(originally posted at rpg.net, thought I’d share it here, too)
This is a TOS-era seed, specifically taking place any time after the episode “Errand of Mercy” and before, say, “Wrath of Khan”
With the Organian Peace Treaty making it impossible for the Federation or the Klingons to compete militarily for influence over neutral planets (especially neutral planets with lots of natural resources), leaders on both sides have been searching for the best way to show the superiority of their society and bring more of those neutral worlds into their fold.
Both sides came up with the same answer, and after months of diplomatic back-and-forth, it’s time for the First Galactic Olympiad and Cultural Exposition. It’s designed to be a showcase of athletic, artistic, cultural and technological progress to impress the leaders of less advanced worlds.
The PC’s ship has been assigned to serve as security for this important, unprecedented, viewed-across-the-galaxy event.
Because neither side would agree to hold the event on a planet in the other’s territory, a brand new starbase has been built in neutral space, with components and technology from both the Federation and the Klingons. The event itself will last two weeks, and will include a wide variety of sporting events (both team and individual), cultural displays, technology demonstrations, etc.
Possible things for the players to do (or to happen to them):
Their orders are clear: there is to be no violence, no barroom brawls, no cheating, nothing that would reflect badly on the event, or more specifically the Federation. But it’s made equally clear to them that it would be best if the Federation won the most gold medals, especially in the more prestigious events. It’s up to the players to reconcile those two things as best they can.
Again, their orders are crystal clear: there is to be no cheating of any kind. But Admiral Cartwright’s briefing to the PCs is equally clear: he does not want the dilithum-rich neutral world of Gorash IV to go over to the Klingons. And if that means that the Federation’s fighter must win the Galactic Martial Arts Championship by any means necessary, because the Prime Minister of Gorash IV wants the best fighter in the galaxy as his personal trainer and he’s happy to sell out his entire planet to make that happen, well, nobody ever said life in Starfleet was easy.
There are some potentially serious intra-team conflicts within the Federation contingent. The Tellarites don’t really like the Andorians. The Andorians don’t really like the Vulcans. The Vulcans don’t really have much patience for anybody else. Guess who gets to keep the peace?
It’s possible the Orions might try to surgically alter an agent to look like a Federation citizen (or a Klingon) and sneak him into the games to cause trouble. Hey, it almost worked in the runup to the Babel Conference, right? No reason not to try again. And if they’re masquerading as a Klingon, that makes the task of detecting them - and exposing them - much harder.
One of the star athletes or performers for the Federation has an “accident” right before the finals. One of the PCs is the right species and has a little bit of experience in that sport/discipline/art form to step in, and of course there’s no time to get anyone else. Good luck!
The Romulans! If they’re invited to the Games, their presence will make everything much more complicated. They might try to sabotage the Games, or they might try to sway some neutral worlds to their influence, or they might try to play the Federation against the Klingons. Or all of the above! And if they’re not invited, who’s to say they won’t show up anyway?
Olympiad Station was built…somewhat hastily. And using technology and components from both the Federation and the Klingons. Even with the best intentions and with no active sabotage or foul play, it’s likely there will be some minor (or major) technical problems. Especially because a lot of the components on the station may not have been adequately tested.