Colony Med Adventure

jedion357's picture
March 19, 2020 - 7:45am
Ive located a solve the outbreak game on the CDC website and I'm adapting it as an MSO adventure for Star Frontiers.

This page had previous discussion on this idea:

RPGs work well with conflict ie combat so to just have doctors and scientists solving issues is perhaps potentially boring.

Thus crafting this to allow for a variety of PCs with at least one of them being a military enforcer type, a doctor, a scientist and a techie seems the best mix IMO. Suggestions on that are welcome.

As they say in real estate: Location, Location, Location. Potential locations:

1.) New Pale has potential for this in that some cannon material suggests large dangerous dinosuar like creatures roaming everywhere. This makes someone good with a gun crucial to watch over the party. Although we will have to stat out some dino like creatures which wont be hard because of the creature tables in AD

2.) Volturnus has a very robust creature catalog because of the Volturnus campaign modules.

3.) Timeon/Lossend- has losso dragons and wypongs but not much else unless we create it.

4.) another location?

The adventure could also be run with just a medical specialist supported by a combat robot.

All PCs will want at least one shooting skill of at least 1st level. The party can also be bolstered with a combat or security robot which supports the need for a techie. Medical specialist is a must. and biologist or environmentalist under AD rules is important. and of course the military/enforcer type. 

They would be the MSO team sent all over the colony to deal with stuff- viral outbreaks, disasters, Search and Rescue etc. the campaign would look like the episodal WoWL module- each episode is pretty much self contained.
although the campaign could build to something big like SW1 and the sathar invading of the Traune Star System but if so then laser weapons and or other equipment might be scaled back a bit.

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

jedion357's picture
March 19, 2020 - 7:53am
The thread discussing the Captive Planet Endless quest adventure is here:

I'm strongly leaning toward incorporating the material from Captive Planet and Volturnus Connection concerning New Pale into a setting brief for that planet plut whipping up some dino like creatures. IIRC there was also a Jurack Hangna story set on New Pale.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
March 19, 2020 - 8:05am
A Colony Med adventure that pre dates the SW1 would also predate the MSO.

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

KRingway's picture
March 20, 2020 - 4:33am
I'd want to make sure that there's enough for everyone to do in terms of thinking and problem solving. Maybe they have to jury-rig equipment in a hostile situation whilst also coming up with an antidote to some strange illness that is on-going.

So, for example:
  • the players and some NPCs are on a survey ship which in orbit around an uncharted planet. There are problems and it has to make a forced landing. The pilot advises them to escape aboard the ship's lifeboat heads to the planet's surface.
  • Maybe the pilot is aboard and has made a pretty rough forced landing and needs help. He and the players can communicate with each other via radio.
  • Maybe the ship is fixable and thus can get back into space, but perhaps the pilot is the only pilot. They know that there is food and water, etc at the ship, plus more useful equipment. They can locate it but it's some distance away.
  • En-route, there are various dangers from local flora and fauna. Not only that, but after a while the NPCs - and maybe PCs failing a check - start to feel ill. The 'bug' doesn't seem to show up via a toxy-rad guage, and the team medic needs better equipment to make a full analysis. Possibly they have enough personal equipment to start a study and try and find a solution. They also have to try and figure out a treatment that's a stop-gap measure.
  • The PCs need to fabricate some equipment from what they have that might help them - i.e. adapt the toxy-rad guage, etc.
  • Maybe the pilot also starts to show symptoms of the 'bug'.
This is a kind of an 'against the clock' situation on more than one level - they have to find the bug and neutralise it. They also have to get to the ship and cure the pilot. They only have a certain amount of supplies to last for X amount of  time and have limited equipment. The journey to the ship takes X amount of time - meanwhile, the bug and various nasty flore and fauna pose various challenges.

jedion357's picture
March 20, 2020 - 6:16am
KRingway- I'm all for PC kit bashing with equipment. which is generally just a few skill checks as a mechanical way of handling it.

What is not handled well in Star Frontiers, and perhaps has no business in SF is inventing. In Space 1889 there are rules for a PC inventing something new then getting a pattent and making money on that pattent. But then invention is a setting element of the 1800 and aught to be in a game like that.

I suppose it really comes back to SF is an adventure game.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
March 20, 2020 - 2:24pm
I was thinking along the lines of maybe presenting the different problems as a set of puzzles that have to be thought through rather than rolled through (with dice). So, the players would only get to do kit bashing rolls once they'd figured out various 'puzzles' and would the know what to roll for. If anything, this would be the trickiest thing to create for the whole adventure, as the other aspects are more of a conventional approach.

This means that various aspects of figuring out the bug are a puzzle, figuring out exactly how to rejig the equipment would be a puzzle. Maybe the two things interconnect. I guess it could be mapped out for the referee like one of those yes/no branching diagrams. Personally I'm not amazingly adept at puzzle creation but I think it is actually a workable option. It would just take some planning.

jedion357's picture
March 21, 2020 - 6:05am
To be honest I originally had no clue about trying to write a medical adventure and spent a lot of time trying to work something up. Eventually located a quasi rpg/pick your path medical investigation game on the web. so I figure adapt and file the serial numbers off that and rework it for star frontiers but include some opertunities for combat (easy enough on New Pale) and a few skill checks.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
March 22, 2020 - 9:26am
Colony Med

Colony Med Adventures are set on New Pale and are styled after the Warriors of White Light module meaning the adventures are episodic like a weekly TV drama. The referee is free to craft larger story arcs with recurring villains and or player character story arcs that develop slowly over the course of many episodic adventures. However, the base form of these adventures will be episodes designed to be finished in one table top session.


New Pale is a dangerous and turbulent colony. Its flora and fauna outright want to eat you but they are not the most dangerous threat around. It was conquered during the Great Sathar War (Note: the First Sathar War is not called that until there is a Second Sathar War). Relics of the sathar invasion linger in dark corners of the jungle and are potentially lethal.

Originally an independent outpost until the Pan Galactic Corporation moved in and transformed it into what is known as a “company town.” A resistance group called the HUSP arose to push back at PGC but it was not initially effective. That was until a pirate known as the Star Devil began supplying them with weapons and explosives seeking to destabilized the situation in Truane’s Star.

Eventually Streel was also running guns to the HUSPs terrorist group as their attacks on the PGC agricultural production lead to famine and food riots on the neighboring world of Pale. Thus the government of Pale was manipulated and forced to step in and take over New Pale as a matter of national security. PGC was ousted to the delight of Streel.

The HUSP took a dim vim of their new overlords but without the active support of the Streel Corporation they were eventually crushed. The sentiments that drove the HUSP are still present and expressed as a general slow boil hostility to the government.

Quirks in the magnetic field and particle density of the local solar wind have made it possible for skilled pilots to slip a small ship past the watching orbital defenses. Smugglers and pirates have used the thick jungle and forest to hide and conduct their trade for decades. One never knows when one will encounter these dangerous types in the outback.

Civil order is maintained by the presence of Pale’s Peace Keeper Battalions. The Peace Keepers are staffed by natives of Pale and most of them are not happy about being on New Pale. Some have friends that were killed by terrorist attacks and encounter with the PK can be surly to hostile. Since they are the authority, they tend to throw their weight around.

The Hospital

Colony Med is the only hospital on planet. It was a rudimentary clinic before the Blue Plague but since that time the Medical Services Organization has stationed a team here which greatly upgraded its capabilities.

The MSO team is independent and has its own equipment but the original medic/administrator, a former Peace Keeper acts as if he’s in charge of the MSO team. The reality is that he essentially runs the walk-in clinic with a nurse bot (service robot with programing to perform diagnosis and first aid skill checks) and sells stims on the black market. The Colony Med side has a surgical suite, morgue, lab, isolation room, 12 bed ward, pharmacy, conference room, and a robotic security checkpoint that controls access from both the street and the day clinic side. Colony med has a nurse bot and a security robot. Assigned to the MSO team is an explorer and air car both outfitted as ambulances (capacity 2 patients this is in addition to their normal passenger compliments). Note the referee should provide two air cars if the number of PCs exceed 4.

The MSO team has worked out an arrangement with the clinic director whereby they supply him with a case of stims per month and he will more or less leave them alone. The security robot has a specific function to watch him and guard against theft attempts.

New Equipment

Nurse-bot: Level 3 service bot, standard robot body, type 1 parabattery, movement 30m/turn (legs), program: medical support, extra pair std. limbs. Hypo spray and med scanner installed in the extra pair of limbs. Mission: Diagnose patients that enter the clinic/hospital perform first aid for those with minor wounds and refer all others to the resident doctor and assist him/her as directed. Function 1: defines patients as any sapient being with complaining of a medical problem or exhibiting damage to its Ability scores (STA, LOG, and etc.). Function 2 defines the clinic or hospital usually with a floor plan. Function 3 defines who the resident is with a specific bio or as anyone dressed as a doctor. Cost: 5,400 Cr

Medical Support robotics program- this program allows a robot to perform diagnosis and first aid skill checks at 30% + 10%/robot level. When a robot with this program assists a medic/doctor that character gains a +10% bonus to all surgery skill checks. Cost 500 Cr


Hartbart Stood- human male Medical-2 Beam Weapon-1 Hartbart is a bureaucratic administrator relieved to let the MSO team pick up the slack. He was first posted to
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
March 23, 2020 - 7:05am
So the wife thinks any disease used in a med adventure must be upgraded to a level of scary that is- how to put this- ebola crossed with COVID19.

Edit: the problem with that is some times you just need something for NPCs to worry about but the truth is its something else. Like say meningitis- Something the NPCs are worried about so they call the medical experts. actually turns out to be something else far more scary.

Current disease for the NPCs worry about brainstorm (because meningitis sounds so boring): Cerebralvascular Hemorrhagic feavor- if I parse the medical terms right blood vessels in your brain start hemoraging accompanied by feavor. Sounds scary in an ebola sort of way- blood leaking from your ears and eyes.

Edit 2: need a name for something scary that is a sci-fi version of rabies.

EDIT3 I suppose I could just call it "saurian rabies" similar to mamalian terran rabies but transmitted by the bite of saurians on New Pale with nasty side effects.

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

jedion357's picture
March 23, 2020 - 7:36am
Void Flu- nausea, vomiting and weakness that is sometimes a reaction to void travel for novice space farers. In rare cases it can be debilitating. -20 to all ability scores for 10 hours.

This sort of thing could be the red herring- NPCs assume that since character X just traveled by star ship they have a case of the void flu so they tell character x to take fluids, pain killer and rest. However their illness is much more serious and character x has potentially infected everyone they came in contact with. and the fact that they didnt get medical help right away because "it was just void flu"

Clue that its not void flu- the patient is an experience spacer.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
March 23, 2020 - 11:26am
Maybe it has some common symptoms with the Blue Plague, and thus is scary for that reason.

jedion357's picture
March 30, 2020 - 7:46am
Re: Blue Plague

[Zebs Guide=quote] Its called the Blue Plague because of its earliest symptoms- large blue welts that appear about the face and extremities. These welts leave horrible black scars even if the victim survives the plague. [/quote]

I have to ask "leaves horrible black scars even if the victim survives the plague"? What if the victim doesn't survive the plague? OMG what a hideous corpse!

Other details from FY 17-27:

It was brought to Starmist via an alien vessel that crash landed

It infected vermin on StarMist that then gained access to a Frontier bound starship which then made numerous stops in the Frontier.

So if early symptoms are so indicative of something being wrong then what is the incubation period of the Blue Plague? I suppose we have to go with the crew managing to not to infected for several void jumps? Just think about the canon requirements for stopping at several planets? calculating the jumps and accelerating to void speed take lots of time. Were talking about at least a month for several (3-4) stops.

Also vermin from starmist gaining access to a Frontier Bound ship? sounds like the ship is landed on StarMist so its what HS 3 type of lander? how many vermin? does this lander mate with a larger ship? or does it travel to and land on several Frontier planets? cause landing & take off will take more time plus some shore leave for crew at some point.

EDIT: so if its a lander and the lander mates with the mother ship externally and the crew leave the lander then they would/could avoid being infected by the vermin trapped on the lander. They reach several planets and some that lack space stations they land on which then lets some fo the vermin escape with each landing.

Eventually the crew will become infected- rat bite or air bourne transmission.

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

jedion357's picture
March 30, 2020 - 7:52am
We're all struggling with this CORVID 19 thing shutting down our economy, society and world for several months and the Zebs time line has the Blue Plague lasing 10 years?

Not sure the 10 years of the timeline makes sense.

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

jedion357's picture
March 30, 2020 - 8:07am
So far, besides the Blue Plague

I've come up with
Void flu- a rare reaction that first time space travellers have to void travel- nausea, vomiting and weakness causes -20 to all ability scores for 10 hours.

Cerebralvascular hemorrhagic feaver- literally blood vessels in the brain hemorrhaging accompanied by feavor - signs/symptioms blood leaking from eyes and ears and feavor- halucinations (auditory and visual)

Suarian Rabies- transmitted by saurian type species and can infect the core four. can be mistaken for other diseases - I dont have a solid list of symptoms yet.

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

KRingway's picture
March 30, 2020 - 9:28am
10 years might include the recovery period, bearing mind mind that it travelled around the Frontier and different systems might have had varying degrees of success at containment, treatment, etc.

iggy's picture
March 30, 2020 - 3:00pm
I've always thought of the ten years covering all the ramp up and ramp down from the plague and that not all worlds ramp up and down at the same time.  One could do a time line of the plague with the routes of infection and durations of the quarentines.  Heavy populated worlds taking longer than lite populated worlds.