|Campaign Background Information|
Detailed here is a list of background information you will need for running a V game with the STAR WARS RPG rules. This information is compiled from "The Visitors: A Technical Information Manual" which I picked up some time ago. Some of the information is sparse but it will give you an idea of what you need to know. This is what I used for my own V: The Final Battle game for my RPG group.
We owe the greatest debt to the resistance fighters, who, through their bravery and dedication, brought this information out at a terrible cost - their lives. An even greater price has been paid by the citizens of the planet Earth, those innocent people duped by the visitors' bloodstained lies and promises. As of this date, approximately 320,000,000 men, women and children have been killed, kidnapped or forced into slave labor by the visitors. Countless thousands more have disappeared into the gargantuan mother ships, to meet an unspeakable fate. The visitors are not our friends. We may never fully recover from the rape of our dear planet or the shadow of death they have cast over us, but, as long as we maintain the will to resist, the human spirit will survive. And the lessen the visitors have taught us must never be forgotten...
Visitor Sphere Of Influence
Visitor Physiology: Special Section - Red Dust
First off, there are three "setups" that you can use when creating a V game.
The first of these is to start the game straight from the Visitors arrival on Earth and run the game through the events which lead to the creation of the Red Dust and the Resistance's final victory over the Visitors. Entirely how you do this is up to you but you may find it hard because your PCs will have already watched it and some PCs just can't help using "out of character" information, no matter how hard they try. You can throw in your own adventures and even have your own PCs create the Red Dust if you like (I'd advise this method for Option 1). Itís up to you as GM to determine if you wish to play the game this way.
Myself, I used this option. I started my game after Liberation Day and Diana's assassination (though we all know she wasn't) when the Visitors re-launched their offensive on Earth. I stuck my characters in a location where the Red Dust had broken down and no longer worked. This gave them a number of options as to what to do. They could reform their resistance group and carry on where they left off over a year ago, or try and make it to a safe location where the Red Dust is still in effect and terminal to the Visitors. This is of course after they discover the Red Dust has broken down in some regions.
This one I only just found out about through new research at one of the V sites. It concerns a proposed new revival for the V series between 1989 and 1991. Continue reading...
V: The Next Chapter
J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the science-fiction series Babylon 5, was commissioned by Warner Bros. in 1989 to write a script for a proposed syndicated V revival. Six drafts later, the script, "Rebirth," was ultimately deemed too costly to produce, and the idea was scrapped in June 1991. An article written by Lawrence V. Conley in Starlog #182 (Sept. 1992) detailed the basic plotline, and offered Straczynski's plans for the original characters, which, with one notable exception, would not have featured in the new project.
Quoted material is direct from the article...
Following the "truce" begun in the final episode of the original series, the Visitors launch a devastating assault against the celebrating humans. During the action, Elias is killed, Willie is executed for his traitorous ways, and Donovan is wounded and taken to the Visitor Homeworld. Lydia's ship explodes, and while Diana appears to have been involved, she is merely transferred to a new command. Juliet assumes a new identity, and moves to Australia.
The fate of Elizabeth, the "Starchild," is particularly gruesome...she was taken to Homeworld...for "dissection and amusement." Anaesthetized, she detonated under the surgeon's knife (as her tremendous energy stores were suddenly released), taking a huge portion of the Visitor medical college and ruling council with her, and leaving behind a highly radioactive blast crater two miles wide.
Armies and resistance groups are defeated, and entire cities are vaporized. The Earth sues for surrender, and the TV movie opens five years later, with humanity still under Visitor rule.
A resistance group organizes in Chicago under the leadership of ex-army major Damon Mallory, and teams up with Ham Tyler on a mission to contact the alien enemies of the Visitors, who have finally responded to the humans' radioed cry for help.
The "Outsiders" at first appear human, but are also disguised members of the same reptilian race as the Visitors. They are a pacifistic and technologically-advanced faction that was exiled from the Homeworld centuries ago. The Visitors are locked in a war with them, and intend to use the Earth as a staging ground.
One of the Outsider ships is captured, and its male pilot, Danar, is taken to an Earth-based Visitor research facility. Aboard his vessel is a weapon of immense power--the Tachyon Globe--which is capable of destroying entire Motherships. The resistance group meets the other Outsider, Danar's female "life-mate" Lorien. Together, they plan a rescue raid on the Visitor facility.
Unfortunately, Danar dies first, and the Visitors load the Tachyon Globe aboard a shuttle bound for the Mothership. Ham Tyler overpowers its pilot, but the aliens' command ship snags the shuttle in a tractor beam. With Shocktroopers banging through the hatch, the wounded Tyler detonates the Outsider weapon, demolishing the Mothership.
So ends the pilot for "V": The Next Chapter, with a Mothership destroyed, Earth's bruised morale boosted, the Visitors' arch-enemies aiding the humans and a new resistance group backed-up with Outsider firepower, ready to take the fight to the lizards.
As mentioned before, itís entirely up to you as GM to determine where to start the game.
The next thing to do is decide where the PCs will start. If you are using idea 1. Then its makes little difference but I would put them in a city where there is a mother ship overhead as a constant reminder and threat. Idea 2. Means placing the PCs in a location where the Red Dust has broken down, if you wish. There's nothing wrong with starting them off in a safe place like New York where the Red Dust is still in effect and have them move into the war zone. This could be an adventure all by its self. Option 3 could prove interesting and leaves the plot wide open.
Visitor Sphere Of Influence
The following stars, star systems and planets are now under control by the visitors. The others, noted below, are within their sphere of influence. Please note that all worlds are translated into their English equivalents.
Military task force and billeting are.
K'zzizk Protectorate (Extinct)
Star - Mekbuda
Home world of Zom and six planets
Stars - Puppis, Azmidiske and Markeb
Home world of the Veern and twelve planets
Stars - Pixis, Antila and Alfaro
Home world of Piltanus and three planets
Convoy route and military training zone
Penal colony on moon of single planet
Retreat and new colony world, now abandoned
Home world of the Sirians and five planets
Earth - Home world of Homo sapiens and nine planets
Very few written accounts remain of the early days of the planet Sirius IV, since the majority of their records were ordered destroyed by the Supreme Leader shortly after he assumed power.
From what we can learn, however, in earlier times, the Sirians were a peaceful people, devoting themselves to the arts and sciences. As children of a relatively mild world, they flourished and soon progressed into advanced industry.
Agriculture, or, more exactly, the means to grow sturdy crops in their humid environment, also occupied much of their culture, with certain tribal elements of the Sirians assuming responsibility for the food production of an entire world. As technology advanced in the more populated areas of the planet, the fractions which occupied the deep jungle began to split apart from the rest, rejecting the primitive machinery and infant sciences that were beginning to come
As a result of this split, the Sirians who chose life in the jungles became known as Goloman" -- or, literally, "the know-nothings" -- and were outcasts of a sort. These people chose a Spartan existence, valuing fitness, combat prowess and self-sufficiency above all.
At this time, the planet's tribes combined into two main groups: the Houses of Raman and Xon. The House of Raman consisted of the military leaders; while the House of Xon was made up of the peaceful, scientific peoples. Subsequently, the House of Xon was labeled a "renegade house" and all members were exiled or executed.
From these origins sprang the beginnings of the Sirian military -- and the hatred that would eventually engulf the entire planet. At first, skirmishes between the two groups were infrequent and caused minimal loss of life. But, as time passed, the weapons became more deadly. Eventually, the entire planet was embroiled in a bloody civil war.
Finally, when most of Sirius IV's cities were lying in rubble, and almost one-third of the population had perished, a ceasefire was called and a truce signed. No longer were Sirians divided by the cities and the jungles. The Goloman became the dominant class in Sirian life.
Now, the planet conquered, the Sirian military cast its eyes out into space, envying its vastness and promise. By this time, the Sirians possessed the beginnings of an advanced civilization and the
Rudiments of space travel, but they still lacked the knowledge to span the gulf between stars, content for the moment to travel among their own systems.
At about this time, a more advanced race named the K'zzizk (pronounced sic) made contact with the Sirians and offered to take them to the K'zzizk federation of allied worlds. Now, here was the
Sirians' chance to move out of their own system and use the advanced technology to spread their sphere of influence.
For years, the Sirians served aboard the K'zzizk starships, traveling the cosmos and studying the technology, biding their time. At last, when their leaders felt the time was right, the Sirians struck. Taking control of a K'zzizk task force, they attacked a military convoy and bombarded the K'zzizk home world, demanding that the K'zzizk turn over all of their space freighters and bases.
Unprepared for war, the K'zzizk capitulated, but not their allies. For almost a year, a military balance existed while the Siriansí smaller but more advanced fleet fought the Oolot and Veern, whose strength lay in their sheer numbers. It was then that a charismatic military officer, known at that time simply as "the Leader" turned the tide of battle for the Sirians.
The Oolot and Veern petitioned for peace after their home systems were laid to waste by the Sirian "suicide bombers," gigantic K'zzizk bombers loaded with atomic weapons.
After this victory, a grateful Sirian people welcomed the war's end. It was at this time, when his popularity was at its peak, that the Leader made his move. Acting with a few companions, the Leader assassinated the top-ranking Sirian officials and assumed control of the military, the government...the entire planet.
The battered and war-weary Sirians took this change with only a modicum of protest. Within a year, through brutal purges and reforms, the Supreme Leader had closed his fist tight around the planet.
Using his power over the people, the Leader convinced them that they must re-arm their military, using their newly-acquired knowledge. The rationale for this was that "a vigilant planet (was) a strong planet."
Thus, the entire industrial complex became a vast war machine. Using slave labor from his conquered territories, and raw materials from the K'zzizk protectorates, the Leader amassed a staggering war fleet.
It was then that the bloodshed began in earnest, as the Sirian military planted its flag on planet after planet, star system after star system. Whole planets were devastated and depopulated, as the
Leader's thirst for power grew in proportion to his victories. Sirius IV, however, was not to prosper. The people were suffering from severe food shortages, attacks from vengeful enemies, and a totalitarian government that took away one-quarter of its population to serve and die on alien sands.
Finally, a turn for the worst occurred that would shake the foundations of life on Sirius IV and prompt a daring mission. A K'zzizk nationalist group managed to regain control of one of its freighters and smuggle a small anti-matter bomb aboard. The mother ship managed to plow through Sirius IV's battle satellites and fighters, to deliver (at the cost of its crew's lives) the anti-matter bomb to its target.
Approximately one-third of the planet's surface was affected by the titanic, destructive wave which killed millions and destroyed the whole military complex located on the planet's dark or far side. Instantly, in retaliation, the Leader ordered the K'zzizk home world razed and her people killed.
The K'zzizk perished, but they had taken their revenge. The Sirian people revolted, demanding an end to the expansionism and killing. In desperation, the Leader made them a promise -- he had, he said, found the Sirian people a new home, one much like their own but infinitely richer. He would secure this planet for them, he vowed, or he would relinquish his rule to the opposition which had gained strength since the attack.
The populace agreed grudgingly, and the Supreme Leader's fleet left Sirius IV in force, to conquer a world -- a shiny, water planet called Earth. So, in a desperate gamble, the Leader set his sights on a tiny world, one which would save his reign or bring the whole bloody war machine crashing down. Only history, and time, will tell.
The composition of the visitors "alphabet" revolves around written or concrete symbols to express complex ideas or information. The Sirian alphabet shown here is the standardized written type, with translations of the complicated phonetic structures approximated as nearly as possible in English.
Certain symbols have no English or literal meaning, and these have not been included here. Some indicators, such as those delineating male and female gender, also change the severity of sentence structure when written. Also, certain complex ideas or details can be simplified into one symbol (i.e. universal recognition symbols) and these carry different meanings according to the symbol which precedes or follows them.
The home world of the visitors is the forth planet in the Sirius Star System, and the only body in that system still capable of supporting life.
Slightly larger than our own world, Siius IV is basically a tropical biosphere, composed over most of its surface of steaming jungle rainforests. The only significant bodies of water on the planet are located inland -- vast stretches of landlocked ocean. Large areas of trade, population and commerce have sprung up on the shores of these oceans, which now have the major population centers. The dense, overgrown jungle area that borders the citadels is the ancestral home of the Sirians, and many of their people still live there, in dwellings constructed as part of their living world.
The capital city, Murkat, is home to the Supreme Leader and is located on the shore of the largest inland sea (Kaal-a-Mat, or "Blanket of Life"). The average Sirian citizen has never visited Murkat, or seen the Supreme Leader. Access to Murkat is restricted, due to assassination attempts made on the Leader's life and activities of fifth-columnists operating from bases seep in the planet's jungle interior.
Since the emergence of reptile life as the dominant species on Sirius IV, all mammal life has been virtually exterminated from the face of the planet. Some species, such as the pig like Sion and the rodent like Grook, have been bred for food, while the apelike Qomp, a four-armed marsupial, has been trained for centuries to perform menial labor for the Sirians.
The primary indigenous source of food consumed by Sirians is synthetically-augmented vegetable matter, grown in a mass of domed hydroponic farms located just outside city limits.
The most important staple of this vegetarian diet is the Gommont plant, a tuberous, stringy affair. The Gommont is similar in taste to terrestrial squash and can grow to amazing size. Algae is also grown and harvested for protein, prepared and served in wafers.
The topography of Sirius IV is unremarkable and staggeringly uniform. With the exception of a few low mountain ranges and the frigid, windswept Polar Regions, the rainforest is undisputed king. This is reflected in the Sirian practice of taking all youngsters out of the cities to spend a short time in the jungle as part of the coming of age rite.
This period of learning is called the Lok Ksaam -- literally: "the returning." Even though they have become a technologically sophisticated race, the Sirians still cling to their roots and ceremonies. The Lok Ksaam strengthens the young, while teaching them the importance of self-preservation.
Both male and female Sirian young are incredibly adept at navigating the dense brush and have developed keen night sight to locate the wild Grook in the tangled jungles. Like most reptiles, Sirians are physically well adapted to subtropical life, and require little water.
All of Sirius IV's industry is geared toward carrying the Leader's dream of universal domination and the business of Sirian expansionism. All Sirians past fifteen standard years of age must serve mandatory time in the military. Those deemed unfit for service must work in the massive planetary and orbiting war factories, producing materials. There are no conscientious objectors; those refusing to serve are executed.
The far side of Sirius IV was originally the site of all military operations, but was rendered uninhabitable five Earth years ago by an anti-matter device sent on a suicide mission by one of the Sirians' many conquered peoples and galactic enemies.
Since then, a blanket of battle satellites, mother ships and Skyfighters fill the skies of Murkat, protecting the leader and his envoy from attack. All operations and military expeditions are now launched from Sirius IV's small moon, and all incoming craft must first dock there.
On the whole, Sirius IV is a minor world, an apparently unlikely planet to have given birth to a race of conquering beings.
The reptilian visitors (or, more precisely, Sirians) are similar to terrestrial reptiles in chemical makeup and physiological nature. Unlike terrestrial reptiles, Sirians are the dominant life form on their world, comprising 83% of the total life forms on Sirius IV.
The average male Sirian is slightly taller and heavier than comparable Homo sapiens, while the average female is shorter than her Earth counterpart. Though similarities between Earth's reptiles and Sirians are great, the differences are also considerable. The first, most prominent difference is Sirian posture -- upright and erect, like that of Earth's Homo sapiens. The Sirian skeletal structure is similar to a human's, although slightly lower in calcium. The bones of the spinal vertebrae are smaller and terminate in a short tail, a vestigial remnant of their past. The skull of the Sirian is ossified and bony, as in terrestrial reptiles, and is fixed, except for a distendable jawbone to facilitate consumption of large prey. The bony plates that protrude over the eyes and across the head are vestigial. Having played a part in Sirian defense in ages gone by, it now helps in the cooling of the Sirian.
The Sirian internal organs are identical to those of the terrestrial crocodile, or crocodilia. The heart of the Siirian is divided into five chambers, similar to Earth reptiles. It beats approximately 52 times a minute. The circulatory system is intricate; branching out into fibrous bunches toward the extremities. Due to the complexity of their circulatory system, Sirians are warm blooded and need no outside temperature augmentation to remain comfortable. Sirian blood is copper-based, hence its green color. Rich in antibodies and sparse in corpuscles, it is fortified chemically by extensive vaccination against most Earth bacteria.
The digestive and ingestive system of the Sirians is similar to that of terrestrial snakes, including the highly-developed stomach. As with Earth's snakes (squamata), Sirians prefer live prey of freshly-killed meat. Fried or prepared foods cause gastric upset in the Sirian, and some prefer to consume raw, mineral-rich vegetables as a dietary supplement. The excretory system of the Sirian makes provision for solid and liquid waste through the single large kidney.
The Sirian lungs are both functional and operate best in low-altitude topography and damp climates.
The Sirian skin is covered with dermal plates (or scales) and is extremely osmotic. In order to keep their dermal area from cracking, Sirians bathe regularly in oil-rich water, and a silicon-based lubricant coats the inner layer of their plastic "human skins." This skin is applied to Sirians onboard the mother ship and cannot be removed en masse once applied. The outer covering is devoid of feeling, but is thin enough to allow some sensory transmittal and gas permeability.
The optical arrangement of the Sirian is purely reptilian, with a single vertical slit instead of a round pupil. The Sirian eye possesses sufficient cones to allow pale color vision, and it is extremely sensitive to light due to the density of rod neurons.
The Sirian has a built-in defense -- an acidic neurotoxin similar to rattlesnake venom. This toxin is located in a maxillary gland (like the human parotid gland) and can be "sprayed" by a Sirian voluntarily, when endangered. The atomized venom is airborne and irritating to humans, causing dizziness, heart fibrillation and shortness of breath.
Pollution and warfare on Sirius IV left the planet's atmosphere laden with heavy gases, such as CO2, Argon and Krypton. The residual buildup of these gases in the visitor's vocal cords gave them a quavering, up-and-down pitch to there voice. This condition was only temporary, decreasing with the advent of an oxygen-rich atmosphere and relaxed vocal cords.
Sirian olfactory senses are less highly developed than ours, but are more functional in filtering out airborne particles. Their auditory system is composed of a vibrating tympanic membrane, directed inwards by a simple ear arrangement. Interestingly, most Sirians seem to suffer incessantly from symptoms similar to those of the common cold and minor respiratory ailments. This apparently occurs in spite of the alleged extensive vaccination, and is an obvious weakness.
Visitor Physiology: Special Section - Red Dust
This bacterial weapon was discovered and isolated by Dr. Juliette Parish a year after the visitors' initial invasion. The organism, a variant of e coli, was found in the digestive tracts of Robin Maxwell's hybrid children...unfortunately fatal to the more reptilian twin. Mass tanks of the bacteria were grown quietly by Science Frontiers and encapsulated, like yeast, for distribution. Re-hydration would reactivate the organism for inoculation of food and water chains. As a result, the planet Earth was fortified against the visitors.
The red dust is fatal to visitors, not by infection but by allergic reaction. Flagella of the bacteria possess "O-antigens" which trigger an immediate allergic reaction upon contact with skin, eyes or the respiratory tract. Possibly the visitors' massive inoculations have hyper-sensitized them to allergens. Further research at Science Frontiers revealed the exotoxins of the red dust, in high concentrations, to be toxic to humans. Also, periodic bouts of cold temperatures are required to maintain the mutant strain. Resulting in the fact that warmer parts of the world have lost the protection of the red dust, allowing visitor re-invasion.
The red dust caused a deadly side effect in terrestrial crops, producing blight in food crops such as corn and wheat. Other side effects include mutations and stillbirths among animals, and a marked increase in respiratory ailments among humans living in areas with high concentrations of red dust deployment.
The visitor Technician wears the standard issue coverall seen on all male and female visitor personnel, with subtle variations, throughout their fleet. The coverall is a one-piece jumpsuit composed of a material similar to, but more resilient than terrestrial cotton fabric. The detachable "breastplate" features insulating material and padded shoulders. All markings on the coveralls, including rank and piping, is black, with the exception of that on some fleet functionaries' coveralls (security guards, security officers, etc., whose markings may appear in gold). The symbol of the "supreme leader" or the so-called "visitor logo" is worn on the right breastplate by enlisted men, on the left by their officers.
Visitors of every rank wear boots composed of a vinyl material, with hard plastic soles and fasteners. The uniform most shown in the series is the West Coast/Fleet Standard rust color, but has been seen in white, black and light green, corresponding to fleet service units deployed in the Midwest and East Coast areas. The typical visitor uniform is topped by a black duty cap, similar in design to our own military caps.
The most distinguishing touch to the visitors dress is the ever-present photo-sensitive sunglasses worn when technicians or officers venture out in the sunlight. These sunglasses, or, more specifically, the wearing of copies of them, became somewhat of a fad among humans after the visitors' arrival, sarcastically dubbed "Martian Foster Grants" by observers.
The Shock Trooper is an example of a typical visitor soldier -- and the backbone of their ground forces. Usually, visitor Shock Troops are deployed in squads of three or more, functioning as dismounted infantry units.The Shock Trooper wears a protective helmet of a strengthened plastic polymer, coated with a surface material that is impervious to all but large-caliber bullet hits. It has a reflective finish to inhibit the effectiveness of glancing laser strikes.
The tinted visor is polarized and can be adjusted to varying degrees of translucence by the trooper. The visor protects the eyesight of a trooper in combat, as the "muzzle flash" of the energy weapon is devastating to the visitors' sensitive eyes. The visor thus enables the trooper to function effectively. The shiny black leatherette-like breastplate worn by all Shock Troopers is a sort of "flak jacket" composed of closely-woven polymers and sytenium fiber. This lightweight "fabric" is impervious to all but Teflon-coated projectiles and is fireproof.
The standard weapon of the Shock Trooper is the high-output energy rifle, usually supplemented by a similar but smaller pistol worn on the right hip. Tactically, the Shock Trooper lacks initiative and usually functions best when being directed in brute force "wave" attacks against enemy positions, or close assaults.
VIP or Officer
This uniform is a dress/formal variation on the female coverall worn by visitor VIPs and Fleet Officers. This coverall features a detachable breastplate made of material similar to that of a Shock Trooper vest, interwoven with metallic fibers for a shimmering, glossy effect. The garment itself is very sheer, quite similar to an Earth-fashioned exercise leotard in cut. Designed to allure as well as show rank, this particular uniform is popular throughout the fleet and has been nicknamed "the Dragon Lady" by resistance pundits.
The boots are modified standard issue, with spiked heels and severe toe in the style of fashionable terrestrial women's footwear. It can be found in red, yellow, silver and blue, but the most popular color by far is white, as worn by L.A. mother ship commander, Diana.
Note: All visitor terms or words are translated as nearly as possible into English, or spelled phonetically to aid the reader.
BA-KAAL - Literally, "flame's lover," a large Sirian insect, similar to the terrestrial moth. The Ba-Kaal's hypnotic attraction to fire is always fatal. The term is also used figuratively.
BATTLESPHERE - A holographic computer that contains coded or scrambled war plans.
HAK-SARASH ("LORDS OF LIGHT") - The collective term for all the followers of Xon martyred to the cause. In some cases, the sprits of those departed to the afterlife.
INTERGUARDIAN RULE - A decree made by a high-ranking official to end a feud or conflict among underlings. Basically, each party is responsible for the other's well being, or lack thereof.
KOZZ-LOT - Literally, "joining," the Sirian marriage ceremony. Usually performed by a high priest or priestess.
PRETE-NA-MA - Literally, "peace be yours," a traditional greeting or blessing amongst the followers of Xon. Can also be used as a farewell.
QOMP - See Home World Section.
ROMALON - A high holiday among the Sirian House of Raman. Pagan ceremonies of Romalon include sacrifice of a young adult male, feasting and drunken revelry.
SILENT-STRIKE - A form of visitor "martial arts." It is a highly developed and disciplined form of hand to hand combat.
SKYFIGHTER - See "Skyfighter" in Fleet Section.
SLON - See Home World section.
S'RIVETT - Literally, "sand devil," a near-extinct sand dweller of the planet Sirius IV. The S'Rivett is predatory animals which nocturnally prowl the fine shore-sands along the mouth of Sirius IV's two oceans. The S'Rivett is similar in biological makeup to the terrestrial barracuda, although not requiring a water environment.
STUNNER - Short, club-like weapon used by visitor Security Police. The Stunner renders a subject temporarily paralyzed through an electrical jolt to the nervous system.
SUPREME COMMANDER - A visitor military term. A Supreme Commander is the highest ranking officer in charge of a battle or task force.
TANKER - See "Tanker" in Fleet Section.
TRANSPORT - See "Transport" in Fleet Section.
WONTU - Literally, "second father," the term of respect given to the person chosen to be guardian to a young Sirian.
XON - Renegade house or "tribe" from Sirius IV. Practitioners or followers of the religion of Xon are considered to be traitors. The actual religion of Xon teaches universal brotherhood, non-violence and forgiveness to all.