Star Trek: Bad Captain – The Negotiator

This is the basic adventure I ran for Bad Captain, a comic version of Star Trek written by Jeff Call using Black Hack rules. It’s available for free here: Star Trek: Bad Captain.

Overview

The U.S.S. Calamity has been kirk_eating_applecalled to space station N23 in the Neutronia system on the borders of Federation space. Captain Decker has been ordered to serve as a mediator at a conference between two warring species, the Korollians and the G’Larcks. The Orion syndicate has dispatched an undercover agent to disrupt the conference. The agent is disguised as a bartender.

Scrambling for information:

Federation diplomats have been corresponding with Captain Decker for months to prepare him for the conference, but he has been essentially ignoring them. In fact, Decker will not remember to mention the conference to the players until they are under way to N23. Players will have to make multiple INT rolls to get the most basic information about the system, and the warring parties.

Basic Information

Neutronians: Neutronians are the native inhabitants of the Neutronian system. They have worked to end the current conflict between the neighboring races, and are hosting the peace conference aboard the space station N23, in orbit around their star.

Neutronians are plasma based energy creatures that actually live on the surface of the red giant star at the center of their system. They cannot survive away from the fiery surface, so they can only interact with other beings through robot avatars. They have very little experience talking to other creatures directly, so they’ve requested that the Federation run the actual negotiations.

Hydrogen 213: The chief (and only) Neutronian diplomat. He is the only inhabitant of this station. He appears as a small black disk on wheels (imagine a Roomba). To make himself more presentable to aliens, he has added a smiling face attached to his chassis by a metal spring. Hydrogen will be friendly and helpful, but completely ignorant of almost all basic social norms. GMs can play him as obsequious, but mostly useless.

Korollians – A martial, Samurai-like humanoid cat species. They a have a strict honor based society. A delegation of Korollians equal to the number of players is expected. The leader of the delegation is a old soldier named Chats-With-Prey.

Marrow swords: Enormous curved swords that each Korollian wears in an elaborate scabbard across their back. If they feel threatened or insulted, they will start to draw the weapon. If the sword clears the scabbard, they are honor-bound to not sheathe it again until the blade has tasted the bone-marrow (or species equivalent) of an enemy (blood-swords are for children, according to the Korollians). Each sword does 2d12 of damage

G’Larck-<clicking noise>-HAH!: The natural state of the G’Larck-<clicking noise>-HAH! species in it’s natural state is a 2-meter ball of purple gelatinous goo. In an attempt to make humanoids feel more at ease, they awkwardly squeeze into humanoid clothing. They will insist that the players use their full, difficult to say species name – G’Larck-<clicking noise>-HAH!, instead of shortening it to G’Larck or Glarks.

Scenes

Open Bar

The players & Captain Decker will be first to arrive. Hydrogen 213 will welcome them with glee, and show them to the diplomacy hall. It’s a large sparsely-decorated meeting hall with a view of the red giant, and an elaborate open bar.

Decker will make a beeline to the open bar. Nothing can stop him from getting drunk, but either CHA or INT rolls can be used to keep him conscious. Decker will awkwardly try to flirt with the bartender (and secret assassin), who will storm off to the kitchen if the players allow this to continue.

Hey Kitty, Kitty

The Korollians will arrive second. Once they arrive, Decker will drunkenly yell “Kitties!”, and will lunge at them in an attempt to pet and cuddle them. This will offend the warrior race and at least two of them will start to draw their marrow blades (see above).

Someone will have to make  a CHA roll at disadvantage to calm them. Once a sword is drawn, they will have to be used at least once.

Decker will continue to try to cuddle the Korollians again, unless the players intervene (CHA or INT tests)

If violence occurs, this will not necessarily end the conference. Korollians relish a good fight.

Song of Joy and Friendship

When the four G’Larck ambassadors arrive, they will be stuffed into human tuxedos. The tuxes are a little tight, and purple bulges of goo will be poking out all over. Each one has a top hat jauntily perched on the protuberance where a head should be.

The G’Lark leader will announce that it is time for the Song of Joy and Friendship, an exchange of mutual musicianship and respect between the G’Larcks and the Federation. They will begin a 10-minute vocal “song”. Their voices will be atonal, screechy, and incredibly difficult to listen to. Describe the music to the players in the most unpleasant way you can imagine (it sounds like a whale screaming, imagine a cat has been set on fire, etc.)

Once finished, they will turn expectantly to Captain Decker. Decker will look around awkwardly, trying to avoid their gaze.

If pressed, he’ll drunkenly recall he was supposed have a song prepared in response. He forgot about it.

The G’Larck will leave unless they get a answer, so someone will have to try to sing something in response. This will require a CHA roll.

The G’Larck musical sense, however, is so alien that they will best respond to a failed roll. If the player rolls a 20, the G’Larck will consider it a masterpiece, and will request a recording.

During this scene, anyone who checks, will notice the bartender is missing. She left as soon as the G’Larcks arrived.

The Assassin

Suddenly, without warning, the Korollian leader Chats-with-Prey, will explode! Everyone in the room will be coated in gore and cat hair.  A successful INT roll by a science or medical officer can determine it was a microwave based attack.

All of the Korollians will start to draw their blades. CHA rolls at a disadvantage can be made to stop them. Once drawn, they will attack random targets.

If the players delay any significant amount of time, a G’Larck diplomat will also explode, coating the room and players in purple goo.

The assassin is in the kitchen, adjacent to the hall, behind a pile of microwave ovens. She is wearing Meson goggles, that allow her to see through the walls to select a target. She has modified a pile of several kitchen microwave ovens to make a crude microwave death-ray which can be fired through walls. She will keep killing members of both factions until she is stopped. She will fight to the death.

Wrapping Up

If the assassin is stopped, and any of the diplomats are left alive, the conference will be considered a success (sort of). Captain Decker will be awarded a commendation for his diplomatic service.

If the conference fails, the war will continue, and the Calamity will retreat under fire from both warring parties. Captain Decker will be awarded a Starfleet Medal of Valor.

Hydrogen 213
HD 4
HP: 28
Attacks: None
If “killed” will re-appear in new robot body in a few minutes. The Station has 100 extra bodies for Hydrogen’s use.

Korollians
HD 2
HP: 10
Attacks: Claws 1d6, Marrow Swords 2d12

G’Larck-<clicking noise>-HAH!
HD 3
HP: 15
Attacks: Acid Spray 1d8

Orion Assassin
HD 4
HP: 20
Attacks: Kitchen knife 1d6, Kitchen disruptor 1d8, Microwave Death-Ray 4d20+20
She has several Orion syndicate tattoos on her body covered up with heavy makeup.

 

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Basic Fantasy GM Screen

I’ve been getting into running some more games with Basic Fantasy, and I decided to make my own GM screen. I’ve posted it here for anyone who might find it of some use.

There’s an excellent existing GM screen at the Basic Fantasy Download Page , but I wanted something with the specific rules I needed to reference most often.

It’s in three page US letter size format, designed for three panel landscape GM screens. I’ve been using the Savage Worlds screen from Pinnacle

I’ve included a PDF version and an ODT version that you can modify in LibreOffice or most other word processors.

Basic Fantasy GM Screen (PDF)

Basic Fantasy GM Screen (ODT)

More Stargate Paper Miniatures

As I’ve posted before,Asgard I like to use paper miniatures in my games. I’ve updated my collection of Stargate paper minis to include some Asgard, the friendly alien race from the TV show. These will also work as general aliens for Sci-Fi games.

These are based on scarecrow‘s originals.

There’s a PDF file and cutfiles for people using desktop paper cutting tools.

The files are at the following:

Clockwork Poet Warriors

Clockwork Poet Warriors (Valor-Mechs)

A class for The Black Hack – Second Edition

clockworkAn artifact of the ancient world, Valor-Mechs are hulking clockwork automatons in the shape of a man. No living wizard or artificer can build one, but ancient models are sometimes dug up in ruins and reactivated. They will have no memory of their former lives, and can be taught any beliefs, or skills, as any other creature. They are often used by their discoverers as soldiers or guardians.

Starting HP : roll 1d10 + 2
Starting HD : 1d10
Usable Weapons & Armor: Any and all
Attack Damage : See ‘Dealer of Death’

Starting Equipment: All Valor-Mechs will start out with a Oil can (Ud8)

Valor-Mechs need to regularly oil their joints. If they miss a day, their gears will start to creak. Roll with disadvantage for all stealth\sneaking rolls. For every week they miss, they will lose one point of DEX – permanently.

Mechanical Man: Valor-Mechs start off with +2 to STR, +1 to CON due to their size. Their appearance and strange buzzing mechanical voices give it -2 to CHA.
They are Immune to Poison or any biological-based attacks.
Rolls with disadvantage to electrical attacks

Armor-Clad: Valor-Mechs naturally have armour of AV 4. Their armour plating cannot be self-repaired in the field. After a combat, the Player does not roll to repair Broken Armour Dice. It can only be repaired by a professional smith, usually in a town or other settlement.

Dealer of Death: A Valor-Mech has a ‘pool’ of Damage Dice (d6s) equal to their HD.
ƒWhen making an Attack distribute any number of these Damage Dice among any number of Nearby targets.
ƒFor each target the Player assigns the Damage Dice, the Player must come up with an exciting and bespoke narration for the Attack. ƒMake an Attribute Test for each target to see if it is hit, if so, roll the Damage Dice assigned to it and reduce its HP by that amount.
ƒThe pool of Damage Dice resets at the start of the Warrior’s Turn.

The Beautiful and the Sublime: Due to their size and strength, most scholars generally assume that Valor-Mechs were designed for war. The scholars are mistaken.
Valor-Mech were originally designed for creating and reciting poetry in the courts of ancient emperors.
Whenever a Valor-Mech sees a vista of beauty, natural or otherwise, it must make an INT roll to avoid drifting off into poetic fantasy for 1d6 rounds. During this fantasy, the Character cannot Move or take any Actions.

Gaining a New Level: Acquire and share a number of Experiences equal to your current HD to advance a Level.

When you gain a Level:

  • Roll a d20 once for the following Attributes (Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) – if you roll over, it goes up one point. Strength and Constitution will not increase.
  • Gain 1 HD – roll a d10 – gain that many additional maximum HP.
  • Gain a Damage Die

Note: The image is from the Patreon artist Printable Heroes, who makes excellent paper miniatures for role-playing games.

Slumbering Ursine Dunes – Basic Fantasy Conversion

140450Recently, I’ve been planning to run Chris Kutalik‘s OSR point-crawl sandbox adventure Slumbering Ursine Dunes as a short mini-campaign.

I’ve also been pondering what OSR system to use. Dunes was written with Labyrinth Lord in mind, but I’m not a fan of some of its details (Descending AC, Race-as-Class).  I’ve been looking at a bunch of different systems (Black Hack, DCC, Microlite) to find the one I like best.

I’ve settled on Basic Fantasy. It’s an open source B\X clone, with more modern features like Ascending AC. It can be downloaded for free and has an active community.

To prepare for the campaign, I’ve gone through all of the encounters for the Dunes, and created a document in Basic Fantasy style with all of the conversions of every opponent from LL to Basic Fantasy. If you have Slumbering Ursine Dunes, (and you should, it’s great!) you might find this useful.

SlumberingUrsineDunes_BasicFantasy (PDF)

SPOILER ALERT: This 9 page document is just a list of stats, but it still might contain spoilers if you were planning on playing through this campaign.

The biggest changes are to the Armor Class and the XP values. I’ve tried to use Basic Fantasy rules for assign XP values to each creature. LL assigns XP based on monsters and treasure, while Basic Fantasy only includes monsters, so the numbers will be very different.

I’ve changed a few page references from the LL book to the appropriate page in the Basic Fantasy rules.

StarGate Paper Miniatures

Gouald02

I’m a big fan of using paper miniatures for games. It’s cheaper and much more convenient than metal or plastic.

I’ve been getting a lot of use of scarecrow‘s Stargate minis originally posted on the forums at Cardboard Warriors. I’ve made my own revised versions, with some size changes, recolors, and a few extra figures.
Currently I have a sheet with the SG-1 team and other figures, along with a sheet of Goa’uld.
I’ve also included cutfiles for people using desktop cutting tools.