Mothership: Another Bug Hunt


My copy of the new Mothership boxed set arrived recently, and it got me excited about running another campaign. The boxed set comes with a new starter adventure, Another Bug Hunt, which I’m running for a few friends online. I wrote up some initial thoughts about Another Bug Hunt on my blog, and will likely use this play through to add some more.


Contractors / NPCs

Session 1 - May 9th, 2024

The players wake up from cryosleep orbiting Samsa VI. They meet the slimey company employee Maas, who informs them of their mission: Rendezvous with 2ndLt Kaplan, the marine commander of the colony, and assist them in repairing the situation; re-establish satellite communications and get the terraformer back online; if all else fails, evacuate Dr. Edem, the mission specialist, as well as the colony’s synthetic science officer, Hinton (or at least retrieve his logic core). Nothing else matters, least of all the lives of the rest of crew on planet.

The players take a drop ship down to the surface, surviving a turbulent ride down. [Fear Saves] There is an intense tropical storm raging on the groun. They make their way towards Greta Base, which looks to have lost power. Closer they see it is on some sort of minimal power. They circumnavigate the building, peering in through windows. They can see disarray in what looks to be the cafeteria. Back at the main entrance, Maxwell hacks the airlock door. The room is black, lit by their headlamps. Jayden-113 searches the lockers, her flash light revealing huge claw marks and gashes in a couple. [Fear Saves]

The group make their way into the cafeteria and explore. VERSE finds a headless corpse, its chest seemingly hollowed out. Another headless corpse is found by Jayden-113. The androids matter of factly relay this information to the humans, huddled at the periphery of the room.

They exit out of the North exist of the room, and then head West towards the Garage (they had spotted previously when exploring the exterior). Inside the garage they find an APC, and a marine sitting inside a big hole, digging. He is unresponsive. Hazel climbs down to give him a stimpack. She puts his arm gingerly on his shoulder … and a motherfucking alien pops out of his head! [Did I ask for fear saves: now would have been the time!] [Hazel makes a speed check to rush back up before the creature settles into his new surroundings and gobbles her up. The players win an opposed roll, and so act first. Jayden-113 notices the bandolier of frag grenades on now dead the marine. Maxwell unloads her SMG clip into the hole, hitting the frag grenades. Everyone is knocked down as the explode. The creature in the hole is torn to shreds.

Inside the APC is a marine clutching a frag grenade. He seems unfazed by the commotion outside. He rocks back and forth, talking about “the hive” to himself. The players usher him out of the car, down into the hole. He doesn’t seem to mind.

I assuemd the dropship would drop the players off, and then fuck off back into space. That's made more explicitly clear if you read the 4th scenario. The players will obviously want to get the hell out of there as soon as they see the carnage in the cafetria. In my game the players were given two Marine Grunts as contractors, and they weren't keen to leave without finding out what happened to the other soliders / people. Amanda pictures her character in debt, after wasting money in pilot school. Ha. The way the adventure is set up, the players don't actually have a way to call for an extraction without fixing the satelite radio.
I made Arnold give up his whole clip to blow up the frag grenades, because it wasn't an easy shot. But that was me retconning the action. I should have just let them have the win and played it differently in the future.
There aren't any random encounters in this adventure. Time is an important factor, though. Certain events take place after a certain number of hours. I need to think about how to track that neatly, and communicate it to the players. I suppose this is what people use clocks for in Blades. Though I guess I could use a more literal clock.

Session 2 - May 16th 2024

The players try and interview the mechanic Demar. They manage to get small tid bits of information from him, but for the most part he’s not that lucid. They learn there is a “Hive” past the terraforming station.

They explore the base, doing a quick circuit of the interior. They find dead bodies in the control room and pantry, but leave them alone for now.

They investigate the crew quarters more carefully. The words COMMS OFF are written on the doors to area, grafitti. In Lt Kaplan’s room they find a locator device that is tracking the android Hinton. In Dr. Edem’s room they find a birthday card to Olsen, that was unopened. It reads: Thanks for always listening. Hopefully, they’ll let me leave after this one. Weather charts in Edem’s room suggest a huge storm is coming.

Returning to the control room, they discover the body they found belongs to Lt. Kaplan. He has clearly killed himself and destoryed the computers before doing so.

In the medical room they find one of Dr. Edem’s workbooks. She comments on discovering the “krebslieder” or “crabsong,” a shrill shriek the “carcinids” use in order to replicate. She mentions Hinton made most of the discoveries related to these creatures, but suggests her know how is what connected all the pieces.

Maxwell and Jayden-113 work together to break into the locked medical room. [Hacking Check, failed!] THey get in, but it takes some time. The door chime lets them know they are in just as they hear a load boom: Demar’s frag grenade has gone off. [Fear saves]

They decide now is as good a time as any to search for the missing personal. They get into the APC and head off for Heron Terraforming Base.

The sesion felt smoother. I knew Demar would 'turn' in 3 hours, give or take, and it just so happened that roughly coincided with the hacking attempt. Still could do a better job tracking time.