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Priority Missions

August 10, 2022

Writers of Bravo Fleet! I hope you’re all recovered from the Fleet Action. I know I’ve barely dusted off my drafts for future stories and found my groove after that marathon. But it’s high time to get back to writing, and for many of us that means diving into our own stories and our own ideas after a major fleet-wide event. So I’m here to introduce a new form of storytelling support and mission ideas that are, for the first time in a while, task force-specific.

Priority Missions revolve around what a TF is doing in-between campaigns. They will be running continuously – so long as no fleet-wide storyline is going on, a TF has a Priority Mission. Unlike campaigns, they are not huge and detailed scenarios, but much broader launching points for how writers can contribute to their TF’s storyline while still having far more freedom. They are also entirely optional.

Rather than over-explaining, let me show you the OOC briefings for the Priority Missions for all five task forces, and we’ll take it from there:

Task Force 17

The Typhon Frontier is a mysterious region rich in potential knowledge and resources. The Federation is not alone in their interest, with the Romulan Free State turning their eye towards the same opportunities. While they have sought joint scientific missions into the area with Starfleet, eager to build relations after the collapse of the Star Empire, not all of their undertakings have been so cooperative. Free State ships have been spotted venturing alone into the frontier, and the scientific scruples of the Romulan military – or lack thereof – are of concern to Starfleet.

Starships of TF17 have the opportunity to begin their missions of exploration in the company of civilian Romulan scientists from the Free State, who bring their own vast and previously unshared knowledge of the region – but are doubtless beholden to their own and their government’s agendas. Likewise, Starfleet ships in the Typhon Frontier may run across – or seek to beat – Free State ships on their own missions, and are urged to minimise harm in this unknown region without disrupting galactic politics.

Task Force 47

Now Deep Space 47 has been built, TF47 begins its operations in the Thomar Expanse in earnest. Starfleet is proceeding deeper into the Expanse, where the local dynamics are little-understood, as the Federation has barely been involved in the area for some time. Many of these missions will be Starfleet’s first arrival in a system ever, but the Breen, the Cardassians, and the Tzenkethi have been embroiled in the region for decades.

Starships of TF47 are charged with bringing back key early intelligence about the Thomar Expanse. Through scientific surveys of nearby phenomena, observation of foreign military movements, or negotiation for information from local sources, these reports will shape the future of the Federation’s involvement.

Task Force 72

The Romulan Star Empire has collapsed, fallen to nothing more than Rator and a smattering of worlds around it, with the region now referred to as the ‘Independent Romulan Factions’. These range from small collectives to the homes of warlords, some eking out their own existence, some vying for domination. Many are on or near the border with the Federation or their friends in the Romulan Republic.

Starships of TF72 have been charged with establishing diplomatic contact with these disparate border factions. Through tentative first communications, cautious negotiation on neutral ground, or welcome visits to these new governments, Starfleet seeks understanding and to build local relationships. A firm peace with the Romulan factions is ideal, but non-aggression is essential, and very little is known about any of these disparate new minor powers.

Task Force 86

Now the Romulan Star Empire is gone, the Federation’s coreward Beta Quadrant borders are even more dangerous. The old imperial territory has collapsed into the disparate Independent Romulan Factions, with many worlds ruled over by warlords either from the spinward reaches or the disintegrated military. Many non-Romulan pirate groups benefited from the chaos, raiding and pillaging unprotected worlds and bolstering their resources and equipment. These new threats challenge the Federation borders between the Free State and the Triangle, the home of many of these pirates.

TF86 is charged with border defence and, where reasonable, threat elimination – such as destroying weapons caches that have fallen into the hands of pirates and aggressive warlords. Others require a simple threat assessment through long-range observation or the negotiated acquisition of intelligence.

Task Force 93

The Romulan Star Empire’s civil war cast the coreward Beta Quadrant into chaos, with old imperial territories collapsed into the Independent Romulan Factions. Former imperial worlds reliant upon its supply lines have lost that support, and many regions of the former Neutral Zone are likewise feeling the pinch of the great powers looking to defence over aid. 

Starships of TF93 are dispatched to old Romulan Neutral Zone and former RSE worlds in need of support to lend what aid they can. While this includes the usual humanitarian help, providing struggling worlds with badly-needed resources, local supply lines have been gutted. TF93 is urged to find whatever solutions may help these communities become self-sufficient through building infrastructure or facilitating trade.

What Does This Mean?

In the aftermath of Sundered Wings, many – but not all – TFs have duties to help tidy up or deal with the fallout of the final collapse of the Romulan Star Empire. Others are getting back to their primary duties. Remember that the lore around a TF has two major parts: their mandate (such as Task Force 93’s humanitarian mission), and their headquarters region (such as Task Force 47’s Thomar Expanse). Priority Missions are a great chance for stories revolving around one or both of these elements. 

Task Force senior staff will be writing Stories to introduce these ideas IC, though these aren’t necessarily briefings you need to wait around for before getting started. In future, you’re likely to see a Priority Mission be announced by each TF when they’re ready to launch, complete with a Story and a briefing just like the above. Over the course of a Priority Mission your TF staff can add new Stories, incorporate events on TF commands into the ongoing narrative, and if necessary add new storytelling opportunities (though the idea is that these remain simple and easy to dive into)

As you can see, the briefings are short. This is intentional! Unlike campaigns, they don’t introduce whole new ideas, but draw on extant material, where members familiar with fleet canon can dive right in, or the wiki can already fill in the gaps. There also won’t be continuous twists and turns, or massive expansions to a Priority Mission coming out partway through. The staff of TF86 won’t, for instance, create a specific pirate group with a named leader and pull people together to write about taking down that single group. It’s down to you to develop your member canon on the kinds of worlds, factions or sub-factions, or specific challenges faced.

How Do I Get Involved?

Are you in a TF? Have you read your TF’s briefing above? Then get writing!

All of these ideas are non-exclusive. There’s space, like in campaigns, for dozens of different stories pursuing these threads. That means you can write completely on your own if you want to. 

If you want, this is a great chance to work collaboratively with your TF. Watch this space for ways of making it easier for commands to write together, but in the meantime you can bounce ideas with fellow TF members or your TF staff.

You’re also not bound to Priority Missions. If your ship wants to dive off into the Delta Quadrant be our guest, and that’s still an important way of participating in and developing Bravo Fleet’s story. Likewise, if you really love the idea of another TF’s storyline, nobody will stop you – though if this keeps happening, maybe think about which TF you want to be in! But right now, you can just open up your favourite word processor, get writing, and then post the Story on BFMS. No need to wait.

I look forward to seeing all of these TF stories!