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Running STA for my birthday in July, need feedback for story idea

Hi, I’m planning on running a session of STA for my birthday in July this year and have an idea for the game. Unfortunately I seem to be hitting a brick wall writing out the mission. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

The ship has just finished surveying a nearby nebula when they get a distress call from a mining colony ran by Ferengi under attack by raiders. When they arrive and drive off the raiders they discover that the miners are striking due to their treatment by the Ferengi, (substandard food, charging for maintenance & upkeep, charging for decent food, turning one of the cabins into a gaming area). The Ferengi government have sent Liquidator Brunt to the colony to help resolve the issue.

Some other notes:

  • The raiders were hired by the Ferengi in charge of the colony in order to frighten the workers into submission
  • The planet is owned by the Ferengi, but the buildings and materials to run the mining colony were provided by the Federation
  • The Ferengi have a contract with the Federation sharing the materials mined from the planet
  • The Ferengi had locked up the fighters and the workers were forced to overpower them in order to try and fight off the raiders

I’m not really sure where to go with this. Should the main conflict be the worker’s strike… how would I make that really interesting for the players? Should I have there be some sort of hidden enemy base on the planet and have that be one of the things that the workers don’t feel safe (think Mine Enemy mission in Star Trek Online). Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated, thanks.

2 Likes

Looks like a solid batch of ideas. The action scenes could be interesting trying to sort out who the enemies are between raiders and workers (it could be difficult to tell the difference). Figuring out that the Ferengi hired the raiders (but maybe didn’t expect the level of violence or damage) could be some interesting tasking and roleplaying. Negotiating a truce and end of strike could make for a good round of social conflict as well. Seems like you’ve got potential for a little bit of everything in there.

Maybe, part of the workers could be humanoids, slaves sold by Orions, maybe by the raiders, it will add an opportunity for infiltration, don’t forget make them taste Ferengi food.
If they want to be received by leaders, Ferengi only food is a good way to get rid of Starfleet officials Asap.
Depending of your group an infiltration of a feminine character if the leader has xenohile tastes could imply being naked. It’s the time for a Austin Powers scene when you describe how a naked feminine character, could be treated on a Star Trek episode.
There’s also a possibility that in one scene they play Ferengi workers instead of their characters.

You also have the possibility that the raiders were hired by the Ferengi as a threat, but now they have seen how valuable the stock of resources held at the colony they have some other ideas. Especially if they may be able to get a Federation ship in the process.

What is your group like? Do you have players who want some heavy action or are they likely to prefer the negotiation route?

  • If the action side then more raiders or even the Ferengi overseers revealing that the Raiders are on their side and calling them back while they try and hold the away team hostage is a possibility.
  • If the negotiation side then you could have different groups in the miners, some who want to take over the base, others who want to get off planet and a third who just want better conditions.
    How the players balance each group and get them to have a common front against the Ferengi could be a big part of it.
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If this was an episode, I feel like the initial involvement would be based around the strike, but you’d need a reason for the federation to be involved- maybe some of the equipment was damaged or something? Once they start poking around, they would usually find something either sinister in the mine, or something that turns all the initial assumptions on their heads, while compelling starfleet to get involved.

There’s a TNG episode about a terraforming project that suffers a murder which comes to mind as reference. Might be worth looking that one up for some structure inspiration?

That would be “Home Soil” (TNG season 1).

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You have a good setting. Now it’s time to steal from the masters. The Ferengi dug too deep and awakened a monster lairing deep in the asteroid. It makes itself known first with tremors, then with causing a random miner to vanish. Then, tentacles and giant claws start bursting out of the mine. The Ferengi don’t want to collapse the mine on the creature. They hold Starfleet accountable for waking up the monster (it didn’t attack until you showed up), so you deal with it.
Garrett

Thanks everyone for the feedback. So here’s where I’m at with this:

  • The head of the colony, Zebos, has secretly struck a deal with the Orion Crime Syndicate to sell them some of the mined materials that would normally go to the Federation.
  • Due to the working conditions the workers have decided to strike, the workers don’t seem to know about Zebos’ deal.
  • Zebos is trying to keep the situation under wraps, doesn’t want the Syndicate, Federation, or Ferengi Alliance know about the strike as he’ll lose his position (at least).
  • The chief engineer of the colony, another Ferengi named Kriga, has secretly sent messages to both the Syndicate and Ferenginar as he wants Zebos’ job.
  • The Syndicate in response have sent a couple of raiders to intimidate the workers into returning to work.
  • Once the raiders are ran off they will return later with an Orion battleship and attempt to capture the player’s ship and take prisoners.

So the way I’m expecting things to go is:

Players drive off raiders —> Players find out about striking workers —> They beam down to the planet and investigate the strike, maybe uncovering Zebos’ deal with the Syndicate —> While planetside the Syndicate returns and attempts to take prisoners and capture their ship. —> Players drive off the Syndicate and wrap up the issues with the miners.

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Is it a bit overt of the Orions to try to take over a Federation ship? Disable it, yeah! But it seems a bit much for them.
Garrett

Flip things a bit. Have the miners be something besides the victims by having them trying to pit their greed against the Ferengi. Perhaps they are a very corrupt labor union that is trying to leverage Federation support (via sympathy against them being “exploited” by the Ferengi) to unfairly complicate the Ferengi management. This is more in the line of a DS9 plot where there are lots of shades of gray.

To be fair, the Orions do have a bunch of Scale 4 battleships, don’t they? Not to mention the Orion Syndicate has been around for 200+ years, and it’s mentioned in the Beta Q book (description of the Orion Blackguard on p.95) that they’ve built up a significant pirate navy over the past two centuries…

So depending on how important the skim from the Ferengi mining operation is to the Syndicate, they could send a fleet of pirate vessels to protect their interests if a Starfleet ship shows up.

It’s obviously not canon, but I remember reading in one of the old Bantam TOS novels (I think it was #28 Crisis on Centaurus?) which had a flashback of Lieutenant Jim Kirk as the helmsman of the USS Hood (yes, the Constitution-class USS Hood) during a battle with pirates. And the pirates were no joke because they managed to damage the Hood enough for debris from the bridge’s ceiling to fall and crush Lt. Kirk’s knee, causing him immense pain, but Kirk kept firing the Hood’s phasers until the battle was over despite that critical injury. My point is, it’s not entirely out of the question for a pirate fleet to give a Starflleet vessel a good run for its money, especially if the pirates get warning beforehand and can prepare for battle ahead of time. The Orions are going to want to protect their investment, after all.

And if your players survive the battle, then you have the Orion Syndicate, a organized crime family that has survived for two hundred years as a recurring antagonist for your players. That’s gonna open up a lot of story potential for your campaign.

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