I can only lay claim to the title of Annililik Run - the third adventure published for T4 after TLWH and Gateway. In fact I'm glad that's all I can lay claim to as AR was not well received.
The "original concept" that's mentioned in the beginning and is credited to me and Core bore no resemblance to the finished article. The published adventure just has three parts, the cursed run, the cursed starship, the cursed cargo. You get the idea.
My original concept had been for something far grander. The Run was to be a major trade route stretching from Sylea out towards the spinward fringe of the then empire. The Run attracted all the greatest traders, merchants and adventurers, but this being Milieu 0 it also ran through regions of near constant flux as pocket empires rose and fell.
The concept was to have the game run at two levels. At the background level there was to be a political story unfurling, so that every time the players passed through a world there was a different political feel - allies one time would be enemies the next. This background could play out using a simple pseudo-random mechanic or played more fully with Pocket Empires.
The main game level concerned the run itself. Every few years there was a competition known also as the Annililik Run. Traders had to make it from one end to the other in the shortest time, with the most profit, and in one piece. No other rules.
Here's my Version 2 synopsis for my Annililik Run written in Aug 97.
The Annililik Run
At the end of the Long Night it was the first legendary route of trade. The Annililik Run. From Vland to Core a trading corridor a few parsecs wide found its way through pirate and alien territories to link together the two greatest powers of the age. The Run was a thing of daring, and it was a rare Trader who could take their craft along its whole length. Join the adventure and players explore this unique region of space, and pit their commercial and survival skills against all that the universe has to offer.
Title/Legal/Contents/Title image: 4pp Introduction: 1pp
What the Annilik Run is all about. A detailed sourcebook for a trade run connecting Vland with Capital, and providing both adventures and adventure resources for Milieuo 0, or later, players.
I've laid the book out as reference data then adventures so as o emphasise that this is primarily a source book with adventure ideas rather than an adventure with library data
A History and Overview of the Run: 1pp
Its rise to prominence at the end of the Long Night. Neighbouring power blocks, and a simple diagram showing its position and route in location to neighbouring space.
Run Maps and Library Data ( bits of 8 subsectors ): 16pp
Maps are just for the worlds within 2 or 3 parsecs of the run. I visualise a narrow band of map running up the side or along the top of each page, the rest of the page containing the relevant library data. The hexes may well have to be skewed to put a diagonal route ( the run ) into the vertical/horizontal space.
Key Worlds (8 or 16 ): 8pp
Containing surface map, simple system outline, and details of the worlds importance to the run, eg major spaceport, corporation, political leader, army, navy etc. Plot ideas in terms of animoity to other worlds etc.
Races of the Run: 2pp
Short notes on any homeworlds close to the run, and role of the major races and prominent races ( Newts, Graytch ) in the runs activities. Max 6 races.
Given the runs location close to the Vargr Extents the Vargr play a significant role in the area. Studies the major Vargr packs and political groupings in the area, Vargr military strength, plot ideas.
Like any trade route the Run is subject to pirate operations. Details 2 major pirate bands, their leaders, craft, modus operandii and bases.
Apart from detailing anti-piracy operations, the setion also looks at the Imperial, Colonial and independent world navies on the Run, their orders of battle, ships, admirals, bases.
The run is primarily a trade route. Many small trading operations make heir living out of the run. This sections details 3 or such small companies, ranging from 1 to 10 craft operations, detailing their employees, operating areas, favourite cargoes and ports of call, and craft. Their rivalries give further scope for adventure, and they can also be useful allies or sources of information to the PCs.
Needless to say the big boys are busy on the run to. Thelow down on their bases, operations, key players and ambitions in this area. Opens the door to everything from corporate war to the squeezing out of the smaller traders, to taking on whole worlds to make the Run a safer and more profitable place to trade.
Although may possible patrons will already have been covered, this section details some of the most important characters of the Run, who the PCs could find as patrons or adversaries on the Run.
To keep the PCs guessing, and as lead ins to some of the adventures, a collection of Run rumours.
!!!Possible BITS contributions? !!!
For when the pace slows or the referee needs some breathing space, a collection of nuggets ready to run anywhere in the Campaign.
!!!Possible BITS contributions? !!!
Making a Living: 2pp
If the PCs are trading or travelling along the run, then this section gives the PCs run specific trading information, plus details of starport costs and procedures, encounter tables and the other background information needed to support a long-running campaign in the Run.
Various starships will have been mentioned in the text. Collected here are the QSDS specifications for the key naval, pirate, Vargr and trading ships.
!!!Possible BITS contributions? !!!
Although the sourebook should have given refs plenty of ideas for their own adventures, this section provides a number of adventure scenarios, showing how a Run campaign can be approahed from many different angles. The adventures include:
- The Annilik Run: Every 4 years a competition, synonymous with the Run, is held in which competing teams have to travel as quickly and profitably as they can from Vland to Capital. Played either as a competition between PCs, or as PCs against referee run adversaries ( Wacky Races in space? ) the PCs keep those deals and jumps coming fast.
- Turf War: Two of the big players on the run are locked in a corporate war, and the little guys are getting squeezed. The PCs are drawn into the corporate conflict, and soon find themselves having to choose between Credits and their fellow traders.
- Red Beard: Piracy is on the increase on the Run. When the PCs have a close encounter with a pirate band they are drawn into a web of intrigue, where all is not necessarily what it seems.
- Ambassador Aaritsako: Two worlds are struggling to extend their influence in the run, and to make sure that their starport carries more trade than the other. The PCs are recruited to help one world to gain the upper hand, by means fair and foul.
- The Annilik Triangle: Ships have been dissappearing for years, but recently so may have gone that traders are afraid to complete the Run. The PCs are recruited by a world desperate to see trade restored to find out just what is going on.
!!!Limitations n length mean that these may have to be written prose rather than nugget style !!!
Authors: D Burden + A Lily
Manuscript to IG: End Oct 97?