This is a scenario by M. Stokes for the Battlelords of the 23rd century rpg.
2003 SSDC, Inc.’ (Battlelords, Battlelords of the 23rd Century, and
Blood Dawn are trademark and copyright of SSDC, Inc. The mention of or reference
to any companies or products in this site is not a challenge to the trademarks
or copyrights concerned.)
sitting is the beginning adventure for a group of mercenaries (players). During
the course of this adventure they will be hired by GalCorp (Galax Traders
Corporation – Draco Galaxy) the fastest construction and trading group in the
known galaxies. The job will consist of travelling to a far off unexplored world
(Zar Thoum) and baby sitting a group of nerdy smart arsed scientists for several
hired and travelling to the planet in question should be fairly straight
forward, the ship will drop the players off and head of to another planet
(dropping off some cargo), it will return to check up on the players one month
later (and every month thereafter). However a few weeks into the field trip they
will be set upon by a group of ARM terrorists scared there secret base is close
to being discovered by pesky corps. A group of newly manufactured Synth will be
set to “scare” the team away.
the players will be able to protect the company assets (the scientists) and get
them back home with there findings, as well as collect some well deserved
been several months since your team picked up and headed out to the Draco Sector
for fame and fortune. The dream of high paid work and lucrative contracts soon
however turned into a nightmare. Ala the central hub of the sector was heaving
with better trained and equipped mercenaries looking for the same work you were,
and no matter how hard you tried to sell your skills your price was never right.
Even mundane jobs were hard to find forcing you to take up work in a fast food
restaurant serving up Cajoel burgers and Jum-Jum Juice, the work was repetitive
and boring but it paid your rent.
evening while wiping customer tables and clearing up to get ready to go home you
noticed a repulsor board flying low over the city streets. Normally you
wouldn’t pay much attention to the adverts on the latest Multi-function
Skimmer or a two month cruise around the rings of Jupiter IV, but this one was
different. GalCorp the galaxies fastest growing corporation offering over two
hundred contract jobs tomorrow at the 12th Plaza Forum, possible long
term contracts also on offer, be there or flip burgers for the rest of your
players will make their way to the Plaza where they will meet stiff competition
for all the best contracts (better paid, less risk), some famous names will also
be present such as “The Battle Janitorial Service” and “Fun Loving Axe
Murders” to name but a few. After a few failed bids the players will head to
the makeshift restaurant to grab a drink and some food. BM Note - If the players
don’t have the necessary skills to negotiate/bribe/bargain themselves a deal
this is where an NPC can help out.
the players have there own equivalent fixer Atlas will simply give them the low
down on how to cut themselves a deal (for a small fee 100cr or so). If the
players don’t have a fixer of sorts he will cut them a deal with the company
for an equal share (but he won’t be coming with them). BM – The reason the
players are finding it hard to cut a deal is because its not all about offering
the lowest bid or being the best at the job, its also about bribing the
officials to give you the contract in the first place. A bribe can be anywhere
between 8,000 to 12,000cr or an equal cut on the job (players choice), this will
general “persuade” a company man to take the risk in hiring an unproven
team. If the players decide to “grass” on the company man once they have
bribed him they will get there money back but will find it impossible to deal
with any of the other company men at the Plaza (effectively ending the
adventure). Players should be encouraged to either play the system or get
nothing for there hard work, this deal has the possibility to make or break
there future careers (once on the ladder affair).
the players know how to play the system it won’t take them too long (or Atlas
too long) to cut themselves once of the last contracts on offer. Galcorp are
looking into the possibility of purchasing mining rights on Zar Thoum (The
Cauldron - 0912) a dark lifeless world on an outer orbit of a small white star.
The system has previously been overlooked due to issues of rift activity (rips
in time and space), but recent scientific surveys have pointed to several
“calm” areas where low risk mining operations could be conducted. Galcorp
wants the players to protect a team of scientists and engineers for several
months while they carry out surveying work (to decide if its worth mining the
planet). Zar Thoum’s atmosphere is thin and as such respirators/independent
air supplies will be needed, a small pre-fabricated outpost will be dropped
along with the players. No rifts have been reported within a 300 mile radius of
the selected location for over 60 years and the only expected trouble could come
from possible smugglers using the system as a staging area.
Transportation their and back will be provided as well as food and
lodgings for the period in question. The deal is worth 90,000cr (to be divided
between the team how they see fit, don’t forget pay offs and bribes) to be
paid in full upon completion, and has already reached maximum budget range so
the company can’t go any higher.
players have two days to prepare and meet up with Madmardigan Smiphe, Captain of
Bentley” an older 300 Series cargo loader, the ship has state of
the art sensor and shielding and is co-owned by Galcorp. The trip to Zar Thoum
will take roughly 90 hours (30 hours from system to star gate, waiting time and
travel through the gate, 60 hours travel from Potar to Zar Thoum).
the NPC’s listed here are none combat personnel and as such there is no point
noting stats and individual skills. If combat occurs they will generally flee or
surrender whichever is likely to increase there life expectancy. All NPC’s
have the necessary skills to perform there job UPS will be anywhere between
160-180 with a possible secondary job/function (if any) at UPS 120. Most will
only have equipment necessary to perform there jobs, as well as clothing linked
directly to the task at hand (heavy overalls for dirty work, normal Galcorp
uniform for relaxing etc). Humanoids will only have roughly 5-8 Body Points with
large NPC’s having 12-18 Body Points, none have armour or weapons (other than
what could be found lying around), and only one or two have any form of combat
training (1 or 2 levels in a combat skill Archaic Power, Hand-to-Hand etc).
Shiny Bentley will enter the planets atmosphere and drop the teams off at the
pre-determined location. The pre-fabricated outpost will also be dropped off and
a relay satellite placed in orbit to allow planet based communication. Several
hours later the pre-fabricated outpost will be ready for use (time can be
reduced if the players pitch in and help the engineers out, they won’t be
snubbed if they don’t help as every one knows there not being paid to do this
job). The facility is broken up into two main areas one barracks (enough rooms
for each NPC and player to have there own as well as a few spare) and living
quarters (kitchen, bathrooms, toilets and lounge area, this facility is
connected to storage areas and generators), another part of the facility is
where the heavy equipment (drills etc) is located as well as labs and core
sample storage area (think “pitch black”). There are a number of small
vehicles for company use, a small skimmer (which can accommodate six passengers,
pilot and co-pilot), a large digger/utility vehicle (for moving heavy samples
and equipment), a small utility vehicle or rover, and a small truck. Zar Thoum
has a thin atmosphere so respirators are required for general light work outside
the base camp, supported breathing (air tanks etc) are required for heavy work,
full sealed suits are not required although temperatures can drop to well below
zero during the night.
the base is setup and finished the transport which brought them to the planet
will signal its heading out to drop off cargo at another system (the players
will be aware of this before hand) and will rendezvous for an update in exactly
one month (the players are expected to stay on world for three). The team will
now be alone and left to fend for themselves.
Players are in charge of security and as such should organise some form of
system (no one else will they are busy doing there own work). Galcorps has
provided the facility with four remote low resolution night vision video cameras
which must be fitted into place, a security station to monitor the cameras, all
doors have keypad locks, flood lights are provided to cover most of the camp as
the engineers or scientists can work well into the night (it just means the
cameras can’t be set on night vision when the flood lights are on). Galcorps
has also provide the players with a large security locker for there weapons and
armour (also keypad), no one else on the camp will have any weapons other than
clubs or kitchen knives so its up to the players to provide protection.
Communications will be handled by either the players or engineering depending on
who has the best skill set.
next few weeks will pass quietly as everyone goes about there business (the
players will be asked if they want to help out every so often, if they refuse
more than twice they won’t be asked to help again and will be generally
snubbed by the engineers who feel everyone should pitch in just a little to help
out). Boredom may well begin to set in for the players and engineers (the
scientist will be closed off in there own world working away feverishly).
funny is going on!
evening either a player or NPC (depending on skill sets) will pick up the
following transmission coming from the planet itself…
happens next is up to the players as they are in charge of security matters on
site. Extra information can be gained from the signal with the necessary skills
checks (easy checks as the equipment provided to the players is good and the
orbital satellite gives them an extra advantage). The signal came from a
northern direction roughly 200 miles away (still well within the rift safe
zone). If they ignore the message move directly to “Unwelcome Guests” if the
players investigate the source of the signals go to the next section “These
ain’t no Smugglers”.
ain’t no Smugglers
the players will want to check out the location where the signals originate. The
team will have access to the small rover (taking any other vehicle is likely to
attract way to much attention, warn the players of this but if they push the
issue its there mission!), if the players lack the navigation, radio and driving
skills one of the NPC engineers will go with them.
players should arrive at a large ridge and hopefully park the vehicle some
distance from where the signal appeared to be coming, making there way by foot
will be a much safer idea and avoid any unnecessary attention. The trip itself
will take several hours and give the players a chance to hone in on the signal
and come up with some form of plan once they reach the presumed smugglers base.
the ridge the players should have a good view of the so called smugglers base
(hopefully they will have some form of optical or observation equipment). After
several hours of observation it should become clear to the players these guys
are not smugglers, they act far to organised and the equipment they appear to
have is state of the art and well maintained.
the players see…
the above information can be tailored to fit, depending on the players equipment
and observation skill checks. Either way it should become fairly obvious to the
players this operation is far to well funded to be a smugglers operation.
Possible ideas may well be Rebels, Alliance secret base, ARM, black marketers or
gun runners etc. It should be advised the team don’t push there luck and try
and investigate the base any further as security will be impossible to by-pass
at there level and with the equipment they have on hand (if they still persist
kill em!). With this information in tow they should make a speedy trip back to
there base and inform Alliance or Galcorp officials via there communications
the players are back at base they should quickly inform either alliance
officials or Galcorp reps they have spotted some dubious activity on planet.
Depending on who is informed…
Alliance will contact the players company as well as dispatch a Patrol Craft to
the area (this will take 30 hours – luckily the players are only 4 parsecs
from a large alliance outpost). Galcorp will be slightly upset about not being
informed first and give each player 1 black mark (although they won’t withhold
will dispatch a small patrol craft (but will not inform the alliance for fear it
will jeopardize there operation on Zar Thoum). It will take a Galcorp craft 45
hours to reach the players (they don’t deem it that important to divert a
messenger craft to pick up some stranded scientists, that’s why they paid the
mercenaries for - to protect there assets).
few hours after the message is sent all communications on base will go dead, as
ARM have discovered there location and are moving in a team to teach them a
lesson or two. ARM realise they have failed to protect the location of there
hidden base and as such have begun making plans to move the base (several cargo
ships are en-route to pick up the facilities and staff, luckily for the players
most security personnel will be needed to facilitate the move). However ARM
scientist believe this may be a useful time to test some of there new synth
models (a field test of sorts). They have dispatched a group of synth to the
players outpost with orders to kill every living thing.
the players tackle this situation depends largely on how well they organised
there security before encountering ARM and how well they organise it now they
know there position has been compromised. A few hours after the bases
communications equipment have been jammed the synth will attack armed with an
equal mix of chemical and archaic powder weapons as well as a melee weapon each
(see stats below). Once the players have dispatched a sizable force of synth the
ARM operatives will pull back with the data they have collected and disappear
(just before the alliance or Galcorp arrive, the players however should be still
slightly nervous about the possibility of future attacks).
Once the weapons ammunition has been expired the synth will drop it and divert
to its hand to hand attacks (see race description). It doesn’t have the brains
to reload (even if they had any spare clips).
the players have dispatched there enemies and rescue forces have arrived the
adventure should pretty much run its final course. The future of the planet and
work with Galcorp however will depend on the actions of the players…
the Alliance were called in they will secure the area around the old ARM base
and re-classify the planet as off limits while they continue there investigation
(which could take years)! This in turn will cause Galcorp serious upset which
will be directed towards the players. They will be paid full but given a black
mark each (see above), also they will gain no further work from this
Galcorp are the only forces in system they will quickly suggest all those
involved remain quiet about the whole affair (see reasons above). They will
insist the team carry on there mission for surveying the area for mineral
deposits but they will also call in an extra science team to study anything
which may have been left behind by ARM. The players contract will be extended to
a full year and the cash on the table doubled! They will also earn a few brownie
points with Galcorp for possible future contracts.
experience on a case-by-case basis. Rewards marked with a (DIV) apply to the
whole party not the individual. Overall experience rewards can be negative.
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