Author: Colin Steele <>
Submission Date: 18-JAN-1996 09:35:23.44
Length: Long
Genre: Sci-Fi
Type: Investigation
Setting: Building

The Plot


This is a short (and somewhat hackneyed, but still fun) sci-fi adventure I've run a few times. The results are usually quite good if you can create the proper atmosphere. Think Aliens, or Outland. I run it using my own homebrew background and mechanics, called Star Patrol, which is based on FUDGE. Check out for more details.


Minions of the Dark have begun constructing a dimensional gate beneath the Republic outpost on Deju. The outpost's leader has been replaced by the minions, who are using the Gift to create a perfect illusion of the leader. They are proceeding to infiltrate deeper into the outpost, replacing more key figures. And, they have begun enslaving part of the outpost's inhabitants, using them as slave labor to dig/construct/whatever the secret.

The characters are travelling on the starship Fickle Fate, which is scheduled to deliver several geolocks and some replacement personnel to the outpost. The stopover is supposed to be a short one, and the poor design of the landing bays, which are just next to the garbage collection/expulsion unit, make the stop seem even longer. But, the outpost's only canteen, "the Pit", is abuzz about something...


This document is free. Permission is given to redistribute it and/or modify it under 2 conditions:

  1. My name stays on it.
  2. No profit is made from redistribution or modification.

1. The Pit - melee & social, roleplay

Characters go to the bar, as the Fickle Fate's entertainment console is pretty pitiful. They notice that the party in the back, which is getting progressively louder, inebriated and angry, seems to be talking about a at the bar.

The largest of the lot gets up, goes over to him, spins him around in his barstool, and shouting something about "This one's for Jorick!", attacks the surprised .

A fight ensues, with the attackers inebriated buddies crowding around, cheering him on with phrases like "That's it, Kitoog, help him find Jorick!" and "One more for Landers!".

The is getting his butt kicked, and unless the characters intervene, will end up an unconscious bloody pulp on the floor. If they do, they easily defeat the drunks, who are quickly shipped off to lockup by the local constabulary, which show up after a few rounds. The introduces himself as Sergeant Thargrim, buys several rounds, and pours out the story of the disappearances. It ends with mention of the reward for finding them, and a plea to call him if they hear anything.


Str - Great (+2 @ scale -1)
Dex - Good (+1)
Int - Good (+1)
Tch - Fair (+0)
Per - Good (+1)
Psi - Fair (+0)
Tou - Great (+2)
Scale -1

Gifts: Longevity, Legal Enforcement Power: Deju Outpost.
Faults: Stubborn, Kinda Ugly, Prefer Enclosed Spaces.
Skills: Mechanicals - Poor (+0), Blaster - Great (+2), Streetwise -
        Great (+2), Detect Whopper - Fair (+0), Melee - Great (+2),
        Deal-making - Great (+2), Languages - Good (+1), Medical - Fair
        (+0), Swimming - Fair (+0), Alien Culture - Fair (+0),
        Intimidate - Fair (+0), Tailing - Mediocre (-1)
Weapons/Equipment: Blaster, Comlink, Light Armor (+2).


Str - Good (+1 @ scale 2)
Dex - Good (+1)
Int - Fair (+0)
Tch - Fair (+0)
Per - Fair (+0)
Psi - Fair (+0)
Tou - Good (+1)
Scale 2

Gifts: Regal Bearing, Excellent Sense of Smell, Roar, Reputation:
       Don't Mess With Me.
Faults: Farsighted, Phobia of Water, Odious Personal Habit: Licks Fur,
        Odious Personal Habit: Coughs up Hairballs, and Code of Honor:
Skills: Hold Liquor - Superb (+3), Melee - Great (+2), Streetwise -
        Great (+2), Unarmed Melee - Great (+2), Mining - Good (+1),
        Blaster - Fair (+0), Technology - Fair (+0), Mechanicals -
        Fair (+0), Dodge - Fair (+0), Gambling - Fair (+0)
Weapons/Equipment: Comlink, Miner's Mate (treat as Buzzsword).

Eventually, Thargrim excuses himself to attend to his duties.

The bar is clearing out anyway, so the characters head back to the ship. As they do, they run into the somewhat distant and laconic Director of the Deju outpost, Rath Shiventire, who inquires as to their enjoyment of their stay, and as to the whereabouts of the Sergeant (who has just departed).

He bids the characters safe journey and leaves.

The ship's docking bay abuts the outpost's garbage collection and removal depot, which lends a foul aroma to the area. As the characters hurry past the slimy ramp, one spots a worker, dumping a load of garbage into the removal robot ship's container. Out of the corner of the character's eye, he/she could swear that there was a body hidden in the garbage.

2. Victim - non-combat, brains

The characters must stop/override/whatever the garbage robot ship so they can inspect the contents and find out who the unfortunate victim is. (As a goad to investigate, maybe they're passing the garbage heap and notice the body just as the reward notice flashes by on a nearby databoard.) Discovering the Director's corpse is fairly important. The characters should have some difficulty defeating the droidship's security, or mechanically rigging things, or whatever, but should succeed.

It turns out to be the body of the Director. (Impossible!!! They just got done talking to him...)

Turn up the suspense and atmosphere.

3. Sneak a Peek - non-combat, brains, possibly blaster

After the body's been discovered, the PC who found the body goes to security, only to find that Thargrim has been murdered, evidently moments before the PC arrived. The agents of the Dark, posing as security officers, decided that Thargrim was making too much trouble, and were in the process of replacing him, when the PC called with the news of the discovered body. Their plan is to eliminate the PC, and they will chase the PC through the station.

"With thoughts of Thargrim's woeful tale and the reward flitting through your mind, you quickly call the Sergeant up on the comlink. You quickly relay the details of your discovery, to his amazement and confusion. Lowering his voice, he asks you (the discoverer only) to come to Security HQ to make a statement and elaborate. He urges you to move quickly and to keep a low profile. In fact, maybe a quick disguise of some sort might be in order..."

When the character arrives at Security:

"The wide blast door to Security is open, although it's after hours. You enter, pass through the disorganised and cramped reception area, and spy a light coming down a darkened corridor - probably Thargrim's office. Starting down the corridor, you see a couple of the Sgt's men are sitting casually on desks, drinking synthcaf. One looks at another person apparently sitting in the office that you can't see, and then motions you down the hall. You start down the hall, and one of Thargrim's men, a bit overweight, and greying at the temples, stands up and hitches up his drooping shipsuit."

(Ask the character to make a Perception check, and ignore the results, before you read this next part. Paranoia is a good thing.)

"You pass a couple of empty cells, making out their cots and holovids dimly as you walk by. Then you pass a closet door, and notice a dark puddle seeping from underneath the door. It's BLOOD! Your head snaps up, and see the Sergeant's man watching you. A leering grin comes to his lips. Your heart jumps to your throat - it's some kind of trap. You wheel around as fast as you can, and bolt for the door."

"A weird wet/metallic coughing noise rings behind you, just as you turns the corner. You catch a glimpse of a slimy green/black dart lodged in the door in front of you, just as you duck out of the office. The acrid smell and the image of the slime melting the cerametal door jolts you as you tear off towards the Fickle Fate, running as fast as you can."

"Behind you, possibly from a cell somewhere back in Security, you hear a familiar bellow of the bruiser from the bar last night, saying 'Wot? Who the Hell? What the blazes is going on here?!'"

Kitoog, who was sleeping off his previous night's binge, was a friend of the late Thargrim. Kitoog was a regular in jail, and Thargrim never locked his cell. So, after the security guys/Darklings go running after the PC, he lets himself out to find out what's going on.

"The clomping feet are getting louder and louder behind you, and this damned outpost must have been designed while under the influence of Spin..."

Make a few contested Running skill checks. If the heavies win a couple, they may be able to get off a few shots. Let the character keep a bit ahead of them, though.

Kitoog figures out what's going on, and with his superior knowledge of the station's infrastructure, saves the character, sneaks him back to the Fickle Fate. Tells the character about the accident, the disappearance of the 3rd shift crew, etc.

On a hunch, Kitoog suggests they scout out the "accident" area.

Couple of obstacles like sneaking past wardroid guards, defeating security systems.

                     Starlab's PX-5 Defence Droid

Str - Mediocre (-1)
Dex - Good (+1)
Int - Good (+1)
Tch - Mediocre (-1)
Per - Good (+1)
Psi - Fair (+0)
Tou - Great (+2)

Gifts: Knowledge Skills@Fair, Built-in Blaster Rifle, Built-in Trooper
       Armor (+4 DM), Built-in Comlink.
Faults: Must Be Repaired (Can't Heal), Needs to be Recharged Once per
        Day, Can Only Have 4 Skills.
Skills: Blaster - Superb (+3), Melee - Great (+2), Unarmed Melee -
        Great (+2), Dodge - Great (+2).
Weapons/Equipment: Most PX-5's carry a melee weapon of some kind.
                   Riot clubs are common.
Notes: PX-5's are standard warrior droids.  They're pretty hobbled in
       terms of skills.  If a player wanted to be a PX-5, it'd be
       worth 4 gifts.  Given PX-5's low Perception skill, Poor (-2),
       they've earned a reputation as tough in battle, but easy to
       sneak around.

4. Gate - blaster

By way of ventilation grate, arrive at the hellish scene of the construction of the dimension gate. Characters overhear the faux Director speaking into a comlink "Tell his Excellency that he may dock at any time. My research has been an incredible success. We will open the dimensional gate briefly to test it, before he arrives. Tell him I look forward to presenting my results to him." He speaks in strange, horrible sounding language to the faux security officers.

The enslaved inhabitants of the outpost are mining, smelting, and generally constructing the gate, which is a weird combination of cerametal alloys, intestine-like tubes, and twitching flesh-like panels, all pulsing to something like a heartbeat. Bioplastic never looked like this.

The Director and his henchmen begin to open the gate - a horrible shadow creature begins coming through. No time to go back and prepare - the characters must stop this thing NOW!

Massive psionic/blaster/Darktech weapons battle. Lots of lurching Dark-Enfolded outpost victims. PCs should be able to Kill off henchmen, but the Director should escape, screaming in that weird language into his comlink.

He's headed towards the landing bays. PCs in hot pursuit, when the outpost rocks as if struck by the hand of the Maker. The bruiser from the bar hears on the comlink that some sort of starship is pummelling the outpost, and that the Director has escaped to join it aboard a patrol cutter. The outpost's defences have been sabotaged by the impostors.


                       Muzcuh - The "Director"

Str - Good (+1)
Dex - Good (+1)
Int - Fair (+0)
Tch - Fair (+0)
Per - Fair (+0)
Psi - Good (+1)
Tou - Fair (+0)

Powers: the Gift, Enfolded
Skills: Acting - Superb (+3), Melee - Great (+2), Unarmed Melee -
        Great (+2), Blaster - Great (+2), Dodge - Fair (+0)
Psi Skills: Telepathy - Good (+1), Psychokinesis - Good (+1)
Weapons/Equipment: DarkTech Rifle (Dam: +5, OB: +1, Rng 18/75/180)
Notes: Muzcuh uses his Dark Gift to trick the minds of any who observe
       him into seeing him as the Director.  This illusion is flawless
       to any who see him, but might be detected by someone with the
       Gift.  He is also an excellent impostor.

Typical Enslaved:

Str - Great (+2)
Dex - Fair (+0)
Int - Fair (+0)
Tch - Fair (+0)
Per - Fair (+0)
Psi - Fair (+0)
Tou - Fair (+0)

Skills: None. (All at -2)
Weapons/Equipment: Varies.  Usually the Enslaved armies carry simple
                   weapons, like clubs and axes.

Typical Darkling:

Str - Great (+2)
Dex - Good (+1)
Int - Fair (+0)
Tch - Fair (+0)
Per - Fair (+0)
Psi - Fair (+0)
Tou - Great (+2)

Skills: Melee - Great (+2), Unarmed Melee - Great (+2), Blaster -
        Great (+2), Dodge - Fair (+0), Sneak - Fair (+0), Perception -
        Fair (+0), some probably have starship skills
Weapons/Equipment: Varies.  Most carry a DarkTech Rifle (Dam: +5, OB:
                   +1, Rng 18/75/180) , and wear some sort of armor
                   (treat as Light Armor - +2)

5. Save the Base - ship

The Fickle Fate is the outpost's only hope. They have to stop the Darkship from destroying the outpost.

The Darkship beginning to open up a landing bay for the Director's cutter when the Fickle Fate starts blasting it. The Darkship puts up shields and closes the bay, stranding the cutter, and turns some of its guns from the outpost to the Fickle Fate. Characters must disable the guns before the outpost is just an ionized crater. The Darkship only sustains a few hits before fleeing, leaving the cutter behind. Characters can destroy it, try to board, etc.

Director won't let himself be taken alive.


Warp Speed     : Good (+1)
Speed          : Good (+1)
Manoeuvre        : Good (+1)
Shields        : Fair (+0)
Hull           : Good (+1)
Crew           : ??
Passengers     : ??
Cargo          : ??
Consumables    : ??
Computer       : ??
E. Hyperdrives : unknown
Ship's Guns    : DarkTech Disruptor Cannon (FP: +3, OB: -1), 2
               : DarkTech Laser Cannon (FP: +1, OB: -1)
Cost           : ??

               Universal Dynamics 88-V Patrol Corvette

Warp Speed     : Fair (+0)
Speed          : Mediocre (-1)
Manoeuvre        : Fair (+0)
Shields        : Fair (+0)
Hull           : Good (+1)
Crew           : 3
Passengers     : 10
Cargo          : 75 tons
Consumables    : 6 weeks
Computer       : Starship Pilot - Mediocre (-1), Astrogation - Poor
               : (-2)
E. Hyperdrives : yes
Ship's Guns    : 2 turreted Ranger Weapon Systems Pulse Cannon (FP:
               : +1, OB: +0)
Cost           : 200,000 Cr. (50,000 or so, used)
Notes          : Atmosphere capable

                             Fickle Fate
            (modified Universal Dynamics TF-78a Freighter)

Warp Speed     : Fair (+0)
Speed          : Fair (+0)
Manoeuvre        : Good (+1)
Shields        : Fair (+0)
Hull           : Good (+1)
Crew           : 3
Passengers     : 8
Cargo          : 80 tons
Consumables    : 6 weeks
Computer       : Starship Pilot - Mediocre (-1), Astrogation - Poor
               : (-2)
E. Hyperdrives : yes
Ship's Guns    : turreted Ranger Weapon Systems Pulse Cannon (FP: +1,
               : OB: +0), 2 turreted Laser Cannon (FP: +0, OB: +0)
Cost           : not for sale
Notes          : Atmosphere capable

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