Skills for Hire

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This game will be played on Roll20, it may be recorded provided as an actual play podcast (see the Game Logistics section below for more details about the game sessions). It is open to anyone and if you want to join in for a session or more, jump over to Roll20 Skills for Hire page to access the game.

The game will start on Pale in the Truane's Star system at the beginning of the Second Sathar War. Players begin as a band of mercenaries employed by Galactic Task Force, Inc. and picking up jobs as assigned by their employer. The intention is for the game to be a "West Marches" style game and very episodic with each adventure taking only a single session or stopping at a point where PCs could come and join between sessions to allow many people to get involved even if they can't make every session.


Contents

Background Information

Pale History

Pale is a new old planet. Pale had a medium population before the Great Sathar War that led to the founding of the UPF. During the war every major population center besides Point True was destroyed by orbital bombardment. There is basically just a big crater at the location of every original city. In Point True, the old military base was nuked leaving a large crater and damage to remaining structures but the rest of the city was left relatively intact. The sathar were in the process of exporting the inhabitants when they were driven off. There are still signs of the Sathar occupation.

After the war, the planet rebounded, partially due to the influx of people coming to help rebuild and partially due to aggressive development by Streel Corporation (known as Streele Mining Corp before the war). By the time of this game, the population has rebounded to it's pre-war levels and is pushing into the heavy population category.

As part of their invasion, the sathar seeded the biosphere around the planet with a number of their bio-constructs and attack monsters. Despite efforts to clean up after the war, some of these creatures are still loose on the planet. While quickdeaths and slithers are the most common, there are also a few other creatures that can be encountered when ranging away from the population centers. There are even still some cybodragons (and their decendents) running around although the cyber features are no longer functional due to lack of power. There are bounties for the elimination of these creatures.

In addition to sathar bio-constructs, there are rumored to be some small pockets of sathar still living on the planet. These are remnants from the sathar army that was driven off and mostly destroyed when the planet was liberated. They survive by foraging and by hypnotizing and controlling members of the population to provide food and materials as needed. It is unknown how many of these sathar still survive but the numbers range from a few dozen to several hundreds.

Streel is by far the dominant force on the planet. After the war, Hilo Headrow took over Steele Mining and expanded its operations - first on Pale and then across the Frontier. While Streel doesn't officially control the government, it is fairly favorable towards the company and it is rumored that a majority of the government's officials are "owned" by Streel in one way or another. Despite the potential negative aspects of this situation, Streel's touch on the government is surprisingly light-handed given the tactics the company employs elsewhere around the Frontier. Much of the work of the government is environmentally sound and intelligent. Thoughtful practices are put into place that benefit all companies on the planet not just Streel. In fact, the planet is strong on fostering new ideas and companies.

Pale Physical Information

Pale orbits it's primary, Truane's Star, in the outer portions of the star's habitable zone. This causes the average temperature on Pale to be fairly low resulting in fairly cold and severe winters and cool summers. Pale is also a slightly smaller world with a surface gravity of only 0.9 g.

In addition to the cool weather, Pale rotates very slowly on it's axis, completing one revolution every 55 standard hours. As such the local population has divided the day into four working time periods:

  • Day-day: Corresponds to the 13 hours starting roughly 1 hour after sunrise. This is the typical working time when the sun is up.
  • Day-night: This corresponds to the next 14 hour period and is typically a rest period although the sun is still shining. Because this rest period occurs during daylight hours, all houses on Pale have windows or curtains allowing rooms to be completely "blacked out" to simulate darkness and night time even though the sun is still up.
  • Night-day: This is the 13 hour work period occuring during the local night. Since this is a time of major work and transportation, all the streets and buildings of Pale are well lit to provide a semblance of daylight during this work period. When seen from orbit, the cities and towns of Pale in the Night-day part of the cycle blaze with light.
  • Night-night: This is the final 14 hour rest period that occurs during the local night time.

The extra hour is added in to either the Day-day or Night-day period depending on the season, the hour being added to the Day-day in the summer when the days are longer and the Night-day in the winter when the nights are longer.

Typical work periods are 10 hours long during the Day-day and Night-day periods although there are many graveyard and swing shift positions that run during other hours.

Galactic Task Force, Incorporated

From Zeb's Guide:

Galactic Task Force (usually known simply as Galactic or GTF) has a monopoly on the business of providing non-military or non-security services for other companies. Almost every service imaginable can be obtained from them. They also provide military and security services but they do not have a monopoly in those areas. Their slogan, 'Secretaries to mercenaries, we've got a place for you!" is known throughout the Frontier.

  • Headquarters: Port Loren, Gran Quivera, Prenglar
  • Chief Executive: Vlad Lopez (human)
  • Subsidiaries: Rent-A-Drudge, 24-Hour Escorts, Inc., All-Day Medical Services, Security Forces Ltd.
  • Allies: PGC
  • Enemies: MercCo, Streel Corporation
  • Occasional Opposition: Various small service and security organizations, local militia, pirates


GTF has been around almost as long as the Pan-Galactic Corporation. They started as a temp agency that would fill positions for PGC but eventually branched out to service other companies as well. They have offices on every world in the Frontier and employ beings with all different types of skills. If you need a job done, regardless of what it is, GTF probably has someone that can take on the contract.

Characters

Character Generation

Please use the following rules for generating your character:

  1. Follow standard Alpha Dawn character generation to determine their starting characteristics
  2. Characters may be from any of the four races from the Alpha Dawn rules or the Ifshnit, Humma, or Osakar from the Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space supplement.
  3. Instead of the standard skill AD/KH skill system we will be using the skill system from the A Skilled Frontier article in the Star Frontiersman. This system will be modified slightly as described in the Skills section of the House Rules below.
  4. Note that initial parts of this game will be almost completely ground based so skills related to spacecraft will not see much use. You may want to have that as part of your character concept but they may lie dormant for a while during play.
  5. All characters will start with a toolkit or weapon relevant to their primary skill in their PSA, a standard equipment pack, plus d100+50 cr to spend on other equipment as they would like subject to limitations in the Equipment House Rules below. They also start with a military skiensuit.
  6. The PCs are part of a team and should be built as such. The company would not have hired loner characters that don't work well with others. Design your character's personality appropriately.

Player Characters

Here are links to all the characters in the game:

To add yours, just edit this page and put your charcter's name inside the brackets on the edit page, save the page and click on the link created. You can follow the template provided to create your page. The easiest way to do that is to go to the character template page, hit the edit button on top and copy the markup text out of the edit window and paste it into yours and modify for your character.

Non-Player Characters

Information on various NPC's can be found below:

House Rules

Here are various house rules that will apply to the game.

Skills

While we will be using the A Skilled Frontier skill system, the following modifications apply:

  • Space Sciences (from the Scientist PSA) covers astronomy, physics, and other space sciences but does not include spacecraft engineering. In truth, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, etc. should all be separate skills but for simplicity and playability, we'll leave them grouped as they are otherwise.
  • Spacecraft Engineering is a new separate skill in the Tech PSA
  • I'm adding a new Xenotechnology (Race) skill that is available either through the Scholar, Scientist, or Tech PSA. This skill represents studying the alien culture and understanding how it works in relation to how the culture creates and operates it machinery and is designed to help overcome the -20% alien technology penalty. This skill only goes up to level 2, and is harder to earn than would be normal, costing one extra XP to earn level 1 and two extra XP to earn level 2. The skill must be learned for each race individually but each level overcomes 10% of the penalty applied to using alien technology. Thus if a human had a Level 1 Xenotechnology (Vrusk), when using technology specifically designed for vrusk, that would normally carry a -20% modifier, he only suffers a -10%. If he raised his skill to level 2, the penalty would be removed. This skill would not apply to any technology designed for any of the other races.
  • I'm adding an "Architecture" skill, available through the Scholar or Tech PSAs that cover things like civil engieering, architecture, building/bridge construction, etc.

Equipment

Initially only equipment from the Alpha Dawn rules will be available in the game. If you are interested in a different piece of equipment discuss it with the Referee.

Tech Specs

This section will be filled in as new material is created for the game.

Equipment

Vehicles

Robots

Game Logistics

Game Sessions

Games will be Wednesday nights starting at 8pm Mountain Time and run 3-4 hours. The games will be recorded and posted as a podcast and possibly as a video stream.

Technology

We will be using Roll20 the game. We'll try to use the Roll20 video features as well but may do this audio only.

Handling Missing Players

The game is being run as an episodic series of adventures with each adventure lasting one session or, if it goes longer, will have a break where team members can come and go. This way, if someone can't make a session, they just won't be part of the action that night.