Saturday Seed ~ 148 (Prime Directive)

This week’s seed is for Prime Directive by Amarillo Design Bureau.  When I think of the game, I am thinking of its first edition, but fortunately for all of us, the property is strong and each of us can cheerfully use whichever version of the rules appeals. Yay us.

My Saturday Seeds also reappear on Ancient Scroll on random Saturdays~

The seed

The seed involves an accident, an alien encounter, and hopefully a solution that does not include death in the depths of space.

Planting the seed

The seed can be planted into the normal operations of the play group. It can include the time pressure of needing to get somewhere urgently or not. I personally do not think this situation needs extra tension, but I leave that to you, and the speed with which you expect to dispense with this. Characters can be of any experience level as this seed leans heavily toward the social.

The Details

The ship is thrown out of warp stunning most if not all aboard with the violent suddenness of the transition and the normal accidents which occur when the ship bucks about wildly while people are trying to walk, work in jefferies tubes, and the like. Those in the engine room may be suffering from mild burns, electrical shock, blown ear drums, and so on as a relatively significant explosion detonated within the compartment – seemingly from a central point in the room, as if the air itself detonated. Casualties are unlikely, but possible if medical attention cannot be given.

When the crew recovers and reports flood in to the bridge, it soon becomes apparent that the damage to the warp engine is so significant that repairs will take an extended period, and that many other important systems are similarly damaged throughout the ship. The damage is important enough, and precise enough that the very clever, the very logical, and the very fatalistic will have to suspect an outside agency performed a surgical strike on them with some sort of godlike power or new weapon.

The ship can limp into a decaying orbit into a cold, outer planet of a nearby system that is likely to possess raw materials suitable for making and perhaps speeding repairs, but all aboard know that unless repairs can be effected, they will never see home again.

What is going on

This could easily be another example of a being beyond comprehension messing with a Star Fleet crew for purposes of their own, or a dying ace seeking to capture entertainment, but it is not – at least not all the way. Encourage all sorts of wild speculation as things get under way, and do not be stingy with evidence that proves a variety of conflicting theories. Ensure the Prime Team comes into contact with different factions within the crew to hold differing opinions of what is going on, and make sure they are aware that certain lower pay grades are building toward fear and then panic.

In truth, this experience is nothing more than espionage, and a nefarious attempt at it. An enemy race that the players enjoy tangling with has smuggled a talented spy aboard with a device that when coupled with the life support system causes the crew to lapse into a suggestible dream state. The alien spy has created this dream scenario for the crew, and is using their dream-induced ramblings to gain further insight into Star Fleet technology and security files. The spy is racing against time and alien physiognomy, however, as the longer the dream exists the wilder and more traditionally dream-like it will get. Strong-willed members of threat response teams, the prime team, and the command crew, may also be able to throw off the effects and realize they are dreaming.

When the group is conscious, the seed shifts to one of rooting out the spy and dealing with it.


Later on, perhaps they can wonder about what in retrospect seems like a shared dream experience and the ability of the spy to control what they were dreaming.



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