Hunting Party

Patron: Lord Ruustvalt of Sagamore
Skills required: Hunting, Recon, Survival
Equipment required: hunting arms
Location: Gwydion (Foreven 3020) C-442535-9 Ni Po

Lord Ruustvalt is hiring experienced hunters for a party to bring down a neosphinx, a very large aggressive carnivore. The hunt will be outside the normal boundaries of commsat coverage. Radio contact will be possible, but unreliable. Terrain is badlands – lots of ridges, crags, valleys, box canyons and very little vegetation.

Ruustvalt – image from wikimedia
Copyright Expired – Public Domain

Referee’s information:
The referee must set up an animal encounter table for the hunt. The table should include at least three kinds of herbivores of various sizes, and three carnivores. The largest of the three will be the hunt’s object, the neosphinx. See below. Payment: Cr 5000 each, bonus of Cr 2000 if they take a neosphinx.

The PCs will be limited in what sort of weaponry and equipment they can bring along – no heavy military gear will be permitted, nor armor heavier than Mesh. In all cases, accidents will happen during the trip. Minor to major injuries will occur especially if there is someone with medical skill among the PCs.

P.S. Ruustvalt is modeled on Theodore Roosevelt. During the hunt, a carnivore will be brought to bay by the hunters. Ruustvalt will insist on finishing it off personally, without assistance, with only a knife. He will win. Roosevelt did this on a hunt once, to a cougar.

1. After the proposed hunting party time has passed, without finding a neosphinx or much of anything, Ruustvalt insists that they stay longer. Food and other gear begins to run out. Hunting something becomes very important, as does management of resources.

2. During the hunt, they come upon signs of a neo’s territory. As they get closer, it may (hunting skill checks) become apparent that there are two of them; a mating pair, which is defending its brood and den. They will go on the attack against the party. The Neo’s are smart hunters, and can terrorize the party with attacks at night, by springing in and out of the camp.

3. The land upon which they are hunting is owned by someone of Ruustvalt’s acquaintance. But there are other hunters in the badlands who do not have permission. They will try to avoid Ruustvalt’s party as much as possible, but PCs with Hunting or Recon skill may come upon signs of their presence and if they report it, Ruustvalt will want them to take action. The poaching party will be equal in size to the PC’s party and similarly armed. The poachers will try to escape rather than stand and fight, but will fight hard if cornered. Penalties for poaching are severe, and Ruustvalt is known to have little tolerance for poachers.

4. Bad Storm. The hunt is going along well, but the weather begins to close in. In no case will the PCs convince Ruustvalt to abandon the hunt due to weather. Clouds make it darker and harder to see, wind blows up dust which obscures tracks and gets into everything that isn’t sealed up. Rain will start off light, just enough to be annoying but at some point during the trip the skies will without warning open up into a torrential downpour which will set off flash floods and landslides as well as soaking everyone and everything. Lightning may strike in an otherwise dry patch of scrub and start a fire. High winds make contragrav flight harder, and may knock vehicles down. Camp items that are not secured could be blown away or knocked down and damaged. At the height of the downpour (which could last for hours) visibility will be reduced to Medium or even Short range. Rain or thunder could provoke a stampede of grazers in the PC’s direction.

5. Vehicle Crash. One of the vehicles will suffer a disabling accident during the trip, with the PCs aboard. This should happen at a time and place where the PCs will have to improvise solutions, relying on their wits, skills and physical abilities instead of their tech to make it back to the base camp. NPC party members may be injured or killed in the accident, but Ruustvalt should not be killed. While moving overland, have several animal encounters occur. The vehicle may or may not be repairable, but even if repaired it should remain unreliable. Repair rolls will face negative DMs for lack of tools.

6. Assassins. Some member(s) of the hunting party, possibly including one of the PCs, are intending to kill Ruustvalt; having been suborned by one of his political or social enemies. If the killers are NPCs the PCs should be given some hints along the way that something is afoot. The killers will prefer to let one of the animals on the hunt kill Ruustvalt, so that it appears to be an accident. Only if they are in danger of exposure and capture, or almost at the end of the hunt will they try to directly attack Ruustvalt. Whether they succeed or fail, the killers will then try to escape in one of the vehicles, disabling the others (and the radio) if they have time to evade pursuit.

Mass     Hits/Wounds    Weapons     Armor        A F S
1600 kg 45-48/15-18 +4D teeth/claws as cloth +2  * # 2+ leap
* If Surprise
# If Surprised

The neosphinx is a quadruped of large size (from 3.5 m to nearly 5 m in length) and enormous strength. Even their tails, nearly a meter long, are muscled. Neosphinx coats are made of short, stiff fur in shades of slate and charcoal gray. Their paws can be up to 30 cm in diameter with 4-6 cm claws. Neosphinxes are territorial, aggressive carnivore pouncers, feeding on local herbivorous grazers. Their running speed is actually slower than the grazers they prey upon; the neosphinx attacks by leaping extraordinary distances. From a standing start, they can cover up to twelve meters, while a running neosphinx can launch itself over twenty-two meters.

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