Today we continue with our exploration of Operations Division officers, drawing inspiration and mechanics from the Operations Division Supplement. Today we’re looking at something which doesn’t get a lot of attention in Star Trek, namely someone who’s a great asset in ground-based fighting. Worf played this role and arguably Ash Taylor does in Star Trek: Discovery (no spoilers here) but I wanted to take a stab at this character type in today’s Tuesdays at Quark’s.
Jiaso Velem is definitely a badass. I did this last week with the scarred veteran and arguably Talas sh’Tharqat has some of the same abilities as Velem (oops). In hindsight I should have done them in reverse order but here we are… Still, there’s a lot going for Velem both mechanically and narratively. To start, she has stats that are less likely to outshine PCs except in her specific wheelhouse. She also has some cool abilities, especially her big and deadly blade which certainly makes her the closest thing to a murder-hobo that I’ve ever done in Star Trek Adventures. In character, she’s also very different from sh’Tharqat in that she’s a cheery and friendly presence who has forged her own path and has a bright career ahead of her. As a story element losing sh’Tharqat would lead to feelings of regret and noble toasts but if Lt. Velem were to die on a mission it would be shocking.
In many ways Lt. Velem is the opposite of Lt. Commander sh’Tharqat: the Trill has a nice exterior but pain inside while the Andorian has a frosty exterior with passionate emotions roiling under the surface. Putting them on the same crew could have some interesting consequences as two seemingly different women are revealed to both be carrying wounds and having more in common than first meets the eye. I’m also pretty proud of Velem’s family past. As a Trill tradition is everything but Lt. Velem is both unjoined and also breaking with family trends. She’ll be a surprise for anyone who thinks they know all about Trills.
There are lots of difference ways to utilize this character, but here are a few plot hooks to get you started.
- One of the Player Characters went through Starfleet Academy with Lt. Velem and is surprised to see her at a wargames survival training on a remote Federation world. As the crew begins to get ready for their exercise (perhaps seeing more familiar faces) they start to realize just how much the odds are against them.
- The crew responds to a distress signal on an alien planet to recover the crew of a crashed shuttlecraft. When they arrive to help survivors and recover the computer core from the vessel, Lt. Velem comes out of the trees motioning for quiet. She was the only one to get away, she explains, as the rest of her crew were killed and replaced by changelings…
- On an important mission to a Federation colony near the Tholian border the Player Characters’ ship gets a fresh complement of experienced officers. Among them is Lt. Velem who quickly makes friends around the ship. The PC tactical officer will soon find, however, that Velem is organizing drills for planetary combat without consulting them. Who will win the clash of wills and is it going to affect the upcoming away mission?