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Wavinator

Trade related random / semi-random events or behaviors

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This is just pure right-brainstorming, no rules, anything (related) goes... What are some interesting random events or behaviors relating to trade or loot that you can think of that would be interesting to encounter while traveling through space? Assume you can scan at a distance (with scanners of varying range and resolution), use stealth, board ships and explore them and travel with escorts as a standard action. Also, assume trade is via cargo pods between two ships in deep space; docking (if both are allies or neutrals with a good reputation); or aboard a neutral or friendly capital ship or station. If possible, indicate how frequent you think this should be and whether or not you think it should be based on some environmental factor such as piracy or war.
Here's some of what I have. Variants with an -or- are logical, in that only one or the other can possibly be true; otherwise all variants can be mixed or matched for each topic. Accidents Around jump points and in areas where sensor activity is poor (violent anomalies or nebulas) two or more ships can collide. The ships take random damage. Cargo of varying quality and damage level is ejected. If capable, the ship collects the cargo. Picking up the cargo and leaving with it is a crime if you're seen, but the victim must scan you for a minimum of 3 to 5 seconds (allowing you to stealth, disrupt the scan or get out of dodge), then radio the scan or make it back to base. Giving it back increases your standing with the captain, whom you may meet later. Variant 1 Same as above but if your rep is clean the victim offers a reward for helping collect the stray cargo. Variant 2 Same as above but the victim radios allies for help and a task force appears within 2 to 10 minutes (sooner the closer a friendly base is). The force is composed of combat ships if enemies are near the victim. Variant 3 The ship's life support or engines are damaged, setting up a time limit for the rescue. If you rescue the crew, you gain a boost in reputation with the faction; if you rescue the cargo and the crew, you gain a positive rep boost and the faction you work for improves diplomatic relations with the faction you've helped; if you rescue only the cargo, you are rewarded or condemned based on the attitude of the faction (e.g., soulless megacorp vs. noble do-gooders) Variant 4 (Cancels Others) Everybody dies, both ships are destroyed. You can collect the cargo for free and sell it provided you can wipe the security and origin codes (and your crew is shady). Allies will attack if you do, neutrals may scan and report you; enemies of the faction may try to scarf up the cargo or attack you for it if it's valuable enough -or- Same as above except the law of the zone is "salvage rights" which allows you to keep anything you collect free of consequences.
Discounters A ship's captain comms you and offers a discount on several goods it bought at a local station, citing that he/she needs to dump the cargo due to a change in plans. The price offered is random but lower than the local selling price. If refused, the ship will try any NPC ships near you or will move toward an exit point. Variation 1 Same as above but the goods turn out to be tainted or defective, revealed by either a successful scan or when trying to sell the item. If revealed, the ship attacks briefly and runs, stealths and runs or just runs to the nearest exit. By scanning it for 3 to 5 seconds you gain a modest reward for reporting a scammer. -or- The goods turn out to be illegal, hinted at by the fact that the trader has a poor reputation, the price is astronomically low or the environment is lawless. If detected by the police, the goods must be surrendered for no profit or you earn the reputation of criminal. Variation 2 The ship actually simply jettisons the goods. If it does so, the goods are always of cheap value (iron ores, water, etc.).
Pirate Thuggery Between one and x pirate ships of varying classes are attacking one or more trade ships. All sides have random hit points (lower the longer the battle has been going on, with a random determination spreading more damage toward one side or the other depending on who is decided to be winning or losing). Variation 1 The trade ships may offer a reward for you to help. Doing so will improve your reputation and may even improve diplomatic relations between your faction (if you are part of one) and the faction under attack. Variation 2 Authorities or allies of the traders will be arriving in anywhere from 2 to 30 minutes. One minute before arrival ships are announced to be warping in. -or- No help is forthcoming. Escort defenders are hulks or debris. -or- No help is forthcoming, the pirates are jamming transmissions. If you relay the call for help it is the same as attempting to help (with a lesser reward) but the pirates will attempt to stop you from leaving -or- Help is too far away to arrive in time. Variation 3 Random cargo is floating around the area, and some pirate ships will be picking it up. If you come within range the pirates will warn you away if you're not part of their faction or attack. -or- The trade ships have seeded a shell of stealthed mines which the pirates are working to clear Variation 4 The trade ships are actually Q-ships. Panels explode off the side of fake cargo pods revealing missile launchers and laser turrets which shower the pirates with flak and fire. If damaged, the Q-ships begin to rapidly repair or are instantly repaired (because they were faking damage with sensor tricks)
Two Traders Two traders come to rest opposite each other. Laser pulses indicate conversation between the two. After awhile, one or more trade skiffs / shuttle begins flying toward the other. The other ship may reciprocate with the same. Variant 1 Nearby police ships unstealth and begin disabling one ship. The trader not under attack switches its beacon to a police ship and begins attacking. The ship under attack fights back and tries to escape. -or- Both ships fall under attack and try to escape. Variant 2 The cargo skiffs begin exploding near one ship, possibly disabling it. Both ships begin to fight, although one may try to flee. -or- One ship, after scanning the cargo skiffs, either turns to flee or attacks them. The skiffs become either bombs or missiles. -or- One ship explodes after accepting a skiff. The other ship collects its skiffs and stealths or flees. Any additions?

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Accidents
variant 5

One of the cargo pods contains some illegal goods being smuggled for a local crime boss.

-and/or-

The crime boss place a bounty on the player.

-and/or-

When the player tries to dock at a local station they discover armed police waiting for them. A police operative managed to attach a stealth transmitter to the illegal cargo and the police have now confused the player with the smugglers.


Stow away
One of the recently purchased cargo pods contains more then just cargo and a life form has stowed away in the pod and is now aboard the ship.

-and 1 -
The Life form is poor teenager but gifted in a random skill.

-or 1a -
The life form is an escaped criminal, who if caught can be returned for to the police for a reward.

-or 1b -
The life form is the arrogant run away daughter of a wealthy governor / politician / businessman who believes his daughter to have been kidnapped.

-or 1c-
The life form is a dangerous alien/sieger who begins to attack and feed on members of the crew.

-and 1ci-
The crew realize that the attacks are the results of the alien and demand you take action or become to afraid to work.

-or 1cii-
The crew believes the attacks are in fact a mysterious illness aboard the vessel and demand that the infected crew be quarantined or jettisoned.

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One stolen from gazzilionaire:

Mechanic
You encounter a mechanic that offers to make a modification to your ship for a price/ trade goods.

Basically you could encounter many different kind of specialists that would be willing to do an odd job for a price. The question is whether you would trust them.... and whether trusting them is a smart choice.


More events:

A derelict ship has lack of oxygen/fuel/food etc. They plead for the specific good they need to survive. There could be no immediate reward. There could be no reward at all. It could be that they are extremely influential people that are certainly able to make your life easier. They could be pirates, which means they won't attack you next time you come across them.

Any kind of mysterious space entity/alien ship where interaction can lead to a large variety of small occurences to large adventures.

For some reason the point defense laser / evasive countermeasures failed to activate and a asteroid slams throught the hull and fits tightly into the ship. Further investagation reveals the asteroid to be a construct that:
1. Has released a dangerous virus to people/foodsupplies/fuel onto the ship
2. Has released a saboteur/thief/spy onto the ship
3. For some reason contains precious metals.

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Quote:
Original post by Dunam
Mechanic
You encounter a mechanic that offers to make a modification to your ship for a price/ trade goods.


Hey, I like this one. What about setting it up this way: The mechanic always offers a repair that's cheaper than the closest repair shop. Your ship has to sit still for awhile (you do other stuff onboard or time-skip).

Variant 1: Time
The repair takes a few hours / days longer than promised

-or-

The repair takes a few hours / days less than promised

-or-

The repair is right on the dot


Variant 2: Effectiveness
The repairs fall x% short of promised improvements

-or-

The repairs lowered some other ship stat

-or-

The repairs increased stats as expected

-or-

The repairs increased stats way beyond what was expected


Variant 3: Hidden Challenges
The repairs have a hidden bug / loose screw, which will cause stats to drop or the parts to fail in x weeks, requiring further repairs

-or-

The mechanic was an agent of a faction. He/she placed a hidden block on the part that causes it to be shutdown when if you confront faction x

-or-

The repairs contain a hidden dangerous malfunction

-or-

The mechanic is an extortionist. The repairs contain a dangerous timed malfunction or bomb which will go off if you do not disable it or wire x thousand credits to a secure account

Quote:

Basically you could encounter many different kind of specialists that would be willing to do an odd job for a price. The question is whether you would trust them.... and whether trusting them is a smart choice.


Yes, this one has lots of potential, especially if the results can be expanded to include good and bad things. You could apply this to a specific system on the ship (shield mechanics, jump drive mechanics) and to other areas like black-market cyberneticists or AI installers.



Quote:

A derelict ship has lack of oxygen/fuel/food etc. They plead for the specific good they need to survive. There could be no immediate reward. There could be no reward at all. It could be that they are extremely influential people that are certainly able to make your life easier. They could be pirates, which means they won't attack you next time you come across them.


Nice. This could work very well. I also like the possibility that they're influential and you may meet them later. It would be REALLY cool if you save someone and they pull you out of the fire later in the game, helping you fight or creating a diversion or whatever. I also think that, depending on the area / culture, there should be a chance that they're scammers, secretly pirates who try to take over should you dock, people who pass disease, or refugees who need asylum.

A good variant would have an enemy of the week ship show up within a certain amount of time (known or unknown) before you transfer goods.

They could also need help with repairs, in which case you'd need to risk sending an away team. This could result in many different things: One of your team becomes attached to the people he/she's helping; some or all are taken hostage; the team discovers secret information while browsing the halls / talking to the crew; or something else (?)

Quote:

Any kind of mysterious space entity/alien ship where interaction can lead to a large variety of small occurences to large adventures.


Yes, here's where I'd like to create more specific detail. (I was going to post a separate thread on this, but this seemed to be either a boring topic or a bad time to post)

Quote:

For some reason the point defense laser / evasive countermeasures failed to activate and a asteroid slams throught the hull and fits tightly into the ship. Further investagation reveals the asteroid to be a construct that:
1. Has released a dangerous virus to people/foodsupplies/fuel onto the ship
2. Has released a saboteur/thief/spy onto the ship
3. For some reason contains precious metals.


Perfect! It could be an asteroid or pod, with a varying level of stealth so that you could actually have a chance of avoiding it.

Variants could be: One of your passengers / crew sabotaged things because he's/she's an agent or fanatic or was paid off; or this sort of thing is a tactic in this part of space.

Thanks, very inspiring!

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You stumble across a long forgotten about jail planet and the inhabitants will pay/provide services for transport else ware.

Sun dying/viral outbreak causes mass evacuation of planet/system and they don't have enough ships. Willing to pay for transport.

First contact with new alien maybe.

You find some planet drifting between starts that is the equivalents to our Atlantis, I.e. very notable historically and may contain hidden tech. Or the puppeteers from Larry Nivens Ring World series.

Corrupt military. You accidentally cross into restricted space and need to "barter" your way out of the situation.

You find a weird anomaly that kicks off some kind of new and/or valuable mineral. Suddenly land (well space) rights go through the roof.

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I see a lot of great ideas here. I don't know if any of you have played a game called Escape Velocity, developed by Ambrosia SW, but many of the ideas that you are talking about are implemented in this series. There are 3 games in the series, the first two being Mac only, but the third was ported to PC. They release it 30 day shareware, and is by far one of the best space exploration/trader games.

********
Gwyddion

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Original post by gwyddion
I see a lot of great ideas here. I don't know if any of you have played a game called Escape Velocity, developed by Ambrosia SW, but many of the ideas that you are talking about are implemented in this series. There are 3 games in the series, the first two being Mac only, but the third was ported to PC. They release it 30 day shareware, and is by far one of the best space exploration/trader games.


Sorry I missed this post, but I just wanted to say that I'm an EV veteran going back to the first game (it made me hate Macs just a little less [smile])

What's great about this series is the idea that even though it is simple it shows that just changing the reason for doing the same thing makes a game feel slightly different. EV can only support a few basic actions (move to, dock with, destroy, trade... that's about it) but it can get you wrapped up in doing things to reveal the story. That's the same thing I'd like to have with events.

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Quote:
Original post by Kars
You stumble across a long forgotten about jail planet and the inhabitants will pay/provide services for transport else ware.

Sun dying/viral outbreak causes mass evacuation of planet/system and they don't have enough ships. Willing to pay for transport.

First contact with new alien maybe.

You find some planet drifting between starts that is the equivalents to our Atlantis, I.e. very notable historically and may contain hidden tech. Or the puppeteers from Larry Nivens Ring World series.

Corrupt military. You accidentally cross into restricted space and need to "barter" your way out of the situation.

You find a weird anomaly that kicks off some kind of new and/or valuable mineral. Suddenly land (well space) rights go through the roof.


Thanks for the reply, Kars. I missed it somehow. I like the situations. Any variants?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
A warring faction seeks aid from players to help them with supplies and refit of their combat flotillas which are operating too far from friendly bases. Players are supposed to stay in hostile systems, making quick rendezvous with the fleets as required, and all the while avoiding detection by the enemy. Their task scope could also include transfering of PoWs from combatants for deportaton at closest ally strongholds and/or occasional instructed raids. my 2 cents. :P

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Original post by sp00ks
A warring faction seeks aid from players to help them with supplies and refit of their combat flotillas which are operating too far from friendly bases. Players are supposed to stay in hostile systems, making quick rendezvous with the fleets as required, and all the while avoiding detection by the enemy. Their task scope could also include transfering of PoWs from combatants for deportaton at closest ally strongholds and/or occasional instructed raids. my 2 cents. :P


Nice, there are a lot of potential situations that could come from this. The natural gameplay that would flow from this would depend on the layout of the map (where the enemy was, where the rendezvous points were, etc.) but variants would really spice this up and keep it from becoming routine.

Some easy variants that I can see:

1) One of the supply ships has been disabled by mines / enemy fire / sabotage and now requests that you go deeper into enemy territory than planned to deliver critical goods. You can bargain for a better deal or reject the mission (possibly harming your reputation with the faction)

2) A supply ship you're supposed to meet with turns out to be an enemy Q-ship. The ambush is joined by x enemy forces and may be joined by y allied defenders.

3) The supply ship is late: If you search around you will find an enemy hunter-seeker force searching for the ship, which is in stealth mode somewhere nearby.




The cargo itself could be VERY interesting:

POWs
The POWs are

Variant 1: Infiltrators
...part of an infiltration plot guided by an agent aboard one of the allied fleet ships. They've been given tools to escape from the brig as soon as your ship docks or once onboard your ship.

Variant 2: More Valuable
...recognized by one of your crew to be tactically more valuable than they appear to be (children of a famous general or leader, for instance, or high profile scientists)

Variant 3: Poison Pills
...intentionally infected with some sort of dangerous disease which is only discovered after they've been onboard for awhile. This leads to a medical crisis that must be solved before your now-quaranteened ship can be allowed to dock.

...more?

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Quote:
Original post by Wavinator


The cargo itself could be VERY interesting:

POWs
...
...more?

Absolutely!
The cargo has a lot of possibilities.
Warlords Harem
You have been contracted by the warlords family to transport all or part of the Warlord's harem. Recent conquest has forced the warlord to move and he wants his "family" moved in style.

Variations:
1. The harem starts to have a visious catfight and you must mediate. This could especially be amusing with the Kovaunn.

2. Since the cargo is people of some sort, you can have all of the variations listed elsewhere here.

3. There is a military coup and the warlord is killed standing you with his cargo. This is a problem since nobody else is really going to want it.

4. One of the random warlords names should be Dangerfield. (Take my wives, please.)

Medical Supplies
There is a deadly plague occuring on Ribald VII. Medical supplies are definitely needed but there is risk involved.

1. High paying price, but chance of crew catching the plague.

2. Scam the goods and use them for research. The tattered remains of the colony puts out "Wanted: Dead or Alive" posters for you.

3. Unbeknownst to you you are actually delivering the plague. (this was mentioned before i think)

4. The colony is so grateful the they become allies for you when you are attacked nearby the system. Someone saved from death agrees to join your crew.

5. You deliver the goods but the people do not know how to use them. You must give instructions.

business documents
It is a small light load with a high payoff but there is an increased chance of piracy and or rival factions/corporations attacking you. Think Western Union or Pony Express.

Mysterious Entity
You complete a difficult mission and gain the help of an alien guardian angle.
Missions could include:
1. transporting a large amount of material to some location.
2. transporting something through a blockade.
3. transporting very dangerous cargo (see below)
4. make a difficult moral choice. (Do you help repair a ship from Planet A that is desperately needed by Planet B? You find out that the only reason it is needed is due to a long term drug addiction. Planet B will survive without it but some people will die in the process. In the meantime you are ruining Planet A's main source of income. This situation is ripped right from a Star Trek: TNG episode.)
5. Make an extremely gutsy move. Gutsy is when you do something stupid but somehow suceed. Use your ship to ram and destroy another. Accelerate towards certain death to hit it before it is ready. so on and so on.

Alien could help by:
1 arriving on scene during your darkest hour. (Fall out)
2 giving you some impressive technology artifact.
3 giving you map to a piece of the mobius strip.
4 give you something the alien belives is very valuable but is actually pure junk. (Just what I need. A cargo bay full of black plasic combs)
5 location of a resort/virgin planet to retire on.
6 give you crew member with impresive ability. (Will you accept "Yoda" to join your crew? Yes/No)

High explosives
A moon mining colony has run out of high explosive blasting caps. Although they have plenty of low explosive blasing agent they have nothing to start the explosion with.

1. low accelerations only
2. damage in cargo area creates catastrophic explosion.
3. must be kept cool.
4. may be stolen and used for devious purposes like traps mentioned in a previous post.
5. some types of scans have a chance at setting them off.
6. turns out to be fake (some body didn't want their good china damaged in shipping.)

junk cargo You get a great deal on striped ties only to find out the now paisley is all the rage.
1 jettison it
2 shop around and find someone who will buy it for an extreme discount
3 warehouse it and hope it comes back in style while you are still alive.

And I'm spent. Later guys

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Quote:

Thanks for the reply, Kars. I missed it somehow. I like the situations. Any variants?


Not sure that all these fit what you are looking for but just some flip sides to look at as well.

Sun dying/viral outbreak causes mass evacuation of planet/system and they don't have enough ships. Willing to pay for transport.
The following assume that you actually help the people out.
variant 1: Your crew gets infected while transporting the prisoners:
a) turns your crew into zombies
b) turns your crew into intelligent puddles of ooze (new alien life form?), you can still control them they just aren’t human. Maybe a benefit is that they don't need air or heat thus less resources to sustain.
c) half the crew dies and you have to get the rest cured before they die an even more horrible death.
variant 2: The virus is human/alien engineered and the humans/aliens are not happy you are letting their victims get away and you are now added to their hit list.
variant 3: The virus is human/alien engineered and the humans/aliens are very happy that you are helping the spread it and give you a reward.
variant 4: Your crew is fine but it spreads the virus to another solar system, it is traced back to you and now all the legitimate governments are hunting you down or boycotting your services.
variant 5: A percentage of your crew is killed off by the virus but the rest live and are immune. You can then fly into the infected zones and take any object that is left either to sell off or as played by someone else to retrieve. Or it could be a nice base of operations.


You find a weird anomaly that kicks off some kind of new and/or valuable mineral. Suddenly land (well space) rights go through the roof.
variant 1: you scan another ship in the area so it becomes a race (clean or dirty) to get back to the local authorities to stake your claim.
variant 2: you buy the land/space rights to a location and find that it was really a scam/hoax and no longer has any significant amount of value.
variant 3: The anomaly is in restricted space but for some reason no-one else has noticed it, now you have to smuggle it out without getting killed.
variant 4: the anomaly makes it more dangerous to get the valuable mineral than just mining it legally.


You find some planet drifting between starts that is the equivalents to our Atlantis, I.e. very notable historically and may contain hidden tech. Or the puppeteers from Larry Nivens Ring World series.
variant 1: it is really a vary large bomb on its way to some target that will detonate and destroy a planet/solar system/all known space. It would of course have built in safeguards. I'm sure an arms dealer would pay for this type of weapon.

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I don't know if this is the right place for this idea but you did say brainstorming about trade.

It would be interesting to be able to setup a pawn shop on a planet. Basically it would be like a junk mail folder filled with spam. Ocasionally amonst the spam you have a valid e-mail. In the same way, ocasionally amongst the many useless items some one will turn in the coveted "Ring of Foo" or a working ion warp drive. Whatever it is you should be able to somehow find the diamond in the rough if you devote enough energy to it.

You could have it so that by clicking the item they can findout whether it is good or not. Or you could force them to really look at each item. Your choice. It is a balancing issue of just how easy to make finding the items and how often they appear.

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Quote:
Original post by Thermodynamics
Warlords Harem
You have been contracted by the warlords family to transport all or part of the Warlord's harem. Recent conquest has forced the warlord to move and he wants his "family" moved in style.


LOL! See, that's why I post here. [lol] That's original!

Quote:

Variations:
1. The harem starts to have a visious catfight and you must mediate. This could especially be amusing with the Kovaunn.


Yeah, this could be very funny and interesting, especially if the NPCs can roam about your ship setting traps for one another or getting each other into some sort of trouble. It would be a fascinating scenario because you're NOT the target, but your property would get damaged if you did nothing.



Quote:
2. Since the cargo is people of some sort, you can have all of the variations listed elsewhere here.

(I actually want to make a post specific to passengers as cargo which I'll do in just a sec.)


Quote:

3. There is a military coup and the warlord is killed standing you with his cargo. This is a problem since nobody else is really going to want it.


Now THIS one I find priceless because the question becomes what the heck do you do? Technically, if you jettison, maroon or sell them to slavers, you shouldn't incur any penalties because they're no longer owned by anyone-- the universe won't care, only those moral enough to protest aboard your ship. If you keep them, they're going to take up resources and cause whatever problems a harem causes (especially an alien harem [lol]).

I'm thinking that in this instance they should be treated like neutrals NPCs who develop loyalty for those around them based on their species, nationality and who has helped them. So if you were really nice you get loyal but low skilled potential crew / members for your faction.

Quote:

4. One of the random warlords names should be Dangerfield. (Take my wives, please.)


Ba-dup-bump!

Quote:

Medical Supplies
There is a deadly plague occuring on Ribald VII. Medical supplies are definitely needed but there is risk involved.

1. High paying price, but chance of crew catching the plague.


This reminds me, I still haven't worked out how this sort of thing would happen in general, but I'm going to treat it like security vs. hijackers and thieves at bad ports, only it will be based on your medical staff and equipment. So this scenario's easy to do, just a comparison of challenge rating stats.

Quote:

2. Scam the goods and use them for research. The tattered remains of the colony puts out "Wanted: Dead or Alive" posters for you.


Hmmmm... okay, I can see this occassionally happening, especially if you were THE ship to rescue the colony. I would say that the survivors should be either fanatical or very rich and despotic, otherwise you just lose reputation as is standard when you fail a mission. Some variants of this could be not only a bounty, but the survivors trying to get your own crew to sell out your position or sabotage your ship just before an ambush.

Quote:

3. Unbeknownst to you you are actually delivering the plague. (this was mentioned before i think)


A nice reversal which could be determined by having a good cargo officer and doctor onboard. Otherwise, on mission success, the disease worsens by at least 10 fold and you're blamed. You would need some way to clear your good name, maybe by recovering and scanning the delivery cannisters. If you detect it in route, then you fail the mission without repurcussions but now have some ability to seek justice against those who sent you on the mission (maybe telling the cops or getting a bounty).

Quote:

4. The colony is so grateful the they become allies for you when you are attacked nearby the system. Someone saved from death agrees to join your crew.


Good, but I'd like this to happen naturally as a byproduct of the loyalty system.

Quote:

5. You deliver the goods but the people do not know how to use them. You must give instructions.


Okay, it's an odd one, and to make it work you'd need to be out of easy comm range. Maybe you're in a nebula or briar patch that prevents communications and this turns into a puzzle where you have to defeat local conditions in order to get instructions in time?

Quote:

business documents
It is a small light load with a high payoff but there is an increased chance of piracy and or rival factions/corporations attacking you. Think Western Union or Pony Express.


Perfect.

Quote:

Mysterious Entity
You complete a difficult mission and gain the help of an alien guardian angle.
Missions could include:
1. transporting a large amount of material to some location.
2. transporting something through a blockade.
3. transporting very dangerous cargo (see below)
4. make a difficult moral choice. (Do you help repair a ship from Planet A that is desperately needed by Planet B? You find out that the only reason it is needed is due to a long term drug addiction. Planet B will survive without it but some people will die in the process. In the meantime you are ruining Planet A's main source of income. This situation is ripped right from a Star Trek: TNG episode.)


This would certainly spice things up provided it wasn't too frequent, and it would help break up any FedEx repetition. The moral choice (I remember that episode) is probably by far the most interesting because it has context. 1-3 don't really tell you WHY the guardian decided to help you, so it would be good to supply a reason.

Quote:

5. Make an extremely gutsy move. Gutsy is when you do something stupid but somehow suceed. Use your ship to ram and destroy another. Accelerate towards certain death to hit it before it is ready. so on and so on.


I don't like the headache of trying to determine when and where a move would be gutsy, but one thing that MIGHT work is territory: Go into areas where no one returns to rescue someone, or bring back something from a haunted empire, that sort of thing could easily be detected.

Quote:

Alien could help by:
1 arriving on scene during your darkest hour. (Fall out)
2 giving you some impressive technology artifact.
3 giving you map to a piece of the mobius strip.
4 give you something the alien belives is very valuable but is actually pure junk. (Just what I need. A cargo bay full of black plasic combs)
5 location of a resort/virgin planet to retire on.
6 give you crew member with impresive ability. (Will you accept "Yoda" to join your crew? Yes/No)


Yes, I like these. Also, extending 6 might be modifying one of your crewmembers with some great gift. This could be very interesting because you may or may not have a good relationship with that suddenly now supervaluable crewmember (so a mixed blessing sometimes).

Quote:

High explosives
A moon mining colony has run out of high explosive blasting caps. Although they have plenty of low explosive blasing agent they have nothing to start the explosion with.

1. low accelerations only
2. damage in cargo area creates catastrophic explosion.
3. must be kept cool.
4. may be stolen and used for devious purposes like traps mentioned in a previous post.
5. some types of scans have a chance at setting them off.
6. turns out to be fake (some body didn't want their good china damaged in shipping.)


This could also be used for some sort of highly delicate, vital cargo or even toxic waste (I'm thinking of things that morph into other things and become dangerous as a result-- the rare elements called Strangematter in the game are perfect for this, and they can be used for explosives and have toxic byproducts).

#6 reminds me of Road Warrior, btw, and could be extended into a scenario where you fight, stealth or bargain like crazy to get a cargo to a destination only to find that you were the bait so that others could go free.

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junk cargo You get a great deal on striped ties only to find out the now paisley is all the rage.
1 jettison it
2 shop around and find someone who will buy it for an extreme discount
3 warehouse it and hope it comes back in style while you are still alive.


A couple of other thoughts: On salvage, it could turn out to be:
1) Extremely rare components that didn't initially show up as such (because of damage). You'd get a notification shortly after hauling it around, just before you ejected it.
2) Shady characters claim salvage rights, even though you're legally in the right. They harass or attack you as you're trying to make it back to sell it.
3) The salvage cargo is part of a murder mystery, and you hold the key. Various powerful entities begin messing with you.
4) The cargo was hit with exotic, strange alien weaponry which now (for good or ill) modifies your luck when using one ship component (drives, shields, comms, etc.).

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And I'm spent.


Bravo! Thanks, that was just the sort of thing I was looking for. Ironically, I can't even find much in the way of this sort of stuff for medieval RPGs, so I know this must be rare.

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Original post by Kars
Sun dying/viral outbreak causes mass evacuation of planet/system and they don't have enough ships. Willing to pay for transport.
The following assume that you actually help the people out.
variant 1: Your crew gets infected while transporting the prisoners:
a) turns your crew into zombies


I like this as long as you can cure these guys and turn them back most of the time (or you get a DRASTIC warning that perma-zombies is the downside of helping these people). It kind of sucks that helping people will yeild a partially negative result, but I think that's the sort of tactical tradeoff we want to see more of in games.


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b) turns your crew into intelligent puddles of ooze (new alien life form?), you can still control them they just aren’t human. Maybe a benefit is that they don't need air or heat thus less resources to sustain.


?????? Okay, that's unusual. Hmmm.... The idea of being mutated in general is interesting (even if IRL most mutations are actually fatal). What would be interesting would be to have first come across some of these mutants and not realized them to be ex-crew of another ship.
I've got to think about this one, it's intriguing. There's supposed to be a Star Trek like layer of drama between crew, so having one or more mutate would certainly stir things up. How does the mate or best friend of the now mutant crewmember behave, I wonder...

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c) half the crew dies and you have to get the rest cured before they die an even more horrible death.


This is very nasty considering you spend time and money developing this crew. It probably should definitely go by stats, rather than just be arbitrary, so that you can use equipment to ward it off. Technically, it could be presented as a fait accompli ("sorry, Jim, the're all dead") but then there'd have to be some huge upside because there's no telling how long you've spent training these guys.

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variant 2: The virus is human/alien engineered and the humans/aliens are not happy you are letting their victims get away and you are now added to their hit list.
variant 3: The virus is human/alien engineered and the humans/aliens are very happy that you are helping the spread it and give you a reward.
variant 4: Your crew is fine but it spreads the virus to another solar system, it is traced back to you and now all the legitimate governments are hunting you down or boycotting your services.


These I like because they certainl throw you off in terms of what to expect.

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variant 5: A percentage of your crew is killed off by the virus but the rest live and are immune. You can then fly into the infected zones and take any object that is left either to sell off or as played by someone else to retrieve. Or it could be a nice base of operations.


This I can live with a bit more, especially if you know the plague is VERY deadly and you're warned to stay away.


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You find a weird anomaly that kicks off some kind of new and/or valuable mineral. Suddenly land (well space) rights go through the roof.
variant 1: you scan another ship in the area so it becomes a race (clean or dirty) to get back to the local authorities to stake your claim.
variant 2: you buy the land/space rights to a location and find that it was really a scam/hoax and no longer has any significant amount of value.
variant 3: The anomaly is in restricted space but for some reason no-one else has noticed it, now you have to smuggle it out without getting killed.
variant 4: the anomaly makes it more dangerous to get the valuable mineral than just mining it legally.


Perfect, these all work. The last actually dovetails with the idea in the game of warpfalls, regions of violently ripped up space-time that often migrate like storms.

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You find some planet drifting between starts that is the equivalents to our Atlantis, I.e. very notable historically and may contain hidden tech. Or the puppeteers from Larry Nivens Ring World series.
variant 1: it is really a vary large bomb on its way to some target that will detonate and destroy a planet/solar system/all known space. It would of course have built in safeguards. I'm sure an arms dealer would pay for this type of weapon.


An interesting variant: It's on it's way to YOUR home planet. [smile] As this will likely be where you have a great deal of investment in the beginning of the game, it can certain act as a motivator to defuse it.

Thanks again!

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Quote:
Original post by Thermodynamics
It would be interesting to be able to setup a pawn shop on a planet. Basically it would be like a junk mail folder filled with spam. Ocasionally amonst the spam you have a valid e-mail. In the same way, ocasionally amongst the many useless items some one will turn in the coveted "Ring of Foo" or a working ion warp drive. Whatever it is you should be able to somehow find the diamond in the rough if you devote enough energy to it.

You could have it so that by clicking the item they can findout whether it is good or not. Or you could force them to really look at each item. Your choice. It is a balancing issue of just how easy to make finding the items and how often they appear.


I don't object to the idea of having a junk/pawn shop because I want the NPCs you hire to be able to run an operation. But I don't think it's a good idea to force you to ACTUALLY wade through the junk. How about some sort of skill, such as appraisal, that you or an NPC has to have in order to notice a hot item?

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Original post by Wavinator


This is very nasty considering you spend time and money developing this crew. It probably should definitely go by stats, rather than just be arbitrary, so that you can use equipment to ward it off. Technically, it could be presented as a fait accompli ("sorry, Jim, the're all dead") but then there'd have to be some huge upside because there's no telling how long you've spent training these guys.


well, after half your crew ends up dead, a doctor could come up and say he'd pay a huge price to get samples of the virus. Or the virus actually puts the victim into near-death state, and can be revived... for a price.

A warring faction coerces you
1. Comes up to your ship and demands your cargo/fuel/data. (Cliche, but...)
2. A ship impresses you into their service. (You can either work for them or do some sabotaging)
3. If you don't let the ship practice implanting on your crew, they attack.
4. You have to ferry them into a certain zone. (Most likely if in that place there is a huge bounty on their ship)

variant

Instead of attack, the ship/faction blackmails you. If there is something very malovent you did but only they know of, they will make sure every race is talking about it in the pubs.

Alien lifeform gets onboard
1. Malovent, must be destroyed/demands met (if intelligent).
2. Benelovent, wants to help you (such as joining your crew) or give you a mission.
3. Utterly lost dumb creature, can be dropped off at the nearest planet or tamed.

The taming thing could be interesting. Maybe having a pet could increase moral or help with tasks ("Hey Bob! Meet my new acid-spitting pet!").

[Edited by - Dakar on December 29, 2004 7:33:34 PM]

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Original post by Wavinator

I don't object to the idea of having a junk/pawn shop because I want the NPCs you hire to be able to run an operation. But I don't think it's a good idea to force you to ACTUALLY wade through the junk. How about some sort of skill, such as appraisal, that you or an NPC has to have in order to notice a hot item?


Well, I won't argue with you, and I completely understand your desire to keep a dramatic environment (which this would kill).
However, part of the reason I play some parts games is for the mindnumbing repetiveness of them.

An example would be in EV:Nova the Europa-Earth luxury trade. Talk about boring. There is no chance of being killed in an attack, and its a steady flow of cash for relatively zero brain power. AND its not at all nessassary to play the missions, just a side gig for cash when you really want the end game ship (I cant remember the name for the life of me.) The point is that sometimes I play that part because I feel like relaxing instead of getting wound up in a mission. It's the same reason I play free cell.

You can certainly use an NPC with an appraisal skill but, I think it would add something to the game if you had a relaxing activity like sorting through junk. Just as long as it was completely unnessasary to complete the game. Don't force them to do it, but reward them if they do.

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Now THIS one I find priceless because the question becomes what the heck do you do? Technically, if you jettison, maroon or sell them to slavers, you shouldn't incur any penalties because they're no longer owned by anyone-- the universe won't care, only those moral enough to protest aboard your ship. If you keep them, they're going to take up resources and cause whatever problems a harem causes (especially an alien harem ).

I'm thinking that in this instance they should be treated like neutrals NPCs who develop loyalty for those around them based on their species, nationality and who has helped them. So if you were really nice you get loyal but low skilled potential crew / members for your faction.

I don't know if this follows your plan or direction of the game, but you could always setup an NPC brothel with your new goods. On second thought, you call them low skill, but that doesn't have to be true. Perhaps you find that one or two are really good at accounting and would be perfect for one of your NPC shops. Perhaps another has good skills for performing appearance altercations when you need to land an away team. Certainly some would raise moral on the ship (errr or cause it to plummet due to infighting.)

I think an interesting side thread would be types of NPC shops you could open (like that brothel)

Quote:
Quote:
variant 1: it is really a vary large bomb on its way to some target that will detonate and destroy a planet/solar system/all known space. It would of course have built in safeguards. I'm sure an arms dealer would pay for this type of weapon.

An interesting variant: It's on it's way to YOUR home planet. As this will likely be where you have a great deal of investment in the beginning of the game, it can certain act as a motivator to defuse it.

For some reason this senario reminds me of a ST:DS9 episode called Dreadnought. It would add suspense to find out one of your crew had created it in the first place. Maybe that would significantly help in destroying the weapon.


Other ideas

Race ship

The owner of a racing line needs some temporary hauling of a race ship and its pilot. Normally this sort of thing is done in house (perhaps a side business in the game), but current circumstance won't allow it. You must transport the ship in time for the race. Standard rates apply.

Variations:
A- after surviving a seiger attack, you gain loyalty with the pilot with a chance of him working for you after the race. (Great pilot but also very high risk, best when under pressure. Just the type to rescue that ship in the Warpfall.)

B- After getting there with no hitches and plenty of time, the owner makes an offer for full time employment. If you are really good, as a racer pilot. (Timer on delievery. Must know path like back of hand to complete in fastest time. It helps if you know the hidden back waters shortcut.)

C- Well that ship sure would make a nice new lifeboat for your ride.

D- The ship is actually a secret military test vehicle in disguise. Points for noticing and not selling it to the highest bidder.

Primordial Goo
While transporting some basic goo for a science outpost something happens and a new life form is created (perhaps that alien weapons fire). The science outpost notices, and even though the goo will not serve their original need, it is still of interest and they decide to name the new life after you.

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And I'm spent.
Bravo! Thanks, that was just the sort of thing I was looking for. Ironically, I can't even find much in the way of this sort of stuff for medieval RPGs, so I know this must be rare.


Dankeschön! All I ask for is a Cetician (or perhaps a Ripiripiri) named Thermodynamics. "Yes, because he is the one who invented the law, thank you very much."

Nevermind. That was a whole lot funnier when I first thought it.

EDIT: I really do know the Differnce between there and their, even if it doesn't show all of the time.

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I think the ship was a Kestrel.

Quote:
Original post by Thermodynamics


Race ship[/b]
The owner of a racing line needs some temporary hauling of a race ship and its pilot. Normally this sort of thing is done in house (perhaps a side business in the game), but current circumstance won't allow it. You must transport the ship in time for the race. Standard rates apply.

Variations:
A- after surviving a seiger attack, you gain loyalty with the pilot with a chance of him working for you after the race. (Great pilot but also very high risk, best when under pressure. Just the type to rescue that ship in the Warpfall.)

B- After getting there with no hitches and plenty of time, the owner makes an offer for full time employment. If you are really good, as a racer pilot. (Timer on delievery. Must know path like back of hand to complete in fastest time. It helps if you know the hidden back waters shortcut.)

C- Well that ship sure would make a nice new lifeboat for your ride.

D- The ship is actually a secret military test vehicle in disguise. Points for noticing and not selling it to the highest bidder.


Another interesting variation: Instead of having you haul a racer, the owner instead has you race. If you succeed, you can go full time, appear on/at <whatever form of entertainment they have at the time> to advertise products, etc.

EDIT: Wait a second... I think this was what you ment in B.

[Edited by - Dakar on December 30, 2004 11:24:42 PM]

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