Ten Forward Fridays: Ferengi

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.
Wrapping up our “villain month” of October, Ten Forward Fridays presents the Ferengi.

First mentioned in a throwaway line in the pilot of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Encounter at Farpoint, the Ferengi were implied to be a fearsome race that ate their last business partner. The writers hoped the Ferengi would become worthy foes of the Federation: potentially replacing the Klingons as rivals in the new series. The race debuted a few episodes later in The Last Outpost,  where the Ferengi were presented as being entirely driven by avarice. Rather than predatory cannibals, the Ferengi were goofy: bouncing around wildly and wielding comedic whip-like energy weapons. After their first couple appearances, the Ferengi vanished from the series until the end of the second season, as the writers tried to find a role for the species. Arguably, it wasn’t until Deep Space Nine when the Ferengi really found their niche, as the scheming bartender Quark set the standard for the culture.

Officially, first contact between the Ferengi and Federation occurred during the events of The Last Outpost. This was very quickly retconned, with the episode The Battle later in that season, where it revealed Picard encountered the Ferengi in the skirmish that crippled a previous command: the U.S.S. Stargazer. And in an episode Acquisition of Star Trek: Enterprise, the Ferengi have another early encounter with humans, although they are unidentified.

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