"Ghosts of Conscience" is a role-playing module/adventure for FASA's Star Trek: The Role-Playing Game. It was one of three introductory adventures (along with "Again, Troublesome Tribbles" and "In the Presence of My Enemies") published in Adventure Book, a 48-page manual included with the 1983 first edition of the game box set. This was the first of four FASA adventures involving the crew of the USS Enterprise, and was a sequel to TOS episode & Star Trek 5 novelization: The Tholian Web.
- Designer's Notes
- … If your players take this adventure personally, and react with indignation and caring to the loss of the USS Hood, this designer will feel he has succeeded — at least a bit — in an attempt to be true to the ideals that make Star Trek a legend.
A rogue pair of neutron stars orbiting each other produced gravitational fluctuations, anomalies and spatial interphase. After the rare star system was discovered by a scout vessel, the USS Hood was sent to investigate, but became trapped within the region for eight days. When Starfleet picked up a distress beacon from the helpless vessel, the USS Enterprise was diverted to enter the spinning binary system and recover all recorded data about the phenomenon, with the crew considered expendable and the data assessed as vital for Starfleet Intelligence.
Shortly after the Enterprise arrived, the Hood emerged from interphase, and was calculated to remain for five hours, giving personnel that long to complete the mission. Getting within transporter range was challenging, but the Enterprise was able to beam over a landing party, then retreat to a safe distance. Since magnetic interference disrupted long-range communications, they scheduled a return in three hours.
The landing party found some of the crew of the Hood dead, just as the crew of the USS Defiant had died following exposure to interphasic space in 2268. But not all of the crew were accounted for. The vessel's commanding officer was located in his quarters, having committed suicide partly to secure the ship's power grid and partly to avoid the fate of interphase psychosis.
- Captain Hugo Revere's final log entry: I have performed my duty, as you who listen to this must perform your own. This duty has cost the lives of over four hundred fine men and women – my comrades and friends. I pray that, if this terrible new device is ever constructed, it will be controlled by far wiser men than those who sent us on this god forsaken mission in the first place. Let their ghosts be your conscience. The best of luck to you, whomever you are. Carry out your orders. Revere out.
During their investigation, the landing party learned that Starfleet Intelligence assigned the Hood to research military applications for interphase. In his log, the ship's doctor stated that the widespread effects of interphase could not be shielded against, making an interphasic weapon impractical, aside from being contrary to the ideals of the Federation.
- Some of the crew were found dead, while others survived multiple transitions through interphase, although all were driven insane from interphasic exposure. Whether survivors could be helped or rescued depended on the ingenuity of the game player.
Starships and vehiclesEdit
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- biology • botany • buoy • chemistry • communications • communicator • computer • distress beacon • drug • engineering • environmental suit • impulse power • laboratory • medicine • memory chip • phaser • physics • sensor • shield • stardate • subspace radio • transporter • tri-ox compound • turbolift • type-2 phaser • warp drive • warp engine • weapon
Ranks and titlesEdit
- admiral • astrophysicist • captain • chief engineer • commanding officer • crewman • doctor • engineering officer • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • helmsman • lieutenant junior grade • medical officer • nurse • rank • security officer • Starfleet ranks
- alternate universe • armory • atmosphere • beam • brain • bridge • captain's log • cargo hold • coordinates • court martial • day • deck five • engineering • ghost • gravitational anomaly • gravity • hour • interphase • interphase psychosis • landing party • library computer • log • logic • magnetic field • medical lab • neutron star • neutronium • planet • poison • primary hull • quarters • reality • safe • secondary hull • sickbay • space • space-time • star system • Starfleet General Orders and Regulations • suicide • synapse • top secret • universe • vacuum • warp factor (warp six)
- Author Guy W. McLimore, Jr. said, "The best Star Trek adventure that I wrote — the one I was most proud of — was "Ghosts of Conscience"… I wanted to look at the Federation not as being this grand good guy with a white hat but as being a bureaucracy that occasionally went a little too far… The Federation was trying to develop an interphase weapon… They sent the Enterprise out to investigate this without ever telling them what was going on, and so the player characters never had any idea that this was part of an actual project. They thought they were walking into a rescue situation, when in fact they were going to have to make a lot of moral choices." (Interview with Guy W. McLimore, Jr. at Jules Sherred's Geeky Pleasures podcast.)
- In his notes at the end of the module, McLimore speculated that Hood crewmen might have survived interphase if they didn't arrive in the other universe, but rather ended up in a corridor between universes such as the one in which the two Lazaruses became trapped (TOS episode & Star Trek 10 novelization: The Alternative Factor). Alternatively, the laws of physics could have worked differently in the other universe, allowing the crewmen to survive the transition.
- The box set containing this adventure came with folded scale plans for a Constitution-class starship, providing the players with a map for their adventure. Separately-sold plans (USS Enterprise Deck Plans, FASA #2101) were larger, rolled, and gridded.
- The story took place on stardate 7662.4, but the 1986 FASA resource Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update amended it to reference stardate 2/1104.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 5 novelization: The Tholian Web – The module referenced this episode's events.
- FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update – The USS Crécy recovered the damaged Hood near Tholian space on reference stardate 2/1201 and towed it to a Federation outpost.
- TNG episodes: "The Pegasus", "The Next Phase" – Interphase cloaking devices were developed and tested in the 24th century by Starfleet and the Romulans.