Thursday, July 15, 2021

GLOGSTAR Starship Mission Hooks

 In GLOGSTAR, you play as a small fleet of capital ships. Each ship class corresponds mechanically to an existing GLOG class, but just happens to be a kilometer long starship bristling with high-tech weapons instead of a grubby medieval mortal with delusions of striking it rich. What do you do when this kind of power is at your narrative disposal? Here's a d20 table of suggestions.

GLOGSTAR MISSION PARAMETERS

  1. A fleet under command of the Grim Warlord has laid claim to the Alpha Sculptoris system. The system is home to various resort planets with valuable ecosystems and natural formations, as well as a staggering number of summer homes belonging to the rich and famous. Unfortunately, it's also the middle of tourist season. Nullify the threat with minimal collateral damage and minimal visibility - we can't let the vacationing elite think Alpha Sculptoris is an unsafe holiday destination.

  2. The Naval Contract Corporation's top-secret shipyards are about to complete project EXECRON GUARDIAN, a line of next-generation warships that will make you obsolete. You have the shipyards' coordinates (in orbit around the rogue planet M5VK3.112, codenamed "NavCon Violet"), and two weeks before the project is demonstrated to High Command. Take them out before the relentless march of progress sends you to the shipbreakers.

  3. A dinosaur-killer meteor just impacted Alcyone V, population 700,000 (1.5 million including non-citizens, Turing-grade androids, and prisoners of war). The meteor impact set off a chain of volcanic eruptions, ash-storms, and tidal waves that will render the planet uninhabitable within one standard month. You're the only ships in the sector with the tonnage to extract the population in time - never mind that you're warships built to cause disasters, rather than respond to them.

  4. The pious Hyades Cluster has broken out in religious strife. Three separate figures - the Meticulous Bishop, the Starblind Demagogue, and the Prophetic Commodore - have each decreed themselves Space Antipope, and are deploying their fanatic fleets against both each other and loyalist crusaders. Return as many as possible to the arms of the Church of the Holy Stardrive, and make examples of the rest to prevent further heresy. You are authorized to deploy a limited number of indulgences in the region to buy allies and reinforcements, but we need as many military and religious assets intact as possible for the forthcoming Seventh Space Crusade.

  5. An Eccentric Exonaturalist has published a limited-run miniseries detailing their encounters with the mythical Space Kraken! The tale has made cosmic headlines, interesting the Preening Baron enough to pay your exorbitant hiring fees. As a tremendously wealthy and vain member of the nouveau-riche, the Baron wants a Space Kraken specimen - alive or dead - to be the centerpiece of his next (seventh) wedding and cement his place in the aristocracy. Does the kraken even exist? If it does, can you even capture it? If it doesn't, can you satisfy the Baron anyhow?

  6. El Space Presidente of the Glorious People's Republic of Meridiana VII has been deposed by the Traitorous Opposition! At no small cost, he has hired you to lead his government-in-exile's fleet to retake his homeworld. However, rumor says that the Traitorous Opposition is selling off the planet's rare mineral rights to the Naval Contract Corporation, and your own government's Interplanetary Intelligence Service may have had a guiding hand in the coup...

  7. One of your fellow spaceships, the Decorated Battlecruiser, has been murdered! The "corpse" is covered in distinctive plasma burns that point to the Rival Power, but why was the victim travelling through the Demilitarized Zone in the first place? Solve a murder mystery, in space, and quickly - because if you don't, Space War Three looms just over the horizon.

  8. The Interplanetary Intelligence Service has deputized you to find the target of a massing Pirate Armada. It's far too large for you to take out head-on, but they might be vulnerable to an inside job. Go undercover as pirates, learn everything you can about their leadership, goals, and targets, then subvert them from the inside and ensure they won't be a threat to the Interstellar Regime.

  9. Mutiny! An allied starfleet has overthrown its Grand Admiral, defected from High Command, and absconded to the Sheliak protoplanetary disc in the Demilitarized Zone in order to consider better offers from a variety of factions. An auction will occur in seven days at the Sheliak Disc, and dignitaries from across the Galactic Arm will show up to make their bids for a fully armed and crewed battlefleet. Win or disrupt the auction - High Command wants those ships back, and demands that all traitors are punished for their crimes.

  10. The crew of the DARK EPOCH superweapon has decided that they get to call the shots, because they're the ones behind a fully-operational battle station with a planet killing laser. They've released a list of demands to High Command: better pay, twice as many vacation days, a complete cessation of hostilities in the Border States, and recognition of the battle station as an independent power. While the eggheads aboard lack military expertise, DARK EPOCH was designed to be impossible to siege while charging its dark-matter-powered Gravity Obliterator. Unfortunately, High Command requires you to do exactly that. Besiege DARK EPOCH, dispatch its defenses, and force the crew to stand down before they turn the Sector Capitol into space dust.

  11. Fleet training exercises are the social event of the season. Under the pretense of "maintaining naval readiness," captains, crews, and officers alike share drinks and stories in a new beautiful location each year - until now. The latest exercise has been planned by the Eager Admiral, an up-and-comer who recently earned their wings-and-star. You'll be collectively undertaking a grueling two-week live fire simulation of a total government collapse and ensuing civil war, described as the "no win scenario to end all no win scenarios." Can you complete the exercise with enough time left over for your scheduled debauchery?

  12. Your last job was from the rich and well-connected Obdurate Marquess, who hired you to put down a revolt on one of her mining colonies in the Aurigan Reach. Unfortunately, she has suddenly decided to renege on your contract, citing "unacceptable collateral damage," and your expected substantial payment will not be forthcoming. Explain to her the error of her ways. You may require your guns to do the talking.

  13. On your way back from an exploration mission, you find the forward resupply base you intended to refuel at has disappeared. It's been dismantled by the Zealous Transcendent, a rogue artificial intelligence with delusions of Dyson Sphere-hood. The resources you needed have been consumed to assemble a fleet of solar panels that will block out the sun and power a vast prediction engine that can model the entire galaxy. While it's barely started this massive endeavour, you need the resources it's already used up to make it the rest of the way home - but its engine is powerful enough to predict your moves three steps ahead. Can you outsmart a nascent god?

  14. You've been dispatched on a long-haul mission to construct a new stargate in the far-off Triangulum Nebula. You have the spaceframe, but you'll need a laundry list of exotic components to complete it. The Nebula is unknown territory, with harsh space-weather, dangerous astrofauna, and alien polities that may take issue with your presence and the components you require. Due to the distances involved, you're on your own until the gate is completed. Good luck.

  15. A surprisingly well-funded group of Sentimental Environmentalists have hired you to destroy the gas-mining operation around Ras Algethi IV, a gas giant with a breathtakingly diverse ecosystem centered around spaceborne megafauna. The Fuel Barons that manage the mine have their own well-equipped private security fleet, commanded by the Unscrupulous Trophy-Hunter. You've been instructed not to damage the ecosystem any more than the Barons and their fleet have, but the megafauna are highly territorial and the mining has already seriously disrupted their mating season.

  16. Rebellion! The Interstellar Regime's latest tax has caused a dozen worlds in the Dziban Sector that voted against the tax to threaten secession. They have no capital ships, but their fighter pilots are known throughout the galactic arm for feats of derring-do and heroism. High Command wants you to strike their pilot academy in orbit around Canopus II to force a quick end to the movement - it may seem an easy target, but it'll be defended by their top students in brand-new fightercraft.

  17. The Naval Contract Corporation is testing project DAMASCUS ARCHITECT, a new swarm of manufactory automata that carves asteroids into automated warships. Unfortunately, the system escaped test station "NavCon Orange," and are busy turning an entire asteroid belt into starships with designs they've generated on the fly from proprietary source plans. Retrieve the automata and destroy the proprietary starships - before other corporations' hired guns steal them.

  18. The latest war against the Rival Power has ground to a stalemate, but the Interplanetary Intelligence Service has detected that they've made a critical error - pulling their defense fleets away to engage the bulk of our fleet in the Mahsati Expanse, leaving their primary shipyards undefended. Because our fleet is tied up in the Mahsati campaign, High Command can't provide you any additional resources for your mission. Acquire any force multipliers you can, use them to take out the shipyards and sow as much chaos as possible, and get out before the Rival Power's fleet can stop you.

  19. The Interstellar Regime has been at peace for so long there's starting to be public talk of demilitarization. High Command can't allow that, and has tasked you to find (or create) an appropriate conflict so they can demand a budget increase at the next council meeting. Make sure the conflict doesn't put the Regime in too much jeopardy - it needs to be just big enough to silence the peaceniks, but if it's big enough to threaten the Regime's primacy in the region, you'll be the first to the front lines.

  20. You've been sent on a suicide mission by the Pompous Admiral, who wants to throw his weight around and won't listen to the rest of High Command's strategic advice. He's reckless, as admirals go, and is commanding the campaign from near the front lines - thinking himself safe in his fortified dreadnought. What a shame it would be if he was to meet a swift end, and High Command was forced to put someone *competent* in charge...

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