This story is referred to as a “teaser”. 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.
Thus, the Star Trek Adventures Teaser Compendium. This is another very short story; 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.
“Sentient Seed” 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.
This is the end of a mission wherein one of the player characters strayed away from their away team while on a routine science survey of a small moon that orbits a gigantic Class Y planet. Unknown to the away team, the character was inadvertently sucked into the digestive gland of a sentient botanical lifeform. Before the away team realized what happened, the botanical lifeform cloned the player character (clothes and all) and sent the clone onboard the player vessel while the true player character remained in stasis in a giant stasis pod.
The clone was discovered when the others players realized that the doppelganger could not vocalize language. It also grew roots from its hands to ingest food and water while in the mess hall. The away team had to return to the moon to retrieve their team member.
As the scene opens, the away team is surrounded by a bunch of jittering bushes. These are the pod-bearing botanical lifeforms that the crew did not, at first, realize were sentient. Now, they are negotiating the return of their crew member.
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: Sentient Seed
When the players are ready to begin, read the following:
“Captain’s Log, Supplemental. We have returned to the seventh moon orbiting HTAS-399 b in this previously uncharted star system. To say this mission has been strange would be a vast understatement. Two days ago, we were engaged in a routine science survey of the moon’s surface. Unknown to the away team, (insert player character name) was inadvertently sucked into the digestive gland of a sentient botanical lifeform. The botanical lifeform cloned our crewman and, unbeknownst to us, sent the clone onboard our vessel. The clone was finally discovered when the crewmembers realized that the doppelganger could not vocalize language and it grew roots from its hands to ingest food and water while in the mess hall. You can imagine the shock this gave onlookers. The away team has now returned to the moon. Thankfully, they have confirmed that (insert player character name) remained unharmed in a giant stasis pod that was attached to one of the aliens. Let’s hope that this unintentional first contact won’t hamper our efforts to secure our crew member’s safe return. Maybe it will lay the groundwork for peaceful relations between two vastly different species.”
The adventure begins with the away team surrounded by a bunch of jittering bushes. Weapons are not drawn as no hostile intent has been determined.
After the away team arrives and locates the player character in stasis, the aliens immediately birth their fellow officer, who awakens shortly thereafter (although covered in gooey sap.) The clone, which cell for cell replicated the player character, begins to reabsorb into the main botanical lifeform.
One of the player characters could use a tricorder to scan the aliens and the clone with a Reason + Science task with a difficulty of 1. Spending 1 momentum will reveal that as the clone reabsorbs into the main lifeform there is an exchange of bioelectric energy similar to synaptic activity. Spending another momentum will reveal that the creatures roots are transmitting this information to other aliens via the root system, their version of learning perhaps.
A medical or science officer could use a medical tricorder to perform a Reason + Medicine/Science task with a difficulty of 1 to confirm that the player character from the pod is unharmed. Spending 1 momentum for an Obtain Info will show that the lifeform’s produce a sap similar to embryonic fluid matching the needs of whatever race that the player character represents.
A character with Focuses in First Contact, Linguistics, Negotiation, Botany, or any other logical Focus can perform a Control/Presence + Command with a difficulty of 5. The high difficulty demonstrates how extremely different this lifeform’s form of communication is. The universal translator is totally ineffective as is telepathy. An empath could sense curiosity as the main emotion, though it is a stretch to define these aliens as having what humanoids view as emotions.
The away team may need to resign themselves to not understanding these creatures, hoping that the clone’s experience convinced these strange aliens that Starfleet should be viewed as friends.
Despite the outcome, this is the end of this misadventure leaving quite the conversation piece for the player character who temporarily traded places with the Sentient Seed.
These teasers have been a joy to read. I can’t wait to see how my players react to them.
Please let me know. I always like to know how they work out.