Hello and welcome to another month of Tuesdays at Quark’s! This month we’re taking a look at characters inspired by the Command Division Supplement that I reviewed a while ago. You don’t need that book to use or appreciate these characters, but it can certainly help you get some deeper context. Case in point: today’s NPC works for the Office of the Judge Advocate General which oversees court martials (courts martial? court martieaux?) for criminal matters by Starfleet officers. If your crew is anything like mine, that’s definitely something that might come up in a campaign of Star Trek Adventures.
Let me start off by saying that I know the portrait this week is not accurate. Powers Boothe was a fine actor who played many roles that I really enjoyed. His body of work and his memory don’t deserve me saying that he looks like a wrinkly alien weirdo. The truth of the matter, though, is that there have only been two (featured) Zakdorns in the series and both of them played pretty prominent roles. I can’t use those images and old people are wrinkly, plus which Powers Boothe plays exactly the sort of hardass that I’m going for here so… Sorry, bro.
Official Note: If a reader wants to make a Photoshopped version of Powers Boothe as a Zakdorn I will give you prominent credit here.
The most dramatic use of a JAG officer is to remind your players that Star Trek Adventures is not like many other roleplaying games. You are not murderhobos out for glory and riches, and you’re not even rapscallions on a spaceship playing the hyperlanes. Starfleet has a hierarchy, it has rules, and when you start flouting them then someone will have something to say. That someone is the Judge Advocate General and since she or he can’t attend to every little infraction they have trusted officers who do that for him. For particularly tricky, or particularly egregious, violations, there’s Jir f-ing Azelik.
Take a little bit of Detective Bookman from Seinfeld, Quartermaster Klim Dokachin from Next Generation, and a pit bull and you’ll get the vibe that I’m going for here. When crews hear that Commander Azelik is scheduled to rendezvous they worry even if they haven’t done anything wrong. He’s not corrupt (far from it) or biased (perish the thought) but he’s exacting and he sees no private boundaries when it comes to his investigation. What other Zakdorn apply to tactical engagements Azelik applies to personal interviews. He keeps his subjects unbalanced and in the dark until he pries every last detail from them and cross-references with everyone else’s. If the crew is lying, even about something unrelated, he’ll find out.
Obviously, you can go in a lot of different directions with this character but here are a few plot hooks to get you started.
- The Player Characters finish a mission when they receive word that a serious accusation had been leveled against them. The crew knows that the accusation is baseless and possibly part of some larger plot. Starfleet Command says that they are sending out Commander Azelik to sort things out, but do the Player Characters really have nothing they’re worried about coming to light?
- Commander Azelik unexpectedly shows up in a shuttlecraft and requests access to the ship’s computers. After some analysis he explains to the ship’s commander that he is investigating another captain of seditious activity and he has been going to several ships to confirm log recordings. The PCs’ ship rendezvoused with the ship a few weeks ago but, like the other ships Azelik has checked, the logs regarding the equipment transfers from that date are missing. He’s asked the Judge Advocate General to direct the PCs’ ship to help apprehend this woman for questioning.
- The Player Characters tansport Jir Azelik to a starbase to investigate criminal accusations. The commander hasn’t even been on the station for 48 hours when he’s found so grievously wounded that he has to be put in a medical coma. Can the PCs finish the investigation into what happened here? And what are they to make of the complex computer program that starts dropping clues and claims to be a failsafe installed by the Zakdorn?