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Would like some help making a home brew campaign


Homebrew

Scarab Sages

First off, if you are one of my friends who lives in my area (and knows who this handle belongs to) then I ask that you stop reading. This is for a potential homebrew game I am making, and you, as a potential player, are only spoiling your own fun by reading on.

Now, for the rest of the boards: I am thinking about making my own homebrew Starfinder campaign, but would love some help fleshing out the details. And as all the starfinder players in my area are potential players, I need to turn to the messageboards for advice smoothing out the details.

campaign abstract:
The basis for this campaign would be that the Azlanti empire is secretly conducting espionage on the pact worlds for the in preperstion for taking them over.

The starstone is too tempting a prize for them to ignore. It could be made into the trade hub for their empire. Plus as the clear rightful heirs of Golarion, it is clearly theirs by birthright. That's just obvious!

But, as arrogant as the Azlanti are, they aren't stupid. They realize that they need to be smart conquering the Pact worlds. For one, they need information on how they are orginized, their military strength and tactics, etc. Also, this 'solarian' stuff is completely foreign to them, and they would like to know about this unknown quantity before they invade.

To this end, they have crafted a secret space station in the vast. There they are carrying out secured RnD experiments on how to take over the pact worlds. Bio-weapons, new ships, mind manipulation techniques, and learning about solarians.

At the start of the campaign, the PCs wake up in this facility. Behind the scene, they have been captured, tortured for information repeatedly, but then had their minds wiped each time and thrown back into stasis. A power failure sets them free, and it turns out thestation has had some sort of catastrophe befall it (I think one of the bio-weapons got free, but that's a bit cliche). Anyway, the PCs have to escape the crazed inhabitants (whom they don't recognize as Azlanti just yet, maybe because they are mutated?). And escape on one of the prototype ships being developed at the station.

From there, hopefully the PCs will be interested enough in the plot to keep investigating what is going on. I have some more story ideas that I'll post later.

Scarab Sages

Guys? I'd really appreciate some input.

The second part of the plot would involve the Azlanti secretly funding a solarian cult on Absolom station. This cult, little more than a street gang, would by two rejects from the Absolom station Solarian academy (I forget the name right now).

Essentially, what is happening is that the Azlanti are funding these two guys, and in return they find disaffected youths off the street and training them to be Solarians. Then they ship them off to a secret Azlanti enclave. Obstensibly this to to further train them to fight the corrupt establishment, but in reality these Solarians are being poked, prodded, studied, and dissected so that the Azlanti can figure out what to do to them and how to train their own Solarians.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I might suggest going a different direction.

Look at what information that the Azanti would have gained from captured Pact Worlders.

Things I can easily see them finding are four pressure points in the Pact Worlds.

  • Eox is a point of friction with the Knights of Golarion, and the faiths of Iomedae, Pharasma, and Sarenrae.
  • There are things on Apostae that are problems with the Pact Worlds at large.
  • With the Drift, Akiton has been financially devastated.
  • The Vesk are not part of the Pact Worlds. Indeed, they were very recently at war with the Pact Worlds.
I'm sure you can dig up some more.

So, sowing disunity would be a strong prelude to invasion. Your "solarion cult" should only be a single (and relatively crude) operation of a much more sophisticated espionage operation.

Also, this idea of them dissecting these solarions is less interesting then the idea that they are indoctrinating (brainwashing) them and training them as insurgents that are then re-inserted back into the Pact Worlds.

Scarab Sages

Lord Fyre wrote:

I might suggest going a different direction.

Look at what information that the Azanti would have gained from captured Pact Worlders.

Things I can easily see them finding are four pressure points in the Pact Worlds.

  • Eox is a point of friction with the Knights of Golarion, and the faiths of Iomedae, Pharasma, and Sarenrae.
  • There are things on Apostae that are problems with the Pact Worlds at large.
  • With the Drift, Akiton has been financially devastated.
  • The Vesk are not part of the Pact Worlds. Indeed, they were very recently at war with the Pact Worlds.
I'm sure you can dig up some more.

So, sowing disunity would be a strong prelude to invasion. Your "solarion cult" should only be a single (and relatively crude) operation of a much more sophisticated espionage operation.

First of all, I appreciate the input.

Yes, the low level stuff is a side project. Because the Azlanti don't know thing one about Solarians, I figured they would try to figure them out before invading, otherwise that is an unknown variable in their calculated conquest of the pact worlds. And it should be calculated, they don't want to risk loosing Absolom Station or the starstone.

The plan was, broadly, to split the campaign into six parts (like an AP)

Part 1 (levels 1-4ish) involve the initial wake up and the Solarian cult. It ends with the PCs finding and defeating the Azlanti commander on the Solarian research facility. (though they still don't know why)

Parts 2 onward would involve an escalating plot where the Azlanti begin ramping up their attacks, maybe a way to drive a wedge between the Veskirium and the pact worlds, like I said. Part six is where they do something big and epic like fly into the heart of Azlanti space to cripple their war machine or something. Like I said, still need help with where to take this story.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

VampByDay wrote:
Parts 2 onward would involve an escalating plot where the Azlanti begin ramping up their attacks, maybe a way to drive a wedge between the Veskirium and the pact worlds, like I said.

Would the Azlanti also attempt to "buy off" the dark elves of Apostae? (like the example of Cardassia in Deep Space Nine)

VampByDay wrote:
Part six is where they do something big and epic like fly into the heart of Azlanti space to cripple their war machine or something. Like I said, still need help with where to take this story.

You're a Star Trek guy. The entire Dominion War arc of Deep Space Nine is a wonderful source for inspiration.

Scarab Sages

Lord Fyre wrote:


You're a Star Trek guy. The entire Dominion War arc of Deep Space Nine is a wonderful source for inspiration.

Did my Previous thread give it away?

That aside, I like the drow angle.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

VampByDay wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:


You're a Star Trek guy. The entire Dominion War arc of Deep Space Nine is a wonderful source for inspiration.
Did my Previous thread give it away?

Technically no. I am converting the Traveler RPG, but I don't actually plan to run Traveler.

VampByDay wrote:
That aside, I like the drow angle.

Yes, have the drow play the role of the Cardassians, in both senses: Joining the Azlanti, and then being screwed over by them. (Much better then using Eox, because that would be too expected.)

Going back to your first post.

Spoiler:
VampByDay wrote:
At the start of the campaign, the PCs wake up in this facility. Behind the scene, they have been captured, tortured for information repeatedly, but then had their minds wiped each time and thrown back into stasis. A power failure sets them free, and it turns out thestation has had some sort of catastrophe befall it (I think one of the bio-weapons got free, but that's a bit cliche). Anyway, the PCs have to escape the crazed inhabitants (whom they don't recognize as Azlanti just yet, maybe because they are mutated?). And escape on one of the prototype ships being developed at the station.

Have the station (where the heroes are held) run by a couple of "subject" races might be better. Of course, rather then a genetically created race, I would instead go with early conquests of Azlanti that have been fully indoctrinated.

This way you won't have to "tip your hand" with the Azlanti empire too soon.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Some ideas:

Part 1: Party wakes up after about 3 weeks of the situation going into lockdown at the station. Party woke up late because the stasis power was running on an undamaged emergency power. Got too low, kicks them out but still has enough to keep the lights on.

Check some computers to find that the system is in a mess. Damaged connections and other technical issues plague the station. The initial problems were started from a power surge that released a critter whose system's emergency power was under maintenance. Areas with critters were locked down, weapons research might have had some catastrophic failures, etc. So, we have a space station turned into a dungeon.

(I got other ideas for the middle but I'll skip to the end. Like many of you I've watched and read a ton of science fiction stuff. YAY!)

Commander has the place locked down. PCs cleared the way to the last ship out, but under lockdown it can't leave, docking clamps or whatever you want. Commander tries to bargain with them, but it is very obvious he is going to sell them out to the Empire, they are science experiments after all. Kill the boss, read some computer entries and some heavily encrypted stuff. (Needs a supercomputer to decrypt)

Part 2: Get the data taken care of. It references some implanted device that turn people into sleeper agents. (Wait, is that what that weird scar is at the base of my neck!?!?! NOTE: It's alright, there appropriate signal to activate was stored on the now destroyed station) Chase down lead to a cell that has hidden transmitters on Absalom station. Track them down, kill some sleepers. (Failure to discreetly enough causes some sleepers to get set off early and cause a rampage as the baddie gets desperate?) Agent has some orders that didn't get wiped properly that have a signal information to track.

Part 3: Hmm, more starship stuff, go out find some normally hidden vessels that have been capturing and tagging people. Disable, board, gather info leading to their primary target. This ship has info relating to plans to break off Apostae and the Veskarium.

Part 4 & 5: Give them the choice of which to pursue first, Apostae or the Veskarium. Each maintains its relevancy so long as the enemies are leveled appropriately. To keep adventures in the same system until the end, you could have them head off a group that is planning to attack the Vesk and get them to break the Pact.

Part 6: Sounds like you got it covered.

Scarab Sages

One idea I had for part two is that the Azlanti plan to eliminate the Kasatha first. They find a planet for the Kasatha to colonize, and (acting through subtle agencies) begin for a massive political push to relocate. The plan is to get the Kasathans on the planet, then use the bio-weapons researched on the station to completely destroy the new Kasatha home world. PCs are the only ones who know what's going on.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Seems like rather high stakes for a "Part 2" but I'm not incredibly versed in Pathfinder APs. It could definitely work though.

Scarab Sages

Wraithguard wrote:
Seems like rather high stakes for a "Part 2" but I'm not incredibly versed in Pathfinder APs. It could definitely work though.

I think you're right. Saving 'New Kasath' might be a part 3 thing. What I need now is connective tissue. Something to ferry the PCs from taking down the Solarian research center to working with the Kasatha.

And I think I have an idea.

What if the one of the prisoners they rescue in the Solarian research area is a drow. A drow Solarian who is very interested in not dying to the Azlanti. He agrees to work with the PCs to try and ferret out the Azlanti. Part two could be investagitive, and maybe the big end is that the Azlanti plan to bomb a human-Vesk peace summit and blame it on the humans (thus removing the Veskarium as an ally). In the course of stopping this plan, the PCs stumble upon the Kasatha plot.

Meanwhile the drow can see which way the wind is blowing and switches sides (after all, all he cares about is survival and power. Being placed in charge of the drow home world on the winning side? Goodenough for him!). He formally withdraws from the pact worlds with a fleet of Azlanti ships, just as the PCs save new Kasath


A way to complicate some things could be if the swarm starts attacking some Azlanti facilities at an inopportune time for the Star Empire. If only for the hope that one of your players will shout "Hooray! The Swarm is here! We're saved!"

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

VampByDay wrote:
What if the one of the prisoners they rescue in the Solarian research area is a drow. A drow Solarian who is very interested in not dying to the Azlanti. He agrees to work with the PCs to try and ferret out the Azlanti. Part two could be investagitive, and maybe the big end is that the Azlanti plan to bomb a human-Vesk peace summit and blame it on the humans (thus removing the Veskarium as an ally). In the course of stopping this plan, the PCs stumble upon the Kasatha plot.

Actually, it would be better to do the build up for New Kasath plot in the background of this adventure. They should only get called in when things start going South for the new colony.

That way the PCs can't derail things quite so easily.


Keep the bioweapon idea but make sure it is a secondary consequence, and something that happens not right away. Leave it be as a plot escalation that only happens after a few hours or days. Till then, warn the PCs. Warn them right and left: nasty-bad things are trying to escape, testing their cages, and the cages are slowly powering down.

Anyway, for the beginning: make it so the station fails because some idiot started implementing new maintenance protocols with the power plant (stealing from Chernobyl real life here), which have not been tested enough in the simulators. He felt like he needed to move to the Real Thing quickly. (He was also bucking for a quick promotion come next quarter). So his maintenance experiments went a little long.

Now these experiments overlapped with a shift change, during which time some raw green trainees got put into critical positions they really were not qualified to handle. But hey, understaffing sometimes means no one to supervise and there's nothing wrong with a little "on the job training," is there? (As long as everything is run 'by the book', at least, which it most certainly is not in this case.) So when their boards start displaying weird data, they try to improvise solutions at their end that should have worked but didn't. End result, a few nasty explosions, power goes down all over the station except for backup generators.

The backup generators are also keyed to containment facilities for the bioweapons you speak of. Only they are now stuck on battery power. And when they fail, containment fails, and a lot of bad things get loose.

Scarab Sages

Lord Fyre wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
What if the one of the prisoners they rescue in the Solarian research area is a drow. A drow Solarian who is very interested in not dying to the Azlanti. He agrees to work with the PCs to try and ferret out the Azlanti. Part two could be investagitive, and maybe the big end is that the Azlanti plan to bomb a human-Vesk peace summit and blame it on the humans (thus removing the Veskarium as an ally). In the course of stopping this plan, the PCs stumble upon the Kasatha plot.

Actually, it would be better to do the build up for New Kasath plot in the background of this adventure. They should only get called in when things start going South for the new colony.

That way the PCs can't derail things quite so easily.

Yeah. Obviously. I just need the connective tissue and the general plot outline.

Scarab Sages

So, here's a more detailed campaign outline:

So the game starts (like I said) with the PCs ejected from stasis chambers. The station they are on is in disrepair, and basically the only thing functioning is life support. The PCs find that they can read the writing on the station, even though it isn't in common or any of the languages they should know.

background:
The Azlanti captured the PCs for interrogation (and Test subject) purposes. They were given implants that allow them to speak and understand modern Azlanti (different than ancient Azlanti) so their interrogators could work in 'a proper language.' They were tortured for information and subjected to inhumane experiments, but had their memories wiped each time.

As they explore the station they find some gear, but also find half-finished blasters and parts of the ship litterally torn apart. They also find strange fungus-infected crazed humanoids that attack them on sight. They wield half-finished swords and laser pistols, and are quite mad. Also, they have moss and plant matter growing out of various parts of their bodies.

background:
The Azlanti crew had been in the final trials for a new bio-weapon. This weapon was a fungal spore. Once dispersed into the atmosphere, it would find organic life and take them over, reducing their cognitive functions so as to be easily pliable and malleable (the perfect slave race.) The fungus does not produce its own spores and becomes non-contagious after a few days (and dies off in the air in that time.) It got free in the station and has since converted the entire Azlanti crew, who have not turned subservient (like they were supposed to) but instead went hyper-aggressive and mad.

The point behind the weapon was that the Azlanti would produce the spore, disperse it on a population, and then a few days later it would be safe to move their troops in, as it would have converted the population into subservient masses, and then the contagious bit would die off and you would just be left with a bunch of fungal-infested slaves.)

PCs battle their way around the station until they find a ship. They have to fight their way to the station commander's office where they fight a super-fungal zompie. There they find the ship's command codes, and note saying something about the 'operation with the twin suns on Absolom Station.' (Maybe some more clues.) With no other clues, the PCs escape with the ship (maybe fight some automated drone defenses from the station) and take off for Absolom Station.

Scarab Sages

So the second part of 'book 1' (level 2-3) involves tracking down the twin Suns gang, a gang made up of disposessed and disgruntled youths taken into a cult of solarianism. Their leaders, the eponomus 'twin suns' are secretly bankrolled by the Azlanti. The Azlanti SAY that they are political revolutionaries, looking for new recruits to use as soldiers in a political revolution, but in reality, their recruits are shipped off to a secret research facility where they are tested and autopsied to figure out what Solarians are capable of.

Part 2 involves tracking theses guys down, fighting them, and figuring out where they are sending their recruits. I foresee lots of social interactions and maybe a 'dungeon' or two in the warrens of Absolom Station to track down the leaders.


I would remember to definitely play up their "soft power", diplomacy, bribes and most importantly PROPAGANDA!

The Humans in the Pact worlds do not have a home world, thanks to the Gap it is gone. Now here comes the Azlanti Star Empire which not only is a human civilization but one with ties to the old world. The Azlanti could even make overtures of peace to join their fellow humans in the Pact Alliance[a bluff obviously]. After all, humanity has to stay united in these trying times.

If the Azlanti could get the humans of the Pact Worlds to join the Empire of their own free will instead of having to deploy an armada, so much the better :D

Scarab Sages

Edward the Necromancer wrote:

I would remember to definitely play up their "soft power", diplomacy, bribes and most importantly PROPAGANDA!

The Humans in the Pact worlds do not have a home world, thanks to the Gap it is gone. Now here comes the Azlanti Star Empire which not only is a human civilization but one with ties to the old world. The Azlanti could even make overtures of peace to join their fellow humans in the Pact Alliance[a bluff obviously]. After all, humanity has to stay united in these trying times.

If the Azlanti could get the humans of the Pact Worlds to join the Empire of their own free will instead of having to deploy an armada, so much the better :D

That's a great idea for a fourth 'book,' after the PCs discover what the Azlanti are up to, the empire decide to kill the PCs and launch a disinformation campaign to try to mitigate any negative press they have acrued. The PC have to dodge Azlanti assassins while trying to prove what a threat the Azlanti are.


VampByDay wrote:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:

I would remember to definitely play up their "soft power", diplomacy, bribes and most importantly PROPAGANDA!

The Humans in the Pact worlds do not have a home world, thanks to the Gap it is gone. Now here comes the Azlanti Star Empire which not only is a human civilization but one with ties to the old world. The Azlanti could even make overtures of peace to join their fellow humans in the Pact Alliance[a bluff obviously]. After all, humanity has to stay united in these trying times.

If the Azlanti could get the humans of the Pact Worlds to join the Empire of their own free will instead of having to deploy an armada, so much the better :D

That's a great idea for a fourth 'book,' after the PCs discover what the Azlanti are up to, the empire decide to kill the PCs and launch a disinformation campaign to try to mitigate any negative press they have acrued. The PC have to dodge Azlanti assassins while trying to prove what a threat the Azlanti are.

The Azlanti could also sway the humans in the Pact Worlds by reminding them of the threat posed by the Vesk. After all, the Vesk already tried to conquer the Pact Worlds once. Why NOT join the Human Empire of Azlanti against the threat poised by the Vesk Empire!?

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