III occurs, and the signals stop, and like in your other scenario they believe our civilization self-destructed; and whose knowledge was still kept from the masses of their world. And a few years later (say less then a decade) the PCs ship arrives and make a non-planned first contact with their planets first interstellar explorer ships (say ion powered sleeper ships).


    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky View Post
    I just had an idea along the same lines as a cargo cult but also with a TOS feel to it: What if instead of a crew member of a crashed ship survived, just the ship did? What if a malfunctioning main computer started issuing orders to the primatives that found it? These might be instructions on how to repair the ship (but then they don't really know what to do, do they?), or a collection of suggestions or observations.
    Or maybe the holodeck is engaged and some character from a program is acting as a god.
    On the holodeck thing; the technology appeared to be very new with the commissioning of the Enterprise-D, so the setting of the scenario would have to be 2360s onward. Also you'd have to come up with some type of malfunction with the holodeck, as the characters are suppose to have perception filters that keep them in character. Would these holodeck characters become self aware but trapped within range of the holodeck emitters? What of the power systems; what is keeping the power-hungry holodeck running?
    As for the other idea; sounds like a more elaborate version of the "cultural pollution idea". How would the primative species react to it? Would it become an oracle of sorts? Worshipped as a god? Or seen as something demonic, to be feared?

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  10. #10
    We're moving more and more to signals which would be undetectable by someone listening to radiowaves; what once were broadcasts are now podcasts.

    The idea of a culture unable to differentiate between a news broadcast and Buffy would be an interesting take.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    We're moving more and more to signals which would be undetectable by someone listening to radiowaves; what once were broadcasts are now podcasts.
    Well, there are still a lot being broadcasted on AM and FM, whether it be the various talk formats on AM & FM, NPR, the stuff put out by the various stations of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (such as Radio Free Europe); and lets not forget BBC World Service! I am sure that I am missing a lot of other stations, but I am sure there is still a lot out there for those who aren't connected to the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    The idea of a culture unable to differentiate between a news broadcast and Buffy would be an interesting take.
    Now this would be really interesting, how could they tell what we were broadcasting is fiction, especially if they are able to intercept television broadcast, or radio programs during the golden age of radio. Imagine their reaction to The War of the Worlds, especially if their reception of Earth broadcasts ended after that point; the scientist in First Contact said it herself that she would be horrified if the Federation were to view their species through the lens of their popular media.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    The idea of a culture unable to differentiate between a news broadcast and Buffy would be an interesting take.
    Historical documents, anyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen E Oulton View Post
    Historical documents, anyone?

    "Surely, you don't believe that Gilligan's Island..."
    "Oh, those poor people!"

    And thus you get such things as the Arthurian legends; are they purely fictional, based on a real person, real events prescribed to a mythical being. Given sufficient time, and enough lost documentation, how will we ever really know; I remember this being part of a science fiction book that I read long ago. Where because of man-made and natural disasters the existence of all knowledge once information began being stored digitally was lost to the ancestors of those who survived, and that the returning space expeditions were seen as alien in their way of life and advanced technologies.

    For instance, look at one species take on what we know to be fiction Galaxy Quest
    Last edited by JALU3; 09-11-2013 at 11:36 PM.

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  14. #14
    Let's say they develop their ability to intercept signals in the 1990s, and then the drop-off of television signals (both in Trek and in the real world) means that they get a terrifying cross-section of a reality where vampires and other monstrous predators (cf. The X-Files, Supernatural etc) vie for the flesh of normal humans, while the tyrannical secret societies and demonic agencies which are the true powers behind the face of 'democracy' (The X-Files again, Coast-to-Coast AM) plan for a monstrous apocalypse which only the devotees of the extraterrestrial or Satanic secret masters will survive. By the time the War on Terror broadcasts start, they'll have already decided to shoot any alien on sight—and if they catch Jackass they can assume that the zombification neurotoxins (every zombie movie ever...) have begun. When TV finally dies (long before WWIII, according to Trek) they can assume that it's much worse.
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    OK, so the meetup got 50% attendance of those who said that they'd make it, and apparently I missed one person due to traffic Of those whom I met with, one is a MMC, and the other two are a husband wife combo whom have played the system before (and have more books than I have); they've decided on the DS9 era so I need to start working on fleshing out how a pilot episode would look like. Something that would make them want to come again, but also give them a foundation of the system, but also not be to combat oriented. The sailor wants to play something similar to his real life role, the husband is looking for a command position, and the wife wants to be a scientist.

    So I am thinking the pilot game, can start off with them being assigned to the sector, and being introduced to some NPCs (whom will be supporting background characters), and being thrown into a mission quickly en route to their arrival ... say the distress call response that I spoke about in the second post of the thread.

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