Ship is sent to conduct follow up survey of a newly discovered world inside a nebula. Initial survey found a pleasant world they named Penumbra, but only conducted a very preliminary scan of the planet. A monitoring probe was left in orbit and on accessing that probe, for it recorded some anomalous readings. A Science survey team beams down to do a systematic scan to determine if planet is indeed suitable for colonization. The surveys are expected to take two weeks to complete. However, two days into the mission, the ship receives new orders to assist the nearby Federation world of Justinia suffering from an outbreak of a virulent disease. Since Justinia is only three days away at maximum warp, the Science officer suggests that there is no need to cancel the survey mission. Both missions can continue simultaneously as long as a shuttle flies down to the Penumbra to bring in survival gear and give the survey team a place to stay while the ship is gone.
The ship departs and the surveys continue showing a planet nearly ideal for colonization. The ship reaches Justinia and the medical situation is far worse than they expected. Instead of three days to end the outbreak, itís going to take ten. Add the three day return trip and the PCís ship will be gone a total of sixteen days. The shuttle only brought a two-week supply of food, so the survey team on Penumbra is going to have to stretch their rations a bit before the ship returns, but this isnít a major hardship.
One week into their sixteen day outdoor adventure disaster strikes. The survey team finally discovers the nature of the anomalous readings captured by the probe. A three-person geology team finds a series of extensive caves where tricorders randomly detect lifeforms, but they keep disappearing before the nature of the lifeforms can be determined. The native life turns out to be insectoid with a hive mind. When engaged in hive mental activity, the tricorders can pick up the lifeforms. When they move about in their individual status, the lifeforms are nearly mindless and canít be detected as sentient. An hour after the geologists return to the shuttle to log their dayís findings, there is a sudden surge that tricorders have no problem detecting. There is a god-awful racket and the ground bursts open from a dozen tunnels that open up all around the shuttle. There are 72 insectoids coming out of 12 holes in the ground. It takes three full rounds for the creatures to break completely free during which time they cannot attack. If an insectoid is stunned or killed, then it will take three more rounds for the follow on creatures to clear the path. Once the hole is completely open, all following insectoids exit in two rounds.
At least a dozen insectoids attack the shuttle and desperate fight ensues with the insectoids until the ground beneath the shuttle collapses dropping it below ground and hopelessly wrecking it in the process. The survivors are forced to flee from the hoard of insectoids with only the items they can carry. The survey teamís phasers will be severely drained during the escape leaving the team with next to no weaponry in addition to the shortages of food and equipment. The ship will note that the team has stopped reporting, but they are unable to depart the colony any earlier due to the extent of the disease outbreak.
The team will have to survive on their own for at least nine days. As they are in a fully developed biosphere, there will be hazardous animal and plant life in addition to the insectoids to avoid. The PCs will have to become subject matter experts the hard way despite the vertical learning curve. They will have to find shelter, food and water. They will have to fashion tools and weapons to supplement their depleted phasers. The GM is free to use any skills to game out this survival period. At the least, have each PC and NPC roll LUC each day. If the roll fails, have the PC/NPC roll DEX, if that roll fails that person has sustained injury of at least 1D10. Keep rolling DEX, for each failure, add 1D10 until they succeed or suffer a fatal injury.
The insectoids will also remain a threat and will either have to be fought off or a means to communicate with them devised. Average the groupís LUC and roll that average each day, if the roll fails, the insectoids will discover the survivorís new base camp. The number of insectoids encountered varies wildly roll 1D6 on a result of 1-3 roll 1D6 to determine the number of D10s rolled, on a roll of 4-5 rolls 2D6 worth of D10s, and on a roll of 6 roll 3D6 worth of D10. This can yield anywhere from 1 to 180. (IE D6 roll is 3. GM then rolls another D6 for a roll of 4, finally rolling 4D10 with a result of 21 for the number of insectoids. The GM is of course free to specifically assign the number and frequency of insectoid encountered.
The insectoids form a collective intelligence only in groups. There is a base 10% for each insectoid past the first of them forming a collective and thus registering as sentient. (IE if there are 6 insectoids there is a 50% chance they will form their hive mind intelligence. It will take three Exobiology rolls (the second with a Ė10% penalty and the third with a Ė20% penalty) to realize the insectoids are sentient, these rolls, can of course, only be made if the insectoids are encountered while sentient. Once it is discovered the insectoids are sentient, it is possible for the Universal Translator to break down the insectoid language, but only when they are in their sentient stage. The biggest problem to communicating will be that the insectoids will not be able to grasp life on an individual basis. The insectoids will have to make in INT roll to get the basic gist of individual life and finally be willing to cease pursing the survey team as a food source.
Feeding Habits: Carnivore
STR: 135†††††††† END: 140††††††† DEX: 90††††††††† Armor: 20†††††† Mentation Level: 11 (non-collective)
AP: 13†††††††††††† Combat Rating: 47††††† Damage: 3D10+5††††††† To Hit HtH: 69
In hive mind add the following:
INT: 47†††††††††† CHA: 46††††††††† LUC: 22††††††††† PSI: 12