Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

I’ve recently watched Interstellar and the latest season finale of Doctor Who (which, as I’ve stated, was kind of blah) but both of them involved the time dilation effects of black holes which has led me to start thinking about a scenario for the Saturday RPG group with our Traveller game.
What I’m currently thinking is along the following lines. This presumes that we are basically in the same situation that we’re currently in where our PCs are crewmembers aboard a ship but aren’t the only crew. The current GM introduced a different ship than the small one we currently all co-own and then did some maneuvering to see to it that we’re not on the smaller craft.

Session 1:

  • Post current run. PCs are transiting somewhere, probably to get back to their old ship and lives.
  • Distress signal intercepted and investigated. A note on this: distress signals in this game always end badly so I’d actually like to figure out a way to do this differently. Like maybe the current ship captain (NPC) is intentionally taking the crew in that direction to investigate something?
  • PCs board the pretty large ship and find it powered way down. In the course of investigation, they also find corpses … and everyone dead has committed suicide.
  • Have to actually cut into the engineering section so that takes time.
  • Discover a couple of survivors in cryo-pods.
  • Engineer restores power so they can pull one of the survivors out who wakes and starts screaming that “He’ll kill us all!” Survivor wildly attacks whoever is nearest in attempt to commit “suicide-by-cop” … or straight up suicide should he get a weapon.
  • Simultaneously, the ship’s weapon systems power up and shoot the PC mother ship, damaging its engines, before thundering toward the Jump point.
  • Before PCs can stop it, the ship Jumps. PCs have no idea about destination and the Jump seems to last only minutes (there’s a reason for this.) System failure alarms begin (and continue) to shriek.
  • Eventually, PCs should be able to breach a part of engineering they could not before where they discover an armless, legless human (Zhodani, actually) strapped into some bizarre machine. He’s screaming with his mind. Think David Archer from Mass Effect 2 DLC, Project Overlord.
Session 2:
  • Discover the ship is in dire straits. Engines are FUBAR and irreparable without access to a drydock. Even worse, though, is their location: they’re captured within gravitational pull of a black hole!
  • Poor Zhodani guy desperately wants to die. PCs may/can learn that the Imperium was experimenting on using psionics to augment Jump (or replace it entirely) and this poor bastard has suffered the brunt of their experimentation. Is entirely possible PCs will mercy kill him – if so, do not penalize them for this.
  • Cue panicked plans by PCs. Sensors may detect a distant station of some sort but gravitational interference from singularity making it impossible to communicate with station. Still, it looks like that’s the only way to survive this mess, so they have to figure out how to escape from the dying ship. Fortunately, this ship has some fighters and/or escape pods. That said, allow PCs to do that thing they do to maximize their chances of survival.
  • Get off dying ship and head toward the station where they’re met by armed gunships and station guns. PCs promptly find themselves captured, stripped of all gear and toys, and thrown into a brig. This facility is supposed to be Top Secret, after all!
  • PCs are interrogated one by one. Interrogators will rough some people up – use this to get across that these guys are fraking scum.
  • My PC – Ibrahim, who is a psi – disappears and is not returned to the cell afterward. If any other PCs are aware that he’s actually a psi at this point, they may realize he’s been taken away to be experimented on!
  • Cue PCs doing a jailbreak of some sort. Ideally, this happens late in the session so we can have a quick scuffle with some guards, retrieve their gear, and take the fight to the station personnel who have, by now, displayed that they don’t deserve to live.
Session 3:
  • Jail break continues. Many much fighsting.
  • Depending on things, may either discover my PC being strapped in and experimented on or he manages to free himself (thanks to the PCs causing a ruckuss.)
  • Escape from the station: blow it up somehow, ideally due to PC actions. If they intentionally decide to sabotage it and cause it to go critical, then all’s the better.
  • End up being picked up by another warship, this one much newer than before, and aboard this beast is the captain of their temporary craft who reveals that 6 months or so has passed for the rest of the galaxy. He eventually ID’ed the ship the PCs were on in session 1 & 2, then called in a number of Naval favors. This facility was an entirely illegal operation so the Fleet was here to shut it down … and (the cynics may think) to cover it up.
Still needs a little work, but definitely a solid outline to work from…