Welcome to the next installment of Tuesdays at Quark’s where we bring you NPCs for your Star Trek Adventures game. For the month of June we’re exploring the possibilities in the Command Division Supplement which many people think of as the division for the captain and first officer only. While it’s true that the lead officers on a Federation starship tend to be in this division, it’s not just for senior officers. To showcase that, this week I bring you an ambitious ensign who’s firmly in the command track.
Ensign Kalem is at the bottom of the hierarchy when it comes to ship seniority and career status, but he’s also paradoxically in the thick of it. As the personal aide to the ship’s captain, he comes in contact with a lot of sensitive information so he has to have the commanding officer’s trust. You might use this to set up an uncomfortable betrayal or provide a low-stakes confidante for your captain.
Another thing that sets Kalem apart is that he’s an NPC for the players as much as the GM. You might include Kalem as something like a D&D companion to the captain PC, providing a low-ranking support character that the player can control during scenes when the captain is elsewhere. They can also be in the background as someone who can pop in with a suggestion for the group or who can run errands while the captain does more important stuff.
There are lots of directions you can go with this character but here are some plot hooks to get you started.
- The captain doesn’t report to the bridge one day and eventually a security detail is sent to their quarters. The officers find the captain with amnesia and a childlike personality. It’s up to the senior staff and Ensign Kalem (played by the captain’s usual player) to retrace their captain’s steps and find out what happened to him.
- The captain and their personal aide are on their way to a diplomatic conference when their shuttlecraft is captured by pirates. As it becomes clear that Ensign Kalem is nervous about more than just their capture, the captain has to figure out if they can trust the Bajoran as the rest of the crew locates them. (Good for a solo mission with the captain’s player if you like).
- Ensign Kalem approaches the captain looking very anxious. Eventually he manages to get out that his family has been imprisoned by the Orion Syndicate and will be killed in a matter of days. He begs the captain to help him but there are more questions to be answered. Why is his family being threatened now? Is the Syndicate hoping to use Kalem to lure the Player Character’s ship to a remote system?