Ghost ships

Sam's picture
Sam
January 24, 2014 - 12:15pm
Did you see the recent article about the lost at sea Russian Cruise ship, missing for over a year in the North Atlantic, storm patterns seem to indicate ship will make landfall in UK, feared to be loaded with cannibal rats. Damn, the adventure writes itself...

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/ghost-ship-full-cannibal-rats-really-headed-ireland-102944445.html#3Ti5uxt

Also, for those with an X-Files bent, recall the Japanese fishing boat that made it to the NA west coast after the tsunami only to be sunk by the Coast Guard... . Adventuring minds wonder what they found onboard...
Comments:

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 24, 2014 - 6:42pm
Oh my, a big a drift ship is a hazard... the big maned ones take out fishing boats already in the fishing fleet.

Yeah that writes it's self. No need for creep face hugging acid spewing aliens,... when mobs of space rats or maybe cannibal small white Boxils mutated by cosmic rays! Or just a big floating space ship in the way of other ships, or heading for your space station near you. The mystery of what happened to it... did the crew die in stasis/cryo of some sort, or is it a plague ship (maybe the Boxils will be carriers), hull breach? What if the PC's find an abandoned cruise ship intact... the crew and passengers gone just all their stuff still there and no life pods missing and a few maintenance bots still on line (cue Twilight Zone music).

 It does make you wonder what the CG found?

 I remember watching the video of the ship caught in the Whirlpool created by that tsunami when the sea floor opened, it was a good sized ship too, Wikipedia and all the science shows said not possible, just a myth, well if the sea bed opens up a big hole under your ship that video proved old sea tales where true, you are going down. But rest assured Wikipedia will still say all made up. I watched that ship try and get out and they couldn't, and the Japanese tried to find the ship to recover the bodies, no luck it was like the sea floor swallowed it. 



"Zoinks!"

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 24, 2014 - 7:46pm
oops she just took us from ghost ship to maelstroms in one hijack thats not a hijack really.

I like all the cliches and myths, they are all worth raiding for ideas. Sooo.... Dangers in space we went from drifting hulk that is the danger in and of itself (a being made danger) to maelstrom which is an environmental danger (natural)

Drifting hulk is obvious danger but how would you translate a maelstrom to  a danger in space? Black hole? not so much in a populated system and the point of the ghost ship story was the threat the ship potentially poses to Ireland

Rifting from a SF POV- Star ship Omicron was stopped (by PCs in Assault on Starship Omicron) and the towing cables were broken and the ship is headed in system at a speed that ensures it will destroy what it hits in a spectacular fashion. Call this adventure omicron 2 or Omicron Strike or Into the Maelstorm.

Of course if Starship Omicron was already cleared it cannot remain cleared for the part 2. It has to become re-infested with some form of opposition. (and new deck plans as well IMO)

Need one good environmental hazard but two would be more fun than one.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 25, 2014 - 2:16pm
Maybe also include this idea: (comes from of the Prix tales): PCs hear repeating echoing tapping, it leads them here and there on the ship, will start and stop in different areas and by the time the PCs get to the area nothing broken, no one there... if they figure it out, it is morse code, once they start translating let them(you will need some pre thought out conversations), all over the ship what they have been/are hearing is the conversations between trapped people dying... (the bots on the ship are endlessly replaying the last moments of the dying)... but the players will need to figure the bot part out too. 

As to "hijacking" sorry about that but welcome to my thought process, Japanses Tsunami is what triggered my thinking this time.  Sorry.





"Zoinks!"

Blankbeard's picture
Blankbeard
January 25, 2014 - 5:02pm
One thing I've thought about but never done is have the crew vanish on a ship during a jump. The actual explanation could be as simple as the crew abandoning ship just before or just after the jump but regardless of why, the situation is the same: The players have about 40 minutes before the speeding ship crashes into a major inhabited planet with tens of thousands of megatons of kinetic energy. Not quite a dinosaur killer but an ecological disaster that could kill millions. To get control of the ship and slow it down/turn it away, the players need to deal with repairs, computer locks, berserk robots, and possibly traps.

And I have a stop watch. Anytime I'm not talking or running combat the watch is counting down. I'm pretty sure we could run through a whole 40 minute scenario in a single evening.


Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 25, 2014 - 5:11pm
The stop watch would really add to the drama... I like. 
"Zoinks!"

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 25, 2014 - 5:12pm
Blankbeard wrote:
One thing I've thought about but never done is have the crew vanish on a ship during a jump. The actual explanation could be as simple as the crew abandoning ship just before or just after the jump but regardless of why, the situation is the same: The players have about 40 minutes before the speeding ship crashes into a major inhabited planet with tens of thousands of megatons of kinetic energy. Not quite a dinosaur killer but an ecological disaster that could kill millions. To get control of the ship and slow it down/turn it away, the players need to deal with repairs, computer locks, berserk robots, and possibly traps.

And I have a stop watch. Anytime I'm not talking or running combat the watch is counting down. I'm pretty sure we could run through a whole 40 minute scenario in a single evening.



use a kitchen timer for baking every time it dings usually after 10-15 minutes something happens.then watch for the players to jump after the 2nd or third time it dings and try not to smile. It will have the same effect as putting a clock on stage during the play- it makes the audience anxious.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Blankbeard's picture
Blankbeard
January 25, 2014 - 6:26pm
I like the kitchen timer idea. You've made me think of using a speech synthesizer to make some appropriate warning messages and setting them to a playlist and setting them to random with a bunch of various lengths of silence so that you get a message or two every 2-5 minutes.

Maybe a bit longer to keep from getting irritating.

iggy's picture
iggy
January 25, 2014 - 11:48pm
I have been pondering on the maelstrom in space for SF legend.  This would be something that old spacers tell to get free drinks.  Smile

There are hazards in deep space out beyond the oort clouds of systems.  Out there the void is deep and wild.  There are currents flowing through the void that yer scientists and astrogators don't know nor understand but there be old spacers like me who have dared the deep black and made our jumps to the black areas between the stars.  There are places out there where the barrier between space and the void becomes thin.  Places out there where great currents of the void well up and breach the barrier with real space.  Tis a terrible sight, matter and energy foaming together and whatever be so unfortunate to be there just slips into the void to never be seen again.  I've seen it, the terrible maelstrom, ripping into space and the good ship Andara she be unfortunately there.  Her surveying beacon in tight link with ours and we 'er charting a way point to cross the vast expanse.  The maelstrom breached into space aft of Andara and she started slipping into the void.  Her captain lit up all the engines full and she just stood still.  For hours her crew struggled against the gapeing void.  No one could go to her aid and no escape pod launched got anywhere.  The maelstrom just gobbled them pods right in.  The chief engineer and the captain fought valiantly but Andara's engine three sputtered  just a brief moment and in she went with all her remaining hands.  Once in the void she were caught in the currents with engins full burining and she disappeared across the universe to God knows where.  If she ever came out we do not know.  But her engines were full burn so she likely jumped thousands of light years before her crew could  slow her down and drop her to normal space again.  That is if the great energys swirling around in the maelstrom of the void did not fry her the instant she seemed to disappear.  No boys and girls, beings of all kinds, I warn ya not to venture too far from the the gravity of the stars for the barrier between the void and space can be very thin out there where ya least expect it.  Out there in the deep black the void is deep and the currents with in are strong and wild.  Thanks ya lad for the drink.

Ya know, I heard once old man that a vast expanse explorer once popped out of the void near Gruna Garu.  She had been missing two years and just popped back into the system but she didn't send any signals or request for approach vectors.  The ship came in hurtling toward Hargut at 0.01C and wasn't slowing down.  The militia boarded her but no one was on board.  All the escape pods were there and the food stores were full.  No one was on board.  When they stopped her and the forensic teams got aboard they found that the captains logs and those of all officers and crew just stopped three days after making a jump from deep into the void to a further beacon.  All the ship chronocoms were fourteen years in the future too.

Yes little hanger that is a true story.  Just you pour this old man another glass of that there ale and I'll tell ye about that ship.  I was called upon to examine her accounting to my experience .....

How's that get your fancy for a ghost ship from the void?
-iggy

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 26, 2014 - 8:15pm
Awesome... 

:)
"Zoinks!"

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 5, 2017 - 6:33am
came across the Ourang Medan- translation Man from Medan

legendary ghost ship but it may be more legend then real

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ourang_Medan

In the Frontier: Ourang Dawn.

I like the unsecured hazardous materials cargo theory in the wikipedia article.

Here's a link that points to possible cover up:
https://web.archive.org/web/20070205223141/http://www.neswa.org.au/Library/Articles/A%20cargo%20of%20death.htm
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 5, 2017 - 8:18am
iggy wrote:
I have been pondering on the maelstrom in space for SF legend.  This would be something that old spacers tell to get free drinks.  Smile

There are hazards in deep space out beyond the oort clouds of systems.  Out there the void is deep and wild.  There are currents flowing through the void that yer scientists and astrogators don't know nor understand but there be old spacers like me who have dared the deep black and made our jumps to the black areas between the stars.  There are places out there where the barrier between space and the void becomes thin.  Places out there where great currents of the void well up and breach the barrier with real space.  Tis a terrible sight, matter and energy foaming together and whatever be so unfortunate to be there just slips into the void to never be seen again.  I've seen it, the terrible maelstrom, ripping into space and the good ship Andara she be unfortunately there.  Her surveying beacon in tight link with ours and we 'er charting a way point to cross the vast expanse.  The maelstrom breached into space aft of Andara and she started slipping into the void.  Her captain lit up all the engines full and she just stood still.  For hours her crew struggled against the gapeing void.  No one could go to her aid and no escape pod launched got anywhere.  The maelstrom just gobbled them pods right in.  The chief engineer and the captain fought valiantly but Andara's engine three sputtered  just a brief moment and in she went with all her remaining hands.  Once in the void she were caught in the currents with engins full burining and she disappeared across the universe to God knows where.  If she ever came out we do not know.  But her engines were full burn so she likely jumped thousands of light years before her crew could  slow her down and drop her to normal space again.  That is if the great energys swirling around in the maelstrom of the void did not fry her the instant she seemed to disappear.  No boys and girls, beings of all kinds, I warn ya not to venture too far from the the gravity of the stars for the barrier between the void and space can be very thin out there where ya least expect it.  Out there in the deep black the void is deep and the currents with in are strong and wild.  Thanks ya lad for the drink.

Ya know, I heard once old man that a vast expanse explorer once popped out of the void near Gruna Garu.  She had been missing two years and just popped back into the system but she didn't send any signals or request for approach vectors.  The ship came in hurtling toward Hargut at 0.01C and wasn't slowing down.  The militia boarded her but no one was on board.  All the escape pods were there and the food stores were full.  No one was on board.  When they stopped her and the forensic teams got aboard they found that the captains logs and those of all officers and crew just stopped three days after making a jump from deep into the void to a further beacon.  All the ship chronocoms were fourteen years in the future too.

Yes little hanger that is a true story.  Just you pour this old man another glass of that there ale and I'll tell ye about that ship.  I was called upon to examine her accounting to my experience .....

How's that get your fancy for a ghost ship from the void?

This is a great post. We could make a "Tall Tales of the Void" story for the magazine. It could be a hoot. Especially if it was for a Halloween-themed issue.
Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
iggy
March 5, 2017 - 8:55am
Wow that is good stuff. Somehow that mood takes me from time to time and write good stuff.  Thanks for bringing it back up, it inspires me.
-iggy

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 5, 2017 - 11:04am
Thinking of ghost ships. It reminds me of a story I read in a book called "The Ford Fleet." That was a history of Ford Motor Company's vessels that they owned and operated from 1923-1989.

During World War II, the U.S. federal government commandeered most of the Ford vessels for wartime transport -- though you would think freighters hauling ore to wartime factories would be a priority.

One of the Ford ships was sunk by a U-boat off of the coast of South America. One tale is that a lifeboat from that ship ended up on a beach in Brazil with the bodies of some of the dead crew aboard. However, that story was never confirmed to be true.

For Star Frontiers, perhaps a ship goes missing in one system but months or years later, an escape pod is found drifting in a system halfway across the Frontier. Perhaps there's some cryptic message left behind about "a treasure of the ancients" (ie the Tetrarchs) that can be found in an uncharted system.

 
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 5, 2017 - 11:48am
Ah, I remembered another incident from "The Ford Fleet" book.

There was another Ford vessel that was designed to operate along the New York canals, but the government sent it down to work in the Gulf of Mexico. It was alone when a U-boat sunk it.

Later, a man caught a fish (maybe a shark, I don't remember exactly) that had the captain's hand with a distinctive ring in its belly.

One could come up with some adventure ideas for that one.

A ship is thought to be "lost in space." Instead, on Laco or Volturnus a quickdeath is killed and in it's belly is the ring of the ship's captain. Other clues crop up that the vessel, carrying a fiendish mass murderer in stasis, had actually landed on the planet.

The characters are hired to help find out what happened and track down the fugitive.  
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 5, 2017 - 2:31pm
I think the ship in example No. 2 was called the "Green Island."
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 5, 2017 - 1:27pm
JCab747 wrote:


This is a great post. We could make a "Tall Tales of the Void" story for the magazine. It could be a hoot. Especially if it was for a Halloween-themed issue.


I like the idea and its early in the year we could certainly work on a Tall Tales from the Void theme for next fall.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Bluddworth's picture
Bluddworth
March 11, 2017 - 9:53am
This is the stuff that science fiction is made for.....  Ghost ships and abandoned stations can be the scenes for alien encounters, maniacal computer AI or space anomalies that open to extra dimensional places or the gates of Hell.  

Queue the opening scenes of Event Horizon, Aliens, or Star Trek's "Space Seed".  



jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 11, 2017 - 4:27pm
Ah, Space Seed, now there is a idea. Earth that was suffered Eugenics wars and a ship full of super soldiers escaped. with its passengers in cryo the ship accidently did a void jump and has been drifting.

Mate it with the Ebony Eyes scenario maybe. The sathar must be dealt with of course then while repairs are being made the drifting ship is spotted and thought to be sathar in origin so PC's crew is sent to investigate.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 13, 2017 - 12:57pm
jedion357 wrote:
Ah, Space Seed, now there is a idea. Earth that was suffered Eugenics wars and a ship full of super soldiers escaped. with its passengers in cryo the ship accidently did a void jump and has been drifting.

Mate it with the Ebony Eyes scenario maybe. The sathar must be dealt with of course then while repairs are being made the drifting ship is spotted and thought to be sathar in origin so PC's crew is sent to investigate.

Or a ship full of brainiac Vrusk accountants who've come to the Frontier to super regulate its wild mega corporations.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 15, 2017 - 5:18am
JCab747 wrote:
jedion357 wrote:
Ah, Space Seed, now there is a idea. Earth that was suffered Eugenics wars and a ship full of super soldiers escaped. with its passengers in cryo the ship accidently did a void jump and has been drifting.

Mate it with the Ebony Eyes scenario maybe. The sathar must be dealt with of course then while repairs are being made the drifting ship is spotted and thought to be sathar in origin so PC's crew is sent to investigate.




Or a ship full of brainiac Vrusk accountants who've come to the Frontier to super regulate its wild mega corporations.




Vrusk Regulators? Wasn't there a holo vid of that?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!