Input Requested for TOS Scenario Working on an episode for my "Risus Trek" campaign, and I'd appreciate some feedback. Warning: this is a LONG post, so you probably shouldn't quote the full thing when responding. I'd like to know if you think this adventure has enough for the characters to do, which parts bore you, and things like that. I don't know who the characters will be, or what ship they're on, which is why I refer to them as the Crew, the Captain, the Ship, etc. I'm using Risus as my game system, but I'm not really asking for rules advice; I appreciate any suggestions even if you don't know what Risus is. Thanks in advance! Guy FAITH AND TREACHERY A RisusTrek adventure (TOS time period) THE MISSION The Ship has been ordered to the planet Aggamor III to rescue Federation diplomats who have been taken hostage. When they arrive and try to contact the diplomatic party, the diplomat in charge warns the Captain to avoid beaming down under any circumstances. His captor, who claims to speak for the gods of Aggamor, AGGAMOR III WANTS TO JOIN THE FEDERATION The Planet Aggamor III, a formerly-xenophobic spacefaring culture, is urgently petitioning the Federation for membership. The Federation has sent a diplomatic team to discuss the terms for admission. The negotiations are taking place on the major moon of Aggamor III (referred to as the Large Moon). Unfortunately, not all the citizens of Aggamor III want to open contact with other worlds, including the band of religious zealots who seize control of the moonbase where the negotiations are being held. They rig the base’s antimatter generator to explode if any transporters or energy weapons are used within a thousand meters of the station, and then make an announcement. PROPHET OF DOOM The Zealot Leader’s announcement says that the gods of Aggamor are outraged by the government’s contact with other worlds, and have decided to destroy Aggamor by crashing the Small Moon into it. They also say that the Government has known that destruction was imminent for many decades, but kept the secret to themselves and abandoned the isolationistic views of their people. The Aggamor World Leader will confirm that the Government has known of the possible catastrophe for decades, a century after the Small Moon mysteriously appeared in orbit. The Small Moon’s erratic orbit occasionally disrupted weather patterns and caused earthquakes, which in turn upset Aggamori economies and governments, and was fodder for many ultra-conservative religious movements. After a century, scientific organizations around the world began to study the Small Moon in earnest, and found, to their horror, that the Small Moon’s orbit was unstable, and would crash into Aggamor III within several decades. The realization spurred the governments of Aggamor to unite to form a plan to save their people from destruction. (Note: the people of Aggamor III responded to the bad omens by building survival shelters, which were also places of ritual purification. This might be useful somehow.) EFFORTS OF FUTILITY After the Government determined that current technology could do nothing to prevent the collision with the Small Moon without causing even greater consequences, the Government decided to secretly build a fleet of space arks to get their people to safety. They didn’t inform the public to avoid provoking world-wide panic. They began searching for a planet they could colonize, but the Aggamor System contained no habitable planets, and no neighboring solar system was within range of their crude warp drive vessels. A decade ago, the Aggamori government realized that their efforts would be too little, too late, even if they could find a suitable planet for their people to colonize. The World Leader decided to petition the Federation for aid, but the religious zealots had enough influence in the government to delay negotiations. He is now frantic in his efforts to save his people and his planet, and finally convinced the Federation to hear their petition. He did not inform the Federation of the danger to his planet because he is ashamed that they could not find a solution on their own. He also did not inform them of the religious opposition to contacts with outsiders because he thought this would hurt their chances of getting help from the Federation; this is why the negotiations were to take place on the Moon. His plan was to reveal the threat to their planet when the conference convened, but the Zealots seized the base before that could happen. OLD TESTAMENT BLUES The Zealot Leader has a plan of his own. While he is quite willing to let the population of Aggamor III perish for their sins, he has a plan to save his own followers. He plans on using the Space Arks to save his followers, orbiting the planet after the the Small Moon collides with Aggamor III. They will wait several decades in cold sleep until the biosphere is sufficiently recovered to support life. (Think of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Exodus in literary terms.) The sad truth, which can be discovered by the Crew’s scientific analysis, is that the planet will take centuries, not decades, to become capable of supporting any kind of civilization again, barring assistance from the Federation. HISTORY LESSON The Aggamar System is an isolated system, many parsecs above the Galactic plane. There are only two other planets in its system, neither one of them very interesting, and so the Aggamari never tried to reach other solar systems. An alien race, the Oppressors, landed on the planet centuries ago, enslaving the people with their advanced technology and stripped it of resources. Many of the Aggamari nations at the time thought that it was less harmful to collaborate with the Oppressors. The aliens were eventually driven off by a resistance movement, the precursor to the current Zealot Leader’s organization, which developed the notion that Aggamar III must remain pure from the taint of aliens; wars were fought to destroy the Collaborators who had betrayed their own people. After several centuries, this xenophobia gradually became less powerful, until the appearance of the Smaller Moon. When scientists discovered the danger that the moon represented, they determined not to let the population know about the danger, lest a renewal of the xenophobia hinder their efforts to save the planet. They secretly revived the Oppressor technology and began to build Space Arks. Too many people were involved in the project to keep the project totally secret, and so the Zealot Leader used the planet’s historical abhorrence for aliens to build his power base. The Zealot Leader is truly concerned that the Collaborators were never eradicated, and that they are plotting with the Federation (who are simply the Oppressors with a new modus operandi) to take over Aggamar III, this time forever. He sees the looming Apocalypse as his one chance to rid his people of the Collaborators and the Oppressors forever, and is prepared to make the huge sacrifice as a sign of his fidelity to the Gods of Aggamar. DECISIONS, DECISIONS The Crew has two main problems to deal with: 1) How to rescue the Federation diplomats? 2) How to prevent the destruction of Aggamor III? Since the antimatter generator on the Moonbase is rigged to blow if transporters or energy weapons are used nearby, one possible solution is to send a security team onto the surface of the Large Moon via shuttlecraft and work its way in to neutralize the Zealots and rescue the hostages. They might also be able to disable the destruct system, which is sure to be guarded. BAD MOON ON THE RISE (ERR, FALL) The Small Moon is too deep within Aggamor III’s gravity well to tractor beam it into a more stable orbit. If destroyed with phasers and photon torpedoes, the fragments will cause a slightly less catastrophic event, but at least a small percentage of the population would survive. A compromise solution: move the Small Moon into an orbit that will result in a collision with the Large Moon. The Small Moon will be destroyed, but the fragments endanger Aggamor III to a much smaller degree, and the damage to the Large Moon will not endanget the planet either. This is a major effort for the Ship, and could cripple the Warp Drive, the Tractor Beam, etc. Still another solution: Analyzing data about the Small Moon’s sudden arrival in the Aggamor system reveals that it did not come from the Aggamor System originally. The Small Moon is actually another Fabrini asteroid ship, like Yonada (TOS: “For the World is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky”), on a preset course to Aggamor III. Its inhabitants are long dead, however; the life support system failed several thousand years ago. When the Small Moon arrived in orbit, there was no one to disembark at its destination. The engines shut down, but they can be reactivated by a miracle-working Starfleet engineer and some luck. This is the optimum outcome in terms of saving the planet, but is not without its own dangers. These can include the hazards of reactivating malfunctioning alien systems (propulsion, computer, security...). One possible obstacle: if they reactivate the computer, it will almost certainly demand the proper authorization (in the Fabrini language!), and blast the intruders when it doesn’t get a response. LET MY PEOPLE GO The Crew may be able to patch together the Space Arks sufficiently to rescue tens of thousands of the Aggamori in suspended animation. Unfortunately factions within the Government have given the Zealot Leader’s groundside minions access to the Space Arks. How will the Crew gain possession of them in time to renovate and evacuate? ARMED AND DANGEROUS Yet another complication is that the Zealot Leader still wants his plan to go forward, and will do his best to interfere with the crew’s efforts, whether they involve reactivating the Fabrini engines or not. The Moonbase was originally built as part of the Aggamori effort to destroy the Moon or alter its course, and so is equipped with primitive antimatter armaments. They can damage the Ship if it is caught by surprise, or they can damage the Small Moon enough to prevent or delay repair efforts. TWISTY TURNY LITTLE PLOT SEEDS Federation diplomats have a bad reputation in Star Trek, usually being self-important, annoying, and prone to pull rank at the drop of a hat. Perhaps the Federation Diplomat being held captive is of this breed… or perhaps not. Maybe he’s already negotiating with the Zealot Leader… but what is he trying to do? Has he negotiated the withdrawal of the Ship in exchange for his freedom, leaving the planet to its own destruction? Or has he determined to sacrifice himself to stop the Zealot Leader, allowing the Ship to aid the planet unencumbered by a hostage situation? In this case, perhaps he (or she) is someone that the Captain or the Crew holds dear?