I can’t decide if this would make a good campaign (I think it would) or if it would be better as a novel but I’ve had this idea kicking around and percolating in my brain for several years now and I thought I’d put it out there and see what everyone thinks. I kind of hinted at it in a Facebook post a month or so ago if you’re in the Star Frontiers: Alive and Well Facebook group.
If you’ve been following the Detailed Frontier Timeline that I’ve been posting (either here or on Twitter), the HSS History’s Hope is on this campaign arc in the timeline. The timeline has a few entries:
|59.362||Astronomers on Histran (Scree Fron system), release news of the discovery of a previously unknown brown dwarf approximately 100ly from the Frontier. Its motion indicates that it had a close encounter with a K4 star some 175 years ago. Initial news of the discovery is quickly suppressed by the Family of One.|
|59.373||Despite efforts of the Family of One (FoO), data on the newly discovered brown dwarf is now available. The FoO reaction to the news fuels speculation that the K4 star is Yazira, the “lost” yazirian home system.|
|60.082||After months of fundraising, a new organization, The Yazira Heritage Foundation, purchases and begins refitting a small vessel to use as an exploration ship. Their goal is to reach the star that rumors claim is Yazira.|
|60.119||Saboteurs strike against the exploration ship being refitted by the Yaziria Heritage Foundation damaging it but not destroying it, setting back their efforts. The Foundation suspects the Family of One to be behind the attack.|
|60.163||The Yaziria Heritage Foundation’s exploration ship, the HSS History’s Hope, completes its refit in the Hentz (Araks) starship construction center and begins its maiden voyage to Histran (Scree Fron).|
This is where the campaign begins. The PCs have been hired as part of the crew of the HSS History’s Hope. They would be hired sometime shortly before the ship is completed. The ship holds a crew of 24 including the ship crew and scientists and the PCs would be part of that crew.
This is a high-level Knight Hawks campaign. The PCs will be fairly advanced. In fact, there should be at least two level 6 astrogators on the ship, one of which at least should be a PC. I envision the PCs are the command crew for the ship (pilot, engineer, astrogator, gunner, etc.) and possibly have the scientists and other crew members as secondary characters. Depending on the number of players, I could have them roll up characters for the entire crew with each player having several characters that they switch between depending on the particular events happening. The campaign is more about the exploration than level advancement although there would be some of that along the way.
The campaign would be broken into three phases:
- Acquiring the ship – The PCs must travel from Histran (Scree Fron) to the Hentz (Araks) shipyard to pick up the HSS History’s Hope and transport it to Histran for supplies and picking up the rest of the crew.
- Exploring the Vast Expanse – The PCs have a starmap and a destination but there are no known jump routes. They must chart a completely new course there and back. This part of the campaign will involve exploring new systems (if desired) once they jump there, possible findings of relics from the yazirian exodus, and who knows what else. This will probably take a couple of years game time to make all the jumps there and back. The PCs will have to decide how often to go back to the Frontier for maintenance and resupply, the best way to chart the routes, whether or not to report them, etc. as they go along.
- The Yazira system – Once they arrive at the target system it will require a careful exploration. Is this the yazirian home system? What exactly happened if it is? Are there survivors? What became of them? Or is this a false alarm?
There are forces in the Frontier that don’t want this endeavor to succeed so the PCs can expect opposition along the way. There will be lots of character action and probably some Knight Hawks battles along the way as well.
Other Background Material
I’ve posted several articles that could be considered background for the campaign. I’d probably synthesize these into a document for the players that only contains information they would know but the relevant posts are:
- Yazirian History
- Legends and Lore – Yazirians
- HSS History’s Hope and the Yazira Sector Map
- HSS History’s Hope – part 2
- HSS History’s Hope – The 3D Model
- HSS History’s Hope Deck Plans – part 1
- HSS History’s Hope Deck Plans – part 2
I have a good idea of adventures/encounters for part one and three, but am struggling a bit to make the middle part exciting. The main issue is that the charting of new routes, ship maintenance, and void jumping are really all just die rolls that could take a few minutes of game time while covering days of game time. There may or may not be interesting things in the systems they jump into. I still trying to come up with ideas to engage the players on that aspect of the game. If they find something interesting (and there will , that’s not an issue. It the finding part that is bothering me. And maybe just rolling the dice is okay to move through a system until something happens.
I think this type of game would appeal to certain types of players and not others. Is this a campaign you’d like to play in? Or do you think it’s better suited as a novel? Or both? Let me know in the comments below.