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The Prime Directive Song Challenge

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Joined: 16 Apr 2009
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Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA, Sol, Gould Belt, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Universe Beta

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:54 pm    Post subject: The Prime Directive Song Challenge Reply with quote

I think coming up with good story ideas is the hardest part of running a game. You got to keep it fresh. Well, here is a way we can help each other, and challenge each other.

On the RPG.net forums, there have been a bunch of threads taking lists of songs and creating adventures based on the title. For example, it all started with a guy who made a series of plots based on Elton John songs (which is no longer on the ‘net, darn, it was good). Since then, it has been done for the Serenity RPG, Buffy, and more.
Here’s an example from the thread http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=466951. It is from a list of plots based on 30 Punk songs. Here is one:

“Know Your Rights” by The Clash
*Hook: "And so, Captain Reynolds, it is the verdict of this court that you be taken from this place and hanged by the neck until dead."
*Problem: We open with the Captain's neck in a noose...
*Complications: He's about to swing for a crime he may or may not have committed, but either way he was grabbed up sharpish and the trial is notably short and lacking in such niceties as genuine evidence. Busting him out will take some doing, but finding out why he's in should be interesting as well.
*Resolution: Sort out the hanging judge who was bought by a troublesome enemy in the Verse's underground to swing the trial his way.
*Fun Stuff: A trumped-up court case. Busting the Captain out of his impending hanging.
Theme: Do you break an unjust law?

Well, let’s do it for Prime Directive.

I like the way they do it, creating an episode, well, “these are the voyages,” of our characters in the SFU. Here is the points used to build a story for this:

*Teaser: How the crew gets involved in the story. Think of the opening of any Trek episode.
*Problem: The big picture of what's actually going on, and what is behind it.
*Complications: Other factors, external or internal, which keep the plot turning and make things interesting.
*Resolution: Possible outcomes, revelations or a few ways the story may end.
*Fun Stuff: Ideas for cool scenes or events that the players will talk about after the game.
*Themes: The subtext behind it all. Every trek story has one.

Here is one I just made up in two minutes:

Example: “Mister Roboto” by Styx
*Teaser: The team beams down to a planet to aide a colony suffering a devastating illness. When they get there, they find everyone is cured.
*Problem: In their hour of need, a machine creature came down and healed them, replacing their bodies with android bodies. However, his intentions were not good. The colonists have embedded in them a piece of the machine’s consciousness, and it is destroying their humanity and making them copies of himself.
*Complications: The colonist begin to act strange, then revolt on the crew, perhaps trying to turn one or more into robots. They attempt to take over the crew’s ship, to transport the “colonists” back to a major planet to infect all of its computers.
*Resolution: The crew must find a way to neutralize the robots, and more importantly stop the machine consciousness.
*Fun stuff: The medical officer discovering the colonists are robots. Fending off the robots to protect the ship. One of the colonists connects with the ship’s computer and tries to infect it. The crew finds that this machine creature may be the reason a nearby starbase shut down, and all life support failed. The secret behind the Machine creature and how the GIA was involved in its creation.
*Theme: Some gifts are too good to be true.

That was off the cuff based on the title, I think we can do much better!

I am going to do an album, Pink Floyd’s "Dark Side of the Moon" as a series of adventures (maybe connected). I will post in a day or so (as I have to work on it between a graphics project). Give it your try as well.

Let’s have fun!
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this and am looking forward to your darkside of the moon. I will try and work on Radioheads Ok Computer in my free time while not making new house repairs Razz
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Dark Side of the Moon Reply with quote

“Dark Side of the Moon”
A Prime Directive series of adventures inspired by Pink Floyd’s album.

Note: The album is a “concept album,” dealing with insanity, asking if anyone is truly sane, with essays on growing old, war, how money changes you, etc. I decided to make an “album” of linked adventures, dealing with some of the same issues. Also, I cheated a little. Between “Us and Them” an “Brain Damage” is a short linking instrumental piece called “Any Colour You Like.” I ended up dumping both because it really seems more like a transition than a real piece, and it interrupted the story flow. Enjoy! Oh, and sorry for the bad grammar... this was very much free writing, just throwing things from my head into Word.

Track 1: "Speak to Me"
*Teaser: The players begin as a group of scientists, working on “something” for the GIA. Alarms sound, and the secret research base finds itself under attack! As armed humans overwhelm the scientists… the POV switches to the players real characters, a Prime Team on a nearby Fast Frigate. They receive the distress call an proceed there.
*Problem: Who are the attackers? What do they want?
*Complications: The team finds the scientists dead. They begin their investigation, then a GIA agent, Falco, rushes to the scene, trying to cover something up and butting heads with the team.
*Resolution: Falco comes around, realizing the team is his best hope to stop this. He briefs them on the research project, a Top Secret gas that is bio-engineered to cause rage against those of a different species. He also identifies the terrorists as “Earthers,” who want Earth to become isolationist and stop relations with non-humans. This gas could be key, turning the races on each other.
*Fun Stuff: Playing the scientists as they get slaughtered. Entering the research facility and making sure it is cleared. The GIA jerks them around. The GIA justifying the creation of the gas.
*Theme: We think we can control everything we create.

Track 2: "Breathe (In The Air)"
*Teaser: The team is on alert, waiting for action. The GIA contacts them. Then he has them proceed to space station V-9 on the Klingon neutral zone. Violence is breaking out… looks like the gas.
*Problem: The team finds the station in bad shape. Gangs fight throughout the station, grouped by species. They detect the reactor core of the station is overloading and will explode in two hours. As they contact the station chief, he tells him he is aware. “We are losing, but those aliens can’t win of nobody can win.” They team needs to get to security, lock down all hatches and door to stem the violence, and stop the reactor from blowing (not in that order, probably).
*Complications: Meeting violent aliens along the way. Getting the station commander to open up security. Stopping the reactor. Trying to save lives.
*Resolution: The station may explode. After the crises is over, a hidden ship that was watching, takes off, and is chased by the team’s ship.
*Fun Stuff: Trying to fight the opponents but not hurt them. Reasoning with the station manager. Disarming the core. Having a team with multiple species has no friends among their own kind, because of “racial mixing.”
*Theme: Racism.

Track 3: "On the Run"
*Teaser: The team tacks the small ship to Mad Jack’s Hole, the Orion trading world in the neutral zone between Kzinti and Klingon space. They lose track of the ship, and need to land to continue the investigation… however the Federation has no jurisdiction there. They find out that a Klingon ex-patriot, Krat, is a kingpin of data trading in Mad Jack’s Hole. He was part of Klingon Intelligence, and knows everything going on the world.
*Problem: Finding the ship. More importantly, finding allies in this dangerous world, and avoid being killed, sold as slaves, or shipped off as a Kzinti treat.
*Complications: This is full of social situations. Wheeling and dealing whatever they have for information and help. And getting into a lot of close scrapes.
*Resolution: The team is captured by Krat’s men. He knows who they are exactly, down to their service numbers and parents names. He orders them killed, when the room shakes and a group of thugs break in to kill Krat. They fend them off, and Krat owes them his life. He agrees to help them, if they can help him get something back that was stolen. (Cliffhanger folks).
*Fun Stuff: All of the fun criminal elements here, plus vices galore.
*Theme: Being out of your element.

Track 4: "Time"
*Teaser: Opens with the team raiding a warehouse full of thugs in a quick shootout. They retrieve the Tourus, an object built by the Old Kings. They get on their ship to take it back to Krat, but a pirate ship attacks. It overhelms them, an pirates begin to beam on. Then the Tourus glows. A flash of light!!! It is now twenty years in the future. A clink of glasses: the team is older now, toasting something. But they have no memory of the twenty years.
*Problem: Putting the timeline o twenty years together. An admiral sends a gift: they were toasting their rescue. They find the Earth is isolated and at war with a Klingon/Romulan coalition, but losing. They start to hear a subspace radio transmission that NO ONE ELSE can detect, with their voices calling for help. They will discover it is originating from the point in space near Mad Jack’s.
*Complications: Krat has decided to pay them back for the loss of his Torus on this anniversary, so the crew finds itself persued by the Klingon and a pair of hitmen. They need to get a ship, somehow, to get there. No one will take them because of the war. They will have to “get” a ship.
*Resolution: They get back to the point in space. The subspace radio signal is strong. They can use the warp engines to destabilize it, opening a tunnel. As they pass through they fire on the pirate ship, forcing it away. Their ship fades from existence. Inside the ship they remember the alternate timeline, and the importance of what they are doing. They deliver the Torus, and Krat hands over a member of the terrorists, who was left behind as his friends escaped.
*Fun Stuff: The WTF?? Beginning. Discovering the last twenty years. Trying to convince people of the subpace transmission, but no one believes. Krat being nutty. Possible stealing a ship. The battle against the pirate ship.
*Theme: Making things right!

Track 5: "The Great Gig in the Sky"
*Teaser: Acting on information from the informant, the crew take a Free Trader (suppied by Krat, and it should be in real crappy shape) and pose as musicians in a battle of the bands at a nearby space station’s nightclub called “The Great Gig in the Sky.” They crew head there, to see if they can find the Earthers.
*Problem: The crew need to pose as a band. The contest is on, but they will not be taking the stage for sometime. They need to poke around and investigate the club. Eventually, they become aware of an area underneath the backstage area.
*Complications: Pretending to be a band. Getting called just as they find the underneath area, and having to deal with appearing who they are. Getting past the guards to the underneath. Breaking up the ring below.
*Resolution: The team breaks up a smuggling operation under the backstage area. Drugs, illegal items, etc. They have a shipment of fusion primers, used for WMDs, for the Earthers. At the end they should also have stopped the Earther ship, and have it for themselves.
*Fun Stuff: A bunch of Star Fleet Officers posing as a band. LOL Plus, you can make tons of Spinal Tap references. Like have them get lost backstage trying to find the stage.
*Theme: Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll!!!!

Track 6: "Money"
*Teaser: Side two (remember 12" LPs?) begins with the team in transit to the world where the Earthers willpick up the goods to take back to their secret base. It is a small frontier town (kind of like a planet out of Firefly). The old west feel is alive as they land, finding many of the shops boarded up and disruptor blasts defacing buildings. The hear their ship lifting off. The sheriff comes out. “Y’all lose a ship? Where is the sheriff when you need him. When they say, “you’re the sheriff,” the sheriff tosses the badge to a member of the crew. “You’re the sheriff now. If you and your deputies solve our problems, you will get your ship back.
*Problem: A gang riding robot horses is terrorizing the town and robbing shipments, have stolen all the money from the bank. The crew need to confront and stop them.
*Complications: The bad guys are Klingons.
*Resolution: Its all up to the crew. Of course, an OK Corral kind of ending is cool. Then they get their ship back and meet the Earthers as they land, arresting them.
*Fun Stuff: It’s a cowboy adventure.
*Theme: Dealing with bullies.

Track 7: "Us and Them"
*Teaser: Taking the Earther’s ship, they travel to the Earther’s nearby hidden base: a temple complex of a dead civilization, dressed in Earther graffiti (kind of a neo-Nazi feel). They land, the goods are taken, and the crew welcomed. They place is full of a few hundred human men, women and children. The leader appears on a rising dias. It is Falco, the GIA agent from “Speak to Me.” He smiles, at them and then they find themselves being beamed…. Into a small stone room.
*Problem: Surviving. As Falco taunts them, tells them of a future without aliens, and kids with them about not seeing the obvious plot twist that Falco was in on it (that is why he was so near the first station in “Speak to Me”).
*Complications: Each puzzle needs to be interesting. They are large room, designed by the dead civilization, as a testing ground for warriors. Every test is built of iron age technology. This is a good place to pull out some old DND adventures and use puzzles from them! (magic=technology)
*Resolution: At the end puzzle, they think they have escaped, only to find themselves gassed, and they black out (another Cliffhanger!)
*Fun Stuff: Old school RPG puzzles. Keeping the banter going and fresh with Flaco, who always tries to get their goat.
*Theme: Everyone thinks their worldview is right, and it is easy to dehumanize people to turn them into scapegoats.

Track 8: "Brain Damage"
*Teaser: The team awakes, in different areas on a Federation world where a multi-member meeting is going on. At first everything is cloudy, then they realize they are looking out their eyes, but cannot control their bodies. They become aware that each carries a gas device.
*Problem: They need to fight to regain control of themselves. As some succeed, they need to stop their other selves from succeeding. One gas bomb and everything is over.
*Complications: As they overcome their programming, Falco realizes it, and alerts the security using his GIA clearance to hunt down the “free” team members.
*Resolution: If the team stops the gas attack, Falco uses his GIA codes to lock down the bays. Sensors become aware of a spot on the sun: a large suicide shuttle is on the way.
*Fun Stuff: The crew fighting for control. Running from guards to save the day.
*Theme: Being in control of your actions.

Track 9: "Eclipse"
*Teaser: The crew works to bypass the GIA lockouts from the landing bay. As they do it, they jump in a ship and head for the suicide shuttle. However, their weapons and tractors are offline due to more lock out protocols.
*Problem: The team beams over, and must work to get around a series of lock outs, and fight Earther guards, to get to the control room.
*Complications: The Earther guards are fanatical. Also, Falco is aware they are there, and again taunts them, making allusion to the maze he had them play in. He attempts to push their buttons to make it harder for them to get their job done, using GIA social combat to give penalties to the crew’s attempts to bypass lock outs.
*Resolution:They get in and confront Falco, who fights them, trying to become the “martyr” for the new revolution. After defeating him, they gain control of the freighter and park it in orbit.
*Fun Stuff: More fun Falco taunting, as he should be a little more crazy here. Some good fights as well.
*Theme: Everything is on the line: You gotta get ‘er done!
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