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.
Ending April’s Dominion month, I’m doing an attempt at the Breen.
Writers for Deep Space Nine commented that the Breen were not the toughest species or the smartest or the greediest. Instead, they were the most mysterious. Their hook is that they are secretive and largely unknown.
The unknown details of the Breen can make playing one trickier. There’s not a lot of inspiration to draw from. Conversely, there’s more freedom to do your own thing and not contradict canon. It might almost be more fun to preserve the mystery and play a secretive, reclusive character.
Prior to the Dominion War, a Breen could be a mercenary associated by a ship or station. This might make more sense in a game akin to Deep Space Nine where there is a mix of civilian and Starfleet personnel at a location, such as a space station, outpost, or colony. A Breen would also work well in a civilian game of smugglers and traders, or a regular supporting character who inhabits the region as the players. Following the Dominion War, a Breen could be a cultural ambassador or observer on a Starfleet ship or Station, or a defector who opposed the expansion.
Beta Canon, specifically the novels, do very different things with the Breen. Starting with the Typhon Pact series, it’s revealed the Breen are an alliance of a dozen different species who wear the encounter suits as an equalizer, making them egalitarian by removing any sign of physical difference. This is certainly a valid approach for a Breen player character. In contrast, some of the staff behind Deep Space Nine had very different ideas, considering the ideas the suits were empty (being automated and controlled remotely) or housed a non-humanoid being inside. The idea of a slug-like Breen riding in a robot suit design to look humanoid is creepy. But, in my mind, what make Breen interesting is the mystery so it shouldn’t matter what they look like inside because many multiple possibilities are more interesting than a single answer.
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