|Scenario Pack (RPG Adventure)
|Herbert A. Beas II, with plotting assistance by Paul Sjardijn
|Catalyst Game Labs
|31 October 2013
|30 October 3071 (prelude)
5 January 3072-unspecified
Released in 2013 on the eve of Halloween as a free download, Necromo Nightmare is an adventure module published specifically for the latest edition of the BattleTech role-playing game, A Time of War. It is fully canonical despite the Halloween background and zombie theme; this has been expressly confirmed.
|A World Gone Black…
The year is 3072. The fires of the Word of Blake’s Jihad threaten to consume the Inner Sphere. On the borders of Capellan space, the vital world of Necromo has suddenly gone silent, perhaps the victim of a Blakist strike. But what could hit such a busy and well-defended planet so hard that even the Chancellor’s best would fail to call for help?
Time to find out…
BattleTech Adventures: Necromo Nightmare takes players to the dark world of Necromo, on the Confederation’s border with the Federated Suns — a world mysteriously silenced by a lightning attack by unknown forces. Can your team discover the cause of this shipyard planet’s unexplained blackout, and live to tell the tale? Necromo Nightmare includes a guide to this important world, personal biographies on several key players, and adventure Tracks designed for use with A Time of War: The BattleTech Role-Playing Game and the A Time of War Companion, as well as special rules, terrain guides, maps, and Record Sheets for key non-player characters and equipment unique to this story.
The players are assumed to be a small mercenary outfit or a small group of Capellan or Canopian troops with a reputation for handling sensitive top-secret missions. In early 3072 they are sent to Necromo, the Confederation's shipyard system, with orders to find out why the world has gone completely silent. In particular, they are to investigate a site called "Outpost Aberdeen". They learn of the exact objective only in transit though, and are not told at all that at least one similar unit — the Charmed Life mercenary unit under Captain Duncan Stepanov — had been sent here before with the same mission, and never returned.
Necromo, as it turns out, was wiped out by a Word of Blake attack including meteor impacts. The sparsely habitable world is now in an eerie twilight from all the dust and debris in the thin atmosphere, and the orbital shipyards were reduced to a debris field. Worse, a bioweapon was released that was tailored for Necromo, but turns out differently than anticipated — it destroys the higher brain functions and turns its victims into zombie-like creatures that attack others with animalistic frenzy. Even part of the attacking forces (including some ProtoMech pilots) succumbed to this plague.
The DropShip bringing in the players' unit lands thirty kilometers from Outpost Aberdeen. On the way there they encounter the first "survivors" on Necromo, unarmed workers who were turned into mindless, zombie-like creatures by the bioweapon and attack the players. The DropShip comes under attack as well. Later, the players may encounter ProtoMechs whose pilots are obviously similarly afflicted.
Shortly after meeting the enemy troopers, a weird radio message from one Captain Stepanov is received, apparently consisting of spliced snippets of various recorded messages. This is actually the work of "The Broken", a poorly functional AI that was designed to control drone BattleMechs — the secret project researched at Outpost Aberdeen. The prototype Capellan construct resembling an AI equivalent is mounted in a computer aboard a K-1 DropShuttle and has decided to enact an emergency protocol by which it will leave the planet, but it needs help to launch the shuttle. To this end, the somewhat schizophrenic AI tries to lure the players and/or the Manei Domini into helping. (If the players' DropShip was previously stormed by "zombified" people, the K-1 may be their only hope to escape the planet at this point.) However, the AI only wants to save itself and will ruthlessly sacrifice humans to the point of not even activating the life support on the K-1. Also, Adept Laban will turn on the players as soon as they have no tactical value to him anymore.
As "The Broken" was supposed to become an AI drone control system, it has a number of drone BattleMechs (with appropriate modifications) available:
These were deployed by the Word of Blake during the attack, and remained on Necromo after their pilots succumbed to the plague as well (despite the supposedly sealed cockpit).
- K-1 DropShuttle