Orion Ruse (1984)

As a way to get around the military space stories the designers seemed to naturally gravitate to, FASA released Trader Captains and Merchant Princes in an attempt to introduce a different sort of Star Trek experience. Orion Ruse (1984) is one of the adventures that tries to build on this. It’s…interesting.

So, the intrigue of the situation and how it all plays out is fine — there’s a trade monopoly and trade negotiations and disappearing Federation ships. It all comes together well enough and is really secondary to the structure that situation is poured into. You see, this is an adventure for two crews, a Federation one and a merchant one.

This, man, I can’t even describe the headache I get when I think about running this. Two tables in the same room? Two tables in different rooms? Ten or so players split between them? What a nightmare!

But at the same time, I find this extremely intriguing. The way the scenario is structured, the Federation investigation and the merchant negotiation are intertwined. They aren’t at cross purpose, but neither are they simpatico. There is a push and pull between their actions (and the consequences of their actions). Neither group can be allowed to fail, but neither can they be allowed to run freely toward their goal. I’ve never played or ran something like this and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound interesting as hell.

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