Welcome back to another edition of Tuesdays at Quark’s! This month we’re going through some of the best recurring characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation with stats and notes for including them in you campaign. Today we’re going through everyone’s favorite metallic bad boy (and, I suspect, Brent Spiner’s favorite cathartic outlet): the android Lore.
Now, you might be forgiven for not remembering Vash and Admiral Nechayev isn’t exactly a household name but I’d be shocked if any TNG fans don’t remember Lore. Still, it’s important to remember what Lore offers to the story: he’s the other side of the philosophical conversation started by Lt. Commander Data. While Data is guided by ethical subroutines, Lore has difficulty (or no interest) in using his. The strength of his emotions overrides his sense of ethics and makes him into a sociopathic monster. It might be the stuff of Philosophy 101 (ego and id stuff) but it makes for some compelling character study.
It’s easy to think of Lore as a villain in the vein of Lex Luthor or Evil Spock. In some ways he is and playing him as nega-Data isn’t a bad route to go. But there’s more that makes Lore tick (ha ha) and you can leverage that into some interesting storylines. From an objective perspective, his rejection by Noonien Soong was definitely a massive betrayal (though allying with a planet-eater seems a bit much) and his constant marooning and deactivation shows an almost callous lack of concern for his well-being from plenty of those who should support him. Sure Lore is a class-A jerk but he’s got some definite reasons for acting the way he does and playing up those motivations is what makes him such a deep character.
There are plenty of plot hooks to use with Lore but here are a few to get you started.
- Lieutenant Commander Data arrives on the character’s ship on temporary assignment to assist with some important scientific survey near the Cardassian border. The ship begins to pick up signals that indicate a build-up of Cardassian warships in the neighboring sector, but can the crew figure out that “Data” is really Lore and that he’s planting the signals to instigate a war?
- Lore was permanently deactivated following his alliance with the Borg, but Starfleet wants to reactivate him to see what insight he can offer into the Collective’s weaknesses. They believe that he will be easier to work with without his emotional chip, but there’s always the danger that he will be sociopathic and psychopathic. One way to find out!
- When Lore shows up on Bajor attending a trade conference while disguised as an Andorian merchant, the crew spots him in their security sweeps and expects the worst. Things start to get very murky, however, when they discover that Lore was reactivated by Section 31 and fitted with a behavioral control chip that allows them to punish him for deviating from his mission.