View Full Version : Okay... need help with a Mass Effect -ish D20 future game

2011-01-10, 12:36 PM
Alright, so I have had a solo-game going for a while that has stalled out due to my severe lack of creativity, and I thought it would be worth a shot to come on here and ask for help, since there has to be someone with some other cool ideas.

For the sake of this being an introductory post, I'm going to try my best to keep this short and sweet, since it could very well get too long to read...

The story so far:
Dani, the player character, was part of a settler family on a small planet, the entire settlement funded by the Horizon corporation.
The settlers had 20 years land arrangements. Pretty basic rundown - you stake your claim, stay there and keep it safe and productive for 20 years, and the land becomes yours legally. The corporation maintains shipping rights, ect, but in the end, everyone wins. Or at least, they should.

So, Dani has a nice family, moms a cop, dad's a farmer. Brothers, sisters, ect - even has a couple friends, Bertrem and Hale. Pretty nice gig. The catch? Mom and dad were former Alliance soldiers, both Biotics, and Dani's showing distinct potential herself.

So, just before her 18th birthday, Bertrem ships off to join the Alliance military, she's getting her standardized tests done, ect, and then one night, all hell breaks loose.

Anyone remember Warlord Darius from ME1? Yeah, I'm using him as the leader of a group of raiders that attack Waypoint and start rounding people up as slaves, and land a metric crap-ton of mining equipment in Dani's backyard.
Unfortunately for our little Dani, there's a huge deposit of element zero under their land, and Darius wants it for his own.

So does Horizon, who hired the raiders to attack (one of the clauses in the settler contract was to maintain a safe, stable settlement. obviously void if they can't defend against attack, thereby reverting ownership to the corporation, who gets that juicy deposit).

So, the parental units (being crazy prepared) have a safe-room in the basement where they hide the kids, and try to defend their property, and by the time the dust clears, Dani has managed to get herself, her siblings and her friend Hale off-planet, and onto an Alliance Dreadnaught where Bertrem is stationed. So, they're safe.

Alliance goes in, saves the day... kinda. And everything returns to normal. Except that the corporation takes control of Waypoint and relocates the remaining settlers, burying the whole thing in paperwork as they set to work to clean out the Eezo.

So, Dani decides that she's going to track down whoever was responsible and after getting her siblings setup with a great-aunt who lives on Mars, hops the first passenger shuttle heading for the Terminus, with every intention of joining with Mercs to make some Cred and get started.

Of course, nothing is ever that simple, and one foiled pirate attack later, Dani finds herself having saved the passenger ship, and aboard a merc Ship, the CMV: Fjord.

Now, I've got the Pilot, a batarian (Burt), the Captain, Nef (Asari Vangaurd) and A Turian exile soldier, Pellius as the NPCs, as well as a crazy russian-speaking quarian Mechanic as the crew.

Onto other things: So, I guess what I really need is help thinking up cool ideas for low-level encounters, things that could be happening as story-filler until she gets a little higher level. She's at level 3 now.

I've never been amazingly good with future games, and this one is no exception. As far as working in why the characters would do certain things, I can come up with that, but I'm just drawing a complete blank as to what to do next.

I've got a good idea of where the story as a whole is going to go, but just need some help coming up with smaller steps for the character. I guess another important thing to mention - her parents were both Purifiers, using the Dark Heart of Space variant, and she has both their sacred blades, though no idea yet as to what they are....

Well, beleive me, that's the short version. I've got 13 pages written up for this, but I just need some help coming up with different smaller things I can do...

so, any thoughts? Please?

2011-01-11, 10:34 PM
Alright. I'll bump it once to be optimistic.


2011-01-11, 11:03 PM
You know, what I have to say about your prob-


Minor missions on several planets that are fairly, you know, generic should do it. Like investigate a destroyed mine, rescue people from a damaged ship, and so on.

After two or so levels worth of that, give her a lead onto Warlord Darius. You should be able to work from there.


-lem is... Well, already said by me.
Have mercy upon me for making use of the meme, alright? I've been looking for an appropriate place to use it for weeks.
Other than that, I've got nothing.

2011-01-11, 11:30 PM
I disagree with unimportant minor stuff. No one likes filler aka random encounters. If they're saving a damaged ship, it's a batarian slaver ship with a full cargo (conveniently paving way to future encounters with batarians depending on how it goes). If it's an abandoned mine, it's been captured by a gang of mercs for some nefarious purpose (again something to lead further into a storyline, maybe even tying with Darius).

They might just stumble into the situation, but that's no reason to make it isolated from main story. And there's craplots of things they can randomly stumble into in ME. A Cerberus cell attempting something exceedingly dangerous, an operative of Shadow Broker chasing some bit of data, some ultra secret STG project, merc groups of Terminus doing what merc groups always do, maybe a brief encounter with some geth scouts... List is long.

Mark Hall
2011-01-12, 12:26 PM
Since they've got a ship, I'd look into starting with some pirate rescues.... ship crippled, people still on board, cargo gone. In a couple cases, you'll have to deal with remaining pirates or trojan horses... either the ship is rigged to explode or a decoy to get people to come in, so the pirates can attack and get another prize. Might also throw in some courier "we need money" runs to the mix, just to give them reasons to go from place to place.

Now, into these you can start dropping hints. Hints about who the pirate bosses are (leading him towards his revenge), hints about Horizon's dealings (leading him towards a broader revenge). Maybe one of the ships is completely abandoned, and in the ship's logs are some useful data files. Maybe some of the pirates offer to bargain information in exchange for being Crusoe'd (instead of turned in to the authorities... better a chance on a planet than a century in a brig). And you can throw in a few red herrings, just to keep them interested.

2011-01-12, 05:24 PM
Alright, I appreciate the help, and apologize for the double-post. I just didn't want the thread to die so quickly.

I'll make a list of these things, and see what I can come up with from them, so thank you. I've just had this terrible mental block, so thank you for the help!

Edit: on another note, I agree that just random "hey look at this cool idea" adventures aren't my style, which I guess is why I was having so much difficulty. I don't like just throwing random encounters, so finding smaller, more manageable situations was proving difficult.

If I'm going to work in an adventure or encounter, I like it to tie in at least partially to the main story, that way it all feels more organic.

Mark Hall
2011-01-12, 06:09 PM
You can also do the Mass Effect thing... tie it into subplots associated with the NPCs.

Why's the Batarian running around in Council Space, working for others? Why's a Vanguard out hunting pirates as an independent? How does a Turian get exiled? Why the heck does a quarian speak Russian?

All of these are good avenues for exploration and side-quests. They don't have to tie into the main quest, but develop the characters around you.

2011-01-12, 06:47 PM
You can also do some 'filler' missions that just build the energy for the main plot. What if they come across some other worlds where similar things have happened? Maybe no real clues, but the player starts to figure out that what happened to her world wasn't an accident and is part of something bigger...