Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Moonbase Blues

Dai Shugars of GMDK posted an excellent prompt for a Mothership scenario that I couldn't help but follow up on. Initially I just wrote up the Light Hazards table, but eventually I fleshed out a whole scenario around that concept. Here's the prompt:

Outpost on an asteroid or small moon. Players wake up from stasis to find themselves in a blockaded security room and a cheerful computer voice detailing their daily tasks. Logs show that things were going normal up until a week ago, when a strange blue meteor showed up and drove everyone crazy. The meteor makes a pass every 7 hours, and the PCs must find a way to get off the station or somehow block the light from entering (restore power to shutters? gouge eyes out?)

Without further ado, here's what I came up with:

Moonbase Blues

Map Key

  1. Drop pod. Contains [# human PCs] Cryopods, empty.
  2. Habitation. Crew quarters and galley. Signs of struggle. 1d5 Meteor-Mad Colonists. Scattered with blue therapy lamps that attract Mad Colonists. Binoculars stashed in a toilet in restroom B.
  3. Observatory and Science Bay. 1 Mad Colonist, piles of bodies.
  4. Security room. Blockaded off from Habitation. PCs wake up and begin scenario here. Functional computer: logs describe normal operations until the Blue Meteor arrived 7 days ago. See: Corporate Messages.
  5. Greenhouse and Medbay-Solarium. Undamaged.
  6. Solar panel array. Base's only source of power.
  7. Garage. 1 rover, in disrepair. Remaining sane colonists, in total darkness and out of supplies.
  8. Satellite. Damaged by meteor. Base's main communications array.
  9. THE BLUE METEOR. Passes every 7 hours, visible from base for 1 hour. Causes Meteor Madness.


Every hour, 50% chance encounter 1d5 Meteor-Mad Colonists.

Apologies for my artistic talents

Corporate Messages

TONE… Your friends at Mars Instruments would like to notify you of a meteorological event. Please stay calm and avoid windows while performing your corporate issued dutIES:
  1. Unclog the toilets in Habitation restroom B.
  2. Perform routine maintenance on solar arrays 3 and 4.
  3. Replace the rearmost axel on the rover stored in the Garage.
  5. Make the beds in Habitation Barracks. Messy, messy!

Light Hazards

For each meteor cycle, roll 1-3 times for active light-related threats. Or, use all of them at once.
  1. Metal storm shutters, open. Actuated via password protected keypad.
  2. Half-dome skylight. Partially obscured by torn-out book pages and tape.
  3. Bullet holes filled with translucent sealant.
  4. Solar panel mirror array on surface pointed directly at habitation. Magnifies meteor effects, pierces the smallest of cracks.
  5. Scattered reflections from satellite and debris in orbit. Produces low-level Meteor effects from hours 3-6. 
  6. Fully glass greenhouse. Contains only remaining food on the station.
  7. Telescope automatically tracks meteor when in range. Light reflects from eyepiece.
  8. Meteorite fragment in Science Bay. Trail of particulate from main airlock to bay. Produces constant, but dulled meteor effects.
  9. Corpse nailed to wall conceals small porthole from sight. Does not block light.
  10. Survivors stranded in distant housing unit. Radioing for help--besieged by 1d10 Meteor-Mad Colonists in Vaccsuits.

Meteor Madness

Stage 1: Claustrophobia, memory loss. Disadvantage on Intellect checks.
Stage 2: Blue obsession, delirium. Every hour, roll Body Save. Failure: Black out, violently incorporate BLUE into your person. Take 1 stress each minute until you do, then recover senses.
Stage 3: Become a Meteor-Mad Colonist. The warden plays your character.

Roll Sanity saves as appropriate when directly or indirectly exposed to the BLUE METEOR. Use Disadvantage/Advantage to reflect degree of exposure. Progress 2 stages if directly exposed or watching an event through the telescope.

Meteor-Mad Colonists

They have seen the light and it is good.

Combat: 40%   Speed: 25%   Instinct: 50%   Hits: 2 (25)
Damage: Rigging Gun 2d10 OR Hand Welder 1d10 OR Tranq Pistol 

Special Abilities

Erratic Movement: Ranged attacks against it at Disadvantage without computational assistance (smart-link).
Blue Zealot: Inured to pain. Immediately takes an action after taking a Hit.
Tactics: Forcefully compels the unenlightened into the BLUE GRACE. Prefers live prisoners.

Meteor-Mad Characteristics

  1. Half-swallowed a therapy lamp. Jaw broken to accommodate the tubular bulb still jutting from mouth.
  2. Eyes slowly track the path of the asteroid, even though the ground. Unblinking.
  3. Naked, unevenly covered with blue paint.
  4. Open chest wound, stuffed with android component pumping blue lubricant.
  5. Veins ruined by gouges and stab wounds. "RED? RED!? IT WAS BLUE!"
  6. Prisms jabbed into eyes.
  7. Pinned down with foam. Eating its way out.
  8. Counting down the seconds until the next event. Passive unless count disrupted.
  9. Floating, giggling with childlike joy.
  10. Apparently sane. Coldly treacherous. 

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