The Tumult

Patron: Merchant
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: None
Location: Any world experiencing social turmoil

Players’ Information:
The world is undergoing societal problems. The native populace is bitterly torn over social, economic and racial issues to the point that rumors of civil war are flying about. For now, however, the bitterness is confined mostly to increasingly nasty public debates and policy changes, with sporadic mob violence triggered by seemingly minor incidents.

This is the case as the adventurers are conducting their business. Another situation has sparked rioting recently and is still in the news feeds enough to stoke angry confrontations between citizens and local law enforcement. As the heroes try to conclude their business before violence breaks out, they see groups of people gathering, chanting and stoking themselves up. The police, alert to the signs of impending trouble, have also begun gathering in riot gear, hoping their mere presence is enough to deter violence.

It isn’t.

The crowds soon become physical. The police, feeling threatened, let fly with crowd-dispersal methods, and battle is soon joined. The street becomes a chaotic stew of looting, arson, and fights. The PCs, caught in the middle, are assumed to be trying to navigate to a safe area, but this is easier said than done. Each adventurer must throw DEX or less or take 1D-2 (minimum 1) hits from being in what currently amounts to a war zone.

While they are seeking shelter, they witness a battered and bruised woman bravely trying to defend a small storefront. While she is armed with a club, she is horribly outnumbered and on the verge of becoming another victim of an out-of-control mob. If the PCs decide to help her, they have a chance to disperse the group directly threatening her. They may choose whatever method they like, from intimidation to outright conflict, but the fight should not be long (seasoned adventurers, some of whom are no doubt ex-military, will have no trouble dealing with untrained citizens).

The heroes should drive the assailants off, but only for the moment. They don’t go far, and look like they’ll try to loot the store again as soon as they lick their wounds. The shopkeeper hires the group on the spot, promising to pay them Cr 10,000 after things calm down, to help her defend her store.

Gartenlaube
The shop – image from wikimedia – Public Domain

Referee’s Information:
Three things don’t matter to the plot: what the store sells (as long as it’s not against local law); how many opponents the PCs are facing (as long as the numbers and odds are reasonable); and what method the referee uses to resolve the fight or assign damage.

What does matter is the reason the store owner is so adamant about defending the business. The heroes can use whatever method works best for them to discover why:

1. She is simply stubborn, and wants to protect her livelihood from being stolen and/or destroyed.

2. The merchandise is far more valuable than the surroundings and the owner indicate. She regularly has nobility as clientele and so has the best of everything. This also indicates she could pay the group more, if they insist. On a throw of 9+, several of her customers are trapped within and will be very grateful to be rescued.

3. There’s someone within that she’s protecting: (2+) children; (7+) an aged parent; (10+) an injured spouse.

4. As 3, except the one protected is either (2+) a criminal; (6+) an illicit romantic partner; (9+) someone who is forcing the woman to protect him or her.

5. She has contraband hidden in the store that will get her in trouble if it’s exposed, but is far too valuable to be destroyed. The shopkeeper will sneak inside and save the item(s) at the first opportunity. Along with her subsequent disappearance will go the PCs’ chances of being paid.

6. As 5, except the cops were about to raid the place looking for the contraband in question. A patrol of 6 in riot gear will appear, arresting anyone who lingers in the area, especially anyone defending the store. The shopkeeper will disappear without her item(s) at the first chance, and so will the heroes’ pay.

The Venatorian Club

For: 2-6 players

Players’ Information:
Whilst sat at the local starport bar, the players are approached by a very well-dressed gentleman, looking quite out-of-place in such a grotty establishment. He introduces himself as Tristan Keeler-Maxwell and asks if he can buy the players a drink and discuss a proposition. He and a group of friends are due to leave for Urnian / Kutadis (E668214-2) on an organised hunt. Tristan and his compatriots (naming their group the Venatorian Club) are extremely wealthy and own an island on Kutadis, populating it with a number of animals and creatures which are hunted for sport. Tristan has heard good things about the players and asks them if they would like to accompany him on the next trip, as bodyguards. Unfortunately his regular group of bodyguards are not able to attend, so he needs a reliable group to protect the hunting party, in case of any ‘mishaps’. He is able to produce on demand any documentation that allows him to hunt on the world, should the players have any doubts about the legality of the situation. Transport will be provided as they have a Safari ship, the players may bring whatever equipment they think they will need.

If the job is accepted, Tristan will cover any starport berthing fees for the players ship whilst they are away, as he does not want them to be out-of-pocket. Each player will be paid 10,000 Cr up front and a further 75,000 Cr on completion of the hunt, in roughly three weeks time.

Whilst en-route to Kutadis the players get to know the rest of the hunting party; they are all aged between 25-35 years old, exceedingly wealthy and sit in significant positions of power within major corporations and companies. These excursions provide an exciting diversion in what are quite demanding daily roles for the patrons.

Hunting- Image from wikimedia - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
Hunting – Image from wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

Referee’s Information:

1. Despite all the bluster about the great hunt, it turns out that the animals the hunters are after are mechanised / quite advanced robots, which are set up to be fairly docile and not to threaten (all that much) the hunting party. The hunting party kill a few of the mechanised animals, the players help out and get their cash for being the ‘bodyguards’. The referee runs through some animal encounters of their choice where the players get to help out in some way.

2. As above, but one of the mechanical animals develops a fault, its safety overrides fail and turns truly nasty, going after the whole party intending to kill them all. The players will have to protect the group whilst fending off attacks and making a run for their ship. It is suggested that the players ATV / vehicle develops a fault and they have to run on foot.

3. The world is actually populated by a Neanderthal-like underling creature that has not come to the attention of the Imperial authorities. The Venatorians discovered them on a survey and kept the find to themselves, using them as prey in their hunting ‘expeditions’. The Venatorians take one of the underlings to use them for the next hunt; of course this is highly illegal, so the players must find a way to protect the underling or somehow stop the Venatorians. However, the players will have to be careful that they don’t maroon themselves on the planet by going against their employers.

4. As above, but when the players are looking to pick their moment to stop the Venatorians during a hunt for an underling, they are attacked by a far superior force of underlings. The players may be able to use the situation to their advantage.

5. The party is attacked by bandits who have also managed to capture the Venatorians starship. However, before they left on the hunt, Tristan has removed a vital part of the engine electronics (for security reasons) and the ship won’t start. The bandits are currently located between the players party and the parked ship; they need to avoid the bandits, return to the ship to escape (defeating the bandits as well) at the same time as not losing the vital part, otherwise they won’t be going anywhere…

6. The Venatorians turn on the players stating that they are very glad they have agreed to come on the hunt, but unfortunately for them the players have now become the prey. Mechanised or ‘real’ animals no longer provide the necessary ‘kick’ they want from a hunt and instead they trick groups to this world to become the hunted. They Venatorians strip the players of all their usual equipment and give them basic hand weapons such as knives and bows. The players will now become the ‘sport’ and are given a head start of one hour before the hunters will come after them with full intention to kill them all. Of course, the hunters have kept all the advanced weaponry such as laser weapons, rifles and locator equipment.

Referee’s Considerations:
When calculating an appropriate number of opponents, the referee should ensure that there is at least two more Venatorians than the players to make things tough for them. It is suggested that there are roughly twice as many bandits / underlings than the combined party of Venatorians and players. Continue reading The Venatorian Club

Salvage!

Location: Torinsk 0108, (A-0007AE-D), Xenough sub sector, Avalar Consulate
Patron: Scout
Required Equipment: None
Required Skills: Starship Skills – Pilot, Eng, Nav, Gunner, Medic

The players are contacted by Chev Grinnel, a retired, 70-year-old Scout. It is clear that he is in poor health – he is thin, and his features are gaunt. He is discretely looking for ship crew members for a “business project”. He is a pilot himself, but he will accept another pilot, along with Navigators, Medics, Gunners, and Engineers for this project. “The Project”, as he calls it, will take about 6 weeks to complete, after which he will pay each person Cr 5,000 for their involvement. No more than 6 persons can be hired due to financial and transportation constraints of “The Project” – Chev freely admits he is gambling his entire life’s savings on this venture. He will withhold any further details concerning “The Project” until the players agree to join him.

SALVAGE!

Referee’s Information:
While he is quite ill, Chev appears to have considerable financial resources available to him. Chev provides Vacc Suits for the group, and offers up to Cr 2000 each up front for any special equipment desired, with the understanding that it will be deducted from their payment.

Chev is the owner of the independent 100-Ton Scout Ship Lorelei. The Scout ship has been extensively modified with additional equipment permitting it to serve as a salvage and recovery ship. The ship is quite old, severely battle-scarred, and in need of a good cleaning. Two large, lateral bulges port and starboard are visible on the upper half of the ship. Any Naval or Scout character would recognize the adverse effect of these modifications on the handling of the ship. It is perhaps 10% over specification in tonnage.

Seven cramped staterooms have been fitted aboard the ship to accommodate Chev and the crew. Chev has a Security Team of several Scouts to ensure a hijack attempt on the part of the players will fail. The security detail appears in spit and polish Scout Service uniforms, and their equipment and weapons are good quality.

As the ship owner, Chev will take one stateroom as a single, leaving the other six for dual occupancy. The number of Scouts will be at least 6. This would leave up to 6 spots for the players. If there are fewer than 6 players, additional Security Scouts will be hired so that the ship runs at full capacity. For purposes of this mission, all of the Security Scouts can Pilot, but none of them are Engineers.

The modifications retain the Jump-2 capability of the ship, but sacrifice much of the advanced Avionics of a typical Scout ship. Ship’s weaponry in the turret has been replaced with a laser cutter / welder, effectively a Beam Laser-1. The Engineering shop has upgraded equipment and capacity for repair work. Unfortunately, the ship’s Maneuver Drive rating is reduced to 1. Agility is effectively 0. An Air/Raft is fitted for utility work.

When pressed, Chev will describe “The Project” as a salvage operation in the Foreven Sector. He has located a lost Navy Ship which he intends to bring back online and claim as salvage. The players will help get the reactors online, and perform any needed repairs, then Chev will claim the ship as salvage. He had visited the ship alone 4 weeks ago, and estimated the extent of the work, which prompted his hiring the players.

1. All is as presented. The Navy Ship is a battle-scarred 400 Ton Gazelle Class. The 5 ton barbettes hold Particle Accelerators. The other turrets hold beam lasers. The Drop Tanks are present, but empty. The ship can be returned to operational status in a number of weeks equal to 6 minus the combined Engineering skill of all in the crew. The 20-ton Gig is missing, presumably when the crew abandoned ship. Chev has taken numerous precautions to foil any attempt for the players to take the ship. Roll a 2D6 every day. On a result of 10+, a Pirate vessel is encountered.

2. All is as presented. The “Navy” Ship is actually a 400 Ton Donosev Scout vessel. It is unarmed. The ship can be returned to operational status in a number of weeks equal to 6 minus the combined Engineering skill of all in the crew. Chev has taken numerous precautions to foil any attempt for the players to take the ship. Roll a 2D6 every day. On a result of 10+, a Pirate vessel is encountered.

3. The ship Chev had scouted earlier cannot be found at the coordinates he recorded. In fact, it has been recovered by another salvage operation. The players are unaware of this, and will keep searching. Roll a 2D6 every day. On a result of 10+, a Pirate vessel is encountered. On a 2 or 3, a Naval vessel arrives in the area, and tells the group the ship they are looking for was recently salvaged. Even though the salvage mission was not completed, Chev will pay each player a bonus of Cr 1000, and will offer them a job for the remainder of the 6 weeks. Roll 1D6 and ignore a result of “3” for how this phase of the encounter will be played.

4. The ship Chev had scouted earlier cannot be found at the coordinates he recorded. The group can search the system, and will find the ship on an 8+ each day that the search is continued. Roll a 2D6 every day. On a result of 10+, a Pirate vessel is encountered. Otherwise, this is identical to #2 above.

5. The ship is a 600 ton liner, pressed into service as a troop transport. The ship can be returned to operational status in a number of weeks equal to 5 minus the combined Engineering skill of all in the crew. There are numerous valuables on board the liner, some of which might escape the scrutiny of Chev should the players attempt to steal them. Should the group attempt to scrounge the ship, they will each find valuables worth 2D6 times Cr 1000 each week. On a roll of 9+ this goes unnoticed by Chev. If the group spends more than 2 weeks scrounging while getting the ship working, apply a DRM of -1 per week beyond the second week for Chev to detect their efforts. Chev has taken numerous precautions to foil any attempt for the players to take the ship. Roll a 2D6 every day. On a result of 9+, a Pirate vessel is encountered.

6. All is as presented in #1 above, except that Chev and his security detail of “Scouts” are in fact Pirates. They have no intention of paying the characters once the Gazelle Ship has been reactivated. The players will be killed once they have outlived their usefulness. The pirates’ preparations have been focused on the Gazelle, however, and not so much on the Lorelei. It might be possible for the players to take the Lorelei and either escape (possibly) or fight the pirates and take possession of the Gazelle (slight chance of success). If they made any contingencies on board either ship, perhaps they will have a fighting chance.

The players will probably consider taking the salvaged ship themselves. Chev’s precautions include:

  • limiting oxygen refills for Vacc suits, and controlling oxygen in various ship areas.
  • The vacc suits that Chev loans the group actually have a shaped charge warhead built into the spine of the suit, remote-controlled by Chev. Roll 2D for 9+ to detect this, with a + DRM equal to Vacc Suit skill. If it comes down to it, he will inform the players of this fact, and then blow one suit up if they fail to comply. The HEAP round will puncture the suit and sever the person’s spine immediately.
  • loading anti-hijacking programs as soon as the computer is up and running.
  • Chev’s work lights and portable power generators also have video / audio recorders and transmitters built-in. This permits him to monitor the players as they work on salvaging the ship.
  • securing player weapons in the armory on Lorelei
  • The usual sequence for reviving a ship is something like engineering control, power, maneuver, jump drives, bridge, weapons, gravity, atmosphere, and finally, other ship systems. This can also help thwart a hijacking by limiting what the ship can do in stages.
  • The 6 Security Scouts allows 2 to be on duty at any time for a 8 hour shift. They will sleep for 8 hours, then have free time for 8 hours, and then go back on duty. They are always armed, and seem very loyal to Chev. If they are befriended, it can be learned that they are very well paid. Maybe a few thousand well placed Credits can make them look the other way…

Elegance Never Forgotten

Patron: Entertainer
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship

Players’ Information:
While looking for passengers on Regina, the PCs are approached by a frail old woman. Still striking and modestly dressed, she is accompanied by a tall, impeccably-dressed man with a conceited air. She politely offers the crew high passage for the two of them to Extolay. She mentions she is going to visit her son, but surprisingly does not have much in the way of luggage; just a pair of worn travel bags.

As the duo boards the ship, several passengers do a double-take upon seeing them. If questioned, the incredulous passengers swear that the woman is Lisbet Gugiidima, the legendary holovid star. But that couldn’t be; Gugiidima has been dead for 20 years!

The Star?
The Star? – image from wikimedia – Public Domain

Referee’s Information:
The man with Gugiidima, Iebert Wix, is arrogant and condescending — when he acknowledges the adventurers at all. He makes no bones about his superiority to the “scruff,” as he refers to anyone beneath his station, and boldly holds forth at length about the food, the surroundings and the other passengers. He treats his companion marginally better; she, on the other hand, is charming and friendly, with a quick wit and a ready yarn. She tires easily, however, so she is not seen much during the journey.

1. All is as represented. Gugiidima is indeed the legendary holovid star. Her death was erroneously reported years before and she wanted to retire anyway, so she saw no reason to dispute the account. Wix is her aide and executor of her estate.

2. As 1, except Wix is actually her son, accompanying his mother to what she believes will be her final resting place. She has dementia, and thus believes her son is waiting for her on Extolay. Her periods of lucidity are becoming rarer as the days drag on. For Wix’s part, he knows as soon as his mother has passed on, he will become very rich.

3. Wix is a swindler after Gugiidima’s extensive real estate holdings on Extolay. Once he has them, he plans to dump her in an offworld retirement colony.

4. Neither Gugiidima nor Wix are who they say they are. They are con artists who are taking advantage of Chandia Bulin’s uncanny resemblance to the star to swindle adoring passengers out of their money en route. They will then disappear with their ill-gotten gains and further another plot onworld.

5. As 4, except the two are fugitives from the law. At least one of the other passengers is an undercover law enforcement officer who has finally gotten close enough to nab the pair, and will not let anything or anyone stop get in the way.

6. As 4, except the pair is not impersonating Gugiidima for nefarious purposes; they are trying to convince a board on Extolay that Gugiidima is still alive in order to keep her assets from being seized by a corporation.

The referee should determine the flow of subsequent events.

Similitude

Patron: Terrorist
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: None
Location: Any world

Players’ Information:
While enjoying a night on the town after concluding their day’s business, the heroes notice that one of their servers seems to be putting on a brave face about something — and failing. Inquiring if they could be of any help, the woman first refuses, but then seems to think twice and takes the group into her confidence:

She is recently separated her husband, a local lawyer who counts several organized crime figures among his clients. Her plan is to divorce him and thus free herself from the near-constant presence of mobsters and their aides. But thanks to a combination of legal skill and good connections, he has never been convicted of anything. Even though he treated her well and she wanted for nothing, she had noticed her husband becoming more and more involved with the criminals outside the courtroom.

In her departure, she left behind several items of a sentimental nature, which she can live without, except one: a holograph her ex keeps on his person. The image is of her with her ex in happier times, along with her late mother. The holo is one of the few images the server has of her mother and she wants it back.

Simply asking for the photo is out of the question; so far she has managed to elude her ex, but were she to reappear, one of his aides would doubtless track her back to her home. She is willing to hire the PCs to retrieve the photograph for her. How they do it is of no concern of hers, as long as her ex can’t find her. She offers to turn over her life savings — Cr 6,000 — if the group will accept the task of retrieving the picture.

Just a big camera?
Just a big camera? – image from wikimedia
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Referees’ Information:
According to his ex-wife, the lawyer frequents an upscale restaurant in the planetary capital, sometimes conducting business there. He has become important to the crime lords, and so has been assigned bodyguards. Two accompany him at all times unless otherwise stated. All bodyguards have weapons up to the planetary Law Level.

The restaurant is very swank. While they aren’t selective as to their clientele, they expect certain behavior from their patrons. A dress code is in place, and any disturbance immediately means a call to the police.

1. The lawyer is alone except for his bodyguards. On a throw of 8+, he has four bodyguards instead of two.

2. The lawyer is alone except for his bodyguards. On a throw of 8+, he has eight bodyguards instead of two.

3. The hologram has hidden information on it, revealed through a multispectral scan. Throw 1D for the nature of the data:

1. The information reveals some personal scandal of the ex-wife. Throw Law Level or less for it to be illegal. Revealing the information results in the wife’s arrest.
2. The information in question will get the lawyer convicted in any court on the planet if it comes out. On a throw of 11+, the information would get the attention of Imperial authorities.
3. The photo contains detailed information on local organized crime. Revealing the information would deal a death-blow to the lawyer’s clients and make him a marked man.
4. The image conceals details on retrieving a valuable treasure (for example, the mother’s will; or a map to a hidden cache of valuables.)
5. The information is to be used to blackmail a local or planetary leader.
6. The hologram contains classified information about regional or planetary military forces. On a throw of 12 exactly, the information pertains to Imperial forces.

4. As 3, but one level worse/better.

5. The lawyer is accompanied by several mob clients and their bodyguards; or (throw 10+) one or more local political leaders, their bodyguards and aides.

6. As 5, but a Zhodani nobles instead of local political leaders.

The referee should determine the flow of subsequent events.

Boxing Day

Patron: Robot Designer and support team
Required Skills: nothing special
Required Equipment: starship with four middle passage slots and 10 tons of cargo
Location: Industrial world

Players’ Information:
The PC’s are contacted by Jasin Fairchild, a robot engineer for a local company. He is seeking to charter a starship to travel to a robot competition at the nearest rich world or industrial world. He and his team of four technicians are registered to participate in the Industrial Games Olympiad, a competition where different companies display their technical savvy, usually in front of rich patrons with a lot of disposable income. Jasin works for Cyberrogues Ltd., a small company trying to break into the big leagues. Jasin needs to bring aboard his fighterbot, a five-ton bipedal automaton that honestly looks like a piece of junk with an oversized maul that is painted a gaudy shade of reddish-orange from head to toe. Jasin will pay for the trip for his team of four and their cargo space up front half now and half when they return. Jasin will also pay the starport fees for their ship while they wait on them to finish.

If the PC’s are so inclined, they can find out a lot of information on these games. In the league Jasin is competing, they have a strict set of guidelines for their entries. Each fighterbot must be bipedal, they must weigh no more than five tons, they cannot have projectile weapons and they must be controlled through a VRI (Virtual Reality Interface) connection through a regulated network. The “pilot” of the robot stands on a platform overlooking the arena, surrounded by a small VRI cage that has the robot mirror the pilot’s movements. Many of the robots wield an axe, spiked club, mace, flail, battlehammer or saw. Needless to say, sparks fly and as the robot gladiators beat each other into scrap serious wagering is taking place on the sidelines.

Jasin and his three assistants show up a day later is a deal is struck. The robot is hard-wired into a controller box that is allowing the robot to walk aboard the ship. Jasin will introduce his team as they all scramble to get their tools aboard (about five tons worth of gear) and the initial payment is made.

Junkbot - image from wikimedia  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
Junkbot – image from wikimedia
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Referee’s Information:
Jasin is a competent engineer and he has a good team. His robot pilot is Shawna Johanssen, a very pretty young lady with excellent reflexes and a knack for showmanship. He has a stoic mechanic named “Rube” and an assistant by the name of Gilman Blunt. Gilman navigates the massive paper bureaucracy usually encountered with these games. He also has the ability to negotiate with any patron if they are successful. Gilman also has a lot of skill in gambling so he works the sidelines during the matches trying to milk the crowd of their money. Gilman handles all the money transactions.

Outcomes:
1. The team arrives a week ahead of time and they are able to get their robot up and running well. The robot may look like junk, but it is apparent that it is an excellent design. They will fight six fights and make it to the semi-finals. (roll 2d6: 2-5 they place fourth, 6-8 they place third, 9-10 they place second and 11-12 they win the championship). Gilman racks up a bundle of cash through his gambling. No matter how they place they do attract the attention of the patrons there and they land a nice contract for a new line of robots to be produced.

2. The team arrives a week ahead of time and they are able to get their robot up and running well. The robot may look like junk, but it is apparent that it is an excellent design. After their fifth fight the team returns early for their sixth fight only to find that their robot has been sabotaged. Despite all their best efforts, they are unable to answer the fighter’s bell and they are forced to forfeit. Gilman does manage to turn a tidy profit and Jasin vows to return in four years.

3. The team arrives a month ahead of time and they are able to test their robot from one end to the other. The robot looks like junk, but it is apparent that it is an excellent design. Before the first fight, a potential patron likes what he sees with this design. He actively supports the team through their fights all the way to the semi-finals. (Final outcome is the same as #1). At the end of their final match, the patron hires that team to return to his estate and the PC’s are released after being paid the money they were promised by Jasin.

4. The team arrives a week ahead of time and it is apparent that this robot is held together by duct tape and super glue. The robot manages to struggle through two matches but is so damaged that it cannot make the final call for the third match. The engineering team tucks their tail between their legs and they return to their homes a little wiser and a lot poorer. They do manage to pay the PC’s the money as promised.

5. The team arrives a week ahead of time and it is apparent the robot really is a piece of junk. The engineering crew loses the first match horribly. When it comes time to return the remains of the robot to the ship, the crew is nowhere to be found. Therefore the PC’s are stuck with some used tools (5 tons worth) and a 5 ton formerly walking robot. Needless to say there will be no return trip.

6. The team arrives a week ahead of time and it seems they have a good design. After the first fight the judges rule that the robot has illegal hardware and software. Therefore they will forfeit their win as well as their robot. Jasin completely loses his temper and he ends up in jail for the night. The next day Jasin and his team return to the ship to fly home in disgrace.

All your base are belong to us