Another post in my continuing series of campaign ideas. This week we have a pitch that evolved from my science fiction Fate game To Boldly Go. It might also be a game I run DunDraCon this year. Let me know if anything sounds like something you would like to hear more about.
Colony of New Terra
You are humanity’s farthest extent, leading the first colony ship to reach an alien world. After three centuries in cryostasis you have arrived at an oxygen rich planet perfect for settlement and the expansion of the human race. But what unexpected challenges will you face? What issues did the settlers bring with them? Crucial decisions lie ahead, decisions only you can make.
System: Kingdom, a GM-less game by Ben Robbins. In Kingdom you take on the roles of the leaders of community, deciding how it responds to the choices, or Crossroads, placed before it. Will your Kingdom survive, be changed, or change you?
A kingdom seed is sort of incomplete kingdom engineered for fast play. Here is one for the Colony:
In the late 21st century scientists confirmed the existence of an oxygen rich world fit for human life close enough to reach with the technology of the time. The citizens of Earth, aware of how fragile their world was, decided to send a colonization mission to this world, dubbed New Terra, to ensure the continuation of humanity.
The planet was only several light years away but even so it took over three centuries for the space vessel Opportunity to reach it. To survive the passage of time and the radiation of deep space (not to mention that of the antimatter reactors hurling the vessel through space at several percent of the speed of light), the crew and colonists spent the majority of the trip in cryostasis, frozen in pods until they were needed.
But now the long journey is over and the colonists are being decanted. Leadership for the mission is being transferred from the flight crew of the Opportunity to the administrators of New Terra whose job it is to make this planet humanity’s new home.
- New Terra is [a rich world with a complex and deadly ecosystem | a barely habitable planet where the most complex life form is a slime mold | a seeming paradise with an incompatible biology].
- The colony ship Opportunity is [the first of three, meant to break ground for the colony | the second of three, but finds its forerunner never arrived | supposed to be alone but detects another ship close behind].
- The crew and settlers are [the best and brightest humanity has to offer | desperate and hopeless refugees from a dying world, seeking a new beginning | criminals, both political and otherwise].
- The food vats aboard the Opportunity are failing. An alternative source of protein and carbohydrates will be needed.
- Hostile native life. Something on the planet is killing people. Maybe it is nothing more than a hungry beast, maybe it is a flesh-eating disease, or maybe it is intelligent.
- An uncivil society. People are fighting among themselves for the last luxuries of old Earth. How long until this planet is baptized in alien blood?
- Divided leadership. The captain runs the Opportunity but the Governor administers the colony. Until things get established on the surface, who is really in charge? And what about the people clamoring for elections?
- Some of the cryopods have malfunctioned. Who can’t be revived? Can they be repaired?
- Transmissions sent after the launch indicate Earth suffered from wars and ecological devastation over the next century. Then they stop. What happened? Should a mission be established to find out? More pressingly, what happened with the follow-up missions?
- The bridge of the Opportunity in orbit about New Terra.
- The cryostasis revival chamber where colonists are decanted and recover from three centuries of sleep.
- The food vats, vast chambers where meat and vegetable matter is grown.
- The shuttle bay, busy with the constant unloading of the Opportunity.
- Point Landing spaceport. The location of the first landfall on New Terra by humans, surrounded by acres of prefab housing.
- The Governor’s house. A white prefab structure made from several modular homes.
- Loner’s Cove. A bleak and isolated sea-shore where one can get some privacy.
- Point Landing’s Hospital. Another prefab house surrounded by tents to care for the everyday injuries of a bustling colony.
- Captain of the Opportunity: even though you slept through much of the trip, you still have seen decades of service and command. Now you must give it up.
- Governor of New Terra: you spent three centuries dreaming of the world you would help build.
- Chief Medical Officer: you oversee the “defrosting” of hundreds of colonists and are responsible for the health of an entire colony.
- Xenobiologist: an alien world with life requires careful study. Can you document everything before the foreign invaders destroy it?
- Senior Agronomist: a colony requires food and that requires someone to know how to grow it. You are what stands between the colony and famine.
- Security Officer: in an ideal world, this new Eden would require no law enforcement. This isn’t an ideal world.
- Chief Engineer: As if maintaining the Opportunity wasn’t enough, you also oversee all construction in Point Landfall.
- Colonist with a Dream and the Means: there is always someone who finds the opportunity to turn a profit. Owed favors in orbit and on the surface, you seek to rise above your fellow colonists.
- Remove the Opportunity’s main reactor to use as Point Landing’s primary power source?
- Establish a second settlement on the southern continent?
- Silas Duncan, a rogue geneticist wanted on earth for a long list of offenses, forged his credentials and managed to join the colonization effort. Earth discovered the deception after the Opportunity left. He is a brilliant bioengineer. Should his death sentence be carried out?
- Send the Opportunity to search for the other vessels that are supposed to arrive?
- Sterilize a section of the countryside to make way for farming of crops?