Deck 9 - Main Engineering

This deck is dominated by pumps, pipes and other equipment needed to keep the ship running. In short, it is an excellent place for aliens to lurk. The set-up for this deck forces one character to place themselves in a very dangerous situation where an alien could attack them at any time. The players will realise this and Game Leaders will have lots of opportunity to ramp up the tension.

Main engineering is a mass of controls for the Quantum Flux drive and the in-system drive. Additionally, numerous monitoring stations track power flow, life support and other key systems across the ship.

Using the consoles the team can get a good assessment of the state of the ship. The details will depend on the what the characters have done prior to reaching this deck but overall the ship is good shape. A few details can be extracted from the automated maintenance logs.

Chief Engineer Conrad Heinlein attached a note to the log detailing how the conduits had been manually disabled to prevent the ship leaving orbit, but believed the engines were otherwise fully operational.
A couple of hours prior to the note there were repeated attempts to use the standard, automated shutdown of the plasma conduits but instantly the orders were reversed.
The logs suggest the A.I. was reversing the shutdown instructions.


The status of the power systems depends on whether the players have visited deck 5 and restored power.

No Power

Players trying to adjust the power systems or start the engines will find that there is only emergency power running. The in-system drive requires main power to operate and the plasma conduits, which supply fuel to the drive, have all been closed. To restore power to the in-system engines the players need to deal with the plasma conduits on this deck and visit deck 5 to activate the Quantum Flux drive. If the A.I.M. on deck 3 has been activated, the characters will notice a warning of the orbital thrusters being offline and the ship's descent towards the planet.


If the players have restored main power they will see the plasma conduits are closed and need to be manually opened before the in-system drive can be used.

Plasma Conduits

The six plasma conduits have been manually closed and all six need to be opened before the in-system drive will operate. This requires someone to enter each of the six maintenance shafts and open the valves by hand. The maintenance shafts are what any engineer would expect, small and cramped. Anyone in them has to crawl on their belly and there is no room for anyone wearing a vacuum suit or large armour. At the end of each 30' maintenance shaft is a valve which needs to be turned fully open. No skill is required but the valve is stiff and hard to turn in the cramped space. Opening each valve takes about a minute.


An Alien, Larva mook (1d6+3) is hiding in the mass of machinery that surrounds the maintenance shafts. Before it attacks, build up the tension by having the characters find some unexplained goo in one shaft, claw marks in another and a patch of alien excrement the character has to crawl through. When a character is in the penultimate shaft, working on the valve, the alien will drop directly on to the character and attack.

Though it is just a single alien mook, the character will be severely disadvantaged. With their hands working the valve they will be busy as combat starts and lying on their belly in the cramped shaft makes almost all actions difficult. Most characters actions will grant a 2d6+0 situation bonus to the alien whereas the alien is small enough not to be restricted by the limited space.


With the power back on via deck 5 and the conduits open, the ship is capable of manoeuvring out of orbit. If the computer core on deck 3 has also been activated, either of the A.I.s can fly the ship home to Tau Ceti.

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open/oneshots/quantumflux/deck_9_-_main_engineering.txt · Last modified: 2013/12/10 15:11 by darth_tigger
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