Here at Angel’s Citadel, we always want to provide you with quality content to help you and your gaming groups. As we thought about what we could provide, it occurred to us that we could offer a completely free adventure on our site that you could drop into your Cypher System science fiction campaign with a minimal amount of change, or perhaps none at all.
This adventure is designed to be run with a GM and 4 Players. If you wish to play it as-written, you will probably want one of the PCs to be a guard supervisor (some kind of Speaker with negotiation and/or persuasion abilities), and the other three will be a mix of Warriors and Explorers. One of them should have driving skills. If, on the other hand, the GM wishes to adapt this adventure to where the PCs are the ones infiltrating Faralon Industries, the Character Options are much more open-ended, with multiple combinations coming to mind that would work well. Simply take the NPC Stats for the thieves and make them guards with the leader being the Shift Supervisor (there should be a total of four 4 guards). Please also note, the formatting of this adventure is designed to present reasonably on a laptop or desktop computer screen, and perhaps a tablet. Other formats will not appear as intended.
The PCs are working as night security at a pharmaceutical lab. Typically a fairly boring job, but everyone needs to eat. One night, however, things get particularly exciting as they are caught in the middle of a break-in at their facility. Things are not at all what they seem however, and soon, the PCs find themselves faced with a difficult choice that has consequences that will be felt throughout the entire United Galactic Territories (UGT).
We shouldn’t have to say this, but if you are potentially going to be playing in this adventure, do not read beyond this point. It ruins quite a bit of the fun.
Faralon Industries is a pharmaceutical corporation headquartered on Earth with facilities and labs on several of the colonized worlds of the UGT. One facility in particular, where this adventure takes place, is a small lab on the heavily settled planet of Iliar. This facility is working on something vitally important in secret: a cure for an illness known as Jorik’s Disease.
Iliar is one of the core planets in the UGT. Heavily populated by both corporations and private citizens, its population’s wealth rivals that of Earth itself.
One of the hazards of colonization in space, the settlers of Valadin IV that went, much like the gold rush of Earth’s history, to mine the valuable compound, Pherycardium , did not have the benefit of terraforming technology when they first went. Because the atmosphere there was breathable the planet was deemed unnecessary for terraforming. However the wildlife, particularly the plant life, held some dangers. The most prevalent of these was the wasting illness that seemed to attack only children under the age of about fifteen. It is known as Jorik’s Disease
Valadin IV is a fringe planet in the unclaimed space between the UGT and a group of allied systems known as the Gh’odas Continuum.
Pherycardium is a catalyst material that increases the speed, output, and purity of many chemical reactions.
It spread rapidly among the civilized area as people traveled back, trying to find medical aid. It has now shown up on a number of planets, including Earth itself. Faralon Industries has recently found the cure when this adventure starts.
The PCs are working as hired guards and night shift employees at the Iliar lab with no knowledge of what is worked on there. One evening when they are working, the facility is hit by a clandestine force and the samples of and data for the cure is stolen. Interestingly enough, the thieves only use non-lethal force during the heist.
The PCs give chase through the city towards a small, private spaceport where a freighter is waiting to help the thieves escape. After some back and forth exchange, the two groups arrive at the spaceport while the thieves are boarding the freighter. It is there that the leader, surrounded by another group from the freighter, begins a conversation with the PCs. They are with what has been branded as a terrorist group called Hope’s Knights. Their plan is to take the cure and the data back, reproduce it, and distribute it for free to every hospital and clinic in the UGT rather than allow Faralon to sell it for a profit.
The PCs have a choice: They can try to take back the cure for their employer, or they can help the group from Hope’s Knights escape. If they choose the latter, they will become fugitives as well, but would have some new and interesting opportunities for adventure. If they choose the former, a battle ensues. Either way, much more is at stake than is typical for a simple group of night-shift employees.
Act I: Working for a Living
Read the following aloud to the players:
The universe is a hard place to get along a lot of the time. Even on the civilized worlds, you have to eat, you have to have somewhere to sleep, some way to unwind. That means finding work. You’ve been fortunate to find work with Faralon Industries, a pharmaceutical company whose medicines can be found in clinics and hospitals all over the United Galactic Territories. You are working as night-shift security for a small lab on your current resident-planet named Iliar. The work done in this lab is highly classified in the corporation and it has been made clear to each of you that on your shift, it is your personal responsibility to ensure that the facility remains secure.
The job is fairly easy. With as affluent as Iliar is, quiet is the norm and most of your evenings pass without anyone to talk to except the occasional late-working chemist. This evening however, as you are making your rounds, you are startled by the loud sound of a muffled boom and then a loud thud some ways down the corridors of the facility. You expect the alarms to go off but they do not. Someone is breaking into the building!
If you wish, you can allow the players to take some time and wander the facility a little bit to familiarize themselves with the layout. Typically the night shift supervisor remains in the main reception area in the cross piece of the ‘H’ as that is where the security cameras are.
The layout of the Faralon Industries Lab on Iliar is shown to the right. A downloadable copy of this file can be found HERE. The main entry of the building is found in the cross piece of the ‘H’, a double-sliding door leading to a reception area. The samples that the thieves are attempting to steal are located in the secure lab (the one behind the Door Access Terminal on the left hand side of the map. All of the labs are protected on the outside of the building with 1 foot thick, reinforced material.
All of the Door Access Terminals are difficulty 4 to open except for the ones outside the secure lab and the Control Mainframe room. Those two are both difficulty 6. The PCs do not need to make a check for the difficulty 4 terminals – they have the codes. They do not have access to the difficulty 6 codes. The thieves have blown a hole through the roof, down the ventilation shaft and into the secured lab. Once they have obtained the object of their mission, they will use the computers there to access the control mainframe and pull the data that goes along with it off of the data stores. After that is done, they plan to use explosives to blow a hole in the wall to the outside past the main entry wall where a hover-van (Level 4) will pull in and pick them up to take them to a private starport where their escape is waiting.
It will take the thieves approximately three minutes from the initial explosion to enter the building, collect what they came for (both the physical and the data) and exit through the outer wall. Should the PCs be able to engage with the thieves, they consist of a 5 person team. Four of the five are Level 3 NPCs with 12 health, 1 Armor and are trained in Medium Weapons. The fifth is their leader, a man named Vance Kingston, who is a level 4 NPC with 15 health and 1 Armor, who is trained in both Medium Weapons and Explosives as well as Persuasion. All are armed with energy pistols that do 4 damage with the ability to change that damage to be either lethal or non-lethal. They will not use lethal damage. In this case, that means that if the NPCs reduce the characters’ down two steps on the damage track to Debilitated, they can no longer move and are unconscious. After fifteen minutes’ time, they can begin making recovery rolls once more. The leader is carrying enough explosive to blast their way through the wall. The explosive is directional and will not structurally harm the rest of the lab.
Trained: Revised Cypher System Rulebook, pg. 207
Debilitated: Revised Cypher System Rulebook, pg. 218
Players who choose to, could probably make it over to the secure lab. They can either try to hack the Door Access Terminal or deal with the lab security door directly, a difficulty 5 Might task. If a pitched battle ensues, at least the leader should escape with the material and the data. The other team members are fanatic enough to remain behind to ensure that he gets away.
The key to this scene should be EXCITEMENT. The players should, wherever possible, end this scene feeling like either the thieves just slipped through their fingers or they just narrowly escaped.
This Faralon Industries lab has a security vehicle (Level 4) available for the guards’ use and they can take it if they choose to pursue the thieves to retrieve the stolen property. The PCs would know that a call to the police will not be responded to in time to stop the thieves from getting away. Either they pursue themselves, or the adventure ends here and they will have to explain to their employer why they allowed secure materiel to be stolen on their watch.
Act II: Please Don’t Fire Us!
Read the following aloud to the players:
You pull away from the lab and follow in the direction you saw the van leave. You were concerned that you might have lost them, but between several hovercars that had swerved, presumably to avoid a collision, and some trailing debris from the explosion that appeared to be falling from the van, you eventually see them ahead of you. As familiar as you are with this area, you’re guessing based on the direction they’re heading, that they are going to Nantak Spaceport, a nearby private docking area for small, interplanetary ships and shuttles.
This scene is intended to be an exciting, narrative chase scene. If the characters are interested in doing battle with the thieves, simply use the rules for vehicle movement/combat. Assume both the PCs and the NPCs have cover and are moving targets. There is no map provided for this battle. The streets of this moderately sized city are left up to the GM. It is anticipated, however, that since this is ideally a narrative scene, an exact street map is probably not needed. That does not mean that the drive has to be simple and calm, however. The thieves will do much to ensure that they make it to the spaceport. They will not hesitate to drive against traffic, use moving cars as barriers (think of the freeway chase scene in the Matrix Reloaded), or anything else that the GM can think of short of intentionally causing the death of civilian non-combatants.
Vehicle Movement/Combat: Revised Cypher System Rulebook, p. 230 – 231
Cover: Revised Cypher System Rulebook, p. 220
Moving Targets: Revised Cypher System Rulebook, p. 222
- Police Intervention: A single police hover-cruiser (Level 5 vehicle) or two police hover-bikes (Level 3 vehicle) join the chase. Their goal is preventing damage to innocent people or property and are intent on bringing the chase to a close.
- Weather: A storm hits changing the visibility and road conditions.
- Vehicle Troubles: A stabilizer fails on the PCs vehicle increasing the difficulty of driving tasks by 1.
Ultimately, unless things go really wrong, the thieves will make it to the spaceport and load into the freighter followed immediately by the PCs. This takes us to the third and final act.
Visibility: Revised Cypher System Rulebook, p. 221
Act III: The Line Between Right and Wrong
Read the following aloud to the players:
As you whirr to a halt and begin to get out of your vehicle, you see the thieves scrambling up the ramp and through the airlock of their ship, shouting, “Warm up the engines! They’re right behind us!”
There are a couple of different ways this scene might play out. The PCs might try and damage the ship. The weapons they have are not likely powerful enough to penetrate the armor of the ship, so stopping the ship from taking off that way is probably not going to work. The private spaceport is not equipped with tractor beams, nor with a containing force field since the atmosphere on Iliar is breathable. The most likely option for the PCs is to chase them onto the ship. The ship is an A.D.I Mark IV Freighter. The deckplan for one has been provided as free content by Angel’s Citadel at the indicated link.
If the PCs opt to chase the thieves onto the ship there will be a confrontation in the cargo hold. The leader of the thieves will be by the main door to the rest of the ship, and four of the crew (Level 3 NPCs with 12 health, 1 Armor and are trained in Medium Weapons), along with any of the remaining thieves that arrived in the hover-van will be securing cargo and have some cover if an altercation starts. If the PCs choose that route, it will be a standard combat. If the PCs allow him, however, the leader will attempt to speak with the PCs to convince them to let them leave.
Read the following aloud to the players:
“Do you have any idea what this is?” the leader asks, holding up the case he was carrying. “It’s the cure for Jorik’s Disease along with all the data that says it works. Faralon was going to sell it to hospitals and make a killing at the expense of all of our kids that have died. Kids!” He exclaims, looking and sounding exasperated. “Hope’s Knights found an independent chemical plant that will mass-produce the cure and distribute it at a fraction of that price because they’ve got a steady Pherycardium supply. We’re going to basically give it away to doctors instead. And you want to give it back to people who don’t even care so that they can line their pockets at our… my daughter’s expense?!” He shakes his head. “We’re not going to dishonor their memories by letting you leave with it, and it got taken on your watch. What do you think they’re going to do to you?” He looks at you expectantly.
The PCs have a hard choice to make. They are likely very outnumbered, and all of the enemy are armed. If they fight, this will be a pitched battle, one that does not look good for them. If they leave, the man is correct, and at best, they will be unemployed before the end of the day. More likely, because of how much money they will lose from lost sales of the drug, the PCs will disappear and never be heard from again.
Alternatively, the PCs could decide that the cause he is describing is one worth fighting for. The PCs could join them. They would be required to disarm, but if they did so, they would be treated well – probably be kept in the brig and interrogated for several hours before beginning to be integrated and indoctrinated into the Hope’s Knights organization which would make for an interesting life-twist for them. For this adventure, award two XP for completing all the Acts and an additional XP if the PCs either re-acquire the cure or join Hope’s Knights.
Continuing the Adventure
If you wish to turn this adventure into a campaign, Faralon Industries will likely send a team after the cure. There is too much money on the line for them not to. If the PCs have joined Hope’s Knights they may be asked to help deal with such repercussions. That organization, while the media have labeled them as terrorists, is composed almost entirely of civilians from the UGT who are simply fed up with the way things are, the way the rich seem to keep getting richer at the expense of everybody else, and the way people who struggle and are deserving always seem to end up with the short straw. Is the whole organization like that, however? Or is there something else behind all the cells and the layers of secrecy?
On the other hand, if the PCs recover the cure and data and return it to Faralon Industries, their superiors might take note of their initiative in going after the thieves at all costs. Faralon does not publish it, but they have teams of “problem solvers” that they employ when more sedate tactics fail to achieve their objectives. They may offer the PCs a position as one of those teams. As resource-plentiful as Faralon Industries is about to become, the toys that the PCs would get to play with are things they may not be able to access any other way.
We hope you enjoyed the Faralon Heist. To help out, we also posted this on DriveThruRPG as a self-contained, Pay-What-You-Want PDF, HERE. As our first adventure, we’d love feedback or to hear your stories about what happened when you ran it, because like we’ve said, we’re always trying to improve our own craft as well. Feel free to comment here on this post or on our Facebook page (If Facebook is your thing – please Like and share with anyone you feel would be interested in what we do).
- Josh Walles
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