Written by Josh Millard, Larp Trek is a Campaign Comic with a twist. Whereas most campaign comics feature ostensibly real-world characters playing as the characters of a fictional universe, this comic features Star Trek: The Next Generation characters playing as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine characters.
It's Season Three, when the holodeck breaks down completely. Seeking an alternate source of entertainment, Geordi hits upon the idea of trying out this ancient Earth custom called a "role-playing game".
- Geordi LaForge is the Game Master.
- Captain Picard plays as Benjamin Sisko.
- Commander Riker plays as Dr Julian Bashir (because doctors are popular with the ladies).
- Data creates Odo, but is challenged by Geordi to create a character less like himself and ends up playing Major Kira.
- Doctor Crusher plays as Jadzia Dax, inventing the Trill race in the process.
- Counselor Troi plays as Quark, partly to squick out Riker.
- Chief O'Brien and his girlfriend, Keiko, create future versions of themselves but end up playing as each other because they think it would be cute.
- Wesley Crusher decides to take over two characters created by other players, Jake Sisko and Odo.
- Worf reluctantly plays Garak.
- Lieutenant Barclay joined much later and took over playing Nog.
- Lwaxana Troi also joined and is playing herself.
This work contains examples of the following:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Mentioned here. Apparently, Data doesn't handle paradoxical thinking very well.
- Author Avatar: In #177.
- Batman Gambit: Quark and Kira stage a fight knowing that it would lead the Cardassian customers to take their winnings back to their ship in a duffel bag that is secretly Odo.
- ...But He Sounds Handsome:
- Wesley-as-Odo talks about how clever Wesley-as-Jake is.
- O'Brien-as-Keiko refers to his/her "handsome, brilliant, virile husband Miles."
- Casanova Wannabe: Riker's romantic streak is taken Up to Eleven.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Once the game begins in earnest, out-of-character panels have a grey background while in-character panels have colored backgrounds. Each character is eventually given a single, consistent color, too.
- The Comically Serious: Worf as usual. Picard sometimes.
- Cross Player: Data, Troi, O'Brien, Keiko...
- Deadpan Snarker: Worf, true to form.
- Expospeak Gag: Data. A lot.
Data: I will return, as the saying goes, to the ol' visual representation work surface.Geordi: Visu- oh. Drawing board. Seriously you gotta stop intentionally mangling cliches, man. Everybody's pretty tired of it at this point.Data: Well, perhaps everybody should endeavor to create an oral vacuum around my external genitalia.
- "Fracture the quaternary membrane" instead of "break the fourth wall".
- Discussed in comic #17:
- Fail Safe Failure: Picard's mystery hinges on the idea that, while a holographic knife would dematerialize before piercing flesh, a real knife could be used by a hologram to stab someone. Geordi thinks, and then desperately hopes, the holodeck doesn't work that way.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!:Wesley: Well, Odo was going to stop by Quark's anyway, because he doesn't trust that greedy, conniving, self-centered, big-eared, morally bankrupt Ferengi one bit.
Troi: Hey! Who are you calling bankrupt?
- It's All About Me: The reclusive Picard would really rather be playing this game by himself and gets annoyed when his moments of in character Inner Monologue and talking to himself via playing both Sisko and Picard are interrupted. Rather than develop relationships with the other players, he created an NPC son for him to interact with and has roleplayed with the fictional version of himself.
- Manipulative Bastard: Troi. This is even discussed by the author who believes that the empathic counselor got this way from having to sit on the bridge for 8 hour shifts with little or nothing to do. She encouraged Worf to develop the spy background for his Cardassian tailor character and use it to screw with Riker. A lot of her plots are about screwing with Riker.
- Memetic Mutation: "Planet would explode", in-universe.
- The Munchkin: Wesley keeps asking if he can play a character with super powers and is finally allowed to have shapeshifting.
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Worf is displeased when asked to play Garak because the Klingon "Ghargh rachwl" means "worm nurse."
- Mythology Gag: Because O'Brien and Keiko are characters in both TV shows, Keiko and O'Brien are playing each other.
- This also provides a bit of misdirection, as Worf initially refuses to take part in the game. Most readers assumed he would only join when he could play himself, but he ends up playing Garak.
- Off the Rails: All. The. Time. Geordi, having no experience GMing at all, is constantly having to deal with the most random things the crew comes up with:
Picard: Geordi, were the holodeck's usual safety protocols disabled?
- At the start of the second game session, before Geordi can even open his mouth, Picard and Wesley get a murder mystery going without him.
Geordi: Don't look at me, Captain. I wasn't even on this train when it left the station.
- Near the end of the second game session, Geordi has to hastily improvise reasons Riker can't export immortality throughout the universe - and accidentally ends up destroying his own intended plotline.
- At the beginning of the third game session, Geordi barely gets one sentence out of his mouth before the crew start bickering over nothing and end up planning the economic feasibility of a Klingon restaurant.
- Even when Josh inserts himself into the strip, he has no more success keeping the characters on track than Geordi did.
- Pass the Popcorn: Riker, while Troi and her mother argue.
- The Real Man: Riker. When he's not looking for some action with the ladies he wants to shoot stuff.
- Recursive Reality: Some of the characters in the RPG are future versions of people playing the game, in reference to characters crossing over between the two shows.
- Since these are the Season Three TNG characters, the Battle of Wolf 359 (the first major Borg attack) hasn't happened yet, which has already had an impact on the pilot series plot as played out in the campaign.
- The Trill race doesn't exist in this comic. The race is created by Dr Crusher in the process of creating Jadzia Dax for the game.
- There Are No Girls on the Internet: When Reggie sees Troi at his first gaming session, he assumes Geordi got a portable Holodeck working.
- The Roleplayer: Counselor Troi but also especially Data. Picard fits the more negative self involved 'drama student' version of this player type.
- Shown Their Work: Ghargh rachwl is the actual Klingon for "worm nurse" (though 'Ghargh' means 'worm' in the sense of a 'serpent').
- Shrinking Violet: Lieutenant Barclay. True to form with his first character, who ends up being half created for him, Morn.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Sisko and Dukat, as well as many members of the Enterprise.
- Worthy Adversary: Dukat. Picard wouldn't have it any other way.