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Welcome to the Dark Nova Roleplaying Game

Quick-Start Game. This booklet is an

introduction to the Dark Nova Roleplaying
Game, a sci-fi roleplaying game set in the 24th
century. If youre an experienced player who
knows all this stuff, share it with someone who
hasnt played before. If youre interested in how
to play the Dark Nova game, read on.

Take a minute to look at the character sheets on
pages 6-11. Make photocopies of those pages if
you want and make sure that every player in
your group has the sheet for the character he or
she wants to play. Heres what all the
information on the character sheets means.
Name: The characters name, already written in.
Player: Thats you, the player running this
character. Put your own name here.
Occupation: Dark Nova characters fall into
general archetypes, within which are numerous
occupations. Each occupation has advantages
over the others. The archetypes in this mission
include Combat Arms (who are good at
warfare), Adventurer (a motley mix of roughand-tumble types who ply the spacelanes of
Fringe space), Tech (engineers and other
technically-skilled types), Academics (skilled
and well-educated types whos knowledge is
invaluable), and Socialite (socially-adept types
who have connections and charm). At least one
occupation from each archetype is represented
Race: In the Dark Nova game, characters can
belong to different races. In this mission, most
of the characters are Human, but a few are not.
Laes is a Teek, a diminutive race of sauriansevolved dinosaur-like creatures- known for their
hyper-intelligence and technical savvy, and
Hrraghnak is a Garoudan, a race of powerful
lupine hunter-warriors. There are many different
races in the dark nova world, each of them
having their own advantages, disadvantages and
Level: Characters can be carried over from one
mission to the next (like a saved game). As
they have more missions, they become more
powerful. Level is a measure of how powerful
the characters are. In this mission, all the
characters are level 1, which means they are still
inexperienced and can grow more powerful.
Attributes and Ability Scores: These numbers
are the heart of a characters description. They
tell what the strong and weak points of the
character are. Attributes are the sum total of the
three primary characteristics of a personPhysical, Mental and Social. Ability Scores are
the specific aspects of those characteristics, such
as how strong or intelligent the characters are.

In a roleplaying game, each individual involved
pretends to be an imaginary character, much the
same as an actor plays a part in a film or a play.
The big difference is that in a film, the actors are
following a scriptbut in a roleplaying game,
you and the other players are writing your own
lines as you play out a mission, and the ending
of the story is not determined until you get there.
One of the individuals in a Dark Nova game is
the Game Master (GM for short), the person
who knows what the mission is all about and
tells the players whats happening as the story
moves along. Its always necessary for someone
to be the GM, but this doesnt have to be the
same person every time you play. The other
individuals are players, each one playing the role
of his or her own character. The mission
included with these rules, titled Oupost 13, is
for one GM and up to six players. In the Dark
Nova game, there are five primary professional
archetypes your character can be, and six
occupations within each of those archetypes.
They travel alien worlds or among the stars
themselves, living by their wits, skills and potent
weaponry. To play Outpost 13, each player
selects one of the characters from the sheets on
pages 6-11. If you want to play more missions,
you can use this character over and overyou
dont have to use a new character every time you
play a new game.
The GM should read over all of these rules and
the mission before starting play. The players
should read pages 1-11 and look over the
character sheets on pages 6-11but dont read
any farther, or the surprises of the mission will
be ruined!

PHY is the average of your Physical stats.

Strength is how strong your character is.
Agility is how quick and agile your
character is.
Endurance is how tough your character

Weapons: This section tells the types of

weapons each character has, how many attacks
per round he has with it, and how much damage
each weapon causes. To find out what things
like 1d8 and 1d10 mean, see the Funky
Dice section on the following page.
Skills: This line tells what skills your character
possesses. Skills are essential parts of the
character, explaining what he can do. In the full
Dark Nova game, the characters will have a
tremendous number of skills, but for the
purposes of this mission only the critical ones
are listed. Skill checks are rated on a 3-30 scale,
and the rating of your characters skills in that
range gives you an idea how good they are at it.
Equipment: This is a listing of other important
stuff your character may have. Ordinary items
like clothing and commlinks arent mentioned,
but things that may be useful, like motion
sensors and medical gear, are.
Occupation Description: The characters each
belong to a specific occupation within the five
archetypes listed previously. These are briefly
covered here.

MEN is the average of your Mental stats.

Intelligence is how smart your character
Willpower is how mentally tough your
character is.
Perception is how aware of his
surroundings your character is.
SOC is the average of your Social stats.
Charisma is how suave or how good of
a leader your character is.
Beauty is how physically attractive your
character is.
Savvy is how socially astute and
adaptable your character is.
Galactic Average ability scores range from 3 to
18, with 3 being the lowest (and weakest), and
18 being the best. Some races or augmented
characters will be higher or lower than this
Your characters ability scores have an effect on
how well he or she does at certain things. Weve
done all the calculations you need to play the
mission, so dont sweat it.
Armor: This line tells you what type of armor
your character is wearing.
Armor Rating (AR): This line tells you how
much damage the armor you are wearing can
take before it is breached.
Target Acquisition Class (TAC): This number
tells you how hard your character is to hit, either
due to agility, special equipment, or both. The
higher the number, the harder it is to hit them.
Hit Points: Hit points are a measure of how
much damage your character can withstand.
Wounds: This line is used to keep track of the
wounds your character has taken. If this number
gets to be more than your characters hit points,
he or she is defeated and out of the game. Use a
pencil to tally your characters wounds, in case
some of them get healed by Sam, the crews


In the Dark Nova game, the Game Master and
the players team up to tell a story. The GM has a
script, also called a mission, that describes the
adventure they are embarking on. The players
have character sheets, which tell them what their
characters can do and what items they can use.
The GM sets the stage, usually by reading a
prepared bit of text, telling the players what their
characters see. This might be a brief description
of the area where the characters are, or
information passed on from an informant, or a
technical or tactical brief given by a client.
The players then can ask questions and tell the
GM what they want their characters to do. The
GM tells the players what their characters see
and hear. Heres an example of how that works:
GM: You see a strange, rounded urn-like device
with a cluster of crystals inset into it like
Player: I take a closer look to see if they are
decorative or might actually be a keypad panel
of some sort.

GM: They appear to be arranged in a pattern,

and each has an unfamiliar glyph carved into
Player: I pick up the device and press the
crystals to see if they activate it.
GM: As you press the crystals the device begins
to hum and vibrate slightly. The hum begins to
increase in volume and pitch, not unlike a
microreactor powering up. A chirping beep
begins to sound, increasing in frequency as the
hum increases.
Player: Uh, how fast can I run again?
You get the idea. Sometimes there is some doubt
about if a particular action is successful, if you
hit an opponent, or how much damage you
cause. For that you need the funky dice (see the
following section). Sometimes the players will
roll the dice and sometimes the GM will roll the
dice, depending on the situation.

a 5 or 6 equals 3. A roll of 1d2 would use a d4,

with a 1 or 2 equaling 1, a 3 or 4 equaling a 2.

The players are running characters who often
find themselves in a fight. The universe of Dark
Nova can be a very dangerous place, full of
predatory aliens, pirates, criminal syndicates,
and so many other threats. Your characters tend
to work at cross-purposes to these groups, and as
a result . . . we have combat.
The players roll the dice when their characters
are doing things. The GM rolls the dice for the
things he controls- like the characters he plays,
called non-player-characters or NPCs- or when
he wants to keep the results secret from the
players. If theres any question about who rolls,
the GM decides (making decisions is part of the
job). In combat, players always roll for their
Combat is divided up into rounds, and characters
can attack a predetermined number of times with
a weapon each round. When all of the players
and NPCs have gone for the round, a new one
starts and the number of attacks available
refreshes. When combat starts, each player
needs to say what weapon his character is using.
Hrraghnak, for example, may use her pulse rifle
or her grenades. Both have advantages and
disadvantages. Each of the players needs to
make an attack roll, trying to get a particular
number or higher on 1d20 (a 20-sided die). In
general, Combat Arms occupations are best at
combat and Socialite and Academic ones the
worst. Characters with high Physical ability
scores do better than those with lower ones.
Each player gets to roll to see if his or her
character scores a hit. In this mission, we
summarize all of this and tell you what number
each of the characters needs in order to hit. If
you miss, there is no penalty, except that the
opponent is still there and can attack your
character in return.
On a hit, your characters weapon causes a
certain amount of damage. The pulse rifle, for
example, causes 2d8x10 points of damage to an
opponent. This is subtracted from their Armor
Rating first, and once the Armor Rating reaches
zero, it is subtracted from the hit points until
they also reach zero. The GM keeps track of
damage to the NPCs.

Funky Dice
Weapons (and a lot of other things in the game)
come with a set of numbers, like 1d8, 2d6, and
1d4+1. What do the numbers mean? They
describe different types of dice used in the Dark
Nova game. The number after the d tells you
how many sides the die has. Ad6 is the normal
kind of die youre probably used to seeinga
cube with each side representing a number from
1 to 6. Other dice come in different shapes and
have different numbers of sides: 4, 8, 10, 12, and
A number in front of the d tells how many
dice should be rolled, so 1d8 means roll one 8sided die, and 2d4 means roll two 4-sided dice.
A plus sign followed by a number means that the
number should be added to the roll: 1d8+1
means roll an 8-sided die and add 1 to the result.
A multiplication sign followed by a number
means that the results of the roll should be
multiplied by that number: 1d6x10 means roll
a 6-sided die and multiply it by 10.
On rare occasions you will see a combination of
the two, but for the purposes of this mission you
will use one or the other for simplicitys sake.
Sometimes, you might see a number like 1d3,
which doesnt have an actual die for it.
Obviously, there is no three-sided die, but you
can generate the right number range by rolling a
six-sided die and dividing by 2, then rounding
up. Thus, a 1 or 2 equals 1, a 3 or 4 equals 2, and

After the characters each get a chance to hit, the

GM makes attack rolls for the NPCs. Again,
weve done the calculations already in this
mission, and we just give you the number
required. If a character is hit, the opponent does
an amount of damage determined by another die
roll. The player marks this damage as wounds on
his or her character sheet.

minute though it may be- travelling at

hypervelocity speeds, they cause significant
kinetic impact on the target. This can knock the
target back, depending on the size of the pulse
and the target it strikes. Additionally, the
charged particles release explosive energy upon
impact, causing thermal, radiant and explosive
Particle Projection (PP): Particle projection
weapons comprise the bulk of commonplace
weaponry of the 24th century. They use
magnetic acceleration to project self-contained
packets of protons cocooned within an EM field
that lasts for a few tenths of a second. Upon
impact, the field disperses and releases the
charged particles into the target with tremendous
force. Particle projection weapons have
significantly higher levels of kinetic impact from
the larger packet of hypervelocity charged
particles. Whereas a particle beam is like being
hit with a light-speed pencil, a particle
projection weapon is like being hit by a twenty
kilo boulder hurled at a tenth that speed.
Needless to say, it knocks target back and has
much greater explosive, radiant and thermal
Plasma (PL): Plasma is the product of a fusion
reaction, pure energy in its most primal state.
The stuff stars are made of- literally- and the
base component of particle weapons, plasma is
commonly found in the cores of fusion reactors.
Pure unfiltered plasma is very powerful, but also
dissipates very rapidly. The shotgun of the Dark
Nova universe, plasma weapons are area affect
weapons no matter whether they are pistols or
Plasma Grenade (g): A plasma grenade is a
small sphere of fusion plasma contained within
an EM field inside a cooling shroud. The
grenade is activated when a command is giveneither to detonate immediately, or to do so after
a pre-designated time frame. Once the command
triggers detonation, the EM field disbands,
releasing the compressed plasma in a vicious
explosive outrush. The resulting fusion
explosion is tremendous, with an area of effect
of 10 meters radius.

The Dark Nova game is set in a science fiction
world, effectively our worlds future three
centuries from now. Dark Nova characters use
energy weapons instead of gunpowder guns, fly
in skycars and starships instead of ground cars,
and fight pirates and aliens instead of the daily
commute. In the game, we throw around a lot of
words describing stuff from a much higher
technological level than what you may be used
to dealing with.
Weapons in Dark Nova are divided into civiliangrade (civ-grade) and military-grade (mil-spec)
levels of power. The power of a civilian-grade
weapon is comparable to a 12 gauge shotgun at
close range firing .00 buckshot mixed with a
slug, and is almost always lethal in one or two
Mil-spec weapons are designed to combat the
heavy armor worn by 24th century soldiers and
are very powerful, being a hundredfold more
potent than civ-grade weapons. The average milspec sidearm has as much firepower as 21st
century heavy artillery, and is impossible to
survive without armor or substantial
Mil-spec heavy weapons can often unleash
kiloton or higher yield firepower- albeit much
more focused than an omnidirectional 21st
century nuclear weapon- and are understandably
highly restricted.
There are several types of weapons in Dark
Nova within these two categories. Ranged
weapons are predominantly energy weapons,
usually based on tried-and-true particle weapon
Particle Beam (PB): Uses a focused EM field
tube to contain a stream of charged particles that
travels from the emitter to the target at nearluminal velocities (i.e. .999999% of the speed of
light). As the charged particles have some mass4

Energy Shields: Shields are a mixture of

ablative (absorbs the incoming energy damage)
and deflective (re-directs it), and are the first line
of defense against incoming attacks as well as
navigational hazards. They are commonplace on
vehicles and mandatory on ships.
Personal Shield Generators are a type of
energetic defense often worn with armor. These
are small shield generators, either built into
armor or worn at the waist, that create globular
shields around the character. Like the shields on
vehicles and ships, these deflect and ablate
energy that hits them, countering energy
weapons and most kinetic weapons.
Gear is as important as skill in the Dark Nova
universe. A character can be a brilliant engineer,
but without the proper tools she can do little
more than kick the sealed access panels in
Medkit: A nanite-based medical kit. Medical
nanites are microscopic robots a few atoms in
size that repair damaged or altered cells within
the body, healing the character. This kit can treat
one patient at a time, healing them for 3d6+2 hit
points every round.
Collapsible Hover Stretcher: A stretcher that
collapses into a 18 bar when not in use that
contains an antigravity field to float from 4" to 6'
above the ground. Can carry 5 tons and can be
extended to carry four patients simultaneously.
Motion Detector: A handheld device that scans
for disturbances in a projected gravitic detection
field in a fashion similar to a radar-based motion
detector. It accurately determines the number,
location, and general direction of all moving
objects or persons within 50 meters.
Maglock Keygen Card: The 24 century
equivalent of lockpicks, these systems generate
the complex series of passcode keys required to
open a maglock. Adds +6 to Lockpicking skill
Nanite Inhibitor Field Generator: A device that
emits a specialized field which destroys nanites
within 20 meters per use, and has enough power
for four uses.
Multi-Optic Headset: Sunglass-like headset
with low-light, thermal, Chemical Residue Trace
(CRT) imaging, pattern mapping, infrared,
ultraviolet, magnified (x30 max) vision, and the
ability to record up to ten hours of video or stills.

Hard armor is made of a composite of materials
layered into plates of various thickness. These
materials are a mixture of hyper-dense (and thus
phenomenally heavy) atomically-bonded turine
or carbon with intervening layers of energydispersing carbon nanotube aerogel. These
plates are worn over an energy-ablative
nanofiber suit that absorbs and redirects thermal,
radiant and kinetic energy into nanobattery
power cells spread throughout the suit. This suit
also has a synthetic myomer-like layer that acts
as an artificial muscle enhancement. This is
designed to compensate for the weight of the
armor, rendering its weight and heft neutral
while being worn (as well as giving the wearer
the strength to haul the armor on).
Reinforced Concealed Armor: This armor uses
the same energy-ablative nanoweave that goes
into the suits worn under heavier armor
combined with thin, flexible plates of ablative
armor material over vital areas. While nowhere
near as durable as conventional armor, it is
designed to be virtually undetectable.
Outer Tactical Vest (OTV): One of the most
common types of armor worn by law
enforcement, this upper-body set of hard armor
is thinner and lighter than the chest-and-back
plates of full-coverage hard armor. Providing a
second-chance protection against a pulse
weapon shot, it is not designed to stand up to
prolonged abuse. It is comprised of a chest and
back plate with bicep and shoulder pauldrons to
protect the upper arms.
Light Body Armor (LBA): Light armor is
designed to provide a basic level of protection
without compromising maneuverability. The
under-armor suit is thicker than normal,
providing a base-line body-wide protection
supplemented by thick, segmented armor plates
covering the vitals. It is environmentally-sealed,
meaning it can seal instantly to protect the
wearer against a sudden drop in pressure,
radiation or hostile atmosphere.
Medium Body Armor (MBA): The heaviest
armor in this mission, an MBA uses hardened
plate armor to cover 90% of the wearer's body,
all of which are layered over a standard underarmor bodysuit. This fully-enclosed
environmentally-sealed body armor is capable of
handling EVA, and is very durable in a fight.

Character Sheet
Name: Ryker Teague
Player: _______________________
Occupation: Freetrader (Adventurer)
Race: Human
Level: 1
Attributes and Ability Scores
PHYStrength 14
Agility 16
Endurance 16
MENIntelligence 12
Willpower 11
Perception 13
SOCCharisma 13
Beauty 12
Savvy 15
Armor: Light Body Armour (LBA)
Armor Rating: 500
Target Acquisition Class: 17
Hit Points: 37
Wounds: __________________________
# Attacks
Hawkeye Plasma Pistol 2
Pilot Starship: 22
Smuggling: 20
Parts Scrounging: 16 Surveillance: 14
Equipment: Vessel- Rourkes Revenge
Occupation Description: Freetraders are
men and women who dislike the yoke of
governmental controls and prefer the
freedom of open space where they can make
their own destinies. They are armed
merchantmen, smugglers and spacers whose
ships and crew are well-trained and wellarmed. Their specialty is getting goods from
point A to point B, in spite of the dangers,
and in spite of whether people at point A
want the goods departing, or if people in
point B want them arriving.

Ryker Teague is a Freespacer, having been

born and raised on an independent colony in
non-national space. Not being a part of any
of the larger nations of the Terran Alliance,
Ryker- like most Freespacers- has no
particular loyalties to or biases against any
of those nations, making him a truly neutral
Freespace: Freespace is the term used to
describe the huge swaths of known space
that are made up of independent star
systems. In most cases, Freespace is
comprised of a single system, or as many as
a half-dozen neighboring systems, each
independent or under a single non-national
governance. These systems are owned and
governed by corporations, syndicates,
guilds, etc., and not by any country in the
classical sense. These colonies are often
located along the edges of larger nationallysaturated territories (largely because the big
nations annex independent systems deep
within their own territory, usually through
political or economic methods, but on
occasion through good old-fashioned brute
force), but some stretches of space are full
of them. Freespace is almost completely
deregulated, where just about anything but
slaves are legal to buy and sell. Many firms
are based out of Freespace as a result.

Character Sheet
Name: Samantha Sam Nielson
Player: _______________________
Occupation: Combat Medic (Adventurer)
Race: Human
Level: 1
Attributes and Ability Scores
PHYStrength 14
Agility 15
Endurance 16
MENIntelligence 16
Willpower 13
Perception 17
SOCCharisma 9
Beauty 16
Savvy 11
Armor: Light Body Armor (LBA)
Armor Rating: 500
Target Acquisition Class: 16
Hit Points: 38
Wounds: __________________________
# Attacks
PPR40 Pulse Rifle
Hawkeye Plasma Pistol 2
Paramedic, Tactical: 19 Field Surgery: 17
Tactics: Small Unit: 15 Biology: 14

Samantha is a former paramedic for the

North American Union Colonial Marine
Corps. After hearing about the Hardin
Massacre- wherein an NAU commander
orbitally bombarded civilian populations of
the breakaway Free Systems Alliance- she
resigned her commission and went
independent. She has served as a tactical
medic for several mercenary firms,
including Varangian Guard, Spartan Group
and PMSC. She is taking a break from highthreat ops by signing on with a Freetrader
crew as their medical officer, hoping to
make easy money and enjoy a less-stressful
working environment hopefully.

Mercenary Firms: Mercenary firms of the

24th century are effectively private militaries
Equipment: Medkit (heals 3d6+2 hit points
used by Freespace systems to protect against
per round), collapsible hover stretcher
outside aggression. They are descended
from the PMCs of the 20th and 21st century
Occupation Description: Combat medics
but with an offensive mandate as well as
are soldiers or mercenaries who specialize in
defensive. Freelance mercenaries are not
tactical medical care. While they are just as
uncommon, but are usually specialists who
capable at combat as their comrades-inare in high demand in other arenas. Most
arms, the focus of the combat medic is to
mercenaries belong to a mercenary firm or
extract and treat wounded soldiers and
to a guild of one sort or another. Merc firms
mercenaries. Providing out-of-hospital care
are all licensed, insured, and follow strict
under combat conditions and often in austere
guidelines and standards of conduct that
environments requires far higher levels of
bely the term having been such a dirty word
training and capabilities than a conventional
only a few centuries prior.
ambulance medic.

Character Sheet
Name: Hrraghnak
Player: _______________________
Occupation: Mercenary (Combat Arms)
Race: Garoudan
Level: 1
Attributes and Ability Scores
PHYStrength 22
Agility 18
Endurance 21
MENIntelligence 12
Willpower 13
Perception 17
SOCCharisma 12
Beauty 12
Savvy 12
Armor: Medium Body Armor (MBA)
Armor Rating: 1,000
Target Acquisition Class: 19
Hit Points: 65
Wounds: __________________________
# Attacks
PPR40 Pulse Rifle
4 Plasma Grenades
1 per 3d12x100(g)
Tactics, Small Unit: 17 Gunnery: 19
Stealth: 21
First Aid: 15
Equipment: Motion Detector (gives number
and location of everyone within 50 meters)
Occupation Description: Mercenaries are
the most common Combat Arms occupation.
While they can have moral and ethical codes
ranging from apathetic to staunchly
idealistic and noble, warfare and conflicts
are their career. They are combatants-forhire and are all skilled, disciplined, licensed,
and follow strict rules and guidelines of

Hrraghnak is a member of the Hruagna tribe,

which is one of many tribes within the Angji
faction of the Garoudan race. The Angji were on
the losing side of a religious civil war, and fled
into Terran space to avoid being genocided out
by the brutal Garouja. Her tribe settled in the
Human nation of the Free Systems Alliance
which had just won a war for independence from
the North American Union.
Hrraghnak is young, barely an adult at 16, but
old enough to become a mercenary. After
serving a year with the famous mercenary firm
Spartan Group, she has set out on her own to
build up her fortune and reputation.
Ryker recently hired her on as his primary
gunner and counter-boarding specialist
(something like a marine), something she has
excelled at. While she is not a true novice, she
has only been in a few direct-engagement
firefights. The thrill of the Hunt hooked her,
though, and she feels she has found her calling.
Garoudan: Despite being lupine in appearance,
Garoudan are actually closer to feline
genetically. They are huge, with females being
larger than males at around 76 to 8, and males
being from 7 to 76 in height. Garoudan are
very religious, holding the Hunt as a sacral part
of their religious practices. They make excellent
warriors, but are also quite adept at art,
philosophy and the sciences. They have
phenomenal senses of smell, hearing and sight.

Character Sheet
Name: Laes
Player: _______________________
Occupation: Greasemonkey (Tech)
Race: Teek
Level: 1
Attributes and Ability Scores
PHYStrength 8
Agility 15
Endurance 10
MENIntelligence 24
Willpower 13
Perception 17
SOCCharisma 12
Beauty 13
Savvy 16
Armor: Outer Tactical Vest (OTV)
Armor Rating: 400
Target Acquisition Class: 16
Hit Points: 20
Wounds: __________________________
# Attacks
Renovator Pulse Pistol
Mechanics: 20
Computer Operation: 15
General Repair: 20 Starship Engineering: 18
Jury Rigging: 21
Electronics: 16
Netjacking: 17
Salvage: 17
Equipment: Nanite Inhibitor Field Generator
Occupation Description: Greasemonkeys have
an innate knack for mechanics that is expressed
in a pragmatic, often chaotic and/or quirky
manner. They are masters of the unorthodox
quick-fix using at-hand materials rather than
proper methods.
Unlike engineers, Greasemonkeys tend to prefer
coming up with innovative- and sometimes
insane- solutions through outside-the-box
thinking. The scary part is- it usually works.

Laes has always been obsessed with

technology like most of his race, but in
the practical application of engineering
science he is a bit more eccentric. Of
the six lobes of his brain, the more
creative- and also hyperactive- lobe has
tended to be the dominant one. This has
caused him to be ostracized to some
extent by his more disciplined
Laes has taken his extensive knowledge
of Terran-based technology and
combined it with his innovative- if
unorthodox and occasionally dangerousmethods to earn himself a place on the
crew of the Rourkes Revenge as the
Teek: Teek are a diminutive (3-36)
saurian race that hails from a world with
continent-wide jungles. They evolved to
sentience and tool-use in order to survive,
and that drive has led them to become
instinctual inventors and tinkerers. Obsessed
with technology and machinery, they are
masterful engineers and techs. Oddly, they
have no true central government, but have
proliferated throughout many other races
territories. Teek have six lobes in their brain
and- not unlike Terran dolphins- they do not
sleep in the normal manner, but instead rest
two lobes at a time. Unfortunately, this can
cause radical personality changes, depending
on which lobes are active at the time.

Character Sheet
Name: Katherine Kat Martin
Player: _______________________
Occupation: Freelance Intelligence Analyst
Race: Human
Level: 1
Attributes and Ability Scores
PHYStrength 10
Agility 16
Endurance 15
MENIntelligence 17
Willpower 17
Perception 17
SOCCharisma 9
Beauty 14
Savvy 15
Armor: Reinforced Concealed Armor
Armor Rating: 150
Target Acquisition Class: 17
Hit Points: 35
Wounds: __________________________
# Attacks
Renovator Pulse Pistol
Intelligence Analysis: 19 Cryptography: 20
Military Intelligence: 19
Surveillance: 22
Detect Concealment: 21
Netjacking: 16
Equipment: Maglock Keygen Card
Occupation Description: Intel analysts are
skilled in understanding and interpreting enemy
actions to compile an overall strategic profile of
their opponents, piecing together information to
determine changes in target capabilities and
probable courses of action. Freetraders often
provide transport and a base of operations for
such analysts in exchange for a cut of the profit
and their skills as strategic thinkers for when a
situation gets out of hand.


Kat is a former intelligence officer from

the powerful mercenary firm Spartan
Group. Irritated by the limitations of
desk work for a large corporation, she
has taken her skills and connections
independent, setting out on her own to
forge her own destiny. Along the way
she has made more than a few enemies,
and found that being on the move is the
best course of action until she can
consolidate a solid power base. So, she
serves aboard the Rourkes Revenge as
diplomatic liaison and intel gatherer,
keeping Ryker up to speed on events
around them lest the crew be caught
Humans: One of the strangest races in
known space as there are three parallelevolution human species: the Terrans,
Khurians, and Naradi. No one has ever
been able to explain how the same
species could evolve separately on three
different worlds, thus spurring
speculation of genetic seeding or
manipulation by a long-gone race. The
large number of near-human species in
existence- such as the Namaran and
Kyaren- lend support to this argument,
but it is still hotly debated in
anthropological and philosophical
circles. Humans are noted for their
incredibly stubborn wills, adaptability,
and Machiavellian cunning. Between the
three Human species, they are the most
widespread race in known space.

Character Sheet
Name: Miles Carter
Player: _______________________
Occupation: Field Journalist (Socialite)
Race: Human
Level: 1
Attributes and Ability Scores
PHYStrength 13
Agility 17
Endurance 14
MENIntelligence 12
Willpower 13
Perception 14
SOCCharisma 15
Beauty 14
Savvy 19
Armor: Reinforced Concealed Armor
Armor Rating: 150
Target Acquisition Class: 18
Hit Points: 32
Wounds: __________________________
# Attacks
Renovator Pulse Pistol
Persuasion: 17
Journalism: 21
Knowledge, Corporations: 17 Research: 20
Writing, Compelling: 19
Surveillance: 16
Equipment: Multi-Optics Headset

Miles Carter is the son of a Terran

privateer and a Khurian slave he rescued.
Of mixed heritage, Miles has a unique
perspective on the world- his mothers
idealism and his fathers love of the stars
combined to drive him to learn as much
about the universe as he can, and share it
with the world at large. It also drives him
to cover stories of heroism to inspire
others, and to expose corruption to bring
petty tyrants and slavers into the light.

Core Worlds and the Fringe: The Core

Worlds are the most heavily-settled
planets in the human sphere, each having
a population in the tens- even hundredsof billions. Most of these were the most
habitable of the colony worlds settled
during the first rush of settlement in the
22nd century. Core Worlds are secure
systems that are often the seat of
governmental and industrial-economic
power. By contrast, the Fringe is the
outermost edge of human settlement,
Occupation Description: Field journalists are
comprised of poorly equipped, oftoften freelance journalists who travel to the hot- primitive, dangerous and sparselyspots to get edgy stories. Despising Core World populated colonies. In between the Core
media focus on political intrigue and scandals,
Worlds and the Wild-West-like chaos of
field journalists go where the real stories are,
the Fringe lie the Colonial Territories.
traveling to the Colonial Territories and the
This makes up the majority of the human
Fringe to find the juicy stories- wars, pirate
sphere, comprising 88% of settled
raids, alien marauders, colonial disasters and the worlds. The colonial territories vary in
heroism that saves them, new races or worlds of makeup from populous worlds with
interest discovered, etc. Field journalists seek
hundreds of millions of colonists to
these stories out for profit and recognition.
rough-and-tumble colonies only one or
two steps up from a Fringe colony.

The Game Masters Section

In addition, the players will have additional

questions about what their characters see and
experience. You might say, You see a door,
and the players will respond, What does the
door look like? You check the text of the
mission to see if theres anything special about
the door. If there is, you say something like Its
a large blast door secured with a maglock. There
is an access console to the right of it on the
wall. If there isnt, you make something up.
This is what the GM is allowed to do. The
players wont know if it was in the text or not
(well, if you dont get carried away, that is).
The GM is in charge of filling in the blanks. We
cant cover everything that might happen in the
text of the mission (though were shooting for
the major ones), so the GM is encouraged to
provide his own input into the game.
The GM plays the roles of particular characters
from time to time. In this mission theres a
corporation- Acheron Planetary Services, Inc.that sends the characters in to investigate
Outpost 13, and a mad scientist who appears
towards the end of the mission. Additionally,
there are dozens of nanite-infected zombies,
but they are largely mindless automatons and not
characters in the true sense.
At times like this, you are asked to act in
character, as if you were Mr. Deacon, the
corporate contact, or the mad scientist Dr.
Bernard. When youre in character, you might
not know certain facts. (For instance, Mr.
Deacon has no idea what actually happened at
Outpost 13, although you- the GM- do.) Playing
the parts of these characters is your chance to do
a little roleplaying of your own.
Youre ready to play. Youve read over the
scenario, youre comfortable with the mission,
and you even have a set of the funky dice.
So how do you really start?
Get your friends together, as few as one and
as many as six. If you have only one or two
players, you might want them to double up,
each playing two characters instead of just
one. Give them a choice of which character to
play. If more than one wants a particular
character, either let them hash it out among
themselves or else make multiple photocopies
and let them change the names, creating
duplicates of the same character. (Just remember
that in the mission, this new character will use

This part of the booklet is for the GM, and

contains information that the GM should
know, but the players should not. If you just
want to be a GM, keep on reading.
Otherwise, pass these rules back to your


The Game Master is part director, part
storyteller, part central processing unit for the
game. The GM is responsible for telling the
players what their characters see, telling them
what the results of their characters actions are,
and keeping the game moving. The GM runs all
the characters that are not controlled by the
players. (Thats not as hard as it might seem,
because only a few of these characters are active
in the story at any single time.)
This part of the Dark Nova Fast-Play Game is an
introduction to being a GM. We walk through a
very simple mission, which you can run for your
friends. We cover the basics of combat and
movement. There are a lot of numbers and tables
in the Dark Nova game, but weve simplified
everything for the mission youre about to run
we did the calculations so you dont have to.
How do you tell who wins? Well, a roleplaying
game is different from a lot of other games
because there is no clear winner. Instead, the
characters all grow and improve together, and
the players enjoy seeing their characters succeed
in one mission after another. The GM gets his
reward by helping that growth, challenging the
players as everyone gets together to tell a group
story. It is much like a series of novels, except
that the gaming group is simultaneously the
author and the reader. The longer the series
progresses, the more attached to the characters
you become, and the more powerful and capable
they grow.

Some sections of the text of the mission are
inside boxes. These sections are usually
supposed to be read aloud to the players, and are
preceded by some line like If the characters do
such-and-such, read the following aloud. This
is information that you, the GM, are giving the
playerswhat their characters see and hear.

the same dice and stats as the one he was copied

Get comfortable someplace with enough flat
space to roll dice. Usually this means a kitchen
or dining room table, but if youre just as
comfortable on the floor, sitting on bean-bag
chairs, go for it.
The players dice should be rolled where
everyone can see them. The GMs dice may
often need to be rolled in secret, where the
players cannot see them. This is because the
GM may have to roll the dice, then give the
players information based on that die roll, and
the players might get an unfair hint on how
their character succeeded (or failed) if they can
see the roll. In those cases, the GM should use
a book or piece of paper to shield the result
from others. This isnt cheating- the GM is
supposed to be fair with his rolls, regardless.
Its generally a good idea to make combat rolls
out in the open and let the players keep track
of their characters hit points.
The GM should sit where the other players
cannot look over her shoulder (so they cant
read whats coming up in the mission).
Usually this is at the head of the table, with the
players on both sides. Leave enough space to
roll dice in front of you.
Once you get started reading the mission,
youll ask the players what their characters are
doing. At first, you should go around the table,
asking each in turn. For a lot of decisions the
choice is fairly clear, and after a while the GM
doesnt have to ask everyone, but at first its a
good idea to keep everyone involved. In combat,
you always ask each person what his character
is doing, even if he is not immediately
involved in the fighting.
Try to keep everyone from talking at once.
When youre reading a section aloud or
answering questions, the players should listen
to you. Similarly, you as the GM should listen
to their comments and actions fully. Get
everyones input before going on with the next
round or action.
It may be to your advantage to know in the
course of a mission where all the characters
are, exactly. If the characters in the front row
step on a booby trap pressure plate or tripwire to
a mine, or an enemy attacks the last character in
line, its very important to know who is where

ahead of time, so there are no arguments. Set up

a marching order to determine who is in front
and who is in the rear. You can do this on a
sheet of paper, or you can arrange dice, counters,
or miniature figures to show who is where. This
is very useful when large combats with multiple
opponents break out.
A group of players may have a natural party
leader who states what the characters are doing
as a group. (For example: Were all going
down the corridor.) Thats fine, but dont let
the caller dominate the others or state their
actions for them. (For example: Bobs character
will suicide-bomb the enemy pursuers with a
plasma grenade while the rest of us escape with
the data stores!) If this happens, turn to the
other players and get confirmation.
(For example: So, Bob, do you really
want to lay down your life here?)
Sometimes a character may discover something
that the other characters might not know- an
example might be the character who is exploring
the next room on a vessel while the other
characters remain in the hallway. If that is the
case, ask that player to step aside, to a corner or
another room, and quietly tell him what his
character sees. That player in turn might have
his own actions, which might require a die roll
or two. Dont take too long, but give him the gist
of what he sees or can do.
Last, players may disagree about the wisest
course of action for their group. Thats normal,
and its not your primary task to steer them to
one decision or another. Let them find their own
way of figuring out whos in front, who gets first
dibs on items or weapons looted, who has the
best idea of how to fight the bad guys, and
whos going to sacrifice herself valiantly while
the rest escape. Just remember that a player
controls her characters actions, and that she has
the final decision on those actions. Thats about
it for the basics. Get your friends and jump in!


Most of the NPCs in this mission arent too

tough, but there are a lot of them, and they could
be too much for just one character to handle. Its
good if the players have a chance to read pages
1-5 of this booklet ahead of time, but thats not a
necessity. You can fill them in on things as they
go along. It will just be easier for them if they
already have a handle on the basics.
Once you get settled, here is what you, the GM,
What were going to do here is tell a
story, a story that youre going to help
create. Each of you has a character: a
mercenary, a Freetrader, etc. The story
takes place three centuries from now, in a
world very different from our own, yet at
the same time similar. Humanity has
spread out amongst the stars, and
discovered many other races in the
galaxy. Im going to be the Game Master,
or GM. Ill describe what your characters
see, and youre going to tell me what your
characters do in response. Do well, and
your characters will be rewarded with
wealth and increased capabilities. Look at
your character sheets and we can run
down what the various numbers and items


Time in the game is broken down into rounds
like the rounds of a boxing match, only a lot
shorter. In a single round, your character can
generally do one particular thing: draw a
weapon, move around a bit, shoot a couple of
times, open a door, and so forth. During most of
the mission you dont have to keep close track of
time. But there are certain situations, like
combat, when time becomes important.
When the characters are fighting, you need to
know what everybody is doing at any certain
time. Heres how you keep things straight:
Decide what the NPCs you control are
going to do: Who are they attacking?
How are they attacking? Are they
running away?
Ask each player what his or her
character is doing. Usually allow a
character to do only one thing at a time.
(Most characters can do some things
more than once a round, such as firing
weapons, for example.)
After all the players have said what
their characters are doing, let them
execute their actions. (In this mission,
the players always get to try to hit their
opponents first.)
Then execute your NPCs actions after the
players have gone. If an NPC is killed before
they can act, remove them from the cue. Thats
about it.

Give the players a chance to review their

character sheets and ask any questions. You
should know most of the answers about what the
numbers mean from reading the first section of
these rules. The characters are assumed to know
each other somewhat, having been recently hired
on together, so let them look at each others
sheets if they wish. In fact, the informational
excerpts on races, occupations and setting within
Dark Nova should be available to all players.
This would be a good time to explain about the
funky dice to the players if they dont already
know. Dont worry about when you need to roll
themwell tell you as the mission progresses.


Lets say youre going to be the GM for this

evening. Its always a good idea to read through
the mission before you run it, just so you know
whats coming. You bring to the table this
mission- a set of the funky dice, some scratch
paper, pencils, and some graph paper (if you
wantits not a necessity). If you can, photocopy
the character sheets so the players can use them
without writing on the originals. It should take
about about two to three hours to play this
mission, more if you take your time, less if you
speed right along.
You should have between one and six players
for this mission, four to six being the ideal. If
you have only one player, let him run two


willing to be quite generous for your

timeand your discretion. I will reveal
more mission details if you accept and
sign off on a contract with a standard
Non-Disclosure Agreement. Without
violating the NDA, however, I can tell
you that this mission is a dirtside
investigation of an incident with unknown
risk factors on a Freespace world still
undergoing terraforming. The atmo is
breathable, but there is no biosphere and
the weather patterns are unpredictable at
best. No hostile forces are believed to be
involved at this time. Are you interested?

Once the players are comfortable with their

characters, read the following aloud:
You are all recent additions to the crew of
the Freetrader vessel Rourkes Revenge.
Ryker recently inherited the ship from his
retiring father, and you are the first crew
he pulled together. Youve been flying the
spacelanes for a few months now,
transporting cargo throughout the many
nations of the Terran Alliance- a loose
coalition of the dozens of sovereign
nations of Terra, or Earth as it used to be
It is 15 February, 2318, and you are
bored. Three weeks of conventional, lowpay cargo runs to keep the jump drive
fueled with Corellium has led to a bit of
cabin fever. You crew on a Freetrader to
make a fortune, not haul spare parts and
food stuffs. You are all half tempted to
take the risk of delving into privateering,
but the licenses involved are too
expensive. The accounts are growing
smaller, the stores are dwindling, and you
are down to the last few jumps on your
last Corellium fuel rod. After that, youre
grounded. You need work, and you need
it fast.
As if in answer to your prayers, you
receive a call on your job-offer comm
line. You gather together on the bridge as
the holoscreen comes to life, and find
yourself facing a typically handsome Core
World male face. His almost plastic goodlooks are marred by a worried frown,

At this point, the characters would most

certainly be interested, but give the players a
chance to roleplay their reactions. Once they
have agreed, read the following aloud:
Good to hear. I see your e-signature on
the contract and NDA is valid, so lets get
down to the brass-tacks of the matter.
Two additional windows open in your
holoscreen as Mr. Deacon continues his
briefing. One shows a planet, its surface
obscured by thick cloud cover typical of a
Year Two terraforming operation. By the
fifth year, the world will likely have a full
biosphere of flash-cloned plants and
animals, and be very much like Terra, but
for now it is a desolate, storm-wracked
world. The other window shows a
schematic map of a small mining colony.
It has high walls to protect against the
storms, and is comprised of a series of
interlinked habitat modules that were
likely placed there before the world had a
breathable atmosphere. Mr. Deacon
continuesWe have lost contact with Outpost 13,
one of eighteen mining outposts in the
Sekai system, and the only one on the
planet Telarus. It is our only manned
mining operation, pulling up Corellium,
with the other seventeen outposts being
automated Saberite and Turine mines.
Now, as you all well know, Corellium is
incredibly valuable due to its use in jump
engine fuel rods, and the fact that it
cannot be synthesized in a nano-vat due to

Now you, the GM, are going to speak in the role

of Mr. Deacon, the corporate contact. You can
give him an elitist voice with a high British
accent if you want, or just talk normally. Theres
a little bit of acting involved here, but you dont
have to do anything you feel uncomfortable
with. Continue reading aloud:
My name is Mr. Deacon, I represent a
major mining interest in Freespace that
shall remain nameless for the time being.
I am in need of your services, and am

being a material form of exotic matter.

This makes any active mine a target of
potential raiders.
However, our survey probe has detected
no signs of hostilities in the system- no
wreckage or energy signatures in orbit,
and our orbital defense platform grids are
still in place and active. The probe also
detected no damage to the colony itself.
As you also know, Corellium is used as a
fuel source because it is an energy
amplifier, having an output many
thousands of times greater in magnitude
than the energy put into it. It is also
potentially dangerous and will explode
with several kilotons or higher yield in
force if hit by stray energy or pulse
weapon shots. After pirates or raiders, our
second fear was an accident involving the
Corellium. However, the amount stored
on-site wouldve annihilated the colony
and everything for a hundred miles in all
directions, an event easily detected by the
Lastly, our defense grid detected no
emergency signals from the planet below.
The probe linked with the defense
platforms AIs and discovered that
nothing unusual had occurred prior to the
comm blackout. We have visually
confirmed that the uplink relay is intact,
and the probe successfully handshakesignaled it. However, comms seem to
have been cut off somewhere between the
colony and the uplink. There are back-up
portable transmitters that could have been
used to contact the defense grid and get a
signal out. This was not done, nor have
we sighted any personnel in the colony
itself. We need a manned-presence on the
ground to investigate and find out what
has happened there, and your vessel is the
closest one to the Sekai system.
The mission is simple- land on the STO
pad, enter the colony, make contact with
the personnel if any can be located, find
out what happened, and report. If it is an
immediate threat to life and limb,
evacuate the personnel. Your vessel is
adequate to that task, and will be cleared
through the defense grid. If you accept,

you will be compensated with 50,000

credits each, and ten high-potency
Corellium fuel rods for your vessel, good
for a thousand jumps each. What say
Now comes the players chance to respond to
Mr. Deacons request. They may have other
questions about the colony, the system, potential
hazards, and so on. Heres what he can tell
them Outpost 13 was established before
terraforming began. The Corellium vein is the
only one in the system, and was discovered by
the turine mining operation by accident. It has
been there for five years.
Terraforming began due to the size of the
vein- expected to produce steady amounts of
Corellium for twenty years. After the mine taps
out, the corporation plans on using the world as
the home for miners and support personnel for
the Turine and Saberite mining operations. The
terraformers are all functioning appropriately,
and no unusual activity or atmospheric issues
were detected by the probe. Still, I recommend
caution and an on-site atmo survey.
There are no other operations or colonies on
the planet, though Dr. Bernard- our nanotech
specialist for the colony- is doing some personal
research on new models of industrial nanites. I
am unaware of the nature of it, however, beyond
the fact that it was a small side-project.
Everything else in the colony is focused on
mining or support for the miners- restaurant, bar,
brothel, clinic, virtual sports, etc.
There are no hostile nations or races nearby.
The Sekai system is in a region of Freespace
near the territories of both the Tarsus Corridor
Alliance and Han-Zhou Empire, and is relatively
safe. Pirate activity in the region has been light,
and targeting shipping lanes exclusively, with no
dirtside assaults.
We have already dispatched an emergency
response vessel from Freeport Londinium, but
youd be able to beat their response time by four
hours, making you our best bet. Youre only a
twenty minute jump from the system with a
straight shot, no navigational hazards in the way.
Time is pressing, as you may need to evac the
colonists ASAP. Im afraid theres no time to
acquire additional equipment or supplies.

of the complex from the STO pad, and as

you pass over it you can see the main lift
shaft car is down in the depths of the
mine. A handshake attempt with the local
computer network doesnt take, indicating
that it is offline.
Satisfied that there are no immediate
threats, you bring the ship in for a landing
on the Surface to Orbit landing pad
outside of the colony. The surface of
Telarus is barren and rocky, with no plant
or animal life to speak of. In the distance,
rising up like a mountain of carbon fiber
and turine-steel is the nearest of dozens of
atmospheric processors. Howling winds
buffet the vessel as you shut down the
defense shields, and rain pours down on
the hull in sheets that obscure the

Outpost 13
Once the players get everything squared away
with Mr. Deacon, the crew jumps to Telarus
with orders to investigate Outpost 13 and report
back. Read the following to the players:
The tunnel of swirling lights emerging
from a point of pure blackness in front of
you is thankfully calm. You see no
disruptive gravitic ripples in the walls of
the quantum tunnel, and a stable
wormhole is a good sign. With a flash of
blue-white light you jump out of
hyperspace back into normal space. A
distant dot expands in less than a second
into a planet filling your viewport as you
decelerate and fall into orbit. You notice a
dozen Identify- Friend or Foe tags light
up in your HUD, spaced in equidistant
orbits around the planet. The Rourkes
Revenge is pinged by inquiry signals and
targeting sensors from the defense grid,
but your IFF codes identify your vessel as
a friendly one, and the targeting systems
The planet below is a mass of swirling
clouds and flashes of lightning. It has one
moon, a crater-pocked blackrock body not
unlike Luna back in the Sol system. Mr.
Deacons nav data indicates an approach
and landing pattern that bypasses the
worst of the storms generated by the
atmosphere processors. You easily slip
into the atmosphere, your anti-grav fields
and shields making the gusting winds and
buffeting updrafts little more than sensor
noise on your screens.
You do an initial flyover of the colony.
Deacons information proves to be
accurate, and the colony structures appear
to be intact, if a bit run-down from the
harsh weather. You see no signs of a
fight- no blast points, no bodies, nothing
to indicate a fight happened. The
perimeter lights along the wall are on, as
are the lights of the command center. No
other illumination can be seen, however.
Thermal, ultrasound and Chemical
Residue Trace imaging show no signs of
life or movement.
The mine shaft is located on the far side

At this point the players can determine where

they wish to go and how. If they choose to
depart the vessel fully-armed and armored, feel
free to let them. They are investigating an
unknown situation, and hostiles may be present.
The facility is shown on the map on Page 19,
and the area descriptions are on Page 20. Use the
information from this text and the map to
describe the area. A players map is in the back
of this booklet for their use as well.
Ask each player what his or her character is
doing. Most likely their responses will be along
the lines of I am exiting the ship cautiously,
looking for any threats. The perimeter walls are
high, but are designed to protect against the
wind rather than attack. Both gates stand open.
When the first member of the crew enters the
area of the gate closest to the STO pad, read the
following to that player. The other players can
listen in:
You can see from your vantage point that
all of the doors to the outpost are secured.
Red indicator lights on the doors you can
see from your vantage point indicate that
they are all locked. You still see no signs
of struggle or attack. Several load-lifter
robots- required instead of AG field lifters
due to the unpredictable nature of
Corellium when exposed to energy- stand
powered-down in their cradles.


A. STO Pad- A large landing platform designed to handle Surface-to-Orbit shuttles and transports. The
Rourkes Revenge fills 80% of the pad once it has set down. A flattened expanse of rock has been carved
into a crude road to accommodate ground vehicles so common in primordial terraforming environments as
they transport material to and from the STO pad. On either side are wind-swept rocks and protrusions of
stone that cast wild shadows in the flashes of lightning
B. ATC system- Automatic Traffic Control system that guides drone shuttles and meat-body piloted transports
to and from the STO pad. It cannot perform any other function or provide any other data except transport
schedules. However, it logs that the last transport departed three hours prior to the communications
C. Perimeter Wall- These sixty-feet-high, ten-feet-thick walls are designed to protect the colonists from the
powerful blasts of wind that sweep Telarus regularly. They have neither walkways nor perimeter towers as
they are not designed for defense.
D. Gates- These large gates open wide enough to accommodate the large load-lifter trucks that carry shielded
crates of Corellium. Both gates are wide-open, and the controls to open and close them work. They are,
however, located in the command center.
E. Habitat Modules- These large apartment modules contain 20 small studio apartments and four large family
apartments each. They are two-story rugged structures that can be dropped from orbit and grav-chuted into
place automatically. They interlink with fortified collars and passageways, and are more than tough enough
for the rough environment of Telarus.
F. Uplink Tower- the thirty-feet-tall transmitter tower that links the outpost to the Hyperpulse beacon satellite
in orbit overhead. It does not appear to be damaged at all, and investigation of its systems reveals that it is
in working order.
G. Primary Power Plant- This is a bank of fusion micro-reactors with SafeCore technology that safely
disperses the fusion plasma if a breach occurs. All appear to be in working order, but the monitoring system
reports that only a small amount of power is being drawn from them, far less than the colony would at full
operating capacity.
H. Infirmary- This is a small hospital that is able to handle most injuries, including four regeneration tanks to
accommodate mass-trauma victims.
I. Mess Hall- This large cafeteria-like dining area can accommodate all of the colonists in a single sit-down
meal comfortably. Includes multiple autochefs and service dispensers. Food is free- a perk of being a
miner- so all of the ordering is done via touch-screen menu and dispensed automatically.
J. Waste Reclamation Stations- As with any sealed station, ALL waste products- sewage, air, etc.- are
reprocessed through nanovats and scrubber filters to be purified and converted back into food, clean water,
and fresh air. The system is self-contained to prevent accidents, as the nanites will reprocess ANYTHINGliving or dead- into food and water.
K. Load-Lifter Trucks- These massive cargo-hauling ground vehicles carry the large shielded crates Corellium
is shipped in from the mine processing center to awaiting transports. They have a small, environmentallysealed cab that can carry one human-sized person comfortably, two if they squeeze in. They are
biometrically- encoded to their operators and will not start for anyone else.
L. Entertainment Center- A large auditorium almost as big as the Rourkes Revenge that houses a large
threevee theater, various games, a small stage for traveling stage-actors, and several virtual games.
M. The Command Center- Perched atop and at one end of the Entertainment Center, this flying-bridge-like
command and control hub monitors all mining activity below, the general operations of the facility, and
traffic control issues the ATC cannot handle. It is also the communications hub. The blast doors have been
lowered over the windows, and the crew cannot see in from the outside.
N. Mine Shaft- this is the 1,500 meter deep shaft of the mine, capped with an automated ore processing center
that re-shapes the Corellium crystals into fuel rods, and the waste chips into jewelry.
O. Mine Shaft Lift- This elevator lift is large enough to accommodate a load-lifting ground-truck, and is
currently lowered into the mine.
P. Family Housing- a larger hab module designed to accommodate families, this three-story structure contains
twelve multi-room apartments.


It will require a character with a Netjacking skill

to access the doors to any of the buildings. He
must roll 3d10 and compare the result to his skill
rating. If the player rolls equal-to or less-than
their rating, they succeed. If they roll above the
rating, they fail, and must try again with a +1
penalty to the roll (meaning they add 1 to
whatever they roll, which makes it more difficult
to succeed.) If the characters succeed in opening
the main door, read the following:
The door opens to reveal a corridor
leading into the primary hab module.
Unlike the outside, there is evidence of
some sort of incident inside. Debris is
thrown about- clothing, furniture, coffee
cups, tools, etc. You see no bodies or
blood, but it looks like someone
ransacked the place.
You move through the module doing
room-to-room searches, snapping your
pulse weapon up as each door opens and
doing two-man visual sweeps before
entering. Most of the rooms are typical of
bachelor miners- appearing at first to have
been ransacked, but proving to be just
slovenly living upon closer inspection.
You find no bodies, no blood, and no
evidence of a struggle until you reach
the last room.
As you sweep the top floor of the hab
module and reach the final door in the
unit, you notice the door has been forced
open and hangs at an odd angle. You hear
movement inside.

Each of the players needs to roll a particular

number or higher on 1d20 to successfully attack
the crazed miner:
Ryker can attack twice, needs a 12 or higher to
hit on each attack roll. If he hits with his plasma
pistol, he does 6d12+10 hit points of damage per
attack. If he uses his vibroknife, he does 1d6x10,
but he cannot use his vibroknife against targets
that are not immediately next to him.
Hrraghnak and Sam both need a 10 or higher to
hit. They have four attacks per round, and their
pulse rifles do 2d8x10 per successful hit. Sam
also has a Hawkeye plasma pistol as her
sidearm, but is most likely holding her rifle.
Hrraghnak has plasma grenades as secondary
weapons, but these have a large area of effect
and would hurt the crew as well.
Kat needs an 11 or higher to hit. She can attack
three times, and despite being an Academic
occupation is actually adept with the pulse pistol
she carries. Her pulse pistol does 3d12+10.
Laes needs a 13 or higher to hit. He has two
attacks and does 3d12+10 per successful hit with
his pulse pistol.
Miles needs a 14 or higher to hit. . He has two
attacks and does 3d12+10 per successful hit with
his pulse pistol, or he can use his vibroknife for
1d6x10 damage.
The miner is using a Sierra pulse pistol, which is
a powerful weapon that is dangerous to the
players. It does 4d8+10 per successful hit, but at
two attacks can be combined into one to fire a
burst of shots, doing more damage. If used to
fire a burst, the player must use two of his base
number of attacks per burst-fire attack. The
damage that results from such an attack is
totaled up, and then multiplied by three (4d8+10
x3). It is less accurate when fired this way,
The miner has two attacks, and opens up with a
burst. Roll 1d20 to try to hit a the closest
character. The minder needs different numbers
to hit the characters because the characters are
wearing different types of armor and have
different Agility scores.
To hit Sam or Laes, the miner needs a 14 or
To hit Hrraghnak, he needs a 17 or higher.
To hit Kat or Ryker, he needs a 15 or higher.
To hit Miles, the miner needs an 16 or higher.
If he fires burst, increase those numbers by two.

There is a threat to the characters in this room.

Rooting around in the debris is a crazed miner
who managed to escape the infection (see Page
23 for an explanation) and is looking for more
weapons. If characters enter the room at all, he
screams incoherently and attacks them wildly
with a pulse pistol. If the characters call out into
the room, he screams NO! YOU AINT
BASTARDS! and then fires wildly at the door
as he rushes out into the hallway. There is no
negotiating with him, he has lost his mind after
all he has seen. He attacks whoever is closest to
him, and if the characters do not defend
themselves he will kill them.

Needless to say, its better if Laes and Miles stay

out of the line of fire, and while Kat is an
excellent shot courtesy of her Intelligence
training, she is still poorly armoured and may
wish to stay behind cover while firing.
The miner is berserk, and attacks the characters
until he is reduced to 0 hit points. If all the
characters are reduced to 0 hit points, the game
is over.

happened here, but you must determine

where the miners are and what happened
to them.
You reach the command center doorslarge, reinforced pressure doors designed
for facilities placed in vacuum or hostile
atmospheres in the event of a structural
breach elsewhere in the complex. The
door is hanging slightly ajar. As you
cautiously enter- hoping to avoid another
firefight with a lunatic- you are surprised
to see the command center orderly and
neat. You notice that the only other way
in or out of the command center is a set of
stairs descending into a separate section
of the facility you have not yet been able
to access. A sign above the stairs reads
You do a sweep of the command deck and
find most of the systems are locked down,
and someone has shot the
communications console into oblivion.
Judging from the close grouping of pulse
weapon shots, you are pretty sure it was a
burst from the Sierra carried by the crazed
miner. At least you now know why
communications ceased.
A quick survey of the other controls and
command consoles leads you to the
Biometric Ident Tracking System the
allows the colonial administrators to keep
track of their miners when they are down
below. You scan through maps of the
complex, finding a DECEASED-tagged
biomarker on the miner you were forced
to kill earlier. None of the other miners
are in the colony facility, however, so you
decide to check the mine shaft.
Sure enough, you find all of the colonists
down below on the massive lift platform.
They are moving about, and their ident
tags show ACTIVE, indicating that they
are all alive. However, the lift controls
have been overridden from this console,
trapping the colonists down below. Its a
pretty good guess that the crazed miner
somehow trapped his colleagues in the
shaft and locked them down there. The lift
console is easy to operate, however
youre not sure what course of action to
take next- raise it, or finish searching.

Hit Points: 16 TAC: 12
#ATT: 2
PHY: 10
MEN: 12
SOC: 12
AR: 150 (mining hard-suit)
Weapons: Sierra Pulse Pistol (4d8+10)
Notes: The miner has lost his mind and believes
the characters to be a threat to him. To his
delusional mind, they are nano-zombies and any
attempts to communicate he believes are tricks
to fool him.

Its likely that the characters will defeat the

miner with minimum damage to themselves.
Any damage that was taken by the characters
remains until the characters go back to the ship
or Sam uses her skills and medkit to restore lost
hit points.
Defeating the miner gains experience points
(XP) for the surviving characters. The miner is
worth 5 XP for each of the characters involved
in the firefight. Have the players mark the XP
earned on their character sheets next to their
Other than the pulse pistol he is carrying, there
is nothing of value on the miner or among the
debris, but if the players want their characters to
look, let them do so. If they investigate his body,
they find deep scratches on his wrists and
ankles, and marks on his armored coveralls that
indicate something clawed at his limbs pretty
extensively. No other evidence can be found.
When they decide to move on, they should want
to investigate the rest of the facility. The other
hab modules, mess hall and entertainment area
are all empty, with few signs of any struggle and
no other people, bodies or evidence.
When the characters reach the command center
doors, read the following:
Youve searched the colony without
finding any evidence of what occurred
here. The insane miner you encountered
earlier is a clear sign that something bad

What is ACTUALLY going on

The Pit

The side research by Dr. Bernard into

nanotechnology was- in truth- a very disturbing
experiment attempted by a madman.
Unbeknownst to anyone else, Bernard secretly
desired to establish a procedure through which
nanotechnology could be used to end conflict
and create a hive-mind-like cooperation amongst
Humans. It sorta worked.
Unfortunately, the good doctors nanites got
loose, and infected the entire colony- except for
the unfortunate miner the characters took downand turned them into zombie-like automatons
controlled by the nanite programming matrix.
The nanites first terminated all life functions,
killing the miners and personnel in the station
who werent sealed in envirosuits like the crazed
miner had been. Next, after achieving full braindeath, they re-started cardio-pulmonary
functions and reactivated key parts of the brain
to allow for basic motor functions and sensory
input. The miners are, in effect, walking corpses
on a form of life support controlled by the AI
computer in Dr. Bernards lab.
The nanites have simple programming- infect,
override, control and spread. They are passed
through saliva and blood, thankfully, and are no
longer airborne. However, anyone who is bitten
on exposed flesh hard enough to break the skin,
or who gets the nano-zombies blood in their
eyes or open wounds, has a 30% chance per
incident to become infected. If this happens,
they must use a nanite inhibitor within three
rounds (thirty seconds), or fall dead to the
ground and be removed from the game. If the
other characters do not destroy the body, it will
rise 20 rounds later as another nano-zombie.
If the characters raise the lift, they will release
the now-trapped nano-zombies that the crazed
miner managed to lure and imprison below. If
they choose not to, they can move on to Dr.
Bernards lab in the bottom floor of the building,
accessible only from here.
If the players choose to raise the lift, continue
with the next section. If they choose to hold off
for the time being, and head downstairs, skip to
the section titled The Mad Scientist on Page XX.
When the characters raise the lift, go to the next

To start this section of the mission, read the

following paragraph to the players:
The lift raises rather quickly from the
depths of the mine shaft. You watch on
the monitors as it reaches the surface, full
of people. Then, things get strange.
Rather than rush off of the lift, shout,
cheer, seek shelter from the cold rain and
wind, etc. as you would expect, the
miners simply shuffle off of the lift pad
aimlessly. Their behavior immediately
concerns you. In less than a minute they
have scattered throughout the complex.
The characters can remain in the command
center for as long as they like, but in 2d6+4
rounds (1-2 minutes) a group nano-zombie will
manage to work their way through the command
center door behind them and attack. If the
characters step outside to investigate, they are
immediately attacked by several nano-zombies.
Read the following aloud if this happens:
You whirl around to the sound of a
moaning scream and find yourself facing
several miners, arms outstretched and
reaching for you as they rapidly stumble
in your direction. As they perform a
parody of a run, their mouths open wide,
revealing blackened tongues and teeth
dripping with saliva. In fact, you notice
that they are all drooling like mastiffs. As
you recoil from them, you notice their
eyes- glazed over as if they had cataracts.
They rush into and attack you.

Nano-zombies (3d4)
Hit Points: 24 TAC: 16
#ATT: 2
PHY: 13
MEN: 10
SOC: 10
AR: None
XP: 3 each
Weapons: Punch 1d4, Bite 1d2 30% chance to
infect. If infected, character has three rounds to
use a nanite inhibiter field or he becomes a
nano-zombie and is removed from the game.
This fight should prove to be a lot more
challenging. The nano-zombies do not stop
attacking until they are all killed.
Ryker can attack twice, needs a 10 or higher to
hit on each attack roll.

Hrraghnak and Sam both need an 8 or higher to

hit. Hrraghnaks plasma grenades will work well
in the open space of the courtyard or corridor
beyond the command center, instantly killing all
nano-zombies within 10 meters of the grenade
when it detonates.
Kat needs a 9 or higher to hit.
Miles needs a 12 or higher to hit.
The nano-zombies use their fists to strike the
characters, but try to bite them any chance they
To hit Sam or Laes, the nano-zombies need a
15 or higher.
To hit Hrraghnak, the nano-zombies need a 18
or higher.
To hit Kat or Ryker, the nano-zombies need a
16 or higher.
To hit Miles, the nano-zombies need 17 or
If he fires burst, increase those numbers by two.
The characters can either retreat down the
stairwell if they are in the command center (the
hallway outside is rapidly filling with more
nano-zombies), or- if outside- they can flee back
inside, as the area around them is likewise filling
with nano-zombies. If the characters are a bit
more cautious (and if the players listened to you
when you told them about the stairwell and
chose to investigate it first), then move on to the
next section.

Youre not part of The Plan, you should

leave. Oh, wait, before you go- would you
mind letting the children out?
As you open your mouths to respond, he
suddenly throws his hands up in the air
and shouts.
All gone, damn it! The bastards had no
idea what I was on the verge of! Damned
admin types, coming down here
demanding that I shut it all down. Not
sanctioned they said, illegal
experimentation they said. Hah! Ill show
And with that, he taps a glyph on a
holoscreen hovering next to him.

Dr. Bernard
Hit Points: 16 TAC: 12
#ATT: 1
PHY: 10
MEN: 16
SOC: 12
AR: None
XP: 3 each
Weapons: Punch 1d2
Notes: Dr. Bernard has lost his mind, and while
not directly dangerous, he will open up access to
the characters for his nano-zombies to infect.
If the characters have already raised the lift, then
Dr. Bernard looks at the screen with puzzlement
and says Huh, guess you already let the kids
out. Nevermind then. Would you be so kind as
to go play with them for a while, I have work to
If they havent, then go back to The Pit and read
the first description. The attacks will happen as
soon as they go back up into the command
center or exit into the main courtyard through
the door on the far side of the lab.
As soon as the characters have managed to fend
off the nano-zombies for a moment, read the
following aloud:
You quickly realize that- despite how
weak they are individually, there are LOT
of these zombie-like things. It is officially
time to get the hell out of Dodge. You
eyeball it- if you can hit the ground
running out of the door, you should be
able to run for the STO pad. These things
are not as fast as you, so provided they
dont block your escape route with
massed bodies, you should be able to
make it.

The Mad Scientist

When the characters descend the stairwell, read
the following aloud:
You reach the bottom of the stairs and
find a doorway hanging open. As you
enter, you find yourselves in a laboratory
with small tabletop vats, etheric
programming systems, virtual
microscopes and dozens of floating
holoscreens showing atoms being
manipulated by nanites a few atoms in
size themselves. To your left is a secured
door that opens out into the outside, and
through the small viewport you can see
the STO gate. Shuffling back and forth in
this room, muttering to himself, is an
elderly man in a white labcoat and
goggles perched upon his forehead. He
looks up at you as you enter and

The Corellium is delivered as agreed, and the

crew is now a good deal wealthier.

At this point, the characters have but one choicerun for it. If Hrraghnak has any grenades left,
they can be used quite effectively to clear a path,
however the courtyard will be filled with over
one hundred nano-zombies. It takes four rounds
for the characters to each the gate, during which
time they will each be attacked three times per
round unless the zombies are cleared. None have
managed to wander outside the gate, thankfully,
but the characters will hit their ships loading
ramp with the zombies in hot pursuit.

What Happens Now?

This is the end of this particular mission, but it is
not the end of the game. Roleplaying games are
as unending as our own lives. The characters
may retire, or they will- more likely- continue
taking missions and have a long and storied
career. Where things go from here is entirely up
to you as the GM and players.

Once the characters are safely aboard the ship,

read the following aloud:
You dont think you have ever tore offplanet faster in your entire life. You go
from sitting on the STO pad to high orbit
in under a minute, flattening a pad full of
zombies with the gravitic shockwave of
hitting full-throttle. A few managed to
cling to the landing struts for a few
seconds before the winds ripped them
from it.
You punch in Mr. Deacons contact
information and brief him. He is at first
dubious of your claims until you share
recordings your armour and headsets took
of the events.
I must say, this is a bit of a shock, he
says, But Dr. Bernard was always an
eccentric. Still, the loss of life As
agreed, you will be paid well for your
work, and also as agreed not a word of
this is to leak out. Agreed?
You agree- knowing full well the
ramifications of violating an NDA- and
watch your bank accounts grow fat with
the agreed-upon fee, the pickup location
for the Corellium and a healthy 1,500
credit bonus. Still, you wonder if it will be
worth the nightmares. Zombies yech!

Continuing the Adventure

If you liked what you have read and
experienced, you can step into the much wider
world of the Dark Nova universe through our
books. The rules presented here are a much more
simplified version of the rules in the actual
game, however the characters within are easily
fleshed out to the full rules and are designed for
play in the full game. If you would like to
continue the adventure with the crew of the
Rourkes Revenge, you can purchase hard cover
and PDF digital editions of the Dark Nova
Roleplaying Game through our online store at-

Writer- Breandn Ciarra
Artists- Jeffery Agussoekarno
Erica Parks
Editing- Tiffan U Ciarraide
Playtesting DevelopersKen Weidower
Orren Fansler
George Carter
Martin Fox

At this point, the players should note on their

character sheets the addition of their share of the
pay, divied up equally between them.


Rourkes Revenge
Type: Freetrader
Hull Class: Light Starship
Cost: 875,000cr
Officers: 1
Crew: 3 (1, AI automation)
Troops/Passengers: 10 (modular quarters)
Max life support: 100
Length: 585 (178m)
Width: 228 (70m)
Height/Depth: 198 (61m)
Cargo: 270,000 cubic feet / 7,646m (45x50x120 bay)
Structure: 55,000 (110 SP)
Armor (By Location)Main Hull: 75,000
Engines: 30,000
Ailerons: 15,000
Shields (By Location, Civ III)Ventral: 60,000
Fore: 60,000
Dorsal: 60,000
Aft: 60,000
Starboard: 60,000
Port: 60,000
Main: Dual-Core Gravitic Drives (x4)
Aux: Single-Core Gravitic Drives(x1)
Accel: 2.25 AU/HR, Max Rel. Spd: .8C
Ailerons: 4
Jump Engine: Class VI (x1) Spd: 120C/hr
Class III Backup (x1)
Spd: 60C/hr
Power Plant
Reactor: Antimatter (x5)
Capacitor Bank: 500 (750)
Microcreactors: Cold Fusion
Cap Boost: 50%
Sensor Class: Combat II
Sensor Rating: 3d10+4
Range: 15 AU
Enhancements: Vector 5 Enhancement Package and Class IV Encryption
Skill Modifiers: +3 to Gunnery (Tar), Piloting, Navigation and Sensor Systems
Bridge Class: Tactical TAC: 17
Signature: 18 (20)
Maneuvering Class: 7
Small Craft: None
Stealth Systems: Passive Signature Dampener 2
Computer Core:
AI: Class III
Persona: Any Navcomp: Class IV
Probes: 6 slots
Security Systems:
Defenses: Threat Level III Security System, Nanite Inhibitor Fields
Netjacking Countermeasures: -16 penalty, hardened system
Spinal Mount Medium APPCs (3)
Type: APPC
Arc: Forward
Cap: 35
Range: 315,000 Km
Damage: 1d12+10x1000

Medium Dual PPC Turrets (2)

Type: PPC
Arc: 360 ventral
Cap: 30
Range: 315,000 Km
Damage: 2d8x1000


Light Dual PPC Turrets (2)

Type: PPC
Arc: 360 dorsal
Cap: 20
Range: 300,000 Km
Damage: 2d8x500

Point Defense Turrets (4)

Type: PPC/Gauss Coaxial
Arc: Full coverage
RoF: 2 (Automated, one attack per every 2 class-levels of AI)
Tar: +4 (+1/class of AI)
Range: 1,200 Km
Damage: Special- Eliminates 1d10+1x10% of missiles in a
volley. Damage Vs. small craft: 4d10x10vp cumulative from an
average of four turrets striking small craft and fighters. Damage
vs. larger vessels: 1 HuP per turret

Passive/Active Variable Comm and Sensor Jammers 3, IFF System.