Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

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Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Hopeless » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:29 pm

By this I mean humanity has been sent fleeing their homeworld by an enemy they're hopelessly outmatched by and their only means of survival is fleeing to the outer planets and then beyond just to give themselves a breathing space to figure out what to do next.

Has any of you been interested in running anything like this?
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby F33D » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:24 pm

If they are hopelessly outmatched, only if the enemy were morons would they allow them to travel a few A.U.'s to rest & grow strong again.... So, no never played that scenario.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Hopeless » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:59 pm

One idea I had was that earth was being slowly overwhelmed and the remaining humans were fleeing to the moon before heading outwards.

The idea is that the players take the role of personnel on the moon helping to evacuate refugees from earth but also dealing with an encroaching enemy and by that I mean either replicants or enemy ships heading for the moonbase.

So it could easily involve ship to ship action depending on the players preference and of course up close and personal in moonbase as they fend off the invaders long enough for the last refugees to escape or as its more likely have to close off the other side of the base severing it from where the earthside ships were landing allowing for the remaining outbound transports to leave before its overrun.

Of course the PCs do have the option of bailing when they think its over so its not necessarily a suicide mission but I figure it would have made a good start to a potential campaign.

The idea is that they do have colonies outside of the solar system but it would take time for such a large exodus meaning they would have to stall pursuit as long as possible.

Now I'm wondering if they either have multiple characters or I allow them to plan the defence of moonbase and then seeing if they're interested in the defence of the rest of the solar system or whether they want to scout the next system for a suitable home for the refugees or go so far as to be the last defenders of humanity blocking the enemies pursuit outside of the solar system...

Still wondering how players would react to all of that though.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby rust » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:50 pm

There are at least two published scenarios with a plot of
this kind, one I know of is Cthulhu End Time (easy to use
as a science fiction scenario without the Mythos stuff), if
I remember it right the other one was written for the EABA
system - you could perhaps borrow some ideas there.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Greylond » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:51 pm

F33D wrote:If they are hopelessly outmatched, only if the enemy were morons would they allow them to travel a few A.U.'s to rest & grow strong again....
Could be lots of scenarios for this. Biggest reason that jumps to my mind would be a logistical problem. Perhaps the main invasion took up so much logistically that an effective pursuit couldn't be launched for a while. The defenders could have purposely fought a delaying action to allow the survivors to get to a neighboring GG, perhaps the mainworld orbits the primary star in a binary system and there's a gas giant around the secondary and the invaders didn't need to take that GG to take the main system.

Or maybe the surviving warships are on an outer system patrol, the commander sees the invasion force and decides to collect any and all outsystem civilians(belters, prospectors, salvage crews, science vessels, etc) and runs away.

Like I said, I can think of several scenarios for this...

interesting idea...
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby rust » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:57 pm

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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Sturn » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:30 pm

F33D wrote:If they are hopelessly outmatched, only if the enemy were morons would they allow them to travel a few A.U.'s to rest & grow strong again.... So, no never played that scenario.
I wouldn't kick him in the balls just for trying. Sounds like fun and it only takes a little bit of imagination to make it work.

This is scifi so I can imagine scenarios where this works. First, by "outer planets" did he mean something like Jupiter or did he mean something like the "Outer Rim" - worlds far away from Earth. Even if he meant in-system, who know's what kind of cloaking technology is available in his imagined game system. It might be easy for a small fleet to go hide out on the edge of the Sol system. The opening adventure may be the last of the human fleet battling their way through the blockade of Earth taking 80% losess. Perhaps the alien technology is limited to huge, but very slow ships when compared to Earth's smaller, stealthier, and speedy ships.

See already have something that could begin to work with just a little bit of imagination.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Captain Jonah » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:56 am

Hummm.

Why are the aliens attacking. Are they after slaves, resources, a good fight?

BSG had a few plot holes you could drive a bus through with regard to why they were allowed to escape given that the Cyclons had faster and longer range jump drives and enough base ships to defeat all of the Human fleet.

Anyway you need to ask what would stop the aliens chasing after and wiping out the survivors.

If it is just in the system then what prevents the aliens from going away from Earth. Perhaps they were more heavily damaged than they let on. Perhaps they have enemies who are watching and who would attack them as soon as the invasion fleet left earth or split up.
Perhaps the aliens used jump tenders and a lot of non jump boats. A final suicidal attack by the remnant of the main fleet crippled the last of the alien jump tenders and in the weeks it took to repair them the survivors fled, as long as they keep moving the tenders and fleet chasing them can only go to where they were or could be. This makes killing any alien long range scouts critical.

Perhaps the aliens are split with one faction wanting to destroy the humans and another wanting to spare them. The aggressive faction was in control long enough to attack earth but now they are balanced and so the militant group can only sneak out small groups of ships to hunt the survivors.

You mention that humanity is fleeing to the moon and then outward. This would suggest the aliens have a significant limit to transport. Is this a colony ship, having used the last of its fuel to decelerate relative to earth and now launching huge waves of short range fighters, bombers and troop ships down to the planet?

Resistance from planet based defences and the national fleets could keep the attackers busy and away from the moon for a while and constant rebellions on earth would keep most of the alien ships there meaning that only a limited number of long range warships could hunt the survivors.

This also means that the outer colonies, the science posts and mining outposts would be fairly safe for a while and if heavily defended could resist any alien attack until such time as the aliens crush all earth resistance and can release more long range ships.

So you could have a small number of fortress asteroids or moons. Each linked to the others by long deep space routes. Mining outposts working flat out to produce everything needed to support the survivors while keeping quiet. A handful of colonies packed far beyond capacity and ringed with hastily built defence platforms and the surviving warships. Chemical refineries at the gas giants, water from Ice asteroids, protein paste grown and harvested at an experimental farm on mars.

All just out of reach of all but a handful of the alien ships. Some well defended, others relying on stealth. Warships that dare not move away from the colonies which are packed full of the civilians in case of an alien fast raid.

Plenty of work for independent crews, lots of vital cargos to be moved quietly, patrols to find and chase of the alien long range ships, new resources to find and exploit (lots of mouths to feed), contact with earth to be maintained, the aliens colonisation to be slowed down as much as possible because when earth if finally crushed the survivors are next.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Greylond » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:03 am

Captain Jonah wrote: BSG had a few plot holes you could drive a bus through with regard to why they were allowed to escape given that the Cyclons had faster and longer range jump drives and enough base ships to defeat all of the Human fleet.
IIRC it was because Baltar expected to become the Ruler of the survivors and the Cylons hadn't betrayed him yet.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Sturn » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:11 am

Captain Jonah wrote: BSG had a few plot holes you could drive a bus through with regard to why they were allowed to escape given that the Cyclons had faster and longer range jump drives and enough base ships to defeat all of the Human fleet.
The, "Final Five", were somewhat godlike to the Cylons and amongst the fleet. The fleet was allowed to get away and survive.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Hopeless » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:23 pm

My idea evolved around alien technology being found in the long dead remnants of a much older alien civilisation.
Originally taken to Mars for testing its release caused a brief war that was thought to have eradicated all of the biotech organism dubbed the Nanotech (Emphasis for just how scary it actually is).
However a few samples was taken to Earth since it was thought inert ignoring the tropes guide to what not to do they reactivated it and as before couldn't stop it proliferating as it began to assimiliate all life, technology and so on on the entire planet.
Efforts to stop it failed as the previous means was never properly investigated and put down to blind luck, it apparently learned from its previous defeat and eventually it became obvious that Earth was lost as refugees began heading towards the moon in ever greater numbers.
Due to how civilian transportation was designed people had to head to the moon to get transportation to the outer system via Mars however military forces tried to hold off the impending Nanotech forces but because the military could and did divert around the Moon base it meant the Nanotech had access to ships allowing it to do the same.
The resulting battle was largely self defeating for humanity as every ship they destroyed didn't account for the fact the Nanotech needed only to hit an opposing ship once to begin assimilating it.
Even the unexpected addition of a long thought dismantled shieldship only postponed the inevitable.
It did however force the military to sacrifice any and all ships and forces unable to escape the Nanotech forces and in so doing insured time for the Moonbase to complete the evacuation of the refugees even as Nanotech operatives struck from within the base finally resulting in the base's self destruction device being used.
The surviving forces had no way of even attempting to calculate how many lives was lost up to this point but whilst some foolishly believed the Nanotech would stop at Earth and its satellite others knew better and so began the exodus from the solar system.
The continued efforts of the surving economic, military, political and religious entities to postpone the exodus merely insured the almost total destruction of whatever remained of the human government, military and religious organisations inducing a panic on levels unheard of in human history.
When the Nanotech eventually headed after the human exodus a brave final defence at the edge of the solar system insured time for those who reached the dubious safety of the first of the human colonies outside the solar system.
It went downhill from there until the advent of the legendary Sol Guard descendants of earth's police forces who rose to the challenge of attempting to restore some kind of stability to the shattered remaints of humanity and their leader whose reputation would head straight into legends such as King Arthur and other such entities would insure humanities survival in the face of almost certain annihilation.
Sorry got a little ahead of myself! :mrgreen:
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby F33D » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:36 pm

Greylond wrote: Could be lots of scenarios for this. Biggest reason that jumps to my mind would be a logistical problem.
From the description it seemed that Earth TL was pre stellar vs. a Stellar TL enemy. In which case it made no sense...
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Sturn » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:22 pm

F33D wrote:
Greylond wrote: Could be lots of scenarios for this. Biggest reason that jumps to my mind would be a logistical problem.
From the description it seemed that Earth TL was pre stellar vs. a Stellar TL enemy. In which case it made no sense...
Didn't several posters just make up some sensible reasons for this? Makes no sense to you does not equate to it must make no sense no matter what explanation is put in place. You seem to just not like the idea. That's fine. Let others speculate and help the OP out without stepping in to be somewhat rude and offer nothing helpful.

Assuming (big assumption) it is Pre-Stellar vs. Stellar, it can still work. It works since we are free to mold the two cultures into whatever we see fit. It doesn't have to be 3rd Imperium TL 15 vs. TL 8. The Stellar enemies could have jump drive technology, but their in-system drive capabilities are very limited. Perhaps their ships are gargantuan jump vessels but they move around with old reaction drives very slowly while having to constantly refuel. TL 8 Earthlings have discovered reactionless drives ahead of their time (by Traveller standards) and zip around in small, fast, stealthy ships. What doesn't make sense about them being able to elude the jump-capable enemies?
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby F33D » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:45 am

Sturn wrote:
F33D wrote:
Greylond wrote: Could be lots of scenarios for this. Biggest reason that jumps to my mind would be a logistical problem.
From the description it seemed that Earth TL was pre stellar vs. a Stellar TL enemy. In which case it made no sense...
Didn't several posters just make up some sensible reasons for this?
No. Not considering a stellar vs. pre-stellar scenario.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby GypsyComet » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:10 am

Ran the BSG opening to start a Mekton game many years ago, but haven't tried it using Traveller.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Pyromancer » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:53 am

IIRC, in the OTU the Sword Worlds were colonized by a BSG-style fleet from earth. They had to flee because they lost a civil war, not because of invading aliens, though.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby locarno24 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:13 pm

A good 'retreat to the outer planets' setting is the Starlancer setting - jump capable but only intrasystem jumps.

The two sides are human and equivalent tech, one side essentially drives the other out of the inner system BUT they haven't completely taken over earth and there is significant infrastructure in the various GG moon systems. There is a very BSG style feel (complete with 'peace conference'), followed not so much by a retreat as a consolidation operation, with the first big chunk of the game being trying to find/rescue as many fleet assets as possible.

F33D is right about one thing - if they are 'hopelessly outmatched' you have to run and keep running - the only way you survive is 'losing' the pursuing fleet after each jump until they locate you again. If you're not able to flee out of the system, fair enough, as long as there's still some sort of a fight. Even losing earth to some sort of planet buster is fair enough - key question will be how much damage you did in the process and what the attacker's goals are.

In short, either you can flee interstellar (as the alliance ultimately does in Freelancer, the sequel to Starlancer) where you can hide from an overwhelming force, or, if you're stuck in a single solar system, the force can't be too overwhelming unless there's a very good reason they can't pursue you.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:38 pm

I ran a short game where a convoy of ships had a MAJOR misjump and ended up on the far side of the Pleiades star cluster.

Part of the convoy stayed and settled the area (my OTU campaign) and part of the fleet (3-4 ships) decided to try to head back to Terra. It was more like a Voyager campaign than a BSG campaign (before there was a Star Trek Voyager series).

I did have them run into a fleet of ihatei that wanted to steel their ships and higher technology and they became my "cylons" forcing the small group of ships to keep running as fast as they could.

It went OK, but it is hard to keep them running and come up with interesting adventures on a variety of worlds without falling prey to running the same old same old... IF you, as a Referee, have the imagination (and time) to create a lot of internal strife like the nBSG did, then it can get more interesting for a while; but eventually you either have to kill them off or let them find Terra.
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby Hopeless » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:23 pm

Starlancer?

I'll have to look into that it might have some interesting ideas I can adapt!

Thanks for the replies!
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Re: Has anyone tried running a BSG style campaign opening?

Postby locarno24 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:48 am

There are a lot of cgi briefings and cutscenes. try youtube, I guess.
The game installation is accompanied by a good politician speech you could play as an opening for the campaign...
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.

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