Saturday, December 15, 2012

SWN The Highway Men Campaign - Meeting With Rama Blues Part II

This past week I had all of my players and I really let go. The party was able to probe the inner levels of the mega-dungeon. 
The party is aboard a Rama style spacecraft/station that Apex Medical (Making A Better Future For All Man Kind). They've explored the ruined docking/spacecraft facility and have penetrated into the inner skin of the craft.

They came across several different facilities aboard the craft. Bio mechanicial factories. Weird ruins and several office and housing complexes. Plus an android factory where the various antagonists of the place are being created.
While taking a stroll through the facilities they learned of a moth balled section of the dungeon where several ships were in storage. The android factory really creeped some folks out. They sabotaged several systems and learned that Delos was subcontracting out some of their work to Apex medical who had taken over the various factories aboard the station/ship.

Most of the work was being done by other androids and a race of specially bred Apex mutantoids workers. Once a re-education center was wrecked by the party and a bit of damage by an android in power armor it was on to the Hanger/Storage section of the place.
There was already a party of salvagers already there. A group of Metaluna survivors were getting two ships operational.

The Metalunians were waiting for anyone aboard the station and had mutants awaiting anyone coming their way. The ships were already fitted with interoccitors and ready to go!

There were at least 6-8 mutants waiting for them! The players had tangled with these bastards before and have hated them ever since.

 There was another problem as well. The Metalunians had power armor/ space suits which they were using to outfit the ships. There was a specially out fitted interrocitor to keep the androids away from this section of the station.

The PCs were able to find a fusion/fuel cell being raided by the Metalunians for fuel for their stolen ships. Using a series of quick stealth rolls and various sneaking skill checks they placed a bomb with a 2 hour timer aboard the fuel cell.
They just made it to the storage section where they found a ship in mothballs.

This ship was equipped with a sublight and a hyperdrive. Minimum AI but it was ancient although still in production on certain Talon Worlds.  That's when a mutant got a PC. Taking a massive amount of damage. The party blasted the mutant to dust in quick order. Then a series of healing slap patches were applied to the PC. The PCs boarded the ship wounded in tow. They were able to out maneuver any problems or resistance and board  the ship.

They blasted out of there with moments to spare!

The party blasts off and crippled the station. So now they've got a group of very, very, pissed off Metalunians and their Mucloid employers after them! 

Meeting With Rama Blues Part II Notes 
There's a lot that happened during the four hours of play Thursday night. Your probably wondering why an Edmond Hamilton book is here. The game Thursday was partly influenced by the introduction of several Hamilton elements.  The Federation of Stars from City At The Worlds was mentioned several times. Hamilton was one of the grand masters of the Space Opera. The city was really influential on my game. 

Bascially a space time warp triggered by an atomic bomb hurls a small town into a far, far future. The town struggles to survive in this weird unknown era. Then they met a Galactic empire. 
What the hell does this have to do with 2001 and all of the other influences that get thrown into my games?
It goes like this. Any kid growing up in the late 60s to late 80s was space crazy. There was a recent post over at the tremendous Space 1970 blog about that Hyperspace carrier. That hyperspace carrier that haunts my dreams.  The Leif Erickson was the scrapped model for a George Pal show called War Worlds that never came to be. The design was used for this model.
Matt Jeffries was the designer of the Enterprise and many of the ships on the original Star Trek show.  Anyhow you can read all about the Leif Erickson right over Right over here at the Space 1970 blog

To me the The War of the Worlds pitch for the television show had a very Star Trek original show feel to it. You can see that right here. 
Part I 
Part II

Part III

Then there's that design for the Botany Bay still lurking out there also designed by Jefferies. The Trek fandom has for years stated that the Bay design was refitted with Warp drive and used for and is still being used for commercial work.

Notice this little nugget from the Leif Ericson Main > Submarines in Space section 
You probably noticed that the Leif Ericson has a "conning tower" much like that on a submarine (the technical term is a "sail"). Apparently Matt Jefferies liked conning towers, since he put one on the Botany Bay as well.

So what does this have to do with the ship the PCs got their hands on?
Well in fact its a ship from the Manhunter universe. The Phobeus Transport D63 Demeter Star freighter found on page 177 of the Manhunter Rifts rule book.
The design sounds very similar to this 

Paul Davies re-designs the Botany Bay with actual 1996 technology. Click on blueprint for larger version. Again from the Leif Ericson main page. 
What does this have to do with a War of The Worlds, Space 1999 and the original run of Star Trek?  Well  there has been some speculation among fans that perhaps there is an alternative 90s out in the multiverse where things went horribly, horribly, wrong, with the world. Could someone have messed around with time travel and created an alternative Trek timeline where the Federation didn't happen until much later?? Could this be a similar group of time travelers to the ones speculated about in this video about Prometheus?

Could this be a world that has been abandoned because of something that the Federation of Stars knows is lurking below the surface of the the planet Earth. A planet whose leaders were almost brought to their knees by Khan and his followers?  A world where time travel is known to be very dangerous and destructive. A universe where Earth almost became the Nightlands?
 I mentioned the Hamilton story for a reason. This novella has entire town hurled into a future where the Federation of Stars exists very similar to the Federation of Trek. It even has the aliens serving aboard the ship ala Trek as well. All of this could be used with Goblinoid's Star Ships and Spacemen second edition game with little problem.
It goes something like this : 

"The pleasant little American city of Middletown is the first target in an atomic war - but instead of blowing Middletown to smithereens, the super-hydrogen bomb blows it right off the map - to somewhere else! First there is the new thin coldness of the air, the blazing corona and dullness of the sun, the visibility of the stars in high daylight.  Then comes the inhabitant's terrifying discovery that Middletown is a twentieth-century oasis of paved streets and houses in a desolate brown world without trees, without water, apparently without life, in the unimaginably far-distant future.In one split second, a group of ordinary people was catapulted by a mysterious explosion across time into a terrifyingly strange world a million years away." 

You see Hamilton wasn't simply a master of Space Opera he was a part of the Lovecraft circle as well as the husband of Leigh Brackett. So perhaps their's more to the Mucloids showing up in this adventure after all. Maybe there's more then a few dungeons in the Talon system that have a bit of Time Travel equipment laying around in some megadungeon ruins. 

You can read up on Ed Hamilton right over Here 

 You can download City At the World's End legally and for free right over Here 
 So why the connection to Rifts Manhunter? Because the Manhunter universe is very simlar to Firefly and Outland. The Manhunter universe is a fun one but also very somber in some areas and feels like Disney's The Black hole. So perhaps this is an alternative timeline where Dr. Rhineheart had discovered some of the secrets of both time travel and anti-gravity. This was a world that reached for the stars and found the darkness between them instead. 


  1. I like how your are bringing together so many different elements from different sources into your Campaign.

  2. Not so much so many different elements as an alternative or "lost" time stream. A very different world from the bright and sunny Federation of Trek. This is world caught in some very dark and warped times seen through a pulpy mask darkly. The elements will begin to clear themselves out more as the players raise in level and the threats make themselves more known. Rifts Manhunter allowed me to seer this campaign back on the intended Trek I was looking for. Look for the forces of certain villain who goes by the name Green to make an appearance in this one Bill.

  3. I agree, with Bill, one thing I admire about this blog and your ideas is the constant cross-pollination that you've got going. And now I've got another book to add to my reading list!

  4. Glad you enjoy the blog Jay! There are more books that I'm going to add soon. The constant cross-pollination is something I keep striving for. There's more to come.

  5. Colonel Green I presume?! Perfect idea, funny I never thought of using him for SWN, hope my MF rendition of him is helpful to your purposes.
    : )

  6. The Optimum and Terra Prime Factions are up along with Green's involvement in both. Your "write up " was instrument in getting these out there. So yeah your right on.


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