City Encounters

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by Daron "Dan" Patton

Your characters are stuck on a layover in the Prenglar system, and have 3d10-3 days to wait until the next starship leaves port. Great. Now what are you going to do? Well here’s a handy little table I came across on the ‘net while googling around. Whenever you have to make a stint on a civilized Frontier world more interesting, simply roll d100 and see what happens to the characters once every few days. These situations can spark miniadventures. Sounds like more fun than “You spend eleven days on the planet and on the twelfth day you board the starliner.”

Note that the original author of this table obviously used Zebulon’s Guide to the Frontier and the optional races printed in issues of Dragon Magazine. If you roll a result that uses a race from a supplement you don’t have or choose not to use, simply replace it with a standard Frontier race of your choosing.

  1. A well-thumbed hard copy of Reflections of a Humble Servant lies on a park bench, an empty monorail seat or other convenient location; barely legible scribbles in the margin of the book says “The Council of Worlds must pay with their lives.”; no being will be around to claim the book or will have been seen leaving it where it is discovered
  2. A food vendor offers the PCs samples of new Vera Lee cake, which is delicious to anyone taking a bite; unfortunately, the flavor enhancer for the cake is a chemical analog of Telol for the following 2 hours anyone who sampled the cake will behave as if dosed with the truth drug
  3. A fast-talking Vrusk street vendor is selling little toy ‘Burfees’, fist-sized fuzz-balls that repeat anything said around them in an annoying cartoon voice; any Dral in the party must make a LOG check with a -10 to avoid paying the 5 Credits to get one, which id will play with incessantly for 1-10 days
  4. Soller Chili Parlor Mascot, Solar (giant charicature of a yellow sun with a wide-brimmed sombrero-ish hat), approaches the PCs and offers them coupons for a free soft drink with the purchase of a Ranger Meal
  5. Yazirian child running loose through a public area, screaming and giggling at the top of her lungs before disappearing around a corner
  6. Osakar who does not speak a word of PanGal (p-vox won’t be programmed to translate the obscure tongue that she’s speaking); she will keep asking “Yato? Yatto?”
  7. Holo-fielded tri-vid star traveling incognito (the field will short out at the moment this NPC meets the group)
  8. Deaf old Yazirian wearing a SpaceFleet veteran pin keeps asking for directions repeatedly saying “Speak up!” no matter how loud the PCs are
  9. Bounty Hunter looking for someone just like one of the PCs who defaulted on a starship loan
  10. A chronocom ‘baps’ into mid-air in front of the PCs, hangs there for a moment then falls to the ground; the chronocom is ordinary and works, but is inscribed with the name “Slingshot” Simmons; a public records check will note that a Simon “Slingshot” Simmons was killed a year ago to the day in a bap bin accident
  11. Sathar agent slips a tiny package into one of the PC’s pockets/clothing
  12. Three SpaceFleet sailors on shoreleave (very drunk)
  13. Three LandFleet soldiers on leave (even drunker)
  14. Disgruntled TranStar delivery being who pulls a blaster and starts shooting at random individuals
  15. Malfunctioning service ‘bot keeps calling one of the PCs “Master/Mistress” as it continues to follow the party around
  16. Saurian who will take offense at whatever the PCs say (even a greeting) and will challenge one or all to a duel
  17. Billi-creditaire who dresses shabbily and has lost his/her/ids chronocom
  18. Bum who dresses shabbily and claims to have lost his/her/ids chronocom
  19. “Civilized” Ul-Mor Chieftain taking a tour of the city has been separated from his/her guide; he speaks only broken PanGal
  20. Inconspicuous person with barely noticeable (INT check) growth on his/her neck that is actually a Sathar mindcontrol creature
  21. Prostitute in dire need of credits approaches on of the PCs, offering his/her/ids services; the prostitute’s pimp arrives moments later and watches to see how well his ‘worker’ is doing
  22. Local police threaten to ‘run in’ the PCs if a little money (d10x10 Cr) isn’t forthcoming
  23. Humma just waking up in the street to discover someone has shaved its head into a mohawk
  24. Ifshnit businessperson carrying a briefcase offers to pay for temporary escort service to the local spaceport
  25. Mhemne (see KH3 and KH4) accidentally bumps into the most hot-headed of the PCs
  26. Thief fleeing from a bank toward the PCs; he chucks a bag of loot to one of them as he passes
  27. Prize krik has escaped from the local zoo and is rampaging through the neighborhood
  28. Two vehicle skimmer accident (fender bender) that the PCs witness
  29. Frontier scouts selling cookies, using their most persisent sales tactics
  30. Vrusk with three leg casts has just dropped a bag full of Ool melons (fist-sized) at the most inopportune time (e.g. middle of the street with oncoming traffic)
  31. Retired SpaceFleet officer who drones on and on about his/her/ids service time
  32. Sathar with two blasters firing into the air as he exits a building (this is actually a S’sessu actor and the PCs have wandered onto a section of town ‘cleared’ for a movie production)
  33. Old love interest of one of the PCs
  34. Chukka who chitters at the PCs, then runs down an alley or other secluded area and disappears
  35. Wallet with 1000 Cr worth of notes and no ID
  36. Nasal-voiced passerby decides to strike up a conversation with the PCs
  37. Ghostly apparition of Admiral Morgaine appears to be talking (no sound)to the PCs, lasts for a few moments before shimmering into nothing
  38. Quartet of street toughs who immediately attack the group
  39. Ambulance skimmer crashes into a nearby building and the doors open to reveal a cyborg human female who immediately starts running from the crash site
  40. SpaceFleet recruiter decides to try his pitch on the PCs, even the mention of a criminal record doesn’t dissuade him
  41. Hooded acolyte from the Brotherhood of Beings (cult out of Inner Reach) panhandles the group- “Credit for a Flower, Mister?”
  42. City-wide power outage that lasts for at least half an hour
  43. A Mime (blasters are recommended for this encounter)
  44. Adventurer looking to sell his Wartech Beta Bolt (it’s an Oni-Senada) Cheap!
  45. Sailsnail (furry, flying snail-like creature, popular as a pet) will land on one of the PCs and refuse to leave
  46. Innocent-looking trinket lying on the ground (temporarily and secretly reduces any one individual’s DEX by half); the stone is actually a silicon-based neurological parasite that interferes with its hosts neural activity (hence the lessened DEX) within 1 meter from that being
  47. Reporter and tri-vid camera operator doing ‘Being On The Street’ interviews about whatever seems insipid to the Ref
  48. Wandering Mentalist in training practices his art on the PCs but is not subtle enough to avoid detection
  49. Yazirian mother looking frantically for her missing daughter
  50. Dralasite Ixiol addict accosts the group for some money
  51. While passing an outdoor cafe, the group sees a human run toward them with his/her hands clutched around his/her throat (he/she is choking on a bit of sandwich)
  52. Gunfire is heard down an alley the PCs are passing and should they investigate, they will find a dying Dral who utters the word “Outriders” before passing on
  53. Newspaper bot announces the headline that the Claw has killed again (near wherever the PCs are staying); if they buy the paper they will learn that a group identical in composition of their group is wanted by the authorities for questioning
  54. The protective escorts of a Council of Worldsmember are cut down by sniper fire in front of the PCs, leaving the council being utterly helpless and in the open
  55. Gameshow Host who offers one of the PCs 1000 Cr if he/she will take The Dare! The Ref’s chance to come up with something really outrageous
  56. Jealous (and armed) spouse of someone one of the PCs may have tried to charm/seduce or even just talked to for too long!
  57. Pssst! Shady Vrusk selling tickets to a sporting event at incredibly cheap prices; the tickets will be counterfeit if purchased
  58. An exact duplicate of one of the PCs walks smack into the group, then runs away at breakneck speed only to disappear into a crowd
  59. SilverTwin team fighting a 5 meter tall terrorbot less than 50 meters away from the PCs (think classic comic book major destruction of property)
  60. Vrusk musician playing congo-like drums and a bodyharness flute on a street corner
  61. Frontier Relief Association worker ringing a bell and collecting contributions in his/her familiar silver kettle
  62. Zethra willing to swap a recharge of up to 100 SEU for a GOOD Story
  63. A hovercycle club (one member per PC) drives around the party, pointing and laughing; they are just having a good time and will leave in a minute or so unless taunted or attacked
  64. Auto Bank Computer (ABC) starts firing out single credit chits (500 Cr in all) in random spurts as the PCs pass the machine
  65. At the entrance to an alley, the party discovers a Yazirian trapped in tangler threads, an unbroken vial of solvaway is clutched in her partially exposed hand
  66. Local radio station announcer asks one of the PCs an incredibly easy trivia question earning that PC enough tickets for the party to go to the local amusement park for the day
  67. A nervous Ifshnit offers to sell a shard of the Mist Stone to the party; the crystal’s internal color shifts and swirls like an encased multi-colored cloud; the bauble is nothing more than a heat-activated mood stone but give any PC who buys it an extra INT check for a game day or so to convince the player that it has some sort of supernatural powers
  68. Really bad Human Comedian who is really popular with the Drals tries out some tired old jokes on the party (cramped elevators are good for this encounter)
  69. An oddly dressed teenager (any race) offers the PCs a flyer for a new alternative dance club located in the fringe district of the city
  70. Pizza delivery Dralasite on a hoverboard crashes into the party from behind spilling sauce all over everyone and idself
  71. While eating a sandwich bought from a local street vendor, one of the PCs bites down on omething hard, which turns out to be a jewel-encrusted Twin Laurels for Manifest Gallantry award from the planet of Terledrom; the item is worth in excess of 10,000 Cr and was placed in the food by a thief who, along with some fellow rogues, will be looking for the party
  72. A hover-car sized section of the street collapses swallowing a Vrusk trapped in the middle of the road; approaching the unstable edge of the hole reveals a shaft that extends at least 20 meters straight downward where muffled groans may be heard
  73. Gorlian looking for someone to punch bumps into the least violent member of the group
  74. A local deputy hands one of the PCs a court summons stating that he/she/id is being sued for 10,000 Cr in damage (link this to a previous bar fight, shoot-out or other destructive act the PCs assumed they got away with)
  75. Undercover StarLaw officer practices his tailing technique on the PCs; if noticed he will disappear around a corner or into a crowd
  76. A crazed and very brawny Yazirian suddenly grabs a human, holds a Khaddan to her throat and begins demanding that he have a skimmer take him to the nearest spaceport
  77. Vrusk pick-pocket asking for the time as he relieves one or more of the PCs of their wallets, jewelry, etc.
  78. An explosion rips through a nearby building, leaving the PCs undamaged but dazed; across the street a hovercar will start up and a cackling maniacal laughter will issue from the vehicle’s open windows as it zooms away; the moans of survivors are heard coming from the unstable looking structure
  79. A Vrusk with a small easel strapped to her back approaches the group with a colored pencil sketch of a man she just witnessed going into a nearby bank; she claims the man is wanted by local police and offers to share the 1500 Cr reward with the PCs if they can capture him
  80. Dralasite asks the group for change for a 20 Cr note, passing them a fake bill should they agree to the change; this bill will automatically be discovered by the first person the PCs try to use it on and that person will call in local law enforcement who will alert StarLaw
  81. A very pregnant and very angry female Humma starts going into labor, growling at the party for their assistance
  82. A local sewer line breaks, spewing noxious smelling brown liquid all over the party; this should be timed to occur just before they are expected somewhere for a meeting
  83. A three-meter tall, massively proportioned faintly glowing blue Yazirian will crash into the ground in front of the PCs, leaving a half meter deep crater; the feral creature will growl and snarl at the party, then flex its legs and jump out of sight OVER the nearest building
  84. The sounds of racing engines can be heard as the PCs approach a street corner; two teenagers are drag racing in broad daylight on a main thoroughfare and the opposing light just turned yellow as a little girl dashes out into the street after her favorite toy
  85. As a hover-limo races by, the back door opens and a Dral is shoved out the hatch without the slightest deceleration from the vehicle; the Blob bounces a couple of times and groans in agony as it struggles to its pods
  86. The Triad Corsairs just won the holo-cross tournament and the home fans are visibly upset; unfortunate that one of the Pcs happens to be wearing the Triad colors as a bunch of surly fans crowds out of nearby pub, shouting “There’s one!”
  87. A young and attractive young being (Ref’s choice) walks up and “plants one” on a member of the opposite gender but same race in the party; this is a tradition observed in honor of Morgaine’s Day, the anniversary of Frontier victory in the First Sathar War
  88. The party walks past an alley in time to see a Vrusk dressed in high-tech looking black armor gun down a Yazirian standing with his arms raised in surrender by a dumpster; the Vrusk’s mandible clatter as it turns to train a nasty-looking weapon on the party
  89. A human dressed in a mask, purple tights and a bright yellow cape flies past the group (apparently without the aid of a para-wing or other aviation device) then disappears over the next building
  90. Whenever the PCs enter a small local store they find its proprietor lying face down in a pool of his own life fluid; candles mark a rough geometric pattern around the dead being, all of the money is still in the register and nothing seems to be missing from the store; a cop walks in one minute after the PCs
  91. An Ifshnit couple will ask one of the PCs to take their picture as they are on their honeymoon
  92. A man claiming to be a holo-vid producer will rush up to one of the PCs and begin fawning over them as he tries to talk them into starring in his next picture
  93. A middle-aged specimen of one of the races will rush up and place his hands (claws, paws, etc.) over a PC of the same race’s eyes, asking “Guess Who?”; it’s that PC’s old Uncle Rheay (Ray for humans), known for his half-baked ideas and get-rich-quick schemes
  94. Treaty Day Parade in celebration of the Frontier-Rim clogs the main streets as floats slowly trudge past; behind the party a couple of looters decide to swipe gear from an electronics store’s window that is closed for the holiday
  95. An earnest young Yazirian approaches the party, a fairly decent looking droid in tow; he has to sell the ‘bot in order to pay off his family’s debts and needs money quickly; he will part for with the machine (Level Two personal servant model with no problems) for as little as 500 Cr
  96. A low-flying avian plops a nasty right on the newest piece of wearable gear that one of the PCs has just purchased. Even the Frontier’s most advanced stain removing technology can’t remove the general outline of this blotch
  97. A street vendor is giving away genuine Inner Reach skin dye for Dralasites to anyone willing to fill out a marketing survey; the dye is extra strong and turns anything it touches (even metal) a garish bright orange that lasts for three months before finally wearing off (repeated washings do not shorten this period where body parts or clothing are concerned)
  98. A chronocom call informs one of the PCs that a package has arrived at a local shipping company and is awaiting their retrieval; upon arrival at the shipping company, the party will be taken to a casket-like case containing a Vrusk who has apparently been frozen for storage class passage. The addressee PC is the only one legally allowed to claim this package
  99. A TranStar delivery being hands one of the PCs a message sent ten years before that PC was born; the sender’s name is the same as the PC receiving the message
  100. An ice cream truck drives by, allowing the PCs to get a nice treat