Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   Convention Game 2: The Lost Empire (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=39308)

robject August 11th, 2018 12:47 PM

Convention Game 2: The Lost Empire
 
I settled on this title yesterday, and an elemental plot: the players find themselves stranded among the ruins of a long-dead empire on a wilderness world... and probably pursued. They must survive and escape.

Now I need to prepare it for the convention. So I'm posting this to elicit suggestions or opinions.

timerover51 August 11th, 2018 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 590883)
I settled on this title yesterday, and an elemental plot: the players find themselves stranded among the ruins of a long-dead empire on a wilderness world... and probably pursued. They must survive and escape.

Now I need to prepare it for the convention. So I'm posting this to elicit suggestions or opinions.

When are you supposed to have this ready by?

jcrocker August 12th, 2018 12:10 AM

A lot would depend on what sort of long-dead empire it was, and how the 'dead' part happened.

A quick kill that struck the world down in it's prime? Whole dead cities filled with lots of stuff for the players to go full bore MacGyver with.

A lost outpost, that fought a long rearguard against the end? Lost of picked-over buildings with a few strongpoints that have all the goodies.

Splinter Amish-like colony? They still have pitchforks and tools at the farms. There might even be wild horses that survived, but they're wild, not going to tame them in an hour.

High tech manufacturing complex? "No, the machinery died ages ago from lack of maintenance. But most people don't know these old fifty-second century power cores could still go critical if you pull the moderators. It takes about an hour, but if we move fast, we'll be outside the blast radius when they do."

coliver988 August 12th, 2018 02:15 PM

How long is long-dead? Bodies decomposing from the recent apocalypse or only some foundations left of the buildings?

If a previous high-tech empire, are power systems still running in odd places? This could make for a basic high-tech version of a dungeon crawl as each new area could bring new challenges or not to keep up the tension.

And pursued by who? Are they looking to loot an interdicted world? Are there remnants of the robotic armies that took down the empire? Zombies in spa-a-a-ce? Wild animals, either normal or horribly mutated?

And hey - any residual radiation? Not only pursued but there is a severe limit they can last until they get wherever it is they need to go.

Sounds like fun!

mike wightman August 12th, 2018 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 590883)
I settled on this title yesterday, and an elemental plot: the players find themselves stranded among the ruins of a long-dead empire on a wilderness world... and probably pursued. They must survive and escape.

Ruins - buildings, a city, an arcology?
Long dead empire - pre-Ancient, Ancient, post Ancient?
Wilderness world = Earth like or requiring protective equipment?
Pursued - by what? War machines, nanoplague, mercs, disgruntled locals?

timerover51 August 12th, 2018 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 590883)
I settled on this title yesterday, and an elemental plot: the players find themselves stranded among the ruins of a long-dead empire on a wilderness world... and probably pursued. They must survive and escape.

Now I need to prepare it for the convention. So I'm posting this to elicit suggestions or opinions.

When you say "long-dead empire", I start thinking in terms of millennia. Then I start thinking on the lines of Andre Norton's Sargasso of Space and Galactic Derelict. If a bit shorter than millennia, then something like Tanith in H. Beam Piper's Space Viking, with space port ruins and a very limited population who views all off-worlders as evil and out to destroy the locals.

Then you have A.E. Van Vogt's classic tale of Black Destroyer, which in a variant form appears in Voyage of the Space Beagle. There you have a D&D Displacer Beast (guess where TSR got the idea) wreaking havoc with an exploratory expedition. You need to kill the beast before it kills off too many essential personnel for you to get off of the planet.

You also might try a modified Forbidden Planet. A very, very wealthy patron wants to get a Robbie the Robot all for his/her own, but a few competitors have gotten word of it, and are trying to it as well. They want either to spite the patron or really make them pay for it.

robject August 12th, 2018 09:48 PM

Thank you all for the piles of suggestions-masquerading-as-questions. I have a couple weeks to prepare. My typical MO is to figure out the 'what' and leave plenty of material for the players to figure out a workable 'how'.

I think along the lines of really long-vanished pocket empire, but that leaves lots of possibilities open. If they weren't technic, then it's "just" tomb robbing. If they were, then there is still tomb robbing, but also a potential puzzle, and the artifacts can be hazardous. So I tend to want to err on the side of more potential.

timerover51 August 12th, 2018 10:06 PM

Then the planet Limbo in Norton's Sargasso of Space would be a good starting point. You have a machine from the Forerunners that can draw ships out of space to crash or also keep ships from taking off. Of course, a group of pirates discover this planet, and find it both a treasure trove of lost ships of all sorts of civilizations and types, and a great way to catch more ships really easily. Your group has to find the device, knock it out or turn it off, and then escape before the pirates catch them, or maybe someone a lot older and worse goes after both groups.

That story was the start of the "Solar Queen" series.

robject August 14th, 2018 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timerover51 (Post 590944)
Then the planet Limbo in Norton's Sargasso of Space would be a good starting point. [...]
That story was the start of the "Solar Queen" series.

I'm surprised I haven't read that yet. I liked the Solar Queen series, even the two later ones by Sherwood Smith.

I always like pirate dens in my games. More things to shoot at and/or hide from.

timerover51 August 14th, 2018 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robject (Post 591000)
I'm surprised I haven't read that yet. I liked the Solar Queen series, even the two later ones by Sherwood Smith.

I always like pirate dens in my games. More things to shoot at and/or hide from.

If you want to do something like that, I have some nice scenery pictures that I could send you for showing the players the area and terrain they are in. And all of them are copyright-free.


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