In one of the games I run the party has been given a job that involves them traveling through uncharted space for extended periods of time at sublight speeds. I am having issues trying to come up with encounters for them to run into, I want to keep the interaction with other people to a minimum for the extent of their journey to give the real sense of isolation while they are traveling to make them take more care of their ship. However doing this has limited my ideas for interesting encounters. I’m planning of creating an encounter table for the journey similar to the critical hits table, with threat/despair adding to the dice roll. Does anyone have ideas for encounters to put on the table or how to properly use a random encounter table like this? Any input would be helpful.
How about they come across a long abandoned Starship that is torn open and barely holding together, just drifting in the depth of space?
You could perhaps use the Old Republic ship The Sanctuary from the pre-made adventure from the FaD core rulebook. It’s a ship that was used as a training and refuge centre during the Mandalorian Wars for Jedi. It was boarded and attacked and left desolate. With bodies of Mandalorians and Republic soldiers littering the hallways, and just drifting through space with minimal life support functions still active.
You could have them board it to explore, reset some of its systems, find some loot and interesting story points and also have an encounter with the Basilisk War Droid that has been patrolling the ship for the past centuries!
I ran this adventure for my party early on in our Campaign and they loved it. I even threw some cool stuff in like recovering an old damaged Droid that turned out to be a Medical Droid. They fixed it up and is now a permanent NPC that stays on their ship and helps with all things medical.
That’s my two cents, doesn’t have to be that ship specifically it could be anything you want.
Not a bad idea, I did consider that however the game I’m running is set in the Old Republic which complicates things. However I will definitely consider a derelict ship as an encounter.
This scenario could perhaps still work depending on your Old Republic timeline. The Mandalorian Wars happened before even KOTOR I. So it’s still an option!
I know it kinda seems like stating the obvious, but part of what makes long journeys like that so tiresome is that they are boring.
Aside from the derelict ship idea, I don’t really have much to offer. Maybe some alien critter (see Venom) gets on board their ship somehow.
But if it were me, I’d probably just handwave it. I don’t know much about your game though, so I can’t really recommend that as a course of action.
Couple questions: Are they travelling between systems are sublight speed? Are they bouncing between systems via hyperdrive and then cruising at sublight? What’s the deal? Are there stops along the way, etc.
They are traveling to specified coordinates of a research station that is pretty far out in wild space. None of this area has been charted so they will be going sublight only on the way there and can choose to use their previous route to go in and out of hyperspace on the way back, however this will be determined by how well they know (or think they know) their way back. Any charting of systems beyond charted space will be up to the party to chart or find.
I like the idea of the boredom factor, any idea on how to manifest that in a game sense?
It will take them literally ages to get out there at sublight speed. Sub+light=slower than lightspeed. Because of that, I suggest you reconsider (and even if you don’t mind, you’ll likely have at least one player whose head explodes). Unless of course your intention is for a couple of the PCs to shack up and the story follows their children completing the parents’ mission :D
I’d suggest either frequent drops out of hyperspace with multi-hour or day-long gaps (allowing you to add encounters), or else just very slow hyperspace.
Throw in some Astrogation checks, with Threat/Despair having interesting effects.
Well… boredom is… boring. At most, just advise your players on RPing incredibly bored characters. Maybe call for a Discipline check each or something, just to gauge how they take it, but that’d be an RP aid more than anything else and I’d rather leave it up to the players to determine how their character would re/act in the situation.
I don’t mean to seem like a wet blanket, if I do, I just don’t see this as a great idea for anything other than a quick (real life) resolution, with maybe a session where you have some encounter en route.
The coordinates aren’t that far out in wild space, I plan the trip to take a minimum of 2.5 months sublight, so about 86 days. They have a time restriction to reach their destination in 5 months, including time preparing a ship for uncharted sublight travel. I plan to allow them to make blind jumps through hyperspace however this for obvious reasons is very dangerous. They have already made plans to send out probe droids to help them navigate and possibly find hyperspace routes to save time.
Okay, that’s more reasonable. ;)
That’s why I’d originally asked if it was like bouncing between systems etc.
A 2.5 month trip is still pretty small in the grand scheme of things, but can cover a long enough distance to pass.
Space creatures. Purrgil!
Weird space anomalies. Anything from dark matter fields causing havoc in the ship’s systems to space-time holes.
A jettisoned escape pod of unknown origins. What’s in it?
A debris field. Maybe from some battle long ago, or maybe just garbage dropped by a star destroyer of more recent vintage.
A stowaway finally revealing themselves.
The droid on the ship goes crazy.
A distress signal that leads to a ship whose hyperdrive malfunctioned and has left them adrift and way of course.
A previously unknown smuggling compartment is discovered. The former owners of the ship have left behind… a treasure map!
A micro meteor hail storm destroys life support!
One of the probe droids that was sent out has been strangely attacked!
Consider the 27 “Rogue” events tabulated here: Rogue Events | Triumph & Despair
Some of them are era-related, so you may need to adjust.
I’m thinking to use one of those in case they ever fail an astrogation check and drop out of hyperspace at a never-travelled point.
That’s detailed in Rogue Event #15 Well, actually its a derelict Imperial Probe.
These were adapted by Kainrath in his supplement. I’ll see if I can chase it down.
Edit: Found it! FFG Forum Archive
In addition to all of the other suggestions, to help ramp up the tension I’d have a malfunction on the ship. It should start out minor a little while after they set out from their last stop before entering wildspace; just something that they can patch and then get on with the mission. But it should keep coming back no matter how often they patch it, and an investigation, hopefully when they are completely committed to the journey, should reveal that the minor malfunction is a symptom of something far more serious which can only be fixed in a dry dock.
The further they go the worse the symptoms will become, so finding somewhere to land (or coming up with some other daring scheme to repair the damage) will become their main priority.
It’s the Wild Space, there’s always some Rakatan machine lurking in the shadows!
Wouldn’t they need to refuel? That could be something.
Possibly. I’m using the homebrew rules from Operational Costs which can be found here: Homebrew The players will be keeping tabs on their fuel cell consumption and will be expected to be prepared for a long journey. Of course I intend to impact their fuel consumption in some way.
Another source for derelict ship adventuring is Desslok’s the Wreck of the CFS Republic from the old FFG boards.