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mrchrislackey
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:00

Wow. Thank you for these amazing responses. This is a great community.

I have this idea of having someone who is a carrier of Agent A0-3959X.910-15 (Neomorphic Motes). They know they've been exposed, they know that WY wants them and they're on the run. This NPC plays a background role for the first part of the campaign (maybe gets hired on the ship the PCs are on), but maybe there is an incident where they're accidentally cut and their blood infects someone on board (or at a station) and that sets things off. WY can have agents after them as well or rival corporations. 

We're having our Character Creation Session this weekend, so I'll know better what my players are looking for and work it around them.
 
Bengt Petter
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Mon 06 Jan 2020, 18:00

Maybe you, mrchrislackey, have got all you need by now. But since this thread probably is of a more general interest, I would like to add some more thoughts on truckers in space.

First of all, most truckers are employed by a company. That means that there must be some kind of contract and probably also a personal file for everyone who has done any kind of job för the Company. I would like the contract and the personal file (to make it simple, both of them are in the same document) a part of the game. In this document I imagine there should be short track record with a list of previous missions, private insurance info, previous payments, list of previous and possible future bonuses and benefits, and some kind of medical record. Maybe there is a classified part too. I see this documentation as something that could be added to the character sheet. Basically, it’s a way to make the corporate connection more interesting and playable. Seeing this from an in game perspective, it should be info that the Mother could just provide at any time that isn’t battle or other emergency. The contract and the corporate track record should, I think, be a part of creating the PCs - they have life stories from the start, even if they are trucker rookies.

I also see The Mother, or maybe an android as it’s extension, as the corporate voice in the game. The truckers would probably get mission instructions on a regular basis, much like Ripley and her collegues in the first movie. Writing some of those instructions in advance, could be a way for the GM to prepare a campaign. The instructions could then work as handouts. I think it’s quite in the style of the movies. The truckers get instructions that feel standardized and not personal.

A way of twisting what who the Mother, apart from just being a corporate voice, could be if she has an agenda on her own that is revealed after some time, perhaps in the end of the campaign. In our world, that is the fear of future AI. The danger of an independent Mother, just pretending to work for corporate profit only, could be interesting also in this fictional universe.

Considering that the truckers are the main characters of the campaign, I would look for articles about real world truckers and their problems. Of course, being a trucker in the real world is not the same, but some aspects should at least be similar. Space truckers must take care of their cargo, go to truck stops, get good payments, take some extra cargo, and perhaps deal with criminals (or commit crimes if it’s tempting enough). Truckers can be underdogs or working class heroes, Davids fighting or just accepting a corporate Goliath. That makes them unconventional among the standard RPG heroes, who often have some kind of super powers.
Last edited by Bengt Petter on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 13:17, edited 2 times in total.
 
Bengt Petter
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Mon 06 Jan 2020, 18:17

By the way, I liked the idea of a Cold War style conflict that dogsonofawolf suggested. If the trucker campaign is about Engineer or alien technology, this older thread might be useful: viewtopic.php?t=4968

I started that discussion about half a year ago. My intention was to build a framework for creating alien technology that is both true to the original Alien mythos and not just slightly more advanced versions of human technology. What I suggest, based on the work of the Alien artist H. R. Giger (who created the design of the derelict and the pilot in the original movie), is an entire biomechanical ecosystem. The xenomorphs must come from something and be a part of a bigger picture. Imagine all the bizarre stuff that could have been formed there. It would make mankind seem small and insignificant.
 
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Gaddeborg
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Mon 06 Jan 2020, 21:16

I think it would be good to initiate a space trucking campaign with a meeting with the xenomorph or the black goo at the first session. From my experience of being a player in CotG, where most of us survived, the whole group was really eager to start exploring the alien universe in a longer campaign with our characters from the scenario. I think it is good to let the PC:s get to know about the core focus of the campaign early, knowing that the xenomorph stuff is out there, also knowing that W-Y is eager to get it. This gets the PC:s knowledge up to par with the players knowledge, which is good so that the players don't have to use meta-knowledge to be cautious with that stuff in the future. 

Otherwise, if you have only been doing small-scale space trucking stuff for ten meetings, it might be hard to roleplay correctly when you see a weird egg in front of you. ("My precious PC that I have played for ten sessions walks up to the egg and stares down in it, checking if there is anything intersesting in there"). It is easier for the table to play through several horrifying deaths and perhaps a TPK in the first meeting than after several. A horrifying meeting with the xenomorph is a good team-building exercise as well.

I would probably use a modified version of CoTG as the first space trucker campaign session. If the players have already been through that, I might use something like the story from the rules examples in the rule book - where one of the crew has been infected before departure, plus a follow up with some evilness from W-Y. In both cases, I would build up the session with a Dungeon Crawl Classics-approach to PC deaths, just getting in more PC:s in the mix quickly when one dies. This by having mother waking up people from cryo, and W-Y sending other trucker ships to the spot. The PC:s that survive the first session are the ones that will get to continue the campaign - now with a good understanding of what is going on and perhaps a personal agenda of keeping the xenomorph away from W-Y. They can also be consulted about xenomorph stuff by the big companies and other players, being one of the few that has seen in and survived. 

Otherwise, I agree with the stuff said earlier about getting a proper CV for the characters, more focus on the company side and the business of shipping cargo. Sort of let the PC:s play the everyday life-game of medical insurance, getting better qualifications and advance ones flight status, pay checks, bonuses, sending kids to college etc. There is a term called Economic Horror (which I have only read about in the zombie RPG Red Markets), which I think would be well suited to the alien universe as well. 
 
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Diego
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Wed 22 Jan 2020, 17:23

The space truckers career is just a good one to get people moving around. Sure you can have them make money, a useful tool to guide them to where they need go be. But ultimately your plot can be whatever you want. Cases of mistaken identity, corps moving against each other, war resulting in a closing of boarders etc. Certainly I would recommend having your characters share something in their background, or getting them to make characters so you can construct something that involves them, while the greater plot goes on around them.
Alien: Wanderer
https://alienwanderer.obsidianportal.com/
Session 9+ now up
 
Bengt Petter
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Wed 22 Jan 2020, 23:00

Maybe, a way to see the truckers more clearly as a concept, could be to imagine real truckers in Cold War Europe. They may have to pass through political conflicts like a recently occupied Hungary (here some planet or space station), bribe the guards at a very thorough border control, being followed by someone during a certain sensitive passage, have parts of the cargo confiscated, seeing remains from a past battle (old and broken spaceships drifting in space), passing by an outpost were things are really shitty, seeing large industrial facilities that are now abandoned, encountering troops from an army that has lost a war now trying to get back home, passing by a super size Gulag camp (penal colony in space), meeting smugglers with strange proposals and fake money, coming to a remote village (perhaps a space colony or an asteroid mine) where everything feels like time stopped 100 years ago...

Places like Barentsburg, Murmansk and other towns in arctic Russia could be a visual inspiration. It’s really rough places. And the Russian coal mining enterprise Arktikugol just sounds like something from U. P. P. They could do well in space too (yeah, I get it’s an arctic thing on Earth, but what the heck, the name has a feeling...)

Since I have actually been to the Soviet Union, socialist Poland and East Germany (yes, I’m that old), I know some of the cultural logics that came out of dividing Europe in two halfs. In the Eastern part, a lot of things were different in ways that was almost possible to imagine if you lived in a Western country. It came down to many small every day things, and passing borders was allways complicated. I think much of this would make sense in the Alien setting too. It’s a Cold War creation anyway.
 
ILKAIN
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Wed 26 Feb 2020, 19:39

I keep seeing statements that truckers are always hired by a company, but my players elected to form a freelance trucker team for their campaign frame (think Firefly or the smugglers in Alien: Resurrection).  I am thinking more along the lines of them finding job postings or securing word of mouth contacts for different jobs, and causing their win/loss range to be bigger in scope... no weekly paycheck or 5% share... but if they hit it big they get 100% of the prize.  of course this will be mitigated by no faction alliance discounts for ship repairs, currency equivalency and acceptance issues, and stuff like that.  am i doing something wrong in allowing this framework?
 
Riggswolfe
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Thu 27 Feb 2020, 00:08

My group is playing freelance truckers. The job tables give decent cash payouts though they're discovering that one or two accidents can be massive setbacks especially with spare parts costing 100k-200k. My players are turning a bit more to scavenging and going further with it than the book. "Can we get the mother core out? I think we could sell that for a ton!"

The way pay is handled is fairly simple. They give half the money to the ship fund for each job and split the other half equally among themselves. The understanding is that if the ship's payment is close to due and they're low on funds they may get less of a payout as they build up ship funds. Right now they're about halfway to paying it off but also had to use all but one of their spare parts due to a major cargo mishap so they're quite concerned about things.
Last edited by Riggswolfe on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 16:22, edited 1 time in total.
 
Bengt Petter
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Fri 28 Feb 2020, 15:44

To answer the question raised by ILKAIN, I certainly don’t think you are doing anything wrong. However, it puts the truckers in another situation. Of course, their profit might be bigger, but I would also say that they get some negative attention from corporate representatives who don’t like freelancers. Or maybe just space pirates who see them as a more suitable target.

So what I’m saying, is that you can extract some really dramatic events from the fact that the truckers are running their own business.
 
ILKAIN
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Re: Space Trucker Campaign Ideas

Sat 29 Feb 2020, 05:27

To answer the question raised by ILKAIN, I certainly don’t think you are doing anything wrong. However, it puts the truckers in another situation. Of course, their profit might be bigger, but I would also say that they get some negative attention from corporate representatives who don’t like freelancers. Or maybe just space pirates who see them as a more suitable target.

So what I’m saying, is that you can extract some really dramatic events from the fact that the truckers are running their own business.
Yeah those were some of my own thoughts.  its a new group to the game, and im going ot break them in easy at first, but then they are going to hit a huge payday... and never be able to cash in... lol.  (thankfully they dont know this site exists lol)

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