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.
“Ping Pong” is a teaser adventure for Star Trek Adventures. This adventure is mean to be played by a Gamemaster (gamemaster) and 2-6 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 scene opens at the tail end of an intense ping pong match being held in the ship’s mess hall. Two of the player characters are going head to head. The score is currently 10-9. Whichever character is the lowest ranking is in the lead, which of course has the watching crown enthralled.
Whoever wins will have bragging rights.
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: Ping Pong
When the players are ready to begin, read the following:
“Captain’s Log: We have just completed our trade negotiations on the Brenaldi homeworld. Two weeks mediating between thirty-seven different factions has worn out the crew. As such, I have granted some of the crew extended rest and relaxation time.”
A large gathering of crew members has assembled in the mess hall to witness a ping pong match between (insert two player characters here). The score is 10-9, in favor of (insert lower ranking character’s name) and it is their serve. Tension fills the air. The young officers are dying to see the outcome. Cheers and jeers fly back and forth as the competitors ready for the next round. A point is scored after each ball is put into play (not just when the server wins the point as in volleyball). So the next serve could end the game for (insert the higher ranking officer’s name).
The next rally will bring in Opposed Task rules. (Core Rulebook p. 82)
At the beginning of this Opposed Task, the lower ranking character (active character) will serve the ball. The higher ranking character (reactive character) will try to hit the ball back, seeking to avoid an instant loss.
Both characters attempt a Fitness + Security Task with a base Difficulty of 1. The outcome of the Opposed Task depends on both characters’ Task results.
A. ACTIVE CHARACTER SUCCEEDS, REACTIVE CHARACTER FAILS: the active character achieves their goal and scores a point if their Task is successful.
B. ACTIVE CHARACTER FAILS, REACTIVE CHARACTER SUCCEEDS: the active character hits the ball but the reactive character sends it back. The ball is still in play. Now the reactive character becomes the active character. Go back to Step A.
C. BOTH CHARACTERS FAIL: the active character hits the ball but the reactive character sends it back. The ball is still in play. The active character remains the active character. Go back to Step A.
D. BOTH CHARACTERS SUCCEED: compare the total Momentum generated on each character’s Task. The character with the higher Momentum wins and scores a point, but loses one Momentum for each Momentum their opponent scored. The loser then loses all the Momentum they generated, and may not spend any. In the case of a tie, the active character scores a point but loses all Momentum they generated.
Any momentum generated in Step B or D could be used to create Advantages or Complications. It could also be used to cancel complications that were created, as per normal game rules. This could rally several times, with both characters hitting the ball back and forth until one succeeds in scoring a point.
The first character to reach 11 points wins that game. However, a game must be won by at least a two-point margin. Whoever wins will have bragging rights. Who knows, maybe this will become your ship’s favorite pastime.