Amber Zone - Planetoid Mining Adventure Seeds

Last Updated 1 February 2004.

By: Merrick Burkhardt
From: [Digest 495]
Dated: Sun, 26 Nov 1995

Subject: Re: planetoid towing...
[Merrick's comments, 495]

>>Towing a planetoid got a lot different with TNE.
>What about the classic SF mass-driver drive? Land on the chosen
>planetoid and start tunneling right there, using the debris to fuel
>as mass driver. You'll still not get anything approaching a G, but
>you'll have to accept the slow transit.

That'd do the trick. Since you have to mine the material to use as reaction mass, the workers would still have to live on an attached ship though, and the labor would be a major cost (I'd think), no? Still, in some cases this is a neat adventure seed:

Planetoid Hull Miners

Players are hired on as mining workers for asteroid hulls. They ship out in a converted merchant vessel, jump to the asteroid, and match courses. The MD needs to be set up, mining begins... now comes the months of digging. Maybe a seeker takes the miners for liberty trips in cycles every few weeks 4 at a time.

Seed 1
An accident (actually sabotage) strands the miners on the rock, and the next resupply is weeks away. Accidents start taking the lives of miners one after the other. Virus? A madman? Perhaps the MD is slowly bringing the rock towards not just an orbit near the main world, but actually hitting the world itself! (a Virus controlled MD) If the mining was being done by a small operation, there might not be a resuply ship, so the players (once they figure out what is going on) have to prevent the disaster.
Seed 2
The asteroid in question is part of a small swarm in a highly eccentric and inclined orbit. The Monitor hull being mined is pretty large (8000+ tons), and is surrounded (within several 10ths of a l-s) by a number of smaller rocks. Most are useless, some have water ice useful for fuel and life support. Miners sometimes take a "cart" (a small open craft with only a few g-turns of fuel) and explore the other bodies nearby. Hijinks ensue, er, alien artifacts are found, maybe (hey, it's late, folks :-) This will only be useful until they start actually moving the Monitor, then it leaves the other rocks behind...

Whatever you do, it's a reason for people to spend a lot of time in an inhospitable place.


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