WARNING - In order to preserve the element of surprise and the enjoyment of playing the adventure, do not proceed unless you are going to referee the adventure.
This adventure was created by Terry and Della-Mae Kuchta in 1993 and became the product of approximately four months of brainstorming and detailing. The adventure is of simple to medium complexity and is best played by a group of players who are already familiar with the basic concepts of the game.
This adventure makes reference to several pieces of equipment, vehicles, and weaponry. These items are described in the various 2300AD books published by GDW and in Challenge Magazine. A floor plan from the second edition of Twilight: 2000 is also referenced. If your group does not have access to the sources, simply substitute similar equipment for which you do have stats and descriptions.
This adventure takes place on Earth and does have a cyber element to it; however, this can be minimized if desired. For background reading, the GDW books Rotten to the Core, Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook,and Deathwatch Program are highly recommended. It also ties into the theme of my site, Foxx Industries, of course.
Thanks also to KevinC, who supplied me with a much clearer (and smaller) computer network layout map than the one I originally posted.
Provolution has determined that a biogenetic company has recently developed a piece of very useful nanotechnology. In order to make a Matrix run to steal the blueprints, Provolution uses a courier to bring ICEbreaker software from Tirane to Earth, arriving in Houston, Texas, from the L-5 colony. The PCs are coincidentally at the downport picking up a package for their patron, Foxx Industries, when the courier arrives and the Provolution pick-up team panics, assuming that the PCs are onto their scheme. A Provolution operative shoots at the courier, but instead, hits one of the PCs, and starts a firefight. In the ensuing confusion the courier slips away, the goons retreat, and the PCs end up making a hasty retreat, with one of the PCs needing medical attention.
The PCs seek medical aid, either on the street or at a hospital, and end up meeting with Foxx Industries where they look over video footage of the attack in an attempt to identify their attackers. Two things stand out: the courier, who is the only non-combatant who does not panic, but runs away from the firefight; and one of the attackers who is identified as a known Provolution operative. The PCs will think that the Provolution attack on them was on purpose, due to their previous run-ins with the organization. The PCs will have to perform a Matrix search for more information.
A search through the Matrix reveals several items. The search on Provolution reveals that they were suspected of stealing an ICEbreaker from Tirane, among other things. Searching for connections to the courier's briefcase logo reveals that the courier was a fake, and that the company whose logo appears on the briefcase has recently received an extortion demand for a piece of cutting edge nanotech.
At this point, the PCs must track down the courier (the only lead), and therefore, hit the streets. A contact gives them the name of someone who knows where the courier is hiding. While waiting for the meet, the PCs are attacked at an outdoor cafe by a cybernetically enhanced Provolution killer. Foiling the attack, the PCs capture the killer's accomplice, and learn through interrogation that the courier is carrying the ICEbreaker.
Arriving for the 'meet', they enter his townhouse, only to find his dead body still jacked into the Matrix. The PCs must make a Matrix run to retrieve the file containing the lead to the courier's location. The cyberjockey must slip into the mainframe, battle its defenses, and defeat a Provolution cyberjockey on the return. Simultaneously, a Provolution team attacks the PCs in the townhouse. Waiting for the netrunner to finish the run, the other PCs must hold off the hit team.
The Matrix run reveals that the courier is in Detroit. The PCs must get to Detroit to retrieve the courier. Sedating the courier, the PCs travel to a safe house; however, on the way, Provolution makes a final attempt to eliminate the courier and the PCs.
A middle management executive at Bayerische Bioteknik, AG, who is sympathetic to Provolution, has recently learned of the development of a piece of cutting edge nanotech. Known as the Molecular Doctor, this gene-engineered molecular- sized construct has the ability to repair cell damage at the molecular level. Provolution has determined that they could modify the Molecular Doctor to cause a mutating effect to create the next generation of genetically enhanced humans. They have chosen the population of Houston as the guinea pigs for their first test.
Provolution sends an extortion note via the Matrix to Bayerische Bioteknik, demanding the blueprints for the Molecular Doctor. At the same time, they break into the NeuralNet, Ltd. complex on Tirane (Alpha Centauri / Core) and steal a high tech, military-grade ICEbreaker. This ICEbreaker is powerful enough to let them steal the blueprints themselves in a Matrix run. In order to get the ICEbreaker to Earth, they implant it into the head of one of their couriers.
The courier is carrying a shipment of Vassopressin-Y drug in a Bayerische Bioteknik briefcase, and is unaware of the ICEbreaker implanted in her head. As a fail-safe, the ICEbreaker will self-destruct if the courier is killed.
The adventure begins at the Houston, Texas downport, where the courier has just arrived on a spaceplane trip from the L-5 colony.
Location: Interface flight passenger arrival area, Houston downport, Texas
The PCs are waiting to pick up a package for their current patron, Foxx Industries. After retrieving the package (a medium-sized, 2 kg, steel constructed box with digital code locks) they proceed through customs, and head for the exit. Unknown, to the PCs, a Provolution courier is also in the general vicinity, and heading for the exit. She is behind the PCs by approximately 4 meters.
Entering through the doors are three Provolution operatives, tasked with picking up the courier. Seeing the PCs near the courier, they panic and assume that the PCs are aware of the courier's true purpose. They attempt to kill the courier by shooting her, but instead, hit one of the PCs. The PCs respond in kind, with a firefight ensuing.
During the confrontation, the courier panics and flees. The Provolution operatives stage a fighting retreat, and the PCs are left, with one member wounded and the authorities on their way. At this point, the PCs should make their exit, and seek medical aid for their wounded colleague.
The location depends on where the PCs go for medical aid. If they go to a hospital, read the first option; if they locate a street doctor, read the second option.
Location: The emergency ward of a local hospital.
The PCs have brought their wounded member to the hospital for treatment. The admitting nurse will ask one of the PCs questions about the wounded PC while he undergoes treatment. Regardless of whether they use an alias or not, Foxx Industries will be alerted to their situation when the name of the wounded PC is entered into the Matrix (via the hospital admitting computer). Foxx Industries will then contact the PCs and have the wounded transferred to a company hospital to recuperate.
Location: Street Clinic
The PCs have brought the wounded team member to a street doctor. If it is a contact they have developed through their work for Foxx Industries, the doctor will alert Foxx Industries, who will contact them, and bring them in. If it is an old contact, the PCs will either contact Foxx Industries (remember, they still have the package) or they will hit the streets to ask around about the attack. If they establish contact, they will be brought in by Foxx Industries.
If they choose to hit the streets, one of the first things they will see is a news report containing footage of the downport attack, being aired on monitors at a local tri-vid store. The report will indicate that they are wanted by the local police for questioning. At the end of the news report, a NPC from their last mission for Foxx Industries will appeal for them to "come in". (The NPC is referring to them coming in to Foxx Industries). Any further time on the streets will result in the PCs having to avoid an increased number of police patrols, and determining that the streets are not talking about the incident.
Location: The Foxx Industries compound at Houston.
The PCs meet with their patron, Mr. Stillwell, the director of Industrial Espionage for Foxx Industries. Mr. Stillwell and the PCs sit down to review the video footage. The video shows three attackers approaching and firing at the PCs. Continuing the footage shows the PC getting hit and going down. The crowd freezes momentarily before panicking, except for one young woman, who begins running as soon as the PC goes down. Mr. Stillwell notes that she didn't panic, and that she is fleeing in the opposite direction from the attackers.
The video allows the PCs to get a good identification of one of the attackers, which they run through the local police files. The police files provide a lengthy rap sheet, which indicates that the attacker is a known Provolution operative, known by the alias of Snow Flake, due to his albino complexion. Mr. Stillwell suggests that a deeper search through the Matrix on Provolution and the operative should be performed.
The video of the women does not allow for a positive identification. The only clear image is of a logo on the women's briefcase. Searching Foxx Industries files, the logo is identified as that of Bayerische Bioteknik, AG. Mr. Stillwell indicates that the women and her connection to Bayerische Bioteknik could also be determined through a search of the Matrix.
The PCs remain in the compound while the Matrix search is performed and Foxx Industries removes the police and media heat. The official story that goes out is that the PCs were at the downport to pick up a package from an off-world branch office, which can be authenticated by the downport authorities and the paperwork which shows that the PCs signed for the package.
Location: Briefing room at the Foxx Industries compound, Houston.
The Matrix search was very rewarding. The PCs become aware of the following recent events, in which Provolution is suspected or has been linked:
The Matrix also revealed some very interesting details about the owner of the briefcase logo, Bayerische Bioteknik, AG:
Location: The briefing room, Foxx Industries Complex.
If the PCs don't pick up on it, Mr. Stillwell will remark that he thought the courier in the video was distinctively female, especially as she was wearing a skirt. This will prompt the PCs to review the video footage from the very beginning. This will reveal that ten minutes before the attack, a man carrying a briefcase with a Bayerische Bioteknik logo exited the arrivals area.
This will lead to the question of who is the second courier? As this is the only lead, Mr. Stillwell will instruct the PCs to find the fake courier and report in to him when she is in their custody. At this point, the PCs should hit the streets to ask around.
Location: The 'streets' of Houston.
The PCs need to hit the streets and establish a contact with someone who has information pertaining to the courier's whereabouts. Establishing a contact is a task.
Task: To find a contact. Difficult. Streetwise. 2 hours.
Referee: The minimum total time for this task is 8 hours, regardless of the dice roll. Any number of PCs may attempt to make contacts. Choose the contact with the highest effectiveness (1D10) as the one that the PCs deal with.
Once the PCs have established a contact, he will sell them a 'meet' with someone who knows courier's location. Purchasing the name from the contact is a task.
Task: To purchase the 'meet' (unskilled): Difficult. Bargain. 90 seconds
Referee: The 'meet' is considered to be Level II information, having a base price of Lv1000. Roll ABS(7-3D6)*10% for a price modifier. If the task is successful, reduce the price by the modifier; if the task was unsuccessful, increase the price by the modifier.
The PCs are told to meet a man named Sullivan at 21 Highland Street tomorrow at 1100 hours. He will sell the PCs the information they want.
Location: A sidewalk cafe four blocks from Highland Street.
The PCs have had to stop and answer one of the calls of nature - hunger. They are seated at a sidewalk cafe, waiting to order breakfast. One of the PCs is sitting with his back to the sidewalk, and becomes the target of a Provolution sanctioned hit. The attack comes in the form of two assailants, one cybernetically enhanced.
The PC with his back to the sidewalk is suddenly attacked by a woman using a monofilament garrote. The unexpected head movement of the victim causes her to miss the neck, and saves the PC from having his head loped off by the DPV 1.5 weapon. However, she is maneuvering for another attack, and the PCs had better fight back.
Play out the fight, with the strangler either ending up dead or retreating, badly wounded. Her accomplice should become captured, having cowered during the fight.
Location: Wherever the PCs took the captured Provolution operative.
The PCs have captured one of their Provolution assailants, and now have an opportunity to interrogate him and find out a few things. Just as the PCs are beginning to ask questions, the peon blurts out that he doesn't know anything about the courier and that they are wasting their time. As the PCs haven't asked any questions about the courier, this should peak their interest, and direct their line of questioning towards the courier. Interrogating the captive is a task.
Task: To interrogate the Provolution operative about the courier (unskilled): Routine. Interviewing and Streetwise. 2 minutes
Referee: This task may be tried multiple times. If the captive was wounded during the attack, DM +2. For every wound inflicted on the captive during the interrogation, DM +1. Note that if the captive becomes seriously wounded, he may die or become unconscious and not reveal anything. The information that the peon reveals is based on how successful the PCs were at the task.
Having finished interrogating the captive, the PCs must decide what to do with him. Killing him would result in two negative renown points (the good guys don't kill out of hand). Turning him loose would definitely work against them, as he would alert Provolution. Handing him over to the police would involve the PCs in mountains of bureaucratic red tape, and make them miss their 'meet'. Turning him over to Foxx Industries for disposal would quickly take him off of their hands, and let the PCs move on to their 'meet' without delay.
Location: Outside the door to Sullivan's townhouse at 21 Highland Street.
The PCs have been here for about 30 seconds, and no one has responded to their ringing the intercom; even knocking on the door has gone unanswered. They decide to force their way in, which are the following tasks.
If they decide to break the door down, use the following task.
Task: To break down the door (unskilled): Formidable. Strength. 10 seconds.
Referee: If a second person assists, reduce difficulty to Difficult and average the Strength. A Total Mishap indicates that the character(s) are considered to be knocked down. Any other mishap results in the character(s) being dazed. Reduce the task difficulty to Routine if the locks have been shot off.
If they decide to pick the locks, roll for the following tasks.
Task: To bypass the electronic lock: Difficult. Security Systems and Electronics. 5 seconds.
Referee: If the character does not have Electronics skill, increase the difficulty by one level; if he does not have Security Systems, increase the difficulty by two levels. To pick the lock, the character must have an electronic security system kit. Other electronic tools may be substituted, but the task difficulty increases by one level.
Task: To pick the mechanical lock (unskilled): Routine. Security Systems or one-half Mechanical. 3 seconds.
Referee: To pick a mechanical lock, a character must have a locksmith kit. A slim tool such as a heavy wire may be substituted, but the task difficulty increases by one level.
Once inside, the PCs will see Sullivan's body, slumped in a chair. There is blood coming from his ears and nose, and there is a smell of burning flesh. He is still jacked in to his smoldering cyberdeck, which he is clutching in his hands. It appears that he was killed while making a run in the Matrix.
Location: Inside Sullivan's townhouse.
At this point, the netrunner PC should jack into Sullivan's cyberdeck, treating it as a mainframe and entering it via his own cyberdeck. Jacking in will reveal that his cyberdeck is beyond repair; all of its statistics are zero except Volume. There are some intact programs in the deck Volume (Fast Forwardx1, Leaperx1, Wrenchx2, and two data files (Volume 17,1)) which the PC may want to copy to his own deck. Most importantly, a remnant of a data file points to the courier's location. The only problem is that the file is so damaged that it cannot be repaired. The PC will have to jack into the Matrix and copy the file from the mainframe where it is stored, which is indicated in the data file. It should be stressed to the PC that he must make a run immediately, before the location of the original file is changed.
Location: Inside Sullivan's townhouse.
While the cyberjockey PC makes his run, the other PCs must fend off a Provolution attack. One of the PCs watching the building entrance notices Snow Flake showing up at the townhouse leading a squad of 1D4+2 Provolution mercenaries. The PCs must hold them off until the netrunner finishes his run. If they did not break down the door, they can lock it, which will buy them some time to prepare their defenses inside the townhouse. The Provolution squad will attack until half their number have been killed or incapacitated, at which time they will break off the attack and retreat into a waiting utility van.
While the PCs have been fighting their delaying action, the netrunner has been running into problems of his own. After infiltrating into the mainframe, he finds out that the file has been moved, and has to spend time searching through Volume to find it. He must defeat the mainframe defenses including defensive cyberjockeys and security programs of the computer net. Succeeding at this, he is attacked on the way out by a Provolution cyberjockey who wants to kill the PC and retrieve the data file. Defeating the Provolution cyberjockey, the PC comes back to find his friends battling Provolution in the townhouse.
Once the PCs have retrieved the file, it is time for them to leave Sullivan's townhouse. If they are still fighting the Provolution squad, this may be a fighting retreat; otherwise, it will be wise to leave before the police show up and start asking a lot of questions that the PCs will not want to answer.
Once the PCs have found a safe place, they will want to look at the data file. It reveals that the courier assumed the identity of Patricia Bowdon shortly after the downport attack. Under this alias she has been moving through major cities in the US. Hotel and food records indicate that her most recent location is in Detroit, at the Neon 8-ball, a two-star hotel where she has been a guest for the last three days. It will be obvious to the PCs that they should travel to Detroit as soon as possible.
The PCs must determine how they are going to travel to Detroit. There are two choices: commercial transportation, or transportation provided by Foxx Industries. If the PCs check around, they will determine that the following commercial transportation options exist.
|Method (one-way)||Commercial||Charter||Next (hrs)||Travel|
|Airfilm Train||Lv100 ea||-||1D12||6 hrs|
|Subsonic Aircraft||Lv300 ea||Lv3900||1D8||3 hrs|
|Supersonic Aircraft||Lv400 ea||Lv6400||1D12||2 hrs|
|Scramjet Aircraft||Lv500 ea||Lv9500||1D10||1 hr|
For charters, the travel times are the same, but the preparation time is 1D4 hours.
If the characters go to Foxx Industries, they will find that any of the Aircraft types are available, and that preparation time is 1D6 hours. As well, there is no cost, as Mr. Stillwell has approved the usage of the aircraft.
Location: Either the train station, or the Detroit airport (depending on the PCs transportation choice from Houston).
Once in Detroit, the PCs will need transportation to get to the courier's location. If they used Foxx Industries resources to get to Detroit, or otherwise think of it, they will be able to get a vehicle from Foxx Industries. Otherwise, they can rent a vehicle, take a taxi, or the metro. The following table lists their transportation choices.
|Taxi (each trip)||Lv5||-||n/a||one-way|
|Metro (each person)||Lv1||-||n/a||one-way|
|Suzuka FXR "Foxfire"||-||Lv540||avail||Helmet HUDs|
|Trilon LL1 "Llama"||-||Lv260||avail||Helmet HUDs|
|Metzger Aerosport||-||Lv550||avail||Helmet HUDs|
All rental vehicles or vehicles supplied by Foxx Industries come with map chips for Detroit. City maps are also available for viewing only in all metro stations.
Location: The lobby of the Neon 8-ball hotel.
The Neon 8-ball is a cheap, automated hotel. Guests check in by slotting their credcard and entering the length of their stay into the hotel computer. The computer then issues an electronic door card to the customer. The door card is only good for one room, for the number of days of the stay. The hotel is serviced by housekeeping robots and automated vending machines, and human service people are rarely required. By accessing the guest registry at the courtesy terminal, the PCs can ascertain that Patricia Bowdon is in room 402.
Once the PCs get to the fourth floor, they will have to enter the room and get the courier to come with them, either freely or against her will. To enter the room, they can either try to gain entry under false pretences, or break down the door, which is a task.
Task: To break down the door (unskilled): Routine. Strength. 10 seconds.
Referee: If a second person assists, reduce difficulty to Simple and average the Strength. Any mishap results in the character(s) being dazed. Reduce the task difficulty to Simple if the locks have been shot off.
The courier will not go freely, and will either have to be knocked unconscious or sedated. As the courier fades unconscious, she pleads "Get it out of my head... Please, get it out of my head...".
Having retrieved the courier, and informed their patron, the PCs will be instructed to go to a Foxx Industries safe house where an IMS security squad will escort them back to Houston.
Location: Somewhere on the way to the safe house.
Assuming that the PCs did not take the Metro (where there would have been a lot of suspicious looks from passengers and transit police due to the unconscious courier), they will either take their own transportation to the safe house or a taxi. Along the way, Snow Flake and a heavy Provolution squad (1D4+2 members) will make a final attempt to stop the PCs and kill the courier. This will involve a chase scene through the streets of Detroit, and possibly end in melee combat. The Provolution team will continue the attack until the courier is killed or until Snow Flake is killed or incapacitated. If Snow Flake is out of action, they will press the attack until one-half of their number is killed or incapacitated, at which time they will break-off. If the PCs are severely outgunned, bring in the IMS security squad early. Treat these personnel as ground military types in two Rangestar 8s with mounted light machine-guns.
Location: The Foxx Industries safe house in Detroit.
Once the PCs reach the safe house, they will be met by the IMS security squad (unless they were introduced during the final gun battle). Shortly after arriving, an IMS X-wing will land and take the PCs, and the courier to the airport where they will board a waiting scramjet for a trip to Foxx Industries Headquarters in Australia for debriefing.
At this point, the PCs should be told of the ICEbreaker in the courier's head (if they haven't figured this out already). A Foxx Industries surgical team manages to remove the microchip safely, and it is sent to the computer services department for analysis. The analysis shows that the ICEbreaker has been tailored for the run against Bayerische Bioteknik, and is useless against any other targets. It is handed over to Bayerische Bioteknik, who destroys the microchip. Bayerische Bioteknik now has a debt of gratitude to Foxx Industries and the PCs, which they will try to repay in the future.
The PCs should each gain one renown point (Core) for successfully completing the mission. Award five experience points for the adventure, with additional, individual points as follows:
The Provolution attackers consist of two thugs and their leader, known as Snow Flake. They are all dressed in blue coveralls, work boots, gloves, and sunglasses; and appear to be workmen.
He is the Provolution operative tasked with retrieving the ICEbreaker.
Use the "Suburban Townhouse" floorplans from Twilight: 2000, page 178.
Deck Stats are original values prior to the fatal attack (all stats except volume are now zero). Programs may be taken / salvaged. The last datafile has a total volume of 30, and will have to be copied from its source in its entirety. This file will indicate the Courier's most recent location.
1D4+2 (Mercenary career, Physical orientation) attackers, dressed head to toe in black, with ski masks, sun glasses, and gloves; lead by Snow Flake
Roll 1D6 for Coolness and skills:
Roll 1D6 for weapons:
Roll 1D6 for melee weapons:
Roll 1D6 for cybernetics:
They will break off the attack when one-half their number are killed or incapacitated.
Number, skill levels, and coolness as per Townhouse Attackers, but add Vehicle skill at level +1.
Roll 1D6 for long arms:
Roll 1D6 for side arms:
Roll 1D6 for melee weapons:
Roll 1D6 for cybernetics:
They will continue to attack until Snow flake is killed and more than half their number are killed or incapacitated.
Designed from geomorphic street blocks.
This medium-sized computer network controls all building systems, as well as data storage and manipulation tasks. Each nexus has defensive programs which must be evaded / defeated. In addition, there are defensive security cyberjockeys roaming the network. The mainframe itselfs acts like a large-scale cyberjockey, with its own offense and defense stats.
The mainframe has 150 points of volume for the purposes of security. This consists of the following programs:
These cyberjockeys roam the computer net and are dispatched by the mainframe to wherever intruders are detected. They have the following stats: