VasaLoppet – The Space Race

The big long-distance ski-race Vasaloppet is on today. It is run from Sälen to Mora (9o km). This has inspired me to think about a long distance space race.

We are all familiar with the planet Mora in the Spinward Marches. That should be the goal. As far as I know there is no planet named Sälen, But there is a planet named New Salen in Vland Sector. That should be the start of the race.

Some ideas for the race. All the ships should start at the same time from the ice-caps of New Salen. The first ship to land on the main starport at Mora is the winner. There could be hundreds or even more ships in the race. There should be a huge prize for the winner, since the ships has to spend several months in this race. It should be sponsored by Megacorporations and by nobles at the planet the race passes. There can be a number of classes depending on jump-drive. To avoid that ships try to do a “controlled” misjump, there should be a number of mandatory planets that has be be passed (in order and within a time limit). No violence (or other forms of cheating) will be allowed during the race.

The mandatory planets to visit might be Vland,  Twophur, Kaasu and Deneb. The fastest ships in the race would usually just refuel and continue. The slower might stay for a few days, making repairs and going to parties. A tradition in the race could be to pick up a cargo of Vilani ale at Vland, and on every planet where the ship makes a longer stop, contribute with a part of the cargo to the local race party.


Image from Traveller Map.

Adventure ideas:

The PC’s are taking part in the race in the J-3 class. This year there is a special prize. The winner of the J-3 class will get a contract to deliver all ale from a Vland brewery for a year. Since this is a very nice price for a fast independant ship, there will be some cheating. By others, that will slow down the PCs ship. And by the PCs, as a revenge. Will the PCs win, or will they be disqualified?

The PCs could be hired for a rescue mission, when one of the ships has tried to do a “controlled” misjump and missed the deadline of one of the mandatory checkpoints.

The PCs can be part of a team of ships that each will try to do a “controlled” misjump with the hope that one of them will go in the right direction and win the race. Then the PCs can end up wherever the referee wants them. 😈

12 thoughts on “VasaLoppet – The Space Race”

  1. Us fans don’t know whether to comment on the Facebook version or put our comments on your blog, do we?

    Well, let me repeat what I posted on Facebook. GREAT idea for a campaign. You could set it in different parts of the OTU timeline (Classic, Rebellion, Hard Times, TNE) for a VERY different feel each time. Imagine the race organisors still getting it together even though the ‘collapse’ is going on.

  2. Please do comment here!

    It would be difficult to run the race during war or Vargr invasions or whatever. But if the race is started when there aren’t any problems, and then something happens… That would be interesting.

  3. Now that’s a novel take; Vargr pirates wanting to take the ale as tribute! Nothing like drunken spacers earl-eye in tha morn-in!!

  4. That could be an interesting situation. First the Vargr steals the beer. Then the PC ship arrives at a starport where they are expecting beer for their race party. But since the PCs don’t have any beer, they are chased of the planet (without doing the needed repairs and without refined fuel).

  5. This is a very interesting idea. It would fit very nicely in my games. The length of the race makes for many possibilities and the different categories will definitely make things work out very nicely.

  6. I have to say I have a fondness for this kind of “adventure.” The use of something unique as the backbone, if you will, of a larger series of sessions that can create rivalries, disputes, and even new partnerships. Nicely done.

  7. I played in a space race game via IRC about the time I met you BeRKA and the game I ran last last year was also travelled across most of the Five Sisters. What I learned is the problem with a race/space travel game is the down time is a killer. One of the things I tried to do was get the players to share character background and to do due training. The idea was to get character interaction going. Maybe even flash back adventures. Unfortunately the players didnt get this. So before you run a travel type adventure make sure players the right type.

  8. I imagine that traffic around Mora to be quite busy. What if the two leading ships in the race arrive at Mora at about the same time, might there be an undesireable urge to ignore traffic control and just dive on the starport (and pay any fines later)? Maybe instead use a smallish space station, away from the traffic lanes, surrounded with TV camera for the sports networks … winner is first ship to get a hard seal on one of the airlocks.

  9. This is more like the Dakar rally or America’s Cannonball. I think you need more rules and more prizes. A good thing to put on COTI…and fire up the ideas in the MOOT.

    Possible prizes: payment reduction on starships, a scout ship,…
    the problem is Credits…expensive race if your not fully funded.

  10. Thank you for new good ideas.

    Tim: I agree that other plots than the race are needed to keep it from getting boring.

    Peter: Good point. We shouldn’t mess up the regular traffic. But a landing on the planet can be so much fun. Maybe land in a area far from the starport. To push the ship in the final sprint through the atmosphere to win first prize. At what temperature will the hull fail catastrophically?

    Savage: I agree, more prizes and sponsors are needed. But I am not allowed to promote my blog at CotI. Someone else must bring it up there.

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