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Old 12-09-2016, 02:44 PM   #1
Major_Eclectic
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Default Space Opera Exploration Game: Episode Seeds

Hey all, I'm about ready to start up a new GURPS game that is patterned after TOS Star Trek with all the serial numbers filed off. I've got a face-to-face group that meets every week pretty reliably but any given week we don't know who will show up so the idea is to do something fairly episodic that wraps up in a single session (we do tend to marathon a bit, 5-7 hours is pretty standard) that people can drop in and won't miss much if the miss a week here and there.

I saw something in a Pyramid, I don't remember which, about an swarm of medical nanobots that were being used as a makeshift stasis system for some ancient aliens that occasionally had to grab passing ships and chow down on them to keep going. I think I'm going to use that as something of a pilot episode, they're investigating a missing ship and they discover this anomaly; do they immediately try to destroy it? Since their plasma missiles won't be terribly effective they might have to do some investigating that might lead them to discover it's true nature, and then the debate begins, destroy or resurrect.

So I've been rambling on a bit but my main purpose here is to poll the audience and see if (a) anyone has any suggestions about how I could take that basic concept and make it a fun adventure and (b) if anyone else can think up some other cool Star Trek-esque space adventures for the Confederation Starship Odyssey?
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:24 PM   #2
Humabout
 
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Default Re: Space Opera Exploration Game: Episode Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major_Eclectic View Post
(a) anyone has any suggestions about how I could take that basic concept and make it a fun adventure
The overall structure I'd suggest is this:
1. Receive orders to investigate the mission ship.
2. Fly out, find wreckage/derelict/whatever is left. Allow initial investigation with some minor clues (maybe a What clue related to the nanobots)
3. Get distress call from another ship currently under attack in the area. Mention something related to a clue the PCs already discovered to entice them to check out the distress call.
4. Either (a) the second ship is already done for, but more clues are available or (b) the Odyssey's arrival chases off the alien ship and the PCs can get clues directly from the ship's crew. They can also calculate the alien ship's course from the attacks and/or escape vector.
5. Confrontation! The ship catches up to the alien vessel. Give them a reason to board it, so they can discover the stasis stuff and visit Moralityland.
6. Conclusion! Whatever the heck they decide to do and live with it.

Don't forget to have them make deduction rolls along the way and give them access to records in case they want to see if there's a pattern to the attacks. This sort of legwork on the PCs' part should let them skip some of the scenes above as a reward for creative thinking and possibly making their own scenes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major_Eclectic View Post
(b) if anyone else can think up some other cool Star Trek-esque space adventures for the Confederation Starship Odyssey?
There's always the classic First Contact situation and everything that can go wrong. Especially if the crew wanders into the middle of some sort of dispute between two previously unknown species!

A frontier merchant requests help because a frontier alien warship attacked him and he barely escaped. Investigation reveals that the merchant stole something from the aliens and they want it back. Maybe make the merchant a quirky and likable con artist who can't seem to help himself.

Um, honestly, you can probably rip off and reskin most of the TOS Star Trek episodes. For variety, look at all of the Star Trek knockoffs, too - Babylon Five (early seasons), Dark Matter, Lexx, Farscape, and Firefly off the top of my head, and I know I'm missing a lot.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:35 PM   #3
(E)
 
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Default Re: Space Opera Exploration Game: Episode Seeds

Any kind of tomb/prison/storage unit of a precursor race is a good find

Idea's relating to it
The "container" gets stronger (and reflects more energy) the more power is applied to it. To open the "container" they will have to use very low power/slow tools (if the players realize how to get in) to get in. However there is a ticking clock and the "Container" is drifting into a gas giant.

Alternately for the contents of a prison you could use literally any of the races that turn up in Simon R Green's Deathstalker series.

Edit The "Grendels" are used this way in the books (later used to deal with rebelling planets)
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:56 AM   #4
Dr. Beckenstein
 
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Default Re: Space Opera Exploration Game: Episode Seeds

May I suggest "100 Sci-Fi Adventure Seeds" by James Desborough? It really contains 100 Seeds, with variations so you could try the same seed two or three times. The plots range from thrillers to horror, and every GM will find something for his group.

You can download it on warehouse 23.

http://www.warehouse23.com/products/JGD008

Another source are the old Space Atlas books for GURPS Space. Each planet therein had a few adventure seeds.

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/SpaceAtlas/

And if everything else fails, steal something, file the numbers off and add it to your campaign. Thrillers or historical novels are good choices.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:43 PM   #5
Imbicatus
 
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Default Re: Space Opera Exploration Game: Episode Seeds

Also, if you want to play a TOS game in gurps, most of the work has already been done in Gurps Prime Directive.
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