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RebelDave

Ghost Ship... Adventure Idea... Need advice.

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OK... so this is simply a nugget of an idea that grew out of some of the piles of manure that reside inside my mind...

 

 

I had the idea of sending the party to a ghost ship. A Wreck. A Drifting Hulk of some sort... be it Star Destroyer, or Clone Wars era destroyer or something of that size... and stuff happens.

 

 

 

But what stuff?

And why are they there?

 

Have they been sent to get something?

Have the stumbled on it and decide to see what they can salvage?

What kind of ship is it?

What might they find?

 

A proper horror/tension type thing.. but the above I cannot seem to work out.

 

Any ideas?

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I'm reminded of when C-3PO, during TESB, tells Han that the Falcon has "the most peculiar dialect." What if somebody tried to murder an enemy/a rival by corrupting a ship's artificial intelligence, and the PCs stumbled across the aftermath? The AI could do things like venting compartments, triggering doors as crushing traps, and the like; it might even project a hologram of the gloating programmer to taunt characters. There could be evidence of the murder aboard the vessel, which would then lead into other adventures.

 

-Nate

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Go with medium large, too big and it gets silly.

 

Say Neb-B?

 

What happened...

 

Say a virus or parasite? Let's go with both. Virus was a short burn bioweapon that runs it's course in a matter of hours, the parasite was just an unlucky coincidence that'll make things extra fun.. The ship was transporting samples from a research facility to a proving ground on another planet and... Oops... wiped out the crew, and the majority were put into a makeshift morgue in the rear flight decks by the simple janitorial droids. So players can search the whole ship and find nothing except roombas for the first few scenes.

 

The virus is just a quick burn virus. It's been designed with a critical flaw in it's DNA that causes it to just break down after a few cycles, so you can hit a location and wait it out, then go in without vaccines or protective gear to mop up.

 

The Parasite is just a bug native to the planet the research facility was on, eggs get on the skin from brushing up against plants and the micro larva burrow in. Normally it doesn't do much. Causes a rash, the body fights it off, there's some peeling and it burns when you fart for a few days. (Fun way to have the players think they are "infected" is to give one or two of them a rash) On dead things though they can pupate. Again normally no big deal, they are just a kind of fly/beetle about an inch long in the end, just wait a couple days and they fly away, no harm done. In humans though the pupa's natural defenses, an electrical burst akin to an electric eel, has a habit of triggering the nervous system. Not full on Zombie, that's been done, but other creepy stuff. Maybe the first body they find starts convulsing while they search it. Or all the bodies in the morgue just suddenly sit up when the players knock something over or make too much noise. Possible one stumbles around a little just to mess with the players. Of course since it's the bug, shooting the bodies in the head does nothing but make a mess and a stink.

 

After some fumbling around investigating, getting some scares, and fighting off a droid or two in pest control mode, the ship can be boarded by salvagers. Trandos are fun, though going with something like Ugor might be a good change. Have some back and forth with the Salvagers and then the whole thing can go sideways when an Imperial recovery team shows up.

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An infamous separatist ship, working on the edges of space developing a bio-engineered virus they could have dropped during the clone wars (as the battledroids would be unaffected but clone troopers would) but was lost during the final days of the war and has become an infamous legend (a ghost ship that spacers talk about in hushed voices in the shadows of the Cantina).

Perhaps the organic crew and scientists were killed and now it is being crewed by the remaining droids who are just continuing their last orders? Or something more sinister like an insane Jedi looking for payback for the fall of his Order? Or an Imperial moff has discovered the ship and is continuing the research for use on ‘unruly’ planets such as Mon Calamar (or whatever they call it now).

 

And because I like moral conflict in my games I'd make it that a cell of vicious rebel operatives know about it and are after it to use on Coruscant, Kuat or Corulag (or whatever favourite Imperial stronghold you like), it's now a race against time to beat the other group to the ghost ship and stop them from committing genocide in the name of the Rebel Alliance…

 

A few additional quick ideas:

​-For an aliens style feel (or perhaps a bodysnatchers feel) Instead of a virus, its a prototype combat droid that was being designed to wear skins of humanoid aliens to infiltrate the enemy but its gone mad and killed all the original scientists and has been lying dormant or preying on all those treasure hunters that came before. Perhaps that is why the hangar bay is full of silent, uncrewed ships and perhaps that why Derssk, your trandoshan ship mechanic has been acting weird since he went to the refresher all alone… 

-If you want to add some more tension its on a time limit so they need to keep moving. The ship (or maybe small asteroid with a hidden base?) is locked into a degrading orbit with a sun, blackhole or populated planet. Or once they power it up its engines are locked into a catastrophic malfunction and explosion etc. It could be a good thing amongst all the horror to be raiding the Ghost Ship to stop it from wiping out their employers favourite Smuggling Haven/Shadowport.

-If you have any Jedi/Force Users in the group then perhaps it is some ancient, meteor -scarred Sith ship from the Old Republic and there is some kind of Jedi Hunting hound twisted by Sith Alchemy as the evil within. That way you can use the Force Sensitives as a motion sensor that can sense the approach of the beast, just like in Aliens to build up the fear. And you can have a room full of the bones of all the Treasure Hunters that came before...

Edited by Ebonwarlock

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I'm reminded of when C-3PO, during TESB, tells Han that the Falcon has "the most peculiar dialect." What if somebody tried to murder an enemy/a rival by corrupting a ship's artificial intelligence, and the PCs stumbled across the aftermath? The AI could do things like venting compartments, triggering doors as crushing traps, and the like; it might even project a hologram of the gloating programmer to taunt characters. There could be evidence of the murder aboard the vessel, which would then lead into other adventures.

 

-Nate

Building on this, instead of an AI what if it was an ancient Sith Lord who found a way to connect a holocron with his personality directly into the ship itself making it a living extension of his holocron 'ghost.' And perhaps he has been trapped for millennia just waiting for someone dumb (or unlucky) enough to turn on all of the systems including the holocron/computer interface. Could be scary facing a near living ship that hates you with its every fibre/circuit. Especially if you have Jedi who can sense it...

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  • A old Sith Ghost Ship haunted by the Force ghosts trapped on it when it disappeared. Maybe they are a salvage crew that finds it.
  • The crew is hired to take a group to a ship in the middle of nowhere only to discover that it is adrift and everyone on board (or almost everyone0 is  dead. What has killed them? Maybe a creature that is some dark creation of the Empire or something natural that hasn't been seen before.
  • Maybe the ship has been adrift for some time in hyperspace and finally returns to real space and everyone on board has gone insane. Something like Pandorum or the Reavers in Serenity.
  • Maybe an old Separatist ship that was used for designing droids got lost. Those experimental droids could be various types of war droids on the ship and end up hunting the characters. Kind of a take on a zombie movie but with terminator-like droids. Or maybe it's just one very bad ass war/assassin predator-like droid.

Just some ideas.

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Enter the skylnock:

A variant of the mynock that has achieved partial sapience. They have found that they can attach to droids and control them. This colony of skylnocks encountered a separatist droid command ship. They then took control of some battle droids. The tactical droid in command panicked and the ship jumped away.

The separatist droids and the skylnocks have been fighting for 20 some odd years (or as long as you want) and the ships hyperdrives have been deactivated. The ship is in bad shape.

When the party arrives on the ship, they get attacked by skylnock droids and battledroids. The party can actually learn to communicate with the skylnocks, or make a deal with the tactical droid commander.

The tactical droid commander has become paranoid against organics and will try to betray the party after the skylnocks are defeated.

The skylnocks of left alive or transported to another world could procreate causing a galaxy wide threat.

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Maybe its the Ebon Hawk and its computer core has the navigational data needed to locate the Star Forge... except in your game Revan never returned from the Unknown Regions and the Emperor who is aware there's an entire Sith Empire hidden out there wants the Star Forge to beef up his already massive forces as they're far from sufficient from the threat of his former masters... 

 

Have your PCs learn of the ship in a cantina, have storm troopers burst in and they flee only to lose their storyteller to an enigmatic Imperial armed with an antique lightsaber.

 

Have a Decimator go in pursuit of them and by that I mean they learn the Imperials are asking questions about them and realise they need to discover why they're so interested in them.

 

The reason is that the storyteller to prove his credentials sold to one of the players an antique droid who he claimed to have found aboard the mysterious freighter... their investigation by plain asking the droid will reveal the name of the freighter... now if your players are in any way conversant with Star Wars or have a handy search online will realise the significance of that ship's name whilst aboard they learn about the Starforge and the fact it still exists... throw in the Empire and oh right you just want a one off episode not a campaign right? ;)

Edited by copperbell

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Check out Dead Man's Hand, a module written by one of the Order 66 guys. It features a ghost ship and the mystery and story behind it is pretty good. I won't spoil it. :P

You beat me to it :D

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There is also the option of having NOTHING on the ship. Use the fear rules and learn how to imply things. Let the players assume the worst. Pepper the ship with sections exposed to vacuum, crumbling catwalks (which with the galaxy far far away slack of hand rails is scary), radiation leaks with a dash of flickering lights and weird sounds.

For drama put the ship barely functional with failing repulsor lifts in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant.

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There is also the option of having NOTHING on the ship. Use the fear rules and learn how to imply things. Let the players assume the worst. Pepper the ship with sections exposed to vacuum, crumbling catwalks (which with the galaxy far far away slack of hand rails is scary), radiation leaks with a dash of flickering lights and weird sounds.

For drama put the ship barely functional with failing repulsor lifts in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant.

Add a shiny in a hard to reach hold, mix in a timeline thanks to failing repulsors, bake at 450 for 20 minutes and voila! You have a whole memorable, enemy-less adventure.

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