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Old 04-23-2020, 04:08 AM   #1
Dr. Beckenstein
 
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Default So, what's in this secret lab?

Basically, I need a McGuffin.

Actually, I need it for Traveller, but since it could be used in many settings, I post it on this board.

So, the pc have the mission to enter a secret underground laboratory and do heroic things - rescue scientists, steal data, cause collateral damage. In the end, it will be a dungeon crawl with guns and explosives.

What could the scientist work on in that lab?

I can not imagine anything better than "psionic super-zombies", an idea that has been done to the death. Has anybody a better, unusual idea?
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Old 04-23-2020, 04:47 AM   #2
Anders
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

A new powerful, non-addictive analgesic. That would be worth billions, easily.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:26 AM   #3
malloyd
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Beckenstein View Post
So, the pc have the mission to enter a secret underground laboratory and do heroic things - rescue scientists, steal data, cause collateral damage. In the end, it will be a dungeon crawl with guns and explosives.

What could the scientist work on in that lab?
They're obviously manufacturing monsters. Where else are they going to come from to stock the dungeon?

Seriously there aren't many things it makes any sense to "research" in an illegal secret lab, and for a production lab it mostly amounts to illegal drugs or weapons.

Also if law enforcement is good enough you need to keep your illegal operation secret, it doesn't make much sense for it to be a big enough facility to pass as a dungeon anyway. Maybe it's not actually illegal or secret, just a bit privacy obsessed? Some corporation might be researching almost anything and not making a big show of it to delay the appearance of competitors (or producing anything quietly to avoid angry mobs who object to them doing something this horrible in our neighborhood rather than over there in the slums where dangerous industries belong). Of course that makes the dungeon crawl a criminal enterprise, but PCs mostly aren't honest people.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:29 AM   #4
Luke Bunyip
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

A gene therapy which gives some form of resistance to psionic coercion. Unfortunately, there seem to be some curious side effects...
And that's not mentioning the rather ****** off Zhondani that are used to test it.
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:47 AM   #5
Michael Cule
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

It's a covert and unauthorised bio-warfare research lab.

It's been developing a disease that will either kill or de-power psionically gifted people. (Probably a bit of both: you can't affect a core part of the nervous system without a certain risk of death.)

The employers could be the Zhodani but they would come in with their own psychically gifted commandoes and that would be effective but dull.

So let's make the employers a faction of the Imperial services who do not approve of this sort of thing. And let's make one of the PCs (only) a member of the Emperor's small group of elite and trusted psionic agents. And let's make at least one of the mercs that have been hired to do the job extremely psi-phobic.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:32 AM   #6
Apollonian
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

It's run by Weyland-Yutani, they're experimenting on you-know-what, and things are going to go exactly as well as you'd expect.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:43 AM   #7
whswhs
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

What's illegal in the culture? In some cultures, it might be contraceptives, or genemods for designer children, or genetically modified foods, or data harvesting software, or nanotech of various kinds, or high-density energy storage (after a few too many explosive and incendiary incidents). In some, any scientific research might be illegal, or require a government license.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:55 AM   #8
ravenfish
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

He's the one hoarding all the toilet paper.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:52 AM   #9
Varyon
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

It's a "telemarketing" operation, researching memetic methods to prevent people from hanging up as soon as they are informed the warranty on their spaceship is about to expire, or that it's Kelly from card services.

More seriously, what sort of encounters do you want the characters to have in this techno-dungeon? If it's just security personnel/machines, they can be researching literally anything. If you want monsters of some sort, they'll need to be doing some flavor of monster-related research.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:42 AM   #10
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: So, what's in this secret lab?

An Ancient artifact, of course, of mysterious function. The scientists have several theories (which the PCs can discover if they go through their computer, if you want to draw the thing out), though none of them have panned out yet.

It's actually just an Ancient equivalent of a Rubik's Cube, and does nothing. But it's complicated enough to keep the Imperium's best minds trying to figure out even that it is a puzzle. Solving it's right out, but there are copious notes on things they've manipulated and all the changes in shape, color, texture, and sound that have resulted. (Feel free to make up a table to keep your players distracted. if the players take notes, change the table once in a while, and just nod significantly when the players notice that the behavior has changed from the last time they tried a particular dance.)

Last edited by Anaraxes; 04-23-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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