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Thread: Adventure Seeds

  1. #466
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobian View Post
    Yes they had quasi god-like aliens all the time, and each every time they were bested by the crew.
    The Traveler was never 'bested;' he behaved essentially the same as you'd expect some angelic, morally superior creature to—hell, in 'Journey's End' he explicitly guides Wesley into a mystical ritual in order to develop spiritually.

    Whether Q was bested depends on how much you think he was messing with people.

    They posed as gods but were proven to be very much flawed and fallible.
    I was never a fan of Lucretius' argument, actually. It's a little too aesthetic in nature.

    The only ones who were really treated with respect were the wormhole aliens, because they were largely benign and positive.
    Well, except for the Pah Wraiths.

    Yes many people had quasi-mystical beliefs, but they were either genuine superscience abilities (like telepathy etc) which were provable and scientific and therefore simply.. science..
    As the current crop of neo-humanists are fond of demonstrating, there's nothing stopping people ascribing mystical value or feelings of religious adoration to scientific concepts.

    Yes, they respect and allow for personal beliefs, and don't tread on people's right to self-determination. There's a huge gulf between not allowing religious dogma to lead the Federation's policies and laws,
    Just secular dogma, as Quark is fond of pointing out.

    and banning people WITH religious beliefs from office. I see it as (obviously) akin to the tenet of separation of church and state in modern day America. (which you guys theoretically are supposed to have...)
    The definition of 'church' and 'state,' however, is the result of a very specific historical framework, being the history of Catholicism and Protestantism in Europe and the parallel or intermingled development of the modern nation-state. Just as Anglo historians have had a hard time categorizing 'Confucianism' and its relationship to Chinese political entities, using those words to describe a the culture of an alien species is inaccurate at best and misleading at worst. (And that's before you even get into materialist NRMs like Raelianism or Scientology or totalitarian cults of personality.)

    But this is one of those places where the allegorical nature of Trek and worldbuilding considerations end up in intractable conflict, since alien cultures in Trek are usually just humans by any other name. Rarely is the problem of non-parallel development addressed.

    In the case of the Vulcans, they are almost entirely secular. They have a form of ancestor reverence, but that's more akin to the extolation of the virtues of characteristics they admire. Their psionic abilities actually *work* so they aren't quasi-mystical claptrap, they can actually read minds (as opposed to faith healing and spiritualism, which have been exposed as fraud in every single scientific study, here, on earth), so you can't conflate the two.
    The human writers are the ones bringing it in, though, making it obvious that certain kinds of mystical claptrap are assumed to be the provenance of 'advanced species.' (cf. Roddenberry's TMP novelization). Now, using it as a means to SF-ize discussions of religious topics might be the point, but that has to include the fact that Sarek was clear that the katra was 'Spock's essential being,' and that V'ger needed to bond with a human—and by implication, some mystical quality possessed by a human instead of a merely-sentient planet-size artificial intelligence—in order to ascend to a higher plane of existence. V'ger was looking for God, and got what it was looking for.

    'what would god want me to do' was never a choice a crew member would face.
    Except for Kira. And Weyoun. Possibly Kim, given the crucifix. And, technically, that was the entire point of Star Trek V.

    They always had to make their own, often very hard, and derisive, decisions. If they met a 'ghost' or a 'spirit' or a 'god' it always turned out to be an alien or a trick, consistently, throughout the show.
    But why does 'alien' automatically equate to 'lacking in divine being'? Trek has no end of exhortations toward humanist adorations of human consciousness as a noble, meaningful and willful thing; crews only really get fussy with god-like aliens talking down to them. Guys like the Traveler, who feed them lines about 'potential' and 'further stages of evolution' they seem to be okay with.
    Last edited by The Tatterdemalion King; 01-03-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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  2. #467
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    There were numerous episodes which dealt with the old Arthur C Clarke axiom of 'so advanced that science appears to be magic' and even false divinity. Yes there were beings that were 'helpful' but they generally fell into the camp of 'not claiming to be gods, just advanced or weird'. The traveler never claimed to be an angel or a god, just higher up the evolutionary ladder. The prophets didn't claim to be gods either, that was just how the Bajorans saw them. They had the ability to exist outside of time, so they had god-like abilities, and were mostly beneficent (excluding the pagh wraiths who were not) so there was nothing to 'beat'. In trek they only 'beat' the bad ones. I am sure you can find innumerable exceptions to the rule, but the bottom line, it is the rule. Like it or not. trek V.. uhm they blew god up with a photon torpedo, you can't make my case any better than that

    The rest is well a scifi conceit of 'already dealt with' much like today we can't fly faster than the speed of light, talk to non-human life forms without years of study, form a stable world government, eliminate poverty, have a society based on no currency, or disassemble a person at the atomic level and translate them half way across a solar system in the blink of an eye. The Federation exists, they have dealt with their issues, they have negotiated peace and have meaningful relationships with divergent alien cultures. It might not feel aesthetically pleasing to you but the whole-cloth ensemble is the backdrop to Startrek. I find it likewise improbable, but it is what it is, and this is the setting we're talking about. If you find that the Federation is just the mouthpeice for some 'new age hippy claptrap' then you've just got dissatisfied with Trek, but it doesn't change what it is.

    Anyway, I can't be fussed with horrific point for point disassembling posts, and I'm not an anthropological or religious scholar, so I can't get into that with you, beyond the passingly superficial common knowledge aspects, and I have no intention of doing so, because I find religion to be a load of old bollocks We're getting too far away from the point of the original discussion now, which is that I found the concept of a mature society with long-established ethical and moral guidelines suddenly pulling a 180, as too much of a false jeopardy, however, like trek, I believe in self determination, so if you feel the need to run that scenario in your game, it's not my place to stop it, much like if you want to have your adventures set on the USS Jesus riding on a dinosaur through space which poops warp-rainbows, then feel free.
    Ta Muchly

  3. #468
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    I think this thread is wonderful, was wondering if there were some more Academy ideas more centric to the Sol system.

  4. #469
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    (It just so happens that this thread is only MOSTLY dead...)

    TITLE: Endemic
    SERIES: Any
    SETTING: TMP - but with minor tweaking this could fit in any era

    Description: A new strain of Rigelian Fever has broken out among a group of non-aligned colonies between the Federation and Klingon neutral zone, the virus is extremely infectious and the mortality rate is higher than any previously reported strain. Further its transmission vectors are unknown. Both Starfleet and the Klingon Empire, nervous about the spread of the disease impose a joint medical quarantine of the effected systems until a treatment can be found. The PC's ship is ordered to rendezvous with the USS Sachs and transport aboard one of the Federation's top epidemiologists and deliver them safely to the medical site, then take up station to enforce the quarantine; however when they arrive the find the Sachs minutes away from a core breach. Beaming aboard the only two survivors they find them dying hideously as their nerves are slowly replaced by an inert silicate. Under way again the ship begins to have its own problems as systems begin to fail, slowly at first, but with increasing frequency; and to make things worse the crew is showing signs of falling ill as well. Can the crew deal with finding what is happening to them while dealing with panicky civilians and potentially trigger happy Klingons?

    For this adventure I created a space-Bourne parasite that lives in naturally energetic ring systems of gas giants. They feed on energy including electricity and leave behind inert silicon as waste, sprinkled with live parasites. They can infect ships and sentient beings equally (they found telepathic species especially tasty), clustering around the warp core and central nervous systems respectively. If left untreated characters die in slow agonizing ways, and ships explode as antimatter containment eventually fails.

    My players hated me for this one.
    Last edited by ILikePike; 12-30-2014 at 05:38 PM.
    "Bad thinking is punishable. Good thinking is quickly and easily rewarded."

  5. #470
    I might steal that one for Delta Green.
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  6. #471
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    Enjoy - and may your players find you as sadistic as they found me.

    For those interested, here were the original stats I made for the space-borne parasites:

    Isolytic Parasites - microscopic extra-solar parasites that exist in highly charged planetary rings or near pulsars and quasars. They are attracted to electrical energy or concentrations of highly-charged radiation especially Isolytic radiation. They are silicone-based life forms that consume energy and reporduce by cell division. They are simple and extremely hardy as they exist in the vaccum of space. They can infest ships if the vessel comes in contact with them, they can enter through the hull, bussard collectors, or sensor pallets. once aboard, the infestation begins immediately, they will cluster around EPS taps, computer circutry, etc. choking off all electrical flow and multiplying rapidly. As they consume energy and reproduce, excess is sloughed off in the form of a greyish silicone ooze. The ooze also contains small amounts of viable parasites . If left untreated, systems begin to fail, generally culminating with the destruction of the vessel as important systems such as anti-matter containment fail. Once an infestation reaches around a million or so in a single area, they also deflect or absorb transporter carrier waves. If an engineer can identify an infected system within 1 hour of infection, the infected components may be removed and destroyed to prevent further spread. Once the colony migrates into the other systems, Only subjecting the ship to prolonged exposure to Omega radiation of greater than 300 rads for 24 hours will eradicate the infestation (generally unadvisable unless the vessel can be left derilict during this time as Omega radiation is lethal to humanoids), or to create a more tempting environment for the parasites, so that they will leave the vessel of their own accord.

    If a humanoid comes in contact with them, they will invade the host's central nervous system, acting normally, generally clustering around the brain, heart, and spinal cord. They will begin to shut down all electrical activity in the body eventually killing the host, leaving behind an inert silicate lattice-like structure around the affected areas. The parasites can also migrate to another host by touch. To treat them, a medic must freeze the subject to slow or stop all electrical impulses in the body, the parasites will then die within 1-12 minutes, the trick is being able to revive the subject afterward.

    Game Effects:

    Vessel: Infestation 1 Hour - if identified early, the effected systems can be repaired, after that for each hour roll randomly on the critical hit table and mark off the damage (no explosive effects but other penalties apply), additionally roll one minor system hit as well; until the infestation is contained and eradicated. This damage cannot be repaired until the infestation is removed - replaced components are re-infested within 1 round. If Propulsion takes full damage a core breach automatically occurs (+15 to the TN automatically due to damaged systems).

    Character: Onset 24 + 1D6 Hours, Diagnosis +10TN phase 1: aches, pains, arthritic symptoms. (+5 TN to medicine to cure). Phase 2: (+3D6 hours after infection) slowness of speech and thought, loss of vision, disorientation (+10 TN to all tests), (+10TN medicine to cure). phase 3: (+3D6 hours after phase 2) subject collapses and becomes comatose. (immediately at down wound level) subject will die within a further 1D6 hours. (+15 TN medicine to cure).

    Halve all onset times for Vulcans and other Psionically active species, or characters with the Psionic Potential Edge.
    Last edited by ILikePike; 12-30-2014 at 11:11 PM. Reason: added in game material
    "Bad thinking is punishable. Good thinking is quickly and easily rewarded."

  7. #472
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    Title Peaceful Demonstration
    Series: Any
    Setting: Dominion War

    What if people from the Space Hippy Movement ( From TOS, Same Group, Different People) got hold of an old ship and try to insert themselves into an approaching battle with some sort of technobabel generator that will render both side inert or useless, and Starfleet has to stop them because of their misguided methods?

    Alternatively, what if they were causing disruptions at a Starbase with demonstrations?

  8. #473
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    Gauntlet

    PC's ship is transporting delegates from a newly discovered world, who want to be considered for UFP membership. Have a conversation with them about how important courage and determination against the odds are to Humans and Starfleet in particular.

    All go to sleep when suddenly, sirens go off and urgent calls to duty stations. They rise and hurriedly dress, and exit their quarters. Suddenly all power goes out and the ship is in total darkness.

    Turbolifts are also off, so using stairways, jefferies tubes etc they get to duty stations (hopefully all on the Bridge). Lights come back on and they discover that apart from each other, they are alone.

    With no viewscreen, no commu, no sensors, no controls, nothing.

    Search around the ship and uncover it all deserted, with apparent damage sealing some areas, some parts open to vaccum etc.

    Should be very "Silent Hill" in atmosphere!

    Hopefully at some point they go to find their passengers who are on the Rec Deck etc waiting for them.

    Aliens explain that they are all powerful Psi's and this is a test inside a shared Psi powered dream. They wanted to test the courage and determination of this Federation to see if it's deeds live up to its words!

    They awake to their normal ship - hopefully they passed the test?!!

  9. #474
    Here's one that my group is in the middle of right now. It will be interesting to see how they resolve it in our next session.

    Campaign type: Exploration
    Setting: any

    Premise: While exploring an asteroid field, the crew detects an odd energy reading from one of the asteroids. They discover there is a hidden outpost inside the asteroid. Scans show active equipment but no life signs. There are also some parts of the asteroid interior that are unreadable.

    The crew investigates and finds some sort of bio lab. Soon after this discovery, the boarding party is rendered unconscious (either from knock-out gas or stun beam). When they wake up, they're laying on bio beds in the lab stripped of all gear and clothing and feeling very strange. Their bodies have been gender-flipped.

    Medical scans show they're actually genetically altered clones and that there is some sort of receiver/transmitter device implanted into their brains. Further study shows that the implant is allowing the clone bodies to be controlled remotely and sending back all sensory input. Removing the implants would likely kill them. Blocking the signal renders them unconscious. The crew needs to find a way to successfully reverse or reflect the signal.

    Once the signal is reversed, the gender-flipped crew members suddenly wake up in their normal (fully clothed) bodies with some sort of apparatus attached to their heads. There is a small group of alien scientists in the room.

    At this point, the boarding party can free themselves and confront the scientists. Unless your players are the "shoot first and ask questions later" type, they'll want to know why the scientists did this to them. There are many different explanations you could give for this. Personally, the reason I'm using in my campaign is that the scientists are from a world where two political factions, one ruled by men and one ruled by women, are at war. As a result, birth rates are dropping at an alarming rate and within five generations will be too low to sustain their society. This hidden facility is part of an underground movement to bring the factions together, and they plan on kidnapping the faction leaders and forcing them to live as the opposite gender for a while to hopefully get them to stop the fighting. When the boarding party's ship came by, they panicked and hid. Out of desperation to complete their work, they decided to use the boarding party as test subjects.

    Optional twist: When the signal is reversed, the gender-flipped clones are briefly rendered unconscious but then begin thinking on their own when they wake up. The implants have been rendered inert, and the players now have two separate characters to control.

    The final resolution will be up to you and your players.

  10. #475
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    Mr. T - I like this. I think I'm going to inflict this on my players. Bwah-hah-hah-HAH!

  11. #476
    You could throw in a Bynar or Axanar just to make the kidnapping scientists seem extra clueless.
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  12. #477
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    Why Bynars? True, Axanarri are supposed to be androgynous, as are the J'naii, but there's nothing in canon to indicate that the Bynars are. Sure, there's very little gender dimporphism, but nothing to indicate that the Bynars do not have gender. Indeed, the non-canon novels, f'rinstance the SCE series, speculate that Bynar pair-bonds are male-female. Also, why make the scientists look clueless. Surely they're more threatening if they know what they're about.

  13. #478
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    This adventure seed reminds me vaguely of an old fanfic printed in the mid-1970's in Bantam Books' Star Trek The New Voyages 1 or 2, called The Procrustean Petard, or the spoof Carol Burnett did of TOS where the ship goes through the Estrogena Nebula (available on You Tube).

  14. #479
    Quote Originally Posted by Owen E Oulton View Post
    Why Bynars? True, Axanarri are supposed to be androgynous, as are the J'naii, but there's nothing in canon to indicate that the Bynars are. Sure, there's very little gender dimporphism, but nothing to indicate that the Bynars do not have gender. Indeed, the non-canon novels, f'rinstance the SCE series, speculate that Bynar pair-bonds are male-female. Also, why make the scientists look clueless.
    From '11001001' (TNG):

    QUINTEROS
    They're not gentlemen or ladies,
    Commander.
    (off Riker's look)
    They are a unified pair. Always
    together. This is One Zero.


    Although if you did retcon it so that they were a male-female pair, that would actually underscore the point, since neither sex exists as social individual, and thus their 'gender' would be a 'they.' (It would also let you make 'A Cyborg Manifesto' jokes.)

    Surely they're more threatening if they know what they're about.
    Well, putting aside how the initial writeup makes them look—presumably each side simply abducts breeding-age individuals from the other side and extracts their sperm or ova, or just create sex-inverted clones for industrial purposes, if they can do what this scenario presupposes; maybe they can, and these scientists are some sort of Karl Fuchs-like group instead of the only ones who realize that war is bad for birth replacement rates—realizing that both the NPCs don't understand what's going on and that convincing them what's actually happening is necessary is the kind of challenge that relies more on roleplaying or social problem-solving than simply procedural questions of thwarting a plan. (And is thus, IMO, an opportunity for Star Trekkiness.) I've never felt that a scenario suffers for including a little bit of NPC misunderstanding.

    If you do want to reintroduce more procedural, phaser-zapping action, then the asteroid base is mere moments away from being discovered by ships of the two sides in the war—the original targets of the trap.

    Another Trekky twist would be to make the sex-inverted PCs actually just clones, a la Weyoun. So now the PCs have to figure out what to do with... themselves.
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  15. #480
    Title: Coalation of Systems

    Synopsis: As my players have gone further and further out into the unknown, I have slowly trickled in little hints about a Federation type organization out beyond known space. As of now they haven't met any of these people but they have come across a beacon warning them not to go down into a planet (they didn't listen and almost killed each other), and most recently a drone which destroyed a ship that was trying to destroy their ship. As they story goes on they are going to find out that while they are similar to the Federation, their military force works mainly by drone strikes and occupation.

    The players will also find out that the species who makes up the Coalation is also the same species of people they are fighting against. Anyone associated with the Coalation is very xenophobic and will attack our players any chance they will get. This fear of others is used as justification for the Coalations actions.

    Once they get deeper into Coalation space they will find out that the police force is also very extreme and often acts against the peoples best interests.


    Purpose: Social Commentary. I believe Star Trek is done best when it is trying to do social commentary. Instead of normal space battles it will make them question the social and ethical issues at hand and make them make a hard decision.

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