Cold War

By Gareth-Michael Skarka, STA Contributing Writer
Art by Tobias Richter


I’m an old Trekkie. I was introduced to the show by my uncles, during the first wave of syndication of the original series in the early 1970s. I loved The Animated Series. I was 10 years old when The Motion Picture first hit screens and the subsequent movies filled my high school and college years. For me, the original series was Star TrekThe Next Generation didn’t premiere until my freshman year of college, so I’ve always been a 23rd century guy. My favorite uniforms have always been the “Monster Maroons” of the films, and, as I type this, above my desk there hangs a framed poster from 1979, featuring a cutaway painting of the refit U.S.S. Enterprise.

When Jim Johnson, project manager for Star Trek Adventures, approached me with the opportunity to craft a selection of mission briefs set during the late 23rd century – the era of the TOS movies – I leapt at the chance. A chance to write mission briefs set during the heyday of my Star Trek fandom was a golden opportunity!

The assignment had me thinking – what were the hallmarks of the movie era? What were the themes unique to that period of Star Trek? I did not want to fill a mission briefs release with adventure hooks that solely functioned as sequels to the films, so I found myself examining what the “feel” of stores from that period were, to me. 

More so than before, or since, the tales of the movie era had a distinct naval feel. Nicholas Meyer, the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, said that he crafted the tales to be, essentially, a Horatio Hornblower naval adventure. Everything from the uniforms to the appearance of the refit starships made Starfleet feel more like a military force than it ever had. But there was no open warfare – just like the time in which the stories were created, there was a cold war. 

It was also a time of vast amounts of Star Trek stories being told – the novel line from Pocket Books was in its prime, as well as a long-running comic book series. There was no new Star Trek on television until 1987, but there were many, many stories being told. 

So it was there that I took my inspirations for this mission briefs release – the sort of character-driven stories, set during the cold war between the Federation and the Klingons, that were found in the novels and the comics of the time, influenced by the feel of the films. Every Star Trek fan has their favorite era – it’s been said, cynically, that “the Golden Age of Science Fiction is 12”. That the age in which lies your discovery of a thing becomes your favorite for nostalgic reasons. For me, the Golden Age of Star Trek, which filled my adolescence, is the late 23rd century – the setting of the first six movies. 

I feel as though I may have done them justice in these mission briefs, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy them. As the closing of Star Trek: The Motion Picture promised: The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning.

Download a copy of “Cold War” now from,, or DTRPG!


Purchase the Star Trek Adventures RPG core rulebook or the starter set and get started gaming in the final frontier!

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


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