Meteor-based Plot Hooks (d20 Modern / d20 Future)
Recently a meteor slammed into Russia injuring at least 1,000 people; 200 children were hurt and 3,000 buildings were damaged, mostly the result of windows being blown out by the sonic boom.www.cnn.com/2013/02/15/world/europe/russ...
But what if the metor contained something more sinister?
Some plot hooks for d20 Modern...This Place Crawls! (Starship Troopers universe)
Players are ordinary humans/adventurers, police, military or are Starship Troopers themselves. The metor is actually a troop transport for the Arachnid Empire. The Arachnid Empire is a strange race of questionable sentience but unmitakable ferocity. The Arachnids are actually an invading race from the Arachnid Quarantine Zone, located far on the opposite side of the Milky Way galaxy. The Arachnids have the ability to colonize planets "by hurling their spore into space." and Earth is the next target. The meteor is a "bug meteor." A bug meteor can have one of two purposes; either way it will cause massive damage when it lands.
The primary purpose of a bug meteor is as a form of first strike transport. This type of bug meteor is made from a hardened but porous stone that carries hundreds of Arachnids (typically Warrior bugs because of their remarkable resilience) does with it onto a planet's surface. Many bugs will die in the crash landing but this does not worry the Arachnid overseers, those Warriors that survive the impact can then crawl out and burrow straight into the walls of the crater left by the meteor's fiery landing. As this all occurs within minutes of the crash, the chances of any such activity being observed, even by witnesses tio the strike are very slim.
In truth many Arachnids are killed by the manuever, but if enough survive to to dig out a lair and fill it with eggs stored in the heart of the meteor, they can quickly multiply into much greater numbers over the course of a few weeks. One impact crater can rapidly become the hive of an Arachnid invasion forcem making this a primitive yet incredibly effective tactic. The bug meteor is infested with any number of Warrior bugs, from a few dozen to several thousand.
A Warrior bug is a large Alien beast with Str 22, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 2 Wis 10, Cha 2, and AC 18. It's Claws have +9 and cause 1D6+6 damage. Arachnid Warriors have the Feats Cleave and Power Attack. For full rules see The Arachnid Empire book for the Starship Troopers role-playing game by Mongoose Publishing. Arachnid Warriors attack in a brutal full-forward attack style with swarming behavior, paying no attention to casualties, overwhelming an enemy by sheer weight of numbers. How will players deal with this new infestation?Tyranid Invasion (Warhammer 40,000 universe)
Players are ordinary humans/adventurers, police, military or are part of a special forces team. The metor is actually a mycetic spore for the Tyranids. Mycetic spore are a type of bio-organism used as living landing craft by the Tyranids. The Tyranids are an extragalactic alien race, whose sole purpose is the consumption of all forms of genetic and biological material in order to evolve and reproduce. Tyranid technology is based entirely on biological engineering. Every function is carried out by living, engineered creatures, each of which collectively forms the Hive Fleet, directed by a single Hive
Mind. The Hive Mind is a form of swarm consciousness. Within the Tyranid swarm there is no idea of individualism as each unit is linked to the next.
Waves of strange six-limbed Tyranid creatuires pour out from the giant mycetic spore. Most commonly these will be waves of Termagants and Hormogaunts with a third of the force being Genestealers. Their stats are as follows:
The Hormagaunt is single-minded in its engineered purpose of closing with the foe and eviscerating it with its scythe-like claws. They are very fast and seemingly undefeatable, constantly moving in restless swarms that seem to be made of nothing but ripping claws and ridged amour plates. This large beast looks similar to a mixture between a praying mantis and a large dog, with its two sets of upper limbs are equipped with well-developed claws and its lower legs are long and powerful.
Hormagaunt; HP 11; Defense 14; Str 16 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 2 Wis 8 Cha 8. A Hormogaunt has
the Two-Weapon Fighting feat.
The Termagaunt is agile, fast, cunning and deadly despite its small size relative to other Tyranids, Most commonly equipped with the basic fleshborer weapon symbiote. Similar in size and shape of the Hormagaunt the Termagaunts are used as ranged troops.
HP 9; Defense 15; Str 12 Dex 16 Con 10 Int 2 Wis 8 Cha 8. A Termagant has the Point Blank
Genestealers are the vanguard of the Tyranid hive, created to seek-out and undermine potential pray worlds by infiltration. Genestealers are legendarily ferocious close combat opponents, deadly claws, capable of ripping through adamantium.
HP 31; Defense 17; Str 16 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 10 Cha 8. A Genestealer has the Stealthy and Two-Weapon Fighting feats.
Any number of Tyranids can be generated, from a few handful, to thousands upon thousands. With waves upon waves of these vicious aliens swarming out onto the area, how will players keep them at bay?
The Greenskins Invade! (Warhammer 40,000 universe)
Players are ordinary humans or adventurers. The meteor is actually an Ork Rok or spacecraft, and contains hundreds, if not thounsands of warlike green-skinned aliens called Orks. Although their society is entirely primitive and brutal, the Orkoid race is also the most successful species in the whole galaxy, spread throughout the galaxy and outnumbering possibly every other race. They vastly outnumber all other sapient races, and Earth is yet another planet for conquest.
An Ork Rok is the most feared form of Ork spacecraft. A Rok was once an asteroid that has been hollowed out by Ork technicians and then outfitted as a troop transport. A primitive energy field traps a crude atmosphere, and the Orks tunnel inside, making it their home.
Roks possess no Warp-Drives and so are incapable of faster-than-light travel, instead drifting from star system to star system as the solar winds dictate. Orks to use these massive spacecraft as one-way reentry vehicles, positioning them to slam down onto the surface of a world the Orks intended to invade. While this means the Rok cannot be reused to get back into space, it does cause a horrific amount of damage to whatever world the Orks invade, greatly pleasing the Greenskins and weakening the defences of the planet's military forces. Once a Rok crash-lands, the Orks themselves spill out upon the planet in great waves.
Any number of Orks can be generated, from a few handful that have survived the landing, to several thousand. Each Ork is generated using a 3D6 drop lowest spread, but with a +4 racial bonus to their STR and CON. Or just use Str 21, Dex 11, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 7, Cha 6, and AC 13. They are each generated with just a pistol and a chainsaw sword and some crude body armor, but are tough enough to survive the crash landing with Regeneration 3.The "Warzone" scenario (Mutant Chronicles universe)
The meteor comes from a heretofore unknown tenth planet beyond Pluto, Luna. An evil force Dark Soul, corrupts both man and machine, and it has it eyes set on Earth as its next prize. The metor unleashes an evil magic known as the Dark Symmetry, which animates the dead. Dark Soul is hellbent on overruning Earth and turning it into a sort of Dark Eden, following a global apocalypse. The area is overrun with any number Dark Legion zombies from a few dozen to entire legions of them. Generate zombie stats, equipped with AK-47s from d20 Modern. A zombie will have Str 12, Dex 8, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1, a Slam+2 melee attack with (1d6+1 damage) and AC 11.The Creepshow Plant Virus (Creepshow)
Players are ordinary humans or scientists. Some dimwitted backwoods hicks have found the meteor first and discoverd it contains a glowing green substance. They touch it, and are rapidly overcome by a rapidly spreading plant-like organism that begin growing on their bodies. It spreads to the surroundung area by touch. Unbeknownst to everyone, the organism spreads rapidly when exposed to water, and radio weather forecast is about to announce that heavy rains are predicted. This will accelerate the spread of the extraterrestrial plant growth to surrounding areas at a phenomenal rate.A New Divide (Transformers universe)
Players are ordinary humans or adventurers. As it turns out, once, long ago, there was a planet known as Cybertron, inhabited by an ancient race of large constructs known as Cybertronians - alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery. Long ago, their society was embroiled in a civil war, which sundered them into two factions the peace and freeddom-loving Autobots and the facist and despotic Decepticons. This war consumed their planet and tore it apart - literally. Their homeworld was destroyed and with no where to go, they scattered to the stars in giant spaceships.
The metor actually contains a legendary cube artifact, called the AllSpark. The AllSpark is a cube-shaped artifact adorned with glyphs and designs which is capable of granting independent life to normal electronic and mechanical objects. It is the source of life for all Transformers.
The Autobots and the Decepticons seek the AllSpark. The Autobots intend to use the AllSpark in an attempt to rebuild Cybertron and end the war, while the Decepticons desire to create an army of robot soldiers to conquer the universe. Their war has now embroiled our world and players are caught up in the action.
A Transformer is a Large Size construct that generates with a 4D6 drop lowest with ability modifiers of Strength +10, Dexterity, -2. It has a d10 Hit Die, with starting HP of 30 + 1d10. A Transformer has AC 13 and comes equipped with a laser rifle (3d8 damage). For full rules for Transformer-like creatures, see the Mechamorphosis book by Fantasy Flight GamesThe Vortex Attack (Ecco the Dolphin universe)
Players are members of an elite special forces team known as Team Dolphin or Team Delphineus. The meteor is actually an attack from the alien insect-like race known as The Vortex. The Vortex live of planet Vortex; the third planet in the star system Cassandra, which is located in the head of the constellation Pegasus. The nearest constellation to Pegasus is Delphineus...
The metor slams in the Earth's oceans killing all sea life in the area. Soon a waterspot hits the area, sucking up all the dead sea life, rendering the area barren and uninhabitable.
PCs must ivestigate the missing sea life. One straggler in the area doesn't know what happened, but knows someone who does, a wise sage known as "Big Blue." Big Blue is so old, he is on the verge of death, and has gone to his home in forzen Arctic to live out what little time he has left. PCs must race north to the Arctic to talk to him before he passes away.
Once PC find Big Blue, he tells them what little he knows, that such storms have been occurring every 500 years and directs him to the Mr. Asterite. For whatever reason Mr. Asterite is reputed to be impossibly old, millions of years old, in fact. Players must locate him and ask him for help.
The PCs find Mr. Asterite, who has the power to aid him, but an ancient artifact of his is missing, and he needs it to be returned first. However, this can only be achieved by traveling back in time using a machine built by the ancient Atlanteans.
Players must travel to the sunken city of Atlantis. There they find the time machine and even an impossibly ancient library. There they learn the cause of the storm; it was a harvest of Earth's waters that was conducted every 500 years by an alien species known as the Vortex. The Vortex have lost their ability to make their own food, and so every 500 years, they harvest from the waters of Earth.
An interactive library machine (Atlantis is deserted) informs them that every 500 years, when the Earth and Vortex have a clear path, the Vortex open a channel to feed upon the Earth. Players learn each feeding increases in size... the Vortex are getting hungrier!
The Vortex are feeding on the seas of our Earth and that eventually all life will be harvested. That means all life will end-clearly the Vortex must be stopped.
With nothing left to do, the players can activate the time machine and travel 55 million years into Earth's primordial past. They locate the artifact, but are immediately attacked by a version of Mr. Asterite from the ancient past. Forced into battle, they obtain the artifact by whatever means. This opens a time portal and the players are sent back into the present.
Upon returning to the present, they return the artifact to Mr. Asterite, who now says, "I remember you! Of course... it was you... and it was I who sent you... Now it is clear..." After receiving the artifact, Mr. Asterite grants players some additional abilties, possibly the ability to breathe underwater, to slowly regenerate lost health, or any ability or equipment the GMs sees fit to grant.
With his new artifact in hand Mr. Asterite uses advanced science or "techno-magic" to opens a new time portal, to travel back in time to the hour of the meteor strike and harvest. This time the players manage to be sucked into the waterspout with the rest of the sea life. Once inside the waterspout, players must make their way across the alien planet towards the Vortex Queen, the evil ruler of Planmet Vortex and leader of the Vortex race. Hopefully the the Vortex Queen is destroyed and players can return home triumphant.
Asteroid Armageddon (Armageddon movie)
Players are adventurers, NASA astronauts or oil roughnecks experienced in drilling. A massive meteor shower destroys the Space Shuttle Atlantis and bombards New York City, the East Coast, and Finland. NASA discovers that a rogue comet passing through the asteroid belt pushed forward a large amount of space debris, including a Texas-sized asteroid named "Dottie" that will collide with Earth in 18 days, creating a "global-killer" ie a worlwide extinction event.
NASA scientists, plan to bury a nuclear device deep inside the asteroid that, when detonated, will split the asteroid in two, driving them apart so that they both fly safely past the Earth. NASA recruits a crack team of veteran deep-sea oil drillers for assistance and advice. Since the mission involves drilling, not spaceflight, and there is no time to train astronaughts to drill, the drill team must go itself to drill the asteroid.
The players/oil drillers must go through rigorous NASA training in what little time they have left before they leave Earth. Once they leave Earth they will rondeveous with a Russian space station for refuelling. Unfortunately the space station is manned by a wonky Russian cosmonaut and the station itself is having a spate of technical glicthes, which further complicates things. A rogue spark ignites and engulfs the entire station in flames. Everyone must be quickly evacuated or perish. Once back on board the space shuttle(s) they must reach the asteroid. The asteroid has its own peculiar gravity and terrain, which is extremely inhospitable. Players might become lost of dislocated from each other as they attempt to navigate the terrain. Even if they do succeed in finding the drilling location, it is a race against time to drill to the correct depth and place
the explosive charge in time.Deep Impact (Deep Impact movie)
Players are NASA scientists, astronaughts, and adventurers. A reporter investigating the recent resignation of the Secretary of the Treasury uncovers his connection to an "Ellie". She discovers that Ellie is not a mistress but an acronym: "E.L.E.", for "Extinction-Level Event".
Because of the reporters investigation, the President advances the announcement of the grim facts: a comet, named Wolf-Biederman, is 7 miles (11 km) wide—large enough to cause a mass extinction, and possibly wipe out humanity, if it hits the Earth. The United States and Russia have been secretly constructing a spacecraft, called the Messiah, in orbit. They plan to use it to transport a team, so that it can be destroyed with nuclear weapons.
Players, now NASA crew members, are hired as part of elite team that must board Messiah, land on the comet and plant nuclear bombs 100 meters beneath the surface. When the bombs are detonated hopefully the comet will be destroyed with it.Game Over, Man! (Aliens continuity)
Players are everyday citizens adventurers, police, military, or part of an elite special forces team. Ignoring some parts of Prometheus, we will assume the derelict ship seen in the film Alien/Aliens was a bomber loaded with xenomorph eggs to use as advanced bio-weapons to attack Earth. While the first derelict ship might have been waylaid in its mission, another bomber has not. The "meteor" is part of a bombing run to seed Earth with Alien eggs, which are used as bio-weapons. The egg hatches a parasitic larval form known as a facehugger, which then attaches itself to a living host by, as its name suggests, latching onto its face. The facehugger then "impregnates" the host with an embryo known as a chestburster, which, after gestation, erupts violently from the host's chest, instantly killing it. The chestburster then matures to a human-sized adult phase in a
matter of hours, growing to two meters in height.
As an adult, the average Alien Drone is a powerful and dangerous animal. Drone are vahuely humanoid, but have elongated, cylindrical skulls with no visible eyes. When standing upright, the aliens are vaguely bipedal in form, though they adopt a more hunched, quadrupedal stance when walking or sprinting, standing anywhere between seven and eight feet. They have a skeletal, biomechanical appearance and are usually colored in muted shades of black or blue or bronze. Adult aliens have the ability of running and crawling along ceilings and walls. They have enormous physical strength, having been shown to be capable of breaking through welded steel doors. On average, they move quickly and silently. Aliens have clawed hands and segmented, blade-tipped tails, which can be used to attack. As a weapon, the strength of the tail is very great, having been shown to be strong enough to impale and lift a human with seemingly little effort.
An adult xenomorph Drone has 30 HP, a stats of Str 21, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 5, and has a bite attack that does 1D6+2 damage, a claw attack that does 2D4+5 damage, and a tail attack that does 1D6+2 damage. It has a Defense of 18. All Alien Drones have Improved Initiative, and gains a +4 bonus on initiative checks.
With such fearsome predators on the loose on Earth, how will players deal with this new outbreak?