Diving Eight Layers Deep
By Michael Dismuke, STA Contributor
Art by Cryptic Studios


What sets “Eight Layers Deep” apart from any other Star Trek Adventures standalone you may have picked up? Simply put, the concept.

Admittedly, it is very difficult to come up with a sci-fi concept that has not been done in some form or fashion, and even harder to dig deep through the Trek-verse and come up with something new. I challenged myself to go there, yes, to truly go where no other writer has gone before with “Eight Layers Deep.”

In this adventure, the players learn that there is more than one way to travel through the universe. Most Starfleet crews grasp the concept of point A to point B travel. But I wanted to open a new “direction” of travel and exploration, to show that new worlds and civilizations can exist amidst the multitudinous layers of quantum reality.

Two things inspired me to write this episode. First, I used as a foundation the concept of sub-quantum teleportation as found in the Enterprise episode "Daedalus." I imagined what it must have been like living in the 22nd century when new technologies like the transporter were invented. Most of Starfleet seemed enthralled with warp technology and the prospect of exploring the Galaxy. But I envisioned a small cadre of brilliant scientists and engineers who were exploring all the possibilities with matter/energy transformation, much like Emory Erickson, the so-called Father of the Transporter. The sub-quantum transporter could theoretically beam an object or person any distance since the device had unlimited range. I wanted to rip open the possibilities – since the term “quantum” is in the name – and enable the technology to travel through layers of subspace. What strange new worlds could a crew find there?

The second thing I wanted to do was deliver a tribute to some of my best friends who have been long-time players in my games. For over 30 years, my friends have played RPGs in different formats. The thing that stood out to me in all the different campaigns was the social conflicts. We spent more time talking about the ethics of a story than recalling the amazing battles and explosive fights. Hence, I wanted to embed the potential for social conflict all over “Eight Layers Deep,” whether it is the ethical dilemma of pursuing outlawed science, bending the rules to save one life, pulling rank to follow orders, or challenging the Prime Directive to save a world. More than all the flashy technology and fast-moving starships, I wanted to create a stage where people might face off to argue their side of an issue.

I love science. And I love pseudo-science. It is a privilege to be able to design these modules. But it is a sincere joy when I hear about all the different directions that Star Trek Adventures gaming groups take these adventures. I hope that “Eight Layers Deep” becomes a fan favorite.

Buy the adventure now at www.modiphius.net, www.modiphius.us, or DTRPG!


Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for news about additional STA products in the coming months. Live long and prosper!

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