We’re continuing our month of enemies with the most infamously “comedic” species in Star Trek: the Ferengi. I know not everyone is as enamored with these giant-eared, hyper-capitalists but at least they aren’t universally reviled (I wonder what the Star Trek equivalent of the Gungans is… let me know if you have a theory). As Jester mentioned in his Ten Forward Friday entry on the Ferengi, they’ve undergone quite an evolution since they were first mentioned in Star Trek: The Next Generation and I think their character makes them an especially good foe to present to your players.
To relate this to another RPG, consider Ferengi like the kobolds of Star Trek Adventures: most of them time your players run into them, they know what to expect and they can deal with the encounter as more of an annoyance than a risk. Every so often, though, kobolds and Ferengi both can turn out to be more deadly than realized and your players might stumble headlong into the trap for some time before they reassess and begin to panic.
Soloc is one of the latter cases. He’s a businessman and will come across as just another Ferengi showing how big his lobes are to the annoyance of those around him. Soloc has some pretty unsavory friends, however, and he’s more than willing to get his hands dirty. A best case scenario might be that the crew realizes Soloc sold them inferior equipment and is supplying their opponents with information on weaknesses. A worse case scenario would be that there’s some trap rigged to their purchase that will activate at just the right time for Soloc’s real clients to attack.
There are plenty information for plot hooks in the description below, but here are a few to get you started…
- The PCs’ ship reports to a civilian space station for some increased-yield torpedoes to use on a tactical mission. When the arrive, however, they find that Soloc is the seller and is attempting to renegotiate the price at the last minute. As they haggle with the Ferengi, a band of angry Cardassians show up saying something about a “transphasic bomb.” Soloc spends all of five seconds on diplomacy before turning the cargo bay into a firefight to create enough cover for him to slip out the back.
- Soloc is trading outside of his wheelhouse with Vulcan artifacts he is looking to sell at a very thin profit margin. He claims to have bought the artifacts under false pretenses and they are not as valuable as he originally thought, which is actually true. The other part of the truth, however, is that Soloc wants to get these psionically-attuned relics into the hands of the crew and then use them to control their actions and beam him tactical information from a Starfleet ship which he can sell to make up for the loss. Edit: Eagle-eyed reader, my Star Trek superior, and my good friend Matt Blodgett pointed out that not even Betazoids can learn what Soloc’s hiding since Betazoids can’t read Ferengi minds.
- Starfleet intelligence wants information on Breen activity in response to the growing Dominion threat but the xenophobic species is being as cagey as ever. Sources point to Soloc, however, as someone approachable who knows much about the inner workings of the Breen Confederacy. The Ferengi merchant is willing to share what he knows but the price will be astronomical, especially if Starfleet doesn’t want him to turn around and sell the whole conversation to the Breen after he briefs the PCs.
Click on the image below for the PDF.