By Tony Pi, STA Contributing Writer
Starbases are an essential part of the Star Trek universe, ports of call where starships are repaired, where their crews find rest, and where culture and cargo are traded, whether for latinum, credits, or barter. For ship-based campaigns in Star Trek Adventures, they can be leisurely pit stops between missions, backdrops for diplomatic and legal entanglements, or command centers and battlegrounds for interstellar conflicts.
Beyond being points of interest along a voyage for a starship’s crew, a starbase has its own crew to keep things running. Deep Space Nine gave us an in-depth look into what life aboard a space station is like in the 24th century, both in times of peace and war. The series established that the crew of a starbase could have exciting adventures without trekking from planet to planet. Danger is sure to come to the station, whether in the guise of a mysterious visitor, unknown starships, calculating traders, or disastrous peace talks. Even everyday life might take a turn, when someone’s past puts the entire station in jeopardy.
The new mission briefs pack for Star Trek Adventures, “Starbase Adventures,” provides ten missions set aboard space stations that can be played by both starship and starbase crews. As a design goal, these adventures were written with the intent that all ten can be run as a series on a single station, or as standalone missions. This mission pack can be the starting point for a new campaign focused on starbase life. Be it an untold season aboard DS9, Narendra Station in the Shackleton Expanse Campaign Guide, or a station of your own invention, you can tailor these missions to fit the era and location you want. Even in unknown parts of space, there will be alien spaceports that your crew may need to visit. Some starbases have runabouts or a support vessel assigned to them, expanding the scope of the station crew’s adventures to nearby systems.
For existing campaigns centered around starships, the gamemaster can grab an adventure from this mission pack to make space station stops along the way more interesting. Officers taking shore leave might find themselves embroiled in station-board intrigue unwittingly, or be asked to assist the starbase crew.
Alternatively, a starship may have been diverted to a starbase to support trade negotiations, conference, or scientific study. These mission briefs could be the basis for a surprise event that interferes with the main mission.
Remember also that space stations provide opportunities to showcase futuristic leisure, meet old friends, and experience alien cultures. Let players explore those angles in addition to the main plot. A starship crew may appreciate time off the ship; a starbase crew must get along with residents and visitors, and balance work with station life.
Adventures on starbases are also impacted by broader astropolitical considerations. Who are the major powers in this region? Which alien civilizations shape station culture? What unique challenges must this particular starbase face? Questions such as these will help you refine the mission briefs and make your crew’s starbase adventures memorable and unique.
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!