The Artifact – a scenario for Omega 99

The Artifact

spb2256A scenario for Omega 99, the Cepheus Engine/Traveller setting based on Space 1999.

Two days ago, an Omega science expedition returned from the system Klein-805, led by the scientist Professor Winfield Goddard.
He and his team spent weeks exploring the ruins of an alien civilization, and returned with an artifact for further analysis. They were working at a facility called the Sample Analysis Station.
One day ago, all communication was lost with the Sample Analysis Station. Main Mission has assigned a team to travel to the station by Peregrine, and provide any assistance needed.
The players can choose one of the pregens I made in an earlier post, or make their own.
Here’s a roster all of the pregens for the GM’s reference: Omega99_CrewRoster (PDF)
You also might want to hand the players the PDF sheets for their weapons and communicators.

Player’s Information

Sample Analysis Station

A small self-contained research facility about a 30 minute Peregrine flight from Omega. It was designed to receive samples from space missions so that they could be evaluated in a controlled environment before being brought back to the Moonbase.
It is a three-level station carved out of a regolith hill, with it’s own atomic power plant. Level one, near the surface is the command center and living quarters. Level two is the Analysis Lab, where samples are studied. Level 3, the lowest level, contains the power plant and life support controls.
There is an elevator and maintenance access tube connecting each level.
It has two landing pads for Peregrines, along with with a specialized cargo landing pad that is used to bring in samples. The cargo landing pad is connected to a small railway and airlock that leads to the analysis chamber on level 2 of the station.
Here’s a PDF with the floor plans for each level: SampleAnalysisStation_Floorplan (PDF)

Professor Goddard and his team

0358089c47ec2673383d3a11f3ccd228Professor Winfield Goddard is a respected physicist and amateur archaeologist. He’s a large boisterous man, with booming laugh, who is liked and respected by everyone in Moonbase Omega.
His survey team consisted of the following:
Oswin, K. – Engineer
Collins, T.  – Engineer
Tanju, E. – Chemistry
Sanderson, M. – Reconnaissance
Biancardi, R. – Geology
Novotny, P. – Physics

GM’s Eyes Only

What’s Happening?

Goddard and his team uncovered a crystalline artifact that they believed to be an alien data repository. They were mostly correct. The crystal they found was a historical archive, that kept a record of a battle of ancient times, when the alien species was still very primitive (their version of the middle ages).
However, it wasn’t just a storage device, it was also a teaching device. It transmitted a neurogenic field  that would let the alien scholars and students experience what the ancient battle felt like. Unfortunately, this device isn’t completely compatible with human biology, and its effects slowly start to take over the subject’s mind, forcing them to act out like characters in an alien historical drama. This is what happened to Goddard and his team.
They weren’t alone, however – a group of Kahgg scouts were also infected and followed the expedition back to the station. Both the Kahgg and the humans are acting out an alien battle that occurred eons ago. The humans control the upper level, while the Kahgg control the reactor level.
The battle has severely damaged every part of the station, including the atomic reactor. If the reactor isn’t repaired soon it will explode –  destroying the entire station.

Arriving at the Station

spte0501From the air, the base looks mostly normal. There appears to be wreckage of unknown origin on one of the Peregrine landing pads, rendering it unfit for use. The second Peregrine site and the cargo landing pad both look OK. No radio contact can be made with the base. If the players think to check, the station didn’t have any Peregrines.

The Wreckage

The wreckage on the second Peregrine landing pad is clearly a ruined Kahgg scoutship. The hull is cracked in two and is open to the void. There are several Kahgg bodies strewn about. Every wall on the interior of the ship has been painted with strange alien (non-Kahgg) symbols. These symbols are similar to the images on the walls of level one of the station.

How to get inside

The main airlock is fully functional, and can be opened with a commlock. This will lead to level one of the station.
If they players want, they can land on the cargo pad, and walk (in suits) through the airlocks along the railway directly to the analysis room on level 2 of the station.

Level 1

level1The Vacc Suit locker seems to be empty, though there is one battered helmet on the floor.
There is emergency lighting, though it is flickering.
The walls everywhere are covered in smears of organic material. It appears to be writing or pictographs of some kind. The players will not recognize it or be able to read it, as it is the language of the ancient aliens. Analysis of the smears will determine it is most likely food from the station galley.
The control center is badly damaged, with cracked screens, and broken terminals. If a successful Repair or Computer roll is made the following information can be found in the data banks:
  • Most internal sensors, speakers, and all cameras are non-functional.
  • The station reactor is damaged and is in danger of exploding within 1.5 hours. It will have to be manually shut off in the reactor chamber on level 3. (feel free to change this time limit to make the scenario more or less exciting). Once the characters connect their commlocks to the computer, they will receive regular updates as the reactor gets worse. The GM can use this to put time pressure on the players.
  • All levels have life support, for now, but the radiation on the lowering levels is rising.
  • There was an impact on landing pad 2 about twelve hours ago.

The Attack

When the players go anywhere near the entrance to living quarters (like the elevator) they will be immediately attacked by the infected survey team members Owsin, Collins, and Tanju. They will be dressed in tattered silver strips of radiation suits, fashioned to look like the costumes of the ancient aliens. They will be making disturbing clicking and yelping noises as they attack with metal pipes.
Any of the survey crew that survive can be questioned, but they will be unable to speak. They can only make the strange alien noises they made during the attack. A successful Medical roll will determine they have abnormal, heightened brain activity. It seems like almost every neuron in their brains are firing at once.

Novotny’s Body

The body of Novotny, the team physicist, can be found in the hallway of the Living Quarters area. He has a fully discharged stun gun set to kill in his right hand, and his commlock in the other. A successful medical roll can determine he fired the stun gun directly into his own chest.
His commlock will show the team arriving at the station with the artifact and starting to analyze it. His audio recording will describe how the other members of the team started to lose the ability to speak, lapsing into gibberish. After that, they starting becoming violent, wrecking equipment, and writing on the walls.
Novotny describes how he feels something affecting his mind as well, and his language starts to degrade as the log entries continue. The final entry is barely understandable, but ends with sound of a stun gun being fired. It’s logged as happening 14 hours ago.

Other Commlocks

There are other commlocks strewn about this level. If the players take the time to check them, they can get a few more bits of information.
  • Some of the survey crew sighted a group of Kahgg watching them from a distance on Klein 805. No contact was made.
  • In the last few days, some of the team have been having very vivid dreams – usually involving the extinct alien race
  • When the team started to analyze the artifact, which is apparently on Level 2, they started to get some strange energy readings off of it.
  • The strange behavior started well before the Kahgg arrived on the moon.

Level 2

level2This is the level where samples are analyzed. There is a laboratory section facing the analysis chamber though two plexiglass windows.
There is a battle here between Sanderson and two affected Kahgg. They are all clad in silver garments made of torn up strips of rad suits. They are battling each other with crude clubs made from pipes and lab equipment. If interrupted, they will also attack the players.
The dead bodies of Biancardi, the geologist, and two Kahgg lie on the floor. They appear to have died of injuries from fighting.


Goddard is in the analysis chamber hiding behind the flatbed rail car with the artifact on it. He is clutching his head and screaming. He has not yet been taken over by the artifact, though he will be shortly. If he is not immediately sedated, he will attack as well.

The Artifact

The artifact is a 2m long silver shimmery crystal. It sits on the rail car on the small cargo railway. The railway is broken, but can be fixed with a Repair roll. If the the artifact is sent outside, the infected will stop being violent after about an hour. They will start to recover their memories in a few days.

The Records

In the lab, there is a table containing notes and photographs of the expedition to Klein 805. There are some images of paintings that were found on the walls of the alien domes. The crustacean-like aliens in the images seem to wearing silver uniforms, much like the tattered clothing the infected have fashioned. They seem to be battling each other with crude hand weapons.

Level 3

level3Main Control Chamber

The main control chamber is slightly radioactive from the reactor damage
Roll Endurance-3 at DM-0. If the roll fails the player takes 1d6+2 damage. Long term exposure is 1d6x10 rads
There is one dead Kahgg here and one radiation weakened Kahgg, who will attack immediately.
There is a radsuit locker here, but all of the suits have been cut up to make the elaborate costumes both the Kahgg and humans were wearing. They will provide no protection.

Reactor Chamber

The reactor door is jammed – a strength roll 8+ is needed to manually open it.
The reactor room is flooded with high levels of radiation
If the player has a undamaged vacc suit, roll Endurance-6 at DM-1. If they fail, they take 1d6+4 damage. Long term exposure is 2d6x10 rads
If the player has no protection, roll Endurance-10 at -2. If they fail, they take 1d6+6 damage. Long term exposure is 2d6x100 rads

Fixing the reactor

Turning the reactor off is a normal Repair or Engineering roll. It will take about 1 kilosecond (15 minutes). The players can always make the roll harder to finish faster, if they wish.
If they succeed, the base is saved, though it will need a team of engineers to make it fully functional.

The Big Boom

boomIf they fail, or don’t even try to fix the reactor, the entire base will explode in an expanding bubble of radiation and rubble, extending a few kilometers. Moonbase Omega won’t be damaged, but they will feel the tremors. Everyone and everything at the station will be turned to atoms.
If the players are flying away when the station explodes, the pilot will need to make a Pilot-8 roll to avoid being caught in the blast.

Artifact Aftermath

If the players can get the infected away from the artifact for a few days, they will gradually come back to their original memories and personalities.
The players have a few decisions to make:
Can Goddard and the surviving team be saved?
Can (or should?) the Kahgg be saved?
Can the station be saved?

Optional Twists

The Last Kahgg: As a last surprise, throw in one last Kahgg hiding out in the reactor room.
The Kahgg Navy Arrives: The missing Kahgg scouts didn’t go unnoticed. A Kahgg vessel is approaching the Moon, looking for answers. This could be the start of a new conflict, or if the players save the affected Kahgg – a new alliance.
The Artifact Gets Better: The artifact took a few days to affect the survey team, but now that it’s gotten used to humans, it can work a little quicker. Have the players start making INT rolls every few minutes to avoid being influenced by the the artifact. If they miss three, they turn into crazy alien war reenactors.

Game Stats

The Survey Team
Currently, they don’t have access to their right minds, so I’m just listing the Melee Combat skill.
Winfield Goddard  – A9CCBA  – Melee Combat-2
Oswin, K. – 9A8AB9 – Melee Combat-1
Collins, T.  – A9CC96- Melee Combat-1
Tanju, E. – 989CB8- Melee Combat-1
Sanderson, M. – A9B867- Melee Combat-1
Each human has a pipe or wrench they can use as a cudgel – 3d6 damage
Kahgg Scouts
Each one will have the following stats:
BCA932 or 796876 (Radiation Weakened)
Melee Combat-2
Each Kahgg has a cudgel – 3d6 damage
Here’s a GM combat sheet PDF so the GM can track their stats:

Omega 99 – Pregenerated Characters

space1999_bergmanFor my upcoming Omega 99 (Space 1999 with Traveller rules)  games, I’ve made some pregenerated character PDFs based on the characters from the TV show.  The sheets use the custom Omega 99 character sheet I’ve posted previously.

And before anyone asks, I don’t yet have stats for Maya.

I took a lot of the background text from the Catacombs – the Space 1999 fansite.

spkoenighs  Omega99_Keonig

sphelhs  Omega99_Russell

spvictorhs  Omega99_Bergman

spcalanm  Omega99__Carter

spcsandra  Omega99__Benes

spctonys   Omega99_Verdeschi

spcpauls  Omega99__Morrow


Noir Hack: The Straight Dope – House Rule (with new character sheet)

47e9c9116aa4f6b6da212fc05aec1885For my one-shot of the Noir Hack, I created a new house rule called the Straight Dope. It’s based on the Flashlight/Smokes idea from the Cthulhu Hack.

The idea is to model the social connections a character might have for particular institutions, that they could use to get information or make things happen.

Each community a character is connected to will be given a usage die. Every time the connection is used the usage die will be rolled normally.

For example – a player is searching for “Geronimo” Johnson, a notorious bootlegger, who is hiding out somewhere in the city. The player has D8 Straight Dope connection with the underworld. They can use that information to get a clue or at least some information. They will roll that usage die normally to see if their connection is downgraded.

Once a Straight Dope connection is used up, the player has run out of favors and influence in that community (i.e. The cops won’t talk to you, the gangsters don’t trust you etc.)

Possible Communities: Underworld, City Hall, The Press, Unions, Police, High Society

Recovering Influence

To get back influence in a community, the player will need to accomplish something to reestablish trust. For example, provide the press with a juicy story, give useful tips to the police etc. The die value recovered will be up to the GM.

Initial Straight Dope

The GM can decide what Straight Dope connections the players start out with. It should match the class. A Con Artist might start out with an Underworld D6 die, while an Investigator might have a Police D8 die.

The Big Ask (optional rule)

If a player makes an extreme demand (asks the cops to overlook a crime, asks a reporter to sit on a juicy story, etc.), the GM may rule that the roll to downgrade the Straight Dope usage die is 1-3 (or even higher in even more extreme cases)

Character Sheet (Straight Dope Version)

I’ve made a revised version of the Noir Hack character sheet I made in a previous post. It includes space to put up to three Straight Dope connections.

NoirHack_Revised (PDF)

Noir Hack – New Classes: Reporter, Citizen, & Swell

I’ve just tried running a one-shot of Noir Hack, the film noir version of the OSR RPG Black Hack.

To prepare for my game, I created a few new classes.


Ink-Slingers, Gossip Columnists, Muckrakers

Starting HP: d8+4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Any
Attack Damage: 1d6 Armed /1d4 Unarmed or Improvising
The Darkness: d8

Special Features

  • Rolls with Advantage on CHA tests to wheedle information out of people.
  • Rolls with Advantage when researching public or private records.
  • Rolls with Advantage during an investigation to notice small details that others might miss.

Leveling Up

When Reporters roll to see if their stats increase, they roll twice for either INT or CHA.


Silk Stocking Crowd, Upper Crust, The Well-to-do, Fat Cats

Starting HP: 1d4 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Any
Attack Damage: 1d4 Armed / 1 Unarmed or Improvising
The Darkness: d6

Special Features

  • Rolls with Advantage when dealing with any government officials.
  • Once per game session, a Swell can use their wealth to create one useful item: a yacht, a private apartment, an automobile, etc.
  • Starts with 2d6 x 100 dollars.

Leveling Up

When Swells roll to see if their stats increase, they roll twice for either WIS or CHA.


Average Joe, John Q. Public, Plain Jane

Starting HP: 1d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Any
Attack Damage: 1d8 Armed / 1d2 Unarmed or Improvising
The Darkness: d8

Special Features

  • Face in the Crowd – Can blend into any crowd, or talk to other citizens with Advantage.
  • Ordinary Joe – Disadvantage in all tests involving criminals or police.

Leveling Up

When Citizens roll to see if their stats increase, they can choose any stat except Wisdom.

Boxing Slang for Pulp adventures

Cross-posted from my pulp RPG blog – Pulp Gamer


circusfistsGiven the prevalence of boxers and ex-boxers in pulp fiction. I’ve found it useful to keep these boxing jargon dictionaries handy whenever I run a pulp game:

The image is from Circus Fists (link to actual story)  – a fun Robert E. Howard story about his boxing sailor hero Sailor Steve Costigan.

Costigan would make an excellent PC in any pulp game.

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Sword of Cepheus – Pregen Characters for the Dispute

I’ve recently been running adventures in my Dispute setting for Sword of Cepheus.
I rolled up a few pregenerated characters for the game. I’m posting them here, for anyone who might find some use for them.
Arjguardianus, Sultanzade of the House Vermillion – Humbled noble seeking glory and status.
Hanim – Vagabond and teller of tall tales
Mirata – Grim champion of House Vermillion. Bodyguard to Sultanzade Arjus
Grojon – Janissary of the Legion Unending. I used my custom Janissary career for this one.
Little Wing – Twitchy thief on the run
Tarloc the Shamed – Disgraced boy sorcerer & Master of the Black Arts

Here are the PDFs of the character sheets. I used my custom Sword of Cepheus character sheet to create these.
If you print these, you probably only need to print the first two pages. Tarloc may want to print the third page with the spells as well. The fourth page is a paper table tent.

Omega 99 – Raptor Attack Craft


Here’s another addition to the collection of Omega 99 stuff I’ve been putting together.

It’s a new attack craft for Moonbase Omega – based on the Hawk craft that appeared in the original Space 1999 series. (Note: I did cheat a little when adding the extra turret to a 50-ton craft, but I wanted to match the orginal vessel a little more closely.)

Here’s the PDF handout version for players – Omega99_Raptor (PDF)

All previous Omega 99 material

Raptor-Class 50-ton attack craft are the newest addition to Moonbase Omega’s complement of spacecraft.

When Moonbase Omega arrived in its new location and encountered the hostile Kahgg, it was decided that stronger defenses were needed. The Raptor uses the same framework as the Peregrine transports, but sacrifices the module capability for heavier armor and weapons.

There are currently only 5 Raptors available for use. They are only intended for the defense of Moonbase Omega, and would never be assigned to out-of-system missions, except in extreme circumstances.

Moonbase Omega has the capability to repair and even manufacture new Raptors, but resources are limited, and they likely cannot be produced in great numbers.

Raptor-Class Attack Ship

Hull: Hull 1, Structure 1
Armor: Titanium, Self-Sealing 8 pts
Maneuver Drive: sM
Power Plant: Fusion sM
Acceleration: Thrust 5
Fuel Tank: 1.3 tons – 1 weeks worth of fuel
Computer: Model 2 – Rating 10
Standard Programs: Evade, Fire Control
Electronics Package: Basic Civilian – Lidar, Radar

Weapon Systems

All Raptors have two double turrets. Each turret has the following:

1 beam laser
1 missile rack
12 smart missiles

Sword of Cepheus: The Janissary Career

I’ve been working on the Dispute, my own homebrew fantasy setting I’ve been creating with for use with the Sword of Cepheus, the fantasy RPG by Stellagama games.

I think it’s a good idea, if you’re making your own world, to make your own custom careers to better match the themes and flavor of the setting.

With that in mind, I’ve made a career for the Janissaries, the soldiers of the Legion Unending, the ancient fighting force of the Empire Immemorial

It’s loosely (very loosely) based on the Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire.

The Legion is made up of a number of orta, a unit roughly equivalent to a battalion

In this particular world, firearms exist, so I’ve added Gun Combat as a skill.

I’ve also made this in PDF format – JanissaryCareer (PDF)

256px-Welt-Galleria_T085Janissary of the Legion Unending

Career for Sword of Cepheus

Qualification END 8+
Survival STR 7+
Advancement SOC 8+
Re-Enlistment 5+

Janissaries start off at the age of 12. They undergo years of martial training and indoctrination.

They will be assigned to a particular orta (battalion). Each orta has its own unique insignia, which will be tattooed onto every recruit. An orta is more than a military unit, it is a cultural and economic entity, with it’s own rich and ancient history. Ortas tend to be rivals of one another.

All recruits will start off with skill of 0 in all of the following skills: Recon, Melee Combat, Archery, Gun Combat, Survival, Carousing, and History

Starting Languages: Imperial Common, Janissary Cant

Rank Title Skill or Bonus


Acemioğlan (Cadet)

Steward-1, Archery-1, Medicine-0

1 Janissary Tactics-1, Melee Combat-1


Odabaşı (Lieutenant)

3 Boluk-bashi (Captain) Leadership-1



5 çorbaçı (Colonel)



Skills and Training


Personal Development




Advanced Education


+1 STR






+1 DEX

Melee Combat





+1 END






Melee Combat

Gun Combat














Gun Combat






Wounded in combat. Roll on Injury table.


Your orta is disgraced. Lose 2 SOC and lose one benefit roll


Training Accident – Roll on Injury table.


You dishonor your orta – lose 1 SOC, all future advancement rolls are 11+


Politics! Legion politics are byzantine. You make an Enemy inside the Legion


Distant Post – You are posted to a distant fortress on the Barrier. The leaders of your orta forget you exist. Next advancement roll is SOC 12+





Disaster – Roll on Mishap


You guard the herds of your orta. Gain a level in Animals


Serve in the general staff of an Agha – Gain a level of Liason. Roll a SOC 8+ roll. If successful, your next advancement roll has a DM of +3


You work for the cebeci (armorers) of your orta – Gain one level in Craft


Duel – You fight a fellow Janissary. Roll Melee Combat 8+. If you succeed, you Get a DM+2 on next Advancement roll. If you fail, roll on Injury table.


Life Event – Roll on the Life Event table


Expedition Beyond The Barrier – Your orta travels into the Dispute. Gain a level in Survival


You serve as the poet for your orta, relating ancient tales of your orta’s glorious history. Gain a level in Art & History


Volunteered with the serdengeçti (‘Lost Children’)  – a near-suicidal assignment. Roll STR 9+ to survive. If you succeed, gain one level in Melee Combat


You ride with the Sipahi, the elite cavalry of the Legion and rivals of the Janissaries. Gain 2 levels of Riding, 1 level of Animals, lose two benefit rolls


Win glory for your orta – Automatic advancement one rank.

Here’s a alternate Life Event Table that can be used specifically for Janissaries

Life Events – Janissary Life




Roll on the Injury Table


Study with orta historians – gain a level of History


You impress an officer – gain one benefit


You fall into debt. Gain an Enemy and lose one benefit


You join a scouting detail – Gain a level of Recon


Brothers in Arms – gain an Ally


Your orta is assigned to a distant province – gain a Language


You distinguish yourself in battle – gain +1 SOC


You win big wagering with your fellow Janissaries – Gain 1d6*10 GP


The agha of your orta takes an interest in you – Gain an Ally


While serving on the frontier of the Empire, you encounter something uncanny. Roll on the Unusual Event table.

Mustering Out Benefits


















+1 SOC







Weapons for Mustering Out


Yataghan (short sword) – Bone handled, inlaid with the insignia of your orta. If you served more than three terms, assume you get an extra +1 to hit when using this particular weapon, due to long practice with this blade.
Damage: 2d6 Slashing Weight: 1

Kilij (sabre) – Ornate sabre
Damage: 2d6 Slashing Weight: 1

Musket – Ornately carved flintlocks of wood and steel.
Range: ranged (assault weapon) Damage: 3d6 Weight: 5 Recoil: 1
Reload Time: 4 rounds – Gun Combat Skill


The Janissaries – Godfrey Goodwin – ISBN: 978-0-86356-740-7

The Janissaries (Elite) – David Nicolle – ISBN: 1 85532 413 X


Omega 99 – More Player Handouts – Stun Guns & Commlocks

stungunI’m continuing to prepare material for a game of Omega 99, the Cepheus Engine setting based on Space 1999.

I’ve previously created a character sheet, and a Peregrine spacecraft handout.

Now I’m working on the actual equipment the crew of Moonbase Omega will be issued. I’ve made a player handout for two of most important pieces of equipment seen on the original show.

First, I’ve created stats for the Stun Gun, the combination laser pistol / stun ray.

Omega99_StunGun (PDF)

Also, the Commlock – the personal computer & communicator used on the show.

Omega99_Commlock (PDF)

These are both based on information from the Space 1999 website the Catacombs, and an old 1977 promotional book by Starlog magazine –  The Moonbase Alpha Technical Notebook. (Most of the drawings came directly from this book)