Hepplewhite Crash as a whole module

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 22, 2013 - 10:21am
As the hook to start an adventure or as Act 2 or 3 in an adventure? As the hook that starts an adventure is simple and straight forward but there is no reason the crash investigation cant happen i was the middle parts. However, since we know its coming perhaps springing it at the start is best and building a mystery to be unravelled.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 22, 2013 - 10:22am
Of course that beggs the question of what is the mystery of the Heppmewhite crash?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
July 22, 2013 - 1:27pm
If you're going to place it the Zebulon system, it could be an outfit that works for the Star Devil.

(I always liked all the extra information on the Star Devil that was in one of the Dragon magazines. Made for a pretty decent pirate organization. but that could start a-whole-nother thread to itself.)
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 22, 2013 - 2:04pm
Rum Rogue wrote:
If you're going to place it the Zebulon system, it could be an outfit that works for the Star Devil.

(I always liked all the extra information on the Star Devil that was in one of the Dragon magazines. Made for a pretty decent pirate organization. but that could start a-whole-nother thread to itself.)


I didn't think of a star devil angle as I was thinking of that being a resolved issue but it should be on the table- good call.

Also on the careful read through there are clues that the ship had a bomb in its cargo hold so that is one answer to what is the secret but its obviously not the whole story.

1.) Star Devil angle
2.) Hentz Fo1 angle

One basic question to what is the mystery of the Hepplewhite is were the crew good guys, bad guys or neutral guys in this story?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 22, 2013 - 2:18pm
Clues to bombing:
1.) Flight deck voice recording of "There's has been an explosion! Dierba is dead. I'm sealing off the engine compartment. Has anyone seen Rinny?"

2.) Cargo hold area (letter H) simply states that character with demolitions skill will find evidence of bombing

3.) two cargo hold doors are blown off.

Edit: Why bomb this ship? to destroy something on it or someone on it? Or could the ship itself be the reason?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 22, 2013 - 8:02pm
stumped for ideas of what to do for an adventure so its time to look over:
http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/plots.htm

1. blackmail - could mesh well with the bombing of the ship

2. something stolen- perhaps it was stolen and put on the ship (so why bomb the ship?) or it was on the ship and stolen from it and the ship was bombed to cover that up. PCs are simply detailed by local authorities concerned over the overdue ship but about a day after the PCs discover the ship an out of system team shows up to investigate perhaps a corporate team sent from MerCo or GTF.

3. "Elementary, my dear Watson?" the bombing is strictly a crime to unravel by investigation.

4. Escort Service- the yaz youth Rinny is the valuable thing- he's a telepath and the crew of the ship were taking him as far away from Hentz as possible because the inquisitors of the Fo1 want him for their secret police in an effort to actually police thoughts - or that is the plan. the dead human pilot was a member of the cadre that helps mentalists the yazirians were simply related to the youth or just cared enough try to save him.

5. Pandora's box-  the ships crew has tampered with things that one ought not the bombing was about preventing bad things from happening but... bad things are going to happen unless the PCs do something.

6. prisoner or other bad person was on the ship and blew it up to cover up his existence/escape or fake his death.

7. The hepplewhite has been some place and brought something back, for the sake of discussion lets call it the zenomorph from aliens. now its loose since the crash.

Any of these ideas could work but doubling up two of them could give you a lot of milage for the adventure. i like number 4
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 23, 2013 - 9:43am
building off of thoughts in the business profile thread perhaps the bombing was about the fact that Transtravel wants to buy out Hepplewhite Inc.

White and a yaz from clan Hepple, who are two veterans from SW1, have built a moderately successful shipping business in a niche in the business operating small fast ships. A member of White's family wants to sell out to TT but white and the yazirians dont want to. The bombing is about eliminating the no votes and inheriting the company and selling out to TT.

Rinny of course has survived and inherits the yazirian shares of the company, which means that his life is still in danger.

mix in one of the other plot lines and we perhaps have an adventure seed

EDIT but why would the owners of the company be flying a ship themselves? dont they have people to fly their ships for them? The company is big enough to warrent uniforms so yes they do have people. clearly the mission of this flight was important enough somehow to cause the top owners of the company to be on board.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
July 23, 2013 - 11:41am
jedion357 wrote:
building off of thoughts in the business profile thread perhaps the bombing was about the fact that Transtravel wants to buy out Hepplewhite Inc.

Nice idea.
jedion357 wrote:
Rinny of course has survived and inherits the yazirian shares of the company, which means that his life is still in danger.

This was an idea I was thinking of for another stage. Rinny needs an escort home. Doesnt trust anyone but the pc's. Authorities secure permision from relatives to bring him home.
jedion357 wrote:
EDIT but why would the owners of the company be flying a ship themselves? dont they have people to fly their ships for them? The company is big enough to warrent uniforms so yes they do have people. clearly the mission of this flight was important enough somehow to cause the top owners of the company to be on board.

I had an idea of Hepple being a company that could be a consortium of individual ship owners that came together as a way of fighting the big corperations. Maybe the name came from the first two ship owners or even very minor shipping companies that got together and came up with the idea of combining resources in order break a competition between them and bring in more money. Thus the  name HeppleWhite.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 23, 2013 - 1:22pm
@ Rum rogue: the consortium idea seems at odds- transtravel could just buy out individual ship owners one by one unless the consortium itself holds a contract that it wants to get. I might have to study up on consortiums and how they function.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 24, 2013 - 7:24am
Was just reminded of the play "Shear Madness" about a murder that takes place in a beauty salon. the play runs till intermission and everyone has a motive and oportunity to be the murderers. At intermission the audience in polled (for their vote on who the murderer is) and the cast plays out the climax depending on results of the poll.

The trouble with a mystery module is that one of the players may have read it and they know the outcome. Or if it has a locked in villian and the PCs miss a clue it could be near impossible to solve the crime.

So taking a page from Shear Madness I think something like the Hepplewhite crash, where we already know that the ship was bombed, should have multiple NPCs with motive to do it but that the GM decides who's guilty before or during play to suit his group.

For example:
1. suspect is the human relative of White that wants to sell the company to TransTravel
2. Fo1 special operatives (Inquisitors) who
3. Trans Travel exec
4. Dishonored and outcast yazirian that bears a grudge from members of Hepple clan.

PCs are looking into the crash and bombing and naturally talk to suspect #1 who points to suspect number #3

during their investigation they get a call from Rinny because suspects #2 are attempting to grab him this will be more of a chase and combat encounter though the PCs should get to interrogate the suspects here.

Suspect #4 not sure how to lead the PCs to this guy but perhaps suspect #1 also pointed the finger at him. the encounter with this guy quickly devolves to bar room brawl when the PCs mention Hepple as he will throw a punch. or he could be with amigos in a bar and its suggested to the PCs to go someplace else for their continued health. Now the PCs need to tail and secretly observe the suspect till they can corner him alone or perhaps locate his lodgings and do a little B&E.

after a round of encounters that establish all of the 4 as suspects with motive a round of encounters could go down where the PCs double check the alibis or rule out oportunity.

alternately if the PCs sink their teeth into one NPC as the culprit and single and narrow mindedly pursue that irregardless of any other clues the GM can roll with that since all of the suspects were potentially guilty.

There should be a big reward for finding the culprit that bombed the ship and killed several people.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Karxan's picture
Karxan
August 2, 2013 - 8:53pm
Maybe you could make it a little like Clue. Everyone is guilty but the gm pulls the card for who is guilty for that game. Then everyone can roleplay until they figure out the clues.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 3, 2013 - 4:27am
Karxan wrote:
Maybe you could make it a little like Clue. Everyone is guilty but the gm pulls the card for who is guilty for that game. Then everyone can roleplay until they figure out the clues.


Yeah all the potential suspects have a motive and opportunity to be guilty. But since a crime investigation is not as straight forward as a dungeon crawl allowing some wiggle room for the GM is a good idea.Though what would the reaction of the players be going into a game that they know it doesn't really matter who the criminals are the GM is going to pick one at the appropriate time in game play?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
iggy
August 3, 2013 - 11:35am
This could be played by having the players each draw card that gave the player a position of innocent or murderer.  Thus the player who was guilty could play the part and the other players would not know who it was, only that they didn't do it.  The players would best not play their regular PCs.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 3, 2013 - 4:54pm
iggy wrote:
This could be played by having the players each draw card that gave the player a position of innocent or murderer.  Thus the player who was guilty could play the part and the other players would not know who it was, only that they didn't do it.  The players would best not play their regular PCs.


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

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
August 4, 2013 - 8:37am
My understanding was simple corporate sabotage, with Rhinny as a stowaway "Gee Dad, I didn't want to stay home with the babysitter when you and Mom where in space!" Streel or another Corp placed a bomb in a competitor's ship and now the victim company wants you to find it.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 5, 2014 - 2:22pm
New motive: Hepple and White are a human yazirian pair that have mated and produced an offspring, Rinny (straying into the area of fantasy here). The Fo1 is responsible for bombing the ship as it considers this an abomination against nature and an affront to their theology.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 5, 2014 - 7:18pm
ok I've poured over this all day, unable to make a decision to move forward with what the bombing is.

Hepplewhite Inc. is a small company that started in Pale but didn't survive cut throat competition from the megacorps. It moved to Zebulon where the unique situation of the system being a UPF territory with a governor and the eorna being a soverign people but beholded to outside money and support and with the headquarters for the CFM one jump away which is about small independent outfits Zebulon has become a haven for small independent outfits who have found a niche here. Typically either the UPF governor or the eorna side with the mega corps while the other authority resists them. this situation will shift as to which authority supports mega corps or independents over time.

Hepple and White were veterans of the fighting on Pale during the war with the sathar they got into bed together and founded Hepplewhite Inc, a shipping company. At one time they flew as many as two interstellar craft and 3 system ships but despite the niche they found in Zebulon they are limited to one interstellar craft that they can barely keep flying and one heavy lift shuttle (the one involved in the crash).

Hepplewhite being an independent outfit meets the criteria to join the CFM and their application is about to be approved. Approval was made but word of it had not reached the company yet at the time of the bombing.

Hepple had taken a mate and they had endured the loss of most of a litter, Diebra working as a starship engineer had had potentially too much exposure to radiation and 3 out of 4 pups were still borne, Rinny is the surviving pup of that litter and the reason that she's crewing a chemical engine ship and that they have let the last remaining interstellar craft sit in the shop waiting for repairs.

Since the company has had to cut back family has had to step up and do the work thus Hepple's family and RJ White's niece are involved. RJ's neice is rather unhappy with the loyalty and sentimentality of her uncle toward his old war buddy and she sees the recent string of business decisions as taking the company down and applying to the CFM as a joke. Thus she placed the bomb on the heavy lift shuttle and plans to sell out to Trans Travel which would give them control of the contract with the local government (UPF governor or eorna as the referee is inclined)

However since the approval of the CFM application is GST dated to before the bombing things are now complicated. The CFM aggressively defends the interests of its merchants and it will want to get to the bottom of the bombing and the niece cannot sell out to TT till things settle- she may have great difficulting with that because Rinny survived.

This is the first layer of the onion.

Layer two is that Rinny experienced mutations in the womb and he is a telepath. the niece knows and will inform the Fo1 or has already informed them and they have dispatched Inquisitors from Prengular (attached to the diplomatic offices of Hentz's rep on the Council of Worlds). they will show up during the investigation by the PCs.

The niece will attempt to kill Rinny when she realizes that his survival complicates her inheritance of the company.

Fo1's response to Rinny is to get him back to Hentz for study, a generation of thought police could come in handy for the Fo1. the cadre known as Free Thinkers: http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/4560
could get involved to help or if the Fo1 makes off with Rinny the PCs get a second chance to help him because of this cadre running interference.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 5, 2014 - 7:30pm
Red herrings:

recently dismissed employee that the niece used his credit line to buy TD19 with.

Trans Travel Exec who was leaning on the company, who also worked with mercenaries and could have bombed the ship.

Both will have solid allibis.

repair issue with the engines can be a third false clue.


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

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 15, 2017 - 9:36pm
What if the Hepplewhite crash was a result of the Mechanons shooting it down?

part of the prelude to the Mechanon uprising?  
 
Edit: why would the Mechanons shoot it down? Because of something on board. What's on board? Something that pisses them off. What pisses a mechanon off?

Well the hate life, that is biological life - well some mechanons hate biological life that is. My take on the eorna and mechanon negotions and how the PCs dealing with the mechanon to get them to help fight the sathar at the Battle of Volkos comes to mind. (I think that published in FE 19) would suggest that a megacorp was tinkering with bio-engineered and created a new biological life form- the infamous slime bug found in the Hepplewhite crash. If this is the trigger then corporate subsidiary cut out to protect Streel or PGC or whoever is the culprit, Hepplewhite Shuttle lines is an innocent victim. 

PC's were hired by the insurance adjuster as no one believes the mechanons shit it down and the adjuster is sure Hepplewhite brought it down for the insurance money. 

Just to get even more Byzantine: I seem to remember something canon about Streel dominating banking and insurance. A Streel exec/corporate spy suspects Bio-gen as being a PGC front and dabbling with illegal sathar bio-engineered tech so he/she/it sets wheels in motion to get the right adjuster in the Streel subsidiary compan y assigned to the Hepplewhite case. This adjuster need to PCs to locate the crash and investigate with haste. He is arrogant and automatically assumes the worst in people (including the PCs).

Bio-gen is indeed a cut out front for another megacorp (not Streel). The anti biological faction among the mechanon is ramping up to the Mechanon Revolt. 

And the PCs, like Hepplewhite, are about to be caught in the middle of something very deadly and explosive.

EDIT 2: RE: Byzantine plots and movers behind the scenes plotters and movers. The Hepplewhite crew were set to sell their chem drive ship and buy something interstellar. Enter the adjuster's suspicion that this was an owner's plot to crash ship, collect insurance and move on to bigger and better. A CFM captain was sponsoring Hepplewhite's application for joining the CFM formally in part because he was former crew and in part because Hepplewhite acted as a front for the CFM at the Volkos Star port. So while the CFM is not having a knee jerk reaction to investigate who shot this ship down they are watching developments and might help the PCs indirectly or possibly directly but certainly would prefer to keep their hands clean in the mstter. The CFM is certainly not happy about a former CFM crew and current applicant being shot down and would look for an opportunity to make the point that you don't mess with the CFM.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 16, 2017 - 8:51am
Ooops, CORRECTION: ITS CDC that specializes in insurance. Do the entity behind the illegal bio-engineering could be Streel, PGC, possibly Synthetics Corporation, perhaps GODco, all could have an interest in bio-engineered tech though for some it would be an outside chance that they were involved. 

But a CDC insurance adjuster will be looking for an independent team, that can function in the wilds of Volturnus, get the job done and if there are to many complications then they will also be deniable. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 16, 2017 - 6:34pm
Insurance pay out is 250,000 Cr for a chem drive HS 3 shuttle.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 19, 2017 - 4:30pm
And depending on where you are in your campaign and how it is set up, you don't necessarily need the PCs to be a new CDC team.  If you've been playing on that angle because of (or as I like, in preparation) for Mission to Alcazzar, they may already work for CDC and may just pull this as their next assignment.  Especially if they played the Volturnus modules and thus have previous experience.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 19, 2017 - 8:07pm
TerlObar wrote:
And depending on where you are in your campaign and how it is set up, you don't necessarily need the PCs to be a new CDC team.  If you've been playing on that angle because of (or as I like, in preparation) for Mission to Alcazzar, they may already work for CDC and may just pull this as their next assignment.  Especially if they played the Volturnus modules and thus have previous experience.


quite correct if they are already are CDC this could be their next miision
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!