I think a lot about who the audience for LARP Trek is — I’d like to think it works pretty well for both my fellow Trek/Next Gen/Deep Space Nine nerdballs and for the more casual reader who doesn’t really know much about Star Trek other than that “it’s not the one with the lightsabers” but can still appreciate a good Riker sex joke.
And so this is one of those jokes that’s going to operate differently for Deep Space Nine fans vs. folks unfamiliar with the series, since the twist is only explicit in the seventh panel but all the DS9 fans are screaming BUT THAT’S QUARK SHE MEANS QUARK QUARK IS THE BARTENDER the whole time anyway.
It’s like watching a horror movie with someone who doesn’t watch horror movies. Genre-savvy viewers have a different set of expectations and so a different viewing experience. They’ve got different Ghost Ship moments. Which is neat! Sit down a non-Trekful friend and read the strip together! Discuss your experiences! Create a diorama about it. Process the hell out of those feelings, just, really explore that stuff or something.
But so anyway the real takeaway here is that this is the sort of thing that would more slow Riker down than scare him off, in the long run. He balks now but as soon as the holodeck comes back he’s gonna start privately trying his hand at oo-mox.