By John Brent Macek, STA Contributor
Byline art by Erik Stitt
Shipwrecks. They have long been considered places of mystery, associated with lost treasures, missing persons, or tales of doomed crews and their brave attempts to thwart disaster. The sight of a wreck beckons the curious, daring them to face the hazards within, luring them with hopes of discovering untold secrets or wondrous artifacts, long buried among rotting timbers or a rusting hull.
In a science fiction setting such as Star Trek, those secrets can be even more wondrous! And with that thought in mind, I set about contacting Star Trek Adventures project manager Jim Johnson to pitch the idea of a mission brief about them. “Spacewrecks” would provide gamemasters with ten such vessels – ships of unknown origin, missing Federation starships, some adrift in space, and others in more exotic locales. Planet-side or in the vacuum of space, these missions would provide exciting accounts of lost ships, challenging players to unravel their mysteries.
Of course, my mind was full of doubt. Sure, I had an article published in an old gaming magazine, and more recently a section in Volume 6 of the History of Cartography. But adventures? For Star Trek? Do I even have the necessary credentials?
Well, as a life-long Star Trek fan, some of my earliest memories are of watching the original series with my parents as a child. I can recall how happy I was after reading the announcement of The Animated Series in TV Guide a few years later. Through ‘70s, Star Trek was my passion. While other kids were reading Marvel Comics, I was reading Gold Key Star Trek, and enjoying the continuing voyages of the Starship Enterprise on Power Records’ 45rpm vinyl.
I never lost that love. And little did I know how it would grow in new directions. In 1976, thanks to a middle school science teacher, I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons. My repertoire of games expanded quickly, to include such science fiction classics as Traveller, and FASA Star Trek. Over the decades I added countless more, including Star Trek Adventures.
Hooked on Star Trek? Check. Hooked on gaming? Check.
But I needed a subject.
Then I remembered an old phrase, “Write what you know.” And I know shipwrecks. From a Jonny Quest episode featuring galleons trapped in the Sargasso Sea, to TAS’ “The Time Trap,” and Space: 1999’s “Dragon’s Domain,” from stories in the Terran Trade Authority series of books, and the physical wreck in the cove behind my parent’s house, to the stint I did with the nautical archaeologists at work cataloging wrecks, I’ve practically lived my life on them. The study of wrecks has taught me one thing – every wreck has a story to tell. It might be about its builders, crew, or the lives of those living near the wreckage, but in the end, the story is about people.
And that, in a roundabout way, is how “Spacewrecks” came to be. I hope you enjoying playing these missions as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Download “Spacewrecks” now from
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!