Brainstorming ideas for my original campaign

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Ryse1095 Ryse1095's picture
Brainstorming ideas for my original campaign
So I'm making a campaign that I'll be running with some friends once it's done. I've got the core concept down and the objectives they need to complete, as well as the results of them succeeding or failing in those objectives. However there's still a heck of a lot more details to fill in. I have a co-writer who I've been brainstorming ideas with but I figured I'd put up my concepts so far up here and see if anyone had any ideas to expand on it. I figure with a whole community of other players and gamemasters there ought to be some ideas I wouldn't have thought of on my own, and if there's a chance I can make my end result a better module for my players, it's worth the effort Anyone is also free to use these concepts for themselves, though if you actually want to play this module you may want to wait until I've made a working version of the adventure and have everything organized and whatnot. If you want to take the concepts and go in a different direction though then be my guest Alright then, without further ado, let's start laying out what I've got here Plot hook - At the beginning of the fall, a certain habitat (name to be determined) vanished without a trace from its location in the asteroid belt. The habitat was once the technological hub of the solar system, all of the most renowned scientists lived there, and most advances in scientific fields occurred there. The habitat itself had been formed through an unrivaled marvel of engineering, selectively crashing specific asteroids together to form larger ones, eventually forming a small dwarf planet that the habitat was then built on and inside of. Due to it's advanced technology and accumulation of humanity's greatest minds, this habitat was one of the first places transhumanity looked to when The Fall began, only to discover it was mysteriously missing. Nobody knows where it went or how it went there, though the general consensus is that the TITANS must have had something to do with it, the prevailing theory being that it was devoured by a nanoswarm in a preemptive strike to destroy transhumanity's greatest hope before the war began. Now, 10 years after the fall (or however many years you set your campaign in after the fall) Firewall has detected the missing habitat in the outermost reaches of the solar system. The players are sent to investigate with the following objectives 1) discover why the habitat disappeared in the first place 2) discover why the habitat has now suddenly reappeared 3) recover as much technology from the habitat as possible, despite 10 years having passed since the fall, the technology on the habitat is still leagues more advanced than most of transhumanity's tech, if nothing else, the blueprints for the system of thrusters and calculations required to make a dwarf planet out of asteroids is of great interest The Truth, and The Twist - Upon landing on the habitat, the PCs will discover most buildings and areas are largely inaccessible due to power having been cut from most of the habitat. Naturally they will need to head to the primary power station to turn the power back on so they can continue their mission, but in doing so they inadvertently open Pandora's box and activate the greatest X-risk transhumanity has faced since the TITANS themselves The reason the habitat disappeared in the first place was indeed due to the TITANS, but not because they wished to destroy it. The habitat was taken over by a TITAN and the inhabitants were either killed or turned into exsurgents. The habitat was then removed from the solar system by the very thrusters that had formed it, enhanced by strange alien technology that was presumably of TITAN origin. Once safely outside of the area where transhumanity could detect it, the TITAN set it's army of exsurgents to work. The habitat was gradually transformed into a battleship of unprecedented scale. The TITANS knew they would have no trouble taking Earth, however purging transhumanity from their space colonies would prove more difficult, as getting themselves or their creations onto the colonies would be greatly hindered by the vastness of space. Transhumanity was on high alert, and any normal vessel they sent to carry their creations or to establish a link to hack the habitat would be blown to dust long before reaching an effective range to invade. This dwarf planet sized battleship was the answer to this issue, as no defense system in existence would be able to stand before it. The process of transforming the habitat into the ship was going smoothly, until the TITANS all vanished, including the one on the habitat in question. The exsurgents, without their master around to direct them, obediently continued their assigned tasks, and automated systems continued construction as best they could. 5 years after construction began, the ship was mostly functional, but far from complete. With the TITAN gone however, the automated systems began to fail, and construction began to slow to a halt. Over the next 5 years about 3/4ths of the exsurgent population died off for one reason or another. The remaining 25% survived by evolving into a bio-mechanical xenomorph lifeform linked to the ship's systems, and entering a low power hibernation state. Construction continued for another 2 years after their hibernation began, making the ship combat ready and fully constructing the engines for its return, at which point an error in one of the systems cut the power and fully stopped all further construction. And so the ship remained in the very outskirts of the solar system, destined to drift there for eternity. That is until one of the following trigger events occurred (choose based on your personal preference) 1) A hapless explorer stumbled across the ship, and accidentally activated the return protocols for the ship to begin flying back towards transhumanity to 'invade' 2) An automatic system had been programmed to initiate the return protocols after a certain amount of time or under some other conditions that recently came about, thus beginning it's flight back into detection range The rest of this I'm attaching in a word document because it's very long for the format of this forum and I don't want to overwhelm people. I'll make one document laying out the general outline of the mission objectives as they stand now and what happens within them, how things play out if the PCs succeed/fail, etc... I'll create a separate document including some other features that wouldn't have made sense to go into while explaining the plot.
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Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
There's some stuff that rubs
There's some stuff that rubs me the wrong way here. I don't really like the idea of the one super science hab which is so much more advanced than anyone else. It doesn't really sit right with me looking at what we know of pre fall politics. Earth being the center of most things, with a comparatively tiny off world population being more fiscally agile and mobile. We have a pretty good idea where the technological hub of the setting was-Earth. It also feels like a super-science planet of hats, what with having "all" the best scientists, which bugs me. Bright is kind of a similar hab, but they don't have antimatter proof materials, or other technologies decades ahead of a quickly advancing setting. You're setting these people up as equal to or better than the Factors. Speaking from a players standpoint, I don't buy a dwarf planet sneaking off with thrusters. That kind of energy should be visible from other star systems, even with a Factor drive. Even if there's no energy signal, somewhat that big could be tracked manually, and it's not like every telescope stopped working during the fall. Someone would likely notice the most important hab in the solar system moving all of a sudden. There's also no clear reason why the TITANs would use an inner system station, when they could just convert Eris or something much more easily. It also doesn't really feel like the TITAN's style to make a single super-battle ship when they only needed a single infected person to destroy a city, and a bit of smart dust to take Iapetus over. The TITANs are pretty subtle after all.
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Naturally they will need to head to the primary power station to turn the power back on so they can continue their mission
Why? That doesn't seem like my natural inclination as a Firewall agent. No way I'm turning on the main power to an almost certainly compromised giant space station, especially not before having a thorough look-see just in case. What happens if the players don't turn the power on, burn through doors they can't open, and just physically lift space hard drives to get data? As a player, I don't really like adventures which force me to take actions which I think are a bad idea, so some kind of "but you must" kind of incentive to turn the power on would bother me.
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The TITANS knew they would have no trouble taking Earth, however purging transhumanity from their space colonies would prove more difficult
Would it really? Per X-Risks we know the TITANs already have assets sufficient to take over Luna and Mars in the Quarantine Zones, and that wasn't very hard to for them during the fall. The super battleship just doesn't really feel necessary, or even the kind of strategy they might employ.
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Transhumanity was on high alert, and any normal vessel they sent to carry their creations or to establish a link to hack the habitat would be blown to dust long before reaching an effective range to invade.
This doesn't really seem to have been a problem for them, as Iapetus, and Caloris 18 demonstrate. There were plenty of ships to put assets on thanks to the evacuation of earth, and they can use dust cannons for the rest.
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a great number of dumbed down TITAN forks in charge of individual systems that did not leave when their originator did
A Fetch is already a huge threat, as they're still smarter than practically all Transhumans, and that's about as dumb as TITANs get. On paper, a number of exsurgents, many of which are smarter than more dangerous than most transhumans (it'd help if you detailed what kind, as a Haunter is a lot more threatening than a Wrapper) and a group of Fetches seems enough to complete the project without a hitch to me.
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After encountering their first xenomorph, the PCs will have to do some digging around to discover the nature of the ship, its general layout, what facilities it has, etc... They then must develop a plan to accomplish the objectives listed below
As above, what happens if they don't turn on the power? What about QE comms, do they break as well?
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By default, the exsurgents recover enough fragments to form this pseudo-TITAN
What do the fragments look like? How big and easy to overlook are they? I don't really want to do a huge block quote here, but the foundry looks like a TPK made manifest. EP combat is super lethal, and recovery from it is pretty slow. Fighting through heavy TITAN war machines, dangerous exsurgents, and potential psi-Epsilon sounds like it'll kill the party fast, especially if they're in a fortified location, and know the players are coming. What happens if the players send a message and/or themselves or their forks using the comms array? I'm not really sold on the engines being immune to everything the players can throw at them except for the one thing which they must do. It feels like a railroad, and not the good kind of railroad. For the above few sections, I don't think minibosses work well in EP. The way combat works, the party rapidly loses effectiveness as they fight, thanks to exhaustion of rarer weapons (seekers, grenades, etc) and the fact that they accrue wound penalties. Having a ladder of more and more dangerous enemies as the party becomes less and less capable makes for a dangerous slog, which will probably kill the party.
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PCs may not have enough time to fully heal in healing vats
Why would the party want to use healing vats in a exsurgent infected hellhole? No surer way of getting infected than that, and after the power screw up, they will probably be very justifiably paranoid. Why would the TITAN want to fight the party 1v1, giving them rest, with no help? They're not honorable or anything, and personally could just as easily be it assuming direct control over the warbots and SRNs it sends to destroy them. Does it want to win, or just kill the party with a sick robot body? One of those makes more sense to me. It seems weird that Firewall would wait 4 months to resleeve a team of sentinels sent on a dangerous mission when a Martian Ranger gets resleeved in a week of no-contact.
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This part of the adventure is the equivalent of a "bad ending" cutscene in a video game. At this point the PCs do not actually have any power to significantly change what happens here, but they do play a role.
This sounds kinda lame to me. Why not just narrate it if the PC's can't really change the outcome? What happens if they die here?
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Firewall has assembled a very large fleet for the amount of time they had to work with
Is this supposed to be Firewall's fleet? I don't think an underground, unsanctioned intelligence organization should have a large war fleet. It makes more sense to me as elements from the Titanian fleet, as Firewall is close to Fleet Intelligence, and Titan is the Rimward-most major naval power, but that may have been what you were assuming.
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While the majority of the Firewall fleet engages the TITAN ship to distract it from using an orbital bombardment on the weapon
How? It's not like there's really an upper range bound for attacking an unmoving target from space.
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Eris has been completely destroyed
What happens to the Discord Gate? For some general stuff: This seems really combat heavy, which I don't think EP lends itself to exceptionally well. PCs are pretty fragile, and fights are super snowballey thanks to the death spiral, which typically hurts the party more than the GM's OPFOR. EP also handles itself better than a lot of systems in social or exploratory/skill challenge type things, which seems mostly absent. This scenario also seems to have some strong ideas about what the players will attempt, such as during the power on, or direct assaults against the three objectives. (The mini-bosses don't make a lot of sense if the party deploys stealthy drones for example). I'm not really sure what kind of resources the party has. Does their ship have its own nanofabricators or healing vats? Can they be infected? Does the party know if they can be infected or not? Can the party be infected by the Exsurgents, and if so, what kind of infection is it? Are exsurgent plagues present? What kind of exsurgents are present? Self Replicating Nanoswarms or active Fetches? A lot of the difficulty moderation seems to be missing besides ambiguous stuff like "deadly" or "strong psi". What does deadly mean to you? Speed 4 combat monsters with invisibility, 70+ combat skills and seeker or rail weapons? Speed 1 or 2 fancy gunmen? Physically imposing but stupid beasts? I like the basic idea of racing against the clock against something really bad, but this kind of feels like it was written for a space opera game and was ported over into EP. The threat seems kind of out of place for Eclipse Phase and the TITANs. EDIT: What are you looking to build the adventure around as its core? The battleship? The tension?
Ryse1095 Ryse1095's picture
lots of responding
There's a lot to respond to here, so I'm gonna break things down bit by bit and address them individually. Hopefully I get everything
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
There's some stuff that rubs me the wrong way here. I don't really like the idea of the one super science hab which is so much more advanced than anyone else. It doesn't really sit right with me looking at what we know of pre fall politics. Earth being the center of most things, with a comparatively tiny off world population being more fiscally agile and mobile. We have a pretty good idea where the technological hub of the setting was-Earth. It also feels like a super-science planet of hats, what with having "all" the best scientists, which bugs me. Bright is kind of a similar hab, but they don't have antimatter proof materials, or other technologies decades ahead of a quickly advancing setting. You're setting these people up as equal to or better than the Factors.
I added some things in the second document that can probably deal with this stuff. The artifacts scattered about the habitat have their own backstory thing that resourceful players can dig up, the artifacts are of extraterrestrial origin, and are far more advanced than human tech. I can expand this so that the research done on these artifacts was what allowed the habitat to advance so rapidly.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Speaking from a players standpoint, I don't buy a dwarf planet sneaking off with thrusters. That kind of energy should be visible from other star systems, even with a Factor drive. Even if there's no energy signal, somewhat that big could be tracked manually, and it's not like every telescope stopped working during the fall. Someone would likely notice the most important hab in the solar system moving all of a sudden. There's also no clear reason why the TITANs would use an inner system station, when they could just convert Eris or something much more easily. It also doesn't really feel like the TITAN's style to make a single super-battle ship when they only needed a single infected person to destroy a city, and a bit of smart dust to take Iapetus over. The TITANs are pretty subtle after all.
These are some plot holes I'm still working on myself, I pretty much had the general concept and then filled in the blanks to try and make it work. So this part is a bit weak admittedly. I'm considering just having the planet be an outer rim one instead, it made more sense for the technologically advanced hab to be in the inner system closer to Earth, which was the reasoning there, but the artifacts were discovered in the outer rim, so it probably would make more sense. As for the TITANS style being different, each TITAN was unique and had its own ways of doing things, the one I have here is a bit of an eccentric and had a preference for doing things in flashier, more spectacular ways. While most of the TITANs were subtle, this doesn't necessarily mean all of them have to be
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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Naturally they will need to head to the primary power station to turn the power back on so they can continue their mission
Why? That doesn't seem like my natural inclination as a Firewall agent. No way I'm turning on the main power to an almost certainly compromised giant space station, especially not before having a thorough look-see just in case. What happens if the players don't turn the power on, burn through doors they can't open, and just physically lift space hard drives to get data? As a player, I don't really like adventures which force me to take actions which I think are a bad idea, so some kind of "but you must" kind of incentive to turn the power on would bother me.
The players could do that, and I certainly wouldn't stop them, the issue with that strategy is that due to the sheer size of the habitat, doing things that way would be incredibly inefficient and time consuming. If they do elect to go about things this way, I'll eventually have them trip an old security system which will activate the power that way. Either that, or I can change it so that the power is turned on by their arrival or by an automated system due to the ship's returning to the solar system
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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The TITANS knew they would have no trouble taking Earth, however purging transhumanity from their space colonies would prove more difficult
Would it really? Per X-Risks we know the TITANs already have assets sufficient to take over Luna and Mars in the Quarantine Zones, and that wasn't very hard to for them during the fall. The super battleship just doesn't really feel necessary, or even the kind of strategy they might employ.
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Transhumanity was on high alert, and any normal vessel they sent to carry their creations or to establish a link to hack the habitat would be blown to dust long before reaching an effective range to invade.
This doesn't really seem to have been a problem for them, as Iapetus, and Caloris 18 demonstrate. There were plenty of ships to put assets on thanks to the evacuation of earth, and they can use dust cannons for the rest.
Yeah I don't really have anything for this. I completely forgot about Iapetus/Caloris18. My reasoning for Luna/Mars was that since they were the largest human colonies and the ones closest to Earth, they had been too difficult to perfectly defend and ensure no exsurgents/anything else slipped through, while space stations further away from Earth would fare a lot better as they had far fewer refugees and could adopt a more isolationist approach.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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a great number of dumbed down TITAN forks in charge of individual systems that did not leave when their originator did
A Fetch is already a huge threat, as they're still smarter than practically all Transhumans, and that's about as dumb as TITANs get. On paper, a number of exsurgents, many of which are smarter than more dangerous than most transhumans (it'd help if you detailed what kind, as a Haunter is a lot more threatening than a Wrapper) and a group of Fetches seems enough to complete the project without a hitch to me.
The various forks, after splitting, were then customized and specialized for their various tasks. The TITAN fully intended to have full control of the ship, it only made the forks to handle mundane things not worth its notice, individually these forks are barely even TITANs anymore, and more like highly adaptive operating systems for the various facilities. They were loosely based on the TITAN at one point, but apart from some source code they're nothing compared to the original. Additionally the years of disrepair have treated them poorly, as the hardware they're stored on has fallen into disrepair and files have been lost or corrupted. As for the exsurgents doing things themselves. Much of the technology the ship is being designed with it far beyond transhuman understanding, and while the exsurgents are quite smart, the TITAN never intended for them to understand the inner workings of the ship, they were just grunt workers. They were told things on a need-to-know basis and so without the TITAN they lack the full comprehension of the technology they needed to do much on their own other than try and run the automated systems. The reassembled fragments are probably closer to a TITAN fork than an actual TITAN. Probably more like a Fetch-level entity. As for the exsurgents, they aren't adhering to any previously created exsurgent type, these would be a new creation. I intended to adjust just how powerful they were based on the strength of the PCs.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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After encountering their first xenomorph, the PCs will have to do some digging around to discover the nature of the ship, its general layout, what facilities it has, etc... They then must develop a plan to accomplish the objectives listed below
As above, what happens if they don't turn on the power? What about QE comms, do they break as well?
Quote:
By default, the exsurgents recover enough fragments to form this pseudo-TITAN
What do the fragments look like? How big and easy to overlook are they? I don't really want to do a huge block quote here, but the foundry looks like a TPK made manifest. EP combat is super lethal, and recovery from it is pretty slow. Fighting through heavy TITAN war machines, dangerous exsurgents, and potential psi-Epsilon sounds like it'll kill the party fast, especially if they're in a fortified location, and know the players are coming.
In the campaign settings my players have been through prior (not my own modules) the jamming of QE comms is not unprecedented when dealing with TITAN related artifacts. So QE comms would indeed be blocked. The fragments aren't hard to find, despite how weak they are compared to an actual TITAN fork, they're still located in some pretty large computer servers in the various facilities. If the players are looking, they can find them, it's a matter of them bothering to hunt them down. As for the Foundry, this is why it is the first major objective the PCs need to accomplish. I didn't really go into it in either document, but the amount of time passed in the campaign has a large effect on how many defenders are available to both guard and operate each facility. In the first week or so where the PCs are gathering information, not even all the exsurgents are active yet. Even once the exsurgents are fully online in late week 2, there aren't actually a lot of them to start, barely enough to form a skeleton crew of only the most critical systems. If the PCs act quickly they can actually engage the foundry defenders before it's even brought online. There will still be a few war machines, but they will be ones produced before the shut down, and will be in disrepair. Also whenever I have an exsurgent use a psi-epsilon, it will be purely for dramatic effect, I don't intend for them to be used as weapons, even I'm not that cruel. So the foundry, provided the PCs don't sit there twiddling their thumbs for a few weeks, should be taken before a full defense can be mounted. The exsurgents are aware the PCs are coming, which is why one of their high ranking officers is present, but they don't have time to crank out an army to defend the place. Once the foundry falls, I covered in the second document that the PCs can acquire blueprints of various TITAN machines and produce them for themselves. Technically speaking, this doesn't significantly affect each individual encounter, but rather serves as a means of them mitigating the production of other foundries and weakening the enemy forces in a narrative fashion, allowing for the much more fair escalation of combat to happen while still conveying the actual situation and escalation of the enemy forces As a final note, with the players I'll be dealing with, a TPK made manifest is the only way to give em a real challenge. One player in particular, in the most recent campaign we're going through, has single-handedly defeated more than half of the boss enemies meant for the whole party to fight, one of which was done before the enemy even got to attack because of a surprise round. I really can't pull my punches here
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
What happens if the players send a message and/or themselves or their forks using the comms array?
This idea did occur to me, but it seems to me that as a player, I'd be wary about allowing the comms array to send any sort of message outward. By the time this operation takes place the campaign should be roughly a month in, the ship is now active enough that the risk of maybe sending something..."extra"... along with any message they send essentially kills that course of action. If the PCs are ballsy enough to try and rush the comms tower immediately to get the communications out instead of first acquiring the means to sabotage the place, they can certainly attempt to do so. I'll have to create a sub-scenario for this outcome. I just haven't decided the details of that yet.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I'm not really sold on the engines being immune to everything the players can throw at them except for the one thing which they must do. It feels like a railroad, and not the good kind of railroad. For the above few sections, I don't think minibosses work well in EP. The way combat works, the party rapidly loses effectiveness as they fight, thanks to exhaustion of rarer weapons (seekers, grenades, etc) and the fact that they accrue wound penalties. Having a ladder of more and more dangerous enemies as the party becomes less and less capable makes for a dangerous slog, which will probably kill the party.
They don't necessarily need to destroy the engines, only disable them. Destruction is just the most efficient method. The reason the engines are virtually invincible is because they are made of a hybrid between extraterrestrial and TITAN technology. a TITAN weapon could potentially damage it, but no transhuman weapon is on par here. The types of bombs available to the PCs are useless, no bomb blueprint exists that would be potent enough for the task, except for the antimatter bomb. Theoretically, the PCs could try and hunt down and re-purpose the artifacts on the ship and use them to damage the engines, as they function with the same tech and are on the same level (technically the artifacts are on a higher technological level than the engines, but are all much smaller scale), but there's no guarantee they'd be able to find an artifact capable of the job and figure out how to use it on the engines before it was too late.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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PCs may not have enough time to fully heal in healing vats
Why would the party want to use healing vats in a exsurgent infected hellhole? No surer way of getting infected than that, and after the power screw up, they will probably be very justifiably paranoid.
Document 2 details facilities on their ship, healing vats are provided. They'd have to be considering the combat heavy nature of the module
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Why would the TITAN want to fight the party 1v1, giving them rest, with no help? They're not honorable or anything, and personally could just as easily be it assuming direct control over the warbots and SRNs it sends to destroy them. Does it want to win, or just kill the party with a sick robot body? One of those makes more sense to me.
there's a few reasons for this 1) the TITAN is pissed off, the sabotages the PCs do are taken as a personal affront. It is angry at the damage they caused, and insulted by the fact that lowly transhumans were able to accomplish such damages. It is also angry at the exsurgents for their failure to prevent the PCs from causing so much damage, after several of their strongest officers engaged the PCs and failed, the TITAN deems them unworthy for the task of finishing the job. 2) The eccentric personality of the TITAN plays a role. While most level-headed TITANs would respond with the practical action of just mobbing the PCs with nanoswams and warbots. This one feels the only way to properly take revenge is to do things personally. 3) This TITAN is far from the omniscient-like beings the actual TITANs were, it was cobbled together by exsurgents pulling bits of source code from TITAN derived programs and extrapolating the rest. While it has a fair portion of their power, it is far from a cohesive entity. It is a Frankenstein's monster of coding and its actions are irrational at times. It's in combat tactics will also reflect this.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
It seems weird that Firewall would wait 4 months to resleeve a team of sentinels sent on a dangerous mission when a Martian Ranger gets resleeved in a week of no-contact.
I was basing this off some other campaigns and stuff. I was under the impression that unless people were confirmed dead, the standard protocol was to wait a certain period of time before resleeving them due to lack of contact, due to the moral and legal stuff involved with having two copies of an ego running around at the same time. I suppose Firewall wouldn't care about moral/legal stuff, but when they resleeve the PCs isn't really important (pretty sure I mistyped that section anyway), the point is that once the PCs are exterminated on the ship, nobody knows what's really going on with it, and by the time anyone can find out, it's too little too late.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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This part of the adventure is the equivalent of a "bad ending" cutscene in a video game. At this point the PCs do not actually have any power to significantly change what happens here, but they do play a role.
This sounds kinda lame to me. Why not just narrate it if the PC's can't really change the outcome? What happens if they die here?
Most of it is indeed narrated, but the thing is that making the PCs fight through things themselves is meant to drive home some thematic points. By design, the PCs enter this battle better equipped than ever, but they WILL die. Their "win" is holding off the enemy long enough for the weapon to fire, which will happen when the GM determines they can't hold out much longer. The PCs don't know that this is the case though. To them, it's a desperate final struggle that quite literally has all of transhumanity on the line. If they fall, everyone falls. The amount of tension and dramatic effect here is the point, obviously from the standpoint of the GM, actually letting transhumanity be exterminated doesn't make much sense. But within this story, from the view of the PCs, it is a battle where the stakes could not be any higher. So yes the ending is scripted, and the PCs can't actually save Eris. But the experience they get from that high stakes struggle is the point, not the actual result.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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Firewall has assembled a very large fleet for the amount of time they had to work with
Is this supposed to be Firewall's fleet? I don't think an underground, unsanctioned intelligence organization should have a large war fleet. It makes more sense to me as elements from the Titanian fleet, as Firewall is close to Fleet Intelligence, and Titan is the Rimward-most major naval power, but that may have been what you were assuming.
Yeah, I don't literally mean a fleet of ships owned by Firewall, I mean a fleet of ships Firewall has burned lots of rep, called in lots of favors, and pulled a lot of strings to get together to fight the enemy. I called it Firewall's fleet for simplicity's sake, but in reality it's a bunch of smaller fleets from various factions that are all there to fight the same enemy.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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While the majority of the Firewall fleet engages the TITAN ship to distract it from using an orbital bombardment on the weapon
How? It's not like there's really an upper range bound for attacking an unmoving target from space.
Directly targeting guns that could perform an orbital bombardment as well as positioning themselves to intercept any attack fired at the building, sacrificing themselves rather than let their only hope get destroyed.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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Eris has been completely destroyed
What happens to the Discord Gate?
Haven't decided exactly, presumably it will be integrated with the TITAN ship/habitat somehow. Whether part of Eris itself with the gate on it is left intact nearby the ship or if it is actually directly moved onto the ship is to be determined. For all intents and purposes transhumanity loses access to the Discord Gate.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
For some general stuff: This seems really combat heavy, which I don't think EP lends itself to exceptionally well. PCs are pretty fragile, and fights are super snowballey thanks to the death spiral, which typically hurts the party more than the GM's OPFOR. EP also handles itself better than a lot of systems in social or exploratory/skill challenge type things, which seems mostly absent. This scenario also seems to have some strong ideas about what the players will attempt, such as during the power on, or direct assaults against the three objectives. (The mini-bosses don't make a lot of sense if the party deploys stealthy drones for example).
The scenario as I've laid it out does indeed make assumptions about what the players will do, but this is just the main scenario. Essentially, through some method, the players need to 1) stop the ship from actually reaching transhuman habitats and fulfilling it's actual purpose for a long enough time that Firewall can take action 2) Stop the TITAN from abandoning the stalled ship and broadcasting itself to an unprepared habitat under some guise or another that the habitat won't see though since they're obviously not expecting a TITAN to be coming 3) Get off the ship alive to actually notify Firewall (which does involve defeating the pseudo-TITAN one way or another, that part is unavoidable) In the end, I hope to have created multiple methods for the players to do these things. This is merely a first draft with a main scenario of the most direct methods of accomplishing the goals
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I'm not really sure what kind of resources the party has. Does their ship have its own nanofabricators or healing vats? Can they be infected? Does the party know if they can be infected or not? Can the party be infected by the Exsurgents, and if so, what kind of infection is it? Are exsurgent plagues present? What kind of exsurgents are present? Self Replicating Nanoswarms or active Fetches? A lot of the difficulty moderation seems to be missing besides ambiguous stuff like "deadly" or "strong psi". What does deadly mean to you? Speed 4 combat monsters with invisibility, 70+ combat skills and seeker or rail weapons? Speed 1 or 2 fancy gunmen? Physically imposing but stupid beasts?
I listed the resources in the secondary document. They do have their own healing vats and nanofabs. As for infection, they do not know if they can be infected. For the most part they can't, the Exsurgents and their particular strain of the virus have mutated so much that it would take a good deal of time for the strain to undo those evolutions to affect the PCs again, then evolve back. There is the danger of a psi-user being subverted when they use the artifacts the party finds on the habitat, but the process is very gradual and has its own system attached (the rough draft of which is listed in document 2 as well) The only Exsurgents present on the habitat are the original kind created for this module. Their ability for rapid adaptation will result in a variety of sub-types arising, but all will technically be offshoots from the original. What I consider deadly... honestly this will depend a lot on the party itself. When I'm making an enemy very powerful I tend to do so in a variety of ways, the 70+ skills and big guns is one way, and physically imposing enemies are another I often use. However the theme of the Exsurgents in the campaign here is accelerated evolution, combining biological evolution's creativity with the rapid modification potential of a machine. I will start them off as a pretty standard enemy, probably with skills in the 50-60 range, pretty basic weaponry, and their only real challenging feature being that they're very durable and well armored, as well as intelligent. Then they'll adapt to suit the individual party they face. This gives me the liberty to fine tune the challenge of the module in a way that actually makes sense with the plot, rather than arbitrarily raising or lowering stats.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I like the basic idea of racing against the clock against something really bad, but this kind of feels like it was written for a space opera game and was ported over into EP. The threat seems kind of out of place for Eclipse Phase and the TITANs. EDIT: What are you looking to build the adventure around as its core? The battleship? The tension?
I touch upon this in the documents as well (I think document 2 again). The theme is very much about the tension and horror. The combat serves as a mechanism to drive things home, but it actually isn't the core thing here. What the core concept is is that a small team of sentinels on a recon mission inadvertently awaken this ship. The ship itself is unimportant, its what it resembles that matters. It is an unstoppable monstrosity. A massive, dwarf planet sized weapon designed with the explicit purpose of obliterating them and all of their species. It is an insurmountable foe for a team like them, a horrifying, overwhelming enemy that can't simply be handled with lots of guns or with social suave. It is not a ship, it is extinction given form, and the PCs are the only ones who know its coming. They are the first and only line of defense transhumanity has now. If they don't find a way to do the impossible and stop the unstoppable, extinction claims them. They are not Olympian heroes who charge in guns blazing and cut down the threat in a glorious battle, they are just measly, frightened, hopelessly outmatched humans in a desperate struggle to merely survive. They are insignificant specks compared to what they face, and yet they must defeat it, and do so quickly. That is what the essence of the campaign is meant to be, not a battle royale or anything, but a dive into existential horror and dread, letting the PCs struggle against the inevitable, with hope growing further and further away with each battle, until eventually they come out on the other side, having survived against all the odds. Their victory made all the sweeter by its sheer impossibility. They stared extinction in the face and kicked it in the balls until it dropped. All the dread and horror leading up to that moment of victory serves to make the victory more meaningful.
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I think I somehow started
I think I somehow started writing before the second document was uploaded, and didn't notice, that clears up a lot of questions I had.
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I added some things in the second document that can probably deal with this stuff. The artifacts scattered about the habitat have their own backstory thing that resourceful players can dig up, the artifacts are of extraterrestrial origin, and are far more advanced than human tech. I can expand this so that the research done on these artifacts was what allowed the habitat to advance so rapidly.
That makes sense to me. I like that, is it related to the Bracewell probe, or is it another example of ETI tech or what? I kinda like the probe idea, as it keeps the ETI contained, and makes this hab related to the "Patient 0" of the TITAN's infection.
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These are some plot holes I'm still working on myself, I pretty much had the general concept and then filled in the blanks to try and make it work. So this part is a bit weak admittedly. I'm considering just having the planet be an outer rim one instead, it made more sense for the technologically advanced hab to be in the inner system closer to Earth, which was the reasoning there, but the artifacts were discovered in the outer rim, so it probably would make more sense. As for the TITANS style being different, each TITAN was unique and had its own ways of doing things, the one I have here is a bit of an eccentric and had a preference for doing things in flashier, more spectacular ways. While most of the TITANs were subtle, this doesn't necessarily mean all of them have to be
Perhaps it simply wasn't sneaky. During the fall, this advanced hab simply fired engines and flew rimward, failing to answer hails, and not traveling close to any hab. Kinda makes it another myth from the fall made manifest when it starts to come back. This particular TITAN could also have been hit extra hard by the Virus, (perhaps the first infected) and is running more on Exsurgent/ETI logic than unfouled TITAN thinking. Just a thought I had if you're looking to make the TITAN less rational.
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The players could do that, and I certainly wouldn't stop them, the issue with that strategy is that due to the sheer size of the habitat, doing things that way would be incredibly inefficient and time consuming. If they do elect to go about things this way, I'll eventually have them trip an old security system which will activate the power that way. Either that, or I can change it so that the power is turned on by their arrival or by an automated system due to the ship's returning to the solar system
One thing that might be kind of neat is to have it start turning on piece by piece. It gives the players an explicit clock to run against before it all turns on (though how quickly the clock advances is really up to the GM), giving some urgency to their early scouting. Maybe the hab starts to activate when it detects their ship approaching, or the explorer did something and the process was really slow at start. I think that having the players know that a lot is going to change well before it does could both make them act a little faster, and support the themes of the campaign.
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Yeah I don't really have anything for this. I completely forgot about Iapetus/Caloris18. My reasoning for Luna/Mars was that since they were the largest human colonies and the ones closest to Earth, they had been too difficult to perfectly defend and ensure no exsurgents/anything else slipped through, while space stations further away from Earth would fare a lot better as they had far fewer refugees and could adopt a more isolationist approach.
I suppose it could be a really early plan, before the TITANs had the kind of weapon (smart dust weapons) which could do that. Or perhaps this TITAN (or its ETI parts) just likes the idea more than throwing dust. It could be a really spectacular contingency plan, or something the Artifacts want to do. You could even play up on the fact that this seems like a really complicated way to accomplish this, and let the players wonder if the building TITAN is crazy, or if this place has a hidden purpose or something.
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snip nature of the TITAN forks/exsurgents
That makes a lot more sense to me, I think I was thinking a little bigger than it was. I like how the ship is too complicated for the smart exsurgents to use. Feels appropriate somehow.
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As for the Foundry, this is why it is the first major objective the PCs need to accomplish. I didn't really go into it in either document, but the amount of time passed in the campaign has a large effect on how many defenders are available to both guard and operate each facility. In the first week or so where the PCs are gathering information, not even all the exsurgents are active yet. Even once the exsurgents are fully online in late week 2, there aren't actually a lot of them to start, barely enough to form a skeleton crew of only the most critical systems. If the PCs act quickly they can actually engage the foundry defenders before it's even brought online. There will still be a few war machines, but they will be ones produced before the shut down, and will be in disrepair.
What will fill that week? I believe it's recon basically, but that's a fair amount of time, so is a lot of it transit time or what? I'm mostly curious because it seems pretty important to be timely. I like being able to get to things quickly and eke out an early advantage.
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As a final note, with the players I'll be dealing with, a TPK made manifest is the only way to give em a real challenge. One player in particular, in the most recent campaign we're going through, has single-handedly defeated more than half of the boss enemies meant for the whole party to fight, one of which was done before the enemy even got to attack because of a surprise round. I really can't pull my punches here
That's fair. It's so hard to judge difficulty between games, as different groups play at such different danger levels. I'm in an online game where I'm the only PC with well upgraded speed for example. Since you know your players, and a setting this against them, you've got a better idea of what works and what lethal means to them than anyone else. In retrospect this was a kind of silly question to ask, but I was curious.
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This idea did occur to me, but it seems to me that as a player, I'd be wary about allowing the comms array to send any sort of message outward. By the time this operation takes place the campaign should be roughly a month in, the ship is now active enough that the risk of maybe sending something..."extra"... along with any message they send essentially kills that course of action.
I suppose this is dependent on how complicated/easy to interface with the comms are, but what about a super simple message? Something like morse code? Definitely stops an egocast, but sending a simple update might be doable. Makes sense they'd want to take down the tower early though, sort of like the magic place all the internet goes through in Age of Ultron.
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They don't necessarily need to destroy the engines, only disable them. Destruction is just the most efficient method. The reason the engines are virtually invincible is because they are made of a hybrid between extraterrestrial and TITAN technology. a TITAN weapon could potentially damage it, but no transhuman weapon is on par here. The types of bombs available to the PCs are useless, no bomb blueprint exists that would be potent enough for the task, except for the antimatter bomb.
I just thought of this, what if the players brought some TITAN war machines they made with them to destroy it? This makes a lot more sense seeing what kind of bombs the players were limited to, the mention that no transhuman bomb at all could just raised my railroad guards.
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1) the TITAN is pissed off, the sabotages the PCs do are taken as a personal affront. It is angry at the damage they caused, and insulted by the fact that lowly transhumans were able to accomplish such damages. It is also angry at the exsurgents for their failure to prevent the PCs from causing so much damage, after several of their strongest officers engaged the PCs and failed, the TITAN deems them unworthy for the task of finishing the job. 2) The eccentric personality of the TITAN plays a role. While most level-headed TITANs would respond with the practical action of just mobbing the PCs with nanoswams and warbots. This one feels the only way to properly take revenge is to do things personally. 3) This TITAN is far from the omniscient-like beings the actual TITANs were, it was cobbled together by exsurgents pulling bits of source code from TITAN derived programs and extrapolating the rest. While it has a fair portion of their power, it is far from a cohesive entity. It is a Frankenstein's monster of coding and its actions are irrational at times. It's in combat tactics will also reflect this.
Somewhere up this post I said something about the TITAN being extra infected. That could come into play as another reason here. A TITAN may not want glorious reliable single combat, but the specific Exsurgent virus it was infected with might. I'm kinda just harping on this because I think an over the top flashy Exsurgent is neat, and hadn't really thought about that yet.
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I was basing this off some other campaigns and stuff. I was under the impression that unless people were confirmed dead, the standard protocol was to wait a certain period of time before resleeving them due to lack of contact, due to the moral and legal stuff involved with having two copies of an ego running around at the same time. I suppose Firewall wouldn't care about moral/legal stuff, but when they resleeve the PCs isn't really important (pretty sure I mistyped that section anyway), the point is that once the PCs are exterminated on the ship, nobody knows what's really going on with it, and by the time anyone can find out, it's too little too late.
I'm just going off of a mention in Termites in the Framework. Mostly I brought it up because as a PC, I'd be pissed that I didn't get any updates or get to be alive for so long in a fast-breaking situation. You could bring them back really quickly and they still couldn't do much, if the ship isn't bearable once it's more prepared. Helps make them not want to run once on board if they realize the no matter what, they're probably going to be the last transhumans to set foot on board the ship.
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snip description of epilogue
To be honest that'll probably be super cool. It just looks super lame written out in GM-speak, but so long as the players don't get wind of that it should be good. I often forget just how different what the players and GM see is.
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Directly targeting guns that could perform an orbital bombardment as well as positioning themselves to intercept any attack fired at the building, sacrificing themselves rather than let their only hope get destroyed.
Make sure the latter makes it into scene description, it's a good visual, and illustrates the desperation of the scene perfectly.
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In the end, I hope to have created multiple methods for the players to do these things. This is merely a first draft with a main scenario of the most direct methods of accomplishing the goals
That important, sounds pretty good that way. I mostly got the space opera thing from the fact that this ship sounds a lot like the Death Star from early glance.
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I touch upon this in the documents as well (I think document 2 again). The theme is very much about the tension and horror. The combat serves as a mechanism to drive things home, but it actually isn't the core thing here. What the core concept is is that a small team of sentinels on a recon mission inadvertently awaken this ship. The ship itself is unimportant, its what it resembles that matters. It is an unstoppable monstrosity. A massive, dwarf planet sized weapon designed with the explicit purpose of obliterating them and all of their species. It is an insurmountable foe for a team like them, a horrifying, overwhelming enemy that can't simply be handled with lots of guns or with social suave. It is not a ship, it is extinction given form, and the PCs are the only ones who know its coming. They are the first and only line of defense transhumanity has now. If they don't find a way to do the impossible and stop the unstoppable, extinction claims them. They are not Olympian heroes who charge in guns blazing and cut down the threat in a glorious battle, they are just measly, frightened, hopelessly outmatched humans in a desperate struggle to merely survive. They are insignificant specks compared to what they face, and yet they must defeat it, and do so quickly.
It might help push that theme if they don't have a home ship to find. Sort of force them out into the ship to hide like rats in the hidden parts of it. Maybe some of the early recon could be finding potential boltholes and useable healing vats or spare morphs, or places to hide ones they brought. I think the ship-as-safe-place idea is simple and functional, but kind of detracts from the running scared through extinction made manifest theme. Perhaps the exterior of the weapon-ship starts slowly changing and seals the places their ship was attached? It also makes procuring stuff which can destroy engines and such more obviously hard to do. Overall, with the answers here (and document 2) I really like this idea. I was a kinda skeptical of the first draft, but this sounds really neat. In the future I'm going to try to keep things a little shorter though, as these posts are getting really hard to use.
Ryse1095 Ryse1095's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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I added some things in the second document that can probably deal with this stuff. The artifacts scattered about the habitat have their own backstory thing that resourceful players can dig up, the artifacts are of extraterrestrial origin, and are far more advanced than human tech. I can expand this so that the research done on these artifacts was what allowed the habitat to advance so rapidly.
That makes sense to me. I like that, is it related to the Bracewell probe, or is it another example of ETI tech or what? I kinda like the probe idea, as it keeps the ETI contained, and makes this hab related to the "Patient 0" of the TITAN's infection.
I'm undecided as of yet, I kind of want it to be related to the Bracewell probe or ETI tech, but at the same time I'm not sure if any ETI tech would actually be the type of things transhumanity or even the TITANs could comprehend and use. I'm thinking that it'll probably be stuff from the ruins of an alien civilization that encountered the Bracewell probe before transhumanity had even moved out of the caves. That civilization is long gone thanks to their own Fall, but one of their colonies built around the probe to study it (before it went horribly wrong and killed them all) is still partially intact
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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These are some plot holes I'm still working on myself, I pretty much had the general concept and then filled in the blanks to try and make it work. So this part is a bit weak admittedly. I'm considering just having the planet be an outer rim one instead, it made more sense for the technologically advanced hab to be in the inner system closer to Earth, which was the reasoning there, but the artifacts were discovered in the outer rim, so it probably would make more sense. As for the TITANS style being different, each TITAN was unique and had its own ways of doing things, the one I have here is a bit of an eccentric and had a preference for doing things in flashier, more spectacular ways. While most of the TITANs were subtle, this doesn't necessarily mean all of them have to be
Perhaps it simply wasn't sneaky. During the fall, this advanced hab simply fired engines and flew rimward, failing to answer hails, and not traveling close to any hab. Kinda makes it another myth from the fall made manifest when it starts to come back.
That might be the best way to do it. The point of it being sneaky was so that it was a big deal when it suddenly showed up somewhere far from where it's supposed to be. But the spectacle of it leaving accomplishes the same thing anyway
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
This particular TITAN could also have been hit extra hard by the Virus, (perhaps the first infected) and is running more on Exsurgent/ETI logic than unfouled TITAN thinking. Just a thought I had if you're looking to make the TITAN less rational.
I was thinking that the virus would be the cause of its irrational thinking, I like the idea of it being one of the first infected though. Technically research on the artifacts begins before the TITANs show up, so maybe this TITAN got curious about the artifacts and when it was looking into them it found the probe, something the researchers would normally have overlooked, and so began the Fall
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
One thing that might be kind of neat is to have it start turning on piece by piece. It gives the players an explicit clock to run against before it all turns on (though how quickly the clock advances is really up to the GM), giving some urgency to their early scouting. Maybe the hab starts to activate when it detects their ship approaching, or the explorer did something and the process was really slow at start. I think that having the players know that a lot is going to change well before it does could both make them act a little faster, and support the themes of the campaign.
I'm on the fence about this, part of what I want to do is have the ship active and producing enemies before the players fully realize what they've unleashed. They'll know that something is happening because of their first encounter with the exsurgent I throw at them right at the start. But it'll take them some time before they figure out the full scale, and during that time the clock is already ticking, which means when they do figure out the truth, they're going to freak the hell out because they've already wasted a bunch of time. The entire ship will be on from the start I think, but perhaps the exsurgents seize control of things piece by piece. Technically they aren't supposed to be running these systems themselves, that was the job of the TITAN, they're just filling the void to deal with the intruders, I imagine it'd take some time before they manage to assert control.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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As for the Foundry, this is why it is the first major objective the PCs need to accomplish. I didn't really go into it in either document, but the amount of time passed in the campaign has a large effect on how many defenders are available to both guard and operate each facility. In the first week or so where the PCs are gathering information, not even all the exsurgents are active yet. Even once the exsurgents are fully online in late week 2, there aren't actually a lot of them to start, barely enough to form a skeleton crew of only the most critical systems. If the PCs act quickly they can actually engage the foundry defenders before it's even brought online. There will still be a few war machines, but they will be ones produced before the shut down, and will be in disrepair.
What will fill that week? I believe it's recon basically, but that's a fair amount of time, so is a lot of it transit time or what? I'm mostly curious because it seems pretty important to be timely. I like being able to get to things quickly and eke out an early advantage.
That first week or two is filled by ignorance mostly. Like I said the PCs don't initially know exactly what is going on and need to figure that out. That takes some time, they then need to figure out a plan, which can take some time as well. Then transit is a little time consuming since there isn't exactly public transportation to use and it's a large place. I'm estimating that the PCs should be able to engage and take the foundry sometime during week 2, week 3 if things go badly for them along the way.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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This idea did occur to me, but it seems to me that as a player, I'd be wary about allowing the comms array to send any sort of message outward. By the time this operation takes place the campaign should be roughly a month in, the ship is now active enough that the risk of maybe sending something..."extra"... along with any message they send essentially kills that course of action.
I suppose this is dependent on how complicated/easy to interface with the comms are, but what about a super simple message? Something like morse code? Definitely stops an egocast, but sending a simple update might be doable. Makes sense they'd want to take down the tower early though, sort of like the magic place all the internet goes through in Age of Ultron.
Possibly, I do need to consider that stuff for the sub-scenario. The comms array will be operating with a lot of artifact technology as well, so it might be too hard to use and be confident that the message was secure no matter how simple it is. I'm hoping that by this part of the campaign that I've made the players a little bit paranoid. ESPECIALLY if one of them is a psi-user and has been using the artifacts. They probably haven't gone full traitor yet, but assuming they're on objective 2 now they've probably used the artifacts enough that it's starting to assert more control and they're becoming aware that there's something wrong now. That fear of the artifact forcing them to send something along that they shouldn't might make them advocate against the party attempting it. (or the artifact itself could push against it)
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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They don't necessarily need to destroy the engines, only disable them. Destruction is just the most efficient method. The reason the engines are virtually invincible is because they are made of a hybrid between extraterrestrial and TITAN technology. a TITAN weapon could potentially damage it, but no transhuman weapon is on par here. The types of bombs available to the PCs are useless, no bomb blueprint exists that would be potent enough for the task, except for the antimatter bomb.
I just thought of this, what if the players brought some TITAN war machines they made with them to destroy it? This makes a lot more sense seeing what kind of bombs the players were limited to, the mention that no transhuman bomb at all could just raised my railroad guards.
Potentially the TITAN war machines they build could damage the engines in lieu of a bomb, but they'd need that chain reaction explosion. There are multiple foundries, so the PCs are still outnumbered 5+ to 1 even if they build an army of machines. The machines are mostly an enabler to make them breaching the inner defenses feasible. If the PCs are REALLY clever and creative, they could come up with a way to get enough machines into the inner defenses to strike the engines. Bear in mind these engines are HUGE. They're capable of moving a dwarf planet like a ship, they're a structure where an antimatter bomb isn't enough to destroy them on its own. So they'd need a lot of machines to actually put a real dent in them through pure firepower. A team of machines setting off the chain reaction of fuel explosions could accomplish it though. But it's a lot simpler for them to use the machines as the diversion and put a bomb down themselves. Plus TITAN war machines are less reliable, cause what if the TITAN seizes control back? In terms of an infosec battle, the TITAN will always win by default unless the PCs get a crit success, in which case they'll delay it. No transhuman hacker in existence has the mental power to engage a TITAN on its home turf like that (except one theoretical character my friend made, who was some sort of cloud computing server encased in a battle suit that housed like 30 AGIs who were all infosec specialists. I'm guessing that level of processing power would allow for a fight against the TITAN fork, albeit a hard one. That character would die horrendously fast though, since it was literally only good at being very, very durable and well armored, and really good at hacking enemy implants and stuff. Against these exsurgents who can adapt to that armor they'd be screwed, but I digress)
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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1) the TITAN is pissed off, the sabotages the PCs do are taken as a personal affront. It is angry at the damage they caused, and insulted by the fact that lowly transhumans were able to accomplish such damages. It is also angry at the exsurgents for their failure to prevent the PCs from causing so much damage, after several of their strongest officers engaged the PCs and failed, the TITAN deems them unworthy for the task of finishing the job. 2) The eccentric personality of the TITAN plays a role. While most level-headed TITANs would respond with the practical action of just mobbing the PCs with nanoswams and warbots. This one feels the only way to properly take revenge is to do things personally. 3) This TITAN is far from the omniscient-like beings the actual TITANs were, it was cobbled together by exsurgents pulling bits of source code from TITAN derived programs and extrapolating the rest. While it has a fair portion of their power, it is far from a cohesive entity. It is a Frankenstein's monster of coding and its actions are irrational at times. It's in combat tactics will also reflect this.
Somewhere up this post I said something about the TITAN being extra infected. That could come into play as another reason here. A TITAN may not want glorious reliable single combat, but the specific Exsurgent virus it was infected with might. I'm kinda just harping on this because I think an over the top flashy Exsurgent is neat, and hadn't really thought about that yet.
Pretty much this, I like the extra infected idea as well, and that might be the source of the eccentric personality as well as a lot of the irrational rage. I mean, if a transhuman is little more than an annoying insect to a TITAN, can you imagine what it'd be to the ETI? Assuming the exsurgent virus carries the will of the ETI to some degree, it'd be like a transhuman actually foiling the plans of an ETI. You can be sure that if an ETI were planning something and an entity as pathetic as a transhuman somehow foiled it, that ETI would be insulted and angry beyond human comprehension. It'd be like losing a fight because a single bacteria cell sneezed on your toe and somehow crippled you or some equally ridiculous analogy. If that happened you'd probably ram that toe into a tub of disinfectant to relish the destruction of the offending bacteria. Thats the mentality here, it isn't satisfying enough for the PCs to just be killed, the TITAN wants to savor their deaths and relish in its vengeance.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
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snip description of epilogue
To be honest that'll probably be super cool. It just looks super lame written out in GM-speak, but so long as the players don't get wind of that it should be good. I often forget just how different what the players and GM see is.
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Directly targeting guns that could perform an orbital bombardment as well as positioning themselves to intercept any attack fired at the building, sacrificing themselves rather than let their only hope get destroyed.
Make sure the latter makes it into scene description, it's a good visual, and illustrates the desperation of the scene perfectly.
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In the end, I hope to have created multiple methods for the players to do these things. This is merely a first draft with a main scenario of the most direct methods of accomplishing the goals
That important, sounds pretty good that way. I mostly got the space opera thing from the fact that this ship sounds a lot like the Death Star from early glance.
Honestly when you said space opera I did think it wasn't entirely inaccurate, the best analogy for the feeling of despair and helplessness against an insurmountable foe that comes to my mind is Cthulhu, a being so beyond humanity that anything they do is insignificant and pointless. Obviously the gap in power isn't quite that wide here, but still. Thematically it shares a lot of qualities.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
It might help push that theme if they don't have a home ship to find. Sort of force them out into the ship to hide like rats in the hidden parts of it. Maybe some of the early recon could be finding potential boltholes and useable healing vats or spare morphs, or places to hide ones they brought. I think the ship-as-safe-place idea is simple and functional, but kind of detracts from the running scared through extinction made manifest theme. Perhaps the exterior of the weapon-ship starts slowly changing and seals the places their ship was attached? It also makes procuring stuff which can destroy engines and such more obviously hard to do.
I would do this, but I kind of feel like the odds are stacked heavily enough against the PCs already without my denying them basic resources at the beginning. There is a feature that idk if I wrote down or not that there are 3 docking locations. 2 of which are conventional docking bays, the third is a more subtle and hidden one. If the PCs choose either obvious location, they'll quickly find that enemies have cut them off from their ship, requiring they fight their way in and out a lot. If they're smart and find that hidden location, the exsurgents won't find it unless they're followed back to it, in which case they'll be surrounded same as the others. In that case they'll effectively lose access to those healing vats/morphs and be thrown into the situation you described. They'll need to be paranoid about making sure their location isn't discovered. As the weeks pass on and the number of enemies increases there will be increasing risks of their ship's discovery. They could lose access right at the beginning, or find it suddenly denied to them after a rough battle where they're wounded and need those vats badly. It comes down to how smart they are and the luck of the dice.
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Overall, with the answers here (and document 2) I really like this idea. I was a kinda skeptical of the first draft, but this sounds really neat. In the future I'm going to try to keep things a little shorter though, as these posts are getting really hard to use.
Shorter would be nice, I do love and appreciate getting this much feedback to get the ideas flowing, but yeah, it took me like 3 hours to write that last response and another hour and a half for this one lol. It's a bit much to handle all at once with the format of this forum.