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Old September 26th, 2020, 03:15 PM
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Leitz Leitz is offline
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Default Campaign scene ideas needed

I'm thinking of another game, where the PCs are hastily called up reservists on a just-out-of-mothballs ship. PCs should have at least one ship skill, plus some general adventuring skills.

The setting is right after a rebellion on a planet, where a new government took over. There are still pirates, spies from the neighboring super powers, and other sorts of things to deal with. For more detail, see "atpollards Pb" and the "TDW:1416" threads in the PbP section. This game starts a few weeks after those end.

The question is, what sorts of things might they need to deal with? What sorts of adventures might there be? I'm thinking more TV episodes than one big movie, but there will be an overall story arc.
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Old September 26th, 2020, 03:18 PM
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Sounds like a good excuse to watch "Bridge of Spies", "The Third Man" and "The Odessa File".
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Old September 26th, 2020, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leitz View Post

The question is, what sorts of things might they need to deal with? What sorts of adventures might there be? I'm thinking more TV episodes than one big movie, but there will be an overall story arc.
Enemy faction ships that didn't get the word the fighting was over, like the US Civil War era confederate raiders. Refugee ships desperately overloaded and running short on life support. Diehard supporters of the old regime not above trying to stick it to the new regime after pretending to be ordinary shipping with a 'mundane' emergency. Actual mundane emergencies with average spacers on average ships, but after running into the previous diehards, are the players going to believe anything is as simple as it seems? And has anyone gone out to that research station, the one on that moon of the gas giant in the outer system?

Then they could stumble on your Big Plot after a few clues were spotted here and there.
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Old September 26th, 2020, 05:29 PM
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dealing with the aftermath of a riot on an overloaded refugee ship that just came in from jump?

spies from the losing side cut off from their handlers trying to get home?
(or trying to continue with previous orders?

free traders being wrongly (tho possibly justifiably) accused of aiding or scouting for pirates?

yes, i'm a cj cherryh fan
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Old November 20th, 2020, 05:48 AM
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1. Scene in which a desperate mob of refugees rush the ship as it is trying to lift from some catastrophe like civil disorder, victorious revolutionary army on a rampage of looting murder and vengeance, a terror purge where masses of random people are getting executed as counter revolutionaries, or people fleeing a habitat or domed city cascading through systems failure. The characters have two choices use force against the desperate innocent people, or let a mob of hungry scared people embark which is far more than the ships life support can handle. The ref has to make sure the people dont sit there like docile little sheep and shows how bad a violent panic can be. Of course the pcs will say oh we just close the door or we just take off so the ref has to use this scene with finesse. The ship is trying to take on vital supplies that they cant do without, or theyre taking on refugees in an orderly fashion when a panic starts. Look up descriptions of crowd disasters.

2. The PCs are now enemies of the new regime simply because they havent surrendered to the revolutionary army and gone quietly to an internment camp.
Adventures could include rescuing friends and family, linking up with forces of the former regime which are trying to escape or determined to fight on, audacious heists to get the planetary treasury off world, rescuing former commanders and politicians.

3. The new regime is now the recognized govt, and the pcs ship belongs to it. The pcs now find themselves on the wrong side of the law as they are now wanted on suspicion of "war crimes", desertion, insurrection, counter revolutionary activity, and theft of a military vessel. Neighboring govts dont care about the finer points of who did what, and will repatriate the PCs in cuffs because the last thing they want is disaffected soldiers of a defeated army wandering the area fully armed. Men with a space warship never starve, as the saying goes. Ports begin to deny them access, suppliers wont work with them, schemers start trying to turn them in, and going rogue is the best way to survive.

4. After a year of failures by the new regime, famine crime and disorder are still rampant, and people are sick of the violence as the revolutionary army tries to maintain order. People are losing faith in the new regime. Demobilized veterans of the old regimes military are starting to form militias. The pcs get swept up in the building counter revolution and offworld interests want the old regime to return. The pcs are first blockade runners and clandestine operatives, but when theyre in a full fledged insurgency, they discover the balance of power among the offworld interests has shifted and now the plan is to balkanize and exploit their world for the benefit of rival worlds.
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Old November 20th, 2020, 07:06 AM
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During routine gunnery practice, the ship suffers a failure in the power runs to one of the turrets, rendering the turret useless. while diagnosing and attempting fix this fault it becomes apparent that multiple power runs throughout the ship are in worn out and in need of urgent repairs.

This is somewhat odd, as the paperwork shows that all this old cabling were replaced during the activation process or routine maintenance while in mothballs. further inspections shows dozens of parts, major and minor, are documented as being replaced or repaired when clearly they were not, mostly in hard to reach parts or the ship or those with non-obvious faults.

After limping into base on drives that they now know are are one power surge form failure, the players ship is stuck until the repairs can be made.


However, both the dockyards and the mothballs base strongly deny any wrongdoing, and each side claims the other was the one who fiddled the books and sold off the intended replacement parts for profit. the dispute is heighted by the fact the two bases are supported by rival members of the government, who see the looming scandal as perfect ammo for their politicking, if they can get the right results.

The players ship is stuck in dock until the bureaucratic infighting is resolved, while members of the two sides of the dispute are trying to get the crew to make statements that favour their side (which will anger the other side, with potential repercussions further down the line......).
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Old November 20th, 2020, 09:28 PM
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For shipboard, there's spending days chasing down a fault, to find out it's a contractor using something for food storage/prepartion.

Also, the drilling needed to turn the crew into an effective unit. Why yes, Spaceman Timmy, you're going to catch on fire for this drill!

And finally, our favorite, random equipment failures! Always at an inopportune time, or else a constant stream of troubleshooting stuff that won't make the system useless, it does make it hard to use.
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Old November 21st, 2020, 06:32 PM
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How do players generally handle challenges like tracing down system faults? Do they like to roleplay it out or do they prefer to abstract it with die rolls?

For the random equipment failures, is that to challenge their ingenuity in the moment or if the players prepare with equipment maintenance and checks will thatose fail as well when dramatically appropriate?
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Old November 22nd, 2020, 12:57 PM
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There would have been a lot of mining/poaching/smuggling and other illegal/shady activities while everyone's attention was on the rebellion.


So a lot of going to EVERY world, moon and asteroid looking for these guys and their bases.


Possibly a fish and game warden scenario where unscrupulous hunters have been hitting one of the secondary worlds and killing/poaching rare/valuable animals and the main world now needs to reassert patrols/authority and back up the warden's play to stop it.


As part of the effort, reestablishing a 'watcher' satellite network over those objects, with rapid destruction of said satellites after being dropped confirming where they are operating. Then, 'only ship in the quadrant', off your reservists go into harm's way.


Of course the bad guys may not be bad guys but refugees from the losing side. Depending on how vindictive your government is about this rebellion, it may be a real moral dilemma whether to capture and send back these people for 'processing'.


Just to amp it up, have a real leader/war criminal hiding amongst them.



If the players let them go they find out later they let this Very Bad Person go, and maybe the government finds out too.


If they capture and send them all back this guy tries very hard to escape/bribe/fight to freedom.



If the players succeed in getting everyone back WITH the criminal, then the government doesn't just let the relative innocents go but treat them as conspirators.
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Old November 23rd, 2020, 12:43 AM
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If you have a crew that is all from say TL 11+ worlds you can put them in situations for various reasons on TL 2 to 5 or 6 planets.

Typical might be the ship's steward(s) are about to run out of food (spoilage, or whatever). These need replenishing. The steward(s) are from TL 12+ worlds where food comes in packages, often ready to heat and serve, that sort of thing (think really good MRE or airline food, etc.).

Well the planet they've landed on is TL 4 ish and they are now in the equivalent of a Third World open air market where the butcher has a side of beast hanging up and will carve up pieces for you. Or, there are nothing but raw edible plants. Let them try and figure out how they're supposed to do something like prepare whole fish or shuck the equivalent of an oyster, and then figure out how cook this stuff and get the crew to like it. Even something like salt pork (or equivalent) could be challenging if you don't know how to prepare it.

Or, the steward does the best he / she can, but forgot to use a med scanner on the food, etc., and the crew gets Montezuma's revenge for several days...

Or you need some part for the ship. It's pretty basic but you have no way to fabricate a new one aboard. You land on a TL 4 planet and all there is available to make the part is a 18th - 19th century style blacksmith's shop...

You need small arms ammunition ASAP and they only have black powder available locally... Yea, the arms guy tells them, "I know about those advanced powders, but we can't make them here yet..."

Low tech can confound someone who's always been used to high tech, even here on Earth these things can happen...
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