Murder by Stasis Field

jedion357's picture
January 21, 2017 - 7:19am
Ground Fleet Depot Sigma 9

Thirty years ago a squadron of armored explorers were put into stasis storage. (Assuming the KHs Stasis field was adpted for other applications like storage of equipment in a manner that would prevent it from deteriorating over time.).
For some reason the 10 year inspection of this equipment has been overlooked for 30 years.
When the stasis field was deactivated half of the body of a Ground Fleet technician was found in the depot.
The field effect had cut him in half. There was no record of half a body every being found outside the stasis field 30 years ago so the assumption is that this was murder and the lower half of the body was disposed of by the murderer.

30 year old cold case.

PC(s) can be Star Law or Ground Fleet JAG or Ground Fleet Crime Scene Investigation or even Space Fleet JAG

Means of murder: Stasis Field operation knowledge
Motive: ?
Oportunity: On post 30 years ago
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
January 21, 2017 - 7:27am
I red a murder mystery RPG adventure once and it used a card draw mechanic to determine the guilty party as well as other details IIRC.

Motive and guilty party could be done similarly- card draw mechanic.

Motives for murder:

1. to keep a secret
2. revenge
3. frustration/hate
4. money/greed
5. sex/jealousy
6. property dispute
7. personal vendetta
8. political
9. class conflict
10. Narcotics
11. Other fellonies
12 urge to protect
13. Love/lust
14 loathing
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
January 21, 2017 - 7:31am
It turns out that the 10 year inspection was done at least once as investigation of the deceased reveals he was alive and well after the storage of the armored explorers 30 years ago. it looks like the murderer altered the computer data base to make it look like the 10 year inspection was not done in an effort to cover his tracks.

NOTE: the supply depot could be positioned on any world that would realistically be the location of a Ground Fleet supply depot or forward staging area. Thus if you were running a Royal Marines KHs campaign the PC(s) could conceivably be Royal Marines brought in to investigate due to the lack of Ground Fleet personal or there is a GF JAG investigating but the Crown of Clarion has ordered the Royal Marines to do the same.

What is important is this adventure can be places almost anywhere in the Frontier.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
January 21, 2017 - 7:39am
I think perhaps it will not work so much as a cold case. as beings stationed at the depot would have been transfered elsewhere and or retired from the service. This would make it a Frontier wide hunt.

Instead the 10 year inspection was just done and the stasis field reactivated and the lower half of the body was consequently found out side the stasis field. Murder is on hand but PC(s) must discover him.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
January 21, 2017 - 7:46am
organization of the depot

Robotic brain manages the power reactor and small army of service & security robots
Robotic brain should have a developed personality like Hal 9000 in 2001

officer in command and skeleton crew of technicians

Robotic brain could be the murderer or could be the cut out patsy secretly reprogrammed by the real murderer.

Of all the staff on hand almost all will have the means, some will have the motive and some will have the opportunity but only one will have all three.

This is the data the PCs must determine.

If the robotic brain is the murderer or the patsy for the real murderer it has security robots at its disposal to thrawt the PCs if they are zeroing in on it. This is a supply depot of military equipment so the PCs will have recourse to armored vehicles and weapons for a running fight with the robotic security forces.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

ExileInParadise's picture
January 21, 2017 - 11:11pm
The key to this, to me, seems to be to set it up a bit like a sandbox game - litter the base with NPCs, each with vague connections to the motives, red herrings, and clues, and set the PCs loose on it.

But, a clock also needs to be ticking, something like the Outland shuttle arriving which gives the killer a chance to escape.

There needs to be ways to implicate the PCs themselves.

As far as encounters - finding different NPCs and encounter areas to give each possible player archetype their time to shine - and each of the major skill groups a chance to shine too.
Roboticists are obviously covered.
Computer specialists and technicians are pretty easy to work in.
The Biosocials, with Psychosocial are a dead ringer.
Finding some excuse to work in combat would help, especially if its part of a red herring thing that makes the PCs less willing to go in guns blazing the next time... when needed.

Your mention of cards reminded me of something - there was a very old board game called 221B Baker Street, and the structure of that would be a pretty good fit as a model for what I think you're trying to setup here.
221B had a map with tons of locations on a board that you moved pawns around.
Each location had clues, some red herring, some not, that all gave you pieces of the answers to the Means, Motive, and Opportunity.
The game was set in motion with a story card that set the scene and payed out the first 2-3 clues to start chasing.
The locations on the map were related to the clues - so for example if the killer was a smoker, the clue from the tobacconist really was relevant.
And the game came with dozens of mysteries, all based on the same structure of different locations having differnet clues to the means motive and opportunity - so the board was reused, but the cases were different.

The map of the base, its NPCs, robots and schedules of movement for them, etc could fit the same mold of giving PCs pieces and parts - and making or failing NPC reaction checks can lead to variation of the encounters. And setting different cases in the same base, with same NPCs, but giving different clues and having different encounter types could make this fairly re-usable.

jedion357's picture
January 22, 2017 - 9:10am
I like the idea of a clock: PCs don't have unlimited time they must aggressively pursue the investigation.

I'm curious as how would you go about implicating the PCs? The set up is they are investigators brought in to solve the crime. If this was a Murder on the Orient Express then it has to be someone on the train/ship so it's rather easy for NPCs to suggest the PCs are involved. 

I'll see if I'm can find a PDF of the Baker Street game. 

Yeah a good dozen NPCs or maybe 8-10 with detailed write ups including a motive to kill. (Character portraits  for all suspect NPCs- give the players something visualto associate with data they are gathering). Will make the murder victim the first Sgt and a jerk that everyone hates. 

Forensic evidence? How far will this take the PCs? Should the crime be solvable on just skill checks gathering and analyzing forensic data?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
January 22, 2017 - 9:22am
Was thinking that Aerial views of bunkers like the type we saw eating a laser guided missile in Iraq would work as a "map". Most of depot could be underground. Storage bunkers, power plant- either nuclear or gro-thermal. Tunnels between locations. 

Above ground structures: Admin building, barracks, commandant's house, rec room &galley, robotics center, work shops. Vehicle pool and recharge station. Base should include a 4000 meter runway for ground to space shuttles and or a half dozen tail first landing pads. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!