Veteran D&D players have been using random encounter tables to generate adventures since the ’70s. The Cypher System has a mechanic called GM Intrusions. Usually these are events you make up on the fly. However, I think a bit of pre-planning can really give the GM ammo to use during the game. Take a lesson from old-fashioned Random Encounter tables and craft Random Intrusion tables for you game.
This is essentially what Ryan Chaddoks wrote in a blog post. Ryan lists some sample Trek-flavored Intrusions:
It’s important to customize Intrusions to the flavor of Trek. Here are a few ideas for how to do that:
- The character is taken prisoner or otherwise separated from their crew or away team.
- The atmosphere or planet surface is inhibiting a major technology (phasers, transporters, etc.).
- The character leaves something important behind.
- The character is infected with the thing that this episode is about (a gene stealing virus, radiation anomaly, sentient nano terraformers, whatever).
- The character becomes the focus of the attentions of an enemy. Now it’s personal.
- The group is somehow stranded.
- The ship stops being able to go at warp.
- A ship system being used by the character begins to malfunction.
I love the idea of having an intrusion list handy!