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Ur-Quan Masters/Star Control ship/NPC/plot hook thread


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#1 Fortinbras

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 06:34 AM

Recently I toyed around with the idea of introducing Star Control-related races and ships into my game.   This was mainly a way to try and reduce the grim darkness in between grim dark encounters.   Sort of an encounter that might leave everyone else scratching their heads and wondering "What the hell?!", With the exception of the Kzer-Za and Korh-Ah, most of these encounters can simply be dialogue-based rather than erupting into a shooting war, and most of the races have comical interactions and backstory.  Obviously, these encounters are more fun if your players have never played Star Control or its open source clone The Ur-Quan Masters.  

Alternately this can serve as the starting point for an extended campaign involving a great exterminatus of all the involved races, or the Rogue Trader emerging as the fulcrum which tips the balance of the conflict in one direction or another.  In general, the Rogue Trader and his ship are an anomaly to most everyone they'll meet (with the exception of the Melnorme, who KNOW EVERYTHING), with a highly powerful ship that the Ur-Quan will consider precursor, enraging them.   However there are hundreds of them, and one of you. 

Warp Travel:  The Rogue Trader can jump across the entire sector in a single day.  Other ships navigate the Warp similar to the Tau, without the use of Navigators and more reliant on small system-to-system jumps.   The entire Korh-Ah Death March should take approximately 6 months to scour the entire subsector from one end to the next.  On the other hand, their ships are never lost to warp storms or other nasty things.  

Anyways:  Some of these ships might have bizarre, overpowered/underpowered stats.  This is intentional.  I don't make space/power calculations for these ships, as they're not designed to be flown by PC's under any circumstances.   Except maybe the Earthling Cruiser or Androsynth Raider.

Crew Population: These ships are highly automated and their ships should be considered undermanned in comparison with a normal Imperial ship, but their crew are better armed, armored, and trained. 

 

Background:  In a spiral star cluster deep in the uncharted Cineris Maleficum lies an area of space occupied by multiple alien races with small spheres of influence.   The area surrounding the star cluster is a trail of death and destruction against the spin of the cluster, and a trail of worlds encased in impenetrable red energy shields following the spin of the cluster.   Where the two trails meet, a large conflict is currently underway between two sides, and one genocidal force.  

Organizations: 

Alliance of Free Stars

Non-Aligned Races

Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Hierarchy of Battle Thralls

Korh-Ah Path of Now and Forever

 

 

 



#2 Fortinbras

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 06:36 AM

Spathi Discriminator/Eluder (equivalent to raider-class)

Speed: 11
Maneueverability: 30
Detection: +30
Hull Integrity: 25
Armor: 11
Turret Rating: 1
Weapons: 1 Keel, 1 Prow
Prow - Pulse Cannon [STR: 5 DAM: 1d5+1 Crit: 5 Range: 4] (use Howler Cannon rules from P.74, Edge of the Abyss)
Keel - Backwards Utilizing Tracking Torpedo or "B.U.T.T." Missile. (Use rules for torpedoes, which will be upcoming in BF:Koronus. Until then: STR 2 DAM 1d10+5 Crit: 3 Range: 10)

Essential Components: Xeno-Hull, Warp Engine, Void Shield, Mollusk Pods, Spathi Hyperwave Scanner, Spathi Atmosphere/Oceansphere generator

Supplemental Components: Decoy Quarters, Pulse Cannon, B.U.T.T. Missile Launcher


Special Rules:

THE ULLLLLTIMATE EVIL! - Spathi captains are constantly on the alert for an entity the Spathi call the Ultimate Evil. As yet, the Ultimate Evil remains largely unmanifest, and its powers and exact intentions are still a bit obscure since it lurks just outside the range of even the most sensitive, long-range detectors of the Spathi, which they feel gives conclusive evidence as to The Ultimate Evil's nefarious intent. Spathi scanners are highly effective and gain +20 on opposed silent running tests.

Backwards Utilizing Tracking Torpedo: B.U.T.T. missiles utilize heretical xeno-technology in their guidance systems. Roll BS twice and discard the lowest result, however BUTT missiles may only be fired to 1.5x their maximum range due to quick expenditure of propellant. 

Decoy Quarters: Spathi are paranoid, cowardly creatures, and half their ship is essentially a decoy. Treat as a Tenebro-Maze for purposes of critical hits against the ship. Alternately, the decoy quarters may be sacrificed in another component's stead. If the ship has not sacrificed its decoy quarters and suffers a crippling strike, the decoy quarters may also be sacrificed again to avoid the penalties of being crippled, this lasts until the ship takes damage again.

Encounter Notes: The Spathi are a cowardly meta-mollusk race, intensely paranoid and skittish. They will run at the first sight of trouble, unless their masters are present (choosing to fight the less scarier of the two!) though they are not above talking when cornered. (They are also not above firing their guns when cornered) Their voice sounds grating on the ears, and slightly whiney. They have absolutely no desire to be dragged into any conflict, even if it means they are freed from the Ur-Quan Heirarchy and are envious of one day being encased in a slave-shield, safe from Imperial Exterminatus and Korh-Ah bombardment alike. Intimidation tests will help a lot dealing with these creatures.

In addition, there is a single Spathi squadron of Intruders that actually seem to enjoy and relish combat. Known as the Black Spathi Squadron, with ships painted black and red. If these ships are encountered, discard everything you might think you know about the Spathi's nature!

 



#3 Fortinbras

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:26 PM

VUX Intruder (Cruiser-class)

Speed: 3
Detection: +15
Armor: 20
Turret Rating: 2
Maneuverability: +7
Hull Integrity: 64
Weapon Capacity: Prow, Keel
Prow - Gigawatt Laser Cannon (Lance STR: 3 DAM:1d10+3 Crit: 3 Range: 7)
Keel - Limpet Mines (see special rules)

Essential Components: VUX-Hull, Warp Engine, Void Shield, Gooey Quarters, VUX Auspex Scanner, VUX atmosphere generator

Supplemental Components: VUX Warp Jammer, Terawatt Laser Cannon, Limpet Mine Launcher

Warp Jammer - The VUX Warp Jammer makes navigating the Warp in their general proximity very difficult. If a VUX Cruiser is in system, when the Navigator makes his leaving the warp test, add -30 difficulty to the test. If the Navigator fails his test, the ship emerges within 4 VU of the VUX Cruiser and is considered to be surprised.

Limpet Mine Launcher - When a Limpet Mine is launched, place a token/marker for it on the VU grid square the ship occupies. The limpet mine is moved 3 VU's towards its target every turn. If it reaches the same grid-square as the player's ship, make a -10 difficulty pilot+maneuevering test. On a failure, the ship is struck by the limpet mine and maneuevering and speed are reduced by 1/4th. This can stack up to 4 times. Only 5 limpet mines may be released at any given time.

Encounter Notes: The VUX are a hideous species, even more hideous than the Stryxis. One eye, green skin, an ant-eater like nose/tongue proboscis, and two tentacle arms. But as disgusting as you might find them, they find humans even more repulsive with their smooth skin and vertical bisymmetry. You will never, EVER, make friends with a VUX. Except ones whose fetishes specifically tend towards the hideous, which will make them outcasts in their own society. Ironically their temperment about humans is much akin to Imperial temperment about them.

 

 



#4 jareddm

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:30 PM

While I never played Star Control 1 or 2 when it was first out, I absolutely LOVED Ur-Quan Masters!  This is a very cool idea and I would love to see stats for the Druuge, Chenjesu, or Mnrnmhrm as I feel those present some of the most alien personalities without being ludicrously  silly *cough* Pkunk *cough*



#5 Fortinbras

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:27 PM

jareddm said:

 

While I never played Star Control 1 or 2 when it was first out, I absolutely LOVED Ur-Quan Masters!  This is a very cool idea and I would love to see stats for the Druuge, Chenjesu, or Mnrnmhrm as I feel those present some of the most alien personalities without being ludicrously  silly *cough* Pkunk *cough*

 

 

Thanks, I think I'm working on them from easiest to most complex.  Also, unless I mention otherwise, Prow mount means the weapon can shoot only to the fore arc, even for cruisers.

Mycon Podship (cruiser-class)

"Juffo-Wup is All. Omni-existent, spreading and changing the Non into Juffo-Wup. You are Non, who must become Juffo-Wup or void. We are the agents of Juffo-Wup. We are the Mycon."

Speed: 6
Maneueverability: +10
Detection: +10
Armor: 18
Hull Integrity: 56
Turret Rating: 1
Weapon Capacity: Prow
Weapons: Plasma Cannon (STR: 3 DAM: 1d10+10 CRIT: 5 RNG: 10)

Essential Components: Fungal Spore Chambers, Plasma Furnace, Warp Engine, Void Shield, Sulfur Vents, Hierarchy Auspex

Supplemental Components: Plasma Cannon, Growth Zones

Special Rules:

Homing Plasmoid - The Mycon Podship discharges something akin to a miniature sun with extreme damage potential, using unknown heretical methods to guide the projectile towards its target, giving a -10 to the initial BS roll.  However, the nature of the projectile allows a good pilot to avoid the brunt of the damage. On an opposed piloting+maneuever test against the BS roll of the Mycon Podship, the ship manages to swerve to avoid the projectile on a success. In addition, the plasma projectile loses potency after discharge. Subtract 1 damage for each VU the projectile crosses before it strikes the player's ship. (Example: At 1 VU, maximum damage is 1d10+10. At 10 VU maximum damage is 1d10). At twice optimal range, the projectile disperses harmlessly.

Regrowth - The ship's crew of fungal mushroom-like inhabitants can focus themselves on recovering from damage through a mixture of photosynthesis and unknown means. This recovers 1d5+3 hull integrity and crew, but the ship lacks the energy to fire for that strategic round. This action also repairs any damaged or unpowered component.

Notes: The Mycon are a fungal mushroom-like creature with multiple limbs growing from their underside. Their habitats, both aboard ship and planetside are hellish places with temperatures barely below the melting point of lead. They are also remarkably hardy, capable of surviving exposure to space and sub-zero cold for extended periods. When they speak they are highly calm and stoic in their voice, talking incessantly about "Juffo-Wup" and the "Non" in a very religious manner. They are unpredictable and usually hostile. While nominally associated with the Ur-Quan Hierarchy of Battle Thralls, they spend most of their time seeking out worlds to colonize, often turning habitable worlds into volcanic dead worlds in the process in remarkably short order. If the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za were ever to find out about this, the Mycon could find themselves annihilated by the Kzer-Za for their seditious behavior.


 



#6 Fortinbras

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 08:17 PM

 Druuge Mauler (heavy frigate)

"I feel I should warn you about one of our laws, specifically Druuge Statute 3429 - subsection A86, Definition of Starship Derelicts. Simply put, Captain, this statute recognizes that the universe is an inherently hostile place and any ship which is unable to defend itself incites violence by encouraging piracy. Therefore any unarmed vessel in our space is defined as a derelict and is available for salvage by anyone who finds it. I note that your ship is unarmed, and unescorted. Therefore, by Druuge law, your ship is deemed derelict and subject to the laws of salvage. While I would prefer to take your ship intact, alas I suspect you will force me to sell it as scrap." - Druuge Captain, to the captain and crew of the freighter Deus Vult

Speed: 2
Maneueverability: 15
Detection: 15
Turret Rating: 1
Hull Integrity: 30
Armor: 15
Weapon Capacity: Prow
Weapon: Druuge High Recoil Macrocannon Battery (STR: 3 DMG: 1d10+2 CRIT: 5 RNG: 15)

Essential Components: Druuge Trading Bridge, Druuge Slave Quarters, Warp Engine, Druuge Furnace Engine, Atmospheric Processor, Druuge Auspex Sensor, Void Shield

Supplemental Components: High Recoil Cannon, Furnace Supercharger

Special Rules:

High Recoil Cannon - The speed of a Druuge Mauler is abysmal. The ship is little more than a habitation module and engine strapped to a massive cannon, a glorified oribital defense platform. The thrust of the ship is so weak, that when the cannon is fired, it actually propels the ship backwards, up to a rating of 2 VU's per round fired.

Furnace Supercharger - Normally the Druuge macrobattery can only be fired three times per strategic turn without stressing the power systems. This can be supercharged by a captain by feeding his own crew into the furnace to supercharge it and restore power more quickly after a taxing firing of the macrobattery. For -5/-10 crew on a strategic turn, the Druuge Mauler can add +1/+2 to its macrobattery's Strength rating for that turn. This must be declared before any shooting action is resolved. All normal penalties for reduced crew apply.

Encounter Notes: The Druuge are an ugly porcine-like race of fat humanoids with unsightly and odorous discharges running from their noses, mouths, ears, and eyes. A highly legalized corporate society, every Druuge is an employee and stockholder of the Crimson Corporation, the sole governing entity of the Druuge people. Air is sold to citizens for work, and breathing without paying for it is considered stealing from the company and subject to immediate termination. Like the Stryxis, they will buy warm bodies from anyone willing to sell in exchange for goods or information. Unlike the Stryxis however the Druuge are notorious scam artists, and will utilize any loophole to avoid actually compensating you, or con you into buying a worthless xeno artifact of no real value.   While they are officially neutral, they hate the Stryxis, and the Melnorme as competitors in the trading business, and will urge anyone they come in contact with to kill them on sight. Like the Stryxis, they are not afraid of taking advantage of a trading partner in a weak position.

 

 

 



#7 Fortinbras

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 07:16 AM

Orz Nemesis (frigate-class)

NOTE: Incompatible continuity with the Androsynth


 

 

"That is *funny*. You think you *see* Orz but Orz are not *light reflections*. Maybe you think Orz are *many bubbles* too. It is such a joke. Orz are not *many bubbles* like *campers*. Orz are just Orz. I am Orz. I am one with many *fingers*. My *fingers* reach through into *heavy space* and you *see* Orz *bubbles*, but it is really *fingers*." - Orz Captain upon first contact

Speed: 8
Maneuverability: 20
Detection: 15
Armor: 16
Hull Integrity: 34
Turret Rating: 2
Weapon Capacity: 1 Dorsal
Weapons: Dorsal Howitzer Macrocannon (STR: 3 DMG: 1d10+3 CRIT: 5 RNG: 7)

Essential Components: Liquid-Tank Bridge, Gas/Ethanol Solution Generators, Ethanol-filled Quarters, Warp Drive, Orz Thruster Engine, Orz IDF Scanner

Supplemental Components: Howitzer Macrocannon, Marine Armory, Marine Launch Bays

Special Rules:

Rotating Howitzer: The Orz Howitzer Macrocannon is mounted well above the superstructure and may fire in any direction.

GO, GO, GO!: As a supplemental action the Orz Nemesis may launch contingents of armored exosuit-clad Orz squads out of rear launch bays as a Hit-and-Run action. For each squad launched, subtract 6 from the crew total. Each Orz marine is the size of a Space Marine Dreadnought, and carries heavy weaponry. Orz gain +20 to Hit and Runs on both the initial piloting test and opposed command test. On a tie opposed command roll, the squad stays aboard for the next turn. On a failure the squad is killed. Additional boarded squads add +10 to the Orz command test. All reduced crew penalties apply.

Marine Armory: All Orz possess an exosuit for boarding actions or hit and runs. +20 to command test for opposing boarding actions or repelling hit and runs.

From Beyond: Orz are immune to psychic actions during starship combat.

Encounter Notes: The Orz are strange, even by the standards of a jaded Rogue Trader captain. Physically they appear to be a spherical cephalopod with four tentacle limbs which sprout from two main tentacles, a beak, two eye-stalks, and gills on either side of their beaky mouth. Capricious and nonsensical, no translation matrix is capable of deciphering their language, and their mind is the very definition of alien. They are friendly and talkative to anyone who can stand their bizarre language long enough to strike up a conversation, and even will gleefully ally with anyone who wants to be their friend (or *happy camper*). A Rogue Trader who enlists their aid may find themselves regretting their decision, however. There is something very disturbing about the way the Orz talk about other races, and there is of course the question of what happened to the civilization that preceded them in the systems they occupy. Nothing of that race of human-analogues is left but crumbling, empty cities that look as if they were the site of a brutal internecine planetary war. Asking about them though, makes the Orz *frumple*, and the Orz will attempt to kill anyone on sight who asks about what happened to them after only a couple of warnings. The Ordo Malleus know something about this strange race, but they are not telling, and interaction with the Orz is guaranteed to attract their wrath.  The Orz dislike the Arilou, and will destroy VUX on sight for asking too many questions about the Androsynth.  

NPC/Interaction Notes: All Orz possess the traits From Beyond, Stuff of Nightmares, and Strange Physiology. Any investigation actions or lore rolls to discover more about the Orz have the potential to inflict 1d10 points of insanity upon the participant and trigger a Shock roll. On a failure, the character sees ghostly creatures all around, that even worse seem to be able to inflict physical harm upon him.  Unless sedated quickly, total insanity will set in as the character goes insane from the revelation of what the Orz really are.  

 

 



#8 Sna

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:08 PM

Wow, there is two geek hobbies that I thought would never cross over. Stellar work, though, works great as random encounters.



#9 Steve-O

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:15 AM

Fortinbras said:

Recently I toyed around with the idea of introducing Star Control-related races and ships into my game.   This was mainly a way to try and reduce the grim darkness in between grim dark encounters.   Sort of an encounter that might leave everyone else scratching their heads and wondering "What the hell?!", With the exception of the Kzer-Za and Korh-Ah, most of these encounters can simply be dialogue-based rather than erupting into a shooting war, and most of the races have comical interactions and backstory.  Obviously, these encounters are more fun if your players have never played Star Control or its open source clone The Ur-Quan Masters.

I would think this idea would go over better if your players WERE familiar with Star Control.  Otherwise, I would expect them to be left scratching their heads and wondering what the heck these weirdo aliens have to do with the 40k universe.

Don't get me wrong, I love StarCon as much as anyone else who's played it, but this seems a bit of an extreme just to add some comic relief to your game.  For me, it would break suspension of disbelief to go this far outside the grim darkness of the 41st millennium.  If you think it will work with your group, though, I wish you the best of luck.



#10 Fortinbras

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:00 PM

Steve-O said:

I would think this idea would go over better if your players WERE familiar with Star Control.  Otherwise, I would expect them to be left scratching their heads and wondering what the heck these weirdo aliens have to do with the 40k universe.

For me, it would break suspension of disbelief to go this far outside the grim darkness of the 41st millennium. If you think it will work with your group, though, I wish you the best of luck.

That's funny, because I don't remember Stryxis, Rak'Gol, or Yu'Vath from MY wargames. What units do they field? Where are their army codexes? Should I be scratching my head or object to a session featuring them because I never read them in a Dan Abnett novel?
 

Aside from the Spathi, Pkunk, and Utwig,  I can't really think of anything in Star Control 2 that's comical.   The Melnorme are the fleeing remnants of a great civilization.  The Ur-Quan Korh Ah and Kzer-Za have a single difference: One wants to kill you and then place you under a slave shield, the other just wants to kill you.  How wacky!    The Orz talk funny, but they're beings from another dimension who basically need sentient races as material to exist in this plane.  Sort of like Daemons.  And they like it here.    The Ilwrath are sadistic, sociopathic spiders who would love to rip you limb from limb while you watch.  The Druuge feed their own crew into a furnace for a bit of extra energy.  It's just a barrel of laughs over there in that universe.

Also, do Tau break your suspension of disbelief?  So grim and dark those idealistic blue-skins are!  And has an Ork ever done anything that wasn't comical? Squats, Makari Banna Wava, Doomrider, etc., the list goes on of crazy stuff that really isn't grim or dark.  

Anyways, take these additions or leave them, that's what the resource is for.  I'd rather not get into an argument in a thread where I'm essentially giving away free custom ships and NPC's.

 



#11 jareddm

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:28 PM

Fortinbras said:

Each Orz marine is the size of a Space Marine Dreadnought, and carries heavy weaponry.

I knew that the Orz had little boarding party attackers, but I never realized they wore massive Dreadnought sized armor!  That makes them ten times more badass in my book.



#12 Fortinbras

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:42 PM

Hayes described them as "stomping about" the station in robotic exoskeletons which resemble human combat spacesuits.  And in my personal perception an Orz is about the size of a normal adult human.    So I focused on the stomping part more.  Dreadnoughts are pretty stompy.   That's not saying they're as powerful as a Dreadnought, of course.  



#13 Steve-O

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 02:38 AM

Fortinbras said:

Anyways, take these additions or leave them, that's what the resource is for.  I'd rather not get into an argument in a thread where I'm essentially giving away free custom ships and NPC's.

 

I'm sorry you take offense at the fact that I have a different opinion than you do.  If you put something in a public forum, you should be prepared for people to voice their opinions about it.

I wasn't trying to insult you (in fact I do seem to recall wishing you the best of luck, and that was very sincere I assure you.)  I am likewise uninterested in getting into an arguement, therefore I won't bother listing counterpoints to your statements here.  Please continue with your project and have fun, I won't darken your doorstep any longer.






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