Are Quickdeath's just too powerful?

Abub's picture
February 19, 2014 - 1:45pm
So... while looking over TO's Sathar deckplans the idea of having six quickdeaths unleashed on a party of even bad ass spacemarines seems like a quick route to a TPK.

Back in highschool my running of Voltumus never got far enough for the players to encounter the quickdeath.... but just looking at thier stats... they seem like like that are hella dangerous and an easy way to randomly end up with dead PCs.

In your experience is using quickdeaths a bad thing to do if you want to challenge but not randomly kill PCs?  As in... if you run a story/character plot driven game random PC deaths crush your game so I'd be very gun shy to use any quickdeaths.


TerlObar's picture
February 19, 2014 - 3:56pm
They are pretty powerful.  It really depends on the size of the group and their weapons.  If you've got 6-8 characters like the Volturnus modules are designed for, then it is usually manageable.  People will get beat up pretty bad but typically no one dies.  Especially if you use the dummies.  Without the dummies and/or a smaller group it could be pretty touch and go.

When I ran my kids through the Volturnus game, there were 4 PCs.  They got really beat up.  I don't remember if I had to pull the blows or not.  I do remember that the poison dart missed its intended target and said target picked up the dart, used it like a knife and stabbed the quickdeath with it Foot in mouth thus hitting the creature with it's own poison.  They also made good use of their spears and machetes.

The quickdeaths would be severly hampered in the confines of the ship.  If the PC's are onboard and actually let one loose, I'd definitely give it some negative modifiers.  They like big open spaces to move around in.
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bossmoss's picture
February 19, 2014 - 5:05pm
Yes, they are one of the most dangerous things in the game.  When I ran Volturnus in 2006 or 2007, I had about 5 players, plus 2 NPCs.  When they fought that 1 Quickdeath, it wasn't easy for them.

In the game I just finished a few weeks ago, there were also quickdeaths.  There were 4 players with an army they had mustered.  They did badly against some quickdeaths they had to deal with in a Sathar base.

I have always thought they were tough, but you just plan accordingly as a game master.  I would never have 1 player against 2 quickdeaths, for example.  It would definitely be a quick death.  Think of it like D&D (if you play that) - the quickdeath is comparable to a dragon or beholder, and should be run accordingly.

jedion357's picture
February 19, 2014 - 5:22pm
The right mix of weapons can serverely curtail them for example in the Bounty of Death adventure I'm working on it intended as a entry level adventure where the PCs are hired to crew a snow rhino (think a two hulled articulated explorer with tracks) for a crusty old bounty hunter and veteran of the First Sathar War who been collecting the bountys on sathar creatures released during the war. He recently had a string of bad luck and his old crew bailled on him.

I figured that if the government offered bounties for sathar attack monsters that many veterans after the war would turn to making a buck and that they would work out a system bagging them for the least amount of danger. To that end the snow rhino is equipped with a fold down catwalk on its sides that allows the crew to be on the catwalk up off the ground and protected by a railing. It also has a holo projector on either side of the hull that is used to project a hologram of a running individual along side the snow rhino (acts as the dummies in the final encounter of SF-0) the crew work in pairs with one armed with a long pole arm (for reach) and one with a sonic disrupter, which while somewhat short ranged does full damage in the sonic spectrum to the beast. I haven't play tested it yet but I figured an experienced bounty hunter training the PCs with some tech advantages would tip the encunter in their favor.

EDIT: Note I didn't envision these as norm pole arms but rather a long lance that would only be suitable used from the mounted height of the side of the snow rhino not from the ground as they would be unweildly
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Abub's picture
February 20, 2014 - 8:23am
Makes me wonder just how do the Sathar control them.  Since they are attack monsters I'm thinking that they are like wild animals so the handlers have a big responsibility to not let one get loose on ship because they might just as quickly slaughter the worms as any other races.

That could make for an intresting flavor if you ever were able to engage in a bording action on an active destroyer.  Where during the ship battle (that resulted in the inability to self destruct) maybe some of the cages got openned and the sathar are fighting the bording party and Quickdeaths at the same time...

Or do you think the hypnotism power of the worms would work on a Quickdeath?  That would make the UPFSF's combat robots look weak by comparision if the worms fould just bring up the completely controlled quickdeaths to repell borders.

Maybe a combination... maybe the handlers have to build a report with the quickdeaths that enables thier hyponisim to work on them... So... the space marines could get a lucky break if they can kill the handlers therebuy causing the quickdeaths to go crazy and start attacking Sathar (perhaps in preference to the PCs due to anger at thier captivity?)

Anywho... if I get to adventure three with my group... I now see I need to figure out how to use this destroyer.  Maybe... the PC's find a daralict damaged and when they send thier away team to investigate it another (frigate class to make it an even ship fight) Sathar ship shows up to retrieve/destroy the derilict destroyer.

Could even be that they are sent there to investigate the suddent loss of a UPFSF ship in that system so the Destroyer's situation is pretty recent with debrit of the UPF ship near it.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 20, 2014 - 10:39am
bossmoss wrote:
 Think of it like D&D (if you play that) - the quickdeath is comparable to a dragon or beholder, and should be run accordingly.

You mean guarding large amounts of treasure, including a Sonic Sword +15%/+25% versus quickdeaths? 
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bossmoss's picture
February 20, 2014 - 1:19pm
Wink Yeah, like that

jedion357's picture
February 20, 2014 - 1:42pm
I think the quickdeath was gwnetically engineered to have an aversion to eating the worm.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Blankbeard's picture
February 20, 2014 - 3:08pm
There is no way I'd throw six quickdeaths at a party unless I knew they had heavy inertia defense and at least a few weapons capable of inflicting full damage (or a bunch of lasers with backpacks or parabatteries)

If the party has any robots or drones, they should be able to use them like the dummies in the Volturnus adventure and even lure a quickdeath into a pen.

On a side note, I always found it funny that a creature with "moist, reflective skin" blends in so well in a desert.

jedion357's picture
February 20, 2014 - 3:22pm
They may have been thinking along the lines of the Predator's camo.

for them to be operable on Pale (a generally accepted cold environment) I assume that their engineering included anti-freeze compounds as well.

Or we can imagine that environmental conditions activate sequences of genetic code such that second and subsequent generations of those released adapt to the local environment. Thus making them the primary sathar attack construct.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!