Star Trek: Peaceful Occupations

S3E03: Gastrolith

Om nom nom!

Session 3
Attended: Alex, Gail, James, Jay, Owen, Shaun & Sue
Venue: Owen & Sue’s place

Covers events on Stardate 51133 to 51150.

insert player log here

GM’s Summary:
The Agora is ordered to join the 8th Fleet in Kalandra to prepare for a defensive operation against an impending Dominion attack, but is pulled off course en route and dragged at warp 8.6 to the middle of the gathering Dominion fleet. But they have also been knocked out of phase and so remain invisible and unable to interact directly with anything around them. It’s revealed, after extensive study, that the interphasic bubble that’s affected them is a life form, a previously unknown Interphasic Amoeba, and their warp nacelles have become snared inside of it, trapping the Agora out of phase. After carefully extricating themselves, a few Dominion stragglers are fought off, and the Agora rushes to catch up with the Dominion fleet, joining the battle late, but helping to save Vice Admiral Ankora‘s flagship, the USS Aquarius NCC-71833 from a large Jem’Hadar boarding party. The defence is considered a success, in part due to the intelligence Agora was able to transmit about the disposition of the enemy fleet.

GM’s Commentary:
My original EoA plan included one traditional “sciencey” mission, involving a zombie virus take-over of an Excelsior class that the crew would have to deal with. This had a number of technical problems, mostly to do with transporters, plus zombies just don’t feel very exciting anymore. So, on a whim, I threw together this out-of-phase blob lifeform idea, and ran that instead. I think it worked well, and gave the players plenty of room to think about how to solve the problem, but with a bit more pressure than the previous episode’s more open-ended script.

If there was one problem, it was player involvement. The non-sciencey player characters didn’t leap into the initial analysis much. The ship-combat characters were the only ones to really get involved in the first battle. And if I hadn’t had time left over for the second combat aboard the Aquarius, the ground-combat characters wouldn’t have had much to do all evening. In fact, I’d initially planned for just another space combat if the Agora managed to join the fleet in time, but I’m glad I felt pressed into doing something for the personal-combat crowd, as it made for a much more interesting scene, mirroring in part the fate of the Aquarius’s sister ship, the Odyssey, which the DS9 writers famously blew up just to show how mean the Jem’Hadar were.

Odyssey and Aquarius, of course, were the Command and Lunar Modules, respectively, of the Apollo 13 mission. The 8th Fleet happens to be the one that’s fully listed in the Fires of Armageddon source book, which is convenient, but I really chose that number because our USS Dauntless is the flagship (currently, the only ship) of STARFLEET’s Region 8. I’ve already borrowed one or two starships from Fires of Armageddon, but I changed its fleet commander from the Ktarian, Orben Sel, to the Andorian, Ankora, who is listed in that position in a different Last Unicorn source book, The Price of Freedom. I guess they change command later on or something, but so far I’ve enjoyed Ankora.

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