Dangers in Space

By Erin Macdonald, PHD, STA Contributing Writer
 Byline art by Tobias Richter


“Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence,” as our good Dr. “Bones” McCoy once said. People often ask me, as a professional in space science, if I would want to travel to space and, honestly, my answer more aligns with Bones’ attitude. Space is scary. Space wants to always kill us. Earth has multitudes of physical phenomena that protect us and allow us to continue safely existing happily on the surface of the planet. But that’s not what Star Trek is about! Star Trek is about exploring, discovering strange new worlds and civilizations. That’s why I wanted to make my first Star Trek Adventures mission briefs pack all about the “Dangers in Space.”

With my background in astrophysics, I also wanted to find opportunities to highlight the Science and Engineering officers in a Star Trek Adventures crew. This can be intimidating for some, and I know many folks with no background in space or science who have created characters allowing them to channel their inner Spock or Jadzia. My recommendation for these players is to treat your character’s scientific knowledge in-game like you do other skill sets. We take for granted when a character speaks Klingon or can telepathically communicate. You’re not expected, as the player, to have these skills, so don’t worry about that for science or engineering! Science is about curiosity and engineering is about solving problems. 

These ten missions run the gamut from active disasters from which the crew must escape to trying to piece together remains and figure out what befell an unfortunate target of nature. A number of the missions acknowledge the constant need for Starfleet to maintain its infrastructure in the face of nature. Not unlike needing to repair power stations in a storm-prone region, “The Star Burp,” “Gravitational Waves,” and “Pulsar Navigation” all require the crew to help re-establish infrastructure after a space-based event. 

Of course, disasters can happen to the crew as well, like in the mission “Warp Core Causality” which has repeating flares from dying stars affecting internal ship systems. This of course takes us to the other role of Starfleet in space exploration: Rescue. The missions “The Ion Storm,” “Transport Burst,” and “Solar Flare” all require the crew to jump in and save the day after high radiation bursts have disabled various systems. 

A slight pivot from active events, the mission “Mass Extinction” requires the crew to examine remnants from a disaster and reflect on the fragility of life in our universe. Finally, we get to have some fun with more science-fiction based disasters that result in anomalous spacetime events. “Black Hole Tear” and “Timey-Wimey Micro-Wormhole” are some fun time travel missions that tie in the science of spacetime. 

While I recognize a lot of folks have the passion and interest in science-based missions, I also know that they can be intimidating for both gamemasters and players. Hopefully these missions inspire some science and engineering-based adventures for your team.

Download a copy of Dangers in Space now.


Purchase the Star Trek Adventures RPG core rulebook or the starter set and get started playing right away!

Core Rulebook:

Starter Set PDF:


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!

TM & © 2023 CBS Studios Inc. © 2023 Paramount Pictures Corp. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Star trek adventures