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 October, Ten Forward Fridays focuses on the villains of Star Trek universe. This week is the other long-standing enemy of the Federation: the Romulans.
It was episode 1×08 Balance of Terror that introduced both the Romulans. Despite predating Klingons in the series and having a more defined culture, Romulans appeared in far fewer episodes than Klingons, owing to the extra costs of their make-up. Romulans culture was modelled after the Republic of Rome, complete with a senate and centurions. In Balance of Terror it was implied that the Romulans were potentially an offshoot of Vulcans from a period of aggressive colonisation. This would later be implied to take place during the 4th Century BCE, with Romulans being a Vulcan sect that lost a nuclear war, rejecting Surak’s teachings on logic and leaving the planet.
Romulans were present during the years preceding the foundation of the Federation, but their appearance was a mystery and their Vulcan connection unknown, making them awkward to include in that era. When they did act, it was often in secret, with Romulan agents disguising themselves as Vulcans. Thus, it might be possible to have a Romulan (or half-Romulan) who is masquerading as a Vulcan. Even in later eras, exiled or renegade Romulans might pretend to be Vulcan to avoid being mistaken for spies or members of an enemy power.
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