Captain’s Log: Writing Your Mission’s Opening Log

By Jim Johnson, Star Trek Adventures Project Manager
Art by Michele Frigo


In the last Captain’s Log blog post, we discussed using the many probability matrixes provided to generate the opening mission type, inciting incident, theme, and other location and character details you’ll want to have in place to start telling your own original Star Trek story.

You are encouraged to follow the tradition of most Star Trek episodes and open your mission with a log entry. Whether it’s a captain’s log, a personal log, or another form of log entry from your character no matter their role, the opening log entry establishes the tone of the adventure and defines the starting point for your story.

If you need a little help on how to pull together the various data points you’ve generated with the probability matrixes into a log entry, consider the template provided in the book on page 234.

The template gives you guidance on which specific probability matrixes to roll on or consult when preparing the mission. Generate the data points as needed, plug them into the template, and then adjust the language to suit your character’s unique voice and style.

For example, Gisele works through the flowchart for generating their first mission and generates the following datapoints by rolling on a variety of probability matrixes:

  • Mission Type: First Contact
  • First Contact Mission: Second contact 
  • Incident: Command 
  • Theme: Living ship (second contact is with the civilization on the living ship)
  • Starting Advantage or Complication: Complication, random failure (equipment, ship, or character)
  • First Encounter: Inhabited planet with a lone rehab colony is the only permanent shelter on the surface. The complication is not related to the colony. The colony was recently attacked and has sent out a distress signal.

Taking all these datapoints into account, Gisele’s first log entry might read something like the following (all elements generated by a probability matrix are bolded):

“First Officer’s Log, stardate 3421.3. The Yi So-Yeon and crew have been diverted from our medical support mission to conduct an important second contact mission with the Ufu-havid, an independent warp-capable species. The crew of the U.S.S. Potemkin encountered the Ufu-havid some years ago, before the war, and made enough of an impression that the Ufu-havid have reached out again, this time to request a trade agreement with the Federation. Their culture exists entirely on a single immense living vessel, which produces more viable seedlings than they could ever possibly need to feed their own. Given that much of the Federation is still resource-poor following the war, it is critical that we secure this agreement.”

This opening log sets the tone for the first adventure, and gives the mission an initial sense of direction. The first encounter, where the ship receives a distress signal from a rehab colony, will be used in the first scene of the story, following this captain’s log.

In our next blog entry, we’ll jump from the opening log entry into the meat of the story, by using the core game loop as many times as needed to play through the story and reach a satisfying conclusion. In the meantime, have fun, and live long and prosper!

Preorder your copy of the Captain’s Log Solo Roleplaying Game now and receive the final PDF right away and start creating your own Star Trek stories! 


Thanks for reading this article, and thank you for your interest and support of Star Trek Adventures! Keep frequencies open for news about Captain’s Log and other Star Trek Adventures product releases. Live long and prosper! 

Go to Captain's Blog #4

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