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Historical Curiosity

by Nathan Miracle, Second Edition Designer

4th December 2014

“History is replete with turning points, Lieutenant.”

-Spock, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Twenty-five years before Spock lectured Valeris on historical “turning points,” the world reached one of those points. Today we call it “The Original Series,” but in 1966 it was simply Star Trek. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy went where no one had gone before, venturing into the final frontier. In 2007, Decipher release These Are the Voyages, a set dedicated to The Original Series.

These Are the Voyages did not just introduce a new subaffiliation for the Federation. Of the 122 cards in the set, 72 have images taken from Original Series episodes. With 1960s Klingons, Romulans, and aliens of the week, not to mention the crew of the Enterprise itself, this set provides a lot of options for the “missing” card. For this card, I turned away from personnel and ships and instead drew my inspiration from dilemmas. The result is a dilemma which would feel right at home in These Are the Voyages: Historical Curiosity.

Historical Curiousity
Even after seven years, Mugato and Gangster’s Welcome stand out to me as two of my favorite dilemmas. They both have requirements which often prove more difficult than they would seem at first, and they both affect the current attempt and give some additional benefit. Historical Curiosity mimics these two dilemmas, but as a space dilemma to give a balance of dilemma types.

The requirements on Historical Curiosity come straight from the story. The crew identified Abraham Lincoln (Anthropology), set up a presidential welcome (Law), and beamed the president aboard the ship (Transporters). A more powerful ship may have kept out the scan which which created the illusion in the first place, so Shields provides another way out. The exact Shields requirement allows standard Galaxy-Class ships to repel the giant space president, but Kirk’s Constitution-Class U.S.S. Enterprise would have been at risk, had they not met the skill requirements.

In stark contrast to the story-driven requirements, the effects for failing Historical Curiosity were chosen prior to choosing the story. The dilemma needed to have an immediate impact on the mission attempt, but also needed to limit that impact in order to leave room for a secondary effect. Stopping two personnel could well make a mission attempt fail, but does not hinder your opponent’s future attempts. The card draws may not affect the current mission attempt (though clever players may find some interesting dilemma combos), but almost any deck will welcome the extra options available on the ensuing turn.

According to the Excalbian recreation of Lincoln, there is nothing good in war except its ending. Fortunately for us, I believe something good has come from The Savage Curtain in the form of Historical Curiosity. I hope you enjoy playing with this dilemma as much as I enjoyed creating it.


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