I wrote this when the last company I was working for was undergoing a long and painful dissolution. Having nothing better to do than take naps in front of the fax machine or bend paperclips into funny animal shapes, I came up with the following. Playtest results and comments welcome. Any resemblance to anything you have ever seen before is purely silly.
This is a somewhat less than serious scenario for Triplanetary. One player takes the role of "Spark" Farquar (world-renowned athlete and All-American Hero) and his trusty companions. The other player controls the forces of Fang the Unmerciful, dread emperor of the rogue planet Bongo. Fang, ruler of nearly all of the solar system, wishes to conquer Earth. Before he can accomplish this goal he must first soften the world up by plunging his own planet, Bongo, past Earth, causing earthquakes, volcanoes, cataclysmic storms and floods.
Fang victory conditions: Fang wins a total victory by killing off half of Earth's population, leaving it open to conquest. Fang wins a "spite" victory by destroying Earth instead. The Fang player loses automatically if Fang dies.
The Fang player begins the game with:
Characters' abilities are rated by their Wits (intelligence, cunning, knowledge), Combat (strength, toughness) and Charisma (personality and personal beauty). Rolls on the Diplomacy, Liberation and Adventure tables may call for a roll (or "test") of these attributes. To do this, roll a die. If the roll is equal or less than the attribute, the test is successful. Exception: a roll of 6 is always a failure. Some objects or powers increase attributes.
Fuglor, sage king of the moon people:
Wits=5, Combat=3, Charisma=3.
Fuglor has the power of knowledge (details not yet defined).
Sunilla, queen of the amazons (Venus):
Wits=3, Combat=3, Charisma=5.
Sunilla has the power of beauty. Sunilla refuses to be on a ship with male characters unless a female character is also present. Ally heroes from Venus are always female; ships from Venus are crewed by females and are allowable.
Barthold, baron of Io:
Wits=3, Combat=5, Charisma=3.
Barthold inspires soldiers and partisans. He adds one to the die roll for liberation attempts. If Fang tries to conquer a world the Baron is on, he decreases the conquest roll by one.
Jock, boss of Ganymede:
Wits=3, Combat=5, Charisma=3.
Jock is a wily thief. He may steal points of production from enemy worlds (Conquered Bongo world or allied neutral). He may only steal points once per visit; he must return to a friendly world to deliver his swag before attempting another heist. Roll a die after Jock has been on an enemy world for one full turn; that is how many points were stolen. (The world must have that many points to steal, of course! If the roll is over the world's stockpile, the entire stockpile is taken instead.)
Allied neutrals, liberated Bongo province worlds and conquered worlds may produce transports, packets, corvettes, and frigates. If Hans von Egdome is present on a world (either as a captive or a free man), the world may produce Torch ships at a cost of eight points. If Fang is present on a world he controls, he may use his scientific knowledge to produce Dreadnaughts at a cost of fifteen points. Points may be transferred freely between friendly worlds.
Earth has especially primitive technology. It has no production capability, and cannot refuel ships unless they end their turn on its surface. Earth has planetary defenses, but they are not activated until Bongo comes within one hex of the mother planet.
Heroes who land on Bongo may attempt to penetrate Fang's stronghold and destroy the planetary movement controls.
If the stronghold is breached, the Earth hero player may change Bongo's course by one hex before the controls are destroyed.
Die Roll Result 1 Hero killed 2-3 Hero imprisoned (freed by next visiting hero) 4-5 Roll on adventure table 6+ Planet liberatedOn a roll of 6 or more, the planet rebels. Upon rebelling, the world may either a) build a corvette for the heroes' use or b) build planetary defenses. Liberated worlds stay firmly in the Earth Heroes' camp unless reconquered by Fang forces.
Fang and the Earth heroes may both treat with the rulers of neutral worlds in an attempt to sway them to their side. To conduct diplomacy, an envoy (character) must spend a full turn on the world. At the end of the turn, roll a die. Add 1 to the roll if the other side has tried to conquer the world. Subtract 1 from the roll if the treating player tried to conquer the world. Add 1 to the roll if the treating character passes a test versus his or her Charisma. Diplomacy Table
Die Roll Result Under 1 Hero killed 1-2 Hero imprisoned (freed by next friendly hero who visits) 3-4 Hero goes on adventure 5 Leader sends champion to help player. 6 Neutral world joins treating player 7 Neutral joins player; ally hero joins party 8+ Neutral world joins player; leader joins as character
When a world joins a side, that player gains control of the world's planetary defenses. Allied neutral worlds produce 1/4 points worth of units per turn; the points may be saved to build larger units. 1d units cost 1/2 point.
Once a neutral has been swayed, it is more difficult to sway its loyalties. Subtract one from further diplomacy rolls on that world.
Ally heroes are champions of neutral leaders. They serve the controlling player loyally, even if their home world switches alliances. They have Wits=2, Combat=4, Charisma=2.
If a neutral leader joins the player, the world becomes the sworn ally of the controlling player; no further diplomacy worlds may be attempted there. Only the death of the leader changes this status; if a neutral leader dies, his (or her) world goes neutral and a new leader is elected. (Generic replacement leader: Wits=3, Combat=4, Charisma=3.)
1 - Hero lost in a cavern complex; loses turn.
2 - Hero fights monster. Roll versus combat. If the player loses the roll (rolls over combat), hero dies.
3 - Hero fights champion of local ruler. Roll versus combat. If the player loses, hero is captured (released by next visiting hero). If the player wins, hero gains favor of ruler. Add 1 to next liberation/diplomacy roll made on that world.
4 - Hero finds ancient ruin. Roll vs. wits. If the player loses, hero is caught in a landslide and loses next turn. If player wins, hero finds gold crown (trade for 2 combat points worth of units on allied world, or ransom/bribe self out of next imprisonment).
5 - Hero meets mad scientist. Roll vs. wits. If player loses, scientist imprisons hero (released by next player to visit world). If player wins, scientist give hero disintegrator beam (adds 2 to combat strength).
6 - Hero meets masked man. Roll vs. Charisma; if player loses, hero must fight masked man (roll vs. combat; if player loses, hero loses next turn; if player wins, hero joins character). If player wins the Charisma roll, masked man joins hero. (The masked man is an ally hero with Wits=2, Charisma=2, Combat=5.)