Monday, November 20, 2017

FAR TREK Play report: Stardate 2017.17.11

Far Trek Play report: Stardate 2017.17.11

This is our third session and the adventure is a heavily modified Far Trek conversion of "Signals" from the Star Trek Adventures Quickstart guide. I switched out the villains, changed the mysterious device and few other bits.

So sit in your favorite chair turn on the TV and get ready for Episode 03 of Far Trek:

Intro Scene: We zoom in on the USS Argo in orbit around a planet that has massive storms raging in its upper atmosphere. The camera penetrates the primary hull and we find ourselves in the shuttle bay as the main characters board  shuttle 1 the Louisiana.

Captain's Log Stardate 2017.17.11
During a preliminary survey of celestial bodies in the unexplored Carina system one of our shuttles has gone missing. We lost contact with Shuttle #2 Coconut shortly after they reported an unusual signal that sounded like “screams” coming from the fourth planet. We are now in orbit of Carina IV and I have ordered a general alert until we find the missing survey crew, and determine the origin and cause of this signal. I am heading a landing party to the surface where we have picked up faint traces of a federation communicator beacon. Intermittent electromagnetic storms are hindering our efforts in locating the shuttle.

Scene 1: Argo Shuttle Bay 1

Shuttle Bay 1
Capt. Grim:
"Okay everyone, I want Type II Phasers, Communicators & appropriate Tricorders for everyone. Doctor you have your kit?"

"Of course Captain. If the crew of Shuttle 2 have indeed crashed they could be seriously injured so I had Chief Zav stow a portable triage Unit on the shuttle, I am prepared for any injuries we may encounter."

Capt. grim:
"Triarius, F'Riid, I need you both scanning for our people, the shuttle and anything else that may give us a clue to what happened and or is happening down there."

Triarius & F'Riid:
"Aye Captain."

Capt. Grim:
"Chief Maple, you and I will be watching over our people. If this is something more than natural circumstances we handle it."

Chief Maple:
"I understand sir."

[The crew take their seats and strap in. Lt. Holt has the shuttle powered and ready for flight. The captain secures the shuttle door and takes his seat looking over to the young Helmswoman.]

Capt. Grim:
"The readings on those atmospheric conditions are pretty rough. You can do this right?"

Lt. JG "Max":
"I got this, you can count on me.I just hope everyone on the Coconut is alright." Maxine hits the comm button. "Argo this the Louisiana, departing Bay 1."

Argo Control:
"Shuttle Louisiana, you are clear."

Clear for take off!


[ The shuttle descends into the severe storms in the upper atmosphere of Carina IV, the turbulence is heavy and jostles the crew. Bolts of blue lightning arc across the sky as "Max" deftly pilots the little craft through the orange clouds. Suddenly the entire crew feel the hairs on the napes of their necks stand on end as a massive bolt flares through the clouds arcing directly towards them! "Max" is able to make the shuttle just dodge the bolt, but two members of the crew seem to suffer a sever elctro-static charge! Both Dr. Salec and Chief Maple are momentarily surrounded in blue energy halos!!]

"Mrow!" feeling the charge through his fur, "Doctor, Chief are you both alright?"

Chief Maple:
"Whoo, I'm okay. That was close!"

Capt. Grim:
Turning in his chair to look at the Vulcan who is cradling his head in his hands and glancing to the back row at F'Riid and the Chief. "You ok back there; Tar'get, Furball?"

Dr. Salec:
"..I.." looking up at the Captain. "Captain, I heard screams.."

Capt. Grim:
"Yeah that was probably me." smirking.

Dr. Salec:
" my head. Multiple voices, it was very odd."

"Maxine, I have coordinates on the communicator signal. Sending them to you now."

Lt. JG "Max":
"Got it, okay everyone I'm taking us down. Captain these storms are stressing the systems, I'm compensating."

Capt. Grim:
"Just get us down safe and the next round of Louisiana Coconuts are on me."

[ The shuttle lands at the coordinates supplied by F'Riid, and the crew determines that storms are uncharacteristically potent. Triarius finds they seem to be acting contrary to the weather patterns of the planet itself, yet he needs more data to form a better conclusion. Once on the ground things are bit calmer and gusty winds are the most they will have to worry about for the moment.]

Rescue search begins
[The Landing Party know they are within a kilometer or two of the faint communicator signal. The Captain sends Dr. Salec, F'Riid, and Maxine to higher ground to get better readings and a broader visual look at the area. While he, Chief Maple and Triarius make a sweep of the area.]

Dr. Salec:
Using the Medical Tricorder, "I have no human life signs in range at all. Though there are a half dozen indiginous forms showing."

Using a tricorder as well, "The communicator signal is growing weaker, but it is very close. we are practically on top of it!"

Lt. JG "Max":
Climbing up on a rocky outcropping, "I'll check things out from up here maybe they will see me or vice versa."

[Meanwhile, the Captain's party winds its way through the rough broken terrain.]

Capt. Grim:
"Triarius, anything more on that signal the Shuttle crew mentioned?"

"I am getting a better trace than what we were getting in orbit. I am correlating data now and should have a more precise location soon."

Chief Maple:
Visually scans the area looking for any sign of the missing crewmen. "No tracks, nothing. Let's try over there." The security man motions towards a stand of bright fiery orange trees with his phaser.

[Comm Beeps, and the Captain flips open his communicator.]

Capt. Grim:
"Grim here."
      "Captain its Max, you better come quick. We found them."
"On our way. You heard her, let's get back to the others!"

a gruesome find
[ Two members of the Shuttle crew; Engineering Ensign Salley & Geophysicist Lt. Travis have been found, their bodies huddled together backs against the rocks.]

Capt. Grim:
"Salec, what do you have?"

Dr. Salec:
"I'm afraid they are both deceased. However they did not perish due to injuries from crashing. Their nervous systems have been burnt out. Severe neurological overload, unlike anything I have ever seen."

Lt. JG "Max":
"Captain, look at their faces. It was like they were scared to death..." the young officer places her hand on her phaser.

Chief Maple:
"Look here," pointing to several locations all around them. "those are phaser burns. There, there and over there as well. It's like they were firing wildly all about themselves."  Picking up a phaser near one of the bodies. "Drained completely. They fought to the end, that's for sure."

"Look at this communicator, no wonder I was getting such a bad signal. This thing has been fried!"
The Comms Officer holds out the burnt item for all to see. "I also picked up a second communicator signal north of here, just as weak as this one was."

"Captain, the Signal seems to be focused in a northerly direction also."

Dr. Salec:
"Captain, I would like to move Salley and Travis back to our shuttle. Leaving them in the open like this could summon scavengers or predators. I do not want to see their bodies disturbed in such a manner."

Capt. Grim:
"Agreed, let's get our people taken care of then we head north. Chief you take point."


Scene 2: Crash Site
Indiginous life!
[ Hiking north, the crew continue general scans and soon encounter a local lifeform!]

Dr. Salec:
"Captain, I have a lifeform reading. Just behind those rocks there."

Capt. Grim:
"Phasers on stun everyone." Cade scoops up a golfball sized rock from the ground.

Dr. Salec:
Pointing to an area about 6 meters away. "There it is."

[ A sort of alien stegosaur orange/yellow in coloration emerges from the rocks. The creature stands its ground and makes a growly ululation.]

Dr. Salec:
Scanning with the Tricorder, "This is a totally new lifeform, I have nothing like it in the files."

Capt. Grim:
Throwing the rock so it strikes the ground just to the right of the creature. "Let's see something."

[The alien stegosaur reacts quickly with a flick of its tail launching a pair of foot long spines in that direction!]

Dr. Salec:
"Captain! I would not advise doing that again. Why needlessly antagonize the lifeform?"

Capt. Grim:
"You said earlier our people were essentially 'Fried'. That creature throws spines. I know it isn't responsible, but something on this planet is."

Chief Maple:
"I found the other shuttle!" The Chief points to hollow in the landscape nearby, a furrow in the ground a telltale sign of a forced landing.

The missing shuttle Coconut
[ Shuttle #2 Coconut,  is found the hull badly scorched, however the two remaining crew are not here. The Landing Party set about various tasks in hopes of finding out what has happened.

Comms Officer F'Riid goes to high ground to scan for communicator signals.

Lt. JG "Max" checks the shuttle and determines it has suffered a complete power drain due severe EMP damage. She uses a Phaser power pack from storage to attempt to get the scanners and comms back online.

Dr. Salec determines the crew, if alive, are not within tricorder range.

Triarius is still concerned about the contrary weather readings and planetary conditions of the electromagnetic storms that are starting to get worse.

Chief Maple sweeps the area. ]

Chief Maple:
"Captain! I have something here." the Chief sees a tricorder and a set of tools scattered on the ground at the rear of the shuttle. As he looks about the area a strange wispy smoke like dust devil begins to form. The Chief swears it seems to have a sort of humanoid appearance when it rushes towards him!

Capt. Grim:
"What have you got Maple, what the!?..."
Rounding the aft end of the shuttle Cade swears he sees a ghostly figure transfuse itself into his new Security Chief just as the man pushes the Captain back.

Chief Grim:
"Captain lookou...ahhh!" Maple struggles to stay standing as his mind reels!!

the attack!
Capt. Grim:
"Sorry Chief." Cade fires his phaser set to heavy stun point blank at Maple.


[The Chief drops to the ground, groggy and dazed. Salec and Triarius run up and help the Chief to his feet.]

Dr. Salec:
"What happened? I found tracks over there heading north when I heard the phaser shot."

Capt. Grim:
"Something was here, it looked like it tried or did possess the Chief. Keep your eye on him."

[ The Landing party retreat to the perceived safety of the shuttle. F'Riid is set on sentry duty and he climbs up on top of the craft to have a clear field of vision. Meanwhile inside the Doctor sees to the Chief while, while "Max" with the help of Triarius get the scanners and comms working. Everyone is slightly on edge.] 

What happened?
Dr. Salec:
Scanning the Chief, "Sit down, you will be fine. Your neuro-levels are severely elevated but seem to be returning to normal. What do you remember?"

Chief Maple:
"Ohh, my head. It was like someone else was in my head. I wanted to go to the mountains. I felt angry, and oohh I'm dizzy. It's like a dream, slipping away..."

Dr. Salec:
"Captain, perhaps a mind-meld. I could attempt contact with whatever it is."

Chief Maple:
"No!" sitting up, " No it's gone, I think the stun broke its contact with me."

Capt Grim:
"Alright Maple, calm down. Salec let's talk outside."

[Meanwhile outside F'Riid is overcome with the intense sensation of being watched by multiple beings. An oppressive sense of discomfort that shakes him to the bone. The officer drops from the top of the shuttle just as the Captain and Doctor emerge.]

"Captain, we are being watched. I cannot see them, but they are out there... all around us." a low rumble echoes from the Caitian.

Capt. Grim:
"Stay here by the door F'Riid. If you see anything weird happen to any of us. You have permission to stun them. That goes for all of you." Cade leads Salec a few meters away from the shuttle.

Dr. Salec:
"I have a theory Captain. I think we are focusing our search in the wrong direction. I do not believe we should be looking for a being or beings, I think we may be encountering a planetary consciousness."

Capt. Grim:
"You think the planet is after us?"

Dr. Salec:
"I would like to try to mind-meld with the planet."

Capt Grim:
"You can do that?"

Dr. Salec:
"I can certainly try."

[From the shuttle doorway F'Riid and the Chief watch as Salec kneels and places one hand to the ground while closing his eyes. The captain standing over him phaser out and ready. At the same time Triarius has brought up the survey logs and fed them into his tricorder as "Max" keeps the systems running.]

"Look at this Lieutenant, the data shows that the storms were very concentrated at every location where incidents have happened. Shuttle 2's initial atmospheric insertion, Salley & Travis's location, here at the crash site, and it seems to be building up again even now."

[Outside the shuttle, Salec has opened his mind and attempts to listen to the planet. There is nothing at first then something quite unexpected happens. The Vulcan feels the psychic presence of not one mind, but many. Thousands even, and the screaming begins! He feels that a certain few minds in particular sense him, like beacon in the dark. A beacon that they rush to extinguish!]

Dr. Salec:
Snapping out of the pyschic trance, "Captain tell "Max" to realign the harmonic sensor array to account for bio-electric ranges."

Capt Grim:
Flipping out his communicator he relays the information. "Does that make sense to you, Max?"

Lt. JG "Max":
"Not really, but Triarius says it does and we have done so. Now what?"

Capt. Grim:
"Wait for my comma...."

Dr. Salec:
"It's here..." the Vulcan rises and turns to face the entity with the Captain.

The entity arrives!
 [ Coalescing out of thin air, the sparking billowing thing roiled like a living thunderstorm. It's very presence emitting waves psychic energy. The Captain fires his phaser and it passes through the creature with no effect! Salec senses that the creature is instilling fear and then feeding upon that emotion to the detriment of its victim! The Vulcan Doctor quickly administers a nerve pinch that releases the Captain from the creatures hold. However at the same moment, Chief Maple charges out and fires upon the creature to no avail. Salec attempts to put himself between the creature and the Security Chief, but its reach is not hindered by the few meters between them and the Chief falls victim to fear inducing psychic attack!]

 Lt. JG Max:
"What's going on out there?"

"Both the Captain and the Chief are down, Salec is trying to hold it back, but I don't think..."

" Lt. Holt, turn on the sensor array now!"
Lt. JG Max:
"Take this space Pennywise!" the Helmswoman pours the last iota of energy the shuttle has into the array! Sparks fly from the panel as it overloads and burns out!!!

[ Outside the entity wavers, backs away and then dissipates into nothing!]

"Did, did that kill it?"

"I doubt it, but it will certainly have hurt it in a sense. I need to confer with the Doctor, I have an idea."

[ The Doctor and 1st Officer figure that they need to create an emotional inhibitor to essentially level out the neurological levels of the party. A sort of anti-fear serum. Once everyone is inoculated the Party agree that all indications are leading them to the nearby mountains. ]


Scene 3: A New Foe?

[ The Landing party follows the trail from the Coconut northwards for about two kilometers before they lose it in the rocky terrain. A few minutes later as they crest a rise they find a small prefab mining encampment set near a large cave opening in the mountainside. Suddenly a laser blast shatters a rock near them!]

"Take Cover!" the Andorian dives for cover and draws his phaser looking for the sniper.

Chief Maple:
"That shot missed on purpose." thinks the Security Chief, also scanning the rocky ledges for their assailant.

Dr. Salec:
Scanning with the tricorder, "One individual, 8 meters to our right. There! among those rocks."

Capt. Grim:
Raising his hands, and calling out. "I am Captain Grim from the USS Argo, we are here on a rescue mission and mean you no harm!"

[ A disheveled man in mining coveralls pops up from the rocks, he eyes the party then approaches.]

You are real! I thought you might have been the ghost, or those others I saw before."

Capt. Grim:
"Ghost!? Wait, did you say others? Were they dressed like us?"

[ A quick conversation reveals the Miner did indeed see two Federation crew before sneaking around the area. He is highly unnerved and suffering exhaustion. Just then the Entity appears again, and the Miner freaks out! Triarius and Chief Maple attempt to stun the man as he breaks and runs screaming but they both miss him. Capt. Grim is able to stun the man and deprive the Entity of gaining anymore energy. The creature dissipates again. Dr. Salec revives the Miner and administers a dose of the Leveler. Once calm, the man agrees to take them to his leader at the nearby camp.]


Scene 4: The Signal

[ The Miners though here illegally, are glad to see the Federation crew. Their Leader Ero, explains how about a week earlier while mining for Radium they uncovered the remains of an ancient alien structure deep in the cave. At about that same time the weather patterns became violently erratic and that same night the first 'Ghost' attacked them. It wrecked their camp and drained the power from their small ship and they have since been sheltering in the cave behind a hastily constructed force field generator. They ran out of food two days ago and have been taking chances going hunting and hoping the 'Ghost' doesn't notice them. it had worked until now.]

The camp
[ Chief Maple reports that other than a few hundred kilos of raw Radium, the group has no contraband. However they are in possession of a  Sensor-Net that is draped over their craft to hide it from orbital scans. Captain Grim believes Ero and his men have suffered enough and tells them no charges will be forthcoming as long as they cooperate fully going forward. Ero agrees and leads the party into the cavern to show them the alien structure within.]

Alien device
"When we entered this chamber the machine was still running, but something else was here as well. This place is haunted I tell you."

Dr. Salec:
"There are fossilized remains here. At least five sets of alien bones, a couple of thousand years old by my calculations."

Chief Maple:
Looking at some statue that adorn the chamber. "This is what i saw before, this must be what the aliens looked like when they were alive."

"This machine is quite amazing. It is drawing geo-thermal power directly from the planet itself, and if I am correct it appears to very similar in to our own Transporter technology but with an odd variance in build."

[ The crew are able to determine the device shows this race was developing comparable transporter technology to what the Federation currently has thousands of years ago. But how they were going about it was completely different. They also discover that the buffer seems to contain a few thousand beings in a phased stasis, but they cannot release them because they are only the energy part there is no physical form matrix to match them with!
Just then a phaser blast stuns Ero and the missing members of the Survey team enter the chamber!]

the missing crew!
Ensign Jenkins:
In a weird hollow voice the shuttle pilot moans "Release us, the pain is too great!"

Astrophysicist Lt. Goldberg:
"Help us before the 'others' arrive, there isn't much time."

[ It is quickly determined that the men are possessed by benevolent entities, who explain that they have been trying to get back to their physical forms. Unfortunately, being trapped in this state they have not been aware of the passage of time in the normal sense and are distressed. The machine was meant to separate the Body & Soul so they could travel the stars without needing ships. But one day there was a cataclysmic earth quake that shattered the city that used to be here. The five High Sci-Priests collectively decided to use the machine to separate everyone in the city from their bodies to ride out the quake. Only something went wrong and they became trapped. During this period of "Nothingness" three of the Sci-priests went mad and they had been trying to contain them, but when the miners disturbed the chamber the five were freed to roam the planet. Now they need the help of physical forms to repair the machine and release their people and themselves to the eternal void.]

Alien Spirits
Capt. Grim:
"The Chief, F'Riid and I, will go back and attempt to hold off the Entity.Triaruius, you and Salec help these aliens as best you can. Max, you stay here and help out."

Chief Maple:
"Maybe we can use the miners force field to keep it at bay."

Capt. Grim:
"Sounds good Chief. F'Riid, what were you doing with Ero?"

"I planted a comms tracer so we can keep tabs on him. Could be useful with all the illegal activity in this sector. Also, I have an idea about how to fight the Entity."

[ F'Riid explains that the Miners must have unknowingly been using a frequency similar to what the party used when Maxine and Triarius realigned the shuttles sensor array. He shows the Captain and Chief how to manually adjust their phasers to match this harmonic.]

Ghost attack!
[ Arriving at the cave entrance the party is surprised to see the Entity break into three distinct forms. The miners are feverishly trying to get the jury-rigged field generator back on as the Ghosts move in!"]

Capt Grim:
"F'Riid, help them with those field generators. Chief, provide covering fire with me. Let's see if F'Riid's adjustment works!"

Chief Maple:

[ The adjusted phasers seem to give pause to the 'Ghosts' and they halt their charge. Meanwhile back in the chamber the co-joined crew / alien spirits work to set things right!]

"Carefully now, resynchronize the resonance modulator."

Alien/Dr. Salec:
"Oh, the components have aged so much. These feedback infusers are turning to dust! What will we do!"

Lt. JG "Max":
Cracking open a tricorder, "Here try this."

Alien/Dr. Salec:
Taking the component from Maxine, "Yes, yes this will work."

[ As the machine begins to hum, the buffer is opened a thousands of souls finally find rest!]

"Now to release ourselves."

fight music!
[ At the cavern entrance a frantic battle ensues! The generators were not meant to create a stable field for extended periods and they fail! The adjusted phasers are keeping the 'Ghosts' at bay, but suddenly the Entity begins to hurl rocks and loose equipment at the defenders! ]

Capt. Grim:
Dodging a large rock hurled at him, Cade tucks and rolls into combat stance. "Alright, no more games!" adjusting the phaser power to full the captain fires causes a 'Ghost' to dissipate. "Chief, we need to push them back!"

Chief Maple:
Looking at a miner, "Do you have any explosives?"

"No, but you could overload my laser pistol."

Chief Maple:
"That'll do," grabbing the hand laser the Chief motions to the Captain then sets it to overload and tosses it to him.

Capt Grim:
Catching the overloading laser, "Try this on for size!" The captain tosses the laser like a grenade and it looks to land exactly where he wants it ot go when..."Uh oh!"

[ The Entity halts the arc of the laser just before it lands and flings it into the cave mouth, luckily the creatures aim is a bit high so when the laser explodes everyone but the Captain is thrown to the ground by concussive force! ]

dramatic music

[ The remaining 'Ghost' makes a beeline for the undefended cave entrance as the Entity stalks menacingly towards Captain Grim. Both the Chief and F'Riid try in vain to get to their feet but are overcome from the blast effects.]

Capt. Grim: 
"C'mon guys, c'mon."

[ Just then both creatures waver, and then dissipate into nothingness!]

Capt. Grim:
"They did it!"

[ The crew was successful in the task of setting the entrapped alien populace free, and the Sci-Priests were able to set themselves and their maddened companions free as well. The machine was made inoperable afterwards by removing key components which will be delivered to Starbase 13 for study. Captain Grim tells Eros no charges will be filed against him and that he expects him to get proper permits going forward. The Miner and his people are thankful and accept the help of the crew in repairing their ship and getting offworld.]

Scene 5: Argo Galley

Capt Grim:
Turning from the replicator towards 'Max', "As promised, one Louisiana Coconut!"

Lt. JG 'Max':
Wide grin on her face, "Thanks Captain!"

"What is a Louisiana Coconut?"

Dr. Salec:
"An unusual human beverage concoction, and the special drink of the Argo."

[ Scene fades out on the crew in the Galley ]


Captain's Log Supplemental:
Louisiana Coconut
V-8, or tomato juice poured into a pint glass.
Mix in a generous amount of Cajun hot sauce to taste.
Garnish with a fat coconut shrimp, and serve!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

FAR TREK RPG: Crew Update

As we start our 3rd Episode of the Monthly Far Trek group we have some crew changes to report.

USS ARGO crew as of Ep. 03
From Left to Right:

Navigation/Helm Lt. JG - Maxine "max" Holt
Security Chief  Lt. Cmdr. - Leonard Maple
Chief medical Officer Lt. Cmdr. - Salec - Vulcan
Captain - Cade Grim
Chief Science & 1st Officer Cmdr. - Triarius - Andorian
Communications Officer Lt. Cmdr. - F'Riid Dossa

*Chief Engineer Zav - Tellerite - has been regulated to official NPC status for now.

Watch for the write-up of Episode 3: Screams in the Darkness coming soon!

Far Trek RPG: Interlude 1

[ This takes place a few days after the conclusion of Episode 2 ]

The Argo is heading to Starbase 13 for repairs and to drop off the crew of the SS Malorin.

Art by Basill @
In the Office of Commodore Stone:

We see the Commodore in conversation with an unknown man:

Commodore Stone:
"I can't say I agree with this, but I will go along with it for now. He is showing promise and getting along with his crew amazingly well. I won't let this turn into trouble for him or myself."

Unknown Man:
 "I owe you big for this, but I have to know."

Commodore Stone:
"You have other alternatives."

Unknown man:
"If it were only that easy..."

A Day later the Argo arrives at Starbase 13:

The ship is in orbit at the repair facility while the crew takes shore leave on the base planetside. Captain Grim reports to Commodore Stone for information about his mission and crew.

Commodore Stone:
"Good job saving the crew of the Malorin Cade, I'm pleased with the job you and your crew are doing out there. This sector has seen a lot of trouble lately and I need someone who can clean it up."

Capt. Cade:
"Thanks Commodore, how come I feel like there is a big "BUT" coming?"

Commodore Stone:
"I hate to do this to you just as you were getting to know your crew, but I have some reassignments. There have been some issue back on Trill and your First Officer is being re-assigned. However, I have two new assignments coming aboard for you."

Capt. Cade:
"I hate to see Vesara go but I understand, the rest of the crew will miss her. She is a great First Officer, wherever she goes they will benefit from her expertise. So, who are my new recruits?"

Commodore Stone:
"First up is your Science & 1st Officer replacement, Commander Triarius. He is Andorian and this is his first posting on a multi-racial ship. He has an exemplary record and should fit in well."

Capt. Cade:
"Andorian huh, interesting. I have never worked closely with one before, I look forward to meeting him."

Commodore Stone:
"Now since Security Chief Thompson was supposed to retire 6 months ago, and he graciously waited until we could find a replacement which we finally have. Leonard Maple is first rate, and comes highly recommended by his previous Commander. I think you will find both of these men more than competent and able to fill out your command."

Capt. Cade:
"Thank you sir, I'm looking forward to working with both of them."

Commodore Stone:
"As far as your mission in this sector goes. Keep doing what your doing Cade. There is a reason I chose you to command the Argo. This sector is a bit wild being situated where it is. Orions, Smugglers, Thieves and the Klingons being so close. I know this isn't a Five-Year mission,and that it feels like you are getting sidelined. However, you were chosen because of your military experience for duty here. Cade, the Federation needs a Sheriff in this sector and I think that Lawman is you."

Capt. Cade:
"Thank you sir, the crew and I can handle this task."

Commodore Stone:
"I'm glad Cade, here is a data disk with the parameters of your next mission. Good luck out there."

A few days later:

We see Cade and the remaining command staff bid farewell to Vesara as she joins the diplomatic corp. heading to Trill.

The crew return to the Argo and meet their new crewmates, and set off for their next mission.

END Interlude 1

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Far Trek Play Report: Star Date 2017.20.10

Our second session of the Monthly Far Trek launches with a few minor changes. Our Crew has seen a bit of a change. Our Pilot episode Communications Officer Player changed out the human Mr. Capri for a Caitian Officer F'Riid Dasso. It was also supposed to be the first appearance of our new Chief Engineer Zav the Tellerite. Due to unforseen circumstances, the player could not make the game so he was just an NPC for this game. Also our Navigator had real world duties and wasn't able to make the game. Bonus though, late in the evening we were joined by a new gamer looking to try something different, and he is a Star Trek fan so we may soon see an appearance by this new player as an additional Science Crewman.

USS ARGO crew.
From Left to Right:
Navigator - Lt. JG Maxine "Max" Holt
Chief Engineer - Lt. Cmdr. Zav
Chief Medical - Lt. Cmdr. Salec
Captain - Cade Grim
Comms. Officer - Lt. Cmdr. F'Riid Dossa
Exe. Science Officer - Cmdr.  Vesara Tess

The Adventure we played is "A Vulture Among the Stars" by Fred Love. I made a Far Trek conversion of the adventure and got things in order for play.

Turn on your TV and settle in for Episode 02 of Far Trek: A Vulture Among the Stars!

Intro Scene: The Argo zooming through space as we hear the voice of Captain Grim reading the log.

Captain’s Log, Stardate 2017.20.10. 
We have received a distress call and are currently traveling at maximum warp to investigate. The signal appears to have originated from Federation transport vessel the S.S. Malorin, traveling near an expansive group of asteroids known as the Pinicon Cluster. The message, a garbled voice recording from the transport’s Captain, sounded panicked and made it clear the vessel was under attack. I know the Captain of the Malorin personally, he is an academy friend and I hope that Steven and his crew are okay.

The scene zooms into the Bridge of the Argo and we see the crew intent on their tasks as they head towards possible danger! Vesara gives the Captain some generic info about the Pinicon Cluster, while F'Riid monitors communications for anything more from the Malorin. Salec enters the bridge from the turbolift.

Captain Grim: "Salec, you may have some patients in need of care if this turns out as bad as it sounds."
Salec: "Understood Captain, my team is ready."
Turning from his station the Comms. Officer relates the following -
F'Riid: "Captain, I'm picking up a lot of Orion chatter. They are referring to merchant transactions but I think it has something to do with what's going on."
Captain Grim: "Hmm, anything else from the Malorin?"
F'Riid: "No sir, their signal has either stopped or is being jammed."
Captain Grim: "Keep at it Mr. Dossa, let me know if you get anything else."

[The Argo drops out of warp at the edge of the Pinicon Cluster and visual scanners can just make out a pair of craft deep in the asteroid field.]

Chief Engineer Zav: "Captain if the second ship is Orion we could be up against Pirates, or worse, Slavers!"
Captain Grim: "Tess I need more information, what is happening in there."
Vesara: "Aye Captain scanning now."
Captain Grim leans forward in his chair -
Captain Grim: "All hands RED ALERT. All right Steven you better be ok, you still owe me from our last poker game."


Scene 1 - The Pinicon Cluster

The bridge of the Argo is abuzz with activity as the crew assess the current situation. 1st Officer Tess has determined that disruptor weapons have recently been fired in the area, and the two ships have been identified as the SS Malorin and an unidentified Orion Marauder class. There are also traces of radiation indicitive of a warp core breach!
The Pinicon Cluster
The Captain confers with his officers about a course of action and they decide to attempt to navigate the asteroid field at 1/2 impulse power, and to reinforce the forward shields as they go through. As a sidebar the Captain has Zav set a pair of Photon Torpedos on a delayed detonation and launches them to a point a few thousand kilometers off the port side in the asteroids. They will blow at (hopefully) the same time the Argo emerges from the field nearest the Malorin. The plan is that the detonation will distract the Orion Marauder giving the Argo a few surprise rounds!

F'riid: "Captain, the Orion vessel is in contact with an undetermined party. They are talking about the "relocation effort" in progress."
Salec: "Cade, the Orion Syndicate is known for slave trading and ransoming hostages. This could be bad for the freighter crew."
Captain Grim: "I don't tolerate either action Doctor. Helmsman get us through this field we need to help that ship!"
Vesara: "Captain, I have four life-pods ejecting from the Malorin. The Orion craft is powering up tractor beams and targeting the closest pod!"

[Jumping into action Captain Grim commands his crew and the Argo begins to wend it's way through the dangerous Pinicon Cluster!]
Capt. Grimm using the Command Talent!
It takes three rounds for the Argo to make its way through the field.
1) In the first round the Argo makes a successful Navigation roll while the Orions lock-on to a life-pod.
2) The Argo makes the second Navigation roll, the Orion ship moves in on a second life-pod.
3) The Argo just fails the third Navigation roll, but the shields absorb the damage!


Scene 2 - Inside the Cluster!

As the Argo emerges from the asteroids the "photon distraction" goes into effect! The Orions are taken by surprise and lose initiative. The Argo opens a hailing frequency and commands them to stop what they are doing. The torpedo detonation causes multiple smaller asteroid chunks to head directly at the Orion craft! Unfortunately the life-pod is also in the path of the photon debris!

F'Riid: "The Orions were unaware of us, they are unsure what is going on."
Zav: "Shields are holding at 85%"
Vesara: "They have stopped the tractor beam and raised shields, however the life-pod is in extreme danger from the incoming asteroid debris!"
Salec: "We have to get any survivors aboard quickly."
Capt. Grim: Hitting the Intercom button on the command chair, "Transporter room 1, get the survivors off that pod and beam them directly to Medical!"
F'Riid: "Our own comms have been hit by debris, they are offline."

The crew of the Argo is barely able to get the survivors off the pod before it is torn apart by the debris. The Orion craft weathers the strike and begins to power up their disruptors. With their own shields down Captain Grim orders a phaser strike on the Orion craft in an attempt to take out the weapons systems.

The gamble pays off and not only does the attack penetrate the Orion's shields but it takes out both their weapons and communications!

Meanwhile, Salec arrives in Sickbay and discovers the survivors are in a more dire situation than first thought! Rushing to the Intercom he contacts the Bridge.
Salec: "Captain, the crew of the Malorin are suffering the effects of severe Nucleonic radiation poisoning. You need to get the other crewman aboard as fast as possible!"
[The Doctor makes a couple of Medical Skill rolls  here to stabilize the survivors.]

Capt. Grim: "I read you Doctor! Tess get me a reading on the state of the Malorin. Zav what do think?"
Chief Zav: "Nucleonic radition would mean the warp-engine manifolds took heavy disruptor damage, the crew didn't just abandon ship because of the Orions. They got off because their warp-core is going critical!"
F'Riid: "Captain, even though their main comms are down I'm getting an odd signal being tight-beamed from the Orion craft to somewhere out beyond the cluster, I'm attempting to jam it!"
Vesara: "Zav is correct, the Malorin is in the final stages of a critical warp-core breach. At this range both us and the Orions could take severe damage, but the remaining life-pods would be vaporized!"
Dramatic music!
Que - Dramatic music and close-up on the Captain!!!


Scene 3 - Last moments of the Malorin

At this point the Orion ship began to withdraw from the inner cluster in an attempt to escape with the survivors from the initial life-pod they brought on board. The Crew of the Argo knew they had to place their attention upon the remaining two pods adrift in space. The Crew devise a dangerously ingenious plan!

Capt. Grim: " Mr. Dossa, how are comms?"
F'Riid: "We are back online at 50% capability, the Orions are either still down, or just not responding."
Capt. Grim: "Tess, Zav. Do think a heavy Phaser barrage on the Malorin engineering section could effectively cause an internal reaction resulting in total disintegration?"
Zav: "It could also destroy us all, but it could work...maybe!"
Vesara: "Zav is correct, if this fails our own shields won't protect us. We have a .05% chance it goes our way!"
Capt. Grim: "Transfer fire controls to my chair, Helmsman get us between the remaining life-pods with a line-of-sight on the Malorin. Zav, get ready to raise our shields on my command!"
Salec on Intercom: "I'm sending a Trauma team to the transporter room now."
Helmsman: "Moving into position now sir!"
Zav: "I'm ready!"
Vesara: "Transporter is locked on the pods! Malorin core is going critical in 3."

Capt. Grim: "Transporter Go!"

Vesara: "2"

Capt. Grim: "I was the best shot of my class, Firing Phasers!"

Vesara: "1"

[The full phaser barrage strikes the engineering section of the freighter, and for a brief second everyone holds their breath! Then a bright red flash fills the viewscreen and the Malorin disappears!!!]

F'riid: "Transporter room reports survivors are aboard!"
Malorin survivors are safe!
Crew: "It worked!"

Capt. Grim: "Now, what is the staus on that Orion craft?"
Vesara: "They are on the verge of leaving the cluster, we can't overtake them at this point without.."
Capt. Grim: "Without going at full impulse back through the cluster."
Zav: "Full impulse is too fast in this type of field the asteroids are too numerous. The shields can't handle the beating we would take!"
Capt. Grim: "I can't let them get away with our people. Helm, intercept course with the Orion vessel full impulse power. Zav, give those shields everything you can!"

[The gamble at this point in game is that pushing through the asteroids at full impulse means a TN 20 skill test to make it with no damage. Failing this roll puts the ship in the position of suffering a 1d6x5 damage hit!

The Players go for it!!!

The Argo fails her Starship Navigation/Piloting roll and takes a beating bulldozing out of the cluster to beat the Orion ship!]

The Bridge lights flicker, as the crew is jostled back and forth from asteroid impacts on the shields and hull! 1st Officer Tess is thrown from her station and knocked unconscious.

F'Riid: "Captain, we have damage on decks 4 & 5, minor injuries reported!"
Salec: "What are you doing up there, my patients are falling out of their beds!"
Zav: "We took quite a beating shields are at 75%, no hull breaches."

Capt. Grim: "Helm, I want us facing the Orion ship when it emerges from the cluster. Prepare Phasers and Photon torpedo tubes."

Helmsman: "Weapons ready sir."
Navigator: " We are in position sir, here they come."

[The Orion craft emerged from the asteroid field to find the Argo facing them down! In a last ditch effort the marauding craft attempted to fire disruptors only to again suffer at the cruel hands of fate!]

Zav: Checking on Vesara and reading the scanner info, "The Orion weapon systems have completely failed, however the appear to be going to warp."
F'riid: "Ah, I've got it! That tight-beam transmission is a coded Orion pirate channel, they were trying to call in help."
Helmsman: "Captain, they are coming straight at us!"

Capt. Grim: "On my mark, target their engines."

The Orion craft picked up speed and came head on at the Argo, then suddenly veered straight up!

Capt Grim: "Fire! All weapons!"

Zav: "The ship has lost all engine power, we have them!"

F'Riid: "Captain, I have used their encoded sub-space channel to contact them directly. I can put you through."

Capt. Grim: "Attention Orion vessel, this is the USS Argo. You will turn over the survivors you have and stand down."

There is a moment of silence, the view screen crackles with an image from the Orion vessel.

Orion Capt.: " Federation vessel, your unprovoked attack upon our merchant vessel will not go unpunished! We.."

Just then another badly scarred Orion appears in the background and pulls out a disruptor pistol and fires it upon the captain!

Scarred Orion: "This is the acting Captain of the Violator. Argo, we will comply with your wishes."

-Scene 4- A message for the Syndicate

Within moments the remaining crew from the Malorin was beamed over to Sickbay, as well as a handful of Orion crew who had injuries. Captain Grim made an executive decision to give the Orions just enough aid to allow them to limp back home. Also Comms Officer F'Riid was able to imbed a log of what had transpired between the two ships on the coded channel and set it to transmit continuously.

Zav: " I'm not sure I get why we are letting them go, shouldn't we take them in. They are obviously slavers!"

Capt. Grim: "Yes they are, but if we took them in the rest of their kind would continue to do what they do regardless. This way, we give them pause. Now they know just how far the Federation, and more importantly the Argo will go to stop them."

F'Riid: " I made sure this story will be all over the Orion syndicate. Captain Grim & the Argo will be a thorn they won't soon forget, or seek to tangle with again anytime soon."

[Once the Argo was underway to Starbase 13, Captain Grim went to sickbay.]

Capt. Grim: " Salec, how is the Captain of the Malorin?"
Salec: "Your friend is doing fine, however he is under sedation and cannot speak to you right now."
Capt. Grim: "I'm glad he'll be okay, he owes..."
Salec: " Owes you from your last Poker game. I know he mentioned that when I told him what ship he was on. But really Cade, I do not think him owing you "money" is pertinent at this juncture."
Capt. Grim: " Ah Salec, it's not really about money. It's about well, it's about... I'm glad he is okay."
Salec: Eybrow raised, "Yes, I think I know what you mean."

Vesara: slowly opened her eyes, head throbbing from the fall she took. "Ohh, what happened?"

Standing beside her bed was the collected bridge crew.

Capt. Grim: "This happened Tess." Cade then held up a red shirt for Vesara to see. "Welcome to the team." he said with a wide grin.

Vesara: "oh nooooo!"

Collected Crew: laughing & smiling....

Fade out


Sunday, October 8, 2017

FAR TREK RPG: Background Update

Star Date 2017.08.10

This is some setting information I use in my Far Trek RPG game. I am not worried about being strictly Canon with Star Trek history as a whole. This is after all my Far Trek Universe that is very much influenced by the Original Series. My intent is to run fun adventures in the theme of the original TV series, with a crew of characters on their own ship.

Far Trek Federation as it exists in the EROC-Verse.

1) Do Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise exist?
    Yes, these episodes are happening just after season 3 of the TV show has ended.
    I have changed my mind. The Enterprise exists, but Kirk & crew don't exactly. This is my own universe in the classic TOS timeline. So things will be what I decide they are.

2) Will the Kirk and or the Enterprise ever appear in these games?
     Most likely no, however they and the results of their adventures are known and logged in the Starfleet  Library.Kirk, as we know him from the show will not. The Enterprise may appear at some point. As before though the original episodes are considered to have happened and are logged with Starfleet.

3) What is the name and class of ship your crew uses, and who are they?
     The ship is a Saladin Class Destroyer, the USS ARGO. The crew as of now are as follows:

Ep. 1 Crew
Ep. 2 Crew update
Crew of the USS Argo (L to R)
Navigator - Maxine "Max" Holt , Lt. JG                 Player: Selina
Chief Medical Officer - Salec (Vulcan), Lt.             Player: Karen
Commanding Officer - Cade Grim - Captain           Player: Zachary
Exec.\Science Officer - Vesara Tes (Trill), Cmdr.   Player: Tahlia
Comm. Officer - Tsun Capri, Lt. Cmdr.                   Player: Josh - character changed after Ep. 1
Comm. Officer - F'Riid Dossa (Caitian), Lt. Cmdr. Player: Josh - 1st app. Ep. 2
Chief Engineer - Zav (Tellerite), Lt. Cmdr.              Player: James H. - joined Ep. 2

4) Where do the adventures of your current crew take place?
     See the image below, the USS Argo is tasked with patrolling the area within the red outline surrounding  the name of the ship. The area covers 8 hexes on the map and I don't want to assign a defined size to each  hex because it doesn't really matter to me. They are as big as I need them to be for my episodes to work  out.
USS Argo Assignment Sectors

5) Who oversees the the Crew of the Argo?
     The Argo operates out of Starbase 13, under the orders of Commodore Stone. I always thought he  looked cool so this guy is going to be who they report to. I'm not sure what the look of the Starbase is going  to be yet. Not sure if I want a Space-station or a Planet-side base. I'll decide later.

Commodore Stone at Starbase 13.

6) Wait, Far Trek RPG is different than the Star Trek Adventures RPG by Modiphius?
     Yes, Far Trek is a 3D6 system game designed by C.R. Brandon and based off of Where No Man Has        Gone Before 2.0 by Mike Berkey.

Follow these links for more:
Where No Man Has Gone Before:
Far Trek RPG:
Star Trek Adventures:

All three are excellent Star Trek games depending on your taste and what you are looking for. I chose Far Trek because it was simple and gives me the Original Series vibe that I wanted.

7) Is there a Far Trek Group/Community?
     Yes there is, check out the FAR TREK community on Google Plus.

Stay tuned for more Far Trek excitement!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Call of Cthulhu: Two-Fisted Tales of Terror part 2 "Dead Words"

This session took place 7/8/17 and was the second game in our Pulp Cthulhu game. In this episode I am joined by my daughter playing the part of Beatrice Farwell a minor criminal and friend of The Giant.

We pick up where we left off as Edward Billingsly and the Giant head towards the home of Mr. Richland to get a hold of the priceless book that seems to be so important.

The Giant stopped the car just short of the driveway to the Richland Mansion. As we stepped from the car I couldn't help but notice a dull thumping coming from the trunk. "Is, is there someone in there?" I asked as I looked nervously from the Giant to the car.

The big man grunted and walked round to the rear of the car where he unlocked the trunk. To my surprise a young woman sprang from the back of the car, shook herself and started poking the Giant in the chest with her finger! "Hey, ya know I been in there almost all night! Why couldn't I ride up front wit' you huh?"

The Giant shrugged and pointed to me, then made some sort of sign with his hands that the girl seemed to understand. "So this is who I gotta work with huh, well he don't look like much." I figured her to be perhaps a few years younger than myself, but she certainly had a street savvy way about her. She introduced herself as Beatrice Farwell and that she was going to be my "partner" in our endeavor to get whatever it was the "Butcher" wanted, and by whatever means necessary too. I was shocked to see her pick up and deliberate upon which weapons and tools she was going to bring on our "job".

Beatrice Farwell
After Beatrice slipped a thin bladed knife and a set of lock picks under her skirt, she took my arm winked at the Giant and walked me up the drive towards the door of the Mansion. "Listen Eddie, you just get us inside and I'll take care of the rest okay." 

I knocked on the door of the Richland residence while fumbling in my pocket for the card Prof. Carter had given me. After a long moment the door opened and we were greeted by whom I had to guess was Mrs. Richland. Her brows arched as she looked over the odd pair at her door. I'm pretty sure I heard Beatrice mutter "bitch" under her breath. "Uh Mrs. Richland, I'm Edward Billingsly. Professor Carter sent me to pick up a package from you." She stood in the doorway and seemed to peer into my very being, there was something, something I can't describe about her. My heart raced and I felt terrified as well as enamored at the same time!

"Come in." her tone was like ice. Beatrice and I were led into the parlor and took a seat. "Let me get you some tea." said the tall woman as she turned and disappeared through a swinging door into what I presume was the kitchen. Almost instantly Beatrice was up nosing about, looking everywhere. She even checked behind a few pictures hanging on the wall! "What are you doing?" I whispered.

"Figuring out where the stuff is hid dummy." Beatrice shot me a look like I was a child. The sound of china tinkling made her shoot back to her seat beside me.

Mrs. Strickland Richland
  "As you may have guessed my husband is not home, and I'm afraid what you came for is not here either." she poured tea into a cup and looked directly at the both of us. "I, um, well I see that is a bit of a problem as the Professor was really looking forward to seeing the book." I said as I accepted the cup, "when do you expect him?"

"I don't." she said flatly, "He hasn't been home for two days now, and I haven't been able to reach him at the Museum. Perhaps you could locate him for me?" I sat petrified holding the cup to my lip the steam rising up in front of my eyes giving her a strange otherworldly look. Beatrice elbowed me in the ribs and brought me back to reality. "Two days! That seems very unlike him no? Of course I will help you locate your husband, you can count on us!" I couldn't believe I just said that, and neither apparently could Beatrice.

"Of course you will. Now I have an appointment I cannot miss. I expect to hear from you tomorrow about what you discover." Mrs. Richland rose and handed me a card with her name and address on it. She showed us to the door and we walked quickly down the drive back to the Giant awaiting in the car.

Beatrice laid into me about how I was like a moonstruck boy with the Richland woman. Beatrice then convinced the Giant and I  that we only had to wait untill she left for her appointment and then we could sneak back into the house and look for the book which was probably there regardless of what she told us.

We waited about 20 minutes before Mrs. Strickland finally drove off, and we pulled around the back of the house and found the servants entrance. After a few minutes we got the back door open only to discover the entry had been boarded up from the inside!? Unable to get past this the Giant just broke the wood down by punching it in. Beatrice and I made our way into the darkened home and quickly found the study of Mr. Richland just beyond the stairs on the first floor. While Beatrice rummaged around I had an odd feeling about the door under the stairs. It should lead to the basement I thought, but felt compelled to look. Opening the door I saw, something. Something that shouldn't be there yet it was...
The hall that wasn't
The hallway seemed to stretch off further than the house could go, and it seemed to compel me inside. Just as I was about to step in Beatrice grabbed my shoulder! "Hey I need your help in here." she motioned to the study. "Besides there ain't nothin' in there." I looked back to see only a small storage space beneath the stairs before me.

We quickly made our way through the desk and shelves in the study. Though it was filled with many items of interest I just knew none of it was exactly what we were looking for. In the end I found Mr. Richlands date book with a note about seeing "O'malley" dated two days prior and a folder stuffed with papers upon which frantically written notes had been scrawled. A few of the words stood out to me as unusual and worth looking at closer so I took them. We left the house and I convinced my two compatriots that we must go to the Museum Offices of Mr. Richland. The pair agreed as it seemed the only logical place to look for more clues. I sat in the back and looked over the notes from the folder. None of which made any sense, but the words ABOTH, DAOLOTH, AZATHOTH, and EIHORT were used repeatedly throughout. 

By the time we reached the museum, it was closed and we wouldn't be able to get in. However I remembered that one of the younger guards that I had become friendly with during my office duties just might be working tonight. I asked the Giant to park in the alleway round the back and I took Beatrice by the hand as we walked towards the loading bay entrance. 

The single bulb buzzed over our heads like an angry insect in the dark as I knocked on the door three times in quick succession, then twice more. Beatrice began to reach for her lock picks and I told her to wait a moment more. The sound of a bolt being drawn startled us both and the door opened inward. "Hey Eddie, is that you?" the young museum guard peered out at us. "Hi Jimmy!" I said, "Look, I was wondering. Do you think we could come in for a little secret tour?" I pulled Beatrice up so he could see her better.
Jimmy's eyes widened, and he started nodding his head as he winked at me, "Sure Eddie, sure. I'll keep old George busy at the other end for an hour at least." We slid inside as Jimmy shut the door and then let us out into the main foyer. "Don't do nothin' I wouldn't." he said with a grin as he closed the door.

"Jimmy's pretty cute." cracked Beatrice. "Well I introduce you later, right now we have to get to the offices c'mon." We took off at a quick walk through the darkened exhibits and made our way to the stairs for the second floor and the administrative offices. Having spent many months working here I knew exactly where to go.  Moments later after Beatrice picked the lock we were in Mr. Richlands office looking for something that might help us find him and or the Book. Unfortunately it looked as though someone had already been here and was none to discreet about it! "This place has been tossed!" hissed Beatrice, "Somebody was already here."
"How would you know?" I said as I looked around and something glass crunched underfoot!

"Who's there!" commanded a thick scottish accent! Both Beatrice and I froze in place. I knew it wasn't old George the guard, and Mr. Richland didn't have an accent, who was this???

A flashlight blinded us and we held up our hands to ward off the brightness. "What're yoo two doin' skulking aboot in here?" the flashlight lowered and I could make out the shadow of a large man in the doorway. He held what I thought might be a gun in his left hand. "It's uh, me Edward Billingsly Sir. I'm here on an errand for Mrs. Richland."

"Mrs. Richland eh, then you two better come with me." 

Beatrice and I sat across from Professor O'malley. He poured a third shot of bourbon from a bottle he had pulled from his desk, drank it and said,"Mrs Richland eh, I thought you worked for old Carter Edward?"

"I did, I mean i do. Yes, I mean." 
Prof. O'malley Occult Investigator

O'malley produced a second then third glass and poured a drink for both Beatrice and myself. I told him everything that had happened so far, and I mean everything. The Professor listened quite intently when I described Mrs. Richland and what had happened in the house, and he was keenly interested in the notes I had. He then revealed that he was also looking for Mr. Richland or Strickland as he called him since they were friends, and that Prof. Carter had involved me in something which he was clueless about. But the most shocking fact was the Mrs. Richland was NOT Sticklands wife, because you see he has never been married!

"Then who is she?" Beatrice and I asked at the same time.

"That my plucky duo is what we're going to find oot!" O'malley stood up and began tossing items in a carpet bag he produced from under his desk. The notes I had, the bourbon bottle as well a weird looking knife and some other things I wasn't able to make out. 

Suddenly there was a crash of breaking glass! O'malley was spooked and turned off the lights. He whispered to us that we needed to make a break for the stairs and get out before "They" get us!! We began to navigate down the darkened hall when I was overcome with the same sensation I felt at the house when looking at that strange hallway. Somehow I lost both Beatrice and O'malley and seemed to lose track of time! The next thing I know I burst out of the maintenance door only to find myself in the museum foyer surrounded by a group of people wearing strange outfits and chanting! The sun seemed to be intently burning through the glass doors and I was very hot, my head was spinning. The people began to converge upon me as I sank to my knees, I wanted to go to the other place!! NO, no I did not want to but I couldn't help myself!!

I felt myself jerked back from falling and I could barely make out O'malley yelling, "stay with us lad!" There was a stacatto sound pounding out next to me and I saw Beatrice firing a tommy-gun at the robed people a wide cheshire grin upon her face.

The next thing I knew we were in the alleyway behind the museum, and we were running for the car as the Giant started the engine! O'malley in the front seat urging the Giant on as Beatrice leaned out the back firing the tommy-gun!

Stay tuned for part 3 coming soon!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Far Trek Play Report: Star Date 2017.18.8

Star Date: 2017.18.8

I ran the "Be Not Afraid" adventure by Roger Taylor II at my FLGS. This is the second time I've run this adventure. The first time was at Palm Con 2016 ( you can find the prior write up of it here on the blog). This time around I had five players, only my daughter had any prior experience playing the game. I tailored the Pre-gens a little to some requests and off we went to the Stars!

Argo Crew
Crew of the USS Argo (L to R)
Navigator - Maxine "Max" Holt , Lt. JG                  Player: Selina
Chief Medical Officer - Salec (Vulcan), Lt. Cmdr.   Player: Karen
Commanding Officer - Cade Grim - Captain            Player: Zachary
Exec.\Science Officer - Vesara Tes (Trill), Cmdr.    Player: Tahlia
Comm. Officer - Tsun Capri, Lt. Cmdr.                  Player: Josh

Friday Night Far Trek: Players
I gave a quick run down of the rules, set up the Crew on the Bridge of the Argo and started the Opening Scene. I printed out the the image below on a standard sheet of paper to use as our Bridge.
Bridge of the Argo
(8-hour bridge ambient sounds playing)

Our Captain read aloud his Log entry which I typed up from the adventure and gave him. The Argo dropped out of warp at the edge of the system and headed for Tannos IV. Captain Grim asked Mr. Capri to hail the colony while Vesara pulled up the System & Planetary Profile from the computer. As the crew reviewed the log, communications revealed that there was heavy interference causing issue with hailing the colony.

Then the first shear hit! everyone failed to save but only by 1-2 points so no one was injured, but they were rattled. They quickly determined what happened and the Captain ordered Lt. "Max" to plot a course to avoid further issue. The Navigator has a little trouble getting the ship set and a second shear rattles them sending the Doctor off to Sick Bay to oversee injuries sustained by NPC crew. There was a remark about only having a "Learners Permit" before Maxine set in a course that brought the ship safely through to Tannos IV.

Once in orbit the crew set to work trying to contact Madsen's Hope, only to discover that the Gravimetric disturbances are messing with scans and comms! Mr. Capri is able to get a lock on the colony beacon so a landing party can beam down safely.

Captain Grim leaves Helmsman #1 in command of the Ship and orders the the others to the Transporter Room.


Scene 1 - Transporter Room / Planetside

The Landing party are assigned Type II phasers, communicators and appropriate Tricorders. A single security "Red Shirt" ensign Tar'get joins the party as well. Stepping up on the pads the Captain looks to the transporter chief and says "Beam us down."

The Landing Party materializes within walking distance of the Colony ( Space wind sound effect is played ) and they begin a search & scan pattern as ordered by the Captain. Team 1 consisting of the Captain, Salec and Tar'get search the exterior grounds and supply sheds, while Team 2 led by Vesara, with "Max" and Tsun enter the Admin building to look for colony members.

Just about the time the crew are getting very worried about the state of things ensign Tar'get screams! The Captain and Salec are faced with the apparent disappearance of the "Red Shirt"!

Scans are taken, clues are found, Mr. Capri discovers the strange state of the duotronic memory chips. Salec worries that not only are there no life-signs, there aren't even any bodies. The Captain is about to call the ship when he gets hailed and informed of an approaching Klingon D-5 Raptor Class ship.
I.K.V. D-5 Raptor "puQmo'taj"
He orders the Argo to Yellow alert and for Comms to open a channel to the Klingon ship. After a few moments of silence he enters into a dialogue with the Klingons. The player makes a couple of really good rolls and convinces Commander D'kar that they should work together to solve the mystery surrounding Tannos IV.

The Klingons arrive planetside and are standoffish with the crew. They haphazardly search the area and their Commander blatantly accuses the "Federation" of being up to something and that he is watching their every move! Captain Grim is able to placate the Klingons with diplomacy while keeping his crew alert for treachery.

First Officer Tes locates the source of the gravimetric emanations only a few kilometers east of the colony, so the two groups set off on foot to find out what is going on.


Scene 2  - Planetside / Ruins

The crystal mounds 
About halfway to their intended destination the groups find the body of Ensign Tar'get! Salec determines the man is not dead, but very near it. Medical scans show he is suffering from the effects of exposure to the vacuum of space! Captain Grim gets the Commander D'kar to agree to allow the crewman to beamed back to the Argo for medical attention. At this point the Captain decides to get a "Measure of a man" on the Klingon Commander.

Soon the parties come upon an area of ancient alien ruins, in the center are three 1.5 meter tall crystal mounds in a loose triangular pattern. A tipped over colony issue tractor and some digging tools are scattered about here as well. The two groups fan out about the scene and begin looking for clues and scanning with tricorders. Mr. Capri gets a gut feeling the Klingons are about to pull something and is able to alert his Captain of this without the Klingons noticing.

Meanwhile Salec and Vesara have approached the crystal mounds and two of them have begun flashing with a beautiful spectrum of lights emanating from within. They also realize this is the source of the eerie wind noises. Salec is intrigued with the concentric rings of what appear to be shards of glass hovering above the crystals. Vesara determines the crystals are not native to the planet and each one is like a giant icicle in shape speared deeply into the crust of the planet. The five Klingons are maneuvering into position to attack the crew, while D'kar and Captain Grim stare each other down.
 "It doesn't have to go like this." says Grim.
 "If you want to surrender then lay down your phasers, the Empire will have these crystals." sneers D'kar!

Salec decides to swing his tricorder at the rings above a crystal and causes a massive shockwave that blows everyone off their feet! No one is knocked out, however Vesara has disappeared and the Klingons are no longer under any pretense of being peaceful.

Vesara discovers herself in a region of extreme cold and wind. A quick tricorder scan reveals she has been displaced to the northern icecap of Tannos IV! She also sees a few feet from her a two-dimensional rift in space-time through which she can see the events back at the crystal mounds playing out. With not a moment to spare she decides to attempt to dive through the rift and hopefully re-join her crew!


 Scene 3 - The Showdown

Tannos IV Ruins
Vesara is gone, the Klingons are scrambling to get up after the shockwave but the crew reacts faster! Captain Grim holds D'kar at phaser point, "Tell your men to stand down D'kar!"
Mr. Capri and "Max" both take cover behind a low rock wall and draw phasers on the brutish Klingon Klag, whom they see is drawing aim on either their Captain or perhaps his own! Salec has taken position near the Klingon science officer holding him at phaser point while working his tricorder with the other hand. The Doctor thinks he can set the device to emit a focused sonic beam that might knock out the Klingons.

Mr. Capri and "Max" both fire upon Klag with their phasers on heavy stun and drop the big Klingon like a sack of tribbles! The two Klingon warriors level their disruptors to fire upon the Captain and Salec when just at that moment Vesara pops out of a rift and drops one of the warriors with a phaser blast! The remaining warrior fires at Vesara and she suffers a severe disruptor wound to her left arm. As the warrior draws down on the Science officer with the intent of finishing her off Salec points his tricorder in their direction and KO's him with a high-pitched sonic blast!

At the same moment D'kar lunges at Captain Grim only to take a heavy stun blast right in the face!

The Klingon science officer reveals he wants to defect to the Federation, and has a plan to get the Klingons back up to their ship, but the crystals must NOT fall into the hands of the Empire. The defector sets an auto-recall on the Klingon communicators that causes them to beamed back up to their ship, but not before he throws his communicator away. Captain Grim then has the landing party plus one beamed back on board the Argo!


Scene 4 - Finale

USS Argo
The Klingon defector is escorted to the brig by Salec, while the rest of the party return to the bridge.

The Captain orders Vesara to lock on the coordinates of the crystals for a full spread Photon torpedo barrage, and for "Max" to plot a course to a safe distance at emergency warp 8 to be implemented just prior to impact. The crew make their rolls, the Captain gives the order "Fire Photon torpedos!"

With the crystals destroyed, the Tannos system is safe to navigate and the Argo is able to do a thorough scan of the entire system. They are able to locate and rescue twelve missing colonists, but find no trace of the puQmo'taj. Was she destroyed by the final gravimetric shear that tore through the system when the crystals were destroyed, or did the Klingons get away?


We are looking to make this a Once a month thing, so look for more adventures of the Crew of the USS Argo!