Saturday Seed ~ 199 (Legionnaire)

This is a seed for the near-forgotten RPG, ‘Legionnaire,’ which supported the Renegade Legion set of skirmish games from FASA. Those games were Interceptor, Centurion, Leviathan, and the planetary conquest strategy game Prefect.

Legionnaire, to those familiar with the early versions of the Mechwarrior RPG will seem very familiar and of comparable depth of setting and detail for gear, with the usual flair for SF realism which made FASA such a cool company. In addition, several intriguing alien species and a three-faction political split ripe for bringing imaginary war to imaginary solar systems all across the galaxy.

Some of the Renegade Legion line of games

Didn’t you want these in the late 80’s?

The seed
This seed is of very small scope for just a small group of players. It pits them in a race against time and fanaticism, in a dangerous location in orbit, all on their own.

Planting the seed
This seed can be planted in two simple ways, from a mission assignment, to volunteering. More complicated methods, perhaps involving an ongoing campaign, could include accidental inclusion in the circumstances, or inclusion as the result of the antagonists’ vendetta. This can be run most easily from the PoV of TOG or the Renegade Legions, but with some fiddling could work with an alien culture instead.

The details
Orbiting a world left deliberately undefined for the purposes of this entry are several large space stations from an earlier age in the planet’s history. Many of these have been decommissioned and are awaiting their final disassembly or conversion into something more useful.

A few months ago, a news story broke revealing how smugglers were using one or more of the abandoned stations which attracted political and activist attention, and demanded that, “something be done” before promptly forgetting all about the situation and moving their passion on to something else.

The outcome of this attention was the sweep and assessment of each abandoned station, and the refurbishment of two larger ones with past links to the planets early communication network. Minor adjustments of their orbits were conducted before funding and guidance fell away again with the shift in public attention. The stations were once again forgotten by all but engineers and cargo haulers…and fanatical terrorist cells.

Just before close of business the day before a major nationalist holiday, a simple broadcast via all public communications channels quickly and calmly informs the populace and the government that in an unspecified amount of time two cities would be destroyed. No reasons or methods are given, but at that moment, one of the two stations is detected crashing down out of orbit, ablaze in re-entry, but too large to burn up before impact. With no way to stop it, the world watches in horror as the resulting explosion takes its inevitable course.

A second calm message is delivered, “Concede to our demands for instant expulsion of (alien/minority/religious/social/etc) group from our noble armed forces, or suffer the consequences of your shortsightedness.”

What’s going on
A small group of technically proficient and highly organized extremists has planted control mechanisms for remote and on-site control of the guidance systems of the station. They have martyrs aboard whose sole job it is to repel boarders, and a lightly armed, but mined, shuttle with which to attempt to ram and scuttle boarding craft. They have repaired and activated the station’s defenses, and with the short amount of time they have allotted for compliance, can reasonable expect to accomplish destruction of their city target if their demands are not met.

They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be intimidated. Forces cannot be brought to bear on the station before it is sent flaming into its target.

What they have not counted on is the characters…. cue 80’s action movie themes and laser blast sounds!

Note: Renegade Legion’s setting offers a lot more than just this sort of commando raid to save millions of lives, of course. While it was presented primarily as a military action game, it offers surprising depth and detail which is not out of place on the shelf with much more recent games. This simple scenario can be the opening shot in a national crisis which leads to a chain reaction of political and diplomatic problems, and resulting economic burdens, barriers, or blockades which can have characters, social or military tied up in thrilling and challenging adventure for months.


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