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 December I’m going back to the ’60s (the 2260s) and detailing some species that appeared in the background of Star Trek: The Original Series, who could appear in a game set in either the TOS era or Star Trek: Discovery. Kicking things off are the Orions.
Orions were one of the first alien races presented for Star Trek, with an Orion slave dance appearing in the original pilot, The Cage. Another appeared in the episode 3×16 Whom Gods Destroy, as an inmate of the prison. A disguised Orion and the species’ neutrality as was mentioned in the episode 2×15 Journey to Babel. A more blue version of the race appeared in the Animated Series 2×01 Pirates of Orion. Like many other TOS background races, Orions were then promptly forgotten, only being mentioned in terms of the criminal “Orion Syndicate”. It was not until the prequel series, Star Trek: Enterprise, where Orions returned, appearing in three episodes included one that presented a surprising flip to their culture: Orion females were actually the dominant sex due owing to their pheromones.
Orions are officially neutral in terms of galactic politics, allying with no major power or empire, and instead running their criminal organization and occasional slave rings (presumably along with myriad other less illicit business ventures that sustain their economy). While unallied, individual Orions can theoretically join Starfleet, as was shown by the Kelvin Timeline character Gaila in the film Star Trek. Such individuals could be met with some suspicion from people who have had negative experiences with the Syndicate, but as the majority of Orions are not affiliated this prejudice should be rare.
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