By Michael Dismuke, STA Contributing Writer
What an electrifying era to write about!
The United Federation of Planets is newly formed. The four founding species – Andorians, Humans, Tellarites, and Vulcans – have a rough road ahead. It will be a careful balancing act as former adversaries become trusted allies.
This is a period in history when Starfleet captains are a rugged, quick-thinking bunch. They must rely more on armchair diplomacy and jury-rigging than years of astronautic experience or technological superiority to overcome the challenges this quadrant of space will present. Help is not a simple warp jump away. Often, a captain and their crew are days, if not weeks, away from a friendly face.
In addition, new and increasingly advanced vessels come off the line every few months. More new worlds and new civilizations are being added to the UFP every year. Unexplored and possibly lethal anomalies lurk around every moon and star. What a thrilling time in Federation history!
My mind spiraled with ideas when STA Project Manager Jim Johnson asked me to write “Growing Pains,” the first compilation of Star Trek Adventures mission briefs based after 2161, the year the Federation was officially born. Building the framework for an era in which the Star Trek: Enterprise series was set would be a true task. I could not assume that the four founding species just flew off happily into the sunset shortly after the formation of the UFP. Canon establishes that the decades following were tumultuous times. Ancient cultures had to get to know each other. Vessels became cornucopia collections of distinct species with a variety of diverse and, often, conflicting cultural or political values.
Many out there know me to be a cofounder/contributor on Continuing Missions, a fan site dedicated to all things Star Trek Adventures. In that role, I became aware that many gamemasters and players were eager to try their hand at playing Andorian- and Tellarite-themed games, two species that had more of a spotlight in Enterprise than in any other series to date.
This collection of ten mission briefs had to hit the mark. They had to give gamemasters and players the power to answer questions such as:
- “What roadblocks had to be overcome to improve Andorian-Vulcan relations?”
- “How were legal issues negotiated between new trade partners like the Trill?”
- “What cultural and religious traditions were introduced from the Andorians, Denobulans, or Tellarites?”
- “How did newly-formed crews learn to coexist?”
- “What foes came about due to the early explorations of Archer’s Enterprise?”
- “What was the experience of early Starfleet captains trying to enforce General Order One?"
I wanted fans of Star Trek to be able to explore these stories and tell these tales but infused with their own ideas, creativity, and historical perspective. Some groups might use the missions as flashback storylines. Maybe a crew from the future is tossed back in time to live out an adventure in the 22nd century. In any case, the stories can be adapted to other eras of the Trek universe.
And for those who will take up the challenge to flesh out the Enterprise era, have at it! A Galaxy of fun awaits you!
Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for the release of additional mission brief packs on a variety of topics and eras in the coming months. Live long and prosper!