Do you want to know what one of the first things I do when I pick up a new Star Trek Adventures RPG module or compendium? I read the credits. That is how I figured out that the fine folks at Modiphius poured their 40 out for Aron Eisenberg, dedicating the entire compendium to our favorite Ferengi.
With that, I had to ask: What other Easter eggs are tucked away in Modiphius’ latest release? Fortunately, I have direct, level 1 clearance to Jacob Ross’ interstellar subspace link. So, I called him up and sang “The Song That Never Ends” until he gave up 14 prizes secreted in the Star Trek Adventures: Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook. Did you catch them all?
Here they are in the order of the page number that they appear on. Jacob Ross, the lead writer for the Gamma Quadrant Sourcebook, grabs the mic to tell us all about these eggs himself:
Page 9: A New Discovery– This is obviously a callback to the TNG episode “Skin of Evil”.
It’s my first attempt to blend story threads from more than just DS9 into the narrative. I view each of these story sidebars as an adventure hook more than anything else. The idea isn’t primarily to tell a tale but to inspire you to riff on what’s in the text. In this case, it’s an implication, but NOT an explicit statement, that the founders originated on Vagra II and that Armus was created when they became shapeshifters. This is in keeping with what Armus said about being the cast-off dross of a race of Titans that transcended their physical forms.
I’ve always had it in my head that the “original humanoid” character that shows up in a recording at the end of “The Chase” is a member of that Titan species. That character was played by Salome Jens, who also played the Female founder. My thought was that the Founders have a memory of what they used to be, and that’s the form that they unconsciously take when they pose as solids.
Oh, and that Zibalian family is a reference to Kivas Fajo from “The Most Toys“. Nasty old Kivas is almost certainly in jail right now, but maybe his relatives are still busy mucking about?
Page 10: Secret Orders– It always struck me as odd that a Jem’Hadar could just kill a Vorta for questioning his loyalty. So I decided to do a bit of explanation regarding why Omet’iklan was able to casually murder Weyoun. It so happens that it was during this episode that the Founders infected Odo with a pathogen that caused a health crisis, and which required Odo to return to the Great Link for judgment. I used this story bar to expand the character of the Founders, showing that they consider themselves to be so divine that even one of their agents acting on their own orders must die if those orders cause peril to another Changeling.
Page 11: The Hur’q War Section– We know that the Hur’q are the galaxy-spanning civilization that dominated the Klingons centuries ago. Their arrival likely helped spur the Klingons’ journey into outer space, Worf once went on a quest to find the Sword of Kahless, which turned out to be in a Hur’q settlement in the Gamma Quadrant. As the Dominion is an ancient power, it just made sense to me to mention a history between the two peoples. Getting their main territory conquered by the Dominion could also explain why the Hur’q never sent backup to deal with the technologically inferior Klingons after the Klingons overthrew their invaders.
Pages 14 and 15: The Drai and The Tosk Sections– The Drai is what we’re calling the Hunters from the DS9 episode “Captive Pursuit“. This was actually the name used in production documents for the series, but the name never got stated onscreen. It was also the production team’s original intent to have the Hunters/Drai be the breeders of the Jem’Hadar. In one script, the Drai even makes an appearance on the bridge of a Dominion battleship, but that sequence was never filmed.
Page 17: Dominion Tonight– I was inspired to write this one by propaganda broadcasts from fascists governments. There’s a bit about how the only worlds receiving this broadcast are ones with special levels of privilege. I kind of set it up like a pyramid scheme. The program Real Stories of the Jem’Hadar Patrol is a nod to an old show called Real Stories of the Highway Patrol, which I used to watch with my dad as a kid. Attack Cruiser 97119 is named after one of the ZIP codes where I grew up.
Page 19: A Business Proposal– This is a letter from Penk, the villainous wrestling broadcaster from Voyager’s “Tsunkatse” episode. Penk was played by Jeffrey Combs, who of course also plays the Vorta Weyoun. A fun fact about that episode is that there are members of Gamma Quadrant species attending the match in person, all the way in the Delta Quadrant. Penk obviously doesn’t expect an answer back for a long time, but he can wait. I wanted to make sure that fans of any Trek series or era of play up to this point had some hooks to use in their games. So in this case you’ve got Penk calling in the Dominion to help him depose a local ruler and to offer them control of that satellite relay network in return.
Page 21: Progress Report– This is actually a sequel to a story in the STA core book. It shows that Shiana, an alien who negotiated to bring her people under the heel of the Dominion, now has reason to regret her decision.
Page 22: A Letter to the Head of Xeno-Epidemiology– In case it’s not super clear in this story sidebar, “L” is Luther Sloan. It turns out that the scientist who created the Founder Plague was a descendant of Phlox from Enterprise. It looks like she inherited her forefather’s talent for identifying and treating viruses, and used it as a weapon instead of a method of healing.
Page 30: Commander James Waddill is named after a friend of mine.
Page 31: Science Officer’s Confidential Log: I wanted to give Rurigan’s tragic story from “Shadowplay” some closure. Also, the implication is that Dax and Rom messing with the holosuite is part of the reason why the holosuite malfunctioned in “Our Man Bashir“.
Page 36: The Duumverate- This was just my little way of explaining that Sela and Tomalak weren’t among the Romulans killed by Shinzon in Nemesis.
Page 38: The Kzin– This was the book’s nod to TOS, bringing in a species not seen since the animated series.
Page 40: Pakleds– “Grebnesie Station” is named after Aron Eisenberg. It’s “Eisenberg” spelled backward. This goes back to the first appearance of the Pakleds in “Samaritan Snare“. The Pakled captain in that episode was named Grebnedlog, or “Goldenberg” spelled backwards. Goldenberg is a Jewish last name, and so is Eisenberg. I always thought that it would be cool to bring a copy of the book to Aron Eisenberg at a Star Trek convention and show that passage to him. Tragically, Aron Eisenberg passed away between the writing of this passage and the publication of the book.
Page 42: Top Secret Prisoner Interview Transcript- Yup. Admiral Jellico turning Benjamin Maxwell into a rogue operative with a mission to go save Ro Laren from the Jem’Hadar. And yup, I did place Chakotay and Cal Hudson on the bridge of the USS Phoenix during “The Wounded“.
What I’m most excited about from the parts of this book that I did not write is having the Son’a and other species available. Who doesn’t want to play as Morn?”
Wow! My mind is blown, Jacob. Thanks for some great Easter eggs. Now, I have a mini-list of episodes I need to go back and watch. My wife will love you for that. Hehe.