Star Trek: Frontlines – Episode 4: Refugees

A Star Trek: Adventures actual play

Today’s Lesson: Starship combat is complicated. And apparently I didn’t even use the full amount of actions I could have taken. Though I think I need to read more about that to be sure. One of the players claims that each ship has as many actions each round as their scale . . . but, well that would take an eternity. It took quite some time as it was. There was a new player that joined us as ship’s doctor, but who didn’t get a chance to do anything and left early because the others were so engrossed in the combat. well, half of the others. It seems I will never be able to engage all of this group with this game, though I have had more luck at conventions.

I started this episode in the middle of the action. The USS Kidd was assigned to help two transports full of Federation refugees fleeing from territory that the Klingons were now claiming as their own. Their warp engines had been damaged, and they were hiding in a nebula in the Lembatta cluster, hoping to make repairs before the Klingons could find them again. The Kidd arrived, headed into the Nebula – and the captain and XO began to argue about how to address the Klingons.

Commander Collins, having extensive experience with Klingons (ie. he has a Klingon girlfriend) strongly suggested a strong demand for the Klingons to leave Federation space. Several others on the bridge agreed, but the Captain, a Denublian who prefers to reason with his enemies (unless their female Romulans, then he just annoys them) instead led with a request to be allowed to rescue the transport ships. The Klingons answered with disrupter fire.

One of the K’Vort cruisers managed to find the Kidd in the nebula and fired at them, while the massive Negh’var began firing at the transports. They both missed, but Captain Takis was no longer amused. They began to concentrate fire on the K’Vort that had fired on them. There was another K’Vort somewhere in the nebula, but it was having trouble locating the Kidd.

K'Vort Class cruisers

To bolster their defenses, Takis order Nos’grom, the science officer, to fire two probes that would give off signals that would immitate other Federation ships, and hopefully distract one or more of the Klingon birds of prey. The Negh’var however, decided to come after the Kidd, and got several good hits in (disrupter cannons have 11 damage dice guys!). The Engineering crew, bolstered by the quick actions of the Doctor and the scans of the Nos’grom, managed to keep on top of repairs, and bring the shields back up quickly.

The Klingons did not have the same luck. One of the K’vorts was disabled quickly by the Kidd, and the Negh’var was distracted by the possibility of more than one Akira class ship arriving in defense of the transports. The transports managed to get their engines repaired and they and the Kidd hauled it out of the nebula and back into uncontested Federation space.

The Kidd took on some of the injured or dead passangers from the transports, and Captain Takis’s wife, the head counsellor for the ship did her best to help them calm down as they were patched up. She noticed right away that some of the crew was acting very strange. They were demanding back the body of one of their population, just known as Smith. Will, a Vulcan who was acting very un-Vulcan like, was getting in the face of any officer who came on board to demand Smith back. Lt. jg Mooch, probably destined to forever stay a jg, tried to get a bribe out of the refugees in exchange for the immediate return of the body, but since Nos’grom wasn’t playing along, Smith refused.

Nos’grom studied the body and discovered he had swallowed an isolinear rod. It was damaged, but she managed to pull of distorted recordings of the Klingon high council. Rather than allow Smith to have the information back, Takis denied all knowledge of the rod, and turned it in to Commader Sisko when they reached DS9. Collins managed to get to spar with Lt. Worf and held his own, Nos’grom hung out with Lt. Dax, and Shon played spring ball and beat Doctor Bashir.

Join us next week for the next episode, and enjoy momtoast.com which has other rpg goodies, art, and other geeky pursuits.

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Star Trek: Frontlines – Episode 3: Marie Celestial

A Star Trek: Adventures actual play

Today’s Lesson: Give the players what they want. When you don’t, it’s torture. It’s torture for you, torture for them, and people can even start to get upset. Granted, I had a bad day yesterday when we played this mission. I was still bent on doing a string of intrigue stories leading them into the Dominion War. Really, though, it seems they really just wanted to start blowing things up. Sigh. I have a feeling this is going to be very boring for me. Especially since we don’t have stats yet for a lot of the Dominion stuff. Ah well, I will see if they are interested in taking part in the Klingon War that happened before. We have a LOT of stats for Klingons.

We begin with the crew of the USS Kidd on a mission to escort Partha, an Orion informant for Starfleet, back to Libertalia station, an independent, unaligned station between the borders. They are to see she arrives safely, and await the information she is gathering there. The Kidd has no trouble escorting her towards the station, but rather than roll in and scatter the slimy roaches Partha is there to meet, she takes the smuggler’s ship that the Kidd had impounded last time, and they part ways. The smuggling ship carried a tracking device encoded to send messages back to the Kidd.

As they continue along the border to wait from a safe distance, they pick up an uncloaked Romulan Warbird, floating just inside Federation space. As the Neutral Zone has been very quiet lately, this is an odd discovery. The Kidd comes along to investigate.

Romulan D'Deridex warbird

They find the ship is in perfect working order, but there are no life signs on board. Considering a warbird of this size can carry 2,000 people, this is a disturbing discovery. The crew beams over a tricorder to get some more readings at a safe distance. They find that there are plenty of bodies still there, but nothing in the air or wrong with the ship that would cause the deaths of so many. To prevent further trouble from arizing, the Kidd uses its tractor beam to start pushing the ship back into the Neutral Zone.

Just as they begin to do this, another Romulan ship decloaks, demanding to know what the Federation is doing with their ship, and why everyone is dead. Quick and open sharing of the information they had discovered disarms the Romulan Commander, Modex, who requests they be given a moment to assess the situation, if the Kidd is willing to stick around. The Captain agreed, and they allowed the Romulans to study their data as well as scan the ship of dead. In exchange for some more information about the possible desease that killed all the Romulans aboard, the Captain lets the Romulans know about the smuggling ship that it seems met with this derelict ship not long ago. The Kidd then moves away, leaving the Romulans to deal with their dead.

As they start moving off, the signal coming from the smuggling ship changes to the call for help. The Kidd makes an impresive entrance, dropping out of warp as close to the Libertalia Station as they dare, to find a furball of a fight happening around the smuggling vessel. Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi and other ships are buzzing around, trying to win the prize.

The Kidd target locks as many ships as it can, and broadcasts an announcement that it is claiming the ship as its own. Most of the ships scatter. The Romulans try to lay claim, but the Captain quickly shuts them down. Finally, after a discussion with the Klingons, who are fairly civil considering the current tension between the two governments, they let the Captain know that this ship was known to be smuggling weapons from the Romulans into Klingon space. Partha confirms this once they get her back on the ship, and they head back to Starbase 234 with the information.

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Star Trek: Frontlines – Preparation and Episode 1

A Star Trek: Adventures Actual Play

I have a very . . . ambitious playing group. So for this campaign, I am trying to be more prepared. Think I have enough books?

All the star trek resource books

Star Trek Adventures Books

Core Rulebook

These are the Voyages: Mission Companion, Vol 1

The Command Division: Supplemental Rulebook

Beta Quadrant: Sourcebook

Other Resources

The Star Trek Encycolpedia: A Reference Guide to the Future

The First Line: Starfleet Intelligence Handbook (ST:TNG RPG)

A Fragile Peace: The Romulan Nuetral Zone (ST:TNG RPG)

List basic plot structure, timeline choices

The Crew

Captain Takis (Denobulan) – The crew is his family. Lost a ship to Orion pirates, and then lost the Zephyr to Klingons

First Officer, Lt. Cmmdr. Jackson Collins (Human) – fast tracked lifer in Starfleet, very by the book

Security Chief, The New Guy (Andorian) – the newest crewmember, not afraid of a fight

Chief Science Officer, Lt. Cmmdr. Nos’Grum (Tellarite) – everyone around her is an idiot and she can prove it mathematically

CONN, Lt. jg Mooch (Joined Trill) – likes the thrills of flying and women

Episode 1 – Valhalla

This is the second campaign I have played with this crew. The last campaign ended with their Nova Class ship, the USS Zephyr, facing off against three Berel Class Klingon warbirds. It ended in a stale mate, with all the ships engines being blown to bits. The players had been begging me for an Akira class for ages, and I told them they would just cause trouble. This seemed to prove my point. But I could see they were itching for more action, so we began this season with an Akira.

Akira class starship

The crew is sent on a mission along the Romulan Nuetral Zone, where the Klingon border meets it, to make a show of Federation strength in this rough time. Almost as soon as the USS Kidd leaves Narendra Station, they receive a distress signal from Balduk, a small planet not very far away. They head to the planet, and find a Federation shuttle on the planet, giving off an automated distress signal. There are no life signs. The captain contacted a nearby science outpost, and confirmed that they were missing an officer who took a shuttle to survey nearbay planets. An away team heads down in a shuttle to investigate. Once they hit the atmosphere the shuttle rocked wildly, the engines began to lose energy, and thousands of life signs appeared on the planet.

Thanks to some quick work by the XO and the science officer, they managed to polarize the hull of the shuttle and stop the energy from draining. They then landed easily beside the stranded shuttle. The life signs on the planet were of all kinds of races, Klingons, Romulans, Human and more, all a short distance away and moving in battle line patterns. The security cheif and others made a sweep around the shuttle, and discovered a very frightened science officer, holding on to a type 1 phaser like his life depended on it.

They get Lt. Doleo back onto the shuttle and head back up to the ship. Once clear of the planet’s atmosphere, however, they notice that whatever was draining the shuttle was still there, like a cloud around the ship. After further investigation, they discovered part mechanical part biological microscopic creatures that were feeding on the engines of the shuttle. They were also busy repairing extensive injuries to Lt. Deleo. After looking more closely in sickbay they discovered he had suffered extensive injuries that already only appeared to be superficial because of the creatures.

To the Doctor, Lt. Deleo went on about how terrifying the planet is, and how the people there do nothing but kill each other, and that there were large winged women that carried off the dead. He also insisted on speaking to the captain alone, and there he revealed that he was in fact an intelligence agent, and that the crew was tasked to look for three known spies in the area. They are sent back down to the planet to retrieve the data from the stranded shuttle, managing to avoid a direct confrontation with either the people there who were now defending the shuttle, or the large winged being that came to retreive a dead Romulan from within the shuttle.

They beamed aboard a Viking long enough to retrieve the data chip, and sent him back quickly. They sent information back to command about the strange planet, and headed on their way.

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