Space Travel, what's the worst that could happen?

Discussion on game mastering Fading Suns. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Leviathan of Maddoc
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:33 pm

Space Travel, what's the worst that could happen?

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:12 pm

Long ago I made a short list of things I might to do players to make their journey between worlds different. The idea was to present them with non-routine problems that had solutions that could be dealt with and consequences that were concerning but not deadly.

Water taken on for life support at the last stop was pouted with industrial wastes. People spending time in part of the ship begin to suffer headaches and nausea, if the problem isn't solved it happens in other sections of the ship, prolonged exposure could have more severe effects.

Refrigeration in the galley fails unexpectedly. If it isn't repaired in a matter of hours 1/5 of the ship's rations will go bad. It is the portion of the rations that passengers are the most upset about.

A cargo container full of grain turns out to be a breeding nest for nasty locusts. If the problem is solved quickly there will be a few irritating locusts during the trip that will need to be exterminated. If the eggs start hatching, swarms of locusts could become a health risk to the crew and passengers.

One of the ship's passengers is a thief who stole the passage ticket and travel papers of the real passenger in order to escape the authorities. They're a skilled con man with light fingers who has a talent for causing chaos to hide their tracks.

The ground crew who flushed out the ship's water tanks left the purge port open. The purge alarm failed and it wasn't until the ship's purge pool filled that anyone noticed that half of the fresh water and flooded the water reclamation, now the humidity on the ship is high enough that the walls are dripping if the problem isn't handled quickly the lower decks of the ship will start to flood with sewage.

A passenger dies with no obvious cause? Were they assassinated? Did they die of a potential contagion? Was the cause wyrder still? How will the players deal with a dead body at customs?

One of the ship's Passengers or New crew cannot endure the rigors of void travel and becomes psychotic from the distance of the sun, or the rubbing of artificial gravity or fear of the blackness beyond. They are genuinely disturbed and will not be talked down. How will the players handle the situation?

Passengers and Crew report sightings of a stranger on the ship but searches reveal nothing until the characters come face-to-face with a non-corporeal creature. The being doesn't seem hostile and it's mouth moves as if it's speaking but no noises can be heard. Is it an alien? A space ghost? Or something wyrder still?

A ship appears on the sensors of identical heading and speed and relative density to their ship. It broadcasts no FoF indicator to show it's flagging or ship registry. Skilled sensor operators will know that some particle fields can create a sensor echo like this briefly. As hours go by and the ship remains on the sensor screen perhaps the players will worry this is something else.

A decompression alarm goes off in the middle of the late shift on the ship but inspection shows that there was an alarm fault, the pressure sensor tests correctly. Next a CO2 alarm goes off with similar results. Then a string of sensor failures begin to happen in seemingly random strings. Are the ship's think Machines failing? Is there a volt issue causing the failures? Is there something stranger at play here?

Amenta... so many Amenta!

Do you have any ideas to liven up the trip?

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Re: Space Travel, what's the worst that could happen?

Postby Holz » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:48 am

Some great ideas... I need to think on some.
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