By Aaron M. Pollyea
Art by Star Trek Online
Ever since the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery, I’d been peering at every special effects shot shown in the show. How many decks were there in the primary hull of U.S.S. Discovery? Did Nimitz have four nacelles, or were there dual secondary hulls? Was there a planetary sensor dome on the top side of the saucer on Shenzhou? If anything is obvious from my time writing for Star Trek Adventures is that I love the science and technology presented in Star Trek and try to make it feel as real and consistent as possible. So when STA project manager Jim Johnson asked me to put paper to pen to write up information on Discovery for the season crew packs, I wanted to fill in some gaps that were seen on screen as well is in the decades before we are first introduced to Enterprise in “The Cage”.
Even with Discovery being a highly advanced prototype ship, we know there were two other vessels, Glenn and presumably Crossfield. Two of the vessels were equipped with the experimental spore drive, and Crossfield herself was likely a test vessel. As we do not hear about, nor see, this class of vessel in later series I presume the ‘failure’ of the spore drive caused the class to fade into the background while Starfleet rebuilt from its conflict with the Klingon Empire. But how did the spore drive work mechanically? We do get some ideas from the show, and we see that travelling the mycelial network can move a ship through space and time. A fairly potent form of transportation, and the difficulty of using it should be displayed in the talent that Glenn and Discovery must take.
A new problem arose when Discovery moved to the 32nd century. This was something none of us in Star Trek Adventures foresaw when we originally were working on the game. Refitting Discovery under the rules set that I’ve been using to generate starships in the 3190s would have given the starship 23 to 24 points in each System. What would that even mean? Clearly a new way of looking at starships would have to be made, and so I created the talent IMT-C, or Interstitial Multivector Trans-Computronics. Systems stats would be lowered, but a ship’s assist would use two dice, with the best roll being kept. This new computing technology would also give a whole new level of technology to the Star Trek universe.
Finally, one of my joys has been playing with ideas about synthetic life, such as in my adventure “Nest in the Dark.” With the Discovery computer becoming self-aware and developing a personality, it was an easy choice to include rules that I’d developed for the Enlightened into Discovery, and I hope that it opens up a huge range of story possibilities for you and your group.
Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for news about additional STA products in the coming months. Live long and prosper!