Sunday 12 November 2023
Strange Stars Sessions + More Smart Gun Ideas + a Megatraveller Review
Chatting with one of my favorite readers JD Davis in comments inspired this so thanks - input actually is super useful and makes writing stuff a bit more meaningful.
Megatraveller Review: Manhunt - The Onnesium Quest VOl1
Also, campaign has grown well and I'm using stuff im making for it here lots.
I recently got a drive-through POD of a lost travellers journal Megatravler Adventure by Far Future Enterprise. I preferred early 90s Journal style megatravler stuff for many reasons - Better design, imaginative locations, clear adventure episode flow charts and all in bits to chop and recycle. This book also has two bases one on a comet and an underwater base and several ships deckplans. Diagrams of the adventure locations and some illustrations are great. So reading it I had to steal a chunk about a base on a comet I twisted it to my Call of Cthulhu in my space game. Traveller typically is heist gone wrong struggling to trade and do merc work or crime. This overall quest has some elements but I prefer this scenario. Journal products were dense and full of ideas. Hopefully, more lost products of this era completed.
Strange Stars Sessions
Previously party discovered a cult in the freezer warehouses of the space station and raided a monthly ceremony. A mainstream movement who believes the solar system is doomed for various reasons are keen to flee further than the scheduled colony program starting in ten years. Members of this group had been joining the cult of the walker between worlds who could help humans flee Sol fast. So heroes with one in marine armour with some extra black watch marines burst in to arrest the cult ritual at sub zero temps. The vet cultists morphed into horrible albino ape monstrosities and attacked. Their leader seemed to be a frozen bummy with some unnatural power so he was blasted into chunks rapidly after injuring a team member. The creatures in shredded remnants of pluto-suits were taken away to Mars's black labs and the hopeful colonists were arrested and taken to secretive custody for evaluation. Apparently, the frozen corpse thing has a new strain of alien bioworks new to collection and he was implanting some people with an ovipositor tube from a huge wound in the chest.
So based on this mess players discovered the cult had taken over 100 people to some location in the outer system over the last six months. Turns out the older cultists in pluto suits included staff who worked on a comet base. So players all left the station to let new agents replace them as local cults think the team is dead since those poor decoys with skinmasks were mysteriously killed in a shuttle accident. Departed in a millitary scout and most of the crew was frozen except one hiG-modded Martian marine to monitor stuff and study his piloting more. He also has his cool new smart gun with a reconstructed personality AI based on a french rock star of the early 22nd century. It talks french and plays rock chords in burst fire.
Team approached comet and studied it after awakening. Ship AI transferred from their secret AI back on their usual ship. Did detect another ship leaving but got no ID and heading to deep space. Ship said the landing is quite dangerous and few precedents for a ship with live crew to do a guaranteed sneaky landing. Party flew into the white fog of comet and managed to get close to base and hack open the hanger and land. Hanger was quiet but started lighting up and drone cleaner bots came to suck out comet dirt and slush. Party entered the base and it began to light up. Found six frozen crew and started to wake up the biologist. Marine kept looking and another investigator on computers detected 6 more life support units next level and awakening. The team came into the holo pit area of the conference room and saw some looped footage showing another unusual armed ship design apparently configured in a systemic way from modular parts including missile tubes.
Came to the bulkhead door locked from the system through which six more persons should be waking. The door opened and as 3 explorers had warning were ready. The scientist is in a stealth smartsuit with a silenced 10mm pistol. FIght crewman hid in another passage. The figures were more wendigo like the ones in the freezer cult ceremony. Even in freshly torn pluto suits. The marine in 20 AP power armour and his new smart gun let rip with 13mm gyrojet rockets injurring one, decapitating another and exploding the torso of a third. The scientist took aim. The crewman waited to shoot monsters flanking the oou tin the open marine. Marine armour was scratched and a normal human would have been shredded but he stepped back and kept hosing them down with sweet french metal. The scientist and the crewman finished off the badly damaged and the marine managed to just get mostly cosmetic suit damage and one bit of serious damage. The scientist double tapped one of those not dead. The marine who thought they might want a live specimen followed the doc and exploded the monsters head so nor survivors. They did have surgical ports in the back of their skulls, Apparently they had been jacked into the life pods and somehow activated the wake up protocols autonomously while frozen. While other crew secured the AI of the base and brought online the Doc did quick vivisection and kept a head sample. The base AI and crew awakened were hijacked by a technician who hacked the system and called in some kind of pirates who hijacked the base and froze senior crew, The rest were half eaten in sacks frozen in the wendigo room. Players keen to leave but station crew wanted to salvage proof of life and check out cave for samples to confirm as they had found dead biological bacterium. Turns out the traitor tech had explored cavern alone months before.
So went to cave and the marince survived the jetpack incident and helped others explore. Found where a man-sized ice block had been removed and a huge metal ring with improvised tech with a heavy duty power plug that could be jacked into the comet walker vehicles of base. Found bacteria and took samples to save rep of scientists. Booby-trapped base and took AI. Turns out the gate thing has Norse runes on it. Turns out the weird ice mummy cult leader from the cold store warehousing cult battle came from here and is at least a thousand years in the comet cave.
As having meal and resting and prepping to leave A incoming ship was detected. Cre set about booby trapping base, freezing all the civilians and data on the scpout ship and then sent off booby-trapped shuttle on autopilot. The incoming pirate ship took bate and gave chase. When the scout took off at max acceleration the pirates stopped boarding procedures and shot up the shuttle and chased the scout. The scout managed to maintain higher G nuclear pulse thrust and escaped. Pirates gave up and went back to comet. Shortly after the booby trapped base blew up.
Got back to mars in two months later. Base crew detained by MarsSEC and samples and gate all taken to a black lab asteroid away from Mars. Turns out when comet exploded and Mars on alert they managed to catch lots of the much slower cult members on way to comet. Still maybe 60 people the cult brought through the comet and nobody knows where they are now.
Back on Mars party commended and getting some leave and training and new genetic mods and tech. Sooner they can all operate powersuits the better.
I was hoping I might get pirates to attack the base and now I think of it more monsters could have been on the asteroid. Part of a Brian Lumley Mythos-type arc and the Iquatha cult. Almost had the first spaceship battle. A player said was enjoying that any fight could kill us. A bit too late I found my outer system solar encounters and hab colony tables
Am hoping to do a setting guide to daily life for the main types of people across the solar system live. With stats about life expectancy and how many work etc. I do like star frontiers and Buck Rogers RPG-style space combat. 'Cept probably more drones, swarm fighters, and nuclear detonation laser drones. 2300 RPG a big influence on my game.
Using nothing like Call of Cthulhu magic or occult books or claims backwards folks are degenerate alien halfbreed witches. Possibly after training up next game will allow players to return to Jupiter undercover as Astronomers club investors to get in on a formal dinner inside the club's secure HQ. Still need to deal with Ganymede and maybe that gate.
More Smart Gun Ideas
So chatting with Davis about having seen conpts of a robot walking ammo tender being a viable idea. In cases it would be a good target but maybe in defensive spaces could be doling out ammo, food and supplies to the trenched or fortified building. Could be well armoured or stealthy and even have anti-missile drones.
I do like those Gonk bots in star-wars that are generators on legs and maybe could power some big gun but probably once again a good target.
Will do a sheet for modular smart gun systems to help players.
Maybe players with smart weapons can argue.
Maybe Longarms look down on handguns with dumber AI.
Memory plastic riot shields around a gun with a viewport as a mod perhaps.
Work on a small arms system kit and a more riot gun/grenade launcher system
An energy weapon system that can supply power via a cable directly to the weapon.
Probably the belt computers in Zebulons Guide for Star Frontiers inspired lots of my thoughts on this kind of tech and reality has been catching up in 30 years pretty well.