You just hit play on your favorite Star Trek show.
The show starts with the characters walking out of holodeck chatting about some hilarious misadventure (DS9: “Inquisition“); or an away team returns from a first contact mission that didn’t go so well (VOY: “Macrocosm“); or a crew member shows off a skill or talent that impresses, or fails to impress, fellow crew members. (TNG: “Second Chances“)
These show openers are referred to as “teasers”. A teaser is a short introductory story that does not necessarily play into the main campaign. It is usually used to “humanize” characters, giving readers deeper insight into their personalities or everyday activities.
As such, I think Star Trek Adventures needs a Teaser Compendium. This will be the first of such very short stories; never more than a page, never more than two or three dice rolls (if even that). Hopefully, they spice up your campaigns and create some memorable moments.
Use the information below or download the PDF here.
“One Dam Problem” is a teaser adventure for Star Trek Adventures. This adventure is mean to be played by a Gamemaster (gamemaster) and 1-6 players. It is best used to start a current campaign. It may be inserted during a lull in the action, if appropriate.
To run this adventure, the gamemaster needs to be familiar with the adventure itself and the Star Trek Adventures rules.
The short story starts out with several crew members in a shuttlecraft hovering over a failed water dam located in the Backtell region of Rube VII’s largest continent. The dam is the pride of the Rube people. It supplies drinking water and power for the entire desert continent. Due to a civil war that recently ended, the technology needed to repair the dam is not present.
The character’s vessel was traveling through the system when they came across a distress signal from the planet. Since the Rube’s were warp-capable before the civil war, the captain made the decision to provide aid.
The characters must repair the dam and then continue on their current mission.
The gamemaster begins this adventure with two points of Threat for every player character in the group. Keep in mind, this mission is added to whatever main campaign the gamemaster has chosen, so the Threat is only collected once.
Scene: One Dam Problem
When the players are ready to begin, read the following:
Your away team has been assigned to a mission to provide assistance to the people from the planet Rube VII. A major dam is failing. It is located in the Backtell region of Rube VII’s largest continent. The dam is the pride of the Rube people. It supplies drinking water and power for the entire desert continent. The waters held back by the dam can be seen from space and resembles a massive ocean. Due to a civil war that recently ended, the technology needed to repair the dam is not present.
Your vessel was traveling through the system when it came across a distress signal from the planet. Since the Rube’s were warp-capable before the civil war, the captain made the decision to provide aid. An away team was sent in a shuttlecraft to help in any way possible.
Now, the storm winds buffet the shuttlecraft. It is nighttime. The shuttle hovers fifty meters above the planet’s largest dam. Illumination from floodlights positioned along the edges of the dam breaks through the rainy darkness. Three high-intensity beams from the engineering crews on the shore and one spotlight from the shuttle target a huge piece of bent metal that juts out of the dam. Water blasts from the crack with enough power to split a tree. The gigantic dam will be compromised at any moment.
The away team has made some progress so far: attaching a cable to the metal fragment, targeting the phasers on the crack, and flying into position.
The adventure begins with the pilot of the vessel needing to make a Daring + Conn and ship’s Engines + Conn with a difficulty of 3 to maintain a steady position above the damn. This roll must be made every round of action due to the extreme weather conditions. Failure means that the difficulty for all other actions, including future piloting rolls, is increased by 1. Success means that things are stable. Momentum can be used to create advantages for the away team or to eliminate complications that are created during the away mission.
The crew is at the end of an Extended Task, which we will assume has gone well so far. Now, the final two stages of the Task need to be completed:
- Pull metal from crack. Transporters cannot be used due to the storm and mass of rushing water. Hence, operating the winch is a Control + Engineering and ship’s Structure + Engineering with a base difficulty of 2. Success means the metal is yanked out of the crack. Failure means that the metal comes out but not without creating more damage to the dam and enlarging the hole. This will add +1 difficulty to the next action.
- Seal breach in dam. Phasers must be utilized to seal the crack in the dam. This will be a Control + Security with ship’s Weapons + Security with a difficulty of 3. Success means the crack is sealed. The people of Rube can install more permanent repairs later. This action is a Success at Cost, which could mean sealing the dam but accidentally crashing the shuttle in the process or irradiating the water in the dam making it undrinkable for a generation or so.
Gamemasters, get creative. Give your people something to talk about in the next short scene. If everything went wonderful, read the following to the players:
The president of Rube VII appeared on the screen. The green-faced humanoid had only one eye in the middle of his face. He smiled and said, “Thank you, Federation officers. You have performed a miracle. You have the goodwill of the Rubenites to take with you on your journeys along with a large supply of rare spices found only on our world. You have a friend in the Rube System should you ever need us. Farewell on your future explorations!”
If things don’t turn out so well, then the gamemaster can have the characters lament the crashed shuttle—which could become a running joke—or the Rubenites express mixed gratitude at the fixed damn but irradiated waters. (This might lead to a larger adventure to solve the water issue or the Rubenites asking Starfleet to leave for fear they cause more problems.)
Of all the Teasers you’ve come up with so far, this is by far my favorite. I would love to do this little mini-adventure at some point in time, likely as the guy flying the shuttle. 🙂
I hope you have more flight-related Teasers for us in the future, and maybe some combat-related ones, too. 🙂
I will make that happen!