Obsidian Portal Campaign of the Month August 2017 – Star Trek: Aftermath

Red alert! All hands to battle stations! The Dominion War may be over and done with; the “Nemesis” incident may have come and gone; but don’t think for a minute that the Alpha Quadrant has run out of problems in need of solving. Quite the opposite in fact. Now, we deal with what comes next. Now we face the Star Trek: Aftermath – August’s Campaign of the Month! So join me for an interview with GM friendlypickle as we boldly go where no Star Trek Canon has gone before.

First and foremost, please tell us a bit about you. Where are you from? What do you do aside from gaming? Alter Egos? Where can we stalk you on the internet? Let us know if you feel so inclined!

I live in Texas, ex-military officer, sales manager for a local firm, play a lot of racquetball and video games, and have a cat.  I hide on the internet, but you can find me on Steam as FriendlyPickle.

Fill us in on your gaming “backstory”. How and when did you get into RPGs? What systems have you played, or not played? At what point did you know that this was the hobby for you?

I got started playing D&D (basic) in ’77 (yes, I’m quite old).  Played a lot of D&D, Champions, Star Trek (FASA), and so many others I have lost count.

Can you give us a brief rundown of Star Trek Aftermath campaign? Why did you choose that particular timeline for a Star Trek campaign?

It’s set in a time following that last Next Generation movie, approximately 12 years after the end of the Dominion War.  In that war Star Fleet lost almost 2600 ships, but even more importantly, they lost the personnel on those ships.  Many of those lost crew would have been the captains and command crews of the current fleet, but with their absence Star Fleet has been promoting who they have to instead of selecting the best and brightest.  The Cardassian area is a mess with the Klingons and Romulans both having grabbed quite a few systems at the end of the war and no one really wanting the Cardassians to be much of a power for a good long while to come.  Pirates, slavers, renegades, black marketeers, terrorists, and all sorts of other ill-mannered people have moved in and set up shop.


The Federation has sent peace keeping forces in to help keep all this down to a low roar while the democratic new Cardassian government tries to assert its control over its former territories.  The player’s ship, the aptly named USS Endurance, is part of this peace keeping force, landing in the worst of it all.  To make matters worse, not all is as it seems within the Federation command and support structures, and it’s unclear how widespread it goes.  The opening page of the campaign goes into pretty good depth of the background of the situation.


USS Endurance NCC-83812

How long has it been going on? What system(s) are you using? How regularly do you play?

Off and on for a year now, using an updated version of the old FASA Star Trek RPG system.  We are between this first phase in the Cardassian area and the second phase in the Klingon area, which should be starting back up soon.  We played weekly and should continue at that pace going forward.

Your Home Page states that you use box.com.  Tell us about why you decided to incorporate it with the Obsidian Portal platform and wiki?  Do you use any other tools or sites?

Box.com is a basic cloud file system that gives me good password control to keep people from deleting things (it happened before, took a while to recover from it).  There are a lot of things on the site that link to a document on Box, and I’m happy to share any of it with anyone who grabs a free box account and gives me the email address they used to register there (I make no money from this, FYI).


Of course we use Obsidian Portal to manage the campaign, and we play on Roll20 and use Discord for voice (just works better than Roll20 voice seems to).

How about sources of inspiration? I’ve noticed that not everything is strictly from Star Trek, such as the Omega-13 device.

In Trek there really aren’t many items to put in Items area, and I had this image of the Omega 13 from a movie making great fun of Star Trek, had to put it in.  Everything else is Trek or FASA Trek material.  Nice catch!


USS Marathon NCC-72002

Phase 1 has wrapped up, do you have plans for Phase 2 and can you share some of them with us?

Phase 2 takes place on the Klingon/Federation boarder.  The Klingons warmth towards the Federation has dropped to near absolute zero with the ascension of a new, hard line, traditionalist Chancellor.  He wants glory for the Empire and war is how it’s done.  Taking advantage of the explosion of the Hobus star leading to the destruction of the Romulan home system, they launched across the border into Romulan space and are engaged in a fierce war with them.  The Federation, providing evacuation and relief efforts to the Romulan home system came under indiscriminate attack from the Klingons.  The Federation is being pushed towards aiding the Romulans by the Vulcans, largely lead by their reunification faction.  The player’s ship will find itself in a unique role performing a dangerous job near the Klingon border while all this is going on onboard the USS Marathon.

For the players, what inspires your characters and roleplaying?

 Captain William "Bill" GambleRusty401 (Captain William “Bill” Gamble):

For my part, I’m inspired by the opportunity to contribute to a great, shared story/experience. This means I’m happy to play just about any kind of character needed for a campaign so long as there’s a depth to story and a meaning to my characters actions and interactions within the game and around the ‘table’. In ST:Aftermath, the players entered the familiar world of Star Trek (TNG/DS9/VOY), but more than what we would remember from the shows and movies, our GM had created an incredibly deep set of scenarios for the crew of USS Endurance that built off of so many different major and minor events from Star Trek that you at once felt at home but also that you were in some deep waters. Sinking or swimming was a constant, early theme for our crew, and that feeling… that sense of consequence to our actions were constantly being reinforced by a well-organized GM, confidently directing the show. How well organized? He had a spreadsheet with the names and ranks of all 550 crew on our ship… not bad huh?

 LT CMDR Samuel L. StarrbonKaitoX (LT CMDR Samuel L. Starrbon):

What have we not seem A dozen times before in canon, or fanfiction, that I can make three dimensional?


What would you say the single biggest highlight from the game has been so far?

For me it’s been some great role playing from the players.  We really had an outstanding group for this.  Over the course of it some players game while others went, and we had people from San Francisco, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Canada, Israel, and Germany.  I likely left out somewhere, but you get the idea.  Biggest moment:  Loss of the USS McKinley at the Battle of Taggrut.

 Captain William "Bill" GambleRusty401 (Captain William “Bill” Gamble):

Being a Star Trek fan, I could point to so many cool moments, while overlooking the OMG moments we always have in an RP campaign (stealing a space tug?). I think the biggest success for me was when my wife joined the campaign. It was great being able to play in a game with her again (e.g. one of us is usually GMing). She’s been a long-time gamer as well, but never enjoyed Star Trek or Trek RP in general. However, because this campaign world was so rich in detail, our GM was able to help her spec out a great backstory and important plot hooks for her character. So Kudos – the GM did what I could not do in 20 plus years of marriage and gaming 😉

 LT CMDR Samuel L. StarrbonKaitoX (LT CMDR Samuel L. Starrbon):

That session we rolled so well we ran the DM out of planned content. In half A session. Nobody looked at the DM as lazy that day. We were to busy being thrilled we curb stomped two groups of opponents that each should have made us consider retreat as A Significant option.

To wrap things up, give us some of your best GMing El-Aurian wisdom?

<Taking a break from listening…>  Great players make great games.  I look for people to help me tell a good story and this crew did not disappoint.  There’s a lot more to a solid game that building combat-platform characters and using the thinnest of plot lines as an excuse to simply jump from fight to fight.  But that’s just the kind of game that I like, your mileage may vary.

And so ends our tour of the USS Endurance. Alas, you and I have to stay here at the Starbase gentle reader. Captain Gamble’s next destination is Starfleet personnel only, and we don’t quite qualify just yet. In the meantime, September is just around the corner, and with it comes another great campaign. Until then, keep the nominations coming on the forums, and do your part to keep our User-led Initiatives going strong.

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