This coming Wednesday, I'm continuing my M-Space colonial campaign by using the above module with some changes to the adventure here and there. The main focus isn't going to be on the alien, though it will play a large part in harrying the players. The focus will be on the ship itself and a crew member cryogenically asleep in there.
While my game has been more of a episodic sandbox of exploring a hostile planet with a lethal atmosphere, there has been a sort of metaplot that the players have found. Some context. The players were on an ark leaving a dying Earth for a new planet through a wormhole. The plan was to set them there, set up shop, then bring resources back to Earth to help everyone survive. However, the ark stayed in the wormhole for 86 years before letting the players out, then closing forever, leaving them stranded away from a now dead Earth. As the players explored the planet, they found a crashed human ship called the FEI Icarus, despite the fact that the PCs were the first to make planetfall. Whats more, is that the spaceship has a more advanced power plant and an unusual engine in it that is more advanced than anything the player's or their colonial initiative has.
So the question is, who are these humans and where did they come from?
In the next session, the players are going to the second planet of the star system to investigate an unusual radio signal. What it'll end up being is the sister ship of the Icarus, the FEI Iapyx. Inside will be the discovery of a lifetime for them. Evil hydrocarbon aliens, a rogue AI protecting the Iapyx, and the only living crewmember of the Iapyx, trapped in cryostasis.
The discoveries the players make will be this:
- Earth and humanity still live on! Though in a much different state than they left it.
- The Iapyx and Icarus were ships testing an Alcubierre warp drive that sort of worked, but left the Icarus marooned on the planet the players were on, while the Iapyx simply got lost.
- The warp drive and the fusion power plant can be retrofitted by the player's engineering after some time.
- The players are on the other side of the galaxy.
This will advance the metaplot by a great deal, and it will give the players a chance to upgrade their spaceship to take them beyond the confines of the stellar system. Just gotta do some more stuff for the module Wednesday and I should be a-ok. I plan on having the crewmember in stasis for a time due to health reasons, before revealing more about the state of Earth. But in the distant future, I do plan on having the colonies encounter Earthlings. And it won't be pretty.