Getting Worms Onto The Planet

[Ted, Christina, and Roy: Stay out]

We’re just about to start Usurpation, and I need some worms. One of the premises of our game is that there’s only one Vaylen on the planet right now, who happens to be the architect of the previous, failed invasion of the planet. He’s been a long-term sleeper agent, working without support. Now, though, he’s realized that it’s time to act, and he’d prefer not to do so alone. So, any suggestions for how, mechanically speaking, I should go about getting some Naiven on-planet to help him out?



Inside the grand pianos of a visiting maestro.

What mechanics are you looking for? A builder to contact a friend with a shitload of worms?

Just about anything, really. I’m looking for fun ideas.

What’s your world like? What’s the quarantine like? Security measures?

Can you post your planet? It’d be easier for us to discuss, I think.

I like the piano idea, though :slight_smile:

Here we go:

Celedon, Ocean World

Galactic Location: Casiguran Outworld
Atmospheric Conditions: Human Life-Supporting
Hydrology: Predominantly Liquid
Topography: Broken Terrain
Tech Index: Low
Government: Noble Fief
Factions: See below
Predominant Military: Lords-Pilot
Planetary Attitude Towards Vaylen: Educated
Primary Industry: Raw Materials
Quarantine: Normal Quarantine (just reduced from Advanced)
Economic Regulation: Moderately Regulated (see below)

Serfs and Slaves
Organized Crime (Pirates; not present in Usurpation)
Merchant League
Theocratic Institutions

A Naiven research laboratory (for the benefit of the human race of course), or maybe worms disguised as being fish larvae to be released in the planet’s oceans.

Merchant League starts a test farm for a new, naturally-occurring, wonder-drug: makes serfs happy, productive and phyiscally stronger. Comes from these funny worms. (Also works for Pirates as narcotics).

Pirates buy a new weapons system. Comes with a biological component at no extra charge.

Offspring of the Lords Pilot compete in hurricane-racing on the oceans; one of them gets a lead on a new offworld boat designer who comes with his own materials lab (and surgery).

First things first: You need to get word to your off-world contacts to send the shipment.

After that, Celedon has fairly lax quarantine enforcement. Pay some stevedores to help get your cryo-packages past customs with no questions…

Now that the black market (aka the Pirates and the Quarantine) has dried up, is there anything that used to be sold on the black market that’s now being imported through normal channels?

In other words, what did the pirates pirate? And what does that mean now that they’re on the run?

Our pirates were surface-based, primarily trafficking in the goods that were slowed down by the quarantine process. In fact, the Forged Lord’s government (nominally) decided to break the economic power of the pirates by lowering the quarantine, which was a holdover from the old days after the previous, failed Vaylen invasion.

Oh, and the pirates were also freeing the sacred Muhkadish slaves who were being used by the planet’s semi-heretical ancestor cult (of which the Forged Lord is a devotee).

At the end of Infiltration, the pirate leadership was smashed, with the Pirate Queen being executed. The remaining pirates are sufficiently disorganized so as not to represent a faction in this phase.

Building on the idea of the sleeper, the agent has to signal the Vaylen off-world to initiate the next phase of the infection. A builder scene might be fun for that, in order to give the PCs a chance to intercept the encrypted or coded message.
But then what’s the ‘plan’? Hmm…

Perhaps the return of a long-lost human spaceship–a mythical ‘Flying Dutchman’ of sorts–now crewed by Vaylen infested humans. Or maybe just carrying Naiven in secret holds that the agent must recover.

That’s one more idea.


So, Circle up some Vaylen back home?

After that, Celedon has fairly lax quarantine enforcement. Pay some stevedores to help get your cryo-packages past customs with no questions…

Just a straight skill roll, like Smuggling or something else?

Oh, and while all this is going on, the Archcotare is going to be making a bid to turn the government into a Theocracy, just like it was in the good old days. Thus far, the sleeper agent is doing fun stuff behind the scenes, as he’s not the FoN until Invasion.

Perfect! The Forged Lord just opened her world up to infection. The demand rises so high that the stuff needs to be imported from off world. Oops…

And as for the Mukhadish, any chance a wave of pilgrims could arrive? Or, since the sacred slaves were tainted, new clean monsters need to be brought in from some off-world holy sanctum?


Ok, now the pieces are starting to fall into place in my brain. The Archcotare (himself a former Inquisitor) is concerned about rampant heresy on the planet (mostly due to his older brother, the Cotar Fomas, played by Ted), so he sends for an Inquisitor. Having him Circle this guy up is pretty straightforward. But what if he’s hulled and brings some Naiven with him? How should I model that? What rolls should the usurper make to pull that off?

Hey Paul,

Just a little snippet of canon for you. If your inquisitor’s been hulled he’s no longer got psychological powers. He can have the bright mark scars from when he was pre-hulled, but they don’t “light up”.

It occurs to me that’d be a nice piece of worm technology to burn up… something that causes the tissues to phosphoresce just like when the bright mark is being used, allowing a host to simulate psychology in action.


Right. I didn’t realize all Inquisitors were supposed to have Powers. (They certainly don’t in our game.)

Is that CANON – all Inquisitors are psychologists? I know it’s an option in the lifepaths, but is it IE required?