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!

Check out Ryan Chaddok’s blog and also The Translation Codex for Cypher elements you can fold into your custom campaigns.

We who are about to die, salute you

We who are about to die, salute you