Expedition to the Tetrarch Ruins on Laco
Comments:

iggy's picture
iggy
February 15, 2011 - 11:25pm
I really like the giant-giant circular door.  How the heck do you open that?  Big mystery inside!  I feel an adventure there.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 17, 2011 - 9:33pm
Just some little facts about Laco:

In AD book: star is Green-Yellow, planet has one moon, 1.4 grav, and no stations, outpost human population.

By the time the ZG book comes out it has a moderate human population with industrial economy and the day is 60 hours long. the moon now has a name: Saucer

The Planetary footnote in ZG tells us that during the SW1 thoughsands fled from Pale and New Pale nto Laco after the sathar attacks. In the after math of the SW1 the people living there looked to mega corps for assistance. Conflicting interest led to Laco's war between Streel and PGC (interestingly both mega corps are headquartered 1 void jump away)

The Timeline (in ZG) says that the sathar attacked and ravaged the system and that Laco's War is a decade long, latter in the section on corporate wars we're told that Laco's war involved 10s of thousands of casualties and sever star ships destroyed in space.

In the Polygon article, "Encounters" by David Cook we learn that Laco, "is a dry wind swept planet...Extremely inhospitable... swept by great dust storms during long dry days. The Minimal amount of animal life on Laco lives around the edges of small shallow seas that dot the planet. Poor in resources, the only feature of interest is a huge deserted alien city built long past by a race known as the Tetrarchs.

We also learn in the Polygon article that PGC has an Artifact Research and Development Team

I would further speculate that since PGC seems to have won Laco's War, the pyramids that appear in the Corporate logo/name in ZG is a reference to their archaeological work on Laco with the Tetrarch ruins.

So these are the known facts.
Inhospitable planet with a dangerous environment, refugees and colonist hanging on here, possible sathar relics on planet or floating in system, mysterious ancient alien city, heavy hitting corporate players and looming corporate war, and at least one pirate outpost on the planet (see polygon article but then a dessolate outpost world would attract pirates).

Laco is primed for adventure.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 17, 2011 - 10:01pm
Corporate Conflict on Laco

PGC and Streel have overlapping interest in finance and agriculture but with a dessolate wind swept planet that does not support agriculture what is their competing interest?

the tetrarch ruins have to loom large in that consideration.

In reading the ZG notes on these mega corps it seems that PGC is better placed to develop Laco and investigate the ruins. However, Streel may feel caught between the CFM (in the Rim) and PGC (headquartered at Port Loren) and have decided to make a play for control of Laco's world and the ruins there. The notes on Streel in KHs says that it aggressively seeks to eliminate competition.

I wonder if other mega corps should be mixed in for the openning phases of Laco's War?
CDC is specifically noted for being involved in archaeological digs, mining, & risky operations

Merco and Galactic Taskforce are obvious, being allies of PGC and Streel and their employment of mercenaries.

This would give you 5 corporate players, then count in Star Law and the UPF and a home grown political movement to organize the planet and get it a seat on the Council of Worlds and you have multiple groups in play (plus the obligatory pirates) and maybe a team of scientist from Zebulon U.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
iggy
February 17, 2011 - 11:12pm
A tip of the hat on the research there.  You have compiled quite the set of references and tied them together nicely.  I think I would like to visit Laco now.  Seems quite interesting.  I bet the corps provide a lot of grant money to universities to seek out the hidden relics.  Then there are a lot of free lancers that want to find something and get it reported for a fee to the highest bidder.  This is a wind swept desert relic Yukon.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2011 - 5:35pm
GAzeteer

no doubt the CFM pays nicely for artifacts and relics and many a marginalized citizen turns to ruins raiding for the quick buck.

it will likely have a huge black/gray market for relics and antiquities much like Egypt does, plus shops set up to create forgeries

Places to see
Pan Gal City- robotics factories, warehouses, offices, and The Institute of Archaeology; PGC headquarters on Laco

Numerous battle sites, Battle of the Ruins- where the RG had their first victory; and numerous battle sites from the corporate war

Tetrarch Ruins

Ruins of Base Headrow- abandoned Streel compound (more of a ghost town)

Innarra Sea Nature Preserve- a private nature preserve- owned by Star Play through a subsidary; offeres live game hunts.

Devil's Basin- long time urban legend has it as a pirate base, today there is a rough community of scum and villiany and a broad plain suitable for landing space craft.


EDIT: I just wipped up a planetary brief, need help with some astrographic info but will put together a write up for the zine. Also Laco has lots of opportunity for adventure during all different periods
SW1, Laco's War, latter on when PGC is still trying to run the planet over the objections of the colonist.

EDIT #2
Point Glass- significant town with the only non PGC controll Star Port. Star Port is used loosely in this case as the landing field is little more than packed dirt and mooring blocks. Services to support star ship operations are rudimentary and expensive. PGC denys use of its star port to all non company traffic. Significant market for artifact theives but most are fakes.

Davo Bay- Quiet town havests salt and mineral deposites surrounding the bay. PGC has after Laco's War PGC has begun buying up property and laying claim to unclaimed land around Davo's Bay leading to friction with local colonist.

Mo's Easy- started as a bar in the middle of no where and now a small settlement. Oft called a wretched hive of scum and villany. hand full of mooring blocks for landed shuttles out in the dust plain beyond the canyon bluffs. Notorious blackmarket and suspected of being used by pirates. Significant market for artifact theives but most are fakes.

Namoth Canyon- a mini-grand canyon and the lowest dry spot on the surface of Laco. famed for the Fire Fountain. a flaming geyser of hot liquid that ignites upon contact with air.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Arclight's picture
Arclight
February 18, 2011 - 5:50am
A whole host of Ideas can spring up from this - AI machines unlike anything ever seen, psionic-based computers, libraries of wonderous data, new technologies (faster space engines, anti-grav, power generation, etc).

Along with roadblocks - how to gain entrance, decoding the language to read the data, reverse engineering the technologies, unknown threats that surface, effects of the AI tech on society, ect...

The mind boggles.....
"If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -A Einstein

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 18, 2011 - 8:03pm
Could use a little help here- I've written a planetary brief on Laco using the one on Volturnus as a template but the Volturnus brief has datum that is not in the canon material.

Diameter: (I forget which factors impact this but he gav is 1.4 and the day is 60 hours)

Median Temperature: (obviously should run hot 65 to 70 C)

Atmosphere: (its chemical composition)
I was tempted to play with an atmosphere that required a breathing apparatus but dust storms and high heat ought to make the environment difficult enough. plan to write up some consequences for being caught in a sand storm.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 18, 2011 - 9:25pm
Arclight wrote:
A whole host of Ideas can spring up from this - AI machines unlike anything ever seen, psionic-based computers, libraries of wonderous data, new technologies (faster space engines, anti-grav, power generation, etc).

Along with roadblocks - how to gain entrance, decoding the language to read the data, reverse engineering the technologies, unknown threats that surface, effects of the AI tech on society, ect...

The mind boggles.....


I agree with you that these are all possibilities but on the other hand most of what you mentioned would have dramatic consequences for the setting and/or the PCs. The problem, IMO, with using them is to use them and still leave the setting unchange. (Unless you want the consequences of extrapolating all the changes). It can be tough to include such magical stuff and then write into the story its destruction and loss to prevent it from being used- that has become a cliche.

Raiders of the Lost Ark has that iconic scene where the government crates up the Ark of the Covenant and buries it in a warehouse. PC (Indiana Jones) gets to interact with a legendary artifact but in the end its effectively taken and buried.

The Volturnus modules insert the PCs into a cataclysmic battle at the end of the 3rd module and yet in the end being the heros of that battle and 2 credits will buy them a cup of coffee. There situation is left un changed.

So the question is how to introduce cutting edge tech but eliminate it by the end of the adventure without ticking off the players?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 19, 2011 - 7:15am
After doing some web searches on atmospheres I'm really "feeling" a thin breathable atmosphere for Laco
which will lead to scaldingly high temps during the day and bitter freezes during the night

dust storms are still in play and dangerous but the temperature becomes a significant survival factor

need to discuss the impact of asteroids on a thin atmosphere (pun intended)
thinner atmospheres are less likely to burn up asteroids so if the Dixon Star system is anything like Sol system there will be millions of meteorites falling on the planet. I'm thinking to not have an asteroid belt and stipulate that meteors are not a common occurance. They're still an occurance but not so much to be a continual problem. Plus the wrecks of star ships left over from Laco's War could also provide "meteors"
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 19, 2011 - 3:56pm
Diameter is just a function of the mass, density and gravity of the planet.  Given an gravity of 1.4g (which I'm taking to be 14 m/s/s) and assuming a slightly higher density of the planet than for earth (more mass = more compression = higher density, I used 6.201 g/cm^3 instead of earth's 5.515 g/cm^3) you end up with a diameter of 16,154 km (compared to earth's 12,756 km).  So it's a bigger planet.

Rotation period is completely arbitrary so just go with what it says and describe it properly.  It has no relation to any of the other physical properties of the planet although will have some effect on climate and temp.

The only main issue I have with a thin atmosphere is that since the planet has stronger gravity, if the composition is anything like the earth's, it's actually going to hold on to more atmosphere than the earth as the gas molecules will have a harder time escaping from the planet's gravity into space.  A higher temperature will help as that gives the molecules more velocity to escape with.  I'd have to dig out the relevant thermodynamics and gas dynamics equations to exactly work it out.

However, don't let that stop you.  I think if I think about it some more, I could come up with an probable mechanism.  I think the issue is just one of balance.  Everything I can think of either goes one way or the other (either heavier like earth or much thinner closer to Mars, or over the top thick more like Venus).  I'm sure there is a middle ground so come up with whatever works for you.  There are more comments on this in your Atmosphere thread.
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iggy's picture
iggy
February 19, 2011 - 5:55pm
Atmosphere also depends on the relevant gasses being available to be retained by the gravity of the planet.  If they were not there to begin with or in little supply then a breathable atmosphere could be absent or minimally breathable as desired.  So we bind up the oxygen in rocks and compounds that don't easily release their oxygen.  Maybe even use substances that easily bond with free oxygen so that the atmosphere is captured into the planet rather than lost to space.  We need a chemist or geologist to chime in here.
-iggy

Deryn_Rys's picture
Deryn_Rys
February 19, 2011 - 6:07pm
What about sub-surface deposits of atmosphere. Perhaps beneath the surface of the planet are hundreds of thousands of caverns and caves which hold most of the planet's atmosphere sealed away, and the tetriarch monoliths were in reality massive drilling machines that were originally supposed to pearce the crust of the planet releasing this trapped atmosphere like in Total Recall.

Or dare I envoke the Hollow earth theory.....
"Hey guys I wonder what this does"-Famous last words
"Hey guys, I think it's friendly." -Famous last words
"You go on ahead, I'll catch up." -Famous last words
"Did you here that?" -Famous last words

Arclight's picture
Arclight
February 21, 2011 - 4:25pm
jedion357 wrote:
I agree with you that these are all possibilities but on the other hand most of what you mentioned would have dramatic consequences for the setting and/or the PCs. The problem, IMO, with using them is to use them and still leave the setting unchange. (Unless you want the consequences of extrapolating all the changes). It can be tough to include such magical stuff and then write into the story its destruction and loss to prevent it from being used- that has become a cliche.
Well, that alone would be the plot device - obtain something wonderous, then, try to keep it. Plus, it would take a rather long time to both find out what it does, and how to reporduce it.
Quote:
Raiders of the Lost Ark has that iconic scene where the government crates up the Ark of the Covenant and buries it in a warehouse. PC (Indiana Jones) gets to interact with a legendary artifact but in the end its effectively taken and buried.
be cool to find that wharehouse, eh? <grin>

Quote:
The Volturnus modules insert the PCs into a cataclysmic battle at the end of the 3rd module and yet in the end being the heros of that battle and 2 credits will buy them a cup of coffee. There situation is left un changed.

So the question is how to introduce cutting edge tech but eliminate it by the end of the adventure without ticking off the players?
That goes both ways - either to eliminate it, or, leave it. From there, it springs different paths of adventure - What does it do? Is it a gimmick? Who do we find to figure it out? How do we protect it? etc, etc, etc.

I'm of the mind, if you found (currently) some revolutionary method of power generaton, far more efficient than what's currently available (plus cheaper, reliable, portable, etc), what/whom would approach/hound you to obtain it? Same thing here - find a new form of technology/process, what/where do you go/do?

Best games I've played were that 'free form' and enjoyable. Thanks for the reply.
"If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -A Einstein

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 22, 2011 - 7:18am
@ Arclight- I hear you on the best games you've played being free form- so often my head is geared toward writing for the fanzine which means that I have certain assumptions in place- assumptions about the audience and their expectations; all of which gears me to think in terms of maintaining the canon setting
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Arclight's picture
Arclight
February 22, 2011 - 5:40pm
Believe me, I do see your side.
"If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -A Einstein

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 22, 2011 - 10:14pm
I know that I haven't really reread and weighed out the details on the atmosphere but I've been brain storming archaeology adventures and how to work in the discovery angle:

1. Players discover a tablet/ dias / artifact with characters on it however the language is undecipherable
in reality it was a sundial. If they relate the number of characters to the length of day they may discover the numerical system of the alien race. Doesn't sound exciting but this sort of discovery drives archeaologist crazy and makes them famous. It could lead to unravelling their math (in the case of the tetrarchs I'd make it a base 4 system in stead of base 10) The only problem that I see with my "encounter" is why would an alien have hours that are the same as GST? Unless the artifact has another clue that tells that its a sun dial and the players are forced to take the planet's day and divide it by the number of characters to discover the length of an hour to these aliens.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2011 - 5:36pm
Environmental Brief: Laco's World

Seas: Shallow small and typically ground zero for native life on Laco. Often choked with algae like plant growth near shore and eel like fish in the depths. A few in low lying depressions have concentrated large quantities of salts and minerals long ago killing of all life and are generally surrounded by salt deposits and salt flats.

Plains: dusty, barren, only sparse clumps of short grass mats with deep roots running 1os of meteres deep to tap the auqifer. dust storms and dust devils common occurances.

River carved canyons: (think grand canyon on slightly smaller scale but 2 dozen such mini grand canyons the world over). River carved canyons, evidence of a more lush environment in eons past, have left numerous giant canyon complexes the world over. Many are dry, devoid of the water courses the formally carved them, some are dotted with small lakes and ponds that can nolonger drain out to sea and a few have active streams still running down their length. These canyons are typically riddled with caves and cavern complexes radiating out from the main canyon. Some are prone to have to have slot canyons instead of caves radiating away from the main canyon course and water is more often located in these caves and slot canyons making them niches for wildlife. Caves and slot canyons can offer protection from dust storms depending on conditions. The canyons typically experience less severe dust storms and only infrequent dust devils.

Hill regions- offers greater opportunity to deep rooted mat grass to colonize hollows and depressions. some protection from severe weather effects

Zoology: fish are typically eel like, limited avain life, dominate terrestrial animal forms- mammal like with a hide with short thin hair thought most appear hairless from the distance. unique features of Laco Zoology is that most are blind with highly developed tremor or sonic capabilities and possiblie the controversial psychic capabilities.

Lacosian Eel Fish
Type: tiny herbavore fish (10-15cm); Number: 5-50; Move: Fast (80m); IM/RS: +7/65; Stamina: 1-10; Attack: -; Damage: -; Specail Defense/Attack: Poison barb (S3/T5) + 1 STA.
The Laconian Eel Fish has poor eye sight but excellent hearing. It feeds on algae in shallow waters. Upon detecting the presence of possible predators the eel fish will burrow into the muddy bottom leaving its poison barb exposed. Unshod individuals walking in the water will step on an eel fish barb based on the number of fish present: 5% for 5 fish or 50% for 50 fish. The barb is painfull and does 1 STA damage and the poison sets in immediately. The eel fish is otherwise harmless and good eating.

Lacosian Anaconda Eel
Type: medium carnivore fish (1-3m); Number: 1-5; Move: Medium (60m); IM/RS: +6/55; Stamina: 60-120; Attack: 50; Damage: 1-10; Specail Defense: naturally camoflaged lurker 60% concealment (counts additional +20% concealment vs terrestrial animals walking in shallow water) Special Attack: on a successful bite makes an opposed RS check each turn to grapple (wrap the target in coils and constrict). Each turn the victim fails to break free (STR check versus 65) constriction causes 1d10 STA damage.
The Laconian Anaconda Eel looks like a larger version of the eel fish but without the barb. Its diet consists largely of eel fish but it will attack small to medium sized creatures approaching the shore.

Lacosian Devil Eel
Type: large carnivore (2-5m); Number: 1; Move: Medium (60m); IM/RS: +6/55; Stamina: 100-150; Attack: 60; Damage: 5d10; Special Attack: Poison (S stun/T5).
The Laconina Devil Eel looks like a larger version of the anaconda eel but with 3 fins surrounding the head that ruffle out as they attack. Its believed that the devil eel will be extinct within a few decades due to habitat loss and hunting. On a successful attack the devil eel injects the victim with its poison which is a powerful neural toxin causing the victim to STA check each turn to resist being stunned. Once a victim has succombed to the stun effect it will attack another traget till all opponents have succumbed to the stun poison, then it will feed on them.

Lacosian Dust Snake
Type: tiny onmivore (15-25cm); Number: 1-10; Move: Very Fast (110m); IM/RS: +8/75; Stamina: 1-10; Attack: 30; Damage: 1d10; Specail Defense: Burrow (see below) Special Attack: Poison bite (S5/T3).
Native to most environments on Laco, the dust snake typically pack hunts using its tremor sense to localize prey and burrow up and attack. A victim must pass a RS check to successfully attack the dust snake before it burrows back underground to attack 1-5 turns latter.

Lacosian Flash Lizard
Type: small herbavore (30cm); Number: 5-50; Move: Fast (80m); IM/RS: +7/65; Stamina: 10; Attack: -; Damage: -.
A harmless herbavore and the bottum of the food chain that is not really a lizard. The greatest threat it poses is to ground cars as it darts onto the road to become road kill and cause handling check for drivers.

More to come (at least 2 more terrestrial animals and 1-2 avians
this little gem will be the Apex predator:
http://hasslefreeminiatures.co.uk/pack.php?pack=1949

EDIT: going to tweak the rules for dustorms from SF-0 module for Laco and invent some for whirlwind/dust devils probably using the grenade bounce tables to sim random movement of the dust devil.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2011 - 5:16pm
Lacosian Hound
Type: medium carnivore (2m); Number: 2-20; Move: Medium (60m); IM/RS: +6/60; Stamina: 75; Attack: 75; Damage: 3d10; Special Attack: Sonic Bark (Damage: 1d10 sonic + stun 1 round, Range PB 5/S 10m, sonic screen nullifies).
Lacosian Hounds are pack hunters with a gray motled hide, They employ a massed sonic attack before moving to melee. If severely wounded they will use the sonic attack and attempt to flee.

The Lacosian Mawe
Type: large carnivore (2-5m); Number: 1-3; Move: Medium (60m); IM/RS: +6/55; Stamina: 100-150; Attack: 60; Damage: 5d10; Special Defense: Stealth 50%, Special Attack: Poison (S stun/T5).
Blind but extremely sensitive tremor sense and possibly psychic sense (controversial and disputed). The mawe have no orfactory or optical organs but show acute sensitivity to their surroundings and unerring ability to locate prey- they are never fooled by holo screens or sonic screens. Luckly they are not numerous but they are the apex predator of Laco.
see file footage below:
http://hasslefreeminiatures.co.uk/pack.php?pack=1949

Flute Flutters
Type: tiny omnivore avians(10-15cm); Number: 10-100; Move: Flying-Fast (90m) Crawling or Climbing Slow (25m); IM/RS: +7/70; Stamina: 1-10; Attack: -; Damage: -;
There are about 60 species of Flute Flutters on Laco that differ largely in coloration and beak structure. They have four bat like wings with clawed fingers at the wing knuckle and no legs. In flight they appear to be a mass of flapping wings. When predators are in the vicinity they emmit shrill fluting cries and fly away as a defense mechanism. They are otherwise harmless but a popular domesticated pet. The colonist of Laco use them as an early warning alarm against the more dangerous of Laco's predators. Easily tamed, some have their wings clipped while some are trained to return to the owner. They typically cling on the owner's shoulder and back. They will detect predators before their owners, though the fluting cry is sure to give the owner's location away. They also detect coming sand storms like an 1st level environmentalist (for details see the sand storms).

Distinctive species of Flute Flutter:
Black Lector Flute Flutterer: Black coloring with white markings streaking the neck and chest. Detects sand storms 100% of the time. Costs 500cr due to rarity.
Flute Hawk Flutterer: Patchy brown coloring (natural camoflage: concealment 40%) and aggressively swarms predators making an sonic attack. Attack 35; Damage 2 pts sonic. Can be trained to attack opponents engaged in melee with its owner but trained Hawk Flutes cost more. Cost 200cr/ trained:350cr. 
Mute Red Sparrow Flute Flutterer: This species is a bred variety. Some have escaped to the wild but have not faired well in the wild. Bred to not deafen their owners they emit a light chirp instead of the typical flutting cry. They have no sense of impeding sand storms but will not give away their owner's position when they detect a predator. They are also quite dull witted. Cost: 125 cr.

If these flutterer is taken off planet the owner must take care to ensure proper diet. They can consume seed and insects not native to Laco but many such food sources on other planets can make a flute flutter quite ill or kill it. Referee determines chances of these food items affecting a flute flutter. Player characters would do well to buy supplies of seed and dried insects Cost 10-25cr/ Kg with the typical animal requiring 1-2kg/month. A PC can also take precautions by having an environmentalist scan new plants and insects for compatibility or by keeping the flute flutter caged while on other planets. Cages typically cost 5-10 cr.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2011 - 4:46pm
Weather Effects
Note: much of this post is straight out of SF-0 Crash on Volturnus

Water
In the harsh Lacosian environment characters need 4 liters of water per day to survive. Characters can reduce this requirement by 1 liter by taking 4 salt pills per 60 hour Lacosian day and another 1 liter by only being active at night.

Characters on foot can move their maximum rate but must double their water intake (after taking into account any precautions taken to reduce water consumption). Thus a character moving at maximum speed during daylight without taking salt pills would need 8 liters of water a day to survive. If, however, the character werre taking four salt pills per day he could survive on 6 liters of water. Finally, a character moving at maximum at night while taking 4 salt pills could survive on 4 liters of water per day.

Characters who do not have enough water to survive quickly become dehydrated suffering -5 to all abilities. Dehydrated characters who continue not getting enough water become heat exhausted -10 to all abilities inaddition to the penalty for dehydration. Heat exhausted characters who continue to not get enough water will suffer heat stroke -15 to all abilities in addition to the former penalties and unconsciousness occurs if stamina drops to 0. Even if a heat stroked character does not become unconscious it will happen soon without medical help followed by death.

Dust Storms
In a typical dust storm the wind can blow 120 kph. Any character with an environmental skill should make an Intuition check; modify this roll by +10 per level above one; -15 if in a canyon, and +10 for most species of domesticated Fluter Fluter being present. If any character makes a successful INT check, the party will be able to improvise shelter and survive the storm without taking damage.

If the characters happen to be in a hex with an unusual  rock formations, canyons or caves the characters can find shelter quickly and avoid taking damage from the storm.

If the characters have no advance warning and are not in one of the hexes listed above, they will take damage from the storm. Have each character roll a Reaction Speed check. If the check is unsuccessful the character takes 4d10 damage from the storm. If successful, the character only takes 2d10 damage.

Dust Devils/Whirlwinds
When these occur the referee should place a counter on the map and roll for the whirl wind's strength, duration, and speed: S is 2d10, duration is 3d10, and speed is 5-10m. The dust devil will move in random directions (use the center grenade bounce table to determine) every turn. If it comes within one square or hex of a character, at anytime during its movement, it will do the damage rolled by the referee but the character gets a RS check for half damage. If it enters the square or hex of a character, at anytime during its movement, it will do the double the damage rolled by the referee but the character gets a RS check for half damage. When the duration is reached in turns the dust devil disappears suddenly.

The local colonist speak of dust devils that have a mind of their own or frequently turning up during combat. Some even talk of them being posessed and an independent scientist alleged that they are more frequent in proximity to the Tetrarch ruins. PGC adamently denies this. It's hard to say what is the truth concerning dust devils on Laco as hard data is sadly lacking.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2011 - 5:04pm
Mysteries on Laco

Besides the vast enigma of the tetrarch ruins their are other mysteries on Laco

1. The atmosphere: it has been estimated that the amont of mat grass, algae and other sea weeds are insufficeint to maintain oxygen levels on Laco. No explanation exident for the consistent oxygen levels despite the ammount of CO2 produce by colonist, native wildlife, and PGC's industrial centers.

2. Frequency of Dust Devils: whirl wind atmospheric effects are much more prevelent near archaeological sites. No explanation exident.

3. Magnet field fluctuations: The magnetic field fluctuates wildly and frequently with magnetic north and south reversing often. A typcial saying on Laco is, "If you dont like witch way your compass needle is pointing just wait a few hours. No explanation exident. Before and after Laco's War PGC maintained global positioning & communication satellites to aid with land navigation. No explanation exident for the field fluctuations.

4. The alledged psychic abilities of a few Lacosian animals is a hotly debated topic. No explanation exident.

5. Persistent rumors of lost sathar stockpiles.

6. Persistent rumors of dead people being seen and empty graves being found. No explanation exident.

Wonders of Laco

1. the ruins

2. the fire fountain of Namoth Canyon

3. artifacts of the Tetrarchs.

4. Psychic animals?

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2011 - 11:11pm
State of this project: it now has

A Planetary brief, Environmental Survey , notes on weather, Zoological survey, History, Gazeteer, Details on the mysteries and wonders of the Planet Laco, a list of 10 Layover encounters on Laco, details on the progression of Laco's War, and finally I've begun a new topic called "Progression of Archaeological Discovery on Laco.

Basically the layover encounters, details on the progression of the corporate war and archaeological discovery are designed to help a GM with running a game.

Need to produce a planetary map but I have some artwork lined up so its looking good.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Procene's picture
Procene
March 8, 2011 - 1:38pm

Hey Jedion--sorry for so late a post, but I really enjoyed your work.  But there is a system brief for Laco/Dixon's Star in Star Frontiersman #12, I do believe.  It has a planetary map, but certainly not as much detail as you've come up with here.

One other Lacosian reference: I recall that in Dramune Run, Garlus Tylapper is described as having a face that is as craggy as the Laconian desert, or words to that effect. 


 


Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
March 8, 2011 - 2:24pm
Dramune Run, Digitally Remastered wrote:
The little man has no hair on his head. It seems to have slid off his gleaming skull and landed in a heap on his face, forming a mangled scruff of a beard. His face is as wrinkled and scarred as the Laconian Desert, and his voice rasps like dry reeds. He looks around, deliberately, eyes flickering with intelligence.

Your correct, Shadow submitted this for #12. But that does not mean we can't have another look at it. Ya know?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 8, 2011 - 9:16pm
true we can take another look at a system brief- everyone focuses on different things with these

My approach is influenced my my experiences of going to college at 2 different times in my life; at age 18 when I got a 0.0 GPA after 2 semesters and in my late 20s when I paid my own way without student loans and got a 3.1 GPA- I tend to search out all possible references and try to harmonize and organize the information available while writing a research paper or in this case just a planetary brief. However this one was more fun in that I took what the "canon" material had asked myself a lot of questions about it and creatively developed it. Actually there is quite a bit more material in that brief but you'll have to read it in the SFman.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
March 9, 2011 - 7:08am
Somone pointed out we should have a template for system brief's - I'm not opposed to that but I don't want ppl to think they need everything in the template. After it's submitted we can add fluff or whatever.

Now... where is that template? :-/

Procene's picture
Procene
March 10, 2011 - 10:41am
Your correct, Shadow submitted this for #12. But that does not mean we can't have another look at it. Ya know?

true we can take another look at a system brief- everyone focuses on different things with these


Absolutely!  Great work with the research and organizing.  You've made Laco a really interesting place to adventure in.  What you're describing reminds me a little of the planet in the movie Pitch Black, albeit with out three suns! 

Thanks for all your work, and I look forward to the Frontiersman article!

SMKSensei's picture
SMKSensei
March 10, 2011 - 7:35pm
...all this talk about "System Briefs." I'd much prefer boxers.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 13, 2011 - 2:45pm
I was driving when I realized that one bit of canon I overlooked for this planetary brief/ article:

Tote that Barge, Dragon 107

Except when I checked, it said that Laco imports 95% industrial products from Gran Quivera which was ok before Zebs as its listing in AD said Outpost with no economic listing.

Zebs came along and said Moderate pop with industry, its yet another example of a Zebs inconsistency

before consulting tote that barge, I specified PGC having set up some automated factories for churning out goods as a reflection of what Zebs specified.

So heres the justification: before SW1 Laco was an outpost with no decernable economy and very few ships even slowed down for a layover. This is when 95% industrial goods were imported.

After refugees poured into Dixon's Star from Truane's Star and the sathar landing on Laco it became necessary to commense ground operations to deal with the worms- PGC, in the roll that it played supplying the rapidly organizing Land Fleet decided to bring in a robotic factory after the initial defeat of the sathar on Laco at Battle of the Ruins.

The reason for bringing in the robotics factory was that all void capable ships were being commandeered for the war effort, principly focused on mopping up the worms on Pale, and bringing the factory to Laco simplified the logistics chain- making Laco a forward supply depot 1 void jump from Truane's STar. It also supplied munitions for the continued but minor mopping up on Laco.

After the war PGC decided to leave the factory in place especially because it "inherited" the infrastructure that was built to support the military operations. PGC retooled the factory and expanded its operations. The decision to expand its presence on Laco was also fueled in no small part by the Tetrarch ruins. During this time PGC exported finished goods first to Pale during its rebuilding (95%) but as Pale got its economy back up and running (Industry and Resource), PGC's operation on Laco lost its economic viability. Still the manufacturing continued despite the need to import resource for industry. All of the import and export was a cover for the artifacts that PGC would smuggle out to secret labs- PGC had the charter to investigate the Tetrarch ruins partly assigned to it for its seemingly altruistic efforts to support the war against the worms. PGC got to investigate the ruins but had to share its discoveries with everyone- It much prefered to pretend that it had made a new discovery on its own and patent it which meant making the occassional working artifact disappear.

As Streel became a rising economic power its CEO, Hilo Headrow, knew that PGC had to be losing money on its Laco operation and suspected why, He initiated a campaign of suppying leads to reporters about artifact smuggling and began to insinuate Streel into the Laco community, feigning altruism for the still suffering population. This would lead to the collision between PGC and Streel known as Laco's war.

During Laco's War the PGC manufacturing plant was destroyed and PGC chose to not rebuild after the war. Today Laco is a sleepy outpost planet with no official exports (the unofficial export is of course alien artifacts)
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 21, 2011 - 8:11pm
Note to self: Devils Canyon or Mo's Easy could be locations for a repo adventure.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Arclight's picture
Arclight
July 22, 2011 - 3:03pm
Not to mention the seemingly desolate Oasis, that, has an interestng hook (entrance portal, covered ruin, ect). Hey, it was good for the pulps....
"If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -A Einstein