To end out our April of adventures, we offer this Star Trek one shot.You can use it to try out the system and get new people used to boldly going where no one has gone before. It uses the rules we created for playing Fate in the Star Trek universe, and you can listen to our podcast to hear more about what it is like to play.
This particular adventure assumes that everyone in the group is of appropriate rank to go on an away mission to investigate the distress signal. While most groups of players will understand that they need to follow the direction of adventure, you sometimes get a Guy (Galaxy Quest Joke) that wants to stay on the ship. You can use a compel to get them to go down, or you can simply have a higher-ranking NPC officer pull rank and order them down.
Speaking of which, the crew of a Star Trek game could cover any number of positions on a ship. If you send NPCs down with the crew, allow them to succeed automatically in checks to move the plot along (only after PCs have failed), and be sure to have them attacked and killed first. Star Trek red shirt tradition, and all that.
We assume for the sake of timeline that this adventure takes place at the same Star Date as our podcast, not long after the original series but well before the next generation events. Taylor, you can alter this line to include the actual star dates if you wish. Joshua, there is a fun fact about Stardates in Star Trek. Between TOS and STTNG they use 2 different methods for Star Dates. The system used in TOS doesn’t really work after the original series, and the earliest date for the Next Generation Stardate system is Friday, July 5, 2318. Anyone can read more Here.
The Distress Signal
The first scene starts with the bridge crew picking up a distress signal. If a PC is on communications, weapons, or helm then they can roll a Good (3) Notice check to pick up the signal. There is no audio or visual. It is simply an automated distress signal. A Fair (2) Protocol or Investigation will reveal that it is indeed a Federation distress signal, and no known Federation vessels are reported to be in the area.
Following the signal, like a good Starfleet captain is want to do, leads the ship to a planet with a dense ionized upper atmosphere. Scans are able to determine the location of a crashed federation shuttle and two lifesigns of the same species. We default to using human for simplicity’s sake, but you can use any race in the setting for your story so long as they are the same.
As protocol dictates, an away team will be beamed down near the crash site to offer aid and assistance. The player characters are assigned to the team, as well as any additional medical/engineering/security/customs/ranking officers that are not covered by the PCs. Remember that a landing party is limited to 5 people for this era in Star Trek.
Investigating the Crash
Once the party beams down into a breathable atmosphere, the can follow the trail of destroyed trees and carved land to the actual shuttle crash. They can use Survival to remain unseen or Athletics to hussle. Arriving at the shuttle reveals a human female being choked to death by a humanoid creature. Anyone that used Athletics has one round to act before the female is killed. If anyone is investigating, skip down for non-combat skill checks.
The humanoid defends with Good (3) Physique and has 4 physical stress boxes (no consequences). If a PC uses Weapons to shoot a phaser and ties or rolls higher than the humanoid’s defense roll, the phaser does an additional 4 points of stress (even on stun). If it manages to kill the female, it will use its Physique to attack everyone that did not use Survival to approach because that is who it sees.
The humanoid is actually an android (or robot or clockwork automaton or whatever else is appropriate) with a mission to kill the two humans on the shuttle. The male human is unconscious, and it will only attack that human if it perceives no other threats in the area. If killed, it sputters and sparks as it collapses (or disintegrates).
Once the action is over with, the group can investigate the scene more thoroughly. An Average (1+) Customs reveals that the android is of no known race or design, and the technology is beyond what the Federation has. A Craftsmanship of Good (3+) reveals that the android and the shuttle are made of future technology beyond what the Federation even understands. Customs of Fair (2+) will note that the humans are wearing strange uniforms that are mostly black and only colored at the shoulders (for Star Trek fans, these are uniforms from DS9 and Voyager).
If either of the humans are dead, they can only be revived with a Fantastic (6+) Scholarship check (NPCs will automatically fail this check). If they are merely unconscious, the difficulty is Average (1+). If they are both dead, then a PC will have to consult the actual computer to get the rest of the story.
Visitors From the Future
The following is revealed from a Good (3+) Rapport with the humans or Scholarship with the computer. The couple are crew members of the USS Telonato D which was attacked by an unknown alien race of androids. The order to abandon ship was given, and they left in the shuttle. There was an explosion, and they crashed. After figuring out the current date, the group will learn that the humans and their shuttle are from roughly 100 years into the future.
A Good (3+) Insight will detect that there are some gaps in this information, and that the humans (or the computer) are not sharing the entire story. A Superb (5+) Rapport/Scholarship is required to get the rest of the details. Rapport can be assisted with Presence, Provoke, or Contacts. Scholarship can be assisted with Craftsmanship, Resources, or Investigation. Both can be assisted with Discipline and Protocol.
The real story is that the USS Telonato D was experimenting with a new kind of anti-temporal technology that the federation was researching when the aliens showed up and attacked. The Federation ship was overwhelmed, and the abandon ship order was given while the brave telerite captain ordered his ship to ram the alien ship. The lead scientist, not wanting the research to fall into hostile hands, stole a shuttle rather than board a pod and brought her husband with her. The two were pursued, and she used the anti-temporal technology to purposefully escape into another time.
What Happens Next?
Depending on how much information the group gets out of the time travelers, some very interesting decisions need to be made. The group has future technology on their hands, and technically it is Federation design. But integrating that technology or taking it back would alter the timeline. Not to mention all the information that the shuttle and any surviving humans have about the next 100 years of time, which they consider history.
Sending them back to the future is an option, though someone of high rank will be very upset at the missed opportunity if they find out. And sending them back to the explosion means that their lives will be in danger and that the invading alien race may obtain technology that endangers the future of the Federation.
A third option is to have the player characters go with the couple into the future to help protect them. Maybe even their entire ship, if they can convince the captain. This could make for an interesting campaign start as you have a crew of star fleet officers that have no clue what has been going on in most of the series fighting a new alien invasion and discovering (or rediscovering) everything.
No matter what choice the group makes, someone is going to end up going on an Away mission like none other.
We really hope that you have enjoyed these April adventures and gotten a chance to explore some of the many worlds that Fate Core offers you access to. As always, let us know if you have any questions or great stories to share. We will have more to share with you soon enough!