Uncloaking the Romulans

By Sam Burns, STA Contributing Writer
Art by Doug Drexler


The new Star Trek Adventures briefs pack, “Beneath the Raptor's Wings,” was an idea born out of a much-referenced but never seen part of Star Trek history. I felt it gave players and gamemasters a chance to explore and create that history for themselves. Playing in the Enterprise era also gives the opportunity to play on the fact that anyone familiar with Star Trek’s history will know more about the situations the characters find themselves in than the characters do. 

I wanted to make sure I played to Enterprise’s thematic strengths in this briefs pack. The gathering of allies, being new to the wider interstellar landscape, and having a war against an enemy Starfleet knows barely anything about acting as a backdrop for more typical Star Trek storytelling. 

One of the first discussions I had with STA project manager Jim Johnson when I pitched the concept was about varying the storytelling and not just rehashing “Balance of Terror” ten times. (I limited myself to once but it has a different twist.) “Quick Deeds” was my homage to “Balance of Terror.” Rather than focusing entirely on outfoxing the Romulans in space combat, however, I added a new dimension of it being a chase within which the Romulans were doing the dramatic equivalent of knocking over apple carts, upending barrels, or putting people in danger to delay the players just long enough to make their getaway. It presents players with some tough tactical decisions but also has room for creative solutions to negate the head start the Romulans have given themselves.

“The Liberation of Starbase 2” plays on the idea of the Romulans being cruel but also resourceful in their tactics and baiting the relatively inexperienced Starfleet into a trap using their own curiosity against them. Also, it plays like a haunted house mystery. “A More Perfect Union” was a riff on the theme we saw a lot in late Enterprise which was the Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites having to band together to overcome a greater threat, thereby laying the groundwork for the Federation as we know it.

I had two overriding rules when writing each brief: 1. Don't repeat yourself. 2. Regardless of order, the missions must feel like they make sense as an ongoing narrative in which the crew are learning more about the Romulans. In subsequent eras of Star Trek, whenever this conflict is mentioned, it is implied that the peace and stability of those later eras is hard won through blood and sacrifice. The Romulans, by contrast know what they're doing and are far more cunning, devious, and experienced at waging war than Starfleet. The canon about no one knowing what they looked like in this era was an interesting challenge to have and it forced me to get creative with my storytelling. I wanted to be able to have them be an unknown malevolent force but also have room for character and personality.

I hope you enjoy this look into a key period of Star Trek lore, and hope that you and your group have fun bringing the Romulans into your adventures.

Grab a copy of this new mission briefs pack now!


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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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