Blue Giant:Scenario Kong Tiki
The PCs are asked to investigate a communications breakdown from a university bio-research facility on a dead planet orbiting a black hole. The base has been invaded by dangerous ape-like creatures with tiki mask like faces. These creatures have killed most of the students, and the remaining survivors need rescued from the heavily damaged base and protected from the apes.
The Damocles binary system consists of a black hole called Dionysus, the red giant called Damocles and Damocles One which is the iron core of a planet that once orbited Damocles. Damocles One is roughly half the mass of Earth (so all jumping distances are doubled) and has an extended orbit around the binary system.
The story is set on a research base deep inside a cavern at the bottom of a polar canyon on Damocles One. The research base is a series of nine prefabricated modules connected by pressurised walkways between the modules. Two smaller modules are set on the ground and are connected by elevators to two upper modules. The research base has been deliberately damaged by the research team in order to prevent the mask apes reaching the modules in which the survivors have taken refuge.
The base sits in a cave with no atmosphere. Beyond the cavern are a series of caves linked by tunnels, some tunnels are natural and some have been created by the scientists. These extend as far as you deem necessary. The cave is made of solid iron, heated and cooled by the supernova explosion. The stalactites hanging from the roof make landing anywhere except the landing pad impossible, and the cables supporting each module don't help either.
The base was first damaged by a quake brought on by tidal forces and a tremor caused by explosive charges used by the scientists to access new areas. The cable holding up the living quarters snapped and provided access for the mask-apes.
Professor Klein is the head of the expedition but will remain unconscious throughout the scenario due to being tranquillized by the dart gun.
Dr Santini has the dart gun and is not afraid to use it. He is a vain egotist who is unfortunately correct in his assumption that he is one of the foremost xenobiologists ever to have existed and that his death would be a great loss to the scientific community. He will not knowingly risk his life to any rescue plan that requires him to make a stat or skill check to survive. He also shot Professor Klein by mistake.
Profesor Mortimer has a forceful personality and represents himself as the spokesperson for the survivors. His teaching method has always been to challenge students and make them justify their statements and actions. It is a method he will use on the rangers. This might come off as arguing every little point they make.
Dr Ali is Professor Mortimer's sycophant and lab assistant. He will always assure the Professors safety first. He has some knowledge of electronics.
Dr Edwin is younger than the others, in his early thirties. He's fairly laid back and cool. Unless he sees otherwise, he will assume that the PCs know what they are doing and will be willing to help them. He also has a beagle's head. If asked, he will explain that he was in a band as a teenager and that that sort of modification was all the rage back in the day and that it's no big deal.
Sumi King is a young intern, she very much desires to leave the research station as quickly as possible and will actively assist the PCs. She may even second guess or pre-empt the PCs with problematic consequences. She will try to justify her mistakes, but she won't make the same mistake twice.
Delbert Curtis is a student hiding out in Laboratory 1. He is weak from thirst, tired and stressed. He responds well to being shouted at.
The theme for this scenario is duty and responsibility. The PCs have a duty to save the scientists from themselves and the apes. While they may want to leave them behind or beat them senseless, they really shouldn't.
Mask-apes: If the PCs encounter apes on top of the modules then they have plenty of room to manoeuvre, but so do the apes, who will use leaping charging attacks. If they encounter the apes inside the modules, then you should take into account that the corridors are narrow and the apes masks stop anyone getting behind them. The apes are agile enough to twist and turn on the spot should someone get behind them. The apes are stealthy and PCs will have to make an awareness roll to hear them. If the corridors have no atmosphere then the PCs will not even get a listen roll to detect stealthy approaches.
Missing Walkways: The distance between Comms and Storage is 45m. The distance between the Landing Pad and Storage is 55m, but there is a cable strung between them. The cable will take the weight of one person or ape but only if it is not shook violently. The distance between the Landing Pad and Laboratory 2 is 80m. The distance between Laboratory 1 and Laboratory 2 is 80m. The Mask-apes can jump about 50m in the half gravity of the core. So far they have had no reason to visit the other half of the module, since they have detected no radio signals from there.
Moving Scientists: Some scientists will be unwilling to do anything acrobatic that requires a roll of the dice. They may agree to move by one of the vehicles.
The scientists are a mixed bunch of civilians who have led a mostly sheltered existence (except Dr Edwin who has 'put the bite down' in his fair share of bar brawls). They are scared and look to the PCs to save them. They express fear in different ways. Some might panic, others head straight for denial and assigning blame and others might get 'stupid brave'. However, they will make their opinions known at every step of the way.
It is impossible to interact with the Mask-apes in any meaningful way. If the PCs find themselves in a non combat situation with a Mask-ape it will act like a pushy schoolyard bully.
Piloting: It is possible for the rangers spaceship to land on the landing pad. As long as the modules connected to the landing pad stay attached to the Containment 1 module, the landing pad won't tip over. Between the stalactites and the cables hanging from the roof it is not possible to pilot any vessel across to the unattached sections.
Spacesuits: The trapped scientists are all in the Laboratory 3 module. Their spacesuits are in the living quarters. If the PCs decide to replicate more spacesuits then they have a second problem. A standard replicator has one foot of cubic capacity. This is big enough to create a lightweight space helmet for a normal sized head. Dr Edwin has a beagle's head with a snout 18 inches long. He requires his own custom made helmet.
Mask-apes: There are at least a dozen Mask-apes in or on the modules attached to the landing pad. More can enter the cavern from the tunnels that the scientists created (should you require them). To begin with there should only be one Mask-ape on top of the modules, just to give the PCs a taste of what they're up against.
Starship Weapons: Someone may get the bright idea of shooting the Mask-apes with the starship armaments. Any damage that misses the the apes will damage and destabilize the structure and risk the life of Delbert Curtis in Laboratory 1.
Secure Modules: Only Comms, the Living Quarters, the Landing Pad, and Laboratory 1 have been breached by the Mask-apes. Containment 1 & 2 and the Vehicle Yard are secure, as are Storage, Laboratory 2 & 3, and the Ground Lab.
Module Resources: Containment 1 & 2 contain heavy duty containment facilities capable of holding the Mask-apes. There are eight cells in each module.
The Vehicle Yard and Ground Lab each contain one small pressurized ground vehicles capable of holding four people. They have open topped unpressurised trailers capable of holding up to six people.
There are 10 charges of 40pt (area x2) damage explosives in the Storage area. The explosives can be set off by remote signal, tripwire, timer or any other way the PCs can think of. The explosives do not have an area of effect in a vacuum.
Add other resources as you see fit.
Radio Communications: Mask-apes communicate by radio signals and one or two will usually investigate any comm chatter they pick up. It also means that although the scientists can hear the PCs arrive, they will not respond.
There are a number of things the PCs can do. They can fight the apes head on or try to lure them away from the base or try to capture the apes. They can take the scientists down one column, across the ground of the cavern and back up the other column, and clear a way to the landing pad. They can try using a pulley and harness, or a lifting platform to move the scientists across the gap.
I suggest that their first plan fails and their second plan is given every chance to succeed.
The scenario is resolved when there are no more scientists in need of rescue. Afterwards the PCs will learn that Dr Santini is pressing charges against them for, well, anything he can come up with. Nothing will come of it though.
1 CP for rescuing a majority of survivors OR
2 CP for rescuing all the survivors.
1 CP for demonstrating professionalism and restraint in handling the survivors.
-1 CP for destroying the base.
-1 CP for deliberately killing off all the mask-apes.
Assume roughly the same stats for all the NPCs. Delbert Curtis will operate at a 2 pt penalty on all checks due to fatigue.
Body 4, Mind 8, Soul 4
Highly Skilled 2, Personal Equipment 1 (Scientific gear)
A bunch of science skills (40pts worth) including Biology(Xenobiology)
Health Points: 40, Energy Points: 60, ACV: 5, DCV: 3,
Total CPs : 20
The Mask Apes of the moon of Damocles are a vacuum dwelling, carbon based, more or less simian life forms with an enlarged, heavily armoured face plate which resembles a cross between a tiki mask and a tricerotops head. They are covered in a thick yellowish matted hair and have two enormous, two foot long horns protruding from the face plate. They are about the size of a large man. The mask takes up most of a corridor in the base.
They are aggressive, semi sentient and predatory. They treat any radio signal as a challenge to their dominance and act accordingly. Once a pecking order has been established they will obey the instructions of the dominant creature and can follow simple instructions such as 'go there', 'get that thing', follow me' etc. They produce a brief arc of electricity from their horns for show and communication. The arc will sting but is not dangerous. They can climb walls and hang from roofs or flat surfaces.
The Mask apes always try to face their enemy and will use any spare movement action to turn to face them. They are agile because of their great strength compared to their size. If flanked they will retreat, or failing that, try to charge into or past a flanker.
Body 8, Mind 3, Soul 4
Combat Mastery - 3, Damn Healthy - 3, Features - 1 (electrical horn discharge), Heavy Armour - 3 (partial, only facing enemies), Jumping - 1 (25m x2 in .5g), Kensai - 1 (chanbara master), Life Support - 2, Natural Weapons - 1 (horns), Sensors - 1 (radio), Special Movement - 1 (Wall Crawling), Stealth - 2, Superstrength - 2
Unskilled (2 BP)
Health Points: 90, Energy Points: 35, ACV: 8, DCV: 6,
Horn Attack 30 or 38 charging or 43 charging and leaping
Total CPs : 45
The columns are frictionless and unclimbable. They were made that way because of a smaller wall-crawling stinging scorpion-like creature that inhabits the cavern. The cable suspending the living quarters broke due to faulty installation and a moon-quake. It dangles within reach of a stalagmite. The tubes between the east side of the base and the west side of the base were destroyed by radio detonated explosives. The mask-apes destroyed one of the charges between coms and storage.
Generic Map of Modules
The modules are generic prefabrications and have exactly the same layout except the ground modules which have only the inner rooms 9, 10 and 11. Each module has Heavy Armour 40 on the walls and 30 on the roof and floor. The green doors are have a generic layout and will be laid out the same way in every module. The red doors will only exist if there is a connecting bridge to the next module. Doors will not open if there is a difference in pressure on either side. There is a 50% chance that a random door has no power. If there is air on both sides or vacuum on both sides then the doors will open. Doors have 20 Armour points and 20 Health. If the door is reduced to 10 health, it springs a leak. Characters will have air for 1 combat round for each point of health the door has left. Cables have 30 armour and 30 health.
You are invited to include a summary of how the scenario played out with your group.