STAR TREK ADVENTURES Playtest Adventure 1 - The Rescue at Xerxes

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The Rescue at Xerxes, a Star Trek Adventures Alpha Playtest Adventure.
    The Rescue at Xerxes 4: Star Trek Adventures Playtest 1   The Rescue at Xerxes 4  is the first adventure in the Star Trek Adventures  Living Campaign playtest series. This adventure is meant to be played by a Gamemaster (GM) and 3-7 player characters, using the pre-generated characters provided. To run this adventure, the GM needs to be familiar with the adventure itself, the Star Trek Adventure playtest rules, and the pre-generated characters. For this play test, you will need:    At least 2 Twenty sided dice (D20) per player    A set of chips or tokens for Determination    A set of chips or tokens for Threat Synopsis The player characters are newly deployed crew heading toward Narendra Station on a shuttle for assignment to their various vessels. During the trip, they receive a distress call from a science outpost on a planet that’s been struck by a highly irradiated ion storm. The shuttle crash -landed on the surface and the crew was attacked by primitive hostile humanoid creatures wielding clubs and rocks. After dealing with the primitives, the crew can make the journey from the crash site to the science outpost, overcoming various obstacles along the way. At the science outpost, the crew learns that the members of the science team have been exposed to environmental effects that cause them to devolve into Neanderthal creatures. The crew must rescue the remaining scientists, find the parts needed to repair the shuttle, and decide on whether to risk remaining on the planet to gather the flora that could be used to treat a terrible disease. They must also use their social skills to convince the remaining scientists to accompany them off the planet. Back at the shuttle it is a race against time, the elements, and the devolved scientists to repair the damage and escape before the ion storm destroys all life. The GM begins this adventure with two points of Threat for every player character in the group.    TM & © CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. Scene 1: Unwelcome Reception When the player characters are ready, read: Your shuttle trip to Narendra Station to take your assignment on your commissioned starship has turned out to be more eventful than you anticipated. As you and your fellow Starfleet graduates chatted about your bright futures, you received a distress signal from Xerxes 4, an uninhabited Class M planet containing no life except for a Federation science team. The distress signal offered no information except that the science team stationed there was in danger. As you took the shuttle toward the planet’s surface, you were caught in a violent ion storm that knocked out navigation, forcing a crash- landing on the planet’s s urface. The adventure begins with the shuttle containing the player characters hurtling towards the surface of Xerxes 4. The player characters should choose amongst themselves which characters are at the shuttle’s controls  –  only two of them can be seated in the cockpit: one at the Conn, and one at Ops. Ideally, the character with the highest Conn skill should be at Conn, while the character with the highest Engineering skill should be at Ops, and the characters will know this. Getting the shuttle down safely will require a single Task from the character at the Conn. This be a Bravery or Control + Conn Task , with a Difficulty of 2. The character at Ops may attempt to assist this, rolling against Control + Engineering   to keep the shuttle’s systems working lon ger, or Reason + Science  to locate a better place to land. Complications may mean that a random player character is a little bit battered and bruised by the crash. GM Guidance:  This is the first opportunity for the players to attempt a Task and see how the game works, as well as their first opportunity to try out the rules for assistance. It’s worth dwelling on this event a little longer than usual, because the rules here are the foundation of everything else. Establish how to attempt a Task: a target number made from one Attribute and one Skill added together, roll 2d20, each die that rolls that number or less scores one success, each die that rolls a 1, or equal to or less than a relevant Focus, scores two successes instead, total successes to beat the Dif   ficulty. Don’t worry too much about them buying extra dice at this point –   this is a basic test to show them how the game works. If the Task generates any Momentum, allow them to spend two to get the shuttle closer to the science station, letting them skip the third section of Scene 2, below. Any other Momentum, encourage them to save it for later: they’ll need it.  As you exit the damaged shuttle to reconnoiter the surroundings, a group of strange Neanderthal humanoids assaulted you. And that’s where you stand now, defending yourselves from the hurled stones and wielded clubs of these creatures. All your attackers wear the tattered remnants of Federation-issued uniforms that a science team might wear, and it appears one of the creatures wields a phaser, al though it doesn’t appear to know how to fire it accurately … yet.    TM & © CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. Currently, four of these Neanderthal creatures are attacking. Three throw rocks and carry clubs, while a fourth also carries a Type 1 phaser. A profile for these creatures is presented below. The purpose of this encounter is to acclimate the player characters (and yourself) to the combat system. The environment for this scene contains three zones: inside the shuttle, near the shuttle, and the woods a short distance away from the shuttle. The shuttle is damaged and cannot be used offensively or defensively, except as cover  –  taking cover behind part of the shuttle provides Heavy Cover, granting 4[CD] of Cover Soak. The crew cannot, for example, enter the shuttle and close the hatch to afford complete protection. Characters in the woods a short distance from the shuttle have Light Cover from the concealing foliage, granting 2[CD] of Cover Soak. Any player characters who were battered and bruised by the shuttle crash (from a Complication) start the fight with three less Stress than normal. GM Guidance:  As noted, this is an opportunity for the players to try out the combat rules. This shouldn’t be a particularly challenging battle, and you shouldn’t spend more than four or five Threat on the fight in  total –   uses of Threat here should be more to illustrate what the GM can do rather than to make the  fight difficult. Remember that Trooper NPCs cannot spend more than one Threat to avoid suffering an Injury, so they should be taken out swiftly. Once each of the player characters has taken a turn, check to see if the players understand how things work, and if they do, have the remaining Neanderthals retreat into the woods.   Neanderthals [Trooper NPC] These primitive humanoids are clad in the ragged remains of uniforms and clothing that would be worn by a Federation science team.  Attributes Bravery Control Empathy Presence Reason Resilience 9 6 8 7 5 10  Skills and Focuses Command Conn Engineering Security Science Medicine 1 0 0 1 0 0 Combat Stress:  9 Soak : 0 Weapons:      Crude Clubs (Melee, 3[CD] Knockdown, Size 4)    Hurled Rocks (Ranged, 2[CD] Stun, Size 3)    Damaged Type I Phaser (Ranged, 3[CD], Size 2)  TM & © CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.  Special Rules    Aggressive and Fearful:  The Neanderthals only ever attack to kill  –   they don’t have sufficient self-control to try and stun or disable.    Phaser:  A Neanderthal with a Phaser cannot use it under normal circumstances, as they do not understand how the weapon works. However, the GM may spend two Threat at the start of a Neanderthal’s action to allow it to fire the Phaser once, set to stun. If it fails to hit with this attack and scores a Complication, it’ll hit one of the other Neanderthals instead. Once the Phaser has been fired in this way, it cannot be used again during that scene, as the power cell is depleted. Resolution The combat is not meant to be deadly. After the mechanics of combat are clear to the player characters, have the remaining Neanderthals flee into the surrounding area. At the end of the fight, the player characters have the chance to take a breather, recovering all their lost Stress. Any Injured characters can be patched up enough to get them moving (requiring an Empathy + Medicine Task  with a Difficulty of 1 for each Injured character), but a Complication on this Task means that character’s injuries will have a lingering effect, adding +1 to the Difficulty of any Tasks they attempt until they receive proper treatment. Any foes who have been killed or knocked unconscious can be examined more carefully. Given the tools at hand it is a Reason + Sciences or  Reason + Medicine Task  with a Difficulty of 2 to learn that these creatures have the genetic makeup of humans, but something has caused their genes to revert to that of their evolutionary ancestors. An examination of the shuttle reveals that it can be fixed without much problem, but a few new parts are needed to make those repairs. The science outpost on Xerxes 4 would have all the parts needed. The science station can be seen on a rocky bluff a few kilometers in the distance. Scene 2: The March Once the player characters begin their trek toward the science station, read: It is obvious that the march to the science outpost is no simple stroll. The journey covers several kilometers, and the terrain between you and your goal is rough and rocky, with strange and abundant flora blocking the path. This scene contains several Challenges and Obstacles. The purpose of this scene is to introduce the idea of overcoming challenges, banking Momentum or adding to Threat to deal with potential calamities. GM Guidance:   The GM shouldn’t need to use Threat during this scene, instead saving it for the later scenes when the tension ramps up and problems start to crop up. Any extra Threat the players generate –   either voluntarily or through Complications –   adds to this pool of potential problems.  
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