Idol Fancy (by arbitrary remora and dead scout seven)
Now I have a lot to think about. In the beginning of October I will announce the winner. Until then, please comment, like and share. Tell us which entry you like the most and why! Both here and on other sites.
On Zdovesil (Anika 1212 A65588A-9) the characters are contacted by Eiliviatstlas, a high-ranking subsector Noble and Official. She has 1 ton of Government Dispatches to be delivered to Retlkasrnz (Mowbrey 1712 D8AA87A-7) which is administered from Anika subsector. She will pay the characters 10 kCr to personally see the cargo in the hands of the Consulate Governor. If the characters do not have access to a Jump-2 ship she will second a Scout and an Intendant pilot from the Consulate Navy. She will not state the nature of the documents, but will say they are routine but time sensitive communications.
Once at Retlkasrnz with a completed mission, Eiliviatstlas wonders if she could then request a small favour… and such favours from Zhodani nobility are not to be declined lightly. She displays a unique abstract stone sculpture to the characters. She obtained it from a trader who claimed it was sculpted by a primitive, non-human minor race living in on New Keento (Mowbrey 1813 C879758-9). Eiliviatstlas is a noted and shrewd art collector when not working hard as an administrator. She is convinced that the esthetic qualities of these pieces would fetch excellent value within the Consulate art markets. She requests the characters make a quick jump over to New Keento and investigate this and secure samples or possibly a trade agreement.
While she cannot use the public purse to finance this small mission, she will draw up a contract that will give the characters each a small piece of the action when and if the sculptures are obtained and marketed. She supplies the characters with 1500 Cr to buy trade goods to barter with the TL-1 sophonts.
The voyage to Retlkasrnz itself is routine. There is no difficulty in delivering the documentation. At New Keento the group is greeted by the young Zhodani Ambassador who will insist on accompanying the group, supplying a watercraft for the voyage. The New Keentonians are obsequious to the Zhodani, but insist on several permits be bought for travel to the reservation and allowing the players an effective Law Level of 5. Permits # 1D6, 500 Cr each. Admin skill allows a negative DM to a minimum of 1.
1. The sophonts live in a far off archipelago. They indeed produce the sculptures, using their teeth and claws as carving tools. They are quite pleased to create more in exchange for foodstuffs, tools and fabrics. The players must work to earn the trust of the sophonts and construct a logistical chain. Upon delivery and the establishment of a trade agreement each character will receive 1000 Cr (+20%-120% fluctuation) each year as a share in the market. Throw 10+ each year for the market to dry up and payments cease.
2. As 1, however there is also a group of traders from the Avalar Consulate on world, investigating the same sculptures. While erstwhile clients of the Zhodani, the Avalari are competitive and are motivated to corner the market. They are not hostile, but will engage in questionable practices and are not above monkey-wrenching and other sharp practices. Remember, some Avalari are psionic.
3. As 1, however a very large amphibian predator has migrated into a prized quarry. Usually the sophonts would conduct the appropriate rituals and wait for it to leave. If the off-worlders wish more sculptures, they request the Zhodani deal with the monstrosity more directly. The Zhodani Ambassador will insist on being part of any action against the creature.
4. The sophonts are not popular on New Keento, being neither native or human. They are restricted to this archipelago as a reservation and treated harshly if found elsewhere. Furthermore they are often harassed by sea-born piracy raids. Such as raid will take place while the characters are meeting with them. Raiders will approach on Motor Boats (Book 3) and are equipped spottily with blades, cudgels and a few firearms. While there will be many (3D at least) they are not expecting a fight from their placid victims.
5.The sculptures are actually a psionic focus. Upon investigation by a talented clairvoyant, it will be found the sculpture reduces psionic range cost when conducting clairvoyance or clairaudience (-1 psionic cost). Does Eiliviatstlas know this? Are the sophonts psionic?
6. As 5, there is a team of Imperial Scouts in silent orbit (their ship matches the PC’s in tonnage) taking interest in the players actions on New Keento. They have a Covert Talent as a crew member. They may become convinced the Zhodani has uncovered a new ‘psionic super-weapon’ and will stage a raid to obtain or destroy the sculptures.
Ellie Hurley is head of the Hurley Family Mining Company (HFMC). The HFMC owns a string of asteroids in the asteroid belt.
Ellie and Jake started the mining company 40 years ago eventually bringing the entire family to help (24 in all now). Ellie is looking for a ship to transport her family off the asteroid belt (might take a few trips). Ellie talks about the ghosts haunting her family’s mining facility.
Rumor has it that the asteroid belt was once home to ruthless pirates and that a merchant’s freetrader was destroyed somewhere near the HFMC’s mine site.
Referee’s Information: Ellie can be met in several ways…
She piloted the one-man ore hauler to the local trading post.
Starport is discussing Ellie looking for transport but worried that the real issue is pirates.
PCs get a distress signal and track Ellie to the HFMC facility.
Ellie’s son is obviously frightened but pushes the PCs to investigate.
At the end if any culprits are caught the obligatory “And we would have gotten away with it, if not for those pesky kids!”
1. Ellie and Jake loves their family but after 40 years of mining, they want to retire. Problem is that mining is the only life the family has ever known and the rest of the family is depending on HFMC for their livelihood. Any discussions in the past about selling their claim has met disagreement.
The HFMC does well but does not make enough to buy Ellie and Jake out of their shares, thus they don’t have much of a retirement fund to travel. They know that a rival mining company, Drake’s Mining is willing to pay a generous price to buy HFMC’s facilities and mining rights.
While Ellie is trying to find transport, Jake has reconfigured the security cameras to project the ghostly images. He has also programmed the environmental controls to create random, localized cold spots where people might see the ghostly apparitions. Using the micro gravity system, Jake can make things appear to float. Communication systems can be used to make noises to scare (or lead) PCs and NPC. The door controls can be used to separate the party if wanted.
Ellie and Jake are good people who feel trapped by their family and circumstance. They will never do anything to harm anyone
PCs can solve this mystery by gaining clues with skills like Computer, Investigate…etc.
2. Drake Mining has been trying to get their hands on the HFMC claim for years. They have discovered a rare mineral runs through the asteroid belt and indications point to a rich deposit in the HFMC zone of control.
Ronald Drake will do anything to get his hands on this claim. He and crew decided to “haunt” the Hurley family out of their family business. They have considered just killing the Hurleys but are concerned that will raise too many questions. They are willing to resort to violence.
Ronald Drake visits the Hurley’s facility often to try to convince them to sell, and seems scared of the “Hauntings.” Ronald is in love with Janine Hurley.
The haunting is carried out in a similar fashion to “1” except the team uses drones and their own devices.
Violence can be avoided by confronting Ronald with evidence of his involvement. Alternately, Janine Hurley can appeal to his romantic side. Ronald might call off the attack if Janine is injured/killed or he may get psychotic.
3. A gas pocket mercuric oxide from inside the asteroid has been breached and the gas is being pumped throughout the facility and environmental suits. Janine had been watching a ghost movie and she started “seeing” ghosts. When she told the rest of the family, Jason told the story about the pirates destroying the freetrader and then others started “seeing” ghosts too. No one can agree exactly on what the ghosts look like but the more they discuss the sightings are becoming similar.
If the PCs spend two+ hours they will “see” ghosts. This is a great time to RP ghosts in the PCs back story.
Gas can be detected by scientific means but is not obvious. Detailed medical tests might detect it in the system.
4. The minors are actually seeing an alternate universe. In this other universe there is a space station in this area that has had a ship explode in close proximity. The electromagnetic waves are causing the two universes to cross. This is a temporary phenomenon and will subside in a few weeks.
PC will notice the stations crew going about their normal work. The uniforms from the alternate universe is nothing the PCs have ever seen. PCs can detect these EM waves and note that they are lessening. It may be possible to jury-rig a communication signal to communicate between the universes. There can be some interesting discussions here with skilled makers possibly learning a new prototype for equipment.
5. The HFMC are really seeing ghosts. The freetrader “Bradley’s Hope” has been drifting in the asteroid field for 50 years with all hands lost. The “Hope’s” crew jury-rigged a bomb to drop from the cargo bay to deter the pirates that were chasing them. The bomb scared off the pirates but also damaged the Hope’s engines and life support systems.
The crew of the Hope will rest easy if their ship is found and their story is known. This would be a great way for the Referee to upgrade the PCs ship or to give them a large windfall of money from the cargo. Money should be divided with the HFMC in some fashion.
6. The HFMC has unknowingly found a new life form! The new asteroid the family has been mining was the home of an energy sophont that lives deep inside rock. They feed off iron and have been munching happily in the asteroid belt for a long time. At the Referee’s discretion, the sophonts can be sentient or simply animals working on instincts.
The PCs are hired based on their professional qualifications to do an extensive overhaul of a derelict starship. The ship was recovered by a salvage operation and sold at auction. There are no legal irregularities with the sale, the patron is legit. There is a great deal of repair work to be done; the hull is basically sound but many internal systems will have to be rebuilt or replaced. The patron offers Cr 10,000 to each member of the party (referee can offer bonuses of Cr 1000 per skill level above 3) plus a Cr 20,000 bonus to be paid if the ship can pass an Imperial safety inspection within one month. The patron issues the PC’s leader a line of credit with parts suppliers, but will be closely monitoring same for waste and fraud. The PCs can hire human or robotic labor assistants, but they must do the majority of the work themselves.
The referee will have a lot of time-keeping to do with this adventure. Projects have to be recorded for time taken and costs incurred. Assign as many projects as it will take to fill up 30 days.
Each project should have a repair difficulty, time and price, and a replacement difficulty, time and price. Replacement should be less difficult, but more costly. Repairs should be harder but cheaper. Failure on the repair/replacement roll means that the project has to be done again, with the same cost in time and money.
Evaluation of a project to determine whether to repair or replace should take at least six hours.
The clock is ticking, and the PCs will have to sleep sometime. Cutting sleep time to keep working will eventually introduce negative DMs for fatigue. Figure sleep time at [18-END hours per 24 hr cycle)
Each week (or each day) the referee should roll 10+ for a structural fault in the current work area that could collapse or otherwise cause an accident.
Referee must determine the flow of events, but accident damage should not be severe enough to cause fatalities.
The patron will come by for inspection visits from time to time, and will almost always have questions about how much it is all costing.
If the PCs are successful in their overall project, they will be approached by other patrons, seeking to hire them as ship crew, salvage operators or shipyard supervisors. The referee must determine the flow of subsequent events.
1. The Imperial inspector has a change in his availability, suddenly changing the PC’s deadline. It is now several days sooner than originally indicated.
2. A replacement component is unavailable, forcing the PCs to custom build that component to complete the project. Raise the difficulty number and make it take longer.
3. The patron asks for a structural or location change within the ship, forcing the PCs to undo completed work and do it again elsewhere. The PCs can engage the patron in a contest of persuasion to get him to abandon the idea.
4. Specific tools are required in multiple places at once, forcing a negative DM on all parties, or the halting of some projects until others are completed, or the purchase of new tools.
5. Robotic or human labor assistants have reliability or competency issues. A human assistant lied about his technical education and is faking his work. Roll 9+ (DM for INT, skill) to detect the shoddy work or that project has to be restarted.
6. Much to the PC’s surprise, one of the projects needed only to be cleaned, oiled and one wire reattached. This project takes only one hour and costs nothing.
Marquesa Juliana St. James, is known for her beauty and charity work throughout Foreven. She has championed the rights for victims of incurable disease who are shunned by society, and campaigned for legislation addressing the rights of minority beings on predominantly human worlds. She has used her beauty and nobility as carte blanche to forward a number of industries to expand the family fortune, and pay for her personal endeavors. She is well-known, easily recognizable by virtue of the fact that her face is on many ads for many products, as well as public service announcements, political ads, and holo-vid shows (she has starred in a few holo-vid dramas, as well as successfully dabbled in popular music, again using her proceeds to further her causes). She is loved and revered by those she champions and her fan base, but is hated by those who object to her forward thinking and avid anti-crime stance. As of late, she has gone missing. The story of her disappearance pervades all news shows, and there are daily updates. Some of her fans have even organized search groups, from the serious who have pooled money to hire private detectives, to the not so serious who casually put out the word that she is missing when the media has already flooded the sector networks and channels with the story.
The adventurers have just come off of a long hard job on their current location of Dengvin (a lush agro world hacked up into estates of various sizes by wealthy families and nobles who reside as gentlemen farmers). The adventurers are loading their ship on a private Type-E landing pad with spare parts and food fresh from the private farms and ranches run by the locals. The last job the adventurers were on took them to the asteroid fields of Torinsk to track a smuggling cartel which had its origins here on Dengvin. The affair ended in a large fire fight and talking with local security forces as local Baron Gave Hadoc was taken into custody. Hadoc had purchased his nobility through ill-gotten funds by smuggling stolen goods. He is now in the local jail where he awaits trial and sentencing.
As the adventurers replenish the ship they hear shots fired. A young woman in rags and cloak comes staggering from behind some crates calling for help in a weak voice. She staggers towards the adventurers. She claims to be Marquesa Juliana Saint James, and states that she is running for her life, having recently escaped a lockup from Hadoc’s estate, the very man the adventurers helped jail.
She says that Hadoc’s men are pursuing her, and that she needs to get off world and back home to her private estates on Tepenke, or, anyway in the Avalar Consulate. She is bruised, dirty and has grease on her face from hiding in the freight and repair center, and her clothes barely cover her body. She promises a handsome reward if she is brought back to Avalar space.
In the meantime, there are a half-dozen lightly armed men coming in the players direction. The crates are blocking their view, and they do not see the young woman.
Roll 1d6 and consult the table.
1. She is not Marquesa Juliana St. James, but is the daughter of a wealthy CEO. If returned her father will be notified, and the adventurers will be compensated for food, fuel, and other expenses, along with a bonus of 50,000 Cr. But the path will not be easy as Ludoc’s men will pursue, occasionally firing shots, but will break off pursuit once inside Avalar space.
2. She is Marquesa Juliana St. James’ double, Mary Larson, and is being pursued by Hadoc’s men who think she is the real thing. Once the adventurers get to Avalar space the pursuit will heat up. If Mary is wounded she will make it a point of sacrificing herself. Once she dies the pursuers will then leave. The adventurers will then be approached by the real Marquesa Juliana St. James who will thank them and offer them a megacredit each for their troubles.
3. As per result 2, but the Marquesa’s personal huscarles, 30 heavily armed troopers will come in and kill or drive off the attackers. If the encounter is in space, then the Marquesa’s ship will outclass the pursuer’s, with a possible boarding action. The double will be saved, and the adventurer’s awarded a megacredit each, plus compensation for fuel and repairs.
4. The young woman is a synthetic duplicate of Marquesa Juliana St. James. She will pass all medical scans, but in reality she is an artificial construct. She can take damage and shrug it off. Once the adventurers are confronted with the pursuers, she will take a weapon to help fight them off.
5. She is in fact Marquesa Juliana St. James, and has been held by Baron Hadoc for discovering his operations. She managed to escape with the help of her double, and begs for assistance. She explains that she recently gave a tip that helped the Avalar government tip-off the independent worlds to crack down on Baron Hadoc’s smuggling ring, and needs to get back to her family in Avalar space.
6. She is too disheveled to properly identify, and has no identity chip, papers or other verification. If the players take her on they will need to hide her. Hadoc’s men will be relentless, and keep a tail on the players as they make their way to Avalar space.
Patron: Entertainer Required Skills: none Required Equipment: none, but see below No of Players: 2-6
The crew is approached by a representative for a small acting company,
the Starlight Repertory Assembly, with an offer to hire them as
escorts for the troupe on a tour of several performance venues in the
subsector. The actors will need several bodyguards, roadies and
general techies. The troupe will pay each participating PC Cr 3000 per
venue, payable at the end of the tour. If the group has a starship,
then the company will negotiate a charter instead. In that case, they
will need staterooms for six main actors and three understudies, and
space for 12 tons of cargo, which includes all their gear, props,
wardrobes, and a portable stage.
Select up to six worlds in the subsector for the group to visit. They
should all be within the starship’s highest Jump number, and can all
be backwaters. On each world, the company will perform Twylaiwasyo
Eorl, an Anglic version of an epic Aslan drama.
1. The show is a smashing success, and the actors will be able to pay
the adventurers as promised. In addition, they will engage the PCs’
services for another tour.
2. The play is only a moderate success, plagued by wildly varied
audience attendance and publicity results. The company might be able
to pay the PCs as promised regardless. The heroes will receive
2D – 2 x 10% of their promised pay.
3. The play is a dismal failure, panned by critics, and shunned by
audiences. Throw Reaction for any audiences after the first, with a DM
of -3 (word spreads fast, even across the subsector), and implement
the result. The heroes will only receive 1D – 3 x 10% of their promised
4. At a performance on one world, a family of Aslan takes offense at
how “their” story is presented and the lead male challenges the actors
to a duel of honor. The heroes may choose a champion to fight on the
actors’ behalf, but the duel will occur. Any others who “dishonor” the
event by getting involved, will find the other Aslan (2D, 60% female)
getting involved as well.
5. A bitter rival of one of the production’s stars sets about to
destroy it by sabotaging equipment, planting paid hecklers in the
audience, and inducing reviewers to slam the show. While his
subordinates are easily stopped and his deeds exposed, he covers his
tracks well and it is very hard to prove his involvement.
6. As 5, except the efforts include harming the actors and PCs and