By Fred Love
I’d like to address my fellow Star Trek Adventures gamemasters for a moment and try to convince you that your next campaign ought to be set in the Delta Quadrant.
I’ve been running Star Trek Adventures as a gamemaster since the playtest, and it’s been a tremendous thrill every step of the way. And, like any good Trekkie, I invest a lot of effort into making sure my games adhere as much as possible to the canon of the franchise. The campaigns I run won’t end with a Borg assimilation of Romulus, for instance, or the Klingons conquering Vulcan. Quadrant-shaking events like that would contradict what we saw depicted on screen.
Sometimes I feel like the very stability we see in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants restricts the kind of stories my group can tell. But then, I had the pleasure of writing some of the content for the newly-released Delta Quadrant Sourcebook, and my imagination began running wild with the storytelling potential of that particular region of the Star Trek universe.
My contributions to the new book include NPCs and some adventure seeds, or short entries that give gamemasters a solid concept for a scenario in just a few hundred words. It’s a way to give gamemasters who have a hard time coming up with original adventures some ideas, while still allowing plenty of room for customization and improvisation. I conducted some serious research on the Delta Quadrant, and rewatched more than a few of my favorite Voyager episodes, before sitting down to write. And the research reminded me what an imaginative setting the Delta Quadrant can be.
Some of Star Trek’s boldest ideas originate there. A tour of the quadrant can throw a gaming group up against plague carriers looking to steal internal organs or timeships that rewrite history in moments. While games set in or near Federation space usually have to conform to the strictures associated with that part of the Galaxy, the Delta Quadrant feels like anything can happen at any time. It’s like the final frontier of the final frontier. Additionally, because the United Federation of Planets’ traditional sphere of influence is so far away, the Delta Quadrant allows gaming groups to explore different kinds of scenarios beyond the traditional Starfleet crew.
Even if you’re not interested in running a full Delta Quadrant campaign, I urge you, my fellow gamemasters, to come up with any excuse to run a one-shot adventure there at the very least. Just have Q show up and transplant your crew across the Galaxy for a session or two (he’s certainly done it before). Your players will have no idea what to expect, and you’ll have an arsenal of storytelling possibilities at your fingertips.