Monday, October 12, 2020

Hartford Beta Max Black Book Stars With Number Campaign Notes - The Talon Sector


There are times when a ton of thoughts cross this brain of mine & the Cepheus Engine rpg  has been brewing at the back of my brain now for a while. But there another thought going round the back part of my lizard brain. But my thoughts drift towards the Stars Without Number rpg & how much I used to have invested in my Hartford Beta Max Black Book Stars With Number campaign. This campaign ran for many years & chewed up time,player's PCs, lots of creativity & a few broken friendships along the way. Right now the Castles & Crusades Kickstarter is on & its a matter of waiting to be paid to back folks. 
Now tonight  we're faced with a possible Halloween game?! So what is one to do!? Well I busted out my Talon Sector campaign notes. The Talon sector is a very complicated mess of a SWN campaign a part of the Beta Max Black series. So why is the campaign called Beta Max Black?! Because  99.9 percent of the vintage movies, TV shows, and even to a certain extent the science fiction appeared when Beta Max tapes were all of the rage. So what does this have to do with B2 Keep on the Borderlands by Gary Gygax?! Everything actually.. This series began with B1 In Search of the Unknown the plot of which goes something like this; "Many years ago two wealthy adventurers, Rogahn the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown, built a hidden complex known as the Caverns of Quasqueton. From this base, they conducted their affairs away from the prying eyes of civilization" In this campaign yes its very true that  Rogahn the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown were adventurers but they were far more then they seemed. They were veteran adventurers in an interstellar war that was kicking up millions of light years  away. 

They created   Quasqueton in order to contain something very sinister & nasty that they had come across in their interstellar travels. If your looking for more really solid B1 resources see here on this blog.  But then 'the Scream' happened & they were presumed dead. But I'm looking into the possibility that they didn't simply vanish into the annals of history. So I've been looking into the possibilities of using Cheating Death 2nd Edition By Omer Golan-Joel.

This little nineteen page pdf isn't simply for the White Star Rpg but other OSR games ie the  Stars Without Number rpg . And I started to really look through my notes into the possibility of using Rogahn the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown as major NPC's. These two having cheated death for thousands of years through some pretty nefarious means. Here's where I think they've both been doing some very dangerous & possibly nasty stuff. Rogahn the Fearless was said to have many strength enhancing 'magic items'. Maybe those 
'magic items' were in fact cybernetic systems or even pre technologies. 

What about  Zelligar the Unknown?! We know that his stash of 'magic items' was often taken from other wizards & his books on magic were sought by guild masters of the wizard's guilds. He was rumored to have gotten into many wizard duels over the centuries & won. Did he bind something deadly within  the Caverns of Quasqueton or was there something already there?! 
There are rumors of him coming in contact with the forbidden techologies of the Great Race. 

So for adapting the Talon sector into the present day I'd design the sector itself using  
 the Cepheus Engine rpg & possibly Stars Without Number for the local Star System. So what's awaken Rogahn the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown from cyro slumber?! That's where B2 The Keep on the Borderlands module comes into play. Some one or something has kicked up the heels of the mechanisms that are monitoring the locals. And Cult of Chaos has returned to the Caves of Chaos. This means that seat of one of the cult's place of power has returned back to full power. This in turn has summoned an army of humanoids. So in this back water planet military forces are in motion already with these Caves of Chaos house multiple species of vicious humanoids. If the cult was to get off planet the effects on a technologically backwards solor system could be devestating. 
The inspiration for this mix & match comes partially from  Poul Anderson's The High Crusade which was originally serialized in the July–August–September 1960 issues of Astounding
"First published in book form in 1960 by Doubleday
, it has been published in (at least) June 1964 and September 1968 (by Macfadden Books), 1983, 1991 (by the SFBC and again by Baen Books), 2003, and most recently in 2010."

The PC's in this campaign are sent into this backwater sector to find out if   Rogahn the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown are still alive & why a signal from  the Caverns of Quasqueton has reached the outer edges of the Talon sector. Why was this signal sent & what is the cause of it? 
Secondary inspirations for this campaign are the '82 film Krull which is the inspiration for the royal family family & the minor houses for the Talon sector. 

A minor detail of the Space Patrol has been assigned to the royal family but they've been in the Talon Sector so long that they've become a part of the local interstellar landscape. 

Already at the fringes of the Talon sector is the machine planet  Za- br7. three a pre Scream cybernetic hot spot run by the A.I. gods. This place is a haven for pirates & cyber criminals going back centuries. The planet is currently ruled by the current Cosair Queen Yrina. Many of the cybernetic organisms, wild robotic life forms, & rogue cyber creatures are descendents from the original Delos colony. The whole cloth material is taken from the Piracy and Privateering From 

Stellagama Publishing supplement. 

 One of the other supplements that's come in quite handy for designing the Za- br7. three has been Augmented Reality, The Holistic City Kit For Cyberpunk Games.This is pretty much been one of my go to cyberpunk city design kits for years. 

This is some of what I've got for the Talon Sector tonight but we'll be exploring more coming up. 

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