This is Part Two of Sargon And Beyond: Operation Silk Roads. Part One of this 2372 campaign setting, which described the premise and presented a general map of the campaign region, is here.
In Part Two below, a GM’s map shows sub-regions of the Space Beyond. As a sandbox campaign setting, guidance is given for sample mini-arcs and encounters, drawn from existing modules (both official Modiphius products and fan-made) and Continuing Mission articles. Also, the parameters of Operation Silk Roads from a GM’s perspective are given.
Players shouldn’t read any further, as the following is intended only for the eyes of your GM!
The following map shows five sub-regions within the Space Beyond. Some room remains for your own development, and future articles may add new sub-regions to this map. Likewise, the area of space between Deep Space 6 and the northern Cordon Nebulae have been left undefined.
The Cordon Nebulae
First described in a previous article, the effects of the Cordon Nebulae are repeated here.
Effects of the Cordon Nebulae
- Class I Nebulae – The Difficulty of all Tasks is increased by 1 while within the nebulae, and the Complication Range increased by 2 for any use of Computers, Engines, or Weapons within the nebulae.
Avoiding the Cordon Nebulae
- The Cordon Nebulae are on average two light-years in width, like a maze-like veil around all edges of the Space Beyond. To plot a course through the Cordons that avoids all nebulae entirely is an Extended Task. Failing to achieve a Breakthrough on the Task indicates that the ship entered a nebula inadvertently, and is affected by the effects of the Class I Nebula until the next Breakthrough is achieved.
- The basic Task is Difficulty 3 Reason + Conn Extended Task, assisted by the Ship’s Sensors + Conn. This assumes an average Warp Factor of 4.
- Adjust the Difficulty down for each Warp Factor below 4, or up for each Warp Factor above.
- Interval = 2 days at Warp 4; adjust for other speeds
- Complication Range = 3
- Work Track = 10
- Magnitude = 3
- Resistance = 1
- If no attempt is made to avoid the Cordon Nebulae, apply the effects of the Class I Nebulae until the end of the Mission where the crossing was accomplished.
Encounters in Sub-Regions
Each Space has its own 4-episode mini-arc. As your crew pick their path through the Sargon Region and the Space Beyond, you may involve them in these adventures. We have given a suggested order to the episodes within these mini-arcs, but in most cases the mission order does not matter. Feel free to re-order or omit any missions. You are also encouraged to add Teasers, random encounters, and other missions to the mini-arcs, especially the species that dominate that region of space.
In some instances, the missions should be tweaked to conform to era and dominant species. For example, if the adventure in Near-Romulan Space features a Human colony but it makes more sense to have Romulans, make the adjustment.
Deep Space Six and Star Station Echo are on the far reaches of the Federation, where there is less enforcement of Federation laws. Raiders and cheats seek their fortune on such frontiers.
Likely encounters: Any cultures commonly seen in the Federation may be encountered. In the vicinity around Deep Space Six, however, Miradorn marauders are a prevalent threat. The region around Star Station Echo sees an infestation of Yridian free agents.
Recurring characters: At Star Station Echo, Captain Imaal Prasum, Starfleet Tactician, will advise on the Sargon Region. Zrabas, Gorn Bounty Hunter, also operates out of Star Station Echo.
At Deep Space 6, one is likely to run afoul of Ral Vot, Weapons Specialist and Soloc, Ferengi Arms Merchant, who are supplying the Miradorn marauders with deadly new weapons.
These missions may occur in either Federation region.
- Ends And Means (STA module)
- The Ghost Writer (Modiphia #3)
- A Cry From The Void (Strange New Worlds)
- That Which Is Unknown (These Are The Voyages)
The Sargon Region is beyond the Federation’s borders. Many independent worlds are found here, as well as new colonial efforts, observation teams, and research bases. The Federation and the Romulan Star Empire are known to some civilizations in this region, but there are also those that have not yet been encountered.
Likely encounters: The Ferengi have begun paying special attention to the Sargon Region, seeing profit in negotiating trade agreements with local cultures. They intend to send Ferengi ships to shadow the Federation ships through the Space Beyond. Nausicaan pirates, sometimes working for the Orion Syndicate, also operate here. In addition, there are independent colonies settled by the Drauodot and Saurians.
- Drawing Deeply From The Well (Strange New Worlds)
- The Gravity Of The Crime (STA module)
- Hard Rock Catastrophe (STA module)
- Trouble On Omned III (STA module)
The shortest route between Deep Space Six and Star Station Echo is through the part of the Space Beyond closest to the Romulan Star Empire. Although the Cordons separate Romulan space from the Space Beyond, there are Romulan expeditions and even a few colonial efforts that have crossed that barrier. They fiercely guard their territory here even without a Neutral Zone, wary of incursions from the Space Beyond. It doesn’t help that Changelings had infiltrated the Tal Shiar only last year, raising the level of paranoia.
Likely encounters: The Romulans have a small presence in Near-Romulan space. The expeditions use a higher proportion of Remans (Beta Quadrant sourcebook), believing them more expendable and capable of dealing with what lies in the Space Beyond.
- Plato’s Cave (Strange New Worlds)
- A World With A Bluer Sun (These Are The Voyages)
- The Shepherd (These Are The Voyages)
- Whole Of The Law (Strange New Worlds)
This section of the Space Beyond includes a small but growing empire: the Maloculans. They are glory-seekers, and are often led by charismatic individuals with their own schemes for gaining fame. They are slowly becoming a major interstellar power, but because conquest is a sure way to gain glory, they may become a threat to other independent worlds in this region.
Recurring characters: Haldrin Poleira, Zakdorn Defense Institute, is deeply interested in how the species within might change interstellar politics and strategy.
- A Cure Worse Than The Disease (Strange New Worlds)
- Darkness (Strange New Worlds)
- Stolen Liberty (STA module)
- Remnants (STA module)
Pranir Space is a region of space where warp technology is virtually unknown. Named after the Pranir, who use hyperspace to travel between the stars, the Pranir civilization isn’t the only species that uses hyperdrives.
Likely encounters: Aside from the Pranir, the T!rir (both civilized and barbaric) are sometimes encountered. The Santari, once the masters of the Pranir, also have a presence here (to be detailed in a future article). They are physiologically identical to humans (and were actually transported to the Space Beyond from ancient Rome by a Q-like being thousands of years ago), so the Pranir will initially confuse Humans for Santari.
- Forests Of The Night (These Are The Voyages)
- No Good Deed (Strange New Worlds)
- Nest In The Dark (STA module)
- A Forest Apart (STA module)
The K’si and their protectorates occupy this part of space. As it is a farther route through the Space Beyond, the ships of Operation Silk Roads may not encounter them, unless circumstances forced them to seek a detour around another interstellar power.
Likely encounters: The K’si are detailed in the adventure series: Supreme Mandate. The four adventures should be played in sequence. A small number of Nausicaans and Ferengi have also made initial forays into this region.
Recurring characters: Havral Nemil, El-Aurian Prophet, senses he must be here in K’si Space at this time, although he isn’t sure yet why. A dimensional or temporal anomaly, perhaps?
- Planet of the Ebon Pearl (CM module)
- Prayers of Suppression (CM module)
- Latinum Ocean (CM module)
- First Contact: The K’si (CM module)
The region known as Cosmozoan Space is an immense sub-region, one where space-dwelling giant creatures seem to be very common and diverse. Something about the stars and stellar phenomena in this part of space seem to sustain these cosmozoans. It is a dangerous zone but almost unavoidable when seeking a path through the Space Beyond. There are pockets of civilized worlds in this region, and they are oases in this sea of dangerous super-creatures.
Likely encounters: Many varieties of cosmozoans like the Crystalline Entity, or spacefaring species like the Gormagander (stats by Chris Sham), can be found here. A future blog series, Cosmozoan Cards, are in the works for next year. They will allow you to quickly make your own cosmozoan creatures.
Recurring characters: S’kard, Starship Pilot is also trying to find a route through the Space Beyond.
- Fury of the Hive (Living Campaign 2269 module)
- Psi Shift (CM module)
- The Roord (CM module)
- Rings (Pandora’s Box)
Part Three will address GM’s campaign options, including Timeline Milestones, the particulars of the Starfleet Mission Operation Silk Roads, logistical issues for the ships assigned to the expedition.
Watch also for further articles on new Teasers for each sub-region of the Space Beyond, new species (such as the Santari), the Cosmozoan Cards, and more.