Yul Yazirian and the Magnificent Frontiersmen

jedion357's picture
June 19, 2010 - 8:44pm
Inspired by the Magnificent 7 (a great flick) not the Battle Beyond the Stars with John Boy Walton which was a poor rip off.

Calvera and the other mercenaries swooped down on the farming settlement riding their hovercycles and explorers. Some fired weapons into the air others whooped and hollered. At the center of the settlement they circled repeatedly stirring up dust before halting before the pyramid like temple. Some of the mercs brought out a few sacks of grain and two cactus whimpers and tossed them on the ground before Calvera.

The leader rolled his smoke leaf cigar in his teeth while staring the edestakia priest down. “I said I’d be back for the food, so where is it?”

“Still in the fields,” his polyvox translated the priest’s reply for him.

Nodding, Calvera responded, “Sure….just make sure its ready for us when we return or else we wont be as pleasant as we were this time.”

At a nod from Calvera, the heavy machine gunner atop the explorer fired a burst into the cage quickdeath in the temple killing the native’s “god.” The whole entourage of mercenaries swirled out of the village in a cloud of dust, whooping and laughter.

The edestakai chattered at the old eorna who lived up on the hill just outside their village. He sighed as he considered the complaints of the farmers.

He was one of the few remaining eorna to have survived the sathar’s second visit to Volturnus. He represented the last vestige of his race that was about to die out. With so many eorna dead on the battlefield outside Volkos, his race’s gene pool had dropped below viability. Yet the eorna had initially taken comfort in the arrival of the fleet from the United Planetary Federation. They had agreed to make Volturnus a UPF territory and appoint a governor to watch over the primitive native species.

The eorna had never counted on the influence of the mega corporations within the UPF and their ability to push the Council of Worlds to amend the Volturnus Protectorate Treaty to allow them to establish enclaves and exploit, no rape, the natural resources of the planet. Next reservations had been set up for the different natives and forced migrations had been instituted by corporate mercenaries to moved natives off of ground the mega corps wanted.

Now a generation latter Volturnus had become a haven for mercenaries after a brief but vicious corporate war. Calvera’s band was a disenfranchised group abandoned by their corporate sponsor. Now they had gone bandit and were preying on whoever they could. The Star Law agents assigned to Volturnus could never be in enough places to truly keep the peace. They would occasionally station a pair of agents in the village but Calvera would just strike some place else and they’d have to go there.

 Other then the temple guard who were armed with pikes, the edestakai were just unarmed farmers and unable to fight against professional mercenaries. They had come to him hoping he’d have an answer to the dilemma of giving their food to Calvera and starving or not giving it and being killed. Eorna philosophy abhorred unnecessary violence but the edestakai we’re going to die. Yet if they resisted maybe there was a chance they could survive.

He motioned for silence and said, “You must fight.”

The edestakai chittered, “But we have no weapons to fight them!”

“Then you will buy some.”

“We have no money!”

The old eorna drew out his last and most precious energy crystal and said, “Take this and collect everything of value and send it with three that are trusted. They will go to the Mercenary Star Base and buy guns.”

“It will never be enough!”

“Then hire mercenaries, many are out of work.”
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
June 20, 2010 - 6:54am
Oh yeah, tip of the hat to Shadow for his mercenary star base idea too.

I have to say that Magnificent 7 is an all time favorite movie of mine since I was a kid and it was on the tube last night so I watched and analyzed it from the perspective of a RPG adventure.

Its sort of a classic scenario, famously done by the Seven Samuria, and not so well done in Battle beyond the stars, The Climax of Outlaw Josey Wales, etc. I suppose you could class Black Hawk Down in this category too though in that case the mexican peasents were trying to kill the good guys.

After watching the movie I asking myself which planet of the Frontier would work for this scenario.
A darker more dismal Volturnus than I'd prefer would work- one where the egg ship was never found and the eorna are dying out and a gun is all the justice you can expect OR mayben Cass in the Devco system with pirates being the banditos or just other plague surviviors turning to brigandry.

For my money this scenario plays best with (after the hiring negotiations)

A. Preparations for defense (and encounter with advance scouts)

B. First Meeting with Calvera and first shoot out

C. intermediary stuff: sniper shots taken at the village- PCs get to respond

D. Climax (in magnificent 7 one of the villagers betrays the gun fighters and lets the bandits in but Calvera is magnimanious and lets the gun fighters leave giving them their guns back latter so that the villagers see that he's in total controll) the betrayal part could be difficult to work in unless you engineer the PCs being out of the village for it.

There is something about elite guns being out numbered and under seige is very appealling- I dont know why but I just like the idea behind this scenario.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Inigo Montoya's picture
Inigo Montoya
June 20, 2010 - 5:20pm
jedion357 wrote:

Its sort of a classic scenario, famously done by the Seven Samuria, and not so well done in Battle beyond the stars, The Climax of Outlaw Josey Wales, etc. I suppose you could class Black Hawk Down in this category too though in that case the mexican peasents were trying to kill the good guys.

Don't forget the great epic saga of ANTS. A timid agricultural community of vrusk set upon by a yazirian gang. The heros who save the day is vrusk techie who is the local pariah along with his newly met companions from a traveling entertainment troupe of Drals.  Errr....maybe not.

adamm's picture
June 21, 2010 - 12:14pm
You could make that work in a lot of places, but Outer Reach in the Drammune system conveniently has a government run by pirates.  There could be towns full of perfectly normal people who are forced to pay to a protection racket.  The local authorities don't do anything because they get a kickback from the gangsters.

The townsfolk have decided that they can't afford to pay what is demanded of them this year, so they hope to hire the PC's to protect them from the vengeance of the gangsters.  The local cops sit on the sidelines...unwilling to attack the gang that had been paying them so well, but perhaps not willing to go so far as to attack the townsfolk. 

This might be a one shotter, but it could also be a springboard for a full campaign:  After the PC's are victorious against the gang, they now have to dodge the local cops who out of spite for interrupting their flow of kickback money want to arrest the characters on some trumped up charges.  Meanwhile other gangs get word of their rivals defeat and decides that this town is now part of their territory, leading to a gang turf war with the PC's and townsfolk in the middle.

If other towns take the hint from the first one, it could lead to rebellion and social upheaval on the planet.

P.S.,  check out the anime series "Samurai 7" which is also based on the same Akira Kurosawa movie as Magnificent Seven.

Rick's picture
June 23, 2010 - 4:13am
Actually, I was thinking that you could use the Bruce Willis film "Tears of the Sun" as a basis for a scenario in the same campaign and in a similiar style to the magnificent 7. If you could turn it into a full campaign, it would have a really epic feel to it.

"But, Sir," the bosun said, regretting the words even before they left his mouth, "we don't have any thumbscrews."

"That, Bosun," the XO replied in a low, mad whisper, "is why they give us machine shops!"