Ten Forward Friday: Benzite

An official version of this species is available in the Beta Quadrant sourcebook.

Welcome to Ten Forward Fridays, where a new playable species is presented for the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, filling in some gaps until official material can be released.

For this month, Ten Forward Fridays is focusing on background species from Star Trek: The Next Generation. This Friday is the Benzites.

First contact between Benzar and the Federation wasn’t shown on television, but we did see the first Benzite admitted into Starfleet Academy, in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation during the episode Coming of Age. This Benzite, Mordock, likely graduated from the academy partway through that series, and was followed by a number of other Benzites who were shown in the various following series. By the default date of Star Trek Adventures, there could be many lower ranking Benzites serving in Starfleet, as well as officers participating in the Officer Exchange Program. Benzite make-up was also reused in a few episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. While these were not explicitly Benzites, it does imply Benzites had warp technology a comparable time as Humans, but simply eschewed Federation contact prior to the 24th Century. As such, a Benzite could make an appearance in an earlier era.

In of the  In the first two appearances of the species, Benzites employed a breathing apparatus that permitted them to function in the nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of most Federation starships, which makes the race visually distinct and interesting. And there’s the potential for a Benzite crewmember to be able to function in planets many other crewmembers could not, allowing for an opportunity in the spotlight. Later appearances of Benzites omitted this device, implying other methods were found. Genetic modification has been proposed, but simple acclimatization is another option.  

Moving ahead from the default year of play, Benzar was captured by the Dominion during its war with the Federation. It was later freed by Romulans, but it was noted in the show that the Romulans might not relinquish control of Benzar following the war. This offers some story and character potential for Benzite members of Starfleet who might not longer be able to return home.

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