Mercury Rising

jedion357's picture
September 8, 2020 - 10:24am
Was just looking at artwork of a rocky mountains with a star that fills the sky much like the Sun and a ship in the distance (from the mountains) streaking across the sun. 

Reminded me of ideas about a planet close to a star and tidally locked to show only one face to the star. This means one side is how and the other is cool because there is no atmosphere to retain heat. There is an outpost here which resembles Moon Base Alpha. 

There are mechanized hard suits for when a living being must get close to the terminator between day and night on this planet. 

Ships plot a careful course using the shadow of the planet to block solar radiation as they come in to land. 

Make it a corporate mining outpost.

series of short adventures in no particular order

Adventure A
one where a ship with atomic drives hyper ignites and forced to land a little too close to hot zone. Only hard suits and crawler vehicle can operate there. There are survivors who are huddles on the coolest side of the ship but one is a wanted man, in fact the PCs were here to pick him up on a warrant but the corporate admin has been giving them the run around and allowed the wanted man to board this ship. 

Adventure B
Mercenaries show up in a ship to collect the wanted man.

Adventure C 
Takes place during A & B and involves learning clues from NPCs that the coporation in the person of this admin is doing something unethical or illegal. Either its a page from TOS star trek episode "The Devil in the Dark" where the miners were destroying the baby horta eggs and the mother horta struck back or maybe is slave labor force? or there is a secret sathar artifact deep in the mines and the admin is now a sathar agent in thrall to the tube sathar brain that is in the artifact. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
September 8, 2020 - 10:25am
Potential Epilog: even thought the corporation doesn't approve of the actions of the exec running the outpost it is still unhappy with the PCS exposing this dirty secret to the galaxy. 

Or they except a bribe from the corporation to stay quiet but then like many secrets nothing stays quiet forever and a star law agent comes asking question of the PCs about the very thing they were bribed to stay quiet about. The powers that be at the corporation take note of star law questioning the PCs and worry such that they send a hunter killer robot after them. 

If its the corporation is bribing the PCs maybe its a huge bribe and they have to do a little bit of damage control- bring a nuke, plant it next to the artifact, Activate the 6 hour delay. Lets hope its a 6 hour delay on that nuke and the the corporation didn't double cross the PCs with a 6 sec delay. This is of course going on while the out post is being evacuated. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
September 8, 2020 - 11:00am

PCs are tasked with serving a fugitive from justice warrent for wanted criminal- they are not star law but working for a Rent-a-Constables or RaC. which employs lots of enforcers to go out and repo ships as well as grab fugitives who have skipped on bail or evictions etc. 

This fugititive has bribed the exec running working name "Mercury station" or blackmailed and the exec will give the PCs a run around about delivering him to their custody. Mean while he boards a ship which suffers a hyper ignite emergency and lands a little too close to the hot zone such that only the hardened assets of the station: hard suites and crawlers can approach the ship and no one on the ship can leave without risking their life. PCs need to figure out that the fugitive is on the ship and effect his rescue and hopefully everyone else on the ship. 

Afterwards they are delayed till the next HS freighter comes in to pick up cargo and passengers but a sleek looking mercenary model shows up with mercs looking to collect the fugitive for the reward or because they are friends with him.

PCs need to evade the greater number of mercs and pick them off if they can. Meanwhile the fugitive is telling them stuff like how the miners are all slave bots and the exec is a sathar agent. and the mercs are saying things like just give him to us and we'll let you live. There is a possibility they give up the fugitive through negotiation although that means they dont get paid. 

They may discover clues about the sathar connection at mercury station on their own. forexample in evading the mercs the PCs might enter the sathar artifact and encounter cybo-slugs which spit fire (picks up the mercury rising theme), quickdeath, slave bots and a tubed sathar brain. Information about this could bring a reward from Star Law. 

After the fugitive/mercs situation is resolved the corporation will approach the PCs about the situation at mercury station. They have also learned that the exec is a sathar agent and they dont want to be embarassed by this so they'd like to purchase the PCs silence as well has have them do a little clean up at Mercury station. They need to return to Mercury station, terminate the exec, evacuate the remaining personnel and plant a nuke in the mines. 

Don't worry the nuke is on a 6 hour delay which leaves them plenty of time to get off planet. 
it will be more fun for the corporation to try to double cross the PCs and have the nuke set for 6 seconds or 6 minutes. especially if the PCs have a demolitions expert. 

If the PCs realize that they're being double crossed they the company can send in a fighter to strafe the landing pad at Mercury station critically damaging the last ship that can take off from the station effectively stranding the PCs until a company privateer class space ship can be summoned with a nuclear tipped torpedo. 

If PCs are stranded they can try to salvage the ship that hyper ignited. its actually far enough from Mercury STation that a nuke wont bother it. 

My rational on this is that federanium, mentioned in Zebs guide is a miracle metal used in ships hulls, and hardened hard suites as well as hardened crawlers. to block radiation and heat. Thus the ship that hyper ignited hull shrugged off the harsh conditions although its laser battery or rocket battery have become inoperable, if repiars were effected to the atomic drives and they were refueled then this ship could be used to escape. An insurance adjuster could be already at Mercury station trying to assess the posibility of the ship being recovered- that could put the idea in the players heads to try to take that ship.

Then there is the issue of the corporation trying to kill them and what the PCs wish to do about it. What evidence do they wish to try to bring back to star law?  if any. 

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

jedion357's picture
September 8, 2020 - 11:13am
Somebody in the command center a com person or whatever can be an NPC ally that helps feed the PCs info like that a corporate privateer has entered the system and ordered all the ships near the planet to leave immediately that the privateer will take care of the "terrorist situation" at mercury station.
This com tech can access company records and show the PCs the stats for the privateer and what should stand out is that the ship is armed with the nuclear tipped torpedo. While it is illegal with the Council of Worlds, the UPF and space fleet to bomb inhabited planets from orbit how would anyone know that is what happened if there are no witnesses? 

However if the PCs perserve scans of this happening plus evidence of sathar activity at Mercury station and get it to star law then they could get a reward. The company could be punished. ie the PC effectively get even with the company. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!