So last week I wrote up the location of the GODCo bio-lab. This week we’re going to look at what my players found when they got there. First I’ll provide my game notes with the details of what had changed, and then so a short write-up of the players’ actions. “Lab Crawl” is the title I gave this scenario in my notes.
GODCo has been operating the lab on Pale for about 20 years now. The lab is a location the GODCo scientists are studying the Pale flora and fauna and looking for ways to adapt various yazirian plant species to the environment as well as improving flora and fauna used by Frontiersmen to be more adaptable to the Pale climates.
A few days ago the quarterly supply delivery to the “secret” base left but the drivers and vehicles (two ground trucks) never returned. Yesterday an aircar flew out to the site and was shot at by the site’s defenses (heavy laser). The PCs are being sent in (on the ground) to investigate. Their objectives are:
- Figure out what happened
- Rescue any personnel trapped and still alive in the lab
- Secure the site if possible.
A few weeks ago, a team of sathar attacked and captured the base. They needed access to the equipment and facilities to complete some work that they had been doing in more makeshift labs elsewhere on the planet. The staff that survived the attack are being held as prisoners and used as test subjects (and food) for the creatures they brought with them.
Changes From Last Post
In my previous post, I described the lab during “normal” operations. Here is what changed when the PCs arrived
There are only 1d5+5 of the original 44 staff members still alive, all scientists. They are locked individually in the living quarters and isolated from one another. They are all malnourished and weak. They will not be able to assist the PCs in any fighting.
I put them in the rooms farthest from the elevator/stairs but you could put them anywhere. The sathar have changed the computer security system so that none of the staff ID cards work to open the living quarters doors.
There is a ground transport in the garage (area 3, ground level). It is only partially unloaded.
All of the security robots were destroyed in the original attack. The sathar have reprogrammed all the maintenance and service robots to have attack/destroy programs and will attack any non-sathar beings on sight. These robots are all level 3 and have only their mechanical hands as weapons. The security locks have all been removed by the sathar as they modified them. They have the following stats:
STA: 100 ATT: 60 IM: 6 DMG: 2d10 Move: 30 m/turn
The remaining robots are located in the following areas:
- 2 service robots – Ground Level in hallway (area 5)
- 4 maintenance robots – Level 1 area 30. There is a random 10% change per minute that one will emerge and go about some maintenance task. If attacked, it can summon the others.
- 4 maintenance robots – Level 2 area 11 (at the far end of the lab area). There is a random 10% change per minute that one will emerge and go about some maintenance task. If attacked, it can summon the others. They can also be called by the sathar on this level.
There are 10 sathar at the facility.
Two are security officers and will be in the security office on that level (area 8). If the robots start fighting they will emerge and attack the intruders. These sathar have laser pistols with 3 power clips and a level 3 skill. Their stats are:
STA: 45 ATT: 50 IM: 5 DMG: 2d10 PS: 3 Move: 30 m/turn
The other eight are in the lab areas on level 2. Divide as desired among 3 labs. These are all scientists and will only have improvised melee weapons when attacked but do have a level 1 melee skill. Stats for these sathar are:
STA: 40 ATT: 30 IM: 4 DMG: 1d10 PS: 2 Move: 30 m/turn
In addition to the sathar on level 2, there are a number of sathar attack monsters with them in some of the labs. There are 2 cybernuks in one of the bio-labs, although only one has the cyber implant, and a caged juvenile quick death in another (use the Lesser Quickdeath stats). A third lab has a cage containing 10 tailless squirrels. If freed, any of these creatures will attack the PCs. If they can, the sathar scientists will release the creatures into the lab hall (area 14) to attack the PCs as part of their defense.
Place the sathar and creatures in the labs as desired. In my game, I had them all in labs on the right side of the map. The first lab had 3 sathar, the second had 2 sathar and the nuks, the third had 3 sathar and the squirrels, and the fourth lab had the quick-death.
The computer is level 4 with a level 3 computer security program. Lab doors have level 5 locks, bedrooms have level 1 locks.
Something got out and the power generator level is overgrown with a blue fungus/moss that is mildly toxic to the touch (S1/T20) toxin. This is currently growing on all the walls on level 3, part of the stairwell between level 2 and 3, and in the elevator shaft near level 3. It has not yet traveled to Level 1 or 2. Due to the fungus, the power occasionally will short out and brownouts occur occasionally around the lab. There is a 5% chance any minute that the power will temporarily go out or lights will dim in any given room.
Some things I left open ended and which didn’t really come up when playing that you can flesh out as desired for your game:
- Where’s the other ground truck? There were two in the convoy but only one is here. I honestly forgot about there being two when I was running it but it never came up directly. This is an opportunity to expand the scope of this encounter if you want your PCs to possibly pursue the sathar across the planet.
- The fungus/moss on the generator level – Was this something the sathar brought with them? Was it something GODCo was working on?
Running the Adventure
This adventure played out over two game sessions.
The PCs had no idea there were sathar involved when they were hired. The job was simply to go to the lab, investigate what happened, rescuing any survivors, and secure the facility. GODCo offered a generous bonus of 500 cr. per staff member recovered alive.
After about six hours of travel, mostly in an explorer, the PCs arrived at the facility to find the gate closed. As they got close to the site, however, they noticed that no radio communications were working. The site appeared deserted. The humma decided to jump the fence and got shot at by the heavy laser for his trouble. Luckily, it missed him. He was able to open the main gate and the explorer entered the compound.
They gained access to the garage and discovered the partially emptied ground transport. Exiting into the hall, they were attacked by the robot stationed there. They took some damage but were able to quickly deactivate the robot. (Since the sathar removed the security lock, I only required a DEX roll – the robot was attacking them after all – to switch it off. Their roboticist has a high DEX but still missed a few of the rolls throughout the adventure.)
As they rounded the barracks (not knowing what they were) they encountered the other robot and after starting to engage that, the two sathar emerged and started firing at them. A well tossed tangler grenade captured both sathar (although one was killed by laser fire the same round). Realizing it was caught and the robot deactivated, the captured sathar committed suicide.
Clearing the rest of the level, they opted to take the stairs down and not alert anyone else by using the elevator. As they emerged into the hall on level 1 they experienced their first brownout of the power. They entered the security office and found a number of CCTV cameras looking at different parts of the lab including the hallways on level 1 and one into each lab on level 2. They saw the 8 sathar and the attack creature but didn’t know where in the complex those images were coming from.
Examing the hallways, they ran into two maintenance robots coming out of area 30 on the fall left hall way. A fight ensued with those robots and the other two that were called out of room 30 after the fight was engaged. They managed to deactivate two of the robots while the other two were destroyed.
The fighting was occurring at the end of the hall by area 30 and the prisoners in the rooms there heard them and tried to get their attention. They proceeded to open (via tech or brute force, depending on the player) each of the doors and discovered that 9 of the scientists were still alive, although is fairly poor shape.
From the scientists they got the information about the attack and current situation as they understood it. They also learned that the brownouts only started occurring after the sathar arrived. Speculation began on what the sathar were doing that needed that much power.
With the scientists found, they shepherded them up to the surface, planning on driving them out in the ground transport. At this point a discussion ensued on what was next. Fighting sathar is a job for Star Law and really above their pay grade and several PCs were all for bugging out with the scientists, reporting what they found, collecting their rewards and walking away. However, one of the PCs is a member of the Anti-Satharian League (ASL) and floated the idea that they might be able to get some reward from that group for the sathar if they took them out themselves.
In the end, they decided that the Anti-Satharian League PC would drive the scientists out and call in for medical pickup once he got out of the radio jamming. He would report the sathar presence and request instructions from Galactic Task Force (GTF). He’d also contact the ASL and see what he could negotiate. That discussion ended the first session.
Session 2 started with finalizing the plan. While the ASL PC headed out with the scientists, the other PCs set about exploring the rest of level 1. They realized part of the way through that they should have asked the scientists for a tour. Meanwhile, the PC with the scientists, after about 40 minutes of driving, got out of the jamming range. Calling in GTF immediately dispatched some flying transports to pick up the scientists and told him to stand by on the sathar situation. While he waited, he called ASL and got the same response. After a few minutes, GTF told him that if the team chose to go in after the sathar, they would be deputized by Star Law for the operation (Star Law couldn’t get anyone there for many hours and didn’t want the sathar to get away) and offered a bonus of 1500 cr. each. Just after that conversation, he was called by his ASL contact and offered a 250 cr. reward for each sathar killed plus and additional 500 cr for any sathar data collected from the computer systems.
With the offers in hand, he headed back to the compound once the medical team arrived to escort the scientists. Having been gone a couple of hours, the rest of the team was getting a bit antsy and debated exploring the generator level but decided to be patient and wait. They also reprogrammed the two maintenance robots to obey them and attack sathar while they were waiting. When the offers were presented, they decided to take on the sathar and collect the reward from both sources.
Not wanting to walk down 50 m of stairs, and figuring they had the drop on the sathar, they opted to take the elevator. They quickly examined the areas outside the decontamination airlocks on that level. Hoping to reduce the odds, they hacked into the life support and ventilation systems for the labs (all 10 individually) and dropped a doze grenade into each system to try to knock out the sathar. They had to do all 10 because they didn’t know which system went to which lab or even which labs the sathar were in. Luckily they had 11 doze grenades between the 5 PCs.
Doze grenades dropped and hoping they worked, they went through the cleaning rooms into the lab area. Upon entering and seeing into the labs, they found that the sathar in the lab with the cybernuks had been knocked out but the other were still up and about.
They rushed the robots over to the first lab and had them block the door preventing the sathar from exiting while the PCs headed down the the third lab where the three sathar were working with the tailless squirrels. As they were approaching, the sathar let the squirrels out and there were suddenly several critters attacking most of the PCs.
On the second round of the fight, the four robots emerged from the robot storage area and started to advance on the PCs as well. An on the next round they realized the flaw with having the robots block the sathar in the first lab as one of the sathar deactivated one of the two robots.
With enemy both in front of them and behind, they started to fall back and regroup trying to deactivate robots, kill sathar, and fight the squirrel critters. A well placed frag grenade managed to kill most of the squirrels as they fell back but not before a couple of the PCs were bitten and poisoned.
Just as they were starting to get the situation under control, one of the sathar in the nuk lab woke up (I had rolled for the time each were going to be out and rolled low for that one). After spending a round trying to rouse its comrade (with no success), it then headed to the doors to let the nuks out into the fight.
The sathar and squirrels turned out to be the easy targets with the nuks and robots providing the most challenge. They managed to take out the sathar that had freed the nuks before it could let the quickdeath out or things might have been really bad for the team. As it was, two of the team members, wounded and cornered, retreated into the lab that the squirrels had come out of pursued by one of the robots. They trapped one of the nuks in the entrance to another lab, and then finished off or deactivated the remaining robots and creatures.
When the fighting was over, they had deactivated two more robots, killed seven sathar, 10 squirrels and one nuk. The last sathar never woke up and they hit it with a StayDose to keep it sedated. They left the trapped quickdeath and nuk for StarLaw and GODCo to deal with. They decided to report that there were only 7 sathar (they had miscounted) and secret the live sathar away to turn over to the Anti-Satharian League for a 2000 cr. reward.
It was touch and go there in the middle of the battle with a couple of PCs getting down to single digit STA, but they pulled through in the end. Each PC ended up with 6 XP and 3600 cr. They also ended up with 7 damaged service and maintenance robots that they took with them as well.
It was a good adventure. It just took longer to finish than I had hoped due to scheduling conflicts (on my part) and not being able to get it all done in a single session (or I would have posted this sooner).
I actually completely forgot about the quickdeath in the heat of the battle which is why the sathar didn’t immediately make a bee-line for that lab to try to get it out. But that was probably just as well. Had the quickdeath came into the fray it might have been too much. As it is, the fight went well. They PCs were a little worried there for a bit, but managed to pull it out in the end. I actually thought the squirrel were going to do a bit more damage but the frag grenade really did a number on them, only three of the 10 survived the initial blast.
The activating and deactivating of the robots was a bit of humor (at least for me) during the big fight. There was a bit of a go around of the sathar turning their robots off, them trying to turn the sathar robots off and also trying to turn their back on, and fighting the robots that weren’t deactivated. And the moment when I said that the sathar turned their first robot off definitely seemed to catch them off guard and ratchet up the tension.
This will be the the last Skills for Hire post for a while. As I talked about in my “What I need is … more focus” post back in August, I have a lot of things going on and that was the main cause of the scheduling conflicts. As such, I’ve decided to put the game on hiatus for now. My players are going to take up the GM mantle and run games for each other in the meantime but I won’t be doing anything for a while.
Did you like the adventure? What might you have done differently? What changes or additions would you make? How could you use this in your game? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.