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 February I’m returning to the dark side, with a few villainous species from throughout the franchise’s history. This week being the cunning, reptilian Gorn.
The Gorn first appeared in an episode of The Original Series 1×19 Arena where Kirk famously fought one as the result of Humans mistakenly colonizing the Gorn planet of Cestus III. A CGI Gorn appeared in Enterprise 4×19 In A Mirror Darkly, Part II. Despite being a fan favourite from their first appearance, surprisingly little has been done with the Gorn., although they have appeared in numerous comics and novels.
Because little has been done with the Gorn, they’re a little more open for stories, but there’s also less inspiration. As first contact with the Gorn took place in the Kirk era, they are challenging to use prior, but would easily fit into stories set immediately after or in The Next Generation era and beyond. The Gorn could be presented as enemies or allies of either the Klingons or Federation. In a story set during the Dominion War, the Gorn could take advantage of the distraction to the galactic west to expand or encourch on the territory of their neighbours. It’s conceivable a Gorn could take place in the officer exchange program, serving on a Starfleet vessel. In later fiction, Cestus III is shared between the Gorn and Federation, so it’s possible a Gorn might have been raised alongside Humans, having some of their values and perhaps even enrolling in Starfleet. While Gorn are as smart as Humans, their physical strength could push them to a mercenary role, being “hired guns” or pirates. Orion Syndicate members could easily employ Gorn bodyguards or legbreakers. A cunning Gorn could go far in the Syndicate, deceptively playing the thug role while masterminding events behind the scenes.
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