A Review of Aaron Pollyea’s “Doomed to Repeat the Past”

How did the Star Trek Adventures Doomed to Repeat the Past  module rate?

Tribbles 5-5

For more on the Tribble-rating system, click here.

The crew of the USS Pioneer (my player group’s Intrepid-class starship) finished playing Doomed to Repeat the Past, a mission included in Modiphius’ Star Trek Adventures Living Campaign. Writer Aaron Pollyea outdid himself with this story. Admittedly, we played it out of sequence, since this module was one of the first published in the Living Campaign series. For all intents and purposes, it served our crew at the perfect time in our modified campaign.

(Anyone can take part in the free Living Campaign by signing up here.)

SYNOPSIS (spoiler alert)

klingon schematic

Starfleet has received a backchannel communique from the Klingon Empire requesting aid for a plague that had been thought dead for centuries: the Augment Virus. Starfleet has deployed the players’ vessel to the B’el’th paH star system just within the Shackleton Expanse in an attempt to provide humanitarian relief and bring what the Federation knows about the centuries-old (and highly secret) virus, its origins, and its cure.

Difficulties abound as the secrecy surrounding the virus makes it difficult to recreate the steps taken to develop the cure as done by Dr. Phlox of Enterprise NX-01 and the Interspecies Medical Exchange in 2154. Furthermore, the virus seems to have mutated, and instead of affecting only Klingons, it seems to be infecting all humanoids, and more importantly, is extremely lethal, dissolving cartilage and bone structures.

The players find that the original cure as developed in the 22nd century seems to cause the virus to undergo rapid replication and kill the host in minutes through the dissolution of the cardiovascular system (i.e., their heart and lungs turn into liquid).

Will the hard-working medical personnel of Starfleet be able to help the Empire defeat this centuries-old scourge?


I had lots of reasons to love this module, if not being the fact it forced me to rewatch two episodes of Star Trek™: Enterprise.

This makes me have to break down my Tribble rating above:

Canonicity – As stated above, the writer of this module recommended that the gamemaster be familiar with the episodes “Affliction” and “Divergence” from season four of Star Trek™: Enterprise. I mean, how better to achieve a canonicity Tribble? This also helped me get a picture of the effects of the Augment Virus, even having me pull some artwork from the show to display to my players.

Relatability – Once again, a story that harkens my players back to old episodes of Star Trek™: Enterprise is awesome. There was no outright conflict with the previous canon, which made the realism effect really take off.

Likability – My crew has been interspersing our own sub-plot into the Living Campaign since the first mission. This has really engaged my players in a campaign with a new Augment villain. Funny thing, the Augment villain was introduced before I ever knew I was going to play Doomed to Repeat the Past, which focuses primarily on the origins and effects of the Augment VirusOnce I picked up the Pollyea’s module and read it through, I was like “Hell, PollYEAH!”

My players loved it too. One said, “I immediately remembered the Enterprise episode and felt a thrill at following in important footsteps. There was a sense of history, and of a possible future where the Federation and the Empire were at peace and another with all-out war.”

Accessibility – The module is free. How much more accessible can you get?

Quality – As has been proven in the past, Aaron is a consistently good writer. So far, we have played three of his modules:  Tug of War, We Are The Stars That Sing With Our Life, and Doomed to Repeat the Past.  Whereas the first two delved deep into astronomical physics and phenomena, this one took had a steep medical bent. I appreciated this because I note that in other Living Campaign modules I, as gamemaster, must sometimes strain to get the doctor involved. Doomed to Repeat the Past let our doctor shine.

This module could totally have been its own separate module, not at all dependent on the Living Campaign. If you want an action-packed, Klingon-infested fun fest, play Doomed to Repeat the Past.

(To see our entire play report, see Star Trek Pioneer, Season 1, Episode 8: Doomed to Repeat the Past.)

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