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Old 08-11-2017, 08:25 AM   #1
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

What are your thoughts on the THS adventure Orbital Decay?

Have you run, or played it?

Do you think it is a good introduction to the THS setting, or is it more of an outlier / one-off?

Would you consider it a:
- Scifi Horror
- Scifi Conspiracy-Horror
or
- other?

If you are familiar with it -
Would it make a decent Convention Game (i.e., able to be finished in 4 hours)?

Where did your team of PCs start from, to get to Terrell-Dieskau station HEO:
- A L4 or L5 station
- A different HEO station
- Other?

What was the makeup of your PC team?
e.g.,
- Specialties: Shooters, Wire-Rat/Techie, Faceman, Demo, ...?
- Race: baseline human, upgrade, parahuman, ...?
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:11 AM   #2
Owen Smith
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

Orbital Decay is not at all representative of THS. It is a horror adventure in the mould of Alien, shoe-horned into THS. It does not fit any of the core premises that THS is about. If you like Orbital Decay the adventure, move it to a campaign background that it is suited to.

Oh and the orbital mechanics in Orbital Decay are terrible (it's been a while since I read it so I've forgotten the details). But then almost no-one ever bothers to get that sort of thing right.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:04 PM   #3
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
Orbital Decay is not at all representative of THS. It is a horror adventure in the mould of Alien, shoe-horned into THS. It does not fit any of the core premises that THS is about.
Agree, OD is completely atypical of the THS setting. I've had a copy of OD for years, and was just wondering if I could make some use of it, and save myself some prep time, for a Con game. Maybe as a SciFi Splatterpunk Horror game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
If you like Orbital Decay the adventure, move it to a campaign background that it is suited to.
Drop the THS and just make it a Generic Space setting, that may work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
Oh and the orbital mechanics in Orbital Decay are terrible (it's been a while since I read it so I've forgotten the details). But then almost no-one ever bothers to get that sort of thing right.
Having a OTV decrease the speed of a space station 100 times it's mass
so that it would deorbit from HEO within 12 hours with a collision ... yeah, that doesn't pass the sniff test.

I'm not sure it would work even in a LEO, even if the OTV hit and stuck, and then only thrusted when the alignment was optimal for de-orbiting the station.

Maybe the better destruction scenario would be to put it into a collision path with an orbiting weapons platform in 12 hours. The weapons platform would destroy the station to protect itself.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:13 PM   #4
capnq
 
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Location: Pittsburgh PA USA
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

Maybe you could scrap the whole crisis and just use it as a space station. Then you just need another reason for the PCs to visit.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:25 PM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnq View Post
Maybe you could scrap the whole crisis and just use it as a space station. Then you just need another reason for the PCs to visit.
That was exactly what was done with it in the first THS campaign I played. It was a derelict station in LEO; it had to be moved to allow for the Olympus Project; we were a crew of Vacuum Cleaners with a contract to move it.

The first anomaly was a warm spot inside the hub, which turned out to be a commercial nuclear demolition charge (for asteroid mining) where someone had failed to start the timer, but was otherwise armed. One we'd dealt with that, it turned out that a terrorist group had been using it to develop a bioweapon. Definitely a station to be investigated by well-backed-up infomorphs in expendable bodies.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:47 PM   #6
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
Oh and the orbital mechanics in Orbital Decay are terrible (it's been a while since I read it so I've forgotten the details).
From the preview (never read the adventure): the station is in 'High Earth Orbit', but there's an accident that pushes it into a 'decaying orbit'.

Um... yeah. Decaying orbits exist but they're always low orbits (because the way you get orbital decay is by brushing the outer atmosphere), and even a low orbit is probably quite a bit above the range where decay can happen; a 500 km orbit would likely require 100m/s delta-V to go into a decaying orbit, and an accident that can do that is probably going to cause the space station to break apart.

However, there are a variety of reasons you might want to deal with a derelict station even if it's not immediately headed for a crash.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:05 PM   #7
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

For the upcoming convention adventure I'm working on, I've decided to move Vandegrift Station underwater, on a shelf off the cost of the Faroe Islands. Rather than, "Orbital Decay", the adventure will be called "Pressure" or "Under Pressure" (unless a better name occurs or is suggested to me).

I'm referring to the setting as 'Cyberpunk 2100' rather than 'THS', since the flavor is not very "THS"ish. I'm still keeping the THS tech description and general background, just with more Corporate power/greed etc.

Other planned changes ...
- PCs are a team of trouble shooters/security specialist with deep diving experience/capability, rather than EVA. Most will have SAS and US Navy SEAL backgrounds (with skill degradation).
- Team will be called into a Terrell-Dieskau Corp office in London rather than a different space station.
- After a fast flight to the Faroe islands, they will be flown to the area of the station via a Vertal/Osprey aircraft, rather than an OTV.
- Rather than a space walk, the team will need to dive down 100meters to an "upper" station, and raise a landing platform for the Vertal/Osprey to land on.
- The first "dead" body will be found attached/wedged to the platform rather than free floating.
- The PCs will ride a submarine elevator from the landing platform to the upper station, and a separate submarine elevator from the "upper station" to the "lower/main station"
- The main station will be in 300 meters of water.
- The main station layout will change, where the center core will have a chamber for the elevator, and a docking station for cargo subs. The orientation of the ring will also change
- The crash of the Vertal/Osprey will sink the landing platform
- The Negative Growth terrorist's OTV will become a cargo sub ... and Negative Growth may become Blue Shadow.

Thoughts?

Last edited by DAT; 09-07-2017 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:20 PM   #8
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

And here is the first cut at the list of PreGens for the adventure. Comments welcome.

1 “Boss” Genefixed Human, Former UK SBS - Squad Leader/Boatswain; Weapons: PDW, 10mm/ Pistol, 10mm /Long Knife
2 “Tunes” Alpha Upgrade, Former UK SBS - RTO/Hacker; Weapons: PDW, 4mm/Pistol, 4mm/Large Knife
3 “Gadget” Metanoia-Series Upgrade, Former US Navy SEAL - Tech/Wire Rat/Rigger; Weapons: PDW, 4mm/Pistol, 4mm/Large Knife
4 “Doc” Olympian Upgrade, Former US Navy SEAL - Medic; Weapons: PDW, 4mm/Pistol, 4mm/Large Knife
5 “Banger” Spartan Bioroid, Former New Zealand SAS - Demo/EOD; Weapons: Missile Pod 30mm/Pistol, 10mm/Large Knife
6 “Ghost” Sea Shepard Bioroid, Former Australian SAS – Scout; Weapons: Armgun/ Pistol, 10mm /Short Sword
7 “Shadow” Nemo Bioroid, Former Australian SAS - Scout; Weapons: Armgun/ Pistol, 10mm /Short Sword
8 “Tex” Aquamorph Parahuman, Former US Navy SEAL - Shooter; Weapons: Missile Pod 15mm /PDW, 4mm/Pistol, 4mm/Large Knife
9 “Scooter” Ghost in a Concealed Cybershell (MCS-52Ha), Former UK SAS - Shooter; Weapons: Missile Pod 15mm/PDW, 4mm/Pistol, 4mm/Large Knife

Last edited by DAT; 09-07-2017 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Update UK SAS to UK SBS
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:34 AM   #9
Owen Smith
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

You might want to consider some of the UK PCs being former SBS (Special Boat Service) rather than SAS. They're more likely to have significant underwater experience.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:20 PM   #10
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: THS Adventure: Orbital Decay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
You might want to consider some of the UK PCs being former SBS (Special Boat Service) rather than SAS. They're more likely to have significant underwater experience.
Very good catch. Thank-you.
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