Snow Planet

Karxan's picture
February 26, 2012 - 12:56am
I am working on an adventure on a planet that is predominately snow bound planet. There is a mix of arctic/antarctic style encounters, mega-corp intrigue, and of course our favorite sathar. I am including the rough draft of my ideas.

Frozen World:


CDC has a research station on a frozen world:

CDC has lost contact with the research station. Due to the threat of corporate espionage with Streel going on and no legal claim yet to the planet, they would like to hire a mercenary team to go in and find out what is going on. Not wanting to go into open corporate war with Streel. 


Once on the planet it is discovered that the station has been ransacked. The environmental controls are off-line, power is fluctuating, and food stores are in shambles. Any robots from the facility are broken or running amok.  There are no bodies anywhere to be found at first. Survival will be a key factor. Tech skills to get things running and survival skills will be of good use.  Investigating will also be important.


 A Vimh body will be found somewhere in the facility in a hidden location. The Vimh will be barely alive. He was a stowaway on the ship that brought the team here and has been hiding in the facility living off of the researchers. One of the researchers found out about him but never reported him and they became friends. He says, some beings came out of the snow and attacked the facility. Security was overwhelmed quickly and everyone was killed. An explosion near the vents where he was hiding knocked him out. When he awoke he saw creatures (snow creatures) hauling the dead out into the snow for food. He managed to hide in the vents again but the environmental controls malfunctioning made it hard for him to heal. The Vimh will die before the PC’s can get him off planet to their ship.


Computers are wiped of information as to what the research station was working on.

                -The security computer will show a log for the explorer leaving to investigate a strange radio transmission to the north.


Security camera footage can be found if worked on. PC’s will see the force consists of humanoid figures in cold weather gear with clear Streel marking on the gear. There will be obvious evidence lying around pointing to Streel as the perpetrators. In fact it will have been a PGC team that hit the base making it looks as though Streel did it.


Cameras show them heading off in a westerly direction.  A landing site will be found in that direction implying they have already left. There will be little physical evidence as there is a snow storm going on. No other ships seemed to be in system either.


The PC’s will have instructions to investigate the facility and do any repairs they have the skill set to do. They are to follow-up on any immediate leads.

A corporate security/repair follow-up team will be sent right away.

 Info from the Vimh:

There were creatures that would prowl the parameter fence. They would not attack the fence nor would they attack any of the bases vehicles when they went out.


He saw one of the researchers using a hidden radio, but never overheard what she was saying.


The geologist in charge was very excited about some mineral that they had found.


The biologists had found a plant that was edible and was very resistant to cold weather. There was talk about starting a farm for research.


The 1 security personnel and a scientist had gone out in the base’s explorer right before the attack and have not been seen since.


Snow Creatures, some type of pack creature that feeds on the dead and are opportunistic. They dragged the bodies off to the north. They have been around the base but would not approach due to the activity there. If they are followed, to try and recover the bodies, the bodies will be in different states of consumption. Nothing will decay due to the cold. Maybe some items on the bodies that did not get eaten. Something on one of the bodies indicates a Sathar spy.

                -The Sathar spy’s body has a Sathar communication device on it.

-One of the scientists has a chip on the body that is a copy of the research from the station.


If the players explore outside the base they will find the base’s explorer about 5km north of the base. Both personnel will be in it dead. The bodies will still be in the cab because the Snow creatures could not get to them. They were shot with lasers through the windshield.


Almost Constant Snow Storms

 PGC Base: 

The PGC base was hidden and they found a rare mineral and are trying to figure out a way to get the rights to the planet out from under CDC. PGC had a base hidden to the west of the CDC base and brought in a team to hit them and blame Streel who has nothing going on out here to throw off the search for their base. They want to blame Streel and be able to claim rights to the planet while CDC and Streel go after each other in the courts. The PGC knows about the PC’s ship in orbit. When discovered by the PC’s, the PGC base will be active with security because they have seen the Sathar Frigate on their sensors.


The PGC strike team will still be on planet when the PC’s ship arrives. The strike team ship will be on the opposite side of the planet. They can try and take the base or wait for their reinforcements


After the Sathar attack, a small group of survivors will have escaped into the wilderness. If the PC’s have hidden or escaped the Sathar, they will encounter this group somewhere in the wilderness.   

 The Sathar:

The Sathar have a listening post(SFMan#5, pg25)  already on planet. It was established prior to either the CDC base or the PGC base. They had a spy infiltrate the CDC base to keep an eye out on what was being researched.  They know about the PGC base also but have not had a chance to send in an infiltrator.


A Sathar scout frigate will come into the system about the same time the PC’s discover the PGC base.


The Sathar ship will take out the PC’s ship and the PGC ship.  


The Sathar will also attack both bases. They are here trying to find out why there spy was killed before they received her report as to what was going on down on the planet.


The Sathar ship will be gone when their reinforcements get there. The Sathar are planning on coming back with a larger task force to take the planet. But they will leave a small security force with their listening post.


 So the PC’s can wait it out. They will be stranded on the planet until their backup arrives. More survival tasks will need to be accomplished. But the prize of taking a Sathar listening post for study will be very high.


There are plants that survive in near to sub-zero temperatures. CDC wants to find out how this frozen planet’s ecology works so they can manufacture a way to protect crops on agricultural world from succumbing to freezes. They are also seeing if there are other properties in the animal life that are used for survival that could be exploited. 


PGC has discovered some rare minerals.


jedion357's picture
February 26, 2012 - 10:30am
First off as I read the post I thought that the use of the vimh was going to be a good piece of misdirection (aka red herring) when he said that snow creatures dragged the bodies off to eat them as I assumed that the strike team actually dragged the bodies off and that the vimh in his limited experience and from his point of view assumed that the stike team, who quite possibly were using snow camo and or holo screens, wanted to eat the bodies as that would be something he would consider doing. And I remember thinking that using a vimh who will provide information but not neccessarily too much or spoon feed them or perhaps might get details a little wrong because of his view point was a very good idea.

But then it turned out that the snow creature angle was not a red herring but actually accurate. Still good stuff. I do encourage you to build in at least one red herring into the vimh's testimony.

Secondly on the vimh, stating that he will die to take him out of the equation, while I understand the move from a GM stand point, I caution against having a situation of, "You just cant save him." Allow the players to freeze field him stating that the only hope for his survival is that measure and that he will need to be revived at a hospital latter. The freeze fielding skill roll can still fail but the players wont feel like they are being rail roaded on that point. Also it will allow for a GM that wants to include a vimh tag along in his campaign to write this one in.

Snow creatures- no problem. However one should ask the question of why did they drag off the bodies? Because the out post makes them nervous? Because they have an instinct to store food in a larder? I like the larder idea.

So I'm guessing you should consider what would they would consider a secure larder? ravine, crevase, snow cave, etc. For me I would allow the PCs to track the bodies and do some investigation then have the pack show up having detected their presence and being territorial they will fight aggressively to defend their larder.

So As proposed Encounter one is investigation and Role play for info from the vimh.
Encounter 2 is more investigation and could possibly be punctuated with combat with pack creatures.
I would suggest that the a little action is called for before the two investigative encounters. Perhaps a mild encounter with the snow creatures where they are not defending territory and are merely curious about the smell of the fresh meat to arrive. They will quickly retreat when one or two are injured but the simple fact is that players like rolling dice and a little of "Roll for initiative!" early on is good for a game. this will give you a partial reveal on the snow creatures and then a latter full reveal on them at the larder.

I have to think through the rest of the adventure more and may comment on it latter. I particularly like the corporate intrigue side and I like that its a PGC team trying to set up Streel bonus exp for anyone not buying the streel angle early on.

As for the ever lovable sathar:
I was going to draw your attention to this thread:
but I see that you've posted there and must be aware of the sathar snow monsters worked on there.

Wild idea just popped into my head- a friggate is generally HS5 and HS5 can land on planets- and what would the sathar care about trashing the environment by landing with atomic engines? Hah! They love the smell of radiation in the morning.
One possible interesting turn of events could be the PCs get to storm the sathar ship (Makes one wonder what the yeild would be from a blast from a self destruct of a class A atomic engine be?).
This could be fun. Its possible to have survivors fairly close to a 1-5 kiloton nuke relatively speaking; give your players something to brag about back at the creature cantina, "Have you ever been within x # of kilometers of a nuclear blast? No? Then shut up."

Secondly I think you have enough material for possibly two distinct modules here- first one the PCs dont realize the sathar are here (or not until the end- give a nice cliff hanger ending and end the session when they see the sathar ship landing or some similar event). Second module would be about the PCs dealing with the sathar.

Also since there are ships present and the shoot at each other then you should have a KHs encounter even though the PCs are not on the ships at the time they still play them. The KHs encounter is basically a cut scene- a little bit of a narrator telling the audience, "Meanwhile back at the ranch..." Except you save this KHs encounter till after the players know that the sathar have arrived even if it happened earlier. You just have to wt the sathar side with overpowering fire power to ensure the outcome or include a ground or moon based defense system that can step in by GM fiat if the friggate fails to take them out on its own. [did some one mention rail road earlier? In this case the Pcs aren't on those ships so a little rail road is ok as the cut scene idea is to impart knowledge to the audience and in this case the audience is the player not the PC].

I would not be in favor of the PCs captureing the sathar frigate and flying around the frontier with it. A compensation prize could be a PGC run-about in a secret ice hanger somewhere- I only mention that because some players can really whine and decide to leave the group if they dont get their pirate ship. I would set up opportunities for the PCs to wreck the ship by triggering an avalanche that rumbles down into the valley and damages the ship. have the debarked sathar troops and attack monsters return once the pcs have penetrated the ship - "Does anyone know how to read sathar? We need to get this dorsal laser battery into opperation or we'll be overrun in minutes!"

Final bit of critique: I hope "Snow Planet" is a WIP title. Have you considered naming the planet Hades? get a little play off of "when hell freezes over" which is apt since their is a biological discovery to be made of a natural anti-freeze that is in the plant and works its way into the animals via the food chain. In other words, even though its cold, life on hades doesn't really freeze over.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
February 26, 2012 - 1:06pm
jedion wrote:
I would not be in favor of the PCs captureing the sathar frigate and flying around the frontier with it.

In the adventure give two or more ways to handle situations like this. Referee's like options, just keep them short. For instance, "If you allow the PC's to capture the sathar frigate and keep it, here are some repercussions: blah and blah." 

More of a sandbox approach. 

jedion357's picture
February 26, 2012 - 2:21pm
w00t wrote:
Listen rust bucket this here is Frontieropoly and you just landed on my Sathar Railroad so pay up, 200 credits.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Karxan's picture
February 26, 2012 - 8:36pm
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the feedback.