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 Post subject: Kraken Advneture Ideas
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:46 am
  

Rifter® Contributer

Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 11:33 pm
Posts: 369
Another re-post with minor changes.

Kraken Hook, Line, and Sinker Adventure Ideas

Storming the Beach
Hook: Since the Machine has little presence within the Great Ocean, any characters operating from the Kraken will eventually have to go ashore to strike the robot hordes.

Line: While the ocean may be safe, the beaches are some of the most heavily fortified positions on the planet. The Kraken can provide a great deal of artillery support, but it cannot completely clear out the scores of robotic defenders scattered all across the coast. Going ashore and returning to the Kraken after a mission will be a challenging adventure in and of itself.

Sinker: Don’t just breeze past this part of the campaign. There are dozens of ways to pierce the Machine’s defenses. Player characters can storm the beach with guns blazing, creep through silently, have the Kraken bombard one location as the player group sneaks through farther down the coast in the confusion, or they can just fly through the air after being launched from the Kraken’s rapid deployment tubes. These are just a few ideas, and they only cover going ashore. Getting back to the Kraken after a successful (or disastrous) mission with the Machine in hot pursuit can lead to a whole new set of challenges.

Follow the Breadcrumbs
Hook: Kamikaze Cruise Missiles are the most destructive weapons in humanity’s arsenal, but the Resistance has rarely been able to use them against vital targets like Power Farms, Industrial Centers, Robot Repositories, or Computer Cores because these crazy War Mounts are genetically programmed to attack robots, not structures. Only the launch tubes within the Kraken can “order” a Kamikaze to attack these buildings over a robot target, but after so much time, their instinctive programming overpowers these commands and the Kamikaze will attack the first robot it sees. Structures that are vital to the Machine are kept too far from the coast, so they cannot be attacked by the Kraken. The First Librarian from House Artemis believes that he has developed a solution to this problem, but he needs to field test his design to see how effective it truly is.

Line: The Librarian’s new creation is called a Squealer. The device looks like a snail with a baseball sized shell on its back. The Squealer can stick to any hard surface including glass or plastic (obviously, putting it on a metal surface is a bad idea), and is relatively easy to conceal. To activate it, just twist the shell a quarter turn and the Squealer will release an audio signal similar to that from a Bio Comm. The signal from the Squealer cannot be deciphered by the Machine, but it is also silent to other Bio Comms. The vibrations from the device can only be heard through a special helmet that is placed on the head of the Kamikaze Cruise Missile. The helmet allows the War Mount to ignore all other possible targets as it tracks the Squealer to its source. Unfortunately, the range is only 10 miles, but the Librarian created an auxiliary creature called a Trailblazer that can relay the signal. It resembles the Squealer but is half the size. By laying a chain of Trailblazers every 10 miles, a Kamikaze can be led hundreds or even thousands of miles towards a specific target without getting off track and attacking the first robot it sees. At least, that is what the short-range tests have proven.

Sinker: For this long-range test, Warlord Artemis chose an Industrial Center located 200 miles inland as the target. The plan is to position the Kraken 8 miles off shore and release a small tactical team to deploy the string of Trailblazers and six separate Squealers at various points within the Industrial Center. The Librarian wants to see if multiple Kamikazes can follow the same trail and seek out different Squealers. The terrain is relatively flat and easy to transverse, plus this enormous Ruined City will provide excellent cover for the approach. There is no way for the team to signal successful placement of their devices, so the Kraken plans to launch its payload after a set period of time (one week) whether the strike team is successful or not. One Kamikaze will be launched every minute, and the strike team will need to stay behind to see if each missile finds its mark.
This mission will focus heavily on stealth. The player characters will need to pierce the shoreline defenses unseen, cross 200 miles of territory without alerting the enemy, and then actually gain entrance to the Industrial Center. The Librarian does not just want the Squealers placed on the roof of the Industrial Center, he wants at least three to be placed inside. If the player characters are feeling particularly daring, they can blow a hole in the roof with Migs to give the Kamikazes a direct path into the interior of the building. The adventure does not end when the last missile hits its mark. Once the first Kamikaze hits the target, it is going to stir up a hornet’s nest of activity. Getting back to the Kraken is not going to be as easy as getting here was (not that it was easy). If the GM wants to add some more challenge to the adventure, he can place a large brigade of robots right where a vital Trailblazer needs to be placed, or he can make the target something a little more demanding like a Robot Repository or a Computer Core.

I Think We Need Some Floss
Hook: After a particularly brutal battle with the Machine, one or both of the Kraken’s organic thrusters inexplicably stop working after a few hours. The War Mount is safely protected below the waves, but it is still sitting dead in the water.

Line: Someone is going to need to leave the Kraken and explore the interior of the organic thrusters to see what the problem is. The openings are wide enough for a suit of Host Armor to swim through, but it is quite cramped inside.

Sinker: The intakes sucked in a few hundred pounds of metallic debris from the robots the Kraken destroyed, and all these fragments have activated a nano-virus response. All of the pieces are continuously attacking the Kraken, but large fragments that have developed into drones will turn their attention towards the player character(s). Every character that is exploring the organic thruster will be assaulted by 1D4 drones. This battle will be further complicated by extremely cramped conditions. Player characters suffer a penalty of -3 to strike, parry, and dodge.

Quit Biting Me
Hook: A trio of deadly sea predators the Bridge Crew named Razor Sharks has been following the Kraken and feeding off of its tentacles for the past few days. The Kraken’s regenerative powers are strong enough to keep these attacks from doing any real damage, but the blood in the water could draw attention from more predators (plus it is a little annoying).

Line: The Kraken could kill them all with ease, but the Bridge Crew has never seen creatures like these before and they would like to capture their DNA for the Librarians back home. Each Razor Shark is over twenty feet in length and covered in thick armored bone plating. The Bridge Crew named them Razor Sharks after trying to capture one with one of the Kraken’s tentacles. The fins and edges of the bone plates are razor sharp, and when the Kraken grabbed the shark, it spun about wildly, cutting the tentacle to shreds. Anything willing (and able) to attack prey 50 times its size has just the type of genetic code that the Resistance needs for better War Mount and Host Armor designs.

Sinker: The Bridge Crew needs someone to go out and capture at least one of the Razor Sharks. It could be months before the Kraken returns home, and the tissue from a dead shark might degrade before the Librarians can analyze it. This is even more challenging then it sounds. If you thought the Razor Sharks were aggressive going after the Kraken, just wait until you see how they react towards smaller prey in the water. Even worse, they also seem to be much smarter than anyone believed. Razor Sharks are pack animals that operate in perfect unison to overcome large or difficult prey. The pack will work to separate individuals from the group, and they will concentrate their attacks on the weaker members first. Just killing them would prove to be a difficult endeavor, but capturing one alive is going to require some creativity.

Razor Shark Quick Stats:
M.D.C. by Location:
Fins (3): 75 each
Tail: 2D8x10+30

Head: 2D4x10+40
Main Body 1D4x100+175

Size: 20-25 feet long, 10-15 tons
Speed: Swim 80 mph
Attributes: I.Q.: 2D4, M.E.: 1D6+10, M.A.: 2D6+4, P.S.: 4D6, P.P.: 3D6+3, P.E.: 3D6+3, P.B.: 2D4+2, Spd.: 80 mph
Attacks per Melee: 5
Bonuses: +4 on initiative, +5 to strike, +3 to parry, +6 to automatic dodge, +3 to roll with impact, +2 to disarm, +4 to save vs. horror factor
Combat Capabilities:
Bite: 8D8
Fin Swipe: 2D8
Body Block/Ram: 5D6
Hold Breaking Spin (When captured, the shark will spin ferociously to free itself. Damage is inflicted every melee action for 5 attacks. The shark can spin for one minute straight before it needs to rest for 2 minutes): 4D6

Get Off My Turf
Hook: Apparently the Machine has grown tired of the Kraken’s dominance of the seas, and she has built and deployed a massive floating weapons platform in the middle of the Great Ocean. The platform provides a staging point for Sky Fighters and other flyers, it can be used to launch experimental underwater robot designs, and worst of all, it is surrounded by a string a sonar buoys that can monitor the Kraken’s movements. No one knows if this is the first monitoring station or if other platforms already exist, but if the Machine can place enough of these bases, then she will be able to track the Kraken anywhere on the planet.

Line: Obviously, the Machine cannot be allowed to complete her sonar grid. This monitoring station must be sunk. The sonar buoys create a barrier around the station that the Kraken cannot cross without alerting the Machine, so the War Mount cannot get any closer than 10 miles. However, the buoys are placed so far apart that smaller creatures like Host Armors and even large War Mounts like the Leviathan can slip through the sonar net without being detected. A small strike team should be able to board the monitoring station, disable the buoys, and create a diversion so the Machine’s attention will be distracted while the Kraken moves into striking range. Just disabling the detection grid will likely put the Machine on high alert and she will send out hundreds of robots to patrol the perimeter, but if she thinks the main attack is already on the station, then she should divert the bulk of her forces there.

Sinker: The attack on this station will be challenging enough, but there is a larger issue to consider. There could be dozens or even hundreds of similar stations throughout the Great Ocean. Once the Kraken takes down one platform, the Bridge Crew plans to systematically track down and destroy the rest, but the ocean is so vast that finding them all could take decades. Plus while they are aimlessly searching for one platform, others could be springing up all over the planet. The Bridge Crew believes this mission will require the services of a Technojacker. If they can get one on board the platform, he can (hopefully) access their systems and discover the location of any other monitoring stations. Sinking this platform is important, but locating any other platforms is vital.

I Want One Too
Hook: The Kraken has made House Artemis one of the most powerful (and envied) Great Houses on the planet. Warlord Artemis has no desire to conquer the other Great Houses. His only enemy is the Machine, but that does not mean all the other Warlords feel the same way. For years, Splicers from the other Great Houses have been harvesting tissue samples from the Kraken in an attempt to grow their own, but all attempts have ended in failure. No one other than the Librarians and Engineers that first created it knows that the Kraken is actually eight separate creatures that fuse into one mighty War Mount as it matures. It was the only way to grow something so large in the Gene Pools. If any Librarian was ever given all eight DNA samples, then he could grow his own Kraken War Mount. Warlord Artemis would love to arm every Great House on the planet with one of these mighty organic vessels, but he knows that some Warlords are just too bloodthirsty and power-hungry to use them strictly for the good of humanity.

Line: One such power-hungry ruler is Warlord Alus from House Janus. For years, he has watched other Great Houses thrive while his house struggles to survive. He has accepted help from House Artemis on many occasions and his heart seethed with jealousy every time. He is convinced Warlord Artemis would be nothing without the Kraken and he wants to harness that power for himself. His Splicers have taken several samples from the Kraken and have discovered that different regions of the vessel have different genetic codes.
Warlord Alus wanted to collect more tissue from the War Mount, so he asked Warlord Artemis to help him attack a nearby Power Farm. The mission is just a ruse designed to get his Splicers on board the Kraken so they can get DNA samples from every possible corner of the War Mount. The warriors from House Janus include 5 Dreadguards, 5 Skinjobs, 12 Roughnecks, and 2 Scarecrows. The inclusion of Scarecrows in the assault force was a little suspicious to the Kraken’s crew, but everyone just assumed they wanted some extra muscle for the attack.

Sinker: The extra suspicion around the Scarecrows made the crew watch the Janus warriors a little closer than usual. A crew member was secretly following one of the Skinjobs when he caught him collecting tissues in a restricted area. Once their cover was blown, the Janus warriors immediately moved to their back up plan, so they could catch the Kraken’s crew off guard and hopefully salvage the situation. The bulk of the Janus assault force fought their way to the bridge and took the Bridge Crew hostage. The Skinjobs and Scarecrows disappeared in the confusion to finish their mission of collecting DNA from various parts of the Kraken. The assault force has said that if anyone tries to stop the tissue collectors, they will execute the Bridge Crew. Killing more than 2 members of the Bridge Crew will kill the Kraken and cause it to sink into the depths of the ocean.
The player characters can be from House Artemis or any other house. Either way they will need to help diffuse this situation or the Resistance will lose its most powerful weapon and the players will lose their ride (and be stranded in the middle of the ocean). Safely freeing the Bridge Crew is the primary concern, but the Skinjobs and Scarecrows also need to be dealt with. They are setting booby traps as they work in order to cover their backs and create confusion among the Kraken’s defenders. One of them released all the War Mounts from the corral in order to create further chaos (and to use in combat if they get cornered). The longer they are allowed to run free, the more collateral damage they will do to the Kraken and its crew. The crew will concentrate on protecting the Bridge Crew, so the player characters should focus on hunting down the Skinjobs and Scarecrows and disarming any traps they find (a Packmaster would be a real asset for this adventure). If the players are staunch defenders of humanity, they may try to capture the rogue Splicers instead of killing them. These warriors are not necessarily evil; they are just misguided and desperate to garner enough power to protect their family and friends. Of course, the Janus warriors have already demonstrated their willingness to kill their fellow humans to achieve their goal, so the player characters may have lost any sense of mercy towards these murderers. This betrayal will make Warlord Artemis suspicious of other Great Houses for a while to come, but any Splicer that helped defend the Kraken and its crew will earn the eternal gratitude of the Warlord and his house.

Jailbreak
Hook: A Skinjob scout from House Artemis has discovered a new Industrial Center built next to an average-sized Retro-Village. This horrible factory’s sole purpose is to create Necroborgs, and it has been churning out a steady stream of these vile monstrosities for almost a month now. The Kali personality is in charge of this Industrial Center, and she has been using the nearby Retro-Village for “materials.” It is a violation of the Machine’s normal programming to sacrifice the humans from a Retro-Village in such a fashion, but so far, none of the other N.E.X.U.S. personalities have tried to stop her.

Line: Almost half the population of the Retro-Village has been taking to the Industrial Center already. Nearly seven hundred humans have been turned into Necroborgs, and over two hundred people are still locked up within the factory awaiting their turn. Warlord Artemis has ordered that these unfortunate victims must be liberated and the Industrial Center must be destroyed. If the player characters have already successfully tested the Squealers and Trailblazers, then this factory would make another prime target for a Kamikaze Cruise Missile barrage. If this is not a viable option, then the player group will have to rely on strategically placed Migs to bring down the Industrial Center. Either way, the humans trapped inside will have to be freed before the factory can be attacked. The Industrial Center is only 60 miles inland, so Warlord Artemis believes the safest course is to transport the rescued prisoners to the Kraken.

Sinker: In a move that would make Lilith proud, Kali mixed hundreds of Nex-Androids in with the captured humans in order to seriously complicate any rescue missions or escape attempts. Even the real human prisoners are not sure who is man and who is machine. Some of the androids are programmed to attack any rescuers on sight, while others are instructed to maintain their cover until they reach a Resistance sanctuary. Gorehounds or characters with electromagnetic vision will be able to screen out the hidden Nex-Androids, but each person will need to be individually inspected and that will take a lot of time. A group of this size will draw a lot of attention, so time is already not on the player characters’ side. Most of the journey will be made through underground tunnels and sewer lines, but the presence of spies will make an already difficult task infinitely more challenging. The trip home will be plagued by a seemingly above average number of Cable Snakes and Sewer Prowlers. Maybe they are just being attracted by the large concentration of humans, or maybe a few Nex-Androids escaped detection and are broadcasting coordinates. Suspicion will grow throughout the entire party as more and more humans fall to the Machine. Ferreting out any spies could ease the journey, but that would take too much time. This huge group of refugees is too exposed and vulnerable. The longer they are out in the open, the likelihood that any of them will survive plummets.
Reaching the shore is not the end of the struggle. The journey may have been hard, but getting everyone through the Machine’s shoreline defenses and into the Kraken seems almost impossible. If no other alternative can be found, the Kraken and all the soldiers on board will hit the robot defenders with everything they have in order to open a hole for the refugees. This plan will lead to some significant collateral losses among the prisoners, so if a more covert method can be found, it would be the best option.


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