Forget everything you already know about Volturnus

jedion357's picture
June 22, 2012 - 4:41pm
Ok forget what you already know about Volturnus and....

Start with the premise that you have to write an adventure and the adventure seed is a survey expedition has gone missing an the government has tapped the PCs to go see why contact has been lost. Logical question is why didn't the government send a military expedition? police action is in progress on neighboring planet, New Pale.

Player Motivations and secrets:
For fun one character can be attached military, one character can be Streel inside man or perhaps hes known to be Streel and PGC has the inside man but that is probably best left to individual GMs. PGC inside man has had a secret briefing on the pirates illegally claim jumping and selling the minerals to PGC through a front corporation. He has instructions to gather intel on the pirates as PGC is considering bumping them off and replacing them with a merc outfit but if the Pale government is going to find out about the pirate operation then he is to radio back so that PGC can "sanitize" its connection to the pirates. This character must have the ability to operate a subspace radio and even fix one.

Streel company man is there to gather intel and obtain detailled scans of geological deposites, fudging scans that others see by smuggling back clean scans for Streel to make its initial claims where it can capitolize on the best deposites. This character must have some computer or other skill to play with the teams scanners.

Triad Institute of Technology team member- scientist/ explorer type. looking to see a brave new world, write a paper, get is institution in on the ground floor of a new world studying it. Perhaps he knows something the other don't and has a secret himself. The institute has found a 900 year old artifact of a space faring race (the eorna) and are very hot to find the point of origin. One candidate for point of origin is Zebulon/Volturnus. Loaning a scientist to the Pale government was a way of getting an institute's man on the ground.

Pale Military man- All blood and guts and ready to kick ass and not worry about the names. or is he an intel type? Does he have a "Secret mission in uncharted space"?

No Pirate inside man- (unless he's a NPC) a pirate inside man is too likely to totally sink the party when they come up against the other pirates. Personally i could play this character and play him as having a troubled conscience and trying to redeem himself. the "rubicon" for this character is actively shooting other pirates.

Set UP:
We have to ask ourself, "How would I set this adventure up fresh without any baggage from the modules.
One the team would arrive with their drop buildings (the pirate outpost where the PCs obtain the jetcopter in SF-1) and would land them and begin exploring and such- some quick wilderness encounters.

While the team is out doing scans and looking for the missing team they would pick up some radio chatter and think maybe its the missiong team but but listening in they here, "Goldtooth? you set? The Red Devil is launching in 5 to hit the Serrena Dawn. We hit and envelope their base camp at the same time."

"Dammit! Why are you encrypting? They could be listening. We go now. The balloon goes up now! NOW! NOW!"

Within twenty minutes the Serrena Dawn will be shot out of orbit by 2-3 small pirate vessels and the base camp/ drop building will be over run by 50 pirates. The PCs, safely away from Base camp witness the wreckage of the Serrena Dawn burning up on re-entry as well as debris that appears to be escape pods or life boats because they make powered course corrections while descending (unpowered debris will of course not do that).

Thus begins the Crash on Volturnus in earnest. PCs have their vehicle and personal equipment and they overhear another unencrypted exchange about starting the search for the PCs. Goldtooth threatens to strangle the idiot transmitting on an unencrypted channel. and then nothing else. In short order they spot jetcopters on the horizon. the only cover available is the bachanda forest.

Plowing through the blade grass will tear up the tires and the explorer will blow one about the time they reach the forests edge. The copters come in guns blazing and shoot the crap out of the explorer Blade grass and then the thorns under the bachanda trees will tear up and wound the PCs and anyone playing Patton shooting at the copters probably wont survive long.

PCs will need to regroup and heal themselves and flee deeper into the forest. pirates will bring in several parties to pursue. PCs will have the fight in the trees encounter fleeing a force of greater number and the kurabunga, being experienced woodsman will have remained hidden and only observing till the final firefight when their participation will tip the balance.

chief's reaction to the PCs is based on how well they did vs the pirates before the natives intervened. Now we go into the whole kurabunga village encounters. and possibly the hang glider hunt though perhps that is not to gain acceptance but rather just an invitation to participate that they cant really turn down but the natives tell them to just hang back make one pass and shoot, dont worry about hiting the beast because you people obvioulsy are not skilled at gliding- might as well set up an yazirian PCs to have their moment in the sun this this.

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

jedion357's picture
June 22, 2012 - 5:47pm
SF-1 Revisited
PCs know that possible allies landed in escape pods or lifeboats in the desert. the kurabanga tell them of the nomads living there who could help them if they can make contact or the kurbanga tell the PCs where they can meet the ul-mor and they have to negotiate for help- enter the quick death encoutner and possibly the caves of doom but the cave reworked to be less linear.

PCs earn acceptance and obtain lopers and guides to enter the desert- desert encounters ensue, some of which are pirate search parties in jetcopters. PCs find the wrecked pirate ship HS2-3 in the desert and get a chance to learn something about the pirates (some tech skill check possible for the tech characters) one dehydrted near death serrena crew found, life boat found with evidence the pirates and jet copters were there first.

Now I need the transition to send them back to retake their base camp/drop buildings from the pirates. By this point the pirates have had quite a few casualties because of the PCs and could call off the search rather than throw good money after bad assuming that the PCs will run out of supplies and not survive long.  They have clues but just not enough info to find the pirates and get their hands on a proper subspace radio to call for help.

Once they retake the base camp they find the pirates have attempted to expand thier implant campaign to the other natives beside the edestakai to try to gain inside men among the other native that could out the PCs to the pirates. the Pirate town becomes the next target because its the only place with a subspace radio.

Fortunately the Red Devil will be delivering shipments of ore and will take all his available craft to do that, which will reduce manpower at the pirate town to suitable levels that the PCs will have a chance of taking it. go to the storming of the pirate town to conclude SF-1 part 1

(part 2 is meeting the eorna and the sathar obelisk)
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
October 5, 2014 - 5:15am
I just proposed a capability for the Trans Travel container ship to be able to jettison its tail boom and  possibly its engines and land like a life boat (Enterprise D in Star Trek Generations).

I suppose you dont have to use the container ship but simply give the Serena Dawn an emergency landing feature.

Pirates attack and PCs have a basic choice crash land the ship like the saucer section of the Enterprise D in the above mentioned movie or let the pirates board which will almost certainly result in the PCs capture.

Rather than make Crash on Volturnus a railroad they have a choice of capture or crash. the capture path takes them to the pirate city and gets played out from there but crash results in a water landing on the body of water to the south of the Volturnus map and gets played out from there.

The water landing will be a Planet of the Apes affair: get what you can into the rubber raft and paddle for shore. the ship does not have to completely sink if its in shallows- could leave it 20% out of water and let the PCs fool around with trying to hold their breath and dive under water within the vessel to recover things - not likely to succeed but likely to be dangerous for the unlucky.

If the pirates showed up to search the wreck the PCs might have to swim to a cabin with an air pocket and wait them out- the pirates wont fool around with swimming through the wreck and just report that no one was there.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!