Sunday, October 11, 2020

Salvage 1 Television Series & Salvaging The Further Reaches of Space For Stars Without Number rpg


“I want to build a ship, fly to the moon, salvage all the NASA stuff up there, bring it back to the earth, and sell it.”
–Harry Broderick (Andy Griffith)

Salvage 1 was a great television show that came out in the 70s. While everyone else is remembering Andy Griffith for The Andy Griffith Show & a whole chunk of television history. I remember Salvage 1 & its cast off odd ball characters!
The plot was great & the pilot movie generated some decent rating. The plot is as follows from Wiki :
Harry Broderick (Andy Griffith) owns the Jettison Scrap and Salvage Company, and is a specialist in reclaiming trash and junk in order to sell that as scrap. His dream is to recover equipment left on the moon during Apollo Program missions. He invites former astronaut Addison "Skip" Carmichael (Joel Higgins) and NASA fuel expert Melanie "Mel" Slozar (Trish Stewart) to assist him in this effort. He builds a spaceship dubbed Vulturecompletely made of reclaimed salvage and powered by a chemical called monohydrazine. The main body of Vulture is composed of a Texaco gasoline Semi-trailer with cement mixeras the capsule. This is augmented with three shorter rocket boosters placed 120 degrees around the main tank. Estes Rockets made a prototype of a model rocket version of the Vulture. It was never brought to market.[1] Broderick and his ragtag crew complete their mission and go on to further adventures in the subsequent series.

Salvage One & The OSR?

If your not seeing the connection here with a group of rag tag characters creating their own space craft going to the Moon to salvage junk & then having adventures then you might be missing the point. The Vulture is a pretty good example of a lower tech. level space craft that adventures can use. In a future science fiction setting the craft would have certain advantages! Lower cost, less expensive to run, zero weapons, & she's got a low profile. All of the star destroyers & such wouldn't be looking for something like her.

I'm reminded of a line in Alien Resurrection, the party asks Ripley if she knew how to fly the Betty. "Are you kidding this thing is older then I'm" or words to that effect. So there you are a very nice little technology level 3 rocket ship for your party.  The  Estes Rockets made a prototype of a model rocket version of the Vulture. It was never brought to market.
The science behind this is pure junk but there you are. 
 With the advent of  outfits like Space X & the ideas we've seen for mining asteroids & the success of such shows as Pawn Stars. Could this style of adventuring have its day? We'll see because I'm using a variation of this group in an upcoming Stars Without Number game!
The revised version of Stars Without Numbers rpg  would put the Salvage one crew at the lower teir of the technology scale. The Vulture one itself would be available as a standard rocket ship in the game. 

Now the idea of a salvage team that might be descended from the original Salvage one team is an option. An option that might be in line with an older an version of the Stars Without Numbers rpg. I'm thinking about a scavenger fleet named 'Salvage One' based on some of the plot elements of the original TV show. But these elements would be really stretched & played with using 

Mandate Archive: Scavenger Fleets

But to do an actual updated & highly useful Salavage One campaign I'd turn to 

Civilian Starships  From  Stellagama Publishing  this book has the sorta of civilian vessels that could be used as a stand in for a slavage mission & a viable alternative for some of the vessels that we see in the standard SWN game. Salavage One could become a down home & back water planetary campaign. 

  The PC's having to deal with many of the greater & dangerous menaces that a standard Stars Without Number rpg campaign has. But with the wit & gravitas that comes with good players & a solid interstellar game campagin foundation. This isn't the type of campaign that needs to go into the overly complicated over arching cosmic campaign that that  Suns of Gold: Merchant Campaigns for Stars Without Number goes into.. 

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