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December 18, 2011 / Wythe

Scenario: Grim Fin

So this is the entirety of what started the whole d6-only system for my players and me. We played this one-off, using a graph paper ellipse cut into quadrants as the titular submarine fuel-growing station. The characters loved, LOVED that the menace to Grim Fin, spoiler alert, was an alien lifeform capable of mutating a lot and being terrible scary and hungry.   

5000 years before the events taking place in the campaign right now [as of when this one-off was played]…

Port Avalus (now Agol) is the glittering starport of the region’s major city, Carnassitur (Karnash).  In the early Tephnian Empire, Tuurmarsh is a quiet, Rust Belt-like zone far south and east of the major cities of Pala.  Much of the region is a great shallow lake.  On the lake’s bottom, scientists peaceably cultivate extremophiles for fuel.  The main fuel-growing subterrarium is called Grim Fin

You all are a cohort of Imperial marines on leave after a routine bimonthly patrol of Pala’s eastern coast.  You are driving a light amphibious assault vehicle (LAAV, pronounced “lave”), on your way to report in at the legionary chancellery in Port Avalus, when your sergeant gets the call:  Your leave has been rescinded.  Go to Grim Fin immediately and find out why the scientists there have triggered a distress beacon—and why they haven’t been in comm contact since…

Grim Fin is four hours away by LAAV.

All characters =
Human, m or f, Fighter 7
50 hp, 16 AC, 12/4 AT (two attacks)
Saves: 8 FOR / 6 REF / 4 WIL
66 SAN, 15 psi

The Hero – Sergeant – Render pistol [P.D. played]
The Saint – Medical Officer – Powerfist, charge pistol [G. played]
The Madman – Pilot – Charge rifle, antique pistol [P.M. played]
The Genius – Science Officer – Charge rifle, nervewhip
The Rebel – Heavy Weapons – Flamethrower, demolitions gear [Z played]

So, that was it. We played with d20s for a second but, as we played, guessed that a random one-off with stock characters might be better served by d6s. The alien menace? Mostly housed. But it did seed a single red tree frog with its DNA, leading to chaos in the future [present campaign]. This back-and-forth, cause-and-effect trick was both simple and fulfilling. I highly recommend bringing all one-offs back into the current game, somehow, even if only as a sly joke (“…you see a magazine article about some heroic incident from the distant past…”).


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