How did the Star Trek Adventures Star Trek: Enigma module rate?
Looking to start a campaign with an unusual concept and ship? Or a side trek for some officers traveling in a shuttlecraft or runabout without the rest of their crew? Star Trek: Enigma gives you a fantastic option, and with some adjustments, can work in a variety of eras. The module, a ZIP file which includes artwork, the adventure PDF, a ship sheet and other resources, can be found on the Modiphius Forum, and was written by Doc-Savage.
This module allows players with focuses in engineering, conn, security, and science to shine. Talents related to starship systems and exobiology could prove useful. It’s great for a small crew traveling elsewhere by runabout.
For more on the Revised Tribble Rating System 2021, click here.
SYNOPSIS (spoiler alert)
In “Star Trek: Enigma”, the player characters begin at a starbase without a starship assignment as yet, and must respond to a signal from a Federation ship thought destroyed years ago. They disembark on a runabout to investigate, and come across a strange nebula with a mystery hidden deep inside.
- Comprehensibility – 4 Tribbles. This mission is an exciting one for the start of a new campaign because the story and plot concept are perfect for a new crew to get to know each other, without the added burden of supporting characters muddying the field. They are the heroes, and are getting to know the ship they will eventually be assigned to. The concepts are for the most part easy to grasp, though a careful reading of the beats is recommended. I found the NPCs intriguing, and because they will be an integral part of the campaign going forward, they have to be strong characters. There is room for you to interpret them as needed for your campaign, however.
- Originality – 4 Tribbles. I chose this mission because it presented an opportunity for a new crew to explore a haunted ship that will eventually become theirs in the campaign. Given the events that occur, they will be able to reclaim a ship from the past and make it their own…if they deal with the haunting and the enemy starships seeking the same ship.
- Sci-Fi Concepts – 3 Tribbles. Separately, similar ideas have been seen in other shows in various forms, but I thought the author brought the ideas together well to tell the story.
- Social Conflict Potential – 2 Tribbles. There are few opportunities for social interactions with NPCs, but there is only one such main conflict, and an important one. Others can be introduced, such as the captain of an enemy ship in the final act, but that depends on how the module plays out. However, if played as intended as the first episode of a series, the main social interactions will be between the PCs, as they likely haven’t worked as a crew together as yet. It’s a good chance for them to find out about each other, and their sensibilities may clash.
- Adaptability – 5 Tribbles. This is where the module shines. The core idea – that of rediscovering a ship thought destroyed years ago, haunted by something, and sought by an enemy – allows for a lot of possibilities beyond what the original author selected. The ship class can be something other than the proposed Centaur-class; the timespan involved (36 years in the original) can be adjusted depending on what era you’re playing in and what ship the PCs chose as their ship; and the enemies can be easily changed from Romulans to any threats in your campaign. The background of the haunting also provides some possibilities: where did that unique asteroid come from? I saw plenty of opportunities for developing the background information for long campaign questions to explore, from first contact, to trust, to questions of risk. The extent of the haunting can be dialed up or down, depending on your preferences.
For my campaign, for example, I first let the PCs generate their characters and ship, then decided what needed tweaking. I changed the Centaur-class to a Saber-class (U.S.S. Enigma renamed the U.S.S. Scimitar); the timespan became 2 years (ship thought lost during Dominion War, and resurfacing in 2377); and the enemies became Orion pirates who are using the Badlands. I gave the ship a ship trait (let’s call it Haunted for the review) that the players can draw upon once per session as a positive influence, where they are aided by the haunting. But it can just as easily be a negative trait in certain situations (depending on your chosen portrayal of the presence).
What if you already have a starship and crew, but want to use this module? It would work well if you had some crew on a runabout without the support of their main ship, who come across this enigma.
FINAL SCORE: 3.6
The Star Trek: Enigma adventure is great if you want to start a campaign with a ‘haunted’ ship. It may take some adjustments on your part to fit your era and campaign, but it’s part of the fun. It helps bring a group of new characters together to solve a mystery with potentially weighty ramifications. You can also adapt it as a ‘shuttlecraft/runabout’ episode in your campaign, where the characters are on their own adventure off the ship. As a campaign starter, it presents an opportunity to weave in a character or characters and backstory that may help – or hinder – at critical times.