Welcome back to another edition of Tuesdays at Quark’s! The NPCs we’re bringing you this month are inspired by the Command Division Supplement, and we’ve covered a lot of the Starfleet command structure from the top to the bottom. Now we’re taking a step outside if the normal Starfleet image of crews on a starship to look at someone who specializes in sensitive first contact situations.
Lieutenant Commander T’Lar has the same basic Starfleet training of any officer but she has made herself highly specialized in negotiating first contact situations. Often, this isn’t a true “first contact” but instead a follow-up with continued attention after a species has been encountered. After all, how many times did an Enterprise blunder into a previously unknown civilization? It’s in their mission statement, after all! No, T’Lar isn’t often the first Federation citizen that a new species sees but she is frequently the one that their governments work with to ease their entry into galactic politics.
T’Lar could enter into your campaign in a lot of different ways. She could be someone in need of a ride to a new world, or she could show up to clean up the mess after the “amateur” Player Characters contact a new species. She could even be a regular crew member on a ship with a Strategic and Diplomatic Operations mission profile, if such a ship is operating in a part of space with a lot of new species like the Shackleton Expanse.
There are tons of different directions to take this, but here are a few plot hooks to get you started.
- T’Lar is assigned to a diplomatic mission to the newly-contacted Ardesta species and the Player Characters are transporting her and her team. While the mission is ongoing, members of the team returning to the ship keep acting oddly, eventually to a suspicious degree. The crew needs to figure out what is going on: telepathic control, shapeshifting, or something stranger?
- Getting her request, T’Lar gets her wish to be on the team establishing formal relations with the Dominion, but her ship goes missing in the Gamma Quadrant. When the crew locates her missing ship and help to repair their damaged warp drive, T’Lar says that she has made first contact with a Gamma Quadrant species that has important information about the Dominion, information that could change the course of events in the Alpha Quadrant.
- Dr. Zimmerman at Jupiter Station is working on a successor project to the EMH: a Diplomatic Protocol Hologram. Meant to assist diplomats with tricky situations, the DPH is at the stage where it needs a field test. The crew is supposed to take the program along to observe them as they negotiate a routine trade agreement with the inhabitants of Vicea III and T’Lar will observe the DPH. When the Viceans accuse the Federation of supplying weapons to their traditional enemies, though, and hold the away team hostage all this extra attention might prove to be a big problem.