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KungFuFerret

Terraforming a planet as a campaign arc

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For a terraforming campaign I would really recommend what @penpenpen suggests: A pre-existing device of extreme complexity (a McGuffin Brand Terraformer!).  When discovered, it may even be partially functional, creating a small bubble of environment that is perfectly calibrated to raise the weird spice spiders, or something similarly valuable.  The device needs more energy and [arbitrary common resource (water?)] to function on a larger scale.  The challenges the PCs face would include securing generators, water imports, valuables export, repairing pieces of the device, if the device is force-powered (like the Star Forge) they have to deal with random Inquisitors, etc.  Before the device is functional you can easily add [arbitrary space-wolves (not Tony)] or other creatures to force the players to deal with them.

 

On a side note, if you decided to run this as a Play-by-Post somewhere, I would be down to play the Explorer or Doctor.

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Ok so what im thinking might work for your campaign is somewhere in between terraforming and prefab colony manufacturing. 

So like a machine that basicly is a floating industrial factory that can build prefab structures and place them. You then establish nodes of terreforming. Like little cultivated outcroppings of life. And these become nurseries. Then you have another machine that basically plants seedlings and other machines which water and fertilize.

Maybe this planet is rich in useable minerals for agriculture but life just hasn't developed life yet.

Think of the recent film the Martian but with small factories. So your building forests and prairies etc.

So you see progress fast but its still only fractions of the planet at a time.

 

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Just now, HadesHerald said:

For a terraforming campaign I would really recommend what @penpenpen suggests: A pre-existing device of extreme complexity (a McGuffin Brand Terraformer!).  When discovered, it may even be partially functional, creating a small bubble of environment that is perfectly calibrated to raise the weird spice spiders, or something similarly valuable.  The device needs more energy and [arbitrary common resource (water?)] to function on a larger scale.  The challenges the PCs face would include securing generators, water imports, valuables export, repairing pieces of the device, if the device is force-powered (like the Star Forge) they have to deal with random Inquisitors, etc.  Before the device is functional you can easily add [arbitrary space-wolves (not Tony)] or other creatures to force the players to deal with them.

Humm the idea that they find an existing terraforming machine functioning at low power in some long forgotten ruin seems like it could be a interesting start.  Its been running for centuries but what can one small machine do against a planet? I like the idea that the quests revolve around acquiring and fixing it more and more to increase its power.  To go along with that, if it is an alien device a way to keep the players going "1 step at a time" is for them to slowly have to decipher  the "instruction manual" written in an unknown language (think stargate).  Missions range from dungeon delve in old temple to find a holocron/mcguffin translator, steal priceless artifact from pompous Imerial Moff that is an integral part for the machine, and buying and selling standard goods.

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2 hours ago, KungFuFerret said:

HOW would you break down what is a large scale project, into smaller, more obtainable goals for a party to work towards? 

I'm not sure about the earlier stages; but selecting, wrangling, transporting, and monitoring fauna from other worlds could be a lot of fun. 

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1 hour ago, ThreeAM said:

Humm the idea that they find an existing terraforming machine functioning at low power in some long forgotten ruin seems like it could be a interesting start.  Its been running for centuries but what can one small machine do against a planet? I like the idea that the quests revolve around acquiring and fixing it more and more to increase its power.  To go along with that, if it is an alien device a way to keep the players going "1 step at a time" is for them to slowly have to decipher  the "instruction manual" written in an unknown language (think stargate).  Missions range from dungeon delve in old temple to find a holocron/mcguffin translator, steal priceless artifact from pompous Imerial Moff that is an integral part for the machine, and buying and selling standard goods.

I was going to say unless you wanna 'split the party' you might wanna focus on one element of the project overall and that's their deal.  Seems like anything involving the entire effort which is planetary might get a little too far away from RPG-ishness and more resource gathering.

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13 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

I was going to say unless you wanna 'split the party' you might wanna focus on one element of the project overall and that's their deal.  Seems like anything involving the entire effort which is planetary might get a little too far away from RPG-ishness and more resource gathering.

I agree just gathering resources could be tedious and it could go down that way. However..(hyperbole incoming) isnt going on quests and gathering resources to build a super weapon Terraforming machine the same as tracking down bits of intel and going on quests to destroy the super death laser sphere, just in reverse? 

I suppose it just depends how epic you make it.  To that end it might be better to have the end goal be something other than successful terraforming, such as liberate a subjected world devestated by war, and resettle them on the new planet. 

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3 minutes ago, ThreeAM said:

I agree just gathering resources could be tedious and it could go down that way. However..(hyperbole incoming) isnt going on quests and gathering resources to build a super weapon Terraforming machine the same as tracking down bits of intel and going on quests to destroy the super death laser sphere, just in reverse? 

I suppose it just depends how epic you make it.  To that end it might be better to have the end goal be something other than successful terraforming, such as liberate a subjected world devestated by war, and resettle them on the new planet. 

Oh I'm not talking about just gathering resources like Bioware has you do.   But I've seen multiple threads on this forum about "starting up the Rebellion" or similar, large scale projects, that are multi-stage, lengthy, and meticulous in detail.   And I don't see why this would be any different, at least on scale.   And yes, it would likely require multiple years of in game time, depending on how advanced the tech is we're talking about.  But that's easily handled by fast forwarding the timeline at significant stages.  

 

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4 minutes ago, Yaccarus said:

How dare you?

Oh I dare!  I dare because I KNOW it will annoy the very people who will derail a thread with pedantic garbage, and make their fingers  itch to post and say "Well ACTUALLY, their language is called Shyriiwook" .  And considering how derailed my thread got, I take delight in a little getting under the skin.

I can appreciate a little off topic, but after multiple statements of "stop doing that" and it continues, my salt meter gets high.

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Just now, KungFuFerret said:

Oh I dare!  I dare because I KNOW it will annoy the very people who will derail a thread with pedantic garbage, and make their fingers  itch to post and say "Well ACTUALLY, their language is called Shyriiwook" .  And considering how derailed my thread got, I take delight in a little getting under the skin.

I can appreciate a little off topic, but after multiple statements of "stop doing that" and it continues, my salt meter gets high.

Yes, it is indeed Shyriiwook.

But I am referring to your spelling.

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So again back to op, maybe they work for a company which terraforms suitable planets. Its a slow process kind of like farming. And that's how your run it.

Use mass combat rules to set up obstacles and crises to terraforming. Each "day" have charecters roll to progress certain tasks, with successes indicating an area competed, add advantages as found resources, or an additional quality. Crises are things like droughts, pestilence, equipment failures etc. Which payers have to resolve.

Different payers would be in charge of different fields.

Maybe some mechanics or grunts running the actual terraforming rigs, like giant tractors tilling and laying seed. Scientists or scholars trying to improve the process, entrepreneurs who are trying to build a colony out of terraformed areas. Droids, security people etc. Many rp options. Can run it wild wild west style...

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As far as technology, it probably would be considered ancient if it already existed. Scavengers discover old Arkanian xenoscience specs for genetically engineered flora or fauna adapted for insert environment. If you trying to terraform atmosphere, the xenobiology data specs are high producing oxygen botany to develop the necessary requirements for insert standard humanoid on insert planetoid in X amount of time. Once the atmosphere is adapted to the population, the terraformers begin to create, grow or design architecturally their desired ecology. Archeologists discover a temple with the technology written on the walls or the location of an artifact that does it. Perhaps, an old force tradition with odd alchemy techniques used for terraforming.

Things that could go wrong are an unknown geological anomalies, unforeseen chemical reactions, fast pace or drastic geological plate shifts which create a entirely new ecology you were unprepared to terraform, and planetoid force vergence intelligences (the causation of terraform efforts are developing illogical results).

 

 

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4 hours ago, Yaccarus said:

I still want an explanation for why Duro isn’t terraformed

Who says they're not doing it right now, in long long ago terms?  

 

Technology exists to move black holes around, why isn't everyone moving black holes around?

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I'd suggest starting from a meta perspective. What do you and the players want the PCs to do? If they want run gauntlets through imperial blockades, then this terraforming business obviously needs some kind of restricted goods from offworld. Want them to flex their social skills? Someone needs to negotiate for supplies from a nearby ruler, or convince the imperial survey team that no siree bob, there is no illicit terraforming going on here, or try to communicate with the ancient Gree AI. Etc, etc.

Figure out what actual actions you and the players would like to do, and then build the plot around it. Andromeda is about figuring out how ancient terraforming machines work, but in practice, you do that with platforming puzzle mechanics that lets you play around with the new neat jump jet mechanic. In the same way, figure out what the players woulds enjoy doing, and make that relevant to the plot.

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5 minutes ago, penpenpen said:

Andromeda is about figuring out how ancient terraforming machines work, but in practice, you do that with platforming puzzle mechanics that lets you play around with the new neat jump jet mechanic. In the same way, figure out what the players woulds enjoy doing, and make that relevant to the plot.

Don't forget the Sudoku they crammed in there.

 

Wild Space would probably be a cool place for the terraforming project. It's a place for odd stuff. Another aspect for once you start settling the place us who do you want to settle the place and how do you keep control of it?

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So after thinking on it overnight, the problem that I keep running into is once the process is actually up and running, the players don't have much to do aside from monitoring the situation ready to push the emergency Big Red Button to stop things. I think the meat of the game would be finding a suitable candidate planet and all the problems that could come with that ("THIS is Seti Alpha Five!!!), and then getting things set up - finding beasts on other worlds to seed their planet with, getting colonists there on the downlow and that sort of thing. And then perhaps someone would want to come and take this brand new world away from them?

So the actual process, handwave that - it's the setup and endgame that's the good bits.

Edited by Desslok

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1 hour ago, Desslok said:

So after thinking on it overnight, the problem that I keep running into is once the process is actually up and running, the players don't have much to do aside from monitoring the situation ready to push the emergency Big Red Button to stop things. I think the meat of the game would be finding a suitable candidate planet and all the problems that could come with that ("THIS is Seti Alpha Five!!!), and then getting things set up - finding beasts on other worlds to seed their planet with, getting colonists there on the downlow and that sort of thing. And then perhaps someone would want to come and take this brand new world away from them?

So the actual process, handwave that - it's the setup and endgame that's the good bits.

For this. You need a group that wants to actively prevent and sabotage the terraforming. Perhaps a misguided environmentalist group or a big business that profits from the planets poor state.

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Oooh, I like the misguided Greenpeace idea. Yeah, the players have to stop them, but just shooting them like you would any other Star Wars threat is on the "try to avoid that" list. If they get militant, sure - but shooting them for just spiking trees and disabling bulldozers could make for an interesting moral time.

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