Star Witness

A GURPS Space Adventure

by Stephen Dedman

For this adventure, the GM will need the GURPS Basic Set, GURPS Compendium I and II, GURPS Space Third Edition, GURPS Ultra-Tech, and GURPS Robots. GURPS Ultra-Tech 2, GURPS Biotech, and GURPS Vehicles may be useful, but are not essential. The adventure is designed for 100-point characters and set in the TL10 universe described in GURPS Space (p. S132), but can easily be adapted to any Space campaign, including the GURPS Traveller universe.

The PCs should, between them, have the skills needed to crew a small starship, including Pilot, Astrogation, Engineering, Mechanic, and Gunner. Other useful skills include Free Fall, Vacc Suit, Tactics, Fast-Talk, Survival, and, of course, combat and medical skills.


The adventure begins with the player characters temporarily delayed on an industrial world with a high CR. They may be waiting for payment for their cargo, for repairs to their ship, or something similar . . . when suddenly, one of them is approached by Patrol Lieutenant Stein. If the PCs have their own ship with at least one free berth, she will offer to charter it for a month (the duration of a flight to Wilde, the sector capital); if not, she will ask if they are interested in hiring on as crew on a starship in exchange for pay and passage offworld.

Any Streetwise PC (or player) will realize the value of doing a favor for the Patrol -- and the possible risks if they refuse. If they ask what the job entails, Stein will say simply that they urgently need to ship two passengers to a nearby planet -- secretly and securely. She will not reveal anything more unless the PCs accept the job: if they refuse it, they may find they receive a -1 Reputation among Patrol officers and other law enforcement professionals throughout the sector.

If the PCs agree, Stein will explain that one of the passengers is a witness in an important trial on Wilde, and the other is a court-appointed bodyguard. Stein will even agree to the witness being shipped in a freeze tube if there is a qualified medic on board ship. The PCs will need to leave within 24 hours; Stein will make sure there are no further delays.

The witness is the rather jittery Joshi Xu. The bodyguard is a Cerberus Security and Patrol robot, Patrol Sergeant DRN-88 ("Call me Darwin").

If the PCs want more information about Xu or the trial, they can ask Xu, Darwin, or Stein: use the NPC reaction roll, at -1 for each successive question. None of them want to reveal much, though Xu enjoys lying and may try to string them along. A character who rolls Streetwise -5 or Area Knowledge (Sector) -8 will learn that the only trial on Wilde likely to justify this sort of security is the conspiracy trial of Paul Valdez. More information about Valdez will require more questions: Criminology, Research, or Streetwise may all be useful.

Valdez is said to be the second-in-command of one of the sector's most ruthless crime bosses: the elusive Sherika Cano. Sher Cano started as a mercenary and gunrunner some 90 years ago, and is now said to control all smuggling throughout the sector and enforce her will with a small but well-equipped army. Xu was one of their most skilled computer programmers, and knows more about Cano's financial network than anyone else alive. He's the star witness at Valdez's trial, and it's hoped that his evidence can secure a conviction: if so, the Patrol hopes that Valdez might reveal Cano's whereabouts, or that she may attempt a rescue.

High Explosives

Shortly after leaving the orbital starport, but before they reach the jump point, the PCs will receive an urgent message from the planet's police. One of their informants has told them that a bomb has been placed on the heroes' ship, and set to explode once it leaves normal space. Unfortunately, the only other information they have is that the bomb is probably a mininuke (p. UT76), weighing a few pounds and easily concealed or disguised.

Everyone aboard the ship should make a Fright Check at -4; while they are panicking, the cop will promise to try to get more information. In the meantime, though, the PCs are politely requested not to return to the starport or come within 100 miles of any manned installations in the system. If they decide to evacuate the ship, the Patrol will rescue them as soon as it can.

Searching the interior of the ship takes 1d minutes and one Vision roll (or Electronic Operations (Sensors) roll if the PCs are using a radscanner) per space -- though there's nothing to find. If the ship has any security systems, they may help establish that no unauthorized people have entered the ship. Searching the hull will take two minutes per ksf, and will also require Free Fall and Vacc Suit rolls. The mininuke -- a large limpet mine -- is attached to the hull near the bridge, and is -4 to detect with normal vision and -2 to detect with a radscanner.

Once the bomb has been found, it can be described to the local cops, who will warn them not to touch it. The more precise the description the PCs give, the sooner the cops will be able to identify it.

The mine is a ZOM-76 .00001 kiloton mininuke, probably large enough to destroy the ship completely. It can be timer activated, remotely detonated by laser or radio, or triggered by anything opening the case or breaking the seal between the mine and the hull of the ship (if the PCs have already tried to do this, they're probably dead). Without the proper code signal to deactivate it, the cops have no way to render it harmless except by vaporizing it instantly. They advise the heroes to evacuate the ship; they won't risk any of their own bomb disposal experts by sending them up to defuse it, especially as they have no way of knowing whether the timer has been set, but will radio instructions if any of the PCs want to try.

If the heroes want to save their ship, the police will tell them that they should be able to remove the section of hull the mine is attached to, then send the mine away from the ship and target it with their weapons. If the ship has cDR0, removing the hull plate can be done with a laser torch or similar tool; if it has cDR1+, they will need a heavy plasma torch. It will also require Free Fall, Vacc Suit, and a Mechanic (Starship) roll. An ordinary failure will cause the bridge to lose air pressure and damage to some bridge system (see pp. S121-122) if the ship has cDR1 or less; if it has more, ignore this except on a critical failure. A critical failure may either destroy the bridge, or breach the mine casing, damaging the bomb components so that the PCs are exposed to a burst of radiation but minimal blast. Alternatively, it may destroy the trigger's radio receiver, which will start the timer.

The bomb's remote control is tuned to the beacon on the orbital starport: if anything blocks the signal (such as a ship jumping into hyperspace), the timer starts, and the bomb detonates 30 seconds later. The cops informant may discover this and relay the information just in time to save the PCs (e.g., just before they try activating a radio jammer), at the GM's option.

If the PCs manage to save their ship -- or enough of it that it can be repaired quickly rather than replaced -- they can proceed to Wilde as soon as repairs are finished (note that the charter agreement includes insurance for replacement cost): go to Trial Run. If the repairs will take three days or more, go to Sex Machine.

Sex Machine

Stein will keep Xu in a safe-house until a ship is ready, and will not reveal the location to the PCs.

If any of the PCs venture into Startown while the ship is being repaired, they may encounter the seductively-dressed Amber (or Anton, the male equivalent, if appropriate). If an opportunity presents itself, Amber will approach the PC who seems most interested and make a Sex-Appeal roll. If the PC fails his Will roll to resist seduction (characters with the Lecherousness disadvantage roll at -5), Amber will follow him back to his hotel room for the night. The next morning, she will announce that she needs passage to Wilde to start her studies in theater arts: she has very little money, but is willing to work her way there -- and she's always wanted to try zero-gravity sex. If the PC seems reluctant, and has not become addicted to her neural stimulator, she will inject him with Crediline (pp. UT43-44) and try Fast-Talk or Hypnotism.

Amber is a "Lemon Angel" (p. RO119) with her empty spaces filled with weapons, including a drug injector (p. RO20) filled with Crediline in her left arm; a self-destruct device (p. RO30) and 2 lbs of explosive in her left leg; and a cyberswarm in her torso. If Amber manages to board the ship, she will attempt to release the swarm -- Flyer Terminator microbots with Non-Rechargeable AA cells -- into the ventilation system to target Xu.

Amber's instructions are to kill Xu, destroy his brain so that it cannot be read into a clone, then stand as close to his body as she can and self-destruct. She will not attack anyone else, including the PCs, unless they get in her way.

If Xu is killed, Stein will reveal that she's been expecting trouble, and that Darwin has several copies of Xu's braintape. She also suspects that Cano has allowed for that, and is hoping to either delay Xu's arrival on Wilde until after the trial has ended, or frighten Xu out of testifying, if she doesn't succeed in killing him. She warns the PCs that keeping Xu safe isn't enough: they have to keep him feeling safe, even if it means lying to him.

Trial Run

Q-ships from Cano's pirate fleet will be waiting near likely jump points on the route to Wilde, hoping that the PCs ship will emerge from hyperspace for an astrogation roll (see p. S132) close enough for them to attack. Fortunately, this is statistically very unlikely.

Every time the PCs emerge from hyperspace to "look around," make a reaction roll. On a neutral or better result, there are no pirate ships within sensor range. On a poor result, 1d-3 pirate ships are within sensor range, but both are too far away to pose a threat unless the PCs decide to attack, or something else prevents them making another jump (such as a failed Piloting or Engineer roll).

On a bad or worse result, the PCs have emerged from hyperspace near enough to at least one pirate ship for it to close to short range. If the PCs decide to run, it should be 1d+1 combat turns before they can recharge the Energy Bank for another jump.

The pirates will try to disable the heroes' ship and board it rather than destroying it outright; not only do they want to be sure that Xu is aboard, they'll also want a chance to loot the vessel of anything else valuable. For this reason, they'll keep the nukes in reserve, using the kinetic warheads and X-ray lasers instead.

Xu will become increasingly nervous with every encounter. If he learns that pirate ships have been spotted, he will make future fright checks at a further -1 penalty, with a further -1 penalty for every attack that damages the PCs ship.


When the PCs arrive in Wilde's system, they will be given clearance to land at the surface starport (an orbital starport is in construction, but not yet ready for use). There are no more pirate ships in ambush, just a patrol cutter in orbit ready to escort them down.

A few miles out from the Class IV starport, while flying across the desert that surrounds Windermere, the sensors officer should make a roll on Electronics Operation (Sensors) to detect a low-powered laser -- a passive designator (p. UT56) -- being aimed at the ship. If this succeeds, the pilots of both ships will have a moment's warning of an incoming attack -- just enough time for Evasive Action. One brilliant missile (p. UT55) will hit the cutter's main maneuver drive engine, sending the cutter into a tailspin; the other, if not evaded, will hit the PCs' ship for 6dx10(10) damage. Another missile will be fired at the PCs' ship a second later.

The designators are being aimed by two small, cheap robot drones (-2 to hit); the missiles are being fired by two of Cano's mercenaries with M-LAWS (p. UT55). If both drones are destroyed, the mercenaries will run rather than use the clip-on passive designators.

If a second missile hits the PCs' ship and penetrates its force screens and armor (if any), it will damage the ship's main power conduit, temporarily knocking out all computers, sensors, communicators, and turrets. The ship will be flying blind, leaving the pilot with three choices: bail out; attempt an emergency landing in the desert (at -5), endangering the lives of the crew and passengers but no one else; or continue flying towards the starport and risk crashing in a built-up and populated area. If the pilot has Overconfidence, he will have to make a Will roll not to attempt to fly towards the city. If he fails this Will roll, Darwin may try to overpower him and hand command over to a copilot.

If the pilot lands the ship at the starport and Xu survives, go to Hard Target. If the pilot lands in the desert, go to Sandstorm. An ordinary failure means that the hull takes 1d(5) its cHP in cDAM for every point by which the roll was missed: if this happens near the starport, it also does major damage to surrounding buildings and 5d damage to 1d people per point by which the roll was missed. A critical failure means that the hull is destroyed (see p. S140).


If the PCs crash-land in the desert outside Windermere, they will be at least 500 miles from the city -- outside the normal range of short-range communicators (pp. UT31-32). Xu has a medium-range communicator with uplink and neutrino receiver built into his vacc suit, but Darwin is unaware of this and Xu will not reveal it unless he decides to give himself up to the Patrol instead of Cano. Instead (if conscious and alive), he will don the armored suit and tap into Cano's encrypted communications network, but he will not share any information he picks up until he's sure he can trust the PCs. If the heroes have a medium-range or better communicator and make an Electronics Operation (Communications) roll at -5, they will also be able to listen in on Cano's network, but cracking the code will require Cryptanalysis at -10 (one hour per attempt): Xu, who wrote the earlier version of their Cryptography software, has only a -1 modifier and needs 10 minutes per attempt.

Cano has mercenaries and robots within 100 miles of the crash site, and three minutes after the forced landing, Lucy will start broadcasting the following message: "To Joshi Xu and the crew of the starship (name and registration): do you require assistance? Please respond. Our medics can reach you much more quickly than the Patrol's."

Cano's mercenaries are monitoring communications frequencies, especially the Patrol and starport frequencies, to see if they can track them back to the ship. Any time the PCs attempt to communicate with the Patrol or Windermere, they will roll on Electronics Operation (Communications); every success will enable them to reduce the area they have to search to find the crash site (-5 for signals of less than 5 seconds).

PCs with the Gullibility disadvantage will have to roll against IQ not to respond, but others can ignore it. If Xu or the PCs do not respond to Lucy's message within 10 minutes, her tone will change to Intimidation: "To Joshi Xu and the crew of the starship (name and registration): we are very close to finding you. We have nuclear missiles that can destroy your ship or any vehicle that may be coming to rescue you. If you wish to surrender, please respond. None of you will be harmed."

Darwin will not allow Xu or any of the PCs to surrender, or to respond to this message, and will attempt to stun them if it's the only way he can prevent this. This message will repeat for five minutes, then Lucy will try Fast-Talk: "To the crew of the starship (name and registration): we will pay one million interstellar credits if you hand over the defector Joshi Xu and any braintapes that he may have made. This payment may take any of the following forms: untraceable credit deposited into a bank account of your choosing, bullion or gems, drugs, rare wines, military equipment, robots, bioroids, beautiful slaves, clones, software, art objects, or anything else we can provide."

Any PC making an IQ roll will realize that Lucy is offering to pander to the most common vices (Mental Disadvantages): a contest of her Fast-Talk skill against the Will of any PC with the Greed, Lecherousness, Addiction, or Alcoholism disadvantage. Again, Darwin will tell the PCs that Cano cannot be trusted to deliver, and will try to stop the PCs responding, even if it means stunning everyone and hoping that help arrives before Cano's pirates. If the PCs try to haggle, Lucy will slowly raise the offer to two million while the mercenaries home in on the ship.

If the PCs give away their location, a Vulture (p. RO116) will be in firing range of the ship before they've had time to make any repairs. Lucy will give the PCs one minute to leave the ship, with Xu, or the Vulture will fire a mininuke. If they offer no resistance, four mercenaries and two Murasama 7 robots (p. RO115) will arrive in three jeeps an hour later, and take them back to their base for interrogation. Go to Traitor's Gate.

If the PCs don't give away their location, they will have one hour to make temporary repairs and perform first aid before Cano's spybots (p. RO111) find them. If the hull has been destroyed, the ship cannot be made to fly again, but it may be possible to repair one or more of the turrets, communicators, computers, etc. and connect them to a power supply.

Repairing the main power conduit requires an hour and a successful roll on either Electronics, Engineer, Mechanic or Shipbuilding (Starship); -2 if the PC is at half their HT or less; normal modifiers for tools (Major repairs). If the hull has not been destroyed, this will enable the ship to fly slowly at a low altitude and land safely at the starport (at -4). Another roll on the appropriate Electronics specialization will be needed for each of the Bridge systems (Communications, Computer, Sensors), and a roll on the appropriate Armory specialization is needed for each turret or weapon if the PCs want the ship to be able to fight.

An unarmed spybot will fly over the ship at the end of the hour; even if the PCs destroy the spybot, the Vulture (p. RO116) will be sent to the location to investigate, and will be in missile range (close range for the ship's weapons) 2d+1 minutes later. If the ship is not flying, Lucy will give the PCs one minute to leave the ship, as above; if the ship is flying, the Vulture will launch all its nukes without warning.

If the PCs defeat the Vulture, they will have another hour to attempt repairs before the jeeps arrive -- during which time they will receive a short-range communication from the Patrol, telling them that their satellites have located them, and a rescue team will be there as soon as possible. The mercenaries and Murasamas will arrive first: the PCs can either fight them or try to hide until the Patrol sends backup. Go to Hard Target.

Hard Target

If/when the PCs arrive at Windermere starport with Xu, whether in their own ship or with the Patrol rescue team, the Patrol captain will ask any who are uninjured if they could perform one last service. While every precaution is being taken to get Xu to the courthouse safely in time to testify, they want to make sure that copies of the braintape (taken before he left for Wilde) arrive. Each PC who accepts will be given one disc and a destination: the courthouse, the hospital, and the offices and homes of some of the prosecutors. Payment is a free license to carry a concealed weapon of LR 2+ on Wilde, good for a year, and an invitation to a drunken dinner with the SWAT team.

As the PC sent to the courthouse walks past the group of journalists waiting outside the court, on his way in, roll a contest of IQ (or Mind Shield, if he has one up) vs. a Telereceive skill of 14. If the PC wins, he will be able to warn the Patrol that there is a telepath present, though he will not be able to identify her unless he is himself telepathic or makes a critical success on IQ. If the telepath wins, she will discover where the other PCs are taking the other braintapes, and will arrange for them to be ambushed en route if possible. The ambushers will be a pair of thieves, who will shadow the PC for 10 minutes before attempting to pick his pocket -- but they're armed, and will fight if necessary. If arrested, they can reveal little about Cano's plans, except that she's prepared to "wipe Xu out at any cost," and that their orders are to try to prevent the braintapes being used.

Cano's plan is for the journalist to use Telesend to threaten the already edgy Xu, and if that fails, use Mindwipe to permanently delete all of his memories. If the Patrol knows that one of the journalists is a telepath, they will take appropriate precautions (psi shields, trying the case in camera, or letting Xu testify by communicator from a safe distance), even at the risk of a bad reaction from the judge or jury.

Traitor's Gate

If the PCs hand Xu over to Cano's mercenaries, they will be searched, disarmed, blindfolded, and taken to a pirate base. They will be kept in cells while Lucy and the mercenaries interrogate them. If Lucy is convinced that the PCs aren't trying to double-cross them, the PCs will wake up a day later in a cheap hotel Windermere startown. If possible, the mercenaries will leave their share of the reward (a credit transactor, a pleasure robot, a nuclear warhead, or whatever was agreed upon) at the foot of their bed. They will receive the insurance money to repair or replace the ship, but also a -2 Reputation with the Patrol and other law enforcement types, which will have to be bought off with good deeds (leading them back to the pirate base will reduce it to -1).

If Lucy is not convinced that the PCs have been bought, she'll keep her word not to harm them -- but the mercenaries will drop them in the middle of the desert naked, 200 miles from any water or shelter, with no communicators or survival equipment.

Wilde (Victoria V)

Planet type: Terrestrial

Diameter 11,200 mi.

Density: 3.9

Gravity: 1

Composition: Low-Iron

Axial tilt 12°

Seasonal variation: Minor

Length of Day: 25.1 hours

Length of Year: 14.29 Earth years (4867.7 local days).

Atmosphere: Pressure standard (1.09)

Type and Composition: 75% Nitrogen, 23% Oxygen.

Climate: Tropical

Temperatures at 30° Latitude: Low 81°; Average 103°; High 125°

Surface Water: 42%

Humidity: 44%

Primary Terrain: Desert/barren

Mineral Resources: Gems/Crystals scarce

Rare Minerals scarce

Radioactives scarce

Heavy Metals scarce

Industrial Metals scarce

Light Metals plentiful

Organics ample

Moons: 2 small moons, Dorian and Algernon

Biosphere: Dominant life form: marine animals, shore and water plants, extensive coral reefs. Other significant life forms; imported crops, humans, domestic animals.

Civilization: Population 18,000,000 (PR 7)

Tech Level: 10

Control Rating: 2/3

Society: Socialist Athenian Democracy.

Starports: Class IV (ground) at Windermere.

Installations: Patrol and Survey bases; Nature preserve; Special Justice Group office; Private Research center; University.

Economic/Production: Sector Capital; University.

Star Name: Victoria

Type: A2V (Bright White Main Sequence Star)

Biozone: 3.1 -- 4.7

Inner Limit: 0.0

Number of Planets: 5


















Asteroid Belt

















Asteroid Belt























Hot Rockball











(Empty orbit)























Detailed above











(Empty orbit)























Gas giant










14 moons, 6 moonlets







Gas giant










10 moons, 8 moonlets, faint ring

Saint Quentin






Gas giant










8 moons, 10 moonlets


Joshi Xu

Age 39. Pale complexion, brown hair in pony-tail, blue eyes; 5'8", 120 lbs. Native gravity .9.

ST 9, DX 11, IQ 14, HT 9. Move 5.

Advantages: Bionic Ear (+2 Hearing, ultrafrequency); Eidetic Memory [30]; Mathematical Ability; Neural-interface Implant; Versatile.

Disadvantages: Combat Paralysis; Edgy; Extremely Curious; Low Pain Threshold; Unfit; Weak Will/2.

Quirks: Attentive; Imaginative; Overconfident about his mental skills; Prefers Dreamgames to real sex; Untidy, but fussy about cleanliness.

Skills: Accounting-16; Artist-13; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Sonic)-12; Chess-15; Computer Hacking/TL10-16; Computer Operation/TL10-14; Computer Programming/TL10-17; Cryptanalysis/TL10-16; Cryptography/TL10-16; Cryptology-11; Electronics/TL10 (Computers)-14; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Security Systems)-15; Fast-Talk-13; Forgery/TL10-14; Gambling-16; Mathematics/TL10-16; Merchant-13; Research-14; Streetwise-13.

Equipment: TL10 MCA vacc suit, with helmet light, improved communicator (medium-range with uplink and neutrino receiver), rebreather, reflective coating, and magnetized boot-soles; two-hour tank; Distort belt; Pocket Pack; Nightshades; Skinsuit; Genius small computer (Complexity 5) with Text scanner, printer, and Accounting, Datalink, Defense, assorted Dreamgames, Electronics Repair, News Daemon, Optical Recognition, Security, Word Processing, and Worm software.

Joshi was one of Valdez's chief computer wizards, an expert at cracking codes and laundering credit, which he does more for the challenge than the money (most of which he spends on computer upgrades). He fled after Valdez was arrested on Wilde, but was soon arrested by the Patrol. He has never knowingly met Cano.

Joshi is relatively harmless, though any compulsive gamblers in the crew may end the voyage poorer than they began (he likes to play for high stakes).

Lieutenant Ana Stein

Age 33. Tanned complexion, strawberry-blond hair, blue eyes; 5'8", 125 lbs. Native gravity 1.02.

ST 11, DX 12, IQ 12, HT 12. Move 6.

Advantages: Charisma/1; Combat Reflexes; G-Experience; High Pain Threshold; Interface Jack; Legal Enforcement Powers.

Disadvantages: Duty; Sense of Duty (her command).

Skills: Administration-12; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Laser)-16; Brawling-12; Criminology/TL10-12; Detect Lies-13; Diplomacy-12; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors)-12; Fast-Draw (Pistol)-13; First Aid/TL10-12; Free-Fall-13; Gunner/TL10 (Laser)-15; Judo-13; Law (Alliance)-13; Leadership-12; Savoir-Faire-12; Streetwise-11; Tactics-13; Vacc Suit/TL10-13.

Equipment: Variable Heavy Laser pistol with selector switch (RoF 8); TL10 LCA vacc suit, with HUD, helmet light, rebreather, reflective coating, and magnetized boot-soles; two-hour tank; multiscanner.

Stein, the commander of the base on Galt, is a career Patrol officer with little interest in politics. Her chief loyalties are to the patrollers under her command and to the Alliance, not to Galt's managers. She will give the refugees as much help as she can without endangering her own people or breaking her orders to defend the planet.

Patrol boarding party

ST 12, DX 11, IQ 11, HT 11. Move 5.

Advantages: Combat Reflexes; G-Experience; Legal Enforcement Powers.

Skills: Administration-10; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Laser)-15; Brawling-12; Criminology/TL10-12; Detect Lies-11; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors)-12; Fast-Draw (Pistol)-12; First-Aid/TL10-12; Free-Fall-12; Gunner/TL10 (Laser)-13; Judo-12; Law (Alliance)-12; Streetwise-11; Tactics-10; Vacc Suit/TL10-12.

Equipment: Variable Heavy Laser pistol with selector switch (RoF 8); TL10 LCA vacc suit, with HUD, helmet light, rebreather, reflective coating, and magnetized boot-soles; two-hour tank; multiscanner. Cutter also carries Military X-ray laser rifles and Military Dinosaur lasers for use against heavily armored opponents.

One of the party also has Mechanic (Power Plant)-15, another has Physician-12.


ST 11, DX 11, IQ 11, HT 11. Move 5.

Advantages: Combat Reflexes; G-Experience; High Pain Threshold; Patron (Cano, appears on or less).

Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Pirate's); Duty; and any two of the following: Bad Temper; Bloodlust; Bully; Greed; Lecherousness; Sadist.

Skills: Battlesuit/TL10-13; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Laser)-14; Brawling-13; Detect Lies-11; Driving (ATV)-12; Electronics Operation/TL10 (Sensors)-12; First-Aid/TL10-10; Free-Fall-12; Gunner/TL10 (Laser, Missile Launcher)-13; Judo-12; Streetwise-12; Tactics-10; Thrown Weapon (Grenade)-13; Vacc Suit/TL10-12.

Equipment: "Streethawk" Urban Battlesuit (p. RO113); 3 ripsaw grenades. Jeep contains vapor filter and other desert survival gear.

Merc/pirate crews will also have specialists (Pilots, Medics, Engineers, Mechanics, Communications and Sensors officers, etc.) with IQ or DX 12 and ST 10; appropriate shipboard skill-14, other skills the same.


ST 10, DX 12, IQ 11, HT 10. Move 5.

Disadvantages: Duty; Greed.

Skills: Acting-10; Area Knowledge (Windermere)-12; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Lasers)-14; Brawling-12; Detect Lies-10; Disguise-10; Fast-Talk-11; Garrote-13; Holdout-12; Knife-13; Pickpocket-13; Running-10; Savoir-Faire-10; Shadowing-11; Stealth-12; Streetwise-12.

Equipment: Scrambler; Monowire garrotte; Small non-metallic balisong knife; Nightshades; Varicloth suit.


"Lucy" is a computer-generated voice and idealized face: the PCs will never meet her in the flesh, assuming she has any.

IQ 14

Advantages: Eidetic Memory [60]; Very Beautiful; Voice.

Skills: Detect Lies-16; Fast-Talk-16; Interrogation-16; Intimidation-15; Sex-Appeal-15; Streetwise-14.


DRN-88 ("Darwin") is a Cerberus Security and Patrol Robot, with 10-point Legal Enforcement Powers and the following software:

Advantages: Combat Reflexes; Full Co-ordination.

Disadvantages: Duty.

Skills: Administration-14; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Laser, Sonic)-13; Brawling-13; Criminology-15; Cryptanalysis/TL10-16; Detect Lies-16; Drive (Car)-12; Electronics Operation (Security Systems)-14; First Aid/TL10-16; Forensics/TL10-14; Interrogation-14; Intimidation-15; Judo-11; Law-15; Mechanic/TL10 (Robot)-15; Stealth-11; Tracking-13.

Other: Cargo Handling; Datalink; Encryption; Voiceprint Recognition.


Amber is a "Lemon Angel" (p. RO119) with her empty spaces filled with weapons: a drug injector (p. RO20) filled with Crediline in her left arm; a holdout blaster (p. RO23) in her right arm; a spray-gun filled with nanoburn (p. RO70) in her head; a self-destruct device (p. RO30) and 2 lbs of explosive in her left leg; and a cyberswarm hive (p. RO68), in her body. Her eyes also have the Retinaprinter and Hypno-Eye options.

Advantages: Combat Reflexes; Very Beautiful; Voice.

Skills: Acting-14; Beam Weapons/TL10 (Blaster)-14; Brawling-14; Dancing-13; Detect Lies-15; Disguise-14; Electronics Operation (Security Systems)-14; Erotic Art-12; Fast-Talk-14; Garrote-14; Holdout-14; Hypnotism-18; Interrogation-14; Judo-12; Sex-Appeal-15; Shadowing-12; Stealth-12.

Other: Datalink; Voiceprint Recognition.

Equipment: Clothing belt; Distort belt; Monowire garrote (disguised in jewelry).

Murasama 7 Commando (p. RO115)


Advantages: Combat Reflexes.

Disadvantages: Duty.

Skills: Beam Weapons/TL10 (Laser)-16; Climbing-12; Detect Lies-16; Drive (ATV)-12; Gunner (Laser)-15; Guns (GL)-15; Intimidation-15; Karate-12; Stealth-15; Tactics-15; Throwing-12.

Other: Datalink; Encryption.

Equipment: Military Dinosaur Laser; 3 ripsaw grenades.


Cano's Vulture is identical to the model on p. RO116 except that two of the rockets have mininuke warheads. Software: Gunner/TL10 (Laser)-13, (Rocket Launcher)-13; Navigation-15; Encryption.

Ki-Rin class Patrol Cutter (TL10)

Ki-Rins are small patrol boats, slightly modified from a military shuttle used as an interplanetary troop carrier and medevac. A Ki-Rin has cDR3, two light lasers (4500 shots), and a missile bay with 40 light missiles, passenger seating for 150 people and bunks for 10, and 300 man-days full life support. Usual crew for patrol duty is 10, all troopers, including 1 command, 1 pilot, 1 engineer, 1 mechanic, 1 medic, and 1 gunner.

Hull: 50,000 cf SL Hull, 80 spaces, cDR 3. Size Mod +8.

Systems (Spaces): Medium Bridge/10 (2), Enhanced Sensors/10 (1), Super Thrusters/10 (40), Fusion Power/10 (21), Fusion Core (0.5), Passenger seats/10 (10), Bunk Room/10 (2); 2 Light Laser/10 in Double Small turret (2); Energy Bank/10 (0.5); Missile Bay (1); Automed bay (0.5); Entry module, small (0.5); Cargo Hold (1).

Statistics: EMass 698.25 tons. LMass 699.25 tons. Total cost $M31.993. Scan 37/36/32. cHP 150. Hull Size Modifier +8. cSM -2.

Performance: sAccel 1.14 G. Air speed 3,873 mph.

Cano's Q-ships

Cano's pirate ships are modified Tanstaafl-class star freighters: one turret has replaced the four Lt. Lasers with Lt. X-ray Lasers, and a missile bay, loaded with heavy reaction drive missiles (14 kinetic, 2 nuclear) takes up one space of the cargo bay.

Article publication date: January 2, 2004

Copyright © 2004 by Steve Jackson Games. All rights reserved. Pyramid subscribers are permitted to read this article online, or download it and print out a single hardcopy for personal use. Copying this text to any other online system or BBS, or making more than one hardcopy, is strictly prohibited. So please don't. And if you encounter copies of this article elsewhere on the web, please report it to