Writing the Worlds of the Delta Quadrant

By Derek Tyler Attico

When the Star Trek Adventures project manager, Jim Johnson, invited me to contribute to the Delta Quadrant Sourcebook, needless to say, I was excited. Then, when he told me he wanted me to work on the worlds of the Delta Quadrant chapter, I felt like he’d just told me to chart a course through the Delta Quadrant itself.

I took the responsibility seriously. 

An act of compassion by Captain Janeway resulted in her stranding her crew in the Delta Quadrant, more than 70,000 light-years from Earth. Unlike any crew before, the U.S.S. Voyager explored all those strange new worlds and civilizations, alone. Encountering old adversaries and new allies as the crew found their place amongst each other and within themselves. 

I realized the chapter needed to reflect that journey.

I found myself pondering what Admiral Janeway alluded to in the final episode “Endgame.” Voyager would someday become a museum on the Presidio. If that were true, and the Intrepid-class starship would indeed be a place Federation citizens went to learn about her arduous journey, then which Delta Quadrant planets would be on the tour?

Those were the planets that needed to be in the chapter. Those planets would be useful to the players of Star Trek Adventures that found themselves in one of the most dangerous parts of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Before committing a single word to the chapter, I made a chronological list of planets Voyager visited on her seven-year crossing of the Delta Quadrant. Understanding I couldn’t list them all, I thought again of that museum tour, knowing the worlds I chose could inspire gamemasters and players – like the crew of Voyager, to find out what other wonders lay along the journey home.

With my list and plan in place, I set out to rediscover these worlds anew, and as I did, I gained a newfound respect for the crew that never lost sight of their morality in the face of unimaginable adversity. I also found myself taking a more personal look at the diverse species of the quadrant so far from the security of Federation space. Despite having to contend with the Borg as their neighbor, many of these worlds flourish in a quadrant where conflict and chaos thrive.

Writing the chapter was a joy. My adaptability to write long and short-form prose, as well as screenplays, was especially useful. Treating each planet as a character, I conveyed the information and emotion of its unique narrative with storytelling prose that matched Starfleet’s requirements.

Now, seeing how the Delta Quadrant Sourcebook has come together, it’s clear that Modiphius has managed an amazing feat. An incredible seven-year expedition has been encapsulated into a guide the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager could use if the ship's astrometrics lab weren’t online.

I’m proud to be a small part of the book.

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