decanox
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Joined: Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:14

Suggestions for side missions

Wed 23 Mar 2022, 09:48

Hi to all:

I am running the Frontier War campaign and would need some suggestions for two Frontier War side missions (sorry in advance since I don't have the sourcebook here so I don't remember the names of each mission).

- Regarding the ghost ship side mission (I think it's called "Cygni 61 ghost fleet" or something like that). I don't like to take turns so here it's the direct question: Any idea to run this? It's told that some ships disappeared during the battle over Fort Nebraska and now some of those are appearing again, inexplicably they are empty but there is something "strange" inside and that's all... What is this "strange" thing? Have you run this side mission or have some idea about it?

- There is another side mission about PCs going to a distant station to pick up some transmissions from W-Y (sorry, I don't know the name of this mission). I plan to play this near the end, possibly before the Siege of Lamont Station so PCs could know the Vaughn betrayal. Anyway and returning to the W-Y transmissions, have you thought about the possibility to use Heart of Darkness maps for this side mission? In other words, using Erebos maps like some kind of prequel of Heart of Darkness... but I don't know if this can ruin something.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Fragpuss
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Sat 26 Mar 2022, 15:12

I haven't run either yet, but I have been giving them a bit of thought. For the ghost fleet mission, maybe the ship reappears in contested space and the squad are sent to recover the sensor logs or some sort of samples, to obtain definitive proof of the nature of the Border Bombers, before the UPP / Children of the Two Divines / W-Y. You could have an insane (EMP-affected) Mother piping weird alien music over the ship's intercom and neomorphic motes everywhere that have mutated the ship's cat into a huge sabre-toothed feline anathema.

I've been too busy to read Heart of Darkness up until now, but if Erebos is just the station, then I don't see any problem re-using the maps, I'd imagine that there would be a fairly small range of standard station designs in use, so it would almost certainly have sister stations all over the frontier.
 
decanox
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Thu 31 Mar 2022, 00:03

Thanks for your advice...

Anyway, it's not easy.

For example, I am planning Berserker Down and I am having trouble about several aspects: 1) the side mission text suggests that a PC should enter the Berserker unit but this supposes death according to rules (Would any of my players want that? Absolutely not)... I am checking to introduce one or more NPCs so they can do it instead; 2) If the mission focuses on a Berserker unit, that implies that you have to put a lot of enemies (not any but anathemas) so there could be some kind of dilemma for the PCs: if they reject to use the Berserker, they won't escape from the colony... So this suppose balance problems... 3) How to control the Berserker? According to rules, they are unpredictable. How can this affect the PCs?

That's the reason of this thread, so we can exchange some opinions regarding the side missions.
 
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_ArthurDallas_
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Thu 31 Mar 2022, 16:35

I'm gonna look into this and I will come back here. I'm planning doing mission 4 soon.

I'm gonna look into all side missions and try to do a map or something.

I should do the kremlin map some day I don't know when but I will do it.

keep posted.
 
Lurker01
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Sun 03 Apr 2022, 14:35

The ghost fleet mission reminded me of the Bug Hunt book short story "Distressed".
https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Distressed
The sort of adventure that might take its inspiration from the comic / movie "Virus" and have the big bad as one of the newer xeno-types from Heart Of Darkness.
 
decanox
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Mon 04 Apr 2022, 13:47

I'm gonna look into this and I will come back here. I'm planning doing mission 4 soon.

I'm gonna look into all side missions and try to do a map or something.

I should do the kremlin map some day I don't know when but I will do it.

keep posted.
Thanks and great for that Kremlin map!
The ghost fleet mission reminded me of the Bug Hunt book short story "Distressed".
https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Distressed
The sort of adventure that might take its inspiration from the comic / movie "Virus" and have the big bad as one of the newer xeno-types from Heart Of Darkness.
I didn't know that and that's a great idea!

Now, I wouldn't know how to develop the idea into a mission since that new xeno-type is really difficult to beat (it may be in Queen Alien league) and could suppose a lot of spoliers for Heart of Darkness but, without doubt, it's a start.
 
decanox
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Fri 03 Jun 2022, 08:44

Hi again.

I come back with some side missions already played so I can share my impressions with you:

- Berserker Down: I used a huge and nice colony map posted somewhere here and introduced a lot of Anathemas (a lot, a lot).
The PCs had to rescue or, better said, kidnap Dr. Liu and Dr. Chalwa and take all the results from experiments, objects, items, etc they have on an investigation center. But once there, PCs discovered that both doctors (and a third person called Maitland but they didn't know that) fled to Anesidora.
Then a frontier bomber broke in and turned the entire colony into anathemas.
There is a project Berserker prototype inside, so after some tests, PCs discovered that is impossible to escape without some extra armor. They took a marine PNC as a volunteer and after some tears for the sure death he went inside the Berseker.
And then they started to move back for the space port to turn back home in a way full of "zombies".

This is a difficult side mission to run:

1.- First of all, the Berserker is a fallible weapon. You can throw the 10 armor dice and roll no successes. You can fire and roll no successes. It's not fast and a 20 mm gatling is the same as a Smartgun. BUT... It helps, above all if PCs put him/her directly at the front and cross their fingers. So PCs have to know that is a good weapon, not a bulldozer to stomp all enemies (maybe the illustrations don't help with that).

2.- Secondly, it's easy to fail balancing the difficulty. Anathemas are not the best xenomorphs for observation nor mobility nor armor but they have a lot of health (9, I think). So be careful playing groups of them. Sometimes I threw some pairs of anathemas or as many as three (only at the end and only one time).
Be sure that PCs have some HAZMAT suits near and they understand the Berserker role or this side mission could be a Total Party Kill.

In general, I think this mission should be planned as a modern zombie movie take. As I told before I planned it as a race to the space port with some alternatives or ways. The direct ways are infested with groups of anathemas. The long ways could be more quiet but there are more anathemas along the way. Since there was a border bombing I "forced" the PCs to look for some pieces in the colony to repair the ship...
The PCs had 4-5 combat encounters (they like combat games, but I felt that more combats could be boring, I think that number fitted perfectly). 2 NPC died: one from the Berserker, another attacked by a an anathema.


And that's all for now.
 
decanox
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Fri 03 Jun 2022, 10:06

Another side mission:

- Assault on the Kremlin: On their way to Corynth colony, PCs find Kremlin ship and instantly Vaughn ordered them to catch the ship.
Inside PCs found there were two factions: one faction control the command section and they are loyal to the UPP, the other faction that wants to defect control the reactor core.
PCS would have to make their way to loyal UPP section so they can take control of the ship.
Of course, there were some surprises at the end (some juvenile neomorphs).

I used a map from marques_art_boris from alien rpg reddit. He has a lot of blueprints. The ship map was a 3 deck plan, it is not so much alien-esque but its size is perfect for the mission.

Although players loved this mission, I made some mistakes here (I didn't tell them anything after the session, they were too funny): in general, the mission was too easy for the PCs because I located the enemies (a section of 7 SOF commandos) too far from each other in different rooms and decks and one soldier per room so PCs attacked one by one until they destroyed the full squad. When I realized the mistake and tried to focus a last attack, it was too late.
The second part of this side mission consisted in fighting against three juvenile neomorphs... That was more difficult but viable for them.
 
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Angelman
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Fri 03 Jun 2022, 17:00

Thanks, @decanox. Both side missions sounds interesting, and I might very well steal the mutinying UPP ship (Kremlin) idea for a game down the line. Cool :)
"And the rain sets in,
it's the Angelman.
I'm deranged".
--David Bowie, I'm Deranged
 
decanox
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Re: Suggestions for side missions

Tue 07 Jun 2022, 08:49

Thanks...

The mutiny idea is there on the "Assault on the Kremlin" briefing on page 196. "MSS members will need convincing", so I supposed that they will fight back the marines.

In general the side missions ideas are ok, keeping in mind the size of descriptions but you have to add many details and suppose many things. A little more help for GMs would have been really appreciated. That's the reason I began this thread.

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