A House for the Empire

By Aaron M. Pollyea, STA Contributing Writer
Art by Paolo Puggioni


I’ve found that writing adventures for Klingons to be an enjoyable challenge. On one hand, I need to keep the tone of honor, conflict, and that general smoky atmosphere we see on every Klingon starship bridge. On the other side, it’s easy because it’s still telling stories that are about people with hopes and dreams not too dissimilar to our own.

When I decided that I was going to write two Klingon standalone adventures for Star Trek Adventures, I knew I wanted to explore the idea of sentient species in the Empire. When we look at the map of the Orion Spur, we see the Klingon Empire is sizeable; it’s not just a small group of star systems. We also know the Federation has hundreds of intelligent species. Why doesn't the Klingon Empire?

The simple answer is that they do. Nothing says they shouldn’t have just as many intelligent species across that arbitrary border in space, but why don’t we ever see them? In “A House By Any Other Name,” we explore a couple of the reasons for this, but we are also introduced to an intelligent species the Klingons had conquered long ago, the Hageet, a non-humanoid species struggling against the social and martial ties that bind it.

The Hageet were fun to design as I wanted to make an alien species that would have been difficult to see on the small screen because of budget constraints. Tall, amphibious, four eyes equally spaced around their flat heads so they can see in all directions; these are all things that would fit more in animation than live action. That’s the beauty of roleplaying games: no budget except the limits of your imagination!

But why would the Klingons, a culture that prizes freedom and had thrown off the shackles of enslavement in their past, keep whole worlds as what amounts to be second-class citizens or slaves? I attempted to explore this idea through building up more of their experience with the Hur’q and explaining how vertical social movement occurs with the Houses in the Klingon government. How does all of this tie into an interesting adventure? High stakes politics in a literal cutthroat environment where even the Chancellor is involved. A Minor House willing to do anything to stay in its position, even dishonor others in the eyes of the Empire. 

As with many of the adventures I write for Star Trek Adventures, I try to put in a lot of different ideas that could stem off into full campaigns for your group. One of the new ways I can do this is through mission briefs, and it’s here that I can not only continue the story of the Hageet, but I can also put forth new ideas about how the Empire wages its war against the Dominion and what place minor houses and subject species have in the war effort.

I hope you enjoy “A House By Any Other Name;” it was a lot of fun writing it and figuring out the details that went into it.

Get a copy of “A House By Any Other Name” now and get into the action!


Purchase the Star Trek Adventures The Klingon Empire core rulebook or the starter set and get started right away! 

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